Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 04 Nov 2020
No summary available.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
WEDNESDAY, 04 NOVEMBER 2020
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb3jnjaojik
The Council met at 14:00.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, delegates must always switch on their videos and that delegates should ensure that the microphones of their gadgets are muted and must always remain muted.
And to note that the interpreting facility is active, and that any delegate who wishes to speak must use the ‘raise-your-hand function’ and by now I’m sure hon
members are familiar with the ‘raise-your-hand’ function.
To move, hon delegates, in accordance to Council Rule 2471, there will be no Notices of motion or Motions without notice.
And having said that, we should then proceed. Hon delegates ... before we proceed to questions I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Deputy President.
Further, I would like to make the following remarks, that the time for reply by deputy President to a question is five minutes. I know that this point sometimes is not well understood and it leads to a bit of a problem, especially if there are details available. But just restate that the time for reply by the Deputy President to a question is five minutes.
Secondly, that only four supplementary questions are allowed per questions.
Thirdly, that a member who has asked the initial question will the first to be afforded an opportunity to ask a supplementary question.
Fourthly, that the time for asking a supplementary question is two minutes.
Fifthly, that the time for reply to a supplementary question is four minutes.
And lastly, that the supplementary question must emanate from the initial question.
QUESTIONS TO THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson,
one of the critical pillars of our country’s industrial policy focuses on the development of new economic centres through special economic zones and industrial parks that are geared towards attracting private sector investments to boost the growth of local economies. This entails the development of new special economic zones and the revitalisation of existing industrial parks and sites that link small businesses, especially those owned by women and the youth, to global economic value chains.
We are advised by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition that, to date, our Special Economic Zones have attracted just over 230 private investors, of which
127 are already operational with a combined value of approximately R17,2 billion. In the process, approximately 15 251 direct jobs have been created.
There are twelve industrial parks that are under revitalisation in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Some of these industrial parks are strategically located in the townships and rural development nodes, and are integral to the local economic development systems of these areas.
In these cases, government invested in the upgrading of these areas upgrading the security and building infrastructure to make these parks very safe, more conducive for business activities to take place, and to be attractive to investors.
As guided by the National Development Plan, NDP, government is prioritising implementation of programmes
which target spatial poverty and inequality, and contribute to the agenda of growing an inclusive economy. This focus is based on the reality that we cannot have socially cohesive and safe communities while millions of our people reside in areas with minimal opportunities for them to realise their full potential.
As detailed in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan that was unveiled by the President, our developmental plans prioritise programmes that invest in realising the untapped potential of small and medium enterprises. Targeted focus on industrialisation through localisation is about building the manufacturing capacity and infrastructure of local businesses, especially small businesses, to develop new products and supply key market value chains. Through increased participation, small businesses can unlock employment opportunities in townships and rural areas.
One of the key barriers to entry and participation in township and rural villages is a lack of requisite infrastructure to support small businesses to grow, expand and access bigger domestic and international
markets. As a result, government has prioritised the provision of business infrastructure support including access to office space, connectivity and technology platforms that enhance innovation.
More importantly, our land reform programme has also prioritised the allocation of strategically located state-owned land and properties for purposes of industrial development in order to support small businesses, especially in townships and rural areas. Underutilised properties and industrial sites will be repurposed, revitalised for use by small businesses as part of infrastructure to support business operations. Other supply-side measures include business incubation,
mentorship, entrepreneurship, training, financial support and market access facilitation.
The Department of Small Business Development, government is championing the Product Markets Programme focusing on the refurbishing and repurposing of industrial sites as well as other municipality-owned properties in order to transform them into product markets. The programme is planned to commence in the next financial year and will
be implemented in the Eastern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.
The Product Markets Programme will also focus on lowering infrastructure costs and also act as economic hubs for the benefit of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, SMMEs, and Cooperatives; affording special priority to those owned by youth, women and persons with disabilities.
Through the Small Enterprise Development Agency some of these identified sites will be transformed into Centres for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubation and will offer access to infrastructure, business support and skills to students, graduates and SMMEs for the catchment area, through a structured incubation model.
Within the context of the District Development Model, the implementation of targeted economic empowerment models must be based on the spatial mapping of industrial development opportunities of each and every district.
This will allow for a clear focus on key economic sectors, products and market value chains that define the
comparative advantage of each district. In all instances, it is imperative to foster local participation to promote and grow the capacity of local businesses to manufacture and supply products and services.
In practical terms, our infrastructure delivery programme must enable the development of strong local supplier industries to diversify access to project development opportunities and avoid the overconcentration of participation within few monopolies within the built environment.
On the demand side, government procurement for the delivery of infrastructure such as human settlements, schools, hospitals and roads, will focus on the empowerment of small businesses in townships and rural areas to manufacture and supply construction materials to government projects.
Infrastructure project opportunities in each district will be profiled, quantified and set aside for local businesses to promote inclusive economic participation. We have to implement social enterprise development model
that maximises localisation, community empowerment and job creation.
Another practical example of deepening local participation is ensuring that access to land through our land reform programme results in the accelerated empowerment of local farmers. The implementation of the ‘government nutrition’ programme could potentially expand localisation through the direct supply of fresh produce to government facilities such as schools, hospitals, prisons and social development centres. These opportunities will be identified in each district to anchor government economic recovery interventions.
It is encouraging that some of the provinces have begun to practically implement these economic empowerment models to boost township and rural economies. Our view is that at a national level there is an opportunity to consolidate and upscale these initiatives.
As this government we remain committed to ensuring that our development efforts are co-ordinated and are impactful. The success of our District Delivery Model
will ensure that local economies are realised and they achieve the empowerment of ordinary people where they live. Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Mr M K MMOEIEMANG: Chairperson, there are two things; firstly, allow me to express my appreciation to the Deputy President, as part of the ANC leadership collective through our government continues to lead a broad programme of extraordinary measures to restore our economy to inclusive growth caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to our people’s life and our country’s economy.
Secondly, let me express also my appreciation to the Deputy President for reaffirming the position of the ANC government that indeed South Africa cannot achieve a participatory and inclusive economy if townships and rural areas are not meaningful participants in the mainstream economy; as you have pointed out, Deputy President, using the District Development Model.
Is there any plan by the government to revive and recapitalise abandoned factories in townships and villages, as part of the reindustrialisation effort
especially with a focus on the emerging black industrialists programme? Thank you, Deputy President.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, as we are speaking, government is currently renovating these old abandoned infrastructures in provinces like the Eastern Cape, Free State, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Work is underway and the process of identifying your SMMEs and your Cooperatives that will eventually occupy these spaces is also underway.
Some of the provinces have already identified SMMEs to benefit from their procurement initiatives, like for instance, your enterprise model where some of the SMMEs are requested to deliver some of the building material like bricks, window frames; some of the small-scale farmers are made to deliver fresh produce to their nutrition programme.
So, work is underway, it’s going to be strengthened by our co-ordination at a district level as we implement it at District Delivery Model. Thank you, Chair.
Ms H S BOSHOFF: Deputy President, your home province of Mpumalanga, which, unfortunately, you left in a total state of despair when you decided to upgrade to the position Deputy President, is the only province without Supported Employment Enterprises, SEE.
You and your government always speak about those that have impairments or are disabled, but we never anything concrete being done to assist them and you also always say that the same opportunities should be afforded to them as is afforded at our able-bodied.
Now, hon Deputy President, this SEE could have gone a long to assist in the revitalisation of rural and township economy. The absence of an SEE in Mpumalanga could be interpreted as you not caring. Could you, today, hon Deputy President, tell us what you are going to do to rectify this and assist in revitalisation of the Mpumalanga economy? Thank you very much, Chair.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chair, I can see
here that the hon member wants me to go back to Mpumalanga.
When I left that province we had launched a programme with Standard Bank that assist SMMEs with seat funding on the basis that these SMMEs will be given a market by government for their produce, for instance, all those SMMEs that were involved in our enterprise model were manufacturing bricks, we brought in SA Bureau of Standards, SABS, to look at the quality of the bricks, if they get approved, as government we assure these SMMEs to buy those bricks and finally, they are able to pay the amount of money they owe to Standard Bank.
We have repeated that project in a number of settlements, areas where we were building Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, houses, in areas where we building roads, schools, clinics, in terms of the build industry.
In terms of the nutrition programme we have grouped small farmers, supported them to produce fresh produce and we collected the fresh produce into one area, from there it is delivered to schools. And these small farmers are then paid. This programme was going on in a way of supporting the small farmers.
I thought those that are coming after me would build from those initiatives. Now that we are bringing the special economic zones in Nkomazi and Witbank, these are the areas will sort of enhance and support the province and support SMMEs in that space for their growth, for their training and for their markets. Thank you very much.
Ms H S BOSHOFF: On a point of order, hon Chair. I was not fully answered. I did not speak about SMMEs, I spoke about SEE, Supported Employment Enterprises; it’s completely different to SMMEs [Inaudible.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That’s not a point of order.
Mr A ARNOLDS: Deputy President, many state interventions, and you have mentioned interventions, have sought to address the high levels of poverty and unemployment in townships as well as the segregated nature. However, these interventions have often been ineffective because of a lack of understanding of functioning and the requirements of an economy.
Now, Deputy President, if the required fundamentals for an economy are missing, attempts to support and grow local township economy activities will have limited success and will not attract external business.
Now, the key question, Deputy President, is whether the social economic challenges can be addressed by intervening in township economies and how can your government improve the access to residents in townships outside of their areas, seeing that there is limited and no space in townships? I thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chair, that is
why the essence of the question is the industrial parks, the special economic zones; all those areas that are devoted for business, that were owned by former homelands and all that, that are now dilapidated, the question was “Are you trying to revitalise, renovate those areas?” and the answer was “Yes”. And I’ve cited the provinces where these areas are being renovated. This is an attempt to give space for SMMEs, office space, areas where they can work and produce.
Now, in the past we realised our shortcomings of working in isolation; municipalities were working on their own, provinces were working on their own, national department also working on its own. Now, we have crated this District Development Model, which brings together these three spheres of government so that they produce One Plan to assist these SMMEs. This assistance is going to be a collaboration of all these spheres of government so that the sustainability ... and we can see these SMMEs growing into bigger commercial businesses. Thank you.
Mr S E MFAYELA: Hon Deputy President, in the light of culture and rural development and [Inaudible.] unveiling of a cooperative 400 hectares farm which is ran by women. Whether government has any mechanism in place to ensure that women are not been exploited? And whether [Inaudible.] self-development programmes in the form of business and agriculture forums which aim to develop women skills and ability in the agricultural market and provide them with a platform from which they can reach for a big leadership position in the agricultural sector? I thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, yes, in terms of our land reform programme and where we are at the moment, the Minister has announced our intention to give back land to women, young people and to people with disability. She even went to an extent of citing the number of hectares, 700 000 hectares of land is going to be made available.
So, this process is going to be transparent, everyone will be aware and it’s going to be happening in all our municipalities, in all our provinces and districts.
What is going to happen is that after we have allocated this land to this category of people, these people must then be supported. Our decision is that we are going to anchor our support as government at a district level.
Nationally we are going to come to a district level and have a presence there. A province will also have a presence at the district level and a municipality will have a presence; so that the kind of support we give to a small farmer is a co-ordinated support and it’s not just a support but it also goes further to look at the kind of produce that the farmer is producing and the market where
this farmer is going to sell his or her produce. Thank you very much, Chair.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, we note the important question from the hon member which refers to an Inter-Ministerial Task Team established by the President to investigate the disruption of road projects. We wish to clarify from the outset that the President has not established an Inter-Ministerial Task Team in this regard.
However, the President mandated the Minister of Employment and Labour to attend to the issue of road freight disruption and burning of trucks in KwaZulu- Natal. In attending to the matter, the Minister was accompanied by the Ministers of Police, Home Affairs, Transport, and members of the Provincial Executive Council of KwaZulu-Natal.
To this end, eight persons have been convicted and sentenced in various magistrate courts. In addition, more than 10 suspects have appeared in the Estcourt Magistrate
Court, and have been remanded in custody until their next court appearance.
Hon Chair, it is true that, on several occasions, we have experienced the disruption of projects by concerned groups and disgruntled communities in some parts of the country resulting in undue project delays and negative impacts on service delivery. In the main, these disruptions are attributable to the perceived or real lack of localisation and access to business participation opportunities by locals. In simple terms, local projects are seen as not benefitting local people in terms of enterprise development and employment opportunities. We must also note that these acts are not homogeneous as they take various forms in different places.
In KwaZulu-Natal, we have received reports of instances where community members, and other groupings have resorted to acts of violence to stop business operations, and ongoing infrastructure projects as part of their protests to gain access to business opportunities.
As government, we strongly condemn destruction of property and infrastructure no matter how legitimate the grievances may be. We reiterate that incitement of violence and lawlessness is an antithesis of what we stand for as a constitutional state.
While law enforcement efforts are key to ensuring stability, and safeguarding human lives and the destruction of property, we should be under no illusion that this is solely a law enforcement problem.
Government has to deal with underlying socioeconomic problems that are at the root cause of such disruptions. We should find systematic and structured ways of engaging communities and lobby groups on matters that affect them. The District Development Model provides an appropriate institutional and intergovernmental platform that allows for the analysis, profiling and resolution of key and peculiar issues faced by communities in a given District. It also allows for government across all spheres to craft a shared ‘one plan’ that responds to issues raised across all key sectors of our society.
The pursuit of broad-based economic inclusion and empowerment remains central to our plan of resolving the disruption of projects, especially economic infrastructure projects. Specific attention must be paid to the deliberate planning of projects in a way that benefits local people in terms of enterprise development and employment opportunities.
Our overall approach to project planning and implementation must be guided by the need to attain localisation objectives. For each project, specific local participation targets in terms of budgets and work packages designed to benefit local people and small business, must be predetermined.
At district level, engagements with formal structures such as business forums, farmer unions, and community leadership structures, will be crucial to ensure that all projects are properly communicated and shared in terms of community participation and benefit.
Participation in the supply of designated products and services by local small businesses, must be coupled with
intensive capacity building and skills development programmes to ensure that local enterprises meet quantity targets and quality standards set out in predetermined project opportunities.
For instance, if a human settlements project valued at R3 billion sets a target that the bricks and door frames for RDP houses worth R1 billion will be sourced from local manufacturers in a given district, government agencies such as the South African Bureau of Standards, SABS, and Small Enterprise Development Agency would need to be engaged as part of the capacity building programme to ensure that local small businesses comply with SABS standards. They must also be assisted to build necessary capacity to supply the required quantities at the right level.
We have said before that by their nature, township and rural economies are predominantly made up of small and medium enterprises that may not necessarily have the capacity required in the execution of certain construction projects. Therefore, this may present
obstacles to their participation in big construction projects.
Henceforth, as we embark on the broad economic transformation agenda to address inclusive economic growth and broadening participation, we must consider reviewing service level agreements and tender documentation for both consultants and contractors, and incorporate enterprise development through localisation and supply of materials.
It should be a consideration in determining procurement in construction work, to prescribe as part of the briefing to bigger companies that they should identify and engage local enterprises within communities in which any construction project is implemented.
To ensure that these enterprises are competitive and meet the demands of the market, economic departments and agencies especially in the built environment, need to offer the necessary support and enforce the implementation of programmes that promote and support enterprise and supplier development in order to enable
access to procurement opportunities as part of government’s inclusive economic growth. [Times expired.] Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Hon Chairperson, to the Deputy President, I’m afraid it appears that your advisors have briefed you very poorly. In fact, your advisors contacted me for information on this question. I supplied them with the South African National Roads Agency, SANRAL, report which will help them form your answer to that.
We are talking about something completely different, Mr Deputy President. The question is not about the destruction of trucking in KwaZulu-Natal but road units, that the President referred to in his state of the nation address, that arrive on construction sites and demand cash — they do not demand the piece of the work. They are not local labours but they are criminal gangs that the President referred to in his state of the nation speech.
So, the question I have for you today, Mr Deputy President, is as follows: Are you prepared, here and now, to publicly condemn any action by any individual that
seeks to use threats of violence and extortion to achieve criminal ends that jeopardise the infrastructure of South Africa? And will you commit to ensure that individuals involved in such actions, whether they are members of the governing party or not, face the full might of the law?
Can you please answer that, Mr Deputy President, and not a long story about trucking? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson,
yes, I think as government we condemn all activities that seeks to undermine the rule of law. All those that will do things outside the scope and scale of our law must be dealt with by our law enforcement agencies. There is no one who is going to be given money without working. There are terms and conditions of these employment and how you are going to be paid for such piece of work for all people that are employed.
So, as much as we are saying all those who are disruptive and undermining the law regime of our country must face the full might of our law enforcement agencies, we are equally aware of a situation where our people are
unemployment and are struggling looking for work. As government we are taking the responsibility of creating work opportunities that will deal with the unemployment rate that is currently prevailing in our communities.
Thank you very much.
Mr E J NJADU: Chair, to the hon Deputy President, let me take this opportunity to appreciate how you have responded to the question in terms of disruption of road projects and also to appreciate the response to the criminality and economic sabotage of road projects.
Hon Deputy President, there is a perception of lack of transparency in the awarding of some of the contracts and also to fuel dissatisfaction amongst local communities.
The question, hon Deputy president, is: In localisation, when is the review of the procurement system going to be finalised to ensure greater local participation? Thank you very much, Chair.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chair, the
perception and the dissatisfaction that is prevailing on the ground at times it is justified. It is justified
because local communities are not engaged or briefed about what is happening in their own environment.
So, I was saying that we need to change that scenario. There should be some predetermined objectives, that means right from the tender stage or from the time we conceive of a project in a community we must be aware that there are people that must participate. So, there should be deliberate effort from the side of government to inform people, prepare them and make them participate in this project.
This will ensure that some of the buildings that we have in our communities get respected because when people participate in building a school, they take full ownership of that school and regard the school as theirs because they have participated. So, as government, we are going to improve that so that we don’t just parachute and bring projects without involving the community.
The community must benefit in terms of employment and supply of whatever material that can be supplied into the project. That must happen in a very orderly and
predetermined way that will start right at tender stage so that there is order. We are going to organise ourselves, the three spheres of government. Whoever is bringing the project, whether it is national, province or municipality, all of us are going to be supportive and work together to support our communities and ensure that we minimise destructions at those constructions sites.
Mr S F DU TOIT: Hon Chair, to the hon Deputy President, with regards to the arrests that have allegedly been made up to now and there are further ongoing investigations, as you said, whether this is as a result of the Inter- Ministerial Team or another entity. My question is: Has it been found that there were any political interferences or were any politicians or MPs involved in any of the disruptions related to road projects? Thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chair, from what we have received on the ground is that this is caused purely by communities and our people are fighting for the meagre opportunities that are available. We have not discovered any political influence that is meant to stop the project
but merely people who are looking for jobs and at participating. This is what we have discovered.
Some people have misunderstood the intention of government because they just want to be given money without them working and contributing. They always talk of 30% that is set aside for locals and the 30% must just be given free of charge. No! Our locals are going to participate, get trained and be supported but they must earn their living and the money that they are going to finally get out of the project. Thank you very much.
Nk S A LUTHULI: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo, angibingelele, kuyazwakala Sekela Mongameli ukuthi uthi uMongameli akazange waba nethimba alithumela, noma wakha ithimba lokuthi lihambe liyobheka lo bugebengu. Kepha wathumela oNgqongqoshe ukuthi bahambe bayobheka. Ngakho umbuzo uthi: ONgqongqoshe bona ngenkathi sebefikile KwaZulu- Natali bakwazi yini ukuthola ngalolu phiko lwaMadelangokubona afuna lamaphesenti angama-30 womsebenzi. Basuke bengafuni amaphesenti angama-30 basuke
befuna amaphesenti angama-30 wemali esuke itholwe usokontileka omkhulu.
Umbuzo uthi: Yikuphi enikwenzayo ukuvikela osomabhizinisi abakhulu nabancane ikakhulukazi laba abancane okusuke kuyibona okumele bathole lama-30% athathwa yilaMadelangokubona? Ngiyabonga.
USEKELA MONGAMELI WERIPHABHULIKI YASENINGIZIMU AFRIKA:
Ngiyabonga Sihlalo esikubonile siwuhulumeni ngemuva kokuthi oNgqongqoshe baye laphaya, bayoxazulula izinkinga. Sikubonile ukuthi kufanele abantu bendawo la kwenziwa khona umsebenzi babe nalo ulwazi lomsebenzi ozokwenziwa. Futhi loko sikwenze kube ngumsebenzi wethu ukuthi nabo babe khona, bakwazi ukubamba iqhaza. Babe yingxenye yalomsebenzi abazowenza nabo ukuze kube khona abakuzuzayo, okufana nomsebenzi abazovukela njalo bahambe bayosebenza ukuze uma kuphela inyanga kube khona abakutholayo.
Okunye kukhona osomabhizinisi abancane abakhona endaweni okuthi ngokufika kwalabo somabhizinisi abakhulu abazokwakha kuvuleleke la amathuba okuthi bangakwazi
ukuphakela izinto ezifana nezitini, amafreyimu amafasitela. Kuya ngokuthi iphrojekthi leyo imayelana nani. Kukhona okuncane osomabhizinisi abakhona ekhaya, abasafufusa abangakufaka nabo njengesandla ukuze kube khona abakuzuzayo kuleyo phrojekthi. Kepha loko kufuneka kwenziwe nguhulumeni ngokuthi acacise ukuthi into ethize izokwenziwa osomabhizinisi abancane.
Abantu abazoqashwa kufuneka babe nekhono elingaka, nayi neMinyango ezosiza ukuthi abantu baqeqeshwe ukuze bakwazi ukuthi uma beyosebenza kuleyo phrojekthi bakwazi ukufaka inani kuleyo projekthi ngoba phela baqeqeshiwe. Nalabo somabhizinisi abancane nabo babekelwe okwabo ukuthi bazokwenza sikucacise loko singakawuqali umsebenzi.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson,
our response to the question is that it is concerning to us that the service delivery protests in Qwaqwa have been going on for a while. We understand the plight faced by the people of Qwaqwa regarding the recurring challenges
in the provision of basic services such as water and electricity.
It is for this reason that the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality is among municipalities that have been identified as service delivery hotspots. The municipality is currently receiving attention through combined efforts by national and provincial government. We therefore would like to thank the people of Qwaqwa for their patience as we work to resolve the challenges of service delivery, especially access to water and electricity that they face on daily basis.
We salute the people of Qwaqwa for their active citizenry in raising their voices, and exercising their right to protest within the confines of our Constitution. We wish to assure the people of Qwaqwa that despite the prevailing challenges, laudable efforts are continuing to accelerate service delivery provision in the Maluti-a- Phofung Local Municipality.
Currently, yes, the municipality is having ongoing challenges as far as water provision is concerned. The
genesis of this water challenge, is that the Free State province has been experiencing severe drought since 2015, thereby leaving water levels in all dams decreasing to below 30%. It is thus not surprising that the water shortages are predominantly encountered in the area of Qwaqwa where the main water source, Fika Patso Dam is nearly dry.
In responding to this challenge in the short-term, the Department of Water and Sanitation appointed the Sedibeng Water working with Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, to implement the emergency drought relief projects in order to ensure that there is water supply to the communities around the area. The long-term solution is to relieve pressure from the Fika Patso system, and to minimise water losses by refurbishing the water reticulation system, thus alleviating the supply challenge and to meet further demand necessitated by rapid population growth within the municipality.
The interventions that have been implemented to address water shortages and improve the situation in Qwaqwa, were through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant and Water
Systems Infrastructure Grant. As of today, we are informed that four of the eight intervention programmes under these grants have been completed, which are: the construction of the Sterkfontein Water Treatment and supply system, which includes the abstraction works, pipelines and reservoir to the northern areas of Qwaqwa; the construction of the Makwane Water Treatment which extracts water from the Metsi Matsho Dam to supply to surrounding areas; the Northern Bulk storage; and Qwaqwa borehole projects comprising of 60 boreholes that have been drilled and tested.
These interventions will ensure that in the long run water supply is restored. We note the interventions that have been made by government which were targeted at the challenge of electricity supply. The Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality together with Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and National Treasury have approved the implementation of the private sector participation model. This will focus on improving the water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure through the replacement of faulty water and electricity meters with smart meters that are not easily tampered
with, as well as upgrading of the water and electricity network.
Through the Eskom Political Task Team, Maluti-a-Phofung has been identified as one of the top 20 municipalities defaulting on their debt repayments to Eskom. Drastic measures are being implemented to ensure that municipal debts to Eskom are addressed, including providing targeted technical support to the municipality so that it builds requisite capacities to deal with challenges relating to tariffs, billing, collections, metering and illegal connections. This would ensure that the municipality is able to provide electricity which is critical to water supply as well. Thank you Chair.
Mr I NTSUBE: Thanks Chairperson of the Council, let me also thank the Deputy President of the Republic for a just and honest response. Last week, Deputy President, during the NCOP Provincial Week, we had the opportunity to interact with various municipalities in the Free State, including Maluti-a-Phofung municipality which covers the areas of Qwaqwa. What was reported shows signs of continuing maladministration, corruption and thuggery.
Will the Deputy President assure the nation today that the law enforcement agencies will decisively deal with those linked acts of corruption in Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality and also take us into confidence that the people of Qwaqwa will again have clean and safe water running from their taps very soon? Thank you very much, Deputy President.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thanks to the
follow up question, yes, I want to assure the people of Qwaqwa that finally they will get water and electricity. I must however put a rider on this assurance that going forward, I am expecting the people of Qwaqwa to also pay for the services are rendered by the municipality. They must pay for water and electricity.
Currently, the problem that we are facing after all the interventions ... we were supposed to have water now given the intervention that we have made but because the municipality is owing Eskom and took each other to court which resulted in a standoff. This standoff has resulted in Eskom switching off the electricity. As a result, our water reticulation system is not working because there is
no electricity. So, this problem is intertwined. As much as the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality must up their game, it is equally important for our people to pay for so that collectively we take responsibility.
Yes, we are going to intervene on this problem. We are going to have a meeting with the municipality shortly, the province and Eskom so that we can see how best this problem can be resolved going forward so that our people can have water. However, our people must pay.
Yes, we are going to uproot corruption. It is our conviction that corruption will destroy the little that we have. So, as government, we are going to support and stand behind our law enforcement agencies to ensure that we uproot corruption. That is going to happen in Maluti- a-Phofung. Our law enforcement agencies must act without fear or favour. Thank you very much.
Mr S E MFAYELA: Chairperson and hon Deputy President, with reference to violent protests that unfolded in KwaZulu-Natal because of government’s failure to improve service delivery, whether the government has made any
effort to attend to the needs and the demands of the protestors and the community?
Furthermore, in what way does government aim to improve and take accountability on its continued failure to fulfil the constitutional mandate of service delivery? I thank you, sir.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: The leadership of the KwaZulu-Natal province, under the leadership of Premier Zikalala and the leadership of our municipality in Ethekwini have ensured that the protestors are met and their grievances are being attended to.
We must however say that as much as there are certain failures in the delivery of services like water and electricity, these services don’t come for free. Our people must pay for these services so that municipalities can also service the infrastructure. At times, the collapse of these services is due to the ailing infrastructure, which municipalities are unable to refurbish because they don’t have the amount of money that is required.
So, service delivery can’t be the sole responsibility of a sphere of government. It also involves our own people. They must contribute with regard to the services they consume so that those who are offering those services can continue to offer them.
With the introduction of our district delivery model, we have realised the disjointed nature in which the spheres of government are working. This is one attempt to get all the spheres of government to come together so that when we plan for the delivery of services, we do it together.
If we plan for a human settlement project, we also plan for water and electricity together. If there are problems, we attend to them together. If we unleash projects that seeks to deliver services to our people, we do it together as the spheres of government. Thank you very much.
Mr M S MOLETSANE: Thank you, Chairperson, Deputy President, Maluti-a-Phofung was recently taken out of section 1399(1)(b) while obviously still struggling to provide service delivery and failing to remove ghost
employees from their payroll, which negatively impacts on their financial resources.
What are the reasons for prematurely removing Maluti-a- Phofung under section 139(1)(b)? I thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: I not very sure
about the decision to remove the municipality under section 139(1)(b), the province, the national Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as well as the NCOP; yourselves, hon members, you are party to the decision of removing section 139(1)(b) because you were also party to the invoking of such a decision.
Remember, you get consulted all the time when section 139 is to be instituted as a House. Now, collectively, we are responsible. Maybe, I can also ask the same question to you. Why did you agree to remove this municipality that early?
I am thinking that those that were responsible, wanted to give this municipality an opportunity to move on so that it mustn’t stay under administration for a long time.
What has worsened the situation now ... I think all of us must understand very well that it is the electricity challenge. The municipality was owing Eskom for a long time, defaulting now and again on the payment schedule until such time that Eskom went to court and obtained a court order. They are now in court. There is no supply of electricity. If there is no supply of electricity, it means your water infrastructure, purification plants and reticulation system cannot work.
In the main, we must resolve this electricity problem, which is a long outstanding matter which the municipality has been owing. It is not only the municipality’s problem. In certain instances, provincial departments are owing the municipalities with regard to certain services which we are going to check in this case. In other instances, national departments are owing municipalities, which in this case, we are going to check so that collectively, we take responsibility. Those that are owing Maluti-a-Phofung, must pay the municipality and the municipality must pay Eskom. Thank you very much.
Mr W A S AUCAMP: Hon Deputy President, the City of Kimberly is once again suffering the strain of water mismanagement. The city was left waterless for five days while Sol Plaatje once again waited until the last minute to schedule work on the main pipeline that is coming from Riverton.
Due to the city’s inability to supply the whole city with water, water shedding is commencing this week, just in time for the extremely hot Kimberly summer and the December holidays. This has become an annual phenomenon that lasts for months at a time.
In addition to insufficient water supply to accommodate all residents, the city is also affected by ongoing sewerage flows. With reference to the implementation of Rapid Response Interventions on service delivery and troubleshooting in service delivery hotspots, I want to know whether the government will institute an intervention in Kimberly? If not, why not? If so, what are the relevant details?
Hon Deputy President, several other municipalities in the Northern Cape, including Ubuntu, Emthanjeni and Gamagara local municipalities are currently facing serious water challenges due to mismanagement of their water infrastructure. In fact, the residents are left without water for most of the day, every day. This is a developing crisis. Will the government institute a broader intervention to ensure that Northern Cape towns do not run out of water? Thank you very much, hon Chairperson.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Let me assure the hon member that we will follow up on this City of Kimberly question and about the disruption of services. I am going to personally take keen interest to visit the city and get the information first hand from the leadership of the city and probably the province so that we get to understand. We will be in a position to reply to the hon member in black and white to say this is what we have discovered and this is what we are proposing to be done so that the problem is eliminated.
I can tell that we have a few of these disruptions, which we think that ... by the way, we are introducing the district development model and we think it is going to present a solution to all these minor disruptions because we are going to have the three spheres of government in one place so that we can respond promptly to any service delivery problem. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Chairperson. We want to reiterate our previous position which we stated in our previous responses that was given on 25 June 2020 in the
National Assembly and on 3 September in this very same House, in relation to the question about the investigation into an Eskom executive, and wherein we affirmed government’s position as a shareholder to the
adherence of corporate governance.
This is premised on appointing a competent, experienced and capable board to run the affairs of Eskom in a diligent manner, with zero tolerance for corruption, including any conduct that may undermine government’s efforts of building a financially sustainable energy
utility that is geared towards meeting its developmental objectives.
We further stated that we have no basis to doubt the fairness and the integrity of the investigation process
as conducted into the chief operations officer, COO, and that the report makes no reference to any hindrance experienced by the senior counsel, SC, in carrying out his investigation and in compiling his report. That
situation has not changed. In fact, the report by Adv Cassim, SC, specifically stated that he had full and untrammelled access to documentation and all witnesses.
Notwithstanding this principle of corporate governance, we have been informed that Eskom Holdings established a
legal panel on 1 April 2019 for a period of five years, comprising 58 law firms. Eskom has signed service-level agreements with all those law firms whose services would be required as and when needed.
The hourly charge-out rates were agreed to with the law firms in question and formed part of the signed service- level agreements. In addition, there are provisions in
these service-level agreements for the law firms to engage the services of junior and senior counsels from time to time, depending on the complexity and novelty of the issues that need to be attended to.
In respect of the grievance that was brought against the COO, the Eskom legal department instructed Poswa Incorporated, a level one broad-based black economic
empowerment, BBBEE, rated and 100% black-owned firm, which in turn secured the services of Adv Eric Mkhawane, who is a practising advocate of the High Court of South Africa, as an independent chairperson of the grievance
Through this process, allegations against the COO were
thoroughly ventilated in two proceedings presided over by two senior counsels, Adv Cassim and Adv Mkhawane; both of whom found that there were no grounds for any
disciplinary action to be taken against the COO.
A further internal investigation performed on behalf of the Eskom board at the request of the Minister of Public Enterprises has confirmed the finding of the previous two
investigations, namely that the COO has at all times acted in the best interest of Eskom. The board of Eskom therefore regards the two matters as closed.
We are confident that the board and executive management
have put in place the necessary mechanisms and systems to tackle any acts of corruption, including legacy issues, that have contributed to the current state of Eskom. This
includes taking the necessary actions, through due process, against anyone found to be involved in corruption.
We therefore encourage Members of Parliament, MPs ... members of the National Council of Provinces to utilise the available parliamentary mechanisms and the structures
that are available ... our portfolio committees, to hold the boards of state-owned enterprises, SOEs, chief executive officers, CEOs, and accounting officers of our
national departments accountable, including providing clarity on measures to be taken to deal with corruption.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Thank you, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces. Deputy President, every time we
raise an issue about Eskom you refer us to your previous responses either in the National Assembly or in the National Council of Provinces. However, that’s a separate matter. Maybe you’ll tell us one day why you are forever referring us to those responses.
There are a few issues that we want clarified, especially for those who fight side by side with the EFF, in terms of fighting corruption.
Deputy President, in this country we run the risk of making corruption synonymous with black people because when allegations of corruption and maladministration are raised against white people they are swept under the carpet. It is a fact that Jan Oberholzer was a shareholder in Stefanutti Stocks, a company that received an overpayment of over one billion rand from Eskom. And, he participated in taking a decision about paying Stefanutti Stocks. This is a clear case of corruption. It is also a fact that he pressurised subordinates to find a job for his brother-in-law, Gregory Jacobs, in Cape Town. This is a clear case of nepotism.
Deputy President, in your view, was it correct to keep Oberholzer in his position while an investigation into him was still ongoing? Why was he not suspended pending finalisation of this investigation? Can you be clear and honest, and not refer us to your previous responses either in the NA or in the National Council of Provinces?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Chair, and thanks for the follow up question. Well, it is a very unfortunate perception that corruption seems to be synonymous with blacks. It’s a very heavily loaded statement which can cause fractures in society. As members, I think we should be wary of such statements because ... very divisive ... mindful of our past where we come from. We are trying to build a nation. So, let us follow corruption and let us not give corruption a colour. I’m very happy that we are trying to fight corruption. All of us are standing up, but let us not give corruption a colour.
Now, the report of those who were investigating, stipulates very clearly that there were no attempts to block the investigation. It was probably those who were
investigating who were supposed to recommend that the COO be suspended because he is tampering with the investigation. However, there was no such allegation that was raised by the investigation team. So, the question does not arise. They have investigated; they produced a report, and the report exonerates the COO from wrongdoing.
Now, when I hear the hon member, it seems as if the hon member has more information, that I don’t have, about some of the things that are happening in Eskom that are wrong ... that borders on corruption. However, the hon member is aware that we have our law enforcement agencies. You all have the right to approach these law enforcement agencies and to open a case which says, there is this and this and this and this, and we think there is corruption here. However, if we really want to understand how this investigation was conducted, I think the report is before us. There is nothing that we are hiding and we are, unfortunately, not pursuing people because of their colour.
Mr M NHANHA: Thank you Chairperson of the NCOP. Hon Deputy President, I am pleased that you are encouraging and urging us as MPs to utilise mechanisms available at our disposal to hold the boards of these SOEs accountable. To me that is a reassurance that we as MPs really needed.
However, hon Deputy President, given that Eskom has undertaken a plethora of corruption investigations, and the one referred to by hon Mokause relates to fuel contracts which are a subject of many dubious contracts, will you in your capacity as the chairperson of the Eskom task team undertake to ensure that all such contracts are tabled in a report before Parliament? In this way transparency and accountability will be served, parliamentary oversight will be assisted and that will be in the best interest of all South Africans.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Like I said, these august Houses have all the right to request anything. Where you don’t feel satisfied, you can request this directly from Eskom’s executive; from the board itself, that you have a right to call.
However, since in this case you are requesting me to do it on your behalf, I will do it. I will request that those contracts, especially for fuel ... You want to see whether, in your own right, there is nothing hidden or any corruption in those contracts. Those are going to be provided to you.
However, on top of that, I want you to engage. It’s one thing for me to just give you something written in black and white but I want you to, probably, engage with the board. Ask questions where you don’t understand. You can also engage with the executive where you don’t understand. Let us shy away from developing perceptions that are incorrect; that are devoid of the truth because you have the opportunity to pursue the truth. You have these people in front of you and you can ask them. Thank you very much.
Mr A B CLOETE: Thank you Chairperson. Just from the onset I should just say that anyone who is probably guilty of wrongdoing should be investigated. It doesn’t matter what colour that person is.
However, I do get the feeling that there are many more problems that we are not really attending to and this is one that we have now discussed. I mean, in the history of buying mops, Eskom will probably have the best wooden mop ever — R200 000 worth of a mop. This was revealed just this weekend.
I just want to go back to the report that the Deputy President spoke about. The report also warns of an emerging pattern of underperformers who style themselves as whistle-blowers when called to account; a trend that’s entirely at odds with the desired high-performance culture that Eskom is seeking to inculcate in its employees.
Now, we have had three investigations; all clearing the COO. Mr Deputy President, it appears that you accept Eskom’s position on this. I would like to know from you
... Eskom’s CEO recently, just this weekend, expressed his concern in exposing incompetent employees. Will you as government support Eskom and the CEO to expose these incompetent employees and ... in his attempt to fix Eskom?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson. Remember the relationship between ourselves and Eskom ... We are shareholders and we practise our shareholding through the Minister of Public Enterprises. We have appointed a board and the board has appointed the executive, and as government we want to try by all means to give the board and the executive the space to run the affairs of Eskom without our day-to-day interference — political interference. We must try to avoid this because we want this utility to succeed.
Now, as politicians we have our different perceptions about things and we should allow this utility to be run like a company. Certain procedures should be followed, like in all other companies. The shareholder that represents government will express our view as government in their shareholder’s meeting; in their meeting with the board. Wherever they interact, let’s allow that formal interaction ... that it’s acceptable within the law ... in the company rules, that this is the way shareholders must interact. Let’s allow that to happen because we have been condemned ... to say we were interfering politically in a number of these SOEs. In this sixth administration,
we want to do things in the correct manner which allows these boards that we’ve appointed to run these entities.
Mnu Z MKIVA: Sihlalo ohloniphekileyo ndikhona, ziyasokolisa ezi ntambo zonxibelelwano, mandiwuhlabe ke umbuzo kuSekela Mongameli, ndibulisile. Njengoko abantu besoloko bephefumla ngalo mba worhwaphilizo phaya kwaEskom, uSekela Mongameli nguye obhexesha i...
... task team.
Ndiyanqwena ke ukuba akhe anike abanyatheli baseMhlab’uhlangene kwaye ababeke ezingqondweni, acacise ukuba yena nesigqeba sakhe bandawoni ngoku ekuqinisekiseni ukuba luncothulwa neengcambu urhwaphilizo kwaEskom.
Kwakhona, njengoko sekucacile ukuba lo mcimbi worhaphilizo kwaEskom uthiwe dakanca phambi kweKomishoni kaZondo, siyafuna ukuqonda ukuba uSekela Mongameli
angasinika kusini na ukuba ngawawaphi amanyathelo azakuthathwa kungentsuku zatywala, ukuze abo babandakanyekayo ekugwinteni nasekusengeleni phantsi uEskom njengoko sibona ukuba uyopha, uyaxhixha ligazi akakwazi ukuwenza umsebenzi wokukhanyisela uluntu lonke kukho ucimi-cimi nodanya-danya emsebenzini wabo. Siyafuna ke ukuba uSekela Mongameli asinike umkhomba-ndlela ocacileyo kulo mba.
Kuyabonakala ukuba kudala i... [Ayivakali] ... ukuba balicime ityala kwiilokishi ezifana neSoweto yonke iphela. Ingaba akukho cebo limbi inokwenziwa phaya ukuze kwenziwe uqalo olutsha, bakhe banikwe ithuba lokuba bakhe baphefumle abantu kuqalwe ngokutsha kwaziwe ukuba ukususela ngoku ukubheka phambili, njengoko bebonakala ukuba batsala nzima ukulicima ela tyala urhulumente abalungiselele njengesikhokelo sorhulumente woluntu, urhulumente othandwayo, urhulumente woMzantsi Afrika omtsha. Nanko umbuzo wam Sekela Mongameli. Enkosi Sihlalo.
USEKELA MONGAMELI: Angibonge Sihlalo, ngiyacabanga ukuthi ngiwuzwile umbuzo. Ngizozama ukuphendula lokhu engicabanga ukuthi ngikuzwile. Kungenzeka ukuthi okunye kungilahlekele ngoba ilungu elihloniphekile belikhuluma isiXhosa esijulile kakhulu.
Laphaya kwa-Eskom njengoba ngihola leli thimba lomsebenzi njalo lelithimba lomsebenzi uma lihleli siyanikezwa umbiko wamacala onke athunyelwe kuma-law-enforcement agencies. Amacala adlulile ema-600 lawa asezandleni zama- law-enforcement agencies ngokuhlukana kwawo. Kepha njengethimba siyatshelwa nje kuphela ukuthi nawa amacala, nayi inqubekela phambili, asigxile kakhulu ukuthi kwenzekeni ngoba akusiwona umsebenzi wethu. Kungumsebenzi wama-law-enforcement agencies ukuthi aphenye lamacala lawa. Asikwazi ukukhuluma ngalokho esisola ukuthi kwenzekile, ikakhulukazi inkohlakalo le eyenzikile ngoba isingaphambi kwesandla somthetho – okunye okwenzekayo laphaya ethimbeni.
Manje ke abantu baseNingizimu Afrika bayazi ukuthi i- Eskom ihlangabezane nezinkinga. Enye yezinkinga ehlangabezane nayo inkinga yezimali. Abanye obekufanele
bakhokhele umbani lo abawukhokhelanga. Abantu, imizi ngemizi, amabhizinisi, omasipala, ngokuhlukana kwethu kukhona la sonke sikweleta khona u-Eskom. Manje ke thina siyamsiza u-Eskom ukuthi lapho kuphatheke khona iMinyango, omasipala kufanele simsize thina ukuthi imali le esiyikweledayo thina ikhokhelwe u-Eskom.
Kuwumsebenzi wami ukuthi iMinyango, omasipala ngikhulume nabo sibone ukuthi siyayikhokhela yonke leyo mali ngoba kufanele sihole ngokuba sibe yisibonelo esihle. Uma sithi abantu bakithi abakhokhe izinkozo abazisebenzisayo amanzi nogesi, nathi phela esiyiMinyango kahulumeni asiqalele ngaphambili sikhokhe.
Ngakho ke u-Eskom uyakhulumisana nabantu abamkweledayo. Uyakhulumisana nomasipala bathathane baye ezinkantolo. Uyakhulumisana nabaninimizi abahlukene ...[Akuzwakali.] Mhlawumbe uma bekhulumisana nathi siyithimba singaba nawo umbono ukuthi uma kunje sicabanga ukuthi kungenziwa kanje.
Okwanje thina sithi abantu bakithi abazifundise ukuthi sesingaphansi kombuso wentando yeningi. Ngakho ke umbuso
lo wencindezelo usuphelile. Ubusu lo uthi thina asithathe isibopho singabantu baseNingizimu Afrika sikhokhele izindleko zezinkonzo esizisebenzisayo nsuku zonke. Lokhu siyokukhuluma uma sifika lapho abantu bahlala khona sibonisane nabo.
Kukhona abantu bakithi abangasebenzi udaba lwabo lwehlukile. Kukhona abantu bakithi abasebenzayo ngokomthetho kufanele bakhokhe. Udaba lwabo lwehlukile kunabantu abangasebenzi. Ngakho ke angeke sihlanganise wonke umuntu sithi hhayi isikweletu asichithwe ngoba kukhona abantu abakhonayo ukukhokha nabantu abangakhoni ukukhokha. Kubalulekile ukuthi isimo sakwa-Eskom sezimali kube umsebenzi wethu sonke singabahlali baseNingizimu Afrika ukuthi siyisize iphume kule nkinga. Ngiyabonga.
Mr A B CLOETE: Chairperson, point of order please.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What is the point of order?
Mr A B CLOETE: It’s hon Cloete. I just want to confirm or state that the interpreting service is not available. Can you request the Table to attend to that please?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Let’s do that. Let’s ask the Table to assist. Adv Phindela and the team, please assist.
Let’s move on to the next question which is Question 17, on corruption in the Emfuleni Local Municipality. This question is being raised by D R Ryder from Gauteng and the question is directed to the Deputy President. The hon Deputy President?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon
Chairperson. Our response to the question is that we are aware of the ongoing challenges in Emfuleni Local Municipality, and we are working together with the Gauteng provincial government to restore governance and improve the situation that has impacted on service delivery. Our position, hon Chair, is that the integrity of our governance systems has to withstand many challenges and threats, especially such as those reflected in the hon Ryder’s question with respect to the Emfuleni Local Municipality.
When laws and regulations are transgressed, and delivery of basic services is hampered, partisan politics should be reconsidered and hopefully be transcended, should be above party politics. It is in this regard that as the executive, we have taken steps to address and intervene in the turnaround process of the Emfuleni Local Municipality. One such measure is the fact that the municipality is currently under section 139 to deal comprehensively with its structural challenges. The Gauteng member of the executive council, MEC, for Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, has since announced that he is expecting a detailed report from the Executive Mayor of Emfuleni Local on measures to fix the escalating rise in unauthorised, irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure. As government, we remain firm in our resolve to root out all forms of corruption, poor service delivery and inefficiencies that impact on our service delivery mandate. Therefore, where acts of corruption and maladministration are found to have been committed, necessary actions must be taken.
Through the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, engagements have been held with the
responsible MEC in Gauteng towards resolving the challenges in Emfuleni Local Municipality. We are informed that the following measures are currently being implemented, and are being monitored regularly: The Financial Recovery Plan Committee has been established; engagements with the Development Bank of Southern Africa and Rand Water to address the challenges; an internal audit investigation on mismanagement and abuse of municipal assets and vehicles by municipal officials and councillors to be conducted; on the rooting out of corruption, the municipality is in the process to review the code of conduct for officials and councillors; and the engagement with the State Security Agency on the vetting of senior managers is in progress.
These measures are aimed at turning the situation around, and to address the issues that the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation had highlighted as concerning. We recognise that the challenges at the Emfuleni Municipality, taken as a whole, underline the importance of the district development model that government is implementing in order to co-ordinate and improve
development. As indicated earlier, the Presidency’s Investment and Infrastructure data centre, will assist government in digital project monitoring and mapping of infrastructure projects, thus curbing the scourge of corruption and delays in project implementation.
As the Inter-Ministerial Committee on service delivery at district level, we invite hon Ryder and all other members of this House to support government in the implementation of the following measures to improve the performance of our municipalities across the country, including the Emfuleni Local Municipality: Alignment of infrastructure development plans and operations with national, provincial and district plans; ensuring that critical areas of revenue enhancement are strengthened and institutionalised; and, implementing effective control systems to prevent revenue leakages, wastages, and corrupt practices that deplete money that has already been collected.
In this respect, Chair, we invite private sector partners to work with government to support the sphere of local government, after all, it is at local government level
where service delivery can be felt directly by citizens and communities. It is a common cause that consumer and business confidence is generated if there is constant supply of quality public services. There is a mutually reinforcing relationship between efficient service delivery and residents’ willingness to pay for services provided. The opposite is also true in that, where there is limited or absence of provision of basic common goods, protests tends to erupt.
We are encouraged that this House has been monitoring the intervention and steps taken by the respective role- players to deal with the financial, service delivery and governance related challenges. In the final analysis, it is incumbent upon all of us, to exercise continuous civic duty to resolve the administrative, political and financial difficulties that prevents the delivery of basic services. Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr D R RYDER: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Thank you, Mr Deputy President, for the answer. It seems like every time we meet, Mr Mabuza, I’m asking you about the latest debacle in Emfuleni Local Municipality. Well, the
municipality is just being slapped with the biggest civil claim in South African legal history that the court awarded. This ... [Inaudible.] ... unfolded and the municipality has been under administration intervention by the Gauteng provincial government in terms of section
139 of the Constitution as you well pointed out.
MEC Maile was chased from the Select Committee on Cogta in a meeting. He was chased out by hon China Dodovu and he spoke about taking politics out of it and he was chased out by a member of his own party because he had to come back with better answers. Now, again, last week during the NCOP’s Provincial Week, the MEC’s arrogant responses were not only offensive to members, but showed his lack of understanding of the issues on the ground.
This is confirmed by later presentations that we received from the executive mayors, which absolutely contradicted what the MEC had told us.
Now, a report was released yesterday showing how broken these city bank district municipalities as well. So, unfortunately, your famous district model is not going to work here. There’s no money, there are no skills, there
are just freeloaders. In Emfuleni electricity outages was up to for a week while money is gathered to pay contractors to buy spares. Water outages and leakages are out of control. Now communities, staff and councillors are unluckily to be paid with a bank account having been attached by the court. We can’t wait for more reports as you said, and you keep telling us about the things that are in progress, Mr Deputy President. However, we need resolution right now.
The province has failed to protect ... [Inaudible.] ... and residence. When will national government use its authority to step in and save Emfuleni residence from this broken municipality?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon
Chairperson. Well, I’m not really disputing the frustration displayed by the hon member about the situation in Emfuleni, it is quite understandable. I’ve been there many at times and the situation in terms of the infrastructure is really appalling. Leadership problems, the sewage spillage, the potholes on the roads, and I mean everything in that municipality seem to be
failing. However, we have come to realise that if treating section 139 alone, it won’t help, probably all of us must intervene and we are not just going to release the grants that are due to the municipality like we used to do before.
However, this time national departments, provincial governments as well as the municipality will sit together, put monies together to try and revitalise the services that have collapsed. The hon member must appreciate that national government through the intervention by the President by allowing the SA National Defence Force to go and assist in the unblocking of the sewage system and the Department of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation, and the involvement in trying to deal with the spillage. All these are efforts that were sanctioned by the President in an attempt to assist the municipality. However, it looks like we need to do more. We appreciate that and we understand the frustration, but we are going to step up our intervention and get the situation corrected. Thank you very much.
Mr S E MFAYELA: Yes, hon Chairperson and hon Deputy President, in the light of revelation made last year that
14 municipalities were under administration with more recent addition of eMadlangeni Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, and already the government has implemented any strategy to monitor and manage corruption and maladministration in municipalities and whether to ensure that officials are not awarded impunity for the looting of state funds. I thank you, Sir.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon
Chairperson. I think all the municipalities that were put under section 139(1b) and some few of them were put under section 139(1c). Some of them have recovered from the situation and they are doing fairly well. Some have relapsed and they have gone back to the same situation.
Therefore, we are dealing with fresh problems. Yes, probably we cannot go on and intervene in the same way. As much as we intervene using section 139, but we should not make this the challenge that must be faced by the Department of Cogta alone and by a province alone. This time we are going to, all of us, collaborate, and we are
going to put resources together to lift and get that municipality out of this trouble.
Therefore, we are now in a process of setting up the structures of this district development model and they are taking route and they are starting to work. We are going to see more and more improvement in the areas where we have intervened and we are going to see again a lot of improvement in our fight against corruption. Thank you very much.
Mr M DANGOR: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson. Hon Deputy President, one of the lessons of coronavirus disease 2019, Covid-19, is the speed caption and response to corruption, hold the executive consider replicating the Covid-19 anticorruption integrate the strategy beyond the Covid-19 pandemic where the Auditor-General, the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, the Special Investigating Unit and other critical components of critical justice system work together. Conscious, Deputy President, of the historical background to the establishment of municipalities constrains by the apartheid special plans, there are few if any local
authority that are self-sustain. This has exacerbated by the politically motivated narrative at times of racially based corruption.
The infrastructure is more than 70 years old in this area, Chairperson, and they need the funding to fix that. Also, Chairperson, the executive mayor said it was very categorical that the SA National Defence Force, SANDF, can come and assist to resolve the matters, but the pollutants upstream the previous administration in Johannesburg and Tshwane has exacerbated the problem and the Vaal area system.
With that, Deputy President, we thank you very much and appeal to everybody that what we need to do is not the faultfinders, but solution finders. Let us all be together in trying to find solutions and nonpolitically in the Emfuleni area. Thank you, Deputy President.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon
Chairperson. I think that our stance in terms of fighting corruption that we took and it’s a stance that we are going to maintain going forward. All what is expected
from us is to empower and support those institutions that are meant to fight corruption. All our law enforcement and agencies must be supported given the right amount of money and personnel and all the necessary equipment to be able to fight corruption. I think as a country we must realise that it is very important to spend some of our resources to build these institutions.
These institutions must stand the test of time irregardless whose empower who is running government. These institutions must be there, must be strong and must be able to fight corruption because corruption can destroy what we have built collectively as a population of South Africa. Therefore, it is important that the resolve that we have taken to fight corruption must not just be once off, it must be sustained through our efforts and through what we invest in building those institutions so that this is not reversible.
We are quite aware that there are municipalities that are not viable and that don’t have a revenue base - they are unable to collect revenue. These municipalities rely on the grant and on the equitable share that they are
getting from government. Therefore, through our district development model we want to empower these local municipalities to have their local economic development forums, identifying projects and assisting small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, so that the potential that is there in the municipality can be enhanced in terms of business.
Now, national government is going to be supportive. We are going to do this through the industrial parks that we have identified in each and every province. The special economic zones that we have identified in each and every province that will trade in small, medium and micro enterprises that will be able to exploit opportunities that are available and that are prevailing in a municipality. Now, if we have got SMMEs that are doing business, that are working in a municipality and in return these SMMEs are going to pay revenue to the very same municipality, that is the only way that we can enhance the revenue base of these ailing municipalities. Thank you very much.
Mr S ZANDAMELA: Thank you, Chairperson. Deputy President, the main reason for dysfunctional of local spheres of government is structural and delivering. You know that you deployed people to municipalities who cannot run these municipalities. You also know that Auditor-General has time and again issued instructions on issues that should be resolved in all the municipalities. Now, Deputy President, at the Emfuleni municipality there were 81 matters of emphasis highlighted by the Auditor-General for the 2018-19 financial year. Up to now, Deputy President, no plan has been deployed or has been developed to rectify these reports from the Auditor- General.
If no one is arrested for these acts of share criminality and no plans are put in place to correct these mistakes, it is, therefore, correct, Deputy President, to conclude that these acts of maladministration that collapses municipalities are deliberate acts of sabotage by the ruling party in order to loot these municipalities even more. Thank you, Chairperson.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon
Chair, and thanks to the follow-up question. The reports by the Auditor-General - the audit report - raised a number of issues. Some of them were bothering around corruption and some of the issues were reported to the law enforcement agencies. Maybe we can indicate in black and white which are those issues that have been referred to those agencies, the cases that have been opened so that we indicate that we are taking these matters very serious. Correct, your observation in terms of the pace at which things are happening in terms of resolving the problem, I think you are right to be concerned about the pace.
Now, the extent of the damage in Emfuleni was a bit too dip, long period of neglect of this infrastructure. Now, that is why we are getting all the spheres of government to collaborate to try financially to assist that municipality, try and utilise the grants that are due to the municipality, and the equitable share that is due to the municipality collectively monitor how it is being utilised and get support from the province, and get support from the national government which as we speak
the support that is coming from national government has gone beyond half a billion in trying to deal with sewage spillage and completing the incomplete projects.
Therefore, as much as our people are concerned about the pace of progress, it is well understood, but there is work that is being done. It is only dictated by the availability of the resources. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson,
thank you very much. As government, we were deeply disturbed by the events that unfolded in Senekal as well as the degeneration into politics of race baiting and divisive populism. The Senekal events are an indication that the objective of building a country, based primarily on nonracialism and unity across cultural diversity, remains deferred until we have maximally addressed socioeconomic disparities.
That is why we reiterate the importance of steadfastly working towards addressing prevailing inequalities, because if these inequalities are structurally deep, they
can lead to serious polarisation that in turn will result in social and political instability.
For as long as deep inequalities exist, whether as a result of wealth or income disparities or extreme poverty, the mere hosting of cultural events will not produce a cohesive society. We know that divisions fester in hopelessness in their nature. Therefore, social cohesion hinges on the minimisation of economic inequalities.
Our view is that in order to respond in a sustainable manner to the incidences of Senekal, we must focus on three key aspects, namely, consensus on values that shape our nationhood, ensuring that we work towards economic inclusion and collective action in resolving social issues that confront us as a nation. That is why we must confront the historical injustices that continue to threaten our peace and stability to enable us to move forward as one people, one nation and as one South Africa. We maintain that if we do not address the issue of land justice, we will be aiding in the cultivation of inevitable social friction that would pull us backwards
instead of launching us into a prosperous and shared future.
The unfinished programme of land reform as well as prevailing conditions of inequalities, provides a fertile ground for social discord and political instability. This has often resulted in for example, illegal land occupations, urban sprawl and systemic exclusion of the majority mostly women and youth from productive means of economic empowerment.
As government, our task is to ensure that our farming communities live in peace and harmony to support efforts towards increased agricultural production so that we sustain food security and economic growth. Crimes such as murder, stock theft and the violation of the rights of farm dwellers and workers must be condemned by all of us. We must fight and defend the rights of everyone.
Opportunities must be created for everyone to work the land and irk out a living without fear of being murdered or violated. We must encourage broad-based participation and collaboration among all those who work and live on
the farms, to work with law enforcement agencies in making the farming environment safe for everyone.
The preamble of our Constitution commits all of us to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights as well as improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person. This elemental understanding informs the urgency of resolving the land question after 26 years of democracy, and underscores the importance of achieving spatial transformation and human development for the landless majority. Our pursuit of the land reform programme is thus to correct the historical injustice of land dispossession. It is a quest to achieve spatial equality, nation building and unlocking of our country’s economic potential in order to build a sustainable future for all South Africans. Thank you very much.
Nksz N NDONGENI: Enkosi Sihlalo weBhunga lamaPhondo leSizwe, ndibulise kuSekela Mongameli. Ndiyabulela
ngenkcazelo osinike yona kwimibuzo esikubuze yona. Ndicela uphinde usiphe isikhokelo kulo mbuzo, ...
... the Senekal incident has once again demonstrated racial polarisation within our farming communities and the polarisation of the public discourse on the root causes of farm killings in our country which has a potential to threaten our country’s stability.
Deputy President, you will surely agree that this challenge is not a criminal justice issue alone, but multidisciplinary. Has government considerd other extraordinary integrated preventative measures? I thank you, Chairperson and the Deputy President.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you very
much, hon Chairperson and the follow-up question. As long as there’s poverty, unemployment and ongoing inequality, we must expect some resistance and some frictions within society. In our case we have a legacy that we are trying to deal with. And therefore, one of the biggest challenge in this legacy is the land dispossession which we are
trying to correct through our land reform programme. We are going the land reform programme. We are going to restore land to those who were dispossessed so that we can deal with this poverty, and we can deal with this inequality that is persisting. It is our responsibility as South Africans to acknowledge that we have a responsibility to correct this so that we can lay a firm foundation for a South Africa that is united, that is cohesive and that is together. As long as there are those people that still feel that land has not been restored to them as previously dispossessed, we cannot have peace.
We are going to do and attend to this problem within the confines of our law – our Constitution. We are not going to allow any land grab; we are not going to allow any violation of any human right. But we cannot sit and watch people grabbing land because they need it. We cannot sit and watch people invading land. Every time these people must be evicted. But the motive and the message for those who are invading the land is that we don’t have land. We don’t have security of tenure. It is incumbent upon government to try and address that problem. We will continue to address that. But we must realise that we
have inherited a legacy that we must deal with. Thank you very much.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Thank you, Chairperson of the Council. Deputy President, you are likely the chair of the Interministerial Committee on Agriculture and Land Reform. There have been a number of reported cases on brutality meted against farm workers by white famers. Black farm workers are thrown into lines. They are forced into coffins in your very own province of Mpumalanga.
They are killed and we are told that they were mistaken for baboons. Black kids are killed and accuse of stealing a mere flower. We now see media propaganda seeking to make farmers victims of co-ordinated attacks in South Africa which is a figment of their imagination. Deputy President, what is your view in what need to be done to make farmers who are abusing farm workers on farms account to these crimes? This is a crime against black people and no one is speaking about it except the EFF. Why SA Police Service so reluctant to investigate, arrest and even prosecute crimes committed by white farmers on our stolen land? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thanks, hon
Chairperson. In the interministerial committee we have noted that there are problems in the farming community and we have now invited the Department of Police to be part of the interministerial committee. We have shared different scenarios that are obtained in the farming community and in the main are the reasons why there are these disruptions and infightings in the farming community. We have formed a committee that will visit all these areas where there are frictions, where the land owner is fighting the farm dwellers on a number of issues and where farm dwellers are complaining about stock theft. There are a number of disputes that are prevailing on these farming communities and we thought that maybe this is an opportune time to go in, hear them, resolve them and try to present a long-lasting solution to those disputes. But we know very well that behind these disputes is land hunger. People are looking for land to either to stay, to keep their cattle or to farm. So in the main as we hear and listen we must be in a position to provide a solution as government by affording these landless people land to keep their stock and land where they can farm. This is the approach that we have taken as
the interministerial committee, IMC. We are going to be visiting those areas. We are going to be listening. We are going to start by those areas where the farm owners have evicted the farm dwellers and put them on the roads. That is where we are going to start. We are going to discuss with those evicted farm dwellers and in the final analysis provide them with land where they can keep their stock and where they can farm. Thank you very much.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Chairperson, on a point of order. The Deputy President is not even speaking about what I spoke on my follow-up question. Why is he so afraid to confront white arrogant and white people on our stolen land? I spoke about people [Interjections.] in your own province. Why are you so afraid to confront white people?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: But that is not a point of order and therefore we will move on. I am sure it is late in the day for me to emphasise the point. Please, do not do what you have just done now. You are completely out of order.
Mr A B CLOETE: Thank you, Chairperson. May I just start by saying we should never underestimate the power of a prayer during the days in Senekal. I know of many religious groups that actually went there and all over the country prayed for peace in Senekal. To just acknowledge that! I would also like to remind this House of statements and words we use that incite violence like the Member of Parliament, MP, from the other House I cannot give the name who actually called for fire brigade to burn these boers. Unfortunately, few days later we saw farmers from Koffiefontein being set alight during a farm attack. Chairperson, I said it previously in this House to burn someone is the most violent and diabolical form of death possible. It reveals the most evil and wicked humanity can offer. So I am also concerned about the fact inequality is being used as an excuse for a reason to kill a young man, a 21-year-old man. I am very concerned about that, Mr Deputy President. There’s one thing we should agree about. Leaders, we in this House and the other House, cannot, we may not and we should not make statements that incite violence, racism and bigotry. You spoke about responsibility, Mr President.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: On a point of order: This member is out of order. Murder is murder irrespective of colour. Why didn’t those white racists wait for police to investigate to investigate?
Mr A B CLOETE: Chairperson, I did not use the word colour once. I don’t know where it is coming from. I did not use the word colour once.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members. That is not a point of order, hon Mokause. We really have to continue. If we have a point of view let’s try to raise them when we are allocated time to speak. Use the time allocated and say what you want to say.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: We will not allow white arrogant ever again to undermine our people in South Africa.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Cloete, please, move towards concluding.
Mr A B CLOETE: Chairperson, the problem with the issue in Senekal is that it was not only one particular party that
made certain dangerous statement. I want to give you a statement.
If they can’t ...[Inaudible.] white people must leave South Africa.
That was said by the ANC Youth League spokesperson in the Free State. My question to the Deputy President is, you are the [Inaudible.] of the moral regeneration movement and the deputy president of the ANC. Will you and your party act against your own leaders who incite violence, racism and bigotry as well?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you very much and thanks to your follow-up question. I think we must take a collective responsibility. We have young people who are growing within the ANC. I take it as my responsibility to emphasise the fact that the ANC is a nonracial organisation in the true sense. We don’t really regard colour in the ANC. We debate issues, we argue facts and we condemn what is wrong regardless of condemning colour. I take it that it is our responsibility all of us in an effort to try and build a
country. We must all of us condemn racism. We must all of us condemn gender-based violence. These are the things that are affecting society. But remember this society is affected by gender-based violence, racism, corruption and all those things. It is our responsibility to deal with them.
Again, I have just reminded you that there are certain issues that are a legacy. We have inherited those issues and they still need us to address them. Some of these issues are landlessness. People don’t have land to reside. People are striving for land tenure. Some people have been dispossessed of their land. We must restore them. We can’t hide behind racism if we must deal with it, we can’t hide behind gender-based violence and we can’t hide behind corruption. Those are elements that we must continue to deal with.
Yes, we condemn and we take a very dim view of all utterances that seek to divide this very nation - utterances that are racist in nature we condemn them. Whether they come from an ANC member, whether they come from a DA member and whether they come from EFF member,
we are going to condemn them. Collectively, we have a responsibility to build a united nation. Thank you.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Hon Deputy President, during the court appearance of the man accused of killing Brandon Horner, Police Minister Bheki Cele and State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo were seen sitting cosily next to the EFF leader Julius Malema in the courtroom acting like best friends out for [Inaudible.] lunch with a champaign on their side. As you are aware that the EFF had not been guilt-free of causing further hostilities and the division in the town of Senekal these past few weeks [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Chairperson, on a point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mokause, just a second!
Ms M O MOKAUSE: We cannot allow white arrogant to further. We went to court to go and defend what belong to the South African government.
An hon member: Who the hell are you, Mokause! Who the hell are you, Mokause!
An hon member: Mind your language! Mind your language!
An hon member: Where is the mute button? Where is the mute button?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Order! We have to proceed and allow hon Labuschagne to finish raising her supplementary question which is the fourth and last.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Deputy President, you have just said that all of us have to condemn corruption and racism. Do you think the image of the national Police Minister and State Security Minister sited next to the leader of the party that has further amplified the racial divisions in Senekal and across South Africa since the right message to the people of the country...[Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Chairperson, I am again on a point of order. That is a blatant lie.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mokause, I have not allowed you to speak.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: They are national leaders. They are all Members of Parliament. Whether they are sited next to one another or not it does not... [Inaudible.]
An hon member: Mokause!
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You are not recognised. Please, proceed, hon Labuschagne.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chair, can I repeat the last part of the question?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please, proceed.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: You are not repeating anything which is illegal here. You are not repeating anything which is not sensible.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Deputy President, you have just said that we all have to condemn corruption and racism.
Do you think that the image of the national Police Minister and the State Security Minister sited right next to the leader of a party that has further amplified the racial divisions in Senekal and across South Africa sends message to the people of the country when we are trying to lay the ground for reconciliation and peace following the tragic events at Senekal? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon
Chairperson. Hon Chairperson, we must be careful that we don’t bring the sentiments of Senekal into the House. I can see that we are old enough and we are given the responsibility of leading the country, and we must not degenerate into that crisis.
The question about Minister Cele sitting next to hon Malema, remember these two leaders in their own rights belong to the National Assembly. They share sits in the National Assembly, and they are in opposition. On a daily basis when they speak they differ, but differing does not mean we cannot sit together and discuss. Remember, they have a responsibility as much as they are in opposition. All of them have a responsibility of running a country.
So I don’t think you should be really worried about them sitting together discussing. I don’t know what they were discussing about, but these are leaders that are represented in the National Assembly. So I respect them in that way, but I am reminding them of their responsibility to the country to say that as much as we do our things we must remember that we carry the responsibility of condemning racism, condemning gender- based violence and condemning corruption. All of us have a responsibility to build a nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous South Africa. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: [Inaudible.] ... from time to time. We must be looking forward to deepening engagements and debates and not do anything that suggest the opposite. As the Deputy President has properly pointed out we have a responsibility to act in a way that ensures greater cohesion and unite our people at all times.
Hon delegates, pleased allow me to thank the Deputy President for availing himself to answer and respond to our questions. Thank you very, Deputy President.
Question session concluded.
The Council adjourned at 16:53.