Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 12 Mar 2020


No summary available.













The House met at 14:02.



The House Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.






There was no debate.



Mr G MAGWANISHE: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson ... [Interjections.]



Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Sorry Chairperson, on a point of order.



The House Chairperson (Ms M G Boroto): Nothing was said. What is the point of order about?


Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Chair, indeed, and I want you to Rule on this. We are dealing with a very sensitive matter here on the removal of a magistrate and I don’t have a problem with that.



But my concern is that if this discussion includes what the medical condition of the particular magistrate is, it might be insensitive. So, I want to know whether we are able to discuss and mention in this House the actual medical condition or we should try to avoid that. Thank you, Chair.



The House Chairperson (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, can I allow the hon Chairperson to present the report? Hon Magwanishe, continue.



Mr G MAGWANISHE: House Chairperson, the report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the suspension and removal from office of magistrate I Meyburgh, an additional magistrate at Johannesburg, in terms of section 13(4)(b) of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (No 90 of 1993), dated 6 March 2020.



Since her appointment on the 1 October 2015, Ms Meyburgh has largely been absent from work due to continued ill-heath. It has also been difficult to evaluate Ms Meyburgh’s performance


on the bench for purposes of possible permanent appointments as she has been unable to produce any work on which her fitness to hold office could be assessed. To date, Ms Meyburgh



has not returned to the office and has not completed the required probationary period for aspirant magistrate.



On 14 March 2018, Ms Meyburgh’s attention was drawn to the provisions of Regulation 29 of the Regulation on Judicial officers in the Lower Courts, setting out the procedure that is followed when a magistrate is removed from office due to continued ill-health. Ms Meyburgh was afforded an opportunity to comment and state her case in response.



On 18 May 2018, the Magistrate’s Commission considered the documentation presented to it regarding Ms Meyburgh’s continued ill-health and ordered that an investigation be held regarding her fitness to continue to hold office on account of ill-health.



Ms Meyburgh was informed of the investigation in a letter dated, 23 May 2018 and was requested to submit a medical report from a medical practitioner of her choice to the commission. Ms Meyburgh’s representative submitted the


required medical report dated 21 October 2018, which found that Ms Meyburgh was unable to return to work.



In a letter dated 18 April 2019, the commission gave Ms Meyburgh an opportunity to comment. Ms Meyburgh’s representative provided the commission with her comments but the response did not address the commission’s opinion that she is not fit to hold office as magistrate any longer due to continued ill-health and that a recommendation to suspend her from office would be justified.



Further, the responses did not show cause as to why the commission should not determine to withhold her remuneration forthwith. Neither Ms Meyburgh nor her representatives responded to the commission’s subsequent clarifying letter.



On 2 August 2019, the commission met and resolved to recommend that Ms Meyburgh be suspended from office due to continued

ill-health; and determined that her remuneration be withheld with effect from the date on which the Minister suspends her from office.


On the recommendation of the commission, the Minister duly suspended Ms Meyburgh from office on the 26 November 2019, and tabled the report for consideration by Parliament.



Having considered the report, tabled on 27 November 2019, by the Minister for Justice and Correctional Services, on the suspension from office of Ms I Meyburgh, the committee recommends that the National Assembly resolve not to restore Ms I Meyburgh to office as magistrate. I thank you. [Applause.]



Declarations of vote:


Mr W HORN: Chair, we are in support of the proposal containing the report under discussion not to restore Ms Meyburgh to office.



The role of Parliament in dealing with matters of discipline and incapacity on the part of magistrates is too fold.



Firstly, it’s to oversee whether the Magistrates Commission and the Executive, the Minister in dealing with these matters performed the role and functions in a proper and lawful manner.


In this regard we are satisfied that the commission followed the correct procedure and came to the correct conclusion namely, that due to continued ill-health, Ms Meyburgh is unfortunately no longer fit to hold office.



We are also satisfied with the Minister in dealing with the matter followed the prescripts of the law and ultimately had no choice but to suspend Ms Meyburgh from office on

27 November last year.



Secondly as part of our systems of checks and balances, this Parliament now has the duty to resolve to either restore MS Meyburgh to office or not. Our role is therefore more than questioning and holding to account the executive and matters like these.



Hon members, we are of the view that in light of the information contained in this report, there cannot be any other conclusion that the continued and nearly permanent absence from office on the part of Ms Meyburgh enjoins this Parliament not to support her restoration to office. I thank you.


Mr M N PAULSEN: Chairperson, the EFF welcomes the suspension of Ms Meyburgh and it also supports her permanent removal.

Magistrates must be fit and proper as they decide the fate of people’s lives.



We are satisfied with the process followed and the resulting outcome. We must continue to subject the judiciary to the highest level of scrutiny and ensure fit and proper persons occupy these roles. Thank you very much.



Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Hon House Chair, the NFP notes the report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services tabled here today.



The Magistrates Commission has interrogated this matter extensively. It is common knowledge that Ms Meyburgh has largely been absent from office due to ill-health.



Her continuous absence from work on an already congested court roll cannot be in interest of swift justice. Her absence makes it difficult to plan court rolls in advance added to not being able to assess her performance as she has been appointed as an additional magistrate and must be evaluated for the purposes of permanent appointment.


Matters that are partly heard will not be able to be finalised as it is being adjudicated by the magistrate who is familiar with the matter best.



She was given an opportunity to comment on the inquiry but failed to do so.



On investigation, as ordered by the Ethics Committee, Ms Meyburgh was requested to submit a medical certificate which was submitted and found that she was unwell, impaired and unable to function in any professional capacity presently.



It is clear that Ms Meyburgh is not in a position to carry on her duties.



In terms of section 13 (4) (a) of the Act, the Minister must suspend the magistrate if he or she is unfit to hold office due to health.



The NFP is satisfied that due processes have been followed. We wish Ms Meyburgh well in the future. The NFP supports the report tabled here. Thank you.


Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon House Chair, the IFP once fully empathising with the difficult person’s situation which is fate, Meyburgh finds herself in, supports the recommendation of the magistrate to commission for her removal from office in terms of section 13 (4) (a) 2 of the Magistrates Act.



Magistrate Meyburgh’s incapacity has not only placed great pressure upon her personally but also upon her service as a judicial officer in the area over which she presides as a magistrate.



As a result of which her office is in a state of dysfunction, which compromises the delivery of justice in her court room, justice delayed is justice denied and Magistrate Meyburgh is unfortunately unable to fulfil her duties due to her continued ill-health.



We note that Magistrate Meyburgh has been afforded an opportunity to address her illness and suggest alternatives to her current form of employment, but that no such representations were received.



In conclusion, the IFP therefore concurs with the report, the findings and the recommendations. I thank you.


Mr X NQOLA: House Chair it looks like we are speaking with one voice on this matter. The ANC rises in support of the report on the Portfolio Committee of Justice and Correctional Services on the suspension and removal from office of Magistrate I. Meyburgh, an additional magistrate at Johannesburg Magistrate Court in terms of section 13 (4) (b) of the Magistrates Courts Act of 1993.



In his inaugural speech isithwalandwe, President Nelson Mandela said, let there be justice for all, let there be peace for all. Having a clear picture and having experienced the injustices of what was called the justice system of the colonial and apartheid regimes.



The ANC committed itself to making justice accessible for all. The concerted efforts of the ANC have ensured that justice is not only accessible to the allied and privileged or those who live in suburbs or affluent parts of the country.



The ANC appreciated that disputes arise continuously in our daily lives and made a commitment that when such disputes would arise in the rural areas, aggrieved parties would have the right to access courts or tribunals and have their dispute


adjudicated in a fair manner; obtain relief protection or enforce their rights in such courts or other tribunals.



The ANC called for an independent judiciary and to strengthening the judicial system and remains committed to these promises. Access to justice is paramount.



Magistrate Meyburgh has been largely absent from office due to continued ill-health. We did not bring detail of her state of health but we said continued ill-health.



This has in effect led to the continuous interruption of her work schedule, making it difficult for the head of office to plan her court rolls and other work upfront to ensure that service delivery and the smooth running of the court is not compromised.



This has also made it difficult for her performance to be evaluated for purposes of permanent of appointment.



In accordance with the audi alteram partem role of natural justice, Ms Meyburgh was offered the opportunity to comment on the matter. The Magistrate Commission did not receive any representations.


A medical report was submitted and found her unable to return to work. Justice delayed is indeed justice denied. An incapacitated court cannot serve the interests of the masses of our own people who rely on an efficient judicial system for the speedy resolution of our disputes.



One of the priorities of the NAC led government is to have a capable developmental state, a well functioning capacitated judiciary is key. It is therefore on these bases that ANC does the report tabled by the committee. Thank you very much.



Agreed to.






Declarations of vote made on behalf of Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party, National Freedom Party and African National Congress.



Mr G MAGWANISHE: Thank you very much, hon House Chairperson. The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional services having considered the Minister’s Report tabled on 25 February


2020, and referred to it informing Parliament of the provisional suspension from office of Mr Desmond Nair, chief magistrate of Pretoria, pending outcome of an investigation into his fitness to hold office as magistrate as required by section 13(3)(b) of the Magistrates Act number 90 of 1993, report as follows: the charges relates to allegation that Mr Nair during the period 2016, asked for or accepted or received a special favour or dispensation or benefit from Bosasa to the approximate value of R2000 by having the security system installed and or upgraded at his private residence which may unduly influence him in the execution of his official duties or create the impression that this is the case or which can reasonably be perceived as being intended to influence him in the performance of his judicial duties or serve as a reward for performing those duties.



After conducting a preliminary investigation and having considered preliminary investigation report, the Magistrates Commission resolved to charge Mr Nair with misconduct. A charge sheet dated 29 November 2019 containing two accounts of misconducts was served on Mr Nair and his representative. In a letter dated 27 November 2019, Mr Nair was invited to show course why the commission should not recommend that he be provisionally suspended from office. Mr Nair responded and


furnished the commission with his representations dated 06 December 2019. On 12 December 2019, having considered Mr Nair’s representation the commission resolved to recommend that he be provisionally suspended from office in terms of section 13(3)(a) of the Magistrates Act 90 of 1993.



The commission is of the view that the allegations against Mr Nair are of a serious nature as to make it inappropriate for him to perform the functions of a magistrate while the allegations are being investigated. On 24 February 2020, the Minister on the advice of the commission decided to provisionally suspend Mr Nair with immediate effect, pending the finalisation of an inquiry to his fitness to hold office as a magistrate in terms of section 13(3)(b) of the Act has submitted a report for a consideration by Parliament.



Having considered the Report tabled 25 February 2020, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services on the provisional suspension from office of Mr Desmond Nair, pending the outcome of an investigation into his fitness to hold office, the committee recommends that the National Assembly confirms Mr Desmond Nair’s provisional suspension from the office of magistrates. I thank you.


There was no debate.



Declaration(s) of Vote:


Mr W HORN: Thank you, Chair. An independent and impartial judiciary are essential elements of a constitutional democracy




The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): ... hon members, sorry hon member on the podium. Hon members, please, let’s listen to the speaker on the podium. There is too much noise, please.

Continue, hon member.



Mr W HORN: Thank you, Chair. As I said that an independent and impartial judiciary are essential elements of a constitutional democracy, specifically as the judiciary in a constitutional democracy is entrusted not only with resolving disputes between private parties but only for resolving disputes between the government and private parties. The rule of law is put into effect through a constitutional system by which powers are separated and balanced amongst the three branches of government. In this system the judiciary should function as an independent branch of government and as the ultimate enforcer of the rule of law.


Important for our discussion Chair, as it has been pointed out by Jeffrey Shaman, an American writer in his book, Judicial Ethics: Independence, impartiality, and integrity. An independent judiciary can properly enforce the rule of law only if two conditions are met; firstly, it must be learned in the law and secondly, it must be characterised by impartiality and integrity.



The former Chief Justice, Sandile Ngcobo, once remarked that every actual independence and impartiality of the judiciary is essential to the successful operation of democracy. So is the public perception that courts provide an independent and impartial tribunal to resolve disputes and provide basic protection to individuals. Without public confidence in the judiciary its ability to do justice would be severely compromised. Therefore, Chair, to uphold and protect both the integrity of the judiciary and the confidence of the public in the judiciary as a whole and in respect of the individual members, our country has adopted a judicial code of conduct.



In article 4, it explicitly prohibits members of the judiciary to ask for or accept special favours or dispensations from the executive or any interest group. While we must therefore be mindful that at this stage Mr Nair is only facing allegations


of accepting a special favour from Bosasa in respect of the upgrade of the security system at his private home, the seriousness of this allegation in our view left the Minister with no other option but to suspend him from the office pending a hearing into his fitness to hold office.



In order for this Parliament to play its role in upholding both the Constitution, the independence of our judiciary and its integrity, we are as a Parliament in our view enjoined today to confirm this provisional suspension. I thank you.



Declarations of votes contd:


Mr N M PAULSEN: Chairperson, we welcome the provisional suspension of Mr Nair and would welcome his permanent removal. The reality is that there is a lot happening in our judiciary, in particular there in Pretoria. This matter is proof that Bosasa did not only capture Ministers and Correctional Services officials. Bosasa did not only give President Cyril Ramaphosa money to benefit him personally. Bosasa did not only enrich President Ramaphosa’s son through contracts; Bosasa also captured the judiciary.



Here we have people in the judiciary receiving financial benefits from corrupt organisations. We are starting to see a


trend of judgements that do not give us confidence that the judiciary is independent. Then there are these revelations of judicial officers receiving financial benefits from companies like Bosasa that are known to be corrupt. We need a judiciary that is solid. We need a judiciary that is intact. We need a judiciary that is credible. This judiciary, with a robust legislature and accountable executive ... [Interjections.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Paulsen, please take your seat. Yes, hon member. Why are you rising?



Mr M GUNGUBELE: Hon Chairperson, the member made serious allegations. Can he specifically tell the House who are these judiciary people who are receiving money? [Interjections.] Can he be specific?



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I don’t know if I can instruct him to be specific. Continue, hon member!



Mr N M PAULSEN: This judiciary, with their robust legislature and accountable executive is the heartbeat of our democracy and we must guard it jealously. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Paulsen, please take your seat. Yes, hon member.



Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Sorry, Commissar Nazir. No wonder he was removed as a Deputy Minister of Finance!



Mr M GUNGUBELE: Michael Jackson, sit down!



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, that is not a point of order. You can’t do that! “Continue, hon Paulsen.



Mr N M PAULSEN: If we are going to guarantee our people the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of the law decided in a fair public hearing before a court, we don’t need judiciary officers that are bought.

This is not an attack on the judiciary and we are not saying this because judgements are not in our favour. There are judgements that are for and against us. [Interjections.]



The courts are our last defence and the defence of our democracy. We cannot have a National Director of Public Prosecution and the NPA prosecute individuals based on the ruling party’s factional battles or because of the


individual’s party political affiliation. Thank you very much. [Applause.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members! Let’s be in the House.



Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon Chair, our judiciary is the last check- in balance against abuse of the rule of law in this country. Judicial capture and the usurpation of the rule of law for alleged financial gain by any judicial officer, no less a chief magistrate, as is the case with Chief Magistrate Nair, must be taken in all seriousness and with the veracity that it deserves.



Our judiciary must be free, fair, accessible and most importantly, impartial. If judicial impartiality can be bought, then we no longer have the rule of law; we have anarchy. Bosasa is well known and is itself under a cloud of controversy in respect of illicit and criminal activity.

Whilst on that topic, we must say the IFP is concerned by the continued slow investigation in this matter, of which allegations of corruption are bound, even against some members sitting in this very Chamber.


Chairperson, accordingly, the IFF fully supports the provisional suspension of Chief Magistrate Nair from office, pending the outcome of investigation into his fitness to hold the office of magistrate. I thank you.



Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Hon Hose Chair, let me at the very outset say that what we have in front of us currently are allegations. In terms of the Act, yes, the Minister can suspend, and I think it is the right thing to do. However, these are allegations and until the matter is concluded, it remains allegations and you are innocent until proven guilty.



The allegations against Chief Magistrate Nair are of a very serious nature. Allegations of accepting receiving special favours or benefits from Bosasa may unduly influence his judgement and actions. It is possible that it would influence him in executing his judicial duties. He is alleged to have accepted an installation of R200 000 in security upgrade at his home in Pretoria, including electrical fencing, CCTV, alarms, etc.



Yes, it is correct in terms of section 13(3)(b), the Minister is empowered to suspend a magistrate if in his opinion and on recommendation from the commission, that the conduct of the


magistrate is questionable and brings the judiciary into disrepute. They need at all times to ensure a very high level of integrity. The NFP is satisfied that the allegations warrant a provisional suspension, pending obviously, like I said, the outcome of the investigation.



I think my colleague, hon Paulsen is correct: Nobody gives you anything for nothing. When they give you something today, they expect something in return. It is exactly the same thing that VBS Bank did. [Interjections.] When VBS Bank gave you money, they are expecting something in return. It is what you call a corrupt relationship. So, whether it is between Bosasa and somebody or VBS Bank and somebody, it is still a corrupt relationship. That is what actually we need to pin. [Applause.] [Interjections.]



So, let us be consistent ... [Interjections.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Shaik Emam, please take your seat. Why are you rising, hon member?



Mr N M PAULSEN: Hon Chair, I just want to say that ... [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): What is your point of order?



Mr M N PAULSEN: You loyalist people in the ANC have captured this bloke, because he can ... [Interjections.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): that is not a point a point of order. Take your seat!



Mr M N PAULSEN: He is small enough to fit into any pocket! [Interjections.] This tiny man can fit into any pocket!



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): That is not a point of order. Continue, hon member.



Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Yes! Just to conclude on that: Let us be consistent – corruption is corruption! Manipulation is manipulation. It doesn’t matter who it involves and which other side it involves. [Interjections.]



Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Chair, on a point of order!



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Shaik Emam, please take your seat. What are you rising on, hon member?


Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: Hon Chair, can you please follow the Rules. You need to tell the member when you are switching off the microphone, and you know that! [Interjections.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, I know. Can you sit down! Noted!



Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: Can you please do what you are supposed to do. Thank you.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. Sit; you are noted! Continue, hon member.



Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Hon Chairperson, the NFP is satisfied that we are acting in accordance with the Act and supports the recommendations tabled here. Thank you very much. [Applause.]



Mr Q R DYANTYI: Hon Chairperson, the ANC rises to support the report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the provisional suspension of Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair a magistrate in Pretoria. I want to say from the onset that the ANC is happy with the contributions of the participating members of the Justice Committee. It is very clear that the EFF has always been absent in meetings, hence


they are making the kind of points that they are making. [Interjections.]



Desmond Nair is the Chief Magistrate’s Judicial Head Office and head of Cluster B in Pretoria. Having conducted a preliminary investigation and considered a preliminary point,

... [Interjections.]



Ms N V MENTE: On a point of order!



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Yes, hon member. Why are you rising?



Ms N V MENTE: House Chair, please caution members who are making maiden speech not to be abrupt because we are going to attack back. Please caution them. [Interjections.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you very much. Thank you. Unfortunately, I don’t have anybody making a maiden speech here in front of me today. Continue, hon Dyantyi.



Mr Q R DYANTYI: There might be other objectives, hon Chair. Judicial authority vests in the courts, section 165 of the Constitution sets out guarantees for the independence of the


judiciary, providing inter alia, that courts are independent and subject only to the Constitution and the law which they must apply impartially, without fear, favour or prejudice.



The Constitution also clearly states that organs of state, through legislative and other means, must assist and protect the courts to ensure that independence, impartiality, dignity and accessibility of effectiveness of the courts. In Van Rooyen and State, the courts emphasised the importance of judicial independence and drew a distinction between the institutional and individual independence.



Referring to the test for judicial independence, the court held that from the objective standpoint of a reasonable and informed person, a court will be perceived as enjoying the essential conditions of independence. The misconduct charges relate to allegations levelled against Mr Nair, that he allegedly asked for or accepted or received special favours or benefits from Bosasa, which may unduly influence him in execution of his judicial duties, which may create an impression or perception as being intended to influence him in the performance of his duties.


In line with the audi alteram partem rule of natural justice, Mr Nair was invited to show course why he should not provisionally be suspended from office. He duly responded.

Having considered Mr Nair’s representation, the commission resolved that Mr Nair should be provisionally suspended.

Judicial officers must be held to the highest standard of scrutiny and their conduct must at all times be beyond reproach and be of conduct befitting that office.



Taking cognisance of the seriousness of the allegations levelled against Mr Nair and the importance of the image of our judiciary, the judicial officers and the rule of law, it is in the interest of the ANC as the governing party and as a leader of society to confirm this provisional suspension. The ANC has always been committed to an independent judiciary and to strengthen judicial system.



Our national conference resolutions have reaffirmed this commitment. It is for this reason that we are also making the point to those that are still fiddling: We are sending a very strong message as the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services that whilst the Zondo Commission is in place, we are not going to wait for its outcomes. We are going


to act. This is what we are doing today. Thank you very much. [Applause.]



Question put: That the Report of the Committee be adopted, including the recommendation that the provisional suspension from office of Chief Magistrate Mr D Nair be confirmed.



No objections.



Question agreed to.






Declarations of vote made on behalf of Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus, African Independent Congress and African National Congress.



Ms B P MBINQO-GIGABA: Hon House Chair, the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education convened a meeting with the North West


Department of Education, SA Human Rights Commission and the Department of Basic Education. This was done in order to investigate progress made in the implementation of recommendations emanating from SA Human Rights Commission Report on the North West investigative hearing into the lack of safety and security measures in schools for children with the disabilities. The focus area of the meeting engagement included the following set of issues: the access to education for learners with disabilities, enrolment of learners in special schools per province, enrolment of learners with disabilities in public ordinary schools, distribution of special schools, special schools resources centre, school infrastructure including hostels, and special schools funding.



Since the release of the report the SA Human Rights Commission on the lack of safety and security measures in schools for children with disabilities in the North West Province, the Department of Basic Education has taken significant steps to ensure the proper processing of the recommendations of the report. In 2014, the Department of Basic Education promulgated the policy on Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support which provides a policy framework for the standardisation of the procedure to identify access and


provide support programmes for all learners who require additional support.



The policy guides officials and teachers in not accessing only the intrinsic factors in the child, but also examines other titles of various for learners and development. The procedures and processes in the policy are intended to benefit all learners who require support, not just learners who have a disability. This places at the centre the importance of ensuring equitable access to quality education for all learners. To date the progressive rollout of the policy on Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support, Sias, has reached 5 821 officials and 113 204 teachers with the current development in the early childhood development space. The plan is to institutionalise Sias from the ages of zero to six years of age to ensure early identification and intervention.



The focus on the early childhood development is based on the fact that the early childhood development, ECD, provides the intellectual, physical and emotional foundation for all future investments and nation could make it human capital and thus dictates the rate of return of schooling, technical and vocational training and university education. This led to the initiative called teaching for all, mainstreaming inclusive


education in South Africa. The teaching for all intervention aims to strengthen the capacity to pre-service and in-service teachers to recognise and respond effectively to the educational needs of children thereby contributing a more inclusive education system.



Education White Paper seeks special needs education building an inclusive education and system training 2001, direct on how the country must go about building a single inclusive system of education and training. The policy signals critical steps to transform and strengthen the education system on enable early identification on intervention on barriers on learning and development. By the end of 2018, provincial education department has already designated to 848 public ordinary schools into full service schools. This has exceeded the sector targeted of 624 full service schools by 2018, by 26,4%.



In 2016, the National Treasury awarded the Department of Basic Education a conditional grant to the value of R477 million over the period of 2017. The strategic goal of the grant is to ensure that learners with severe to profound international disability access the quality public funded education and support. It focused on the Foundation Phase and Grade 9 and continued to Intermediate Phase and Grade 10 in January 2016,


and the Senior Phase and Grade 11 in January 2017, and in Grade 12 in 2018.



The portfolio committee is convinced that the Basic Education sector is committed to the principle. Every learner matters and is thus committed to building an inclusive education and training system which will ensure that no learner is left behind, significant steps have been taken in this regard although challenges remain given that the size of the backlog with which the democratic administration has had to deal.

However, the portfolio committee will make follow-up through oversight visit in order to track progress in all provinces including the North West. It is our hope that the current initiatives which will lead a better basic education system for all our children. I, therefore, move that the House accepts the report. [Applause.]



There was no debate.



The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Thank you very much, Chair. I move:



That the House accepts this Report.


Declarations of vote:


Ms C V KING: The SA human Rights Commission Report was prompted by the death of three learners in the North West Province caused by the fire at the hostels of the North West School for the Deaf. The investigation established that at the time of the fire there were woefully inadequate safety and security measures in place to protect learners. The commission’s investigation concluded that the North West School for the Deaf, North West Education Department and the Minister of Basic Education fail to comply with the applicable legislation and policy. If children with disabilities are systematically endangered within the special school environment due to lack of safety and security mechanisms design to reasonably accommodate the specific disability, this is constitute and infringement of a child’s right to dignity, equality, health security, a safe environment and a basic education.



Any routine exposure of children with disabilities to hazards, born of inadequate safety and inappropriate security measures, would be a form of neglect does not serve the best interest of the child as required in the Constitution. The failure to provide safety and security measures in the event of any emergency can also be interpreted as a form of discrimination.


The crude and naked facts staring us in the face are that each day parents of these children send them to school as they are compelled to. They expose their children to danger which could lead to certain death. This is a fact that stares learners and teachers at Khayalethu and Sigcau Special Schools in the face on a daily basis, and they battle with poor infrastructure, lack of a school promised 10 years ago to Khayalethu Special School and no fencing at hostels to fend off sex pests.



The minimum norms and standards for public school infrastructure contain insufficient provision for special schools and timeframe for compliance with universal design is 2030, this is unacceptable. The current school infrastructure budget will surely be felt more by special schools. The Sias policy outlining quite detail how to determine the level of support for individual learners, but it doesn’t go in specifics around how the support should be provided and is quite silent on special school provisioning as the norms and standard that were meant to be adopted with the policy are just guidelines. Therefore, there is no comprehensive and building norms and standards regulations - inadequate provisions made in the liquor and policy framework relating to post provisioning in special schools and special schools


hostels does not take into account the need for 24 hours supervision of learners in special school hostels.



Sub-supervision is more demanding and requires more specialised skills. There are no norms and standards setting out the minimum qualifications of staff requiring experience for special schools and support staff. Adequate staff development plan are not in place to ensure staff developed the necessary skills to ensure learners’ safety and security, taking into account specific learner needs. The insurance of safety and security at special school will only be realised when proper norms and standards are in place with regard to post provisioning, accommodation, transport and infrastructure and when proper vetting and training of educators and caregivers is continuously monitored and implemented.



We urge the Department of the Basic Education to conduct thorough health and safety audit for all special schools per province to ensure that safety policies are in place and implemented. Failure to do so will be an indictment on the department’s incapability to carry out this mandate. We support this report.


Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: House Chairperson, we are in agreement with the report of the SA Human Rights Commission, SAHRC, wherein the lack of safety and security at schools for children with disabilities is reported. Although South Africa has committed itself in writing to the provisions of quality, equitable and inclusive education in its Constitution, despite relevant laws, policies and guidelines, children with disabilities remain marginalised.



It’s also a fundamental right of each and every child to receive an education in the context of security and safety. The reality for many of our children, not only those living with disabilities, is that schools everywhere are generally just not safe. Our children go to school to be raped, as many as the cases that are reported. Our children go to school to be assaulted. Our children go to school to be murdered. All this is happening at the one place where they are supposed to be safe to learn, grow and play. The violence we see in our schools is the same violence we see in our communities, and the violence is suffered mostly by women and children, in particular, black women.



As the report by the SAHRC further observed, our children living with disabilities are not acknowledged or even valued


by society. How many schools in South Africa comply with the requirements related to full accessibility, such as ramps, handrails and space maneuverability for all disabled learners and educators? Very few.



As the EFF, we made a clear proposal to the Minister of Police, wherein we asked him to go and establish units that will specialise in school safety for the purpose of police visibility in all, and around, schools. We also made a proposal which said that all schools must have security guards employed full time and we must cancel all contracts with security companies. We must employ all trained security guards in the same way that we employ our teachers. The Safe Schools project has failed our disabled children because nothing has changed so far.



We must not simply adopt the reports, but can we see changes? Thank you. [Interjections.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): One day you’ll tell us what that means, baba Ngwezi.



Ms M D HLENGWA: Hon Madam Chair and members, I deliver this statement on behalf of the IFP’s secretary-general, hon


Ngcobo. The consideration of this report quite obviously requires the concerted efforts of both the Ministers of Health and Basic Education, to protect those who are the most vulnerable in our communities.



The findings by the SAHRC on the lack of safety and security measures in schools are distressing, even to read it. I want to call on each and every one of you in this House and those who are watching today to ask yourselves if defenceless children deserve to be in a place that poses direct dangers and poor conditions for any child. Now, extend your thoughts to a time when you saw a child living with a disability struggle as a result of difficulty. These thoughts should unite us in the common cause to not allow suffering to touch any child, especially those who live with disabilities and struggle to fend for themselves.



The factual findings by the SAHRC reveal that special schools’ infrastructure is not only insufficient but poses a direct and imminent threat to the health and safety of these learners.

Inspection of the Kutlwanong School in the North West province found dangerous and poor conditions. The report found, as a matter of fact, that there is a lack of legally binding norms and standards to ensure safety, minimum qualifications of ...


care from staff, a lack of understanding of the legal policies that exists in the event of emergencies and as usual, no accountability by provincial and district department officials in terms of compliance.



The IFP rejects the report by the Department of Basic Education and supports the recommendations of the committee’s findings. I thank you.



Dr W J BOSHOFF: Hon House Chair, all cultures have a way of expressing the need for people to look after each other. It could be the ubuntu formulation of ...





Motho ke motho ka batho. [No man is an island.]





Or it could be called empathy.





Dit kan ook naasteliefde genoem word. Die punt is dat dit ’n universele deug vir diegene is wat oor die vermoë beskik om na hulself om te sien, om ook te help om na ander om te sien.

Gestremde mense kan in dié verband uitgesonder word. Dit is


wat bedoel word as Levitikus 19 vers 14 beveel: “Jy mag ’n dowe nie vloek nie en voor die blinde geen struikelblok lê nie, maar jy moet jou God vrees. Ek is die Here.“





What this means exactly changes from time to time. While some amenities are regarded as luxuries when they are introduced; in time they become basic requirements just for a dignified life.



With regard to the safety of children with disabilities in schools, the ideal would be that all teachers and all children would regard it as their obligation to look after the interests of children with physical disabilities or profound intellectual inabilities. In that case the tragic occurrence which led to the report that we are dealing with would not have been necessary at all. Alas, the high sentiment that each learner is a national asset in South Africa is not even realised for children with perfect health, physically and mentally; otherwise the neglect and lack of conscientiousness which characterises the South African school system would not have been the case.





Daarom verwelkom die VF Plus hierdie verslag rakend die gebrek aan veiligheidsmaatreëls vir skole vir kinders met gestremdhede in Suid-Afrika, maar ons hou nie asem op om die aanbevelings daarvan ’n werklikheid te sien word nie. Dit is doodgewoon die werklikheid in Suid-Afrika dat uitsprake soos hierdie gemaak word en nooit ’n werklikheid word nie.



Dan het ek gewonder of dit parlementêr is om ’n ’n militêre te dra, maar toe dink ek miskien is dit net ’n agb April-grap.

Baie dankie. [Gelag.]



Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Hon Chairperson, the SAHRC’s report into the lack of safety and security measures in schools for children with disabilities in the North West province made damning findings against the Department of Basic Education in the North West province and its head of department, the Minister of Basic Education, the North West School for the Deaf and the member of the executive council for education, for failing to provide safe and secure schools for the advancement of the rights of school children with disabilities.



The cruel treatment of people with disabilities was correctly put by the intellectual giant, Dikgang Moseneke, in the Life Esidimeni arbitration award, as he said:


The right not to be treated in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way is a self-standing right in the Constitution. It is related to the right to dignity but its reach travels further. It does not only require that people be treated in a respectful and dignified manner and in accordance with their human worth but also targets proactive and systematic acts that are not only unkind but also hateful and directed at bodily and psychological hurt and harassment.



When we ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 we were committed to its founding provisions, in particular those in article 14, which requires states parties to take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment by children with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children.



Our hearts were shattered when in 2010 and 2015 respectively, two incidents, both at Christiana School for the Blind and the Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom in the North West province, claimed the lives of disabled learners.


In its report, the SAHRC made the following findings against all the respondents cited in this presentation. The risk of physical abuse, particularly sexual abuse, was a consistent theme identified in the submissions by hearing participants, which highlighted the state’s systematic and consistent failure to ensure that teachers and staff are checked against registers made in the Children’s Act and the Sexual Offences Act as required by law, prior to being hired to work directly with some of South Africa’s most vulnerable learners.



At this committee we correctly made recommendations that, for quality education to proceed ... [Inaudible.] ... special schools must be benchmarked against international standards on safety and security. However, we support the report. Thank you very much.



Declarations of vote: continued


Ms N G ADOONS: Hon Chair, let me start by simple corrections because we are basic education. To the hon doctor of the EFF and the hon Ntshayisa, it is people and learners with disabilities and not living with disabilities. It is not a disease, but just a condition. Let us start there.


The Constitution of South Africa restored the dignity of all our people. The first section of Chapter 2 of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution states that ...



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order!



Ms N G ADOONS: Order! The Bill of Rights enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.



The Constitution guarantees the right of persons with disabilities to equality, nondiscrimination and human dignity in all sectors of our society.






Your party is less than 10 years, so you are still crawling. You cannot compare yourself with us. [Applause.]



The education White Paper of 2001 assets that the special needs education is a sector where the ravages of the apartheid




Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Chairperson, on a point of order.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, take your seat. What rule are you rising on, hon member?



Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Hon Chair, just to note to the hon member that we are the only party that have increased. They have decreased.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, I am going to switch off your mic. You cannot do that. Hon member, you do that again, it is a warning. Do not do that again. Continue, ma’am.



Ms N G ADOONS: Thank you, Chair. We are basic education. We will be very patient with you. We understand you are just babies.



The education White Paper of 2001 assets that the special needs education is a sector where the ravages of apartheid remain most evident. In this sector, the segregation of learners on their basis of race was extended to incorporate systematic separation on the basis of disability.


Apartheid special schools were thus organised according to two segregation criteria, race and disability. The values set out in the Constitution ...



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members, order please!



Ms N G ADOONS: Why are you drowning me?



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I need to hear the speaker at the podium! Continue, ma’am.



Ms N G ADOONS: The values set out in the Constitution have established a fundamentally different social, political, legal and economic order from apartheid. Under apartheid policies, schools that accommodated white learners with disabilities were systematically resourced. Black learners with disabilities were under-resourced. Learners with disabilities in special schools existed and were limited to admitting learners according to rigidly applied criteria.



The impact of these policies were only 20% of learners with disabilities were accommodated in special schools. In the year 2019, there were 501 schools for children with special needs,


including 54 independent schools. This gives a clear indication that the ANC-led government is determined to create an inclusive education and training system. However even the efforts of government are not sufficient to meet the requirements of children with special needs.



The ANC believes that a united and cohesive society requires that we end the exclusion, segregation and marginalisation experienced by persons with disabilities. It is the responsibility of every one of us to ensure that every child with disability is in school. We must include this responsibility in our constituency work as Members of Parliament.



In its policies, the Department of Basic Education takes school safety seriously and as an apex priority. The department has put in place the various policy measures to ensure the safety of all learners, educators and relevant stakeholders in schools.



According to the policies, there is no place for violence, drug abuse, sexual harassment and other criminal acts in schools as they pose a serious barrier to learning. The department places great focus on the inculcations of values


and ethics and of just and caring society within the schools and communities.



The report of Human Rights Commission on the lack of safety and security measures in schools for children with disabilities in South Africa raises serious concerns about the lack of safety in some schools. The portfolio committee initiated and called a meeting to receive a briefing and engage the SA Human Rights Commission report by the following stakeholders.



As the ANC we appreciate the information provided by the department which shows the steps taken a demonstrated commitment to an inclusive education system and the reasonable accommodation. We are particularly pleased that the department is committed to the enrolment of learners in special schools per province, enrolment of learners with disabilities in public ordinary schools more equitable distribution of special schools. As the ANC, we welcome the department’s commitment




Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Chairperson, on a point of order.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, please take your seat. Hon Ntshayisa, yes.



Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Hon Chairperson, my point of order is: The speaker at the podium is also saying, “Learners with disabilities, not living with disabilities.” Where ignorance is bliss it is folly to be wise.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, you did not hear her well. You are putting words into her mouth. Continue, hon member. The correct thing is what you just said that she said. Continue hon member.



Ms N G ADOONS: The ANC supports the recommendation by the portfolio committee in particular; we call on the department to adhere to the timelines in its response to the recommendations of the SA Human Rights Commission. We believe that there has to be continuous discussions ...



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): ... continuous discussions about how to get school safety right. The fencing


of all school grounds and thorough inspection in schools for learners with special needs must be prioritised.



The involvement of School Governing Bodies, the Police, parents, teachers and learners is crucial for the betterment of our schools and increase safety of our children in schools. Let us join hands in ensuring that schools are a constructive spaces of learning for our children especially for those with disabilities. We urge schools that have not established disciplinary committees to do so urgently. We support the report. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]





USIHLALO WENDLU (Ksz M G Boroto): Mma uHlonyana, sengiyakubawa kwanjesi, ayikarisi into oyenzako, torhwana.





Motion agreed to.



Report accordingly adopted.








Ms B P MBINQO-GIGABA: Hon House Chairperson, the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education convened the meeting with the Department of Basic Education and the SA Human Rights Commission. This was done in order to establish the extent to which the department has responded...





Nk M S KHAWULA: Sihlalo, awutshele le lungu elihloniphekile aliyeke ukuphapha lapha. Akakhulume le nto aze ngayo lapho. Bazosihlukumeza la.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): That is not a point of order ...





... ngiyacisha.



Nk M KHAWULA: Cha, uyaphapha.





Ms B P MBINQO-GIGABA: This was done in order to establish the extent to which the department has responded to the recommendations of the SA Human Rights Commission on the state of mental health in South Africa. The focus area of the meeting engagement was on the following issues: a plan for introducing stigma reduction and awareness raising national strategy on learner attainment study on the implementation of the integrated schools health programme, mental health programming and draft policy for the provision of quality education and support to children with severe to profound intellectual disability.



Section 29 of our Constitution enshrines the right to a basic education and defines the positive responsibilities and accountabilities of the state in this regard. At the core of this is the duty of the basic education sector to ensure the uninhibited enjoyment of the right to a basic education. Since the release of the report of the SA Human Rights Commission on the state of mental health care in South Africa, the Department of Basic Education has taken significant steps to ensure the proper processing of the recommendations of the report.


In 2016, Treasury awarded the department a Conditional Grant to the value of R477 million over the period 2017-2020. The strategic goal of the Conditional Grant is to ensure that learners with severe to profound intellectual disability access quality public funded education and support. As part of the implementation, the department has facilitated various engagements with government departments implicated in the Western Cape Court Order of 2010 on access to education for children with severe to profound intellectual disability.



As part of this collaboration, a decision was taken to incorporate in the plans the following: introduction of stigma reduction programme in schools and increasing access to health services; and mental health awareness raising efforts aimed at educators. In addition, the department has identified a need to improve the skills of Learning Support Agents on providing psychosocial support to learners.



In order to facilitate this, the department has developed a guide for Learner Support Agents, LSA, and schools on how to support learners in need of psychosocial services. The guide clarifies what psychosocial support is about and how Learner Support Agents, school management teams and school governing bodies must go about creating a psychosocially healthy school


environment in order to prevent psychosocial problems, and to address existing problems early.



The document is entrenched in the department’s Care and Support for Teaching and Learning, CSTL Programme, as well as the policy on Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support, SIAS. Already, training has been conducted for LSAs and schools in the North West and Northern Cape. In addition, provinces, like Gauteng have begun to train teachers on psychosocial support within the context of training in specialised areas. The draft policy on Education for Children with Severe to Profound Intellectual Disability was tabled at the Council of Education Ministers, CEM on 12 February 2018.



The portfolio committee is convinced that the basic education sector has demonstrated commitment in addressing the recommendations where it is reasonably feasible based on resource availability. The basic education sector believes that every learner is a national asset, and therefore matters, and is thus committed to building an inclusive education and training system, which will ensure that no learner is left behind. Significant progress has been made in this regard, although challenges remain, given the size of the backlog.

This is to be expected though, given the fact that the


realisation of human rights is a complex endeavour that cannot be resolved overnight through simple, axiomatic solutions. I therefore move that the House accept the report. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]



The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon House Chairperson, I move that this House adopt this report. Thank you.



Declarations of Vote:


Ms C V KING: The realisation of Human Rights is a complex topic which does not lend itself to axiomatic answers. No way is this truer when the rights of the marginalised section of the population are in question. The tragic loss of life fallen in the discharge of mental healthcare patients from the Life Healthcare Esidimeni facilities evoked public outcries and led to widespread calls for further investigations. Not only in this instance but also in relation to the broader mental healthcare system in this country; all thanks to the DA.



The World Health Organisation, Who, of which South Africa is a member emphasised that mental health is a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential; can cope with normal stresses of life; work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. As


such, mental health is not merely the absence of illness or a disease. South Africa should veer more to a right based approach to emphasise equality of people with disabilities.

This approach considers the disability to be a product of an environment that first to accommodate the specific needs of a person with the disability, as already done in the Western Cape.



Prevalence psychosis relating to psychosocial and intellectual disabilities is underestimated. Studies have shown attempted suicide rates of 7,8% and rates of suicidal ideation of 19% amongst high school students, 22% post-traumatic stress amongst school children as well as post trauma depression as high as 34,7% and high depression rates of 37%. These findings indicate that South African school children face considerable mental health challenges.



Despite high prevalence of mental healthcare conditions many South Africans would benefit from accessing services to not receiving treatment. Only 25% of South Africans leaving with the mental health condition access services. The most significant obstacle to mental health piracy is stigma.

Stigmatisation of mental health is an excuse for an action and


we are still waiting on the department for them to come up with the proposal.



Public mental healthcare systems in general lack adequate coverage of mental healthcare professions. Per 100 000 people South Africa is 0,2% at psychiatrist, 0,23% psychologist, 0,4 social workers, 0,13 occupational therapists and 10 mental healthcare nurses. As a comparison the average for the middle income country would be five psychiatrists per 100 000 people. In South Africa HIV infection, substance abuse and exposure to violence increase vulnerability to mental health challenges.

Against this backdrop, it was not the stark realities of unmet needs with regards to child and adolescent mental healthcare in South Africa.



We call for the urgent scaling up of services to fulfil the constitutional rights of children and adolescents through appropriate healthcare services in the committee. LSAs in overcrowded schools will not be over be able to effectively implement guidelines presented and ultimately the onus would be on the class teachers to identify where assistance is needed. Even this will eventually lead to inadequate assessment of learners which will have long term mental effects and stigmatisation if done incorrectly.


De-institutionalisation must be undertaken properly. The primary and specialist multidisciplinary teams that are community based, mental healthcare services must be focused on, must be resourced and must be developed before the process is started. It will require more financial and human resource investment. Therefore, sufficient budget should be allocated. Countless Esidemenis are happening right now to people who are still alive but the extent of neglectful and abusive care will again only come to light once they also die in starvation, dehydration, cold and infection.



The state must have the political will to avoid this tragedy from occurring and learn from your mistakes, ANC on Life Esidimeni because you are failing our children out there when it comes to mental healthcare access. We support this report. [Applause.]



Ms N N CHIRWA: Chairperson, following the Life Esidimeni tragedy that physically ended the lives of 143 innocent beings, whose only sin was being mentally sick, whilst the government of the day was only concerned with tenders, we know for a fact that mental health issues will never be resolved by the ANC government. It is even more so for children who are


the most neglected group in the country and who suffer 40% of sexual violence cases reported.



Efficient mental health services are not being provided to the poor, more especially in townships and rural areas. And when those services are provided, they are below par and even a threat to the right to life.



Patients in psychiatric health care and in public schools and hospitals are treated in the most inhumane manner. The fact that they are unable to care for themselves becomes the very reason why they are exploited by government.



Ill pupils are being denied 72-hour observation and onward referral, as per mental health protocol. In one incident, a patient was denied this four times in a row at the Elizabeth Ross District Hospital and eventually met her untimely death, which is, in fact, murder by the department.



We hear of avoidable deaths ... [Inaudible.] ... young children, some even in primary school, on a daily basis. This happens because you refuse to give each school a permanent psychologist and/or therapist to assist people with mental health issues, as per the recommendation of the EFF.


There are communities that are still struggling to understand the importance and nature of mental health challenges. This does not make it any better. Our youth are judged to be rebels that resort to drugs and alcohol abuse, who in fact are suffocated by depression with no outlet for redemption.



Furthermore, in the autism spectrum, only children of rich parents have access to occupational therapy from any childhood development level. This department has failed toddlers from getting an opportunity to recover and be in mainstream education, or, at least, be in daycares and public schools that cater for their needs.



The Department of Health is aware that the majority of hospitals around the country and psychiatric departments face challenges of replacement, power supply, equipment shortages, in some hospitals a vacancy rate of up to 46%, accommodation for health professionals at the hospitals, slow hospital revitalisation, geographical location of hospitals and medical depots not supplying medication on time. However, we still send our sick children to these debilitating facilities.



The Department of Health, in particular, has done absolutely nothing about this promise, a 10-year plan that does not have


tangible targets of implementing this, or a plan that centres the most affected by mental issues, developmental issues and learning disabilities.



As a matter of urgency, there must be a correlation of capacity by the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Health and an implementation programme of making mental health services available on request for pupils, their parents and teachers. There must be at least one psychologist in each school in the country. They must be on site and readily available to cater for the mental health needs of pupils.



This will also assist in the early detection of sexual violence ...



Mr W T LETSIE: Chair, can we ask hon Chirwa to lower her voice. [Interjections.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, that is not a point of order. [Interjections.]



Mr N M PAULSEN: House Chair, look at the calibre of EFF ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, no. That is not a point of order. I am switching off your microphone now. Sit down. [Interjections.] Why do you disturb her?



Ms N N CHIRWA: This will also assist with early detection of sexual violence that children are exposed to and not having anybody to speak to.



A 12-month refurbishment plan must be released by the Department of Health and the Department of Basic Education that incorporates and enjoins the geographical accessibility for school children to the facilities.



Clinical psychologists at each clinic and health facility must be included and secured urgently and must also be able to report to nearby schools when the need arises.



Mental health care education should be mainstreamed to suit pupils and pensioners or grandparents. Most households spend a lot of time with children, but do not have the relevant knowledge and language to detect symptoms of mental health issues.


Proper diagnosis and detection systems must be strengthened to promote commitment to medication and progress, instead of regression that results in further mental damage of patients and children. This means also dropping out of school before reaching matric level.



That one out of four people would be affected by mental health issues at some point in their lives should be reason enough that this matter must be prioritised by government. Health communities, ... We reject the report.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, can you lower your voices before the next speaker.





USIHLALO WENDLU (Ksz M G Boroto): Malungu ahloniphekileko ngibawa nehlise amazwi ngaphambi kobana umma akhulume.

Ngiyanibawa noke.





DEVELOPMENT: Chair, I agree with you. Hon Paulsen is walking barefoot here and that is why there is a problem.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): What is that? That is not a point of order. Order!



Ms M D HLENGWA: Hon House Chair and members, again the consideration of this report, quite obviously, requires the concerted efforts of both the Minister of Health and the Minister of Basic Education to protect those who are most vulnerable in our communities. The finding of the South African Human Rights Commission highlights a longstanding point of the IFP, in which we call for the interdepartmental collaboration and knowledge sharing in the realm of mental health care and service provision.



The collaborative efforts by departments help to spread the funds for expenditure and assist with the reduction of the duplication of the skills, as each department has strengths of their own in addressing the problems.



The poor state of services in South Africa leaves one to wonder how the National Health Insurance will take into account the high demands for the infrastructure and programmes needed to address mental health issues.


Government needs to lay a stable ground before we can embark on the universal system of health care. We see that there are material challenges with regard to the state of mental health in South Africa and support the call for greater control to be decentralised into local government.



Local government must be sufficiently empowered to respond to the needs of the individual communities, so that rural areas like Jozini in KwaZulu-Natal receive sufficient funding in terms of mental illness. The IFP supports this report.





Dr W J BOSHOFF: Agb Huisvoorsitter, funksionele gemeenskappe het maniere om mense wat ander vermoëns as die standaard het te akkomodeer en om hulle in te sluit. Dit is hoe dit is. Met die persoon – soos dit hier genoem word - wat grondliggende intellektuele gestremdhede het kan die klem op die stremming gelê word, maar die vermoëns word buite rekening gelaat. Vir dieselfde prys as wat ons sê dat elke mens ’n nasionale bate is, het elke mens bepaalde vermoëns.



Dit is so dat die moderne wetenskap ons help om hierdie selfs beter te verstaan. Met ander woorde, mens wil nie idealiseer hoe persone met nie-standaard vermoëns traditioneel hanteer


is, asof dit altyd goed en met wysheid hanteer is nie. Die mediese en die sielkundige wetenskap help wel baie om dit beter te verstaan. Ongelukkig, ...



Mnr H G APRIL: Agb Voorsitter, ek wil net weet of agb Boshof ’n vraag sal beantwoord.



Dr W J BOSHOFF: Ek weet nie of ek kan nie. Ek kan nie. Ons kan kyk of daar tyd oor is aan die einde. Dit het wel daartoe gelei dat mense met gestremdhede eenkant geplaas is, dat hulle uit die gewone samelewing uitgeskuif is en dat dit vir baie gesinne of families ’n verleentheid geword het om te sê dat hulle iemand met ’n gestremdheid in die familie het. Daarom stuur hulle hul eerder weg om elders onder gespesialiseerde sorg te wees. Daardie gespesialiseerde sorg mag gespesialiseerd wees, maar dis nie liefdevol nie. Dit is ook nie altyd goed nie.



Nou moet die gemeenskap in hierdie proses waar die staat eenvoudig nie meer die vermoë het om die verantwoordelikheid vir almal te neem nie, deelneem. Daarom is dit belangrik dat ons as gewone mense nie net eise stel en skree dat die regering dit of dat moet doen nie, maar gemeenskappe moet moue oprol en saamwerk.


Die sielkunde het ’n manier om te kyk na wat die gestremdheid is of wat dit is wat iemand nie kan doen nie. Een sielkundige het gevra wat mense makeer om altyd te vra wat fout met hulle is. Wat is fout met mense dat hulle wil weet wat fout is met hulle. Die positiewe seilkunde fokus op wat mense wel kan doen, omdat elke mens werklik wel iets goeds kan doen.



Gemeenskappe met wetenskaplike kennis toegerus en met ’n onderwysgemeenskap wat toegewy is daaraan om saam te werk kan die waardigheid van mense met gestremdhede herstel, en dit is noodsaaklik.



As agb April in 25 sekondes ’n vraag kan vra sal ek dit graag antwoord.





Mnr H G APRIL: Ek weet nou dat daar net wit skole in Orania is, maar weet jy wat die verskil tussen oranje en groen is?



Dr W J BOSHOFF: Wel, ek is oranje en groen. Waarmee kan ek help?



Mr L M NTSHAYISA: House Chairperson ... [Interjections.]




Ja, ek kan ook praat.





 ... three years ago the Human Right Commission, commissioned a report to look into the mental health care status in South Africa. The report, amongst others, found that a rights-based approach to mental health recognises and respects diversity between persons with psychological and intellectual disabilities and broader society, and within a group of people with psychological and intellectual disabilities.



The Life Esidimeni tragedy, for instance, was characterised as a harrowing account of death, torture and disappearance of utterly vulnerable mental health care users in the care of an admittedly delinquent provincial government by the Life Esidimeni arbitrator.



This brings into sharp focus of the Department of Basic Education’s preparedness to deal with mental health care in public schools. The Human Rights report correctly recognises the central pillars underpinning mental health care, which includes inclusion and participation.


The commission’s recommendation is that a properly devised plan must be introduced by government to deal with cases related to stigma and conditions of mental health, including broadening access into schools for mental health care related services such as counselling and therapy is overarching.



We are however disappointed that it took three years after the release of the commission’s report for this debate to take place. We support the report. Thank you.



Ms N G ADOONS: House Chairperson, I rise on behalf of the ANC to support the portfolio committee’s report on the SA Human Rights Commission’s report into the status of mental health care in South Africa.



Health is defined by the World Health Organisation, WHO, as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing.

Mental health is therefore, an essential element of health and it is crucial to the overall wellbeing of individuals and society. Most mental disorders have their origins in childhood and adolescence. Approximately 50% of mental disorders begin before the age of 14 years.


The relationship between poverty and mental ill health is a vicious cycle. People living in poverty are at risk of developing mental disorders through the stress of living in poverty, lack of social support, increased exposure to violence and worse, physical health.



The ANC welcomes efforts of the Department of Basic Education and Health to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness in schools and increasing access to health services, including counselling through formal referral pathways accessible to educators. The various relevant departments have an obligation to source out the necessary funds and ensure execution of these programmes.



A long and healthy life requires us to invest in mental health so that we not only reduce the substantial burden of untreated mental disorders but reach levels mental health that are higher than the mere absence of disease or infinity. Good mental health, no doubt, contributes substantially to our social and economic development.



Many schools do not recognise the consequences of suicidal tendencies in children. Depression is one of the most common emotional disorders in children, affecting as many as one in


every 33 children. Depression can produce serious difficulties and interfere in the child’s life and development.



Studies have found that the burden of mental illness in the great DA-run Western Cape province. In this province, mental health illness is closely associated with the scourge of substance abuse and gang-related crimes. The Western Cape government turns to ignore the plight of the poor in favour of policing solutions. The Western Cape government must instead invest in social assistance programmes for youngsters and adults struggling with mental disorders and drug addictions.



One of the most devastating consequences of depression in children is the high rate of attempted and successful suicides. It has been estimated that between 90 and 97 suicide victims have suffered from mental illness. In almost half the cases, a diagnosis of depression has been found.



In South Africa, a research indicates that one in five teenagers think about harming themselves, with 7,8% of these young people attempting to carry out their wish to harm themselves. Other studies have found that 24,5% of attempted suicide cases amongst black South Africans have occurred in young people aged 17 or below.


These devastating statistics highlight the need for early identification of possible emotional problems in children; thus, preventing these children from carrying out suicidal inclination before it is too late.



Mental health is part of the general health. It should be integrated into the general health care and people with mental disorders should be treated in primary health care clinics and in general hospitals. Mental health services should be planned at all levels at the health services centres and be treated as a matter of priority in all sectors of the society, school in particular.



The ANC believes that every learner is a national asset. We are, thus, committed to building an inclusive education and training system, which will ensure that mental illness challenges are treated rather than criminalised.



The national Department of Health has placed the National Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan 2013-20, which is currently being implemented in all nine provinces. It identifies the key activities that are being implemented in all the provinces.


The ANC recognises the burdens of mental strain our people feel today. As South Africans, we have always being able to come together to overcome local, national and global challenges. With increased suicide rates and depression in the South African population, the ANC appeals to all communities to stand together in times of difficulty.



To the Western Cape government and members of the DA, no amount of grandstanding in this House can hide what is happening here in the Western Cape. ... [Interjections.] ... Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]








(Consideration of Report)



Ms D P SIBIYA: Hon Chairperson and hon members the work of the committee is anchored around the work that we have to do to ensure that we achieve the type of post school education and training system vision in the 2013 White Paper on post school education amber National Development Plan 2030, NDP 2030. This means that the portfolio committee in its nature must ensure


that as we conduct our oversight responsibility, focus is placed on the vision that has been set for the post school education and training system, principle governing this vision and the policies that has been developed and will be developed and implemented during our term.



This is significant in the development and transformation of our post school education and training system. It is important that we work collectively, to ensure that the government’s vision of an integrated post school education and training, which has different institutions playing their role as part of coherent, but differentiated hope is achieved.



We have to ensure that the system that we are building, transforming and overseeing provides knowledge and skills required by economy as well as contributing to developing thinking citizens who can creatively, effectively and ethically contribute to developing our country.



Against this background, we have the opportunity of presenting this report for adoption. Upon engaging the department, the committee raised the following concerns:


The under performance of the department especially in programme four- technical and vocational education and training, and five- skills development. Both programmes achieved only 40% of their targets.



The continuous delays with the transfer of infrastructure and other earmarked grants to higher education institutions. We are concerned about the slow spending on TVET college conditional infrastructure efficiency grants, where the department achieved 2,79% which is R41,5 million, against the target of 40% which R593 million, despite the need to address the maintenance backlog in the sector.



The committee recommends the following:



The department should put mechanisms in place to address underperformance in the technical and vocational education and training and skills development. The department should put mechanisms in place to address the delays in the transfer of infrastructure and other earmarked grants and ensure timeous allocation of the funds to institutions of higher learning.


The department should capacitate TVET colleges to ensure that information required for processing of funding applications for maintenance grants is relevant.



Furthermore, the department should ensure that all colleges comply with the conditions to receive infrastructure maintenance grants.



The department should submit its responses to the committee recommendations on a quarterly basis. Thank you Chair [Applause.]





USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Hhayi namhlanje niyangehlula. [Ihlombe.]





Ragela phambili, baba.



Declarations of Vote:




Mnu B B NODADA: Sihlalo namalungu aloniphekileyo, ...





... fellow South Africans, molweni (good day). The Education Portfolio Committee has a massive responsibility through the Public Financial Management Act that requires the monitoring of the financial and nonfinancial targets relating to the post school education sector, which enforces the accounting officer to regularly report to Parliament about the usage of taxpayers money, by ensuring impact on the lives of young South Africans the department ought to serve to try to tangibly change their lives for the better based on the target set.



The DA wants to register its grave concerns about the poor performance of the Department of Higher Education Science and Technology in its first quarter which is reflective of entities such as National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, TVET colleges, Sector Education Training Authority, Setas, and some universities as students continue to protest. It is unacceptable that the department has:



Under spent by over half a billion mainly on infrastructure for TVET colleges yet buildings are falling apart, some are run down, unsafe with no on campus wi-fi and outdated workshops for students to be able to acquire skills.


Furthermore, contributing to the factor is the slow audit report from the universities regarding the infrastructure spending of R480 million. The department only achieved six of

12 targets, essentially half which is reflective of the lack of implementation and questionable capacity only 42& of the budget being spent.



The low rate of producing artisans is very concerning especially in the context of the required skills development targets, the high youth unemployment and the fourth industrial revolution as loosely tossed around in this House. Of the

5 000 required, less than half has been produced. The certification backlog of the TVET graduates has increased to over 134 000 young people if not more to date, meaning more young people has joined the unemployment statistics.



What is more painful is that the day zero of the certification backlog has been postponed again beyond the misleading statements made by the Deputy Minister in response to my oral question on 20 November 2019. The day zero would be February 2020, yet we have 134 000 graduates sitting at home, can’t find work.


No targets were set for programmes one and three for this quarter however 72% of the budget has been spent on them. There is no strategic planning and development of the TVET curriculum review instituted in 2018 already to ensure that the courses offer developed skills to solve local problems relevant for industry, the job market, entrepreneurship and innovation.



We as the DA recommend the following to the Minister as the political principle of the department in line with our higher education policy. If you continue to listen and do not act, we are going to have more challenges.



Seta, CSIR, the Department of Higher Education and Umalusi should formulate a task team which will report quarterly about developing a seamless information and communications technology, ICT, process for the timeless production of certificates instead of talking about Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR, but we can’t even do our own ICT as government.



Request National treasury for the direct project management of infrastructure maintenance on TVET campuses to avoid under spending and political interference on money meant to be


addressing dilapidated buildings, unsafe lecture venues, wi-fi and enhance practical workshop equipment to produce the skills that are relevant for industry entrepreneurship and innovation.



As part of alleviating the pressure and ensuring spending on infrastructure grants has significant impact on the lack of student accommodation and the shortage of lecture halls to meet demand, the department must work with Department o Public Works and Infrastructure and the Department of Human Settlements ahead of annual performance plans to identify unused government buildings for the purpose of student accommodation and more education spaces for TVET colleges and Community Education and Training Colleges, CETs,.



Setas are not adequately supporting the development of the needed technical skills by developing artisans through trade test centres which some are white elephants as is the case in my constituency in Bizana where Ingwe TVET College has a building that is standing without being accredited or developing any skills.


Conclude the 2018 curriculum review to avoid spending R35 billion of taxpayers’ money on outdated skills with nothing to show for it.



Lastly, poor policy and strategic planning is planning to fail as we have seen in this report. Therefore, this culture of setting annual performance targets by the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology based on box ticking than measuring impact on the ground must be stopped immediately.



The DA supports the report on condition that the above recommendations will be accepted to compel the Minister to get the department to perform at optimal level. Less talk more action, take the solutions siyaninika (we are giving you).

Thank you so much [Applause.]



Mr P P KEETSE: House Chairperson, I am not going to waste time here for South Africans, especially student’s time discussing some cooked targets of the Department of the Higher Education. From time to time, the department continues to prove that they excellently failed to execute their mandate. Perhaps, we must look into these people who are leading that particular department because they are leading thinkers. Universities and technical, vocational and training, the TVET, colleges are a


space of thinkers. You don’t take none thinkers and make them lead such critical departments.



I am saying this precisely because there was a commitment to the development of policy with regard to gender-based violence in all institutions of higher learning. To date nothing has been done. I know you want to be reactive and wait for young girls to be killed, to come here and annoy us to say “we are doing this and we are going to that.” [Applause.



Just yesterday Central Johannesburg College, CJC, were here in our committee. They reported that there is a student who was brutally murdered trying to go and catch the train. She went to the train because she couldn’t get an allowance from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, the NSFAS, to use normal transportation she would use ordinarily. The mistake of the department, they ignored them. Hon Chairperson, we are well aware through the responses from the Deputy Minister there is a deliberate sabotage with regard to this question of policy of gender-based violence.



We all know that the NSFAS is incapacitated. The University of KwaZulu-Natal, Edgewood campus was burning last night. We are all aware and I am sure you have seen on the news.


[Interjections.] We cannot be happy about that. In fact, we condemn that. We must not turn a blind eye on the realities that are happening on the ground. The fact that the NSFAS couldn’t pay the fees of some of these students, as a result, universities came back and said we allow you to register. We will wait for the NSFAS to pay during the course of the academic year. Unfortunately, the NSFAS did not pay. The debt continued to escalate.



This year the University of KwaZulu-Natal said it’s no longer going to assist students to register because this NSFAS and government seemed to be very disloyal and dishonest. They said they would pay last year’s figure, but they couldn’t. Today students are very angry.



UNIDENTIFIED MEMBER: You are lying. [Laughter.]



Mr P P KEETSE: There is something we call infrastructure efficiency grant that is supposed to be helping universities to restructure their residences. [Interjections.] We know dilapidating structure is a norm at TVET colleges and universities. There is a commitment that there are more than

300 000 beds that you are planning to make. But let us look at the current residences, especially the historically


disadvantage institutions. You go to University of Zululand some of the beds and mattresses in those existing residences – I know some of you studied there – the same beds you slept on, our students are still sleeping on the same mattresses. [Applause.]



If you go to their bathrooms and toilets, the toilets of taxi rank in Berea are much better. The MTN taxi rank those bathrooms are much better as compared to the toilets at Walter Sisulu University, WSU, UniZul and Fort Hare University ... [Time expired.]




Ms N V MENTE: Chairperson, I need to draw your attention to what you heard and ignored. Both the member seated there and the Minister, a whole Minister in the Presidency, said to my member there he is lying. You heard them, but chose to ignore that. Can they both withdraw that, it’s not parliamentary – it’s not allowed.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Mente, let me start by saying I am not a Whip and I will not rule anybody unless a point of order has been raised. Even if I can hear, as long as you don’t stand up and raise a point of order, I am not going


to do that. Thank you. [Applause.] So, you are saying they must withdraw.






The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Who are you talking about?



Ms N V MENTE: Minister Mthembu and that new member seated there.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Minister, [Interjections.] Order, members! Hon Minister Mthembu did you say that?






The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you.



Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Chair, it’s the one behind – the new member.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Papo?


Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Yes, the new one, the guy that always wears


... [Inaudible.]





The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Aowa! Bua pila. [Say it properly.]



Mr P P KEETSE: The guy with a “Chicco” style. That one!



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay, please stand. Did you say that? I am asking.



Mr W T LETSIE: No, hon Chair. I don’t know what they are talking about.



Ms E N NTLANGWINI: It’s the one behind him, Chair.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay, that’s enough.



Ms E N NTLANGWINI: The one behind him, not the one next to the white guy.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, hon members, let’s not do that. [Interjections.] I am trying to assist to bring back order. Hon Papo, ...





Mr P P KEETSE: E re ke le thuše, ka gore ke be ke le gona.





It’s this fellow with Chicco style who is about to enter.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, no don’t say a fellow ...





Le wena akere… a se tšona tšeo. A se tšona.





Are you talking about hon Papo?



UNIDENTIFIED MEMEBR: Letsie! Letsie! Letsie!



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay, hon said he doesn’t know what you are talking about. So, because I didn’t hear him, I cannot pursue that. Unless it recorded on Hansard,


I would say I would rule on it. Hon Letsie, will you please take the podium and represent ... [Interjections.] Sorry, sorry.





Ngiyaxolisa. Qhubeka bab’uNxumalo.



Mr M N NXUMALO: House Chairperson, I don’t know whether the pastor can give us an opportunity. Pastor, can you give us an opportunity, please? The Department of Higher Education still has a lot of work to do that is both meaningful and sufficient to the youth and the economy of our country. We see that many of the issues in this department revolve around technical and vocational education and training in skills development which are TVETs.



The department’s performance has been underwhelming in this regard to say the least. Nearly R600 million allocated for maintenance in TVET colleges has not been achieved. This figure does not have any meaning. We are now at the stage where underexpenditure in this sector has become so critical. We almost immediately see a protest action as a poor and lack of infrastructure. We need to ensure that when we develop plans for implementation that the department carries out these


plans efficiently and effectively or else people would not receive the intended service delivery.



We cannot therefore allow students to face uncertainty due to lack of infrastructure in particular TVET colleges. The TVET colleges unlock opportunities for young and old people who would otherwise be forced to a life of substance abuse to the economic circumstances. These people have not chosen this way of living and therefore government must ensure that it achieves its target.



We need to look at the NSFAS programme and its serious shortcomings in addressing the issue of learners. Finance management is at the core of NSFAS in competency areas. Yet, we see that the expenditure management and unstructured ... is a total mass. The NSFAS has not followed their statutory requirements regarding the prevention of irregular expenditure as stated in section 51 of the Public Finance Management Act, PFMA. This mismanagement of funds is completely out of control that even when the underadminstration irregular expenditure has risen from R2,84 million to R7,6 billion. This amount is what we know at least for now, but the truth of the matter is that the final figure is still unknown of irregular expenditure. At the end of the day, irregular expenditure


deprives our youth of much-needed resources. The IFP does support this report in principle.





Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo, nina beSilo.



Dr W J BOSHOFF: Hon House Chair, just for the sake of the interpreter I’m going to do this in English. The First Quarter Financial and Service-Delivery Performance Report of the Department of Higher Education and Training is a microversion of the state of the nation. Several planned outputs in this period were not achieved, amongst which the most glaring is maintenance, where 2,7% rather than the planned 40% of the annual budget was spent.



Just like with the nation as a whole, there are pockets of excellence. For instance, the planned output for lead time of

60 days for making an appointment for a trade test to the actual test was exceeded by 23 days. However, this was balanced by the goal of 5 000 new learners to pass a trade test being missed by 2 801, more than half. Maybe that is why it’s not so difficult to get an appointment. The goal of

2 500 new fully-qualified artisans was missed by 1 408. So a goal of 2 500 missed by 1 400. I don’t think it’s negligible.


The reason for underspending, which is also reported on in this report, recurs like a refrain — less collection of direct levies due to a contracting economy and unfilled funded vacancies.



Now, may I draw the attention of the House to the striking correlation between legal impediments to the appointment of qualifying individuals to vacancies due to their demographical features and the nonachievement of these outputs? The FF Plus supports but laments this report.



Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you hon House Chair. [Interjections.] Thank you. You want me to? Okay. I think that one thing we must admit is that postschool education is very important and the emphasis should be on quality rather than quantity.



An HON MEMBER: Like the Western Cape.



Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: However, Deputy Minister, I think what is important is this. You need to understand that you are not judged by what you do; you are judged by what you don’t do. So, what you don’t do might be a small percentage but it overrides all the good work that you do. You’ve heard this.


Deputy Minister, I think what should happen is that when you report after the next quarter, what we’d like you tell us is the following. Firstly, that you have dealt with this underspending. Let me tell you that underspending has two aspects to it. You rather underspend than overspend or spend for the sake of spending. Now, the emphasis seems to be that you did not spend the money. However, had you spent the money and you did not spend it appropriately, you would still have been found wanting. So, I think what is very important is this. You need to ensure ... and we heard earlier on in the Standing Committee on Appropriations that while we want to reduce expenditure, we still want to maintain the same standards, which means that all officials and employees need to up their game. Now, that’s not an easy task. That’s why you need to deal with consequence management if people are not able to perform optimally. I think that’s the problem.



You need to look at the issue of whether the skills shortage in this country and the curricula that technical vocational education and training, TVET, colleges are providing speak to each other. I think it’s very important that you need to look at that.


You need to look at the issue ... and many people have complained about safety and security. Of course, when you are the ruling party it is understandable that they expect you to do it all. I mean it’s expected; I mean unfortunately. Yet, some others who might be in control in different parts of the country cannot do as good as they say they can do. Now, they forget these things.



However, I think what is very, very important is this. Your infrastructure ... underspending is a matter that needs serious attention. Okay? [Interjections.] Don’t let the EFF run because they give everything for nothing. Okay?



Let me just say this to you. My concern is with the issue of policy planning and strategy. That is where you really ...



An HON MEMBER: Hey, hon Ntlangwini!



Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: ... spent 17,6% and I think that matter needs serious attention. There’s no doubt that there has been a vast improvement, even with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS. Let us be honest and let us admit that. The NFP supports the report that is tabled here but calls on you,


Deputy Minister, that in the next ... you need to deal with all the concerns raised at the next quarter.



Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson, I rise in terms of Rule 91 ... explanation. I would just like to know if the hon member on the seat there, who is to speak now, has been promoted to Deputy Minister. We don’t know about that.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, to start with, the rule that you’ve quoted is irrelevant to what you are asking. Continue hon member.



Mr W T LETSIE: Thank you very much hon Chair. Hon Shaik, thank you very much for the anointing but I’m not the Deputy Minister.



We reaffirm that education remains an apex priority for the ANC and the ANC-led government. Education is a central pillar in our fight against the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, as outlined in the National Development Plan, NDP, Vision 2020 and the White Paper for Postschool Education and Training. We have to remind the nation that the ANC’s policy document, the Reconstruction and Development Programme, called the RDP, prioritised building


human capabilities through investment in education and training.



From inception, the democratic government sought to open the doors of learning and culture. That is why the ANC is committed to continuing to give priority to education and skills development. Enhancing the effort to strengthen higher education and vocational training, and unlocking the energy and creativity of South Africa’s young and working people by building their skills and capacities is critical to the eradication of poverty, unemployment and inequality.



We note the concerns and recommendations that the committee has made in relation to TVET colleges and skills development. These two branches of the department are not performing at their optimal level. In this regard, we commend the strides that the department is making to reduce the certification backlog, approved by the director-general, DG.



A total of 77 517 certificates were printed between April and June last year hon Nodada, and they were corrected and printed subsequently. We applaud the department for its introduction of the criterion guidelines for the implementation of the Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning, ARPL, which opens


access to more candidates previously excluded for trade testing. This measure, which is developmental as a gap closure, is implemented for those who require some practicals or theory to access trade tests. Evidence has also proven that those who had gone through ARPL have a higher pass rate. It is expected that the number of candidates entering the ARPL and trade testing will progressively increase as privately owned trade test centres implement ARPL.



With the concerns raised relating to the continuous delays in the transfer of infrastructure and earmarked grants, the department is putting measures in place to support institutions with poor infrastructure delivery capacity. Those institutions which had funds with health will have this transferred to them in the next financial year as long as they have made substantial progress on the utilisation of funds for approved programmes.



The Student Housing Infrastructure Programme, Ship, the Budget Facility for Infrastructure, BFL, programme, and transfers in relation to student housing are being processed and will be transferred to institutions by the end of this month.


With the concerns raised about the slow spending on TVET colleges’ conditional infrastructure grants, despite the need to address the maintenance backlog in the sector, we agree with the department’s move to move controls in place to limit the risk of funds being misappropriated for operation and irrelevant expenditure by TVET colleges.



The expenditure in the fourth quarter of last year increased to 27% compared to the third quarter. This indicates that supply chain management processes are slowly being unlocked and expenditure is starting to increase. The department will continue to enforce the requirements of the College Infrastructure Efficiency Grant, CIEG, and the National Immovable Assets Maintenance Management Standard, NIAMMS, and will continue to support all TVET colleges accordingly.

However, it will take time to correctly spend the funds appropriately. However, we need to warn those supply chain managers in these institutions and principals at TVET colleges that we will continue to clamp down on corrupt tendencies with this infrastructure grant. [Interjections.]



As I have time, let me respond to what the DA’s hon Nodada said. With regard to the certification backlog, hon Nodada, in the first week of February we went to Pretoria to do


over5sight, and on the day we went to the sector education and training authority, Seta, to get proper feedback on why we have certification backlogs and when we can expect certification day zero, you unfortunately prioritised your party caucus because Zille called you and you left the oversight, together with the hon member there ... of dreadlocks, hon Keetse ... [Inaudible.] So, you prioritised the wrong things.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Letsie, take your seat please. Yes hon Keetse?



Mr P P KEETSE: We want to quickly throw a question just to clarify something.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay, would you like to take the question hon Letsie?



Mr W T LETSIE: No, no, I’m going to answer him with ... [Inaudible.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, he’s not ready for that. Can you take your seat?


Mr P P KEETSE: Sure, he’s ready.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, he’s ... No!



An HON MEMBER: Dreadlocks, sit down!



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): He says he’s not ...



Mr P P KEETSE: So, ja ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Keetse, he says he’s not ready for your question.



An HON MEMBER: Sit down dreadlocks!



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. Continue hon





Mr J W W JULIUS: Point of order! I just want to know whether it’s parliamentary to address Parliament like a tsotsi [gangster] with hands in your pockets and standing like this. [Interjections.] This tsotsi [gangster] belongs somewhere else.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hayi man, huh uh. Take your seat please. Continue hon Letsie.



Mr W T LETSIE: Thank you very much. Hon members from Toekomsrus ... and he know that this is how they walk in Toekomsrus, with hands in their pockets. However, hon Keetse also left when we were doing oversight. They dealt with some of these issues.



Of course, we will be the first ones to accept where there are challenges. There are challenges with NSFAS. It’s us; it’s not anybody else in the committee that raises such issues. Of course, they do raise them after we have raised them. However, we raise these issues. We accept where there are shortfalls and where there are problems. So, we have always said where there are challenges, they must be strengthened. Of course, NSFAS must be strengthened. That department must make sure that the TVET infrastructure grant is released to them on time. Of course, it’s all good and well to come here, grandstand and speak as if you ... you know ... you are the only one who speaks for the people, but when you are supposed to speak for them you leave and you attend a party caucus that is called by Zille.


We want to express our gratitude to the IFP that came here and supported, the FF Plus, the NFP and the DA itself that also supported. I think it’s fair to say to the public that the only people that are not supporting programmes of government; people who don’t want progress — and we are not saying people must not criticise, but to come here, and every time, wena [you], when you come here you are here to reject, it’s a problem — is the EFF. Everybody else has accepted and has supported. [Time expired.] [Applause.] [Interjections.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order hon members, order! Hon members, let me start by saying you are reminded that there is a Joint Sitting tomorrow at 10:00.



Secondly, let me say that we are done with the business of the day and ... [Interjections.]



An HON MEMBER: How about putting the report to us.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Oh, I didn’t ... I didn’t ... Sorry, sorry. I didn’t ask for any objections. Are there any objections? [Interjections.] The EFF’s objection is noted.


An HON MEMBER: You are noting right?



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Yes, it’s noted.



The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, the DA also objects.



An HON MEMBER: We also want to call for a division. [Interjections.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): The DA also objects. Yes, you are noted. The objection is noted.



The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I called for a division. Chairperson, hello! Here, hello! Chair, I would like to also call for a division please. [Inaudible.]



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, this is a report. Let me ... {Inaudible.]



The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Yes, and we are dividing on a report.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I’m not sure if we divide on a report.



The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Of course you can Chair.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I’m not sure. Thank you. Can I get advice?



An HON MEMBER: Yes, you can.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay, thank you very much. A division has been called. The bells will be rung for five minutes.



Division demanded.



The House divided.






As the result of the division showed that there was not a majority of the members of the National Assembly present for a vote to be taken on a Report as required by Rule 96(b), decision of question postponed.


The House adjourned at 16:26.




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