Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 22 Feb 2011
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2011
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
Mr M S F DE FREITAS: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the state of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC, the reasons for its current problems and solutions to solve them.
Mr M B GOQWANA: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:
That the House debates the reopening of nursing colleges to improve the quality of and access to health care.
Mr G G BOINAMO: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the internal financial governance practices of Productivity SA and Nedlac, and measures to further enhance effective and accountable governance.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move on the next sitting day of the House, on behalf of the ACDP:
That the House debates the effects of the exorbitant tariffs of the proposed new toll roads in Gauteng, the impact they will have on the cost of living, particularly for the poor members of our community, and the resultant economic implications for the province.
Mr A P VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: 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 —
(1) debates the pass rate of students for the National Certificate (Vocational) at public FET colleges;
(2) further debates, among other things, the phenomenon that only 1 out of every 20 students who started the programme, successfully completed his or her studies within the three-year period; and
(3) finally, formulates options to improve the quality of teaching and learning in these institutions.
Mr L S NGONYAMA: Speaker, I give notice on behalf of Cope that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:
That the House debates the consequences for the 30 000 seasonal jobs that have been lost in the Northern Cape as a result of the recent floods and the urgent need for the government to act decisively and assist farmers so that these workers are not left destitute.
Mr N J VAN DEN BERG: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the current level of access by South Africans to affordable and reliable telecommunications and the Internet, and measures to bridge the digital divide.
Mr M A NHANHA: 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 unacceptable failure by Cipro to protect the integrity of company information on its database.
Mr G R MORGAN: Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House, I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the process of hydraulic fracturing which is being proposed as a technique to explore for gas by a number of applicants, and determines whether or not the process should be permitted in South Africa.
Mr P B MNGUNI: 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 failure of the government in addressing the dire lack of sporting facilities in the townships, considering how passionate all South Africans are regarding sports and outdoor activities, and how they remain as excluded as they were in the apartheid era.
PROCLAMATION OF 2011 AS INTERNATIONAL YEAR FOR PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that on 18 December 2009 the UN General Assembly proclaimed the year beginning on 1 January 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent;
(2) further notes that the year aims to strengthen national and regional actions and international co-operation for the benefit of the people of African descent in relation to their full enjoyment of economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture;
(3) recognises the importance of a spirit of progressive Pan-Africanism by mobilising all sectors of our society, Africa and her diaspora for African renewal, advancement and development;
(4) further recognises the need for Parliament to develop appropriate programmes for the assertion of the rights of people of African descent, especially their heritage and indigenous knowledge systems; and
(5) encourages member states and civil society to make preparations for and identify possible initiatives that can contribute to the success of the International Year for People of African Descent.
ENCOURAGING PROTEAS TO WIN CRICKET WORLD CUP
Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes the start of the International Cricket Council’s 10th Cricket World Cup on the 19th of February, in Dhaka, Bangladesh;
(2) further notes the participation of the SA National Team, the Proteas, in the tournament which is jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh;
(3) recognises the Proteas’ recent series victory over their hosts, India, which will give the team an added advantage going into the tournament;
(4) acknowledges the hard work and dedication of the players and coaching staff alike in the build-up to the event;
(5) encourages the Proteas to regain their title as the best one-day international team in the world by winning the World Cup;
(6) further encourages South Africans to unite behind the Proteas during the World Cup, and to once again show the enthusiasm and spirit of the 2010 Fifa World Cup; and
(7) wishes the team luck for their upcoming match against the West Indies.
The SPEAKER: I now call on the hon Smuts.
FORMER PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI’S ROLE IN RESOLVING CONFLICT BETWEEN SOUTH AND NORTH SUDAN
Mr L S NGONYAMA: Hon Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes the signal contribution made by former President Thabo Mbeki in helping to resolve the long-standing, bloody and complicated conflict between north and south Sudan;
(2) further notes that the referendum to determine the will of the south Sudanese people had run its peaceful course;
(3) remembers the mutual agreement with the north for south Sudan to secede peacefully to become Africa’s newest state;
(4) acknowledges the unique role of former President Thabo Mbeki in pursuit of peaceful resolutions to conflict on the continent; and
(5) congratulates him on a task well done.
The SPEAKER: I made a small mistake — I was referring to hon Smuts Ngonyama and not hon Smuts. You are cousins; I realise that! [Laughter.]
WISHING NATIONAL UNDER-23 SOCCER TEAM SUCCESS IN ALL AFRICA GAMES QUALIFIERS
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that the South African national under-23 team, Amaglug-glug, will proceed to the second round of the All Africa Games qualifiers after defeating Angola 2-1 on Sunday, 20 February 2011, at Daveyton’s Sinaba Stadium;
(2) further notes that this is the second time South Africa has beaten Angola and that in the first leg South Africa won by 4-1; and
(3) wishes Amaglug-glug success in the remaining All Africa Games qualifiers.
CONGRATULATIONS TO SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR ON WINNING THIRD GRAMMY AWARD
Mrs S V KALYAN: Hon Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) congratulates the Soweto Gospel Choir for winning a Grammy Award for the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists on 13 February 2011, for Baba Wethu, with Christopher Tin and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra;
(2) acknowledges that this is the third such Grammy Award, following their achievements in 2007 and 2008;
(3) further acknowledges their contribution to the South African music industry, both domestically and internationally;
(4) recognises the choir’s talent and creativity, as well as their hard work and determination over the past five years;
(5) praises their proudly South African traditional and contemporary music, which they perform in six of South Africa’s eleven official languages; and
(6) wishes the choir continued success in 2011 and subsequent years.
CONGRATULATIONS TO SA PHOTOGRAPHER JODI BIEBER ON WINNING WORLD PRESS PHOTO AWARD OF 2010
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that South African photographer Jodi Bieber's Time Magazine cover depicting the portrait of an 18-year-old Afghani girl, Bibi Aisha, whose face was mutilated by her husband, has been selected as the World Press Photo of 2010;
(2) further notes that the winning picture was chosen by an international jury from 108 059 images that were entered for the 54th Annual World Press Photo Award, with 5 847 participating photographers, representing 125 different nationalities;
(3) further notes that Jodi Bieber has previously won eight World Press Photo awards and is the second South African photographer to win the highest honour in this prestigious contest; and
(4) congratulates Jodi Bieber for her outstanding achievement and also for putting the focus on child abuse and violence against women on the international stage.
SUPPORT FOR FLOOD VICTIMS
Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes the extensive damage which was caused by heavy rain and flooding in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal in January this year;
(2) further notes that 33 municipalities have been declared disaster areas as a result of the flooding;
(3) offers condolences to the families of some 70 people who lost their lives as a result of the flooding;
(4) sympathises with the more than 24 000 farmworkers, as well as the commercial farming and emerging farming sectors, who have been negatively affected by the floods;
(5) recognises the hard work and dedication shown by rescue services, the SA Police Service and local volunteers in assisting with emergency relief work; and
(6) calls upon the various spheres of government, NGOs and other role-players to continue to provide assistance, reasonably within their power, to those affected by the flood damage.
CONGRATULATIONS TO NEWLY APPOINTED WOMEN JUDGES
Mrs J D KILIAN: Thank you, Speaker. I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that at long last the door to the judiciary has been opened in a meaningful manner to outstanding women jurists in South Africa;
(2) further notes that the appointment of seven women to the Bench marks a watershed in South African judicial history;
(3) acknowledges that women have a fundamental role to play in ensuring equal justice for all, regardless of gender; and
(4) congratulates the seven newly appointed women judges and anticipates that they will serve as worthy custodians of our law, our Constitution and our democracy.
MOTION OF CONDOLENCE
(The late Mrs N B Gxowa)
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Speaker, I move:
That the House —
(1) notes with great sadness that on 19 November 2010 the news was received of the passing on of Mrs Bertha Gxowa, one of the most committed heroines of the struggle for freedom and democracy in South Africa;
(2) further notes that MaBertha, as she was affectionately known, was one of the many men and women who selflessly chose to dedicate their lives to the people of this country and the improvement of the quality of life for all South Africans;
(3) recalls that MaBertha was born on 28 November 1934 in Germiston location where she spent her early childhood and that she went to school at the Thokoza Primary School and then the public secondary school, both in the location, and that she began her working life as an office assistant for the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union;
(4) remembers that she joined the ANC Youth League during the anti-Bantu education campaign which strengthened her involvement in politics, but her involvement was quickly shifted to focus around the plight of women and she became a founder member of the Federation of South African Women, which organised the historic women’s march against pass laws in 1956;
(5) further recalls that MaBertha travelled the entire country with Helen Joseph, collecting petitions that were to be delivered to the Union Buildings during the march, that 20 000 petitions were collected in total and between 1956 and 1958 MaBertha was a defendant in the Treason Trial and in 1960 was banned under the Suppression of Communism Act;
(6) further remembers that in 1990, after the unbanning of all political parties, MaBertha was called upon to reorganise the ANC’s Katlehong branch and she started a women’s social club that was invited to participate in voter education during the 1994 election campaign and also became a Member of Parliament and was actively involved with the ANC Women’s League where she was national treasurer and chairperson of the Gauteng province;
(7) acknowledges her life achievements and major contribution to the freedom and rights we enjoy today, for which she was presented with the Order of Luthuli for her distinguished contribution to the struggle as a nation and that the House shall be eternally grateful and is very proud of her; and
(8) conveys its heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and comrades in the ANC, ANCYL, ANCWL and alliance.
Mrs S V KALYAN: Speaker, it is an honour to be able to pay tribute to the late hon Gxowa, or MaBertha as she was affectionately called. I had the pleasure of working with her on the Health and Home Affairs portfolio committees, and what struck me most about her was that she was always gracious and ladylike. Insults and racial posturing had no place in her life.
She really had humble beginnings and, while reading a story of her life, I wondered whether she fully realised, at the tender age of 22, that by participating in that historic march to the Union Buildings she was not only shaping her own future, but that of all women, including me.
She grew up and was schooled in Germiston location. Her experiences in the location, where permits were required to live in it and to move out of it, were probably the trigger that caused her to volunteer to be part of the first Defiance Campaign, when she went into Krugersdorp without a permit. She was arrested and spent 10 days in prison after refusing to pay a fine.
She was one of the galaxy of luminaries who against all odds conceptualised, organised and led from the front the 1956 Women’s March to Pretoria. They mobilised 20 000 women of all races. The spirit of fighting for the liberation, equality and freedom of all women in South Africa was the common thread of unity.
She said, and I quote:
We had no funds, transport or access to the media, nor the organisational or political machinery, the things we take for granted today. We pulled it off, because we thought we had nothing to lose except the repressive politics of apartheid.
That march consolidated women’s rights. Today, women have a right to education, to own property and to self-determination, among others.
Between 1956 and 1958 MaBertha was a defendant in the Treason Trial and, shortly thereafter, she was served with a five-year banning order under the Suppression of Communism Act, restricting her to the magisterial district of Germiston. It must have been a tough and lonely time for both her and her family.
However, this did not deter her. She involved herself in church activities and worked as a volunteer for the SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Sanca. She became a Member of Parliament in 1994 and served the ANC loyally. Her involvement in 2003 with Cell C’s Take a Girl-child to Work campaign is yet another legacy for which she will be well remembered. She lived a rich and fulfilling life.
While we are saddened by her untimely death, we trust that both the ANC and her immediate family will not only mourn their loss, but also celebrate her life and her achievements. As a person, she chose not to be a victim. She made a huge sacrifice in emphasising that a woman’s place is anywhere she chooses to be.
I personally feel honoured to have met someone like MaBertha. I remember seeing her face on a billboard at O R Tambo Airport commemorating the historic march, and saying with pride to my daughter, “I know that lady and I worked with her.” We in the DA thank you for sharing her with us and wish you strength in this difficult time. MaBertha, your work is done — rest in peace! [Applause.]
Mrs M A A NJOBE: Speaker, we in Cope wish to join our voices with those of others in this honourable House to pay tribute to an admired colleague. It was with profound sadness that we received news of the passing away of Comrade Bertha Gxowa, a true struggle warrior. She died on 19 November 2010 as a result of postsurgery complications.
Comrade Bertha played a distinguished role in fighting for freedom and strengthening the role of women in our political life. In 1956, she helped to establish the Federation of South African Women. It was this federation which organised the historic Women’s March against pass laws. She travelled the length and breadth of the country, along with Helen Joseph and others, to collect petitions that were to be delivered to the Union Buildings.
Such was her commitment to freedom that she was arrested and was a defendant during the Treason Trial in 1960. Not surprisingly, she was banned under the Suppression of Communism Act for 11 years.
After that, she joined the SA National Tuberculosis Association, Santa, doing community work; and for a while was a member of the trade union movement.
She eventually became a Member of Parliament and was actively involved with the ANC Women’s League where she was chairperson of the Gauteng province and later the national treasurer. In Parliament she served with distinction on a number of committees. I can truly say that I was privileged to serve with her on the Portfolio Committees on Health, and Foreign Affairs, and the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests and in many ad hoc committees. Bertha brought to the committees the zeal of a campaigner, the passion of a reformer and the intensity of a selfless leader.
Comrade Bertha made a lasting contribution to the emancipation of women in South Africa through her participation in many NGOs, including her immense contribution as national chairperson of the Malibongwe Women’s Development project. Her great strength came from an indomitable spirit, persevering integrity and spiritual righteousness.
She has passed on, but her legacy will endure. We as Cope extend our sincerest condolences to the ANC, the many organisations she served and the many people who held her dear. To her family we say, we understand the depth of your bereavement, but at the same time we believe that you should also celebrate the worth of her life and the positive impact on our country of her existence.
Today, with one voice, we say to this stalwart of the liberation struggle: “Hamba kakuhle, Comrade Bertha Gxowa.” Sithi kusapho lwakhe: “Thuthuzelekani lusapho lwakwaGxowa, uThixo anomeleze.” Enkosi. [Kwaqhwatywa.] [“Farewell, Comrade Bertha Gxowa.” To her family, the Gxowa family, we say: “Please be comforted and may God give you all the strength you need.” Thank you. [Applause.]]
Mrs C N Z ZIKALALA: Hon Speaker, on behalf of the IFP, I would like to associate myself with the motion of condolence for the late Mrs Bertha Gxowa. The IFP salutes a true champion of human rights, especially women’s rights. Her sense of justice and gender equality moved her to volunteer to be in one of the first groups of defiance campaigners who went into Krugersdorp without permits. She was subsequently arrested for this and spent 10 days in prison after refusing to pay a fine.
She was indeed a great example for other women as she took every opportunity to educate herself. For instance, she made use of the opportunity presented to her by the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union to study bookkeeping and shorthand at a commercial college. Her excellent contribution to the trade union and the political struggle against apartheid earned her the Order of Luthuli in silver on 22 April 2008.
Her political career gained momentum when she joined the ANC Youth League during the anti-Bantu education campaign. She became a founding member of the Federation of South African Women, which organised the historic Women’s March against pass laws to the Union Buildings in 1956. She was responsible for the 20 000 petitions against the pass laws that were collected for this march and, by the way, she was the youngest of them all.
Between 1956 and 1958 Bertha was a defendant in the Treason Trial, and in 1960 she was banned under the Suppression of Communism Act, a status she retained for 11 years. Once her banning order was lifted, she joined the SA National Tuberculosis Association, doing community work.
Mrs Gxowa also sat as chairperson on the boards of two women’s skills development projects, Malibongwe and Kwaze Kwasa. Both these projects are committed to the total emancipation of women.
Hon Speaker, the IFP salutes Mrs Gxowa for her display of absolute integrity and grace while she was a member of this House. She was a true pioneer, a prime example and inspiration to other women.
Ngesikhathi ngifika lapha ePhalamende, ngahlangana naye kanti sasikade sisebenza ndawonye eGauteng ngaleziya zikhathi ezazinzima. Sahlangana sahlela umkhuleko omkhulu ngesikhathi uNdunankulu waseGauteng kungudokotela uMathole. Sathi ngokhetho lwangonyaka ka-2000, ngeke lube khona udlame eGauteng. Sama nomama uBertha, ngempela aluzange lubekhona udlame kuze kube yinamhlanje.[Ihlombe.]
Uma kuza kwezepolitiki, bekunguye umngani wami, umngani wami omkhulu ngoba sasenza izinto zenzeke eGauteng. Uma kunamaphrojekthi, uBertha ubengakhethi iphela emasini, wayazi ukuthi wonke amantombazana aseNingizimu Afrika kufanele angene azuze. Ngiyacela ukuthi nakulawa mantombazane alapha - uyazi-ke umama uMhlonishwa u-Angie - sibuya kude nabo siphethe iGauteng njengoba ithule inje.
Ngakho-ke ngimi lapha ngokuziqhenya okukhulu ngoba ubengibiza ngesicwicwicwi. [Uhleko.] Ngenxa yokuthi besisebenza ngokubambisana ezintweni zonke ebezenzeka eGauteng ... [Uhleko.]. Ehheee! phela besigqoka kahle ... [Uhleko.] Izingane zaseGauteng bese zisibiza ngalo leli gama elithi ‘izicwicwicwi’. Uma ngingekho bebebona ukuthi ziyashoda izicwicwicwi. [Uhleko.] Uma engekho uBertha nabe-IFP bebebona ukuthi kukhona okusilele. I-Kwazekwasa le besiyibambe naye umama uBertha. Mhlonishwa u-Angie, usuyobaxoxela-ke mfowethu. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[When I came to Parliament, I met with her — in fact, we were working together in Gauteng during those hard times. We met and organised a big prayer meeting when Dr Mathole Motshekga was the Premier of the Gauteng province. During the 2000 elections, we said there would be no violence in Gauteng. We stood firm with Mrs Bertha Gxowa, and indeed there was no violence, up until today. [Applause.]
When it came to politics, she was my best friend because we succeeded in whatever we did in Gauteng. With regard to the projects, Bertha was never biased; she knew that all the South African girls had to be involved and had to benefit. I’m appealing to these girls who are here – hon Angie knows we have come a long way in managing Gauteng since it is still so quiet.
Therefore I stand here with great pride because she used to call me a well-to-do person as well. [Laughter.] We really worked co-operatively, in everything we did in Gauteng. [Laughter.] Indeed! We used to be well dressed. [Laughter.] The Gauteng children called us “well-to-do people”. If I wasn’t there, they would feel that one of the well-to-do people was missing. [Laughter.] If Bertha was not around, even the IFP members would feel that something was missing. We were working together with Bertha in this Kwaze Kwasa. Hon Angie, colleague, you will then tell them more. Thank you. [Applause.]]
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Hon Speaker, on behalf of the ID we wish to express our deepest, most heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Bertha Gxowa. Bertha who passed away in Johannesburg at the age of 75 on Friday, 19 November 2010, was a veteran anti-apartheid activist. She was especially known and respected as the organiser of the 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings against the extension of passes to women. The march has become a milestone in South Africa’s history books.
It was an absolute pleasure to have served alongside her as a Member of Parliament. Had Bertha been alive during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children last year, she would undoubtedly have played an important and active role in the campaigning and awareness drive. Bertha is no longer here with us, but may her memories stay with us forever.
Mr N M KGANYAGO: Hon Speaker and hon members, on behalf of the UDM I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late hon Bertha Gxowa who passed away on 19 November 2010. All those who have had the privilege of working and interacting with her in this House since our first democratic elections in 1994 will confirm her commitment to parliamentary work and dedication to serving the people of South Africa.
The late hon Gxowa’s monumental contribution to the liberation of this country leaves us all eternally indebted to her for the freedoms we now enjoy. Throughout her life she selflessly put the interests of the people of South Africa above her own. The late hon Gxowa’s involvement in different kinds of community development projects and her outstanding role in the fight for the advancement of the causes of women further confirm an unselfish concern for the welfare of others. Robala ka khutšo. [Rest in peace.] Thank you.
Dr C P MULDER: Agb Speaker, kollegas, dit is vir my ’n voorreg en ’n eer om namens die VF Plus saam met u die mosie ter roubeklag van ons kollega, Bertha Gxowa, te ondersteun. Ons het Bertha oor baie jare in hierdie Parlement leer ken as ’n gewaardeerde kollega wat altyd op ’n baie waardige manier haar bydraes gemaak het. Ek het haar nooit kwaad gesien nie. Ek het haar nooit opgewerk gesien nie. Sy was altyd rustig en bestendig, en sy het altyd haar standpunte doelgerig gestel.
Ek het haar jare gelede, reeds in 1997, beter leer ken met ’n parlementêre besoek aan Suid-Amerika en Brazilië saam met die gesondheidskomitee. Daar het sy ook, soos wat sy altyd gedoen het, haar insette op ’n waardige manier gemaak en op die regte manier haar standpunte gestel.
Wanneer sy my in die gange raakgeloop het, het sy altyd vir my net een vraag gevra. Sy het onmiddellik vir my gevra waar die VF Plus se dames in die Parlement is. Ek het altyd daarop geantwoord dat sy nie bekommerd moet wees nie en dat ons daaraan werk. Ek kan haar verseker dat ons nog steeds daaraan werk. Sy gaan nie hier wees om dit te sien nie, maar sy moet net weet dat die dames nog sal kom. Sy sal dit sien.
Ons dra graag ons meegevoel oor aan haar gesin en haar familie, ook aan haar party wat ’n lid verloor het en aan almal wat ’n kameraad en kollega verloor het. Sterkte aan haar gesin. Ons dink aan julle in hierdie moeilike tyd. Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)
[Dr C P MULDER: Hon Speaker, colleagues, on behalf of the FF Plus, it is a privilege and an honour to join you in support of the motion of condolence for our colleague, Bertha Gxowa. We got to know Bertha in this Parliament over many years as a respected colleague who always contributed in a very dignified manner. I never saw her angry. I never saw her agitated. She was always calm and steadfast, and she always put her point of view in a resolute manner.
Years ago, as long ago as 1997, I came to know her better during a parliamentary visit to South America and Brazil as part of the committee on health. There she contributed as she always did, in a dignified manner, putting across her points of view in the correct manner.
Whenever she came across me in the corridors, she always asked me only one question. She immediately asked me where the ladies from the FF Plus were in Parliament. I always replied to this by saying that she need not be concerned and that we were working on it. I can assure her that we are still working on it. She won’t be here to see it, but she just needs to know that the ladies will still be coming. She will see it.
We would like to extend our condolences to her family and relatives, also to her party who lost a member and to everyone who lost a comrade and a colleague. We wish her family all of the best. We are thinking of you during these difficult times. Thank you.]
Mrs C DUDLEY: Speaker, the ACDP was saddened to note the death of Bertha Gxowa in November. MaBertha, as she was affectionately known, almost reached her 77th birthday. This was too young, in my opinion, for such an amazing woman to die, but she had so obviously packed several lifetimes of experience into her almost 77 years.
Bertha, a staunch African Methodist, referred to herself as a woman of the church, and shared with me her passion for preaching on many issues. She carried herself with dignity and authority at Parliament, as she firmly held her ground on issues that were close to her heart, a heart that had no doubt known much hurt and pain over the years.
Bertha and I served together in the Health committee. During her time there, we had occasion to disagree radically over the issue of abortion and the right to life of a child still in the mother’s womb. Her passion and pain were evident. I loved and respected her for her willingness to respond to life and she experienced it in the most honest and courageous way she knew how. I am sure Bertha must have been admired and loved by many and will be sorely missed.
The ACDP extends its heartfelt condolences to her five children and their families on the loss of their mother and grandmother. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs I C DITSHETELO: Hon Speaker, the UCDP would like to convey its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the hon Bertha Gxowa, a woman, a rock and a leader in her own right.
Hers was a life of truly humble beginnings. Some people become history when they pass on, and some have made history that cannot be wiped away, and their legacies will continue to speak to many generations to come. Bertha was such a woman. Her role in the organisation of the 1956 Women’s March rendered her a history-maker. It was good and fitting that she was honoured with the Order of Luthuli for her excellent contribution to trade unions. May her soul rest in peace. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr R B BHOOLA: Mr Speaker, the mere thought of losing a loved one is indeed great pain. The great Mahatma Gandhi once said that if you have to start a war of peace, then you have to first start with our children. This is precisely where our dear MaBertha commenced. She was a great personality amongst the youth and the women.
We are really saddened by the death of MaBertha. The MF would like to convey its heartfelt condolences to family and friends of the late MaBertha. We further extend our condolences to the ANC, the ANC Youth League, the ANC Women’s League and its alliance for losing such a great charismatic leader and fearless fighter.
It is quite correctly said that a true leader is one who adds value to society, and MaBertha was no stranger to this amazing characteristic. I have no doubt that MaBertha could have lived with losing a good fight, but would have never lived without fighting it.
May God bestow upon her family and friends peace, courage and fortitude to deal with their irreplaceable loss. May peace be granted unto her and, through the grace of God Almighty, her soul rest in peace. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs S T WILLIAMS-DE BRUYN: Hon Speaker, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed an honour and a privilege to contribute to the debate in this House. My first speech is a tribute to the life and times of someone whom most of the hon members on both sides of the House knew and highly respected — the late hon MaBertha Gxowa, as she was fondly known.
I knew MaBertha since 1952, almost six decades to be exact. We were both products of our respective trade unions. MaBertha hailed from the Garment Workers’ Union of the Transvaal, as it was known during that time, and I came from the Textile Workers Union of Port Elizabeth.
MaBertha had impeccable characteristics, as most members may attest. These were inherent traits that she possessed, but which were also deeply influenced by the culture of discipline, hard work and ethics of the Garment Workers’ Union. The members of the Garment Workers’ Union were grounded in the sound moral values of adherence to punctuality and respect for one another. These were all part of the values that were inculcated into members by the unions in those days. Things were done in a particular fashion and if you were found to be ill-disciplined, you were marginalised or ostracised by fellow workers and the leadership.
MaBertha was blessed with all the right qualities and these were also strengthened by the influence of her trade union activism. Mam’ uGxowa was also a true disciplinarian, especially in relation to the dress code of the ANC Women’s League. She would not hesitate to take women to task and remind them of one’s bringing the organisation into disrepute by not adhering to the dress code.
What was never in question to us was her dedication and commitment to hard work. She had a deep sense of devotion and purpose in any task she undertook, which was what I greatly admired in her.
One of her many talents was that of administration, which stood her in good stead when she was elected as treasurer of the ANC Women’s League. Mam’ uBertha headed the collective that set up Malibongwe, the unit that fundraised for the ANC Women’s League. She, together with her team, built Malibongwe into a thriving venture which assisted in financing many of the league’s projects. However, she was also a hard taskmaster and would severely question each requisition that came to her desk.
Most of us will remember Mam’ uBertha for her personal qualities. She knew how to dress well with style and grace, what to wear for what occasion, and her hair was always well, groomed. Mam’ uBertha was blessed with all these fine qualities but she remained humble without being subservient.
Bertha Gxowa participated in all the major and minor campaigns in our struggle to liberate our country. She was at the forefront with leading figures of our organisation, men and women. There were comrades such as Dora Tamana, John Motshabi, Ida Mtwana, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Robert Resha. The list is endless. She was also one of the 156 trialists in the Treason Trial in 1956 and was part of the larger group that was finally acquitted.
However, the highlight of Mam’ uBertha’s life was the women’s great march to the Union Buildings in 1956. She was a main strategist for the march and responsible for its ultimate success. The mass, militant demonstration against passes gained women tremendous respect and admiration for their courage and determination to rid the country of white domination.
As we all know, 9 August was declared and recognised as one of our national days in the history of our struggle. At the time, the late ANC president, Chief Albert Luthuli, said, and I quote:
When women begin to take an active part in the struggle, as they are doing now, no power on earth can stop us from achieving freedom in our lifetime.
When the hon Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was asked to say a few words during the 50th anniversary celebration of 9 August at the Cape Grace Hotel here in Cape Town, among the remarks she made was to remind women to never forget the long and arduous road travelled to get where they are today. She also said that if it had not been for Mam’ uBertha, with the class of 1956 women, she would not have been a Minister.
Therefore, let us all double our efforts in memory of Mam’ uBertha, to use whatever powers, authority and influence we have as representatives to better the lives of our people. I thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members will recall that last week the House observed a moment of silence in memory of our late colleague. We will not do so again this time. The condolences of the House will be conveyed to the family of Mam’ uGxowa, the ANC, the ANC Youth League, the ANC Women’s League and the ANC alliance partners. I thank you.
MOTION OF CONDOLENCE
(The late Mr J H Momberg)
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Speaker, I move:
That the House —
(1) notes that on 7 January 2011 former ANC Member of Parliament, Jannie Momberg, passed away at the age of 72 and that he was a veteran politician, experienced sports administrator and businessman;
(2) recalls that Momberg was born in Stellenbosch on July 27, 1938 and matriculated at Paul Roos Gymnasium and, although not an athlete himself, Momberg became involved in athletics administration in 1969 and became boss of Western Province athletics and vice-president of Athletics SA;
(3) remembers that Jannie joined the ANC in 1992 following his resignation from the Democratic Party, which he joined after being an NP member since 1957 and was elected to the executive committee of the ANC Western Cape in 1992;
(4) further notes that in 2001, Momberg was appointed as the South African ambassador to Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus and from 2005-2006 he occupied the position of the Dean of African Group of Ambassadors;
(5) recognises that Momberg served both the ANC and the country with selflessness and with dedication in various capacities over the years and is counted amongst those progressive Afrikaners who shunned racism and embraced the movement for the construction of a nonracial, united and prosperous South Africa;
(6) acknowledges that due to his tireless effort and excellence in the promotion of diplomatic relations between South African and Greece, Momberg was awarded the Medal of the City of Athens by the mayor of that city; and
(7) conveys its heartfelt condolences to his wife, family and comrades in the ANC.
Ms M SMUTS: Mr Speaker, the day Jannie Momberg was elected to Parliament as the member for Simon’s Town, his victory was the lead front-page story of the Cape Times early edition, and he could not quite forgive me for bumping him off the front page with my own win in Groote Schuur a few hours later in the next edition.
We contested our own constituencies then on our own manifestos and recognisances and his, of course, included the fact that he had broken with his historic home, the National Party, to contribute to the creation of the Democratic Party and thereby to the creation of the conditions that made the transition possible.
Now you have to understand that the old Nats hated the Cape Times for the formidable, liberal work that it used to do then, and hence half of Jannie’s pleasure at the early front page.
After his own conversion to the Democratic Party, he personally hated the countervailing organ Die Burger, which made him so angry over breakfast every morning that it got his adrenalin pumping for the day. It says something, sir, for the road that we have all travelled, that Die Burger soon became the liberal paper.
But, Jannie kept travelling, both literally, to Lusaka, and figuratively, to join the ANC halfway through his term, with four other Democratic Party Members of Parliament. He had traversed the entire political terrain from the old establishment to the incoming new and he did so from the personal conviction that it was, for him, the right thing to do. It is not that he didn’t work through the ideological considerations that normally drive defection, as when Mrs Suzman and company crossed the floor to create the Progressive Party, or Dr Treurnicht the Conservative Party. He did take the ANC’s nonracist, nonsexist ethos under review. He said he understood the nonracism, but he could not understand what you had against sex. [Laughter.]
However, the reason that it was for him the right thing to do to join the ANC was that he felt that he had a historic debt.
In die woorde van sy vrou, mev Trienie Momberg - wat vandag saam met haar seun Steyn, as my gas in die gallery sit - wat sy politieke spanmaat, sowel as sy gade was:
Hy het net gevoel dis al manier om reg te maak die feit dat hy in die verlede die Nasionale Party ondersteun het. Alhoewel hy verguising moes verdra, het hy tot die dag van sy dood nooit getwyfel dat hy die regte ding gedoen het nie en van die groot massa mense van Suid-Afrika het hy baie ondersteuning gekry.
(Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[In the words of his wife, Mrs Trienie Momberg, who together with her son, Steyn, is sitting in the public gallery today as my guest, who was his political partner, as well as his spouse:
He just felt that it was the only way to atone for the fact that he had supported the National Party in the past. Although he had to endure abuse, he did not for one moment, till the day he died, doubt that he had done the right thing and he received huge support from the reat majority of the people of South Africa.]
My colleague, Marius Swart MP, who is the father-in-law of one of the Momberg sons and who cannot be here today, to his great regret, describes how, at Jannie’s 70th birthday function two years ago, the range of guests from farmers to sportsmen and sportwomen, politicians and friends, attested to the fact that he was indeed a bridge builder between the old order and the new, and that is what he set out to do personally. Sir, he argued hard, but always honestly and always with respect for a different point of view.
He loved his wife and his children and his grandchildren with a passion. He loved sport. He loved everything, except all the things he hated! [Laughter.] There were no half measures and, as Trienie said, he did nothing half-heartedly.
Now, Parliament was one of the things that he loved. He was thrilled to come here in 1989. When he defected three years later, Trienie says he did so without any guarantee that he would appear on the ANC’s party list or that he would receive any post, posting or reward.
In any event, he became an ANC Whip and in time he was posted to Greece. As for reward, sir, there is a reward associated with ANC membership about which we have only just learned from the highest authority. It is the ultimate reward, a free pass through the Pearly Gates! [Laughter.] The ANC may not be able to do much for you down here, but it is said to be an investment in the hereafter! [Applause.]
I wonder what Jannie thinks of this election promise up there. I suspect he thinks he got there on his own recognisance and I would think that he is right. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Mr Speaker, on behalf of Cope I join my voice with those that have spoken here this afternoon about the late Jannie Momberg. It was indeed with profound sadness that we received news of the passing on of this great son of our country. Jannie was part of the very ugly part of our history, as well as the great and beautiful part of that history.
Reports suggest that he died soon after watching the five-day cricket test against India played at Newlands. Those who are familiar with his passion for sport will probably attest to the fact that this is absolutely true, but of course his wife and family can confirm it. Like all sportspeople, Jannie mixed with many people, and mixed very easily, almost as if he were on the sportsground, watching the games, and so on.
Speaking for myself, both as a political leader and in other capacities, apart from knowing about him from reading newspapers, I really got to know him when we were in the ANC. I will not talk much about many of the things that happened.
I do want to say, though, that he was extremely passionate about the idea of national reconciliation. He was really inspired by former President Mandela’s comments on this theme. A consequence of this, especially when he had had a bit of wine – of which I won’t say much today – that I very much favoured, was his arranging of social gatherings for us, to convince other South Africans that it was good and that we really meant it when we said we wanted a nonracial South Africa.
So, at these engagements Jannie would say, “You have got to talk to so and so.”
“Jy moet met die man praat. Ek weet die mense hou van Afrikaans en ons moet hulle oortuig dat ons mense ernstig is, dat ons ’n ware Suid-Afrika wil hê wat vredevol is, en waar almal saam kan leef.” (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[“You have to speak to the man. I know people like Afrikaans and we have to convince them that we are serious, that we want a South Africa that is authentically South African and which is peaceful, and where everyone can live harmoniously.”]
And he worked for this. He spent his own money on it. He mobilised others, had lunches and so on, and I think that, if there is a little equanimity in this House, it has quite a bit to do with the work that he did.
When he crossed over to us, he was a cause of incredible ... [Laughter.] [Applause.] I often got fingers wagged at me, and it was said, “You, we are watching you!”
However, I think that by joining our ranks he was able to explain a lot of the things that we did not understand about the opposition, because he knew our ranks by then. He knew and understood things and he was able to explain to us why certain things were happening and why others were not.
And that is very important when dealing with the issues of our country, because apartheid kept our communities so far apart. The kind of education and interpretations of certain things that he gave helped one to overcome stereotypes and begin to confront the hard realities for what they were. I think we can be very proud today that we have a much better atmosphere in the House and understanding of each other, whatever the political divides may be.
Now, as our deeply divided society began to adjust to the new reality, Jannie, because of his political and social profile within the communities, provided crucial leadership at very important turning points. He did this at a time when the liberation movement was facing the big challenge of not only taking the lead in society, but of winning over increasing sections of the population to really be part of the great experiment of uniting the people of our country and building a reconciled nation.
Today, we collectively mourn the loss of a conscious activist for a full-blown, nonracial South Africa. Our country has lost an industrious worker bee for democracy and nonracialism. To the ANC, its allies, his community, his friends and, in particular, his family and loved ones, we express our heartfelt condolences, and, sad as this occasion is, we cannot help but celebrate a life that was lived with purpose and which embraced every one of us as South Africans.
I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr V B NDLOVU: Deputy Speaker, hon members, it was with a heavy heart that the IFP learnt of the sad passing of Ambassador Jannie Momberg on 7 January 2011.
Jannie, or “Jannie Bek,” as he was known within political circles, had a distinguished career spanning over 50 years, beginning with the National Party, within whose ranks he rose to become one of the party’s leading parliamentarians. In 1989, he was instrumental in the founding of the Democratic Party and in 1992 joined the ANC after its unbanning.
Jannie climbed swiftly through the ranks of the ANC, becoming one of the party’s first parliamentarians in 1994, serving his time as House Whip and chairperson of the Programming Committee, where his prior parliamentary experience proved to be an invaluable guiding light to his party in navigating the highways and byways of parliamentary procedures. He was also directly involved at a community level and, in particular, with various informal settlements in and around the Western Cape, which he vehemently defended against all opposition.
In 2001, Jannie received the ambassadorship to Greece, a post in which he served with the utmost aplomb and distinction, thereafter retiring to Muizenberg, Cape Town, with his wife, Trienie, and keeping himself busy with various business ventures and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, whom he loved very dearly.
Jannie, as was mentioned at his funeral service in Stellenbosch, was a bridge builder, a peacemaker, a critical link between two deeply divided traditional and political cultures. This role came at no small cost to Jannie personally, which is in itself a testament to the strength of character of the man. As they say, “Cometh the hour, cometh the man.” Jannie Momberg was truly one of these special individuals.
Jannie had a great love for sport and was directly involved in South African athletics at local, national and international levels, one of the highlights of his ambassadorship being the hosting of the South African Olympic team at his ambassadorial residence in Athens during the Olympic Games.
South Africa truly needs more individuals of the calibre, character and vision of Jannie Momberg, and we in the IFP humbly salute and thank Mr Momberg for his most noble efforts and the role he played in creating a unified South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs S U PAULSE: Deputy Speaker, the ID expresses its condolences to the surviving family — which includes four sons and five grandchildren — friends and colleagues of the late former Member of Parliament, Mr Jannie Momberg.
The 72-year-old Momberg, who was an old hand at politics, a veteran sports administrator and a businessperson, suffered a heart attack on 7 January 2011 at his Western Cape home. It is with great sadness that we have to pay our last respects to a man and a distant colleague who has been so dedicated to his cause and to our country.
Jannie Momberg will be remembered and celebrated as a progressive Afrikaner who fought against the evils of apartheid and racism to afford many oppressed citizens a free and democratic South Africa. His active roles in the parliamentary portfolio committees on Home Affairs, and Sport and Recreation, and the Joint Committee as Ethics and Members’ Interests instilled a deep respect in those serving alongside him. I thank you.
Mr N M KGANYAGO: Deputy Speaker and hon Members of Parliament, today we are paying our last respects to the late hon member Jannie Momberg who passed away on 7 January 2011.
The UDM extends its condolences to his family, friends and colleagues during this time of bereavement. It is not possible to ease your sense of loss, but we hope that you will find solace amongst each other and that, in the long run, your sadness will be lessened by memories of his political and many other achievements in life.
Wyle mnr Momberg se heengaan word deur ons almal betreur. Baie dankie. [The late Mr Momberg’s passing is mourned by all of us. Thank you very much.]
Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, the ACDP learnt with profound sadness of the death of former Ambassador Jannie Momberg in January. Jannie was a veteran and courageous politician, a sports administrator and businessman.
His long political history began with the NP in 1957. He was a man who stood by his principles and he must have faced fierce personal and political resentment after being shouted down at the NP congress when he called for the Group Areas Act to be scrapped in the face of a motion calling for its stricter application. That issue led to his decision to cross the floor to the DP and, not long after, to the ANC when it was unbanned in 1992. He served both the ANC and the country with selflessness and dedication in various capacities over the years.
He was counted among the most progressive Afrikaners, who shunned racism and embraced the movement for the construction of a nonracial, united and prosperous South Africa. He was hailed as a hardworking individual. He was amongst the first generation of the movement’s representatives in Parliament in 1994 and served as House Whip and chairperson of the Programming Committee from 1994 to 2001. He was a very experienced politician, and I found him to be very patient and helpful in assisting new members who did not have any parliamentary experience when they arrived.
Although he was not an athlete himself, when the famous runner Zola Budd competed in Stellenbosch as a young teenager, she stayed at his farm and, after the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, he became her manager.
In 2001, he was appointed as the South African Ambassador to Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus, where his dedication to his work was evident from his being awarded the Medal of the City of Athens.
On behalf of the ACDP, I extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Trienie, his four sons and their wives, and his five grandchildren. I thank you.
Mrs M N MATLADI: Hon Deputy Speaker, the UCDP extends its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Jannie Momberg. He will be remembered as a man who was not afraid to change his mind. As the old saying says, “A wise man changes his mind”. He was not afraid to decide differently, even when such decisions would render him unpopular in certain circles. He seized opportunities and embraced change and growth. In that sense, he lived his life to the fullest.
We say to the family members, his children, the party that he belonged to, the ANC, and others that he served, that indeed he was a man, and we have lost a real South African in him. May his soul rest in peace. [Applause.]
Mr R B BHOOLA: Madam Deputy Speaker, undoubtedly when one passes on it is indeed a sorrowful moment. Today, on behalf of the MF, I want to extend heartfelt condolences and messages of strength to the family and friends of the late Jannie Momberg.
It reminds me of another very profound saying of Mahatma Gandhi, who said that you must not lose hope in humanity — humanity is an ocean and, if a few dirty drops fall in the ocean, it will not make the entire ocean dirty. That reminds me of the remarkable personality that the late Mr Momberg had, a man who had the courage and the persistence to make a change.
You have heard those who were associated with the late Mr Momberg remember him as a person to be greatly admired. His work towards building a nonracial, united and prosperous South Africa will never go unnoticed.
Indeed, from God we have come and unto God we shall go. We pray that the soul of the late Mr Jannie Momberg will rest in peace in the high heavens. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Mr M L Fransman): Hon Deputy Speaker, members of the House, ladies and gentlemen, may I just say that whilst I was sitting and listening, I thought of who Oom Jannie was, and I wondered what he would say if he were listening to all these beautiful tributes. So, I would like to touch on some of the issues that he deeply believed in, as well.
Let me start my tribute to the late Comrade Jan Hendrik, better known as Jannie Momberg, with an extract from Louis Leipoldt’s poem, Oom Gert Vertel:
Ja, neef, wat kan ek, oumens, jou vertel?
Jy wil die storie van ons sterfte hoor?
Dis nooit te laat om daarvan nog
Te leer en van gebruik te maak - veral
Vir julle, jongling-mense. Hou maar vas
Aan wat ons het, en staan orent, en neem
Jul aandeel aan ons nasie!
Oom Jannie was large in life and is even larger in death. For this reason, I thought the poet’s words were true and apt: Do you want to hear the story of our death? Well, then. It is never too late to learn from it or to use it, especially for you, young people. Hold on to what we have, stand up, and play your part in our nation.
My sincere condolences and sympathy go to the bereaved Momberg family. This has already been said by so many speakers. The loss of one so near and dear is never easy.
However, you can be proud of the gigantic and pioneering steps he took. He set an example for young and not-so-young Afrikaners, and a myriad of others: they, too, have a place in the ANC, and even more so in the democratic South Africa. I would venture so far as to say that his life was, indeed, an example for all South Africans and a manifestation of Leipoldt’s words, “stand up and play your part in our nation”.
To comprehend how great Oom Jannie was in life, one only has to look at the tomes of tributes and condolences that have poured in extolling his many virtues, and some vices! Oom Jannie was a pillar of strength, an elder statesman who could share his wisdom and experience with many a novice ANC Member of Parliament during that first and historic session of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.
Oom Jannie joined the ANC, and the Chief Whip has already spoken about that; about his roles in the ANC, in the executive in the Western Cape, and in the Whippery here. In 2001 he was appointed as South African Ambassador to Greece, Bulgaria and other places, and between 2005 and 2006 he occupied the position of Dean of the African Group of Ambassadors. For his tireless efforts and excellence in promoting diplomatic relations between South Africa and Greece, Momberg was awarded the City of Athens Medal of Honour by its mayor.
I want to focus today, though, on Leipoldt’s words “neem deel aan ons nasie” – take part in our nation. They reflect Oom Jannie’s life and his role as one of those progressive Afrikaners who shunned racism and embraced the movement for the construction of a nonracial, united and prosperous South Africa.
His death comes at a time when the opposition has virtually assured the hegemony of the minority white vote. Now is not the time to go back into the laager. Such was Oom Jannie’s visionary leadership that, before the dawn of democracy, he had already recognised that the only path to nation-building was not to further marginalise the marginalised; and that the interests of white Afrikanerdom were best served in the mainstream of South African political life.
In his state of the nation address, President Zuma reminded us that the vision of the national democratic revolution is to build a united, nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. This requires us to revisit the ideological roots of nonracialism. Comrade Deputy President Motlanthe stated in the inaugural address of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation that:
A case can be plausibly made that the seeds of a nonracial society were planted, although unintentionally, by colonial conditions among the oppressed even prior to the formal formation of the ANC in 1912.
Another early development in the history of nonracialism is the effort at interracial solidarity, as represented by co-operation between the ANC and the African People’s Organisation, the APO. The APO was formed in 1902 under the leadership of Dr Abdullah Abdurahman, and mobilised mainly in the coloured communities. The increasingly harsh living conditions suffered by the oppressed contributed to nonracialism steadily gaining ground and taking root in society. Oom Jannie supported this.
From its genesis and throughout its formation and development, nonracialism drew in other forces and structures beyond the ANC. This has included the All African Convention, the SA Communist Party, the SA Indian Congress, the SA Coloured People’s Organisation, the SA Congress of Democrats and the SA Congress of Trade Unions. It culminated with the Congress of the People in Kliptown in 1955 and the Freedom Charter as the lodestar of nonracialism.
This does not mean that we are free of contradiction. In fact, the opposite is true. Sixteen years into the democratic era the remnants of social oppression, economic exclusion and political marginalisation — the very factors that led to the formation of our movement — are still with us to some extent, and feed a rising resentment from the working-class masses. It is critical that, at this juncture of our history, we understand the immense challenge that we face along the fault-line of the monopolisation of capital.
Today, a black matriculant is seven times less likely than his white counterpart to get a chance at a job. Those were the issues that Oom Jannie cared about, was able to raise, and wanted to deal with in his lifetime. Here in the Western Cape we have added challenges: the leverage of state resources to perpetuate white ownership in state-rented accommodation, the awarding of large infrastructure tenders to white crony companies, and the prioritisation of mainly white areas for service delivery. [Interjections.] This level of insensitivity can only be born of illusions of grandeur and supremacy.
I read the headline in Sunday’s KaapRapport, “Miljoene bruin mense gaan hul werk verloor” – more than a million coloured people will lose their jobs. I raise this point because I then sat and wondered what that does to the psyche of a community. What is the intention behind it? What is Solidarity’s intention? What would Oom Jannie have said today about a headline like that? What is the implication of Solidarity’s speaking out in the way they did, and, in fact, giving wrong information to the public?
Let us pay tribute in life, then, and let us analyse what those nonracial issues and features are that Oom Jannie was able to stand up for. How do we take that forward?
Oom Jannie could read the signs of the times. His visionary foresight earned him the wrath of many of his peers in certain communities when he joined the ANC. He will be remembered for his character as a rebel, reflected in his call for the scrapping of the Group Areas Act in 1986. Once he had crossed the Rubicon to his nonracial home in the ANC, there was no turning back. The course that he had chosen would lead to the building of bridges between communities estranged and isolated by apartheid.
There may be some who still harbour malice and resentment towards him. Yet, many others may be sitting and listening today to the accounts of the huge strides one man made, and how he has made his nation proud.
I want to end by quoting the same poet:
Roem van mense, rykdomme, pragte –
Alles vergaan soos die mis op die vlei;
Sterre wat skiet in dikdonker nagte,
Het langer lewe dan roem kan kry.
Boetie, as ons nou ’n keus moet wae
Hier op die wêreld, wat vra jy?
Here on earth, what are you asking? What are we asking when we have to confront ourselves on these nonracial features a few months before an election? Are we, for example, going into a fear process, or are we, as human beings, rising above that?
In the days, months and years that lie ahead, there will be many who will also want to listen to, grapple and wrestle with, and ruminate on Oom Jannie’s wisdom, bravery and boldness. They will be inspired to break out of the laager and embrace a new place in their being South African — a place rooted in a sense of belonging to a great goal; a greater way of being connected to the diversity of nonracialism; a closeness with fellow South Africans in a caring and connected way, in that the joys and fruits of our nascent democracy are also theirs to share and enjoy. That is what Oom Jannie also stood for – a spirit of nonracialism. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Deputy Minister. The condolences of the House will be conveyed to the Momberg family and the ANC.
REVIVAL OF LAPSED SECOND READING DEBATE ON REFUGEES AMENDMENT BILL
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, I move:
That the following item, which was on the Order Paper and in terms of Rule 298 lapsed at the end of the last sitting day of the 2010 annual session, be revived for consideration by the National Assembly:
Second Reading debate — Refugees Amendment Bill [B 30B – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75) – (Minister of Home Affairs).
UNEMPLOYMENT TENSIONS CAUSED BY SOLIDARITY
Mr K B MANAMELA (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, the so-called research conducted by the trade union Solidarity, which claims that over a million jobs currently held by coloureds in the Western Cape and 300 000 jobs held by Indians will be lost as a result of the Employment Equity Bill, is a dangerous political game that is carefully designed to foment tensions ahead of local government elections.
We are, therefore, not surprised that the DA was quick to publicly express support for the union’s inflammatory statement, whose mission is to cause a racial rift amongst African, coloured and Indian communities, particularly in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It is reckless to play racial politics regarding and spread falsehoods and distortions about something as important and very close to the hearts of ordinary South Africans as the issue of employment.
The Employment Equity Bill seeks to increase the participation of the historically marginalised communities, which include Africans, coloureds and Indians, in the country’s mainstream economy. Africans and coloureds are amongst the country’s economically underrepresented communities, an anomaly that this Bill seeks to correct. It is unthinkable that the ANC, which for almost 100 years led the struggle for freedom from the shackles of apartheid and colonial oppression, can today seek to disadvantage the same people it liberated.
As the governing party in the Western Cape, the DA should be working towards uniting the province’s diverse communities instead of dividing them along racial lines for narrow political gain. The Western Cape today remains the only racially divided province, 17 years into democracy, largely because of these kinds of racially divisive campaigns and policies of the DA.
We strongly condemn this dangerous propaganda which is aimed at stirring fear and panic amongst coloured and Indian communities on the eve of the elections. In truth, the interests of the DA lie only in those white males who constitute 70% of the economy and senior management, and not in the coloureds and Indians. As we have seen, upon assuming power in the city council and in the province, they expelled coloureds and blacks from senior management positions in the city council and the province. Thank you. [Applause.]
KILLING OF PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTERS BY LIBYAN SECURITY FORCES
Mrs S V KALYAN (DA): Deputy Speaker, during the past week more than 230 pro-democracy protesters have been killed at the hands of Libyan security forces. The Gaddafi regime, which has been in power for more than four decades, has now threatened a civil war if the protests do not cease.
Libya’s continued use of force against civilians is not only a serious affront to our own values and the principles enshrined in the Constitution, but it is in violation of the African Union’s African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It further contradicts our stated foreign policy objectives of pursuing peace and human rights in the international arena.
The Zuma administration has chosen to say very little. The Department of International Relations and Co-operation, while noting with serious concern the situation in Libya, continues to call for a speedy and peaceful resolution between government and the people. There has been no call for Gaddafi, a dictator who has ruled for more than 40 years, to resign.
We have just heard the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation postulating about racism. Why don’t you do your work instead, Minister? We call on you to make South Africa’s position on the continued violence against protesters clear. Will the South African government unreservedly call for the resignation of Muammar Gaddafi? Will the South African government summon the Libyan ambassador to explain the conduct of his government? Will the South African government withdraw the ambassador to Libya? Will the South African government renounce any previous support for Gaddafi and his dictatorship?
The gulf between what we say our foreign policy is and what we actually do in the international arena continues to grow. It is time that we start to bridge this divide with action, and this is the opportunity to do so. [Applause.]
NEW TOLLING SYSTEM IN GAUTENG
Mr P D MBHELE (Cope): Deputy Speaker, it is highly unfortunate that the Department of Transport and the Gauteng provincial government did not use a bottom-up approach to determine whether or not roads in that province should be tolled. The decision to establish a task team to study the impact of the new tolling system in the province at this very late juncture is just inept damage control.
It is also very alarming that Cosatu is now planning to submit a section 77 notice to the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, in order to oppose the tolling system. It is also threatening mass demonstrations, stayaways and possibly a strike. All of these indicate how poorly and clumsily government has managed the entire process.
Particularly damaging to South Africa is the issue of the reliability of doing business with government. What does the ham-handed handling of this matter say to international and local investors?
If the Ministry of Transport entered into any agreement with investors, it must honour that agreement. On the other hand, if the toll fees are high, they should be reduced and made affordable, so that the burden of development and maintenance of roads is not shifted in its entirety to the road users. That would be unacceptable.
A fair system which provides value for investor and customer is what is needed. What is also needed is the exercise of greater care by Minister S’bu Ndebele in responding to public criticism. His urging of people who do not like the tolling suggestion to use public transport is in the classical Marie Antoinette mould — he is out of touch with reality — and Cope demands that a win-win situation be created at once. Thank you. [Applause.]
PRAISE FOR REHABILITATION OF INMATES IN ZONDERWATER CORRECTIONAL CENTRE
Mr J B SIBANYONI (ANC): Deputy Speaker, this statement seeks to praise the Zonderwater Correctional Centre which is situated in Cullinan in the Nokeng tsa Taemane municipal area, in the Metsweding region in Gauteng province. This statement is about the continuous success stories in the rehabilitation and training of prison inmates, through making available adequate resources for the human accommodation of prisoners.
The Zonderwater Correctional Centre produces 307 tons of vegetables each year, as well as yoghurt, red meat, milk and poultry. It slaughters about 1 000 chickens per day to supply a number of correctional centres in the Gauteng region. The centre also boasts artworks, and the extensive production of furniture and steel utensils to supply a number of government departments. This art is produced by offenders as part of their rehabilitation and the correction of their offending behaviour.
The artworks can be used to generate revenue for centres of Correctional Services, as well as contribute to ensuring self-sufficiency. The ANC-led government calls upon other correctional centres to emulate the good example set by Zonderwater Correctional Centre in Gauteng. Thank you. [Applause.]
INCLUSION OF EASTERN LANGUAGES IN CURRICULUM
Mr N SINGH (IFP): Deputy Speaker, we as the IFP have been given to understand that a draft of the National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement for next year has been tabled by the Department of Basic Education. What is of concern is that the draft does not make provision for Eastern languages as part of the curriculum.
It was in 2003 that a similar omission was mooted and at the time I, as MEC for education in KwaZulu-Natal, was able to persuade the then Minister, Kader Asmal, that Eastern languages such as Tamil, Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu, Urdu and Arabic are languages that have been in use for the past 150 years, and that their continued existence and promotion should be guaranteed. This was acceded to then.
Although not part of the 11 official languages, they are certainly indigenous languages. Thousands of learners are studying Eastern languages in our schools today, and hundreds of teachers have been trained to teach these languages. Whilst an argument can be made that statistics may not be all that accurate, the right of every South African to the protection of languages is enshrined in our Constitution.
We as the IFP trust that the hon Minister of Basic Education will ensure that there is no termination of the teaching of Eastern languages in our schools, now and/or in the future. Thank you. [Applause.]
CAMPAIGN AGAINST RECKLESS AND NEGLIGENT DRIVING
Mnr P J GROENEWALD (VF Plus): Agb Adjunkspeaker, die VF Plus wil die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens gelukwens met die veldtog wat hulle geloods het gedurende die vakansietydperk in veral Desember verlede jaar. Hulle benadering dat hulle roekelose en nalatige bestuurders vasgevat het, het vrugte afgewerp om te verseker dat vakansiegangers en motoriste veiliger op ons paaie is. Waardering word uitgespreek vir die opofferings van hierdie lede in die feestyd.
Daar is egter met kommer kennis geneem van die insident waarby die agb lid Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in hierdie tydperk betrokke was. Die feit dat haar motorbestuurder na bewering roekeloos en nalatig bestuur het deur teen 150 kilometer per uur deur die verkeer te vleg, is betreurenswaardig. Die verdere beweerde optrede van die agb lid strek die eer van die Parlement en van haar kollegas tot oneer en is ’n verleentheid.
’n Parlementslid moet ten alle tye ’n voorbeeld aan die kiesers stel. Die beweerde optrede van die agb lid sou getuig van arrogansie en ’n meerderwaardige gevoel dat sy verhewe is bo die reg. Ander motoriste in soortgelyke situasies sou summier weens dwarsboming van die gereg gearresteer word.
Die verdere gevolge van die insident, dat lede van die polisie daarna geskors is en selfs gevra is om die ... [Tussenwerpsels.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Mr P J GROENEWALD (FF Plus): Hon Deputy Speaker, the FF Plus would like to congratulate the SA Police Service on the campaign they launched during the holiday period, particularly in December. Their approach of tackling reckless and negligent drivers paid dividends by ensuring increased safety for the holidaymakers and motorists on our roads. We express appreciation for the sacrifices made by these members during the festive season.
We did, however, note with concern the incident involving the hon member Winnie Madikizela-Mandela during this period. The fact that her driver is alleged to have been driving recklessly and negligently by winding his way through traffic at 150 km per hour, is deplorable. The further alleged actions by the hon member do Parliament and her colleagues no credit and are an embarrassment.
A Member of Parliament should at all times set an example to the electorate. The alleged actions by the hon member would bear witness to arrogance and a feeling of superiority that places her above the law. Other motorists in similar situations would be arrested summarily for defeating the ends of justice.
The further consequences of the incident, with members of the police being suspended and even asked to ... [Interjections.]]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There’s a point of order, hon member.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I would like to object to the statement. The reference to a Member of Parliament has to be done by way of a substantive motion. The hon member ought to know that that is the procedure; the Chair has decided on it in the past. Therefore, I object to the contents of the statement.
Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Adjunkspeaker, as die agb lid net sy ore was en mooi luister na wat ek sê en my net die geleentheid gee om my lidverklaring klaar te maak, dan kan hy sy beswaar indien. So ek vra dat ek net klaarmaak en dan kan hy besluit of hy ’n beswaar wil indien.
Ek sê die verdere gevolge van die insident dat lede van die polisie daarna ... [Tussenwerpsels.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Mr P J GROENEWALD: Hon Deputy Speaker, if the hon member would just wash his ears and listen carefully to what I’m saying and just afford me an opportunity to make my member’s statement, then he can object. So I am just asking that I be allowed to finish, after which he can decide whether to raise an objection.
I was saying that the further consequences of the incident, with members of the police subsequently ... [Interjections.]]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member is still on his feet. Can we hear the member?
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Actually, I was on my feet, so he must sit down. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: You are not going to decide that for me. You sit down.
Mr P J GROENEWALD: No, I listen to the Deputy Speaker. I don’t listen to you, only to him.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Do you still have a point of order?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Yes, Deputy Speaker, I put a point of order in relation to the fact that you cannot refer to a member of this House without doing so by way of a substantive motion. That is what the Rules provide. The hon member is reflecting on the character of a member of this particular House by not doing so by way of a substantive motion. Therefore, he is out of order and should not, with respect, be allowed to proceed with the statement; whether or not he washes his ears.
Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Adjunkspeaker, kan ek u toespreek? Ek vra nie ’n sensuur op die agb lid nie. Ek praat van beweerde stellings. As ek verder na my lidverklaring toe gaan, dan sê ek in my lidverklaring dat ek die agb Minister van Polisie gevra het om ’n behoorlike ondersoek in te stel oor die aangeleentheid en om daardie bevindinge van daardie ondersoek openbaar te maak, want dit is vir die mense van Suid-Afrika nodig om te weet of hulle vertroue in die polisie kan hê. Dit is ook in belang van die lede van die polisie.
Ek vra die agb Minister dus om dit wat ek hom reeds versoek het, af te handel sodat ons na hierdie Huis kan terugkom en ek dan kan voorstel dat ons ’n debat daaroor voer. Dit is nie bevorderlik vir die bekamping van misdaad indien ’n agb lid van hierdie Huis optree soos die agb lid Winnie Madikizela-Mandela na bewering opgetree het nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Mr P J GROENEWALD: Hon Deputy Speaker, may I address you? I am not asking to censure the hon member. I am referring to alleged statements. Returning to my member’s statement, I go on to say that I have asked the Minister of Police to launch a proper investigation into the matter and to make the findings of that investigation public, because it is necessary for the people of South Africa to know if they can place their trust in the police. This is also in the interests of the members of the police.
So I’m asking the hon Minister to finalise that which I have already requested him to do, so that we can return to this House and I can then propose that we debate the issue. It is not conducive to fighting crime if an hon member of this House acts in the manner in which the hon member Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is alleged to have acted.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: May I ask under what Rule the hon Deputy Minister Surty is rising? I am not aware that the Rule that he is talking about exists. What Rule is he referring to?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I definitely understand the Rule of not pointing a finger at a member of the House without a substantive motion. Isn’t that what he is saying?
Mr M J ELLIS: No, I disagree, Madam Deputy Speaker. There is no such Rule that says that, and I would like to know what Rule he is quoting. One cannot refer to judges or anybody like that, but where does it say what he is saying? We do this in the House all the time. What Rule is he talking about?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Do you have a response, hon Surty?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Yes, I do have a response. With respect, hon Deputy Speaker, the Rule ought to be known to the hon member, which provides that you cannot reflect on the character or the dignity of a member of the House without doing so by way of a substantive motion. [Interjections.] I’m not obliged ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: I am not obliged to provide the exact detail, the exact section of the particular Rule. If the hon member wishes at all to have the specific Rule, I will provide it. However, could I draw the hon Deputy Speaker’s attention to the fact that this House has decided on the matter in the past? In simple terms it means that I cannot refer to the hon member as a moron without basically moving a substantive motion indicating that he is indeed a moron; otherwise it would be discourteous and rude to do so.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member ...
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker ...
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Adjunkspeaker ... [Hon Deputy Speaker ...]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no, no, no, I will not allow a dialogue, please. I’m not going to allow ...
Mr P J GROENEWALD: I don’t want a dialogue with him; I’m addressing you, hon Deputy Speaker. May I address you on this point?
Agb Adjunkspeaker, ek tas nie die karakter aan van die agb lid nie. As die agb lid mooi luister, sal hy hoor ek sê daar moet ‘n ondersoek gedoen word. Dis wat ek vra. Ek sê nie dit ís so nie. Ek sê, juis om haar integriteit en die integriteit van agb lede in hierdie Huis te beskerm, moet ‘n behoorlike ondersoek plaasvind, so ek kan nie verstaan hoe die agb lid kan sê ek sê sy het ‘n swak karakter nie. As hy dit weet, weet hy meer as wat ek weet. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Hon Deputy Speaker, I am not attacking the hon member’s character. If the hon member would like to listen carefully, he will hear me saying that there has to be an investigation. That is what I am asking for. I am not saying it is so. I am saying, precisely in order to protect her integrity and that of the hon members of this House, there should be a proper investigation, so I don’t understand how the hon member can say that I am saying that she has a poor character. If he knows that, he knows more than I do.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much, hon member. We want to conclude the statements. I take note of the point of order. I will look at it and then rule later.
21st ANNIVERSARY OF NELSON MANDELA’S RELEASE FROM PRISON
Dr A N LUTHULI (ANC): Thank you, Deputy Speaker. I make this statement in honour of the 21st anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. February 11 marked the 21st anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. When Madiba walked from Groot Drakenstein Prison that day, waving his fist in the air, he signalled the start of a new era in the history of South Africa, an era of democracy and freedom for our people. A few hours after his release Mandela delivered his first public speech from a balcony at Cape Town City Hall:
Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.
Today we must remind ourselves of where we come from in our struggle to establish a democratic South Africa. And more importantly, we must, as public representatives of the people, follow Madiba’s example of selflessness and dedication in our commitment to creating a better life for all. Thank you. [Applause.]
BILLING PROBLEMS IN JOHANNESBURG
Mr S C MOTAU (DA): Madam Deputy Speaker, the ANC-run City of Johannesburg has plunged the lives of thousands of its citizens into crisis due to the extensive billing problems in that city. For much of the past year the city has been unable to bill correctly, due to the failure of its R580 million project, Phakama.
For several months, ratepayers have raised questions about the erratic and bizarre billing system that the city commissioned and implemented. The situation has been compounded by ratepayers not being able to gain assistance from the city service centres in order to query bills. One resident, Mike Naidoo, has complained so many times that he now has 17 reference numbers. More than 41 000 ratepayers have received disconnection notices, while in December alone there were 8 000 disconnections. In total, at least 65 000 ratepayers have incorrect bills.
As the billing crisis rose in severity, the mayor of the city, Amos Masondo, denied there was any crisis, giving one an idea of just how out of touch he is with the ratepayers who pay his salary. As is often the case, the ANC blame everyone except themselves, and at one point even the DA was blamed for the chaos!
Another comical defence is that the problems were because of human error, but the buck stops with the mayor and the municipal manager. That is how accountable democratic governments should work. The ratepayers of Johannesburg deserve better!
The billing crisis is just one of the major problems induced by the ANC administration, including street and traffic lights that don’t work, potholed streets, crumbling water and sewerage systems, and a predatory Metro Police force. Fortunately, 2011 is an election year, and voters of the city will be able to express their dissatisfaction at the ballot box. If the ANC won’t hold its office bearers accountable, then the voters will! Thank you very much. [Interjections.]
DA ATTACK ON PRESS FREEDOM
Ms S T NDABENI (ANC): Deputy Speaker, we are dismayed and concerned at the unashamed attack on the freedom of the press and the free access to information by the DA. [Laughter.] Three months ago the DA blacklisted Sowetan parliamentary correspondent Anna Majavu for simply doing her job, which is to cover news freely, fairly and without fear or favour. [Interjections.]
Ms Majavu was banned from all media activities of the DA and further removed from the party’s media list after she exposed the involvement of one of the party’s councillors, Mr Pieter van Dalen, in the shooting of defenceless black children while they were playing in Khayelitsha. [Interjections.] In what could be regarded as a pat on the back for a job well done, the party later promoted him to the position of member of this House.
The party’s decision to blacklist Ms Majavu for simply doing her job, is a brazen attempt to intimidate and muzzle journalists who do not write sweetheart stories about the DA and its government. It is a known practice of the DA that journalists who do not write favourably about the party are threatened and intimidated. Editors and journalists have in the past written about how Zille and her lieutenants made threatening calls to journalists who refused to kowtow to their orders.
We condemn in the strongest terms the DA’s attempt to dictate to the media how it should conduct its business. This backward tendency, which was prevalent during the apartheid era, has no place in our democracy. We once again call on the party to immediately cease this intimidation and apologise to the Sowetan and its journalists. I thank you. [Applause.]
EMBARGO ON SA WEAPONS TO LIBYA
Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI (IFP): Madam Deputy Speaker, we condemn the Butcher of Tripoli and the brutal repression taking place in Libya. We also condemn the complicit silence of our government, the ANC, on the matter. We cannot but wonder what the price of that silence has been. With what price — of election contributions, favours and outright corruption — have the dignity of this country and the moral conscience of this government in this international matter been bought?
We call on the South African government to establish an immediate embargo on weapons to Libya, so that freedom fighters in Libya will no longer be killed by weapons produced by South Africans.
We hope that the time has come for the leader of the revolution, as he wishes to call himself, to be swept away by a real revolution of freedom-aspiring people, as in Tunisia and Egypt, and finally in Libya may he be relegated, after 40 years of tyranny, to the same category as Pol Pot, Fidel Castro and Joseph Stalin. Thank you.
LACK OF INTEGRITY OF PUBLIC SECTOR
Mr L RAMATLAKANE (Cope): Deputy Speaker, Cope is appalled at the lack of integrity that has become the core of the public sector. It has become the norm that the officials can evade prosecution in one department through simply shifting to another department. This is a violation of the Public Service Handbook and it shows complete disregard for justice and the fight against corruption. According to the Public Service Commission, PSC, a key challenge in addressing corruption is the fact that many officials resign before their disciplinary hearing and accept an appointment in another department.
Cope is therefore shocked at the statement made by Minister Chabane that Jimmy Manyi’s disciplinary case is neither here nor there for now, simply because Manyi has shifted from being the Director-General of Labour and become head of government communication.
Cabinet continuously states that no stone will be left unturned in the fight against corruption. Is this the case? We must remember that Manyi exaggerated the Department of Labour’s budget by R1 billion and presented it to the portfolio committee as a fact. Now, is this how the government wants to fight against corruption and for integrity?
A similar case is Siyabonga Gama who, after being found guilty in 2009, may be reinstated in the very parastatal from which he was fired. Jimmy Manyi and Siyabonga Gama, irrespective of their status in the public sector or the ruling party, are still public officials and should be held accountable for their actions. The Minister must come clean on this political power play; otherwise everything will remain a pipe dream. Thank you.
PROMOTING SOUTH AFRICA FOLLOWING THE WORLD CUP
Mr L SUKA (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, since South Africa’s successful hosting of the Fifa World Cup in 2010 it has been riding a tidal wave of success, ridding itself of a myriad of stigmas amongst international visitors. The country has proven to the world that it is alive with possibilities.
In his state of the nation address in Parliament, President Jacob Zuma announced that the country had already secured 95 major international meetings and conferences, which will be hosted here between now and 2016.
In order to further promote South Africa as a first-class destination, not only for tourism, but also for hosting international conferences, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Trade and Industry will be hosting a Sports and Events Tourism Exchange Conference and exhibition in July this year, with the aim of keeping South Africa in the forefront when it comes to hosting international events.
The Sports and Events Tourism Exchange Conference is a first in South Africa, and will provide exhibitors and visitors with a unique platform to network and interact with both local and international industry leaders. The aim is to promote South Africa as a beautiful and prosperous country that international organisers and tourists fell in love with during the Fifa World Cup.
The ANC-led government will continue to find creative ways whereby tourism can create jobs for our people. Together, we can make 2011 the year of jobs! Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.
EFFECTS OF CHANGES TO LABOUR LEGISLATION
Dr W G JAMES (DA): Deputy Speaker, the DA notes with alarm the Zuma administration’s decision to continue to pursue its changes to labour legislation, despite the mounting evidence of the disastrous impact they will have on employment and the President’s stated priority of fighting poverty. Studies have shown that the amendments to the Labour Relations Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Employment Equity Act will cost the South African economy at least 1,1 million jobs.
While millions of South Africans continue to live in extreme poverty, desperate for a livelihood that will enable them to create a better future for their children, the ANC-led government is embarking on a pointless, ideologically inspired and, may I say, perverse campaign. This will do nothing but worsen our already drastically high unemployment rate.
Just this week calculations have shown that the amendments to the Employment Equity Act will cost South Africans living in the Western Cape and in KwaZulu-Natal many jobs, and it is because of the ANC’s national racial quotas. It is because of the ANC’s definition of equity targets, which uses old apartheid categories, that there will be a disproportionate effect on coloured people and Indians in the Western Cape and in KwaZulu-Natal. It is because of the ANC’s equity policies that there will be this disproportionate impact on coloured and Indian South Africans.
Perhaps, then, we will call on the hon Marius Fransman, the new leader of the ANC in the Western Cape, to reach deep within his soul and for once speak with some integrity about the impact of job losses that result from ANC policies and what they will mean for South Africans today. Perhaps it is the hon Marius Fransman who will for once dig deep into his soul and tell the truth about the consequences of ANC policies with regard to job losses.
The DA will continue to push for policies that create jobs and do not destroy jobs and that will fight poverty and not make poverty worse.
The people of the Western Cape can be assured that we will take action on this. Thank you. [Applause.]
HOUSE BUILT FOR CHILD-HEADED HOUSEHOLD
Mr J J SKOSANA (ANC): Hon Deputy Speaker, the ANC constituency office and Mjokwane High School have built a house for a child-headed family through hon Jomo Nyambi and hon Makhubela-Mashele.
During October 2010, the Mjokwane High School in the area visited the KaMaqhekeza constituency office in the Nkomazi Municipality in Mpumalanga to present the case of the Themba family. The Themba family is a child-headed household with Thembeni Themba, who is 17 years old, taking care of her three siblings. After a visit to the Themba family, the KaMaqhekeza constituency office contacted the provincial department of housing to try to assist this family. The department gave an undertaking that they would be able to assist, but only in the new financial year.
Together with the ANC constituency office, the learners decided to design a house with two bedrooms, a kitchen, lounge and veranda. The reality is that government committed itself to assisting this family in 2011 and the learners made it their responsibility to find a way to provide the family with a proper house.
After some deliberations with the school principal of Mjokwane, the ANC public representatives, hon Jomo Nyambi and hon Makhubela-Mashele, decided to put the plan into action. The Departments of Health and Social Development played an important role by providing a grant to this family. The contractor identified by the ANC constituency office and the school has been excellent.
The structure was completed on schedule and constructed in an efficient manner. The fully furnished house was handed over to the family on 14 October 2010. This is a testament to the fact that we can indeed together do more to ease the plight of our people. Thank you. [Applause.]
INCLUSION OF EASTERN LANGUAGES IN CURRICULUM
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Deputy Speaker, there was the issue of Eastern languages, and my response is that we will look into the matter and get back to the member of the IFP. I am not able to commit myself to saying we will indeed reinstate them or we will not be able to reinstate them. It will need careful consideration, which we will indeed give to it, and get back to the member. Thank you. [Applause.]
NEW TOLLING SYSTEM IN GAUTENG
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Deputy Speaker, I’m responding to the statement made by the hon member from Cope about the matter of the tolls in the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. Firstly, let me say that Minister Ndebele has obviously taken note, as we all have in the Department of Transport, of the public outcry and deep public concern about the proposed toll fees.
We are particularly concerned about the impact that the tolling fees would have on the lives of working-class and poor people. We are slightly less sympathetic, but perhaps a bit sympathetic, to those who belong to the suburban elite, who are at the forefront of demanding these kinds of expansive, extremely expensive, infrastructure freeway projects. They are then the first in the queue when it comes to crying about the cost to the country of implementing these means.
We — the Minister in particular — are actively engaging the SA National Roads Agency Ltd, Sanral, around the proposed toll fees, as well as all role-players.
We are also looking very closely at the current proceedings of the Competition Commission. You’ll remember that the Competition Commission is looking at serious collusion in the civil engineering sector. We have no reason specifically to say that the costs of this particular project were inflated seriously as a result of collusion, but we are certainly looking very closely at that too.
In making this statement we want to reaffirm that the Department of Transport’s strategic priorities are public transport, and not car-based freeways, and road maintenance. These are where the job-intensive activities lie.
Also, an impression has been created that all this has come out of the blue. Maybe the shock of exactly what it is going to cost to toll this very expensive project is now dawning on a number of people. But Sanral has reported to this Parliament about this project, and I can vouch for that, being a former chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Transport. Sanral has come many times over many years to explain this project.
I think we should, and hopefully we will, use the current debate as a reminder to all of us from all parties, particularly those that represent suburban elites, that we need to ask very serious questions about the affordability, the transformational impact, if any, the sequencing and the correct priorities when we embark on major infrastructure construction programmes. Thank you. [Applause.]
PROMOTING SOUTH AFRICA AFTER THE WORLD CUP
The MINISTER OF TOURISM: Deputy Speaker, the upcoming conference that the hon member has referred to is actually a private sector conference, but it will be supported by the two government departments that he referred to.
We recently announced the tourism arrival figures. From January till November last year it was good news for us — it was 15,4% up on the previous year and it was double the global growth. We will very shortly be announcing the figures for the whole of last year.
The important lesson from those figures is that we as a country cannot continue to rely on leisure tourism alone. We should diversify in products, and also new markets.
With regard to products, the new convention bureau will be up and running this year. It will be housed at SA Tourism, properly funded, and assist in bidding for international conventions and conferences.
With regard to new markets, we recently announced that this year our national carrier, SA Airways, would start flying Johannesburg - to Beijing. We will announce a specific date very soon, and I am very optimistic that that route will soon after that be serviced by Chinese airlines as well. Thank you. [Applause.]
EFFECTS OF CHANGES TO LABOUR LEGISLATION
The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Deputy Speaker, the hon Wilmot James said that DA policies create jobs and do not destroy them. I would like to ask him this, in the light of what he said and what we heard during the state of the nation address. If Cape Town is well governed, why is it that when Minister Patel and I went out to Atlantis a few months ago, we were told that the biggest problem facing industrial projects in Atlantis is that authorisations from the municipality for those factories to use the land, which used to take three months, are now taking 18 months? I think that is actually holding up job creation. Perhaps they ought to throw their stones at their own houses rather than elsewhere. Thank you. [Applause.]
EFFECTS OF CHANGES TO LABOUR LEGISLATION
The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Deputy Speaker, I want to add to what the Minister of Trade and Industry has said about the issues that were raised by the hon Wilmot James.
Firstly, I think that the member should have participated during the time for public commentary if he had views on how we have to deal with the legislation.
Secondly, that process is still with the National Economic, Development and Labour Council, Nedlac. I believe that as Members of Parliament we know what the processes are and what informs those processes, except if the hon member doesn’t understand that.
Lastly, hon Deputy Speaker, I want to say this to the hon James. The issue that they always raise is in connection with the labour brokers. Labour brokers do not create jobs; rather, they place people in the vacancies that have been created either by the government or the private sector. Thank you, Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]
KILLING OF PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTERS BY LIBYAN SECURITY FORCES
EMBARGO ON SA WEAPONS TO LIBYA
EFFECTS OF CHANGES TO LABOUR LEGISLATION
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Mr M L Fransman): Deputy Speaker, on the issue of Libya, as well as other parts in the north, we are very clear. We have made it public that we respect our laws, and also the laws of others. Therefore, we obviously view violence being used against civilians in a grave light. We condemn that. That is a very direct response — there is no ambiguity on that issue.
We also call for an end to violence everywhere it is happening. We say that the best place solutions can be found for the people in the countries there is among the people themselves. Therefore, what we need to do is to give support to those processes and not try to dictate processes in other countries.
Just another point, to do with the member James — truth be told, in 1994 there was a comic book on the Mitchells Plain Cape Flats in Cape Town ...
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: We refer to members as “hon members”, not “members”.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Mr M L Fransman): Hon member James, in 1994 there was a comic book that went out on the Cape Flats basically saying, “If black South Africans rule South Africa, you will lose the following.” In 1999, there was a poster saying “Fight back”. That poster was only put out by the DA in the white areas and the historically coloured communities.
The third one was in 2004, hon Deputy Speaker, when we saw a “Stop Zuma” poster. It was not ironic that we saw the poster on Sunday, in the City Press and KaapRapport. So, we knew what was taking place. We also knew it was wrong for political parties to work on the fears of people a few months before the time. Lastly, if truth be told, out of 22 individuals in the legislature, 16 come from the historically white community and only 6 people come from the black African and the coloured community. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, on a point of correction, the hon Fransman made two mistakes; in 1999 the Democratic Party, DP, put up the “Fight back” posters and in 2004 the anti-Zuma posters were put up. [Interjections.] He must get his facts right when speaking in Parliament.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please sit down!
RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM GENERAL AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
Ms H F MATLANYANE: Ke a leboga, Motlatša Sepikara. Ke a leboga maloko a Ntlo ye e hlomphegagago. [Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. Thank you, members of this august House.]
The Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, adopted by government in 2009, gave birth to a new era in our new democracy. The strategic framework correctly identified rural development as a central pillar in our struggle against unemployment, poverty and inequality. Its analysis of the challenges that faced government articulates the fact that people living in rural areas face the harshest conditions of poverty, food insecurity and a lack of access to services on an almost daily basis.
Further, workers living in rural areas face the brunt of poverty. Many of them work long hours for poverty wages. Mostly this affects women, who form the majority of those in residential and rural areas. They face the burden of poverty every day.
The adoption of the framework pointed to the necessity for an effective rural development programme, ensuring that investment in infrastructure, services and training reaches those areas of the country that have been affected most.
The Medium-Term Strategic Framework laid the foundation for a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to agrarian reform which builds the potential for sustainable rural livelihoods, particularly for African women.
This analysis of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework led to rural development being declared one of the five priorities of government, which would then need adequate operational capacity and resources to realise its vision.
The vision of this strategic framework is located in ensuring the building of vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities. The mission is meeting basic human rights and human needs, rural enterprise development, the establishment of agrovillage industries, markets and credit facilities, and community mobilisation and organisation.
Coming to the evolution of rural development in adopting this amendment Bill, we need to remind ourselves of the evolution of where we have come from since 1994 with rural development. The Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, was adopted by government in 1995 as a broad framework and plan to deal with correcting the legacy of colonialism and apartheid. This was followed in 1997 by the Rural Development Framework which built upon the Reconstruction and Development Programme.
An assessment and evaluation of the Rural Development Framework took place in 2000, leading to the Integrated Strategic Rural Development Programme in 2001. This integrated approach to the challenges of rural development was strengthened in 2008 by the programme War on Poverty, and finally in 2009 by the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme of 2009.
Our nation-building project on jobs, rural development and land reform is inspired by the state of the nation. Job creation, our national project, has its foundation in the economic development of the rural areas. It must include affordable financing to promote economic development and to support programmes and training in assisting co-operatives and small enterprises, public sector ventures, and strategies to develop appropriate industries, including light manufacturing, handicrafts, services, tourism, etc.
Measures to support rural development include infrastructure development to produce thriving rural economies and ensure sustainable development. The expansion of basic infrastructure, which includes roads, electricity, water connections and public toilet systems in rural areas, has long been a central priority for the ANC.
In operationalising these changes through institutional reform and legislation, the policy evolution that has been described above has the procedural consequences that have led to the establishment of the Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform. Essentially, this has meant that institutional reforms have become a necessity and this can only be carried out through the necessary amendments to legislation.
On 3 September 2010 the amending Bill was gazetted. This Bill amends various laws that are under the administration of the Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform.
In terms of Proclamation No 44 of 1 July 2009 the President transferred, and I quote: “the administration, powers and functions” of specific legislation to the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform. A total of 28 Acts were specified.
The definitions of “Minister” in these Acts are outdated, as they still refer to the Minister of Land Affairs, Minister of Regional Land Affairs, Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs and the Minister responsible for the planning profession.
Similarly, the definitions of department and director-general are also outdated in most instances. Therefore, to ensure legal certainty in respect to which Minister and department are responsible for the administration of these Acts, the Bill contains various clauses aimed at amending these relevant definitions. Where necessary relevant expressions within the Acts are also to be amended to reflect the correct Minister, department or director-general.
There are references in the various pieces of legislation to other Ministers and departments in these Acts, and their responsibilities. As these Ministries have also been institutionally affected, it is necessary also to amend those references appropriately. These refer to the Minister of National Education, which is now the Minister of Higher Education and Training; the Minister of Agriculture, now the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Minister for Provincial Affairs and Constitutional Development, which is now the Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
The proposed amendments have no financial or constitutional implications and do not affect any customary law or the customs of traditional communities.
All political parties indicated in the committee that they are in support of the Bill. I therefore, on behalf of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, place before the House our support for the Bill. Ke a leboga. [I thank you.]
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
SECTIONAL TITLES SCHEMES MANAGEMENT BILL
COMMUNITY SCHEMES OMBUD SERVICE BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, hon members, the vision of Human Settlements 2030 is accelerating the development of sustainable human settlements for all South Africans, based on the provisions of the Constitution. It is about laying a solid legal architecture which gives legislative meaning to guide the delivery of integrated human settlements. It is also about enhancing social justice through the deracialisation of the residential market.
Our mission is four-pronged: Firstly, there is the upgrading of informal settlements, as we know. Secondly, there is the provision of grants for low-cost housing. Thirdly, there is the provision of guarantees to the banks lending in the gap market — the R1 billion announced here by the President as well as the Minister of Finance. Lastly, there is the regulation of activities of the financial institutions with respect to their lending practices.
In our 2009 Budget Vote, we made the following commitment regarding our legislative programme. In order to accelerate the achievement of ideal human settlements for our people, the department is planning to table several pieces of legislation in this Parliament for consideration. A fair amount of work, research, and consultation, and a fair number of site visits and deliberations have since taken place.
Therefore, the objective of today’s exercise is to table two Bills in this House for consideration and passing, namely the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill and the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill. We are tabling these Bills simultaneously, hon members, due to the complementary nature of the two pieces, which otherwise could have created an administrative logjam, or what they call in legal parlance a legal lacuna.
It is our expectation that the passing of the two Bills will facilitate the realisation of the broader goal of enhancing social justice through the creation of a cohesive and integrated society. The Bills will also contribute to good governance and improved administration of sectional titles and community schemes.
The objective of these Bills is to enhance legal protection for those who live in community housing schemes such as high-rise flats, inner-city buildings, townhouse complexes or built-up estates – as many of you live in those places. These include properties controlled by entities such as sectional titles schemes, share block companies, homeowners’ associations, otherwise known as gated villages, and housing schemes for retired persons. More and more South Africans are beginning to look for shelter in these areas, particularly our young people, many of whom have just left a tertiary institution or are starting their first jobs.
The Bills will also minimise the negative actions of some corporate bodies in these settlements, which may want to ride roughshod over individual members. The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill provides for the establishment of body corporates to manage, as well as regulate, common property in sectional titles schemes. For effective and efficient implementation of the legislation, provision is made for the establishment of a Sectional Titles Schemes Management Advisory Council to advise the Minister, that is, me.
The second Bill, the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill, establishes a Community Schemes Ombud Service as a public entity with executive authority vested with the Minister to resolve disputes emanating from community schemes. There is a booming or ever-increasing proportion of human settlements which are being developed in the form of these community schemes, within which there is governance by the community involved. There is also shared financial responsibility, as well as common land and facility utilisation.
Quite often the cordial relations amongst members of these bodies, as you may know, will deteriorate, giving rise to problems and disputes among participants because they involve control and administration of finances or facilities and behaviour, which require effective resolution. Currently, there is no effective and affordable dispute resolution mechanism available to parties involved in community schemes. The Community Schemes Ombud Service is aimed at addressing this particular weakness.
In his state of the nation address, the President called for us to make 2011 a year of job creation. As more people get jobs, this unlocks housing opportunities for those who are migrating from slums to proper housing, including inner city housing. In line with our new mandate and our goal of deracialising the residential market, Cabinet decided to bring all human settlements-related legislation under one roof, that is, the Department of Human Settlements.
In the same vein, the Cabinet has established an interministerial committee led by the Department of Human Settlements to look into the Estate Agents Act, which is still located in the Department of Trade and Industry where we have additionally, above and beyond residences, industrial as well as commercial space.
Our expanded mandate of human settlements requires a holistic approach to the creation of cohesive and integrated communities. The promotion and development of sectional titles as a tenure option will invariably assist towards the realisation of this goal. The transfer and bond values captured by the Deeds Office highlight the significant role that these sectional titles schemes play in the creation of sustainable human settlements.
The two pieces of legislation before you, members, are located in a market that is huge in monetary terms. For example, in 1999 in this property market the transfer value was around R2,7 billion and the bond value was around R6,2 billion. In 2009, 10 years later, the transfer value rose to R53 billion and the bond value to a phenomenal R1,5 trillion.
Both Bills we are tabling today will assist the Department of Human Settlements in creating cohesive and integrated communities. They will facilitate transformation of the community schemes environment. In particular, the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill will have a significant catalytic effect on the property market, job creation and, thus, on the economy at large.
Our challenge is to inject life into the Act to make it effective and functional. There is absolutely no value in leaving the Act and putting it on the shelf. People do not necessarily remember when Parliament passes Acts. What matters is how the passing of an Act will improve their lives. Of course, that will require serious commitment on our part, as the executive, as well as ongoing oversight by the portfolio committee.
Therefore, the passing of these Bills, which are located in Human Settlements 2030, creates a mechanism that provides concrete hope for many South Africans, many of whom will be first-time owners. These are their instruments for the future. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms B N DAMBUZA: Hon Chairperson, hon members, fellow comrades, I would like to express the fact that both Bills have been tagged as section 76 Bills ...
... ngoba le Mithetho iYilwayo kuza kufuneka ukuba iye kuxoxwa luluntu phaya ezantsi, ukuze luqinisekise ukuba iimfuno zalo zithathelwe ingqalelo. [... because these Bills will have to be discussed by the people at grass-roots level in order for them to ensure that their needs are taken into consideration.]
Although the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill and the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill are two separate Bills, they are closely related and are therefore being debated together.
It is worth noting that the bundle of changes to the sectional titles and related Acts, which are being brought about by the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill and the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill, can rightly be referred to as “third generation sectional title laws”.
The “first generation” Sectional Titles Act came into operation in 1973. Sectional title development schemes, which provide for separate ownership of properties by different individuals, were considerably revised in the second generation law, that is, the current Sectional Titles Act of 1986, which came into operation in June 1988.
This Act, with its various subsequent amendments, prescribed the management and rules of conduct that apply to sectional titles schemes and laid the framework for the operation of such schemes.
Until now the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has controlled both the registration of deeds and all the technical aspects of sectional titles, particularly the approval of sectional plans and the registration and transfer of rights in sectional title property. The department’s role in the management of sectional titles schemes has, however, been limited to being the custodian of the governance documentation, including management and conduct of scheme members. It has not had the legal authority to add any value to the management of sectional titles schemes.
Whilst sectional title is a form of land title that can be applied to any land use, a substantial majority of sectional title units are used for residential purposes. In terms of the Breaking New Ground policy and comprehensive plan for housing delivery, the Department of Human Settlements’ responsibilities were expanded to encompass the entire residential market. The decision was hence taken that the responsibility for the management and governance aspects of sectional title schemes should be transferred from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to the Department of Human Settlements.
The aim of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill is to give effect to Cabinet’s strategy of bringing all housing-related legislation presently administered by other departments under the roof of the Department of Human Settlements.
The Bill will essentially take over all sections of the Sectional Titles Act that deal with sectional title scheme management, and which have been administered up to now by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, thus creating a new Act administered by Human Settlements. The Sectional Titles Act of 1986, as amended, will retain only the clauses that deal with surveys and registration of sectional title plans. The proposed Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act contains all the management provisions currently integrated into the Sectional Titles Act.
With the existing legislative provisions being effectively moved from the Sectional Titles Act to the new Bill, substantial revisions have been made to the management provisions, which have been more logically set out and renumbered through a public participation process. People who buy into sectional titles schemes must now know the management aspects of sectional titles legislation in order to protect their vested interests as owners. I want to repeat this: in order to protect their vested interest as owners, as well as occupiers, of sectional title property. They will now be able to find all this information in one statute which exists only for that purpose, making things easier for those buying into these schemes.
The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill proposes a provision for the establishment of body corporates to manage and regulate sections and common property in sectional titles schemes and, for that purpose, to apply rules applicable to such schemes, as well as to establish a Sectional Titles Schemes Management Advisory Council, and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Information on sectional titles has historically not been sufficiently accessible to the general public. It is necessary to change this since sectional titles will become one of the dominant systems in operation when high-density residential areas become more prevalent in urban areas.
The fundamental motivation was to make sectional titles a more practical, useful and inclusive system. Property developers, land surveyors, conveyancers, the Deeds Office, bankers and town planners normally deal with the technical complexities of sectional title transactions. The Bill makes sectional titles a more practical, useful, inclusive and understandable system. In addition it deals with the actual operation of sectional titles.
Chairperson, the word “title” is a legal term that, among others, refers to a formal document that serves as evidence of ownership. Sectional title involves personal ownership, as well as collective ownership, of property. With this go a bundle of rights and responsibilities. The sectional title deed stipulates which parts of joint property are personally owned and which parts are collectively owned. As sectional owners, people have accountability towards others to share in the costs with regard to common property and also to maintain their personal property.
In regard to the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill, the vast majority of new South African housing coming onto the market is in the form of one or other type of community scheme. Community schemes are becoming increasingly popular for groups of owners of conventional properties. They band together, either as a homeowners’ association or as a residential improvement district, in order to ensure delivery of the services that are necessary to maintain their property values.
Most new housing developments are now happening in community schemes, involving governance by that community, shared financial responsibility, and the common use of land and other facilities. The model includes sectional title schemes and share block companies, etc.
The increasing need for government to provide some form of support to persons who own residences in community schemes, particularly in the area of dispute resolution, has become evident. Because they involve governance and the administration of finances, facilities and behaviour, community schemes can and do give rise to problems and disputes amongst participants, which need to be effectively resolved. Currently ...
... njengokuba uMphathiswa sele etshilo ukuba asinalo iyeza lokuwunyanga loo mhlola. [... as the Minister has already mentioned, we do not have a solution to that problem.]
The Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill will address this need. The ombud service will be established as a national public entity ...
... hayi, sele etshilo ke uMphathiswa, asoze ndiliphinde. [... and I will not repeat that, as it has already been mentioned by the Minister.]
All community schemes must and do incorporate certain rules. Currently, owners face limited and ineffective options when trying to resolve complaints or disputes relating to community scheme properties. These options include private arbitration or, provided the other party to the dispute agrees, taking the dispute to the High Court. Both options are expensive and time-consuming, particularly the High Court option which involves a lengthy process.
The ombud’s office is expected to provide a solution to the current situation by providing a host of essential services to sectional title governance and all community schemes.
This proposed statute will create an independent body tasked with facilitating and arranging efficient and cost-effective dispute resolution, which arises in all community schemes. This will cover all those with shared management and financial responsibility.
The reason for setting up an ombud is to establish a simple and inexpensive recourse that will ensure independence, fairness and impartiality, and promote uniformity and consistency in the handling of disputes. It will also provide a remedy to protect the right to good governance and administration.
The ombud deals with complaints and resolves disputes by appointing full-time conciliators, and full-time and part-time adjudicators to impartially handle investigations, hold hearings and make determinations. The adjudicators’ decisions can be appealed at the Court of Appeal or High Court, but only if the appeal is based on a legal issue.
The ombud’s service will monitor the governance of community property schemes. The schemes may have to report to the ombud on issues, such as conducting annual general meetings and having sufficient insurance cover in place.
In addition to its primary objective of arranging for the resolution of community scheme disputes, the service will provide basic training for those who live in and manage community schemes. In line with similar initiatives in Queensland, Australia, and Canada, it is envisaged that the service will create and make available primary training material. This will prevent disputes which arise due to a lack of understanding of the fundamental principles which apply in each form of community scheme.
The intention is that the ombud service should be implemented in such a way that local communities throughout the country will be able to access it. At the same time, unnecessary bureaucracy must be avoided and the infrastructure of the service be kept as compact as possible.
As mentioned earlier, the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill is linked to the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill, as most housing developments are now happening in community schemes which include sectional title schemes. These two Bills therefore complement each other.
The question can then quite rightly be asked why the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill needs to be separated from the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill. The answer lies in the fact that the two Bills exist for fundamentally different purposes. The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill regulates the management and governance of a particular type, whereas the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill seeks to ensure a cost-effective dispute resolution mechanism.
Somlomo, oyena ndoqo kuqulunkqo lwale Mithetho okokuqala, kukuqinisekisa ulawulo oluluqilima kwezi ntlaka zilandelayo: iitayitile, kunye nezikimu zoluntu, kuqukwa nezo zendawo ezihlala abantu abasele besidla umhlalaphantsi njalo njalo. Okwesibini, kukuqinisekisa kokusonjululwa kwembambano phakathi kwala maqela angasentla, nokuthi abantu bangangeni ezindlekweni ezinkulu nokuqinisekisa ukuba yonke loo nto ayithathi xeshalide. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Chairperson, of the utmost importance in the drafting of these Bills is to strengthen governance in the following two inseparable components: the titles and the community schemes, including the retirement homes and so forth. Secondly, this is to ensure that conflicts among the above-mentioned stakeholders are resolved and that people do not find themselves in extreme debt and also that all that doesn’t drag on for a long time.]
Chairperson, allow me to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to all participants in the processing of the Bills, and this includes members of the portfolio committees from all political parties ...
... nePalamente ethe yasincedisa kakhulu, yasinika nexesha lokuba sikwazi ukuya kufunda e-Queensland ngokwenziwa kwalo Mthetho, nabasebenzi, kunye neSebe elikhokwela nguMphathiswa uTokyo ... (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[... and Parliament that assisted us tremendously by affording us an opportunity to learn more about the drafting of this Bill in Queensland; the staff, as well as the department under the leadership of Minister Tokyo ...]
... and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, as well as the South African Embassy. Both Bills were adopted by the committee and the House is requested to support the adoption of the Bills. The ANC supports the Bills. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A C STEYN: Hon Chairperson and hon members, the main aim of the first Bill before us today is to give effect to a Cabinet decision to bring all housing-related legislation currently administered by other departments under the administration of the Department of Human Settlements.
Until such time as this Bill becomes law, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is responsible for the administration of the Sectional Titles Act of 1986. This Act, which has recently been amended, deals with the survey, the registration, and the management and administration of sectional title schemes. However, its mandate does not extend to dealing with complaints from the public or with problems arising from scheme governance.
The purpose therefore of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill is to remove the scheme governance provisions currently contained in the Sectional Titles Act and to incorporate these provisions into the proposed new Bill, as well as to set the platform for dealing with complaints from owners of sectional title schemes, amongst others.
The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill will also provide for the establishment of body corporates to manage and regulate sections and common property in sectional title schemes and, for that purpose, regulate rules applicable to such schemes; establish a Sectional Titles Schemes Management Advisory Council, as the Minister pointed out — whether he is going to take their advice or not is a matter about which we will have to wait and see and provide for matters connected therewith.
To my knowledge, the amendments to remove the sections dealing with scheme governance provisions now contained in this Bill have been removed from the Sectional Titles Act by amendments to that Act by the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform.
The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements has been deliberating extensively on this Bill since early October 2010. We asked for copies of all submissions made to the department prior to its tabling the Bill in Parliament, and held public hearings. Unfortunately, the public hearings were not well attended and no submissions of any major significance were made.
Many amendments and additions were made by the committee, however, which I believe improve the draft Bill tabled by the department. These are particularly as regards the relationship between the body corporate and individual owners, and the provision of protection to individual owners against the actions of body corporates, which often act without obtaining the written consent of owners or unanimous resolution. This is now defined in the new Bill. The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements at all times obtained consensus on additions and/or amendments — although at one stage there was a threat that the committee wanted me to recuse myself, because I happen to be the owner of a sectional title. [Laughter.]
Three important additions that we made are the following: Firstly, as I said, the Bill makes provision for an advisory council to be established to review the regulations to be prescribed under this Act and the implementation thereof, and to make recommendations to the Minister with regard to these. Needless to say, the committee has put into the Bill that those regulations should come before the committee before they are approved.
Secondly, there is the provision for body corporates — this is an important one — to make provision for a maintenance budget in addition to their operating budgets. A common complaint was that no provision is made for long-term maintenance, which necessitates raising special levies for expensive remedial matters that arise, which often places an unfair financial burden on homeowners in the complex concerned.
Thirdly, there is the establishment and provision of a dispute resolution mechanism. However, this is contained in a separate Bill entitled the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill. The portfolio committee did entertain the idea of merging the two Bills into one, because the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill is really an extension of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill. However, whilst the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill deals only with sectional title schemes, it is envisaged that the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill will deal with any scheme or arrangement in terms of which there is shared use of and responsibility for parts of buildings.
Hon Chairperson, because of the overlap between the two Bills and the impact of the one upon the other, both Bills had to be considered in parallel by the committee and hence, I presume, the fact that we are debating the Bills together today.
Agb Huisvoorsitter, weens die feit dat ons gemeenskappe oor die algemeen nie veilig voel in ons woonbuurte nie en omdat konvensionele vrystaande huise nie net skaars is nie, maar ook geneig is om duurder te wees, is daar al hoe meer huiseienaars wat na deeltitel kyk as dit by behuising kom. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Hon House Chairperson, because of the fact that, in general, our communities do not feel safe in our residential areas and, because conventional free-standing houses are not just scarce but also tend to be more expensive, more and more homeowners are considering sectional title when it comes to housing.]
It is therefore important that a fair regulatory system is in place and, more importantly, that a dispute mechanism exists. These two Bills address both these issues. The DA supports the Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs M A A NJOBE: Hon Chairperson, the most significant aspect of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill is contained in clause 18. The establishment of a Sectional Titles Schemes Management Advisory Council, which the Minister referred to earlier on, is a progressive move. It will allow for the proper, full-scale implementation of this Act and also allow for the regulations to be kept under regular review.
The idea of a regular review of regulations is highly desirable. It will allow for sectional titles schemes in South Africa to operate with better governance, and greater transparency and accountability. The process of constant renewal is indeed very appealing and its promise must be translated into reality.
It is also worth noting that the Bill demands that the advisory council must make recommendations to the Minister with regard to any amendment thereof or other action which may be advisable. I am happy to note the emphasis on the word “must”. This creates a direct obligation for the advisory council to produce recommendations so that the Minister can continue to refine the Bill, until it covers all eventualities. One day a comprehensive Bill that will allow for the better running of sectional title schemes will arise.
To fulfil this expectation it is imperative that the advisory council makes known its existence to all sectional title holders as soon as possible, and it must also invite and receive inputs for analysis and comment. The creation of an interactive website will be an absolute necessity for the proper functioning of the advisory council. We request that the Minister and the department facilitate this without delay.
Hon Speaker, I now wish to turn my attention to the second Bill, the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill. Boards and their functioning have become contested terrains in South Africa. This is because they have been politicised. We appeal to the Minister to ensure that he goes strictly by the provision of clause 7(4), so that he appoints people with the requisite skills, experience and availability to properly fulfil their functions. This Bill has great promise provided that the right people are appointed.
The Bill provides for how fiduciary duty should be undertaken and for disclosures to be made. This must be stringently monitored by the department. We implicitly believe that a declaration has to be signed to the effect that each person required by the Bill to make a disclosure has, in fact, made a full disclosure with no material information excluded. The Minister must ensure that this happens.
In respect of clause 18(d), the Minister should ensure that the development of efficient, transparent and cost-effective administrative systems is examined point by point against the Public Finance Management Act, PFMA.
Under clause 42(d) we urge the Minister to consider making regulations which will allow for independent arbitration and the use of the small claims court to occur where the ombud believes that the matter is outside his or her jurisdiction. If any application is rejected because of a legal lacuna, it should be obligatory upon the ombud to bring the matter immediately to the attention of the Minister, so that administrative procedures may be used to deal with the problem.
Finally, clause 22 makes provision for levies to be collected from community schemes. This will require proper prior consultation with representatives of schemes, as this will be seen as a new form of tax. Those who pay will need to have the right to representation. As the Minister knows very well, taxation without representation is tyranny. Cope believes that this matter of the levy must be communicated to all affected parties so that a round table discussion can occur. The imposition of levies must not be done unilaterally or prematurely.
This Bill will bring relief to many people who have governance issues with their governing bodies. The issues that are being raised should be communicated to all the body corporates via email so that they stay in the loop and can take appropriate remedial action. The ombud should work proactively and not only reactively. He or she should educate as much as he or she should adjudicate. We strongly believe that problems should be arrested before they occur. This should be the modus operandi of the ombud. Moreover, this will be a whole lot cheaper.
Lastly, Chairperson, I would like to congratulate our committee chairperson on the handling of the discussions in the committee on these two Bills, particularly the first one. She did it in such a way that what appeared to be a difficult task was, in fact, carried out smoothly by the whole committee. There were no disputes of any kind. Cope supports both Bills. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr K P SITHOLE: Chairperson, the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill takes us a step closer to an integrated management approach, which should expedite the procedural compliance thereof.
That being said, the IFP is concerned about the impact of the power afforded to the Minister to appoint members to the proposed Sectional Titles Schemes Management Advisory Council. In these powers lurks the danger of making appointments that are politically motivated, and subsequently compromising the interests of the schemes that the Bill seeks to protect.
The omission in the Bill of the amendment of key definitions is potentially a further area of concern. Definitions such as “regulation board”, “unanimous resolution”, “proxy”, and “management agency” could have further enhanced the efficiency of these schemes. The IFP believes that clarity of these issues could be accommodated within these Bills, instead of in a later amendment.
The Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill is welcomed by the IFP, particularly the dispute resolution service that it aims to establish for all community schemes.
Unfortunately, there are grave areas of concern, in particular the almost centralised structure of the proposed offices. The IFP has noted the vagueness around the number of regional offices, where the community schemes in especially rural and semirural areas are neglected. Sir, “community schemes” are by definition local entities and therefore require local offices. The cost implication of local offices can be addressed by means of proper planning and research, which could produce a sensible local structure model. This is to ensure access to these services by local communities.
Clarity is needed around the levies that the service could potentially generate, to ensure that the said entities do not become cash cows for the ombud service. This will have to be accompanied by the department’s business case, which would specify the operating expenditure for the ombud service. If these issues are addressed, the proposed ombud service should be a beneficial institution for all concerned.
Mhlonishwa Sihlalo, siyambonga kakhulu umama uDambuza ngokuthi akwazi ukuthi abekezele angalali, futhi abekezelele ukwehluka kwemiqondo yethu ukuze lo Mthethosivivinyo ube yimpumelelo ngokusebenza ubusuku nemini nekomidi lakhe. Ngaleyo ndlela iNkatha yeNkululeko iyaweseka lo Mthethosivivinyo. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[Hon Chairperson, we thank Ms Dambuza very much for being able to stay awake, and being patient with our different opinions in making this Bill a success and also for working around the clock with her committee. The Bill is welcomed by the IFP. Thank you.]
Mr M R MDAKANE: Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, and hon members, thank you for allowing me to participate in this debate on the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill. Community schemes bring together people from diverse backgrounds, age groups, interests and philosophies. Their objective is ownership of a unit in a community scheme in which they live and share common facilities in designated common use areas. Integrating such diverse backgrounds into a stable and successful scheme presents many challenges.
The creation of an independent body in the form of the Community Schemes Ombud Service, tasked with facilitating and arranging both simple and inexpensive recourse in the handling of disputes is necessary. The board will ensure independence, fairness and impartiality, and promote uniformity and consistency in the handling of disputes.
Considering the fact that the vast majority of new South African housing is coming onto the market in the form of one or other type of community scheme, the people need more protection against unscrupulous developers, investors, absent landlords and managing agents. The committee was passionate that this Bill should address all the challenges that currently exist. The various sections were therefore scrutinised closely and debated intensely.
We expressed concern about the original omission of housing co-operatives from the definition of the community scheme, whereupon it was agreed that “housing co-operatives”, as contemplated in the Co-operatives Act, Act 14 of 2005, and the “scheme” have the same meaning.
We also debated the conciliatory role, a significant one, in dispute resolution and the fact that it must be identified alongside adjudicators in clause 4. It was agreed that clause 4(b) should be amended to contain wording relating to training of conciliators, adjudicators and other employees of the service.
We therefore noted the need to cater for criminal liability for breaches of clause 11. This was done by amending clause 34, with the addition of the new subsection which reads as follows:
4. (1) The Service must —
(a) develop and provide a dispute resolution service in terms of this Act;
(b) provide training for ... adjudicators and other employees of the service;
(c) ... monitor and control the quality of all sectional titles ... and other such scheme governance documentation as may be determined by the Minister by notice in the Gazette; and
(d) take custody of, preserve and provide public access ... to sectional title ... and such other scheme governance documents as may be determined by the Minister ...
(2) In performing its functions, the Service —
(a) must promote good governance of community schemes;
(b) must provide education, information, documentation and such services as may be required to raise awareness to owners, occupiers, executive committees and other persons or entities who have rights and obligations in community schemes ... ;
In addition, this information needs to be given to members of the public, with regard to rights and obligations existing in community schemes. Furthermore, the service —
(c) must monitor community scheme governance; and
(d) may generally, deal with any such matters as may be necessary to give effect to the objectives of this Act.
As far as the funding of the ombud service is concerned, it is noted that government assistance will be required for the first three years after its establishment. The members of the committee had a discussion on the matter, and we agreed that the team — the Minister and the Ministry as a whole — would look at the matter and make proposals that would assist us to ensure that after three years we would be allowed as members of the House to sit down and look at the matter and then take a final decision.
The committee as a whole debated this matter and agreed that some of the matters that have been raised in both sectional schemes and the ombud service are interrelated. They are working together to build a team. There is agreement in the committee that the whole issue must be addressed by the Ministry to ensure that there is proper running of the scheme in our country, because there are a lot of members of our communities who will always occupy these sectional titles and who are also working together to ensure that they improve the quality of life of the people.
The ANC is happy with the discussion and elaboration in the committee, and we have agreed that we support the Bill as proposed and amended by the committee of this House. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mrs G M BORMAN: Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, and hon members, the aim of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill, which is the one that I am going to deal with on behalf of the ANC, is to remove the scheme governance provisions currently contained in the Sectional Titles Act from the Act and to incorporate these provisions into the proposed Bill.
Today, 51% of all homeowners are purchasing sectional titles and buying into community schemes and many of these will be buying into these schemes for the first time. Therefore Parliament is required to process legislation that clearly assists people to protect what for most of them is the biggest asset they have to purchase.
The Bill provides for the setting up of body corporates, their functions and powers; the trustees of body corporates and their functions in the day-to-day running of the scheme; the responsibility of the owner; what is covered by the insurance of the scheme and whether the owner will need to take out extra insurance for himself; and the establishment – as we have already mentioned – of a Sectional Titles Schemes Management Advisory Council to make recommendations to the Minister regarding regulations and to give advice regarding amendments to this Act. With regard to the regulations — the hon Steyn alluded to this — the Bill states in clause 19 that:
The Minister may, after consultation with Parliament, make regulations.
This is very important: “after consultation with Parliament” is particularly pertinent because of the oversight role of Parliament.
The portfolio committee, in dealing with this Bill, took into account the submissions made by the public and I now want to just refer to two of those and highlight them because I believe they have improved the Bill.
The first one relates to funding and this is also referred to under “Functions of bodies corporate” in clause 3(1). It states that the body corporate needs to establish and maintain two funds, an administrative fund which is reasonably sufficient to cover the estimated annual operating costs, and a reserve fund to provide for the future maintenance and repair of common property. The minimum amount will be prescribed by the Minister.
The administrative fund will provide for the day-to-day running of the scheme – things like repairs, maintenance, management and administration of the common property which is generally shared by all in the scheme. This will include the payment of charges to the municipality, such as electricity, water and sanitation, the payment of insurance premiums relating to the building or land, and so on. The reserve fund will need to take care of larger projects, for example, when the building needs painting, there are major repairs, a new security gate might be needed, or there are big repairs to the swimming pool.
During our hearings, one lady told the committee in her submission that the block of flats she had invested in was not being maintained properly. It was badly in need of paint and repairs, but there was no money. That is poor forward planning and what we want to avoid by establishing these two funds. People want their assets to be properly looked after and this Bill will go a long way toward protecting them.
The second one relates to proxies. In regard to meetings of the body corporate, it is stated in clause 6(5) that:
A member may be represented in person or by proxy at such a meeting, provided that any one person may not act as a proxy for more than two other members.
The committee found in the submissions made that the option to have a proxy vote had been hugely abused in the past. If a particular person had a particular agenda, they could phone around and get as many proxies as they needed to have their view adopted, regardless of whether it was in the interests of the scheme or not. The Bill now allows for only one person to be proxy for two other people. This should also encourage people to attend the annual general meeting instead of having the majority of the votes coming from empty chairs, like ghosts.
To ensure that people receive the benefits of the legislation, there will be training and education to help them understand it. When we visited Australia to ensure best practice in the ombud Bill, we were impressed with the care taken to educate and train people. Each person is given an owner-friendly booklet advising them of the legislation pertaining to their purchase. We will ensure the same will apply here.
Hon Chairperson, the state law advisers and the Department of Human Settlements are of the opinion that this Bill must be dealt with in accordance with the procedure established in section 76 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, since it falls within a functional area listed in Schedule 4 of the Constitution, namely Housing. The ANC supports the Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr R B BHOOLA: Chairperson, as alluded to by the President, by 2014 over 400 000 people will have security of tenure. All of this cannot be achieved, however, if we do not have policies and legislation, or if we put into practice policies and legislation that nullify government’s policies of service delivery implementation. Therefore, this piece of legislation is long overdue — you cannot progress with old, outdated legislation. The MF supports both pieces of legislation.
The main problem is that the whole sectional title deed environment still preserves the dominance of white people. They still control everything around sectional title. According to our expectations, they will make every effort to ensure that black people are excluded from their efforts. This must, however, translate into sound economic benefits for all across the racial sectors. We need to leverage the economic benefits that come from sectional title.
The MF’s concerns were around the issue of education. It is of paramount importance that there should be sound, meaningful transformation. Many previously disadvantaged blacks were not familiar with the entire sectional title matter. The establishment of the ombud will deal with problematic issues and indeed it will see to the poor people who have lost their homes previously.
We must take note of the fact that people are entitled to only one housing subsidy. The MF also welcomes the curbing of the powers of delegation, which were indeed utilised to advance certain economic agendas. The introduction of the ombud will see people save money and time, and matters will be addressed prior to going to court. People must not be prejudiced because of a lack of education, and lose their homes – that is rather sad.
As included in the sectional title, people must get transfers of their homes. Whilst the Minister has said that ownership of property creates asset wealth, communities in rural areas are still waiting for the transfer of their properties ... The MF will support both pieces of legislation. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr A M FIGLAN: Chairperson, the DA welcomes the idea of establishing a Community Schemes Ombud Service. We are of the view that this service will bring relief to hundreds of thousands of homeowners who at times find themselves victim to a lack of access to fair and just representation on property matters. However, we are concerned about the costs associated with the establishment of regional offices and we requested the department to consider sharing offices with other agencies, for example the rental housing tribunals, where possible.
Secondly, the ongoing operating costs are of concern to the DA, adding to the R20 million to be provided in the establishment. At this stage it is envisaged that owners of community schemes will be levied and we are concerned about the added financial burden on the consumer. The department will have to guard against a situation where we will have another inefficient state entity that will continue to depend on homeowners.
The committee undertook a study visit to Australia at the end of November 2010 because our service is based on the Australian model.
I represented the DA on this visit. Notably, the sectional titles scheme owner in Australia does not fund the ombudsman, as envisaged in our Bill. It forms part of the Department of Justice in Queensland, Australia. Of interest is that in Australia the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management - as it is known there — operates within a single state and this is not replicated across the whole country, as is envisaged in South Africa.
In South Africa, an increasing proportion of housing is being developed in the form of community schemes, in which there is governance by the community owners involved in shared financial responsibility and land or facilities used in common. Community schemes include sectional titles schemes, share block companies, homeowners’ associations and housing schemes for retired persons.
Because a community scheme involves the regulation and administration of finances, facilities and behaviour, it often gives rise to problems and disputes amongst participants, which require effective resolution on time. There is currently no effective and affordable dispute resolution mechanism available to parties involved in community schemes in South Africa.
Since the demise of apartheid in 1994, an increasing number of members of previously disadvantaged communities are acquiring ownership in community schemes, and are not familiar with the process and technical aspects of ownership of the scheme. The Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill seeks to address this need, since it will establish a simple and inexpensive recourse for owners involved in any dispute. Furthermore, the Bill promotes uniformity and consistency in handling disputes, and provides a remedy for the protection of this good administration.
Chairperson, notwithstanding the concerns mentioned earlier, we will seek to keep the proposed increase in existing levies to fund the service as low as possible. A possible figure of between R10 and R50 per month has been mooted and will possibly work on a sliding scale. This will be contained in the regulations which will have to be brought before the committee before the Minister can gazette them.
Ngalo mazwi ke, i-DA iyawuxhasa lo Mthetho uYilwayo. [Kwaqhwatywa.] [With those words, the DA supports the Bill. [Applause.]]
Ms D E DLAKUDE: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, and hon members, due to the growing scarcity and resultant increase in the cost of urban land for housing purposes, sectional title housing is not only suitable, but in part one of the solutions for the process of urbanisation now taking place in South Africa. But, whereas the suitability of the sectional title format to provide housing in an urban environment has been proven beyond doubt, sectional title schemes can degrade, with a resultant loss of value for homeowners due to mismanagement, or even a total lack of management. Typical problems are aspects such as a lack of enforcement of rules, inadequate maintenance, nonpayment of levies and noncompliance with the essential financial and administrative requirements.
Major management decisions regarding the scheme are made by the body corporate — which is the collective name given to all the owners in a scheme — usually at the annual general meeting, where matters affecting the scheme are discussed, budgets are approved and rules are made and changed. A substantial list of management functions, powers and additional powers are entrusted to the body corporate in terms of clauses 3, 4 and 5 of the Bill. Clause 7 further dictates that the functions and powers of the body corporate must be performed and exercised by the trustees of the body corporate holding office in terms of the rules. Professional managing agents are appointed to perform the day-to-day management functions on behalf of the trustees and, by extension, the body corporate in the bigger sectional titles schemes. This is also because the majority of the trustees are in full-time employment.
Hon Chairperson, inasmuch as the Bill requires each trustee to stand in a fiduciary relationship to the body corporate, which means that he or she must act honestly and in good faith in relation to the body corporate, this is expected even more from appointed managing agents in respect of honesty and trustworthiness with regard to the trustees. One would expect that there would be a code of conduct by which managing agents would abide and which would oversee their day-to-day activities in relation to sectional title schemes. The committee has been given the assurance that this matter will be attended to in the regulations in terms of clause 19 of the Bill.
The committee also strongly supports the establishment of a Sectional Titles Management Advisory Council. This council makes recommendations to the Minister concerning any matter in respect of which the Minister may make regulations. Furthermore, the council must keep the implementation of the Act and the regulations under regular review and make recommendations to the Minister with regard to any amendments thereof. The advisory council will consist of the chief ombud as chairperson, a senior official of the Department of Human Settlements, and not more than five and not fewer than three persons with skills, knowledge and experience in the management of a range of types of schemes.
Hon Chairperson, the ANC supports the Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, as we conclude this part of our debate in respect of the two Bills, let us appreciate the work which has been executed by the portfolio committee, which is ably led by hon Dambuza.
I know how difficult it was for the committee to come to terms here. They spent a lot of time, many nights and days, debating. One appreciates the fact that all parties agreed to the two Bills. We congratulate the parties for doing that. We also congratulate them on their involvement in this debate.
We will take on board details expressed here by various members — as they say, the devil is in the detail, and there are many details associated with the two Bills. A lot has been said here. Our director-general is in the House and we will still have to download this. I must be honest with you, I didn’t pick up everything. Normally we download some of the things which have been said here so that we can go line by line in taking advice that has been put here.
As the Minister responsible, I also want to reiterate my commitment to applying the duties and functions, as well as various responsibilities, around the two pieces of legislation even-handedly. In that respect we would like to continue to assure members of the House that we are going to engage with the various stakeholders so that we can explain to them the direction that we are taking and give them comfort about the even-handed manner in which we are going to apply this legislation.
Last but not least, I also want to thank and congratulate the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Minister Gugile Nkwinti. First and foremost, he gives us lots of land — we can’t have human settlement without him! We also thank him for his co-operation and the role that he has played in seeing to the smooth transfer of these two pieces of legislation from his department to Human Settlements. Thank you.
Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill read a second time.
Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill read a second time.
CIVILIAN SECRETARIAT FOR POLICE SERVICE BILL
(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chair, I move:
That the House refuse to pass the Bill.
The Bill, as amended, accordingly not passed.
INDEPENDENT POLICE INVESTIGATIVE DIRECTORATE BILL
(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chair, I move:
That the House refuse to pass the Bill.
Bill, as amended, accordingly not passed.
CIVILIAN SECRETARIAT FOR POLICE SERVICE BILL AND INDEPENDENT POLICE INVESTIGATIVE DIRECTORATE BILL NOT PASSED AND MEMBERS ELECTED TO SERVE ON MEDIATION COMMITTEE
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Chair, I move without notice:
That the House —
(1) notes that the National Assembly has refused to pass the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill [B 16D – 2010] and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Bill [B 15D – 2010];
(2) elects the following members, as nominated by their respective parties, as the Assembly representatives to the Mediation Committee on these Bills:
(a) Chikunga, L S (ANC)
(b) Schneemann, G D (ANC)
(c) Mocumi, P A (ANC)
(d) Van Wyk, A (ANC)
(e) Lekgetho, G (ANC)
(f) Kohler-Barnard, D (DA)
(g) Ramatlakane, L (Cope)
(h) Ndlovu, V B (IFP)
(i) Meshoe, K R J (ACDP)
The House adjourned 17:28.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
FRIDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2011
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Finance
(a) Government Notice No 50 published in Government Gazette No 33977 dated 28 January 2011: Determination of a date on which section 13(1) and 38(1) of the Act shall come into operation in terms of the Taxation Laws Second Amendment Act, 2009 (Act No 18 of 2009).
(b) Government Notice No R.57 published in Government Gazette No 33983 dated 4 February 2011: Termination of existence of Amnesty Unit in terms of the Exchange Control Amnesty and Amendment of Taxation Laws Act, 2003 (Act No 12 of 2003).
(c) Government Notice No R.58 published in Government Gazette No 33983 dated 4 February 2011: Amendment of Rules (DAR/80), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(d) Government Notice No R.75 published in Government Gazette No 33983 dated 4 February 2011: Amendment of Schedule No.2 (No.2/333), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(e) Government Notice No R.76 published in Government Gazette No 33983 dated 4 February 2011: Amendment of Schedule No.3 (No.3/668), in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training on the Annual Report 2009/10 of Mining Qualifications Authority and Information Systems, Electronics and Telecommunications Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority, dated 8 February 2011
The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, having considered the Annual Report 2009/10 of MQA and Isset Seta reports as follows:
The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training considered the Annual Report 2009/10 of MQA and Isset Seta on the 10 November 2010. The purpose of the meeting was primarily to assess the annual financial performance of the above mentioned Setas.
1.1 The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education & Training
Ms N Gina (ANC), Ms M Kubayi (ANC), Ms N Magazi (ANC), Ms F Mushwana (ANC), Mr A van der Westhuizen (DA) and Mr K Dikobo (AZAPO).
Apologies: Mr S Makhubele (ANC), Ms W Nelson (ANC), Mr S Radebe (ANC), Dr J Kloppers-Lourens (DA), Ms N Vukuza (COPE), Ms C Dudley (ACDP).
1.2 Mining Qualifications Authority officials
Mr D Msiza: Chairperson, Mr Y Omar: Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr M Mdingi: Chief Financial Officer, Mr D Barclay: Executive Manager, Ms J Moodley: Acting Chief Operations Officer.
1.3 The Information Systems, Electronics and Telecommunications Technologies Seta officials
Mr L Chiloane: Chairperson, Mr O Mopaki: Chief Executive Officer, Mr J Sibeko: Senior Manager, Mr N Molefe: Marketing and Communications Manager.
1.4 Other guests
Mr H Hoon: Director, Department of Higher Education and Training, Ms F Kwaza: Parliamentary Media Liaison, Parliament and Ms K Redpath: Monitor PMG.
The report provides a brief summary of the presentations by both Setas which highlight the Setas mandate and mission, strategic imperatives, delivery on the NSDS II, financial highlights for the year under review and other relevant matters.
2. Summary of the presentations
Mr Y Omar: Acting CEO led the presentation which highlighted the following key issues:
* The strategic objectives of the MQA include transformation of the sector through skills development, development of quality training and development and re-skilling of employed / unemployed for sustainable employment.
* In terms of financial performance, the MQA received a total income of R572 million in the year under review accompanied by an unqualified audit opinion.
* The mining sector employs 551 195 employees with 35% of them being located in North West followed by 19% in Gauteng.
* In terms of learning programmes, 13348 employed learners completed learnerships and 1044 unemployed learners also completed learnerships.
* There were 166 learners trained in four provinces for New Venture Creation (NVC) and 151 new ventures were in operation 12 months after completion of the programme.
* There are still transformational challenges in the sector and accidents in mines remain a major challenge.
2.2 Isset Seta
Mr O Mopaki: CEO led the presentation which highlighted the following key issues:
* The Seta has provided learning and employment opportunities to 1452 unemployed learners during the year under review. The Seta has a staff complement of 32 personnel.
* Due to the nature of the ICT sector, most companies are largely situated in Gauteng with more than 80% learners located in the province.
* In terms of financial performance, the Seta received a total income of R361 million with a net surplus of R68 million. The Seta received an unqualified audit opinion with matters of emphasis on the two pending litigation cases against the Seta. The Auditor-General also raised the matter of restatement of corresponding figures as a result of errors discovered in the current financial year.
3. The following formed part of the discussion
The MQA was requested to explain the matters of emphasis raised by the Auditor-General in its financial performance and whether there were any steps taken to the culprit to be formally charged for the fraudulent activity.
It emerged that administration expenditures increased by 25% during the year under review. The Seta was requested to elaborate on the matter.
The Committee was extremely concerned with the number of accidents and loss of lives in the mines due to lack of safety precaution measures. It was noted that some mines were located close to communities and their impact on the environment had devastating effects.
It was raised with concern that restatement of corresponding figures as a result of errors reflected either lack of capacity or fraudulent activities of certain individuals in the Seta. It was noted that the audit committee should ensure that such instances do not recur as they reflect poor management from the Seta.
The Committee was extremely concerned with the delays in issuing of certificates for learners that completed learnership programmes.
The Committee was concerned with the gender imbalances at senior management of the Seta.
It was noted that the targets of the Seta might have been set too low and hence it has over-achieved in most of its programmes.
The Committee requested an explanation on matters raised by the AG in the financial performance of the Seta.
It was noted with concern that as much as the Seta offered New Venture Creations (NVC), most of these young people were unable to sustain their business and the Seta did not offer necessary support to ensure sustainability and viability of the businesses.
The Seta was requested to explain the remuneration of board members.
* It was noted that no mines can operate without consulting nearby communities and necessary step are taken by the Department of Minerals to mines who don’t comply with the laws.
* The use of fanagalo language at mines is an extreme concern for the Seta and employees have been encouraged to stop the use of the language.
* The emphasis on matter raised by the AG was based on the fact that the MQA did not register cellphones used by employees as assets of the organisation.
* The Committee was informed that 66% executive management positions are held by black people in the sector.
* The issue of delays in certificates has since been addressed and learners receive their certificate within a month after completion.
* The reason for the appointment of the acting CEO is that the contract of the previous CEO expired.
* The Committee was informed that Isett Seta board members are paid R2000 per meeting.
* Isett Seta allocates funding to employers not service providers for facilitation of learnership programmes.
* The gender imbalance in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is a concern and Isett Seta will offer bursaries to assist students with their undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the ICT fields.
* Financial administration in terms of skills capacity was a concern for Isett Seta and hence a new team has been appointed to address this challenge.
* Isset Seta admitted to the Committee that it was not doing well in terms of offering more support to NVCs and tracking them was also a challenge. It promised to partner with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) for sustainability purpose of the NVCs.
* The suspended CFO of Isett Seta was suspended with full pay during the investigation period of his allegations to mismanagement of funds.
* Isett Seta will expand to other provinces with the view to access more learners from disadvantaged remote areas.
The Committee was extremely concerned with the financial management capacity of both Setas since the Auditor-General pointed emphasis on matter in their annual financial performance. It was unanimously agreed to by the Committee that the National Skills Development Strategy III targets were set very low hence some of the Setas achieved more than three times their targets. It was noted that the Committee should make inputs to the forthcoming NSDS III before it can be made official with the objective of assessing Seta targets and other critical areas.
It was clear from the proceedings that Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) remained a challenge when it comes to implementation by Setas. The issue of transformation in executive management level positions in the mining and ICT sector is still a major challenge that remains unsolved. Access to both Setas by people in rural areas is still a challenge as they don’t have regional offices in rural provinces. The Committee promised to engage both Setas during the next financial year when dealing with strategic plans.
MONDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2011
1. Letter on proposed amendments to department’s strategic plan
(a) A letter dated 7 February 2011 has been received from the Minister of Tourism, proposing amended targets for the 2010‑11 financial year, as set out in the Department of Tourism’s strategic plan for 2010‑11 to 2014‑15 that was tabled on 16 March 2010.
Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Tourism for consideration.
2. Letter on errata submitted for department’s strategic plan
(a) A letter dated 10 February 2011 has been received from the Minister of Home Affairs, submitting an errata document pertaining to the strategic plan of the Department of Home Affairs for 2010‑11 to 2012‑13 that was tabled on 3 March 2010.
Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs for consideration.
3. Membership of Committees
(1) The following changes to Committee membership have been made by the Congress of the People:
Portfolio Committee on Basic Education
Discharged: Mda, Ms A
Appointed: Vukuza-Linda, Ms N
Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs
Discharged: Balindlela, Ms ZN
Appointed: Mbhele, Mr PD
Portfolio Committee on Police
Discharged: George, Mr M
Appointed: Ramatlakane, Mr L
Portfolio Committee on Transport
Discharged: Mbhele, Mr PD
Appointed: Blaai, Ms C
Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services
Discharged: Blaai, Ms C
Appointed: Tolo, Mr LJ
Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans
Discharged: Tolo, Mr LJ
Appointed: Nhanha, Mr M
Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements
Discharged: Botha, Mr T
Appointed: Njobe, Ms MA
Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform
Appointed: Balindlela, Ms ZN
Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry
Discharged: Kotsi, Ms M
Appointed: MacKenzie, Mr GD
Portfolio Committee on Woman, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities
Discharged: Rwexana, Ms SP
Appointed: Blaai, Ms C
Committee on Public Accounts
Discharged: Mashiane, Ms L
Appointed: Ramatlakane, Mr L
Committee on Auditor-General
Appointed: Koornhof, Mr N
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Trade and Industry
(a) General Notice No 33 published in Government Gazette No 33942 dated 21 January 2011: Publication of Co-operatives Amendment Bills for public comments.
(b) General Notice No 34 published in Government Gazette No 33943 dated 21 January 2011: Publication of the Integrated Strategy on the Development and Promotion of Co-operatives for public comment.
1. The Minister of Transport
(a) Proposed amendments to the national road traffic regulations, tabled in terms of section 75(6)(a) of the National Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act No 93 of 1996).
TUESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2011
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Bills to be referred to Mediation Committee
(1) Bills, as amended by National Council of Provinces, and rejected by National Assembly on 22 February 2011, to be referred to Mediation Committee in terms of Joint Rule 186(1)(b):
(a) Independent Police Investigative Directorate Bill [B 15D – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).
(b) Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill [B 16D – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).
1. Membership of Committees
(1) Mr S J Njikelana has been elected as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Energy with effect from 18 January 2011.
2. Letter on submission of cost implications of Military Veterans Bill
(1) A letter dated 18 February 2011 has been received from the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, apologising to members of the Assembly for the oversight in not submitting the cost implications of the Military Veterans Bill timeously and undertaking to submit details thereof to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans at its next meeting.
Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans.
1. The Speaker
(a) Reply from the Minister of Trade and Industry to recommendations in the Twelfth Report of Committee on Public Accounts on Report of Auditor-General on 2008‑09 financial statements of Companies Intellectual Property Office in South Africa, as adopted by the House on 16 November 2010.
Referred to the Committee on Public Accounts.
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the filling of a vacancy on the Council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, dated 22 February 2011:
The Portfolio Committee on Communications, having considered the letter from the Minister of Communications, dated 22 October 2010, informing the Assembly that the term of office of Dr M Socikwa, a councillor of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), will expire on 31 March 2011, and requesting the Assembly to commence with the process of filling the vacancy in terms of section 5 of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act, No 13 of 2000, reports as follows:
The request from the Minister to fill a vacancy on the Icasa Council was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Communications on 4 November 2010. The Committee interviewed the following candidates on 15 February 2011:
1. Mr Cornwell Ishmael Dauds
2. Dr Marcia Socikwa
3. Ms Kathryn Leigh Berman
4. Prof Sadhasivan Perumal; and
5. Ms Nomonde Pearl Gongxeka.
After having interviewed the candidates, the Committee recommends, in order of preference, that the House, in terms of section 7 of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act, No 13 of 2000 – as amended, submits to the Minister a list of suitable candidates at least one and a half times the number of councillors to be appointed, namely:
1. Dr Marcia Socikwa; and
2. Ms Nomonde Pearl Gongxeka.
Report to be considered.
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