Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 13 Nov 2019
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 13 NOVEMBER2019
Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeOoyDCGq9Q
PROCEEDING OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15:01.
House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, the question of illegal migration is a global problem. It should be noted that the United Nations recently reported that the increasing global number of international migrants continued to outpace the growth of the world population.
The United Nations, UN, noted that in 2019, international migrants globally reached an estimated figure of
272 million which is an increase of 51% since 2010. This
same report notes that in many parts of the world, migration occurred primarily between countries in the same region like the African continent.
A total of 88,9% of international migrants in Africa originated from other counties in our continent. These migration movements are closely associated with illegal migration. In South Africa we accept upfront that our boarders are pourers. These pourers boarders couple with a fact that we have seven organs of state performing various boarder management and mandates using different legislations makes it very difficult. Hence, we have prioritised the flexi program of establishing a boarder management authority. The Boarder Management Authority, BMA Bill as you know has been passed in this Parliament in 2017 is now in the NCOP where it’s being finalised.
We as the Department of Home Affairs are hoping that this legislation will have been passed by the end of this year. As the Department of Home Affairs, we are not just folding our arms waiting for the boarder management authority.
For the first quarter of 2019, meaning April to June the immigration inspectorate undertook 43 business and industry inspections and 18 employers were prosecuted for illegal employment practices. For the second quarter, the inspectorate undertook 56 business and industry inspections and 22 illegal migrants were arrested.
The problem that the Department of Home Affairs has to content with is that people believe there is an easily identifiable and homogeneous group of people who are called undocumented migrants who are just lining up to be documented.
I wish to remind this House that when the problem of migration became worse in 2008, jumping from 53 000 to
200 000 and South Africa getting 400 000 migrants within the period of two years. Problems started to immerge.
The department tried to solve the problems, for instance by issuing permits to 279 000 Zimbabweans who were illegal that were documenting to let them stay in South Africa.
It further issued special permits to 91 000 Basotho but learned later that most of these people go into hiding when you document them because they believe the process of documenting them is a plan to remove them from the country. So it’s not very easy to get the people who are called undocumented but secondly there are people that get section 22 permits, which allows them to be in South Africa for a period of 3-6 months.
That is a form of documentation but failing the refugee status; they stay in the country and cry that they have been documented. Where as they were documented for a section 22 permit but they don’t qualify to be refugees in terms of the United Nations Convention of 1951 because that convention upon which our Refugee Act 1998 is based is very unambiguous. You must be coming from a country where there is war, you must persecuted on political grounds, religious grounds or sexual orientation and many people come as economic migrants but claim to be refugees. And, when they fail the master of the United Nations Convention, then the Department of Home Affairs is blamed.
We as the department expect that anybody who breaks the law whether documented or not, that becomes a criminal offence and action must be taken. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members I wish to remind you that in terms of Rule 142(7) a supplementary question may not consist of more than one question.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon Minister, not withstanding what you’ve just told us, the fact of the matter is that is that your department is in crisis. It’s in crisis because you’ve got simply no idea whether any person who’s running a spaza shop or selling goods from a Chinese mall have got legal documentation or not.
You don’t know how many undocumented migrants are in Hilbrow or just down the road in Voortrekker road and nor do you know how many undocumented migrants are working as uber drivers or in the hospitality industry or in the trucking industry for example.
Yet, the President of the Republic told us recently that all within our boarders must be documented. Your department was on record saying you don’t have the legal capacity or the resources to do so.
So my question to you is, in order to fix this broken system, would you consider going back to the drawing board to restructure the component within your department into a professional immigration service as proposed in the White Paper on International Migration Author 1994,if not why not?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Van der Merwe this concept that is being quoted all the time that the department agreed that it does not have legal capacity or resources is misused, it’s abused.
These were legal terms used by our lawyer in an ongoing case in Pretoria, answering to an affidavit by the City of Tshwane which said… the rate payers association in Tshwane, are taking first and foremost the city that it must apply the bylaws which I’m still saying, when the bylaws are being bridged and broken, it does not matter
who is doing that, whether you are documented or not, whether you are a South African, American or British you must be removed because people have pitched tents at people’s homes, washing in the streets etc. It’s a bridge of bylaws.
We were saying that is the job that must be done by the City Council. The fact that the City Council of Tshwane being the DA municipality rushed to a DA member here to claim that we say we don’t have capacity is wrong.
The legal capacity that our lawyer, Mr Seth Nthai was mentioning was that we are not legally given the power in terms of the law to remove someone who is squatting because he is breaking a bylaw. That’s not the Department of Home Affairs’ legal capacity.
When he said we‘ve got no resources, it’s because the city was saying we must look for alternative accommodation and remove those people and have them accommodated by home affairs. Again, it’s not in any of our plans or our mandates and that’s what the lawyer
meant. So, people must stop saying we have agreed that we don’t have legal capacity to document people, we do have.
Now, finally in this response I am saying when a person is undocumented, they are undocumented because most of them came illegally and they don’t want to be documented and they go into hiding.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Minister you just provided statistics in your answer regarding undocumented people in South Africa and in part of your answer you mentioned that most of the people are from Zimbabwe.
Would you also please tell us, apart from Zimbabwe which other countries do these people come from? Secondly does your department have a capacity to ensure that everyone who is coming inside the country is documented because you just mentioned when you were providing your answer to say that once you mention the word document, they go into hiding. So, what is the department doing to address that?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Chair, the statistics I have released here were about the Zimbabweans who were
given Zimbabwean special permits, ZSP, which were issued to them after 2008 when there was an avalanche of Zimbabweans rushing to South Africa undocumented. The department realised that the normal methods of documentation will be impossible because the number was too much.
Zimbabweans were then offered to come forward, whether they were legal or illegal and get permits that allowed them to stay in South Africa for four years while the issue was being resolved.
Two hundred and seventy nine thousand Zimbabweans came forward and were given these documents. They are still holding to them. They expired after four years, they were renewed and are now expiring again I think in 2021 or 2023 I’m not sure.
The same offered to Basotho. All the Basotho were here because they in large numbers but 91 000 of them came forward and were given Lesotho special permits. The Minister of Home Affairs in Lesotho then told me that he believes there are 200 000 of them. Some of them went
into hiding when we issued these permits because they thought it was a ploy to send them back home when we said we want to register them.
Now, I currently don’t have figures of the other migrants of other countries here but we do have them, I can supply them but I don’t want to mention incorrect figures here in front of you.
Now, this how the documentation should be done; when you arrive at the boarder, if you don’t hide but announce that you want to apply for refugee status, the law says we must give you a five day permit and we issue to all those who come, those who are in hiding or go through broken fences, you can’t you won’t even know them.
We give them a five day permit. It gives them a chance to come into the country to go to one of the five refugee reception centres. When they arrive there, they are given a section 22 permit. That is a permit to stay in the country for a period of 3-6 months during which they must apply for refugee status. And during that time, no one can arrest them. That is also documentation. When they
win refugee status, you are now declared a refugee. You are given the same rights as any South African except only one right, the right to vote.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Hon Minister, South Africans who are concerned about high levels of crime are looking at government to curb illegal immigration and one of the ways they are expecting that to happen is that fences need to be erected where there are no fences and tightening of boarder controls must take place.
So, I want to know because of pourers boarders that have allowed many criminals to come into the country, what is government going to do to ensure that all those who are applying for documentation that in the process you do not give proper documentation to people who came into the country illegally because such people are aiming at getting South African passports because they are easy to get allegedly and they want South African identity documents.
So, we want to know how are you going to ensure that all these people who are in the country saying now we want to
come forward, we have lost our documents and we want apply for documents?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: We offer renewals to any migrant who has lost documents, it happens quite often. Even these ones in Cape Town who did a sit in at the office of the United Nation High Commissioner for refugees, when they clashed with police and ran to the church, we offered them that those who have lost documents must come forward.
On Monday the Reverend Chris Nissen who is the Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission called a meeting between Home Affairs, the commission the refugee and their leaders, Department of Social Development and many others to discuss this issue and in that meeting the refugees clearly said they’ve want nothing to do with the Department of Home Affairs. What they are looking for is not documentation but is to be taken out of this country because they say this is a terrible country.
The commission told them that they can’t. As I’m speaking now this morning, the head of the regional office of the United Nations High Commission is there, he was talking to them about an hour ago he told me that they told him that all they want is to leave South Africa.
He told them that there are three conditions in which they will be taken out, they can’t be taken out as a group but as individuals; each one of them must apply and the country that is going to accept them must accept them as individuals according to their profiles and he said the number of countries that accept refugees around the world for relocation because it’s a big problem, only one 1% of people who want to be relocated get relocated.
That’s what the commissioner said and he gave them an easy option which is to integrate back into South Africa and we as Home Affairs said we are prepare to integrate them but they said no, there is no way they will stay in South Africa.
The commissioner offered them that we will take them to their countries of origin, we joined him and said Home
Affairs will also help them to go to their countries of origin they said they will never go there. They don’t want to go there, they don’t want to stay in South Africa and the only thing they want is to be taken to another country. They don’t mention in publicly but in corridors they say they want to go to Canada and nothing more, nothing less.
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Minister, it’s clear that the Department of Home Affairs cannot cope. We have more than 2 million immigrants in South Africa of which more than 500 000 are undocumented. The Home Affairs officials love this because they can continue with their bribes corruption and everything else. Minister, if I were you I would have employed immigration officers. This country has only 770 immigration officers. Now, tell us Minister how will you curb immigration with 770 immigration officers?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon member, fortunately you are a member of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs. I presented these figures to you that is why you are quoting them, you got them from me. [Laughter.]
Yes, it is true. I said to the committee, if I may remind you, that we have got less than 700 immigration officers and I said if you do not understand what the figure means just go to OR Tambo International Airport, South African Police Service, SAPS, has got 700 police officers there on a full time basis, just at the airport but we have got 600 and something immigration officers in the whole country.
It is a small number but you understand the economic state that we are in. We have gone to the Minister of Finance many times. This House understands the economic situation. If somebody was to say now, please hire so many immigration officers, I will be the first one to jump for that. I will definitely do so but at the moment it’s just very difficult because of the economic situation. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, the structures that we have to monitor movement of persons and goods across the borders and the cost implications, we have the port management committees which are responsible for non
mandatory border management and co-ordination activities that have been established. The reason that this port management committee was established is that presently the borders are managed by seven government entities. It is South African Police Service, the South African National Defence Force, and Department of Home Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Environmental Affairs, SA Revenue Service, Sars, and Department of Agriculture. Between all of them, they are applying 58 acts passed by this Parliament, which is a very tedious job. That is why we want to establish a border management authority under which they all fall. But in the meantime, we have got this Port Management Committees Board.
The SA Revenue Service, Sars, is legislatively responsible for processing of goods at ports of entry and further information relating to this can be sought from Sars. The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for the facilitation of the legal entry and departure of all persons into and out of the Republic of South Africa. The Department of Home Affairs has got an imigration service operation centre which operates for 24hours per week.
The ports of entry are required to provide daily operational reports to the immigration services operation centre. It plays a vital role in the success of port operations. The immigration services operational centre also follows a sound protocol to ensure that senior and executive management of the department are well informed of the challenges at the border.
During the peak hours, like Christmas, monitoring of port operation is strengthened through the presence of senior managers at the key ports of entry and daily joint operation centre and venue operations committee meeting at the port level.
To provide protection and basic asylum of refugee services in a human and secure manner close to the borders, simple means that the five refugee reception centres within South Africa must be relocated at the borders.
In this case, it means there must be camps at the borders which are run by the department together with the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees as it is
happening in other countries. The cost of this is not yet known but, what we have done is to appoint a transaction advisor who has been hired to do the cost estimates and projections and that is ongoing work. Thank you.
Mr M A MOLEKWA: House Chair, the hon Minister is correct to say that, as the ANC, we are the ones to acknowledge the weaknesses that the department has been facing and also to acknowledge and appreciate the good work that the department is doing progress on.
The 54th National Conference of the African National Congress took a decision to expedite the development of revenue processing centres near ports of entry. Has the department engaged other countries in the continent and the world to establish a common approach on how we are going to deal with the asylum seekers once the implementation has been done?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon member, I have visited several countries around the borders and I still got a programme to do so. I visited the Minister of Home Affairs at the Oshoek Border Post with Eswatini, the
Minister of Home Affairs at Lebombo Border Post with Mozambique, Minister of Home Affairs at Maseru Border Post... with Botswana. [15:23] I was supposed to visit Zimbabwe this week, there is a new Minister and he has asked for a postponement. I am due to meet the one in Botswana.
Among the issues we are discussing are these very same issues, including the establishment of the border management authority. The opening of all the ports of entry for 24hours because, some do not open for 24hours like Lebombo and Oshoek. Maseru opens for 24hours.
We are discussing these issues and we are also discussing the programme which home affairs is implementing, the one stop centres, where six of the busiest ports of entry in South Africa are going to be re-build to make them one stop centres, so that you don’t get processed by two countries. The two countries come together in one building, you get processed once and they work together in co-operation. Those are the issues I am discussing with the Ministers.
We will also report to them the fact that South Africa is intending to put up the reception centres next to the borders because it will serve the refugees better. You can imagine the refugee reception centre here in Cape Town, next to where the people are doing a sit-in. It means somebody crossed the border, somewhere up country, 2000 kilometres away and had to come to arrive here in Cape Town at the refugee centre. That is very difficult and expensive for them. It is better that the refugee centres must be at the borders and we are discussing that with our neighbours. Thank you.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon Minister, the fact of the matter is that our asylum seeking system is being abused. What happens is that people come in, they appeal, they have lodged their applications and by the time that you have got to enforce your decision you cannot find the people who have applied for asylum. That is why we are saying you don’t have the capacity or the resources to enforce your immigration laws.
I am asking again, is it not time for a professionalised immigration service or immigration authority to enforce
your decisions and track down the people who are abusing the asylum seeking system?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon member, the asylum seeking system in South Africa is abused because of the policies that we have chosen. Remember that, in other countries when you are a refugee or asylum seeker, you are put in a camp wherein you are monitored, even by the United Nations and other international organisations.
South Africa is not using that method, we integrate them into communities. So when they go to the refugee reception centre, during that process they stay inside communities and because of the nature of our democracy in the Constitution, we have put many appeal processes.
After you appear in front of an immigration officer after he has finished processing you, if he says you don’t qualify to be a refugee, you then appeal to a committee called Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs, SCRA. After you have done that there is then a Refugees Appeals Board. After you have done that, you will then appear in front of a Magistrate and then go to the High Court. All those processes are being followed.
We have just changed the law now because SCRA, in terms of the act, there are five members in that committee, in terms of the act, they must hear a case only when they form a quorum. The quorum consists of three people. If there are no three people they don’t sit. We have just changed the law. If you don’t understand what it means, it is like in the High Court, where they say there is a full bench. A full bench means three judges. Not each and every case is heard by a full bench. Only certain high profile cases are heard by the full bench. But in the SCRA, is a full bench continuously for each case.
We have now just changed the law that each individual commissioner can hear a case so as to process these cases much further and we are about to implement because that regulations has just been changed and signed into law. [Time Expired.]
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Chairperson, hon Minister, the Department of Home Affairs is out of money, everyone who is helping us with the border is out of money. We understand when you say that we are in a crisis, not because of us but because of the ANC.
You came to the portfolio committee and you informed us that this country is losing R20 billion a year. Wow! If were you, I would have fallen of that chair. R20 billion a year in illegal goods coming through our borders. You rightfully speak to policy, don’t you think it is about time that your government must change the policy?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon member, I can’t keep on repeating the same answer again and again. This House has been debating this issue of porous borders where people and goods easily moved in and out. We have said that many times, stolen cars move freely, drugs, human trafficking, we accept that and it has been brought to this House.
This House has agreed ... If you keep quiet, I will answer you. If you want to shout, ask me to sit down and continue shouting? I am not a shouting person by the way. Yes.
The House has agreed that the solution to this is to establish a border management authority. And we have outlined how the border management authority is going to solve this problem. But you need a legislation to establish a border management authority and as you know
that legislation passed here two years ago, it is stuck in the NCOP. We want it as of yesterday as the home affairs. The moment we get that Border Management Authority Bill passed into an act, we establish this border management authority and we start fighting this issue. At the moment it is being forged sporadically by seven government entities including the South African National Defence Force. Thank you.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Minister, have there been any engagement with other African countries at a continental level, to ease the burden of travel by African nationals within the continent. If not, do you not think that intra-African trade and cultural exchange will promote understanding of each other as Africans to eliminate the problem of xenophobia?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: This question of intra- African trade and free movements is part of the questions I am going to answer today. I am not sure why you pre- empt it hon member. But it is here I am going to answer it.
We do have meetings. Actually, the African Union, AU, organ on defence, politics and security meets quite often. I have just attended such a meeting since I was appointed. That is an organ which is attended by all Ministers of foreign affairs, or Department of International Relations and Co-operation, Dirco, home affairs, justice and correctional services, SA Police Service and intelligence. I think there are six Ministers. That organ is chaired by a Minister of Foreign Affairs in the country that is hosting the meeting. We discuss this issue of free movement and it has been accepted by AU. However, there are conditions which have been put there, which must be met before that is implemented.
One of the conditions is that the continents must document its people. Because, while in South Africa, we take documentation for granted, like getting an identity document, ID, birth certificate or a passport, it is not so in the rest of the continent Unfortunately, we still have many parts of the continent where you get born, you get married and you die without it ever being recorded anywhere. Those are the issues we are meeting ...
We have just met in Zambia in a committee which deals with civil registration and vital statistics and we were addressed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, that African countries must start documenting people within their borders. They must start having vital statistics so as to allow the issue of free movement.
Secondly, that there must be peace and stability because, if you allow free movement where there is chaos and there is no peace and stability, you are just going to cause war where people are fighting against each other.
Thirdly, we must look at trade imbalances between countries because if the trade imbalance is as severe as it is now, whatever rule you make, it would be just one directional. [Time Expired.]
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Chairperson, the term ‘rape kit’ is used in the public domain to refer to the collection kits which are used to collect evidence from victims of sexual assault and rape. However, the SA Police Service makes use of 16 different types of crime kits to collect various samples at crime scenes. These include the two
types of evidence collection kits, namely the adult sexual assault collection kit and the paediatric sexual assault collection kit, which are used to collect evidence from victims of sexual assault and rape.
The DNA Reference Buccal Sample Kits are used to take buccal samples from persons who are arrested and charged for schedule 8 offences. Schedule 8 crimes are crimes like murders and the rapes on a repeat way as required by The Criminal Law: Forensic Procedures Amendment Act 37 of 2013, commonly referred to as DNA Act.
On the question of shortage then: All provinces have no single police station that is minus the kits at the present moment. All police stations have enough kits that are regarded as rape kits, as we speak. Therefore, the dates on the second question, as in which dates are they going to be available falls off because already we do have these kits.
Mr A G WHITFIELD: House Chairperson, this morning, the DNA Board came to the committee and it was unfortunate that the Minister couldn’t be there. However, they did
indicate that the service provider who was awarded the tender in August would deliver 300 000 kits in December.
Can the Minister tell the House: How many kits have been delivered to date; and why by 14 October 2019 did the DA, in oversight visits, establish that police stations did not have such evidence collections kits – both paediatric and adult- which was the deadline that he said in this House the rape kits would be delivered into all police stations? Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF POLICE: When the question says: What percentage of the police stations that still do not have rape kits? It doesn’t ask how many per station.
Mr A G WHITFIELD: How many?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, that’s a new question altogether! [Interjections.] The answer here is that all police stations have kits as we speak. That is what the question seeks. [Applause.] [Interjections.] All police stations – 100% - in the Republic of South Africa!
The next question: Yes, we had said on 12 October 2019 all stations would have had. Indeed, not all police stations did, but most of these kits were taken to Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units, FCS Units, which do help police stations now and again. So, even if some individual police stations do have these kits, we however do love to use the specialised people dealing with these matters. So that ...
Mr A G WHITFIELD: On a point of order, House Chair!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, just take your seat, please. Why are you rising, hon member?
Mr A G WHITFIELD: I am rising because the hon Minister is misleading the House. The hon Minister, if I may qualify, has said that all police stations in the country have rape kits. It is clear that as of today not all police stations have rape kits. And, he is just said that the FCS units have rape kits, but not necessarily all the police stations. Can the Minister clarify?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Can the member listen? [Interjections.] Anyway, listening is a skill. The member put the addendum on the question that: Why on 12 October 2019 not all police stations had kits? I said because that time some kits were taken to the FCS units to help the station and neighbouring stations, but now all police stations in the Republic of South Africa do have the kits. [Interjections.] That’s the answer. If he listens and gives himself the space to listen, we will understand.
Ms Z MAJOZI: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, in Tshepisong there is no police station. People from that community must either go to Kagiso or Slovoville, including old and disabled people. Why do we mark the National Disability Right Awareness Month? How can we expect people with disabilities or old people to walk long distances to a police station only to find there is no skilled person to help them according to their specified disability in reporting sexual assault and rape?
What are your interventions in such cases; and how do they access the rape kits while they are in distress and with no police station? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, you are reminded that the Supplementary Question according to the Rules must consist of one question only, and not the number of questions.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Chairperson, the rape kits are at police stations – all police stations without fail, in the Republic of South Africa – 1 142 police station. They all have them! Then you would have satellite police stations. Those satellite police stations would be covered by the neighbouring police stations that have the specialising units, like FCS. Then, they will hand over the people that would have reported to them.
Yes, they don’t have the capacity and full capacity of dealing with all cased because they are satellite stations. However, those cases are immediately handed over to the fully-fletched stations with special units to deal with the matters. Thanks.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chair, Minister, I have good hearing skills, but let me start off by saying in terms of the Auditor-General’s report, the SA Police Service have seriously challenges in terms of supply chain. Now that you have run out previously – and I know now you have just alluded to the fact that there are enough kits in all the police stations: What added measures are putting in place to ensure that what has happened, where there was not rape kits in police stations, will never happen again?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, I am not sure about never again, but the measures that we have put is that we have already signed a three-year agreement of supply into the future, starting from now. At least we know that we have three years where there will be no shortage and we sure have enough space to work within three years so that this problem that occurred does not repeat.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The last follow- up question will be asked by the hon P Modise. Hon Modise!
Mr P M P MODISE: No, it is okay, Chair. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): There is then an opportunity for the hon Mafanya.
Mr W T I MAFANYA: Hon House Chair, Minister, most cases of rape do not get reported to police because victims of rape often get taken to through processes and questioning that demean them further at police stations, and quite often rapist are released from jail due to insufficient investigations by police. The failure of police to collect specimen evidence thus results in perpetrators to escape convictions. What are you doing to retrain police to handle and investigate rape cases?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: To start with, the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit that is known as the FCS is one of the best performing within the SA Police Service. That is what is happening now. The fact is that as we speak, we have got 4 728 life sentenced convicts – people that are doing life in prison
- 4 728 in the Republic of South Africa
For you to get life imprisonment means somebody should have done a good job going to court. For them to be
4 728, that is that! However, that does not mean that all is good or all is rosy. I fully agree with you that there will be areas where our own members of the SA Police Service are not doing a proper job in terms of collection of evidence, even in terms of treating women that have been abused in a very honourable way.
So, those are the things that we are working on. Hence, we have opened the retraining of those that will be working on these front desks, dealing with these matters. We are also building more friendly facilities in the police stations so that there can be privacy and so that they can be kept there for a night if they come very late at night before they are dispersed to the areas where they are supposed to be. We fully agree that we need to do much better there and we are still trying hard to do better on that one.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Thank you very much House Chairperson, our
reply is as follows: In our public participation programme, Deputy Minister Botes and I have popularised the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, to the South African public, particularly the potential transformative developmental role it can play in the industrialisation of the African continent.
We have also emphasised the potential benefits that South African exporters can accrue from the AfCFTA and the positive impact this can have in reducing South Africa’s high unemployment rate, poverty and inequality.
Furthermore, the Minister, in her international engagement and interaction with the Southern African Customs Union, SACU, the Southern African Development Community, SADC, and the African Union, AU, has advocated very strongly about the potential of the AfCFTA to be a catalyst to for Africa’s industrialisation and development.
With intra-Africa trade currently standing between 10- 16%, as well as Africa’ shares of global trade standing at partly 3%, the Minister has strongly urged African
countries to expedite market integration as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA, estimated that the successful implementation of the AfCFTA can boost Africa intra-regional trade from 16% to 52% by 2022.
Mr X NQOLA: Hon Deputy Minister, just a brief question. What is the role of the South African government in the African trade and economic development at large? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Well, the role of the South African government especially in the Southern African Customs Union countries is to ensure vigorous marketing of the South African and the SACU products to the continent so as to boost our economy. Thank you.
Mr M HLENGWA: Thank you very much House Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, at the heart of all these is border management and we have just heard the Minister of Home Affairs at sixes and sevens about how we are dealing with the issues of border management. What guidance or
assistance ... and in the discussions that you are having with your counterparts in the continent, are you making sure that border management is easy but at the same time protects the sovereign integrity of South Africa and to ensure that the movement of goods, people and services consistent with the free trade area is to the benefit of South Africa because if you don’t sort out the issue of border management, we will be setting up the free trade movement up for failure? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Thank you very much House Chairperson, on the issue of border management with regard to trade ... we are participating in the customer union countries ... there is free trade amongst those countries in that.
Because of the introduction of the AfCFTA, we need to put together the modalities of expanding to other African countries. As it stands now, we have a very good border management with regards to trade within the customs union. Thank you.
Mrs T P MSANE: Thank you very much, Deputy Minister, for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to be
beneficial to the African continent, preference should be given to Pan-African manufactured goods and it seeks to develop services offered by the African people. How will your department ensure that black-owned businesses which trade abroad will be protected by the state and will not be exploited and which South African companies are participants or stakeholders in the programme for infrastructure development in Africa apart from Eskom and Transnet? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Thank you very much House Chairperson, as I have indicated that we are trading very smoothly within the SACU countries but as a result of the introduction of the AfCFTA, by February 2020, the President of South Africa is taking over the chairmanship of the African Union. In that, we have put proposals on the modalities of how do we expand and protect South African business to trade within the continent. I thank you.
Mr W M THRING: Thank you House Chairperson, in light of the recent xenophobic attacks that took place in South Africa and have affected the international or the
national relations of the African countries including South Africa, what positive interventions have been put in place to ensure, firstly, that these xenophobic attacks do not take place again and, secondly, that they do not affect the economy and the economic relations that South Africa has with its African counterparts? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Thank you very much House Chairperson, the xenophobic attack issues are things that aren’t arranged by anyone; this is done by both foreign nationals and South Africans that are in the country. I cannot say we have a mechanism to stop xenophobic attacks to happen or that foreign nationals cannot have conflicts in South Africa. I cannot confirm that. You are quite correct that if such issues are happening, they disturb the economy of our country. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Yes, the information received has been referred to threat analysis, to determine its veracity, nature, scale and extent. Thank you
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chair, Minister, the problem is that over and above what is happening - and this is a ticking time bomb, cases were opened in various police station like Milnerton and Mfuleni two months ago, and to date, not a single arrest has been made. Could you please comment on why the SA Police Service is not acting on these dockets that have been opened?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: You are correct when you said that to no one has been arrested, but the question where you asked me to comment because no one is acting on these dockets is incorrect because the arrests culminates with the investigation – it is firstly getting the information before arresting people. We are not going to arrest people when we have not yet collected information that you can convert to the evidence, because by the time you check people that are arrested, you only find out that the information is not converted to the evidence. But more than that, this phenomenon of the trouble brought by tow trucks, which is a national problem - especially in KwaZulu-Natal and here in Cape Town, has other elements on it. You cannot just look at it only.
For instance, there are investigations that tell us that there are other criminal activities around tow trucks operators, like stealing cars; like scrapping those cars and taking out parts - sometimes they are even involved in drug syndicates. Those are the things that we need to investigate properly, not necessarily to act quickly and come with cases that we cannot win. So, we are track with regard to this one, just wait and things will be fine.
Ms T M JOEMAT-PETTERSON: Thank you hon Minister for that comprehensive response. What measures will the Minister put in place to regulate the tow truck industry as well as to investigate possibilities of uncompetitive behaviour where insurance companies prefer big companies at the expense of small, medium and micro-sized enterprises, SMMEs?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: I don’t know that they fall within the small or medium-sized business, there can be that element – but they are also licensed by the Department of Transport, which means we need to pull together to understand all those elements. Are they legal; are they licensed or are they traded within the
laws? But the SA Police is supposed to look at the crime element, not the trading element.
So, on behalf of the SA Police, as I am now raising the issue that there are several elements of criminal activities that we are looking into within the industry - ours is to nip that off and put those behind closed doors. But all other permits and licensing should be given by the relevant bodies, including the local government who give them the demarcation with regard to where they should work, which garages they should work with, garages they should take cars to, and all those kind of stuff. But the SA Police is supposed to deal with the criminal element within those, not the trading element. Thank you.
Mr H A SHEMBENI: Hon Minister, the tow truck operators are part and parcel of the gang culture in Cape Town, and most of them are leading figures in drug and gang-related crimes in the city. They are known by committees and they have the police in their pockets. What is the police been doing? Or is it difficult to deal with the gang and drug
problems in Cape Flats? Has the state lost the war on this scourge? Thank you, Minister.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, that is what I have said. I said that they are not only committing crime around this area of business, there are other elements. I said that it is because sometimes they are part of the drug crime. Going forward, I am not sure if we are losing the war.
Today’s report in terms of what the police have achieved here in the Cape Flats with regard to arrests in relation to illegal guns, drugs, a lot of mandrax - 15 people were arrested and so on. So, I am not sure if we are losing the war. I think we are fighting in this war, going forward. We have not surrendered. Thank you very much.
Ms Z MAJOZI: Thank you, hon House Chairperson. Hon Minister, what measures are put in place with regard to the turnaround time for the police to arrive at an accident scene - given the fact that we have so much accidents and deaths on our roads? Tow truck drivers act like vultures by being on the crime scene first before our police arrive. They also temper with evidence by towing cars without the concern of the owner, and they
are also taking other people’s belongings as you have said. What is the turnaround time for the police to arrive?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: We agree with you. There is a very awkward tendency by these tow trucks operators with regard to these tow trucks, sometimes they come first and you find that they are linked to police radios, and sometimes with traffic officer’s radios - which is illegal for them to do so. We are trying to investigate this and we have found some police officers with their radios linked to them, which we should cut off. The crime scene should be cordoned off either by police officers - the SA Police, traffic officers or metro police. No one then is supposed to cross that cordoned off area, including those tow trucks vultures. They sometimes even try to fight over the cars they want to take and shoot one another at the crime scene. It is a question that you have raised which we have been looking at. They are the ones who sometimes increase crime themselves. So, local government road traffic inspectorate in provinces and the SA Police should come together to find out how they can
stop this link up with these tow trucks, so that police officers can be given first preference.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Hon
House Chair, the term of office of the South African National Military Veterans Associations, SANMVA, came to an end in October 2018. The elective conference of SANMVA is scheduled to take place by the end of February 2020.
We hope to have all the impediments pertaining the convening of this conference addressed, among which is the state of readiness of the member associations of this umbrella body. I thank you, Chair.
Mr J J MAAKE: Chairperson, if I was to find out from the Minister the state of readiness of all the associations, if you could brief us for the elective conference. Thank you, Chairperson.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS:
With respect of the state of readiness of these member associations, one can safely say that we are almost 65%
towards getting all of these organizations ready. There are two member associations that is the Azania People’s Liberation Army, Military Veterans Association, Apla, and Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, MKMVA, that are still to have their national conferences.
There is also information that we received this morning that the South African Cape Corps Military Veteran’s Association will have its national conference this week in Uitenhage on Saturday. That will leave us only with two member associations that must still have their conferences. I thank you, Chair.
Inkosi R N CEBEKHULU: House Chair, Deputy Minister, it is a fact that the formation of this structure has taken so long to come into place. Reason being there has been infighting within the MKMVA leadership. What is the department doing to sort out the challenges? One would like to establish what role does the Ministry have in diffusing the division that have taken place within the organization? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Hon
Chair, the challenges of disputes that arise now and again within the Military Veterans Associations are a matter which falls within the ambit of responsibility of their own political organizations. The Ministry has very limited room to intervene on the kind of disputes that lead to these divisions within member associations. It is not only MKMVA’s constituency that, as we speak, is involved in resolving those disputes and the unification process of its constituencies going on. There is also a similar challenge within Apla Military veterans Association.
What do we do is of course to encourage the mother bodies of these associations of former military veterans to get them to assist us as the department and as the Ministry to have a state of relative calm within these communities. Because, if we were to proceed with the conference of the umbrella body when there are disputes within the member associations that may compromise the acceptability of the umbrella body to the very member associations themselves because there would be members within these associations who will come up with the
claims that they were not allowed to participate because the groupings that would have been part of this conference would not be inclusive of everybody.
In order to make sure that government does not work with a statutory structure – because that is what SANMVA is. SANMVA is there as the function of law. We have to make it a point that at all times the credibility of SANMVA is such that it is beyond any reproach. I thank you, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The next follow up question will go to hon Komane. Why are you rising hon member? I think the hon member noticed you, hon Ndlozi.
Ms R N KOMANE: Chairperson, there has been a constant outrage in the society. Does the department only takes care of the military veterans from the National Party regime and those of the ANC ignoring Apla and Azania veterans? Some of them are said to be still languishing in jail. Can you tell for a fact if there are still Apla veterans serving in jail and the term of the offences committed before 1994? Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, are you in a position to respond to that follow up question?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Hon
Chair, of course, it is a new question. I would advice that for the fullness of information around that matter the hon member may want to direct his question to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services. However, we can, from our side as the Department of Military Veterans assist the member to get the full picture of a how many military veterans that we have on the database, I am talking of the Certified Personnel Registers, CPR, list that is the main source of our database of veterans that are still within our correctional centres. Thank you.
Mr M L SHELEMBE: Deputy Minister, in terms of sections 7 and 8 of the Military Veterans Act, the South African National Military Veterans Act Association must at least hold free, fair and regular elections and report to the Minister at least once a year. Has the association submitted the annual report to your office? If yes, how did they send it since they are currently functioning in
the absence of a conference given that it is not holding to its Constitution? What plan do you have to ensure that the Constitution is upheld by the association?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Hon
Chair, the Ministry together with the acting director- general of the department had a meeting with the leadership of SANMVA at the beginning of October to discuss the state of affairs that SANMVA has been unable to convene a conference according to its Constitution for this prolonged period. It was out of that discussion that we decided that with whatever challenges that are there come the end of February next year, SAMNVA will go to conference. The notice was given to all member associations that are still to hold their national conferences to do so.
The report about the activities of SANMVA is the responsibility of the DG of the department of military veterans. If the hon member wants to have more information about the activities of SANMVA, we can draw information from those reports and make it available to him. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:
Chairperson, the response is that the Minister of Finance allocated the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, an additional R102 million during his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement of 30 October 2019, which intended to strengthen the fifth against corruption.
The breakdowns of these amounts are as follows: An amount of R38 million, to fund a newly established investigative directorate, which is central to the prosecution of corruption cases; R29 million, to strengthen the Asset Forfeiture Unit and Special Crimes Court Unit;
R20 million to support the Witness Protection Programme; R15 million to improve the security measures at the NPA, particularly arising from the investigations pertaining to corruption.
The National Prosecuting Authority has received the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, carry through costs for the above-mentioned priorities, as well as funding for the reinstatement of the Aspirant Prosecutor
Training Programme. This programme has not been in place for some time. It has now been reinstated.
Also, the filling of critical posts within the National Prosecuting Services which have not been able to fill posts for the past five years, have now starting to do so. The National Prosecuting Authority has not received additional funding for gender-based violence during the Estimates of National Expenditure, ENE, and the Medium- Term Expenditure Framework processes.
However, it is important to note that, through the initiatives led by the President on gender-based violence and femicide, all departments have been requested to identify budget within their baseline allocation for a purpose of addressing the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide. An initial amount of R1,1 billion was earmarked for this purpose. Priority activities of the NPA are funded through the baseline allocation of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has been identified for this purpose.
The above allocations attest to the ANC-led government’s commitment to fight corruption, gender-based violence and femicide. This remains the priority of government and the security cluster in particular. I thank you.
Mr W HORN: Through you House Chair, Minister, it has to be welcomed obviously that there is additional funding for the new Investigative Directorate, although South Africa is still waiting patiently, we must say that it is patience that is fast wearing thin for the first prosecution coming from that directorate. However Minister, state-capture by its very design happened in tandem with the systematic hollowing out of the NPA.
In a specialised commercial crime unit which you did not mention here in your answer, and which deals with corruption related prosecutions, there are 40 vacancies, which calculates to a vacancy rate of 21%, many of which are on a management level. An old saying in the NPA is that there’s a complete prosecutor developed over 10 years and a commercial prosecutor over 20 years. Adv Batohi, the National Director of Public Prosecutions is on record that it is specifically this layer within the
NPA, people with 20 years and more experienced from where the next generation of commercial prosecutors should come from, which is virtually nonexistent.
Given the fact that you’ve not made available any additional money, what will you do to strengthen and rebuild the specialised commercial crime unit?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:
Minister Cele said that listening is a skill. I did made mention of the Special Crimes Court Unit and that the MTEF has given an amount of R29 million to strengthen the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Special Commercial Crimes Court. I also did mention that we have reinstated the Aspirant Prosecutor Training Programme that has not been operational for a number of years.
The programme is meant to breed a new ground of prosecutors, a new generation of prosecutors to help us with the various crimes which will include grooming for the Special Commercial Crimes Unit, because the NPA can only be able to groom from this programme of the aspirant prosecutor.
So, there is a clear pipeline of a new career path and grooming by the NPA that is happening. Thank you.
Mr W M THRING: Through you House Chair, hon Minister, in the light of the escalation of for gender-based violence attacks in South Africa, as well as the austerity measures that are going to be introduced where departments are asked to cut back finances, firstly, how has this impacted in addressing the challenges of and bringing convictions, with regards to gender-based violence?
Secondly, what kind of mitigating factors are you looking at putting in place to ensure that there is indeed convictions with regards to crime and corruption as juxtapose to the austerity measures that are being placed on departments across the board? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: We
already have opened three Sexual Offences Courts this year in Sibasa, Limpopo ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, can you just give me an opportunity to speak? There’s too much noise coming from this side here. I can hardly hear the Minister, hon members. Let’s give the Minister a hearing. Continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: ... a
newly built court called Mbityi in the Eastern Cape. The Mthatha High Court has been renovated which also include Sexual Offences Court; a newly built High Court in Mpumalanga, which also include a court dealing with sexual offences.
As I have said, we are also in the process of helping the Thuthuzela Care Centres to strengthen their work, but also looking at caravans to help them in terms of the additional resources that the Thuthuzela Care Centres needs to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide. With regards to corruption, the Special Tribunal of the Special Investigating Unit, SIU is now in operation.
We have also been given an additional amount which will help them clove back huge amounts of money on behalf of the state. I have been advised that they have already started with their processes, they are now in operation, and summonses have been issued. All in all, they are at work. Regarding the austerity measures, our understanding of them and also our engagement with the National Treasury, should be understood with the context that, with the NPA, it is bringing back money.
Therefore, it’s an investment. I am saying this because some of these monies are going to come back and they will be used in the revenue. But also, it also opens up our country for various investments by many other countries. So for us, we believe that austerity measures will not really affect the work that we are supposed to do.
The NPA, including the various Special Investigating Units are able to do their job to bring back the money into the national fiscus. Thank you.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Through you hon House Chair, hon Minister, we appreciate the funding to, at least the two
that are mentioned here, which is corruption and gender- based violent crimes. However, it will be simplistic to think that these crimes are running rampant because of lack of funding. Hon Minister, would you agree with this view? Also, what other factors would you consider to be the causes of so much of this scourge? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: The
question was about the budget; hence I answered it in relation to finance. There are various factors that are a cause of corruption. Let me just use my discretion to answer the question, it’s dishonesty, greed and many other things that cause it. So, there’s a long list that causes this kind of corruption. Thank you.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Through you hon House Chair, Minister, don’t you think that, it’s not a set out position when you accept the private donors whether by you or Batohi because, she is proudly going around saying that she is going to use that funding for this important institution such as NPA.
Don’t you think that it was just a set out from the beginning? Ideologically, it is wrong. Can you please clarify this to the nation?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: The
amount of R106 million I’ve just mentioned comes from the national fiscus. Since the inception of the NPA, has been working with various international agencies to combat corruption. The SA Police have been trained and they are working. There’s sharing of information in the entire security cluster with international agencies across the globe, Russia, the US and the African countries.
As I speak now, hon Chair, the Special Investigating Unit is hosting all investigators in the African continent on corruption. So, there is no way you can fight corruption without collaboration and working together with various roleplayers in the continent, in the region and in the world. This work knows no borders. The Care Act does provide for the NPA to receive any kind of donor funding which must be done through the National Treasury and through the National Revenue Funds, and that should be safeguarded.
That is the only channel, which is through the National Treasury. The NPA does not play any role. The role and the responsibility of the NPA, is to prosecute. Our role as the department on the other hand is to give them support and the tools of trade. That is what we are doing as the department, to give them support and the tools of trade. Hence, the NPA is focusing its job, it’s not moving around looking for money. It’s us who are engaging who are engaging with the Treasury, that’s why they have given them this additional money.
If there’s any form of donor fund that may come, it will come through the National Treasury and it will be declared through proper processes. But at this stage, I can state that it has been used on various platforms through business against crime and it has come through. So, it’s not something unusual in this country. There is no government department that does not use donor funding in South Africa. Thank you. [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Unfortunately, this question does not prescribe the time,
from which financial year to which financial year. As such, we are answering it from 2018-19 and 2019-20.
The SA Police Service, the SAPS, from time to time employs Public Service Act 103 of 1994 persons as police officials in terms of the SA Police Service Act 68 of 1995 in operational and support environments respectively.
Basic training is not a prerequisite for appointment within the support environment such as human resources, finance, supply chain, etc. Police officials appointed in the support environment are required to undergo a shortened basic training course subsequent to their appointment if they have not previously completed the normal basic training course.
Up to the end of the previous financial year, persons appointed in terms of the Public Service Act who were successful in their applications for appointment as operational police officials, had to resign from the SAPS to be appointed as trainees under contract until they had completed the prescribed basic training, whereafter such
persons were appointed permanent operational police officials.
There are persons who are employed under the Public Service Act who were appointed as operational police officials in the 2018-19 financial year. They are currently undergoing the 21 months basic training course, which is the same training as for the entry-level trainees who were appointed at the time from outside the SAPS. A total of six persons were appointed as police officials in the 2018-19 financial year.
The recruitment of police officials in respect of the current 2019-20 financial year is under consideration, where more and larger numbers will be employed under this arrangement.
Mr H A SHEMBENI: Hon Minister, the promotion processes are fraudulent since we have police officials who have been in a rank for more than 10 to 15 years. How are you going to promote them if you promote Public Service Act members to become police officials? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, I agree with the hon member if it goes to the two previous budget speeches that have been raised. Actually, in the previous financial year ... not the very ... one, there were 69 000 people that were overdue for promotion. The budget for promoting them was R2 billion. So we had to break it down. Hence, in the outer financial year we promoted 28 000. In this financial year we have promoted 20 000. Next year we will be promoting 20 ... and then we will have done with those that were overdue ... Then we will try hard ... that we don’t have so many people that are overdue for promotion. We hope that when we are done with those that were supposed to have been promoted all the time ... will go in a normal procession and progression of the members that are there.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The next follow- up question is to be asked by the hon Terblanche.
Maj-Gen O S TERBLANCHE: [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Switch on the microphone please. [Interjections.]
Maj-Gen O S TERBLANCHE: Sorry Chairperson, it was covered. ... my mistake. Hon Minister, you nicely explained the stringent training requirements for police officials ... practical policing. You also explained what normally happened. What you didn’t explain ... You know some people that were appointed in terms of, you know, the other Act and not under the SA Police Service Act, end up in practical policing environments; even in managerial positions, as captains, etc.
How do you expect people like that will be able to guide other police officials that need to do practical policing? Thank you.
An HON MEMBER: That’s a real policeman.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, the answer here says that those that are on the support structure might not necessarily go for that basic ... people like ... supply chain management, which you were in yourself. I know you are trained but you’ll understand that there is no intensity that ... you need to put ... the boot and be on the ground to run supply chain management ... the chief
financial officer people that are in finance and all that. Yes, but they do move. They do move to the SA Police Service Act so that they better understand the custom and the tradition of working within the SAPS. However, if they move from the Public Service Act to be trained as members of the SAPS under the SA Police Service Act, they will have to undergo the same training. They will have to be accredited as such that ... They need to be South Africans, they have to be healthy, they shouldn’t have any criminal records, and all those things, if they are going to be operational. However, in the support ... there are no stringent conditions that you would find as for those that are on the ground ... that are having the boots.
Mr T N MMUTLE: Thank you hon Chair. Hon Minister, in relation to the same employment process mentioned in the Act, does your department prioritise police reservists who qualify for these employment opportunities or are they subjected to undergo the same process as everyone? I’m asking this question because these are volunteers who, to some extent, have received training to assist your department in combating crime.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, indeed, if you have read this year’s adverts where we are recruiting police ... we are recruiting 7 000 police to be in college this year.
We have put some categories there. There is a new category — stream 3 — where you must have a junior or second degree so that you come for specialisation.
However, besides that, there are those who have been reservists and loyal to the SAPS for a very long time. Out of this 7 000, we have given them 3 000 so that we can absorb them. However, we agree that their conditions cannot be stringent because they have been in the system, though not fully trained. They have been in the system.
Even ... age, they are allowed to have a little bit out of 30 ... not very young, but because they have been in the system.
The question ... answered ... do we give an extra opening to the people that are in the system as reservists? The answer is yes, and this year we have really pushed up their number ... about 3 000 of them to be trained, be fully fledged and be permanently employed. Thanks.
Ms Z MAJOZI: Thank you House Chair. Hon Minister, while it is well and good that you are recruiting and training a new intake of police officers, what other training do they undergo, because we are getting complaints from the communities ... from the disabled due to their conditions and people in general ... that police officers cannot write a simple affidavit? What measures would you put in place to take care of the disabled?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, maybe today is an opportunity to speak to this hon House about this question of affidavits. I will request the members in this House to understand and request their communities not to go to police stations to write affidavits because they are clogging the system. All councillors are commissioners of oath. They can write affidavits. All principals of schools, bonke umfundisi [all pastors], all members here are commissioners of oath. Why do you clog the police station? The police station needs to work with criminal matters. [Applause.]
So, I’m making the call today to discourage communities from going to police stations but to go to the offices of
councillors and the offices of members here, and allow the police to deal with core crime issues as their work rather than clogging the system.
However, having said that, the police know how to write these very well. [Interjections.] They know. Well, if they did not know ... and write them well, not so many long queues would be going to the police station. They would be going to these people I’m talking about; the councillors. Councillors don’t have much work so they must do these things. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: The South African Police Service has together with the Justice Crime Prevention and Security, JCPS; cluster compiled a multidisciplinary and integrated plan to implement during the festive season, in 2019-20. The operation was launched on 25 October 2019 in Umlazi, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and will be conducted country wide until 31 January 2020. The plan focuses on the most affected police stations informed by the crime pattern and threat analysis.
The activities included the following: High visibilities to maintain weekly from Mondays to Wednesdays, including social crime prevention campaigns and community engagements; Thursdays are for compliance inspections and operations in terms of enforcement of Fire Arms Control Act, conduct compliance inspections and identify private security companies, fire arms retailers and taxi ranks; enforcement of the Liquor Act of 2003, conduct compliance inspections, as well as cordon and search operations at identified liquor outlets; enforcement of Secondhand Good Act, conduct inspections and compliance inspection at the identified secondhand goods; Fridays to Mondays mornings are for combat operation that is cordon and search, roadblocks and intelligence-driven disruptive operations including policing of events that are associated with the festive season.
Preparations are in place in terms of resources and enough personnel will be available for operation deployment. With the minimum number of SAPS personnel that will be on plant leave. A total of 5000 police students are due to complete their academic training at the end of November 2019 and will be deployed as part of
the in-service training to increase visibility. A maximum number of reservists have also been called up to be placed on duty throughout the country; the project of fixing and fitting blue lights and marking of all visible policing vans is being finalized in order to intensify police visibility. Thank you very much.
Ms M A MOLEKWA: House Chairperson, hon Minister as we have witnessed Operation Okae Molao, as an initiative taken by the Gauteng Government on daily basis. Will this initiative be rolled over to other provinces, as part of the SAPS’s festive season safety plan, to ensure the safety of our people during these festive holidays? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, yes this operation of Gauteng Government is one of the good principles and good activities that South African Police are doing, but there are other provinces that are doing even better operations, maybe they are not very much loved by the media as Gauteng is more loved by the media. As I am saying, those good principles and those good activities will be shared among all other provinces and you must
remember by the way that South African Police is a national competence, is a one structure so is easy for them to work together, sharing all these.
Indeed what was launched in KZN about two weeks ago has been rolled out starting with Gauteng last week and this coming Friday is Western Cape and on 12 is Eastern Cape, all provinces will be sharing these good practices and these good principles that they use so that we can get a better outcome in terms of the safety of the people of Republic of South Africa.
Mr Gen O S TERBLANCHE: House Chairperson, hon Minister the South Africa Police Service together with Vodacom launched the My SAPS-App in attempt to create a safer society for all South Africans. Minister I just want to know; is this also part of your preparation for a safer festive season and if it is, how many people have signed up and what is the estimated cost for the police over the festive season? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Yes, indeed the country has responded very positively to this launch, it is only for
festive; it is going forward far beyond and we are making it a permanent feature of the South African Police. It is also the way of improving technology within the South African Police. Up to this point more than 30 000 people have downloaded on the South African app. What it does is
– this question is here but you have put the cart before the horse now for me to respond to it.
What it does as you put it there it helps to tell you which nearest police station is around you, which is a nearest van and police activities that are there and as you send it at the centre instead of calling the van from your police station, the van next to where you are responds to you. Instead of not knowing which police station that is in that area, the app tells you which police station, but also tells police station to respond to you. So it’s making life much easier for the victims of crime in those particular areas, you don’t pay anything for downloading it. Thanks.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: House Chair, Minister your crime statistics says very clearly that most crimes are committed late at night and are alcohol related, in the
festive season that is approaching, you will be having a serious challenge in terms of alcohol related crime particularly in all the townships. What added measures have you put in place, are speaking to relevant departments, including local authorities to deal with these issues of taverns, shebeens and liquor which is causing havoc in terms of the crime in our townships particularly?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, as a South African Police, National Commissioner and I, we are working hard to work with the provinces and local governments. The premier that we have been very closely with on these matters is the premier Gauteng Province, but I am glad to announce that yesterday, this Minister speaking met with the Premier of Western Cape Province and we have agreed how we are going to work together in combating crime going forward. I thought that DA people will clap the hands. [Appluase.]
The people that are murdered in South Africa 70% of them are murdered over the weekend and their murder starting on Thursday evening to Sunday morning, early hours, five
or three in the morning, so which means your deployment need to speak to that. One thing that we are speaking with premiers is to say to them they must ask their liquor boards to respect the people of townships especially, because these taverns and shebeens, we don’t find them in Bishops Court, you don’t find them in Camps Bay, and you will find them in Gugulethu and Khayelitsha and all that. There, they must be respect of law, for instance you can’t have a license that closes at four in the morning and those are granted by liquor boards, we are asking premiers to say to the people, please give the proper thing.
If it is there illegal, at least it closes at 12 o’clock and all that, which is the first one. We are saying to South African Police be very hard to those that are selling liquor illegal, even if they have certificates and their licenses, for instance Commissioner and myself we went to one shebeen in Gugulethu, it was 02:35 in the morning, when we came there, they were still operating and everybody was dancing, the license must be closing at 02:00. Using your eyes, you can see that people that are here are 14 years, are 16 years and 17 years, the law in
South Africa is very clear, even if is legal but if breaks law, hit it hard. So we are not going to be nice with shebeens because many people die around shebeens, we are going to very hard on them, and please they must respect the law.
Mr W M THRING: House Chair, hon Minister it is very evident that the competence with regards to the usage of alcohol, is the competence of provincial and your municipal bylaws, however it is clear over the festive season that when it comes to use and the imbibing of alcohol particularly in public spaces there is an abuse of alcohol even though it may be prohibited by law, but there is an abuse, not just of alcohol but there is also marijuana and other prohibited substances that are openly been used publicly particularly over the festive season.
Then you have people have been stabbed, bottles being broken and the public at large becomes threaten. Can you take the public into confidence that over the festive season not just with alcohol but every other burn substance that the police will act hard and swiftly on those who compromised the law in this regard? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Yes, we will do that. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon
House Chairperson, yes there is an integrated working relationship between the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the mentioned departments. The interface occurs at various levels and through multisectoral governance structures and formations.
I can mention that at the level of Cabinet, there is a Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster which is supported by the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security, JCPS, Directorate General Forum. The director-generals of the department chairs an intersectoral committee on the management of sexual offences matters which is constituted amongst by the Director-Generals of the Departments of Basic Education, Health, Home Affairs, Social Development, Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, and Commissioners of the SA Police Service, SAPS, correctional services and the National Director of Public Prosecutions.
Also, in 2017 Cabinet approved an Integrated Criminal Justice System, ICJS, strategy, which enhances co- operation and collaboration across the departments and law-enforcement agencies that constitutes the criminal justice value chain.
Gender-based violence, GBV, and femicide are one of the pillars of the ICJS.
At various levels, the department further leads and participate in other multisectoral structures on GBVF matters which have the representation of civil society organisations. It also function as one of the key stakeholders in the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Interim Steering Committee established by the Presidency in terms of article three of the Presidential Summit Declaration against GBVF.
Some of the notable milestones achieved since the 2018 Presidential Summit, against the GBVF from the side of the department are the following: Post the summit and gender-based violence and femicide, a total of 13
additional Sexual Offences Courts were established mostly in the remote and the rural communities.
From the Joint Sitting called by the President, to confront the scourge against gender-based violence and femicide, we committed to establishing 11 additional Sexual Offences Courts. To date six of the 11 courts have been established. Two courts have been established in the Limpopo province in Sibasa and two courts have been established in KwaZulu-Natal province in Pinetown. One court has been established in Gauteng province in Ga- Rankuwa and one court has been established in the Eastern Cape in Bityi.
The High Court of Mpumalanga also includes a court that has the devices to deal with sexual offences matters.
This will bring to the total of Sexual Offences Courts established to 105 by the end of this financial year.
Secondly, we have put into effect the Femicide Watch dashboard to enable us to analyse data on femicide cases. We believe that this will assist the country in
developing preventative and responsiveness to the scourge of femicide.
Thirdly, we have started to review legislation which is applicable to GBVF to make them more victim-centric and responsive. As part of this review, a Sexual Offences Amendment Bill has been drafted in order to extend the scope of the National Register for Sexual Offenders to include the particulars of all sex offenders and not only those who offend against children and mentally disabled persons.
A further Bill is being drafted to guide and govern the establishment and the operation of the GBVF National Council as required by the summit declaration. The department is expected to present these Bills to Cabinet, soon for forward transmission to this House. Thank you.
Ms W S NEWHOUDT-DRUCHEN: Hon Chairperson and hon Minister, the opening of the Sexual Offences Courts around the country plus the high conviction rates is commendable. However, it does not provide the solution
for the root causes of gender-based violence and femicide, as well as sexual offences in general.
Does the department have a plan to address the root causes and if so, what is it and how will the implementation be monitored and the impact be assessed? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon
Chairperson, the initiatives to address the root causes of gender-based violence and femicide extend beyond the Department of Justice and Correctional Services and the Security Cluster and incorporate measures to address the social elements that breeds criminality needs the whole government, it needs the private sector, it needs civil society, it needs the NGOs and it needs everyone in society. It is a thing that all of us have to work together also to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence to deal with it. The department alone will not succeed.
It is for this reason that it is important that the security collaborate with other Cabinet clusters
including other social players in our society to deal and respond decisively to issues of patriarchy and gender relations in society. Thank you.
Mr W HORN: Hon House Chair and hon Minister, the articles issued after the national summit as you alluded to, also deal with Sexual Offences Courts and obviously it is to be welcomed that an additional 19 has been opened after the summit.
However, the fact is that the roll out of the newest model of the Sexual Offences Courts which ought to be in line with your vision as spelled out here today. More victim-centred depends in its totality on the regulations dealing with Sexual Offences Courts which have now been in process for months.
The department informed the portfolio committee that there is now a target dates of January next year, for the promulgation of these regulations. However, your department also have a history and one thinks of the Maintenance Amendment Bill of 2015 ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, your time is now up. Please ask your question?
Mr W HORN: ... where regulations do not get implemented upon promulgation. What are you doing to ensure that it will be implemented upon promulgation in January 2020?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon
House Chairperson, it is true that the last time you asked the question there were still awaiting the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice has now concurred with the regulations. They are now being properly clarified and verified through the Office of State Attorney and the State Law Advisor so that it meets all the constitutional requirements, so that by the time we reach the moment of action in January or promulgation, we are able to put them in action. So, that is what we are currently doing and in the process of ensuring that we deal with all the hindrances. Thank you.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon Chair, in fact, she was trying to press for me. So you have been a Sangoma in detecting that. [Laughter.]
Thank you, Mr Minister. I see that when it comes to crimes outside the Cluster of Peace and Security, you have your own reasons why you will consider departments outside that cluster. Among the departments is the Department of Health.
Will you please share with the House your considerations why it was necessary to have this direct relationship between the Department of Justice and Correctional Services and the Health Department? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon
House Chairperson, indeed we need various role-players to help us with the fight against crime. The Departments of Social Development, Health, Basic Education and various departments do play a very important role in helping us on that regard through expertise and various things that we need. For most of the victims start in hospitals, so they must be able to be received and the statements must be able to reflect as they engage with the police and the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA. So, it is a very important collaboration of the two departments and the other relevant departments. Thank you.
Ms O MAOTWE: Hon House Chair and the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, you do not sit far away from the Minister of Home Affairs. The Minister of Home Affairs is able to track all of us in terms of fingerprints. All of us here in this House have fingerprints. However, when we go to the police, when they take fingerprints, they will tell you that they can only trace the fingerprints that are on the database.
Now, both of you and all of you are from the same party, same WhatsApp group that is what my learned friends are saying. Now, it clearly shows that there is no integration between all of you.
So, my question is: When and how soon can you implement that such that all of us our fingerprints are in the police database? I do not know where that database is and why is it different from the home affairs, where is it situated? However can it be accessible such that the Departments of Police and the NPA and Home Affairs can share the same database? Please.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon
Chairperson, I will use my discretion to answer the question, because, indeed we are supposed to be in an integrated platform, with home affairs, the police, NPA and the correctional services.
We now have what is called the Integrated Justice Management System which is aimed to achieve exactly what the hon member is asking. So it has achieved the first phase where the police are now able to move a statement from their own workplace to where they can communicate directly through the statement with the NPA. There is also a process to link the home affairs fingerprints or biometric that they are using, but that also needs some amendments of legislation which the Minister of Home Affairs is better placed to speak to.
However, there is indeed the process that is aimed to ensure that there is that integration. Not only for the police, but for home affairs, police, the NPA, up until to the correctional services, because the interaction of human beings have proven to have a lot of challenges where somebody could be arrested and you may not be able
to pick immediately or in real-time that the person has a conviction.
There could also be challenges at the correctional services when you transport the inmates into the courts for hearings. A wrong inmate may jump into the truck and so forth. So, it needs this integration. So, it is a programme that we are currently working with the Minister of Police, Home Affairs and the entire cluster to ensure that this integration does happen in real-time and it becomes a reality because it has proven that without this automated technology, we will not be able to deal with some of the sophisticated networks of crime in the country.
So, we will update this House as soon as we have clear dates of timelines and deliverables. [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES:
Gangsterism is an issue faced by our country which has also manifested in correctional centres, and it is increasingly impacting on our communities. On admission,
inmates are reprofiled and assessed to identify offenders linked to community gangs or gang affiliation in correctional centres.
Nongang members are separated from nongangs, older offenders and vulnerable offenders in order to discourage gang activities. Unannounced searches are conducted to remove unauthorised items and contrabands. The department is also researching on how to limit cellphone usage in our facilities through cellphone detection system.
The Correctional Sentences Plan is an operation to outline the relevant correctional programmes to be attended by the offenders to address their criminal behaviour. The Department of Correctional Services implemented a multidisciplinary strategy in its operations which has resulted in an overwhelming number of offenders participating in various rehabilitation programmes.
We have compulsory rehabilitation programmes for sentenced offenders, which includes but not limited to: New Beginnings, where we offer life skills-based training
and empowering offenders for transition and adjustment into the correctional centre. We also offer anger management, anger in and anger out. This programme assists the offenders to move away from old habits associated with aggression and learn healthy ways of dealing with anger management.
Changing lanes programmes, for offenders sentenced for murder. This programme assists the offenders in understanding the link between murder related offences and weapons. It also assists offenders to implement a personal action plan to change their behaviour and attitudes related to the offence committed.
There are also female programmes that create conscience around females involved in gangs, youth programmes, prerelease programmes to prepare offenders for successful reintegration into society. There is also behavioural modification which is more crucial as it seeks to encourage reassociation and resocialisation of inmates from participating in nongang related activities.
It also equips the correctional inmates to recognise when they are being groomed for gangs and to cope in a correctional facility without gang affiliation. Thank you
Mnu Q R DYANTI: Sendikhona Sihlalo ohloniphekileyo, enkosi Mphathiswa. Izidlwengu nababulali bayadakasa phaya ejele yile nkqubo yenu ebizwa i-Anger in and Anger out.
Umbuzo wam uthi ...
... are you confident that the measures that the measures that you have shared with us here are going to yield results to break down this stubborn culture of gangs in prisons, as well as eradicating the contrabands that are there? Thank you.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOBULUNGISWA NOKUHLONYULELISWA KWEZIMILO:
Yebo nginako ukuzethemba futhi ngiyethemba kakhulu ukuthi sizokwazi ukukuqeda lokho.
As indicated, the collaboration with law enforcement agencies is showing positive results and we have got a practical example with St Albans in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape where we have collaborated with the SA Police Services, SAPS, where contraband from the gangs have been confiscated, data has been analysed from that contraband through the cell phones and various communications they have been having, which has led us to arrest some of the gang members and also to lead us to deal with other arrests with regards to some of the smuggles of contrabands into some of our facilities.
Through these integrated efforts, in particular, SAPS anti-gang unit in the Eastern Cape, officials who are implicated in gang activities were suspended and criminal cases were opened. Two officials are currently suspended and undergoing criminal trial. Where we find our officials working with gangs, we implemented and integrated efforts to deal with the situation. One of the officials who was involved in these gang activities was also arrested on 08 November 2019.
So, there is clear evidence of the work that is happening, across the country and in some of our centres. Therefore, we believe that we will be able to defeat this demon through various means, not only search and seizure, but also some of the surprise interventions that are happening across the country. I can assure the House that the situation is turning around though we are still having challenges in some of our centres which I may not mention, but we believe that we are at the right track.
Mr W HORN: Minister, in 2017 after gang violence erupted at the very same St Albans Maximum Centre, the previous Deputy Minister, Mr Thabang Makwetla went on record to say that ultimately while the anti-gangsterism strategy is a very good one, two factors working in combination, namely, overcrowding and understaffing, effectively prevent real implementation of the anti-gangsterism strategy. Given this, shouldn’t your first priority be to address overcrowding and understaffing?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: I
thought that hon Makwetla was sitting behind me, but it
looks like he realised that hon Horn will catch him, hence he went to the bathroom. It is indeed true that we have got challenges of understaffing with a high vacancy rate, and we will report to the portfolio committee in terms of how we are dealing with that.
We have made a commitment to the portfolio committee where hon Horn is a member. Therefore, we will be able to report to indicate the strategy we are dealing with, to ensure that we deal with the issue of understaffing and vacancy rate. With regard to overcrowding, unfortunately, we are at the receiving end, where we are expected in terms of the Correctional Services Act to receive, it doesn’t matter how many people we have in our centres.
When a person is sentenced in a custodial sentence, we have to house that person because that person becomes our guest until the end, parole or whatever. The key issue now in which we are engaging as the department, is to look into the second chance legislation that must enable us to ascertain the offences. We do this in order for the magistrates and judges to give noncustodial sentences where it is practically possible and where it is possible
that rehabilitation can happen without the person being put into our centre.
With clear measures of correction, even the person might not be directly inside our centres. But inside our centres we are dealing with the issue of overcrowding through various strategies, those that are having bails, in order for them to be able to get out, because some of them are there, and various programmes that we have to manage overcrowdings which are well-known to hon Horn through the portfolio committee.
Mr T E MULAUDZI: Minister, prisons have become breeding grounds for hardened criminals, because there are little correctional activities there and more crimes are committed with the help of prison warders. Has your department done any study of the amount of crime committed in society, ordered and directed from inside the prisons?
Nk M S KHAWULA: Usho uma ungazi.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOBULUNGISWA NOKUHLONYULELISWA KWEZIMILO:
Angasazi ukuthi ngiphendule ubani ilungu elihloniphekile uMulaudzi noma uMama uKhawula.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Umama uKhawula ungamlaleli. Myeke kanje, unje.
Ndo mangala nga maanda musi ndi tshi pfa Vho Mulaudzi vha tshi vhudzisa mbudziso nga Luisimane.
But anyway, the department does have some kind of statistics which we can provide to hon Mulaudzi because this is now different to the main question. So, if I knew that you will ask this question, I would have requested the statistics to be provided here.
But we do have an idea of the kind of crimes that are committed by parolees and by people that might have been released in terms of them exiting completely from the correctional services sentencing procedures, the various
others who might be in our juvenile diversions programmes and so forth. So, we do have some idea. Thank you.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Through you hon House Chair, Mr Minister, we appreciate the broad base of consultancy that you collaborate with in the fight against gangsterism in our centres. I just wish to ask, whether the families, that is parents and the relatives of the offenders are also consulted because they are affected in two different ways. Firstly, it’s the relatives and parents in the main who provide the offenders with cell phones, drugs, money, etc.
Secondly, the offenders will phone the parents about the victims asking the parents to pay ransom ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Your time is up. Can you please ask the question?
Prof C T MSIMANG: The question is, are the families of the offenders also consulted as collaborators? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): If we don’t respect the time, you will find yourself not having a question to ask, because of the long preambles.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Yes,
they are engaged in the process. The families of the offenders, including the families of the victims are part of the whole stakeholder engagement process. Our intention is to make this as victim-friendly as possible, so that the victims can play more central role in terms of the processes of reintegration and also in terms of the process of ensuring that there’s some kind of engagement between them and offenders to find closure in some of the instances.
Some of the engagements have brought very positive outcomes between the victims and the offenders; some have brought very violent confrontation because the families of the victims might still not be happy, or if the victim is still alive, the family might also find some difficulty. So, we ensure that these processes are well managed, so that even the victims and the offender’s families are able to engage and end up in an amicable
kind of solution. All in all, it is desirable that it happens like that, but sometimes it becomes a very difficult situation. But overall, it is a successful programme. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Thank you very much House Chairperson, with regard to the Births and Deaths Registration Act of 1992, all children born in South Africa must be registered within 30 days of their birth. The department has 412 front offices where births can be registered and clients can be issued with birth certificates on the spot.
In addition, as I mentioned in my Budget Speech on 10 July, the Department of Home Affairs has started a joint venture with the Department of Health whereby all the
1 445 health facilities where the delivery of babies takes place will be fitted with the necessary equipment and be provided with the appropriate human resources so that no new born baby can leave the hospital without a birth certificate in their possession. It is envisaged that this process will be completed by 2021. This means
that by 2021, any child leaving the hospital will be having a birth certificate. At the moment, they get it within 30 days.
The department has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Basic Education about service delivery regarding the issuance of enabling documents; mainly identity documents to learners. Identity documents are issued to learners in accordance with the Identification Act when they turn 16 years.
Unfortunately, out of the 412 offices, only 193 offices are able to issue smart card IDs. We do have a problem in this regard. However, we are in the process of finalising the upgrade of more than 100 mobile trucks which will be fitted with live-capture so that they get deployed to schools because currently, we do find learners queuing at Home Affairs offices during hours even though any learner in uniforms is prioritised. This is still a problem to us. We think they shouldn’t be coming to Home Affairs. We will go them in schools. We are about to complete the fitting of those trucks. We will be able to send them.
Thank you very much.
Ms T A KHANYILE: Thank you House Chairperson and thanks to the Minister for the response, Basic Education circular 1 of 2019 provides a grace period for undocumented children to get their birth certificates or IDs before being thrown out of school, but with thousands of child-headed households, what would you do to reach out to children whose parents have passed on?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Thank you hon member, we get worried by the idea of a child not being at school because of documentation. This also affects children of migrants. We have met with the Minister of Basic Education where we asked her ... and I think recently, about four to five weeks ago ... to issue a circular to all the schools that no child must be barred from school regardless of their status because in the final analysis, it will work against the country if there is any child who stays out of school. Imagine if a child of a foreign national who is applying for asylum is barred from school and the parents win the asylum status after four years.
It means you have lost four years of education. We can’t have such a society.
I have been invited to Ministers and Members of Executive Councils meeting, Minmec, early next year by the Minister to talk to all the MECs that regardless of the conditions, any child of school-going age must be accepted to school, only us as adults will deal with the issues of documentation while the child is learning.
Thank you very much.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Thank you House Chairperson, Minister, in the rural provinces, Home Affairs offices at hospitals are barely functional and as a result, many of the mothers leave the hospitals without registering their children. These children sometimes grow up without IDs.
What awareness programme does your department run to ensure mothers of newborn children get their children registered and are issued with IDs so that they don’t grow up without IDs for the rest of their lives?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: As I have said, hon member, there are 1 445 health facilities in country where birth is takes place. At the moment, only 391 have been fitted with facilities to issue birth certificates because it is done sporadically. This year, after my Budget Speech, we
met with the Ministry of Health. We got the list of all the 1 445 hospitals which we divided into five categories. In cases of the biggest ones, where more than 5000 babies are born per annum, they will have a fulltime Home Affairs official, whose job will be to issue birth certificates. In those facilities where there are less than 500 babies born per annum, they will keep on getting visits by a Home Affairs official. The process that we have started will only be completed by 2021 where all the
1 445 hospitals will have been covered so that the issue of 30 days no longer affects them.
The issue of taking an ID is done at 16 years. It becomes easier when you already have a birth certificate. There won’t be any form of corruption where people come and claim that these and that are their parents; they were born in such and such a place when it is actually not true. That’s why we believe that the root cause of this problem is not having a birth certificate. We have already started that but last month when we were consulting people for the new marriage policy, in my meeting with religious leaders; a religious sector told me that in terms of their religion, their women aren’t
allowed to give birth in a hospital. So, we mustn’t expect them to a birth certificate. I said I will meet with them; I won’t force them to change their religion but will force them that it is their responsibility that if they don’t give birth at the hospital immediately the baby is born, it is their job to go and get a birth certificate because we have them in hospitals where they didn’t go. Thank you.
Ms T I LEGWASE: Thank you House Chairperson, hon Minister, what is the current arrangement with regard to addressing the issue of undocumented children that are already in school, mostly foreign nationals to ensure that they continue accessing their education, including those that have been in the country for more than 30, for example, those that resides in Hazyview in Mpumalanga and the ones in Giyani from Mozambique?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Yes, hon member, that is a special case and we would like South Africans to understand it. I was in Hazyview and saw it with my own eyes. Fortunately, I also worked in Bushbuckridge in 1985 and saw what happened.
During the Mozambican National Resistance, Renamo, and Mozambique Liberation Front, Frelimo, war, lots of people from Mozambique came to South Africa. They now have been there for about 40 to 45 years. They are virtually South Africans. There is no question about it. Many of them don’t even know where Mozambique is. They are around the area of Bushbuckridge.
We are busy preparing a memorandum which must go to Cabinet, which must allow us to naturalise them immediately so that this problem comes to an end. Whether we like it or not, they aren’t going anywhere. Presently, in Mpumalanga alone, there are 57 000 school kids who aren’t documented. We said all of them must be at school.
The process that we are engaged with in Bushbuckridge with the Cabinet will find them at school already. They are not going to be a problem after this circular by the Minister of Basic Education. Once the Cabinet discusses this memorandum, anybody who came from Mozambique 45 years ago and stayed around Bushbuckridge ... but we are busy processing them because we aren’t opening this to anybody but them only. We need to get profiles of each
one of them. Who came when because amongst them are those that their grandfathers are the ones who came here. The Cabinet will pass the memorandum and give them the naturalised status. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you hon House Chairperson, Minister, could you tell us whether your system is nationally integrated? I am saying this because what we find is that ... and I have an example of a parent whose child is living in Umtata has to repeatedly come to Durban and can only apply for a birth certificate in Durban. In fact, despite all the request to try and get the matter attended to by Home Affairs in Durban, the child’s father died the other day before getting one; could you tell us why is it not possible that you can go to any office in the entire country to get a birth certificate?
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Unless I don’t understand, hon member, maybe it is a specific case. You will have to hand it over to me. There are 412 Home Affairs offices in the country. All of them can issue a birth certificate on the spot. What all of them cannot do is to issue a
passport or a smart card ID. This can be done only by 193 offices which have been equipped with what we call live- capture.
If you want a birth certificate, you can to all the 412 offices or to the 391 hospitals you will then get a birth certificate on the spot because it is an easy document to issue. If a child is being sent from Eastern Cape to Durban to apply for a birth certificate, that is news to me and it is something that I do not understand. Let me get the facts and will follow it up.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Munyai, you pressed the hon Minister Lamola’s talk button. Do you want him to ask a follow-up question? What is happening?
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Again, the question does not give us periods under which the answer is expected, but the answer as it goes is that Limpopo we have 30 ... [Interjections.] ... Yebo [Yes.] Gauteng we have seven, Western Cape we have six, Northern Cape we have 24, Eastern Cape 12, Mpumalanga 44, Free
State 12, KwaZulu-Natal 47, and North West 23. The reasons why they will be transferred from detectives to visible policing might be poor performance in detectives’ services, or is a promotion, or medical reason, or personal challenges members requested to be transferred because of family issues, not coping with detective work or requested transfer on own initiatives. So, that will be the reasons. Therefore, the members that have been transferred from detectives to visible policing are 205 in that period. Thank you.
Mr H A SHEMBENI: Hon Minister, and what measures have you put in place to ensure that detectives’ services remain attractive to talented, honest and hardworking detective members - because there is a reason other than the ones that you have mentioned that are causing these members to transfer, but you did not mention them. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, yes. I think one reason would be that they are overloaded. It is one reason that detectives will not be attracted to the work they do.
Last week I went to Khayelitsha and I spoke to one detective that had 133 dockets when the other one had
five. So, those are imbalances. However, I don’t want pre-empt, but the Deputy Minister of Police is leading the team that will be responsible of establishing a specialised detective academy. That is in the hands of her. She is even going to see those that are best in detectives, because we want it to be attractive. We want more people, especially younger people to be trained on the thing.
One thing that we want to go back that some years ago, 2010, when I was within the SA Police, but on the other side, we thought that people like detectives because promotion is very hard to come about, you better promote their salaries while they are there and while they are doing a good work - the better the work, the better the promotion of salaries. Therefore, we do want to make this world of detectives very much attractive. We are working very hard on that. Thank you.
Maj Gen O S TERBLANCHE: Thank you, Chairperson. Hon Minister, we have a shortage of detectives in the country already. Now, given the shortage of detectives in the Police Service and the R64,2 million budget cut from the
detectives services budget, would you agree with me, Minister, that SA Police Service, SAPS, is contributing to its own failure in executing its mandate to detect crime. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Well, to start with the SAPS does not cut the budget. The budget is an overall government and budgetary matters. It’s not the SAPS per se.
Fortunately the Minister of Finance is sited here and he hears on that. However, indeed, any form of cut not only in the detective services will affect and reduce the capacity of better product and better production in that one. However, if you have a Toyota Corolla, and you don’t have Lamborghini, you will drive a Toyota Corolla. So, we will work within the limits that we have and with a hope that situation will be better one day and the better resources will help us with a better production. Thank you, Chair.
Ms Z MAJOZI: Thank you, House Chair. Hon Minister, the police detectives lack training and are unable to assess cases and collect evidence which will enable our courts to put people behind bars. Our communities are suffering
and cannot have closure because they don’t know what happened to their loved ones. We have seen that detectives are unable to connect the dots and solve crimes. What measures are you taking to empower the community to work together with the police officers to solve cases? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: To start with, the first statement is not very factual. It is not very factual to say that our detectives are failures and they don’t do their work. Minister, Lamola, he is just gone out.
Minister Lamola is 37% overpopulated in prisons – 37%. There is not a single prisoner that has toyi-toyi to prison – not a single one. They are all sent there because detectives and police have done good job. You are not going to get life sentence and you are not going to get 20 years ... [Interjections.] ... No, it is not true that detectives are not doing their work. Otherwise we would not have prisons that are 37% overpopulated - that is one.
However, indeed, in any form of job we are doing including ourselves here, there is always a room for
improvement. Hence, I have said that the Deputy Minister is leading the establishment of a specialised ... and we will give the report even in the portfolio committee of a specialised academy of detectives. We are finding the room for improvement. But, for now, definitely, not a single prisoner that marches there, every prisoner is sent by the good work of detectives, and they are 37% overpopulated.
With regard to communities, that is constitutional and legislated that police must work with the communities. That is why we have structures called the Community Policing Forums, CPFs. Those community structures are legislated. They might not be working very well and all that, but they need to be improved so that they work with communities and the police. Thank you.
Me A J BEUKES: Baie dankie, Huisvoorsitter. Agb Minister, as ons na die hoeveelheid verskuiwings kyk, is daar ’n rede tot kommer. Ons moet egter vir u en u departement bedank dat daar wel gekyk is na wat die leemtes van individuele gevalle is. Ek wil u graag vra ...
... are there specific measures to curb the losses, but also, is there a process or do you have programmes in place to ensure a good working environment and to improve moral and working conditions to keep detectives? If so, what is the impact of those programmes? Thank you, Chair.
UNGQONGQOSHE WAMAPHOYISA: Angiwuzwanga kahle umbuzo ngasekuqaleni kodwa impendulo ithi ... [Uhleko.]
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Qhubeka mhlonishwa.
UNGQONGQOSHE WAMAPHOYISA: Impendulo ithi: Kulo mbuzo awubuzayo wokuthi sinazo yini izinhlelo nezinhla esizilandelayo ukuthi abaphenyi nabaseshi abasebenza phansi kombutho wasemaphoyiseni eNingizimu Afrika banethezeke futhi bakwazi ukukhulisa ulwazi. Lezi engizishoyo zokuthi sizokwakha isikole esizobaqeqesha ngendlela ephakeme kakhulu ngenye yalezo zindlela.
Nokuthi labo abenza kahle kakhulu sizobathi ngochatha ukuze bakwazi ukukhula banethezeke basebenze kangcono. Uma sengiphendula umbuzo wonke awubuzile, yebo kunjalo.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Chairperson, South Africa as part of the African Union collective efforts to address maritime security in the context of the African Integrated Maritime Strategy. We are also a member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association which supports regional initiatives to strengthen capacity-building of countries on the Indian Ocean Sea Board on maritime, safety and security.
With reference to the fight against human trafficking, South Africa is partnering with the United Nations, UN, office on drugs and crime under the global action to prevent and address trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants programme; which is a joint initiative by the European Union, EU, and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.
The glow act programme is being implemented in partnership with the international organization for migration and the United Nations Children’s Fund. The programme is assisting selected countries, particularly on the continent, to develop and implement comprehensive
national counter trafficking and counter smuggling responses. I thank you.
Nks T R M ZUNGU: Ngiyabonga Sekela Ngqongqoshe uwuphendule kahle umbuzo wami ...
... but I have a follow up question. [Interjections.]
Can we confidently say that our region is fairly able to combine threats to our maritime safety and human trafficking?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Chairperson, I want to confirm that the selected 13 countries that are participating in the glow act project are the ones that have been targeted to make sure that they deal with human trafficking and also smuggling of migrants.
Of course, I can’t assure anyone here to say we are succeeding because trafficking is still going on as
issues of borders have been addressed in this House today. Thank you.
Ms T P MSANE: Chairperson, noting that South Africa was the Chairperson of Ayora from October 2017 to October 2019; and the Deputy Minister is speaking of a UN programme. I want to know how many South Africans are going to be beneficiaries to such programmes?
Besides your seminars and other elitist programmes that South Africa was chairing, what programmes do you have that are directly linked to marginalised South Africans with regard to the maritime programmes?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Chairperson, well, as South Africa, yes, we have participated in Ayora but then, I want to indicate that as part of the collective in those structures we are part of other countries that are also benefiting in the programme.
I want to indicate that I don’t have a specific figure that says South Africa has benefitted up to so much in
terms of issues of safety in the maritime, but the department that is dealing with maritime and the ocean economy is the one that will have the specific numbers. Thank you.
Mnu M HLENGWA: Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo, Sekela Ngqongqoshe nawe uyavuma ukuthi ukushushumbiswa kwabantu kusaqhubeka okuyinkomba zokuthi ukungenelela kukahulumeni nezinhlaka asebenza nazo akusilekeleli.
Umbuzo uthi: Zizoqiniswa kanjani izindlela ikakhulukazi njengoba sibhekene nengwadla yokuhlukunyezwa kwabantu besifazane nezingane okuyibona futhi abayizisulu zokushushumbiswa kwabantu?
Kubalulekile ukuthi uhulumeni le nto ayibukele eduze. Yiziphi izinyathelo ezisheshayo ekuyizona enizozithatha ukulungisa loludaba nisebenzisana namanye amazwe, ngoba uma singakubheki lokhu izingane zethu nabazukulu benu basengcupheni yokuthi baqhubeke njalo beyizisulu zokushushumbiswa kwabo eNingizimu Afrika noma izingane zangaphandle zilethwe ngaphakathi ezweni?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Chairperson, South Africa is a signatory of the protocol and also, we are part of the sustainable development agenda, which has a call of ending trafficking in persons and violence against children by 2030. So, we are in a process, we are not yet there at 2030 but we hope that with jointing our programme with other countries we are going to reach the end of trafficking of persons and violence against women. Thank you.
Mr M CHETTY: Deputy Minister, there has been allegations that the current refugee crisis in South Africa has elements of human trafficking into it. Who is responsible for what is happening here and what is the South African government doing to protect the rights of the refugees as well as the rights of the citizens of this country? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-
OPERATION: Chairperson, the rights of refugees are protected by the UN protocol that is there by all
countries, whether they participate in the glow act or they are out of the glow act. But what I will confirm here is that trafficking of migrants keeps on happening, even if there’s protection, but in South Africa we have protected everyone but we are not going to say: now that there’s nothing that is happening in terms of smuggling of migrants because – like I said – we have been speaking about home affairs, we’ve been speaking about the security here, these are the people that need to make sure that the borders are really meant for. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS:
House Chair, the difficult overall state of government finances is public knowledge. However, that not withstanding, I can confirm that the Minister of Defence has been involved in ongoing discussions with the commander in chief of the South African National Defence Force and the Minister of Finance over the financing of our defence function.
The House would recall that the 2015 defence review presented three strategic policy options to Cabinet and Cabinet opted for a scenario where our defence capability is expanded independently to guarantee the sovereignty of the Republic; to meet continental expectations; to have the ability to intervene wherever there is a need on the continent; and to secure the national interest of our country at all times.
A work group consisting of all the relevant services and divisions has been established under the leadership of the director duo of special information to conduct a comprehensive audit of all censors and censor platforms presently in the inventory of the South African National Defence Force.
All acquisition projects currently on the Strategic Capital Acquisition Master Plan, SCAMP, that involve censors and censor platforms and technologies are currently under review. I thank you, House Chair.
Ms M MODISE: House Chair, to the Deputy Minister, border safeguarding is a constitutionally mandated function of
the Defence Force to defend the sovereignty of the country, its territory and its integrity.
Noting that the budget constraints remain an impediment towards optimal deployment of the required number of sub- units, which are supposed to be 22 and currently they are 16, to effectively protect our borders, has your department quantified the impact that this has on socioeconomic conditions within our borders? What measures does the defence force have in place to ensure a discipline conduct especially for the reservist? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): As you respond, hon Deputy Minister, can we observe Rule 142(7) please? Continue. [Interjections.] Read it, you have the Rules book.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Hon
House Chair, the impact of the reduced ability of the South African National Defence Force to make sure that our borders are not porous is far reaching. Its assessment can only be done with the participation of all
the relevant sectors of government that are impacted upon by the presence within the national space of a population that cannot be accounted for.
Having said that, in relation to the programme of the South African National Defence Force relating to our responsibility for safeguarding our borders, I can confirm to this House that a review of border deployment of the South African Defence Force commenced in 2018 the military command council has, in May this year, approved already the proposals around what should be done in relation to human resource and technologies that we must deploy for safeguarding of our boarders. Those recommendations have been referred to the arms of service commands in order for them to make their own inputs.
I can also indicate that in our plans it is the intention of the defence command that we do deploy in this Medium Term Expenditure Framework the remaining seven units or companies that were outstanding according to the original scoping of the human resource that is needed for this deployment. The seven companies will be eventually deployed.
With respect to matters of discipline, Parliament will appreciate that we are talking about something that does not only affect the National Defence Force members but that speaks specifically about the challenges that we have. I can make the submission that building a defence force in times of peace in relation to levels of discipline will always be a challenge and can never compare with building and training a defence force during the times of war. [Time expired.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, it is my discretion. If I think it is necessary, I will give him more time. Hon Mantashe, I saw you struggling to get the Rule I was talking to. It is Rule 142(7).
Inkosi R N CEBEKHULU: Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo weNdlu, Mhlonishwa Sekela Ngqongqoshe nanxa umuntu ekuqonda ukuthi okunye komsebenzi odingalayo eMnyangweni yilowo oqondene noNgqongqoshe Wezobudlelwano Namazwe Omhlaba ukuxoxisana namazwe angomakhelwane, lakhona uNgqongqoshe ekhala khona ngokuthi kufanele kubhekelelwe noma amandla akusiganxamabhande wombutho. Ngicabanga ukuthi lokho
kulibeka kude ithuba. Osigaxamabhande banelungelo lokuthi bakhiphe izwi kumagumgedlela ukuthi awame emngceleni ukusiza ... [Ubuwelewele noHleko.] Kafuphi ngibhekise enkingeni esinayo emngceleni iMozambique, iSwatini neZimbabwe lapho kukhona amasotsha abekiwe kodwa kuyaqhubeka ukwebiwa kwezimoto ziye ngale ngaphesheya.
Uma izimoto sezingaphesheya eMozambique, amasotsha akhona awavumi ukuthi zibuyele ngaphakathi ezwe. Wenzani umbutho ukuvimba isimo lapho khona amasela eba izimoto ziye eMozambique amasotsha akithi angasho lutho? Uma sezingale izimoto usuyilanda amasotsha aseMozambique anqabe ukuthi imoto ibuye ngaphakathi ezweni.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS:
House Chair, I can venture an answer to the question that the hon member is posing, but I know that the Minister of Police will actually answer it better because only last week the Minister had organised a cluster imbizo in northern KwaZulu-Natal at our border with Mozambique to deal with this very problem.
The problem of the protocol governing what happens once goods are taken out of South Africa into the neighbouring
countries and the ability to bring them back into the country, whether we are talking livestock or cars, is something I know has always been a big impediment that we have not succeeded, to our satisfaction, have it addressed. But the Minister of Police would know what the latest state of affairs is in relation to that problem. I thank you, House Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon /m?ra?/
Mr S J F MARAIS: House Chairperson, I assume that you are referring to me.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Can I be corrected?
Mr S J F MARAIS: /m?re?/
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay, thank you.
Mr S J F MARAIS: House Chairperson, to the Deputy Minister, you have mentioned the 2015 defence review. You can speak to the Minister of Finance in front of you and
know that in the Sixth Parliament there will be no funding for the 2015 defence review. So, we should not use that as an answer, sir.
If we look at the cyber security as a force multiplier we have long promoted the potential of the use of the cyber technology to protect our land, maritime and air borders, unfortunately to date nothing or very little has materialised.
With the ever growing threats at our borders, what is the current policy on the use of cyber technology and what will be done to make use of the current specialists available in South Africa including those at the Military Academy and via public and private partnerships? Thank you, sir.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Hon
House Chairperson, maybe to just correct firstly what hon Marais raised at the beginning of his statement which is that the defence review of 2015 is irrelevant to the policy projections of what needs to be done as far as the defence function is concerned.
In 2015 when that defence review was elaborated and finally agreed upon, the situation was just as difficult as it is now. Of course it has deteriorated but still monies that we needed ideally for the defence functions were not there. That is why the defence review presented three policy options.
Aware of the implications of the three policy options, Cabinet decided to go for the second option and the second option doesn’t say we have the money for it. It says, in principle, the capabilities that I referred to cannot be compromised. That is why there is this ongoing engagement that I referred to between the chief of the South African National Defence Force, commander in chief and the Minister of Finance.
Coming to the latter part of your question, I believe that it is possible but further details with respect to technologies that the Defence Force is contemplating to deploy for border safeguarding, the portfolio committee can actually call for a closed session where further details can be provided which would be not proper for me to release here. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, the allocated time for questions has expired. Outstanding replies received will be printed on Hansard. Thank you, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers for making the session a success. [Applause.]
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE ON 2019
REVISED AND PROPOSED FISCAL FRAMEWORK
Mr M J MASWANGANYI: Thank you very much hon Chairperson...
... Vaholobye lava nga kona na Swandla swa Vaholobye, ku katsa na Vaholobyenkulu hinkwavo lava nga kona laha, ndzi tile ku ta andlala xiviko xa timali ta tiko.
The Minister tabled the 2019/2020 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS, on 31 October 2019. After the Minister’s tabling of the MTBPS, the House referred the Revised Fiscal Framework for the present financial year,
the proposed fiscal framework, the macroeconomic projections and the assumptions undermining the fiscal frame work to the Standing Committee on Finance. This is done to comply with the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, 2009. The committee will continue to play its oversight role on the executive. The Standing Committee on Finance, having considered the 2019 MTBPS for the revised and fiscal framework reports as follows:
The Minister briefed the Committees of Finance and Appropriations of National Assembly and NCOP on 31 October 2019. Amongst other issues that he raised which we have also welcomed, are the measures aimed at improving efficiency and curb fiscal leakages, through different measures that he is going to introduce and also the issue of merging and consolidating entities and regulatory agencies.
The other challenge that he has raised is the problem of medico legal claims, where there is a huge legal claim in the Department of Health especially in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. These are the lawyers who have been all
along targeting the Road Accident Fund, but now they are targeting the Department of Finance. In so doing, we have to accelerate the implementation of the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Act. The Minister also spoke about the cost saving measures to improve efficiency and also tabling the Public Procurement Bill to improve procurement regulatory framework.
The committees received the post budget input from the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Financial and Fiscal Commission. Subsequent to that, we held public hearings on O6 November 2019. The committee received many written and oral submissions. Hon Chair, there are challenges with regards to the economy. The global economic growth outlook has deteriorated in both developed and developing countries. The trade tension between China and the United States, US, has serious impact on the global economy. The economic growth has been revised downwards and Growth Democratic Product, GDP, per capita is likely to decline in real terms, exacerbating existing levels of poverty and inequality.
The current account deficit is expected to remain at 3,5% of GDP over the next three years, given low investment and import growth. We also looked at the issue of inflation outlook. The high electricity tariff, high meat and grain prices will contribute to an increase in inflation. Credit downgrades remain a factor to observe and state implications on sovereign debt ratings, higher debt premiums and Rand depreciation, investor flight are some of the issues that are going to contribute to the challenges that we have economically.
The revenue outlook has deteriorated with lower than expected corporate tax collections. It is anticipated that the 2020 Budget will introduce various tax measures in the back of unemployment levels. This might put pressure on the households on personal income tax. We welcome the resources allocated to SA Revenue Service, Sars, to increase its capacity to collect revenue.
However, there are serious challenges when it comes to collecting of tax hon Chair. The problem, amongst others is under declaration by companies, both local and multinationals. Companies, local and multinationals conceal income or profit figures and overstate their
expenses with the intention of not paying what is due. We also have a problem of illicit financial flows, base erosion and profit shifting. Lots of billions leave this country; there are figures if you look at the Global Financial Integrity Report. It gives the amount of how much leaves South Africa.
The problem of illegal tobacco and cigarettes trade is serious. What is a problem hon Minister of Police is that, the culprits who are involved in the illicit tobacco trading are known. The factories and warehouses where these activities are taking place are known. There must be law enforcement in this regard. Low revenues, high debt service costs and bailouts to State-Owned Enterprises, SOEs, pose challenges in addressing a widening budget deficit. A continuous cash injection to assist ailing SOEs is crowding out spending categories and aggregates fiscal risk
Debt is increasing rapidly and is unlikely to stabilise in the immediate term. The rising debt service displaces social and economic spending and this will lead to negative impact on the National Development Plan, NDP,
targets. Therefore, we request that Cabinet should put more measures to stabilise the debt to GDP ratio. Hon Minister, we believe that we should not reach a stage where we are in a debt trap and will have to go to the Bretton Woods Institutions. Once we go to the Bretton Woods Institutions, we must forget about our sovereignty. They will come and take over Treasury, apply structural adjustment, cut spending on social programmes and the country will be in upheaval. This is a matter that has to be attended to.
Hon Chair, last but no least is the issue of the Wage Bill versus bloated service. We want this matter to be debated because, is the problem the Wage Bill or the bloated public service. In 1995 there were 1 269 000 public servants, serving a population of 38 631 000. In 2019, 1 515 598 public servants serving a population of 58,7 million, which is an increase of 300 000 or so.
What is the ratio of public servant to the population? There is a world standard as to, if a country has to have a particular size of a public service, it must be in proportion to its population. The problem is the salaries
of the senior and middle management, which is very high. This is due to higher than inflation salary increases, pay progression and Occupation Specific Dispensation, OSD. Hon Speaker, there has to be clarity as to what size and shape of public service do we want. How many managers do we want and unions are up in arms about this matter.
However, we have to answer the 4R’s. Do we want to rationalise, restructure, retrench or right size? What is the scientific instrument that we are going to employ in this regard, when we talk about the issue of the Wage Bill visa vie the bloated public service?
We are of course worried because the Wage Bill stands at R630 billion 700 million and something has to be done.
Therefore, we are satisfied about what the Minister has presented hon Chair. The committee recommends to the House to adopt the Revised Fiscal Framework as tabled by the Minister of Finance. Thank you.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Chairperson, when Minister Tito Mboweni delivered his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS, last month, South Africa saw perhaps really for the first time just how badly things have gone
wrong. I commend the Minister for being honest about the state of our public finances for he did not hide or varnish the truth. But, ultimately his mini Budget must be judged on whether it achieved its main purpose.
The Minister’s primary task, really his only job, was to present a credible plan to stabilise the national debt. The fact is that by any objective measure, he did not achieve that. The Minister did not present a plan to stabilise debt at all. His mini Budget sees the deficit blowing out to 6,5% this year and next, and national debt ballooning to over 71% of GDP in three years time.
By that time we would have borrowed another nearly R1,5 trillion and we would be spending R300 billion a
year just on interest. So, the view that this mini Budget was simply inadequate was confirmed by 30-basis point spike in bond yields in the days following, and by Moody’s decision to place us on, “Negative watch”, for downgrade.
To be fair to the Minister, he did identify more than R50 billion in spending cuts. The point is that despite
these cuts, overall expenditure is still going up, and there’s a simple explanation for that. That is because the spending cuts are more than offset by huge bailouts to zombie state owned entities, SOEs.
Every Budget always involves direct trade-offs. We understand that, but we believe that the 2019 Revised Fiscal Framework represents a fundamentally wrong and unethical set of trade-offs. The real story of this Budget is that basic services on which the poor critically rely everyday are being cut - and cut deeply - because for this government that is the path of least resistance.
It is easier to cut basic services to the poor than it is for the ANC to take on public sector unions. And, that is the truth! [Interjections.] Today, national Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, Numsa, and the SA Cabin Crew Association, SACCA, tell us that they will, “Shut down SAA”, if planned job cuts go ahead.
May I just say to them parenthetically: Please go ahead! And thank you very very much! [Applause.] We’ve been
calling for SA Airways to be shut down for years. If you’re volunteering to do it for us, maybe we should all go and join you on a picket line on Friday!
If this strike goes ahead though, it will be a key test for the government. Will they cave again to union pressure and give another bailout; or will they stand firm in doing what is right and fair for the whole country?
We are all pledged. Every member of this House is pledged in theory to creating a fairer society. For the DA, creating a fairer society is one of the fundamental values that underpin our approach to government.
So, how do we square the ANC’s commitment to a fair society with the trade off choices made in this mini Budget? Is it fair to cut R50 million from cervical cancer tests for Grade 5 school girls to protect the bloated public service?
Is it fair to cut R40 million dedicated for eradicating pit latrines in schools to protect 15 000 supernumerary
Eskom employees? Is it fair to ask millions of South Africans to pay higher electricity prices, higher VAT and higher fuel prices to pay for the effects of years of mismanagement and cadre deployment in the state?
Is it fair to ask the domestic worker who can only dream of air travel to bailout to SA Airways? Is it fair to make the unemployed mother pay for the free higher education of the middle class while that mother cannot afford to send her own child to crèche?
Is it fair that police stations do not have rape evidence collection kits, as Mr Whitfield has so boldly exposed, but 29 000 millionaire managers in the public service have got salary increases of 10% a year for a decade?
That is not fair!
In fact, my colleague, Mr Macpherson told me this morning of a public servant in the National Empowerment Fund who earned R6 million this year. [Interjections.] These are the real trade-offs this government has chosen to make, and they are simply ethically indefensible. They are not
only unfair and wrong, but they are also financially unsustainable.
In recent days, we have heard the argument that the solution is to borrow even more in the vain hope that spending more will boost growth. Even the Parliamentary Budget Office, PBO, which should be giving us MPs responsible and credible advice on the Budget, has shamefully propagated this argument.
This is a ludicrous argument. Every rand we borrow requires more rands in future to pay off interest. That’s fine when national debt is low, but those days are long gone in South Africa.
The fact is that we are now spending more on interest than we spend on education and healthcare. We are spending triple on interest than we spend on policing. We are using your credit card to pay off our overdraft, and then we are going to Capitec to borrow more money to buy groceries. This is the path of certain economic destruction, and we must not go down it any further.
I’m pleased that everyone in the finance committee agrees with this. I really associate myself and congratulate the chairperson on the fine speech that he has just given. I agree 100% with his comments around debt unsustainability and the public service.
We need big, bold decisions to save our essential public services from collapsing under the weight of our public debt. That is why the DA has proposed a credible plan to cut Rl68 billion from the public wage bill by focusing cuts on the 29 000 millionaire managers in the civil service – the people that earn R6 million per year - while protecting the true heroes of the civil service: Nurses, teachers, doctors, social workers, police officers and other front line delivery staff. [Applause.]
We have proposed a three-year wage freeze for all millionaire managers and a head count reduction of 9 200 non-front-line staff. If we did this, these savings would rein in the deficit, bring down debt and free up funds that would otherwise have been spend on interest, for spending on investment in critical infrastructure or social protection.
This is the only credible plan on the table that delivers fairness, and we hope the Minister will consider it seriously. I assure him that he will have the support of this whole House if he does so. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs M R MOHLALA: House Chair, the EFF emphatically reject the Revised Fiscal Framework introduced by the Minister of Finance during the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS. The fundamental reason is that as part of the MTBPS, the Minister announced the neoliberal, orthodox and outrightly reactionary economic recovery strategy as the current economic plan for South Africa.
When the Minister of Finance was responding to parliamentary questions, he said that National Treasury received more than 800 inputs into the neoliberal drivel he calls an economic recovery plan. The Minister further said that the only submissions the National Treasury will accept are those that are consistent with the essence of the neoliberalism of the perspective.
It is on that basis that the EFF chose not to partake in legitimating what we believe to be the most dangerous,
so-called recovery plans, representing nauseating levels of capitalist greed and gluttony.
The white capitalist establishment in South Africa are forming an alliance to devour and finish off the little economic control that the state has in South Africa.
Part of that neoliberal and reactionary plan includes the gradual privatisation of Eskom.
Part of that neoliberal and reactionary plan includes the Privatisation of water provision.
Part of that neoliberal and reactionary plan includes Privatisation of irrigation services.
Part of that neoliberal and reactionary plan does not say anything about the fourth industrial revolution, and how such will change the nature, content and form of work.
Part of that neoliberal and reactionary plan will not do anything to break the communications duopoly, where only two major companies are dominant.
We, as the EFF, stand opposed to neoliberalism and will never associate with the neoliberal drivel which will only serve to weaken and destabilise the state.
Now, we have decided to forge ahead with the real economic transformation agenda that has been embraced by all progressive forces in all political parties.
The EFF has reintroduced the South African Reserve Bank Amendment Bill, which will remove all private shareholders from the private Bank. The EFF calls on members of the public to make inputs into the Bill, so that South Africa joins more than 90% of central banks in the world that are publicly owned.
The EFF will also table a comprehensive State Bank Bill, which will culminate in the creation of a state-owned bank. The EFF will table a Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill, which will lead to the creation of a sovereign wealth fund. The EFF will re-introduce the Insourcing of Government Workers Bill, so that we begin to build state capacity and not rely on external consultants. [Applause.]
We are doing all of this because we have come to the correct conclusion that the ANC is dismally failing to manage and give direction to the economy. This is evidenced by rising poverty levels, crisis levels of unemployment, and a huge debt to GDP ratio. The Ministry of Finance is a true disciple of neoliberalism and they will worsen South Africa
The ruling party is full of cowards who are unable to caution their deployees when he exceptionally defies the resolution and act like a paragon of economic correctness. The EFF is not a party of cowards. We stand to categorically, emphatically and decisively reject the capitalist pamphlet that was presented here as MTBPS. Down with neoliberalism and its disciples in the National Treasury, down! [Applause.]
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Hon Chairperson, I had hoped that the Minister would bring along his Aloe Ferox plant today to this sitting. In fact, I would go as far as to suggest that it finds a permanent home in this House, just below the podium of the Speaker. My suggestion is made in good faith and in the spirit of consistency and continuity. It
must serve as a reminder to all hon members in this House that the collective task at hand is to ensure that we hold government to account act and compel it to decisively to recover our economy.
Much like the medicinal properties of the Aloe Ferox plant, medicine can only work when the body it serves changes unhealthy habits and focuses on strengthening the immune system.
I believe, in this instance, that Treasury and the Department of Finance is our government’s immune system. By remaining committed to the plan and strategy – which is to be steadfast in its determination, to act decisively, to improve co-ordination, to uphold the rule of law and to stay consistent in implementing the recommendations on the fiscal framework and revenue proposals – only then will we be able to navigate through this growth drought.
If our immune system and structures are fully geared towards implementation, this is what we can achieve, hon Minister. Firstly, we can achieve a reduction of the
public sector wage bill. Secondly, we can see through the successful sale of government assets. Thirdly, we can restructure and not just recycle the rot within our
state-owned entities. Finally, we can successfully manage to reduce our debt-to-GDP ratio.
It is therefore unfortunate that, at times, the department has ignored recommendations, forecasts and advice from various stakeholders. Let us not close our ears because our eyes don’t agree with what we are reading.
Furthermore, much has been said in this House about the reduction of the ballooning public sector wage bill.
However, government must also be prepared to absorb the adverse effects that zero increases will have on morale within the public sector. The poorest and most vulnerable of our people will once again have to experience a lack of service delivery as most frontline services will be affected.
Hon Minister, we must always be mindful that the actions we take on a macro level has effects which trickles down
and hurts the masses of our people who are poorest and this must be avoided. The IFP supports this report because we believe that our country and our economy has reached a point whereby the solutions that have been written, adopted and widely accepted by all, must now - I repeat — must now be implemented. The time has come ...
... lakhona wonke lamankentshane akhinyabeza umbuso wethu, nakhwabanisayo, kufanele ukuba sibhekane nawo. Isikhathi sokuqhaqhazela siphelile, injobo ayilingane umntsintsila. Ngiyabonga.
Mr W W WESSELS: House Chair, to quote the Minister, our problem is simple, “we are spending more than we earn”. South Africa is moving closer to reaching the fiscal cliff and we are in a dire situation. Our civil service remuneration, social assistance expenditure and the interest on government debt as a percentage of government tax revenue, has increased from 55%, 10 years ago, to more than 72% in 2019.
The government wage bill must be addressed; but how? Contain all inclusive government remuneration adjustments to the rate of inflation. In 2018-19, the average wage increase for officials was 6,8% - 2,2% higher than inflation.
In the private sector, the average annual salary is R250 000 and in the public sector it is more than
R400 000. The other big problem is the looted, mismanaged state-owned entities, requiring multibillion rand bailout all the time.
Die enigste manier om die fiskus te red is om hierdie staatsuitgawes te beperk en staatskuld uit te wis, en dan staatsinkomste te verhoog.
Maar die probleem is, hoe doen ons dit? Ons kan dit slegs doen as die politieke wil daar is om die werklike besluite te neem om die uitgawes te beperk, en om die inkomste te verhoog.
Die enigste manier om ons inkomste te verhoog is om ’n gunstige omgewing te skep vir die vrye mark. Maar alles wat die ANC doen is tot die teendeel. Alles wat die ANC doen maak dit moeiliker om besigheid te doen in Suid- Afrika, en maak dit moeiliker om werk te skep. Op die ou einde van die dag verloor ons belastinginkomste.
Who dictates to government what to do and what not to do? It is the alliance partners that are telling the government not to do what is necessary to contain the public service wage bill. It is your alliance partners who are preventing you from doing what is necessary and what I am sure the Minister wants to do with most of the state-owned entities. We are going to get closer to the fiscal cliff and face the fiscal cliff if you keep on listening to the alliance partners.
The failed ideology of the ANC is also to blame. We will have to wake up and really do what is necessary to save the economy. We need economic growth. But to get economic growth, we need the private sector. We need free market principles and we need to contain costs.
The cost containment measures announced by the Minister are a drop in the ocean and it is too late. It is because of the ruling party, who for many years just assumed that there will be money left in the fiscus. They just assumed that they can buy expensive cars. It is unfortunate that the hon Jackson Mthembu is not here, per usual he is not here, but in 1997 he said:
“I am a leader in my community, why is it wrong for me to buy a BMW with my provincial department’s money of R2,3 million”.
For 25 years, that attitude has cost this country greatly. It’s that attitude of just spending the people’s money and not doing what is necessary that has gotten us into this problem. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Hon House Chair, the NFP notes the report of the Standing Committee on Finance tabled here today. Allow me to commence by expressing our concern that every year Minister, we get a growth forecast which is exaggerated and way off target creating expectations that we are not able to achieve.
The deteriorating picture of low economic growth, failure to achieve targets, increase in the debt and budget deficit is also a matter of concern. Now, it is not only the interest that we are paying, but if you look at the jump in the last two or three years, and what is expected to be by 2022-23, it clearly means that your interest is going to rise by R150 billion, which is ridiculously enormous, which I don’t think we can sustain in this country.
As the NFP, we repeatedly have been drawing the attention of this House to the dangers of reaching a fiscal cliff. And every time a Minister or Deputy Minister came here, they gave us the assurance that there is no problem and they started comparing us to other countries. When you came in Minister you gave us this bleak picture and we appreciate the fact that you gave us a true account of what the status is in the country.
Now the question is, we have heard that R360 billion is going to compensation to employees. We are talking about another R240 billion which we estimate that it’s lost and which nobody wants to do anything about it because you
are not getting value for money. To add to that, at the moment, we were going to run about R200 billion of interest shortly.
So what does that tell you Minister? Almost R1,1 trillion of your money is going to anything other than delivering services to the people on the ground. So tell me how you are going to be able to achieve economic growth in South Africa, create jobs, and boost this economy, if so much of your resources are going to anything else but delivering services to the people on the ground. So the question that arises is; what are you going to do about it?
Now you are sitting with a situation, you have addressed the issue of South African Airways and you have identified the challenges but there you have the union which is saying that we are not going to accept it, and exactly the same thing is happening with Eskom.
So don’t you think that we are in a no-win situation? We are actually in a crisis. And if we are going to continue with the rate that we are continuing, then you can see
the destruction of this country in a very short space of time. Unless we change direction and get the role players to come together and sit at the table and look at what is in the best interest of the country and the people.
If you take South African Airways, you Minister said how much we pay for a bottle of water. The NFP – well - notes the reports. [Time expired.] [Laughter.]
Ms M D MABILETSA: Thank you, House Chair. Hon members ...
... le badudi ba Afrika-Borwa kamoka kua gae, thobela.
The ANC is committed to managing the SA economy in such a way that it promotes employment for inclusive growth.
This is fundamental necessary if South Africa is effectively to overcome the structural economic inequalities inherited from South Africa’s colonial an apartheid past. South African society is underpinned by a colonial structural economy and racial capitalism.
Without effective structural intervention, the system
will continue to reproduce racialise poverty and inequality.
The ANC seeks to unite all South Africans, black and white behind the vision of radical economic transformation as a prosperous and inclusive economy is in the best interest of the nation as a whole. Since the end of apartheid, South Africa has made significance progress in alleviating the plight of the poor through social standing, creation of employment, access to education, housing, clean water, electricity and healthcare.
The 1996 Constitution remind the state to see to the welfare of its citizens. Chapter 2 of the Constitution of South Africa requires social provision to correspond with the spirit of democratic society. It is established in section 27 (1) that every citizen has the right to healthcare, food, water and social security. In terms of boosting economic participation government social grants have improved ... [Interjections.] ...
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk B G Boroto): Yehlisani! Qhubeka Ma. Yehlisani umsindo!
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE ELINGAZIWA: Isikhathi siyahamba.
Nk M D MABILETSA: Sihambiswa nguwe.
In terms of boosting economic participation, government social grants have improved the income of those at the bottom of income distribution by more that tenfold. The impact of these transfers in raising the income of the poor in South Africa is far larger than in other middle income countries. Child support grants, old age pension and disability grant does an effective job of enhancing the income of the poor. Without ... [Inaudible.] ... social grants, the level of poverty would be worse.
Social grants are essential for lowering economic ... [Inaudible.] ... for the most vulnerable in society. The ANC government is not focussing on social grants as an ultimate solution to address challenges of high unemployment and inequality in our country only.
President Ramaphosa highlighted that the ANC government will accelerate measures to create employment for the youth. Inline with the President’s commitment to free the youth and all South Africans from poverty, education continues to receive increases from the budget allocations.
The ANC government believes that education is an instrument to breakdown the stubborn walls of poverty in our country. The ANC government is working hard to ensure that South Africans have access to education from early childhood. The success of South Africa’s education as an instrument to reduce poverty and unemployment is boosted by the ANC’s resolution to phase-in free Higher Education and Training to first year students from households. The ANC government has always prioritised health and has worked hard to improve access to health facilities and conditions of public facilities. Access to health is a human right enshrined in our Constitution. The ANC government is respected globally when it comes to fighting human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS.
As our President announced during the state of the nation address, we are taking this battle a step further to eliminate HIV/AIDS in our midst. This is why our government is pushing for the implementation of the National Health Insurance, NHI. However, the country still needs to ensure that revenue collection responds to additional spending pressures. The government is concerned about the proportion of the fiscus spent on servicing the debt. The state has made various adjustments to tax policy measures in a bid to boost the revenue. The citizens of South Africa entrusted us with a mandate to lead and turn their lives for the better and we must do this by running as others walk, as said by Julius Nyerere.
The President of the ANC and the Republic called on all of us to commit to this new dawn by quoting the legendary Hugh Masekela, Thuma Mina, send me. Then, let us all go the community and serve the people to our beloved South Africa.
Ke a leboga.
Mna M W MADISHA: Thobela ...
Had the President of our country attended this sitting and I wish he had, I would have risen to say to him; Mr President, I thank you but blame you. I thank you for having given us this Minister of Finance who has risen to acknowledge momentous challenges that our country faces, but I blame you for those problems faced by our people. I would have said to him that unemployment will rise as state-owned entities kick out our people. I would have said to him that workers here ... [Inaudible.] ... state will be kicked out. I would have said to him that workers, for example, at the South African Airways, SAA, and elsewhere will loose their jobs from this week.
I would have said to him that you promised the people of South Africa that there will be free quality education, which is not the case because, for example, more than a
million children go into grade 1 but only 500 000 write matric. There is no proper health system, no electricity, etc. I would have said to him that, Mr President, we say that bureaucracy is big and the Ministry and your party here, has risen to say, yes, this is correct. However, you are the problem, Mr President, because you have put into place an extensive, extremely big and the biggest executive in our country. That is a follow up to what Mr Zuma has done.
Under, Mandela, under Thabo Mbeki, we had less than 30 Ministers but we now have four rugby teams that form the executive. I here speak of the Ministers and the Deputy Ministers who get more than R2,5 million per year and we are talking about more than R4 billion. When we talk about the creation of jobs etc, we can’t, because all these monies that is exactly where it is going. We have amongst others some of the Ministers who buy cars for more than R1 million. We can mention their names. You, Mr President, are going on to keep these people here. Some of the Deputy Ministers we don’t even know them. These are the people who have lots of money, who have many houses in Pretoria and in Cape Town, lots of expensive
furniture ... [Time expired.] ... many body guard and we are not getting anywhere. Mr President, I blame you. We can’t go on like that.
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Madam Chair and hon members, I rise as usual to thank the members of the House for the work that they have done in the committee and for the report which has been submitted here by the Chair of the committee. I thank you very much for all the proposals and suggestions you have made which indeed if they are internally consistent with what we are trying to do, we will take them into account.
In this regard, the debate about the Wage Bill is a serious one and we must handle it in a manner that does not seek to discourage civil servants because there are too many hard working civil servants. We must show our appreciation to them because it is these hard working South Africans who are going to take us forward. We must be careful as the Chair of the committee was saying not to conflate the size of the Wage Bill with the number of civil servants. The two are not the same and we must be careful about how we handle that matter.
I indicated where the problem about Wage Bill started. I do not want to repeat it here in case I get into trouble again. The fact of the matter is that we have some serious conversations to be had very soon going forward in order to resolve this problem.
The second issue is about the state-owned enterprises and I do not want us as well to confuse an ideological posture with what is a difficult financial situation.
Indeed I am tempted to quote August Bebel, the German social democrat who said:
When the enemies of the working class clap hands when you speak, you must stop to reconsider what you have just said.
So, I am afraid that I may say something which the DA might just about agree with. So I will be very careful on how I go about articulating the issues around the state- owned enterprises. You know, it seems like what I say gets recooked and uncooked and presented in a wrong way. Nevertheless we should continue our work on the
structural changes which are required in the state-owned enterprises.
I appreciate the EFF’s view on the neoliberal drivel which I do not quite understand what it means but nevertheless thank you for that. I hope to debate the matter with you but we have to proceed with our programmes of structural reforms. If we do not focus on structural reforms we would not be able to get the economy going in the direction that it should. Indeed I welcome the contribution to the drivel.
The final point I wanted to make colleagues is that in the manner in which we articulate certain things here, we also have to bear in mind that there is audience outside. We should be seen to be working together in resolving the country’s problems. Last week, Standard and Poors was here and having a conversation with us because they are looking into our rating again and so was an IMF article for consultation machinery. So, the way we articulate certain, the way we agree or disagree has a bearing on what people think about us as a country. We therefore have to be very careful. In short Madam Chair, I came to
the podium to thank members for their contributions which I very much appreciate. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon House
Chairperson, I move that the report be adopted.
Motion agreed to (Economic Freedom Fighters dissenting).
Report accordingly adopted.
Mr N M PAULSEN: Hon Chairperson, I just want the Minister to know that he has got support from the enemies of the working class.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon member, thank you, I do not even hear what you are saying. It is off the record.
Mr J J JULLIUS: Hon House Chairperson, on a point of order: I just like the House to know that that hon member was with the Springboks at that time with Parliament. [Laughter.]
Mr N M PAULSEN: Hon Chairperson, I do not know why the DA is getting so excited because I did not refer to you. [Interjections.]
SOUTH AFRICA’S DEEPENING WATER CRISIS – CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS FOR A WATER-SCARCE COUNTRY
(Subject for Discussion)
Mr X NGWEZI: Hon House Chairperson, hon members, in 1994, only 59% of the population had access to clean and safe drinking water. Twenty one years later in 2015, the country had progressed to a position where only
3,64 million South Africans did not have access to water. Today, that figure stands at approximately 3 million South Africans still without access to basic water services.
Although this decrease in the amount of citizens without access to water is laudable for this government, there remain considerable challenges not only in respect of delivering such services to many remote rural areas and informal settlements - but additionally, there is just as critical the challenge of ensuring that there is sufficient natural clean water supply for our current and steadily increasing population now and into perpetuity, which is compounded by the fact that South Africa is already a water scarce country.
The water challenge South Africa faces today as a nation is a composite one that is compounded upon by both micro domestic and macro international factors. The domestic factors fall under the ambit of the past legacy of exclusion under apartheid and resource allocation as well as current mismanagement by the current government of water infrastructure, centralism of power and lack of co- operative governance - particularly in respect of water resource management, lack of required skills and overarching endemic corruption in our public services.
Added to this are other significant issues such as a steadily growing population which will require totally
different approaches to food production, of which clean water is an essential component.
Macro challenges in the main are centered around the ever-increasing threat of global climate change, the deleterious effects of which already challenge South Africa’s water supply. The nation is situated within a georegion scientifically proven to become increasingly more prone to drought and aridity if climate change is not addressed globally and the increase in global mean temperatures are not limited to 2 C above preindustrial levels, whilst aiming more ambitiously at only 1,5 C rise.
Although South Africa has adequate legislation in place, it fails as regards the implementation and pragmatic actions required in order to fully realise and protect the rights as enshrined in the Constitution. The country must therefore take immediate steps to ensure the protection, sustainable use and continuity of its water supply now and into perpetuity for its current and future generations. [Time expired.]
As we contribute as members in this debate, I look at the contributions ... [Time expired.] Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, there are too many members standing around in the passages, please take your seats.
Ms G K TSEKE: House Chair ...
Dumelang batlotlegi ba Palamente. Metsi ke botshelo. Diketekete tsa batho di ka tshela kwa ntle ga lerato mme e seng kwa ntle ga metsi. Motl Ngwezi, Motswana o buile a re, tselakgopo ga e latse nageng. Mathata a metsi mo nageng ya rona ke tlhobaboroko.
Re a dumela re le ANC, gape re a netefatsa re le MaAforikaborwa gore re le mokgatlho o mogolo wa badimo le batho, tlhobaboroko eno e tla nna bothata jwa maloba le maabane. Kgetsi ya tsie e kgonwa ka go tshwaraganelwa, gape sedikwa ke ntjapedi ga se thata.
The ANC has over time being realistic about the enormity of inherited challenges within the water sector, which was depicted by unequal access to water and its associated benefits to the majority of the black citizens of our country. However, of value are the sound policies, legislation and programmes underpinning the water sector that has ensured that accessibility to water for all citizens is prioritised.
This is further illustrated in the effective drafting of legislation such as the National Water Act, the Water Services Act and various regulations that determine the effective governance of water in the county. The culmination of various policy design, legislation and programme implementation in the last few years has resulted in a valuable contribution by the National Planning Commission and the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation entitled the Draft National Water Security Framework. It therefore provides the basis for the future water security in the country with systematic and highly defined information on what the state needs to do to ensure that water scarcity for future generations is effectively attained.
As the framework argues and I quote:
Water security is not simply a state of adequate water, but rather a relationship that describes how individuals, households and communities navigate and transform hydrosocial relations to access the water that they need and in ways that support the sustained development of human capabilities and well being in the full breadth and scope.
The framework, together with the master plan, provides a blueprint for the sustainable water provisions to attain economic and social transformation to ensure equity in access to this valuable resource. This then begs the question, “What does water security means for the lived realities of the citizens of the country toward a prosperous economic and social development?” As clearly articulated in the ANC manifesto, the percentage of household with clean drinking water has increased, hon Ngwezi, from 51% in 1994 to 88% currently. We are a nation at work.
This is indeed an achievement that very few countries could and can achieve. Whilst looking at future scenarios, one has to be realistic that the climatological conditions such as erratic rainfall and increased demand by all sectors in the country create conditions for water insecurity in the country.
It is not only environmental factors that have a bearing on the future of our water security; but other threats such as failing and aging infrastructure which contributes to excessive water leaks, inadequate wastewater treatment, as well as poorly managed forestry, mining and agricultural activities that undermine the sustainability of water security in our country.
The state, more especially the Department Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, has over the years systematically worked toward ensuring a secure water supply for all citizens and to keep the economy going. Of course, the ruling party - the ANC, has attained this by ensuring that its policies address not only the inequity in water; but worked towards balancing water security in
our country for all citizens, not only currently, but for future social and economic purposes.
Melao le melawana e, ke yona e thusang Lefapha la Metsi le Kgelelo ya Leswe gore e tswe mo seemong se se sa jeseng di welang, mme e bone gore e aga bodiredi jwa metsi jo bo dirang le dipusoselegae go isa metsi kwa metseselegaeng ya rona. E netefatse gore bo dipusolesegae di na le bokgoni ba go aga metswedi e e tsepameng, e bile re rute go rotloetsa setšhaba ka kakaretso gore ditirelo tseo ba di fitlhelelang, di a duelelwa.
Ga gona ka mokgwa o re ka akgang Afrikaborwa e e nonofileng kwa ntle ga gore re nne seoposengwe le setšhaba. Botlhokotsebe mo mading a puso a bo fedisiwe gore baagi ba kwa Giyani, Hamanskraal le Vaalbank ba fitlhele metse a a nowang. Ke a leboga. [Nako e fedile.]
Mr L J BASSON: Chairperson, the ANC government must wake up.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order hon members! Order!
Mr L J BASSON: South Africa is on the verge of a national water disaster, with drought, poor infrastructure maintenance, corruption and the lack of political will to act swiftly to prevent this disaster, worsening.
In die afgelope paar maande het krane leeggeloop in die meeste provinsies regoor die land.
Scarce fresh water is decreasing in quality because of the increase in the pollution of our rivers and streams. And the culprits? Wastewater treatment works run by dysfunctional and corrupt municipalities with a licence to kill the environment.
En wat doen die ANC regering hieroor? Absoluut niks!
Access to the secure, safe and sufficient source of fresh water is a fundamental requirement for the survival, wellbeing and socioeconomic development of all humanity; yet, government continues to act as if fresh water is an everlasting resource. Well, it’s not. National government is the custodian of water resources on behalf of South Africans and government acts through the Minister to fulfill this constitutional mandate.
As die Minister en die Departement van Water en Sanitasie nie gaan optree om besoedelaars te stop om ons waterbronne te besoedel nie, is die Minister net so skuldig as diegene wat ons waterbronne besoedel.
It is common knowledge that South Africa is a water- scarce country and therefore drought will play a crucial role in water supply. Despite the drought, the lack of infrastructure maintenance and the failure of infrastructure is a major contributor to our water crisis. We need to use less water! South Africa must become water wise and government must create public
awareness of the reality of the effects of climate change.
The delay of six years in phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlanda scheme is a classic example of how political interference harmed our water projects. Phase 2 was planned to be completed this year. The completion date has now moved to 2026, costing millions more to complete. While Nomvula Mokonyane was corrupting water, stopping the Clanwilliam Dam project and not assisting Cape Town with their water crisis, she also placed the rest of the country in danger of running dry.
Minister Nkwinti moes haar gemors kom regmaak en het opdrag gegee dat die konstruksie van die Clanwilliam Dam moet voortgaan, wat die projek met meer as twee jaar vertraag het.
The City of Cape Town learnt the hard way that prevention is better than cure. The question is, did the ANC
government learn anything from this? It seems nothing at all!
While Cape Town and the greater Western Cape managed to narrow down water usage to prevent a disaster, danger still looms for the rest of the country reaching day zero.
The Minister needs to implement a water demand management strategy for municipalities, involving water meter replacement, pressure management, leak detections and free plumbing repairs for indigent households.
The country’s nonrevenue water losses average at 41% with individual municipalities as high as 70%. Nonrevenue water losses cost us more than R9,9 billion per year.
This, after spending R2,9 billion on the corrupt War on Leaks programme, and in the process not saving one drop of water.
Water infrastructure projects are also at risk, with municipalities owing the Department of Water and water boards R15,2 billion.
Stad Kaapstad het hul water verliese afgebring na 16% en spaar miljoene liters water elke dag. Hierdie is ’n baie goeie DA storie om te vertel.
National government is failing to respond to this water disaster all around the country.
Dit is baie duidelik dat die ANC regering die bal laat val het om hul grondwetlike mandaat na te kom.
In conclusion, the ANC government is failing South Africa, with millions of people struggling without water, not just because of drought but because of poor infrastructure, corruption and the mismanagement of our water.
ANC, julle moet wakker word! Suid-Afrika sal nie dag zero oorleef nie! [Tussenwerpsels.] [Applous.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order! The next speaker is hon Ngwenya. [Interjections.] Order hon members!
Mrs D B NGWENYA: Thank you House Chair. Our country and the Southern Africa region more generally, is at a crossroads and our society will have to make radical changes in the way we view life if humanity is to be sustained. Humanity has exhausted its credit limit on life and we survive on overdraft. We are injudiciously using more resources than nature can replenish ... life on earth. We are unable to use the little natural resources we have in a sustainable manner and we are failing to recognise just how much of a mess we are in.
The precarious state of our water resources is only a natural outcome of the climate pit we have dug for ourselves. It is closely related to the depletion of biodiversity; the injudicious conversion of natural environments to agriculture; the dependence on finite fossil fuels for our energy needs; the proliferation of
synthetic fertilisers; and the horrendous pollution of both our fresh water resources as well as the atmosphere.
In summary, the drought we are now experiencing is a window to a not too distant future. It is the beginning of the end of life as we know it, unless dramatic actions are taken by the government to radically change the nature of production and consumption in society.
Tragic as this is, our government is either clueless about the gravity of the matter or as usual you are crippled by inertia. More natural areas are converted into, either commercial agriculture or game farming, depriving our society of the natural buffer to the impact of climate change.
Our fresh water resources are under severe threat, with unplanned buildings on critical wetland areas. Our rivers are polluted with industrial waste and companies are not held to account for their pollution of fresh water resources and ground water resources.
Municipalities are chronically unable to fix and maintain existing water infrastructure, leading to the country losing almost a trillion litres of water annually.
Farmers along big rivers such as the Orange River are illegally diverting water to their illegally constructed dams and the state has no capacity to monitor this or to hold them to account.
Swift and radical action is needed to secure our short and long-term access to water. Municipalities must be empowered and given resources to train and employ artisans on a massive scale to repair damaged water infrastructure so as to reduce water losses due to leaks. The national government must invest in up to date water infrastructure that will ensure not only access to water for households and businesses but also ensure that there are water treatment plants in each municipality to recycle and reuse water.
The department responsible for water management must employ state of the art fresh water resources to constantly improve the ecological health of our fresh
water resources, and report farmers who divert natural streams for their own illegally constructed dams. There must be tougher punishment for companies that pollute our rivers and wetlands, and they must be compelled by law to rehabilitate the ecological infrastructure they have damaged.
As a possible adaptation measure, we must fast-track research into and construction of desalination plants along the coast. South Africa is blessed with almost
3 000 kilometers of coastline and we should be using our scientific capacity to desalinate sea water to make it fit for human consumption. We need to make these interventions because the drought we now have is likely to become a permanent part of our lives for a very long time. [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson, let me first say that I have to agree with everything that hon Ngwenya has said, and the member of the DA ... It’s not about the lack of rain that causes drought and the fact that our people don’t have water; it’s mismanagement of the scarce resource by this government!
Yes, hon Ntseke, more people have water now than 1994, but let us not use that as the benchmark. Everybody would have had proper, clear drinking water if the water resources were managed properly. Go to Bushbuckridge.
Human beings are still sharing their drinking water with animals! So how can we gloat? We can say we’ve made progress, but we are far from achieving the goal that was set, that everybody should have clean, potable, drinking water.
But, having said that, let me extend the heartfelt condolences of the Inkatha Freedom Party to the families of those who lost their lives when the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands experienced a severe storm and tornado late yesterday afternoon. We wish those who were injured a speedy recovery.
This is yet another example of the changing climate patterns caused principally by global warming. Experts say that the number of tornadoes that will develop in South Africa is likely to increase as thunderstorms grow more severe. As temperatures rise with global warming, so do levels of evaporation and the number of thunderstorms.
So, we must focus on solutions. The hon Ngwezi brought a motion about the drought and the solutions. So, what are the solutions?
We have catchment areas that are not being utilised. Water is not ... hon Minister ... We have areas in every province where there is abundant water, but the water is just going to waste.
Where we have water, you have poor infrastructure, unmaintained infrastructure ... Most of the water is going to waste because of poor maintenance of infrastructure.
Don’t laugh about it, hon Deputy Minister! You must come to areas where we go. Because we also visit areas where people don’t have water to drink. Not a drop to drink!
This is a serious matter! There is corruption in the Department of Water Affairs. There is corruption which other hon members have referred to. There is corruption in some areas. Allegedly, Ugu District Municipality, where technicians are sabotaging some of the water supplies so that truck owners can come there and supply
water to people ... because councilors have interests in these trucks.
Now, what are we going to do about that?
Hon Minister, there is plenty of water in South Africa. But, we need to plan, we need to conserve, we need to mitigate and adapt in order to ensure our water resource resilience is now and into the future.
Let’s take Jozini Dam. We have a case of water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink! Millions of liters of water in the Jozini Dam, but people living around that dam in Umkhanyakude District ... You are going to lose that district in the next election because people don’t have water to drink. There’s water there, but there is no ability to ensure that that water is piped to the people in the area. That municipality is devoid of any technical ability to get water to the people.
So, let us not come here and wax lyrical about the fact that so many people have had water since 1994. We applaud that, but more can be done and more should be done, and
that “more” should be done by the department of whatever you call it now ... Human Settlements and whatever and whatever. In fact, we should have a department of water affairs because water is life and needs to be treated as a priority. Thank you.
Mnr P MEY: Geagte Voorsitter, die Minister van waterwese het gevra dat die debat na vanaand toe uitgestel word omdat sy teenwoordig wees. Die vraag wat die FF Plus vra is, hoe ernstig is die watertekort in Suid-Afrika as sy weer nie teenwoordig is nie.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Mey, please hold on. Hon members, the noise level in the House is simply too high. I want to request that, if you want to have lengthy discussions with a colleague, you leave the House, complete your discussion outside and then return to the House.
Hon member, please continue.
Mnr P MEY: Die gesegde is dat die derde wêreld oorlog nie sal gaan oor grondgebied of beleidsverskil nie, maar wel oor water. Dit is welbekend.
Suid-Afrika is ’n droë land. Hy’s een van die 30 droogste lande in die wêreld, en ons sit met ’n watertekort wat al hoe erger word.
Wat is die redes vir die tekort? Die belangrikste is dat daar te min damme oor die afgelope 25 jaar gebou was. Die bevolking se groei is te vinnig. Die immigrante wat instroom uit Afrika ... Dis duisende wat ook van water voorsien moet word. Dan natuurlik die lekasies en watervermorsing, veral by ons munisipaliteite ...
Ons is reeds in ’n krisis. Ons stuur nie op ’n krisis af nie. Hoe gaan ons dit oplos?
Die maklikste maniere is om meer damme te bou. Maar, om deesdae ’n dam te bou neem tussen sewe en tien jaar.
Ontsouting, die suiwering van mynwater en riool ...
Maar, ek wil vir julle een ding vertel. Ons moet so ietwat in die verlede teruggaan.
I grew up in the Karoo, and we made use of water tanks to store rain water. In South Africa, we have 16 millions households. We must see them as an advantage to solve our water problems.
Hoekom sê ek so? As elke persoon in Suid-Afrika vandag ’n watertenk het, dan hoef ons nie oor die onmiddelikke toekoms bekommerd te wees nie.
Ek wil net vir u ’n voorbeeld noem. Drie miljoen HOP huise is die afgelope 25 jaar gebou. Nie een watertenk is by daardie huise aangebring nie. As daardie 5 000 liter tenke net twee keer ’n jaar oorloop, is dit genoeg om die Churchilldam in die Oos-Kaap te vul.
Ons kan nie meer uitstel nie. Ons kan nie toelaat dat een bouplan in Suid-Afrika goedgekeur word sonder dat daar nie voorsiening gemaak is vir watertenks nie. ’n
Watertenk van 5 000 liter kos R4 600. Dan moet u onthou, daar word werk geskep.
Ons het die geld. In 2015 het die departement was waterwese R1 miljard terugbetaal aan die Tesourie. In 2016 was dit R827 miljoen. Ons kon al oor ’n halfmiljoen watertenke in Suid-Afrika opgesit het.
Kom ons staan saam. Die enigste oplossing in Suid-Afrika is watertenke. Die mense in baie dorpe maak al gereed om hulself selfvoorsienend te maak deur middel van watertenke.
Ons moet onmiddelik begin om watertenke op it sit. Dit is die enigste antwoord. As ons wag vir die ANC om damme te bou, gaan ons nog baie lank moet wag. Baie dankie.
Ms T L MARAWU: Hon House Chairperson, with South Africa being an arid country and also listed as one of the driest countries in the world, we should be actively preparing for a national day zero so that God forbids and when it happens we are ready. As from 2014 we experienced the worst form of drought ever. Food security was also
heavily affected due to farm taps running dry thus affecting the gap between supply and demand and quality of food supplied nationwide.
We are blessed to be surrounded by coastal areas that are high in humidity and if we capitalise on this by accelerating and piloting fourth industrial revolution based mechanisms in the supply of water we will just be fine. Being future orientated is also good and well as it assist us not to be reactive but be current situation is also alarming where you find communities around Port St Johns drinking water from ponds with animals. Communities from Hammanskraal are sitting with a water problem and only have muddy water available for consumption. Qwaqwa still does not have running water and is also recovering from the aftermath, Makhanda in the Eastern Cape and Nkomazi in Mpumalanga. What do we need to do?
I think the first point of departure is for us to review the Water Act. As of now the Water Act will not stand the test of time in terms of addressing the problems we are having and the sooner the better that we review the Water Act. The Bylaws that are within different municipalities
must be able to save and conserve water. I would like to reiterate the issue of cutting water to rural areas. That programme is not sustainable at all.
Inene, igcwele nje lurhwaphilizo lodwa.
The sooner the better that we buy tanks to harvest water for those communities instead of cutting water to them as we have done as ATM at Xolobeni. We started to roll out the issues of assisting the government in terms of distributing some water tanks to rural areas. We need to build more artificial dams...
... umzekelo kusandula kunetha iimvula kwaye amanzi amaninzi amkile ngezitalato. Alikho iqhinga lokuqokelela amanzi ahla ezintabeni ukuqinisekisa ukuba amanzi afikela kula dama akhiweyo ...
... so that we do not lose even a single drop of rain water. Let us tap into alternative water harvesting because that programme is very critical for us to embark upon. Ensure that there is effective consequence management for those affected in department’s money mismanagement. That will assist us. Incorporate CSIR in the investment of continued research in this enigma.
Incentivise investors to implement the innovations of the research concerning water scarcity. The ATM is keen to assist as and when they are needed. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND
SANITATION (Mr M Mahlobo): Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, our Chief Whip, Comrade Pemmy, and Comrade Dories, our Deputy Chief Whip, chair of our committee and members of the committee, hon members, fellow South Africans, yesterday on 12 November 2019, we had a snap debate in the recognition of what our country has achieved by winning the Rugby World Cup trophy for the third time in three different countries.
Most of us shared a tear of joy when His Excellency President Ramaphosa, Captain Siya Kolisi and the rest of
the Springbok hoisted the cup in Yokohama, in Japan. We needed this as a nation and people. Despite all odds, we once again demonstrated that united in our diversity we can achieve our goals.
The words of our first democratic President, His Excellency Nelson Mandela, remained timeless and profound during this epoch when he said, I quote:
Sports have the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sports can create hope, where there was once only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination. Sports is the game of lovers.
A lot of progress has been achieved in the last 25 years in changing the lives of our people for the better ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon mebers! Order! Order! Continue, hon member.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Chairperson?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Why are you rising, hon member?
Mr M N PAULSEN: Chairperson, we had the tributes yesterday. Today is the water debate. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon members, lets give the member an opportunity to discuss South Africa’s deepening water crisis. Continue, hon member.
Order, hon members.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND
SANITATION Mr (M Mahlobo): ... but we are the first to admit that more still needs to be done.
We live in a country where water is scarce, that only 30 or so other countries have less water per person. [Applause.]
We must now take into account climate change, which will make our natural water supplies even more difficult to predict.
We have been exposed to prolonged heat wave conditions and the late onset of rains has caused local supply failures. A number of dams, especially in small towns and rural communities are at a critical level or almost dry. We are continuously monitoring the dams’ levels as part of our early warning system and we are applying appropriate measures to ameliorate the situation.
We are pleased that even though rainfall was sporadic in most parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, most parts of Gauteng are starting to experience the rain.
This is indeed a welcome relief even though some parts in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo are affected negatively by flash floods and inclement weather condition. We are pleased that the MEC for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal is working with the affected communities.
As a country, we shouldn’t expect the forecasting success to continue. It’s unusual for seasonal forecast to be so confident. The way we operate our national water infrastructure already takes into account of the big, year-to-year variability in climate change and other variables.
We also try to help other water managers to do the same thing, unfortunately, they don‘t always listen. [Interjections.]
Ms M S KHAWULA: Point of order, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, will you just take your seat, please. Hon Mahlobo, will you take your seat, please. What is the point of order, hon member?
Ms M S KHAWULA: Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Bengicela ukuthi kuMahlobo nkosi yami, mhlonishwa wami ngiyakuhlonipha lena eyamanzi ungayidlaleli. [Uhleko.] U- Cogta uhlulekile, awekho amanzi. [Ubuwelewele.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, that is not a point of order, please. Please, take your seat.
Ms M S KHAWULA: Don’t play with our people.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Continue, hon member.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND
SANITATION (Mr M Mahlobo): Often small towns keep pumping water despite the fact that they are warned that, once dam levels fall to a particular point – and we tell them what it is - they will get into trouble. When the dam is dry, they run to us and say there is a crisis as we were told in the City of Cape Town. Before there was a big crisis, they were warned to invest in infrastructure development. They said no, they were saving water, using it more efficiently. Then the drought came and they were in crisis.
Much of the existing water infrastructure like major dams was planned for specific sector’s needs to the exclusion of other water users.
Communities and rural households have been excluded in the planning of some of the rural water infrastructure, resulting in a number of networks passing these communities. A decision has been made.
In uMkhanyakude, we have decided that Jozini Dam is a multipurpose dam. We have been there in uMkhayakude during the Investment Conference.
We can confirm now that more than 40 mega litres of a water infrastructure bulk has been built. The most important issue, hon Singh, is to note that we need to deal with the question of reticulation
We have put aside more than R230 million and our director-generals are working on that particular space. Therefore, the problems of uMkhanyakude working with the district and the premier are being resolved. Let’s talk
about issues happening in our communities. Equally so, there are times when there were challenges.
The people of Tshwane, you must not try to come and claim easy victories, taps run dry because the infrastructure has not been managed properly. It was hit by lightning.
We went there to one of a biggest district hospital, supporting Mpumalanga, supporting North West and supporting people of Gauteng. Those patients could not be serviced because the City of Tshwane had failed. But because we understood that we must never bring politics into water, we came into the space and help that particular municipality. [Applause.]
In the Gauteng province – this is what we are doing. There is schedule maintenance for the Lesotho Highlands.
With the current demand, we are abstracting more than 22%. We don’t want to send panic to our people. The situation is under control. Gauteng is being supplied by
14 dams, excluding the one that you think that it is going to be shutting down. But there are majors that must be taken. One of the majors that we have already taken is
public awareness. With regard to the water loses that are happening of about 50%, we say let’s reduce the night peak. At the same time, we are balancing the system. This is the government at work.
The problem in Gauteng we need to deal with as we are working with the premier is the question of the waste water treatment works. The City of Tshwane, Johannesburg and all these other cities, they are polluting the Vaal River System, the Apies River and Hartbeespoort. We have taken a decision. Next week, the Deputy President will be calling all the affected premiers. The polluters will pay.
On 5 December, we are taking the City of Tshwane to court for polluting our water. [Applause.] Polluters are going to pay. [Applause.]
The other thing that we can confirm about Gauteng is that there is migration and growth. Hon Bassoni, tell the truth about the Polihali Dam. The Minister is in Lesotho today. [Interjections.] There is a sod-turning. We are planning for that particular growth. Therefore, we are a
government at work. With the Provincial Government of Gauteng and the premier, we are very satisfied; we are going to make a difference. [Interjections.]
Most parts of the Eastern Cape have experienced prolonged drought, failing infrastructure and management of the resource affecting many communities.
It has been the site of wholesale livestock deaths and failed crops as a result of the prolonged drought and we have not seen rain for quite some time.
The two Deputy Ministers and the Minister, we have engaged with the leadership of the province. We have also noted that out of the 46 dams they have, 22 dams in the Eastern Cape are at a critical stage. We support the move by Sarah Baartman, Chris Hani, Amathole, Alfred Nzo and Nelson Mandela that we should be in a position to declare drought to assist those communities. [Applause.]
In the Butterworth, we must know that there is already the drilling of the boreholes and there is a need of an emergency pipeline from Tsomo River to Butterworth.
In Graaff-Reinet, an alternative source is to support Graaf-Reinet Bulk Water Supply Scheme and is being explored.
In Nelson Mandela Bay, there is implementation of ground water scheme, fast track phase 3 of Nooitgedatch, phase 4 of Coega Kop Wen-?eld and implement water conservation and demand measures.
In Amathole District, we are implementing the augmentation from the Fish River. But the province is not out of the woods yet. But working together with our water board and the municipality, the situation is not insurmountable.
In the Free State, the Rustfontein Dam level that support Mangaung is low right now. We are looking at the augmentation from the Katse Dam, including the Welbedatch Dam and also implementing water conservation and demand management.
The Saulspoort Dam is currently above 80% supporting Fezile Dabi. Due to available water a release is being
undertaken to deal with the pressure on Frankfort and Tweeling and Vrede. [Applause.]
In QuaQua in Maluti-A-Phofung, additional reservoirs of 3 megalitres have been completed, 58 boreholes have been tested as we speak right now. We are working to transfer water as an emergency relieve from the Syferfontein Dam to the Fika-Patso Dam in QuaQua so that they too can have a drop of water. [Applause.].
In KwaZulu-Natal as I have spoken, we have dealt with the situation of uMkhanyakude. We have met with the major of the Zululand District. In the supporting plans, we need to set out the question of reticulation.
In the King Cetshwayo District, you need to know that the water board has been directed to uMhlathuze Local Municipality to work with those communities.
The largest dams which are Goedetrouw and Pongolapoort are currently sitting at below 40%. They are nearly depleted around Ulundi Weir.
What we are saying is that if we look down at the resilience of the Hluhluwe Scheme, the Klipfontein is around 63%. You need to be able to know that we are monitoring the Darasa situation. The Mhlathuze Water Board has been directed by the Minister and the premier to work with those communities.
In the areas supported by Umgeni water, there is a joint operation centre that has been put in place. If we can look to the system of Umgeni right now, it is lower than normal.
If you look at the Albert Falls Dam, it’s currently around 33%, but the Midmar Dam is around 92%. We are currently maximising pumping water from the Spring Grove Dam to Midmar Dam. We are also pumping water from Inanda Dam to Durban Heights. The current system there is well managed and people of KwaZulu-Natal in those particular areas should not be worried.
The Hazelmere Dam, which is in the North Coast, only 33% of the capacity is available. Therefore, we are looking
at the question of impounding so that we can impound the auction from the Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme.
The Umzinto Dam in the South Coast is at 41% and EJ Smith Dam is at 71%. Where necessary, Mpambanyoni Emergency Scheme can be commissioned to supply additional 8 megalitres.
If we look around Kokstad, there is Crystal Springs Dam that is more than 75% and a river pump station by Umgeni. We are very pleased that the chief operating officer is working on an emergency order to support that.
In Limpopo, we met with the leadership of the province on the weekend. Of their 28 dams only 11 dams are below the level of 40%. We are worried about Tzaneen, Mogalakwena, Makhado, Modimolle, Bela Bela, Thabazimbi and Polokwane.
We can confirm that ground water is being exploited. Additional 1 313 boreholes are going to be looked at.
In Polokwane, additional 19 megalitres funded through water services infrastructure grant will be used for
ground water exploitation and upgrade Ebenezer Scheme and the Olifats Scheme.
In Mogalakwena, ground water source will yield additional
5 megalitres in Mokopane but requires funding whilst about 8 mega litres from Jakkalskuil cluster from ground water. We are using the disaster funding.
In Mopani - the Giyani project has been allocated about R114 million and R100 million in the current financial year. Our construction unit is currently busy to complete that project. We are very pleased that by the end of next year, we should have connected those communities.
In Sekhukhune, we are currently working on the question of ground water. The De Hoop Dam is full. Agreeing with the premier of the province and the leadership of the province, we need to conclude the question of the incomplete bulk infrastructure projects and also the reticulation.
In Mpumalanga - in Dr JS Moroka and Thembisile Hani, we know that Mkhombo Dam has been low. Additional 26
boreholes have been refurbished. We are doing an emergency supply pipeline to Mkhombo Dam. An additional R18 million from drought relief has been made available.
In Steve Tshwete and eMakhazeni, additional boreholes were done.
In Tweefontein, Graskop and Mashishing, the levels are very low. There is a deployment of tankers, but additional boreholes are being done.
In Mbombela - Pienaar, Dantjie and Msogwaba, the situation is very critical, but we have concluded in terms of appointing an implementing agent. The Umjindi Trust and Lomati Dam has dropped. We have imposed restrictions.
In Msukaligwa, the situation is moderate. We should be able to deal with the situation of the Heyshope Dam which is used by Eskom.
With regard to the North West, Northern Cape, including the Western Cape, details will be made available. We have information.
In the Western Cape, we are worried by areas supplied by Kammanassie, Hartebeest-kuil, calitzdorp, klipberg and Gamka River because they are being stressed and we are supporting those areas.
We will only succeed if we work together — water is everybody's business. We must use water carefully and wisely at home, and in our workplaces. We must respect and take care of our public infrastructure and make sure that others do the same.
Water conservation and demand management proceed on operation and maintenance, education and awareness and the use of ground water. We have agreed on the use of ground water by the mines with Minister Mantashe that we will work with the mines to reclaim and treat the ground water that is being available. We will also explore new technologies and desalination.
We are also working jointly with the Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, National Treasury and SA Local Government Association, Salga, to deal with debt owed by municipalities to water boards. Equally so, debts owed to municipalities by the government and state-owned enterprises must be paid.
The user pay principle must be able to apply without fail. Members of Parliament, members of the legislatures and councillors, they must all pay for their services if they want us to indeed respect them as honourable members.
The Ministerial Anti-Pollution Task Team has completed its work. Those who are using water illegally, we are going to bust you. Those who are storing water illegally, we are going to bust you.
Those entities, whether it’s municipalities or industries, if you pollute, you are going to pay. We are actually sharpened to deal with those incidents.
The Ministers of Human, Settlements, Water and Sanitation and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in their respective Ministers and Members of Executive Councils, MinMecs, meeting that happened last week, they discussed this difficult matter of water. We have agreed that we are going to a join MinMec so that we can craft a complete plan and strategies to respond to the areas severely affected by drought, but let us not cause panic. This panic is being caused by other people with ulterior motive
We are building a water secure South Africa in which every South African will have an opportunity to play their part. Every drop you waste, someone somewhere is desperately looking for it.
We can and must build on these small developments. The path is much clearer. But we all need to work together and walk together to get to the destination we seek. God Bless Africa, her sons and daughters. I thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Deputy Minister, whilst I acknowledge what you are saying and telling us all the initiatives
that you have put in place, I must admit that the situation in terms of water in South Africa is bleak and I think we are reaching a crisis proportion in South Africa; and I think we need to be very honest about it and address these challenges.
Let me just give you some statistics, Deputy Minister. Municipalities lose about R9,9 billion [Inaudible.] through leaks annually in South Africa. About 56% of the waste water treatment works are in poor condition. About 44% of the water treatment works are in poor condition; 11% are dysfunctional. Only 5% of water for agricultural land is used by black farmers. South Africa lost 50% of the water factory wetlands. Water in the rivers and dams and lakes are being polluted. The average domestic consumption worldwide is 173 litres per person but in South Africa it is 237 litres per person. It is estimated that by the year 2030 South Africa will run out of water.
So, what does it tell us? We have a serious problem in terms of water.
Now, let me go one step further. It is estimated that you losing an average of 37% to 40% through leaks, alone; and very little or nothing has been happening. Now, this is has been going on for tens of years and very little or nothing has been happening.
If you take her, the City of Cape Town, over 72 outlets of water, right here underneath this very House, there’s water running into the sea; nowhere terms have been made to divert that water and save that water. [Interjections.]
In terms of the dams, Deputy Minister, with over 5 200 dams, only 315 of those dams are in the control of the state, with the rest of them being under private control; and we believe that is totally unacceptable.
The other problem we’ve got is if you look at the projects that were supposed to have been initiated in the first two quarters; the department has only been able to achieve 48 of that 51. So, what does it tell us is that this department is not functioning optimally. And while we appreciate the interventions, we are saying if we
allow ourselves to continue [Time expired.] doing that way we are going to have a serious challenge by 2030. [Applause.]
Ms A STEYN: House Chair, on 17 October this year President Cyril Ramaphosa urged Southern African Development community, SADC, member states to implement comprehensive multi-year response plans to tackle the recurrent droughts and food insecurity. This was during the SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government.
While this sentiment is welcomed, I need to ask the President: Where is South Africa’s drought plan?
Last year on 13 February 2018 our country was classified as a national drought disaster. This reclassification of drought as a national disaster designated the primary responsibility for the co-ordination and management of the disaster to the national executive who must act in close co-operation with the other spheres of government to deal with the disaster and its consequences.
Minister Mkhize at that time said that three provinces including Western Cape, some parts of the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape are extremely affected and are not yet showing any signs of improvement. That was 18 months ago
Die situasie het intussen vererger en steeds is die ANC regering missing in action. [versuim om hulp te verleen.] Of nee, die Adjunkpresident het oor die Noord-Kaap gevlieg en gesê dat die droogte baie erg is en kort onmiddelike reaksie; maar geen aksie. Droogtes is ’n normale reëlmatige verskynsel van ons klimaat. [Tussenwerpsels.] Ons weet almal dat Suid-Afrika ’n droë land is en dat klimaatsverandering ons negatief beïnvloed.
Klimaatsverandering kan seker nie as ’n ramp gesien word nie maar die uitwerking hiervan — ondergemiddelde reënval oor langer as ses jaar, sowel as gepaardgaande rekordhoë temperature ... [Tussenwerpsels.] ... is ’n huidige werklikheid en het ons ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order hon member! [Interjections.] Continue hon member.
Ms A STEYN: I like it if he shouts.
... land se boere op hul knieë gedwing. Water is lewe en sonder water is daar dood. Geen mens, dier of plant kan oorleef as daar nie water is nie. Mense in dorpe en stede word direk geraak wanneer daar nie meer ’n druppel water uit hul krane kom nie. Duisende mense in plattelandse gebiede drink nog water uit strome en riviere. Wanneer hierdie water opdroog, raak die oorlewingstryd onmenslik. Daagliks hoor ons van meer gemeenskappe wat sonder water sit.
The crippling effect on our agricultural sector is devastating. Not only do they have no income during this time but it cost billions of rand to keep animals alive.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to decide which animals you will feed and which you will leave to die?
This is a choice that our farmers make on a daily basis; most of them just don’t have the funds to keep on buying feed anymore.
And it is not only our livestock farmers that are affected; grain and crop farmers struggled through below rainfall years during 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2019. It has placed many farmers in massive debt and they cannot get further credit from the banks. The agricultural debt is growing and is currently around R190 billion.
We would like to thank the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, who has been instrumental in ensuring drought support to farmers and farmworkers in the Western Cape over the past three years. Not only is funding provided to buy feed and to help keep workers employed, much needed funding is also going into support for counselling. We have seen farmers committing suicide during this time and emotional support is welcomed.
We also recognise the efforts of the Eastern Cape; who has now been gazetted a drought in the province.
Thanks must go to all the groups who have raised funds to assist with fodder and drilling boreholes. This has been ongoing over the past four years and has kept many families and farmers alive.
But where is our national government? And where is our national drought disaster plan?
The DA would like to repeat our call that the drought be declared a national disaster in order to ensure improvement of planning, management and responses across various organs of state as well as sectoral stakeholders.
This drought affects more than one province and we cannot leave out to provincial governments to deal with this alone.
We urge Minister Thoko Didiza to convene an urgent agricultural MINMEC in order to discuss the impact of the drought and to shift funds from AgriParks, which are
white elephants, towards drought relief. This could make at least R1 billion available immediately.
We also ask Minister Mboweni to look at legislation that’s regulating our banking sector in order to assist with soft loan repayments during this ongoing disaster.
We support the call by AgriSA to look at a way of agricultural insurance that could assist during drought periods.
But least of all, we call on the ANC government to find the political will to support farmers, black and white, during this difficult times.
I want to tell hon Mahlobo that in uMkhanyakude two sets of water pipes were already laid, pump stations and all [Time expired.] this is where the corruption comes in, stop corruption. [Applause.]
Mr M R MASHEGO: Chair, we really do believe that the diagonisation of the problem by all parties is correct. It is the categorisation thereof which is wrong because
once you start saying that the misuse of water is of the national Parliament it becomes wrong. Water is used by residents in the local areas, and not by the national Parliament. People that misuse and mismanage water are residents themselves and not the party or the national Parliament.
The issue of water and polluting is true, and is not done by the national Parliament or by the ANC, but it is done by the residents, business and farmers themselves. We believe that the nonrevenuing of water, not billing people, can only be addressed by correctly using the Water on Leaks people that we have employed. Of course, there is a way in which we need to correct them to work in a manner that will correct the situation. It is not correct that War on Leaks is a corrupt activity. It was a good organisation which needed to bring water in to the issue.
Unfortunately, most of the parties decided to put people who are not part of the committee to talk and then they missed the point. In the committee we all agreed that the interministerial task team, IMTT, was not active after
the Fifth Parliament and it must be activated. Just for your information, the interministerial task team has brought to us as a committee that all the Ministers that are in the cluster and the SA Local Government Association, Salga, have agreed that ...
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE ELINGAZIWA: Kodwa amanzi awekho. [Ubuwelewele.]
Mnu M R MASHEGO: Maningi uwaphuze wena.
...we must install prepaid and smart meters in the usage; appointment independent revenue collectors for municipalities; government wide campaign to encourage a culture of payment for municipal must be done; strict management of payment default with firm actions by government before the court process come to effect; fix the municipalities to ensure the sustainability of services and finances; and ring-fence the debts. Most of the municipalities’ debts are no longer being serviced.
We are then saying that we need to ring-fence the debt
and create a mechanism of settling the debt through religiously paying off the current debts. The Municipalities that are owed must be paid and they must also pay because they owe. The Department must give within a month from today a programmatic way of how to go back and bring back the commitment of payment.
But in the process we also say we agree with the department that we need to repair the infrastructure in order to quell the water that we are losing. We need to campaign to raise awareness about the high level of per capita. For instance, you find an old lady who is indigent using the size of water which is equivalent to a very rich person. It means there is something wrong in that particular water usage. So we must curtail that particular point. We also say that progress will not only help the department to grow, but it will also help to service people with water.
The Deputy Minister has spoken about the ground water usage, the boreholes and so forth. Some of us who come from Bushbuckridge know that borehole water can help a
lot. It is for that reason that we support the programme that the borehole system must be used.
In the innovation process we have seen consumers benefiting from the technologies deployed in the water treatment conservation. Yes, we know that. For instance, in Tshwane area there is water. Interjections.] The committee went to Tshwane and we spoke to the Tshwane Municipality. There is a programme of purifying water. Of course, out of the four water treatment processes only two are working. We are working on the second one.
In closing, the committee irrespective of political parties has agreed that we are going to monitor and oversight to see to it that the Ministers revert to us with a programme to implement it. Politicising water will not help you, but working together will make us have water for everybody. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr X NGWEZI: Hon House Chairperson, thanks to members who contributed to this debate. Hon Mashego, if you say we must not politicise issues of water you must tell the ANC to stop talking about this issue like as if they are
still campaigning for elections. They must talk like people in government, and not like people who are still campaigning. [Applause.] You talk like as if it is still before 2019. You must tell us about the plans that you are going to implement about issues of water, and not to score cheap political pints about this matter.
Hon Chair, today’s debate, to remind members, was about issues of water crisis in this country. I am very disappointed that the Deputy Minister spends five minutes debating about the issue that we debated yesterday, the issue of sport. You can see as the country how little the lip service the government is paying because they are spending little bit of time talking about sport rather than talking about issues of water that is affecting this country.
Hon Deputy Minister, in our informal discussion yesterday you told me that you are on the ground and you site the issue of Jozini, for example. Thank you very much as government for having put a budget of R230 million to assist in the reticulation process in that area. But please, monitor that budget because five years ago in
that district money was stolen and bought pipes that were suppose to assist in delivering water. Those pipes are still sitting there in Ward 5 in Jozini. Please, ask your comrades they will show you those pipes. No one has ever been arrested for those corruptive practices. [Applause.]
Hon Deputy Minister, let me tell you the reality. When you go back to uMkhanyakude just go to Ward 12 in Umhlabayalingana, there is no water there - nothing. If you go back to Zululand, for example, like you said you spoke with the mayor, just go to eDumbe, eNgoje, Vryheid and many areas, there is no water. Just go to uThugela there is no water. In fact, if you don’t attend to the issue of uMkhomazi River Durban will soon collapse because that river is in crisis. It needs urgent attention, hon Deputy Minister.
Hon Tseke my colleague, I never said that the ANC-led government has done nothing since it took over in 1994. All I said is that it spends so much planning rather implementing. And it is funny that the ANC borrows most of its ideas from the Chinese government which is their sister party. But let me tell you why the Chinese have
been successful, they plan and implement on time and according to the budget. They take serious consequences for people who have failed to assist in the implementation. In this country if somebody has failed to implement it is business as usual and money has been lost. [Applause.]
Hon Singh and all members from this side, thank you very much. I indicated earlier on when I started I said when people have won elections they must not debate issue here like as if they are still canvassing for votes. Actually, you spoke like government because this side all they think about when you talk about issues of national importance like this, they think you want to steal votes from people. They don’t understand that these issues are affecting our people. [Applause.] The only reason why they speak very shallow about issues of water maybe is because we have water on our tables where we are seated. There are people at various homes who do not have water to drink or even to bath. Their cattle are dying all over the country and you come here and speak very shallow about these issues. Next time you must learn to speak like government. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The House adjourned at 20:05.