Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 05 Nov 2020
No summary available.
MINI PLENARY - NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
THURSDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2020
PROCEEDINGS OF MINI-PLENARY SESSION — NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Members of the mini-plenary session met in the National Assembly Chamber at 14:00.
The Deputy Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: [Inaudible.]
An HON MEMBER: We can’t hear you, Deputy Speaker.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Deputy Speaker, you are not audible. Change the position.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: [Inaudible.]
An HON MEMBER: Point of order, Chair. Point of order! We cannot hear a thing, Chair; not a word.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Deputy Speaker, can I take over? Then you will come back after you have sorted out your line. Thank you.
Hon members, thank you very much. Before we proceed, I would like to remind you that the virtual mini-plenary platform is deemed to be in the precinct of Parliament and constitutes a meeting of the National Assembly for debating purposes.
In addition to the Rules of the Virtual Sitting, the Rules of the National Assembly, including the rules of debate, apply. Members enjoy the same powers and privileges that apply in the sitting of the National Assembly. All members who have logged in shall be considered to be present and are requested to mute their microphones and only unmute when recognised to speak. This is because the microphones are very sensitive and will pick up any noise that might disturb the attention of other hon members. When an hon member is recognised to speak, please unmute your microphone and connect your video. Members may use the icons on the bar at the bottom of their screens which has an option that allows a member to put up his or her hand to raise points of order. The secretariat will assist in alerting the Chairperson to members requesting to speak. When using the virtual system,
members are urged to refrain or desist from unnecessary points of order or interjections.
Lastly hon members, I wish to remind you that we are meeting in a mini-plenary session and therefore any decision will be taken in a full plenary session of the Assembly. Thank you members. Hon Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member, am I audible? Can I proceed?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Yes, hon Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can you hear me? Is that okay? Alright. Thank you very much for that intervention. Technology is crazy at the worst of times. We would like to ... Are you able to hear me now? The first item on the Order Paper is a motion in the name of the hon N S Matiase. Hon Matiase?
ESTABLISHMENT OF AD HOC COMMITTEE TO CONDUCT COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF LIVING AND WORKING CONDITIONS OF FARMWORKERS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Mr N S MATIASE: Hon Deputy Speaker, thank you so much for this opportunity. We come here once again to give voice to the voiceless; to speak up on behalf of the marginalised, the dejected and the wretched of this earth; people for whom freedom remains a distant dream. These people — men, women and children — who wake up in the wee hours of the morning to toil ... the soil to produce the foods we eat but who often go to bed hungry every day.
We are here to speak of these men and these women who have a strong bond to the land because, more often than not, they grew up on the land. Their parents and grandparents are buried on the land, but they live in constant fear of eviction from the very land because the land belongs to someone else.
We want this House to note and recognise the pain that farmworkers and farm dwellers have to go through every day. It is our constitutional responsibility to do so. Farmworkers and farm dwellers are among the most vulnerable groups of people in this country.
Hon Chair, this is a historical problem that you and I can bear testimony to. Because of our history, the relationship between farm owners and farmworkers has always been mediated by violence; from the violence of the forceful dispossession of land to the
slave-like working conditions on farms; from the complete disregard of the human rights of the young and the old to the forceful and illegal evictions of people who have stayed on these farms for generations.
This House must acknowledge that, despite being directly involved in the production of food, farmworkers are prone to going for days without food, particularly those employed seasonally. It is also common practice among farmers to pay workers with wine instead of money, therefore creating alcohol dependence that is destroying any prospects of a better future for farmworkers and their families.
We want to put it here to this House to further acknowledge that this problem has to come to an end. This House must acknowledge that, despite being directly involved in the production of food, these families go for days without food.
We want this House to further acknowledge the farmworkers who ... for long hours, hardly get remunerated for overtime; that the majority of them do not have access to paid annual leave and an even fewer number have access to paid sick leave. Less than 10% are entitled to maternity leave and just more than 20% have pension or retirement funds.
It must recognise the reality of land dispossession, the maliciousness of the racist system that has characterised South Africa’s agriculture and the lack of adequate law enforcement on farms that has created undesirable forms of relationships on farms
— the relationships which make farmworkers slaves in the country of their own birth and farm owners, slave owners.
Further, the House must recognise that if the living and working conditions of farmworkers are left as they are, then ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.] ... South African population with devastating impacts for peace and civil relations on farms.
Therefore, Parliament must play a leading role towards the protection of the constitutional rights of all, particularly of vulnerable groups in society, farmworkers included.
We therefore ask that this House establishes an ad hoc committee in terms of Rule 253 of the Rules of the National Assembly, to conduct a comprehensive review of the living and working conditions of farmworkers in South Africa. This must take into account the living and working conditions on farms, including the remuneration of farmworkers. This must also take into account the eviction of farmworkers from farms; make an assessment of legislation affecting farmworkers and farm dwellers in this country; make recommendations for legislative amendments to
provide for more comprehensive protection of farmworkers and farm dwellers; and conduct public hearings with all interested and affected parties, including farmworkers themselves, unions organising on farms and civil society organisations.
This ad hoc committee should consist of 11 members as follows: ANC six members, DA two members, EFF three, and any other party represented by at least two.
... exercise those powers in Rule 167 that may assist it in carrying out its task and report back to the National Assembly by no later than 30 March 2021.
We want to present this as a compelling case, for our people have been looking for far too long for an intervention to be relieved from the slave-like conditions that they have been subjected to for centuries, hon Chair.
We are appealing to your conscience. If your conscience cannot guide you this time around, at least we are appealing to your consciousness. Let’s intervene decisively and bring to an end this injustice to our people you and I can bear testimony to. Thank you so much, hon Chair.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member. Let’s invite hon Z M D Mandela.
Mr X NGWEZI: Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon Ngwezi?
Mr X NGWEZI: I’m sorry, my hand was up before the hon Matiase finished. I want to appeal ... to really request on our behalf ... members joining ... They normally don’t mute their microphones and the Chair that side had warned members ... [Inaudible.] Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, we will do that. Thank you very much. You are right, hon Ngwezi. I think ... Members, please just check your microphones so that it’s off. You’ll speak only when we let you speak. Thank you very much. Thanks hon Ngwezi. Hon Mandela, you may open your microphone.
Mr Z M D MANDELA: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Hon members of the House, respected members of the media, ladies and gentlemen, as the ANC we share the concerns and feel the pain of the harsh realities faced by our farmworkers all over the country, especially here in the Western Cape province, the cradle of a
colonial project and where the ravages of this horrid legacy still remains evident despite a number of progressive legislative reforms that we have enacted.
Four main policy goals of the ANC, as outlined in the 1992 Ready to govern document are: to ensure a right to vote for a government of your choice in a united South Africa; overcoming the problems of inequality and injustice caused by apartheid and colonialism; developing an economy that grows steadily and makes the lives of all South Africans better; and to encourage loyalty and pride for our country, shared by all its people, wherein all feel free and safe.
In confronting these challenges faced by our farmworkers and their families, our actions must therefore be guided by wisdom and maturity without compromising the imperative of seeking land justice, security of tenure, stopping farm evictions, addressing the appalling living conditions of farmworkers and the inhumane
... and ill treatment of farmworkers.
We must eschew the appetite of playing with our people’s vulnerability, and the use of their emotions and genuine plight to advance our own narrow political ends. We therefore trust that our
respected colleagues in the EFF are not harbouring such intentions with the introduction of this debate on the Draft Resolution.
In the 1992 Ready to govern document we said, concerning farmworkers, that labour laws will protect them and their families, and we will make sure that farmworkers get education, health care, the right to recreation, decent housing and the right to move freely and receive visitors.
Perhaps the harshest of all issues confronting farmworkers is security of tenure. Farmworkers are at the mercy of landowners and are frequently forced off the land where they have worked for decades. This inhumane practice has led to the mushrooming of informal settlements along the N1 national road in the Western Cape province with thousands of people living under the most squalid of conditions.
It is the intention of the ANC to redistribute land to those who work it, as resolved by the Congress of the People in 1955. In order to realise our agrarian reforms, we have passed a number of progressive pieces of legislation meant to improve and better the living conditions of farm workers, and the Extension of Security of Tenure Act, Esta, of 1997 is one such legislation.
Given the reality of farm evictions and the mushrooming of informal settlements populated by farmworkers, it is quite apparent that landowners have not fully embraced the spirit and intent of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act. On the contrary, they have neither approached this national crisis of farm evictions and security of tenure from a humanitarian point of view nor considered the extent of gross human rights violations.
We are a nation that is founded on democratic ideals, and as a Parliament and specifically our Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, we have gone to great lengths towards fulfilling our duty of oversight, and our parliamentary constituency offices are accessible to all our citizens living in farming communities. Constituency offices play a very critical role as contact centres between our citizens and their Parliament. These offices do refer our people to different, relevant government departments for service delivery.
Land justice will remain at the heart of our struggle for agrarian transformation that will effectively address the plight of our farmworkers. For some, it is easy to forget the deep-rooted nature of the scars left on our social fabric by South Africa’s Natives Land Act of 1913, that Sol Plaatje described as, “a legislative
monstrosity” that rendered the majority of our people as pariahs in the land of their birth.
It is therefore mindboggling that over the past 26 years the phenomenon of farm evictions has continued unabated as if there is no sensitivity to this reality or that such agendas are driven by parochial class interests, hell-bent on fostering adversarial relations between farmers or landowners and those who give their lives to build and sustain the agricultural economy.
The plight of some 20 000 farm dwellers at risk of eviction, arising from about 1 200 cases in the Drakenstein Municipality in the Western Cape alone, was a highlight during a protest against farm evictions by the Women on Farms Project last year. We must continue to encourage all social partners, nongovernmental organisations, NGOs, and human rights agencies all over the country to deepen the activism, raise awareness and engage the formal agricultural sector, to avoid this looming disaster. This is a spectre that South Africans can ill afford as it will cause untold human suffering and put those who are the most vulnerable in our society in an even more perilous position.
Please allow me to briefly address the Draft Resolution on the Establishment of an ad hoc committee to conduct a comprehensive
review of the living and working conditions of farmworkers in South Africa.
Given the mammoth task that confronts us on the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan of our country, we take great note of the role that the agricultural sector can play in growing our economy. For this ... unfold, the agricultural sector has to be stabilised and a conducive environment created. We all hope that all our citizens are aware of the challenges faced by our nation and the work towards building a post-COVID-19 transformative and inclusive agrarian economy.
The call for an ad hoc committee is ill conceived as it detracts from the priorities at hand and would be a duplication of the functions of oversight that the portfolio committee is tasked with. We do not support this Draft Resolution to establish such an ad hoc committee as it is our conviction that the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is well capable in exercising oversight on the work done towards the improvement of the living conditions of farmworkers in the agricultural sector. I therefore want to invite our colleagues in the EFF to raise these issues within the portfolio committee so that, when we do our oversight next, we can prioritise going to see farmworkers in their areas.
In travelling over the past weekend from George, coming to Worcester during our ad hoc committee on section 25, we witnessed the atrocities that farmworkers are experiencing. We had to be exposed to farmworkers packed like sardines in the back of trucks. This is totally unacceptable and it strips the farmworkers of dignity. We want to ensure that we invite our colleagues in the EFF, and hon members, to come on an oversight, particularly to the Boland area, to go and see the challenges that our people are facing in Thembalethu, De Doorns and the other areas within and around the Western Cape. I thank you.
Dr A LOTRIET: Deputy Speaker, the agricultural sector and all those involved in it play a critical role in the well-being of every citizen in this country. It is therefore important that the farmers and farm workers alike...[Interjections.]
Ms O M C MAOTWE: I was saying to hon Mandela that his invitation is too late we know the condition of our people. That... [Interjection.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member! Hon member, no! You should stop. Hon member, stop! That’s not a point of order. You can’t politic even beyond a member’s time. That’s incorrect. You can express your disagreement better outside and hon Mandel will be able to
respond to you there, and not ion time that has been given to another member. Sorry, hon Lotriet. Please go ahead.
Ms A LOTRIET: It is therefore important that the best interest of farmers and farm workers alike be given the attention and support it deserves, and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. It is in this context that the draft resolution brought to the House today by the EFF has to be considered. Although this mini-plenary as we know cannot vote on the resolution but debating the topic is important. But we have to note that a resolution based and introduced by making stripping statements, using blanket accusations and aiming at causing divisions and animosity does more harm than good. I could also hear from hon Mandela that the focus is primarily and curiously only on one province. The draft resolution as it stands is a disservice to the very farm workers that it purports to support. Therefore, the DA will in this draft resolution tabled in the House, submit an amendment to the indicating that the House notes that the agricultural sector in this country is an important contributor to the economy and food security; that the future of this sector is dependent on the well- being of everyone involved in the sector; acknowledges that all farm workers should enjoy the respect and working conditions consistence with the labour and relevant legislation in the country; also further notes that many farmers and agricultural
organisations have expressed their concerns regarding any maltreatment of farm workers and their families and noncompliance of current labour requirements and that they actively act against any such instances; and also realises that the farming community including farmers, farm workers and their families, play an integral role in the rural communities of the country; and therefore establishes an ad hoc committee in terms of Rule 252 to conduct a comprehensive review of the conditions of farm workers across the country including all work that has been done within and by the agricultural organisations in the country make an assessment of the legislation affecting farm workers and then make recommendations for any amendment , should it be necessary, and to address in consistencies with the current labour legistrations; conduct public hearings with the interested and affected parties consist of 11 members as follows: ANC 6, DA 2, EFF 1 and the other pastries 2, and exercises these powers provided for in Rule 167, and also set the deadlines as agreed to by the National Assembly. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
Ms P MADOKWE: Deputy Speaker, before I start I think it is important that I inform hon Mandela that it is actually the EFF that took Parliament to the farmers [Inaudible.] Sorry about that my network was giving me problems. I can start again. I just wanted to say to hon Mandela that it is actually the EFF that took
those farmers of Boland to court and won the case. I want to start off my speech that roughly seven years into democratic South Africa, in 2001 there was a loud outcry in the country about the brutality faced by farm workers at the hands of farmers in this country. This resulted in a study between June 2001 and August 2003, by the Human Rights Commission titled Enquiry into Human Rights Violation in Farming Communities. This study as with many more before and many after highlighted what we should all be ashamed of that millions of black South Africans who live in privately-owned farms belonging to whites, have the most insecure rights to land. And that despite the Constitution and laws such as the Extension of the Security of Tenure Act and the Labour Tenant Act, farm workers and farm dwellers were extremely vulnerable to evictions. There was less compliance with labour legislation and that farm workers were overworked and underpaid and in some instances, especially in the Western Cape, there was prevalence of the dop system where farm workers were paid with wine rather than with money. Women seasonal workers, illegal immigrants and even children were subjected to the violence forms of exploitation by farmers. These are but few of the findings that were made. Up to this day nothing has changed. Things have only gotten worse instead.
Numerous other studies have been done which show that even today farm workers and those who live on farms are the most vulnerable to abuse, to exploitation and to degrading living conditions. We now know that there are almost three million black South Africans who live in these farms either as workers or as dwellers. We know that they work under inhumane condition. Many of them are not paid the day sick wage which we still maintain that it is not a living wage and it should be increased. In many instances farmers are unlawfully deduct these salaries. We also know that over
two million farmers and farm dwellers have been evicted from farms since 1994 despite the constitutional and legal framework that should guide the relations between farm workers and farm owners.
Chairperson, in South Africa today farm workers and farm dwellers are as Sol Plaatje once said, “...not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth.” As the legislative arm of government it is our responsibility to go and find out the true extent of the brutality under which our people live and work in these farms. It is only through such an extensive engagement with farm workers and farm dwellers that we would be able to know the shortcomings of our legislative measures. These conversations should extend to communities around farms as they too are direct recipients of these brutalities.
We have in the past 26 including 2020, heard horrific stories of some of these experiences. For children were killed for picking up sunflowers. The coffin case of Mpumalanga and most recently the banning and eviction of traditional healers from a sacred ancestral site called the Motouleng Sacred Caves in Free State in April this year. We need a comprehensive approach to deal with the living and working conditions of farm workers. These approaches must be inclusive of a number of government departments such as the Department of Labour, Department of Human Settlement and Water and Sanitation, Department of Justice and Department of Police. A number of legislative amendments may be needed at the end in order to tighten the protection of rights that farm workers and farm dwellers should enjoy as full citizens of this country. Among these must be a moratorium on the eviction of farm workers and farm dwellers until a proper legislative has been passed. There must also be immediate enforcement of the sectoral determination on the salaries of farm workers. If we are truly representatives of the peoples’ voice in this Parliament we should all be unanimously support this point. Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Mr X NGWEZI: Hon Deputy Speaker and hon members, very few will dispute that farm workers remain a poor and a vulnerable group. From the outside we need to acknowledge that the matter is complicated and that it triggers many issues such as labour
rights, farm evictions and access to land. However, we also need to acknowledge the fact that the establishment of yet another ad hoc committee to investigate the matter might not be a solution. We need to use the tools we already have to assist this vulnerable group. We need to ask why these tools are not being used. We do not need to reinvent the wheel. We already have progressive laws aimed at protecting farm workers.
In 2006, for instance, the then Minister of Labour in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act established a sectoral determination that outlines the basic conditions for the employment of farm workers, enforces minimum, wages to be paid to farmer workers, provide details on the deductions allowed, as well as the calculation of wages. It further stipulates that a farm worker must be provided with a written contract. The question is, do farm workers know about their rights in terms of the sectoral determination? What is government doing to ensure compliance and ensure information reaches that most vulnerable group?
The 2019 report by the nongovernment organisation, NGO, Women on Farms Project, titled Violations of farm workers’ labour rights in post-apartheid South Africa in fact, found that more than 55% of the 343 farm women interviewed for this study were not aware of the sectoral determination. About 40% of the responded did not
even have a written contract of the employment. This is serious, hon members. Where are the labour inspectors? What does the Minister of Labour had to say about this? Colleagues, we have the laws provided. We have a new national minimum wage base rate entitling farm workers to a minimum wage of R18,68 per hour. But this means very little if it is not enforced. We cannot keep on talking about investigating matters and do little to enforce protection.
On access to land we have to be honest. There is extensive evidence that government has been bitterly slow in providing equitable access to land, land reform is steeped in corruption and greed and not focused on the poor. This is not the Constitution’s fault. Until we seriously address the failures we will not advance land reform. Talk is very cheap. The establishment of yet another committee might create the impression that we are intent on helping this vulnerable group. However, this is just a talk. We believe in enforcement as the IFP. We believe in action, we believe in showing up and holding those assigned to do this work accountable. I thank you.
Ms T BREEDT: Hon Speaker, let us look at the facts. Agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to our current economy. It is also one of the biggest employers currently and one of the only sectors
to have shown a positive curve in terms of employment during this current recession and pandemic.
A person always expects the EFF to shout about the same old stereotypical typical apartheid rhetoric we have become so used to, but the absolute vilification of farmers has reached a new low, even for them. This motion is nothing but cheap politicking by a party that has become out of touch with reality and its own constituents.
Die meerderheid boere behandel hulle boere goed, die meerderheid boere het ook goeie verhoudinge met hul werkers en die meerderheid boere en hul werkers weet sonder mekaar sal hulle vergaan. Wat agb Matiase besig is om te doen is om goedkoop politiekery van arbeidsaangeleenthede en van mense se lewens te maak.
If the EFF is actually aware of offences against farm workers, why don’t they go and lay criminal charges at the SA Police Service?
Why not? Why do we request another talk shop in the form of an ad hoc committee? What will a talk shop mean to the people on the ground, these people that are allegedly being treated so heinously?
The EFF mentions legislative amendments, but we already have legislative amendments that are more in favour of the employee than the employer. We have legislation that gives more power ... [Inaudible.] ...
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: Point of order, Chair ...
Ms T BREEDT: ... than owners. The current economic climate ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, what is the point of order? Hon Breedt, give us a moment. What is the point of order?
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: Would the member on the podium take a question, Chair?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Will you, hon Breedt?
Ms T BREEDT: No, Chairperson, I will not.
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: Because “jy is bang”.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay. Proceed. [Interjections.] No, no, no. [Inaudible.] ... hon member. Comply with the Rules. Go ahead, hon Breedt.
Ms T BREEDT: In the current economic climate this restrictive legislation makes it difficult for the agricultural sector to create jobs. What role would an ad hoc committee have if we already have labour inspectors, inspectors that should be vigilant and should be doing their jobs? Maybe you should start by investigating that, hon member.
Let us be clear: agriculture will always be one of the biggest contributors to our economy, but it does not have to be one of our biggest contributors in terms of employment or job creation.
Ek lees nou een Sondag van ’n vervoermaatskappy in ... [Onhoorbaar.] ..., wat meer as 200 werkers moes aflê en sy deure moes sluit na betogers in EFF-drag, en na bewering ook deur die EFF gemobiliseer, die maatskappy se bates aan die brand gesteek het. Dit is ook wat in die landbousektor gaan gebeur.
The EFF is going to cost people their income and their livelihoods
... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: On a point of order, Chair ...
Mr N S MATIASE: Hon Chair ...
Ms T BREEDT: [Inaudible.] ... and automation.
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: On a point of order, Chair.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is the point of order?
Mr N S MATIASE: Hon Chair, the point of order I am making is that the hon Breedt makes a serious allegation of veld fires and this allegation is malicious ... [Inaudible.] ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, that is a political response to a
... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
Mr N S MATIASE: [Inaudible.] ... everything the EFF is doing ... [Inaudible.] ... to protect the land, not to burn the land.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member ... no.
Mr N S MATIASE: [Inaudible.] ... I appeal to you to ask ... [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Matiase, no. You will have a chance to speak at the end of this debate. You can’t politick. I want to repeat that. That’s not a point of order ... [Interjections.] [Inaudible.] ... violation of anybody’s privilege. [Interjections.]
E N NTLANGWINI:
On a point of order,
E N NTLANGWINI:
On a point of order,
What’s your point of
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: Chair, that racist lady that is speaking there now is continuing to ... [Inaudible.] ... of the chairperson that led ... [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon member, you will withdraw that. Hon Ntlangwini, you will withdraw that.
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: Why must I withdraw?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You will withdraw calling the hon member racist.
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: She called the EFF a party that is burning land so she ... [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, don’t continue to talk. You must withdraw that statement.
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: ... I withdraw the “lady” ... that party of racists, the FF Plus – the party of racists, white racists. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you will withdraw unconditionally. you are continuing to make a mistake. [Interjections.] You are not allowed to make a conditional withdrawal, hon member, and you are making a conditional withdrawal.
Ms O M C MAOTWE: Point of order, Deputy Speaker! Deputy Speaker, on a point of order!
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: I will withdraw, Deputy Speaker. I withdraw, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. Hon member, your time is almost expired. You have 30 seconds to finish.
Ms T BREEDT: Thank you, Chairperson. I had it as a minute, but I will continue. Chairperson, let me be clear – and, hon Matiase: “Luister asseblief” – if there are wrongdoings, contraventions and ill treatment of workers, go and lay complaints. Don’t come here
Ms O M C MAOTWE: We have done that.
Ms T BREEDT: ... [Inaudible.] ... never mind the people who provide food for a nation and create employment for millions. Farmers are not the enemy of workers. The EFF is the enemy of job- creation and work ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: FF Plus is a racist party. [Interjections.]
Mr W W WESSELS: Hon Deputy Speaker, on a point of order ... On a point of order, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is the point of order?
Mr W W WESSELS: Deputy Speaker, this can’t be allowed now. I ask you to please, please apply the Rules.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have.
Mr W W WESSELS: No, you have not.
Mr W W WESSELS: Hon Deputy Speaker, with due respect, throughout the member’s speech, the hon member has made ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.] ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member ...
Mr W W WESSELS: ... disrupted her speech to such an extent that at times ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.] ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Wessels, you are not adding any value. You are not adding any value. Allow us to run the meeting ... [Inaudible.]
Mr W W WESSELS: ... ask you to call those members to order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you are not adding any value. You are interrupting a member and I have been acting and talking to this member. [Interjections.]
Ms O M C MAOTWE: He must be removed from Parliament ... Deputy Speaker, remove him. Please.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Why do you want to complicate this by adding your own voice to this as well? [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
Mr W W WESSELS: You have not once reprimanded her. Not once.
Ms O M C MAOTWE: Remove that man from this ... Deputy Speaker.
Ms T BREEDT: Remove Maotwe from this.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, could you please be orderly? You have no right to tell me what to do. I’ve been talking to these members to stop and I’ve acted on that; demanded that that they withdraw and you claim that I haven’t once sanctioned them. You are out of order, yourselves. Finish your remarks, hon member.
Ms T BREEDT: Chairperson, I will just finish up, and I will say that the hon Matiase and the rest of the EFF need to listen,
because the farmers are not the enemy of workers in South Africa. [Inaudible.] ... The EFF ...
Ms O M C MAOTWE: We are coming for your farm ... We are coming for your farm.
Mr T BREEDT: ... [Inaudible.] ... workers and our food security in this South Africa. Chairperson, I thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member. Hon Maotwe, you are out of order in making those claims you were making in the House. You shouldn’t even dare repeat them. You will be thrown out of the House. You can’t be speaking like that in the House.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, it is Natasha Mazzone speaking, and I would like to raise a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, Natasha. Yes, hon Natasha.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. Hon Deputy Speaker, a member of the EFF has just made an outlandish claim: that they are coming for her farm. Now, that is not only breaking the rules of protocol in terms of free debate and freedom of speech in the House, but it is also, in fact,
breaking the rule of privilege and powers and privileges and ethics in terms of Parliament. Deputy Speaker, I would like you to please request the Hansard copy of that. I know that this virtual meeting is being recorded. I would like the member to be referred immediately to the ethics committee and to the powers and privileges committee; and, Deputy Speaker, I would ask that the member withdraw the statement as well immediately. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member.
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: On a point of order ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, I don’t need to refer it to Hansard to be looked at. I heard you and I said that she has no business to make those remarks in the House. We will follow this up, though, so that we act on the kind of language members use in the Houses, specifically the hon Maotwe. I heard her clearly. We will report back to the House.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker. I appreciate your assistance greatly.
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: Hon Deputy Speaker ... ?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, hon member.
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: Deputy Speaker, you know, it is so disingenuous for the hon Mazzone to forever make ... put a carrot in front of our eyes of the ethics of the EFF ... [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What’s the point of order, hon member?
Mrs E N NTLANGWINI: ... that were in talks during House sittings
... when those members also went to an ethics committee. She must stop putting a carrot here of ethics committee, thinking we’re scared to ... [Inaudible.] She must stop threatening us.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you have no ... Hon member, that is not a point of order. Hon member, that is not a point of order.
May we have the UDM? Is it present? The ATM ... ?
Ms M E SUKERS: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. As we stand in the House today, the ACDP is dealing with more than 25 families facing evictions on farms in just one municipality here in the Western Cape. The emotional impact of these on the social and emotional wellbeing of our people is devastating.
Ek is ’n plaaskind en het persoonlike ondervinding van die lekker van plaaslewe en ook die emosionele seer wat kom wanneer jy van ’n plaas verjaag word. Die landbousektor in sy geheel is van kardinale belang vir die ekonomie. Hierdie sektor bevat groot potensiaal vir die ekonomiese groei en stabiliteit van ons land.
Die welstand van plaaswerkers kan nie in isolasie van hierdie feite hanteer word nie. Plaaswerkers is fundamentele skakels in die voorsieningsketting en in die stabiliteit van Suid-Afrika en so ook die landbousektor, maar dit is belangrik om die politiek van die sosiale ontwikkeling van plaasgemeenskappe te skei.
Die politieke spel is baie keer die grootste struikelblok vir die verdere sosiale ontwikkeling wat moet plaasvind om die sektor te verander, ten bate van die mense wat die grond bewerk en die kos verpak.
Dit is ’n werklikheid dat daar mense is wat in haaglike omstandighede ’n bestaan op plase voer en dat daar ’n magswanbalans is wat baie keer uitgebuit word, tot groot emosionele skade van ons mense.
Die omstandighede waarin sommige plaasmense lewe en werk is ’n menseregte ...
... issue and we cannot ignore abuse in economic exploitation. The causative effect of this has a generational impact that dooms generations into a cycle of poverty. Economic growth and the development of every player in the farming community needs to go hand in hand. Political advantage can also not be sorted at the expense of the people.
Ons mag nie polities bal speel, ten koste van mense nie. Ons moet die groot moontlikhede besef wat in landbou bestaan en ons moet dit laat gebeur. Ons moet die welstand en sosiale verbetering laat gebeur en ons moet mense eerste stel.
The question is that what will be the aims of the ad hoc committee and what will be the scope of such a committee. How will such a committee contribute to achieve the aims of developing and implementing new and innovative policies that will create an agriculture sector that benefits all involved. How will it ensure social transformation and improve social conditions of farm
workers - all while recognising the vital role of this sector for economic growth and stability for the nation as a whole. I thank you, Chair.
Mr N P MASIPA: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Sensationalism is the presentation of stories in a way that is intended to provoke public interests at the expense of accuracy. General session is taking a few facts and making a broader more universal statement. It is unfortunately typical of the red berets to sensationalise and otherwise significant topic in the South African agricultural discourse. No seasonal farm worker goes for days without food. No worker these days in South Africa is paid with wine instead of money. All conditions of employment are regulated in South Africa today, so, the generalisation is the motion amused.
There are no slaves on South African farms. However, like in all other sectors, there are those bad apples who feel that they are above the law, and we agree that in those cases the law must take its course and Parliament must play an oversight role in protecting the constitutional rights of all including the vulnerable farm workers. Let us look at the facts, hon Deputy Speaker, Statistic South Africa ... [Inaudible.] ... labour survey shows that if one compares farm workers with other low-skilled occupation such as those working in construction as hand packers,
gardeners and domestic workers, the study found that labour market outcomes for farm workers outperformed the others.
Here are the official statistics, hon Deputy Speaker: 40% of farm workers receive paid leaves, over 60% of farm workers have the Unemployment Insurance Fund, UIF, deductions and have written contracts and an average farm workers work 45 hours per week. The most recent census of commercial agriculture shows that in 2017, agriculture created 757 628 direct farm jobs. The total wage bill of those was R36,7 billion. This is out of R121 billion debts that these farmers incurred. These are the jobs that a capable government should be able to monitor and confirm or reject the motion that is brought by the EFF.
However, there is a further and a total evidence from the census of farm workers done by a capable Western Cape government of which it highlighted that those staying permanently on farms over 88% of water, refuse and waste removal services are provided by these farmers. 23% of electricity supply is from the farmers themselves, 71% of farm workers live on brick houses. These are many in kind payments that are difficult to measure, hon Deputy Speaker. This census covered over 43 000 farm workers and has been conducted in the last 10 years by the Western Cape government. To understand
these issues farm workers were specifically asked to rate their level of satisfaction on a number of important issues.
Here are some of the outcomes of the survey which was done in 2014: One, 90% said that they agree or strongly agree that they are happy to work as farm workers; and two, again 88% agreed that they are treated with respect or dignity. Members of this august House, as I conclude, must avoid at entering a terrain of work without establishing facts. If there are evidence of problematic relationship between farm workers and farmers, it is a duty of this House to protect ... Thank you, hon Lesoma. [Time expired.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Shaik Emam, thank you very much, hon House Chair. Let me start off by reminding my colleague, hon Masipa, that maybe what he needs to do is to come back to earth. Maybe he needs to join me, go out with me and go and visit the people in the farming areas in the Drakenstein Paarl area, then and then all he will understand what the plight of farm workers are. Have you been working with me during Covid-19 he would have seen how many people do not have water and sanitation and how many people are going hungry and horrendous living condition under which they live. But he is out of touch and of reality.
He might be correct in saying that 60% are now contributing to UIF. So, what is happening to the other 40% he doesn’t tell you about that? He talks about foetal alcohol syndrome, yes, it is a problem. It’s a disaster and that’s why the NFP has called for a specific fund to be put in place where farm owners should be contributing to this fund so that they can help these people, because social development does not have the resources to be able to deal with the serious problem in the Western Cape, part of Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, in particular, when it comes to farm workers who have been paid with alcohol previously.
Foetal alcohol syndrome has the devastating effect from generation to generation. So, stop paying them with alcohol. Today, hon House Chair, does not mean that to be eradicated is a problem. That is what I like my friend from the Democratic Alliance to understand that 2011, consensus statistics pointed out that 2,8 million that is 19% of household of the South African population are involved in agriculture as farm workers. Of that 5,1% have permanent employment while 25,2% and 23,6% were limited and unspecified duration ... [Inaudible.] ... The minimum wage for the period 1 March 2018 is R3160 and weekly is R731.
Now, let me tell you what farm owners are doing now. Increasingly employing foreign nationals as half the wages and then what happen
if reducing the employment of local of South African descent. A woman on a farm project - serving of more than 300 women who farm workers in the Western Cape and Northern Cape 2017 - found that almost half were paid less than the daily minimum wage, while more than two third do not have access to toilets while working in the vineyard and were not provided with protective clothes despite being exposed to pesticide.
In 2018, the national minimum wage which was introduce is set for R20 per hour, but it is R18 for farm workers. This is less than the living wage and what is needed for households to buy a basic basket of food. In Drakenstein Municipality alone, which I would like to take my friend to and show him where the people are living with no toilets and no water, 12 000 pending farm eviction have all been about 20 000 people were carried on the court role in 2018 alone. So, I think my friend from the Democratic Alliance must come to work, come and join me and let’s go there and face reality. But the National Freedom Party ... thank you, House Chair. [Time expired.]
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Over to you, hon member, you may proceed.
Ms A STEYN: Chairperson, hon Mbabama will not be speaking now and it will be hon Steyn according to the second Speaker’s List.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Thank you. You should have advised us.
Ms A STEYN: It was advised, Chair. The last Speaker’s List was changed.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Okay, it is fine. Over to you, hon member. Hon member from the DA, over to you.
Ms A STEYN: Thank you, Chairperson. I’m speaking as a child of a farmer and also as a wife of a farmer. I’ve been living my whole life on a farm, House Chair, and I think that I understand what is happening on farms. Chairperson, it is also important to note that
... op plase bly ons ver van dokters, skole en hospitale, en dit veroorsaak dat ons met mekaar in hierdie omstandighede saamleef. Dit is ook belangrik dat ons besef dat daar nog steeds plaaswerkers is wat in haaglike omstandighede woon en werk en hierdie omstandighede moet geidentifiseer word en ondersoeke moet
gedoen word. Dit is dus belangrik dat die Departement van Arbeid hulle werk doen en seker maak dat, waar klagtes aangemeld word, dit onmiddellik geïdentifiseer moet word.
Dit is ook belangrik om seker te maak dat hierdie vrot appels nie alle landbouers onder dieselfde kam skeer nie. In 2013, was daar reeds ’n soortgelyke mosie voor hierdie Huis, na aanleiding van die staking van plaaswerkers in De Doorns. Daar was ’n verslag wat saamgestel is, en vrygestel is deur die Internasionale Arbeidsorganisasie wat na die lewe en werksomstandighede van plaaswerkers gekyk het. Dit is belangrik dat ons op hierdie verslag voortbou en spesifiek na redes vir uitsettings en ander voorstelle kyk wat vandag hier gemaak is.
Een van die redes waarom besluit is dat plaaswerkers nie meer op plase mag bly nie is net uitsettings nie. Daar is ook plaaasskole wat gesluit is en dan moet kinders wat nie skoolvervoer het nie na dorpe beweeg. Ouers het dus onder daardie omstandighede besluit om eerder in dorpe te gaan woon.
Daar is ook ander omstandighede wat maak dat plaaswerkers nie meer op plase woon nie. Een van daardie omstandighede is dat mobiele klinieke nie meer by plase omkom nie, en mense het baie min toegang tot gesondheidsgebiede in hul areas. So, mense beweeg dus
dorpe toe, want daar is beter geleenthede vir hul kinders en hulself en dit kan nie net alles onder die kam van omstandighede op plase geskeer word nie.
Die belangrike aspek wat ons vandag hier moet besef is die baie goeie werk wat vanaf 1994 deur landbouers self gedoen is - die omstandighede van plaaswerkers wat opgegradeer is. Ek sal graag na areas waarvan agb Shaik Emam praat wil gaan kyk, maar ek sal hom ook graag areas wil gaan wys waar landbouers baie harde werk gedoen het om byvoorbeeld klinieke op te rig op plase, waar kleuterskole opgesit is, waar opleiding vir mense geskied, sodat plaaswerkers hulself kan opgradeer en selfs kinders na universiteite toe kan stuur vir beter omstandighede.
Dit is ook belangrik om te kyk na die werk wat gedoen is, onder andere, opleiding van plaaswerkers en AgriSeta moet hier uitgewys word. AgriSeta het vir jare hulle plig versuim om plaaswerkeropleiding te doen. Ons is bewus daarvan dat die vorige CEO [hoofuitvoerende beampte] van AGRSeta huidiglik deur die Hawks ondersoek word, as gevolg van korrupsie wat in daaride omstandighede plaasgevind het.
Ons wil ook graag na die 1 200 sake kyk wat klaarblyklik in Drakenstein aangemeld is. Daar is geen boere wat op die stadium
vir my inligting oor sake in daardie gebiede kan verskaf nie. Dit is belangrik dat, wanneer mense hierdie tipe van aantuigings maak, dit opgevolg moet word, sodat ons van feite kan praat en dat ons nie aanmekaar hierdie tipe van onbenullighede bespreek wanneer daar nie voorbeelde is nie.
Ek wil dit ook vir die EFF duidelik stel dat huidiglik is daar besig is om ’n toye-toye plaas te vind op ’n plaas in die Britsomgewqing, sonder dat feite in ag geneem is. Die werkers in daardie area ... [Tussenwerpsels.] ... wat maklik opgelos kan word. [Tussenwerpsels.] ... nie mekaar aanmoedig ... [Tussenwerpsels.] ... om oplossings te vind. Dankie.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: On a point of order, Chairperson. Hon Mina, on a point of order.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Am I now audible, hon members?
An HON MEMBER: Yes, you are, Chair.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon member who just spoke now from the podium, may you don’t do that again
because your time was up and I indicated to you, but you opted not to listen. Don’t repeat it again if you are given a chance to speak. Thank you very much, hon members. May we then recognise hon Mdabe from the ANC.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: On a point of order, Chairperson. Thank you very much, Chair. I think that I fully respect your ruling, Chair, but she can’t get away just with a slap on the back. She purposely did it and just continue and that must also be referred to the Rules Committee and the Ethics Committee because she purposely did it. She heard your ruling and you have ruled it several times. She purposely made that she didn’t hear you and nothing is happening. I fully respect your ruling, but we need to also take a further steps and the information technology, IT, would have muted her microphone. I don’t know why the IT is allowing ... [Interjections.]
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): It is okay, hon Ntlangwini. Hon Mazzone, I’ve heard hon Ntlangwini’s point of order and the way forward. Hon Mazzone, your point of order.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you very much, House Chairperson. I would like to point out that there was clearly a problem with the communications. I said we did not hear any
pointing order being called and neither could I hear you, hon Chair, for a certain amount of time. The hon member was not at the podium; she was joining from the virtual platform. And I think that she along with many of us could not hear anything coming from the Chair. She had no idea that she was being called to order.
Therefore, I will ask that ... [Interjections.] ... hon member, stop interrupting me ... [Interjections.] ... South Africa... [Interjections.] ...
House Chair, I would like Hansard to be called and I would like us to see which members could and which members could not hear the ruling made from the Chair at the time because there was obviously unstable connection coming through from the National Assembly Table. Thank you very much, House Chair.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Thank you, hon member, I’ve heard you and I’ve made a ruling. Hon Mdabe!
Mr S MDABE: Thank very much, hon Acting House Chair and good afternoon to hon members, on 16 November 2012 in Ashton, a small agricultural town in the Western Cape, Mr Gert Minies, a farmworker was interviewed by the magazine called La Via Campesina. It was during the biggest strikes in the history of the farms in the Western Cape.
For three weeks, workers blocked the N1 between Worcester and Touws River. In the interview the farmworker said, and I quote:
My name is Gert, I have worked on the same farm for over 20 years. My life on the farm is terrible. But I don’t even want to start my complaints about earning low wages. I just want to be respected. I don’t want to work in fear and to be scared.
Farmworkers decided to go on strike demanding a living wage of R150 per day. The average wage that farmworkers were earning was between R60 and R80 per day. Within two weeks, the strike has spread to over 25 rural towns mainly in the wines and fruit sectors. The farm worker strike gave expression to the anger, the frustrations, the deprivation, and extreme poverty under which farmworkers lived.
This was a historic moment because it was the first time in the history of the Western Cape that farmworkers revolted. In the end, the Employment Conditions Commission received submissions and recommended a rise to R105 per day as a minimum wage and allow farmers who claimed that they were unable to pay the increases the opportunity to apply for an exemption.
The dire position of farmworkers, their low wages and almost
slave-like conditions on some farms in South Africa, especially in the Western Cape has a long history in the beautiful and bountiful Western Cape. This legacy is interlinked with slavery and the dispossession of the indigenous Khoi and San people.
The farmworkers rebellion has to be located within a system of commercial agriculture that is oriented to the export market. Agriculture continues to be a significant sector of the South African economy, employing 700 000 people and constituting the country’s most labour-intensive export sector. It is also one of the sectors of the South African economy that has seen very limited transformation.
Commercial farmworkers have enjoyed centuries of exploitation and abuse until the mid-1990s. When the ANC government pass progressive legislation that confers rights to workers aimed at improving their living and working conditions, including through minimum a wage in the form of a sectoral determination. However, violations of workers’ rights have remained widespread in the agricultural sector.
Many farmworkers have remained vulnerable as they face ongoing evictions, casualizations and exploitation. The forms of
violations of these rights are mainly in contracts, wages and noncompliance with occupational health and safety regulations.
The debate on the conditions of farmworkers in South Africa tends to lead to polarization mostly along racial lines. The political parties in this House tends to pull the opposite pole of this racial divide.
The FFPlus, which has positioned itself as a mouthpiece of those who have not yet embraced the Constitution and transformation tries to cloud the debate as if there is an attack on Afrikaners. The DA, which should call itself the FFPlus light or if you like, castle light advocate for the interests of the same constituency but with a light touch of opportunistic white liberalism, like Herman Mashaba, Mmusi Maimane, and recently Mbali Ntuli have realised that the DA does not stand for what it claims in its slogan: One South Africa for all. The EFF on the other hand while it raises the right issue of social ... [Inaudible.] ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: ... [Inaudible.] ... I would
like to raise a point of order please! Thank you very much, House Chair, I rise on a point of order. I don’t think the member who is currently speaking now has the permission of the Ace faction to
make the comments that he had just made about the DA members and I would suggest for his own safety that he checks which faction he speaks for. Thank you Acting House Chair.
Mr S MDABE: The ANC is the only party that has a policy perspective that in its first instance, locates the discussions correctly and also ... [Inaudible.] ... [Interjections.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: On a point of order. Sorry to disturb the hon Mdabe, but the threat that the hon Natasha Mazzone made against the hon Mdabe must be withdrawn, Chair. She said for his own safety which means she is saying she has the safety of the hon Mdabe solely in her hands. She must withdraw such threats. We can’t allow that.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M LESOMA): Okay, hon members,
I will come back to that. Hon Mdabe you may proceed. I will come back to hon Natasha’s view.
Mr S MDABE: When other parties enter the debate, they often deceive themselves and the public about the essence of what we are talking about. From an employment and labour point of view, the farmer is an employer like any other company regardless of their skin colour or the language they speak.
As employers, farmers have the responsibility to comply with the Constitution and the labour laws of the Republic of South Africa. The government has a responsibility to enforce compliance with all the laws. Trade unions have a duty to organise and represent farmworkers. ... [Inaudible.] ... farmworkers and government to account their failure to play their respective roles.
One of the mandate of the Department of Employment and Labour is one of the reasons why the department exist and its mandate is to regulate the South African labour market for sustainable economic growth through appropriate legislation and regulations, inspections, compliance, monitoring and enforcement and the protection of human rights.
Department of Employment and Labour has three strategies in place to realise what I have already indicated earlier. It conducts advocacy sessions across all sectors the South African economy where the employer’s obligation towards their employees, as well as employees’ work rights in the workplace in accordance with labour legislation be highlighted and mainstreamed.
It is very important to engage all stakeholders in the sector, meaning all employer organisations, trade unions, bargain councils, nongovernment organisations, NGOs, and community-based
organisations, CBOs ... that is what the department does and what it must continue to do.
The director-general has the programme called “Taking services to the people.” This programme brings the services of the department to the communities. It is currently being undertaken in all the nine provinces.
In addition, inspection of workplaces and enforcement of labour legislation are undertaken continuously by labour inspectors.
Contrary to the allegation that government is doing nothing, I want to share some facts with hon members of this House and the people of South Africa.
In the financial year 1920, 9 939 employers failed to comply with labour laws and 4 475 employers were referred to prosecution for noncompliance with labour laws. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, CCMA, services have been reaching out to ... [Time expired.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Acting House Chairperson, it is Natasha Mazzone again, there is obviously been a mistake with the National Assembly Table. A new list was submitted. The hon Steyn
has already spoken. She has done her speech. Thank you very much, Acting House Chair.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M LESOMA): Okay.
The DEPTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL
DEVELOPMENT: Chair, hon members, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers I greet this afternoon. On 05 November, normally known as Guy Fawkes Day during those days, imini ye [days of] peni peni jive. The 05 November is, as I have indicated, but it is also a day that brings back memories of our painful past and it is a grim reminder of the evil apartheid system and its evil deeds. It was on 05 November 1964, 56 years ago that Vuyisile Mini was spending his last hours alive and on 06 November, he faced the hangman and bravely walked to the gallows singing, Nantsi Indoda Emyama Verwoed, bhasobha Nantsi Indoda Emyama. What a prophesy, a prophesy that had to come and definitely realised, when that African giant, our first democratically elected head of state, President Nelson Mandela, on 11 February 1990, walked out of the Victor Verster Prison raising his clenched fist in a power salute. [Inaudible.] was a leader of the struggle liberation, a leader of the South African Congress of Trade Unions. I invoke his name today because he led and died for the toiling masses and the workers of this country.
As long as farm workers do not enjoy the freedom and dignified conditions he died for, this government will never tire. It is because of this history, that our democratic government, since its inception had considered and passed various legislations and laws that had been alluded to by my colleagues here, because of the recognition that, this freedom will never be freedom until the plight of farm workers, the most downtrodden are realised in this country.
I therefore want to say, as we enter this debate, we must soberly enter this debate, we must soberly enter it with the sole purpose of trying to find solutions for our country. I can unfortunately say, as I listened to members debating today here, I still want to say, we as leaders of this country must really sober up and make sure that we are an example to the rest of the people here. I think that when we speak, we must be seen to be speaking for all South Africans. This democratic government will in no way, by the way, shy away from indicating its bias towards the farm workers, because they are on the receiving end. This is informed by our colonial history; this is informed by our apartheid history. Many, many speakers have alluded to this particular ...[Inaudible.]
It impossible not to consider, favouring those vulnerable people because to say that we should continue as if nothing has happened,
is like saying, people who are running a marathon, others must stand far ahead of others and expect the same result at the end. So it is for that reason that, this democratic government in all its manifestations, in all its actions ought to make sure that we alleviate the plight of farm workers. Just three weeks ago at the gates of Parliament, I went out to receive a memorandum from an organisation called Women on Farms and I can safely say, all their demands and request are very, very true and genuine and I think that as leaders of our people, we must really live amongst them, we must know their pain. I really want to say to hon Shaik, it really would create a better person out of hon Masipa, if you do take him with you in those visits, because he seems to be very far from reality of what is happening on the ground.
The issues are there, they are glaringly facing us, all we need to do in solving them, we must not further polarise our country. We must know that we are creating and putting building blocks, for a South Africa that will be peaceful, united, non-racial and non- sexist.
This particular government and this department has because of that, been very much at work, in relation to the Extension of Security Tenure Amendment Act, “ESTA”, that so many have referred to here. But also realising that even “ESTA”, itself had some loop
holes. It is the Fifth Parliament in its own right, that initiated amendments to “ESTA”, so that we make sure that the plight of farm workers is considered and it is considered to its fullest. So I really want to make a special appeal and I respect what hon Steyn is saying, that she is a daughter of a farmer and the wife a farmer, unfortunately she has never been a daughter of a farm worker. The farm worker has got another experience to a farm owner and that has to be recognised.
We must do everything in our power to make sure that the criminality that happens in the farms is dealt with both by the farm owners and by those who break the law, whether they are farm workers or not. Early this year, during lockdown (alert level 5), I visited Kuils River and there was an accident, eight farm workers going to work, were killed. They were packed like sardines in a small bakkie and that does not really speak into the dignity of farm workers as well as human beings. We can have all the laws but I really want to say to our people and us as leaders, let us not wait to be monitored in order for us to do the right things, because we can pass all the laws but people must be conscious of what is right and what is wrong. I can assure you, sooner the expropriation of land without compensation is going to be a reality. This is no threat, this government will really steer this
Parliament into taking the right decisions and make sure that
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon Deputy Minister, DM, start rapping up.
The DEPTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL
DEVELOPMENT: ...and make sure that we do the right thing. One of the things that we have done is to make sure that at the farms, there are toll-free numbers, so that farm workers if they are discriminated against, they can be able to use those numbers. We had offered them lawyers to assist them in their plights. I really want to say that as we go forward this is an emotive issue but we do not need an ad hoc committee, we have all the mechanism to make sure [Interjection.] that we implement was is right. Thank you very much.
Mr N S MATIASE: Chair, it is now a known and a [Inaudible.] experience for the ANC to say something and do a direct opposite of what they say. This kind of hypocrisy must be harshly punished and be defeated in the 2021 municipal election and beyond.
Further, it is mischievous of Mr Mandela to even think of this draft resolution as an attempt by the EFF to grandstand and to play with our people’s miseries. Our people’s lives on the farms
are too precious [Interjection.] to play with. This, Mr Mandela must know. It clear that no one can speak and can prepare to speak on behalf of farm workers, and that responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the EFF. The ANC has rejected this call, the call for establishment of an ad hoc committee because, to investigate the farm workers’ conditions is to expose the brutality [Interjection.] meted out by white farmers against black farmers.
Once more the ANC did not disappoint in showing cowardice and its readiness to sell our people, especially farm workers and our families on the altar of political expedience. It is indeed curious that the DA supports the draft resolution with an amendment whilst at the same time call it sensational and at the same time cry hard to shift the goal post away from substantial and concrete proposal we are making. What also is curious is that the ANC despite us appealing to both its members’ conscience and consciousness and also cautioning that if consciousness fazed them, at least their conscience should guide from the political dissonance. It is clear that neither consciousness nor conscience which the ANC lacks can save farm workers from their psychosis of the delusional in this Parliament such as House niggas, such as Mr Masipa and all those black people who rejected this draft Bill.
It is clear that, this is a continuation of the struggle which falls on the shoulders of the EFF. The EFF shall sustain it, until the land is returned and is reclaimed back to our people and thanks to Mr of the NFP, to express your support to this move, also pledge your support and invite all those delusional in the DA and in the ANC to join us in the cold field of public participation and as we engage with our masses to get to understand the plight of farm workers and farm dwellers [Interjection.] for which the ANC today has elected to [Interjection.] [Inaudible.] Thank you so much.
Ms T M MBABAMA: Chair, point of order, point of order.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon Mbabama, point of order? Yes.
Ms T M MBABAMA: The hon member on the podium just called, Musi, [Inaudible.] Masipa and others house niggas, could he please withdraw. [Interjection.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: He didn’t... read.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): I will come back to that hon Mbabama, because I didn’t hear... [Inaudible.] [Interjection.]
Ms T M MBABAMA: Are you giving him another ten minutes?
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS ON PETITION FROM THE RESIDENTS OF LETSITELE TOWN, WARD 23, TZANEEN CALLING ON THE ASSEMBLY TO ENSURE THAT THE TZANEEN MUNICIPALITY ABIDES BY THE LAWS, BYLAWS AND REGULATIONS, AND THAT IT IMPLEMENTS THE PRESCRIBED ENVIRONMETAL AND APPLICABLE ZONING, AS WELL AS MONITOR AND HALT ALL ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES
Ms A F MUTHAMBI: Hon Chairperson and hon colleagues, greetings to all of you. This august House received a petition from the residents, of Letsitele Town, Ward 23, and the area to ensure Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality abides by its bylaws and other prescripts on rezoning and the protection of environments. The petition was submitted by the hon Désirée Van der Walt. The petition was about the illegal business activities which run against the municipality bylaws and the environmental regulations.
In pursuit of the resolution of the problem of the community of Letsitele on illegal activities carried out in their town, their petition was brought to the attention of the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality. Subsequent to the receipt of the petition we then caused the municipality to appear before the portfolio committee on 24 June 2020. The main problems on the petition were roaming cattle and the informal mechanics. The municipality during its appearance this week before the portfolio committee on 3 November, it reported back on the resolution with issues raised by the community of Letsitele, through a petition to this august House.
This is how the municipality has resolved the issues based on the report to the portfolio committee. With regard to the roaming cattle, the problem of stray animals roaming in the town arises from the proximity of the town to farms and the villages as corroborated by the investigation. Due to financial constraints, it is not feasible for the municipality to station a permanent traffic officer to deal with the problem. However, the municipality has identified spotters within the solid waste division in the Letsitele town who will report to the citing of stray animals for processing by the traffic officers.
With regard to the informal mechanics, these people are on an off short of a motor spare outlet in town. Of concern to the community
is the oil spills and debris that litter and contaminate the natural habitat. The municipality has reported to us that they have issued the mechanics with drip trace to prevent pollution, the refuse receptacle has been made available to prevent littering and continuous monitoring will be done to ensure that informal mechanics ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon member wrap up. Just try to wrap up, hon member.
Ms A F MUTHAMBI: Yes. The continuous monitoring will be done to insure that the informal mechanics do not operate their trade in a manner that disturb the community. I must add that the hon Van der Merwe was invited to the community engagement with the municipality to register the satisfaction with the resolute prompt for the petition. Then we also want to appreciate the local municipality under the leadership of Mayor Maripe Mangena and the municipal manager who have consistently demonstrated responsiveness to problems of the citizens. I want to thank you, Chairperson.
Mr C BRINK: House Chair, I am going to speak on behalf of the hon Van der Walt. It is Cilliers Brink from the DA.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): You may proceed.
Mr C BRINK: Hon House Chair, municipality levy rates and taxes in agricultural and farming communities such as Letsitele because these contributions are meant to fund services. We have wall to wall municipalities in this country and so we have to have wall to wall services.
When the Letsitele residents call on their local leaders and officials to enforce by laws to attend to local problems we do not expect these leaders to shrug their shoulders. In the time it took this petition to reach Parliament, the mayor and the municipal manager of Tzaneen could have attended to the problems complained off. It is clear that they did not do so before this reached the portfolio committee.
Even if immediate solutions are not possible, but for heaven sake at least speak to members of your own community including the local member of Parliament. Beside from basic bylaw enforcement serious environmental concerns were raised by the disposable use of car oil by the mechanics in the Letsitele area. That problem has been noted here at Parliament, the mayor and the municipal manager of Tzaneen should not plead ignorance if contamination of
water and soil sources happen as a result of the indifference. Although we hope that this issue will be resolved.
A petition like this one should not have reached Parliament and it would have not reached Parliament if municipalities like Tzaneen did their work and spoke to their own residents. We hope that this will happen now. Thank you, Chair.
Ms C C S MOTSEPE: Thank you Chairperson, my apologies for not putting on my video due to network problem.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Switch off the phone next to you.
Ms C C S MOTSEPE: Thank you Chairperson, we must be wary of racist opportunists who will want to use this Parliament in order to entrench their racist idea of exclusivity. We are no longer living in the apartheid era and there are no areas that are still reserved for people of European descent in this country. South Africans can go and conduct business anywhere in this country.
This petition by the member of the DA sought to have this House intervene, in order to somehow face the Tzaneen Municipality, to evict people who are trying to make a living for themselves by
fixing cars and selling vegetables on the street. There is little or no concern about the livelihoods of these people who are not stealing anything from anyone, but merely using their skills to make a living.
In the mind of the DA and those they represent, any encroachment by black people in areas previously reserved for whites it’s a threat. In their twisted logic, the presence of black people who fixed cars also represent a lack of hygiene and criminality. We reject the petition and we support the committee’s view that nothing warrants the intervention of the committee. I thank you, Chairperson.
Mnu X NGWEZI: Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo, ngibingelele uSihlalo namalungu ale liKomidi leNdlu yeSishayamthetho, le simemezelo sethulwa egameni leNkosi ehloniphekile uLuthuli, eyilungu kulo leliKomidi.
This report raises some fundamental questions, among them, what is the role of Parliament? According to Parliament’s website, its vision is to be an activist and a responsive people’s Parliament that improves the quality of life of South Africans, and ensures
an enduring equality in our society. Parliament further describes itself, as the place where the Members of Parliament look after your interest. Among others, list the responsibilities of members as consulting with you, the people and representing your views in Parliament and helping people in their constituencies.
It is important to remind ourselves that we are a people’s Parliament and ultimately that we are in-service to our fellow South Africans. The report mentioned that the petition was calling on the portfolio committee to assist this community and that the residents appealed to the municipality to address these matters but to no avail. The petition to parliament was the last resort.
In contradiction to this, the municipal mayor and the municipal manager, despite allegedly having an open door policy, stated that they had not seen the petition and they heard about it for the first time upon invitation to the portfolio committee meeting on the matter. Although the municipality might not have seen the petition, it is apparent that they were well aware of the issues being raised therein and that the petitioners approached Parliament in the last desperate attempt for assistance.
According to the report and the feedback from the municipality, interventions to prevent the illegal car-repair activities and
roaming of cattle has been explored through warning letters. The promulgation and gazetting of bylaws as well as the identification of a new site for the repair activities, in light of the above, the municipality was tasked with furnishing the committee with a progress report on 21 November.
The committee further observed that these matters did not warrant intervention at the portfolio committee level. Although this is a valid observation, we, as Members of Parliament, must never become so involved in the business of Parliament that we forget the purpose of Parliament. We are a people’s Parliament and should therefore have an open door policy for the people of South Africa, if they feel that all other avenues open to them has been exhausted.
Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo wethu ohloniphekile. Siyawemukela umbiko.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TOURISM ON TRANSFORMATION CHARTER IN TOURISM SECTOR
Ms L S MAKHUBELE-MASHELE: Hon members, the tourism industry is still untransformed, 26 years into the democracy. Since the dawn of democracy in 1994 the government has enacted a number of
policies and laws to bring the previously marginalised citizens into the mainstream economy, into the tourism sector.
However, the pace of transformation has been pedestrian and drastic measures are essential to expedite this process. In expediting transformation, the Portfolio Committee on Tourism has made an undertaking to conduct an annual assessment of the state of transformation in the tourism sector in South Africa.
This will culminate a state of transformation report issued by the committee every year in September; this report is the first annual report since the Sixth Parliament. The purpose of this report is to provide tourism stakeholders with an overview of the strides made by the Portfolio Committee on Tourism thus far in an attempt to entrench transformation in the tourism sector, highlight the proposals for transformation for the tourism sector as suggested by South Africans and make recommendations that has to be advanced by the Minister of Tourism and other portfolio committees which have an inherent to play in enhancing transformation programmes in South Africa.
As part of compiling this report the Portfolio Committee on Tourism issued a call for public submissions on transforming the tourism sector. This was a public participation method with bold
moves towards rallying all the public and private sector stakeholders to speak with one voice in tackling the bottlenecks that hinder transformation in the tourism sector.
The submissions highlighted a number of challenges and offered a wide array of proposals across various types of tourisms and the tourism value chain at large.
The recommendations of the report are grouped in eight symmetric categories which include training and entrepreneurial development, and the role of the youth, product development, access and maintenance of tourism attractions, broad-based black economic empowerment, opposition to state interventions in tourism transformation, embracing information and technology which is a Fourth Industrial Revolution, creating a sustainable tourism future in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and tourism education.
This wide array of categories cuts across many government departments and in all the three spheres of government. This indicates that the nature of the tourism sector, therefore, needs a whole government approach.
In facilitating this whole government approach, the report lists a number of government departments and portfolio committees that are critical in driving tourism transformation in the country.
It is against this background that the Portfolio Committee on Tourism requests a collaboration [Inaudible.] with other committees in facilitating transformation. Without this collaboration we would still be on the same segment pace of transforming the tourism industry and the tourism sector.
I submit the report to Parliament, Chairperson.
Mr P G MOTEKA: Chairperson, there is vast potential for growth and development that could be catalyst by tourism in this country. But this potential has yet to be fully understood and taken advantage of.
While it is claimed that tourism currently employs over
1,5 million people, contributing about 9% to the country’s Gross domestic Product, GDP, we are of the firm view that this potential could be much more. Largely, this potential is constrained by lack of transformation in this sector and by the dominant role [Interjections.] [Inaudible.] established [Interjections.] [Inaudible.]
Ms V MENTE: We would like to get a minute, Chair. We were not hearing
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M LESOMA): Oh, it’s fine.
Hon, it’s fine. Let’s proceed, hon member.
Mr P GMOTEKA: I was interrupted; can I start from the beginning?
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M LESOMA): Not in the
beginning, I’ll give you one minute extra. Proceed!
Mr P G MOTEKA: Okay. Largely, this potential is constrained by lack of transformation in this sector and by the dominant role played by established entities such as SA National Parks, SANParks, and private games reserves.
Your own studies, as the Department of Tourism, show that there remains untapped potential for cultural and historical tourism in this country, and that the majority of black people do not tour the country as much as they should be. This is because some of the areas panted as tourist attraction have nothing to do with black people but everything to do with celebrating Eurocentric values.
As much as tourism may be employing number of people it employs, there has been very little done to change the demographic make up of real beneficiaries of tourism. The guesthouses, game farms and so on, people with land and who are able to capitalise on the land, they have to make lots of money.
Tourists essentially come to see various landmarks that represent cultural and [Inaudible.] of the country. In our case, the majority of our people do not have the land and all that the land enables tourism [Inaudible.]
Tourism, therefore, remains [Inaudible.] of those advantaged by apartheid with very little multiplier effects.
The Transformation Charter does nothing to propose radical changes in the tourism sector. The top leadership of all leading organisations in the tourist sector are either a club of white males or white families, couples and relatives. Tourism business in South Africa is led by a club of white males with one or two black faces as juniors. National Federation of Tourist Guides Association is led by white family, friends and one black face as a junior.
That alone, Chairperson, tells you why transformation in this industry is not going to happen unless confronted radically and aggressively by a developmental state that is not coward.
The Transformation Charter is not even scratching the surface, so it has no potential to bring transformation in this country. We need the real fighters, the fearless fighters, to come and confront this racist economy.
We reject this report. Thank you.
Mr S H S GUMBI: Hon Chairperson, I hope you can hear me now. Hon Speaker, let me be clear as possible about where the DA stands on transformation and empowerment as opposed to where the ANC stands. We believe, trans formation means empowering people, so that they can look after themselves and live a life with dignity. On the other hand, the ANC believes that government should be empowering itself, so that they can decide the fortunes of citizens, and in the end, only empowering, again and again, a small group of connected cronies.
And so, let me lay this case for you in government policy. It is while during lockdown when we wanted financial support to go to all those small businesses who were battling, the mini-
restaurants, the guests houses and bread and breakfast, all who create jobs, so that they can continue to look after themselves. Instead, government was too busy fiddling with how certain people looked, in terms of who needed a home. All these, during the worst global pandemic in our life time.
The best empowerments come from jobs, by growing economy and thousands of small businesses which supports our population. Chairperson, South Africa has an ugly history, one of the most disgusting racial discrimination and economic exclusion through a violent governance. To fix this ugly history, we need to do everything that is the opposite of the old regime, where there was racial discrimination, you must bring nonracialism, where there was economic exclusion, you must bring businesses and jobs and where there is government power, you must bring people’s power.
So, what are the things that can be done now to direct our people and not the government? For months for instance, the portfolio committee has been speaking about making the stock grading and making the places of accommodation compulsory free of charge for businesses. This is something that all political parties agree on, because it is a major barrier for all of those who are excluded.
So, what is the hold up? Why does it seem that it is the Minister and the executive that are holding up this policy move?
The Minister should be ensuring that the department, immediately provides for this free grading as to all those places of accommodation, so that we bring in many new businesses and jobs to the economy. Hon Speaker, South Africa is going through an
economic and jobs crises created by the ANC. The illogical government regulation that tourist from certain countries cannot come to South Africa, even if they test negative for Corona virus is a case in point.
This government is simply drunk on power, and showing off that they can decide whilst many hopeless young people are waiting for a job and suffering. The Minister of Tourism should be deeply concerned with the irrational regulation, especially, since she should be the champion of the industry to save the very jobs that she is responsible for. How does she truthfully and with dignity say she supports transformation in the sector, when the very industry is shedding jobs because of something that is clearly an illogical decision by government.
Hon Chairperson, instead of the Minister focusing on trying to amend the Tourism Amendment Bill ... [Interjections.] ... after the strong push back by the DA, a Bill that tries to kill many new Airbnb jobs. The Minister should be focusing on trying to create
new regulations and should try and do away with many new regulations and all the costs of new businesses, so that other businesses can be able to also compete, be able to create new jobs themselves, and equally compete with Airbnb.
That is what we support, that is the innovation which brings in new jobs, new businesses and gives people power and not government. South Africa is going through a tragic economic and jobs crises created by the ANC, and whilst the ANC will talk at length about supporting businesses in small towns, dorpies, and in rural areas, the truth is, they do not support people in those areas to be empowered themselves.
They support government to receive more power, and in the end, that is the difference between the ANC and us. We support people, the ANC does not. Thank you very much.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Chairperson, transformation in tourism sector is much needed, but yet it has been slow. This sector is very important for the country’s development and maintenance of deep rural villages and municipalities. These areas are dependent on foreign and local municipalities to survive. Yet, when we take a step back and look at these areas on what they are, we see riches of beauty, land and culture.
The contrast between the potential of these areas in terms of the intercity values versus poverty on local municipalities, and highlights one major problem. Obviously, this means that the sector lacks transformation to be able to address this desperately. It is all well and good for us to stand here today and consider a Transformation Charter. But if we, as a collective, do not ensure the implementation of this Charter, and consistently monitor and evaluate its effectiveness, we will not yield the desired success of its intended purpose.
To this end, the IFP calls on the Minister to set clear timelines and brief the committee on a biannually basis of the department’s performance in fulfilling this mandate. Minister, I place forward the challenge at your feet, to table before the committed plan that indicates set deliverables and indicators, and how you will implement this Charter before the next annual budget period. The IFP believes that is it a simple request that needs to be completed on time. We will see growth in business opportunity to unlock rural based jobs.
Furthermore, we will transform the business sectors in this area to local ownership, reduce poverty and give dignity to all South Africans. In order for this Charter to be fully effective and constructive, a commitment is needed by the Ruling Party and the
Minister to root out corruption and partisan employment. This is a sector that has been currently suffered from devastating efforts of COVID-19. It cannot afford through corruption to manifest as the livelihoods are on threshold over extremely and prolong poverty.
Uma sifuna ukuthi lomqulu uphumelele noma uhambe ngendlela eyiyo kuyofanele silwe nobugebengu lobu bokudliwa kwezimali okwenziwa ngamalungu nabaholi be-ANC. Angibonge kakhulu, Sihlalo.
Ms M M GOMBA: House Chair, the structural patterns in the tourism sector can be changed by ensuring meaningful participation of the previously marginalised communities, and I hope that hon Gumbi is listening. This means that there should be targeted efforts to encourage participation of black people in the tourism industry. Given the historical context of structural exclusion from the sector, it is imperative that government intervenes to harness, increasing and supporting the full potential of emerging tourism enterprises, to achieve the objective of inclusive growth and shared economy development.
This will directly reduce poverty, unemployment and equality in the sector, foster nation-building and deepen democracy, as all
citizens will be given equal and conducive environment to participate and grow in the sector. Inclusive growth requires broadbased transformation, break down structural impediments to new economic activities, deconcentrate industries by few participants and accelerate the inclusion of millions of black South Africans into jobs and businesses.
This could be achieved through developing marketing and growing tourism in villages, townships and small dorpies. Thank you, Chairperson.
The mini-plenary session rose at 16:08.