Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 14 Sep 2010
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2010
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:06.
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.
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I wish to announce that the vacancies which occurred owing to the resignations of Mr R Coetzee, Mr A T Fritz, Ms D van der Walt and Mr A Louw have been filled with effect from 10 September 2010 by the nominations of Mr T D Harris, Adv L H Max, Mr J F Smalle and Mr D J Stubbe, respectively.
In terms of section 48 of the Constitution members of the National Assembly must swear or affirm faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution before they begin to perform their functions in the National Assembly. Will two members please accompany the members into the Chamber? [Applause.]
Mr T D Harris, Adv L H Max, Mr J F Smalle and Mr D J Stubbe, accompanied by Mr M Waters and Mr A C Steyn, made and subscribed the oath, and took their seats.
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I wish to announce further that the vacancy which occurred owing to the resignation of Ms P de Lille has been filled by the nomination of Ms S U Paulse, with effect from 10 September. Will two members please accompany the member into the Chamber.
Ms S U Paulse, accompanied by Mr M H Hoosen and Mr J J McGluwa, made and subscribed the oath, and took her seat.
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr M M SWATHE: Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving, on behalf of the DA, the following motion:
That the House -
(1) debates the increase in the level of home and business robberies across South Africa, as revealed by the crime statistics for the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010; and
(2) comes up with possible solutions to reduce this category of crime.
Mrs S V KALYAN: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the environmental degradation of the world’s most sensitive landscapes and ecosystems, with special reference to the current state of the Tibetan Plateau, and how such degradation can negatively impact on the cultures and livelihoods of certain groups of people.
Mr S B HUANG: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting of the House I shall move, on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates a plan to accelerate the challenge of delivering water and sanitation to meet the 2014 deadline.
Mr M E GEORGE: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of Cope:
That the House debates the total unacceptability of the continued bungling by the police in respect of taking blood samples of drunken drivers in the manner specified by the law in that once again, for the umpteenth time, the metro police in the so-called Jub Jub drag-racing accident, in which four innocent schoolchildren lost their lives, bungled the taking of blood samples as a result of their ineptitude and thereby caused the case of the state to be weakened.
Mr M MNQASELA: Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving, on behalf of the DA, the following motion:
That the House debates the termination of the special dispensation to Zimbabwean citizens and the implications this decision may have for the South African economy and social cohesion.
Ms A MDA: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of Cope:
That the House debates the dire consequences of the disruption of trial examinations in Port Elizabeth by the ANC-aligned Sadtu and in Limpopo by the ANC-aligned Cosas, after a strike that has halted progress in preparing learners for the final examinations.
Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of the IFP:
That the House debates on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of democracy in exile in Tibet the endorsement of the Rome Declaration on Tibet, adopted by the Fifth World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet, which seeks to recognise limited autonomy for debate within a unified China, and full recognition of the human rights and liberties which we hold dear and which are enshrined in our Constitution and which are still denied to the people in Tibet and the people in China alike.
Mr A M FIGLAN: Mr Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving the following motion, on behalf of the DA, on the next sitting day of the House:
That the House debates how the appropriate planning of human settlement projects can contribute to the fight against crime and whether interventions are required to improve planning in this regard.
Mrs H N NDUDE: Mr Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of Cope:
That the House debates whether all medical practitioners in private practice as well as all medical facilities, such as hospitals and clinics, have current contracts with registered waste management companies for the safe disposal of all medical waste, considering that two KwaZulu-Natal hospitals were alleged to have dumped medical waste illegally in Mariannhill three months ago.
Mr D D VAN ROOYEN: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates rural development plans to assist with the implementation of large-scale programmes to establish new smallhold farmers.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of the ACDP:
That the House debates the recently released World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report of 2010 to 2011, which ranks South Africa number 137th out of 139 countries when it comes to the quality of mathematics and science education, and ranks South Africa 125th in terms of the quality of primary school education.
Mr M H HOOSEN: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of the ID:
That the House -
(1) notes that South Africa has earned a reputation in the international community as a nation with great respect for human rights;
(2) recognises that this achievement was only possible through sheer perseverance and the dedicated struggle of South Africans to achieve freedom from apartheid and all forms of oppression;
(3) considers the role of South Africa in supporting the people of Tibet in achieving the same fundamental human rights; and
(4) acknowledges their right to participate fully in all issues concerning their present, future and wellbeing, as well as the rights of freedom of religion, association and freedom from all forms of oppression.
Mr G R KRUMBOCK: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of the DA:
That the House -
(1) debates the consequences of the long-running national Public Service strike on international perceptions of our country as a tourist destination; and
(2) determines whether any remedial action is required to improve the perceptions of foreigners who may be considering South Africa as a destination, but have had their confidence in the country dented as a result of the strike.
Mrs M V MAFOLO: Speaker, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move, on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates confronting the challenges that stand in the way of reviving the primary health care system as part of reducing the huge burden of disease that the country is faced with.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting of the House I shall move, on behalf of the ACDP:
That the House -
(1) supports calls for the consideration of the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People of November 2008;
(2) notes that, as the basis for discussion leading to positive meaningful change in Tibet, this policy document is consistent with the principles outlined in the constitution and laws of the People’s Republic of China; and
(3) supports the recommendations of the Fifth Tibet Work Forum to improve the lives of the Tibetan people, especially in rural areas which are economically marginalised, by directly involving Tibetans in development programmes.
Ms S P RWEXANA: Mr Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of Cope:
That the House debates the recent outrage expressed by women and children’s rights organisations regarding the sexual offence statistics that were released recently, in particular the accuracy of the claim that these statistics are like skeletons of the truth in that they do not flesh out the bigger picture of the problem.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of the IFP:
That the House -
(1) debates the refusal of entry of His Holiness the Dalai Lama into South Africa in March 2009;
(2) notes that the Dalai Lama was due to attend a conference on freedom in Tibet along with South African Nobel Laureates, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and F W de Klerk;
(3) believes that this refusal of entry was due, in principle, to political pressure being exerted upon the government of South Africa by the People’s Republic of China and there was no reason, other than that of political interest, for preventing the Dalai Lama from entering South Africa; and
(4) notes that this was an aberration of our fundamental constitutional rights of religious freedom, freedom of speech and opinion, as well as the Dalai Lama’s reasonable entitlement to just administrative action.
Mr S B FARROW: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of the DA:
That the House -
(1) debates the high incidence of road accidents and fatalities occurring on South African roads; and
(2) comes up with solutions to decrease these.
Mr M A NHANHA: Speaker, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move, on behalf of Cope:
That the House -
(1) debates whether Eskom, which is unable to meet the energy demands of the country, is justified in supplying electricity to corporate businesses outside the borders of our country at prices far below those which obtain in respect of South African companies; and
(2) notes that by so doing it is impeding industrial growth in South Africa.
SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PARKS
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) welcomes the announcement from the South African National Parks (SANParks) to allow South Africans to enter the country’s national parks without paying a fee from Monday to Friday this week;
(2) notes that this is part of the Know Your National Parks campaign to give South Africans the opportunity to visit our parks; and
(3) encourages South Africans, especially those from the communities around the parks, to use this opportunity to visit our national parks.
SEPTEMBER 21: INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House -
(1) notes that in 2002 the United Nations General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") and thereby the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in co-operation for this goal;
(2) further notes that International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political;
(3) recognises that the International Day of Peace provides an opportunity for individuals, organisations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date; and
(4) urges all South Africans to take this opportunity to promote peace in our communities and society at large.
QUESTIONS NOT TO HAVE PRECEDENCE ON 15 SEPTEMBER 2010, NOTWITHSTANDING PROVISIONS OF RULES 29(8) AND 113(1)
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I move the draft resolution printed in his name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That notwithstanding the provisions of Rules 29(8) and 113(1), Questions shall not have precedence tomorrow, 15 September 2010.
RELEASE OF NATIONAL CRIME STATISTICS
Ms A VAN WYK (ANC): Speaker, the ANC welcomes the release of the national crime statistics for the past fiscal year by the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, signifying a tremendous decline in the murder rate for that period. Murder decreased by 8,6% from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010.
There has been a noticeable decline in crime in other categories. Crimes such as car hijacking, attempted murder, aggravated robberies, street robberies, cash-in-transit heists and bank robberies all showed a decrease.
Whilst there may have been increases in crime at nonresidential premises, we are further gratified to note that in almost all major business sectors there has been a significant decrease in robberies.
In dealing with issues of crime, the ANC proceeds from the premise that the rising quality of life also means improvement in the safety and security of citizens in their homes and environments - where they live, work and engage in extramural activities. However, the ANC is happy and encouraged by the Minister’s resolve to continue to fight crime and to reduce the figures even more.
We also acknowledge the role played by our communities by creating a favourable environment for our police to execute their responsibilities. These successes were not going to be possible if our communities were not part of our crime-fighting strategy. Together we can do more. [Applause.]
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF TIBETAN DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS IN EXILE
Mrs S V KALYAN (DA): Speaker, 2 September 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of Tibetan democratic institutions in exile, following the flight of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and 80 000 refugees from Tibet. Since then, Tibetans have set up democratic foundations for their institutions, including a draft constitution of Tibet and the charter of Tibetans in exile.
I recently travelled to Bylakuppe in India to join a group of members of parliaments from around the world to celebrate, along with Tibetans in exile, the 50th anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day.
The DA applauds His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan parliament for having reformed the Tibetan political system by implementing democratic institutions in exile and providing social services in health, education and welfare, thus improving the livelihoods of the Tibetans in exile. We commend foreign governments who have received His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and call upon the South African government to grant the Dalai Lama a visa to visit South Africa at a time of his choosing.
The DA urges the Chinese government to consider the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People of November 2008, and to note it as a basis for substantive discussion leading towards positive meaningful change in Tibet. It must be noted that these policy documents are consistent with the principles outlined in the constitution and the laws of the People’s Republic of China. [Applause.]
PURCHASE OF NEW HOME FOR GEN CELE
Mr M E GEORGE (Cope): Speaker, Parliament is kept informed about what is going on in the government through the media, never through Ministers who are constitutionally bound to provide this House with reports. We learned that government purchased a new home for Gen Cele, after reading what Gen Cele had to say about his procurement style. The question uppermost in our minds is whether Gen Cele is busy bullying the Department of Public Works and his own department to get his way.
It seems to us that policies, procedures, the Public Finance Management Act and other statutory provisions don’t matter. He makes his own rules. Similarly, all budget constraints are swept aside and monies found when the General demands something. [Time expired.] [Interjections.]
NEW TRANSPORT SYSTEM: NATIONAL ROLLING ENFORCEMENT PLAN
Mr J J MAAKE (ANC): Hon Speaker, the ANC welcomes the launch of the new transport system, the National Rolling Enforcement Plan, the NREP. The campaign will be effective from 1 October 2010 until the end of October 2011. October, which is Transport Month, will be used by the department to raise driving standards by tightening the screws on driving schools and testing centres.
The new transport campaign will see at least a million vehicles stopped and checked every month, and aims to reduce the number of road fatalities across the country. The plan was informed by the Fatal Crash Report and the Offence Survey Results for 2009.
The Department of Transport has committed itself to ensuring that the plan is supported by a clearly targeted strategy and well-defined objectives. According to the Minister of Transport, the strategy will be based on the scientific analysis of statistics relating to causes of death and problem areas in all the provinces. The campaign will be carried out in partnership with the SA Broadcasting Corporation.
The ANC-led government supports the National Rolling Enforcement Plan and encourages all South Africans to give their support and commitment also, because together we can make a difference to the high offence and fatality rates. I thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon George, I think there was a mistake with the timer. You still have some time – one minute to go!
PURCHASE OF NEW HOME FOR GEN CELE
Mr M E GEORGE (Cope): Thank you very much, Speaker. I forgive you. [Laughter.]
The SPEAKER: Thank you, Rev Mluleki George! [Laughter.]
Mr M E GEORGE (Cope): Speaker, this government clearly does not want to operate in a transparent manner. The Congress of SA Trade Unions, Cosatu, says that South Africa under the ANC has become a predator state.
According to Prof Galbraith, the predator state is an economic system wherein entire sectors have been built up to feast on public systems built originally for public purposes.
This government has been pleading poverty, saying that the envelope is not only empty but that it is broken. On the other hand, it shows that it is flush with cash to indulge the General in whatever he wishes. That is how banana republics are run. I thank you. [Applause.]
SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA – CHINA
Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI (IFP): Mr Speaker, we stand as friends of Tibet and as friends of China at a time when China is leading the new scramble for Africa. In its intervention in Africa, China is not setting any conditions for, or providing incentives aimed at, promoting democracy and human rights, which are feeding into Africa’s endemic corruption and malgovernance.
China will not change its ways in Africa until it changes its ways in China. China will not change its ways in China, until it rights its wrongs in Tibet. Tibet has become a turning point in history. History will recall how a group of peaceful monks pursued a decades-long struggle, exclusively through the method of nonviolence.
The Rome Convention on Tibet received reports of evidence of extensive atrocities in Tibet. We heard of the desire of many to abandon nonviolence to embrace an armed struggle. By granting Tibet the limited and reasonable autonomy it seeks, China will bequeath to the world a legacy of a successful nonviolent struggle, which will undoubtedly inform how the conflict of the present and the future may be resolved.
Conversely, the failure of the Tibetan cause may discredit nonviolence forever. We must turn the Tibetan issue into a new unifying cause, which can again bring together democrats from across the world, as happened with the worldwide rejection of apartheid.
This battle may move forward because of mankind, and enable China to become the great international partner and leader, which we all sincerely hope it may rise to be, for its own sake and that of mankind. If we fail, Africa will be amongst the most adversely affected. Thank you, Mr Speaker. [Applause.]
CALL ON ANC GOVERNMENT TO LEND SUPPORT TO TIBET
Dr C P MULDER (VF Plus): Agb Speaker, vroeër hierdie maand het die Internasionale Netwerk van Parlementariërs oor Tibet ’n beroep gedoen op die Chinese regering om te goeder trou met die Dalai Lama en die Sentraal-Tibettaanse administrasie oor selfbeskikking te onderhandel.
Die VF Plus ondersteun hierdie oproep en wil vandag op die ANC ’n beroep doen om ook hulle steun toe te sê, tydens al die beurte wat hulle vandag gaan hê met verklarings deur lede, om ’n vreedsame oplossing vir die menseregtevergrype van die Chinese regering in Tibet te erken, en om die erkenning van Tibet se reg tot selfbeskikking af te dwing.
Meer as 50 jaar lank het die ANC sy stryd teen apartheid onder die vaandel van menseregte geveg. Hiervoor het die ANC groot internasionale steun ontvang. Dis egter dieselfde party wat die Dalai Lama herhaaldelik toegang tot Suid-Afrika weier. Dié optrede, dat die ANC onder druk van die Chinese regering swig, kos die land duur aan sy internasionale reputasie as ’n ware demokratiese land. Dit het tyd geword dat die ANC-regering openlik en onomwonde sy beleid ten opsigte van die handhawing van menseregte en die erkenning van die reg tot selfbeskikking van Tibet verklaar.
Dit is teen hierdie agtergrond dat die VF Plus president Zuma se besoek aan Orania vandag ook verwelkom. Die feit dat die President bereid is om self te gaan vasstel hoe selfbeskikking in die praktyk funksioneer tot voordeel van almal in Suid-Afrika is ’n positiewe stap, en die inwerkingstelling van artikel 235 van die Suid-Afrikaanse Grondwet. Dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)
[Dr C P MULDER (FF Plus): Hon Speaker, earlier this month the International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet appealed to the Chinese government to negotiate in good faith with the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan administration on self-determination.
The FF Plus supports this call and wants to appeal to the ANC to also give assurance of its support, by using the opportunities during member’s statements today, to recognise the finding of a peaceful solution to the human rights violations by the Chinese government in Tibet, and also to enforcing the recognition of Tibet’s right to self-determination.
For more than 50 years, the ANC fought its struggle against apartheid under the banner of human rights. For this the ANC received great international support. It is, however, the same party that repeatedly refuses the Dalai Lama entry into South Africa. This conduct, that the ANC succumbs to pressure from the Chinese government, is doing a lot of damage to the country’s international reputation as a truly democratic country. The time has come for the ANC government to openly and unequivocally declare its policy with regard to maintaining human rights and to recognising Tibet’s right to self-determination.
It is against this background that the FF Plus today also welcomes President Zuma’s visit to Orania. The fact that the President is prepared to personally ascertain how self-determination functions in practice to the benefit of everyone in South Africa, is a positive step and gives effect to section 235 of the South African Constitution. Thank you. [Applause.]]
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS PUBLISHES ISIZULU-ENGLISH DICTIONARY
Ms A C MASHISHI (ANC): Mr Speaker, the ANC welcomes the announcement by Oxford University Press last week that they have published a new IsiZulu-English dictionary, four decades after the last such reference book was released for one of South Africa’s most widely spoken languages.
In a country with a linguistic diversity spanning 11 official languages, it is essential that our learners are able to access languages other than their mother tongue. With more than 2,8 million pupils taking isiZulu as a language subject at school, the dictionary will help pupils and teachers to keep up with the changes in the language.
South Africa is a multilingual country, and besides the 11 officially recognised languages, scores of other languages - African, European, Asian and more - are spoken here as the country lies at the crossroads of Southern Africa. The ANC has raised and will continue to raise and lobby around issues of multilingualism, linguistic diversity, linguistic integration, linguistic equity and language rights. Together we can protect and promote our linguistic diversity. I thank you. [Applause.]
JOHANNESBURG UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICERS ARRESTED BY HILLBROW COUNTERPARTS
Rev K R J MESHOE (ACDP): Speaker, yesterday there was a report in The Star newspaper about three Johannesburg undercover police officers who were arrested by their Hillbrow counterparts for conducting a drug bust in Hillbrow, allegedly without permission.
The ACDP is shocked by such appalling action by the Hillbrow police officers, who allegedly protected drug dealers who were about to be arrested by the three undercover police officers from Johannesburg. The Hillbrow officers who arrested their counterparts were reported to have said that the undercover officers had jumped their territorial boundary, and that the Hillbrow officers were always arrested in the Johannesburg central area.
The ACDP urges the Minister of Police to call for an investigation into what appears to be a territorial war between the Johannesburg police and the Hillbrow police, who should be working together to fight crime, and also to charge the Hillbrow police officers for arresting their Johannesburg counterparts for conducting a drug bust in Hillbrow and not the drug dealers.
The ACDP also wants to see closer scrutiny of what is really happening at the Hillbrow police station. Hotel owners in the area claim that whenever police raids are planned, drug dealers disappear from the streets two hours before the raids take place because they are tipped off by some officers from that station.
We further urge the Minister to send outside police units to Hillbrow to deal with the drug problem and corruption in the Hillbrow area. Thank you.
FEWER JOBS CREATED BY ARMS DEAL THAN PROMISED
Mr T D HARRIS (DA): Speaker, the performance review of the Department and Trade and Industry’s National Industrial Participation Programme, the NIPP, tabled last week reveals that international arms deal contractors have created only 40% of the jobs that government expected them to create - only 26 000 jobs in 10 years, instead of the 65 000 jobs originally promised.
The R48 billion arms deal was signed on condition that international arms companies would offset their contracts by investing directly in South Africa. A decade on, it is close to impossible to assess the status of the NIPP because the Department of Trade and Industry continues to obfuscate in its reporting, concealing the true cost of the arms deal to our country. There is simply not sufficient information in this report to properly assess the programme. What numbers there are, however, point to a general failure to create a sufficient number of jobs. In addition, the German frigate consortium, backed by ThyssenKrupp, is R1,3 billion short on its offset obligation.
The NIPP report refers to R136 billion worth of offsets realised, but given that the strategic defence package accounts for approximately 85% of the NIPP, the total amount of arms deal offsets realised so far would be around R116 billion. Eleven years ago, the Defence Minister announced that the NIPP would bring in R110 billion, but, in 2010 prices, that amount should be upwards of R200 billion. If that is the case, where will the missing R84 billion come from?
The legacy of the arms deal lives on, but accountability cannot fade with time. The NIPP report needs the considered attention of this House and government. I therefore look forward to the Department of Trade and Industry’s presentation of the progress report on the NIPP to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry as promised in their annual report. [Applause.]
ANNUAL NATIONAL WILLS WEEK
Mr J B SIBANYONI (ANC): Speaker, regarding the Annual National Wills Week, the ANC commends the Law Society of SA and its six constituent members for presenting the National Wills Week project, which is an access to justice campaign that began in 2008. Attorneys are called upon to assist members of the public to write basic last wills and testaments free of charge. This year the campaign was conducted from 6 September to 7 September.
We in the ANC also commend both the attorneys who volunteered their time, professionalism, legal knowledge and expertise, and members of the public who participated in this project.
By making a will you ensure that your assets are disposed of in accordance with your wishes after your death. This privilege is called the “freedom of testation”. An attorney ensures that your will is valid and complies with your wishes. If you die without a will, your assets are transferred to the Guardian’s Fund for safekeeping until your children reach the age of majority. Obviously, being under state control, the red tape involved is something to be avoided at all costs.
The six constituent members are the Black Lawyers Association, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, the Cape Law Society, the Law Society of the Free Sate, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society and the Law Society of the Northern Provinces.
Bakithi bhalani izincwadi zamafa zingakafiki izinsuku zokuthi nihambe emhlabeni. Ngiyathokoza. [Ihlombe.] [Hon members, please write your wills before you die. Thank you. [Applause.]]
INHUMANE TREATMENT OF TIBETAN MONKS BY PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Prof C T MSIMANG (IFP): Hon Speaker, the IFP condemns in the harshest sense the cruel and inhumane treatment of Tibetan monks by the People’s Republic of China in the Chinese province and autonomous region of Tibet. The Tibetan monks are a peace-seeking religious order, whose leader, the Dalai Lama, has been in exile in India for the last 50 years because of the Chinese’s occupation of Tibet.
The peaceful Tibetan monks have been beaten and, in many instances, shot and killed by the armed forces of the People’s Republic of China whilst participating in peaceful protests against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. These human rights travesties by the People’s Republic of China are largely left uncondemned by the West, because it is against the political and economic interests of many governments to voice outright dissent with regard to these barbaric acts.
The IFP sincerely hopes that the governments of the world, and the South African government in particular, will develop a conscience and begin to voice its very necessary and long-overdue condemnation of the human rights travesties currently occurring in Tibet. I thank you. [Applause.]
MINISTER ACCUSED OF WASTEFUL EXPENDITURE AND CORRUPTION
Mrs J D KILIAN (Cope): Speaker, as a rookie Minister, Minister Nyanda first drew attention for his flashy taste in motorcars. He has remained in the news ever since for all the wrong reasons: controversial tender practices, transgressing the Cabinet code of ethics, documented extravagant taste in hotel accommodation, and now the outrageously flashy offices, which cost the taxpayer millions of rands annually to house only 13 officials.
Reports of his involvement in controversial appointments and the sacking of officials at Sentech and within his department continue to surface. There are also questionable procurement and tender practices involving his private business interests, whether direct or under the guise of a family trust. His personal auditors, Ntumba, have been awarded contracts under questionable, if not outright illegal, procurement processes within the Department of Communications and in Sentech.
Instead of giving visionary leadership to a department with the potential to boost national economic growth by at least one percent annually, he appears to be jumping from one entity to the other to interfere and allows himself to be dragged into factional boardroom politics by some of his friends deployed to those entities.
Recently, Minister Nyanda was also embroiled in a bitter row with the Director-General of the Department of Communications. Therefore, Cope calls on President Zuma to make Minister Nyanda the first example of his commitment to clean governance. We call on the President to fire Minister Nyanda. Thank you. [Applause.]
IRREGULARITIES AND CORRUPTION IN RDP HOUSING PROJECT
Mr D C SMILES (DA): Mr Speaker, as part of our oversight responsibility, a delegation of DA public representatives recently visited a Reconstruction and Development, RDP, housing project in Jansenville in the Ikwezi Municipality. This project started in 1996 as a mud house project of 75 houses and evolved into an RDP project consisting of 350 houses. The initial project was meant to demolish the mud structures, many of which were very old or dilapidated, and to replace them with new RDP houses.
The Ikwezi Municipality, as the implementing agent, derailed this project to such an extent that beneficiaries and residents were frustrated by the level of corruption, and by the irregularities and administrative bungles. A combination of shortcomings, including the weak capacity of the municipality and the fact that a community development worker acted as the housing official on the project, amplified the propensity for corruption and irregularities to take place.
Some of the observations and findings included, amongst other things, seriously unfair and unscrupulous administration flaws. Although the houses are of a generally acceptable standard, some were built on business sites, some on a church site and, in many instances, two houses were built on the same site. There are even allegations that houses were allocated to people who did not qualify. It was observed that even the ex-mayor had an RDP house built in his back yard. [Interjections.] The DA believes that housing ... Thank you. [Time expired.]
INMATES AT CORRECTIONAL SERVICES CENTRES ACHIEVE ACADEMIC SUCCESS
Mr S ABRAM (ANC): Hon Speaker, the ANC believes that the service in correctional centres – hitherto called prisons – must play its part not simply in restraining convicted persons, but in rehabilitating and training them.
As a result of this policy, 170 inmates from prisons across Gauteng graduated from the University of South Africa on Wednesday, 8 September 2010. They were awarded their certificates, diplomas and degrees during a graduation ceremony at the Pretoria Correctional Centre. Amongst the graduates was a top achiever, 63-year-old Casper Greeff, who was awarded a doctorate in Biblical Archaeology.
Geluk, eerwaarde dominee dokter Greeff. [Congratulations, venerable Reverend Doctor Greeff.]
Inmates who study receive no special treatment and still have to deal with the challenges of being in a correctional centre, which make the achievements of those who graduated even more remarkable.
The ANC affirms that education will go a long way towards helping inmates with their rehabilitation process, and commends the significant role played by the Department of Correctional Services in making it possible for inmates to learn and acquire skills while in correctional centres. The ANC encourages the department to step up these programmes. I thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Order! That concludes Members’ Statements. Before I take the Ministers’ Responses, I would like to say that although there are 21 members of the executive, that is Ministers and Deputy Ministers, present in the House, I can only take six responses. Are there any Ministers’ Responses?
ANNUAL NATIONAL WILLS WEEK
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Speaker, we would like to thank the hon J B Sibanyoni for his statement on National Wills Week. We would also like to thank members of the legal profession for their contribution to the promotion of access to justice in this important area. We encourage all members of the legal profession to follow this example and to extend it to other areas.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development will be introducing the Legal Practice Bill in the near future. This Bill will encourage pro bono work and community service by lawyers, thereby contributing to the promotion of access to justice for all South Africans.
On a lighter note, I’d like to urge the ID to heed the warning in the hon Sibanyoni’s statement in that, as a result of dying without a will, your assets will be transferred to the Guardian’s Fund for safekeeping until your children reach the age of majority and vote ANC. Thanks. [Applause.] [Laughter.]
INMATES AT CORRECTIONAL SERVICES CENTRES ACHIEVE ACADEMIC SUCCESS
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS PUBLISHES ISIZULU-ENGLISH DICTIONARY
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Thank you, Chairperson. I just wish to quickly respond to two members’ statements. The first was on the achievements of inmates who recently graduated. This shows that the policy of government, which is the rehabilitation of offenders, is indeed bearing fruit rather than what a punitive programme would have achieved. I do agree with the hon member that education is a very important tool in rehabilitation. My department is having discussions with the Minister of Correctional Services also to expand skills development programmes in our correctional facilities in South Africa.
Secondly, we do indeed welcome the launch of the new Oxford IsiZulu-English dictionary. Government feels that we need to go beyond translation between isiZulu or Setswana and languages from outside South Africa, and also to focus on developing purpose-made dictionaries such as an explanatory isiZulu dictionary. We already have one at the moment, which is the first of its kind, and as government we are committed to continuing with that.
Government is also committed to expanding the use of African languages, especially in institutions of higher education and, to this end, the Department of Higher Education and Training next month will be calling a group of about 60 to 80 experts in African languages to see how we can actually strengthen and promote the use, teaching and research of African languages in our higher education institutions.
Siyabonga, Sihlalo. [Ihlombe.] [Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]]
FEWER JOBS CREATED BY ARMS DEAL THAN PROMISED
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Chairperson, I need your guidance here on an issue that was raised by a DA member on the Department of Trade and Industry committee. The questions he asked are based on an undertaking that was made by a member of this House right now. The answers are very readily available by that member, and I wonder perhaps if the House would consider that these questions, which are offset by the arms deal, be directed very clearly to the member sitting there - Lekota - to explain exactly what it is that he meant at that time. Could you please scrutinise the Rules of Parliament and make sure that he accounts? He might as well start earning his keep over there. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon Minister, I thought you were responding to the ... [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: My apologies, I thought I would ask a question instead. Thank you.
NEW TRANSPORT SYSTEM: NATIONAL ROLLING ENFORCEMENT PLAN
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Madam Chair, I would like to respond to the statement on the National Rolling Enforcement Plan in that on Friday traffic officers from municipalities and provinces throughout the country signed a pledge that as from 1 October this National Rolling Enforcement Plan would be enforced.
You will drive with a driver’s licence, you will not drink and drive, otherwise you will be arrested. We are embarking on this enforcement plan to ensure that every month one million vehicles are inspected and one million drivers are checked. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
MINISTER ACCUSED OF WASTEFUL EXPENDITURE AND CORRUPTION
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Chairperson, I would like to respond to what the hon Kilian alleged here. Firstly, I want to find out which executive code she is referring to that the Minister of Communications has breached, because I have no knowledge of such a breach and no such breach has been reported or indicated in any communication whatsoever.
Secondly, on the matters she raised, the Public Protector has clearly indicated that there has been no breach whatsoever by the Minister of Communications in relation to the business that he did before he was appointed as the Minister of Communications. Now, I think the DA, as well as Cope, abuses the good offices of Parliament to ask questions and then send those responses to the media.
On the question of the offices, you know very well that the Minister of Communications is not responsible for getting office space and so on, but you will take the answers that we provide to you in good faith and give them to the newspapers. This must stop. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order, hon members! Order, please.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Chair, the hon Nyanda is suggesting that it is wrong for us to ask questions of Ministers and give that information to the press. There is nothing in the Rules of Parliament that says that is not allowed. I am extremely concerned, Madam Chair, that he is trying to create a precedent here which is absolutely unacceptable to the opposition parties. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon member, my understanding was that the hon Minister Nyanda was responding to the issue that was raised by the hon Kilian. I believe that when members read or present statements, they want the Ministers to respond, and the Ministers have responded, including the hon Nyanda.
IRREGULARITIES AND CORRUPTION IN RDP HOUSING PROJECT
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, I would like to respond to the member who raised the issue of corruption with regard to RDP houses – the Ikhwezi Municipality. I would like to remind members of this House that we have on a number of occasions indicated that we are fighting corruption in Human Settlements. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order, hon member!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: The Special Investigating Unit is there to ensure that we do that. Those who don’t believe in us, don’t believe in themselves. What is of importance with regard to what the member raised is that he must give us concrete information in terms of the erf number he is talking about and the names of the people involved in that area so that we are able to talk in terms of information. If you do have information, please forward that information to me so that I can do the necessary investigation. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): What is your point of order, hon member?
Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: In terms of the Rules, no member has the right to receive an answer from the government, but I think that when the entire gallery is packed with friends of people who participated in the debates and so many statements have been made, it is unconscionable for government not to give a single answer and there is at least a legitimate expectation for a word to be said, and that must be read in the Rules. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order, please! Order, hon members! Hon Dr Ambrosini, yes the Rules allow the Ministers to respond, but there is no Rule that says whether the Ministers like it or not they have to respond. I have given the Ministers an opportunity to respond to the questions and we had ... [Interjections.]
Hon members, if you want to have questions and points of order responded to, you must also be able to listen.
Secondly, the Rules that are used by this House were drafted and adopted by this very same House. Hon Ambrosini, I think that you were not part of this House when the Rules were adopted, but I think you were part of this House when they were reviewed. Therefore, I don’t think you have to argue about them. You must look at them and rectify the Rules if you want to amend them, and then you will know which procedures you have to follow.
SOUTH AFRICAN POSTBANK BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Chairperson, hon members of the House, ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I introduce the South African Postbank Bill in the National Assembly today. When the White Paper on Postal Policy was passed in 1998, it was recognised that the Postbank as an institution would play an important role in satisfying the saving needs ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Chair, I rise on a point of order. There is a clause in this Bill that provides for monies to be made available via the MTEF, the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, to the bank in order to fund the bank’s operations. Now, I understand that that type of clause in the Bill provides specifically for this type of legislation to go via the Portfolio Committee on Finance. I want to know whether, in fact, this Bill has gone to the Finance committee and, if not, why not, because my belief is that this is a money Bill and should have gone to the Finance committee.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon Chief Whip of the Opposition, we have a joint tagging mechanism, which decides on the classification of Bills in terms of which committees they fall under. According to that classification, the Bill falls under the Portfolio Committee on Communications. According to my understanding, when the same issue was raised in the Chief Whips Forum they said that the Finance committee was consulted on the matter and that it was therefore agreed that the Portfolio Committee on Communications would continue with the legislation. Based on that, I therefore allow the Minister to introduce the Bill and continue with the debate. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Chair, with respect to your ruling, first of all, when this was raised in the Chief Whips Forum, exactly that was indicated. But my information, which is correct, was that the committee was not consulted. The chairperson of that committee was consulted. Second of all, notwithstanding the fact that there was a process which you outlined that indicated where this Bill should go, I do not believe that the people who made that classification had actually read the Bill. The Bill specifically makes money available from the MTEF for the operations of this bank. Therefore, it must be a money Bill.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon member, this Bill was not tabled in Parliament yesterday. It was tabled in Parliament through the Office of the Speaker and the Office of the Chairperson. The members who comprise the joint tagging mechanism are the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and they are advised by the legal team of Parliament. I believe that members of this House have the right to advice as early as possible. I don’t think that, in reality, it is necessary to raise this issue now, because all Members of Parliament from all political parties participated in the debate and discussions. It is unfortunate that you heard that it was only the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Finance who was consulted on the matter.
In terms of the report, when the Chief Whips Forum agreed to continue with the process of this legislation they were informed that the committee had been consulted. Also, it was agreed that the Bill was to be part of the programme by the very same Chief Whips Forum of which the member is a part. This was also agreed to by the programming committee of which the member is also a member. If the intention was not to continue with this particular Bill, it was not supposed to have been agreed to at the Chief Whips forum and also not in the programming committee. Could we please allow the Minister to continue? I am not going to entertain any further discussion on this.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Chair, I really do not wish to be obstructive. My intention in rising is not to be obstructive. My intention is to point out ... [Interjections.] ... that clause 22 of this Bill provides for monies to be appropriated from Parliament, and that makes it a money Bill.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon Ian Davidson, could you please take your seat. You were part of all these forums that I have mentioned. You were part of them. You were part of the forums where it was decided that this Bill should be part of the programme. Therefore, just take your seat. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Chair, I shall take my seat, but your interpretation of what took place at the Chief Whips Forum is entirely incorrect. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon member, take your seat. Hon Minister, continue.
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. When the White Paper on Postal Policy was passed in 1998, it was recognised that the Postbank, as an institution, would play an important role in satisfying the saving needs of the rural and underserviced communities in our country.
The Bill before you seeks to establish the Postbank as a subsidiary of the SA Post Office, which will provide a range of services to the majority of our citizens without any of the hurdles they would be experience at a commercial bank.
The Postbank will be restructured to accommodate the developmental goals of the state. It is therefore the objective of this Bill before you to create a bank of first choice for the lower income groups, providing them with appropriate banking products and high-quality services.
As a bank of first choice to the rural and marginalised communities, it will enable our people to access banking services, previously out of reach to many. In time, it will expand its financial services. It will do so, however, only after the Minister of Communications, in concurrence with the Minister of Finance, agree with the need for such expansion.
This will also significantly strengthen our efforts to inculcate a culture of saving and stimulate socioeconomic development, particularly in the rural areas. The primary aim is to provide financial services to communities within the proximity of their dwellings.
The tabling of the South African Postbank Bill in this House is a step in realising this vision. In this regard, the main purpose of the Bill is to corporatise the Postbank, which is currently a division of the Post Office. It will utilise the infrastructure and facilities of the SA Post Office. The post office has a large footprint, covering over 70% of the country, thus enabling the possible spread of the services the Postbank will provide.
The Postbank, as a company, will be managed by its own board with all the required corporate governance requirements and all mechanisms that will ensure accountability. The details on the implementation and capacity of the board plan will be directed by ministerial policy. A memorandum of understanding will be developed between the Department of Communications and the SA Post Office soon after the Bill is promulgated.
Importantly, the Postbank will be brought within the ambit of the financial and banking regulatory environment, as regulated by the Registrar of Banks. The Postbank will become a key player in the promotion of universal and affordable access to banking services. It will ensure that the rates and charges of the Postbank take into consideration the needs of the people in the lower income group.
The approval of this Bill will break new ground in creating a financial institution that communities will identify with by virtue of its location in underserviced areas. This Bill provides for the Minister of Communications to exercise oversight in cases that require Treasury intervention. The concurrence of the Minister of Finance is required. I have no doubt that the passing of this Bill will bring much relief and excitement to the marginalised citizens of this country.
In conclusion, I want to state that the Bill has been thoroughly consulted on by the working committee, comprising the Department of Communications, the National Treasury, the Reserve Bank and the SA Post Office, during the public consultations in all nine provinces. The Portfolio Committee on Communications also played a key role in the refinement of the Bill.
I want to thank the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, Mr Ishmael Vadi, and members of the committee who had marathon meetings in considering the Bill. Finally, I wish to recognise the able support of the Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Dina Pule. I also wish to thank the senior management of the Department of Communications and my staff for the effort they put into ensuring the drafting and finalisation of this Bill. I thank you for allowing me to introduce this Bill and look forward to its speedy passage through this House. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr I VADI: Chairperson, it is a privilege to speak in support of the South African Postbank Bill. Once passed, the Bill will corporatise the Postbank into a fully fledged public bank. It is envisaged that the Postbank will become the bank of first choice for lower-income groups in society.
The local post office in one’s town or locality currently provides standard postal services, allows for a personal savings facility and sells stationery and newspapers. It also serves as a monthly pension or grant pay-point for the elderly and the disabled respectively. Once the new Postbank is launched and registered, it will not only act as a savings bank, but will lend and borrow money, particularly to the poor, to rural dwellers and to youth and students. In this sense, this Bill is one of the most important pro-poor measures introduced by the ANC government in the current term.
The new bank will bring to reality the vision of the White Paper on Postal Policy. It will serve as a powerful support structure for rural-urban financial linkages, allowing for easier financial access for migrant workers and promoting economic growth in rural areas. It will strengthen the prospect for savings and generate investment capital among rural communities. In the short term, the Postbank can become a critical poverty-combating instrument in poor communities. In the near future, it has the potential to develop into a powerful state bank comparable to similar financial institutions in Germany and Japan.
The Postbank will be an autonomous company, wholly owned by the Post Office. It will be owned indirectly by government. It will be managed by an independent board of directors, composed of 10 persons including the bank manager. The board will be accountable to the Post Office, the Minister of Communications and to Parliament. The public, together with the Post Office, will be invited to nominate suitable persons for board membership. These will be screened by a nominations committee, which will make final recommendations to the Ministers of Communications and Finance. In the end, board membership is dependent on nominees passing the fit and proper test, set by the Registrar of Banks.
Structurally, and in terms of policy formulation, the bank is located midway between the Minister of Communications and the Minister of Finance. For this reason, the committee has ensured that all major policy and operational decisions enjoy the concurrent support of both Ministers. The committee has also insisted that the responsible Ministers develop appropriate investment, lending and borrowing policies for the bank. These policies must be approved by Cabinet and must be tabled before Parliament, so as to ensure that there is no repeat of the debacle that we have seen at the Land Bank. Furthermore, any decision of the Postbank that is inconsistent with the policy framework determined by government will be of no force or effect.
The committee has also introduced stringent criteria for appointment to the board of the Postbank. A person with any material conflict of interest will not be eligible to serve on the board and his or her business enterprise will not be able to enter into any business transactions with the bank. The committee has introduced provisions that criminalise a failure to declare a conflict of interest. The insertion of such onerous provisions is there to ensure that there is no possibility for any abuse by either the board or any member of the board.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: ... [Inaudible.] ... like the rest or some of the civil service.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order, please!
Mr I VADI: House Chairperson, I would like now to address the Chief Whip of the Opposition, the DA, with your kind permission. I am disappointed that the DA has decided to vote against this Bill. This Bill is complex, but it is not politically contentious. The process by which we reached this stage has taken a long time. You will recall that the Bill was first referred to the committee in November last year. The committee held public hearings on the Bill on 23 March this year. In April, the committee agreed to a sensible proposal from the hon Kilian to include the National Treasury in all its deliberations. In total, the committee spent 10 weeks examining the provisions of the Bill and on amending it.
In all this time, the DA did not once indicate that this Bill was undesirable or that it should be processed by the Finance committee. [Interjections.] If it had made that suggestion, the committee would have made arrangements earlier for conferring fully with the Portfolio Committee on Finance. So, this came as a total surprise to us when in the last week, in the last meeting of the committee, the DA expressed its intention to vote against this Bill. I do believe that this is a vote against the poor and downtrodden in our society. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
It is my hope that the Postbank becomes as successful as the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which uses microloans without collateral, to help eradicate poverty in developing countries. It has now opened a branch in the United States, called Grameen America. It offers loans from $500 to $3000 to vendors who borrow money daily to rent carts to sell their wares, or to a hair salon owner who needs cash to buy shampoo. One of the first persons to whom it disbursed a loan is Socorro Diaz. Thank you very much. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr N J VAN DEN BERG: Hon House Chairperson, hon members of this House, it is always a privilege to speak in this House on behalf of the DA. The South African Postbank Bill proposes to establish a company owned by the government that will ultimately operate as a regular bank. The Bill proposes a structure similar to that of state-owned, corporatised enterprises. Although government-owned, a board will preside over the bank and therefore enjoy all the perks of a private entity.
In die struktuur van ’n private maatskappy is dit normale praktyk. Die raad van die maatskappy het ’n toesighoudende funksie oor die besluite wat die uitvoerende bestuur van dag tot dag maak. Die raad staan, by wyse van spreke, pa of ma vir die besluite van die uitvoerende bestuur en is verantwoordbaar teenoor die aandeelhouers. Die aandeelhouers van die privaat onderneming wen, indien alles klopdisselboom verloop met die maatskappy. Indien sake skeefloop, verloor hulle dalk al hulle beleggings. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[In the structure of a private corporation this is normal practice. The board of a private corporation has an oversight function over the decisions the executive takes from day to day. The board is, in a manner of speaking, answerable for the decisions of the executive, and it is accountable to the shareholders. When everything is hunky-dory in the corporation’s affairs the shareholders gain, but when things go wrong they may lose their entire investment.]
The South African government will be the sole shareholder in this state entity. As it will be underwritten by government, the success and weaknesses of the bank will also be those of the government. Financial success means profit for the state coffers but, alarmingly, the government will also bear the burden of its failure. If the government has to bail out the Postbank, it is actually you and I, the humble taxpayers, who will pay.
The hon members of this House must think very carefully before they vote yes or no to this Bill. As members, we are representing millions of people in this House. We are representing the people of South Africa. We are voting on behalf of the voters. What will your people, your constituency say? Yes, we are fully aware that people, specifically in poor rural areas, need the financial support of the banking system, but have you told them what the consequences might be? No, you have not.
Did you tell your poor voters that if anything goes wrong, it is they that will have to pay? It is these citizens that will have to pay for the mistakes of the Postbank board – a board they will probably never meet and whose members are barely known to the public. If you say yes to this Bill, you agree that your voters will pay for whatever mistakes the board of the Postbank will make. You will ultimately place the financial fate of many rural, poor citizens in the hands of the Postbank, a government-run entity that will operate in a vigorous financial environment.
South Africa’s banking sector is robust and amongst the best in the world, as evidenced during the global financial crisis. There are other solutions to the problem. Why not look at incentives for the formal banking sector to ensure that it offers banking services to the income groups to be targeted by the Postbank? Mzanzi accounts are excellent examples.
Alhoewel die DA krities staan teenoor die Wetsontwerp op die Suid-Afrikaanse Posbank, stel ek dit namens die DA baie duidelik – en ook in antwoord op die opmerking wat agb Vadi gemaak het – dat die DA geensins gekant is teen die oogmerke van die wetsontwerp nie. Die arm en dikwels geïsoleerde mense in die landelike gebiede van Suid-Afrika moet op gelykwaardige wyse as burgers van ons land geëer en gerespekteer word. Hulle moet aan die gestruktureerde bankwese van Suid-Afrika kan deelneem.
Die fundamentele vraag bly steeds – gegewe die behoeftes van die arm, landelike mense – is dit die rol van die staat om in hierdie behoefte te voorsien? Dit is asof die ANC in die regering senuagtig rondskarrel om oplossings te vind vir die vele sosio-maatskaplike en ekonomiese probleme in ons jong demokrasie.
Die probleme die afgelope 16 jaar het nie kleiner geword nie. Die probleem het gegroei van ’n groot molshoop tot ’n reusagtige berg. Daar moet kollektief na oplossings gesoek word om die arm mense in ons land te help, en ek wil die regering verseker dat die DA onverpoosd werk en na oplossings soek. Gelukkig kan die DA meld dat die mense lank laas in hulle lewe so ’n goeie regering gehad het in die Wes-Kaap soos nou. Dit is onder die leierskap van Helen Zille. Die DA in die Wes-Kaap is ’n uitstekende voorbeeld van hoe om ’n oplossing vir ’n probleem te vind.
Die Wetsontwerp op die Suid-Afrikaanse Posbank probeer iets oplos sonder dat die regering weet wat die onderliggende oorsaak is - die totaal verkeerde medisyne vir ’n lank reeds bestaande siekte, by wyse van spreke.
Die ANC en sy alliansievennote moet besef die rol van die regering moet kleiner word en nie groter nie. Al wat die ANC nou doen is om die druk op die uitgawekant van die staat nog groter te maak - meer personeel, salarisse, ensovoorts.
Kom ons wees eerlik. Staatsentiteite vaar nie goed nie – power, om die minste te sê – veral nie die staatsentiteite wat aan die Minister van Kommunikasie verslag doen nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Although the DA adopts a critical stance towards the South African Postbank Bill, I wish to state it very clearly on behalf of the DA – partly in response to the remark by the hon Vadi – that the DA is in no way opposed to the aims and objectives of the Bill. The poor and often isolated people in the rural areas of South Africa must be honoured and respected in an equitable way as citizens of our country. They must be able to participate in South Africa’s structured banking sector.
But the fundamental question remains – given the needs and requirements of the rural poor – is it the role of the state to provide for these needs? It appears that the ANC in government is nervously scrambling about to find solutions for the many social and economic problems in our young democracy.
The problems have not become any smaller over the past 16 years. The problem has grown from a major molehill to a giant mountain. There must be a collective search for solutions in order to help the indigent in our country, and I want to assure the government that the DA works ceaselessly in the search for solutions. Fortunately the DA can report that it has been a long time since the people had such a good government in the Western Cape as they have now. That’s the government under the leadership of Helen Zille. The DA in the Western Cape is an excellent example of how to find a solution to a problem.
The South African Postbank Bill is an attempt to solve a problem without identifying the underlying cause – a totally wrong remedy for a long-standing disease, in a manner of speaking.
The ANC and its alliance partners must realise that the role of government needs to be reduced, not increased. What the ANC is doing at present is to further push up the pressure on the expenditure side of the state – more staff, more salaries, and so forth.
Let us be honest. State entities perform poorly – they do not perform well, to say the least, especially not the state entities reporting to the Minister of Communications.]
In this instance, one can name a few: the SABC, the Independent Communications Authority of SA, Icasa, and Sentech. In this regard, the Business Times wrote:
Sentech, the company responsible for bringing TV broadcasts to South Africans and which is on the verge of financial collapse, granted more than R117 million in contracts that did not go to tender over a period of two years.
There are a lot of other examples.
The state entities in the Communications portfolio have no respect for the Public Finance Management Act, the PFMA. Given this track record, there can be no assurance that the Postbank will respect the PFMA. Hon Chairperson and members of this House, your decision to implement this Bill will be on your conscience for the rest of your lives. I rest my case.
Speaking at the Banking Association of South Africa’s inaugural banking summit, Mr Michael Katz, the Chairman of Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs said, “The culture of management, rather than ticking boxes, will prevent a crisis.” I further quote him from Fin24, “Whatever regulatory environment you have in place, if the culture of management does not recognise these issues, then you will not have a sound bank.”
This Bill does not nearly touch the aching root of the problem. In SA Today of 10 September 2010, the leader of the DA, Helen Zille wrote:
Entrenched poverty is, without doubt, the greatest obstacle we must overcome if we are to become a successful and sustainable democracy in which people can live lives they value. Sustained economic growth is an essential, if not sufficient, precondition to overcome poverty. This means devising and implementing policies designed to make our economy more globally competitive so that we attract more investment and create more jobs. Every country that has sustainably lifted its poorest citizens out of poverty has done so by becoming more competitive.
The DA’s view is that a government-owned and controlled bank of this nature is not required, and is open to mismanagement and the misappropriation of funds. In this event, taxpayers will be required to serve as the lenders of last resort and fund another failed and unprofitable state-owned enterprise. The DA will not support this Bill. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
Mrs J D KILIAN: House Chairperson, the accessibility and affordability of banking services have been the subject of many a debate in our developing country. Despite the many challenges that cannot be ignored and concerns that one might raise, the principles of the South African Postbank Bill, which will provide basic banking services at affordable rates and which will be accessible through post offices in almost every town and village of South Africa, could fill an enormous gap in the unbanked sector of our society.
We must remember that it has been calculated that up to 12 million people are in the unbanked sector, especially poor people and those residing in rural areas. Cope therefore supports the Bill, but we want to raise some concerns.
We believe that state intervention that compels banks to break economic rules and procedures, that provides uneconomic and high-risk services and that is self-destructive will lead to more taxpayer money having to prop up the Postbank. Talk of the nationalisation of banks, which has recently been mooted by some elements in the tripartite alliance, is therefore very irresponsible. We trust that the hon Manuel and Minister Gordhan will be able to explain to their vociferous young partners in Durban that that would be a recipe for disaster. Therefore, Cope believes that ... [Interjections.]
Mr T W COETZEE: Chairperson, is the member willing to take a question about nationalisation in the UK?
Mrs J D KILIAN: I will take a question at the end of my speech, thank you.
Mr T W COETZEE: No, that will be too late.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Therefore, the Postbank Bill will be the better option. However, we must remember, however positive and idealistic the concept may be, the road ahead is littered with dangerous potholes. This can result in a type of management and financial crisis that we have recently seen in the case of the Land Bank – which has now recovered slightly – Eskom, Ithala Bank and other state-owned enterprises.
And no matter what the young gentleman from Limpopo might argue, universal economic wisdom and experience throughout the world and throughout history indicate that governments, by the very nature of their being, rarely succeed in operating a business enterprise without regular state bailouts, and are always prone to endemic mismanagement and corruption.
But because we have deliberated vigorously, we have moved in and improved very specific sections of this Postbank Bill today to ensure that we have good governance in place, that we have controls that will limit conflicts of interest and that we have made criminal certain actions of board members. We can confidently say today, as Cope, that we can support this Bill because we realise the needs of people out there in the rural areas who do not have access to banking services. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson and hon members, I do not serve on this committee. My colleague the hon Rev Zondi does, but I do come here on behalf of the IFP to unreservedly support this Bill with a clear conscience. [Applause.] As we have heard from the Minister, this Bill ushers in a new era of personal banking and financial services, an era in which personal banking and financial services will be available and accessible to every South African.
Now, we have heard the argument as to why this shouldn’t go to private banks. Why shouldn’t private banks do this? Private banks and their accessibility in rural areas is something that leaves a lot to be desired. They are few and far between in the rural areas. In fact, many of them have closed down agencies and do not even provide ATMs in the rural areas. So, I do not believe that we should be relying on private banks; we should rather use this as an initiative to promote economic growth, especially amongst our people in the rural areas. [Applause.]
As you walk into Parliament, you notice the Postbank and a sign that says: Post Office Savings Bank. The fact that this should be savings driven has been emphasised, but what I am afraid of is that a culture of saving does not seem to be inculcated in our younger society nowadays. When I was in class some 50 years ago and when I first went to school, the principal of the school used to sell us stamps for which we used to pay a tickey each, and we used to stick those stamps on a card. When the card was full, we would take it to the Post Office where they would enter one pound in our bank. Fifty years later, I still have my savings bank account and my book with me.
Hon Minister, I don’t see any Ministers of Education here in the House. Maybe they should start inculcating a culture of saving amongst the youth, even if it is 50 cents or one rand a week. As they grow up, this culture will be inculcated in their minds. [Applause.] This is something that we hope the Postbank encourages and does, and that it works very closely with the education sector. We will support the Bill. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms S R TSEBE: House Chairperson, hon Ministers present here today, Members of Parliament, the need for the establishment of a Postbank that will cater for the needs of the majority of the people who are underbanked and unbanked has been identified as a central pillar in our efforts to integrate our people into the mainstream economy.
On World Post Day, Monday, 19 October 2009, the Minister of Communications, Gen Siphiwe Nyanda, stated that, I quote:
The Post Office has begun the process of corporatising the Postbank, with the chief objective of providing underserviced communities access to vital financial and related services and thereby contributing to economic and social development.
Indeed, the proposed legislation seeks to uplift the socioeconomic conditions of our people, in particular the rural poor who have been previously disadvantaged - a better life for all!
We have interrogated the merits of creating a South African Postbank Limited that will cater for the majority of the people whom the commercial banking sector classifies as a risk and unprofitable. We have given the adoption of this Bill the thumbs up.
Now that we are at the stage of registering the Postbank it is, of course, important to realise that the Postbank is envisaged to be an independent state entity under the oversight of Parliament, and that this is the final stage of an evolutionary process that was occasioned by the White Paper on Postal Policy of 1998. We therefore support the initiative to complete the process, since we have not found any contrary reason to deviate from the cause of creating an independent bank of the people.
However, it is our humble hope that the Postbank has developed full institutional capacity to be transformed into a fully fledged bank, able to provide all banking services, including the provision of credit, and that all proper management controls are in place to ensure that it does not collapse like the other small banks that have gone that route before. This is because the commercial banking sector, with which they will be competing, is highly competitive and this bank shall be made to operate within the parameters of the banking laws of the country.
As stated in the Bill, the newly corporatised SA Postbank Limited will use the staff of the Postbank. It is our humble hope that these staff members will be adequately trained for the administration of the added responsibility that comes with a new mandate.
In the area of providing financial services, there is no room for error. We therefore wish to pose a challenge to the two departments that are tasked to oversee the process of registering the bank, namely the Departments of Communications and Finance, to ensure that this matter is not left unattended. It is also important to note that in Eastern Europe some postbanks were established with good intentions, but collapsed owing to, among other things, premature privatisation strategies.
During the South African Postbank Bill hearings, Cosatu also expressed the view that corporatising the Postbank would pave the way for its privatisation. In this regard, a very crucial issue that emerged during the deliberations was the need to protect the currently marginalised groups from being excluded from exercising financial services once the SA Postbank becomes a fully fledged bank.
Subsequently, the committee included the following provisions in clause 2, which culminated in the objects of the Bill, with the aim of, among other things: “expanding the range of banking services and developing into a bank of first choice, in particular to the rural and lower income markets as well as communities that have little or no access to commercial banking services or facilities”.
Sustainable financial service systems for the poor are crucial because they attract a large section of people who have been excluded from the banking system. Any institution that is able to develop ways of serving the poor at minimal risk has the potential for a profitable market. There are too many people out there who require the services of the banking sector but who otherwise do not qualify to hold bank accounts owing to their status as low-income earners. This is a market on its own.
The lack of access to banking services has disadvantaged many people, as some have to have their wages paid in cash over the counter, as opposed to direct credits into accounts. Even when they are paid through bank transfers, most of them are forced to withdraw all their earnings because of the distance between their areas of residence and the banks.
In conclusion, we support the route of using the option of the state actually rendering the service itself, rather than finding ways to incentivise the private sector to invest in rural areas.
A new era of hope for the poor has dawned and ushers in their active participation in financial markets. Our responsibility as hon members of this House is to be honourable enough to go out there, to inform, educate and popularise this newborn South African child.
There can be no justification to oppose such a progressive move that will benefit the rural masses of the population. The ANC supports this Bill. [Applause.]
Mrs I C DITSHETELO: Madam Chair, we welcome the South African Postbank Bill with the fervent hope that it shall not suffer the same demise that has befallen other state-owned enterprises. We hope that South Africa will finally set up a banking service that will service the poor and those with low incomes, in particular.
It is, however, not clear why there is a provision that allows the new Postbank to operate as a company before it complies with the Banks Act. It is imperative that, as we establish such entities, we also insist on uncompromising adherence to existing legislation.
The UCDP accepts the Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed an honour for me to be part of this historic occasion to present the South African Postbank Limited Bill to Parliament. This Bill, introduced here today by Minister Siphiwe Nyanda, was a collective effort over several months of hard work by several stakeholders.
Building on what Minister Nyanda stated in his introduction to the Bill, this Bill has huge social and economic potential to transform the lives of our people, particularly the unbanked in the rural areas of our country. It speaks to achieving some of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework goals, like creating cohesive and sustainable communities, spurring rural development and developing economic and social infrastructure. It will provide access to institutional capacity to the many that are deprived of such services.
The Postbank will further strengthen the entrepreneurial culture and savings initiatives of our people. It provides a platform for the integration into the mainstream economic activities of, for example, the youth and rural women who are the most oppressed in our marginalised society.
Institutions that have acted as insurance against poverty and the maintenance of social cohesion, such as burial societies, stokvels and women’s social clubs, will benefit greatly from the creation of this Postbank. It will also add value to the already productive activities of our people, such as small-scale agricultural projects, crafts and home industries, and trade and commerce.
Furthermore, through its expansion, the Postbank will advance the government’s goal of job creation and human resource development. This includes sectors like front-desk services, information and communication technologies services and product development.
I would also like to thank hon member Kilian for the warning that she has given to us. We want to assure her that we have laboured diligently by building the necessary safeguards into the legislation to protect this bank from corporate mismanagement. You will find the clauses on corporate governance, in respect of both the board and the executive of this banking institution, to be onerous, strict and punitive in the event of any foul play.
We crafted this Bill to send a clear message that this is not an ordinary bank, but a bank with a heart and a clear socioeconomic mandate to uplift the rural and lower income groups and markets.
The Postbank will impact greatly on our society, and its success will strengthen the self-sufficiency of our people, as well as further expand the flourishing of an entrepreneurial culture.
The extensive and proven infrastructure of the Post Office provides the Postbank with the necessary capacity and possibility for success. We all have a collective responsibility, in terms of our oversight as Parliament, to ensure that this bank achieves its goals and objectives in the foreseeable future.
I want to state that voting against this Bill is to be anti-poor, anti the redistribution of the socioeconomic opportunities of our country, and downright in favour of a privileged society for the few and previously advantaged.
Once again, we would like to express our gratitude, thanks and appreciation to all stakeholders, namely Cabinet, the Department of Communications, under the able leadership of hon Minister Nyanda, the Department of Finance, the Post Office, the Portfolio Committee on Communications, led by the chairperson the hon Vadi, the state law advisers, as well as Parliament as a whole, who contributed so much in bringing this Bill to Parliament. Thank you very much, hon Chair. [Applause.]
Mr J H DE LANGE: Hon Chair, hon Ministers and hon members, I rise in unconditional support of this Bill on behalf of the ANC. May I also thank everyone that played a role in drafting a Bill which at last, I think, is going to be very important in the future of this country, particularly as it relates to the poor.
When we started working on the Bill, as the hon Kilian and others have pointed out, we were very aware of the risk attached to a venture like this. We looked at other examples in the world, as our chairperson has already said.
For example, Japan and Germany, major industrial countries, started these state banks just after the war, and today they are huge conglomerates and enterprises, having focused on the poor, the needy and the disadvantaged in those societies.
Therefore, as we started working in the committee, all the parties were quite clear as to what the vision was in this regard. So, we want to thank everyone that helped us draft a Bill that, in the end, actually contained the risk that attaches to a venture like this. And, obviously, in that sense, one is very saddened by the last-minute turnaround of the DA.
The members of the DA in the committee co-operated very well throughout on the objectives of the Bill. It was at the last minute that they said that their caucus was not prepared to vote on this Bill, and today they have gone even further and we have seen the sleight of hand of their Chief Whip who tried to pretend that this was a money Bill.
I say “tried to pretend” because you don’t have to be a genius to know what a money Bill is. You take this Constitution, you open it at section 77 and there the heading says “Money Bills”. It doesn’t say “Other Bills”; it says “Money Bills”. [Laughter.] It tells you exactly what a money Bill is. Section 77 says that a money Bill is a money Bill if it “appropriates money”; “imposes national taxes, levies, duties or surcharges”; “abolishes or reduces, or grants exemptions from, any national taxes, levies, duties or surcharges”; or “authorises direct charges”. Later, the section says that nothing else may be in a money Bill except those four issues; and elsewhere it says that only the Minister of Finance can introduce a money Bill.
Now, of all the submissions that Cabinet, the Minister of Finance, the state law advisers on this document, Parliament’s tagging mechanism and the committee received, not a single person even vaguely referred to section 77 and this Bill being a money Bill. It is clearly not a money Bill. That was just a sleight of hand to try to stop this Bill.
Now, I don’t understand this, because I would ask the DA members, those that are able to understand things, to take this Bill and read it. [Laughter.] Read it as it is now, and then tell me that this Bill doesn’t target the poor and the marginalised and that we haven’t looked at the risks and created mechanisms to try to deal with those risks.
Last week I read a whole lot of articles in the newspapers on how the DA was going to reach out to the poor. They buy people, so the media is now writing these things about the DA. [Interjections.] The DA is going to ... [Interjections.] You buy the media; your premier has said so. You go and pay them and say, “Give us space”, and if someone else does that then you say, “Oh, that’s terrible. This is the worst thing for democracy.” Can I suggest that you buy more space and get more consultants, read this Bill, and then you will see a few things. [Interjections.]
Firstly, it is targeted totally and utterly towards ... [Interjections.] Oh, you know, you are such a ... You’ve got that grating voice, you know. You really ... [Applause.] [Interjections.] Why they made you the deputy president of the organisation, God alone knows.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order, please! Order, hon members!
Mr J H DE LANGE: When we received the Bill we were worried like everyone else ... [Interjections.] No, I am not the Deputy Minister. I have been demoted, so don’t worry about that. [Laughter.]
Obviously, I’m too stupid. I’m like a DA member. I am stupid, that’s why. [Interjections.] Why don’t you deal with the issues, Kohler-Barnard? You are always being personal. Why don’t you go and say to foreigners that they are not welcome in this country; our people must kill them? Why don’t you go and say that again ... [Interjections.] ... as you keep on doing that. [Interjections.]
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Excuse me.
Mr J H DE LANGE: They are obviously trying to ...
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: I rise on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon member, what is your point of order?
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: On a point of order: I would like that comment to be withdrawn. I have never in my life told anyone to kill anyone. I take the most gross ... Really! Really! I want that withdrawn please.
Mr J H DE LANGE: Ask your own members what they think about it.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: It is totally, totally unparliamentary to suggest such a revolting thing.
Mr J H DE LANGE: I withdraw. I withdraw. Sit down, I want to go on. [Laughter.]
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Chair, are you chairing this debate? [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order, hon member!
Mr J H DE LANGE: I withdraw. Sit down.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Excuse me, House Chairperson, are you chairing the debate?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order, please!
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: ... because I don’t take orders from the ANC.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon De Lange, order please.
Mr J H DE LANGE: Sit down. I withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): You may continue.
Mr J H DE LANGE: I withdraw. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order, please! Hon Davidson?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Chair, I really think an appropriate withdrawal is in order. I would ask you that he withdraw those remarks. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon member, he said he withdrew.
Mr J H DE LANGE: I’ve withdrawn, Chair. Can I go on?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Yes.
Mr J H DE LANGE: Thank you. One of the issues we were worried about was that the way the Bill was drafted, it created a commercial bank, and we were ...
An HON MEMBER: Why were you fired?
Mr J H DE LANGE: Oh, Michael, shut up!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order, please!
Mr J H DE LANGE: You know why I was fired. I was demoted, you idiot. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon members, order please! [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon member?
Mrs J D KILIAN: I rise on a point of order, hon Chairperson. I submit that the use of the word “idiot” is unparliamentary.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon De Lange, could you withdraw the word “idiot”.
Mr J H DE LANGE: I withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Thank you. Continue, hon member.
Mr J H DE LANGE: Would “those people who are deficient of certain intellectual capacities” be better? [Laughter.] Okay. [Applause.] Those are the people I am referring to.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Order, hon members!
Mr J H DE LANGE: What I was trying to say is that what we then did was look at the three major powers of a bank, that is, investing, lending and borrowing. And we then made sure that this bank would not have unfettered powers to lend, to invest or to borrow, because if it did, there would be a risk attached to it. For example, if this bank went and invested its monies in Greece or another country which has problems with its banking system, then you could clearly hit back at us.
What we have done is made those three powers subject to a policy passed by Cabinet and introduced in this Parliament to actually prescribe the lending, the borrowing and the investment powers of the bank.
The most important power you can give the Ministry and the executive is to set the parameters of policy - and all the opposition parties agree with this. So, if you don’t like something - for example, what the Land Bank did: at one stage it started borrowing money for golfing estates – you would make sure that the policy spelt out clearly that that couldn’t be done. You would make sure that it couldn’t invest in certain places.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon member, your time has expired.
Mr J H DE LANGE: I was interrupted so much, but thank you, Chair. For those that are intellectually deficient, please continue with your heckling. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Hon Chair and members, firstly, I would like to thank the members who have risen on behalf of their parties to support this Bill. I would like to thank Cope in particular, even though their support was grudging because of their worries about corporate governance and the powers of the Minister and so on, but I think it is better than opposition or prevarication. Let me thank the IFP for their unequivocal support, and thank the ACDP as well.
I think the Deputy Minister as well as the hon De Lange have responded to some of the worries that the other members have pointed out with respect to this Bill, and have assured members that there are good safeguards in the Bill in order to ensure that there are very few risks or no risks at all to the savings that the poor will make.
I would like to respond to some of the issues that the DA raised. The ANC fought and won the election in 2009 with an overwhelming majority. In our election manifesto we promised the electorate to deliver on a mandate which prioritised rural development, poverty alleviation and economic growth, among other things.
The Bill is consistent with the mandate derived from the electorate. It will be an important catalyst for economic growth, and seeks to empower the marginalised communities of the country, which to most men and women are represented by the ANC and not the DA. The ANC speaks for the people of South Africa as a whole, but we speak in particular for the disadvantaged and the poor. The DA speaks for the advantaged class and the rich, and that is why they do not support this Bill. [Interjections.] The contention that the Bill gives the Minister too much power has become a familiar refrain in the discourse of the opposition. [Interjections.] They would rather that the power lies in some unelected entity where they would have an impact or influence.
The majority black government must be weakened by committees that supersede the executive authority of the elected majority party. But the Minister needs power, which she or he exercises through the Cabinet. [Interjections.] This Bill provides for the establishment of the Postbank as a financial institution, which should be governed as a bank, and the Minister will act with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance. I do not see anything amiss with that.
Policy for the Postbank must be informed by the needs of the developmental state and the priorities which our people mandated us to pursue, and we will do so doggedly and unflinchingly. We will not be lectured to on democracy and good governance by those we fought for and gave democracy and good governance to. We will not abuse the power that we get, and we will not deliberately create mechanisms that give rise to such abuse. [Interjections.]
We suffered such abuse and autocracy for decades, but we will not hesitate to get the power that we need to drive our developmental agenda. We cannot afford to be emasculated by pontificating and fine-sounding phrases which we know are not genuinely meant. I thank you. [Applause.]
Prof B TUROK: Chair, I have a point of order. I did not want to interrupt the Minister, but I did feel that throughout his speech there was a level of noise coming from that corner, which was unacceptable, and I would point out to you that, because the microphones in that area are very close to the speaker - whereas on this side the Ministers and members are much further away – disruptions and heckling from that side totally disrupt the speaker. It has often happened to me that I have been unable to hear myself speaking. [Interjections.] I appeal to you, the Chair, and the Speaker to ensure that the noise levels coming from that corner do not disrupt the speaker, who cannot hear himself speak. I ask for you to make a ruling on this. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Thank you, hon member. Hon member, I did not want to disrupt the Minister either. There was also noise from the other speakers as well, because there was a lot of noise in this House. So, I do believe that when the voters are listening to the debates, they know what kind of people are representing them. Also, when I grew up ... [Interjections.]
Mr T W COETZEE: What kind is that?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Are those the kinds of members that were elected by the people who always like to make a noise, rather than concentrating on what the speakers are saying at the podium?
Prof B TUROK: I have a further point of order, Madam Chair. I think that when members ask you questions as they did now, it is an insult to the Chair and it is an insult to the House. I think you should ask him to withdraw that. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon Turok, the challenge is that the very same people who were making a lot of noise - some of whom were the Chief Whips and the Whips - are the ones who have to maintain order in this House. I believe that all political parties have to take the responsibility to advise or to train their Whips on their roles, irrespective of whether it is a Chief Whip or just a Whip. Could you take your seat, hon Ben Turok.
Mr T W COETZEE: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a point of order: When the Minister attacks us by saying that we represent the advantaged, when the Minister himself relishes staying in a five-star hotel, that is fundamentally hypocritical, and we have every right to object. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon member, that was not a point of order. The challenge is that some of you were provoking the Minister, and you were even provoking other members. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): If you don’t know what is meant by “provoke” then you have to look it up in your dictionary. That’s the unfortunate part of this.
Ms B N DAMBUZA: Hon Chairperson, I want to ask whether the member on that side is the Chief Whip of the Opposition party. I just want to be sure.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon member, could you please take your seat.
Bill read a second time (Democratic Alliance dissenting).
CIVILIAN SECRETARIAT FOR POLICE SERVICE BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Hon members, may I appeal to members to behave in this session. All the Whips from all political parties should make sure that their members behave.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon House Chair, hon Members of Parliament of this House, in order for us to achieve our strategic goal of ensuring that the people in South Africa are and feel safe, much depends on the kind of civilian oversight we establish. Section 208 of our Constitution gives effect to the establishment of the civilian secretariat under the direction of the Minister. The White Paper on Safety and Security also required of us to reform this policy to ensure that both policy planning and policy monitoring occurred outside of the department, but within the Ministry.
Over a period of time, we have said that we have a duty to fight crime smartly and toughly, with no mercy for those heartless criminals. At the same time, we depend much on Bills like the one before us today, the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill, to ensure that there are no abuses from that point of view.
We said a few weeks ago when we passed the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill here that these kinds of interventions aimed at strengthening the civilian oversight arm are made to ensure that we will never experience a police state. Therefore, the separation of powers and the determination of their implementation have to be the order of the day.
This Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill seeks to ensure that a few things are observed: one, to ensure that there is strong civilian oversight; two, to ensure that there are partnerships; three, to ensure that proper policy advice is given to the Minister; and, lastly, to ensure that the civilian secretariat becomes a designated department. The co-operation between the civilian secretariat and Independent Police Investigative Directorate is of the utmost importance.
Another key aspect of this Bill relates to the establishment of the provincial secretariat. We are putting more emphasis on ensuring that we strengthen this part of the secretariat to ensure that where things happen, at the coalface in the provinces, the monitoring and evaluation units are working, and working effectively. As we demonstrated before, when we all pull together we succeed. When we focus our energies, our commitment, and walk our talk, we overcome together.
This is a new era, a new way of doing things and a new way of securing our democracy through civilian oversights over police practices, budgets and performance. We remain committed to seeing through our vision of a transformed, accountable, and effective Police Service. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs L S CHIKUNGA: Hon Chairperson, members of Cabinet, hon Members of Parliament, fellow South Africans, in December 1997, at its 50th national conference in Mafikeng, the ANC – the people’s liberation movement, the oldest organisation in South Africa, in Africa, and one of the few oldest organisations in the world – resolved that: “The political oversight and authority of the SAPS Ministry shall be enhanced to ensure compliance with the aims of the government of the day.”
The Bill before the House today is in line with the Mafikeng ANC national conference resolution. As a matter of fact, it unapologetically implements that resolution. By the way, the ANC leads, and the ANC lives. [Applause.]
As contemplated in section 208 of the Constitution, a civilian secretariat for the police must be established by national legislation to function under the direction of the Cabinet member responsible for policing. The Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill hereby intends to establish the police civilian secretariat.
In 1995, when the SA Police Service Act was passed, it established the Secretariat for Safety and Security. Currently, even if it is expected to exercise civilian oversight over the Police Service, the secretariat has to depend on the SAPS for its budget or finances. Since it gets its budget from the SAPS, it equally has to account to the SAPS on how it spends its allocated budget. This undermines the civilian oversight role of the secretariat over the police.
This Bill establishes a civilian secretariat as a designated department at national level. This means that as soon as this Bill is passed and becomes an Act, the secretariat will get its budget from Treasury and that budget will be approved by Parliament. The secretary will be an accounting officer of the civilian secretariat. This, on its own, is indeed a milestone.
The Bill clearly defines the objects, functions and powers of the civilian secretariat, the objects of which are: to exercise civilian oversight over the Police Service; to give strategic advice to the Minister in respect of developing and implementing policies; to provide administrative support services to the Minister; to ensure South Africa’s engagement with regard to relevant international obligations; to liaise and communicate with stakeholders; to implement a partnership strategy to mobilise role-players and stakeholders; to implement, promote and align the operations and functions of the national and provincial secretariats; to promote co-operation between the secretariat, the Police Service and the directorate, that is the Independent Complaints Directorate, ICD, or Independent Police Investigative Directorate, IPID; to provide guidance to community police fora and associated structures and to facilitate their proper functioning; and to provide for the establishment, composition and functions of a senior management forum and ministerial executive committee.
Lo Mthethosivivinywa unika uNgqongqoshe woMnyango wamaPhoyisa, esebenzisa imithetho yabasebenzi, amandla okubeka owesilisa noma owesifazane ukuba abe ngunobhala isikhathi esiyiminyaka emihlanu, ingavuselelwa kanye, ukuze aphinde aqhubeke aphathe eminye iminyaka emihlanu. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[This Bill gives the Minister of Police, through the use of labour laws, the power to appoint a male or a female as secretary for a period of five years, which can be renewed for another term so that he or she can continue for another five years.]
It is the secretary who is ultimately responsible and accountable for all that happens in that office at national level.
Lo Mthethosivivinywa uphinde unike uNgqongqoshe woMnyango wamaPhoyisa amandla okuba asuse unobhala uma engaziphathi kahle, ngenxa yesimo sempilo engeyinhle noma ukuhluleka ukwenza umsebenzi ngokufanele. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[This Bill also gives the Minister of Police the power to remove the secretary if he or she does not conduct himself or herself well, because of ill health, or because of incompetence.]
The secretary is obligated to submit quarterly reports to the Minister and the parliamentary committees responsible for policing on the activities of his or her office. As with all departments, organisations and entities, the secretary shall prepare and submit to the Minister an annual report which the Minister will table in Parliament.
The Bill provides for transitional arrangements and further repeals section 2 of the South African Police Service Act, Act 68 of 1995, and amends section 1 of the SAPS Act, and section 1 of the Firearms Control Act, Act 60 of 2000.
As I conclude, I want to say that our vision is derived from the Freedom Charter, which proclaimed in 1955 that there shall be peace and friendship. This was against the backdrop of an apartheid state and security system which undermined the human dignity and the rights of our people, and simultaneously promoted war, not only in the country, but in the region and on the continent as well.
In building on this vision of the Freedom Charter, the ANC declared at the 1997 Mafikeng national conference that its vision was to create structures of civilian oversight, at local and national levels, to ensure that the SA Police Service became accountable to the civilian authority through the establishment of a civilian secretariat, the community policing forums, and others. This resolution was taken in order to promote democratic accountability, transparency and openness within the SA Police Service. Police members in possession of such powers need close monitoring and oversight by different organisations, and the civilian secretariat is one of them.
The Bill provides the Ministry of Police, the Secretariat of Police and the SAPS with yet more effective ammunition in the fight against crime. It remains our firm belief that we have to do everything we can and that is possible to ensure that crime is fought and that people are and feel safe. As Parliament, the executive, the judiciary and South Africans, we are up to the task and capable of addressing the crime-related challenges that lie ahead.
Together we are turning the tide against crime and criminals. Working together, we are winning the war. Let me thank the Secretary of Police, Ms Jenni, the state law advisers and all organisations and individuals who made written and/or oral submissions to Parliament on this Bill. They all assisted the committee in the processing of this Bill.
Ningadinwa nangomuso. [Please do it again in the future.]
Hon Chairperson, I present to the House the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill of 2010. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs D A SCHÄFER: Mr Chairperson, in passing this Bill we will not be creating a new entity, but rather re-establishing an existing one as a separate entity in terms of its own legislation, and not as a subsection in the South African Police Service Act.
In doing so, more credibility is given to the police secretariat, as a civilian oversight entity independent of the police. The Bill gives more clarity with regard to the objects and functions of the secretariat and extends its functions in several important respects.
It provides for the secretariat to have its own budget, and to provide for its establishment at national and provincial levels as an effective and efficient organ of state. It also provides for close co-operation between the secretariat and the soon-to-be Independent Police Investigative Directorate, or IPID, currently known as the Independent Complaints Directorate, ICD, as well as provincial secretariats and provincial police heads.
Importantly, this Bill also makes provision for the monitoring of police action and for ensuring that the SAPS puts in place effective systems for the reporting and resolution of complaints from the public.
Whilst this legislation is a step in the right direction, we need to keep in mind that the enactment of legislation alone is not going to suddenly create a body that is a well-oiled piece of machinery. No matter what the legislation says, if you do not have the right people in the right positions to give effect to this legislation, then it will mean nothing.
In this connection, one could be forgiven for not even knowing there was the Secretariat for Safety and Security until about a year ago when a new police secretariat was appointed. Until that point, the secretariat was probably one of the most dysfunctional bodies we had, frittering away money on izimbizo and activities of which we were largely unaware, as they did not file many reports either.
In my budget speech in 2009, I highlighted the fact that the department had a total staff of 37. Of these, four were directors, at a salary of R2,5 million per annum each. We had four deputy directors, at just under R1,4 million each; three assistant directors, at just under R700 000 each; and another five assistant directors, at just under R900 000 each. Thus, a total of 43% of the staff were directors. This veritable array of extremely well-paid directors managed to meet five out of their 19 performance targets for the previous financial year.
We are very pleased to see a huge improvement in the functioning of this department since then. If this continues, then this legislation will assist them in ensuring that they play the vital role of civilian oversight of the police, as envisaged in section 208 of the Constitution.
We have been concerned for a very long time that the recommendations of the ICD have not been enforced by the SAPS and that there was no legislation compelling them to do so. The recent Independent Police Investigative Directorate Bill that was approved by this House will change that and strengthen the ICD’s powers. But their recommendations will be even further strengthened by this Bill, which provides for the secretary to receive reports from the executive director of IPID regarding recommendations they have made as a result of their investigations.
The secretariat must then monitor the implementation by the Police Service of the recommendations made by the directorate and provide the Minister with regular reports on steps taken to ensure their compliance. Thus, if the SAPS does not implement the IPID’s recommendations, the Minister is accountable. This is a huge step forward in terms of police accountability, and we welcome it.
One of the other most significant changes in the functions of the secretariat is that it will now take over the responsibility of monitoring the police’s compliance, or rather lack thereof, with the Domestic Violence Act. This was previously the responsibility of the ICD, which performed rather dismally in that regard.
The initial IPID Bill purported to repeal the whole of section 18 of the Domestic Violence Act, causing a justified outcry from NGOs working with victims of domestic violence. However, this has now been remedied, and it just provides for the secretariat to take over the responsibilities which were previously those of the ICD.
Once again, legislation can only be effective if the correct people are in place and also the necessary resources. I trust that the Secretary of Police realises the huge task that this is going to be. The report of the ICD in 2008 showed that approximately 65% of police stations fail to comply with the Domestic Violence Act. The DA registered our concerns at the time.
We had to reiterate those concerns in 2009, when a report from the Auditor-General documented chronic failure in terms of adequately reporting domestic violence incidents at police stations in eight of the nine provinces. The report even highlighted, in some instances, 75% failure rates in recording domestic violence incidents in occurrence books. This obviously affects the crime statistics and makes it difficult to gauge the true extent of the problem.
Our oversight visits in the last year have shown that, to this day, many police officers show scant regard for the Domestic Violence Act, and that they regard it as an inconvenience in their busy life of real policing. The fact that after 10 years of the Act being in force there is still a provision in the Domestic Violence Act allowing for police officers to apply for exemption from being charged with misconduct if they fail to comply with it, is a travesty of justice. The secretary has undertaken in our committee to review at the entire Act, and this clause in particular, and we will hold her to that.
Finally, Mr Speaker, I need to engage in a spot of self–indulgence, as this is the last time I will speak in this House as a member of the Portfolio Committee on Police.
As a new Member of Parliament, I can think of no nicer committee to have served on. From the start, we have worked together well and extremely hard, and in such a way that I have been inspired that there is hope for service delivery from the police in this country.
To all the members who have taught me so much so quickly, a very big thank you. But special thanks must go to the hon Chikunga, our chairperson. She is a slave-driver of note, but she works just as hard herself, if not harder. Her unfailing commitment to sorting out the Police Service is to be commended, as well as her very strong, yet very human nature.
Thank you for everything. It has been a privilege to serve on your committee. The DA will support this Bill. [Applause.]
Mr M E GEORGE: Hon Chair, the South African Constitution requires in section 208 for the civilian secretariat to function under the direction of the Minister. It is designated as a department at the national level in its own right with its own budget. The secretary will be the accounting officer from now onwards.
It is worth taking a moment to underscore clause 4(4) of the Bill which reads:
The Civilian Secretariat ... must exercise its powers and perform its functions without fear, favour or prejudice in the interest of maintaining effective and efficient policing and a high standard of professional ethics in the police service.
This provision, read in conjunction with clause 4(6) in the Bill, provides that the secretariat will obtain its budget from money appropriated by Parliament, giving the secretariat the autonomy to function independently of the police.
This is indeed a very healthy development. The only question that we have is whether this autonomy will last. A few years ago, we were all very excited about the creation of the Scorpions, but it was too good to last. If the civilian secretariat functions too well, it may also be disbanded, not because it does not answer the needs of South Africans, but because it does not suit the ruling party.
The civilian secretariat is mandated in this Bill to give strategic advice to the Minister in respect of developing and implementing policies. I believe that the Minister is duty-bound to report to Parliament as to what he makes of the strategic advice he is given. While it will be his right to take advice or decline it, we will need to know because it is our function to exercise oversight over the Minister.
The fact that this Bill requires in clause 6(2)(a)(1) for the civilian secretariat to conduct research into policing matters and to establish competencies means that the Minister will be getting advice on the basis of research.
The creation of the resource information centre is very welcome. Just as welcome, is the fact that the civilian secretariat must conduct quality assessment of the Police Service, identify problem areas for early interventions and help develop best practice models.
For South Africans who are punch-drunk from being attacked by criminals, it is important that the civilian secretariat continues to recommend steps for improved service delivery and police effectiveness. If this is done satisfactorily, the public will endorse the secretariat.
If this fails, the public will have nowhere else to turn. So, the secretariat is one of the important structures in our country. I see my time has expired, Chair. What I want to say, which must be addressed by the Minister, is that, funds permitting, the secretariat must be given more powers, especially in the provinces. At the moment, there are limits. Cope will support the Bill. Thank you very much. [Time expired.]
Mr R N CEBEKHULU: Chairperson, firstly, I must state that I am not a member of this portfolio committee. The IFP’s member of the committee is Mr V B Ndlovu, but I am standing in on his behalf and on behalf of the IFP. The party supports this Bill.
The Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill is another landmark Bill that seeks to entrench and enhance the supervision and oversight of our Police Service. Our constitutional dispensation demands that the civilian secretariat be established and, therefore, this Bill is an imperative within our democracy.
The Police Service is not autonomous or above the law and must be held to account for any actions which go beyond the limits of reasonable law enforcement.
The controversial “shoot-to-kill” comments made by senior police personnel must not be allowed to engender a culture within the Police Service which sees police officers placing themselves above the law.
Corruption, which is currently rife at many of our police stations, must also be addressed and stamped out as a matter of urgency, and the establishment of the civilian secretariat will assist in this regard by adding more muscle to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
In addition, the civilian secretariat has the very important role of advising and supporting the Minister of Police in the exercise of his powers and functions, and with seasoned professionals assuming the seats of the secretariat’s three chief directors, we expect an overall improvement in policing services within South Africa. The IFP fully supports the Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Rev K R J MESHOE: Chairperson, the ACDP supports this Bill, as the secretariat will function independently of the Police Service and report directly to the Minister. This is unlike the current Secretariat for Safety and Security, which is regulated in terms of the South African Police Service Act, the Saps Act.
As one of the functions of the civilian secretariat is to monitor the performance of the Police Service, I hereby request that the performance of the police at the Hillbrow Police Station be prioritised and, specifically, that the secretariat looks at the way the police deal with drug trafficking in the area. The secretariat should also review the policy that restricts police officers’ responsibilities to their prescribed areas of jurisdiction.
The ACDP believes that the police should be empowered to arrest criminals throughout the country so that they do not have a place to hide. What is reported to have happened in Hillbrow a few days ago, where Hillbrow police officers arrested police officers from Johannesburg while they were trying to arrest drug dealers is totally unacceptable and should not be allowed to happen again.
The Police Service should co-operate in order to stamp out crime throughout the country. I thank you.
Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter, ek wil vir die agb Chikunga sê dat Mafekeng ‘n bietjie lank gelede was. Die ANC behoort nie so te sukkel om wetgewing deur te kry nie. Dis al bietjie langer as tien jaar.
Agb Voorsitter, die VF Plus ondersteun hierdie wetgewing en die wetsontwerp, maar ek wil vir die agb Minister sê dat dit een ding is om iets in die Wetboek te hê, maar dat dit ’n ander ding is as dit by die praktyk kom. Kom ons vat die aspek wat lui dat die sekretariaat die agb Minister sal adviseer. Ek wil egter vir die agb Minister sê dat daardie advies eers werklik kragtig sal word as hy daardie advies volg. Ek wil ongelukkig vir die agb Minister sê dat, as ek so in die algemeen kyk, dit nie altyd lyk of die agb Minister na die advies luister nie.
So, ek wil ’n beroep op die agb Minister doen. As hy die advies kry, moet hy daardie advies volg, want die advies is gewoonlik om die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens te verbeter. Dan sal hierdie wetsontwerp ’n groot sukses wees. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)
[Mr P J GROENEWALD: Hon Chairperson, I want to tell the hon Chikunga that it has been a while since Mafekeng. The ANC should not be struggling like this to get a piece of legislation accepted. It is a tad longer than ten years already.
Hon Chairperson, the FF Plus supports this legislation and this Bill, but I want to tell the hon Minister that it is one thing to place something on the Statute Book, but that it is quite different when it comes to the practice of implementation. Let us take the aspect that says that the secretariat will advise the hon Minister. I, however, want to tell the hon Minister that this advice will really only be powerful if he follows it. Unfortunately I have to tell the hon Minister that, from a general perspective, it does not always seem as if the hon Minister is listening to this advice.
I therefore want to make an appeal to the hon Minister. If he receives advice he has to follow that advice, because the advice is usually intended to improve the South African Police Service. Then this Bill will be a huge success. I thank you.]
Mrs I C DITSHETELO: Chair, this Bill is obviously long overdue, since the South African Police Service Act predates the Constitution. For that reason it is much appreciated. Civilian oversight is an inherent feature most especially of the Police Service.
The foresight to have the secretariat reporting directly to the Minister is a wise decision. We look forward to a Police Service that is accountable to its civilians for its actions and hope that the secretariat will be fearless in executing its evaluation and monitoring role over the Police Service. The UCDP accepts the Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr G D SCHNEEMANN: Chairperson, the ANC’s 2009 election manifesto was very clear about its intentions in the fight against crime and corruption, and listed this as one of its five priority areas for the period through to 2014. It said the following, and I want to quote the following two paragraphs: firstly, “our fight against crime will be a key priority to ensure safer and more secure communities”; and, secondly, “crime is a major national challenge, and the fight against crime and corruption needs to be stepped up”.
The Bill which we are debating today helps strengthen the fight against crime through the creation of a truly independent civilian secretariat. Currently, the secretariat is regulated in terms of the South African Police Service Act. Section 2 of Act 68 of 1995 will therefore be repealed. To further enhance its independence, the civilian secretariat will be financed from monies appropriated by Parliament.
The civilian secretariat will play an important role in monitoring the performance of the SA Police Service and the utilisation of the budget by the Police Service.
Each province, through the MEC, will be required to constitute a provincial secretariat. Until now, this has not been a requirement; it has been a choice of provinces. And, in fact, at the moment, only two provincial secretariats exist. This Bill requires that a provincial secretariat be established in every province within 18 months of the enactment of this Act.
The Bill states that the head of the provincial secretariat may not be a member or a former member of the SA Police Service. The reason for this is to further strengthen the independence of the provincial secretariats - the same as for the civilian secretariat.
The term of office of a provincial secretariat is five years, which may be renewed for one additional term only. The functions of the provincial secretariats include the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of policing polices and the evaluation and monitoring of police conduct in each province. The provincial secretariats will be required to submit reports to the MECs, the heads of the provincial departments and the secretaries.
Although the provincial secretariats are appointed by the relevant MECs, in consultation with the Minister of Police, they are not independent institutions. They are required to work closely with the secretaries and meet on a quarterly basis and ensure that there is alignment between the provincial secretariats and the secretary in terms of annual strategic and performance plans.
They also need to discuss the performance of the police in the provinces to identify best practices, detect any failures and recommend steps to be taken to prevent or correct such failures. Where a provincial secretariat is not able to perform its functions properly or cannot fulfil its obligations in terms of the Bill, the Minister, after consultation with the relevant MEC, may instruct the civilian secretariat to intervene in the affairs of a provincial secretariat. These measures will help to ensure that we don’t allow a situation to develop in which provincial secretariats become dysfunctional and there is no mechanism for intervention.
One of the important aspects of this Bill is that it ensures co-operation between the civilian secretariat and the recently passed Independent Police Investigative Directorate Bill, IPID. In particular, the civilian secretariat will be responsible for monitoring the implementation by the SA Police Service of recommendations which are made by IPID. It will have to provide the Minister with regular reports on the steps taken by the SAPS to ensure compliance. For the first time we will have a situation in which recommendations of IPID, or the directorate of the SAPS, are monitored, but, more importantly, the SAPS will now be held accountable. We expect the SA Police Service to provide full co-operation in this regard.
Furthermore, the Bill requires that the SA Police Service provides its full co-operation to the civilian secretariat and, where required, to the provincial secretariats. This includes providing the civilian secretariat with the information it will need to be able to effectively perform its oversight function of the SA Police Service, as required in this Bill. The SAPS will also be required to provide the civilian secretariat with the necessary information and support so that it can monitor and evaluate the compliance of the SAPS with the Domestic Violence Act of 1998. This is a new function which is being allocated to the civilian secretariat. Until now, this has been a function that was performed by the Independent Complaints Directorate.
Placing the Domestic Violence Act under the watch of the civilian secretariat will ensure that greater importance is placed on compliance by the SAPS with regard to section 18 of the Domestic Violence Act.
We wish the soon-to-be-established civilian secretariat for the Police Service well in its work. The ANC’s manifesto says that by working together we can do more. Therefore, by working together, the civilian secretariat, the SA Police Service and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate can do more to bring about a Police Service that is efficient, effective and free of corruption.
As I conclude, I would like to bid farewell to the hon Debbie Schäfer, who has played a very constructive and, I think, important role in the work and deliberations of the Portfolio Committee on Police since she came to Parliament last year. I think it’s a great pity that the leadership of the DA has decided to move her elsewhere. But maybe they need her capabilities in another portfolio committee. I just want to say that I have always found it strange that as soon as a member of the DA starts to perform well, constructively and effectively, the DA suddenly moves them away. [Interjections.]
As I conclude, perhaps I could also say to Premier Helen Zille of the Western Cape that she said that she didn’t have many women to choose from to fill positions in her provincial executive, but I want to say that I think hon Debbie Schäfer would have been an ideal candidate to have in your provincial executive. [Applause.] Chairperson, thanks very much. The ANC supports this Bill. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Chairperson, this debate underpins a very fundamental point which I think we need to note, that when we talk about policing in South Africa, we still talk about community policing. That’s the orientation, that’s the philosophical outlook, and we are committed to that.
I will take advice, hon Groenewald, if it is sound advice. I can promise you that. If I see that the advice is not going to help, I don’t think I’m going to agree and take that advice. Thanks for your point. I take your point.
Tshangisa, ngiyakuzwa baba, kulokhu okushoyo. [Tshangisa, I understand what you are saying.]
We have emphasised the point of strengthening the secretariats in the provinces. Regarding what the Rev Meshoe raised, I want to say that Gauteng has a new police commissioner, Lieutenant ...
... uzokhwela phezu kwakhe ... [ ... he will deal with him ...]
... because he must respond to some of these things but, beyond that, policy matters will be taken care of, as we raised earlier with you.
Nongalo, u “Shoot to Kill” – usehambile, oh nanguya akakahambi- cha awukho u “Shoot to Kill” Baba, yinto yamaphepha le, ungabalaleli laba bantu bakhuluma kakhulu; ngakho-ke ungahambi nabo. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[Nongalo, the hon member who spoke about “Shoot to Kill”” has gone - oh, there he is. There is no instruction such as “Shoot to Kill”, hon member. That is something to do with the media. Do not listen to the media because they are talkative, so do not believe them.]
We do not have that; there is no such policy as “Shoot to Kill”. In conclusion, thank you members of the portfolio committee. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Bill read a second time.
TRANSPORT LAWS REPEAL BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, colleagues, Members of Parliament, the SA Law Reform Commission is mandated to revise the South African Statute Book and to identify and recommend for repeal or amendment laws that are inconsistent with the equality clause in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
The SPEAKER: Order! Order, hon members! Order please. Continue, Minister.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: In this regard, the commission conducted research and established that there were 2 800 Acts on the Statute Book and that 218 of these were administered by the Department of Transport. Of the 218 pieces of legislation identified as being statutes administered by the Department of Transport, the commission and the department identified 63 Acts that may be repealed wholly, and 19 Acts that may be partially repealed.
The Bill’s first schedule seeks to repeal some railway construction Acts dating back to 1939. These Acts authorised the construction and equipment of railway lines at certain places in the country. Having achieved the purpose for which they were enacted, these Acts are now spent and can be repealed.
Schedule 2 seeks to repeal Acts that no longer serve any purpose, for example the Railways and Harbours Strike and Service Amendment Act of 1914. For example, section 15 is the only remaining provision of the Railway Expropriation Act of 1995, the other provisions having been repealed over the years. The application of section 15 depends on the existence of a provision in another Act, and that Act itself has been repealed. Thus, section 15 can no longer be applied and the Acts in question can be repealed.
The Portfolio Committee on Transport and the relevant stakeholders discussed further Acts listed in Schedule 1 of the Bill and approved 47 of those Acts as legislation that needed to be repealed totally.
Within Schedule 2 provisions that stand to be repealed have either become obsolete or will become obsolete since the legislation they refer to stands to be repealed by virtue of Schedule 1. For example, the application of section 1 of the Railways and Harbours Service and Superannuation Fund Acts Amendment Act of 1930, which stands to be replaced, is dependent on a provision in another Act. Since that Act has already been repealed, the said section serves no purpose and can be repealed.
Furthermore, the Portfolio Committee on Transport, having discussed this Bill with the department and relevant stakeholders, has approved 14 Acts in Schedule 2. These fall into the category of those Acts that need to be repealed to a certain extent.
The Bill was published for comment in the Government Gazette in February 2009. Comments were received from Transnet, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA and the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser.
The state law advisers and the Department of Transport are of the opinion that this Bill must therefore be dealt with in accordance with the procedure established by section 75 of the Constitution. This is because it contains no provisions to which the procedure set out in section 74 or 76 of the Constitution applies.
Hon Chair, we therefore request that this House pass this Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms N R BHENGU: Mr Chairperson, hon members, the Portfolio Committee on Transport processed the Transport Laws Repeal Bill. All political parties who are active in the Portfolio Committee on Transport adopted the Bill with no reservations.
The Department of Transport came to brief the Portfolio Committee on Transport on what this Bill sought to achieve. At the first briefing to the Portfolio Committee on Transport, the department came unprepared and presented the Portfolio Committee on Transport with a list of the transport laws that this Bill would repeal without outlining the provisions of such laws.
The Portfolio Committee on Transport found the failure to provide the provisions of the said Acts by the officials of the department unacceptable. This would have meant that members of the Portfolio Committee on Transport was expected by the Department of Transport to discuss the repealing of transport laws, the provisions of which the members would have had no understanding of as some of these transport laws were passed by previous parliaments and most of them during the apartheid era.
We commend the officials from the department who accepted this weakness and committed to presenting to the Portfolio Committee on Transport the provisions of the laws that this Bill seeks to repeal. That process was followed by public hearings. We received only two submissions on the Bill and held public hearings on them.
Transnet submitted that Parliament should not repeal the following Acts: the Railway Construction Act, Act 57 of 1961; the Second Railway Construction Act, Act 58 of 1963; the Railway Construction Act, Act 5 of 1965; and the Railway Construction Act, Act 17 of 1966. Transnet argued that all these Acts referred to agreements concluded between the government of the Republic of South Africa and its Railways and Harbours Administration, hereinafter called “the Administration”.
The said Acts specifically empowered “the Administration” to give effect to the respective agreements, a right that was ultimately transferred to Transnet in terms of the Legal Succession to the South African Transport Services Act, Act 9 of 1989.
All these agreements confer disposing rights on “the Administration” in respect of the railway line that is the subject of the Act in question. These disposing rights still appear to be in existence and their duration may be summarised as follows: the Railway Construction Act, Act 57 of 1961, expires in 2012; the Second Railway Construction Act, Act 58 of 1963, expires in 2013; the Railway Construction Act, Act 5 of 1965, expires in 2015; and the Railway Construction Act, Act 17 of 1966, expires in 2016.
Transnet submitted that the repeal of the four above-mentioned Acts should be delayed until the right in question has expired. The committee acceded to Transnet’s submission.
A second submission was made by a member of the public from Melmoth, Mr Bhekizenzo Ngobese. The Portfolio Committee on Transport commended Mr Ngobese for his courage and viewed him as an example of public participation in lawmaking. Mr Ngobese’s submission was, however, more relevant to efforts to reduce the number of fatal accidents and the congestion of roads through speed limits.
The Portfolio Committee on Transport then resolved to defer the discussion on Mr Ngobese’s submission to a time when the committee would engage in discussions on fatal accidents and the congestion of roads. The Portfolio Committee on Transport adopted the Bill.
We recommend that the House pass the Transport Laws Repeal Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S B FARROW: Chair, as the Minister and the portfolio chair so competently explained, the Bill before us repeals some 51 Acts and only certain provisions of 14 Acts that required repealing. The Acts for repeal were identified in terms of the SA Law Commission’s mandate to revise the South African Statute Book with a view to recommending, in conjunction with the Department of Transport, for repeal or amendment those Acts or provisions of Acts that are inconsistent with the equality clause in the Constitution, and are either redundant or obsolete. Many of these old laws had connotations of the old apartheid regime and were identified as no longer having legal effect.
The task could not have been all that easy considering that the Acts go back to 1914 - actually, Minister, not 1936 - and are not always readily available through electronic media. In many cases the old Acts had to be sourced from parliamentary archives. The portfolio committee, to a certain degree, had similar problems, because “taking the word” of officials and the state law advisers for some of the Acts was clearly not the correct way of doing diligent oversight. But, needless to say, we managed to work our way through them.
Coupled to this was the limited response to the public hearings. The portfolio committee chair mentioned that there was only one or two people that came forward for comment since the Bill was gazetted some months previously. The only real comments of any note came from Transnet. Their subsequent interaction with the portfolio committee, as was mentioned, led to four Railway Construction Acts previously being considered for repeal, being excluded in this current Bill. The reason for their exclusion was that these Acts still have disposing rights for a varying period ranging from 2011 to 2016.
Under the circumstances, it was decided that these Acts should, therefore, run their course and as they expired we would repeal them. It was interesting to note that many of the removed Acts had supply links to manufacturers that are still in existence today, such as the Highveld steel company. One’s mind cannot but think of what connection and the real purpose of those Acts were, way back then in the height of apartheid in 1960. But, more importantly, who benefited from these laws.
Repealing Acts of this nature does have its benefits as it requires one to go into the Acts, and to assess their merits in retaining anything in them or not. This is a bit like ensuring that one doesn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Fortunately, though, many of our current transport laws have an overarching effect which ensures a certain amount of safeguards to prevent any intended gaps occurring.
Whilst I have the podium I want to say that one of the concerns the DA has is that we may be doing away with Acts which could in many ways help, as they do, in administering our transport better. For instance, one of our Acts, which was previously repealed, could ensure better control and movement of goods now going by rail. Although this specific Act does not appear in this repeal Bill, our research now suggests that we should consider this Act. To this end, the DA will be submitting a Private Member’s Bill to reintroduce applicable - and I point and stress applicable - provisions in the Road Transportation Act, Act 74 of 1977. This is to once more control and regulate the movement of certain goods by road with a view to ensuring that where parallel rail services exist these goods will in future be transported by rail.
The impact of the movement of heavy freight such as coal, iron ore, steel, timber and similar bulk products by road, has had a devastating effect on our roads, and the time has come for this practice to be properly policed. We are not saying that we want to introduce the authoritarian and dictatorial practices of the past through the old railway police, but certain provisions in this Act did help in the preservation of our road network by ensuring that road freighters first had to pass the scrutiny of a transport board and have a permit issued only if they met certain criteria. The DA has, in previous debates, actually mentioned to the Minister and his predecessors to introduce such a Bill or even a regulation for certain goods to go by rail, but so far that has fallen on deaf ears.
I trust that support will be given for this initiative when this Private Member’s Bill is introduced in Parliament. This aside, the DA supports the Transport Laws Repeal Bill and can’t wait to see the end of that. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr P D MBHELE: House Chair, if a department that is supposed to be administering Acts of Parliament doesn’t quite know how many such Acts are in force, then what about us in Parliament who are supposed to conduct oversight?
Members of this House, I understand, have never been given a full list of Acts administered by different departments. This defect needs to be remedied and the Speaker should order all departments to oblige, otherwise we will be operating in the dark. The Transport Laws Repeal Bill reveals to us why this is so important.
As Parliament, we are forever engaged in making new laws because changing circumstances overtake laws that were made in the past. Yet we allow laws that are spent or have no practical utility or legal effect to stay on. Inasmuch as we make laws, we should, on a regular basis, repeal laws that are spent or laws that impede our society from making progress.
Laws are good when they are current and progressive. Laws are bad when they hark back to a previous time and previous order, and stand in the way of change and innovations. Who knows what greater progress we could have made if we had only removed laws that are now obstacles in the path of progress? The Department of Transport must, therefore, be commended for its spring-cleaning and removal from the Statute Book of laws which are ghosts from the past. We also need to be doing our own ghost busting.
According to the SA Law Commission, South Africa has 2 800 Acts on its Statute Book. The Department of Transport was supposed to be administering 218 of these Acts. However, 51 of these 218 Acts, which is a staggering 23,5%, will now be repealed after today. That is an alarming statistic. What if every department is sitting with laws, 20% of which are obsolete? On top of that, another 14 Acts will be pruned, with certain provisions in them being excised. The slimmer versions will make these laws more modern.
This exercise should be an eye-opener to all of us. There is a lot of clutter on our Statute Book that must be removed. We have made a beginning, and Cope requests that a full-scale cleanup in all departments be made. I wish to submit that 2 000 Acts of Parliament will certainly be far better than 2 800. The fact that 16 years have passed since the birth of our democracy must indicate to us the urgency of properly cleaning up our laws. There are also many ordinances in the provincial legislatures that continue to live when they should have been remade into Acts of provincial parliaments long ago. The Land Use Planning Ordinance, Lupo, is one such ordinance.
A huge nightmare for our democracy, however, lies in the regulations that accompany Acts of Parliament. While the cleaning up of the statutes is a big step in the right direction, the regulations should never be left in limbo. For ordinary citizens, it is the obscure regulations which are the bane of their lives.
It is interesting to note that certain Acts have had a 50-year lifespan and are being left out of the process we are engaged in to run their course within the next six years. While this is perhaps the best option, all things considered, government needs to be proactive in determining whether any loopholes will arise come 2016 that would be detrimental to the state, and take timely action.
The handover should be thoroughly prepared for, and also to prevent there being any loopholes that would enable departmental officials to defraud the state through collusion. Cope will, however, support the Transport Laws Repeal Bill. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr E J LUCAS: Chairperson, the IFP understands that the Transport Laws Repeal Bill urgently requires simplification. In addition, all obsolete and extremely primitive legislation also requires eradication. For instance, there are currently 20 Railway Construction Acts which allow for the construction of equipment at various places within our country. These laws are often outdated and we believe that the industry must be broadened in order for the greater part of our country to benefit. It is as necessary as a dental root-canal procedure, but will hopefully be less painful.
The Bill seeks to repeal legislation which has been identified by the SA Law Reform Commission as being inconsistent with the equality clause in the Constitution or as being redundant and obsolete. I am sure we all agree that legislation which is no longer of any practical import and utility has no place in effective governance. Legislation which continues to have legal effect even when the purpose for which it was enacted no longer exists, or is being met by alternative means, must likewise be repealed.
Our rail system is in urgent need of modernisation. The IFP believes that this is the most opportune time to consider wide-gauge railway lines, as well as the manufacture of commuter-friendly coaches. In conclusion, the IFP, therefore, supports the culling of all unnecessary, obsolete and redundant laws because they impact negatively upon service delivery. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, Chairperson, and thank you hon members and members of the Portfolio Committee on Transport. I thank you for the co-operative and constructive way in which we work. Thank you for the comments. We also thank the members for supporting this Bill, and it shall be dealt with accordingly.
Of course, we will be bringing forward other obsolete Acts that need to be repealed that we still have on our Statute Book, such as the legislation on the transportation of coloured people and so forth. Those Acts are still going to be brought before this House. I thank you. [Applause.]
Bill read a second time.
The House adjourned at 17:06.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
FRIDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2010
1. Referral to Committees of papers tabled
(1) The following paper is referred to the Committee on the Auditor-General for consideration and report. The report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information is referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Office of the Auditor-General for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP229-2010].
(2) The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Tourism for consideration and report. The reports of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information are referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 25 – Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP181-2010].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of South African Tourism for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10.
(3) The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Labour for consideration and report. The reports of the Independent Auditors and the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information are referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Department of Labour – Vote No 15 for 2009‑10, including the Reports of the Auditor-General on the 2009‑10 Financial Statements and Performance Information of Vote No 15, the Sheltered Employment Factories and the National Skills Fund [RP129-2010].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2009‑10.
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP84-2010].
(d) Report and Financial Statements of the Compensation Fund for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10.
(e) Report and Financial Statements of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP134-2010].
(f) Report and Financial Statements of Productivity SA for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP132-2010].
(4) The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises for consideration and report. The reports of the Independent Auditors and the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information are referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Department of Public Enterprises for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP201-2010].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of Denel (Proprietary) Limited for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10.
(5) The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development for consideration and report. The reports of the Auditor‑General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information are referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP167-2010].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the Public Protector South Africa for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP212-2010].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP 220-2010].
(6) The following papers are referred to the Standing Committee on Finance for consideration and report. The reports of the Independent Auditors and Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information are referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) for 2009-10, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009-10, and the Report and Financial Statements of the DBSA Development Fund for 2009-10, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10.
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP73-2010].
(7) The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology for consideration and report. The report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information is referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP194-2010].
(8) The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education for consideration and report. The reports of the Auditor-General and Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information are referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training - Umalusi - for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10.
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the Education Labour Relations Council for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information of the Transformation Fund of the Education Labour Relations Council for 2009‑10.
(c) Report and Financial Statements of Vote No 13 – Department of Education for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP93-2010].
(9) The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs for consideration and report. The reports of the Auditor‑General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information are referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote No 25 – Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP181-2010].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10.
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the South African National Biodiversity Institute for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10.
(d) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Weather Service for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP121-2010].
(e) Report and Financial Statements of the South African National Parks (SANparks) for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10 [RP208-2010].
(f) Report and Financial Statements of the Marine Living Resources Fund (MLRF) for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009‑10.
(10) The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training for consideration and report. The report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information are referred to the Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote No 13 – Department of Education for 2009‑10, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information 2009‑10 [RP93-2010].
(11) The following paper is referred to the Standing Committee on Finance for consideration and to the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interest:
(a) Public Protector Report No 20 of 2010-11 on an investigation conducted in terms of section 3(1) and 4(1) of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, 1998 (No 82 of 1998), the President’s comments thereon and action taken in regard to the report’s recommendations.
(12) The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises for consideration and to the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interest:
(a) Public Protector Report No 19 of 2010-11 on an investigation conducted in terms of section 3(1) and 4(1) of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, 1998 (No 82 of 1998), the President’s comments thereon and action taken in regard to the report’s recommendations.
(13) The following paper is referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Defence for consideration and to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans:
(a) Letter from the President of the Republic, dated 7 July 2010, to the Speaker of the National Assembly, informing members of the Assembly of the extension of the employment of the SA National Defence Force for service in fulfillment of the international obligations of the Republic of South Africa towards the Democratic Republic of Congo.
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Police
(a) The Report of the Independent Complaints Directorate on Domestic Violence for the period July – December 2009, tabled in terms of section 18(5)(c) of the Domestic Violence Act, 1998 (Act No 116 of 1998).
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Energy on the Amendments to Articles VI and XIV.A of the International Atomic Energy Agency Statute, dated 7 September 2010:
The Portfolio Committee on Energy, having considered the request for the ratification of the Amendments proposed to Articles VI and XIV.A of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Statute, referred to it, recommends that the House, in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, approves the said Amendments.
Request to be considered.
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MONDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2010
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Introduction of Bills
(1) The Minister of Home Affairs
(a) Refugees Amendment Bill [B 30 – 2010] (National Assembly – proposed sec 75) [Explanatory summary of Bill and prior notice of its introduction published in Government Gazette No 33478 of 20 August 2010.]
Introduction and referral to the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs 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 within three parliamentary working days.
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Finance
(a) Report of the Executive Officer of the Financial Services Board on the Road Accident Fund (RAF) for the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2009.
2. The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for 2009-2010, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009-2010 [RP 87-2010].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of Legal Aid South Africa for 2009-2010, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009-2010 [RP 44-2010].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the President’s Fund for 2009-2010, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009-2010 [RP 223-2010].
(d) Proclamation No R. 35 published in Government Gazette No 33425 dated 30 July 2010: Amendment of proclamation, in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No 74 of 1996).
(e) Proclamation No R. 36 published in Government Gazette No 33425 dated 30 July 2010: Referral of matters to existing Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunal, in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No 74 of 1996).
(f) Proclamation No R. 37 published in Government Gazette No 33425 dated 30 July 2010: Referral of matters to existing Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunal, in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No 74 of 1996).
(g) Proclamation No R. 38 published in Government Gazette No 33425 dated 30 July 2010: Referral of matters to existing Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunal, in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No 74 of 1996).
(h) Proclamation No R. 41 published in Government Gazette No 33448 dated 6 August 2010: Commencement of the Jurisdiction of Regional Courts Amendment Act, 2008 (Act No 31 of 2008).
(i) Proclamation No R. 42 published in Government Gazette No 33451 dated 10 August 2010: Referral of matters to existing Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunal, in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No 74 of 1996).
3. The Minister of Trade and Industry
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 32 – Department of Trade and Industry for 2009-2010, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information of Vote 32 for 2009-2010.
4. The Minister of Transport
(a) Report of the Regulating Committee to the Airports Company of South Africa and Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company for 2009-2010.
TUESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2010
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Speaker and the Chairperson
(a) Report of the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) on A Gendered Analysis of Land Reform Policy and Implementation Outcome in South Africa, (2006 – 2008/09) - 5 May 2010 (Final Comprehensive Version).
(b) Report of the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) on A Gendered Review of South Africa’s Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.
2. The Minister of Trade and Industry
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) for 2009-2010, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009-2010 [RP 174-2010].
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training on the Skills Development Levies Amendment Bill [B 25 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 14 September 2010:
The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, having considered the subject of the Skills Development Levies Amendment Bill [B 25 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill without amendments.
2. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training on the Higher Education Laws Amendment Bill [B 24 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 14 September 2010:
The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, having considered the subject of the Higher Education Laws Amendment Bill [B 24 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B 24A – 2010].
3. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training on the Higher Education and Training Laws Amendment Bill [B 26 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 76), dated 14 September 2010:
The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, having considered the subject of the Higher Education and Training Laws Amendment Bill [B 26 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 76), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 76 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B 26A – 2010].
4. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on the Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Bill [B 18 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 8 September 2010:
The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, having considered the subject of the Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Bill [B 18 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B 18A – 2010].
5. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on the South African Citizenship Amendment Bill [B 17 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 7 September 2010:
The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, having considered the subject of the South African Citizenship Amendment Bill [B 17 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B 17A – 2010].
6. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the Magistrates’ Courts Amendment Bill [B 23 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 14 September 2010:
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the subject of the Magistrates’ Courts Amendment Bill [B 23 – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75), referred to it, and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with an amendment [B 23A - 2010].
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