Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 20 Nov 2012
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 20 NOVEMBER 2012
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:09.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr M M SWATHE: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the outcomes of food for waste projects under the Expanded Public Works Programme and recommendations to help workers who are unfairly compensated.
Mr E M SULLIMAN: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the role that the formation of a BRICS Development Bank can play in mobilising resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects for South Africa, Africa and the other emerging economies.
Mrs M WENGER: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates measures to improve the reliability of water supply in South Africa and solutions to improve the situation.
Mr C M MONI: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates measures geared at strengthening South Africa’s postgraduate training in research and innovation as a means to improve the country’s global competitiveness.
Mr S Z NTAPANE: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the UDM:
That the House debates possible strategies to deal with the use of excessive force by the police during service delivery protests and strikes in South Africa.
Mrs T M A GASEBONWE: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates strengthening organised crime fighting units to actively combat serious crimes, such as human and drug trafficking.
Mr M R SAYEDALI SHAH: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates ways and means to increase the marketing and development of domestic tourism in South Africa.
Mr S ABRAM: Mr Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates ways to improve the living conditions of farm dwellers, including the provision of subsidised housing and other basic services.
Mr S Z NTAPANE: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the UDM:
That the House debates reopening the window for the lodgment of legitimate land claims.
Mrs M E PILUSA MOSOANE: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates strengthening measures geared at promoting food security as a way to lessen our dependence on food imports.
CONDOLENCES ON DEATH OF SAMUEL MTETWA
THE ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that on 15 November 2012, the KwaZulu-Natal legislature’s longest serving member, Samuel Mtetwa, died of natural causes in a Durban hospital in the early hours of the morning;
(2) further notes that Comrade Mtetwa was a committed member of the African National Congress (ANC), whose life was defined by his continued activism and dedication in changing many lives in the KwaZulu-Natal province;
(3) recalls that he had served in the provincial legislature since 1994 and became deputy chief whip in 2004;
(4) further recalls that when he was appointed the chairperson of committees in 2007, he used his personal touch in the management of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature’s portfolio committees to make the legislature a better place;
(5) acknowledges that he served as a chairperson of the now defunct North Durban region before the eThekwini region was formed; and
(6) extends its condolences to his family, the ANC and his friends.
AWARDS WON BY CITY OF CAPE TOWN AND SOUTH AFRICA
Mrs S V KALYAN: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that the City of Cape Town has been voted the world’s favourite city by the readers of the British news site The Telegraph;
(2) further notes that the Telegraph Travel Awards take place each year by a manner of public votes for accolades such as Favourite City Worldwide and Favourite Country Worldwide;
(3) recognises the iconic status of the Mother City which has in 2012 also been named World Design Capital and the first and second-best urban centre by Conde Nast Traveller Readers Choice Awards;
(4) acknowledges the iconic status of the Mother City which has in 2012, also been named World Design Capital and the first and second-best urban centre by the Condé Nast Traveller Readers Choice Awards;
(5) congratulates Tourism South Africa on the award bestowed upon South Africa; and
(6) further congratulates the City of Cape Town on being named as the number one travel destination in the world.
INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION DAY
THE ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that International Civil Aviation Day is annually observed on December 7 to raise awareness of the importance of international civil aviation and the role that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), plays in international air transport;
(2) further notes that ICAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations which was created to promote international parameters and regulations essential for the security, efficiency and regularity of air transport and to serve as a medium for coordination in the sector of civil aviation;
(3) recognises that ICAO has played a crucial role in supporting nations to maintain a complex yet flexible structure of international regulations and by-laws because of which air traffic has been safe and efficient to fly to any country; and
(4) wishes the International Civil Aviation Organisation well at their 12th Air Navigation Conference (AN-Conf/12) to be held in Montréal from 19 to 30 November 2012, with participation of its member states and invited international organisations.
MOTION OF CONDOLENCE
(The late Mr Japie Basson)
Mnr J H VAN DER MERWE: Agb Speaker, ek stel sonder kennisgewing voor:
Dat die Huis —
(1) met groot hartseer kennis neem van die afsterwe van die voormalige Parlementslid mnr Japie Basson op 8 Augustus vanjaar;
(2) voorts daarvan kennis neem dat mnr Basson 30 jaar lank Lid van die Parlement was en graag uit die vuis uit gedebatteer het en selde sy toespraak afgelees het;
(3) onthou dat Gerald Shaw van die Cape Times onder meer van mnr Basson geskryf het:
(a) “He had no equal in debate”; en
(b) “Japie Basson was the finest parliamentarian of his day”; en
(c) Japie Basson was renowned as the only Nationalist to ever defy Hendrik Verwoerd”;
(4) voorts onthou dat mnr Basson gereeld gewaarsku oor die prys wat apartheid ons land mettertyd sou kos;
(5) weet hy is in 1947 met Claire Strauss getroud en die egpaar het twee dogters, Claro en Estée;
(6) daaraan erkenning gee dat van mnr Basson is gesê dat hy nooit die belange van ‘n politieke party, of sy eie belange, of die belange van sy familie, bo die belange van die land gestel het nie;
(7) voorts daaraan erkenning gee dat Breyten Breyenbach van mnr Basson sê: “Dit is die heengaan van ‘n uitstaande Suid-Afrikaner waaroor ons treur – ‘n demokraat, ‘n vegter vir menswaardigheid en vir die waarhied, ‘n Boishaaier en ‘n oud-Matie, ‘n Afrikaner wat ‘n mens trots gemaak het om óók ‘n Afrikaner te wees.”;
(8) in herinnering roep dat Leopold Scholtz in Die Burger van mnr Basson gesê het: “Japie Basson het die beste in die Afrikanerpolitiek na vore gebring – integriteit en beginselvastheid.”; en
(9) aan mevrou Basson en haar twee dogters, Claro en Estée, wat op die openbare gallery sit, sy innige meegevoel betuig.
(Translation of Afrikaans draft resolution follows.)
[Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Mr Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House –
(1) notes with deep sadness the passing away of the former Member of Parliament, Mr Japie Basson, on 8 August of this year;
(2) further notes that Mr Basson, who was a Member of Parliament for 30 years, enjoyed debating unprepared, seldom reading his speeches;
(3) remembers what Gerald Shaw of the Cape Times wrote of Mr Basson, inter alia:
(a) “He had no equal in debate”; and
(b) “Japie Basson was the finest parliamentarian of his day”; and
(c) “Japie Basson was renowned as the only Nationalist ever to defy Hendrik Verwoerd”;
(4) further remembers that Mr Basson regularly warned about the price our country would eventually have to pay for apartheid;
(5) recognises that he married Claire Strauss in 1947 and that the couple had two daughters, Claro and Estée;
(6) acknowledges that it has been said that Mr Basson never put the interests of a political party, or his own interests, or the interests of his family above the interests of his country;
(7) further acknowledges what Breyten Breytenbach said about Mr Basson: “Dit is die heengaan van ’n uitstaande Suid-Afrikaner waaroor ons treur – ’n demokraat, ’n vegter vir menswaardigheid en vir die waarheid, ’n Boishaaier en ’n oud-Matie, ’n Afrikaner wat ’n mens trots gemaak het om óók ’n Afrikaner te wees.”;
(8) recalls what Leopold Scholtz said about Mr Basson in Die Burger: ”Japie Basson het die beste in die Afrikanerpolitiek na vore gebring – integriteit en beginselvastheid”; and
(9) expresses its deepest sympathy to Mrs Claire Basson and her two daughters, Claro and Estée, who are seated in the public gallery.]
UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION
The ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that on 31 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption;
(2) further notes that the Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it;
(3) recognises that corruption afflicts all countries, undermining social progress and breeding inequality and injustice;
(4) believes that all citizens have a responsibility to take action against the cancer of corruption; and
(5) calls on all to fight corruption, shame those who practise it and engender a culture that values ethical behaviour.
MOTION OF CONDOLENCE
(The late Mr G B Bhengu)
Mr V B NDLOVU: Speaker, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper as follows:
That the House —
(1) notes with great sadness the passing of former Member of Parliament Mr Geoffrey Bongumusa Bhengu on 20 May 2012;
(2) further notes that Mr Bhengu played a critical role in the fight against apartheid and contributed greatly towards the eradication of such oppression through the teaching profession where he devoted his services fully to the struggle of his people;
(3) remembers that he was a founder member of Inkatha YeNkululeko YeSizwe, the forerunner of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP);
(4) further remembers that because of his uncompromising skill and integrity he was asked to head up the IFP’s Political Oversight Committee after retiring from Parliament, a position in which he played a critical and decisive role;
(5) acknowledges his important contribution during the struggle for democracy and his lifetime service to the IFP; and
(6) conveys its deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
There was no debate.
Motion agreed to, members standing.
The SPEAKER: The presiding officers associate themselves with the motion. The condolences of the House will be conveyed to the Bhengu family.
SUSPENSION OF JOINT RULE 220(2)
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Speaker, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I move the draft resolution printed in his name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That the House for the purposes of conducting the Second Reading debate today on the Repeal of Black Administration Act and Amendment of Certain Laws Amendment Bill [B40 – 2012] (National Assembly – proposed sec 75), suspends Joint Rule 220(2), which requires that a translation of a Bill’s official text must be received by Parliament at least three days before the formal consideration of the Bill by the House.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT - CONSTITUTION SEVENTEENTH AMENDMENT BILL
Dr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Your office or you received prior notice of this point of order. In terms of National Assembly Rule 190, it is the prerogative of the Programming Committee to place items on our agenda. It says that the Programming Committee “must” place items on our agenda. You swore in an affidavit yesterday, Mr Speaker, that the Programming Committee on Thursday did not have the opportunity of changing anything from the Programming Committee of the previous week. The programme from the previous week indicated that this item was tabled provisionally. “Provisionally”, in English, means that it has to be confirmed, and it is not on the agenda unless it is confirmed. Therefore, I submit to you that the consideration by the House of this item on the agenda and subsequent items on the agenda are out of order.
The SPEAKER: Thank you very much. I can confirm I did receive a letter from the hon member. I can also confirm I did respond in writing to the hon member. But let me also say, in terms of the order, as members will be aware, the Programming Committee is responsible for scheduling the business of the House. At the last meeting, on 15 November, the committee did not specifically consider the programme for this week, raising a question about its legitimacy. In this regard, I must point out that the committee is typically presented with and agrees to the programme for a number of weeks and not only for the forthcoming week. As a result, the committee did previously agree to the orders on the programme this week, as the Minutes of 8 November will indicate.
In terms of the orders considered provisional on 8 November - the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill - I can report that, in accordance with practice, this was waiting for the relevant committee to report. Once the report was tabled, the Bill was placed on the Order Paper for the Second Reading today. I therefore urge members to assist the National Assembly to proceed with its business. Thank you very much.
Mrs S V KALYAN: May I address you on a point of order, Mr Speaker?
The SPEAKER: Yes, hon member.
Mrs S V KALYAN: I did not intend to bring it up, but the Programming Committee did not consider the programme for Thursday, 22 November, and I refer to the Second Reading debate on the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill. So, I would like you to please consider that when you consider the programme for Thursday. I thank you.
The SPEAKER: We will consider that when we consider the programme for Thursday. [Interjections.] Order, hon members!
There was no debate.
The ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I move-
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSTITUTION SEVENTEENTH AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Speaker and members of the House, the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill heralds a new era in our constitutional democracy and also unleashes an aura of hope, contentment and enhanced confidence in our judicial system by all peace-loving South Africans. This Bill brings about revolutionary reforms to our court system since the establishment of the Supreme Court and the magistrates’ courts through the Supreme Court Act of 1959 and the Magistrates Court Act of 1944 respectively.
The proposed constitutional amendments provide a constitutional axis on which our judicial system, suited to the constitutional axis and requirements of the Constitution, will revolve under the watchful eye of the Chief Justice, which this Bill formally ordains as the head of the judiciary. The Superior Courts Bill, which will be debated by this House this coming Thursday and which has, for more than 14 years, been dealt with side by side with these constitutional amendments, provides the nuts and bolts that glue the judicial system together in its quest to deliver justice in keeping with the needs and aspirations of our people.
We have come a long way, and during the long journey to realise the vision of a transformed judiciary which starts to unfold before our eyes today, the ANC-led government has remained loyal to its commitment to upholding the independence of the judiciary ...
The SPEAKER: Hon members, please take your seats. Also, the noise level in the House is too high. Continue, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: ... the ANC-led government has remained loyal to its commitment to upholding the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law, which are the bedrock of our constitutional democracy. The constitutional amendments we sought were neither aimed at tinkering with the independent justice system nor were they directed at curtailing the powers of the Constitutional Court, as some wanted South Africans to believe during this robust public debate. On the contrary, they sought to strengthen our constitutional democracy and the rule of law, which is an important shield against any threat by government whether real or perceived. Not only do courts resolve disputes in accordance with the law and fact, but they perform a delicate balancing act between the rights and obligations of the state and individuals, and between individuals, in accordance with legislation, common law and existing social standards.
The courts’ function of dispute resolution is a very important mechanism for ensuring social stability and cohesion. For a society to be stable, citizens need to be confident that the laws which govern them not only reflect socially accepted values and standards, but, should there be a dispute, that the courts will interpret those laws impartially and that a resolution will be achieved within a reasonable timeframe. The supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law bind everyone, including Parliament, the executive and the judiciary.
You will remember that it is the Constitutional Court, in the case of the Speaker of the National Assembly v De Lille MP and Another, decided in 1999, which stressed that under the rule of law, everyone including parliamentarians enjoy the protection of our courts. It stated as follows:
The Constitution is the ultimate source of all lawful authority in our country. No Parliament, however bona fide or eminent its membership, no President, however formidable be his reputation or scholarship, and no official, however efficient or well meaning, can make any law or perform any act which is not sanctioned by the Constitution. Any citizen adversely affected by any decree, order, or action of any official or body, which is not properly authorised by the Constitution is entitled to the protection of the courts.
Whilst most of these amendments are straightforward, I wish to highlight two intriguing reforms contained in this Bill, which introduce what conveniently can be referred to as the judicial governance framework, that is section 165(6) of the Constitution.
Regarding the former amendments, it is during this term of this administration and under President Zuma that the government took bold and unwavering steps to establish a separate institution in the form of the Office of the Chief Justice as a separate entity from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. This was with a view to enabling the judiciary to regulate itself in the same way as the executive and this Parliament do, in keeping with the doctrine of the separation of powers.
These steps, which were implemented through the Presidential Proclamation of August 2010, are transitional in nature and a constitutional and legislative framework is necessary to establish a truly independent judicial administration. Therefore the proposed section 165(6) provides the required constitutional basis for the envisaged Judicial Council and court administration framework, which will be unpacked in greater detail in subsequent national legislation.
Turning to the second set of significant changes brought about by this Bill, it is important to remind this House and South Africans that it is the ANC-led government that postulated the idea of a single judiciary in terms of which the Constitutional Court should be affirmed as the highest court of the Republic. This is evident from section 166 of the Constitution which places this court at the apex of our judicial system.
The proposed amendment, therefore, introduces a sifting mechanism that will ensure that not all nonconstitutional matters progress to the Constitutional Court as the apex court, but that only those that must deservedly receive the attention of the Constitutional Court. This is with a view to maintaining a three-tier appeal system up to the Supreme Court of Appeal to the extent that it is possible, in view of the cost and time that are expended if appeals go through the hierarchy of our courts. It is in this context that the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal are our centres of excellence where our evolving jurisprudence is distilled under the premise of our Constitution, which is the supreme court in our land. With those few words, I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L T LANDERS: Mr Speaker, in July 2010, Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Justice Cachalia said, and I quote:
By far the most often cited problem in most jurisdictions arising from the executive model is that judicial leaders have no say in the control of the allocation of resources to the courts. So, judges find themselves in the unedifying and compromising position of having to lobby politicians and executive officials for funds for improvements and simple repairs to court buildings, for essential material for libraries or for information technology.
This statement by Judge Cachalia encapsulated what is wrong with our judiciary and is what the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill seeks to achieve, namely the institutional independence of the judiciary and the individual independence of judges, enabling them to exercise their judicial functions in accordance with the law, free from any form of harassment, interference or intimidation. It does this by, one, defining the rule of the Chief Justice as the Head of the Judiciary with responsibility over the judicial functions. It must be noticed that in practice the Chief Justice is already recognised as the Head of the Judiciary. Two, the Constitutional Court becomes the apex or highest court on all matters by conferring on it the jurisdiction and authority to consider not only all constitutional matters, but also any other matter in respect of which it may grant leave to appeal.
As part of its consideration of this Bill - which must be read as a package with the soon-to-be-debated Superior Courts Bill - the portfolio committee met with judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Mangaung and later with judges of the Constitutional Court on Constitutional Hill. Both these meetings were successful and were welcomed by all concerned.
In addition, as part of our engagement with civil-society organisations and the general public, the portfolio committee engaged with, amongst others, the Competition Commission, the Law Society of SA, the Judicial Officers Association of SA or Joasa, Business Unity SA, the Centre for Constitutional Rights, the Legal Resources Centre and Section 27, the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit, Adv Frans Reyneke and Cosatu.
In their submission to the committee, Joasa recommended that magistrates be referred to as judges of the lower courts and stressed the fact that there was considerable dissatisfaction amongst its members on the absence of legislation regulating magistrates’ conditions of service and benefits. Joasa believes that the distinction between judges and judicial officers has implications for magistrates’ benefits.
These were not matters provided for in this amending Bill, nor did the portfolio committee believe they should be, since the main object of this amending Bill relates to the rationalisation of the courts, amongst other things.
The Law Society of SA does not support the recognition of the Constitutional Court as the apex court. The Centre for Constitutional Rights shares this view, citing the increased workload and the fact that the current composition and modus operandi of the Constitutional Court was not conducive to an apex court. These views were shared by the Democratic Rights and Governance Unit that felt that turning the Constitutional Court into an apex court would be harmful to constitutional jurisprudence; that this step would cast doubt on the future of the Supreme Court of Appeal, which has built significant expertise within its field of jurisdiction and has made significant contributions to the development of South Africa’s jurisprudence. We cannot fault any of these sentiments. However, the de facto position is that the Constitutional Court already determines what it can or cannot consider.
There were organisations, though, which were in favour of creating an apex court. The Legal Resources Centre and Section 27 were one of these, and made the point that the distinction between Constitutional and nonconstitutional matters should be removed.
In its submission, the Competition Commission pointed to the fact that both the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court have jurisdiction in matters arising from the Labour Appeal Court and the Competition Appeal Court. What this means, according to the Competition Commission, is that there is one layer of appeals too many, which results in exorbitant costs to litigants and an inordinate amount of time spent resolving such appeals.
In Labour Appeal Court matters this adversely affects the rights of workers who may have been unfairly dismissed and wish their matter to be resolved as quickly as possible. In Competition Appeal Court matters, such delays, we are informed, could adversely affect the economy and foreign direct investment.
The solution proposed by the Competition Commission was the elimination of the Supreme Court of Appeal from the system and for litigants and affected parties to be allowed to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court. After much debate, including the hearing of views of Judge Dennis Davis and the opposing views of the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the portfolio committee chose to accept the Competition Commission’s approach and agreed to the elimination of the Supreme Court of Appeal from the system. This means that in terms of the amendment to section 168 of the Constitution, appeals emanating from the Competition Appeal Court and the Labour Appeal Court will now go directly to the Constitutional Court.
This was not an easy decision for the portfolio committee to reach, because there were strongly held views that this effectively eroded the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Appeal. I want to refer to the committee’s report on this Bill, and quote from item 3:
The Bill recognises the Constitutional Court’s jurisdiction to hear not only constitutional matters, but also matters that raise arguable points of law of general public importance. The increased jurisdiction confirms that the Constitutional Court is the highest court in the land.
Our report goes further to say:
The committee is concerned that there may be instances where courts are established in legislation that is not introduced by the Minister responsible for justice. In the committee’s view, this is wholly undesirable as it undermines the development of a coherent judicial system. The committee believes that a further constitutional amendment is necessary whereby only the Minister of Justice can introduce legislation establishing courts in the same way that only the Minister of Finance may introduce Money Bills.
A committee Bill providing for this Constitutional Amendment Bill is in the process of being tabled. We commend this amending Bill for this House’s approval. I want to take this opportunity at this point, on behalf of the portfolio committee, to thank everyone who contributed to the finalisation of this amending Bill. We want to express our special gratitude to Adv Johan de Lange for his patience and role in helping to draft this amending Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M SMUTS: Mr Speaker, I can think of no one better placed than the judges of the Constitutional Court to describe the overall effect of the amendments tabled in the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill.
They welcomed the overall effect of the amendments to the portfolio committee on a visit to that court in March, because, one, the amendments affirm the Chief Justice’s role as the head of the judicial authority, thereby removing the spectre of ministerial oversight which the preceding draft created.
Two, the amendments clarify the position of the Constitutional Court as the apex court in all matters. Three, they make appropriate amendments to the position of other courts. I will deal with the Bill under those three effects, or headings.
The Chief Justice becomes the head of the judicial branch and exercises responsibility over the norms and standards for the judicial functions of all courts. It is those very judicial functions which a previous Ministry tried to bring under executive oversight in the then Constitution Fourteenth Amendment Bill, which President Mbeki withdrew as a result of a storm of judicial protest. This Bill not only places the judicial functions explicitly in the hands of the judges, it, moreover - when read with the Superior Courts Bill which we will debate on Thursday - begins the process of creating an institutionally independent judicial branch, as proposed by former Chief Justice Ngcobo. All persons who are committed to the separation of the powers will support it.
The Constitutional Court becomes in law what it is already seen to be by South Africans who take pride in their Constitution and in the court that acts as its guardian, the apex court. It is settled law that the Chief Justice sits there - at that court, and it is a matter of historical logic that it now becomes the highest court of the Republic and not just the highest court in constitutional matters.
This brings me to the clause that has been the most difficult to resolve, which is the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, and that is section 167(3) of the Constitution. To date, the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court was nominally limited to constitutional matters. But the Constitution is the supreme law. All law is subject to the Constitution. To have a supreme law and jurisdiction based on a distinction between the supreme law and other law is artificial; it was not going to last. It did not last. The Bill, as tabled, therefore gave the court jurisdiction in constitutional matters and other matters, with the interests of justice set as the test for giving leave to appeal in other matters.
Now, the Constitutional Court – and, that is, the whole court - does not believe that a distinction should be made between constitutional matters and other matters, but that the Bill should make it quite plain that it is the highest court in all matters. We have likewise argued that there should not be a bifurcation between constitutional matters and other matters, but we believed that a narrower test than “the interests of justice” was appropriate, namely arguable points of law of significant or general public importance. That is the test or filter found in almost all apex appeal courts in common law systems.
The jurisdiction to which the ANC and the DA have agreed remains bifurcated, but the general public importance test for matters other than constitutional matters now takes the place of the interests of justice. That is satisfactory because it allows the Constitutional Court to decide any constitutional matter, whether of public importance or not; in other words, also where a matter is important to the parties if not to the public. The general public importance test for other matters, meanwhile, will take us closer to the proper function of a common law system apex appeal court.
Now, let me address the position of the other courts, above all the Supreme Court of Appeal that may in theory be affected, but inasmuch as the Constitutional Court has already been taking cases beyond the artificial boundary of constitutional matters, perhaps the difference will not be very great at all.
May I say that again, because there are many hon members in the opposition who are not satisfied with the compromise that has been reached. The Constitutional Court has already been taking cases beyond the artificial boundary of constitutional matters, and, in fact, they have been working on the interests of justice test. What is done here is a narrower test. I don’t think the difference is going to be very great at all. Like many people, I don’t think there is going to be a change.
I do not believe that the fact, moreover, that we now exclude competition and labour matters to the extent that an Act of Parliament determines will make any difference to the Supreme Court of Appeal at all, given the small number of such cases emanating from the competition hierarchy that it has taken, the tiny proportion of Labour Appeal Court cases, and the fact that the Supreme Court of Appeal will still be hearing appeals in both fields from High Court rulings. And, may I mention that esteemed Supreme Court of Appeal Judge, Judge Nugent, said during their visit to us last week, “I don’t want competition in labour matter. Take them away.” So, there is more than one of you there.
The Supreme Court of Appeal remains the general appellate court, and to ensure this the justice committee is moving a further constitutional amendment, of which you have heard this afternoon, to limit the creation of courts to the Justice Ministry, and by extension to the Justice portfolio committee.
We take the utmost pride in the Supreme Court of Appeal, which has long since overcome the perceived legitimacy problems of the past. It was impossible to clothe it in 1994 with the power to strike down the laws and conduct of a democratically constituted government and legislature. But when that Court now exercises the power of judicial review, it speaks with unquestioned legitimacy and with the very great intellectual authority it has built up over the years. If the Constitutional Court is the heartbeat of our law, the SCA is its head.
The idea that constitutional matters were somehow separate, as in the civil law systems on which the Constitutional Court was based in 1993, has long been abandoned. The Supreme Court of Appeal acquired its constitutional powers after the final Constitution was adopted. It is a matter of South African transitional history that we have two appeal courts.
Our tentative re-exploration of the idea that the two should become two chambers of one court found no ready answer. That question will have to evolve. What is crystal clear, however, is that we need both courts. The DA supports the Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms L H ADAMS: Hon Speaker and Members of Parliament, on 14 February 1995 at the opening of the Constitutional Court, former President Mandela said as follows:
The Constitutional Court is not just a building that we inaugurate, handsome though it is. It is not a body of wise men and women that we launch on their path, important though we regard their work. It is not just our blessings that we give to their work, confident as we are in their integrity and commitment to justice. It is an institution that we establish - South Africa’s first Constitutional Court.
Today, 17 years after this statement was made, this House will be asked to, amongst other things, change the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal. Cope cannot support the passing of this Bill, since we are of the view that there is nothing wrong with the current jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court as well as the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Appeal. The Bill, in its current form, is an unnecessary deviation from our history in this country. The question should be asked: If it is not broken, why fix it?
The problem in our justice system has nothing to do with the jurisdiction of these two courts, but it has everything to do with bad administration, ill-discipline of prosecutors, a serious lack of resources, creative lawyers, and the bad appointments of judges from the Judicial Service Commission. Just yesterday, it was reported that yet another prosecutor appeared in court for accepting a bribe to destroy a court docket. We also know of jobs in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development that were sold and that money exchanged hands.
Former President Mandela confidently stated that:
The success of the Constitutional Court will depend in large measure on the successful functioning of the ordinary courts. Every court, from the most isolated magistrate’s court to the Appeal Court in Bloemfontein, has a role to play. The letter and the spirit of the Constitution must permeate every aspect of justice in our country.
A particularly heavy responsibility rests on the Appellate Division to ensure that legislation is interpreted, and that the common law and custom are developed, in the light of the principles enunciated in the Constitution.
It can thus not follow that the change in the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal will guarantee the successful functioning of the courts. In fact, what this Parliament should hasten to address is the weaknesses in all the lower courts before we think of fixing what is not broken. We must urgently account to victims of crime why there are lengthy delays in court cases, why some cases never appear on the court roll and why certain Ministers, on not less than two occasions, indicated that they would consult with the National Prosecuting Authority to withdraw cases from court. Former President Mandela went further to say that, “South Africans did not establish this court to be another rubber stamp.”
Indeed, with the extension of the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, as proposed in this Bill, our Constitutional Court will become the new rubber stamp court. It is true that the judges of the Constitutional Court supported this Bill, but it is also true that over the years Constitutional Court judges became creative in determining what is a constitutional matter and what is not. The creativity has reached a level at which there is now confusion amongst certain legal circles as to what is a constitutional matter and what is not. Through this creativity, the Constitutional Court judges extended its jurisdiction case by case, but this creativeness does not mean that the Constitution must be changed. It simply means that we must evaluate the process that the Judicial Service Commission uses to appoint these judges.
I conclude with the words of former President Mandela when he said, “In the end you have only the Constitution and your conscience on which you can rely.” Cope would not support this Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: Mr Speaker, our opposition to this Bill is neither polemic nor antagonistic; it is principled. The hon Smuts pointed out how we are moving away from the compromises and visions reached at the World Trade Centre. She remarked that we are moving more towards the background of common-law countries and moving away from that of civil-law systems on which our Constitutional Court was grounded. That, by itself, highlights the difficulty we have with the fundamental mistake made within the thinking underpinning the shift of jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court from a court of special jurisdiction to a court of potentially general jurisdiction.
The reason the Constitutional Court was chosen on the basis it was, was not in emulation of civil-law systems, but derives from the fact that we have adopted a long Constitution with second- and third-generation human rights, as in many civil-law systems. That requires a type of constitutional adjudication, which is fundamentally different from what takes place in an ordinary court of law where the legal syllogism supports the activity of a court and is limited to the fact of comparing a norm, comparing a provision of law, to a set of facts. Within the parameters of constitutional adjudication under a long constitution, what is required is something more. It is the political wisdom, the policy capability to go beyond the provisions of laws, to look at what happens in society, to determine at what point in time society is ready for any given measure of implementation of second- and third-generation human rights, as happened in respect of the Treatment Action Campaign case in which the Constitutional Court had to determine whether there was sufficient capability for government to roll out the nevirapine treatment, and as will happen when the Constitutional Court is called upon to determine when the time is ripe for the people to enjoy the right to shelter and then the right to education.
In this context, the proposed expansion of the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court radically changes the nature of the activity and purposes of the court. We cannot possibly support that; neither can we support the fact that we have another layer of jurisdiction before we reach a final sentence. Even though that layer is potential rather than actual and is subject to what effectively will become a certiorari mechanism, as in the United States, it will nonetheless constitute a possibility for each and every lawyer to try to use when seeking not to finalise a decision of a court.
The test used on an arguable point of law is as wide, as any point of law can be properly argued if sufficient money is put behind it in hiring lawyers capable of doing so. For this reason, the IFP will not be in the position to support the Bill and is duty-bound and principle-bound to oppose this Bill.
Ms M C C PILANE–MAJAKE: Hon Speaker, hon Deputy President of Republic of South Africa Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe, hon members of the House, our constitutional democracy is based on constitutional supremacy and the rule of law, which require that state institutions act according to the law. Chief among the principles of our democracy are the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. The South African Constitution contains a general provision that the judicial authority is independent, impartial and subject only to the Constitution and the law.
The Bill clarifies the role of the Chief Justice by providing that he or she is the head of the judiciary and exercises responsibility over the establishment and monitoring of norms and standards for the exercise of judicial functions. The committee is of the view that the Bill will greatly assist the effectiveness and efficiency of the judicial system. The committee understands that the Chief Justice has already actively begun to co-ordinate the role-players in addressing case-flow management and welcomes this.
The Bill provides that the Constitutional Court is the highest or apex court in all matters; regulates the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal accordingly; provides for the appointment of an acting Deputy Chief Justice if there is a vacancy in that office; and provides that the Supreme Court of Appeal may decide appeals in any matter arising from the High Court of South Africa or a court of a status similar to the High Court of South Africa, except where an Act of Parliament provides otherwise.
The Bill reduces the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Appeal, inter alia, in deciding appeals in any matter from the High Court of South Africa except in respect of labour or competition matters to such extent as may be determined by an Act of Parliament. This amendment flows from the fact that the Bill posits the Constitutional Court as the last avenue of appeal on any matter, thus making it the apex court of South Africa. Therefore, it does not become necessary that a matter heard by either the Labour Appeal Court or the Competition Appeal Court be heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal before being heard by the Constitutional Court. What a milestone in terms of the reduction of litigation costs for South Africans!
The Bill further promotes democracy in South Africa. Cope says that this is an unnecessary deviation, but we disagree that it is an unnecessary deviation. I am not sure what the relevance of jobs that are being sold is in terms of this 17th amending Bill, as alluded to by Cope.
The changes envisaged in respect of the role of the Chief Justice as the head of the judiciary and the establishment of a single High Court of South Africa, as opposed to the existing various courts, would lay the constitutional basis for the provisions of the Superior Courts Bill of 2011, that are aimed at giving effect to those changes. Therefore, this will be in line with the amendment of clauses 2, 5, 7 and 8, sections 166, 169, 172 and 173 of the Constitution so as to convert the various High Courts into a single High Court of South Africa, comprising divisions, seats and jurisdiction as determined in terms of an Act of Parliament. This is different from the current situation in which a judgement that is precedent-setting in one province will not affect other provinces, thus South Africans not experiencing the law in the same way.
The amendment of section 175 of the Constitution provides that the President may appoint an acting Deputy Chief Justice from the ranks of the judges of the Constitutional Court if there is a vacancy in that office. As in the case of the appointment of acting judges of the Constitutional Court, such appointment must be made on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development acting in concurrence with the Chief Justice. The amendment will ensure that a person is in office to perform the functions of the Chief Justice should both the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice be absent or their offices vacant.
The committee understands that the process of capacitating the Office of the Chief Justice, which was proclaimed as a government department in September 2011, is well under way. The committee, once again, welcomes these developments and understands that this is the only way to establish the Office of the Chief Justice in the short term.
Furthermore, the Bill regulates the composition and functions of the Judicial Service Commission by allowing for national legislation to extend the role of the commission to matters pertaining to judicial officers of the lower courts. Section 178 of the Constitution is amended in order to allow for national legislation to make provision for the Judicial Service Commission to be involved in the appointment, promotion and transfer of judicial officers of the lower courts; and for the establishment of a committee and subcommittees comprising members designated by the commission and other co-opted members in order to facilitate that involvement. For this purpose, the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the committee in question will also be members of the Judicial Service Commission.
All of the provisions, in fact, can be articulated as political wisdom in contrast to the hon Ambrosini’s idea that there is no political wisdom in this Bill and its provisions.
The committee has had extensive public hearings regarding the draft legislation and received substantial inputs from a wide range of interested parties that have supported the provisions of the Bill. The ANC supports the Bill. I thank you, hon Speaker. [Applause.]
Mr S N SWART: Speaker, Deputy President, the ACDP expressed strong reservations about the amendments to sections 167 and 168, which increase the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court and reduce that of the Supreme Court of Appeal. We, like others, including members of the ANC, initially shared the view of retired Supreme Court of Appeal judge, Justice Farlam, that, if it aint broke, what are we trying to fix?
The test in the introduced Bill of “matters of interests of justice” was clearly too wide. We appreciate, however, that a large degree of artificiality exists and that the Constitutional Court already hears any matter that it desires as it is very easy to find a constitutional angle to such cases. The test has now been narrowed to allow the Constitutional Court to hear those matters that raise arguable points of law of general public importance. Well done, hon Dene Smuts. That was your suggestion. This was also the test suggested by the Supreme Court of Appeal as far back as 2009, and is supported by the ACDP. The test will require an appellant to carefully formulate this point of law and will, unlike the “interests of justice” test, prevent an avalanche of appeals to the Constitutional Court.
The amendment does, however, have far-reaching implications for the Supreme Court of Appeal, which until now, was the highest appeal court in nonconstitutional matters. This will no longer be the case. The amendments further erode the Supreme Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction by excluding certain appeals from specialist Competition and Labour Appeal Courts. This was of great concern to me. I was concerned that we would be losing valuable expertise, insight and judicial wisdom, which five Supreme Court judges brought in hearing these further appeals. However, after deep reflection, I have to concede that the arguments against such further appeals to the Supreme Court of Appeal are compelling, this, particularly as we understand that it was the intention when those pieces of legislation were drafted.
Our nation is faced with decreasing foreign direct investment – a decrease of 43% - and everything possible must be done to facilitate a business-friendly environment. Litigation surrounding mergers and acquisitions must be dealt with speedily to ensure investor confidence in our country. Foreign and domestic investments are crucial for economic growth to address widespread unemployment and poverty.
Our further major concern was that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Appeal could then be gradually eroded by other courts, such as water courts and income tax courts, also requesting to bypass the Supreme Court of Appeal. This could then result in the Supreme Court of Appeal becoming an empty shell. As a direct result of these concerns, the Bill has been further amended to state that only competition and labour matters are immunised from appeals to the Supreme Court of Appeal. Thus, whilst we initially expressed severe reservations about the impact of these amendments on the Supreme Court of Appeal, we are persuaded that, on balance, the positive aspects outweigh the negatives. Therefore, the ACDP will support this Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J H JEFFERY: Hon Speaker, as we come to the end of the debate, I just want to make a few points. The first point, a point the hon Minister raised in his speech, is that there was a lot of trauma in the newspapers about a year ago regarding the ANC “tampering with the Constitution” - dealing with the powers of the Constitutional Court. Here we have the Seventeenth Amendment Bill, which has been in this Parliament for nearly two years, and which does deal with Chapter 8 of the Constitution – that is, courts and the administration of justice.
As you have heard from the Minister and many of the speakers, it enhances the independence of the judiciary and increases the powers of the Constitutional Court. So, I would hope that when there is another sort of bogey that is thrown up, that everybody will take the chance to actually investigate what the issues are, rather than talking about things that they are afraid of and that they fear there may be.
Over the time the Bill has been in Parliament and before the committee, the committee has deliberated a lot about it. I think you heard a lot of the points and concerns that have been raised. We only finalised the issue of the jurisdiction and the issue of the Competition and the Labour Appeal Courts very close to the end. Maybe one additional point to make on the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court is that we have kept constitutional matters as a category. In doing so, we followed the Kenyan example, which has a very recent constitution. Then we provided this general category.
As far as the Labour Appeal and Competition Appeal Courts are concerned, we have specifically referred to labour and competition matters rather than as it was before, which was that any Act of Parliament could determine that a matter did not have to go to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
I am surprised by some of the speeches. We heard from Dr Ambrosini in that the IFP was “duty-bound” and “principle-bound” to oppose this Bill. Unfortunately, they didn’t feel principle-bound and duty-bound enough to attend the meetings of the committee, and we never saw them. [Applause.]
So, I was in fact sitting in my seat wondering how the IFP was going to vote on the Bill, because we never heard you. You never came. You never participated. You never made use of your opportunities. That, Chair, is a fact. [Interjections.] No, I won’t take a question. [Interjections.]
Dr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: Mr Speaker, would the ...
Mr J H JEFFERY: I said I wouldn’t take a question.
The SPEAKER: He won’t take a question, hon member.
Mr J H JEFFERY: That is as far as the IFP is concerned. We were also a little surprised by Cope. Ms Adams from Cope did participate in the deliberations to a large extent - not every meeting - but we, the committee, weren’t aware that Cope was opposing the Bill until we came to vote on it last Thursday evening. It’s a pity, again, that those concerns were not raised. I am not sure how many of those concerns come from Ms Adams herself and how many of those concerns come from her party, because, quite frankly, I cannot understand them. What Ms Adams spoke about at this very podium is that, and I quote: “Extending the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court will turn it into a rubber stamp.” Now, I might be suffering from a bit of a cold and have a bit of a fuzzy head at the moment, but I cannot understand how extending the Constitutional Court’s jurisdiction will turn it into a rubber stamp. That is bizarre. Anyway, good luck to Ms Adams and to Cope, but I think this, unfortunately, shows the relevance of Cope and its confusion around this and other matters. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Order!
Mr J H JEFFERY: I would like to say to all members of the House in closing, as many members have said, that this Bill has been around for a long time. It has been debated extensively. The Bill started its life, I think, way back in 2003. It was introduced before, and was withdrawn. The debate has really reached the point at which everybody has found each other. This Bill is generally supported by most people in the justice system, by most constitutional lawyers and by most people concerned about the Constitution. It seems to be only the lunatic-fringe factor, as witnessed by the hon Ambrosini and Cope, who don’t support it. The ANC supports this Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Speaker, I just want to appeal to Cope and the IFP to support this Bill that has been developed by the Congress of the People of South Africa, not the Cope that is in the House. Thank you. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.
The House divided:
Ayes - 276: Abram, S; Adams, P E; Ainslie, A R; Baloyi, M R; Bapela, K O; Bhengu, F; Bhengu, N R; Bhengu, P; Bikani, F C; Boinamo, G G; Bonhomme, T; Booi, M S; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Bosman, L L; Bothman, S G; Burgess, C V; Carrim, Y l; Chabane, O C; Chiloane, T D; Chohan, F I; Coleman, E M; Cronin, J P; Dambuza, B N; Daniels, P N; Davies, R H; De Freitas, M S F; De Lange, J H; Diale, L N; Dikgacwi, M M; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlakude, D E; Dlamini, B O; Dlamini-Zuma, N C; Dlulane, B N; Dreyer, A M; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Duma, N M; Dunjwa, M L; Ebrahim, E I; Eloff, E H; Esau, S; Farrow, S B; Fransman, M L; Frolick, C T; Fubbs, J L; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gaum, A H; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; George, D T; Gigaba, K M N; Gina, N; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Goqwana, M B; Greyling, L W; Gumede, D M; Hajaig, F; Harris, T D; Hill-Lewis, G G; Holomisa, S P; Huang, S - B; James, W G; Jeffery, J H; Joemat-Pettersson, T M; Johnson, M; Kalyan, S V; Kekane, C D; Kenye, T E; Khoarai, L P; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Khunou, N P; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Banard, D; Koornhof, G W; Kopane, S P; Krumbock, G R; Kubayi, M T; Lamoela, H; Landers, L T; Lee, T D; Lekgetho, G; Lesoma, R M M; Line, H; Lishivha, T E; Lorimer, J R B; Lotriet, A; Lovemore, A T; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; Mabedla, N R; Mabudafhasi, T R; Mabuza, M C; Madikizela-Mandela, W; Madlala, N M; Madlopha, C Q; Mafolo, M V; Magagula, V V; Magama, H T; Magubane, E; Magwanishe, G; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Malale, M l; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Manuel, T A; Mapisa-Nqakula, N N; Marais, E J; Marais, S J F; Maserumule, F T; Mashatile, P; Mashigo, R M; Mashishi, A C; Masilo, J M; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, P M; Mathebe, D H; Mathibela, N F; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Max, L H; Mayatula, S M; Maynier, D H; Maziya, M; Mdaka, M N; Mdakane, M R; Mfulo, A; Mfundisi, I S; Mgabadeli, H C; Michael, N W A; Mjobo, L N; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mlambo, E M; Mlangeni, A; Mnisi, N A; Mnqasela, M; Moepeng, J K; Mohale, M C; Mohorosi, M; Mokgalapa, S; Mokoena, A D; Molebatsi, M A; Moloto, K A; Moni, C M; Morutoa, M R; Moss, L N; Motau, S C; Motimele, M S; Motlanthe, K P; Motsepe, R M; Motshekga, M A; Mthethwa, E N; Mthethwa, E M; Mtshali, E; Mubu, K S; Mufamadi, T A; Mushwana, F F; Muthambi, A F; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndabeni, S T; Ndebele, J S; Nel, A C; Nelson, W J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Ngubeni-Maluleka, J P; Ngwenya, W; Ngwenya-Mabila, P C; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Nonkonyana, M; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntuli, Z C; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D; Nxumalo, M D; Nyalungu, R E; Nyanda, S; Nyekemba, E; Nzimande, B E; Oliphant, G G; Ollis, I M; Oosthuizen, G C; Paulse, S; Peters, E D; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaliso, M N; Pilane-Majake, M C C; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Rabie, P J; Radebe, B A; Radebe, G S; Radebe, J T; Ramatlhodi, N A; Ramodibe, D M; Ross, D C; Schmidt, H C; Schneemann, G D; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; September, C C; Sexwale, T M G; Shabangu, S; Shinn, M R; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibiya, D; Sindane, G S; Sisulu, L N; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Smalle, J F; Smith, V G; Smuts, M; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Steenhuisen, J H; Steyn, A C; Steyn, A; Stubbe, D J; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Surty, M E; Swart, S N; Swart, M; Swathe, M M; Terblanche, J F; Thobejane, S G; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tobias, T V; Trollip, R A P; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala, J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Turok, B; Twala, N M; Van Dalen, P; Van Den Berg, N J; Van Der Linde, J J; Van der Merwe, S C; Van Dyk, S M; van Rooyen, D D; Van Schalkwyk, M C J; van Wyk, A; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Xasa, T; Ximbi, D L; Xingwana, L M; Yengeni, L E; Zulu, B Z.
Noes - 25: Adams, L H; Alberts, A D; Bhanga, B M; Diemu, B C; Ferguson, B D; Gcume, N P; George, M E; Hlengwa, M; Kganare, D A; Kilian, J D; Koornhof, N J J v R; Kotsi, C M P; Mackenzie, G P D; McIntosh, G B D; Mnguni, P B; Mpontshane, A M; Msimang, C T; Ndlovu, V B; Ngonyama, L S; Njobe, M A A; Ntshiqela, P; Oriani-Ambrosini, M G; Sithole, K P; Van Der Merwe, L L; Zikalala, C N Z.
Abstain - 1: Chili, D O.
Question accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 74(3) of the Constitution.
Bill accordingly read a second time.
BIRTHDAY WISHES TO HON ERIC MTSHALI
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Before we move on to the next item on the Order Paper, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate a Member of the House, the hon Eric Mtshali, who turned 80 years old today – it is his 80th birthday. Hon Eric Mtshali, would you stand up so that the members will know who to send the birthday presents to. [Applause.] Happy birthday, hon member! [Applause.] Members, you now know where to send the birthday presents.
STANDING OVER OF ORDERS THREE AND FOUR
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! As hon members will be aware, Orders Three and Four will stand over.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE ON MEDIUM-TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT, 2012
There was no debate.
The ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I move -
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS ON
MEDIUM-TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT, 2012
There was no debate.
The ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I move -
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS ON
ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL
There was no debate.
The Acting Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved:
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
DEBATE ON MEDIUM-TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT, 2012
FIRST READING DEBATE – ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL
Mr T A MUFAMADI: Hon Speaker, Hon Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers present here, hon members, as we introduce the debate on the proposed budget framework for 2013, we do so consciously aware that the global economic environment remains uncertain, with most countries facing a common threat of challenges with specific grievances that differ and vary from country to country.
Most emerging economies today suffer from a common economic deficit and the confluence of external or exogenous factors and internal or domestic economic challenges that are characterised by slow growth, unemployment, poverty and inequality between the rich and the poor.
It is this growing social distance that undermines global social cohesion and that undermines the ability of nations to attain social cohesion and overcome economic barriers.
Communities need to be assisted to overcome social and economic barriers in order to achieve this social cohesion that we talk about. Labour needs skills to function in a global economic environment, but it also needs leadership to champion and protect their interests on the factory floor. Governments, the world over, need policies to combat the triple challenge of an economic system that continues to produce youth unemployment, poverty and inequality.
While we understand the extent that the external challenges impose on many developing nations, resulting in the failure of developed economies particularly in the USA and Europe, the challenges are underpinned by our unique circumstances, in our case the confluence of both exogenous and endogenous factors.
The recently released 2011 Census results aptly depict or capture the challenges we have to grapple with and respond to in this Medium-Term Budget Policy Framework. The Census results tell us a story - a journey we have traversed and travelled as a people to advance the nation for it to have a just, fair and equitable economic system in order to create a nonracial, democratic and prosperous society.
Census 2011, again, tells us a story of an economic system that is less efficient in the redistribution of wealth, an economic system that has failed the majority of our people ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): Hon Mufamadi, would you take a seat for a moment please. Members, there is much too much noise in the House. One can’t even hear what the speaker is saying. Could you please tone it down on both sides of the House? Thank you.
Mr T A MUFAMADI: Chairperson, it took me half a night to prepare this speech for these hon members. So, I agree with you that I need to have their ears.
Census 2011 also tells us a story of an economic system that is less efficient in the redistribution of wealth; an economic system that has failed the majority of our people, blacks in general and Africans in particular; most dangerously, an economic system that increasingly gives fewer job prospects to young people.
Therefore, the Census results implore us to imagine new economic solutions for a better future. They also oblige all of us to realise the importance of sustainable economic growth over a longer period for wealth creation, and, most importantly, which will then ensure job creation as a fundamental base for wealth distribution.
It is highly critical that the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement deliberations take full cognisance of the challenges and successes we have had in the past two decades, as revealed by the 2011 Census results. The Census results are not just about population growth. They also reveal startling information on how far we have come in creating a society that has become so highly unequal. Equally, the results tell us a story of resounding successes, particularly in education and health. They tell us of an economic system that has entrenched income inequalities or disparities between black and white - a story of “We have never had it so good like this before.” Indeed, it is a story for others that says:
Dit is lekker my kind, ja dit is lekker vir julle mense. Dit is hoekom julle ons maar kan vloek. Dit is hoekom die lede van die opposisie party, veral mev Helen Zille, sonder ’n uitnodiging by die President van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika se private woning kan gaan toyi-toyi, en niks gebeur nie. Dit is lekker vir julle mense, dit is lekker! [Tussenwerpsels.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[It is nice, my child, yes it is nice for you people. That is why you may curse us. That is why the members of the opposition party, especially Mrs Helen Zille, can toyi-toyi without an invitation at the private home of the President of the Republic of South Africa, and nothing happens. It is nice for you people, it is nice! [Interjections.]]
Yes, it has been so nice for you. It has been so nice for you.
In our comfort and discomfort, the key question confronting us is what the price will be to reverse the inequalities in our society and its unintended consequences.
History has taught us that there are moments in life when people rise to remind their leaders that something is not right, that something has gone wrong and that change is needed. Change in the world economic system is needed, for it has failed the majority of the world’s citizens. It has eroded the very fabric of the universal fairness of equality and the redistribution of wealth. Every citizen has the right to participate in the economic system and earn a living.
Today we are called upon to conclude the cycle which we began in February when the Minister of Finance tabled the 2012-13 Budget. Fiscal policy guides government’s decisions about revenue, spending and borrowing. South Africa’s fiscal policy enables government to deliver on its developmental mandate by providing resources in a manner that is sustainable and that reinforces the stability of our economy.
As we all know, the budget is a function of economic growth that underpins sustainable developmental goals of governments. Therefore, this Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement has based its proposals on the assumption of how the economy might perform globally and locally.
Let me use this opportunity to remind ourselves where we started. We said in the fiscal framework and revenue proposals debate on 6 March 2012, that the budget is about growth, job creation, infrastructure investment, education, health care, and better service delivery.
In that debate we outlined that growth is not just about the pursuit of faster growth in development, but about the creation of a more equitable future, through investing in the economic and social infrastructure.
As a committee we have had the opportunity during the public hearings to listen to and engage on the proposed revised fiscal framework for 2012-13 as well as for the next three financial years’ Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period, and on the assumptions underpinning the fiscal framework within the context of the global and domestic economy with various stakeholders, such as Business Unity SA, the Financial and Fiscal Commission, and many others.
The domestic economic outlook reflects that growth for this year has been revised downwards from the budget forecast of 2,7% to 2,5%. In addition, our budget deficit has been revised upwards to 4,8% of GDP, largely due to lower tax revenues. This, in itself, is not particularly high, given the developmental challenges we face. The real growth in expenditure averages at 2,9% over the MTEF period.
The counterbalance is that public-sector infrastructure investment and the activation of new electricity-generating capacity are likely to see medium-term growth. The obstacles to faster and more inclusive economic growth are primarily to be found in the structure of our economy. These are the challenges in the labour market, the real costs of energy, delivery inefficiencies, skills mismatching, the demands of industrialisation, and the need for a larger and greater emphasis on beneficiation as opposed to export extraction.
The revised fiscal framework is contextualised by cushioning the domestic economy from the global crisis as a key objective. Fiscal discipline is encouraged, and growth in real noninterest expenditure will average at 2,9% a year over the next three years, as I have already said.
This approach is brought about by declining revenue generation ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): Hon member, your time has expired.
Mr T A MUFAMADI: Hon Chairperson, the ANC supports the 2012 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr T D HARRIS: House Chairperson, the DA welcomes the “spending freeze” in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. This means that for the first time since 1998 government will not increase overall spending in October. This is the main reason why we support the statement.
The Minister gets sensitive when I refer to “fiscal gymnastics”, but I have to point out again that this reduction depends not only on savings, but also on the R3,5-billion in underspending by departments and the full use of the contingency reserve of R5,7 billion. Nevertheless, however one gets to it, reduced spending was urgently required because our expanded budget deficit is now 4,8% of GDP, much higher than the emerging market average of 1,9%.
The deficit has been pushed higher by a reduction in tax revenue, plus an additional R5,5 billion required to settle the public sector wage bill. This is because that settlement breached the 5% cap imposed by the Finance Minister in February. Therefore, we note that the statement claims that “Government will take a more deliberate approach to managing overall employment and curtail growth in personnel numbers.” We look forward to more detail on how this will happen.
Deficits drive government debt, and our debt has tripled in the past five years. Alarmingly, it continues to increase in this Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement right up to 43% of GDP at the end of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period. As far as we project in this budget, our debt will be increasing.
The Minister enjoys comparing South Africa’s debt to that of the European economies that are currently in fiscal crisis, but the more accurate comparison should be between us and other emerging markets whose debt now averages at only 35%. Clearly, we are out of step there too.
But we are also out of step in terms of economic growth. Our growth in 2012 will be 2,5% according to Treasury’s forecast. On average, emerging markets will all manage twice, thus 5,3%. This rising debt and slow growth show that the Minister had very little choice but to embark on budget tightening.
These factors also highlight the damage that the adoption of populist policies at Mangaung could cause for our economy. The damage is just as likely to be caused if sensible policies continue to be blocked by the Congress of South African Trade Unions, Cosatu, on ideological grounds, or by the capacity of the ANC government to implement them.
For example, there is still no sign of the implementation of the youth wage subsidy announced by Treasury two and half years ago. Even though they acknowledge that one million people have given up looking for work in the past three years, the National Treasury seems to have run out of ideas on how to create jobs. In the statement the focus is mainly on the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, the CCMA, and on the Expanded Public Works Programme.
But there is one small silver lining in the cloud of ideological deadlock in this government, and this is the commitment to the National Development Plan in this statement. Minister Manuel will be pleased to note that the plan is mentioned 14 times in the statement, with a general commitment to implementing its programmes and policies. We think that this is a serious snub for the Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, and his New Growth Path, which is mentioned only twice and only in passing.
In the statement Treasury has chosen sides. This is something that we welcome. But, unfortunately, while the statement shows that Treasury is in charge of finances, it may not be in charge of economic policy. Active labour-market policies like the youth wage subsidy, reducing the cost of regulatory compliance, and removing trade barriers are in the statement. But unless Treasury sees them implemented, then 2012 will remain another year when they kept a firm hand on the finances, but were unable to turn their policy proposals into action. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N J J KOORNHOF: House Chair, it has not been an easy three years for the hon Minister of Finance since he delivered his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement for the first time in 2009. We were at that time officially in a recession. He was passed the ball with the assistance of the President by the former Minister of Finance at a very difficult time. Matthew Lester said: “He has received a hospital pass.” In rugby terms that is when you refer to passing of the ball, usually from the flyhalf to the inside centre, when the flyhalf tries to avoids a tackle but sets up the guy he is passing to be tackled with the ball.
From 2006 until 2009, we have seen alarming growth in the state wage bill, now consuming 40% of our national budget. This is something the hon Minister inherited from his predecessor to deal with now in recent budgets. Owing to tight fiscal policy by his predecessor, enough space was created to deal with the recession, but he was left with a huge backlog in infrastructure development for Eskom.
The Reserve Bank faces a difficult time regarding the balance of payments and to convince international investors that South Africa is the place to be. So, was it a hospital pass? If it was, the whole team suffers when your midfield attacker is hard-tackled with the ball. It is all about regrouping: trying to secure the ball and planning your next move, but it becomes a team effort, and playing conditions beyond your control start to affect your game plan.
Outside conditions like those in Europe come into play. The chief economists of the Bank of Austria and of the Bank of Singapore think Europe will be better off towards the end of 2013 if it can survive the current political crisis. Last week we saw for the first time combined strikes against austerity across Europe. France was yesterday stripped by Moody’s of its coveted AAA credit rating.
Sir Mervyn King of England warned that Europe must get used to no growth or very slow growth. Greece’s GDP is now 17% lower than in 2008. Youth unemployment is at 53% in Greece and Spain, and at 34% in Italy. In Greece, you bring your own food and sheets when you go to a state hospital. In Greece, wages have gone down by 11% and so too in Portugal and Ireland. Austerity is not well received in Europe, and doom and gloom remain part of daily reporting.
With President Barack Obama determined to deal with and avoid the fiscal cliff, all eyes are on China - how China will do under new leadership. South Africa cannot ignore all these factors. We are not the new Greece; we are not railing helplessly against austerity measures because of reckless overspending; we are not marching towards a fiscal cliff. But we cannot avoid what is happening elsewhere. It is time to be conservative, and time for all of us to take joint responsibility.
We are not in a debt trap, but ratings agencies have felt that our key economic and political indicators are now pointing in the wrong direction. We should deal with that; all of us. The reassurance by the hon Minister that our fiscal trajectory is sustainable and realistic is good, but we are faced with two big unknowns, both out of Treasury’s control: they are the international economic situation and the state of leadership in South Africa. We are not acting as a team any more.
Certain departments are not doing their jobs. The Standing Committee on Appropriations engaged with these departments regarding their budgets’ performances. We remain concerned that most departments lack capacity to implement government’s priority programmes. The committee remained worried when seeing critical department failure to draw up workable plans over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period to utilise appropriate budget towards improved service delivery.
The Departments of Water and Environmental Affairs, Public Works, Human Settlements and Communications failed the test. We want to register our unhappiness at how the Department of Public Works’ lack of capacity to budget resulted in overexpenditure in auxiliary services. Such departments are not assisting in regrouping our economy. Minister, even if you hang on to the ball after the tackle, you cannot keep it without support. You will be penalised. Let us avoid that and deal with failing Ministries; failing departments; failure and overexpenditure in state-owned enterprises; and provinces not doing their jobs.
The lack of implementation and the recent strikes in the mining and farming industries have focused the need for reform in labour relations in South Africa. The signs of institutional failure are evident in these events. We can no longer avoid the fundamental reconsideration of our labour relations. The hon Minister has hit the brakes at the right time on expenditure. Cope shall support both the fiscal framework and the Adjustments Appropriation Bill. [Applause.]
Ms J TSHABALALA: Hon Chairperson, Deputy President, Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Finance, hon members, guests, director-general and the team, the central objective of this debate is to politically engage with and articulate the strategic socioeconomic and policy issues that arise from the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, the MTBPS. It is not a budget but rather a financial operation policy plan to give effect to existing policies. It is an indicator of how fiscal revenue and expenditure over the next year will evolve. Our debate must analyse what the MTBPS must respond to - public spending and what informs public spending priorities.
The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework is instructive on how revenue shall be divided between the spheres of government, with an emphasis on strengthening capacity and efficiency, particularly in implementing reforms in provincial and municipal infrastructure planning and delivery. The overall test for economic policy and public spending remains the commitment to fighting poverty, reducing unemployment, and bringing about a more equitable society.
The MTBPS provides a number of indicators for change to the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and these changes are guided by the Medium-Term Strategic Framework itself. These policy directives are naturally informed by the ANC’s medium-term strategic framework priorities within the MTBPS. These priorities are inclusive economic growth and transformation of the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods; a massive programme of economic and social infrastructure that will ensure an efficient and responsive economic infrastructure network; a comprehensive rural development strategy that will ensure equitable and sustainable rural communities and food security for all; improving the equality and quality of basic education; a skilled and capable workforce to support inclusive growth; improving health and life expectancy; intensifying the fight against crime and corruption, protection, safety and security; a responsible, accountable, effective and efficient local government system; pursuing the advancement of the African agenda and international co-operation for a better South Africa, a better and safer Africa and the world at large; and, building a developmental state, a developmental-oriented public service for improved public services and inclusive citizenship.
The MTBPS is part of an integrated strategy designed to address poverty, inequality and unemployment and to ensure a better life for all. Within this context, the MTBPS speaks to the New Growth Path, the National Development Plan and the Industrial Policy Action Plan. The Minister of Finance, in both the Budget speech and in the delivery of the MTBPS, drew a relationship between these respective policy instruments.
The National Development Plan critically examines the vexed question of the underlying cause of the main and contradictory challenges facing the nation. Its approach is typically and correctly a research methodological approach, scientifically extrapolating the base of the contradictions and not the superstructure. The National Development Plan emphasises cause and effect in its approach and that such an overview would, of necessity, have multiple dimensions. It deals with the essence of the contradiction and not the form. The plan’s approach, therefore, becomes a dialectical approach. Although domestic structural constraints and imbalances are the main obstacles to faster growth, the implementation of the National Development Plan will begin to address these challenges.
The approach of the 2012 MTBPS is no different. It confronts the challenges to development in what the United Nations Development Programme describes as a highly unequal society. The fiscal framework that it puts forward seeks to concretely address the promotion of growth and development. It responds to the National Development Plan’s critical challenges by ensuring fiscal and revenue proposals, thus strengthening financial arrangement planning and co-operation between the spheres of government.
The relationship of the MTBPS with the industrialisation strategy is demonstrated in the provisions that allow for the state to increase its role in facilitating growth in sectors that are able to create employment on a large scale. The financial support for the advanced sectors of our industries is vital to sustain long-term growth.
The New Growth Path identifies key areas in which jobs can be created, and the MTBPS provides this framework of support. The key structural challenges in the economy that the New Growth Path identifies are taken up in the MTBPS and, like the New Growth Path, the MTBPS cautions that this will only be achieved if social partners and government work together. It is evident that government will definitely not be able to address the challenges on its own. Therefore, the aim of the New Growth Path ensures that that becomes a possibility.
In conclusion, there is no denying the fact that far more rapid growth is needed to draw large numbers of unemployed South Africans, youth in particular, into economic activity. The NDP outlines an approach to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by raising levels of unemployment, productivity and earnings.
Government needs to step up its efforts in combating waste, inefficiency and corruption. We need reforms that will focus on procurement systems that prioritise value for money and strengthen the anticorruption systems as a whole.
With regard to intergenerational debt, hon Minister, it is important for us to move towards investment. However, we need to ensure that the intergenerational debt that the new generation is going to incur in the longer term becomes beneficial in its current form, so that they see the benefits as and when they happen. That is quite important.
I would like to thank the Whip, Van Rooyen, and the chairperson of the committee, the hon Mufamadi, for providing leadership and ensuring that there is stability within the committee itself around the debates. Let me also thank the Minister and the Deputy Minister of Finance for this Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in terms of issues around policy and the direction that we take. It is indeed not an easy task for them to ensure that there is stability, be it in the market or in reforms. It is a daunting task.
It is good and well, hon Koornhof, that you made the observation around what the Minister inherited from the apartheid system as far as issues of financing are concerned. It is not an easy task, and I would like to thank you for making that observation. However, hon Harris, it is not easy to live under the shadow of a human being. It is even worse becoming a shadow yourself. So, I can imagine what you go through every time you have to shadow someone. I would like you to make the time – find the time – to get educated about financial and public management. The hon Koornhof and the hon Ross make tangible efforts as far as the committee is concerned, instead of coming here and, as usual, grandstanding and not paying attention to the issues we are dealing with. You are quite correct in that Mangaung is going to drive the policy of this country. It has always done that and is going to continue to do that. Thank you so much. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr S Z NTAPANE: Hon Chairperson and hon members, I will start by stressing that the UDM supports this Bill. We are fully cognisant of the fact that the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement was delivered at a time when South Africa’s economic growth outlook was moderated by a number of global risks. The eurozone crisis and its impact on our current account due to the falling demand for our exports and the economic hardships confronting the industrialised countries, all taken together, caused the economic growth outlook to deteriorate significantly, thereby negatively affecting government revenue.
Government is operating in an environment in which there are declining revenues and ever-increasing demands for government not only to spend the economy out of recession, as the Keynesians maintain, but also to meet its unsustainable expenditure on social security.
These issues put an increasing amount of pressure on the Finance Minister to walk the talk in the fight against corruption and maladministration, and in improving overall government efficiency. Giving citizens value for their money must be foremost in everyone’s mind.
While we sometimes scream in ululation when the Minister manages to keep a healthy fiscal framework under very challenging economic circumstances, our excitement is usually interrupted by reports that unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure runs into millions of rand every year. It is also cut short by reports that government departments wastefully spent over R5 billion on catering and entertainment in the past year. It is also rudely disrupted by the ever-ballooning public sector wage bill, as the hon Koornhof said, which continues to skyrocket, and by the fact that this remuneration is not commensurate with the public sector workers’ responsibilities.
Bizarrely, this public sector wage bill continues to increase rapidly while service delivery is at an all-time low. We, however, welcome the establishment of the Municipal Support Infrastructure Agency, which should help struggling municipalities, especially those in rural areas, to improve the quality of their infrastructure service delivery, and therefore the quality of life of previously disadvantaged communities.
We also welcome government’s renewed focus on trade in Africa, considering the eurozone crisis. South Africa has played an important role in exporting the principles of peace and good governance to Africa, but has not always taken full advantage of the economic opportunities on the continent. We once more call on the Minister to root out corruption and wasteful expenditure in every sphere of government. Thank you, hon Chairperson. [Time expired.]
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Hon Chairperson, it is well recorded that the hon Minister of Finance feels very unhappy about the downgrading of South Africa by commentators and ratings agencies. I want to say to the hon Minister that he reminds me of a mother who attended the passing-out parade of soldiers. When the soldiers marched in front of the public, her son was the only one out of step, but she proudly turned around to the other mothers and said, “Look, my son is the only one who is in step.”
Hon Minister, whether you like it or not I can understand that you feel like a mother when it comes to the economy of South Africa, but if you are out of step on certain matters, you must, at some stage, recognise the realities of South Africa.
Agb Voorsitter, as ’n mens na die internasionale televisie gaan kyk, wat moet graderingsagentskappe dink as hulle sien hoe mense met pangas en spiese in hul hande staak? Hoe kan ’n mens hierdie graderingsagentskappe kwalik neem as hulle op die internasionale media kan sien hoe fabrieke se kratte aan die brand gesteek word en hoe daar deur die werkers in Suid-Afrika geplunder word? Wat kan ’n mens verwag as daar internasionaal gesien word dat die polisie moet ingryp, insake werkers wat buitengewone hoë eise aan lone stel, om wet en orde te handhaaf? Dink u regtig dat – as ons in terme van die produktiwiteit in Suid-Afrika en die eise van daardie lone moet gaan kyk – graderingsagentskappe vir die wêreld moet sê, “Kom belê in Suid-Afrika want dit is veilig.”? (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Hon Chairperson, upon watching international television, what must the rating agencies be thinking when they see how people with pangas and spears in hand are striking? How can one blame these rating agencies when they are watching the international media and can see crates at factories being set alight and plundering taking place by the workers in South Africa? What can one expect when it can be seen internationally how the police have to intervene, regarding workers who are demanding exceptionally high wages, in order to maintain law and order? Do you really think – if we are to regard those wage demands in terms of productivity in South Africa – that rating agencies should be telling the world, “Come and invest in South Africa, because it is safe.”?]
This is not necessary to downgrading South Africa.
The biggest threat in any crisis is when the responsible Minister is in a state of denial with regard to the facts. I want to ask you to reconsider and to look at that matter.
Aan die ander, positiewe, kant verwelkom die VF Plus die beperkinge wat die agb Minister in terme van die mediumtermynbegroting aangekondig het. Maar ek wil ook vir hom sê dat dit net suksesvol gaan wees as hy bevoegde amptenare in daardie posisies aanstel om toe te sien dat die belastingbetaler se geld effektief en produktief aangewend word tot voordeel van al die belastingbetalers en mense in Suid-Afrika, en nie net vir sommige kaders wat hul eie sakke, deur korrupsie, daarmee volmaak nie. Dan gaan hy nie slaag nie. [Tyd verstreke.] [Tussenwerpsels.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[On the other, positive, side the FF Plus welcomes the restrictions announced by the Minister in terms of the medium term budget. But I also want to tell him that these will only succeed if he appoints competent officials in those positions to see to it that the taxpayer’s money is appropriated effectively and productively for the benefit of all taxpayers and the people of South Africa, and not just for some cadres to line their own pockets with through corruption. Then he won’t succeed. [Time expired.].[Interjections.]]
Dr Z LUYENGE: Hon Chairperson, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and august members of this House, I stand here on behalf of the ANC in a bid to clarify certain issues that other people do not understand, like the speaker just before me. I am tempted to clarify the fact that the role of opposition parties these days has turned to being a misleading kind of informer who sensationalises issues and overstates the reality of things.
I want to put it very clearly, hon Minister of Finance, that whatever is being said by the opposition must not weaken you but strengthen you, because it is not justified, and it is factually incorrect. Given that we are dealing with the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, the MTBPS, the economic outlook is an obvious concern in the inputs. Here the majority of inputs received paid great attention to forecasting and used various assumptive models on both the external and internal factors affecting the economy. These spoke to the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, the MTEF, period and largely reflected the view that in 2013 an improving global economy was likely to support stronger growth in domestic exports, while implementation of key economic infrastructure should bring about faster growth.
Similarly, inputs predict that the economy will remain vulnerable to slow global recovery and domestic factors such as the recent labour unrest, a point which was raised sharply by the Financial Fiscal Commission, the FFC. In the absence of positive shocks, the commission predicted that GDP growth was not likely to recover.
Inflation was another area that all submissions paid attention to. Most submissions agreed that inflation is expected to remain within the target band of 3% to 6% over the next three years, averaging at 4,9% in 2015. The greater concern that the committee noted, something which is not a new matter, is food prices and, in particular, administered prices which will together be responsible for keeping the consumer price index, CPI, towards the upper end of the inflation target band.
Specifically on administered prices and in particular on Eskom’s electricity costs, the majority of submissions raised serious cause for concern both in terms of billing and in administrative inefficiencies. It was recorded that Eskom increased electricity prices significantly between 2000 and 2010, while other emerging countries have experienced a decrease in costs. The manufacturing sector further expressed the concern that higher interest rates increased the cost of capital to internationally uncompetitive levels. There were major concerns raised in submissions that domestic supply constraints, including electricity rationing in manufacturing and disruptions to mining outputs, have exacerbated the pressure on exports, leading to weaker global demand and that the weaker rand has provided little support for manufacturing growth.
In addition, the importance of mining and the manufacturing sector to the export sector and labour absorption was raised. Also, in particular, the FFC was of the view that the government should closely monitor these sectors. This concern was expressed for two reasons: one is the contribution of these sectors to the GDP and the negative impact on GDP growth, as these sectors shrink in size; the other is the jobs targets that have been set nationally and the impact of both the manufacturing and mining sectors further shrinking over the medium term.
Most submissions touched on the impact of illegal strikes and stoppages in the mining sector and drew a strong connection between the mining industry and the manufacturing sector in terms of exports and employment. Submissions applauded National Treasury’s approach in campaigning to combat waste, inefficiency and corruption, including procurement reform. The addressing of shortcomings in planning, procurement and contract management and the focusing of departments towards prioritised spending and identified savings, which amount to R40 billion over the next three years, was widely welcomed.
On government financing and debt, in line with the fiscal policy objectives of stabilising debt, submissions broadly reflected support for subdued growth in noninterest expenditure towards the last year of the MTEF period.
Within 90 days of adoption of this report by the House, the ANC hereby requests the hon Minister and the National Treasury to report back to the House on government’s approach to managing overall employment and moderating expenditure on compensation of employees. The National Treasury should also develop and provide the House with a contingency plan in the event that macroeconomic projections do not result, as expected, in the proposed fiscal framework, and should report back to the Standing Committee on Finance.
The ANC supports this MTEF. We are a responsible organisation that is in charge, and we are in charge and responsible, and we will never point fingers at the opposition for any failure ... [Interjections.] ... but this reminds everyone that in this country of South Africa, democracy has actually afforded an opportunity to those who are not supported out there to have a say. Unfortunately, their say is not assisting anybody in this country, especially those who are considerate enough to prioritise the poor.
Major concerns were raised in submissions in that domestic supply constraints, including electricity, were an issue. We must not say, knowing for a fact that it is not correct, that the hon Minister is in denial. Those are blue lies. That is something that we cannot accept as the ANC, but we are saying, in addition to what the chairperson has said here, that this is a multiparty committee. [Interjections.] These hon members have a responsibility to participate in the committee, but they choose to go wayward, and we will not be derailed by them.
Siza kwenza umsebenzi wethu apha, asoze silahlekiswe nini ningazazi ukuba nifuna ntoni na. Enkosi. [We will perform our duties here, and we are not going to be misled by the people who do not know what they want. Thank you.]
Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, Deputy President and hon Minister, the ACDP supports the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. In our view, the Minister of Finance has not departed from a prudent, countercyclical fiscal policy, this notwithstanding the uncertain global economic outlook, as well as domestic challenges arising, inter alia, from the recent illegal strike action in the mining sector. This, we believe, sends a clear message to reassure investors and credit rating agencies that National Treasury will not deviate from its trademark fiscal conservatism, notwithstanding political pressure from various quarters. The challenge will obviously be implementation amidst opposition from other quarters.
It is clear, however, that economic growth is not near the levels required to address widespread unemployment. This we are all in agreement with. In this regard, the policy statement must be closely aligned to the National Development Plan which identified constraints to economic growth. We are pleased that there were 14 references in the policy statement to the National Development Plan.
It is also commendable that government will keep expenditure at the February 2012 budget-baseline positions. New activities have to be funded through savings, reprioritisation and a reduction in wasteful expenditure. This, clearly, the ACDP supports. The short-term need for fiscal stimulus, through, inter alia, the infrastructure development programme, must be balanced with the medium-term need to consolidate the fiscal position, as the economy improves.
We all agree that the primary risk to the fiscal outlook remains lower-than-expected GDP growth. The weaker global economic outlook, together with the fallout from the illegal strikes in the mining sector, has had a negative impact on our domestic economic growth forecasts, with growth being revised downwards to 2,5% from an earlier forecast of 2,7%. Clearly, that means lower tax revenues, with Sars expected to be hard-pressed to meet its target, which has already been decreased by R5 billion. This, again, raises important questions as to the sustainability of the government’s present fiscal path over the medium term.
We note, however, that the budget deficit of 4,8% is only slightly higher than the forecast of 4,6% in February and that this trend continues over the medium term. This is understandable, given the slower economic growth, and we can be grateful that the deficit is not much higher. Any drastic deviation from the fiscal consolidation path could spark another credit rating downgrade.
We did express our concerns about the budget deficit, the projected state debt stock and spiralling debt service costs. Compared to developed countries, we are in a better position but, as has been pointed out, as far as emerging nations are concerned, we are not in as positive a position as we should be. The ACDP will support this policy statement. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr M SWART: Chair, as set out in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, there will be no upward adjustment of spending projections in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period over the first two years of the MTEF period and only moderate growth in the outer year. This is both prudent and welcome, given the current tough economic environment.
Government’s concern is that additional budget allocations do not result in commensurate improvements in service delivery because of the poor quality of spending, as well as the composition of such spending on consumption rather than on capital investment, which is real and requires corrective action.
The reprioritisation by government departments away from programmes that are not meeting performance requirements is therefore welcomed and has made it possible to effect savings of some R40 billion over the next three years. The R40 billion saved made it possible for government to fund the revisions of national expenditure for 2012-13.
There is a question, however, as to how many other amounts of R40 billion are lying around in the system, which have not been recouped but, if recouped, could have greatly contributed not only to better achieve the priorities of government, but would also have assisted in reducing the current projected 4,8% of GDP budget deficit much quicker.
Where then can government search for some amounts of R40 billion lying around? The first option is to take money away from government departments that are consistently underspending against budget, such as Public Works, or departments that have spent everything but failed to come even close to attaining their predetermined targets and objectives. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, for instance, spent 99,9% of its budget but only attained 33% of its predetermined objectives. Total underexpenditure by government departments during the 2011-12 financial year amounted to R11,4 billion. In monetary terms, this figure has been growing steeply over the past few years.
Another option is to stop paying exorbitant amounts for consultants and implementing agents doing work for departments that should have been done by employees themselves, which employees lack the required skills and experience, because they were appointed on the basis of who they know and not on what they know. Appointments must be competency-based so as to build capacity.
Another option is to stop spending on items where there is no clear distinction made between party and state, such as the R238 million spent on the President’s house in Nkandla and on the centenary festivals of the ANC. [Interjections.]
The fourth option is to stop paying performance bonuses to staff where the predetermined objectives of the department have not been met or where the department received unqualified with findings reports or qualified audit reports.
Another option is to close unnecessary institutions, such as the National Youth Development Agency which has advanced loans to young people without doing credit checks and which, according to the Auditor-General, is likely to have to write off R166 million as a result. In addition, it incurred irregular expenditure of R133 million during the 2011-12 financial year.
Another option is to stop funding defunct government departments, such as the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. This department’s budget, which includes a Minister as well as a Deputy Minister, will exceed R190 million this year. One could also rationalise state-owned enterprises.
The sixth option is to start fighting corruption with real intent and include Members of Parliament who are guilty, some of whom still sit here. On the anticorruption hotline, for instance, only 6% of government and provincial departments have a closure rate in excess of 80%. At the same time, action steps must be taken to curb and avoid fruitless and wasteful expenditure, irregular expenditure, and unauthorised expenditure which totalled R6,67 billion in the past financial year.
Another option is to prohibit government officials and public representatives from contracting with the state. Only 48% of senior managers in national and provincial departments declared their registrable interests, as required, timeously. No wonder corruption by government officials, according to the Public Service Commission, amounted to nearly R1 billion in the past financial year. In virtually 75% of these cases, no action was taken against the perpetrators.
One could also institute proper controls to ensure effective spending of monies transferred to provinces and municipalities. Also, one could dismiss and replace incompetent government employees in all three spheres of government, and also in state institutions such as Denel that has to fork out another R118,3 million for contractual penalties in respect of the A400M aircraft contracts. One could also fill only those vacancies that are crucial for effective service delivery.
Another option is to strengthen the function and independence of internal audit committees, and ensure that salary increases for government employees are related to increases in performance and higher productivity.
Lastly, one could substantially reduce the number of Deputy Ministers, most of whom were appointed merely as a reward for backing President Zuma at Polokwane.
I have outlined just a few areas in which billions of rand are wasted, lost or could be saved. Only with a concerted effort to curb wastage and corruption will government be able to recoup the billions of rand required to fulfil its service delivery function, eradicate poverty, create jobs, redress the injustices of the past, ensure reconciliation in our diverse society, and create an environment in which economic growth is ensured.
Ons doen dit in DA-beheerde regeringsaanstellings. Probeer dit gerus en smaak ook sukses. Ek dank u. [Applous.] [We do it with DA-controlled government appointments. Dare to try it and also taste success. I thank you. [Applause.]]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): Thank you, hon member. I call the hon Mfulo. She will be making her maiden speech. [Applause.]
Ms A MFULO: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon members, comrades and friends, let me take this opportunity to thank this House for giving me the chance to speak in the debate on the Adjustments Appropriation Bill for 2012-13. I will make particular reference to certain points. I must say, at the outset, that as the ANC we support the adjustments made to the 2012-13 Budget and encourage the department to effectively use funds to deliver services to the people. After all, the Budget is not about funds, or about numbers, but about the people.
Having said that, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the following key areas that need improvement in order for there to be better budgeting and service delivery. The first area is shifts and virements. The ANC supports the need for flexibility in the budget process in order to keep up with changes in the projects, targets and indicators of the departments. However, it is the ANC’s observation and view that certain shifts and virements made by the departments are as a result of a lack of planning. There will be shifting but when done at the last moment, it creates a lot of confusion, especially when it comes to the Public Finance Management Act. There are also shifts that are said to be due to incorrect classifications of budget items, and this is an issue of planning again. It is even more concerning when budgets are shifted away from infrastructure- and job-creating projects in the departments.
It is further noted that what is declared as savings actually emanates from underspending and, because of that, it is a serious concern. This underspending results in no jobs being created, infrastructure taking a long time to be created, and the interchangeable use of savings and underspending, which is in the Public Finance Management Act, creates undue confusion, and this could potentially encourage unsatisfactory spending and performance by the departments.
So, the departments do that, because they can shift, or they can take the money and not use it or shift it from one area to another. In terms of that, again it will be called savings, and how do you save if you are underspending? We need to have a clear distinction regarding that.
The other concern is about the filling of vacant positions. There is a budget for vacant positions, but during the year we do not fill those positions, and again we shift the money. This is serious cause for concern, and it impacts negatively on service delivery to the people. Secondly, it negatively affects the quality and reliability of the departments’ budget and planning. Thirdly, it hinders progress on the government’s top priority of job creation and the filling of vacant positions across government.
Now, there is a gap between expenditure and performance outcomes. That gap is widening a lot about the expenditure outcomes and the achievement performance targets of the departments at the end of the financial year. It is our duty, as the ANC, to see that this gap is narrowed and to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. We need to make sure that there is a co-ordinated and meaningful integration of all plans which are linked to the abovementioned activities.
As part of the recommendations, we said that the critical posts such as that of chief financial officer are filled with immediate effect. All the departments must ensure that all funded vacant posts are filled because that is creating a lot of challenges, and that is why people will be standing up and accusing us of mismanagement, of what the DA is saying, because those things are not happening. Originally, what is budgeted for should be used for that, and there must be a clear distinction between savings and underspending. Maybe I do not know the English, but I believe if you had R10 and used R8, then you would have saved R2. However, if I did not use the money and called that savings, it is a serious challenge. We need to relook at that and ensure that there is a clear distinction.
Each department should stick to its core functions. If my role is to build roads, I must build roads. If my role is to educate, I must educate. If my role is in health, then I must deal with health issues, so that we can know that if my role is in education and I want to build schools, it becomes a challenge. However, if we leave it to the Department of Public Works – that is the example that I am making – and say as the Department of Basic Education that we need to have five schools, they must build those five schools. It is not the Department of Basic Education’s core function. So those are some of the examples that I am making to say let us do that. We also have slow spending. Maybe in terms of our budget, it must go according to the plan and the implementation plan so that we cannot be slow in spending.
Before I close, Chairperson, I just want to challenge the DA and say that it is very funny that they sit in committees and debate but when they come here, they tell a different story. Maybe we pay them for mahala. [Interjections.] They must go, because they cannot take a decision in the committee and then afterwards come to the House and deny that they were part of the decision. That can never be correct. So if they were not part of the decisions in committees, they should not come here and stand up. They must just go, because they get money for mahala. They don’t know what their role is. [Interjections.]
Mrs S V KALYAN: Madam Chairperson, may I address you on a point of order? It is a convention in a maiden speech that the person making the speech should not be provocative. [Laughter.] I submit that the member is being deliberately provocative. [Interjections.]
Mr E M SOGONI: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: The hon member is just telling the truth. There is nothing provocative in what she said. [Interjections.]
Ms A MFULO: Thank you, my Chairperson!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): All this is a matter of conjecture.
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter ... [Hon Chairperson ...]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): I am not taking any points of order on this. [Interjections.] These are now points of conjecture ...
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Voorsitter, dit is ’n punt van orde. Dit is op hierdie punt, Voorsitter. [Hon Chairperson, it is a point of order. It is on this matter, Chairperson.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): [Inaudible.]... she is saying, and what she is saying, and what whom is saying. Could you please carry on and finish your speech?
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter, mag ek u toespreek oor die aangeleentheid? Ek vra net billikheid en regverdigheid. [Hon Chairperson, may I address you on this matter? I only ask for you to be fair.]
To be fair, may I address you on this issue, please?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): What is your point of order, hon Groenewald?
Mr P J GROENEWALD: My point of order is this, hon Chair, that if we say that we have a maiden speech, the other members respect that hon member to deliver her maiden speech without making interjections or anything of that kind, but at least then it should be vice versa. Let us make the rule or else, Chairperson, if anybody is making a maiden speech, then they must accept that we will make interjections.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): That was not a point of order, and for your information, the member from the DA said exactly the same thing, and there was absolutely no need to repeat that. Are you finished, hon Mfulo?
Ms A MFULO: Let me finish, hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): Thank you, very much.
Ms A MFULO: Thank you, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms F Hajaig): I now call upon the hon Ross.
Mrs A MFULO: No! [Interjections.] No, Chair, I am just finishing my last sentence. May I? [Interjections.]
Bly stil! [Be quiet!]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): Oh, goodness! All right, you have exactly one minute to finish.
Ms A MFULO: Thank you, Chairperson. The ANC supports this Budget and the proposed adjustments. [Interjections.]
Ek het gepraat. Dankie. [I have spoken. Thank you.]
Mr D C ROSS: Hon House Chairperson and hon Minister, previous speakers have indicated that the South African economy has demonstrated resilience in the face of strong global headwinds. We therefore welcome the commitment by the Finance Minister to slam the brakes on state spending and for there to be no additional allocations to departments in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. This is also the first time since 1998 that this has happened. It is quite amazing that we could stop the state’s spending in this regard.
Important primary obstacles to foster more inclusive growth are, however, rooted in our domestic economy. We find striking activity in the mining and other sectors, low electricity reserve margins, high and unaffordable electricity prices, infrastructure bottlenecks, and weak business confidence which are serious obstacles to a positive domestic economic outlook.
The impact of administered prices on South Africa’s economic outlook is devastating. The South African economy is heading for stagflation, which is the triplet of high inflation, high unemployment and slow growth even as interest rates drop. It is indeed problematic that administered prices of electricity in particular, Minister, are effectively killing South Africa’s mining and manufacturing capacity, causing us to forfeit the export opportunities that a weak currency offers.
A triple inflation-price trajectory by Eskom scares off the large businesses, and it is unaffordable to small businesses and, of course, to ordinary consumers. Eskom is using consumers to fund its capital expansion programme. Eskom abuses the formula for administered prices, and I will tell you why, Minister. It includes the government’s expected return on assets stipulated now at 8,16%. Previously it was 0,9%. It is considered by many South Africans to be a double taxation as this is not ring-fenced for the electricity industry; it goes back to the fiscus. Perhaps we should discuss this and see if the government can stand back on the expected 8,16%.
This is a ludicrous return for government to expect, as it is not a shareholder in the real sense of the word. We need to know that Eskom is not operating under market conditions and requires perpetual guarantees from government. Eskom’s inclusion also in the cost of replacement of assets is highly problematic, and it inflates the Eskom model in terms of pricing. Re-evaluated assets of Eskom have increased from R1 billion to R700 billion. This makes a huge difference in terms of the calculation to get to the pricing, and we would like to ask Eskom to reconsider their application and the National Energy Regulator of SA, Nersa, to reject this application from Eskom.
The DA would like to urge Nersa, therefore, seriously to reject the Eskom application of electricity increases of 16% yearly for the next five years. It is unaffordable for consumers and businesses and very negative for economic growth.
Regarding cost-reflective tariffs - and we all agree with cost-reflective tariffs; they need to be there - it is how they are built into the formula that is the problem, and this inflates the Eskom pricing formula.
What do we propose, Minister? We propose that the shareholder, government, should accept a smaller return on assets, and Eskom’s cost of replacement of asset valuation needs to be revised with regard to Eskom’s revenue requirement. The revenue requirement in this regard is 34% after total package in terms of the pricing. It needs serious reconsideration. Thank you very much, hon Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs F Hajaig): Order! I now give the floor to the hon Sogoni, who is not making his maiden speech.
Mr E M SOGONI: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon members, the ANC’s expenditure trajectory and focus have always been on eliminating apartheid inequalities. The ANC welcomes the 2012 Adjustments Appropriation Bill, B32-2012, which this year did not necessarily add more money but reallocated declared savings to areas requiring these resources.
We are pleased to know that the Bill’s thrust underscores the ANC’s historic view, which asserts that expenditure should be directed at systematically addressing the apartheid legacies of inequality and underdevelopment in all their manifestations. In this regard, we are guided by the document Ready to Govern, which declares, amongst other things, that, I quote: “The ANC will direct government expenditure on housing, infrastructure, education, health and social welfare to ensure equality for all South Africans, especially the rural people.”
As a result of this statement, the ANC has, amongst other things, introduced programmes like the rural household infrastructure programme and the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, to ensure that rural people also have access to work opportunities.
The ANC continues to strive for an integrated and meaningful implementation of the five government priority programmes over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period, as demonstrated by the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS. Some of these programmes are the National Health Insurance, whose pilot grant was introduced earlier this year in 10 districts around the country.
A new approach to the provincial infrastructure grant intended to institutionalise proper planning, a new formula for local government’s equitable share and a new grant for water infrastructure grants will ensure that municipalities deliver clean drinking water directly to households. This grant will be administered by Water Affairs. We hope that this department has started building the required capacity in order to deliver on these grants.
The committee noted the Human Sciences Research Council’s concern about the infrastructure deficits in schools. However, we should take solace in the fact that the ANC-led government is aggressively rolling out school infrastructure of over R20 billion between the Accelerated School’s Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, Asidi, administered by the national Department of Education and the education infrastructure grants which are administered by the provincial departments to be rolled over the MTEF period.
The challenge in terms of these infrastructure programmes remains the capacity of government to plan and deliver effectively, efficiently and on time. The committee is of the view that infrastructure delivery should be the responsibility of a department, which has the relevant capacity so that departments like Education and Health can focus on their core mandates as the responsibility of delivering infrastructure resides elsewhere.
The ANC welcomes the different programmes promoting education and skills development that have been implemented across the departments whose focus is on job creation for young people. However, there is room for improvement in this area. Already a number of young people have qualified as artisans. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform will train over 5 000 youth on rural development programmes over the next three years.
The ANC welcomes the achievements that have been realised through strategic appropriations over time, as demonstrated by the shifting of resources from consumption to infrastructure investment. As the ANC, we are the first to admit that we have a long way to go in order to effectively eliminate the apartheid legacy of inequality, poverty and unemployment.
We are, however, encouraged by the significant progress that continues to be made in a number of critical areas of livelihood. Firstly, there has been a considerable increase in the percentage of persons who have completed their higher education from 7% in 1996 to 11,8% in 2011. Secondly, the proportion of households with access to clean running water inside their premises has also increased from 60,7% in 1996 to 73% in 2011. Thirdly, the average annual income for households has doubled from R48 385 in 1996 to over R103 000 in 2011. These figures are drawn from Census 2011.
Census 2011 also reveals huge inequalities between the historically privileged compatriots and their black counterparts. These differences become more evident between the sexes, on the one hand, and between the rural and urban settings, on the other. All spheres of government must work together to deal with the delivery challenges as we confront the issues of social challenges and service delivery, whether they are in education, health care delivery, infrastructure, etc.
Integral to these challenges are section 100 interventions. Currently, these important interventions depend on the co-operation of the other spheres. There needs to be clear legislation that will define, amongst other things, the different roles of all the role-players; the framework for interventions; clear, set timelines; and so forth.
The ANC welcomes the introduction of the central procurement officer so that Parliament and National Treasury can tighten the monitoring and oversight mechanisms on procurement practices in order to boost efficiencies and value for money. The other important issue the national legislature must focus on is the gap between expenditure and predetermined objectives. This, we can monitor by ensuring that the quarterly or section 32 reports, as they are commonly known, of the National Treasury consist of not only financial information but also of nonfinancial information that may include departmental quarterly targets, as they appear on their annual performance plans passed by Parliament during the Adjustments Appropriation Bill.
There has been a lot of discussion in the committee around issues of declared savings, as my colleague the hon Mfulo raised earlier, as some departments felt that they were not properly engaged. But what the departments failed to tell us was that they were, themselves, guilty of underspending. In some instances, the departments seemed to be budgeting for virements. Departments are allowed to shift funds from a nonperforming area to another, but the committee feels this process should not undermine the budgetary process. The process must enhance the credibility of the budget.
The ANC notes that the Public Service Commission, in its endeavours to ensure that its recommendations are implemented introduced legislation that will enforce its recommendations. Whether that action will fall within its jurisdiction will be a point for discussion at another time. The Public Service Commission expressed extreme concern at the failure by senior managers to disclose their business interests. It also found that more managers were doing business with their departments without disclosing their business interests to those departments. The Public Service Commission also raised with the committee the failure by senior managers to sign performance agreements. This is against the law, as this is a requirement. Without performance agreements, it will be difficult to measure the success or the failure of that official.
The committee is of the view that the Adjustments Appropriation Bill of 2013 must have a section that will require all departments undertaking infrastructure to submit clear plans to National Treasury by a particular, agreed-to time.
May I take this opportunity to thank the co-operation that we have received from National Treasury during this process of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement and the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, and thank the hon members of the committee and the staff for their sacrifices so that this report could be processed on time. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Hon Chairperson, Deputy President, chairpersons of the two committees Mr Mufamadi and Mr Sogoni, I say thank you very much to the committees for their contributions and their debates, and congratulate the hon Mfulo on her maiden speech. We will get there. Don’t worry about the opposition too much. [Interjections.]
The test of whether we are getting to terms with the levels of crisis we have around the globe - and, indeed, with many of the challenges we face as the South African economy - is whether we have a proper grip on the key issues that confront us. And the test is whether the opposition has a different point of view to advance in a logical, evidence-based way, and whether they have a case to persuade us that their point of view is substantially different and, more importantly, better than what the ANC government has had to offer. On many of these counts, regrettably, the debate before us unfortunately falls very short.
Let me remind all of us what the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement’s key pillars were. The first, as was pointed out by the hon Koornhof and the hon Swart, is that we were practising and using prudent, countercyclical fiscal approaches in order to continue undertaking medium-term fiscal consolidation, on the one hand, and supporting growth in whatever way we can within the limits of our fiscal environment, on the other. We must remember that we still have real growth of just below 3% in the fiscal framework that we have put forward.
In the MTBPS, we said very clearly that the global economy is slowing down, recovery from a deep recession takes several years, the European situation does not inspire confidence and, as the hon Koornhof reminded us, the second biggest economy in Europe, France, was downgraded yesterday by Moody’s. All this means that we are still confronted with a very negative global environment from which we are not decoupled or disconnected.
The test, again, for our opposition colleagues is: do they have a different view on this? Do they have something substantial to offer in terms of how we can work our way out of the grip that we find ourselves in as the globe, let alone as South Africa?
The second point we made is that economic growth in South Africa has slowed to just 2,5%. Now, apart from bemoaning the fact that we have slow growth, do we have any substantial proposals from the opposition which say: If you follow this path, you will definitely get 5%. There is nothing on the table at the moment, either in the committee or in this forum. [Interjections.]
The third point is that revenue collection is expected to be ... and howling is not going to be as effective as presenting a logical case. Right? [Interjections.] You’ve had your say; give me my say now. [Interjections.]
Revenue collection is expected to be R5 billion less this year than the February estimate. Do they think they can come to a better figure if they were taking over this government at this point in time? [Interjections.] That’s hardly likely. [Interjections.]
Then we said that strong measures are being taken to ensure value for money in public spending, including more effective controls over personnel expenditure. This, we grant, is work in progress, which is going to take us a few years to get on top of. But, again, do they have concrete, specific ideas of how we could do this better, apart from shouting affirmative action and cadre deployment? Can we do a little better than that, and come up with substantial proposals that can make a difference? The hon James seems to think he has some. I will engage with him later with regard to them. [Interjections.] At least, he is a worthwhile person to engage with.
The next point is that we have again put every effort into finding savings, eliminating waste and reprioritising spending towards key social and development objectives. Over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period R40 billion in spending has been reprioritised. Regrettably, some of my own colleagues in the ANC are mixing these three categories.
With regard to reprioritisation: I don’t think I can actually fully spend my R100 million on Item A. I think I can take R20 million of that amount, and put it into a different programme where I can spend it more effectively and make a meaningful impact in terms of either service delivery, job creation, or whatever the priority is that I have at a particular point in time. That is reprioritisation.
Underspending is where I hold onto the money. I say I will spend all of the R100 million, but it is very evident that by the middle of the year I had spent 10%, by three quarters into the year I had spent 20%, and that the chances of spending 100% towards the end of the year are absolutely nonexistent. And, so we say to you: Give us the money; we can use it better elsewhere.
The third option is where there is a high level of integrity and honesty. You’ve been given the R100 million, you recognise that things are not moving as they should, and you say, “Look, take this money back and give it to some other priority in government because I am unable to actually fully justify holding onto this money.”
That is savings, reprioritisation and underspending. I think it is very important that we understand that each of them are very necessary processes in terms of getting to the bottom of spending our monies in the right kind of way.
Then we went on to say in the MTBPS that further shifts in the composition of expenditure are being made towards infrastructure investment, economic competitiveness, education and health care. We have said repeatedly - and I think all sides of the House agree – that, certainly, in education there is enough money. We need better quality outcomes. And there is any number of proposals that government is looking at, including the issues that my colleague Minister Motshekga is looking at in order to improve the outcomes.
On health care, and in addition to challenges that we face currently, we have said that we have a 14-year plan in terms of delivering the National Health Insurance, NHI. We have 10 districts where piloting is actually going to occur and that process, under Minister Motsoaledi’s stewardship, is already beginning to take root. I am sure in the next year or so we will begin to see the results.
On infrastructure investment, there is any amount of rand that is going into investment in social infrastructure, and both from within the fiscus and mainly outside the fiscus there is investment in economic infrastructure. We still have a R25 billion package for economic competitiveness, and I think I gave you the figures that since 2010 some R7 billion have been allocated by the Department of Trade and Industry, steering a committee of other departments as well, in this particular area. Ultimately, it is the private sector that must come to the party and ensure that they use those funds in order to deliver what they need to in terms of competitiveness.
We said that rigorous procurement reforms would be undertaken, and pretty soon I will be able to report on some of these issues as well. We also pointed out that at the presidential summit, commitments were made in terms of strengthening municipal finances, investing in urban infrastructure, ensuring that the Industrial Policy Action Plan is extended even further, and accelerating the creation of youth employment opportunities. These are amongst other things what we need to do.
Against that framework, let us see what the hon members have had to contribute. We have had affirmations from the ruling party in terms of each of these areas, but, clearly, in this new-found alliance in the making between Cope and the DA, I think the hon Koornhof can certainly give the hon Harris very useful lessons about how to understand the economy, appreciate the fact that we have a tight fiscal ship that we are running, and that we are indeed on the right path, looked at from any particular perspective.
To politic around populist policies or that Treasury running out of ideas on jobs is precisely that. It is politicking, and I have said this repeatedly to the hon Harris but I’m not quite getting through just yet: When he has more substantial ideas, let him come along for his cup of tea at the Treasury and we will engage with him.
The hon Koornhof makes some very good points on the situation in Europe and the US fiscal cliff. He is certainly right that there is more optimistic potential, if you like, in terms of the fiscal cliff being resolved, and at least that part of the risk facing the globe is being handled in a different way.
The hon Tshabalala correctly points out that we require - and have been trying to reflect as government - an integrated approach to growth, poverty and job creation. All of the various plans are beginning to connect with each other under the overall umbrella of the National Development Plan, in order to get our implementation right on these matters. Her emphasis on industrialisation is absolutely accurate. She said that her generation – the younger generation - is very worried that this generation doesn’t pass on too much debt to them, but she said that she will take care of it. I think she is absolutely right about the hon Harris’ grandstanding, but I am sure that she and the hon Harris can sort some of that out.
The hon Ntapane says that we need to look at issues of unauthorised and irregular expenditure, and so on. Again, I want to make the appeal, something which I have said before, that Parliament can increasingly play a very powerful role in this regard. I am not sure whether they are adequately doing that.
The hon Groenewald and I have known each other for quite a while, and for him to talk about who is facing reality frontally, and who is in denial is a bit of mischief making that I think he knows he is engaging in. Hon Groenewald, we are not in a state of denial. We have been frank with this country and we have been frank with this House. On every single occasion that we have had the opportunity - not just as the Ministry of Finance but as government - we have said that these are the challenges we face, this is what we are doing well, this is what we are not doing well and these are challenges that we had better overcome if we want to put ourselves on a much better path. Certainly, if my child is out of step in any march, anywhere, I’m not going to pretend that the child is indeed in step.
The hon Luyenge has raised very important points and said that we need to come back with regard to what government is actually doing on employment, on moderation of compensation and on contingency plans if the situations change. I think that is the reality that all of us live in and that we need to become a lot more mindful of. As I said to you, even during the MTBPS, there are shocks a day, if not shocks every few hours in the global system at the moment, and we are going to require calm nerves but also distinct agility if we are going to deal with the situation in front of us. Above all, we are going to require a strong sense of common purpose and not politic on the major issues that affect 50 million people in South Africa.
I’m not sure if the hon Swart refers to himself as the older or the younger Swart, but let’s give him the title of younger Swart at the moment. Steve Swart, thank you for your support and although you have raised the issue of debt stock, let me still assure you that our debt is certainly under control, but we all need to keep a watchful eye on this, because the wrong kind of debt stock can certainly impose itself upon us if we are not very careful.
The older Swart makes some very useful contributions as usual. I think he can also share with his colleague on how to become constructive. But thank you for pointing out where we could find another R40 billion. We will do the arithmetic with you one day soon to see whether it actually adds up to R40 billion or not.
The hon Ross certainly correctly points out that we need faster growth, that some of the issues confronting us at the moment are not going to be extremely helpful, and that the issue of business confidence is something that we need to be concerned about. This is a concern not just of government. If you remember at the end of the MTBPS, I said that all of us should take responsibility for not talking down our country. Distinguish between the country and the government, right? Take collective responsibility. [Applause.] We cannot keep pointing fingers at the government and say that it is the sole guardian of what happens to this country. If you want to protect this country’s reputation and if you want to enhance its credibility, let us find a way, hon members, for taking collective responsibility for that important function. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
You correctly point out that ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! You may continue, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Thank you, Chairperson. The administered prices question, I think, is a very valid one, hon Ross, and something that we are beginning to look at. I think your description of South Africa’s economy slipping into stagflation might be an overdramatisation, so let’s look at the definition together. We are not having no growth and very high inflation. We have reasonable growth and managed inflation in the context we find ourselves in.
We will certainly look at the points that you make on Eskom together with Minister Gigaba and see whether there are issues that he and the Minister of Energy can actually address.
Hon Sogoni, thank you for your contributions, both in managing the committee process and for your references to the predetermined objectives, PDOs, and linking them to expenditure.
Finally, apart from collectively working on building confidence in our country and building the credibility of our country, let us also confront the reality that unless we get implementation right in virtually every part of government, we can have all the money we like, but we are not going to have all the impact that we want at the end of the day. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Bill read a first time.
CORRECTION OF EARLIER ANNOUNCEMENT
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order! Hon members, before we proceed to the next Order of the Day, I wish to correct an announcement that was made earlier. The Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill will not be sent to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence. This Bill is not one of those that require the concurrence of the NCOP. The Bill will accordingly be sent to the President for assent.
ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL
(Consideration of Votes and Schedule)
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, I wish to thank parties for advising staff on which Votes they will record their objections and on which they intend dividing. This information will greatly assist the process this afternoon. Hon members, the proceedings will initially take the form of a question-and-answer session. I shall put each Vote in respect of which adjustments have been made in turn, whereupon members will have the opportunity to ask questions of the relevant Minister in respect of these adjustments. Each party has been allocated a global time for all Votes. Once a party’s time has expired, they will not be allowed to put further questions.
Members must please press the “to talk” button if they wish to ask a question. Hon members should please wait until I recognise them before putting their question.
Vote No 1 – Presidency – put.
Mr J J MCGLUWA: House Chairperson, November marks six months that the National Youth Development Agency has been without a national board. With youth unemployment continuing to spiral out of control it is simply unthinkable that billions of rand meant for youth development are being pumped into an agency that has not demonstrated that it is able to deliver on its mandate, and has now remained boardless for over half a year.
A letter sent by the DA youth to the President in August imploring him to reject the proposed ANC-aligned board candidates and appoint politically neutral board members remains unanswered.
The NYDA remains without a board, and this is a concern to us. It also slips the youth into deep crisis every day. Is this yet another decision that the President is putting on hold to protect his political career until after Mangaung? There can be no other compelling reason as to why NYDA would be left without a national board for so long. We saw it with the youth wage subsidy, regarding which the President is allowing a deadlock to persist while kowtowing to the Congress of SA Trade Unions, Cosatu, and now we see this with NYDA as well.
President Jacob Zuma is quite happy to let South Africa’s youth burn to protect his own political career. These are actions by the President to save him in December, but come 2014, the President’s complete disregard of the youth of South Africa will not be forgotten. Thank you.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - PERFORMANCE MONITORING, EVALUATION AND ADMINISTRATION: Hon Chair, a few days ago there was a question from Cope on this matter, which we responded to and which was exactly the same question. It is unfortunate that the member who was in the House, if I recall, decides to misrepresent the facts. I’m quite aware that members of the House passed a law, which prescribes how the board of the National Youth Development Agency is supposed to be appointed.
In November last year, we advised Parliament to start the process of appointing the board. Parliament advertised and nominations were made. Parliament appointed a joint interim committee of the two Houses to consider the applications. In terms of that process, they went through the interviews. The end product of that process has never been presented to the President until today. So it cannot be said that the President doesn’t want to appoint the members of the board, because Parliament has not yet finished its processes.
The President appoints board members of the NYDA on the advice of Parliament, once Parliament has finished its process and submitted the list. Therefore, the process of appointing the board of the NYDA is still within the parliamentary system, and not in the Presidency or anywhere in government. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D A KGANARE: House Chair, there is R20 million which we are supposed to vote for relating to new legal cases. I just want to check whether, even after being appointed as the legal adviser of the President, we still have to pay Mr Hulley another R20 million, or are there any other cases for which we are now paying?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - PERFORMANCE MONITORING, EVALUATION AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, there is no indication that that money is to pay Mr Hulley. As you know, as the Presidency we are responsible for the affairs of both the sitting heads of state, the deputy and the former - all of them. Secondly, we are responsible for administering a number of pieces of legislation, which end up in litigation from time to time. Therefore, we have to have in our budget a sufficient amount of money to be able to deal with all these issues including the commissions which are being appointed as we go along. That amount of money is basically meant for those purposes, not to pay Mr Hulley.
Vote No 3 – Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs – put.
Mrs J D KILIAN: House Chairperson, we just want to ask the hon Minister if the additional money that will be voted for, will assist him in improving the management within his department, specifically as far as the critical vacancies are concerned, and how will he ensure that we will have value for money from additional appointments made? Will he make sure that we have the necessary skills and experience to really manage an effective department? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I don’t see the Minister. Is the Minister in the Presidency going to reply to the question on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs as well?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - PERFORMANCE MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND ADMINISTRATION: Yes, Chairperson. The Minister requested me to respond on his behalf. The functioning of the department is a critical matter, particularly if we have to provide the services to various municipalities. If you look into the requests, which have been made in terms of this budget, most of them are related to virements within the department to shift funds from one function to the other in order to strengthen the capacity in those various areas.
We, however, have a virement, which is going to deal specifically with assisting the municipalities to manage their affairs properly. You are correct in that we are taking steps to ensure that the vacancies and all the things that are necessary are done to improve the functioning of the department. Thank you.
Vote No 7 – Public Works – put.
Ms A M DREYER: House Chairperson, in his state of the nation address, President Jacob Zuma stressed the serious need for infrastructure development. This underlines the necessity that the Department of Public Works should have spent at least 50% of its budget on infrastructure by the end of September 2012. Yet, according to the department’s second quarterly report, the actual expenditure by the end of September was only 19% of the budget. That means that 31% of the funds for infrastructure were not used. Minister, why did you not utilise these budget funds?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: House Chairperson, the hon member, fortunately, is part of the portfolio committee where we have been accounting for why there have been problems of underexpenditure. We had indicated that our priority was to boost the capacity in the built environment in the department, and we had to prioritise that particular programme even the restructuring.
The request we have made at the level of Treasury is to start talking about the capacity, especially in the areas of the built environment so that we are able to spend properly when we deal with mega projects. Also, with regard to the question of property management, we talked about the proper skills - property experts – that would be able to spend accordingly. We cannot just spend for the sake of spending. We need to spend accordingly, and we need the right people to do so. Thank you.
Mr P B MNGUNI: House Chairperson, my question to the Minister is about the intended appointment of 200 people – engineers and so on. Does that mean the current employed people in the department are not capacitated enough to execute the jobs required of them?
Secondly, regarding the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers, are you sure, Minister, that we will ultimately have an asset register in this country, because we have been battling with having an asset register for nearly 20 years now? Thirdly, with regard to the funerals declared presidential funerals by the Presidency, when are we going to stop instructing the department to pay for those funerals declared presidential funerals? Thanks, Chair.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: There is no such thing as presidential funerals. There are state funerals, which are catered for in terms of Public Works. Secondly, the asset register is on course. It is in stages, and I can guarantee you that in the next year you will have an asset register. We have even reported to the portfolio committee - before you make a lot of noise, hon Kganare - that we have finished the first stage. We are in the second stage of the actual verification. I need to correct you: PricewaterhouseCoopers is not dealing with the matter; Ernst & Young is dealing with it.
Thirdly, the built environment’s technical people are the people we are trying to recruit. You would appreciate that these people are easily attracted to the private sector. We are trying to attract those people. And, indeed, the fact that there are these problems is because of lack of capacity, and we have been open about that. Thank you.
Vote No 8 - Women, Children and People with Disabilities – put.
Mrs H LAMOELA: Thank you, hon Chairperson. Minister, your department’s budget has increased by R20 million, which is an increase of 10% in your budget. Of this, R11,5 million goes to staff salaries or administration, and R7 million goes to the establishment of a new office for the Deputy Minister. How can you justify these amounts, given the very difficult financial situation in our country and the fact that this money could be better utilised to improve the lives of vulnerable women, children and people with disabilities?
The MINISTER OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Hon Chair, thank you very much for the question. I think the hon member is very aware that the department has been understaffed since the beginning and, therefore, this allocation had to assist us to ensure that we had the critical staff we require in the department. The Deputy Minister was appointed last year in November and, of course, the department did not have a Deputy Minister before then. The Deputy Minister is doing valuable work in the department, but the DA has complained for a long time that we are not reaching out to the people we are mandated to serve. The President saw that we needed a Deputy Minister that would assist us. The Minister is doing valuable work in the area of HIV and Aids, reaching all three sectors in that regard; in the area of rural development; and in ensuring that we service the disability sector with the required expertise. I therefore want to assure the hon member that this amount will be spent very wisely and efficiently to the benefit of the people of South Africa. Nothing will go into anyone’s pocket. Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Thank you very much, Chairperson, and thank you, Minister. The IFP supports the adjustment to Vote No 8. However, Minister, I just wish to seek some clarity with regard to your annual report. The additional funding, I argue, might not have necessary had payouts of R26 million for five individuals and performance bonuses of R9 million and R4 million, as per page 171 and page 168 respectively of the annual report, not been made.
If this information is indeed correct, what warranted these huge payouts, considering that the department did not meet some of its targets? This also begs the question: How much were these individuals earning in the first place to receive such enormous leave payouts at the termination of their service? The two performance bonuses alone, Minister, amount to more than 50% of the adjustment, and I just want to seek clarity on this matter. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Chairperson, no-one was paid R6 million or whatever. The amount that was paid was for people that resigned and people whose contracts had expired. Those people had to be paid out for leave or for the leave days that they did not take. No-one was paid more than R6 000. I want to say that if there is anywhere in the report where it is stated that R6 million - or whatever millions - was paid out, that is indeed a printing mistake. I want to apologise for that. Thank you, Chairperson.
Mrs D M RAMODIBE: Hon Chairperson, the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities has a huge role to play of co-ordination, evaluation and monitoring. It has to oversee the implementation of progress on policies by all departments that deal with the issues of women, children and people with disabilities. It is therefore unacceptable for the hon Swart from the DA to stand here and suggest that the department should not be funded. Hon Minister, would you agree with me when I say that this department is actually underfunded?
The MINISTER OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: Thank you, Chairperson, and thanks for the question. I think I have reported previously that we are running the department with a skeletal staff of about 50% of what the Department of Public Service and Administration said is required. We are also unable to serve and service or do some of our responsibilities because of a lack of funding. I want to add that we have reported on these matters to the portfolio committee, and the portfolio committee agrees with the department that we are indeed underfunded. I believe that this funding will assist us to go a long way in turning around the department. I thank you, Chairperson.
Vote No 10 – National Treasury – put.
Mr T D HARRIS: Thanks, House Chairperson. Hon Minister, there are two main changes to the Vote. The first is that R408 million was underspent in the Jobs Fund. Nothing matters more than job creation, but 40% underspending for the year points to seriously bad planning in forecasting. How did this happen?
The second item is R4 billion more for Public Sector salaries. In the Budget Policy Statement, you said that government would take a more deliberate approach to managing overall employment and curtail growth in personnel numbers of the Public Service. How will this approach work?
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: House Chairperson, the hon member knows the answers to both the questions. I am just wondering whether I should take up the time of this House. But I will, nonetheless, respond. The Jobs Fund, as the hon Harris knows, is a new fund. It has already gone through two windows of applications, and the third one is about to be initiated. To date or up to the first window, some 39 projects have been approved, and R1,8 billion has been assigned. We also had a co-investment of R1,7 billion. So that gives us about R3,5 billion in terms of the collective investment in creating jobs. What we will have, as the process settles down, is a quicker processing of the applications, which is the assurance that we have given the committee.
With regard to Public Sector salaries, we have a three-year deal. In the outer years, we have a CPI plus 1% arrangement. That, notwithstanding our earlier views on this matter, gives us some stability in terms of what we can expect and what we need to budget. So, we had to find the extra money. Fortunately, we did make provisions for these surprise factors, partly in the contingency amount, but also through various forms of savings and reprioritisation, as I explained earlier.
The agreement I have with the Minister of the Public Service and Administration is that we will now look into the R300-billion odd that we spent on Public Sector salaries and see where the further savings can, in fact, be made. Secondly, we have said that we do not want any more appointments in administrative functions in the Public Service. Thirdly, those appointments that need to be made need to be made in respect of frontline service delivery staff - teachers, doctors, etc. And, fourthly, there is still much work to do in terms of so-called surplus stuff that we have in certain categories in some of the provinces. Lastly, we will begin to work harder at reintroducing what was called the “Old chapter J” and put more controls in place before appointments can be made. Thank you.
Vote No 11 – Public Enterprises – put.
Mrs N W A MICHAEL: House Chairperson, could the Minister please explain how we can be expected to vote in favour of proposals for the medium-term budget following the Minister pushing for and approving a R5-billion guarantee for SA Airways, circumventing the normal processes of government, without the airline having completed a turnaround strategy? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: House Chairperson, the R5-billion guarantee request that was made by SAA was absolutely necessary ... [Interjections.] ... in order to provide our airline with the resources it requires both for it to develop the turnaround strategy and to implement it.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! I find it very difficult to follow the Minister if you continually interject. A question was asked. Let’s afford the hon Minister a chance to reply. You may proceed, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you. The fundamental issue being raised here is an ideological difference between the opposition and the ruling party about the role of the state in the economy. That is the issue which is in question here. This R5 billion guarantee that has been granted to the SAA is necessary. It supports the ruling party’s view about the importance of the state’s role in the economy. The question, therefore, is absolutely relevant. [Applause.]
Adv A D ALBERTS: Thank you, Chair. Minister, taking into account the fact that Transnet, as an entity, was built up over the years by loyal, hard-working people who are now retired, what is the Minister going to do to ensure that the pensioners on the Transport Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund will be given an annual increase above the current statutory 2%, without resorting to ad hoc bonuses funded from the surplus of these funds? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: House Chair, the matter of the Second Defined Benefit Fund and other such matters belong to the relevant boards. They don’t belong to the Minister of Public Enterprises. I don’t take those decisions.
Vote No 15 – Basic Education – put.
Mrs A T LOVEMORE: House Chairperson, the Department of Basic Education is directly responsible for losing a R7,2-billion grant to address school infrastructure backlogs. There are 400 mud schools in the Eastern Cape alone and many more unsafe structures. It is a national disgrace that a High Court order was necessary to force the replacement of these structures. It is a national disgrace that the department has been unable to plan and implement the replacement. National Treasury has now been forced to reallocate the assigned funding.
Could the Minister explain to us - and to every learner in the rural Eastern Cape attending school in an unsafe structure, mud or otherwise - exactly how the 100 schools promised for 2012-13 and the 346 schools promised for 2013-14 will now be delivered?
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, the fact of the matter is that the money has not been lost; it has been rescheduled to outer years. The programme that has been planned by the Department of Basic Education and the provinces to deliver infrastructure is definitely on track as planned. The rescheduled monies are going to be used for libraries - one of the areas - and also the funds are going to be used for universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape. The money will be there.
So, again, we can reassure South Africans that the programme is indeed on track. All the other stories, I think, are part of political posturing. What I can say, which is true, is the fact that the money has not been lost, but rescheduled and it will be available for all the infrastructure. Thank you, Chair.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Chairperson, whereas the Minister tells us that the money is not lost and that it is now being rolled over to outer years, there will be a cost escalation. I trust that the Minister understands that building costs will increase. The facts are that we have lost an entire year and that the R2,5 billion is still unspent as we are nearing the end of the year. There will be a cost escalation, and how will the Minister explain that to taxpayers that don’t see value for money when they pay for the escalation, whereas other new schools could have been built. Thank you, Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, I hope I don’t understand the member to mean that universities and libraries are not as important as any other educational infrastructure. I think we agree that they are. We have given this commitment. In terms of what we tell the taxpayer that learners will not ... I am not even sure about this R2,5 billion she is talking about. I know we are on track in terms of the expenditure that we have.
Last year, we were given R700 million, which we spent fully. This year it was R2 billion, and it has been fully spent and/or committed. The bulk of the money that is going to come in next year, which is R5 billion, is the money that has been rescheduled.
But in terms of the R2,4 billion, I don’t know what she is talking about. Perhaps when the chair of the committee is at a meeting she can talk about that R2-point-something billion. As the Minister, in terms of the reports that I have been receiving from officials – even in terms of our implementing agent which is the Development Bank of Southern Africa - there is no R2-point-something billion. We didn’t even have that amount. I don’t know where the R2,4 billion would have come from, because as the department we are only allocated R2 billion. I am not sure how it could even be unspent when it has been completely committed. I can furnish the member with information, because I think there is a crossing of lines. I am not sure of what she is talking about.
Vote No 16 – Health – put.
Mr D A KGANARE: Chair, I will ignore everybody. With only 37% of performance targets met so far, what guarantee do we have that the additional monies to be voted today will have a significant impact on health care services in public hospitals? Secondly, the Treasury is about to complete the most affordable model for the establishment of the National Health Insurance scheme, currently estimated to be R250 billion.
With regard to the manner in which the NHI has been budgeted for in terms of being introduced, it seems as if a parallel budget for the Department of Health is being developed in terms of which we will end up having a Department of Health budget and a National Health Insurance budget. The question is: Why is this budget not part of the national department’s budget?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, hon Chair, and thank you for the question from the hon member. First and foremost, the introduction of the National Health Insurance system is at a pilot stage. We have announced through the Minister the 10 pilot sites plus one in Kwazulu-Natal. That is why there is a specific grant to ensure that we introduce the NHI system in a systematic and sustainable manner.
The Minister of Finance also indicated, in agreement with our plans, that the National Health Insurance system and its budgeting system would happen over time. So, it will be an integrated budget as the introduction of the system matures.
I just also want to indicate that the spending against the NHI is low currently, because we have also been negotiating with general practitioners so that they also contribute towards services, especially in clinics, through sessional posts. The negotiations are at an advanced stage, and we will certainly be spending the allocated funds.
We have also been assisting hospitals to improve revenue collection. I am happy to announce that as far as the Charlotte Maxeke hospital is concerned, this intervention has enabled us to collect around R37 million in the first six months. We will be extending this intervention to other hospitals, which include the Steve Biko, the George Mukhari and other hospitals. I thank you.
Vote No 18 – Labour – put.
Mr S C MOTAU: House Chair, the Department of Labour has projected that 700 000 job seekers will be registered on the Employment Services of SA system, Essa, for the year. The total achieved for the six months ending 30 September 2012 is only 131 379. While this is poor, even worse is the reason given for the low number, and I quote: “It is due to lack of capacity at labour services.” Minister, why do we lack capacity at labour centres when thousands of young jobless university graduates are roaming our streets or languishing at home in despair? Thank you.
The ACTING MINISTER OF LABOUR (Mrs M A Motshekga): Yes, Sir. I did speak to the Minister and I think she anticipated what her ... [Inaudible.] ... would have wanted to say. The reasons are exactly what she has given: that they could not implement or deliver on that outcome simply because there was no capacity. They are busy building capacity. So, it would be lying to say there is capacity. I don’t know what the Minister is expected to say. There was no capacity, it is being built and that is why there were delays. That is why there was a request for the funding. So, I am not sure what the question is. What is the Minister supposed to say? What is she supposed to say beyond telling the truth? That is what it is.
Vote No 21 – Correctional Services – put.
Adv L H MAX: Chairperson, I would like to ask the hon Minister, given the fact that the budget for nutrition services increased from R234,6 million to R1,1 billion, why he is in favour of outsourcing nutrition services while those very same services can be rendered by inmates. Why not use that money for the much-needed rehabilitation programmes in the department, given the fact that the approximately 550 inmates in maximum security at a centre like Mthatha are literally eating and sleeping without recreation services? Why not use that money for that purpose? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Chairperson, the hon member was in a briefing only yesterday on this matter. The nutrition contract is coming to an end. It is being advertised, and all the necessary measures are being taken, including a study on the efficacy of insourcing and outsourcing. The committee unanimously agreed with that process – ask Mr Selfe, he will brief you. You were there yourself when the briefing was given. So this matter is a work in progress, and the committee is being fully briefed on it. That is what I can say. The service is being advertised while we look at the efficacy of self-catering or otherwise. This matter will be brought back to the committee.
Vote No 22 – Defence and Military Veterans – put.
Mr D J MAYNIER: Chairperson, I am surprised the Minister found time to be here today, given the fact that she is so busy – we hear in the corridors - with a recount of the former Minister’s flights on ultraluxury Gulfstream jets. [Laughter.]
Turning to the adjusted Estimate of Expenditure, I note that an additional R63 million will be provided for counterpiracy operations under Operation Copper. But I have also noted in weekend newspapers that the four frigates, which are the mainstay of Operation Copper, are defective with major engine trouble. My question to the Minister is: Would the Minister tell us how she intends spending the R63 million when the four frigates are reportedly caput? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: I don’t know about being caput, but thank you very much. One must remember that when Operation Copper was launched, we had no money. This was part of unforeseeable expenditures. We didn’t have a budget allocated for this exercise, but owing to the maritime security threat that exists, SADC decided that there was a need to have a maritime security strategy. And part of that is the trilateral agreement that we have with Tanzania and Mozambique to patrol the Mozambican Channel.
The issue of the frigates is another matter. What is important is that we went on an operation without the necessary resources. We requested resources, and we have now been allocated R63 million. How we spend that R63 million, which falls far short of what we requested, is another matter. In fact, we feel that this money is insufficient. I do not want to address the issue of frigates. They will decide - people who deal with issues of maritime strategy: the navy - how best to spend that money in the process of patrolling the Mozambican Channel. Thanks.
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, it seems that the mistakes and the accidents, especially in the navy, when it comes to submarines is costing the taxpayer millions of rand: bumping into the dockyard, connecting plugs the wrong way around, burning all the fuses that cost millions of rand and even hitting the sea bed. It seems the navy does not know that submarines do operate under water but not underground. [Laughter.] So, all these millions of rand are owing to mistakes and lack of training. What is the hon Minister going to do to ensure that these sorts of incidents and accidents do not cost the taxpayer any more money? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Well, fortunately, this is an environment you come from, hon Groenewald, the general. So, you would know best what normally happens when those kinds of things happen, in that, in the first instance, you establish an inquiry to determine the cause of such accidents. Once you have done that, you get the recommendations and you put into effect the implementation of those recommendations.
Certainly, you know very well – I did say this two weeks ago – that we have had to spend money to repair the submarine that hit the sea bed. Yes, it was human error, and obviously the recommendations of the board, which I would imagine will be presented to you in the Joint Standing Committee on Defence, will then clearly spell out how we are going to deal with some of the human errors that have been committed in the course of doing exercises. Thank you.
Vote No 25 – Police – put.
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Chairperson, I want to ask the hon Minister a question. The Police department paid the legal costs of Jackie Selebi - R17,5 million. He is in and out of jail. I want to know from the hon Minister what steps the department is going to take to ensure that the taxpayers get that money back. What guarantees were given, because it is unacceptable that taxpayers foot the legal bill of a criminal? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon Chairperson, the member’s question has nothing to do with the adjustments. I am doing you a favour, hon member, by responding. With regard to the question, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is processing that matter. Thank you.
Vote No 27 – Communications - put.
Mrs J D KILIAN: House Chairperson, I just want to know from the hon Minister if we aren’t perhaps sending out the wrong signal by allocating more funding to two of the underperforming institutions, namely the Independent Communications Authority of SA, Icasa, and the SA Broadcasting Corporation, for operational expenditure? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Chairperson, hon Members of Parliament will recall that we stated the challenges that we were facing with regard to the two entities when we made our presentations in terms of the annual report. One of the challenges critical to them was the fact that we were experiencing capacity problems.
Therefore, in order for us to make it a point that the entities deliver on their mandates as expected, we have to ensure that we have all the resources in place. Hence, we came up with a turnaround strategy of addressing the challenges as raised in your findings. Thank you.
Vote No 28 – Economic Development – put.
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Minister, let me preface what I am going to say by stating that we support the budget. There are no problems there. The question I want to ask is to do with small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency, Sefa. We did speak about this earlier in that we still find that there is an overlap between what the Department of Economic Development is doing and what the Department of Trade and Industry is doing. Moving forward, we need the surety that liaison between the two departments is going to be improved to ensure that funding to Sefa is effective and efficient and to avoid a situation of unnecessary duplication.
The second issue is to do with the International Trade Administration Commission, Itac. There, we also need to find out how we are going to iron out the working relationship between your department, again, and the DTI, in that there seems to be overlaps. This is because the continued overlaps make it a problem for us to properly gage the effectiveness and efficiency of the work of the department. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, Chairperson, and in particular may I thank the hon member for his support for the budget of the department. On the issue of Sefa and small business funding, I’d like to give the assurance that the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Economic Development work closely on this issue; that, in fact, when we constituted the board of Sefa, we appointed to the board a representative of the Small Enterprise Development Agency, Seda.
The basic division of labour between the two agencies is that one addresses funding, and the other addresses business support and technical services. But we are mindful of the fact that we need to really integrate the services of different agencies in government. The next step will be to try to do more of this with provinces and local government too.
On the second question of Itac, I’d like to draw the hon member’s attention to the fact that the Itac board deals with the work of Itac. That has a policy component, which the Minister of Economic Development deals with. In respect of individual applications for tariff setting, the Minister of Trade and Industry plays the lead role there. So, between the two departments they have found a way in which we can use one agency to satisfy the trade requirements of government, instead of creating two separate regulatory agencies to do the same. I think this is the kind of integration that government is increasingly seeking to achieve. Thank you.
Vote No 31 – Human Settlements - put.
Mr S MOKGALAPA: House Chairperson, the DA objects to the medium-term budget because the Minister needs to provide clarity in terms of the perpetual underexpenditure on the Rural Household Infrastructure Programme. By October 2012 the department had only managed to spend 5,8%, which is R27,8 million, of the allocated R479,5 million budgeted for the rural household infrastructure grant. To date, the department has declared underexpenditure of R138,875 million on this grant.
Approximately 2,4 million households are still lacking basic sanitation services. It is hard to comprehend how the department could declare a saving on a budget, which should clearly have been spent completely, if there are any serious attempts to address the sanitation backlog. The question is: What is the Minister doing to speed up the implementation and spending of the Rural Household Infrastructure Programme? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Thank you, Chairperson. Thank you for the question. The member is just rattling off numbers he does not understand. There are updates of these numbers, and I thought he had made himself au fait with them. Be that as it may, the rig which he is referring to is a product of a discussion between ourselves and the various provinces. We are as good as the provinces at spending the funds.
Secondly, our Minmec has taken a decision in that we have to address the issue of project management shortages. Another problem is logistical capacity. We have decided that your normal community-based companies should be given opportunities to implement the roll- out of this project in the rural areas. Unfortunately, those companies, being very small, cannot do the job. That is why we have taken a decision, which he knows very well, to invite the members of the private sector to join the Independent Development Trust, which itself was not doing that well, to roll out this project.
So we have plans that he well knows, and we have turnaround strategies that he understands. But the last thing, as Minister, I was going to do was to spend money by opening floodgates into a void. We would rather keep that money back, particularly towards the end of the financial year, instead of seeing that money being dumped all over the place. So, we are very careful about public funds, and I want him to make himself au fait with the decision that we have taken which has been communicated to the portfolio committee of which he is a member.
Vote No 33 – Rural Development and Land Reform - put.
Mr R A P TROLLIP: Chairperson, I would have liked to have put this question to the Minister, but I will have to put it to the Deputy Minister. The DA has no option but to support this department’s adjusted budget, because the DA supports reconciliation and restitution, especially with regard to addressing the lamentable legacy of the 1913 Natives’ Land Act.
Minister, my question is based on your department’s Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, CRDP, initiatives, and its objectives regarding rural development and land reform. What steps will you take to ensure that every rand spent on the revitalisation of former parastatal irrigation schemes and plantations, such as Magwa, as well as the recapitalisation of collapsed ongoing concerns purchased by the state, are taken on a responsible and sustainable basis? If this expenditure becomes a perennial budgetary item, it will militate against the achievement of meaningful and productive land reform, which will leave the government no alternative but to seek more phantom scapegoats to apportion blame for their failure. Minister, clearly, how do you prevent this item becoming a perennial budgetary item?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Chairperson, the decisions we are taking now on a regular basis in the acquisition of farms include a strategy for ensuring that the resources that are deployed to assist incoming farmers, whose relationship with the land was destroyed deliberately, is done appropriately. This is very intensive work we are doing.
The reason for a budgetary item is that it is a complex thing. Some of the people we trusted would be appropriate mentors have turned out to be frauds – and not appropriate ones. We have been able to rule them out and we are finding appropriate ones. The appropriate allocation of resources to support incoming farmers is something we are dealing with, as you were saying, in a manner that is beginning to show results. In the Eastern Cape, in Limpopo and in almost all the provinces, the results we are seeing owing to these interventions are showing that we are literally on course to reverse the legacy of 1913. We appreciate your support for that campaign. Thank you very much.
Mr G P D MCKENZIE: Minister, the department’s worst performance is in the area of restitutions. Backlogs are causing frustration and anger amongst many claimants. What steps will the Minister take to ensure that the land reform portion of the budget does not consume money allocated for the finalisation of restitution claims, especially considering the fact that the new restitution claims will, in all likelihood, be considered by the department?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Chairperson, the frustration is understandable because, in the first place, the numbers and the complexity of some of these claims were beyond what we expected. There had to be resolution of the conflict among beneficiaries, sometimes amongst themselves. Regarding the legal processes that had to be followed, unfortunately we couldn’t force the courts to speed up the resolution of decisions about some of these claims. So some of the frustration arising from the claims you are talking about include many claims that, as we speak, remain in the courts for resolution. So, some of the delays are matters outside of our immediate remit. Those that are within our remit, we are discussing with claimants themselves. The processes we are undertaking include digitising the information - so that at a click of a button we are able to provide claimants with information about where their claims are at and how they can help us fast-track the claims themselves.
As we speak, we are visiting districts throughout the country to communicate that. We were in Venda yesterday, sir. And, in terms of the frustration you are talking about, people when given information appreciate it dramatically. Often the mistake is owing to there not being sufficient communication. As we are doing this now, the results show for themselves that people are able to work with us to produce the results that we would like to see.
Vote No 36 – Trade and Industry – put.
Dr W G JAMES: House Chair, in terms of the adjusted estimate annotates for Vote 36 there is R686 million “declared” as savings as a result of the delayed implementation of the economic comparativeness and support package, consisting of R346 million in underspending in manufacturing investments and R340 million in infrastructure development support.
The Minister knows the story. Jobs are the highest priority. Having so-called savings here is short-sighted. Infrastructure spending stimulates growth, growth creates jobs, jobs bring about further revenue. So, I would like to ask the hon Minister to please explain himself. By the way, I wanted to say to Minister Gigaba that his response to the quite-legitimate question about SA Airways was as evasive, as it was obtuse, as it was arrogant. [Interjections.]
Mrs M T KUBAYI: I rise on a point of order, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, hon member. What is the point of order?
Mrs M T KUBAYI: I am rising on a point of order because we are dealing with Vote 36, and a member is addressing a different Vote, which is not currently before the House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The point of order is sustained. We are on a different Vote. I will request the hon Minister of Trade and Industry to respond to the first part of the question that the hon member has posed.
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Thank you very much, House Chair. The Department of Trade and Industry has delivered on its target of being within 5% of its budget in spending in four of the past five years. Given that this is a department in which 65% of the budget depends on the take-up of incentives by players in the private sector - and not on projects that are run by the department itself – is, I think, actually quite remarkable.
The Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme, MCEP, was launched in May to encourage manufacturers to invest in competitiveness-raising programmes. What happened was that the uptake in the initial few months of the launch was relatively modest, but it has picked up substantially since then. There are now 144 applications, which have been processed. There is a number of those which have already started to pay out, starting from October.
The Minister of Finance, when replying to the last debate, said that there were three ways that one could approach this. He recalled that one was the approach of integrity. You can declare the savings. We declared the savings, and those funds will be available to us in the whole of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period. So, as Minister Motshega has said, the funds have not been lost.
The other programme was the special economics zones process. Here, I think, we encountered what we did not anticipate to be a number of legal challenges arising from intergovernmental relations. But I can say that as we are still coming to Parliament with the Bill, we have simultaneously been doing work with the provinces to identify potential special economic zones that can be declared. Feasibility studies on 10 special economic zones, encompassing all nine provinces, are in fact under way.
So, I think, the process is not one where we have lost the funding. The process is one where there has been some delay, but we are on track to be within 2% of our budget in terms of expenditure this year. Thank you.
Vote No 37 – Transport – put.
Mr I M OLLIS: Thank you, House Chairperson. Hon Minister, my question is in two parts. The first part deals with the Umthatha Airport. In your budget for this Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period there is an item that pops up of R450 million to upgrade the Umthatha Airport. It is in the category of unbudgeted or unforeseen expenses.
Our understanding is that the Umthatha Airport used to be owned by the Eastern Cape provincial government. Then, the military took it over for a certain period and began an upgrade. The upgrade was not completed. Suddenly, there is R450 million allocated to your Transport budget for the upgrade of the Umthatha Airport.
Could you explain to this House who currently owns the Umthatha Airport because we are investing money in it? And, is this R450 million the money that comes from the Defence budget that has been moved, in the sense of a virement, to Transport in order to do the work on behalf of the Defence Force, or on behalf of the Eastern Cape government? How is this occurring? It is a lot of money. It is nearly half a billion rand.
The second part of the question regards the R123-billion Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Prasa, contract for new trains - 7 226 units of rolling stock. We understand that Treasury has capped that to only R40 billion out of the R123 billion for the first 10 years. With only eight years remaining, that means if you carry on at a rate of R4 billion a year you get R76 billion. Does this mean that we do not have the funds to pay for the full R123 billion? How do you explain that for the bulk of the period we are only going to spend R40 billion? That will not buy 7 226 units of rolling stock; rather a whole lot less. Is the ANC unable to fulfil the promise it made to purchase all-new trains for South Africa? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, Chairperson. The Department of Transport has received R450 million for the upgrade of the Umthatha Airport. The department is busy effecting that. No money was received from the Department of Defence for this purpose. With regard to the upgrade of the rolling stock for Prasa, it is a joint venture. Part of the money will be sourced from government and part of the money will be sourced from private enterprise with regard to this programme. Thank you.
Adv A D ALBERTS: Chair and Minister, I will pose this question in Afrikaans.
Aan die een kant wil die regering openbare ondernemings soos die SA Lugdiens, SAL, openbaar hou, maar aan die ander kant word openbare paaie soos dié in Gauteng geprivatiseer. Dit maak natuurlik glad nie sin nie. Ek wil die Minister vra wanneer hy van plan is om Gauteng se e-tolstelsel te aktiveer en of dit sinvol is, gegewe die openbare weerstand teen die stelsel. Moet daar nie eerder verdere openbare verhore gehou word in hierdie verband nie? Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[On the one hand government wants to keep public enterprises like the South African Airways, SAA, public, but on the other hand public roads like those in Gauteng are privatised. Of course it does not make any sense at all. I want to ask the Minister as to when does he plan to activate Gauteng’s e-tolling system and whether it is sensible, given the opposition of the public against the system. Should further public hearings not be held in this regard instead.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, before you respond, I wish to remind hon members that the questions you put to the Ministers must be in terms of the adjustments that have been made in their budgets, and not general questions on policy. Hon Minister, if you wish to respond, you may. If not; then you do not need to.
Die MINISTER VAN VERVOER: Agb Voorsitter, ek bedank die lid vir sy vraag. Ek wil hom net meedeel dat die regering die verantwoordelikheid het – baie dankie. [Applous.] Die regering het die verantwoordelikheid om seker te maak dat ons op goeie paaie kan rondreis in hierdie land. Ons gaan nie van daardie verantwoordelikheid afsien nie. Ons moet seker maak dat ons paaie in ’n goeie toestand is, en ons moet die nodige fondse bekom om dit so te hou. Baie dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chairperson, I thank the member for his question. I just want to tell him that the government has the responsibility – thank you. [Applause.] The government has the responsibility to ensure that we travel on good roads in this country. We are not going to relinquish that responsibility. We must ensure that our roads are in a good condition, and we must obtain the necessary funds to keep it that way. Thank you very much. [Applause.]]
Discussion on Votes and Schedule concluded.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Before I proceed, I wish to recognise the presence of the Premier of the North West province in the gallery. Welcome, honourable Premier. [Applause.]
Vote No 1 – Presidency – put.
The House divided:
Ayes - 221: Abram, S; Adams, P E; Ainslie, A R; Bapela, K O; Bhengu, P; Bhengu, F; Bhengu, N R; Bikani, F C; Booi, M S; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Bothman, S G; Burgess, C V; Chabane, O C; Chiloane, T D; Chohan, F I; Coleman, E M; Cronin, J P; Dambuza, B N; Daniels, P N; Davies, R H; De Lange, J H; Diale, L N; Dikgacwi, M M; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlakude, D E; Dlamini, B O; Dlamini-Zuma, N C; Dlulane, B N; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Duma, N M; Dunjwa, M L; Ebrahim, E I; Fransman, M L; Fubbs, J L; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gaum, A H; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; Gigaba, K M N; Gina, N; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Hajaig, F; Hlengwa, M; Holomisa, S P; Huang, S - B; Jeffery, J H; Joemat-Pettersson, T M; Johnson, M; Kekane, C D; Kenye, T E; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Khunou, N P; Koornhof, G W; Landers, L T; Lekgetho, G; Lesoma, R M M; Line, H; Lishivha, T E; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; Mabedla, N R; Mabuza, M C; Madlala, N M; Madlopha, C Q; Mafolo, M V; Magagula, V V; Magama, H T; Magubane, E; Magwanishe, G; Magwanishe, G; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Malale, M l; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Manuel, T A; Mapisa-Nqakula, N N; Maserumule, F T; Mashatile, P; Mashishi, A C; Masilo, J M; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, P M; Mathebe, D H; Mathibela, N F; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Mayatula, S M; Maziya, M; Mbalula, F A; Mdaka, M N; Mdakane, M R; Mfulo, A; Mfundisi, I S; Mgabadeli, H C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mlambo, E M; Mnisi, N A; Mohale, M C; Mohorosi, M; Mokoena, A D; Molebatsi, M A; Moloto, K A; Moni, C M; Morutoa, M R; Moss, L N; Motimele, M S; Motlanthe, K P; Motsepe, R M; Motshekga, M S; Motshekga, M A; Mpontshane, A M; Msweli, H S; Mthethwa, E N; Mthethwa, E M; Mtshali, E; Mufamadi, T A; Mushwana, F F; Muthambi, A F; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndabeni, S T; Ndebele, J S; Ndlovu, V B; Nel, A C; Nelson, W J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngcobo, B T; Ngele, N J; Ngubeni-Maluleka, J P; Ngwenya, W; Ngwenya-Mabila, P C; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Nkoana-Mashabane, M E; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntuli, B M; Ntuli, Z C; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D; Nyalungu, R E; Nyekemba, E; Nzimande, B E; Oliphant, G G; Oosthuizen, G C; Peters, E D; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaliso, M N; Pilane-Majake, M C C; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Radebe, G S; Radebe, J T; Radebe, B A; Ramatlhodi, N A; Ramodibe, D M; Ramokgopa, G; Schneemann, G D; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; September, C C; Sexwale, T M G; Shabangu, S; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibiya, D; Sindane, G S; Singh, N; Sisulu, M V; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Smith, V G; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sosibo, J E; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Surty, M E; Thobejane, S G; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tobias, T V; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala, J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Twala, N M; Van Der Merwe, L L; Van der Merwe, S C; van Rooyen, D D; Van Schalkwyk, M C J; van Wyk, A; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Xasa, T; Ximbi, D L; Xingwana, L M; Yengeni, L E; Zikalala, C N Z; Zulu, B Z.
Noes - 74: Adams, L H; Alberts, A D; Boinamo, G G; Carter, D; Coetzee, T W; Davidson, I O; De Freitas, M S F; Diemu, B C; Dreyer, A M; Eloff, E H; Esau, S; Farrow, S B; Gcume, N P; George, D T; Greyling, L W; Groenewald, P J; Hill-Lewis, G G; James, W G; Kalyan, S V; Kganare, D A; Kilian, J D; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Banard, D; Koornhof, N J J v R; Kopane, S P; Lamoela, H; Lee, T D; Lekota, M G P; Lorimer, J R B; Lotriet, A; Lovemore, A T; Mackenzie, G P D; Madisha, W M; Marais, E J; Marais, S J F; Mashigo, R M; Max, L H; Maynier, D H; McGluwa, J J; McIntosh, G B D; Michael, N W A; Mnqasela, M; Mokgalapa, S; Morgan, G R; Motau, S C; Mubu, K S; Mulder, C P; Ngonyama, L S; Njobe, M A A; Ollis, I M; Paulse, S; Rabie, P J; Rabotapi, M W; Ross, D C; Schafer, D A; Schmidt, H C; Shinn, M R; Smiles, D C; Smuts, M; Steenhuisen, J H; Steyn, A C; Steyn, A; Stubbe, D J; Swart, M; Swathe, M M; Terblanche, J F; Trollip, R A P; Van Dalen, P; Van Den Berg, N J; Van Der Linde, J J; Van Schalkwyk, H C; Waters, M; Watson, A; Wenger, M.
Abstain - 1: Dikobo, K J.
Question agreed to.
Vote accordingly agreed to.
Vote No 2 – Parliament – agreed to.
Vote No 3 – Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs – agreed to.
Vote No 4 - Home Affairs – agreed to.
Vote No 5 - International Relations and Co-operation – agreed to.
Vote No 6 - Performance Monitoring and Evaluation – agreed to.
Vote No 7 - Public Works – put.
The House divided:
Ayes - 221: Abram, S; Adams, P E; Ainslie, A R; Bapela, K O; Bhengu, P; Bhengu, N R; Bhengu, F; Bikani, F C; Booi, M S; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Bothman, S G; Burgess, C V; Chabane, O C; Chili, D O; Chiloane, T D; Chohan, F I; Coleman, E M; Cronin, J P; Dambuza, B N; Daniels, P N; Davies, R H; De Lange, J H; Diale, L N; Dikgacwi, M M; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlakude, D E; Dlamini, B O; Dlamini-Zuma, N C; Dlulane, B N; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Duma, N M; Dunjwa, M L; Ebrahim, E I; Fransman, M L; Fubbs, J L; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gaum, A H; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; Gigaba, K M N; Gina, N; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Hajaig, F; Hlengwa, M; Holomisa, S P; Huang, S - B; Jeffery, J H; Joemat-Pettersson, T M; Johnson, M; Kekane, C D; Kenye, T E; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Khunou, N P; Koornhof, G W; Landers, L T; Lekgetho, G; Lesoma, R M M; Line, H; Lishivha, T E; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; Mabedla, N R; Mabuza, M C; Madlala, N M; Madlopha, C Q; Mafolo, M V; Magagula, V V; Magama, H T; Magubane, E; Magwanishe, G; Magwanishe, G; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Malale, M l; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Manuel, T A; Mapisa-Nqakula, N N; Maserumule, F T; Mashatile, P; Mashigo, R M; Mashishi, A C; Masilo, J M; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, P M; Mathebe, D H; Mathibela, N F; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Mayatula, S M; Maziya, M; Mbalula, F A; Mdaka, M N; Mdakane, M R; Mfulo, A; Mfundisi, I S; Mgabadeli, H C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mlambo, E M; Mnisi, N A; Mohale, M C; Mohorosi, M; Mokoena, A D; Molebatsi, M A; Moloto, K A; Moni, C M; Morutoa, M R; Moss, L N; Motimele, M S; Motlanthe, K P; Motsepe, R M; Motshekga, M S; Motshekga, M A; Mpontshane, A M; Msweli, H S; Mthethwa, E M; Mthethwa, E N; Mtshali, E; Mufamadi, T A; Mushwana, F F; Muthambi, A F; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndabeni, S T; Ndebele, J S; Ndlovu, V B; Nel, A C; Nelson, W J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Ngubeni-Maluleka, J P; Ngwenya-Mabila, P C; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Nkoana-Mashabane, M E; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntuli, Z C; Ntuli, B M; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D; Nyalungu, R E; Nyekemba, E; Nzimande, B E; Oliphant, G G; Oosthuizen, G C; Peters, E D; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaliso, M N; Pilane-Majake, M C C; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Radebe, J T; Radebe, G S; Radebe, B A; Ramatlhodi, N A; Ramodibe, D M; Ramokgopa, G; Schneemann, G D; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; September, C C; Sexwale, T M G; Shabangu, S; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibiya, D; Sindane, G S; Singh, N; Sisulu, M V; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Smith, V G; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sosibo, J E; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Surty, M E; Thobejane, S G; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tobias, T V; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala, J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Twala, N M; Van Der Merwe, L L; Van der Merwe, S C; van Rooyen, D D; Van Schalkwyk, M C J; van Wyk, A; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Xasa, T; Ximbi, D L; Xingwana, L M; Yengeni, L E; Zikalala, C N Z; Zulu, B Z.
Noes - 77: Adams, L H; Alberts, A D; Boinamo, G G; Carter, D; Coetzee, T W; Davidson, I O; De Freitas, M S F; Diemu, B C; Dikobo, K J; Dreyer, A M; Du Toit, N D; Eloff, E H; Esau, S; Farrow, S B; Gcume, N P; George, D T; Greyling, L W; Groenewald, P J; James, W G; Kalyan, S V; Kganare, D A; Kilian, J D; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Banard, D; Koornhof, N J J v R; Kopane, S P; Lamoela, H; Lee, T D; Lekota, M G P; Lorimer, J R B; Lotriet, A; Lovemore, A T; Mackenzie, G P D; Madisha, W M; Marais, S J F; Marais, E J; Max, L H; Maynier, D H; McGluwa, J J; McIntosh, G B D; Michael, N W A; Mnguni, P B; Mnqasela, M; Mokgalapa, S; Morgan, G R; Mosimane, C K K; Mubu, K S; Mulder, C P; Ngonyama, L S; Njobe, M A A; Ollis, I M; Paulse, S; Rabie, P J; Rabotapi, M W; Ramatlakane, L; Ross, D C; Schafer, D A; Schmidt, H C; Shinn, M R; Smalle, J F; Smiles, D C; Smuts, M; Steenhuisen, J H; Steyn, A; Steyn, A C; Stubbe, D J; Swart, M; Swathe, M M; Terblanche, J F; Trollip, R A P; Van Dalen, P; Van Den Berg, N J; Van Der Linde, J J; Van Schalkwyk, H C; Waters, M; Watson, A; Wenger, M.
Question agreed to.
Vote accordingly agreed to.
Vote No 8 - Women, Children and People with Disabilities – put.
Ayes - 231: Abram, S; Adams, P E; Adams, L H; Ainslie, A R; Bapela, K O; Bhengu, F; Bhengu, N R; Bhengu, P; Bikani, F C; Booi, M S; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Bothman, S G; Burgess, C V; Cele, M A; Chabane, O C; Chili, D O; Chiloane, T D; Chohan, F I; Coleman, E M; Cronin, J P; Dambuza, B N; Daniels, P N; Davies, R H; De Lange, J H; Diale, L N; Diemu, B C; Dikgacwi, M M; Dikobo, K J; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlakude, D E; Dlamini, B O; Dlamini-Zuma, N C; Dlulane, B N; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Duma, N M; Dunjwa, M L; Ebrahim, E I; Fransman, M L; Fubbs, J L; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gaum, A H; Gcume, N P; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; Gigaba, K M N; Gina, N; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Hajaig, F; Hlengwa, M; Holomisa, S P; Jeffery, J H; Johnson, M; Kekane, C D; Kenye, T E; Kganare, D A; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Khunou, N P; Kilian, J D; Koornhof, G W; Koornhof, N J J v R; Landers, L T; Lekgetho, G; Lekota, M G P; Lesoma, R M M; Line, H; Lishivha, T E; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; Mabedla, N R; Mabuza, M C; Madlala, N M; Madlopha, C Q; Mafolo, M V; Magagula, V V; Magama, H T; Magubane, E; Magwanishe, G; Magwanishe, G; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Malale, M l; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Manuel, T A; Mapisa-Nqakula, N N; Maserumule, F T; Mashatile, P; Mashigo, R M; Mashishi, A C; Masilo, J M; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, P M; Mathebe, D H; Mathibela, N F; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Mayatula, S M; Maziya, M; Mbalula, F A; Mdaka, M N; Mdakane, M R; Mfulo, A; Mfundisi, I S; Mgabadeli, H C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mlambo, E M; Mnisi, N A; Mohale, M C; Mohorosi, M; Mokoena, A D; Molebatsi, M A; Moloto, K A; Moni, C M; Morutoa, M R; Mosimane, C K K; Moss, L N; Motimele, M S; Motlanthe, K P; Motsepe, R M; Motshekga, M S; Motshekga, M A; Mpontshane, A M; Msweli, H S; Mthethwa, E M; Mthethwa, E N; Mtshali, E; Mufamadi, T A; Mushwana, F F; Muthambi, A F; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndabeni, S T; Ndebele, J S; Ndlovu, V B; Nel, A C; Nelson, W J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngcobo, B T; Ngele, N J; Ngonyama, L S; Ngubeni-Maluleka, J P; Ngwenya-Mabila, P C; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Njobe, M A A; Nkoana-Mashabane, M E; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntuli, B M; Ntuli, Z C; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D; Nyalungu, R E; Nyekemba, E; Nzimande, B E; Oliphant, G G; Oosthuizen, G C; Peters, E D; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaliso, M N; Pilane-Majake, M C C; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Radebe, G S; Radebe, B A; Radebe, J T; Ramatlhodi, N A; Ramodibe, D M; Ramokgopa, G; Schneemann, G D; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; September, C C; Sexwale, T M G; Shabangu, S; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibiya, D; Sindane, G S; Singh, N; Sisulu, M V; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Smith, V G; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sosibo, J E; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Surty, M E; Thobejane, S G; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tobias, T V; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala, J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Twala, N M; Van Der Merwe, L L; Van der Merwe, S C; van Rooyen, D D; Van Schalkwyk, M C J; van Wyk, A; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Xasa, T; Ximbi, D L; Xingwana, L M; Yengeni, L E; Zikalala, C N Z; Zulu, B Z.
Noes - 59: Alberts, A D; Boinamo, G G; Coetzee, T W; Davidson, I O; De Freitas, M S F; Dreyer, A M; Du Toit, N D; Eloff, E H; Esau, S; Farrow, S B; George, D T; Greyling, L W; Groenewald, P J; James, W G; Kalyan, S V; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Banard, D; Kopane, S P; Lamoela, H; Lee, T D; Lorimer, J R B; Lotriet, A; Lovemore, A T; Marais, S J F; Marais, E J; Max, L H; Maynier, D H; McGluwa, J J; Michael, N W A; Mnqasela, M; Mokgalapa, S; Morgan, G R; Mubu, K S; Mulder, C P; Ollis, I M; Paulse, S; Rabie, P J; Rabotapi, M W; Schafer, D A; Schmidt, H C; Shinn, M R; Smalle, J F; Smiles, D C; Smuts, M; Steenhuisen, J H; Steyn, A; Steyn, A C; Stubbe, D J; Swart, M; Swathe, M M; Terblanche, J F; Trollip, R A P; Van Dalen, P; Van Den Berg, N J; Van Der Linde, J J; Van Schalkwyk, H C; Waters, M; Watson, A; Wenger, M.
Abstain - 3: Carter, D; Madisha, W M; McIntosh, G B D.
Question agreed to.
Vote accordingly agreed to.
Vote No 9 - Government Communication and Information System – agreed to.
Vote No 10 - National Treasury – agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Independent Democrats dissenting).
Vote No 11 - Public Enterprises – agreed to (Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus and Independent Democrats dissenting).
Vote No 12 - Public Service and Administration – agreed to.
Vote No 13 - Statistics South Africa – agreed to.
Vote No 14 - Arts and Culture – agreed to.
Vote No 15 - Basic Education – put.
The House divided.
Ayes - 236: Abram, S; Adams, P E; Adams, L H; Ainslie, A R; Bapela, K O; Bhengu, F; Bhengu, P; Bhengu, N R; Bikani, F C; Booi, M S; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Bothman, S G; Burgess, C V; Carter, D; Cele, M A; Chabane, O C; Chili, D O; Chiloane, T D; Chohan, F I; Coleman, E M; Cronin, J P; Dambuza, B N; Daniels, P N; Davies, R H; De Lange, J H; Diale, L N; Diemu, B C; Dikgacwi, M M; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlakude, D E; Dlamini, B O; Dlamini-Zuma, N C; Dlulane, B N; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Duma, N M; Dunjwa, M L; Ebrahim, E I; Fransman, M L; Fubbs, J L; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gaum, A H; Gcume, N P; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; Gigaba, K M N; Gina, N; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Hajaig, F; Hlengwa, M; Holomisa, S P; Huang, S - B; Jeffery, J H; Joemat-Pettersson, T M; Johnson, M; Kekane, C D; Kenye, T E; Kganare, D A; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Khunou, N P; Koornhof, N J J v R; Koornhof, G W; Landers, L T; Lekgetho, G; Lesoma, R M M; Line, H; Lishivha, T E; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; Mabedla, N R; Mabuza, M C; Mackenzie, G P D; Madisha, W M; Madlala, N M; Madlopha, C Q; Mafolo, M V; Magagula, V V; Magama, H T; Magubane, E; Magwanishe, G; Magwanishe, G; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Malale, M l; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Manuel, T A; Mapisa-Nqakula, N N; Maserumule, F T; Mashatile, P; Mashigo, R M; Mashishi, A C; Masilo, J M; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, P M; Mathebe, D H; Mathibela, N F; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Mayatula, S M; Maziya, M; Mbalula, F A; McIntosh, G B D; Mdaka, M N; Mdakane, M R; Mfulo, A; Mfundisi, I S; Mgabadeli, H C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mlambo, E M; Mnguni, P B; Mnisi, N A; Mohale, M C; Mohorosi, M; Mokoena, A D; Molebatsi, M A; Moloto, K A; Moni, C M; Morutoa, M R; Mosimane, C K K; Moss, L N; Motimele, M S; Motlanthe, K P; Motsepe, R M; Motshekga, M A; Motshekga, M S; Mpontshane, A M; Msweli, H S; Mthethwa, E M; Mthethwa, E N; Mtshali, E; Mufamadi, T A; Mushwana, F F; Muthambi, A F; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndabeni, S T; Ndebele, J S; Ndlovu, V B; Nel, A C; Nelson, W J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Ngonyama, L S; Ngubeni-Maluleka, J P; Ngwenya-Mabila, P C; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Njobe, M A A; Nkoana-Mashabane, M E; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntuli, Z C; Ntuli, B M; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D; Nyalungu, R E; Nyekemba, E; Nzimande, B E; Oliphant, G G; Oosthuizen, G C; Peters, E D; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaliso, M N; Pilane-Majake, M C C; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Radebe, G S; Radebe, B A; Radebe, J T; Ramatlhodi, N A; Ramodibe, D M; Ramokgopa, G; Schneemann, G D; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; September, C C; Sexwale, T M G; Shabangu, S; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibiya, D; Sindane, G S; Singh, N; Sisulu, M V; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Smith, V G; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sosibo, J E; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Surty, M E; Thobejane, S G; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tobias, T V; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala, J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Twala, N M; Van Der Merwe, L L; Van der Merwe, S C; van Rooyen, D D; Van Schalkwyk, M C J; van Wyk, A; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Xasa, T; Ximbi, D L; Xingwana, L M; Yengeni, L E; Zikalala, C N Z; Zulu, B Z.
Noes - 59: Alberts, A D; Boinamo, G G; Davidson, I O; De Freitas, M S F; Dikobo, K J; Dreyer, A M; Du Toit, N D; Eloff, E H; Esau, S; Farrow, S B; George, D T; Greyling, L W; Groenewald, P J; James, W G; Kalyan, S V; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Banard, D; Kopane, S P; Lamoela, H; Lee, T D; Lorimer, J R B; Lotriet, A; Lovemore, A T; Marais, S J F; Marais, E J; Max, L H; Maynier, D H; McGluwa, J J; Michael, N W A; Mnqasela, M; Mokgalapa, S; Morgan, G R; Mubu, K S; Mulder, C P; Ollis, I M; Paulse, S; Rabie, P J; Rabotapi, M W; Ross, D C; Schafer, D A; Schmidt, H C; Shinn, M R; Smalle, J F; Smiles, D C; Smuts, M; Steenhuisen, J H; Steyn, A; Steyn, A C; Stubbe, D J; Swart, M; Swathe, M M; Terblanche, J F; Trollip, R A P; Van Dalen, P; Van Den Berg, N J; Van Der Linde, J J; Van Schalkwyk, H C; Watson, A; Wenger, M.
Abstain - 2: Kilian, J D; Lekota, M G P.
Question agreed to.
Vote accordingly agreed to.
Vote No 16 - Health – agreed to.
Vote No 17 - Higher Education and Training – agreed to.
Vote No 18 - Labour – agreed to.
Vote No 19 - Social Development – agreed to.
Vote No 20 - Sport and Recreation South Africa – agreed to.
Vote No 21 - Correctional Services – agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Independent Democrats dissenting).
Vote No 22 - Defence and Military Veterans – agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Independent Democrats dissenting).
Vote No 23 - Independent Police Investigative Directorate – agreed to.
Vote No 24 - Justice and Constitutional Development – agreed to.
Vote No 25 - Police – agreed to.
Vote No 26 - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – agreed to.
Vote No 27 - Communications – agreed to.
Vote No 28 - Economic Development – agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Independent Democrats dissenting).
Vote No 29 - Energy – agreed to.
Vote No 30 - Environmental Affairs – agreed to.
Vote No 31 - Human Settlements – agreed to (Independent Democrats and Democratic Alliance dissenting).
Vote No 32 - Mineral Resources – agreed to.
Vote No 33 - Rural Development and Land Reform – agreed to.
Vote No 34 - Science and Technology – agreed to.
Vote No 35 - Tourism – agreed to.
Vote No 36 - Trade and Industry – agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Independent Democrats dissenting).
Vote No 37 - Transport – agreed to.
Vote No 38 - Water Affairs – agreed to.
Schedule agreed to.
ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL
(Second Reading debate)
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
The House adjourned at 18:46.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
FRIDAY, 16 NOVEMBER 2012
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Classification of Bills by Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM)
(1) The JTM in terms of Joint Rule 160(6) classified the following Bills as section 75 Bills:
(a) Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill [B 30 – 2012] (National Assembly – sec 75).
(b) Dangerous Weapons Bill [B 37 – 2012] (National Assembly – sec 75).
1. Withdrawal of reply to Question 2284
A letter dated 15 November 2012 has been received from Ms B O Dlamini, Acting Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, withdrawing the reply to Question 2284 by Mr D J Maynier MP on the use of SA Air Force aircraft by the former Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms L N Sisulu, owing to it being too technical in nature and not responding to the specific question asked.
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Public Enterprises
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Airways SOC Limited for 2011-12, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2011-12.
1. The Speaker
(a) The President of the Republic submitted the following letter dated 12 November 2012 to the Speaker: National Assembly, informing Members of the Assembly of the extension of the employment of the South African National Defence Force in fulfilment of the international obligations of the Republic of South Africa towards the Southern African Development Community.
EXTENSION OF THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE IN FULFILMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TOWARDS THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COUMMUNITY
This serves to inform the National Assembly that I have extended the employment of Two Hundred and Twenty (220) South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel for service in fulfilment of the international obligations of the Republic of South Africa towards the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to monitor and deter piracy activities along the Southern African coast of the Indian Ocean.
This employment is authorised in accordance with the provisions of section 201(2)(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
The extension of the employment of the SANDF is for the period 26 November 2012 to 31 March 2013.
The expenditure expected to be incurred for this employment is R84, 100, 000, 00.
I will communicate this report to members of the National Council of Provinces and wish to request that you bring the contents hereof to the attention of the National Assembly.
Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
President of the Republic of South Africa
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill [B6 – 2011], (National Assembly – section 74(3)(a)), dated 15 November 2012
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the subject of the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill [B6 – 2011], (National Assembly – section 74(3)(a)), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 74(3)(a) Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B6B-2011]. The African Christian Democratic Party abstained from voting and Congress of the People voted against the Bill.
The Committee wishes to report further:
1. The Bill clarifies the role of the Chief Justice by providing that he or she is the head of the judiciary and exercises responsibility over the establishment and monitoring of norms and standards for the exercise of judicial functions. The Committee is of the view that this will greatly assist the judiciary to address challenges that it faces with regard to the exercise of judicial functions. The Committee has repeatedly expressed concern regarding declining court performance. It understands that the Chief Justice has already actively begun to co-ordinate the roleplayers in addressing case flow management for a more streamlined process and welcomes this.
2. The Committee understands that the process of capacitating the Office of the Chief Justice, which was proclaimed a government department in September 2011, is well underway. The Committee once more welcomes these developments and understands that this is the only way to establish the Office in the short-term. However, the Minister is urged to expedite the tabling of legislation establishing a separate Office of the Chief Justice so that the judiciary can assume full administration of the courts.
3. The Bill recognises the Constitutional Court’s jurisdiction to hear not only constitutional matters but also matters that raise an arguable point of law of general public importance. The increased jurisdiction confirms that the Constitutional Court is the highest court in the land.
4. The Committee is concerned that there may be instances where courts are established in legislation that is not introduced by the Minister responsible for Justice. In the Committee’s view this is wholly undesirable as it undermines the development of a coherent judicial system. The Committee believes that a further consitutonal amendment is necessary whereby only the Minister responsible for Justice can introduce legislation establishing courts in the same way that only the Minister responsible for Finance may introduce money bills.
Report to be considered
2. REPORT OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS ON THE ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL [B32 – 2012] (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (SECTION 77)), DATED 16 NOVEMBER 2012
The Standing Committee on Appropriations having received a briefing from the National Treasury on the Adjustments Appropriation Bill and engaged with identified departments, reports as follows:
The Minister of Finance tabled the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on 25 October 2012, outlining the budget priorities of government for the medium term estimates. The MTBPS was tabled in Parliament together with the Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B32 - 2012] and the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill [B33 - 2012]. Section 12 (15) of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, No. 09 of 2009 (Money Bills Act) provides that in the event of a revised fiscal framework, an Adjustments Appropriation Bill must be referred to the Committee on Appropriations in the National Assembly only after the Division of Revenue Bill has been passed by Parliament. Accordingly, the 2012 Adjustments Appropriation Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Appropriations by the National Assembly on 1 November 2012, for consideration and report.
The 2012 Adjustments Appropriation Bill (the Bill) was tabled within a context of declining tax revenues, slow growth in the economy and uncertain global financial conditions. The Minister of Finance pointed out to the need to put in place measures to ensure that government realises value for money in its expenditure. Critical to enhancing service delivery is the consolidation of programmes and activities by departments in order to obtain value for money within the available resource envelope.
The Standing Committee on Appropriations (the Committee) met with various departments affected by the adjustments in respect of the budget for the 2012/13 financial year. These were the Departments of Human Settlements, Water Affairs, Communications and Public Works.
2. Overview of budget adjustments
The total estimate appropriated expenditure in the 2012/13 budget has been revised downward from R969.365 billion to R967.463 billion. This amounts to R1.902 billion less than the 2012 main budget and 8.9 percent more than the 2011/12 outcome. The 2012 adjustment budget makes provision for an additional amount of R11.523 billion in vote allocations.
The total roll-overs for 2012/13 amount to R1.506 billion, while the provision for unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure amounted to R2.273 billion. An additional allocation for the higher than expected personnel remuneration costs amounted to R5.480 billion. Furthermore, there was an unallocated amount of R30 million for Economic Development, self-financing expenditure amounting to R440.095 million and additional funding realised from the skills levy and Sector Education and Training Authority (Setas) which amounted to R1.794 billion.
A contingency reserve of R5.780 billion has been set aside and an amount of R3.021 billion has been declared as savings. Declared savings are unspent amounts that departments explicitly indicate they will not reallocate to fund other spending. Savings were declared in a number of areas which include, amongst others, the Employment Creation Facilitation Fund (Jobs Fund) and Rural Households Infrastructure Grant (RHIG) in the amounts of R408.108 and R138.875 million respectively. Local government repayment into the National Revenue Fund amounted to R500 million and an unallocated amount of R30 million has been set aside. A decrease in the State’s debt costs is projected at R593.586 million and the projected under spending by departments is estimated at R3.5 billion.
In terms of economic classification, additional allocations amounting to R2.319 billion were provided for Current Payments. This comprised of the following:
* R2.266 billion for Compensation of Employees;
* R777.928 million for Goods and Services; and
* R724.967 million downward adjustment in Interest and Rent on Land.
Total Transfers and Subsidies were revised upward in the 2012/13 budget adjustments from R698.713 billion to R705.232 billion. This represented an upward adjustment of R6.519 billion which comprised of the following:
* R4.612 billion for Provinces and Municipalities;
* R1.582 billion for Departmental agencies and accounts;
* R15.368 million for Higher Education Institutions;
* R28.175 million foreign governments and international organisations;
* R849.687 million downward adjustment for Public Corporations;
* R96.283 million for Non-Profit Institutions; and
* R1.033 billion for Households.
Total Payments for Capital Assets was revised downward in the 2012/13 budget adjustments from R15.176 billion to R14.434 billion. This represents a downward adjustment of R741 million which comprised of the following:
* R1.246 billion downward adjustment in buildings and fixed structures;
* R423.098 million for machinery and equipment;
* R500 000 for Heritage Assets;
* R50 000 for biological and cultivated assets; and
* R81.364 million for software and other intangible assets.
The Committee in its assessment of the 2012/13 budget adjustments established that some departments contravened the Public Finance Management Act, No 1 of 1999 (PFMA) as amended by shifting funds from one programme to another which were beyond the prescribed 8 per cent and by shifting funds from capital payments to other economic classification items.
3. Adjustments per identified departments
The following section seeks to discuss the 2012/13 budget adjustments and the discussions between the Committee and the identified departments below.
3.1 Department of Human Settlements
The budget for the Department of Human Settlements has been revised downwards from R25.263 billion to R25.137 billion following the 2012/13 budget adjustments. The Department received an additional amount of R13.500 million for rollovers and declared savings of R138.875 million. This represents a total downward adjustment of R125.375 million.
The Department declared savings amounting to R138.9 million on the Rural Household Infrastructure Grant (RHIG). The Department stated that the budget reduction on RHIG was effected only in those municipalities where there were limited qualifying beneficiaries.
The Department recorded an expenditure of R10.056 billion or 40 per cent of the adjusted appropriation of R25.137 billion at the end of September 2012 (second quarter). The Department stated the main reason for the under-expenditure was the scheduling of payments for the Urban Settlements Development Grant for which only one payment had been made in the 1st half of the year with two more payment tranches to follow.
The Department indicated that plans were in place to ensure that the remaining funds under the RHIG would be spent by the end of the 2012/13 financial year. The Committee expressed concern at the readiness of the Department to utilise the originally allocated grant funding given the spending performance of the Department with regard to the grant RHIG. The Department was directed to consult and to draft an integrated plan to accelerate the implementation of the RHIG.
The Department stated that funds were shifted from funded vacancies to other priorities which included research projects, interest on financial leases, transfers to the Human Settlements Scholarship programme, creation of Human Settlement Chair at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, payments for employee social benefits and the purchasing of office equipment. The Department’s current vacancy rate stood at 31 per cent. The Committee expressed concerns about the shifting of funds from funded vacancies and its impact on the Department’s service delivery programmes.
3.2 Department of Water Affairs
The budget for the Department of Water Affairs (the Department) has been revised upwards from R8.812 billion to R8.993 billion after the 2012/13 budget adjustments. The Department received an additional amount of R416.557 million for roll-overs, savings of R227.512 million were declared and there was another downward adjustment of R8.544 million for the forestry function which was shifted to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. This represented a total upward adjustment of R180.501 million. The rolled-over funds were for the identified areas:
* Upgrading of video conferencing equipment (R7 million);
* Business process review (R16 million);
* Development and implementation of the enterprise monitoring and evaluation tool (R3.71 million),
* Transfers to the Rand Water Board for infrastructure refurbishment, water losses management and metering (R18 million);
* Acquisition of water drilling equipment (R3.77 million);
* Moutse Bulk Water Supply (R20.018 million);
* Construction of the Lukalo to Lambani pipeline in Nandoni (R61.600 million);
* Construction of the Vuwani pipeline in Nandoni (R113.600 million);
* Acid Mine Drainage (R150 million);
* for the Metsi Bophelo Borehole Project R10 million; and
* Validation and verification processes (R5.600 million).
The Department declared savings of R227.512 million due to operational efficiencies and cost optimisation measures implemented in respect of the infrastructure projects of the water trading entity as well as vacant posts that will not be filled. Cost saving measures was also implemented on catering, consultants, venues and facilities, travel and subsistence and machinery and equipment across all programmes of the Department. The Committee was concerned at the impact of shifting funds from funded vacant positions on the implementation capacity of the Department.
The Department had spent R2.738 billion or 30.4 per cent of the adjusted appropriation of R8.993 billion as at end of September 2012. The Committee was concerned at the poor expenditure performance of the Department. The Department provided a number of reasons for the under expenditure and these include delays in the approval for the Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) to undertake work with regard to Acid Mine Drainage, lack of project management capacity in implementing agencies, financial instability of some implementing agencies and delays in the filling of vacant posts.
With regards to non-financial performance, the Department had planned to provide an additional 746 004 people with access to water but only managed to provide for 346 000 by end of September 2012, only 1 674 out of the target of 7 000 rainwater harvesting tanks had been distributed, the Department had provided 180 subsidies to resource poor farmers from a set target of 750 and only 166 out of a target of 803 water treatment works had been assessed. The Department indicated that there were budget shortfalls for targets and that the supply of rainwater harvesting tanks was a support initiative to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The Committee pointed out targets stated in the Department’s performance plans were the responsibility of the Department and that budget shortfalls arise due to a lack of alignment between the Department’s Annual Performance Plan and its budget.
The Committee was concerned at the slow expenditure of the Department as at the end of the Second Quarter of the 2012/13 financial year, with specific reference to the recurring poor performance on the Nandoni and De Hoop Dam projects. The Department stated that delays in the Nandoni project were due to the non-performance of a historically disadvantaged (HD) category contractor. The established contractor was 86 percent complete and litigation involving the HD contractor was ongoing. With regard to the De Hoop Dam, the work was being finalised on the completion of the Dam but not on the bulk water reticulation system.
The Committee pointed out that the Department needed to utilise the budgeting framework as provided for in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) so as to minimise the need for rollovers and improve planning and expenditure performance.
3.3 Department of Communications
The budget for the Department of Communications (the Department) was revised downwards from R1.712 billion to R1.655 billion after the 2012/13 budget adjustments. The Department received an additional amount of R1.642 million for personnel remuneration increases and savings of R58.957 million were declared.
The declared savings were as a result of delays in the procurement process for the 112 Emergency Call Centre. The Department indicated that service providers for the 112 Emergency Call Centres are in the process of being appointed.
A total amount of R144.413 million has been defrayed as a virement from Programme 5 (ICT Infrastructure Development) to Programmes 1 (Administration), 2 (ICT International Affairs and Trade), 4 (ICT Enterprise Development) and 6 (Presidential National Commission). This virement amounted to 51.5 percent of the total budget of Programme 5. The breakdown of this virement is as follows:
* R44.413 million reprioritisation from the 112 Call Centre Project to cater for the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) awareness in Programme 1,
* R100 million reprioritisation from broadband infrastructure to fund the following:
- R3 million to fund Information Communication Technology (ICT) Trade/Partnership in Programme 2;
- R10 million to fund Small Medium and Micro Enterprise Development in Programme 4;
- R16 million to fund Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the ICASA complaints and compliance committee, and for small medium and micro enterprise development in programme 4;
- R65 million to fund SABC for AFCON 2013 for broadcast rights; and
- R6 million to fund the information society and development cluster in Programme 6.
The Department’s expenditure in the first six months of 2012/13 was R763.628 million or 46.1 per cent of the adjusted appropriation of R1.655 billion. The Minister of Communications (the Minister) indicated that expenditure performance had improved compared to the previous financial year when only 26 percent had been spent by November 2011.
The Committee expressed concern at the credibility of planning in the Department given that broadband infrastructure was a critical priority of government. Of more concern to the Committee was the recurring non-delivery on the 112 Emergency Call Centre project which had been rolled over regularly. The Committee viewed the non-attainment of performance targets such as the creation of only 150 jobs from a target of 17 322 as a major concern given that the Department was critical in government’s broad development strategy. The Committee further expressed concern at the delay in the filling of vacancies, with specific reference to the senior positions such as the Chief Financial Officer.
The Department presented the Committee with its Turnaround Strategy which focused on improving overall performance. Key areas for the Turnaround Strategy were strategic management, organisational culture, leadership management and development and governance.
The Department stated that whilst there have been slight improvements in performance compared to previous financial years there were still challenges in skills capacity with regard to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and the Broadband project. The Department indicated that it was in the process of developing a single coherent strategy for the implementation of the Broadband project hence the reluctance to utilise funding until such a strategy was in place. The process of finalising appointments of senior personnel, including the Chief Financial Officer was scheduled for the end of December 2012.
The Department indicated that a new branch has been established to improve oversight capacity over the Department’s public entities. In order to improve expenditure performance, the Department stated that it had created a system that links budgets with projects which will track actual expenditure against budget allocations per project. In terms of broadband infrastructure, the department stated that the rollout of broadband infrastructure was part of Government’s infrastructure build programme, which is coordinated by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC).
3.4 Department of Public Works
The budget of the Department of Public Works (the Department) has been revised downwards from R7.993 billion to R7.891 billion following the 2012/13 budget adjustments which represents a total downward adjustment of R102.458 million. The Department received an additional amount of
R87.095 million for rollovers, R3.753 million was provided for unforeseen and unavoidable expenditure for the establishment of a new office for the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Public Works. An amount of R212.0 million has been declared as savings and there were other adjustments of
R18.604 million for personnel remuneration increases.
The Department had reduced the infrastructure budget by R485 million from R1.484 billion to R999.742 million. An amount of R212 million has been declared as savings under which R102 million was for the Land Ports of Entry and R110 million that was ring-fenced for the Department of Home Affairs’ project on the Land Ports of Entry (LPOE). An amount of R273 million was reprioritised from Programme 2 (Immovable Asset Management) to other expenditure items within Programmes 1(Administration), 2 (Immovable Asset Management) and 3 (Expanded Public Works Programme). The Committee was concerned at the impact of the delays in these infrastructure projects given their strategic importance in the protection of the country’s borders.
The Department recorded an expenditure of R4.137 billion or 52.4 per cent of the adjusted appropriation of R7.891 billion at the end of September 2012. The expenditure performance of 52.4 per cent was slightly higher as a result of the downward adjustment. The Department had exhausted the budget for Programme 5 (Auxiliary and Associated Services) due to expenditure on state funerals. The Department indicated that the original allocation for state funerals was R15 million and thus far had spent R29 million due to the ad hoc nature of requests for funding The Committee expressed concern at the over expenditure trends and advised the Department to allocate a contingency budget in future to accommodate any ad hoc requests that may emanate from Presidential functions such as State funerals.
The Department indicated that the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Phase 2 targets for the five year period were 4 920 000 work opportunities. The programme has created 2 462 502 (50.05 per cent) work opportunities against the 5 year target of 4 920 000 to date. It is to be noted that phase 2 of the programme started in 2009 and 2012 is its fourth year.
The Committee was not certain that 50.05 per cent was an acceptable level of performance given that the programme is in its fourth year of implementation. The Department stated that the programme was rapidly expanding in the final stages of implementation but the Committee was of the view that since budgets were shifted from infrastructure projects, those targets for phase 2 of the EPWP will be affected. The Committee viewed the non-attainment of targets for the EPWP as a major concern given that the programme was the government’s promise to the people to deliver job opportunities.
The Committee expressed concerns at the shifting of funds from capital assets to fund other budget items. This was not in accordance with Section 43 of the Public Finance Management Act, as amended. National Treasury indicated that the Appropriation Act allows for the shifting of funds from capital provided approval is sought from the Minister of Finance. The Committee’s view is that this is an act of amending the budget which is the exclusive authority of Parliament.
The Committee expressed concern at the non-attainment of targets with regard to the percentage of asset register fields populated with data for the present 209 293 properties. The Department stated that there was an agreement with the Accountant-General on up-scaling the asset register. The project was an intergovernmental initiative and therefore was a complex exercise. An implementing agent has been appointed to assist with the project and the target date for completion was 2014.
4. Committee findings
The Standing Committee on Appropriations, having considered the inputs from the above stakeholders made the following findings:
4.1 There is a general tendency by departments to contravene section 43 of the Public Finance Management Act, No 1 of 1999 by shifting funds from one programme to another which were beyond the prescribed 8 per cent. This pervasive shifting of funds negatively affects the credibility of departmental budgets.
4.2 The Committee noted the declared overall savings which amounted to
R3.021 billion, of particular concern was the amount of
R408.108 million in respect of the Employment Creation Facilitation Fund. This was a cause for concern given the fact that job creation is a priority of Government.
4.3 The Committee noted that a Turnaround Strategy for the Department of Communications has been introduced.
4.4 The Department of Public Works has created 2 462 502 or 50.05 per cent of job opportunities in year four (2012) against the 5 year (2009 – 2013) target of 4 920 000 job opportunities for the Expanded Public Works Programme. This was a cause for concern given the fact that job creation is a priority of Government.
4.5 The Committee expressed concern at the impact on the administrative capacity of departments to deliver services by shifting funds from funded vacant posts.
4.6 The Committee remains concerned that the compilation of the asset register by the Department of Public Works has been going on for years without completion despite multiple agencies being appointed with no results.
4.7 The Committee noted a persistent gap between the expenditure outcomes and achieved performance targets of departments at the end of each financial year.
5. Committee Recommendations
The Standing Committee on Appropriations having engaged with the above stakeholders recommends as follows:
5.1 That the Minister of Finance ensures that the National Treasury considers incorporating a clause into the Appropriation Bill to enforce planning as a requirement for infrastructure programmes.
5.2 That the Minister of Public Works:
5.2.1 Puts measures in place to ensure that job creation targets set for the Expanded Public Works Programme are attained.
5.2.2 Submits to Parliament quarterly progress reports on the compilation of the asset register.
5.3 That the Minister of Communications:
5.3.1 Ensures that the Department of Communications expedite the process of finalising the national broadband strategy and the rollout of broadband infrastructure.
5.3.2 That critical posts such as that of the Chief Financial Officer are filled expeditiously.
5.3.3 That the Department of Communications reports on the necessity for introducing the 112 Emergency Call Centre project given the regular rollover of funds allocated to this project.
5.3.4 That the Department of Communications report to Parliament quarterly on the implementation of the Turnaround strategy.
The Standing Committee on Appropriations, having considered the Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B32 – 2012] (National Assembly— Section 77) referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism; reports that it has agreed to the Bill without amendments.
Report to be considered.
MONDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2012
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the Superior Courts Bill [B7-2011], dated 19 November 2012
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the subject of the Superior Courts Bill [B6– 2011], (National Assembly – section 75, referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill), reports the Bill with amendments [B7B-2011].
The Committee reports the Bill further as follows:
1. The Committee is aware that the Bill continues to refer to certain places, which use different municipal names. However, until these place-names are officially changed in terms of the South African Geographical Names Council Act 118 of 1998, these names will be used. Once such name changes officially occur, the legislation should be aligned with the new name.
2. The Office of the Chief Justice was proclaimed a government department in September 2011, as a transitional measure, pending the establishment of an independent administration for the judiciary. The Bill clarifies that it is the Secretary-General of the Office of the Chief Justice, who bears responsibility for monies received or disbursed on account of the administration and functioning of the Superior Courts. The Committee understands that the process of establishing a separate vote for the Office of the Chief Justice is well underway. It welcomes this as a necessary step towards ensuring that the judiciary is optimally resourced to perform its judicial functions. This, the Committee believes, will contribute towards a more effective and efficient judicial system.
Report to be considered
TUESDAY, 20 NOVEMBER 2012
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
(1) Bill passed by National Assembly on 20 November 2012:
(a) Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill [B 6B – 2011] (National Assembly – sec 74(3)(a)).
(2) Bills passed by National Council of Provinces on 20 November 2012:
(a) Sheriffs Amendment Bill [B 2B – 2012] (National Assembly – sec 75).
(b) Road Accident Fund (Transitional Provisions) Bill [B 22B – 2012] (National Assembly – sec 75).
REPORTS FROM PRESIDING OFFICERS
1. The Speaker
CREDA PLEASE INSERT - T121120e-insert pages 4701 -4702
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Speaker and the Chairperson
(a) Report of the South African delegation to the 124th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Panama from 15 to 20 April 2011, as adopted by the Parliamentary Group on International Relations on 16 October 2012.
Report of the South African delegation to the 124th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Panama from 15 to 20 April 2011, as adopted by the Parliamentary Group on International Relations on 16 October 2012:
Established in 1889, the Inter‑Parliamentary Union (IPU) is an international organisation of Parliaments of sovereign states. The IPU is one of the leading organisations in the promotion and strengthening of the institutions of parliamentary democracy. The organs of the IPU are the Assembly, the Governing Council, the Executive Committee and the Secretariat.
The IPU supports the efforts of the United Nations, whose objectives it shares and works in close co-operation with. It also co-operates with regional inter-parliamentary organisations as well as with international inter-governmental and civil society organisations that are motivated by the same ideals.
The IPU’s membership currently comprises of 157 member parliaments and 9 international parliamentary assemblies who are associate members.
The agenda for the 124th IPU Assembly was as follows:
i. Election of the President and Vice-Presidents of the 124th Assembly
ii. Consideration of possible requests for the inclusion of an emergency item in the Assembly agenda
iii. General debate on the political, economic and social situation in the world with the overall theme of Parliamentary accountability: living up to people’s expectations
iv. Providing a sound legislative framework aimed at preventing electoral violence, improving election monitoring and ensuring a smooth transition of power (First Standing Committee on Peace and International Security)
v. The role of parliaments in ensuring sustainable development through the management of natural resources, agricultural production and demographic change (Second Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade)
vi. Transparency and accountability in the funding of political parties and election campaigns (Third Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights).
vii. Approval of the subject items for the 126th Assembly and appointment of the rapporteurs
The delegation to the 124th IPU Assembly consisted of: Mr M V Sisulu MP (Speaker and Leader of Delegation), Mr C T Frolick, House Chairperson (Committees), Ms M T Kubayi MP, Ms S C N Shope-Sithole MP, Mr G D Schneeman MP, Mr M C Maine MP, Ms M C Dikgale MP, and Mr J J McGluwa MP.
The delegation was assisted by Ms C Paulse, Ms T Lyons (Secretary to Parliament’s Office), and Ms C Mhlambiso from the International Relations Section of Parliament. Mr K Somgqeza, International Relations Divisional Head, attended the meetings. Mr P Lebeko and Ms M Cannon from the Office of the Speaker supported the Speaker during the conference. Ms B Trout supported the House Chairperson of Committees (National Assembly).
Mr K Mansura (Secretary to the National Assembly), Ms P Davids (Office of the Secretary to Parliament), Mr R Poliah (Section Manager: ICT) and Mr E Phindela (Secretary to the National Council of Provinces) attended the meetings of the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP).
4. Meeting of Southern African Group
The Southern African Group met on Thursday, 14 April 2011. Speaker Sisulu chaired the meeting and informed those present that the SADC Secretariat had requested the South African Parliament to convene the meeting.
Representatives from Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia and Lesotho attended the meeting.
The meeting was informed that the representatives from the Africa Region on the IPU Executive would present a report on the IPU Executive Committee activities at the Africa Geopolitical meeting scheduled for the afternoon of 14 April 2011.05.04
The meeting was informed of the three (3) emergency items on the agenda of the IPU Assembly for consideration and adoption. The meeting discussed the items, Call for urgent global action to assist earthquake- and tsunami- hit Japan and to prevent the impact of the disaster on the region as a whole (Pakistan), Parliamentary action to strengthen the right to self-determination of peoples within the framework of international law (Venezuela), and The role of the IPU in ensuring a democratic transitional process towards the empowerment of women in the Middle East and North Africa (Indonesia), at length and agreed to support the item proposed by Pakistan.
The Chairperson informed the meeting of the vacancies to be filled during the 124th IPU Assembly:
* Two vacancies for the Africa Group on the Bureau of the First Standing Committee (titular and substitute);
* Designation of representatives of the Africa Group on the Standing Committee and emergency item drafting committees.
The meeting was advised that the rules of the standing committees prescribe that the number of members of a drafting committee shall not normally exceed eleven. The composition should take into account equitable geographical distribution and political and gender balance. The rapporteurs who have prepared the report and the draft resolution on the item placed on the Committee’s agenda must take part in the proceedings of the drafting committee as members or advisers.
5. Africa Geopolitical Group Meeting
The Africa Geopolitical Group met on Thursday, 14 April 2011. The meeting was chaired by Mr Edourd Mokolo (Democratic Republic of Congo). The Africa Group deliberated on the following items:
Report of the representatives of the African Group in the IPU Executive Committee
The African representative on the IPU Executive presented the report on the activities of the Executive Committee:
* Rules of procedure for the coming five years for the main bodies and the subsidiary bodies;
* Consideration of the new strategy for the IPU;
* Reports from the IPU President and the Secretary General of the activities for 2010;
* Report on the status of non-working Members on the committees;
* Financial activities of the IPU;
* The recovering of the contributions;
* The budget for 2012;
* Cooperation with UN Organisations and their agencies;
* The 2012 – 2017 IPU Strategy;
* Governing Council of the IPU and the Assembly meetings of Panama;
* Meeting of Small Island Developing States;
* Climate change;
* Reports on committees and specialised committees; and
* The provisioning of an agenda for the Governing Council of the Bern meeting.
The Africa group decided to support the emergency item proposed by Pakistan.
Vacancies to be filled during the 121st Assembly
The Africa Geopolitical Group filled the vacancies of the titular and substitute positions on the First Standing Committee by nominating Mr A Cherar (Algeria) as titular member and Mr B Abdulaye (Cameroon) as substitute member.
The meeting was requested to submit names for candidature for the first-, second-, third – and emergency item drafting committee to the African Parliamentary Union (APU) Secretariat. The membership were reminded that regions should be considered for these drafting committees that do not currently have representatives on these drafting committees.
Any other business
The Chairperson presented the following information to the meeting:
* Three Members of the Africa Group must form part of the Scale of Contributions Committee;
* Morocco is lobbying for the President of the IPU;
* Consideration of subject topics for the 126th IPU Assembly, Kampala.
Sudan informed the meeting of the outcome of the Referendum. The representative indicated that the country is currently occupied with the reconstruction process. The election results have been recognised by the President, Parliament and international community and North Sudan will be assisted to build a new state and with the peaceful emergence of a strong state. The representative made a call to all African Parliaments to support the rebuilding process of the two states.
The Assembly, as proposed by Speaker Sisulu, should be made aware of the successful outcome of the referendum and should issue a note of congratulations to the people of Sudan for the peaceful process.
6. Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians
Ms Shope-Sithole attended the meeting as a substitute on the Coordinating Committee.
The 16th Meeting of Women Parliamentarians received a brief presentation from Ms Dana Castaneda Guardia, Second Vice President of the National Assembly of Panama. Ms Guardia would chair the 16th Meeting of Women Parliamentarians.
Participants were informed of the vacancies to be filled during the 124th Assembly and these included those of two titular representatives from the Arab Group to fill vacancies left by Ms Greiiss (Egypt) and Ms A Al Qubaisi (United Arab Emirates) who were no longer members of Parliament, one titular regional representative from the Asia Pacific Group to replace Ms J Hall (Australia) who had resigned from her post on the Committee and one substitute regional representative from the Eurasia Group not filled during the 15th Meeting of Women Parliamentarians. The meeting also considered the matter of a vacancy for a First Vice President.
The Coordinating Committee was also informed of the gender activities at the IPU in particular the work of the IPU in Tunisia. The IPU sent an expert mission to Tunisia from 22 – 24 March to advocate for an election system conducive to gender parity in the future Constituent Assembly. In this regard it can be noted that the elections for Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly, which will be held on 24 July 2011, will make use of a proportional list system to ensure gender parity. Ms Shope-Sithole congratulated the IPU on this work and noted that in South Africa, the ruling party had provisions to ensure 50% representation of women in Parliament.
The meeting also received an input from the IPU Secretary-General, Mr A Johnson, on the IPU Strategy for 2012 – 2017. He thanked the Coordinating Committee for their inputs into the IPU Strategy and noted that the majority of these inputs had been incorporated into the text prepared by the Executive Committee in pursuit of the objective of ensuring that gender was mainstreamed in the IPU. The Strategy would now be submitted to the Governing Council for adoption and its 189th session in October 2011.
7. 16th Meeting of Women Parliamentarians
In accordance with Rule 8, the Meeting was opened by the President of the Coordinating Committee, Dr N Assegaf (Indonesia), who then presided over the election of the President of the Meeting. According to Rule 7, the meeting would be chaired by a woman member of the host Parliament of the 124th Assembly. Accordingly, Ms Dana Castaneda Guardia, Second Vice President of the National Assembly of Panama, was nominated and elected by acclamation. Ms Shope-Sithole seconded the nomination.
The meeting proceeded to look at the gender activities of the IPU including the work of the Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians at the sessions held in Geneva (October 2011 and February 2011). The meeting also looked at the status of the participation of men and women in the 124th IPU Assembly. It was noted that this Assembly had one of the highest levels of women participation in recent years with a total of 187 women parliamentarians or 29.5% women participation. It was further noted that 13 multi-member delegations comprised of only male MPs and 1 multi-member delegation (that of Angola) comprised of only women.
The Meeting of Women Parliamentarians discussed the following items of the agenda of the 124th Assembly:
Providing a sound legislative framework aimed at preventing electoral violence, improving election monitoring and ensuring the smooth transition of power (First Standing Committee)
Transparency and accountability in the funding of political parties and election campaigns (Third Standing Committee)
Participants were divided into two groups with a moderator and rapporteur for each working group. The aim of these working groups was to ensure that a gender perspective was included to the draft resolutions. As such, the rapporteur for each group would draft amendments to the draft resolutions before the First and Third Standing Committees.
Before the participants divided into groups they received a brief presentation from Ms Julie Ballington, Gender Advisor at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on the findings of a recent study on the role of political parties in promoting women’s political participation and on gender based electoral violence.
Ms Kubayi, as rapporteur of the Third Standing Committee, was given an opportunity to take the floor prior to it being opened for general debate on the topic before the Third Standing Committee. It was indicated that the draft resolution had tried to address the aspect of gender parity, but that the deliberations of the women parliamentarians to enrich the resolution in a manner which would aim to promote gender equality in politics as well as to recognise that measures to support women during and after elections were necessary, was welcomed.
Mrs Shope-Sithole requested the IPU and the UNDP to develop training programmes for women to empower them in their legislative and oversight roles, especially in regard to their interaction with communities.
In regard to the draft resolution before the First Standing Committee it was proposed that a clearer definition of electoral violence should take into account violence of a physical, verbal and cultural nature. A normative framework which legislated against electoral violence was considered essential specifically in respect of violence against women. Education should guarantee the equal participation of men and women in electoral processes. The media should also be sensitised to ensure that reporting was gender sensitive and not discriminatory.
In regard to the draft resolution before the Third Standing Committee it was noted that women are confronted with more funding challenges than men. In this regard, strong political will, gender sensitive internal polices and a distribution of resources that takes into account the needs of women are required in political parties. Political parties should do more to support the candidatures of women, including considering matters such as for example subsidies for child care. Furthermore, non‑discrimination should be enshrined in constitutional and electoral laws and women should receive support for, during and after elections. Education and training programmes were considered as a key component ore in support of women candidates
During the afternoon session the meeting looked at the status of women in national parliaments, in particular progress and setbacks in parliaments in 2010. The meeting also looked at the work done by the IPU to strengthen the parliamentary dimension of the United Nations efforts to promote partnership between men and women.
The meeting then proceeded to a dialogue session between men and women on gender sensitive parliaments. It was noted that a gender sensitive parliament was one that responded to the needs and interests of both men and women in their structures, operations, methods and work. The meeting looked at how to develop a gender sensitive parliament. Gender mainstreaming as a strategy to achieve gender equality was discussed as well as the results of the IPU’s survey on Gender Sensitive Parliaments. The panelists for the discussion were Ms Ann Borman, Swedish gender expert, and Dr Sonia Palmieri, author of the Gender Sensitive Parliament IPU survey.
Ms Shope-Sithole indicated that in South Africa the percentage of women parliamentarians was at 43.8% and that in provincial legislatures the percentage was at 44.9%. At the level of the executive women account for 40% of national ministers and deputy ministers. At the level of the provinces women also constitute 40% of the members of the executive councils. At local government level women still remain underrepresented at 30% female mayors and 10.4% of municipal managers. It was also indicated that a concern was representation in the private sector. Work to ensure economic liberation, specifically for women was of great importance.
The next Meeting of Women Parliamentarians would be held in 2012 in Kampala (Uganda).
8. Working Group on the Scale of Contributions
A working group composed of South Africa (Mr McGluwa), France, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Indonesia, Brasil and Japan was convened to consider proposals for the scale of contributions (2012) for IPU subscriptions.
A discussion paper was presented to the working group set up to review the IPU scale of contributions for 2012.
The proposal of a United Nations scale of assessment revised every three years was considered by the working group as a starting point for establishing the capacity of member parliaments to pay. This scale takes into account gross national income (GNI) averaged over several years, exchange rates, debt burden and low per capita income. The proposal has also taken into account the ability of countries to pay the contribution.
The meeting was in general agreement that an increase of the contributions is necessary taking into account inflation and the increase of the cost for services.
The meeting was however of the opinion that further consultations is required before approving the proposal for adoption by Assembly during October 2011 in Bern.
Several concerns were raised:
* The overall budget has to be considered with the possibility of cutting some expenditure, especially the operational budget (as proposed by South Africa) before considering the increase of contributions;
* A table of amounts presenting the actual Swiss Francs that contributions would be decrease or increased with;
* The table of proposed increases contains perverse results (warped scale);
* The Swiss Francs had appreciated quite substantially adding more costs to subscriptions;
* Several countries indicated that since their country budgets were cut it would be difficult to motivate for the increase of subscription.
The Chairperson raised the following facts:
* The IPU has been negotiating with several countries to join and this would then result in the cost being spread over a larger number of countries thereby reducing the subscription costs per country;
* The IPU has to consider adopting a system, since a structured approach to subscription increases has to be adopted;
* The IPU would only be able to cover about 85% (two-thirds) of its budget If the UN scale is applied to calculate subscriptions.
The meeting was subsequently presented with additional information i.e. the table of actual amounts applicable to the proposed increase.
The meeting agreed that further consultations are required before the adoption of a proposal by the Assembly in Bern October 2011. Additional meetings to discuss the scale of contributions would be coordinated by the IPU Secretariat before the meeting in Bern.
9. Meeting of the Governing Council
The Governing Council met on Sunday, 16 April and Wednesday, 20 April. South Africa was represented in the Governing Council by the Speaker, Mr Frolick and Mr McGluwa.
Approval of the summary records of the 187th session of the Governing Council
The summary records of the 187th session were approved.
Questions relating to IPU membership
The Governing Council decided on requests for affiliation to the IPU.
The Governing Council approved the request from the Inter-Parliamentary Union of the Member States of Trinidad & Tobago and Comores.
Report of the President
The President reported on his activities since the 187th session of the Governing Council and on the activities of the Executive Committee.
Interim Report by the Secretary-General on the activities of the Union since the 187th session of the Governing Council
The Secretary-General presented a report on the activities of the IPU since the 187th session of the Governing Council.
He also presented a report on the annual reporting exercise of IPU members. It was noted that some Members had not fulfilled their statutory obligation to submit annual reports on how their parliaments had followed up and implemented recommendations of the three resolutions adopted at the 122th Assembly, namely: Cooperation and shared responsibility in the global fight against organised crime, in particular drug trafficking, illegal arms sales, human trafficking and cross-border terrorism; The role of parliaments in developing South-South and triangular cooperation with a view to accelerating achievement of the Millennium Development Goals; Youth participation in the democratic process; and The role of parliaments in strengthening the solidarity of the international community towards the people of Haiti and Chile in the wake of devastating major disasters, and urgent actions required in all disaster-prone countries to improve disaster-risk assessment, preventing and mitigation (Emergency item).
He further informed the members of the IPU project of a global survey that would be launched during the current IPU Assembly. The global survey’s objective is to gather information on politicians and the work of politicians. The survey would be the first of its kind and he made an appeal for the support of Members when approached to complete the survey. The results of the project will be presented during the 125th IPU Assembly scheduled for October 2011.
Financial results for 2010
The Secretary‑General of the IPU presented the report on the financial results for 2010.
The membership raised the following concerns:
* The operational budget that comprises a big portion of the budget;
* The need for specialised focus areas in order to ensure an impact of the IPU programmes;
* The need to further look at reducing costs; and
* The presentation of accurate figures that corresponds to the time period under scrutiny.
The Secretary‑General assured the Assembly that the Secretariat would make an attempt to relook the budget to ensure that their concerns are taken account of.
The Auditor presented a report on the auditing process of the IPU financial records for 2010.
Reports on recent IPU specialised meetings
The Council also noted the following reports on recent IPU specialised meetings:
* Seminar on United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies (Switzerland, 7 October 2010).
* Joint Conference with the Association of Secretaries General of Parliament (Switzerland, 7 October 2010)
* Information Seminar on Parliaments and the Cedaw (Switzerland, 7 October 2010).
* Eastern and Southern Africa Parliamentary Regional Workshop on “Children and AIDS: The social protection response, the role of the Parliaments (Windhoek, 20 – 22 October 2010).
* World e-parliament Conference (South Africa, 21 – 22 October 2010).
* International Parliamentary Conference “Parliaments, minorities and indigenous peoples: Effective participation in politics” (Mexico, 31 October – 3 November 2010)
* Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations (New York, 2 – 3 December 2010).
* Parliamentary Meeting on the occasion of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16), (Mexico, 6 December 2010).
* Regional Seminar for Twelve Plus Parliaments on youth participation in democracy, (United Kingdom, 8 – 9 December 2010).
Consolidation of the reform of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
The Governing Council gave further consideration to the reform of the IPU. Members were also informed on the process that had been put into place to develop a strategic plan for the future development of the IPU. A revised draft strategic plan for the IPU for 2010 to 2015, considering amendments proposed by Member States, was submitted to the Council for consideration. (Revised text annexed)
Members were requested to bring the document to the attention of their parliaments and submit responses on its further refinement to the IPU before the end of June 2011. The final version, considering inputs, would be tabled for adoption during the 125th IPU Assembly.
Activities of committees and other bodies
The Governing Council examined the reports of the following bodies and committees:
(a) Coordinating Committee of the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians
(b) Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians
(c) Committee on Middle East Questions
(d) Gender Partnership Group
(e) Advisory Group on HIV/Aids
125th IPU Assembly
The 125th IPU Assembly will take place in Bern (Switzerland) from 16 to 19 October 2011.
Future Inter-Parliamentary meetings
The following statutory assemblies will take place:
(1) 31 March – 5 April 2012 – 126th Assembly and related meetings (Kampala, Uganda)
(2) 21 – 26 October 2012 – 127th Assembly and related meetings (Quebec City, Canada)
A list of specialised meetings was also distributed.
10. Meetings of the Assembly
The 125th Assembly was opened on Saturday 16 April by the President of the IPU, Mr Theo-Ben Gurirarb.
The 125th Assembly theme was Parliamentary accountability: Living up to people’s expectations.
The UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Ms Michelle Bachelet, addressed the Assembly before the debate on the political, economic and social situation in the world.
The Speaker’s input focused on what is expected of Parliaments and the role of parliamentarians to ensure that they live up to people’s expectations. Parliamentarians have the Constitution as a basis and the oversight tools effectively to deliver on these expectations. Within this context the challenges of poverty, climate change and MDGs should be addressed to ensure delivery of expectations. He concluded his input by stating that parliamentarians should in essence be agents of progressive change.
The meeting then considered the requests for the inclusion of an emergency item in the agenda of the Assembly. Three requests had been received, namely:
* Call for urgent global action to assist earthquake- and tsunami-hit Japan and to prevent the impact of the disaster on the region as a whole (Pakistan)
* Parliamentary action to strengthen the right to self-determination of peoples within the framework of international law (Venezuela)
* Strengthening democratic reform in emerging democracies, including North Afria and the Middle East (Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran and New Zealand)
After a brief introduction to each proposal by the proposers, Pakistan withdrew their proposal in favour of a combination of the items proposed by Venezuela, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran and New Zealand.
The President of the IPU announced that a political statement on the natural disaster that took place in Japan will be issued by the Assembly. The proposals of the President were accepted by acclamation.
11. Advisory Group on the Committee on United Nations Affairs
The Advisory Group met on 5 October 2010 to draft the Committee’s report and to discuss future action. Mr Frolick attended the meeting as the representative of South Africa on the Advisory Group.
The meeting was co-chaired between the President of the IPU and the President of the UN General Assembly. This is part of ongoing measures to work towards closer collaboration between the UN and the IPU.
The following key matters emerged out of the informal discussions:
Three clusters were identified by the. President of the UNGA for on-going collaboration:
* Development and reduction of poverty;
* Green economy and sustainable development; and
* Global governance - "Reaffirmation of the role of the UN in global governance".
Upcoming UN events
* High-level meeting on HIV/AIDS from 8-14 June 2011;
* High-level meeting on Youth from 25-26 July 2011; and
* Informational thematic debates on the green economy, Inter-cultural dialogue, broader aspects of global governance, etc.
* According to the President of the UNCA the key question on the UN is "How to advance the UN Development Programme beyond 2015".
* Speakers raised concern over the lack of movement to reform the UN; and
* The implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution on Libya.
The Group also considered the modalities for the functioning of the Advisory Group, the draft statement on the Millennium Development Goals and the proposed resolution to be adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The Group was also requested to scrutinise the preliminary draft report of the IPU Committee on United Nations Affairs.
In addition, the Group deliberated on the following issues:
* 2010 Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations (2 – 3 December 2010)
* Field missions in 2011
* Consideration of the agenda for the October 2011 session of the IPU Committee on United Nations Affairs
Due to time constraints the Group agreed to revisit some of these issues and to finalise the discussions during the meeting scheduled for October 2011.
12. First Standing Committee on Peace and Security
The Committee met on 16 April 2011 to deliberate on the topic of Providing a sound legislative framework aimed at preventing electoral violence, improving election monitoring and ensuring smooth transition of power.
The co-rapporteurs presented a synopsis of the report and draft resolution for consideration by the Committee. The Committee members deliberated on the issues and recommended amendments.
Mr Schneeman was elected to Chair the Drafting Committee of the First Standing Committee.
The Drafting Committee was represented by United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe (Co-Rapporteur), India (Co-Rapporteur), Gabon, Korea, Iran, Palestine, Venezuela, Argentina and the United Nations Representative.
After a robust engagement of the members arguing for and against proposed amendments a final resolution was agreed to.
The resolution was submitted to the meeting of the First Standing Committee that took place on Monday, 18 April 2011. The meeting adopted the draft resolution.
13. Second Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade
The Committee met on 17 April 2011 to deliberate on the topic of The role of Parliaments in ensuring sustainable development through the management of natural resources, agricultural production and demographic change.
The second standing committee met to deliberate on the report and draft resolutions prepared by the co-rapporteurs, Mr A Cherrar (Algeria) and Ms K Ferrier (Netherlands).
Mr McGluwa noted that the outcome to be achieved with the resolution was of great importance. He further noted the importance of binding resolutions during the COP17 conference that would be hosted by in Durban, South Africa in December 2011. He emphasised that the greatest effect of climate change was felt in developing countries and that an aspect of increasing importance in developing countries was the scarcity of water and the need to undertake programmes to protect this resource.
The Committee adopted the draft resolution on Tuesday, 19 April 2011.
14. Third Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights
The Committee met on Saturday, 16 April 2011 to deliberate on the topic of Transparency and accountability in the funding of political parties and election campaigns”.
Mrs Kubayi, co-rapporteur, noted that a number of delegations had raised the issue of curbing spending limits on election campaigns. She also noted the important amendments proposed to ensure that a gender perspective be included in the resolution.
The matter of regulation of media air time for political party coverage (outside of paid airtime) was an important aspect that had come through in a number of contributions. It was noted that it was sometimes easier to control this aspect through state broadcasters as opposed to private broadcasters. The minimum requirement of having attained a certain number of votes to access public funding was also addressed. Mrs Kubayi expressed the view that this matter should be addressed in electoral laws, but that it was desirable to have a plurality of political parties for the electorate to choose from.
The drafting committee on the resolution would meet on Monday, 18 April and comprises of Canada, Monaco Switzerland, Ghana, Togo, Bahrain, Ecuador, Uruguay, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Mrs Kubayi formed part of the drafting committee in an advisory capacity. She was subsequently nominated to present the report to the Assembly after the Committee adopted the draft resolution on Tuesday, 19 April 2011.
15. IPU Committee on COP17
The IPU Secretariat met with Mr Frolick to initiate discussions on COP17.
The meeting deliberated on setting the political and operational framework for the Parliamentary level engagement of COP17 during November/December 2011.
To provide a report on the meeting between the South African Delegation who met with the Secretariat of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Panama twice on Sunday, 17 April, 2011.
Mr Frolick (MP) House Chairperson: Committees, Oversight and ICT
Ambassador A.L. Manley (South African Ambassador to Peru and also accredited to Panama)
Mr Somgqeza (Division Manager: International Relations and Protocol)
Mr Lebeko (Office of the Speaker)
Mr Mudley (First Secretary: South African Embassy in Peru)
Mr Tchelnokov (Secretary of the Standing Committee Inter-Parliamentary Union)
* The IPU Secretariat was informed that COP17 is of great importance to the IPU. The optimal time for an IPU Meeting is the second week of COP. The Secretariat is therefore considering a one day meeting on 05 December, 2011.
* The South African Parliament should prepare a Declaration or Outcomes Document for distribution and comment. This should be done 3 months prior to the meeting in Bern 16 – 19 October, 2011, (mid July 2011).The draft should reflect the VALUES which are important to Parliamentarians. The form and content the document should be a powerful political declaration addressed to both governments and parliamentarians and with the aim to facilitate the draft’s adoption by all participants in the Parliamentary meeting in Durban, without resorting to re-drafting or voting.
* The IPU will meet in a location close to the main Conference Centre. The Parliamentarians will not be given passes into the security area of the conference, as they are not official delegates but NGO observers.
* The IPU Secretariat is classified as an international organisation and is allowed 3/4 observers who are allocated seats in the Conference Plenary Hall and a short (3 minute) speaking opportunity during the conference.
* The expectation of the UNFCCC Secretariat is that the IPU Secretariat speaks on behalf of Parliamentarians. The Mexican Opposition has a different view, since they want Parliamentarians to participate in the Plenary of COP17.
* The Inaugural Ceremony should be presided over by the Speaker of the South African Parliament and the President of the IPU (Co-Chairs). The new President of the IPU will be elected in Bern in 16 – 19 October, 2011.
* Five guest speakers should be invited, preferably people who are already at COP17 in another capacity to avoid costs on airfare, accommodation and S&T. The Chair of COP17
This engagement will continue after the conclusion of the 124th IPU Assembly, since hosting the IPU Parliamentary level meeting on the occasion of the 17th Cooperation of Parties agreement on climate change require continuous interaction before the event.
16. Panel Discussions
Thirty years of HIV/AIDS: Where are parliaments?
The meeting discussed how parliaments contribute to the AIDS response and the role that they should play in future. The meeting was also informed of the current situation in respect of the global HIV epidemic and developments shaping the next decade of the AIDS response.
The panelists for the discussion were Ms Susan Timberlake, Senior Human Rights and Law Adviser, UNAIDS and Dr César Núnez, Regional Director for Latin America, UNAIDS. The panel discussion was moderated by Mr Manuel Burgos, Director, Institute for Human Rights and Health.
Parliamentarians taking the lead on maternal, newborn and child health
The meeting was called to introduce parliamentarians to the maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) project. The project will be co-ordinated by the IPU and is intended to develop the required MNCH capacity and competencies within selected Parliaments. The objective of the project is to raise the profile of the MNCH in national Parliaments.
The meeting took the form of a round-table discussion to brief parliamentarians on current trends and recent developments in maternal and child health. It was noted that each year 8 million children die before their fifth birthday and hundreds of thousands of women die in pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these deaths are preventable and there is a global momentum to ensure the achievement of the MDG targets which are related to the health of women and children
The panel was chaired by Dr Carole Presern, Director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. The Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Ms Kadaga, formed part of the panel. She indicated that she will ensure that these discussions continue during the meetings of the 126th IPU in Uganda during April 2012.
The members were shown a media clip on the number of women who die during childbirth. The shocking statistics reflected that every six seconds a women die due to childbirth.
The platform provided members with an opportunity to share experiences dealing with this challenge and to reach this MDG target by 2015. Ms Sithole indicated that she had the opportunity to investigate the reasons due to her position some time ago for mother and child mortality. She could make a conclusion that what we lack is an effective understanding of every person who is in Government, i.e. that women’s rights is people’s rights. The IPU is in a position to advocate this position. Parliamentarians are able to scrutinise Government report if it is delivered to MPs on time, quality of report and a lack of understanding due to the failure of giving valid information. This can be rectified with the training of Members of Parliament.
18. Conclusion and recommendations
It is recommended that the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces refer the subject items for the 125th IPU Meetings to the Parliamentary Group on International Relations (PGIR) for engagement with the relevant parliamentary committees. These committees should, through their interaction with the PGIR focus group on the IPU seek to engage with the subject items from the perspective of South Africa with a view to influencing the resolutions which will be adopted on these subject items during the 126th IPU Assembly in Uganda.
The delegation recommends that the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces consider referring the resolution on the emergency item, adopted by the 124rd Assembly, entitled “Strengthening democratic reform in emerging democracies, including North Africa and the Middle East” to the PGIR for further consultation with the PC on International Relations and Cooperation with a view to informing the IPU on action taken by our Parliament to give effect to this resolution.
The delegation further recommends that the political statement on the natural disaster of Japan (earthquake and tsunami) should be tabled as a motion in the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.
It is recommended that the PGIR engage with the content of the draft strategic plan for the IPU for 2010 – 2015. A submission on this should be formulated by June 2011 for discussion by the Executive Committee of the IPU. The adoption of the draft strategic plan will be considered during the 125th IPU Assembly in Bern (Switzerland).
(b) Report of the South African delegation to the 125th Inter‑Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Bern, Switzerland, from 16 to 19 October 2011, as adopted by the Parliamentary Group on International Relations on 16 October 2012.
Report of the South African delegation to the 125th Inter‑Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Bern, Switzerland, from 16 to 19 October 2011, as adopted by the Parliamentary Group on International Relations on 16 October 2012:
Established in 1889, the Inter‑Parliamentary Union (IPU) is an international organisation of Parliaments of sovereign states. The IPU is one of the leading organisations in the promotion and strengthening of the institutions of parliamentary democracy. The organs of the IPU are the Assembly, the Governing Council, the Executive Committee and the Secretariat.
The IPU supports the efforts of the United Nations, whose objectives it shares and works in close co-operation with. It also co-operates with regional inter-parliamentary organisations as well as with international inter-governmental and civil society organisations that are motivated by the same ideals.
The IPU’s membership currently comprises of 159 member parliaments and 9 international parliamentary assemblies who are associate members.
The Agenda for the 125th IPU Assembly was as follows:
i. Election of the President and Vice-Presidents of the 125th Assembly
ii. Consideration of possible requests for the inclusion of an emergency item in the Assembly agenda
iii. Panel discussions on the subject items chosen for debate during the 126th Assembly (Kampala, 31 March – 5 April 2012):
* Promoting and practicing good governance as a means of advancing peace and security: Drawing lessons from recent events in the Middle East and North Africa (First Standing Committee);
* Redistribution of power, not just wealth: Ownership of the international agendas (Second Standing Committee);
* Access to health as a basic right: The role of parliaments in addressing key challenges to securing the health of women and children (Third Standing Committee);
iv. Report of the IPU Committee on United Nations Affairs;
v. Amendments to the Statutes and Rules of the IPU.
The delegation to the 125th IPU Assembly consisted of Mr M V Sisulu MP (Speaker and Leader of Delegation), Ms F Hajaig, House Chairperson (International Relations), Mr C T Frolick, House Chairperson (Committees), Ms M T Kubayi MP, Ms N D Ntwanambi (Chief Whip of the Council), Mr S Mokgalapa MP, Mr L Ramatlakane MP and Mr A M Mpontshane MP.
The delegation was supported by Ms C Paulse (International Relations Section), Ms T Lyons (Office of the Secretary to Parliament) and Ms Z Jardine (International Relations Section). Further assistance was provided by Mr P Lebeko (Office of the Speaker), Ms L Sait (Office of the Speaker) and Ms E Lewis (Office of the House Chairperson: Committees). Ms F Hajaig was supported by Ms J Merckel (Office of the House Chairperson: IR) and Ms N Ntwanambi was supported by Ms R Molloy-Titus.
Mr Z A Dingani (Secretary to Parliament), Mr K Mansura (Secretary to the National Assembly), Ms P Davids (Office of the Secretary to Parliament) and Ms N Keswa (Divisional Head: ISD) attended the meetings of the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP).
4. Meeting of Southern African Group
The Southern African Group meeting took place on Saturday, 15 October 2011. Speaker Sisulu at the request of SADC-PF (Zimbabwe) chaired the meeting. The Southern African countries who attended the meeting were Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Lesotho, Congo, Mozambique,
The agenda of the Southern African Group meeting was as follows:
* Report of the representatives of the Africa Group on the IPU Executive Committee;
* The emergency item to be included in the agenda of the 125th Assembly;
* Vacancies to be filled during the 125th IPU Assembly;
* Amendments to the Statutes and Rules of the IPU; and
* Election of the Bureau of the African Group.
Report of the representatives of the Africa Group in the IPU Executive Committee
The representative of the Southern African Region on the IPU Executive is Mr T Gurirab, IPU President. Speaker Gurirab took ill and was therefore unable to present the report. The meeting was informed that the representative from Gabon will present the report at the African Group meeting.
The emergency item to be included in the agenda of the 125h Assembly
Two items were submitted for the emergency item, The plight of the people of famine‑stricken Somalia and relief efforts by IPU members (proposed by Namibia) and Realizing the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination (proposed by Palestine).
After a lengthy debate and the motivation presented by the Deputy Speaker of Namibia, the Southern African Group took a unanimous decision to support the emergency item proposed by Namibia.
Vacancies to be filled during the 125th Assembly
Two candidates were presented to the meeting for consideration, ie Mr A Radi (Morocco) and Mrs N A Assegaf (Indonesia).
The Southern African Group took a decision to support the candidate from Indonesia. This decision was based on the principle of rotation.
The Africa Group has to consider the vacancies of three Executive Committee Members, since the term of the representative of Benin, Algeria and Ethopia expires during the current October meetings.
The rules of the Africa Geopolitical Group prescribes the principle of rotation, therefore the candidates should be from Central, Southern and one other region. The Southern African Group nominated the Speaker of Lesotho, Speaker Motsamai for the Southern African Group. The Deputy Speaker of Namibia, Ms Mensah-Williams advised the Southern African meeting that she will nominate the Speaker of Uganda as the Eastern Africa sub-region candidate.
Amendments to the Statutes and Rules of the IPU
Algeria proposed an amendment to the statutes of the IPU to the effect that the term of office of the Secretary-General is renewable only once. Furthermore, they seek to ensure that the principle of alternating between various geopolitical groups for the origin of the Secretary-General is taken into consideration.
The Southern African Group decided to not support the proposed amendments by Algeria.
Election of the Bureau of the African Group
The Bureau of the Africa group is composed of the President and four Vice-Presents and the current incumbents’ term of office has come to an end. The Africa Geopolitical Group has to therefore consider nominations from sub-regions, based on the principle of rotation as prescribed by the rules of the Africa Geopolitical Group.
1 x President of the Bureau (Eastern Africa)
4 x Vice-Presidents from the Northern-, Southern-, Western- and Central sub-region.
The Southern African Group nominated Speaker Sisulu as the candidate for the Vice-President of the Southern African subregion.
5. Africa Geopolitical Group Meeting
The Africa Geopolitical Group met on Saturday, 15 October 2011.
The meeting was chaired by Mr Edourd Mokolo (Democratic Republic of Congo). The Africa Group deliberated on the following items:
* Report of the representatives of the Africa Group on the IPU Executive Committee;
* The emergency item to be included in the agenda of the 125th Assembly;
* Vacancies to be filled during the 125th IPU Assembly;
* Amendments to the Statutes and Rules of the IPU; and
* Election of the Bureau of the African Group.
The African representative on the IPU Executive, Ms Z Bitat (Algeria), presented the report on the activities of the Executive Committee:
The Africa group decided to support the emergency item as proposed by Namibia.
The Africa Group decided to request the two candidates for the position of President of the IPU to make a presentation to the Group before a decision in terms of which candidate to support is made.The three vacancies for the vacant positions on the IPU Executive Committee were decided as follows, Eastern Africa – Uganda (Speaker Kadaga), Southern African – Lesotho (Speaker Motsamai), Western Africa to submit a candidate after they have consulted.
The meeting was informed that Algeria withdrew the proposed amendments to the Rules of the IPU.
The following candidates for the Bureau of the African Group were presented:
* President of the Bureau – Eastern Africa – Speaker Maalim (Kenya)
* Vice President – Northern Africa to submit a nomination
* Vice President – Southern African – Speaker Sisulu (South Africa)
* Vice President – Western Africa to submit a nomination
* Vice President – Central Africa to submit a nomination
6. Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians
The Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians met on Sunday, 16 October 2011. The substitute representative, Ms S Shope-Sithole, was not part of the nominated South African delegation to the 125th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly. Ms N Ntwanambi represented the delegation at the meeting as an observer.
The Coordinating Committee appointed a number of its members to collect and share with the whole Committee information on the gender dimension of each of the Standing Committee topics. The member from Algeria and Jordan presented on Promoting and practicing good governance as a means of advancing peace and security: Drawing lessons from recent events in the Middle East and North Africa. The member from Mexico presented on Redistribution of power, not just wealth: Ownership of the international agendas. The member from Morocco presented on Access to health as a basic right: The role of Parliaments in addressing key challenges to securing the health of women and children.
The Committee made the following decisions:
* Additional activities such as mentoring, sharing of experience at constituency level, local campaigns, sharing of legislative models to ensure women representation and local caucus initiatives should be undertaken as strategies to ensure full participation of women parliamentarians in IPU meetings and to enhance the work of the Committee and the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians. This would aid the implementation of gender mainstreaming;
* The Meeting of Women Parliamentarians during the 126th IPU Assembly will discuss Redistribution of power, not just wealth: Ownership of the international agendas and Access to health as a basic right: The role of parliaments in addressing key challenges to securing the health of women and children;
* The candidates for the IPU Presidency will present their credentials and asked several questions during a session scheduled for Tuesday, 18 October 2011;
* A panel discussion, coordinated in conjunction with UNICEF, titled The role of Parliaments in combating malnutrition of young children will take place during the 126th IPU Assembly (March 2012, Uganda). The panel discussion is very timely considering the food shortages currently experienced by the Horn of Africa. This is also closely linked to MDG 4 and 5.
7. Working Group on the Scale of Contributions
The Working Group on the Scale of Contributions met on Sunday, 16 October 2011. The 125th IPU delegation was represented by Ms M T Kubayi.
A working group composed of South Africa, France, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Indonesia, Brasil and Japan was convened to consider proposals for the scale of contributions (2012) for IPU subscriptions.
The proposal of a United Nations scale of assessment revised every three years was considered by the working group as a starting point for establishing the capacity of member parliaments to pay. This scale takes into account gross national income (GNI) averaged over several years, exchange rates, debt burden and low per capita income. The proposal has also taken into account the ability of countries to pay the contributions. This was discussed at length during the 124th IPU Assembly in Panama. The Panama was in general agreement that an increase of the contributions is necessary taking into account inflation and the increase of the cost for services. The meeting in Panama requested further deliberations before consenting to a particular scale of contributions.
The IPU Secretariat presented the latest developments:
* The proposed budget for 2012 showed a reduction amount of assessed contributions of 5.3%;
* Some members requested further reduction of 10% in the overall IPU budget;
* In the meeting of the Executive Committee of 15 October 2011 a proposal was made to use part of the projected surplus for 2011 to reduce the assessed contribution of 2012;
* Other cost saving measures proposed by the Secretariat were deferred for further debate;
* In light of these new proposals the revised amount of assessed contributions is CHF 11 063 700;
* More budget cuts will still be considered for 2013, however members should keep in mind that a cut in activities will impact the deliverables; and
* further cuts were presented to the Executive Committee, but did not provide an indication of whether they agree or not.
Several concerns were raised by the Working Group. Of particular concern was that the request of a 10% cut on contributions was not adhered to and the uncertainty of what the proposed contributions would be for 2013. Ms Kubayi proposed that the IPU Secretariat develop a 3-year framework of proposed contributions. This framework could be introduced during the Uganda Assembly. This would also assist member countries with their budgetary and planning processes. Japan, UK and South Africa raised their reservations and requested that the Secretariat reflect that they abstain from voting.
The Working Group decided to adopt the proposed new scale of contributions.
8. Meeting of the 189th Governing Council
The Governing Council met on Monday, 17 October 2011, and Wednesday, 19 October 2011.
The agenda items for the Governing Council were:
* Adoption of the agenda;
* Approval of the summary records of the 188th Session of the Governing Council;
* Questions relating to IPU membership and observer status;
* Report of the President on his activities since the 188th Session of the Governing Council and the activities of the Executive Committee;
* Interim Report by the Secretary General on the activities of the Union since the 188th Session of the Governing Council;
* Financial situation of the IPU;
* Draft programme and budget for 2012;
* Cooperation with the United Nations System;
* Strategy for the IPU 2012-2017;
* Reports on recent IPU specialized meetings;
* Activities of committees and other bodies;
* 126th IPU Assembly;
* Future Inter-Parliamentary Union meetings;
* Appointment of two Auditors for the 2012 accounts;
* Amendments to the Statutes and Rules;
* Election of the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union; and
* Election to the Executive Committee
The representatives on the Governing Council were Speaker Sisulu, Ms N Ntwanambi and Mr S Mokgalapa. The Statutes and Rules of the IPU make provision for three members of a member country to form part of the Governing Council of the IPU.
The Governing Council adopted the agenda. It also approved the summary records of the 188th Session of the Council.
The Council approved the requests for affiliation of the Parliament of Equatorial Guinea and the request for reaffiliation for the Parliament of Niger.
The Council also approved the request for observer status from the Penal Reform International (PRI), Parliamentary Assembly of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (AP-CPLP) and the Partnership for maternal, newborn and child health (PMNCH).
The joint IPU-UNICEF Handbook on Child Participation in Parliament was launched at the meeting. Ms Kirsi Madi, Deputy Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, UNICEF made a brief presentation to the Council. The Council also received a presentation of the IPU publication Gender-Sensitive Parliaments: A Global Review of Good Practice.
Ms K Kubayi made an input during the agenda item on the financial situation of the IPU. She indicated that the proposed budget is being considered during the time of member countries that are faced with many challenges i.e. unstable economic conditions and climate change. She further acknowledged that these financial constraints will impact on the ability of the IPU to deliver on its mandate as spelled out by the IPU Strategic Plan 2012 – 2017.
She advised the IPU to consider further innovative ways to ensure that IPU can continue its important work. Some of her proposals were for the IPU to consider a system whereby member Parliaments second expert personnel, smaller regional meetings focused on the needs within specific regions, telephone and video conferencing and the consideration of using less paper copies to reduce our carbon footprint.
The Strategy for the IPU 2012 – 2017 was adopted after a debate on the necessity to ensure that the strategy is to be considered the vision for the IPU for the period 2012 to 2017. The Secretary-General during his presentation of the IPU Strategy indicated that President Gurirab when he took up the position of the Presidency of the IPU requested the strategy for the IPU for the future. The adoption of the strategy, after a very lengthy consultation process, will serve as a legacy to President Gurirab’s as his term expires at the end of the 125th IPU Assembly.
The Speaker of Morocco, Mr Radi, was elected after the casting of votes during a secret ballot, as the President of the IPU for 2011 – 2013.
9. IPU Committee on UN Affairs (Advisory Group of the IPU Committee on UN Affairs)
The Advisory Group of the IPU Committee on the United Nations Affairs met on Monday, 17 October 2011. The representative on the Advisory of the IPU Committee on UN Affairs is Mr C Frolick. Members of the Advisory Group in attendance were Burkino Faso, Croatia, Pakistan, Finland and South Africa.
The Advisory Group did not have a formal agenda, but indicated that the discussions would focus on:
* The purpose of the Advisory Group;
* Work of the Committee on UN Affairs;
* Parliamentary dimension to the United Nations; and
* The forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly.
The Group discussed ways in which the work of the Committee can be improved and requested members to consider proposals that could be considered during the New York meeting in November 2011. These proposals will be submitted to the Executive Committee.
The meeting discussed the disappointing level of attendance at the IPU Committee on UN Affairs on Monday, 17 October 2011. The group agreed that constructive efforts will have to be taken to raise the level of awareness of the work of the IPU Committee on UN Affairs
The IPU Committee on United Nations Affairs met on Monday, 17 October 2011. The Committee deliberated on the following items:
* Hearing with the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations;
* Panel discussion on Nuclear Weapons – the road to Zero;
* Parliaments and the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for the Least Developed Countries;
* Cooperation between the United Nations, Parliaments and the IPU;
* Panel discussion on the Green Economy: A breakthrough for sustainable development; and
* State of play in preparations for the forthcoming session of the UN Climate Change Conference.
The first session of the IPU Committee on UN Affairs focused on a Hearing with the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, President Jorge Sampaio. The Committee was presented with the main objectives and initiatives of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAoC). The Committee members engaged in an interactive discussion with the UNAoC High Representative. The Committee members discussed how parliamentary engagement in the promotion of intercultural dialogue can be enhanced, particularly in the development and implementation of the IPU Resolution on “Ensuring respect for and peaceful co-existence between all religious communities and beliefs in a globalised world”. The High Representative indicated that this is a very crucial topic that does not receive enough emphasis on the global agenda. It would be important to address this issue and consideration should be given to restore trust between Parliaments and the people by the development of a new agenda for living together, public hearings, sharing views, inter-cultural diversity programmes and dialogues, youth -, media – and migration level discussion and dealing with populism and extremism. The IPU must consider taking the discussion further during the 126th IPU Assembly, Uganda (March 2012).
The second session of the IPU Committee on UN Affairs focused on Nuclear Weapons – The Road to Zero. The speakers on this panel were Mr G Evans (former Foreign Minister, Australia), Mr T Toth (Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation), Dr R Johnson (Executive Director, Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy), Dr R Chengeni, MP (Tanzania) and Mr M Robson (former Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, New Zealand).
This session created an opportunity to follow-up on the IPU resolution on Advancing nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and securing the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Ethiopia, 2009). The Committee took stock of progress and examined the new visions, policies and proposals that have been put forward to eliminate nuclear weapons. All the presenters lobbied for the banning of all nuclear weapons as the only solution to ensuring the elimination of all nuclear weapons. They also stressed that it is important to bring this item back to the centre of the global policy agenda. The catastrophic human consequences of the use of nuclear weapons i.e. radiation, human contamination and sickness, environmental contamination was highlighted. It is necessary to raise awareness of the humanitarian consequences, reinforce international humanitarian laws and create the framework for the enforcement of conventions. The international community must mobilize and act against the use of nuclear weapons; it should be declared an act against humanity.
The third session of the IPU Committee on UN Affairs focused on Parliaments and the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The keynote address by the United Nations High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developed States, Mr Cheick Sidi Diarra, focused on presenting the outcome of the Fourth UN Conference on LDC (May 2011). The objective of the Conference was to assist Parliaments in promoting and enhancing development. Of note is the announcement of about 100 programmes to aid Least Developed Countries. The Committee was informed of the roadmap and the plan of action for the implementation of the outcome of the Istanbul Conference. Parliaments had a challenge in terms of mainstreaming development and transforming it into policies. The lack of capacity was a serious challenge for Least Developed countries, even if the Least Developed Countries have relevant knowledge and information. The question was raised as to how Parliaments develop that capacity to assist Least Developed Countries. The IPU Secretariat developed guidance notes to assist Least Developed countries in developing their own action plans for the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action.
The fourth session of the IPU Committee on UN Affairs focused on Cooperation between the United Nations, Parliaments and the IPU. The report of the IPU Advisory Group on the United Nations Affairs to Ghana and Sierra Leone were presented to the Committee. The field mission by the Advisory Group on United Nations Affairs aimed at examining the implementation of UN reform and system-wide coherence at the national level. The Committee also took the opportunity to interact with National Parliaments and UN country teams on challenges and UN programmes. Finally, a presentation on the preparations for the forthcoming debate at the UN General Assembly on Interaction between the United Nations, National Parliaments and the IPU to be held in early 2012.
10. Assembly of the 125th IPU
The Assembly met on Monday, 17 October 2011, and Wednesday, 19 October 2011. The Assembly items that was considered during the 125th IPU were:
* Election of the President and Vice-Presidents of the 125th IPU Assembly;
* Consideration of possible requests for the inclusion of an emergency item in the Assembly agenda;
* Panel discussions on the subject items chosen for debate during the 126th Assembly (Kampala, 31 March – 5 April 2012).
The Assembly elected the President and Vice-Presidents of the 125th Assembly. The Speaker of the Swiss Parliament, Mr R Germainier, and the Speaker of Uganda, Ms R Kadaga, was elected as President and Vice-President.
The Assembly then considered requests for the inclusion of an emergency item in its agenda. The items that were considered for the inclusion as an emergency item were, The plight of the people of famine stricken Somalia and relief efforts by IPU members (proposed by Namibia), Realizing the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination (proposed by Palestine) and The need to further mobilize international support and strengthen international efforts to assist the Somali people suffering from famine (proposed by Iran). After brief inputs the delegations of Palestine and Iran withdrew their proposals in favour of the proposal by Namibia. The Assembly proceeded to a debate on the emergency item. In his address Speaker Sisulu noted that the world was once more witnessing a humanitarian disaster of epic proportions unfolding in the Horn of Africa. He stressed the need for countries to comprehensively address issues of sustainable development and the impact that factors such as climate change and political instability had on ensuring peace and human security. He further acknowledged that the impact of this crisis was being felt by all countries in the Horn of Africa. Speaker Sisulu acknowledged the work of the United Nations in the region as well as the contribution of the South African government and the NGO the Gift of the Giver. It was also noted that South Africa supported the efforts of the African Mission in Somalia as well as the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia in implementing the Road Map agreed by all parties. His address highlighted the dire conditions of the Horn of Africa and called on, as well as reminded the international community of their moral and ethical obligation to assist the people of Somalia.
11. Panel discussion on Access to Health as a basic right: The role of Parliaments in addressing key challenges to securing the health of women and children (Subject item of the First Standing Committee)
The representative on the panel was Mr A Mpontshane. Ms Kubayi, Ms N Ntwanambi, Mr L Ramatlakane, Mr S Mokgalapa and Mr C Frolick also attended the panel discussion. The Session was chaired by Mr O Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (Ghana). The co-rapporteurs of this subject item to be considered by the Third Standing Committee during the 126th Assembly in April 2012 is Ms S Ataullahjan (Canada), Mr F Sardinha (India) and Ms Paula Turyahikayo (Uganda).
The panelist for the panel discussion were Dr F Bustreo (Assistant Director-General for Family Women’s and Children’s Health, WHO) and Dr C Presern (Director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH).
The co-rapporteurs presented the report and highlighted the fact that the legislative framework exists and monitoring mechanisms is in place, but the challenge however for most developing countries is their continuous grapple with weak health systems. Poor women experience a disproportionately high incidence of domestic and sexual violence, teenage pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies, unsafe births and sexually-transmitted infections.
Recent action by the international community has focused on the need to accelerate progress on child and maternal health. As part of the Global Strategy, UN member states, the private sector, foundations, international organizations, civil society and research organizations pledged more than US$40 billion over the next five years. The IPU has launched a project that will develop the capacity and competencies of selected parliaments to improve maternal, newborn and child health.
During Mr Mpontshane’s input he indicated that South Africa has signed all the regional and continental treaties and all the required and appropriate legislation is in place, as well as sufficient budget has been allocation for health programme. Parliament has also established a multiparty womens caucus on MDGs, but has failed in terms of child mortality rates. In addition, South Africa has mobilized civil society organizations and has democratic bodies, such as the Women’s Rights Commission that reports to Parliament.
12. Panel on Redistribution of power not just wealth: Ownership of international agendas (Subject item to be discussed by the Second Standing Committee)
The representative on the panel was Mr L Ramatlakane. Ms K Kubayi also attended the session. The Session was chaired by Mr S Alhusseini (Saudi Arabia). The co-rapporteurs of this subject item to be considered by the Second Standing Committee during the 126th Assembly in April 2012 were Lord Judd (United Kingdom) and Mr O Benabdallah (Morocco).
The panelist for the panel discussion was Ms Y Li (Head of Debt and Development Finance Branch, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development).
The topic highlighted several dynamic shifts that are required if the global community wants to address the redistribution of power and not just wealth, namely:
* Concentrations of world power have always been at odds with the distribution of global populations, significantly with the rise of economies such as India, China and Brazil, power is increasingly not reflecting global economic realities;
* Multilateral institutions and forums for global problem-solving reflect the needs of the post-Second World War powers and big economies at the expense of those most exposed to the adverse consequences of such problems;
* Reform is needed to allow for inclusive and democratic decision-making and problem-solving;
* The Breton Woods institutions – the IMF and World Bank – must reform their governance structures including voting and methods for appointing their chief executive;
* Reform of the Security Council and transparency in the appointment of the UN Secretary-General;
* An inclusive global economic council must be established as a democratically representative alternative to the G20; and
* The need for greater transparence of decision-making through freedom of information and a register of lobbyists.
Although it is clear that a reform of global structures, institutions that does not serve the current world order, is required, the challenge remains how to shift the forces of dominance. The unequal distribution of power causes problems, world peace must be improved and governments must deal with the unease of populations.
Mr Ramatlakane argued that Parliamentarians must use their international bilateral influence to shift the status quo and achieve the redistribution of power and ownership of the international agenda. He further indicated that there should be a collective approach to address the global challenge in multilateral forums and work in collaboration to achieve greater synergy between the IPU and UN on the shared developmental agenda. He further appealed and agreed with the co-rapporteurs that the consolidation of democracy at the global level implies giving more space to the various members of the international community in order to hear their voices and share their concerns, which in turn enlarges the political space given to various civil society actors. This will also allow for the involvement of more developing countries in the decisions being taken at international forums. He concluded by saying that the redistribution of power must be understood as a call for reforms of the funds quota and the governance decision making process in line with nations challenges.
13. Panel on Promoting and practicing good governance as a means of advancing peace and security: Lessons drawn from recent events in the Middle East and North Africa (Subject items to be discussed by the Third Standing Committee)
The representative on the panel was Mr S Mokgalapa. Mr C Frolick and Ms F Hajaig also attended the panel discussion. The Session was chaired by Mr S Chowdhury (Bangladesh).
The co-rapporteurs of the subject item to be considered by the First Standing Committee during the 126th Assembly in April 2012 were Mr M Gyongyosi (Hungary) and Mr J Mwiimbu (Zambia). The panelists for the panel discussion were Mr M Galad (Editor-in-Chief of the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm), Ms S Sekkenes (Senior Adviser, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNDP) and Ms K Jabre (Manager of the Gender Partnership Programme).
The two co-rapporteurs presented a definition of good governance, Good governance is a broad concept generally used in the development sphere to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in order to guarantee human rights in a society. The draft report presented the causes of the uprising in the Middle East and North Africa. They basically argued that unemployment, poverty, dictator governments, economic and social injustice was the main reason for the uprising in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria and Libya. Technology i.e. live reporting and the media aided the escalation of the political unrest within the Middle East and North Africa. The political instability signaled a new order in the Arab Region and liberated nations sense of community in the Arab World, Middle East and Northern Africa. It has also been created the space for the Middle East and Northern Africa to redefine themselves.
The events in the Middle East and Northern Africa made Parliamentarians question how we establish a system of good governance and responsive governance with efficient and accountable governments, with free and fair elections, servicing the needs of the citizens of a country.
Members were in agreement that good governance should be composed of the following components:
* Accountability and transparency;
* Capacity to manage development;
* Easy access to information;
* Broad popular participation in political, social and economic processes;
* Fair and efficient system of justice;
* Efficient delivery system of services and goods;
* Enforcement of the rule of law; and
* Free and fair elections.
Mr Mokgalapa during his input highlighted the lessons learned from the recent events in North Africa and the Middle East:
* The time of dictatorship (authoritarian rule) has expired (Egypt);
* The increasing role of information technology (Twitter, Facebook);
* The role of civil society – youth being the driving force;
* The importance of addressing pressing national interest, like unemployment, rule of law, corruption, economic development, democratic reform;
* Government has to be responsive towards the needs of their citizens i.e popular participation and political reforms;
* The consideration of the role of Parliament in ensuring good governance and the adherence to institutional imperatives i.e. rule of law, openness and human rights, transparent legislation, public participation and to hold regular free and fair elections;
* The oversight and accountability of the executive has to be enforced;
* Several aspects to ensure good governance has to be considered i.e. building trust and legitimacy with the people, building a response government that cares and intervenes timeously, putting adequate checks and balances in place to ensure democratic institutions of good governance are strengthened;
* Other instruments of note to ensure good governance are the AU Charter on Democracy, elections and governance, promotion of the Nepad MAP initiative, Economic Commissions of Africa and committees of Parliament, partnerships with civil society to address social issues;
* In addition Governments must ensure that programmes are implemented that addresses corruption and maladministration;
* The South African Parliament’s role is to ratify the AU Charter on Democracy, elections and good governance, ensure that the Chapter 9 institutions are strengthened and fully functional, ensure public participation in legislative processes, enhance the anti-corruption bill and whistle blowing initiative and ensure gender representation in Parliament.
* He concluded by indicating that these measures are not perfect but at least the basics are in place.
He further indicated that Parliamentarians role in ensuring good governance is to adhere to constitutional imperatives i.e. the rule of law, democracy, human rights, public participation, have adequate checks and balances and take oversight and accountability over the executive serious. He informed the meeting that South Africa has the basics, although not perfect, in place i.e Chapter 9 institutions of democracy and good governance, parliamentary public participation programmes, anti-corruption bill and the governmental whistle blowing initiative.
14. IPU Working Lunch Meeting on Nuclear Weapons
Mrs Hajaig participated in a working luncheon on nuclear weapons – the road to zero. The discussion followed on from the panel discussion in the Committee on UN Affairs, hosted by the IPU Secretary-General, Mr Anders Johnson. The following issues were debated:
* A nuclear threat would spill over and would negatively affect everyone globally;
* Africa is a nuclear-free zone and this should be robustly promoted;
* The meeting further noted that the debate on nuclear weapons was not promoted in African States;
* Work towards a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
The meeting concluded that people have the right to know what the human consequences of nuclear threats are as outlined by Dr Rebecca Johnson:
* Abrupt climate disruption;
* Radiation contamination and sickness;
* Agriculture contamination;
* Regional and global famine
Parliamentarians must play a greater role around Nuclear Disarmament and not leave it to the Executive/Governments. Parliamentarians must take the debate to their Constituencies, debate the consequences of the effect of nuclear weapons and educate them on nuclear weapons.
15. Special session on the Reform of Financial Markets
Ms Hajaig attended the special session on the Reform of Financial Markets. Speaker Sisulu also attended the session. Presentations were made by Ambassador Oscar Knapp, (Switzerland); Senator Donald Oliver (Canada) AND Ms Yuefen Li; (UNCTAD)
The presenters agreed that the current global financial markets need to be reformed. They recommended the regulation of the banking systems, universal oversight and monitoring, the reform of the Breton Woods architecture and an early warning system. Credit rating institutions missed the signs of emerging global financial crises completely. The debt crises need financial innovation.
It is important that the IPU should be involved in finding solutions to the financial crises and the loss of confidence in the national economic system.
Following an indept discussion it was agreed that there should be a reform of the World Bank and IMF to ensure that there is a recovery from the economic financial crises, structural reforms to support developing countries in order for them to gain access to capital. Governments as initiators of policy need to develop a system which covers both developing and developed economies. Parliamentarians need to pass legislation in terms of governance and financial literacy so that we can take care of our finances at home and within Government. We need to put mechanisms in place to cope with the challenges.
Mrs F Hajaig indicated that financial markets should be seen as mechanisms that allow people to buy and sell financial securities and contribute positively to the growth of any economy. Their key functions, among others, are to manage risk, allocate capital, and mobilize savings. Failure of the financial markets to perform these vital functions results in detrimental impacts to the economy, like the global economic crises that the world experienced recently. This has created the need to relook global financial governance with a view to stabilize trade and financial relations. Parliamentarians’ role of oversight becomes vital in ensuring that key actors operate within the required legislative framework and in the final analysis, as Senator Oliver has said, supervisory or oversight without teeth is not very helpful.
16. Bilateral Meetings
Speaker Sisulu met with the Speaker of India on Wednesday, 19 October 2011, with the objective of discussing IBSA Parliamentary Forum. Ms F Hajaig was also in attendance.
17. Conclusion and Recommendations
It is recommended that the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces refer the subject items for the 126th IPU Meetings to the Parliamentary Group on International Relations (PGIR) for engagement with the relevant parliamentary committees. These committees should, through their interaction with the PGIR focus group on the IPU seek to engage with the subject items from the perspective of South Africa with a view to influencing the resolutions which will be adopted on these subject items during the 126th IPU Assembly in Uganda.
The delegation recommends that the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces consider referring the resolution on the emergency item, adopted by the 125th Assembly, entitled “The plight of the people of famine stricken Somalia and relief efforts by the IPU member” to the PGIR for further consultation with the PC on International Relations and Cooperation a view to informing the IPU on action taken by our Parliament to give effect to this resolution.
It is recommended that the PGIR engage with the content of the strategic plan of the IPU for 2012 – 2017. The PGIR to strategically utilise the IPU strategy to achieve our Parliamentary international relations objectives.
A constructive effort should be made to ensure that proper coordination of the substantive and operational matters are put in place. This will ensure robust deliberation of issues and the advancement of a Southern African and continental mandate.
(c) Report of the South African members of the Pan African Parliament on the Fifth Ordinary Session of the Second Pan African Parliament (PAP) held from 3 to 14 October 2011, as adopted by the Parliamentary Group on International Relations on 16 October 2012
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(d) Report of the South African members of the Pan African Parliament on the Sixth Ordinary Session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) held from 16 to 20 January 2012 in Addis Ababa, as adopted by the Parliamentary Group on International Relations on 16 October 2012
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1. The Speaker
(a) Third Report of the Rules Committee of the National Assembly, 2012
THIRD REPORT OF THE RULES COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, 2012
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr M V Sisulu, presents the Third Report of the Rules Committee for 2012.
The Rules Committee, having met on 7 November 2012 to consider proposed interim measures for the introduction and consideration of private members’ bills, reports as follows:
Interim measures for the introduction and consideration of private members’ bills
(a) A member may introduce a bill in the National Assembly as envisaged in section 73(2) of the Constitution;
(b) a bill dealing with substantially the same subject matter may not be introduced more than once in the same annual session;
(c) all bills must subscribe to applicable pre-introductory procedures as set out in Rules 237 and 241, while a bill seeking to amend the Constitution must also comply with Rule 258;
(d) a member introducing a bill must publish the explanatory summary of the bill or the bill as it is to be introduced in the Government Gazette, and if the bill is published, the Gazette may contain an invitation for public comment to be submitted to the Secretary to Parliament;
(e) the Secretary to Parliament shall only be liable for costs incurred in the publication of bills; and
(f) a member introduces a bill in the Assembly by submitting to the Speaker–
(i) a copy of the bill or, if the bill as it is to be introduced was published in the Gazette, a copy of the Gazette;
(ii) a copy of the explanatory summary if the bill was not published;
(iii) a supporting memorandum which must -
(aa) explain the objects of the bill;
(bb) give an account of the expected financial implications for the state; and
(cc) state the proposed classification of the bill;
(g) upon introduction the bill will be published in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports;
(h) upon introduction the bill will be deemed to have been read a first time and must, together with all relevant documentation, be referred to the relevant committee for consideration and report;
(i) a committee to which a private member’s bill has been referred must-
(i) provide reasonable notice to the member in charge of the bill before it considers the legislation; and
(ii) after due deliberation, consider a motion of desirability on the subject matter of the bill;
(j) if the motion of desirability on the bill is rejected, the committee must immediately table its report on the bill;
(k) if the motion of the desirability is adopted, the committee can proceed to deliberate on the details of the legislation and report accordingly; and
(l) once the committee has reported on the bill referred to in (k), it must be placed on the Order Paper for its second reading.
Report to be considered.
2. The Minister in The Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration
(a) Presidential Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring: National Findings Report: Home Affairs for June 2011 – December 2011.
(b) Provincial Frontline Service Monitoring: South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Service Centres for June 2011 – December 2011.
(c) Presidential Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring: National Findings Report: South African Police Services (SAPS) for June 2011 – December 2011.
(d) Presidential Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring: National Findings Report: Health Facilities for June 2011 – December 2011.
(e) Presidential Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring: National Findings Report: Licensing Centres for June 2011 – December 2011.
(f) Presidential Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring: National Findings Report: Basic Education for June 2011 – December 2011.
(g) Presidential Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring: National Findings Report: Magistrate Courts for June 2011 – December 2011.
(h) Diagnostic Review Report of Early Childhood Development.
(i) Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) Report on results of assessment process for 2011/2012.
(j) Performance Scorecards for National Government Departments.
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the filling of a vacancy on the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board, dated 20 November 2012:
The Portfolio Committee on Communications, having considered the request by the Minister in The Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration, to the National Assembly to recommend a candidate in terms of section 4 of the MDDA Act, 2002 (Act No 14 of 2002), to fill a vacancy for the unexpired portion of Ms Louise Vale’s term of office, referred to it for consideration and report on 18 September 2012 (see ATC, 18 September 2012), reports as follows:
The Committee invited the public to nominate a person for consideration and recommendation to the President for appointment to the Board by means of advertisements in the print media. The Committee received 11 nominations and subsequently shortlisted the following four candidates: Ms Nothando Migogo, Ms Noxolo Mtana, Ms Rachel Kalidass and Mr Molefe Mokgatle.
After having interviewed the above-mentioned candidates in an open meeting at Parliament on Tuesday, 13 November 2012, the Committee resolved that the House, in accordance with section 4 of the MDDA Act, 2002 (Act No 14 of 2002), recommends to the President that Ms Nothando Migogo be appointed to serve on the MDDA Board.
Report to be considered.
2. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the filling of a vacancy on the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board, dated 20 November 2012:
The Portfolio Committee on Communications, having considered the request by the Minister in The Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration, to the National Assembly to recommend a candidate, in terms of section 4 of the MDDA Act, 2002 (Act No 14 of 2002), to fill a vacancy that will arise due to the expiry of the term of office of Ms Gugu Msibi as a member of the Board on 31 December 2012, referred to it for consideration and report on 12 July 2012 (see ATC, 12 July 2012), reports as follows:
The Committee invited the public to nominate a person for consideration and recommendation to the President for appointment to the Board by means of advertisements in the print media. The Committee received eight nominations and subsequently shortlisted the following three candidates: Ms Fadila Ethne Lagadien, Mr Robert Dangisa Nkuna and Ms Denise Roodt.
After having interviewed the above-mentioned candidates in an open meeting at Parliament on Tuesday, 13 November 2012, the Committee resolved that the House, in accordance with section 4 of the MDDA Act, 2002 (Act No 14 of 2002), recommends to the President that Mr Robert Dangisa Nkuna be appointed to serve on the MDDA Board.
Report to be considered.
3. PROGRESS REPORT OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE ON THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF PARLIAMENT ACT, ACT 10 OF 2009, DATED 20 NOVEMBER 2012
The Standing Committee on Finance reports as follows:
1. Introduction and Background
The Standing Committee on Finance (the Committee) was established in terms of section 4(1) on the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, 2009 (Act No. 9 of 2009) (the Act). The Act came into operation on 16 April 2009.
The mandate of the Committee is conferred on it by the Constitution, legislation, the standing rules or a resolution of a House, including considering and reporting on-
(a) the national macro-economic and fiscal policy;
(b) amendments to the fiscal framework, revised fiscal framework and revenue proposals and Bills;
(c) actual revenue published by the National Treasury; and
(d) any other related matter set out in the Act.
Further to the above, the mandate also encompasses the Committee’s functions to consider and report on legislation and to maintain oversight of the exercise of national executive authority within its portfolio.
On 20 September 2012 the National Assembly, citing technical challenges that have become apparent during the implementation of the Act, passed a resolution, instructing the Committee to review the Act with a view to introduce amending legislation if necessary.
The resolution of the Assembly requires the Committee to:
(a) evaluate the application of the legislation including those provisions relating to the authority of provinces to enact financial management legislation and the timeframes associated with various reporting mechanisms;
(b) take account of the work done by the Speaker’s Forum; and
(c) report to the National Assembly by 22 November 2012.
On 11 August 2011, in Premier: Limpopo Province v Speaker: Limpopo Provincial Legislature and Others (CCT 94/10), the Constitutional Court held that provincial legislatures do not have authority to pass legislation with respect to their financial management. The Court found that a provincial legislature is competent to legislate on its own financial management only if this matter has been expressly assigned to it by national legislation. Consequently, the Court declared the Financial Management of the Limpopo Provincial Legislature Bill unconstitutional. Subsequently, on 22 March 2012, the Court also found various provincial Acts dealing with financial management of provincial legislatures unconstitutional. The declarations of invalidity of these Acts are suspended for a period of 18 months from the date of judgment. The parties to the matter, including Parliament, must file a report with the Court indicating what steps have been taken to remedy the defect by 9 September 2013. As a result, Parliament is required to pass legislation dealing with the financial management of provincial legislatures.
Therefore, the review of the Financial Management of Parliament Act must result in providing a regulatory framework for the financial management of provincial legislatures. In this regard the Committee will take account of the work of the Speaker’s Forum.
Another matter that requires attention is aligning the provisions in section 4 of the Act, which contemplate the oversight mechanism, to the governance structures existing in Parliament. The Committee was advised that the procedure dealing with unspent funds of Parliament and the timeframes in respect of the submission of the annual report, including the audited financial statements, may require a review.
3. Way forward
The Committee resolved to convene a workshop in the first term of 2013 to discuss the House resolution and receive inputs from all stakeholders, including the Executive Authority of Parliament, the Minister of Finance, Speakers of provincial legislatures, Members of Executive Councils responsible for Finance in the provinces, the Secretary to Parliament, Secretaries of provincial legislatures, and other officials concerned.
Report to be considered.
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