Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 21 Nov 2019
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2019
Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPAZxP13_Hg
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:02.
House Chairperson Mr M L D Ntombela took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
SERJEANT-AT-ARMS, MAITE REGINA MOHLOMI, RETIRES
UMBHEXESHI OYINTLOKO WEQELA ELILAWULAYO: Sihlalo weNdlu
ohloniphekileyo namalungu eNdlu ahloniphekileyo, ndiphakamisa:
Ukuba le Ndlu-
yamkele kwaye iqaphele ukuba namhlanje uNkosikazi Maite Regina Mohlomi oliDindala leNdlu yoWiso-mthetho yeSizwe uzakuthatha umhlala-phantsi kungentsuku zatywala, ukususela ngomhla wokuqala kweyoMqungu kunyaka ozayo.
iphawule kwakhona ukuba uNkosikazi Mohlomi wafika ePalamente ngonyaka we-1996 ngexesha ekwakusamkelwa ngalo uMgaqo-siseko weli lizwe. Emva kokufundisa ulwimi lwesiNgesi kunye nezinye izifundo zorhwebo kwisikholo samabanga aphakamileyo iKhanya Lesedi eRatanda, eMpuma Randi.
ikhumbule ukuba phambi kokuba asebenzele itafile yeNdlu yoWiso-mthetho yeSizwe kweyoMnga ngonyaka wama-2003, wayesebenza kwicandelo labasebenzi egummeli wabasebenzi ekwanguye nosihlalo wombutho wabasebenzi iNehawu.
iNdlu mayikhumbule kwakhona ukuba kweyomDumba ngonyaka wama-2011 umama uMohlomi waba linina lokuqala elizweni ukuba liDindala leNdlu
yoWiso-mthetho yeSizwe elingenisa uMongameli, namaLungu eNdlu ongameleyo kwigumbi leengxoxo, njengoko enzile namhlanje ngelo lizwi lakhe liphakamileyo.
iqaphele ukuba uNkosikazi Mohlomi uwuqhube ngesidima, isihomo nesithozela umsebenzi wakhe kwaye eyihlonipha ngamandla inkqubo nemigaqo yeNdlu.
mayiqaphele kwakhona ukuba uNkosikazi Mohlomi uyisebenzele ngobukhakhamela le Palamente yeDemokrasi kwaye uyisebenzele iminyaka engaphezu kwama-23.
Xa ndigqibezela Sihlalo ohloniphekileyo, iPalamente mayivuyisane naye uNkosikazi Mohlomi xa ethatha umhlala- phantsi emva kokuzinikela kwakhe kurhulumente imnqwenelele okuhle kodwa. Sisithi kuye ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): House Chairperson, colleagues, our visitors and most of all ...
... makoti wa rona kajeno.
Angitjho bonyana ngibuhlungu ngombana namhlanje lilanga lakho kodwana bakugugisa intonga yePalamende ebudisi.
Sizakuthini ngombana msebenzi wakho. Siyakuthokoza ngalokho.
Hon members, far too long our people engaged in a protracted and prolonged struggle for liberation. The struggle was, among other things, to realise the principle of the Freedom Charter that says the people shall govern and that no government can claim legitimacy unless it is based on the will of the people.
We attained our democracy in 1994. Our government has led the process of the democratisation of our statehood. Our mission was and still is to create state institutions that will reflect the will, aspirations and desires of our people. Parliament is one such state institution.
The mace is one of the symbols of our statehood. It communicates our identity and who we are as a people. It communicates our history, our diversity and our culture. As the ANC, today we rise in honour of one outstanding patriot by the name of Ms Maite Regina Mohlomi.
For the past eight years, Ms Mohlomi has carried the mace, the symbol of the authority of Parliament, and in that way, her entrance to the House signalled the arrival of the Speaker of the National Assembly and the commencement of the proceedings of the House, and enforcing peace and order in the House upon the Speaker’s instruction.
The responsibility to carry the mace requires a person of Ms Mohlomi’s stature. It requires a South African who understands and appreciates the symbols of our statehood. It requires someone who will carry her responsibility with dignity and with utmost regard for the procedures of the House. And, Ms Mohlomi was such a person and is such a person. [Applause.]
For the past eight years, she has ensured that the views, aspirations and desires of South Africans are expressed in this House through their representatives, us as Members of Parliament. She has ensured that proceedings start on time.
Mama Mohlomi, you are about to board a really long flight. So put your seatbelt on and clutch the armrest tightly. The flight will take you to a beautiful destination, and that destination is called retirement.
When we talk of retirement, we talk of relaxing, enjoying time off, exploring new places, making time for yourself, entertaining friends and family, napping frequently, and, the best is yet to come.
We say retirement is when you stop living at work and start working at living. It is when life gives you the greatest reward there can ever be: peace of mind since there are no more targets; no more goals; no more key performance indicators, KPIs; no more meetings.
We understand that your departure will impact on those left behind, as we believe that ...
... ga o ye le ditaola badimong; o rutile bao ba šalago.
Mama Mohlomi understood and practised protocol at all times. This is demonstrated by the fact that she would prefer to be the one who fetched the leading presiding officer to the House; at times reprimanding presiding officers for finding their way into the House, ignoring her protocol line. Today I want to say to you, I am the culprit here because I know you would always come to my office and I would already be sitting behind the Chamber here, and you would say, Huh, uh, House Chair ...
... o tlile go nkobiša mošomong.
It’s my job to come and fetch you if you have to open in the House. I really apologise for giving you a hard time and for not listening to your protocol.
... these memories will always remain as part of the history of this House. To Ms Mohlomi we say, you have availed your time and energies to serve our people. You have lent a hand in strengthening our democracy and our democratic institutions. You have earned the accolades we shower on you today. When the history of this House, the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, is written, your name will be part of it.
As a former teacher, I understand how you could really keep on taking the instructions that sometimes were very hectic for you. However, knowing you, as a teacher you are able to carry that out. As I conclude I say, the ANC wishes you a well-deserved retirement. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M N PAULSEN: House Chair, on the EFF, I would like to thank Mam Regina for the treatment that she afforded us. Our first contact with Mam Regina was when we were evicted from this House. [Laughter.] She came to us. She approached us in a gentle and kind manner and tried to avoid the inevitable. But of course, history would have it that whatever ensued after that, had to ensue. Because there was no other way for the EFF to announce its arrival on the parliamentary political scene. We fought a valiant battle even though there was someone who tried to avoid it, calm us down, and create a different kind of history. Unfortunately, that is the history that has to go down.
So, I hope you will remember us kindly. There were many occasions on which you approached the EFF and asked us to leave gently and not to cause too much embarrassment because our families, our children and our friends are watching us, urging us to think of how they would view whatever we were going to get involved in then. But obviously, you know, our friends and families know what we are about and they expected us ...
But, we were always respectful. And whenever we approached Mam Regina, she always treated us with kindness and professionalism.
We are happy, Mam Regina, that it is your name that will go down in history as the first female Serjeant-at-arms. [Applause.] It is a fitting tribute to someone who has served this Parliament and the people of this country so well. Thank you very much.
Farewell! Enjoy your retirement. Remember that retirement is not about going to die. Retirement is when you have a real life. You don’t have to deal with people who are unpleasant. You determine who you want to deal with. You determine what you want to do with the day and for the day. So retirement is real life. I’m very far from that! Thirty or 40 years from it...
You must tell us what it’s like! And you must keep in contact ... send us messages. We’d like to hear from you. You must not disappear into the mist. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: House Chair, I can tell you something: This is history. This is history! Mam Regina, you have really created history, and you will go down in the annals of history as being someone who was really able to change hearts and minds. Because, just listening to the last speaker that stood on this podium ... if you were able to change their hearts and minds, aah, you’ve done well! [Laughter.] [Applause.] There is no better tribute you can be paid than that!
Having said that, hon Boroto spoke about the history of the South African mace. Let me tell you, colleagues, that, in medieval times, the royal Serjeant-at-arms carried a mace stamped with the royal coat of arms. At that, time the mace was a weapon used to assert the authority of the monarch. I’m glad it is not used as a weapon today!
Although, if you look at the shape of our mace, it does look like a knobkerrie! I think Mam Regina could have used it as a knobkerrie on some of us in this House! But fortunately, she did not!
I thought I would say to you, today, mam Regina, that there are probably some colours that you don’t want to see when you go home and retire! [Laughter.] But, after that speech, I think you’ll want to see that colour!
You’ll have a soft heart and you’ll want to see red as well! It was those clad in red that enabled you to do something that you didn’t do before, and I’m glad that you went there respectfully and spoke to our hon colleagues.
But you will be able to write a book on what they told you when you went to them. We don’t know what they whispered to you! “Hayi, voetsek! Hayi, this and that!” [Laughter.] But we didn’t hear them saying that and we know they didn’t say that.
You carried out your duties as per the instruction of the presiding officer with such aplomb that they melted in your hands. That is the kind of Serjeant-at-arms we need here. I think, sometimes, it is a misnomer to use the term “sergeant” because we know of what that word reminds us – ipolisa [the police] – and we know what those sergeants did to us before 1994. And when we use the term
Serjeant-at-arms, it makes it even worse because there is the suggestion that the person is armed!
So, Mam Regina, the IFP and its leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi – who has been here for as long as you have ... I was here in 1994. He was here in 1994.
Yesterday, we talked about those who were here in that era. There are probably only 20 of us left who were here. We are very pleased to be associated with people like Mam Regina and others ... and I see for the first time in history, as well ... this is history in the making, today
... that all the colleagues who do the backroom work – the parliamentary support staff – are seated out there to give support to Mam Regina. [Applause.]
Thank you to all of you for the backroom work and for the support that you give us and for the nonsense that you sometimes take from us as Whips – why this speaker? Why not that speaker? You gave us short time, Chairperson!
Check the clock again! – I think we don’t always appreciate the kind of work ...
Mam Regina, you were able to bring all of them together, seated out there, so that we can recognise all of them that are there and some who are not there.
I think there’s another practice that Mam Regina started a few years ago, and that was to go to the gym. She needed to have the muscle to do what she was instructed to do, sometimes by you, Mam Boroto! She had to have the muscle! So, continue gymming. It’ll keep you healthy.
Please do not forget us here in Parliament. Pop in. We’ll recognise you seated and up there and say¸ hey, there’s one of our former colleagues and friends.
Good luck to you and your family. Enjoy the rest of your time with them. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Thank you, hon Singh. I heard every part of your speech. I heard all the words you uttered, except for one. Thank you very much! [Laughter.]
Dr C P MULDER: Hon House Chairperson, it’s an honour and a privilege for me, on behalf of the FF Plus, to associate ourselves with the motion on the Order Paper today, where we are taking leave of our Serjeant-at-arms.
I met the Serjeant-at-arms, Regina Mohlomi, when she came here in 1996. I quite often saw her in the corridors, and later in the House.
As was correctly pointed out, she has served as Serjeant- at-arms for the last eight years. She is the first woman to be appointed in that role. She has always discharged her duties with so much dignity and close regard for the procedures of the House.
It is the duty of the Serjeant-at-arms to escort the presiding officers into the Chamber, and the President and other dignitaries during the state of the nation address, and to assist the presiding officers to maintain order in the House. Now that is one thing I think our colleague Regina did not always like to do. Because, under the instructions of a presiding officer and in terms of Rule 61, she from time to time had to act to
remove members from the House. If you look at Rule 57(3)(a) and (b) those who disrupt the proceedings had to be told to leave the House.
Now, the hon Paulsen indicated just now that there was no other choice: They were forced to do what they did for history’s sake and Ms Regina Mohlomi played her role in that.
However, our colleagues from the EFF made one vital mistake. They didn’t realise that Regina also had some friends ... friends with white shirts ... [Laughter.]
So, maybe they took Regina a bit lightly and thought they could handle her. But Regina’s friends did what they needed to do and that’s also part of history, and we all know that history!
It’s always sad when a colleague leaves us. From time to time, that happens, and Regina is doing so today. I can only speak from my own experience. I can honestly say that I, in all those years, have not on one occasion met Regina in the corridors of this precinct when she did not
return a greeting with a huge smile. She always smiled and she was always in a good mood, and she always acted in that manner.
My father taught me – and I think it’s true for all of us
– that one person in the right place at the right time can make a difference. We all know that Regina made that difference in our institution. [Applause.]
So, on behalf of the FF Plus and our colleagues, I want to say goodbye to Regina. She will always remain part of the family of Parliament. She will always be welcome here. We wish her well in her retirement.
If I may end in my home language:
Regina, jy moet mooi loop. Geniet jou aftrede. Wees veilig, en ons sê vir jou baie, baie dankie! [Applous.]
Mr S N SWART: House Chair, the ACDP joins other parties in paying tribute to the first female Sergeant-At-Arms at our South African Parliament, Ms Regina Mohlomi. She has
held this position since 2011 and has a total of 23 years in service for which we, from the ACDP, sincerely honour and thank her. Of course she will be best remembered for having to deal with disruptions and thank you, hon Phosa, for sharing some of the insights. I do believe that the former or current Sergeant-At-Arms should write a book to give account of all those things and I think that will be very interesting to read.
However, one needs to take a step back because, when she arrived in Parliament way back in 1996, one of her first responsibilities was to resolve ill-discipline at the Parliament then. I understand that there was a lot of drinking on the job that she had to resolve and she already, at that stage, became known as an enforcer of discipline in Parliament.
She also helped in the employee assistance office and became very capable in maintaining decorum and protecting this ground. One of the incidents was... I remember not long time ago I had a prayer group down here and the hon Mohlomi was upstairs and she said, “what are you doing down here?” I invited her to come and join us down here
which she then did graciously. We prayed for her and then she said, “your visitors are not allowed here; and she sent them out. That was the nature of she would deal with us with great friendliness; great courtesy; great firmness and professionalism. For that, we are always grateful.
As the hon Singh pointed out, whilst she might hold the rank of Sergeant-At-Arms, in our view she is indeed Regina, which in Latin means a royal queen who carries the mace. [Applause.] So, we trust that she and her family will be blessed on her retirement. I also want to thank all the Protection Service officials who are here supporting her as well. We honour you and thank you for the protection. Yes, we also say we are sorry for the times when we gave you the hard time when we come in and question you when look after our bags. It is just that you are looking after us. So, we honour and thank each one of you.
May I then, in conclusion, pray for a blessing upon you! That is the iconic blessing. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you. May he lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace! Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mong N L S KWANKWA: Dumelang bagaetsho.
Kajeno re tlo dumedisa mosadi ya sebeditseng ka thata.
Mama we are here to say thank you very much for serving us and this institution with distinction.
... ngokuthi yonke le minyaka...
You know one of the things that struck me about how you carried yourself in this Parliament...
... yintobeko yakho[your humility.] Ude ufikelele kwiqondo lokuba abantu abatsha abafana nathi ubenyuse babengathi ngabantu abadala kunawe ekubeni inguwe omdala kwaye ungayibonakalisa nento yokuba unamagunya onawo kule Palamente nokuba sele ufuna ukusigxotha.
Ngenene yinyaniso emsulwa le ithi, bendisithi xa ndikuqhula ndithi ndifuna imini apho nam uzakukhe ukhangele iitshomi zindikhuphe ngaphandle. Ndiye ndacela kodwa kuwe ukuba ibenguwe buqu ondifunqulayo undikhuphela ngaphandle, kodwa ke zange wayenza loo nto.
Probably you will have to do it again in the seventh democratic Parliament. The other important issue...
... mama kwindlela nesikhokelo sakho ...
... is that you had the unenviable task especially in the last term, of having to evict some of us from this House.
Bakwenzisa umsebenzi obalulekileyo kuba uze ukhumbule ukuba ubungazukuwazi akho ude kufike amaxesha anjalo. Thina silapha nje siyi-UDM asiphakamelanga nje ukuthi uze uphumle kakuhle kumhlala-phantsi owuthathayo, sifuna ukuthi uwushiyile umzila ngemva. Ushiye umzila ukuze nabanye abazakufika emva kwakho ngakumbi xa ubungumama wokuqala oliDindala leNdlu yoWiso-mthetho yeSizwe.
Kufuneka siyazi ukuba abantwana abangamantombazana namanye amanina babone ukuba le nto iyakwazi ukwenziwa ngamanina apha ngaphathi kwaye bayenze iphumelele. Kuloo ndawo sifuna ukuthi, malibongwe! Xa ndigqibezela ndifuna ukuthi kuwe, mna njengenkokeli entsha ndiyifundile intobeko kuwe. Ndifundile ukuba ukwazi ukuthi umdala umhloniphe omncinci kunawe. Ndifundile ukuba umntu uyakwazi ukuthi emncinci athotyelwe nokuba sele engathethi into eyiyo, kuba kaloku uxabise into ephuma emlonyeni wakhe.
Umakhulu wam wayesithi, ubokumhlonipha umntu mntwana wam kuba umntu ayisingowakho ngokaThixo. Ndifuna ukuthi indlela ubusebenzisana nathi ngayo, ibinjalo. Ndithi ke
uze uwonwabele umhlala-phantsi mama, usazi ukuba thina eMzantsi Afrika nalapha kule Ndlu yoWiso-mthetho yeSizwe siyakuthanda. Camagu! [Kwaqhwatywa]
Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Hon Chairperson, let us, as the IEC, join other parties in paying tribute and bidding farewell to one of our own, a woman who has served Parliament to the best of her satisfaction. We appreciate the work that uMama Regina has done for the Parliament. Sometimes being the Sergeant-At-Arms cannot be an easy job because you are expected to use your power. So, it is not easy.
We have learned a lot and with pride that Ms Mohlomi comes very far. Your contribution to the country did not start from being just a Sergeant-At-Arms in Parliament. You were also a teacher for English and commercial subjects. We also believe that you must have taught some of the women to become businesswomen because of your teaching. That is a great job indeed!
It is a great honour for you to be the first woman Sergeant-At-Arms in the National Assembly to lead the President. It is now time that you should reflect on the
good that you have done for the country. As the AIC we wish you all the best. I remember just this morning when I spoke to you and asked you why you wanted to leave so early. You said you didn’t want to go home in a state of not being able to speak or say anything to your child because of old age; you want to go home while you can still see. So, thank you very much for the work you have done. Thank you. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: House Chairperson, on
15 February 2011, Ms Regina Mahlomi was announced as the appointed Serjeant-at-Arms of the National Assembly, with her effect of the appointment taking place on 10 February 2011 - the first female Serjeant-at-Arms in the Parliament of South Africa. Malibongwe! [Laughter.] Halala!, mam’ uRegina, halala!
HON MEMBERS: Halala!
Mam’ Regina has been tasked with the maintenance of the attendance register of the Members of Parliament for roughly eight years now. She has also been responsible for a very important job, which is maintaining the
discipline in the House, not only the discipline amongst members, but little did we know that ma Regina was also in charge of making sure that no strangers ever step foot on the hallowed floors of Parliament.
I thought that her job just meant the sacred ground on which MPs walk, but upon reflection, it turned out that in the public gallery, ma Ragina also had to make sure that all of our quests that came in also behave themselves.
So, when ma Regina first came in, I could not help but notice that I was 6 ft 2 and ma Regina was a little bit smaller than I was, and I wondered what would happen if I ever needed to be rejected. I soon realised when I felt the weight of the mace that I would never mess with ma Regina, because anyone who could carry the mace was definitely someone who visited the gym regularly.
We have seen our Serjeant-at-Arms carrying this mace many times, but I don’t think any of us have ever appreciated the symbolism of her carrying the mace into the House, and the significance behind the fact of the tradition,
because the mace symbolises that the House is formally in session and that the proceedings that then continue are, in fact, official.
The mace that ma Regina has carried for all of these years is 1,196m long and it weighs a whopping 9,86 kg. At the head of the mace is an 18-karat gold drum, covered in springbok skin. The skin is attached to the drum by 18 buttons made of minerals and gemstones from South Africa. A book made of gold is on top of the drum, which has a raised text that contains an extract from the preamble to our Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
The mace reflects the history, tradition, diversity and cultures of the people of South Africa. Indeed, our Serjeant-at-Arms has reflected so much of the diversity of South Africa. As I said, I have never personally been asked to leave the House by ma Regina, because I am very well behaved, ... [Laughter.] ... but those who have been asked to leave, will attest to the fact that ma Regina has always spoken to them in their mother tongue. I think that it shows a great deal of respect and kindness that someone has taken the effort to learn what language you
speak, so that in a difficult time of confrontation, it is done in your mother tongue.
Having served Parliament with distinction, patriotism, bravery, we now congratulate ma Regina on her retirement. We wish her nothing but health and happiness, time well spent with her family and friends, relaxation and rest and mostly, a break from all of us MPs.
May your retirement be long and happy! It is most well deserved. On behalf of the DA, we thank you most sincerely for your service and wish you nothing but the best for this new chapter in your life. May I end by saying this: May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face and rain fall soft upon your fields, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Thank you.
Motion agreed to.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D NTOMBELA): The presiding
officers associate themselves with the motion.
Re leboha haholo mme feela re kopa hore o nne o kgutle. [Ditsheho.]
CONSIDERATION OF THE REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO KWAZULU NATAL PROVINCE FROM 26 TO
30 AUGUST 2019
Mr Z M D MANDELA: House Chair, hon members, I would like to preface the tabling of this report with three brief remarks focusing on the dynamic of oversight advancing participatory democracy and pertinent lessons from this oversight visit.
The health of our democracy depends on the health of all its constituent organs, public or social sector, Parliament and executive and the state or the administration.
These sectors each have their own organs that further unable functionality and the delivery of their mandate. Parliament through the portfolio committee extends its mandate of holding the executive and the administration accountable. Oversight provides the portfolio committee the opportunity to experience first hand the conditions of our people and the state of service delivery. Through providing access to individuals, communities and community structures the oversight visit gave expression to participatory democracy.
The reality on the ground is harsh and our people are really suffering in listening to our people on the ground during this oversight visit we realised that the experience that they have emanate from three primary problems, the lack of excess to information about government programmes, the lack of capacity of government departments to effectively implement and the lack of coordination between government departments.
I may also add to these contending or competing community factions for limited government resources hence it is important to ensure that CPA’s are run effectively and
democratically for the benefit of all its beneficiaries. These issues we need to address in all earnestness if we are to delivery on our mandate and make a difference in building a better life for all our people.
The report that we are tabling contains some disturbing findings, but please allow me hon Chairperson to highlight two or three of these issues – firstly let me say that the agricultural sector is closely related to our goals of fighting poverty, inequality and ensuring food security for our poor rural communities. It is therefore vital that the transformation of this sector be accorded the priority that it deserves. Some statistics reflects that as much as 80% of agricultural land in Africa emanates from small farmers and hence the critical demand of empower more of our historically disadvantaged to start their own self subsistence and commercial farming and they grow their participation in the agricultural sector.
This must be a top priority especially for the deep rural communities for whom poverty is the reality that they stare in the face of on a daily basis and by so doing we
are then able to advance our agrarian revolution programmes and dismantling agricultural monopolies. Secondly, we must rethink the way in which we approach the land reform and I want to cite an example of the case we encountered on this visit.
One of the beneficiaries of our one hectare one household initiative who stays so far from his allocated land that is almost self-defeating we must ensure that beneficiaries of land reform and related programmes are enable to make a success of their endeavours. The manner in which we are allocating financial resources land and agricultural infrastructural must be done conveniently in order to ensure the productively of the enterprises.
Thirdly - the last issue I want to highlight relates to poverty and rural development. We cannot after twenty five years into democracy still perpetuate special developmental paradigm that operates like our separate development schemes of apartheid.
The rural-urban divide resource allocations and access to enabling support programmes are mountains that rural communities and individuals have to scale. We must do
more to breakdown this paradigm as we are all equal before the law.
Hon Chairperson, on that note I thank you and welcome the report of our Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development oversight to KwaZulu-Natal province.
There was no debate.
The Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.
Declarations of vote:
Ms T M MBABAMA: One of the projects visited by the committee is Amandla Entuthuko feedlot loosely translated this means the power of development feedlot.
Unfortunately what we witness on the ground in KwaZulu- Natal did not showcase the power of development. All they had to show for the R3million feedlot was a fenced field with absolutely nothing on it.
Clearly no feasibility study or impact assessment was done prior to approval of this project. In total an amount of R437 million was spent by the two departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Land Reform on the 18 projects, ostensibly, for acquisition of land, machinery, infrastructure and production costs. However, not all of these funds found their way to the intended purpose. For example, beneficiaries from the Empangisweni project had no knowledge of an amount of three million for the vegetable scheme under irrigation.
The current state of most of the projects negates the astronomical amount supposedly spent on them. One has to wonder where the money went. Extension services by the Department of Agriculture were nonexistent all the beneficiaries confirm this.
One has to again wonder what the amount of R202 million spent under the extension recovery programme between 2015 and 2018 was used for. Unfortunately with the serious lack of monitoring and evaluation on funds disbursed one may never know ...
Amandla entuthuko akabonakali kwaZulu. Iyaphi kanti le mali?
The DA supports the report. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M K MONTWEDI: House Chair, the majority of the 19 projects that the portfolio committee visited in KwaZulu- Natal have completely collapsed. It is not surprising that the recent report by Auditor-General has picked up KwaZulu-Natal as one of the greatest contributors to irregular expenditure.
With the experience, we as the committee got during the oversight, we can bear testimony to that. For this declaration I would like to focus on two projects that really need the urgent attention of the department.
A project in Umkhanyakude at Makhathini Flats run by an entity of the department called Mjindi Farming Enterprise has been supported by the government since 2009 and have thus far received over half a billion rand and farmers
during our meeting raised a lot of dissatisfaction with the model implemented and told the committee that they have never benefited from a cash injection by the government and that they are still appealing for help from the government.
We proposed as the EFF that the department must look deeper into the financial affairs of Mjindi Farming especially at Makhathini Flats as it is not beneficial to the farmers at all and institute a forensic audit as soon as possible.
Another project of Empangisweni Community Trust chaired by Chief D V Zondi of the Empangisweni Traditional Council was formed in 2004. The beneficiaries acquired
500 hectares of land through the restitution of land rights. The Commission of Restitution of Land Rights awarded the restoration of rights to 300 households with
2 700 beneficiaries, 1 547 and 1 200 youth.
The department implemented the project through the Agricultural Development Agency and there are serious allegations of corruption that were raised by the chief
and the community that must be followed up as a matter of urgency and I think the member of the DA also spoke about that, that R3 million was spent on a vegetable project
... there is literally nothing on the ground around that.
Now, there are no operations at the project site except
70 hectares of planted orchards deteriorating on a daily basis because of no funding to the project and a full year has passed now. A hundred and twenty people who used to work at the project have lost their jobs now and an initial investment by government is just going to waste as a result of this.
Clearly these projects will only start making a profit after the harvesting of the trees in about three to five years from now. And why is there no multiyear support from government in the form of a cash injection to this project as it has continued to fund Mjindi for the past
10 years? Now, House Chair, the EFF supports the report.
Thank you. [Applause.]
Inkosi R N CEBEKHULU: House Chairperson, the recent oversight to KwaZulu-Natal highlighted quite a few issues
with regards to the smallholder farmers as well as subsistence farmers. The department does not sufficiently monitor how these farmers have progressed through the assistance given to them. As such, these farmers have little ongoing support to some of the challenges they experience.
These farmers do not have the luxury of large amounts of capital reserves and require near maximum efficiency regarding production. The department must ensure that it has the proper and adequate mechanisms to further support smallholder farmers. What concerns me is that the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform wastes millions of taxpayers’ money on the irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, not to mention cases of corruption within government.
So why is the department so intent on diverting attention to an easy scapegoat to communal land owned by the Ingonyama Trust when it should be fixing its internal problems? The use of mentors and strategic partners has also not paid the intended dividends.
We need a comprehensive report by the department on all funds spent on projects aimed at assisting farmers through mentors, strategic partners and agencies. This will be able to provide an assessment of the progress made in capitalising smallholder farmers.
Sihlalo, amalungu ahloniphekile asuke lapha aseyibalule indaba yokungabikho kobulungiswa ezisebenzini zomnyango. Konke okwenzakalayo kungenxa yokuthi izisebenzi zomnyango aziyinikele ekwenzeni umsebenzi ngobuqotho.
Sisetshenziswa nangabathile ukuthi bazizwise bona kunokuthi kusizakale isizwe.
Kuphuma imali kaHulumeni kuthiwe kuyosizwa abantu kanti imali izophuma iphumele eceleni. Konke okuvelayo kuyakhomba ukuthi inkohlakalo isazoke iqhubeke kuleli lizwe, abantu abampofu kusetshenziswe amagama abo kuthiwe bayasizwa kodwa kube kusizakala izikhulu, osopolitiki nezithunywa zomnyango ezithile ukuthi zikwazi ukuswaxelisa izimali zombuso ezingabe zisiza abantu kodwa zisize bona abathile abambalwa kuphela.
Nanxa kunjalo, umuntu-ke uyaweseka umbiko ophumileyo ngomnyango ngoba uveze amaqiniso amaningi ngokwenzeka la emnyangweni okudinga ukuthi kulandelwe yilo ikomidi.
Ms T BREEDT: Chairperson, we agree with this report, its observations and recommendations and that this is a just depiction of what we saw in KwaZulu-Natal. The only thing left to do now is for the department to implement what we recommended and my true hope is that the department will take this report as seriously as we in the committee took it when we were writing it.
We made some very important observations and my fellow colleagues of the portfolio committee have mentioned but I still feel the need to highlight just a few. We spent hours and days in committee meetings and in committee rooms; we talk about projects and we see numerous reports about one thing and the next.
We are bombarded by explanations of our Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, Casp, Ilima-Letsema, Recapitalisation and Development Programme, Recap, Rural
Infrastructure Development Programme, RIDP, Rural and Community Development Programme, RCDP, Community Property Association, CPA, One Household One Hectare Programme, Strengthening Relative Rights for People working on farms, SRR, Agri-Parks, Animal and Veld Management Programme, AVMP, River Valley Catalytic Programme, RVCP, to name but a few are supposed to be working.
And we have received beautiful reports of these projects and we see how paper targets are met every single time but on closer inspection, as we did on this oversight, we see that the reality on the ground tells a different story.
A prime example of this and speaking of KwaZulu-Natal specifically is the Ndumo Farmer Production Support Unit, FPSU; on paper this project is excellent. We even saw pictures to say that this was a success but on inspection of this project, we saw that it was in total disarray.
Farmers were planting cabbages yet the farming implements that were given were to plant, harvest, clean and pack potatoes.
The access to these markets were promised and to this day they have not yet been realised and this – as colleagues have mentioned – is one of the hundreds of projects that the department is implementing. And this is proof of the sector oversight model of this Parliament that is failing and it is failing our people.
We need to add more site visits. Reports on performance information are not sufficient as an oversight. Paper targets without depicting the quality of these targets will never improve our service delivery.
When we come to site visits, we see that the reality is not as our paper targets and as our reports have reflected; we need more oversight, more opportunities like this and we need to hold our departments more accountable for what they are doing to our people.
And on a disconcerting note, if you do not go on oversight like this and we take the department along for the ride, they will most probably never get to see their own projects and they will be misled by officials of provincial departments that lie blatantly to their faces.
But, as I conclude, we visited a number of border municipalities and projects and we saw with our own eyes that the redline fencing in these border municipalities are not sufficient and are not adequate even though the department says they are adequately maintained and they are sharp.
Hulle is reg so!
My fear is that what is happening in Limpopo will next be happening in KwaZulu-Natal. But, other than that, we support this report. Thank you. [Time expired.]
Mr W M THRING: Hon House Chair, at the outset the ACDP wishes to commend the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development on the compilation of this Report on their oversight visit to KwaZulu-Natal. On studying the Report one finds that it is frank, transparent and not shy of honouring the truth as it elaborates on both successes and failures.
It is the view of the ACDP that this Report presents a synopsis, a microcosm - a snapshot if you like - of the challenges pertaining to the land question. The ruling party has had 25 years to bring redress to the landless, impoverished and the indigent of our country. If one takes this particular Report as a progress on redress, the only conclusion that one can reach is that the ruling party and those that are accountable to it has failed in this regard.
Allow me to site a few examples to substantiate. The one hector one household programme was meant to allocate one hector of land to needy households in order to reduce poverty in rural areas and revive the calibre of productive black smallholder farmers and food produces. What did the committee find? The funds for this programme were allocated to commercial farmers rather than needy households. Secondly, some beneficiaries who would have benefited from the recapitalisation and development programme and further received the one hector one household grant while many poor communities waited for government support.
The Amandla Thuthuka Co-operative needed R3 million from the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme for a four-kilometre fence and a feedlot, R490 000 was provided for the fence with no gates at one camp. The fence is now in need of repair because the project has been abandoned allegedly due to competition within the mining sector.
The committee made two tallying observations; firstly, the collects of land reform projects can be attributed to weaker institutional mechanisms for co-ordinating interventions on land reform. Secondly, they said, there are no mechanisms to streamline funding of projects and ensure that the intended beneficiaries are supported.
Hon House Chair, it is the view of the African Christian Democratic Party that these recommendations given by this particular portfolio committee is what we should be focussed on and what we should be fixing rather than meddling with section 25 of our Constitution. I thank you as the ACDP support this Report.
Ms N P MAHLO: Hon Chair and the hon members of the august House, the ANC-led government is the only progressive government in this country. I therefore stand here to
declare the support to the oversight Report of KwaZulu- Natal. Hon chair, we will continue to fight for a better life for our people and be relevant to our national democratic revolution because we have progressive policies that are meant to address historical injustice of the past.
I further ensure that equality and redistribution of the country’s resources will be done by this African National Congress. The South African people must always remember that our struggle is not over. We have to eliminate the apartheid machinery including the current monopoly of capital in our beloved country. Let me remind this august House that it is this government of the ANC that cares about the realisation of better life for all South Africans, no-one else, no-one else. We have the Constitution that embraces socioeconomic rights.
Hon Chair, as the committee we took an oversight visit to the province of KwaZulu-Natal in order to track the progress that has been made by this Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. This is clear a clear indication that we take our work seriously.
We are made to believe that this Parliament passes the legislation that is meant to address economic challenges that are faced by our people. Further, it ensures fair equality and participation in the economy of this country.
The ANC is always the first to acknowledge challenges that are faced by our government. We do not shy away from them because we are a committed government.
Pele ga ngwaga wa 1994, Kgoro ya Temo e be e na le tšhelete ye ntšintši yeo e bego e fepa batho ba ba itšego, e sego batho ba rena. Batho ba rena ba be ba bolawa ke tlala, ebile e le ba basehla – ba sehlefetše ba sehlefaditšwe ke mmušo wa aparteiti! [Tšhwahlelo.]
Chair, for us as the ANC, our most cherished concern is not with the few, but it is for the many people of this country. The process to change the horrible legacy that was there in this country, hon Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): ... hon members, do not drown the speaker, please.
Ms N P MAHLO: Hon Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): ... order, order, hon members.
Ms N P MAHLO: Hon Chairperson, forward we go. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development will make sure that the economy of this country goes up because the African National Congress is there for it. We will make sure that we provide food and security to our nation. The participation of the small emerging farmers especially in the rural areas is our goal as the ANC. No ways, it is our goal. Hon Chair, in welcoming this Report, we do denounce our progressive policies as the ANC and all efforts made by our department indeed. We will ensure that programmes undertaken by this department becomes a successful benefit to the majority of our people in this country through co-operative development that are in the farming
activities to allow them to enter in the mainstream economic global market.
No ways that our people can be suffering when we are there. I have said that the portfolio committee says that we will also be important that the department ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): ... order, order, hon members ...
Ms N P MAHLO: ... the department will look into the expansion of the government extension advisory services across the provinces that we have in this country. The department must have an action plan detailing on how they will resolve the challenges that we identified in all the projects that the portfolio committee have visited in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition, the action plan should comprehensively detail on how the projects will be assisted. We must have timeframe and exit strategy must also be in place for all the projects. Hon Chairperson, again I raise that I declare our support for this Report of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.
Le swanetše le tsebe gore ANC ke yona ke yona, gomme ebile ga go na ka mokgwa wo mongwe. Ke a leboga. [Tšhwahlelo.]
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON POLICE
- FIREARMS AMNESTY DECLARATION
Ms T M JOEMAT-PETTERSSON: Hon Chairperson, House Chair and hon members, the Portfolio Committee on Police approved the Firearms Amnesty proposed by the Minister of Police. Yesterday our committee met with over 200 Community Police Forums Chairpersons, Neighbourhood Watchers and Police Cluster Commanders from throughout the Western Cape.
We heard how serious crime and gang violence is ripping our communities apart, and our children are being killed by gun fire. Hon House Chair, as a country we cannot allow the wanting destruction caused by fire arms in the hands of gangsters and other violent criminals to go unchallenged. As a committee, we have made it our business to unite in the fight against crime, and we fully support the call for the Firearms Amnesty.
We have decided to amend the dates originally proposed by the Minister of Police and suggested that the commencement date be 1 December 2019 until 31 May 2020.
Hon members, the Amnesty was referred to us on 28 August 2019 for a Declaration of a Firearm Amnesty in terms of section 139(2)(a) of the Firearms Control Act. The portfolio committee met on 11 September 2019 and again on
23 October, to finally approve the Firearm Amnesty request.
We have confidence that the amnesty will view the necessary results in the delivery of illegal and unwanted firearms. We know that 32 000 firearms and 348 000 rounds of ammunition were recovered and surrendered during the
previous Firearm Amnesty during the period in 2010. Hon members, our committee raised concerns about the manner in which the SA Police Services, SAPS, has handled the firearms registry and we will continue to monitor the turnaround plan which has been put in place.
The committee further noted that there are people who simply wanted to reapply for renewal of their firearm licenses and that just needed to be considered. However, we show support to the SAPS in making sure that our streets are safer and that they are free of firearms that continue to kill children of Nyanga, other areas in the Cape Flats, Jeppe and Alexandra in Gauteng, in Inanda and Umlazi in Kwazulu-Natal.
We have all the confidence that this amnesty process will allow all firearm owners who no longer want to have their firearms to hand them in for destruction. We also call on all those illegal firearm owners and members of the public who know of illegal firearm owners to come forward and encourage them to hand them in. Hon Chairperson, hon members and hon Ministers, let us all do our bit to make South Africa a safer place.
The South African public experts know less. Chairperson, the portfolio committee is of the view that we need this Firearms Amnesty to help us bring violent crime to order. We support the Firearms Amnesty and we encourage this House to do so. I thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move that the Report be adopted. Thank you.
Mr A G WHITFIELD: Hon Chairperson, this notice to declare a Firearm Amnesty will not deter criminals from killing innocent people, and it will not reduce gun related matters in South Africa. The Minister will have us believe that is the case, but I want to assure this House that it is not.
The reason for that is that the SA Police Service, SAPS, has failed to prove that any firearm collected in previous amnesties can be linked to a commission of a crime. What the SA Police Service has however been able to prove, is its negligence in looking after its very own
firearms. More than 600 SAPS firearms were lost or stolen in 2017-18 financial year, yet the Minister wants SAPS to collect firearms from lawful South African citizens in order for them to then renew their licenses while the SA Police Service looks after those firearms.
The DA has asked a number of important and critical questions which have simply gone unanswered, and we are concerned that the ANC seems intent on bulldozing this Amnesty through Parliament, without the committee actually have been satisfied whether, firstly, SAPS can handle the intake of the approximately 450 000 firearms.
Secondly, SAPS can actually safeguard the firearms that have been handed in pending the renewal of the license. Thirdly, that the central firearm registry can handle the influx of license renewals of license that may arise, and lastly, whether the committee was in fact satisfied that the notice served before the committee was in fact valid.
The date of commencement of that amnesty and that notice was on 1 October, and the committee had to amend the notice in the meeting. The ANC was previously opposed to
the amnesty and we were all unanimous in sending the SA Police Service back. We sent them back as the committee. In the next meeting before the committee has been satisfied with any of the above points, the ANC simply approved the amnesty.
None of the concerns raised by the committee in the Fifth Parliament seemed to have been satisfied by SAPS, and while the Minister believes that this will help in the fight against crime, he simply cannot prove it. There is an interim order against SAPS in regard to firearm ownership, and I want to read an extract from the judgment. It reads as follows, that the SA Police Service is prohibited from demanding that such firearms be handed over to it for the sole reason that the license of such a firearm has expired.
While SAPS intends to appeal this interim order, the committee has acted irresponsibly by not allowing that process to conclude before approving the Amnesty. Should this Amnesty be approved today, the National Police Commissioner must ensure that the interim order is upheld and that no police officer in any province may demand
that a firearm be handed over for a sole reason that the license has expired.
The great irony in this entire debacle which quite frankly has been a complete mess is that while the irony seeks to deal with the expired firearm licenses, the amnesty noticed itself when it served before the committee had expired. Parliament is not a rubberstamp for the executive, and this amnesty in its current form should not be supported.
It should be sent back to the committee so that we can do our due diligence and protect those South Africans who want to own firearms lawfully, and until SAPS can prove that amnesty is actually a successful mechanism to lock criminals up and make sure that criminals hand back their firearms, the DA cannot support this notice. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr H A SHEMBENI: Chair, we all agree that the levels of crime in South Africa, especially violent crimes that involves guns has raised crisis levels, and this has been the case for a very long time. There are too many illegal
firearms in the streets. While the Firearm Amnesty is a programme that must happen, it does not deal with criminal elements that involve guns, because the majority of the guns on the streets are not guns in the hands of the people who are running away from the land.
But very few people will declare their firearms because they change their minds or positions about the guns.
These are the guns that are used in the hijackings; some belong to the police officers. These are the guns used in the heist transits and robberies, and they are also from the police. These are guns used in the illicit trades; some belongs to the security companies. These are guns that are used by the gangs in the Cape Flats.
At the core of the problem, is the failure of the capacity to deal decisively with crime in general; failure to deal with security in the police stations because firearms are being stolen; failure to deal with proper registration that is in the firearm registry; failure to regulate in the security industry who easily rent out firearms to criminals; failure to solve crimes where firearms are used even when the owners are alone;
failure by the justice system to prosecute the so-called persons found in position of firearms for several times.
The Firearm Amnesty Declaration must happen, but it is not dealing with the problem, but instead, it is going around the problem. We need the police service that will deal and work against crime. Thank you very much.
Mr X NGWEZI: Hon House Chair, we are all of one voice when we state that violent crime is out of control in this country. We also agree and have the statistics to prove that criminals are by and large not licensed weapon owners. Guns do not kill people, hon House Chairperson.
But people kill people.
As the IFP, we approve and support the proposed extension of the firearms amnesty to May 2020. We further support calls for the Minister of Police to consider a concession for license gun owners who were not able to renew their licenses and allow them to utilise the extended amnesty period to renew their firearms licenses and state that an additional period may be necessary to complete this heavy administrative process.
Illegal firearms contribute to high levels of violent crimes and instead of retrieving them only when the perpetrators of such crimes are apprehended by SAPS, there must be an alternative process for the surrendering of these arms to the police without criminal sanction.
The firearms registry in Pretoria remains in a state of chaos. It remains easier to purchase a firearm and obtain a license than it is to renew an existing firearm license. That must be addressed. Corrective actions must be taken by SAPS and the firearms registry restored a working model, failing which people will be administratively unable to renew licenses which will only lead to further extensions and quiet possible lines firearms owners finding themselves to be in contravention of the law and due to no fault of their own.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Lungu elihloniphekile Shembeni yiphutha lelo olenzile. Ngicela ukuthi ungaphindi ulenze. Ngiybonga kakhulu.
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter, ...
... to blame guns for killing people or for murder is like blaming pencils for spelling incorrectly. [Laughter.] The fact of the matter is what is the main aim and purpose of amnesty. As stated in the report and in legislation, that is to get hold of illegal firearms to prevent further crime in South Africa. What are the real facts? We had two previous amnesty periods and if you look at the figures, you will see in 2005, from about
80 500 firearms handed in the amnesty period about 34 000 were illegal firearms.
If you look at the 2010 amnesty period, about 42 000 firearms were handed in and only 11 500 firearms were illegal. But those illegal firearms, Chairperson, were firearms on a technical base.
I have asked the question to the hon Minister, how of those firearms were used in any crime because it’s prerequisite that each and every firearm must be ballistically tested to ensure that it was not used in a crime? The answer from the hon Minister was around zero.
So, we say in the FF Plus that we will; not support this amnesty period and the report. The report is incorrectly as published because in the portfolio committee, I explicitly objected to the report, which is not tabled in the House.
My groot bekommernis is dat die administrasie van die vuurwapens deur die polisiediens, die probleem skep. Die polisie is self die probleem. Ek het ’n vraag aan die agb Minister gevra. Die afgelope ses jaar was daar –u moet mooi luister – ongeveerd 10 miljoen rondtes ammunisie by die polisie gesteel, of verlore geraak. So, die grootste verspreider van onwettige ammunisie is die polisie self.
Verder, hierdie amnestie tyken die mense wat vuurwapens het, maar wie nie betyds aansoek vir hernuwing gedoen het nie. Daarom het ek ook in die komitee gevra dat die Minister dit moet oorweeg.
Om amnestie vir misdaadbekamping te gebruik is net eenvoudig ’n mite en ’n leuen. As ons regtig misdaad wil aanspreek, moet ons sorg dat die polisie ’n voorbeeld
stel en sorg dat hul eie wapens en hul eie ammunisie eers behoorlik bewaar word. Ons sal nie die verslag ondersteun nie. [Tyd verstreke.]
Rev K R J MESHOE: House chairperson, while the ACDP has doubts about the police ability to administer an amnesty on illegal firearms, not legal, but illegal firearms safely and effectively, we nevertheless support in principle the proposed amnesty because we believe there are many illegal firearms out there that must be handed in. Some of the concerns we have as the ACDP, include the storage of such firearms when they are handed in as we know full well that many of our police stations are poorly maintained with little or no proper security. What do such police stations do if criminals attempt to rob them of the very illegal firearms that were handed in?
The ACDP calls on the SAPS to tighten their security around firearms that would be handed in to ensure that they do not lend in the hands of criminals again. For this to happen, senior police management must ensure that only qualified and reliable police officials are made
responsible to oversee the collection and safekeeping of illegal firearms that are handed in.
The ACDP will never support the handing in of legal firearms by owners whose licenses have expired due to no fault of their own. We say such legal owners must have their licenses because in most cases, they failed to renew their licenses as I said because of the mismanagement within the SAPS. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms N T PEACOCK: Hon House Chair and hon members, the ANC support the proposed firearms amnesty from 1 December 2009 to 31 may 2020. We have waited long to reach this point in making our country safe.
Hon members, this firearms amnesty will be the third such amnesty in the country’s democratic history. We held a very successful amnesty in 2005 and 2010. We did this because we knew that we need to remove firearms from the hands of ruthless criminals who used their stolen firearms to kill our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters as well as our children.
In 2017, the previous Minister Mbalula briefed the Cabinet on 2 March 2017 on his intention to declare an amnesty in terms of the Firearm Control Act.
For a period of six months to maximise the participation of the community, we were not able to process that amnesty and the current Minister, Minister Cele, tabled a new notice to parliament requesting that we support the proposed firearm. Section 139 subsection 2(a) of the Firearm Control Act of 2000 provides that an amnesty can only be declared with the approval of Parliament.
What the hon said when he mentioned that we want to bulldoze, we are not bulldozing. Hence we are bringing it here with the facts that we have. It is so sad that what they are saying today is what they have mentioned and they find clarity in the portfolio committee. Now they come and grandstand as if we never addressed all these questions that they are raising here today. [Applause.]
Hon Chair and members, the SAPS crime statistics report showed that out of 21 022 murders of 2018-19, firearms have been used in 7 157 cases and 4 720 on knives.
I also want to respond to what the hon member of the DA has said. He said that the amnesty is not going to assist at all, but as this committee, we have looked at the statistics and we have known and seen that the last time when there was an amnesty in 2005, there was an improvement on the crime statistics. There have been fighting about the farm killings, and hence we are trying to assist them so that they can work with us to mitigate all those problems that they had in the farms.
There have been those that urge that firearm amnesty is taking the firearms out of the hands of people who use it for self defence. We want to reject this with the attempt that it deserves. [Interjections.] The ANC ... [Interjections ] I am busy. Thanks. [Laughter.]
The ANC ... [Interjections.] You must listen, please. Listen! [Interjections.] Listen! [Interjections.] Yes. [Interjections.] The ANC support our Constitution and wants to see ... [Interjections.]
The HOSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! [Interjections.] Continue, mam. [Interjections.]
Ms N T PEACOCK: and wants to see a safer South Africa. THE freedom Charter says that there shall be peace and friendship. The Constitution in the Bill OF Rights provides the right to equality, human dignity, freedom and security of the person.
Hon members, our Constitution does not say that everyone have the right to bear arms. We are a peaceful nation and we do not support the right of people to bear arms. We call on these elements in the firearms industry to wake up from their dreams.
You live in South Africa and by its laws. Respect it and respect our people. The ANC calls on all peace loving people of South Africa to do us and help to make sure that we make this South Africa a safe world for everyone.
Lastly, we call on SAPS to dutifully make sure they do their jobs that no arms handed or landed in the wrong hands and make sure that we protect what is ours. The ANC declares that it supports the firearm amnesty proposal and proposes that the House adopts that report. I thank you. [Applause.]
The House divided.
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES.]
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION ON FIRST QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE 2019-20 FINANCIAL YEAR: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION AND ITS ENTITIES, AND PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION ON FIRST QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE 2019-20 FINANCIAL YEAR: DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION AND ENTITIES
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION ON FIRST QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE 2019-20 FINANCIAL YEAR: STATISTICS SOUTH AFRICA
Mr T H JAMES: House Chair, having deliberated on the first quarterly performance reports 2019-20 of Public Service and Administration, we as the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration noted that service delivery in a number of areas took place at the rate of 89% for the Department of Public Service and Administration, 89% for the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and 94% for Statistics SA. We are hopeful that the sector will achieve 100% or closer to this target at the end of the financial year, seeing the average pace per quarter.
There is consistent ... [Inaudible.] ... and compliance with the policy of paying for service delivery within
30 days on valid invoices. Investigations with regard to corrupt activities and on officials doing business with the state are on course and we see the results coming out.
We believe that when the agencies dealing with crime come on board, as they are gradually doing, the sector will also be able to help other departments to deal with the scourge of corruption.
Front-line service delivery is given attention to improve on the citizen ... [Inaudible.] ... index and to help officials at the coalface of service delivery with new interventions and capacity development.
The sector is looking well after national planning to influence the economy through sound policy and backing statistics to align government programmes with what the state can afford and with what it needs to plan for the future.
As a portfolio committee, our approach is to thoroughly interrogate issues sector wide in order to fix a lot of challenges in the process so that in the end the annual reports of our sector should improve regarding monitoring and evaluation, oversight, technical assistance to other departments, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as well as advocacy on good management and administrative
practices. With this composite approach on sector issues, the sector is going to improve further and further.
We present this report for the House to adopt and support. Merci beaucoup. [Thank you very much.] [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chair, I move
that the three reports combined be adopted. Thank you.
There was no debate.
Declaration(s) of vote:
Dr L A SCHREIBER: Hon House Chairperson, during my commute this morning I listened to the Auditor-General, AG, speaking on SAfm. After he laid bare the worst audit results in the history of democratic South Africa, he asked something along the lines of: Why is it that people who are not qualified or competent are still put into key positions in government departments? Could it be deliberate?
I know he asked the question rhetorically but I’d like to take this opportunity to provide an answer. The answer is yes! Yes, the rapidly accelerating collapse of our Public Service is the product of the governing party’s deliberate effort to capture and hollow out the state.
The truth is that a professional, competent and apolitical Public Service makes it impossible to loot the state into bankruptcy. The governing party knows this; which is why they have deliberately done the exact opposite for the past quarter of a century.
The deliberate plan referred to by the AG was formally codified by the ANC at its Mafikeng conference in 1997. They even gave it an appropriately Soviet-sounding title of cadre deployment. After its 1997 conference, the governing party resolved to deploy cadres to various organs of the state, including the Public Service and to other centres of power in society.
Fast-forward to this debate today where we are supposed to consider the performance of our Public Service after
22 years of cadre deployment. This includes that, as the
AG reported yesterday, the 2018-19 national and provincial audit outcomes are the worst in the history of democratic South Africa. Yet, in the same year, the Public Service paid R2,6 billion in so-called performance bonuses to its cadres, a 68% increase on the year before.
Dit gebeur terwyl die Staatsdiens tans R7,1 miljard aan die helde en heldinne wat werk in besighede dwarsoor Suid-Afrika skep, skuld.
Sedert 1 Januarie 2018 het hierdie regering ook slegs 10% van die Staatsdienskommissie se aanbevelings geïmplimenteer. En alhoewel Minister Mboweni ons verlede maand gewaarsku het dat die staat se salarisrekening van R630 miljard binnekort gaan veroorsaak dat ons meer geld spandeer net aan rente op staatskuld, as in onderwys, gesondheid en polisiëring, word meer as 29 000 miljoener kaders steeds elke maand getrou betaal.
Cadres over country, every time! Let me hasten to add though that this Parliament is also deeply implicated in
the injustices of cadre deployment because it has forsaken its sacred oversight duty. Hot on the heels of the deployment of the convicted liar Bathabile Dlamini, two days ago the parliamentary committee on Public Service and Administration recommended Zanele Hlatshwayo, a former ANC mayor who destroyed Pietermaritzburg, to become a Public Service commissioner. This was despite her saying in the interview that she will never stop being political, even though the Constitution says the Public Service Commission, PSC, is supposed to be independent, impartial and that commissioners may not be members of political organisations. As usual, Luthuli House chose incompetent cadre Zanele over Kevin Malunga, the highly-qualified current Deputy Public Protector, who also applied for the position.
Ms J TSHABALALA: Madam House Chair, can the member take a question?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, are you prepared ...
Dr L A SCHREIBER: I don’t take questions from cadres.
Ms J TSHABALALA: Be relevant. Speak about the report, not the ANC.
Dr L A SCHREIBER: I don’t take questions from cadres. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, he’s not prepared. Continue hon member.
Dr L A SCHREIBER: Now, although ... Hon Chairperson, I know some members here are nervous about being arrested soon but can you please ask them to calm down? [Applause.]
Now, although the ANC’s cadre deployment chickens have now come home to roost, the good news is that there is another way to build a Public Service.
While not one ANC-led province got more than 30% clean audits, the DA-led Western Cape again obtained 79% clean audits. [Applause.] In the words of the AG, the province had the highest number of auditees and there were no auditees with unauthorised expenditure. Zero! Over the
five years there has been a solid and consistent pattern of good audit outcomes in the Western Cape, which can be attributed to the provincial leadership instilling a culture of accountability and good governance.
Now, there you have it hon Chairperson. On the one hand there is the ANC’s quarter century-long track record of patronage and cadre deployment ...
Ms T MAHAMBEHLALA: Hon Chairperson, is it parliamentary for the member to call us chickens when we are not chickens? It means that at anytime we can be slaughtered if we are called chickens. [Interjections.]
Dr L A SCHREIBER: ... [Inaudible.] ... chickens have come home to roost. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, did you say the members are chickens?
Dr L A SCHREIBER: What I said is that, although the ANC’s cadre deployment chickens ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, I’m asking a direct ...
Dr L A SCHREIBER: ... [Inaudible.] ... Chairperson, I’m answering. I said that, although the ANC’s cadre deployment chickens have now come home to roost ... [Applause.] ... which is a fact.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I will look into that. Thank you. Continue.
Dr L A SCHREIBER: Okay, thank you, hon Chairperson. So there you have it. [Interjections.] Chairperson, if the feathers fit you may wear them if you choose. There you have it hon Chairperson. On the one hand there’s the ANC’s quarter century-long record of patronage and cadre deployment which is now resulting in outright state collapse. On the other hand there is the DA way of clean and professional government that builds shared prosperity. The DA condemns the department’s first quarter performance and rejects this report. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms C C S MOTSEPE: House Chair, the Centre for Public Service Innovation’s, CPSI, mandate is to develop innovative, sustainable and responsive models of improved service delivery. The CPSI, as one of the entities of the Department of Public Service and Administration, has failed in their mandate because they should have done the necessary research to demonstrate how we should insource workers and build a capable state.
The wage bill that the Minister of Finance is crying about, saying that the Public Service has too many people and causes the state too much, is misguided. This is the case because the majority of public servants are employed only to ... [Inaudible.] ... paperwork for tenders, quotations and invoices, while companies appointed through tenders bring additional staff to do the work that must be done by public servants.
We can do away with many of the challenges cited in the department’s first quarter reports if we insource workers in all national departments, provincial departments and entities that municipalities are ...
The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation must be closed. It is that simple. There is no need to discuss the report, and we all agreed to this in the Fifth Parliament.
With regard to Statistics SA, we still have not resolved the issue of funding, and Statistics SA continues to lose skilled researchers and mathematicians to the private sector. We need to intervene urgently, and we cannot trust government with the necessary interventions on the issue of state funding. We will never do that.
The EFF rejects this report and calls ... the reports that have interventions in the lives of our people. EFF phezukwenu! [The EFF is coming for you!] Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M D HLENGWA: The department’s main task is to conduct oversight over the executive to ... [Inaudible.] ... effective and efficient development and professional Public Service. The Public Service in all departments of government needs to ensure that employees who render
services to people are well trained, knowledgeable and efficient.
Over the last few weeks we have seen various departments struggling to address fruitless and wasteful expenditure and in most cases ... [Inaudible.] The public’s confidence in departments is declining due to the level of corruption, administration and fraud.
We see increasing levels of frustration by workers of the state that fall into the lower tiers of departments, and they are quite often not the ones responsible for corrupt activities, yet when government is in dire straits they are the first ones to have their jobs cut. Again, the burden of mismanagement from the elite is shifted onto the working class and the poor.
We need to find a way for all senior and junior staff in the department to have equal accountability. In this department ... mandate to find such solutions to this.
One possible solution will be that the performance contracts should be interlinked in order to incentivise
... the co-operation between senior and junior staff when the time comes to determine bonuses.
Furthermore, as with individuals, entire departments are unique ... must also ... [Inaudible.] ... face consequences. In various departments we see that they have continuously received qualified audits over the past five-year reported financial period. As a result of a lack of consequences, departments do not show a willingness to want to fix their problems.
Issues of irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure are among the most prevalent, and show a clear lack of will by the government to focus on the primary business of bringing service delivery to people. The IFP supports the reports. [Applause.] This report I have read was for Inkosi R Cebekhulu.
Mr N SINGH: On a point of order, hon House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Why are you on your feet, hon member?
Mr N SINGH: On a point of information, hon House Chairperson. It is the birthday of the hon Hlengwa today. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Oh! Happy birthday, mama Hlengwa! And many, many, more! [Applause.]
The House singing the happy birthday song! [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Siyabonga! We associate ourselves with the motion of your birthday. Then it is a motion and I put it as such! Mama Kibi, ANC. Oh, I did not see you there, mama Jordaan! Am I right?
Ms H JORDAAN: Yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Alright. Continue, FF Plus.
Declarations of vote:
Ms H JORDAAN: Hon House Chair, I am sorry to be the bearer of the bad news on that positive note. It has been said by the Minister of Finance, it is been said by the
President, it has been said by the Minister of Public Service and Administration himself, it has been said by the opposition parties and the FF Plus and I am saying it again, the public sector wage bill is too high. It was also said by the committee when they implored the department to come up with effective measures to reduce the wage bill in the public service, yet cuts in the public sector wage bill are still to be seen.
What is also been said over and over again, is that the trade unions have too much power and are allowed to get away with murder because the ruling ANC just cannot seem to master the courage or the will to say no.
The latest in a very long list of examples is the SA Airways, SAA, strike.
We have just finalised the Budget Review and Recommendations, BRR, report process for the various departments. One aspect that was observed in nearly all the departments is the vacancy rate in high-level posts such as directors and deputy directors.
In spite of this, we still have the bloated Salary Bill. So, we have the shortage of specialised staff, such as financial managers and other specialist positions on the one hand, and then we have personal assistants, PAs, for PAs on the other hand. How does this make sense?
The government’s wage bill accounts for 34% of the national budget. This means that for every R1 000 government spends, R340 goes towards employee compensation.
The public sector wage bill has more than tripled in the period since 2006-7 to 2018-19, from a R154 billion to R518 billion. This is due to above inflation remuneration increases.
Public servants earning in access of R1 million per year, as the hon Schreiber has mentioned, increased from 9 600 to 29 000 during the same period.
Die privaatsektor word dikwels uitgekryt as die grootste sondebok – dis nou behalwe blanke mense – as dit kom by
die ANC se mislukkings. Die privaatsektor is die grootste werkskepper in Suid-Afrika, ten spyte van reusagtige struikelblokke wat grootliks deur die staat geskep en veroorsaak word.
Die gemiddelde salaris in die privaatsektor is R273 000 per jaar. Die gemiddelde salaris in die staatsdiens in R393 000 per jaar. Die privaatsektor is grootliks suksesvol deur die uitbou en bevordering van die land se ekonomie. Die staat is nie.
Dit is dalk tyd dat die staat begin afkyk by die privaatsektor as dit kom by bestuur- en personneelaangeleenthede om sodoende sy huis in orde begin te kry.
Attempts by the department to curb some of the fraud and corruption within the public sector through the implementation of the revised determination on other remunerative work to prohibit public servants from conducting business with any organs of state is welcomed. Though one would think that it would not have been
necessary, if the most basic of compliance rules were implemented from the start. The FF Plus does not support this report. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms M T KIBI: Hon House Chair, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers and hon members of this House, firstly I want to say in this House, it is pointless for me when we are meeting in a committee deliberating on things and at the end, people will come here and cry, looking for mercy. We were there discussing the appointment of the commissioner. And when one does not win and get what he wants to get, they come here to complain and cry. You are not going to get mercy here. We are not going to ask any permission from anybody, who we want to take this ANC forward! [Applause.]
Our sector dealt with the mammoth task of championing the reconsideration of the national government with tremendous success. We complement the Ministry of Public Service and Administration for this milestone. We cannot leave aside the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation for their part in macroplanning for the entire state and government regarding reliable official
statistics and ensuring the overall implantation of the National Development Plan.
In this sector, we deal with the inadequate budgets at both Statistics SA and the Public Service Commission. These two institutions are a good example of managing well what they have and to still perform on their mandates far better than compromising them. We only feel bad because they can only stretch that much with what they are given. If the National Treasury would consider topping them up, they would deliver beyond the normal expectation. We also do not want them to be compromised on the core functions given to them by the Constitution in the case of the Public Service Commission and the administrative justice in case of Statistics SA.
The Thusong Service Centres location and funding model remain key issues. The committee will be conducting oversight on ensuring policy framework and management of this facility is given attention for the benefit of poor people and easy access to services by every member of society.
We assure this House that service delivery is on course within our sector.
Concerning vacancies in the public service, our approach is that the Integrated Financial Management System be updated with a sense of urgency so that the shortfalls within the persal system can be addressed. In this manner, the public service would know which posts are redundant and therefore should be abolished against the ones that are vacant and should be filled. In this manner also, the public service would by default deal effectively with the challenge of the wage bill because the budget would not be assigned to oganograms that are not real.
The portfolio committee encouraged lifestyle audits within the public agreement that the Office of Standards and Compliance and the Technical Assistance Unit were crucial to be established, following promulgation of the Public Administration Management Act 11 of 2014 and the subsequent formulation of the Public Service Regulation of 2016. This is a gap that the Fifth Parliament’s portfolio committee and the department filled in terms of
legislative and policy tools. Now is the time to begin implementation.
In that manner the public service and government can really make a dent to endemic corruption and we and the legislative establishment can also be empowered to call the public service and the executive to account on this matter. The portfolio committee raised together with the Department of Public Service and Administration the issue of suspensions that go for years on and not being finalised, while officials draw a salary.
The issue of not properly formulating charges, thus making them litigious in a court of law. It is a challenge that the public service must address seeing that the implicated officials win cases against government when they had wronged the same government.
The committee also raised together with the Ministry and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation the issue of board of trustees vacancies and Brand SA which made it difficult for the executive to take decisions without the board. This also held back their increment
and bonuses due to employees. We were assured by both the Ministry and Brand SA executive that the matter was receiving their urgent attention.
We are a bit happy about the issue of permanence and agreements that they are becoming less and less and noncompliance challenge. However, we would be happier when the compliance rate becomes fully compliant.
The newly introduced performance management development system would work well with compliance and ensuring that bonuses are paid only to due candidates, and that capacity development challenges can be identified earlier to improve on individual employees as well as the service they are supposed to deliver.
I propose that the House adopt this report and by the way the ANC supports it.
Into yokuba abantu baza kukhalaza ngokuba sinikana iibhonasi, ngela xesha sasithatha ulawulo loMzantsi Afrika, banikana iibhonasi nemihlaba kwaye akuzange
kubekho mntu uthethayo. Sifuna imihlaba yethu. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Motion agreed to.
Report on First Quarterly Performance 2019/2020 financial year: Department of Public Service and Administration and its entities, and Public Service Commission accordingly adopted (Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters and Freedom Front Plus dissenting).
Report on First Quarterly Performance 2019/2020 financial year: Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and entities accordingly adopted (Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters and Freedom Front Plus dissenting).
Report on First Quarterly Performance 2019/2020 financial year: Statistics South Africa accordingly adopted (Democratic Alliance and Freedom Front Plus dissenting).
The House adjourned at 16:10.