Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 11 Nov 2010
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2010
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:03.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
NOTICES OF MOTION
Dr S M VAN DYK: Agb Speaker, ek gee hiermee kennis dat ek op die volgende sittingsdag namens die DA sal voorstel:
Dat die Huis ’n debat voer oor Eskom se vermoë om volhoubare elektrisiteit te voorsien om aan die aanvraag in Suid-Afrika te voldoen en redes waarom onafhanklike elektrisiteitsverskaffers te?sinnig is om dié mark te betree.
(Translation of Afrikaans notice of motion follows.)
[Dr S M VAN DYK: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates Eskom’s ability to supply sustainable electricity to meet South Africa’s demands and reasons why independent electricity producers are reluctant to enter into this market.]
Mr J B SIBANYONI: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the funding model of Legal Aid South Africa to enable it to attract highly skilled and experienced litigators and provide assistance in civil matters, especially where women and children are affected.
Mr M MNQASELA: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates how service delivery concerns in poor communities are misused by individuals and political parties as an instrument to cause instability in municipalities.
Ms S C N SITHOLE: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates a strategy to encourage private investment to support the development agenda of South Africa. I thank you.
Mr M E GEORGE: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of Cope
That the House debates the necessity for police to substantially increase visibility in fighting rape in our country, especially the intolerable rape of schoolsgirls and children.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ACDP:
That the House debates ways to stop corruption that enables syndicates to infiltrate the offices of the sheriff of the court throughout the country.
Mr A C STEYN: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That this House debates the recruitment and promotion policy of the Department of Correctional Services, with specific reference to the implementation of this policy in the Western Cape, and solutions to improve these policies.
Mrs D R TSOTETSI: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the impact of declaring water a scarce resource to ensure long-term provision of water resources.
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of Cope:
That the House debates the unwarranted victimisation of informal traders by metro police officials in our major cities, especially in the absence of any structured plan to accommodate them.
GREAT PERFORMANCE BY BANYANA BANYANA
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that Banyana Banyana have made it to the semifinals of the CAF African Women's Championship, after their convincing 4-0 win against Mali on Sunday;
(2) congratulates the national women's soccer team on their great performance in the championship;
(3) wishes them well for their semifinal match against Equatorial Guinea this afternoon; and
(4) urges all South Africans to support Banyana Banyana.
COMMEMORATION OF THOSE WHO DIED IN WORLD WAR I
Mr M J ELLIS: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that this day is known as Remembrance Day, to commemorate those who died during World War I;
(2) further notes that this day signifies the official end of the First World War on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918;
(3) recognises the importance of Poppy Day, as it is also known, not only to the nations of the Commonwealth, but also to those who have lost families and friends in armed conflict;
(4) further recognises the significance of the poppy emblem - symbolic not only as an indication of the blood that was spilt, but as the flower that covered the scarred landscape of war-torn Europe in the aftermath of the War;
(5) acknowledges the South African soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the name of our country; and
(6) honours the memory of all those who selflessly fought and valiantly died in the Great War.
WORLD DIABETES DAY 20 DECEMBER
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that on 20 December 2006 the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a landmark resolution recognising diabetes as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease, thereby designating World Diabetes Day as a United Nations Day to be observed every year, starting in 2007;
(2) further notes that the UN resolution makes World Diabetes Day more important than ever and provides the opportunity for a significant increase in the visibility of the campaign and an increase in government and media participation on or around November 14, thus ensuring an even greater reach for awareness-raising activities throughout the diabetes world;
(3) acknowledges that diabetes is fast becoming a silent pandemic with over 300 million people living worldwide with the disease, with many cases remaining undetected; and
(4) supports the creation of public awareness of diabetes, its symptoms and the risks associated with the disease.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF DR JOHAN VAN DER WAT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that a Johannesburg-based doctor, Dr Johan van der Wat, became the first Africa-based practitioner to be appointed to the board of the American Association of Gynaecological Laparoscopists, which is divided into three areas of operation: Europe, Africa and the Middle East, North and South America, Australia and Asia;
(2) further notes that Dr Van der Wat, who specialises in endoscopic surgery and reproductive medicine, flew to Las Vegas on Monday to accept the honour;
(3) congratulates him on receiving this accolade in recognition for his work and for flying the South African flag high; and
(4) wishes him well with his two-year term as a board member of the AAGL.
ESTABLISHMENT OF PARLIAMENTARY MILLENNIUM PROJECT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That the House, subject to the concurrence of the National Council of Provinces -
(1) notes that the Parliamentary Millennium Project was established in 2000 as an initiative that sought to use creative and interactive means to engage South Africans on issues of nation-building and heritage;
(2) further notes that during the Third Parliament the project was tasked with additional responsibilities such as reaching out to marginalised segments of the population, especially women and rural communities;
(3) resolves to replace the Parliamentary Millennium Project and its governance structure with a Committee on Nation-building and Heritage, the committee to -
(a) serve as a consultative mechanism to drive the activist Parliament;
(b) promote the legislature as an instrument of nation-building;
(c) monitor progress with government’s nation-building initiatives and the development of an inclusive South African society based on reconciliation, tolerance and mutual understanding;
(d) monitor efforts to foster a shared South African and African identity;
(e) report and make recommendations on its functions and activities whenever deemed necessary;
(f) exercise those powers granted in Rule 201, but notifying other committees when dealing with matters falling within their respective mandates; and
(g) consist of 9 members from the National Assembly (ANC 5; DA 1; Cope 1; IFP 1; and smaller parties 1); and 5 members from the National Council of Provinces (ANC 3; DA 1; and other parties 1).
BOXING MATCH AT UNIVERSITY OF NORTH WEST
Mr G LEKGETHO (ANC): Hon Speaker, the boxing fraternity thronged the University of North West in Mafikeng to witness the stylish Hlatswayo and Malinga finishing off their opponents with quick-snapped left-right hooks, to mention but a few. During this boxing festivity that took place on Saturday, 30 October 2010, the locals and students filled up the hall in contrast to the previous matches when fans were bussed in from other provinces. This is gratifying, and other sporting codes need to take a cue from this.
I am informed that the three-year contract between the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and Brandco in the province has come to an end, and this needs urgent attention.
Hon Mbalula, sport brings different cultures from afar together. You have a mammoth task, and we believe you can achieve this as our Constitution requires.
I thank you. [Applause.]
NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE SERVICE COMMISSION INTERIM REPORT
Mr D J MAYNIER (DA): Speaker, by now we all know that the hon Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, has refused to hand over the interim report of the National Defence Force Service Commission to this Parliament. One of the many reasons in the Minister’s arsenal of excuses for this was that there was no link between the interim report and the Defence Amendment Bill. The primary objective of the Defence Amendment Bill was to establish a permanent defence force service commission, and the fact is that there is a link between the interim report and the Defence Amendment Bill.
What does one find when one reads the interim report? One finds that the interim report itself recommends the establishment of a national defence force service commission. Several pages of the interim report are devoted to recommendations covering the appointment, terms of reference, functions, staffing, and reporting responsibilities of the proposed defence force service commission.
And here is the real clincher: the interim report itself contains a draft Defence Amendment Bill. How is it possible, therefore, that an interim report which contains a draft Defence Amendment Bill is not linked to the Defence Amendment Bill? The fact is that the Minister has been caught out telling a big political fib to this Parliament. The Minister should now take steps to stop the bleeding, stop the pain, and release the interim report to this Parliament. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Speaker, on a point of order: There is a Rule which says that you cannot attack the integrity of a member of this House without bringing about a substantive motion. Therefore the hon member is totally out of order in making the kind of imputation that he has made.
The SPEAKER: That is correct. There is such a Rule, but I will study the Hansard and come back with a ruling.
Mr G P D MACKENZIE (Cope): Speaker, the President declared war on corruption and the Minister of Finance declared how war on corruption, fraud and maladministration is going to be waged. Minister Chabane and the Interim Ministerial Anti-corruption Committee jumped into action to investigate procurement and tender fraud worth some R25 billion. We support the declaration of war on corruption. What we need now, however, is to see a total onslaught on corruption with results.
A report on the Transnet tender scandal where Siyabonga Gama awarded General Nyanda Security, GNS, Risk Advisory Services a R19 million contract, going up to R55 million in a confined or no-bid tender after cancelling the other contracts must be tabled. All the officials involved in the GNS tender were fired. The state now needs to recover taxpayers’ money from GNS.
A report on the R62 million paid out by Transnet in an out-of-court settlement on a nonexisting agreement to Mthunzi Consortium led by Sandile Zungu over the sale of MTN shares must also be tabled. General Bheki Cele’s role in the irregular tender to the tune of R500 million is another matter in which the House awaits its report.
In February last year, the Auditor-General’s office handed records to the Special Investigating Unit to probe the Bosasa tenders corruption and various contracts. How far has this investigation gone? Thank you. [Time expired.]
INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION OF SUPREME AUDIT INSTITUTIONS
Prof L B G NDABANDABA (ANC): Mr Speaker, the Auditor-General of South Africa, as a supreme audit institution of South Africa, is a member of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, Intosai, which makes it the second largest international organisation in the world after the United Nations.
Every three years, there is a congress known as the International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions, which this year will take place from 22 to 27 November in Sandton, Johannesburg, Gauteng, and in that, approximately 700 delegates will be attending this event from all over the world.
The Intosai motto is: Mutual experience benefits all. The two themes of this congress are as follows: Firstly, the value and benefits of SAIs, aimed at unpacking what a SAI should be doing to make it relevant to society and contribute to constitutional democracy. This includes the need for effective relationships between Parliaments, legislatures and the Supreme Audit Institutions.
Secondly, the environmental Auditing and Sustainable Development, which remains a topical issue in the international arena ... Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
PLIGHT OF WARDERS IN KWAZULU-NATAL
Mr V B NDLOVU (IFP): Mr Speaker, the warders were locked out in Ncome Correctional Services on Tuesday. They were instructed by the head of Correctional Services in KwaZulu-Natal to work a new shift scheduled without them agreeing to do so. There is an ongoing misunderstanding on these new schedules and the shifts between the workers at correctional centres and management. The department, to communicate better with its employees, has to stop causing destruction within the system of work. The department should improve the relationship between itself and its stakeholders, especially the union. Thank you. [Applause.]
RACIAL TENSION CAUSED BY DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE
Mnr P J GROENEWALD (VF PLUS): Agb Speaker, die Adjunkminister van Polisie skep rassespanning en polariseer verhoudings in Suid-Afrika met haar onverantwoordelike uitspraak dat die howe wittes ligter straf as swartes. Sy sê ook dat die Suid-Afrikaanse strafregstelsel rassisties is en daarom onmiddellik verder getransformeer moet word.
Die Adjunkminister sal vinnig moet leer dat veralgemenings altyd verkeerd is. Sy maak geen bydrae tot die debatte en verhoudings in Suid-Afrika deur ’n enkele individuele geval te probeer voorhou as iets wat deurlopend gebeur nie. Sy moet veral daarteen waak om nie deel te word van die veralgemenings teen die boere en hulle praktyke nie. As nuwe Adjunkminister gaan sy nog baie te doen kry met die wreedheid van plaasmoorde wat makliker in so ’n gepolariseerde klimaat plaasvind.
Sonder om die verskillende misdade goed te praat, sou ek graag haar mening wil hê oor die feit dat ’n rugbyspeler R100 000 borg kry in verband met die dood van ’n verkeersman, teenoor die moordenaar van Eugene Terreblanche wat R5 000 borg gekry het. Sy kan selfs die Shaik-geval vir ons vergelyk met die 74-jarige Clive Derby-Lewis se kanker. Sy sal vinnig moet leer dat veralgemenings altyd verkeerd is.
Regter Hlophe se uitspraak in die Marthinus Esterhuizen-geval in Beaufort-Wes, waar hy op ’n emosionele wyse na die beskuldigde verwys het dat hy geen siel het nie en in die tronk moet gaan verrot, sal maklik op dieselfde wyse, na die anderkant, veralgemeen kan word.
Dieselfde geld vir Ventersdorp se landdros in die saak van die borgaansoek van die beskuldigde in die Eugene Terreblanche-moordsaak. Om mense in Suid-Afrika rassisties op te sweep, is geen kuns nie. Van leiers in me Sotyu se posisie word verwag om op ’n verantwoordelike wyse hulle saak te stel. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)
[Mr P J GROENEWALD (FF PLUS): Hon Speaker, the Deputy Minister of Police is creating racial tension and polarising relationships in South Africa with her irresponsible statement that courts are more lenient on whites than on blacks. She also claims that the South African justice system is racist and should therefore be further transformed immediately.
The Deputy Minister must quickly come to terms with the fact that generalisations are always wrong. She is making no contribution to the debates and relationships in South Africa, by using a single individual case as an example of what happens continuously. She especially needs to guard against becoming part of the generalisations against farmers and their practises. As the new Deputy Minister, she will frequently be faced with the cruelty of farm murders that are committed more easily in such a polarised climate.
Without justifying the different crimes, I would like to hear her opinion on the fact that a rugby player receives bail of R100 000 with regard to the death of a traffic officer, whilst Eugene Terreblanche’s killer received bail of R5 000. She can even compare the Shaik case with the 74-year-old Clive Derby-Lewis’ cancer. She needs to quickly come to terms with the fact that generalisations are always wrong.
Judge Hlope’s verdict in the Marthinus Esterhuizen case in Beaufort West, where he made emotional references to the accused by saying that he had no soul and that he should rot in jail, could easily be generalised in the same way to the other extreme.
The same goes for Ventersdorp’s magistrate in the case of the bail application of the accused in the Eugene Terreblanche murder case. To racially incite people in South Africa is no art. Leaders in Ms Sotyu’s position are expected to present their case in a responsible manner. Thank you.]
ASSISTANCE LENT TO LEARNERS AT TWO FARM SCHOOLS
Mrs L S CHIKUNGA (ANC): Hon Speaker, Leeupoort Primary School and Thokozani Combined School are two farm schools located around Carolina in Mpumalanga. Children from these areas come from very poor families. Leeupoort Primary School’s building is just a structure that was never meant to be a school. It is old and small and, as such, did not have toilets at some stage.
Mr Chris and Mrs Jill Dale from Johannesburg adopted Leeupoort Primary School. They have since built beautiful toilets for the school. They now intend building classes. On Saturday, 23 October, Gift of the Givers Foundation, a disaster response NGO, handed over two school uniforms and food parcels to each child in these two schools. We want to thank Mr and Mrs Dale and Gift of the Givers for this wonderful act.
We call upon all those who can afford to lend a hand to follow these shining examples. Together we can improve and touch people’s lives. I thank you. [Applause.]
MOUTSE TRANSFERRED TO LIMPOPO
Mr K J DIKOBO (Azapo): Speaker, when cross-border municipalities were abolished, the area known as Moutse was transferred to the Limpopo province. Some of the people of Moutse took to the streets to register their unhappiness and to protest against that decision. Property was damaged and schooling was disrupted.
On 27 and 28 September last year, a referendum was held to test the view of the community on whether they want it to belong to Limpopo or Mpumalanga. They went in their numbers to IEC voting stations in the area of the Motsoaledi and Ephraim Mogale Municipalities. The process was observed by the demarcation board and political party agents.
We are informed that the voter turnout was high and the whole exercise went off smoothly and peacefully. Fourteen months after that exercise, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs that organised the poll had still not released the results. Our own agents informed us that 75% of those who voted chose Mpumalanga.
While we applaud the department for seeking the view of the people, we are disappointed that the results have been withheld. South Africa is a democratic state and we are informed that we have a government based on the will of the people, a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Vox populi, vox Dei, which means “the voice of the people is the voice of God”, should reign, even in the case of Moutse. The people have spoken and the nation must be told what the people of Moutse have said and what government is going to do about it. Thank you.
ANC YOUTH LEAGUE’S SUPPORT OF KIM JONG II
Mr S MOKGALAPA (DA): Hon Speaker, the ANC Secretary General should take action against the ANC Youth League if it turns out that they have indeed provided vocal support for the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong II. [Interjections.]
The Korean Central News Agency has recently used quotes ostensibly obtained from the ANC Youth League for propaganda purposes. The KCNA stated in one such report that the Secretary of the ANC Youth League of South Africa praised Kim Jong II as the greatest guardian who, with his Songun politics firmly guarantees peace and security, not only of the Korean Peninsula, but the world.
The ANC and its youth league should either distance themselves from those scandalous comments or should explain why they were cavorting with despots. Kim Jong II’s repressive North Korean regime is regarded by Human Rights Watch, an Amnesty International, as one of the most oppressive on the planet.
The ANC must make it unequivocally clear whether these are the sort of views they support or not. If it turns out that the ANCYL are indeed actively supporting the North Korean propaganda offensives, then that must also mean something about things that President Zuma should address, particularly in light of the G20 in South Korea. I thank you. [Applause.]
ANC LIBERATING WOMEN FROM THE KITCHEN TO JOIN SANDF
Ms B T NGCOBO:(ANC): Speaker, the ANC has been able to move women out of the kitchen to occupy all spaces that are available - the Navy, Army, Air Force and the Marines. It was quite an exciting day when a woman-only crew safely sailed the giant SA Agulhas from Port Elizabeth to Durban.
We salute the South African women for such achievements, as well the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, and of Science and Technology. Women have shattered the glass ceiling. The sky is the limit. We are looking forward to the ANC government rallying for more funding towards the empowerment of women; to fly higher than an eagle. They can make it. Malibongwe! [Applause.]
PROMOTING DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI (IFP): Mr Speaker, on 11 November we celebrate the end of the war which should have ended all wars. About 200 million people were butchered during the 20th century; and the war continued. We know that there has never been a war between two democracies, perhaps, with the exception of the Anglo-Boer War.
What are we doing to promote democracy worldwide? Will we send a high-level representative delegation to the granting of the Nobel Peace Prize or will we heed to the pressures not to have a representative there? Today, we mentioned the issue of North Korea and the support given to North Korea by the Youth League of the ruling party. There is silence about the DRC and atrocities taking place there. There is also silence on Zimbabwe.
We need to change our foreign policy to include the component of promoting democracy and human rights worldwide as a condition for the development of a new world order in which we all need to take rightful ownership. [Applause.]
WATER CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Mrs H N NDUDE (Cope): Speaker, the former Minister misconstrued our wake-up call to her and this House that South Africa is facing the greatest water crisis in its history. It is a point that is worth repeating. Our country has run out of water. As a result of that, we are overdamming and endangering the ecology of our river system. This in turn threatens the sustainability of our water supplies. On top of that, we are allowing pollutants and toxins to be poured into our rivers. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, order! Let the speaker be heard. Continue, hon member.
Mrs H N NDUDE (Cope): On top of that we are allowing pollutants and toxins to be poured into our rivers in ever-increasing amounts. Unfortunately, this water cannot be cleaned. Our resources are thin and our technology is hopelessly outdated. The presence of heavy metals, ecobacteria, pink worms and amoeba, etc, is a serious compromise of our water quality. It has become unusable.
Meanwhile, climate change is accelerating alarmingly. Witness the destructive floods in China, Pakistan, Poland and elsewhere. This year drought ravaged Russia and China, and China regards this as the worst in the millennium. We must reduce water consumption and wastage. Thank you. [Time expired.]
IMPROVING STANDARD OF FOOTBALL IN KWAZULU-NATAL
Mrs G K TSEKE (ANC): Hon Speaker, to ensure that the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup leaves a proud legacy that children and our communities will enjoy for many years to come, the Department of Sports and Recreation in KwaZulu-Natal is set to improve the standard of football in the province by sending 13 of their local coaches to Brazil on an international coaching course. Furthermore, the Department is also planning to bring Brazilian coaches to the province to conduct coaching clinics and workshops.
The ANC supports this initiative and believes that it will contribute to the long-term development of soccer in our country as well as maintaining the spirit and momentum built by the successful hosting of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. The ANC hopes that other provinces will emulate this initiative. Mmusakgotla ke a leboga. [Thank you.] [Applause.]
INCREASE IN CORRUPTION
Me A M DREYER (DA): Agb Speaker, om korrupsie te beveg, moet skuldiges weet hulle sal hulle werk verloor, die geld moet terugbetaal word en hulle sal krimineel vervolg word, anders kom hulle weg met wangedrag. Die feite is egter die volgende: Eerstens, alhoewel daar ’n toename is onder senior staatsamptenare wat intern skuldig bevind word aan finansiële wangedrag, is daar ’n afname in die getal afdankings van korruptes. Tussen 2003 en 2009 het skuldiges wat afgedank is, afgeneem van 47% tot slegs 11%.
Tweedens, die aantal amptenare wat intern skuldig bevind is aan finansiële wangedrag en teen wie kriminele klagtes gelê is, het ook afgeneem van 54% in die boekjaar 2003 na slegs 24% in die boekjaar 2008.
Derdens, oor die afgelope vyf jaar het die terugbetaling van gesteelde geld afgeneem vanaf 50% in die boekjaar 2005 tot slegs 13% in die boekjaar 2009.
Die regering stuur die boodskap uit dat korruptes die staatskas maar kan besteel, want hulle kom weg daarmee. As die regering ernstig is oor die uitwissing van korrupsie, sal hulle sterk sanksies teen korruptes toepas. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)
[Ms A M DREYER (DA): Hon Speaker, to combat corruption, offenders must be aware that they will lose their jobs, would have to repay the money and will be criminally prosecuted, or else they get away with misconduct. However, the facts are as follows: Firstly, even though there has been an increase in senior government officials who have internally been found guilty of financial misconduct, there has been a decrease in the number of dismissals of corrupt individuals. Between 2003 and 2009 offenders who have been dismissed have decreased from 47% to only 11%.
Secondly, the number of officials who have been found guilty of financial misconduct and who were criminal charged have also decreased, from 54% in the 2003 financial year to only 24% in the 2008 financial year.
Thirdly, over the past five years the repayment of stolen money has decreased from 50% in the 2005 financial year to only 13% in the 2009 financial year.
The government is sending out the message that corrupt individuals can go ahead and plunder the state coffers, because they get away with it. If the government is serious about the eradication of corruption, they would implement powerful sanctions against corrupt individuals.]
UNITED STATES CONTRACT WON BY NECSA
Ms P MADUNA (ANC): Speaker, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, Necsa, and its subsidiary, Radioisotopes, have won a US$25 million – R164,4 million in South African money – United States government contract to develop technology on the commercial production of the medical isotope, molybdenum-99, using proliferation resistant, low-enriched uranium.
Necsa will collaborate on the project with the Australian National Nuclear Research and Development organisation. The award from the United States Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration comes amid an international shortage of molybdenum-99, as well as a United States-led drive to minimise the use of highly enriched uranium, which can be used in nuclear weapons.
The awarding of this contract is in recognition of the important contribution and the impact South African scientists and companies are making on a global scale. Thank you. [Applause.]
UNITED STATES CONTRACT WON BY NECSA
WATER CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA
The MINISTER OF ENERGY: Mr Speaker, I just want to thank the hon member for the congratulatory messages that she has given to the SA Nuclear Energy Corporation, Necsa, and the microchannel process technology for the contract that they have with the United States, US, Department of Energy for the supply of radioisotopes to the US market.
I want to indicate to the House that, as we speak, South Africa is the biggest supplier of radioisotopes in the world. It is very interesting that we could be the biggest supplier of radioisotopes, because this is an intervention that is actually making sure that we can have better medical outcomes in terms of interventions in the areas of cancer and other debilitating diseases.
I also want to indicate here that one of the interesting developments around this contract is that the President of the Republic of South Africa, in his input in the US-convened Nuclear Security Summit, indicated to the world that South Africa was going to continue using nuclear material, but that that would be intended to heal, feed, as well as to provide energy and water to the nation.
Earlier, one member indicated the challenges that we have in relation to water in South Africa. I just want to indicate that interventions have already been made through PetroSA in the Mossel Bay area, where we are going to be desalinating water, producing about 150 million barrels per day, which shall be the water supply for the Mossel Bay Municipality, of which 10 000 million barrels will be for the supply of the community, whilst the other five will be for the Mossel Bay PetroSA plant.
This is an indication that we could also use nuclear-related material to desalinate sea water for household and human consumption. I want to indicate that South Africa is actually a leader in this area, and that is why we’ve put so much focus, in particular, in this area.
The interesting thing is that from today we have an extension on the comments for the public process for the Integrated Resource Plan, IRP, and nuclear energy would be one of the considerations that we make. I’m appealing to members of this House to participate in those particular engagements, because Parliament is one of the biggest beneficiaries of nuclear energy in this country as this part of the world is actually supplied through Koeberg. So, if anything, it is in this House where we have to make a case for it. [Time expired.]
INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION OF SUPREME AUDIT INSTITUTIONS
ANC YOUTH LEAGUE’S SUPPORT OF KIM JONG II
PROMOTING DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
WATER CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Mr Speaker, there are a couple of issues that I want to respond to. The hon member from Cope, the guy who stole the Currie Cup from the Western Province, raised the issues in Transnet. I want to make a point that in respect of state-owned enterprises that are governed by the Companies Act, the boards must make decisions, because these are not funded on the budget. It is necessary that we respect the articles of association so that we don’t mix things up. If you expect the executive to be involved on that level of decision-making in a company, what will you expect of us next? I think the approach is flawed.
The hon Ndabandaba raised the issue about the Auditor-General and indeed we want to join him and the ANC in recognising the formidable achievements of the Auditor-General, Mr Nombembe.
The hon member from, I think, the DA, has a big smile. Whoever he is, he’s got a big smile; I don’t know that this House deals with the youth league of the DA. [Laughter.] Don’t bring things from the outside here, because we will not respond to your views. This is about the accountability of government, and it is fundamentally important that we use these slots to hold government to account and not dream up things that you want on the floor of this House, hon member. [Applause.]
The hon Ambrosini ...
The SPEAKER: Order, order, hon members! [Interjections.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION - Yes, but we are old and wise now, Michael. The hon Ambrosini - yes, it’s a new world order, but you don’t just accept what is there. We need to engage with the world that is increasingly hostile to poverty and inequality. This means we must rise up and raise the voice that calls for justice and equity in the world. That is fundamentally important, otherwise we will go along with the likes of Silvio Berlusconi and say that is the new world order. It is inappropriate. We must define what is in the interests of the world’s poor.
The hon Ndude raised issues of water. In broad terms, we accept, recognise and call for the support in managing the resource more wisely. It is not a ministerial responsibility; it’s a responsibility for all of us.
I would just like to make one little appeal, namely that we don’t hyperventilate about all manner of climate change issues. Yes, there are norms, it’s cold in Cape Town at the moment, but it isn’t because of the ravages of climate change just yet. We need slightly different and more rational approaches to ensure that we deal with this adequately. Thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members, order!
WATER CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA
IMPROVING STANDARD OF FOOTBALL IN KWAZULU-NATAL
INCREASE IN CORRUPTION
RACIAL TENSION CAUSED BY THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE
ASSISTANCE LENT TO LEARNERS AT TWO FARM SCHOOLS
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Speaker, I thought it important to just indicate to the hon Ndude that our technology is not outdated. We do have the technology, we do have the researchers and we should use what our researchers have developed to address the problems that she correctly identified. However let’s not put down our researchers and our technology. We are a very innovative nation and there are solutions available in science.
I would like to thank the hon member who referred to the coaching clinics that will be hosted by Brazil and eventually by KwaZulu-Natal. I think it’s excellent that we do learn from Brazil how to become a winning soccer nation. However I’m hopeful that those who are not in the House today have gone to watch and support Banyana Banyana as they proceed. We hope to do very well in the semifinal match today. So, we are beginning to show that we can perform in soccer.
With respect to the fight against corruption, government is committed to the fight against corruption. Clearly, it’s a fight that we all must take on with vigour, but I think one of the things we should do, is where there are clear signs of action, we should have the courage to identify those actions as well.
There have been assignments to the special investigating unit to investigate a number of actions associated with corruption, and we should really congratulate the President for ensuring that these activities are followed up. So, we are acting in this regard. [Interjections.] Of course ...
The SPEAKER: Order, order, hon members!
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Speaker, I’m not surprised that they would be griping and howling as they are doing, because it’s impossible for them to acknowledge where action is being taken ... [Interjections.] ... since their sole enterprise is the negative and nothing else. [Applause.] We are fighting corruption; we will continue to fight corruption.
Finally, let me say that I’m not aware of the research work that has been done either by the hon Groenewald or the Deputy Minister that he refers to. So, I do not have the data to respond to whether either of them are correct in their views. I would suggest that it might be good if both of them did the statistical analysis and came back with a perspective based on accurate records, so that we do appropriately inform the House as to these matters that the hon Groenewald has raised.
I certainly believe that all those in our country who generously support the endeavour to improve the facilities for education must be congratulated. We have many philanthropists and supporters both nationally and internationally who support a number of initiatives in education and are providing outstanding support to young people, universities and colleges in our country. We should always extend a hand of gratitude to all of them. Thank you very much.
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, during the debate on members’ statements, hon Deputy Minister Surty raised a point of order on a statement made by hon Mr Maynier. I didn’t say the statement at the time was out of order, but I was going to give a definite Ruling. I wish to do so now. [Interjections.] Order, hon members!
The hon member, Mr Maynier, earlier said that the hon Minister of Defence and Military Veterans told this Parliament a “big political fib” when she said that there was no link between the report in question and the Defence Amendment Bill. That is tantamount to saying that the Minister lied to Parliament, a serious charge and one that is definitely unparliamentary, and in this case without any substantive motion. I want to ask the hon Mr Maynier to withdraw that statement.
Mr D J MAYNIER: Speaker, with respect, I refuse to withdraw the statement. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Well, I then ask you to leave the Chamber! [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The member thereupon withdrew.
DEEDS REGISTRIES AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill)
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I move that the Bill be passed.
Order disposed of without debate.
Motion agreed to.
Bill accordingly passed.
SECTIONAL TITLES AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill)
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I move that the Bill be passed.
Order disposed of without debate.
Motion agreed to.
Bill accordingly passed.
THE CURRENT STATE OF BULK WATER INFRASTRUCTURE IN SOUTH AFRICA AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO IMPROVE THE MAINTENANCE AND REFURBISHMENT OF THIS INFRASTRUCTURE
(Subject for Discussion)
Mr G R MORGAN: Hon Speaker, hon members, Phaphazela Village in rural Limpopo is a difficult place in which to live a dignified life. Here, villagers compete with animals for scarce water from dirty wells and distant taps.
Commentator Elmon Tshikhudo wrote last week in an online journal about his recent visit to this area. He encountered Ms Nkhensani Mabasa, a resident of the village, who said she had to leave her home at two in the morning to use a tap that was some distance away. “Our lives are at stake”, said Ms Mabasa. “We travel in the dark and leave our properties at the mercy of criminals who know that we will be queuing for water”, she said.
The irony is that the neighbouring Nandoni Dam is full to the brim with water, but local people suffer because they do not have access to the contents of that dam.
Granted, the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs has appointed a new contractor to replace the substandard pipes that should have been providing water to this and other communities in the vicinity. These inefficiencies in government mean that the local people will have to wait even longer for clean water. The right to clean water, as espoused in our Constitution, is not yet a reality for these people. Let us acknowledge what the achievements are first.
At the dawn of democracy in 1994, almost 15 million people were without access to safe drinking water in South Africa. Today, that figure stands at 1,6 million people, still unacceptably high, but a reflection of success nevertheless. Of course, the statistic is of no comfort to the people of Phaphazela Village, which I have just mentioned. A lot of work still needs to be done.
By admission of the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs itself, the relentless focus on the provision of water to people who never before had access to water came at the cost of the department taking their eye off the ball on the maintenance of the existing infrastructure. Today we have a creaking infrastructure that is in desperate need of attention.
The DA believes that the provision of clean water is essential for human development and economic growth. The provision of clean water improves health, especially for the large portion of our population that is immunocompromised. Easy access to water allows our people, especially in rural areas, to be able to devote more time to other productive activities, rather than walking considerable distances to find water. It thus enhances opportunities. And the provision of water is important for growing economic development and the maintenance of food security.
When allocating water, we need to ensure at all times that the ecological reserve is not compromised and that we satisfy human requirements. Thereafter, allocations are made in such a way that maximises growth and development.
We must not take our water for granted; it is a precious resource. We are the 30th driest country in the world, and if statistics are to be believed, already 98% of the available water in South Africa has been allocated. It is therefore critical that water governance is of the highest standard.
Our new Minister has an important task, but sadly, she inherited the Water department which is in turmoil. The director-general was suspended last year and has now been dismissed for several financial governance irregularities. A recent Attorney-General’s report painted a damning picture of over R1 billion of financial irregularities. Last week, the acting DG and chief financial officer, CFO, were also suspended amid new allegations of financial irregularities. The Minister must ensure that her top team in the department is made up of competent and skilled technocrats. The water sector can ill-afford redeployed politicians to fill these positions.
So what of the state of the infrastructure? There are 65 national schemes where raw water is collected and transferred from one catchment to another, and at least 185 bulk schemes where raw water is collected and delivered within a catchment. These exclude the infrastructure in South Africa managed by the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority and the Komati River Basin Water Authority.
We can be proud of the engineering feats of the last century, but must be conscious of preserving what we have while we continue to add to the asset base.
The age profile of the infrastructure indicates that the majority was constructed in the 1970s and 80s, with much of the assets being between 30 and 40 years old, and some up to 100 years old. The majority of infrastructure is in a fair or good condition, at least for the moment. However a large portion of the infrastructure is in a poor or very poor condition. In this regard it must be stressed that very few dams are in a good condition, and urgent and ongoing rehabilitation is required. Most of the infrastructure assets are near optimal capacity and therefore the conditions or infrastructure integrity is critical to ensure continual water supply.
Funding challenges for the water sector are immense. The department estimates that in order to cater for infrastructure backlog and some refurbishment requirements, R113 billion is required. Over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period we are in, only 5% of this amount has been allocated. Yes, funds are scarce but water is the foundation for life and development, and Treasury is going to need to increase its allocation.
The waste water sector is in a critical need of attention. A day does not go by when, as a Member of Parliament, I do not receive a report from a member of the public about another failing waste water treatment or a sewage spill.
Notwithstanding the impressive initiatives such as the Green Drop report intended to improve ongoing performance of the more than 800 plants, the trends in performance are getting worse, not better. Thirty per cent of the plants require immediate attention to avoid the outbreaks of waterborne diseases.
In the North West and Free State provinces, 100% and 99% of the waste water treatment works, respectively, are noncompliant with effluent standards, while in the Eastern Cape 95% of the plants have flows that are unknown or exceed the design capacity.
It is important to highlight waste water infrastructure as its general poor state impacts on the quality of bulk water in South Africa. The purification costs of drinking water are steadily increasing, as testified by many water boards, as the water is increasingly requiring more intense treatment due to pollution from sewage predominately, but also from mining and agricultural run-offs. So what to do?
Besides finding more money and ensuring that money is correctly spent, the Minister also needs to deal with the skills crisis in the water sector. More than 120 municipalities in South Africa are at high risk or critical when it comes to lack of skills in the water sector. At the end of last year there were 210 vacant posts for civil engineers in the national department. We need these positions to be filled, and government must make these positions attractive and reward skilled people. Improved planning is needed. New developments should not be approved without the required bulk infrastructure in place.
We need ring-fencing of municipal income grants where a certain percentage of funds have to be spent on water infrastructure, and not on the nonessentials that so many municipalities choose to waste funds on; as well as creative funding solutions; the use of public-private partnerships and expanding the mandates of the 14 water boards to service larger areas as possible solutions as well; fixing the badly managed water trading entity and ensuring that fees are collected from water users.
Billing problems in the water trading entity are immense, and the department cannot even be sure that what it is billing for are the correct amounts. We need to review tariffs to ensure that water is correctly priced, and so that fees are sufficiently contributing to the maintenance and building of new water infrastructure. But mostly we need political will and leadership. The water sector will not tick along by itself. In fact it is teetering on the precipice. Getting this right is important for human health development and economic growth. If taps run dry, it will make electricity load shedding look like a Sunday school picnic. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms P BHENGU: Speaker, hon members, given the country’s history and the systematic manner in which the majority of the people were denied access to even the most basic human needs, drafters of the Constitution wanted to make sure that the democratic government took steps to meet these needs. Access to water is therefore a human rights issue provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
With respect to each of these basic rights, the Constitution says:
The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights.
To this end, the government is biased towards the people and the most vulnerable people who have in the past been left to fend for themselves with minimal or no support from the apartheid government. They are to be found in rural areas which, as a legacy of apartheid, were created as large dumping areas for the unemployed and reservoirs to be drawn upon to feed an apartheid-structured labour market.
Somlomo, uMthethosisekelo wethu ukubeka ngokusobala ukuthi wonke umuntu unelungelo lokuthola ngokwanele ukudla namanzi. Yingakho lohulumeni oholwa nguKhongolose ukwazile ukunikezela ngamanzi ahlanzekile kubantu abangama-88% ngonyaka ka-2007 kusuka kuma-62% kusukela ngonyaka ka-1996.
Lezi zinhlelo ziphumelele ngoba beziqondiswe ngqo kubantu abahluphekile. Njengamanje inkinga esasele nohulumeni azimisele kakhulu ngayo ngeyokudluliselwa kwamanzi kulabo abangawatholi kahle okungabantu abasemaphandleni, le konja ayiphume, ukwenza isiqiniseko ukuthi bayawathola amanzi ahlanzekile.
Njengoba sazi sonke ukuthi kunemifula emikhulu ehlale igcwele amanzi kodwa abantu abahlala eduze kwayo abanawo amanzi. Kunalokho lawo manzi ayadluliswa ngemishini emikhulu, aye emadamini amakhulu ayophakela abantu basemadolobheni. Abantu abasezindaweni ezinjengoMsinga lapho ngiphuma khona bangabi nawo amanzi ngemifula yabo uThukela neMpofana.
Kusenenkinga enkulu yokudlulisela amanzi kubantu njengoba kwenzeka koJozini lapho uhulumeni wobandlululo akha khona amadamu amakhulu ayewasebenzisela ezolimo kuphela abantu bangawatholi. Siyabonga kakhulu kulo hulumeni kaKhongolose ukuthi usekwazile ukuba enze izinhlelo zokuthi lawo madamu avulwe ukuze asetshenziselwe ukudlulisela amanzi kubantu njengoba sibona eJozini. [Ihlombe.](Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Speaker, our Constitution states clearly that every person has the right to have access to food and water. That is why this ANC-led government has managed to provide clean water to 88% of the people in 2007, which is an increase from 62% in 1996.
These programmes succeeded because they were specifically intended for poor people. Now the only problem that the government is prepared to resolve is that of distributing water to people in the rural areas who do not have access to clean water.
As we all know, there are big rivers always full of water, but people who stay near those rivers do not have access to clean water. That water is channelled by big machines to big dams to supply water to the people in the cities. People in areas like Msinga, where I come from, do not have access to water from their rivers, namely uThukela and Mpofana.
There is still a big problem with regard to water distribution to people. This is happening in Jozini where the apartheid government built big dams which were used for agricultural purposes only, but people were not supplied with water. We are very grateful that the ANC-led government has managed to put programmes in place for those dams to be reopened and used for distributing water to people, as we are witnessing in Jozini. [Applause.]]
The ANC-led government’s position is that the country’s economic growth target and the sustainability of water resources are not mutually exclusive and that the supply and demand must be determined in a compatible manner. Otherwise serious shortfalls will occur, creating instability and no economic growth and threatening scarce water resources.
UMongameli wezwe ubaba uMsholozi, kwinkulumo yakhe yesizwe yonyaka odlule ka2009 uqinisekile ukuthi iNingizimu Afrika iyizwe elomile, elinamanzi angenele futhi elidinga ukuba liqasheliswe ngeso lokhozi, ukuthi noma sinamanzi angenele kodwa kumele sabelane ngawo kuzo zonke izakhamizi. Kulesi sikhathi ukuze sihlangabezane nanezidingo zokukhula komnotho ngaphandle kokuhlukumezeka kwemvelo nokuvikela amanzi, siwagcine ekhona futhi siwonge. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[In his state of the nation address last year - in 2009 - the President, Msholozi, confirmed that South Africa is a drought-prone country, with not enough water. This means that water needs to be saved. Even though we do not have enough water, we have to share it amongst all communities during this time so that we can meet the needs of economic growth without abusing the environment - and saving water in the process. Keep it and save it.]
South Africa is a dry country with a low average and high variability of rainfall in most areas. The available freshwater resources are already almost fully utilised and under stress, and demand is outstripping supply in most catchments. Access to potable water remains the most worrying constraint for many rural people. Many of them spend several hours a day securing supplies.
At the projected population growth and economic development rates, it is unlikely that the projected demand on water resources in South Africa will be sustainable. Water will increasingly become a limiting resource in South Africa and supply will become a major restriction to the future socioeconomic development of the country in terms of quantity and quality. At present, many water resources are polluted by industrial effluents, domestic and commercial sewage, acid mine drainage, agricultural run-off and litter.
Evidence is becoming clearer that global climate is a threat to sustainable development that could undermine global poverty alleviation efforts and have severe implications for food security, clean water, energy supply, environmental health and human settlements. The most obvious impact of climate change worldwide will be extreme weather events occurring more frequently and becoming more severe. In South Africa, the rise in average temperatures will cause access to freshwater resources to decline while higher rates of evaporation due to high temperatures will lead to more severe droughts on the one side of the planetary water cycle and more severe floods on the other.
As Africans, we remain deeply concerned by climate change. The continent is particularly vulnerable to changes in climate, which have a profound impact on issues like food security, economic viability, biodiversity and access to water. The ANC resolved in Polokwane that we should recognise that climate change is a new threat on a global scale and poses an enormous burden upon South Africans and Africans. The central message is that we have to use our limited water supplies more efficiently and effectively. Our celebration of water as a source of life must translate into practical actions aimed at ensuring that we do indeed use our limited water supplies carefully.
Population growth and changes in demographics such as people moving from rural to urban areas and smaller households mean that government must continue to provide infrastructure for more people, and in new areas. We must therefore provide and plan infrastructure development and look at alternatives in a manner that does not endanger future generations.
Regional bulk water services infrastructure plays a key role in bringing water services to all the people in South Africa. Due to the size and extent of such infrastructure, it plays a vital role in achieving an integrated socioeconomic development.
The implementation and management of regional bulk water services infrastructure is guided, impacted and driven by various factors, including water availability and scarcity. The scarcity and availability of water demands that water must be brought over substantial distances to serve communities in an integrated manner. Without such bulk infrastructure, internal services are not possible or sustainable.
It is therefore clear that accelerated investment in water infrastructure is needed to overcome internal barriers that are likely to retard South Africa’s productive potential. Such investment will contribute to growth and poverty reduction and an increase in agricultural productivity and subsequently to the achievement of the millennium development goals, MDGs. By 2005, this government had already achieved the MDGs of halving the proportion of people who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water by 2015.
Asikho isidingo sokusebenzisa izigidi zemali ukufakela amapayipi nokudlulisela amanzi bese sivumela ukuthi ingqalasizinda yethu yonakale ibe sesimweni esibi futhi ilinyazwe. Kumele ingqalasizinda yethu ihlale isesimweni esamukelekile futhi inakekelwe. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[There is no need to use millions of rands for infrastructure to distribute water and then to allow it to be destroyed and to fall into a state of disrepair. Our infrastructure needs to be maintained so that it remains functional.]
The phrase “water for development” refers to the critical role of water in poverty alleviation and people’s constitutional right to have reliable access to safe drinking water. Speeding up the delivery of infrastructure and providing for the maintenance thereof is therefore a major part of the ANC-led government’s programme. The objectives are to move faster towards getting rid of social backlogs by making sure that everyone has access to water and sanitation. This should be done in a way that reaches the poor and builds integrated and viable communities.
There are still millions of people who do not have access to clean running water and sanitation, and infrastructure programmes must ensure that we get rid of these backlogs so that every citizen can enjoy these services. Ngiyabonga. [Thank you.] [Applause.]
Mrs H N NDUDE: Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity and congratulate our chairperson who has been appointed the Deputy Minister of Police. I must say that the committee will really miss her inputs and how she has steered the committee.
Let me begin with a serious concern. The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs has been underbudgeting then, as it has also happened this year. The department will plead that certain expenses were unforeseen and therefore unavoidable. This argument is used to shift funds from environment to water.
The current poor state of bulk water infrastructure is the outcome of poor budgeting. This House must take note that a staggering 70% of municipalities in South Africa lack the capacity to supply bulk water services in the areas of their operation. Only 30 out of the 262 municipalities can boast water services that are functioning effectively. There certainly are financial constraints, but it is the political mismanagement that has led to the dire situation we have today. Government will state that it has a serious challenge.
We in Cope say that the situation is worse. Bulk water infrastructure is close to collapsing in most parts of our country. When misuse of resources combine with government-generated incompetence, failure is inevitable.
The 2010 Green Drop Report, for instance, states that in many cases extensive refurbishment and expansion of the current plants are required, and the process employed at plants are no longer sufficient to deliver the required final water quality. What is extensive refurbishment? It is another way of saying that band-aid is no longer adequate. Major surgery by specialists at a major cost is what is needed.
Does South Africa have the money and the specialists? More importantly, does South Africa have a transparent procurement process to prevent big amounts being siphoned off into the pockets of tenderpreuneurs and their fellow conspirators? The answer is obvious - we do not.
The Minister of Finance has warned that South African consumers should ready themselves for a substantial increase in water tariffs. Will government’s failure mean that, once again, as we have seen with Eskom, people must carry the cost?
The most urgent priority for this government is the updating of the infrastructure database, which would also include information on internal waste water systems and the asset management programme.
The Environment and Conservation Association has stated that in five years almost 80% of the country’s fresh water resources would be badly polluted. As a result, no process of purification available in the country would be able to clean it sufficiently to make it fit for human or animal consumption.
The Chief Executive Officer Mr Davis, of Xstrata has stated that South Africa needs urgent investment of some R100 billion in bulk water infrastructure and reticulation. And it will be up to the state alone to do this.
Underinvestment in water infrastructure risks pitting agriculture, mining and the manufacturing industry against their own communities as water supply dwindles. It is time for the state to manage this valuable asset on which all South Africans depend.
With some things we can wait, but a shortage of water will be too big a crisis to contemplate. Seconds are ticking and the country is watching to see what this government will come up with to maintain and upgrade bulk water supply in this country. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: Mr Speaker, politics has a language of its own. I don’t know at what point big challenges should still be called challenges rather than what they are, which is a hell of a big problem. The water situation in this country is without reason, because the country has enough water to supply its entire population.
The problem of water is transversal; it affects many departments and many line functions. By the same token, the failure to address this problem is transversal, which, in the end, hinges on the issue of planning. And it’s saddening that the person responsible for planning, the Minister in The Presidency: National Planning Commission, did not find the time to stay with us. He made a couple of remarks and did not respond to the question about the Nobel Peace Prize, but as soon as this debate started he saw fit to abandon this House. The issue of planning is critical. It is an issue on environmental protection.
There is not enough control of sediment. Most of the water, which could be used for drinking purposes, is not being used. Sediment and erosion control is still a function that needs to be developed in South Africa.
There is an issue of pollution. The level of emissions and our controls over emissions brought from point sources and unpointed sources are way too low. Even against the territory standards, there is an issue of implementation, regulation and oversight over what the industry does.
First and foremost, there is an issue of management. This is not a challenge of management, but it is a crisis of management - a problem of management. The culture of management within government at all levels is not performing as required, and is becoming a culture of mismanagement.
Another is the problem of perspective. We are still implementing the 19th century solutions and engineering, disregarding the 21st century engineering and solutions. Dams and reservoirs are things of the past in many contexts, as they take up too many resources. The types of solutions that are available today for water purification are much more cost-efficient, effective and easy to implement.
There are problems with skills, and again they are transversal. The types of problems that we are facing are made much worse by lack of proper legislation on immigration because of the failure of the immigration system. There are problems at all levels of government, which are exposed to these issues.
I just want to take the last two seconds to correct something which was said here earlier. I don’t want to say that it was true or untrue. I am very concerned about what is a fib and what is not, but the people around the Jozini Dam are not receiving the water that they are entitled to. There are long queues and their right to have clean water, as guaranteed by the Constitution, is not fulfilled. Thank you very much. [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
Mr L W GREYLING: Hon Deputy Speaker, nothing represents our interconnectedness on this planet more than water. It is essential for the existence of all life forms, and as humans we are absolutely dependent on it, both for our survival and for almost all of our economic activities.
Unfortunately, we have not shown water issues the priority they deserve in South Africa. We have allowed our bulk water infrastructure to degrade at a time when water demand has been increasing in our country. It is now estimated that an urgent investment of over R100 billion is needed to bring our entire bulk water infrastructure up to scratch. In addition to this underinvestment, government has also not taken enough swift action against those who have polluted our water resources, which supply our bulk water needs.
The most vivid and shocking representation of this is the Grootvlei Mine, owned by Aurora Empowerment Systems, where millions of litres of untreated acid mine water has been pumped daily into the surrounding wetland. There are also numerous mines around the country that are operating illegally without the requisite water licences. The ID believes that we now need to show true political will in stopping such practices and showing a commitment in addressing our water needs, which are only going to get worse as a result of climate change.
We can, in fact, turn acid mine water into potable water to augment our water supply, but it starts with the government facing up to this problem and taking a decisive stance as opposed to simply dismissing the arguments of those who are alerting them to this impending crisis. It doesn’t matter whether we call it a challenge or a crisis, if we don’t show our water issues the urgency they deserve we will all face serious repercussions in the near future. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L B GAEHLER: The importance of water infrastructure is undisputable by way of energy. If a country is viewed as an organic body, then water, along with energy, transport and infrastructure, act as the arteries that enable growth and development. Water is critical to address poverty on the level of the individual. Therefore, it is in the Constitution as a human right. However, in addition to that, we must also recognise that water plays a pivotal role in the economic health.
It is regrettable that in communities throughout the country there are local governments that have failed to maintain water and sanitation infrastructure. The need for new bulk water infrastructure should not be forgotten in the face of the major maintenance crisis. The UDM has campaigned for infrastructure in rural areas to be brought on par with those in metropolitan areas. There are areas in the country, such as large parts of the Eastern Cape, which have never had bulk water infrastructure to begin with.
The absence of infrastructure exacts a heavy toll because the daily arduous collection of water dominates household activities.
Somlomo, into ebalulekileyo apha kukho iidolophu ezingenawo kwaphela amanzi. Iveki iyaphela zingenawo amanzi, kwaye loo nto yenziwa ngoomasipala abangakwaziyo nabasilelayo ukunikezela ngeenkonzo ebantwini, kunye nokungqongophala kwezakhono. Kwezinye iidolophu iindlela zonakele kwaye zinemingxuma, zonakaliswa ngamanzi ngenxa yemibhobho ebolileyo.
Ezilalini kunzima, abantu basela amanzi needonki kunye neekati. Siyavuma ukuba urhulumente uzifakile iitephu, kodwa ezininzi azisebenzi, zome nko. Ezi zizinto ekufuneka urhulumente azinike ingqwalasela. Siyambulela urhulumente ngokufaka kwakhe iitephu, kodwa kunzima. Kwezinye iindawo imibhobho ehambisa ilindle iye idibane neyamanzi aselweyo. Le nto yamanzi ifuna ukujongwa kakuhle, khon’ ukuze kwakhiwe amadama afanelekileyo ezilalini. Enkosi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[Hon Speaker, what is important is that there are towns which do not have water. These towns can be without water for as long as a week and that is as a result of municipalities which are neglectful, which lack skills and which do not deliver services to the people. These municipalities also experience a lack of skills. In other towns roads are damaged and have potholes. They are damaged by water as a result of rotten pipes.
In the villages it is a struggle - people are drinking water from the same source as donkeys and cats. We agree that the government has provided taps, but most of them are not working and they are bone dry. These are issues that government must pay attention to. We thank the government for providing taps, but it is still hard. In other places sewerage infrastructure overlaps with the infrastructure providing drinking water. This water issue needs special attention, so that in future we will build suitable dams in the villages. Thank you.]
Adv A D ALBERTS: Mevrou die Adjunkspeaker, hierdie debat is nie ’n nuwe een nie. Die uitdagings wat Suid-Afrika het as ’n waterdroë land is al voorheen in die Parlement bespreek en geïgnoreer. Ek kan net hoop dat hierdie administrasie met die uiterste dringendheid op vandag se waarskuwings en voorstelle sal reageer. Indien nie, sal ons ’n oorlewingskrisis in die gesig staar wat alle ander uitdagings sal oorskadu. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Adv A D ALBERTS: Madam Deputy Speaker, this debate is not a new one. The challenges that South Africa encounters as a water-scarce country were previously discussed in Parliament and ignored. I can only hope that this administration would respond to today’s warnings and suggestions with the utmost urgency. If not, we will face a survival crisis that would eclipse all other challenges.]
Under the previous administration in 2008, Dr Anthony Turton, then still a researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research submitted a report to Parliament on the water-related challenges facing South Africa. Of course, we know that this report was so incisive, correct and damning that the Mbeki administration rather chose to fire Dr Turton instead of heeding his advice. Our party liaised with Dr Turton in August of this year and he advised that his parliamentary report of 2008 is still valid today, even more so. Therefore, we hereby resubmit the report to Parliament and the Minister for serious consideration.
The report deals with three drivers of the water problem, as well as three strategic water quality challenges facing the country. One of the most profound findings is that South Africa has lost its dilution capacity due to the over-allocation of natural water resources. This means that the infrastructure is also straining.
Die kern van die uitdaging om die hoofinfrastruktuur in stand te hou en op te gradeer, lê by die gebrek aan kapasiteit. Reeds in 2006 het die Wetenskaplike en Nywerheidnavorsingsraad bevind dat 31% van infrastruktuurgebrekke te wyte is aan ’n gebrek aan menslike hulpbronne en kundigheid. Hierdie gebrek kan weer teruggelei word na die ideologiese dryfkrag agter regstellende aksie-kwotas. Die SA Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese vertel dit in die rondetafelverslag van die Centre for Development and Enterprise as volg: (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[At the centre of the challenge to maintain and upgrade the basic infrastructure lies the lack of capacity. In 2006, already, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the CSIR, found that 31% of the deficiencies in infrastructure were due to a scarcity of human resources and skills. This scarcity, in turn, can be traced back to the ideological motive for affirmative action quotas. In the round-table report of the Centre for Development and Enterprise, CDE, the SA Institute of Civil Engineers states as follows:]
The role of engineering in municipalities has been reduced by interposing political levels between engineers and decision-makers.
Therefore, due to the gravity of the water problematique, we implore the Minister to seriously consider Dr Turton’s report and to address the link between affirmative action, overpolitisisation of water-related institutions and the lack of capacity. Thank you.
Mr S N SWART: Deputy Speaker, the ACDP believes that South Africa is facing a water crisis as ageing infrastructure and rising demand spew potentially deadly bacteria into water systems in South Africa. The quality of our drinking water is supposed to be monitored monthly and it is purported to be amongst the best in the world. However, we know that, particularly in the rural areas, much still has to be done and there are serious concerns about the acceptability and the value of that water.
Outdated infrastructure and problems in retaining skilled staff have contributed to unacceptably high levels of pollution in many rivers and dams. We have the situation of millions still lacking access to flush toilets and piped water, and, of course, as I mentioned, the threat of waterborne diseases is very serious.
The reported levels of the potentially deadly E.coli bacteria have been so high in certain areas that municipalities have been forced to issue boil alerts and supply water to severely affected communities by tanker trucks.
The new Eskom power stations and key industrial developments will require substantial bulk water and capital investment, estimated, as has been mentioned earlier, to the amount of R100 billion. Clearly these are aspects that we need to look into very seriously and Treasury needs to address this issue in detail.
The ACDP calls on South African residents in the country to conserve water as well as the government to embark on a public awareness campaign similar to the one that we had during the power shortage. If we do not attend to this water crisis, we will be facing very serious public health issues arising from waterborne diseases. Thank you.
Mr J R B LORIMER: Madam Deputy Speaker, this government is quick to congratulate itself over the roll-out of much needed basic services. In the recent report on universal household access to basic services, for example, the Fezile Dabi District Municipality in Northern Free State was listed as having 100% access to basic water provision. That means having a tap no further that 200 m from every home, but that 100% figure hides a different reality.
Last week I visited the small town of Steynsrus in the Moqhaka municipality which is part of Fezile Dabi District Municipality. There I found a town which had had no water in its taps for a month. That was because the town’s storage dam had run dry. About a year ago the council was warned that the dam was going to fail because the wall was not being maintained. The council did nothing. The rains came last summer and the dam wall failed. Most of the water was lost. The province came in and fixed the wall, but the water soon ran out. The town was unable to pump from the river or from boreholes because all of its five pumps were broken. So water was trucked in from the municipal centre at Kroonstad some 50 km away.
That coincided with the water crisis in Kroonstad. We were told that the town ran out of money and could not afford chemicals to purify the water. For two weeks the water was not treated. Predictably, more than 1 000 people in Kroonstad and some 200 in Steynsrus suffered from diarrhoea. That should not be a surprise. The 2010 Blue Drop Report said, “It is sincerely unfortunate that three water service authorities in the Free State province have shown no commitment towards their drinking water quality management responsibilities.” The department therefore cannot have any confidence in the manner tap water quality has been managed, and one of those three municipalities was Moqhaka.
So, why can’t this municipality afford to clean its water? Here are some clues: The mayor bought a Mercedes E200 at a cost of R471 000 without proper authorisation; there was a purchase earlier this year of R150 000 for a desk and a wall unit by the municipal manager; and recently, the council got quotes for a new intercom system. It rejected the quotes for R99 000 and accepted the one for R350 000.
The reasons may be different, but the failure is the same in the Blouberg Municipality in Limpopo. A water scheme for the 5 000-strong Indemark community was installed by the local ANC council just before the last local elections. It was installed and ticked off, but it never worked. The DA and local farmers have now built a system to deliver free water for the people.
It doesn’t just happen in deep rural areas. Water quality in Madibeng Municipality near Brits has collapsed. The municipality was placed under administration in March after mismanagement of projects and allegations of corruption.
Then Minister Sonjica was there recently, and she said, “We hope to give some type of Christmas present by refurbishing these treatment plants.” A Christmas present? The Minister should remember that clean water is a right. It’s not a present from government, or worse, the ruling party. It comes from the tax money of every single South African citizen, whether that tax is paid as income tax or VAT.
Our people have a right to basic services, real and continuing basic service delivery, not just projects that are built and look good on a report and then collapse. Projects cannot simply be installed and walked away from; for people who cannot afford to buy bottled water, this kind of failure can be fatal.
This government needs to have a good hard look at the real reasons for this failure to maintain projects. Face facts: The cadre deployment policy, which is the backbone of the national democratic revolution, is a disaster. The wrong people get put in the wrong jobs. When they fail, as they often do, they are not fired; they are protected, excused and redeployed and the people who suffer are the poorest of the poor. Thank you. [Applause.]
Manana J MANGANYE: Xandla xa Xipikara xo hlonipheka, Swirho swa Palamende leswo hlonipheka, ndzi khensa Mutshamaxitulu wa mina loyi a nga endla leswaku ndzi rhandza Komiti leyi ya swa Mati, muchaviseki Magdeline Sotyu. Ndza n’wi khensa swinene hikuva a ndzi nga tivi leswaku mati i xilo lexi nga endlaka leswaku hi hanya. Loko va ku Komiti ya Mati a ndzi nga tivi leswaku va vulavula hi yini.
Matsalwa ya tsariwile eka Bibele, eka Tihosi 2 Ndzimana ya 5 vhese ya 1 na loko u enhla hi yona ku ya ehansi yi ri: (Translation of Xitsonga paragraphs follows.)
[Ms J MANGANYE: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Members of Parliament, I thank the chairperson, the hon Magdeline Sotyu, who made it possible for me to like the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs. I thank her very much because I did not know that water is something that is vital in our lives. When they talked about the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs, I did not know what they were talking about.
It is written in the Bible in 2 Kings, Chapter 5, verse 1, and even when you read further, it says:]
So Naaman went down to the dirty Jordan River. He stripped down to his underwear and went in. He dipped himself once and nothing happened. He dipped himself a second and third time. When he dipped himself for the seventh time, he came out and was healed.
Mati i vutomi naswona ya hanyisa. Loko u vabya ya horisa. Loko u karhele ya ku timula. Loko u ri na wona u na ntsako. Hikwalaho hi nga vona Naman loko a horisiwa. Mati ya horisa. U nga teka mirhi ya wena u yi sweka hi mati. Loko u nga ri na mati, ku hava lexi u nga xi endlaka leswaku u hola. Hikokwalaho hi nge mati ya tsakisa. Naaman u tsakile hi ku vona leswaku u horile.
Mfumo wa xihlawuhlawu wu endle leswaku matikoxikaya ya pfumala switirhisiwankulu swo tala swo fana na madamu ya mati, tipompi na leswi basisaka mati.
Xandla xa Xipikara, ndzi lava ku ku tivisa leswaku loko mina ndzi kula hi nkarhi wa xihlawuhlawu a ndzi vangisana mati enambyeni na tidonki, timbuti na tihomu. Namuntlha swa ndzi hlamarisa loko hi ta ta yima laha. Mina a ndzi telanga ku kora tipoyinti loko ndzi yime laha. Ndzi tele leswaku hi ta vonisana, hi khomisana na ku vonisana leswaku loko hi ri Swirho swa Palamende hi hlanganile laha hi nga endla yini lexi nga ta endla leswaku vanhu va ka hina va mati lava hi nga va thola va kota ku nyiketa vanhu va hina lava nga yimela nhluvukiso le hansi. Ndza ha ri lontshwa laha Palamende. Ndzi tshemba leswaku ku khomisana hi leswi hi nga tela swona laha.
Mfumo wa xidemokirasi lowu nga rhangela emahlweni hi ANC wu ringeta hi matimba hinkwawo ku hundzuluxa na ku lulamisa leswaku vanhu va kuma mati yo tenga, naswona va ya kuma ekusuhi. Ku na tindhawu tin’wana ku fana na Eastern Cape, Limpopo na Kwazulu-Natal laha mati yo tenga ya ha kayivelaka. Loko hi languta tindhawu leti na tin’wana ta North West laha vanhu va Magalies Water Board va nyikaka mati kona, ka ha ri na laha ku kayivelaka kona leswaku ku engeteriwa. Tiphayiphi ta kona na switirhisiwankulu se swi hlakarile naswona i swa khale. Swi lava ku lunghisiwa. Ti kona tindhawu tin’wana laha vanhu va hetaka n’hweti va nga kumi mati tanihi laha ndzi humaka kona eLerume. Ha heta n’hweti hi nga voni mati.
Lembe leri komiti ya swa mati a yi endzele eLimpopo eka Masipala wa Thulamela. Hi kumile damu ra Nandoni ri tele ri tlhela ri khapa hi mati. Ku suka eNandoni ku na muti wa ka Malamulele lowu nga 15km. Hi kumile kona ku nga ri na mati. A ha ha vuli hi Giyani hikuva yona yi na 52km ku suka laha dan’wini. Loko va ri vona a ha ha vuli nchumu. Leswi swi bihile swinene. Hi leswi loko hi fika laha Palamende hi faneleke hi vulavula hi swona leswaku hi nga swi lunghisa njhani.
Xana mfumo wa tsandzeka ku nyika vanhu mati? Xana i vanhu lava hi nga va thola etihofisini lava nga koteki ku nyika vanhu mati? Loko kuri leswaku i masipala leyi tsandzekaka ku nyika vanhu mati i yini lexi loko hi hlanganile laha Palamende hi xi endlaka leswaku vanhu lava va kota ku kuma mati? Loko kuri i masipala hikwalaho ka yini yi nyikiwa leswaku yi va wona “water authority” yi ri hava vuswikoti byo nyika vanhu mati, kambe yi ri na vutihlamuleri bya leswaku hi yona yi nyikaka vanhu mati?
Swilo leswi hi vulavulaka hi swona laha hi fanele hi swi lunghisa kahle. Endzhaku ka loko komiti leyi ya Palamende yi humile yi lavisisa timhaka ta mati, yi kume leswaku tindhawu leti yi nga famba eka tona a ti lunghanga. Yi tshamile ehansi yi vutisisa leswaku i yini lexi endlaka leswaku vanhu va nga kumi mati. Hi ri va komiti ya mati hi kumile leswaku vanhu va hina lava hi tirhelaka, vatirhelamfumo, va hava ntokoto. Hi vula swikili swa mitirho leyi va nga rhamberiwa yona. Hi lava leswaku swilo leswi swi lunghisiwa. Vanhu lava hi nga va thola a va na wona nkhinkhi wo endla leswaku swilo leswi swi endleka hi xihatla.
Hi ku landza swa misava, hi na Afrika Dzonga laha rin’wana ra matiko ya rona ya kayivelaka mati. Ku na mfanelo ya leswaku hi teka magoza yo endla leswaku mati lawa hi nga na wona, wona lamatsongo, hi ya tengisa hi tlhelo hi ma hlayisa.
Loko ndzi yime laha namuntlha ndzi ri eka swirho swo hlonipheka leswi nga laha Palamende, a hi khomisaneni hinkwerhu hi nyika vanhu va hina mati yo tenga.
Mfumo wa ANC wu lava leswaku vanhu va tiko hinkwaro, ku katsa na lava nga matikoxikaya, va kuma mati yo tenga. Loko u ri na mati, u na vutomi. Swilo leswi swi nga endla leswaku vanhu hinkwavo va Afrika Dzonga va tshunxeka. Loko va ri hava mati, va nge koti ku tshunxeka.
Ku na swibumabumelo leswi hi lavaka leswaku swi endliwa hi Yindlu leyi. (Translation of Xitsonga paragraphs follows.)
[Water is life and it heals. When you are ill, it makes you well. When you are tired, it cools you down. When you have it, you have happiness. This is why we saw Naaman being healed. Water heals. You can take your medicinal herbs and cook them in water. If you do not have water, there is nothing that you can do to get healed. This is why we say water is delightful. Naaman was happy to realise that he was healed.
The apartheid government ensured that the rural areas lack infrastructure such as dams, taps and water purification plants.
Deputy Speaker, I want to mention that when I was growing up during the times of apartheid, I competed with donkeys, goats and cattle for water from the river. Today I am surprised when we have to come here. I did not come here to score points. I am here so that we can share ideas and work together with the view of, as Members of Parliament gathered here, seeing what it is we can do to ensure that the people whom we employed to provide water to the people are able to do so for our people who are anticipating development at grass-roots level. I am still very new in Parliament. I believe that working together is what we are here for.
The ANC-led democratic government is trying its best to transform and to make sure that people get clean water from within their neighbourhood. There are places such as the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Kwazulu-Natal where clean water is still scarce. When looking at these places and others in the North West where people get water from the Magalies Water Board, there are still shortages which need to be taken care of. Taps and the infrastructure are dilapidated and old. They need to be repaired. In some places, such as Lerume where I come from, people go without water for a month. We go without water for a month.
This year the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs visited the Thulamela Municipality in Limpopo. We found Nandoni Dam full to the brim. From Nandoni, Malamulele Township is 15 km away. We found that there was no water. The same is true with regard to Giyani which is 52 km from that dam. We cannot say much about them. This is very bad. This is what we have to talk about when we are here in Parliament to see how we can remedy it.
Is the government failing to supply water to the people? Is it the people whom we appointed to the offices who are unable to supply the people with water? If it is the municipality which is failing to supply the people with water, what is it that we can do, as we are gathered here in Parliament, to ensure that the people have water? If it is the municipality, why is it assigned to be a water authority without the capacity to provide water to the people, when it is charged with the responsibility of supplying water to the people?
We have to remedy these things we are talking about here. After the portfolio committee had gone out to investigate the issue of water, it found out that the places it visited were not up to scratch. It sat down and enquired why people did not have water. As the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs, we found out that the government employees, who provide services to us, do not have the experience. We are referring to the skills necessary to do the job they are employed to do. We would like that situation to be remedied. The people we have employed do not have the zeal to ensure that these things are done quickly.
From a geographical perspective, South Africa is one of the countries which have a shortage of water. We need to take the necessary steps to ensure that we purify and also conserve the little water we have.
As I am standing here today, I am saying to the hon members present in Parliament that we should work together to give our people clean water.
The ANC government wants all the people of this country, including those in the rural areas, to get clean water. When you have water, you have life. This can make all the people of South Africa achieve freedom. Without water, they will never be free.
There are recommendations that we want this House to consider.]
The department must give the municipality technical support. They must provide skills in the department, especially in analysing data. We need a multidisciplinary team which encompasses engineers and researchers; maintenance of water pump stations; supply of water treatment; clear water storage - that is reservoirs; and to upgrade the aging infrastructure. When we ignore them it will cost our government. We must have engineers who have the love of the community at heart.
Regarding the curriculum of life skills in schools, we must inculcate these skills into children so that they must like water. They must learn about water when they are still young. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ndzi khensile Mutshamaxitulu. Ku dya i ku engeta. Inkomu. [Va phokotela.] [I thank you, Chairperson. I am grateful for the opportunity and I hope it will be granted again in future. Thank you. [Applause.]]
Mr K J DIKOBO: Madam Deputy Speaker, I come from a village called Makgopong, also known as Bataung in Zebediela, Limpopo. Makgopong and the surrounding villages would find this debate very amusing because they have no running water. They fetch water either from the Nkwimbi River or from the wells. They share water with their animals. They do not know of any bulk water infrastructure that has to be maintained or refurbished.
Indeed, as Azapo, we agree that we have to take good care of what we already have. We must maintain the existing infrastructure so that access to clean water can be extended to all communities. My hope is that my 73-year-old mother, Mologadi, will be able to draw water from a tap in her lifetime. Thank you.
Mr A J WILLIAMS: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Ministers, hon members, guests, friends and, most importantly, the South African people, I would also like to acknowledge my family who are at home watching these proceedings on television, in Johannesburg, Secunda and Mossel Bay; in particular, my daughter, Rosemary, and my nephews, Kyle and Benjamin, and my niece, Jordan.
As I stand here today, we are nearing the end of the 16th year since the democratic breakthrough. If we were to compare our democracy to a person, she would be in Grade 11. She would have her learner’s licence and we would consider her sweet 16. Sixteen years is not a long time to address the massive developmental differences between rural and urban communities, and the enormous underdevelopment that took place in the former homelands; firstly by the imperialists and then later by the apartheid government. Having said that, the challenges still exist and we as the ANC are committed to addressing these challenges.
In the past 16 years, 18,7 million people have been given access to clean water and 10,9 million were provided with sanitation. The number of households with the bucket system reduced from 605 675 in 1994 to 113 085 in 2007 and this figure is decreasing all the time. These achievements have put enormous pressure on the existing bulk water infrastructure.
The report of the Ad hoc Committee on Co-ordinated Oversight on Service Delivery that was tabled earlier this year highlighted some of these challenges we are still facing. This includes that the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs cannot act apart from issuing directives when problems of water quality are raised at municipal level because the department is the regulator of water provision whereas municipalities have the mandate to provide water.
Another challenge is that, if the municipality has resources to enhance water provision, it can’t do so, because that falls under the scope of the district municipality.
Provincial water committees chaired by Premiers exist to enable rapid response to some of these challenges. So far 57 municipalities have been assisted and a risk profile of municipalities has been developed to enable the department to identify areas in need of urgent attention. This co-operative holistic approach should become the standard practice. The departments need to talk to one another and the different spheres of government need to plan together. This will allow challenges to be indentified early and corrected before they become crises.
The most pressing issues around bulk water infrastructure are the questions of maintaining existing infrastructure and the lack of infrastructure in small rural municipalities. Over the years the lack of maintenance has led to large amounts of water being wasted and we as South Africa cannot afford to waste any more water.
The President has told us that South Africa is a water-scarce country. If we, as South Africans, continue on our current path, where we think that water will keep coming out of the tap forever and ever without a thought to the reality, then the next generations will be facing a very serious problem.
So, South Africa, this wasting of water does not only affect this government, but it affects all of us. Saving water must become part of our lifestyle. So, don’t just walk past a leaky tap or drive past water flowing down the road on a dry day; report it, make a noise and alert the authorities. Tell them that you have been requested by Parliament to do so. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That’s cheering for you!
Mr A J WILLIAMS: Global climate change is a reality, it is happening. Saving water today, South Africa, will be in your best interests tomorrow.
The ANC government is trying to address the infrastructure and maintenance challenges through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, MIG, system. This system is also experiencing problems, some of which can be attributed to bad contractors who fail to meet specifications resulting in leaking bulk lines. However, these monies are sometimes not spent by municipalities and metros at all. This underspending is a serious concern.
This underspending occurs in all nine provinces and even in some metros. Here in the City of Cape Town, over R100 million, which should have been spent on infrastructure including bulk water infrastructure, was not spent in the 2009-10 financial year. [Applause.] This resulted in some of the residents of Du Noon, Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plein having to live with inferior or no water or sanitation of any kind.
As government, we need to start taking the issue of underspending very seriously. Those municipalities and metros that fail to spend their allocated monies must be scrutinised, including the City of Cape Town, and the reasons for the underspending must be addressed. We as government need to vigorously monitor municipal infrastructure spending.
We as the Fourth Parliament, an activist Parliament, must hold the executive accountable for underspending that resulted in the failure of bulk water infrastructure. Underspending on bulk water infrastructure will not be tolerated by the ANC and should not be tolerated by any political party represented in this House.
The question of capacity must also be looked at more seriously. Does government at local, provincial and national level have the capacity to operate, maintain and develop bulk water infrastructure? If the answer to that question is no, then what measures are being taken by the executive to address this? Have learnerships been established to capacitate those responsible for bulk water infrastructure at all levels? Do we have the required management skills, engineering skills and operating skills to provide 49 million people with clean water?
Big business, especially big mining houses, needs to start taking responsibility for the current state of the underground water. As a collective, they need to work on mechanisms to prevent future damage and work closely with government on ways to correct the existing damage.
Dr Suzan Oelofse from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research said in the 2008 paper, Mine Water Pollution:
The threat of acid mine drainage to the environment is not solved in the short, to medium term; it is likely to persist for centuries to come. Whilst acid mine drainage threatens the scarce water resources of South Africa, and as a result also human health and food security in mining areas, it also presents an opportunity to provide usable water through appropriate treatment technologies.
Hon Morgan stated that in 1994 there were 15 million people without clean water. And today, this figure has dropped to 1,5 million people. Never in South Africa’s history, even during the time of the Progressive Federal Party, PFP, the Democratic Party, DP, and now the DA, did so many people get access to so much clean water. [Applause.]
As I’ve said at the beginning of this speech, our democracy is sweet 16, she is filled with hope for the future and determined to bring about a better life for all.
All South Africans have a role to play; we can all start saving water, business can start taking responsibility, Parliament can hold the implementers of government policies accountable, because working together we can do more. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr G R MORGAN: Deputy Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity for this very important debate. It is indeed disappointing that Ministers are not present; most notably the newly appointed Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, who, no doubt, still has to come up to speed with this very important portfolio. I take the hon Ambrosini’s point of view that indeed Minister Manuel should be here as well.
The timelines for water planning are indeed very, very long and we need to be able to sit down and think, not only about what is going on now, but about what is going to be happening in many years to come.
Many of my colleagues, quite rightfully, including the hon Bhengu, raised the issues of climate change, which is indeed going to change the water landscape in South Africa completely.
I would like to highlight one thing first and that is what hon Manganye said, “If there is not water, there will be not freedom.” And she is correct to have pointed that out. Indeed, a lot of people have had access to water over the past 16 years. That is a great achievement, one that I am more than happy to point out.
But the risk at the moment, ladies and gentlemen and hon members, is that a lot of water that has been provided is under threat because of failing infrastructure. It’s no good providing people with water if, when they turn on their taps, it is green, containing E.Coli or, indeed, when they turn on their taps, nothing comes out.
Now there are local places in South Africa where indeed water once was provided and is no longer being provided. We don’t want that situation to prevail and we don’t want it to be the norm. That is why I called for this constructive debate on what needs to be done and to analyse the problems, going forward.
A lot of our colleagues here raised issues about water quality: hon Ndude, hon Swart, hon Greyling, and hon Alberts. Indeed, the dilution capacity of South Africa is very weak because we have had such low available resources. The more pollution we put into the system, the harder it is to ameliorate that pollution.
The skills crisis is indeed very, very severe and was raised by a number of our members here today. But we must be careful - many of these municipalities had the skills. It’s not necessarily up to the national Department of Water and Environmental Affairs to fix the skills crisis in the municipalities.
The separation of powers in the Constitution provides that municipalities must take care of their own skills requirements. So, let’s make sure, particularly in the ANC municipalities, that we keep good people in employment, the ones who know how to keep the waste water treatment plants working and the purification plants working, which is not what happened in Madibeng, as raised by my colleague the hon Lorimer.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a serious debate, we must debate it over and over again. I would like to thank all of you for the submissions that you have provided. Thank you very much.
The House adjourned at 15:34.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
(1) Bills passed by National Assembly on 11 November 2010:
(a) Deeds Registries Amendment Bill [B 13B – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75).
(b) Sectional Titles Amendment Bill [B 14B – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75).
CREDA INSERT - T101111e–insert 1 – PAGES 3855 - 3867
2. Progress report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the process followed on recommending persons for appointment to the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board, dated 11 November 2010.
The Portfolio Committee on Communications, having considered the nominations of candidates submitted for appointment to serve on the MDDA Board in terms of Media Development and Diversity Agency Act, 2002 (Act No14 of 2002), reports as follows:
Request from the Minister in the Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration, to fill three vacancies at MDDA was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Communications on 22 September 2010 (see ATC 22 September 2010).
The Committee called for nominations and received 22 CV’s. The Committee subsequently shortlisted the following candidates:
Mr Brian Makeketa
Mr Siviwe Minyi
Dr Simangaliso S Malinga
Mr Tahir Zakariya Sema
Mr Tyrone August
Ms Nomonde Gongxeka
Ms Louise Carol Vale
Mr Dinkwanyane Kgalema Mohuba
Ms Phelisa Nkomo
Ms Nadia Bulbulia
The interviews are scheduled for 16 November 2010.
3. Report of the Standing Committee on Finance on the Amendments to Schedules 1 and 2 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act , 2001 (Act No. 38 of 2001), dated 11 November 2010.
The Standing Committee on Finance, having considered the Amendments to Schedule 1 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 (Act No. 38 of 2001) and Amendments to Schedule 2 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 (Act No. 38 of 2001), reports that the House, in terms of section 73 (3) and section 75 (3) of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, approves the said Amendments.
Report to be considered.
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