Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 22 Oct 2020

Summary

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Minutes

UNREVISED HANSARD

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

THURSDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2020

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

 

PLENARY (HYBRID)

 

 

The House met at 14:00.

 

 

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

 

 

FILLING OF VACANCIES

 

 

(Announcement)

 

 

The SPEAKER: Hon members, before we proceed with the business of today, I wish to announce that the vacancies which occurred in the National Assembly owing to the resignations of Mr P P Keetse and Mr L G Mokoena had been filled by the nominations of Ms P Madokwe and Mr S Tambo with effect from 7 October 2020 and 16 October 2020, respectively. The members have made and subscribed the oath with the Speaker through the virtual platform. We welcome the, and I hope that they will add to the democratic practices of this House.

 

 

Lastly, in the interest of safety for all present in the Chamber, we ask you to keep your masks on and to sit in your designated areas. Please do not move those papers that are designated. I think I heard somebody telling me to keep mine on. If I was sharing this microphone with anyone right now I would keep it on. And if you have observed, whenever I leave and somebody replaces me, this mic does get cleaned. Thank you.

 

 

I must also ask hon members to not forget to sign their attendance slips. It is important. Thank you very much.

 

 

QUESTIONS TO THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT

 

 

The SPEAKER: Hon members, the only item on the Order Paper today is questions addressed to the Deputy President. Can I get confirmation that he is on the platform? He is? Thank you.

 

 

Just for remembrance sake, hon members, there are four supplementary questions on each question. Parties have given an indication of which questions their members wish to pose as a supplementary question.

 

 

Adequate notice was given to parties for this purpose. This was done to facilitate participation of members who are connecting to

 

 

the sitting through the virtual platform. Members who will pose supplementary questions will be recognised by the presiding officer. In allocating opportunities for supplementary questions, the principle of fairness, among others, has been applied.

 

 

If a member who is supposed to ask a supplementary question through a virtual platform is unable to do so due to technological difficulties, the party Whip on duty will be allowed to ask the question on behalf of their member. When all supplementary questions have been answered by the Deputy President, we will proceed to the next question on the Question Paper.

 

 

Hon members, the first question for the day was put by the hon Mazzone to the Deputy President. We have just confirmed that the Deputy President is connected and therefore, I welcome you Deputy President and give you the floor to respond to Question 13 put to you by hon Mazzone. Deputy President?

 

 

Question 13:

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Speaker, am I audible?

 

 

The SPEAKER: Yes, you are.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you. In response to the question, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an unprecedented crisis to the world and our country, which required government and the whole society to join hands and save lives. Collectively as government and society, we managed to avert the worst devastation of this pandemic. Together, we weathered the eye of the storm and we continue to work hard towards flattening the curve. However, the struggle is not over yet, as we are still navigating how best to live alongside the virus.

 

 

We stay encouraged by the continued decline of new infections and our fellow citizens’ resilience and continued practice of regular washing of hands and sanitising, putting on masks, social distancing and staying at home whenever it is possible.

 

 

While our health care system has so far managed to cope in dealing with infections, COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on deepening unemployment, poverty, and growing inequalities within our society. If not addressed, social deprivation and lack of success to means of livelihood for the majority of our people may lead to undesirable social fractures and disunity.

 

 

As government, we will continue to forge social compacts to protect the poor and vulnerable, and strengthen social solidarity

 

 

to cushion them against the devastating impact of COVID-19. In this regard, government has implemented measures to enhance social resilience, cohesion and solidarity. Among others, these include:

 

 

The establishment of the Solidarity Fund to support our shared and inclusive response; strengthening social security measures to assist the poor and those employees who lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19; and supporting businesses, where fiscally possible, to avert closures of ...[Interjections.] ... Alongside these initiatives ...[Interjections.]

 

 

The SPEAKER: Deputy President, we have lost you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: ... gender-based violence to ensure ... government had to respond to increasing incidents of gender-based violence to ensure that ... [Interjections.]

 

 

The SPEAKER: Deputy President, could you just go a few seconds back. We lost you; we lost your response.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: As government ... can you hear me now?

 

 

The SPEAKER: Yes, please proceed.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: As government we will continue to forge ... [Interjections.] ... to protect the poor and vulnerable ... [Interjections.]

 

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

 

 

The SPEAKER: Deputy President, we have a technical problem. There is a point of order, Ms Mazzone?

 

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you Madam Speaker and Deputy President, I am terribly sorry to interrupt you. Madam Speaker, it is virtually impossible to understand what the Deputy President is saying. I wonder if we couldn’t take a five-minute break and let Information Technology, IT, sort the problem out and then give the Deputy President a chance to answer because we all want to hear what he says but we can’t because of the technicalities.

 

 

The SPEAKER: I agree. Deputy President, we have a technical issue. We have just send out to say that perhaps they must look at strengthening the IT from the side of the Deputy President. Hon members, I do agree that maybe we must suspend the House for five

 

 

minutes to look at these technical problems. The House is suspended for five minutes.

 

 

BUSINESS SUSPENDED AT 14:05 AND RESUMED AT 14:16.

 

 

The SPEAKER: Hon members, we are back in order. Please take your seats. Deputy President, it might be helpful if you start your response from the top so that we can get everything all together. You have the floor, Deputy President.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, am I audible now?

 

 

The SPEAKER: Yes, you are.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I was saying, hon Speaker, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an unprecedented crisis to the world and our country, which required government and the whole society to join hands and save lives. Collectively as government and society, we managed to avert the worst devastation of this pandemic. Together we weathered the eye of the storm and we continue to work hard towards flattening the curve. However, the struggle is not over yet, as we are still navigating how best to live alongside the virus.

 

 

We stay encouraged by the continued decline of new infections and our fellow citizens’ resilience and continued practice of regular washing of hands and sanitising, putting on cloth masks, social distancing and staying at home whenever we can.

 

 

While our health care system has so far managed to cope in dealing with infections, COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on deepening unemployment, poverty, and growing inequalities within our society. If not addressed, social deprivation and lack of success to means of livelihood for the majority of people may lead to undesirable social fractures and disunity.

 

 

As government, we will continue to forge social compacts to protect the poor and vulnerable, and strengthen social solidarity to cushion them against the devastating impact of COVID-19. In this regard, as government we have implemented measures to enhance social resilience, cohesion and solidarity. Among others, these include:

 

 

The establishment of the Solidarity Fund to support our shared and inclusive response; strengthening social security measures to assist the poor and those employees who lost their jobs; and supporting businesses, where fiscally possible, to avert closures and job losses.

 

 

Alongside these initiatives, government had to respond to increasing incidents of gender-based violence to ensure that affected families are provided with necessary support. We will continue to raise awareness and mobilise our communities against the scourge of gender-based violence, and ensure that our criminal justice system responds swiftly in bringing perpetrators to book.

 

 

As we continue to fight the pandemic, we must equally express our deep concern about the widespread allegations of corruption related to procurement of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, and other social assistance interventions.

 

 

The corrupt activities revealed through the work of our law enforcement agencies highlight the extent to which our moral fibre has been compromised in pursuit of self-enrichment at the expense of the plight of the people. Such activities do not only undermine people’s trust in government, but also undermine our efforts of attracting investments that we so need to in order to grow this economy.

 

 

We agree with Honourable Mazzone that we should take a moment to pause and reflect deeply on our inner selves. This COVID-19 remains a devastating and life-threatening pandemic. It is for this reason that one would not have, even in the worst of moments,

 

 

expected that there could be such brazen bravery amongst any of us to choose to be what the President has called and characterised as “a pack of hyenas circling a wounded prey.”

 

 

Our moral and societal values have been highly tested during this pandemic. We must all agree that more needs to be done to solidify the ethical foundations of our society to ensure that public resources are utilised in a responsible manner to benefit our people.

 

 

Equally, government will continue to enhance systems of internal control to ensure openness, transparency and accountability to protect the integrity of our procurement system. Where breaches have been committed, those who are involved must be held accountable.

 

 

The Moral Regeneration Movement remains a critical platform to galvanise our society to advance the promotion of positive values and ethical conduct. These positive values and ethical conduct empower us to confront deep-seated challenges of moral decay within our communities, including in our public service.

 

 

As the ANC-led government we are fully committed to the elimination of corruption in all its forms and manifestations. We

 

 

are therefore calling on all citizens to support the President’s efforts to deal with corruption across society. To this end, the President has ordered the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, through proclamations, to investigate allegations of corruption around government’s spending towards the fight against the coronavirus, including allegations of impropriety in the awarding of tenders.

 

 

The Special Investigating Unit is currently investigating up to R5 billion worth of contracts alleged to have been improperly awarded to various companies by national and provincial

departments, as well as municipalities in the procurement of PPEs. In the recent months we have seen more allegations of corruption being referred to the South African Police Service, and other law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

 

 

Furthermore, the fusion centre, which is a multidisciplinary team of law enforcement agencies, has been established to investigate COVID-19 corruption in particular. As government, we continue to provide the necessary support to these enforcement agencies, including availing necessary resources for them to function optimally. In the same breath, we will give them space to act independently without fear, favour or prejudice. We are encouraged to see considerable progress being made in apprehending those who are alleged to have been involved in corrupt activities.

 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on the global economy, and recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast. The adverse impact of COVID-19 on low income households is particularly acute, and as a result, a lot of people have lost their jobs.

 

 

Flowing from the recent Cabinet lekgotla, as government, we are prioritising ... [Interjections.] Hon Speaker, am I still audible?

 

 

The SPEAKER: You are audible. I think it’s the people who are hosts that must control ... Please continue, hon Deputy President.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Flowing from the recent Cabinet lekgotla, as government, we are prioritising the recovery of the economy as unveiled by the President during the Joint Hybrid Sitting of Parliament. We further need to strengthen co-operation with our international partners to reignite investments and increase trade flows. Among others, our focus will be on leveraging our infrastructure programme to increase private sector investment and participation; localisation to ensure that we boost local manufacturing capabilities to support growth, and local empowerment of small businesses in key value chains; supporting job creating sectors to promote massive employment opportunities;

 

 

and enhancing the state capacity to implement economic reforms to require to accelerate economic growth and development.

 

 

Hon Speaker, we are confident that we will come out of the current doldrums and grow this South African economy so that it leads to increased economic activity resulting in jobs creation that we so desire. This will result in the empowerment of many rather than benefiting only a few. South Africa stands at a critical crossroad to deal with the cumulative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We can either choose to return to the old normal of being tolerant of land hunger, racial animosity, gender-based violence, and entrenched poverty, or we can use this moment to break from this cycle. We know very well that in following this route, we stand assured of mutual destruction of South Africa where people resort to, for example, a racial laager mentality as it is playing out in Senekal. We have made our choice as presented by the President last week Thursday.

 

 

In the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan the President outlined a number of initiatives. We have chosen a decisive path anchored on the founding values of our democracy and the Constitution. It is a route that seeks to even confront superficial racial and class divisions in our society to build a

 

 

cohesive society founded on the values of equality, social solidarity and equitable economic inclusion.

 

 

It is our conviction that a well-focused economic reconstruction and recovery plan will not only restore productivity and accelerate economic performance, but will allow us to respond to the deepening challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Our task is to focus on implementation so that this plan gains quick traction in order to realise envisaged outcomes.

 

 

Sharp focus on implementation requires a common and shared vision across society to strengthen social compacts, and collaborative partnerships so we all play our part in the success of the plan. As public representatives we must contribute and inspire hope that our resilience will triumph over the challenges we are currently facing.

 

 

It is therefore important that we should not expend our energies in that which divides us, but focus our collective and shared- national destiny. We must rally the nation behind the leadership of the President in driving the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

 

 

The choice before us is clear: We can either resort to cynicism, apathy and negativity or we can exercise our roles as public representatives to foster positive leadership of uniting South Africans towards a common goal of achieving a South Africa where every man, woman, and child has a place under the sun, and where the potential of every individual is maximised for the collective good. Thank you very much, hon Speaker.

 

 

Question 13 contd:

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy President, I think the answer you just gave this House was superb, and I think it should be written down and distributed as widely as possible. But until I see some kind of action I’m going to find it very difficult to believe that anyone but you, believes the answer you just gave this House. You see, Mr Deputy President, this country has absolute fatigue. We have corruption fatigue; we have commission fatigue; we have ad hoc committee fatigue; we have promises of fighting corruption fatigue; and we have heard over and over again that those who are corrupt would be brought. But I still have to sit in a Parliament with hon Bongo who gets reinstated as the MP and a chair of a committee. Deputy President, I heeded the call; I thuma minared ... [Interjections.]

 

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Point of order, Speaker.

 

 

The SPEAKER: Hon Mazzone, please take a seat! You are on your feet.

 

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: On a point of order, hon Speaker: Comrade Bongo has never been removed from Parliament. Can that member withdraw that statement?

 

 

The SPEAKER: Hon members, the point of order – I think - should be that this matter is before the court. Hon Mazzone, you do know that you have overstepped a bit. The hon Bongo’s matter was brought before the Ethics Committee and the committee did not conclude the matter. That matter is still before the Ethics Committee and the courts. Hon members, I think we should try and reflect on what is. But for the sake of progress, I am going to ask you to withdraw that. You can bring it back if you want to, at a later stage when the matter has been concluded. But at this stage the matter has not been concluded, anywhere. Hon Mazzone.

 

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, I withdraw.

 

 

The SPEAKER: Thank you, mam. Please proceed.

 

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy President, when the President himself said that he feels it’s like hyenas are

 

 

attacking prey. I think he is incredibly diplomatic. I think it’s more a case of pigs eating from the trough of humanity. That is the level of corruption when people’s lives are at stake and money that should have been used to save lives is stolen. I think the unprecedented crisis that this country faces is not only the virus. It is the fact that even in the face of death there are people in public office who are willing to steal billions of rand. That is the crisis that we are faced with. We are facing a crisis of a completely unethical government. My question is: Money gets paid out of government’s accounts, and it gets paid into another account. It is very easy to trace that money. When are we finally going to see a big fish and not some little no one in the department that means nothing to anyone? When are we going to see a premier, an MMC, an MEC or a Minister finally being suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into stealing money and causing death in our country? [Time expired.] [Applause.]

 

 

The SPEAKER: Hon Mazzone, I was lenient because there was a point of order that interrupted you, but you went way beyond your time. I will not be kind again.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, well, I agree with the hon member that as a country we are facing a few challenges and they are deep-seated challenges. Corruption is one of those challenges.

 

 

We are facing this pandemic, Covid-19 and we are facing gender- based violence. As a society and South African population, we must stand up and confront these challenges.

 

 

The President has put a plan and all of us are going to rally around this plan, and try to do something to change our situation. We are going to support the law enforcement agencies so that we deal with corruption. We agree with you that we cannot allow corruption to reign supreme. Otherwise, it is going to destroy our very young democracy that we have created. So, we are going to protect this democracy. We are not going to cry but we are going to stand up and fight. Therefore, it is upon all of us as leaders who are sitting here in Parliament to confront these challenges that are faced by our own country. This society needs to be assisted.

 

 

You must be aware that gender-based violence is not just what you see – the incidents that get reported. It might be more than what the eye can see. It needs all of us to stand up and deal with this pandemic, gender-based violence. Corruption cannot only be in the public service. It is there in the private sector and it there in our society. So, we must stand up and uproot corruption in our society. It is the responsibility of all leaders elected in this Parliament. So, yes, I agree with you when you point all these

 

 

challenges that we are faced with. I am saying the President came up with a plan. We can add to the plan but let us make this plan work. Let’s rally around this plan and see whether we can’t achieve something best out of it. Thank you very much.

 

 

Ms N Q MVANA: Hon Deputy President, I hear you clearly but I would like you to assist us by telling how we can collectively contribute to the effective and efficient roll-out of this plan that you are talking about, one of moral regeneration; and how this plan will respond in addressing these issues that divide us, such as fraud and corruption that our partners are talking about, so that we can be able to focus our efforts on building the economy of our country. Thank you, Speaker.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, as public representatives, I believe that we have a role to play. We need to stand up and join the movement out there. We have good people out there who still carry positive values; we have good people who are working hard in different sectors of our society. So, as public representatives, it is our duty to stand up and re-inforce the work that is done by this big movement outside that seeks to promote positive values.

These positive values start right from the family household, go to church and all sectors of our society. It is an ongoing mission that we should preach and inculcate good values. We cannot –

 

 

somewhere along the way – despair and say, we are giving up. This is a continuous mission of moulding and teaching society about what is good and bad. So, as public representatives, let’s stand up and join this movement. It is our duty and our people have trust in us. Thank you very much.

 

 

Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy President, about two months ago the Special Investigating Unit, SIU revealed in Parliament that 658 contracts relating to PPEs were being investigated and related to all spheres of government. This was after the President signed a proclamation ordering the SIU to investigate allegations that politically-connected people and unscrupulous business figures might have benefited from PPE tenders. What I want to know, Deputy President, is why government, through the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation that is mandated to monitor service delivery could, not detect that massive corruption was taking place under their noses and what measures have been put in place to ensure that such inordinate levels of corruption are never experienced again. Thank you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I must agree that as government

 

– I’m sure - we were caught napping. Some of our procurement systems leave much to be desired. That is why the President has called upon all of us to try and revamp our procurement systems.

 

 

As we are speaking, we are dealing with them to try and close all the loopholes that are there. Of course all the systems are managed by human beings. Human beings can always flout these systems because they are responsible for creating the very systems. But in this case, we need to have checks and balances that will help us to detect corruption as early as possible. The President has called upon all our law enforcement agencies to step up their work. Some of our law enforcement agencies are crying about resources and lack of personnel. We believe that they have been given the required support they need from government. Of course we don’t have ample resources but we have given them what we can afford as a country. We believe that these institutions must be built not for now, but for the future so that our democracy is anchored on very sound institutions that do not depend on who is in government. These systems will stand the test of time. This time we must build systems that are very strong and do not depend on whether it is the ANC, DA or EFF in government.

We must have strong institutions. Thank you very much.

 

 

Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Deputy President, corruption in the ruling party predates Covid-19. It has been there and it is endemic. Most of the people involved in acts of corruption are protected if they are close to those in power. The punishment of the corrupt is selective. Not long ago Ranjeni Munusamy, a former journalist, was

 

 

exposed at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture as having received illicit money from the SA Intelligence Services. Despite this, she has now been appointed by the Minister of Finance as the Community Outreach Officer. What is your view, Deputy President, about this appointment? What does the appointment of Ranjeni do to your government’s fight against corruption? Have you engaged with the Minister of Finance? If not, why not because this country is bleeding of corruption? Please, Deputy President! [Time expired.]

 

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Speaker, let me assure the hon member that I’ll take up this particular question because, if there is an alleged corruption even not at a point where it is proven - I think - as leaders we must act with caution so that we don’t reinforce a perception out there which seeks to say we don’t care; and we’ll proceed with what we want to do. So, I am going to follow up on this matter. But I must hasten to say, all the issues that are raised in these commissions especially the Zondo Commission, we will await the final report of the Deputy Chief Justice to be presented; and which will also show and spell out exactly the remedial action that must be taken. Until then, we can’t speculate about things said there. We can read between the blue lines but let us allow the Deputy Chief Justice to give his conclusion about all the matters that were presented before him.

 

 

Then, we can suggest what must be done. But I am sure that, step by step, as a country, we are moving in the right direction. The President must be supported in his efforts to fight crime. All of us must stand up and fight the scourge of corruption and crime.

Thank you very much.

 

 

Question 14:

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Speaker. The matter of the allegations that the Eskom chief executive officer, CEO, misled the board to terminate a contract of a particular company, has been in the public domain, hon Speaker, as early as March 2020. In the wake of these allegations, the Eskom board instituted an independent investigation and appointed Advocate Wim Trengove to investigate this matter. Subsequently, the Eskom board at its July 2020 meeting adopted the report of the senior counsel and expressed its support for the CEO.

 

 

In line with corporate governance principles that are set out the separation of roles between the shareholder and the board, there is no basis for us to doubt the decisions within the purview of the board in respect of this and any other operational issues of the power utility. We would like to treat this matter as adequately addressed the way it has been concluded by the board,

 

 

and we must respect the resolutions that have been taken by the board itself.

 

 

However, as the matter has now been raised in this House by hon Maotwe, all we can do from our side is to reaffirm the principles of good governance and our commitment to those principles. We believe that the board should be allowed space to carry out independently its fiduciary responsibilities and exercise duty of care on all strategic and operational matters of Eskom without any undue influence. For the record, Advocate Trengove’s report has been made available for our perusal and we have no basis to doubt its fairness or the integrity of the investigation process as conducted against the CEO with respect to the allegations made.

 

 

As government, we remain committed to clean governance and we have confidence in the capabilities of the current board at Eskom. We believe that we have appointed the board that is competent, experienced and capable of implementing clear mechanisms to hold their own executives accountable. As a matter, of course, government exercises its oversight role through the Department of Public Enterprises guided by the shareholder compact. That is why our position is that the board is empowered to run the affairs of Eskom diligently, while ensuring a financially sustainable energy utility that is oriented to meet its developmental imperatives.

 

 

The Eskom Political Task Team that was established by the President will continue to provide the necessary support to Eskom to ensure that it enhances institutional capabilities to sustainably supply electricity to support economic growth and development. We are committed to supporting the leadership of the board and the CEO in ensuring that Eskom is transformed and put on a sustainable operational path. This is what the country requires. There is still a long road ahead, but for now we are satisfied that this energy utility is heading in the right direction.

Therefore, it needs our support. Thank you very much, hon Speaker.

 

 

Ms O M C MAOTWE: Yes, thank you very much, Speaker. Deputy President, the reasons that were put forward by the CEO and what we have seen published on the media, and what we read are the contracts that were awarded irregularly. I just said that there was corruption that was involved, and that there was collusion between Econ Oil and Energy and Sasol. However, Deputy President, you might be aware that the contract for Sasol has not been terminated, and they are still supplying oil to Eskom.

 

 

Now, the question is that has anyone being found guilty of any wrongdoing at Eskom in awarding the contract to Econ Oil and Energy, and why has the contract to Sasol not been terminated? Is the CEO employed with a mandate to remove black suppliers from

 

 

Eskom and undo the little transformation by targeting only black companies while corrupt white companies remain Eskom suppliers? I thank you, Speaker.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Speaker. I am not aware of those developments. I’ll be happy to investigate that because that would be incorrect that if the contract has been terminated, but the supplier continues to supply or to render the service. That can be looked at and we can raise it with the board. However, the principle that I wanted to put forward here is that we want to establish a new way of working that we should allow these public entities to function because we have appointed the board, and we have got the CEO. We want to avoid political meddling with the day to day running of those utilities so that we move away from the past where politicians were fingered to be interfering in the running of these state-owned entities, SOEs.

 

 

This time around we want to follow the government’s principles. We are a shareholder and we are going to act like a shareholder. We are going to raise issues in the shareholder’s meetings because we are participants. I am here to assist Eskom to recover from all these challenges that it is confronted with. You would be aware that Eskom is confronted with a lot of challenges: the amount of debts, money that is owed by Eskom, the money that is owed by

 

 

municipalities to Eskom and vandalism of the infrastructure of Eskom. Therefore, it is faced with a number of challenges and needs to be assisted because it is at the centre of our growth. It should be understood in that way and all of us must support this power utility because its success is the success of our country.

Thank you very much.

 

 

Ms O M C MAOTWE: Hon Speaker, on a point of order, I wanted to clarify, I think the Deputy President did not get my question properly. I’m saying that the same contract where black suppliers are terminated Sasol is not terminated.

 

 

The SPEAKER: No, Mam, you are out of order. That is not a point of order, please close that microphone. The next supplementary is put to you, Deputy President, by the hon Magaxa. Ntate you’ve got one minute.

 

 

Mr K E MAGAXA: Thank you, Speaker. Hon Deputy President, in the light that Eskom board including the Minister gave a comprehensive feedback to all members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on this matter pertaining the CEO. Would you, therefore, agree with me that the motive behind the EFF question is more to do with their obsession to fuel racialized modernity and hatred among South Africans in these public-owned entities,

 

 

than a quest to resolve challenges created through state capture and corruption, which led to collapse of not only the SOEs in the Department of Public Enterprises, but the entire country including the Venda Burial Society, VBS.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Speaker. I cannot jump to that conclusion. [Laughter.] I want to believe that all Members of Parliament have got the right to ask questions and to be answered. Where we feel that the question is deviating from the normal, we will say so. However, I want to agree with hon Magaxa that the challenges that are faced by Eskom we must not racialize them.

They are not challenges that are created by white people and they are not challenges that are created by black people. These are challenges of the power utility. Therefore, let us not divide our people that are working in Eskom. This country, you will remember that, belongs to all of us who are living in it, black and white. Thank you very much.

 

 

Mr W M THRING: Thank you, Speaker. Deputy President, it has been widely reported that Eskom undertook a review of the circumstances leading to the tender of some R5 billion been awarded to Econ Oil and Energy. It is alleged that this review uncovered seriously regularities in the process, including inflated prices charged to Eskom when lowered prices alternatives were evident. Can the

 

 

Deputy President confirm whether these allegations are true and inform this House how many other companies are doing business with Eskom - whose contracts are under review - that have had irregular or were they have been reviewed irregularities, and what consequence management steps will be taken? Thank you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, hon Speaker. All what I can confirm is that the CEO was doing his job by reassessing all the contracts that Eskom has entered into with service providers, checking whether there’s value for money, and checking whether are these contracts done in the correct manner. Therefore, in this case the CEO found that he is not really satisfied in the manner these contracts were entered into, that is something that is indicated in the report. So, we are not going to really delve much into the report which hon members have got the right to find the report and look at it procedurally.

 

 

However, I can assure you that the CEO has done his best in this case to try and save Eskom money and to try and uproot corruption. I think that he is standing firm against corruption and he must be supported. Thank you very much.

 

 

Mr G K Y CACHALIA: Thank you, hon Speaker. Deputy President, given that it is common cause that Eskom has benefited by corruption and

 

 

graft, and so, in the interest of transparency and accountability to root out such practice. Will the Deputy President, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Eskom Task Team, commit to a timeline and table a full progress report in Parliament pertaining to the terms and conditions, and in particular the pricing of fuel contracts compare to direct supply from refineries as well as the identities and capacity of the shareholders of such contracts, past and present as the Deputy President himself mentioned that we must uproot corruption in our society? Surely, it is time for him with respect to put his money where his mouth is and table such a report. Thank you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Speaker. Currently, I am confident that the leadership at Eskom are doing their best to uproot corruption. There are a number of cases that are being investigated that are with the law enforcement agencies. Now, we cannot this time say exactly where the investigation process is. However, I must say that there are a number of cases that are before the law enforcement agencies that we submitted through the leadership of Eskom. Therefore, at the right moment we can report not really myself because the leadership of Eskom can report itself. Eskom most of its operations are supported by government. Eskom has got the responsibility to account and even to this august House - Eskom can account.

 

 

There is a Minister who is sitting there on behalf of government, who is standing in for our shares because we are a shareholder and who can also assist where possible. So, I’m saying that it is not like this entity is far from being reached by this hon House. This entity can come and account for a number of activities that they are doing. I must say from what I have noticed that the entity is doing very well. In terms of correcting operational issues, the entity is doing very well. In terms of dealing with corruptions, the entity is on the right track. Thank you very much.

 

 

Question 15:

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, we take our cue from the address by the President to the Joint Hybrid Sitting of Parliament calling on all of us to work together to implement measures that are aimed not only at restructuring the economy but also bolstering the capacity of the state and to deliver bold plans of economic reconstruction and recovery. This includes fast-tracking reforms and the resolution of identified inefficiencies at Eskom to ensure the security of energy supply. It is common cause that instability of energy supply and constant load shedding pose a high risk to the economy. We must acknowledge that our fleet of coal-fired power stations is ageing, vulnerable to breakdowns, and it incurs significant maintenance costs.

 

 

We are however, pleased that the leadership of Eskom has put in place a clear maintenance plan to ensure that we avoid unexpected electricity supply disruptions. This does not suggest that we can with utmost certainty, based on the available information and projections, guarantee that there would be no load shedding in the coming months. As indicated in the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 and confirmed by Eskom as well as other independent reports, such as the one referred to by the hon Nontsele, our electricity supply system remains very constrained. However, Eskom has developed key mitigating actions as part of the Reliability Maintenance Recovery Programme.

 

 

This programme provides a number of solutions that will assist in closing the gap in the delivery of electricity supply over the next 18 months, and mitigate the potential risk of load shedding. These initiatives take into account all power generation interventions, both by Eskom and independent power producers, IPPs. Long term investment into the energy sector is critical to sustainable electricity supply and the growth of the economy.

 

 

Sufficient, secure and reliable energy supply in order to support the industrialisation programme is crucial for the success of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. In this regard, government is embarking on some interventions that will allow for

 

 

short-term stability and certainty in the supply of electricity. In part, this requires targeted focus on improving governance, enhancing the internal control environment, and ensuring that Eskom turns around its dire financial situation. This will help build institutional capacity and achieve stability in the provision of electricity.

 

 

To date, the high level achievements towards ensuring this involve the following: Adoption of the Functional Leader Operating Model as the basis for how Eskom will manage its business. This allows the various businesses to function independently; implementation of business models for the divisions and corporate functions for the first time and first phase of divisionalisation are at an advanced stage of completion; establishment of divisional boards for all three Eskom divisions, appointment of divisional managing directors as well as board members; conceptualisation of a market operator which will operate as a central purchasing agency of electricity by contracting from generation to distribution. The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy has already gazetted amendments to the electricity regulator on new generation capacity, with a view of enabling municipalities in good financial standing to develop their own power generation projects.

 

 

The President further stated during the unveiling of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan that government is accelerating the implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019, including Section 34 Ministerial Determination, to provide a substantial increase in the contribution of renewable energy sources, battery storage and gas technology. It is envisaged that through these efforts an additional capacity of 2 000 megawatts will be introduced to the grid by the year 2021, and a further

11 800 megawatts of new energy generation will be introduced to our grid by the year 2022 of which more than half will be generated from renewable sources.

 

 

In addition, a process to implement Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Programme has started. In addition, a number of procurement approvals relating to new contracts, modifications, single source approvals and clarifications are already with National Treasury for consideration. Many of these relate to projects that have a significant impact on the energy generation capacity.

 

 

In addition, the contribution of the new build programme to energy availability remains critical in the mix of initiatives to ensure energy security. Eskom has had to deal with cost overruns and defects affecting Kusile and Medupi power stations, whose completion dates have been revised to 2020 and 2023, although the

 

 

impact of Covid-19 on potential completion delays has not yet been assessed. We are however advised by the management of Eskom that a great deal of progress has been made in effecting corrective technical modifications required in Kusile and Medupi.

 

 

Once completed, the new build programme that is inclusive of Ingula Power Station, will contribute additional generation capacity of 17 132 megawatts and transmission lines by

9 100 kilometers, and substation capacity by 42 350 megavolts. We are confident that all these rafts of measures we have outlined will assist in averting worsening of the load shedding crisis that is projected by the report of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. So, we are on the right track in terms of building our generation capacity. Thank you very much.

 

 

Mr M NONTSELE: Thank you Deputy President. I fully agree with the Deputy President with regard to the steps taken with the introduction of the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 which has set the scene for major interventions in the area of energy supply until 2030, at the core of which are the nine policy considerations that inform our approach to energy mix. The setting of minimum standards on reduction of carbon emissions and promotion of environmental safety is a good affirmation of our commitment towards clean energy. Our country is endowed with large

 

 

reserves of coal. Most towns around coal mines have a direct dependency on these for value chain additions. The quick follow-up question would be: Considering that we are engaging with IPPs - which are environmentally safe but labour absorptive and value chain addition in terms of enabling, how do we deal these two contradictions? Can the hon Deputy President clarify this challenge? Thank you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much hon House Chairperson, it is not really a challenge. Yes, on the face of it it’s a problem, but it is a good problem. We have this resource called coal and we are looking at independent power producers that will bring cleaner energy. Of course, the current challenge that we are facing with our coal is carbon emission hat comes from the burning of coal. So, in the process, I am aware that the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy is currently looking for cleaner ways of burning coal.

 

 

There are no best applications that can be used to still burn our coal but limit the carbon emission. We are working with other countries like China and I am confident that we are going to find a solution to this problem so that we comply to our environmental regulations – that of not emitting carbon. We welcome the new direction that the country is taking. The plan of looking at other

 

 

ways of generating energy is unavoidable. You can talk about gas; you can talk about wind; you can talk about solar - so there are many sources of energy generation that are being explored. So, the future is bright with all kinds of sources of energy that are available to the world. Generation of energy is not going to be a challenge in the near future. Thank you very much.

 

 

Mr K J MILEHAM: Thank you House Chairperson, I don’t know how the Deputy President can say the challenge of electricity is not going to be a problem in the near future with a straight face, given that the electricity supply utility Eskom has indicated that we are going to have load shedding for at least the next three years. Deputy President, I am very pleased that the ANC finally acknowledges that renewable electricity represents the cheapest solution to our load shedding crisis. Last year during the budget process, the DA proposed that a R75 000 tax rebate be instituted to cover the cost of installing solar systems in homes to take the pressure of the grid. We costed it out and we found savings where it could be funded. Will the Deputy President take this proposal seriously and will he push for residential consumers to receive this rebate to encourage the roll-out of rooftop photovoltaic systems as this will alleviate demand on the grid and Eskom and provide a much-needed boost to our economy? Thank you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon House Chair, I have not heard the question very well, the system was breaking.

 

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I will please request the hon Mileham to just repeat the question.

 

 

Mr K J MILEHAM: House Chairperson, thank you. I said I was very pleased that the ANC has finally acknowledged that renewable electricity ... [Interjections.]

 

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, just the question.

 

 

Mr K J MILEHAM: I am getting there, House Chairperson. I am pleased that the ANC has finally acknowledged that renewable electricity represents the cheapest solution to our load shedding crisis. Last year, the DA proposed that a R75 000 tax rebate be instituted to cover the cost of installing solar systems in homes to take the pressure of the grid. And I have said that we have costed it out and we found savings where it could be funded. Now my question was: Will the Deputy President take this proposal seriously and will he push for residential consumers to receive this rebate to encourage the roll-out of rooftop photovoltaic systems as this will alleviate demand both on the grid and on Eskom and provide a much-needed boost to our economy? Thank you.

 

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Deputy President, I hope you have the question now.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes, I have got the question. All what I can say is that I am taking the proposal and I am going to discuss it first with the Minister of Public Enterprises – a responsible shareholder in Eskom. I am going to discuss it with the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy and I am also going to discuss it with the Minister of Finance. I am going to revert back to the hon member in writing in terms of this proposal. Beyond this House, I am going to request the hon member to write the exact question in black and white so that we can explore it. If it is going to be of an advantage to the country, we will welcome it and discuss it.

Thank you very much.

 

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you hon Deputy President. The next follow-up question goes to the hon Mente.

 

 

Ms N V MENTE: Thank you very much House Chair. Deputy President, when we made nation aware a few years ago that Eskom is being milked dry by the power purchase agreements, PPAs, and the IPPs because Eskom didn’t have capacity – that is what we said. Eskom didn’t have capacity and it was buying a kilowatt for R2,06 and selling it for 90c. We were told that we were misleading the

 

 

nation but the CEO of Eskom confirmed that fact. In fact, the experts as well confirmed that.

 

 

Deputy President, in September 2019 in one of your speeches during the Parliament sitting, you said that you welcome the Minister’s advice that the IPPs prices should be renegotiated. That came out to be a public relations, PR, exercise and that never happened.

Now, Deputy President, is Eskom still buying a kilowatt for R2,06 from IPPs and selling it for 90c under your watch and if yes, why are you still allowing that to continue, if no, what is the plan? Thank you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, the hon member is correct. We have identified that anomaly which to us was a problem. It also contributed to the challenges that were faced by Eskom in terms of finances. You cannot be buying electricity at a high price and sell it at a lower price. Definitely, you are going to have problems. We discussed this matter and all of us agreed that we need to go and renegotiate those prices. It is not only the prices for electricity from independent power producers but it is also the price of coal coming from the coal suppliers.

 

 

Eskom is currently busy renegotiating those contracts. Remember that it cannot be easy because these are contracts that were

 

 

signed. Legally we don’t have a leg to stand on as Eskom because those contracts were signed by those who were leading Eskom then; they were signed by Ministers then. So, we are renegotiating this and we hope that we are going to succeed because these independent power producers must be aware that we are here to stay and we are here to work together for a long term. It is advisable for us to renegotiate a price that will suit both of us. We hope that finally we are going to succeed. Even with the coal suppliers we hope we are going to succeed. Thank you very much.

 

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you hon Deputy President. The next follow-up question goes to the hon Nxumalo. [Interjections.] Hon Nxumalo?

 

 

Mr M N NXUMALO: Thank you very much House Chair, Deputy President and hon members, from the outset the IFP wishes to point out that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, report referred to in the first question showed that in 2019 alone, South Africa experienced about 558 hours of load shedding, with an estimated economic impact of R220 billion. In a recent report by the Price Waterhouse Coopers, PwC, on “Unlocking South Africa’s hydrogen potential”, it argued that South Africa is in a unique position to supply green energy or green supply of hydrogen in light of the solar and wind resources. If this opportunity is

 

 

grapped, South Africa could revolutionise its energy sector and be an attractive exporter of green energy.

 

 

The report however pointed out that a clear government hydrogen is critical to seize this opportunity. In July 2020, there were reports that government had initiated a process to develop a roadmap looking at how hydrogen technology could develop and deployed. The question is: What is the timeline for the finalisation of this roadmap? The second question is what are the key areas will this roadmap wish to investigate. Thank you very much.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very House Chair. To be forthright, it would be very difficult at this point in time to give exactly the timeline of this roadmap. Of course there are a few steps towards that roadmap that has been indicated by the Minister of Mineral Resources which is to try to expand our generation capacity and to say that these are the things that we are going to do. We are still far from achieving those things.

 

 

It is a plan and I can’t just say that we are going to achieve it by a specific time. But I am confident that we are beginning a journey that will take us out of this energy crisis and increase the capacity of this country in terms of energy generation. We can

 

 

ensure that the price of energy comes down so that we can boost economic growth and allow businesses to reopen. Some of the businesses are finding it very hard to operate because of the price of electricity. Some of the consumers are finding it very hard to pay for their electricity because of the high price.

 

 

This is one matter that we are looking at. I am sure the more we increase our capacity, the better. Our capacity is not confined to one aspect; there are a number of aspects as I have said. There are a number of options available to South Africa. We are going to take all this options very serious. For now, I must say that for the foreseeable future we are still going to rely on our coal. You can see that we have two brand-new power stations Kusile and Medupi that will utilise coal. But we are looking at a number of options, including nuclear energy. I can say that this plan will encompass a lot of things but we would be aiming at improving and increasing our generation capacity. Thank you very much.

 

 

Question 16:

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon House Chairperson, our view is that the legislative arm of the state has the responsibility to address the shortcomings identified in the Constitutional Court judgement with regard to the amendment of the legislation in order to allow for the reopening of land claims for restitution.

 

 

Having said that, we need to remind ourselves that the people of South Africa, that the Constitutional Court in its judgement of 28 July 2016, on the matter of the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act, Act 15 of 2014, did not entirely reject the validity and correctness of the land reform programme as a means to redress past land injustices.

 

 

Instead, it declared that Parliament failed to satisfy its obligation to facilitate public involvement in accordance with section 72(1)(a) of the Constitution, for instance, in passing the judgement, the Constitutional Court had this to say:

 

 

This matter concerns the painful, emotive subject of colonial and apartheid era land dispossession. A subject that despite the democratic government’s efforts at resolution through the Restitution of Land Rights Act - Restitution Act – continues to plague South Africa’s political legal landscape. To those who personally experienced the forced removals and those who instead of inheriting the illegitimately wrestled land inherited the pain of loss of homes or property, the dispossessions are not merely colonial and apartheid era memories. They continue to be postapartheid realities.

 

 

Correctly speaking, this judgement brought to the fore the pressing need to move with speed in implementing a comprehensive land reform programme. That is why, in his 2018 state of the nation address, the President committed to the acceleration of land redistribution programme to redress the historical injustices of land dispossession and displacement in order to avail more land for agriculture and ensure food security, rural development and poverty reduction whilst equally responding to equitable spatial planning and settlement.

 

 

This pronouncement was followed by the appointment of the Interministerial Committee, IMC, on Land Reform chaired by the Deputy President to give effect to this accelerated land reform programme. The IMC did consider the implications of the Constitutional Court judgement and at the time, advised the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights to prioritize the settlement of older claims that had been submitted by the first deadline of 31 December 1998. The commission was further advised to consider various options in their processing of the claims that would allow for claimants to opt for land redistribution or tenure security to avoid complications of proving past dispossession.

 

 

While calling for the commission to urgently resolve all outstanding claims, the Interministerial Committee on Land Reform

 

 

and Agriculture had a full appreciation of fiscal constraints that would make the settlements of all outstanding claims difficult and onerous. It became apparent that this approach to the speedy resolution of land dispossession and hunger was fiscally unsustainable and unaffordable. As society, we had to find alternative ways of addressing the land question to ensure that we deepen social cohesion and stability in an orderly and constitutional manner.

 

 

Subsequently, in October of the same year, the President appointed an Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture that was chaired by the late Dr Vuyo Mahlati, to whom we are grateful for her service to our country. May her soul rest in peace. This advisory panel was tasked with providing a unified perspective on expropriation of land in the wider context of persisting land inequities and unsatisfactory land and agrarian reform, and urban land development and distribution.

 

 

In its final report, the panel made a proposal for an amendment of the Constitution, which clarifies that expropriation without compensation is necessary in limited circumstances.

 

 

The panel noted that the Expropriation Act, Act 63 of 1975 preceded the 1996 Constitution, and therefore does not align with

 

 

the transformative mandate of the Constitution. The panel made a recommendation that this Act must be urgently replaced by the Expropriation Act that is in line with the values and spirit of our Constitution.

 

 

To this end, the Expropriation Bill of 2020 was gazetted on the 9th of this month as part of the work of government to ensure that comprehensive land redistribution through expropriation for public purposes or in the public interest is affected.

 

 

The publication of this important Bill, is a cogent indication that government is indeed at work to realize redress and it fulfils the aspirations of the people to have an equitable society. It is a recognition of the urgency required to address the injustices of the past and restore land rights in a responsible manner, whilst ensuring that food security is not disrupted; that equitable spatial justice is achieved; and that continuation of investment to expand our industrial base is also secured.

 

 

Expropriation of property with nil compensation is not a silver bullet as said by Minister De Lille. It is only but one acquisition mechanism that in appropriate cases will enable land reform and redress, as recommended by the Advisory Panel on Land

 

 

Reform and Agriculture. However, the Bill does bring certainty to all South Africans and investors as it outlines how expropriation can be done and on what basis. This legislative certainty is critical as we rebuild the economy and invest in our communities.

 

 

In addition to the Expropriation Bill, as government, we took practical steps to ensure that all claimed land in the hands of government is released to the claimants as part of our contribution to accelerated land restitution.

 

 

Through the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, government has announced the process for the release of state land for allocation to beneficiaries across all provinces. This will make more land available for use to those yearning for access to land.

 

 

We have adopted the national policy on Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation, which will provide for a more systematic approach to redressing and correcting past injustices of access to land through ensuring that those who are eligible for land reform are provided with actual access to land. In this regard, this land allocation policy provides guidance on who should be selected as beneficiaries and what they are eligible to get. We are clear that the primary beneficiaries will be women and young people who

 

 

constitute the majority of our population as well as people with disabilities, who have long been economically marginalized.

 

 

More importantly, we are also reaching out to private landowners who have committed to donating land to contribute to the achievement of land reform goals. We have finalized the Land Donation Policy which provides a framework of how we will deal with donated land. This policy is ready for approval by Cabinet, and we are confident that patriotic private landowners and corporates with excess land will unconditionally donate land for redistribution.

 

 

For us as public representatives, we should now focus on concluding a related matter of amending the constitution to be more explicit on the circumstances that require land expropriation without compensation. Hon members can rest assured that this government is at work and remains committed to an equitable land reform programme to realize redress that fulfils the aspirations of the people to live in dignity. Thank you very much, hon Chairperson.

 

 

Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Hon House Chairperson, well-spoken and well- articulated. [Applause.] Mr Deputy President, if Parliament cannot pass legislation as directed by the Constitutional Court on an

 

 

issue as important as restitution, what guarantee do the people of this country have that this very Parliament will drastically change the regime of land rights in this country? Can you take them into confidence and make them believe that they are not taken for granted by Parliament, make them believe that their interests and views will always be considered, and make them believe that Parliament will always be and that it is always for the people?

Thank you very much. Inspire them Deputy President.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon House Chairperson, on the first question, I think the ball is in our court as Parliament. There are disagreements. There are those who are saying expropriation of land without compensation is not necessary and those that are saying it is necessary. We are going to debate it as Parliament and finally find a solution.

 

 

We are also bringing the Expropriation Act. This is a Bill that we are amending that seeks to also clarify the spirit of the Constitution that we must be able to say when is expropriation of land without compensation going to happen and under what circumstances it is going to happen. This Bill is going to be introduced shortly here in Parliament so that we can proceed with that process and close it.

 

 

As government, we are of course not sitting on our laurels. The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is moving ahead, taking one step forward to make 700 000 hectares of land available to the people of South Africa so that we can enhance productivity, make more land available to our people especially women, young people and people with disabilities. That is going to happen whether we still debate the Expropriation Bill and the amendment of the Constitution, it is going to happen shortly.

 

 

Like I have said, we have taken a decision that we are going to release land. Remember, in terms of Land Rights Amendment Act, the land that has been claimed by a number of claimants when it was open for claimants to claim. We are busy with that list. As much as we are not going to finish the list of people who have claimed land until the deadline of 1998 because we don’t have all the resources to pay for the land. We have opted as government ... we have made every preparation possible to ensure that we release land that has been claimed by claimants that is in the hands of government.

 

 

So, that land is going to be released shortly. The Minister will come out openly. You will see all of us criss-crossing the country releasing those pieces of land that have been claimed, that are

 

 

owned by government departments and public entities. So, we have agreed that we are going to release the land. We have the permission of Cabinet because we want to ensure that we improve productivity and restore the dignity of our people. Thank you very much.

 

 

IsiZulu:

 

Inks R N CEBEKHULU: Ngithokoze Sekela Mongameli udaba lomhlaba wudaba oluyiva enyameni kwabaningi. Luqubula uhlevana kulaba abangabanikazi bomhlaba abawuphetheyo nalabo abawudingayo umhlaba. Uhlelo njengoba ubusushilo lokubuyiswa umhlaba noma lokuthatha umhlaba ngaphandle kwesinxephezelo lusondeza umbono wabaningi wokuthi abatshali bezimali bamazwe angaphandle bazongabaza ukuzotshala izimali eNingizimu Afrika ekubeni iNingizimu Afrika idonsa kanzima esikhathini esiphila kusona ukuthi ikwazi ukuzimela.

 

 

Akubonakali yini amathuba ukuthi kungagcina kulelizwe umhlaba uthathwe ngaphandle kwesinxephezelo. Kuzogcina amazwe angaphandle antswinya lelizwe lethu bese singabi nakho ukusebenza okuya phambili. Okukhulu mhlonishwa Mongameli ukhuluma ngomhlaba la kahulumeni ofanele ukuthi usubuyiselwe kubantu asebafake izicelo zokubuyiselwa komhlaba.

 

 

Njengamanje kunenkohlakalo eqhubekayo ezisebenzini zoMnyango. Kunomhlaba okade wagazethwa njengamanje abanye abasebenzi bakahulumeni sebekhulule izicelo zabathile zokuqashwa komhlaba izikhathi esithize zeminyaka. Mhlonishwa, wenzani uhulumeni uma ubheka umhlaba osekufakwe isicelo wawugazethwa yena bese uyaqhubeka uqashiselwa abanye abantu? Akukhona yini ukuqhutshwa kwenkohlakalo nokungasizakali kwabantu? Ekugcineni abantu abazosizakala yizinhlaka ezimbili, uhlaka lwabafuna ukulima nohlaka lwabafuna ukwakha izindlu. ... [Kwaphela isikhathi.].

 

 

USEKELA MONGAMELI WASERIPHABHULIKI YASENINGIZIMU AFRIKA: Angibonge

 

kumhlonishwa, cha, akuyona inkinga. Silapha nje ukuthi sikwazi ukuxazulula lezo zinkinga esihlangabezana nazo. Kungakho sithathe lo msebenzi. Kubalulekile ukuthi saziswe lapho kubonakala kunephutha khona. Uma ngabe kwenziwa isicelo somhlaba kodwa nawu umhlaba sewuyabolekiswa ngawo kwabanye abantu, kuyofanele sikwazi lokho. Kepha lo mhlaba obolekisiwe kuzothi uma kufika isikhathi kuyofanele lowo mhlaba unikezwe abaniniwo abafake izicelo.

Angiboni ukuthi kuyoba nenkinga ukuthi abanikazi bawuthole. Kodwa ke ngifuna ukuchaza ukuthi yonke imizamo yethu esiyenzayo ukuthi sinikeze abantu umhlaba owathathwa kubo ukuze phela nabo babe nendlela yokuziphilisa.

 

 

Thina siwuhulumeni siyokwenza lokho silandela imithetho. Ngeke sivuke ekuseni sesithatha umhlaba womlimi othile siwunike umlimi othile. Siyokwenza lokho njengoba ngiyibala yonke le mithetho.

Umthethosivivinywa wokuBuyiswa komhlaba uzofika ngaphambi kwenu, niwuxoxe futhi uzophasiswa yini. Umthethosisekelo lona uzochitshiyelwa yini. Sasishilo ukuthi konke esiyokwenza ukunikezela ngomhlaba, ukuletha inguquko kulo mhlaba osezandleni zabamhlophe nabalimi abakhulu, konke lokhu siyokwenza silandela umthetho.

 

 

Kufanele futhi ngisho bona labalimi sebeshilo ukuthi bazimisele ukuthi banganikela ngomhlaba uma benikezwa leli thuba. Kungakho size nenqubomgomo ukuthi uma umuntu efuna ukunikela ngomhlaba kufanele enze kanjani. Seyikhona leyo nqubomgomo. Izinkampani ezinkulu, izimayini sezizile kithi zathi sezikulungele ukuthi siwusebenze nazo umhlaba ukuze siwunikeze abantu. Siwuvuselele ukuthi ube esimweni sokuthi ungakhiqiza ukudla bese siwubuyisela ebantwini. Baningi abantu baseNingizimu Afrika abazimisele ukuxhasa lo hlelo. Konke esiyokwenza siyokwenza silandela umthetho waseNingizimu Afrika. Ngiyabonga.

 

 

Ms A STEYN: Thank you House Chairperson and Deputy President, Deputy President, it is very interesting that no one in government is mentioning the High Level Panel Report that was before us even

 

 

before the last report that highlighted corruption and poor administration within the Department of Land Reform and Rural Development as one of the reasons why land reform is failing in South Africa.

 

 

You might be interested but this 700 000 hectares of land that’s being advertised currently, already some of that land has farmers on it and they received letters to say that they must vacate the it. So much so for the land reform process that wants to benefit black farmers.

 

 

What I would like to ask hon Deputy President, is the 8 000 land claims that’s still outstanding, will you use the Expropriation Bill to get hold of that land in order to give the land back to people and when will current owners of land reform projects get title deeds to the land? Thank you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: House Chairperson, the first comment on the 700 000 hectares of land that we said we are going to give it to people, some of it is occupied. I am happy to hear that we are going to discuss this as government. Remember, the aim of the  700 000 hectares of land is to make it available to women, which is a targeted group, to the youth, which is a targeted group and

to people living with disability. Those are people that have been

 

 

marginalized and that have been excluded in the past. We want to restore their dignity and their right and allow them to be also economically active. We are prepared to look at that and those people that are currently occupying those farms. I don’t think there is any intention to forcefully remove people at this point in time.

 

 

We have managed to settle some of the 8 000 or so claims of land that is on our disposal guided by the amount of resources that are at our disposal.

 

 

What has made this land reform programme to be so slow is because it is not affordable, it is too expensive for government and can take years and years. We are not going to complete it. There are certain claims that we have settled but not a lot but outside those claims, like I have said, there those that were made on land that is in government’s hands, Department of Defence and Military Veterans, Transnet, Prasa, you can name all departments. We have taken a decision as government that we are going to release this land free of charge. We are going to give it back to its owners.

That process is underway. That land accounts to plus or minus 260 land parcels that are in the hands of the state. This is going to happen and I can assure South Africans that we are going to handle

 

 

this process with the sensitivity it deserves. Thank you very much.

 

 

Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you House Chair, and thank you Deputy President for some of your responses. But allow me to also thank you for the correspondence I received from your office on the suggestion that I made. A comprehensive proposal is on its way to you shortly.

 

 

Deputy President, the land restitution process that we are talking about, to a very large extent excludes people, particularly the Khoi and San community. I am going back to the 1913 cut-off date, which seems to be very problematic. Would you consider looking at that cut-off date so that it can it could be more inclusive and that all those that have been dispossessed would have the opportunity of having their ... But very importantly, a country has so much land ... people have been dispossessed ... but very important, Deputy President, people were not even allowed or given the opportunity to own land and develop it. Will government consider giving every South African that cannot afford it, a piece of fully serviced land so that they get back their dignity, identity ... [Time expired.]

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Let me assure the hon member that we are willing to consider the plight of the Khoi and San people in the redistribution and restitution of land so that they also become part and parcel of our land reform programme. Thank you very much. We are going to take up this matter. I am sure the next time we report here; we are going to report specifically on this matter.

There are discussions of course with the Khoi and San people. I think this specific matter will be taken up.

 

 

You would appreciate the fact that our land reform programme has got three legs in it: to try and restore dignity, restore land that has been dispossessed and land that has been taken from people; that is the restitution arm. If people don’t qualify for restitution, people can always qualify for redistribution of land. Land can be distributed to people who are ready to work the land and ready to farm. That is why we are making land available to people as part of the redistribution process.

 

 

As part of our land reform process, we have made land available in a number of towns and provinces. This land is earmarked for human settlement where people can build their houses and remember that will translate finally to people upgrading their tenure rights.

That means people are going to get their title deeds. They are going to have stands and have title to those stands.

 

 

These people who did not have a piece of land before, they are going to have one which can be transferred from generation to generation. That is one form of land reform. We are improving tenure rights where we are giving people title deeds. We are redistributing land to those who wants to farm and we are restituting land to those people who have been forcefully removed from their properties. Thank you very much.

 

 

Mr Z M D MANDELA: Thank you, hon House Chair, I had raised my hand electronically and my follow up question is as follows: In the Land Access Movement of SA, LAMOSA, and other versus the Chairperson of the NCOP and others matter, the Constitutional Court interdicted the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights from processing new claims ...

 

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Mandela, you are not on the list to do follow up questions. Hon Mandela, we are done with this question now and your name has not been supplied to us as a member who is going to ask a follow up question. I will thus proceed to the next question.

 

 

Question 17:

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: House Chairperson, the hon Mandela can be given an opportunity to write to us so that we can respond to the follow up question he wanted to pose.

 

 

House Chairperson, a salient feature of our constitutional democracy’s developmental agenda has been adding value to our people’s lives through the effective and efficient delivery of services and development to our communities, co-ordinated across the three spheres of government with a view of maximising impact and creating cohesive and sustainable communities.

 

 

Our responsibility as the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Service Delivery at District Level is to provide political oversight and ensure that municipalities are adequately supported and resourced in order to fast-track implementation of development including alignment of infrastructure, development plans and operations across the three spheres of government.

 

 

The primary aim of this collaboration is to finally develop a One Government Plan, especially in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. This goes beyond the delivery of healthcare services, it extends to all services that are given to our communities in all our municipalities and in all our districts.

 

 

This has been amply demonstrated by our national response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has created disruptions globally, thus necessitating that countries be agile in delivery of services to citizens. In our case, government has initiated measures to directly contend with the pandemic whilst also continuing with provision of critical health services to our citizens.

 

 

Amidst the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s health system, as government we had an opportunity to devise and employ creative and innovative ways of addressing critical gaps in our health and community systems. These include the following:

 

 

We have strengthened our laboratory services and our networks so that as we test people the results can be out with immediate effect;

 

 

Ensuring continuity of services by incorporating testing and screening for HIV and TB into Covid-19 screening and contact tracing at community and household level, thereby reaching even more people with such integrated services;

 

 

Ensuring that more community health workers were on the ground to reach out to patients and other community members that are in need

 

 

of urgent healthcare assistance, including monitoring HIV, TB and other chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes;

 

 

Furthermore, the Department of Health has developed a Surge Strategy, so as to ensure enhanced national response with minimal disruptions to critical frontline services in the health facilities especially in our rural areas;

 

 

It is worth noting that health services delivery in rural areas of Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape provinces, is carried out through the District Health Model which allows for planning and delivery of health services in line with the needs and demands of communities;

 

 

To reduce the gaps of service delivery created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our inter-governmental relations approach on service delivery remains key in the effective and efficient delivery of frontline services, especially in the midst of this pandemic.

 

 

A healthy nation is a productive nation! It is therefore the responsibility of all of us in our spaces to remain safe against the virus, by always promoting health seeking behaviours, and adherence to treatment for those of our community members who are on treatment. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]

 

 

Mr G G MPUMZA: deputy President, as you have alluded to, the success of co-operative governance and government requires an active participation by all sectors, departments and state-owned enterprises, in planning and implementation.

 

 

What role, then, is the government playing in strengthening intergovernmental relations to accelerate the implementation of the District Development Model? Thank you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: House Chairperson, the hon member would be aware that the first step to promote intergovernmental relations, right at the level of the President, is the creation of the Presidential Co-ordinating Committee. Which is a committee of the President with Premiers of different provinces; that’s where the President discusses matters of service delivery with provinces.

 

 

But we further extended this intergovernmental relations platform by creating the District Development Model. This District Development Model, as championed by Minister Dlamini-Zuma, is well on its way. We want to thank the Minister, working very hard for the creation of this model. Already it has been piloted in a number of districts.

 

 

This District Development Model seeks to bring together your municipalities, provinces and national departments. Now, this District Development Model seeks to produce one government plan at the district level. This plan will consist of what national government is going to provide as services in that very districts, what’s the province is going to provide as services in that district, what the different municipalities are going to provide as services in that district. And everything is then captured in one plan and the plan is costed and the plan is monitored at that level.

 

 

Further, the President has appointed district champions; these are Ministers and Deputy Ministers who currently sit and chair and

co-ordinate those activities at a district level so that what we do nationally, provincially and at a municipal level can be done in an integrated manner that enhances service delivery. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

 

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, before I recognise the next person to ask a question I want to request the members on the virtual platform to ensure that your microphones are muted. You are disturbing proceedings while the Deputy President is responding to questions. Thank you.

 

 

Ms S GWARUBE: deputy President, you claim that government was caught napping when it comes to Covid-19 corruption. However, the real enemy of service delivery isn’t procurement processes, it is politically connected individuals who are never held accountable or arrested.

 

 

ANC leaders such as Ace Magashule, Nomvula Mokonyane, Bandile Masuku, Khusela Diko, were identified as people who allegedly benefitted from government contracts with millions of public money, either directly or through family members.

 

 

While the Special Investigative Unit, SIU, is busy with various investigations and arrests, will you, as the Leader of Government Business and the Deputy President of the ANC, assure South Africans that you support the removal of these individuals and others from their leadership positions, both in government and within your organisation? [Applause.]

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: House Chairperson, the member is correct that our law enforcement agencies are busy with investigations of all cases that involve corruption, on Personal Protective Equipments, PPEs, and other related matters including the awarding of tenders.

 

 

It will be prematurely for me to say certain people must, in the process, step aside; that means, leave their jobs before any pronouncement by these law enforcement agencies.

 

 

I think we should have faith in our law enforcement agencies that finally they are going to pronounce themselves and they are going to act. Let’s give them space without our interference politically from time to time citing names of people and all that, let them do their work without our political interference. Because whatever can happen today or tomorrow, it will be said that this thing was discussed in Parliament, names of people were discussed in Parliament. We should avoid this. Allow the law enforcement agencies to do their work. [Applause.] And we should respect and accord them the necessary support, where they need our support.

 

 

All we can say it that regardless of your standing in society, the law is above all of us; no one is above the law of the country.

That must be restated and must be understood that our law enforcement agencies can arrest anyone, our law enforcement agencies can act on anyone of us without fear, without favour. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

 

 

Mr P A VAN STADEN: Deputy President, the ruling party and this government are of the opinion that the National Health Insurance,

 

 

NHI, will cure all the problems currently experienced in the health sector.

 

 

In these remote areas like the Eastern Cape the total number of clinics is 773 for a population of 6 million people. Some of these clinics do not have beds, medicine, water, doctors or nurses.

 

 

We all know that under the NHI clinics will be the first stop for patients and in the light of this: What will the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation together with the department of Health do to see to it that these problems in these remote areas receive a necessary attention? And how will your office plan to address these problems to see to it that health workers get the necessary medicine, beds, equipment and water to perform their duties and to provide adequate health services in these areas?

Thank you, House Chairperson.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: House Chairperson, I think the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed a lot of weaknesses in our healthcare system and we did not sit as government, we responded on these weaknesses. That is why the Minister of Finance came to this august House to request money; money that was given to the Department of Health. That money was meant to try and support, build the necessary infrastructure, buy the necessary beds, buy

 

 

the necessary medicine so that our people can receive the necessary service.

 

 

We are, however, not very happy about the money that got lost due to corruption, especially in the Department of Health. We have spoken about this and we are now giving the law enforcement agencies space to deal with this matter.

 

 

But we are not going to give up. We are going to persist to get our health system ready for NHI. We need to ensure that our clinics meet the required standards of service, our hospitals meet the required standard of service, especially when it comes cleanliness, servicing of people, people must not for hours and hours and hours waiting to be attended. We are looking at that as the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. We are going to respond to all these weaknesses.

 

 

It is not only the Department of Health, we are also looking at our municipalities, the way we deliver services, we are also looking at the Department of education, the way we deliver services. We are looking at our frontline services, all our people that are meant to deliver services at our frontline points, to ensure that they do this diligently.

 

 

It is our intention that the shortcomings that were exposed by Covid-19, especially in the Department of Health, are attended. As we are still dealing with covid-19, we are confident that the Minister of Health is equally ready to confront these challenges, he has led us through this pandemic, he has supported provinces, he has supported the entire Department of Health, nationally, to try and combat this pandemic and we are very sure that with our support, all the loopholes that have been identified can be rectified. Thank you very much.

 

 

Mr N SINGH: Hon deputy President, I want to follow up on your response to hon van Staden and say yes, intentions are very good; models are very, very good. But models sometimes just remain as good as the paper they are written on; it is implementation of the models and adequate resourcing.

 

 

Now, rural people are the forgotten children of South Africa, they are treated as the stepchildren because even during Covid-19 it seemed that the focus was in urban and peri-urban areas.

 

 

Hon Deputy President, give a rural citizen who is watching this programme some hope that this government will take care of their needs. Let alone health needs but the needs of basic service

 

 

delivery like water, electricity and roads. Thank you, hon House Chairperson.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon House Chairperson, I think as government we’ve realised this shortcoming in terms of service delivery. That is why as government we came up with this District Development Model.

 

 

One of the weaknesses that we have realised I that as the spheres of government we approach service delivery in a disjointed manner and in the process we are not efficient, we do half-baked work, some of the work that we do we end up not completing that work.

You’ll find projects that are not completed, you’ll find houses that leak water, you’ll find this not completed because as the spheres of government we are not collaborating, in terms of service delivery. Let alone those municipalities that are rural, those districts that are rural.

 

 

We are now trying to avert this problem by pulling all of us to sit at one level, create one platform, so that the plan that we develop at a district, out of this 44 districts and metros, we develop a plan, this plan is going to commit national government, this plan is going to commit provincial government, is going to commit municipalities, regardless whether they are urban or rural,

 

 

so that whatever is in the plan is costed and is funded and is going to be monitored by all of us, but it is implemented.

 

 

We hope the District Development Model will resolve some of our problems. It is in the development stages and I’m sure it’s going to mature and it’s going to resolve a lot of our problems. Thank you very much.

 

 

Question 18:

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Chairperson, the overall capacity of the state hinges on the appointment and retention of capable and ethical public servants who are committed to the service of the people without focusing on their individual interests and material gains pursued at the expense of our people. A capable and ethical developmental state is central to the task of advancing socioeconomic development and transformation.

 

 

More importantly, the National Development Plan, the NDP, envisages well-run and effectively co-ordinated state institutions with skilled public servants who are committed and capable of consistently delivering high-quality services.

 

 

As government, we are implementing measures to improve governance systems and internal controls to ensure that the integrity of the

 

 

state is not undermined by incidents of corruption and maladministration. In part, these initiatives are focused on setting out clear regulatory standards of compliance and ethical conduct by public servants to ensure that we institutionalise a culture of honesty, integrity and positive moral values in the execution of government work.

 

 

Government has adopted the Public Sector Integrity Management Framework, focusing on key elements such as the regulation and monitoring of public servants in receiving gifts, donations and sponsorships.

 

 

In this regard, all gifts, donations and sponsorships received in the course of public servants doing their work should be submitted to the accounting officer for approval prior to accepting the gift, donation or sponsorship. Other key elements are adherence to the public sector code of conduct; disclosure of financial interests in every financial year for various categories of employees, including senior management and all employees working in finance and supply-chain management; and restrictions on remunerative work outside the Public Service in line with section

30 of the Public Service Act, which states that “No employee shall perform or engage himself or herself to perform remunerative work outside his or her employment in the relevant department, except

 

 

with the written permission of the executive authority of the department.”

 

 

Through its Ethics and Integrity Management Unit, the Department of Public Service and Administration monitors and reports on public servants doing business with the state. Where breaches and unethical conduct have been identified, disciplinary actions are taken in line with the applicable disciplinary code and processes.

 

 

As part of the induction programme for public servants, the National School of Government provides leadership training programmes that are aimed at inculcating a culture of patriotism and servant leadership that is consistent with Batho Pele principles. This also includes a compulsory Ethics Training Programme to empower public servants to manage unethical temptations and moral dilemmas, which they are often confronted with in the course of doing their work.

 

 

In cases in which acts of criminality have been committed, the criminal justice system has the responsibility of bringing all perpetrators to book and ensuring that the resources of the state are recovered.

 

 

As said earlier, the law enforcement agencies are at work attending to cases of wrongdoing and, in some instances, the Asset Forfeiture Unit is already attaching the private assets of alleged perpetrators. We are hopeful that the arrests and prosecution of corrupt public servants will send a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated by this administration.

 

 

While addressing some of the challenges of unethical conduct in the Public Service, we must, equally, recognise many committed public servants at the coalface of service delivery. These are committed frontline workers in our health services, in our schools and in Home Affairs, and there are security personnel who continue to display a patriotic sense of duty and service. Some have perished in the line of duty while serving the public, thus saving many lives and fighting crime.

 

 

We honour them for their selfless contribution and service to the people of South Africa. It is those selfless public servants who have been in the eye of the coronavirus storm, and who have also sacrificed their own lives to save others under difficult circumstances. They have never given up even under the worst of situations since the nationwide lockdown was implemented in March this year. They are the epitome of public service excellence and patriotism.

 

 

As part of revitalising Batho Pele and creating a responsive government, government will continue to pay particular attention to front-line service-delivery monitoring to ensure that the quality of the Public Service improves. Across all spheres and sectors of government, we will focus on enhancing service offerings and improving turnaround times.

 

 

Our health facilities must continue to improve and meet national core standards. Our criminal justice system must improve to ensure that the victims of gender-based violence are speedily assisted and saved from the trauma of not seeing justice being served against their perpetrators. Our local government institutions must respond in a timely fashion to issues raised by communities.

 

 

For all this to happen, we need ethical and capable civil servants who are driven by the values of servant leadership, selflessness, revolutionary consciousness and accountability. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

 

 

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon Deputy President. I have been informed that the hon Malomane will take charge of the first supplementary question on behalf of the hon Lesoma.

 

 

Ms V P MALOMANE: Thank you, House Chair. Thank you, Deputy President, for your response. With reference to the implementation of the anticorruption strategy, is there a specific timeframe in which the strategy will be fully implemented to fast-track the improvement of transparency and accountability across government? Will the five-point revitalisation plan be included as part of the Batho Pele principles to further increase patriotism in the Public Service and will it encourage public servants to adhere to the principles? Thank you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Chairperson, the hon member would remember that the National Anti-Corruption Strategy that was developed in 2015, by the then anticorruption interministerial committee and the justice, crime-prevention and security cluster at that time, is now almost at a tail end. It is now almost ready to be approved by Cabinet, and it is going to be advertised and implemented after approval. Thank you very much.

 

 

Mrs N R MASHABELA: Thank you, Chairperson. Deputy President, most senior public servants are driven to commit corrupt deals owing to the pressure they get from politicians who coerce and force them to commit these criminal acts.

 

 

We know that the Gupta family forced public servants to do their bidding. We now know also that public servants and leaders of the state entities are forced to make business deals for the whites who bankrolled your president. What protection measures do you think need to be put in place to protect civil servants who refuse to take illegal instructions from corrupt politicians? Thank you very much.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Chair, I think the administrators – public servants – are employed to administer certain pieces of legislation and they are guided in their work. I don’t think they go around taking instructions from people. People can intimidate them – they can do whatever – but they can’t do what is wrong and purport to be having coerced and forced to do something that is wrong, because, if you do that as a public servant and say you have been coerced to do what is wrong, you are equally wrong. You can be arrested for that.

 

 

So, even before creating that act of wrongdoing you will have to report that incident there and then. If possible, let them expel you, but report this to the law enforcement agencies so that this can be dealt with. We don’t believe that as a public servant, responsible for running a certain section of a department, you can take instructions from people outside, even if that instruction is

 

 

from your MEC or your Minister. If that instruction is against the rules – against the law - you should not accede to following out such an instruction because you would then be equally responsible. Thank you very much.

 

 

Ms H DENNER: Thank you, House Chair. Deputy President, you’ve said repeatedly that the President and government want to regenerate the moral fibre and morale of the Public Service by eradicating immoral and unethical behaviour and increasing patriotism among public servants. But how, hon Deputy President, will government achieve this goal when the ANC itself does not pay its own staff salaries and harbours and protects the single-most “skelm” and corrupt person in this country in the form of your secretary- general Mr Ace Magashule? Thank you, Chair.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. I’m not going to really answer that question on behalf of the ANC – why the ANC Treasurer-General is not paying salaries on time; the challenges that are being faced by the Treasurer-General not paying people on time. All that I can say is that, whether you are an ANC member, whether you are a DA member, whether you are an EFF member, the law enforcement agencies are not going to be intimidated. If I have done something wrong, whether I am the Deputy President,

 

 

whether I am the secretary-general, I am not above the law of the of this country.

 

 

So if we talk about wrongdoing – all of us – I think it is the ANC that must be exemplary, because the ANC is leading government; so the ANC is not going to tolerate corruption within its own ranks. I am sure there are spokespeople who can speak on behalf of the ANC.

 

 

What I am saying is that wrongdoing cannot be tolerated regardless of your standing in society. If we want to be build a country that is going to be run by the rule of law, we must respect the Constitution; we must respect the laws of this country. No one can be above the law if we still want to have a credible and a very prosperous country. Thank you very much.

 

 

Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, House Chair. Deputy President, thank you for that. Deputy President, wherever there is corruption – we should not only talk about the public sector – in the public sector it comes as a result of some collusion with the private sector as well. I see some of my colleagues – most of them – are attacking members the ANC in particular. I would like to know – if you are sincere about dealing with this and responsible for government business – how is it that no action has been taken thus

 

 

far regarding Minister Patricia de Lille and the Beitbridge corruption scandal that is taking place? Millions of rand have already been lost where she has actually interfered by ... [Inaudible.] Now, if we allow these things, how are we supposed to be convinced, Deputy President, that indeed we are moving towards having a clean slate and wanting to do the right thing? Thank you.

 

 

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Some of these things are being investigated and are being dealt with quietly. At the relevant and appropriate time, we are going to announce our decisions. Although there are a number of cases, you take your time, you follow due process, so that you do due diligence and, finally, come to a conclusion that is fair and credible. Then you can announce it. Of course, there are many cases that are being investigated. It is our wish that they will be concluded speedily, but we want to ensure that these cases are dealt with in a manner that is fair, in a manner that is proper and in a manner that will not come back to haunt us.

 

 

So, I can assure the hon member that the law enforcement agencies are dealing with all the cases. We will deal with the cases which are within our domain, but we will allow the law enforcement agencies to deal with the cases which are within their domain.

Thank you very much.

 

 

The House adjourned at 17:05.

 


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