Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 29 May 2018
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 29 MAY 2018
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:01.
The House Chairperson, Ms M C Dikgale, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
Mr C HATTINGH: May I just ask your indulgence. In the previous sitting while you were in the Chair, there was an incident between two members and you indicated that you will study Hansard and come back to the House. I would like to know whether you have done that and are ready to report to the House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Hattingh, request you to take your seat. Thank you very much for raising that. I’ll come to the House when it is time. Now is the time for Notices of Motion. It looks like we do not have any motions. Thank you very much, hon members. Hon Julius. Okay, can I check whether there are members ready to give Motions without Notice?
UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG HOSTS INAUGURAL MOSES KOTANE MEMORIAL LECTURE AT AUCKLAND PARK CAMPUS
Mr J P PARKIES: Chair, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) notes that the University of Johannesburg, UJ will on Thursday evening,31 May 2018 host its inaugural Moses Kotane Memorial Lecture at its Auckland Park Campus;
(2) also notes that the lecture titled Moses Kotane Chief Architect of the struggle, in honour of the longest-serving General Secretary of the SACP will be delivered by the SACP General Secretary, Blade Nzimande;
(3) further notes that Comrade Kotane was also a leading member of the ANC and he served the ANC as Treasurer-General from 1963 to 1973 when he was replaced by Thomas Nkobi; and
(4) therefore, wishes UJ and the SACP well on the inaugural lecture of this giant of our liberation struggle.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
EUROPEAN MUSEUMS ENCOURAGED TO RETURN ARTWORKS LOOTED DURING SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA
Mr G MICHALAKIS: I hereby move without notice:
That the Council-
(1) notes that thousands of heritage items from around the world made their way into Western European museums during previous centuries;
(2) notes that the European museums are of the intention to now hold a summit to discuss the return of some of the artworks looted in Nigeria during the Scramble for Africa and that Council welcomes this step;
(3) also notes that being of Greek origin, alongside my African heritage, I know all too well how unjust the unlawful acquisition of heritage pieces are towards the countries of
origin and its people, remembering how Thomas Bruce stripped the Parthenon in Athens in the early 1800s, these pieces still being housed in the British Museum in London;
(4) encourages the European Union to continue taking steps in returning such artefacts to their countries of origin and commends them for steps already taken in this regard;
(5) further encourages the government of South Africa to make clear position in this regard to, in particular, the British government; and
(6) sends a word of encouragement and support to the Chairperson of the British committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon marbles, the South African-born Dame Janet Suzman, for the wonderful work that they are doing;
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
DA CONDEMNS ABANDONED HOUSING PROJECT IN GERMISTON EXTENSION 46
Ms B A ENGELBRECHT: Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) condemns the abandoned housing project in Germiston Extension 46, showing the ANC-led government’s reckless approach to housing;
(2) requests a report for the purchase of this land by leaving Africa Properties for R112 000 and the same day sell that property to Ekurhuleni Metro for R12 million;
(3) notes that this R34 million disaster project was meant to provide emergency housing for the residents of Angelo informal settlement;
(4) further notes that the houses were built on unsafe mining land and against reasonable and clearly-expressed objections of the intended beneficiaries;
(5) also notes that it stands as a monument to Ekurhuleni Metro’s utter for the people and the financial framework;
(6) notes that under the DA-led government the people of Gauteng will afforded the dignity of properly-built houses on safe land, giving them the dignity they deserve.
Motion not agreed to.
Mr J W W JULIUS: I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) notes that last week, the Tshwane Mayor, Solly Msimanga declared war on crime in the city subsequent to conducting visits and closing down alleged illegal businesses in Sunnyside which also led to arrests for drug possession and dealing;
(2) further notes that Mayor Msimanga is responding to the people’s cry for law and order to return to Sunnyside and surrounding areas;
(3) also notes that the Mayor Msimanga himself was a victim of hijacking this past weekend just like many other South Africans who fall victim to this lawlessness; and
(4) condemns these barbaric acts of criminality and congratulates Mayor Msimanga for his selfless dedication to make Tshwane a better place to live in.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
SIYA KOLISI TO CAPTAIN SPRINGBOKS
Mr C HATTINGH: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) congratulates Siya Kolisi with his appointment as Springbok captain for the three-test series against England and the test against Wales;
(2) notes that it is an iconic appointment as Kolisi is the first black African to lead the Springboks in a test series;
(3) further notes positive media reports highlighting Kolisi’s characteristics of natural leadership, emotional maturity, inclusivity, empathy and playing ability, he is set to become a true ambassador and icon for South African Sport; and,
(4) We wish him all the best in his endeavours.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
MOSSEL BAY AND SWARTLAND LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES SHARE FIRST SPOT
Mr O S TERBLANCHE: Chairperson, on behalf of the DA, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) notes that on 16 April, Ratings Africa published its annual Municipal Financial Sustainability Index for the financial results of municipalities for their June 2017 financial year;
(2) congratulates the Mossel Bay Municipality, under the leadership of Mayor Harry Levendal, and the Swartland Municipality, under the leadership of Mayor Tijmen van Essen, who are jointly the best scoring local municipalities according to research conducted into the financial sustainability of South Africa’s third tier of government;
(3) acknowledges the effects of bad financial management and the ripple effect this has on basic service delivery;
(4) thanks the leadership in Mossel Bay and Swartland for the hard work to ensure these municipalities remain the torch- bearers in the field of financial sustainability; and
(5) notes that the Western Cape, with an average of 62, is the highest scoring province as well as the most improved over the past five years. Thank you and keep up the good.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Ms L L ZWANE: Chair, I withdraw my motion because it is similar to the one that has been moved.
MURDER OF TWO GIRLS AT STELLA HIGH SCHOOL, VRYBURG
Dr H E MATEME: Chairperson, on behalf of the ANC, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council-
(1) notes with shock and outrage the murder of two girls at Stella High School, near Vryburg;
(2) also notes that Sharnellee Hough, 16 years and her friend Marna Engelbrecht, 17 years were found hanged inside a school hostel they had slept in at the weekend;
(3) further notes that Zander Bylsma, 17 yrs, a former pupil at the school and a resident of Stella, also said to be a former boyfriend of Sharnelle, was arrested for the murder;
(4) send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and;
(5) hopes that the police will leave no stone unturned to make sure the perpetrators are brought to book.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
POORLY BUILT RDP HOUSES IN SONDERWATER, EMFULENI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY;
Mr C F B SMIT: Chairperson, on behalf of the DA, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) condemns the poorly built Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, houses in Sonderwater, Emfuleni Local Municipality;
(2) calls on the Gauteng Human Settlements, Co-operative Governance and Tradition Affairs, Cogta, MEC, Uhuru Moiloa to prioritise fixing poorly built RDP houses across the province;
(3) also notes that these RDP houses have major structural damage, with crack walls, water leakages and a nonfunctional sewage systems. This has resulted in some residents not being able to use their toilets and thus sharing working toilets with neighbours; and
(4) further notes that despite this project begun in 2011, and expecting 935 RDP houses, 107 houses are yet to be built. Under a DA-led government the people of Gauteng will be afforded the dignity of properly built houses. It is in the hands of the people of Gauteng to bring about much needed change, towards a caring and service-oriented government.
MUSINA-MAKHADO SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE RECEIVES INVESTMENT BOOST
Ms T K MAMPURU: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) notes that the Musina-Makhado special economic zone is poised for a massive injection of investor funding with at least nine Chinese companies committing to invest more than R13O billion into the hub;
(2) also notes that the Limpopo Economic Development Agency secured this commitment with a memorandum of understanding agreed to in Beijing;
(3) further notes that there are four projects set for the special economic zone, SEZ, which include a power plant, coking plant, alloy factory and a steel manufacturing plant; and
(4) therefore congratulate the government of Limpopo and the department of Trade and Industry on a job well done and hope that this will only be the beginning of the process of job creation in Limpopo.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
RESUBMISSION OF STRATEGIC INTEGRATED PROJECT 19
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council notes the Strategic Integrated Project, Sip, 19, focussing on ecological infrastructure for water security, be resubmitted to the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee as a priority to specifically focus on the following important issues for sustainable resource management in South Africa: ecological infrastructure; impact on climate change; regulatory streamlining and intergovernmental co-ordination; natural resource management programmes; job creation; funding; and river health programmes.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
WYNBERG TAXI VIOLENCE
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) condemns the recent taxi-related violence near Wynberg in the Western Cape, where nine people were killed and three were seriously injured;
(2) applauds the police for capturing the two suspects so timeously; and
(3) calls on the Minister of Police, hon Bheki Cele, to work towards creating a police service that is properly equipped and well trained in order to respond to threats to the safety and security of South Africans. Containing crime requires the creation of a culture in which there is a general respect for the rule of law and understanding that there will be consequences for breaking it. This culture must be built through an honest, efficient criminal justice system.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
SAMSON MORIRI MADONSELA SHOT DEAD
Ms T WANA: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) notes with profound and disgust that an uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association member, Samson Moriri Madonsela was murdered;
(2) also notes that he was part of the deployment to maintain peace and order when he was shot dead during the Mpumaianga youth league at the Gert Sibande regional conference over the weekend; and
(3) notes that it is comforting to note that a man has been arrested as a suspect in connection with the murder; and
(4) therefore condemn in the strongest term, the barbaric behaviour that is taking centre stage in our society and extend deepest condolences to Moriri’s family and friends.
SIYA KOLISI TO CAPTAIN SPRINGBOKS
Ms P C SAMKA: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) notes that and welcome with profound appreciation that Siya Kolisi has been nominated to lead the Springboks when South frica host England in three tests next nonth;
(2) further notes that Kolisi is the first black African to captain the Springboks;
(3) also notes that his appointment is a historic mark in the South Africa rugby and South Africa at large. [Interjections.]
Mr J W W JULIUS: House Chair, did you notices or heard that this is the same motion that hon Hatting moved earlier on?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much, hon Julius. On that note, gon Samka, we have to proceed to honb Ncitha.
TRUE DA LIBERAL PARTY ON CARDS
Ms Z V NCITHA: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
(1) notes with no surprise that there are plans afoot to create an offshoot of the DA-based on the party's liberal principles, which some disgruntled members, including Members of Parliament, MPs, are also disillusioned with the direction the party is taking under leader Mmusi Maimane and believe that there is a need for a true liberal party;
(2) further notes that the five are in consultation with, among others, in the South African Institute of Race Relations and that they are considering asking Helen Zille to lead the new party;
(3) also notes that from the statement by its strategist, that if there is a split in the DA and an attempt to establish a purely liberal political party it will simply ensure that the
ANC remains in power for the foreseeable future, that proves beyond reasonable doubt that the DA’s establishment has never been honest to our people, and it was formed on the basis of opposing the ANC as the progressive movement of the people; and
(4) therefore, look forward to the sustainability of the DA in standing the test of time.
Vote No 5 – Home Affairs:
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson and hon members, in early April I announced a war on excessively long queues. I directed the department to develop urgent interventions in the short and medium- term to reduce and better manage the queues, but in the long-term to eradicate them all together. In response the department has developed a strategy which focuses among others; on reopening our
offices on Saturdays addressing information technology, IT, system failures, better managing fluctuations in client demand across offices, improving the management of offices and introducing additional service channels.
I also requested a thorough performance audit of frontline office managers which will be acted upon through management support, training interventions or redeployments. The Western Cape senior management, working together with office managers, have developed a detailed monitoring system that analysis queue patterns at different times of the day, at all offices in the region and enabled swift responses where for instance large numbers of people have turned up at a particular office. It is hoped that we will be able to broadcast a home affairs trafficking report on different radio stations with the assistance of Government Communication and Information System, GCIS, and direct client to underutilised offices in the metro. Best practices like those, will be rolled out to other offices.
We have also signed an agreement with Sector Education and Training Authority, Seta and Dimension Data to improve our network reliability which frustrates our clients and officials when our systems go offline and services can no longer be delivered. Through
this partnership, we aim to achieve 99% network availability by 2019.
Chairperson, today, most of our clients apply for Identity Documents through a life paperless process with photographs taken in our offices and received technologically advanced and secure Smart ID Cards and passports which are available for collection within one to two weeks of the date of application in most instances.
We are proud to announce that we have issued 10 million Smart ID Cards to South Africans over the last five years. Our 184 digitised offices around the country take card payment. Many of our clients even utilise the eHome Affairs Service launched in 2016, allowing them to pay online, schedule an appointment and apply for Smart ID Cards and passports at 14 participating branches nationally.
Thus far more than 212 111 Smart ID Cards and 222 406 passports have been obtained through these existing 14 pilot branches which is a huge success. We intend finalising the private partnership with the banking sector and the National Treasury to roll this out across the country before the end of this financial year. Meanwhile, we have agreed with our banking partners, Standard Bank, First National Bank, FNB, Nedbank and ABSA to extend eHome Affairs to 20 additional
branches immediately. Areas to be prioritised include Durban, Pietermaritzburg, East London, Nelspruit and Polokwane. We will announce further details on these expansion plans in the next few weeks.
Chairperson, we have made great strides towards universal early bed registration which is the foundation of the effective civil registration. We have a presence at 391 hospitals and clinics of which 67 have permanent staff. This has helped us increase the percentage of beds registered within 30 days, from 59% in 2013-14 to 74% to date. Currently, 46% of beds are registered at health facilities rather than at our offices. It is imperative that we build on our partnership with the Department of Health to get this number to 100%.
Chairperson, we are managing immigration both to support the economy and minimise security risks. Through our advanced passenger processing system, we are able to conduct risk assessments to identify and if necessary deny entry to high-risk persons. We have rolled the enhanced Movement Control System out to all major ports of entry and linked it to our permitting system enabling us to track traveller movements at our borders, identify bona fide travellers and those that have transgressed our laws.
We have added biometric capability at four airports and six land ports that has allowed us to store the photographs and fingerprints of people entering our country. This improves our security, whilst enabling efficient entry for visitors.
In this financial year, we will pilot ePermitting functionality which will allow visitors to South Africa to apply for visas online and receive an electronic visa within hours or days which will improve ease of access to South Africa and help grow tourism. This year, we will simplify visa requirements for Chinese and Indian visitors and ease the entry of people with valid visas from countries with stringent criteria such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
In the medium-term we will introduce trusted traveller eGates at our airports to fast-track entry of South African citizens and other low-risk travellers. Efficient management of international migration also entails enforcing laws which bar the employment of undocumented immigrants and those without work visas. Our laws require that South African companies ensure that South Africans constitute at least 60% of their workforce. To enforce our laws, we are shifting our focus to employers rather than only on individual immigrants working illegally and we will charge the employers for contravening the
Immigration Act. We will continue engagements with business groups in various sectors to improve adherents.
In November 2017, the Department of Home Affairs introduced a hugely improved and more secured refugee travel document that is fully compliant with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, and the Issue Correlates of War, ICoW, guidelines.
The complete revamp of the Desmond Tutu Refugee Centre in Pretoria and the introduction of the automated booking terminals have made a huge difference for our pursuit for efficient and clean governance. We intend this year to improve the Musina Refugee Reception Centre and are working hard with public works to implement the court decision on the Cape Town Refugee Centre.
Since automating our asylum system and dynamising asylum management, we have witnessed a dramatic decline in new applications to just
24 174 applications, from just about to 120 000 between 2008 and 2015 which is the lowest number for 16 years.
I am pleased to announce that the regulations to the Refugees Amendment Bill which the committee passed in February have been published for public comments. This year, we will also tackle the
spectra of abandoned applications amounting to about 514 000 such cases of people whom we suspect are still living in the country illegally abusing their short-term visas to live, work and study without returning to finalise their applications. When apprehended, they claim to be asylum seekers and hence cannot be deported. This too will now be able to be dealt with administratively as the Refugees Amendment Bill closes this chapter on such persons.
Chairperson, in terms of the five priorities we outlined in 2015: Firstly, we have made steady progress in modernising and digitising home affairs. During this financial year, we will automate and digitise additional services for our clients benefit, including bad marriages and death registration, amendments of names and citizenship. This will enable quicker applications and shorter turnaround times.
On the 16th of this month we launched an automated biometric identification system that will enable advanced identification and verification through fingerprints, palm prints, iris, facial recognition and DNA. The Automated Biometric Identification Systems, ABIS, will form the backbone of the future national identity system which will replace the National Population Register, the Excise Movement and Control System, EMCS, and the National Immigration
Identification System. The successful implementation of the National Identity System, NIS, will substantially improve data management, reduce fraudulent transactions and enable eGovernment and eCommerce services.
This year, 78 mobile units will be equipped with life capture functionality for the issuant of Smart ID Cards and passports and this will contribute significantly to expanding the Department of Home Affairs footprint, especially in rural and marginalised areas.
Secondly, the Border Management Authority will be finalised by the NCOP next week. From September 2018 the department will be rolling out the Border Management Agency, BMA pilot at Aushook, OR Tambo International Airport and the Port of Entry Control Centre here in Cape Town to pilot an integrated border management approach between key operational border law-enforcement organs of state, test and document lessons and desk practices among others.
Thirdly, we have plans to finalise the public private partnership to redevelop six key land ports of entry this year.
Fourthly, we are working to implement an institutionalised South Africa’s new international migration policy adopted in 2017. We have
already started implementing elements of the White Paper such as long-term multiple entry visas for African academics, business people and frequent travellers.
However, those elements that require major changes will be implemented pending the finalisation of new legislation which is at an advance stage.
In support of the African Union, AU policy regarding free movement of persons, the department continues to indentify African countries to be exempted from visa requirements. Last year, we extended visa exemptions to the Republic of Angola and Madagascar which means that citizens of 14 out of 15 Southern African Development Community, SADC, countries re able to visit South Africa visa free. The current visa waiver process is a roadmap to the progressive visa removal for all African citizens that is expected to be finalised by 2023 to facilitate free trade movement of people, goods and services.
Fifth, in term of improving frontline service including our key initiative in this area, the Moetapele Programme, our interactions countrywide in recent years convinced us that a growing number of staff are internalising the principles of Moetapele around the
country, we see more and more of our staff volunteering their time and efforts beyond the call of duty.
Last week, I was advised of six officials at the Cape Town Large Office who volunteered to work late if there are clients who are still there in the queues at closing time. Our Orlando West in Maponya Mall offices in Soweto as well as our office in Krugersdorp regularly opens on Saturday mornings as part of schools or community outreach programmes. Despite being one of the busiest offices in the country, Umgeni Road has been receiving many complements for its efficiency. We will continue to focus of this programme to ensure that we improve our frontline service.
Chairperson, in the 2018-19 financial year, we are transferring R1,97 billion to the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, and R149 million to the Represented Political Parties Fund. No funds are being transferred to the Government Printing Works, GPW, as it is self-sustainable. The GPW will meanwhile steam ahead with its capital expansion plans and plans to become a regional security printer of choice.
In conclusion, we are making visible strides in meeting our performance targets rising to an expected 90% in 2018-19 compared to
89% in 2017-18 and 53% in 2013-14. We have worked diligently to improve the department’s financial management and governance, achieving our first unqualified financial audit in several years in 2016-17 and we intend making this a norm at home affairs. In this regard, I would like to thank the Deputy Minister, who unfortunately is not here today because of illness, for her tireless work, sterling support and counsel all the time. I also thank the director-general, his deputies and the entire staff of the department for their excellent support and continuing to render services even in light of increased volumes of clients under difficult pressure, but ensuring that the department keeps working. I would further like to thank the Chairperson of the Select Committee, Ms Cathy Dlamini, as well as all the members of the committee for their support and constructive criticism and guidance in the execution of our mandate. Chairperson, it is my privilege at this moment to table the Budget Vote No 5 of the Department of Home Affairs before this august House. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chair, my greetings to the hon Minister, and hon members. I always argue that this department is an Alpha and Omega of our people in this country, whether you want it or not you are bound to go through this department. It is not a choice but the life we live require us to go through this department.
You would start going there even before you are born. It is known that you will go through the department. As you grow older, you need social services; you need to go through that department to get adequate documentation so that you are able to access those services.
As you mature in life you will need identification. To be classified as a citizen of this country you have to go through this department. As you pass this world, this department is the last department to give you services even after you are gone. I also argue that it is an Alpha and Omega. As a country we cannot afford to provide substandard services in this department. Thank you Minister, it has been a journey, sometimes not smooth but here we are today.
Chairperson, I want to start off by saying we pride ourselves to being part of the transformation of the department, of course, led by the governing party. We have witnessed changes in the department in terms of transformation from one milestone to another. As committee, we have been part of that. As I was saying, it was not a smooth journey at times but, together we have been able to come up with the department that we have today.
I want to start by supporting the budget of the department as well as the targets attached to the budget. Reason being that this is our last plan as a committee from 2014 until now. We are convinced that given an opportunity, the department will be able to achieve what it had planned to do between 2014 and 2019.
Our government adopted the Medium Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, which is government's strategic plan for the 2014 to 2019 electoral term. It reflects the commitments made in the election manifesto of the governing party including the commitment to implement the National Development Plan, NDP. The MTSF sets out the actions government will take and targets to be achieved. It also provides a framework for the other plans of national, provincial and local governments.
The Department of Home Affairs contribute directly to government outcomes in the 2014 and 2019 electoral cycle through the following: Firstly, all people in South Africa are and feel safe; secondly, decent employment through inclusive economic growth; thirdly, a skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path; an efficient, effective and development oriented service; and the nation-building as well as social cohesion.
It is important to note that our term of the Fifth Parliament is ending and therefore, it is very important that we take stock of the past successes and challenges of the work of the departments that we are overseeing as a committee. This budget debate will try and identify some of the achievements and challenges that the department had gone through together with us.
At the beginning of our term as members of the select committee, we inherited a Department of Home Affairs that had received in terms of financial management, a qualified audit opinion in 2014-15 and 2015-
16 financial years. And that had been preceded by a disclaimer in the previous year. We are proud to say that the department has received as I speak now the unqualified audit opinion. And we are looking forward to receive a clean audit because that is our agreement with the Minister and the team that we are looking for unqualified audit opinion without findings. That is what we are looking at.
Hon Chair and members, since the beginning of the 5th Parliament in 2014, we have seen the Department of Home Affairs going through a robust transformation process, which included modernisation as the Minister was saying, re—thinking of its mandate and other critical roles it must play in building a capable state. To date, the mandate
of the Department of Home Affairs is now clearer to everyone as it is understood as the use of its identity and migration functioning to empower citizens, to enable economic development and efficient government, and to secure our beautiful country South Africa.
Difficult challenges had arisen during the period in question, but I do want to say that the department had adjusted to solve and overcome most of the challenges that they came across which we appreciate and it goes to the leadership of the department of the ANC-led government.
By 2014, there had been a decision to focus on the management of asylum seekers, critical skills visas, and undocumented migrants. There is now an extensive White Paper on International Migration for South Africa, which had a futuristic outlook, and would reduce the administration burden on the department part. Processes are in place to finalise the Border Management Authority Bill, BMA, as the Minister was saying, a very important Bill that will secure our borders.
It has been an outcry in whatever meeting you go that we have people that we cannot account for who enter the country, as well as goods that cannot be accounted for. This process is very important for the
country because it will secure the borders of the country with one border management authority, BMA, not many departments but one. We are very much proud about this process and we agree with the Minister that we are finalising it next week in our sitting.
One of the key priorities of the department during the 2014 - 19 electoral cycle was to accelerate the modernisation programme. At the core of this was the introduction of live capture and the introduction of a new and integrated National Identity System, NISE. The Minister had spoken to that that two weeks back, the Hon Minister launched the Automated Biometric System, ABS, which would introduce new modern and advanced functionalities.
This system is meant to broaden the information that is used to identify a person and is expected to add much value in the future. That means we are at the level of other countries in the world as South Africa. It is a project that we are very much proud of Minister after you have explained to us how the system is going to work.
We also want to indicate that we are also proud that the project that you announced of upgrading commercial land ports of entry. This would allow for better management of the in and outflow of persons
especially with the citizens of South Africa’s neighbouring countries and for integration of economies.
It is worth noting that the Department of Home Affairs has earmarked six ports of entries as the Minister was indicating. These include Beitbridge which we have visited as a committee, Maseru Bridge, Kopfontein Gate, Lebombo, Oshoek and Ficksburg. We really appreciate this project. It is not only in terms of mentioning them, there is money committed to ensure that these projects are done in the coming years.
It is important to indicate that, over the years, the Department of Home Affairs has done a lot of work. That is a fact and something that you cannot change. The home affairs we knew before is totally different from the home affairs that we have today.
There is hope that at the end of the financial year, the department would achieve another unqualified audit opinion as indicated earlier. There had been a positive improvement in financial management, and at the management level, there is a stable leadership which has assisted the department to achieve what it has achieved so far.
There had been reports in terms of corruption that had been confronting the department over the years. The department had done well to fight corruption. We have witnessed ourselves when we go to these ports of entry whereby it will be reported that it is only home affairs that is dealing with corruption.
We are honoured to announce that the past year the Minister reported to the select committee that last year there had been 60 reported cases, of which only 33 involved officials of the Department of Home Affairs. Ideally, there would be zero. But if you consider the staff establishment of the department of more than 10 000 officials really it is a reasonable number. And there had been prosecution in terms of those who are corrupt. We appreciate that the department is dealing with corruption.
Despite the noticeable achievements of the Department of Home Affairs, there are areas of concern from the committee. One the areas, is that the population has increased in a big way since 1994, but there has been very little in terms of introducing new offices, especially in our townships and in the rural areas. Meaning that the overcrowding, the long queues are as a result of more people are born and others immigrating into the country, but with fewer offices. We are saying take note of that.
We also welcome that we dealing with the long queues, as you have indicated that if possible consider going back to the initial strategy of opening on Saturdays and at times on Sundays if need be. There had been reports of management inefficiencies in some offices. We are saying; do deal with that and the unreliable network. I know at the committee level you did report what you are going to do in terms of dealing with the network that is sometimes offline. As a committee, we support the budget of the department. Thank you.
Mr C HATTINGH: Hon Chairperson, the Department of Home Affairs deserves credit for its modernisation programme initiatives where they use technology to deliver more efficient, convenient and more secure services such as what the Minister has referred to: The application for identification documents, ID, through a live, paperless process, with photographs taken during the application; technologically advanced and secure smart ID cards and passports within one to two weeks of the date of application in most cases; and the issuing of considerable amount of 10 million smart ID cards delivered to South Africans over the last five years.
The Minister further made mention of 184 digitised Home Affairs offices around the country that will accept card payments. This progress should certainly be welcomed but also we need to
acknowledge that we are in 2018, the world is changing rapidly and that even some so-called ‘spaza’ shops today offer card payment facilities. But e-Home Affairs has its own problems, affecting the desired service levels and causing frustration to citizens and the department, including the lack of reliable connectivity. There are agreements with Sita and Dimension Data to improve network reliability which appear not able to solve the problem.
Last month, the Minister announced a war on long queues, like he referred to that earlier as well. The reduction of time spent waiting at Home Affairs offices should certainly be welcomed as the length of queues has consistently grown during the immediate past period — and conservatively, stiffly as admitted by the Minister, with at least 150% during this period.
A look at the reasons for the growing long queues would reveal the root causes: Vacancies that cannot be filled due to budget constraints; as well as the cut down on over-time. Even the office hours identified by the Minister appear to be a problem! The Minister indicated that offices will be reopened on Saturdays. This practice was stopped during August last year due to staff shortages and budget constraints. Both factors have since worsened due to budget cuts. And, once again the root cause for this happened during
the guard of the former President and his hand-picked Minister of Finance.
On illegal immigration: In 2015 approximately 295 000 people stayed in South Africa once their visas have expired; this number increased to roughly 345 000 in 2016; and increased again to 384 000 in 2017. This is more than a million people just for the last 3 years for persons from only the top 5 countries whose citizens remain in South Africa illegally. And this is without the immigrants crossing our borders illegally of which no record exists.
Not only is the department failing in its responsibility to curb illegal immigration but it also continuously fails illegal immigrants who want to be processed but cannot because of the continued failings of the Department of Home Affairs to efficiently process applications. It is gravely concerning that there's no clear plan or capacity to prevent the growth of the illegal immigrant population in South Africa.
The DA supports legal immigration with an emphasis on attracting the skills we need to promote economic development. We are also aware of our continental setting and the crises many African countries face, leading their citizens to flee for safety. South Africans are happy
to be of assistance to our fellow Africans. We can however only be effective in our service delivery to our own citizens and those we shelter if people coming in are properly documented. To that end we oppose illegal immigration – whatever that means!
To the Minister and the department: What would an ordinary citizen find if he or she would type in the Minister's name, in whose hands we are asked to entrust the Home Affairs Budget, into Google? There is a whole series of thing they would read. They would inter alia read, I quote verbatim, “Taxpayers paid nearly R900 000 for former Minister of Finance’s wife to accompany him on trips”; and another sub-headline reading, “Norma Gigaba’s trips to New York and South East Asia alone cost almost R140 000 for flights and included a daily allowance of nearly R16 000”. The total paid by the taxpayer for this purpose was more than R873 000. That was on EWN.
They would also find a very interesting, “Mampara of the Week”, on Sunday Times of 6 May 2018. They would also read about: The preferential Gupta citizenship and passport issues; trips to Dubai; the protracted Fire Blade court cases and that the department has lost every single court case relating to this; that as in almost every recent controversy, and as an integral part of the ‘Zuma Legacy’, the Gupta family name also popped up in the Fire Blade
saga; and that the Minister is implicated in State Capture and has been found by the Supreme Court of Appeal to have lied to the court. In conclusion, can we – and I am putting a question - can we entrust this budget into the hands of a man who is severely compromised through his: noncompliance with the highest courts; a Fire Blade judgment which found that he had lied to courts; and the extended Gupta links? [Interjections.]
Ms Z V NCITHA: May I rise on a point of order, Chair?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon member, Ncitha
Ms Z V NCITHA: Chair, what I would like to know from the Chair’s point of view: Is he not supposed to be bringing a substantive motion ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon Khawula. Hon Khawula, I want to listen to the hon member. Please respect the hon member? Over to you mma.
Ms Z V NCITHA: I am checking if hon Hattingh is not supposed to be bringing up a substantive motion on the matters that he is rising? Thanks.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): I will check and come back with the Ruling, hon member. Continue, hon Hattingh.
Mr C HATTINGH: This is in addition to the department ... Well, I forgot to say and that perhaps the reason why I was interrupted: The last thing that I referred to was the extended Gupta links. This is in addition to Department of Home Affairs’ underperformance on all their key functions: Home Affairs offices around the country are in a mess; we have terrible border security ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order, hon Hattingh! Hon Wana, you are raising your hand?
Ms T WANA: Chairperson, can this speaker taka a question?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Let me check if ever he is ready to take a question. Hon Hattingh, are you ready to take a question?
Mr C HATTINGH: I am almost finished and if there is time left, I will certainly take it.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): He is not ready!
Mr C HATTINGH: Not at the moment, but just now perhaps.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Continue, hon member. Hon Hattingh, another member is standing. Hon Zwane? Why are you standing, hon member?
Ms L L ZWANE: I am rising on a point of order, Chair, where the member at the podium is actually misleading the country. We serve with the member in the committee and there is no mess in the Home Affairs. Instead, the systems have drastically improved. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay, hon Zwane, you will have the time to come to the podium on your debate. I think you will have a time to explain ... [Interjections.] No, hon Khawula, you can’t do that; you will be able to debate on the issue! Continue, hon Hattingh.
Mr C HATTINGH: I will certainly continue - thank you, hon Chair. This is a problem we have in this House, where Chairpersons and members of committees conflate the idea of being praise singers and doing oversight, but let me continue. I want to repeat it: Home Affairs offices around the country are in a mess; we have terrible
border security – where and if it exits; and our refugee and immigration systems are a mess.
Now, in response to the question: Can we entrust this budget into the hands of a man who is severely compromised? The answer: Certainly not! The DA does not support the Department of Home Affairs Budget Vote. I thank you. Hon Chair, I can take a question now. [Interjections.] I am ready to take a question. [Interjections.] Ooh, she ran away. [Laughter.] I would have taken it but she ran away. [Interjections.] I think she was too scared for the response.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): My apology for that hon Hattingh. The hon member from the Free State, please take your seat. Hon Makhosini, will you please take your seat I will call you? The hon member Ncitha’s point of order’s ruling is that, I think immediately she has a chance to come and debate, she can then debate on the issue. It is like a point of debate. It is not a point of order. So, the hon Hattingh was debating. Thank you very much.
Mr M M CHABANGU: Chairperson, hon members and the House at large. If there is one department amongst those that have suffered the most in
the recent past because of the Gupta capture crisis and collapse in the department is the Department of Home Affairs.
Instead of servicing millions of South Africans, Africans from all over the continent and all over the world, the Gupta stooge Minister decided to privatise the services of the Department of Home Affairs to dedicate resources to naturalise members of the Gupta family illegally. The people in KwaZulu-Natal, at Durban Station office stand in long queues ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon Chabangu! Please, take your seat. The hon member, Motlashuping! Order, hon Julius! You know he is standing.
Mr T C MOTLASHUPING: Chairperson, we need your ruling if it allowed in this House for a member to cast aspersions on another member by calling him a Gupta what, what Minister because I think the member in the podium must withdraw that because there was never an institution that found Minister Gigaba to have in anyway colluded with what he is saying.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Can I request the hon member Chabangu to ... [Inaudible.]
Mr M M CHABANGU: ... people in KwaZulu-Natal, at Durban Station office stand in long queues, exploited and forced to pay bribes to get the services. Again, people in Sibasa office are forced to queue as early as three in the morning, but your officials come at nine and close offices at 2pm and this is happening across the country in all provinces, instead of providing clear direction and practical solutions, and all you did is to declare a war against queues.
We don’t need wars; we have too much violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga and the war going on by man against woman. I am asking for protection, Madam.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon members, order!
Mr M M CHABANGU: The members of the Gupta family have South African identity numbers, but they did not meet the requirements. Atul K Gupta has a South African identity, Rajesh Kumar Gupta has a South African identity, and Ajay Kumar Gupta has a South African identity. This is despite the deliberate lies by the Minister when he was trying to hide his rot and corruption. Again, members of the Gupta family are registered to vote in the general lections
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon Chabangu! The hon Chief whip is standing. You can take your seat. Hon Chief Whip!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Chairperson, the statement referred to the Minister is unparliamentary and I wish to rule such, the member must withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Chabangu, you are saying the hon Minister is lying. Can you please withdraw those words?
Those words are unparliamentary.
Mr M KHAWULA: Please speak ... We cannot hear you, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Okay please listen hon member, the hon Chabangu referred to the Minister that he was trying to protect his rotten whatever. I don’t remember well but you know what you said.
Mr M M CHABANGU: Can I repeat myself?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Please, repeat and withdraw that.
Mr M M CHABANGU: No, Chairperson, you don’t understand what I am saying. You even not know what I said.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): I do understand, hon member.
Mr M M CHABANGU: Can I repeat myself?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Repeat and withdraw.
Mr M M CHABANGU: This is despite the deliberate lies by the Minister when he was trying to hide his rot and corruption.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You see? Can you withdraw that because the hon Minister didn’t hid anything which is rotten?
Mr M M CHABANGU: These are parliamentary words.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): They are not. You don’t respect the hon Minister. Please, withdraw?
Mr M M CHABANGU: I back to withdraw and proceed.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much. The hon Deputy Chairperson!
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You have to be specific Chairperson to say that it is unparliamentarily for a member to accuse another member or a Minister and refer to him or her as a liar because the words that the member used said the Minister lied. He must withdraw that specific word in particular.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Chabangu!
Mr M M CHABANGU: But the court said you lied.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Chabangu!
Mr M M CHABANGU: Okay, let me put in a clear English.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You can’t debate on that issue. No, you don’t have to put it in another way.
Mr M M CHABANGU: He was economic with the truth.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Chabangu!
Mr M M CHABANGU: [Laughter.] This is English, Madam.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Chabangu, before you put in another word. Please, withdraw that one.
Mr M M CHABANGU: Okay, I am saying he was economic with the truth. Not telling lies.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Before that one.
Mr M M CHABANGU: I withdraw that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much.
Mr J W W JULIUS: On a point order, I think we are now allowing other members that are not presiding in this House to make rulings on your behalf because you didn’t hear for yourself that he said that the member lied. You were told by him and you had to ascertain from the member whether you said it but instead you believe it and you said he lied and he must withdraw the lie but please, use your own discretion when you sat there and please, don’t only listen to other member because when members sat there, they are ordinary members of
this House and you must hear from the member there whether he said it if you didn’t hear it. Otherwise you are failing to handle such.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Are you done?
Mr J W W JULIUS: You don’t want me to finish.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Are finished, hon Julius? Please, take your seat. Hon Julius, you are totally out of order. The hon members are allowed to rise on whatever point of order they have and there is nothing wrong that I did. You are out of order and the hon member also agreed and withdrawn the word. So, can we allow the House to continue and don’t argue with the Chairperson. What you are doing is totally out of order.
Mr M M CHABANGU: Members of the Gupta family are registered to vote in the general lections while they are not members. We know who they are going to vote for. Even when the Minister misled the nation and said Atul Kumar Gupta is not a citizen of South Africa; Atul Kumar Gupta with identity number is registered to vote at Saxonworld Primary School.
What is a matter of fact is that the Minister was so much that he can’t even tell the difference between his old or new lies. Even the North Gauteng High Court found that the Minister lied.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Chabangu!
Mr M M CHABANGU: I withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Chabangu, please, respect the hon Minister. You have withdrawn the word and you are repeating the word again. Please, let this time be the last time.
Mr M M CHABANGU: Okay, this is for the last.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much. Order, hon members!
Mr M M CHABANGU: Deliberately told untruths under oath said a judge of a court. If it was not for the ANC inability to legislate and govern properly, we will not be sitting here with the family claiming a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
Today, is the Oppenheimers with their own terminal at OR Tambo
International Airport, tomorrow is the Rupert with his own private terminal at Cape Town International Airport
The next thing you know money, mineral resources, trafficked women and girls, and money will be laundered through this privates’ terminal. Before we know it, the Department of Home Affairs will need permission to enter these private terminals to do their job.
The government has the responsibility to properly file the correct papers, at the correct courts and make the correct argument to prevent any ownership of private terminals in South African airports, but there is no rescuing anything in this department as long as Mr Gigaba is the Minister. While you have been protecting the Gupta’s and allowing them into our country, mothers are unable to get their children grant to their children in the North West because of the department mixed up their certificates and children cannot go to school, because your department’s failures in issuing identities, in Gauteng.
You have lost all the credibility, public trust and should not be in Cabinet as a Minister or hold any public office position until such time that President Cyril Ramaphosa come to his senses, the EFF will not support the Department of Home Affairs Budget. Thank you.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, indeed, this department has moved to reach some relatively satisfactory strides in some areas of its operations. To some of us, this comes as no surprise if you care to note who its first Minister was after the first democratic elections of the country in 1994. There upon solid foundations were laid for this department to build on in its later years.
The department has reported progress in its modernisation programme. The department has reported 74% achievement in its efforts to have births captured within 30 days. There is progress in the move towards having designated ports of entry equipped with biometric systems capable of processing 100% of travellers by 2018-19. It is projected that Network Information Service, NIS, should be operational by 2019-20. The department has 391 health facilities equipped to register births and deaths, and 14 financial institutions piloted for convenient applications of passports and smart cards. Some other areas of operation still need a lot of attention. The department of Tourism has repeatedly warned that the department’s new Visa regulations have negatively impacted upon the Tourism industry of the country.
If this is true, it remains cause for concern in a country where economic growth has year after year remained a disaster; in a country where unemployment has remained a disaster; in a country where inequality has remained a disaster. Like other numerous departments in South Africa, this department also suffered its fair share of instability. In a period of four years, the department has seen four Ministers. One of those tried to fire the Director-General for reasons that still remain a mystery to most of us.
The department has a duty to respond to government outcome 14: “All people in South Africa are and feel safe.” The department’s response to this outcome in respect of controlling the in-flow of foreign nationals to the country remains absolutely poor. Just a few weeks ago, 37 trucks got damaged; others burnt, about 17 in Mooi Plaza, in KwaZulu-Natal. The reason was that citizens detected an advert calling for licensed truck drivers to apply, especially foreigners. Hence, South Africans felt they are being sidelined for employment in their own country. One has to declare upfront that this could not justify any form of violence at all. The point is, for as long as government fails to ensure the priority of South Africans to job opportunities in their own country, this leads to tensions with foreign nationals. Some of these foreign nationals are either undocumented or not properly documented like the Minister was
saying. They usually get preference to some employers in the hospitality industry, in the farms, in driving and chauffer jobs, for obvious reasons of cheap labour.
Whilst the department has done its best to accelerate the delivery of services, yet access or easy access to services by township blacks and rural blacks still remain a struggle. The department’s service centres still remain located in big cities and towns, away from the townships and rural areas where the majority of citizens who hardly afford reside. This remains grossly unfair. Those who can easily afford have services at their doorstep. Those who can hardly afford have to pay exorbitant transport fees in order to get to the services. When they get there, queues are long. They end up having to go back home without getting the service because of the sometimes long queues or sometimes because of the offices being offline. The department must begin to prioritise the townships and rural areas for easy access to services.
The Select Committee on Social Services is currently ceased with the Border Management Authority Bill. One of the areas of concern that the committee is grappling with is the poor management of air strips, especially along the borders of our country. [Time Expired.] Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo [I thank you Chairperson]
Ms T K MAMPURU: Chairperson, good afternoon everyone, this debate takes place on this day that is celebrated as Democracy Day in Nigeria. It commemorates the restoration of democracy in Nigeria, when the newly elected Olusegun Obasanjo took office as the President of Nigeria in May 1999, ending multiple decades of military rule that began in 1966. So, in the spirit of African brotherhood, we wish our fellow Nigerians, especially those within our shores, a happy Democracy Day.
The day also marks the birthday of the late former President of USA, John F Kennedy, who once said and I quote: “It is time for a new generation of leadership to cope with new problems and new opportunities. For there is a new world to be won.” These words by John F Kennedy - JFK, as the former late President of the USA was affectionately known, could not be more relevant to the leadership of the Department of Home Affairs.
Today when one visits Home Affairs offices one is still confronted by long queues, especially at the immigration centres, of people who want to be served. Some of these queues are in the sun and include senior citizens. This is so despite the war that the Minister has waged on these long queues. Minister, through your Chairperson, these long queues reduces citizens to lowly subjects. They portray
an image that suggests that the department has limited respect for people’s dignity, thus in violation of our constitutional values.
We therefore support this fight that you have waged, Minister, against the long queues at the Home Affairs offices. They are the problem that you, as the new generation of leadership, must cope with. The queues must fall. And indeed they have started falling. But they still need to be eradicated completely. The million rand question therefore is: “How do we do this?”
One of these measures lies in technology. Minister, you have correctly instructed that addressing information technology, IT, system failures be introduced as one of the intervention strategies by the department. This is so because today’s new problems and opportunities relate heavily to changes in information technology and the globalisation of economic activity. So the department cannot afford to have uninspiring and unreliable IT system.
Minister, there is no doubt that these remaining long queues are in the main as a result of manual systems that are still a major part of our system. It is therefore necessary that the officials in the department, especially senior managers, should implement this new IT system as soon as possible. We understand that many of these senior
managers are the so-called “BBTs” - born before technology — and also that ...
... thutelabogolo e a roba ...
... but they need to come to the party. We are now in the age of technology, the fourth industrial revolution. Many people have said money is power however, in this age of knowledge the new source of power is not money, which is in the hands of the few, but information in the hands of many. So, by strengthening the information technology capacity of the department, we will be giving power to ordinary people.
It should be noted that although those with the financial resources are in a superior position to obtain and utilise information, modern information technology has given access of information to millions of people and has enabled them to think and make decisions for themselves in an inexpensive way. However, knowledge on its own is worthless without the physical means of implementation. For people to participate fully in their own development, they need access to
information about what services are available, where to get these services and how to benefit from them.
The Department of Home Affairs must therefore not only increase its investment in information and communications technology, ICT, infrastructure. It must go a further step of informing the people about the existence of this infrastructure. This will help it to deliver services to our people, especially those in rural areas. No infrastructure simply means no access.
Tona, ke kgopela gore letšatši le lengwe o ke o etele Tubatse diofising tša rena tša Kgoro ya Merero ya Selegae kua Praktiseer, o ye o kwe bohloko bjoo re bo kwago. Diofisi ga di gona, e no ba dikhutlwana, difaele di pakelelana, ge o re o nyaka se ga o se hwetše. Nke o re gopole re le ba Tubatse, o re agele moago gore batho ba rena ba tle ba kgone go lokologa ge ba le Kgorong ya Merero ya Selegae. Ge o ka tla Tubatse o tla hwetša gore magoši a Tubatse a feta 20, moo e lego gore kamoka ga bona, dipasa tša bona le ditifikheithi tša bona - e ka ba tša mahu goba tša manyalo, ba di lata Praktiseer. Ka boikokobetšo re kgopela gore ka mašeleng ao o abetšwego ona o re gopole, o re agele meago hle.
This is so Minister, as it is said in the language of performance management that it’s not what you do that counts, but what gets done. In other words, the performance of the department must be measured at the outcome level, and not at the output level. The long queues do not show a positive outcome. Therefore, something drastic and radical must be done to deal with these remaining long queues.
In a nutshell, in South Africa, information technology’s true value does not lie in how easy it makes it to do internet banking, nor in its ability to allow you to work from home. Its true value lies in its ability to facilitate that an old lady in Sepanapudi and Ga- Mashamothane receives her pension grant. It lies in its ability to facilitate that poor children in Ka-Nkomo receive foster and children grants. In other words, its true value lies in its ability to help us, especially the poor, to live more dignified lives as humans.
Apart from this, substantial transformation information technology will also bring about revolutionary transformation in the department. This is so because as a resource, IT has inherent predispositions such as requiring certain skills and investments that lead to changes in organisational structures and management. It
is therefore imperative for the department to adapt to fit into this age of information. This is the revolutionary transformation that we need for this department, and the Minister is correct to push for IT revolution in the department.
The importance of information and communications technology in government with regard to public service delivery can no longer be overlooked. The Department of Home Affairs, just like all other government departments, needs an up-to-scratch working IT framework to achieve optimal government-to-government, government-to-business, and government-to-citizen interaction.
Remember today’s world is an e-world. We have e-government, e- democracy and so on. I therefore hope and believe that this budget will enable the Department of Home Affairs to enhance its visa systems and the biometric smart ID cards as envisaged. This will augur well with the ANC 54th National Conference Resolution that urges the ANC-led government to implement operational and organisational models appropriate for the management of identity and international migration in a digital world, including its law enforcement capacity. The resolution also urges the government to accelerate the integration of the existing biometric data sets, strengthen cyber-crime counter measures across the criminal justice
system value chain.” In a nutshell, if we can implement this IT system correctly, we will, in the words of John F Kennedy, “cope with new problems and new opportunities. We will win this new world.”
Therefore, as the ANC we support this budget of the Department of Home Affairs as it would go a long way to ensure that the department develops its information technology infrastructure, which will in turn enable it to deliver services better to our people. We hope the R1,97 billion that is transferred to the Independent Electoral Commission will also improve its IT system so that it conducts credible elections next year. We want to be able to access the results of the elections as soon as possible on our IT gadgets, so that those of us who would have won could start with preparations of running the country as soon as possible.
However, in the short term, can the department please supply chairs and shades to sit on during the long wait outside the Home Affairs office buildings. This is about dignity. It is ubuntu. Ministers, whatever criticisms are channelled against you are helping you to grow and to make you a strong man. As the ANC we are happy; you are doing a sterling job. But Chairperson ...
... ke re ke mang yo a ka lebalago mogwanto wa 1956? Ga a gona. Ge e le “dompas” yona re re ke koša - ke lewana ke leotiša tšhwene. “Smart card” ke sona. Re thekga tekanyetšo ye. Re a leboga.
Ms B SCHÄFER (Western Cape): Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members of the NCOP, ladies and gentlemen, in 2017, a report called, Policy and Regulatory alert: The Tourism Status Qua in South Africa was released by the EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Southern Africa. It highlights the regularity barriers that hamper the full potential of tourism to grow in our country. It highlights, in particular, the unintended consequences of the onerous visa regulations that were so quickly implemented by Minister Gigaba and his department back in 2014.
Minister Gigaba will remember me quite clearly, as our standing committee drove the issue of visa regulations relentlessly, producing a 72-page report, highlighting the negative impact that tourism would experience as a result. Our calls for action went largely ignored and the report was shelved, as so many good reports do these days, when it comes to national government.
Four years later, we welcome some of the changes proposed by the Minister here today. In the media last year, the frustration of unabridged birth certificates that families experience was so clearly illustrated. Today, Minister, you made no mention thereof.
When Belgian leader of the Socialist Party and his partner planned a trip to Cape Town in Dec 2016, his daughter of nine years old was refused entry onto the Turkish Airline flight. She was refused entry, despite the fact that the little girl of nine had her own children’s passport, an international passport, an international birth certificate and two sworn affidavits from both parents. This event made headlines in all the Belgian newspapers, claiming that it was clearly impossible to travel to South Africa with children.
And so, we can list the 13 246 people that have been denied entry into the country between June 2015 and July 2016 because of this contentious rule.
The Tourism Business Council of SA estimated that the potential revenue of around R7,51 billion was lost in that same year because of these regulations.
Tragic stories surface in the media regularly that South Africa denied their rights as South African citizens. The most tragic story is the one of talented George Maskini who was turned away numerous times at the airport on his way to play an international football tournament.
This is the price many South Africans are forced to pay for a department, which has time and time again failed to adequately serve its people.
In a recent Travelstart research study published, similar frustrations are recorded with a great deal of those interviewed, describing the application of unabridged birth certificates taking longer than six weeks to process.
As the Western Cape has grown to become the tourist destination of choice for countless international visitors, the number of arrivals at Cape Town International Airport has skyrocketed. In 2017 alone, Cape Town International Airport recorded a 13,85% increase in international passengers. The Western Cape’s Air Access strategy, has added an additional 1,5 million seats in both directions. Air Access is a collaboration between the Western Cape Provincial Government, the City of Cape Town, Airports Company SA, Cape Town
Tourism, Wesgro and the private sector, to link Cape Town to major global hubs and grow tourism and the meetings industry in the Western Cape.
The only problem hampering Cape Town’s development in this regard is the inability to process international tourists through at a reasonable time. Despite our continual calls for an increase in Home Affairs staff at the airport, Cape Town remains bogged down by a lack of Home Affairs personnel. Reports have stated that passengers, after an average 12 hour flight, have had to wait another two hours to get through passport control. This does not bode well for a city that receives international accolades as an iconic tourist city, nor does this bode well for South Africa’s brand image. After all, Minister, when tourists stop coming to Cape Town, they stop coming to South Africa. And when more than 700 O00 people are employed in this sector, I believe that we should be taking all possible steps to mitigate barriers to growth this sector.
So, Minister Gigaba, when will the department address this dire need in the interests of the Western Cape economy and its people?
While the challenges of visa regulations, unabridged birth certificates and visa processing at the airport remain, I would like
to add that the department further hampers South Africa’s economic development, by deliberately dissuading foreign nationals from visiting our country. The process to inform international visitors of the requirements to enter our country, coupled with visa processing centres in only select cities in their countries, kill tourist activity from key markets such as India and China.
When Chinese nationals have to fly to Beijing to obtain a visa to visit South Africa, they choose rather to visit a country where a visa is easier to obtain. It is not rocket science to institute a functional visa system to stimulate tourism in our country, yet the Department of Home Affairs still cannot seem to find a workable solution. However, we welcome the easing of Indian and Chinese travellers, as the Minister has suggested today, and issuing of those e-permits and trusted traveller gates. It is not enough. More has to be done.
In October 2016, New Zealand revoked visa-free access for South Africans travelling to the country. One of the reasons cited by the New Zealand government when taking this decision was, and I quote: ”The number of South African travellers had been refused entry at the New Zealand border, due to counterfeit or fraudulently obtained South African passports.” How can we, as South Africans, be assured
of the security of our national travel documentation when it can be so easily counterfeited and reproduced?
The free movement of South African citizens is clearly compromised by travel documentation, which is not secure. More importantly, business dealings between South Africa and New Zealand are now compromised purely because of the Department of Home Affairs’ questionable passport creation process.
In an ever-globalising world, where eradicating barriers is growing an international economy, South Africa lags behind due to ineffective documentation. Other than employing a tit-for-tat reciprocity arrangement, with foreign countries with regards to visa-free entry, how is the Department of Home Affairs addressing the root of these problems?
South Africa runs its 122 diplomatic missions abroad, the second number to after the USA at a cost of R3,2 billion. We cannot afford to limit the movement of our people in a world where international movement is more accessible. And those countries whose citizens can move freely are granted access to more opportunity.
We welcome the fact that the department is addressing these issues and the probability of and opportunity for the continent of Africa, in relation to passports and travel documentation. We must state against that the country, if it is to remain competitive and relevant on the international stage, must do more to open freedom of movement for all people to and from South Africa. Minister, you have seen, when a visa for Russian tourists was wavered, travel by Russians to South Africa increased by 51% in 2017. Waver
As if things could not get any worse, the Border Management Authority Bill has come into effect. This is the Bill that basically hands over the policing of our borders to a stand-alone authority, answering only to this Minister. It is a Bill that, for the first time, will see border revenue streaming into the department, instead of to Treasury. It is a Bill that will collect over R3 billion of customs and duties outside of the South African Revenue Service’s computerised systems. Daily Maverick reports that it is, and I quote: “a Bill that is a Zuma-era stitch-up that needs to be stopped.”
Why? It’s an open tap for corruption and maladministration. No checks and balances. Minister, I wonder if you, in your position as finance Minister, would allow such a move. Treasury is clearly not
pleased. And I wonder how you are going to ensure that no maladministration takes place when you still cannot ensure border effectiveness, or that unabridged birth certificates are managed.
But don’t get me wrong, Minister, we agree that proper border management is critical to South Africa’s economy and growth and the many illegal people that are streaming into South Africa must be stopped. South Africa is looking for skilled Africans that can contribute to a transfer of skills and broaden the opportunity base for South Africans. We must therefore make it easier for such people to enter South Africa with ease.
This department must address this as a matter of urgency if our country is to keep up with an every globalising international community, where South Africa’s interdependence increases; where cross-border transactions occur in large numbers in goods and services; where there is a free movement of international capital flows, but most of all, where there is a massive increase in the exchange of technology and innovation. This is what South Africa needs. I thank you.
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Hon Chairperson, most people often makes the mistake for undermining the importance of this department. Hon
Minister, the Department of Home Affairs, when run efficiently and effectively, the department offers a significant contribution to the growing economy which in turn gives opportunity for jobs ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order, hon Mampuru!
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: ... in this sector and in bringing about social and political cohesion and stability in South Africa. In our country, hon Minister, the Department of Home Affairs is mandated by both international and national law to protect and regulate interests of its habitants.
Lately, Chairperson, the fulfilment of this obligation has proved difficult for this current leadership. Minister Malusi Gigaba, issues of border control and laws plague the department and very little is being done to address and solve these issues. One major issue that has come into light over these past couple of years is the citizenship enquiry, especially the enquiry relating to the Gupta family.
Considering the recent history of the Gupta has had with the country, I think we can all agree that the initial granting of
citizenship to members of the Gupta family was a lapse in judgment on the part of the previous and present Minister, Malusi Gigaba.
Often, it is said that hindsight is 20/20, and while we cannot change what has already happened, it is better and easier to control the future. On May 27, Minister Malusi Gigaba, it was reported that the fraud accused Varun Gupta has returned to South Africa from his court approved trip to India. As a department, you have an obligation to the public and the rule of law to ensure that the cases run their full course and those found guilty will be held accountable without obstacles of fleeing this country — just as we have recently witnessed with former President Jacob Zuma’s
This is not only a call for stricter border control management for special citizens; it is individuals which the state has vested interest in but also ... [Interjections.] Can I get protection?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You are protected, hon Sibhukwana. Hon members, order! Order!
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: ... in but for the average individuals who slip through the cracks due to the department lack of efficiency. I
would like to reiterate, hon Chairperson, to the Minister, that while we support the legal immigration with an emphasis on attracting the skills we need to promote economic development, we are cognisant of the struggles of our fellow African brothers and sisters.
In that regard, Minister, we have a duty as South Africans to be of assistance. It is our responsibility. In Ward 9, Minister, I had mentioned this to you. In Ward 9 Saldanha, there has been tension regarding illegal occupants erecting informal structures in the middle of the night while people are sleeping. Understandable, it is the security issue to the residents, and we urge the department to approach these matters in a sensitive and caring manner.
We respect the rule of law but South Africans require a caring government who understand the desperate plight of people. To date, the ANC is failing.
As a government ... [Interjections.] ... we cannot fuel xenophobia.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Oliphant, the hon member is protected.
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Increasing our border control and regulations will be beneficial for our political internal security of our country but also to ensure that those fleeing from other countries can be adequately documented in South Africa.
Six ports, you mentioned Minister, and hon Dlamini also mentioned that they are underdevelopment and improving. We don’t support as the DA this budget. Ndiyabulela [Thank you]
Mr D STOCK: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. As a point of departure I must just start to correct the hon member who just left the podium, that the former President of the republic is President Jacob Zuma. We don’t have Jacom Zuma as a former President of the republic and the new President of the republic who is also the new President of the ANC is President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, so it is important that the hon member must take note of such important histories moving forward.
I am really honoured and privileged to stand before you today to participate in this important topic of discussion which is the Vote
5 of the ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mpambo-Sibhukwana and Oliphant, please, let us have order in the House.
Mr D STOCK: ... the debate is actually taking place at a time where the ANC will be celebrating the centenary of Mrs Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu, as well as Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela, who was the former President of the democratic Republic of South Africa.
It is important that as a nation we draw inspiration from the rich legacy of these stalwarts of the liberation struggle and in their pursuit for a democratic society. In honour of these stalwarts, let us uphold the principles, values and vision for a non-racial and democratic South Africa. Having said that, it is important to acknowledge that we still have a long walk towards establishing secure and efficient home affairs that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people.
We draw strength from the knowledge that in this country, no government, before 1994, systematically recorded the births and deaths of all citizens or rather focused on promoting the wellbeing of all citizens of the country, regardless of race, gender or class.
The ANC-led government approach under the Department of Home Affairs took this task with seriousness and vigilance given the great importance of the Department of Home Affairs in the lives of our people. The core mandate of the department is to secure and confirm our identity as citizenship of the country. It is also to secure the identity and status of every citizen who is actually part of the country.
Consequently, the department touches citizen’s life from the cradle to the grave, a very important point which was actually mentioned earlier on by the Chairperson of the select committee, hon Dlamini that she regards home affairs as a very important department according to her because when you arrive on earth when a baby is born you go to through home affairs and later on when you apply for an ID and passport you also go to home affairs and then when you get married you also go through home affairs and when you depart this world through death, you also go through home affairs.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Julius!
Mr D STOCK: At the beginning of the fifth parliament, the department of home affairs was expected to deliver the five strategic
priorities. Our work as the members of the NCOP is to ensure that this department delivers on those strategic priorities.
The first priority was to complete the modernisation programme to replace the outdated systems that are not secure or efficient by the end of March 2017, the department has issued 6,8 million smart ID cards which is a good story to tell. This was made possible by the introduction of e-home affairs online application platform for smart ID cards and passports and partnership with the four banks that are participating in this project.
Now, let me take this opportunity to actually thank all the hon members that came to the podium and made some positive contributions to the policy debate of Vote 5 and unfortunately for the members who came here and didn’t say anything. I don’t have anything to say for those members because it is not my responsibility because they had an opportunity and some of them were allocated 10 minutes to participate in this important topic of discussion and they came here and what they did was to take a very serious off-ramp. They reduced the debate to insult the Minister. To call the Minister with names and so forth, so such members who came to the podium for such reason, unfortunately I don’t have anything to say to them.
For members who have made positive contribution, I think the Minister was listening and also some of us as hon members of the House were actually taking notes because we will be able to make such proposals to the department and then through our engagement with the department as a select committee, we will also be able to write questions to the Minister for oral reply or either for written reply. So, the issues that we are raising here today are of paramount importance and they will be taken into consideration and I hope it will teach some members also a lesson that when there is a debate in the House it doesn’t give you a licence to come here and political posture and to insult leadership and to do all sort of other things.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Chabangu, you know you are allowed to hackle but you can’t drown the speaker. Please, let us have order in the House. You were respected when you here debating. He also needs that same respect.
Mr J W W JULIUS: No, he wasn’t!
Mr D STOCK: I think there is an issue that I need to clarify. The hon member Hattingh when he was here at the podium, he made a statement that the Minister of Home Affairs was actually hand-picked
to become a Minister of Finance. Now, I want to answer the hon Minister with a question. I want ask him, who has hand-picked him to be a member of the NCOP today? Then if he can just answer that question, I will be able to give him a proper answer as to why Minister Gigaba was actually appointed?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Hattingh, you can’t join them. He didn’t ask you a question. He is debating. Hon Hattingh, you are not allowed to debate on the floor. Let us have order in the House.
Mr D STOCK: All the allegations that the hon member made at the podium and I think the hon member was out of order because he knows exactly that the rules of the House allows if there is any allegation corruption or any wrong doing, the Rules of the House allows that you must do substantive motion in order to substantiate the allegation that you are making. So, earlier on the allegation that there a number of wrong doings that the Minister has done, I take it as a lie because the hon member didn’t actually substantive the claims that were made.
Hon Hattingh, I am also married and I am standing in front of the podium. I am a member of the NCOP.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): ...speak through the Chairperson, hon member.
Mr D STOCK: If there is an international trip or any other official trip of the NCOP, I have the right to take my wife with me to that particular oversight whether it is an international trio for as long as I am going take responsibility to pay the expenses for travel for my wife. There is nothing wrong.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order, hon Stock! Hon Hattingh, I am giving you a warning. Please, don’t drown the speaker on the podium.
Mr C HATTINGH: Will the hon member Stock take a question relating to what he has just said?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Hattingh!
Mr C HATTINGH: I just want to specific what?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Stock, are you ready to take the question of the hon member Hattingh?
Mr D STOCK: No, I am not ready ma’am, outside the House, yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): He is not ready, hon member. Take your seat hon Stock. I have two members with their hands up. I don’t know why their hands were up.
Mr M M CHABANGU: Madam, I was just advising that the speaker must not speak direct to hon Hattingh. He must speak through you. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Oh okay, I have noticed that and we have ruled on that one.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, I just wanted to know whether the Minister paid for his own wife’s expenses like he said now.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): You see you are out of order, hon Julius. You can’t do that.
Mr D STOCK: So, I would like to say to the hon member that not everything that is in the mainstream media is actually the truth. So, even if you have read something in the headlines, don’t be informed by headlines. I am also not surprised by the fact that the
DA is not supporting this Budget Vote because really there are parties actually well-known for political opportunism and the recent example is the Patricia Delille issue.
I want to ask the hon member who also came here before, hon Sibhukwane. In the faction of the DA of the Rev Maine and the Patricia Delille, where dose she fall but I suspect because having listened I think she is in the Patricia Delille faction.
To hon Chabangu, there is actually nothing. He actually came to the podium and there is nothing actually that was said by the hon member. So, my advice to the hon member is that he must begin to take his parliamentary responsibility serious. He must go the committees because committees of the NCOP are a critical component of the work of the NCOP. So, you don’t have to come to Parliament because there is a debate and now you want to appear on television for some good reason or bad reason. Now, you want to come here and you want to insult because you want to be in the headlines. We don’t operate like that, so take your parliamentary responsibility very serious.
You are saying that the hon Minister is a Gupta stooge and because everything that you see under the sun for one or bad reason you just
reject, even if a fly is passing you are rejecting and all of that. So, there is actual nothing to learn from you. Those people who are rejecting every thing, hon members, even when they see a fly passing they are rejecting. When an important topic of discussion is being tabled in the NCOP, they are rejecting. So there is actually nothing to learn from such hon members.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): The hon member Stock? Please, take your seat. Hon Julius, you are standing.
Mr J W W JULIUS: On a point order, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): What is the point of order, Sir?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Yes, I take exception to the fact that you are actually enjoying laughing there while the hon Stock is talking and I am very serious now. I have been very serious now. I think you are participating in the debate, ma’am. You are not supposed to do that because your laughter in what point, we are at the podium. There is nothing like that but now you are enjoying laughing out loud there. I don’t think you are doing justice to that chair. I think you need to withdraw you laughter.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Hon Julius that is not a point order, Sir. Allow us to continue.
Mr D STOCK: My only advice to hon Chabangu is that because he came here just to reject, he must go and actually goggle what is the definition of a rejectionist stooge and this is exactly what he is representing here at the podium today.
We appreciate the good work that the hon Minister is doing and we have full confidence in the Minister of Home Affairs. As the ANC we support this Budget Vote. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I want to thank the hon members for the debate. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Order hon members! Order hon Dlamini! Order Mpambo-Sibhukwana! Hon Mpambo! Hon Dlamini! Hon Oliphant! Let us allow the Minister to continue with the work of the day, please. [Interjections.] Hon Sibhukwana! Hon Sibhukwana, I am giving you a warning. Allow the Minister to continue with the business of the day. Continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: There are many very important points that hon members raised with regard to outstanding challenges that the department still has to address. One of those relates to fewer offices vis-à-vis the population and the increasing population of the country and the department has already indicated that we are looking not only of physical infrastructure but we are also looking at innovative solutions which include the eHomeAffairs channel, the mobile units that will enable us to serve our clients closer to where they are without requiring them to come to our offices.
Already with more than 200 000 people who have been able to apply for Smart ID cards and passports without presenting themselves physically at our offices, it does prove that these solutions are working and are delivering the results that we want. The challenge of poor management at some of our offices is going to be addressed through some of the interventions that I indicated earlier where I asked the director-general to compile me a full audit of our management competencies at all our offices to determine whether we have the right skills. Whether we have deployed our managers according to their competencies to the right offices so that we can take decisions that will strengthen the offices that are weak and without undermining those that are currently strong.
The hon members have raised a number of suggestions which we have welcomed that we are going to deal with. It is unfortunate that some members have lowered the quality of the debate and instead of focusing on the Budget Vote we presented and the challenges that we are raising for the department have tried to distract because when you have no ideas and no criticisms to make you then can not focus on the good work that is being done instead you will hand-pick on everything else that is outside of the terrain of what we are discussing in order to have some relevance. Now, here is the issue, the hon Hattingh in his presentation starts by commending the department and ends up contradicting himself claiming that the department is a disaster. He asks a question, “Who hand-picked the Minister to be the Minister of Finance?” And the question is again
... another hon member asked the question, “who hand-picked him to be a Member of Parliament?” We would say it is the Free Market Foundation from which he cut his teeth from, an organisation very well-known as a neoliberal representative of big business particularly whose main sponsors are white males who are the wealthiest in our country. So when he stands here, he represents those people who brought him here and he has to do nothing else but to represent them and try to represent them well but he has made a complete disaster. He is a complete disaster in doing so.
The hon member tries to deflect, to defray attention from his scandal infested and divided organisation by launching an invective against the person of the Minister of Home Affairs which is quite unfortunate because as a researcher he could do a much better job which would enrich the work that the department is doing and assist us to have a better view of what we could do even better. The hon member raises issues and you, even though I would not have wanted to respond to this but I think it is necessary to make a comment on it. The issue of the international travel of Ministers is well-addressed in the Ministerial Handbook. This issue can not be reduced to an individual when there is an executive of over 30 people. When the provincial government of the Western Cape are beneficiaries of exactly the same benefits and have been utilising those benefits and they also have a lot to answer to for their compliance with the same handbook. The hon Chabangu raises an issue that must also be clarified. There are 13 members of the Gupta family that were naturalised in the country. Nine of them were naturalised before 2014, nine out of 13, before 2014. And four were naturalised in 2015. Mr Ajay Gupta does not have South African citizenship. He does not hold a South African ID. I know this because I have had to familiarise myself with the facts. So to stand here, not only grandstand but deliberately mislead the House is actually unfortunate and I would like to request the Chairperson to look into
this matter because the hon member knows very well that he was misleading the House and he may have to be asked not only to clarify his pronouncements but to withdraw them.
But this matter is a subject of an inquiry by the National Assembly and I think we need to give it time because it will be clarified. Mr Atul Gupta became a South African citizen in 2003 and Mr Rajesh in 2006 if I am not mistaken and Mr Ajay Gupta does not have South African citizenship so he does not vote. Hon Schafer raises the issues of tourism and we welcome your positive and constructive statement but if the hon member thinks that South African visas are onerous, try and look at the article written by Prof Steven Friedman when we went to apply for the United Kingdom, UK, visa and how onerous that process was and he even said that he actually thought that many people think that South African processes are onerous but in actual fact they are not so compared to the processes and systems in other countries. But finally let me say to the hon Schafer that, we manage international migration both for economic development and national security not for one or the other. We need to balance at all times the decisions that we make both in terms of policy and programmes with regard to the acceptance of travellers to the country and our management of this process so that at the same time we promote the economic interests of the country, not of one
province because the hon member says that we must address the interests of the Western Cape but we manage international migration both for economic development and national security but we also manage it for the rest of the country, not for a single province. We make international migration easy but secure. Thank you.
Vote No 15 - Higher Education and Training:
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Chairperson, Deputy
Minister Manamela, Minister Gigaba as he leaves, director-general and staff of the department, hon members and guests in the gallery, I am pleased to present the Department of Higher Education and Training’s budget for 2018-19.
Our department plans to use this budget to develop and implement programmes that will provide skills and empowerment to young people. We believe, our youth require programmes that will transform their lives and give hope to their families. One of the major challenges
confronting our young people is that of unemployment. As the Higher Education and Training Sector is developing the ability to link training and skills development to work and enterprise development.
Our government, in response to these challenges, has embarked on a number of initiatives — not alone but in partnership with employers and other partners. One example of such interventions is the Youth Employment Scheme, Yes. The initiative was recently launched by our President and stands out as one of the boldest initiatives to date, in which over a million youngsters will be given at least a year’s work experience, at large or small companies, over the next three years. Private sector companies will indicate the number of Yes applicants they will take on and already several companies have announced their commitment.
Another initiative is the Technical Education for Communities Centre, TECC, in Sedibeng, that I launched last week, where Cummins Middle East and Africa and Komatsu South Africa are working together with Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority, MerSeta, and Sedibeng TVET College. The shared aim of all these initiatives is to assist young people to progress from school to work or entrepreneurship and, once there, to meet their own needs as well as to play an active part in
building the success of the workplaces they enter or enterprises they start so that our economy and country can prosper.
This year we plan to intensify our investment in skills programme development in the TVET colleges. We believe that these colleges can make a decisive contribution to the youth employment challenge. This is why R10,5 billion is allocated to the TVET sector this year. The skills development programmes we will implement have been developed by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupation in partnership with employers and industry associations.
The approach that we developed is linked to what we now call the Centres of Specialisation Programme, CSP, which was launched in October 2017. This programme is going to be piloted in 26 colleges throughout the country and will provide training in 13 trades. These thirteen artisan trades are a priority for our ocean economy initiatives as well as our various infrastructure programmes.
The experiences gained from the pilot will be used to expand the programme to other TVET colleges. For each of the thirteen trades, we sought industry association partners, and in the first round we’re working with: The Retail Motor Industry for the automotive trades; the Institute of Plumbers of South Africa for plumbing; the
Southern African Institute of Welders for welders; and with the Steel and Engineering Industries of Southern Africa for the remaining nine trades.
With these partners we have identified two TVET colleges for each of the trades to become a centre of specialisation for that trade. So, together we’re ensuring that the curriculum is up to date, the facilitators are prepared and that the workshops are well equipped. We’re also identifying employers around each college with the intention of securing the required workplace training for the specified trades.
Our efforts have been greatly assisted by the Sector Education and Training Authorities, Setas. They have ring-fenced over 780 apprenticeship grants of R165 000 each, per apprentice — and these are being offered to those employers willing to partner with us. The National Skills Fund has also contributed R150 million towards these interventions. So, we’re well on the way to meeting our target of 780 apprenticeship contracts for 2019, and increase our apprenticeship success rate by having 30 000 artisans annually by 2030 as set our in the National Development Plan.
This way of working is being monitored and will be evaluated as we proceed, but I am hopeful that this pilot will provide us with a vehicle for taking these very important occupational programmes to scale in all our TVET colleges, so that more and more trades and occupations can be offered in more and more colleges.
I would like to turn now to our budget. Our budget introduces a major shift in policy this year, as well as the realisation of the Freedom Charter’s call that the doors of learning and culture will be open to all. Our budget rises to R89,9 billion in this financial year.
Ao! maloko a a tlotlegang, ke ne kere le tla itumela. [Legofi.]
The budget allocated to the TVET sector indicates our intention to support our colleges so that they become premier institutions of choice for your people. The TVET college sector can, I believe, if properly supported, make a huge contribution to South Africa achieving its human resource development goals.
The 50 TVET colleges, with an enrolment of 700 000 students, are allocated R10,7 billion this year - up 45% from R7,4 billion in 2017. The R1,3 billion of this, is for an infrastructure grant - the first time we have such earmarked funding for TVET colleges in South Africa. This is a clear indication of the emphasis we’re placing on TVET colleges.
This year the new Higher Education and Training bursary scheme for students is being implemented for all years of study in the TVET sector: 458 875 college students will receive bursaries for tuition and books; 50 480 students will receive travel, accommodation, and meals allowances; and 82 600 will receive a transport allowance. [Applause.] The additional funding will support increased levels of quality provisioning relating to current enrolment plans, which will be kept stable over the next three years.
I have been reading with interest, a recent World Bank report, called the Systematic Partnership Diagnosis report, which outlines the constraints to eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in many countries in the developing world. It addresses five constraints, but states the key constraint as being, “Insufficient skills”. They explain this as follows:
Poor education means that goods produced by unskilled South Africans fetch less in international markets than they cost to produce, given prevailing wages. Together with rapid tariff, liberalization in the 1990s and rising statutory minimum wages in South Africa’s remaining labour-intensive sectors, such as clothing. This has priced low-skilled South African manufacturing out of business in international competition with low-wage countries, especially those of East Asia.
What’s really interesting about the World Bank report is its focus on the Korean TVET system; and not the German ‘dual system’. We don’t have an SMME sector that is as huge as the German ‘dual system’. However, the Koreans introduced training consortia model based on partnerships between large companies and government. In 2016, there were 215 training consortia in Korea: 155 are led by large companies, such as Samsung, Hyundai, SK, and LG; 33 such consortia are led by universities; and 27 are led by public training institutions.
We are beginning to see the beginning of such examples in South Africa. Samsung, for example, has a television manufacturing plant in the Dube Trade port. To provide skills for the plant, Samsung partnered with the Coastal KwaZulu-Natal TVET College and the
Department of Higher Education and Training to establish the Samsung Engineering Academy in KwaMashu. It is our intention to increase such partnerships in future. We believe that if we are to succeed we must of course ensure that our lecturers in the college sector are able to deliver a modernised skills curriculum. About R34,9 million is provided in this year’s budget for lecturer development in our TVET college sectors.
We are also addressing capacity development in our universities. This year, our University Capacity Development Grant totals
R928 million. It will support university quality development in four key areas. These are: student academic development; lecturer development; leadership development; as well as support for post graduate study and curriculum development.
I am pleased at the efforts of many of our universities which are seeking to develop new curricular and support programmes for student success. I believe the initiatives they are leading lay a good foundation for our economic policies that are focussed on creating new industries and new manufacturing plants. As South Africa, we have got to ensure that we build our manufacturing base to be a far stronger one and that it becomes increasingly competitive.
We also need is to be further diversified as well as modernised in a manner that utilises new approaches, particularly new innovative technologies. We have around 35 000 manufacturing firms in our country. They employ about 1,4 million people. Doubling the size of this sector would require an enormous infusion of capital and lots of skilled young people. We need thousands of young entrepreneurs, managers, machinists, engineers, accountants, tax officials, legal professionals and so on.
It takes five skilled people to run the average manufacturing company. That means 175 000 skilled people to double our manufacturing industry in South Africa. If we have such an increase, we would have a meaningful impact on economic growth. I am particularly pleased at the efforts that the Setas are leading in providing support for skills in key manufacturing sectors. These are skills not just at the lower end of the skills spectrum but also high-level skills that come from the higher education sector, particularly our universities.
We are seeing much more attention to hi-tech manufacturing, the creative industries, use of artificial intelligence in medicine, to bio-informatics development, business services technology support, technology in education and the development of computer software
within our domestic manufacturing base. These are also sectors which offer strategic opportunities to South Africa.
We should develop sector skills plans for each of them. We should intensify efforts and resources directed at research, development and innovation. Our support for researchers is provided through block grants to the institutions and through the University Capacity Development programme. Our higher education sector is constrained by a shortage of scientists and technologists.
This year 26 universities, with an enrolment of 975 000 students, of whom 635 000 are in contact universities and 340 000 at Unisa receive a budget of R38,6 billion - up 22% from R31,6 billion in 2017. National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, is allocated R20,5 billion in 2018 - up 100% from R10,1 billion in 2017. [Applause.] We expect that 84 000 first-time entry university students to be fully funded, and 190 000 students in all other years of study will be funded at ‘average full cost of study’.
I am extremely please to then present the budget of the Department of Higher Education and Training to this House, and I hope the hon members will support our budget. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms L L ZWANE: Hon Chairperson of Council, hon Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, the Deputy Minister, hon Manamela, hon members of this House and the Director-General of the department, let me take this opportunity to thank this platform that I am using today to deliberate over this very important issue of the policy debate on Higher Education and Training Budget Vote No 15.
I am humbled by the fact that it is significant that we are having this debate during the time when we are commemorating the lives of our freedom fighters and stalwarts in the persons of Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. We want to acknowledge the fact that, were it not for the fight that they put relentlessly against apartheid, we would not be able to converge in this fashion to deliberate over the national issues where both the rulers or the governors and the oppressors are under one roof.
Education is one of the apex priorities of the ANC-led government for very obvious reasons. One amongst which is the radical economic transformation. For it to take place effectively, we need a skilled and capable workforce in support of an inclusive growth path which the White Paper on peasant says it should be fair, equitable, non- racial, non-sexist and democratic. This is the vision of post-school education and training as espoused in the White Paper.
In our engagement with the Department of Higher Education and Training which was an activity that was in collaboration with the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education in the National Assembly, we came to one conclusion to agree that we support the budget of Higher Education and Training for very valid reasons. The budget is for a noble cause and the budget is pro-poor.
In our oversight activities, some of which we did jointly with the National Assembly Portfolio Committee, we have interface with a variety of important stakeholders attached to the Department of Higher Education and Training bodies like, Universities South Africa, Usaf, Council for Higher Education, the body that is representing parents in higher education though it is not yet statutory. We met with the student body, SA Student Organisation, Saso. We met with Business Unity South Africa, Busa, and National Business Initiative, NBI. We met with National Students Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, and we met with the National Board of Convocations and Alumni. We also met with Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, QCTO. All these bodies at the time that we met had agreed and they had a concern that university fees have become very expensive and unaffordable for students, especially those that came from poor background.
According to the account of the Council of Higher Education, CHE, this was compounded by the decline in government subsidies per student over the past 15 years. Usaf also expressed a serious concern about the violent protests in universities leading to the destruction of university properties. The damage to university properties that amounted to close to a billion was a course for grave concern. We are saying as a portfolio committee and parents and leaders, it must come to an end. Whatever the grievances are, there is no reason that the property for universities can be destroyed. Those that get involved in such activities should face the full might of the law.
The announcement by the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, in the state of the nation address 2018, wherein he said, and I quote: “Starting this year, free higher education and training will be available to first year students from households with a gross combined annual income of up to R350 000”. This brought hope for many South Africans. It gave us the sigh of relief. He went on to say the Minister of Higher Education and Training will lead the implementation of this policy while the Minister of Finance will clarify all aspects of the financing of the scheme during his budget speech.
Students from destitute families who would not have dreamt to have gone to a TVET college or a university would not have gotten the opportunity where it not for the fact that our President and the government as led by the ANC took this decision. As a Select Committee on Education and Recreation, we welcome the allocation of R89 950 allocated to the Department of Education and Training. We also, hon Minister, welcome the fact that the TVET college sector has received a new baseline as you have indicated adjustment of R5,3 billion raising the allocation to more than R10 billion. We also appreciate the fact that the allocation to NSFAS is increasing exponentially.
We are aware of the fact that in terms of the statistics, NSFAS up to now has been able to assist 184 000 students. We are concerned that 27 000 applications are still outstanding because they have not received necessary data from the institutions involved.
The priorities of programme university education and the Annual Performance Plan, APP, were stated as follows: They seek to develop regulations for institutional types. That is universities, university colleges and higher education colleges in terms of the Higher Education Amendment Act 2016.
They also will support and strengthen and transform the public higher education system through the fully implementation of the university capacity development programme. They will also develop systems to pilot the central application services and establish the service. They will develop a fee regulatory framework and policy for student funding to ensure affordable high education fees and effective funding of students. They will also as a priority pilot and finalise and expand financial assistance and support model. They will also ensure that public funds are effectively used for the purpose intended.
We also take note of the fact that the department has said that over the five years strategic plan, a number of steering mechanisms have been developed. The focus on 2018 is on implementation and oversight, ongoing monitoring and evaluation of programmes that are in place already and annual report will have to be submitted to the department. They will monitor utilisation of funds and identify successes and challenges and interventions that are needed in the various programmes.
The Department of Higher Education and Training is a massive department responsible for over 26 universities, two of which are fairly new, and as a select committee, we had the privilege of
actually conducting oversight. We did take note of the fact that the progress is smooth and they are beginning to roll out programmes that we need, particularly in Mpumalanga, where they are rolling out programmes pertaining to agriculture. Sol Plaatje University is also progressing very well. At the time we visited, they were busy with the buildings. Also, of major importance is that they had created a very good relationship between themselves and the community around them. They actually provided Wi-Fi for community members to be able to access Internet.
They were also rolling out infrastructure in relation to student accommodation. I must say hon Minister that whilst you appreciate all those efforts by the Department of Higher Education and Training, we are sitting with a major problem of the shortage of accommodation in institutions of higher learning, be it the universities or TVET Colleges.
As we speak, we are running short of 216 000 beds. By 2028, we should at least reach a mark of 400 000 beds for our institutions. So, it is an area that cannot be addressed only by the Department of Higher Education. I do want to say so, it is a very expensive undertaking. We need to collaborate with the private sector maybe in the form of Public Private Partnership, PPP, kind of agreement. I
wish to congratulate UJ for having been admitted to universitas 21. This is a category of universities that are research intensive that empower their members to share excellence, collaborate across borders and nurture global knowledge exchange.
When we were at Malysia, we did take note that there are four research universities specialising solely on research. I don’t know what factors led to that but in my own thinking I thought that that is the seriousness that the government of Malaysia gives to research because it will then direct the resources towards the correct channel.
Also, in the Czech Republic, there was a university specialising in agriculture. This is what we need in South Africa, hon Minister.
Given the fact that there is this issue of expropriation of land without compensation, we need to prepare a cohort of graduates that are going to get deeply involved in agriculture. [Applause.] Agriculture has a huge potential of turning the economy of the country around.
We are also pleased about the fact that universities have increased the number of graduates. The statistics as in 2016 was sitting at
203 76. Of importance is to note that science, engineering and
technology which are specialist fields are also increasing in terms of the product of the graduate that we are getting. The universities have decreased the rate of dropouts. In other words, as the rate of dropout is decreasing, we are increasing on our return on investment.
The TVET College sector is a very important sector. It could be effectively marketed as an institution or as institutions of choice. There are indeed challenges of infrastructure and maintenance. I was happy when the Minister gave her speech, she did indicate that there is a substantial budget that has been allocated to ensure that there is development of new sites as well as the maintenance, thereof.
But I would implore that the department develops Education management Information System, EMIS so that the sector can also have the benefit of visual set for us to be able to know the throughput rate, the access rate and be able to track the movement of the students and detect the cases where there could be double dipping.
It is of concern also that the production of certificates of students that have completed at TVET had been retarded over the previous years but I cherish the hope that that is going to be addressed.
The Sector Education and Training Authorities, Seta’s, are doing quiet well. Given fact that we have a total of 21 Setas, we cannot actually cite examples of all of them. But the mining Seta has done well and has supported 1 200 Grade 10, 11, and 12 learners to enter maths and science support programmes.
The ETTB Seta has assisted 6 382 public school teachers to enrol in ICT. The Services Seta has awarded 3 283 bursaries, 476 of which are meant for scarce skills.
Lastly, hon Minister, we need to look into the issue of community colleges. I know that there are nine community colleges throughout the country. They have constraints of working space and premises. I know that the department has plans also to address that particular issue.
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Zwane, your time has expired.
Ms L L ZWANE: We just hope that those challenges that they are facing also of underfunding and slow certification and the training of lecturers are getting the attention of the department. The Select Committee on Education and Recreation support the budget. Thank you. [Applause]
Mr C HATTINGH: Hon Chair, Minister Pandor comes here with a well established reputation. The reputation being that every department that she was with and left in a better state than it was before. It was the case with Science and Technology Department which she left it in a better state. The same can go to the Department of Higher Education and the Department of Home Affairs where she also serves before.
The reason President Ramaphosa gave this very difficult and probably the most demanding department to Minister Pandor is actually significant. She’s got a well established reputation and she is highly respected here at Parliament.
However, the protracted student ‘Fees must Fall’ protests, at a cost of Rl00s of millions in damaged and burned down higher education equipment and infrastructure, impacted on the academic careers and future of thousands of affected students. This led to former President to unilaterally announce, without any planning or consultation what is referred to as free Higher Education. In doing so, he totally ignored the extensively consulted and thoroughly considered recommendations of his own appointed Heher Commission.
This announcement had a massive impact, not only on Higher Education, but also on almost every department and public entity,
most notably the Department of Basic Education, and Basic Education was under funded as it was, all being forced into substantive budget cuts over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, to fund the free higher education. This impact will continue to haunt us for years to come.
It was obvious from the moment of the hastily politically driven decision, significantly announced on the 16th December 2017 just before the opening of the ANC Conference, that free higher education to all students from families earning less than R350 000 a year, could not be implemented in the time left before the implementation of the 2018 academic year was too little, in essence one month.
Thousands of naively optimistic students were led to believe that they would be funded but many have, nearly half way through the year, not yet received funding.
The management, including planning, the expansion of infrastructure, equipment administrative and academic personnel, to address the new challenges brought by a budget increase with R54 billion over the MTEF requires special attention including careful and sophisticated planning something that the ANC-led government to date has not proven record of.
Thousands of students were led to believe that they would qualify to be funded but found with almost 50% of the academic year completed that funding is not available. The reality is that many students will not receive the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, funding in time or not at all and this will herald a new series of protests. As students realise that a year of their lives had been wasted and in doing so, creating a negative academic record which will have to compete with new applicants lured into the system on the same promises in the next academic year.
Horror stories of students sleeping in toilets, corridors and even on stairways without food to eat, without transport and without text books regularly found its way into the media. At several tertiary institutions the academic year has been disrupted due to protests where the political promises made on free higher education could simply not be met. Expenditure on bursaries is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 55,7%, from Rl0,l billion in 2017-l8 to R38,1 billion in 2020-21. This allocation is intended to fund undergraduate university and Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET, college students from households with combined income of up to R350 000 starting in 2018.
Over the medium term, a projected 1,123, 000 undergraduate students in universities and l, l37 TVET college students are said to be supported by this allocation. This represent 23% increase and 74,3% in the number of students supported with financial aid in the universities and TVET colleges respectively.
Given the increasing demands from students who deserve and those experiencing socioeconomic challenges the NSFAS budget is grossly insufficient. This is only the beginning.
The envisaged 70% growth in university students in the short term, the growing demands from the neglected TVET colleges including the massive and growing TVET accommodation shortage, will compound the problem during the MTEF. There are the underfunded Community Education and Training Colleges which should be the key to a better life for 500 000 people, which remains nothing but a dream. The reality about student accommodation is that many college hostels have been closed as the colleges require more than twice the R21, 000 which the department determined as a liveable amount per college student for a year’s accommodation and meals.
Aggravating the student accommodation crisis is the refusal of private owners in the vicinity of the tertiary institutions to
provide accommodation for students due to non-payment in the past. Once the prime challenge of gaining access to tertiary education has been removed, accommodation and financial support must be addressed properly and sustainably.
Standards for student housing at public universities are very specific and there are not enough residences at higher learning institutions, particularly TVET colleges. Accommodation is more than merely providing a bed; it is also about the establishment of a living and learning environment.
The current challenges are massive and it will escalate over the medium term as student funding requirements will escalate by between 200% and 300% during the period. The sustainability if the current student funding model needs to be carefully analysed and students should be informed of the detail fine print relating to student funding including the requirements relating to academic performance, repayments and contributions as well as community service.
The DA cannot support a budget to be entrusted to a department with a legacy of poor planning or no planning and poor execution of programs. I thank you.
Ms D B NGWENYA: My hon Chairperson, hon members, the EFF rejects this budget, the struggle for free, decolonised, quality and socialist education in our lifetime continues, and while there have been small victories along the way the final victory has not been realised yet. In the struggle for these small victories and those still to come, students were brutalised by the state, and many were arrested and expelled. The government only supports free education in rhetoric because everything the government has done up to this point makes the realisation and implementation of free education impossible. Firstly, when students made the clarion call for free education, it was free education for all, and not just for first years whose parents’ combined income is less than 35O 000 per year. What happens when your parents earn R360 O00 annually, but you have five siblings, it will be impossible to send them to university?
One year of university cost up to R100 000 if you include everything and anybody who has studied at an institution of higher learning will tell you that fees are often half the problem when it comes to financing your studies, whether it is free or not. You have to eat, but how can you eat when your National Students Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, food allowance arrives in May? You need study materials and textbooks, but how can you afford this when your parents have no money to send you. You need a place to sleep, but
where must you sleep if there is no accommodation. A total of
110 000 students still have received their NSFAS funding half way through the year. Institutions of higher learning in this country are facing an accommodation crisis. Every year, you have five students squatting to a single room. You have students sleeping in study areas for an entire year. Government and institutions know that there is an accommodation crisis in this country every year, and it continues to worsen, but nothing is done about it. And they refuse to build new residences that are so desperately needed.
The logic behind free education was that all those who qualify, regardless of how wealthy their parents are, where they come from, or how poor they are, will have access to higher education, but these challenges of accommodation and hunger continue to make this a distant reality. On top of that the government and institutions are limiting the number of students that higher education institutions can enrol. What is the purpose of having a fee-free education when the government continues to limit the number of students in our Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Tvet colleges to 710 000. If you are not one of those 710 000, what does free education mean to you if you still cannot access it. What is the purpose of having a fee-free education when institutions are doing nothing to increase the number of students who can be enrolled?
In the 2014-15 financial year, out of the 13 Tvet colleges that were promised to be built, only two have been built so far. It hurts to see our black children sitting in the townships with no education and no hope of acquiring one. Therefore, we appeal to you, Minister, and we are happy to hear that you have budgeted R89 million for Tvet colleges. We hope and pray that this will bring a difference to our children. For this reason, at this moment, the EFF rejects the Budget. Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms M L MOSHODI: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon Chief Whip, hon members and colleagues. We debate this budget at the time of high rate of unemployment in our country which is a symptom of economy that is not creating enough job and employment opportunity for the youth that is continuing to enter labour market in our new democracy.
The election of the leadership of our glorious movement the ANC has brought hope that our country is now moving in the right direction in as far as business confidence is concerned and it seems to have again created the investment appetite and investments that we so much need to accelerate economic my recovery that will create more job opportunities.
The department’s role in this instance is to ensure that institutes of higher education are sensitive to the needs of the economy and forward looking in terms of skills that will be required by the quickly advancing technology and its applicants. Our world acclaimed founding policy document the Freedom Charter, assured the nation that the doors of education shall be opened. The baseline figures for most programmes with the exception of administration have been increased precisely to fulfil the education clause that the movement adopted in Kliptown in 1955.
The reduction of the funds from the administration programme is reportedly due to fee-free higher education to ensure that the poor students are not deprived of the means to change their economic circumstances and that of their families in return and the country in general, just because they cannot afford. The reduction is welcomed provided that key priorities under this programme are not compromised. This includes the appointment of staff with necessary skills required to effectively utilize the increased funding in implementing policies and monitor their impact in society and give accurate reports to the executive. Also, the administration programme must ensure that long-drawn disciplinary cases are done away with as they tend to create a leakage of funds out of the department.
Currently, the department is interacting with our BRICS partners, SADC and other countries in pursuit of developing skills that will be needed in the global market in future. This is one of the former Free State Premier’s legacies in the province. The province has more than a hundred students from poor backgrounds that are now studying a variety of skills in different parts of the world. Surely, one cannot doubt the visionary leadership we have in the ANC in making this country one of the competitive and developing nations in the world.
To be competitive in the ever changing technological world would be a far and distant goal unless the Community Education and Training Centres are not going to meet their target of a million learners by 2030, as detailed in the National Development Plan. As the programme is aiming at up skilling and imparting knowledge to already on the job candidates, their experience combined with academic training would put them in good stead to be the future catalyst for change in the ever demanding and changing electronic world. Even though the main objective of the Community Education and Training is to cater for those youth and adults who could not finish formal schooling to be able to have a sustainable livelihood, the ultimate outcome will be improved economic activity that will lead to better life in general.
The challenges facing the department with regards establishment of Community Education and Training Centres are acknowledged. It is, however, worrying those issues such as certification of candidates is still a challenge even though we have so many institutions in the country that can fast tracked. I believe that the private sector can be approached to partly fund and support such colleges to speed up the process. Year after year we have thousands of graduates that cannot be absorbed by the labour market. Is it not possible hon Minister to constructively engage these assets in academic teaching for the Community Education and Training?
I think we have many retired individuals who still have the passion to serve the country, all said and done. The matter of funding the department to execute its mandate is still a challenge on its own. We, however, welcome the increased budget baseline as it was presented at the meeting. As I mentioned on the programmes administration above, there was a reduction of R28, 2 million in the normal operational costs. The R20 713 billion increase on the 2017-
18 allocation is most welcomed. Again, this will go a long way in meeting the needs of the students depending on National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, for their fees and accommodation.
As a nation, we are obliged to have as many academics as possible that will, through research and innovation, make us able to embrace change in both our economic and social challenges we are inevitably to meet in the near future. Even though we are all aware that small businesses and entrepreneurs are the main catalysts of economic growth and job creation, research in the academic field is the basis for their success as new discoveries and field of study, enhances our ability to adapt in the ever changing world economic village.
In closing, I would like to support the statement I have just made. I would like to quote a paragraph from the Minister’s speech delivered at the Gauteng’s Technology Innovation Conference, I quote:
“Start ups should be the heartbeat of our economy. I’m inspired by the success of new entrepreneurs and innovators who have taken advantage of the booming tourism industry, the booming mobile industry, the growing market in renewable energy, and the evolving market in the cultural and creative industries. Its local innovators and entrepreneurs who will ultimately create millions of jobs that we need to grow an inclusive economy”.
The ANC supports the budget. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, the IFP has always valued education as one of the most important social programmes with a resounding contribution to nation-building.
The opposite also true that if badly managed and badly handled education can have disastrous effects in the country’s efforts to nation-building. One needs to acknowledge that the issue of access to educational resources in respect of numbers has progressed relatively well. Numbers of student who enrolled to universities and TVET colleges have increased. The numbers of students with access to National Student Financial Aid, NSFAS, has increased.
The major challenge pertaining to education in South Africa is bad management resulting to poor standards. The second challenge which has remained the major drawback of a country has remained and has also affected our educational institutions is the corruption disease.
Last month, the IFP asked a question in this House to the hon Minister about allegations of corruption and poor standards pertaining to the Law Degrees at the University of Zululand and Walter Sisulu University, the Minister responded that this issue had been attended to. Seemingly, this was not true.
The hon Minister has since been to the University of Zululand where she was confronted, amongst other things with the very same issues. The University of Zululand used to be one of the best in the Faculty of Law in the country. It has produced the likes of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Deputy Chief Justice Zondo, Mr James Maseko and many others. But today unfortunately in the hands of our democratically elected government its credibility remains questionable instead of excelling.
Whenever NSFAS comes to Parliament to brief the select committee on the goings on, they always give the good picture on developments.
But contrary to this, whenever the select committee visits institutions thereafter on oversights, there are always problems of mismanagement and delays in responses that are reported. The NSFAS has not moved an inch on the challenges of smooth running.
This can be testified in the number of escalating protests actions about NSFAS in tertiary institutions around the country. The Select Committee on Education and Recreation has always remained concerned with the kind of minimal financial resources that gets allocated to TVET colleges by government.
This kind of behaviour gives a conviction that TVET colleges come second to universities in the provision of careers in the country. The education authorities themselves in universities intensify this conviction by demanding straight As Bs and Cs as their priorities for admission to universities.
Then the rest can go and enrol elsewhere. This elsewhere is a TVET college? As a matter of fact, who is the majority in this straight As? It is the previously advantaged who attended better resources schools. It is emerging new black middle class who can financially afford to send their children to the better resourced schools.
And very few of the poorest of the poor, from the Quintile 1 and Quintile 2 schools, in this case the poor and disadvantaged will always remain disadvantaged and somehow oppressed.
Sometime last year, the education and recreation select committee was visited by the council of TVET colleges of South Africa; they made a very sordid presentation of how the TVET colleges get continually ignored by government in the allocation of resources. The hon Minister must try by all means to turn this scenario around. TVET colleges elsewhere in the world are held high in esteem and are
highly resourced. It is for those reasons that in those countries skills development programme get so much success.
In South Africa, the previously white universities still remain esteemed quality universities and the previously black still remain second class citizens institutions. Our institutions are by now supposed to be mixed and equal but this is only on paper. I thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon
Chairperson, Minister of Higher Education and Training, Members of the NCOP, director-general, heads and executives of all the post- school institutions and entities, that were invited here, thank you very much. The Department of Higher Education and Training, DHET, attests to the significant investments that government is making in higher education and training.
More students are taking up post-school training options as a result of mobilising young people to make education fashionable. Our policy of fee-free higher education for the poor and working-class will change individual’s lives, families and communities.
The implementation of this policy has been a success. Albeit, the glitches that were experienced but inevitable given its magnitude. I have listened to the response by some of the hon members which are typical to some of the naysayers who would suggest that we should leave the problem or challenge unattended until we have all the resources at hand to resolve that problem. But unfortunately, we do not have that luxury to, it is we, who are governing and not opposing and therefore have to attend to the need of the many students who have been saying to government “we want enter education institutions, we want to go to universities, we want to go to TVET colleges”. So, to say that we should have implemented it at all until we have the resources is just cheap oppositionist and nothing else. That actually bodes on opportunism and nothing else.
When we embarked on this journey of implementing this policy, we were not oblivious of the challenges that many have come here to present. We were also not saying that we are ignoring these challenges. We are urgently attending to many of these challenges that have been raised by the hon members.
Our budget allocates significant resources to a very critical part of our post-school education and training system which is the Technical and Vocation Education and Training Colleges, TVET
colleges. TVET colleges are at the forefront of providing education and training options for our youth.
The bursary allocation for TVET colleges has increased from R2 437 billion in 2017 to R5,164 billion in 2018 representing a 112% allocation increase as opposed to R89 million that the hon member from the EFF mentioned here. I suppose she was not listening or didn’t read the budget at all. The additional funding will take the programme funding level of TVET colleges from the current 54% to 69% in 2018-19 with the target of 80% being reached in approximately four years.
For 2018-19, an additional R2,5 billion will be made available for student fees including travel and accommodation allowances. We are aware of the challenges confronted by some of the student at TVET colleges in this regard. The Minister has instructed the NSFAS to work together with colleges to attend to these challenges. This additional funding will ensure that qualifying TVET students will be fully subsidised for student fees and travel or accommodation where relevant.
Considerable investment is being made for the expansion of the TVET sector. As we significantly invest in the TVET sector, we are also
working towards better quality TVET programmes and strengthening college performance.
We want to see more stable, functional, better governed TVET colleges that offer high quality programmes. Relevant, high quality programmes that meet industry standards is the aim of our Colleges of Specialisation project as we address the demand for priority trades. We need these priority trades for the implementation of government’s National Development Plan, NDP, in general and
its National Infrastructure Plan in particular.
Colleges of Specialisation contribute towards building capacity of the public TVET College system to deliver trade qualifications with employer partners.
Following a period of intensive research, we have established thirteen trades that are particularly in short supply. We have contracted with four industry associations, the Steel and Engineering Industries of Southern Africa, and several others to help us upgrade two colleges per trade with a total of 26 colleges.
By the end of June 2018 the curricula for each trade will be updated to industry standards, a process which industry partners have led.
The transformation of the curricula is imperative for greater alignment with industry needs.
The Law certification rates of TVET students are a concern. And some of the members have raised this point. We are attending to this particular challenge. In addressing this challenge the department has already seen some success and will endeavour to meet the Medium Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, target of 65% certification rate for NCV Level 4 as well as N3 and N6 qualifications.
We have responded to the certification backlogs and over the years the department has steadily addressed this problem. I must say that we are attending to all these issues in order to ensure that young people see the TVET sector as the sector of choice as opposed to the idea that the universities are the “be it all” of our system. We are hoping to see more and more young people choosing to go to TVET colleges as part of their own skilling and in order to take advantage of the improving quality of the nature of the TVET sector.
I join the Minister in presenting this Budget. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chairperson, the Minister and Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, hon members, thank you for the opportunity to debate on this important subject of our government – Higher Education and Training. The African National Congress is doing its best to ensure that we accommodate each and every African child in South Africa, with the little resources we have. After having listened to the debate, it is very important to note that, in education, we are not here to create super stars, but to create opportunities for every individual to attain a useful qualification that can be a gateway for successful careers. We want people to use their education to contribute to the growth and development of the country, themselves and their families.
Building a quality and sustainable system requires an understanding of the basic principles. Of course, it is possible that we may not have appreciated some of the basic principles during the earlier phases of our transformation, but reflecting on our experience, I can safely say that systems are only as strong as the foundation they were built on.
As South Africans, we are not proud of the apartheid foundation. That is why I find it very difficult to understand why the DA does not want to move and accept that the resources of this country need
to be shared by all children of this nation. They are making education problematic because they want people to believe that there is a problem. This is part of transformation. The resources that you used for the minority of the students at the time are now shared by everyone. You have to accept that.
Hon Chair, I want to request a donation from you.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Hon Chairperson, on a point order: The member is misleading the House. I think we had that in the House last time. I think you made a ruling on this. The DA was never a government in apartheid, the way she is mentioning it now. I think that ruling was made.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: You have made
your point, sir. Hon Dlamini, please, proceed.
Ms L C DLAMINI: I read a book that says: Who moved my cheese. It is a very interesting book. I borrowed it from one member. If they could get that book and read it, seriously, it would assist them to understand that the cheese did not belong to them. They used it for themselves. It belonged to everyone in the country.
They must learn and accept that we have moved on as a country. Here we are now with an integrated system that is accommodating everyone. Let them join us to work on this new cheese that is providing for everyone.
So, I am requesting that ...
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, on a point of order: I just want to know whether it is parliamentary to say that a political party is not part of the country. The hon Dlamini said that the DA must join them because whatever it is, the piece of cheese belongs to all the people in the country. By implication, it means that the people of the DA do not belong to the country. That is what she said.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Hon Dlamini,
are you implying that the DA is not part of South Africa?
Ms L C DLAMINI: Not at all. Not at all.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: That is not
the implication. Please, proceed.
Ms L C DLAMINI: What I am saying is that they must accept that the cake that they used for themselves, which did not belong to them alone, is now being used by all of us. They are part of the country. I am saying, instead of fighting what we are doing now; let them join us to build this new system of education. That is what I am saying.
As for the EFF, the free education is an ANC policy. It was there long before you were born. What you are doing ...
Mr M M CHABANGU: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: The speaker is misleading the people of South Africa. The Freedom Charter did not belong to the ANC. It adopted it after 1957. It was the People’s Charter. [Interjections.] Yes, go and read.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Order! Order,
members! There is a descendant of one of the people who piloted the research and writing of the Freedom Charter right here. Let us not go into that politics. Hon Dlamini, please, proceed.
Ms L C DLAMINI: What the students were doing when they were protesting for free education is to say that they agree with the ANC’s free education policy. They felt that the ANC was not fast
enough. That is what the students were doing, not the EFF. The students were protesting because they knew that it was the policy of the ANC. So, you cannot claim it. We appreciate that we are talking the same language, but if you don’t support this Budget, you are contradicting what you are also supporting – the policy that was designed by the ANC
In terms of the issues of free education, it is known better by the authors of that policy, which is the ANC. You cannot teach us about our policy. It is a policy that we designed ourselves. [Applause.]
Phumani kulowo mcabango lowo.
Come with your own policy and you will be able to speak about it better. As long as you speak about our policy, we will not allow you to mislead the nation.
It has been 39 years and 25 days that Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu was hanged. I had thought that the DA, in debating higher education, for the sake of unity and cohesion, would do that, because they had some descendants. They can deny other things, but not this one. The judge
who sentenced Solomon, who did not pull the trigger, by the way, was your leader’s father. I don’t know how you are going to deny that. I had thought that you would use this opportunity to build unity and cohesion by remembering that day.
The worse part of it was that he was a child of a domestic worker, fighting for freedom, justice. He called for education for everyone. The worse part of it was that the incident was used that day to honour the 327th anniversary of the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck. How painful was it, killing an innocent child that was fighting for freedom, equal education and they used it to celebrate the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck here in this Cape Town that you claim.
Wafikela khona la.
We understand why you hold on to Cape Town with your breath. It is because you were celebrating the arrival here, when an innocent child was killed.
I want to conclude with the words of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu’s uncle, Gideon Mahlangu, and I quote:
The young people of this country must know that this democracy was born out of great sacrifices by young freedom fighters like Solomon. The bravery showed during his persecution played an instrumental role for the youth of this country.
We, the ANC, support this Budget, for the sake of our young people of this country. [Applause.]
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Thank you, Chairperson. Hon Minister and the Deputy Minister Buti Manamela, we are at the point where the idea of free education is now slowly becoming a reality to our government as well as to millions of South Africans.
Hon Minister Pandor, while we encourage this idea and process and its potential to help the government reach its 2030 Vision of having 1,5 million students enrolled across all institutions of higher learning in the country, we are concerned about the practicality of ensuring this process goes by smoothly.
The government has compelled itself to cover all costs associated with fees and subsidies to cater for the increase in numbers. In terms of government allocation, the government has planned to spend
a total of over R57 billion on funding higher education, with more than R2,5 billion of which has been planned to go to TVET colleges.
In addition to this, the government has also planned on increasing their contribution in order to ensure that free education remains a reality for the next few years.
We need to expand the loan system for support, which will satisfy the needs for efficiency and systems development at NSFAS and which will allow for free education for poor students.
It has been stated that the government has a plan to channel money and increase administrative capacity to deal with these growing numbers. Even then, it is of utmost importance for the state to also produce some sort of plan that would have to be followed with regards to the retrieval of loan repayments from former students who were under the bursary; and have been allocated in the past.
We would propose the reform by a way of a repayment schedule in order to ensure that repayment does not kick in at a level, which is financially damaging to graduates, taking into account the number of dependents and household income and whether graduates are providing support to each other.
It is within our best interests as overall budget figures included monies from loan repayment, if these do not occur we would be forced to add unnecessary burdens and inflations to the already proposed and planned for a number of years.
Another crisis which has been emerging regarding the past problems with higher education Minister, and I’m sure you will concur with me everybody who has come here has mentioned it, is the student accommodation. According to market trends, building student accommodation can amount to approximately R360 000 to R440 O00 per bed. This makes it one of the highest costs associated with student living.
We are at the point where some students still have not found any accommodation. It has been mentioned that they are squatting and it is a compromise to freedom of privacy, which the Constitution speaks about.
The department has admitted that it has no idea how many beds are available at TVETs, and has no planned accommodation projects for TVETs.
We now await their new plan to see whether or not TVETs will be sidelined again. There have been reports of students sleeping in corridors and libraries - that you have heard Minister.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You are protected Mam.
Yes, some may have accommodation but face transportation issues and as a result, spend hours walking to and from university - I know that will get the highest priority with you.
We need plans from the department to evaluate the provision of accommodation and transparency on how the department plans to deal with this ongoing crisis.
Certification in TVET colleges was also mentioned. Students are not getting it, though they have gone into years of studying. Minister, this is affecting the self-esteem of students and their human dignity. I’m putting this to you as a challenge, if you can, please accommodate this and fast-track it. I thank you.
Mr D STOCK: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, special delegates, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the ANC in its policies has consistently committed to an integrated
education and training system that, amongst other things, pursues skills development as a tool to develop our people and contribute to the economic development of our country. This system is one that has assessed and recognised prior learning and the skills acquired through experience. In this regard, we speak of the recognition of prior learning. Education and skills are fundamental requirements for creating a prosperous society. Economic development requires skills and we need more artisans.
The identification of scarce skills is a priority for the ANC-led government in meeting the demands of the global economy. That is why the Human Resource Development Strategy of SA, underpinned by principles of the 1994 Reconstruction Development Programme, RDP, remains significant as we need to ensure that our people are trained and skilled in areas where they need them, especially in those areas where representivity of gender and race still remains a challenge.
We need to continuously improve the quality of lives for our people through training and development.
Young people are the future of the country and that is why the ANC- led government has expanded vocational training; linked skills development with industrial growth and job creation; and also extended support to the youth in accessing development skills. In
this regard, we have sustained high levels of investment in education and skills development. The ANC-led government believes in and has invested continuously and heavily in education and training, not only in universities but also in technical and vocational education and training.
The historic decision to phase in the implementation of free education for the poor and working class remains a significant contribution towards ensuring that these students are able to access the kinds of skills needed for meaningful participation in the economy. Jobs and a sound quality education and skills development system are significant for an economy to thrive.
At the centre of the skills development system is the importance of establishing a credible institutional mechanism for skills planning as identified in the third national skills development strategy.
Forecasting skills demand and supply is important for the developmental state that we are pursuing as the ANC-led government. Substantial progress has been achieved to ensure that our country is better equipped to ensure skills planning. The country now has a comprehensive system to perform consistent skills projection.
The ANC’s 54th National Conference has agreed that youth employment must be prioritised at all levels including through effective public employment programmes, internships, job placement for youth which are set-asides, procurement from youth-owned enterprises, and youth entrepreneurship programmes. It further emphasised education, skills development, internships and work exposure programmes that equip the youth with the necessary and required skills appropriate to the economy.
Economic opportunities are also important pillars of building social cohesion and nation-building. The Department of Higher Education and Training is actually tasked with spearheading and overseeing post- school education and training in South Africa, and as the ANC-led government, we can proudly say that great strides have been taken in the right direction. We are not oblivious of the challenges that we face as the country.
The implementation of the fee-free education has resulted actually in the increase in the number of students supported by NSFAS. However, the expected number cannot be attained as the number of students enrolling at TVET colleges has been capped at 710 535. The certification rates in the NCV level 4, N3 and N6 have been very low
but have since been improved as reported in the third quarter of 2017-18 financial year by the department.
To ensure that TVET are supported, an infrastructure grant to an estimate of R10,3 billion over the MTEF period is also expected to grow over the next five years – I think that is what the Minister has indicated when she was presenting the budget. The National Skills Fund has committed R2,5 billion over the medium term to building new TVET college campuses.
Over the same period, the department also plans to develop and approve teaching and learning support plans that improve the skills of lecturers and the performance of students. This includes training lecturers on planning and delivering lessons; using equipment in practical teaching; and providing students at TVET colleges with academic support in foundational skills. These initiatives are expected to contribute to increasing the number of new artisans registering for training from 30 750 in 2016-17 to 33 750 by 2019-
20. I think that is the correct figure. Members have actually recorded it, on a lighter note.
The NDP envisages growth in the TVET colleges to be 2,5 million by 2030. However, due to the funding shortfalls, a cap has been placed
on enrolments at TVET colleges, with the 2015-16 enrolment number of 710 535 being maintained over the medium term.
There are various challenges in the TVET college system that we also need to highlight. The following is just a summary of the challenges which might be experienced at TVET colleges: Underqualified lecturers and underprepared students; lack of foundation provision for grants; inappropriate or lack of pedagogical training of lecturers; and lecturers without the industry knowledge. The aforementioned challenges are found to be the major contributors to the underperformance of the TVET colleges.
In conclusion, let me also thank all the members who came to the podium to participate in this important topic for discussion. We have actually made some positive contributions. We really appreciate those contributions which were made by hon members. I was looking at the hon Minister when the debate was on. He and the Deputy Minister were continuously taking notes. We were also taking notes just to ensure that the issues which were raised would not be missed but would be taken into consideration.
For members who came today to the debate and maybe for wrong reasons, we unfortunately don’t have anything to say to them because
they are well-known to be rejectionists in their posture. So, there is nothing that we can learn from some of those members. Let me take this opportunity to also welcome back one of the select committee members, hon Ngwenya who has been on a long sick leave. We appreciate that she came back to participate in the debate. The only thing that she did not mention as we welcomed here today, was that she was supposed to tell us her reasons if she rejects, and what proposals is she making for us to take forward. She actually missed the opportunity because she came to just reject and left. Anyway, we’ll take it further with the hon member, maybe outside this forum.
Hon Hattingh, we appreciate the fact that – because we are trying to capitalise on constructive opposition – the role of the opposition is not only to criticise when there are problems. When they criticise, they must be able to provide a solution. I want to appreciate the fact that hon Hattingh took a constructive approach to today’s debate. He came here and I listened attentively to him.
For that, hon members, we need to give a round of applause to hon Hattingh. I hope that other hon members and opposition parties will also learn from hon Hattingh that the role of opposition is not to be opportunistic and play to the gallery, but to hold the executive accountable under the ANC-led government. You must also make your
proposals as you are criticising us. With that, hon members, as the ANC we support this Budget Vote. I thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Chairperson, the hon Stock has stolen my thunder. [Laughter.]
Let me begin by thanking all the hon members who participated in the debate and, in particular, thank the hon Zwane for the support that she gives to the department and the Ministry - thank you very much - and all the select committee members.
I noted that in the gallery we have a number of guests. We are very pleased that they came to this debate, because we insisted that we should invite the stakeholders to be at the NCOP to follow the debates and views that members are expressing on different institutions.
I see in the gallery, Chair, if you would allow me, Mr Duncan Hindle, a former director-general of education, who is now the Chairperson of the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority, the ETDP Seta. [Applause.] We are pleased to have him here. I also see Dr Victor Ramathesele, who is the new Chairperson of the board of the health services Seta.
I hope he’s here. [Applause.] So, those are some of the members who are with us today, our distinguished guests. We also had Dr Max Price. I think he had to leave. He’s the outgoing Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. We have representatives from student organisations at Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges, or Tvet colleges. We are very pleased that they are all here. [Applause.]
In brief, a response to some of the members: Let me assure the hon members that indeed we are also working hard to encourage democratic protest at our colleges, and to stop vandalism and violence and destruction of property. This is totally unacceptable, and it’s something we will continue to address with our institutions.
Regarding the bursary scheme, this bursary scheme is a very historic advance by the ANC and, of course, the people of South Africa. Of course, the EFF knows better than anybody else that the Congress of the People was initiated by the ANC ... [Applause.] ... at a conference of the ANC in Cradock in the Eastern Cape where a certain gentleman called ZK Matthews called for a Freedom Charter to be developed by the people of South Africa. [Applause.] So, it was not in any way the EFF. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Hon members, we are working hard to ensure that the central applications service is in place and available for young people to use for their applications – again, for the 2019 academic year. We accept the concerns, and we are very concerned with respect to the inadequacy of student accommodation. We are working with institutions in order to cover the gap. Recently, we allocated R1,1 billion to institutions to begin a programme of providing accommodation infrastructure for students on our campuses nationally. We will continue to invest in infrastructure from year
to year, because we recognise that this is a particular problem that we must address.
I wish to thank the hon Hattingh for the kind comments he made about me, but I must say to him that I’m still asking the President, “Why me?” But then, in the spirit of thuma mina [send me], I accepted that ngithumiwe [I’ve been sent]. [Applause.]
As to this story that is being peddled of funding being taken away from Basic Education: many departments had their funding cut or reordered into later outer years of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF. It is imperative that young people from poor and working-class families are, finally, fully supported. So, it was an important step for the ANC government to take and none of us can
object to that step being taken. What we must do is ensure that we craft the scheme properly, that we address matters of sustainability over time and that we develop appropriate partnerships, which I would like to work on with the private sector to ensure the levels of sustainability that are required.
With respect to international partnerships that the hon Moshodi referred to, we are very pleased that many international partners are supporting us in a range of initiatives, including the training of lecturers in our Tvet colleges. We really welcome that support. Our colleagues from Germany, Switzerland and several other countries
- the European Union - are providing the range of support that you referred to in your very excellent contribution.
I’m very pleased to be able to report to the House that on the matter of certification we have begun to address the historic inadequacy that had existed over many years. And, in fact, we are now working on finalising a systems’ integration where programmes are being developed across the institutions that will allow us to become far more efficient at faster issuing of certificates. Indeed, the backlog has been very significantly eroded, and I’ve been very pleased at that progress.
Hon Khawula, I agree with you that corruption and the low standard of programmes must be addressed. We’ve had the Council on Higher Education, CHE, as you would know from the select committee, visiting the University of Zululand and carrying out an assessment for us. They have identified that there are some really good spots, lots of improvement, but that there are areas that need attention. We will provide support to the University of Zululand.
On the matter of corruption, I have asked the council to initiate a forensic investigation into all the areas that have allegations drawn to my attention. My department will work closely with the university to ensure that a fully independent forensic investigator is appointed. This is so that when we have the reports, we can then, once and for all, deal with those who may be corrupt, get them into the criminal system and allow the university to get a reputation that allows it to continue to do what it must do. So, I’m not blind to the issues of corruption, and I am addressing the problems as we become aware of them.
And, yes, it is true: the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, has struggled to implement the policy change that was announced in December last year, when already thousands of
applications on the old scheme had been received. We are ironing out these problems; working very closely with NSFAS.
Just two weeks ago, we approached the universities to allow us to have some of the financial aid office staff based at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme along with officials from my department so that they work together to iron out the problems and ensure that the funding gets to students. There has been an improvement in the last week, and we will continue to see progress as those teams work together. Of course, we must address the matter of system integration. I think the students support model removed institutions from supporting NSFAS in administering the scheme. What we want to do is reinsert institutions while retaining the students support model. Colleagues at NSFAS are working very hard to address the problems that all of us have identified and to get the funding to young people.
I agree with the EFF that we can’t have young people sleeping on the streets, sleeping in corridors, not having materials for learning and being hungry. And, of course, as we make these efforts to address these problems, it is our intention to stop this negative with respect to the scheme.
I appreciate as well, finally, the hon Buti Manamela and the support that he provides to me, as Minister, and the leadership within the department. We have a very good team there, and I think we all work well together. I also wish to thank our director-general, the staff of the Ministry, our chiefs of staff, the advisers to the Minister, and all those who support us to ensure that we achieve a quality postschool education and training sector.
I cannot sit down without assuring members that I am giving urgent attention to community education and training ... [Applause.] ... because I believe this is a really exciting sector for South Africa to develop. I am drawing on the advice of those who have previously worked in what were called the workers’ colleges – when we talked about people’s education for people’s power – and they are going to assist us to develop very responsive skills programmes and learning programmes for those youths and adults who will make use of our community education and training centres. So, I assure hon members that we are working hard to create a quality system, and with their support I believe we will do it.
It’s a pity that the EFF is drawing so much from the DA. The DA never supports education Budget Votes, and the EFF is now like the DA: not supporting. But, I suppose, the coalitions cause a whole lot
of things to rub off on each other. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, it is always a pleasure to have you in the House. Thank you very much. Just before we rise, members, I am aware that some of you are agitated – have been getting e-mails. Please ignore them. This is a scam. I have not written to any of you asking for any money.
The Council adjourned at 17:52.