Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 12 Mar 2020
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 12 MARCH 2020
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:10.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Members will remember that there was once a time in the NCOP, when it was very difficult to see Ministers, it is really in this context that we should express an appreciation for the coming of the Minister, Minister Patricia de Lille and we welcome you, we welcome her in the proceedings. Thank you very much. I have been informed that the Whippery has agreed that there will be no notices of motions or motion without notice, except for the motion on the Order Paper in the name of the Chief Whip.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chair, on the point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yah.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: There was a proposal for no motions for today; I haven’t got any information that is off and it’s still on the programme for today.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Well, well I will ask the Chief Whip to make a comment.
The Chief Whip of the NCOP: Yes, Chair, we agreed that we do not have motions on the days of the debates and prioritise motions for Tuesday. That’s our understanding in the Whippery that we agreed.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That’s what I am saying...
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: ... [Inaudible.]...
The Chief Whip of the NCOP: ...thanks...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ...as I understand it, yes ok...
The Chief Whip of the NCOP: ...yes Chair, thanks...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We will proceed.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chair...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ...yes.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: There was a proposal on the whatsapp group, not to have motions yesterday and today. I made a counter proposal and said can we keep the motions for today, nobody said it should be kept or should be off and it’s still on the programme that we adopted this morning. So, either we have to get our communication channels very clear because we can not go on working like this.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, eh...
The Chief Whip of the NCOP: ...eh, can I...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ... I will ask the Chief Whip just to make one comment, one more time and then I will make a ruling on the matter.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Yah, Chair we proposed that for yesterday’s debates and today’s debate, they occupy a special place
that would not have motions. Motions will be on Tuesday, on the first day of the debates. So, still, I recommend that we stick on the decision we have made in the Whippery. Thanks.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Eh... members, as I understand it and this is my ruling really, is that we will have this short motion by the Chief Whip and that indeed in future, if there are difficulties, it will be very useful that these difficulties be raised before the beginning of the proceedings. Eh ... Chief Whip.
NOTICE OF A MOTION
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Moved that, in terms of Rule 21(2) and, in consideration of issues affecting provinces as provided for in section 42(4) and 72(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 the interest of conducting oversight and providing a platform for consideration of issues affecting provinces as provided for in section 42(4) and 72(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996:
That the Council-
(1) resolves to
(a) sit in plenary in the province of the Gauteng on 19 March 2020, at 12:00; and
(b) consider the Report of the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements on the Notice of dissolution issued in terms of section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution, 1996 to Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng.
Declaration of votes made on behalf of the Western Cape and Mpumalanga.
Question put: That the motion be agreed to.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chairperson, the sudden rush to have the NCOP to certify the Gauteng Provincial Department’s notice of intervention in Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, is nothing short of political exploitation of legislative processes to take control of a metro. The provincial intervention must only just refer to the NCOP this week.
It is irregular for this House prioritise the notice of intervention in Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality over those of interventions that have been already referred to the NCOP and by extension the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, CoGTA, for deliberation.
Some of these interventions include Maluti a Phofung in the Free State and Mogalakwena in Limpopo both having been referred to the NCOP at least several weeks ago. This is evident that politics of good governance once again dominates the People’s Parliament. The Western Cape does not support this motion. Thank you.
Mnu A J NYAMBI: SiyiMpumalanga, sifuna kukundlulisa kutsi loku lokwenta manje akwenteki kwekucala. Lelikomiti leCoGTA ...
...has been meticulous in dealing with interventions in different Provinces. And, that is why Chairperson, the distortion that, what is happening it’s an exception or we are rushing something, there is nothing that is being rushed. [Laughter.] We want to make it very clear that the CoGTA Committee will have ample time to interact with the stakeholders in Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality next week.
The sitting will sit on Thursday to deal with the outcome that will be presented by the select committee after they have interacted with all the relevant stakeholders.
An impression that is being created by the Western Cape that we are rushing, one thing that we can have, that is a fact, that is on record, Chairperson, is that, the committee has been to almost all these provinces where there are some interventions and we are dealing with timeframe here. There’s a 14 day rule that is going to affect us because, next week is going to be our last week.
So, as Mpumalanga we want to indicate that, we support the motion moved by the Chief Whip and there is nothing that is being rushed, it’s in line with our rules and in line with our Constitution. Thank you Chairperson.
[Take in from the minutes]
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF PARLIAMENT - ON THE PARLIAMENT OF THE
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA’S 2018-19 ANNUAL REPORT, DATED 4 DECEMBER 2019
Ms D G MAHLANGU: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, Members of this august House,
bantu bekhethu be Sewula Afrika, lotjhani.
Hon Chairperson, it’s an honour for me to table the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament for 2018-19 Annual Report of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa in this august House. The Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament, the committee, is established as per the provision of the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act No 10 of 2009. It is further established in terms of the Joint Rules of the Parliament, the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act.
The Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act mandates the committee to, amongst others, consider the Annual Report of the Parliament. Indeed, hon Chair, the committee has
fulfilled the afore-said mandate by considering the annual report of the Parliament for the 2018-19 financial year and reports as follows: Chair, let me start by welcoming the unqualified outcomes with no material findings, which the Parliament has sustained for the past five years since 2013-14 financial year.
This clean audit is accompanied by nonincurring of material irregularities, which are, irregular expenditure, wasteful and fruitless expenditure, unauthorised expenditure as indicated. In essence, hon Chairperson, it means for the entire Fifth Parliament, finances of Parliament were managed prudently. I hope that the current executive authority will continue with this sterling performance.
Hon Chairperson and members, for the 2018-19 financial year, the Parliament has managed to hold the executive accountable as required by the Constitution of our country. In this regard, a total of 4,861 questions was put to the executive in the National Assembly, of which 3,715 were written and 433 were oral questions. For this House, the NCOP, 713 questions were put to the executive, of which
540 were written and 173 were oral.
Furthermore, about 1,507 meetings were held by the Committees of Parliament, and they were accompanied by 37 oversight visits conducted throughout the 2018-19 financial year. To achieve its constitutional mandate of passing laws, for the 2018-19 financial year, a total of 47 Bills was considered by both Houses of Parliament and total of 18 were assented to by the President.
These include, legislations such as the Public Audit
Amendment Act, which gives Auditor-General greater powers to act against financial management and misconduct to the Auditor-General, and the Political Party Funding Bill, which aims to regulate both the public and private funding. Hon Chairperson, you will recall that in the previous term, one of the biggest criticisms of Parliament’s public participation process was that it lacked a feedback mechanism and that previously identified challenges were merely revisited.
A noteworthy change in how Taking Parliament to the People was conducted in the 2018-19 financial period showed a proper response to such criticism, as we are going to be taking Parliament to the people, we are responding to that criticism. We will shortly be doing a feedback or respond. The Parliament focused on following up
on its commitments, for example, Taking Parliament to the People in Free State Province in 2018.
Numerous sites and projects were visited by a multidisciplinary delegation in order to assess progress on previous issues identified and commitments made during the 2017 Taking Parliament to the People visit. One of the key outcomes was the progress in addressing the challenges previously identified at the Pelonomi Tertiary Hospital in Managaung. Hon Chairperson and members, in the process of execution of its mandate in the 2018-19 financial year, the Parliament has identified some challenges, which have a potential to cripple its proper functioning.
In the main, key committee activities it dealt with, which are, parliamentary inquiry into Eskom and extensive public hearings conducted by the Constitutional Review Committee on the issue of the appropriation of land posed to require a new set of skills related to forensic investigation, and an increased resource to accommodate the volume of information to be processed, analysed and considered. Therefore, it calls for human and financial resource consideration going forward.
Hon Chairperson and members, on this issue, the ANC has agreed to invoke its resolution of the 54th Conference to deal with this challenge, the resolution which calls to conduct an assessment to establish whether the legislative sector is appropriately configured, adequately resourced and optimally functioning. Further, the committee noted with concerns the deficit reported in the financial performance of the Parliament for 2018-19 financial year.
This deficit was accompanied by the reduction in cash and cash equivalents, decreasing from R282,311 million in 2017-18 to R148,145 million in 2018-19 financial year. Thus, it is clear that the afore-said deficit was financed through reserves. The reduction in the reserves is a matter of extreme concern to the committee given the fact that, the Public benefit organisation, PBO, and Oil Industry Safety Directorate, OISD, offices, were not funded through the fiscus, but are funded through these reserves which are depleting.
This is an element, which may impact the future functioning of these two critical offices, and hence thereof, hon members, the Parliament. Hon Chairperson and members, even this challenge can be well addressed by ensuring that the ANC implements its 54th resolution, in particular, the one I mentioned above. In concluding,
hon Chairperson, an effective and capable Parliament, which is the best run and ensuring that the principle of economy, efficiency and effectiveness are at the epicentre of any decision making whenever resources are procured and used, as enshrined in Chapter 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of SA.
This is what will drive the attainment of our country’s objectives as set in the National Development Plan, NDP, and thereby, better the lives of our citizens. As such, hon Chairperson, the committee will continue to strictly monitor the performance of the Parliament as per the requirement of the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act. Further, the committee will ensure that the Parliament continues its prudence in financial management of its budget allocation as confirmed by the Auditor-General report. I thank you
Question put: That the motion be agreed to.
[Take in from Minutes.]
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF PARLIAMENT ON THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA’S PERFORMANCE IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2019-20, DATED 4 DECEMBER 2019
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF PARLIAMENT ON THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA’S 2019-20 MID-YEAR PERFORMANCE, DATED 4 DECEMBER 2019
Ms D G MAHLANGU: Hon Chairperson, once more greetings to you, the members, special delegates and the Minister, let me take this opportunity to table the report of Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament on the mid-term performance of Parliament for the 2019-20 financial year. I do so in compliance with section 54 of the Parliament Financial Management Act, which requires the executive officer to table the mid-term report to Parliament, for the referral to the committee for consideration and report. Thus, I will highlight key issues entailed in this report.
At the end of the period under review – the mid-term period, which includes first and second quarter, Parliament has spent
R1,262 billion or we could say 101% of the budgeted amount of
R1249 billion, which signifies an overspending of R12,336 million. This expenditure also means that Parliament has spent 48% when it is compared against the annual budget of R2,609 billion for the 2018-19 financial year. It is important to note that the majority of funds were spent to produce, amongst others, 469 committee minutes, 230 committee reports, 220 translations and 336 research within time allocated.
The institution only succeeded in achieving 6 out of a total of 9 targets or 66,7% it had set to achieve for the period under review. The annual performance plan, APP, sets out a total of 16 targets, of which seven of them are annual targets, which will only be reported on at the end of the financial year since they are only measured at the end of the financial year.
In spite of the above, the committee has noted with concern the discrepancy between the expenditure and the actual achievement or
the performance in other words. This might signify two things: firstly, the prudent financial management by Parliament, meaning that they do more with the little they have, which the committee will need to applaud and encourage considering the tight economic situation we are faced with as a country; and lastly, nonalignment
of nonfinancial performance and financial performance due to the annual performance plans and budgets which are not properly aligned and the performance targets which are not specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound, Smart.
Allow me to deal with overexpenditure recorded by Parliament at the end of this period. Let me start by saying that it is painful to say to this august house that this overexpenditure is projected to increase to R140 million by the end of the year if it’s not dealt with precisely. The main drivers for this overexpenditures are the overexpenditures from direct charges and Programme 5 - the associated services.
The overexpenditure under direct charges is due to the payment of exit gratuities and loss of office to nonreturning members after the May 2019 general elections. The number of nonreturning members was larger than the anticipated one whilst the overexpenditure under associated services on Programme 5 is due to the payment of medical aid contributions for former members of Parliament and provincial legislatures. This has placed an enormous burden on the budget of Parliament.
Parliament reported that it has approached National Treasury during the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS, period to fund this gap, in particular, for direct charges. Only R73 million was provided by the National Treasury out of R111,987 million, which was required. The question remains as to where will the Parliament get the difference of R66, 667 million? It is on those grounds that the committee recommended that Parliament should submit a proposal on how it plans to deal with this budget shortfall.
I think it is high time that we invoke some of the resolutions the ANC has taken to deal with aforesaid challenges. In its 53rd conference, the ANC resolved to play a more effective role in the legislatures’ budgets, structures and human resource issues. As it was highlighted when I was presenting the annual report that this resolution was further reiterated at the 54th conference, whereby the ANC resolved to undertake an assessment to establish whether legislative sector is properly configured and adequately resourced. I say so, because this matter is no longer an administration matter but needs some political expediency to deal with.
Even though Parliament has performed at a rate much more similar than it performed during the same period in 2017-18 mid-term performance, it is however, worrisome to note a continued trend of
nonachievement of some performance targets, such as the average number of days taken to reimburse members, dated back from the previous financial year.
Subsequently, the committee has resolved to be furnished with proper mitigation plans detailing how such nonachievement would be addressed. Those plans should be provided on a monthly basis until the constraints that have led to nonachievement are addressed.
It is important to note that the legal costs related to employer employee relationship, which were increasing by almost 100% from 2014-15 have since decreased by more than 100% to date ... read the message between the lines ... This is accompanied by a 100% decrease in cases for Parliament employees in either CCMA or Labour Court.
Since the 20-17 financial year, there were no cases, which were ever referred to CCMA or Labour Court. These all points to a stabilizing labour environment which we all appreciate despite one or two outstanding matters: firstly, relates to the tragic suicide of Mr L Garane, of which the committee is still waiting to receive a progress report on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Public Services Commission, PSC.
Secondly, is the case between Parliament and Protection Services, which is at the Labour Court. We recommend that an amicable out of court settlement be reached as a matter of urgency.
Lastly, we have learnt through Parliament reports that it is restructuring. The committee has not yet been afforded the presentation of such realignment. However, we learnt that Parliament has already moved to the implementation phase of the restructuring. An amount of R147 000 of the R13 million budget has been used in this regard. To this effect, the committee recommended to be furnished with a detailed report containing the reasons and objectives for such restructuring, and the budget breakdown of how the R13 million will be spent.
In conclusion, reporting on both financial and nonfinancial performance is important in measuring the performance of this institution. While financial information - expenditure and revenue - is critical for determining the costs and the efficiencies of programmes, nonfinancial information is equally important for assessing progress towards achieving predetermined service delivery or performance targets. Thus, quarterly assessment of performance targets assists in tracking of ongoing performance of Parliament.
Furthermore, reporting on performance targets on a quarterly basis provides progress on the implementation of Parliament’s plans with particular reference to monitoring delivery against the specific quarterly performance. [Time expired.] Thank you very much hon Chairperson. [Applause.]
Question put: That the Report of Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament on the Parliament of the Republic Of South Africa’s performance in the first quarter of 2019-20, dated
4 December 2019 be adopted.
Voting: Second Order
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES.]
Ms M L MOSHODI: Hon Chairperson, the air conditioner is uncomfortable to us as some of us have medical conditions.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I was looking for the member who raised the same issue yesterday. She is not here. I will ask the table to look at this matter.
Question put: That the report of the Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament on the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa’s 2019-20 mid-year performance, dated 4 December 2019 be adopted.
Voting: Third Order
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES.]
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON SECURITY AND JUSTICE
- DRAFT NOTICE DETERMINING THE RATE, WITH EFFECT FROM 1 APRIL 2019, AT WHICH SALARIES, ALLOWANCES AND BENEFITS ARE PAYABLE TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGES AND JUDGES ANNUALLY, FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT IN TERMS OF SECTION 2(4) OF THE JUDGES REMUNERATION AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT ACT, 2001 (ACT NO. 47 OF 2001)
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON SECURITY AND JUSTICE
- DRAFT NOTICE DETERMINING THE RATE, WITH EFFECT FROM 1 APRIL 2019, AT WHICH SALARIES, ALLOWANCES AND BENEFITS ARE PAYABLE TO MAGISTRATES ANNUALLY, FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT IN TERMS OF SECTION 12(3) OF THE MAGISTRATES ACT, 1993 (ACT NO. 90 OF 1993)
Ms S SHAIKH: Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and hon members of this august House, the Select Committee on Security and Justice was required to consider and report on the salary increases of magistrates and judges with effect from 1 April 2019.
In respect of magistrates, the committee therefore considered the draft notice tabled in terms of section 12(3) of the Magistrates Act, 1993, determining the rate at which salaries are payable to magistrates annually.
The committee therefore considered the President's letter in which the President had considered the recommendations made by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers in respect of the salary increases for magistrates at 4% with effect from 1 April 2019.
The committee considered that the President had taken the current economic challenges faced by our country into account in his determination of the magistrates’ salary increase. The President had therefore recommended the following increases: firstly, in terms of the special grade, chief magistrates, regional court president, the regional magistrate, chief magistrates and senior magistrates at 2,8%; secondly, magistrates at 4,5%.
The committee also received and considered two submissions made by a voluntary association, the Association of Regional Magistrates of South Africa, ARMSA, and an individual, a chief magistrate who expressed their unhappiness with the increases recommended by the President.
The committee agreed that due to the financial constraints faced by our country, the President’s determination is reasonable
The select committee thus having considered the draft notice determining the rate with effect from 1 April 2019, at which salaries, allowances and benefits are payable to magistrates annually for approval by Parliament in terms of section 12 (3) of the Magistrates Act 1993 recommends that the council approve the set draft notice and schedule .
In respect of judges, the committee was further required to consider the draft notice submitted in terms of section 2 (3) (b) of the Judges Remuneration and Conditions of the Employment Act 2001, determining the rate at which salaries are payable to constitutional courts judges and judges annually.
The committee therefore considered the President’s letter in which the President had considered the recommendation made by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office bearers in respect of the salary increase for judges at 3% with effect from 1 April 2019.
However, the committee agreed with the President’s recommendation that due to the serious economic challenges faced by our country, the President does not intend to increase the salaries of constitutional court judges and judges of other courts.
The Select Committee on Security and Justice, having considered the draft notice determining the rate, with effect from 1 April 2019, at which salaries, allowances and benefits are payable to constitutional court judges and judges annually for approval by Parliament in terms of section 2 (4) of the Judges Remuneration and
Conditions of Employment Act of 2001 recommends that the council approves the set draft notice and schedule. I thank you.
Question put: That the Reports be adopted.
VOTING FOR FOURTH ORDER
[Take in from the minutes]
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
VOTING FOR FIFTH ORDER
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
[Take in from the minutes]
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
TRANSFORMING OUR ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
(Subject for discussion)
Rre K M MMOIEMANG: Ke go tlotlile, Motlatsamodulasetilo wa Ntlo.
It’s always an honour to be part of the discourse that is geared towards repositioning the House around the challenges that are facing our country and in this instance my emphasis will be on the theme of today, which is: Transforming our economic landscape through infrastructure, investment and development.
Hon Chairperson, the difficulties and challenges facing ourselves occurs in a specific context and the challenges that we are facing are not routine governance issues; but we are faced with huge effort to structurally transform the economy for our country, but also to put it and place on a sustainable growth path that is geared towards overcoming massive structural crisis we have inherited. But this, we will do it through one of the micro area of our economy which in this instance is infrastructure development.
Infrastructure development should be used, hon Deputy Chair, as a vector of change in addressing some of the most systemic development challenges such as social stability, rapid urbanisation, climate change adaptation and mitigation and natural disasters.
Many studies that have been conducted, including reports by development institutions and even our 20-year review of our government, have long recognised that infrastructure investment enable economic activities and thus support economic growth, job creation, poverty alleviation, and reduce inequality.
Deputy Chair, without infrastructure that supports green and inclusive growth it would be hard to close the gap to meet basic services and the needs of the people including the firms. Countries that are not prioritising infrastructure will struggle to improve competitiveness, and well-being of the people.
It was within this context that the ANC has mobilised the broad society to formulate and adopt the National Development Plan, NDP. This is the resolution that we took in 2007 in Polokwane that there is a need to have a National Development Plan that is geared towards mobilising and refocusing our country on a sustainable path of
development. Focus on infrastructure investment is one of the prominent policy themes featured in the National Development Plan.
The National Development Plan advocates that in order for the country to meet its developmental agenda, it would need to boost infrastructure investment by 30% as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, GDP, by 2030. This is important, given the recent Stats SA release on the contraction of our basket of services which we call Gross Domestic Product.
In line with the National Development Plan, government prioritised infrastructure spending on social and economic infrastructure such as schools, health facilities, roads and transport, energy, and water and sanitation.
The President of the country has correctly captured in the 2020 state of the nation address that public spending needs to be moved away from the consumption to capital investment. This is geared towards changing the economic landscape of our country.
The 2020 budget recently delivered by the Minister of Finance placed budget strategy and action plans in line with the President’s call
to rebalance the composition of public spending to enable inclusive economic growth.
The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup placed us as a country in greater heights, and indeed illustrating that as a country in Africa we can deliver and manage such a huge infrastructure undertaking. We did not fail! It demonstrated our technical capacity and capability to deliver. Let alone that there were number of corruption and collusion that was identified, particularly by big firms, but we are happy that the Competition Tribunal is ceased with the matter.
In South Africa, given the historical injustice of apartheid which marginalised and excluded the majority of South Africans from social, political and economic activity, socioeconomic transformation becomes a must. It is an integral part of the ANC broader transformative agenda. Government’s fundamental aim is to transforming our economic landscape to eradicate poverty, inequality and unemployment.
The infrastructure investment agenda is linked to the trade and industry strategy which seeks to reindustrialised the economic market and government will soon release master plans that are
industry specific. The trade and industry strategy is framed to boost exports.
The Tripartite Free Trade Area, which will create an integrated market across 27 African countries, is a major opportunity for South Africa and the rest of the continent. It will lead to the creation of a single continental market of more than 1,3 billion people, with a combined annual output of 2,2 trillion. It is reported by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, that the transition phase to the Continental Free Trade Area alone could generate welfare gains of €16,1 billion and boost intra-Africa trade by 33%.
In line with the NDP, government has prioritised infrastructure spending on social and economic infrastructure such as schools, health facilities, roads and transport, energy, and water and sanitation.
This is the commitment made by other countries in the continent that present opportunities for South African firms to further penetrate African markets and the reciprocal expectation for South Africa to open the markets.
South Africa has highly capable architecture, construction and engineering sectors in Africa. That could boost its foreign share in Africa. Thus, to create jobs.
There is a need for a co-ordinated effort by South African construction firms, banks, financial institutions, development finance institutions and government ministries in partnership with their counterparts in other African countries to boost growth in the continent for the benefit of our country and the rest of the continent.
Investment in special economic zones will boost, support economic growth and boost job creation. The announcement of further investment in the various special economic zones is a step in the right direction. Incentive schemes in the special economic zones should boost investment and jobs, particularly in labour intensive industries. South Africa has a surplus of unskilled labour which needs to be urgently absorbed to avoid social instability. We also take note of the commitment made by our government to also identify and strengthen the Upington special economic zones.
Chairperson, the recent reports by Stats SA including the National Treasury, about the performance of the construction industry needs
special attention. We need to jumpstart the economic activity in the construction industry. We do this through Infrastructure Fund project pipeline, which is valued at over R700 billion, announced by government; this would certainly support construction activity over the longer term.
Furthermore, our economy which is currently fractured, however, it still looks resilient. But we need to make sure that the implementation of the economic reforms, as announced by the State President during the state of the nation address, and which were given an economic value by the Minister of Finance, would definitely mend our economic growth trajectory. Given the fragmentation and fracturing that we made reference to earlier on.
I should report in this House that the governing party, the ANC, between 1998-99 and 2018-19, has deployed R3,2 trillion on infrastructure spending. Over the 2020 medium-term, the ANC-led government is anticipated to spend R815 billion.
State-owned companies continue to be the largest contributor to capital investment, spending a projected R314 billion over the next three years.
Spending on economic infrastructure, mainly by state-owned companies, accounts for 75,1% of the medium-term estimate. These funds are used to expand power-generation capacity, upgrade and expand the transport network and improve sanitation and water services.
Provinces are expected to spend R177 billion on infrastructure over the same period, while municipalities are forecast to spend
Metropolitan municipalities will play a key role in changing economic infrastructure outlook and thus contribute to the growth and development of the country.
Government plans to reprioritise funds from the integrated city development grant and neighbourhood development partnership grant to accelerate capital investment.
Provinces and municipalities need to step-up the pace of spending infrastructure budgets. Infrastructure spending has the potential to stimulate demand in the economy and boost future growth. But it must be spent very well.
Wasteful spending and corruption undermine efforts to attract investments and thus compromise inclusive growth agenda.
Government’s commitment to prioritise corruption would boost business confidence and attract both domestic and foreign investments.
Infrastructure investment initiatives will incorporate climate change in design and implementation. Government recognise that in firming the resilience of infrastructure and supporting low-carbon development of capital projects is a commitment that needs strong partnerships and new sources of capital. Furthermore, the role of the private sector needs no further emphasis.
Public housing and bulk infrastructure built through the human settlements development grant in provinces is expected to total R43,9 billion. Furthermore, government will also accelerate spending on social services infrastructure.
Furthermore, the urban settlements development grant has been allocated R26 billion to fund infrastructure provision for broader urban development in metropolitan municipalities.
The provincial roads maintenance grant has been allocated
R36 billion to maintain the provincial road network by resealing a targeted 16 226 lane kilometres, rehabilitating 6 199 lane kilometres and patching 3,7 million square kilometres of potholes.
Over the medium-term, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, Eskom, Transnet and Rand Water are expected to accelerate capital spending.
The SA National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral, is expected to spend R64,6 billion over the medium term. This spending will cover
R35,4 billion to improve and construct non-toll roads, and
R3,4 billion to construct the N2 Wild Coast highway, R2,5 billion to upgrade the R573 better known as the notorious Moloto Road.
Public transport remains a key priority as it offers socioeconomic benefits. Prasa needs to be fixed. People need to get to workplaces on time. Over the medium-term R32,4 billion will be used by Prasa to modernise the rail network.
Furthermore, R20,4 billion is expected to be spent to accelerate implementation of the integrated public transport networks in 10 cities across the country.
A hundred and fifty billion rand is anticipated to be spent on energy, with Eskom spending the bulk of the capital investment.
Through the Renewable Energy Development Programme, as we speak, Chairperson, the private sector investment in the programme amounts to R209,7 billion and R41,8 billion is from international investors and funders. Partnership initiatives need to be cemented so that the role of the private sector in development should be enhanced.
Government continue to prioritise Information and Communications Technology, ICT, infrastructure to make the economy more competitive and bridge digital divide between rural and urban economies.
Furthermore, we need to increase the speed of conducting business and linking domestic businesses with global markets. Government will use current ICT policy reforms to leverage private capital to accelerate ICT infrastructure.
Chairperson, we are mindful of the challenges in spending of infrastructure budgets such as insufficient capacity and skills to build a sustainable development projects, infrastructure backlogs and the lack of business confidence.
Therefore, our country has a relatively well-developed and sophisticated financial sector. Studies show that the country’s financial depth is in line with advanced economies. This presents an opportunity for government to deliver economic infrastructure in partnership with the private sector.
Institutional investment in infrastructure in successful Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme presents a great case that need to be extended to other sectors.
Chairperson, the ANC took a deliberate effort to ensure that the public sector remain central to the delivery of infrastructure services as a provider and an enabler. More importantly, to become an infrastructure provider where there are clear market failures.
The current infrastructure gap in low and middle-income countries including South Africa need relations which are framed on developmental partnerships.
Therefore, the pressing needs need the private sector as well as the public sector to build and operate the essential infrastructure.
The state of the nation address emphasise the need for social compacts and partnerships. Government will leverage its capital by bringing more private sector financing into infrastructure as this would increase the financing envelope for infrastructure investment.
Fixing and restructuring of the SOEs is a critical factor for the success of the infrastructure investment. The balance sheet of our state entities needs to be addressed so that we are then able to ensure that the current platform created to review how in the past these SOEs were explored, it has to be rooted out. Our state entities have a critical role to play in the economic transformation agenda.
This House has a unique role to play to influence all stakeholders to combine their efforts to meet the needs of the people and our economy should be measured beyond GDP.
Deputy Chair, in conclusion, the well-being of society is of paramount importance and that should be the key indicator of our envisaged economic landscape. I thank you, Deputy Chair. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Before we proceed, the Chairperson already expressed his appreciation to the Ministers that
attended the debates this week. We just also want to welcome Minister De Lille as well as the other special delegates that have been gracing us with their presence. We will continue and call on the hon Boshoff to continue with the debate.
Ms H S BOSHOFF: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon members, fellow South Africans, the combination of the slow to stagnant growth and the staggering unemployment rate, especially of our youth is of great concern.
Only last week we woke up to the news that government has again sent South Africa into a recession with a gross domestic product, GDP, contracting by a whopping 1,4% in the last quarter of 2019.
The unemployment rate has increased to its highest ever, standing at 29,4% with the youth unemployment rate at 60%. That is unsustainable for future generations. This has seen more and more communities entrenched in poverty and inequality.
It is therefore imperative that government identifies and implement, not only though lip service reforms, but policies that will promote economic transformation to ensure the creation of global creative markets.
This government must abandon the paradigm of state control over our society and economy and stop just blaming state capture as the exclusive factor of the declining economy.
The primary aim of transforming the economic landscape must lead to the creation of open opportunities to enable all to live a productive, prosperous and dignified life, which the majority of South Africans have not experienced since the dawn of democracy.
South Africa has seen deterioration in investor confidence which has been compounded by political and policy uncertainty and unresolved regulatory conflicts.
Currently the subdued growth can be attributed to the stagnation in private investment and the declining mining, construction and manufacturing productivity mainly again due to the lack of implementing reforms.
The regulatory constraints, labour market rigidities and inefficient infrastructure have also played a major role.
Hon Deputy Chairperson, small, medium and macro enterprises, SMMEs, are being destroyed by harsh bargaining council rules. We see bigger
businesses and bigger unions reaching wage agreements which impact negatively on this sector.
Another aspect that is killing SMMEs are the minimum ware rules. Job seekers should be given the opportunity to bargain for his/her wage. Where is the freedom of choice?
Looking at economic institutions that support growth will require a capable state together with excellent relationships between the state and the private sector to ensure sustainable co-operation between the state, the private sector and any other partners is a prerequisite which will require the government to take the lead in strengthening the capability of the public sector.
Hon Deputy Chair, you must agree that the biggest stumbling blocks hampering economic growth are the state owned entities, SOEs. Eskom is the first that comes to mind. Their coal-fired power stations must be sold and allow Independent Power Producers, IPPs, access too the electricity grid.
Government must also look at renewable energy whereby tax rebates are provided to households and companies that install renewable
energy capacity combined with functional municipalities to procure their own energy.
The inherited spatial legacies can and should be addressed through inclusive transport systems as the majority of South Africa’s workforce have to travel significant distances daily to get to and from their workplace.
Transport costs have increased by more than the annual inflation rate due to the weak foreign exchange rate as well as the excessive levies charged on the fuel prices. This has impacted negatively on the lowest wage earners who currently spend up to 40% of their wages on transport. It is therefore crucial that government focuses on sustainable transport infrastructure by improving the connectivity between key economic nodes.
Government must ensure that focused and flexible industrial and trade policies are in place to facilitate, in the long run, growth of the economy.
South Africa has a major potential in the tourism field, and it must be used to benefit the majority of South Africans. It is one of the sectors that can deliver inclusive growth through labour absorption
potential and can be improved through the reintroduction inter alia the Tourism Safety Initiative coupled with visible policing in tourist hotspots.
The above market is one that can only succeed, hon Chair, if government were able to provide a reliable electricity supply and less unplanned load-shedding. The lack of electricity is leading to excessive retrenchments — the shutting down of smaller establishment.
Hon Deputy Chair, in conclusion, we know and you know that the only way that South African economic landscape can change is through a government that is committed in the upliftment of its citizens by putting aforementioned programmes, which are but a drop in the ocean, in place which will assist the challenge currently facing South Africa, namely to break loose from its low growth trap without being caught up in an untenable debt trap.
We also need a clear vision and a process of implementation, so we all know which sectors can create jobs and which sectors have constrains. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M KELEKU: Hon Deputy Chair, hon Minister, hon Members of the NCOP and the honoured, guests allow me to bring you warm and heartfelt greetings from the people of the Eastern Cape, ikhaya lesithwalandwe [home of legends] Raymond Mhlaba, Vusiyile Mini, Robert Resha who together with Isithwalandwe Harry Gwala, we are celebrating their centenary year as they would have turned 100 years, this year, if they were still alive. We pay tribute to them for recognising the sacrifices they made, fighting for the total liberation of our people.
We owe it them and many other struggle icons to intensify the second more radical phase of socio-economic transformation. And as such we are glad that this year has been declared as the year of unity, socio-economic, renewal and nation building.
We are here to debate transforming our economy landscape through infrastructure investment and development. We are particularly pleased that the focus of this debate is on transforming the economic landscape. This is because in many instances, the concentration becomes on other aspects such as; growing the economy, which is important but not sufficient as we had seen during our decade of economic gloom.
It is in this period where we saw that the growth alone has not effectively addressed the interrelated and interdependent challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. If anything, this period has demonstrated that growing the economy without transforming it for the benefit of all, has led to an increase in the levels of inequality in the country.
Another aspect which is much focused on was identified buy South African Communist Party, SACP document titled: Going to the root. Which explained that, redistribution is and must continue to be a key pillar of national democratic revolution but the emphasis on the redistribution has tended to neglect the critical task of transforming the systematic features of South Africa’s productive economy.
We are therefore delighted to see the institution such as NCOP including the transformation of the economy in the discourse that is dominated by extreme conservatism that wants to narrowly focus on growth on one hand and on the other hand, extreme opportunities to populism that wants us to narrowly focus on redistribution.
It is for this reason that the Eastern Cape ANC-led provincial government is determined to the urgent and pressing task in the
current phase of our national democratic struggle of growing and transforming the economy to serve the people.
In a province like ours, that still is largely characterised by the apartheid bimodal structure of development an underdevelopment. We have no option than to intensify infrastructure development and investment as part of transforming our economic landscape.
We have seen that massive investment in bulk infrastructure leads to increased investment and the creation of jobs as illustrated by our small town revitalization programmes in the Eastern Cape. However, transforming the economic landscape through infrastructure investment and development is a task that we are advancing under extremely difficult conditions, not of our choosing.
We have an ailing economy that is projected to grow at 0,9% in 2020, 1,3% in 2021 and 1,6% in 2022. Sadly, however these growth estimates may be revised as a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 19 and the impact it will have on the economy.
We are advancing infrastructure investment in the context of extra budget pressures that is declining public finances. Our debit levels are not projected to stabilise over the mid-term and we have a
number of spending reduction, recently announced by the Minister of Finance. These are objective realities that we all need to understand as we make various proposals in the debate.
While we acknowledge that we are operating under tough material conditions, not of our choosing, our responsibility however, is to transform them. As the Eastern Cape, the province and home of legends, we a committed to transforming these objective realities through a set of interventions we are making.
As stated in the people’s plan for a better life for all, the ANC manifesto, the ANC-led government has invested more than R2 trillion in infrastructure projects over the past ten years, to build more schools, clinic, roads and the freight logistic network. Through its manifesto, the national liberation movement committed to create a publicly-led infrastructure fund, to enhance investment in the infrastructure and development.
Just months into the Sixth Administration, the President announced that the infrastructure fund implementation team has finalised the list of shovel ready projects and has begun work to expand private investment in public infrastructure sectors with revenue streams.
In addition to this, the Minister of Finance announced that through the Development Bank, Southern Africa will package blended finance mega projects of at least R200 billion and that government has committed R10 billion over the next three years.
In the Eastern Cape, we have established a provincial economic stimulus fund that is being disbursed to key sectors of the provincial economy, including but not limited to the industrialisation. As announced by the premier, the province is rolling out enabling infrastructure network to grow the economy and create jobs through the consolidated investment of R41 billion from all three spheres of government. The premier further announced that the seven catalytic projects have been approved by the budget facility for infrastructure, which will inject R1,4 billion in the provincial economy.
Indeed, siyakhawuleza [we are hurrying up]. Much still needs to be done and we are committed to do more, with the little resources we have as the province, that continues to decline in our equitable share, due to outmigration of our population to the other provinces. We need to ensure an improvement in the spending of infrastructure grants by municipalities. We must intensify the fight against corruption; reduce fiscal leakages through amongst other developing
more efficient methods of delivering services and driving development.
Those who cannot provide sufficient resources for incomplete work and shoddy work done must be placed on the national list of tender defaulters. This will ensure that we are left with genuine business that wants to contribute to the development of this country.
The task of transforming the economy requires decisiveness and boldness but that which is purely based on the interest of the people. In the state of the province address, the Premier of the Eastern Cape, hon Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, stressed that we will not rest until we can all look at our province with proud, because we would have built the Eastern Cape we want, a province that is enterprising and connected where all citizens reach their full potential.
We are committed to achieve this goal that is also expressed in our provincial development plan. Thank you for inviting us to take part in this important debate and we hope that we can unite, as we have in-fight against the outbreak of the coronavirus to grow and transform the economy, by amongst other things investing in infrastructure and development. I thank you.
Mr H SMIT: Deputy Chairperson, good morning everybody, I am very happy that I could bring a smile to you every morning when I come and stand here. I will be short today but, since I heard a remark from the floor I will be extra long.
Transforming the economic landscape, the infrastructure investment and in development is a precursor to economic growth and a key component of the 2030 Development Agenda. By transforming the economic landscape through the infrastructure investment and development, there will be an impact of infrastructure on poverty elevation. Equality, growth and specific development outcomes such as job creation, market access health and education.
Infrastructure directly affects human welfare and equity across community and income groups, urban-rural households in South African experienced widely different access to basic infrastructure services.
In line with the government’s vision, to move South Africa to be an export-led economy, investment and network infrastructure which includes road and rail. The South African government adopted a National Infrastructure Plan in 2012, the plan aims to transform our economic landscape while simultaneously creates significant numbers
of new jobs. These investments which would improve access by South Africans to health care facilities, schools water, sanitation housing and electrification.
Investment in the construction of ports, roads railways systems, electricity plants, hospitals, schools and dams will contribute to the faster economic growth. Let us put the emphasis on the veins of this country which are the railway and roads. Without that being in a good, strong and constructive situation, we cannot keep this country running. It is like a man who needs a heart by pass and he is struggling, but the moment you go over the obstacles his heart pumps. The county‘s heart pumps and we will move forward. We can contribute and make sure that we can have a faster economic growth but relies on each and every one of us.
It is so easy to say it is the government’s responsibility – where does our responsibility lies? To achieve this, a collaborative approach between the private sector and the government is essential. For institutional investors we have seen low returns on the traditional asset classes, investing in infrastructure has become more important to diversify and enhance returns for the government, this could provide a source of capital to be blended finance instruments. We cannot ignore that.
The economic importance of infrastructure investment has been analysed both at project and macro levels. At a project level the focus is on the social costs benefit of infrastructure project and the implied internal rate of return. The social cost benefit analyst often tries to account for negative externalities at a macro level. The impact of infrastructure investment is analysed using aggregate production function with the assumption that infrastructure is a complementary to other inputs in the production function.
The macro latitude shows that improvements in infrastructure could raise productivity, stimulate private investment and facilitate domestic and internal trade thereby promoting sustainable growth. I wanted a brick to bring along today but I was scared that it might be thrown at me so I left it. They need to build infrastructure with that brick.
Here are the few examples of how the Free State intends to transform the economic landscape through infrastructure investment and development. Grain Fields Chickens ... [Interjections.] Yes Sir. But if you have gone to visit it you will find that there is definitely an improvement. Can I continue with my speech please? Thank you.
Grain Fields Chickens is a large abattoir in Reitz and it is one of the company’s biggest facility in the province. Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, which has 23% stake in the projects aims to help develop the Free State hub of South Africa. FBK’S headquarters and Reitz and the group have nine branches in sector such as fuel, grains, animal feed and foods. BBK has development programmes with 51 emerging commercial farmers in the province and data on a 140 developing farmers. Investors are being encouraged to look at baby vegetables, wholesale meat products and leather manufacturing.
With regard to oil and gas, the oversees Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the Unites States, US, government will land more than 600 million over twelve years to build a gas plant in the Free State this will happen around Virginia.
In conclusion, the mining sector makes up 11% of provincial GDP, minerals beneficiation strategy has been developed because this is a key area for potential growth. Thank you very much. God bless you.
Ms D G MAHLANGU: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon members, hon Minister, good afternoon. In his state of the nation address in February 2019, the President of the Republic of South Africa, metaphorically
compared infrastructure development to the fly wheel of the engine of our economy.
Let us for a moment; examine this metaphor by explaining the role of a fly wheel in an engine. A fly wheel is a rotating mechanical device that provides continuous energy when the primary energy source is not moving. We should all recall that in 2009, the South African economy went into recession and recorded two quarters of negative growth for the first time since our democratic breakthrough in 1994. Our economy suffered the impact of the great recession which began in the real estate and banking industries in the United States.
Fortunately, the ANC-led government had the foresight to invest public funds in infrastructure development, particularly the massive build project in all our provinces for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The government pumped almost R100 billion into the construction industry. And these investments contributed to the branding of South Africa and created a favourable climate for foreign direct investment and tourism growth.
The lessons learned include that if it done well, investment in infrastructure has the possibility to unlock the human potential for
all our people; reverse the historical and structural impediments that include the majority of our people from economic development opportunities; it can promote balanced economic development; address socio economic needs of our people; help to integrate our communities through integrated human settlement and importantly, promote job creation.
In the past decade alone, more than R1,3 trillion has been invested in the building of hundreds of schools and two new universities - Mpumalanga being one of the beneficiaries. I can attest to the fact that we appreciate, welcome it and it has changed our lives.
Government in partnership with the private sector has built hundreds of thousands of new houses. While much has been achieved in the first 26 year of our freedom, we all agree that more still needs to be done, just like the hon member Keleku have said, we all agree.
According to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, South Africa has a backlog of about R20 to R400 billion, in water, sanitation and electricity sectors in municipalities.
Current investment in capital renewals is around R600 to
R800 million per year. This is not even 10% of what is required. In order to deal with this challenge of infrastructure backlog, government has committed to contribute R100 billion into the infrastructure fund over a 10 year period and use these to leverage financing from the private sector and development finance institutions. The fund will be managed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa with the oversight of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.
As Parliament, we would like to have more oversights on these funds in order to ensure greater accountability and transparency. The ANC has learned in the 25 years of government that delivery is not efficient when infrastructure provision is fragmented between the different spheres of government. For instance, the national government, provinces and municipalities have not succeeded to integrate most of the new housing developments with economic opportunities and with the building of dams, water pipelines, schools and other amenities.
This fragmentation also turns to entrench apartheid spatial development patterns and it is extremely costly to maintain. We must ensure that government’s new infrastructure implementation model
will address these challenges. When we think of the perils of infrastructure backlog in the rural areas, we cannot forget Michael Komape, a five year old Grade R pupil who drowned in a pit toilet at Mahlodumela Primary School in Limpopo in 2014; and Lumka Mkhethwa, another Grade R girl from Luna Junior Primary School in the Eastern Cape who lost her life in a similar accident in March 2018.
However, we commend the national government for acting with the necessary urgency by launching the SAFE Initiative in August 2018. This initiative has mobilised resources from government and the building industry to replace all unsafe toilets in public schools. An audit conducted in 2018 found out that about 4000 schools have inappropriate sanitation facilities. In the first year of the SAFE Initiative launch, nearly 2000 schools were either provided with safe and appropriate sanitation facilities or were in planning, design or construction stages.
His Excellency, President Ramaphosa, has consistently sought to reinvigorate the spirit of social partnerships in addressing all pertinent issues facing our people. Social partnerships are important vehicles as they enable the sharing of resources, knowledge and skills, and enjoin us behind one common goal, build
national consensus and harnesses our collective wisdom inside and appreciation of each other.
As a society, we lose many children in our predominantly rural provinces, who drown while trying to cross rivers seeking education in school of neighbouring villages. According to the annual report of the National Injury Mortality Surveillance Systems, on average, 43,2% of drowning in South Africa occur in children less than 15 years. What is frightening is that a number of drowning has been increasing from the period of 1995 to 2016.
The reality that we must face as a nation is that we need public sector structure to work differently in order to address the backlog in infrastructure development. In the current economic conditions, the only way to address the backlog is for government to build partnerships with social partners, business, labour and communities.
As a nation, we must build the spirit of fraternity, commitment, solidarity and a sense of national pride and duty amongst all social partners.
Our communities have a particularly important role in using locally available materials such as stones, sands and cements to build and
maintain their own infrastructure roads, water pumps and irrigation systems to help particularly farmers and food security gardens.
Government also has internal capacity as envisaged by the Vaal River clean-up project where the South African National Defence Force intervened to address a sewage crisis.
In my conclusion, I started with the analogy of infrastructure development being the fly wheel in the engine of the economy. As we know, the global economy is currently in turmoil due to the threat of Covid-19, coronavirus. In such circumstances whilst government invest in building the national capital stock while maintaining consumption level, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15:
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously”
We call on government and all our social partners in business, organised labour and communities to work together to sow the good seed of infrastructure so that we may reap generously in future. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms B V MNCUBE: Hon House Chair, hon Minister, hon members, people of South Africa, today’s debate takes place barely a month since we
commemorated the 30th anniversary of the release of the late President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela from Victor Verster prison on 11 February 2020.
The release of Nelson Mandela 30 years ago was a victory for the people of South Africa, especially the marginalised masses of our people. It ushered in an era of formidable change in South Africa‘s political dispensation. It also ushered in an era of rigorous efforts to redress the atrocious legacy of apartheid segregation and the disregard of the black majority.
Hon House Chair, in 1994, the ANC-led government inherited a racially and regionally biased but rapidly deteriorating and fractured infrastructure network. We inherited an infrastructure network that was not only inappropriate for the needs of the majority of the people of South Africa, but also unable to cater for the economy.
Access to social and domestic infrastructure was restricted mainly to urban areas where the majority of our white counter parts were located. Our people in rural areas and townships had few services and lived in areas that were characterised by poorly built end
maintained roads, no access to tap water in their homes, no houses, no clinics and often badly resourced schools.
In 1994 only 20% of rural dwellers had access to electricity, 35% to clean water and 5% to adequate sanitation. Since 1994, about 1 000 more people have gained access to clean water every day and over
1,4 million have benefited thus far. Over 780 000 housing subsidies were approved by February 1998 and about 500 000 houses are nearing completion.
In 1997 alone 424 000 houses were electrified, and Telkom connected
360 000 telephone lines in underserviced areas. The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, CMIP, created some 250 000 employment opportunities through construction and maintenance of municipal infrastructure projects in its first year, 1997.
Hon House Chair, as the Gauteng province we have recognised that infrastructure, in all its forms, is a catalyst for development. It also enables the established businesses to expand their production levels, while encouraging small businesses to enter the market. It also promotes trade and supports economic concentration.
The Gauteng province is committed to promoting decisive interventions to working tirelessly to advance the lives of the people of Gauteng. We have done that as the Gauteng province, we take the view that development is about our people. It is for this reason that as the Gauteng province, we have made a conscious decision to ensure vigorous investments in infrastructure to eliminate service backlogs in underserviced areas, especially the black townships and rural areas, in order to meet our people’s needs.
As Gauteng, we are aware that basic infrastructure services can also reduce poverty and contribute to job creation for our people, especially the youth, women and the majority of our people whose lives were interminably disrupted by the fight for liberation and political freedom.
Through the various public works programmes, the Gauteng province has, over the last few years, ensured that the provision of infrastructure takes place in a manner that ... [Sound recording unavailable]
... enhances job opportunities for the unemployed, especially women and the youth.
As the ANC in Gauteng, we have made it our key task to continue to ensure that labour intensive methods are used in infrastructure provision so that our people get employment.
Over the years, the Gauteng province has championed decisive interventions to advance the lives of our people. We recognise that infrastructure development is one of the key drivers of inclusive growth and sustainable development in today’s modern world.
The ANC-led government, through the Department of in Infrastructure Development and various other government departments, is changing the infrastructure landscape one step at a time, and we have indeed seen the work done in different provinces.
Allow me, Chairperson, to demonstrate by using the example of Gauteng. In that province, the ANC-led government has come a long way in ensuring that we change the face of infrastructure. We understood that investing in infrastructure can unlock inclusive growth. As such, we have ensured significant investment in infrastructure development and we are proud to say that we have seen positive spin-offs. The key word here is inclusive growth because we want to build a province and a country where all our people develop and have equal opportunities.
We want to achieve our goal of building a non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous democratic South Africa. We want to fulfil the ideals of the National Development Plan Vision 2030 — of a decent standard of living through the reduction of poverty and inequality using infrastructure development as a key enabler of socio-economic growth.
Between 2013 and 2016, Gauteng infrastructure investment amounted to
... R30 billion and this impacted positively on the economy and households fighting poverty through creation of jobs, improved access to social services including primary health care, education, contributing to government revenue, generating additional economic activity growth, increasing household income and advancing economic empowerment and inclusion.
Our awareness on the role of infrastructure in transforming the economic landscape is evident through the conscious decisions and actions we continue to undertake. The Gauteng Broadband Network project is one of the projects that became a major boost for the economy.
The ANC-led provincial government also invested in industrial infrastructure as part of the efforts to re-industrialise townships, refurbishing and constructing township industrial parks, agriparks, township automotive hubs, township incubation, innovation centres as well as technology, agro processing and manufacturing hubs that are powering the next generation.
We have been able to build the state of the art school, schools of specialisation, the Gautrain, smart cities in Menlyn, Rea Vaya, you name them all.
In the sixth administration we have ensured that economy jobs and infrastructure is one of our key seven priorities, and the province has committed to improve the ease of doing business in each sector, develop the skilled workforce for each industry and build enabling infrastructure, including special economic zones and industrial parks.
While we count our achievements and tell our story of success with a great sense of pride, we also feel a great sense of pain — pain that stems from the knowledge that despite all our efforts and our achievements as this government, some of our people are still
struggling to make ends meet. They are still ravaged by the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Without any doubt in our minds, as the ANC-led government, we know that while we have invested work to change the apartheid spatial planning and better the lives of our people through ensuring that they have access to infrastructure...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you hon member, your time is finished.
Ms B V MNCUBE: As I conclude, hon Chairperson, the late President Nelson Mandela once said: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice.” [Time expired.]
Ms M C FRAZER: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Minister, hon members, we wish to extend our revolutionary greetings to all of you. This debate is essentially about economic transformation and how infrastructure investment could be used as an economic transformation driver. In this instance, we must be able to do justice to the debate. Doing justice to this significant debate requires us to be historical a bit, to lay a foundation for our input.
It is a known historical fact that since the arrival of white settlers in South Africa we witnessed a brutal and violent programme by settlers aimed at removing the indigenous people from their land. Racism was to be used to justify the exclusion of Africans in general and black people in particular from their land. This therefore mean that ... [Applause.] racism was not an end itself but rather a means to an end and the end being the exclusion of black people from the South African economy. To illustrate the above opening lines, let us refer to the book by Hennie Van Vuuren entitled Apartheid Guns and Money: A tale of profit. Van Vuuren correctly argues that:
The country has, for much of its past, been beholden to the interests of corporations that sought to extract its abundance to the detriment of most of its people. The fight for political control of South African has therefore inevitably involved powerful private interests. The first European settler community in the Cape did not serve a king but the Dutch East India Company, the world’s first multinational corporation and one of the wealthiest corporations in human history, which made its fortune off the spice trade.
The relevance of this book forms part of background information for our input, hence we would quote least we are accused of plagiarism, which is a serious academic offense:
After the discovery of the largest deposits of gold on earth, shareholders in South African and British mining companies aimed their sights on controlling these areas, too, under the British.
This was part of a broader plan by settlers to accumulate capital through dispossession, as Professor Harvey noted.
It is partially against the aforementioned background that we indicate that the economic vision of the ANC captured in the Freedom Charter categorically states that, “the people shall share in a country’s wealth.” To this end, the ANC has scored a number of victories since 1994 to date. However, the unfortunate reality is that the legacy of colonial apartheid remains deeply embedded both in the society and in the South African economic structures.
This manifests itself through the legacy of racialised patterns of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Emanating from the above background, we would like to argue that investment on the infrastructure also did take place pre-1994 especially before
sanctions however the most intended beneficiaries were the minority groups with a specific reference to whites usually males.
As Oliver Tambo once said that sometimes we can use the relevant enemy points hence the above therefore means that the democratic government should also use investment on infrastructure to drive economic growth to address the historical injustices of the past that were inherited from colonial apartheid South Africa.
The centrality of infrastructure, both physical and social, in development cannot be overemphasized. Adequate infrastructure in the form of road and railway transport system, ports, power, airports and their efficient working is needed to integrate the South African economy with other economies of the world. Real infrastructure is, therefore, essential to modern living, whether that’s transportation, water, sewage, housing, electricity and communication. At the same time soft infrastructure in the form of education and health systems, law enforcement, and emergency services promote a better quality of life.
Zikhona izinselelo KwaZulu-Natal. Sihlalo kubalulekile ukuthi sisho ukuthi siwubonile uHulumeni waKwaZulu-Natal wakha izikole
ezisezingeni lomhlaba ezindaweni zasemakhaya, isibonelo iMandla Mthethwa, ekwaMhlabuyalingana. [Ihlombe.] Siqhubeke sizibonile izibhedlela zikhandwa uHulumeni waKwaZulu-Natal, isibonelo i-Pixley kaIsaka Seme esiKwaMashu.
In a world where there is cut-throat competition for investment attraction, cities or regions with good real and soft infrastructure stand a higher likelihood of landing the coveted investment.
Conscious of the role of infrastructure investment as an enabler for improved economic wellbeing, the government programmes of action as encapsulated in the state of the nation address elevated infrastructure investment as a key tenet for economic transformation. Beyond the above, the provision of reliable, clean, and cost-competitive energy has taken centre stage following the challenges facing the national utility Eskom which contributed to the fall in 1,4% drop in GDP as reported in the last quarter. In KwaZulu-Natal, the government has prioritised a number of infrastructural projects as enablers to improve the overall health of the provincial economy. Our two Special Economic Zones, SEZs, in KwaZulu-Natal continue to be at the forefront of rolling out bulky infrastructure to help attract investors into the province. The
reduced costs of logistics deriving from the improved infrastructure saw a number of investors opting to set up operations from our SEZs.
In the previous year we saw the launch of the Mara Group, the first cellphone manufacturing company, which invested more than R1 billion and created a number of permanent jobs.
KwaZulu-Natal sizimisele ukukhulisa izingqalasizinda ngokwakha inxanxathela yamahhovisi kaHulumeni lapho iminyango izotholakala endaweni eyodwa lokhu kuyowukhulisa umnotho kwehlisa izinga lemali yokuqasha ekhokhwa kongxiwa.
As part of the Durban Aerotropolis, an initiative entailing the development of a 21st century smart city utilising the King Shaka International airport as the anchor of development, a number of infrastructural projects have been prioritised.
Undunankulu waKwaZulu Natal, ubaba uSihle Zikalala, ethula inkulumo yakhe i-State of the Province wabalula izinhlelo eziningi eziqhubekayo, ezinye zalezo zinhlelo wakhuluma nge-King Shaka
Airport lapho izohlanganiswa khona izokwazi ukuthi ikwazi ukuxhumana namanye amadolobha njengeTheku, noMgungundlovu nakoMhlathuze.
Ukwakhiwa kwemigwaqo lapho kuxhumana khona i-Mozambique neKwaZulu- Natal kungenye yezizingqalasizinda ezizoyisiza kakhulu iKwaZulu- Natal ukuthi yenyuse umnotho. [Ihlombe.]
Before I conclude, it's clear that any development process must entail a commitment to investment in infrastructure. Infrastructure forms the backbone, the base upon which most programmatic interventions can succeed. Infrastructure, in all its forms, is a catalyst for development. Well-planned and managed infrastructure can reduce the costs of logistics, improving competitiveness of the local business environment.
In conclusion, we must say that as a revolutionary organisation we have learnt a lot from our yesterday revolutionaries such as Harry Gwala, the Lion of the Midlands who amongst other things taught us that when you are convinced about an idea and you have proved its worth in action, you must defend it with your life.
Hence, we conclude by saying that we indeed believe in the idea that the ANC must continue to advance the National Democratic Revolution
because it has a proven record of accomplishment to can usher the people of South Africa into a national democratic society, which is the ANC’s ultimate destination. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Hon House Chairperson, let us begin with the obvious. The question for debate before the Council is a wrong answer to the poorly crafted question. It takes away our focus from crocodiles, that is, unemployment, collapsing local government, poverty, inequality and now we must focus on lease ups. You give us such poor quality of questions of debate.
Firstly, you cannot transform an economy which you do not own. There is no control there. The reality is that, the post 1994 government is a group of people who do nothing but manages the common affairs of the white minority who are racists to our people; hate black people and hate black businessmen. How do you transform the economy which you do not own and control? It is not possible and has never been done anywhere in the history of economic transformation neither by the investment into infrastructure nor fast-tracking economic growth.
What is the economic landscape we seek to transform House Chair? What are we dealing with here? The dependable and trusted Statistics
SA told us that in the last quarter of 2019 more than 10,3 million people are unemployed and 9,3 million of them are black majority. These are young people who are professionals full of energy, willing and ready to work any day. Even those that have looked for a job and have given up on looking if there is an opportunity today, they will work but there are no opportunities.
There are 8,1 million young people between the ages of 15 and 34- year olds. These people are supposed to be transitioning from dependency stage to a stage of independence, productive members of society supposed to be adding value to the country’s GDP but are not in education or in any training or employment. The economy is not growing at all under the ANC-led government instead it is going in the opposite direction. This has been the case for many years now.
There are those who are in denial about this and we all know them.
According to the Statistics SA’s figures released on Tuesday, we are on recession and not technical recession; just recession. This is the third recession since 1994 and we have had two of these recessions under the “New Dawn” of President Cyril Ramaphosa with the investment envoys, investment summits and investment pledges.
Instead of economic growth, we are forever listening to slogans of Ntate Hugh Masekela time and time and again; may his soul rest in
peace, quoting from his songs. We are seeing absolutely nothing from your government.
More specific to infrastructure, 25 years into democracy we still have mud schools in Engcobo, Tsomo, Tsolo and many other areas in the Eastern Cape. We have our children dying because they fall into pit toilets in the Limpopo province. We have hospitals like Tsilidzini Hospital in Limpopo province with more than 60% of equipment not working.
House Chair, we have aging water infrastructure in Qwaqwa and many other areas in the Free State province collapsing due to poor maintenance. There is water but because of the poor infrastructure people cannot access water. We still have roads in Mtubatuba, Mkhanyakude District Municipality, Emnambithi-Ladysmith Local Municipality and places like Vryheid with roads that are killing our people on a daily because of a poor maintenance. We have government buildings, including here in Parliament just are filthy, dilapidated and not suitable for any human occupation, yet the ANC says there is a good story to tell.
We still have people who have waited for RDP houses for more than 15 years and some even die without living in decent homes. That is
under the ANC-led government. This is a situation of infrastructure in South Africa. You may not be aware or know about this because you take your car to the airport and fly to your suburbs and go to clean and well maintained public facilities. Your kids go to private schools and Ministers send their kids overseas these days for furthering their studies whilst poor black kids need to stay in these public schools.
The reality for many South Africans is that they do not have the best minimum infrastructure to live decent lives. What is to be done? First and foremost, we need to transform the economy through investment and infrastructure. You need land to do so. Government does not have land and that is the reality. Our people do not have land and it is only white minority with land. If you are going to build infrastructure on their land and not state-owned and controlled land on behalf of our people for common good, you will never transform this economy.
So, let us expropriate land without compensation. Once we have expropriated land without compensation we must agree that, first and foremost, the infrastructure that we need to build will improve the lives of ordinary people. We will build schools, roads and public transport. This important task cannot be left on the hands of the
white owned capital. If it is left to them, they will continue to build malls and they will just make them unnecessarily big even when the economy is doing badly. No one will go the malls to buy anything as they do not have the money because they are unemployed. They will build unnecessary big houses in Camps Bay whilst our people are staying in shacks because we were made to believe that shacks are for the black majority.
We must build state capacity to deliver social infrastructure and do away with tenders. We need to establish state construction companies, including provincial and municipal construction companies. These are companies that must build our schools, hospitals, roads and water and sanitation infrastructure. These construction companies must also build houses for our people because they will understand what type of houses our people need. We need to establish a state cement company.
We can transform the economy through investment into infrastructure but it has to be the state land. We need a committed government, ANC; committed president. Currently the ANC-led government led by President Ramaphosa is not committed at all to the plight of the black majority in South Africa. All these will immediately create some economic activities because local people will wake up and go to
the construction sites. At the construction sites someone must sell food; workers must wear work wear everyday and someone has to produce that.
There is a lot of material which involves investment in infrastructure that we are capable of producing locally and should start to work on it. These are the likes of tiles, paint, aluminium doors and all things that go with infrastructure. Chair, we cannot do anything if we have a Minister who is hell-bent on a misguided policy and Treasury that has failed to manage our public finances. Because their policies favour banks and financial sector, we are never told that they are failing. The Minister of Finance is cutting a budget for houses and infrastructure in local government. How will we transform our economy when the Minister is cutting the budget for infrastructure? This is extremely misguided.
The ruling party has no capacity and political will at all. Even sophistication to reimaging our society; transform the economy and build much needed infrastructure will have to be led from the opposition benches. We will give you advice because we specialise from such advices. Listen to the advices of the EFF and you will prosper in this coming remaining term of office. Indeed come next elections, we are taking over government because in 2021 communities
are going to entrust us with municipalities. It is then that the EFF will give our people services that they need. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister, Ministers, hon MEC, hon members and fellow South Africans, development can be defined as improving the welfare of a society through appropriate social, political and economic conditions. The expected outcomes are quantitative and qualitative improvements in human capital such as income and education, as well as physical capital such as infrastructure such as utilities, transport and telecommunications.
My colleague, hon Boshoff, referred to the importance of transport infrastructure and that indeed is the focus of my contribution here today. My contribution today is also focused on solutions and not the normal finger pointing. For any country, the transport infrastructure networks are some of the most important assets it can have. Modern life is increasingly characterised by the ability to travel, transport assets and goods, and remain connected with other players in the economy.
So, what are the challenges to realise the full potential of our current transport network and to plan properly for the future? First of all it’s co-ordination. A major concern is the lack of co-
ordination between authorities that control primary, large-scale transport infrastructure, and those that manage the secondary and tertiary related transport infrastructure. The control of these functions often spans multiple government departments and entities.
In the Durban harbour for example, everything floating on the water falls under the Department of Transport, but the moment you step on land, Transnet is the relevant authority. The level of disorganisation that exists there is testament to lack of co- operation and the effect that has on transport beneficiaries.
Indeed, the road and rail network that transports goods and people out of Durban spans SA National Roads Agency, SANRAL, Passenger Rail Agency of SA, the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the Durban Metro Police.
All these functions should reside under the Department of Transport to ensure better functionality. The DA solution to this is a Public Infrastructure Inspectorate, which will independently regulate and control all roads, highways, railways, platforms, bridges, steps, etc. The second issue that we must face with road infrastructure is quality. The fundamental issue we have is that the main concern of construction companies is completion of a project and the delivery
of that project. However, we all know that projects are delivered and within months, we see them falling apart.
Therefore, quality and maintenance but should be imbedded in the tender specifications. All of these functions would be part of the proposed inspectorate work. Thirdly, and most importantly, we have to place people first in our transport infrastructure. We must find solutions that place people first in our transport plans. While the movement of goods and services remains critical to unlocking many businesses, trade and growth corridors, we can no longer afford to regard the mobility of people as an afterthought.
The bigger picture must involve the integration of major transportation infrastructure projects with provincial and municipal development. It must also consider planning for and the development of the critical mass of support infrastructure that feeds into the primary infrastructure. The Bus rapid transit, BRT, systems, that we have in 13 cities across South Africa and Gautrain, have already meaningfully contributed to Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth, in South Africa since they were constructed and has significantly opened transport opportunities for South Africans on Pretoria, Johannesburg corridor and in many other corridors around the country.
However, the challenge for many people, and I am sure you would agree, is that access to those BRT services and access to the Gautrain via tertiary and secondary transport infrastructure is problematic. One of the major reasons for that is that, a recent analysis has shown that half of the 13 BRT cities have only spent 40% of the funds allocated to them. That means that these cities are spending more on consultants and less on buses, and new routes to neglected communities.
We must fix this, colleagues, and we must fix it urgently. Once we can get this right, it will open opportunities to introduce universal travel and transfer rates, with a universal payment system. Not to mention secondary industry such as wifi hotspots at bus and train stops or transport nodes, internet and cloud-enabled communications, to share information and updates with commuters about routes. We must also plan technological infrastructure to regulate driver behaviour.
I would like to quote the former president, John F Kennedy, who summed up the importance of transport infrastructure perfectly. He said, “We don't have good roads because of our economy, we have a great economy because of our good roads.” South Africa has certainly got a lot right in its infrastructure to date, but our true
potential will only be realised when we plan, construct and maintain our infrastructure with the vision to support the economy of future generations.
The DA has many good ideas and many good solutions. Therefore, we would like to contribute to resolutions of these problems, We can do it colleagues. Let’s do it together. Siyabangena! [We are showing them!] [Laughter.]
Mr M DANGOR: House Chairperson, Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, fellow delegates, infrastructure, investment and development should be an instrument to transform the economic landscape of our country. For too long has the shadow of the apartheid era plagued and distorted development of the country in social, spatial and economic terms. Economic development was and still is concentrated in pockets throughout the country.
While the ANC majority and the government has made much progress in reversing the historical structural injustices of the past, more infrastructure investment is required and more development is necessary to accelerate inclusive economic growth. All this effort is geared towards eliminating poverty, inequality and unemployment.
However, the country faces a number of challenges in terms of infrastructure that it will have to resolve. The bulk of these challenges is the inheritance of the apartheid past and some are related to poor service delivery at a local government level. These challenges will have to be confronted to ensure that ordinary South Africans start experiencing a better life for all through infrastructure development.
Resolving the challenge of fragmentation of infrastructure development between the different spheres of government, the harmonisation of infrastructure development between national, provincial and local government is a key priority as this will raise the level of infrastructure development to serve the economic needs of communities. This means that housing development ought to occur near commercial development of enterprises and industrial parks or vice versa. This provides economic opportunities for communities, hospitals, schools, sporting facilities that must be integrated with housing developments to provide for the social and cultural needs in communities. The new town issue is not a new thing. The new town development was developed in the United Kingdom, UK, after the war and I think it needs to be investigated.
The provincial and local government will have to implement integrated infrastructure development. The District Development model as outlined by the President in the state of the nation address, sona, address of 2020 will facilitate the integration of infrastructure development as this is based on the various sectors of an area coming together to chart out development.
Local government has to ensure that basic service delivery occurs in communities and will also have to facilitate land usage in urban and rural areas to ensure inclusive economic growth and transformation. There is a need to deliver what we are tasked as government to deliver, a new culture of payment for service – I know I come from South African National Civic Organisation, SANCO, in the past and we advocated for the boycott of payment of funds, bonds and other services but those days are over now. We now have a democratic government. People should now pay for the service they are receiving.
In the past there have been weaknesses, in the planning of infrastructure development as this was little integration for example of new housing developments with economic opportunities.
The rail, bus and taxi network transport millions of people to and from work on a daily basis throughout the country. It serves the need of the young who attend school, and colleges, universities, public transportation needs to be developed as a part of the integration of the infrastructure development.
The modernisation of the rail network and road transportation will ease the burden on the roads. Over the next year government intends spending more than R1, 4billion to revamp the rail network and possible the Western Cape can look at building a speed train because it takes us almost an hour and half to travel 13 kilometres. I think we can do that jointly.
Energy security through the reliable supply of electricity and transport fuels as part of the critical infrastructure development required for economic transformation and inclusive economic growth. The restructuring of Eskom will enable green, renewable energy to close the demand gap and increase supply. Local service delivery has been found wanting and 40 municipalities required intervention to strengthen their ability for efficient service delivery. The government has embarked upon corrective actions to ensure that service delivery occurs in these municipalities. The President in his sona, address of 2020 gave the concrete example of this
corrective action in nonperforming areas, namely, Mamusa Local Municipality. In this municipality the District Development Model was successfully utilised to clear illegal dump sites and refurbish pump stations.
The communities have in various parts of the country embarked on protest to highlight to national government the unsatisfactory of the state of affairs regarding service delivery in some areas.
Protest is a legitimate part of a vibrant democracy. However, what is not legitimate is protesting a democracy that is a [Inaudible.] a destruction of private and public property. This should not be the protest action as this is not legal and not within the framework of normal democratic protest. Community facilities need to be protected and developed as they are part of the infrastructure to create a better life for all.
Public property should be the object to preservation for future generations, the destruction thereof requires that we have to rebuild. That means taking money from another part of the budget.
I want to divert from my speech and respond to the remarks that I heard here today. Hon Boshoff spoke of investor confidence, I was outside the country trying to get investor confidence for people to
invest in this country. But every time a politician stands up and make a negative statement, those investors turn away because it is based upon perception and not upon reality. I think that is where we need to say that we are in this country together, all of us. If we knock holes in to the ship all of us sink. We need to rekindle a spirit of being together and a spirit of being South Africans to move this country forward together.
As I said earlier, the new town concept should be looked at because the President spoke about it in the sona, the Premier of Gauteng David Makhura spoke about new cities in Gauteng. The one that joins the North West province around Lanseria and another that joins the Free State around the Vaal. But we need to create a vision of hope. We need to look at social compacts as mentioned by the President.
What are those social compacts? Somebody spoke about finance, we need to bring about banks, the trade unions, faith-based organization and business South Africa into one unit to say we can do this collaborately in a social compact and that must be social cohesion. And those new cities should be non-racial, non-sexist and ensure that it is green and that there are different forms of subsidies so that we can bring everybody into that new city. You can have the rich and the poor people and different forms of subsidies to support that kind of housing and development.
Importantly, Minister, the shared facilities in that kind of a city becomes important, the schools, the hospitals, the trading areas, the libraries so that people become integrated. They may be living in a differently subsidised house but they use the same social social faculties and take that forward.
I recall Minister once you and I had a vision together with Azapo when we were sitting in a committee to take South Africa forward together in unity, you were then a member of the PAC.
We need to recognise the challenges of the past. But we also need to also support a vision of hope for the future. How can investment infrastructure create conditions to kick start and develop the economy? It was Jan van Riebeck in his diary that said:
What these natives do not recognise that that which we have taken by the sod is rightfully ours.
I think that perception needs to be changed because rightfully ours is also ours and not that of van Riebeck and his children only. The EFF spoke about poor quality and deployable schools, section 25 of the Constitution. I want to say to them that jointly, we will amend section 25 of the Constitution, including the DA hopefully.
I want to cite another issue on what people do on the ground. At one point, we wanted to build a Cosmo City, for 10years it was held up because of the residence associations we had taken the state to court in order not build that. We employed some people on the ground to ensure that that would not have happened. But 10years holding costs pushed up the price of Cosmo City to another level. But it is another development today and it is a good development. People are living much better there than where they lived in the past.
With that I want to appeal, we are in South Africa together whether we are the ANC, DA, EFF, all of us are together. We need to have a vision of creating a society that is free of want, non-racial, non tribal and successful thank you very much.
Mr S D SELAMOLELA (Limpopo): Hon Chairperson of this House, our Ministers present here, hon members of this esteemed House, colleagues from provincial legislatures, comrades, friends and compatriots, let me start by expressing our appreciation for this platform of the NCOP which allows us to engage on the important subject of the relationship between infrastructure delivery and transformation and development of our economy.
Let me also recognise the colleagues who have already shared with us some of the rich perspectives on this important subject, especially those colleagues from the glorious movement of our people the ANC. [Applause.]
However Chair, after listening to the previous hon member who has just left, some misconceptions as alluded earlier. I felt hon Mokause I perhaps should start with this quote which is very, very important.
I must introduce this by the judicious word of the late revered and highly decorated Indian economist Dr V K R V Rao, who said and I quote:
The link between infrastructure and development is not a once for all affair. It is a continuous process and progress in development has to be preceded accompanied and followed by progress in infrastructure, if we are to fulfil our declared objectives of self-accelerating process of economic development.
House Chair, I dare say that infrastructure delivery is to any economy, what oxygen is to the human body. [Applause.]
Infrastructure is a magnetic force that attracts investments to towns and cities, whilst at the same time providing competitive edge to local economies.
Infrastructure hon Mokause, you must understand, is an axis upon which any functioning economy revolves. For us to breathe life to our ailing economy, we need to focus and deliberate investment in infrastructure projects.
We can only win the war against sluggish economic and the increasing phenomena of unemployment by investing more in the building of quality roads, rail networks, water infrastructure, effective and reliable public transport systems, energy infrastructure, airports, telecommunications, broadband infrastructure network and urban development.
Hence we want to say Chair; we find this question that we are debating today very, very relevant unlike others. We want to say, it will be very difficult to lead this country in the next coming five years if we cannot comprehend these basics that we have just said now. [Applause.]
This Chair is the only effective way through which we can support our industrialisation agenda while at the same time helping to improve the quality of life of our people.
We in this regard Chair; must commend the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission for its work in this regard and commend President Ramaphosa in being the champion of the work of the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission.
Hon Chair, I must agree with the hon Frazer from the beautiful province of KwaZulu-Natal that we as people and as a nation we come from a history where infrastructure development was meant to service the minority, the selected few and predominantly the white previlleged males of South Africa. [Applause.]
The vast majority of our people were deliberately excluded from benefiting from the roll out of infrastructure developments, particularly the economic infrastructure. As a young person, growing up in the remote villages of Senwabarwana in the beautiful province of Limpopo, the only time I could see a tarred road was when I visited a beautiful city of Polokwane. The only time you will see a telephone line it would be probably passing through a chain of
villages to connect to some isolated farm stead, serving a particular white male farmer.
Hon members who are not allergic to facts would then agree that over the past 25 years the ANC government has invested significantly in various infrastructure projects along the length and breadth of our country. This infrastructure roll out has been in a form of state facility has been in the form of state-of-art health facilities quality road networks, higher education infrastructure, bulk water infrastructure supply, energy infrastructure bulk water infrastructure supply, energy infrastructure and innovative project such as the Square Kilometre Array.
Chair, we are the first to accept that there have been challenges in the implementation of some of these projects. We also accept that corruption and inefficiency have also contributed in undermining some of the efforts of our government in this regard.
The energy supply challenges we are experiencing which also undermine the growth and development of our economy are partly as a result of some of these manmade problems we alluded to. Our choices in this regard are well-defined. We can either choose to lament
about past mistakes or we can choose the other ways of fixing these mistakes.
We in the ANC have already made the choice. As part of the Project Grow South Africa, we have chosen to fix the mistakes of the past. [Applause.]
There is no better place to start fixing our challenges than fixing our public power utility Eskom. The challenges of Eskom are our national challenges and we need to confront these challenges as a nation and as people.
We need solutions that are effective and durable. Self-amputation cannot be a solution to our challenges. It is only when you reach intellectual cal-de-sac that amputation becomes a solution to everything.
I know that other colleagues in this august House always lament about the use of public resources in breathing life to Eskom.
However the point is that we are in a process of rebuilding. Rebuilding is a naturally painful process that require particular sacrifice.
Lest we be misunderstood, that we are canvassing for an exercise to throw public monies into dark bottomless pit of mismanagement and corruption. What we are saying is that we cannot abdicate our responsibilities to help build these entities to get back on their feet.
Hon Chair, let me also say we have noted a tendency both inside and outside this House, a tendency of people correctly lamenting against what has gone wrong in the country.
However the strangest thing is that these are always the first people who lament on top of their tables opposing what becomes the proposed solution to the challenges that we face as a country when we want to resolve them. [Applause.]
Chair, I honestly cannot imagine any successful effort to rebuild our entities, particularly Eskom which effort, is not supported and accompanied by necessary resources. We cannot shout the challenges of Eskom away. We need to reinvest in their resuscitation and we must commend Minister Mboweni and his team for their relentless effort in trying to find everlasting solution to these challenges.
Over the years there has been an unsustainable pattern of investing more of our infrastructure budget in areas that are already well off when it comes to infrastructure. The essence of this pattern and approach to development is that developed areas become more developed while underdeveloped areas become even more desperate for development.
We must make deliberate effort to invest more of our national resources in those areas like the Limpopo province which so desperately yearns for these resources. We must take a conscious decision to work with the provincial government to fully commercialise the Hoedspruit Airport. We must support efforts such as the expansion of the Polokwane Gateway Airport.
The national government should invest resources in supporting projects such as the Leeto La Polokwane which is the city’s Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network. We can only succeed if we are willing to be brave and break new ground.
One of the biggest projects currently taking places in Limpopo is the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone. There is already a huge investor appetite in this project.
As we conclude Chair, we want to say indeed through an oversight responsibility this House must play a critical role in ensuring that the executive continues to put infrastructure delivery at the centre of economic transformation of this country. Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, let us continue our wining partnership to grow South Africa and build a better country not only for our self, but for our children and many generations to come. Let the ANC live and live for ever. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr S F DU TOIT: Chair, Minister, the National Infrastructure Plan was adopted by the South African government in 2012. The government’s aim with the plan was to transform our economic landscape, while simultaneously creating significant numbers of new jobs and strengthening the delivery of basic services.
It is supposed to be common knowledge that investment in infrastructure results in a growing economy. That is what we and the rest of the world thought, but the ANC managed to prove us wrong.
The unemployment rate has deteriorated over the last 25 years and currently stands at 38%, including discouraged job seekers. Youth unemployment rose to an unacceptable 58,1% - the highest in the world.
The question now stands: Has no money been spent on infrastructure until now? Infrastructure investment and development is after all the backbone of and a prerequisite for economic growth and employment.
Statistics SA’s September 2019 Quarterly Employment Statistics survey showed that an estimated 10 142 000 people were employed in the formal nonagricultural sector of the South African economy, which is down by 28 000, only for this quarter. SAA is talking about another 2 000 jobs that might be cut.
But, why? Why is this happening? Didn’t government invest money in infrastructure since 1994? Didn’t government and public entities invest more than R1 trillion in the National Infrastructure Plan between 2009 and 20l4? Didn’t government and public entities invest another R300 billion in the same infrastructure plan between 2016 and 2017?
According to a Business Tech article, the e-toll project cost South Africa R20,6 billion. How many people are employed today as a result of the e-toll system?
Die huidige ekonomiese situasie, werkloosheid en vervalle infrastruktuur kan nie aan historiese skuld, misgunde geleenthede, die 2008 finansiële ineenstorting of die covid-19 virus toegeskryf word nie, maar slegs die ANC.
Exploitation by contractors, corruption, awarding tenders to tenderpreneurs who do not deliver contribute to the problem.
Minister Mboweni is in the unfortunate position to bake a cake with very little flour in the bin. In his Budget speech, he acknowledged that his Alow Ferox plant, the analogy of the economy, symbolising life and survival during difficult economic times, had to be replaced. Maybe it is because it was in the care of someone with a tender heart, but that person might have been influenced by ANC policies and ideologies.
In Minister Mboweni’s Budget Speech, one of the key features was infrastructure development. In fact, the word infrastructure appears
10 times in the Minister’s speech.
Dit is nie verbasend nie, want infrastruktuur is van kardinale belang vir ekonomiese vooruitgang. Dit is tog ontbeerlik om ekonomiese groei te stimuleer en bevorder. Mnr Mboweni het aangedui dat ’n geraamde R865 miljard oor die volgende drie jaar op openbare infrastruktuur bestee gaan word.
Mnr Mboweni het verder gegaan deur R625 miljoen aan die versterking van projekbeplanning toe te ken.
The sad part is that it seems to be too little too late. If corruption, fraud, incompetent administration and protest actions form part of the spending of these funds, millions more will suffer.
Swaarverdiende belastinggeld en baie duur buitelandse lenings befonds tans Suid-Afrika se gekraakte albasterfles wat veronderstel is om stabiliteit, gelykheid en vooruitgang te weeg te bring.
Hierdie fles met krake van onbevoegde amptenare, korrupte politici, onvoldoende gevolgbestuur en swak beplanning tap die fles leeg.
The question stands: Will South Africans allow the ANC to loot their pension funds in the name of infrastructure investment development, or will they prevent this from happening? Thank you.
Mnu B MADIKIZELA: Sihlalo, uMphathiswa uDe Lille amalungu eqela elilawulayo eNtshona Koloni iDA, kumaLungu eBhunga laMaphondo leSizwe, mandizibulisele ngale njikalanga.
There has been much talk across our country in all spheres of government about infrastructure — from the claims that a commitment to infrastructure investment will turn the economy around to the acknowledgement of the reality that much existing infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate to the extent that it is irreparable.
In general terms, it is now recognised that without appropriate functional infrastructure our ability to deliver meaningful services to the people of South Africa is seriously compromised. I think there must be a lesson that we are learning from this because every time we are faced with a budgetary constrain challenge, we always sacrifice maintenance funding and that is why we are seeing the collapsing of our SOEs and many other entities. Therefore, in this
regard, the Minister of Finance in the province in two days ago when he delivered his budget speech, he demonstrated our commitment to maintain spending on the new and existing infrastructure.
In the Western Cape, we will be spending R2,6 billion on new infrastructure assets and R16,7 billion on existing infrastructure assets over the medium term in our province. We will be spending R9,6 billion on maintenance of existing transport assets. We will be spending R3,1 billion on the maintenance of existing education assets and we will be spending R2,3 billion on the maintenance of existing health assets.
Chairperson, there can be no doubt about the commitment of the Western Cape government to maintaining existing infrastructure as well as delivering new infrastructure to improve service delivery and to create cohesive communities.
We have seen across our chequered history how infrastructure can extract raw materials for the benefit of the few divide communities and define the life trajectory of people across entire generations. I am sure that this House will agree with me as many members have said that the new role of infrastructure we foresee is one that build communities, connect people to opportunities and ultimately
restores dignity because indeed it is a fact that we are coming from a very divided past. But we must also be honest about our own short comings and the mistakes that we made because I think it is misleading to compare ourselves with the previous government because I think all of us agree that that government catered for the minority few. All of us agree with that. But we should be comparing ourselves with ourselves, what we have achieved and what we could have achieved if we didn’t plunder the state recourses. That is a debate that we should be having.
I have over the last couple of months met with a number role players in the infrastructure space and specifically the construction sector and will continue to do so because it is through these engagements that we aim to foster a new partnership between the state and the private sector to collectively tackle the challenges that manifest in the everyday lives of citizens.
There can be no doubt that while building a capable state is of utmost importance, the state cannot deliver infrastructure without its key partners in the construction industry. We need to leverage off our respective technical capabilities to ensure that our contribution is maximised. What is at stake here is not only the R248 billion worth of provincial assets, but how these assets can be
utilised and maximised for service delivery to the citizens across the lifecycle of these assets.
I do agree with you hon Dangor that we need to start by partnering with ourselves before we can talk about attracting the private sector. But I do want to make it very clear, sir, that part of the reason the private sector is not keen on investing has nothing to do with the members of the opposition. The private sector and investors in particular are looking for three very important things from the centre. They are looking for policy certainty, decisive leadership and energy security. Those are the key things that the private sector is looking for and unfortunately those things do not exist under the current government.
I have accordingly started a process to establish a special unit housed within the office of the HOD to actively leverage our infrastructure portfolio to bring about spatial transformation, leverage economic and social opportunity and reframe the role that infrastructure can play in the restoration of the dignity of our citizens.
In this regard, my team has already identified a pipeline of projects that could be leveraged to achieve this goal and will, in
collaboration with the private sector, apply the most appropriate mechanisms and models to realise this in the shortest possible time. Through the various engagements with the infrastructure sector role players, we are actively putting in place the building blocks of a new compact between the state, the private sector and communities to restore trust, build partnerships and hold each other accountable.
That is why I have been working very closely with the National Minister of Transport to make sure that we fix the central line that transport almost 600 000 people so that we can ensure that our economy which severely hampered because of the challenges that we are facing with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, is brought back on track.
A critical component of building that trust is for government to deliver on its promises. To this end, I have started to create platforms to engage on policy reforms, delivery capability, opportunities and delivery models in the infrastructure and infrastructure services domain, including the development and deployment of technology in this space.
This is where we need technical capability and expertise. Our existing models of design, of maintaining our infrastructure and of delivery will not produce the desired results. Within a fiscally
constrained environment our room for manoeuvring is simply vanishing.
On maintenance, the backlog on the road infrastructure portfolio amounts to more than R25 billion, a backlog that will not be adequately addressed through current conventional funding modalities across the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF. The situation is of equal concern across our Public Works Portfolio. How we package this maintenance backlog and how we access funding and how we as collective build resilience into our infrastructure ecosystem will be addressed in greater details through the platforms that I have alluded to. Now, this is the government that is not only lamenting but looking forward to deal with the existing challenges in partnership with all spheres of government and the private sector.
I remain steadfast, Chairperson, in my commitment to provide effective and efficient public infrastructure goods and for this to be done in partnership with the private sector. We also welcome as the DA, the announcement that was made by both the President and the Minister of Finance that of allowing the independent power producers, the municipalities to procure power directly from independent power producers.
I can tell you now that 24 municipalities in the province of the Western Cape are ready to procure power directly from the Independent Power Producers, IPPs.
Lastly, to add further long term certainty, I have tasked my department to update the 2013 Western Cape Infrastructure Framework to provide a clear overall infrastructure strategy that ensures that we as a collective strive towards the same objectives and that we harness and synergise the scarce resources available to each of us and we work on this everyday and we must work on this everyday in partnership with all the partners that I have mentioned. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S E MFAYELA: Chairperson, transformation in a South African context requires an integration of the mass populace into economic activity. But, for there to be integration, the economic activity of South Africa needs to be expanded.
The word “expanded” means that our actions reflect a will to grow our economy. We can achieve this through the extension of our labour market, diversifying our industries, encouraging foreign direct investment and creating legislation that enables small, medium and micro enterprises to operate effectively and efficiently.
However, our baseline of service provision in light of Eskom loadshedding and poor water provision will not ensure effective transformation and growth. These are the basics that any economy needs to survive. In some of our allied Asian countries, the failure to provide such basics is not acceptable, as such failure is viewed as a fundamental indicator of their government’s performance,
In South Africa, this is not the case. Government lacks the sheer will to even hold itself to a minimum standard – as can be seen through the irresponsible act of bailing SOEs out in order to save face rather than addressing the real needs of our beloved country.
Colleagues, when will we build the courage to recognise that the country is in dire need of addressing our fundamental problems before we embark on exercises of excess? That is precisely what SAA is to us today.
As Parliament we debate the issues frequently, but we make slow progress in this regard. To ensure true transformation, we must look at creating a wide basket of basic services.
What do I mean by this? We need to look to new and renewable sources of energy so that we can eventually phase out our current models of
energy production. There needs to be multiple sources that work together to ensure that energy supply is efficient and abundant. In doing this, government will be more responsive to individual communities and landscapes. Energy can be generated from areas in South Africa, but that ... but ... that are coastal for hydrogen or energy harnessed from the sea or sunlight ... inland areas through solar.
Finally, we need to address the water shortages as water is a basic human right and the source to all life. Government must maintain and fix their water losses caused by aging infrastructure and must tap into more sources of water generation. In some countries, attention to these issues has paid off and people only pay a nominal service fee for water purification and not for the amount of water used.
Once we get these basic models to work well, we will start to make the case for investment and assist our citizens to drive their economy. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Chairperson, hon
members and leadership of the NCOP, good afternoon. Thank you for inviting me to this very important debate. Just yesterday I was speaking to the Consulting Engineers of South Africa at their
Infrastructure Indaba and I really stressed the point that infrastructure-led growth is the only thing that can stimulate our economy and create the much-needed jobs for our people.
Infrastructure is a key driver of economic growth in delivering the much-needed social infrastructure that so many members have made reference to. But we must do a lot more to speed up implementation.
During my engagement with the Consulting Engineers of South Africa, Cesa, I also expressed the importance of partnerships because government cannot do it alone. Therefore we need to do more around partnerships - partnerships first amongst the three spheres of government and partnership with the private sector. The President has been leading the drive to stimulate the economy, but it is incumbent on all patriotic South Africans to do our best to generate hope in our country and to restore the pride of the nation. So we all have a responsibility.
Hon members, as you all know that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is a newly reconfigured department in the sixth administration, the President gazetted the mandate of the new department on 25 August last year. Now it also includes the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, PICC, unit and the Instructure Delivery Management System, IDMS, which has been
transferred from the National Treasury. It is all work in progress and we are working as fast as we can. But while we are setting up this new department we started going out to look at stalled projects across because that is where we need to pick up the pace. So far in the past two months we have visited 156 schools, 22 clinics, two hospitals and one dam. Next week I will be going to the Eastern Cape to look at four schools so that we can unblock all these blocked projects and complete them. [Applause.] I will be accompanied by Dr Ramokgopa who is the head of the Infrastructure Investment in the Office of the President.
We also all know and many members spoke about the R100 billion fund established by government. This will be a blended fund because we also expected the private sector to add some money.
In terms of the legislation, section 4(a) and 4(b) of the Infrastructure Development Act, clearly states that the Presidential Infrastructure Council, which is chaired by our President, is required to co-ordinate, do development, maintenance, implementation and monitoring of the National Infrastructure Plan as well as to co- ordinate the determination of priorities for the infrastructure. The backlog is too big. If we could really think that as government we could finance the entire backlog, it’s going to take us years to
achieve this. That’s why in terms of infrastructure investment we have identified a number of bankable projects that we can ask the private sector to fund. We can ask the private sector to build, operate and transfer so that we can quickly and faster catch up with the backlog.
But talking the Infrastructure Development Act that is guiding this department, I have also found that we have not developed regulations since 2014. I have immediately started the process of developing regulations because they are critical to enable the legislation. The regulations will look at to provide for the facilitation and co- ordination of public infrastructure development which is of significant economic and social importance for our country. The regulations must also ensure that infrastructure development in the in our country is given priority in planning, approval and implementation amongst others.
Furthermore, if you look at section 21 of the Infrastructure Development Act you will see that the Minister is required, in consultation with the PICC council to establish and do the regulations. I will be completing the regulations before the end of May so that I can take it to the PICC for consideration.
Chairperson, one of the key problems hampering our implementation is poor project preparation. All of these stalled projects around the country were not properly prepared before we put the shovel into the ground. That is going to be a key focus. We are going to establish a multidisciplinary team inside the department to make sure that we check every single project that is ready for implementation. If you do proper project proportion you de-risk that project and therefore you can also avoid the stop and go of the projects.
We all talked about money and said we need billions of rands to build these infrastructures. Money is not the only issue and we must stop exaggerating that its money that we need and therefore we can’t do anything. We must begin to say that our future budgets must be built on separating the budget like MEC Madikizela spoke about maintenance. Maintenance is just as important as building a new infrastructure and we have a backlog of maintenance across the country. One of the members made a reference to the bridges. We started the project. It’s an indictment that all of that our children are drowning on their way to school. So we have launched the number 17 daily bridgein the Eastern Cape and in the week’s time I will be going to Durban to launch another bridge there. That is going to be one of the key priority programmes for all of us to make sure that we build bridges. [Applause.] The three worse provinces
where children have to cross rivers to go to school is the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State. So we have prioritised those three projects.
The other on is that when you go to the rural areas you can hardly drive. The access roads in the rural areas will also be a priority projects and so we are working with the Stellenbosch University and the University of Pretoria so that we can design a programme around that.
With regard to economic transformation and job creation, we have also commitment that we have made in terms of the Job Summit, Operation Phakisa and all the public sector programmes. For the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure our key driver for job creation will be the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, where we are looking at creating at least five million jobs until 2024. But in transforming our economy that we all speak about, we must make sure that our economy is representative, it is inclusive and we must prioritise women, youth and people with disabilities, then we are talking about transformation. We must bring in those sectors that have been excluded out of the economy for many years.
Another target for the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure as we set up this department is to improve the quality and rate of infrastructure in this country. Yes, we do need extra money but we also have to make sure that there is infrastructure fund that we have established, that is now is counted by the Development Bank of Southern Africa DBSA, that is operational and works. That is one of the functions of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure because we will have oversight over that infrastructure fund. We will together decide on priorities and what must be built first. But we also need to partner with government. In the ocean economy we are working in partnership with Minister Creecy and on the rural economy we are working with Minister Thoko Didiza. It is all working together that we can certainly do more. We are also working together with the Minister of Education. Every time when you build a school you must design it and appoint a consult and it takes a long time.
The Public Works and Infrastructure is now working with the Department of Basic Education so that it has a modular design of a school or a clinic of what we need so that we don’t have to do design all over again.
Let me get into what is in the annual performance plan and the medium strategic framework for the next five years. One of the things that is going to be the responsibility is to make sure that
we have to identify existing towns and cities for refurbishment and transformation of those cities. The target for the next five years will be three of these cities that we will identify and we will develop plans for the redesign and the transformation of those cities.
Public Works is also responsible for developing government precincts where we can bring all government offices together, easy access to the public. We have launched the first one at Salvokop in Pretoria. We will do the so turning in April. It’s going to be R18 billion into that prescient. The one that really makes me very excited is that Public Works has also been asked to lead the process of building a new city. I heard hon Dangor speaking about the smart cities in Gauteng that the President spoke about in the state of the nation address. It separate from leading the process to build the complete new city and the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure will be leading that too. I agree with all of you that we cannot transform our economy without releasing land and government-owned buildings. Let us start with what we have.
Last year in October, Cabinet approved 14 000 hectors of land for human settlement purposes. Some of it was released to some of the provinces. Our target for the 2010-21 financial year is to relapse
900 000 hectors of land for redistribution and for land tenure reform. [Applause.] That’s all in progress.
Also, in terms of the spatial development framework there is a new spatial development framework that is out for public participation right now as we speak. That’s a very important document and it will help us to deal with the apartheid spatial planning of all of these years.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure must now ensure that we release government-owned land and buildings for restitution, redistribution, land tenure and for human settlements. We are very, very serious about this and we will make sure that over and above the 14 000 that has been released already to provinces – Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West and the Western Cape - we release another 20 parcels of land to the various provinces by the end of March 2020.
An hon member: What about Limpopo?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: We are coming to
Limpopo. We have identified 147 parcels of land for Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. We are in the
process of assessing them now before we release them to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. We are busy with the physical verification of our 102 pieces of land for land restitution. It’s an indictment that people who have applied in 1998 are still waiting for land restitution. I want to challenge all spheres of government that we all work together. Provinces own land and municipalities own land, let us put that together and then we can really speed up land reform.
I want to speak about the contribution of the Department of Public Works to fight gender-based violence - the scourge in our country. We have already released 12 unused government houses to safely house the victims of gender-based violence. [Applause.] Our sisters and our mothers stay in the abusive relationships because they have no where to go. Again, we are busy assessing all the provinces. The idea is to give it to the provincial Social Development Ministers because we will maintain and repair that building, but they must take charge of the programmes inside the building, like we did in the Western Cape last week.
The big, big leakages in out government must be stopped. Irregular expenditure, wasteful expenditure and unauthorised expenditure is running into billions because of corruption. Corruption steals from
the poor. I am very happy with the new Public Audit Amendment Act. I am happy because the Auditor-General now will issue debt certificates to all who are responsible for irregular expenditure and they will be responsible to recover our money. Thank God! Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J J LONDT: Good afternoon, hon House Chairperson, hon members, fellow South Africans, member of the executive council, MEC, Madikizela and Minister De Lille. The last time we debated the same topic in the same room you were still wearing blue. Therefore, I want to start off with you, hon Minister.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, members!
Mr J J LONDT: I want to thank you for the safe Houses, that is a commendable step, and I also agree that money is not the only factor that is hindering, it is also the political will to use that money where it will make them maximum impact and not enhance and enrich a few connected individuals. Just before I get to the craft of the speech, to my current provincial leader and a former provincial leader, I think that you would find it interesting that the recall clause, the DA just won a case against the Mark Willemse matter. To all of those that contributed to getting that clause in, thank you
very much. [Applause.] My colleague, Timothy Brauteseth, just pointed out that we are looking forward to further engagements with the hon Minister in the select committee meeting since we haven’t seen her in the select committee in the Sixth Parliament.
However, we are standing in the year 2020. We are not standing in 1652, 1700, 1800, 1900, 1994 or even in 2019. We are in the third month of 2020. South Africa in 2020 is an economically unjust society. There is no way to deny that fact. There is also no way to deny the fact that this is due to the history of apartheid. It is also due to the governance failures and corruption in the democratic era. Millions of South Africans are currently sitting without work opportunities. The majority of the youth in our country do not have access to the jobs and the opportunities that are available are shrinking by the day because we are not getting the necessary investors and we are not getting our economy to grow.
Hon Dangor, I do agree that investors are needed for the country. However, investors are not chased away by people speaking the truth of what is going on in the country. Investors are being chased away by the corrupt activities of the current national government of policy uncertainty. That is what is chasing investors away and not people that are speaking the truth. One thing that I love what you
mentioned is that you want a high speed train here in the Western Cape. However, let us just take a step back, a small step back. Why don’t we just start with the national government allowing the Western Cape government to run Metrorail here and that will solve a lot of problems? Then you don’t need a high speed train. You will just get the Western Cape Province to run that. [Applause.]
Hon Smit, I often wonder what your party saw on you. Was it the riveting speeches you give, or the energy you bring to the podium? [Laughter.] However, today we found out why your party brought you here. You are brilliant, absolutely brilliant in defending the indefensible. Defending Vrede Dairy and defending the legacy of the Free State government. That is how you got your ticket and now it makes a lot of sense.
We are supposed to strive for an economically just society, one in which economic opportunities are available to all, and people have the capabilities to make use of those opportunities. However, with the current government nationally and the current approach, we will not turn it around. The absolute definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and over again, and you expect a difference result. South Africa desperately needs a radically different approach to redress an inclusion, not like the red
approach where you burn down buildings and institutions of learning. The EFF speaker want the state-led bank, a state-led this, and a state-led cemetery factory, but you have never led anything. You haven’t even led a local government. You are brilliant in breaking down governments, but until you actually lead a government and lead it properly, you can come here and speak with conviction. I do not think that a single ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, hon members, order! Hon members, order!
Mr J J LONDT: Hon House Chair, thank you for that protection. On a positive note, I do agree that private investors need to do a lot in building us. I will use one example, in Mossel Bay there are private investors that built the longer zipline in the world. Therefore, I will put a challenge to you, hon House Chairperson, that come to Mossel Bay, you can be my host and I will take you on that zipline so you can help show that the NCOP leadership have no fear. It is just a 1 km zipline going over the ocean; sometimes you see the sharks and the seals - that is tourism investment.
We need to beat the past, and we need to build the future. However, we cannot build the future if we continue to do the wrong things
from the past. Therefore, what I’m asking is that let’s take hands and let’s build the future and learn from one another. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mnu M I RAYI: USihlalo we-NCOP, uSekela Sihlalo we-NCOP, uMbhexeshi oyiNtloko we-NCOP, uMphathiswa weSebe leMisebenzi yoLuntu nelezoPhuhliso lweziSeko ezinguNdoqo, abathunywa abakhethekileyo abasuka kumaphomndo, abathunywa abazizigxina neendwendwe ezisityeleleyo ukuba zikhona. Mandilibulele eli thuba lokuba nam ndihlomle phantsi kwesi sihloko sithetha ngonabiso loqoqosho nenxaxheba yeziseko ezingundoqo kutyalo mali lokukhulisa uqoqosho loMzantsi Afrika.
Ndinikwe ithuba lokuba nditshayele, siyayazi ke ukuba yintoni into etshayelwayo. Nenkunkuma ke iyatshayelwa. Umntu ondenzela lula le nto yokutshayela yimbongi yesizwe enagsekhoyo kweli lizwe ubawo uS E K Mqhayi. Uyibeka ngolu hlobo:
Abakrokrayo bona abazange baphela Abakhalazayo bazakwa nanamhla oku
Bathe ngqo ngesisu, bathi ga ngomsimelelo Abazenzisi, badaliwe kuloo nto
Silungisa nje phofu nabo bayanama-nama Sikhe sabanikela, kungafa isizwe siphela Nditsho lula kuba yaziwa ngabo loo ndawo Izaphuselane sezide zaphunakena
Esi sisishwankathelo esiphendula izigxeko ezivela apha. Akasekho yena kodwa wayesazi ukuba kusezakubakho izinto ezinjalo. [Kwa qhwatywa.]
I just want to respond to some of the issues before I got to the speech, starting with the DA, both the party and the province. There is a tendency on the part of the DA for thinking that that is represents business when it speaks here. Yet, it is the ANC-led government that represents everybody.
For example, there is a platform that brings together all the stakeholders in the country, which is called Nedlac - where all these issues that they are talking about are discussed. That is showing leadership. I see he is not here now, because he was saying that government is not showing leadership. Every month, the
President meets with stakeholders to discuss issues that are affecting South Africa. That is leadership. [Applause.]
Based on some of the issues that are raised by members here, I would like to invite them to go to the government website, especially the state of the nation address: Read; and reread it! [Laughter.] Also, there is a list of speeches of Minister who participated in the debate on the state of the nation address. Read those speeches.
I would also like to request the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure to leave her speech to the hon members of the opposition so that they read – because they are not read. All these issues that they are raising are addressed in all Ministers’ speeches. Hence, we are requesting that they read.
Now, the ANC is accused of controlling, and this is what the hon Boshoff is saying. It is accused of controlling the economy and regulating. The EFF on the other side is saying: How do you control the economy that you don’t control. [Interjections.] The challenge or problem or the difference with the EFF is that, as the ANC, we base everything on analysis, ... [Interjections.] ... the strategy and tactics. WE are not sloganeering; we analyse. [Interjections.] We develop policies. We develop resolutions.
They came here in June 2014. They were saying they are the government in waiting, and saying that in 2019, they will be the government. [Interjections.] Now, it is 2020 and they are not in government. If I remember, they don’t even have one single ward. [Interjections.] Hon Londt, not only municipality, but a ward!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES (Mr A J Nyambi): Sorry, hon Rayi! Hon members, even though heckling is allowed, you can’t drown him, and you can’t debate with him while he is at the podium. Continue, hon Rayi!
Mr M I RAYI: They don’t even have a ward, let alone a municipality. There are by-elections everywhere in the country. They are not even wining one by-election, yet they are saying they are government in waiting. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Rayi, can you take a seat. Let me take a point of order. What is your point of order, hon Mokause.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: House Chairperson, we want to state it categorically clear on record that we are the only party here in this House with
increased numbers. So, you must not come and grandstand here. We are going to be government and that is a fact. Live with it!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): Hon Mokause, it is a final warning: You must refrain from what you are doing. You can’t be debating with him. That is not a point of order. [Interjections.] You know very well that this is not a point of order. Can you continue, hon Rayi?
Mr M I RAYI: Do you see the danger if they were to be in power, especially their leader? [Interjections.] The danger that we will face! When he became the President of the ANC Youth League, the first thing is that he amassed wealth for himself. He destroyed a R16 million house to build a new one! [Applause.] He had farms. So, he was looking for himself. Imagine what will happen if they were to be in government. [Interjections.]
Hon Boshoff, this issue of rigidity of labour market is a tired debate. It has been resolved in the 90s. The International Labour Organisation, when it conducted assessment of the labour market in South Africa, it resolved that instead of the South African labour market being rigid, instead, it was flexible. That is why you even have casual workers. It is because of that flexibility.
You are complaining here about the minimum wage. The minimum wage is R20. Would you live on R20 if you were to be in the situation of these workers. Actually, domestic workers are earning R15 in terms of the minimum wage. If you were a domestic worker yourself, would you live on a R15. So, when you are here and also the issues that you are referring to with regard to wages, are issues that are discussed at a collective bargaining level. Unions and employers come together to negotiate and reach agreements on these issues.
On the issue that is raised by FF-Plus, about pensions: You never complain when the pensions of workers were used to buy equipments to shoot at our black people in the townships. Those pension monies were used. [Applause.] Now, monies are used this time to rescue Eskom. Eskom employs more than 44 000 employees. The economy of South Africa depends on Eskom. If Eskom were to collapse, the whole economy would collapse. So, that is why Cosatu is then coming up with these proposals to deal with the issue of the debt.
In entering the debate, we need to appreciate that this debate is not an abstract theoretical debate about infrastructure, but rather a debate about how we improve the lives of the people through the provision of much needed infrastructure. In order to do this, we need to debate whether we are executing the best models of the
planning, management, execution and governance of both projects and investment initiatives.
This is critical, so that the funds that are appropriated into infrastructure projects can be demonstrated as funds that were a reflection of the quality of spending from the National Revenue Fund and that we are able, through such a process, to effectively determine the impact of such expenditure and how it has changed and improved the lives of the people.
It was the late and politically assassinated Prime Minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, who told the All African Conference in 1960 that, “Political independence has no meaning if it is not accompanied by rapid economic and social development.” We concur fully with his assessment. The new model at local government level that presents itself and should be utilised is the District Development Model. Here managing and coordinating the work of infrastructure projects in a given area are essential to extracting the maximum impact from available resources.
Significant progress has been made with the establishment of structures of local government and the delivery and extension of access to services for the millions of South Africans. Despite the
significant gains over the last two decades, local government has sadly regressed in the latter years due to a variety of factors manifesting in structural and systemic challenges, as well as poor performance in key areas of responsibility, resulting in the polarisation of communities.
The lessons to be learnt, therefore, are that infrastructure investment and development must not be disrupted by these challenges. The total Municipal Infrastructure Grant allocation to the nine provinces for 2019-20 was R14,8 billion. This is significant, and one of our tasks in the NCOP for 2020, surely, must be to assess the impact of the initial spending of the grant to ensure that its intention has been met.
A total of 219 municipalities are receiving the Municipal Infrastructure Grant for the 2019-20 financial year. Of these, 86 - which is approximately 39% - have not met the 40% threshold expenditure of allocation by 31 December 2019. So, these inform us of what we need to do in our oversight responsibilities to ensure
that what is allocated is utilised for maximum benefit of the people.
Let me just rush to what is to be done.
What is to be done. We need to: Ensure and increase access to basic sustainable service, assuring supply; complete all infrastructure projects, especially reticulation and rectification, in the areas of Water and Human Settlements; and government, through a district, should conduct a comprehensive asset and infrastructure assessment including risk classification.
With regards remedial action, the National Treasury must allow the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, the Dept Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation to ring fence operations and maintenance budget. This should make grants utilisation to be flexible for operational and maintenance intervention. When replacing old infrastructure, we should use appropriate technologies that are climate smart.
We need to address water and electricity losses through water conservation and demand. We must ensure district-based infrastructure and maintenance plans with ring fenced resources. We need to build capacity in all districts for infrastructure planning, development and management, including creating jobs and training
opportunities. This must include basic professionals to be shared across the district. [Time expired.] I thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Thank you, hon House Chairperson. Let me take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the hon members that took part in today’s debate. Indeed, it was an important debate within the context against a number of factors that were outlined by hon members. In order to complement what the hon members contributed to this debate, I think it is important to buttress that hon Chairperson with a quote from Amilcar Cabral as follows: “one form of struggle which we consider to be fundamental is the struggle against our own weaknesses”
Indeed, as an individual NCOP permanent delegates and special delegates, today’s debate was a clarion call to all of us to put what Amilcar Cabral said into practice. Therefore, that invited us to infuse in our approach both the ability and capacity to serve our people better because of what is expected from us as the members of this House. Indeed Chairperson we have to strengthen our oversight lawmaking and public participation to ensure that the kind of the National Council of Provinces we have must be a potent force for transformation and the strategic centre of power with adequate
foresight to anticipate long term trends and adapt to systematic shifts that are likely to emerge over the next four years.
Hon Chairperson, indeed it is important to remind and also appreciate the input that members made in terms of reminding us of where we come from. I think what is important is to re-emphasise the point on the type of country that we have inherited. It was in a devastating form particularly around the theme of the topic that was the centre of the debate. Just to highlight on that point the liberation struggle veteran, Comrade Mack Maharaj, often tells a story of how when it became clear that the criminal enterprise of apartheid would crash. We began to prepare ourselves. How did we prepare ourselves? We prepared ourselves by beginning to put together our programme that we correctly characterise as the Reconstruction and Development Programme.
Indeed, [Inaudible.] the new government of the day, the day after April 27, was the fact that those that we were negotiating with, had plundered every little cent when they saw that the writing was on the wall. The only thing that the ANC-led government found at Treasury was billions worth of debt which had been racked up by the apartheid regime. I therefore think that it is important to appreciate the intervention that the ANC-led government made in the
first six years to the extent that under the former Minister Trevor Manuel, we ran a surplus budget. How did we do this?
We did this through a number of interventions that we have made; it could be stabilising the macro economic policy. Also that we did through a growth and redistribution strategy. Therefore, it is important that when we have a discussion, we must be mindful of the fact that this debt ... how it was accumulated – correctly so members have pointed out – making a reflection in terms of our posture in the reconstruction and development programme, but also in the Twenty-Year Review that we made. What is important is for hon members to appreciate that in that Twenty-Year Review there is a reflection on what was the situation prior 1994.
While there was an increase in public expenditure, that increase was skewed towards a particular minority and to maintain and retain the security apparatus. Therefore, it is important that we appreciate the fact that it is not correct to make an insinuation that a black ANC-led government cannot stabilise the economy of the country.
Hon Chair, it is also important to remind them that one of our revolutionary socialist cautioned us as follows and I quote: “the danger begins when they make a virtue of necessity and want to
freeze into a complete theoretical system or the tactics forced upon them by these fatal circumstances” Indeed, the danger has begun while the tactics continues even in this day and age of democratic dispensation. The tendency by the right-wing opportunism and the left-wing opportunism to attempt to defocus an ANC-led government into issues that are structural in nature is a matter that themselves must confront precisely because it mirrors to types of reflections that time and again rears its head in this House.
It is important for us to even educate our children about the impact of apartheid colonialism. It is important to inform them that while the minority areas had the entire infrastructure in place, and the public expenditure was ramped up and in our villages we had no electricity. In my village the only time when we had electricity it was in 1997 while they had everything in place around 1976.
Therefore, the programme ... state-owned entities around ... but also it is important to appreciate ... [Interjections.]
Mr J J LONDT: I would love to know if the current speaker would take a question on that very ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members! hon members, the rules of the NCOP allows that. So, hon Mmoiemang, are you ready to take a question?
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: I need to wrap up, hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): He is not ready to take a question, take your seat. Conclude, hon Mmoiemang.
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Thank you, hon Chairperson. I want to wrap up by reminding members that in an economy where the rate of returns on capital outstrips the rate of growth inherited wealth will always grow faster than the end wealth. The fact that rich kids - who were the beneficiaries of the past - can swell aimlessly from gap year to internship to a job at the father’s bank while the poor kids sweat into barista uniform is not an accident, it is the system working normally.
Therefore it is important that members appreciate what Thomas Picardy said in reminding us that we must not be afraid to confront and talk about the legacy of apartheid colonialism. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Let me take this opportunity to thank the Minister and our special delegates. Members, you are reminded to stay for the briefing on our programme of next week report back session on Taking Parliament to the People in Gauteng. That concludes the debate and the business of the day. Hon members, you are requested to remain standing until the procession has left the Chamber. The House is adjourned.
The Council adjourned at 18:09