Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 19 Mar 2013

Summary

No summary available.


Minutes

UNREVISED HANSARD

 

TUESDAY, 19 MARCH 2013

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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

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The House met at 14:01.

 

The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.

 

NEW MEMBERS

 

(Announcement)

 

The SPEAKER: I wish to announce that the vacancies which occurred owing to the resignations of Ms Z B N Balindlela and Mr G R Morgan have been filled by the nominations of Ms S R Berend and Mr F A Rodgers, with effect from 12 and 14 March 2013 respectively.

 

The members made and subscribed the oath in my office on 19 March 2013.

 

MATTER PERTAINING TO SABC BOARD TO BE CONSIDERED AFTER THIRD ORDER

(Announcement)

 

The SPEAKER: I wish to further announce that I have received a message from the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications requesting that a matter pertaining to the Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation be considered by the House, which matter will be considered after the Third Order.

 

NOTICES OF MOTION

 

Mr D A KGANARE: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of Cope:

 

That the House debates the number of politicians and CEOs of state-owned enterprises who have been invited for lunch, supper or any other meetings to the Gupta residence in Saxonworld, Johannesburg, and the negative impact that these invitations might have on the fight against corruption.

 

Mr G G BOINAMO: 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 20 municipalities owing hundreds of millions of rands to Eskom in respect of unpaid electricity bills.

 

Mr G S RADEBE: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of ANC:

 

That the House debates strengthening youth service programmes by facilitating access to life skills training and entrepreneurship training.

 

Mrs N W A MICHAEL: Mr Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:

 

That this House debates the benefits of privatisation of South African Airways.

 

Mr J B SIBANYONI: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:

 

That the House debates the role of Parliamentarians in addressing the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and supporting an arms trade treaty.

 

Mr M HLENGWA: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the IFP:

 

That the House debates stringent measures that should be put in place to assist municipalities in building effective budgeting, cash flow management and effective administration procedures.

Mr A J WILLIAMS: 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 improving the productivity of public servants and ensuring tighter accountability for failure to deliver services.

 

Mr M I MALALE: 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 accelerating the training of health professionals in the quest for a strong, quality health system.

 

Mr M SWART: 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 underexpenditure against budget by government departments, which impacts negatively on service delivery.

 

Dr H C VAN SCHALKWYK: 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 importance of responsible utterances by leaders in enhancing nation-building and social cohesion.

 

Dr L L BOSMAN: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:

 

That this House debates the mismanagement of funds and wasteful expenditure incurred by the Services Seta before and while under administration.

 

Mr M S F DE FREITAS: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:

 

That this House debates the impact of the proposed moving of all refugee reception centres to northern land borders.

 

Ms E MORE: 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 impact of insufficient funding on the effectiveness and sustainability of the NPO sector that renders full-time child protection services for government.

 

BUS ACCIDENT ON HEX RIVER PASS, CAPE TOWN

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Speaker, I hereby move without notice:

 That the House -

 

(1) notes with sadness the deaths of 24 Khayelitsha churchgoers in a bus accident on the Hex River Pass near De Doorns, Western Cape, on Friday, 15 March 2013;

 

(2) further notes that the driver lost control of the double-decker bus and it crashed up against the side of the mountain along the pass;

 

(3) recalls that among the victims were 19 mothers, 2 children, 1 priest and 1 bus driver;

 

(4) further recalls that 40 injured passengers were transported to hospitals in Worcester and Cape Town, 8 of whom were in a critical state;

 

(5) acknowledges that the passengers were all women from Twelve Apostles Church who attended a women’s conference in Mpumalanga; and

 

(6) extends its condolences to the families of the deceased and the Twelve Apostles Church.

 

Agreed to.

 

ATTACKS DURING GENERAL ELECTIONS IN GUINEA

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

Mr T D HARRIS: Speaker, I hereby move without notice:

 

 That the House -

 

(1) notes with concern the recent attacks on peaceful election protestors in Guinea;

 

(2) encourages all parties in Guinea to pursue open and inclusive dialogue in the interest of holding transparent, free and fair general elections; and

 

(3) further encourages key technical and financial partners such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), La Francophonie, and the European Union (EU) to encourage the Guinean authorities to organise open, transparent and peaceful elections that are inclusive of all Guinean citizens.

 

Agreed to.

 

2012 INYATHELO AWARD FOR CHILDREN IN PHILANTHROPY

(Draft Resolution)

Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Hon Speaker, I move without notice:

 

 That the House -

 

(1) notes that 12-year-old Jordan van der Walt received the 2012 Inyathelo Award for Children in Philanthropy for his Just One Bag campaign;

 

(2) further notes that this campaign has resulted in 100 tons of mealie-meal being donated and over a million hungry children being fed in schools across the country;

 

(3) acknowledges that LeadSA declared Jordan van der Walt “Hero of the Month” in December 2012;

 

(4) calls on all South Africans to follow his lead and embark on inexpensive and innovative drives to reduce poverty and hunger in their communities; and

 

(5) thanks the private sector for the role they played in this initiative and hopes that the food chain stores and truck companies that distributed the collected food will continue to play a role in taking our country forward.

 

Agreed to.

 

WORLD TUBERCULOSIS DAY

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Speaker, I move without notice:

 

 That the House -

 

(1) notes that World Tuberculosis Day is annually held on March 24 to raise awareness of tuberculosis and ways to eradicate the disease;

 

(2) further notes that about one third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria which is an infectious bacterial disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs;

 

(3) acknowledges that the progress towards global targets for the reductions in TB cases and deaths in recent years has been impressive, with TB mortality having fallen over 40% worldwide since 1990 and its incidence declining;

 

(4) further acknowledges that South Africa's fight against TB is assisted by technology that is used, which is able to complete TB testing in 2 hours, and Geographical Information System (GIS) software which enables easy management of TB information detailing area and individual profile;

 

(5) further acknowledges that in 2013, we enter the second year of the two-year “Stop TB in my lifetime” World TB Day campaign; and

 

(6) calls on all citizens to promote information on the awareness of tuberculosis and the work of those who help fight against the spread of the disease.

 

Agreed to.

 

ANTI-PIRACY PROSECUTOR IN SOUTH AFRICA WINS AWARD

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Speaker, I move without notice:

 

 That the House -

 

(1) notes that top Port Elizabeth commercial crimes prosecutor, Mr Lionel Kroon, was presented with an award for being the “most outstanding” anti-piracy Prosecutor in South Africa by the Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft (Safact) and the Motion Picture Association on 15 March 2013;

(2) further notes that Mr Lionel Kroon has specialised in anti-piracy cases since 2006 and has assisted with the confiscation of millions of rands worth of counterfeit goods;

 

(3) recognises the importance of combating piracy as part of a multipronged approach to combat terrorism, organised crime, the illegal weapons trade, human trafficking and the drug trade;

 

(4) urges all South Africans to report the sale of pirated goods; and

 

(5) congratulates Mr Lionel Kroon on his award.

 

Agreed to.

 

SELLO CHICCO TWALA RECEIVES LIFETIME MUSIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Speaker, I move without notice:

 

 That the House -

 

(1) notes that the icon singer and producer Sello "Chicco" Twala was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 12th annual Metro FM Music Awards that took place in Durban on Saturday, 23 February 2013;

 

(2) believes that Chicco Twala is a hardworking and versatile musician, who deserves to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his immense contribution to the music industry, with his career in music spanning three decades;

 

(3) recognises that his name has over the years become synonymous with hit songs, and that it was not surprising therefore that the younger audience enjoyed and sang along with hands raised in praise of his stunning performance of some of his classic songs at the Metro FM awards ceremony;

 

(4) recalls that Chicco Twala has produced and worked with so many musicians on various projects and still continues to do so much for the music industry, such as setting up a music studio in Soweto to unearth young talent; and

 

(5) congratulates him on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award and wishes him success in his future endeavours.

 

Agreed to.

 

FOURTH ANNUAL CAPE TOWN CARNIVAL

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

Mrs S V KALYAN: Speaker, I move without notice:

 

 That the House -

 

(1) notes that the City of Cape Town hosted the 4th annual Cape Town Carnival on Saturday, 17 March 2013;

 

(2) further notes that the Cape Town Carnival is a non-profit organisation that seeks to celebrate South Africa’s cultural diversity, to encourage social cohesion through community participation and to promote tourism;

 

(3) acknowledges that a team of 60 dedicated persons produced 1 030 colourful and extravagant costumes;

 

(4) further acknowledges that the Cape Town Carnival is a public event attended by more than 80 000 people;

 

(5) recognises the contributions made to the success of the carnival by the City of Cape Town, the Metro Police, the South African Police Service and Emergency Management Services in ensuring an enjoyable and safe experience for carnival revellers;

 

(6) further recognises the importance of such events in bringing different communities together in celebration of our unique South Africanness; and

 

(7) congratulates the board of the Cape Town Carnival for a successful showcasing of South Africa’s diverse cultures through costume, song and dance.

 

Agreed to.

 

DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR AD HOC COMMITTEE TO REPORT ON GENERAL INTELLIGENCE LAWS AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker and hon members, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

 

That the House extends the deadline by which the Ad Hoc Committee on the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill has to report, to 25 April 2013.

 

Agreed to.

 

TIME ALLOCATED FOR PARTY RESPONSES TO EXECUTIVE STATEMENTS

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker and hon members, I move without notice:

 

That the House resolves that, notwithstanding Rule 106(5), the time allocated for party responses to executive statements for the remainder of the Fourth Parliament be as follows: African National Congress: 12 minutes; Democratic Alliance: 7 minutes; Congress of the People: 5 minutes; Inkatha Freedom Party: 4 minutes; and all other parties: 3 minutes each.

 

The SPEAKER: Order! I now put the motion. Are there any objections?

 

Mrs S V KALYAN: Speaker, I do not have an objection. However, I wish to make a correction. The Chief Whip says he moves without notice, but it is on the Order Paper. [Laughter.]

 

The SPEAKER: You don’t have to respond, Chief Whip; it’s on the Order Paper. But you’ve moved and we have accepted it. [Laughter.]

 

Agreed to.

AUDITOR-GENERAL’S MANDATE

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Prof L B G NDABANDABA (ANC): Hon Speaker, on behalf of the ANC, I wish to state that our Auditor-General, Mr Nombembe, assumed office on 1 December 2006. The bulk of his term has been focused on driving awareness of and commitment to managing state finances in a responsible, mature and transparent manner for the benefit of all South Africans. All the interrelations and guidance on a broad range of leadership across all three spheres of government have been geared towards this goal.

 

These efforts have also made an indelible imprint on the minds of citizens, the Auditor-General of South Africa and auditors-general globally, colleagues and the continent in particular, which he continues to lead with dignity and distinction. As a result, South Africa has enjoyed clear recognition and acceptance by all auditors-general across the world, as evidenced by his election as the President of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, Intosai. Furthermore, this has been echoed by his successful hosting of the Intosai conference in 2010 in Durban. This has indeed crystallised in that under his tenure he has been able to map the institution as one of the best Supreme Audit Institutions worldwide.

 

Furthermore, under his leadership the institution has been able to increase the scope of audit by introducing a performance audit and the establishment of the special investigation division, which shows his commitment to ensuring discipline and prudence in the use of public resources in order to ensure a better life for all South Africans.

 

Given the challenges that the institution has been experiencing in collecting audit fees from auditees under his leadership, the institution has managed persistently to accumulate a surplus over a number of years. In line with these achievements, he has considered development and staff retention and, in the main, he has ensured that transformation takes place in the institution. I thank you, hon Speaker. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

 

TENDERS AWARDED BY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Ms A M DREYER (DA): Mr Speaker, last year President Zuma told Parliament that what government did was “to build other houses beyond my home for security personnel”. Indeed, the facts are that the Department of Public Works awarded a tender to Bonelena Construction & Enterprise for the construction of 25 new buildings for R61,6 million. [Interjections.] Since they did not finish the job, a tender was then awarded to Moneymine to complete it, pushing the cost up to R65 million. Then Public Works awarded another tender to Moneymine to construct a further six new buildings for R44,7 million. [Interjections.]

 

This means that Public Works spent R110 million on 31 new buildings for President Zuma’s guards at his private home, with the last six buildings costing R7,5 million each. This shows how President Zuma is further impoverishing over 7 million South Africans who have no work and live in dismal poverty while he is enriching himself. [Applause.]

 

STATE OF NATIONAL PUBLIC BROADCASTER

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr L S NGONYAMA (Cope): Hon Speaker, this House must take seriously the state of the national public broadcaster. Over the past couple of years the SABC has been in chaos. Its management and its pedigree as the national public broadcaster have diminished. It seems that the various attempts to try to resolve the ongoing problems by the Portfolio Committee on Communications have not yielded results or stabilised the broadcaster. If anything, the broadcaster has lost integrity, impartiality, professionalism and all credibility. Therefore, this House has to intervene urgently regarding this issue, as it has reached the level of a national crisis.

 

The national public broadcaster carries the responsibility for the branding of the nation. The chaotic situation of the SABC is impacting negatively on the image of the nation and also on the goodwill of this nation.

 

Part of the problem that we have observed is the appointment of individuals with no appropriate academic qualifications or skills. We therefore believe political affiliation or affinity should not be the primary consideration in these appointments.

 

As Cope, we hope this House will deal with this crisis with the urgency it deserves. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

MANGANESE SMELTER LAUNCHED IN GAUTENG

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Ms J L FUBBS (ANC): Mr Speaker, the ANC wishes to congratulate BHP Billiton on the launch of a smelter last week to produce the largest beneficiation of manganese ore mined in South Africa. This underpins the government’s strategy on new beneficiation, which translates our comparative minerals endowments into a national competitive advantage.

 

The smelter, launched by Minister Susan Shabangu last week, is the largest operating furnace in the world and is located at Samancor Meyerton in Gauteng.

 

This 30% beneficiation adds value to minerals, which is a vital input to industrialisation led by the Department of Trade and Industry through the Industrialisation Policy Action Plan.

 

Indeed, South Africa is committed to accelerating manufacturing for domestic, regional and global export. The impact on downstream associated industries can create 2 000 jobs in the Northern Cape where the manganese is mined, and, more importantly, potentially sustain more than 10 000 jobs downstream. This was not simply said by the ANC or a Minister of the government, but by Mr Ravi Moodley, the South African president of BHP Billiton Manganese.

 

This is yet another example of the public sector, the private sector and the people working together to grow our economy. I thank you, Mr Speaker. [Applause.]

 

RESIDENTS OF LOUIS TRICHARDT WITHOUT WATER

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mrs C N Z ZIKALALA (IFP): Hon Speaker, the residents of Louis Trichardt in Limpopo went without water for 27 days, and the degraded state of the infrastructure has been blamed for the lack of access to water.

 

For those 27 days, hospital equipment could not be cleaned, exposing people to infection. Sewage flowed constantly in the streets, and public toilets, especially in shopping malls, which were forced to close, exerting more strain on the capability of businesses to function.

 

Residents of Carolina in Mpumalanga claim that their water supply has not improved since the municipality was taken to court. In fact, the water now smells like bleach and they are afraid to drink it.

 

As we mark National Water Week, it is heartbreaking to see that the government is constantly failing at national and local levels and is always reacting to situations that arise, instead of delivering proper services in the first place in order to avoid major service-delivery disruptions to communities. People are tired of excuses that are made for the failure to provide clean, drinkable water, despite many claims of success in other places.

 

Water is an essential resource that needs to be well looked after. Our people deserve to receive clean drinking water with no harmful pollutants or fluoride in it, as these have long-term harmful effects. I thank you, hon Speaker. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

 

THE STATE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mnr P J GROENEWALD (VF Plus): Agb Speaker, plaaslike regering in Suid-Afrika is besig om in duie te stort. Agterstallige dienstegelde van munisipaliteite beloop al R86 miljard. Ek het reeds in 1997 gewaarsku dat die regeringsvlak wat gaan inplof die plaaslike regering gaan wees omdat dienstegelde nie betaal word nie. Dit is nou 16 jaar later en dit is besig om te gebeur.

 

Behalwe swak dienslewering weens onkundigheid en onbevoegdheid as gevolg van kaderontplooiing, bestaan daar ’n kultuur van nie-betaling van dienstegelde. Hierdie kultuur was deur die ANC se “civic” [burgerlike] organisasies in die aanloop tot 1994 geskep. Die ANC-regering kon sedertdien nie daarin slaag om hierdie kultuur in ’n verantwoordelike betalingskultuur te omskep nie.

 

Die regering self stel die swakste voorbeeld van wanbetaling. In die Matlosana-munisipaliteit wat Klerksdorp, Stilfontein, Orkney en Hartebeesfontein insluit, is die uitstaande gelde vir elektrisiteit van staatsdepartemente tot einde Februarie amper R49 miljoen. Eskom wil nou die krag vir Klerksdorp afsit want hy betaal nie sy elektrisiteitsrekeninge nie.

 

Die Departemente van Openbare Werke – ek sien die Minister is hier – Gesondheid, Onderwys en Vervoer betaal net eenvoudig nie hul rekeninge nie. As die staat so ’n swak voorbeeld stel, hoekom sal ander wanbetalers dan besluit om te betaal? Die werklikheid is dat getroue betalers en die ekonomie van ’n plek soos Klerksdorp tot stilstand sal kom as gevolg van die traak-my-nieagtige houding van die regering se staatsdepartemente.

 

Ek doen ’n ernstige beroep op die agb Ministers wat hier is om hul departemente aan te spreek. As die kragtoevoer afgesluit word, moet die mense weet dat dit weens die laksheid van hierdie agb Ministers is wat hier sit en niks doen nie. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)

 

[Mr P J GROENEWALD (FF Plus): Hon Speaker, local government in South Africa is collapsing. Arrears in respect of municipal service fees already amount to R86 billion. As early as 1997 I had warned that the level of government that would implode would be local government because of the nonpayment of service fees. It is now 16 years later, and this is happening.

 

Apart from poor service delivery due to ignorance and incompetence resulting from cadre deployment, there is also an existing culture of nonpayment of service fees. This culture was created by the ANC’s civic organisations in the run-up to 1994. Since then the ANC-led government could not manage to transform this culture into a responsible culture of paying.

 

The government itself sets the worst example of nonpayment. In the Matlosana Municipality, which includes Klerksdorp, Stilfontein, Orkney and Hartebeesfontein, the electricity arrears for government departments up to the end of February amount to almost R49 million. Now Eskom wants to cut off the power to Klerksdorp because it does not pay its electricity accounts.

 

The Departments of Public Works - I see the Minister is here - Health, Education and Transport simply do not pay their accounts. If government sets such a poor example, why would other defaulters then decide to pay? The reality is that loyal payers will stop paying and the economy of an area such as Klerksdorp will come to a standstill as a result of the nonchalant attitude of government departments.

 

I would like to seriously call on the hon Ministers who are here to address this issue in their departments. If the power supply is cut off, the people have to know that it is as a result of the slackness of these hon Ministers who sit here and do nothing. I thank you.]

 

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ATTENDS TO ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION IN PETROSA

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr S J NJIKELANA (ANC): Speaker, the ANC welcomes the recent good work done by the Department of Energy in attending to allegations of corruption in the Petroleum, Oil and Gas Corporation of SA, PetroSA, through the Central Energy Fund, CEF, and is equally appalled by the alleged unsavoury conduct by officials of a company, whom the Portfolio Committee on Energy was gradually supporting, albeit with caution.

 

This, once again, displays that the ANC-led government has the will to root out corruption, notwithstanding the difficulty in doing so. It is worth mentioning that this matter still has to be fully concluded. Therefore, making any sweeping statements at this stage may be risky and unjustified.

 

The ANC has been closely monitoring developments in both the CEF and PetroSA, neither blowing a trumpet nor frivolously seeking any other form of vote-catching publicity. Due to the probing approach initiated by the Portfolio Committee on Energy, it was obvious that the rot would be uncovered within the CEF.

 

The ANC also expresses its confidence in Dr Mthembi-Mahanyele - the current chairperson of the CEF - for the leadership displayed during such trying times. This admirable initiative serves to put the CEF on a firmer platform in its restructuring drive, as do the efforts in growing PetroSA into a formidable national petrochemical company.

 

In conclusion, the ANC will give a full response once a final report is provided by the Central Energy Fund.

 

Ndiyabulela ilali. [Thank you.] [Applause.]

 

DETERIORATION OF ANC-CONTROLLED MUNICIPALITIES

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mev A STEYN (DA): Agb Speaker, die verval van die ANC-beheerde munisipaliteite het verreikende gevolge. Die gemeenskap van Sterkspruit vra dat die regering aandag aan hul probleme gee. Volgens inwoners van hierdie nedersetting, soos die ANC hulle noem, is hulle deur die regering vergeet. Die gemeenskap van Sterkspruit is moeg daarvoor om geïgnoreer te word. Hulle vra al vyf jaar vir ’n vergadering met raadslede en die burgemeester van Senqu-munisipaliteit. Al wat hulle wil hoor, is wanneer hulle dienste soos water, paaie, toilette en huise kan verwag.

 

Die ANC in Senqu het egter besluit om die inwoners se oproep vir dienslewering in hul gemeenskappe te ignoreer. Om aandag op hul hulpkrete te vestig, het die gemeenskap tot aksie oorgegaan wat tot baie negatiewe gevolge vir die gemeenskap gelei het. Massa-aksie het veroorsaak dat ondernemings hul deure moes sluit, skole is gesluit en bande word op al die toegangsroetes gebrand. ’n Sestienjarige kind is na bewering deur die polisie in hierdie oproer doodgeskiet.

 

Die gemeenskap se frustrasie het nou so ver oorgekook dat hulle nie meer oor dienslewering betoog nie, maar hulle wil nou hul eie munisipaliteit vorm. Dit is onaanvaarbaar dat gemeenskappe tot sulke aksie moet oorgaan om deur die ANC-regering gehoor te word. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)

 

[Mrs A STEYN (DA): Hon Speaker, the deterioration of the ANC-controlled municipalities has far-reaching consequences. The community of Sterkspruit has called on the government to pay attention to their problems. According to the residents of this settlement, as the ANC calls them, they have been forgotten by the government. The community of Sterkspruit is tired of being ignored. They have been asking for a meeting with council members and the mayor of Senqu Municipality for five years already. All they want to know is when they will be able to expect services like water, roads, toilets and houses.

 

The ANC in Senqu has, however, decided to ignore the residents’ call for service delivery in their communities. To draw attention to their cry for help, the community has taken action, which has led to many negative consequences for the community. Mass action caused enterprises to shut their doors, schools were closed and tyres are being burned on all the access routes. A 16-year-old child has allegedly been shot dead by the police during this protest action.

 

The community’s frustration is now reaching boiling point, to the extent that they are no longer protesting over service delivery, but are now demanding their own municipality. It is unacceptable that communities have to resort to such action to get the ANC government to listen to them. [Applause.]]

 

KUNGWINI PCO PARTNERSHIP WITH DR MOHAMED HUSSAIN

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr J B SIBANYONI (ANC): Hon Speaker, the Kungwini Parliamentary Constituency Office, PCO, in Tshwane is commended for having partnered with Dr Mohamed Hussain during its “Back to School Campaign”. Dr Hussain was born in Bronkhorstspruit and practised medicine in Kwaggafontein, the former Kwa-Ndebele, but due to harassment by apartheid security police, he migrated to Canada where he pursued his medical career.

 

He also championed a programme and conducted free diagnosis tests at the Sizanani Special School for the disabled and assisted the educators and the school principal by introducing a work performance system which he funded from his own pocket.

 

He toured schools with the PCO during February 2013 and conducted motivational talks and inspired learners at various schools, focusing on the importance of mathematics and science; and specifically motivated the 2013 Grade 12 matriculants. As Dr Hussain is about to return to his work in Canada, the Kungwini PCO will be observing Human Rights Day in a function entitled: “The right to education versus the child’s responsibility or duty to be educated”, to be attended by Dr Hussain and an 83-year-old farm dweller who never attended class, but always transported the farm owner’s daughter to school by horse cart. Thank you, hon Speaker. [Applause.]

 

CALL BY SADTU FOR RESIGNATION OF MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr A M MPONTSHANE (IFP): Hon Speaker, the SA Democratic Teachers Union, Sadtu, has recently called for the resignation of the Minister of Basic Education. It is not very clear why the union is making this call. Is it because the Minister’s actions affect their interests or because they affect the education and future of learners in schools across the country, or both?

 

There is a sense of doublespeak in Sadtu’s call, and the union has been responsible for a countless number of schoolchildren missing out on lessons because of prolonged strike action. However, the IFP is not in any way in the business of dictating to the President how to run his government, but we need answers to the allegations brought forth by Sadtu. An investigation needs to be undertaken in order to deal with these allegations and to set the record straight as to whether or not the Minister engaged the relevant stakeholders with regard to the implementation of the biometric registration system; or whether the Minister did renege on the salary agreements; and, most importantly, whether she is harbouring individuals in her department who have been suspended for corruption elsewhere. I thank you.

 

ALLEGED CORRUPT PRACTICES IN FREE STATE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr L RAMATLAKANE (Cope): Hon Speaker, last year we raised our concern with regard to the Free State government, and, in particular, we raised our concern around the corrupt practices that are taking place within the provincial government. We raised the activities of the former member of the executive council of the province, the MEC for sport, who is now the premier, about the so-called sports facilities in terms of which a company was created as a conduit to siphon off money from the state into that particular company by friends.

 

Last week, we raised a concern about provincial government diverting the money from the core function to an unknown destination.

 

It has now come to our attention that those who fight corruption in the government in the Free State actually are being purged by the Premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule. The refusal to pay R140 million by the MEC there has, in fact, made the MEC a target. A recent development is that the premier wants R2 billion to be set aside for his own slush fund. This is a matter of serious concern.

 

We have said in this House that we will support any campaign to fight corruption. But if this is how the governing party is fighting corruption, we are very worried. We are worried that no action is taken where corruption is sighted and everybody can see that corrupt practices are taking place. We demand action, but of course we are not optimistic that action will be taken.

 

ACHIEVEMENT BY DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr D M GUMEDE (ANC): Hon Speaker, the President in his state of the nation address once more referred to tourism as one of the job drivers under the umbrella of the New Development Plan which seeks to ensure that all South Africans attain a decent standard of living by 2030. The ANC congratulates the Department of Tourism on its sterling performance in achieving an increase in tourism growth of 10,4%, which is more than double the 4% of global growth as measured by the World Tourism Organisation. This gives us even more hope that the Brics summit – the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa group – will be a huge success, which success is likely to have a very positive legacy for the industry. We say, “well done” to the department and all stakeholders for laying a solid foundation for 2030. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

DEATH OF 24 PEOPLE IN BUS ACCIDENT ON HEX RIVER PASS

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr M MNQASELA (DA): Speaker, the death of 24 people in a horror bus crash over the weekend is something that has left the people of the Western Cape, and the community of Khayelitsha in particular, in deep pain and despair.

 

On behalf of the DA, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones. It is with great sadness and some discomfort that we learn of families losing loved ones in such a horrific manner. What becomes even more painful is when these families have to bury their loved ones from empty pockets because of the attack of poverty that we always see in our communities. But we do want to express appreciation for the role played by the provincial government of the Western Cape in providing counselling and other support.

 

Furthermore, we appreciate the role played by the City of Cape Town in taking some responsibility and supporting the families where needed.

 

Siyabancoma. [We admire them for doing a good deed.]

 

We appeal to the business community, the religious community and any other interested party that wishes to come forward and assist in this difficult time. We say to Avbob, as one of their people has indicated ...

 

... masingcwabeni aba bantu. Ukufa akuqheleki kwaye kubuhlungu. Kufandini, uza kuncama kwesi isihlandlo! [... let us bury these people. Death is not something you become familiar with and it is painful. Death, this time you will give up!] [Time expired.]

 [Applause.]

CONDEMNATION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mrs B N DLULANE (ANC): Speaker, the multiparty women’s caucus also wants to add its voice to the growing number of voices condemning the upsurge in sexual violence acts perpetrated against the most vulnerable in our society, women and children.

 

We acknowledge that, whilst we are a progressive government with progressive legislation which focuses on women empowerment, we need to ensure that implementation is effective. As part of our oversight role and in making sure that we address this scourge of violence against women and children, we have resolved to ensure mainstreaming of gender across portfolios responsible for dealing with gender-based violence and to introduce a gender budget analysis to ensure that the issue of violence against women is truly a funded mandate.

 

At a business planning session of the multiparty women’s caucus recently, we undertook to take decisive action on violence against women, children and men. To this end, the multiparty women’s caucus and the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities, in collaboration with the provincial and district multiparty women’s caucus, will host a round table to discuss improving the implementation of legislative provisions that are in place – for example, in the Domestic Violence Act ? closing legislative gaps where they exist, as well as working with the committees of Parliament to oversee effective implementation and budgeting of the programmes to decrease gender-based violence.

 

This multi-stakeholder event will involve Members of Parliament, civil society and other relevant stakeholders. It will be hosted in the hope that, collectively, we can rid South Africa of the blight of violence, especially against women and children. We intend convening this event in the first week of the second term. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

 

RANDBURG CONSTITUENCY’S GRADE 12 PASS RATE FOR 2012

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr E M SOGONI (ANC): Hon Speaker, I will be reading the statement on behalf of the hon Sulliman, whose constituency is in Randburg. The Grade 12 pass rate for the class of 2012 in the Randburg constituency has seen some significant results. Both the Randburg High School and the Hoërskool Linden achieved 100% pass rates. For the Hoërskool Linden, this was the 21st year in a row that they have achieved a 100% pass rate.

 

The Diepsloot Combined School achieved a 96,96% pass rate, and the Kwena Molapo High School a 93,18% pass rate. Both these schools are in an informal settlement in Diepsloot. This is the first time that these schools have achieved such high pass rates. The results of these two schools are a clear indication that our education system is working and that we are heading in the right direction.

 

The notion that our education system is not working is incorrect. Under the leadership of the ANC government, we are beginning to turn the education corner.

 

Congratulations are extended to all schools in the Randburg constituency. A big thank you goes to the teachers, parents and learners for the dedication and commitment they have shown. I thank you, hon Speaker. [Applause.]

 

CALL BY SADTU FOR RESIGNATION OF MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION

ALLEGED CORRUPT PRACTICES IN FREE STATE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT

 

(Minister’s Response)

 

The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Mr Speaker, I would like to respond to two statements, one from the IFP member on the matter of the SA Democratic Teachers Union, Sadtu, and the other one from the Cope member in relation to provincial governments and corruption.

 

The IFP member indicated here that he was not in the business of advising the President on who to employ or who to fire, but in this case he felt compelled to respond to the allegations that come from Sadtu. I want to refer specifically to the first point that he mentioned: the biometric test. Hon Mpontshane, the biometric test is a test that has been piloted in the Northern Cape. It has succeeded in the Northern Cape. The Minister of Basic Education has been very impressed with the success of this test. She has indicated that she would like to see the success spread across the country. At no point did she indicate that this would happen as a decree the following day.

 

I have also indicated on a number of occasions that she had consulted me on this matter, and we were in discussions on this matter. The consultations entered into would have involved the unions and me before a decree was made. So, there is no basis for any of those allegations in relation to the biometric test. I would like you, please, in future, to understand this and support the Minister. It is very important that we have our teachers in class, teaching, in order to improve the level and quality of education.

 

The second matter is the matter of the Free State government. The member from Cope alleged that there was corruption in the government of the Free State, and he alleged that there was no indication that this government was interested in fighting corruption. The member is a member of the Portfolio Committee on the Public Service and Administration, and I would like to ask him please to ensure that he uses the space in the portfolio committee. Write to me, hon member, with these allegations. Together, you, I and the portfolio committee can actually investigate whether these allegations are founded in any reality. You have the means at your disposal; use them. Thank you. [Applause.]

 

TENDERS AWARDED BY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

 

(Minister’s Response)

 

UMPHATHISWA WEZEMISEBENZI YOLUNTU: Somlomo, siliSebe lezeMisebenzi yoluntu senze isiphakamiso, sicebisa ukuba ingxelo emalunga nalo mba iphathwe njani. USomlomo wale Palamente, wacaphula kwimbalelwano endayenzayo, echazela iPalamente ngalo ngcebiso. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Speaker, we made a proposal as the Department of Public Works, advising on how to handle such a report. The Speaker of this Parliament quoted from the correspondence I made, informing this Parliament about that advice.]

 

Instead of applying her mind in a constructive way to deal with this report, the hon Dreyer continues to misinform Parliament by using selective bits from her spies and misleading the House. This is done for cheap publicity and should be rejected with the contempt it deserves.

 

Mrs S V KALYAN: Speaker, I rise on a point of order: I submit that the comment made by the Minister that the hon Dreyer misinformed the House based on evidence from her spies is unparliamentary, and I would like you to make a ruling on that, sir.

 

Adv T M MASUTHA: Speaker, could I address you on the point of order? The Rule, Speaker, is that if a member says that another member deliberately misled the House ... [Interjections.]

 

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Order!

 

Adv T H MASUTHA: The Rule is that if a member says that another member deliberately misled the House, then that would be unparliamentary. But to say that a member has misled the House is an opinion, and there is nothing unparliamentary about that. Thank you. [Interjections.]

 

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! It is true that he is not a speaker, but neither are you, until I recognise you to speak from the floor. [Laughter.] This is a debatable matter, hon members. I will just check the Hansard and come back with a ruling.

 

STATE OF NATIONAL PUBLIC BROADCASTER

 

(Minister’s Response)

 

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZABASEBENZI: Somlomo, ngifisa ukucacisela umhlonishwa uMnumzane Ngonyama ukuthi ukukhethwa kwebhodi le-SABC kwenziwa amalungu ale Ndlu. Aqala ngokuhlunga, ahlolele ikhono bese enza isincomo kule Ndlu ukuthi iphasise labo bantu babe ngamalungu ebhodi. Ngemuva kwalokho banike uMongameli isiphakamiso.

 

Ngiyafisa ukusho ukuthi umhlonishwa kufanele ukuthi angakhombi abanye abantu ngeminwe ngoba kuye kuthiwe ukhomba abantu ngomunwe owodwa kodwa okuyiyona eminingi ikhomba wena. Ngakho-ke kufanele ukuthi umhlonishwa azi ukuthi uyini umsebenzi wamaLungu ePhalamende. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

 

[The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Hon Speaker, I would like to clarify the issue in respect of the selection of the SABC board members, to hon Ngonyama, and that is that it is done by the members of this House. They start by shortlisting, which is followed by interviews, and then they make recommendations to this House to endorse the successful candidates as members of the board, after which they then forward that resolution to the President.

 

I would like to urge the hon member not to point fingers at other people, because it is said that as you point a finger at someone else, the rest of the fingers are pointing at you. Therefore, the hon member should know what the duties of the Members of Parliament are. Thank you.]

 

RANDBURG CONSTITUENCY’S GRADE 12 PASS RATE FOR 2012

 

KUNGWINI PCO PARTNERSHIP WITH DR MOHAMED HUSSAIN

 

CALL BY SADTU FOR RESIGNATION OF MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION

 

(Minister’s Response)

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Speaker, I will be very brief in relation to three responses. Firstly, I would like to congratulate the schools in Randburg on their excellent performance. It certainly augurs well for the future.

With regard to the second statement pertaining to Dr Hussain, I certainly want to take this opportunity to thank the hundreds of private citizens who have really made education a societal issue and who have contributed in working in partnership with the Department of Basic Education to ensure that we provide quality education to our children. We are indeed grateful for his efforts and the efforts of many others.

 

With regard to the third statement from the IFP, we would certainly like to thank the hon Minister for the Public Service and Administration for her intervention and indeed confirm what she has said. I just want to add to that by saying that the biometric system has also been tested in the Western Cape and parts of Gauteng, and indeed the South African Schools Act provides for the recording of the attendance of teachers. So this is nothing unusual. It is really about how to utilise technology in a way that is optimal and can basically provide us with information in real time. Once we have an assessment, we will be able to consult with the various stakeholders.

 

The statement itself comes across as both frivolous and vexatious with regard to the resignation of the Minister.

 

I just want to share with the House that we are certainly ready and available for open discussions with the unions. It might well be that the SA Democratic Teachers Union, Sadtu, is speaking past the department in relation to matters of this nature. The area that has been reflected on – the area with regard to the withdrawal of the agreements - speaks specifically to an agreement which would have created a liability of R700 million, which in terms of the law cannot be authorised without the consent of the Minister of Basic Education and the Minister of Finance. In other words, the action itself would be ultra vires and therefore the agreement had to be withdrawn in order to negotiate it afresh in terms of processing. Therefore, I see very clearly that it is something which can be resolved around the table.

 

With regard to the issue of remuneration, the President has been very clear to say that he would give priority to that, and the Minister for the Public Service and Administration has correctly indicated that they are paying attention to it. But the President has also said that in return for the investment in terms of remuneration, he would expect an improvement in disposition, attitude and performance. In other words, it is a reciprocal obligation that has to be created. Thank you so much, hon Speaker. [Time expired.]

 

CONDEMNATION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

 

(Minister’s Response)

 

USEKELA MPHATHISWA WAMAPOLISA: Enkosi kakhulu, Somlomo. Mam’ uDlulane, ndiyabulela kakhulu ngokusibonisa ukuba siyibambile singurhulumente okhokelwa nguKhongolose. Siyathemba kunjalonje siqinisekile ukuba ukubekwa kwebhunga elibizwa ngokuba yiGender-based Council, esilaziyo ukuba libhexeshwa nguSekela Mongameli welizwe lethu, lilo eliza kusinika umkhombandlela ukuze sibe nakho ukuphumeza yonke le mithetho mihle kangaka apha eMzantsi Afrika. Zonke izigqibo esivumelana ngazo, ingakumbi kweli bhunga, kuba kuhlala oongqondo-ngqondo, imibutho, imibutho engekho phantsi kolawulo lukarhulumente nabo bonke abantu abanolwazi lokuba sibambisana kwaye sisenza njani na singurhulumente okhokelwa yi-ANC, ziza kubonisa ukuba yonke le mithetho siyiwisileyo iphunyezwa njani na. Enkosi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

 

[The DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE: Thank you very much, Speaker. Ms Dlulane, thank you very much for pointing out that, as the ANC-led government, we are on track. We are confident that when the National Council Against Gender-Based Violence, to be chaired by our Deputy President, is launched, it will guide us in our efforts to come up with good legislation to fight gender-based violence in this country. All the decisions that we will take, particularly in this council which will comprise experts, various organisations, nongovernmental organisations and people who know how we do things in the ANC-led government, will provide guidelines as to how we implement the legislation in place. Thank you.]

 

MANGANESE SMELTER LAUNCHED IN GAUTENG

 

(Minister’s Response)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: Speaker, we want to thank the hon Joan Fubbs for acknowledging the good progress that we are making within the mining industry and especially in the beneficiation space. The manganese smelter that she spoke about is just one such example. There are other very exciting examples in the pipeline. For instance, there is a big zinc deposit in the Northern Cape that will also be beneficiated right here in the country, with massive industrialisation benefits. It will also have an impact on the agricultural sector. The others that will be reported very soon are iron ore and steel that we need so much in the country, and titanium and jewellery.

 

But much more exciting is the progress made in the value chain relating to the platinum industry. One would know that we are busy supplying the autocad industry in terms of platinum beneficiation. Also new are battery and fuel-cell technology that are coming out of this towards our energy generation. That is another massive industrialisation process in the pipeline.

 

Lastly, in the energy sector there is the technology we use in coal to liquids, etc. This has been taken to greater heights. We are therefore excited about the implementation of our beneficiation policy in the country. This is an area that is going to change the South African industrial landscape for the better. Thank you very much.

 

STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION ON UPCOMING FIFTH BRICS SUMMIT IN DURBAN

 

The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: Hon Speaker, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members of the House, diplomats, colleagues, friends and comrades, in his state of the nation address a few weeks ago, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma said:

 

Our vision of a better Africa in a better world will receive great impetus when we host the 5th Brics summit next month in Durban.

 

That meant 26 and 27 March 2013.

 

Today we are here, hon Speaker, in this House to do a follow-up and to share with you our thinking on Brics – the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa group - and its forthcoming 5th summit, whose theme reads: Brics and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation. This will be the first time a Brics summit is held on African soil, providing an opportune moment for the Brics countries to further their engagement and co-operation with developing countries, as envisioned in the Sanya Declaration adopted at the 3rd Brics summit in 2010, which was our first encounter with Brics or where we were received as a new member of Brics.

 

We envisage the core outcomes of this summit from 26 to 27 March 2013 here in South Africa as being the following: the launch of concrete measures towards the establishment of the Brics-led development bank; the establishment of the Brics business council and the Brics think-tank council; and a historic retreat with African leaders and their Brics counterparts.

 

The success of Brics will, first of all, depend on the effective implementation of our decisions and co-operation programmes. In this regard, we have already achieved considerable success in terms of strengthening our economic co-operation agenda. Let me also hasten to say to the hon members of the House that South Africa will remain the chair of this Brics forum for the year 2013 until the year when we hand over to Brazil. That would also mean that in the whole 12 months, South Africans should prepare to make a contribution to the action plan led by South Africa as we continue to interact with Brics member countries at political, economic and social levels.

 

Through intra-Brics mechanisms for economic co-operation, such as the meetings of our Foreign or International Relations, Finance and Trade Ministers, Brics countries are striving to intensify intra-Brics trade. There is significant potential for future expansion.

 

Our Brics Interbank Co-operation Mechanism, to which the Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA, is a party, has concluded various co-operation agreements, notably to promote trade in our local currencies. Key deliverables projected at the summit include the report that Finance Ministers will submit to the Brics leaders to conclude their study on the feasibility and viability of the Brics-led development bank. We look forward to a very positive announcement in this regard.

 

The Brics think-tank council that will be launched in Durban and supported by the Brics Academic Forum, will mobilise collectively the energy of our intelligentsia to help bring about plurality of ideas and knowledge generation in the world, and to also see the world through our own eyes and not through those of others. Through our public diplomacy, and with the Brics Cabinet Ministers who are in the interministerial committee, we are crisscrossing the country, talking to different constituencies about Brics and its significance for our country. It is the Department of International Relations and Co-operation’s hope that our provinces will establish Brics desks and that institutions of higher learning will form Brics units and encourage postgraduate studies and research on Brics and individual Brics member states.

 

Logistical arrangements for hosting this summit are in full swing, thanks to our experience in hosting mega international meetings of this stature. I will therefore focus my attention on the strategic and policy issues. It is important to emphasise at the outset that Brics is not intended to compete with other multilateral groupings; instead, the body will seek co-operation and collaboration, as stated in the Delhi Declaration, and I quote:

 

We envision a future marked by global peace, economic and social progress and enlightened scientific temper. We stand ready to work with others, developed and developing countries together, on the basis of universally recognised norms of international law and multilateral decision-making, to deal with the challenges and the opportunities before the world today. Strengthened representation of emerging markets and developing countries in the institutions of global governance will enhance their effectiveness in achieving this objective.

 

Hon Speaker and members, South Africa is in Brics as a function of our international relations strategy that is informed by our national interests that have their pillars in, among other things, our domestic priorities, our commitment to the renewal of Africa, the promotion of South-South co-operation, and our determination to work for a better and transformed global system. We also see our relationships with strategic formations of the North as well as other bilateral political and economic relationships with like-minded partners as complementary regarding this strategy. The Brics group is a mechanism for South-South co-operation. It is one of the mini-lateralists and part of the so-called club diplomacy, which South Africa utilises globally, while upholding the centrality of the United Nations in accordance with the principle of multilateralism.

 

Global scenarios for the next 20 to 50 years all suggest that the traditional North-South divide will give way to a new international order, in terms of which some of the developing countries of today will be in the top five economies of the world. An HSBC Global Research study entitled “The World in 2050”, from the top 30 to the top 100, has concluded that by 2050, 19 of the top 30 economies will be what we today consider as emerging. The geopolitical character of this new system that is emerging is being defined as we speak. The question is, however: Where will South Africa be in this emerging new world order and what must be our role in its definition and the determination of the international balance of forces?

 

This is where the significance of Brics comes in. The Brics countries are among the key drivers shaping this emerging new world order. The 2013 Human Development Report, prepared by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, concludes that, and I quote:

 

... by 2020, the combined economic output of the three leading developing countries alone - Brazil, China and India - will surpass the aggregate production of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

 

There was some celebration after the end of the Cold War that the hegemony of the traditional order was comfortably entrenched and irreversible. Some policy ideologues even spoke of what they called “the end of history”. The 2008 global economic crisis has further weakened and proven that the North as the centre, because of its impact on the Eurozone and the US economies, has dropped, as opposed to key emerging economies which have not only weathered the storm, but are also driving the recovery. Our Brics membership strategy must address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

 

The value Brics contributes to South Africa’s interests includes already existing bilateral bases, comprising strategic and strong relations. South Africa’s membership has enhanced the political component of Brics deliberations, notably regarding developments in Africa and support for the African agenda. Accordingly, our membership is aimed at the following: strengthening South Africa’s political and economic relations; promoting regional integration of our neighbourhood; enhancing the African agenda; and sustainable global development.

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Order, please! No, continue, Minister. I am just asking the House to please maintain order. The noise level is very high now. We can’t hear the Minister.

 

The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION: The membership is also aimed at global reforms, such as UN reforms, including the expansion of the United Nations Security Council, and in particular the reforms of the international financial institutions.

 

In this regard, by being in Brics, we are taking an important step towards the implementation of Outcome 11, as well as the New Growth Path and our Industrial Policy Action Plan. We also recognise in the National Development Plan that South Africa has to construct a strong partnership with other African nations and continue to champion the African Agenda. Brics offers possible alternative development models, and the new multilateralism, in the form of diplomatic groupings like Brics and the G20, is crucial for influencing the decision-making processes of the UN, and therefore South Africa’s activities in both require strong alignment.

 

Brics countries still face challenges of poverty and inequality. These challenges can be met through concerted efforts to strengthen second and third-tier government co-operation amongst Brics member states.

 

The importance of Brics for South Africa is also reflected in bilateral trade relations. International trade centre data shows that despite the continued importance of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, to South Africa in terms of investment and development, South Africa’s export trade with Brics has grown from 6,2% in 2005 to 16,8% in 2011, whereas its imports from Brics represented 13% of total imports in 2005 and have now grown to 20% in 2011. This growing importance presents opportunities for South Africa’s domestic, continental and global objectives. In 2012, South Africa’s total trade with the Brics countries stood at almost R300 billion, which represents an annual increase of over 11% compared to the previous year. The New Growth Path emphasises the importance of market development for South Africa’s reindustrialisation drive, specifically in the identification of opportunities in the fast-growing economies of the Brics group.

 

South Africa’s development finance institutions, state-owned companies, and the private financial sector, have all been mobilised behind Brics through concrete collaborative projects and mechanisms, such as the Brics business council that will be launched in Durban. The business council will constitute a platform to strengthen economic ties, as well as trade and investment between the business communities of the Brics member states. This will provide technical support, consultative advice and facilitate the implementation of multilateral business projects. The promotion of technology exchanges is also our strategy for Brics engagement.

 

Our mother continent, Africa, is an important component of our Brics strategy. South Africa has championed an integration and development agenda on our continent. Our President is working together with Nepad through the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative, the PICI. This will further be enhanced by President Zuma hosting the Brics Leaders Africa Dialogue Forum Retreat immediately in the afternoon of the same day of the Brics summit, with the theme, “Unlocking Africa’s Potential: Brics and Africa Co-operation on Infrastructure”. This is the first time ever that leaders of the continent have been given this opportunity to interact directly with their peers. Leading this delegation will be the heads of state who are part of the Nepad heads of state committee, the chairs of the regional economic co-operations and members of the PICI.

 

Through such engagements, African leaders are given an opportunity to make sure that we intensify not just integration of our infrastructure, but also integration of our economies - so that all roads don’t lead to raw materials leaving the continent, but that we use our raw materials to beneficiate and to industrialise in our own country. South Africans should be positive and optimistic about Brics. Let me now quote what Oxford University Press says about our membership of Brics. It says:

 

South Africa has a long record of responsible macroeconomic management, which has helped to promote the development of a deep and liquid bond market and reduced external vulnerability. South Africa has strong institutions and a highly developed, well-regulated banking sector that escaped the worst effects of the financial crisis. With the most developed industrial and financial capabilities on the African continent, South Africa’s role in the integration of policies, markets, finance, and infrastructure is vital to Africa’s economic development and realisation of the continent’s potential as a growth pole in the global economy. Outwardly oriented South African companies are among the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Africa, and the country’s development financing institutions are playing an increasing role in the funding of regional infrastructure investment.

 

Moreover, South Africa’s foreign policy is not under any influence of any country except our own national interests. As a result, we take an independent and principled stance on foreign policy questions. Besides, we have resources and a fiscal base, as well as a sufficiently diversified economy to fulfil the obligations of our Brics membership. The involvement of emerging countries in Africa, displacing traditional relations which have colonial origins, is what we are about. This is positive for Africa as it brings diversity to our foreign relations and gives countries more leverage in the international arena. This also gives us an opportunity to advance the African agenda, which must not be left out of the equation, because it is Africans themselves who must make good strategic use of the spaces that are being opened up by international systems to renegotiate better terms of their integration into the system for more positive benefits that we all need. South Africa’s and Africa’s south axis is in line with the objectives of our South-South co-operation.

 

We joined Brics fully conscious of its strategic value to our long-standing development and interests. We are fully aware that we will have to continue with the collaboration, competition and co-operation. We all have to stand ready to be counted. We believe that the 5th Brics summit will be another major step towards the development of a Brics architecture that covers a wide range of issues from the terrain of ideas and the private sector to trade, development finance, and diplomatic co-operation.

 

We continue to engage with these Brics member countries also at a bilateral level through different mechanisms. The Department of International Relations and Co-operation will always explore new frontiers of co-operation to strengthen bilateral relations, promote our exports, attract investments, promote the transfer of technology or technology exchanges, enhance people-to-people interaction, and expand the geographic origin of tourists visiting our shores. We are expecting more than 5 000 visitors this coming week, who will be converging on our country for the Brics summit. In all that we do in the world, our vision of a better South Africa in a better Africa and world must inform our actions.

 

In closing, in 1993 the journal on Foreign Affairs published an article authored by the one and only father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, wherein he stated:

 

As the 1980s drew to a close, I could not see much of the world from my prison cell, but I knew it was changing. There was little doubt in my mind that this would have a profound impact on my country, on the Southern African region and the continent of which I am proud to be a citizen. Although this process of global change is far from complete, it is clear that all nations will have boldly to recast their nets if they are to reap any benefit from international affairs in the post-Cold War era.

 

Chair, recasting our net is what this administration under President Jacob Zuma has been doing and continues to do. I take this opportunity to thank you, and again, Chair, I thought it was important that we should share with you this information that all South Africans have been joined together in pursuing a case: working together with all our communities to bring Prof Karabus back home safely from the United Arab Emirates. [Applause.]

 

I now can share with the House that, through our diplomatic efforts, the medical review committee finally met last night, and we hope for a conclusion by the end of this week that will be positive, which will bring Prof Karabus home safely. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mr I O DAVIDSON: Mr Chairman, let me immediately express from our side of the House our pleasure at the fact that Prof Karabus may well be returning to our shores sooner than expected.

 

The DA endorses much of what the Minister has said to this House and believes that we should accept it in the spirit in which she came to this House.

 

The aim of Brics to achieve peace, security, development and co-operation is laudable, and its aim to contribute significantly to the development of humanity and establish a more equitable and fair world order deserves the support of this House.

 

The Brics group is a product of today’s global power shifts. The constituent countries represent more than a quarter of the earth’s land mass, are home to 45% of the world’s population, constitute around 30% of the world’s GDP and have half of all foreign exchange and gold reserves.

 

The potential therefore for it to be a growing force in global, economic and political affairs cannot be underestimated; likewise its potential to evolve into a major instrument in shaping the architecture of global governance.

 

Brics, more importantly, has the potential to be a major development tool for South Africa, as well as the African continent. In this context, we welcome the Minister’s announcement of an imminent Brics development bank. This is indeed a positive outcome. Multilateral development banks and the credit lines they provide are important conduits of investment, growth and development. As Lyal White of the Gordon Institute of Business noted, they provide the glue behind economic integration and reassurance for companies seeking deeper commercial engagement in developing regions. They also encourage policy co-ordination that includes a developmental dimension with commercial actors involved.

 

But if Brics is to realise its full potential as a political and economic international actor, it has to find a common identity. It has to find a unifying set of values to underpin and drive its strategic agenda. Given that the Brics countries have very different political systems, economic systems and national goals, this is difficult.

 

Kuseni Dlamini of the SA Institute of International Affairs makes the point that Brics’ soft power as an organisation would be immeasurably enhanced if its set of values had universal appeal and embraced concepts such as democracy, human rights, transparency, accountability, equality, the rule of law, etc.

 

South Africa, in summit deliberations, needs to encourage Brics to evolve in that direction. After all, these are the values enshrined in our Constitution - the very values that gave us a great deal of moral authority in the past and enhanced our soft power in multilateral organisations.

 

For Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, the Brics grouping serves as a forum to underscore their and our rising political clout and showcases their and our emergence as global actors. China needs no such recognition. It is a global power with a global reach, a reach soon to be enhanced by the Brics development bank over which it will, no doubt, have full control.

 

Lending and trading in China’s currency, the Renminbi, is likely to boost China’s international standing further and expand its currency’s international role; this at a time when it is under pressure for manipulating the value of the Renminbi to maintain export competitiveness.

 

China’s undervalued currency and hidden export subsidies have been systematically undermining manufacturing in other Brics countries, especially India and Brazil, as well as our own. We in South Africa are painfully aware of this as more recently witnessed in the textile industry, the glass industry and the agricultural processed products industry.

 

South Africa needs to use its position in Brics to motivate China to reform its position in this regard. And I sincerely hope that at the Africa Leadership Retreat, African leaders will actually raise this as a critical point in respect of China.

 

Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, has no illusions about China’s role in Africa. In an article in the Financial Times of London last week, he reflected on Africa’s anaemic industrial sector, which he said was being battered by cheap Chinese imports. African manufacturing, he noted, had declined from 12,8% to 10,5% of regional GNP.

 

He had tough words to say, stating that China was a major contributor to the deindustrialisation of Africa and thus African development. China, he said, takes from us primary goods and sells us manufactured goods. This, he said, by the way, was also the essence of colonialism.

 

President Zuma, two weeks ago, told Western companies to stop warning against the embrace of China. China, he said, is doing business in a particular way and we think we can benefit from that. However, he did add, citing Africa’s experience of colonialism, that we must be very, very careful. We endorse this sentiment. Indeed, we need to be very, very careful.

 

We are hopeful that Brics can serve as a catalyst for global institutional reform. Existing international arrangements have remained virtually static, not responding to the changing distribution of global power. China once again needs to be enticed into a common position. While it is happy to endorse change in respect of the global financial architecture, it remains steadfastly opposed to the enlargement of the UN Security Council’s permanent membership. It wishes to be Asia’s sole country with a permanent seat, thwarting India’s ambitions.

 

These are tough issues, but if Brics is to achieve its full potential, I believe that South Africa needs to be in the vanguard of putting these issues on the table in a constructive way. It is only then that Brics will fulfil its real potential as a developmental mechanism, defy its naysayers, and become a real force in international, economic and political affairs. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mr L S NGONYAMA: Chairperson, Cope would like to thank you, Minister, ever so much for your efforts regarding the return of Prof Karabus. Again, we are highly appreciative of the agenda and what you have alluded to regarding this summit, especially the theme that you have referred to, which is: Brics and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation. This will go a long way in ensuring that we put at the centre of that summit the African agenda.

 

Cope would also like to express appreciation for the creative measure that the summit has put on its agenda – the adoption of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa think-tank and its business council. It is indeed a very creative measure that brings on board all relevant stakeholders, in order to ensure that we bring all efforts into the scrum in trying to change the low living standards of the continent of Africa in particular, and those of various other developing countries.

 

Minister, the Brics group accounts for 40% of the world’s population, which is very important, because that is a majority grouping of the world’s population. It was very strategic and important, not only for the country but also for the continent, for South Africa to have been aligned with and to have joined this august body on 24 December 2010.

 

However, the realisation by Brics that it doesn’t have a development agency or bank is very important, because whatever objectives it has, it has to have the muscle to put into practice its vision as stated in its objectives. These objectives are ensuring growth in countries’ economies, and increasing production, science and modernisation within the member states; stabilising finances and economies, including pricing and employment; and bringing about social responsibility and fair competition to financial institutions within the member states.

 

These are very noble objectives, Minister. However, with regard to the development agency or the bank, the key question that all of us should interrogate is how we are going to capitalise the bank. That is the critical question. Minister, you have referred to the role of the Development Bank of Southern Africa in your speech. My worry, as I stand here, is the capacity of the DBSA to play that role for our country and for the Southern African Development Community, SADC. Does the DBSA have that muscle? I am sure all of us in this House have to interrogate that, because this carries the integrity and the branding of our country to be able to deliver.

 

The other issue that we have to look at with regard to Brics is the capacity to implement a spatial development programme so that the challenges that all of us are faced with, especially in South Africa with regard to the urban and rural divide, can be addressed through the efforts of Brics.

 

The question of the role of South Africa with regard to its needs and its development interests is crucial. It means that we must not compromise our own needs as South Africa and compromise our own development priorities, as we participate in Brics. We have to ensure that the relationship that we build with these countries is complementary, especially with regard to investment.

 

A point was raised by the last speaker regarding the role China plays. Although we salute the role China plays in terms of investment and the role they play in creating jobs on the continent, the reality is that when they invest, they bring across lots of people from China. This means that the jobs that were supposed to be created by their own investment are actually taken by their own citizens. We are by no means blocking Chinese people from coming to work in South Africa, other SADC countries, or the continent, but we have to be mindful of the big questions that are being asked continually. In a nonpartisan and impartial manner, we must be wary of any efforts by any member state within Brics to recolonise Africa.

 

There is also the question of SADC and the rest of Africa. South Africa must regard itself as carrying the weight of SADC and the weight of Africa as a whole. Therefore, we must be a kind of beachhead as we participate within this important body in that we carry SADC and we carry Africa. Therefore, we must carry with us the competitive advantages that exist within SADC and Africa.

 

My last point is that the alternative currency that can come from this ...

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Lunga elihloniphekile isikhathi siphelile. [Hon member, your time is up.]

 

Mr L S NGONYAMA: Ndiyabulela Sihlalo, siyayixhasa Mama. [Thank you, Chairperson, we support it, Ma’am.]

 

Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairman, firstly, thank you very much, hon Minister, for the good news on the imminent return of Prof Karabus. Thank you to you and your Deputy Ministers, as well as the department, for a job well done in that regard.

 

When we speak about bricks, we always think of something solid, and we just hope that this partnership of Brics – the countries – is built on a very solid foundation, not like the foundations some of the houses are built on – the kind of bricks the housing department has used. Having said that, Minister, we just want to congratulate you for the role you are playing in leading the summit. I think it is great that South Africa, and Durban in particular, being a Durban boy myself – a Durban tsotsi - is going to be the host. It is good for the economy of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal.

 

When I read some parts of last year’s Delhi Declaration, I read that there is a desire to strengthen partnership for common development and take co-operation forward on a basis of openness, solidarity, mutual understanding and trust. I do hope that these elements permeate in the discussions you have. In my view, Brics is not only about trade and economy; it is also about people. Approximately 43% of the world’s population reside in these countries, and although I note South Africa’s GDP is only 2,5% of the GDP of all the countries put together, it is important that the people on the ground appreciate what Brics is all about. People on the ground have particular problems, such as unfair competition in the labour sector. An hon colleague spoke about the textile sector, and we know how many people have been put out of jobs. Right here in Cape Town, at the moment, there is a big trade fair. The Indians are here for big trade fair. This impacts on our textile industry here in South Africa.

 

Then you have the reported human rights abuses in China. Now, we know that South Africa’s Constitution is based on sound principles of human rights. I trust that these fora that you participate in, and we know that South Africa can be a very strong participant, discuss issues like these where ordinary people feel that Brics is not only about somebody getting rich with some entrepreneur in India, China or Brazil, but that it is about how we, as ordinary people, can benefit.

 

When one comes to the bank, I think it is a good idea that this development bank be set up. Once again, I think that Brics needs to use its influence on the way the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and other development institutions operate. Our influence must be felt so strongly there that they appreciate that there are developing countries, that there is poverty in developing countries, and that they have to give back what they took away from Africa and the rest of the world during the era of colonisation. That is something, I think, we also need to focus on.

 

On the whole question of SADC and the rest of Africa, I don’t think that South Africa must be seen, as some countries in Africa see us, as a cabal – a cabal operating within Brics and trying to do things for ourselves. We must always be wary that other countries in Africa, like Nigeria, are becoming powerhouses, and we do not want to see our role in Brics being usurped by countries like Nigeria. This means that we need to really focus on the development of our economy and growth.

 

When it comes to banks, I think best practice can suggest to the Brics countries, except for South Africa, that South Africa has the best banking system in the world. Similarly, we might find some of the other countries in the Brics group have best practices that we can emulate. I think this whole forum should not only be about how we can learn from them, but also how we can teach them. At the end of the day, how do the 50 million ordinary people in South Africa benefit from this arrangement that we have in terms of Brics? Thank you very much, and I wish you well for the conference. [Applause.]

 

Dr C P MULDER: Hon Chairperson, firstly, on behalf of the FF Plus I would like to start by thanking the hon Minister for making the statement in Parliament today about the fifth Brics summit. Also, it emphasises the important role that Parliament plays in terms of our international relations. I think that is very important. The Minister correctly pointed out that this specific summit - the fifth summit - will be the first to be held on African soil. I think we should all be very proud about that.

 

The world is experiencing a profound shift from the previous seat of economic, political and social power to a multiparty system with Brics countries playing a very important and more important role every day. If you look at the projections made everywhere internationally in terms of economic growth and development in the world and in terms of what is being proposed and predicted regarding what is happening and will happen until 2050 and beyond, it’s quite clear that South Africa is very privileged to have joined such an important club – Brics - if I may put it that way. The other countries involved in Brics, except South Africa, are all very strong economically in terms of growth and prosperity and we will benefit in that regard.

 

However, South Africa’s comparative advantage within Brics seems to be our considerable mineral wealth. A recent report by the USA-based Citigroup Bank ranked South Africa as the world‘s richest country in terms of its mineral reserves, which reserves are worth more than an estimated US$2,5 trillion. That is a very big advantage for South Africa, but we must make sure that we are not used by the other countries in the Brics group merely as the supplier of these kinds of raw materials and those kinds of things.

 

Dit is ook belangrik dat Suid-Afrika ’n rol speel in die res van die kontinent, en dat ons nie geïsoleer word as die enigste land in Afrika wat by Brics betrokke is nie. Ons moet daardie geleentheid gebruik. Die agb Minister het verwys na ... (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

 

[It is also important for South Africa to play a role in the rest of the continent, and that we should not be isolated as the only African country that is involved in Brics. We must use that opportunity. The hon Minister referred to ...]

 

... the retreat after Brics where the other African leaders will also be involved. I think it is very important that we play this role as the bridge between the Brics group and the rest of Africa.

 

Allow me to wish the Minister and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation everything of the best. We hope and believe that it will be a huge success. Thank you.

 

Mrs C DUDLEY: Thank you, Chair. Congratulations, hon Minister, on the excellent work done by you and your department to bring Prof Karabus safely back to South Africa. South Africa may be the small fish in the Brics pond compared to India or China, but Brics represents rising powers from the different regions of the world. We do hold our own in Africa, although commentators say that ultimately the “S” in Brics should stand for the Southern African Development Community, SADC.

 

If we were to align our region with our Brics membership, it would represent a regional market of 273 million people, I believe, giving greater credibility from a market size perspective and a far greater negotiating influence. With other nations being considered for membership, the acronym Brics is expected, they say, to give way to the letter “E” for emerging nations - becoming the E6 or the E8. If this became the case, South Africa could only benefit from its early participation in this grouping.

 

With South Africa hosting the Brics summit next week in Durban, local players are hoping to see mining on the agenda. South Africa is a mining hub and, curiously, this has not yet been prioritised, even though all Brics nations are heavily engaged in mining.

 

The ACDP would like to see Brics discussions focusing on trade and investment barriers that inhibit business among participants, focusing on the barriers that matter and that are relatively easy to deal with, such as visas and customs procedures, etc. Of course, Brics needs to focus strongly on the facilitation of trade and use its influence to cut trade and investment deals that benefit the people that they represent. We also think that there is a need for Brics partners to be raising awareness of opportunities in their respective business communities.

South Africa’s strength will depend on a team approach including government, the business community, think-tanks and civil society, which we agree is the only way for South Africa to maximise the potential of Brics. What we actually bring to the table as South Africa is, however, the bottom line. And if we do not bring finances and entrepreneurial skills, we will not realise the potential that there is for us in this Brics partnership.

 

Brics is still very young, and how it levers resources and opportunities will be watched closely. The proposed developmental bank, which would finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects across Brics nations and other developing countries, is an interesting example. The World Bank has welcomed the idea and is said to be looking for a strong working relationship. South African analysts caution that Brics must ensure that the bank is being established for the right reasons and not just to poke a finger in the World Bank’s eye.

 

Private-sector representatives in the meantime are hoping that Brics might consider establishing a commercial bank, not only for development and infrastructure, but also for commercial projects through which participants will be able to trade.

 

Lastly, the proposal to pool the foreign exchange reserves of the five Brics member countries to support one another in times of balance of payments or currency crises looks interesting for South Africa. I thank you and wish you all the best. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

 

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Chairperson and hon members, it is heartening that developing countries have teamed together to develop themselves and, obviously, their neighbours, though indirectly. Russia and China have become the economic partners of the Republic, unlike in the past when associating with them was taboo. This is a great departure from supporting the superpowers of this world.

 

When visitors come to our shores it means, no doubt, that we are good hosts, and it is a big plus and a positive note for South Africa. Although there were many doubting Thomases when South Africa became a member, it has now become clear that South Africa is not just a member for the sake of it but that she adds value to the group.

 

We are pleased that South Africa will contribute the 34 000-kilometre-long Brics undersea cable, which is said to be the third longest undersea telecommunications cable in the world. This is not only good for South Africa’s infrastructural development, but it also adds value to Africa as a continent, and especially because it is said that it will give the original four Brics partners a two-way avenue via South Africa to 21 African countries. We hope that the timeframes accorded to this will be kept.

 

South Africa’s membership and its hosting of the summit confirm the already popular notion that South Africa is a gateway to the African continent. We hope that the summit will be a success and that all members will display commitment, and not just to being member states of this organisation. I thank you.

 

Mr R B BHOOLA: Chairperson, the MF welcomes the Brics summit, and we would like to congratulate the Minister on her efforts. We consider it to have a very important potential. Whilst all economies are growing in the world, it gives us immense joy that the future potential economic giants of the world will be setting foot in the beautiful land of KwaZulu-Natal.

 

South Africa as a country must analyse opportunities in terms of business scoping, investment opportunities, and infrastructural investment and development in Africa as a whole. This is a new chapter for us and, indeed, as a country we must undoubtedly seize the opportunity to advance our economy.

 

We must be mindful and cautious about the terms of exchange. From the Brics point of view, decisions they take will be in their national interest. We must be vigilant about the advancement of our national interests. We must take note of the trade-off: what they bring in and what we give. This must not appear to be a one-way street. We must reap collective consensual benefits. We must emphasise the need for mutual understanding and ensure that we are getting the best deal to advance our growth. This must not be a case of us being the weakest partner at the Brics summit.

 

We must take note of the dumping of Brazilian chickens, something that is hurting our poultry industry. Our industry is quite well developed and we have the capacity to supply our own. The fact that they are dumping chickens below the cost of our production, and that their method of production is by some sort of injection of water or whatever to increase mass, compromises actual nutritional value. We must protect our industry and not be seen as killing our own jobs with those kinds of imports. We need to examine these issues and speak quite frankly about them.

 

Concerns are also directed, particularly, at our clothing industry. We must endeavour to save our own jobs and protect our own clothing industry against cheap Chinese imports. We need to build our economy so that our people enjoy great opportunities. Let us ensure that the Brics summit’s outcome will translate into opportunities for the common man.

 

In order to achieve this, a vibrant advocacy awareness programme is important. It must not be a summit that is only going to attract the rich and the bourgeois. We support it.

 

Mr H T MAGAMA: House Chair, this is one of the few instances in which this House is unanimous in its support for a particular matter. That is commendable, as the support is from all parties. Hon members, indeed, as stated by the Minister, South Africa will be hosting the 5th Brics summit in Durban.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that, at least from a hosting perspective, it will be as successful as all other preceding international events hosted on South African soil, and that our distinguished guests will indeed speak highly of our country, about its fauna and flora, and particularly the warm hospitality received from our people.

 

For South Africa, the origins of Brics can be traced back to our historical ties of mutual support that the South African liberation movement enjoyed with the progressive governments of China, Russia ? the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ? and India. South Africa is now in the company of the world’s fastest growing and potentially influential nations. This Brics formation may well come to serve as a model for future international relations and diplomacy, characterised by equal partnership and co-operation, rather than neocolonialism and domination; mutual benefit and collaboration, rather than superexploitation.

 

We are not and should not be oblivious to the hard and long road South Africa has had to travel to earn its place in global governance or multilateral forums, including Brics. South Africa almost always has had to justify her presence or participation in these forums, especially in Brics, when in fact all other global players were spared such indignity.

 

Public commentary on Brics by pundits, so-called analysts, economists, our own media and academics has more often than not centred on whether South Africa belongs in Brics or not, with little or no effort spared in ensuring that they understand the dynamic shifts in the global balance of power that have resulted in what could be seen as push-and-pull factors which developed organically, leading to the formation of a grouping such as Brics.

 

Most, if not all, of the commentary has been focused on the size of the South African economy, compared to the economies of the other Brics countries, which, according to their logic, automatically disqualified South Africa as it was seen to be punching above its weight. Some critics, like O’Neil, based their arguments on the fact that Brics countries have characteristics such as large populations, high GDP per capita, globally competitive companies and strong government-based business relations.

 

These views were unfortunately – and tragically, I may add - faithfully copied and pasted and adopted by some here at home. They were repeated ad nauseam as the gospel truth by some South African commentators, with South Africa’s membership of Brics being parodied. My own view, however, is that this bleak picture only tells a small part of a much, much bigger picture, and I will illustrate this to you.

 

Contrary to what the prophets of doom and the naysayers say, South Africa did not campaign for Brics membership; we were invited. It would then be worthwhile for us to examine the reasons why Brazil, Russia, India and China saw South Africa meeting the criteria for membership of this formation. What they saw, amongst other things, was a stable democracy with strong institutions supporting that democracy, a governing party that is committed to the realisation of a truly national democratic state, and a people that will never allow the cause of freedom to be subverted.

 

They saw a strong, dedicated, committed, consistent and reliable global partner who takes her international commitments seriously and who pursues a progressive international agenda. They saw an African country pursuing an independent foreign policy, firmly anchored on its distinctly African character and committed to the creation of a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.

 

They saw South Africa playing a constructive role in global governance structures, a role appreciated globally, in particular by the global South and especially by Brics members. They saw a resilient economy that has survived the worst turbulence of the global financial crisis.

 

They saw a country with an exemplary Constitution for the world to emulate and that subscribes to the rule of law. They saw a country with policy certainty, stability and predictability, and possibly the only country in the world whose ruling party allows for broad civil-society participation in its own policy formulation processes.

 

They saw a country that subscribes to the principles of transparency and accountability. They saw sound banking and finance systems, and good practices in our banking sector. They saw a country that is strong in auditing and reporting standards, a fact reflected in the soundness of our banking sector and the efficacy of corporate boards. This, in fact, has been reported in World Bank reports.

 

They saw a safe investment destination, which does not require special investment protection protocols, as is the case with some countries. Of course, lastly, they recognised South Africa’s huge untapped potential, a fact that is lost in the stale debate about whether South Africa belongs in Brics or not.

 

We are aware that among the highlights of the Brics summit are the modalities for the Brics bank. We recognise the importance of this mechanism in mobilising resources for infrastructure development and sustainable development projects in Brics and other developing countries, thus providing a complementary institution to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for financing development in poor countries. We indeed give our unreserved support for the establishment of the bank and wish you success in that regard.

 

The creation of Brics has proven the importance of collaboration between governments, academia and business, and we wish to congratulate you on your work done in this respect. The invitation of other African heads of state is a noble development worth applauding and reaffirms our commitment to the centrality of Africa in our foreign policy and international relations, Africa’s development and future prosperity.

 

I want to draw your attention, hon members, to the following. Given the growing role and influence of Brics, it is crucial that a parliamentary dimension is added to this partnership to ensure effective monitoring of agreements and broader participation beyond the executive, business and academia. I wish to suggest that a process of consultation be undertaken with a view of bringing into existence such a forum.

 

There is clearly a need for greater understanding and knowledge by the majority of South Africans and the international community about South Africa’s role in Brics. In this regard, I believe that Members of Parliament are best placed and well equipped to demystify Brics to our citizens and explain it to our constituencies in terms that ordinary people will understand. We acknowledge government’s attempts to take the message to South Africans through their road shows in various provinces.

 

We depart from the premise that our foreign policy is an extension of our domestic and public policy and, as such, Brics is but one vehicle through which we must strive to deal with the challenges of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment. We have no doubt, therefore, that South Africa took the right step by joining Brics. We are convinced that the Brics mechanism - as stated in its mission expressions, and I quote, “aims to achieve peace, security, development and co-operation” - is indeed consistent with our foreign policy objectives and presents our country with a unique opportunity to pursue its objectives within the ambit of, and supported by, a significant global forum whose stated aim is to contribute significantly to the development of humanity and establish a fair, equitable and just world. We remain convinced that South Africa’s involvement will better serve South Africa’s domestic priorities and Africa’s development.

 

I heard a comment by one of the hon members over here. When I listed all the attributes that the other Brics countries saw in South Africa, he asked “Which South Africa?”. Now, it is my considered view that that is unpatriotic. [Applause.] You cannot close your eyes to the realities that permeate South African society. South Africa is not the South Africa of 1976 or 1985. There has been measurable improvement, and to close your eyes to those facts is to live a lie.

 

Yes, indeed, the ANC has maintained and continues to maintain that while progress has been registered, a lot of work still needs to be done. This organisation – this party - is committed to dealing fatally with those contradictions that continue to define the South African landscape. But we will not be told that South Africa is worse off than it was under apartheid. There is absolutely no way we can agree with that. [Interjections.] Now, you see the kind of pessimism ... [Interjections] In fact, let me tell you this: people from other countries are more optimistic about South Africa than some South Africans themselves. [Applause.]

 

You will recall that during the Soccer World Cup it was the media in this country – including the opposition - that questioned our ability as a country to host the World Cup. [Interjections.] Now, other media in the world were positive and had no doubt about us. Currently, Brics partners are saying, “South Africa, you are right. We are with you.” Again, it is some South Africans that question whether South Africa belongs in Brics or not. I think members must wake up from this slumber and smell the coffee. South Africa is a different place. [Applause.]

 

Debate concluded.

 

DANGEROUS WEAPONS BILL

 

(Second Reading debate)

 

Ms A VAN WYK: Chairperson, I introduce the report from the committee before the House. The Bill before the House was prompted by a Constitutional Court ruling that obliged government to bring in line the Dangerous Weapons Act of 1968 and various pieces of legislation that were used in the former Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei, TBVC, states. The Dangerous Weapons Act was found to be outdated and necessitated the drafting of the Dangerous Weapons Bill before us today.

 

Many of the crimes committed in South Africa are not committed with conventional weapons such as firearms. It must also be noted that this Bill does not intend to criminalise the use of a weapon in an offence, as this is already criminalised through offences such as assault, attempted murder, murder, etc. In fact, in existing legislation the use of a weapon and causing wounds are taken in consideration in the sentencing of an offender. The Bill before us addresses the carrying of an object that can be used as a weapon under certain suspect circumstances. In other words, the object can be used for the commission of an offence.

 

The Bill seeks to repeal all existing legislation regulating dangerous weapons in the Republic and replaces the legislation with a single piece of uniform legislation. It prohibits the possession of dangerous weapons with the intention to use them for an unlawful purpose, and it prohibits the carrying of objects that are likely to cause injury or damage to property at a demonstration or gathering.

 

Another change was the removal of reference to a firearm, as firearms are dealt with by the Firearms Control Act, Act 60 of 2000.

 

The Bill provides for discretionary powers for police officers. This is, however, limited and directed by clause 2 of the Bill, which indicates that the circumstances must raise reasonable suspicion that the person intends to use them for unlawful purposes. An example here would be that the police would now be able to arrest someone if they find that person at three in the morning on the private premises of a citizen, carrying an axe or a spade or something that can be used as a weapon.

 

This includes the place and time where the person is found; the general behaviour of the person, including the making of a threat or intimidating behaviour; the manner in which the dangerous weapon is carried or displayed; whether the carrying of that dangerous weapon was in the context of drug dealing, gang association or any organised crime activity; and whether the person in whose possession the dangerous weapon was found at the time, proved to be part of a group of persons who were also in possession of dangerous weapons. The committee added a further criterion, and that is whether the person in whose possession the weapon was found can give a reasonable and lawful explanation.

 

The Bill does not apply to religious, cultural and legal sports activities or to the pursuit of any lawful employment, duty or activity. The legitimate collection, display and exhibition of weapons are also excluded from this Bill.

 

The committee held public hearings and took into consideration the input from those who came to the portfolio committee, and this resulted in many of the changes that the committee has incorporated into the Bill before the House. One of those amendments is the very definition of a dangerous weapon. It is now defined as any object, other than a firearm, capable of inflicting death or serious bodily harm if it were used to commit an assault.

 

We must make it very clear that this Bill is not aimed at disarming South Africans from their choice of self-defence weapons. Prior to this Bill being introduced, there was a draft version that could have created that impression. This Bill took into consideration all the various public inputs that were received at that time and is a completely new piece of legislation without the previous restrictions.

 

The Bill also empowers the SA Police Service at gatherings and protests, in so far as it now includes the definition of dangerous weapons and the prohibition of those at gatherings and protests. This is in line with the Constitution, in terms of which unarmed protests and demonstrations are recognised. Already the gatherings Act says that a person cannot carry firearms, imitation firearms or muzzle-loaders at gatherings. What this Bill does is put a further obligation on the organisers and the participants at such protests and gatherings.

 

This legislation must also be seen as a proactive crime-fighting measure in so far as, when used properly, the SAPS can prevent crime from happening and does not have to wait for an offence to take place.

 

The committee has asked the SAPS for a proper implementation and costing plan for the Bill. This was necessary as the Bill relies heavily on the proper training of members of the SAPS, not only new recruits, but also those members of the SAPS who have been in the service for a while.

 

The committee was not satisfied with the implementation plan of the SAPS as it reflected only on starting dates and not on completion dates. The committee has instructed the SAPS that this needs to be corrected and that the SAPS must provide feedback, in writing, at every phase of the implementation plan to Parliament. The committee will scrutinise that very carefully. All parties in the committee were in agreement with the Bill before the House and, as such, we support the passing of this Bill into law.

 

There was no debate.

 

Declarations of vote:

 

Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Chairperson, there should have been a Second Reading debate, and I have been forced to do this three-minute declaration against my and the DA’s will. As determined as our parliamentary portfolio committees are to work through apartheid-era legislation, bringing it into line with our democratic Constitution, much still remains to be done, such as the National Key Points Act as constructed during that dark time.

 

This Dangerous Weapons Bill should have been completed by 8 November 2011, according to the Constitutional Court. However, those who drew up the 2011 version misread the levels of fear South Africans live with 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

The state lawyers and Secretary of Police drew up a Bill that limited people’s ability to defend themselves – no tasers, no pepper spray; nothing. The public outrage was monumental, with 2 300 complaints sent to Parliament. Chastened, they went back to the drawing board and began again. I have yet to ascertain the cost of this massive miscalculation.

Finally, on the 12th of last month we began processing a fresh draft, which was a vast improvement on what had initially been presented. It will go a long way towards dealing with the thorny issues around carrying dangerous weapons during protests, other gatherings or even for self-protection.

 

As the Bill now stands, a dangerous weapon is created by intent. We took any reference to firearms out; so basically this is any object capable of producing death or serious bodily harm.

 

The determination of whether or not the item being carried is a dangerous weapon to be used for unlawful purposes covers the time and place where the person is found, the general behaviour of that person, the manner in which the weapon is carried, or whether the possession of the weapon is in the context of drug dealing, gangs or organised crime.

 

We had a number of representations from sporting bodies, who pointed out that this new Bill would have a massive impact on their games, sport shooting - all sorts of entertainment - and we came to realise that exemptions were in order. We considered them and duly inserted these, taking every single representation into consideration.

 

What we have shown throughout the processing of this legislation is that public opinion must always be taken into consideration when legislating; that the citizens of South Africa have power over Parliament; and that if a country speaks out against the impact legislation will have on their lives and their freedom, it is our duty to listen and to act on their wishes.

 

We got here today despite the Department of Police, which treated us with utter contempt as we had to demand the implementation plan over and over. I trust this Bill will not take as many months as other Bills we worked day and night to pass for them to come up with the regulations. The DA will today be voting in support of this Bill. Thank you.

 

Mr M E GEORGE: House Chairperson, let me say from the very onset that Cope accepts and supports this Bill. We believe that this Bill is very important. However, we also want to emphasise the importance of training police officers. If the police are not properly trained, especially when they have to make a judgment call to deal with the issue of intent, many South African citizens could find their rights being violated. We support the Bill.

 

Mr V B NDLOVU: Hon Chairperson, the IFP approached this Bill from various fronts. This is a very important Bill in the aftermath of the destruction that took place during the protests. People were venting their anger about local government service delivery which, according to the Constitution, communities are supposed to receive.

 

This Bill is aimed at those who organise these protests and marches, to ensure that these protests are within the confines of the law and conform to the laws of the country. The Constitution gives rights to the people to protest peacefully, unarmed and without destroying any facilities. This is especially relevant to the country and is a desperate need for the country.

 

According to the Bill, there are exceptions that must be adhered to. Every member of the SAPS must be fully informed about these and know when and how to act accordingly when faced with these protest actions. If the police do not know the correct procedures, the department will fall foul of the law, because they will find themselves in court every now and then.

 

It is vital for the department to train every police member on the correct procedures. Police who do not follow the regulations will find themselves answerable in a court of law for using their own discretion, instead of following procedure.

 

Trade unions and organisers of marches, both political and nonpolitical, must understand the consequences of what will happen to them if the Bill is not implemented promptly and correctly when organising such marches. The IFP supports the Bill. Thank you very much.

 

Ms A VAN WYK: Hon Chairperson, I just want to thank all the political parties for their support of this Bill. I think that in reality democracy determines that we listen to the voice of the people. This is exactly why the Bill that came before Parliament this year was different from the Bill that was worked on during 2011. This is because the department took into consideration the public input that was received at that time. For that reason, we dealt with a Bill that all political parties felt comfortable with. The committee will do its bit in order to ensure that the implementation of this Bill by the Department of Police is done properly. Thank you for all the support. [Applause.]

 

Bill read a second time.

 

MENTAL HEALTH CARE AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Second Reading debate)

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair and hon Members of Parliament, this month marks the signing into law of the South African Constitution on national Human Rights Day. As we celebrate the restoration of the dignity and human rights of all citizens in our country, and especially the Bill of Rights, we also celebrate a decade of this Mental Health Act that is before us through the amending Bill.

 

This legislation is generally regarded as world-class. Through this, our government, this Parliament, and the people of our country gave effect to the Constitution and closed yet another dark closet in the history of our country. Lest we forget ... [Interjections.]

 

Mrs S V KALYAN: Chairperson, may I address you on a point of order please? I would like to know why the Deputy Minister is speaking from her bay instead of the podium. Has there been a change in the Rules?

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): I am also curious, you know! [Laughter.] I saw the Deputy Minister coming up, but all of a sudden she decided to give her speech from her bay. That is better, hon Deputy Minister. Please continue with your speech.

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: My apologies. As I have indicated, this month marks the signing of the South African Constitution into law on national Human Rights Day. As we celebrate the restoration of dignity and human rights to all citizens in our country, especially the Bill of Rights, we also celebrate a decade of this Mental Health Act of 2002, which is before Parliament today for amendment.

 

This legislation is regarded generally as world-class. Our government, this Parliament and our people gave effect to the Constitution and closed yet another dark closet in the history of our country. Lest we forget, a history of myths about mental illness resulted in stigmatisation, abuse and neglect and, in many cases, the torture of patients with mental illness.

 

The Act ushered in a human rights environment for mental health care users as previous abuse of people, merely because they had mental illness, had increased significantly. Furthermore, an indigent mental health care user is entitled to legal aid by the state in respect of submitting an application, lodging an appeal and appearing before a magistrate, judge or review board or any proceedings instituted in terms of this Act.

 

The Act is also aligned with a number of international and regional human rights treaties to which South Africa is a signatory. The amending Bill has two objectives. The first objective is to provide for the director-general to delegate to other officials some of the functions relating to the decisions of care, treatment and rehabilitation. Currently, over 200 new admissions - 3 000 periodicals - are reported annually. The Act only provides for the director-general to deal with this personally. In delegating this function, we will certainly enhance access and efficiency.

 

The second objective of the Bill is to repeal the remaining chapter of the Mental Health Act of 1973, thus limiting the regulation of all hospital boards, including mental health hospitals, to being governed by the National Health Act.

 

While these amendments may seem administrative, once passed into law they will augment the revised policy framework and the strategic plan, both of which aim to improve the quality of mental health services, protect the rights of patients, enhance efficiency in administrative justice, and professionalise the services.

 

Whilst we have made significant progress, it is of concern that 16,5% of adults have experienced a mood anxiety or substance use disorder in the past 12 months. This is according to the South African stress and health survey. Neuropsychiatric disorders ranked third in their contribution to the overall burden of disease. And, of concern is that one in six South Africans were likely to experience a common mental disorder, depression, anxiety or substance abuse disorder, including us in this House, during any year of our lives. A further concern is that the prevalence will continue to grow if we do not deal decisively with the socioeconomic contributions.

 

More public campaigns are needed to raise awareness about mental health and mental health services, as research indicates that 75% of those that require these services do not even know how to access them and where to access them. They come at the tail end when there are already complications.

 

As we introduce national health insurance and re-engineer primary health care services, we believe that the integrated school health programme, the work-based outreach health teams, the district specialist teams and the recruitment of general practitioners to clinics will go a long way in identifying the risk factors and symptoms, in order to ensure prevention and early access to the continuum of care for those who need mental health services.

 

We thank the chairperson and members of the portfolio committee for processing this Bill before this House. We ask the House to endorse this Bill so that it will be presented for a second reading. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mr M B GOQWANA: Hon Chair, Ministers that are here, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament, I greet you all. I greet you all in the name of Jesus. I want to thank the members of the committee because we worked very well. We tried to work very fast without compromising the quality of the Bill. We think that this is something that should have been done yesterday.

 

As has been said, this Bill is all about delegations to the head of department. I am going to lean towards begging you to make sure that you understand that this Bill is about improving service delivery. The statistics that tell us how many people have not received proper service delivery owing to a lack of delegations are actually the tip of the iceberg.

 

We want to lobby you to help us in making sure that this does not hamper the Department of Health financially. Firstly, there is diagnosing somebody who is mentally ill. Mental illness is a functional illness which has no organic nature to it. A diagnosis can be done by self-diagnosis. You see yourself and think, look, I have a problem, a mental problem. I need to see a doctor. However, most of the time we fear doing this because we think that uyahlanya [you are mad] ? and you don’t want to be told that.

 

The second way you could be diagnosed is when people tell you you look abnormal mentally, and ask you please to seek attention from somewhere. Even that depends on the person and the integrity of that particular person who is telling you that.

 

In fact, to most of us who have never had primary health care, the only thing we know about mental illnesses is that umuntu uyahlanya – that on is mad. That is all, when we talk about psychosis, whereas a lot of other people have a whole spectrum of diseases, like depression. To further prove this, and I am sure everybody would agree with me, there is no word for depression in the African languages. If anybody knows one, tell me.

 

The third way of diagnosing people who have mental illnesses occurs when somebody commits a serious crime. If you look at jails, you will find that 70% of the people who are in jail have mental illnesses. I am not saying that somebody who is in jail should not be taken to jail but rather be taken for treatment. I am not trying to say that. I am saying that somebody who is in jail usually has an undiagnosed mental illness, and when they have served their time in jail, their case should be considered and looked into so that they can be helped later on. I do not want people to misquote me in what I am saying, but you do ask yourself what makes people commit crimes. I think this is a minefield.

 

Why do people commit crimes? I think there are two things, mainly, that make people commit crimes. One is anger. The other is paranoia. I have to qualify this. It is normal to be angry. It is normal to be paranoid, but when the stimulus of that anger is not equal to the anger that you have shown, it then becomes abnormal. I want to go back and say the anger or the paranoia that normally comes is usually related to our mindset.

 

If you look at our mindset, we have two ways of thinking. One part is the conscious mind; the other part is the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is that area of our bodies that is out of our control. You cannot control the subconscious mind, but you can control your conscious mind. It is unfortunate that the subconscious mind is that area that keeps your past in an area that you cannot control yourself.

 

In fact, we are an angry nation – not all of us, but if you look at South Africans, they are very angry – and that anger comes from our past. Our past adds value to the fact that we have anger in our subconscious minds and we don’t know where it comes from. That particular anger will not take 20 or 30 years to pass – it could take even longer. If you are so angry, the stimulus is such that you cannot control yourself and the things that you do are the things that land you in jail.

 

Now, all I am trying to say is that we come from a very difficult past where we had an intracountry war. By this I mean we were fighting with ourselves. On the one side they were saying, no, we have to look after our security in this particular country, because there are terrorists that are harming our security. On the other side, we were saying this is our country; we have the right to be in this country. Whether you had a gun or not, you were part of that, and that has remained in our subconscious mind.

 

So, when you become angry and you cannot control your anger, that is when you start doing certain things that you cannot control because of the subconscious mind. I shudder to think, even in Parliament, were we not to have this area, this no-man’s-land, what would happen if we became angry and our subconscious mind got evoked. It is good to have this no-man’s-land so that we cannot do so, because when you look at the emotions that arise, sometimes you think that there are some serious things that could happen.

 

In fact ? you might not be aware of this ? some of us, if you have ever heard the definition of a psychopath, because of our past, because of our family problems, have become psychopaths. A few of us are psychopaths! A psychopath is somebody who has no remorse, no empathy, no sense of responsibility, and is somebody who does not have a conscience. They can do anything. That is what is actually happening. It does not mean that those people should not be jailed, but after their jail term, they should be considered for therapy.

 

I must say, in thanking the members on the portfolio committee for fast-tracking this Bill and making sure with its quality that we pass it, and in begging you to pass it, we must understand that it is all about delegations of the head of department – to delegate to a suitable person to make sure that service delivery takes place. Obviously, the statistics we are seeing of people that need these delegations are far less than the numbers we have in South Africa.

 

We have people with mental illnesses who end up in jail, who need therapy while they are in jail. There are more psychiatric problems that are obvious, and there are more people that commit crime. As I said, 70% of the people in jail need psychotherapy, not that they do not need to be taken to jail. We need to go beyond jailing people. We need to try to make sure that, as this august House, we go around and make sure we prevent this from happening, in understanding what makes some of the people go to jail.

I think it is understandable that we are supposed to be angry; we have a right to be angry. However, that anger must equal the stimulus that has caused it. Sometimes, however, you see that the anger is beyond the stimulus; it is not proportional to the stimulus.

 

Let us make sure that we try to pick up people early before we see them committing crimes that are very serious. I think what we need to understand – all of us – is that the window is broken, and if the window is broken, the draught that comes in makes us all catch the flu.

 

Rather than asking questions about whether the window was broken from the inside or the outside – we should not be asking those questions – what we should be doing is making sure that we repair the window and making sure that we move together. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mrs S P KOPANE: Hon House Chair, every South African deserves quality health care, because we all know a sick nation can never be a successful nation.

 

The provision of accessible, affordable and high-quality health care to our people is therefore not only a right and a moral imperative, but also contributes to local economic growth. Let’s face it, the health care system is failing our psychiatric patients on a daily basis. According to a Global Watch 2 report:

 

People with mental illness often end up being misdirected to prisons instead of appropriate mental health care and support services. A significant portion of prisoners suffer from mental illness, making prisons the new mental health asylums of our time. Humiliation and sexual abuse by prison guards and other inmates pose as a further threat to their physical and psychological wellbeing.

 

Prison mental health services are often neglected, as are the people they are meant to serve. There is a huge lack of funding; a lack of resources and adequately trained medical personnel. In some areas, mental health services for prisoners are missing entirely and rendered inefficient by poorly trained staff and abusive and alienating practices such as solitary confinement.

 

South Africa’s prison population is amongst the highest in the world, seventh to be precise, and the highest in Africa. And although the rates of mental disorders among prison populations are well known in Western countries, there is currently little available data for South Africa.

 

A recent study by the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine revealed that of the 193 prisoners in KwaZulu-Natal surveyed, 185 were males and eight females. It was found that 23,3% suffered from psychosis, and bipolar, depression and anxiety disorders, and a further 22,1% suffered from substance abuse and alcohol-related disorders. These figures are aligned with international statistics. We have to be worried about all those who have gone through, and continue to go through the system undiagnosed.

 

The presence of mental illness in our prisons not only deprives prisoners of their rights and proper treatment and care, but also leads to possible maltreatment and stigmatisation. There is an ethical obligation to stop this.

 

I strongly believe that there should be adequate facilities in place to preserve their dignity and rights. The government needs to re-engineer urgently community psychiatric services with dedicated mental health care nurses. As long as the budget for mental health care is treated as the Cinderella of health care services, mental patients will continue to be deprived of their rights to be managed on mental health premises rather than in prison. The amending Bill is a step in the right direction. This will promote the effective implementation of the Act and improve service delivery in the area of involuntary health care services. The DA will support the Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mr D A KGANARE: Chairperson, to be a politician is problematic. [Interjections.] When you leave, I want to leave with the Chief Whip.

 

There is a lot of talk about this Bill. There is a lot talk about prisoners, etc. But the Bill is a very simple Bill. Nobody addresses the Bill. You might think that we are referring to all mad people, but the Bill, basically, only has two objectives. The first objective is to allow the director-general to delegate some powers. The second objective is to repeal the Mental Health Act, Act No 18 of 1973. Hon members, these are the objectives of the Bill which Cope supports.

 

The proposed insertion, as per the Memorandum on Objects of Mental Health Care Amendment Bill, states that the proposed insertion “enables the director-general ... to determine the transfers of state patients from detention centres to health establishments pursuant to court orders issued in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977.” This amendment brings to our purview the psychiatric hospitals to which these patients will, in most cases, be transferred.

 

It also allows the director-general to delegate powers to review the mental health status of state patients. This means that the transfer of these state patients to health establishments is aimed at providing them with mental health care so that, at one point, they are sent back to their community and family. The question is: Are these health establishments equipped to achieve these objectives?

 

In order to achieve their objectives, these health establishments should be allocated adequate funds. It is unfortunate that the budget allocations to these hospitals are usually lower when compared to general hospitals. They usually receive a third of what is allocated to the general hospitals. This inequitable funding is exacerbated by the significant shortage of mental health professionals.

 

The budget allocation has an impact on modernising psychiatric hospitals, which, in most cases, have fallen into disrepair. This is bound to affect the morale of professionals within these institutions and will definitely affect the ability of these institutions to rehabilitate state patients.

 

Cope hopes that this amendment will encourage the Minister and his department to take a closer look at these establishments which provide this mental service. We hope that, amongst other things, efforts will be put in place to ensure that adequately skilled and professional staff will be systematically trained. Cope will support this Bill.

 

Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairperson, the objective of this Bill is to provide for the delegation of powers by the director-general to officials within the national department to improve service delivery in the area of involuntary health care users and to ensure effective implementation of the Act generally.

 

The proposed insertion enables the director-general to delegate powers to review the mental health status of state patients, determine their transfers between health establishments and transfers from detention centres to health establishments in terms of a court order.

 

The ACDP will support this Bill, which is not in itself contentious in any way and should improve efficiency and effectiveness.

 

In October 2001 the ACDP also voted in favour of the new Mental Health Care Act, legislation aimed at ensuring that appropriate care, treatment and rehabilitation services are available to people with mental health problems.

 

Our concern at the time was that efforts to balance the rights of people with mental disabilities and the rights of the public were in question when it came to state patients, with communities facing all the risk in terms of patient rehabilitation.

 

I remember the trauma faced by my sister and her daughters just one year before this legislation came into effect when the man who murdered their son and brother did not have to stand trial, as his use of drugs ensured that he was not in his right mind at the time of the murder. This meant, in terms of the Act, that he could be granted leave of absence or be discharged at any time without prior notice to the victim’s family. And that could even be within one week. At the time, this family believed that they were in danger - not just them, but the whole community - and lived with the worry that the man they knew to be a con man and murderer would be allowed back into the community without any warning.

 

The ACDP moved amendments in the portfolio committee which would address these concerns, but in spite of broad support in the committee, including by those who had actually worked with state mental patients and knew first-hand the deception often involved, they were left out, even the minor concession with regard to leave of absence.

 

As we have seen, when an accused can afford a top defence lawyer, the use of drugs can be a protection against even standing trial. We, therefore, again call on the Minister and the department to consider seriously the need for the families of victims to be given the opportunity to appeal the leave of absence and discharge of state patients who pose a threat to society, or at the very least be informed of such decisions. Thank you.

 

Mrs H S MSWELI: Chair, this amending Bill brings many necessary and timely changes to the Mental Health Act of 2002.

The delegation of powers by the director-general to officials in the national Department of Health is very welcome, and it is hoped that these officials will carry out their new responsibilities with zeal and devotion so that service delivery to our mentally ill will be greatly enhanced and improved. Effective administration and expeditious health care service delivery must remain the core business of the department and the Bill speaks to both of those issues. The IFP therefore supports the Bill.

 

Yet, mental health care extends beyond the seriously mentally ill patients at our various institutions to ordinary healthy citizens as well. There is a general trend developing in South Africa and the world at large that by taking a pill all of one’s problems will be solved. We have pills to wake us up, pills to help us make it through the day, pills for anxiety, pills for depression, pills to eat, pills to prevent us from eating, and pills to help us sleep.

 

This daily cocktail of drugs is creating a society dependent on its daily drug fix in order to function. This, I submit, is highly dysfunctional and unhealthy. What happened to eating correctly and getting enough fresh air and exercise as general tonics for optimum physical and mental wellness? These are the disciplines that must be inculcated into our communities.

 

The increased use of stimulants and cognition-enhancing drugs by students has also raised a number of safety concerns, the most worrisome being direct physiological side effects, as well as the possibility that the use of these may become habit-forming. We as a society must address these dangerous trends that are developing.

 

March is intellectual disability awareness month in South Africa. This disability is said to affect four out of 100 individuals in this country and can happen to any one of us. Prevention is paramount and we would like to see greater departmental awareness campaigns being conducted in our rural communities which educate our young people. Parents could potentially cause permanent damage to an unborn child through using alcohol and drugs during pregnancy.

 

Programmes must be developed for our schools which provide our youth with basic information on intellectual disability in the hope of reducing the stigma and discrimination attached to it, as well as informing them about lifestyle choices which help to prevent intellectual disability. The aim must be to use the youth as a catalyst for change, encouraging them to pass this information on to their peers, family members and the community at large. I thank you.

 

Ms M J SEGALE-DISWAI: Hon House Chair, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, hon members and distinguished guests, as the House knows by now, the department has been on a relentless path to health reform. This health reform is geared towards a better life and better health. Indeed, this reform, championed by our fearless and charismatic Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, is aimed at achieving a long and healthy life for all South Africans.

 

The Bill that is currently before this House is one of many initiatives of health reform in the quest to attain a long and healthier life for all South Africans. This Bill will surely restore the dignity of our people, especially the mentally impaired. It will assist mentally ill patients who have been prosecuted, found guilty by the court, sentenced to jail and classified as state patients. These people should not be treated as though they do not exist. These people need care, treatment, and possible rehabilitation. This reminds the state that it has a responsibility to care for the people within the country irrespective of what they have done.

 

I have heard horror stories regarding the ill treatment of these patients. I have also heard that their relatives, who stay many kilometres away, have difficulty accessing these patients, because they cannot afford the transport to visit them, and they need to discuss this with the authorities. They cannot do so because the offices are far away.

 

We have a situation in which the next of kin is shunted from pillar to post whenever they need assistance. I am of the view that when the powers contemplated in this Bill are delegated, the management, treatment and care of these people will improve. The state must provide care for these people, just as it does for any other person within government facilities. This will assist in decentralising management, which is key to improving service delivery for our people. This will, hopefully, shorten the turnaround time for enquiries, speed up the decision-making process, and lead to a quick resolution of the problems of the patient and family, as well as the staff. However, I must caution the department that the delegation of powers provided for in the amending Bill must not be abdicated. It should also be noted that the Bill says that power “may” be delegated and not “must” be delegated. This House must continue to hold the national department directly responsible for the care and management of these patients so that there isn’t confusion every time we ask about this and are told that this is somebody’s function. The national department remains the custodian of the health of the people and, as such, the Bill merely addresses the administrative matter without taking and transferring primary responsibility. The House must be vigilant in ensuring that it plays an oversight role in monitoring and implementing this Bill.

 

I need to state that the department must work with the stakeholders to ensure that the Bill is fully understood, particularly by the rural and uneducated masses of our people who may find themselves in this situation. I want to assure the House and the department that if the department continues to demonstrate its commitment to the reforms, we will have the best health care system in the country - a health care system that is responsive to the needs of the people, that addresses the basic needs of the people and that identifies with the people. I am further convinced that even this will find fertile ground for implementation. However, I would like to caution the Department of Health to be extra vigilant in the manner in which it monitors the implementation of policies and legislation.

 

Mental patients are people. We love them. Let me remind members of this House - and I think the hon chairperson of the committee has already reminded you of this – that, by the way, all of us have some mental illness of some sort. We just differ in the degree of illness. What you are hearing now is part of that madness. [Laughter.] Hon members, I am going to tell you what really happens when we deal with this Bill. I even want to reassure you that we hold our meetings during the day.

 

Mr J J MCGLUWA: House Chairperson, could the hon member tell us what disorder she is undergoing? [Laughter.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): That is not a point of order. Could you continue, hon member?

 

Ms M J SEGALE-DISWAI: I will do so, Chair. I think something has to be done with some of us. [Interjections.] [Laughter.] We hold our meetings during the day, and it is during the day that we see shadows. If I remember correctly, I have never seen the shadow Minister of the DA at the discussions on this Bill. I only see him now. Now I am saying, in order to do justice to our people, we must take part in the portfolio committee discussions so that when we stand here all of us are represented. You cannot just choose what Bill you are going to discuss, and come and debate here as though you have been part of the whole process. [Interjections.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Order! Order!

 

Ms M J SEGALE-DISWAI: It is so nice today, because what we are dealing with is what the chairperson spoke about. You can hear the anger and you can even feel it. I am debating here ...

 

Mrs S V KALYAN: House Chair, may I address you on a point of order? I would like to ask the member if she is having a moment of temporary insanity. [Interjections.]

 

Ms M J SEGALE-DISWAI: I think you have already answered yourself, because you are having a moment of temporary insanity as I am standing here. [Interjections.] I am debating what I discussed in the portfolio committee and I am sure of what I am talking about. Thank you. [Applause.] [Interjections.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon members, please lower your voices, and remember that provocation also begets provocation or reactions.

 

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Chairperson, the UCDP’s approach to governance focuses on the decentralisation of power, and that is why we shall continue to support any Bill or law that affords other people the right to play a role as this Bill does. It is in this regard that the UCDP will support this Bill, because it gives power or even authority to the head of the department.

 

There is no doubt that legislation plays a massive role in trying to find solutions to institutional problems, thereby bettering our lives. This is why the White Paper led to notable strides in elevating mental health care to the primary health care setting, thereby making it more accessible. There are a number of issues, though, that remain a challenge and which the legislation will not necessarily address effectively and efficiently. These issues have had a huge impact and have limited progress in attaining effective mental health care.

 

A lack of trained professionals in the field and a lack of effective communication between primary health care centres and the district care centres are still issues that appear not to have been dealt with satisfactorily in this piece of legislation. Many mental health care facilities remain severely understaffed and underfunded, with high staff turnover linked to the conditions under which they have to work.

 

The increasing prevalence of mental illness in South Africa means that we need to look at ways of holistically addressing the issue, and channel the appropriate resources needed to execute an effective mental health care strategy. In many instances, the complete cure of a mental illness is attained gradually, and therefore the paucity of resources makes it difficult to succeed.

 

We cannot overlook the notion that the westernisation of African culture has an impact in terms of the increasing prevalence of mental illness. Research has found that only 6% of women in urban environments are free from the symptoms of a health disorder.

 

The growth of the industrial sector and urbanisation are undermining the social fabric of traditional society. And, in conclusion, it is unfortunate that most hospitals which cater for mental patients are in a terrible state of disrepair, and, as such, do not cheer up the inmates.

 

We hope, as the UCDP, that with the resources available and at the disposal of the department, the intended delegation of authority will also go with resources. The UCDP will support the Bill.

 

Mrs T E KENYE: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, the main objective of this Bill is to amend the Mental Health Care Act, Act 17 of 2002. This new clause 76 will reduce the workload of the director-general by delegating powers to the appointed official in the national Department of Health. The aim is to have effective implementation of the Act.

 

This will enable the director-general to delegate some of the powers in the Act to appropriately trained officials in the office so as to improve service delivery with regard to state patients and mentally ill prisoners. The head of department may, at any time, withdraw a delegation or amend any decision made in the delegation of such powers.

 

The aim in point iii of government’s Ten-Point Plan is to improve the quality of health services – that entails refining the detailed plan on improvement and immediately implementing it. The improvement we are talking about in point iv of the Ten-Point Plan is to overhaul the national health care system and improve its governance and management. Therefore, this amending Bill strengthens the ANC government’s health road map of 2009 to 2014.

 

One of the priorities and tasks of the Department of Health is to focus on re-engineering primary health care. This needs a decentralised operational model and management, including new governance arrangements. According to the Bill, the current powers to be delegated include providing for the director-general to determine the transfer of state patients from detention centres to health establishments pursuant to court orders issued in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977. Also included are determining the transfer of state patients between designated health establishments upon an order issued by the review board; and reviewing the mental health status of state patients after six months from commencement of treatment, with rehabilitation services being continued on a 12-month basis thereafter.

 

The director-general is required to authorise the transfer of these patients, after considering their reports, in order to make a final decision. Therefore, this requires very careful consideration and its importance needs the Department of Health’s attention. This amending Bill will also improve the turnaround time for the transfer of state patients without any further delays.

 

Kaloku, soloko sisithi kukho ukulibazisa kwiSebe lezeMpilo. Masikhe sijonge ke ngoku ukuba lo Mthetho Sihlomelo uza kusibeka phi na xa sisithi makungabikho kulityaziswa ... [Because, we always say there are delays within the Department of Health.  Let us see where this amending Bill will take us when we say there should be no delays ...]

 

... because the referral and transfer of patients is always a concern. On a concern of the hon Dudley, let us convince one another, I think, in the committee. Yes, I’m glad that you said your party is supporting the Bill despite its concerns.

 

Regarding the 1992 Ready to Govern document of the ANC, most of us here were adults or at least already born at the time. We also had the Reconstruction and Development Programme document. I just want to remind everyone that at that time we had a government of national unity, which, to my understanding, was in place from 1994 to 1999. But we seem to forget - hon Segwale-Diswai. I am trying to respond to the complaint she spoke about. People on the left seem to forget about there being a government of national unity, because the first five years of this government started with all of us on board. But you never hear anybody saying that we had a government of national unity in the first five years of ANC government.

 

We did not build this unity then. Now we seem not to want to take this unity forward. All of us here were elected by South Africans, regardless of our political parties. Let us join hands if we want to move forward, because nobody is just here. We are here because we are representing the masses out there. [Interjections.]

 

About the response of the Deputy Minister on the issue of information, I think, Minister, it is high time we went to the media for information so that our society is not confused. This is because some of us here want to get votes out of nothing. That is why I say: if you want to better the lives of the people through health in this Parliament, let us move forward and leave our petty issues behind. We are here to build South Africa. We know that when we were saying, “let us all rebuild South Africa” in 1994 as the government of national unity, we meant that this country had been torn apart for more than 300 years. Therefore we wanted to mend this torn country. Those people who tore this country apart are now somersaulting, telling us that they care about our people more than we do.

 

Today, let us remind ourselves about that government. What did you do in those five years? This is because we were all together. That is why I am always worried when we say that the ANC has been in government from 1994. Yes, of course, it has been leading, but you were also in that government for five years. So, let all of us think back and remind ourselves of that in order to build this country again. This country is still torn apart, because the people who tore it apart are still with us. Now, they are dragging us backwards. We cannot go backwards. We are moving forward. The ANC supports this Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: House Chair, let me thank the hon members for debating this Bill. Indeed, as I’ve indicated, it seems like it is just an administrative amendment. Yet, I would like us to focus on the fact that we will be 20 years into democracy next year, but it is a decade since this Act was promulgated.

 

Indeed, in April last year, as the Ministry of Health, we convened a summit with over 4 000 experts and stakeholders to review the implementation of this Bill. We can assure you that the collective in that summit recognised the progress that has been made in reducing the stigma and improving access. There are hospitals, like the Weskoppies Hospital, that before the onset of the democratic era were dilapidated and not fit for human use. I would like to invite members, perhaps the portfolio committee, to visit some of these facilities. However, we recognise and acknowledge that there are other facilities that we still need to improve and, indeed, we are on course as part of the Hospital Infrastructure Revitalisation Programme.

 

I would also like to make members of this House aware that mental health is a very serious problem. When we were medical students, the risk group for mental illness was, in particular, white male executive Afrikaners. I guess that was due to the stresses of those days in terms of having to defend the apartheid system. But today we have a lot of young people, especially men, committing suicide. So, we need to take seriously the issues of mental health, and communicate with our children at home, realise and identify the early signs of depression, and be able to access the services that we are talking about.

 

This Mental Health Care Act reinforces the fact that mental health is like any other illness and the services must be available. I thank you very much for supporting the Bill. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

 

Debate concluded.

Bill read a second time.

 

NATIONAL HEALTH AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)

 

Mr M B GOQWANA: Chair, this is another Bill in the Department of Health. We have actually brought it here and it was debated. After debating it, it was sent, as part of the procedure, to the National Council of Provinces. According to the NCOP, there is a word that they thought was not in the right place and needed to be changed.

 

When we relooked at the Bill, we thought it was not really necessary and we actually rejected the Bill. We are here to beg this House to help us in making sure that this Bill goes for mediation. Otherwise, this is a Bill that we have actually debated. We request the House to allow us to make sure that it goes for mediation. Thank you, Chair.

 

There was no debate.

 

The ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chairperson, I move: That the House refuse to pass the Bill.

 

Agreed to.

 

Bill, as amended, accordingly rejected.

 

NATIONAL HEALTH AMENDMENT BILL TO MEDIATION COMMITTEE

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chairperson, I move with leave:

 

   That the House -

 

(1) notes that the National Assembly has refused to pass the National Health Amendment Bill [B 24D – 2011](sec 76);

 

(2) elects the following members, as nominated by their respective parties, as the Assembly representatives to the Mediation Committee on the National Health Amendment Bill [B 24D – 2011](sec 76):

 

(a)          Dr B M Goqwana (ANC);

(b)          Ms T E Kenye (ANC);

(c)           Ms M C Dube (ANC);

(d)          Ms B T Ngcobo (ANC);

(e)          Ms M J Segale-Diswai (ANC);

(f)           Mrs S P Kopane (DA);

(g)          Mr D A Kganare (Cope);

(h)          Mrs H S Msweli (IFP); and

(i)            Mrs C Dudley (ACDP).

 

Agreed to.

DISSOLUTION OF SABS BOARD AND APPOINTMENT OF INTERIM SABC BOARD

 

(Announcement)

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana: Order! Now, hon members, I come to the dissolution of the SABC board and the appointment of an interim SABC board. As indicated earlier, a letter has been received from the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, asking the Speaker to inform the House that the board of the SA Broadcasting Corporation has become unable to perform its functions in accordance with the requirements of the Broadcasting Act of 1999 as a result of the resignation of the majority of its board members.

 

Consequently, the portfolio committee had an emergency meeting this morning, at which the Minister of Communications and the remaining board members were present. Though the report of the committee will be published in tonight’s Announcements, Tablings and Committee reports, for the information of all members, the House must know that the committee has agreed that it is necessary, as a matter of urgency, to recommend to the President of the Republic, as the appointing authority, that the board be dissolved and an interim board be appointed.

The committee has consequently also recommended five candidates for appointment to the interim board, two of whom the President must designate as chairperson and deputy chairperson. As this is the last general plenary before the Assembly, and thus the committee enters a recess period, the committee has requested that the consideration of these recommendations be placed before the House this afternoon - which is what I’m doing. It has also requested an opportunity for the chairperson to provide the House with a summary of the committee’s deliberations and for parties to be allowed an opportunity for declarations of vote.

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon House Chairperson and hon members, I move with leave:

 

That the House accedes to the request of the Portfolio Committee on Communications to consider the committee’s recommendations pertaining to the dissolution of the SABC Board and the appointment of five candidates to the interim board, including those who have to be designated as chairperson and deputy chairperson.

 

Agreed to.

 

Mr M G P LEKOTA: Hon House Chair, couldn’t we be given the list of the names so that we know who we are talking about?

 

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: House Chair, we can provide assistance because we are now in the process of dissolving the board. The chairperson will give us a report that we will consider. So, if you follow the order, it’s first the dissolution of the board, thereafter it is only then that we can deal with the report from the chair, who will make a recommendation to all of us. After that we can consider the names. I am sure that the chairperson will give us a full explanation of what transpired in the committee, including if they have agreed on the names.

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Well, there you are, hon members. What we are doing now is to simply consider the matter of the dissolution. I understand that the names will come later. The matter before the House is therefore that the House must consider the recommendation of the portfolio committee pertaining to the dissolution of the SABC board and related matters.

 

Before putting the question, I shall allow the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications an opportunity to provide the House with the summary of its proceedings and give parties an opportunity to make declarations. I think it’s quite clear thus far. Is it not? It should be quite clear now.

 

Mr M E GEORGE: Chairperson, I rise on a point of order: I thought the procedure you were following was correct. We first have to dissolve the board before we can talk about the names and everything. [Interjections.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): You are correct, hon Mluleki. I’m following that procedure even now. [Laughter.] Hon members, could we give attention to the chairperson?

 

Mr S E KHOLWANE: Thank you, Chairperson. Indeed, the SABC is a very important organisation. You can see the events in terms of how things are happening. As the Portfolio Committee on Communications, indeed today we had a special meeting to consider this matter, in relation to section 15 of the Broadcasting Act.

 

We have received notice of the fact that both the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the SABC board have tendered their resignations. Their resignations were accordingly accepted by the appointing authority, the President. Subsequent to that the following SABC board members of the also resigned: Adv Cawe Mahlati, Mr Cedric Gina, Mr Lumko Mtimde, Mr Desmond Golding, Mr John Danana, Ms Noluthando Gosa and Ms Pippa Green.

 

On 30 October 2012, the committee reported on a briefing from the SABC board on its enquiry regarding the conduct of Adv Cawekazi Mahlati on 18 September 2012. The committee subsequently sought and was granted permission by this House to undertake an inquiry in terms of section 15A(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act.

However, Adv Cawekazi Mahlati’s resignation now renders the continuation of such an inquiry unnecessary. As a result of the above-mentioned resignations, the SABC board, as we speak, is left with only two nonexecutive serving members, while section 13(1) of the Broadcasting Act requires 12 nonexecutive members.

 

In terms of section 15A(1)(b)(iii) of the Broadcasting Act, Act 4 of 1999, the committee recommends to the National Assembly that a resolution be adopted that the board be dissolved as it cannot carry out its duties, as contemplated in terms of section 13(11), because the board can no longer meet. The reason is that at each meeting that the board must have, there should at least be nine members of the board. The reality now is that we have only two remaining members of the board, which makes it impossible for the board to meet.

 

If the National Assembly adopts the recommended resolution to dissolve the board, it is further recommended that a resolution be adopted to recommend to the appointing authority that the following five individuals be appointed as interim SABC board members in terms of section 15A(3)(a).

 

The board members we are recommending are: Ms Zandile Ellen Tshabalala, Ms Noluthando Primrose Gosa, Mr Vusumuzi Mavuso, Mr Ronnie Lubisi and Dr Iraj Abedian. It further recommends that Ms Zandile Ellen Tshabalala be appointed as the chairperson of the interim board and Ms Noluthando Gosa as the deputy chairperson of the interim board. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

There was no debate.

 

Declarations of vote:

 

Ms M R SHINN: Chairperson, hon colleagues, the cause of the perpetual crisis at the SABC is political interference in the appointments of both the board and executive management, and operational issues. Many South Africans who wanted to contribute to the formation of a vibrant world-class public broadcaster, are now scarred and embittered people. Many of them resigned in disgust at the political machinations that colour most critical decisions at the SABC. Those I spoke to yesterday said that until the laws are changed to prevent political interference, nothing would change to save the corporation from the destructive path it is on.

 

The process the portfolio committee embarked on today to dissolve the board was bulldozed through the committee. We recognise that there’s a crisis of governability at the SABC, but the whole process of dissolving the board and appointing an interim one reeked of ANC opportunism. This process has effectively circumvented legitimate nomination processes to find suitable candidates. It is little more than 24 hours since South Africans learned that six more board members had resigned to neutralise what was left of a crippled board. Had President Zuma acted decisively, when the chair and his deputy resigned 10 days ago, this crisis could have been avoided. Instead, we have ended up with a process that is characterised by ulterior motives, possibly the installation of a new crop of ANC cronies to do Luthuli House’s bidding at Fawlty Towers.

 

Because the DA believes that political parties should have no role in nominating candidates for the SABC oard, we declined to take part in the listing process that is the norm in the committee’s horse-trading in deciding the composition of entities’ boards. The appointment of this interim board must be seen for what it is: a rushed, nontransparent and inadequate affair.

 

While we do not support the process by which this board was chosen and our instinct was to reject the process out of hand, we realise that the SABC is in a crisis situation and someone needs to sign the cheques and make the business decisions.

 

We wish the new board well in the Sisyphean task of getting the SABC operational until a properly nominated and elected board can be appointed. The DA will do everything possible to help ensure that this happens as soon as possible. [Applause.]

 

Mrs J D KILIAN: Chairperson, first of all, as Cope, we would like to just register our serious discomfort with the process followed and the undue haste this morning to dissolve the board or the remainder of the members, with effectively less than 24 hours’ notice. We were aware of a deliberate attempt and instructions issued by Luthuli House on Sunday for board members to resign en masse and therefore we were anticipating some crisis that would have been precipitated by the ANC.

 

It was significant that six of the nine members resigned, those that the ANC believed were deployed from Luthuli House, and they were instructed to submit their resignations. This is absolutely unacceptable. The fact of the matter is that these members were proposed through a parliamentary process and, therefore, they take their mandate from Parliament and not from Luthuli House.

 

The fact that this was brought about in the past three to four days is, furthermore, unacceptable because the portfolio committee was absolutely scandalous in their manner in overseeing the serious crisis that was there for the entire nation to see.

 

Over the past two years we have had serious problems at the SABC board. On 25 October 2011, we had a delegation of members of the board who complained about the autocratic behaviour of Dr Ben Ngubane and the fact that he thought he was the executive board member or chairperson of the board. Last year we had another case, and it was a surprise to hear from the chairperson now that the inquiry into Adv Cawe Mahlati was still being processed, because, from our side, it was evident that there was no case. From what Adv Mahlati placed before our committee, it was evident that this was just a repeat of the unacceptable autocratic behaviour of the former board chairperson.

 

What was also very significant was the fact that there was one board member present in the committee this morning. What she informed us about the committee was important. It was for the entire committee to understand the extent of the bullying tactics that were actually occurring at the SABC board, where they were forced to process unacceptable appointments, including the fact that Dr Ben Ngubane was responsible for Phil Molefe’s appointment and then in the end deserted him. Also, the processing of the Special Investigating Unit report ...

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member, your time has expired. [Interjections.]

 

Mrs J D KILIAN: Chairperson, we support one member on the board and that is Dr Iraj Abedian, but we unfortunately cannot ...

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member, your time has expired. [Interjections.]

 

Mrs J D KILIAN: ... support the others. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Interjections.]

 

Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon Chairperson, the IFP would like to align itself with the previous speakers. While the IFP is not against the notion of an interim board, we wish to place on record that we oppose the haste with which the process was completed today. The current crisis at the SABC requires bold leadership on the part of the new interim board. However, the manner in which the process was completed did not offer the IFP the opportunity to interrogate the CVs that were presented before us, nor did it give us the opportunity to present our own candidates.

 

Therefore, we cannot satisfy ourselves that these individuals presented here today are the best candidates committed to fairness, freedom of expression, openness and accountability. However, we wish the new board strength as they embark on their mammoth task. May they be successful in the next couple of months in their endeavours to stabilise the SABC. What the SABC now needs is a board and management dedicated exclusively to rebuilding the organisation; leadership that will prioritise the creation of an SABC we can respect. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Adv A D ALBERTS: Chairperson, the SABC – or, rather, the SANC in reality - has given us a look into a microcosm of South Africa. The events at his master’s voice that preceded this meltdown were an indicator of things to come. The SABC board’s continued dysfunction had to end in disaster, as is evidenced today.

 

Die raad het ’n politieke speelbal vir die ANC geword en die raadslede wie bloot hul werk wou doen, is beroof van ’n geleentheid om vir alle Suid-Afrikaners te werk. Dit is die kern van die ANC se probleem. Daar word net gedink aan kaderontplooiing en die misbruik van staatsinstellings vir eie gewin, eerder as in die belang van die publiek. ’n Mens kan net hoop dat die ANC ’n dure les hierdeur geleer het en nou net onbevange en kundige persone sal aanstel wie nie om politieke redes op die raad sal sit nie. ’n Mens kan net hoop dat die ANC met kaderontplooiing en die manipulasie van die openbare uitsaaier sal ophou. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

 

[The board has become a political football of the ANC, and those board members who have been merely doing their job have been robbed of an opportunity to work for all South Africans. This is the crux of the ANC’s problem. They only think about cadre deployment and misusing state institutions to their own benefit, instead of using them to the benefit of the public. One can only hope that the ANC has learnt a valuable lesson and will now only appoint unbiased and knowledgeable persons who will not be serving on the board for political reasons. One can only hope that the ANC will put an end to cadre deployment and manipulation of the public broadcaster.]

 

In the end, if the ANC continues down this path, the growing faction fighting within the ANC will again spill over into the SABC board, leaving this country with a rudderless and politically tainted broadcaster. The good people that work there and the public deserve better. I thank you.

 

Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: House Chairperson, I think, firstly, let us just say this: that in the committee we were all in agreement that the board had reached a state of dysfunctionality and that something was going to have to be done. I think what is of concern and what we need to be looking at is the fact that this is the second board in a row that has reached this state and also has reached the state at which it has to be dissolved. We will have to identify the factors that have affected the board and steps that need to be taken to ensure that we do not have a repeat of this situation in the future.

 

The interim board, which the committee is recommending, would, if appointed, have to guide the SABC during the next six months. We are confident that the names before the House today have the requisite experience to perform this task they are being asked to perform.

 

I just want to respond to a number of points that have been raised here in the House. Firstly, this process was not bulldozed through the committee this morning. In fact, all political parties were informed yesterday – in fact, in the early hours of yesterday morning - of the situation we were facing. So, to come here and say it was bulldozed through is factually incorrect. I want to point out to the House and those who are watching the fact that this is the last sitting of the House before we rise for recess and the fact that there is no plenary scheduled until the end of April. So if we do not take a decision to put in place an interim board today, we will have no board in place until the end of April. [Interjections.] So I wanted to put those facts into context. [Interjections.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!

 

Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Also, the hon Shinn comes and stands here and says that the names being put forward for the interim board are simply ANC cronies. I think that is a blatant insult. These are capable and qualified South Africans who are very capable of guiding the SABC over the next six months. [Interjections.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!

 

Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: So, I think that to come and say that here is a blatant insult, and I think every one of them would take deep offence at the statements that the hon Shinn has made in this House today. [Interjections.]

 

I think it is the hon Kilian’s view that people were asked to resign. We are not aware of that. In fact, this morning I listened to one of the former SABC Board members saying that he had taken a decision ? and come to the decision himself ? that he needed to resign, that he had been able to make a contribution, but that he needed to step down now.

In conclusion, we would want to ask the House to consider these names for appointment as the interim board. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

 

Question put: That the House recommends to the President of the Republic, in terms of section 15A(1)(b) of the Broadcasting Act of 1999, that the board of the SABC be dissolved, as it can no longer carry out its duties as contemplated in the Act.

 

Question agreed to.

 

Recommendation for the dissolution of the board of the SABC accordingly agreed to.

 

Question put: That the House recommends to the President that the following five candidates be appointed as members of the interim board of the SABC in accordance with section 15A (3)(a) of the Broadcasting Act of 1999, the first two to be designated as chairperson and deputy chairperson respectively:

 

Ms Zandile Ellen Tshabalala

Ms Noluthando Primrose Gosa

Dr Iraj Abedian

Mr Ronnie Lubisi

Mr Vusumuzi Mavuso

 

Question agreed to.

 

Ms Zandile Ellen Tshabalala, Ms Noluthando Primrose Gosa, Dr Iraj Abedian, Mr Ronnie Lubisi and Mr Vusumuzi Mavuso accordingly recommended to the President for appointment to the Interim Board of the SABC, while Ms Zandile Ellen Tshabalala, Ms Noluthando Primrose Gosa accordingly recommended as chairperson and deputy chairperson respectively.

 

CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT - SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE F K S NTULI

 

Mr L T LANDERS: Hon Chairperson, on behalf of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, I present to this House our report on the suspension from office of Magistrate F K S Ntuli. Mr Ntuli is an additional magistrate at Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape. In a letter dated 30 August 2012, the Chief Magistrate of Port Elizabeth informed the Magistrates Commission that Mr Ntuli had been arrested on Friday, 17 August 2012, on a charge of drunken driving.

 

He was allegedly found by a police officer in the town at around 7.15am, driving alone in a motor vehicle which was moving from one lane to another, an indication that the driver was not in proper control of the motor vehicle. He was issued with a written warning to appear in court at Uitenhage on 13 February 2013. Mr Ntuli was previously convicted of the same offence on 20 March 2008. He was subsequently charged with misconduct, found guilty, and on 8 July 2009 strongly reprimanded by the presiding officer to refrain from any similar misconduct in future.

 

In order to advise the Minister on his provisional suspension from office, pending the outcome of the investigation, Mr Ntuli was afforded an opportunity to comment on the desirability of such provisional suspension. At its meeting held on 29 and 30 November 2012, the Magistrates Commission, having considered Mr Ntuli’s response dated 18 September 2013 and 3 October 2012, resolved to recommend that Mr Ntuli be provisionally suspended from office in terms of section 13(3)(a) of the Magistrates Act, Act 93 of 1993, pending the investigation into his fitness to hold office.

 

The Magistrates Commission is of the view that the existing evidence against Mr Ntuli is of such a serious nature as to make it inappropriate for him to perform the functions of a magistrate whilst the allegations are being investigated. It would be inappropriate for a judicial officer, who is once more appearing as an accused before a court of law on a charge of drunken driving, to continue to sit on the bench.

 

Having considered the Magistrates Commission’s report on the provisional suspension from office of Mr Ntuli as well as the Minister’s request, the committee recommends that this House confirm the provisional suspension, and we ask that it adopt this report. Thank you. [Applause.]

There was no debate.

 

Question put: That the Report of the Committee be adopted, including the recommendation that the suspension from office of Magistrate F K S Ntuli be confirmed.

 

Question agreed to.

 

Report adopted and suspension from office of Magistrate F K S Ntuli confirmed.

 

CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON CORRECTIONAL SERVICES - VISIT TO GROENPUNT MAXIMUM SECURITY CORRECTIONAL CENTRE IN FREE STATE PROVINCE

 

Mr V G SMITH: Chairperson, I will keep this short and sweet. The committee visited Groenpunt on 16 January this year after riots had broken out a week earlier. At the time of our visit, 408 inmates had been transferred to other facilities because they were identified as ringleaders. Nine officials were injured during the uprising or the unrest, three of whom were hospitalised, and over 50 inmates were injured during the uprising.

 

At the time of our visit both the head of the centre and the area commissioner had been placed on suspension. We were informed that the grievances raised by offenders that caused the riots were, amongst other things, food shortages, poor infrastructure, poor medical care, a lack of development and rehabilitation programmes and a host of other complaints. The committee itself observed the chronic overcrowding in the facility. We observed the poor infrastructure in the maximum centre and we observed the undesirable ratio between officials and inmates.

 

However, notwithstanding all the issues that we have raised, the committee wants to state very strongly that it condemns any abuse of officials or offenders. We condemn any abuse. Equally, we condemn the destruction of state property, regardless of the grievances of the offenders. We condemn the destruction of state property and we condemn assaults on officials by inmates. We want to reiterate that there is no justification for any of these things, and that is what we put on record in January and we want to repeat it today.

 

Our recommendations to the Department of Correctional Services, through the Minister, are: firstly, that the department refine its practices, especially during emergency situations, Minister; secondly, we ask that the department deal with the staff shortages, as they have the potential of hampering service delivery, and that was part of the gripes; thirdly, we urge the department, especially because of the prevalence of cellphones and other illegal objects that were found in that centre, to deal urgently with the scourge of Correctional Services officials colluding with inmates because the smuggling happens between some of our officials that collude with inmates, and we ask that that be dealt with urgently; and, finally, we urge that the investigations, both by the department and by the Judicial Inspectorate, be finalised speedily and that all inmates and officials found guilty of any inappropriate behaviour face sanctions, including criminal cases, if necessary. We ask that this report be adopted. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

 

There was no debate.

 

The ACTING DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move that the Report be adopted.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Report accordingly adopted.

 

CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT - OVERSIGHT VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICAN MARITIME SAFETY AUTHORITY

 

CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT - OVERSIGHT VISIT TO KWAZULU-NATAL AND EASTERN CAPE IN RELATION TO S’HAMBA SONKE

 

CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT - OVERSIGHT VISIT TO NORTH WEST, KWAZULU-NATAL AND EASTERN CAPE

 

Mr L SUKA: Chairperson, during the period 27 June 2011 to 1 July 2011 and 24 January 2012 to 27 January 2012, the Portfolio Committee on Transport undertook oversight visits to the North West, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. We also attended a strategic planning workshop of the Department of Transport from 30 March 2011 to 31 March 2011 with the Department of Transport. Furthermore, we conducted an oversight visit to the SA Maritime Safety Authority, Samsa, from 2 August 2011 to 5 August 2011.

 

Our Constitution enjoins this Parliament of the people to oversee the functioning of the executive. As members of the ruling party, we will not shy away from pointing out areas of weakness in our governance system. This we do, cognisant of the fact that it is only by our being critical of what we do that we can better ourselves.

 

During our oversight visits to the North West, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, we established that there were problems around road maintenance and the capacity of the department to respond to challenges as they arise. Notwithstanding this, we also found officials who developed innovative ideas and concepts to ensure that the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality are addressed.

 

In this regard, we recommended the following. One, the standards of road maintenance must be addressed. There is a need for consistency in the manner in which existing standards are implemented. The Department of Transport should develop a single model for road maintenance. On this matter, we refer especially to the potholes that engulf our province and our country.

 

Two, the viability of imposing a fee on trucks that use municipal roads must be assessed because the money could be used for road maintenance. Three, the S’hamba Sonke programme must be reviewed as it relates to its modus operandi. Lastly, the people who have participated in the road maintenance programme should be accredited as this will assist them in obtaining recognition for their experience and acquired skills.

 

We conducted a specific oversight visit to assess the impact of the S’hamba Sonke programme. During our visit, we established that if properly managed, this programme could have a significant impact on the quality of life of our people. Based on our observations, we recommend the following: that there be development of synergy in transport planning matters across all spheres of government; that the funding model be reviewed so that it is based on the existing backlog rather than on the population size, as is currently the case; that the policy which states that only roads travelled by more than 200 motor vehicles should qualify for upgrading be reviewed; and that the department develop a strategy on scholar transport. Other recommendations are contained in the report.

 

Regarding the oversight visit to Samsa, in August 2011 we finally paid a visit to Samsa. Samsa is a key state institution involved in the promotion and protection of our maritime interests. In support of this institution and in the promotion of the maritime sector, we recommend that, one, the development of maritime skills be prioritised; and, two, there is a need to improve institutional arrangements between all organs of state that will play a role in the maritime environment.

 

Hon members, this is merely a summary of the findings and recommendations contained in our extensive reports. I move that the reports be adopted. Thank you. [Applause.]

 

There was no debate.

 

Question put: That the Reports be adopted.

 

Declaration of vote:

 

Mr I M OLLIS: Chairperson, this report, as you know, deals with provincial and rural roads in South Africa which are in a state of collapse. The S’hamba Sonke programme is designed to address the backlog in road maintenance and this oversight report from the committee shows the flaws in the system.

 

Firstly, some money is available for this programme, but the uptake of provinces is just not there. The North West and the Northern Cape are particularly bad. They are just not spending the money. They are not doing road maintenance, and the intervention of the national department is constantly required to pressurise provinces to do their job and spend this money. That is unacceptable.

 

Secondly, skills are not available locally to conduct the maintenance in the provinces and in the cities. The urban provinces seem to be getting on with the job, whereas the rural provinces are collapsing because they just don’t have the skills to maintain the roads. The wrong methods are used to maintain the roads. I quote from the report:

 

During its site visit the committee discovered that the provincial department contracted a service provider to repair potholes with cement on a tar road.

 

That is ridiculous!

 

Thirdly, the parliamentary oversight by this committee is not helping. We need a new road-to-rail policy urgently. On page seven, the report itself says, and I quote again:

No progress has been made in repairing potholes on the roads since the initial visit by the committee in July 2011.

 

The committee went there, it went back, there has been no change, and there is no progress. The report speaks of returning in three months’ time. Well, the committee never went back in three months’ time. The committee has performed - listen to me now – zero ... no oversight visits from January 2012 until today, 19 March 2013. Why? [Interjections.] Nobody knows. Drastic action is required by government if our provincial and rural roads are to be saved.

 

There is not enough money, and this programme is not working because there are no skills to implement it. Government must take drastic action now if it does not want our provincial and rural roads to collapse completely. It’s a crisis! [Applause.]

 

Question agreed to.

 

Report on Oversight Visit to South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) accordingly adopted.

 

Report on Oversight Visit to KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape in relation to S’hamba Sonke accordingly adopted.

 

Report on Oversight Visit to North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape accordingly adopted.

UNITED IN ADVANCING SOCIOECONOMIC FREEDOM FOR ALL

 

(Debate on Human Rights Day)

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon House Chairperson, hon members of this august House, we must always bear in mind that from the outset, our strategic objective was to achieve the right to decide our political, social and economic future. The democratic breakthrough of 1994 afforded us ample opportunity to decide our political future and to build the democratic institutions necessary to guarantee our civil and political rights.

 

This was the first phase of our transition to a national democratic society, which is united, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous, and in which the value of every citizen is measured by our common humanity, ubuntu botho. The democratic institutions we have built are adequate for this purpose.

 

The 53rd National Conference of the ANC characterised the present as the second phase of our transition to a national democratic society. This means that the time has come for us to decide our own social and economic future. The moral decay or degeneration rooted in our dark and unjust past has become the greatest threat to our second phase of the transition.

 

Those who blame the democratic government and President Jacob Zuma, in particular, for the moral decay have chosen to forget that moral decay is not the product of our democratic dispensation. It is rooted in our dark and unjust past, and thrives because of degrading and dehumanising socioeconomic conditions resulting from the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. These challenges are rooted in the apartheid legacy.

 

Since the formation of the supremacist, racist union of South Africa, no government has done as much as this ANC government to combat moral decay. A little bit of historical background will aid our recollection of the glorious achievements of this government. Gang rape, corruption, Satanism, upsurges in violence, sexual assaults of women and children, drug and alcohol abuse have united the country in its outrage and in the condemnation of such acts against the defenceless and the vulnerable in our communities.

 

Let us repeat that violations of human rights are rooted in our dark and unjust past. The promotion and protection of human rights and, in particular, the fight against moral decay, is not the duty of government alone, but also that of all South Africans, both black and white.

 

Our icon Nelson Mandela put this in more definite and emphatic terms, and I quote:

 

In striving for our goals we must dispel the idea that change can come from government alone, while our people wait passively for delivery. As we were our own liberators, so too must we change our own lives for the better. However good our new laws may be on paper, they must be implemented and enforced before they bring benefits to workers and others. However good the policies of the government are, nothing will come of them without the active participation of each and every one of us.

 

Emphasising this point recently, President Jacob Zuma, in his address at the official opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders in Parliament, commented on the recent violent and shocking incidents which reverberated across the country and stated that this:

 

... should shock us into positive action, by making us focus on what can bind us as the South African nation. We must identify how we can support families and households in distress, strengthen our communities and take forward the mission of building a caring, united and prosperous society.

 

Sexual violence and the abuse of women and children, drug and alcohol abuse and other inhuman activities perpetrated against the vulnerable in our society threaten to derail the second phase of our transition. Our Constitution embodies the values of a just and caring society which we must promote.

What we have witnessed in recent weeks points to the fact that the process of social cohesion, nation-building and reconciliation remains under threat from the very real disparities between the rich and poor, black and white, women and men, rural and urban. These widening gaps between the haves and the have-nots continue to undermine our reconciliation efforts and pose a great threat to nation-building. These factors result from the legacy of apartheid that this government is doing its outmost to overcome.

 

The National Development Plan concurs that the moral decay could be linked to the legacy of colonialism and apartheid. In its 2009 election manifesto, the ANC undertook to work with the National Interfaith Movement, amongst others, to build cohesive, caring and sustainable communities. It undertook to work with the nine provincial interfaith forums for that purpose.

 

In the 8 January 2010 Statement, the ANC proclaimed that human development has spiritual and material aspects. In pursuit of this, both Houses of Parliament passed a resolution that created a Parliamentary Interfaith Council to facilitate partnerships between Parliament and interfaith organisations in the quest to create a new nation, united in its diversity. We wish to dedicate this debate to the role of the religious sector in the creation of socially cohesive, caring and sustainable communities.

 

Madiba anticipated the challenges of moral decay and its negative effect on the second phase of our transition. In this regard, Madiba taught us that spiritual transformation is a prerequisite for social and economic transformation. He defines spiritual transformation as the reconstruction and development programme – the RDP - of the soul.

 

For Madiba freedom also included the opportunity for the mind, soul and body to fulfil themselves. In other words, spiritual transformation includes the decolonisation of the mind. The moral decay or degeneration that we inherited from our dark and unjust past also resulted from adulterated religions which give rise to claims of Satanism. There is no unanimity on the definition of Satanism and where it comes from. Unless this matter is addressed properly, it could lead to the polarisation of the religious sector and lead to interreligious conflicts.

 

All in all, this moral decay deprives our people of self-knowledge, self-esteem, self-worth, a culture of self-help and self-reliance and the will for development and progress.

 

These values are required for social and economic transformation. No wonder that the Ethiopian movement, in which the seeds of the ANC were sown, emphasised self-esteem, self-help and self-reliance from its inception in the 1870s. Taking his cue from Ethiopianism and its Pan-African ideal, Madiba made moral regeneration an integral part of social and economic transformation. Madiba also took active steps to make spiritual transformation a prerequisite for social and economic transformation.

 

In 1997 Madiba convened a national religious summit which culminated in the formation of the National Religious Leaders’ Forum, the NRLF. This forum produced a code of conduct for people in positions of authority and the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.

 

In 1999 President Mandela convened the Morals Summit which resulted in the launch of the Moral Regeneration Movement, the MRM, by then Deputy President Jacob Zuma in 2002. The MRM produced the Charter of Positive Values, which has been widely distributed. No other organisation has done more than the ANC-led government to combat moral decay.

 

At his inauguration as the fourth President of the Republic, hon President Zuma called for partnership between government and all sectors for reconstruction, development and progress. In response, progressive religious leaders founded the National Interfaith Leaders Council, Nilc, which adopted a spiritual or moral and secular approach to development.

 

The Nilc adopted the social gospel, which was advocated by, inter alia, the late Sister Bernard Ncube, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, Beyers Naudé and others during the 1980s. This social gospel informed the programme to combat racism adopted by the World Council of Churches in the 1980s. The NRLF and Nilc merged on 2 September 2011, to form the National Interfaith Council of SA, Nicsa. Nicsa and Lead SA partnered with the Department of Basic Education to roll out the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities in all nine provinces, as part of the national effort to combat moral degeneration and inculcate ubuntu values and principles in the youth and children. Nicsa has also endorsed the presidential campaign against rape and abuse of learners in schools.

 

President Zuma told this august House that the recovery of the common humanity of all South Africans has been the cornerstone of ANC policy from its inception. The President directly linked the recovery of our common humanity with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

 

The President’s summit on social cohesion and nation-building confirmed this direct link between the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. In his opening address, the President said, and I quote:

 

The challenges of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, landlessness and the division of race, class and gender make it difficult to arrive at a socially cohesive and united society as fast as we would want to. Our responsibility as government is to lead the South African people towards a national democratic society. This is a society that is united, nonsexist, nonracial, democratic and prosperous ...

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member, your time has expired.

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: It is a society with a value system that is based on human solidarity and ubuntu, which promotes a society which prioritises caring for ...

 

[Interjections.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member, your time has expired.

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY:

 

 ... and respecting others.

 

[Interjections.]

 

Hon House Chairperson ... [Interjections.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Order, hon members! Hon Chief Whip, your time has expired.

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon House Chairperson, thank you for your indulgence. [Applause.]

 

Dr D T GEORGE: Chairperson, human rights imply human freedom - the freedom of every individual irrespective of their circumstances at birth to become everything that they are capable of being. This requires freedom to make choices; to choose what they will do on their journey through life; to choose where they will live, what they will learn, how they will contribute to society, who they will be associated with, who they will love and how they will participate in the economy. To exercise human rights, human beings need more than the political freedom to choose who governs. Political freedom is a milestone on the road to socioeconomic freedom for all, and we have a very long way to travel. Political freedom enables the people to choose a government that will offer them the opportunity to rise above past economic circumstances; that will offer an enabling environment within which they can thrive and pursue their dreams. They can choose a government that empowers them and adds value to their lives, a government that doesn’t loot the people’s money entrusted to its care. Crucially, they can change the government when it fails them.

 

Our country’s history is deeply troubled and scarred by the trauma inflicted by colonialism and the apartheid crime against humanity that led to the Sharpeville Massacre and deep divisions in our society, artificial spatial divides and glaring inequality in access to resources. Under conditions of grinding poverty and without the freedom to choose that comes with access to resources, a dignified life is not possible.

 

It is the role of government to facilitate the access to resources that will pave a pathway out of poverty. This objective has been achieved elsewhere in the world, and we can do it here too. Government can design economic policy to ensure that our economy grows big enough for everyone to participate in it and to enable our economy to accelerate at a faster and sustainable growth rate. The DA’s plan for growth and jobs reveals this possibility.

 

Post-apartheid economic history has already recorded several stalled economic policies, such as the Reconstruction and Development Programme and the plan for growth, employment and redistribution that began as great ideas and then stalled on implementation and eventually fell over. We’ve heard very noisy calls for nationalisation and expropriation without compensation and have received very mixed signals from the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan.

 

The DA believes that the significant time and effort devoted by the National Planning Commission to craft the National Development Plan was well spent and it should be implemented. Such is the irony of our beloved country that the DA provincial government in the Western Cape will implement the National Development Plan, yet the governing party in national government doesn’t have the political will to implement the plan, championed by the person who could have been the President if his party had selected the best qualified person to do the job, rather than a lowest common denominator able to keep all the squabbling factions within the national governing party coalesced around a common objective that isn’t clear to anyone.

 

The ANC is no longer the universally admired liberation movement that held the moral high ground against the illegitimate apartheid regime. We’re not sure what it is now, but the voters will soon tell us what they think about the R30 billion per annum that haemorrhages from the public financial system every year. They will tell us what they think about being left behind while some politically connected cadres feast on the people’s money.

 

There is no doubt that past legacies have left very deep structural defects in our economy that will take a long time to be resolved, even under a coherent economic policy and improvements in global economic conditions. Management of the public finances, the scarce financial resources that can make an immediate difference to the people’s lives, can be improved right now to advance the socioeconomic freedom of our people.

 

Our public financial system is in deep distress. Basic disciplines are not in place and there is no accountability. Financial procedures need to be in place and properly managed. The internal audit function needs to test and report on financial controls and procedures to the audit committee that should then take appropriate steps to resolve any problems. This will ensure that the Auditor-General receives correct and coherent financial statements that can be subjected to their audit.

 

Without these basic principles in place, recorded in deteriorating audit outcomes, our people do not receive the standard of education that will help to break the cycle of poverty. Entrepreneurs do not get the support that they should to grow their business. Our public enterprises do not deliver as they should. The Department of Public Works becomes a conduit for politically connected cadres to steal the people’s money, and SABC boards keep collapsing.

 

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts’ visit to Limpopo offered a glimpse of what happens when government loots the people’s money. It’s pleasing to see that some action is finally being taken, but this has nothing to do with good governance; it is about punishing those who have fallen out of political favour in the ANC – an internal faction fight that has left the people far behind and out of pocket. What about the human rights of the schoolchildren who never got their textbooks, or the patients in the hospitals who didn’t get the care their country could afford to offer them if their money wasn’t siphoned off by bloated, politically connected cronies?

 

Time isn’t needed to solve this problem. Action is needed, and that action could happen tomorrow if there was political will. It is clear that there isn’t any and that government will not act unless its arm is twisted. It will loot the people’s money and then hide behind one turnaround strategy after another, behind the revolving doors of cadre deployment, or behind apartheid legislation, as it is attempting to do with the Nkandla misappropriation.

 

Government only acted against Julius Malema when he became an international embarrassment and a threat to the President’s re-election. It never acted in Limpopo until the executive supported another candidate for President. Government’s belated action has nothing to do with ensuring the human rights of our people to access the financial resources our taxation system was designed to redistribute, and nothing to do with holding to account those cadres who stole the people’s money. It had nothing to do with opening opportunities for those who would otherwise be left behind, and everything to do with the enrichment of a few at the expense of everyone else.

 

Fortunately, individuals do have the freedom to choose who governs them and they will be exercising that freedom next year. The people will decide whether they want more and more looting that crowds out more and more opportunities and erodes their human rights and prevents the advancement of socioeconomic freedom for all; or they will choose the better option: a DA offer of an open-opportunity society for all. Thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mr M G P LEKOTA: Hon Chairperson, fellow members of the House, in the wake of the depression years of 1929 to 1933, one of the communities that found itself extremely disadvantaged was the Jewish community of the United States. Not only was it discriminated against, but also persecuted everywhere in Europe, as well as in the United States.

 

Confronted with this dilemma, like the majority of the people of our country, it also did not have opportunities for education and skills in abundance. The Jewish community then met and took a very practical, yet very well-thought-out decision. It resolved that every Jewish family must send at least one child into the teaching profession, nursing, or something of that nature. This is because they understoon that transformation of the human resource was the answer for them to come out of their poverty and backwardness.

 

After a few generations, the Jewish community came to occupy a leading position in American society. Indeed, to this day, its influence, its strength and its capacity continue to persist.

 

I recalled, as we were reflecting on this debate, that some time after I was released from Robben Island in the early 1980s, we had a discussion with some of the leading thinkers in the movement in KwaZulu-Natal. In the course of that discussion, some of the leading thinkers in the Indian community drew our attention to the fact that most Indian doctors, lawyers and advocates were children of educators, nurses and so on. That community had adopted a more or less similar strategy in that transformation of the human resource was the answer to taking the community out of backwardness, poverty, etc.

 

But there is an even more instructive example, even though it has some negatives here and there. A very instructive example, similar to these two, is what the leadership of the Afrikaner community did when it came to power. What they did was to identify the fact that they needed to transform the human resource – train the young people, send them to schools, give them the necessary skills. The poorest of families that had also come through the depression years - the late 1920s and the early 1930s – were able, in almost one generation, to do away with poverty and backwardness, because these young people were transformed into pilots of trains, engineers, etc.

 

If we look across the face of our country today and see advancement in infrastructure development, it has to do with how that was done. The tragedy of that exercise is that the minority that was governing did not have the foresight to think that it must not just train white children, but train and expose to education all the children of our nation. Had that been done, we would not be sitting where we are today where education and training are available to one section and lacking elsewhere.

 

But then, of course, it is critical that today we stand as a people and say to ourselves that that much has been the nature of the problem. How can we take control of the conditions of our country today?

 

We can do this by learning from these three different experiments and by transforming our society – the human resource element – so that we collectively, as a united nation, tackle the future and, in a few generations’ time, transform ourselves into a united force of transformation and development and raise our nation to where it really belongs.

 

There may be some doubts about what I am saying, but two days ago I was in Johannesburg and thought that if Julius Malema owed the SA Revenue Service R16 million in tax, how much money did he steal? [Time expired.] [Interjections.] [Applause.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): House Chair, hon members, the law of nature has bequeathed to us a sound and rich inheritance in the knowledge of the fundamental rights that mankind must recognise, respect and, ultimately, live in conformity with their philosophy. It is true that, as citizens of South Africa, we have been able to articulate human rights with the utmost brilliance and intelligence. We have successfully put in place human institutions as support systems.

 

But, at the same time, we have sadly lacked the national consciousness and conviction necessary to translate fully human rights and the fundamental freedoms into our day-to-day existence, neither in our relationships with one another, nor in the governance of the state.

 

As we continue to deliberate these big questions of our time in this House, we must acknowledge that what has been popularly referred to as the South African miracle has become, to a few of our citizens, a source of affluent living, obscene wealth, selfishness and corrupt tendencies. On the other hand, the same South African miracle, for the majority of our citizens, is perennial nightmares of unfreedoms of grinding poverty, unemployment, landlessness, homelessness, poor education, institutional brutality, racism and exploitation, violent rapes and murders.

 

The great exponents of the rights of man see these – meaning, human rights - as the manifestation of justice, the supreme value that must be written in the hearts of men and women, to make them an imperative guide of the moral order of our universe. By the same token, human rights must be the guides of the South African statehood.

 

On the contrary, the signs are now clear to all of us that almost 20 years into liberation from oppressive systems and long after South Africa was accepted into the human rights commonwealth, we are still presiding over a constitutional state that is struggling to fulfil some of its national and international obligations to the majority of its citizens. It is yet to fulfil to the satisfaction and for the freedom of the majority, the following obligations: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination; the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and we have just seen what the police did to somebody; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. We have seen how we handled the question of xenophobia.

 

Lastly, for this reason, the IFP feels that it is urgent for civil society, with all its components, and the government, as represented by Parliament, the executive and the judiciary, notwithstanding their independence, to recentre their efforts on human rights in a quest for moral accountability and personal responsibility as the basis for a stable social contract. I must hasten to say that failure to realise this unity can only put the constitutional state on a collision course with the civil state. I thank you.

 

Mr J J MCGLUWA: House Chairperson ...

 

Vir meer as ’n dekade lank het ons land Suid-Afrika ’n nuwe demokrasie ervaar. Die vraag ontstaan dus of hierdie regering suksesvol is sodat sy mense aanspraak kan maak op daardie konstitusionele regte wat hulle toekom, veral omdat Menseregtedag korrespondeer met Nasionale Waterweek.

 

Ons tema is Water is lewe – Bewaar dit, Respekteer dit, Geniet dit, maar vir die mense in die Noordwes, waar my kiesafdeling is, en veral in Wolmaranstad, Sannieshof, Lichtenburg en Tlokwe, is dit net ’n droom. Dit is doodeenvoudig ’n droom waar die ANC besig is om op te mors waar hy regeer. Die Ouditeur-Generaal het bevind dat R25 biljoen verloor is weens onreëlmatighede en vrugtelose spandering deur die nasionale en provinsiale regerings. Die hoofrede hiervoor was as gevolg van swak politieke leierskap. Dit is interessant, wanneer jy goeie politieke leierskap wil sien, kyk gerus na Midvaal en na die munisipaliteite waar die DA in die Wes-Kaap regeer. [Tussenwerpsels.] Dan moet ons ook nie munisipaliteite soos Nama Khoi, Hantam, Karoo Hoogland en Thembelihle in die Noord-Kaap, waar Cope en die DA saam regeer, vergeet nie. [Tussenwerpsels.]

 

Die Noordwesprovinsie is die grootste sondebok. Van hierdie R25 biljoen, is R4,1 biljoen die drein af. Die Ngaka Modiri Molema-distriksmunisipaliteit het ons mense gefaal ten opsigte van basiese menseregte. Sannieshof is konstant sonder water, agt keer minder as die gewone verbruik. Twee en sewentig persent van ons water gaan verlore vanweë lekkasies.

 

In Delareyville is daar ’n totale ondervoorsiening van water. Twee weke gelede was Delareyville vir meer as ’n week sonder ’n druppel water. Verlede week het ’n brandkraan op die hooftoevoerlyn gebreek. Water het uit die reservoir gestroom. Daar was geen bystand van die Tswaing-munisipaliteit nie. ’n Stuk houtstomp is in ’n stukkende kraan gedruk om hierdie water te stop.

 

In Atamelang was daar geen water vir agt maande nie, nieteenstaande die feit dat Atamelang 20 jaar vooruit genoegsame watervoorsiening op die Integrated Development Plan, IDP, [Geïntegreerde Ontwikkelingsplan] het nie. Kom besoek gerus plekke soos Deelpan en Kopela, wat in my kiesafdeling is, waar daar gereeld pompe buite werking is. In Lichtenburg is daar 21 boorgate waarvan slegs nege toegerus is. Die distrik het ons gefaal. Tlokwe, waar die ANC nie twee dae regeer het nie, het sonder water gesit.

 

As en wanneer ons onself tot daardie waardes en norme verbind, dit terug kan bring, en ons mense se menswaardigheig en daardie basiese regte respekteer, dan alleenlik kan ons sê dat ons met trots Menseregtedag sal waardeer en vier. Gee vir ons water in Ngaka Modiri Molema-distrik in die Noordwesprovinsie sodat ons met vreugde Menseregtedag kan vier. Baie dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

 

[For more than a decade our country, South Africa, has been experiencing a new democracy. The question is thus whether this government is successful so that its people can lay claim to those constitutional rights which belong to them, especially because Human Rights Day corresponds with National Water Week.

 

Our theme is Water is life – Preserve it, Respect it, Enjoy it, but to the people in North West, where my constituency is, and especially in Wolmaranstad, Sannieshof, Lichtenburg and Tlokwe, this is only a dream. Where the ANC is governing and mismanaging things it simply remains a dream. The Auditor-General has found that R25 billion was lost due to irregular and fruitless expenditure by the national and provincial governments. The main reason for this was due to weak political leadership. It is interesting that if you want to see good political leadership, please look at Midvaal and at municipalities where the DA is governing in the Western Cape. [Interjections.] Then we also must not forget about municipalities like Nama Khoi, Hantam, Karoo Hoogland and Thembelihle in the Northern Cape, where Cope and the DA are governing together. [Interjections.]

 

The North West province is the biggest culprit in this regard. Of this R25 billion, it wasted R4,1 billion. The Ngaka Modiri District Municipality failed our people regarding their basic human rights. Sannieshof is constantly without water, eight times less than the normal consumption. About 72% of our water is lost due to leakages.

 

In Delareyville there is a total undersupply of water. Two weeks ago Delareyville was without a drop of water for more than a week. Last week a hydrant on the main supply line broke. Water streamed from the reservoir. No support was given by the Tswaing municipality. A piece of a wooden stump was forced into a broken tap in order to stop the water.

 

Despite the fact that Atamelang had sufficient water provision for 20 years in advance in terms of the Integrated Development Plan, IDP, it had no water for eight months. Please visit places like Deelpan and Kopela, which are in my constituency, where pumps are regularly out of order. In Lichtenburg there are 21 waterholes, of which only nine are equipped. The district has failed us. Tlokwe, where the ANC did not even govern for two days, was without water.

 

If and when we commit ourselves to those values and norms, and if we can bring them back and respect our people’s human dignity and basic rights, only then can we say that we can appreciate and celebrate Human Rights Day with pride. Give us water in the Ngaka Modiri Molema district in the North West province so that we can celebrate Human Rights Day with joy. Thank you very much. [Applause.]]

 

Mr S Z NTAPANE: Hon House Chairperson and hon members, Human Rights Day is a reminder of the tragic 1960 Sharpeville massacre, in which the police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid pass laws.

 

Today, South Africans, from all walks of life, use this day to celebrate our unique Constitution, which gives equal rights to all, and to take stock of the progress we are making to promote, develop and protect human rights in South Africa.

 

Impressive strides have been made since the advent of democracy in 1994. A larger number of people have access to basic services. However, these achievements are not enough, considering that millions of rural communities have no access to water and sanitation, while others are persistently marginalised in the provision of their basic human rights in areas such as health care, basic education, economic opportunities and social services.

 

In addition, our nation is characterised by high levels of poverty, reflected in its racial and regional dimensions. We all know that poverty is the greatest human rights violation. Coexisting with these high levels of poverty are extreme levels of inequality of income. It is common knowledge that the gap between the rich and the poor in South Africa is very high.

 

Over the past few weeks, we have heard numerous debates relating to the topic of gender equality. In these debates, we picked up certain common threads. We live in a society that has taken great strides towards gender equality since the inception of democracy, but we also have a long way to go. The scourge of misogyny and discrimination based on gender continues, and it is our mothers, our sisters and our daughters who are suffering. We have also seen the horrific crimes that have been committed against the women of South Africa. All of this put together undermines our efforts to promote, develop and protect human rights in South Africa.

 

We wake up daily to stories and incidents of police brutality, where those who are entrusted with protecting our people’s human rights violate the same rights that they are supposed to protect. The situation has degenerated to the extent that police officers drag people behind police vans and fire at protesters.

 

To achieve socioeconomic freedom for all, our socioeconomic values must change towards those of mutual prosperity and interdependence. We should work towards a society whose interaction is based on the fundamental values of ubuntu. Drawing from these values would enable us to build an economic system that is based on the principles of love, mutual respect for human rights and mutual empowerment. Thank you, hon Chairperson.

 

Adv A D ALBERTS: Chairperson, it can probably be said that there is unity amongst parties in this House with regard to the overarching idea of socioeconomic freedom. It would be rare to find anyone that is not committed to eradicating poverty and social injustice. However, when it comes to the exact type of outcome and the methodology concerned, then we all start to disagree substantially across the spectrum, as informed by economic notions from libertarianism to communism.

 

Die ANC se konsep van ’n ontwikkelingstaat verteenwoordig een van die vele ekonomiese sienings, maar dit is belangrik om dit te analiseer omdat dit tans die dominante paradigma verteenwoordig. Die ontwikkelingstaat veronderstel ’n ekonomie waarin die staat ’n sterk en besliste rol speel in die rigting wat die ekonomie inslaan. Dit behels inmenging in die mark deur allerlei staatsgeleide programme, soos regstellende aksie en swart ekonomiese bemagtiging, asook deelname aan die mark self deur, byvoorbeeld, die beoogde staatsmynhuis. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

 

[The concept of a developmental state held by the ANC represents one of many economic visions, but it is important that one analyses it because at present it represents the dominant paradigm. The developmental state presupposes an economy in which the state plays a strong and defining role with regard to the direction in which the economy is heading. It entails intervention by means of various government-controlled programmes, like affirmative action and black economic empowerment, as well as participation in the market itself through, for example, the envisaged government mining house.]

 

The developmental state is thus one that prefers a planned economy and is distributive in nature. The question, however, against the backdrop of human rights, is whether it creates a just economy. In other words, does it eradicate poverty? Does it cherish freedom? Does it ensure that no new victims are created in its wake?

 

The proof, of course, is in the pudding. If we have regard for the consequences of this policy, we can glean the following, amongst other things. Firstly, policies like affirmative action and black economic empowerment have led to the enrichment of but a few and the impoverishment of hundreds of thousands of white families;  secondly, strong economic growth is evading us due to a market that is not free enough to allow for budding entrepreneurs and that is permeated by systemic corruption; and, lastly, instead of fostering growth through a truly free market, government is merely distributing wealth, thus thinning the tax base that is financing a bloated state service and millions on grants. This is also known as a Ponzi scheme.

 

Dit sal die regering dus baat om nie die land se Grondwet bloot te interpreteer soos dit hom pas nie, maar ook om ag te slaan op sekere fundamentele menseregte daarin vervat. Die sosio-ekonomiese regte in die Grondwet is in beginsel opeisbaar vir almal, maar is in werklikheid net realiseerbaar vir swartes weens rasse-diskriminasie. In werklikheid het ons hier te doen met strukturele ekonomiese geweld wat deur die ANC toegepas word.

 

Uiteindelik sal sosio-ekonomiese vryheid net gerealiseer word wanneer ons die regte ekonomiese beleid begin toepas wat groei toelaat. Deur voort te gaan met rasse-diskriminasie 18 jaar nadat die ANC begin regeer het, is om te begroot vir ’n toekoms waar die internasionale gemeenskap nie ’n probleem sal hê indien minderhede, en spesifiek die Afrikaner, eensydig afskei van die ANC-regime nie. Sonder ekonomiese vryheid sal daar uiteindelik gesoek word na politieke vryheid. Daardie dag is naby. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

 

[Therefore, the government will benefit from not simply interpreting the Constitution of the country as it suits itself, but also taking note of certain fundamental human rights contained therein. The socioeconomic rights in the Constitution are in principle claimable by everyone, but can in actual fact only be realised by blacks due to racial discrimination. In effect, what we have here is structural economic violence which the ANC is practising.

 

Eventually, socioeconomic freedom will only be realised when we start practising the correct economic policy which allows for growth. To continue with racial discrimination 18 years after the ANC started to govern is to budget for a future in which the international community won’t have a problem if minorities, and especially the Afrikaner, unilaterally secede from the ANC regime. Without economic freedom the search for political freedom will be the ultimate result. That day is near.]

 

Thank you, Chairperson.

 

Mrs W S NEWHOUDT-DRUCHEN: Hon Chairperson and hon members of the House, the 1994 Reconstruction and Development Programme document stated that, and I quote:

 

No political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people remain in poverty, without land, without tangible prospects for a better life. Attacking poverty and deprivation must therefore be the first priority of our democratic government.

 

We are now celebrating 19 years of democracy. We have been celebrating Human Rights Day for 19 years. This means that we celebrate our freedom, our democracy, our right to vote and our right to education. We celebrate gender equality and our right to practise our religion. While we do this, we must also look around us and tell ourselves that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in South Africa.

 

In spite of being able to celebrate Human Rights Day and having all our rights, there are still underlying issues of racism, gender inequality, disabled people experiencing being refused the right or access to education, people experiencing being refused access to water on farms, and people experiencing being refused access to safety and security in our country. This is still happening around us, especially in this province.

 

Knowing this, we still need to educate South Africa. [Applause.] We need to educate our women, our youth, people with disabilities and children about their rights and how to access their rights. Some of us know about our rights and we demand our rights, but forget that these rights come with responsibilities.

 

Knowing our rights and also simply being unique as South Africans, we also need to look around and outside our borders to see how the violation of rights is happening in other parts of the world and in Africa.

 

Not so long ago we read about a young girl who was shot because she dared to speak about the right to education for the girl-child. We hear about ethnic cleansing, and we read about women being beaten to death for flimsy, silly reasons.

As we celebrate Human Rights Day, we are constantly reminded of the need to tell our stories of our achievements with regard to human rights.

 

Well, in spite of our achievements and the stories that we tell, we still have the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality. At the bottom of South Africa’s economic challenges is a structural economic challenge that, if left unaddressed, will exacerbate the growing income inequality. These challenges relate to a skewed pattern of ownership and production characterised by inequality, dualism and marginalisation.

 

Our economic policy, so far, has focused on derationalising the economy and empowering black people. The powerful role of capital over the economy, as owners and controllers, has always been downplayed in so far as it was discriminatory. Over time there have been many proposals for a partnership between state and capital, but the economy has stalled, inequality has increased and massive social problems still remain.

 

Inequality in South Africa is higher now than it was in 1994. The rich are richer than they were back then and the poor are not that much richer than they were before. Are we serious when we talk about changing the structure of the economy? Will businesses assist government to change the structure of the economy so that we can get rid of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment? Economic priorities should address the changes that the economic system needs to undergo over the next five years.

 

Our President, in his state of the nation address, also spoke about the work and the achievements of government – work to improve the economy and provide jobs for our people. He made mention of the R860 billion that has been spent on infrastructure since 2009, the shift in the transportation of coal from road to rail in Mpumalanga, the construction of the Majuba rail-coal line, the improvement in the movement of goods and economic integration through the Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor, and construction to develop a new trans-shipment hub. These are but a few of the projects in terms of which we can see job creation taking place.

 

The focus areas for economic development will be seen in the National Development Plan, the New Growth Path, the Industrial Policy Action Plan and the youth, small businesses and the co-operatives sector.

 

The ANC confirmed that National Development Plan 2030 is to be South Africa’s vision for socioeconomic development. This plan aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. According to this plan, South Africa can realise these goals by drawing on the energies of its own people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnership throughout society.

 

The NDP also supports the stance that public employment should be expanded to provide work for the unemployed, with a specific focus on youth and women. The transformation of the economy should involve the active participation and empowerment of women.

 

The New Growth Path seizes on the potential of the new economies, such as the green economy, investment in social capital and public services, as well as spatial development.

 

The NDP and its NGP are complementary in their effort to lower costs in the economy, especially as high costs contribute towards limited employment growth and increase hardship for poor households. The Industrial Policy Action Plan involves phased support for manufacturing to support and encourage activities that generate employment on a large scale and meet the basic needs at a lower cost in the short to medium term.

 

With regard to the youth, small businesses and the co-operatives sector, the ANC will campaign for both massive opportunities for young people and improve their full employability. The pillars that ground the support for the youth employment drive are the following: that economic considerations be defined by an unambiguous commitment to providing jobs for all young people of the land, the need to reduce inequalities through the provision of jobs, and the need for all South Africans to act collectively in the fight against massive unemployment.

 

All of us in this House and every South African in our country have the responsibility to report crime. We cannot expect government to act alone against corruption, domestic violence and the abuse of women. Each of us in this House has a collective responsibility. [Applause.] Many of us have that responsibility. So, all of us in South Africa should stay united in the advancement of the economic freedom of all our people. I thank you, Chair. [Applause.]

 

Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, I was wondering if I was going to have to stand on that little box, but I will continue. The ACDP believes that it is an admirable aspiration to be united in advancing socioeconomic freedom. But we need first to fully understand what we mean by this. Is it the progressive realisation of socioeconomic rights, as contained in the Bill of Rights, which we fully support? Is it addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality in society? Again, we fully support that. However, what it cannot be is a free ticket for unscrupulous officials, businessmen and deployed cadres to make as much money as possible from corrupt and fraudulent state tenders. Regrettably, many people seem to hold this view.

 

As we prepare to commemorate Human Rights Day, it is instructive to consider second-generation rights, as interpreted by the Constitutional Court. The Grootboom case, of which we are all aware, dealt with housing, and highlighted the context within which socioeconomic rights need to be interpreted. It stated:

 

Millions of people are living in deplorable conditions and in great poverty. There is a high level of unemployment, inadequate social security, and many do not have access to clean water or to adequate health services.

 

As we are aware, the state is obliged to take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these socioeconomic rights. In the light of our history, this is extraordinarily difficult, as there are severe budgetary constraints, with many pressing demands on the public purse. Nonetheless, it is an obligation imposed on the state by the Constitution.

 

The question can then justifiably be asked whether, 17 years after the adoption of the Constitution, the state has made sufficient progress to fulfil these second-generation socioeconomic rights. Whilst a lot of progress has been made, we believe from our side that it is not a sufficient amount of progress, given the high levels of fraud and corruption in government that are not sufficiently addressed. Many speakers have referred to this. One must just think that if those funds had been made available for service delivery - one speaks of R30 billion per year - this would have resulted in a speedier realisation of these rights in terms of our Constitution.

 

Additionally, if one has regard for the high levels of crime and violence, particularly against women and children, it can justifiably be argued that the state is even failing to fulfil first-generation rights – those to life and human dignity, and to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources. Clearly, far more needs to be done in this regard.

 

The Bill of Rights also has horizontal application and it binds the private sector. If members of the Twelve Apostles Church in Christ cannot rely on a private bus company to bring them safely home from a prayer meeting, then, again, these constitutional rights are meaningless. They provide cold comfort to those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones. Let us be mindful of this as we prepare to celebrate Human Rights Day. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, may I just ask you to take your seats, please? There are too many members who are standing around. As they enter the House, they don’t take their seats. They have long conversations, show no interest in this important debate, and then they simply walk out again. It is unacceptable.

 

An HON MEMBER: Hear, hear!

Mrs I C DITSHETELO: Chair, when we step out of our comfortable existence and pay a visit to where the majority of South Africans live - the townships and rural South Africa - we then begin to doubt that there is even such a concept as human rights in South Africa. If it does exist on paper, is it worth celebrating?

 

Of course, the Constitution lays out the rights beautifully and is internationally acclaimed, but many of these rights are enjoyed only by those who can afford them. The institutions tasked as overseers, so to speak, of the Constitution continue to falter, leaving citizens vulnerable. Almost all of the rights are insignificant when socioeconomic rights are wilfully neglected.

 

Human dignity is seriously impaired by degrading levels of poverty and persistent unemployment. For the 40% of South Africans that are without jobs, what freedoms and rights do they enjoy in their circumstances? For the 76% of South African households living in informal dwellings, what meaning do human rights have for them? As for those that are forced to accept poorly constructed RDP houses, what recourse do they have? If they don’t have or can’t access any recourse, what can you then say to them about rights?

 

I am of the opinion that as long as the majority of our people live in abject poverty, then none of these freedoms and rights carry any meaning at all. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr R B BHOOLA: Hon Chairperson, we are undoubtedly internationally acclaimed for the kind of fight we fought and, indeed, we need to be proud of the kind of Constitution we produced. However, we need to address all the negative impediments that cause stagnation in our economy.

 

Police brutality constitutes complete abuse of power and shows disrespect for any procedures. They perpetuate being a law unto themselves and conduct their own trials, and this is definitely a glaring culture of ignorance. It is very clear that they have not been educated about human rights and the right to a fair trial. The fact that they are prone to using violence as their first resort instead of their last, calls for an absolute need to set a system in place that will select good police officers.

 

We need to develop a code of ethics, and those that are in violation need to be completely removed. We commend the Minister’s attempts. Whilst the arrests that have been made are a positive stride, we cannot relax for a moment. We have to instil the correct culture.

 

With regard to socioeconomic rights, indeed, we can’t realise them all in one go, but there are too many people that are poor and hungry. Their rights are violated because of instability. In order to give hope to the people, the MF recognises, beyond a shadow of a doubt, fraud and corruption to be the biggest threats to our human rights culture.

We must address the issue of those that are denied social grants and those that qualify for housing, yet are denied. For those that are completely unemployed, it would be totally reasonable for them not to have houses, but for those that are better off to have houses. This nullifies our Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. We need to go beyond race. Poverty is not a race issue. It cuts across all sectors of our communities, and the allocation of houses is very sectional, racial and biased in nature.

 

The South African Schools Act implies all children under the age of 16 must be in school and educated; if not, the parents will be arrested. But quite to the contrary, a number of children are seen begging on street corners. Their denial of education is a denial of their fundamental right. We need to clean up the streets and send these children back to school. There must be awareness and strategy enforcement. This is a suicidal problem and not a parental problem. The mere fact that this is mentioned in the South African Schools Act makes it incumbent upon all of us to act responsibly. All departments must come on board, together with politicians and government. As we profoundly uphold and protect the supreme law of our country, we must, indeed, ultimately ensure the protection of all our people’s rights. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mrs J F TERBLANCHE: House Chair, my colleague the hon Dion George focused on the ways in which people are faulted by the system to overcome their respective circumstances and enter an open-opportunity society for all, in which anyone can become what she or he aspires to be. My focus will be on the devastating effect that the lack of socioeconomic freedom or simply the lack of any freedom has on women in South Africa.

 

We have a Bill of Rights enshrined in the Constitution that is supposed to ensure equality amongst men and women, to protect their freedom of speech, association and safety, amongst other things. In 2004, the National Council of Provinces unanimously accepted the motion against President Thabo Mbeki for his refusal to deal with the serious crime of rape in our country. Fast forward to 2012 and you have President Zuma saying that things should be done in an African way, according to an African culture. We say: Let us look at the way things stand in South Africa from a South African way and view the harsh realities women face, head-on and without blinkers.

 

If you look at it from this angle, you will see that South African women find themselves in a society in which criminal abuses against them are embedded in a culture of impunity. Open any newspaper on any given day and you will read about the gruesome rape of a grandmother, a baby, or the horrific gang rape, mutilation and murder of a teenager.

 

A Medical Council study shows that every eight hours a woman is killed by her intimate partner. According to the World Health Organisation, 60 000 South African women and children a month are victims of domestic violence, which amounts to the highest rate in the world. This is a scandal. The Medical Research Council estimates that South Africa’s femicide rate is five times higher than the global average. South African sex crimes statistics are 65 000 a year, which is a mere fraction of the real figure of around 650 000. All specialist nongovernmental organisations agree that just 10% of rapes are reported, of which only a fraction of cases lead to successful prosecution.

 

My colleague the hon Dianne Kohler-Barnard has since 2006 raised the issue of compensation for the victims of violent crime and has searched for and found a way in which the state could assist victims of violent crime and also their families. The ANC rejected this. The SA Law Reform Commission approved an extensive report on this subject which was simply ignored.

 

In essence, before we start to debate the socioeconomic factors which keep women enslaved in a patriarchal and chauvinist society, the real issue of us being equal to men should be addressed. According to Claire Hawkridge, the situation for traditional women is even worse. In many traditional courts, women are not allowed to represent themselves or even speak during proceedings. This in itself is a terrible state of affairs.

 

The time has come for like-minded South Africans, women, men and children, to stand up and demand the freedom that is rightfully theirs, the freedom for which 69 people sacrificed their lives in Sharpeville on 21 March 1960. Wathint’ abafazi wathint’ imbokodo. If you strike women, you strike a rock. [Applause.]

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: House Chairperson, the theme for Human Rights Day this year is United in Advancing Socioeconomic Freedom for All. This theme underscores the progressive and transformative content of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights that so many sacrificed so much for, including the men and women who were gunned down at Sharpeville and KwaLanga on 21 March 1960.

 

It’s worrying, then, that some are making a concerted attempt to distort and to water down the progressive content of socioeconomic rights in the Constitution whilst, at the same time, trying to cast doubt on government and the ANC’s commitment to the Constitution, political rights and the rule of law. We saw that here today in the early campaign speeches by the hon George, Lekota, and McGluwa. [Interjections.]

 

South Africa has received accolades from across the world for its progressive and transformative Constitution and the manner in which its vision is being implemented. A recent report by the World Justice Project put South Africa in the top half of middle-income countries in its 2012 Rule of Law Index. The report highlighted areas of concern, such as crime and corruption, that government itself has elevated to national priorities, along with education, health care, economic development and job creation, rural development and land reform.

 

We know this report to be true because we ourselves can see and experience a Constitutional Court that functions independently. Every day of every year it hears matters in which the constitutionality of laws and of executive action is being tested, and in each and every one of those cases, without fail, government or Parliament has honoured the judgments of our Constitutional Court. We know that to be true, because every day our Constitutional Court further develops a progressive jurisprudence around the socioeconomic rights contained in our Constitution.

 

We know that report to be true, because every day we experience the work of our Chapter 9 institutions, the Public Protector, the Human Rights Commission and the Gender Commission. We know that when matters are referred to the Public Protector, they are investigated without fear or favour, and that the reports of the Public Protector are dealt with seriously and acted upon. That never happened in the history of this country until the democracy we fought so long for. [Applause.]

 

We know that to be true, because we have an Auditor-General, established in terms of our Constitution, that does his or her work without fear or favour. We know that those reports are published and that they are taken seriously. That degree of oversight never existed before we became a democracy. [Applause.]

 

Last year, South Africa was also commended by states participating in the UN Human Rights Commission’s Universal Periodic Review mechanism for its commitment to human rights and improving the lives of its citizens; the delivery of basic services, such as housing, health care and education; as well as our leading role in the UN Human Rights Commission regarding the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex, LGBTI, persons. Indeed, South Africa has made impressive strides, both in establishing and consolidating a culture of constitutional democracy, as well as in realising the socioeconomic rights contained in our Constitution.

 

Access to electricity now stands at 12,1 million, which translates into 85%. Access to education has improved dramatically, with 96% of children below the age of 15 in school. [Interjections.] [Applause.] With near universal access to education, the challenge of improving the quality of that education is now a priority, especially in maths, science and technology.

 

More than 10 million people have been provided with shelter through 2,6 million subsidised houses. Health care has been expanded through the construction of more than 700 clinics and the strengthening of primary health care, and will be further expanded with the imminent introduction of the National Health Insurance Fund. All of this is the result of the Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, that we are told has stalled. Of course some policies have never stalled because they have never started moving.

 

Few societies have been able to do so much in such a short space of time against such obstacles to make life better for so many, as the democratic South Africa has. [Interjections.] It’s concerning, then, that some continue to propagate the untruth that government and the ANC are inimical to the Constitution, its institutions and the rule of law generally.

 

Of course, tremendous obstacles remain, in particular dealing with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. It is exactly for this reason that we’ve adopted and are implementing the National Development Plan, NDP, and the New Growth Path. It’s more worrying because this attempt seems to coincide with the adoption of policy positions by the ANC and government that seek to accelerate the pace and depth of socioeconomic transformation. It’s at exactly this juncture, when we talk about a second phase of our transition, that these attempts are being made.

 

A case in point is the article written by the hon Lindiwe Mazibuko, parliamentary Leader of the DA, after this year’s state of the nation address in which President Zuma outlined government’s programmes to accelerate socioeconomic transformation, including measures to address the land question. So, what does the hon Mazibuko write? She says:

 

Instead of condemning the willing-buyer, willing-seller principle, he should have focused on the proposals of the NDP which the DA supports. The President played a game of smoke and mirrors. He said his government would be guided by the constitutional principles underpining land reform, but the same Constitution prescribes the willing-buyer, willing-seller principle.

 

I’ve been in Parliament since 1994 and ... [Interjections.] ... the Constitution that I was part of writing ...

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: ... says nothing of the sort. [Interjections.] Of course, this is a blatant untruth, as even the most cursory glance at section 25 of the Constitution, the so-called property clause, will show. South Africa has one of the most progressive and transformative property clauses of any constitution in the world. It provides explicitly for appropriation at fair and just compensation and goes so far as to put a positive obligation upon the state to take reasonable steps to ensure citizens have access to land. [Interjections.]

 

The Constitution also makes it clear that no provision may impede the state from taking legislative and other measures to achieve land, water and related reform in order to redress the result of past racial discrimination ...

 

An HON MEMBER: Yes!

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: ... provided that such measures are in keeping with the limitations clause. [Applause.] The question is: Why would the Leader of the Opposition tell such a demonstrably blatant untruth? Perhaps it was not the President playing a game of smoke and mirrors, but rather the hon Mazibuko trying to create the smokescreen referred to by President Nelson Mandela in his statement to the ANC’s Bill of Rights Conference in 1991. He said:

 

A simple vote, without food, shelter and health care is to use first-generation rights as a smokescreen to obscure the deep underlying forces which dehumanise people. It is to create an appearance of equality and justice, while, by implication, socioeconomic inequality is entrenched.

 

[Applause.]

 

Of course, President Mandela understood first-, second- and third-generation rights not as opposites, but as complementary, mutually interdependent and reinforcing. [Interjections.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order! Order, hon members! Deputy Minister, will you please take your seat? Hon members, interjections are allowed, but may I request that you please do not attempt to drown out the speaker with your interjections. You may continue, sir.

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much. Nonetheless, the truth is a painful affair. [Interjections.]

 

We owe it to the memory of the women and men who died at Sharpeville and KwaLanga to celebrate and defend our Constitution, including against the distortion of its progressive and transformative content.

 

We also know that for as long as there are 64 000 cases of rape reported to the police, as there were last year, for as long as women and children live in fear, and for as long as hate crimes are perpetrated against members of the LGBTI community, the promise of our Constitution will not have been realised. South Africa has some of the best and most advanced legislation and policies against sexual and gender-based violence. Legislation, such as the Domestic Violence Act, the Sexual Offences Act and the Children’s Act, is being used against perpetrators of violence against women and children. They are already receiving heavy sentences. The police have reintroduced Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units. [Interjections.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! I can’t even hear the speaker!

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The Thuthuzela Care Centres operated by the National Prosecuting Authority are aimed at improving the care and treatment of rape victims at all points in our criminal justice system. In the Budget tabled recently by the Minister of Finance, provision was made for increasing these Thuthuzela Care Centres from 35, currently, to 55 by 2015/16.

 

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development has also announced the reintroduction of Sexual Offences Courts. It’s envisaged that 58 of these courts will be fully functional during the first six months of the new financial year. The criminal justice system, no matter how effective we make it, can only be a part of the solution. Eliminating sexual and gender-based violence is inextricably linked to the fundamental transformation of our society from one characterised by patriarchal attitudes and power relations to a truly nonsexist society envisaged by our Constitution. This will require a collective effort by all of us, including in the home, where many of those attitudes originate.

 

In this regard, the way in which the hon Terblanche has portrayed this matter as an issue of government and government alone, I think is a distortion and it does a grave and serious disservice to a very serious matter. [Interjections.]

 

In conclusion, I wish to raise the question of the role of national days in the promotion of social cohesion and national unity. I came across the following piece about Human Rights Day in an online magazine focusing on Cape Town:

 

Officially declared a public holiday in 1994, Human Rights Day, 21 March, serves both as a reminder of the happenings of the Sharpeville massacre as well as a celebration of Mzansi’s unique foundation, which gives all citizens equal rights.

 

So far so good. However, it continues and says:

 

This year, the national day off falls on a Thursday – all the more reason to put in a day’s leave on Friday – and what better way to celebrate this coveted long-weekend interlude than with a range of activities and things to do in Cape Town. Thus, eat, drink, be merry and celebrate Human Rights Day in Cape Town and surrounds with a handful of off-the-hook and downright delicious events in the Mother City. There’s a heap of highlights on offer, from live music shows to free parties, decadent dinners to thought-provoking plays, and so much more.

 

It then gives a list of top 10 suggestions for things to do on Human Rights Day, one of which is:

 

Celebrate Human Rights Day in Cape Town on the seaside terrace of the [XXX] Hotel at the [XXX] Waterfront. The ocean-front eatery is serving up a range of cocktails available at a 30% discount and live entertainment to commemorate this historic day. Chill out on the outdoor terrace and soak up the sun on the day.

 

Mrs S V KALYAN: Chair, on a point of order: I would like to know if the hon Deputy Minister is talking about tourism or Human Rights.

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): That is not a point of order, hon member. [Interjections.] Order, hon members!

 

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT:  I hope, then, that hon members will be attending Human Rights Day in Paarl or participating in other activities in their constituencies that give real meaning and content to Human Rights Day – content that will make us more united ... [Applause.] ... in pursuing the goal of advancing socioeconomic freedom for all, thereby celebrating, defending and realising the transformative vision of our Constitution. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members!

 

An HON MEMBER: The best part of that speech was the end!

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, I’ve called the House to order!

 

Debate concluded.

 

The House adjourned at 19:14.

________

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

FRIDAY, 15 MARCH 2013

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

National Assembly

 

The Speaker

 

1.            House resolution on Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill

 

(1) By resolution of the National Assembly adopted on 14 March 2013, the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill [B 8B – 2010] has been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry for consideration and report. The Bill has also been resubmitted to the JTM for reconsideration of its classification, and is to be referred to the National House of Traditional Leaders for comment.

 

2.            Introduction of Bill

 

(1) Minister of Science and Technology

 

(a) Africa Institute of South Africa Act Repeal Bill [B 6 – 2013] (National Assembly – proposed sec 75) [[Explanatory summary of Bill and prior notice of its introduction published in Government Gazette No 36239 of 13 March 2013.]

                Introduction and referral to the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology of the National Assembly, as well as referral to the Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) for classification in terms of Joint Rule 160.

 

                In terms of Joint Rule 154 written views on the classification of the Bill may be submitted to the JTM. The Bill may only be classified after the expiry of at least three parliamentary working days since introduction.

 

TABLINGS

 

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

 

1.            The Minister of Energy

 

(a)          Annual Performance Plan of the Department of Energy for 2013/2014.

 

(b)          Strategic Plan for 2013-18 and Annual Performance Plan for 2013-14 of the National Nuclear Regulator for 2013 – 2018.

 

(c)           Strategic Plan of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) for 2012/13 – 2016/17 and Annual Performance Plan for 2013/14 – 2015/16.

 

2.            The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development

 

(a)          Annual Report of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) for the year ended December 2012, tabled in terms of section 23(1)(c) of the National Conventional Arms Control Act, 2002 (Act No 41 of 2002).

 

(b) 2012 Fourth Quarterly Report of the National Conventional Arms Control   Committee (NCACC), tabled in terms of section 23(1)(b) of the National Conventional Arms Control Act, 2002 (Act No 41 of 2002).

 

3.            The Minister of Public Enterprises

 

(a) Eskom’s tariff increase for 2013-14 and amended pricing structure for municipalities with effect from 1 July 2013, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003), and supporting documents required in terms of section 42(3) of the same Act.

 

4.            The Minister of Sport and Recreation

 

(a)          Strategic Plan of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport for 2010 - 2014.

 

(b)          Annual Performance Plan of Boxing South Africa for 2012/13 – 2016/17.

 

5.            The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs

 

(a)          Amatola Water Board’s proposed increase in water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(b)          Bloem Water Board’s proposed increase in water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(c)           Botshelo Water Board’s proposed increase in water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(d)          Bushbuckridge Water Board’s proposed water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(e)          Lepelle Northern Water Board’s proposed increase in water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(f) Magalies Water Board’s proposed increase in water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(g) Mhlathuze Water Board’s proposed increase in water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(h)          Overberg Water Board’s proposed increase in water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(i)            Pelladrift Water Board’s proposed water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(j)           Rand Water Board’s proposed increase in water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(k)          Sedibeng Water Board’s proposed increase in water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

(l)            Umgeni Water Board’s proposed increase in water tariffs for 2013-14, tabled in terms of section 42 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No 56 of 2003).

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

National Assembly

 

1. REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ON CONSIDERATION OF SOUTH AFRICA’S SECOND, THIRD AND FOURTH PERIODIC STATE PARTY REPORT TO THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD FOR THE PERIOD 1998 TO SEPTEMBER 2012, DATED 14 MARCH 2013

 

The Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities, having considered the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Periodic State Party Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for the period 1998 to September 2012, reports as follows:

1. Introduction

 

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child country report was formally referred to the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities on 26 February 2013 as well as the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, Portfolio Committee on Social Development, Portfolio Committee on Health, Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Portfolio Committee on Basic Education and Portfolio Committee on Labour. However, given the time stringent deadlines conferral with all relevant Committees was not feasible.

 

The Portfolio Committee for Women, Children and People with Disabilities in fulfilling its mandate is responsible for ensuring compliance with international and regional treaties that has a bearing on women, children and persons with disabilities. In addition, the Committee is also tasked with the responsibility to create opportunities for public participation with civil society on key matters pertaining to the Committee’s target groups.

 

To this end, the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities has scheduled a meeting for this Wednesday 6 March 2013 at Parliament on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Country Report for presentations by civil society. The Committee deems it important to gain the perspectives of civil society on this crucial matter. Moreover, the Committee also engaged with the Department Women, Children and People with Disabilities; Justice and Constitutional Development; Social Development; Health; Home Affairs; Basic Education and Labour on 13 March 2013 in this regard.

 

2. Background

 

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 44/25 on 20 November 1989 and was entered into force on 2 September 1990, in accordance with Article 49. It was one treaty that was acceded to rapidly by most countries across the world. The preamble of the Convention sets out civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of children.

 

This Convention also has 3 optional protocols that have subsequently been adopted by the General Assembly which are only applicable to States who signed and ratified the CRC. South Africa signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1993 and ratified in 1995. The initial country report was submitted in 1999 and the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities is aware of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities’ process for obtaining input from civil society on the country report (by 22 March 2013) and submitting it to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child by 15 July 2013.

 

3. Findings

 

3.1          Civil society engagement

 

The Committee was briefed by the Children’s Institute of the University of Cape Town; Professor Anne Skelton from the Centre for Child Law, Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria and Child Welfare South Africa on 6 March 2013 as a means of obtaining some perspective of civil society on the country report. To this end, several issues emerged from the briefing highlighting both achievements and challenges alongside recommendations. These issues have been categorised below in general and content specific matters.

 

3.1.1 General

 

Structure of report

* The report was considered to be a well written, comprehensive piece of work however certain sections lacked adequate detail as would be required by the UN Committee.

 

Content

* The Executive and Parliament to be commended for all the achievements cited in the report. To this end, it was imperative to highlight these achievements as evidence of good practice in the report as well.

* The role of civil society is visible and is acknowledged at the start of the report however service delivery by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) needs more recognition.

* In terms of the National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC), whilst the concept is commendable, it was noted that there was limited collaboration with civil society partners and the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. Moreover poor service delivery by the state welfare services has diluted its impact and this remains a concern.

* The structure and composition of provincial steering committees responsible for provincial plans of action are of concern since many NGOs who are key stakeholders do not have specific key roles and the capacity of those appointed to these committees was questioned.

 

Statistics

* The statistics presented in the appendices are inconsistent in terms of years of representation.

* Duplicate statistical data is regularly collated yet little to no feedback is provide on the collation of same and little communication appears to exist between the different sectors within the local Department of Social Development offices.

 

Budget

* The budgets reflected in the report were to some extent misleading as the allocation were not solely for the delivery or programmes and services for children.

* A major concern was the poor funding of the NGO sector that bears the responsibility for rendering the majority of child protection services (CPS) across the country.

 

Service delivery

* Poor or no policy implementation was considered to be problematic in addition to the lack of resources available for children’s service delivery.

 

3.1.2 Part 1: General measures of implementation

 

• Paragraph 41 of the report only refers to Section 28 of the Constitution of South Africa is terms of children’s rights however all rights in the Bill of Rights apply to children.

 

3.1.3 Part 2: Definition of the Child

 

* The evolving capacity of children was highlighted as one of the reasons why various ages are stipulated in law to permit children to take certain decisions. However, the contradictions in the law in terms of age of consent were acknowledged as a matter that impacts professionals rendering services to children. In addition, health care professionals were also concerned about conflict between the ethical duties to respond versus litigation for not acting accordingly.

* The age of marriage as noted in par 48 was considered to be low and discriminatory in terms of the girl versus the boy child. Moreover, mere compliance was deemed not to be enough.

 

3.1.4 Part 3: General principles

 

Right to life, survival and development

 

* The report notes infanticide but the issue is not engaged with as noted within the Medical Research Council’s Child Homicide Study (Mathews et al 2012) that established an excessively high rate - 17?9/100 000 for girls and 14?4/100 000 for boys under 1 year. The study revealed that most killings occur in the 1st week post birth.

 

3.1.5 Part 4: Civil rights and freedoms

 

Birth registration, name and nationality

 

* Key concerns pertained to the processing of late birth registrations, duplicate issuing of ID numbers; repeated losses of submitted documentation and specifically protracted lengthy procedures in dealing with the registration of births of orphans, abandoned children and adopted children. All of which require urgent attention.

* Although the Children’s Act (No. 38 of 2005) assigns parental rights and responsibilities to unmarried fathers, in practise grave difficulties are encountered by these fathers – an example of this being the attempts at registering the births of their children. This compromises the rights of these children and is an issue that requires attention.

 

Right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment including corporal punishment

 

* Even though the report acknowledges that corporal punishment has been abolished schools, the figures set out in table 21 p 96 was an area of major concern. However, the report is silent on the seriousness of this matter no indicates what if any plan is in place to address the issue.

 

Measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims

 

* There appeared to be overall lack of services aimed at psychological recovery of child victims on the side of Government.

 

3.1.6 Part 5: Family environment and alternative  care

 

Family environment and parental guidance

 

* Efforts to focus and family preservation and the strengthening of families have been attempted by incorporation of this within the Children’s Act (No. 38 of 2005) and a number of specific programmes including those run by the child welfare sector have been successfully implemented. These however are limited and focussed in specific areas and dependent upon donor funding for their continuation.

Parents’ common responsibilities

 

* Chapter 3 of the said Children’s Act addresses the issue of parental rights and responsibilities but to date has found limited application. It is submitted that courts and social workers need more training on the application and merits of this section if it is to have any positive impact on services to children.

* Greater emphasis needs to be placed on responsible parenting particularly in view of the high incidence of gender based violence (GBV) in South Africa and issues such as gender stereotyping.

 

Family reunification

 

* Whilst the national norms and standards for child protection in relation to family reunification are noble the requirements are compromised through lack of funding for service providers.

 

Adoption – national and inter-country

 

* Adoptions are taking protracted periods  time to be finalised  due to (a) Lack of understanding of the Children’s Act by some Government officials tasked with overseeing the adoption process; (b) Delays in reviewing applications and (c) Delays in processing applications for clearance in terms of the National Child Protection Register.

* Thus a major concern was the lack of suitably trained officials within Department of Social Development at regional and local offices who compromise and protract the process without any basis for this in law.

 

Abuse and neglect including physical and psychological recovery

 

* This section is silent on victims of violence and focuses predominantly on child offenders.

* It is framed more in terms of the responsibility to protect child offenders from further harm as oppose to focussing on child victims as well.

* The section also lacks a response in terms of dealing with the challenge of psychological recovery for child victims of abuse – such as counselling and therapy at Thuthuzela’s and NGO’s (i.e. Childline).

 

The following were specific challenges noted that related to the implementation of Article 39:

* Thuthuzela one stop centres focus mostly on a physical health and a criminal justice response which is a limited response to child victims who also require psycho-social services.

* Specialised counselling services for children are limited and mainly located in well resourced urban settings.

* Child focused services are overburdened with long waiting periods

* Lack of accessible services for children impacts on psychological healing and recovery.

* The implementation of Article 39 needs to take into account the cycle of violence and the need to break this.

* South Africa faces huge challenges with the magnitude of violence and requires an action plan to implement article 39

 

3.1.7 Part 6: Disability, basic health and welfare

 

Children with disabilities

 

• Mental health is not just intellectual disability see paragraphs 77 and 78 on p 27 and as such the section should provide a broader reflection in this regard.

 

Reproductive health care

 

* Policies on Termination of Pregnancy and abortion services are not sufficient.

* Awareness on the availability of reproductive health services including abortion services.

 

Social security

* Budget Review 2013 mentions the Department of Social Development is exploring ways to improve income support for orphaned children who live with their relatives (page 85) this should be taken into account.

* During November 2012, the Department of Social Development held a consultative meeting on a proposed reform that would provide a LARGER (in amount) child support grant to relatives caring for orphans (“Extended CSG”). Children’s rights groups welcomed the proposal. It will ensure orphans get their grants faster and will also free up social workers and court time to provide better protection services to children who had been abused.

* The report should reflect an acknowledgment of the challenges in reaching all orphans in poverty and report that the Department of Social Development is in the process of reforming the social assistance system to ensure that orphans receive adequate social assistance timeously. (The Directorate on Social Security within DSD can provide more information).

* The administrative burden on courts and social workers due to the increase in foster care placements remains a concern not only in relation to the financial burden it places on the State and limitations on its sustainability BUT the resultant high number of lapsed orders. The report refers to a moratorium on future lapsing and the court calling for the reinstatement of all foster care grants and orders lapsed since April 2009 – in reality this is not happening in many regions.

 

Childcare services and facilities

 

* The State has and continues to fail to provide adequate child care facilities and more effort is required in this regard as many children are left unattended in communities and are therefore considered to be vulnerable and at risk.

* Foster-care and Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) orders and grants/subsidies have been lapsing and children’s security and placement resultantly compromised.

* It is known that Form 39s have not been issued by at least one local State Welfare Department due to inefficiencies (a requirement by Court when a Form 36 – emergency order – is issued and placement is being made in temporary safe care (As a result the court, being aware of the problem, requested the NGO concerned to do an affidavit so that the court could over-ride this requirement).

* The Department of Social Development has given insufficient attention to the lack of adequate alternative care facilities for children particularly in respect of special needs children. Most facilities are managed by NGOs with subsidies from the Department of Social Development (efforts in some provinces to address this growing problem date back 10yrs and have not been adequately addressed).

* In the last country report, the UN Committee expressed its concern (concluding observation 250) regarding insufficient care facilities for previously disadvantaged groups. Whilst Government research indicates available bed facilities, the distribution and availability of such in the provinces in most need of such is found to be wanting. There appears to be an oversupply in some areas e.g. Gauteng and an under supply in others e.g. KwaZulu-Natal.

The major costing implications and challenges were noted as follows:

 

* Department personnel provide approximately 40% of the services and Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) provide approximately 60% of the services (under contract with the department). Yet NGOs receive only partial funding from the provincial departments and then have to raise donor funds to make up the difference.

* Global and local recession has exacerbated the funding crisis faced by NGOs and resulted in closure and downscaling of services for children and families

 

The report does not indicate how State intends to address the challenge of insufficient funding insofar as the following is concerned:

 

* Equitable Share Formula does not recognise the extra service mandates the new welfare laws (including Children’s Act) have placed on the provinces. The FFC recommended that the ESF should be amended to address this but this advice has not been followed. What is the plan to address this?

* Provinces do not always prioritise social welfare services when they divide their allocation between their departments. Social welfare services for children have not been identified as a national or provincial strategic priority and are also not a priority in the NDP. What is the plan to address this lack of political prioritisation?

 

Furthermore, the report does not indicate how the State intends to address the NGO funding crisis.

 

* Budget 2013 indicates that NPO Funding Policy is going to be reviewed again in 2013. It is clearly not providing the solution. What is the plan to stop valuable NGO services for children from deteriorating further?

 

3.1.8 Part 7: Education, leisure and cultural activities

 

Right to education, including vocational training and guidance

 

* The report reflects the challenges (e.g. teacher absenteeism) and achievements in the education sector. However the report does not elaborate on the infrastructure, the ‘mud schools’ settlement committed the Department of Basic Education to spending R8.2 billion over 3 years (this could be cited at par 278 on p 68).

* In terms of norms and standards, it was noted that the Minister for Basic Education has the power to set these as in the case of infrastructure. However, no norms and standards have been issued for admission with respect to capacity size of classes and teacher pupil ratio. This is problematic as the honours lies then school governing bodies (SGB) to determine that which has lead to a court case namely the case dealing with Rivonia Primary School.

• Furthermore, in terms of learner pregnancy policy, the lack of a national policy has led to SGBs setting their own policy even though the ‘measures’ that were issued by Minister of Basic Education the practice remains inconsistent in dealing with these learners. The Welkom and Harmony High Schools cases are testament to this. Moreover, the constitutionality of learner pregnancy policy is under the spotlight in Constitutional Court at present.

 

3.1.9 Part 8: Special protection measures

 

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, internally displaced children, migrant children and children affected by migration

 

• Unaccompanied foreign children not given due attention in the report yet problems in this regard have to be noted. Currently, reference to refugee and asylum seeking children are only mentioned on p73.

Children in conflict with the law, victims and witnesses

 

* The report proudly records some of the gains made by the Child Justice Act (No 75 of 2008). However, the report could expand more and include the extraordinary reduction in the number of children in prison (at par 321) – if the report included figures going back to 2000 – there were about 4000 children in prison then.

* The report should be clearer about which children are awaiting trial and which are sentenced in terms of the statistics provided.

* The minimum age of criminal capacity (MACC) as noted in the Child Justice Act (No 75 of 2008) at age 10 years, will be considered to be very controversial with the UN committee. The report foreshadows this but could go further. To this end, the report should emphasise Parliament’s role in this regard as the MACC capacity must be reviewed by Parliament within 5 years (Child Justice Act came into op on 1 April 2010).

* A major concern is the drop of numbers of children in the diversion system. This could be attributed to a problem in police understanding with interpreting what diversion entails. However, it must also be noted that there are a high number of police trained on the Child Justice Act (No 75 of 2008).

3.2 Executive engagement

 

The Committee invited the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities; Social Development; Health; Basic Education; Home Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development and Labour to brief the Committee on the country report.

 

3.2.1 Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities

The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities presented a brief background to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. They also presented on the drafting process of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th combined periodic report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. They explained the structure of the draft Report, the general observations to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, with a focus on challenges and the way forward with regards to the depositing of the Report with the United Nations and the African Union.

 

3.2.2 Department of Social Development

 

The Department presented on its input made to the draft Country Report by focusing on the implementation of the Children’s Act. The presentation also focused on inter-sectoral collaboration, early childhood development, prevention and early intervention, child protection register, child abuse neglect and exploitation, child headed household, children living or working on the streets, children in conflict of law, discipline of children, alternative care, strengthening social service capacity, cultural issues, substance abuse and social assistance and statically information.

 

3.2.3 Department of Health

 

The presentation by the Department of Health started with a focus on the implementation of article 6 of the UNCRC, which relates to the right to life, survival and development of children. It also highlighted maternal and child survival, the various ministerial committees set up to focus on children’s health, why children die, The Campaign for the Accelerated Reduction in Maternal and Child Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) priorities, priority newborn interventions, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, package of health services, youth and child health care and mental health.

 

3.2.4 Department of Basic Education

 

The Department presented on the following topics related to the draft Country Report:

 

* Right to basic education;

* Article 29 of the CRC: The aims of education with reference to the quality of education and education on human rights and civic education;

* Human rights and civic education;

* Article 30 of the CRC: Cultural and linguistic rights of the children; and

* Article 31: rest, play, leisure, recreation, cultural and artistic activities.

 

3.2.5 Department of Home Affairs

 

The presentation by the Department focused on legislation administered by Home Affairs, the relevant parts related to its mandate, which are:

* definition of child;

* general principles;

* civil rights and freedoms;

* family environment and alternative care;

* disability, basic health and welfare; and

* special protection measures.

The presentation by the Department focused on these from a viewpoint of challenges and progress made by the Department of Home Affairs.

 

3.2.6 Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

 

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development dealt with the background on the compilation of the draft Country Report. It also focused on the relevant articles of the CRC, interventions, progressive achievements and limitations experienced by the Department, capacity building, public education and awareness, institutional mechanisms to protect and promote the rights of the children within JCPS Cluster and challenges and conclusion.

 

3.2.7 Department of Labour

 

The Department of Labour focused on child labour. The Department presented information on the study done by STATS SA on the activities of young people. The Department also looked at child labour enforcement policy, worst forms of child labour, regulations on hazardous work for 15 – 18 years old,  The Department also presented on article 32 with specific reference to applicable minimum age, farm-workers sectoral determination and child labour cases between 2010 & 2012.

 

3.3 Committee observations

 

3.3.1 General

 

Structure of report

* References to correct appendices within text do not correlate.

* Certain sections within the report appear to be repeated or information provided which is not substantiated with evidence in the form of, for example disaggregated data.

 

Content

* The country report makes reference to the National Plan of Action for Children 2012-2017 as a finalised policy of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. However, in November 2012 the Department presented a draft incomplete plan to the Committee with no costing for its implementation. Therefore it is unclear as to what the status of the plan is or how it relates to the Department’s overall Strategic Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy.

 

Statistics

* Reflection of statistics not uniform in terms of reporting period. Certain sections within the report provide outline of entire reporting period hence trends are reflected. However, in most instances statistics for a particular year is only given.

* Reference made to tables that often do not contain data. This gives skewed indication that information is available to substantiate an argument.

* Overall disaggregated data by sex and disability is lacking.

 

Budget

* The country report provides a skewed representation of the budget for a Department e.g. Health, Justice and Constitutional Development as this allocation is not ring-fenced for children’s programmes or services per say.

 

3.3.2      Observations as per Departmental engagement

DEPARTMENT OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

 

The Committee noted the following observations and recommendations for the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities regarding the draft periodic country report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

 

1. The Committee was concerned with the lack of cooperation and reports received from 10 Departments in the compilation of the draft Country Report.  With that, the Committee also noted the importance of the Department of Defence & Military Veterans in providing information on the implementation of the Optional Protocol on Children involved in Armed Conflict.

 

2. The Committee observed that the data represented was not disaggregated (as required by the Concluding Observations of the previous report), had no uniform standard (as random years were used for various tables and that some tables with data were incomplete).

 

3. The Committee observed that the budgets mentioned in the draft Country Report for the Departments are in fact the respective Departments’ entire budgets and are not disaggregated to what is spent on children.

4. The Committee observed that there is no separate annexure with how the concluding observations, based on the previous report, were implemented. The Committee noted that the draft Country Report does indeed speak to the concluding observations, but it would be helpful to observe in one format how South Africa implemented the previous concluding observations.

 

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

 

The Committee noted the following observations and recommendations for the Department of Social Development regarding the draft periodic country report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

 

1. The Committee was concerned about the limited funding for non-governmental organisations delivering welfare services for children in need of care and protection. The Committee noted that these services were essential to the child protection system in South Africa.

 

2. The Committee observed that the draft Country Report does not contain statistics of children who might have been subjected to corporal punishment at child and youth care centres and drug rehabilitation centres.

 

3. The Committee observed that the draft Country Report does not provide statistics on the success rate of family reunification for children, who were placed in alternative care.

 

4. The Committee observed that the draft Country Report does not provide accurate statistics of children who enter the child protection system, as the child protection register, as established by the Children’s Act, is still not 100% functional.

 

5. The Committee observed that the Department of Social Development committed to expanding the child support grant to certain groups of vulnerable children, as R280 per month, currently is not sufficient to have a greater impact on the lives of children living in poverty.

 

DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS

 

The Committee noted the following observations and recommendations for the Department of Home Affairs regarding the draft periodic country report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

 

1. The Committee observed that the progress with regards to the abolition of abridged birth certificates introduced is not reflected in the draft Country Report.

 

2. The Committee was concerned that the draft Country Report did not mention death certificates for children who might have died as this has an impact on child support grant.

 

3. The Committee observed that in many instances the birth registration process is problematic as it takes a protracted length of time, in some instances birth certificates are duplicated and there is general complaint that documents are always lost and need to be re-submitted.

 

4. The Committee observed that the draft Country Report does not address unaccompanied, foreign minor children in South Africa who do not qualify as refugees or asylum seekers.

 

5. The Committee observed that reception centres for persons seeking asylum and refugee status has not been opened, as per various court orders. The Committee noted that these centres not only benefit adults, but also children, as the issuing of documents to them would serve as a basis for accessing various services, such as education.

 

DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION

The Committee noted the following observations and recommendations for the Department of Basic Education regarding the draft periodic country report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

 

1. The Committee noted that the amount of children with disabilities of school-going age that are currently out of school is not reflected in the draft Country Report, despite it being reflected in the draft Country Report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In this regard, the Committee noted that it is important to state both the positive developments made with regards to the implementation of the right to education for children with disabilities and the fact that more than 480 000 children with disabilities of school going age are still out of school.

 

2. The Committee noted that even in cases where there are many special schools for children with disabilities, these schools (especially in the North West province) are not sufficiently resourced to ensure that quality education is given to children with disabilities.

 

3. The Committee observed that the draft Country Report does not mention any plans with regards to the implementation of Education White Paper 6 on the implementation of the right to education for children with disabilities and learning difficulties.

 

4. The Committee noted with concern the amount of children that are still subjected to corporal punishment in the draft Country Report, despite this practice being outlawed in legislation for a very long time.

 

5. The Committee observed that this Report still mentions the school sports policy as a “draft”. The Committee noted that this policy has been presented as a draft to Parliament approximately 2 or 3 years ago. Therefore, the Committee wanted to know what the Department of Basic Education would be doing to finalise this policy.

 

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

The Committee noted the following observations and recommendations for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development regarding the draft periodic country report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

 

1. The Committee observed that the positive developments with regards to the protection of child victims and witnesses, which is in compliance with the United Nations Guidelines on the Treatment of Victims and Witnesses, can be emphasised more in the draft Country Report.

 

2. The Committee observed that in previous meetings with the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, it was found that the statistics on the implementation of the Child Justice Act was flawed and these same statistics are found within the draft Country Report.

 

3. The Committee observed that the minimum age of criminal responsibility is still not in compliance with the international standard set by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, which is 12 years. The age in South Africa is currently at 10 years.

 

4. The Committee observed that more can be said about the positive impact of the Child Justice Act in the draft Country Report. In this regard, the Committee noted the decrease in the number of children in prison awaiting trial and sentenced.

 

5. The Committee noted that the table on the statistics of children who were trafficked in the draft Country Report was blank. Therefore the Committee wanted to know how many cases of child trafficking were dealt with by the courts. If the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development have these statistics then it should be included in the draft Country Report.

 

6. The Committee observed that the statistics on pages 120 and 124 of the draft Country Report are the responsibility of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

 

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

 

The Committee noted the following observations and recommendations for the Department of Health regarding the draft periodic country report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

 

1. The Committee observed that there are still many women who suffer from “street abortions” in South Africa, especially in the rural areas. The Committee wanted to know what the Department of Health is doing to promote safe abortions within clinics and public health facilities.

 

2. The Committee observed that even though the Department of Health is doing better with regards to infant and child mortality in urban areas, this is not the case in rural areas, where services are scares. In this regard the Committee also noted that the statistics of public health services in the rural areas is needed.

 

3. The Committee observed that family planning is not promoted, as more abortions are taking place and infanticide is in the increase.

 

4. The Committee observed that there are some positive aspects which can be mentioned in the draft Country Report, such as the fight against polio and the eradication of this disease.

 

DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR

 

The Committee noted the following observations and recommendations for the Department of Labour regarding the draft periodic country report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

1. The Committee observed that the statistics provided by the Department of Labour in its power point presentation on the survey on child labour per province was outdated, as it dated to 2006.

 

2. The Committee observed that there are instances where children below the age of 15 years are still working on farms and that parents allow this.

 

3. The Committee observed that children below the age of 15 years sell fruits and goods along the road.

 

4. Conclusion

 

The Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities commends the achievements made in advancing children’s rights in South Africa. Notwithstanding this, the Committee acknowledges the myriad of challenges faced in giving effect to the fulfilment, protection and advancement of children’s rights in South Africa. To this end, Parliament as a duty-bearer of children’s rights has a crucial role to play in terms of oversight in this regard.

 

5. Recommendations

 

Having considered the outcomes of the briefing by civil society and the Departments on the country report as well as further deliberations on it, the Committee recommends as follows:

 

GENERAL

 

1. That more evidence of Government achievements as best practice should be cited in the report.

2. That the report should state clearly reasons for lack of disaggregated data or absence of data. Concerted effort should be made to improve data collection systems in preparation for the 5th country report.

3. The following cases were recommended for inclusion in the report namely:

• Convention on the Rights of the Child at paragraph 38 on page 19

• Teddy Bear Clinic and Rapcan v Min of Justice at paragraph 53

• Cases on right to be heard (below para 103) Christian Schools, Pillay, Soller NO v G and Ano and Legal Aid Board v R

• C and other v Department of Social Development, Gauteng (2012), Constitutional Court judgment – specifically mentions CRC, Children’s Act left our automatic right of review of decision to remove children from parents (required by CRC) – court declared unconstitutional and ‘read in’, Should mention at para 149 on p 42

• The Pillay case should be mentioned regarding religious freedom in schools (only Antonie mentioned)

• Inter-country adoption (see paragraph 174 on p 46) – should mention AD v DW (Con Court) which decided best interests as determining factor

• Juma Musjid case – about the right to a basic education.

 

DEPARTMENT OF WOMEN, CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

 

1. The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities should adopt more proactive and creative ways of engaging with sister Departments on the necessary reports needed. In this instance they should seek a common understanding on importance of Departmental reports. The Committee also recommended that the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities have awareness campaigns in which they educate other Departments on why the need for these reports, as it is more than just a “technical exercise”.

 

2. The Committee recommended that the Department should take statistics seriously and present it in an acceptable manner. In this regard, the Committee recommended that where the Departments do not collect certain data that these columns are removed as it would be embarrassing for South Africa to present tables with data that is blank. With that, once the Monitoring and Evaluation strategy has been completed, the Department should have a standard tool for the collection of data to ensure that it is streamlined, relevant and uniformed.

 

3. The Committee recommended that the Department consults the Estimates of National Expenditure and investigate how much the relevant Departments will be spending on children, where possible. This would provide the UN Committee with a more accurate reflection of budgets spent on children.

 

4. The Committee recommended that the Department lists all the concluding observations based on the previous report and state what has been done to implement those concluding observations and what still needs to be done where concluding observations were not implemented.

 

5. The status of the National Plan of Action for Children should be clarified and the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities to be briefed accordingly insofar as progress with regards to implementation.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

 

1. The Department of Social Development should work towards ensuring that sufficient funding is progressively made available to non-governmental organisations delivering child protection services, as these services fall within the mandate of the State.

 

2. The Department should provide statistics on how many children were subjected to corporal punishment at child and youth care centres and drug rehabilitation centres.

 

3. The Department of Social Development should as a matter of urgency complete the population of the child protection register to ensure that it serves its function with regards to the prevention of violence against children and ensuring that statistics of children in the child protection system would be more accurate than currently stated.

 

4. The Committee recommends that the Department of Social Development should prioritise the expansion of the child support grant, in amount and reach, to children who are in particularly vulnerable situations, like being orphaned and at the same time disqualify for receiving the foster care grant.

 

5. The Department provide statistics on the success rate of family reunification, despite the fact that the Department views this as a serious challenge. In this manner one can get an objective overview of what is needed to make family reunification work.

 

6. That more emphasis be placed on giving effect to Policy Frameworks for the prevention and management of child abuse.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

 

1. The Department of Health should promote the use of safe abortions by accessing clinics and public health facilities.

 

2. The Department of Health should prioritise the curbing of infant and child mortality in rural areas and provide statistics on services available and how many people it in fact reaches in rural areas, especially deep rural areas.

 

3. The Department of Health, together with other Departments, focus on curbing the instances of infanticide and promote prevention of unwanted births by way of family planning. To this end, infanticide is a challenge but more research is required in order to obtain a full understanding of the problem so as to devise appropriate evidence based interventions.

 

4. A greater focus on maternal mental health is required in order to assess for post-natal depression in light of the infanticide.

 

5. That the positive aspects in the provision of health care services for children be emphasised more in the draft Country Report, especially in relation to the eradication of polio.

 

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

1. That the positive developments with regards to the impact of the Child Justice Act should be included in the draft Country Report and that more emphasis be placed on the special procedures within our courts for child victims and witnesses.

2. That the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development urgently address the collation of statistics of children in the child justice system. The Committee emphasised the importance of these statistics and that the Department should take its obligations in this regard seriously.

 

3. The Committee recommended that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development put urgent measures in place to ensure that the minimum age of criminal responsibility be increased to 12 years.

 

4. The Committee recommended that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development provide statistics on the number of cases brought before the courts for trafficking of children and fill in the blank statistics that is the department’s responsibility for implementation.

 

DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION

 

1. That the statistics of children with disabilities of school going age that are currently not accessing education be inserted in the draft Country Report.

 

2. The Department of Basic Education puts a plan in place to ensure the implementation of White Paper 6 on inclusive education, as this would provide special schools with the necessary resources to provide education for children with disabilities and ensure that more children with disabilities access education.

 

3. That the Department of Basic Education places a large focus on the use of positive discipline and alternatives to corporal punishment within schools. The Committee noted that we cannot have a situation where educators violate the law on this.

 

4. That the draft School Sports policy be finalised and implemented.

 

5. That a national policy on learner pregnancy along with guidelines with timeframes for implementation be finalised.

 

DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS

 

1. That the progress made with regards to the abolition of abridged birth certificates be reflected in the draft Country Report to show positive progress with regards to the implementation of the UNCRC.

 

2. The Department should ensure that the death statistics for children should be reflected in the report as this would have an impact in the report.

 

3. The Department of Home Affairs should put systems in place that would ensure efficiency in the production of birth certificates and identity documents and that would curb fraudulent duplications of identity numbers.

 

4. The Department should ensure that matters related to unaccompanied, foreign minor children in South Africa who do not qualify as refugees or asylum seekers are addressed.

 

5. The Department of Home Affairs should seriously consider fast-tracking the re-opening of reception centres for persons seeking asylum and refugee status to ensure that foreign children in South Africa are also beneficiaries of essential services.

 

DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR

 

1. The Department of Labour provides more current statistics on child labour per province.

 

2. That labour inspectors should be deployed to farming areas to ensure that children below the age of 15 years are not employed to work on farms.

 

3. The Committee observed that the amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act on “child work” and “child labour” be fast tracked in order to ensure that children below the age of 15 years do not work on streets as vendors.

 

Report to be considered.

 

MONDAY, 18 MARCH 2013

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

National Assembly

 

The Speaker

 

1.            Referral of Bill to National House of Traditional Leaders

 

(1) The Secretary to Parliament has, in accordance with section 18(1) of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, 2003 (Act No. 41 of 2003), referred the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill [B 8B – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75) to the National House of Traditional Leaders, which must, within 30 days from the date of the referral (15 April 2013), make any comments it wishes to make.

 

TABLINGS

 

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

 

1.            The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

 

(a) Strategic Plan of the Ncera Farms (Pty) Ltd for 2014 – 2016.

 

2.            The Minister of Human Settlements

 

(a)          Strategic Plan of the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency (NURCHA) for 2012/2013 – 2016/2017 and Annual Performance Plan for 2013/2014.

 

(b)          Strategic Plan (Revised) of the Housing Development Agency for 2012/13 – 2016/17 and Annual Performance Plan for 2013/14.

 

(c)           Strategic Plan (Corporate) and Budget of the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) for 2012 – 2017.

 

(d)          Annual Performance Plan of the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) for 2013 - 2014.

(e)          Annual Performance Plan of the National Housing Finance Corporation SOC (Ltd) for 2013/14 - 2015/16.

 

(f)           Annual Performance Plan of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) for 2012 – 2013.

 

TUESDAY, 19 MARCH 2013

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

 

The Speaker and the Chairperson

 

1.            Assent by President in respect of Bills

 

(1) Further Education and Training Colleges Amendment Bill [B 24B – 2012] – Act No 1 of 2013 (assented to and signed by President on 18 March 2013).

 

2.            Bills to be referred to Mediation Committee

(1)          Bill, as amended by National Council of Provinces, and rejected by National Assembly on 19 March 2013, to be referred to Mediation Committee in terms of Joint Rule 186(1)(b):

 

(a)          National Health Amendment Bill [B 24D – 2011] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).

 

TABLINGS

 

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

 

1.            The Speaker and the Chairperson

 

(a)          Strategic Plan for 2013-2016 and Annual Performance Plan for 2013-2014 of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

 

2.            The Minister of Human Settlements

 

(a)          Annual Performance Plan for 2012-13 and Strategic Plan of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) for 2012 – 2017.

 

Please note:       The above entry is a correction of the report in the name of the Minister of Human Settlements, under Tabling 2(f) of the ATC of 18 March 2013, on page 659.

 

(b)          Strategic Plan of the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) for 2013/2017.

 

(c)           Strategic Plan of the Estate Agency Affairs Board for 2012/13-2016/17.

 

(d)          Annual Performance Plan of the Estate Agency Affairs Board for 2013/14-2015/16.

 

(e)          Annual Performance Plan and the Strategic Plan of the Rural Housing Loan Fund (RHLF) for the year ending 31 March 2014.

 

3.            The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

 

(a)          Annual Performance Plan of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation for 2013 – 2014.

 

Please note:       The above entry is a correction of the report in the name of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, under Tabling 13(a) of the ATC of 14 March 2013, on page 626.

 

(b)          Strategic Plan of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation for 2013 – 2018.

 

4.            The Minister of Mineral Resources

 

Please note:       The following reports were submitted to Parliament on 14 March 2013 and are corrections of reports tabled in the name of the Minister of Energy, under Tabling No 10 of the ATC of 14 March 2013, on page 625.

 

(a)          Annual Performance Plan of the Department of Mineral Resources for 2013-2014.

 

(b)          Strategic Plan of the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator for 2013/14 - 2015/2016 and Annual Performance Plan for 2013/2014.

 

(c)           Strategic Plan of the Council for Mineral Technology (Shareholder Performance Agreement) for 2013/2014.

 

(d)          Strategic Plan and Budget of the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC) for 2013/14 - 2017/18.

 

(e)          Strategic Plan of the Council for Geoscience for 2012-2017.

 

(f)           Strategic Plan and Budget of the State Diamond Trader for 2013/2016 and Annual Performance Plan for 2013/2014.

 

5.            The Minister in The Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration

 

(a) Strategic Plan of Brand South Africa for 2013-18.

 

6.            The Minister of Trade and Industry

 

(a) Strategic Plan of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) for 2013 – 2018.

National Assembly

 

1.            The Speaker

(a)          The President of the Republic submitted the following letter dated 18 March 2013 to the Speaker of the National Assembly, informing members of the Assembly of the employment of the South African National Defence Force for service in co-operation with the South African Police Service.

 

CREDA INSERT - T130319e-Insert1 – PAGE 680

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

National Assembly

 

3. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) section 15A process, dated 19 March 2013

 

The Portfolio Committee on Communications (the Committee), having considered the briefing by the Minister of Communications and the SABC Board, reports as follows:

 

The Committee received notice of the fact that both the Chairperson, Dr Ben Ngubane, and the Deputy Chairperson of the SABC Board, Mr Thamie ka Plaatjie, have tendered their resignations. Their resignations were accepted by the Appointing Authority, the President of the Republic of South Africa. Subsequently, the following SABC Board members also resigned: Advocate Cawekazi Mahlati; Mr Cedric Gina; Mr Lumko Mtimde; Mr Desmond Golding; Mr John Danana; Ms Noluthando Primrose Gosa and Ms Pippa Green.

 

The Committee on 30 October 2012 reported on a briefing from the SABC Board on its inquiry regarding the conduct of Advocate Cawekazi Mahlati on Tuesday, 18 September 2012. The Committee subsequently sought and was granted permission from the National Assembly to undertake an inquiry in terms of section 15A(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act No 4 of 1999. However, Advocate Mahlati’s resignation now renders the continuation of such an inquiry unnecessary.

 

As a result of the mentioned resignations, the SABC Board is left with only two non-executive serving members, while section 13(1) of the Broadcasting Act No 4 of 1999 requires a number of twelve non-executive members. In terms of section 15A(1)(b)(iii) of the Broadcasting Act No 4 of 1999, the Committee recommends to the National Assembly that a resolution be adopted that recommends the dissolution of the Board, as it cannot carry out its duties as contemplated in section 13(11) and can no longer control the affairs of the Corporation.

 

If the National Assembly adopts the recommendation to dissolve the SABC Board, it is further recommended that a resolution be adopted to recommend to the Appointing Authority that the following five individuals be appointed as the interim SABC Board members in terms of section 15A(3)(a): Ms Zanele Ellen Tshabalala; Ms Noluthando Primrose Gosa; Mr Vusumuzi Mavuso; Mr Mashangu Ronny Lubisi and Dr Iraj Abedian. The Committee  recommends further that Ms Zanele Ellen Tshabalala be appointed as the Board Chairperson and Ms Noluthando Primrose Gosa as Board Deputy Chairperson.

 

Report to be considered.

2. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on the Official Release of the National Senior Certificate Results for 2012, dated 12 March 2013.

The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, having attended the official release of the National Senior Certificate results for 2012, reports as follows:

 

1.            Introduction

 

1.1 A delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education attended the official release of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results for 2012 on Wednesday, 2 January 2013 at the SABC M1 Studios in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

 

1.2 The delegation comprised the following members of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education: Hon H Malgas MP (ANC) (Chairperson), Hon N Gina MP (ANC) (Whip), Hon Z S Makhubele MP (ANC), Hon A C Mashishi MP (ANC), Hon A T Lovemore MP (DA) and Hon A M Mpontshane MP (IFP).

 

1.3 Members of staff who formed part of the delegation included Mr D Bandi (Content Advisor), Mr L Brown (Committee Secretary) and Ms R Azzakani (Parliamentary Communications Unit).

 

2.            Background

 

The national examination system in South Africa is managed by the Department of Basic Education supported by the nine Provincial Education Departments (PEDs). National examinations are conducted in accordance with the Regulations Pertaining to the Conduct, Management and Administration of the National Senior Certificate. The Department monitors the implementation of these regulations, while the heads of examinations in the provinces are responsible for their implementation.

 

With the completion of the marking of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examinations in December 2012, the Minister of Basic Education officially announced the final results which were broadcast live nationally. The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education was invited to attend the official announcement of the results of the NSC Examinations for 2012 at the SABC M1 Studios, Auckland Park, Johannesburg on 2 January 2013.

 

3.            Presentation of the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination Results Technical Briefing – Mr B Soobrayan, Director-General: Department of Basic Education

 

Mr Soobrayan indicated that the NSC results over the last five years pointed to the attainment of stability in the system with tangible and gradually improving results. In terms of Action Plan 2014: Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2025, the key thrust was to improve the quality of basic education. The three key target areas were:

- To increase the number of Grade 12 learners who become eligible for a Bachelors Programme at a university

- To increase the number of Grade 12 learners who pass Mathematics

- To increase the number of Grade 12 learners who pass Physical Science

 

Mr Soobrayan gave a broad overview of the intervention strategies employed by the Department to improve quality of schooling. These included:

- Teacher, Text and Time

- Diagnostic Reports on Learner Performance

- Improving Learner and Teacher Access to Materials (Textbooks and Study Guides)

- The development of Practical Assessment Tasks (PATs)

- Teacher Development Programme Partnerships

- Syllabus Completion

 

Mr Soobrayan mentioned that progress in terms of the key educational outcomes showed that Grade R expansion was encouraging, more learners completed Grade 12 and more learners qualified for access to degree programmes. Mr Soobrayan, again, explained the criteria that were set for entry into Higher Certificate, Diploma and Degree Studies. He further elaborated on the difference between the pass requirements for the National Senior Certificate and that of the old Senior Certificate, indicating that the requirements were equivalent, if not higher than the old Senior Certificate.

 

In respect of the standardisation of results, Mr Soobrayan stressed that Umalusi, the Quality Assurance Council, had conducted an internationally acceptable process to ensure that the results were valid and credible. Out of 58 subjects presented for standardization, raw marks of 41 were used, 12 subjects were adjusted downwards and five were adjusted upwards.

 

Mr Soobrayan went further to present charts with detailed information on the following:

 

* Examination Administration and the Examination Cycle

* The overall performance of candidates in the 2012 NSC Examination

* A comparison of the NSC passes from 2009 to 2012 by province

* School performance per Quintile

* NSC passes by type of qualification

* A comparison of Bachelor’s passes by province from 2009 to 2012

* A comparison of the number of NSC passes by province and gender

* Pass rates within different percentage categories

* Subject analysis – NSC candidates performance per subject

* NSC District Performance

 

In conclusion, Mr Soobrayan indicated that there were significant gains made in the system over the last five years of the NSC and there were areas that warranted much attention and effort in the next few years. The Department of Basic Education was convinced that the schooling sector, despite its serious challenges, was beginning to move forward on the trajectory of improved school performance.

 

4.            Address by Hon A Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education

 

After the official opening, welcome and introductory remarks by the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Hon E Surty, the Hon A Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education addressed the gathering. This address was a live television broadcast nationally.

 

 Achievements in education

 

Hon Motshekga indicated that the Department was encouraged by notable improvements in the education of children and society. The sustained improvements on matric results were attributed to systemic interventions for strengthening and raising performance in all levels of the system. She mentioned that the revised Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) was being implemented, per phase, in the General Education and Training and Further Education and Training bands as follows:

 

- Grades R, 1-3 and 10 (done) in 2012

- Grades 4-6 and 11 in 2013

- Grades 7-9 and 12 in 2014

 

The Minister noted that teachers were empowered with clear, concise and unambiguous curriculum and assessment statements. This helped in improving learners’ ability to count, read and write. Many educators and parents supported changes in the curriculum.

 

She also mentioned that the Department’s National Strategy for improving Literacy and Numeracy had assisted in improving education quality and strengthened the teachers’ capacity to teach. Further, the Department had coordinated teacher development with provincial departments in targeted areas. The Department had provided workbooks, nationally, to all learners in Grades 1 to 9.

 

The 2012 Annual National Assessment was a massive undertaking, written by over seven million learners. Learner performance in the Foundation Phase (Grades 1, 2 and 3) was encouraging and there was progress in the Intermediate Phase (Grade 4, 5 and 6). For the              first time, in 2012, the Department assessed Grade 9s to enable the Department to have a benchmark through which they could report progress or lack thereof in this phase.

 

 Schooling in 2012

 

Hon Motshekga indicated that there was stability in the sector. In 2012, the teaching and learning environment was relatively stable with the exception of the Northern Cape where schooling was severely disrupted by service delivery protests in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District. Here the provincial department was decisive in setting up a study camp for learners.

 

Since the Eastern Cape and Limpopo were under administration, they received priority support from the Department. The Department would continue to work with these provinces to ensure educational outcomes would continue to improve.

 

In respect of the textbook saga, Hon Motshekga admitted that this was an unfortunate matter that should not have happened. She explained that, contrary to concerns raised that there was no teaching in Limpopo for these grades; the new CAPS curriculum did not change everything in the syllabi. In some subjects there were no changes at all. Where there were, they did not exceed 5 per cent and could be accommodated within the available time. Teaching and learning in Grade 12 was not affected.

 

                4.3          National Senior Certificate examinations

 

Hon Motshekga mentioned that the NSC examination results rank among the important performance indicators of the entire schooling system. Results over the past four years showed progress in education. She mentioned that it was encouraging to note that public examinations in South Africa had attained a high level of stability and, in many respects; their practices have been entrenched in all provinces.

 

In respect of promotion issues, Hon Motshekga indicated that the pass requirements for the NSC were not lower than those of the old Senior Certificate. She alluded to the differences between the old and the new systems. Hon Motshekga mentioned that she was setting-up a Ministerial committee to re-examine the matter and to give international comparisons. This would help to               put the minds of parents and learners at rest and to restore confidence in South Africa’s qualifications. The team would also deal with concerns raised regarding publishing learners’ results with names rather than using their student numbers.

 

                4.4          Class of 2012

 

The number of fulltime candidates writing the NSC examinations had increased from 496 090 in 2011to 511 152 in 2012, an increase of 15 062 candidates. The number of part-time candidates who wrote in 2012 was 81 552 compared to 80 116 in 2011 (an increase of 1 436). In total, 262 question papers were set, 7.8 million question papers printed and written at 6611 examination centres, supervised by 65 000 invigilators. In total, 7.4 million scripts were marked by 39 039 markers at 118 centres.

 

To ensure that the papers were pitched at an international standard, the Department embarked on an international evaluation of question papers of 2002, 2007 and 2010.  Question papers for selected subjects were evaluated by reputable international assessment bodies, namely, Cambridge International Examinations, the Scottish Qualification Authority and the Board of Studies of New South Wales. The 2011 benchmarking process also added an important dimension that included Higher Education South Africa.

 

                4.5          Standardisation

On 21 December 2012, Umalusi convened the standardisation meeting at which performance in each subject was analysed statistically and qualitatively to ensure current performance was in keeping with performance in previous years. Umalusi was able to use raw scores for the majority of subjects. Out of the 58 subjects that were standardised, raw scores of 41 were accepted. Of those that were adjusted, 12 were taken down, and only five were taken up. On 28 December 2012, Umalusi announced that the 2012 NSC examinations were fair, valid and credible and that all processes met their standards.

 

 4.6         2012 National Results

 

In announcing the 2012 National Results, Hon Motshekga was pleased to announce that the national pass rate for the class of 2012 was 73.9 percent. It presented an increase of 3.7 percent on the 2011 results (70.2 percent). Provincial pass rates were as follows (in ascending order):

 

1) Eastern Cape – 61.6 percent  (58.1 percent in 2011)

2) Limpopo – 66.9 percent                           (63.9 percent in 2011)

3) Mpumalanga – 70 percent                      (64.8 percent in 2011)

4) KwaZulu-Natal – 73.1 percent               (68.1 percent in 2011)

5) Northern Cape – 74.6 percent               (68.8 percent in 2011)

6) Free State – 81.1 percent                        (75.5 percent in 2011)

7) North West – 79.5 percent     (77.8 percent in 2011)

8) Gauteng – 83.9 percent                           (81.1 percent in 2011)

9) Western Cape – 82.8 percent                (82.9 percent in 2011)

 

                4.7          2013 priorities

Hon Motshekga mentioned that in 2013, the Department would continue to focus on strategic priorities, encompassing CAPS, ANA, Workbooks and Infrastructure. The Department would continue to focus on the 3Ts of Teachers, Text and Time on task. Districts needed to intensify monitoring, management and support of intervention programmes at schools. The Department planned to improve learning outcomes by, inter alia, attracting young, talented and appropriately trained teachers and paying attention to improving and enhancing teaching skills and content knowledge of those already in the profession.

 

The Department will prioritise school infrastructure and the eradication of mud schools. On 10 December 2012, the President’s Infrastructure Coordinating Committee launched the National School Build Programme and government has committed more funding for school infrastructure.

 

The Department established special teams to strengthen the monitoring and support work for provinces. These included a team to audit provincial reading programmes and investigate the strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of programmes. The Department established a maths and science task-team, not only to identify challenges in the teaching of maths and science but also to work with provincial departments dealing with them.

 

                4.8          Message for the Class of 2012

 

Hon Motshekga’s message to the Class of 2012 was that the world was their oyster. She               urged them to go out and realise their dreams as the country needed them. To those who did       not perform as expected, she asked that they should not lose heart. There were many options              for improving results or pursuing alternative career paths.

                4.9          Message for the Class of 2013

 

To motivate the Class of 2013, Hon Motshekga shared a sad experience of a committed learner yearning to attain education by all means. In 2012, in spite of being gravely ill, the learner wrote and passed English Home Language (57 percent), Mathematics (62 percent), Life Sciences (62 percent), Physical Science (54 percent) and Afrikaans FAL. This translated to a National Senior Certificate Bachelor’s Pass. Unfortunately he was overcome by illness.

 

Hon Motshekga mentioned that the bar had been set. The Class of 2013 needed to aim high. Hon Motshekga also acknowledged the sterling support and motivation of parents, guardians and teachers who actually carried the most responsibility in the education chain and all education officials. She expressed gratitude to members of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education for their ongoing guidance, teacher unions for their support and partnership, the business sector that continues to support the Department, both professionally and materially as well as educational non-governmental organisations.

 

The official announcement by Minister Motshekga was followed by the presentation of learner awards and media interviews.

 

      Report to be noted.

     

3. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on oversight visits to Limpopo, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape Provinces, dated 12 March 2013

 

The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, having undertaken oversight visits to Limpopo, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape Provinces, reports as follows:

 

Executive Summary

 

The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education conducted oversight visits to underperforming districts in Limpopo, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape between 14 January and 24 January 2013. The purpose of the oversight was to assess the state of school readiness for 2013 in these districts and provinces. The framework for the visits was guided by key interventions and priorities set out in major government plans to ensure that enabling conditions for quality teaching and learning are established. In this regard, the Committee focused on critical areas such as the state of the school environment; the supply and training of teachers; readiness to implement the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) with emphasis on the Intermediate Phase; the state of admission and registration of learners; the delivery of textbooks, workbooks and stationery; the functionality of school governance and management bodies; and, the availability of learner transport and school nutrition to qualifying learners.

 

As part of the oversight, the Committee received briefings from MECs and senior officials of the Provincial Departments, districts and teacher unions on aspects of school readiness. The Committee also visited a total of 27 schools (18 secondary and nineprimary schools) where members held meetings with stakeholders in order to learn first-hand the state of school readiness and to discuss the challenges faced by schools.  

 

Key findings

 

Overall, the Committee found many indications of positive preparations made in terms of readiness to start the school year in 2013. Provinces and districts had put requisite plans in place, in varying degrees, to ensure effective teaching and learning. These included interventions and initiatives to assist schools to deal with poor performance. Textbooks, workbooks and stationery were delivered to the majority of schools, the process having begun in 2012. Teaching and learning had commenced on the first day of the academic year, in many of the schools visited. Teachers had received the necessary training to implement CAPS in most schools. Some schools had developed plans detailing strategies for learner improvement. The Committee also found that the National School Nutrition Programme, which advances learner wellness and thus impacts on quality teaching and learning, had also commenced smoothly in many schools. In addition, schools had received their tranche of the norms and standards funding.

 

The Committee also observed in some provinces, areas of best practice that could be replicated in other provinces. In the Northern Cape, the Committee noted the use of the post office delivery services for LTSM as well as the learner study camps arranged by the Department which saw a marked improvement in learner outcomes. In KwaZulu-Natal, the Committee was encouraged by the supportive role teacher unions were giving the department in ensuring the smooth running of education.

 

Despite the good work noted above in preparation for the 2013 school year, issues of concern were also observed.

 

In the district visited in Limpopo, many teachers had not yet received CAPS training in preparation for implementation in Grade 11 in 2013 while the CAPS training for the Intermediate Phase was interrupted in certain subjects. There was a need to ensure that it is fast-tracked as planned. The Committee will monitor the roll-out of this training. The Committee also found that despite considerable strides the province was making in the delivery of LTSM compared to 2012, the district visited experienced shortages of textbooks and or incorrect delivery in most of the schools visited, as well as non-delivery of Grade 11 Mathematics and Physical Science textbooks. Encouragingly, the Department reported that it was doing mop up operations to identify and deliver outstanding textbooks by the end of January 2012. Another major challenge observed was the school infrastructure backlog which included the poor state of the school buildings, inadequate basic facilities such as sanitation and electricity as well as a shortage of classrooms and laboratories.

 

In the Eastern Cape, post provisioning remained a major challenge. A number of schools visited lacked qualified teachers in core subjects. The main challenge observed was that affected schools had not identified teachers in excess amidst resistance from SADTU to the redeployment process, as proposed by the Department.  

 

With regard to the Northern Cape, the Committee was concerned regarding reports that the transport service providers were threatening strike action against the Department of Transport if they did not receive outstanding payments due to them. This needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

 

In respect of strategies to improve learner performance, it was found that some schools did not know their ANA results and were not utilising them as a diagnostic tool to improve their performance. Learner admission for 2013 was not completed in most schools across provinces, despite the policy requirement that it should be complemented by September of the previous year. The Quality and Teaching Campaign (QLTC) was also non-functional in most schools. The absence of the QLTC compromises efforts to address challenges of learner discipline and parental involvement identified in some schools.

The oversight visits have provided the Committee with an opportunity to identify areas that need to be strengthened to improve learner outcomes. The findings and recommendations contained in this report should help in assisting the districts and provinces to improve their preparations for school readiness in future. 

 

1.            Introduction

 

1.1 The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education conducted oversight visits to underperforming districts in Limpopo, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape from 14 January to 24 January 2013.

 

1.2 The purpose of the oversight was to assess the provincial state of school readiness for the 2013 school year in identified districts. There was an additional need to provide support to the provincial departments of education, the districts and schools in identifying the challenges and to assist in finding effective solutions to the challenges being faced. 

 

1.3 The Committee focused on, amongst others, the following crucial areas:

 

* The state of the school environment;

*  the supply and training of teachers;

* readiness to implement the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) with emphasis on the Intermediate Phase and Grade 11;

* whether teaching and learning was in progress

*  the state of admission and registration of learners;

* the delivery of textbooks, workbooks and stationery;

*  the functionality of school governance and management bodies ;and,

* the availability of learner transport and school nutrition to qualifying learners.

 

1.4          The focus areas, as set out, formed part of key interventions and priorities set out in major government plans to ensure that enabling conditions for quality teaching and learning were established. As part of its oversight, the Committee had a constitutional responsibility to ensure that these priorities were implemented, particularly since they are linked to the improvement of quality basic education as Government’s Priority Outcome 1.

 

1.5          In line with the Committee’s resolve as set out in its five year Strategic Plan (2009-2014) to focus oversight on schools and districts with the most challenges in the provision of quality education, the Committee selected provinces and underperforming schools for oversight visits based on the 2012 NSC results. The Committee also visited feeder primary schools for these schools. 

 

1.6          It should be noted that the oversight visits by the delegation coincided with similar visits by Provincial Portfolio Committees on Education in the Provincial Legislatures.

 

1.7          This report provides a summary of the key issues that emerged from the interaction with stakeholders, officials of the national department and provincial departments as well as the committee’s deliberations, observations and recommendations.

 

2.            Delegations

 

2.1 Limpopo and Northern Cape:

 

2.1.1 Portfolio Committee on Basic Education: Hon H H Malgas, MP (ANC) (Chairperson), Hon N Gina MP (ANC) (Whip), Hon C Moni MP (ANC), Hon F F Mushwana MP (ANC), Hon W Madisha MP (Cope) and Hon N M Kganyago MP (UDM). Parliamentary staff consisted of Mr L A Brown (Committee Secretary), Mr D Bandi (Content Advisor) and Ms F Kwaza (Communications Unit).

 

2.1.2 Limpopo Provincial Legislature Portfolio Committee on Education: Hon B J Maluleke MPL (Chairperson), Hon T Ravhuanzwo MPL, Hon M Nemadzivhanani MPL, Hon L Lubengo MPL, Hon S Maake MPL, Hon D Van Der Walt MPL, Hon P Mahlo, Hon G Nethengwe, Ms I Maaga (Committee Coordinator), Ms H Nyathela (Committee Researcher), Mr T Sebei (Office of the Chief Whip), Mr B Ntsoane (Office of the Chief Whip) Mr S More (Communications Unit)

 

2.1.3 Northern Cape Provincial Legislature Portfolio Committee on Education: Hon K D Molusi MPL (Chief Whip), Hon B Mbinqo-Gigaba MPL (Chairperson) and Ms B Kola (Manager of Committees)

 

2.1.4 National Department of Basic Education: Mr L Mahada (Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Office of the Director General) and Mr R Van Den Heever (Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Office of the Minister)

 

2.1.5 Limpopo Provincial Education Department: Hon D Masemola (MEC for Education), Mr M Thamaga (Head Of Department), Ms S J Madela (District Senior Manager), Ms M A Rasekgalo (General Manager), Mr N M Mangala (District Senior Manager), Mr M R Rasethaba (Chief Education Specialist), Mr M D Mphula (Chief Education Specialist), Ms M A Phatudi (Circuit Manager), Mr L J Ditle (Deputy Chief Education Specialist), Mrs R S S Makhubela (Circuit Manager), Mrs N M Nicoana (Acting Circuit Manager), Mr R J Segooa (Acting Circuit Manager), Mrs S M Ralefeta (Circuit Manager), Ms M B Myeni (MEC Support), Mr S S C Chauke (Parliamentary Officer), Mr D M Masemeng (Circuit Manager), Mr M I Mabunda (Manager), Ms L M Selloe (Personal Assistant), Mr L S Tlhako (Deputy Manager), and Mr N A Masekela (Deputy Manager)

 

2.1.6 Northern Cape Provincial Education Department: Mr H Esau (Chief Director), Mr P D Baipidi (Chief Education Specialist), Mr V J Teise (District Director), K P Masegela (Circuit Manager), E Laban (Office of the MEC), Mr O S Stander (Media Liaison Officer), Mr H Diseko (Assistant Director), Mr G Buys (Circuit Manager)

 

2.1.7 South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), Northern Cape: Mr S M Mayongo (Provincial Secretary), Mr N G Masegela (Provincial Chairperson), Ms G Mahumapelo (Provincial Education Convenor), Mr F Ntathu (National Negotiator) and Mr M Gaborokwe (Regional Chairperson)

 

2.1.8 National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), Northern Cape: Mr L Strydom (Chief Executive Officer), Mr A Taunyane (Provincial Deputy Chairperson) and Mr J M Digopo (Provincial Chairperson)

2.2          KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape:

 

2.2.1 Portfolio Committee on Basic Education: Hon H H Malgas, MP (ANC) (Chairperson), Hon N Gina MP (ANC) (Whip), Hon Z S Makhubele (ANC), Hon A C Mashishi MP (ANC), Hon A T Lovemore MP (DA) and Hon A M Mpontshane MP (IFP). Parliamentary staff consisted of Mr L A Brown (Committee Secretary), Mr D Bandi (Content Advisor) and Mr T Gubula (Communications Unit).

 

2.2.2 KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature Portfolio Committee on Education: Hon S C Nkosi MPL, Hon L L Zwane MPL, Hon M Frazer MPL, Hon N B Shabalala MPL and Mr V Mthembu (Committee Administrator)

 

2.2.3 National Department of Basic Education: Mr L Mahada (Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Office of the Director General) and Mr R Van Den Heever (Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Office of the Minister)

 

2.2.4 KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Education Department: Dr S N P Sishi (Had of Department), Mr D S Chonco (District Manager), Mr E Mosuwe (Senior General Manager), Dr S Z Mbokazi (Senior General Manager), Mr B Ngubane (Manager), Mr B Mazibuko (Deputy Manager), Ms L E Sibeko (Deputy Chief Education Specialist), Mr M Gwala (Manager), X Thompson (Communications Officer), Ms N Ngubane (Chief Education Specialist), Ms S Moodley (Chief Education Specialist), Ms M Mahlambi (Human Resources), M M Nhlabathi (Deputy Chief Education Specialist), Z E S Mkhize (Chief Education Specialist), N B Mathenjwa (Deputy Chief Education Specialist), T Maphumulo (Manager), M D Sithole (Ward Manager),  and Mr C Thulani (Parliamentary Officer).

 

2.2.5 Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature: Mr S S Mazosiwe MPL.

 

2.2.6 Eastern Cape Provincial Education Department: Hon M Makupula (MEC), T M Kimberley (Deputy Director), Mr M Dlelanga (LO: Office of the MEC), Mr M Mbunge Office of the Head of Department), P Ngqumba (Chief Director), Mr N Tom (Acting District Director), S S Zibi (Deputy Director), Y Y Dlata (Chief Education Specialist), A M Mrali (Chief Education Specialist), N Ndyamara (Deputy Director), M Sangqu (Director), N Dunitsula (Chief of Staff: Office of the MEC), H B T Solomon (Deputy Director), N Lombo (Deputy Chief Education Specialist) and J Z Peteni (EDO).

 

2.2.7 South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU):

 

                KwaZulu-Natal: Mr M Madikane (Deputy Secretary, Mr D M Mbonueleni (Secretary), Mr P N Caluza (Deputy Provincial Secretary), Mr S Selepe (Regional Secretary) and Mr S Velenkosini      (Chairperson).

 

                Eastern Cape: Mr M Mweti, Mr D Ndongeni and Mr C Nomarashiya (Provincial Deputy Secretary).

 

2.2.8 National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA):

                KwaZulu-Natal: Mr J Solomon (Provincial Chairperson) and Ms M Bruce (Deputy Chairperson). Mr J Mulder (Regional Chairperson).

 

                Eastern Cape: Mr P Duminy, Mr S Malusi, Mr J Solomon (Provincial Chairperson), Ms M Bruce (Deputy Chairperson) and Mr J Mulder (Regional Chairperson).

 

2.2.9 Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie (KwaZulu-Natal): Mr J Mulder (Regional Chairperson).

 

3.            Itinerary

 

3.1 Limpopo Province – Waterberg District

 

                From the 14 – 15 January 2013, the delegation visited the Waterberg District in the Limpopo Province and held meetings as follows:

 

* Provincial Department of Education, Waterberg District Offices, Nylstroom – A meeting with the Office of the MEC, National Department of Basic Education, Head of the Provincial Department of Education and Senior Provincial and District Officials

 

* Schools visited by the delegation included:

 o Mpadi Senior Secondary School

 o Mashubashuba Secondary School

 o Lamola Secondary School

 o Maope Secondary School

 o Hleketani Primary School

 o Raeleng Senior Secondary School

 o Bela-Bela Senior Secondary School

 

* A meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Limpopo Provincial Legislature

 

* A meeting with Organised Labour

 

3.2          Northern Cape Province – John Taolo Gaetsewe District

 

                From the 16 – 17 January 2013, the delegation visited the John Taolo Gaetsewe District in the Northern Cape Province and held meetings as follows:

 

* Provincial Department of Education, John Taolo Gaetsewe District Offices, Kuruman – A meeting with the Office of the MEC, National Department of Basic Education, Head of the Provincial Department of Education and Senior Provincial and District Officials)

 

* Schools visited by the delegation included:

 o Langeberg High School

 o Bankhara-Bodulong High School

 o Bankhara-Bodulong Primary School

 o Baitiredi Technical and Commercial High School

 o Isagontle Primary School

 o Maikelelo Primary School

 o Noordkaap Primary School

 

* A meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Limpopo Provincial Legislature

 

* A meeting with Organised Labour

 

3.3          KwaZulu-Natal Province – Uthungulu District

 

                From the 21 - 22 January 2013, the delegation visited the Uthungulu District in the KwaZulu-Natal Province and held meetings as follows:

 

* Provincial Department of Education, Uthungulu District Offices, Empangeni – A meeting with the Office of the Head of Department, Senior Officials and District Officials of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education and the National Department of Basic Education)

 

* Schools visited by the delegation included:

 o Mnyakanya High School

 o Umdlamfe High School

 o Isikhalasenkosi High School

 o Injabuloyesizwe Primary School

 o Bhamu Secondary School

 o Imikayifani Primary School

 o Nomaqoni Junior Secondary School

 

* A meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature

 

* A meeting with Organised Labour

 

3.4          Eastern Cape Province – Fort Beaufort District

 

From the 23 – 24 January 2013, the delegation visited the Fort Beaufort District in the Eastern Cape and held meetings as follows:

 

* Provincial Department of Education, Fort Beaufort District Offices – A meeting with the MEC, Office of the Head of Department, Senior Officials and District Officials of the Eastern Cape Department of Education and the National Department of Basic Education)

 

* Schools visited by the delegation included:

 o Kulile Secondary School

 o Eyabantu Senior Secondary School

 o Nqaba Primary School

 o Dilizintaba Senior Secondary School

 o Lindani Senior Secondary School

 o Khwezi Lesizwe Primary School

* A meeting with Organised Labour

 

4.            Oversight visit to the Limpopo Province (Waterberg District)

 

                4.1          Meeting with Limpopo Provincial Education Department

 

The MEC for the Province, Hon D Masemola gave a broad overview of the state of readiness of the province for the 2013 school year. He added that 2012 was not an easy year for the Province with its own share of challenges. The Province had agreed to reduce the challenges faced to key areas (key pillars) to receive the necessary attention from a provincial perspective. These key pillars included:

 

* Leadership and Management

* Governance

* Financial Management and Administration

* Curriculum Implementation and Coverage

* Parental Support and Involvement

* Learner Attainment

* Teacher Development

* Communication

* LTSM Supply and Infrastructure

 

Having learned from the challenges of the previous year in respect of the delivery of textbooks, the province was assured and prepared through proper administration of LTSM for 2013. Hon Masemola indicated that all schools had received the necessary stationery. The delivery of textbooks to schools to date stood at 99 percent, with mop-up operations due to be completed within the next ten days.

 

Hon Masemola also alluded to the challenges related to infrastructure backlogs amounting to billions of rands. He urged the Committee to intervene in trying to secure funds for the Province to alleviate infrastructure backlogs. Another major challenge was the sanitation at the majority of schools – with the increased capacity at schools, sanitation was inadequate and needed to be upgraded and increased.

 

The Province was seriously working on the analysis of the Grade 12 results and ANA to identify the weaknesses and to deal with challenges. The Province expected to achieve at     least a 75 percent pass rate for 2013.

 

Mr Thamaga, Head of Department, gave a detailed breakdown of the pass percentages for the various districts making up the Province, indicating that overall, the districts had improved their percentage pass rate and were above the national norm. This showed an indication that the provincial strategies, tactics and interventions had worked well. The analysis had indicated that changes to the Curriculum had a negative effect on pass rates – when the Curriculum stabilised, there was an immediate improvement in results. The Province, having analysed the results of the previous year, had numerous interventions in place which included:

 

* twinning underperforming schools with better performing schools

* subject clinics

* motivational sessions

* pace setters

* quarterly tracking

* submitting 2013 ANA Intervention Strategy on 10 January 2013

* declaring Friday ANA day for all Schools

* creating classroom reading corners

* aiming for a school target of five percent increase for the 2013 results

* exemplars question papers distributed to all schools

* the use of previous question papers

* accountability meetings with the QLTC, Parents, Principals etc. 

* mock tests administered in all circuits.

 

Further interventions included teams who trained learners on pass requirements, district vision, goal setting, mental preparedness, self-management and study programmes. The provincial department also held Circuit-based accountability sessions and Curriculum Information sessions. Mr Thamaga mentioned that a challenge facing the province was               the lack of Curriculum Advisors and a lack of connectivity between circuits and schools.

 

                4.1.1 Challenges

 

From the engagements with the Provincial Education Department, the following challenges were identified:

 

* The identification and mopping up of the final one percent in respect of the delivery of textbooks

* Financial constraints in respect of funding infrastructure backlogs

* Insufficient and inadequate sanitation at schools

* The lack of Curriculum Advisors

* Limited access to transport

* Limited budget allocations

* The lack of necessary lap-tops for teachers

 

4.1.2 Committee Observations

 

The Committee was interested in the type of support the Province received from the business sector. There was very little mention made of remedial schooling and the breakdown of the psychological services for schools in the province. The Committee was heartened by the “adopt-a-learner” initiative that seemed to be working well. The importance of, and lessons learned from the good results emanating from the boarding schools needed to be noted.

 

                4.1.3 Responses from the Provincial Department

 

The Department did have a good relationship with the business sector and received some financial assistance from them. For the most part, the Department relied on the grants received. The psychological services section in the Department was quite small but intervened where necessary. The Deparment indicated that Remedial Schooling did exist though there was a need to develop district specific programmes since districts were not all at the same level. Although the District had a few boarding schools, most of the highest achievers came from these schools. The Department was aiming for at least a 75 percentage pass rate for 2013.

 

4.1.4      Committee Recommendations

The Committee recommended that the Department:

* Assist the Province in extracting the good practices from the surrounding boarding schools - as well as the study camps for learners. These seemed to produce the best learning outcomes for the Province.

* In conjunction with the Province engage the business sector for assistance.

* Deliver all outstanding textbooks and workbooks as a matter of urgency.

* Make a bid for substantial funding for infrastructure development in the province.

 

                4.2          Visit to schools

 

                4.2.1 Mpadi Senior Secondary School

 

                4.2.1.1   Overview

 

The school principal indicated that the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC), was partially launched by staff, the local SAPS and the School Governing Body (SGB). Unfortunately there was very little interest and participation from stakeholders and the surrounding community and thus QLTC was non-functional. The school employed seven teachers in total, with a vacancy for a Science teacher having been applied for. To date, there had been no response from the Department in respect of the post applied for. Mr Mphago mentioned that teachers had received the necessary CAPS training but there had been no training for teachers in Grade 11 and 12. On LTSM, the principal stated that, after requisitioning, the school received textbooks but not the correct order or amount. The school received no Maths or Science CAPS material for Grade 10 and 11. Mr Mphago mentioned that the school had difficulty in respect of curriculum coverage and struggled to complete the syllabus. The School Management Team (SMT) was functioning but experienced heavy workloads with excessive amounts of administrative paper work to complete. The SGB was functioning well and attended regular meetings. It was stated that the teachers were not qualified to teach the subjects they currently taught. It was also mentioned that the SMT had proposed that the school be relocated though to date there had been no feedback from the Department regarding the proposal.

 

Although the school had a turnaround strategy in place in the form of extra morning and Saturday classes, they experienced a low turnout. A further strategy was to withdraw the Science subject from the school curriculum. The school also attempted to outsource experienced teachers. Teachers complained of heavy workloads due to understaffing, particularly in respect of assessment. The principal indicated that the delivery of the Grade 11 Maths and Science textbooks seemed to be a general problem for the district as a whole.

 

The morale of the teachers was very low and this impacted negatively on the learner performance.

 

4.2.1.2   Challenges

 

* The lack of support from parents. Parents did not attend meetings.

* Most families were child-headed

* Staff establishment/Understaffing – there was a need to fill the Science post

* The CAPS training to be arranged for teachers

* Outstanding LTSM needed to be delivered

* Low teacher morale

* Isolated location of the school. A request that the school be relocated as it was too far from the village

* No ablution facilities

* No playground/sports ground

* No laboratory equipment/science kits

* Learner discipline (late coming)

* Learner drug abuse

 

                4.2.1.3   Responses from the Provincial Department

 

The Department acknowledged that educator morale was low and impacted negatively on learner performance. It was reported that all schools had elected QLTC at the end of 2012. The Department had received a submission on the teacher overload and it was currently working to address the issue of redeployment and recruitment. The Department was looking into the issue of the non-delivery of LTSM and stationery. Information had been              received on the grade, number and type of material still outstanding.

 

4.2.1.4   Committee Recommendations

 

The Committee recommended that the Department:   

 

* In conjunction with the Provincial Department attend urgently to the important matter of the delivery of the outstanding textbooks to the school.

* Ensure the necessary CAPS training for teachers who still need it.

* Resolve the filling of the Science post at the school.

* Work towards promptly solving the remainder of the challenges faced by the school.

 

                4.2.2 Mashubashuba Secondary School

 

                4.2.2.1   Overview

 

The school was relatively small with a learner enrolment of 156 in 2012 and 136 in 2013 by the time of the Committee’s oversight. It had a post establishment of eight educators, including a principal, with two vacancies for a principal and a teacher of Business Studies. The position of principal had been occupied in an acting capacity since 2012 by the only Head of Department at the school. The Committee was informed that the Department was in the process of filling the principal’s post with short listing having been conducted in October 2012. The post of the Business Studies teacher, currently occupied by a substitute teacher, had also been advertised.

 

The school was currently underperforming in Grade 12 examinations and had obtained pass rates of 31.9 per cent in 2010, 13.3 per cent in 2011 and 13.9 per cent in 2012. In 2002 the school obtained 100 per cent pass rate. ANA results were also not satisfactory. The school management expressed the commitment to working hard to improve the results but was concerned that they lacked support from some teachers.

 

The school had six permanent classrooms (including the staffroom) and three mobile classrooms. Although they were in good condition, they did not have a ceiling. There was enough furniture augmented by a donation from the South African Revenue Services (SARS). The school was also electrified and had adequate fencing.

 

Although teaching and learning had started at the school, the substitute teacher for Business Studies was absent owing to the uncertainty regarding his employment status in 2013. The teacher’s contract had expired on 31 December 2012. 

 

With regard to LTSM, the school did not receive CAPS textbooks for Physical Science, Mathematics and Accounting Grade 11, which was a matter of concern for the Committee. Stationery had been received on the day of the oversight visit and the school was yet to verify its sufficiency.

 

The school had received the norms and standards funding. The school was getting 62 per cent of what they were supposed to receive (approximately R330 per learner). A matter of concern to the Committee was that the Limpopo Department of Education provided schools with funding allocations per learner that were below the national minimum allocations.

 

The district support to the school was satisfactory. Although the QLTC was established it was non-functional.

 

                4.2.2.2   Challenges

 

Some teachers were overloaded with some teaching up to 58 periods per week. The District was urged to look at the post establishment. The pit toilets were in a bad condition and required urgent attention. The school lacked library and science laboratory facilities and only had one computer for teachers, which had no internet. There was an urgent need for a qualified teacher for Business Studies. The attendance of parents meetings was low since most of them were working far away from their homes. CAPS textbooks for Physical Science, Mathematics and Accounting Grade 11 had not been received, posing a threat to the                successful implementation of the curriculum.

 

                4.2.2.3   Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

* Attend urgently to the delivery of outstanding textbooks to the school.

* Consider addressing the infrastructural needs of the school.

* Review the post establishment of the school to ensure that it has the required number of educators. 

* Resolve the filling of the Business Studies post at the school.

 

                4.2.3 Lamola Secondary School

 

                4.2.3.1   Overview

 

The school was a Quintile 1 school and learners did not pay school fees. The school had six educators including a principal with a learner enrolment of 153 in 2012 and 152 in 2013 at the time of the oversight. The Department was in the process of filling the post of Head of Department, which was currently occupied in an acting capacity.

 

Although the school had toilets, they were in a bad condition and located outside the school fence. The school lacked a library, science laboratory and computer laboratory. It had insufficient classrooms, requiring three additional ones, and one was used as both a classroom and a staffroom. The school experienced a shortage of furniture (52 desks) and learners were using broken desks.

 

Teaching and learning had started on day one of the school year and the teacher register was signed daily.

 

Teachers did not receive the necessary CAPS training scheduled for the school holidays due to miscommunication on the part of the Department, schools and teacher unions.

 

Although textbooks had been delivered, Grade 11 Economics textbooks had not been received at the time of the oversight. The school experienced a shortage of workbooks in some subjects. Stationery had been received but the quality of some was not up to standard.

 

The school had received its norms and standards funding in November 2012 and was expecting the next tranche in April 2013.

 

A variety of necessary school policies were in place. The District’s Education and Management Development and Governance section will support the school to formulate procedures to enforce learner discipline.

 

The school underperformed in both Grade 12 NSC examination and ANA Grade 9 and required support to analyse the results with the view to improve them. In general, the school received frequent visits from the district office. As part of the turnaround strategy, the school expressed a commitment to offering extra morning and afternoon classes, conducting regular tests, holding regular SMT and parent meetings, reporting to parents regularly on learner performance and establishing the QLTC.

 

The SGB was not fully functional due to a treasurer and secretary who had left after being elected, and needed to be replaced. Parental involvement was a challenge needing attention. The Committee recommended that it be made part of the improvement plan.

 

The QLTC had not been established and the Committee was informed that it would be established in March 2013.

 

                The NSNP was functioning well and had resumed on 10 January 2013.

 

The Committee was informed that some learners who qualified for learner transport were not provided with the service. The Committee urged the department to look into the matter.

 

                4.2.3.2   Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that:

 

* The Department ensure that the correct number of textbooks and workbooks be delivered to schools as a matter of urgency.

* The school include parental involvement as part of the improvement plan.

* Ablution facilities at schools be within the precincts of the school.

* The Department consider ensuring that learners who qualify for learner transport at the school be provided with the service.

                4.2.4      Maope Secondary School

 

                4.2.4.1   Overview

 

The school was a Quintile 3 school with a learner enrolment of 1 473 and a staff establishment of 45. It had five vacancies since 2012 for Mathematics, Physical Science, Geography, English and Social Sciences. The Department was in the process of filling two of these vacancies.

 

                4.2.4.2   Challenges

 

                Challenges noted at the school included:

 

* The school faced a challenge of infrastructure with one block of classrooms having major cracks that affected the sanitation system. As a result, the toilets in this block were closed. The Department was urged to look into the matter. Fencing was not in order. Some blocks did not have electricity. Although the school had a computer laboratory, computers were not in good condition. The school also needed an effective science laboratory since no taps or chemicals were available. There was also a shortage of furniture.

* The Committee was informed that learners from the feeder primary school were not well prepared for high school education, resulting in poor performance in high school. The Committee recommended that the school should discuss with the district problems inherited from the primary school.

* Although admission had officially closed, the school still accepted learners who required late admission.

* The school did not perform well in ANA Grade 9, particularly in Mathematics.

* In respect of CAPS training, only one teacher was trained. The school had not received CAPS textbooks for Mathematics, Science and Tourism Grades 11 and 12.

* The QLTC was non-functional and the circuit manager was meeting with principals later that afternoon to discuss guidelines on the QLTC

* The school had not received a learner attendance register and the department needed to follow up on the matter.

 

                4.2.4.3   Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that:

 

* The Department should address the shortfall in textbooks.

* The Department should attend to vacancies as a matter of urgency.

* The Department should ensure that the school receive a learner attendance register.

* The school should discuss with the district problems inherited from the primary school which impact on the performance of learners.

 

                4.2.5 Hleketani Primary School

 

                4.2.5.1   Overview

 

                The school was a quintile 3 school which had a learner enrolment of 1 016 at the time of the oversight and admission was still in progress. The staff establishment of the school stood at 31 with one vacancy. Teaching and learning had started on day one. The school reported that it received regular support from the district.

 

                Admission at the school was still continuing particularly for the Xitsonga class, who at 37 was the smallest class at the time of the oversight,

 

                CAPS training in certain subjects were interrupted due to logistical problems experienced at the district. The Committee heard that the school organised interim training conducted by a book publisher.

 

                4.2.5.2   Challenges

 

                Stationery, textbooks and workbooks were delivered at the school except English and Mathematics Grade 7 textbooks which although requisitioned had not been received to date.

 

                The school faced a challenge of infrastructure, with 2 blocks of classrooms having visible cracks. It also had a block of prefabs which were too hot in summer and too cold in winter and suffered from leaking roofs posing a danger to learners. The Committee learnt that the Department of Public Works visited the school in 2011 to conduct a full assessment of the school buildings, but to date nothing significant came out of it. Although the school had adequate access to water and electricity, some toilets were in a terrible condition. The school experienced regular burglary due to inadequate fencing. The school lacked a library, a computer laboratory and a strong room for the safekeeping of computers.

 

                The QLTC was not functional. A range of necessary policies were in place. Learners were disciplined.

 

                The Committee commended the school for its marked improvement in the ANA results which included an increase in the percentage of learners who passed Grade 6 Mathematics from 0 per cent in 2011 to 51 per cent in 2012.  The percentage of learners who passed English was 48 in 2012.

 

                The school had received the tranche of the norms and standards funding and had been promised the outstanding amount would be paid to the school.

 

                4.2.5.3   Recommendations

 

                The following recommendations were made:

 

* The Committee encouraged the school to reinforce the ceiling/roof of the room where computers are kept.  

* The Department should ensure that the school receive the outstanding textbooks.

* The Department should ensure that the infrastructure challenges of the school, including sanitation, are addressed.

 

                4.2.6      Raeleng Senior Secondary School

 

4.2.6.1   Overview

 

The school currently had 24 teachers with approximately 661 learners which offered a 1:50 ratio. There were classes that were heavily overcrowded, particularly History, Geography, Sepedi and Commerce. The school was classified as a Quintile 3 school but the school authorities had requested to be changed from Quintile 3  to Quintile 1 since the school served learners from disadvantaged communities.

 

Although the school did well in the Grade 12 NSC examination, there were subjects where learners performed poorly. The school also underperformed in the 2012 ANA Grade 9 results, particularly in Mathematics where it obtained 0 per cent. The turnaround strategy adopted by the school included:

 

* The placing of the best teachers in Grade 9, including for teaching Mathematics

* Offering extra classes for certain subjects

* The use of exemplars to pace learners

* The “drop everything and read” initiative every Friday

* Encouraging learners to public speaking forums

* The use of previous question papers to guide learners on expectations for the examination.

 

Learner admission at the school was ongoing and was expected to be completed on 21 January 2012. The Committee was informed that parents were not adhering to the September admission deadline, as required by policy. The Committee also heard that there was a need for an additional high school in the area since some learners were sent home due to the lack of space at the school.

 

The SGB was fully functional with various functioning sub-committees. The school also enjoyed a renewed interest and involvement from the parents and community at large. The school also had a functioning QLTC. At least four learners qualified for learner transport but did not receive this. 

 

4.2.6.2   Challenges

 

*  Although there had been extensive renovations of the school buildings, these were in a poor state with many cracked walls.

* The school needed a further placement of taps to give more learners access to running water.

* The toilets were in good condition but the school had to spend money to maintain them.

* At least two blocks of the school had no electricity.

* There were only 14 classes at the school with teachers making use of the administration block for learning and teaching. Due to the shortage of classes, the school experienced overcrowding.

* The school experienced limited resources with no library, laboratory or a computer room

* There was a need for a Science and Maths teacher.

* The perimeter fencing was in a bad condition.

* Teachers did not receive the necessary CAPS training which seemed due to miscommunication on the part of the Department, Schools and Organised Labour.

* The school experienced late learner admission with parents not adhering to the September admission deadline, as required by policy.

* Parents did not have faith in the education at the school and chose the school as a last resort.

* Not all workbooks had been received. There were also shortages of textbooks for Grades 9, 10 and 11.

* The school experienced a high learner pregnancy.

 

                4.2.6.3   Responses from the Department

 

                In respect of the CAPS training, the communication to school in this regard went out too late.    There was a management meeting planned to look at new dates for training workshops for                 CAPS early in 2013. Regarding the vacancies, the Department was busy with the necessary              absorption and would wait for the completion of this process to assess who was in excess.

 

4.2.6.4   Committee Observations

 

The Committee welcomed the fact that the school received regular visits from the Curriculum Advisors. The Committee noted that the feeding of learners was occurring as of 10 January 2013 already without experiencing any challenges. The Committee was concerned over the high rate of pregnancy at the school and that it lacked a policy in this regard. Again, not all LTSM had been received by the school and this was a cause for concern. The Committee expected the school to settle its post provisioning after the final registration was completed on 21 January 2013. The Committee accepted that the Department was looking into the issue of filling the vacant teacher’s post at the school as a matter of urgency. The Committee felt it unacceptable that teachers still did not receive the necessary CAPS training.

 

                4.2.6.5   Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department find speedy solutions to the following:

* Teacher vacancies for English, Maths and Science

* Textbook and workbook shortages

* CAPS training for teachers

* All the other challenges identified by the Committee, including infrastructure.

 

4.2.7 Bela-Bela Senior Secondary School

 

4.2.7.1   Overview

 

The principal indicated that the school was a Quintile 3 school that depended on the Norms and Standards funding to finance school activities. The school had approximately 1 356 learners with a staff establishment of 37. The school had experienced an influx of learners, especially in Grade 8. It had no teacher for Consumer Studies of Life Sciences for Grade 10 – 12. Although the school had submitted its requisition for textbooks, the books delivered did not match the requisition and there were shortages (some titles requested were not the ones received). The school struggled to get the necessary books for home languages. The languages did not have a Curriculum Advisor and therefore experienced challenges in identifying the proper material.

 

Not all teachers had received the necessary CAPS training. The school did not receive the pace-setters for Grades 11 – 12. Due to the unavailability of Subject Advisors, teachers prepared their lessons as they saw fit, and not under the requirements of the Department. Although the school had a functional SGB, it was always difficult to attract parents to meetings and get involvement from them in the various structures. The school also had a serious challenge in respect of high learner pregnancies. The school had adopted the approach that pregnant learners needed to be accompanied by the parents/guardians during examination periods. The school also experienced drug abuse by its learners. It worked in cooperation with its sister departments (SAPS, Social Services, SASSA, CPFs etc.) in respect of drug issues and absenteeism of learners. The school did poorly in the ANA and was working towards rectifying many of the gaps and problem areas identified for improved results.

 

4.2.7.2   Challenges

 

From the above input, the challenges experienced by the school could be summarised as follows:

 

* The school was understaffed. There was no teacher for Consumer Studies and Life Sciences.

* There was a shortage of LTSM and some books did not match orders placed. No books were received for home languages. No pace-setters were received. No literature books were received.

* Some teachers had not received the necessary CAPS training.

* Subject advisors not appointed or available to the school

* High learners pregnancy rate

* Little or no parental involvement with the SGB and school

* Drug abuse by learners.

 

                4.2.7.3   Committee Observations

                The Committee noted the plea from the school for the need to employ more teachers. This       was exacerbated by the huge influx of learners especially in Grade 8. The Committee              expressed concern over the challenges experienced with the shortages of textbooks as well      as the incorrect delivery of textbooks. The Committee was also concerned that not all teachers                 had received the necessary CAPS training. It was, however heartening to                 note that the school       had been working well with sister departments in trying to address the issues around learner                 pregnancies, drug abuse and absenteeism – it was important that there be proper advocacy in                 this regard. The Committee further urged the school to ensure that the Circuit, District and                 Provincial Education Department were kept abreast of the many challenges faced. 

 

                4.2.7.4   Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

* Fill the much needed positions currently vacant at the school

* Ensure the LTSM shortages be dealt with and correct books delivered as a matter of urgency.

* Arrange for the necessary CAPS training for those teachers still requiring it.

* Through collaboration with other Departments they should address the challenges around high learner pregnancy rate as well as learner drug abuse.

 

4.3          Meeting with the Provincial Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Limpopo   Legislature

 

The Chairperson of the Provincial Portfolio Committee (PPC), Hon B J Maluleke, expressed appreciation for the visit by the Portfolio Committee in 2012. The visit had made a huge difference in the Province as many of the challenges identified had been dealt with speedily. The PPC was also in the process of undertaking similar visits to schools throughout the Province through the clustering of Committees in the Legislature. The Legislature would produce a consolidated report once the oversight and monitoring visits had been completed. The PPC, during its visits had also picked up on similar challenges as experienced by the Portfolio Committee i.e. shortages of textbooks, shortages of stationery, CAPS training etc. The PPC would make the consolidated report, with recommendations, available to the Portfolio Committee, once tabled.

 

After follow-ups and engagements with the Provincial Department, the PPC had been promised that all stationery and textbook shortages would be dealt with. A major challenge faced by schools was that of infrastructure, shortages of classrooms and limited resources. The PPC was in consultation with the Department to release funds for the procurement of more mobile classrooms where they were required. There was a further plea from the PPC for any help and intervention by the Portfolio Committee in securing further funding for the necessary basic services (water, sanitation, electrification) for schools in the Province.

 

4.3.1      Committee Observations

 

The Committee was in agreement that there were some immediate challenges that required urgent attention. These included:

* CAPS training for teachers

* The delivery of outstanding textbooks and workbooks

* The filling of teacher vacancies at schools

 

Members noted that many schools in the community were in close proximity to shebeens. This led to many of the problems relating to drug abuse and absenteeism. It was important that the different departments (SAPS, Social Services, CPFs etc.) formed close working relations to combat these challenges. The Committee believed that the use of disused mobile classes should be considered to alleviate the classroom shortages. Members argued that the delivery notes from schools also needed to be made available to the District Offices. The Infrastructure Reports from the Department clearly showed there was a need for basic services. It was important that the PPC and the Portfolio Committee were able to share their reports and recommendations with each other, as a way forward.

 

5.            Oversight visit to the Northern Cape Province (John Taolo Gaetsewe District)

 

5.1          Meeting with Northern Cape Provincial Education Department

 

The Chief Director gave the Committee some background to the challenges faced by the Province during the 2012 protests in the District. The area of Olifantshoek experienced the most intense challenges where schooling was disrupted for a prolonged period of time leading to learners not able to sit for the end of year examination. This led to high enrolment in the entry Grades, putting a strain on the existing infrastructure. The Province did all it could to ensure that the education of learners was not compromised during this time. Between November and December 2012, a team was established to start preparations for school readiness in the affected areas. The Province reported that schools would re-open without major hiccups in all Districts and that all reports received to date were positive.  There was a concerted effort from the Department to ensure that LTSM was delivered by December 2012, to allow for mopping up to take place in January 2013. The delivery of LTSM currently stood at 98.9 percent and was broken down as follows:

 

* Frances Baard District                 -              100 percent

* JTG District                                      -              98.66 percent

* Namaqua District                          -              90.41 percent

* Pixley Ka Seme District               -              100 percent

* Siyanda District                              -              98.94 percent

 

Regarding school staff establishments, all schools were issued with their approved staff establishments for 2013 by September 2012 (8 134 posts were distributed to 571 schools).  Schools were encouraged to report errors in respect of establishments for the purposes of correction. Circulars were made available for schools to apply for additional teachers.

 

There were no serious infrastructure backlogs that would hamper the smooth re-opening of schools. The Department had an accelerated project list to improve and renovate schools in all the districts. The projects ranged from the building of ablution facilities to fencing and renovations.

 

Although the Department experienced a difficult year in 2012, they were pleased to report a significant improvement in Grade 12 pass rate as well as in the Grade 1 – 11 pass rates. The provincial pass rate had improved from 68.76 percent in 2011 to 74.63 percent in 2012 (an increase of 5.87 percent). There were also notable increases in district performances.  The number of underperforming schools in the Province decreased from 34 schools in 2011 to 22 schools in 2012 (the majority being in the JTG District). The Department was in the process of analysing the results and has started to engage with these schools.

 

It had come to the attention of the Department that the transport service providers were threatening strike action if they did not receive outstanding payments due to them. The Department was awaiting reports from schools to check if there had been any disruptions to date. Although the Department had a good working relationship with transport providers, it was the Department of Transport that needed to address the issues raised by these service providers.

 

Where the Department was receiving reports of overcrowding at schools, mobile units would be provided to these schools. 

 

5.1.1      Committee Observations

 

The Committee was encouraged by the good work of the Department in preparations for the 2013 school year. There were a number of effective initiatives and good practice that could be replicated in other provinces. A good example was the use of the post office delivery services for LTSM as well as the learner study camps arranged by the Department which saw a marked improvement in learner outcomes.

 

5.2 Visit to schools

 

5.2.1      Langeberg High School

 

5.2.1.1   Overview

The Staff Establishment of the school stood at 24 with three vacancies. In respect of LTSM the school did not receive all its books as requisitioned (shortages, incorrect titles, incorrect languages etc.) The school also had a problem with the “jotters” not having been received. The QLTC was not functional and this needed to be revived with the aide of all relevant stakeholders. Only five teachers at the school did not receive the necessary CAPS training – they would be accommodated during the next scheduled training workshop on CAPS. There was a general feeling that the SMT did not function as a collective since June 2011. This had resulted in the suspension of one teacher, a disciplinary hearing for another and the requested transfer of a third teacher. The principal had written a threatening letter to the Department regarding the working relations and power-struggle at the school. It was mentioned that individuals used governing bodies as a platform for launching their political ambitions. All staff who participated in the team-building exercise and counseling bought into the policies and concepts of the school.

 

The school performance in Business Studies and Life Sciences were poor and the school did not participate in the 2012 ANA. Because the majority of the learners were repeaters, the school was expecting a 100 percent pass rate for 2013. Counseling for all learners and teachers should be considered for schools affected by the protest action. 

 

5.2.1.2 Challenges

 

The following challenges were identified:

 

* Three staff vacancies needed to be filled

* LTSM shortages and incorrect deliveries of LTSM

* The QLTC was non-functional

* CAPS training for teachers was needed

* School management was at a low and was not functioning as a collective

* Counseling of learners and teachers affected by protest action was required. 

 

5.2.1.3   Committee Observations

 

The Committee, again, noted with concern the issue of the shortages and errors in the distribution and delivery of LTSM to the school. It was also important that teachers identified for CAPS training were accommodated in the next training workshop to be held. It was of concern that the QLTC at the school was not functional at all, and needed to be revived. The Committee welcomed the support given to the school by the Circuit and District. The issues that plagued the SMT were unfortunate and needed the urgent attention of the Department. The Committee was in agreement with the principal that there was a need for urgent counseling of learners as well as teachers affected by the protest action. It was important for the district to do a verification of the LTSM received to date.

 

5.2.1.4   Responses from the Provincial Department

 

The vacancies had arisen in January 2013 and the Districts normally give the go-ahead for the appointment of replacement teachers. In respect of LTSM, the Districts were charged with the verification of the books ordered and delivered to schools and notifying the Department of any shortages. This would be followed-up. The Department indicated that CAPS training had occurred; although some teachers did not attend. The Department was busy with a mop-up training workshop to be held soon. The Department would advise that the school do the necessary applications for temporary teachers for the three vacant positions. It was important that Districts started their own verification processes in respect of the delivery of LTSM and stationery. The Department would also work to appoint a service provider to supply the necessary training of the SGB on its roles and responsibilities.

 

5.2.1.5   Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

   * Address the issues around filling of the vacant positions at the school.

   * In conjunction with the Provincial Department restore proper governance at the school

   * Ensure that all the necessary and correct LTSM was received as a matter of

                urgency.

 

5.2.2      Bankhara-Bodulong High School

 

5.2.2.1   Overview

 

The principal, Ms Nofemela, gave the Committee a brief background to the school which opened its doors in 2010. Although construction was still in progress, they moved into the school in the third term of 2010. The total enrollment stood at 687 with 20 teachers including an acting principal and two permanent Heads of Department. The school had 25 classrooms with two computer laboratories, two Science laboratories and one library. The school had most of the resources it needed except for a shortage of desks in classrooms. The SGB was fully constituted, functional, and capacitated in their roles and responsibilities. The SGB was granted 21 Status in 2012 to perform the following functions:

 

* Infrastructure

* Maintenance of Buildings

* Services

 

Approximately 80 percent of the parents were unemployed and depended on social grants to cater for their children’s educational needs. Parental involvement had improved with co-operation and good relations between the school and parents. The QLTC was officially launched in 2010 and became functional in 2012. The QLTC had a positive impact on the school – social workers and SAPS visited regularly.

 

The ANA results were poor for the school with a 100 percent failure in Maths and only 40.6 percent pass in English.

 

5.2.2.2   Challenges

 

The following challenges were identified:

 

* Child-headed homes since parent worked far from their children in towns and cities

* Learners living with grand-parents who were illiterate, therefore to monitor learners

* The school needed more teachers to be appointed

* High teenage pregnancy rate

* Continuous underperformance in Grade 9  and Mathematics in all Grades

* The lack of sporting facilities

* The lack of security personnel

 

5.2.2.3   Committee Observations

 

The Committee noted that the school was relatively new with all buildings in very good condition. The school had all the necessary resources, except for the overcrowded classrooms and sporting facilities. The Committee noted the concerns around the issue of the appointment of more teachers to alleviate overcrowding. The underperformance of the Grade 9 cohort as well as the Matrics was cause for concern and this needed to be addressed. The school definitely needed the assistance of the various facilitators and subject advisors. Generally the school was very well run and should be used in the Province as an example of how a school should be managed.

 

                5.2.2.4   Responses from the Provincial Department

 

                The circuit indicated that it was apparent that learners were not well prepared in terms of           curriculum content. There was a need to identify the gaps. A further issue was the level of moderation and content/curriculum coverage. The Department had several meetings with the         school teachers on the curriculum and identified grey areas and interventions. Learners were     also being taught how to approach question papers. The Department was hoping to see a                 steady improvement and stabilisation from the Grade 9 cohort moving forward. It would ensure              that the HODs were well trained in respect of curriculum implementation as well as their roles    and responsibilities. HODs needed to ensure that there were common papers and templates           to work from, and this would receive the attention of the Department this year.

                5.2.2.5   Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

* Assist the school in filling the vacancies to employ at least four temporary teachers in the interim).

* Assist the school in ensuring all teachers are properly trained and capacitated.

* Ensure that the school received all the outstanding textbooks and workbooks due to them.

* Ensure that the school received the desks as requested.

 

                5.2.3      Bankhara-Bodulong Primary School

 

5.2.3.1   Overview

 

The principal of the primary school, mentioned that the school was the first ever built in the community in 1999. Only 10 classrooms were built for a capacity of 650 learners but in its year of inception it exceeded its capacity by registering 753 learners. The school registered its first Matriculants in 2005. However the FET phase was later moved to Kalahari High School in 2006. The school generally experienced high learner enrollment. To date the school was registered to offer its Curriculum from Grades 1 – 7 with 1 550 learners. The school was a no-fee, Quintile 1 School, with Section 21 Financial Allocations. According to the 2013 Staff Establishment the school qualified for 46 staff. The school also employed four permanent general workers, a school clerk and eight food handlers.

 

At least 75 percent of parents in the community were unemployed with learners under the care of grand-parents while some headed households. The school experienced minimal parental support. The SGB was fully constituted and they gave the necessary support and direction for the school. All SGB members were trained in their roles and responsibilities including financial management. The SGB had appointed two Grade R practitioners. The school also had a good relationship with various community organisations.

 

Although the QLTC had been officially launched in 2010, there had yet to be a formal gathering of the Committee. The school received District support, mostly in the Foundation Phase. The challenge was that there was little support in the Intermediate Phase.  

 

5.2.3.2   Challenges

 

The school confronted the following challenges:

 

* Low community literacy levels

* Child-headed households

* High rate of teenage pregnancies

* Overcrowding

* Late registration

* No delivery of Grade R LTSM and furniture

* Remedial educators

* LTSM shortages:

- Grade 3             :               First Additional Language (FAL) – no delivery

                                                :               Setswana Home Language – wrong home language                                                                         delivered

                                                :               Mathematics – wrong language delivered

 

- Grade 5             :               Wrong FAL delivery

 

- Grade 6             :               Wrong FAL delivery

 

5.2.3.3   Committee Observations

 

The Committee was concerned with the amount of erroneous LTSM received by the school and appealed to the Department to rectify this immediately. The Committee was also concerned over the overcrowding and low performance in the ANA and Mathematics generally. The Department had a responsibility to ensure that all schools practiced the adopt-a-cop initiative. The Committee noted the call from the principal for a second primary school to be built.

 

5.2.3.4   Responses from the Provincial Department

 

The Circuit Manager indicated that all schools in the District had the adopt-a-cop initiative. It was made clear to the school that they did not accept any erroneous deliveries of LTSM and stationery, and that they be returned immediately. The Department could only deal with shortages or corrections if they were reported. The Department had two meetings with the school in respect of curriculum and language issues. Teachers received training on content coverage for better performance. Regarding the furniture and resources for Grade R; this was reported to the Department and was receiving the necessary attention. Due to unrest the previous year, the plans to revive the QLTC in the District was curtailed but would be resumed in the near future. As the Department had a warehouse filled with textbooks, the shortage issue would be resolved immediately.

 

                5.2.3.5   Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

   * Ensured that the LTSM shortages be dealt with immediately.

   * Considered seriously the call for a second primary school to be built.

   * Removed the mobile classrooms and erect permanent structures as well as the supply           of the necessary furniture and material for the Grade R classes.

 

                5.2.4      Baitiredi Technical and Commercial High School

 

                5.2.4.1   Overview

 

The institution started as a technical college in 1992 and was subsequently closed down due to a lack of interest in technical education. The school was later re-opened as a technical and commercial high school, and is currently a Quintile 3 Dinaledi school catering for learners from Grades 8 to 12. Notably, more than two thirds of the learners at the school are taking Mathematics and Physical Science. The school also attracts learners from neighbouring communities because of its unique status of being the only school offering technical subjects within a radius of 20 kilometres. 

 

The school had a learner enrolment of 922 and a staff establishment of 27 permanent educators and seven temporary educators. In 2012, the school was used as a Spring Camp for Grade 12 learners from different schools affected by the service delivery protests.

 

                The school was performing reasonably successfully with a pass rate for Grade 12 in the past        consecutive years as follows:

 

      * 2010: 75.6 percent

      * 2011: 61.3 percent

      * 2012: 80.2 percent.

 

                5.2.4.2   Observations

 

                The Committee made the following observations which included challenges faced at the              school:

 

* The LTSM had been delivered on time to enable the school to start the new academic year smoothly.

* The Committee noted with appreciation that the school was attracting many learners to pursue technical subjects and was able to link them with NGOs for the purposes of further training and employment.

* The school’s quality of practical work was commendable, with learners winning prizes in provincial and national Science and Technology related competitions.

* Although the school had an adequate water supply, sanitation was insufficient to cater for the school population. 

* The school experienced an unfavourable post establishment which resulted in insufficient manpower to effectively render an appropriate service to the community.

* The school was exposed to threats of burglary and theft due to the lack of resources required to provide more effective safety and security for the school.

* The school had experienced land invasion (illegal land occupation) and had reported the matter to the relevant authorities. 

 

                5.2.4.3   Response

 

                The Committee received a commitment from the District that it would follow up on the                infrastructure requirements of the school in its next monthly infrastructure meeting.

 

                5.2.4.4   Recommendation

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

* Ensure that post provisioning norms be informed by curriculum needs in addition to learner enrolment

* Support the school in resolving the challenges of inadequate sanitation and security.

 

                5.2.5      Isagontle Primary School

 

                5.2.5.1   Overview

 

The school had a learner enrolment of 796 including Grade R and a staff establishment of 22 educators as well as 2 practitioners for Grade R. It catered for Grades 1 to 6 learners from communities with many informal settlements where the socio-economic status was challenging. Most parents of learners were unemployed. The school had obtained an average of 45 per cent in ANA with particularly low performances in Mathematics Grades 3 and 6 and English Grades 5 and 6.

 

All the necessary learning and teaching support material had been received at the school to begin the year smoothly. The school also had a fair supply of water and was currently not experiencing any major challenges in this regard.  

 

      5.2.5.2             Challenges

 

                Challenges noted at the school included the following:

 

    * The school experienced a shortage of five classrooms which resulted in overcrowding.

    * Late coming of learners was a matter of concern.

    * Long sick leave management posed a challenge.

    * Parents were not involved in school activities.

    * An Administration Block was required.

    * There was a need to extend the school yard to accommodate sporting facilities.

 

                5.2.5.3   Response

 

The District reported that it was in the process of addressing the shortage of classrooms at the school.

 

                5.2.5.4   Recommendation

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

* Support the school in addressing the late coming of learners, lack of parental involvement as well as improving the management of sick leave.

* Work towards resolving the infrastructure challenges of the school.

 

                5.2.6      Maikelelo Primary School

               

5.2.6.1 Overview

 

The school had a learner enrolment of 539 and a staff establishment of 14 which translated into a teacher-learner ratio of 1:35. The school experienced an inadequate supply of water and needed assistance from the municipality and the Department of Public Works. It was electrified and had computers but lacked a science laboratory and library facilities.  

 

Teachers had received CAPS training for the Intermediate Phase. Although LTSM had been delivered, there was a shortage of workbooks in the Foundation Phase and some were delivered in the wrong language. The school experienced a rapid increase in the enrolment of Afrikaans speaking learners which posed challenges to the provision of adequate resources. The Committee advised the school to verify the number of books delivered against the requisition made, and to report the shortfall to the Department.

 

Due to increased enrolment in the lower grades, caused by the high number of repeaters arising from the 2012 disruptions, the Committee was informed that the school would require an additional educator post. The Department had anticipated the increased enrolment and had made provision for an additional educator. There was also a need for a classroom for Grade R since the current one allocated was inappropriate and also doubled up as a kitchen. The Department reported that the school would receive a mobile classroom by the end of that week. The school experienced a shortage of chairs and had reported the matter to the department who were attending to the matter.

 

Learner registration at the school was still taking place and was expected to be finalised by the end of that week. The school had received its tranche of the norms and standards funding. It also had the necessary policies in place but was still working on the textbook retrieval policy. There was also a need to develop a learner pregnancy policy. The SGB was functional and had established the necessary sub-committees. Parents were not actively involved in the activities of the school. There was a need for strategies to improve their involvement.

 

                5.2.6.2   Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommends that the Department:

 

* Ensure that the shortfall on LTSM is dealt with and the correct books be delivered as a matter of urgency.

* Provide the school with the necessary support to cope with the rapidly changing profile of learners at the school.

* Support the school in developing a learner pregnancy policy.

 

                5.2.7 Noordkaap Primary School

 

5.2.7.1 Overview

 

The school had a learner enrolment of 1 509 and a staff establishment of 44 educators, three Grade R practitioners and three general staff. It required eight additional classrooms due to increased learner enrolment in the lower grades in 2013 as a result of learners not sitting for their end of year examination in 2012. The Department delivered six mobile classrooms and erected them at the school in time for use in Grade One at the beginning of the year. The two remaining mobile classrooms would be sought from another school which would be handed over built classrooms late in January 2013.

 

The Department’s Infrastructure Unit had made an assessment of the school’s infrastructural needs and identified a long term need to erect an ablution facility. The school was electrified except for the mobile classrooms, which would also be electrified once an electrician was available. Although there were library and science laboratory facilities at the school, they were used as classrooms due to a shortage of classrooms. The school had a computer laboratory with 10 computers used for special needs education. There was a shortage of 60 chairs for Grade One classrooms and the Department would source them from other schools.

 

Although the necessary LTSM had been received, there was a shortage for Natural Sciences and Technology, which the Department was addressing. Stationery would be delivered the following day. Teachers received CAPS training for the Intermediate Phase in 2012.

 

                5.2.7.2   Challenges

 

                The school experienced the following challenges:

 

* Parental involvement was minimal and required attention.

* Although the QLTC was established, it was non-functional.

* Some teachers had remained temporary for a longer period than was required by policy.

 

                5.2.7.3   Committee observations

 

The Committee was encouraged by the foresight and thorough plans of the Department in preparations for the smooth commencement of the 2013 school year. It was a matter of concern that the QLTC was non-functional at the school and needed to be revived.

 

                5.2.7.4   Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

* Ensure that all the necessary and correct LTSM be received as a matter of urgency.

* Support schools in reviving their QLTC.

* Investigate the allegation that some teachers were temporary for longer than required and this should be remedied.

 

5.3 Meeting with Organised Labour – Northern Cape

 

5.3.1 South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU)

 

SADTU in the Province was very optimistic that the Province would achieve higher and better results in 2013. As this was the second visit by the Portfolio Committee, SADTU wanted to check the progress in respect of the submission made. With regard to Post Establishment, SADTU indicated that they had an agreement with the Department that there would be no retrenchments in 2013. In terms of the equity share there had been a decrease in the amount (Total allocation of R 4.4 Billion for +/- 8 000 posts). SADTU had also been given the assurance that there would be no classroom without a teacher.

 

SADTU had pointed out that there were LTSM and stationery that were not delivered to certain schools and was given the assurance that these would be delivered by the next day. The union would monitor the situation closely. The union was happy with the availability of mobile classrooms where they were needed by schools. Of concern was the issue of learner transport, an issue that had been ongoing for many years. SADTU felt this matter needed to be elevated to a higher level as this impacted negatively on learner performance and achievement.

 

SADTU had a healthy relationship with the Department and engaged thoroughly. An issue that SADTU felt needed to be resolved was that of the removal of a certain Chief Director (this was also highlighted during our previous visit). The union was satisfied with the training conducted by the Department for teachers and was assured that there would be further training workshops for those who had missed out previously. SADTU was also in the process of doing its own verification of the delivery of LTSM to all schools.

 

Regarding the use of hazardous asbestos to strengthen building material for schools, SADTU mentioned that there had been a learner death in 2009 as a result of asbestosis. The situation was dire since many communities had been relocated onto asbestos dumps. These communities needed to be relocated. The issues of asbestos hazards needed a much broader and wider level of engagement with all the relevant Departments for an inter-departmental approach and solution. SADTU appealed to the Portfolio Committee to intervene in this regard and have the issue elevated to a National level.

 

SADTU was firm in its view that a forum of this nature was required on a regular basis with the MEC to discuss and engage collectively. SADTU was pleased that the ELRC was undergoing some changes and hoped the engagements with the ELRC would yield positive results.

 

5.3.2 National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA)

 

In respect of the issues around the Post Establishment, NAPTOSA abided by the processes and procedures applied by the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC). NAPTOSA cautioned, however, that there was a need to review and address the post provisioning for special schools. NAPTOSA congratulated the Department for being proactive in the district on issues surrounding the state of readiness for the reopening of schools for 2013. Although there had been some intermittent shortages, NAPTOSA was generally satisfied with the delivery of the LTSM and stationery to schools. The union pointed out that there was no CAPS literature in Braille.

 

NAPTOSA was very concerned over the issue of learner transport in the region and had been unable to secure a meeting with the Head of Department on the matter. In many instances it had been reported that learners had not been transported at all. The issue at hand was that the problem was not with Departmental procedures but with the actual service providers who could not deliver on services.

 

On infrastructure, a concern for NAPTOSA was the buildings/classrooms built with bricks and mortar strengthened with asbestos. Besides being dangerous and life-threatening, it was also very hot during the summer months. NAPTOSA was of the view that these hazardous asbestos buildings needed to be eradicated. Where schools were supplied with mobile classrooms, they were not fitted with air-conditioning and became unbearably hot.

 

Regarding the Annual National Assessments, NAPTOSA’s concerns were in respect of the standard of the ANA test itself. There seemed to be a general fluctuation with some grades being too low and others being too high.

 

Although the relationship with the Department was good, NAPTOSA felt that the Department saw engagements with the union as only a matter of compliance. Securing a meeting with the Head of Department had been fruitless to date.

 

                5.3.3      Responses from the National Department of Basic Education

 

The calls from SADTU on matters raised had been noted and would be reported to the Office of the Director-General. In respect of policy and delivery of LTSM, the DBE was assured that, in the Province, 98 percent of the materials had been successfully delivered to schools. Unfortunately, what was emerging was, in fact, not the case in the various Circuits where they were receiving reports of non-delivery. The standards of the mobile classrooms would be looked into - with recommendations. Although staff establishment was not a National competence, provinces were failing in this regard, and DBE may intervene. Once again, reports received from provinces indicated that there was 100 percent CAPS training when, in fact, this was not the case. The issues around the Braille books would receive immediate attention.

 

      5.3.4                Committee Recommendations

     

      The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

* Urgently raise the issues around the asbestos hazard with the Office of the MEC and Premier.

* Engage with the relevant departments in respect of the request for tarred roads in affected areas (Department of Transport and Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs).

 

6.            Oversight visit to the KwaZulu-Natal Province (Uthungulu District)

 

                6.1          Meeting with KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Education Department

 

Dr S N P Sishi, Head of Department (HOD), in his opening remarks stated that KwaZulu-Natal had the largest learner population in South Africa. Finding solutions to the challenges in this province would automatically shift the whole country forward. The Provincial Department and the Legislature Portfolio Committee also conducted similar school visits to at least 30 schools in the last two weeks, to report on teaching and learning. The Department could confidently say that teaching and learning was conducted at all schools in the province. He assured the Portfolio Committee that by the time schools reopened, no school would be without school management.

 

At least three independent and authoritative reports both nationally and provincially reported that the province performance in the Foundation Phase was on the increase with the Intermediate Phase on the decrease (with Grade 9 performance increasing). The Grade 12 results indicated that the province was on an improvement trajectory. The number of learners in the schooling system was on the increase. It had been confirmed in a DBE report that the province had the highest number for learner retention in South Africa. It was observed that the intervention strategies in the province were working well. The province had planned to make teacher development a focus area going forward. The eight interventions the province included:

 

* The transformation of small and non-viable schools

* The elimination of multigrade teaching

* The streamlining of the typologies of the schooling system

* The renaming of schools

* The establishment of Model Schools

* The provision of support to Early Childhood Development (ECD) sites for 0 – 4 year olds in collaboration with the Department of Social Development and the Department of Health

* Ensuring that all children were given access to two years of ECD programmes before entering Grade 1

* Ensuring access to education for learners with barriers to learning

 

The province recognised inputs by the teacher unions during engagements on issues of education. The relationship with teacher unions in the province was structured.

 

The Province provided LTSM to 5 955 schools through the allocation from Norms and Standards for school funding. The plan was to deliver all LTSM for use in 2013 by 30 November 2012. The procurement of stationery and delivery to schools was completed by 15 November 2012 whereas the delivery of textbooks stood at 99.2 percent. The remaining 0.8 percent supplies were back orders which publishers could not deliver on time. All back orders would have been delivered by 7 December 2012. The textbooks orders for 2013 also covered the CAPS material for 2013.

 

The status of the procurement of stationery for 3 446 schools was as follows:

 

* Proof of Delivery (POD) of 100 percent delivery to schools (schools that received all stationery ordered) – 2 973  out of 3 446 schools

* Outstanding PODs were for 473 schools

* The Department conducted an audit of stationery delivery to schools. All public schools had to complete and return stationery audit forms by 16 November 2012.

The Department experienced back orders from 24 publishers to the value of R 1.6 million. Most of the back orders were expected at the warehouses on or before 30 November 2012 and delivery was expected to have been completed before the schools closed in December 2012.

 

The Department had embarked on a training programme for School Management Teams (SMT) of underperforming schools, both primary and secondary schools, throughout the year. The programme would respond to challenges cited in the Curriculum Management and Delivery Strategy - and sought to contribute to the actualization of the broader transformation of the schooling system in the Province. The Department requested that the Portfolio Committee noted and endorsed the Teacher Development/SMT Training Plan for 2013.

 

6.1.1 Challenges

 

Some of the challenges facing the Department included:

 

* The level of performance in Mathematics and Science was disturbing

* Many of the districts were in deep rural areas, some areas affected by faction fighting which led to the loss of teaching and learning days. Some areas had minimal stability with high levels of drop-outs in enrollment.

 

The Department had a clear plan to turnaround underperforming schools through the following:

 

* Engaging the SGBs  and communities at large

* Twinning schools with better performing schools

* Establishing monitoring teams to visit schools and check teaching and learning

* Tracking of work schedules

* Reviewing the different streams and subject combinations being offered 

 

The Department had a plan in place to ensure that schools identified would be receiving Mathematics and Science teachers.

 

                6.1.2      Committee Observations

 

The Portfolio Committee congratulated the Province for the 73.1 percent results in 2012 (increased by six percent from the previous year). The Committee was interested in the numbers concerning schools who did not receive the necessary LTSM. The Committee queried as to the type of accountability measures in place for those officials employed where school performance was very low. The Committee was also interested in the move to close some rural schools and proposed the creation of mega-schools. The Committee advised that the Department needed to do the necessary analysis of the ANA results and look into how best to improve those who underperformed. The Committee was concerned about the “Grade 13”/repeaters in Grade 12 and how best they were being accommodated, if at all. The Committee acknowledged the challenges of attracting graduates to rural areas and recommended that the National Department needed to look at this problem through human resources policies. The Committee was impressed and commended the Department for the best practice in respect of delivery of LTSM. This process needed to be emulated in other provinces.

 

                6.1.3      Responses from the Provincial Department

The Department was working to find solutions and interventions in respect of Grade 12 repeaters and how best they could be accommodated. The Department Curriculum Management Strategy specified the curriculum interventions to be put in place for implementation in 2013. Part of the strategy was to expand education to FET Colleges. Accountability measures were in place for areas where poor performance had been identified. It had been observed that with the switching of languages from Grade 4 there was also a decline in performance. The Department welcomed the move to have a compulsory  First Additional Language as of Grade 1.

 

The Department had no problem in terminating the services of any official in the system for non-performance. The Department had a detailed QLTC renewal strategy and was looking forward to better successes in 2013. There was a concerted effort from the Department to consult extensively with communities and relevant stakeholders in respect of the possible closure of identified schools – implementation would be a joint venture with all role-players. The Department further indicated that they were not satisfied with the quality of the Shuttleworth textbooks and workbooks and had appointed three independent evaluators to assess the situation. The Department was engaging the Department of Transport in respect of the increased number of learners requiring transport and currently not being accommodated.

 

                6.2          Visits to schools 

 

                6.2.1      Mnyakanya High School

 

                6.2.1.1   Overview

 

The school principal mentioned that currently the school post provisioning stood at 26, with 23 classrooms accommodating 740 learners. The school was without a Science teacher whose post had been advertised. As a result the performance in Science was low due to an unqualified teacher teaching the subject. The school did not have the involvement and support from the parents with a community that was at least 80 percent illiterate. Parents generally ignored calls from the school to attend meetings of any kind. Many of the learners at the school were orphaned. Although the SGB had been elected, they were non-operative. The school had placed the necessary orders for LTSM and stationery but there were still some outstanding textbooks yet to be received. All teachers had received the necessary CAPS training and were well prepared for the year ahead. The school had challenges with learner transport since it had been discontinued from the third quarter in 2012. Although the QLTC had been launched the previous year there had been no further programmes since. The school also had the challenge of attracting suitably qualified teachers to the rural school and this necessitated the school employing unqualified teachers for subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Commerce.

 

6.2.1.2 Challenges

 

The school experienced the following:

* The lack of professionally qualified permanent teachers.

* The lack of parental support with regard to curriculum.

* The shortage of teachers during the first and second term.

* The lack of support from Subject Advisors (GET).

* The lack of resources (computers not in working order. No computer educator).

* Learners with barriers to learning were not accommodated.

 

6.2.1.3   Committee Observations

 

The Committee was concerned with the subject streams offered at the school. There was a need to review the streams offered and be advised on alternate streams to offer. Of further concern was the employment of unqualified teachers for some of the subjects being offered at the school. The Committee further acknowledged the leadership challenges faced by the school due to principal’s post being vacant for some time. The Committee was concerned that the transport for learners was not functioning due to learner ill-discipline and vandalism. As a result service providers were not prepared to transport these learners.   

 

                6.2.1.4   Responses from the Provincial Department

 

The Department would investigate the obstacles for the school not having received all outstanding textbooks. The challenges in respect of teachers were that they did not feel secure at these schools and left at any given time. This led to an unstable educator profile at the school. Naturally, this staffing fluctuation also created problems in respect of staff development. The Department would look into the issues of learner transport and how this could be resolved. Learners transport remained a competency of the Department of Transport with the exact roles and responsibilities being defined. The Department lacked the required number of subject advisors and urged schools to submit their requests in writing. It was important that the Department received the necessary feedback from schools in respect of LTSM shortages and errors.

 

6.2.1.5   Committee Recommendations

 

The Committee recommended that the Department:   

 

* In conjunction with the Provincial Department give the necessary direction to the school in respect of reviewing or re-assessing the subject streams offered and any alternative offerings.

* Look at the filling of the vacant posts at the school, as well as the unqualified teachers.

* In conjunction with the Department of Transport address the issues of learner transport as a matter of urgency.

* Ensure that all outstanding textbooks were delivered to the school as a matter of urgency.

 

                6.2.2      Umdlamfe Senior Secondary School

 

6.2.2.1   Overview

 

The school was a Quintile 5 school with 933 enrolled learners and a staff establishment of 26. The large majority of learners came from outside the township. The school started with 12 classrooms and an administrative block in 1980. The school experienced a steady increase in learner enrolment and in 1991, 15 additional classrooms, a library, a laboratory and a multi-purpose room was built. The school had yet to appoint a new principal after the retirement of the previous one. The Norms and Standards allocation received by the school from the Department was very little due to the school’s quintile status and the school struggled to buy enough LTSM. The Matric pass rate had been declining over the past three years. All teachers had received the necessary CAPS training but the school employed inexperienced Mathematics and Science teachers. The school enjoyed a well-established and committed SGB. They also received regular support from the District through regular visits to the school. A major challenge at the school was that too many learners opted to do Mathematics and Science, and unfortunately were performing very poorly. Parents were insistent that the children take these subjects. Meetings had been called and further meetings were scheduled with parents to discuss and deal with the challenges around learners opting for these subjects. The turnaround strategy for the school was to strengthen the capacity to provide quality teaching in Mathematics and Science and there was also a move to reduce the number of learners enrolling for these subjects.

 

6.2.2.2   Challenges

 

* The school was unable to purchase adequate LTSM due to the lack of funds.

* The school experienced vandalism and break-ins

* There were allegations that learners abused drugs and some also sold drugs

* Learner discipline – late coming was a problem

* There was a high rate of learner pregnancy

* There was a  lack of parental involvement

* There were a large number of learners who were orphaned and also headed                 households

* There was a shortage of books in the school library

* The school lacked a sports field

* There was no security guard

 

6.2.2.3   Committee Observations

 

The Committee was concerned that the school had, for the past three years, experienced a steady decline in the Matric pass rate. The school was having difficulties in ensuring good performance in Mathematics and Science which negatively affected the percentage pass rate. The Committee was shocked that the school did not seem to be familiar with the QLTC. With the challenges in respect of textbooks, the Committee was of the view that the school practised the retrieval policy at its disposal. 

 

6.2.2.4   Responses from the Provincial Department

 

The District ensured that at the start of the year, new teachers were identified for workshops with subject advisors. These workshops focussed mainly on target content and performance in weak areas. Advisors had personalised sessions with teachers and analysed learner performance and supplied advice to teachers. With the start of the year, all school with Mathematics and Science problems had been identified. Subject advisors were instructed to visit/monitor these schools on a regular basis. With regard to failures in Matric, it was the prerogative of the school principals to allow these learners to repeat. There was a huge backlog in respect of learner transport which the Department hoped to address.   

 

6.2.2.5 Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

   * In conjunction with the Provincial Department review the policies governing Grade 12            repeaters.

   * Ensure that IQMS be practised by all educators, not only the principal and deputy      principal.

   * Ensure that schools were properly advised in respect of subject choices offered.

   * Ensure that challenges of drug abuse and learner discipline at schools be addressed                 as a matter of urgency.

   * Find speedy solutions to the remainder of the challenges faced by the school.

 

                6.2.3      Isikhalasenkosi High School

 

6.2.3.1   Overview

 

The principal mentioned that the school started in 1996 with 38 learners and had grown to approximately 450 learners currently. In 2008, the school principal had to be displaced and thereafter the school had no sound leadership. A major issue for the school was the Science Department which had shown low performance and pass rates. In the past, the school lacked a laboratory and the necessary laboratory equipment. With the new infrastructure and resources the school hoped to increase learner performance and pass rates for Science. For many years the school structures were badly dilapidated prefabricated structures.

 

All teachers had received the necessary CAPS training and were ready to implement. They were also qualified to teach the subjects they were teaching. The SGB was fully functional and hands-on with good cooperation with parents and meeting attendance. The school had the necessary School Improvement Plan in place and had commenced with extra afternoon and morning classes for Grade 12 learners. The school also received strong support from the District and Circuit. It was intended that the school approach the Department in respect of the launch of the School Nutrition Programme.

 

According to the principal, there was no effective teaching in Economics with many complaints from the learners. Although the teachers were qualified Mathematics and Science teachers who had been extensively workshoped and trained, these teachers still did not perform well at all. The principal went as far as to request that these teachers were replaced.

 

Although the QLTC was launched, it was not functional and needed reviving.   

 

6.2.3.2   Challenges

 

From the above input, the challenges experienced by the school could be summarised as follows:

 

* Low performance in Science and Economics subject subjects.

* An urgent need to fill vacant positions

* The need for a security guard

 

6.2.3.3   Committee Observations

 

Although the school qualified for the National School Nutrition Programme, they had not made use of the programme to date. The Committee was encouraged that the school had been in consultation with the Department regarding the feeding scheme for 2013. The Committee was concerned that the Science and Economics teachers could not improve the learner                 performance despite all the resources supplied.

 

                6.2.3.4 Responses from the Provincial Department

 

The Department indicated that the school was receiving special focus from the Department, particularly in respect of the curriculum. Although subject advisors visited the school, there appeared to be very little improvement. It had been revealed that the failures of Grade 12 would be allowed to repeat at the school and attend full-time classes. The school was on the list of the Department in respect of their maintenance programme.

 

6.2.4      Injabuloyesizwe Primary School

 

Due to time constraints, the Committee spent only a short period of time at the school. The Team-leader ensured that the principal was supplied with a copy of the Committee’s questionnaire which needed to be completed and returned to the Committee Secretary. 

 

6.2.4.1   Overview

 

The school was founded in 1988 but only started operations in 1989 with only two classes. The principal boasted of an excellent culture of teaching and learning. The school was still in the process of registering learners and would have final enrollment figures by the end of January 2013. The principal indicated that a major challenge was that of slow learners and many had difficulty with reading. The school received the necessary assistance and support from the District and Circuit with regular visits by the subject advisors. The school had received all its LTSM and stationery. It had five blocks with 16 classrooms with a library and computer room under construction. It also boasted employing efficient and professional teachers.

 

There was a clear strategic plan to deal with the HIV/Aids pandemic from a school point of view. The main areas of action included:

 

* Prevention

* Care for people living with HIV and AIDS

* Care for children affected by HIV and AIDS

* Working together as an entity

 

A major challenge that the school faced was that the Department had ranked it as a Quintile 3 school. According to the principal, the school was not supposed to be a fee-paying school. The principal had engaged the Department on the many reasons for the Quintile status to be reviewed.

 

6.2.4.2   Challenges

 

The following challenges were noted:

 

* The need for a library and laboratory

* Buildings required new doors and locks to be fitted as well as repairs to all existing windows

* The electrification of buildings needed to be restored.

* The paving of school yard was required (with a netball ground drawn onto paving)

* The lack of sufficient furniture

* The lack of security at night

* The lack of discipline

* The lack of sporting facilities

* The Quintile status needed to be reviewed.

 

6.2.4.3   Committee Observations

 

Due to time constraints, the Committee was unable to engage meaningfully with the principal and SMT. However, the Committee’s questionnaire was supplied to the principal for completion. The questionnaire would then be forwarded to the Committee Secretary for further dissemination.

 

      6.2.5                Bhamu Secondary School

 

      6.2.5.1             Overview

 

The school was relatively small and had a learner enrolment of 150 at the time of the Committee oversight but learner admission was still open. It was stated that the general practice at the school was to open registration until the end of January since parents tended to register late. The principal of the school was recently appointed and was a graduate of the Principals Management Development Programme (PMPP), a provincial initiative of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education in conjunction with the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

 

The communities served by the school had been affected by faction fighting. The Committee was told that learners from across the street from school were advised not to attend the school which resulted in low enrolment. Political leaders and police intervened and minimised the tension.

 

The school experienced a significant drop in the Grade 12 NSC results from 46.2 per cent in 2011 to 6.3 per cent in 2012. Performance was particularly low in Physical Science and Accounting where the school obtained zero per cent. The Committee was told that the school was without a Science teacher but the district was attending to the matter. Performance in ANA Grade 9 was also poor, particularly in Mathematics.

 

                                6.2.5.2   Committee Observations

 

The Committee was informed that effective teaching and learning had started except for Science and Mathematics where there was a need for a teacher. CAPS Grade 11 training had taken place and the necessary textbooks had been received. Workbooks had not yet been received. According to the district manager they were now available at the district waiting for collection. Stationery had also been delivered.

 

The school had the necessary policies in place, except for HIV and AIDS. Encouragingly, the textbook retrieval policy lacking in many schools was in place. The Committee was informed that the school experienced six learner pregnancies in 2012 and three learners had returned to school. No pregnancies were yet recorded in 2013.

 

The Committee was told that the SGB was fully functional with established sub-committees and that parental involvement was improving. Encouragingly, it was also mentioned that the QLTC was functional and a rally was held at the end of 2012 where different role players attended.

 

The school management informed the Committee that support from the district was satisfactory and the circuit manager and other district officials visited the school regularly.

 

                                6.2.5.3   Challenges

 

                                Key challenges faced by the school included the following:

 

* The school was in need of a suitably qualified Science teacher.

* The school experienced an inadequate supply of water. The Committee was told that the district municipality was in the process of installing pipes in the community which could assist the school. Sanitation was also affected by lack of water.

* The school had adequate fencing but lacked a proper library though it stored surplus books.

* The school lacked computers.

* There was a shortage of school furniture. The school hoped to buy chairs in June when it received its funding allocation from the Department.

* Some teachers at the school were underqualified.

* Some learners who qualified for learner transport were not benefiting from the the service and were travelling a long distance to school.

* The ANA results for grade 9 were a matter of concern and required a turnaround plan.

* There was concern about learners starting the school year late which required attention.

 

                                6.2.5.4   Responses from the Department

 

In response to some teachers being underqualified, the District Manager indicated that the region was facing an acute shortage of teachers. The district was considering to rationalise the educators, placing those suitably qualified for primary teaching in primary schools. From a long term perspective, the province was considering ways of attracting teachers to the region.

 

In respect of the lack of computers, the Committee was informed that the KZN Department of Education had agreed with the SGBs that it would purchase equipment centrally, including at least one computer per school. The first batch of 3 000 computers had been paid for. Schools such as Bhamu would benefit from the arrangement.

 

The Department expressed a concern that the school started drafting the Policy on HIV and AIDS in September but it was still not ready when that all was needed was to adapt it. The principal was urged to finalise it as a matter of urgency for the benefit of learners.

 

With regard to the need for learner transport for all qualifying learners, the district informed the Committee that it had forwarded a request, though there could be budget constraints.

 

                                6.2.5.5   Recommendations

                                The following recommendations were made:

 

* The principal was advised to urge parents to register learners early.

* The Department should support schools to ensure that ANA is used as a diagnostic tool.

* The Department should resolve the challenge of underqualified teachers expeditiously.

* The Department should give the school special support to turnaround its performance in ANA and the Grade 12 NSC examination. 

 

                                6.2.6      Imikayifani Primary School

 

                                6.2.6.1   Overview

 

The school was a large Quintile 4 school with a learner enrolment of 1 646 and a post provisioning norm of 50 educators, including a principal, two deputy principals and four HODs. It also had three Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners and eight non-teaching staff (four state paid and four SGB paid). The teacher-learner ratio stood at 1:35. Learner enrolment had declined from 1 803 in 2012. The Committee was told that the school was trying to reduce learner intake due to the lack of classroom space at the school. The school had arranged with neighbouring schools to take learners not accepted at the school. The Committee advised the district to monitor the process to ensure that no learner was left without a school.

 

                                6.2.6.2   Committee observations

The Committee was informed that teaching and learning had started at the school on the first day of the school calendar year. The school had 26 classrooms which were all in good condition following renovations. It had access to water, sanitation and was electrified. A computer laboratory was equipped with computers. The school was fenced with razor wire which was in a satisfactory condition. A library facility was under construction. The school was without a science laboratory to enhance the delivery of the curriculum and instead was using the media centre as a science laboratory.

 

The Committee’s view was that the school was functioning well. Members were encouraged by the fact that the school excelled in different activities such as athletics, netball, soccer and music and had received trophies for its achievements. It also had a big vegetable garden which benefitted the school population. In terms of learner performance, in 2012, out of 1 803 leaners, 1 691 had passed. With regard to ANA, the school performed well in the Foundation Phase but did not perform as well in the Intermediate Phase. The Committee was told that the school had observed that learners cannot read the instructions on their own. The school would focus on improving reading as part of the turnaround strategy.

 

Teachers had received the necessary CAPS training. Workbooks and stationery were delivered but there was a shortage of workbooks. The Committee advised the school to submit the shortfall to the circuit office.

 

Policies were in place at the school, including the textbook retrieval policy. The SGB was fully functional and parental involvement was satisfactory. Parents visited the school to teach learners how to behave. The QLTC was formed in 2012 and was functional.

 

The school had 101 cases of vulnerable learners. The Committee was pleased that the school was working closely with the Department of Social Development to attend to the needs of vulnerable learners. The School Nutrition Programme was running smoothly. KZN provided NSP beyond quintile 1 – 3.

 

      6.2.6.3             Challenges

 

                                Challenges faced by the school included the following:

 

* There were insufficient classrooms to meet the demand for admission at the school.

* The school needed a proper classroom for pre-school learners. It had applied for a donation to build the classroom. The donors could only give raw materials and would not be able to build the classroom.

* The school required additional benches for the Foundation Phase since some were broken.

* The school lacked a science laboratory to successfully deliver the curriculum.

 

      6.2.6.4             Responses

 

The district told the Committee that they would review the school quintiles from February and poverty levels of schools would be considered. With regard to Imikayifani Primary School’s arrangement with neighbouring schools to accommodate learners not admitted at the school, the Committee was informed that the district and circuit were monitoring the process and facilitating the movement of learners. The Province was in the process of building appropriate classrooms for needy schools but was moving gradually within budgetary constraints.

 

In respect of low performance in the Intermediate Phase, the KZN Department of Education had developed a Numeracy and Literacy Strategy and would intensify its implementation. As part of the Strategy, every school had a reading period daily. On the need for a suitable classroom for Grade R learners, the Department had a way of attending to it though within budgetary constraints.

 

      6.2.6.5             Recommendation

 

                                The Committee recommended that the Department consider assisting the school to acquire additional benches for Grade R.

 

      6.2.7                Nomaqoni Junior Secondary School

 

      6.2.7.1             Overview

 

The school was a relatively small Quintile 2 school with a learner enrolment of 154 and a post provisioning norm of nine educators, including a principal and two HODs. Learner enrolment had decreased from 233 in 2012 though admission was still open.

The teacher-learner ratio was manageable at 1:27. The Committee was told that the school was established from a larger high school and had adopted all the subjects offered at the original school. Recently the school moved to a commercial stream.

 

Despite having qualified teachers, the school had repeatedly underperformed in Grade 12 NSC results and obtained 26.9 per cent in 2010, 30.4 per cent in 2011 and 10.6 per cent in 2012. The Committee was informed that the school had learners who travelled more than eight kilometres to and from school daily, and arrived late at school. It was also reported that the community where learners come from had faction fighting, which affected learners.

 

The school had 10 classrooms which were enough to accommodate learners enrolled at the school. It was fenced, electrified and had access to water but lacked a science laboratory, a library, a Consumer Studies room, computer rooms and workshops.

 

The SGB was functional and had established the necessary sub-committees. The school nutrition programme had also commenced smoothly.

 

      6.2.7.2             Challenges

 

                                The school faced the following challenges:

 

* The school needed support to improve its Grade 12 NSC results.

* The school had a high turnover of Mathematics teachers, replacing them was a challenge.

* The school experienced learner late coming and drug abuse.

* There was a high learner pregnancy rate and the school had recorded 12 pregnancies in 2012.

 

   6.2.7.3 Committee Observations

The Committee was concerned that learners were put in a dead commercial stream since only one learner wrote the Mathematics Grade 12 examination out of a total of 47 learners while 46 wrote Mathematical  Literacy. Members deliberated as to whether anyone was accountable for the situation.

 

The Provincial Portfolio Committee on Education believed that the school problem had to do with management and leadership. They urged the department to deal with the problem.

 

                6.2.7.4   Responses from the Department

 

The Department was disappointed with the school’s results. They indicated that they had interventions that were cascaded into schools. Every effort was made to assist the school. They wondered if the school made use of available resources such as previous question papers and memoranda since it had repeatedly performed poorly. In respect of high learner pregnancy, it was stated that staff from the Department of Health work closely with the KZN Department of Education (DOE) to support the school. The District required a turnaround strategy from the school by Monday, 28 January 2013. The District Manager stated that he would have a special session with the school monthly to monitor its progress.

 

Regarding the one stream choice, it was stated that the KZN DOE took a decision that schools with less than 320 learners should take one stream for the successful delivery of the curriculum. It was further indicated that if Accounting was selected as a subject, schools were advised to choose Mathematics and not Mathematical Literacy.

 

There was agreement from the District that the school faced management and leadership challenges. They would look into the matter and give a report on their actions.

 

   6.2.7.5 Recommendations

 

   The Committee recommended that:

 

                The district, unions, Provincial Legislature and the community address challenges at the                school collectively. The Committee should receive a report on the matter.

 

   6.3       Meeting with Organised Labour

 

   6.3.1   National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA)

 

                With regard to school infrastructure, NAPTOSA was of the view that schools in the Province were deteriorating at an alarming rate with very few, if any, interventions from the Department in respect of renovations and maintenance. Of further concern was the fact that the longer this continued, the more expensive it became to do the necessary maintenance and renovations and at some point it would be cheaper to build new schools.

 

                NAPTOSA was concerned that many schools would not be able to afford electricity once the latest Eskom tariffs were applied. There was a need to look at measures to assist schools in respect of these electricity tariff hikes. The relationship between schools and the various municipalities varied from municipality to municipality. Schools were not likely to be able to afford the latest electricity tariff hikes.

                Overall, NAPTOSA could report that there had been very little challenges in respect of school readiness for the Province. The union had embarked on the training of teachers on the CAPS programme (especially on content). There was a concern from NAPTOSA that  teacher training seemed to have become increasingly the responsibility of the unions. The union reported that there had been pockets of training that occurred in 2012, though not all teachers received training. All training was funded by the National Department in collaboration with the provincial departments.

 

                In the matter of LTSM, NAPTOSA indicated that all schools ordered from a catalogue. It had been reported that there were schools who had not received the books ordered or the orders were incomplete or incorrect. The union was still engaged with collating their information from the survey conducted on delivery. NAPTOSA stressed that there needed to be efficiency in the system if they wanted to achieve better results. It was important that the LTSM catalogue spoke to all the different languages equally. There was a need for a better communication flow between schools and the Department and vice versa. Better communication and properly trained staff would speed up the efficiency in the system.

 

                The union had also noticed a high rate of learners with HIV and AIDS and was concerned that there was a lack of proper support structures in place for learners and parents. The issues around teacher incentives was a controversial one since two adjoining schools could be in a situation where only one was receiving the incentive. .

 

With regard to teacher standards, the union was in the process of establishing a Teacher Development Institute, with the Department having donated some funds in this regard. The institute would be geared primarily for teacher training

6.3.2      South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU)

 

As the largest union in the country, SADTU indicated that if the Department failed, SADTU needed to reflect on the situation to determine where they had failed. The union acknowledged all the good work undertaken by the Department in the Province in respect of school readiness for 2013. SADTU indicated that they were of the view that Grade R needed prioritising in 2013. The union further reported much improvement in respect of the ANA. This needed slight improvement but was a much needed assessment tool. SADTU maintained that the focus should not only be on Grade 12, but throughout the grades. Grade 12 learners who did not pass needed to be given the opportunity to rewrite Grade 12. In respect of competency testing, SADTU was of the view that, as all else, there needed to be proper consultation and engagement.

 

It was important that the Department looked at publishing vacancy bulletins at least four times a year and worked to filling the important management positions as a matter of urgency. The issue of timeous filling of vacancies had always been a matter fought for by SADTU. The position of SADTU on post provisioning was to ensure that each subject had a teacher to teach it. SADTU mentioned that the Province had experienced a shortage of teachers as well as the exodus of the qualified teachers. It was also important that four-year-olds were included in the Grade R schooling system, with practitioners in Grade R all on the same level.

 

SADTU questioned whether marking was, in fact, a capacity building instrument or merely spoke to the extra monetary incentive. It was important that markers be rotated so all could benefit from the exercise. Other areas of concern for SADTU included:

 

* Districts experienced a large exodus of qualified teachers.

* Agreements regarding the use of foreign nationals (what was the coordination with   Home Affairs in respect of work permits?)

* The consideration of a government finishing school for Matrics who had failed

 

SADTU reiterated that for most of the challenges faced, there were platforms for raising them. The Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) was a fully functional council utilised by SADTU, amongst others. Of the challenges faced some included:

 

* An unhealthy workforce.

* Oversight and monitoring of schools

* Staffing (especially at the start of the year)

* Infrastructure

* Rural incentives in respect of teacher retention   

 

SADTU agreed that the QLTC was important for creating a learning environment and its positive impact on education. Thus, SADTU developed and adopted its own quality learning and teaching programme. SADTU also launched its own subject societies for capacitating heads of departments. Because there was a need for continuous development of subject advisors, they formed part of the subject societies. SADTU indicated that there were many intervention programmes in the province but stressed that these be properly coordinated and that unions be recognised and consulted on many of the programmes.  SADTU required more information and reasons as to why, at some stage, SGBs were given the responsibilities of appointing principals. This needed further engagement.

 

Regarding LTSM, SADTU had developed and conducted its own survey on the delivery of LTSM. Survey forms had been distributed to schools and these were still being captured and collated to give a better picture of the successes with delivery and receipt of LTSM.

 

6.3.3      Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie (SAOU)

 

                SAOU echoed most of what the other unions reported on. On the issue of LTSM delivery, the union had embarked on calling schools to verify information on delivery. Of the schools contacted, SAOU reported that not a single school had received its full compliment of books

 

                6.3.4      Committee Observations

 

                The Committee noted with concern the fact that unions felt that the responsibility of teacher training had been shifted to them. The reports the Committee was receiving from the Department was that all LTSM had been delivered, except for small cases of non-delivery. However, the unions were portraying a completely different and opposing report of wide-spread non-delivery. The Committee was also concerned over the reports on the deteriorating infrastructure and the minimal support coming from the Department. The Committee was also interested in ideas of how to attract teachers to rural areas through possible incentives. The Committee was concerned as to whether there was value for money in continuing with the Dinaledi Schools. Of particular concern was the amount of extra time teachers were required to be teaching, taking into account all the extra morning classes, afternoon classes, Saturday classes and special camps.

 

6.3.5      Committee Recommendations

                The Committee recommended that the Unions submit their submission to the Portfolio Committee via the Committee Secretary. The Committee would ensure that important aspects of the submissions formed part of the Committee report. Issues requiring further engagement included:

 

* Surplus educators

* The acceptance of failed Matriculants

* Teacher attraction and retention – as well as attrition and HR policy.

 

7.            Oversight visit to the Eastern Cape Province (Fort Beaufort District)

 

                7.1          Meeting with the Eastern Cape Provincial Education Department

 

                The MEC, in his opening remarks, mentioned that the district had a huge challenge in respect of the demarcation processes. Of concern was the role played by the unions in the province – this needed to be addressed since ultimately, it was the Department who employed and not the unions. Where there were issues of contention, the Department was committed to investigate these and to conduct proper reporting. Of concern was that the majority union in the District did not recognise the appointed District Director. A major problem facing the Department was the increased union activism at schools which was historical and much politicised. It was important that SGBs and communities started to become more involved in the education of learners, insisting on putting teaching first.

 

                The Department had undergone all the necessary analysis of the 2012 results, especially for underperforming schools. The Department had a turnaround strategy in place for underperforming schools.

 

                Most of the schools in the district were ready for schooling on day one of the school year – this depended on the schools admission plan being in place.

 

                The way in which the Province requisitioned in 2012 was an improvement on 2012 and the Department was able to conduct the necessary monitoring. The Department also enjoyed a good relationship with publishers and other relevant stakeholders. Unfortunately, not all schools had received its books by December 2012. The Department had encouraged principals to be available throughout December 2012 to receive late deliveries and mop-ups. These mop ups would be completed by 15 January 2013. The problems of textbooks were exacerbated by schools not following the necessary book retrieval policies in place. 

 

The Department indicated that the contracts of temporary teachers were set to end on 21 December 2012 but this was extended to 31 March 2013. The Department had urged all Districts to give a report on any vacancies for filling and arrangements were underway to provide teachers for the vacancies. Of concern was that the Department did not gain full cooperation from schools with SMTs that were not adequately empowered. It was further mentioned that union officials were leading the schools. Union activism was very high at schools in the District. 

 

The Department enjoyed a good relationship with the Department of Transport in respect of learners’ transport. Although the transport contract expired in December 2012, these were extended to June 2013, which allowed for the smooth running of learner transport at the start of the school year.

 

The Department was currently addressing the issue of poor school management and had arranged workshops with principals of underperforming Districts.

 

The ANA results were fair as the Province was able to compete with other provinces though the performance was worrying, especially from Grade 3 upwards. The results had been analysed and assessed and the conclusion was that the Province had a problem with literacy and numeracy. The Department had launched a Literacy and Numeracy Strategy together with further training for teachers. Many teachers had already attended courses, specifically in Mathematics and Science. The Department intended to create a business plan for the establishment of a Maths and Science Academy.

 

The Department was understaffed to drive the Infrastructure Delivery Programme. Posts had been advertised and were currently being filled. The Delivery Programme was aimed at driving infrastructure delivery in the Province as a whole. The Department acknowledged gaps in the furniture needs of many schools and it was in the process of conducting the necessary furniture needs assessment.

 

7.1.1 Committee Observations

 

The Committee acknowledged the improvements of the majority of Districts in the last examinations. There had also been an increase in the number of Bachelors in 2012. The Committee was concerned over the perceived negative relations between the Department and organised labour. The Committee appreciated the initiative and schemes to increase the Mathematics and Science results going forward. The Committee did not receive much information on the ASIDI programme and progress. It was important that the IQMS tools were used to identify gaps where there was underperformance. It was important for the Department to look at its retention strategies to attract and keep teachers in the rural areas.  

 

7.1.2 Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee was of the view that the Province look carefully at the best practice in the Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in areas of running examinations; union-department relations; post provisioning and the delivery of LTSM. Much could be learned from their processes and programmes. The Committee requested that the Department supply the Committee with the following:

 

* A report on the ANA results and analysis thereof

* A progress report on the ASIDI Programme

* A report on the status of the hostels

* A report on the Furniture Needs Assessment

* A report on Post Provisioning Norms.

 

7.2          Visits to schools in Fort Beaufort

 

                7.2.1      Kulile Senior Secondary School

 

7.2.1.1   Overview

Kulile Secondary was a small school with a current enrollment at 192 learners with a post establishment of four. The school had experienced a decrease in the number of learners who enrolled each year. The school received no support or involvement from the parents – they had tried but failed to arrange an Imbizo on two occasions. The school had formulated a School Improvement Plan in 2012, with possible changes for 2013. Overall the school did not do well in the ANA, especially the Grade 9 learners. The school had continuously had challenges with the English language and  had never appointed a qualified English teacher (who had majored in English). The school also did not perform better with the Grade 12 Matrics. The school operated without a laboratory and no substantial Mathematics or Science equipment.

 

The principal indicated that the school did not enjoy support from the District and Department in respect of assistance from subject advisors. Although the SGB was cooperating well and giving the necessary assistance, the school found it difficult to lobby for SGB members as most parents were illiterate. The school experienced learner discipline problems as there were numerous late coming incidents and many learners not attending special Saturday classes. Sadly, the principal indicated that QLTC was non-functional at the school.  

 

7.2.1.2   Challenges

 

* Steady decrease in learner enrollment numbers every year

* Lack of parental support and cooperation

* Learner discipline

* The lack of qualified Mathematics and Physical Science teacher

* The iminent loss of teachers as per the post establishment

* No funds for procuring furniture.

7.2.1.3   Committee Observations

 

The Committee observed that the school, with its challenges in respect of staffing and furniture, was not ready for schooling. There was a need to engage with the Department on the issue of staffing urgently. It was important that all relevant stakeholders were playing their role and were on board in respect of the QLTC.

 

7.2.1.4   Responses from the Provincial Department

 

On the issue of furniture requirements, the Department indicated that schools were requested to submit a list of furniture requirements to the Department. The Circuit acknowledged much of what was said and would meet with the SMT and look at possible intervention strategies. The Department would engage the District on the matters raised as much of the communication flowed between the school and the District.  

 

7.2.1.5   Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

* Address the issues around filling of the vacant positions at the school.

* In conjunction with the Provincial Department, assist in procuring the necessary           furniture required.

 

                7.2.2      Eyabantu Senior Secondary School

 

7.2.2.1   Overview

 

The school currently had a post establishment of 18 with a fully functional SMT and SGB who attended to all school matters. The school was a Quintile 3, Section 21 School. There was overall a good working relationship and cooperation between the SGB and the school with regular meetings being held. The school unfortunately had issues with learner discipline through late coming. The school had adopted the approach of locking gates at 08:00am and only re-opening them during the lunch break. Teachers had to sign an attendance register every day on arrival. All teachers at the school were qualified and specialised in the subjects they taught. All LTSM and stationery were ordered at the end of 2012. All stationery was delivered but there were outstanding textbooks that had not been delivered to the school to date. The school could record an 80 percent delivery of LTSM.

 

It was reported that teachers had not received the necessary CAPS training. Although there were visits from subject advisors, the school had difficulty securing a visit from the Accounting subject advisor. It recorded a slight improvement in respect of the Matric results for 2012, but was not satisfied with the performance. There had yet to be a detailed analyses and discussion of the past results with parents. The school struggled without a teacher for Science in the past.

 

The school had IQMS in place but this was non-functional and there was a need for further workshops on IQMS. Only one teacher, given this responsibility, had received the necessary workshop training on IQMS.

 

Although the school had a computer room, this was not utilised since the school had no internet access. Neither was there a library or laboratory.

The school felt very let down in respect of District support and had last seen the EDO in the second term of 2012. The District Director had given assurance that he would give assistance if requested by the school. Apart from inviting the subject advisors to be more visible, the school also intended to approach other schools that had achieved higher pass rates in certain subjects for further assistance and guidance. It was important that the school received the support and assistance from the parents in respect of instilling discipline into the learners.

 

7.2.2.2   Challenges

 

Some of the challenges faced by the school included:

* Lack of discipline

* Material available to teachers were inadequate

* Learners not attending special morning, afternoon and Saturday classes

* The lack of support from parents

* Learner substance and drug abuse

 

7.2.2.3   Committee Observations

 

The Committee was concerned over the lack of CAPS training for teachers as well as the shortages of LTSM delivered. It was important that the school received the necessary support from the District through regular visits by subject advisors. The Committee was also concerned that the school had only learnt of the QLTC a week before the oversight visit. 

 

7.2.2.4   Responses from the Provincial Department

 

                The District-Director indicated that there had been no CAPS training for teachers because SADTU had refused the training. There had been CAPS training workshops in the past but these were disrupted by SADTU in the Province. Challenges with LTSM were partly due to the new system of central procurement. There had been challenges with the publishers not keeping up with the demand. The District had too few subject advisors to go around and advised that schools submitted written requests for subject advisors to visit. The MEC had visited the District and launched the QLTC but this was again disrupted by unions who did not recognise the MEC. There had been no cooperation from unions in respect of QLTC. The District would also look into the issue of the Physical Science teacher and address this as soon as possible. The Department also cautioned that extra classes should not be used for new topics to be taught or introduced; it should be used mainly for revisions of previous work. The Department would further ensure that with the next training workshops planned that all teachers who had no training were targeted. According to the departmental records QLTC was never launched in the District. The Department would work in conjunction with the District to ensure that at least one temporary teacher was deployed to the school in the interim. The Department further reiterated that ANA was used as a tool to assess education and the results needed to be analysed to provide the necessary assistance to teachers. 

 

7.2.2.5   Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

   * Address the issues around the filling of the vacant positions at the school, especially                that of the Science teacher

   * Ensure that the QLTC was launched in the District

   * Intervene in respect of the bad relations between the District and organised labour                 since little would be achieved if this was not corrected first.

 

                7.2.3      Nqaba Primary School

 

7.2.3.1   Overview

 

The school staff establishment was 16 but the school currently had only 14 staff. The school experienced overcrowding, particularly in Grade 2. The school needed a Grade 2teacher. The school had all the necessary resources except for a school library. In respect of LTSM, the school had a shortage of certain textbooks and workbooks. All stationery had been received as requisitioned. The SGB was fully functional, involved in all activities and meetings and the general governance of the school. The nutrition programme was running smoothly. However, there was a need for a hall where learners could enjoy their meals properly since they currently ate in the classrooms. The school even provided a meal for disadvantaged learners on arrival at school in the early morning. The school reported that subject advisors visited the school on a regular basis. Teachers had not received the necessary CAPS training in the past but had received a timetable for CAPS training recently.  The school achieved well in the ANA, with the results having been analysed and further intervention programmes being implemented.

 

7.2.3.2   Challenges

 

                Some of the challenges faced included:

   * Overcrowded classes

   * Vacant teacher posts

   * No library

   * Shortage of LTSM

 

7.2.3.3   Committee Observations

 

The Committee was concerned with overcrowding in certain grades. This was aggravated by the vacant teacher posts at the school. Of concern was the shortage of LTSM for the school. The Committee was impressed with the extra early morning meals given to those less advantaged learners, on arrival at school. It was important that the teachers received the necessary CAPS training as was indicated.

 

7.2.3.4   Responses from the Department

 

The Department was awaiting a report from schools on undelivered LTSM. The Department was satisfied that at least 80 percent of LTSM had reached the school and that the shortages would be covered through the mop up operations. The Department would also follow-up on the issue of the class without a teacher. 

 

7.2.3.5   Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

   * Address the issues of filling the vacant positions at the school to alleviate overcrowding

   * Ensure that the school received any outstanding LTSM

   * Ensure that teachers were targeted for the next round of CAPS training workshops

7.2.4 Dilizintaba Senior Secondary School

 

7.2.4.1   Overview

 

The school was a relatively small Quintile 2 school, with a learner enrolment of 91 learners and seven educators at the time of the oversight. Learner admission for 2013 had not been completed but enrolment had dropped from 126 learners in 2012. Two educators including the only Head of Department were in excess to the post establishment. The school had not yet identified the other educator in excess. It was remarked that SADTU was opposed to the redeployment process as proposed by the department.

 

The school’s results in the Grade 12 NSC examination had dropped from 56.7 per cent in 2010 and 42.1 per cent in 2011 to 5.3 per cent in 2012. The Committee was informed that there were no Accounting and Mathematics teachers at the school. In both subjects the school obtained zero per cent. The Committee was told that the enrolment in these subjects had dropped due to the lack of qualified teachers. It was also explained that the school had to redeploy the excess educators before it could qualify for the two critical posts.

 

The Committee observed that the grass in the school yard was long and threatened the safety of learners. The principal told the Committee that the school tried to get assistance from the municipality but to date nothing had materialised.

 

The school had basic facilities such as water, sanitation, electricity and fencing but lacked a library and science laboratory. It had enough classrooms and furniture as well as 11 computers for learners which were kept in a secure room except for the fact that the ceiling needed to be reinforced.

 

The school had received the necessary LTSM, including for CAPS. However, the Committee was told that the school had not been paid the change from its allocated fund for the procurement of LTSM, despite being promised. It was reported that CAPS training for Grade 11 was interrupted by teacher unions. Only the Head of Department of the school who was leaving had received the training.

 

It was mentioned that although the QLTC was launched, it was not functional. The School Nutrition Programme had not started due to problems experienced by a service provider. The Department representative advised the principal to organise someone to feed the learners in the meantime.

 

7.2.4.2   Observations

 

The Committee was concerned over the lack of qualified teachers to teach the core subjects of Mathematics and Accounting, which contributed to the school’s high failure rate in the NSC examination. It was also questioned whether the allocation of five teachers to the school considered the curriculum requirements of the school. The Committee expected the department to follow up on these matters and resolve them as a matter of urgency.

 

The Committee questioned the figures the school gave orally for ANA results, which were significantly high compared to the average obtained by the District. There was no evidence that ANA was used as an intervention strategy to identify learning weaknesses that required more attention.

 

7.2.4.3   Recommendations

 

The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

* Resolve the filling of the Mathematics and Accounting posts as a matter of urgency. There is a need to ensure that post provisioning norms are informed by curricula needs, in addition to learner enrolment.

* Give the necessary support to ensure that the QLTC is functional at a school level.

* Support the school in using ANA results for their intended purpose of a diagnostic tool, which identifies specific areas of learning weaknesses that require more attention.

 

7.2.5      Lindani Senior Secondary School

 

7.2.5.1   Overview

 

The school currently had 21 educators and 385 learner enrolment compared to 487 learners in 2012. Learner admission had closed at the school. Some educators were in excess to the post establishment but the school had not yet identified them amidst SADTU’s resistance to the redeployment process proposed by the department. There was a leadership challenge at the school. The Committee was told that the school principal had taken early retirement and the deputy principal was on sick leave, due to retire at the end of January 2013. The acting principal who was a Head of Department had only been in the position for three days. It was evident that she was not yet in full control of her management functions.

 

The school performance in the Grade 12 NSC examinations was poor. The school had obtained 18.1 per cent in 2010, 12.4 per cent in 2011 and 15.4 per cent in 2012. The performance in Mathematics and Physical Science was even lower. The Committee was told that the Physical Science teacher had majored in Zoology and Botany rather than Physical Science.

 

In respect of ANA, the acting school principal could not produce a copy of its school report. The Committee was told that the school had not received it from the district office, implying a lack of understanding that the school mark, moderate and submit results to the district office, not the other way round.

 

The Committee heard from the Department that teaching and learning at the school had not taken place on the first day of the school calendar year. The school management reported that following renovations in 2012, the school used the first day to carry furniture which had been moved to one classroom, to other classrooms. 

 

With regard to basic facilities, although the school had a water tap in the yard, access was a challenge and the school put water in buckets for each class. There were other basic facilities such as sanitation and electricity but fencing was in need of repair to improve school security. The Committee was told that the school had experienced burglaries where a computer laboratory was broken into and school nutrition food for learners was stolen. These cases were reported to the police but nothing materialised.

 

The school had 14 classrooms which were enough to accommodate learners enrolled at the school but there was a shortage of furniture which needed attention. The Department indicated that the school had not requisitioned additional furniture but would note its need.

 

It was reported that, although CAPS training was arranged, many teachers did not attend due to interruptions by the provincial SADTU. The Department indicated that teachers who did not attend would receive training at the beginning of February 2013. LSTM had been received but there was a shortage of textbooks in subjects such as Agricultural Science and Accounting. The Committee urged the school to determine how many books were requisitioned and how many were received and report shortages to the department as a matter of urgency.

 

Although the SGB was fully functional with established sub-committees, it was mentioned that parental involvement was not satisfactory. The QLTC was non-functional. Necessary policies were in place, including on textbook retrieval. The school experienced five learner pregnancies in 2012.

 

The school reported that although district support was satisfactory, some subject advisors were not visible. It was mentioned that the School Nutrition Programme was running smoothly.

 

7.2.5.2   Challenges

 

The school experienced the following challenges:

 

* Leadership challenges

* Lack of a suitably qualified teacher for Physical Science

* Shortage of textbooks in some subjects

* Shortage of furniture for learners

* Inadequate fencing

* Lack of the necessary training for CAPS implementation

* Lack of parental involvement in the affairs of the school

* The QLTC was not functional

* The school needed special support to improve learner performance.

 

7.2.5.3   Committee Observations

 

Members felt that there was a need to identify staff who were due to retire well in advance to ensure that proper planning for succession could be made. The Committee was concerned that teaching and learning did not take place on the first day of the school year despite government’s major focus on the protection of teaching and learning time. The Committee was further concerned over the lack of timeous CAPS training for teachers. The Committee urged the school to requisition its needs regularly and to maintain a good relationship with the circuit and district offices. The Committee noted with concern that the identification and redeployment of excess teachers was slow. It was important that there be expeditious engagement between the Department and the unions to resolve disagreement on the distribution of educators and the redeployment of those declared in excess. It was also crucial that the two parties improve their working relations. The Committee observed that ANA results at the school were not used as intended to improve teaching and learning. Neither were they released to parents.

 

7.2.5.4   Recommendations

 

The Committee recommended that the Department ensure that:

 

* CAPS training for teachers who did not receive it should be conducted as a matter of urgency.

* All outstanding LTSM should be delivered to the school as a matter of urgency.

* Staff going on retirement should be identified timeously to ensure proper planning for succession.

* Teachers should teach subjects for which they are qualified.

* The necessary support should be given to the acting school principal to conduct her management functions effectively. This includes giving the school sufficient support to use ANA results to effectively improve teaching and learning. 

* There should be urgent engagement with the unions to resolve disagreement over the redeployment process of educators in excess.

* The QLTC should be functional in schools within the district.

 

7.2.6      Khwezi Lesizwe Primary School

 

7.2.6.1   Overview

 

The school was a Section 21 Quintile 3 school and currently had a staff establishment of eight educators, including a principal and HOD, and a learner enrolment of 244. It was a feeder primary school to Lindani Secondary School. Learner admission was still continuing at the school and to date enrolment had decreased from 275 in 2012. The Committee heard that all teachers at the school were qualified. The school was without an HOD, following an early retirement of the previous incumbent in December 2012. 

In respect of basic facilities, the school had two water taps and two tanks for water supply and although it had pit toilets, some were full and needed to be replaced. There was electricity and adequate fencing to provide safety and security. The school lacked a proper library but was using a classroom for this purpose. The Committee was told that the Department was willing to consider the school’s request for a library. It was mentioned that the school had enough classrooms but there was a need for new furniture.

 

Teachers were not trained for CAPS implementation in the Intermediate Phase but received a programme for Grade 4 training on the morning of the Committee’s oversight. In respect of LTSM, the Committee was told that the school received workbooks on the 15 January 2012 but there was a shortage for Grades 2 and 6. It also received the necessary textbooks except for the combined subject of Technology and Natural Sciences. Stationery was received in November 2012.

 

The school had received its norms and standards funding allocation in 2012. It also had a range of necessary policies in place. In respect of ANA, the principal could not produce a copy of its school report. It was explained that the school was waiting for the department to return the results from moderation, which had not happened. The school management reported that the SGB was fully functional and parental involvement was satisfactory. However, the QLTC was non-functional. The school Nutrition Programme was operating smoothly.

 

7.2.6.2   Challenges

 

Key challenges noted at the school included the following:

 

     * A lack of teacher training to implement CAPS in the Intermediate Phase

     * A shortage of workbooks and textbooks

     * Inadequate toilets

     * A lack of a proper library

     * A need to fill the vacant position of an HOD

     * A need to use ANA as a diagnostic tool

     * Non-functionality of the QLTC.

 

7.2.6.3   Committee Observations

 

The Committee was encouraged that all teachers at the school were qualified. However, there was a concern over the lack of CAPS training for the affected teachers, the shortage of LTSM in some subjects and the non-functionality of the QLTC. The Committee also observed that there was no urgency to analyse ANA and use it as a diagnostic tool to improve learner performance. It was important that the Department followed up on this matter.

 

7.2.6.4   Recommendations

 

The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

* Ensure that outstanding textbooks and workbooks be delivered as a matter of urgency.

* Ensure that the QLTC was functional at all levels.

* Conduct the necessary CAPS training as a matter of urgency.

* Support the school in using ANA as a diagnostic tool to improve learner performance.

* Consider attending to the school requirements for additional toilets and a proper library.

 

                7.3          Meeting with Organised Labour

 

7.3.1      National Professional Teachers organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA)

 

NAPTOSA indicated that they had problems with the post provisioning norms for 2013. The union had tried to engage in civil actions with a consultation process with the Department. Unfortunately this culminated in the unions having to go to court over the matter. NAPTOSA had always wanted to establish good relations with the Department but felt betrayed by the way the Department had handled the issues of post provisioning. Infrastructure problems remained a known fact with huge backlogs which needed to be prioritised by the Department. There was a need for possible National intervention in some districts in respect of infrastructure. A further challenge was that of teacher training, particularly in Mathematics and Science.

 

NAPTOSA agreed that the QLTC was a good policy, but like so many others, it remained only on paper and was not properly implemented. There was no fully functional provincial QLTC committee to date. QLTC had been launched in many Districts with much fan-fare, but very little was actually functional. Although NAPTOSA enjoyed a cooperative relationship with the Department, the poorest aspect was that of communication.

 

An agreement had been signed with the Department on the matter of temporary teachers at the ELRC, but NAPTOSA felt let down after a turnaround from the Department. NAPTOSA also explained in detail as to how the post provisioning norms were calculated and the weighting per learner.

 

                7.3.2      South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU)

 

SADTU expressed appreciation the visit by the Committee but felt the time allocation was not enough. It was important to create a platform such as this to bring together all relevant stakeholders to discuss all challenges being faced in the Province. Although a decision was taken to assist the Province through Section 100 (Administration), it seemed as though National had taken a step back in the assistance and implementation of Section 100. It was important that there was the political will to confront all the challenges faced by the Province – it would seem as though the Administrator had little or no power to deal with the challenges.

 

A major challenge for the Province was that of a teacher shortage. Schools were continuously losing teachers and this crippled their performance. The issue of post provisioning norms needed to be revisited by the Department, as well as the deployment and redeployment of temporary and excess educators. When parents removed their children from schools, SGBs lost out on parental funding which had an effect on the funds available to pay teachers through the SGB Fund.

 

SADTU was of the view that the Saturday classes did not assist the situation as learners and teachers required time off to be away from learning and teaching.

 

On the issue of the District Director, SADTU had an agreement with the MEC in respect of filling that vacancy though the Department reneged on the agreement when it extended the contract of the current District Director. This was done without any further consultation or communication with SADTU.  

 

                7.3.3      Committee Observations

 

                The Committee was concerned that the views expressed from the interaction with the Department were in conflict with those expressed during the interaction with the unions. It was important that the Department had a review of the current post provisioning norms model used. The Committee also felt that it was important to ensure the necessary profiling of teachers.

 

                7.3.4      Committee Recommendations

 

                The Committee recommended that the Department:

 

* Address the issues of teacher shortages, deployment and redeployment of    temporary and excess teachers and the filling of vacant posts in the Province.

* Look at finding solutions to the impasse with the District Director concerned with the aim to mend union relations.

* Supply the Committee with the necessary figures in respect of supply and demand of teachers in the province.

 

8.            Conclusion

 

The oversight visits to the provinces and districts have provided the Committee with an opportunity to ascertain the state of school readiness for 2013 as well as their functionality. The Committee noted a marked improvement in the level of school readiness for 2013 compared to 2012. These included in terms of requisite planning to ensure effective teaching and learning, the commencement of teaching and learning on time and the improved delivery of LTSM to the majority of schools. The Committee also observed that teachers had received the necessary training to implement CAPS in most schools. Other areas of positive preparations included the smooth commencement of the National School Nutrition Programme and the timeous receipt of the Norms and Standards funding.

 

Besides the indications of positive preparations towards school readiness for 2013, the oversight visits have highlighted areas that need to be strengthened. These include the lack of the necessary CAPS training in some districts and the persistent shortage of textbooks and workbooks, despite major strides provinces and the DBE made this year in the delivery of textbooks. Other areas highlighted that need attention include post provisioning in some provinces, the non-implementation of ANA as a diagnostic tool to improve learner performance, the late admission of learners and the non-functionality of the QLTC in many schools visited.

 

The findings and recommendations made by the Committee should assist in identifying areas that need to be strengthened and make contributions to finding effective solutions to challenges encountered by districts and schools.

 

9.            Overall recommendations

 

The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, having conducted the oversight visits to the Limpopo, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, and considered the issues that were highlighted, makes the following general recommendations:

 

The Minister of Basic Education should ensure that:

 

9.1          The Provincial Departments of Education (PEDs) deal with the issue of vacancies as a matter of urgency. A report on timelines for the filling of posts should be submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly within four weeks of the adoption of this report. The Eastern Cape Department of Education should resolve disagreements with teacher unions on post provisioning expeditiously and fast-track the placement of qualified teachers to suitable positions.

 

9.2          The PEDs deliver all outstanding textbooks and workbooks as a matter of urgency. A report on the delivery of these should be submitted to the National Assembly within four weeks of the adoption of this report.  Once again, as recommended in the 2012 Portfolio Committee school readiness report, all provinces and districts should ensure that schools enforce the policy on textbook retrieval to ensure that the required textbooks are returned to school. Principals failing to implement this policy should be held accountable.

 

9.3 The Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC) should be revived at all levels across provinces to make education a societal issue.

 

9.4          The PEDs should intensify support to schools in using ANA results for their intended purpose as a diagnostic tool to identify specific areas of learning weakness with the view to improve learner performance. The DBE should supply the Committee with a written report on progress in this regard by the end of March 2013.

 

9.5          Consideration should be given to support the Limpopo Department of Education in its bid for substantial funding to address its major infrastructure backlog.

 

9.6          The Provincial Education Departments should progressively address the challenges facing individual districts and schools as identified in this report. In this regard, a report back should be submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly within two months of the adoption of this report, in order to ascertain progress made. 

 

10.          Appreciation

 

The delegation, led by Hon H Malgas MP, thanked Members of the Provincial Legislatures, Provincial Departments of Education and the National Department of Basic Education for the support given during the oversight visit. Although the visit was arranged at very short notice, the legislatures were able to accommodate our delegation and this proved successful.

 

Report to be considered.

 

 

19 MARCH 2013                                PAGE: 149 of 149

 


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