Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 11 Mar 2020
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 11 MARCH 2020
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4sLzQt-R4A
The House met at 15:01.
House Chairperson Ms M G Boroto took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Angisazi ukuthi nifunani. USekela Somlomo uma eyidonsa niyakhala. [Uhleko.] Namanje niyakhala nithi ...
... it is too snort. We must agree on the time. I think, one, we will take the cue from the Chief Justice. Okay hon members, the first item on the Order Paper ... Today it’s only questions to the Social Services Cluster. Before we continue, let me inform the House that for the Minister of Higher Education, the questions will be taken by the Deputy Minister.
[Interjections.] No, that was agreed to in the Chief Whips’ Forum. However colleagues, as we said during the Chief Whips’ Forum, that was the only one that we had. Not long ago we received an emergency for the Minister of Health to run to Johannesburg because of the issues that we have. You know the issues. So, the Deputy Minister of Health will take over the questions. Those are the only ones that we know of so far.
Right, let’s continue. The first question is addressed to the Minister of ... What is it? Social services. Let me say that members may press the talk button on their desks if they wish to ask a supplementary question. I wish to remind hon members that the names of members requesting supplementary questions will be cleared as soon the member of the executive starts answering the supplementary question. The first question that we have today, which is ... [Interjections.]
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Order Chairperson! Yes, you have alluded to the fact that the Deputy Minister will be attending to the questions. Where is he?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Which one?
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Of Higher Education, because it’s the first question on the Order Paper. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No hon ... Okay members, please. Bhuti, I don’t have the Question Paper here. Thank you. The issue of the Minister of Higher Education was discussed in the Chief Whips’ Forum and I’m sorry, I can’t repeat that. I think you were there. You can tell your members what transpired. Is the Deputy not here? No, he’ll come. We are not starting with the Deputy. Okay, the first question of the day is Question 66 asked by Dr S M Dhlomo to the Minister of Health. The hon, the Deputy Minister?
QUESTIONS – CLUSTER 2 SOCIAL SERVICES
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thanks Chairperson. In response, thank you to hon Dhlomo for the question about the compact which was signed by the President with various stakeholders.
In terms of this compact, there were nine pillars which were agreed upon. The first one was the augmentation of human
resources. In this regard, a lot of work has been done. The ministerial task team on human resources for health is finalising the human resources for health strategy and the plan. However, a lot of work has already happened. As a result of the stimulus package which was announced by the President in the previous term, funds were identified through which the health Human Resources Capacitation Grant was created, and in this regard R350 million was allocated to the provinces to appoint key and essential staff.
We are also dealing with the issue of public nursing colleges which have been consolidated in all provinces, with each province having one major campus and satellite campuses for nurses’ training with the new curriculum for training. So, all that work is under way.
The second pillar was to ensure access to essential medicines, vaccines and medical products. In this regard, we are implementing what we call the Stock Visibility System to improve oversight over pharmaceutical stock in all provinces. This is ongoing. Also, the Centralised Chronic Medicines Dispensing ... which allows stable patients to collect their medication, not necessarily at health facilities, is ongoing.
The third one was on infrastructure. Again, here we have a
10 year plan to implement infrastructure improvements.
Engagements with the private sector was the next one. In this regard, we are guided by the findings of the Health Market Inquiry in terms of areas of improvement in accessibility of the private health system.
In terms of those pillars, improvement of quality was number five. A national Quality Improvement Plan is being implemented and the national department is also establishing quality learning centres in all provinces. Also, the Ideal Clinic programme is gaining momentum with more than 55% of our clinics already acquiring ideal status.
The sixth pillar was on improving efficiency of the public sector’s financial management system. In this regard, the national chief financial officer, CFO, is meeting on a regular basis with all provincial CFOs to improve financial management.
The seventh pillar was improving leadership. In terms of this, as a national Department of Health we are already reviewing our organogram to ensure that it is in line with the
preparations for the National Health Insurance, NHI, and also
... be able to support the improvement of leadership in all our facilities.
The eighth one was engaging and empowering communities. In this regard, a number of clinic committees and hospital boards have been formed and capacitated.
The last one was in terms of improving our health information systems. Here also is a lot of improvement with what we call the Health Patient Registration System, where more than
3 051 primary health facilities have already been given the necessary equipment, computers and training, and ... registration of the population on the Health Patient Registration System.
So that is the work that has been done in terms of the compact which the President signed with various stakeholders.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. Before I ask hon Dhlomo to ask a follow-up question, I just want to remind the Ministers and Deputy Ministers who will be responding that your time has now been extended to four minutes, unlike before
where you used to have three minutes. That was approved by the Rules Committee. ... the first response. Hon Dhlomo?
Dr S M DHLOMO: Thank you Deputy Minister for the response. Without pre-empting the NHI public hearing processes ...
... abantu kodwa bayakhala kakhulu ngalezi zinto ozibhale lapho nozichazayo eziku-Presidential Health Compact. Izikhalo ezikhona eNingizimu Afrika yonke ukuthi kungasheshi. Into engifuna ukuyibuka mina Sekela Ngqongqoshe lezi zikhalo akwenzeki mhlawumbe ukuthi nisheshise sifake kakhulu i- operation Khawuleza kulezi zinto ngoba abazazi abantu futhi abazizwa. Niwazise umphakathi ukuthi ...
...where are you as a department with regard to the clinic this side, with regard to infrastructure improvements here, so that, that can actually be known, not only to the department and maybe to us, but so that societies out there know the timelines and the time frames you have, and ... you are putting forward?
USEKELA NGQONGQOSHE WEZEMPILO: Ngiyabonga kakhulu Dokotela uDhlomo ...
Indeed, as the hon Dhlomo is indicating, we are probably lacking in the area of adequate communication and information with our stakeholders. So, that is indeed an area where we are working, together with our partners in the provinces, the MECs and also at municipal level ... and also appreciating ... we believe that the programme which is pioneered by the President on a district development model will help a lot in terms of ensuring that whatever is being done, whether from a national or a provincial sphere, will always be done together with the district and local municipalities. In that regard, we hope that the level of consultation, communication and sharing of information will improve.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you very much. The time for the reply of subsequent questions is two minutes and the members who will be asking follow-up questions, besides the member who poses the question, have only one minute to ask their follow-up questions. Let’s be clear on that. We now go to Mrs Wilson from the DA.
Ms E R WILSON: Thank you. Deputy Minister, pillar three of the health compact deals with the acquisition of resources for health, medicines, machinery, personnel, etc. Limpopo province has only one oncology unit for the entire province. A recent visit there showed that the radiation machine has broken down so often that some people’s radiation treatment is now six to eight weeks behind. During the same visit we saw that there were no first-line drugs available for colon cancer or breast cancer for the medical oncology unit.
Can the Minister please tell us what is going to be done to uplift and procure decent resources for the treatment of cancer, particularly in light of the fact that there has been a 30% increase over the last couple of years in the reporting of cancer patients?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much Chair. Indeed, the treatment of cancer is one of our priority areas. I think almost one and a half years ago at the National Health Council we adopted an agreement with all our MECs on the national strategy to improve our cancer treatment facilities. We acknowledge that, especially your more rural provinces have very minimal facilities. You look at Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the
Northern Cape. Most of the facilities will be in your urban provinces. As a result, those get very crowded.
So, we are actually working with them to ensure that we can upgrade the equipment; if necessary, even provide prescribed grants which will be able to support them with the equipment but also with the appointment of qualified staff to manage that equipment. So, that is definitely on our radar screen. Whenever we have our National Health Council we will be looking at the shortcomings and the progress in that regard.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Members, please let’s talk softly. I can hear what you are saying from where you are. I don’t want to hear that. The IFP ...
Ubab’uNxumalo nomam’uHlengwa ...
... have to decide which one takes it. Okay, thank you.
Ms M D HLENGWA: Thank you Madam. Hon Deputy Minister, the promise of the compact was ... the health system cannot be
fixed by the Health Department alone, but requires a holistic focus and a collaborative approach.
If there ... promises ... a people-centred health care system that doesn’t discriminate against the economic line, my question is as follows. How do you intend fulfilling such promises when our people in rural areas continue to have little or no access to basic health care services?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thanks hon Chair and the hon member. Indeed, we are aware that — while the hon member is correct that the major aspect of the compact was to say that government working alone cannot make the desired improvements; we need other stakeholders to be involved — when you go to rural areas you don’t have the advantage of urban areas where you can even crowd in ... private sector and the professionals. We have very limited resources in the rural areas. So, we are aware that in rural areas we essentially need to focus on mobilising the leadership at community level
... community health workers and making maximum use of public
resources because that is all that you have in the rural areas.
So, we are strengthening our systems but we are making sure that we also bring in local leadership to work with us in order to ensure that we use the little resources — which are only public resources because we have very little of the private sector in rural areas — to the maximum.
Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Thank you very much hon Chairperson. Deputy Minister, in terms of the budget, do you have any contingency measures to deal with the issue of shortages in our hospitals
and clinics, because it’s always a problem when people get there and they find there are no medicines? So I just want to check that you have ... [Inaudible.] ... those issues.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thanks hon member. Indeed, as members will be aware, we are currently going through a difficult situation in terms of the fiscus. So, the key thing here is that, working with our colleagues in the provinces, we are not expecting additional financial resources because if we think improvement is going to come through increased budgets that will be unrealistic.
However, what we are focussing on is the improvement of efficiencies. We are aware that in our current delivery systems there is still a lot of inefficiencies in terms of the management of stock; in terms of the management of equipment; the maintenance of equipment; and the maintenance of infrastructure. So, those are the things that we are focusing on; to say how we can make maximum use of what we have. We have a number of oversights on a regular basis and work with our colleagues in provinces to focus specifically ... That’s why we also have what we call non-negotiables in terms of maintenance, medication, the provision of food, clean linen and so on, so that you must focus on in improving those efficiencies. If we think we can throw money; we don’t have any money to throw in terms of solving some of those shortcomings.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair, this is a matter which for myself and hon Singh has become almost like our bread and butter. We deal with it on a very regular basis. Just in brief, hon members: The challenge here is regulations and the Act, in terms of the Health Professions Council Act, which prescribes the requirements in terms of registration of
locally trained professionals, including medical professionals.
Section 25 of the Act also deals with registration of foreign qualified graduates. We have been dealing with this matter with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, HPCSA, because one of those key problematic areas. There are two areas which are problematic. The one is in terms of the applicant for registration must submit an original certificate of good standing from the registration authority where that person has qualified.
In the past, the only equivalent which was required was a certificate of good character from the institution of training where that person qualified. So, that was easier to manage.
Now, this provision of original certificate of good standing of not more that six months issued by the registration authority has been there in the regulations but it was not really applied in that way. It was more of a character from the university, which was easier, because you are a graduate and you can obtain a certificate from your institution.
The moment there was emphasis now on the registration authority. That created problems because when you are just a
fresh graduate, you have not been practicing. You might have been registered with the SA Health Professions Council, like in our case here in South Africa, when you are a clinical medical student until you complete your final year. So, there is registration and you can prove that.
However, the certificate of good standing talks to your practice. So, when you have not practised, then that becomes an obstacle. That is one issue on which we say we must be deal with the SA Health Professions Council. The other issue which the hon member had also raised is about internship because one of the requirements also is that you must submit proof of having done internship.
A very few countries which will give an opportunity for a foreign graduate also employ them as an intern. So we thought we have dealt with that matter in our policy but down the line we realise that the Health Professions Council of South Africa is still stuck to what they had been practicing. So, it is a matter on which we are in engagement. We want to rediscuss the matter with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and hopefully we can be able to find each other in this regard.
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, I am very glad that you are answering this question because as you quite correctly say, here are 60 or 70 pages of Hansard where we had a long debate in 2018 on this matter. You clarified it in 2018 and I agree with you that there are challenges and there is confusion. I think the HCPSA in the main is confused.
There are people whose left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing because the very gentleman, Adv P Khumalo who was a registrar, had issued letters to students who completed the board exams in 2018 and 2019, inviting them to apply to become interns, quoting a regulation. So, there has been an interpretation of the regulation way back in 2018.
What has now prompted this new letter to go out, telling students that they will now not be allowed and that they will have to do internship in the country where they studied is quite baffling. I trust that and I even want to quote what you said that, “We will solve this problem out.” There are many students who are in the pipeline. They are already studying abroad. Now, we cannot suddenly tell them that they cannot be eligible for internship or to write board exams.
So, my question, hon Minister is: Will you ensure, as the Minister responsible for the Act, that we can regularise, provide certainty, consult and avoid court action which is pending? I think that the HPCSA is on very shaky grounds here and the students will win this case. We must avoid that and provide certainty to all the students who want to write board exams timeously and become interns in terms of the regulations. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair and hon Singh, indeed, at this stage it is quite clear that we have to revisit some of the provisions of the Act, but also largely the regulations. Essentially, if we don’t amend the regulations, if the issue of this original certificate of good standing by registration authority stands and also if the other provision about the proof of having done internship remain - notwithstanding a policy which was adopted by a National Health Council in terms of our National health Act, a statutory body, because we have enacted the Minmec-equivalent of all other departments in the National health Act to be a statutory body which makes policy decisions - what is left is really for us to take the matter forward with the council to see, with our legal people, how do we then come with remedial
steps to make sure that this matter can be resolved once and for all. Thank you.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Chair, I am going to hand over to hon Chirwa.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay!
Ms N N CHIRWA: Chair, Deputy Minister, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, students from neighbouring countries doing nursing have not been allocated health facilities to do community service. I want to know what the department’s plan is to remedy this as it is an opportunity for the department to get their services. This benefits both the department and the patients in them gaining community service. When will they be allocated facilities for them to do community service?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Well Chair, clearly this is a different question. [Interjections.] No, I will answer it. I will answer it, but it is a different question. The question from hon Singh had to deal with the registration of foreign qualified medical doctors. You are asking a question about the community service of qualified nurses. I will deal with it,
but I am just also highlighting the fact that it is a new question. [Interjections.]
Now, we do indeed have a policy of providing community service for a wide range of health professionals, including those qualified in a nursing profession. However, in the same way as we do with medical doctors - whether it is internship or community service - first of all, we prioritise South African nationals and permanent residents in terms of whatever posts are available. So that is the primary category which we give priority to, like any other country. Only when there are additional posts and if there are foreign national graduates, we then also allocate them.
We do have a challenge in the area of professional nurses because of the fact that we can only allocate ... You find that there are posts, but because of the cutting of the budget, the compensation of employees has the highest cost. In many health institutions you will find that although the posts are required, the terms of the compensation of employees are heating up, eating into the other services of the institution. There is a reduction in that regard.
So, we are working with them. That is why in the stimulus package of the previous year, we prioritised nursing as one of those areas where additional funds need to be allocated. So, it is purely a funding issue which we are working with our provinces to try and identify savings through which then those kinds of posts can be activated. Thanks.
Ms S GWARUBE: Chairperson, Deputy Minister, the crisis with South Africa’s health professionals is not due to the supply of doctors and nurses, but due to the lack of funding for critical vacancies. This is despite the fact that annually, the country’s higher education institutions and those abroad are producing graduates in this field.
In light of the devastating budget that was tabled by the Minister of Finance a couple of weeks ago, which shows that the Health budget is set to be slashed by almost R4 billion in the next three years or medium term, it is clear that filling vacant posts is going to be near impossible for you and your department. So, how do you intend on filling critical vacant posts that are at the critical coalface of service delivery with the impending budget cuts?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chair, indeed, we acknowledge the fact that the reduction in the allocation is going to have an impact but we are not throwing our arms in the air. We are looking creatively, amongst others, in some cases in some of our areas, both at the administrative level, like at provincial, regional and even at institutional level.
We have identified areas where there could be service, including acknowledging in some areas that we have too much of a top management bloating. So, we are looking at those areas where possibly people who are eligible to can take early retirement at administrative level could be able to give some space so that we could be able to recoup some of the funds used in those areas.
So, there are many areas in which we are working with our colleagues to identify where there can be savings. We know that it may not be massive but the little bit of what we can retrieve from some of those areas of better efficiencies, we will use to fill in the posts. Thanks.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): the last follow-up question in this one will be asked by the hon Meshoe. I don’t see hon Meshoe.
Mr W M THRING: It will be taking by myself, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Ooh! Are you sitting on his chair?
Mr W M THRING: I should have gone back to my seat, but ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay! No! No, problem. Thank you. Continue.
Mr W M THRING: Hon Deputy Minister, it is known that South Africa has a shortage of medical doctors. These foreign qualified doctors, some of whom I have had the privilege of interacting with about a year or two ago, are patriotic. They are patriotic in wanting to return to South Africa and serve their country. My question is: What is the turnaround time that you are able to giver to us in addressing the inconsistencies raised by hon Singh, so that we can get these patriots to serve their country; or, is this simply a matter of budget? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chair, as I have indicated, it is both the financial side, but also the regulatory side. So,
we need to unlock the regulatory side so that then we only deal with the financial side without any impediments of the regulatory side. So, as I said earlier on, from the national health council - the political leadership – we thought the mater had been resolved two years ago and we had been communicating with the Health Professions Council, but clearly we are not at one.
So, we are going back to the drawing board to work with them to relook at the regulatory side in terms of the Act, the provisions of the Act and the regulations. Hopefully, as executive authority, even though the Health Professions Council of South Africa is an independent body, it does report to the Ministry of Health.
So, we hope that we should be able to find each other together with the council in this regard. Then, once that is done, we will only have to deal with the financial side in the manner in which I have answered the other hon member in terms of identifying where we can make savings so that we can be able to fund these critical posts. Thanks.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: House Chairperson, our Constitution underpins our department’s policy on languages in Higher Education. In postapartheid South Africa, languages should not be used as a barrier to access any higher education institution in the country. Universities are continuously reviewing their policies, including their language policies, to ensure that this principle is upheld.
Recently, in some universities, which were Afrikaans language institutions under the apartheid law, have reviewed their language policies. These institutions have decided to include English as a primary language of teaching and learning, especially at undergraduate level. This has been solely driven by the imperative to ensure that institutions are inclusive, to better serve the diverse linguistic communities of South Africa and to not deny students access based on language.
Moreover, these decisions have been based on the use of available resources for the maximum benefit of all communities. These processes have been initiated and driven by university communities themselves, in line with legislation which empowers university councils to determine institutional language policies.
In all cases, the councils’ decisions were challenged in the courts of law and have been upheld up to Constitutional Court level. This is proof that these decisions were correct and are done without malicious intent or prejudice towards Afrikaans, as one of the official languages of our country.
The development of all South African languages and indigenous languages, in particular, is work that the department takes very seriously. It is a constitutional imperative to ensure that all languages are valued and developed. This does not exclude Afrikaans, as one of the 11 official languages protected by the Constitution of the Republic.
However, it should be acknowledged that, in relation to the other official languages, the development of Afrikaans is at an advance stage. Hence, the emphasis of the promotion of individual languages tends to be on the historically marginalised languages.
The aim is not to exclude Afrikaans but rather to highlight the unfortunate historical fact of deliberate state-sponsored underdevelopment of indigenous African languages in the past. The promotion and development of languages in postapartheid South Africa is, and should be an inclusive process where all
of our languages are granted parity of esteem, as the Constitution of the Republic stipulates. Thank you.
Dr W J BOSHOFF: Deputy Minister, thank you very much for your recommitment to the equality of all the official languages of South Africa. What I would like to know is: Has there, in fact, been done anything to promote indigenous languages other than Afrikaans, which is of course also an indigenous language, on a tertiary level? It seems to me actually quite ingenuous to strip a language of abilities, which it already has, in order to beneficiate, not other indigenous languages, but the colonial language, English.
I would like to know if you would agree that it is maybe a little bit negative that wherever one goes, people seem to leave their own languages behind, in order to communicate with each other in just the single language, which is used for nation-building in South Africa that amounts to ... [Interjections.]
Dit lei tot die miskenning van kulture. In plaas van dat die kulture erken word en tot hul reg kom, word hulle misken en
ons vra wat die regering in werklikheid gedoen het om te sorg dat die ander tale hulle plek inneem. Dankie.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: Thank you very much, ...
Ek is vanaf Nylstroom, ...
Die HUISVOORSITTER (Me M G Boroto): Mooi man.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: ... so I did get that. Firstly, we need to make a distinction between the Constitution treating all languages equally and the equality of all languages. That is very important. As I said in the response, the Afrikaans language is at an advance level in terms of its development, precisely because it has been privileged in the past. Over and above its privilege, there was a deliberate onslaught on the other languages. Therefore, there is a deliberate effort by the department to ensure that we promote all other languages.
Unfortunately, in some instances, there have been institutions that have been deliberate in their intention to sideline all
the other languages and to advantage both Afrikaans and English as the preferred medium.
Yes, there are universities such as the University of KwaZulu- Natal that has begun to use Zulu as a language and we are beginning to see most other universities and institutions of learning beginning to experiment with promoting languages.
There is a centre at the North-West University, which has been launched late last year and whose intention is the digitisation of all languages, so that we are able to give advantage to all the languages.
The question of which languages are colonial and which are not remains debatable. But, our intention, as the department, and I suppose as a nation, is to ensure that language is not used to further polarise our country and that all languages become an instrument of access to our institutions of learning. [Applause.]
Dr L A SCHREIBER: Deputy Minister, I will ask my question in Afrikaans, so if you want to use the translation, you can.
Meer as die helfte van die agt miljoen inwoners van die Noord- en Wes-Kaap is Afrikaans. Met Stellenbosch Universiteit wat ook sedert 2016 slegs Engels is, bied al vier Kaapse universiteite nou slegs klasse in Engels aan. Gegewe wat u so pas gesê het oor insluiting en dat taal nie moet uitsluit nie, waar moet die kinders van hardwerkende plaaswerkers en boere in die Kaap, van wie baie eenvoudig nie Engels kan praat of lees nie, studeer? Of, is die reg op hoër onderwys nou amptelik slegs gereserveer vir Engelssprekendes? Dankie.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: Without even having the information offhand, I think it will be disingenuous to suggest that non-English speakers who are mainly Afrikaans speakers are disadvantaged in the country, compared to all the other official languages. I think it is very disingenuous. [Interjections.]
English and Afrikaans are still the privileged languages in our institutions. [Interjections.] There is no doubt about that. Even though some of the institutions have moved and become dual medium, they still treat both English and Afrikaans as equal. Those institutions remain open and available to everyone.
The contrast is the fact that, in the country, there is yet to be an institution of higher learning whose medium is predominantly or solely Venda, Sepedi, Setswana, Zulu, or any of those languages.
I think that is where we need to take this particular discussion, if you are really interested in inclusivity, which has no bias toward sectarianism, which is what I really think you are promoting. Thank you.
Mr M N NXUMALO: House Chair, Deputy Minister, the irony of the question is that it exclusively singles out Afrikaans amongst other languages, although there is a constitutional injunction that makes all languages equal in the country, to start with. However, has government made a decision on what language is suitable for national and international students that come to our country or institutions of higher learning, and if there is a particular language that government has taken a position on, what would that language be? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: There is no preference of any specific language. The intention of our department, and as I said, that should be the intention for all of us, is to promote all languages and
the use of all our languages for purposes of learning and teaching in our institutions.
Ms N T MKHATHSWA: Hon House Chairperson, hon Minister, ...
... ngalesi siZulu sami saseGoli ngicela ukubuza ukuthi kulamaviki adlule uMnyango ufikile wasichazela ukuthi kuzoba nomthetho we ...
... indigenous language systems that are being developed.
Into esifuna ukuyazi thina ukuthi njengoba sithuthukisa lo mthetho wezinhlelo zezilimi zomdabu. Lungasinceda kanjani ucwaningo nokuthuthukisa izilimi zomdabu ...
... in ensuring that we are able to translate ...
... lezi limi zomdabu ...
... into being used for academic purposes in order for us to redress what we are currently finding in the education space? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: As I indicated earlier in my responses, we have established a centre at the North-West University. The intention of the centre is to help to digitise all of the indigenous languages, in order for them to be accessible digitally, but also to enable their use for academic purposes. This will help to create a footprint digitally for all languages and therefore make them even more accessible academically.
I think the biggest challenge is the fact that many students come from their high schools and pass Grade 12, having had no access to the main languages that are being used, accept the languages taught at their schools. When they get into higher education institutions, they become deliberately excluded, not physically, not by having the gates shut down, but by the use of language and the fact that language is not accessible academically. What we intend to do, is to make sure that all languages are accessible digitally and therefore able to be used for academic purposes.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Thank
you very much. Ms Tseki wants to find out from me what is the updated status of the fast-tracking of issuing of title deeds that we promised will be given every Friday and what the details that we have are and the dates. Therefore, my response to that is that in terms of the current powers and functions related to the registrations and the issuance of deeds, the provinces and municipalities are mainly responsible for this. The reason why we took a decision that we are going to fast- track this is because of the backlog that we are experiencing.
The department has worked out a working relationship with provinces and municipalities within the ambit of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework, legislation 13 of 2005, to register and issue title deeds to eligible housing beneficiaries. As from April 2019 to date, these are the statistics that we have per province: those title deeds that belong to the pre-1994 era, the lead in delivering these is the Eastern Cape and the lowest would be from the Western Cape in the delivery of those particular title deeds. However, in title deeds that would have been belonging to the period post- 1994, the lead here is Gauteng that has delivered 7 773 title
deeds within one year, and the lowest here would be the Eastern Cape.
In title deeds that they belong to the current period, the lead here is KwaZulu-Natal having delivered 1 371 title deeds and the lowest is Limpopo, North West and the Northern Cape. The total number of title deeds that have been issued in the last few months is 29 000 ensuring that on a regular basis we are able to give these out. Notwithstanding the issues that the department has taken a decision to fast-track this, we are experiencing problems in fast-tracking this. The reason for this as we have discovered that sometimes it is actually finding the owner of the house because usually what happens in an informal transaction is that the owner of the house will not be found in the house. This as you know is illegal. The law makes it very clear that people who are given houses are required to be in their houses for eight years before they hand it over to anybody.
However, this is something that is regularly ignored and we are finding a difficulty in this. Our biggest problem is that sometimes we find that we get to a house and there isn’t a clear division in a family over who should own the title deed. The biggest problem here is that we, as a government, cannot
intervene in family disputes over the ownership of a house and who to accord the title deed to. We, therefore, going to look at ways or finding legal counsel to assist us make sure that we have these family disputes over title deeds resolved outside of government. And also to assist us to fast-track this, we are going to request the banking sector together with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, to see if we cannot use technology to advance our issue of a title deed.
If now we as a country are able to register a child at birth, it should be possible using the same kind of technology and the same kind of logic to register a house even before it is built. Therefore, knowing ahead of time that the title deeds would belong to, and the title deeds should be given out at the time that the house is handed over. Thank you.
Mna M A TSEKI: Ke a leboga, Mudulasetulo.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I’m very sorry; they printed you as Miss. [Laughter.] That’s why even the Minister said “Miss” and I’m sorry for that. I apologise on their behalf. Continue, Baba. [Mr].
Mna M A TSEKI: Le nna ke be ke re ke tla bolela gore the last time ba ile ba mpollella gore ke ne ke le monna So ke ne ke tshogile gore go go etsagalang
Minister, thank you very much for the response. Noting that the department could not yield on what they projected to do base on reasons that you have already mentioned, is the department going to continue to do developments of human settlements without township establishment or proclaimed townships? Because if there could be proclaimed upfront before the development takes place, this would allow beneficiaries that as they sign their happy letter and they get into those properties with the keys with the title deeds. Can we try by all means to stop developing without proclamation and township establishment?
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Hon
Tseki, I’m sorry ...
... gore ke rile Ms [Moh] go wena, le nna go kwetswe Ms [Moh] mo go nna. Mme ke ne ke ipotsa gore fa ore ba go boleletse gore o monna, gore o bua ka mang yoo ... [Setshego.]
... because that is completely outside the scope of Parliament, my apologies. Yes, hon Tseki, it is our intention to do exactly that and ensure that by the time we provide a house all of these things has been done. Our biggest drawback is that we wait so long for township establishment and by the time we have waited five years and costs have grown up, it really throws most our projections into disarray. However, as I have indicated we are going to be asking the Banking Association of South Africa and the CSIR to assist us to provide us with the technology that will make this possible that when we handover a house we also handover a title deed. Thank you.
Nks N TAFENI: Sihlalo weNdlu, eyona nto endifuna ukuyazi mna kuMphathiswa yeyokuba ingaba le ndlela yokunika abantu iziqinisekiso zobunini ilungile kusini na? Andiyiboni iyindlela esa phambili abantu boMzantsi Afrika kuba abantu
bathatha ezi ziqinisekisi zobunini baye kuvula amatyala ebhankini. Uye ufumanise ukuba umntu usematyaleni akakwazi ukuphuma kuwo. Eyona ndlela enokuthi isise phambili apha eMzantsi Afrika kukunika abantu umhlaba ukuze bakwazi ukuzenzela izinto zabo. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: No,
there was no question. Hon member ...
Lungu elihoniphekileyo, ndiyavumelana nawe, ukuze kulunge kuthi sonke kufuneka sinikezele ngomhlaba khona ukuze abantu bazakhele ngokwabo izindlu zabo. Nangona kuza kubanjalo, umntu kuza kunyanzeleka ukuba abenaso isiqinisekisi sobunini...
... in order to have value to the house.
Ngoko ke nokuba umntu uzakhele okanye wakhelwe indlu, yona indlu ifanele ukuba ibenesiqinisekisi sobunini.
The title deed reflects the value of that particular house. So if it is possible for you to go the bank and apply for a home loan to build my own house or to extend or send the kids to school, you can do that.
Title deed means that you are the owner of that particular house. Whether...
... uzakhele okanye wakhelwe ngurhulumente isiqinisekisi sobunini siyafuneka sona. Ukuba nina nifuna ukusincedisa ukuze abantu bazakhele izindlu zabo, ningayenza loo nto namkelekile, singavuya kakhulu.
Mr W M THRING: Thank you. Hon Minister, in many municipalities across the country the legacy of apartheid spatial planning still exists. Let me name one municipality, eThekwini. In this municipality many residents of Mariannridge despite having purchased their previous council own homes some five to 10 years ago have still not received their title deeds. This is because during the apartheid era human settlements were built on land not properly zoned or proclaimed. Now, some 25 years
later there still has not been progress for those waiting their title deeds. What intergovernmental relation progress has been made to clear this zoning impediment, and can the Minister confirm or deny that the backlog that was sitting at some 600 000 a few years ago has now climbed back up to
one million? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Thank
you, hon member. Yes, I will agree with you that the apartheid spatial planning is still with us for a very long time and we are trying very hard in our new approach to make sure that we can reverse this way in which we have been living and make sure that we are integrated. When we took on the title of human settlements it was precisely to ensure that there is a difference between housing and human settlements and that human settlement are, indeed, integrated in relation to race, colour and whatever classification there was before. I am not sure that the figure that you have of one million is correct. I would want to find out where you get that statistic from because my statistics I get from Statistics South Africa and they don’t get up to a million.
We are having a problem in processing title deeds as I have indicated here, and I have indicated also what it is that we
are doing to fast-track this. As I indicated at the beginning of my answer, the responsibility of giving title deeds rest with both the municipality and the province. However, we have come in through the intergovernmental arrangement to ensure that we are able to assist. However, I would like to find out where you get your statistics so that we can check if you are correct. Thank you.
Ms E L POWELL: Hon Minister, against the plan’s target of
9 421 title deeds transfers across nine provinces for the 2019-20 financial year, but the third quarter only 1 354 have been completed. These ongoing delay is compound the issues based by housing beneficiaries. The pre-emptive clause mandated by the national government stating that housing beneficiaries are not allowed to sell their housing units within the first eight years, meaning that housing beneficiaries are not only excluded from leveraging capital against their homes, but their informal sale of the Breaking New Ground, BNG, house means that the desperate South Africans are selling their houses illegally on the informal market to fund their basic living costs. Will the hon Minister consider adopting the DA’s policy overlying beneficiaries to receive full ... [Inaudible.]... immediately upon received of their
homes without the prohibited and absolute age exclusion. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: I
think that it is important for the DA to adopt a policy of clarifying her information. They are absolutely out of line all the time with the information that they bring to ... let me repeat, in one year we have given out 29 000 title deeds. What you are asking me has already been answered and I don’t know why you are sleeping there. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Hon
Basson, the Vaal River pollution is a problem that has beset us and is proving to be a real crisis in the making. The Deputy President and myself and our members of staff have visited the place twice now. I have visited the place more than six times now to see how we can deal with the problem.
The major problem in the Vaal River is that the Vaal River is a congruence of rivers that flow from Mpumalanga, North West and Free State. They get to the Vaal waste water treatment area and we find that over years with the built up environment, without creating the space for the waste water
treatment and without creating the ability to deal with this we are in a serious situation.
We have found that the problem that we have in the Vaal started in 2010 and has been growing over a period of time and as I speak now, out of 44 pumps that should be there only one pump station is working effectively. We are dealing with a serious problem here.
Right now we have had to get in extra support to assist the company that we had put up there to assist us in this matter and if the legislation will allow us, we would like to take over this entity to ensure that national government is responsible for this because the built environment that has come around the Vaal is greater than the capacity of the infrastructure that was provided for it in the initial stage. So, maintenance, continuous maintenance and the capacity to absorb this is lagging behind.
However, I have been heartened by the fact that the community of Vaal has been very willing to provide suggestions and support, the local community have been wanting to get involved in working there and the business community there has been very supportive of us to the extent that they have been able
to withdraw seven law suits that they had against us. So, we are working together with the community there to ensure that all the problems that we are experiencing in this particular area are fixed at the earliest possible time. Thank you.
Mr L J BASSON: Minister, although I have also asked the cost that it would take to clean up the river, you haven’t answered on that. Minister, compliance monitoring in enforcement of polluters does not exist in your department. Raw and past retreated sewage is a major pollutant of the Vaal which creates serious health risks, Minister what are the drastic steps that you are going to take to enforce that the polluter must pay principle and withdraw licenses of municipalities guilty of polluting our rivers?
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Hon
Basson you know very well that what you’re saying is not true. It does exist in our regulation. You, yourself congratulated us when we took one of the municipalities to court for polluting the river. So, you cannot now stand up and say it does not exist. It does exist.
In this particular case, it is not just a pollution, it is the breaking down of maintenance that has been in place over a
long period of time and because we are serving more than one province and because we have outgrown the infrastructure that you put in, in 1902, we have grown by bounds since then because it did not occur to you that African people will be living near you, you did not make provision for the kind of people that live there right now. The infrastructure is unable to cope with what we have on the ground and I’ll tell you what the cost is. You asked me what the cost is, the expenditure up to date has been R189 million.
Mdi M R MOHLALA: Ke a leboga. Tona, batho ba borena, Transvaal ka bophara, go tšwelela le gona kua go boMpumalanga, ba nwa meetse a ditšhila; Meetse a a tšwa Vaal River. Jwale re be re nyaka go tseba gore ke eng le tlo go se dira go tšwela pele gore taba ye e rarollwe.ka bonakonako; le gore naa go tlo diragala neng. Ka baka la gore meetse a a ditšhila a hlola kotsi mo maphelong a bona. Jwale re be re kgopela gore o re fetole gore ke eng seo o tlogo se dira ka bonakonako gore re rarolle taba ye ya meetse.
LETONA LA BODULO BA BATHO, METSI LE TLHWEKO: Sotho se
hlomphehang, ntho e nkentseng hore ke eme mona ke arabe ke
hore ke amehile haholo ka hore batho ba rona ba tlameha ho fumana metsi a hlwekileng. Ntho e ke e hlalosang ke hore, ha re ne re aha mona Vaal le dibaka tsena tseding kaofela, ha re ka ba ra ela hloko hore tshebeletso ya motheo wa rona ha e ya re lekana.
Our infrastructure only meant for those people who lived there at that particular time and we have grown. The Vaal area and the surrounding areas and the fact that we have taking on waste matter from four different provinces overtime, it has been very difficult to maintain the system.
Re ntse re tshwarehile ka yona ntho ena jwalo ka ha ke ntse ke tjho hore re etsa bonnete ba hore re ya e hlwekisa hore batho ba rona batlo fumana metsi a hlwekileng. Nka thabela hore le tle le lona le tlo hlwekisa moo, le bontshe hore diofarolo tsena tsa lona ka nnete di a le lekana. [Laughter]
So, I’ll be very grateful for your support to come and clean up the Vaal River. Thank you.
MR A M SHAIK EMAM: Minister, speaking of pollution, if you take the Paarl area in the Western Cape, and I have a sample for you of the water that our people living in those farms and those farming areas are expected to drink. And, if you see that, you will clearly see the conditions that our people have to live in.
Does national government have the due authority to be able to deal with provincial government to address the challenges that the people face, particularly with the poor quality water which is contaminated and many of those toilets in those public places that are not functioning, the doors are closed and there is no water. It’s an absolute mess and if you look at the condition, it is horrendous under which our people are supposed to be living. Can government intervene in these matters at a national level?
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Thank
you very much hon Shaik. Yes, I did indicate in my response that the problem that we are experiencing is that the responsibility over this area rests with the municipality and the province. This is the situation that we have.
We want to put to you legislation that will allow us to overwrite that so that we can take over the problems that the Western Cape is unable to solve and ensuring that our people have clean water.
They are very quick to point out when they find other provinces are responsible for water that is not clean. Not only are they polluting water, they are not even providing water to their workers.
Mnu X NGWEZI: Sihlalo,...
In light of the current water shortages and the need to maximise water efficiency, I would like to know from you whether you have been engaging with various municipalities to advise them of the services and budget offered to municipalities in order to ensure that their major dams have been cleaned and are free from pollution.
Singalindelanini kulolu daba lwaseMfuleni wase-Vaal ukuthi umklamo lo owenziwayo laphaya uphele ukuze abantu bakithi
bakhululeke ezifweni, zingaze zithathe izimpilo zabo. Ngiyathokoza kakhulu kunina beSilo?
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZINDAWO ZOKUHLALISWA KWABANTU, AMANZI
NOKUTHUTHA KWENDLE: Nami ngiyathokoza, bengicabanga ukuthi nginazise ukuthi uNgqongqoshe uNkosazana Dlamini-Zuma ubhekene nomasipala kanye nezifundaze. Uba nomhlangano okuthiwa i- MinMec, nami ngiba nomhlangano nalaba ababhekene namanzi nababhekene nezindlu. Sesinqume sinoNgqongqoshe uNkosazana Dlamini-Zuma ukuthi sihlanganise lama-MinMec la ukuze uma sikhuluma nomasipala abangaphansi kwakhe sikwazi ukubachazela ukuthi isimo samanzi simi kanjani. Sikwazi ukubacebisa, nokubanikeza nemali uma ngabe badinga imali yokuthi sibasize abantu bethu bathole amanzi ahlanzekile.
Sesihlangene kabili ku-MinMec silungisa lolu daba. Ngifuna ukunazisa ukuthi sibhekene nalo lolu daba sizama ukuthi silulungise. Yonke le nto oyikhulumayo nathi iyasikhathaza, sizama ukuyilungisa.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Hon
House Chair, I thought you will give me some reprieve. This question is being asked by the hon Sihlwayi of the ANC, to
find out from me as to what are the consequence management of my department against the transgressions in a specified project and are the transgressors brought to book and what date will the residents of 55 villages in Giyani in the Mopani District Municipality have access to clean and potable water?
My response is: We have dealt with this in the National Assembly and there is a precursor to it. However forensic investigations found that one of my department’s senior managers was implicated in this matter. The official has sins been suspended and the disciplinary process is still underway.
An UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE MEMBER: Until when?
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Until
when? Until the disciplinary process is over.
The Special Investigating Unit, SIU, has concluded the supply chain management process and has an assessment of them and has found that we have not been in adherence with what is required and we have contracted illegally - this particular individual I am talking about. Subsequent investigations have found that
this is a matter that needs to be attended to. I can now report that the SIU issued summons on 26 November 2018 in the High Court in Limpopo division in Polokwane. Case number
720 918 for civil litigation to set aside a contract of a value of R2,2 billion in this regard.
The SIU has referred evidence to the construction industries, Construction Industry Development Board, CIDB, pointing towards the contravention of Construction Industry Development Board Act 6 of 2017 and the CIDB inquiry into the matter is ongoing.
The SIU has also requested that we undertake disciplinary measures and we have. Referrals have also been made to the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, which is looking into the matter.
An Interim Presidential Report was submitted to the Office of the Presidency on 30 October 2018. Corruption investigation dates have been extended with new information uncovered on a regular basis as we continue our investigation. The value of money assessment is being undertaken by the SIU. You will no doubt know that the SIU once again invaded the office of Lepelle in Limpopo seeking more information around this
matter. We continue with the support of the NPA and the SIU to investigate this matter and bring it to finality.
The second part of the question is: When will the people of Giyani receive water from their taps? The responsibility of providing reticulation which is water from a secure dam into the household is the responsibility of the municipality.
However we are mindful of the fact that there is a drought in this area and we have decided that we are going to provide the necessary support to Limpopo. We are going to upgrade a dilapidated 325 km bulk Nandoni Nsani Pipeline Water Treatment Works to ensure supply of clean water. We are hoping that the people in that area, very soon will be able to be provided with clean water. The date we have set ourselves is September 2020 to complete this pipeline. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): The hon Sihlwayi.
Mr W M THRING: Hon Minister, the Constitution of South Africa
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No. Hon Thring, I said the hon Sihlwayi.
Mr W M THRING: Oh, I am sorry. I thought you ... I am sorry.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): She is the one who asked the question, must ask the follow-up question first.
Are you alright, then we move on. Alright. The hon Mokgotho.
Mrs S M MOKGOTHO: Hon House Chair and hon Minister, with the coronavirus epidemic that requires people to live a hygienic life, including washing hands and their food regularly: How are the people of these 55 villages in Giyani supposed to survive the virus? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Well,
Cabinet has put together a team to work with the Minister of Health so that we deal with the matter of coronavirus should it come to our shores in full strength. We are working on this. This is part of the packages that we are going to be dealing with, providing each village with the necessary support; each school, hospital and church to make sure that this is provided for.
By when? I think it is an unfair question because you know the backlog that we inherited in this country when no water was
provided for most of our people in our rural areas. We are required to provide that and this is what we are doing. We work seven days a week to make sure that we are providing clean water to our people. Thank you.
Ms M R SEMENYA: Hon House Chairperson, we want to take this opportunity to welcome the response of the Minister. However Minister, what we want to check as you interact with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs: How are you going to make sure that - because Giyani constitutes of 98 villages and now we are talking about 55.
How are we going to make sure that the entire Giyani get water? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Thank
you very much, for that question. Yes, we are mindful of the fact that the whole of Giyani needs to get water. At the moment what we are doing is providing the villages with an alternative form of getting water and this in the form of innovative technologies that are available to us. We are also providing tankers to these areas. However as I have indicated in my answer, we also want to replace the dilapidated 325 km bulk and upgrade Nandoni Nsani Pipeline Water Treatment Works to ensure that we have sustainable water. We are working on a
regular basis to make sure that this is completed, but we will be using the necessary support system of other alternatives to water and providing tankers to those areas that are in Mopani and other affected areas. Thank you.
Mr L J BASSON: Minister, intervention by your department between 2015 and 2020 did not show any improvement in the delivery of water in the Mopani District Municipality. Sixty per cent of boreholes are nonfictional.
Minister, with your department’s bad track record and your arrogance in answering our questions, I am not sure whether we can trust you in making any difference to the lives of the people of Giyani. Can you give us something else on how you are going to assist the people in that area?
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Given
your arrogance, I wonder what our people will get out of you because this is the responsibility that you are also supposed to assist in. I do not know what you are doing. What I have been standing here and responding to, is what government is doing. I do not know what you are doing. It is not just Giyani that is short of water, it is people here in this province
that you are not responsible for. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order, hon members.
Mr L E MC DONALD: Chair, on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Yes, hon member.
Mr L E MC DONALD: I am rising on a point of order on Rule 85(1) and (2) a member wishing to bring on an improper conduct to a member’s attention of the House or improper motives on other members. It cast personal reflections upon a member; by the previous member ... It is unpaliamentary, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Alright. That is Rule 85(1).
[Inaudible.] But that is not the correct rule.
Thank you. Order, hon members.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: House Chair, on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, just a minute. Alright. What is your point of order, hon member?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: House Chair, I just wish to point out.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): I was supposed to have dealt with that one first.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: But Chair it deals with what the hon MC Donald was attempting to do in the House. Chair, I believe that the hon MC Donald meant to rise on Rule 92(3a) and he rose on a wrong point.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, can I make a ruling. Hon MC Donald and hon member,I am the one who has to make a ruling. Hon MC Donald you rose on Rule 85(1) and you spoke about the unpaliamentary language and the unpaliamentary language is Rule 84. So, I am saying you should have stood on Rule 84 if it was unparliamentary language.
Alright. Otherwise I will seek advice and come back. I will seek advice on that. Can we then continue hon members.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chairperson, the question has to do with the maternal and infant and child mortality. We have taken steps in making sure that there is reduction in both maternal and child mortality. According to the latest report from South African Medical Research Council released in January 2020, the maternal mortality ratio declined from a high of 198 per 100 000 deliveries in 2012 to 134 per 100 000
beds in 2018.
There are five major causes which lead to maternal mortality which we have been dealing with. This in simple terms we refer to them as the five “Hs” which we need to intervene to reduce maternal mortality. First one is hypertension, high blood pressure in other words. All pregnant women are given calcium supplements in order to prevent complications caused by high blood pressure which is called pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.
Introduction of four additional visits to antenatal care also helped.
The second H is called orthocentric haemorrhage. Introduction of innovations in management of women with orthocentric haemorrhage has also helped to reduce this complication. Also in ensuring availability of blood in every district hospital
and a lot of number of other technical interventions which has also assisted.
The next H is that of HIV, Aids and TB. We have developed the last mile plan to accelerate the reduction of mother-to-child transmission and the early detection of HIV, TB and syphilis treatment. Pregnant women are initiated on life long antiretroviral treatment.
Health care worker knowledge is the next H. in this case we are providing a lot of training, skills development, such as helping mothers to breath, management of small and sick neonates and essential steps of management of obstetrics emergency. We are also conducting maternal and prenatal death reviews to establish possible modifiable factors which can help us to empower our health workers.
The last H is the health system strengthening in terms of quality improvement strategies in maternal and neonatal services and the implementation, amongst others, maternity waiting homes. These are some of the interventions which have resulted in the reduction of maternal mortality. On neonatal and infant mortality as well, this has declined even though we
are still not happy with the extent of the decline from 208 per 1000 light beds in 2012 to 25 per 100 beds in 2018.
In this case, the causative factors are largely asphyxia, which is lack of oxygen. We have revised the intrapartum care guidelines to improve the monitoring of women in labour so that we reduce the gap where the baby does not get enough oxygen and, strengthening the availability of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, CPAP, in order to make sure that we help babies to breathe.
Prematurity is also a factor. In this regard, we have implemented the introduction of antenatal steroids during pregnancy in order to mature the lungs where there is a threat of premature delivery. We also recognised that most of our neonatal wards are overcrowded and also staff is overworked.
It is a matter which we need to attend to.
Lastly, in terms of neonate, are infections. We have strengthened the implementation of guidelines to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmissions. In terms of child mortality as well which has declined ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D NTOMBELA): Thank you, hon
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you. [Time expired.]
Nks P P DYANTYI: Sihlalo weNdlu mandibulele kuSekela Mphathiswa ngempendulo ecace gca kodwa njengokuba sibona ukuba izinga lokusweleka koomama nabantwana, njengoko ebecacisile, lehlile, ingaba ikhona kusini na indima esiyibonayo kwiiMedico-legal claims? Ingaba liyehla kusini na izinga lamabango? Kaloku sakukhumbula ukuba izinga lokusweleka koomama nabantwana ibililo ebelixhome eli zinga kumamabango.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair, the issue of Medico- legal claims is a major challenge to our health sector. These declines on their own do not translate into a reduction in the claims. In the sense that the large part of what we are facing in terms of these litigations, very few of them have to do with the immediate real current or the immediate past. If you look at many of those claims, you have the legal ... [Inaudible.] ... who goes around the residential areas, villages and townships looking for children who were born 20
years ago and then suing the state in terms of births that happened 15 to 20 years ago.
In that regard, we are strengthening our legal interventions in terms of record keeping and legal awareness because some of those are fraudulent. These interventions will translate into savings in terms of litigation some few years to come because what we are facing now is retrospective claims of what has happened some time ago. We are dealing with the litigation separately because it is not directly related to current performance of our health system. Thank you, Chair.
Ms S GWARUBE: Deputy Minister, last year, 10 babies died at Tembisa hospital due to the hospital acquiring an infection.
10 families lost loved ones due to overcrowding that could have been prevented. The world has seemingly moved on. However, these families can never move on from this loss.
What steps has your department taken to investigate and to hold those accountable for the death of these children? But I would like you to be quite specific. How many people have been investigated? Have you informed the families? And, how far are you with investigations so that these families can begin to
get closure of the loss they have suffered at the hands of this government? [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Indeed hon member, we are working with our colleagues in Gauteng Provincial Health Department in identifying the positive factors. As you would know, the Human Rights Commission has also come into this.
Therefore, one would want to venture very carefully, especially in responding in manners which could also overlap in the kind of area which is covered by the Human Rights Commission.
Our side of approach is really more in identifying the health related, as you have mentioned, issues of overcrowding, infection control and making sure that we can provide many more facilities so that we don’t have this kind of overcrowding but also in improving interventions for infection control.
Going forward, we are working with our colleagues in Gauteng and other provinces to make sure that those basic non- negotiables, in terms of cleanliness and infection control are properly attended to. If there are any further steps which
needs to be taken, our doors is open in making sure that these kind of tragedies can be avoided in future. Thank you, Chair.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Deputy Minister, now you talk about reducing the maternal mortality rates and in order to achieve that I think you need a by in from all provinces. Now let me give you a good example. Last week I visited an area, particularly in the Western Cape of Paarl. There is a host of clinics that have been shut down and people have to travel 10s of kilometres to go and get the service. These builders are standing empty but guarded by security guards. Now tell me Deputy Minister, what are these people, particular these pregnant mothers have to do, how do they travel? Most of them are unemployed and the clinics are closed. How are they going to protect themselves and help you to reduce the maternal mortality rate? Tell me, Sir.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thanks to the hon Shaik Emam for that information. We will make a follow up because it is not something which is acceptable. When we are facing and rising burden of diseases and demand for services that any of our colleagues and partners in the providing of health services, should be closing down facilities.
Everywhere else in the country, what we are working on is increasing access, increasing facilities and employing more staff, increasing more training, availability of equipments and so on. So, that is a matter that we will follow up with the relevant authorities in the form of the MEC and the Department of Health in the Western Cape to get to the bottom of this rationale.
We know that we are facing major budget cuts but we always try to caution ordinary people - the consumers of the services - to be cautioned against these cuts in funding. Thanks for the information. We will indeed make a follow up to get to the bottom of what is the rationale because it can’t be good for the improvement of access. Thanks, Chair.
Ms N N CHIRWA: Deputy Minister, I want to ask that when will your department acknowledge that postnatal depression is one of the major child neglect, abandonment and also causes as an impact on children or infants dying.
What will the department do to take relevant steps and take precautionary measures to ensure that new moms who are mentally unfit are not allowed to leave with their children
from the hospital when they don’t have good support structures at home? Thank you.
Mr S LUZIPO: On a point of order, Chair
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D NTOMBELA): Why are you rising, hon member?
Mr S LUZIPO: I assume it’s allowed to converse in the House but the hon member has been standing there for the past 30 minutes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D NTOMBELA): Okay, hon member. Can we continue hon members?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair, indeed hon Chirwa is correct in the sense that as hon members would be aware that the issue of mental health has not received top priority in our health services because we are under pressure with other burden of diseases such as infectious disease and other non
communicable diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
In the process we have acknowledged that services for mental health have not received adequate attention. It is therefore true to say that it is one of the areas of mental health and postnatal depression which is a reality and in a basket of our improvement of quality and access to mental health services it is one of the areas that we need to increase our focus on. We can assure the hon member that in that basket of improvement of mental health services, we are indeed including postnatal depression as one of the areas of focus. Thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair, the hon member wants know whether we are ensuring appointment of employees properly. Indeed hon Chair and members, as the Department of Health we follow all the legal prescripts, the legal framework for appointments. We are not a department which works outside the existing framework which is amongst others prescribed by the Constitution of the Republic.
The Labour Relations Act of 1995, Employment Equity Act of 1998, Promotion of Administrative Justice Act of 2000, Promotion of Information Act of 2000, Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1997, Public Service Act of 1994, as amended read in conjunction with the Public Service Regulations, the
White Paper on Human Resource Management in the Public Service of 1997, Chapter Two of the Senior Management Service as well as the Minister of Public of Service and Administrations periodic directives on human resources management.
These afore mentioned legislative framework are not casting stone since departments and Ministers are also given delegations to develop their departmental recruitment and selection policies that meet their departmental requirements within the financial resources available.
Our department has put steps to comply with the legislative framework through its Recruitment and Selection Policy and Procedure Manual read in conjunction with the Ministry of Public Service and Administration directives that are issued from time to time that guide the recruitment.
Hon Chair and members, I must also add that together with this we also rely on the Ministerial Handbook in terms of the appointment of role playing staff in the political offices.
There is also clear guidelines in terms of role playing staff and we follow all these guidelines even on Ministerial Handbook approved by the Minister of Public Service and Administration and also by Cabinet and the President. These
are all the prescripts which we follow in terms of the various categories of staff, whether in the department or in the Ministries, we follow all these prescripts. I can assure the hon member that indeed, we are very much compliant with all the rules and regulations. Thank you.
Nksz S GWARUBE: Sekela Mphathiswa ndiyavuya kuba uye wasifundela zonke ezi...
... pieces of legislation that you are relying on.
Njengokuba nawe usazi...
...the health industry loses about R20 billion a year to urhwaphilizo (corruption). This is money that could be used to fill critical vacancies such as nursing staff, community health workers and hiring of these doctors that we spoke about earlier.
However, corruption has not been dealt with staidly by this government. Part of that is that appointment of close friends and families and those who are politically connected to the members of the executive are another way that this sector is robbed of good quality employees.
Considering all of that Deputy Minister, I would like you to please state categorically whether or not to the best of your knowledge, the Minister of Health has not appointed any family member in his personal office or anybody who is politically connected to him, and whether you can state on record that you, Deputy Minister have not appointed anybody who is related to you, whether closely or through an extended family or whether or not somebody who is going to be politically connected to you [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair, well it is a pity that hon Minister Mkhize had to go on a very urgent matter of national importance because he has adequately dealt with that issue [Interjections.] He has adequately dealt with that issue during the state of the nation address when that allegation was made [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon members!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: I can state categorically that there is no such a thing. In fact your party also had to withdraw that allegation because it has got no substance. Now, you are repeating it here when it holds no water.
The hon member is the one who even took it to the media. The particular medial also had to retract that allegation. I have no doubt in saying that neither Minister Mkhize nor I can be accused of any such. It is a pity that the hon member not withstanding all the explanation is going around it again and again. Let us debunk that issue that is nonexistent. Thank you.
Mr P A VAN STADEN: Hon Chair, hon Deputy Minister just for clarity regarding the new appointment in the Minister’s office. I just want to know, was the relevant advertised? If not, why not? If so, where was it advertised? What number of candidates applied for the position? What number of interviews was conducted for this position? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair, let me help the hon member. That is why in mentioning various statutes and executive codes and so on I included the Ministerial Handbook which guides appointments. That is why I specifically
mentioned role playing positions. If you – I do not know if, - maybe because the member has never been a Minister is not familiar with the fact that there positions called role playing positions in the executive office.
Those positions, you can advertise if you want to so that, that person can be considered in future for permanent employment. You can also identify qualified person of your choice and appoint them in the suitable position where they qualify without any competition. That person then is part and parcel of political support staff. When you go as the Minister or Deputy Minister, that person goes with you. Just for the education for the hon member [Applause.] That position does not have to be advertised if you go that way. I think you will learn something today. Thank you.
Nk M D HLENGWA: Sihlalo, Sekela Ngqongqoshe, ngiyadabuka nje ukukusho lokhu ukuthi sikhathazekile njengomphakathi ukuthi la ezindaweni lapho esihlala khona kuhlala njalo kunemigqa, kunakho konke ngoba abekho abantu abaqashiwe ukwenza umsebenzi. Ngikhuluma la ngabahlengikazi nodokotela ukuthi ufika njalo kunemigqa ngisho emakliniki, ezibhedlela le ezakithi emakhaya. Akwenzeki lutho ngoba abekho abantu abawulungele umsebenzi. Ngiyabonga.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thanks to hon Hlengwa, indeed hon members we have never denied the fact that we cannot claim that all our facilities are fully staffed in terms of the needs of the service. I think even in my earlier comment I did mention that we are conscious of the fact that the distribution of key frontline staff is still a challenge because that is determined by the availability of the necessary resources for us to be able to fill.
In most cases it is not because the assessment of the needs has not been done. The assessment has been done. If you check in the books of those facilities, you will find that there are posts which have been approved in the frontline service area but because of the way in which our budget allocation has not always met the requirements; in most cases we are unable to fill those posts.
We are with innovative methods including making sure that in the clinics patients come in terms of appointments, especially those who are not emergencies; they can be properly given time and dates on which to come. Those who are stable can get their treatment outside through the various – where there are pharmacies and even in traditional authorities. We are working on those to reduce the queues, so that people who do not
really require – and also through community health workers, some of them can be seen at home.
Going forward, we are not going to fold our arms and wait for increasing budget, we are coming with innovative methods, improving the filing system, making sure that people do not stay two or three hours waiting for a file. All those without even additional funds are going to reduce the long ques. Thank you.
Mr M S SOKATSHA: Hon Deputy Minister, how has the Minister ensured that the appointment of employees in his office and the department are commensurate with the department’s vision of ensuring and healthy life for all South Africans? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon members, I think I touched on this earlier on. One of the things which we have also agreed on with our colleagues in provinces and I know some of them are quite advanced in identifying where we are spending a lot of money, especially at managerial level. There are some of our offices where you find that over time the managerial level the Senior Management Service, SMS, level has been
exponentially increasing not in proportion to the frontline services.
We have agreed to review our structures in terms of that so that we have less and less top managers who earn higher salaries especially with improvement of technology, this doable. We are looking at that to reduce costs because for one deputy director-general position you can hire maybe up to five professional nurses. Those are the things which we are looking at in terms of – as the hon member is asking, the areas where we can strengthen the staffing, which will have a direct impact on the frontline services. This is our motto in terms of looking at how to make sure that our staffing actually talks to improving the quality of service. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: House Chair, the question was about the sanitation backlog in Chris Hani District and the answer is, when we did our investigation we picked up 272 schools that needed alternative sanitation in Chris Hani.
Almost 60 of them will be delivered in this financial year. The next 100 of the 272 will be delivered in the 2020-21 and the last batch in the 2021-22 financial years, and this is
informed by the budget we have been given by Treasury. Thanks, Chair.
Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: House Chairperson, Minister, there is constant fights taking place between the tenderpreneurs of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal respectively and can also run through other provinces and with the service providers from the Department of Basic Education that would in the ultimate end delay the delivery of the expected toilets in schools.
What would your intervention be, Minister?
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Thank you very much member because what you are saying is absolutely true. There has been a major problem in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal in particular, which has hampered and delayed their work. We have reported the matter to Cabinet and fortunately in the Eastern Cape, working with the provincial government and the police, we have been able to open some process.
In KwaZulu-Natal it is actually a gridlock, same with Limpopo. So we are working with both the police and the province to help us deal with this because they are very murderous and I can readily reveal quite a number of horror stories around your radical economic transformation, RETs, because they call
themselves, what do they call themselves again? They call themselves Amadelangokubona. [Seeing is believing] They have been a major problem but we are already working both with the police and the province and what they do, they would force prizes to go up but the long and short of it is that what you are saying is absolutely true and it has been a major problem in that area and it has caused lots of difficulties not only with sanitation but with infrastructure in general.
Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: Can I ask further because the answer is not satisfactory.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member!
Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: I just would like to know what those interventions are.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member!
Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: ... things that would be put in place
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Thembekwayo please ... [Interjections.]
Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: House Chairperson!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Thembekwayo, please ... [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Chairperson!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay hon Shivambu, just wait a minute.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: On a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay, I will allow you but let me address this one.
Mr F H SHIVAMBU: Okay, please do.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Thembekwayo please whenever you want to raise something just raise your hand and I will recognise you then we continue with whatever that you want to raise. Hon Shivambu, why are you rising?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: House Chairperson, on a point of order: We are asking questions here so that we can get answers. Hon
Thembekwayo makes an observation and then asks the question of what is the department going to do. The Minister just stands up to confirm the observations. She doesn’t say what is going to be done, and that is the issue that we are raising that let us get answers here. What is the purpose of asking questions if the Minister is not going to answer the questions? We want to know what is going to be done with the disruption of the infrastructure delivery, particularly pit latrines toilets that must be replaced.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Shivambu, thank you very much. You have made your point, sir. Thank you very much. Can I address that? Thank you very much. Hon Shivambu, please. Hon members, a question has been asked to the Minister, the Minister has responded in a manner that she thinks is appropriate. I’ve got no right to dictate to her what she should say. I think the answer suffices. Thank you very much. Hon Van Der Walt? [Interjections.] Hon Mkhaliphi?
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: House Chairperson, I have a point of order. I think that you are going to throw back the question to the Minister. [Interjections.] Chairperson! Chairperson, let me continue. We have given sufficient time to the Minister to come with the answer. It is not a new question. So just ask
the Minister to respond. It is your problem. Don’t protect the Ministers here.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Mkhaliphi! Hon Mkhaliphi, I am not going to do that but the Minister has answered the question. If members are not happy, please, you have requested my intervention and I am ruling on it. If members are not satisfied with the answer that the Minister is giving, you have your oversight responsibilities. There are ways in which you can address that but not this one. We cannot allow a conversation to occur. Hon members ...
... ngiyayivala lendaba.
Ms M O C MAOTWE: House Chairperson, on a point of order: ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): What is your point of order, hon member?
Ms M O C MAOTWE: ... Yes, so the Minister has not answered ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, I have ruled.
Ms M O C MAOTWE: ... she has not answered. She repeated that what the hon member said was true. But, as to what the department is going to do, she has not answered. We need an answer, Chair. Don’t protect these Ministers. Don’t protect them.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, I have ruled. [Interjections.]
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Uthe ubize amaphoyisa, awulaleli ntombazane. Awulaleli, uthe ubize amaphoyisa.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, please do not do that. It is uncalled for. It was uncalled for. Thank you hon Minister, you have answered the question. Where was I now? Mr Van Der Walt, is that you? Mrs, sorry about that, Hon Van Der Walt, you can continue.
Mrs D VAN DER WALT: Hon House Chairperson, Minister, the Eastern Cape by the department’s own sanitation audit remains the province with the highest number of schools still using
pit toilets. The total number is 1 598 schools. You’ve just referred to 272 in this specific area which will in the next year, though it is questionable if you couldn’t have done 60 how you are going to do a 100 per year.
Since the President announced the Safe Campaign in August 2018, almost a year and a half ago, less than 10% or only 266 out 3 898 have benefited and we must now trust this government to complete the outstanding 90% plus to do it and deliver on it in just one year. What amount of the Presidential Golf Day as part of the Safe campaign will be allocated to these schools in the Eastern Cape? If none, why not? And where exactly will the funds then come from.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, the question was specific. It asked about the Chris Hani District, that is why I responded to the 272. The fact that there are a 1 000 and something, it is a fact, you got it from us. So, I am not sure why you are throwing it back to me as if I am not aware because we did the audit. We gave you the answers. So, I was responding about the Chris Hani District Municipality and that is where the answer is. And if the member now to bring her information about the golf day, how much is going there, I can give her the information but I have not prepared about golf
days and the budgets of those golf days but I do undertake to give her the answer on the golf day but this question was specific to Chris Hani that is why I answered on Chris Hani.
Mnu M N NXUMALO: Sihlalo, Mhlonishwa uNgqongqoshe ...
... I would like to ask, with reference to the state of the nation address by the President of the country he said that government in the next six years will provide every school or every child in South Africa with a tablet in 2020 and also added bringing in coding and robotics to primary schools.
Now, in light of the budgetary cuts, how is this going to affect the roll-out of proper toilets in schools and also how is the department going to achieve all these but putting from a point that there are budgetary cuts in the department.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair ...
... ngizophinda futhi, umbuzo ubukhuluma ngezindlu zangasese kwisifunda i-Chris Hani kodwa-ke uma sifuna ukukhuluma ngendaba yezimali eziphunguliwe uMgcinimafa awuzange ubuye kithi ithi iwuthathile lo-R700 million abssithembise wona nalo-1,2 billion osithembise wona. Ngakhoke lemali le yezenhlanzeko ihamba yodwa. Nalena yama-tablets imali ihamba yodwa futhi uma ilungu ifuna ngizothi ukuthi icebo lithini ngama-tablets ngingaphinda ngizoyicacisela ...
... but amongst other things that we have done is to start off with the private sector on their commitments for licensing and that is where we have started with the roll-out of tablets. We are working with the private sector in terms of robotics. Again, I can give you a full report, but for now, I can confirm that the money for sanitation has been guaranteed and has not been part of the budget cuts.
Ms N G ADOONS: Hon Adoons! House Chairperson, thank you Minister for the response. My follow-up question is, what measures and resources are in place to ensure that schools that have been prioritised to receive infrastructure development are developed? And what are the timeframes for such a development? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, let me repeat that for sanitation we have identified the 4 000 schools, we have been given a budget of R700 million in this current financial year, next year R1,2 billion and that other year R800 million. So that money is secured and as a national department we are basically only responsible for the Accelerated Schools
Infrastructure Delivery, Asidi and also the Sanitation Appropriate for Education, Safe, and if a member wants me to give them the full report about the infrastructure plans in the sector, I can bring that report but I have to collect it from provinces because it is provinces who have the responsibility of building schools.
It is not a national competence and therefore I can undertake to bring that report but for now, we are only responsible for two projects, which Asidi, mud schools, not the entire infrastructure and Safe for sanitation which is also not the entire infrastructure but I can make an undertaking and give the member a full report from provinces on what their plans are. Thank you very much, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you, hon Chairperson and the hon member, Sokatsha. The question relates to a report by Commission for Gender Equality which was quite well publicised which made allegations that in some of our facilities, especially in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, that HIV-positive women have been coerced into sterilisation.
Hon members, this allegation of coerced sterilisation of human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, pregnant women is very alarming and considered in a very serious light by the Ministry and the Department of Health. We cannot ignore such an allegation, it is very serious. However, the Department of Health wishes to state it categorically that there is no policy or guideline that has been issued that provides for sterilisation of HIV positive pregnant women, whether by consent to being sterilised or not. Being sterilised cannot be a precondition for delivering through a caesarean section.
Our polices are based on the Bill of Rights in our Constitution which states that everyone has a right to bodily and psychological integrity which includes; making decisions concerning reproduction, security in and control over your body and not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without informed consent. The only instance in
which a clinician may not obtain informed consent from the patient is if the patient is not in a good mental state which precludes this or in the case where the patient is in comma. In these instances there would be still an informed consent obtained from the next of kin or in some cases from a court- appointed guardian. So, that is the law and the regulation.
The department had received this report from the Commission of Gender Equality. We also met with the chairperson, the deputy chairperson and the chief executive officer, CEO, of the commission. During the meeting, we raised a range of issues in an attempt to seek clarity including the copies of the affidavits that complainants deposed and details of how the investigation was conducted as the report did not contain these details. The chairperson of the commission promised to provide the additional details requested within two weeks.
However, unfortunately up to now we have not received this report.
Therefore, this given, it limits our ability to really respond in detail. We have also requested our legal department to investigate this matter further. However, in order to better understand the nature and extent of the complaint and to take corrective action, we will establish - as a department - our
own panel of independent experts including nongovernmental organisations, NGOs, and medical specialists to investigate the allegation including the whole issue of forced sterilisation. We will also request the people who were said to be the victims through a well publicised campaign to come forward and approach us and also where they need to do this in privacy, we also have approached the ombudsman person, Professor Makgoba, also to be available so that these matters can receive proper attention.
So, once this has been done, where there is transgression we will take appropriate steps if people have to be disciplined once there is clear information. Thus far, the Commission for Gender Equality has not helped in terms of providing clear information to us so that we can say that; it was in this hospital and this is the person who said this. It was very general in terms of the report which we received. We are awaiting their own confirmation of the details including the actual victims and the institutions where this happened. Then, we can be able to take appropriate action. Thank you, hon Chair.
Mr M S SOKATSHA: Thank you very much, hon Deputy Minister for the progress that the department has made in terms of making
sure that the issue is addressed. Deputy Minister, you have indicated that there is no policy on sterilisation, with or without consent of the patient and two provinces have been mentioned. Will the department further make sure that this practice has not been done in other provinces because it is only the two provinces that have been mentioned? What is the situation about other provinces? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chair, let me just correct to say that what I have said is that there is no policy which gives way to forced sterilisation and there is no policy also which says that an HIV positive pregnant woman when they deliver by caesarean section they must be sterilised. I just want to correct the hon member.
We do have legislation on sterilisation which guides all the health professionals. However, that legislation makes no provision for any kind of disease on which a woman comes to hospital to deliver and ends up in a caesarean section must be forced to be sterilised. That is just to clarify that. Indeed, this matter we are taking up not only limited to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng but it is a matter that we are taking ... This panel that we are saying we want o put together will look across the country, not only in terms of where the report has
mentioned because in case there might be other cases which have not been reported. We want to go to the depth of this matter so that it can be dealt with and be eradicated. If indeed it did happen as the report suggest, then we must get down to the culprits and deal with it once and for all. Thank you, Chair.
Ms S GWARUBE: Deputy Minister, Commission for Gender Equality, CG, he has sent the Department of Health a series of recommendations on how to go about rectifying the human rights violations which forced women who were HIV positive to be sterilised. They have given the department detailed information and I know now that you dispute this on how these cases played out, but the CG also gave some practical steps on how you can begin to protect women, particularly, the vulnerable women from this kind of an abuse. One of the things that they did suggest in their report is that you need to amend the consent form so that it can be in different languages and so that there can be a cooling off period for women which is built into that.
That does not require you to institute an entire investigation before you can amend it. You can amend that form right now so
that women – right now – cannot be subjected to such treatment. Have you done that? If not, why not?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Well, Chair, we are a department which is guided by a proper research and proper information. As I have said that I have the report with me and the recommendations from the Commission for Gender Equality.
We have also met with them, there are number of other recommendations in terms of which they have proposed and should be taken by some of the entities like the Health Professions’ Council, Nursing Council and so on. We have no problem even the issue of which the hon member is mentioning - you see - when we do intervene including; we must be able to identify. As we have said that we don’t have any avenue or room through which any professional can claim that they misunderstood the current existing provisions. There is just no room for that.
We need to inform ourselves as to if a victim comes forward and explains exactly what they were told, we go to the particular practitioner who may claim that they misunderstood the current provision, then, we would be able to identify where the weakness are. However, we can’t just wake up because there is a recommendation to amend without any proper
substance. No, because we will be groping in the dark, we will make some amendments and then something else will happen. We need credible information which will then guide us in terms of where we need to intervene and what amendments need to be made, is it just a consent form, is it in the legislation and so on. This process, hon Gwarube, will help us to arrive at something which will be long lasting once we have credible information. Thank you.
Ms M D HLENGWA: Deputy Minister, what steps are being taken by the department to ensure that HIV positive women have access to sufficient counselling services to assist them with negative stigmatisation in general? Are there enough resources and programmes? I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chair, indeed we acknowledge the fact that as much as a lot of progress has been made in reducing stigma – we have come a long way – if you think of where we were maybe 15 years ago - in terms of not only provision of treatment, counselling and testing – we know that while progress has been made the issue of stigma still remains a challenge. We acknowledge the hon member’s concern. We are saying that every time we are doing our best to improve both quality and also quantity of access so that these services can
be accessible in the rural areas, in the townships and everywhere in the farms and being of very good quality.
Indeed, that is an area which remains our focus. However, we are not starting from zero we are at the level where a lot of progress has been made we just need to improve and provide more access. Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: House Chair, the question is around the migration of early child development, ECD, from the Department of Social Development to Education. I can report that work has started between ourselves and Social Development.
There is a memorandum of understanding, MOU, in place. There are structures working both at administrative and political level to ensure that we adequately prepare for this migration that has to happen. The first step is to initiate the legal part of it all. So, there are proclamations ready for the President to sign and also provincial MECs which will legally give the authority to the Department of Education to lead in this instance.
We are also working with other departments which have a contribution in ECD; the Department of Health, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
In the meantime there is a process led by the Government Technical Advisory Centre, GTAC, and its function is to make sure that there is a technical team, because it is specified in the handbook, which has to look at function sheets within government and advice different departments on what to do and when. We are working close with them to make sure that there is a smooth transition.
We have established a number of work streams that prepares the system for the streams. Different provinces have started processes and they are at different levels but we are in communication with them. We also have very good facilitations because it is a very busy and congested area.
We are working with the National Education Collaboration Trust to help us consult and work with different stakeholders who are outside the system. We are also developing information systems and engaging different stakeholders, as I mentioned.
We have convened meetings with ECD think tanks which involves people who are outside government and those working in government to make sure that we have an integrated ECD programme. We have had a number of round tables and there are meetings we have convened with different stakeholders.
In terms of preparation we have agreed with the Department of Social Development that we will use 2020 to consult and plan properly and then we will start practically migrating functions gradually from 2021 to 2024. So, we have given ourselves three years through which we can transit, but all the way we will be working with Social Development to make sure that it is a smooth transition. Thank you, Chair.
Ms N G ADOONS: Chairperson, thank you to the hon Minister. I think you have answered my question adequately and with diligence. So, thank you very much.
Mrs D VAN DER WALT: Minister, last week the portfolio committee heard that research is still to be done on many factors of the ECD migration to your department. Actually, no answers could be given on any budget implication of it. I have actually asked why Treasury is not involved and it couldn’t be answered.
According to the President during his speech on 14 February this year during the Presidential Golf Challenge Fundraising Dinner, he said that funds raised have been allocated to special projects on ECD. Which projects was he referring to? Are they part of the migration and what amount will be allocated to these special projects? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, I just mentioned that we have agreed with Social Development that 2020 is going to be used for consultation and preparations and there is a GTAC process which includes Treasury. Because there are centres which are not run by government and there are those which we run and finance as government, the GTAC process is going to provide the final figures. That is why this year we are not able to takeover in terms of management.
We have just put work streams that are investigating and getting the necessary information. In the meantime we know things that have to be done to take us there. Amongst others is the training of ECD practitioners, resourcing of ECD centres, but more importantly is an audit of the ECD programme. Up to now Social Development was funding ECD centres only in areas where they operate and are identified as poor areas but as Education we are saying that ECD has to be
accessible to every child. So, it is a different paradigm that we are moving from and therefore we need a whole year to investigate and work out.
Work in terms of collecting data is happening. We have funding even from external bodies. There is work that has happed. We have clear areas we know must be dealt with in the mean time with the President’s fund as we proceed with plans for 2021.
This year we are investigating, consulting and doing all the necessary preparatory work. Thank you, Chair.
Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: Minister, in the recent presentation done by your department in our committee on issues of migrations of ECDs, the term migration of ECDs from Department of social Development to the Department of Education has confusing or abstract meaning in a sense that there is a lot of what migration does not refer to. For an example, it said that migration does not mean that all zero to five years old will be going to school. Then who will be going to school?
Migration does not mean that the Department of Basic Education will employ all ECD practitioners. Then who are those lucky practitioners that will be employed? It was further said that migration does not mean that suddenly the funding of ECD
programme will increase over night. Then, how immediate will the funding of ECD programme increase? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, I do not know what is confusing about all the concepts that have been raised. Indeed it is not every child that is going to go to school. We are saying only Grade R and Grade RR will go to school. We are not going to bottle feed and change nappies at schools — it will not happen in school.
There are kids who are going to remain in community centres. Migration doesn’t mean every child from zero to four is going to be in school. So, there is no confusion about it. We are very clear about it.
Again, there is no confusion about the fact that there will be a hybrid system. We are not necessarily going to say that private crèches must close and everybody must be a government centre; there will be a hybrid of centres where some are private and some belong to the state. There is no confusion; it is quite clear.
It is not everybody that we are going to employ or host. With regards to budgets, ECD centres funded by Social Development
will continue to be funded in 2020. It is only after we have finished the budgetary process with Treasury that we will then be able to pronounce how the funding model is going to happen.
There is nothing confusing, it is very clear. I agree with you on all the things you are saying except that there is no confusion; it is very clear. You are right again.
Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Chairperson, my question was answered as the Minister was responding to these questions.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chair, the
question is about budget cuts and if our programmes of literacy and numeracy will be affected. Again the answer is that the department will continue with the implementation of literacy and numeracy projects as planned. The literacy projects that are the Early Grade Reading Assessment, Egra and primary reading improvement programmes are continuing. The department is also rolling out teaching maths for understanding in Grade R. So, all our projects in literacy are going to continue.
The budget cuts are mainly around infrastructure not on substantive programmes. So, all these programmes that we have planned will continue as planned. Thank you very much.
Mr E K SIWELA: Hon Chairperson and Minister, we welcome the confirmation that the various literacy and numeracy projects planned for the 2020-21 financial year will not be affected by the proposed budget cuts.
What informs the rational of implementing the literacy projects in Mpumalanga and the teaching of mathematics for understanding in 41 schools in the six implementing districts and what is the expected outcome of the testing? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, so one of the key problems that we have in education is the language barrier that the majority of in particular African kids have to experience when they go to school. I was actually quite happy about the question from higher education that language is a big issue and a big barrier in education. The pilot that we are running in Mpumalanga in the Nkangala District is actually a pilot that we are doing to look at. We are phasing it in Mpumalanga in Nkangala and eHlanzeni, for the primary school reading improvement programmes so that we are systematic and
scientific about our approaches on how to change the situation.
The other programme that we are saying what informs as I say - it is the difficulties that we are experiencing in education in as far as the language is concern. For instance, we are very excited that the Eastern Cape has been running a pilot on bilingual teaching and we are going to start assessing bilingually from 2021. Those are pilots we are doing to make sure that as we shift around the language challenges we are seeing we are able to also be very scientific and orderly in the way we do things, because we know for a fact - that is why we are starting with the primary schools. That when our children get into Grade 4 - because of language problems, African kids find themselves going back because now they have to start learning in a language which is foreign to them. It takes them back and right through their career it becomes a catch up game. That is why we are looking at these areas around language because they are much bigger than reading with understanding, but they have everything to do with our ability to provide quality education at equitable bases for all children in the system. Thank you, Chair.
Ms C V KING: Chairperson, I will be making a follow up question because my monitor is not working. Minister, in the near future Grade R to Grade 3 will be subjected to the no repeat policy that was announced by you in 2018. What effects will the no repeat policy have when implemented on strengthening literacy and numeracy in Grade 4 and other grades upwards?
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, educationally, failing does not necessarily improve your deficits. That is a point of departure. So if you fail at Grade 1 it is not that you are staying away from school or not, it means they do not understand. Therefore we have to strengthen our support to learners rather than failing them. That is what we are saying. For when we are delaying them then we keep on progressing them so the strategy is to improve and support learners from early grades so that we do not have to repeat.
As a country we have the highest repetition rates and that is why we even have higher failure rates because we do not have remedial education and we do not have adequate support for children who are struggling and we have deficits. So, our strategy is to support more and deepen at a basic level. That is why we are ramping at the basic level and are also excited
that we will be taking the function of early childhood development, ECD, to really have solid grounds prepared for our learners to study. We are going to phase it in as soon as we have strengthened our base. Thank you.
Mr N M PAULSEN: Chairperson and Minister, community involvement in schools have shown that significant short-term and long-term benefits - studies have shown that when schools, parents, families and communities work together to support learning, learners achieve higher grades, attend school more regularly, stay at school longer and this also reduces dropping out.
Will the department relook at education and consider greater community involvement to address numeracy and literacy challenges?
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon member, I was going to agree with you, so you do not like it when people agree on the facts which are contained in education literature. So, I will pass the part of saying you are right because you do not people to confirm the correctness. So, the answer I have given is the fact that we are strengthening the base of the literacy basis as a way of intervention. I will not say agree with you
as parents. So, it is true that when parents are involved - and that is part of the strategy. So, you take literature of education bring it and ask as if it is something new, that is what is contained in the literature of education that we have to involve communities and parents. That is our strategy.
I mentioned the National Education Collaboration Trust, NECT, to work with us to mobilise communities around the reading campaign. We have the national literacy campaign which we run with NGOs, a number of them to make sure that we can mobilise communities. That is what we are doing without agreeing and saying you are correct.
Mr M N NXUMALO: Chairperson, I will be answering the question. Minister, have the proposed budget cuts for the 2020-21 financial year in any way affected the field trial for the general education certificate which the department has schedule to complete in July 2020? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order, hon members, it is not a joke that the hon Nxumalo’s thing is not working. It is nothing to laugh about. [Laughter.]
Thank you, hon Minister. Can you continue?
UNGQONGQOSHE WEMFUNDO EYISISEKELO: Bab’uNxumalo umbuzo ubuthi: Ukuncishiswa kwesabelomali kuthinta kanjani ukubhala nokubala? Ngiphendule ngokuthi ...
It will not affect them. For we work with Treasury, we have gone to areas where we can absorb the challenges that are there and I was not requested to list all the areas which are going to be affected by the budget cuts. The question was literacy and numeracy. That is why I say they will not affect literacy and numeracy, but in different areas indeed in terms of staffing and quite a number of things we have had to cut down or slow down or postpone because of the budget cuts. Even your general education certificates - because it was not urgent for us to implement this year we have shifted it with a year to be able to absorb the budget cuts. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: House Chair, all the TVET colleges have standardised the allowances. Given the substantial difference in the budgetary allocation to the universities and TVET sectors by National Treasury, it will take substantial time
based on the current fiscus funding to close the gap between the two sectors. Alternatively, a significant budget increase for the TVET sector will be required from the National Treasury for that gap to be closed.
Mnu B B NODADA: Mandibulele Sihlalo, Sekela Mphathiswa ndiyathemba ukuba njengoko engekho apha uMphathiswa ukwindawo zamaziko emfundo uye kujonga imeko yabafundi phaya.
TVET students get a below average allowance. They get R24 000 for accommodation and food in comparison to up to R50 000 for universities just for accommodation alone, which is double the amount of money.
They get up to R7 000 for transport whereas universities get up to R10 000. They stay in the same off campus accommodations. They transport using the same transport, costing the same amount of money. They consume food at the very same supermarkets. Deputy Minister, I do not think it is fair that these students are treated this way. Why is that TVET allowances can’t be standardised in line with funding for university students, so as to mitigate the gap between them
whereas they reside at the same space, they commute in the same transport and they eat food from the same retailers.
Port Elizabeth TVET College students eat with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, NMMU, students. If you go Tshwane, they eat with Tshwane University of Technology, TUT, and the University of Pretoria students. I think it is not fair, I do not know why they cannot do that, if you can answer that.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: House Chair, I think the first thing that we must illustrate is that, with regards to universities there is a basis to determine the amount of money that must go into accommodation and into most of the other allowances. For instance, for a student at NMMU who stays in a private residence, the university or the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, does not pay more than what the university charges for that student if they were to stay in a formal university residence.
However, for a TVET college where most of the TVET colleges are not necessarily residential campuses, therefore there is basis to determine the amount. That is why there is a
distinction, not only in terms of the allowances that students get at TVET colleges but also in terms of where they are located. Students in urban settings will get a higher amount in terms in terms of their accommodation compared to students in peri-rural and in rural settings. That is why there is that distinction.
As I said that ideally, we would want all the students to get the same in terms of all the allowances that they get from the NSFAS. We have only just started allocating allowances to students in TVET colleges and I think that, that is important. Secondly, we cover more than 85% of students in TVET colleges. So, of the 100 students who go to TVET colleges, 85 of those are getting funding from NSFAS.
Last year alone, of the 750 000 or so students who went to TVET colleges, 85% of those received allowances from the NSFAS. Although it is ideal, it is going to be constraint on the national fiscus and we are hoping that with time, we will be able to give students in TVET colleges the same allowances as we are giving to students in universities.
Mr P P KEETSE: House Chair, when the former Chairperson of NSFAS Nxasana was released from his duties, there was an
allegation that there is continuous breakdown of the Information Technology System, IT, when we saw a lot of students dropping out as a result of receiving their allowances late. The department and the Minister went on and appointed an administrator with the hope that things would change.
2017, 2018, 2019 and this year, things remained the same. As I talk to you right now there are so many students, both in universities and TVET colleges who have not received their allowances, not only book allowances but including accommodation allowances. We see many of these private landlords evicting these students.
We want to check what the necessity of appointing an administrator was if the IT system remains the same and we are of the view that – perhaps you can advise the House if the IT system was ever changed since the one they were using with Nxasana.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: House Chair, I can confirm that the problems which we experienced in the academic year 2017/2018 which was the first year of the introduction of the fee free higher
education. Those challenges were not experienced immediately after the appointment of the administrator which was – and the administrators now in his second year. Yes, there have been challenges and those challenges mainly relate in instances where we have seen students coming out saying that they have not received their allowances.
Those instances are when the NSFAS paid directly to the college or the university and expect that the college or university will dispense the allowance to students. That is where we mainly or predominantly experience problems. The NSFAS is doing its best to ensure that we migrate from paying the allowances to the institutions into paying the allowances directly to the pockets of the students. There will be challenges when it comes to that.
In fact, the fraud committed in the past at the NSFAS which is something that is being pursued has been because of the fact that payment was linked to people’s cell phones. That has been cleaned up as a result of the new IT system that has been introduced by the NSFAS. I must in a nutshell, yes there are still challenges but I do not think that we should exaggerate the extent of the challenges we have experienced with regards
to the disbursement of allowances to students. We have done much, much better in for the last two years. Thank you.
Mr M P MAPULANE: Hon House Chair, hon Deputy Minister from our previous engagement as a portfolio committee with the department as well as NSFAS, it became clear that the equalisation of student allowances is being introduced gradually. For instance, since 2018 TVET colleges and university students have been receiving the same personal allowances and overtime there is an intention by the department to equalise the transport, accommodation and the meal allowance. Can the Deputy Minister confirm whether this is still the intention of the department to equalise this allowance over a period of time.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: I think the point is that if we get the allocation from National Treasury to equalise the allowances between university and TVET college students, we would do it tomorrow. Thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chair, Deputy Minister it is true that a lot of these students in TVET colleges well, not to a great percentage but some of them have not been paid. They get
paid from the colleges and I do not whether you have intervened and why are they not getting paid.
Deputy Minister, more importantly which I find that nobody wants to address is the very high percentage of dropouts in the first year, 60%. Is that not wasted resources if 60% of the money that you are allocating to TVET colleges NSFAS qualifying students are failing and dropping out? It is a lot of money. Could it not be put to better use? What is your intervention in that matter?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY: I think that is a new question but what we are continuously doing as the department is to provide all forms of support particularly to first year students in our universities and our TVET colleges. That includes psychosocial support, any form of academic support that they will need in order for them to succeed.
The failure rate at for most of our students at that level is quite worrying. It is something that we are continuously preoccupied with working with the institutions to ensure that we reduce that particular rate. However, I must emphasize that because there is a tendency to suggest that, because this is
fee free higher education, therefore because they are getting this education for free they are not taking it seriously. In fact, a study that was done by the NSFAS has shown that overtime the students who have been recipients since the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa, Tefsa, days have performed much better than students who have been self funding.
We need not use this argument that fee free higher education means that the students are taking this education for granted. In fact those who have been recipients of government loans or bursaries have outperformed all other categories of students as it relates to education. We are committed to ensure that we turnaround the failure rate as it relates to our first years. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, indeed there is no policy which only focuses on parents who relocates. All admissions are managed under the South African Schools Act of 1996 and my view is that it is adequate. It deals with all different permutations around admissions, whether it is parents who are relocating or is communities that are relocating. The principles are clear and this should suit even
relocating parents. With regard to the radius, they have to be closer to the school; it is acceptance on a first come, first served basis. If the parent can’t find a space for their child, the district will assist them. So, you don’t need a special policy to deal with that. The current provisions are adequate to handle any other admission needs for learners.
Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: Minister, the Western Cape department of education has 18 000 learners who are unplaced, while there are schools, for an example the Range High School in Elsiesrivier, which has 16 newly renovated classrooms that are empty - empty Minister, empty as in empty. The total learner enrolment is a mere 350. What would the Minister’s intervention be regarding the filling up of the 16 classrooms with learners, and the adding up of the educators to reduce this backlog? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: I can easily make an undertaking to try and get more information from the member, because indeed no one is allowed to deny any learner admission. That is why even when schools are full; parents are supposed to go to the district offices, because the department is obliged by law to find a place for learners. There is
really no reason why it should happen in that manner. I will get the information and we will follow up with the province and find out why they allowed the situation to happen that way. I was not aware of it. It is illegal; it is not supposed to be so.
Ms C V KING: I am taking the question again. Minister, this we know is occurring in all the provinces, not only in the Western Cape and we will need to find out if that person applied. Did the department take this into consideration during budget allocations of these learners, if not, why not, and if so, what are the details if budgets were allocated?
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: I am saying the law says that basic education is compulsory. So, you don’t have to say whether they applied before time or not, we are obliged by law to provide spaces for learners when they turn up at our doors. It is not about budget or anything; it is about laws that state that every one of those children has to be at school whether we don’t have enough money or not. That is why in other schools we even overcrowd them because there is no way that we can turn them back like it happened during the apartheid era, where they were turned back because schools were full.
Under the democratic government there is no full school; provinces have to find ways of making sure that they provide spaces for learners because that is what the law obliges them to do. So, we will follow up and check why it is happening and assist by working with the province to make sure that indeed we don’t fall short or act illegal, because it is illegal to turn kids back.
Ms N G ADOONS: Hon Minister, is there any policy on relocation in place, and if not, why not? And is there a policy that would also reprioritise or prioritise learners that have relocated due to different circumstances that they find themselves in? Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: As I indicated, the current policy on admission suffices, because it states that learners have to be within the certain radius of the school or they have to be the first to apply but if not, then the province is supposed to find a place for the learner. There is no need for a relocating policy for families because kids who are in the Eastern Cape are also in South Africa, maybe if you mean those who have immigrated.
In Gauteng they have the same problem, and in Durban they also have the same problem. The current policy suffices but the bottom line is that provinces have to find places for learners at school. That is why there are mobile classes. There are all sorts of methods to make sure that they can absorb any relocating community or parents. There is no need for another policy; the current policy suffices.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you, hon Chair and I wish to thank the member for the question because, firstly; it gives us an opportunity to deal with the issue violence against women and children broadly. Before I directly answer the question, I do want to make this statement that the best way to end violence against women and children is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Prevention should start early in life educating young boys and girls by promoting respectful relationships and gender equality.
However, hon Chair, I do want to say that while I speak about this being done in schools for young people I do note that in the South African context, it is important for us to do more work on this amongst adults. We have to do this in our homes, in the work place, in the churches and in the streets so that
we can prevent violence against women and children. Unfortunately, we usually deal with it when already a disaster has happened.
It is for that reason that we believe that we need education for prevention which by the way it must start right in this House; in the manner in which we bring our own children, in the manner in which we relate to the boy child at home and in the manner in which we relate to the girl child at home. I do want to thank, for instance, those parents especially men, who have stepped up to say no, to violence against women and children. Those men have done so, first and foremost in places where nobody can see them. Usually we talk about this when we see it. The bottom line is that it is happening in homes in hidden instances.
Directly to the question hon Chair, I would like to indicate that in partnership the Department of Social Development and SA National AIDS Council, SANAC, men sector under the banner;
Takuwani Riime (Let Us Stand Up Together) ...
... has serve to elevate the gravity of gender-based violence and the central role men and boys can play in mitigating this scourge.
Our men and boys championing programmes serve not only to address issues of gender-based violence in isolation but also address issues of human immunodeficiency viruses, HIV, prevention and abuse of alcohol and drugs. By the end of March 2020, we would have held men’s parliament and boys’ assemblies in the 9 provinces. I would request hon member, that those members who are diverting us to another topic ... It would be good for them to listen because this is a very serious matter
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): ... go ahead, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Yes ... a matter ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): ... go ahead, hon Minister. Order, hon members.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: I also would like to say that the sessions that we’ve held to give a voice to men and
boys’ fears and hopes and also addresses various stereotypes and harmful beliefs and practices which have contributed to the perpetuation of violence against women and children.
Significantly, though, these have also served as the safe space where men and boys are able to share their vulnerability as both victims and perpetrators of gender-based violence.
Ms N Q MVANA: Thank you, Minister, for your intervention by your department. Mhlawumbi (Maybe)can you share with us the lessons that have been learnt by these programmes and how they could be used in creating a better South Africa?
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you, Chairperson. I do want to indicate that the lessons we are learning here we are being given by the children themselves. The children, for instance, developed what we call a children’s charter. Part of that charter is one that was drawn by the children, many of whom are the young boys throughout the nine provinces.
Therefore, the lessons that we are learning is that slowly but surely young men are beginning to speak about these issues, they are beginning to raise these issues.
However, Chairperson, I think what is important for me is that hon members who are in the House today, it might be of important to them because they have their constituencies, to take those documents which have been produced by the children themselves who are indicating how they think we can be able to deal with these issues. As I have said earlier on, house to house, street to street and community by community. The lessons are many and the fact that men themselves have come out to say that they can tackle this issue, it means that men have learnt from each other and they are supporting each other to fight the scourge against women and children.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, hon House Chairperson. Hon Minister, last year on 18 September, when President Ramaphosa announced his emergency plan to fight gender-based violence he said that he has tasked your department, the Department of Social Development, to amongst other things; strengthen the gender-based violence command centre, increase visibility, education and awareness around substance abuse while rolling- out more treatment facilities. Now, we have most definitely not seen a greater focus in the fight against substance abuse nor have we seen additional treatment centres and there is no greater focus on the command centre. In fact, I have often asked you why it is not being rolled-out at schools and why
not the number being publicised on the South African Broadcasting Corporation, SABC, for example.
Therefore, my question is, can you list your successes on these specific issues in the past five months since the announcement of the emergency plan to fight gender-based violence by our President? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you, hon member. First and foremost the very one that the very one that the member has indicated is very successful story of the command centre. I fully agree that one command centre is not enough. It would be good for us to have been having the command centres in almost all the provinces.
May I also – because you are asking about the successes – indicate to you that the very command centre has won awards in the African Continent and globally for responding timeously and also having infrastructure that is able to respond.
However, I do say that, that is not enough. I do want to say that we will work as a province and make sure that each and every province must have its own command centre. Here is the issue, you can have a national command centre, you have people that are sitting at one place at national whereas if you were
to have a centre in each of the provinces, people who are in the province would understand better the challenges that are faced by different communities in each of the provinces. So, we will work on that and make sure that we improve it.
I do agree with you with regard to the issue of substance abuse, I also personally feel that we have taken the issue of violence against women and given a lot of focus of it without necessarily going into the issues of the causes of it. Part of the causes is alcohol and abuse. That is why we are saying - as a department - that we need all other departments to step up with us in terms of ensuring that the Department of Health, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, including the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation.
Once you have better human settlements then it means people are living in better environment, better communities, the lighting and the entire infrastructure that they need it means it would be better.
We are saying that what the President has directed us to do, we want to work on it on the basis of the District Development Model which all of us as Ministers have been asked to do. We feel if can break it down to there, we will then respond better. I don’t want, for instance as a Minister, to occupy
the space of members of the executive council, MECs, who are in provinces. I can’t go down there and be pushing with them. I need to support them and I also don’t want to go and occupy the spaces of mayors and others. We need to empower them to be able to deal with the issues immediately. Thank you.
Ms A L A ABRAHAMS: Thank you, House Chair. The boys’ assembly and the men’s parliament are all annual once off summits and not ongoing programmes. On average 300 to 600 young men between the ages of 15 and 24 participate in these annual once off summits. Minister, is your department in regular contacts with the past participants? What impact assessment tool is used to assess past participants to determine that they advocates against gender-based violence and femicide? In fact, are men championing change in their communities as a result of attending these annual once off summits?
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you, Chairperson. I wouldn’t call them a once off and therefore nothing happens thereafter. It is important for us to bring all these young people together even if it is a once off in that year but the programmes that they have are so enabling that, first and foremost, when they are in one environment they are able to share best practices with each other. They are also able to
share what is happening within the different provinces. However, this is what I think is very important. Once they leave the area – that is why we want to say – once they leave the conference, let there be a follow up. How is the follow up? The department has a follow up but let me also say you, hon member, that we have very interesting nonprofit organisations, NPOs, and nongovernmental organisations, NGOs, who have also stepped up to work with us in order to make sure
... because some of these NPOs - as you very well know – are in different areas.
We don’t want it to be a once off because it is a lot of money but we do want to bring them to a centre where we as a department together with the other departments – by the way - we even bring people from the Department of Defence and other areas who can come and have the conversation with them. It is a once off in the form of bringing them together but the plan to make sure that there is continuous activities is there.
Ms N V MENTE: Hon Ngwenya will take it, Chairperson.
Mrs D B NGWENYA: Thank you, Hon Minister ... [Inaudible.]... Minister, I would just like to find out in terms of these
programmes, how do you identify the young men and young boys who attend these programmes? Have there been boys and young men from rural and semirural areas who have attended these programmes? How had they changed the lives of the young men and young boys especially in rural areas?
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, hon Mente. We do not necessarily select them. They are selected at the provincial level through schools and through a variety of ways. It would not be a good idea for us to be the ones as a department who goes around selecting them. Actually, we need to improve from a point of view of bringing more of those who come from the rural areas because those are the ones who are marginalised in many instances.
As for prove whether it has an impact or not I do think that it has an impact because I also arrived and found that these has been going on for a very long time. When you attend and listen to the young people, you feel that you are coming across young people who are being exposed and who have ideas about what needs to be done. You also feel that these are young people who feel that they do not necessarily have enough power in the places where they are because we are not empowering them enough. Their request ... that is why, for
instance, they presented the children’s charter to us. Part of that charter clearly indicates to us what they expect as children. The bottom line for young people is that, we, the adults are the ones that create most of the problems for them. You can hear when you are having the conversation that they are saying that talk to our parents, our teachers and our communities.
I do think that this is an important engagement but it does need us to improve it so that it is not one and the same old way of doing it. We need to look at what we have done in the past five years or so, what is it that we can change. I have indicated to the department that we need to do things a little bit in a different way and we need to look more on the impact side as the chairperson and yourselves in the committee have said that, Minister, we don’t want you to be counting numbers we want you to tell us what impact is that making. That is the change I would like to see happening in the department. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon members, the time allocated for questions has expired. Outstanding replies received will be printed in Hansard. Hon members, please, allow me to go back to the Ruling I made earlier.
On the point of order that was raised by the hon MacDonald ... Order, hon members. During a supplementary question by hon Basson, he referred to the Minister as giving arrogant answers. Hon MacDonald rose on a point of order by referencing Rule 85(1). I ruled that the relevant rule would have been Rule 84, as Rule 85 is aimed towards requiring a substantive motion. While the reference to the Minister as providing arrogant answers is not reflecting on the person of the Minister but a perception of her replies, the member could not have been committing the offence in accordance with Rule 84 and Rule 85. [Applause.]
I really do not appreciate your applause, can I finish. [Applause.] Accordingly ... you are not assisting ... I would like to caution the member, hon Basson, to be temperate in his language. Thank you, hon members. That’s how the Ruling.
CONSIDERATION OF 2020 FISCAL FRAMEWORK AND REVENUE PROPOSALS AND REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE THEREON
Nkul M J MASWANGANYI: Ahee, buti! Ndza khensa Mutshamaxitulu ku nyika xiviko xa timali eka lembe ximali ra 2020-21. Xiviko lexi i xa Komiti ya swa Timali ta Palemende ya Huvo ya Rixaka.
The Standing Committee on Finance having considered the 2020 Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals tabled by the Minister of Finance reports as follows: The Minister of Finance tabled the 2020 proposed Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals, the Division of Revenue Bill and the Appropriation Bill on 26 February 2020. He also tabled this in line with section 27 of the Public Finance Management Act, PFMA read with section 7(1) of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act as amended.
Budget is an important policy planning and monitoring instrument that can be used by Parliament to oversee the alignment of the proposed expenditure with government policy priorities and more broadly, alignment to the National Development Plan, NDP goals. The budget can also be used as an oversight tool for monitoring the implementation and achievement of priority service delivery outputs towards the realisation of the NDP goals.
This report is presented against the background of the global economic growth outlook which is expected to improve marginally from its recent slowdown. Despite the projected recovery of the global economy, significant risks remain.
These are stated as follows: the rising geopolitical tensions between USA and Iran could have negative implications for the global economic stability. The Coronavirus disease may serve to dampen China’s economic growth which will have implications for the manufacturing sector particularly in respect of metals. Slower metals production will mean lower demand for minerals; all mineral inputs from South Africa.
South Africa’s economic growth outlook remains subdued. The real GDP is projected to be 0,9% in 2020, 1,3% in 2021 and 1,6% in 2022. Week growth focus can be attributed to the poor financial health of state-owned enterprises, SOEs. Unreliable power supply loadshedding and the implementation of structural reforms. Negative growth is slightly to stifle job creation, increase unemployment which stand at 29,1%, and youth unemployment in particular which stands at 58,1% in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The Minister joined by the director-general, Sars Commissioner and other officials briefed the Joint Committees on Finance
and Appropriations Committees. The committees also received pre and post budget analysis from the Parliamentary Budget Office, PBO and the Financial and Fiscal Commission, FFC. We also held public hearings on 04 March where stakeholders presented their opinions about the budget. The committee also received written submissions and Treasury responded to the submissions from the public hearings.
The 2020 budget is based on the pillars of the economic strategy, i.e., strengthening the macroeconomic framework to deliver certainty, transparency and lower borrowing costs; and focus spending on education, health and social development.
Budget 2020 - 21 proposed a total consolidated spending of R1,95 trillion. The largest allocation goes to the departments of education and Department of Arts and Culture at
R396,4 billion, Social Development at R309,5 billion and Health at R229,7 billion.
The budget will encourage modernized network industries and restructuring of SOEs; opening markets to trade with the rest of the continent; lowering the cost of doing business and focus on job creating sectors. Going forward, the budget priorities framework and Mandate Paper currently under-review need to be aligned with the Presidential priorities and
Medium-Term Strategic Framework to ensure the implementation of the NDP. The consolidated budget also includes the main budget framework and spending by the provinces, municipalities, social security and public entities.
The macroeconomic approach in 2020 Fiscal Framework is focused on the supply side of the economy. The speedy at which an economy can grow depends largely on improving aggregate demand. Governments worldwide now favourably consider fiscal policy to boost demand. The expenditure ceiling Treasury announced cuts of 20% over the medium term starting with 6% in 2020 - 21 and 7% in the outer years. How will this affect spending in particular on the NDP priorities, on the jobs, poverty and equality? So, these are the matters that need to be looked at because the cut-on spending might have negative implications.
The budget deficit is likely to widen further due to increased demands of SOEs. Lower than expected economic growth will lead to lower than projected revenue collection. Concerns over Eskom and demands from other financially distressed SOEs.
Another challenge is the contingent liabilities arising from Road Accident Fund, RAF which will increase to R600 billion over medium term. Slow spending on infrastructure. Integrated
planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation are still a challenge to ensure effective and efficient expenditure.
The budget may have to be adjusted to account for more bailouts. Debt is increasing over the medium term, rising at an annual average rate of 12,3% more than double the average growth rate for total expenditure. The Minister has indicated that there will be reductions in the transfers to the provinces and municipalities. What would be the implications of the reduction of transfers to municipalities and local government?
Mutshamaxitulu, ndzi tsakela ku kombisa leswaku tanihi Komiti ya swa Timali hi twananile eka leswi landzelaka ...
We welcome the revenue proposals contained in the 2020 budget, particularly tax relief on households. We welcome the fact that Value Added Tax, Vat was not increased and also welcome the initiative on the state bank. We agree on the increase of tax on excise.
Previous committee raised the issues in relation to the following: base erosion; profit shifting and elicit financial flows. These are issues hon Chair that Treasury, financial information system, FIS and SA Reserve Bank had to attend to. The committee also welcome the introduction of the Public Procurement Bill. Sars has to explore mechanisms of taxing the digital business enterprise. Chairperson, I move for the adoption of the report.
Inkomu, khanimambo. [Va phokotela.]
Mr D T GEORGE: Hon Chairperson, the purpose of sensible economic policy is to ensure that our economy grows over time and that government provides services to the people irrespective of where we find ourselves in the business cycle.
As activity in our economy ebbs and flows, the objective is to ensure that tax revenue reductions in the lean years are offset by abundant tax revenue in the more fruitful years.
The Minister referred to the mounting debt mountain where debt servicing cost is the fastest growing expenditure item and now absorbs 15.2% of the main budget revenue per annum.
This the result of an unsustainably high budget deficit, now 6.8% of South Africa's Gross Domestic Product. Servicing this ever-widening deficit is already crowding out service delivery and reducing provincial budget allocations. Despite these cuts, the DA government, Western Cape has avoided reductions to service delivery budgets in health, education and social development.
Our focus remains on facilitating job creation and reducing poverty and inequality. The DA has also proposed a Fiscal Responsibility Bill that will prevent a national debt spiral and hold government to account for how it overspends the people’s money.
Over the past week, stock markets have crumbled, the oil price has plummeted and the value of our currency has depreciated significantly. This the initial result of panic now sweeping across the world in the wake of the highly contagious new Covid-19 for which there is not yet any cure, that originated from China, our largest trading partner.
We can’t yet predict the impact this will have on our already fragile economy. Our economy is unlikely to grow under these conditions and more likely to recede. Our contingency reserve
of R5 Billion per year is already hopelessly inadequate and this outbreak may well completely deplete it, leaving us unable to attend to other disasters that will inevitably arise.
The unproductive millionaire managers, beneficiaries of political patronage under a failed cadre deployment system can be removed from the public sector payroll without any impact on service delivery and replaced by front line service personnel in our police service, hospitals and schools. There is just no political appetite.
In the absence of growth and the increase in tax revenue that this would have generated, government has run out of options. That is why it has now turned its attention to raiding the pension funds of hard working South Africans. The intention is not to somehow stimulate our economy and thus provide some future benefit in the form of investment returns. Instead, the intention is to bail out a hopelessly bankrupt South African Airways, SAA, and to throw billions more into the bottomless pit at Eskom, that has consistently demonstrated that it is not capable of correction and unable to provide electricity to millions of hard working South Africans who have already paid for the service, over and over again.
Taxpayers should receive a rebate on the installation of solar panels and tax incentives to stimulate small business development and entrepreneurs. This is the sector where any future economic growth and job creation will be generated.
The people of South Africa deserve to be liberated from the zombie State Owned Enterprises. The DA governed Western Cape will lead the way to a future free from the strangle hold of Eskom and the darkness it brings to our lives.
Not satisfied with the pace at which the broken State Owned Enterprises haemorrhage the people's money into the pockets of thieves, the proposed state owned commercial bank will achieve this a lot quicker. In its establishment, government must ask itself how this proposed bank will be any different to the spectacular failure of the corporatisation model upon which the other entities are built.
A sovereign wealth fund can be beneficial only if it is wisely invested and not riddled with corruption. Government has proved that it can’t manage the people’s money wisely and without sticky fingers. How will this be any different?
Wastage and corruption have reached such proportions that the Minister calls for head-on confrontation. There is no confrontation, nor will there ever be under the current government. It cannot survive if it rips out its rotten core.
It also can’t end the failed experiment that, under the guise of empowerment, produced billionaires, including the President, while everyone else got left behind. Black economic empowerment was the biggest post-apartheid intervention by government in our economy. It started with the noble ideal of benefits trickling down to everyone and failed spectacularly in implementation.
The vast majority of our people remain in poverty and making the politically connected few even richer will not lead to growth and will continue to drive much needed skills from our economy. Redress does not need to be a zero sum game to the benefit of a few politically connected insiders and to the detriment of everyone else.
To achieve a developmental state, government needs to be competent and not corrupt. To provide a comprehensive social security net for the most vulnerable members of society,
government needs to care about what it does with the people’s money and punish those who steal it.
Positive sentiment is one of the most powerful economic stimulators and costs nothing. Sentiment towards our economy is poor because nobody believes that government will do anything about corruption or tackle its debt spiral. Moody’s holding the last investment grade rating for South Africa expects lower growth than projected in the budget and will decide this month on whether to downgrade us to junk status in line with every other rating agency. That prospect appears likely.
Government knows that the fiscal cliff is fast approaching and the current global environment isn’t helping. Economic policy must change. If government doesn’t do it voluntarily, its hand will be forced. We do not support the framework.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Chair, when the Minister delivered the Budget Speech on 26 February 2020, he said amongst other things that as a major step towards fiscas sustainability, today we announce a net-downward adjustment to money interest expenditure of R151.1 billion over the next three years relative to the 2019 budget projection.
He further said that this reduction in terms of government expenditure will apply mainly to conditional grants for provinces and municipalities. Specifically he said that there’s going to be reduction of R14.6 billion in terms of the human settlements budget in the medium term expenditure framework which could have provided more than 100 000 houses.
A R2.6 billion reduction in the municipal infrastructural grant, which is happening despite the huge infrastructure back log in municipalities.
A R13.2 billion reduction in the transport spending, mainly Prasa. Prasa is mostly servicing working class and poor households and workers and it includes the reduction [Inaudible 18:30:30.] suspension of the expenditure which was supposed to happen in the integrated public transport networks and Buffalo City, Mbombela and Msunduzi municipality.
There is also a cut in terms of education infrastructure which has been reduced by R5.2 billion, meaning that [Inaudible 18:30:46]; the pit latrine toilets are not going to be eradicated in the foreseeable future.
There’s also a cut in terms of health care services of R3.9 billion which is happening amidst a pandemic that is threatening the whole world, Covid-19.
There’s cut in terms of the expenditure in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, on public expenditure. There had been a proposed expenditure cut in terms of the Wage Bill of R160 billion.
Now, in basic economy dictum and understanding, all these reductions amount to an austerity measure. Anyone who denies that what was presented here as an austerity measure is either a fool, disingenuous or both. Because, what we have here is an austerity budget and the budget justice coalition correctly identified these on damming the submission to the Standing Committee on Finance that this is a policy framework that is defined by government spending which is not increasing in line with sectoral cost drivers or the Consumer Price Index, CPI. It is defined by regressive tax policies; it is defined by the reprioritisation of funds away from the investments in the public sector. That is what government has basically presented.
Now, the other issue which is basic logic is that a reduction in government expenditure, the price, the country of an increased Gross Domestic Product, GDP, so when government draws back in terms of expenditure of more resources, it is going to have recessionary consequences. Meaning that the economy is not going to grow, unemployment is going to be higher. It means that the revenue base is going to shrink, meaning that the debt to GDP ratio is going to increase.
So, instead of achieving what you think you are going to achieve with reduction and expenditure, you are going to achieve the opposite in terms of all those issues. It is basic economic logic; it is not sloganeering as you tried to claim when we debated the budget.
I want to call Dr David Masondo’s attention to a book by Mark Blinth that speaks about austerity called the history of a very dangerous idea. Also, go and listen to Greece’s former Minister of Finance, Ioannis Varoufakis who resisted austerity until he was kicked out of office.
The austerity measures in Greece were introduced at the same time with Portugal and Portugal bailed out of the austerity measures and implemented a contrary economic policy model and
Portugal’s economy grew far much faster than the problem and the crisis that Greece was found in due to austerity measures.
So, to ever think that we can survive the economic crisis that is going to be worsened by the fact that COvid-19 is disrupting globalisation, we are not going to get out of the economic crisis due to your austerity budget.
Instead, we are guaranteed to face a recession. Even that 0.9% economic growth is not going to happen with the kind of budget that you have proposed here. There are a few issues that you must deal with in terms of some of the low hanging fruits that can be harvested.
One is to change the procurement the procurement legislation, not just the Public Procurement Bill that has been proposed now. You should change the Municipal Finance Management Act, MFMA and the Public Finance Management Act PFMA to insist that all the goods and services that the state procures must be locally manufactured and manoeuvre the value chain.
We are currently trying to roll out this poorly conceptualised renewable energy strategy, why isn’t that the solar panels are not all being manufactured here in South Africa? It was going
to generate much more economic activity that is going to boost economic growth and development in South Africa. The other issue I want to speak to is that African bench reformed nuclear of the state bank has got the infrastructure and the expertise to put the bank that deals with all of these issues.
Three areas that you must maximally collect taxes on are e- commerce, multinational corporations, almost all of whom are involved [Interjections.] and then the component will be informal traders, villages, townships and cities and in that way you can the treat these things differently.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Member, your time has now expired!
Mr W M THRING: Thank you, hon House Chair and the big thank you also to the IFP for allowing me to swap with their place due to a section 25 meeting that I have to get to. Hon House Chairperson, the ACDP understands that the fiscal framework and revenue proposals for 2020 gives effect to our macroeconomic policy and includes, estimates of all revenue expenditure and of borrowing for that financial year; estimates of interest and debt servicing in charges; and indication of the contingency reserves necessary for an
appropriate response to emergencies or other temporary needs, and other factors based on similar objective criteria.
In 2020-21, revenue estimates projected to be R1,58 trillion, with the expenditure of R1,95 trillion, leaving us with a consolidated budget deficit of R370,5 billion or some 6,8% of our GDP and climbing.
Our GDP for 2020-21 is estimated to be at some R5,4 trillion, and of great concern to the ACDP is that our gross national debt is projected to be at R3,56 trillion, or 65,6% of GDP by 2020-21. That been said, it is very clear that we are operating under a constrained financial environment.
Our economy has entered into a technical recession after a poor performance in the fourth quarter of 2019, caused by Eskom’s outages. Real GDP is expected to grow by only 0,9% in 2020. Weak growth has translated to a record unemployment of 29,1% and climbing.
There has been a downward revision to estimates of tax revenue of R63,3 billion. Over the three years, we are expected to see budget reductions of R261 billion, which includes a
R160,2 billion reduction in the Wage Bill. An amount of
R60 billion has been set aside for Eskom and SA Airways, SAA, another bailout at the expense of the taxpayer. Our fastest growing expenditure item is our debt service costs of some R229 billion interests alone.
Clearly, our economy is in trouble. After years of looting and unparalleled corruption, with little or no consequence management, we are teetering at the edge of a junk status cliff.
What are needed are more men and women with intestinal fortitude to stand against those, intent on destroying our economy, ethical men and women of integrity. We need a fit for purpose education system that will match the skills needed by business. We need to reduce the barriers of entry to business, creating an environment which is conducive to the business sector. We must inculcate an environment of policy and political certainty, and not threaten business with expropriation without compensation. I thank you.
Mr S N BUTHELEZI: Hon Chair, the budget speech delivered by the Minister was honest and straightforward. The Minister sketched a very grim economic outlook which in turn means that our future is not secured.
Our economy he said, is failing to even meet GDP growth of 1%, thus the masses of unemployed will remain on the jobless benches. Therefore, news of our country slipping into a technical recession came with no surprise and is indicative of what is yet to come with regards to credit ratings.
Okubuhlungu kakhulu Ngqongqoshe ohloniphekileyo lolu swebhu luzothwansula abantu abangafanele abangenacala kuzo zonke izinkinga izwe lethu elibhekene nazo. Uma ungabheka nje Ngqongqoshe ohloniphekileyo ukucosula kwakho imali esabelweni sezokuHlaliswa Kwabantu loku ungakulokotha kanjani sazi kahle ukuthi izigidi zabantu bakithi azinawo amakhaya zihlala emjondolo.
Ukucosula kwakho esabelweni somasipala lokhu kusho ukuthi abantu bakithi abahlala emakhaya abangenayo imigwaqo yibona abazosokola kakhulu.
The truth is, economic salvation promised by political freedom three decades ago has not yet materialised despite all promises and all the talk shops and all resources which have been dumped into the hands of the few and not the many.
We can grow our economy, hon Chair, and develop the local market, when we place our resources and strengthen our efforts in building capacity in the hands of the people who reside in townships and in our rural areas.
Because as the IFP, we believe that local development of our economy will impact more lives and lift more people out of despair than narrowing our focus on only attracting foreign direct investment.
We welcome the Minister’s commitment to fight the real enemies of our people. Our people continue to suffer because of rampant corruption, lack of consequences for wrongdoing and poor administration and financial control by those who are elected or appointed in our local, provincial and national departments and government.
Honourable Chair, the IFP maintains that it is not a time for us to panic as a country in a time of recession or now that we are facing more challenges such as the rising oil prices, the outbreak of coronavirus or markets plummeting as stocks fall and fear rises.
It is time now that we save less and spend more in investing in our economy as government, private sector and ordinary citizens; because if we save too much, we will place strain on the economy, at a time that we should actually be circulating our rand.
We believe that it is a time in which all South Africans works together to turn this tide and that the government effectively stimulate the economy by ensuring that it supports industries which have shown poor growth figures and by pushing real rigorous reforms in the management of our SOEs and furthermore to focus our attention on other key sectors which are unable to get off the ground.
We need to grow our local small, micro and medium enterprises within our economy if we want to affect real meaningful economic justice for all our people. The IFP supports the report. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr W W WESSELS: Hon House Chair, as a result of the ANC government mismanagement, looting and corruption, we find ourselves in an economic crisis.
Due to limited job opportunities, insignificant economic growth, the tax base is small and the social expenditure great. This together with the exorbitant Wage Bill leads to excessive government debt along with the interest on this debt pushing the country closer and closer to the fiscal cliff.
We welcome, hon Chairperson, the tax relieves provided to personal income tax payers, but South Africans, Chairperson, remain overtaxed and underwhelmed.
This government only collect tax but does not earn tax. The government must earn its revenue. Lets me take for example, the Road Accident Fund, citizens contribute to the Road Accident Fund but when they have a claim, when they are victims over Road Accident, they cant claim, it takes years and years to payout. Citizens pay rates and taxes but yet they find sewerage running in their streets, parks are also dry along and no infrastructure maintenance or development.
When a citizen who pays tax in some form or another is sick, they find substandard healthcare and hospitals will become more hoax rather than places which actually contributes to healing them.
When they contribute to Unemployment Insurance Fund, UIF, and they are unemployed, it takes months to payout and it does not actually benefit them. They are not even to speak about the compensation fund.
We had policy uncertainty in South Africa which create an environment where no investor will actually invest and can be sure of return on his investment.
The government is kept ransom by their own alliance partners and their own ideology. Will Congress of SA Union, Cosatu, and their affiliates allow the necessary wage cuts and the restructuring of SOC’s like Eskom and the SA Airways, SAA? I think not.
We need a conducive environment for the private sector to invest, grow and create jobs. That means get rid of restrictive legislation and policy directions creating investor uncertainty. Stop the policy of expropriation without compensation. [Interjections.] You see hon Chairperson, the ruling party uses redress as a disguise for cadre deployment and corruption. Under the disguise of redress, the elite got richer and the poor poorer. The elite got richer and the poor
poorer. The masses out there are still poor and you’re political connected and your cadres got richer.
Stop allowing the exploitation of government; say we are not going to fly business class anymore, it’s not the solution because an economic class ticket bought by or procured by the department caused more than a business class ticket procured by no more citizens, why, because you allow entrepreneurs to exploit the government. That’s what necessary.
We need public service appointments on merit and people that will actually do the job. Stop performance bonuses to officials that are not performing and then we can save the economy. But the government should start earning tax and not only collecting it. Give return to the citizens of South Africa. The people are tired of funding your corruption and you’re looting. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chair, let me just give you some statistics quickly. The bottom 90% of the population which is 31,8 million people only control 14% of the wealth in South Africa, 50% or 17,7 million people have a negative net worth of minus R16 000 in South Africa and 1% own or control 55% of all wealth in South Africa. That is why socioeconomic
transformation in South Africa will remain a distant dream. Now, let me just tell you why I say this.
The automotive trade is being captured in South Africa, the financial sector is captured in South Africa, the mining sector is captured in South Africa and the food sector is captured in South Africa, we’ve heard today how the health sector is captured in South Africa, the retail sector is captured in South Africa, the media is captured in South Africa, and yes indeed, almost all the municipalities are captured in South Africa. That is why we lose R240 billion a year, Minister. Yes, the initiative of a transparent open system for tenders will help if we can introduce it immediately.
But, what are some of our problems? Economic growth is down, businesses are closing, corruption is rife, state-owned entities, SOEs, are in a crisis because of corruption and interference, and not forgetting Coleman Andrews who came and sold you an entire fleet and leases it from himself again.
Yet, we did little or nothing of it. Okay, I want to give you a good example, I had an opportunity of meeting somebody else, the Minister Patel is present, but I see that he’s not here now. How an organisation in Atlantis was able to successfully
deal with issues of energy and Eskom up to 2012, and at that stage we didn’t have crisis?
Secondly, they are able to produce the wheels of the trains, but they are not getting that opportunity. Right now, they can create 400 jobs in Atlantis, which is one of the poorest areas in the Western Cape. Let me tell you what you are going to be doing next week Tuesday. You are going to auction all the industrial machinery in parks, rather than creating an avenue for them to create those jobs and those businesses. Nobody wants to help them. These are the problems.
The manufacturing industry is down. We continuously import, and we say that we are going to give them incentives, but it is too expensive to do business in South Africa. There needs to be a balance, Minister. You can’t win that because, while the unions are calling for high labour costs, you want it to be down in order to be able to be competitive. So, the challenges are immense.
We need a holistic approach where all the roleplayers and political parties must come together so that we can find a common solution which will take South Africa forward. Thank you. [Time expired.]
Mr I K MOROLONG: Hon House Chair, over the past 26 years, our people have continued to firmly place their confidence and trust in the hands of the ANC, a national liberation movement with an unblemished record of struggle dedicated towards fundamentally altering the circumstances under which our people live, the majority of whom are poor, black and women.
This debate occurs at a critical moment of history, when the economy of this country, akin to many global economies is facing headwinds. Once more, the movement of the people has been tasked by our people through an electoral mandate, to do what the course of struggle would have inevitably imposed on the ANC, to usher a phase which must ultimately culminate in the transfer of economic power to the majority of the South African people.
From it s very inception, the ANC has known better not to take the overwhelming confidence and unwavering support of our people for granted. Even when there are weaknesses of leadership in the organisation and our public institutions, the ANC would have been the first to admit that some amongst us have veered off course, and this is because we have a deeper appreciation of the enormity of the responsibility of leading this country. [Applause.]
The ANC welcomes the broad thrust of the 2020 fiscal framework and revenue proposals presented by the Minister of Finance. We understand that these proposals were made under unfavourable economic conditions. Despite these challenges, the ANC is encouraged by the forward looking and innovative approach adopted by the Minister and his National Treasury team. The 2020 budget is consistent with the efforts of the ANC government to rid our country of the cancer of corruption and wastage in the state.
In order to overcome multiple challenges we face, South Africans across class lines must unite around a social compact to renew and rebuild our economy. The Minister of Finance made a strong and substantiated argument that, even in these tough times, government spending in social services, a sector which protects the most vulnerable in our society, continues to increase in the medium-term. This must be welcomed by all of us. [Applause.]
The Minister also made a fundamental observation, that if we do not address the issue of efficiency and quality of expenditure, government will not realise the outcomes we desire regardless of how much money is allocated. The reality is that low growth and rising unemployment means that South
Africa’s economic trajectory is unsustainable. The two phenomena are mutually reinforcing.
The ANC calls on government to implement growth measures that promote economic transformation, support labour-intensive growth, and create a globally competitive economy. In this regard, the ANC supports government’s plan to focus on the five broad growth interventions. These are the following:
Modernising network industries at the centre of which is fixing Eskom so that it delivers reliable electricity at reason able prices, fixing public transport so that workers and students are able to travel safely and efficiently, ensuring that water services are modernised and accessible, and increasing fixed broadband penetration to lower the costs of communication.
Secondly, lowering barriers to entry and addressing distorted patterns of ownership through increased competition and small business growth. Thirdly, prioritising labour-intensive growth in sectors such as agriculture and services, including tourism. Fourthly, implementing well-coordinated industrial and trade policy, working together with African state, in the
African Continental Free Trade Area; and fifthly, promoting export competitiveness.
While we welcome the fiscal framework and revenue proposals broadly, we are gravely concerned with the rising levels of unemployment in our country. The racial and gender, as well as the rural and urban characteristics of unemployment, poverty and inequality are not exclusively South African phenomena.
However, as a consequence of the apartheid and colonial past which contributed to the high levels of inequality, our country is severely impacted by this phenomenon.
During the apartheid era, the youth of our country bore the brunt of apartheid brutality more than any population cohort. Today, 26 years later, following the advent of democracy, the youth of this country bear the brunt of poverty, inequality and unemployment more than any population cohort. Hon members, President Ramaphosa has correctly characterised youth unemployment as a shame on our conscience, and it is indeed a shame on all of us. Accordingly, the reduction of unemployment levels must become a preoccupation of this Sixth Administration.
President O R Tambo profoundly reminded us that, “the children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future.” [Applause.]
We owe it to the current generation of young people and those who perished in struggle, to ensure that young people occupy their rightful place as active participants in the economy. We therefore fully support the presidential youth employment intervention. Our people have welcomed the announcement in the budget speech that there would be no increase in taxes so as not to slow down the already sluggish economy. National Treasury argues that substantial tax increases may obstruct short-term recovery.
Over the past five years, government has increased rates of personal income tax, capital gains tax and value-added tax, VAT, while raising the fuel levy and excise duties on alcohol and tobacco. Tax revenue is projected to grow by 4,9%. Our People have also welcomed the R14 billion given to individual taxpayers and the R2 billion through the adjustment of tax brackets by more than the inflation rate.
The President’s call to South Africans to forge compacts in which business, organised labour and civil society actively participate in the social and economic renewal of our country has been heeded by some of the progressive and farsighted organisations like Congress of SA Trade Unions, Cosatu, which has made proposals, with clear conditions, about supporting the re vitalisation and restructuring of state-owned enterprises, SOEs.
True to their character, those with vested interests in seeing these state-owned enterprises destroyed so that they could be sold off to the highest bidder, have come out against Cosatu’s proposals while also seeking to scare workers against acting in their own self-interest. In order for social compacts to be sustainable, we need to build a state that is developmental, ethical and capable.
We need a state that can be trusted by all the social partners so that it cannot be captured by private interests and repurposed for the benefit of the few. The ANC supports this framework. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L M NTSHAYISA: I’ve just come quickly to the podium so that I benefit from your clapping of hands. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
Chairperson, The fiscal allocations and revenue proposals tabled by the National Treasury coincides with a surging low fiscal growth and the global fiscal threats such as the coronavirus outbreak which threatens the financial markets.
The downward revision of revenue estimates by R63,3 billion in 2019-2020 as a result of low growth has further deepened our economic woes.
The trade unions are our biggest economic threat. This is not to say workers must not be represented; South Africa has ratified the Freedom of Association Convention of International Labour Organization, which is a blueprint for our acclaimed labour regime.
Our main proposition is as follows: firstly, when the budget deficit of a country is expected to increase to 6,8% of Gross domestic Product, GDP, in 2020-21.
Secondly, when its public wage bill is set to crowd out its investment in education, health and social service; what role should the trade unions play as sectorial partners to manage a fiscal cliff?
Hon Chairperson, the projected 0,2% economic outlook and a 15,2% of debt service costs, which will come from the main budget revenue, ought to rally trade unions around governments fiscal framework.
In the early 70s to the 80s, the Amandla slogans and chants would have been desirable. In the millennium, there is no plausible reason why a democratic government must be held in perpetual captivity by the left-wing, the so-called pseudo Marxist radicals.
Hon Chairperson, the hypocrisy of the trade unions is telling. When big mergers and joint-ventures are authorized by the Competition Commission, jobs are often shed with no opposition from unions. The same trade unions ratify these ventures, motivated largely by narrow personal gains. During the state capture, for example, loud-mouthed unions were silently grieving. They allowed the plunder to continue.
However, we urge the President and the National Treasury to act in the best interest of the South Africans.
We appreciate the support that is also given to small businesses and the so-called small-scale farmers. This should not be discontinued.
The businesses that are run by the foreign nationals must be made to pay tax so that we add to our GDP. We can’t afford letting these people not paying tax, rather running business in our country.
We support the report. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr A N SARUPEN: House Chair, I think this fiscal framework is a very sobering assessment because it demonstrates that the ANC has completely given up on fiscal responsibility and that they happily want to lead South Africa down the fiscal abyss. And I have a lot of sympathy for the Finance Minister because imagine having to tell your Cabinet colleagues, meeting after meeting, no you can’t; only to be overridden time after time again; and being forced to throw money down bottomless pits.
In the last year the deficit was blown from a projected 4% to 6,3% to pay for state-owned enterprises that the ANC themselves have looted, mismanaged and brought to the brink of collapse. [Applause.] What is worse is that the moneys
transferred to Eskom R23 billion, initially last year, and then a further R26 billion, was transferred without any preconditions. Only now has National Treasury produced draft conditions for how this money should be spent. It doesn’t matter; you’ve created moral hazards by giving it over to Eskom; so it doesn’t matter how badly how you manage or mismanage things, you have some money.
So, basically, the ANC has decided that their decade of rampant theft must have no consequences and the message the ANC is sending by blowing the deficit is this: the citizens, not the state capturers, will pay. And this does not surprise me considering the looters and capturers are all members of the ANC as well.
This is why the DA is having to table a Fiscal Responsibility Bill to rain-in these free spenders.
The fiscal framework this year will accelerate the deficit to 6,8% and debt service costs will consume over 15% of all government spending.
By 2022 the government will spend more on debt than it does on healthcare; and this is the same lot that want us to trust
them with the National Health Insurance, NHI.
With an imminent ratings downgrade on the card, we can assume that debt servicing costs will continue to soar. And the state has consistently missed its revenue targets year in and year out.
Under the stewardship of President Ramaphosa the economy has registered negative growth in five quarters out of the nine so far that he has been in charge; this is the country’s worst economic performance since 1945. And we find ourselves in a technical recession for the second time in less than a year; and our economy is not projected to grow beyond 0.8% in the foreseeable future. Brought to you by the ANC.
Government spending should actually prioritize human development and public services; but instead the budget throws money at failing SOEs such as Eskom, SA Airways, SAA and Passenger Rail Agency of SA, PRASA. So, instead of acting as an economic multiplier, government spending has become a bottomless pit of moral hazards.
The proposals for government to live within its means at the present moment are highly uncertain and they depend on
agreements with unions and growth projections that are both not likely to be met.
The realty of our country is simple; the citizens of South Africa cannot afford to keep paying for ANC ideological experiments and populist pipe dreams; we cannot afford their ideology. The citizens of South Africa cannot afford to keep subsidizing the enemies of growth that lurk within the ANC and its allies. The public purse cannot continue to fund enrichment schemes for the ANC elite over the development of ordinary people.
The ANC has a habit of exploring every single economic cul-de- sac instead of choosing the highway of growth; and right now they are going down the dead end road of populism. The time has come for every sensible ANC member to stare down the enemies of growth in their own party and choose the path of economic liberalization.
In the DA they will find a willing partner should they choose this path, should they choose the right thing and should they choose growth. But if they keep putting off the hard choices year after year, they will push 50 million people down the
abyss of a populist dystopia. The choice is yours. [Applause.]
Ms P N ABRAHAM: Hon Chairperson, let me just give it to the DA speaker that Karl Marx once wrote:
The last capitalist to hang is the one who serves us the rope.
So, do not worry, the people have already chosen. [Interjections.]
Le ngxoxo yezemali yenzeka kule veki yokukhumbula amakhosikazi kwihlabathi lonke kwaye sibulela i-ANC kuba yathabathela kuyo uxanduva lukamakulinganwe ngesini nangobuhlanga. Ngumbutho wesizwe kuphela oza nomkhomba-ndlela onombono nethemba esizweni.
English:We listened to voices of pessimism from opposition parties with no vision, poor analysis and worst still lack of coherent thinking on the challenges facing us. [Interjections.] The state bank, hon Shivambu, as you correctly knew when you were in the ANC, has always been an
old aged resolution of the ANC. [Applause.] It is interesting however how the extreme left...
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon House Chairperson, on a point of order: Which conference of the ANC...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Abraham, please take your seat. Why are you rising, hon member?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: I am raising a question because she addressed me and said it has been an old aged resolution. [Interjections.] Which resolution is she talking about and which conference?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): So, what is the point of order?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: You do not even know your resolutions. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member that is not a point of order. Please take your seat; that is not a point of order. Order; hon members!
Ms P N ABRAHAM: It is interesting hon Chairperson how the extreme left, which is the EFF, argue against nonexistent austerity measures versus the right wing friend of theirs arguing for austerity measures. Yet the two extremes always find one another at the end. For the record the budget has grown from R1,67 trillion to R1,95 trillion. The ANC-led government is simply reprioritising.
FF Plus, it is so easy to find faults. Your oppressive governments cared for a few. The ANC-led government is here to deliver for all including you. [Applause.] The budget does not talk about wage reduction. No person’s wage is going to be decreased but we are talking about Wage Bill which is very complex for you to understand. [Laughter.] You are talking about the tax relief which our government provides for that.
Hon George from the DA, you said we have run out of options but you have provided none. You have provided none and complained but came with no proposals. In times of our economic challenges the followers criticise; persons throw their hands in the air while leaders continue to give guidance and propose solutions to complex issues. This is what we have today in this debate. Leaders have no choice but to lead and
this is what the ANC is doing. We invite all patriots; all hands on deck.
Zintathu iingxam zohlahlo-lwabiwo-mali lwama- 2020. Eyokuqala, sisidingo sokukhula koqoqosho nophuhliso. Okwesibini, olu hlahlo-lwabiwo-mali kufuneka luzame ukuhlawulela oku kukhula nolu phuhliso. Okwesithathu, kufuneka sizibuze umbuzo othi senza njani ukuqubisana netyala? Okubalulekileyo kokokuba iziphakamiso zethu mazibone kwaye ziqinisekise ukuba abantu bayaxhamla. Sonke simqhwabela izandla uMphathiswa, ebuthathakeni bemeko yezemali kodwa wema wathi urhulumente akasayi kuyinyusa irhafu iVat. Kukhule ingeniso yerhafu nge- 4,9 ekhulwini kunyaka-mali wama-2020-21.
The main tax proposals included personal income relief through above inflation adjustments in all brackets along with increases in the fuel and Road Accident Fund, RAF’s levies to adjust inflation. What we need to do is to strengthen the progress in the tax system while broadening the tax base and removing exemptions. We welcome the review of tax incentives over the medium term and the repeal or the redesign of those that are inefficient and inequitable.
Key to lower than forecasted revenue collection are on the one hand the nature of the 2020-21 proposals but also the problem of low aggregate demand that constrains economic activity; investment and employment creation. This is where we need to say that the limited tax relief and the 0,25% interest cut will support growth in household consumption but given our situation, it is not substantial enough.
Eyona nto ichanekileyo yokwabelana kakuhle ibikunyusa umyinge oya emakhaya. Mhlawumbi isibonelelo sethutyana kumakhaya ahluphekayo.
Globally it has been shown that in times of job losses and increasing poverty, as we experience, short term and immediate stimulus has an immediate effect of stimulating the demand side of the economy, boosting the domestic consumption and growth. Our committee report proposes that Treasury together with the committee go into the entire tax system particularly Value Added Tax, Vat, Corporate Income Tax and Personal Income Tax, specifically to look into the redistributive and just tax changes. That is a progressive tax proposal.
Whilst the review of the Corporate Income Tax incentive for efficiency is necessary in itself, it is not enough. A thorough review is required to provide evidence that it cannot be increased. A costs and benefits analysis of increasing Corporate Income Tax should be done. Global research shows that we are the most unequal country on earth with the highest differentials between extreme poverty and wealth.
Ngoko ke kumele ukuba kukhangelwe indlela yokuba ooziswana zibomvana bahlawule ngobutyebi babo ngokuhlawula irhafu ethe xhaxhe.
In addition, work should be carried out on a wealth tax and such a report be tabled before the committee. Whilst we had many in this debate speak to debt levels, their solutions demonstrate a one-eyed-tunnel vision approach to dealing with this question. Such proposals have demonstrated in numerous countries around that there has been social unrest, greater destabilisation but what we actually do not want is to replace one government by the other or if they cannot get that, then coalitions.
Iziphakamiso eziza kuphelisa uzinzo azincedisi kuba ekugqibeleni, abantu baphela betsala kanzima kodwa umbutho olawulayo uyabakhathalela...
... unlike some, amongst us.
Umbuzo esizibuza wona njengeANC noMphathiswa wezeMali uwubuzile lo mbuzo wokuba kutheni inzala yethu singuMzantsi Afrika... [Kwaphela ixesha.]
The MINISTER OF FINANCE: House Chair, hon members and the speakers who spoke here, I stand here to thank the committee for their sterling work and their recommendations and conclusions which will enrich the budget process. So, I thank you very much Chairperson of the committee and you members. [Applause.]
The different contributors to this debate made various valuable contributions, all of you. So I thank you for that, you have indeed enriched the process. So, House Chair, the challenges that we face, is of a slow down in economic growth
[Laughter.]...it’s an EFF gogo [something scary] [Laughter.] coupled with that, are the risks in the global economy.
Now, against the background of this risk in the global economy and the slow down in the South African economy by that very fact, one should expect revenue growth to slow down. This naturally puts a lot of pressure on the expenditure side of the budgets.
So, it is not very helpful for somebody to say; I can see that revenue is slowing down but I want higher expenditure. It doesn’t gel. So, responsible fiscal management needs a basic understanding of what needs to be done. You can’t say that you complain about the increasing debt mounting but continue to say expand your budget deficit before borrowing, it makes no technical economic sense [Laughter.] you can’t say that we should spend more but then you say no, no don’t increase, again the basic fundamentals of economics, don’t work. [Applause.] So, therefore, our immediate challenge is to grow the economy; and to that extend, we have put in place measures which support the growth process.
Secondly - you did not read the speech - [Laughter.] secondly, we need to contain wastage and remove corruption from the government system.
Thirdly, yes, with raining debt and the debt service cost, we have to have very stringent cost management measures, in order that our fiscals’ stance must be supportive of the growth that we require in the economy.
I might have to define what fiscals is to somebody, but let me not doing it, let me not do it today – having said all of that, we have to manage certain tensions within our society very carefully. For example, the manner in which we talk about the Public Wage Bill, we must be very about how we talk about it. And nobody has said we are reducing the number of employees, so let people not go out there and tell lies, we never said that. We said that the challenge we have is the Wage Bill, the two things are not the same and I think it’s important to understand that you can have larger Wage Bill with a smaller number of employees or actually you can have a larger number of employees with a reasonably managed Wage Bill.
The challenge, if I could say to some people that side, the challenge is to understand the dialectics of the matter [Laughter.] about the relationship between these two.
Having said all of that, Chair of Chairs, I really honestly thank you all for your contributions, I don’t want to stand between you and dinner. Thank you very much.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: moved: That the 2020
Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals and the Report of the Standing Committee on Finance thereon be adopted.
Question put: That the motion moved by the Chief Whip of the Majority Party be agreed to.
The House divided.
[Take in from the minutes]
Motion agreed to.
The House adjourned at 19:32.