Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 20 Jun 2013
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 20 JUNE 2013
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:10.
The Deputy 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.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Hon Deputy Speaker, on a point of order. I would like to ask why Parliament is starting 10 minutes late today. We have had some late starts in recent weeks, but this is the worst. Can we have an explanation please?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you will get the reason when I make the announcement. There was a delay because we had to be sure; we had to get confirmation and the letter before we made the following announcement. We apologise for that.
APPOINTMENT OF MR S P SIZANI AS CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY AND MS D E DLAKUDE AS DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I have been informed that hon P S Sizani has been appointed as the Chief Whip of the Majority Party ... [Applause.] ... and hon D E Dlakude has been appointed as the Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party with immediate effect. [Applause.] Hon members, we congratulate you.
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr N E GCWABAZA: Hon Deputy 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 developing a comprehensive strategy aimed at curbing the reckless lending of unsecured credit, particularly to vulnerable people.
Ms H LAMOELA: Hon Deputy 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 applicability of the means test in respect of the qualification of disabled children under the age of 18 years for a disability grant.
Ms L N MJOBO: Hon Deputy 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 to ensure large-scale investment in the productive sectors of the economy.
Dr S M VAN DYK: Agb Adjunkspeaker, ek gee hiermee kennis dat ek by die volgende sitting van die Huis namens die DA sal voorstel:
Dat die Huis ’n debat voer oor die voorsiening wat departemente gemaak het in hul begrotings vir die implementering van die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan, en die belangrikheid om dit te monitor deur die Departement van Monitering en Evaluering.
(Translation of Afrikaans notice of motion follows.)
[Dr S M VAN DYK: Hon Deputy 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 provision in the budgets of departments for the implementation of the National Development Plan and the need for the monitoring thereof by the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.]
Mrs C DUDLEY: Hon Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ACDP:
That the House debates the implication of a perceived threat to bees and the role of the Department of Agriculture in combating such threat to crop production in South Africa.
Ms P MADUNA: Hon Deputy 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 strategies to deal with the fight against drug abuse especially among the youth in order to prevent drug-related crimes and ensure a good quality of life for communities.
Dr J C KLOPPERS-LOURENS: Hon Deputy 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 reasons for South Africa’s declining position as the African continent’s research, innovation and technology leader.
Mrs D F BOSHIGO: Hon Deputy 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 mechanisms to deal with the increase in teenage pregnancy at schools.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Hon Deputy Speaker, I would like to gain a better understanding as to whether all the members who are now putting motions before the House understand that they will lapse at the end of today in terms of Rule 316. All these motions will have to be resubmitted and actually we are busy wasting time in the National Assembly because all motions lapse in terms of Rule 316 at the end of a term. [Interjections.] I just want to have clarity on that.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is it the end of a term when we go into recess, or the end of the year?
Mrs J D KILIAN: It’s the end of the year, while sub-Rule 2 refers to the end of a term.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It’s the end of the year, not the end of a term. Do you have notice of a motion?
EIGHT YOUNG SOWETO LEARNERS PARTICIPATE IN CHILDREN’S PARLIAMENT HELD IN FRENCH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Madam Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes that on 15 June 2013, eight young learners from Soweto's Winnie Ngwekazi Primary School participated in a children’s parliament held at the French National Assembly in Paris;
(2) further notes that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to the previously disadvantaged school has been made possible by the Department of Arts and Culture, in association with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund;
(3) acknowledges that while debating under the theme Freedom, Equality and Fraternity, these 12-year-old ambassadors received a standing ovation from more than 500 young parliamentarians;
(4) further acknowledges that these children of the rainbow nation, who are genuine torch-bearers for Nelson Mandela, also spoke well on how people of all races were equal and how black and white people need to show brotherhood; and
(5) congratulates these child parliamentarians on their amazing and exciting trip and for making South Africa proud.
SAMANTHA HAYWARD SHORTLISTED FOR 2013 GOOGLE SCIENCE FAIR AWARD
Mrs S V KALYAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes that 16-year-old South African Ms Samantha Hayward has been shortlisted as one of 90 competitors for the 2013 Google Science Fair for her work on the advantages and disadvantages of Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation – why its accuracy is questionable and what possible improvements could be made;
(2) further notes that Samantha Hayward claims that by using a greater spectrum of easily obtainable body measurements, a better representative, more accurate method of evaluating bodily health may be possible;
(3) acknowledges that the annual Google Science Fair award offers students between the ages of 13 and 18, from across the globe, the opportunity to pursue their interests in science and technology;
(4) recognises the importance of science, mathematics and access to technology in building a knowledge-based economy; and
(5) congratulates Ms Samantha Hayward on being shortlisted and wishes her well in the finals on 27 June 2013.
DRUG AWARENESS WEEK IN SOUTH AFRICA 24 TO 28 JUNE
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Madam Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes that 24 to 28 June is Drug Awareness Week in South Africa;
(2) further notes that this is an annual campaign that undertakes to highlight the substance abuse problem in the country;
(3) acknowledges that the theme for this year is Make Health Your 'New High' in Life, Not Drugs!;
(4) further acknowledges that substance abuse is a major problem in South Africa and that the use of cannabis, cocaine and ‘tik’ (crystal methamphetamine) is twice as high in South Africa as worldwide;
(5) recognises that South Africa is among the top 10 nations in alcohol consumption; and
(6) calls on all communities and stakeholders to work towards building substance abuse-free neighbourhoods across South Africa.
MULTIPARTY DELEGATION TO REPRESENT SOUTH AFRICAN PARLIAMENT IN SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Madam Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I hereby move the Draft Resolution printed on the Order Paper in his name as follows:
That the House -
(1) notes that a multiparty delegation comprising the presiding officers and four members of Parliament, including the chairperson of the Multiparty Women’s Caucus, was designated by the Assembly and the National Council of Provinces at the start of the 4th Parliament to represent the institution at the SADC Parliamentary Forum;
(2) further notes that section 6(3) of the SADC PF constitution was amended at the 30th SADC PF Plenary from 7 to 11 November 2011 at Victoria Falls to allow for country delegations to consist of the presiding officers and five members of Parliament, including the chairperson of the Multiparty Women’s Caucus; and
(3) subject to the concurrence of the National Council of Provinces, designates Mr L S Ngonyama of the Congress of the People as the fifth member of Parliament of South Africa’s delegation to the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
SUSPENSION OF RULE 253(1) FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING SECOND READING DEBATE ON LABOUR RELATIONS AMENDMENT BILL
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Madam Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I hereby move the Draft Resolution printed on the Order Paper in his name as follows:
That the House suspends Rule 253(1), which provides inter alia that the debate on the Second Reading of a Bill may not commence before at least three working days have elapsed since the committee’s report was tabled, for the purposes of conducting the Second Reading debate today on the Labour Relations Amendment Bill [B 16B – 2012] (National Assembly –sec 75).
RACIST E-MAIL CIRCULATED BY DA COUNCILLOR
Mrs H H MALGAS (ANC): Deputy Speaker, a racist e-mail was circulated by a DA councillor in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Mr Stanford Slabbert alleged that the ANC produces “dumb idiots who wait for hand-outs” and attacked the President of the country by claiming that the President “has more wives than brains”.
The DA claims a struggle history by opportunistically appropriating persons and events of the struggle to give them legitimacy, yet in the same breath, they spew such hatred against black people in particular. Known for issuing countless statements against the ANC for everything possible, the DA was strangely very silent when their racist councillor, who represents the face of the DA in his community, exposed their true character. They quietly suspended him, but only when his racism was exposed publicly.
They were equally silent when the MEC in the Western Cape, Mr Theuns Botha, referred to ANC member of the provincial legislature Zodwa Magwaza as a baboon. The DA is so busy airbrushing their past to give themselves some credibility, but perhaps they should rather focus on rehabilitating the racists in their midst, instead of insulting the intelligence of our people, who are not fooled and know the real DA. Thank you. [Applause.]
DELAYS IN DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TELEVISION ROLL-OUT
Ms M R SHINN (DA): Deputy Speaker, it is a month since the Minister of Communications, Dina Pule, one more time put the brakes on South Africa’s transition to digital broadcasting. In her budget speech on May 21 she dropped the bombshell. The digital migration policy dealing with set-top box control was being revised again. Since then, there has been little clarity.
A meeting held this week with industry stakeholders left them in the twilight of uncertainty. Tomorrow they are due minutes of this meeting, but they still don’t know whether this industry is worth investing in, whether they need to retender to manufacture the boxes or whether they will be adequately protected against imports.
An entire multibillion rand set-top box assembly industry has been sitting in the starting blocks for seven years, waiting for decisions that never come, as policies and strategies are repeatedly revised or corrected and deadlines are repeatedly missed.
Is the Minister trying to help her friends with the many lucrative government tenders associated with digital broadcast migration and set-top box supply? Her expressed favourite tender for the access control system that awaits the SABC’s decision comes in at R148 327 998. The also-ran’s pitch is R99 161 420 million. That is R50 million less than the Minister’s pal’s. It is time for Minister Pule to give straight answers, if she dares.
LACK OF WATER SUPPLY IN QUNU
Ms C K K MOSIMANE (Cope): Hon Chairperson, there is a complete collapse of basic service delivery in Qunu in the Eastern Cape. The district councillor for the area has confirmed that there was no water at home for the estimated 3 800 people who live there. All those people are forced to queue for water at selected points such as primary schools. Others go to the rivers and streams to fetch water.
Residents have to carry buckets of water to their homes to cook and to wash themselves and their clothes. According to a member of the royal family in the area the municipality in Qunu, the King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality, makes special arrangements and lays on water for important events such as funerals, weddings and initiations. The chairman of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, Contralesa, has admitted that it was common for the villages in the Qunu area to go without water for months, because the engine has broken, and there is a fault with the water pipes.
Cope urges the Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, to intervene immediately. This is where our world icon, Madiba, grew up until he reached the age of nine. It cannot be that the same situation of carrying water buckets exists 86 years after Madiba left Qunu. Twenty years into our new democracy this state of affairs is completely unacceptable.
DEFECTION OF THREE IFP MEMBERS TO THE ANC
Ms J E SOSIBO (ANC): Hon Deputy Speaker, the ANC welcomes to its ranks three senior IFP members who defected to the ANC on Tuesday, 18 June 2013. [Applause.] The three, Mr Roman Liptak, speech writer of the IFP president, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi; Dr Usha Roopnarian, a former IFP legislator, health spokesperson and former IFP Youth Brigade leader, and Ms Pat Lebenya-Ntanzi defected because they believe that the ANC is the only political party that plays a leading role in the transformation of South African society and that the policies of the ANC have contributed to and continue to contribute to significant change in our country.
The three former IFP members believe that the IFP does not have the capacity to adapt to a changing South Africa, that the IFP remains trapped in the past and that the IFP does not welcome views differing from those of the leadership. We have no doubt that these three are individuals of calibre who will make a valuable contribution to the ANC and we welcome their participation. [Applause.]
ANTI-INDIAN COMMENTS EMINATING FROM MAZIBUYE AFRICAN FORUM
Mr N SINGH (IFP): Deputy Speaker, the three in question were fired. [Applause.] [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
The IFP condemns in the strongest terms the racist utterances that have emanated from a group calling itself the Mazibuye African Forum.
Our attempts to give true meaning to our rainbow nation were dealt another blow with a series of anti-Indian comments and articles that surfaced recently, which effectively warned South African Indians to vacate this country.
These remarks came in the wake of the Guptagate scandal and must be seen within that context. The problem, however, remains one in which an entire segment of a population is blamed for the possible actions of a few.
Mr Phumlani Mfeka made comments like the following, when he stated, and I quote:
Africans do not regard Indians as their brethren and thus the ticking time bomb of a deadly confrontation between the two communities looms.
Comments like this one sow nothing but hurt and division. Quite coincidentally, we will be considering amendments to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Bill later, while the forum still suggests that, and I quote: “Africans are excluded from equitable participation in our economy.”
In a statement following a meeting with the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Committee, PEC, delegation, the forum stated, and I quote:
We shall by no means remain silent when we see that the key criterion determining a citizen’s life chances economically and otherwise is in favour of Indians in KwaZulu-Natal, in particular.
This assertion is far from the truth. And as the IFP, we believe that if there are specific cases where certain people have been unduly or unfairly enriched by the state, we will have to deal with that. Thank you.
PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN PETROSA AND SASOL TO EXPLORE FOR OIL
Mr S J NJIKELANA (ANC): Deputy Speaker, according to Independent Online, two South African companies, PetroSA and Sasol, have partnered to explore for oil in the country’s offshore area through a technical corporation permit, TCP.
The TCP allows the two companies to explore an area located within the Orange Basin in the Atlantic Ocean along the West coast of South Africa. The block is large and relatively underexplored. PetroSA and Sasol will each have a 50% equity share in the bloc.
According to PetroSA the Orange Basin has numerous players for the various blocs, including BHP Billiton, Shell, PetroSA, Anadarko and Sungo. PetroSA also has a relationship with Sunbird Energy and Cairn India to explore other areas.
For once South African companies display the will and zeal to work together in the oil and gas industry - an endeavour worth the praise it deserves.
What is also fundamental is that such advancement has the potential to reduce dependency on importing oil, which many will concede puts pressure on trade balance of payments and economic growth.
Undoubtedly, this joint venture resonates within the ANC-led government to build genuine partnerships for a better life for all. Working together, these oil companies, indigenous and South African, can do better to ensure a sustainable supply of fuel for our country.
CRISIS IN PROVISION OF ELECTRICITY
Mnr P J GROENEWALD (VF Plus): Agb Adjunkspeaker, daar word elke aand ’n beroep op die mense van Suid-Afrika gedoen om minder krag te gebruik, omdat daar ’n krisis in die voorsiening van elektrisiteit is.
In 1998 is duidelike planne aan die destydse adjunkpresident, Thabo Mbeki voorgelê. Daar is vir hom gesê dat daar vroegtydig beplan moet word om genoegsame krag te voorsien. Thabo Mbeki het dit van die tafel afgevee en dit is die gevolg daarvan waarmee ons nou sit. Dit was ’n swak besluit.
Die agb Minister van Openbare Ondernemings, agb Gigaba, het in April Medupi besoek en het gesê dat hy in geen onduidelike taal wil stel dat daar opgetree sal word teen enige verdere vertragings wat spesifiek enige stakings insluit. Hy het ook gesê dat die koppe sal rol.
Op die oomblik is daar weer stakings by Medupi, en ons kan maar vir Kusile ook hier noem, want hulle sal ook nie kan hou by die skedule nie. Die vraag is: Gaan agb Minister Gigaba optree en gaan die koppe rol? Anders gaan Suid-Afrika weer eens met ’n groot kragkrisis sit. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Mr P J GROENEWALD (FF Plus): Hon Deputy Speaker, every evening an appeal is made to the people of South Africa to use less power, since a crisis exists in the provision of electricity.
In 1998 clear plans were submitted to the deputy president at the time, Thabo Mbeki. He was told that plans had to be made timeously in order to provide enough power. Thabo Mbeki swept that from the table and this is the result with which we have to deal now. It was a bad decision.
The hon Minister of Public Enterprises, hon Gigaba, visited Medupi in April and said that he wished to state in no uncertain terms that action would be taken against any further delays, specifically including any strikes. He also said that heads would roll.
At the moment there are again strikes taking place at Medupi, and here we may as well also mention Kusile, because it will not be able to keep to the schedule. The question remains: Will hon Minister Gigaba take action and are heads going to roll? If not, South Africa will once again be sitting with a huge power crisis. I thank you.]
PLEDGES AT DA RALLY IN NEWTOWN, JOHANNESBURG
Mr S C MOTAU (DA): Deputy Speaker, I am sure that the hon member across the aisle will be happy to know that the offending councillor has been suspended by the DA.
On Saturday the DA held a very successful rally in Newtown in Johannesburg. The square was painted blue as more than 6 000 DA activists came to hear the DA’s five pledges. [Applause.]
Firstly, no corruption. While the ANC Gauteng provincial government squandered R6,6 billion, the DA-led Western Cape maintained its tradition of clean governance.
Secondly, quality education, and this year the Human Rights Commission said that the Western Cape was the only province to deliver 100% of textbooks for the year. By 2015 they will also be able to add a DA-led Gauteng to this tally. [Applause.]
Thirdly, in terms of the Youth Wage Subsidy, the DA established the Work and Skills programme in the Western Cape, which is a first in the country. We will implement this in 2015 in Gauteng. [Applause.]
Fourthly, concerning economic growth, the DA will implement a red tape to red carpet programme in Gauteng to make it easier for entrepreneurs to set up businesses here.
Lastly, for safe and secure communities, in our first year of government in Gauteng the DA will introduce a community safety Bill, modelled on the same legislation as the Western Cape, making communities safer. The people of Gauteng will vote DA next year. Thank you. [Applause.]
DA PROPOSAL TO AMEND DECISION-MAKING PROCESS REGARDING ENVIRONMENTAL AND SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT
Me L N MOSS (ANC): Adjunkvoorsitter, in ’n poging om ’n oordeel oor die ANC te fel, is die DA vinnig om die ANC van ondeursigtigheid te beskuldig. Hul skynheiligheid ken baie duidelik geen perke nie.
Dit wil voorkom asof die DA dit oorweeg om alle besluite oor grondgebruik en omgewings- en ruimtelike beplanning te wysig. Hulle stel voor dat alle besluitnemingsmagte oor hierdie sake wat tans tussen amptenare en politieke strukture gedeel word by die uitvoerende direkteur moet berus. Hierdie voorstel is reeds deur die burgemeesterskomitee van die Stad Kaapstad oorweeg. Dit sal beteken dat die uitvoerende direkteur ondanks enige besware die finale sê oor alle aansoeke en grondgebruiksake sal hê. Dit sal daarop neerkom dat besluite wat geneem word nie in die beste belang van die gemeenskap mag wees nie. [Tussenwerpsels.]
Wat ek effektief demonstreer, is dat die DA, wat na hulself verwys as ’n oop en deursigtige regering in die Wes-Kaap, nie vir die mense omgee nie. Presies die teenoorgestelde is waar, naamlik, dat hulle ondemokraties en elitisties is. Hierdie gaan net nog ’n les wees in die “Ken jou DA”-veldtog. Ek dank u. [Tyd verstreke.] [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)
[Ms L N MOSS (ANC): Deputy Chairperson, in an attempt to pass judgment on the ANC, the DA is quick to accuse the ANC of a lack of transparency. Their hypocrisy clearly knows no bounds.
It would appear as if the DA is considering amending all decisions regarding land use and environmental and spatial planning. They are proposing that all decision-making powers regarding these matters, which are currently being shared between officials and political structures, should rest with the executive director. This proposal has already been considered by the mayoral committee of the City of Cape Town. This would mean that the executive director would have the final say regarding all applications and land-use matters despite any objections. What this would amount to, is that decisions taken may not be in the best interests of the community. [Interjections.]
What I am effectively demonstrating, is that the DA, who refer to themselves as an open and transparent government in the Western Cape, do not care about the people. Precisely the opposite is true, namely, that they are undemocratic and elitist. This will be yet another lesson in the “Know your DA” campaign. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: May I request the gallery to refrain from participating. We welcome your presence here, but please allow the members that are sitting here to participate on your behalf.
INTERACTION OF IFP WOMEN’S BRIGADE WITH ANC WOMEN’S LEAGUE
Mrs C N Z ZIKALALA (IFP): Deputy Speaker, hon Minister Xingwana stated incorrectly that the IFP Women’s Brigade has done nothing for women since its inception. The IFP Women’s Brigade has interacted on several occasions with the ANC Women’s League, both nationally and provincially, from the 1990s onwards.
The meetings included the hon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Angie Motshekga, Storey Morutoa, Muntu Nxumalo, Dorothy Ramodibe, Gwen Ramokgopa – you name them. The IFP agenda included focusing on the ongoing black-on-black violence involving the IFP and the ANC, as well as focusing on development. The meetings were so important that even MECs would attend them. The IFP cannot understand why the hon Minister Xingwana would say these things. She was not part of it.
The ANC Women’s League members would attend these meetings at the time, so we cannot hold the Minister responsible for what she said, as she was completely unaware of the things that went on in these meetings. [Interjections.] The IFP Women’s Brigade desires to see women in this country working together across party-political lines, because we are all faced with the same issues. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
DISREGARD OF MINISTER OF POLICE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Mrs J D KILIAN (Cope): Deputy Speaker, Cope welcomes the ruling by the South Gauteng High Court yesterday, which essentially found the Minister of Police to be in contempt of the Constitution for his flagrant disregard of the Human Rights Commission and the human rights of people in South Africa.
This was after the Human Rights Commission instructed the Minister of Police to apologise for the brutal arrest of Mr Maxwele, a University of Cape Town, student, by the SAPS Presidential Protection Unit, allegedly for gesturing at the blue-light brigade whilst he was jogging along. The Minister and the SAPS were also requested to acknowledge the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law, as well as the state’s responsibility to protect and respect its citizens.
Instead of apologising and pledging loyalty to the Constitution, the Minister of Police lodged an application to the South Gauteng High Court to set aside the findings of the Human Rights Commission. The Minister’s application to the High Court was yesterday dismissed with punitive costs. But again, instead of apologising to Mr Maxwele and the nation, he queries why litigants should have access to a plethora of fora to ventilate their complaints. [Interjections.]
What the Minister should be concerned about is the ongoing blatant human rights violations by the SAPS that have to date, during the last financial year, resulted in the SAPS paying out R210 million to settle 3 773 civil claims. Thank you. [Time expired.]
TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF KIMBERLEY PROCESS CERTIFICATION SCHEME
Mr C L GOLOLO (ANC): Deputy Speaker, the ANC wishes to acknowledge the 10-year anniversary of the Kimberley Process Certification, Scheme, which was started when the Southern African diamond-producing states met in Kimberley in May 2003. They met to discuss ways to stop the trade in conflict diamonds and to ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.
In November 2002, negotiations between governments, the international diamond industry and civil society organisations resulted in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which sets out the requirements for controlling rough diamond production and trade. The Kimberley Process is open to all countries that are willing and able to implement its requirements and is chaired on a rotating basis.
Thus far South Africa, Canada, Russia, Botswana, the European Union, India, Namibia, Israel, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the United States of America have chaired the Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was first chaired by South Africa in 2003, and South Africa is once again the chair in 2013. I thank you. [Applause.]
DELIVERY AND REMOVAL OF TOILETS IN UMZIMKULU LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
Mr F A RODGERS (DA): Deputy Speaker, unlike the ANC, the DA holds its councillors accountable. We found the recent statement made by the DA councillor repugnant and he was suspended. Perhaps the ANC can follow suit with its renegade members. [Applause.]
In light of the continued embarrassing and disgraceful behaviour of certain ANC Youth League members regarding flush toilets, I rise today to represent the community of St Faiths and Mvulazana in the Umzimkulu Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, an impoverished community where 99,3% do not have access to sanitation.
Two days prior to a by-election held in April, the ANC-led municipality dispatched trucks with 300 toilets to be erected in the ward. The community was informed that construction would happen shortly. A week after the by-election the trucks rolled back into the ward, this time not to bring more material or to build them, but to remove 250 of those toilets. [Interjections.] The residents were informed that the toilets had been delivered to the wrong ward.
The ANC continues to exploit the poor. They deliver toilets to a community two days prior to a by-election and remove 80% of those very toilets a week later. One begins to wonder how low the ANC will go in their campaign. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
LAUNCH OF GROEN SEBENZA PROJECT TO ASSIST UNEMPLOYED GRADUATES AND MATRICULANTS IN PRETORIA, GAUTENG
Ms T B SUNDUZA (ANC): Thank you, Deputy Speaker. The ANC welcomes the recent launch in Pretoria, Gauteng, of the ground-breaking R300 million Groen Sebenza Project aimed at skilling unemployed youth with the relevant skills in the biodiversity sector by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs.
The Groen Sebenza Project will place 800 youth in skilled jobs across public, private and nongovernmental institutions in the local biodiversity sector for a period of two and a half years and is targeting the unemployed graduates and matriculants. Already the project has yielded outcomes as 463 youth participants have been placed and the remaining participants will be appointed during the course of the month of June.
The ANC is encouraged by this project and believes that it will contribute to the battle against unemployment and poverty. Furthermore, the ANC is confident that this project will boost the creation of jobs in the green economy as well as helping the diversity of the sector. The ANC cares about its youth, unlike the DA. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much. That concludes members’ statements. There is one ANC slot available. The ACDP didn’t take their slot, so, the ANC.
CONGRATULATIONS ON 100TH EDITION OF ALEX PIONEER COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Ms A F MUTHAMBI (ANC): Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. The ANC takes this opportunity to congratulate ...
Mr M WATERS: Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The ACDP took its slot.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, they didn’t.
Mr M WATERS: They did.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, they didn’t; I’m chairing. They didn’t. The ANC.
Ms A F MUTHAMBI: Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. The ANC takes this opportunity to congratulate Alex Pioneers Enterprise for the establishment of the Alex Pioneer community newspaper in 2008. This community newspaper, from its establishment, has achieved an increase from 15 000 to 70 000 prints. In the 2012 Media Development and Diversity Agency-Sanlam Awards it achieved the following: Best community newspaper, and with the assistance of the MDDA it has managed to launch its online website with effect from 20 March 2013. We therefore want to congratulate Alex Pioneers community newspaper for the printing of its 100th edition today. The success of the Alex Pioneers community newspaper is a testimony to the correctness of the ANC-led government’s policy decision to establish the MDDA, which celebrates its 10 years of existence. I thank you.
LACK OF WATER SUPPLY IN QUNU
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Deputy Speaker, the issue of the municipality in Qunu will be investigated and the report will be made available as it is alleged that the situation is due to a maintenance-related question. We believe that when we submit the report we will reflect on what the municipality and the provincial government are doing as far as this issue is concerned. We are confident about that. We will provide a report that directly talks to the issues for what they are.
We want to state that questions of infrastructure maintenance are taken seriously, hence we have established a special-purpose government component called the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency, Misa. Misa, since its establishment, has already deployed technical experts to municipalities to address questions related to infrastructure maintenance and roll-out. We believe that this question will be attended to.
The ANC-led government’s performance on sanitation reflects that there is a record improvement in addressing the backlogs according to the 2011 census report. If you compare that to the previous census, we are left with a backlog of about just over 270 000 and we have met all municipalities and developed an accelerated programme. We need to attend to those areas that are still below Reconstruction and Development Programme standards in terms of access to sanitation. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
PLEDGES AT DA RALLY IN NEWTOWN, JOHANNESBURG
The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Speaker, one of the honourable members of the DA spoke very passionately about the forthcoming election campaign and the issues of employment and youth and promised to take that message of the Western Cape’s performance to Gauteng. What we need to do is perhaps to let the cold facts speak more clearly. [Interjections.] The quarterly labour force survey - this is embarrassing to members of the opposition and I would suggest they do not cover their embarrassment with interjections. Perhaps take a course in active listening and see whether the facts themselves can embarrass you. [Interjections.]
This is what happened. The quarterly labour force survey published by Statistics SA indicates that for the 12 months up to the end of March, the latest period for which information is available, 199 000 new jobs were created in South Africa. However, let us look at the provincial breakdown and see whether that would make a comfortable election story. In Gauteng, 44 000 new jobs were created in the 12-month period. In the Western Cape, 37 000 jobs were lost in that period. [Interjections.] I suggest that it will be very difficult to persuade the voters of Gauteng that their fortunes will be better in the hands of the DA if we were to take this record as the basis. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
CRISIS IN PROVISION OF ELECTRICITY
RACIST E-MAIL CIRCULATED BY DA COUNCILLOR
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon Deputy Speaker, the challenges facing the Medupi Power Station cannot narrowly be attributed to labour. I personally intervened and brought all the parties to the dispute during the earlier labour strikes to the table and we got an agreement. When I visited Medupi earlier this year, all the parties at Medupi made a commitment that they would work hard to recover the time lost during the prolonged strike. This included having a two-day shift, working for 7 days a week, and ensuring that they bring on board additional labour in order to cover any time that had been lost during the strike.
Recently a partnership agreement was signed involving both Medupi and Kusile power stations, signed by the unions, the contractors and Eskom. The recent protests, including today’s, have all been resolved peacefully and within agreed parameters. I still insist that should another delay become inevitable, we will take tough action against anyone or any party found responsible. Medupi and the challenges that it is facing have been dealt with in a very transparent manner. I am confident that the actions that we are taking will yield the desired results.
About the DA councillor that has been suspended, the question is not really whether this councillor has been suspended or not, but it is: Why does a member who holds such backward views belong to a party that claims to have fought against racism? The answer is very clear. Racism and backwardness are inherent in the DA no matter how much they can try to airbrush these or reinvent themselves through lies and deceit. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Members in the gallery, I really appeal to you. There are security personnel somewhere out there. Please do not force me to ask them to take you out if you participate.
DISREGARD OF MINISTER OF POLICE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
USEKELA MPHATHISWA WAMAPOLISA: Sekela Somlomo, kwilungu elihloniphekileyo leCope, uMphathiswa uMthethwa uyasihlonipha isigwebo senkundla yamatyala kwaye lilungelo lakhe ukuba xa engaxolanga abuyele kwakulaa nkundla yamatyala azame ukuba akanakonga imali yabahlawuli berhafu kusini na, njengokuba nabo kwiCope bebhenela kwiinkundla zamatyala ukuba zibalamlele ukuba ngubani na uMongameli wabo. Enkosi. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon Deputy Speaker, to the hon member from Cope, hon Minister Mthethwa respects the court judgments and it is his right to go back to that court of law when he is not satisfied and find out whether he can save the taxpayers’ money or not, as Cope also does for judgments when they want to know who their President is. Thank you. [Applause.]]
DELAYS IN DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TELEVISION ROLL-OUT
USEKELA MPHATHISWA WEZONXIBELELWANO: Enkosi Sekela Somlomo, ndithi mandilazise okanye ndilikhumbuze ilungu lekomiti leDA eligqiba ukuthetha malunga nokungakwazi kwethu ukuqoshelisa umsebenzi wokukhutshwa kweDigital Terrestrial Television, DTT, kwangethuba. Simkhumbuza ukuba thina besithe silisebe sikulungele kangangoko. Ingxaki yeyokuba le nkqubo ayixhomekekanga kuthi silisebe, idibanisa nemizi yezosasazo engaphandle kolawulo lwethu. Sisasiwe kwiinkundla zamatyala okwangoku, masilinde isigwebo ukuba sithini na, ukuze sikwazi ukubona ukuba siya njani phambili. Kodwa ke, nanjengoko besithembisile eluntwini nasekomitini, siza kulenza ixesha lokuqoshelisa umsebenzi ngowama-2015, asibuyi ngamva.
Sekela Somlomo, njengoSekela Mphathiswa wezoNxibelelwano mandisese ndiyazise iNdlu ukuba kule veki iphelileyo, ngomhla we-16 kweyeSilimela, besisamkela amalungu aphezulu asuka kwiCope. Samkele uQabane uZolani Sibutha osuka kwingingqi i-Alfred Nzo apho ebengunobhala waloo ngingqi kunye namanye amalungu angama-320 athi i-ANC lithemba lawo. Enkosi. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of the isiXhosa speech follows.)
[The DEPUTY MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. I would like to remind or inform the member of the committee from the DA who has just spoken now about us not being able to finalise the task of handing over the digital terrestrial television, DTT, on time. We remind him that we, as a department, have already said that we are well prepared. The problem is that this programme does not depend on us as the department, it also involves broadcasting corporations which are not under our management. We have been taken to court and we are still waiting for the verdict, so that we will be able to proceed. But, as we have promised the people and the committee, we will make time to finalise the task in 2015; we are not backing down.
Deputy Speaker, as the Deputy Minister of Communications, let me inform the House that last week, on 16 June, we welcomed new members from Cope. We welcomed Comrade Zolani Sibutha from the Alfred Nzo region, where he was the secretary of that region, as well as 320 other members who said the ANC is their hope. Thank you. [Applause.]]
CENTENARY OF NATIVES LAND ACT OF 1913
(Subject for Discussion)
Dr M S MOTSHEKGA: Hon Deputy Speaker, let me join you in congratulating hon Stone Sizani and Doris Dlakude on their elevation and I assure them of my and hon Kubayi’s unqualified support. [Applause.]
Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon Minister Gugile Nkwinti, as we reflect on this question of land, let us focus on the land and the native questions, their political, cultural, social and economic impact on South African society.
Since the arrival of the European settlers in Southern Africa, African kings and queens led wars of resistance against land dispossession, slavery, colonialism and colonial exploitation. In 1885 Western powers met in Berlin, where they agreed to partition and share Africa, disregarding the cultural and territorial integrity of African peoples.
At the end of the 19th century, African leaders were conquered, giving colonial powers the opportunity to start the process of colonisation of the continent and exploitation of its natural resources. Black people participated on both sides of the Anglo-Boer War hoping that in the event of victory, they would regain their civil and political rights, land and its natural resources. Instead the Britons and the Boers reconciled at the expense of black people by legalising the colour bar in terms of the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902.
Soon thereafter the Lagden Commission recommended a territorial segregation between black and white. This was followed by the establishment of the “whites” only Union of South Africa, which made the governor general the supreme chief of all native communities and dressed him with powers to appoint or dismiss any traditional African leader at his pleasure. It was largely those traditional leaders who resisted colonisation and exploitation who were deposed.
The Constitution of the Union of South Africa laid a firm foundation for a racially-based society, leading to the destruction of African kingships and queenships and land dispossession. The Voortrekkers forcibly occupied the land of local communities, forcing them to wage wars of resistance. When these communities were conquered, for instance, the Transvaal Republic began to demarcate the land into native locations, forcibly driving Africans into them, disregarding their cultural and territorial integrity, sanctity of historical landmarks and religious sites and denied them access to the natural resources they needed to satisfy their basic needs. It is this racially-based constitutional system that allowed the white minority government to pass the Natives Land Act of 1913 and the subsequent Native Trust and Land Act of 1936.
The colonial forces treated African peoples as subhuman and treated the prisoners of the wars of resistance harshly. For instance, after the Jameson Raid the Matabele captives were marched from Botswana to the Cape Colony, where they were sold into slavery. In the Greater Letaba area 400 Balobedu women and children were marched from Modjadjiskloof to the outskirts of Pretoria, where they were endangered. More than 5 000 cattle belonging to Queen Modjadji and her senior traditional leaders, notably Chief Makgoba, were confiscated and distributed among white farmers.
However, African people who continued to farm, notably Pixley ka Isaka Seme, were more successful than the white farmers. To address this challenge, the white farmers appealed to the Union government to outlaw the purchase of farmlands by black people. In response to the racist Union, Parliament passed the 1913 NativesLand Act, which allocated only 7% of the total surface of South Africa to the black majority. The resulting overcrowding, deforestation and land hunger forced the racist Union Parliament to increase the land allocated to African people to only 13% of the total surface of the country.
The land allocated to Africans was divided into native reserves that were barren and less productive and forced Africans to reduce their livestock. Thus the seeds of poverty, unemployment and inequality and general underdevelopment were sown at the time. This forced Africans to migrate to white farms, households and mines to seek jobs. The slave wages they received were sent to the native reserves to sustain their families.
The migratory labour system left African women and children alone in the native reserves. To a large extent, these female-headed families had to fend for themselves. The influx control laws were introduced to prevent these families from joining their husbands in the white areas. Thus the social cohesion of African families and communities was eroded.
The destruction of African kingdoms and queenships was consolidated by the Native Administration Act, Act 38 of 1927, which empowered the governor-general as the supreme chief of all native tribes to appoint native commissioners for the administration of native affairs. The native chiefs were appointed by the governor-general and held office at his pleasure. This tribal system of government was used to keep Africans outside the main politics of the country.
The formation of the ANC in 1912 and their deputations to the United Kingdom, protests by women led by Charlotte Maxeke and the trade union movement led by Clements Kadalie, and demands for the Black Republic led by the ANC president Josiah Gumede yielded no fruits. Instead the nationalist party came into power on the platform of apartheid in 1948. The National Party refined the racial policies of the Union government, which came to be known as apartheid colonialism.
The apartheid authorities introduced the Group Areas Act of 1950 to consolidate racial segregation in the urban areas. Meanwhile African peoples had participated in both World War I and World War II, hoping that in the event of victory they would regain their civil and political rights. The ANC even documented the national grievances of African people in the 1923 and 1943 Bills of Rights. The failure of colonial and apartheid authorities to address their grievances gave birth to radical African nationalism led by the Youth League of Nelson Mandela and Anton Lembede, who were profoundly influenced by the Harlem Renaissance and Marcus Garvey’s radical Pan-Africanism.
The ANC Youth League introduced the 1949 Programme of Action, which demanded the right of African people to self-determination and the land and its natural resources. This programme laid the foundation for the struggles from the early 1950s, the Women’s Charter of 1954 and the Freedom Charter of 1955. The Freedom Charter provided a blueprint for the post-apartheid constitutional vision that found its way into the 1996 South African Constitution.
The Freedom Charter sought to reconstruct a country fragmented by apartheid and build a united, nonsexist and prosperous country. The Freedom Charter was adopted by the people of South Africa as a whole, both black and white. The people demanded a government based on the will of the people as a whole; sharing of the land by those who work it; recognition of the cultures and traditions of all national groups. In sum, the Freedom Charter demanded the political, cultural, social and economic rights of all South Africans, black and white.
The people’s demands notwithstanding, the apartheid authorities adopted a host of legislation which turned the native reserves into homeland governments. This legislation was applied arbitrarily, further fragmenting African communities regardless of their cultural unity and territorial integrity. Thus apartheid sought to reserve the gains made by the ANC towards the formation of a socially cohesive nation.
In the process of establishing the homeland system, the native reserves were redemarcated. New tribes and chiefdoms were created while some chiefs who were defeated were exiled and other kings or chiefs were reduced to the status of indunas. One of them is chief Tswale from Modjadjiskloof, who is with us here today. He is there in the gallery. There are still chiefs and communities that are landless; that are internally exiled by colonialism and by apartheid. For instance, Matidza of Luonde, Masakona, Magoro, Maupa and Makgoba in Limpopo province are landless chiefs. They are in exile in the country of their birth.
The creation of the homeland system deepened and entrenched the roots of poverty, unemployment, inequaliy and underdevelopment in general. The situation is the greatest threat to our democracy, the South African and the African agenda. The current rural development and land reform policies and programmes as well as claims for the restoration of kingdoms and queenships are an integral part of the reconstruction and development of the new South Africa envisaged by the Freedom Charter.
There are many communities, especially the Khoisan who did not lodge their land claims before the closing date, who were also dispossessed before 1913. The land concerned also included sacred and historical sites of indigenous African communities. The other challenge is that since the opening of the land claims process on 31 December 1998 only 8% of the land has been restituted.
The slow process of land restitution resulted in the land hunger, the desire for housing and development, creating a scramble for communal land and demands for title deeds to give to rural people, which can create further problems because the banks would attach the land. The communal land is linked to the history, identities, spiritual and cultural heritage of the people.
Let me conclude by saying that land reform is in the good hands of Minister Gugile Nkwinti. What a good choice by the ANC. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, the Natives Land Act, Act 27 of 1913, has been described as apartheid’s original sin and as the start of a long century of injustice and racial economic exclusion in South Africa. While these definitions are accurate, none seems capable of describing the extent and the consequences of this law, which bequeathed to our country a century of pain, suffering, despair and alienation. Its long, cold tentacles reached so far into the future that this law’s effects are still with us today – 22 years after it was repealed.
Hon members, let me be very clear: the 1913 Natives Land Act was morally repugnant; it was a massive injustice. It originated a system that saw 80% of the people of our country – millions upon millions of black South Africans – removed from their homes and dumped onto 13% of South Africa’s total land mass. The Natives Land Act was one of the first of an arsenal of laws passed by the colonial and apartheid governments to legislate black South Africans of all hues out of the formal economy of our country. From the Glen Grey Act, introduced as far back as 1894, to the 1936 Native Trust and Land Act to the Pegging Act of 1943; to the Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Act; from the Group Areas Act to the Bantu Education Act – all formed part of a complex and far-reaching bureaucracy devoted to depriving black South Africans of the right to participate fairly and equally in the economy. These laws prevented black citizens from moving freely and unencumbered around the country of their birth, from use of their talents and intellect towards realising their aspirations to live lives of their choosing. Sol Plaatje is often quoted with reference to the Natives Land Act, because he encapsulated so crisply the extent of its injustice. He said:
Awakening on Friday morning, June 20, 1913, the South African Native found himself not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth.
Deputy Speaker, it is precisely because of the impact of this legislation and the way it continues to plague us today that we must continually ask ourselves: What must we still do to put right the many calculated wrongs of the past? On this particular occasion, as we commemorate a century since the enactment of the Natives Land Act, our attention must be focused on land reform and land restitution as measures of redress and reconciliation. How far have we come in our efforts to redress the devastating effects of an Act that reserved 87% of South Africa’s land exclusively for white ownership? Have we done enough to bind the wounds inflicted upon our country’s people by subsequent policies like the system of Bantustans? The answer, unfortunately, is no. We still have a very long way to go. The question is: What has gone wrong, and what must still be done to put right the injustices of the past?
The DA is fully committed to land restitution and land reform as a means to redress the injustices of the past and as tools for building a stronger rural economy into the future. We believe that, if executed properly, a successful land reform process can play a vital role in rebuilding our commercial agriculture sector and making a meaningful contribution to growing our economy and creating jobs. But the process until now has been crippled by inefficiency. This government has failed to make good on its promise to redress these ills. Realising freedom takes more than just promises; it requires hard work and commitment. If we are going to redress the legacy of the Natives Land Act, Act 27 of 1913, we need a government that has the capacity to deliver on its promises.
Most of us in this House agree on the need for an effective and sustainable programme of land reform that puts right the wrongs of the past. Today we must reflect on how to achieve this. I believe we need to start thinking differently about land reform. Do all people want to own land in rural South Africa, or would some prefer title deeds for urban properties which put them closer to economic opportunities? Do citizens living on communal land have a stake in the property they have lived on and farmed for generations? If not, why are they denied this right? What can we do to help emerging black farmers make economic successes of their enterprises, to redress the opportunity cost of being locked out of the rural economy for 100 years? Should we not put more focus on giving farm workers equity in existing enterprises that have already proven to be a success?
Time does not permit me to set out all the answers here today. The point is that we need to start thinking differently. We need to take the political heat out of land reform and come up with creative solutions that will benefit everyone. It is not too late for us to roll back the inequalities imposed on our country by the Natives Land Act. Indeed, when it comes to putting right the wrongs of the past, there is no time like the present. Let us commit ourselves today to making this goal a reality. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr T BOTHA: Deputy Speaker, 19 June 2013 will rightly be commemorated as a key point in the dismal story of the dispossession of the land of the black population of South Africa.
During the 19th century, British domination was extended throughout the region. In 1871, Britain annexed the diamond fields of the Northern Cape. By 1887, it had incorporated Zululand. By 1894, it had completed the annexation of the Transkei. Finally, in 1900, during the Anglo-Boer War, the two republics of the Transvaal and the Republic of the Orange Free State were annexed. What was the intention? It was to set up a union or federation, as they had successfully done with colonies in Canada and Australia. In 1908, they convened a national convention, and in 1910 the Union of South Africa was born. Whether or not it was conceived in sin, the new country signalled the birth of South Africa as we know it today.
The Natives Land Act was the culmination of more than a century of dispossession. It left black South Africans with little more than 8% of the surface of the country. In 1936, additional land was allocated to black South Africans, but still it comprised only 13,7%. It is little wonder therefore that the 1913 Act remains such an emotional issue that it can be seen as the original formalisation of racial segregation in South Africa long before the nationalists institutionalised apartheid in 1948.
It was in common recognition of these past injustices of a hundred years ago that all the parties that negotiated our new Constitution accepted the need for genuine redress of the land question. In particular, they agreed that there should be a process of restitution. According to section 25(7) –
... a person or community dispossessed of property after 19 June 1913 as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to restitution of the property or to equitable redress.
Secondly, there would be a process of land reform. It was agreed that land could be expropriated in the public interest, and that the public interest included “the nation’s commitment to land reform”. The Constitution also requires that expropriation must be just and equitable, reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interest of those affected. For whatever reason, thus far progress with land reform has been disappointing. The challenge for all South Africans on the centenary of the 1913 Natives Land Act is to work together for a land reform process that takes into account and redresses the bitter history of dispossession, but it must be fair and equitable to all those affected, remaining within the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
While land is and remains a highly emotive and fundamental issue in the national discourse, we may not overlook the sad reality that owning land does not equal instant wealth, nor does it turn the new owners into commercial farmers, especially where they have no skills or resources. This was true when early white settlers were given land to produce food for passing ships. Many failed dismally and went bankrupt, because they lacked the basic skills and resources to eke out a living whilst producing at cut-rate prices for the then mighty Dutch East India Company.
It remains true today in the case of beneficiaries of land reform and restitution in recent years. Unfortunately, there are too many examples of failed farming enterprises and disillusioned people. In some cases, it can be attributed to a lack of resources, skills and mentoring. In others inflated expectations of how many people can make a living out of certain areas of land or projects. Yes, there is something seriously wrong with the land redistribution and restitution process. Many land reform projects are collapsing. A total of 852 farms are distressed and unproductive. The department has been forced to introduce recapitalisation and development programmes to help failing land reform projects to become viable. There are numerous programmes that have been implemented to support emerging farmers. Despite this, farms like the Bouwland Estate in the Western Cape, which consists of 56 hectares was supposed to support 60 beneficiaries, currently has zero production and is on the market for sale.
Likewise, the 52 beneficiaries of the Winola Park Trust in Worcester are back to square one, with the farm having gone bankrupt. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr R N CEBEKHULU: Deputy Speaker, the watershed Natives Land Act was promulgated on 19 June 1913 and, on its centenary, the IFP goes down memory lane to take stock of its devastating effects in an effort to map out the way forward.
While we acknowledge the unspeakable effects of this Act on our sisters and brothers who lost all private title to their landownership in the urban and peri-urban areas, in this presentation the IFP would like to focus on communal land that was wrested from our traditional leaders, particularly African kings and amakhosi, who held these lands in trust for their clans. This countrywide dispossession happened long before 1913 and continued thereafter. It must also be put on record that the pre-1913 land dispossession was characterised by a lot of stress, violence and bloodletting. It is for this reason that the IFP fully welcomes pronouncements by the government that in the second window of opportunity that is about to open, pre-1913 claims of land restitution will also be considered. Indeed, it was the claims of communal land that received less consideration in the first period, which ended on 31 December 1998.
Whilst the IFP is appreciative of the second opportunity to claim restitution of the land of our forefathers, it hopes that this process will not be marred by frustration and procrastination that characterised the previous process. The manner in which government officials in the land claims office handled many applications left a lot to be desired. To avoid the challenges that we had before, the IFP, whilst appreciative of the opportunity, would like to point out that when appointing the officials in the Land Claims Office, there was simply no consideration of permanency or continuity. In many instances, when claimants visited the offices to do follow-ups on their claims, they met with new faces, which required them to repeat their stories since the new incumbents knew very little or nothing about what happened before he or she assumed office. Very often the files could not be traced, and this led to very slow progress, with the result that even today some of the applications lodged before 1998 have not been finalised. This literally killed enthusiasm in the process.
Related to this statement is the government procedure which dictates that when the land that was claimed by people under amakhosi is restored, the communities to whom it is restored to are required to form communal land associations or trusts to administer such land. The IFP views this in a very serious light, since it can lead to endless conflicts. This simply means that an administrative structure is imposed on a traditional authority to undermine such traditional authority.
In KwaZulu-Natal, for instance, the IFP proposed that such land should be restored to the Ingonyama Trust, which holds all amakhosi land in trust for communal communities. This is a kind of divide and rule policy which should never be allowed in the new South Africa if the government is serious about upholding the institution of traditional law and administration which is entrenched in our Constitution. Thank you. [Time expired.]
Mr S Z NTAPANE: Deputy Speaker and hon members, this year marks the 100-year anniversary of the Natives Land Act, a piece of legislation which decreed that only certain areas of the country could be owned by black people. This led to a situation where the majority of citizens owned only 13% of the land, whilst the minority group owned the remaining 87%.
We are aware that since 1994 the government has, in an effort to implement effective redress through land restitution, transferred millions of hectares of land to people who were dispossessed under apartheid.
Despite the major strides, the legacy of the Natives Land Act still lives on, as the majority of citizens of this country are still landless and have no access to land. Numerous challenges with the current land redistribution programme also entrench the legacy of this Act. Many beneficiaries of the land redistribution programme have been complaining about inadequate postsettlement support. This lack of support has led to a situation where some of them have had to sell back the land given to them by the government. For example, according to a media report, the Sunset Game Lodge outside Douglas, 100 km west of Kimberley was bought for R18 million by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for the benefit of more than 100 women from the province. Due to a lack of postsettlement support, the women found themselves in a difficult position, where they could not run the farm and ended up selling it back to the previous owner, creating a vicious circle.
Another key hindrance to land redistribution and building a nonracist society are pro-rich housing developments. Every day golf estates and gated communities are developed, which give the rich access to the best land, while the poor have to make do with little or no land. Often the prices of the properties in these pro-rich settlements are inflated in order to keep the majority of South Africans out of the market. For example, in the media report, there is a steel magnate who bought a flat in Clifton, here in Cape Town, for R198 million as a gift for his daughter – a flat for R198 million. The question now remains: How does one reverse the legacy of the Act when people charge exorbitant prices for properties, prices that most South Africans cannot afford to pay?
This is sadly the case in all too many pro-rich settlements around the country, and this needs to be stopped. If this is not unjustified enrichment, then there is no such thing as unjustified enrichment. These challenges, among others, require urgent attention if we are to ensure that government reaches its land redistribution target and that we build a racially integrated society. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM: Hon Deputy Speaker, seated in the gallery are guests of the President of the Republic of South Africa. [Applause.] They are here, having come from all corners of the country, not to listen to this debate, but because they have their own process down at the International Convention Centre, ICC. They are there because of their involvement in a tour of South Africa, from the precolonial, colonial, post-union apartheid South Africa and through to the current democracy.
We invite hon members to join them this evening and tomorrow. The President opened it today. You will be amazed. Also seated in this House are three of our colleagues from the provinces of Gauteng, Eastern Cape and North West. They are all guests of the President. [Applause.]
Marian Lacey opens the introduction to her book entitled Working for Boroko: The Origins of a Coercive Labour System in South Africa, with the following quote from a letter dated 23 November 1917, written by Fillipus Bopape, addressed to the sub-Native Commissioner at Pietersburg. He says:
There is another awful branch of this bad law, that a native is not allowed to hire a white’s farm by money, except by working for nothing, ‘Boroko’.
Lacey goes on to say:
There were four major issues facing the successive governments in the first two decades after the Union in 1910, namely, how to inhibit further the growth of an independent African peasantry so as to force all Africans to become migrant workers dependent on the wage sector for their survival; secondly, linked to the first one, was where to settle African sharecroppers ...
My great-grandfather and my grandfather were sharecroppers, by the way.
... half-share farmers and cash tenants, said to have been squatting illegally on white-owned farms; thirdly, the mass influx of Africans to the towns, which created a new and urgent problem for the state, one which reached a crisis point in the early 1920s; and lastly, linked to the third problem, was the build-up of untrained and unskilled whites as more and more of them streamed into the towns. Like African peasants, small farmers and ‘bywoners’ had been squeezed off the land with the spread of the capitalist farming.
The first three problems remain with the democratic ANC government, which took control of state power in 1994, almost a century since the establishment of the Union in 1910.
Sampie Terreblanche in his book A History of Inequality in South Africa 1652-2002, makes the following observations about the Act. He says:
By depriving African farmers of much of their land and ending sharecropping and tenant farming on white-owned land, an agricultural and entrepreneurial tradition and store of indigenous farming knowledge were destroyed. It is difficult to determine the value of this tradition, but it was probably considerable, because it was well adapted to South Africa’s weather, land and labour peculiarities. If this African agricultural tradition had not been destroyed, but given more or less the same government support, both financially and technologically, given to white farmers, South Africa’s agricultural and economic history could have been radically different.
However, Terreblanche makes a more telling observation on the legacy of the Natives Land Act on African lives, and he says:
The combined effect of the Land Act and deteriorating socioeconomic conditions in the Bantustans on the one hand, and strictly enforced influx control measures on the other created a situation of systemic violence that deliberately or inadvertently criminalised many migrant workers. The inevitable result of this inhumane situation was that millions of Africans were drawn into a vicious circle of violence, lawlessness and criminality. It is ironic that the strong inclination towards criminality was not restricted to migrants. Many African youths with residential rights in urban areas were also criminalised. In their case, this was not the result of influx control, but of discriminatory measures. As the educational levels of urban African youths rose and their job advancement opportunities were blocked, many opted to make a living from crime.
What is the ANC government doing to reverse the legacy of the Natives Land Act today, because that is history? Rural development and land reform are the key instruments of the ANC government to deal with this legacy. Rural development has three phases: Firstly, meeting basic human needs. The Reconstruction and Development Programme is a very clear programme that we are following, looking at meeting the basic human needs of the people of South Africa, particularly those that were historically discriminated against. Secondly, rural development. In South Africa, whether we like it or not, we already have many farms, about 1 296, that have been recapitalised and these are enterprises that make a lot of money. I was standing at this podium when I told you that the Mokhatshane family in the Free State sent me an SMS to say: “Because of this programme we are going to open our own butchery in Virginia very soon; this year.” That is because of these enterprises. I hope some of the hon members will go there. [Applause.]
Those are enterprises, rural industries sustained by rural markets that came into existence as a result of the initiatives by this government. A couple of months ago we visited Ncora together with the President, where there was a harvest of maize from more than 700 hectares of land. When we asked the farmers where they were going to sell the maize harvested, they replied: “No, this has already been sold because we have a partnership with Amadlelo Agri, with which we have a 50:50 per cent strategic partnership.” They bought this maize. There is also a dairy parlour there. This is something that is happening in our country today. That’s what we are doing. [Applause.]
Land reform has four pillars that hon members must note. Firstly, restitution. Restitution means restoring that which was taken away from the people. Whether that land has been developed or not is another matter. The key point here is to restore the land to those from whom it was taken by force - period. [Applause.] We can debate the rest later. The second one is redistribution, which has to do with rekindling of a class of black commercial farmer which was destroyed by the 1913 Natives Land Act. That is what we are doing. When I talk about 1 296 farmers, I am talking about rekindling a class of black commercial farmer in South Africa. We are on course. This is not a story. We are doing it.
Let me come to the third pillar, which is land tenure reform. This country has not actually done this. Tenure reform is not just a story, but has got to do with economic power, which ultimately translates into political power. Now that we have political power in the country, we also need to get the economic power. As long as we do not tamper with the land tenure system. This is a matter which we are handling right now as we speak, both in terms of state and public land; privately owned land; sadly, land owned by foreigners in our country; and fourthly, the communal land tenure model.
The communal tenure model is the most sensitive one, because you are talking about 13%. That is the land that the hon Cebekhulu was talking about. As part of a consultation process on the issue of the communal tenure model, last week Friday I went to eMampondweni West in KwaZulu-Natal. We will go to all provinces, because we want to transform the economy so that the people living in the affected areas can benefit from and live on the wealth that is under the soil they own.
The fourth pillar is development, that is, institutional support. During the budget and policy speech, we promised to come back to this House and present policies once Cabinet has sorted them out with the Land Management Commission. Because, in South Africa, we must remember that we had four provinces, and then added to that were the nine Bantustans. Each one of them had a land ownership register. When democracy came in 1994 they were brought together. But what dominated mainly were the four provinces, which constituted the Union before.
So what you have now is the underpinning ideology that provinces basically continued to be almost independent rather than autonomous of Pretoria. There is a disjuncture between what you will find in Pretoria and what you will find in the provinces. The result is that you may think that what you get in the province is right, yet it is not. The Land Management Commission is going to be a one-stop shop, where all land-related matters are dealt with.
The office of the Valuer-General is going to be established very soon. The Bill and the amendments to the Restitution Act that exists are out for public participation as we speak. As was announced by the President, we are going to reopen the land claims. South Africans are going to have an opportunity once more to lodge land claims. [Applause.] In terms of the proposal in the Bill, it’s going to be for a period of five years, which is until 2018. We have developed a manual which is going to be distributed to all South Africans in all languages, including the Khoi and the San Languages so that everybody understands what is expected of them. [Applause.]
We have heard and we know that there are already people out there who are organising meetings and charging people R50. There is another group in Gugulethu which is allegedly also charging R5. We must arrest those people because they are criminals. [Applause.] No money is going to be paid by people who are lodging claims. It is going to be free, because it is a service that the government of the ANC is providing to the people of South Africa. [Applause.]
The Land Rights Management Board is another institution. This institution is part of efforts to deal with the security of tenure of farm workers. During the recess we are going to meet with organised labour to discuss the proposals we have on the table with regard to dealing with evictions and the security of tenure of farm workers and dwellers in this country, so that we do away completely with the eviction of people in South Africa.
In conclusion, let me go back to one very small thing, which was mentioned by hon Mathole Motshekga. This is what Sol Plaatje says about the campaign, which is very interesting.
The campaign to compass the elimination of the blacks from the farms was not at all popular with land owners who made huge profits out of the renting of their farms to natives.
Ironic, isn’t it? Platform speakers and newspaper writers coined an opprobrious phrase which designated this letting of farms to natives as “kaffir” farming and attempted to prove that it was almost as immoral as baby farming. But landowners pocketed the annual rents and showed no inclination to substitute the less industrious poor whites for the more industrious natives. They were better. That is what Mahatma Gandhi would say. They were better. African farmers were better than the lazy white farmers of the time. [Applause.]
Old baas, a typical Dutch landowner of the Free State, having collected his share of the crop of 1912, in addressing a few words of encouragement to his native tenants on the subject of expelling the blacks from the farms said in the “taal”:
How dare any number of men wearing tall hats and frock coats living in Cape Town hotels at the expense of other men order me to evict my natives. This is my ground. It cost my money, not Parliament’s and I will see them banged before I do it. [Applause.]
This is a white farmer who is making a living from renting out his land to natives.
It then became evident that the authority of Parliament would have to be sought to compel the obstinate landowners to get rid of the natives. And the compliance of Parliament with this demand was the greatest ministerial surrender to the Republic’s malcontents, resulting in the introduction and passage of the Natives Land Act of 1913, inasmuch as the Act decreed, in the name of His Majesty the King, that pending the adoption of a report to be made by the commission, somewhere in the dim and unknown future, it shall be unlawful for natives to buy or lease land, except in scheduled native areas. And under severe pains and penalties, they were to be deprived of the bare human rights of living on the land, except as servants in the employ of the whites.
These were rights which were never seriously challenged under the Republican regime, no matter how politicians raved against the natives. Thank you, hon Speaker, that’s about the past and the present of South Africa in terms of our government of the ANC. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Chairperson, I have two problems with a debate such as this one. My first problem is that when we talk about history, all the facts and not only the facts that suit us should be placed on the table. The core of the objection against the 1913 Act is that it divided the land between black and white and that only 13% of land was given to black people. This is valid criticism of the injustices - very seriously - of the past. It is not based upon today’s facts, but on the facts of 1913.
Al die kaarte van 1913 dui die Unie van Suid-Afrika aan as deel van British South Africa. “British South Africa”, in 1913, het bestaan uit Suid-Afrika en dan die drie destydse protektorate. Vandag is dit Botswana, Lesotho en Swaziland. In 1913 was daar geen sprake dat hierdie protektorate eendag onafhanklike state sou word nie. Botswana is tot 1965 nog uit Mafikeng in Suid-Afrika bestuur. Daar is algemeen aanvaar dat die protektorate op die langtermyn by die Unie van Suid-Afrika ingelyf sou word. Daarom het die Suid-Afrika-wet van 1909, wat deur die Britse Parlement goedgekeur is, voorsiening gemaak dat die drie gebiede later by die Unie geïnkorporeer kan word.
In die denke van baie in daardie tyd is die oppervlakte van hierdie gebiede toe by die 1913-grond getel, en toe het hulle ’n 40/60 en amper ’n 50/50 verhouding gekry, afhangende van hoe jy dit bereken.
Ek sien dit nie as my verantwoordelikheid om 1913 te probeer verdedig nie. Wat ek wel glo, is dat dit net billik is dat ons in ons kritiek al die argumente en die denke van 1913 probeer verstaan.
Waarom het hierdie inlywing nie daardie tyd geslaag nie? Dit het nie geslaag nie, omdat daar ook natuurlik ander denke was. Die hoofmanne van hierdie protektorate het heftig by die Britte in Londen beswaar gemaak teen inlywing. Hulle het uiteindelik daarin geslaag en in 1966 en 1968 het hierdie gebiede onafhanklik geword en ’n nuwe stel feite is geskep, waarmee ons vandag werk. (Translation of Afrikaans paragrapghs follows.)
[All the maps of 1913 show the Union of South Africa as part of British South Africa. “British South Africa”, in 1913, consisted of South Africa and then the three protectorates at that time. Today they are Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. In 1913 there was no question that these protectorates would one day become independent states. Botswana was governed until 1965 from Mafikeng in South Africa. It was generally accepted that the protectorates would in the long run be incorporated with the Union of South Africa. That is why the South Africa Act of 1909 approved by the British Parliament made provision that the three areas could later be incorporated into the Union.
In the thinking of many in those days the areas of these protectorates were then added to the 1913 land area, and then they got a relationship of 40/60 and nearly 50/50, depending on how you calculated it.
I do not see it as my responsibility to try to defend 1913. What I really do believe is that it is only fair that we try to understand in our criticism all the arguments and thinking of 1913.
Why did this incorporation not succeed at the time?
Of course it did not succeed, due to the fact that there were also other opinions. The chiefs of these protectorates fiercely protested in London with the British against incorporation. They eventually succeeded and in 1966 and 1968 these areas became independent and a new set of facts was created with which we are working today.]
My second problem is that it is not wrong to hold debates on the past. It is important, but such a debate is only sensible if something could be learnt from it for the future.
The past cannot be changed through a lot of talking. That is why the FF Plus does not believe in a better past, but a better future. Little has been said in this debate about what we have learnt from the past and how we can succeed with land reform in 2013 without making the same mistakes and causing famine. We must speak about how food will be provided for 52 million South Africans, of whom 70% will shortly be living in urban areas and this while we only have about 13% of good agricultural land in South Africa. Little has been said about how we could better utilise the thousands of hectares of communal land presently owned by the state, creating new black commercial farmers. That is also important for the benefit of South Africa.
These are the issues of the future and the debate which we should have after this one, if we want to make South Africa a better place for all of us. I thank you.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairperson, the centenary of the Natives Land Act is an unpleasant reminder of past horrors and present harsh realities but it is also an opportunity for us all to reflect meaningfully on the land question and how we need to proceed with this social, economic and natural resource in South Africa.
The year 2013 is also significant because it is just one year away from the 2014 deadline that government set for itself in the mid-1990s, of redistributing 30% of commercial agricultural land to black ownership – a target that most analysts agree will not be met.
Research findings show that only 10% of land has so far been transferred, and that many transfer projects have failed. Dr Peter Jacobs of the Human Sciences Research Council reported that out of a sample of 301 land reform beneficiaries in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and North West provinces, only 167 were actively farming and many of them used only a small piece of their land for agricultural processes.
Researchers also found that land transferrals were generally not in line with gender equity policies. More than half the respondent households, 54%, indicated that men were more likely to own land redistributed through land reform, and in KwaZulu-Natal males make up almost 70% of these landowners.
Most reasonable people would agree that the pace of redistribution of land in South Africa has been far too slow and one of the many reasons for slow progress has been the willing-buyer, willing-seller land redistribution policy. The ACDP acknowledges that the proposed Property Valuations Bill, together with the provisions of the Expropriation Bill, is an attempt to address this problem, but we are also aware that the Bills are far from perfect.
The South African Constitution places an obligation on the state to take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources to effect land redistribution. The Bill of Rights also clearly allows for the state to expropriate property, even if the owners of that property are unwilling to part with it or unwilling to part with it at the price offered.
The Constitution does, however, also prohibit the arbitrary deprivation of property and provides that expropriation be subject to the payment of compensation. It does not require the state to pay the market value, but it is required to pay just and equitable compensation, reflecting an equitable balance between the public interest and the interests of those affected.
It has been suggested that land reform would be better served if a dedicated valuations court existed and the ACDP agrees that the proposed Bills should be amended to require a court to approve all forms of compensation in cases of forced expropriation.
Land reform in South Africa in the post-1994 era has been compared with Zimbabwe’s more radical land redistribution, with South Africa’s process being seen as a more democratic and transparent approach till now. One thing we do know is that if we do not succeed in finding solutions, South Africa could face far more radical attempts to redistribute land by a hard-pressed and restless people who feel they have nothing to lose. Thank you.
Mrs I C DITSHETELO: Chairperson, the passing of the Natives Land Act was and still is the epitome of cruelty, ridiculousness and evil intent of the crafters of the apartheid policy. Reserving 7% of agricultural land for a 67% black population was just ridiculous, yet it was passed in Parliament, presumably in a House like this, albeit “only white”. Could it be that none of those who debated this piece of legislation then saw it for the evil that it was?
Could it be that the voice of reason was so faint that it became a whisper amongst nationalists who were hellbent on ensuring the perpetual slavery of the black? It is so obvious that there always exists a possibility that the majority is not always right. Although the nationalists were not the majority in the broader scheme of things, in Parliament they were, which was ensured by colonialism and apartheid together.
With the possibility of being led astray by the majority, we really need to take our responsibility as parliamentarians seriously. We need to accept that the laws we allow to be passed in this House are not just for now, but have the potential to determine the future for generations to come. We owe it to our grandchildren to be diligent and truthful in exercising our duties. We owe it to our grandchildren to handle these responsibilities with integrity.
Now, in 2013, we need not pretend that we are a happy rainbow nation; we are not, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. We don’t even have to pretend in this House, but we need to be sensitive to our historical backgrounds and acknowledge them as such. Those who were privileged by the pieces of legislation such as the Natives Land Act need to accept that their opinions are influenced by such privileges. Similarly, it is absolutely pointless to sit here and bicker about the past without necessarily addressing the issues and ensuring that the atrocities of the past never again befall our country.
We need to stop defending such ridiculous legislation as that which we are debating. I say defending, because when anyone tries to contest the dispossession, they are in fact defending those atrocities. We also need to stop moaning and get on with the programme of ensuring the equal distribution of land. Thank you. [Applause.]
Nks B N DAMBUZA: Mhlalingaphambili ohloniphekileyo, ndicela ukuqala ndise umyalezo apha kohloniphekileyo uMazibuko wokuba abanye bethu apha kule Ndlu basenezivubeko zalo Mthetho nanamhlanje kuba zenzeka kubazali bethu kwaye nathi sisaziva ezo zivubeko. Asithethi ngomsebenzi owenziwe ngumphandi. Ayingomsebenzi wophando lo. Sithetha thina ngelivonto eyehle ebantwini bakuthi. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Ms B N DAMBUZA: Hon Chairperson, may I start off by giving a message to hon Mazibuko that like, our parents, some of us in this House are still feeling the effects of this Act to this day. We are not talking about research findings here - this is not research work - we are talking about something that happened to our people. [Applause.]]
The President of the Republic of South Africa remarked during the 2013 state of the nation address that this year marks the centenary of the 1913 Natives Land Act which turned black people into wanderers, labourers and pariahs in their own land since its promulgation and commencement. The Act became law on 19 June 1913, limiting African land ownership to 7%, which later increased to 13% through the 1936 Native Trust and Land Act.
Le nkqubo yokuthathwa komhlaba igqibele ngokuthi ucalucalulo lususe uninzi lwabantu abaNtsundu ngenkani kwimihlaba yabo kuquka abeBala namaNdiya kangangokuba izigidi zabantu zasuswa ngokupheleleyo kwimihlaba yookhokho babo. Amaxesha amaninzi basuswa ngenkohlakalo yangabom nangaphandle kwembuyekezo. Umbutho ongekhophantsi kolawulo lukaRhulumente ogama lithi Surplus People Project uthelekelela ukuba phakathi kowe-1960 ukuya kowe-1983 zizigidi abantu abasuswa ngenkani eMzantsi Afrika ngeMithetho eliqela efana neGroup Areas Act kwiminyaka yowe-1950 nangenkqubo ezazenzelwe ukulalwula ukuhamba kwabantu abaNtsundu ebizwa ngokuthi yi-Influx Control ngesiNgesi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[The process of land dispossession, which was based on racial discrimination, culminated in the forced removal of millions of black people, including coloureds and Indians, from their ancestral land. In most cases they were removed with deliberate cruelty and without compensation. An NGO known as the Surplus People Project estimates that between 1960 and 1983 millions of South Africans were forcibly removed from their land through a number of Acts such as the Group Areas Act and through policies that were aimed at controlling the movement of black people into urban areas such as influx control.]
The Natives Land Act, however, did not come about in a historic vacuum and its roots may be traced back steep into the South African colonial history. Indeed, it may be said that the elements of dispossession in the Act were merely an extension of South Africa’s long history of dispossession throughout the colonial era, whether through conquest or the application of law. They were forced to leave behind any buildings they had erected, for which they were not compensated.
The physical manifestation of the 1913 Natives Land Act also included scores of African families and their livestock roaming the countryside in search of accommodation. The consequence was a level of dispossession and lack of security of tenure never before experienced by African sharecroppers, whose choices diminished with each passing day.
The living conditions on farms were generally poor and often the accommodation offered would be on condition that the former tenant’s spouse and children also be employed on the farm. The prevailing conditions of Africans living on white-owned farms after 1913 were recorded by renowned author W M Macmillan.
Yiyo ke le nto sibona urhulumente okhokelwa yi-ANC emaxhaphetshu ethabathela kuye uxanduva lokuphucula iimpilo nokulwa inkxwaleko nentlupheko kubasebenzi kunye nabahlali basezifama. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[That is why we see the ANC-led government taking upon itself the responsibility to improve lives and fight poverty amongst farmworkers and farm dwellers.]
The lack of security of tenure as a direct consequence of the Natives Land Act resulted in former African tenants being unable to erect substantial dwellings capable of providing adequate shelter to protect them from severe weather conditions. Instead, as farm labourers, they were condemned to run-down dwellings, which had a marked impact on their health. Another hardship brought about by the Act was that children of former tenants were deprived of any level of education due to the unwillingness of farmers to grant permission to erect schools on their land.
The racialised approach to spatial planning was also embodied in various legislative measures regulating group areas. The concept “group area” was a technical term indicating that an area of land was reserved for either white, black, coloured or Indian persons. Essentially this meant that in relation to a declared white group area, for example, only white persons could have vested rights and occupy land within that area.
Therefore, the declaration of a group area meant that not only was the racial background of the occupiers delineated, but also the kind of rights that could be vested and the concomitant development that could occur in these areas. Despite the existence of the influx control measures and squatting regulations, urbanisation increased in the mid 1980s. Increased riots and the declaration of various states of emergency finally led to the abolishment of influx control in 1986.
Apart from the racial dimension to urbanisation and settlement patterns, other factors also contributed to the increasing demand for housing, especially within urban areas. The population growth, rising costs of material labour, and the shortage of available land within commuting distance of city centres underlined the necessity to develop other forms of tenure that were not based on single-title individual ownership.
Although fragmented ownership began in the 1970s in South Africa, it became increasingly important, especially following the abolition of influx control in the 1980s and the official demise of apartheid during the 1990s. There was a conscious policy not to build low-income houses in order to both discourage urbanisation of Africans and to prevent any form of interracial mixing.
The rapid growth of informal settlements around urban centres was highlighted in statistics from 1980. The statistics revealed that almost 5,2 million South Africans were already living in informal settlements, with forecasts of an annual population growth rate of 2,5%. A report released by the South African Cities Network revealed that as much as a quarter of South Africa’s households could be classified as informal in nature.
Post-1994, the ANC government adopted progressive policies to transform apartheid settlement patterns by developing integrated human settlements. As a result of the predominant delivery patterns of new housing in the Greenfield Project, the value of the assets transferred to poor households through the housing programme is being fully realised.
Sesisazi ukuba abantu abangaphezulu kwezigidi ezi-3,3 baxhamle kule nkqubo yezindlu evele kwimigaqo-nkqubo karhulumente. Namhlanje sithetha ngokuba kunatyiswa iinkonzo ezingundoqo, kukhutshwa amanxiwa ukwenzela ukuba abantu bakwazi ukuba babeneencwadi zemihlaba, [title deeds.] ukuze bakwazi ukuba bazakhele izindlu abafuna ukuzakhela zona, kwiindawo abathanda ukuzakhela kuzo.
I-Arhente yoPhuhliso lweZindlu, “Housing Development Agency”. liqumrhu ekwavunyelwana ngalo ngumbutho we-ANC, ePolokwane ngowe-2007, ukuba lisekwe, ukwenzela ukuba likwazi ukuba lichonge iindawo, lifumane umhlaba emakwakhelwe kuwo abantu izindlu. Siyavuya ke namhlanje ukuchaza ukuba noko ubuncinane bomhlaba ozihektare ezi-7,25 sowufunyenwe leli qumrhu. Sivile ukuba urhulumente seqalisile ukunabisa inkqubo ebizwa ngokuthi yi-Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, Flisp, ukuze bonke abantu abangootishala, abongikazi amapolisa, njalo njalo abangakwaziyo ukufumana izindlu ze-RDP baxhamle. Loo nto ithetha ukuba bafumana umhlaba ukuze bakwazi ukuzakhela izindlu. Urhulumente we-ANC uzama kangangoko ukuba lo mcimbi womhlaba ulungiswe ngendlela efanelekileyo.
Ukongeza apha, iKhabhinethi ikwazile ukuba kulo mcimbi womhlaba ikhuphe isibonelelo esibizwa ngokuba yi-Urban Settlements Development Grant. Esi sibonelelo sincedisa ekubeni kuthengwe umhlaba ngoomasipala nangamaphondo, ukwenzela ukuba kwakhelwe abantu izindlu. Loo nto ke siyayincoma kakhulu singu-ANC.
Xa ndiyivala ndifuna ukutsho ngomyalezo othi, asisayi kuyivuma, nangona siluxhasa uphuhliso, asingekhe sivume ukuba sibone kusakhiwa udederhu lweevenkile. Ngobani abaxhamlayo kolo dederhu lweevenkile? Sibone kukho imiyezo yokulondolozwa kwendalo [Nature reserves], amabala okudlala igalufa, ngobani abaxhamlayo apho? Sithi nangona siluxhasa uphuhliso nenkqubela, kodwa makubekho ukulingana, kungathi kungekho nje kwanto, kulithafa nje apho, kuthiwe kuza kwenziwa ibala lokudlala igalufa, babe abantu bedinga umhlaba wokwakhelwa izindlu. Ndiyabulela kakhulu, Mhlalingaphambili. [Kwaphela ixesha.] [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[We already know that over 3,3 million people have benefited from government’s housing programme. Today there is a roll-out of essential services, and sites are allocated so that people can have title deeds and are able to build houses of their own choice in areas of their own choice.
The ANC took a decision in Polokwane in 2007 to establish the Housing Development Agency, which would identify and secure land on which to build houses. We are happy to report today that this organisation has secured at least 7,25 hectares of land. We hear that government has already started rolling out the Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, Flisp for short, to benefit teachers, nurses, the police, etc, who cannot access RDP housing. They get land so that they can build their own houses. The ANC-led government is trying by all means to make sure that the issue of land is handled correctly.
Furthermore, in relation to the issue of land, Cabinet has come up with a grant known as the Urban Settlements Development Grant. This grant helps local governments and provinces so that they are able to buy land on which to build houses. We highly appreciate this as the ANC.
In conclusion, I want to make the point that, although we support development, we will never allow a situation where malls are built everywhere. Who benefits from the building of such malls? We see nature reserves and golf courses being developed all over the place, and who benefits from those? Although we support development and progress, there must be equality, so that golf courses are not prioritised over housing in the face of scarcity of land. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]]
Mr R B BHOOLA: Hon Chairperson, the horrific past of the 1913 Natives Land Act undoubtedly led the broad, suffering masses to the fires of hell. The word “native”, used as an adjective qualifying “land” was a misnomer because native means “aborigine”; that is, a person born and brought up in a particular place. The problem is that those who used it did not know the etymological meaning thereof.
The Natives Land Act issue is a very sensitive one. Land is a critical issue. It is key to economic empowerment. The imbalances that were created in 1913 have to be reversed and we must be bold about it. The Minority Front, MF, welcomes the reopening of the restitution of land claims process and we congratulate the ANC government for being sensitive to a very specific claim of a particular community - the Khoisan. [Applause.]
This shows that the President that governs understands deeply the issues affecting communities and provides opportunity for redress. Of course, the Indian community was also a major victim of the Group Areas Act. Forced removals demoralised the lifestyles of all black people, particularly South Africans of African and Indian origin. The hard truth is that people were pushed out of all flat and fertile land to the worst pieces of land. The best land was kept for the historically advantaged, and this is something we need to deal with.
In rural townships, land was utilised as dumpsites, making it extremely difficult to erect strong buildings. The willing-buyer, willing-seller concept was hugely problematic. When a black person went to buy a piece of land in a white suburb, automatically the price went up by 300%. This new Act mentions “just and equitable compensation”, which the MF supports. The good thing is that expropriation will happen and one can take as long as they want fighting in court for the amounts.
It will be very interesting to analyse the landowners of the hon members of the DA. Sometimes they criticise from a comfort zone, talking about productivity. But how did they and their families acquire the land? What was the history of the acquisition of ownership? [Applause.] You can’t sit and benefit from those historic privileges and want to be judgemental about other issues. Quite frankly, this is nonsensical and the DA should go and tell that to the birds in the sky! [Applause.]
We should strive to achieve a timeframe within which every family owns their own piece of land, and that should be the ultimate goal. The MF cherishes the hope of a 2030 vision. When a family owns a piece of land, it is tremendously empowering to economic development. It contributes to stability and cohesion. People can develop their own piece of land with pride and joy.
As we strive to continue to build a nonracial South Africa, let us do so with honesty and integrity if we are deadly serious about addressing the atrocities of the past. We also want to congratulate the Chief Whip and the Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party on their appointment. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr K J DIKOBO: Hon House Chairperson, hon members, distinguished guests, the passing of the Natives Land Act of 1913 should have been classified as a criminal act. It was because of this Act and many others that were passed to reinforce it that apartheid was declared a crime against humanity.
The Act stripped black people of their dignity and rendered them landless. Chiefs and kings were stripped of their authority. How do you have a chief or a king who does not preside over any territory? If apartheid was a crime, how do we deal with the proceeds of a crime? People acquired land on the basis of this Act. They have title deeds that are, in Azapo’s view, defective.
I am informed by a lawyer friend that a defective title deed will remain defective no matter how many times it changes hands. The Kempton Park process, and later the Constitution of the Republic of SA cemented what was done in 1913 by entrenching the so-called “property rights” and “guaranteeing property rights”. The Kempton Park negotiations legalised the landlessness of the so-called “natives” and made legal title deeds that were questionable.
Our people are subjected to a system called willing-buyer, willing-seller. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has now had a rude awakening and declared to the country that the willing-buyer, willing-seller system is not helpful. We will not say “we told you so”. The department is now making muted and vague calls for expropriation. But how do we move forward?
We must declare some kind of jubilee, “an acceptable year of the Lord,” where the state must take possession of all the land in South Africa. The state must hold the land in trust for all the citizens. The system will work almost like what is known as the Ingonyama Trust, except that it will apply to the whole country. Natural or legal citizens will then be required to acquire land based on their needs. As Members of Parliament, MPs, we have taken an oath of allegiance to the Constitution, but nowhere in the oath does it say that the Constitution will never be amended.
Land dispossession started before 1913. It started in 1652, when the first settler set foot in the country. If we talk about 1913, what are we saying about the wars of resistance that occurred before then? What are we saying about the struggle by King Bambatha and many others who fought in the struggle?
Land is sacred among many communities. Any debate on land will therefore be emotional and an emotive matter. God forbid that there should come a time when our people feel that they have to fight or are even prepared to die for their land. The piecemeal approach to addressing land dispossession has not worked. It is too expensive. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N T GODI: House Chairperson, the APC supports the current land reform programme as an attempt to reverse the unfortunate and criminal effects of the 1913 Land Act. However, I don’t want to focus on what was done in 1913, but I want to say: What are the grandsons of those who acquired the land in 1913 doing today in 2013?
I want to talk about Mr Radebe, who, together with his family of more than 30, were evicted from a farm in November 2012 and were dumped at Ntombe Community Hall in Piet Retief. They all share that community hall as a bedroom, a kitchen and everything. As we speak here today, the smaller children of that family do not attend school because they have been removed from a home which used to be near their school.
Mr Radebe has lost about 130 goats, as well as chickens and cattle. His maize storage tanks were smashed and his two tractors were vandalised. He was a very successful farmer. Illiterate as he is, he actually used to look after and feed local or poor neighbouring people. As we are talking today, they live in poverty because they have been evicted from a farm and dumped in a community hall.
I was told this morning that officials from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform have raised the possibility of their being returned to the farm where they were evicted. Now, the question is: If Mr Radebe is going to be returned to his farm, who is going to compensate him for all this time that they have spent staying in that hall and for all his implements and property that were vandalised?
It is common knowledge in the areas around Wakkerstroom, Greylingsdal, Commondale, Driekoppies and other areas that farmers are a law unto themselves. I have met people who claim that when the farmers heard that they had sold some of their cattle, white men in balaclavas visited them at night, beat them up and demanded the money that they got from selling those cattle. I have seen men who have been shot. One still has a bullet lodged in his jaw; one has had a leg amputated; and others have lost their eyes because of the brutality of the grandsons of those who benefited in 1913.
As we talk about land reform, we need to ask, what do we do to protect our people who are currently farm dwellers? Almost all of them are illiterate, but they can say: “When we still had that small piece of land on those farms, we never went hungry because we used to feed ourselves.” So, the story that says, “if our people are given land, then we are going to starve”, does not exist.
Comrade Minister, as the APC, we will certainly support all the efforts that rid us of this willing-buyer, willing-seller concept. Most of us buy furniture not for cash, but on credit and take 12 to 24 months to pay. Why can it not be that whenever we acquire farms, we don’t have to pay all the money at the same time, so that we can spread the number of farms that can be acquired? Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr M M SWATHE: House Chairperson, South Africa’s history of racial dispossession has left the country with skewed patterns of land ownership that excluded the majority of black South Africans from the benefits of property ownership and the greater economy.
The Natives Land Act of 1913, which is considered the original sin of apartheid, set in motion these patterns of dislocation and deprivation that characterised property arrangements under the apartheid government. The Act reserved 87% of South Africa’s land exclusively for white ownership, and was the basis of Bantustan policy, which relegated black citizens and once prosperous black farmers to a reservoir of cheap and unskilled labour for white farmers and industrialists. An estimated 7 million Africans were forced to relocate to the areas assigned by the government at the time.
The land question is therefore undoubtedly one of the most pressing matters in the course of our 19 years of democracy. Nineteen years after the promulgation of the dreadful Act, the question that needs to be answered is whether we are doing our ultimate best as public representatives to steer the country towards reconciliation and redress, through various land restitution and land reform programmes. This is a difficult question as government is faced with the task of balancing the interests of various stakeholders, the deprived majority, the farming communities, industry stakeholders, and government-run farms, among others.
While we appreciate the enormity of the task at hand, it must be said that government is not doing enough. To date, billions of rands have been poured into the land restitution and reform initiatives, but the wheels of this particular vehicle have turned slowly, and in some cases come to a complete halt.
For many, the 1913 Natives Land Act remains a reality. The DA supports sustainable and equitable land reform and rural development. We view it as a moral necessity to correct the imbalances of the past as it is a fundamental condition for growing our economy to benefit all South Africans.
Re rata go leboga pušo ya temokrasi ge e hlotše Kgoro ya Tlhabollo ya Dinagamagae le Tsošološo ya Naga yeo e lebanego le go fediša mathata a dinaga tšeo di amogilwego batho le go di hlabolla.
Re rata go lemoša magoši gore ba tlogele melao ya apartheid gomme ba šomiše melao ya temokrasi le tlhabologo ya setšhaba.
Re leboga go bona dikenywa tša Kgoro ye ya tša Tlhabollo ya Dinagamagae le Tsošološo ya naga ka go tliša dipoelo ka ga go tšewa ga naga morago ga mengwaga ye lekgolo. Lehono re bolela ka taba ye gomme re dumela gore re fihlile mafelelong a yona. Re rata go bona batho bohle ba na le naga gore ba kgone go e šomiša. Taba ya go šomiša naga e tla hlola mešomo gomme ya fediša tlala le bohloki.
Re re mathata ao kgoro ye e lebanego le ona a swanetše go fedišwa ka go thwala batho ba go ba le tsebo le bokgoni bja go rarolla pharela ye ya go sepela ka go nanya go bušetša batho dinaga tša bona.
Morago ga go lemoga gore ba bangwe ba batho bao ba filwego dinaga ga ba di šomiše ka mokgwa wa maleba, re re mmušo o swanetše go botšiša bakgopedi ba dinaga gore naa maikemišetšo a bona ke afe ka tšona. Bao ba se nago maikemišetšo ba se fiwe naga eupša ba hlatswiwe matsogo ka mašeleng.
Rena ba DA re ka thaba go bona leneneo la pušetšo ya naga le sepetšwa ka molao le tlhompho. Re rata go bona bahlankedi ba mmušo ba dira mošomo wa bona ka bokgwari. Re duma go bona taba ya pušetšo ya naga e fela ka bonako gore Maafrika Borwa a phele ka khutšo. MaAfrika Borwa a re se boeleng morago eupša re tšweleng pele ka go aga setšhaba, re age naga e tee ya bokamoso bjo tee. Re re ke nako ya go gatela pele le go tliša tlhabologo le kgolo ya ekonomi. Re rata go bona MaAfrika Borwa a šoma mmogo. (Translation of Sepedi paragraphs follows.)
[We are grateful to the democratic government. It has established the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, which is faced with the task of finding a solution to the challenges of the dispossessed land, and also to develop that land.
We urge the traditional leaders to do away with the apartheid laws. They should apply the democratic laws and also ensure community development.
We are grateful for the developments that are brought about by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform with regard to land dispossession after a period of 100 years. We want to believe that we have come to the end of this issue. We would be happy to see everyone owning a land and also using it productively. The use of land productively will result in job creation, which will also bring an end to hunger and poverty.
The challenges that this department is faced with should be overcome by employing people who have the knowledge and skills to resolve this issue, which is currently being addressed slowly, so that people get their land back.
After realising that some of the people are not using their land productively, we are appealing to the government to ask people who lodge land claims if they have set land goals. If not, they should not be given the land but should be compensated in monetary terms.
The DA members will be happy to see the land restitution programme being processed with respect and according to the law. We would like to see government officials doing their job competently. We would like to see this matter being addressed urgently for the people of South Africa to live peacefully. The people of South Africa are requesting that you continue to build the nation, and build one land that has one future, but not take steps backwards. It is now time to move forward and bring economic growth and development. We want to see the people of South Africa working together.]
Because we understand the struggle of our people, we are very pleased as the DA to have played a part in standing alongside 200 resettled farmers in Gauteng, including Mr Thabo Mokone, who have waited for 10 years to receive the title deeds to their land. The government has shuffled them back and forth while denying them the right to earn an income to support their families as they cannot engage in commercial activities without the necessary paperwork. It remains an area of frustration for 200 farmers. We will continue to stand alongside them until they see the realisation of their 10-year dream.
Chairperson, between 1994 and January this year, the state had acquired 4,123 million hectares for land redistribution at a cost of R12,9 billion. However, R16 billion had been spent over the same period to acquire 1,443 million hectares for restitution. The amount of R16 billion later and the promise to have 30% of the estimated 82 million hectares of agricultural land in South Africa transferred into the hands of resettled farmers remains a pipe dream. Almost 9 000 claims remain unresolved, and the number is certain to keep growing. Hon Minister, we need more than promises and assurances; we need decisive action. The bureaucracy in your office is exacerbated by the corruption in the running of state-owned farms.
Recently, the DA uncovered the scandal of the Kangela Empowerment Trust Farms, where the beneficiaries, whom the profits of the produce are intended to uplift, revealed that instead of experiencing an improved standard of living, they are far worse off than they were before the state-owned initiative. Those appointed by the state are looting profits, lining their pockets and neglecting those they are responsible for looking after.
Chairperson, it is not all doom and gloom. There is hope. Land reform, land restitution, emerging farmers, and communities can look to the future in anticipation of the fulfilment of their sense of security, because where the DA governs, we govern well. [Interjections.] I would like to quote the Western Cape Premier, hon Helen Zille, during our 1913 Land Act celebration, when she said:
We have prioritised finalisation of land claims which had been lingering unfinished under previous governments. We understand that justice delayed is justice denied. In the DA-governed Western Cape, we are very happy that all but one of the land claims has been finalised and the one outstanding claim is on a clear path to resolution.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Order!
Mr M M SWATHE: In terms of our success in driving share equity schemes for land reform on farms, our province remains in the lead in ensuring real redress, restoring the dignity of those who had it robbed by the tyranny of apartheid, and laying the groundwork for reconciliation that breaks down the barriers of our past.
The DA reiterates its mantra that we need to honour the past and own the future. Let us not repeat the past injustice otherwise history will not forgive us. Let us build the South African dream of the rainbow nation. Thank you, Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chairperson, on behalf of Comrade Dlakude and myself, I convey appreciation for all the messages of support and congratulations that were offered. Thank you very much. We were scared, but we are now sure that we will do our work as the ANC demands from us. The constitution of the ANC specifically says that you take all the tasks given to you and we deploy all our energies in carrying out those tasks. This is exactly what we are committing ourselves to doing.
On this topic, I feel that people are really talking for the sake of talking. I wrote a speech, but I have decided that it would be necessary to spend my 10 minutes talking to those people who were talking here.
Let me start by stating a fact. It is a fact that in 1910 only 20% of the population of South Africa was white, and yet they took 93% of the land through the barrel of a gun. [Interjections.] Through the barrel of a gun. [Interjections.] Yes, more than a century ago they took the land through the barrel of a gun. [Applause.]
Today we are told in this House that we must stop talking about the past and talk about now and going forward. We are willing to do precisely that. But before we do that we want to draw your attention to two things. First of all, most of the people speaking here would never have said so to the Jews who were killed by the Germans during the Holocaust. They would never have said so. [Applause.] But, we are still alive and we see these things still happening, and you tell us to shut up. We will not do that. [Applause.] We will continue to talk about the past, because those we are talking to are not listening.
The second thing I want to bring to your attention is that hon Mazibuko stands here and recites all the laws that were brought against us. But at the end of that list she goes around and says, I quote:
The Ministry must fix the bureaucracy, which is delaying this process.
It is not the bureaucracy that buys farms; it is money. So, if you create efficiency in the department you will still not buy the land because of what we witness every day through the officials here. Please, talk to your farmers. Do not talk to us. Ms Mazibuko, farmers are willing to release marginal land, but they are not willing to release Stellenbosch. [Applause.] The hon Deputy President is a witness to this. The warders at Robben Island used to boast and say that you can take South Africa, but you will never have Stellenbosch.
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Chairperson, on a point of order: Let me inform this hon member that Stellenbosch belongs to the Khoi; not to you, but to the Khoi.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, what is your point of order? When you rise on a point of order, address me on the point of order, but do not shout into the microphone. That is unparliamentary behaviour, hon member.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chair, leave him, he wants promotion. [Laughter.] The ANC speaks on behalf of the descendants of the Khoi and all South Africans. [Interjections.] We do not make laws specifically for certain groups of people, but we make laws for all South Africans. You can make yourself nice-looking to your party because you want to secure your position. We will continue to talk about what needs to be done.
Hon Mazibuko continues to say that we must make the invisible hand of the market level the playing field. Ms Mazibuko ... [Interjections.] I’m not quoting, but I’m saying ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon House Chairperson, on a point of order: I find it disappointing that the new Chief Whip of the ANC has chosen to come here and play up racial tensions ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, what is your point of order?
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: ... on a difficult subject, and then to misquote the speeches of members of this House. Let me move to my point of order, hon House Chairperson. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What is your point of order?
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I would like the hon Chief Whip of the ANC to quote the exact part of my speech in which he claims I said anything about the invisible hand of the market. I would like him to quote it directly. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, that is not a point of order.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: If he can’t, I would like us to look at the unrevised Hansard. This is not a debate of distortion. This is not an opportunity for the ANC to play to the gallery. This is an opportunity for the ANC to be respectful. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Leader of the Opposition! Hon members, order! Hon members, this is a debate. You put your views across. Once you have put your views across, there are other members who have different views. That is not a point of order.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Chair, I have a point of order. Would you kindly consult the Rules of this House, and look at Rule 69, which gives the Leader of the Opposition the full right to address you when she has been misquoted. You are disallowing it and I’m asking you to look at the Rule. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, I have given a ruling on this matter. We are busy with the debate. Hon Chief Whip of the Opposition, take your seat, please.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I will not! You must look at the Rule.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, we want to proceed with the debate. [Interjections.] Order, hon members! Chief Whip of the DA, please contain your members; do not shout at the Chair. I have made a ruling and I stand by it. If you want to challenge it, take this to the Rules Committee. Continue, hon Sizani. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I have a point of order. I would like you to rule on the behaviour of some Members of Parliament who, after you have made a ruling, continue to address you on the same point of order, contrary to the Rules and decorum of this House. I really think that we have had far too much of this disrespect of the Chair. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Thank you, hon member, we will pursue the matter through the Rules Committee. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: The party that Ms Mazibuko is leading is telling South Africa that it stands for open opportunity for everybody. They tell us that they want freedom for people to buy and sell whatever they want; they want freedom of movement and freedom of everything. But the people who are free are the people with the money, the people they represent. People who have no money to buy land are not free.
Minister Nkwinti, tax all fallow land and get it back to the nation. [Applause.] Fix a ceiling on land ownership so that you can release the land to those who need it ... [Applause.] ... expropriate strategically located land so that you can deracialise the ownership of land ... [Applause.] ... protect the collective ownership of communal land while securing family tenure against discrimination against women and children ... [Applause.] ... initiate the fast-tracking of the socioeconomic right to land by indigent families, with the concomitant subdivision of agricultural land so that it is shared amongst those who need it ... [Applause.] ... and criminalise estate agents and government officials who create artificial beneficiaries and buy them land which they will never work on.
Hon Botha, failure of agricultural activity is not unique and is not limited only to black farmers. We know that experienced white farmers fail too. You stand here and talk as if it’s only unique to black farmers, and yet you know white farmers do fail too.
Hon Cebekhulu, I accept what you said, but you are missing one point. Everybody standing in this Parliament always says 90% of the farms that have been given to people are failing. Mama Mashabalala specifically indicated during the Divided Land Conference at the University of Cape Town, that their traditional leader, Shabalala, likes to control everything about land, but never initiates development on it.
The workshop that we held here last weekend specifically indicated that there are good traditional leaders who know how to initiate development, but there are bad ones too. So, don’t allocate all land to traditional leaders, including the bad ones. We should not allow that. The Ingonyama Trust Board is doing a good job. They must develop the land that they have. [Applause.]
We will not allow the privatisation of communal land. We will never do that, because we know it will be bought by the same people who say we must privatise it. We will protect it.
Hon Mulder, suddenly you are freeing the people you were always oppressing. This is very strange. [Interjections.] Please, sir, I want to talk to you. You only talk to your constituency and you don’t talk to the people who feel the pain in your constituency. We want you to continue to defend the farmers. But we also want you to tell them that the landless and the poor that live on their farms must share the land as well. It is not possible, as Christian farmers to hold onto the land and not release it to be shared amongst those who need it. Please, sir, let’s talk about that. You can’t allow the farmers to cling to the land and never allow the poor people who live on their farms to have land.
Hon Dudley, we stood here and heard the voice of our own President, who said specifically that we would not meet the 30% target. Now you are telling us that, what we have said, so that it means that we have failed. Let me tell you the three reasons why this programme has failed. Firstly, we were sold marginal land and not the lucrative land which is being hoarded at this point. Secondly, that marginal land is sold expensively, and that prevents more land from being bought. Thirdly, that target was arbitrary; it has never been scientifically proven. Therefore, that is the reason we are not clinging to the target, but to the distribution of land to those people who need it, and not targets. [Applause.]
Hon Bhoola, there are many willing sellers, but there are no willing buyers, because the government is forced to buy. It’s not the willing buyer, but a forced buyer. However, it is buying for the huge number of people who need land. [Interjections.]
Hon Godi, please, sir, the smash-and-grab is not new to South Africa. Many people think that it’s experienced in Johannesburg, but it has been here since 1652, and it continues on the farms. Nkosi Khungwa was chased from Leeu-Gamka and killed near Alexandria, where he is buried. People took his land in 1812 already, and not 1820, when the settlers came. He was beheaded and killed and his land was taken. I’m told I am whipping up the racial tensions. Who is whipping up the racial tensions? The people who grabbed the land are whipping up the racial tensions. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND INDUSTRY - BROAD-BASED BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AMENDMENT BILL
There was no debate.
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Chairperson, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I move:
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
BROAD-BASED BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: House Chair, I think it is significant that we will be debating this amending Bill today on this occasion following a debate on the historic and unfortunate Natives Land Act of 1913, because the history of disadvantage and underdevelopment that was inflicted on the majority of the people on the basis of racial discrimination during colonialism and apartheid is, in fact, the context of this particular piece of legislation.
We have long argued that broadening economic participation is both a political and an economic imperative. It’s a political imperative because it does need to provide redress to those that were disadvantaged in the past. But it is also an economic imperative because those countries that draw on the skills and talents of their people, are the countries which succeed on the economic front.
At the beginning of this administration, the President completed the appointment of the last institution which was provided for under the 2003 Act - that was at presidential level - the Black Economic Advisory Council. In the deliberations of the advisory council, we looked at the impact of the black economic empowerment, BEE, legislation to date and we found that while it had some notable successes, there were some shortcomings. What we noted in particular was that it had a fairly limited impact on the economy as a whole. Secondly, we found that those parts of the scorecards which were most important from the point of view of enterprise development, skills development, were particularly underrepresented in the efforts of those involved in black economic empowerment.
We have set out on a process of introducing amendments. First of all, amendments to the codes of good practice which were released for public comment and which we intend to reintroduce in a couple of months’ time are intended to introduce subminimum points to be scored by those companies that want to gain points in black economic empowerment in areas like supply and development, skills development as well as ownership.
Secondly, we are introducing this Bill today, which deals with three particular issues. The first is the question of complex fronting. We found that there are a number of cases of fronting and many of them have become more complex in nature. Fronting is an offence at two levels. Firstly, it’s an offence against the people who are purported to be beneficiaries of black economic empowerment, but whose benefits are actually a lot less than they may seem.
Secondly, fronting enables companies to present themselves to government, to other agencies and to the public at large as though they are black-empowered whereas in fact they are not. There have been a number of cases in courts around fronting, but all of these had to operate in terms of the common law definition of fraud, which is in fact what fronting is.
The Bill before us today will define fronting as a statutory offence. It will make it easier for us to be able to deal with the various forms of fronting which this complex process is now taking. It will also establish a commission - a dedicated commission - that will operate as a trade entity within the Department of Trade and Industry, but will act impartially without fear or favour. Its tasks include the receiving and analysis of reports from state entities; surveying the scene as far as BEE is concerned; strengthening and fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors; and it will also receive and investigate complaints related to BEE fronting. It will provide a dedicated mechanism which those who had alleged fronting had taken place can approach. It will also have a range of potential solutions that it can provide.
The establishment of the commission will also enable us to remove from the codes one piece of what I can describe as business red tape. At the moment those who are engaged in supply and development contracts with small black-owned businesses require that those small businesses go to the verification agencies and pay something like R30 000 to have somebody tell them that they are black-owned.
In the codes we will be saying that 100% black-owned businesses automatically will be recognised as Level One. Those who have 50% ownership or more will automatically be recognised as Level Two. You will not be able to ask them to go for a verification certificate to prove that, but you will have to accept an affidavit. If they are lying, the mechanism is to go the commission. That will enable us to significantly lessen the burden that is currently imposed on small black supplier businesses.
Secondly, the Bill will regulate the verification processionals. There will be the independent regulatory board of auditors, which will play this role. Professionals who were involved in any kind of misleading rulings will also be subject to this Bill.
There is also a very important part of the Bill, which is about alignment to legislation. I have got no time to deal with that. That was introduced at the committee stage. I have pleasure in commending this Bill to the House. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms J L FUBBS: Hon House Chair and hon members of this House ... [Interjections.] ... of course if you think you are not honourable, behave as if you are not ... [Laughter.] The Bill before us ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order please, hon members!
Ms J L FUBBS: ... is the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Bill, B42B-2012, dated 23 May 2013. I want to say at the outset that black economic empowerment is an important economic imperative. The political freedom that the 1994 democracy ushered in was essential, but, sadly, not sufficient. What it has done is to delay, to a certain extent, the deracialisation of the South African economy and the effective active participation of black people in the economy. We believe that this can no longer be delayed.
Most unfortunately, clause 1(b) in the Bill, which the hon Radebe will expand on, was totally objected to by all the opposition parties actively participating in the committee. Of course, that particular clause which they objected to is where we specifically point out what black people are. Under the apartheid law, black people were referred to as Africans, coloureds and Indians, and then the Chinese. [Interjections.]
We are saying that the Whip will deal in detail with that particular clause which was objected to. Of course, ever since that objection in writing, over microphones and in Hansard, there has been considerable back-tracking. However, what I can say is that all parties strongly opposed the current practice of fronting, which I am sure we all appreciate is a sanitised term for fraud. Fraud is a criminal act. So we were all opposed to it, but again, ever since people were opposed to fronting there has been a measure of back-pedalling. [Interjections.]
Let me say regarding the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Bill that, unfortunately, according to many people in business, the Act itself has not yielded the intended results. Indeed, the beneficiaries also said that. The purpose of this amending Bill ...
Hon Chairperson, I see this is not working, so it is very difficult to know how much time I have left. It says zero. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order, order please! Hon member?
Ms J L FUBBS: I cannot see. Finally I can see, now that I have lost three minutes. [Interjections.]
The purpose is to align this piece of legislation impacting on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment with the revised codes of good practice, which the Minister has just mentioned, of good practice and to ensure that it is more coherent, and clearer.
The introduction of the concept of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill has made it clear and brought into practice verification professionals, and it also clarifies the powers of the Minister to make such regulations.
It also establishes a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission to monitor and evaluate it. It is useless putting legislation on the table when we cannot track those who are breaking it and then we have no offences and penalties listed. I am sure you will be pleased to know that we adopted some draconian legislation here for 10 years. So I suggest that anyone who wants to front has another look at our jails or perhaps gets invited ... [Laughter.] ... to have a look and see what is waiting for them. As I have said, it also happens to deal robustly with noncompliance and circumvention. [Interjections.] It aims to give effect ... [Interjections.] ... Listen! [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order, please! Order!
Ms J L FUBBS: ... to government policies, some of which you share and sometimes utilise to great effect. They are policies aimed at deracialising the economy to enable meaningful participation of black people, women, youth, workers, people with disabilities and rural communities, all in the interest of defeating poverty and creating employment.
Of course, we all agree that we want transformation, but talk is cheap. We need to actually implement it. We have also heard, and we know, that it is not only socially unjust – and I am addressing the corporate and businesspeople here; perhaps there is no one here who is in business, or is there? - however economically unsustainable ... [Interjections.] ... to think ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order, please! Order!
Ms J L FUBBS: ... for one moment, hon Marais, that we can run an effective economy that draws its leadership and entrepreneurial capacity from only a small minority. It does not make economic sense either, those of you who have studied anything. [Interjections.] We have dealt with fronting and I have already explained that this is pure, plain fraud. Hon Minister, I hope you build another jail for these fraudsters. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
Looking at clause 13(a), let me tell you that we all agreed to this clause at the time. It’s amazing what happens. I wonder what they serve in our committees. We all agree, yet when they come here, they start changing their minds. [Interjections.] Pure, plain water! On at least three occasions in the committee, we tackled this clause on fronting and we said, you know what ... [Interjections.] You’re quite right, it was longer.
It could be that people make mistakes about the information. One can forget what one’s name is, one’s colour and all of that. [Laughter.] What it says is that you must knowingly do the following. You must knowingly furnish false information. It’s very, very important. We all know that the organs of state are subject to administrative action, etc. You cannot simply act in a cavalier style at all. We do know that, and you probably know it more than anyone.
Yet again on the point of fronting, what we do need to remember is that many of us have what is called the tick-box mentality, and I am not referring to agriculture. You get these huge forms and you just tick, tick, tick, and then say that you have complied. You’ve just ticked! This aims to do away with that kind of mentality and compliance.
We should not forget, and I think the ANC needs to remember this as well, that fronting deprived our black managers of the appropriate authority of their positions. That is very, very important. Let us call you a manager or a finance director, but it is actually an indictment on our language.
Do not forget that I have mentioned the 10 years to you. The other thing we ought to remember, though, is often forgotten. It is most unfortunate that there has been an impression that has been cultivated and nurtured that the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Bill has destroyed all opportunities for whites. Well, I can assure you that that is utterly fallacious. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Says who?
Ms J L FUBBS: Says me, the white person here. [Laughter.] Now, the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Bill has broad value for unlisted companies. Those of you who are not too sure what an unlisted company is, it’s private and so on. There was no such value, but now they have the opportunity to check ... [Interjections.] ... value and decide on whether they should sell 70%, 30% or 25%. Let me sell 25% to Mr Mokoena. You are still there, participating. [Laughter.] It would be very unfair for legislation to prescribe to each and every business to comply with the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill. However, this piece of legislation applies only to those businesses who wish to do business ... [Interjections.] Yes, you better wake up and listen. [Interjections.] It applies only to those businesses who wish to do business with the state or small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs. [Interjections.] Quite frankly, there is not a major ... [Interjections.] I do not even feel under threat. I am thinking of leaving Parliament next year to go into business myself. [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
The amendments of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill will have a positive impact on employment, income distribution and redistribution and economic growth transformation within, of course, a developmental state. Let us remember that we have an opportunity of adopting this Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill as we remember the new Land Act today in this House. We know that, along with the new measures in the Land Act, the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill will redress the basic economic injustices that the Land Act introduced because that was an economic value to our black people ... [Interjections.] You all know that. You have a couple of blacks in your own party. [Laughter.] ... Let us not forget that.
Hon Speaker and hon House Chair, I want to say ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order, please! Order!
Ms J L FUBBS: ... that I commend this Bill to you without amendments. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Dr W G JAMES: House Chair, I think that hon Fubbs is confused. This is Parliament and not Disney World. [Applause.] Let me just spell out where we stand on this issue. The DA supports the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill. [Applause.] This Bill has a potential to promote redress, decrease inequality, promote economic growth and job creation. This is in line with our belief that reconciliation, redress, diversity and delivery are the most appropriate measures to redress the injustices of apartheid.
The Bill before us amends the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE, Act of 2003 - the original Act - in the main to do three very important things: firstly, to affirm compliance, which is to criminalise what is known as fronting; secondly, to set down incentive schemes to support compliant enterprises; and thirdly, to establish a commission to scrutinise and monitor compliance.
During the committee stage the DA put a number of proposals to the committee that were duly accepted: firstly, that the commission has the resources to be fully capable of dealing with queries; secondly, that the commission only investigates cases if there is demonstrable cause; thirdly, that the companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange be required only to provide compliance information and not to be burdened with capricious requests for additional irrelevant data; and lastly, that the appointment of the head of the commission is the joint responsibility of the DTI, the Minister and Parliament.
Let me just say to hon Fubbs that we also proposed to use the definition of “disadvantaged” and not to have this government get into the business of defining race. The apartheid government defined race. We don’t think that we should define race, but we lost that battle. There is no backtracking here. We think that what is required is to move towards the definition of “disadvantaged”.
Let me just add that we will be seeking last-minute changes, as you know, to ensure that due process and fair procedure are adhered to when it comes to the cancellation of contracts.
Colleagues, the further challenge that you must appreciate beyond this Bill is to ensure that the scorecard, a very important vehicle, firstly, drives genuine broad-based empowerment and prevents the re-empowerment of the already enriched and empowered; secondly, includes self-defined employment equity target compliance; and finally, is nonracial when it comes to enterprise development, education, training and corporate social investments. The scores generated by the application of the scorecard become the basis of the BBBEE compliance and not simply the historical identity of the owner. What matters in this scheme of things is whether empowerment is spread far and wide in the company, the sector and in the economy as a whole. Too often, as we know, the well-connected elite have enriched themselves in the name of black economic empowerment, BEE.
Let me also say that in the DA’s plan for growth and jobs, we made the following additional proposals: firstly, to reduce the cost associated with complying with empowerment regulations for small qualifying enterprises by introducing an audit every second year rather than every year; secondly, to introduce an employee bonus scheme for unlisted firms that replicate existing share incentives as we have for listed entities; thirdly, to declare 50% of the value of shares awarded to qualifying employees to be tax deductible to the employer and exempt the full value of any eventual gain from income tax in the hands of the beneficiary; and finally - and very importantly - to work towards distributing shares in some of our country’s state-owned enterprises in order to activate dead capital and thereby put financial resources in the hands of poor South Africans. [Applause.]
Colleagues, we live in a country with a history of cumulative race-based exclusion. In the twentieth century the 1913 Natives Land Act, the 1946 Asiatic Land Tenure Act and the 1950 Group Areas Act were the principal instruments - they were not the only instruments, but the principal instruments - of stripping assets from the voteless majority in this country. Therefore, supporting this amending Bill is a contribution to the righting of a historical wrong.
We also know that redress is not enough. We must put our assets to work so that our economy grows with opportunities so that there is a genuinely better life for all. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr N J J KOORNHOF: Chairperson, Cope shall also support the Bill in front of this House. Even though it’s almost 20 years into our democracy, it is still necessary to entertain a programme of corrective action for those who were previously disadvantaged under apartheid. On the Nelson Mandela twitter account this morning, they tweeted the following quote of Madiba: “None of us is a superstar and none can succeed without the success of the other”.
This Bill and the codes are designed to introduce a new era of empowerment in which fronting is criminalised and with the incentives to promote the creation of black enterprises. What we should not allow is the illegal misuse of this concept to enrich the wrong ones, but we should also not hamper the entrepreneurial spirit of those who are not black and who were born after 1994.
Maybe now is not the time to do it, after only 20 years, but it must become part of a debate for the future. Black economic empowerment, BEE, should be a long-term strategy designed to ensure the long-term growth of our economy. It is a situation that is both politically stable and conducive to growth. The commitment to the spirit of BEE and how South Africans participate in it will guide its success. Nothing holds back an entrepreneur if there is freedom to get ahead, but you need time for those who were previously disadvantaged to catch up, and then only will it be fair. More wealth has been created in South Africa since 1994 than in the previous 300 years. We never realised that. However, not enough of that was passed on to black South Africans. In the 2011 census, we saw growth in the black middle class, but it is not enough. Some are calling for a sunset clause to be introduced; some say there cannot be a sunset if there has not been a sunrise.
Let’s hope that we soon see the rays of the rising sun over South Africa so that we can start the debate about the sunset clause and maybe conclude it in the next 10 to 20 years. This Bill might get us in a position to normalise the situation sooner. As I have said, Cope will support it. [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson and hon members, from the outset, let me say that I have not served on this committee. I did not attend a single meeting of the committee. However, that does not mean I have not taken advantage of the Parliamentary Monitoring Group’s Minutes, and I have read extensively what has been happening within the committee. That is largely because of the absence of the hon Ambrosini, and I think all members of this House will join me in wishing him well as he is recuperating.
Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE, has time and again proved itself as anything but what it was originally intended to be, namely broad-based. Studies have proven that it has only benefited a small portion of the black population, approximately 7% to be exact. Whilst the IFP supports BBBEE, or the notion of righting the wrongs of the past, we are concerned that the current model is defective in that it does not adequately address the broader populace of previously disadvantaged individuals. I think this Bill goes a long way in addressing the particular concern that we may have had with the original Bill. We are pleased that clause 1(b) reaffirms the definition of black people, as the hon chairperson of the committee said. The hon Minister had indicated to us the objectives of this Bill, and we support all the objectives of the Bill, but in particular the clause that relates to lessening the burden on verification. I think this is welcome, because small businesses do find it difficult to pay the kind of fees that are sometimes asked by some of these verification agencies.
If we take a general look at the accomplishments and track records thus far of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment, we see a system which sometimes benefits some insiders and their cronies. We see a system in which sometimes the only criterion for being awarded a tender is that you were previously disadvantaged. Now, what we would like to suggest in this regard is that more skills training be offered by the department to previously disadvantaged persons. In a number of instances BBBEE companies are awarded contracts, but they do not have the capacity to carry out the work that is required, and then you find subcontracting taking place, and it goes to somebody that’s not disadvantaged who would actually do the work. We need to empower those people who have been previously disadvantaged who actually have the skills to do the kind of work that is required of them.
I think this is very necessary, but we must have stringent forms of oversight and control. We would like to see fledgling entrepreneurs as well as small and medium-sized enterprises consisting of previously disadvantaged persons be given every opportunity and assistance by government to get off the ground to be able effectively to contribute to economic growth in South Africa.
Yesterday, I said to the hon President in a follow-up question that the role of small and medium enterprises must not be underestimated. They play a significant role in economic growth. It has been proven around the world that that is the case, and I think we must do everything to encourage them here. The corrupt and unscrupulous are met at every turn, and they have no qualms about stealing from their own if it means quick monetary gain for themselves, irrespective of whether they can do the work or not. The clause on fronting is certainly welcome, but I think in this context we must also look at major buy-outs, because when there are company buy-outs, you get a whole complex form of fronting and BBBEE, which defeats the purpose that is was originally intended for.
I think we should also be looking at equity participation of the general populace in companies. It is no good just getting jobs and contracts to do work but meaningful equity participation, like in MTN and other companies, and maybe we can look at some of our state-owned enterprises in this regard as a point of departure to provide preferential shares to previously disadvantaged people. We, as the IFP, will support this amending Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Adv A D ALBERTS: Agb Speaker, die VF Plus is op rekord in hierdie komitee dat ons ook die kommer deel oor die armoede wat tans in Suid-Afrika heers. Ons het ook telkemale onomwonde gestel dat die beleidsopsies waarop besluit word om armoede aan te pak prakties moet wees. Kortom, dit moet werk, en as dit nie werk nie, moet dit vervang word met bewese beleidsplanne. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Adv A D ALBERTS: Hon Speaker, the FF Plus is on record in this committee as having said that we also share the concern about the poverty which currently exists in South Africa. We also have stated unequivocally time and again that the policy options that are decided upon to tackle poverty should be practical. In short, they must work, and if they do not work, they should be replaced with proven policy plans.]
While the FF Plus, in principle, cannot support any empowerment measures based purely on race, and must therefore vote against this Bill, we also always pose the following important question with regard to policy and law: Does it work? In other words, has broad-based black economic empowerment, BBBEE, proven itself as a broad-based empowerment tool for the intended groups? The problem that we are facing with BBBEE is that there is unfortunately broad consensus overall that no proper research exists that can clearly indicate that BBBEE has empowered a broad base of black people. In fact, the existing evidence suggests the contrary, with a few exceptions.
Hierdie wetsontwerp poog nou om die toepassing van ’n onsekere beleid te verskerp deur die definitiewe kriminalisering van wanvoorstellings van bemagtiging. Die vraag is weer eens of dit gaan werk om swart bemagtiging af te dwing. Dit is egter ons posisie dat wetgewing wat nie in die eerste plek werk om sosio-ekonomiese dinamika te verander nie, nie sommer deur timmerwerk beter gemaak kan word nie. Somtyds is dit nodig om te erken dat daar terug gegaan moet word na die tekenbord. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[This Bill now strives to intensify the implementation of a dubious policy by means of the definitive criminalisation of misrepresentations of empowerment. The question once more is whether the enforcement of black empowerment is going to work. However, it is our contention that no quick fix simply exists for legislation which is not effective in changing socioeconomic dynamics in the first instance. At times it is necessary to admit that one should go back to the drawing board.]
Minister, there are increasing indicators that we need different interventions to grow the economy, eradicate poverty and ensure the fulfilment of human rights imperatives. Rothchilds Consultancy, one of the leading BBBEE advisers, has admitted that BBBEE has failed and must be replaced with policy instruments that work. We need to rethink our economic paradigm so as to expedite growth. Therefore, as far as BBBEE is concerned, we are merely stumbling blindly into the future without knowing whether we are holding a flashlight to guide us or a dynamite stick that may go off any second. The FF Plus finds it ludicrous that a policy is entrenched even further when there is no clear data to support the policy direction.
Daar is wel stappe wat gedoen kan word om in die rigting van ’n ware inklusiewe ekonomie te beweeg. Dit is om die maatstaf van ras om bevoordeel te word deur middel van swart ekonomiese bemagtiging, SEB, te vervang met sosio-ekonomiese kriteria. Laasgenoemde sal die wetgewing meer in lyn met die realiteite van Suid-Afrika bring, waar groeiende armoede onder alle rasgroepe bestaan.
Minister, oorwegend beskou, doen u goeie werk. Ek hoop dat ons vorentoe ernstig in gesprek kan tree om beter beleidsopsies te implementeer en te formuleer wat werklik nie-diskriminerend van aard is en almal kan bevoordeel. Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Indeed, steps do exist which can be implemented to move in the direction of a truly inclusive economy. They entail to replacing race with socioeconomic criteria as a yardstick in order to benefit from black economic empowerment. The latter will bring legislation more in line with the realities of South Africa, where poverty is increasing amongst all race groups.
Minister, in general, you are doing good work. I hope that in future we can have a serious discussion on how to implement and formulate better policy options that are indeed nondiscriminatory and will benefit all. I thank you.]
Mr N E GCWABAZA: Hon Chairperson, hon members, the ANC, in its 53rd conference in Mangaung resolved to take decisive and resolute action to overcome the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. This resolution is derived from the Freedom Charter, which says that the people shall share in South Africa’s wealth.
The ANC is committed to the transformation of the structure of the economy through industrialisation, broad-based black economic empowerment and expanding the role of the state and the state-owned enterprises to achieve inclusive growth. In pursuit of a deracialised and inclusive economy, the ANC government has put in place a number of legislative instruments, among which are the BBBEE Amendment Bill, which is before this House today, the Co-operatives Bill, which has already passed through this House, and the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act.
The BBBEE Amendment Bill seeks to empower all black people who were economically disempowered during a long and painful three and a half centuries of colonial and apartheid land dispossession, racial oppression, discrimination and exploitation. It seeks to open up opportunities for black people to establish, own, and actively control and manage their enterprises. The BBBEE Bill encourages in particular the youth, women, people with disabilities and rural communities, to own and manage their own businesses and to create much-needed jobs.
Uhulumeni we-ANC uhlaba ikhwela futhi ugqugquzela abantu ikakhulukazi intsha, omama, abasebenzi, abakhubazekile nabantu abahlala ezindaweni zasemakhaya ukuthi basebenzise lo Mthethosivivinywa wokuThuthukiswa kwaBantu abaMnyama kwezoMnotho ngokuBanzi njengoba ubanikeza ilungelo eliphelele lokuziphathela amabhizinisi futhi bawalawule bukhoma bangathumeli. Ngakho-ke sithi singuKhongolose ningavumi ukuthunywa yilabo abakade benenza izithunzi nje sengathi ninamabhizinisi kanti baniqhuba phambili ukuze bathole imisebenzi kahulumeni. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[The ANC-led government is urging and encouraging people, especially the youth, women, labour, people with disabilities and those living in the rural areas, to use this BBBEE Amendment Bill as it completely empowers them with the rights of directly managing their businesses. As the ANC, therefore, we are saying you must not allow those who used you in fronting on the pretext that you own a business whilst they were just interested in doing business with the government.]
The BBBEE Amendment Bill has come at an appropriate time when the ANC government is accelerating land redistribution, when the development finance institutions such as the Small Enterprise Finance Agency, Sefa, the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, the National Empowerment Fund, NEF, and many others are better able to assist the small, medium and micro-enterprises, SMMEs, co-operatives and other collectively owned enterprises with financial and institutional support. The BBBEE will also develop additional plans for financing black-owned enterprises, including incentive schemes, to make these enterprises sustainable. It comes at a time when the ANC government is hard at work to create decent jobs. The time is now, because for anyone to establish, own, control and manage a sustainable enterprise, he needs three basic means of doing business, namely land, capital and labour. The time to reclaim ownership by the black majority of the means of production is now.
The ANC is urging the millions of unemployed youth, women, workers and rural communities to ask themselves this question: How can I use the BBBEE Bill, the Co-operatives Bill and the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act to create a job for myself and 10 more people?
Sithi-ke kubantu bakithi emakhaya eBuhlebezwe ngakithi eXopo, kwaMashu, eMkhanyakude, eQunu, kuTsolo, e-Soweto, e-Mitchells Plain eGugulethu, e-Chatsworth, e-Wentworth, e-Klaarwater kanye nakwaDabeka nakuzo zonke izindawo zakithi lapho abantu bentula khona imisebenzi futhi befuna ukuzakhela amabhizinisi mabasukume bazenzele. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[We are then saying to our people in the rural areas of Buhlebezwe, my village in Ixopo, KwaMashu, Mkhanyakude, kuTsolo, Soweto, Mitchells Plain, Gugulethu, Chatsworth, Wentworth, Klaarwater and KwaDabeka and all other areas where people lack job opportunities and seek to start their own businesses, to stand up and do things for themselves.]
Do not wait for the government to create jobs, but work with the ANC government to create your jobs, because it cares. I thank you.
Mr K J DIKOBO: House Chair, hon members, guests, conceptually there is nothing wrong with both the principal Act and the amending Bill.
Azapo has always supported the need to tamper with power relations in the country, including changing ownership patterns. Being a product of the philosophy of black consciousness, I find it strange that the country has retrogressed and we find ourselves having further divided the oppressed of our land.
We were under the impression that the question of who is a black person had been settled in the late 1960s when Black Consciousness defined black people as those who are legally, politically, socially and economically oppressed and segregated; who identify as a group in the struggle for freedom. Black Consciousness rejected the division of black people into smaller groups of so-called Africans, coloureds and Indians. We have been called many things in the past. Black people are now referred to as the previously disadvantaged. There is nothing previous in the suffering of our people; they are still suffering even today.
Azapo agrees that fronting should be clearly criminalised and that it was difficult to depend only on common law to deal with fronting. Azapo will therefore support the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
MODULASETULO WA NTLO (Mong M B Skosana): Pele o tsamaya ntate Dikobo, ke itse Dikobo, ba re Dikobo. Ke eng?
Mong K J DIKOBO: Re a koba ntate, ke dikobo.
MODULASETULO WA NTLO (Mong M B Skosana): Ke Dikobo, e seng dikobo?
Mong K J DIKOBO: Tjhee. (Translation of Sesotho paragraphs follows.)
[The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Before you go, Hon Dikobo; I said Dikobo, they say it’s pronounced Di-ko-bo. Which one is it?
Mr K J DIKOBO: We bend, sir, I am Dikobo.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Is it Dikobo? Not dikobo [blankets]?
Mr K J DIKOBO: No.]
Mr N T GODI: House Chairperson, the ACP, like everybody else, stands to support the amending Bill.
The Bill deals with a number of issues, like promoting access to finance for black businesses and especially co-operatives, but it is the clause that deals with fronting that we view as of particular importance. Because fronting undermines black economic empowerment, it perpetuates exclusion. We want to call upon the Minister to ensure that the commission envisaged by the Act is effective and efficient in terms of monitoring compliance and that action is taken against those who do not comply.
We believe that this Act is a vital cog in the struggle to transform the socioeconomic relations created under minority rule. Creating access to businesses for our people ensures that the fundamental objective of our struggle, as defined by Amilcar Cabral, which is not about ideas, but about ensuring that the material conditions of our people change, and that people derive benefits from the freedom that we have, is realised. I thank you.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: House Chairperson, to all intents and purposes, I consider myself a child of the new South Africa. I was seven years old in 1994 and one of my earliest conscious memories was of watching President Mandela’s inauguration on TV with my grandmother. That means that I have no personal experience of living under apartheid, and I can only try to imagine and empathise with the pain of the people who did. But growing up in a democratic South Africa, the continued devastating legacy of apartheid was plain to see all around.
That is why the DA supports genuine efforts to redress the skewed and exclusive structure of our economy and expand economic freedom and opportunity to millions more people, and that is why the DA supports the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill. This Bill is a significant step in the right direction because it outlaws black economic empowerment, BEE, fronting and commits state companies to complying with the codes of good practice uniformly. That’s the item the Minister did not have time to speak about and that’s a very positive point.
This Bill is, I believe, also a frank admission on the part of the ANC that their efforts at redress have thus far failed because the system has been captured by fraudsters and the super-wealthy, who keep on benefiting again and again. Under the ANC, economic empowerment has turned into a scheme for making a few well-connected individuals extremely rich. This has created a small and super-wealthy elite, with little or no benefit for most South Africans, and no fundamental change to the structural inequalities that still persist.
It has been mentioned here that apartheid was undergirded by the idea that people were members of racial groups before they were people in their own right. It is, for the record, lamentable that this Bill perpetuates those group definitions and that the governing party insisted on keeping these provisions in the Bill, despite the amendments proposed by every single other party represented in the committee. The hon James is right. There has been absolutely no backtracking in that regard; we’ve maintained that position consistently throughout the committee process and we do so today.
We believe that it is possible to achieve truly broad-based empowerment through redress measures which expand opportunities for the many, not reserve them for the few. That is why we support amendments to the code of good practice which rewards job creation, incentivises investment in education and prioritises people who have not yet benefited from BEE. They should be the ones to benefit first. They shouldn’t be last in the queue.
We thank the chairperson of the committee for a very fruitful and mostly collegial committee process. We therefore have pleasure in supporting this Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers and members of this august House, we meet today to debate one of the most important pieces of legislation which tries to demolish apartheid barriers.
The Constitution of the country demands that the government must put in place measures to redress the past injustice. Marcus Garvey once said: “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” When strong winds blow, the tree falls down. So, by addressing the issue of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE, we will get to the root of this evil, which led to the discussion of this Bill today.
The Population Registration Act of 1950 classified all inhabitants of South Africa into one of the following categories: whites, who were sometimes referred to as Europeans; Africans, who were referred to as blacks, nonwhites or Bantu; coloured; and Indians, who were not recognised as South Africans because the apartheid government claimed that their citizenship could be claimed in India.
That’s why in provinces like the Free State, the Indians were not allowed to stay there and when they were passing by they had to get a permit; it was because of this Population Registration Act. This categorisation determined the person’s social and economic status. If you were black, the prospect of advancing in life was very limited. If you were categorised as white, your prospect of attaining economic freedom was enhanced. This enhancement of the white person’s status was promoted through government intervention, better education, support of white businesses and access to cheap loans for the farmers. The black people were dispossessed of the land and their rights to participate in the economy were denied through laws which restricted them from opening businesses in the so-called white areas.
Even at the height of this repression, the ANC made a clarion call in the Freedom Charter that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and therefore gave the future of the country a nonracial character. This call was made five years after the Population Registration Act was promulgated and three years after Bantu education was enacted, which was aimed at ensuring that blacks never attained full potential to participate in the economy.
In its 53rd conference, the ANC adopted the National Development Plan, NDP, as its long-term vision to transform the South African society from a colonial and apartheid past to a national democratic society. The NDP, in chapter 15, recognises that the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act is a tool to empower Africans, Indians and coloureds, as well as women, workers, youth, people living with disabilities and the people living in rural areas, through the facilitation of ownership and management of enterprises and productive assets.
The NDP also recognises the impediments to realising this goal of broad participation in the economy. Firstly, lack of capital to acquire ownership and control; secondly, the debt-driven deals; thirdly, misaligned targets and definitions between the BBBEE and the codes and charters that flow from the BBBEE Act.
The NDP recommends that a statutory body be formed in the Department of Trade and Industry to regulate BBBEE verification and control. In compliance with the NDP, this Bill proposes the establishment of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission, whose functions will include the following. Firstly, to oversee, supervise and promote adherence to this Act. This means that for the first time we are going to have a dedicated body which is going to scan the entire environment to ensure that this Act is complied with, unlike today, whereby we’ve got a fragmented approach to BBBEE.
Secondly, to strengthen and foster collaboration between the public and private sectors, in order to promote and safeguard the objectives of this Act. What is critical is that even the Constitution of the country enjoins us to work together to make South Africa a better place. That is why the public sector, together with the private sector, must make South Africa a better place to live in. That’s why part of the work of this commission is to promote that collaboration.
Thirdly, its function is to promote advocacy. We know that the people in the rural areas are the ones with the least opportunity of getting information. The commission will therefore be expected to take advocacy campaigns to the rural areas so that those people are exposed to opportunities.
What is important is that the commission will maintain the registry of major BBBEE transactions in order for us to track what is happening, so that when we come back in 2023, we will able to say how much we have moved from 2013 to 2023. What is also very important about this commission is that where it suspects that the BBBEE deals had some sort of fronting, there will be a serious backlash.
After investigation, the BBBEE Commission can recommend that contracts be cancelled on the spot. That’s where we differ with the DA. The DA wants the process of cancellation of the contracts to be prolonged. What we know is that when you are in a struggle, fronting is a crime, and it must be made expensive. Therefore, when there is a suspicion that a deal was obtained through fronting, the people involved must go to the highest court in the land and pay at least R100 000 a day to defend their case. In this way, fronting can be rooted out. [Applause.]
What is also very important is that after the investigation has been finalised, and that person has been found guilty, the commission can recommend that that person be listed on a register and be shamed, so that he will be unable to do any business with the government for a period of 10 years. This will be a hard lesson for those who are fronting.
What is critical here is that this commission will be some sort of a one-stop centre where all the reports of companies which are a the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, from all spheres of government, local, provincial and national, will be made. Any person who would like to invest in this country will be able to access all the information from the commission, and know about the sectors and also what is expected of him as an investor. That is the critical aspect of this commission; it is really transformative in nature.
Another important issue, where we differ with the DA, is the definition of black people. The DA went out of its way - I can cite an example of the definition that they tried to espouse. The hon James proposed that black people is a term of convenience and a synonym for historical disadvantage for the people who did not have the franchise. The issue of disempowerment was not only about not voting, it was about genocide which was committed against African tribes when they were removed from their land. That was not an inconvenience; that was genocide.
Secondly, the issue of Bantu education that was enforced on the African children was also not an inconvenience. That is why today we have so many people who cannot be part of this economy; it is because of the results of Bantu education. We cannot call these things an inconvenience. It’s a reality. That’s why we were so passionate about it and felt that we could not have that.
Let us look at what the NDP has to say about the issue of race. The lessons drawn from the NDP which emphasise the righting of the wrongs of the past make the call that, firstly,
For at least the next decade, race should continue to be given the greatest weight in defining historical disadvantage.
That was taken from the NDP, page 467. [Applause.] The DA purports that it supports the NDP, but it wants to support it selectively, because we cannot deal with the past unless we go to the root cause of the problem. We should therefore take an example from Germany. In Germany, even today, when one denies the Holocaust, he can be jailed for five years. The Germans acknowledged that what they did to the Jews was wrong. That’s why they put in place systems to support the Jews. Now, Germany has the strongest economy in the European Union.
So why does the DA want us to revise history? By what they are doing, they are trying to say that apartheid was not based on race. [Interjections.] In 2009, the ANC said that, “Working together, we can do more. ”Now is the time for us to put our hands on deck and push back the frontiers of inequality and create a nonracial and nonsexist democratic society. The ANC supports the Bill. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Chairperson, in the little time available, I just want to respond to two points. Firstly, I want to make a few points around the point that has just been made by the hon Radebe. I think the question is that under apartheid and colonialism race was a concept which underpinned policies, programmes, disadvantagement, underdevelopment and exclusion. That’s a fact.
These policies had a generational and intergenerational impact. The fact is that the effects are still with us, and we have to respond to those effects. The fact that people were discriminated against on that basis gives us a way of saying that those people who were discriminated against on that basis are the people we need to affirm through black economic empowerment, BEE.
I just want to say that the other proposal of trying to establish the currently disadvantaged, I think we would have to surmount tremendous hurdles with a huge amount of red tape - which the party on my left does not support - for people to establish their rights to the programmes of support and affirmation. That is why I think we have to continue with that definition.
Secondly, what I want to say in response to the point made by Mr Koornhof is that I am very happy that he didn’t say that we should have the sunset clause now, because I think when we do have a debate on that issue, the question will be how we are going to set an artificial timeframe and say it will be installed by such and such a date, and whether or not it will transform the economy, or is the closing point when the economy starts to represent and reflect the demographics of the people of the country? That’s the issue that I think we have to deal with.
Otherwise, I want to thank everybody for their contributions. I want to make a small contribution to the “Know Your DA” campaign. While they told us that they support BEE now, in 2003 they opposed it. I don’t doubt the sincerity of the hon Wilmot James, but I wonder whether this has more to do with electoral opportunism than anything else. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): It was announced that amendments to the Bill have been proposed in terms of Assembly Rule 254 and published on the Order Paper in the name of Mr G G Hill-Lewis.
Before I put the amendments as they appear on the Order Paper, there has been a request for declarations on these amendments. I am exercising my discretion in terms of Rule 81 to allow declarations of vote on the amendments.
However, I do need to state that we have just had the debate on this Bill. Normally, the Chair is disinclined to allow declarations of vote immediately after a debate. Please, do not regard this as a precedent in the future. I will now allow parties who wish to do so to make their declarations of up to three minutes on the amendments as printed on the Order Paper.
Declarations of vote:
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Chairperson, we have already made it clear that the DA supports the Bill. However, as legislators we believe that we have a duty to produce legislation which is unambiguous, consistent and offers the greatest degree of legal certainty.
One clause in the Bill which relates to the cancellation of contracts does not achieve the standard. This is raised as a serious concern by the Oceana Group, which is a significant black-owned company, and the Banking Association of South Africa, whose member banks are the biggest funders of the black economic empowerment transactions in the country.
Both the Oceana Group and the Banking Association made it clear that the section in question as it is currently worded leaves too much open to vagary and the basic process should be laid out in the Bill to provide some certainty. This is what the amendments I’ve tabled today aim to do.
The effect of an ambiguous clause is that it will be left to the court to clarify exactly what due process is required before contracts can be cancelled. This leaves it to the businesses that have had their contracts cancelled, many of whom will be small companies run by cash-trapped entrepreneurs. They will now have to approach the court to assert their rights to due process, which they will not be able to afford.
Hon Radebe says that globally big business can go and spend R100 000 a day in the High Courts securing their rights. Hon Radebe, many BEE contractors are not big businesses and they will not be able to afford that.
I am not sure why the ANC is determined to oppose these amendments when this will clearly lead to unnecessary and entirely unavoidable litigation that will clearly hurt the poor, precisely the opposite of the Bill’s stated intention.
That’s why I have tabled ... [Interjections.] Seemingly much more than you, sir, based on what hon Radebe has just said. That’s why I’ve tabled these common-sense amendments, which are entirely unpolitical and which will improve the Bill, help to keep the courts clear and assist small business owners. I ask that you please support them. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr N J J KOORNHOF: Chairperson, we have listened to the arguments of hon Hill-Lewis, and Cope concurs with them. We shall support the amendments. [Applause.]
Mrs C DUDLEY: The ACDP will be supporting the amendment. [Applause.]
Adv A D ALBERTS: Chair, we will also be supporting this amendment. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L W GREYLING: The ID will also be supporting this amendment. [Applause.]
Ms J L FUBBS: Hon House Chair, as I stated in my speech about clause 13(a), I tried to explain that this is a clear case of fronting, or fraud, and it makes it very clear that no cancellation - none - may take place unless you provided false information and, furthermore, it has been knowingly furnished. Therefore, the two elements are false information and knowing that you have done it. Should false information be inadvertently or negligently furnished, etc, the organ of state will not be entitled to cancel the contract itself. The clause is confined to the rather serious matter of furnishing information fraudulently. Any amendment thereof against this backdrop should be seen in this light.
Furthermore, any administrative action by organs of state or public entities is by necessary implication subject to just administrative action enshrined in section 33 of the Constitution, and also Paja, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, No 3 of 2000.
It therefore follows that any decision to cancel an authorisation must be the legal consequence of administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair. Any decision to cancel a contract will be governed by the law of contract in that a misrepresentation will amount to a breach of contract. [Interjections.] Not that the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act does ... [Interjections.] Since when does the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act ... [Interjections.] Absolutely, don’t interrupt me.
Should the legislature be prescriptive in the Act of Parliament in this regard, such statutory prescription will ... [Interjections.] If you go through with this amendment, you will find that it will prove to be problematic in law. The reason is that the provisions regarding the time periods and the procedures to be followed in the case of a breach are invariably to be found in contractual agreements already envisaged.
You may find yourself excluding any further remedy simply because you have decided to be overly prescriptive in the legislation itself. That is all we are saying - and I must say, I always welcome your input. You have been a valuable member of the committee, hon Hill-Lewis. I wouldn’t like you to spoil that track record now.
In conclusion, we respectfully recommend that serious consideration be given – and I speak to all the opposition parties - to retaining clause 13(a) in its current form to protect yourself and your members. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, I want you to follow proceedings very carefully. I will now put the amendments as they appear on the Order Paper.
Amendments to the Bill put, as printed on the Order Paper (p 457), namely:
1. On page 6, line 4, to omit the proposed new section 13A and to substitute:
“13A. If an enterprise awarded a contract or authorisation by an organ of state or public entity has furnished information or has submitted any other information in respect of its broad-based economic empowerment status which is not true, the organ of state or public entity may –
(1) by written notice served upon such enterprise or sent by registered post to the said enterprise’s last known address, request the enterprise to show cause in writing, within a period of 21 days from the date of such notice, why the contract or authorisation should not be revoked, suspended, cancelled, altered or reduced, as the case may be; and
(2) after consideration of the written submission or expiry of the period referred to in subsection (1), revoke, suspend, cancel, alter or reduce such contract or authorisation.”
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Are there any objections to the amendments as they appear on the Order Paper?
HON MEMBERS: Yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I put the question. Those in favour of the amendments as they appear on the Order Paper will say Aye.
HON MEMBERS: Aye!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Those who are against will say No!
HON MEMBERS: No!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I think the noes have it.
Mrs S V KAYLAN: Chairperson, the DA calls for a Division.
The House divided.
AYES - 72: Alberts, A D; Berend, S R; Bhanga, B M; Boinamo, G G; Bosman, L L; Botha, T; Cebekhulu, R S; Coetzee, T W; De Freitas, M S F; Dreyer, A M; Dudley, C; Duncan, P C; Esau, S; Ferguson, B D; George, M E; Greyling, L W; Harris, T; Hill-Lewis, G G; Hlengwa, M; James, W G; Kalyan, S V; Kganare, D A; Kilian, J D; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Barnard, D; Koornhof, N J J v R; Kopane, S P; Krumbock, G R; Lamoela, H; Lotriet, A; Mackenzie, G P D; Madisha, W M; Makhuba, H N; Marais, S J F; Max, L H; Maynier, D J; Mazibuko, L D; McGluwa, J J; Michael, N W A; Mileham, K J; More, E; Motau, S C; Mpontshane, A M; Msweli, H S; Mubu, K S; Ndlovu, V B; Ndude, H N; Njobe, M A A; Ollis, I M; Robinson, D; Rogers, F A; Ross, D C; Sayedali-Shah, M R; Schafer, D A; Selfe, J; Shinn, M R; Singh, N; Sithole, K P; Steenhuisen, J H; Steyn, A C; Steyn, A; Stubbe, D J; Swart, M; Swathe, M M; Terblanche, J F; Van den Berg, N J; Van Der Linde, N J; Van Der Westhuizen, A P; Van Dyk, S M; Van Schalkwyk, H C; Waters, M; Watson, A.
NOES -179: Abram, S; Adams, P E; Bam-Mugwanya, V; Bhengu, F; Bhengu, N R; Bhengu, P; Bhoola, R B; Bikani, F C; Bonhomme, T; Booi, M S; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Botha, Y R; Bothman, S G; Burgess, C V; Cele, M A; Chiloane, T D; Chohan, F I; Coleman, E M; Dambuza, B N; Daniels, P N; Davies, R H; De Lange, J H; Diale, L N; Dikobo, K J; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlakude, D E; Dlomo, B J; Dube, M C; Duma, N M; 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; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Hajaig, F; Huang, S - B; Jeffery, J H; Johnson, M; Kekana, C D; Kenye, T E; Khoarai, L P; Khumalo, F E; Khunou, N P; Koornhof, G W; Landers, L T; Lesoma, R M M; Lishivha, T E; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; Mabedla, N R; Madlala, N M; Madlopha, C Q; Mafolo, M V; Magagula, V V; Magama, H T; Magubane, E; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Makwetla, S P; Malale, M l; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Manana, N C; Mandela, Z M D; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Mashatile, S P; Mashigo, R M; Mashishi, A C; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, D H; Mathibela, N F; Matlanyane, H F; Matshoba, J M; Mavunda, D W; Mayatula, S M; Maziya, A M; Mdakane, M R; Mfeketo, N C; Mfulo, A; Mgabadeli, H C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mmusi, S G; Mnisi, N A; Mocumi, P A; Mohai, S J; Mohorosi, M; Mokoena, A D; Molebatsi, M A; Moloi-Moropa, J C; Moloto, K A; Mosimane, C K K; Moss, L N; Motlanthe, K P; Motsepe, R M; Motshekga, M S; Mthethwa, E M; Mushwana, F F; Muthambi, A F; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabeni, S T; Ndebele, J S; Ndlazi, A Z; Nel, A C; Nelson, W J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngcobo, B T; Ngubeni-Maluleka, J P; Ngwenya, W; Ngwenya-Mabila, P C; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Nkwinti, G E; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntuli, Z C; Nxesi, T W; Nyalungu, R E; Nyekemba, E; Oliphant, M N; Pandor, G N M; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaliso, M N; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Radebe, G S; Radebe, B A; Ramodibe, D M; Schneemann, G D; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; September, C C; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibiya, D; Sindane, G S; Sisulu, L N; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Smith, V G; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Thibedi, J D; Thobejane, S G; Thomson, B; Tobias, T V; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala, J; Tsotetsi, D R; Turok, B; Twala, N M; Van der Merwe, S C; van Rooyen, D D; Van Schalkwyk, M C J; van Wyk, A; Wayile, Z G; Williams, A J; Williams-De Bruyn, S T; Xaba, P P; Ximbi, D L; Yengeni, L E.
Amendments accordingly negatived.
Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
BASIC CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Hon House Chairperson, hon members, Cabinet colleagues, hon Deputy President, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, there shall be a national minimum wage, paid annual leave, sick leave for all workers and maternity leave on full pay for all working mothers.
The Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill seeks to translate ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order! Hon Minister, can you just take your seat please? There are too many members standing around in the aisles and others are about the leave the House. Will you please make your decision? We want to continue with the debate. Hon Minister, you may continue.
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: As I have said, the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill seeks to translate the vision enshrined in the Freedom Charter, the Constitution of the land and the 2009 election manifesto of the ANC. I am pleased to point out that by and large the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill is in line with the aspirations of the Freedom Charter, the election manifesto and our international obligations, thanks to the ANC government.
In 1998, the 86th International Labour Conference adopted the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. This declaration contains four fundamental policies, the right of workers to associate freely and bargain collectively; the end of forced and compulsory labour; the end of child labour; and the end of unfair discrimination among workers.
We deemed it necessary to propose amendments to the basic conditions of employment. We are very pleased that the National Assembly is considering the proposed Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and will find it appropriate to adopt the passage of the Bill.
You will recall that these amendments are intended to respond to the growing informalisation of work in the South African labour market and to align the Basic Conditions of Employment Act with the Labour Relations Act in addressing unfair labour practices. The amendments also seek to bring the provisions relating to child labour in line with international standards and strengthen the mechanisms for enforcement of basic conditions of employment, including wages.
It is worth mentioning that 12 June 2013 was the International Day Against Child Labour. This day was celebrated last week, coinciding as it did with the International Labour Conference. Part of what this Bill does is to align our policies with international best practices. It will also prohibit the unethical behaviour of requiring work seekers to pay a fee in order to be placed in employment.
The law will also prevent employers from forcing employees to purchase goods from their businesses as conditions of work. It will also prohibit work by children under the age of 15 years. It will strengthen the labour inspectorate and enforcement. The Bill seeks to introduce measures to discourage noncompliance by, among other things, imposing heavier penalties. The Bill is also a direct consequence of the 2009 ANC election manifesto, which promised South Africans that the ANC-led government would introduce legal measures to promote our decent work agenda.
I want to thank members of the Portfolio Committee on Labour for their time, energy and wisdom in their efforts to enhance the objectives of the Bill. Let me also take this opportunity to call on our social partners to assist with implementing the amendments in their places of work. I am aware that some of the proposed amendments were complex, and it was not easy to reach consensus. Well, let me submit that labour laws have been and always will be a highly contested terrain, not only in South Africa, but the world over.
I would also like to encourage those who have not read this particular piece of legislation and are always saying that the labour laws of the country are rigid, to do so. I want to confirm that the labour laws of this country are flexible. When we were attending the International Labour Organization conference there were countries that had already requested to come and learn from our country. That is why I am appealing to this House to adopt these amendments. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs J D KILIAN: Hon Chairperson, can I please just bring it to your attention that there seems to something wrong with our electronic systems. From what I understand from other members it is not only a few, but apparently throughout the benches.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Point noted. We are requesting the NA Table staff to look into the matter. At the moment it does not have any bearing on the debate that is taking place. If you are uncertain about the speakers’ list, you can get a copy from the NA Table staff. Hopefully, by the end of this debate, the system will be up and running again.
Mr M E NCHABELENG: Hon Chair, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, staff from government departments, esteemed guests, sometimes it is nice, once in a while, to vote “No”.
“The future of our continent lies in the hands of Africans themselves.” These were the words of Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa, during the panel discussion at the International Labour Conference, ILO, last week. He went on to say, and I quote:
... to successfully create the conditions for jobs, growth and social progress, the continent needs to have its own control of its own vision and narrative. We need a structural transformation of African economies to ensure jobs, growth and social progress.
In South Africa, there is no confusion about that. The Freedom Charter is crystal clear on the vision of South Africa on workers’ rights. It states in no uncertain terms the following: Firstly, there shall be a forty-hour working week, a national minimum wage, paid annual leave and sick leave for all workers, and maternity leave on full pay for all working mothers. Secondly, miners, domestic workers, farm workers and public servants shall have the same rights as all others who work. Thirdly, child labour, compound labour, the tot system and contract labour shall be abolished.
South Africa has a long history of suffering and injustice. These challenges are automatically transferred to the labour market. Our labour market is characterised by inequalities and by the large number of those trapped in working poverty. It is within this context that when we deal with labour market challenges we have to understand our history and the political climate within which we operate.
We also acknowledge that South Africa operates within a global village and that such an intricacy sometimes forces us to abandon our values and that which is morally binding to our cause. These amendments are a reflection of the fact that we operate within an environment where we have to nurture economic growth while at the same time establishing a sound protection system for the vulnerable workers.
This is the reality facing us today. In principle, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act is in line with the human rights values enshrined in our Constitution. It complies with most, if not all, of the core International Labour Conference conventions. However, as a dynamic piece of legislation, it requires some fine-tuning and realignment from time to time. The 2009 ANC election manifesto made a promise to the people of South Africa that it would introduce laws to regulate contract work, sub-contracting and outsourcing, address the problems of labour broking, and prohibit many abusive medieval tendencies and practices within this social system. Through these proposed amendments, we are living up to our promises that we made in 2009.
In the 2009 ANC manifesto, we undertook to make provisions to facilitate the unionisation of workers and the conclusion of sectoral collective agreements to cover vulnerable workers to ensure the right to permanent employment. The amendments in the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill do precisely that in response to the new environment on this front.
On this day in June 2013, Parliament welcomes the efforts of the ANC in introducing amendments to the labour laws in order to prohibit the inherently abusive practices in labour broking; to restore the dignity of our society in general and workers in particular; to create an environment where all workers not only feel that they are protected, but can also see and experience tangible protection; to create an employment environment that is free from any form of naked or super-exploitation and that ensures the complete eradication of all medieval practices within the profit-making system; and to eliminate instances where workers do not know who to cite when referring their cases to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, CCMA.
Cases of workers who have worked for many years without social benefits, including provisions for retirement and medical care, will soon become history. These amendments are flexible enough not to become an obstacle for addressing employment opportunities. The time utilised to consider amendments for finalisation bears testimony to that.
The Minister of Labour, the daughter of our soil, in pursuit of the ruling party’s vision, tabled this amending Bill in Parliament. The Bill, in our view, seeks to address the gaps that have emerged since the last amendments; to effect alignment with the country’s international obligations, as well as alignment with the relevant jurisprudence; and, most importantly, to strengthen the protection of vulnerable workers. I hope this House will be united in giving this Bill the right of passage as that will be the right thing to do. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A P VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Hon Chair, the DA opposes the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill. [Interjections.] As hon Minister Oliphant has said, South Africa can be proud of many aspects of its labour dispensation. However, we must hang our heads in shame about our incredibly high unemployment rate. We rank in the top 14% of countries in terms of unemployment. Many African countries have done far better in terms of employment than us. This includes countries such as Ghana, Gabon, Zambia, North and South Sudan and Nigeria.
It is unthinkable that we currently have a higher unemployment rate than in 1994, when we were coming out of a long period of labour unrest, trade boycotts and sanctions – a period when foreigners, quite understandably, did not want to invest in our country and when our exporters were struggling to find markets for South African products. What is worse, however, is that that period prohibited some South Africans from using their talents in certain fields, and from working and residing where they wanted.
Today, those aspects have mercifully changed and our products are welcomed all over the world. One would therefore have expected this country to be put on a high growth path, one second to none. Thankfully, the standard of living of employed South Africans has improved significantly. However, the burden of the fast-growing group of unemployed South Africans has worsened. Rising levels of unemployment, a phenomenon which started during the 1970s, has accelerated since 1994. We have a national crisis in terms of unemployment. Our official unemployment rate exceeds 25%. We have all seen the increase in the number of people waiting in vain on street corners for someone to offer them a short-term job, and hundreds of thousands of South Africans have given up all hope of ever finding a job.
The unemployment figure, which is an average figure, masks the real unemployment figures in certain age groups, with more than 50% of our young people not being able to find employment. Any society in which the young are bearing the brunt in terms of unemployment must commit itself to serious introspection and action.
Daar is ook groot verskille in werkloosheid tussen die verskillende bevolkingsgroepe. Werkloosheid het ’n enorme negatiewe invloed op hierdie gemeenskappe, en hou groot risikos vir ons land se toekoms in. Dit het ook ’n negatiewe invloed op belangrike nasionale doelwitte, soos om die gaping in inkomste tussen ryk en arm te verklein, of om ’n sukses van regstellende aksie te maak. Effektiewe regstellende aksie verg dat daar vakatures by werkgewers sal ontstaan wat per voorkeur gevul moet word deur werkers uit die aangewese groepe. Die inkrimping in die arbeidsmark kan dan ook duidelik gesien word in ons land se swakker prestasie op die gebied van regstellende aksie sedert 2008. In plaas daarvan om die eintlike probleem, te wete ekonomiese groei, aan te pak, word werkgewers nou geblameer dat hulle nie erns maak met regstellende aksie nie.
Van die wysigings aan die Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes, wat vandag deur hierdie Huis oorweeg moet word, skep verdere regulering, terwyl die Wêreld Ekonomiese Forum se ranglyste wys dat ons arbeidsmark reeds oorgereguleer is. Verskeie bepalinge in hierdie wetsontwerp sal die kostes van indiensneming vir werkgewers verder verhoog.
Dit is duidelik uit ’n antwoord van agb minister Oliphant dat die getal werkers in ’n sektor soos landbou sedert die instelling van minimum lone baie gedaal het. Dit is daarom baie jammer dat agb minister Naidoo, wat so ewe die titel van Minister van Ekonomiese Ontwikkeling dra, vroeër vanmiddag so laag gedaal het om politieke punte oor werksverliese in the Wes-Kaap te probeer aanteken. [Tussenwerpsels.] Ek sien hom nie tans in die Huis nie. Dit lyk vir my hy wil nie die waarheid hoor nie, en dit terwyl dit sy regering en sy kabinetskollegas is wat verantwoordelikheid vir die werksverliese in die landbousektor moet aanvaar. [Tussenwerpsels.]
Hierdie wetsontwerp maak dan ook voorsiening dat die Minister van Arbeid minimum lone kan bepaal vir werkers in daardie sektore wat nie tans deur ander sektorale vasstellings gedek word nie. Ons kan maar net hoop dat die Minister deurgaans haar goeie oordeel sal gebruik. Die persepsie bestaan egter dat onrus wat van buite werkplekke gestook word die Minister se onlangse besluite rakende minimum lone beïnvloed het. Indien dit waar is, voorspel dit ’n slegte toekoms vir goeie arbeidsverhoudinge en die skep van verdere werkgeleenthede.
Die DA plaas dan ook op rekord dat ons nie ten gunste is van die nuwe bepaling wat nou aan die Minister die reg gee om benewens minimum lone ook minimum verhogings in lone te bepaal nie. Werkgewers gaan baie lugtig wees om in goeie jare meer as die minimum lone te betaal, terwyl hulle weet dat die Minister hulle vorentoe gaan verplig om in die maer jare steeds minimum verhogings aan hulle werkers te gee. Dit is ’n voorbeeld van ’n bepaling wat op die oog af na ’n positiewe bepaling lyk, maar wat in effek gaan lei tot werksverliese en ’n toenemende neiging om niks meer as minimum lone te betaal nie, die sogenaamde “race to the bottom” [afwaarts voortsnel].
Aan die positiewe kant steun die DA die uitbreiding in die beskerming van kinderregte wat met dié wysigingswetsontwerp verdere steun ontvang. Suid-Afrikaners moet kennis neem dat enige werk deur kinders onder die ouderdom van 15 jaar verbied word, en dat enige werk wat nie by kinders van 15 tot 18 jaar oud pas nie, ook verbied word.
Desperate werksoekers is soms uitgebuit deur agente wat aansoekfooie gevra het in ruil vir bedenklike beloftes van werk. Ons verwelkom daarom die bepaling wat hierdie praktyke verbied. Ons verwelkom ook die bepaling wat werkgewers verbied om werknemers uit te buit deur hulle te verplig om sekere produkte of dienste teen buitensporige pryse aan te koop.
Tog, die vermindering in die regte van werkgewers om appél teen die bevindinge van arbeidsinspekteurs aan te teken, is vir ons ’n bron van groot kommer. Weer eens het ’n parlementêre antwoord gewys op die enorme verskille in die standaarde wat deur arbeidsinspekteurs in die verskillende streke van ons land gestel word. Dit is iets wat reggestel kan word deur verbeterde opleiding en die standardisasie van die werk van arbeidsinspekteurs, maar ongelukkig het daar nog min tereg gekom van die jarelange beloftes tot groter professionalisering van die arbeidsinspekteurs se diensbedeling.
Ten spyte van die positiewe aspekte in die wetsontwerp, glo die DA dat die nadele van groter regulering die positiewe aspekte oortref. Ons kan eenvoudig nie groter werkloosheid duld nie. Ons sal dus hierdie wetsontwerp tydens die stemming teenstaan. Ek dank u. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[There are also marked differences in unemployment between the various population groups. Unemployment has a hugely negative effect on these population groups, holding big risks for our country’s future. It also has a negative effect on important national goals, such as narrowing the gap between rich and poor, or making a success of affirmative action. Effective affirmative action requires the development of vacancies with the employers, which preferably have to be filled by employees from the specified groups. The contraction of the labour market therefore can also be clearly seen in our country’s weaker performance in the sphere of affirmative action since 2008. Instead of tackling the real problem, which is economic growth, employers are now being blamed for not being serious about affirmative action.
Some of the amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act under consideration in this House today will create further regulation, while the grading lists of the World Economic Forum indicate that our labour market is already overregulated. Various provisions in this Bill will further increase employment costs for the employers.
It is clear from a reply by hon Minister Oliphant that the number of labourers in a sector such as agriculture has decreased significantly since the introduction of minimum wages. It is therefore such a pity that the hon Minister Naidoo, who jauntily bears the title of Minister of Economic Development, earlier this afternoon sunk so low as to try and score political points from the job losses in the Western Cape. [Interjections.] I don’t see him in the House right now. It would seem to me as if he doesn’t want to hear the truth, and this while it is his government and his colleagues in Cabinet who should be taking responsibility for the job losses in the agricultural sector. [Interjections.]
This Bill now also provides that the Minister of Labour can stipulate minimum wages for labourers in those sectors that are not currently covered by other sectoral determinations. We can only hope that the Minister will always use her good judgement. However, the perception holds that unrest stirred from outside the workplace did affect the Minister’s recent decisions regarding minimum wages. If this is true, it predicts a dim future for good labour relations and the creation of further job opportunities.
The DA therefore puts on record that we are not in favour of the new provision which will now give the Minister the right to determine, apart from minimum wages, also the minimum increase in those wages. Employers will be very loath to pay more than the minimum wage in a good year, knowing that in times to come the Minister will still be compelling them to grant their labourers a minimum increase in the lean years. This is an example of a provision which at first glance would seem to be a positive one, but which in effect will lead to job losses and a growing trend not to pay more than the minimum wage; the so-called race to the bottom.
On the positive side, the DA supports the extension of children’s rights, which through this amending Bill will receive further support. South Africans should take note that any labour by children under the age of 15 is prohibited, and that any labour unsuitable for children between the ages of 15 and 18 is also prohibited.
Desperate work-seekers have at times been exploited by agents demanding application fees in exchange for dubious promises of work. We therefore welcome the provision that prohibits such practices. We also welcome the provision that prohibits employers from exploiting their employees by forcing them to buy certain products or services at excessive rates.
Still, the curtailment in the rights of employers to appeal against the findings of labour inspectors is a big cause for concern to us. Once again a parliamentary reply has indicated the enormous differences in standards that are applied by labour inspectors in the various regions of our country. This is something that could be rectified by improved training and the standardisation of the work done by labour inspectors, but unfortunately little has come from years of promises regarding increased professionalisation of the service dispensation of labour inspectors.
Despite the positive aspects of this Bill, the DA believes that the disadvantages of increased regulation overshadow these positive aspects. We simply cannot permit increased unemployment. During the voting we will therefore be opposing this Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]]
Mr D A KGANARE: Hon Speaker, hon Ministers and hon members, I stand here to confirm that Cope will support this Bill. The reason why we will support this Bill is because it addresses some of the most feudal practices which are still found in the labour market in this country. These practices are not supposed to be taking place, but it is unfortunate that they are still being practised.
This Bill prohibits employers from demanding that the employees pay for being employed or agents demanding that people who have been given the job pay for getting it. It also prohibits an employer from forcing workers to purchase goods from him or anybody chosen by him. This practice is well known and it used to be normal on farms, where workers were forced to buy from the farmer’s shop that was on the farm. It also used to happen at the mines, where there would be a Frasers outside the compound and workers were forced to buy from that particular shop. This practice should not be allowed to continue. That is the reason why we would support this Bill, because the Bill prohibits this type of practice.
This Bill also prohibits child labour. The Bill not only prohibits the employment of children below 15 years, but also puts the onus on the employer not to allow children who are under age to work. This prohibition allows exemption through the Minister because some children can be allowed to work, like those who are involved in adverts and acting. However, it would be through the Minister giving an exemption through the regulations the Minister is going to develop. Therefore, it is not to say that all children should not work, but it actually protects children from being exploited and being put at risk.
This Bill gives teeth to the labour inspectors to enforce our labour laws. We should not pretend that all employers are law-abiding citizens, because some of them are real criminals. The labour inspectors are empowered by the Bill to protect vulnerable workers. They will then be able to enforce undertakings which are usually made by employers and then they don’t do anything because there was no mechanism to enforce those particular undertakings. Therefore, the labour inspectors will now have teeth to bite.
The department will have to understand that even if we have the law, but the labour inspectors are not properly equipped to enforce that law, those who have no respect for our laws will continue to disrespect our laws. The department should ensure that the inspectorate is supported by being provided with the tools of the trade. The professionalisation of inspectors should be prioritised so that they can be effective and efficient.
Lastly, the Bill gives the Minister the power to publish sectoral determinations that should apply to employers and employees who are not covered by any other sectoral determination. This is right because there are certain workers who are not members of the union, who are more vulnerable. If the market is allowed to set the wages, these workers will always be super-exploited.
Cope also supports the increase of fines, but believes that these fines should be reviewed every five years. The Bill is aimed at protecting vulnerable workers and that’s the reason why we support this Bill. [Applause.]
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Deputy Speaker, I rise on behalf of my colleague, the hon Mncwango, who is unable to be in this debate today. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act protects the most vulnerable in our country from unscrupulous employers and employment practices. In South Africa we have many cases where legislative protection of the workforce is necessary, and it is in this respect that the Basic Conditions of Employment Act has done a great deal to improve the lives of many citizens through improving their working conditions and wages.
Recently we have had the issue of the extremely poor working conditions of workers in the textile industry in Kwazulu-Natal, to which they were being subjected by foreign national company owners. This is unacceptable and we hope that this amending Bill will further entrench minimum and decent work standards in workplaces around South Africa.
The IFP also hopes to see the inspectorate division further capacitated, so as to enable it effectively to carry out its mandate to ensure that our workplaces comply with the minimum standards, as legislated for. In this Bill we see amendments that ensure that a worker is protected as a full-time worker after a period of six months of temporary work and is entitled to all privileges enjoyed by other workers.
The regulation of contract work is an area surely in need of clarity and regulation, and the amendments in this regard are very welcome. Labour brokering is another contentious issue which is also dealt with and, as the IFP, we reiterate our position that labour brokering must not be done away with, but rather stringently regulated.
Firmly believing in our timeless philosophy, as the IFP, of Education for Liberation, we believe that children should not have a place in the labour force; children should be at school, learning. Child labour is cruel in that it not only physically and psychologically damages the child, but also prevents that child from doing anything else, as he or she has been robbed of an opportunity for education. Heavy penalties must therefore be exacted from any employer engaging in such practices.
In conclusion, the IFP will support this Bill and we will support any action that makes the lives of South Africans better. I thank you. [Applause.]
Adv A D ALBERTS: Chair, this Bill contains some sensible features that we support, but it also raises some questions. The alignment of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act with the constitutional rights of children and the international labour standards is indeed positive and the Minister and her department deserve to be commended for this initiative.
Ons het egter ‘n probleem met die skrapping van artikels 71 en 72 van die Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes wat dit vir die werkgewer onmoontlik maak om protes aan te teken teen ’n afdwingingsbevel en om teen ’n bevel van die direkteur-generaal na die Arbeidshof te appèlleer. Die skrapping van hierdie regte is twyfelagtig op ’n grondwetlike basis aangesien die reëls van natuurlike geregtigheid ondermyn word. Daar kon veel eerder ’n wysiging gewees het wat vir die balansering van die werknemer en werkgewer se regte voorsiening maak, deurdat veral kleiner werkgewers, wat die grootste werkskeppers in Suid-Afrika is, wel beswaar kan maak of met appèl kan voortgaan.
Die rede vir die beskerming van kleiner werkgewers is juis om hulle nie in die onmoontlike posisie te plaas waar die regte van die werknemer en die arbeidsdepartement effektief kan lei tot die afskaling of sluiting van die besigheid nie. Te veel klein besighede sluit eerder hul deure as om gehoor te gee aan wetgewing wat eintlik vir groot besighede, wat beperkings makliker kan absorbeer, bedoel is. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[However, we have a problem with the deletion of sections 71 and 72 in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, which makes it impossible for the employer to object to an enforcement order and to appeal to the Supreme Court against an order by the Director-General. The deletion of these rights is questionable on a constitutional basis as the rules of natural justice are undermined. An amendment providing for a balance between the rights of employees and those of employers, where smaller employers - the biggest job creators in South Africa - could in fact raise objections or lodge appeals, would have been preferred instead.
The reason for protecting smaller employers is precisely to avoid putting them in the impossible position where the rights of the employee and the department of labour effectively lead to downscaling or closing the business down. Too many small businesses rather close their doors than comply with legislation that is actually meant for large businesses, which are in a better position to absorb restrictions.]
Minister, in the end, while building a fine network of protection for the employee, we must become alert to the pressures bearing down on small and medium enterprises and must, for the sake of growing the economy and job opportunities, ensure more freedom for those businesses specifically. In the end, we must strike a balance between protecting the employee and the vehicles of value and employment creation. In the greater scheme of things, we cannot forget about the rights of the entrepreneur as well. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: While hon Manamela is coming to the podium, hon members, the IT staff have requested members not to plug their laptops or mobile phones into the system. It interferes with the system and that might just be the reason for the problem we are experiencing at present.
Although it is being restored, it is creating a problem if there are more members who plug their units in.
Mr K B MANAMELA: Hon Deputy Speaker, the hon member from the DA spoke of the fact that this is Parliament and that we should not make this Disneyland. I agree with him, but I was shocked that he brought along Minnie, Mickey, Jumbo and Mumbo, all the Disneyland charaters, into the House. So, he should not complain about this House being Disneyland when he himself brought along characters from Disneyland. [Applause.]
I see that since my last appearance on this platform there have been plenty of beautiful changes in society in general. A councillor has been suspended for allegations of racism; the cloud on Table Mountain has been cleared; and the rand, I am told by hon Minister Gordhan, has gained against the US dollar last night.
Minister Gigaba told me that since the weather is so clear, flights to Cape Town have not been delayed. They have been on time. I leave the rest of the changes in the House to the hon members to judge. [Applause.]
Since the introduction of the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill, the big debate about the labour market flexibility again dominated the newspaper pages and policy debates and submissions to Parliament.
We, as committee members, were implored by some to make laws that would create jobs, and stop protecting those who are already employed and represented by big unions. We were told that the rigidity of our laws makes it impossible to allow new entrants into the labour market, and that part of the incentivisation to business includes making our labour laws flexible.
We have consistently asked the opposition parties to point out which laws are rigid, so that we can wave the magic wand that would result in economic prosperity, growth and full employment.
Consistently, the opposition parties, through the amendments of the BCEA, failed to point out these laws, besides moaning about the long procedures required to fire workers, which apparently consumes massive administration costs for an entrepreneur who wants to concentrate on his business.
Yesterday, the Leader of the Opposition, the hon Lindiwe Mazibuko, asked the President the same question about the effects of labour laws on employment and, to her credit, also raised other issues which should make South Africa competitive, both on the continent and in the world.
I do not blame the opposition parties for not being clear, because there is contradictory evidence on the flexibility of South Africa’s labour market. For instance, the Economic Intelligence Unit ranked South Africa last out of 60 in the labour flexibility afforded by its labour laws, but on the other hand a World Bank study ranked South Africa l6th out of l33 countries. So, there is this contradiction in relation to whether our labour laws are flexible or not.
I therefore decided to look into what the policies of the various political parties say in relation to this in order for us to understand why there is this insistence on labour laws being rigid and why there is a need for change.
If we look at the election manifesto of the IFP for the 2009 elections, they declared that, and I quote:
Overall labour market policy will be aimed at increasing flexibility and promoting wage settlements in line with increases in productivity and inflation.
It goes further to say that, and I quote:
Reforms that would increase flexibility could include a lower wage schedule for young trainees and increased incentives for more work shifts and job-sharing arrangements, where overtime work is cut and more permanent employment is created.
The current labour law amendments are intended to resolve this issue of the lack of permanent employment amongst workers to better protect workers.
But to increase wages of workers based on productivity and inflation, as the IFP says, without saying anything about the millions in bonuses earned by CEOs of companies that are not linked to the same principles and that have led to increasing poverty and inequality is opportunistic to say the least.
According to the Labour Research Service the CEO of Pick n Pay, for example, in the period of 2011 and 2012, earned more than R20 million in bonuses and wages. The CEO of MassMart earned more than R14,152 million in 2008-09. What is even worse is that the CEO of Shoprite Checkers, Whitey Basson, earned more than R627 million in 2010 and also earned R36,47 million in 2011. This is in contrast with the fact that the average permanent worker in Shoprite Checkers and generally in the retail sector earns less than R3 237 per month, which makes it less than R40 000 a year.
These are the inequalities about which many political parties here in the House are silent. We should ask the question: Is it not time that we call for flexibility in relation to earnings because these huge inequalities are actually sickening. You have a CEO of a company earning nearly R670 million in two years and you have a worker who is earning less than R3 237 per month in a particular year.
Since the IFP undertook to review all legislation in the manifesto, as cited, there was the opportunity for us to look into some of these issues and unfortunately this opportunity was missed.
I must concede that the IFP took the time actually to put together policies. If you look at the other political parties, you don’t find that. If you want to check what the economic policies of Cope are, for example, all you see is a picture of the party leader and a huge section on obituaries. You do not find anything on the policies. Party leaders come here and repeat the fact that they want labour market flexibility in order to create jobs.
Jerry Mathekga, a Master’s student of philosophy, wrote a dissertation on labour market flexibility. One of the things he found was that labour market flexibility has to do with reducing regulation and protection of workers, and involves the use of nonregulated employment contracts such as subcontracting or outsourcing.
He further asserts in this dissertation, under the auspices of the University of Stellenbosch, that those who have been drawn into flexible jobs are seen as the working poor because labour market flexibility is disadvantaging workers by reducing wages. Is this what you are preaching? Are you saying the farm workers in De Doorns and everywhere else should not rely on the Minister of Labour and government to double their wages?
Are we saying that the domestic workers should not rely on government to impose UIF benefits, minimum wages - irrespective of how minimum they are – and maternity benefits, and that they should be fired like dogs by some employers just because some of the political parties here in this House are demanding flexibility?
Are you saying the workers at Shoprite Checkers, Woolworths and Pick n Pay should continue to earn transport money whilst their CEOs earn far more than all of them combined in a financial year? If we had time, we could even go into the insane amounts that are earned by the shareholders of these particular companies.
Are we not flexible enough, as has already been demanded by some in the opposition benches?
In our view, your policies are against the workers and the poor and the ANC’s policies are for all South Africans, and for their collective prosperity. Our people must see and feel this 20-year democracy, and the only way they can feel that we are in a democratic dispensation is if their wages and working conditions are improved. If we improve the quality of wages of the majority of workers in this country, then this democracy will mean something to them. It will be through these laws, in particular the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, that quality jobs and a living wage will be attained.
We are worried about unemployment, but we have to create jobs and ensure that our economy works and yields more jobs. We do not want to have an army of the working poor, like some of the political parties want us to do, by arresting or voting against this particular law.
Just as a disclaimer, I must say that there were no elephants, no hippos or baboons that were hurt in the preparation of this speech and also in its execution. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A J WILLIAMS: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members, hon Ministers and, most importantly, the South African people, the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill is being presented in this esteemed House during Youth Month and I feel very honoured to be here today. One of the main objectives of this amending Bill is to prohibit the exploitation of children. Section 43 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act prohibits certain employment of children, but not work performed by children. Clause 3 of the Bill seeks to amend section 43 of the Act in order to prohibit work by children under the age of 15 years. Clause 3 also makes it an offence for any person to require or permit a child to perform any work or provide any service that places at risk the child’s wellbeing.
Section 93 of the Act is also amended to extend penalties for offences of employment of children and forced labour from three years to six years. Chairperson, the main objective of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act is to provide for the prohibition of certain exploitative practices by employers.
Some sections of South African society believe that our labour laws are restrictive and reduce economic growth. Now the question that we as South Africans need to be asking is: Why is it necessary to have laws that seek to prohibit exploitative practices by employers? Surely, we wouldn’t need laws like this if employers treated their employees with respect and dignity. Surely, we wouldn’t need provisions that prohibit child labour if employers didn’t exploit children.
Sadly, Chairperson, in South Africa today children and adults are often exploited by their employers. Sadly, we find ourselves living in a country where the lust for wealth far outweighs the love of humanity. This lust for wealth is detrimental to the poor and vulnerable workers. It is unpatriotic to exploit workers and this ANC-led government will not stand for it.
The DA doesn’t support the laws that try to stop exploitation. So, the question is: Whose interests is the DA protecting? Perhaps the former apartheid collaborators, who sit in this very House, would like to see the return of slavery, where workers had no rights at all. Perhaps the former apartheid collaborators would like to bring back apartheid. [Interjections.]
Let us not forget that some sections of our society made lots of money exploiting workers during apartheid. Chairperson, the exploitation of children under 15 years of age occurs largely in the farming and domestic work sectors and in some cases the mining, manufacturing and retail sectors. The proposed amendments seek to address the situation by mirroring section 28 of our Constitution, which says:
Every child has the right not to be required or permitted to perform work or provide services that are inappropriate for a person of that child’s age; or place at risk the child’s wellbeing, education, physical or mental health or spiritual, moral or social development.
Chairperson, it is up to us as society to make sure that our children are not exploited in any way and this proposed legislation will go a long way towards addressong this situation. These proposed amendments will also achieve full compliance with South Africa’s obligations under relevant international standards, and breach of these proposed provisions is a criminal offence.
When this ANC-led government passes this amending Bill, it will be a criminal offence to exploit children in the workplace. We as South Africans must take responsibility. It is up to us to report situations where we see child exploitation happening around us. If you know of anyone who is employing children on any farms - report it. If you know of anyone employing children in their homes - report it. If you know of anyone employing children in their factories or shops - report it. Report it, South Africa.
On 16 June 1976 children died fighting against an exploitative system so that we, South Africa, can live in a democratic country. Let us as a collective not fail our children today by averting our eyes when we witness child exploitation. Let us as one united South African tribe send a clear message to all those who exploit children in the workplace. Let us report every single incident of child exploitation in the workplace and bring an end to this practice. South Africa is a much better place to live in since the dawn of our freedom in 1994, because working together, we do more.
The ANC supports this Bill. Now let us as South Africans implement it. It is we, South Africa, who implement the laws because working together, we can do more. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Deputy Speaker ...
... kungekudala nje, akakomi namathe, umhlonishwa u-James ubemi la ekhuluma nge-“better life for all”. Umbuzo wami uthi ngabe nomhlonishwa u-Van der Westhuizen ukhuluma nge-“better life for all” na? Okwesibili, Phini likaSomlomo ukhuluma ngeziteleka zabasebenzi ngiyazi usho into yase-Rustenburg eMarikana kanye neyase-De Doorns. Mhlawumbe uMnumzane Van der Westhuizen angasho na ukuthi ... (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[... not long ago, just a while ago, hon James was standing here talking about “a better life for all”. And my question is whether hon Van der Westhuizen is also talking about “a better life for all”. Secondly, Deputy Speaker, he is talking about the labour strikes and I know that he is referring to the strikes that are taking place around Rustenburg in Marikana and De Doorns. Maybe Mr Van Der Westhuizen can say whether ...]
... they are talking about a better life for all, when the CEO of Lonmin earns R850 000 a month and the rock driller ...
... okuyiyona ekhipha umnotho ihola izi-R4 000 ngenyanga. Ngabe umhlonishwa u-Van der Westhuizen uma ekhuluma ngodaba lwe ... [... who is the one who is extracting wealth, is earning R4 000 per month. If hon Van Der Westhuizen is talking about the issue of ...]
... sectoral determination, saying farmers cannot afford it, is he saying to other farmers that they should pay foreign nationals, rather than paying South Africans? Is that a better life for all? When a farmer tries to bribe an inspector for R11 000, but the inspector is the one who is arrested, is that a better life for all? Maybe hon Van der Westhuizen has to discuss that.
I just want to thank the political parties who have supported these pieces of legislation. I want to tell hon Van der Westhuizen that when you talk about flexibility, this particular legislation talks about the following: guidelines for justifiable different treatment of temporary and fixed-term contract workers; allowance for fixed-term contracts where there are justifiable reasons; exemption applications from collective agreement, and appeals to be dealt with in 30 days, and businesses employing fewer than 10 employees or businesses employing fewer than 50 that have been in operation for less than two years are excluded from the section dealing with fixed-term contracts.
Mhlawumbe-ke umhlonishwa udukuza oswini yingakho engezwa ukuthi sithini uma sikhuluma nge-flexibility. [Then maybe the hon member is confused - that is why he doesn’t understand when we are talking about flexibility.]
There is flexibility in our legislation because the companies are allowed to apply for exemption. I want to say to the hon member I am not going to deal with the issue of labour broking now. I will deal with it when we talk about the Labour Relations Act. At the same time I want to say that, as the ANC, we will not rest until vulnerable workers are fully protected and are paid equally for equal work of the same value by their partners in the companies. I thank you very much. [Applause.]
Bill read a second time. (Democratic Alliance and Independent Democrats dissenting.)
LABOUR RELATIONS AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Deputy Speaker, let me say that today I am pleased to introduce a number of important amendments to the Labour Relations Act, Act No 66 of 1995, in the form of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill. Let me also remind this House that in the ANC’s 2009 election manifesto, it says that, and I quote:
In order to avoid exploitation of workers and ensure decent work for all workers, as well as to protect the employment relationship, introduce laws to regulate contract work, subcontracting and outsourcing, address the problem of labour brokering, and prohibit certain abusive practices, provisions will be introduced to facilitate unionisation of workers and conclusion of sectoral collective agreements to cover vulnerable workers in these different legal relationships and ensure the right to permanent employment for affected workers.
I need to remind this House that the genesis of this is in the clauses of the Freedom Charter and in line with the Constitution that seeks to restore the dignity of all our citizens.
In terms of the Bill, it seeks not only to strengthen the legal basis for ensuring decent work in the South African labour market, but also regulates contract work, subcontracting and outsourcing, addresses problems of labour broking and prohibits certain abusive practices associated with it. New wording and new clauses are introduced in section 198 of the Labour Relations Act. This will have the effect of introducing additional protection for vulnerable workers, employees who earn on or below the threshold prescribed in section 63 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, limit general temporal employment to a period of three months, allow for the use of fixed-term contracts for up to three months or for a longer period where there are justifiable grounds and making provision for the regulation of part-time work.
There has been a lot of focus on the reduction of the six-month period of temporal employment to this particular amendment. Let me say that the time period was already contested in Nedlac, with business arguing for a longer period and Labour wanting a shorter period. We will have to monitor the responses in the labour market to temporary work being limited to three months.
I should remind members of this House that violence and damage to property during strikes are criminal matters. This is one of the reasons that the clause was rejected. The courts have already ruled on such matters. In 2010, Judge Hlophe found that the constitutional right to strike must be balanced by the right of members of the public to human dignity, to be free from all forms of violence and not to be arbitrarily deprived of property.
As recent events in the platinum mining sector have shown, we have to go beyond the law to find solutions to some of the difficult labour relations challenges that face us today. The current amendments represent a substantial improvement on the 2010 amendments. They allow for the continuity utilisation of temporal employment, but they also regulate temporal employment in ways that will prohibit abuses.
Let me thank the Nedlac social partners for their commitment to social dialogue and their extensive engagement with the proposed amendments. Let me also thank the members of the portfolio committee for their contribution. I should also thank the many interested parties and organisations that submitted comments on the Bills to the department.
Let me further highlight what these Bills respond to. When it comes to the abuses in the labour market, we have highlighted the issue that labour brokers roll over contracts of employees, thereby making workers permanent temporal employees. Workers employed by labour brokers earn less than their counterparts employed by clients, whilst doing the same job.
Workers employed by labour brokers are not able to take up their dismissal cases with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, CCMA, and the Labour Court, and are not able to enforce decisions, because it is unclear who their employer is. Workers employed by the labour brokers often do not have access to social benefits, for example, retirement funds and also the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
The reason why we came up with these amendments was to deal with these abusive practices. Therefore, I will appeal to this House to support the proposed amendments. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M E NCHABELENG: Madam Speaker, hon Ministers, the staff from government departments and esteemed guests, the South African industrial relations landscape has evolved over many years and is still evolving to this day.
In 1907, white mine workers in the then Transvaal downed tools as a result of their frustration that the employers were not taking their grievances seriously. In 1913, again, white mine workers went out on strike at Kleinfontein Mine in Benoni. In 1922, thousands of white mine workers embarked on a massive strike on the Rand, popularly known as the Rand Rebellion.
In all these instances the state either intervened by setting up a commission to investigate the causes of the unrest or used brutal force to suppress the strike. What came out of all these events is the inherent tension in the industrial relations world of work, which more often than not ends in a protest of one kind or another.
Labour relations, especially in a country with such a difficult and painful past, will always be a challenge as one tries to find the delicate balance between the ideal and the harsh realities that are confronting the working people. The growing gap between the rich and the working poor compounds the situation. The increasing level of sophistication of an average worker and the glaring contradictions in society up the stakes. Whilst many analysts and commentators make us believe that there is a silver bullet for the industrial relations challenges in this country, many of their proposed solutions remain very utopian.
How do you justify the gap between the CEO’s salary and perks of the mining companies and those of the workers at the lower end of the scale? The Minister mentioned how much the Lonmin CEO earns, saying it is about R850 000 a month, while the rock driller gets between R4 000 and R5 000 a month. How do you explain the reason why top management on the mines live in proper and often company-subsidised houses as opposed to the general workers, who live in compounds, in “emkhukhwini”, or shacks?
Yet, when workers make huge percentage wage demands, there is an outcry. Percentages are misleading and, if viewed narrowly, they could blow the situation out of proportion. As far as I know, 100% of R1 is R1. Whilst 100% sounds huge, what it represents in real terms is negligible, purely because of the low baseline. If the baseline is low, a large percentage may, in theory, sound out of sync with the conventional norm.
I have asked some journalists who were behind the story that the wage demands are insane to tell me if they know the baseline wages of the workers that they wrote about. None of them knew with absolute certainty. Most workers are trapped by the low baseline. Therefore, high percentage wage demands may not always translate into an insane amount in real terms, or “insanity” as some have dared to suggest.
Some are quick to accuse poor service delivery, lack of trade union leadership and labour laws as the reasons for the challenges facing industrial relations in South Africa, when inequality and the skewed wealth distribution between the owners of capital and the creators of wealth could be the real culprits.
It is a fact that our labour market is characterised by inequalities and the huge numbers of the working poor. It is within this context that when dealing with labour market challenges, we have to understand the history and the political climate within which we operate. We always acknowledge that South Africa operates within a global village and that such an intricacy sometimes forces us to abandon our values and that which is morally binding to our cause.
These amendments are a reflection of the fact that we operate within an environment where we have to nurture economic growth, while at the same time establishing a sound protection system for vulnerable workers.
In 2009, the people of South Africa gave the ANC the mandate to take the following steps to prevent the exploitation of workers: Ensure decent work for all workers, as well as protect the employment relationship; introduce laws to regulate contract work, subcontracting and outsourcing; address the problems of labour broking and prohibit certain abusive practices; introduce provisions to facilitate unionisation of workers and the conclusion of sectoral collective agreements to cover vulnerable workers in these different legal relationships; and ensure the right to permanent employment for affected workers.
Protecting vulnerable workers is not an option but a duty imposed on us by the Constitution of this country. The obsession with cheap labour and the exploitation of workers as the modus of profit accumulation has to come to an end. Employers must abandon business models that rely on cheap labour as the foundation for profitability.
It is also absurd that every time the ANC-led government introduces measures to protect vulnerable workers, it is blackmailed with job losses. Some even mount the propaganda that labour brokers create jobs when it is companies that create jobs. Labour brokers are mere intermediaries whose survival is based on slicing off a big chunk of workers’ hard-earned wages.
In 2008, the Portfolio Committee on Labour took the decision to hold a public hearing on labour broking, given the amount of public debate and the uproar from workers about the abuses that were taking place in the labour broking business. As a result of the countrywide submissions and public hearings that were held in various provinces, the committee came up with a set of recommendations to the Department of Labour. The current amendments have their origins in the growing informalisation or casualisation of work that has become a feature of the South African labour market over the past decade.
In 2009, the ANC’s election manifesto gave urgency to the task of introducing amendments by setting out the passing of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill by this House, which will ensure that anomalies and uncertainties that have arisen from the interpretation of the labour relations and the basic conditions of employment legislation are clarified; that the primary labour market institutions such as the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, the Labour Court, the Essential Services Committee and the Labour Inspectorate are strengthened; that vulnerable categories of workers receive adequate protection and are employed in conditions of decent work; and that South Africa complies with its international obligations in terms of international labour standards.
The ANC cares about its people and is ready to find solutions that accommodate the concerns of people. As such, the regulatory provisions that deal with temporary employment services, following last week’s proposal for a zero-month transition period, the ANC agreed on a three-month transitional period for the temporary employment service and the client to determine if a vacancy exists within a company to place the employee with the client company.
For the ANC, this was not an easy turnaround, understanding the cases of abuse that were brought before the committee during the public hearings in 2008. However, this was another instance where we had to find the delicate balance between the ideal and the concerns of others; hence we had to swallow the bitter pill in the interests of progress.
Let me take this opportunity to thank the hon members who serve in the Portfolio Committee on Labour for their co-operation, albeit robust and extremely difficult at times. We may have had our differences in some instances, but that is the nature of the beast that we are dealing with, proverbially speaking. I hope this House will be united in giving these Bills the green light, as that would be the right thing to do. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S C MOTAU: Hon Deputy Speaker, an important objective of the National Development Plan, NDP, is that the unemployment rate in the country should fall from 24,9% in June 2012 to 14% by 2020, and to 6% by 2030. This requires an additional 11 million jobs. The total employment should rise from 13 million to 24 million. We are very far from achieving these targets, with the latest unemployment figures revealing an official rate of 25,2%.
Among several significant actions to be taken to achieve this goal, says the NDP, South Africa should, and I quote: “Strengthen dispute resolution mechanisms in the labour market with a view to reducing tension and violence.” The DA agrees. That is why I wrote to the Secretary to Parliament yesterday requesting urgent additional amendments to the Bill to be introduced and debated here today, in terms of National Assembly Rule 254. Our proposals were aimed at democratising labour relations as a means of reducing tension and violence, as called for by the NDP. Regrettably, we learnt this morning that our request had been rejected.
Deputy Speaker, the need for reform of South Africa’s labour framework cannot be overstated. Reform is urgently needed to address the underlying causes of labour unrest and job losses in our country. The DA believes that section 64 of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, which requires that unionised workers should ballot before embarking on a strike, would have gone a long way towards achieving the important goal of bringing stability and peace to the labour market, particularly in the strike-prone mining industry.
Unfortunately, the ANC Members of Parliament in the Portfolio Committee on Labour have voted to have the section removed from the Bill. This section was included in the Bill to reintroduce the requirement of a ballot before a protected strike or a lockout could take place. This amendment seeks to prevent industrial action being staged if it enjoys only minority support because violence and intimidation are more likely to occur under such circumstances. It was never about the right to strike, which is entrenched in our labour relations framework.
Who of us can disagree with that rationale, given our experiences with the ever increasing number of strikes in our turbulent labour relations environment? Well, the ANC disagrees. They believe business as usual in the labour relations environment is the way to go - a position informed by their alliance with the only player who has a vested interest in things staying as they are, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, Cosatu. The DA disagrees. The status quo will be a copout.
The decision to remove the proposed amendment, which was intended to democratise labour relations as a measure to limit violence and intimidation in labour relations, makes a mockery of the entire legislative process over the last three years, including public hearings in Parliament and consultations in the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac. Now, the Bill is being stampeded through this House. This is the strongest indication yet that the ANC is willing to pander to its alliance partner, labour federation Cosatu, ahead of next year’s general elections, even if it means effectively voting in favour of legislation that perpetuates violence, intimidation and nondemocratic values. [Interjections.]
The people of South Africa must take note of what happens in this House today. What is happening is nothing short of a sellout of the NDP’s commitment to economic growth and the elimination of poverty and inequality to the narrow interests of the ANC government and its allies. Hon Deputy Speaker, the hon former Chief Whip of the Majority Party is right. Decisions taken at Nedlac are not binding on the social partners, and therein lies a major problem. This is why Nedlac has lost integrity and credibility and its critics see the council as mere window-dressing. The key role-players, government, labour and business, no longer take the forum seriously. So, why ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chair, I have a point of order. For the four years that I have been here, I never made mention of Nedlac in this House. So, this is a blue lie.
Mr S C MOTAU: So, why is the government budgeting R27 million for the 2013-14 financial year to keep the council going? There is another serious problem regarding this amending Bill. The ANC has also rejected an amendment to a section of the Bill which proposes that temporary employment service placements should last for six months only, after which the placed employee would be deemed an employee of the client.
The DA argued for a 12-month period, but we were persuaded to accept the six months proposed in the Bill as reasonable, but the ANC disagreed and reduced the period to three months. Earlier, they had argued for a zero-month period which, if it had prevailed, would have effectively banned temporary employment services or labour broking, as the trade is commonly called. Notwithstanding the ANC’s reluctant climbdown, the DA believes that rejection of the original proposal will cost the country dearly in terms of job losses. The research speaks for itself. The effective banning of labour brokers would result in a loss of employment for more than 850 000 workers currently employed by labour brokers.
This is in terms of the Department of Labour’s own initial regulatory impact assessment, which also warned that banning labour brokers would not only contribute to increased levels of unemployment, but also “deprive the households attached to these workers of a valuable source of wage income”. No one knows – as the Minister indeed indicated - what the impact of the three-month period would be, since the DA’s calls for a new regulatory impact assessment were rejected. In our struggle to eliminate unemployment and poverty, the ANC’s gamble is most certainly a very risky one indeed.
According to the Adcorp Employment Index for May 2013, labour brokers constitute a R44 billion industry employing 19 500 internal staff and just over one million agency workers and temps in the country. “Labour broking is the fastest growing sector of the South African labour market”, says Loane Sharp, Adcorp’s labour economist. It would seem that recent calls by President Jacob Zuma to Members of this Parliament to put South Africa first as we do our work have been ignored by members of his own party as they pushed through last-minute amendments to this Bill.
During the heady days of apartheid, I and millions of other people in the country could not understand how the National Party could continue to pass one bad and destructive law after another. Now I understand. First, there was the Protection of State Information Bill, also known as the Secrecy Bill, and now there is a Labour Relations Amendment Bill. If this Bill is passed, it will be a very bad and destructive law and the ANC, Cosatu and the rest of the people of South Africa will come to regret this day. History will judge us very severely when hundreds of thousands of hungry and angry people will roam the streets of our townships, suburbs and cities and when the once vulnerable workers, in whose name the Bill was passed, have become even more vulnerable, unemployed, and destitute job seekers. Remember this day.
What South Africa needs now is inspirational leadership, multiparty engagement and determination to bring about true reform in the best interests of the country’s future. South Africa can no longer afford to be held hostage by those who serve their own narrow interests while the poor, the vulnerable and the unemployed are left out in the cold. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
In the words of Mr Herman Mashaba, Chairman of the Free Market Foundation:
Instead of destroying jobs through unwise labour legislation, the government should be exploring every possible way to increase the demand for labour. A part-time job through a labour broker might not be the most favoured option of a job seeker, but it is certainly a great deal better than long-term unemployment.
The DA will not support this Bill. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, on a point of order: Can I ask you to explain why the cameras were not working while our member was speaking?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): We will find out, Chief Whip. Qhubeka, ntate. [You may proceed, sir.]
Mr D A KGANARE: I only need a microphone; I do not need a camera. [Laughter.] Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, the debate is important to the country as a whole. It is not only important to the employers and the employees. It is not only about the National Economic Development and Labour Council’s constituencies. This debate is about the unemployed, the unorganised workers and emerging independent trade unions.
Hon Chairperson, this Bill deals with several issues that Cope agrees with. There is only one issue in this Bill that we are not happy about. I believe that the debates within the portfolio committee were constructive and patriotic, hence the clarity of areas of agreement and those of disagreement.
Let me start with areas of agreement that I think are also progressive. The Bill deals with procedures that will grant minority unions certain rights in the workplace. The rights involve organisational rights, which we hope will reduce strikes involving recognition rights.
It is also worth mentioning that the Bill entrenches collective bargaining within our industrial relations regime. Since collective bargaining is presently under attack from reactionary forces, the Bill is putting in place procedures for nonparties to apply for exemptions from bargaining councils’ collective agreements.
This Bill also affords workers the right to picket even at places that are not necessarily the property of their employers as long as the other affected parties have been given the opportunity to make presentations. This Bill also gives the Minister the power to appoint the Essential Services Committee. This committee will handle all issues relating to the debates about essential services. Cope hopes that the establishment of this committee will bring certainty to the debate about this subject.
The issue of temporary employment services, which is usually referred to as labour broking, has been a hot issue. Cope agrees with the amendment of allowing people to be employed through the temporary employment services for a maximum of three months. Cope believes that no employee should be permanently temporary. Any employer who employs anybody for a period of more than two months should be clear that such a vacancy exists and therefore somebody needs to fill the post on a permanent basis. [Applause.] This clause brings an end to the super-exploitation we are all opposed to. I hope so. Whilst it gives the right to those involved in the temporary employment services to exist, it also provides protection to vulnerable workers who are unable to defend themselves against super-exploitation.
Cope’s disagreement arises from the ANC’s rejection of the department’s proposals to introduce balloting of members of the trade union as part of the procedure before a protected strike can be embarked upon. Cope believes that balloting is the most democratic process of legitimising a strike. Whilst the Constitution guarantees the right to strike, the principal Act gives direction about procedures to be followed to ensure that the strike is protected, or not.
The question is: Why is the ANC afraid to give workers who ultimately have to go on strike the last word about whether they want to go on strike or not?
Cope believes that the only way to legitimise any strike is to allow affected workers the right to choose through a secret ballot. If the majority of the workers vote for the strike, then the strike should be protected. In the same breath, if the majority of workers vote against going on strike, then the strike should be unprotected. This is how democracy works.
The rejection of this democratic process by the ANC is regarded by Cope as illogical and unreasonable. This process does not take away the right of workers to strike. It regularises and legitimises the strikes. Cope believes that democrats should support the Minister’s proposal in this regard.
Hon Chairperson, the last point I wanted to deal with is that hon Manamela came here, stood here and said a lot of things that do not make sense. However, what he forgets is that he is not a leader of the ANC, but of the South African Communist Party, the party that is afraid to contest elections. He is here because he made a noise through the Young Communist League and was put on the list of the ANC. If you are as brave as you claim to be and you believe in communism, why don’t you, as a communist party, come and contest elections, like all of us who have contested elections? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon Kganare, you must always recognise the Chair. You are now simply ... [Interjections.]
Mr D A KGANARE: Through you, Chair, your party should be brave enough because, quite frankly, it is just parasitic at the moment. There are no principles, policy and strategy. It is purely parasitic in order to have members in Parliament! [Time expired.] [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order, hon members, please! Hon Watson, I am sorry about that. We were told that there was a temporary surge of power upstairs, but it is back to normal now. We apologise for that. [Interjections.]
Mr M HLENGWA: House Chairperson, the Labour Relations Amendment Bill represents, on the whole, a step forward in the drive to create better working conditions and better relations between employers and employees. The recent strikes in the mining sector have shown us the need to step up efforts to create a much more flexible labour environment that should not only address issues of employees who are represented by unions, but also ensure that the employers are still capable of employing more people and keeping the business afloat.
The main sticking point in the Bill is the issue of labour brokers, where the imprint of Cosatu on the issue is very clear. The IFP’s stand on this issue is that labour brokers should not be removed but should in fact be regulated. The removal of labour brokers will ensure that the number of unemployed people increases and puts even more pressure on government to produce jobs. Regulation of labour brokers can be done along strict guidelines with requirements such as companies obtaining proper registration and having established premises where they work. Instead of removing a section of the economy that ensures that people get job opportunities, we should aid it and streamline its purposes.
Another issue on the table, which would be welcomed by the IFP, is the steps that are proposed to provide protection for employees who work for three months or less. We welcome the idea that the termination of temporary employees should constitute a dismissal, which thereby opens the door for the employees to challenge their dismissal in court, if they believe it to be unfair in any way. This will prevent any abuse by employers, some of whom terminate temporary employees’ contracts before the cut-off time so as to avoid having to accommodate these employees in their organisations. The IFP cannot tolerate this exploitation by employers, and we will not support any measures that seek to exploit our people.
The instability in the labour market, as shown by strikes of workers from different sectors, has pushed our economy into turmoil. The rand continues to weaken in the face of the strengthening dollar, which is not helped by the cost to the economy of strike action. The immediate impact has been the withdrawal or reduction of foreign direct investment, which also increases the number of unemployed workers in the country as companies have less money to employ people. We need to create a legislative framework that will encourage, not hinder, foreign direct investment. We cannot continue to implement policies that undermine the rights of workers and weaken our economy. Whether we like it or not, our economy is affected by foreign markets and, if we are to grow, we will need to enact policies that will not undermine our economy in an attempt to satisfy the desires of trade unions.
I just want to congratulate my hon brother there, hon Manamela, for the progressive reading that he is doing. I think it will serve him well and maybe give him the courage to contest elections with his party. I thank you. [Laughter.] [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Adv A D ALBERTS: Chairperson, the fundamental changes made to the Labour Relations Act have kept the members of this parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour busy for a prolonged period of time. These amendments, in one respect, are important in substance, but in other respects also in elucidating the differing world views that exist with regard to the future of this country. Whilst all members of the committee may agree that we must strive towards building a prosperous future for the people of South Africa, we most definitely disagree on how this must be achieved.
Upon further analysis, two lessons can be gleaned from this legislative process.
Eerstens, dit is steeds die mantra van die ANC om alle probleme in die land aan te spreek met wetgewing, regulering en sentralisasie. Daar is natuurlik plek vir sinvolle en rasionele wetgewing in enige grondwetlike bedeling, maar die ANC sal moet besef dat oorregulering kontraproduktief is. Dit is nie ’n wonderkuur nie. ’n Regering wat te veel toue vir sy burgers span om sodoende hul gedrag te reguleer, kan so maklik self daarin verstrengel raak. Uiteindelik irriteer en frustreer die staat sy burgers, eerder as om ’n hulpmiddel vir ekonomiese groei te wees. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Firstly, it is still the mantra of the ANC to address all challenges of the country by way of legislation, regulation, and centralisation. There certainly is room for sensible and rational legislation in any constitutional dispensation; however, the ANC will have to realise that overregulation is counterproductive. It is not a panacea. A government that is using too many ropes to regulate the behaviour of its citizens can so easily get entangled in them itself. In the end the state is only irritating and frustrating its citizens rather than acting as a resource for economic growth.]
An example of such overregulation is the endeavour of this amending legislation to regulate labour brokers. The ANC, at the insistence of Cosatu, did try to ban labour brokers outright. Whilst this was somewhat successfully resisted by the opposition in that the ANC did in the end accept the three-month period of nonpermanent employment before an employee is deemed to be permanent, this will still have a stifling effect on employment in general. There is no evidence that informs this policy decision to curb the existence of labour brokers. The outright banning of labour brokers in Namibia, at least for a certain period, did not result in any increase in permanent employment in that country. So what is probably going to happen is that nonpermanent employment will continue in other forms as people desperately seek jobs in whatever form to survive.
In the end, it would have been better to have allowed the free operation of labour brokers, subject to industry regulation, where instances of abuse are systemic, like in the mining industry. Currently, as the law stands, labour brokers in noncontentious industries must apply for more freedoms, in contrast with the Constitution, which states that freedom of trade and occupation is a given and can only be reasonably restricted. So, the ANC has thus turned the logic on its head.
Tweedens is dit duidelik dat die ANC vir Cosatu ter wille is weens die komende verkiesing. Die weiering van die ANC om stemming toe te laat voordat ’n unie op ’n staking mag gaan, moet in daardie lig verstaan word. Die ANC moet egter kennis neem van Cosatu se kwynende steun en maar eerder afskeid neem van hierdie sosialistiese maatjie wie se beleid Suid-Afrika net op ’n verdere pad van ekonomiese stagnasie sal plaas.
Tyd sal nou leer of die slim wysigings wat aan die Wet op Arbeidsverhoudinge aangebring is wel werkskepping gaan bevorder. Ons by die VF Plus het egter ook al gesien hoe onbedoelde gevolge slim planne in die wiele kan ry. Dankie, Voorsitter. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Secondly, it is evident that the ANC is obliging Cosatu as a result of the upcoming elections. The ANC’s refusal to allow for voting before a union can go on strike should be seen in this light. However, the ANC should take note of Cosatu’s dwindling support, and should rather bid farewell to this socialist friend whose policy will only place South Africa on a road to further economic stagnation.
Time will now tell whether or not these clever amendments to the Labour Relations Act will indeed promote job creation. However, as the FF Plus we have also seen how unintended consequences can bedevil clever plans. Thank you, Chairperson.]
Mrs L S MAKHUBELA-MASHELE: House Chairperson, hon members, I greet you. While members are so obsessed about labour brokers and the Labour Relations Act, LRA, let me remind you about the purpose of the Act. It is to advance economic development, social justice, labour peace and the democratisation of the workplace by fulfilling the primary objective of the Act. It is not only about labour brokers, as you are making the Labour Relations Act out to be.
This gives effect to section 27, which is the Chapter on Fundamental Rights that are entrenched in the Constitution, and they are as follows:
Every person shall have the right to fair labour practices; workers shall have the right to form and join trade unions; employers shall have the right to form and join employers’ organisations of their choice; workers and employers shall have the right to organise and bargain collectively; workers shall have the right to strike for the purpose of collective bargaining. Every employee has the right to participate in forming a trade union or federation of trade unions and to join any trade union and subject themselves to its constitution.
Hon members, balloting was necessary before the current principal Labour Relations Act came into existence. It was done away with when very clear, simple procedures in section 64 of the Principal Act outlined the process of strike action, which is the right to strike and recourse to lockout. Section 64 says:
Every employee has the right to strike and every employer has recourse to lockout if the issue of a dispute has been referred to a council or to a commission, as required by the Act.
In any bargaining there are always bargaining agents. And in this case, trade unions bargain on behalf of their members. It is common practice that before a protected strike commences parties would meet and agree on strike rules, which include that workers would be on the premises of the employer during working hours, use facilities like toilets and canteens, etc, and that the marshals allocated by the trade unions will guide striking workers in the event of a march.
There is no place for violence and lawlessness in our industrial relations’ world of work. We therefore condemn in the strongest terms anarchy during strike actions. There are clearly laid down procedures in the Labour Relations Act on the right to strike and in the event that workers embark on unprotected strike action.
We, the ANC, in the portfolio committee rejected the clause on balloting in the committee because we believe that balloting was used to curtail the right to strike. Secondly, it was debated that there seems to be no link between balloting and the so-called “wildcat” strike action – the name given by the media - we talk about unprotected strike action.
According to this argument, balloting does not prevent the so-called wildcat strikes or violence during strikes. Every effort must be pursued to end violence and lawlessness during strike actions and the carrying of weapons of whatever kind must be prohibited. The worker’s leaders must be called upon to provide leadership and prevent lawlessness in the strikes.
The truth must be told; it is not law that will prevent undesirable behaviour during strikes, but the change in the attitude of all involved. The way forward should not rely on the labour laws alone, but also on better co-ordination between and amongst departments and a commitment from the leadership of employers and labour, as they are key players in the labour relations space.
The notion that it is only workers who are to blame for undesirable behaviour in a strike is also not balanced, because there are instances where the unruly behaviour of striking workers is as a result of provocation by the employers and passers-by. Passers-by often hurl insults at striking workers along the picket lines and this results in unnecessary clashes. The unwritten rule in more mature democracies is that people do not cross the picket lines, but in South Africa what we call a picket line does not even come close to qualifying.
Lastly, the lawlessness in strikes is outside of the legislative remit of the labour market as they tend to be criminal actions and in such an event the law enforcement agencies need to be brought in. Thank you.
Mr K J DIKOBO: House Chairperson, hon members, Azapo has issues with the Labour Relations Amendment Bill. We are on record as having called for a complete ban on labour brokers. We said that labour brokers do not create employment and we still repeat the point. We know the discussions that took place in Nedlac and the final product that now tries to regulate instead of ban labour brokers. We concede that we have lost this round and grudgingly accept the outcome.
The Azanian People’s Organisation welcomes the fact that employees can no longer be made temporary for an indefinite period. We are worried, though, that the employers can still rotate employees in a two-month period to avoid the three-month period contained in the Bill. The Bill should have prohibited employment of one or more employees in a vacant position for longer than three months. We support the idea that workers doing the same job should have the same benefits regardless of whether they have been employed through labour brokers or were employed directly.
The Azanian People’s Organisation is concerned that the Bill does not go as far as imposing the duty to bargain on employers. We hold the view that collective bargaining is the only way to maintain labour peace, and that there should be a duty on the part of both labour and the employer to bargain when there are problems in the workplace. We welcome the extension of organisational rights to unions that are sufficiently representative.
The idea of majoritarianism and the winner-takes-all has always been problematic. We find the timing of this change very suspicious as it comes at a time when the very unions that enforced the principle of majoritarianism and blocked other unions’ access to their organisational rights, are themselves becoming minority unions. Is it a coincidence that these Bills come when the workers are rebelling against unions that are in cahoots with employers? Workers of our land are leaving sweetheart unions in their numbers and they are affirming worker control.
We do not understand why people should have problems with balloting, because balloting is democratic and it also ensures worker control. Workers can’t receive faxes from head office that they should go on strike. It must be the workers who say yes or no to strikes. With the concerns that we have raised, we acknowledge the positives that are contained in the Bill. Azapo will therefore support the Bill. Thank you.
Mr E NYEKEMBA: Chairperson, Ministers, hon Members of Parliament, it must be noted that over the past two decades business owners in South Africa have increasingly sought to externalise the traditional full-time, permanent employer-employee relationship into the triangular labour brokers’ connection. This occurs when labour brokers make workers available to third-party clients that assign their duties and supervise the execution of their duties.
In what appears to be a glaring omission, section 198 of the principal Act does not extend the shared responsibilities of some of the most significant protection offered by the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995, such as protection against unfair dismissal and unfair labour practices perpetrated by the client against his or her workers.
Clients may instruct labour brokers only to provide persons who belong to a particular race group; persons who follow a particular religion or who are not married or pregnant. This, I submit, does extend to unequal treatment between permanent employees of a client and those persons placed by a labour broker. It is within that context that the ANC argued that in amending section 198 of the principal Act, placement of persons by labour brokers should not exceed three months. This is to be certain, whether vacancies are of a temporary nature or permanent. We are avoiding super-exploitation of vulnerable workers by inserting these three months.
Chairperson, I think it is important to put the temporary employment service into context; that section 198 talks to the temporary employment service. As other speakers before me have already indicated, employers normally use temporary employment service workers who have been placed by those temporary employment services for the longer term, and the purpose of reducing that by amending the current section 198 is to avoid that situation because one cannot have a worker who is temporary for the rest of his or her life. If someone is employed on a temporary basis, it is for a specified period and thereafter it is no longer temporal if the services of that worker are still required; hence we are saying three months will be enough.
A number of issues have been raised by the DA in particular as well as Cope on the issue of balloting. Refering to section 64 of the Labour Relations Act, Act 66 of 1995, this is an Act that replaced the Labour Relations Act of 1956, where balloting was a necessity in terms of that legislation.
Now, mindful of the national strike by NUM in 1987, where more than 170 000 workers went on strike, what happened after balloting? The employers came back and challenged that. Mindful of the national strike of Numsa of 1992, there was a ballot that was followed, but then, what happened? So, you can’t then come here today and argue that in order for a strike to be legitimate there is the need for a ballot. You can’t then say that that is democratic! [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Of course it is.
Mr E NYEKEMBA: If that is democratic, where have you balloted before coming to this podium and saying what you said? You have not balloted anywhere! [Applause.] You simply came here ... [Interjections.]
The problem is that we are arguing with people who have never been part of trade unions; they don’t know how trade unions operate. [Laughter.] [Interjections.] There is no head office of trade unions that simply sends a fax to the local offices of that trade union that says, “strike tomorrow”. It does not work that way. A protected strike comes as a result of bargaining, and during the bargaining there is feedback to members. Members give their representatives mandates and say, “go back and compromise on this, don’t move on that; then, if employers don’t budge, then we are prepared to strike”. It is the members who say that through the structures of the union. It’s a pity you have never been a worker, for that matter; that is why you don’t know these things. [Applause.]
Regarding the DA ... [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Viva!
Mr E NYEKEMBA: Viva what? [Laughter.] [Applause.] [Interjections.] It is important for you to understand the origin of the NDP. The NDP came as a result of the 52nd Conference of the ANC in Polokwane, where a resolution was taken to establish the National Planning Commission. Where were you? [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Why are you shouting?
Mr E NYEKEMBA: I want you to hear clearly. [Interjections.]
With regard to the banning of labour brokers, the ANC, in arguing on this Bill, never mentioned the word “ban”. The ANC said that labour brokers must exist, however, their responsibilities must be clarified, because they are not employing anyone except their receptionists, if they do have offices, or those who work at their car-boot sales - those are labour brokers. We asked if anyone could convince us, and no one did that, because they can’t and they will just tell us about democratisation. [Interjections.]
Cope spoke about Buti here, who is a leader of the communist party ... [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: That is Comrade Manamela.
Mr E NYENKEMBA: He is Comrade Buti to me. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order, hon member.
Mr E NYEKEMBA: Comrade hon Manamela. [Laughter.] He is a member of the SACP and a member of the central committee and the national secretary of the Young Communist League, as well as a member of the ANC, who is in good standing. That is why he is here. [Interjections.]
He did not cross the line. He has been a member of the ANC; he is still with the ANC, and he will die being a member of the ANC. [Applause.] So, Cope must go to its conference instead of telling the SACP to contest elections. Start by going to the conference first and forget about the court. Go to the conference for you to elect your own leaders. [Applause.]
The FF Plus is saying that the ANC has come to its right mind, but he is hardly in the portfolio committee in the first place and, secondly, the ANC argues by putting facts on the table and if you can’t argue with the ANC, don’t blame the ANC for your not understanding how to argue.
We were not expecting the DA to support this Bill. They are always talking about Regulatory Impact Assessment, RIA, and we told them in the committee that they should do their own RIA because government had done an RIA before this Bill was presented to us. They should go and do theirs! They can’t, and they come here and tell us that they wanted an RIA, but it was rejected. [Applause.] What we must all be mindful of is what these amendments are and why they are here today. [Interjections.] Forget about time, DA.
Concerning the area that speaks to workers’ rights – the Ready to Govern document of 1992 – workers have fought long and hard for their right to set up independent trade unions their right to engage in collective bargaining and their right to strike. The ANC, without the DA, supports this Bill. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: House Chairperson, hon members, firstly, let me thank the political parties who have supported us. I also want to indicate to hon member Dikobo that these Bills were published in 2010. They did not just appear because there is unrest in the mining sector. Let me also indicate to the members that maybe the first thing they have to do is to ask themselves what the causes are of the unrest in the mining sector. It is because the companies themselves have negotiated with the committees of workers that are not recognised in terms of the laws of this country. They have not even respected their own Companies Act. That is why this unrest has taken place in those particular areas.
Let me remind the hon member Motau that in terms of the Regulatory Impact Assessment, RIA when we introduced these Bills we also submitted the RIA to the portfolio committee. I want to say that they wanted to redo it - they were supposed to do it again - but there was no difference, because we were even consulting now and again with those who were assisting us with those particular areas.
Along with the issue of balloting, I think we also need to include picketing, because those two issues were not part of the initial Bill. However, they were proposed by both organised labour and organised business. When they did not agree, they requested that those two clauses should be taken out of the Bill. However, we did not take them out. We said they must go to the public hearings and request the officials, including the committees of Parliament, to take those particular clauses out because they were already there in the Bill. That is why they are no longer in the Bill.
At the same time, I want to say that when we said we have to deal with the abusive systems that are practised by the labour brokers, in terms of this proposed amendment, what we have done is this. There is a clause that says whoever claims to be an employer must employ the worker in terms of the Labour Relations Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, bargaining agreements and also the sectoral determination. So, from day one, in terms of these proposed amendments, the workers of this country will be protected for the first time, even if they are being employed by the so-called labour brokers. They will be protected by these particular amendments.
I therefore also want to say to the hon Motau, when you retire from this Parliament, you will get a pension. However, the worker who is employed by the labour broker will not get a pension and is not even covered by the Unemployment Insurance Fund. If that person is injured today, he will not get compensation from the employer. Therefore, if we are all saying we need to protect the vulnerable workers, let us practise what we preach. I thank you, hon House Chair. [Applause.]
Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.
The House divided.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon members, order! Order, please! [Interjections.] Hon members, a division has been called. [Interjections.] Let me just warn you here first. You are probably aware that we have been experiencing problems with the electronic system in the House this afternoon. A division has now been requested and the House has to vote. We want to attempt to use the electronic system as it is a stand-alone system. If that is not successful, however, we shall ask the Whips to assist us with conducting a manual vote. [Interjections.] We apologise for the inconvenience, but thank hon members for their co-operation. We shall now proceed to vote in the normal way.
The bells will now be rung for five minutes. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members, will you take your seats. [Interjections.] Order, hon members! Will you take your seats. [Interjections.]
Mrs S V KALYAN: Chairperson, may I address you? I would like to establish whether there is a quorum in the House before you put the question. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! [Interjections.] Order! Hon member, we are in a voting session. The results of the vote will determine whether there is a quorum or not. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, I would like to rise on Rule 84, which says that where a division has been called for, the presiding officer will first ascertain whether there are at least four members in favour of that division. If there are not four members, the presiding officer will then proceed to declare the outcome of the vote forthwith. Thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Hon Deputy Minister, hon members, I was informed at the time the vote was called for that there were four members of the DA present in the House. We will thus proceed with the voting. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, there might have been four members of the DA present, but was it ascertained whether they were in favour of the division? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, let us proceed with the vote. [Interjections.] Order, hon members! Order! [Interjections.] Order, hon members! I would like to remind members that they may only vote from their allocated seats. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, while the counting proceeds, may I address you on a procedural matter?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): You may continue, hon member.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, following on the matter raised by the hon Nel, I wish to direct your attention to Rules 87 and 88 of the National Assembly Rules. With regard to the minority parties, when a division takes place, if fewer than 15 members appear on one side, the presiding officer should forthwith declare the decision on the question.
With respect to Rule 88, a member demanding a division shall not leave the Chamber until the result of the division has been declared, and shall vote with those who, in the opinion of the presiding officer, are in the minority. [Interjections.] I know the vote has taken place, but I draw your attention to these Rules. Thank you, Chairperson. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon Minister. [Interjections.] Order, hon members.
Hon Minister, we will deal with the matters, as you have raised them. With respect to the first Rule that you raised, it has never been applied in the House before. In terms of the second part you have raised, indeed, you are correct, as the hon Deputy Minister is also correct in that at the time that the vote is requested, there should be at least four of those members present. However, what has happened is that some of those members who were part of those four from that party are no longer in the House. At the time it was requested, however, they were indeed there, and ... [Interjections.] Order, hon members! It is a matter that will require further deliberation and decision.
However, in terms of the question that was put to the House, I wish to inform hon members that we do not have a quorum in the House. We are 21 members short of a quorum. As a result, I will therefore postpone the decision on this vote. We will monitor the situation during the course of this evening in respect of the other Bills that are also due for consideration. [Interjections.] Order!
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I hear you on the matter you have raised with respect to four members needing to be in the call or part of the call for a division. However, I believe Rules 87 and 88 are consequential. They are not related to that number of four, which relates to the calling for a division, and the fact that we have not used these Rules before does not mean they do not apply. [Applause.] Chairperson, I direct you to your authority in terms of Rule 87, which reads, “when, on a division taking place, fewer than 15 members appear on one side, the presiding officer shall forthwith declare the decision on the question.” [Interjections.]
Mrs S V KALYAN: May I address you, Chairperson? There were four members of the DA present when the division was called for. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!
Mrs S V KALYAN: There are still four members who are supporting the division. Some of our colleagues on the other opposition benches are supporting, so the minimum number of four is met, as is the minimum number of 15 on the opposition benches. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, I am not sure if there are, indeed, 15 members from the opposition in the House. [Interjections.]
Mrs J D KILIAN: Hon Chairperson, may I address you on the matter of a decision on the basis of a quorum in the House? [Interjections.] The Rule is very clear. It is Rule 25, which states, “except where the Constitution provides otherwise, a minority of the members of the National Assembly must be present before a vote may be taken on a Bill or an amendment to a Bill.” Clearly, without the quorum, all of the other matters fall away. We do not have a quorum, so the decision cannot be declared. Thank you. [Interjections.]
Mr K J DIKOBO: Chairperson, I wish to address you on a point of order: There is agreement in the House that when Chairpersons have given rulings, the only place where such rulings can be challenged is in the Rules Committee. What are we doing now? Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, you wanted to raise a point of order, so I am listening to your point of order!
Mr K J DIKOBO: The point of order is that ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, I have heard you. You do not need to repeat it. I have said what we are doing now is that different members have raised points of order, so I am affording members the opportunity to be heard on their points of order. That is what we are doing.
Mr K J DIKOBO: Chairperson, the point of order is that your ruling is being challenged.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, that is a decision that I will take. [Interjections.] That is a decision I will take.
Hon members, we do not have a minimum number of members present to pass a piece of legislation. That minimum number is 201 members. That is in terms of the Rules and also derived from the Constitution. We will proceed with the other matters in front of us. We will ring the bells again, and then we will make a determination of the number of members that are present in the House. [Interjections.] We will proceed in that manner.
AYES - 172:Abram, S; Adams, P E; Bam-Mugwanya, V; Bhengu, F; Bhengu,P; Bhengu, N R; Bhoola, R B; Bikani, F C; Booi, M S; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Botha, Y R; Bothman, S G; Burgess, C V; Cele, M A; Chiloane, T D; Chohan, F I; Coleman, E M; Dambuza, B N; Daniels, P N; Davies, R H; De Lange, J H; Diale, L N; Dikobo, K J; Ditshetelo, I C; Dlakude, D E; Dlodlo, A; Dlomo, B J; Dube, M C; 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; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Hajaig, F; Huang, S - B; Jeffery, J H; Johnson, M; Kenye, T E; Khoarai, L P; Khumalo, F E; Khunou, N P; Koornhof, G W; Landers, L T; Lesoma, R M M; Lishivha, T E; Maake, J J; Mabedla, N R; Madlala, N M; Madlopha, C Q; Mafolo, M V; Magagula, V V; Magama, H T; Magubane, E; 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; Manana, N C; Mandela, Z M D; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Mashigo, R M; Mashishi, A C; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, D H; Mathibela, N F; Matlanyane, H F; Matshoba, J M; Mavunda, D W; Mayatula, S M; Maziya, A M; Mdakane, M R; Mfeketo, N C; Mfulo, A; Mgabadeli, H C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mmusi, S G; Mnisi, N A; Mocumi, P A; Mohai, S J; Mohale, M C; Mohorosi, M; Mokoena, A D; Molebatsi, M A; Moloi-Moropa, J C; Moloto, K A; Moss, L N; Motlanthe, K P; Motsepe, R M; Motshekga, M S; Mpontshane, A M; Msweli, H S; Mthethwa, E M; Mushwana, F F; Muthambi, A F; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndebele, J S; Ndlazi, A Z; 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; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntuli, Z C; Nxesi, T W; Nyalungu, R E; Nyekemba, E; Oliphant, M N; Pandor, G N M; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaliso, M N; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Radebe, G S; Radebe, B A; Ramodibe, D M; Schneemann, G D; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibiya, D; Sindane, G S; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Skosana, M B; Smith, V G; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Thibedi, J D; Thobejane, S G; Tobias, T V; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala, J; Tsotetsi, D R; Turok, B; Twala, N M; Van der Merwe, S C; van Rooyen, D D; van Wyk, A; Wayile, Z G; Williams, A J; Williams-De Bruyn, S T; Xaba, P P; Ximbi, D L; Yengeni, L E.
NOES – 7 : Botha, T; George, M E; Kalyan, S V; Kilian, J D; Meshoe, K R J; Motau, S C; Watson, A.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): As the result of the division showed that there was not a majority of the members of the Assembly present for a vote to be taken on the Bill as required by Rule 25(2) (a), decision of question postponed.
GEOMATICS PROFESSION BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I now recognise the hon Matlanyane, who will introduce the topic to the House on behalf of the chairperson of the committee. [Applause.]
Ms H F MATLANYANE: Chairperson, hon members, the intention of the Geomatics Profession Bill is to transform the geomatics profession. The Principal Act of 1984, which is the Technical Surveyors Act, established the SA Council for Professional and Technical Surveyors, whose responsibility is to control and regulate education, training, registration and discipline of surveyors. The Principal Act ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon Hon Matlanyane, will you please take your seat. There is an informal meeting taking place on my left hand. [Interjections.] Hon members, even if it’s a strategy meeting, now that you are in the House, it is immaterial. Hon members, you are requested to strategise in your caucuses because here we want the business of the House to continue. I request all members to please take up their seats. You may continue, hon member.
Ms H F MATLANYANE: The Principal Act relates specifically to surveyors while the Geomatics Bill transforms this profession into the broader and more modern understanding of geomatics, which embraces other geomatic disciplines. It is this that necessitated the substantive legislative review which could not be merely done by amending the Principal Act. The vast array of issues addressed in the Bill renders the Principal Act outdated and irrelevant to the registration of practitioners and governance and transformation of the geomatics profession.
The definition of a geomatics practitioner accommodates all disciplines of geomatics and therefore avoids the need for constant amendments to the Principal Act as it accommodates new disciplines as they emerge within the geomatics profession. One of the central thrusts of the Bill is to ensure that the profession is representative of the South African demographics. This specifically relates to the composition of the existing council’s entry requirements into the profession, the funding of the council, rationalisation of the categories of the geomatics profession and overhauling the work reservation of the discipline procedure.
In order to take forward these changes, the Bill establishes a new SA Geomatics Council, which will have the mandate to ensure accessibility to the geomatics profession. The transformation of the geomatics profession is a process of moving from where we are today to a profession that is more inclusive in terms of demographics, representativity, skills transfer, scarce skills development, and economic empowerment, as well as adopting a grounded approach to external monitoring that is sensitive to internal procedures and values without compromising standards.
We need to place on record that we do agree with the current chairperson’s complaint, as part of public participation that with the introduction of the Bill there will be a lowering of standards in the profession. I would rather have a closer working relationship with the newly transformed Geomatics Council together with the South African Qualifications Authority, SAQA, which will ensure that even higher standards are achieved.
In our deliberations on the Bill, we engaged on the autonomy of the power of the council, since it was not clear if the Council has jurisdiction over the branches and not only its members. What we have resolved is that people who are not registered might not do geomatics work and could be punished with a fine.
The Bill ensures and provides for liaison with the National Qualifications Framework and the SA Qualifications Authority by the Geomatics Council. We noted that most of the institutions have accreditation in order to ensure the quality of individuals. Further the council has the power to set standards for the profession without usurping the powers of the SA Qualifications Authority.
In conclusion, the Bill accelerates the transformation of the geomatics profession in a meaningful manner, which will serve the interests of both the profession and the public for the benefit of present and future generations. The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform submits the Bill to the National Assembly. I thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
AFRICA INSTITUTE OF SOUTH AFRICA ACT REPEAL BILL
(Second Reading debate)
Mr E N N NGCOBO: Hon House Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon Acting Minister of Science and Technology, Comrade Naledi Pandor, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers present here, hon members, sons of the soil, flowers of the nation, people of integrity, the Africa Institute of South Africa, AISA, was established in 1960 as a nonprofit organisation by various academics with the support of the apartheid government. Its aim was to better understand Africa, develop the required policies and strategies and forestall the liberation struggle in South Africa.
After 1994 the nature of the AISA’s work became attuned to global standards and its stakeholders became more universal. In 2001 the AISA Act, No 68 of 2001 transformed AISA into a Science Council initially located within the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. In 2004 it was moved to the Department of Science and Technology because its ambit includes both natural and social sciences.
The predetermined objectives of the AISA as contained in the AISA Act of 2001 state that it should, firstly, promote knowledge and understanding of African affairs through leading social scientists acting in concert and across all disciplines and through training and education on African affairs; secondly, collect, process and disseminate information on African affairs, give effective advice and facilitate appropriate action in relation to the collective needs, opportunities and challenges of all South Africans; and thirdly, promote awareness and consciousness of Africa at grass-roots level.
On 19 September 2012 the Department of Science and Technology informed the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology of its intention to introduce draft legislation in Parliament that will repeal the AISA Act. The Africa Institute of South Africa Act Repeal Bill, B6-2013 was subsequently referred to the committee on 15 March 2013. The department briefed the committee on the Bill on 27 March 2013, 8 May 2013 and 5 June 2013.
The department’s representation presented the rationale for repealing the Act and disestablishing the AISA as a legal entity, which is based on the belief that the AISA’s current role and function are not wholly aligned to the department’s core mandate and that there is a significant overlap between the mandate and work of the AISA and that of the Human Sciences Research Council, HSRC.
The Bill therefore provides for the repeal of the African Institute of South Africa Act, No 67 of 2001, disestablishment of the AISA; transfer of the AISA’s assets, liabilities, rights and obligations to the HSRC; transfer of the AISA’s employees to the HSRC; and dissolution of the institute’s council.
The committee finalised its deliberations on the repeal Bill on 12 June 2013. It is the view of the committee that the repeal Bill contains no controversial clauses, hence its acceptance by the HSRC, the AISA and all the political parties represented in the committee. I present to the House this legislation for support and adoption. I thank you.
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT LAWS FIRST AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Chairperson, I move on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
That the Bill be passed.
Motion agreed to.
Bill accordingly passed.
CRIMINAL LAW (SEXUAL OFFENCES AND RELATED MATTERS) AMENDMENT ACT AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Legislative Proposal)
Mr L T LANDERS: Hon Chairperson, it is unusual for a portfolio committee to present a Bill to this House, and I do so on behalf of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Development. One of the first questions that needs to be answered when a Bill is tabled is why we need that piece of legislation.
The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill is a committee Bill and deals with our courts and gender-based violence. The Bill seeks to insert a new section in the Sexual Offences Act that will confer upon the Minister the power to designate any court as a court dedicated for the purposes of the trial of any person or other proceedings arising from the alleged commission of sexual offences which he or she may only exercise in consultation with the prosecution and the judiciary.
The proposed new section also regulates the area of jurisdiction of a court so designated. The power is given to the Minister to increase or decrease that area of a magistrate’s court that has been so designated. However, the Bill also makes clear that all our courts can continue to deal with these matters in the normal course if there is no need for a dedicated court and designation.
The committee understands that the Bill will have substantial financial implications for the departments involved in the criminal justice system. It is important to note, however, that the Sexual Offences Courts will only be designated once the necessary funding has been acquired to put in place specified infrastructure, sufficient court personnel have been appointed and trained and professional multidisciplinary services for victims of these offences are available.
The portfolio committee is of the firm view that this Bill must be dealt with in accordance with the procedure established by section 75 of our Constitution. The portfolio committee is also of the opinion that it is not necessary to refer this Bill to the National House of Traditional Leaders. We therefore request the permission of the NA in terms of Rule 230(1) of the NA Rules to introduce the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill to this House.
We have consulted with both the hon Minister and his department and they have given this initiative their blessing. We therefore ask this House to do the same.
There was no debate.
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Chairperson, I move on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
That the House, in terms of Rule 238(3), give permission that the legislative proposal be proceeded with.
Motion agreed to.
Permission accordingly given to the Committee to proceed with the legislative proposal.
LABOUR RELATIONS AMENDMENT BILL
(Decision of Question on Second Reading)
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon, members I now want to return to the Fifth Order. I indicated at the time that as soon as I ascertained that we had a quorum present in the House, we would take the Fifth Order. I now repeat the question. Close the doors, please. The question before the House is that the Labour Relations Amendment Bill be read a second time.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Hon Chairperson, we call for a division, please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): That is exactly what I am doing. All members are reminded to be in their seats. They may only vote from their allocated seat.
Ms J L FUBBS: Point of order, Chair! The doors are not closed.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Can the service officers please ensure that the doors are closed.
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, you have to ring the bells for at least a minute before a division can be called.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, will you take your seat, please. Hon members who are present in the House, when I dealt with this matter, I indicated that as we dealt with the other Orders, I would ascertain when a quorum was present and I would put the question. And that is exactly what I am doing. I am putting the question.
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Chairperson, with all due respect, I rise on a point of order. The fact of the matter is that we could not proceed with the voting process because there was no quorum in the House. There was no process, because there was no quorum. So, if you want to put this before the House, you have to go through the process in order to get the House to vote while following the correct procedure. If you rule that we cannot do that, I suggest that it will not be in terms of the Rules. It will be unconstitutional. I was not in the House when the previous provisions were taken. The fact of the matter is that there was no process, because there was no quorum. I suggest, you have to do the whole process again. We have to ring the bells, because it will be for the first time in the history of Parliament, with all due respect ... [Interjections.] It is unacceptable.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): There are two members of the DA who wanted to put points of order.
Mrs S V KALYAN: Chairperson, yes, I just wanted to place on record that it is unprocedural if the bells are not rung.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members. Hon members, as you will recall, at the time when we dealt with this matter, I indicated that as soon as I, as the Chairperson of this session, was of the opinion that there was a quorum available, then I would put the question. However, the members have now raised the issue and challenged whether there is indeed a quorum in the House. I will thus, before I proceed with the question, ask all members in the House to indicate their presence by recording their presence. This can be done by ... [Interjections.] You asked I there was a quorum, so I am establishing that. Hon members should indicate their presence by recording their presence on the panel that is in front of them on the voting system. That will then determine if there is a quorum, which is consistent with my previous ruling. [Interjections.] Can we activate the voting system, please.
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, I refer you to Rule 85, which says:
If the required number of members support the demand for a division, the division bells shall be rung and the doors shall be locked as soon after the lapse of three minutes as the presiding officer may direct.
So, you have to ring the bells.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, that was done. We have gone through that process. All that I am requesting from you now is just to indicate your presence or not in the House by pushing a button in front of you. That’s all. The voting system has been activated. Will members please record their presence in the House.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Chair! Hon Chair, on a point of order ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I will take your point of order just now, hon Chief Whip. I want to complete this process. Have all members recorded their presence?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, may I address you? It has come to my attention that certain members on this side of the House have refused to press the button and record their presence in the House, according to your request. And so, the results that you will get from the Table will not be an accurate reflection of whether or not there is a quorum in the House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): It is noted, Deputy Minister.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: In fact, I was up before the previous speaker, and you said you would recognise me after you had done your business. Please, let’s do this at a reasonable speed and in order. I put it to you that the procedure that you would follow by ordering the doors to be closed without the bells being rung and now demanding that we press buttons to determine if there is a quorum, is totally unprocedural and I urge you not to continue in this way.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, it is at the discretion of the Chairperson of any session, and you can consult the Rules regarding when an issue is raised about a quorum. I went back to a question, an order on the Order Paper. I then asked that a quorum be established. There is nothing unprocedural about asking that, hon member. If, once again, you have a problem with the ruling that I made, then you are at liberty to take it up with the Rules Committee, and we will address the matter there.
Hon members, the result that I have in front of me indicates that we do not have a quorum in the House, even if I take into account what the hon Deputy Minister Chohan said. In fact, we are short by 34 members. In the light of that, I will thus not continue with Order No 5 in terms of the question that was put to the House.
FAREWELL TO REV K R J MESHOE, MP, UPON HIS RESIGNATION FROM NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Ms A VAN WYK: Hon Chairperson, I was thinking, when I was asked to do it on behalf of the ANC, whether I should start, hon Meshoe, by saying the “hon K J R Meshoe”, and then continue to say the “hon K J R Meshoe”, as he was addressed some time back by a President in this House.
Members, Rev K R J Meshoe – Kenneth Raselabe Joseph Meshoe – was born in Pretoria and is the fourth of seven children. In 1972, he matriculated. In 1975, he graduated from the University of the North with a Secondary Teachers Diploma. In 1976, he married his wife, Lydia, and they have three children. In January 1987, Rev Meshoe went to Kingsport, Tennessee, in the United States, where he did his Secondary Theological Diploma. On 18 December 1994, Rev Meshoe was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bethel Christian College of Riverside, California, in the United States of America.
He launched the ADCP in 1993, and he became its first president and has remained this to date. Hon Meshoe served as a member of the Portfolio Committee on Police, and he was a very committed member of that committee during all his time, this despite the fact that he was leading a party, an example to many other leaders of political parties in this House. Never did he miss oversight visits, even if he could not stay for the full visit. Often he would travel long kilometres back home or to his appointments by road. His input was valued. Even if we did not always agree, you knew that you should listen, because what he said was of value.
Hon Meshoe was there and he led us in prayer when we visited families of police officers who had died in the line of duty. When there was tension in the committee, you could always rely on him and the hon Ndlovu to defuse the situation.
We are saying goodbye because, as is clear from his plans, he is not planning this as a farewell. We know that we will meet again, if not here, along the roads that life leads us. My wish for you, on behalf of the ANC, is “fly you high, run like the river”. In the words of Lord George Gordon Byron:
Fare thee well! and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare thee well.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Chairperson, I rise today to pay tribute to a distinguished South African and political leader, the hon Rev Kenneth Meshoe. Hon Meshoe has worked tirelessly for 20 years as the leader of his party, the ACDP, and has overseen electoral growth in each election since 1994. He has faithfully and dutifully served his country his entire life, first as a teacher, then as a marriage counsellor, a pastor, and finally as a Member of Parliament.
I have had the great pleasure of working with the hon Meshoe in our capacity as Members of Parliament’s Multiparty Opposition Forum. In that forum we have all, as opposition party leaders, had the benefit of Rev Meshoe’s wisdom and patience and seen at first hand why he has enjoyed such a long and illustrious career in politics.
His strong convictions and humble dedication to championing social development, economic prosperity, justice and freedom of religion for all throughout our nation have earned him a reputation as a leader of principle. His contribution to the tapestry of South Africa’s political life will be missed for the brief period that it will be absent, as will his presence here in Parliament. We in the Democratic Alliance are proud to have served in this Parliament’s opposition benches alongside the hon Meshoe.
George Bernard Shaw once said: “Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.” Reverend Meshoe has done just that, not only with his own family, but also through his leadership in the Republic of South Africa.
We wish the hon Meshoe well and all the very best in his future endeavours.
May the road rise up to meet him, may the wind be always at his back, may the sun shine warm upon his face, the rains fall soft upon his fields, and until we meet again, may God hold him in the palm of His hand.
I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Chairperson, I rise with trepidation. I am privileged to say farewell to Rev Meshoe. Hon Deputy President, you and I spent too much time away from the country to have known him. As a result, I don’t have much to say. The first time I got to know the Rev Meshoe was when the First Parliament convened. It is when I learnt that there was a citizen called K R Meshoe, and I must say that I know Rev Meshoe to be very strong in his religious beliefs. He has always worked with extreme enthusiasm. Everything he has been doing in Parliament since I have known him has been with very thorough enthusiasm.
When I still occupied a seat this side, I was one of those ...
An HON MEMBER: The best seats in the House!
Mr M G P LEKOTA ... in the best seats in the House, and I was one of those who suffered from his sharp tongue from time to time. I was relieved of that when I crossed over to the other side. [Laughter.] [Interjections.] Well, that may be your opinion, but I think the seats in the House are the same, thank you very much. [Interjections.]
I think that Rev Meshoe has been very consistent, in particular with his politics, guided by his very strong religious belief. This is something very important, because he constantly reminded us of the values that we were brought up with in South African society, and especially in the African communities, where religious, Christian values are so strong.
It is a bit sad that he is one of those who started with us here, and he is now going to leave. Actually, that reminds us that many of those with whom we started have retired, and some of them have left quietly without all of us realising that they are going; especially when people leave during elections, you often don’t even have a chance to say farewell to them.
We spent a lot of time criticising each other’s party-policy positions. It is at this time that we realise just how important individuals have been in parts of our lives, contributing in positive ways, helping to shape us and making us better people and so on. I would like to thank him for his participation and contribution to this House and to the lives of all of us who had the privilege of working with him. I hope that the future will continue to be bright, and I hope that God will bless all his works going forward. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Sihlalo namalungu ahloniphekile ale Ndlu, i-IFP izobonga kuMfundisi ngegalelo lakhe lapha kule Ndlu.
UMfundisi ube ngumfundisi ngokwenkolo, ngokufundisa, ngokuqonda, ngokukhuluma nangokwenza. Lokhu kwenze ukuthi thina, ebesinaye eKomitini lamaPhoyisa sazi ukuthi ngaso sonke isikhathi uma ekhona uzocongobezela, asenze sibekezele ukuze nomsebenzi uqhubeke kahle.
Kuye kube buhlungwana-ke nokho ukuvalelisa kumuntu ngalolu hlobo ngoba asazi yini eholele lapha, ngoba akufanele sivalelise umuntu ngale ndlela; kufanele sivalelise umuntu ngoba eshonile kuphela. Uma umuntu ezoshiya umsebenzi kungesona isizathu sokudlula emhlabeni kuye kungacaci kahle.
Kepha-ke, ngenxa yokuthi lesi sinqumo sithathwe abenhlangano yakhe, naye uMfundisi wasamukela, sithi sengathi angahlala kahle futhi awenze kahle umsebenzi wenhlangano yakhe. Sifisa ukuthi azi ukuthi abantu baseNingizimu Afrika bayambonga ngomsebenzi wakhe, ikakhulukazi, iNkatha yeNkululeko, iyambongo ngomsebenzi wakhe nangokuzimisela kwakhe emsebenzini kanye nangayo yonke into ayenzile njengoMfundisi, nanjengomuntu obekade esigadile ngokomoya nangokwenza lapha ngaphakathi kule Ndlu. Bekuthi njalo uma kukhona lapho siphambana khona, njengendoda eqotho futhi ehlakaniphile akwazi ukusiqondisa, asikhombise indlela nokuthi kufanele sihambe kanjani siye phambili.
Ngikusho-ke lokhu njengoba kuyilona iqembu elimkhethile ukuthi akalihole. Ngakho-ke, siyambongela kakhulu, siyafisa ukuthi njengoba eya ekhaya ahlale kahle, yonke into ayenzayo ayenze kahle nangempumelelo, futhi nempilo yakhe ibe yinhle ukuze kuthi uma siphinda sibonana, sibonane esaphila; inyama isahlangene nomphefumulo. Mfundisi! Moruti! Ngiyabonga kakhulu. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu speech follows.)
[Mr V B NDLOVU: Chairperson and hon Members of this House, the IFP wishes to thank the Reverend for his contribution in this House.
The Reverend was a minister of religion and a teacher in the way that he displayed understanding, spoke and conducted himself. He instilled tolerance in us, his fellow members of the Portfolio Committee on Police. When he was present he would display a great deal of understanding and tolerance which assisted us to perform our functions properly.
It is sad to bid someone farewell in this way since we are not aware of what led to his departure. We are not supposed to say goodbye to him in this way; we should only do that when someone has passed away. When someone leaves their position in this manner other than because of death it is not easily understood.
Nevertheless, the decision was taken by his party and the Reverend also accepted it. We wish him well, and may he continue to serve his party properly. We wish to let him know that South Africans are grateful to him for the service he has rendered. The Inkatha Freedom Party especially thanks him for his dedicated service and all that he has done as a Reverend, as our spiritual leader and an example to all of us in this House. Each time we deviated from the path he led us back. As an intelligent and responsible man he has always managed to lead us back to the right path and show us the way forward.
I am saying this since he was elected by the party to lead it. Therefore, we congratulate him; we wish him a good rest at home. May all that he does prosper and we also wish him good health so that we may meet again. Reverend! Minister! Thank you very much. [Applause.]]
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Hon Chairperson, it is indeed a great honour for me to say a word on the resignation of hon Meshoe.
During the dawn of our new democracy, when Rev Meshoe was elected, I was one of the first who said, “church must be church and politics must be politics, and pastors must stay at home and preach in church”. However, since I have interacted with him, also as his colleague, I started to realise during various oversight visits, not only his value, but also the value that his party added to our new democracy, and the impact that his character has had on his public life.
Hon Meshoe is someone with integrity. It is very hard to separate his character from his actions. This is evident from his practical community work with projects such as feeding schemes, clothing the poor, and a women’s centre. He is a true model of Christian faith in action.
We have various election campaign slogans, such as: “Working together, we can do more”, “Know your DA”, and “Time for Change.” However, for Reverend Meshoe and his party, their slogan was “Operation Push Back Your Enemy with Prayer, Halleluiah!”
Hon Meshoe is the only hon member in the history of Parliament who was able to beat the speaker and the time allocation system. I remember the day he stood up here in Parliament, delivering his sermon. He actually went over his speaking time, and no one, not even the Speaker, had the courage to stop him, simply because who would want to stop the Reverend in the middle of a prayer. Tsamaya hantle, Mfundisi. Ke a leboga. [Farewell, Reverend. Thank you.] [Applause.]
Mr S Z NTAPANE: House Chairperson, hon members, the UDM as a movement adds its voice in bidding farewell to the ACDP leader, Rev Meshoe. Rev Kenneth Meshoe has been an MP since the country achieved its independence and democracy in 1994. He has, during that time, made a monumental contribution to building and consolidating our democracy.
In all my interactions with Rev Meshoe, he came across as someone who is committed to improving the effectiveness of Parliament’s oversight role. More importantly, he always talked about the need to ensure that Parliament truly represents the needs of the people it serves.
It has truly been a privilege working and interacting with you, Rev Meshoe, over the years that I’ve been in this Parliament. The UDM wishes you success on your new journey. Thank you, hon Chairperson. [Applause.]
Dr C P MULDER: Agb Voorsitter, die klas van 1994 word al kleiner. As ek nie verkeerd is nie, dink ek daar is dalk minder as 30 lede wat in 1994 hier begin het in die Parlement oor.
Eerw Meshoe was een van die klas van 1994. Ná die eerste demokratiese verkiesing was hy hier saam met sy party, die ACDP. Hy het op sy kenmerkende manier aan die verkiesing deelgeneem. Hy is verkies en van dag een af het hy as leier van sy party hier opgetree en ’n sekere styl en statuur uitgedra wat hy regdeur sy loopbaan van byna 20 jaar gedoen het.
Ek wil vir eerw Meshoe sê dat daar is groot waardering vir die wyse waarop hy 20 jaar lank sy standpunte gestel het. Ek het hom nie een keer in hierdie Raad onwaardig sien optree nie. Hy was altyd “dignified”. Hy het altyd met oortuiging sy standpunte gestel, en natuurlik het hy met die regerende party verskil. Hy het ook met ander partye verskil, wat sy goeie reg was, maar die manier waarop dit gedoen is, was vir ons almal ’n voorbeeld, en ek respekteer en eer hom daarvoor.
Ons wat in die kleiner partye is, weet watter moeilike stryd dit is om as ’n kleiner party in hierdie groot vertrek gehoor en gesien te word en om ons standpunte gestel te kry. Eerw Meshoe het vir byna 20 jaar lank daarin geslaag om effektief sy eie en sy party se standpunte hier te stel, en niemand kan sê hulle het nie geweet waar hy of die ACDP staan nie.
Ek wil vir hom alles van die beste toewens waar hy uit die Parlement bedank en uit die politiek tree. Ons hoop dat daar vir hom ’n mooi en rustige tyd saam met sy familie en geliefdes sal wees. Hy kan huistoe gaan en weet die spreekwoord sê ... (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Dr C P MULDER: Hon Chairperson, the class of 1994 is getting smaller and smaller. If I am not mistaken, I think there might be less than 30 members left in Parliament who started here in 1994.
Rev Meshoe is a member of the class of 1994. He started here with his party, the ACDP, after the first democratic election. He participated in the election in his characteristic manner. He was elected and, from day one, acted as leader of his party with a certain style and stature, which he continued doing throughout his career of almost 20 years.
I want to say to Rev Meshoe that there is great appreciation for the way in which he expressed his views during these past 20 years. Not once have I seen him act in an undignified manner. He was always dignified. He always expressed his views with conviction, and of course he differed from the ruling party. He also differed from other parties, as was his right, but he did this in a manner that set an example to us all, and I respected and honoured him for that.
Those of us who serve in the smaller parties know how difficult it is to be heard and seen, and to be able to express your views in this big Chamber. Rev Meshoe succeeded in expressing his and his party’s views effectively here for almost 20 years, and nobody can claim that they were unaware of his or the ACDP’s position.
I want to wish him all of the best with his retirement from Parliament and politics. We hope that he will enjoy a beautiful and peaceful time with his family and loved ones. He can go home and know that as the saying goes ...]
One person at the right time can make a difference. You made that difference. [Applause.]
Mrs I C DITSHETELO: It is very rare that a leader of a party decides to step down during a parliamentary term, but the Rev Meshoe is setting an unparalleled precedent, in which he shows that no one is bigger than the institution they represent. The interests of the party precede whatever plans he may have.
Having entered politics and Parliament in 1994, and standing up to liberalists, irreligious and sometimes unchristian colleagues in Parliament, the Rev Meshoe never doubted in speaking the truth, and in speaking out and against immorality in and outside of Parliament.
His conscience always told him to say it as it is. Whatever and wherever he will be engaging after leaving, we can only hope it will be to the benefit of the Christian community at large and South Africa in its entirety.
There is no doubt that he has fought a good fight to espouse Christian values in a sometimes not so very friendly atmosphere. All that we in the UCDP can say is, well done, Moruti. Wherever you will be, let your light shine upon all people under the sun. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr K J DIKOBO: Hon House Chairperson and hon members, I do not have enough words to pay tribute to the hon Moruti Meshoe. I was taken aback by the announcement that he would be resigning. The opposition benches will be poorer without him. Indeed, this House will be poorer without his important input during debates.
On behalf of Azapo, I wish hon Meshoe well in whatever he will be doing. I quote Shakespeare’s words to him:
Farewell! If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why then, this parting was well made.
To you, Moruti, we can only say, go in peace and continue to serve the Lord. God bless you abundantly. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Rev K R J MESHOE: House Chairperson, Deputy President and hon members, I highly appreciate all the kind words that you have all said. I obviously have mixed emotions right now. One does not know until moments like this arrive how much one is appreciated and how well one’s input is received. So, I am greatly appreciative of all the kind words that have been said.
It was indeed a privilege to be a member of the National Assembly since our first democratic election in 1994, which saw the last vestiges of apartheid put behind us. It was also an honour and privilege to serve under the leadership and Presidency of former President Nelson Mandela, who showed remarkable statesmanship, courage and ability to unite the entire nation behind a process of reconciliation and nation-building.
Many of my colleagues in this House have been asking me why I have decided to resign from Parliament and what I will be doing from now on. To answer these questions, I want to inform hon members that the 2014 elections are very important to me and to the ACDP. We would like to see the party move beyond its small minority status and take a big leap forward in our representation in all spheres of government. In order to do this, we have to do a lot of groundwork and have to become much more visible to voters. I intend to lead by example and make myself more available to the party, our core constituents and the broader public. I will be working with our people on the ground, reaching out to more voters from diverse communities and also strengthening the ACDP’s structures.
My other focus will also be on media and communication. This will require substantial funding to successfully compete on a level playing field with other political parties.
Hon members, be assured that I am neither quitting politics nor stepping down as the leader of the ACDP. I will be suitably replaced by the ACDP's deputy president, Councillor Wayne Thring, who has been with the party for 13 years in the Ethekwini Metro, serving as the caucus leader in council, and currently also as the provincial leader of the party in KwaZulu-Natal. He is a man of integrity, wisdom and balance and I am confident that he will do his job with diligence.
God willing, I will see many of you after the 2014 general elections when I will be coming back to Parliament with an army of new ACDP members. [Interjections.]
I want to close my farewell remarks by invoking the Aaronic benediction as recorded in the book of Numbers 6:24-26. It reads as follows:
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Lastly, I want to thank my heavenly Father for giving me good health and grace to fulfil my duties in this Parliament, and the opportunity to do my utmost to protect and promote biblical principles in politics as I understand them. A number of people have asked me, could you not do what you want to do outside Parliament, while you are a Member of Parliament? The fact is, with the kind of schedule I will be having for about four to five months, it will not be possible for me to come to Parliament. So, my conscience will not allow me to continue getting a salary from Parliament when I am not available. So, it is a matter of conscience that when you are paid by Parliament, you need to be in Parliament. [Applause.]
Ladies and gentlemen, hon members, with these words I want to say to everybody that I love you all - I am not sure, Chairperson, whether it is parliamentary to say that to all Members of Parliament but allow me to say so. I am glad that I am leaving with no bitterness. I’m leaving not knowing an enemy that I have. You are all my friends. I am not going for good. I’m going just for a season. I will be back to do what I love to do, which is to help South Africa become a better nation and also a winning nation and a prosperous nation. So, the Lord bless you all. Thank you very much for staying this late to hear my words. Thank you, sir. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, you may take your seats. That concludes the farewell speeches. The presiding officers also wish to take this opportunity, hon Meshoe, to wish you well in your endeavours.
CONSIDERATION OF SECOND REPORT OF AD HOC COMMITTEE ON CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT AND REGULATIONS ON JUDGES’ DISCLOSURE OF REGISTRABLE INTERESTS
Mr J B SIBANYONI: Hon House Chairperson, Deputy President, hon Ministers and Members of Parliament, although I am allocated five minutes, I will speak for less than that. I stand here to submit the report regarding the Ad Hoc Committee on Code of Judicial Conduct and Regulations on Judges’ Disclosure of Registrable Interests. This is the second phase. The first phase was regarding the Code of Judicial Conduct. This report is relating to the Regulations on Judges’ Disclosure of Registrable Interests. This ad hoc committee illustrates exactly the three arms of the state, namely Parliament, the executive and the judiciary. All three of us are the arms of the state.
As much as we, as parliamentarians and the executive, are required to declare, the judiciary is also required to declare now. It also illustrates that we have separation of powers. As Parliament, we have the power or the competence to make legislation. We have the power to make these regulations whilst neither the judges nor the Ministers can do that. The Minister tables a Bill and it is processed through Parliament.
Now, we are presenting to you the regulations for judges’ disclosure of registrable interests, so that judges should also disclose and to say that the judges cannot, on their own, make the rules for themselves. It also brings into play the separation of powers. We respect the independence of the judges because their duty is to dispense justice without fear or favour. As parliamentarians, we also request and expect the judiciary not to encroach either on the territory of the executive or on the territory of Parliament in making legislation. Hon House Chair, I hereby present this report, recommending that it be adopted in terms of section 13(8) of the Judicial Service Commission Act of 1994. I thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: House Chairperson, I move on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT - ALTERATION OF AREAS OF JURISDICTION OF NORTHERN CAPE AND NORTH WEST HIGH COURTS RESPECTIVELY
Mr L T LANDERS: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy President, the purpose of this report is to resolve or correct an anomaly with regard to the Kudumane Magisterial District in relation to access to justice for the people of the Kudumane Magisterial District amongst other things. Here follows a brief profile of the Kudumane Magisterial District. Mindful of transport costs, the distance between the Magisterial District of Kudumane and Mahikeng is estimated at 301 kilometres. This translates into an estimated 3 hours’ drive by motor vehicle, whereas the distance between Kudumane and Kimberley is estimated at 237 kilometres, which translates into two hours and 15 minutes by car.
The alignment of justice service delivery points with the municipal and provincial is with a view to ensuring that there is an integration of services across all spectrums. It is important that the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, the South African Police Service, Correctional Services and the courts operate within the same boundaries and that their services are supported by services of aligned departments such as Social Development, Home Affairs and Public Works to the extent that this is practical.
When the laws of more than one province are administered in other provinces, that results in the fragmentation of services. In this regard, it is worth noting that Bothitho, Bahlaro and Mothibestad Police Stations, which serve the Magisterial District of Kudumane and surrounding areas, all fall within the province of the Northern Cape and under the provincial police administration of the same province.
By virtue of the fact that the High Court in Mahikeng still exercises jurisdiction over the Kudumane Magisterial District, it is required of these police stations to transport dockets, accused persons and witnesses to a court outside their province of operation. Enforcement of traffic infringements across provincial boundaries results in challenges for law enforcement officers and road users alike. The power to institute and conduct prosecutions in respect of the High Court for the Magisterial District of Kudumane vests in the Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West province.
On the other hand, the criminal jurisdiction in respect of the Regional Court lies with the Northern Cape Provincial Court, which is an undesirable anomaly. The Director of Public Prosecutions is required to shuttle between two provinces in respect of matters that fall under the jurisdiction of a High Court. For purposes of prosecution, the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Northern Cape must enforce the laws of a different province, namely the North West. An example of this arrangement is the Liquor Act, which applies only in respect of the North West province.
Chairperson, extensive consultative workshops with all affected stakeholders and communities were conducted. In this regard, it is found that these communities will benefit as the travel time and cost associated therewith between Kudumane and Kimberley is reduced compared to that of Mahikeng.
How, then, do we address or remedy the situation? It is necessary that the following rationalisation be effected: Firstly, excise the district of Kudumane from the North West High Court in Mahikeng and annex it to the area of jurisdiction of the Northern Cape High Court in Kimberley. Secondly, alter these areas of jurisdiction of the Northern Cape and the North West Regional Divisions by excising the Magisterial District of Kudumane from the North West Regional Division and annexing it into the Northern Cape Regional Division.
Therefore, we ask this House to approve this report so that these changes can be effected. I thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: House Chairperson, I move on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
That the Report be adopted.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT - UPLIFTMENT OF PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE P S HOLE, KIMBERLEY
Mr L T LANDERS: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy President, on 29 September 2011, pending an investigation by the Magistrates Commission into his alleged misconduct, Regional Magistrate P S Hole was provisionally suspended. On 24 November 2011, this National Assembly approved his provisional suspension. On 25 November 2011, Magistrate Hole was formally charged by the commission.
Subsequent to his suspension, the Legal Aid Board of the Northern Cape and the Director of Public Prosecutions addressed a memorandum to the Magistrates Commission, requesting the lifting of Mr Hole’s suspension in order that he can finalise all his partly heard matters.
Childline Northern Cape also brought an application before the High Court to have Mr Hole’s suspension lifted to enable him to finalise his partly heard matters. Childline’s application is pending before that court. Childline, Legal Aid South Africa and the National Prosecuting Authority made the point very strongly that Mr Hole’s suspension is causing tremendous hardship for the victims, women and children involved in and directly affected by the partly heard matters.
There are 23 partly heard matters on Mr Hole’s roll. Of the 23, 13 involve children aged between 7 and 17 years, and 2 matters involve elderly women who are severely traumatised and are in a very poor state of health. Expecting these traumatised and vulnerable individuals to appear before the court anew would be subjecting them to secondary trauma. Moreover, it would be difficult for some of them to recall the events of these cases as some of them occurred many years ago.
The Justice Portfolio Committee remains firmly of the view that the allegations against Mr Hole are extremely serious and his suspension is justified. However, the prejudice against victims in the partly heard cases outweighs the reasons for his suspension. Having seriously considered the hon Minister of Justice’s request to lift Mr Hole’s provisional suspension, the portfolio committee recommends that the National Assembly approves the lifting of his provisional suspension with the following conditions:
Firstly, that he only be assigned his partly heard matters, and a decision regarding the allocation of any new matters will be informed by the outcome and developments regarding the inquiry into his fitness to hold office that is currently under way. Secondly, as of now, the Magistrates Commission should also consider partly heard matters, which could start anew where this is necessary and desirable, having regard to possible prejudice to victims, children, women and any other person who had already testified.
Thirdly, that Mr Hole should not conduct himself in any manner that compromises the integrity of the judiciary or brings the administration of justice into disrepute.
Fourthly, that the Magistrates Commission provides the portfolio committee with progress reports on the cases before Mr Hole and whether he is abiding by these aforementioned conditions.
Finally, in future, the Magistrates Commission must consider partly heard matters before a magistrate when dealing with his or her suspension. We ask this House to approve this report. Thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Question put: That the recommendations of the Committee be adopted, including that the upliftment of the provisional suspension of Magistrate P S Hole be confirmed, subject to specified conditions.
Upliftment of the provisional suspension of Magistrate P S Hole accordingly confirmed, subject to specified conditions as contained in the Report.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - CONSIDERATION OF A SHORTLIST OF CANDIDATES FOR APPOINTMENT TO BOARD OF NATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Mr E N N NGCOBO: Hon House Chair, hon Deputy President, hon Acting Minister of Science and Technology - who were former Ministers of Science and Technology; I think the House should know that - hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers present here, on 23 April 2013, the Speaker of the National Assembly referred to the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology for its consideration a shortlist of candidates for appointment to the National Research Foundation board, herein referred to as the NRF board.
The NRF was established in terms of National Research Foundation Act, Act No 23 of 1998. The NRF promotes and supports research through funding human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge systems.
The NRF performs an agency function on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology and acts as a service provider for several other government departments. The National Research Foundation Act also establishes the NRF board, which is responsible for the management and the control of the NRF. The NRF board is appointed in terms of section 6 of the National Research Foundation Act and as amended by the Science and Technology Laws Amendment Act, Act No 16 of 2011. Section 6(2)(c) stipulates that the NRF board is appointed by the Minister of Science and Technology, herein referred to as the Minister, after consultation with the relevant committees of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, and after consideration of the shortlist of candidates.
The NRF board must be made up of persons all of whom have achieved distinction in the field of research and technology, research and technology management, business, public affairs or civil society. The NRF board consists of a chairperson, no fewer than 9 and no more than 11 members, and the NRF’s chief executive officer as an ex officio member. The NRF board members hold office for a period of four years and may not serve for two consecutive terms.
The current NRF board assumed office on 1 October 2011. The Minister appointed 12 members, including the Chairperson, Dr Khotso Mokhele. On approval by Cabinet, Dr Mokhele indicated that he was not available for appointment as chairperson and member of the board. Although the current NRF members are within the required minimum number, the Minister wished to ensure that the NRF board had the maximum number of members allowed by the Act so that the members can be fairly distributed to board committees.
The Minister provided the committee with the shortlist of candidates comprising the following individuals: The first candidate is Professor Burton, who is the current Vice-Principal for Research and Postgraduate Education at the University of Pretoria – she is a female candidate - the second being Dr Konar, a chartered accountant and a male candidate; and the third being Dr Marcus, the CEO of Da Vinci Holdings Pty Limited, who is also a male candidate.
The committee deliberated on the shortlist on 5 June 2013 and agreed that all three candidates had the requisite qualifications and experience to serve on the NRF board. Furthermore, the committee noted that current NRF board members were mostly male, which is why I specified whether the candidate is male or female. Hence, in an effort to promote gender equity, the committee recommended Prof Burton for the vacant position on the NRF board.
I therefore present to this House this report for consideration and adoption. I also wish to thank the members of our committee for having worked so hard to process this shortlist. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Question put: That Prof S G Burton be approved for consideration for appointment to the Board of the National Research Foundation.
Question agreed to.
Prof S G Burton accordingly approved for consideration for appointment to the Board of the National Research Foundation.
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF CONVENTION BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE REPUBLIC OF CHILE FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION AND THE PREVENTION OF FISCAL EVASION WITH RESPECT TO TAXES ON INCOME AND ON CAPITAL IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF COSTA RICA FOR THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION RELATING TO TAX MATTERS IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MAURITIUS FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION AND THE PREVENTION OF FISCAL EVASION WITH RESPECT TO TAXES ON INCOME IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF PROTOCOL AMENDING THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALTA FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION AND THE PREVENTION OF FISCAL EVASION WITH RESPECT TO TAXES ON INCOME IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF PROTOCOL AMENDING THE CONVENTION BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE KINGDOM OF NORWAY FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION AND THE PREVENTION OF FISCAL EVASION WITH RESPECT TO TAXES ON INCOME IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF SAMOA FOR THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION RELATING TO TAX MATTERS IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION
There was no debate.
Convention between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Chile for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital approved.
Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica for the exchange of information relating to tax matters approved.
Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Mauritius for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income approved.
Protocol Amending the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Malta for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income approved.
Protocol Amending the Convention between the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Norway for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income approved.
Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of Samoa for the exchange of information relating to tax matters approved.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES - FERTILIZERS AND FEEDS BILL
Mr M JOHNSON: Chairperson, Deputy President, Ministers, members, colleagues, this Bill seeks to provide for licensing of facilities that manufacture feed and fertilizers. It also seeks to provide for the registration of feed additives, raw material and imported fertilizers to provide for the establishment of a technical standards advisory council. It further seeks to provide for matters connected therewith.
Our Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, having considered the Fertilizers and Feeds Bill of 2012, referred to and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 76 Bill, recommends as follows: that the department considers redrafting the Bill, taking into consideration all the concerns that were raised during the public participation process, and reintroducing the Bill in Parliament; that the department engages in further consultation with stakeholders that were left out during the initial drafting process of the Bill, such as the aquaculture industry, the Citrus Growers Association, the poultry industry, developing farmers and other industry players, including rural communities; that the department revises the definitions in the Bill, as some are ambiguous and others not included - for example, those that relate to aquaculture; that the department ensures that matters relating to the regulation of fertilizers are also as extensively covered in the Bill as those relating to feeds, alternatively that it considers splitting the Bill into two; and that the department revises the cost implications for the implementation of the Bill. I submit the Bill for consideration and adoption. Thank you.
There was no debate.
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: House Chairperson, I move on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS - STRATEGIC PLAN, ANNUAL PERFORMANCE PLAN AND BUDGET OF NATIONAL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: House Chairperson, I move on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
The House adjourned at 21:23.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Withdrawal of Bill
(1) The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries withdrew the following Bill on 20 June 2013:
(a) Fertilizers and Feeds Bill [B 41 ‑ 2012] (National Assembly – sec 75).
2. Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
(1) Bill passed by National Assembly on 20 June 2013:
(a) National Environmental Management Laws First Amendment Bill [B 13D – 2012 (National Assembly – sec 76).
(2) Bills passed by National Council of Provinces on 20 June 2013:
(a) Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill [B 14B – 2012] (National Assembly – sec 76).
(b) Appropriation Bill [B 1 – 2013] (National Assembly – sec 77).
1. Referral to Committees of papers tabled
(1) The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry:
(a) Bilateral Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Iraq on Economic and Technical Cooperation, in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
(b) Explanatory Memorandum to the Bilateral Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Iraq on Economic and Technical Cooperation.
(c) General Notice No 238, published in Government Gazette No 36285, dated 22 March 2013: Categories of goods that are required to have a trade description applied to them, in terms of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (Act No 68 of 2008).
(d) General Notice No 380, published in Government Gazette No 36364, dated 12 April 2013: Labeling of goods originating from East Jerusalem, Gaza or West Bank wrongly labeled as originating from Israel, in terms of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (Act No 68 of 2008).
(2) The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans for consideration and to the Interim Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation:
(a) Draft regulations on criteria that military veterans have to meet in order to qualify for benefits, made under section 24(1) and tabled in terms of section 24(3) of the Military Veterans Act, 2011 (Act No 18 of 2011).
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Finance
(a) Proclamation No 12, published in Government Gazette No 36485, dated 31 May 2013: Commencement, in terms of the Financial Markets Act, 2012 (Act No 19 of 2012).
(b) Proclamation No 13, published in Government Gazette No 36509, dated 30 May 2013: Amendment of Schedule 1, in terms of the South African Revenue Service Act, 1997 (Act No 34 of 1997).
(c) Government Notice No 362, published in Government Gazette No 36472, dated 24 May 2013: Approval that one set of annual financial statements and annual report for 2012/13 was produced, in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No 1 of 1999).
(d) Government Notice No R. 384, published in Government Gazette No 36515, dated 7 June 2013: Amendment of Schedule No 1 (No 1/1/469), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(e) Government Notice No R. 385, published in Government Gazette No 36515, dated 7 June 2013: Amendment of Schedule No 3 (No 3/1/692), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(f) Government Notice No R. 386, published in Government Gazette No 36515, dated 7 June 2013: Amendment of Schedule No 3 (No 3/1/694), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(g) Government Notice No R. 387, published in Government Gazette No 36515, dated 7 June 2013: Amendment of Schedule No 1 (No 1/1/1470), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(h) Government Notice No R. 388, published in Government Gazette No 36515, dated 7 June 2013: Amendment of Schedule No 1 (No 1/2A/156), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(i) Government Notice No R. 389, published in Government Gazette No 36515, dated 7 June 2013: Amendment of Schedule No 6 (No 6/1C/35), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(j) Government Notice No R. 390, published in Government Gazette No 36515, dated 7 June 2013: Amendment of Schedule No 6 (No 6/1D/01), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(k) Government Notice No R. 391, published in Government Gazette No 36515, dated 7 June 2013: Amendment of Schedule No 6 (No 6/1C/36), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(l) Government Notice No R. 392, published in Government Gazette No 36515, dated 7 June 2013: Amendment of Schedule No 6 (No 6/1D/02), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(m) Annual Report of the Bank Supervision Department of the South African Reserve Bank for 2012.
1. The Minister of Home Affairs
(a) Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Federal Republic of Nigeria regarding the Waiver of Visa requirements for categories of citizens holding Diplomatic or Official Passports, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
2. The Minister of Human Settlements
(a) Housing Development Agency draft regulations, submitted for consultation with Parliament in terms of section 32 of the Housing Development Agency Act, 2008 (No 23 of 2008).
4. The Minister of Trade and Industry
(a) General Notice No 560, published in Government Gazette No 36505, dated 29 May 2013: Invitation for the public to comment on the draft National Credit Amendment Bill, 2013.
(b) General Notice No 466, published in Government Gazette No 36446, dated 8 May 2013: Invitation for public comment on the draft Lotteries Amendment Bill, 2013.
(c) General Notice No 485, published in Government Gazette No 36454, dated 17 May 2013: Notice of intention to amend the regulations of the Act, in terms of the Trade Metrology Act, 1973 (Act No 77 of 1993).
20 JUNE 2013 PAGE: 22 of 275