Hansard: JS: Unrevised hansard

House: Joint (NA + NCOP)

Date of Meeting: 20 Feb 2020


No summary available.







Watch Videohttps://youtu.be/eefWFIngfh8 

Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces assembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 14:02.

The Speaker of the National Assembly took the Chair and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces took the Chair.

The Speaker of the National Assembly requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.



The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, uBaba Amos Masondo, Deputy President David Dabede Mabuza, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, leaders

of political parties in our Parliament, Your Majesties and traditional leaders, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, over the course of last week since the state of the nation address was tabled here in Parliament, Members of Parliament and indeed the people of South Africa have participated in a vigorous debate on the state of our nation. It has taken place here in the House, on radio, in newspapers, on social media, in homes and taxis, and in taverns over the past few days.

The debate has demonstrated the diversity of views and experiences in our country as people expressed themselves on what was articulated here from this platform. It has at times also demonstrated the divisions that still exist across our land and our body politic.

Yet, no matter how strongly we may differ, and no matter how fiercely we may debate, we remain united – all of us – in what we said and articulated. We remain united in our desire for a better future for all the people of our country. And that, I find heartening!


On this occasion as we reflect on the debate that has taken place, it is worth recalling the words that we together chose to form the Preamble of our Constitution. In that preamble, we said the following:

We, the people of South Africa, Recognise the injustices of our past;

Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;

Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and

Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.



We continued to say—



We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to —

Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;

Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;


Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and

Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.



It is important to recall this preamble in its entirety not only because it correctly and clearly characterises who we are; it also talks about our past, but, just as importantly, it describes the kind of society that we seek to build.



It is what unites us and what must guide and inspire us as we grapple with the challenges of the inheritance of our past, as we try to make sense of our present and work to determine our future.



It cannot be gainsaid that apartheid was inherently a crime against humanity. [Applause.] It was a crime against the oppressed people of South Africa even before it was so declared by the United Nations in 1973. The United Nations – the family of nations of the entire world – is made up of people from all over the world, and they could never have been hoodwinked, deceived or influenced by anyone. They knew, as they looked at South Africa, that it is a country in which a great crime was being committed against the majority of its people. [Applause.]


Apartheid was so immoral in its conception and so devastating in its execution that there is no South African living today who is not touched by its legacy. I would even go so far as to say that, to deny this is, in my view, treasonous.


Our responsibility – as the public representatives gathered in this House, as public servants, as leaders, as citizens – is to be resolutely committed to build a society that stands as the antithesis of the inhumanity of our past.


It is our responsibility to build a genuinely nonracial society in which all South Africans have an equal claim to rights, to citizenship and to the wealth of this beautiful land. [Applause.]


For us, nonracialism is not the product of our negotiated transition. It is a fundamental and immutable principle that defines the character of our democratic nation. [Applause.]


I am grateful to those honourable members who participated in this debate, most of whom engaged meaningfully and constructively with the issues covered in the state of the nation address.



Notwithstanding our differences, there were a good number of members of this House who were able to find some issues which they thought were steps in the right direction. So it was not all negative. A number of the members who spoke – and I listened very carefully – even those who were most critical, even those who kept on saying “you have failed, you have done this, you have not achieved,” and so forth, did find a gem or so in the state of the nation address. [Applause.] And that is wonderful!



Through their contributions, these members have demonstrated across party lines that this is indeed a Parliament of the people, firmly committed to representing the interests and needs of all our people.



An exchange which took place in this House led to someone in our country writing to me, saying:



Dear President, I text you with a heavy heart. I am most saddened as a woman. The use of gender-based violence as grist for the gossip mill in your Parliament is one that


weighs heavily on me. The weaponisation of gender-based violence is an insult to the millions of women who are victims of this national crisis. [Applause.]



She goes on to say:



I dream of a nation where our leaders use the platform to speak about solutions to gender-based violence, gender inequality and femicide as opposed to using it to settle political scores. [Applause.]



This social crisis is a reality for many women, not just in our country, but all over the globe.



The mention in Parliament yesterday evening of a person who had passed away was unjust, unnecessary and spine- chilling. It was raw and inconsiderate. I am deeply saddened by the manner in which events unfolded.



Now this message succinctly addresses what had happened in this House regarding this matter. The exchanges that took place in this House served to politicise and, in a way, trivialise the national crisis of gender-based violence.


At a time when we are called upon as nation to intensify and deepen the struggle to end all forms of violence perpetrated by men against women, the statements made – and the purposes they were intended to serve – were not really good.



They undermine the resolve that this House demonstrated in its Joint Sitting in September when we all met here and solemnly committed to addressing this issue.



I think this is something for which we should apologise to South Africans, given the manner in which this matter was debated. [Applause.]



Let us agree that we should never again allow such an important issue to be used in this way and reaffirm our shared and unwavering commitment to use all means at our disposal to end gender-based violence and femicide.



Since I announced the Emergency Response Action Plan last year, working together with civil society, we have made important progress. We have improved access to justice for victims and survivors.


The SA Police Service has confirmed that all police stations have sexual assault evidence collection kits.



I have been to some of these police stations. Notable was the one I visited in KwaZulu-Natal, and I as satisfied that they do indeed have these kits.



We have complained here that not all police stations have these kits. I know that the Ministers of Health and Police are working very hard to continue re-kitting our police stations.



They have prioritised backlog cases related to gender-based violence and have established the Cold Case Task Team.



They have analysed over 3 600 dockets on sexual offences, and more than 60% of these have been reopened for further investigation and referred to the Senior Public Prosecutors.



The Department of Justice and Correctional Services have vetted more than 11 300 government personnel working directly with children and mentally disabled persons since the Emergency Response Action Plan was implemented.


That is a large number of people to go through a vetting process. It has been done. [Applause.]



We are making progress in establishing a visible and sustained multimedia campaign to raise awareness around gender-based violence and to change behaviours.



We have appointed 200 social workers and I would like us to appoint more. We have many social workers in our country who unemployed. We need to bring them into employment o that they can do the l work for which they were trained. We are training health professionals and social service practitioners on post- violence care and trauma debriefing.



The National Prosecuting Authority has identified areas where more Thuthuzela Centres will be established, including Cradock, Kwa-Vuma, Ga-Rankuwa, Paarl and Tzaneen.



We are making progress on the economic inclusion of women, through programmes like the SheTrades initiative, the efforts of various departments to ensure that 40% of procurement goes to women, and the prioritisation of women as beneficiaries of land reform programmes. [Applause.]


I would like to call on the private sector to follow suit. As they procure goods and services, they must have a set aside that will help to empower the women of our country, because they too are capable. [Applause.]



We all agree, however, that much more still needs to be done.



As a nation, let us have the courage and the commitment to bring an end to this violence.



The state of the nation is about the immediate and pressing task of the inclusive growth we want to achieve for our people.



At its most basic and essential, inclusive growth is about changing people’s lives for the better.



While we can use economic jargon and track metrics like GDP growth, debt ratios and levels of gross fixed investment, the most important measure of our progress is the impact that these efforts should have and are having on the lives of South Africans, especially the poor.


The substantial infrastructure investment that we announced last week will be a catalyst for economic activity and will make our economy more competitive. It will also make a direct and immediate contribution to lowering the cost of living and improving the quality of life for millions of South Africans.



The infrastructure build programme makes public transport safer and more reliable. It makes the school environment more conducive for learning, be it in the form of building bridges so that our young children can cross rivers as they go to school. We have seen some heartrending photos that show young children struggling to cross rivers on their way to school.

This is the infrastructure build programme that we want to see in our country to bring an end to this inhumanity that continues to be perpetrated against the young people in our country. [Applause.]



The infrastructure build programme will also improve the quality of health care, makes broadband more accessible and affordable, makes rivers safer for schoolchildren to cross, provides decent living quarters for students and make it easier for small-scale farmers to access markets.


Earlier this week, we met with representatives of several finance institutions – both domestic and international – who were enthusiastic about the potential for infrastructure development in South Africa. We were able to roll out to them precisely the projects that we have. Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa in my office who heads the investment and infrastructure effort working together with Minister De Lille has brought together a number of professionals like engineers and we are rebuilding capacity that had weakened in our country. The financial institutions said they believe that our story for infrastructure rebuild in our country is attractive enough, and that the R700 billion that we had put up is the type of amount that they can match. We will then see the yellow equipment around the landscape of our country once again. I have not doubt that it will happen. [Applause.]



So they are committed not only to work with us to develop blended financing options, but also to mobilise the skills we need to execute infrastructure projects.



I agree with hon members who say that we need to be more innovative in our approach to infrastructure through, for example, build, operate and transfer schemes – where we mobilise private capital to meet a public need.


As we work towards collaborative solutions to our country’s socioeconomic challenges, we are encouraged by the development of the impact investment industry.



The coalition Impact Investing South Africa defines impact investing as “a strategy or tool where risk, return and impact are optimised in order to finance businesses that address the Sustainable Development Goals.”



We wish strength and success to Impact Investing South Africa and its partners as they work towards organising the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment Summit to be held in South Africa this September.



We also welcome work underway by the pension fund industry for the development of new investment vehicles that will channel assets under management towards socioeconomic development.



Our focus on infrastructure extends beyond our borders.



During the course of our chairship of the African Union, we will prioritise the development of infrastructure that is vital to economic integration, building roads, rail lines,


ports and telecommunications networks that will link African markets to each other. [Applause.] That is important.



The employment that will be created through the investments that are being made in advanced manufacturing, agro- processing, infrastructure, mining, services, tourism, hospitality and other sectors will begin to lift South African and African families out of poverty.



You could say that we are in the preparatory stage. We are preparing the ground to do what Minister Patel said — to have the planting season and, following the planting season, there will be the harvest season, without any doubt. It will happen. [Applause.]



This will give young people an opportunity to put their skills, capabilities and resourcefulness to productive use and to earn the income that will transform their lives.



Our deliberate programme to provide substantial additional support and opportunities to small and medium businesses contributes to black economic empowerment by directing resources to people who have not been able to participate in the economy.


Growth improves revenue collection, thus reducing the deficit and government’s reliance on borrowing.



This benefits the poor as more resources are available for investment in infrastructure, education, health care, small business support and other areas.



It will enable us, among other things, to increase our investment in early childhood development, which, as we speak, now reaches well over 1,2 million children in our country.



Inclusive growth depends on a capable state staffed and managed by people who are fit for purpose. [Applause.]



As premier Job Mokgoro said, capability deals with the structures, the processes, systems and governance instruments at a macro level. Capacity deals with human resources and the skills necessary to drive state machinery.



Over the course of the last two years, we have appointed qualified and capable people to lead several strategic public institutions and state-owned enterprises. We are firmly committed to only appoint people with the requisite skills, because that is also what our people need — knowledge and


experience — and to hold them accountable for their performance. That is what’s important. [Applause.]



Strengthening local government is an important part of building a capable state that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of ordinary citizens.



I welcome the broad support for the District Development Model as an intervention to improve the pace, quality and reach of service provision.



The hon Shaik Emam invited me to come with him to see instances of service delivery failure and the appalling conditions under which some communities live.



I invite the Hon Shaik Emam to accompany us when we begin implementing the District Development Model in a number of these areas to improve local government and to ensure that service is in the order the order that our people expect and anticipate.



We must ensure that our visits to areas beset by service delivery challenges go hand in hand with developing plans to address these challenges. Our role is not merely to observe,


but to mobilise all the capacity of the state, of business and communities and all key roleplayers to fix people’s problems.



Under the District Development Model, all three spheres of government will co-ordinate, as Minister Dlamini-Zuma said, and integrate their service delivery plans and budgets. We will now begin to have one plan for the entire country. It will run through from national to provincial to district down to municipal level.



Communities and businesses will be able to participate in guiding developments taking place in their areas.



Next week, we will be having a meeting of the President’s Co- ordinating Council, where all provinces and our 44 districts and 8 metros will meet jointly for the first to discuss the District Development Model and begin the process of evolving one plan for one country.



Through such collaboration, we will consolidate our approach to government as an interdependent and interrelated system.


We continue our efforts to change the spatial architecture of our past, promoting development in areas that have long been neglected.



The development of a new city around Lanseria should provide a model for building new cities elsewhere in the country, in high growth areas such as Lephalale or in areas with great potential like the Northern Cape.



So when we embark on this process of changing the apartheid spatial architecture, we need to have in our mind that we need to build new cities. That’s what other countries have done as they sought to change the trajectories of their country froma sad past, be it war or anything that took their countries down.



So we should be brave. We should be bold. We should have foresight and be able to change this architecture that we were bequeathed by apartheid.



One of the members said we were bequeathed this apartheid architecture by those who formed the Union of South Africa in 1910, and we still live with it. In large measure, that is correct. But, we need to change that. Hon Shivambu raised the


point about whether we need ... shouldn’t we now start looking at having a Parliament, even a solid government precinct to which every South African has easy access. Now that too is a debate and a discussion we should have in our country. Some research is being done in that regard and work will then ensue.



This is many ways will help us to start migrating from what apartheid built up in our country as the apartheid machinery started grinding the lives of our people into nothingness.



We continue to rebuild the critical institutions that were eroded by state capture.



We have allocated substantial additional resources to the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, to fill critical vacancies and allow for the capacitation of a depleted prosecution service, enabling the NPA to advertise over 800 posts towards the end of last year.



The NPA is a critical component of the criminal justice system that needs to have the means to contribute effectively to the fight against crime.


To tackle serious corruption related to the capture of our state institutions, the NPA’s new Investigating Directorate has been working closely with law enforcement, with Sars, with the Financial Intelligence Centre, with the SIU, the Reserve Bank and the private sector, and has been engaging with the Zondo Commission as the work continues.



We have established the SIU Tribunal to fast-track the settlement of civil claims and the recovery of stolen funds arising from SIU investigations.



And while Eskom and Transnet have between them recovered more than R2,3 billion in monies lost to corruption, we know that this is just a fraction of what has been lost to state capture. We would like to see more monies that were lost, being recovered. And they will be recovered as we move forward. [Applause.]



We are determined that all these funds must be found and must be returned, no matter where in the world we need to go to find them and bring them home. [Applause.]



We are determined that all those who have stolen from the people – and all those who continue to steal from the people –


should face the full might of the law. South Africa is a state in which there is the rule of law.



A prosperous nation depends on all citizens having access to quality health care.



The NHI is a vital and necessary step towards that goal. It is about ensuring that the funds we spend annually on comprehensive health care results in better levels of care, in standardised services and in better health care centers.



It is about ensuring that our parents and grandparents, our children and ourselves receive proper treatment in well-run facilities run by professionals, regardless of where we live, and of how much or how little we have.



For every South African to receive an equal standard of quality health care is good for social cohesion, for all of us, and, ultimately, with a healthier population, good for our economy.



We are clear that the pace and the scale at which we implement the NHI will be determined by the means at our disposal.


As we improve the quality of our public health system, as we work to improve access, we must apply ourselves with even greater effort to bring an end to Aids as a public health threat in our country.



We are within reach of the goal of 90-90-90, where at least 90% of HIV-positive people know their status, 90% of these people are on treatment, and 90% of those on treatment have undetectable viral loads.



The SA National Aids Council, Sanac, is driving the broad strategic plan to achieve these goals and to turn the tide against TB. This includes targeted prevention efforts aimed at vulnerable populations including adolescent girls and young women.



In further strengthening our response, we call on public representatives to promote awareness and step up prevention efforts on both HIV and TB.



Similarly, public representatives are urged to work with government and its social partners on the impact of non- communicable diseases on society and the economy.


As some hon members have noted, land reform is an essential part of inclusive growth.



Unless we change the patterns of land ownership in this country, unless we give all South Africans access to land for agriculture, for commerce, for housing, we will not only be perpetuating a grave injustice, but we will also be constraining the economic potential of our land and our people. [Applause.]



The lack of land is, alongside the lack of skills, one of the greatest impediments to growth and prosperity in our country.



It is for this reason that we are undertaking a programme of accelerated land reform that focuses not only on redistribution, restitution and tenure reform, but also on the support that beneficiaries need –    in the form of training, finance, extension services and implements – to be successful farmers.



We will admit that we erred in the past by giving our people land through the Restitution and Redistribution processes without giving them adequate support. This time around, they


will receive adequate support so that they can work the land. [Applause.]



We support the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution and are drafting a new Expropriation Bill to clarify the circumstances in which land may be expropriated without compensation. [Applause.]



This is just one of the mechanisms available to government to effect redistribution.



Far from undermining property rights, these changes will broaden the property rights of all South Africans. [Applause.] That is precisely what the Constitution ... if you read section 25 carefully ... And I urge all of us to read section

25 carefully, because it is about extending land tenure to South Africans. [Interjections.] It is not about extending land tenure to some South Africans – as has always been the case. [Applause.]



As we have said in the past, this process is going to be handled in terms of our Constitution. It is going to be handled in terms of the rule of law. Land grabs will not be allowed to happen in our country. [Applause.]


The measures we announced establish a platform for sustained and inclusive growth. It is ludicrous to suggest, as some members have, that these measures are intended to serve the interests of just one party. They are measures that extend the benefits of economic and social development to all South Africans, particularly the poor and the vulnerable.



Over the course of the last 25 years, we have extended access for all South Africans – regardless of political affiliation – to housing, to electricity, to water, to education. As this was being done, please listen carefully, not a one single one on the ruling party’s side when around and said, do you want education, are you a member of the ANC. No! That did not happen because, as we do this, we do it in terms of the prescripts that are enshrined in our Constitution. Our Constitution enjoins us as a government to serve the people of South Africa as a whole, and not some South Africans. [Applause.]



We are firmly committed to the path of economic reform that we have embarked upon.


We are removing red tape to reposition our economy, working with the private sector and with labour to address the specific blockages that hamper the growth of companies.



We refuse to be reckless.



We will not, as some hon members have suggested, simply switch off Eskom’s life support, for to do so would be to plunge our economy and our country into chaos.



We have a clear roadmap to restore Eskom’s financial and operational position and to place our entire energy sector on a new trajectory of sustainability.



As we address the immediate challenges and undertake the urgent tasks of the present, we are taking bold steps to stand the country in good stead for the future.



Our decision to establish a sovereign wealth fund even at a time of great economic difficulty is an exercise of our responsibility to future generations.



Listening to some of the speakers in this debate one could be forgiven for thinking that South Africa was trapped in an


inevitable downward spiral. Despite the grave challenges we face, we are making progress. We are not hiding from our problems. We are acknowledging them, we are confronting them and, in so doing, we are establishing a firm foundation for growth.



I was impressed by an article written recently by Mark Ashton, a former financial journalist.



Among other things, he said:



Much like we need to fight back against corruption, fake news and other societal ills, we need to fight back against pessimists talking down the South African economy. Every time it raises its head, we need to respond.



Citing several success stories, he said:



These are not the stories that make it onto your Facebook or Twitter timelines because sharing good news is not algorithm friendly. If you need a daily reminder that your life sucks, write it on a Post-It and stick it on your mirror.


We have to push back against negativity at every turn. We have to show that the inches are all around us and we’re actively seeking them out.



It’s not the responsibility of government, business, labour, media – it’s our personal responsibility.



We can. We will. End of story.






We have the means to build a better South Africa.



We have the resources, we have the capabilities, we have the people.



We have the will and we have the determination.



Yet, we will not succeed unless we work together.



It is our shared responsibility to harness the boundless potential of our country to build a firm and durable social compact for inclusive growth and transformation.


But to do so means that we need to rebuild the bonds of trust between us.



It means we need to confront the suspicion, hostility and misunderstanding that are so prevalent across our society.



We need to rebuild trust and respect for each other within this Parliament.



We need to strengthen the ties between the people of this country and those of us elected to serve them.



We need to rebuild trust between employer and employee, between man and woman, between parent and child.



It is only by affirming each other, by recognising each other’s essential integrity and humanity, that we will be able to restore the covenant of which President Nelson Mandela spoke 25 years ago – the covenant on which our free, united and democratic nation is founded.



The debate on the State of the Nation Address has drawn to a close.


Now is the time to implement. As Martin Luther King Jr said:



We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.

In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.

This is no time for apathy or complacency.


This is a time for vigorous and positive action.



I want to deal with a matter which I started dealing with earlier. I want to deal with it with the sensitivity that it requires. It is the matter that was raised by hon Malema. In raising this matter ... he raised it in 2017 and said that the President used to assault his first wife, Hope Ramaphosa.



Now, Hope Ramaphosa responded and said that that is not true.



Hon Malema stood and made an allegation.



But, before that, an allegation was made against him by a member of the ANC.



Hon Malema, as the allegation was made against you, I felt for Mantoa, your wife, because it was uncalled for, I must say. It


was improper. It was not correct for it to be raised. [Applause.] If I can offer an apology to you on this, I would like to because it was uncalled for.



And Mantoa responded.



You have raised the issue of my late former wife, Nomazizi. She is not here to respond for herself. As I read the piece that I dealt with earlier about this text that I received, this young lady evoked a sense that should really mean something to us, that we should not resort to using issues such as these – as it was used also against you – to politicise and trivialise an important issue that affects so many women in our country. All of us need to engage in this struggle against gender-based violence. I want to say that I am a father of daughters. I am a grandfather of granddaughters. I am a husband, I am a brother to a sister. Additionally, 50% of the people in my Cabinet are women. I have Members of Parliament who are women. The majority of South Africans are women.



These are the people who ... all of us must stand up and engage in the fight against gender-based violence. These are the people whom we must serve. [Applause.]


We must engage in this fight and make sure that we bring gender-based violence to an end and we do so in our lifetime.



As we do it, we must have respect for one another, but we must also have respect for the women of our country. As we do what we have to do to engage in this fight against gender-based violence, we must do it with great sensitivity towards them and their families.



My heart goes out to Mantoa and your family, hon Malema. I do hope that my Member of Parliament on this side ...





... O tla beha marumo fatshe, ntho ena e fele.





Because we must not politicise this issue of gender-based violence. We must all of us as men stand up and fight against gender-based violence. Thank you.



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members! I thank the hon President ...


Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Deputy Chair ... Hon Deputy Chair ... [Interjections.] Chairperson, with due respect, please, and respect for the President as well. [Interjections.] Chair, can I proceed? I’ll be very brief ...



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Malema, we are at the end of the state of the nation address.



Mr J S MALEMA: I understand. I want to say to the President


... [Interjections.] Now, if they refuse me to speak there is no problem. That’s what they did to me.



Chair, my wife was insulted in front of the President during the state of the nation. [Interjections.] Nothing was said. My wife was insulted again five days after, next to the President. [Interjections.] Nothing was said. Only when I started speaking did people start speaking. I want to say to you, Mr President, and I said ... [Interjections.] ... on record and under oath that I have never assaulted a woman, and I will never do that. Now ...



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Malema ... Yes.


Mr J S MALEMA: President ... yes. [Interjections.] I want to extend my ... [Interjections.]



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Malema, could I please ask you to sit down. [Interjections.]



Mr J S MALEMA: I want to extend my ... [Interjections.]



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Could I please ask you to sit down. [Interjections.]



Mr J S MALEMA: ... before you rule me out ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please sit down, hon Malema. [Interjections.]



Thank you very much, hon members. I now thank the hon President, and that, hon members, concludes the debate on the state of the nation address and the business of the day. [Interjections.] The Joint Sitting is adjourned.



The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces adjourned the Joint Sitting at 14:58.




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