Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 18 Nov 2010
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2010
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:07.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC:
Opportunities created for, and contribution to be made by, South Africa in designing a new world order
- Dr G W Koornhof (ANC) asked the President of the Republic:
What (a) opportunities have been created for South Africa as a result of his recent visits to Brazil, Russia, India and China and (b) contribution can South Africa make to the developing agenda in assisting to design a new world order? NO3904E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, many opportunities were created during our state visit to Brazil last year. The state visit served to strengthen the existing sound relations between the two countries. The reciprocal visit by His Excellency President Lula da Silva in July this year further cemented our relations. The two countries have ongoing co-operation in the areas of social development, trade and industry, health, education, science and technology, governance and energy, to mention just a few.
The two countries also have in place a memorandum of understanding on trade co-operation in an effort to lower tariff and nontariff barriers. This will enable us to further reach our goals of opening the Brazilian market for better access for our products and services. This speaks to our strategic priority of creating better quality lives and decent work through improved export opportunities.
The state visit also allowed the two countries to take relations forward at the level of India-Brazil-South Africa Forum, which enables us to advance South-South co-operation. During the two visits, we also undertook to make available to Brazil any assistance relating to expertise gained during the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup, as they will be hosting the tournament in the year 2014.
The visit to the Russian Federation put a strong emphasis on bilateral co-operation as well as economic and trade issues. We discussed and agreed to develop concrete joint ventures, particularly in the energy, mining and agricultural sectors.
Amongst the key issues that were addressed were access for South African meat products to the Russian market, Russian anti-dumping penalties on South African steel exports, as well as other trade matters. Some of the agreements signed included an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic, official and service passports to promote people-to-people co-operation and co-operation amongst space agencies of the two countries.
There was also the signing of a contract between Eskom and Tenex to supply nuclear fuel to South Africa, which contributes to the imperative of a reliable and stable energy supply. The visit also focused on international development issues such as meeting the Millennium Development Goals, reform of the global financial architecture, and South Africa’s wish to join the Brazil-Russia-China formation called Bric.
During our state visit to China, the two countries signed the Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The Vice President of China, Mr Xi Jinping, was this week hosted by our Deputy President, hon Kgalema Motlanthe; an indication of strong ties between the two countries. This week’s visit served to concretise and put into action many of the agreements reached during the August state visit, using the South Africa-China Bi-National Commission as a mechanism.
During our visit to China, we agreed to focus on working towards more balanced trade. The two countries also undertook to provide mutual technical support in the areas of the green economy, skills development and industrial financing.
Sixteen private sector contracts were also signed between local and Chinese companies. The private sectors of both countries were encouraged to explore co-operation opportunities in infrastructure construction projects such as roads, ports, power generation, airports and housing. China has also committed itself to support - within the Nepad context - the North-South infrastructure development corridor which South Africa is championing.
The visit was also used to co-ordinate and align the positions of South Africa and China on international issues, particularly with regard to the G20, climate change, reform of the United Nations system and the Bric Forum.
The 16th of November marked the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Indian community in the country, which was the beginning of the strong ties between India and South Africa. The state visit to India succeeded in further strengthening the strong bilateral relations that both countries share, at cultural, economic, political and social levels. The two countries agreed to work towards increasing bilateral trade to at least $12 billion per annum by 2012.
The business forum of the two countries met in Johannesburg following the state visit, taking forward the agreements reached at the level of trade relations. The two countries will also co-operate on education and skills development, something which bodes well for South Africa’s human resource development needs.
South Africa is working closely within the UN and the Ibsa Forum to promote a new world order, as well as to ensure that the voice of the developing world is heard and carries weight with regard to development issues. The world we live in today has changed significantly since the end of the Cold War. The countries of the South such as Brazil, India and China are rising and are challenging the global economic landscape.
We want to take advantage of these new developments, while also working to enhance existing relations with the developed North, the United States, the European Union and other regions. We also use international forums to promote the reform of international financial institutions to ensure the participation of Africa and the developing world in decision-making. We also work towards more equitable trade relations in the world, hence the call for the Doha Round to be concluded in a manner that enhances development and does not perpetuate global inequalities. Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr G W KOORNHOF: Mr President, thank you for your comprehensive response. I fully agree with your response with regard to the opportunities which have been created for our country following your visit to Brazil, India, Russia and China, as well as the contribution that South Africa can make to the global agenda, as a leading developing country in the world.
We must congratulate the President for his visionary initiative to strengthen the relationships between South Africa and the four countries he has visited. The policy of the ANC is to create a better world, and it is therefore important to interact continuously with these countries, but also with others, as part of our international agenda.
My question, Mr President, is: What do you think can be done to inform our people and make them understand and appreciate the potential benefits that may flow to South Africa, benefiting our people in creating a better life for all? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, for our people to appreciate and understand this, we first need to find a way of communicating with our country’s citizens. We should inform them about what the benefits are of the visits we have made to these countries. One way of doing it is through Parliament, because they listen to what Parliament discusses. It is important to do so, so that people will appreciate the reasons why these visits are made.
We cannot develop relations and our economy if we are not in dynamic contact with other countries, particularly if we want to be a country amongst countries that are economically developed. Paying these visits is in fact doing the job of this country so that we therefore create more possibilities for economic and political relations that open up economic activities between the countries. This also enables us to learn from these countries about how they solve their own problems, particularly in the changing world of today where the emphasis is no longer just on relations between the South and the North, but where South-South is also important. We need to communicate all of that to people so that they understand what it means.
We need to see many of the channels that we have. That is the reason why the public broadcaster, for example, monitors and follows these visits. This is so that even whilst both the Deputy President and I are visiting, they are able to communicate and indicate what is happening as we are in these places. We should do more of that so that our people can understand, including utilising Parliament. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N J J KOORNHOF: Mr President, it appears that you are being ambushed by the Koornhofs, but I will not be rude to you today. It’s a very interesting initiative for South Africa to join the so called Bric countries. From Cope’s side, I would just wish for all the best.
Firstly, I would like to know if you envisage this to happen? Secondly, in view of the fact that most of the countries that you have visited are normally keen only to obtain our raw materials or minerals, have any agreements been reached with these countries? Such agreements should be to outsource any manufacturing to South Africa, but in such a way that they do not come here bringing their own workforce and skills, but that they employ South Africans and make use of our skills.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, don’t worry about the Koornhofs; I know them very well, even if they ambush me. Yes, that issue, including the beneficiation that we believe is important, has been discussed with the countries, because we have engaged quite extensively. They’ve got the capacity to do so. There is an agreement with these countries that indeed our relationship should be beneficial to both. The comprehensive agreement that we have already signed with China actually embodies that element of ensuring that there is beneficiation and job creation in the relationship that we have. We have engaged strongly the Russians and particularly the strong countries. So, that matter has been catered for. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S N SWART: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon President, of the countries visited, Brazil probably has the most similarities to South Africa. And most observers agree that Brazil’s emergence and recent surge can be attributed to political leadership. Since the 1990s, the sequencing of tough reform targeted social policies and the commodity boom.
The ACDP believes that all these developments have important lessons for South Africa, and we are grateful for their link with Brazil. But would you agree with the further widely held observation that the most instructive aspect of Brazil’s ascent is the strong consensus and common vision that has developed between government and business over the past decade? If so, how can a similar consensus and common vision be developed in South Africa between government, business and labour, particularly regarding economic growth issues? I’m referring now to beyond the Nedlac process. Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, certainly, yes, Cuba engaged social partners and discussed a number of issues with them. I don’t think it resolved any other issue but certainly made good progress, and it is a country to learn from. We are engaged in the process, as you know.
You have already quoted one example, Nedlac, which has been there all the time where these social partners had to exchange views. We have also been consulting on challenges with all social partners. You will recall that when the world was struck by the financial crisis, we were the only country that utilised that structure of social partners to emerge with a plan that no country ever had. That indicates our commitment to that process.
You would also appreciate that we have said in public that, economically speaking, with the new growth path we are going to engage social partners as well. So, from our point of view, we are always discussing with business and labour to find common ground on what we are doing. Certainly, there is room to do more, and I’m sure we will continue to do so. That is what we believe in, as Brazil also did. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: Thank you, Mr President, for your response. A bilateral relationship with any other country is a good thing for both parties. We must be guarded that we don’t sometimes open our doors too wide. I say this in the context of the thousands of job losses in the clothing and textile industry in the South African situation. Many businesses have closed down, and thousands of ordinary people have lost their jobs due to cheap imports. We do know that in the case countries like India and China in particular, with their low productivity costs, their products come here in the form of millions of items.
What are we going to do, or is there any agreement or arrangement or any discussion that has taken place, in particular with those two countries? This would be to ensure that we protect the jobs of people in our country, and that they adhere to proper rules and regulations when producing goods in their respective countries.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, as we engage with these countries, that issue is not outside of the engagement. Those are some of the matters that we have discussed. Certainly, we cannot determine what countries individually do. However, we certainly believe that as we develop relations, we are able to deal with those matters so that we can have better regulations in terms of how goods move between the countries. That is one issue and, as you know, it has been an issue about which there has been a lot of concern - particularly from the labour movement - that it must be corrected. Certainly these relations will remedy that as well. Thank you. [Applause.]
Particulars regarding applications for presidential pardon
20. Mr V B Ndlovu (IFP) asked the President of the Republic:
(1) With reference to the 384 applications for presidential pardon in terms of section 84(2) of the Constitution that were submitted with the assistance of a certain political party (details furnished), when will he make available his decision regarding the remaining 154 applications;
(2) whether, with reference to the 149 applications that were recommended for presidential pardon by the Presidential Reference Group (details furnished), he will make the political affiliations of each of these applicants available; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO4019E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, I will consider the remaining 154 applications for pardon at the time that I consider the other applications made in terms of the special dispensation process. This will be done once effect is given to the decision of the Constitutional Court in the matter of Ryan Albutt and Others v the President and Others. The applicants will be informed of my decision in due course.
The number of applicants is, of course, very long. The party-political affiliations have been categorised as follows: ANC, 53; Afrikaanse Weerstandsbeweging, 13; Azapo, 2; Bophuthatswana Defence Force, 2; Civic Association, 1; Former South African Police, 5; FF Plus, 3; IFP, 21; PAC, 34; Simunye in Christ Organisation, 1; UDM, 11; and those not affiliated, 3. A more detailed list is available, but may be too lengthy a response for this oral answer. However, the balance is as I have put here.
The majority of the prisoners who have applied are ANC members, and all others are small numbers. Surely, the ANC should be making more noise and asking more questions on this question, but I think the ANC understands the procedure. [Applause.]
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Somlomo, ngiyabonga mhlonishwa uMongameli ngezinombolo lezi onginike zona. Bengicela ukusho mhlonishwa uMongameli ukuthi lolu daba unguMongameli wesine siluxoxa. Ngeke siluyeke futhi siyoqhubeka ngokuluxoxa luze lufike ekugcineni. Ukuthi uKhongolose uyathanda ababo bahlale ngaphakathi noma abathandi, okwabo labo. [Uhleko.]
Okumqoka yikuthi siyafisa engathi umhlonishwa uMongameli angashesha afikelele esinqumeni salaba bantu, ngoba ngeke kwakuhle ukuthi abantu badonse izikhathi ezide, behleli laphaya ezindlini ezimnyama, ekugcineni bese kuthiwa baxolelwe nguMongameli kanti bese vese bezophuma ngakusasa. Lokho kungeke kwaba yigama elihle, okokuqala lokho.
Okwesibili, ngicosha ithuba lokuthokoza mina ukuthi kukhona nalaba okuthiwa usimunye. Angimazi usimunye kodwa angifuni ukubakhulumela ngoba banenhlanhla yokuthi bakucoshe lokho. Bengifisa Mongameli ukuthi lezicelo zonke zingenziwa masishane ukuze abantu bangagugeli emajele, nalaba abafanele ukuthi bathathe, bathathe besebancane, bangaze befele khona. Ngiyathokoza. [Uhleko.]
UMONGAMELI WERIPHABHULIKHI YASENINGIZIMU AFRIKA: Ngiyazibongela Somlomo, lungu elihloniphekile lesishayamthetho, Gatsheni, ngiyakuzwa baba kodwa engifisa nje ukuthi ngikuqaqambise kakhulu ukuthi akubambezele uMongameli. Njengoba wazi ukuthi lwathi lolu daba luphethwe, kwase kubakhona abaluthathayo balusa enkantolo.olwalunesibalo esithile salabo abenze izicelo.
Uma-ke udaba seluphambi kwezinkantolo awukwazi ukululokotha noma ngabe unguMongameli. Kufanele ukuthi ume, ulindele inkantolo ize ikhiphe isahlulelo, futhi-ke le nkantolo ebiphethe lolu daba inkantolo okuyiyona enkulu kunazo zonke yomthethosisekelo. Inkantolo yasikhipha isinqumo. Ithe seyisikhiphile, laba abakhuluma lolu daba, abafisa ukuthi lwenzeke ngoba inkantolo ithe labo abathintekile maqondana nokuthi isihlobo zalaba abangaphakathi abenze izicelo, nalabo ikakhulu okuyibona abalahlekelwa abantu babo, kufanele ukuba babe nezwi lokuthi bathini bona. Baphume laba bantu na noma bangaphumi, kusho inkantolo.
Ngithe sengilungiselela ukuthi ngiyakwenza-ke lokho njengokuqondiswa yinkantolo, kwase kuthi laba ababizwa ngokuthi izinhlangano ezingekho ngaphansi kukahulumeni, zafisa ukuthi nazo zafisa ukuthi ulwazi noma imiqulu equkethwe imininingwane zafisa ukuyibona nazo mathupha. Nazo lolu daba zaludlulisela enkantolo ukuthi zifisa ukulubona. Yilokho okulibazisile Gatsheni, ukuba kuyangathi ngabe izinqumo kade sizithathile ngoba nathi sifisa ukuthi umthetho uma uthi asenze into, siyenze. Singaphikisani nomthetho kodwa nalabo abafisa ukuthi umthetho usetshenziswe, bathathe amanyathelo athile athinta umthetho. Kuthiwa–ke into uma isemthethweni awukwazi ukuyisukela nje, ungaboshwa nokuboshwa. Abafundile bayaye bathi udaba olubucayi olusezithebeni zenkantolo. Ngiyabonga Somlomo. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr V B NDLOVU: Speaker, I thank you, hon President for the numbers you gave me. I would like to state, hon President, that you are the fourth president with whom I am raising this issue. We are not going to give up; we will continue raising it until it is concluded. Whether or not the ANC wants their people to remain incarcerated is their business. [Laughter.]
What is important is that we wish for the President to quickly reach a decision with regard to these people, because it won’t be good for people to serve long sentences, locked up in dark cells, and eventually it will be said the President pardoned them whereas they were about to be released. That won’t be right; that is the first thing.
Secondly, I want to take this opportunity to appreciate that there are those who are said to be single. I don’t know any person who is single, but I don’t want to speak on their behalf because they are lucky to be like that. I just wish, hon President, that these applications could be processed quickly so that people do not reach old age inside the prison. And also allow those who deserve to get married to do so while they are still of good age, rather than letting them die in prison. I thank you. [Laughter.]]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: I thank you, hon Speaker. Hon member of the National Assembly, Gatsheni, I hear what you are saying but I want to clarify that it is not the President who is delaying the matter. As you know, while this matter was being discussed, some people took it to court. A specific number of people applied.
When the matter is before the court, you cannot deal with it even if you are the President. You must wait for the court to decide, and this matter was sent to the highest court in the land, the Constitutional Court. The court decided. After the court had decided, those who talk about this matter did not want the court’s ruling to be implemented, that being that those who are affected by the matter, especially those who lost their relatives, must have a say in the matter. They had to indicate whether the prisoners should be released or not, as per the court’s decision.
As I was about to do what was directed by the court, the NGOs indicated that they wanted to see documents with information. They too took the matter to court. That is what caused the delay, Gatsheni - if it were up to us, we would have decided on the matter a long time ago because we want to obey the law when it orders us to do something. That’s what we do. We don’t want to work against the law, and then have some people take legal steps. It is said that when the matter is before the court, you can’t even start to deal with it because you could be imprisoned. The educated ones say that when the matter is before the court of law, it is very critical. I thank you, hon Speaker. [Applause.]
Ms M SMUTS: Hon President, we commend the disclosure of the political affiliation done here today in reply to that question. We also commend the fact that you have invited the victims of persons applying for pardon, as required in terms of the Albutt judgment. We wish, however, to raise a more difficult question of disclosure, and it is an associated question of disclosure.
The political pardon process was presented as the unfinished business of the TRC, but it is being perceived as an unfinished business of political parties. How will the hon President satisfy himself that the convicted criminals recommended by the Presidential Reference Group were indeed politically motivated to commit serial murder, theft, bank robbery and bombing?
When the reference group had its terms of reference changed on 6 February in 2008 to relieve the political parties of any obligation to confirm factual allegations made by the pardon applicants, did the former Director-General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, in addition, tell the reference group that it was not necessary for applicants to identify those who gave commands? The question is important because political motivation and commands are really the only thing that separates common crime from offences pardonable under this post-TRC process.
Therefore, my question is: How will the hon President satisfy himself and, secondly, will he give reasons in due course in the same spirit of disclosure? Will he give reasons for each decision to pardon, including demonstrable motivation on the part of the applicant, to avoid the arbitrary granting of what otherwise becomes a politically motivated pardon and which then brings justice into disrepute since all of these people are in prison after four judicial processes?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon speaker, the reference group, I think, was very important for the very reason that it was important for political parties at least to confirm whether they knew the applicant. Otherwise anyone could have made a claim and yet it could have been just an ordinary criminal case.
I have dealt with some of the cases and I have paid specific attention to that issue. I must say that in a number of cases I have dealt with, I have found very vague evidence; at times no evidence at all. At times it looked like somebody was just claiming.
In some cases, there has been very strong evidence. This has been available, so I don’t think at the moment there is even a problem in finding out, because the applicant will actually explain that he belongs to a particular organisation and, therefore, it is easy to check with that organisation, regardless of a decision taken by somebody that you should not do it. It is more logical to do it; otherwise how do you determine the facts?
This is what I have been doing in my method of dealing with this matter, and I have taken a number of decisions on the basis of this very issue. So, at the moment I don’t think there is any difficulty in handling that one. I have found quite a lot of them; it is very difficult to prove that this was a political somebody. In fact, in some cases, even the parties were not able to say, “Yes, this was a card-carrying member of our organisation”. So, at the moment that has not become a difficulty and I am sure even that decision that was taken — I think — was not a decision taken by a court. As you have said, it was a decision taken by a bureaucrat in terms of just working. I don’t think it’s something that binds me from taking a decision. So, be happy with that. Thank you.
Mnu J B SIBANYONI: Mhlonishwa Somlomo, Mongameli siyabonga incazelo yakho isiza kakhulu emphakathini ngoba abantu soloku bayabuza ngalezi zindaba.
Engifuna ukulandela ngako Mongameli yiloku ukuthi lawa magama ayi-149 ngabe ngamagama lawa ithiba elibhekelela ukuxolelwa elawaveza ngakuMongameli yathi ibona ukuthi laba abanikezwe ushwele wezepolitiki. Loko ngikubuza ngoba sebebonke cishe abafaka izicelo bafikela cishe eziyi-2000.
Okunye futhi okwenza ukuthi ngibuze ngaloku, lawa magama ithimba elibhekelela ukuxolelwa elawaveza ngaphambili lancoma, kwabanzima, kwabanamagama asala ngaphandle ngoba kungekho ukuvumelana ethimbeni, kwashuba impela bephikisana. Umbuzo wokuqala lowo. Okwesibili umbuzo Mongameli, umayelana nesikubone kwenzeka eVulindlela enkundleni yezemidlalo, lapho bekuhlangene khona esakubona ukuthi cishe kufana nendlela yokushanela amabala, ukuthi mhlawumbe uma sekukhishwa abantu bebe beshayisana ngamakhanda ngezikhathi zepolitiki, kutholakale ukuthi la emphakathini sebeyamukeleka.
Kodwa Mongameli kukhona abasala ngaphandle abazange bawuhambele umcimbi waseVulindlela bathi kukhona okusalenga. Manje umbuzo uthi ngabe uMongameli uyokwenza yini ukuthi uma kuhlanganiswa imiphakathi kanjena ikakhulukazi khona kwelikaMthaniya kungabi abasalela ngaphandle kube Mongameli sakubona uphumelela wenza ukuthula koBurundi abantu baxhawulana ? AbakwaMthaniya bazakuxhawulana.yini bona ekugcineni? [Isikhathi Siphelile][Ihlombe.]
UMONGAMELI WERIPHABHULIKHI YASENINGIZIMU AFRIKA: Somlomo, lungu elihloniphekile lesishayamthetho, ngiyabonga umbuzo wakho. Wonke lamagama esikhuluma ngawo ayilesibalo alethwa yithimba elibhekelela ukuxolelwa. Kusho ukuthi lawa amanye asala uma senza amanye - maningi esawenza njengoba kade ngenza isibonelo nje la ukuthi kunezinqumo esengazithatha kwamaningi. Asala lawa ngenxa yokuba kwabakhona imibandela ethile – ngakho yiwo wonke.
Angiwutholanga umbiko othi kukhona amagama asala ngaphandle, ngoba ithimba elibhekelela ukuxolelwa alishongo ukuthi liletha lawa nje kukhona eliphikisane ngawo kwaze kwasekugcineni langavumelani. Ngathatha lokho osekuphambi kwami ngasebenzela phezu kwako.
Maqondana nodaba lwaseVulindlela olulanda ngoba ubeka ukuthi kuyekufuneke ukuthi abantu bathelelane amanzi uma kuthiwa kukhona uxolo. Isenzo leso esenziwe abantu baseVulindlela abazisukumela phansi ngoba udlame olwalukhona lwaluyizinhlobo ezahlukahlukene. Kwakukhona ukulwa kwezigodi, kukhona nokulwa ngokwezepolitiki. Kwasukuma izinsizwa ezasukunyiswa laphaya ngoba ngangikhona ngaleli langa, okuyizona ezisungule ukuthi akuxoxwe, kube khona ukuzwana.
Kanti futhi ngenkathi kwindaba kwashiwo ukuthi bakhona abasasele ngaphandle. Lokho phela kusho ukuthi kuwumsebenzi wethu sonke ukuthi makusekhona okulengayo, sikwehlise emqadini sikubeke phansi, sikhulume ngakho ukuze wonke umuntu abe noxolo, kube khona uxolo phakathi kwabantu. Ngicabanga ukuthi isenzo saseVulindlela sibeyisenzo esihle, engicabanga ukuthi siyakhona ukuthi kuyoze kuxoxwe futhi abantu baze baphelele. Phela isiZulu sithi:”Impandla iqala ngenhlonhlo.” [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follow.)
[Mr J B SIBANYONI: Hon Speaker, hon President, we thank you for your explanation, which will help the public a lot because people always ask about these matters.
What I want to do proceed to do is to find out if these 149 names are the names that were submitted to the President by the presidential pardon committee members to be considered for pardoning. I ask this question because the total number of applicants was almost 2000.
I am also asking this question because when these names were revealed by the committee and recommendations were made, it was tough because some names were omitted because no agreement was prevalent and things got complicated as they disagreed. That is the first question.
The second question, hon President, is about what we saw at the Vulindlela sports grounds. There was a gathering that we could describe as a peace initiative, so that upon their release from jail all these people, who had previously been in conflict politically, would live together harmoniously as a community. But, hon President, some people opted not to honour the gathering, saying there were still outstanding issues. The question is, would you try to ensure that everybody attends these gatherings, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, and that nobody is left out, since we have seen you succeeding in brokering peace deals in Burundi and have also seen people shaking hands? Are the people of KwaZulu-Natal going to eventually shake hands? [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker and hon member of the Assembly, thank you for your question. All the names we are mentioning are the names which were submitted by the pardon committee. This means that insofar as those that were omitted are concerned – there are many that we did like that - I have made an example that there are decisions I have already made regarding some of those. And these were left out because of certain conditions – therefore it is all of them.
I did not get the report indicating that there were names omitted. When the pardon committee brought these names to me they did not indicate that some names had been omitted because they could not reach an agreement regarding those. I took what was placed before me and started working on it.
With regard to the issue of Vulindlela, which you narrated because you want to highlight that it is imperative for the people who had quarrelled before to reconcile in order to reach a peaceful solution, this act was initiated by of the people of Vulindlela, who came up with the idea on their own because the violence there was multifaceted. There was infighting between people from different areas, and a political war. In that gathering there, in my presence, some young men were asked to stand up - the young men who initiated peace talks to bring about harmony.
It was also mentioned in the news that some still have been left out. So, it becomes our task to ensure that if there is any outstanding issue, we must tackle that to bring about peace for everyone, and peace among people in general. I think what happened in Vulindlela was a good act, which I think we are going to eventually talk about and everybody will be present. IsiZulu says it well: “There are small beginnings to big things.” [Applause.]]
Particulars regarding improved service delivery to be brought about by changes to Cabinet
- Mr P J Groenewald (FF Plus) asked the President of the Republic:
With reference to his statement on 31 October 2010 that he has changed his Cabinet in order to ensure improved service delivery and strengthen existing Ministries, in what way will these changes to his Cabinet bring about improved service delivery? NO4015E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: The composition of the Cabinet and the appointment of Deputy Ministers is the prerogative of the President. The President is under no obligation to explain the reasons for his actions in this regard. However, I did indicate on 31 October, when we announced changes to the national executive, that, having spent 17 months in government, we have had time to study the functioning of the current administration and we were able to ascertain what works and what needs to be changed or strengthened.
We were guided by the mission of our government, which is to improve the quality of life of all South Africans, especially the poor, working with all our people. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the former members of Cabinet for their contribution to government and to the nation during their term of office. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Speaker, agb President, die VF Plus verwelkom ... [Hon Speaker, hon President, the FF Plus welcomes ...] I will change to English just now, Mr President.
Die VF Plus verwelkom uit die aard van die saak enige verbetering in dienslewering. Wat egter nie sin maak nie, is die afdanking van persone en voormalige Ministers soos die agb Barbara Hogan en Geoff Doidge wat goeie prestasie gelewer het. U het gesê wat nie werk nie moet weer reggemaak word om te werk. Hulle het gewerk, want dit was twee moeilike portefeuljes.
Verder moet u u nie laat mislei deur te dink dat al u Ministers wat nou hier sit, altyd in die Huis is as hulle moet werk nie. Hulle sit hier om u te beïndruk, want gister met die Aansuiweringsbegrotingswetsontwerp was daar 10 Ministers – eintlik net 9, want een het darem ’n amptelike verskoning gehad – wat nie teenwoordig was nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[The FF Plus naturally welcomes any improvement in service delivery. However, what does not make sense is the dismissal of individuals and former Ministers like hon Barbara Hogan and Geoff Doidge, who performed well. You said that if something is not working the situation should be rectified to make it work. They were working, because those were two difficult portfolios.
Furthermore, do not allow yourself to be misled by thinking that all Ministers who are present now are always in the House when work needs to be done. They are sitting here to impress you, because yesterday when we dealt with the Adjustments Appropriation Bill there were 10 Ministers who were not present — actually only 9, because one of them at least had an official apology.]
The FF Plus welcomes any improvement in service delivery. What we do not understand is why former Ministers, Barbara Hogan and Geoff Doidge, were replaced. They have done a good job and you said that if something does not work, you have to replace it with something that works. They had two very difficult portfolios which were in chaos and they have done a good job. My first follow-up on that one is whether you would agree that it was not only service delivery but also political situations that you had to consider.
Secondly, you must not be misled by the fact that when you are in this House, all your Ministers are sitting here. Yesterday, with the Appropriation Bill or the additional one, where the Ministers came to this House and asked for more money, nine of them were absent. They could not even answer the questions of the opposition. Would you agree that that is disrespectful towards this House and that you should do something about that? Thank you. [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, the hon member has his own view of what happens; it is normal for a person of the opposition. I don’t think anybody will be surprised by that. I don’t think the hon member would want the President to discuss the reasons why one person is replaced and not the other. It has never been done. Rather join the party that is ruling. [Applause.] Then you will benefit from the inside discussions.
I am sure that the hon member asks but he knows we cannot give an answer. Certainly, it was informed by what the President said and not by what other people think informed the decisions. I am sure that is very clear.
With regard to the Ministers who were not here during the time of the discussions in Parliament about the Appropriation Bill, it is very difficult to answer the question here because you said it happened yesterday. I don’t know what the reasons are because some of them might have been engaged in other kinds of commitments that they could not avoid. I don’t know. If you want me to comment on that, it will be an unfair comment. It is unfair to judge people if you don’t know the reasons. I don’t do that, absolutely not. Thank you. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you, Speaker. Hon President, with respect, the first duty of Ministers is to account to this House. Other arrangements which are made need to be put aside because this is where their duties and responsibilities lie; this is where accountability lies.
Would you not agree that a change in Ministry or members of Cabinet is part of the solution? Isn’t one of the real problems the whole question of unskilled people who are not fit for purpose or cadre deployment in officialdom because that is where real delivery will take place? Real delivery will take place when officials are fit for purpose, skilled and appropriate for the job that they have been designated to. It is then that service delivery will take place. You are quite right in one respect. Your Presidency will be defined by the extent to which delivery takes place. Ministers are one thing, but officials need to be addressed as well.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon member, firstly, I would like to respond to the first comment you have made that Ministers are firstly responsible to this House. Part of the reason why I did not want to venture to answer that question is because I don’t know whether their commitment is as a result of the instructions from this House. How would I know? [Interjections.] No, I am answering the question, not how you feel. I really don’t know. If they are answerable to this House, this House instructs the Ministers, as they do the oversight, to do x, y and z. If it was as a result of that, why should I condemn them? That is why I am saying that I can’t condemn people if I don’t know the facts. It doesn’t change my answer that I gave.
Secondly, with regard to reasons, I can see that they are trying their level best to search the reasons. They are not related to inefficiency or lack of skills, not at all. It is totally not related to that. Remove that out of your mind and just accept what has happened. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms A MDA: Thank you, Speaker. President, I understand, and we all agree, that you appoint Ministers because it is your prerogative and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa empowers you to do so. However, as you do that, would you want to use your prerogative to appoint these Ministers just to keep them in your Cabinet when they are adding no value to service delivery, which is the primary task of the government that you are leading?
If service delivery is the primary task, you would not appoint them just to keep them safe in their positions. Why would you keep a Minister under whose leadership collapsing municipalities have become a daily norm? The Ingquza Hill Local Municipality of the very same Minister, Minister Shiceka, in the Eastern Cape has not been able to hold a council meeting for two consecutive years. The council cannot do its business. It cannot focus on service delivery, and it cannot serve the people of that area because of the political infighting in that municipality. You are at the helm of the Cabinet and have the prerogative. Why would you keep such people? Thank you. [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, of course, the hon member has her own view of things and, naturally, as an opposition member, she will have her own view. You have a very specific case that you mention, which is a place you would know better. I don’t have the facts of the place you are talking about but I take it that you talk about a place you know. This is a place in Ingquza. It is one place.
This minute, I am dealing with the whole country. You are not asking me why I keep a Minister when the whole country is collapsing. [Applause.] If it was, you would have said so. I don’t think one can take serious decisions based on one issue. It is your view, but as far as I’m concerned, that Minister has been working and is very active. He has done a lot in terms of that department, and that is why I have kept him. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Thank you, hon Speaker. President, the ID would like to commend you for the courage that you have shown with the reshuffling of your Cabinet. However, it is unclear whether the reshuffle was about service delivery or internal ANC politics. We would like to know the rationale behind your decision. Why would I first have to join the ANC to know the reasons? They are public representatives and we have a right to know the reasons. We would like you to take us into your confidence by releasing these performance audit reports. Finally, when did the Ministers sign the performance agreements, and will you ever release those reports? [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, I stated my reasons why I have made changes. I am not going to consider any suggestion that is made different from that because there is no reason to do so. It is the imagination of whomever that this is about internal things in the ANC. It is imagination, absolutely. I stated the reasons and I am not going beyond that.
The reason why I said the hon member should join the ANC is that you cannot know the internal matters of the ANC from a distance. You will have to be inside because we can’t discuss our internal things with you. It is impossible. If you feel very eager to be part of changing government, win the elections. That is a simple thing to do. Then you have the right to do so. [Applause.]
Don’t worry; the matter is as clear as anything. The agreements were signed and we have said it will be made public; it is not a secret. At the right time, we will publish it. It is an agreement that we have signed with the Ministers. We said so, and it is not the first time we are saying it. Thank you.
Policy to ensure co-ordinated execution of independent mandates by three spheres of government
22. Mr L P Khoarai (ANC) asked the President of the Republic:
What policy has he put in place in terms of the Constitutional provision of co-operative government to ensure that the three spheres of government execute their independent mandates in a co-ordinated and cohesive manner? NO3910E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, all spheres of government must observe and adhere to the principles of co-operative government, as depicted in Chapter 3 of the Constitution. It is an intergovernmental obligation across national, provincial and local government.
Provinces and local government have to exercise their authority within a framework and direction set and supervised by national government. As early as 1998, the Presidential Review Commission had reported on the challenges of co-ordination within and between the different spheres, which created incapacity with regard to implementing programmes and services.
An extensive period of consultation was undertaken to inform the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act promulgated in 2005. Last year, government began working on a White Paper on Co-operative Governance, which is currently a draft Green Paper. It is due for submission for comments by February 2011.
The purpose of this policy paper is to strengthen key elements of the system. These include some reforms in the exercise of powers and functions across government in order to clarify and simplify the executive obligations of each sphere. Closely related to this is a process of reviewing the intergovernmental planning system.
A third and critical element is the strengthening of the supervision and intervention capacities of national and provincial government. This is in order to provide for timely interventions when municipalities are in distress. In this way, appropriate action may be taken before a situation escalates and impacts negatively on communities.
Finally, our outcomes approach to governance is fundamentally co-operative in its conception and practice across government. Each of the 12 delivery agreements that have been signed depends on the co-operation of a range of partners in the three spheres – Ministers, MECs and mayors.
I am honoured to join the NCOP, this Friday, when it meets at the Charles Mopedi Stadium in Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality in the Free State province. We will be celebrating co-operative governance in practice, urging all spheres of government to work together to speed up the delivery of services. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr P F SMITH: Thank you, Speaker. Good afternoon, Mr President. Mr President, if you look at the municipal system - you said just now that we should not look at one municipality only, but at the whole lot – you see that it is, in fact, a bit of a mess. The reason for the mess is the failure of the intergovernmental relations system. At least we will give you credit for taking the initiative to hold an indaba last year and set the ball rolling for a turnaround strategy.
The question that arises is: What are you going to do about the provinces? The reason for such a question is due to the fact that I don’t think you have grounds to be proud of what is happening in all the provinces. There are problems of governance, maladministration, corruption, nepotism and lack of service delivery all over the place. The Eastern Cape, North West and Northern Cape are really badly run. As for Mpumalanga, I am not quite sure if it is run by a party or by the mafia. [Interjections.] So, we have real problems.
My question to you, Mr President, is - in fact, I have three questions. Firstly, would you not consider holding a provincial indaba - as you did a municipal indaba - including the legislatures to discuss improving the governance of the provinces?
Secondly, are you satisfied that your Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs is devoting sufficient time to the provinces? What I see is a department of local government, despite the name change. I am glad that there is a Green Paper coming out, but in terms of actual activity and engagement with the provinces, I don’t see a lot of it.
Thirdly, what does your performance agreement with the Minister have to say about his responsibilities in terms of improving the performance of the provinces? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Speaker. I am happy that the hon member acknowledges that we have called an indaba to discuss this issue. In the meantime, there is a Green Paper that is coming, which we will all have time to comment on and help find solutions where we think there are serious problems. Certainly, the proposal that we should have even a bigger indaba, I don’t think is a problem, if we all agree there is a need to do so in trying to deal with the issues that affect our provinces and municipalities.
Certainly, we are together in that. I think your being here in Parliament is for the oversight that you are talking about. You are asking questions so that we can look into those matters if they are matters that need to be given attention.
As you have correctly said, there are processes with regard to this, and we must always bear in mind that we are talking about three spheres of government. I hope you are not saying that the Minister must now run provinces, because it is a co-operative governance issue. Provinces have their space within which they must do their work. So, you can’t say the Minister must now go to that level because, again, it will be contravening the Constitution. So, we have got to do everything within the context of the Constitution.
I think the Minister has done his work. He has gone there to research and found all the difficulties and challenges. He has been talking about the turnaround strategy precisely because he has discovered what the problems are. I think the Green Paper will be addressing those issues, and ordinary South Africans, MPs and everybody will have an opportunity to participate to help improve the system. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs M WENGER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Hon President, would you not agree that the biggest barrier in delivering services to the poor is not the lack of co-ordination but, rather, the fact that individual municipalities are crippled by lack of skills, are inefficiently run, and are rife with corruption? [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Speaker. Well, these are some of the factors that we have mentioned and that have to be taken into consideration. We have said that, as the majority government, we are going to take measures to deal with some of those issues.
Corruption is an issue that we are dealing with at every level. I think it is important to make the point that it is not every municipality or council that is corrupt. I think the majority are very good citizens who are working for this country. It is the minority that is corrupt, which all of us have to deal with.
We also have to deal with the question of skills. However, we have got to identify where the gaps are, specifically, and then make our move. I think it would be very useful, at some point, that when people raise issues they are able to say that this particular council or this man is inefficient so that we look at the issue. At times, the generalisation does not help.
If I move from here, where do I go if there is a claim that there is inefficiency? I think it would be important, particularly for those who are doing oversight, to be very meticulous in collecting information so that they can say here is municipality A or B and there is problem X, Y and Z so that we can focus on that one.
I will be very happy if issues are raised in that fashion so that we can then address them. That is the point I want to make because, otherwise, we could generalise and end up not knowing where to go. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr T BOTHA: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon President, in October 2009, Mr Yunus Carrim bemoaned the lack of co-ordination and cohesion in the different spheres of government. The Human Sciences Research Council, in its submission to the Budget Policy Statement, supported this position. Back in 2004, the then Department of Provincial and Local Government’s indaba also raised the same issue of lack of co-ordination amongst the different spheres of government.
Recently, where there were problems of service delivery, the reports have identified some of these problems. In spite of all of this, there is no indication that this problem is subsiding. Is it lack of will on the part of the institutions or government to solve this problem? Is it lack of capacity, or is it because there is a problem in our institutional arrangement in the different spheres of government?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon member, I think, in the previous answers that I have just given, I said that there has been research to find out these issues accompanied by the indaba that discussed these issues, as you correctly say. The Minister has repeatedly said that we now have a turnaround strategy, precisely to remedy these problems. We have just said that the paper that is being prepared is about to be released so that we — all of us, including you; not only government — have an opportunity to comment on it. You will be able to say what it is that you think needs to be done in order to correct what we believe are the problems. We are going to have an opportunity to do that.
I have just said that that is a process which is ongoing. Nobody is saying we have done everything. We are saying that, given the problems, we have researched and identified them. There is now a strategy to address them. However, before the strategy is implemented, there is a paper that allows us to make healthy contributions to help the process and, therefore, help the system. I am sure that you will have an opportunity, hon member, to make a contribution, knowing you as I do. [Applause.]
Particulars regarding South Africa’s use of its position on UN Security Council to advance human rights and free political activity
23. Rev K R J Meshoe (ACDP) asked the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether South Africa will use its position on the United Nations Security Council to advance human rights and free political activity in countries such as Myanmar and Zimbabwe; if so,
(2) whether it will include supporting sanctions against countries that fail to respect human rights and do not allow free political activity; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NO3911E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Speaker. South Africa’s foreign policy is informed by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the country’s value system, especially our commitment to democracy, human rights, justice and the wellbeing of all. Our primary objective on the UN Security Council will be to contribute to the promotion of these values. We also remain firmly committed to the promotion and protection of human rights across the globe.
Membership of the UN enables us to contribute to promoting these goals as well as the protection of multilateralism and the respect of international law. South Africa, like the rest of the international community, is concerned about the human rights situation in Myanmar. We are consistent in our support for the consideration and discussion of human rights matters with regard to the Myanmar issue in relevant UN bodies, including the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. We have also supported the work of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy in Myanmar and the efforts of the Association of the South East Asian Nations aimed at assisting Myanmar to resolve its challenges.
The issue of Zimbabwe is currently not an agenda item in the UN Security Council. Hon members would be aware that the Southern African Development Community, SADC, and the African Union are attending to the Zimbabwean matter, and South Africa is part of that process. Thank you, hon Speaker.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Speaker, what the President has said now is not substantiated by what our country did when we voted for and in support of countries that undermine human rights. The world was shocked when South Africa cast its first vote as a nonpermanent member of the council to block a resolution condemning Myanmar for flagrant human rights abuses.
Our country also voted against smart sanctions against Zimbabwe, in spite of the political violence and human rights abuses perpetrated by the Mugabe regime. As many hold the view - in spite of what the President has said - that South Africa has betrayed its own Constitution that upholds human rights, can the President assure this House that what he has just said about concerns for human rights will be substantiated by the way we vote in the UN Security Council? Can the President assure this House that, when issues of human rights and issues of countries that are undermining the rights of the citizens are raised - including Myanmar, Zimbabwe, North Korea and the others - South Africa would not side and vote with countries that are defending those that are undermining human rights? [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, I’ve just stated South Africa’s position, unless the hon member disagrees with what I said regarding the position of South Africa. I said very clearly that our position is very clear when it comes to human rights.
There are examples that the hon member cited; amongst them, Zimbabwe. I think the issue of Zimbabwe has been discussed in this House many times, and we have stated our position on that score all the time. You know the position of the region and of the continent with regard to Zimbabwe.
We gave here, I think over the years, elaborate explanations about our attitude towards Zimbabwe and what we are doing in Zimbabwe, which is different from the attitude of those who were shouting and doing absolutely nothing on the Zimbabwean issue. We have been working hard to help our neighbours as a country and as part of the SADC region.
So, I think you can’t just post the issue of Zimbabwe in a huge basket because we have been dealing with that issue. The fact that Zimbabwe is where it is today is because of our contribution in solving problems. Otherwise, there would have been more difficulties. That is accepted by everybody else in the world. Thank you, hon Speaker. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr President, Msholozi, I’m also addressing myself specifically to this issue of Zimbabwe. I seem to see that, in my own assessment, there is a factor which I believe is missing in the process that we also engaged in — a factor which I also believe is vital to a future settlement in Zimbabwe. So this may sound like a question, Mr Speaker, but it is also a matter of saying: Mr President, look at that angle also.
My question is this: Is the President contemplating utilising his visit to the United Kingdom as an opportunity to create, open or establish a direct dialogue between London and Harare in order to revisit the Lancaster House Agreement, particularly on the question of land? I believe this is extremely critical for the future settlement, Mr President.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Speaker. Well, South Africa has engaged with the British government over the period ever since the Zimbabwean issue. As you know, Britain took a position of applying sanctions, which includes not talking with the Zimbabwean authority. We have been raising that issue as a country and as a region. Our view has been: In order to resolve the Zimbabwean question, lift sanctions. We should be open to the possibility we are talking about so that the British and Zimbabweans could talk on this specific issue of land you referred to. The land issue caused the deadlock during the Lancaster House time, but the British have stuck to their views and position.
Those are matters we have been discussing with them, including the decision of SADC in its last summit to send a delegation to the global institutions and countries to deal with the question of lifting of sanctions. That is the matter we’ve been engaged in all the time, but, of course, the British have not moved. Thank you, hon Speaker.
Mr S MOKGALAPA: Thank you very much, hon Speaker. Hon President, in light of the recent release of Aung San Suu Kyi, who is recognised as a champion of free political activity and human rights in Myanmar, and the recent elections that were condemned by the international community as a sham, does the South African government recognise the recently elected government in Myanmar? What is the government’s position in this regard? I thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, thank you very much. Firstly, I don’t think we give ourselves space to be judges of other people or to judge situations. Certainly, the release has been welcomed because we believe that there must be free political activities. The people of that country must express their views freely and take decisions.
How the systems work in the end is the business of those countries. What we would not like is for people to be arrested for their political views. That is what we are against because that is part of the rights we believe people should exercise. Therefore, regarding how they conduct their elections, if we have the details of how the elections were conducted, and if those details reflect that the elections were not free and fair, then, as you know, the entire world will condemn them. However, if they conduct their elections and people believe that they were free and fair in terms of their system, I don’t think we would want to give ourselves space as judges to judge other people. However, we are very happy that people have been released. Thank you.
Mr L S NGONYAMA: Thank you, Speaker. Hon President, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation promised that membership of the UN Security Council would present an opportunity to promote the African agenda and contribute to achieving peace and stability on the continent and in all regions of the world.
Within the context of your answer with regard to the SADC region, Minister Sisulu said on 17 November 2010:
President Zuma is in touch with the coalition government in Zimbabwe and constantly on top of the situation.
She said —
I believe we have moved them in the right direction.
Within that context, I would like to ask the President to take us into his confidence with regard to the issue of the political relations between President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai, which are, at this point in time, at an all-time low since the SADC region meeting in August.
What are the plans that the President and the government are implementing to try and mitigate or intervene in the situation? That kind of relationship is very important in resolving the situation in Zimbabwe, as well as in ensuring that the implementation of the 24 Global Political Agreement, GPA, issues is taken very seriously. Furthermore, that kind of relationship is important for President Mugabe to ensure that he adheres to the terms of the 2008 GPA. That is basically my question, Mr President. Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, on the issue of Zimbabwe, the Minister was correct. We are in dynamic contact with the situation in Zimbabwe because, partly, South Africa has been put by SADC as the facilitator and, therefore, we are always in contact.
The last SADC summit adopted a road map to implement the GPA, which was accepted by all parties in Zimbabwe. This road map was mapped by the facilitator. There are specific things that are expected to have happened by now.
However, there were developments of a political nature that caused problems in Zimbabwe. We immediately moved in to interact with the leadership in Zimbabwe. In fact, a few days ago at the latest members of the facilitation team were in Zimbabwe to address specifically those issues.
As part of a troika, we will be giving a report to SADC countries which are meeting as from tomorrow evening in Botswana. We will be giving a report and making some recommendations, from our point of view, of what needs to be done. So the matter is indeed under constant attention. Thank you, hon Speaker.
Position regarding reconciliation of statement by President with 2010 State of the Public Service Report
24. The Leader of the Opposition (DA) asked the President of the Republic:
How does he reconcile his statement in which he expressed satisfaction that the Government was tackling corruption with the 2010 State of the Public Service Report in which it is reported that the Government is unable to account for at least two thirds of the cases reported to its National Anti-Corruption Hotline? NO3988E
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, there is no contradiction because we have scored several achievements with regard to the investigation of cases of alleged corruption reported to the national anticorruption hotline. According to the reports provided to the Public Service Commission since the establishment of the hotline and as a result of the successful investigation of cases, 235 officials were found guilty of misconduct.
Of these cases, 35 officials were suspended, 120 were given final written warnings, and 80 officials were dismissed. In addition, a total of R1 million was recovered from perpetrators. Against this backdrop, it is clear that the hotline has had positive spin-offs; not only in terms of monetary value, but also in terms of disciplinary action taken against perpetrators.
The commission is currently following up with departments on all outstanding cases that were reported to the hotline to ensure that departments fulfil their obligations in investigating these cases.
We appreciate the fact that an independent body such as the Public Service Commission draws our attention to such matters so that we can improve our efforts.
Let me indicate as well that there are also a number of critical initiatives that government has embarked upon to intensify the fight against corruption. We have established the interministerial committee on anti-corruption to ensure the alignment of corruption-fighting initiatives within government. There are also many agencies that are focusing on various aspects to attack corruption holistically. We have the Multi-Agency Working Group established by the Minister of Finance to investigate high-risk irregularities in the government procurement system. In addition, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development is working with other Ministers in the criminal justice sector to strengthen the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
We have also instructed the Special Investigating Unit to probe alleged maladministration and corruption in several government departments, municipalities and agencies. These are the Department of Health in the Gauteng province, the national Department of Human Settlements, the Department of Arts and Culture, the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape province, the national Department of Public Works, the SA Social Security Agency and the SA Police Service. Last week we added the Ekurhuleni and Tshwane municipalities and the SABC. While not prejudging the investigations, the proclamations we issued are a clear indication of the resolve of government to combat corruption, mismanagement and maladministration at all levels of government and the Public Service.
Let me also take this opportunity to point out that we should avoid making blanket statements about corruption, which only serve to stereotype people. For example, an erroneous impression is created that all local government leaders and officials are corrupt. The majority of mayors, councillors and officials in local government work very diligently and in an honest manner. [Applause.]
Corruption should, therefore, not be used as an instrument of fighting certain ideological or sectarian battles; it should unite all of us to ensure clean governance in the public and private sectors. Thank you. [Applause.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you hon Speaker. Hon President, my question has nothing to do with internal machinations of the ANC, so, hopefully, I won’t have to join the party to get a comprehensive response.
My question is: After publicly emphasising the need for leadership from the government on this issue, why hasn’t the strategic report of the anticorruption inter-ministerial committee, which was established a year ago in November 2009, been made public? What recommendations does this report make with regard to holding corrupt public representatives and officials accountable? When will the full report be released? And when can steps seem to be taken with regard to this task force?
The above questions are based on the questionable effectiveness of the national anticorruption hotline and its inability to account for two thirds of the reported cases, the apparent kid-glove treatment of the 235 officials you mentioned, and comments made by Cabinet spokesperson, Themba Maseko, at the Cabinet briefing on 19 November 2009 when he stated that:
Government’s view is that government does not provide leadership on the scourge of corruption. The chances are that it will continue and affect each and every aspect of life in South Africa.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon speaker. Well, sorry, if you wanted to join ANC, there is no space at the moment. [Laughter.] I’m just joking; don’t worry. [Laughter.]
I think I have just given a report of what is happening in terms of fighting corruption — very specific facts, which will be part of the interministerial committee’s report. I don’t think that, having got that information, we should then create an impression that nothing has happened. That, I think, must indicate that a lot is happening in fighting crime.
When will the committee report? I think that that is a matter of saying you are interested in receiving the report. The report could be given any time. Since you have said so, I’m sure government will work on the report and put everything together. There is a lot of work that is being done and we are achieving successes. Thank you.
Mnu V B NDLOVU: Ngiyabonga Somlomo, mhlonishwa Mongameli, kuye kungabukeki kukuhle noma ngabe batholakala benecala labo abasuke befake isandla ebhodweni elingabafanele uma kuzothatha isikhathi eside ukuthi batholakale benecala ngokwenza lokho. Lokhu ngikushiso ngukuthi kukhona abantu abamiswayo emisebenzini kodwa babe behola, bahlale isikhathi eside bese kuthi ngalesi sikhathi betholakala benecala abanye babo basule emisebenzini bahambe. Lokho kuveza ukuthi abanye babo babaleka nezikhumba zezinkomo asebezidlile Sikuvimba kanjani lokho? Lokhu ngikusho ngoba usanda kusho manje ukuthi leli Komidi loNgqongqoshe abehlukene lizokwethula umbiko maduze nje. Uma kuthiwa maduze nje uyazi ukuthi kungaze kuphele iminyaka emihlanu? Kusemqoka kabi ukuthi sazi ukuthi umaduze nje unini ngempela. Ngiyabonga.
UMONGAMELI WERIPHABHLIKI YASENINGIZIMU AFRIKA: Ngiyabonga Somlomo, ngiyabonga Gatsheni,lungu elihloniphekile lesiShayamthetho. Ngiyethemba ukuthi usuke wezwa ngikhuluma; senginesikhathi eside ngikhuluma ngikhala ngokuthi isikhathi esichithekayo ngaphambi kokuthi kubhekanwe nalabo abenza ubulelesi kuHulumeni side kakhulu. Ezinye zezinto okufanele ukuthi leli komidi lizibheke yikho ukuthi kungenziwa kanjani ukuba kuphuthunywe. Sengikhale kakhulu impela ngaba wuqanduqandu esidlangalaleni futhi hhayi esithe, ngikhala ngakho ukuthi abanye bayantshontsha bese kuthiwa bamisiwe emsebenzini kodwa babe behola behlezi emakhaya.
Kufuneka kushintshe lokho, yinto esiyidingidayo ukuthi sizokwenza kanjani ukuthi sifinyeze isikhathi esiphakathi kokubanjwa komuntu owonile kanye nokugwetshwa kwakhe; yinto esiphezu kwayo leyo. Uma ekhona amacebo athile-njengoba phela kuyaziwa ukuthi amacebo aphuma kuzo izimpunga-, singajabula ukuwezwa, sizwe ubuhlakani obudala bamava athi nakhu esicabanga ukuthi ake nikwenze.
Phela sifuna ukwenza into esizovumelana sonke kuyona ukuze kulungiswe umthetho ngoba zonke lezi zinto zenziwa phezu komthetho. Njengoba uzwile nje uma ngithi abanye banikezwe isexwayiso; umthetho uthi akunikezwe isexwayiso emva kwezikhathi ezithile- kuze kuthiwe sekuyisexwayiso sokugcina-ke lesi, uyantshontsha njalo umuntu uyaqhubeka. Yimithetho le okufanele ukuba sibhekane nayo ukuthi siyishintsha kanjani ukuze senze izinto ngendlela ehlukile sikwazi ukubamba izigebengu. Ngiyajabula ukuthi uwubuze lo mbuzo ngoba sonke kufanele ukuba siyicabange indlela yokuthola amasu namaqhinga okuqeda le nkohlakalo ekhona emphakathini. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr V B NDLOVU: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon President, it doesn’t look good when it takes a long time to get a verdict for people who have been caught committing crimes. I say this because there are people who were suspended with full pay; they stay for a long time and some of them resign from their jobs when found guilty. This shows that they leave with the evidence. How can we prevent this? I say this because you have just mentioned that this Ministerial Committee will submit a report very soon. Are you aware that if one says very soon, it could even take five years? It is really important for us to know the timeframe. Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, Speaker, thank you, Gatsheni, hon member of the National Assembly. I believe that you have heard me complaining for a long time about the time that is wasted before those who commit crimes in government are apprehended. Something this committee must look at is how to fast-track these issues. I have publicly complained that some people steal and are said to be suspended and then they get paid whilst sitting at home.
That must change; we need to come up with a plan with regard to how we are going to shorten the time between a culprit’s arrest and the court ruling — that is what we are now embarking on. If there are any other plans — it is known that some ideas come from experienced people — we would be pleased to hear the wisdom of the experienced, saying this is what they think we should do.
Indeed, we want to do something that we all agree upon in order to correct the law because all these things are done based on the law. You heard me when I said that some were given a warning; the law states that warnings should be given after certain incidences have occurred before issuing the final warning, whereas in the meantime the person continues to steal. These are the laws that we must face, so that we manage to amend them in order to do things differently so that we can catch the criminals. I’m happy that you asked this question because we must all think about these plans and strategies of curbing corruption in our community. Thank you.]
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Thank you, Speaker. Mr President, in the fight against corruption that government is embarking upon — which all of us support — if officials of state who are dealing with issues of resources are failing to comply with Treasury regulations with regard to tender processes, and the directors-general are failing to disclose their interest, would you agree with the statement that the reasons as to why that is in fact taking place remain suspect? At the moment, there is R3,9 billion that you have incurred as the state; whether it’s a quote, and so on.
Again, have you taken the trouble to look at the details of this irregular expenditure of R3,9 billion, which is as a result of the violations in the Cabinet, to ensure that you actually fight corruption in earnest and officials take precautionary measures?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Speaker, as the hon member knows, we have said we are fighting corruption; we are doing everything. Among the measures we detailed here are the steps that have been taken by our Treasury to deal with those questions. We’ve taken a decision that we cannot tolerate corruption. Therefore, anything that is done wrong, we want to take a firm and quick decision on.
That is the reason why, as I was responding to hon Ndlovu, I said that the time has come for us to look at the laws that at times do not make it quicker for action to be taken. We should be together on those issues so that we can act swiftly and firmly. We are in total agreement in terms of fighting crime and we are not joking about it.
Therefore, whatever ideas you may have — and I know your previous commitment as an MEC; you must have some ideas — bring them forth so that we can work together to fight crime. We need that so that we can help this country out of the problem of people who take decisions and take government’s money, as well as the system that makes it difficult to deal with them immediately.
So, we have agreed that we want to be firm and we are working on it. I’m hoping that once we begin to be active, nobody is going to complain because we need to be firm, not so? Agreed. Thank you.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Speaker, hon President, just yesterday, at the meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, the members of this House were informed that 70% of the directors-general in your government have not made their financial disclosures. Is this the kind of example that you would approve of from the most senior civil servants and officials of your government in fighting corruption?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Certainly no, I will not accept that because they ought to disclose. That is what the law says and that is my answer. [Applause.]
See also QUESTIONS AND REPLIES.
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr S J MASANGO: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House —
- debates the failure of the national Department of Education and the Mpumalanga provincial Department of Education to issue matric certificates to a number of 2008 matriculants and the consequences it has on the students concerned; and
- comes up with a solution.
Ms J L FUBBS: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:
That the House debates the re-launching of the “Proudly South African” campaign to make it more effective and widely spread.
Mr S B SIBANYONI: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:
That the House debates the attacks on the judiciary - whether from political parties, academics or political commentators – which imperils confidence in the courts and, therefore, poses a risk to the independence of the judiciary.
Ms X C MAKASI: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:
That the House debates the introduction of environmental studies and appreciation of nature in the school curriculum.
ELECTIONS of Mr Cedric Frolick and Mrs Fatima Hajaig as HOUSE Chairpersons
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I hereby move without notice:
That the House, in terms of Rule 14, elects Mr C T Frolick and Mrs F Hajaig as House Chairpersons.
TRIBUTE TO Bafana Bafana
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Speaker, I hereby move without notice:
That the House —
- notes that Bafana Bafana yesterday lost their friendly international match against the United States of America (USA) 1-0 at the Cape Town Stadium;
- acknowledges that although they lost, the team did our country proud in displaying determination and skill in a spirited performance;
- further acknowledges that this sold-out game recreated the unique spirit of the 2010 World Cup, as fans passionately stood behind the national team;
- encourages all South Africans to continue to stand behind their national team;
- congratulates the USA on their victory; and
- further congratulates Bafana Bafana for their spirited performance; and wishes the team the best of luck for future games.
Universal Children’s Day
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, I hereby move without notice:
That the House —
- notes that the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation recommended in 1954,Resolution 836(IX), that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children and of activity promoting the welfare of the world’s children;
- further notes that the recommendation was made that the day is observed on the date which each country considers appropriate; and that the date of 20 November marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989;
- recognises that the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the creation of Universal Children’s Day reflects the growing recognition that children are important and valued members of society, now and in the future; and also that the Universal Children’s Day celebrates children just for being themselves; and
- supports the promotion of the rights of children everywhere around the world.
Proclamation of 20 November as Africa Industrialisation Day
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, I hereby move without notice:
That the House —
- notes that within the framework of the Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa, the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation proclaimed 20 November as Africa Industrialisation Day, Resolution 44/237 of 22 December 1989;
- further notes that the day is intended to mobilise the commitment of the international community to the industrialisation of Africa;
- recognises that it also serves as a reminder that more than 30 of the world’s 48 least developed countries are located in Africa; and
- supports this occasion to draw worldwide media attention to the problems and challenges of industrialisation in Africa.
BIRTHS AND DEATHS REGISTRATION AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill)
Order disposed of without debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move:
That the Bill be passed.
Motion agreed to.
Bill accordingly passed.
SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill)
Order disposed of without debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move:
That the Bill be passed.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: The DA requests a division
Ms S V KALYAN: Deputy Speaker, I am waiting for you to put the question first. The DA would like to make a declaration. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): There is an objection and therefore we will have to put the question. I now put a question, those in favour will say, “Aye!”
HON MEMBERS: Aye!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Those against will say, “No!”
HON MEMBERS: No!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): I think the Ayes have it.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: May we please now have a division.
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I think we have made it clear that we did ask for a declaration as well. I should imagine that should happen before the bells ring. Mrs Kalyan - hon Kalyan - indicated that we will be asking for a declaration and the Whips on the ANC’s side do know it as well. Thank you.
Declarations of vote:
Mrs A T LOVEMORE: Deputy Speaker, the DA has previously held that the Minister of Home Affairs misled the House and the Republic with respect to this Bill. The Minister has acknowledged her error and the wording of this Bill has now been changed.
The amended Bill now contains the provision that states:
Any person who obtained South African citizenship by naturalization in terms of this Act shall cease to be a South African citizen if he or she engages, under the flag of another country, in a war that the Republic does not support.
The Minister’s misunderstanding of the original wording has been addressed and the section now applies only to naturalised citizens.
However, Deputy Speaker, there is no right of appeal against the loss of citizenship. Allowing no right of appeal against being rendered stateless is untenable. It is contrary to section 20 of the Constitution, which provides that no citizen shall be deprived of citizenship. It is also contrary to section 33 of the Constitution requiring just administrative action.
Contradictory to the implication that the government supports some wars and not the others, as this Bill implies; section 198(b) of the Constitution, in fact, precludes any South African citizen from participating in armed conflict nationally or internationally.
This is listed as one of the governing principles with respect to national security. The Constitution does not make provision for the government to declare a war as one that it supports. If it did, the government would be in direct conflict with its constitutional principle.
The UN carries the burden of sanctioning wars. Will South Africa now have its own list of sanctioned wars? This section is highly complex; it is fraught with conflicting national and international legal implications. Our legal opinion tells us that, as a result, this Bill cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny. The DA cannot support the Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs M M MAUNYE: Deputy Speaker, the Minister has never misled anybody. We have never misled anybody. The content of the clause that comes from the NCOP is the same. The only thing is that it has been redrafted for anybody to understand. It reads as the hon member has read:
Any person who obtained South African citizenship by naturalization in terms of this Act shall cease to be a South African citizen if he or she engages, under the flag of another country, in a war that the Republic does not support.
The South African government supports peace; that is why troops are deployed in countries where there is no stability. Missionaries cause instability in most cases in Africa. We cannot continue harbouring such heartless people who cause misery to other people for financial gain. Thank you. [Applause.]
The House divided.
AYES - 192: Abram, S; Adams, P E; Baloyi , M R; Bam-Mugwanya, V; Bhengu , N R; Bhengu, P; Bikani, F C; Bogopane- Zulu, H I; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Botha, Y R; Burgess, C V; Carrim, Y I; Cele, M A ; Chikunga, L S; Chohan, F I ; Coleman, E M; Cwele, S C; Dambuza, B N; De Lange, J H; Diale, L N; Dikgacwi, M M; Dikobo, K J; Dlakude, D E; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Dunjwa, M L; Fihla, N B; Fransman, M L; Frolick, C T; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gaum, A H; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; Gina, N; Godongwana, E; Gololo , C L; Gona, M F; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Hajaig, F; Hanekom, D A; Huang, S-B; Jeffery, J H; Joemat-Pettersson, T M; Johnson, M; Kekane, C D; Kenye, T E; Kganyago, N M; Khoarai, L P; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Khunou, N P; Komphela, B M; Koornhof, G W; Kota-Fredericks, Z A; Kubayi, M T; Landers, L T; Lishivha, T E; Lucas , E J; Mabasa, X; Mabedla, N R; Mabuza, M C; Madlala, N M; Magagula, V V; Magau, K R; Magazi , M N; Magwanishe, G ; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Makwetla, S P; Malale, M I; Malgas, H H; Maluleke, J M; Manganye, J; Manuel , T A; Mapisa-Nqakula, N N; Mashigo, R J; Mashishi, A C; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, D H; Mathebe, P M; Mathibela, N F; Matlanyane, H F; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mayende-Sibiya, N A ; Maziya, M; Mdaka, M N; Mdakane, M R; Mjobo, L N; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mlambo, E M; Mlangeni, A; Mmusi, S G; Mnisi, N A; Mocumi, P A; Mohale, M C; Mokoena, A D; Molebatsi, M A; Molewa, B E E; Moloi-Moropa, J C; Moloto, K A; Morutoa, M R; Moss, L N; Motimele, M S; Motlanthe, K P; Motshekga, M A; Motshekga, M S; Mphahlele, L M; Mpontshane, A M; Msweli, H S; Mthethwa, E M; Mthethwa, E N; Mtshali, E; Mushwana, F F; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndlanzi, A Z; Ndlovu, V B; Nel, A C; Nelson, W J; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Ngwenya, W; Nhlengethwa , D G; Njikelana, S J; Nkoana-Mashabane, M E; Nkwinti, G E; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntuli, B M; Ntuli, Z C; N'wamitwa-Shilubana, T L P; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D ; Nyalungu, R E; Nyanda, M F; Nyekemba, E; Oliphant , G G; Oliphant, M N; Oosthuizen, G C; Padayachie, R L; Pampiri, S G; Peters, E D; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaliso, M N; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Pule, D D; Radebe, B A; Radebe, G S; Radebe, J T; Ramodibe, D M; Ramokgopa, G ; Schneemann, G D; Selau, G T; September, C C; Sexwale, T M G; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibhidla, N N; Singh, N; Sisulu, L N; Sithole, S C N; Skosana, J J; Skosana, M B; Smith, V G; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Suka , L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Surty, M E; Thibedi, J D; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tobias, T V; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshivhase, T J; Tshwete, P; van Rooyen, D D; van Wyk, A; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Yengeni, L E.
NOES - 74: Balindlela, Z B; Botha, T; Coetzee, T W; Davidson, I O; De Freitas, M S F; Doman, W P; Dreyer, A M; Du Toit, N D; Duncan, P C; Ellis, M J; Farrow, S B; Gcume, N P; George, D T; George, M E; Greyling, L W; Harris, T; Hoosen, M H; Kalyan, S V; Kganare, D A; Kilian, J D; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Barnard, D; Koornhof, N J J v R; Kopane, S P; Kotsi , C M P; Krumbock, G R; Lee, T D; Lekota, M G P; Lorimer, J R B; Lotriet, A; Lovemore, A T; Marais, E J; Marais, S J F; Masango, S J; Max, L; Mazibuko, L D; McGluwa, J; Meshoe, K R J; Michael, N W A; Molao, S P; More, E; Morgan, G R; Ngonyama, L S; Njobe, M A A; Ntshiqela, P; Paulse, S; Pretorius, P J C; Rabotapi, M W; Ramatlakane , L ; Ross, D; Schafer, D A; Schmidt, H C; Selfe, J; Smalle, J; Smiles, D C; Smuts, M; Steele, M H; Steyn, A; Steyn, A C; Stubbe, D; Swart , M; Swart, S N; Swathe, M M; Tolo, L J; Trollip, RAP; Van Dalen, P; Van de Linde, J J; Van den Berg, N J; Van der Westhuizen, A P; Van Dyk , S M; Van Schalkwyk, H C; Vukuza-Linda, N Y; Waters, M; Wenger, M.
Question agreed to.
Bill accordingly passed.
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL OF DRAFT NOTICE AND SCHEDULE DETERMINING RATE, WITH EFFECT FROM 1 APRIL 2010, AT WHICH SALARIES, ALLOWANCES AND BENEFITS ARE PAYABLE TO MAGISTRATES ANNUALLY
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL OF DRAFT NOTICE AND SCHEDULE DETERMINING RATE, WITH EFFECT FROM 1 APRIL 2010, AT WHICH SALARIES, ALLOWANCES AND BENEFITS ARE PAYABLE TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGES AND JUDGES ANNUALLY
There was no debate.
Draft notice and schedule determining the rate, with effect from 1 April 2010, at which salaries, allowances and benefits are payable to magistrates annually approved.
Draft notice and schedule determining the rate, with effect from 1 April 2010, at which salaries, allowances and benefits are payable to Constitutional Court judges and judges annually approved.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE F R RAMBAU
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE L SKRENYA
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE I W O M MORAKE
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON LIFTING OF THE PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE M K CHAUKE
There was no debate.
Recommendations of the committee adopted and provisional suspension of Magistrate F R Rambau accordingly confirmed.
Recommendations of the committee adopted and provisional suspension of Magistrate L Skrenya accordingly confirmed.
Recommendations of the committee adopted and provisional suspension of I W O M Morake accordingly confirmed.
Recommendations of the committee adopted and provisional suspension of Magistrate M K Chauke accordingly lifted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE M N JASSIEM
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, I move:
That the National Assembly does not confirm the restoration to office of Magistrate M N Jassiem.
Motion agreed to.
Restoration to office of Magistrate M N Jassiem accordingly not confirmed.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON LIFTING OF THE PROVISIONAL SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE OF MAGISTRATE W J M PRINSLOO
There was no debate.
Recommendations of the committee adopted and provisional suspension of Magistrate W J M Prinsloo accordingly lifted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE ON AMENDMENTS TO SCHEDULES 1 AND 2 OF FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE CENTRE ACT, ACT NO 38 OF 2001
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ENTERPRISES ON FUNDING SOLUTION FOR TRANSNET SECOND DEFINED BENEFIT FUND AND TRANSPORT PENSION FUND
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move:
That the Reports be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report of Standing Committee on Finance on Amendments to Schedules 1 and 2 of Financial Intelligence Centre Act, Act No 38 of 2001 accordingly adopted.
Report of Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on Funding Solution for Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and Transport Pension Fund accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS ON 2009-10 FOURTH QUARTER EXPENDITURE REPORT
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS ON PROPOSED WATER TARIFF INCREASES FOR 2010
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move:
That the Reports be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report of Standing Committee on Appropriations on 2009-10 Fourth Quarter Expenditure Report accordingly adopted.
Report of Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs on Proposed Water Tariff Increases for 2010 accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO BOARD OF MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSITY AGENCY
Mr S E KHOLWANE: Deputy Speaker, hon members; the media in general, and print media in particular, must be transformed and diversified in terms of ownership and control. Transformation must be measured in terms of language, diversity, gender mainstreaming, equity in respect of race and class, and sensitivity to children and people living with disabilities.
According to section 4(1)(b) of the Media Development and Diversity Agency Act of 2002, the board consists of nine members; six of whom are appointed by the President based upon the recommendation of the National Assembly. Section 4(1)(c) makes provision for three members to be appointed by the President after consultation with the industry players in terms of the commercial media and commercial broadcasting. The term of office for Mr Siviwe Minyi, Ms Nomonde Gongxeka and Prof Guy Berger will be expiring at the end of December 2010. As the committee, we are grateful for their participation through the Media Development and Diversity Agency, MDDA, in serving the nation.
The committee called for nominations and received 22 CVs. From those CVs, ten candidates were shortlisted. On 16 November 2010, the committee interviewed all the candidates, except for Dr Simangaliso Malinga, who could not attend due to bereavement in his family. The committee deliberated and unanimously recommended that the House recommends to the President the appointment of the following candidates to serve on the MDDA board: Ms Louise Carol Vale, Ms Nadia Bulbulia and Ms Phelisa Nkomo. I am sure hon members will note that the committee recommended three female candidates. We hope that they will be able to execute their duties as expected, I thank you.
Question put: That the recommendation for the appointment of Ms Louise Carol Vale, Ms Nadia Bulbulia and Ms Phelisa Nkomo on the Media Development and Diversity Agency Board be approved.
Question agreed to.
Ms Louise Carole Vale, Ms Nadia Bulbulia and Ms Phelisa Nkomo accordingly recommended for appointment on the Media Development and Diversity Agency Board.
RETIREMENT OF SERJEANT-AT-ARMS, MR GODFREY EDWARD CLEINWERCK
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, I move that the motion as it appears on the Order Paper be adopted, as follows:
That the House —
- notes that Mr Godfrey Edward Cleinwerck, the Serjeant-at-Arms, is due to retire with effect from 1 February 2011 on attaining the compulsory retirement age of 65 years;
- recognises that Mr Cleinwerck has served this democratic Parliament with distinction and his total service to Parliament spans more than 26 years;
- further recognises that he has served in the public sector for a total of 48 years;
- congratulates Mr Cleinwerck on his dedicated service to this democratic dispensation; and
- wishes him well on his retirement.
FAREWELL TRIBUTES TO OUTGOING SERJEANT-AT-ARMS, MR GODFREY EDWARD CLEINWERCK
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, thank you very much indeed. It was quite something today, watching the Serjeant-at-Arms, Mr Cleinwerck, arriving and announcing the arrival of the Speaker — first of all placing the Mace and then standing back to wait for the prayers or silent prayers or meditation,because I think all of us are aware of the fact that that was, in fact, the very last time that he would do that; he has been doing it for many years. [Applause.]
Madam Deputy Speaker, it was early in May 1987 when I arrived in Parliament as a very new Member of Parliament – hence I am allowed to wear this hat today, I might add. I had never been to Parliament before and was - to put it mildly - somewhat overawed by the experience. I was told by my colleagues that the very first thing I had to do was to go and get my parliamentary pass.
I was ushered by a colleague into a room in which sat a man who, I was told, was the Serjeant-at-Arms for the then House of Representatives. I have to be honest, I did not know who or what a Serjeant-at-Arms was, but I did learn there and then that this particular Serjeant-at-Arms went by the name of Godfrey Cleinwerck - a man who had been in that position for some three years. He sat me down; took my photograph; printed my pass; and I left. I left not really knowing that over the many years to come Godfrey Cleinwerck and I would become pretty good friends.
He has had a very distinguished career in Parliament. In 1994, he became the Serjeant-at-Arms for the new democratic National Assembly — a post, I would say without any fear of being wrong, he has filled with enormous dignity. [Applause.] [Interjections.] He did throw me out, hon Trevor Manuel. He did throw me out once, and I will come to that just now. [Laughter.].
It is difficult to imagine an opening of Parliament in the future without Serjeant-at-Arms Cleinwerck; immaculately dressed as always, shouldering the Mace and announcing the arrival of the President. Be it P W Botha, F W de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe or Jacob Zuma - he has done them all. He has also served four Speakers in that time, and a host of Secretaries to Parliament.
I do need to add that one does not always know what a Serjeant-at-Arms does. I think they are quite secretive in a way. They even have a Commonwealth Association of Serjeants-at-Arms, of which he was chairperson for two years. I have often wondered what they really do in their quiet moments and where they stay, because nobody quite knows where Mr Cleinwerck’s office is. [Laughter.]
Then suddenly, one day, miraculously, out of nowhere, when you have been thrown out of the House, the Serjeant-at-Arms appears. He comes up to you very quietly and tells you that you must leave the parliamentary precincts immediately and not return until the next day. [Laughter.] Let me assure you, when that happens, you do not argue. However, when it comes to Mr Cleinwerck, he is at all times the epitome of a gentleman, and even at times like this you just do as he says.
He likes to refer to himself as “the Speaker’s bouncer”. He has had the pleasure of bouncing 20 Members of Parliament since 1994. [Laughter.] As I said earlier to the hon Trevor Manuel, I am privileged, sir, to have been one of those that he has bounced, together with my colleagues from the DA, the hon Mike Waters and the hon David Maynier. I do want to say - and I am sorry that he is not here - that the serial offender in this regard is one hon Pieter Groenewald from the FF Plus, who has had the pleasure of being thrown out four times by the Speaker’s bouncer. [Laughter.]
Mr Cleinwerck has done an outstanding job and has had a long and distinguished career. [Applause.] He has met many heads of state and has attended many conferences around the world to do his work. He is highly respected. As he goes now to retirement, I hope he writes a book. It will be a history of our Parliament from a very different perspective and will make, I am sure, a very positive contribution to what our understanding of the first 16 or 17 years of this democratic Parliament has been all about.
From the DA, we wish him well. Thank you, Godfrey, for your dedication to the cause of running this Parliament. We appreciate, certainly, all that you have done and congratulate you on a job well done. We wish you and your family all the best in your retirement years. Your family, your church and your societies that you serve so well will now benefit from your time in the same way that Parliament has for so long. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M A A NJOBE: Madam Deputy Speaker, as you are aware, I am 80 years old, but I am still in service. So, I wonder why such a young man should be retiring so soon. [Laughter.]
When Mr Cleinwerck retired from the civil service in 1985, he joined the parliamentary staff. On a lighter note, I wonder whether it could be that he is now looking for a vacancy in the executive or maybe wants to play a role as an ambassador. After all, he knows and has ushered into this Parliament so many kings, queens and Presidents, that perhaps he could be considered for such a post! [Laughter.]
On a more serious note, I first got to know Mr Cleinwerck when I came to Parliament in 1994. Although I remember him recently chucking hon Mluleki George out of the House, he has always been a gentle giant. I always found him to be courteous, affable and efficient, and always performing his tasks with diligence from day to day. When he leaves us, he will carry a lot of institutional memory with him. He served at a time of fundamental change to Parliament, and I wish he would produce a book to record his knowledge and experience.
Mr Cleinwerck has been Serjeant—at—Arms of the National Assembly since 1994. I can understand how proud he must have felt when he announced Madiba into the National Assembly Chamber in 1994, and also when announcing the last procession out of the Chamber when Madiba retired as President in 1999. When Madiba was about to come in, I can hear him saying: “Madiba, ladies and gentlemen!” and we all stood up. Madiba touched so many lives, and for each person he touched in that way, the occasion is indelibly etched in that person’s memory.
Cope wishes Mr Cleinwerck well in his retirement. Spending more time with his granddaughter will be one of the great joys of retirement. May the Lord bless him with good health and many more years so that he can do all he wants to do for himself, his family, his church and finally, for society. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Madam Deputy Speaker, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers and hon members, it is a great honour and privilege for me to stand here on behalf of my party and its president, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, at this important moment and occasion in the life of our retiring Serjeant—at—Arms, Mr Godfrey Cleinwerck.
Since I was elected House Chair for Internal Arrangements by Parliament three years ago and Chair of the Quarterly Consultative Forum, I have worked very closely with Mr Cleinwerck on matters of fundamental interests that must enhance the performance of all the Members of Parliament. I must say that he has been extremely helpful to our office in many ways. I am quite sure that the capable team that he has so ably led in the renewal of the workings of the tools of trade in Parliament ...
Let me pause there just for a while. We are now saying “tools of trade”. I think I’ve heard that hon Ellis will be changing this in different ways because we have always heard members saying, “My thing does not work,” or jumping up and saying, “My thing is not working,” when in fact, Mr Cleinwerck, they meant that the microphones and the voting gadgets were defective.
But hon Ellis knows this, as we worked together with him and hon Frolick on the task team where these things were called the tools of trade. I am not sure whether members will be happy now to say, “My tool doesn’t work!” [Laughter.] That would be shocking!
So the tools of trade include the installation of new chairs; one for the Speaker — I think people who knew the old one did not realise that this is a new chair – and several other chairs for the judges and departmental officials, including microphones, etc. I am confident the team will ensure that Mr Cleinwerck’s good work continues and that he is remembered by all of us and generations of MPs to come.
I believe I also share the sentiments of the speakership, Members of the National Assembly and officials within the precincts of Parliament, including security, when I say to you, sir, that your big personality, your lovable humour and godly humility will surely be missed. May you enjoy your retirement years with your beloved family, and may the Almighty continue to bless you. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N M KGANYAGO: Madam Deputy Speaker and hon members, the UDM joins the rest of the House in bidding farewell to the outgoing Serjeant—at—Arms, Mr Godfrey Cleinwerck. We salute him and his contribution to the functioning of the National Assembly. He fulfilled an important role in our democracy.
In his capacity as Serjeant—at—Arms he acted as a guardian, a role that is both ceremonial and practical. However, in both instances, it is a duty that is deeply symbolic of the importance we attach to the orderly and unfettered conduct of the business of this House.
We wish him well in his future endeavours and thank him for his service to this House. I thank you.
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the FF Plus, it is an honour and a privilege for me to wish the Serjeant—at—Arms everything of the best in his retirement.
Dit is waar dat mnr Cleinwerck baie jare gewerk en ’n baie lang loopbaan gehad het. Hy het begin werk as ’n jong man van 17 en ’n lang werksloopbaan van 47 jaar gehad. Ses-en-twintig jaar van daardie tydperk het hy op hierdie terrein by die Parlement deurgebring – voor die nuwe bedeling en daarna – tot waar hy vandag by sy aftrede kom.
Ek, en baie van u ook, het hom altyd ervaar as ’n baie vriendelike man. Hy was ’n persoon wat altyd baie netjies op sy persoon was, wat altyd professioneel opgetree het, en wat altyd ’n voorbeeld was. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[It is a fact that Mr Cleinwerck has worked for many years and has had a very long career. He started working as a young man at the age of 17, and his long working career spans over 47 years. Twenty-six of those years he has spent within the precincts of Parliament — before the new dispensation and thereafter — until he reached retirement today.
I, and many of you as well, always found him to be a very friendly person. He was always very neat, always acted in a professional manner, and set an example at all times.]
After every election, one of the more sensitive issues is the question of seating in the House. Mr Cleinwerck always played his role in trying to solve that kind of problem with regard to exactly where parties should be seated ...
... met die hulp van ander lede van die Parlement. [... with the assistance of other Members of Parliament.]
Sometimes, while members were in the House before the official commencement of a sitting of Parliament, one or two members would try to emulate the Serjeant—at—Arms and try to call the House to order. They never succeeded in the way that he officially did it until the last opening of Parliament.
Ek wil graag vir hom alles van die beste toewens en hoop dat hy ’n baie rustige en vredevolle aftrede sal hê saam met sy vrou, sy kinders en sy kleinkind, en dat dit met hom goed sal gaan.(Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[I would like to wish him all of the best and trust that he will have a very tranquil and peaceful retirement together with his wife, his children and his grandchild, and that things will go well with him.]
I think we can all learn one thing from Mr Cleinwerck and his work after so many years: “I leave with no regrets.” Baie dankie. [Thank you.] [Applause.]
Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, the ACDP shares in the sentiments wishing Mr Godfrey Edward Cleinwerck Godspeed in his retirement, after a lifetime of public service. He has served in Parliament through the terms of six successive Presidents, under four Speakers and six successive Secretaries to Parliament. This is no mean feat.
He has met various heads of state and dignitaries and led their ceremonial processions into Parliament. We will indeed miss his booming voice that announces the arrival of such dignitaries and the Speaker.
Mr Cleinwerck is an inspiration to us all in always being prepared to go the extra mile. He has always spoilt visitors to Parliament with parliamentary publications. On one occasion he made such a fuss of American visitors that they acknowledged his kindness to the American President, Barack Obama.
The ACDP will miss your kindness, sir, and your willingness to help at all times. We wish you God’s richest blessings on retirement. We pray that the Lord will bless all your endeavours, particularly as you have resolved to give more time to serving Him in your church. Thank you and God bless you.
Mr K J DIKOBO: Madam Deputy Speaker, it is difficult to give a fitting tribute to a man with such an illustrious career in just one minute.
I joined Parliament in May of this year, and one of the first persons I spoke to was Mr Cleinwerck. He told me then that he would be retiring at the end of the year. He related his experiences as a Serjeant-at-Arms, including the Presidents under whom he had served.
From our discussions, I drew two conclusions. Firstly, that he was proud of the service that he has rendered to his country and, secondly, that, in spite of it all, he remained a humble and down-to-earth person.
What he did not know at that time was that I was a bundle of nerves, as I was about to take the Oath of Allegiance in the office of the Speaker, and that our discussion helped to calm me down.
We thank God for the service that you have rendered, sir, and wish you well in your retirement. Of course, we will hold you to the promise that you will write a book!
On behalf of Azapo, I bid you farewell and may God bless you and your family. Thank you.
Mr A MLANGENI: Madam Deputy Speaker, first of all, I must apologise for the state of my voice; it was caused by smoking. [Laughter.] A friend of mine, Mr Ndlovu – I don’t see him here – has for many years been saying, “Come on man, give up smoking.” But I have not been successful after several attempts. [Laughter.]
Madam Deputy Speaker, in recognition of the outstanding service of the outgoing Serjeant-at-Arms, Mr Godfrey Cleinwerck, to the National Assembly, this, on behalf of the ANC, is my farewell tribute to him.
The Speaker and members, Deputy Ministers and Ministers arise to commemorate Godfrey Edward Cleinwerck for his 48 years of dedicated service to the Republic of South Africa ... [Applause.] ... but more specifically for his 16 years as Serjeant-at-Arms of the National Assembly.
Mr Cleinwerck was, in his own words — sorry for the repetition; many people have said this — born, bred, educated and worked his entire career under the slopes of our beautiful Table Mountain. His working career started at the age of 17 at the then Coloured Affairs Department, which later came to be known as the Administration of the House of Representatives. He was appointed as Serjeant-at-Arms of the then House of Representatives in September 1984 and held the position until 1994.
Godfrey — as he is fondly known by most of us — began his career as Serjeant-at-Arms of the National Assembly after the first democratic elections in 1994. Now, to the backbenchers of the House, who may or may not know the origin of this position, the Serjeant-at-Arms has been a part of British history since 1279, when King Edward I formed a bodyguard of 20 Serjeants-at-Arms. The gentlemen under that title carried a decorated battle mace as a weapon and as a badge of that particular office. In 1415, one of their number was appointed to attend upon with the Speaker in Parliament as Serjeant-at-Arms for the British House of Commons.
The Serjeant-at-Arms is the custodian of the Mace which, in turn, symbolises the authority of the Speaker in the House. This tradition was inherited by most of the modern-day democratic parliaments in the world. Many of the contemporary roles of the Serjeant-at-Arms stem from the historical and traditional aspect of the office: the ceremonial, security and housekeeping roles. However, the responsibilities have evolved over time and at present include a wide and varied range of responsibilities in keeping with the needs of the National Assembly as a modern organisation.
While there has been an evolution of the role, the focus remains very much on the provision of advice and services to the Speaker and the provision of advice and services to members. Under the Speaker, he enforces the Speaker’s directives relating to order and decorum on the floor of the National Assembly and in the public galleries.
In this regard, Godfrey jocularly refers himself as the chief bouncer of the National Assembly. This is due to the fact that, during the period 1996 to 2010, he was called to action 20 times to escort members from the precincts after they were ordered to withdraw from the Chamber after having disregarded the authority of the Chair. His has, certainly, been a career of highlights that few people will be able to equal, and will most certainly become an interesting part of his memoirs. I hope he is going to write his memoirs.
He led the first postapartheid procession and — as a member on my left has said — announced Madiba into the National Assembly in 1994, and announced Madiba’s procession out of the Chamber upon his retirement as President in 1999. He served in Parliament through the terms of six successive Presidents, namely P W Botha, F W de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and, currently, President Jacob Zuma. Furthermore, since our fair democratic elections in 1994, he has served under four Speakers, namely Frene Ginwala, Baleka Mbete, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, and, currently, Max Sisulu.
Godfrey has had the privilege of leading the ceremonial processions into the Chamber for the Joint Sitting of both Houses, as well as of meeting the following heads of state and dignitaries: Queen Elizabeth II of Britain — I think it was in 1995 — President François Mitterrand of France, President Sam Nujoma of Namibia, President Chissano of Mozambique, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, President Bill Clinton of the USA, President Fidel Castro of Cuba, President Yasser Arafat of Palestine, General Abubakar of Nigeria and Mr Kofi Annan, who was then the Secretary-General of the UN.
He was the founder member of the SA Serjeant-at-Arms Association. Being a founder member of the Commonwealth Association of Serjeants-at-Arms for Africa in 2000, he was elected chairperson for the period 2005 to 2007. For most of us who started our careers as Members of Parliament in 1994, 1995, 1999, 2004 and 2009, he has always been a very friendly face and a trusted source of information about what is happening on the House floor.
In January next year, when we return to Parliament after the recess, Godfrey will retire from the service of Parliament following 48 years of outstanding public service, during 16 years of which he was the Serjeant-at-Arms of this House. That is an achievement. [Applause.] For 16 years, Mr Cleinwerck served our country within the walls of Parliament with dignity and decorum.
Today, I ask my colleagues in the House to join me in congratulating Godfrey on his retirement after a remarkable career. We truly appreciate his hard work and dedication to our country. I’m sure I speak on behalf of all of us in the House when I say that it will be with a sense of nostalgia that we will look back on the life and service of such an outstanding public servant and close friend whose contributions were immeasurable.
He will be missed, but his work ethic will continue through his co-workers who, over the years, have admired admired him and have looked to him for guidance and up to him for the qualities he embodies, namely dedication, commitment, loyalty, enthusiasm, and reliability - all gems that we will cherish.
Needless to say, it takes a special individual to contend diplomatically with the wide range of personalities who make up the National Assembly. He has nevertheless truly earned the respect, admiration and affection of all of us, including members like myself who had the privilege to work with him.
We, on the ANC’s side of the House, wish him the best. He has certainly earned the opportunity to kick up his heels and enjoy some time with his wife, Linda, his son and daughter, and his only grandchild, Alexia Rose. He will have all the time in the world to dedicate to his pet duties as secretary of the Owl Haven Night Shelter for homeless persons in Lansdowne, as life member of the Maitland Cottage Home Society in Newlands, as altar server at the All Saints Anglican Church in Plumstead, and for his favourite pastime, namely singing in that beautiful baritone voice.
Speaker, Deputy Speaker, in closing I wish to quote an Irish blessing to accompany Godfrey on his retirement:
May you always have work for your hands to do,
May your pockets hold always a coin or two,
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane,
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain,
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
Lastly, please continue to play golf ... [Laughter.] ... and enjoy it. I thank you. [Applause.]
Motion agreed to.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members of this House, our ongoing message to all South Africans that working together we can do more as a nation is not a meaningless mantra, but a genuine recognition that in history our people have been able to attain the impossible when united behind a common goal.
When he concluded his state of the nation address to the Joint Sitting of both Houses of Parliament at the beginning of this term, President Jacob Zuma implored all of us to work together to make this year of action a successful one for our country. A few days later, during his response to our debate on the President’s annual address, President Zuma again reminded us to work together for a common prosperous future.
The system of working together, at the core of which is continuous interaction with a wide spectrum of our society to defeat the challenges that confront the nation, is a long-standing tradition of the ANC. This inclusive approach has also been the hallmark of President Zuma’s leadership of the country. As leaders of various political parties in this institution, we have enjoyed fraternal relations with the President. Throughout this year, we have seen the continuation of meetings between leaders of opposition and the President. These important meetings have served as fora through which matters of national interest could be discussed with the opposition.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank the President for this inclusive approach. The leaders of opposition parties in this House must also be commended for coming to the party, partnering us in the interest of a common future, as the President appealed in his state of the nation address.
As the ANC, our inclusive approach is informed by the recognition that, while we are the ruling party, we claim no monopoly over wisdom. It is for this reason that we have embraced the President’s leadership style and fostered dialogue with the opposition. Apart from giving some of our speaking time to smaller parties during the state of the nation address, we have enjoyed robust debates in multiparty fora in this institution. This has ensured that we learn from each other and that participatory democracy is strengthened.
Participatory democracy places at its core the participation of the people in the operation of their country’s political systems. Members of this House must, therefore, be commended for overwhelmingly endorsing the President’s request to address Parliament in the evening for the first time. This indeed afforded the greater majority of South Africans an opportunity to be part of the occasion, whether through their presence in Parliament or following it live on television or radio in the comfort of their homes. Indeed, it is acts such as these that enhance this institution’s reputation as a tribunal of the people.
Comrade Deputy Speaker, mutual co-operation, even in an ocean of confrontational or aggressive politics, is necessary in steering our people’s ship to prosperity and development. The sense of unity demonstrated by this Parliament, which mirrored that of the entire nation behind the hosting of the World Cup, is indeed indicative of what we can achieve when we work together. As a nation, we must be proud of our individual and collective effort that brought about such a huge achievement.
Our character as a people can perhaps be best described by the observation made by our icon, Nelson Mandela, when he paid tribute to South Africans on the occasion of his retirement in 1999. Madiba referred to us as “a nation that has won the world’s admiration, not by prowess in war, but by the dedication of its people of every background to celebrate their humanity”.
Indeed, the World Cup has gained us the admiration of the world and reminded us of our true character as a nation. As members of this House, we must be proud for having put aside our differences and suspended petty politics in the interest of putting our country first.
Hon members, as we rise today, let us remind ourselves that this institution defined itself as an activist Parliament. This declaration coincided with the enactment of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act of 2009, which, indeed, deepened Parliament’s oversight authority as enshrined in the Constitution. This necessitates that, as an activist Parliament, we must build our capacity to realise this progressive concept of Parliament, which is necessary to enhance service delivery that will improve the material conditions of the lives of our people.
As I said during Parliament’s budget debates earlier this year, we need to continue to strive for a fully capacitated institution in the interest of fully equipped members of Parliament who are equal to the critical task placed on their shoulders by our people. The recent decision by this House to establish a committee on nation-building and heritage development will make this Parliament a responsive and activist people’s Parliament. The new committee, which draws members from various political parties, will serve as a consultative mechanism to drive the objectives of this activist Parliament and enhance nation-building efforts and social cohesion.
The aftermath of the World Cup has inspired South Africans to once again appreciate that there is much more that unites us as a nation than what divides us. Through this multiparty committee, Parliament will take the lead in preserving the national unity that was prevalent during the World Cup.
This has been an exciting and interesting year. The House once again served as a theatre of robust, lively and open engagement. We listened to each other rather than howl, but we also howled, rather than listen to one another. On some issues we lost our minds, while on some we gained our sanity. We yelled and shouted on some occasions, while on some we smiled and laughed. We spoke past each other at times, but we also spoke with each other most of the time. We were divided at times, but united some of the time. All of this, consequently, deposited one or two grey hairs on the heads of our presiding officers under the able and orderly leadership of hon Speaker Max Sisulu.
That the presiding officers have been able to withstand all this is a true testament of their tenacity and resoluteness. Indeed, the trait of a good presiding officer is not measured by the number of orders he makes, but how he or she manages the business of the House through a fair and impartial application and interpretation of Rules, conventions, practices and precedents. I stand here to congratulate you, Madam Deputy Speaker, the Speaker and your team for performing that with sheer unadulterated excellence. I believe hon members will agree that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker deserve a round of applause. [Applause.]
As I conclude, let me say that I also wish to take my hat off to all the staff members of Parliament, under the able leadership of the Secretary to Parliament, Mr Zingile Dingani, including our ever helpful Table staff and service officers, for easing up our work in this institution. Well done!
Hon members, as we rise this day, I wish to use this opportunity to pay tribute to our beloved colleagues and members of this House, whom death snatched from our benches during this year. May the spirits of Comrade Molefi Sefularo, who served as the Deputy Minister of Health and Comrade Alina Rantsolase, our caucus chairperson and Whip rest in peace. I also wish to pay tribute to the former Members of Parliament who left us during this year. They are Frederik van Zyl Slabbert, Cheryl Gillwald, and Mittah Seperepere; may they rest in peace.
In conclusion, Speaker, this year Parliament marked the 20-year anniversary of the release of our icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and other political prisoners. I wish to remind you of what the first President of the democratic South Africa wished when he gave his farewell speech at the UN in 1998. He said:
I will continue to hope that Africa’s Renaissance will strike deep roots and blossom forever, without regard to the changing seasons. Were all these hopes to translate into a realisable dream and not a nightmare to torment the soul of the aged, then will I, indeed, have peace and tranquillity. Then would history and the billions throughout the world proclaim that it was right that we dreamt and that we toiled to give life to a workable dream.
As we rise and formally conclude the business of this House, we should take this opportunity and ask ourselves whether our performance in this institution during this particular term has contributed in making that African dream, which Madiba spoke of, realisable, or have we contributed in turning it into “a nightmare to torment the soul of the aged”.
I am hopeful that Madiba will look at our work this year with an approving smile. I am also hopeful that we were able to heed the call made by the President at the beginning of this year for us to work together in the interest of building our future. Bon voyage. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Mr Speaker, at the outset, I would like to thank the Chief Whip of the Majority Party for the co-operation that exists in the Chief Whips’ Forum. I think we both have a common aim of ensuring that there is smooth working of this House and, more importantly, the deepening of democracy as represented by this House.
I would also like to convey my party’s congratulations to Mr Frolick and Ms Hajaig for their escalation to the high office. I hope we can give you our best co-operation, although I don’t always guarantee it.
Most of us at this stage feel like school children waiting for that bell to ring so that we can go out and, perhaps, play in the fields and on the beaches out there. Unfortunately, for most of us with elections around the corner that bit of peace and quiet is going to be short-lived as we will all again be put back into the trenches to start working for the municipal elections next year. However, I hope that those of us who do get a chance to have a break enjoy that break and come back refreshed.
Before I get into the real thanks, I just want to reflect for a moment on the year that is passing. I want to pick up one particular event which I think was an epoch-making event. It was an event that I think really encapsulated the spirit of what this nation wants to be, and how others want to see us. That was the 2010 World Cup. That spirit was a wonderful spirit which was exhibited here in the House. There was unity in this House that I think I and most of us have never experienced before. The World Cup brought together South Africans with South Africans. It brought together South Africans with foreigners.
We paraded a country that spruced itself up, readied its infrastructure, and delivered a world-class event on time. It was a time when, as the President said, even the criminals went on holiday. There were no no-go areas. We saw a confident nation proud of its team, itself and what we had achieved. It was a nation that was beginning to bond and be at peace with itself.
The question that I want to ask before we go into recess is this: Are we still in that space? A few events took place just after that, which, I think, took us from those heights back to a painful reality. We had the Defence Force — as somebody quoted yesterday — essentially going on mutiny and rampage.
We had South Africa paralysed by a public service strike over an ostensible wage dispute. We had a debate about nationalisation emerging in certain quarters. This essentially frightened off a good deal of job-creating investment, which could have alleviated poverty.
We saw a drop in rankings of South Africa as far as the Human Development Index, the Global Competitive Index and the Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press Index are concerned. Finally, we saw crime and no-go areas coming back. A painful reminder of this was — there are many reminders — the recent one of Anni Dewani in Gugulethu. What was so awful about Dewani’s event was that it splashed South Africa back into the headlines throughout the world about a subject which, quite frankly, put us back to where we were prior to that wonderful event in July.
So, as we go into recess, I want to ask the members to reflect on how we can regain that status; how we can regain that period of peace and goodwill; and how we can regain those Houses’ spirit. How do we recapture that spirit of goodwill that we once had, and how do we recapture becoming what we want to become and what others want to see us become?
Yesterday’s event in Cape Town was a wonderful exhibition of that event, that spirit reoccurring when people took to the streets of Cape Town on that walk. You saw that wonderful togetherness that existed. It is there, it is heightened and people want it. We, as leaders, must provide it.
Finally, let me say thanks and good wishes. I take this opportunity do so to, first of all, the DA staff in Parliament, research staff, media staff, staff in Whippery, my own assistant and my personal assistants. A particular thanks to my deputy, Mike Ellis, and all other Whips who helped me. Indeed, I thank all Whips of all parties who co-operated so well in the interest of Parliament.
Let me also thank the Speaker and the presiding officers, and all the staff of Parliament, from the most senior to the most junior, for doing their best to treat us with courtesy and consideration and for giving us their best. Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you, Mr Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, presiding officers, all hon members and staff a happy and blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mrs J D KILIAN: Hon Speaker, if we look back over the past year we actually can think back to many very interesting debates and discussions, although some of the media people would say most of them were very boring. But, at least, we knew what we were discussing in this House.
We had highs and lows here. Sometimes things worked, and sometimes they did not. Members will recall what a very distressed member of the DA said when his microphone did not come on and he wanted to attract the attention of the Speaker. Some parties had less infighting than others, but those who pretend to live in eternal bliss and harmony with each other could be accused of misleading Parliament. It’s only those one-member parties that can truthfully say that they have no differences in their caucuses.
When we came here some 18 months ago, many of us did not know each other. However, we soon found common ground, and I believe we developed respect across party-political lines, mostly because we share a common love of our country and the people of our country. Previous speakers have referred to the World Cup spirit that prevailed and that we should really rekindle it again when we go forward as South Africans.
Despite having had differences on some fundamentals here in the House, as well as in committees, and although tempers often flared up, we have not as yet seen a rematch of the famous bout of fisticuffs of some years ago. I think hon De Lange has calmed down somewhat. I don’t know if his relationship and marriage to hon Chohan had anything to do with that. He’s really calmed down a lot.
The past year also saw a new precedent, with an hon member being accused of coming to the House in his pyjamas. Fancy dressing appears to be the surest way to be seen and not to be heard. Maybe some of us should also do that in future.
Cope saw the first member in the history of our party and Parliament to be escorted out of the House by the Serjeant-at-Arms. He will also go down in history as the only one who was escorted by Mr Cleinwerck. We saw with pride our party leader, president Lekota, coming into Parliament, and we are very thankful to have him in our ranks. [Applause.]
From all of us in Cope we want to thank you, the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, the presiding officers, the Serjeant-at-Arms, the NA Table staff, the Secretary and everybody who worked tirelessly during the course of the past year to support us as Members of Parliament.
To our colleagues in the majority party, please bear with us. It is our role as nongoverning parties to keep the executive accountable, to keep the ruling party on their toes, and to make sure that those Ministers who go overseas return soon to the House to answer questions, as we saw yesterday.
To all hon members, on behalf of Cope, may we express our best wishes to enjoy the festive season with your families and friends before the hard work for the 2011 local government elections commences. We wish you all the best. Enjoy your rest period, and may we soon meet each other again to continue to work for the nation that expects all of us to deliver on our promises. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M B SKOSANA: Hon Speaker, if I were speaking as the House Chairperson, I would have been given more than three minutes, I think. I am sure the Speaker will also agree with me that today I am earning my 5% increment. [Laughter.]
Hon Speaker, hon Ministers who are here, hon Deputy Ministers and hon members, centuries ago, when the wise ones — that is, the philosophers — looked at the soul of the state, and after a long period of study, they concluded that Parliament was the heart of the state and the executive was the brain. They strongly contended that when the brain ceases to function, the body politic will still continue to struggle. However, when the heart stops beating, the body politic becomes lifeless and dies. What follows is the end of democracy and the beginning of autocracy and, eventually, anarchy.
The hon members of this House have often and on many occasions referred to Parliament as the voice of the people. Now that this House is about to rise, the question remains: Have we been that strong heart? Have we been that powerful voice of the people? Have we been that intelligent brain that is needed by the sovereign authority, the people of the Republic — particularly the poor and the marginalised majority in our land?
I hasten to admit that, looking back at the numerous sessions of this Assembly, hon members have tried to the best of their abilities to embrace the vision and mission of this Parliament. Perhaps we have not tried hard enough to bring about the common good for all as postulated in our Constitution. It is therefore virtuous to admit our political deficits as individual members and as a collective of political parties in this House and, at the same time, appreciate what Parliament has achieved this year.
We thank the leaders of all the political parties who are here, the speakership and all the Whips of all the parties, the National Assembly Table, and parliamentary services at all levels, including catering and security.
In conclusion, the IFP in this House, led by Prince Buthelezi, wishes all the members of this respectable House, including the President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Deputy President and their families, a memorable, safe and restful festive season. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Hon Speaker, I was unceremoniously thrust into the position of the leader of the ID in Parliament in September when Patricia de Lille decided to continue her fight for the poor as Western Cape MEC for Social Development. [Laughter.] This has been an interesting journey for me as I have tried to fully acquaint myself with all the strange workings of Parliament.
I have learnt that the wheels of change grind very slowly in this institution and that it is unparliamentary to blow a vuvuzela in the House. Contrary to that, I have learnt — hon Ellis — that it is indeed parliamentary to wear a hat in the House. To put you at rest, hon Speaker, I have decided to finally conform to the rules of Parliament and I do not have a concealed vuvuzela in my pocket.
I hope by now that you have forgiven me for getting caught up in the emotion of the World Cup because this was truly a great year for this nation. I was immensely proud of the way in which Parliament joined the whole country in celebrating this momentous moment in our country’s history, and it was a joy to watch the sea of yellow jerseys in the House.
As a nation, we can certainly be proud of putting on a spectacular show for the world. We have proven that, when we feel the pressure, we can deliver. However, the ID believes that we now need to make the Ministers feel this pressure when it comes to delivering services to all our people. We have to live up to the vision as an activist Parliament where parliamentarians can truly hold the executive to account.
We cannot do this, though, when Ministers shamelessly boycott the question time over their own requests for extra money. Yesterday’s debacle was a slap in the face of our democracy and showed utter contempt for Parliament and the voters who have placed their faith in us. My hope is that next year we will see a different attitude being displayed to Parliament so that we can build this institution into the true cornerstone of our democracy.
Lastly, Speaker, to all of us present, I would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy holiday. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S Z NTAPANE: Mr Speaker, hon members, we have once more reached the end of the year. It has been a particularly busy year with this Parliament getting down to business for its first complete year of work. The year has been particularly busy with new departments and new Ministers commencing their work in earnest. The recent Cabinet reshuffle and consequent parliamentary changes have added a further level of complexity to parliamentary work under way.
Nevertheless, the House has managed to deal with a great deal of business and addressed numerous important matters. We wish our colleagues in other political parties farewell for the year and hope that they will find joy and contentment over the festive season in the company of friends and loved ones.
The UDM would like to wish our Muslim compatriots a prosperous Eid Mubarak for yesterday. Similarly, we hope that those who have recently celebrated Diwali will have a joyous New Year. In a month’s time, our Christian compatriots will be celebrating Christmas. It is a reminder of our rich diversity as a nation and also that we share common values that cherish life, family and prosperity. May we return refreshed and inspired to proceed with our work in the New Year.
At this time, the UDM would like to once again appeal to everyone that we should travel safely, especially on our roads. Together, let us spread the message of responsible and safe road usage. The vast majority of our shockingly high number of road fatalities are caused by avoidable reckless or negligent road use.
In conclusion, allow me to express gratitude to the many staff members within the administration of the institution and the political parties who enable us to do our job; we appreciate their efforts. May everybody have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I thank you. [Applause.]
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Speaker, we have come to the end of another long year in Parliament, where all played their own roles in their own respective ways. It’s a time to say thank you and goodbye to all members from all parties at the end of this session.
Our colleague, the hon Chief Whip of the Opposition, used the opportunity for one second to bring in a specific political point, which is very important to him and I understand that. He made a point that he remembers how united we all were when we were preparing for the World Cup earlier in the year. He then expressed his concern by asking what happened to that spirit in the period after that. And I can understand that very well.
If we look back to our own history and our own past, a couple of years ago, this country successfully hosted the Rugby World Cup and the Cricket World Cup. The point I would like to make is that - as I said in the past in this House, and I want to repeat it – sport is very important in terms of nation-building and in terms of social cohesion. However, we will not succeed in addressing the issue of being united in our diversity by just going from one sporting event to the next. We need more than that.
We need to address the real issues of our country and our nation in terms of poverty and joblessness. We need to find a constitutional dispensation where we can be truly united, but also respecting our diversity. I understand what hon Davidson has said, but we need to take those issues further in our debates.
Ek wil, ten slotte, baie dankie sê vir die parlementêre personeel vir die rol wat elkeen van hulle die afgelope jaar gespeel het. Van die veiligheidspersoneel wat ons veilig hou; tot die spyseniering; tot die biblioteek — noem maar op, almal wat daar is — elkeen het sy rol gespeel om van hierdie jaar ’n sukses te maak.
Dankie ook aan die media, waarsonder die Parlement irrelevant sou word in die oë van die kiesers daar buite, want, as die media nie rapporteer wat in hierdie Parlement en by die uitvoerende gesag gebeur nie, gaan die volk en die mense daar buite aan asof ons nie bestaan nie. Ons moet dit weet en besef watter rol die media daarin speel.
Ek sê baie dankie aan u almal. Geniet die rustyd wat vir u voorlê. Ons gaan ’n Kersseisoen betree, en, van die VF Plus se kant af, wens ek dat Kersfees vir u elkeen werklik ’n Christusfees in u hart sal wees wat rustigheid en vrede vir ons almal sal bring. Baie dankie.
(Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[In conclusion, I would like to thank the parliamentary staff very much for the role that each of them has played over the past year. From the security personnel who keep us safe; to the catering; to the library — you name it, all of them — each one has contributed to making this year a success.
Thank you also to the media, without whom Parliament would become irrelevant in the eyes of the voters out there, because, should the media not report what transpires in this Parliament and in the Executive, the nation and the people out there would continue as if we did not exist. We should know this and realise the important role the media has to play in this regard.
I thank you all very much. Enjoy the period of rest that lies ahead. We are entering a festive season, and, from the side of the FF Plus, I wish that Christmas would truly represent to each of you a festival of Christ in your hearts that would bring tranquility and peace to us all. Thank you very much.]
Mr S N SWART: Speaker, we have come to the end of a busy parliamentary session that was full of surprises, failures, successes and disappointments in a year that seemed to have gone by very fast. The highlight was clearly the successful Soccer World Cup. The challenge is clearly to build on the success to improve service delivery to our citizens.
On behalf of the ACDP, I wish all hon members a refreshing time of rest with their families so that they can be encouraged and come back refreshed and ready to face the new year’s challenges, hard work and elections. I would like to thank the Secretary to Parliament and all parliamentary staff, security and police officials that have made our work possible. I would also like to thank the media for covering parliamentary activities and making Parliament accessible to the public.
A particular word of thanks also goes to the main opposition party for the words of encouragement before we speak; it always means a lot to me. As I have said before, Parliament is like a very big family. Whilst we may differ robustly on issues, there is a huge amount of co-operation, camaraderie and genuine caring for one another amongst us. It is regrettable that the members of the public do not see this other side of Parliament, rather than the often inflammatory speeches and debates that we have in the House. I am sure that had they seen more of this, it would be a great encouragement to the nation as we seek to further the common good.
The parliamentary prayer group has been a great blessing to me, particularly when I was busy with my exams earlier this year. I will miss each one of you. I have passed, and thank you for your successful prayers. May I encourage all members to consider joining this group next year. I understand that it has a significant impact on results of the elections as well. I would ask the prayer group to continue praying for me, in particular, as I embark on the parliamentary study tour later in a week’s time with the hon Marius “Pik” Swart. Can you imagine two Swarts in Germany? Talk about the Swart gevaar! [Laughter.]
I would like to conclude with a priestly blessing to all members. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Have a very blessed Christmas and happy New Year. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mnr L M MPHAHLELE: Agb Speaker, agb lede en gaste, vandag is die dag dat ons mekaar groet. Die Pan Africanist Congress van Azania wens u almal ’n veilige reis terug huis toe. Ons gaan almal huis toe vir die feestelike seisoen. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Mr L M MPHAHLELE: Hon Speaker, hon members and guests, today is the day that we greet each other. The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania wishes you all a safe journey home. We are all going home for the festive season.]
Somlomo, Mgcina, NoKwindla, ndiyathemba ukuba xa ufika ekhaya eQuthubeni, iigusha zamafama azisayi kuba ziziduli zethafa. [Hon Speaker, Mgcina, noKwindla, I hope that when you arrive home in Quthubeni, members of your constituency will not be without a shepherd.] [Laughter.]
Hon Speaker, as we disperse to our different homes and constituencies, let us each behave responsibly during the recess. Through our behaviour, the people will judge the quality of Parliament that South Africa has. Leadership is action, not position.
Mohlomphegi Sepikara, gotša mollo o tšhume Palamente ye e swe lore. [Lesego.] Mphato o swele gore ditsela di wele kgwahlana. Phala tša mona marula di a tloga! Ke a leboga. [Legofsi.]
SEPIKARA: Re a leboga, Ntate Mphahlele. (Translation of Sepedi paragraphs follows.)
[Hon Speaker, our work is done. [Laughter.] Let me stop here. Thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Mphahlele.]
I was going to give you an extra minute, but you are gone now. So, it’s okay. [Laughter.]
Mr K J DIKOBO: Mr Speaker, hon members and guests, we have come to the end of a very eventful year for the National Assembly. This House has experienced robust discussions and debates. The Speaker, Deputy Speaker and House Chairpersons have had their hands full trying to keep, and I quote: “Order, hon members!” [Laughter.]
As members go back to their constituencies and later on leave to enjoy the festive season with their families, Azapo would like to take this opportunity to wish all of them a peaceful one. Parliament would not function without the staff members who perform different functions. Azapo also wishes them a happy festive season, a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
We are extending the same wishes to the rest of South Africa. Azapo is urging South Africans, particularly road users, to be careful on the road, to drive carefully, and to respect others on the road. We also urge our people, particularly the youth, to enjoy the festive season responsibly and to stay away from alcohol and drugs. Thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I wish to remind you that this is the first time in more than 30 years that the hon Koos van der Merwe is not here. He is recovering from an operation and we would like the hon Chairperson, Skosana, to convey our wishes to him for a speedy recovery. I know he is here with us in spirit. Please pass our greetings and best wishes to him. [Applause.]
Hon members, I also wish to join in, in thanking the hon Godfrey Cleinwerck for his contribution to this Parliament. His contribution has been outstanding. It is difficult to think of Parliament without Mr Cleinwerck. He has become part of the institution. We are certainly going to miss him a great deal.
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the appointments of hon Frolick and hon Hajaig as House Chairs. I would like to tell them that, as presiding officers, they are expected to preside at night during the night shifts. This is the last time I am presiding in the evening. [Laughter.]
Although this is the last plenary session of the National Assembly, committee work is still going to continue next week. Members will then have an opportunity to reconnect with their constituencies before breaking for the annual leave on 15 December. Drive safely and take time to relax and to enjoy with your families. I wish you all the very best. Thank you very much for your co-operation. It has been a long, hard year, but it has been worth it. Again, I would like to thank you for your co-operation and all the hard work that you have put in.
The House adjourned at 17:43.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
- Bills passed by National Assembly on 18 November 2010:
- South African Citizenship Amendment Bill [B 17D – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Bill [B 18D – 2010] (National Assembly – sec 75).
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Transport
(a) Rport and Financial Statements of the Road Traffic Management Corporation for 2009-2010, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2009-2010 [RP 255-2010].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the International Air Services Council (IASC) for 2009-2010.
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the Air Service Licensing Council (IASC) for 2009-2010.
1. The Speaker
(a) Report of the Public Service Commission (PSC) on the Assessment of the Effectiveness of Thusong Service Centres in Integrated Service Delivery [RP 60-2010].
(b) Public Protector Report No 30 of 2010-11 on an investigation into a complaint of improper conduct by the governing body of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and the prejudice caused by its decision not to accredit a panel list of bargaining councils.
(c) Letter from the Minister of Transport dated 17 November 2010, to the Speaker of the National Assembly explaining the delay in the submission of the Annual Reports: The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), the Air Service Licensing Council (IASC) and the International Air Services Council (IASC) for 2009-2010.
WRITTEN EXPLANATION ON THE LATE SUBMISSION AND TABLING OF THE ANNUAL REPORTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2010 OF THE ROAD TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT CORPORATION (RTMC), THE AIR SERVICE LICENSING COUNCIL (ASLC) AND THE INTERNATIONAL AIR SERVICE COUNCIL (IASC), AND THE TABLINGOF THESE ANNUAL REPORTS
I write to inform Parliament that in terms of subsection 65(1)(a) of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No 1 of 1999), as amended (PFMA), I was unfortunately not able to table the Annual Reports and audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31 arch 2010 of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), the Air Service Licensing Council (ASLC) and the International Air Service Council (IASC) before the deadline of 30 September 2010.
Section 65(2)(a) of the PFMA stipulates that if an Executive Authority fails to table, in accordance with subsection 65(1)(a), the Annual Report and Annual Financial Statements of the Department of the Public Entity, and the Audit Report on those Statements, in Parliament within six months after the end of the financial year to which those Statements relate, i. e. 30 September 2010, the Executive Authority must table a written explanation in Parliament setting out the reasons why such an Annual Report was not tabled.
The purpose of this communication is therefore to furnish Parliament with the following reasons for the late tabling of the following Annual Reports:-
The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC)
The reason for the late tabling of the Annual Report of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) was that a forensic investigation was undertaken on various allegations against the RTMC, which had to be finalised first. The report of the investigation was required by the Auditors in order to finalise the financial statements of RTMC for the year ended 31 March 2010, hence the delay.
Air Service Lincensing Council (ASLC) and the International Air Services Council (IASC)
The reason for the late tabling was the fact that there are several alterations on the reports that had to be rectified and agreed to, which needed incorporation in the final versions. It was imperative that the commentary and assent of the members of the Councils be solicited prior to submission of the reports. The delay was further compounded by printing challenges of the finalised copies of the reports.
The delay in submitting the above-mentioned Annual Reports is sincerely regretted and every effort will be made to ensure that in future all Annual Reports are submitted to Parliament before the deadline.
I therefore wish to submit, in accordance with Section 65(1)(a) of the Public Financial Management Act, the above Annual Reports for tabling in Parliament.
I trust that this will be in order.
MR J S NDEBELE , MP
MINISTER OF TRANSPORT
- Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training on the Further Education and Training (FET) Summit dated 17 November 2010
The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training having been invited and participated at the FET Summit held at Birchwood Conference Centre, Boksburg reports as follows:
1. Background to the Summit
Over 400 stakeholders in the Further Education and Training (FET) College sector gathered at the Birchwood Conference Centre on 3 and 4 September 2010 for decisive discussions on the future of this crucial component of the post-school education and training landscape. The FET college subsystem is poised, in its new location in the post-school education and training system, to be a significant locus of delivery of vocational and continuing education and training, with strong links to the industry in order to meet the critical skills shortage.
The FET Summit was attended by among others college principals, college councils, labour, business, teacher unions, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), development agencies, Members of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and provincial departments. The Summit was aimed at repositioning the FET sector and building the confidence of the industry and of the public in the capacity of FET colleges.
In April, a FET Roundtable brought together all key role players and stakeholders in the college subsystem to engage in a rigorous debate informed by an analysis of the challenges facing the colleges. A high-level steering committee, established at the roundtable and chaired by Higher Education and Training Director General Professor Mary Metcalfe, was appointed at the Roundtable and presented its recommendations to the summit for discussion. These recommendations were developed by intensive work of task teams and aimed at stabilizing the FET college sub-system and building a platform for its long-term development.
DELEGATION: The delegation of the committee consisted of Ms M Kubayi (ANC), Ms N Gina (ANC), Ms N Magazi (ANC), Ms F Mushwana (ANC) and Mr K Dikobo (AZAPO). Support staff included: Mr A Kabingesi (Committee Secretary).
2. Address by Ms N Nxesi: Chief Executive Officer, Education and Training Development Practices SETA (ETDPSETA)
The CEO welcomed all the distinguished guests and various stakeholders to the FET Summit hosted by ETDPSETA in conjunction with the Department of Higher Education and Training. In her address, she highlighted the following key issues:
- The FET colleges and the schooling system form part of the agenda of SETAs in strengthening of skills development and building a strong relationship between business and the FET sector.
- The FET Summit culminated as a result of the Roundtable in April to ensure synergy in the higher education and training sector. The Roundtable identified critical issues of the FET sector which would be seriously debated in the FET Summit.
- Recommendations of the Summit would be forwarded to the Minister and the department for consideration.
3. Address by Dr B Nzimande: Minister of Higher Education and Training
The Minister welcomed all distinguished guests to the FET Summit. He expressed his sincere appreciation to the FET Steering Committee led by the DG for the excellent work they have done over the past four months in preparing for the FET Summit. He highlighted that the Summit has the challenge to critically examine the issues and recommendations presented by the Steering Committee which would lead to the stabilisation of the college sector in the short term and the creation of a sound platform for the development of the colleges as pillars of skills development across the nation.
The Minister indicated that the key focus areas of this government in respect of colleges include but are not limited to:
- The shift of the function of managing the college system from provincial to national government.
- Quality improvements including increased success and throughput.
- Increased enrolment of youth and adults.
- Closer alignment with skills development strategies and funding including training partnerships and work placement.
- Increasing apprenticeship and learnerships.
- The production of quality artisans as one of the key goals of the FET college sector.
The Minister went on to state that the President’s 2010 State of the Nation Address reiterated these themes with particular emphasis on the expansion of access in the context of the need to develop a skilled and capable workforce to support growth and job creation. A key challenge is for the sector to grow as rapidly as possible to be accessible to both young people and adults, but to drive that growth on a firm basis together with increasing quality in provision. Of the 2.8 million South Africans between the ages of 18 and 24 who were (in 2007) not in employment, education or training, two million (71%) had not achieved Grade 12. Of these 0.5m (18%) had not progressed beyond primary school. Dr Nzimande further added that the college community therefore, must expand its horizons and see the world beyond individual institutions and campuses, whilst at the same time not losing sight of building each institution as a centre of excellence. He indicated that the Summit should focus on strengthening the relationship between FET colleges and employers, both in the public and private sectors. The question of facilitating work placement for college students and graduates must be at the heart of the sector’s skills development strategies.
Dr Nzimande referred to the difficulties that the FET sector has experienced over the past few years, which include but are not limited to:
- Loss of lecturers from colleges, low morale and a high vacancy rate.
- Poor learner performances, with low pass rates and high drop-out rates.
- Increasing reliance on private sector for skills training, coupled with a growing loss of confidence in public sector provision.
- Institutional instability and labour instability.
- Severe financial difficulties.
Dr Nzimande was of the view that these challenges and complexities must not lead to further lamentations; instead they should make the sector to focus on practical and concrete solutions to these problems. The principal task is that of growing a quality FET college sector; and this is a non-negotiable.
Key activities over the next five years to improve responsiveness to the needs of the economy will therefore include the following:
- Significant expansion of the FET college sector.
- Programme offerings will be expanded, not only strengthening the NCV programmes, but also expanding the N type programmes, especially to absorb matriculants without university endorsement.
- Training partnerships with industry will be funded through SETAs.
- Partnerships with employers will be established.
- A work placement programme for graduates of FET colleges will be established.
The Minister stated that the post-summit processes will be critical. The Department will inform all colleges of the recommendations of the Summit, and of the Ministers subsequent decisions, and will work intensively with provinces and prioritised colleges and programmes to provide support for their operational planning for 2011 and for the implementation in the longer term of the summit outcomes. The outcomes of this summit will ultimately inform a Green Paper which will survey the post-school education and training landscape and set out the policy and legislative changes needed to support our strategic objectives.
4. Higher Education South Africa’s (HESA) Perspective on the Post School Education (PSE) System
Prof D Malaza: CEO, HESA led the presentation which highlighted the following key issues:
- The challenges in the new post school education system includes the development of a PSE system to deliver on a skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path and to coordinate subsystems in HE, FET and SETAs and to deliver on credible institutional mechanisms for skills planning and access to intermediate and high level learning.
- HESA’s strategic commitments includes, achieving high levels of responsiveness and relevance, promoting a dynamic evolution of a differentiated HE system and advocating for funding arrangements that facilitate institutional differentiation.
- The HESA Task Team on the PSE system is expected to develop a sector position paper on a PSE system appropriate for the national development agenda, which will outline the nature of the interface between HE and the FET sector.
- Priority issues identified by the HESA Task Team for further engagements include, curriculum for the FET college sector (how it links to HE), funding of post school education and training systems and strategies for increasing post school educational opportunities.
- HESA will form a Task Team on the PSE workshop on 8 October 2010.
- A capacity development project is in place through a partnership between the United States of America and South Africa targeting 12 FET colleges.
5. Steering Committee Presentation to the FET Summit
Prof M Metcalfe: Director-General, Department of Higher Education and Training and Chairperson of the Steering Committee led the presentation which highlighted the following key issues:
- The FET College Roundtable was convened to identify and address challenges faced by the FET sector. A Steering Committee consisting of various stakeholders was established to report to the FET Summit on recommendations of the Roundtable.
- The key recommendations of the Roundtable included a new policy vision and legislative framework for the colleges that should locate the public FET colleges sector within a single policy and legal framework for compulsory education and training. The policy should map the relationship between colleges, SETAs and HEIs, and FET colleges will have a dual mission meaning that they should provide large numbers of school leavers and out of school youth with access to occupational programmes that can enhance employability or lead to job creation.
- In terms of the governance and legal context the transfer of colleges is the priority of the Department. The legislation is not likely to be introduced before the end of 2011, therefore the Further Education and Training Act remains in place.
- In terms of the way forward, the Steering Committee will consolidate the FET Summit Report that will be distributed to all stakeholders and presented to the Minister by 7th October 2010. The Task Teams will visit all colleges and brief staff regarding the outcomes of the FET Summit.
6. Consolidated Feedback from Working Groups
a) Feedback: Policy
Most of the delegates did not have sufficient opportunity to engage with the Task Team reports on the policy issue. However, it was argued that the role of the provinces must be properly articulated if colleges are to be a national function.
b) Feedback: Students
It was recommended that there is need to strengthen student support services and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) should be prioritized. The student fee portion for programmes needs to be lowered as poor students cannot afford the current 20% required.
c) Feedback: Management of the Employer-Employee Relationship
There was a general consensus that there should be one employer (DHET) in the FET sector and an appropriate bargaining council. The review of the National Certificate Vocational (NCV) should take note of the lecturing staff workload. A short-term recommendation is the finalization of phase 2 of the new salary dispensation and permanent appointments of acting positions in FET colleges.
d) Feedback Programmes
It was felt that there is a need for a more detailed analysis of the future of the N programmes and the NCV must be reviewed. A long term recommendation is that colleges need to be capacitated to offer their full programme quality management (funding, infrastructure and staff / management capacity).
e) Feedback: Quality
It was recommended that there is a need to consider how to introduce a total quality management system to ensure quality delivery of all programmes and short courses. A short-term recommendation is the need to improve teaching and learning. Finalisation of the lecturer qualifications policy was identified as very critical for lecturer development.
f) Feedback Funding
There was a concern about the availability of budget for colleges to perform in terms of the required mandate. The shortage of funding has led to the crisis in the sector. There is a need to operationalise the SETA and NSF funding mechanism in a way that ensures that colleges have the capacity to deliver against their obligations. There is a need to review the costing model which takes into account inequities across colleges and budget shortfalls. Colleges must be capacitated to engage with SETAs and access funds and college financial management capacity must be improved.
g) Feedback: Implementation
A long term recommendation in this regard is the management information system and the need to undertake a functional analysis of college organograms in order to promote equity across the system. It was noted that there were very good recommendations from all Task Teams. However, they lacked the “how” part. More clarity was required in terms of how the articulation will take place with the Department of Higher Education.
7. Summit Discussions
It was noted that change management is a good idea that has to be seriously considered in FET colleges. However, the challenge is that there is no clear articulation on performance indicators for FET college staff.
It emerged that Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) was not properly articulated during the discussion sessions and it was urged that the department should set clear time frames for the implementation of RPL as a priority programme to accredit people with workplace experience.
It was highlighted that the issue of one employer in FET colleges is fundamental. However, with the FET Act as the current legislation for FET colleges, the proposed legislation should be prioritized to curb the current tensions that exist in FET colleges.
It was emphasized that the current funding norms for FET colleges do not set the balance between growth and quality, and as a result, FET colleges do not meet their targets.
It was noted with concern that the FET Act has no articulate definition for college campuses and as a result, satellite campuses are less prioritized and resourced.
In terms of implementation of the Summit outcomes, the department indicated that it might receive the constitutional amendment from the Department of Justice in a period of six months which will assist the department to progress swiftly with the transfer of colleges from provinces to national. College Councils remain the employer of FET college staff as stipulated in the legislation until such amendment has been made.
College Councils are not bargaining forums for FET colleges and the Education and Labour Relations Council (ELRC) is a bargaining council for the FET sector and all tensions in colleges are referred to the Council for consideration. It is against the law that Council members present political interests in Council forums rather than capacity building to the college.
There was a general consensus that inadequate student support services have affected the throughput rate of FET colleges. Work placement tools for graduates’ remain a challenge for most FET colleges.
The lack of a clear plan on teacher development for FET lecturers contributes to the poor pass rate in colleges and the fact that there is less representivity of college lecturers in the Summit is a concern.
It was noted that there will be a national career guidance call centre that will be aimed at reaching learners from remote rural areas and it will offer career advice for needy learners.
The N courses are critical for an occupational pathway and the department will update them with a view to provide different purposes.
Teaching and learning should work together and there is a need to understand that lecturers come from different backgrounds hence they have various weaknesses. There is a need to understand student’s background and complexities before making any comparisons.
There was proposal to move away from school type exams to lecture form exams with a view to professionalise college lecturers.
In terms of lecturer development colleges, 28% of lecturers have real workplace experience and 72% don’t have any. In a recent survey, 45% of college lecturers indicated that they do not require workplace training.
FET colleges should enroll learners according to the resources they have. The main challenge is that most colleges enroll learners without considering the financial capacity and resources to meet their demands.
SETAs should not be viewed as money making schemes and they serve as a very important link between the employer and new entrants in the workplace. There was a proposal that SETAs should form part of the Task Team that will be visiting all colleges to present the outcomes of the Summit.
8. Minister’s Closing Remarks
In his closing remarks Dr B Nzimande: Minister of Higher Education and Training highlighted the following key issues:
- There is a need to convene an urgent meeting of the College Councils to come up with clear proposals of differentiation with a clear timeframe and a framework for RPL.
- Articulation of the post school education challenges is very important to determine the future of this sector. By doing so, the department will not be lowering standards; rather it will increase to Post School Education.
- Artisan training should be priority training in all FET colleges. There is a need to consider provincial summits to bring all employers and industry players into one forum.
- Universities have a very important role in training and development of lecturers’ even industries. There should be innovative methods formulated for lecturer development.
- The expectations of the FET sector and the review of the N courses are at the centre of the agenda of the department as it expands. The National Skills Fund (NSF) and SETAs will play a very important role in the expansion of FET colleges progress.
- There is a need for a very strong partnership between private sector and the FET sector.
- College principals should implement the Summit outcomes at their colleges.
- Fight against corruption at FET colleges should be prioritized as the sector expands to meet its mandate and objectives.
The Summit featured some of the most distinguished and respectable role players of the FET, HE and business sector who each provided valuable insight into the discussions during the break away groups and Summit proceedings. The most recurring and strongest theme was that of differentiation in FET colleges. Below are some of the critical key points that surfaced during the Summit proceedings:
- The role of provinces must be unpacked further if colleges are to be a national competence.
- The issue of RPL needs to be seriously addressed and clear timeframes for its implementation should be articulated.
- The student fee proportion for programmes needs to be lowered as poor students cannot afford the current 20% required.
- There was general consensus that there should be one employer in the FET sector.
- There is a need for a more detailed analysis of the future of the N programmes and the NCV must be reviewed.
- Lecturer development needs to be directly addressed and the lecturer qualifications policy needs to be finalized.
- Concern was raised about the availability of budget for colleges to perform in terms of the required mandate. The NSF and SETAs should assist colleges to access funds.
- Concern was also raised regarding the delay in proposed legislation aimed to curb current tensions in colleges.
Report to be considered.
- Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training on the Public Hearings on Higher Education Laws Amendment Bill [B24 – 2010], Skills Development Levies Amendment Bill [B25 – 2010] and Higher Education and Training Laws Amendment Bill [B26 - 2010] dated 17 November 2010
The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, having conducted public hearings on the Higher Education Laws Amendment Bill [B24 – 2010], Skills Development Levies Amendment Bill [B25 – 2010] and Higher Education and Training Laws Amendment Bill [B26 – 2010] reports as follows:
The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training conducted public hearings on the afore-mentioned three pieces of legislation on the 31 August 2010. The purpose of the hearings was mainly to consider the submissions received from the members of the public regarding the three pieces of legislation.
1.1 The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education & Training
Mr M Fransman Chairperson (ANC), Ms N Gina (ANC), Ms M Kubayi (ANC), Ms N Magazi, Ms W Nelson (ANC), Mr S Radebe (ANC), Dr W James (DA), Ms N Vukuza (COPE) and Mr K Dikobo (AZAPO).
Apologies: Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) and Ms F Mushwana (ANC).
1.2 The Department of Higher Education and Training
Adv E Boshoff: Chief Director, Ms M Erasmus: Senior Legal Admin Officer, Mr Z Hlongwane: Director and Ms N Nqaba: Parliamentary Liaison Officer.
1.3 Other Guests
Prof V Mazwi-Tanga: Vice-Chancellor, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Dr H Amoore: Registrar, University of Cape Town, Dr S Mabizela: Chairperson, Umalusi, Dr M Rakometsi, Chief Executive Officer, Umalusi, Mr M Kerruish: Director, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Dr F Coughlan: Director, Independent Institute of Learning, Mr H Bennett: Consultant, Advetch, Mr T Fletcher: Attorney, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, Ms S Hammond: Consulting Editor, Skills Portal, Mr A Small: State Law Adviser, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr Archie Mokone: Chairperson, Adult Learning Network, Mr S Mbara: Student, University of Cape Town, Ms T Mdala: Administrative Secretary, National Youth Development Agency.
2. Summary of submissions
2.1 Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi)
Dr S Mabizela: Chairperson gave introductory remarks while Dr M Rakometsi: Chief Executive Officer led the entire presentation. The presentation highlighted the following key issues:
- Umalusi representatives were concerned about the definition of the term “further education and training” which does not reflect the new and emerging understanding of the FET sector. They proposed that the definitions be linked to the purpose of basic education schooling and adult vocational education and training in respect of the post compulsory schooling stream.
- Umalusi welcomed the provision made in both Acts for national policies and the clarification of the responsibilities of the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) and Heads of Education Departments Committee (HEDCOM) in respect of adult learning centres and FET colleges. However, it advised that policies which are currently envisaged as discrete and separate should be conceived on the basis of an integrated single AVET system for post compulsory schooling candidates and provincial competencies could be spelled out in such a policy.
- Umalusi commented on the amendments to the FET Colleges Act No 16 of 2006 section 41 C (f), which refers to achieving an integrated approach to “adult” education and training within a national qualifications framework. It was proposed that it should read “further” education and training.
- Umalusi would like the same provision to be made to the sub-framework of qualifications for general and further education and training (as has been for the Quality Council for Trades and Occupation).
- The amended act does not define the term programme and it is therefore not clear what the Minister will set norms and standards for given Umalusi’s mandate. Secondly there is no sub-framework for FET on the NQF.
- Umalusi welcomed the effort at creating coherence in the adult education and FET systems through linking of adult education and vocational education in the amended Adult Basic Education Act 52 of 2000.
- Umalusi further proposed for the establishment of a committee for monitoring of academic standards and quality promotion.
2.2 Adult Learning Network (ALN)
Mr Archie Mokone: Chairperson led the presentation which highlighted the following:
- The presenter indicated that the definition of Adult Education and Training is incorrect. It is therefore suggested that an amendment be effected to the definition of AET and it should read, ‘adult education and training means all learning programmes for adults on level 1 – 4 registered on the NQF as contemplated in the NQF Act No 67 of 2009’.
- ALN requested more clarity and certainty to be provided in the Bill around centres and that the Bill must reflect an appropriate term. ALN supported the rest of the amendments reflected in the HETLA Bill.
2.3 University of Cape Town (UCT)
Mr S Mbara: Student in Public Policy Administration led the presentation which highlighted the following key issues:
- The presenter made specific comments on Section 1 of the Adult Basic Education and Training Act 52 of 2000. The presenter opposed the substitution of ABET for AET and indicated that it allowed room for ambiguity in terms of education levels, function-ability and efficacy of the use of the term. He mentioned that it was unnecessary, irrelevant and confusing to change the definition.
- On Chapter 4A – Section 25G, the presenter was concerned that this section did not provide any powers to political heads of education to monitor, develop, employ and fire employees. The main thrust of this submission was based on the fact that political heads of education should participate in employment or selection of educators.
2.4 Independent Institute of Education (IIE)
Mr H Bennett: Consultant led the presentation which highlighted the following key issues:
- This submission was mainly concerned with Section 2 and 3 of the HELA Bill and the consequences of the proposed amendments for education generally and for private higher education service providers specifically.
- The submission was also concerned with the term “offered” which needs to be defined since the Act did not provide significant definition to the term and this might add additional uncertainty.
- It further alluded that the amendments to the Act may have the effect of isolating the country’s higher education from the rest of the world and this might discourage the presence of some high quality providers that could assist in meeting the national agenda.
- The Bill cannot be promoted in its current form if there is any likelihood that its effect would be either to deprive or discourage students from access to a range of education opportunities and relationships just on the grounds of their being international.
- The proposed section 65 (d) to the Higher Education Act introduced by Section 3 of the Bill repeats the provision of section 51(2) but extends the prohibition on offering unregistered qualifications to all persons. The reality is that part of qualifications cannot currently be registered on the NQF so even if reasonable, this is not enforceable.
- The further statement that no certificate or diploma (or degree) can be offered by a private higher education institution unless it is registered on the HE sub framework of the NQF could be read to mean that ALL certificates or diplomas are higher education qualifications and this is currently not the law.
3. Discussions and Responses
It emerged that Umalusi would like a special dedicated Matric for adults that would be distinct to the currently Matric for learners. This kind of Matric would be flexible and it will be based on the model of distance learning where adults would not be required to attend classes and will write exams at suitable times. The committee was interested in this new idea and wanted an explanation as to where would this kind of Matric fit in the current further education and training system.
Umalusi indicated that the Matric for adults would fit well in the FET college system and this would assist in the improvement of the adult education system.
The committee was of the opinion that education is meant for a particular function and adults should go through a special discipline such that they should attend classes and sit for exams.
The committee was informed that the needs of fundamental adult learners varied differently from an ordinary learner and therefore it is fundamentally important to look at adult learners differently. Adults have vast responsibilities and hence Umalusi is proposing this new form of Matric for adults that will assist them in balancing their priorities.
Umalusi further proposed the creation of a seamless adult education that is not tied to different levels of the NQF.
It emerged that the ALN supported most of the amendments in the HETLA Bill. However, the main concern with this Bill was with the term ‘adult centres’ as it did not give recognition to the youth who also form part of adult education as well as the definition of an educator. It was proposed that community education learning centres should be the new name for adult education and training centres to accommodate young people that are part of the system.
The committee commended the good work that is done by ALN in the adult education field. It was noted that the ALN should not be too prescriptive with the definition of an educator since this would have severe implications on the employability of educators.
The committee was deeply concerned that there were no clear norms and standards for adult education educators and that their basic conditions of employment were still poor.
It was noted that an educator is a specialized professional person and in the past there were universities which offered special training for adult education educators, and these programmes can be redeveloped for those interested in the field.
The committee commended the presentation by the student from UCT. It was explained that political heads cannot be part of administration of educators and there is a clear distinction between the roles played by Ministers and administrators.
The IIE was of the opinion that foreign providers should be accredited swiftly in the NQF without prolonging the process due to their standards and recognition.
The committee highlighted the fact that the Bill aims to ensure that foreign providers register in the NQF as stipulated in the NQF Act and perhaps the accreditation period should be reviewed. The other aim of this Bill is to protect the public from unscrupulous providers who are making wealth at the expense of ordinary citizens.
The IIE proposed that there should be discussion with the private education providers sector in addressing the challenge of unscrupulous providers and at the moment there is no such conversation. The department should in future consult the sector when initiating policy changes unlike what happened with this Bill.
The IIE proposed that that accreditation process for foreign providers in the NQF be sped up as the current process was insufficient and could have a pessimistic factor on the contribution of foreign providers to the national agenda.
It was noted that private providers contribute positively to the education and training sector since the public sector is overwhelmed with demand for learning.
The representatives from HESA concerned with the proposed speeding up of the accreditation process as proposed by the IIE and indicated that all institutions are subject to the NQF Act and should follow the same routine.
The public participation process allowed the committee an opportunity to engage with various stakeholders in the education and training sector. Although the amendments to the three pieces of legislation were perceived to be technical, it was clear through the engagements with different stakeholders that there were critical underlying policy issues that were brought by these amendments to the original Acts. There was a general consensus from different stakeholders that the definition of an educator was vague. Another critical issue which emerged strongly was the complicated registration requirements in the NQF. The rest of the submissions welcomed the amendments brought forward by these amendments. The committee acknowledged the inputs from all stakeholders and promised to engage thoroughly during the next deliberation phases.
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