Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 05 Nov 2020
No summary available.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
THURSDAY, 05 NOVEMBER 2020
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Watch the video here: Plenary
The Council met at 14:01.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The Chairperson announced that the virtual sitting constituted a Sitting of the National Council of Provinces.
QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS SOCIAL SERVICES - CLUSTER 2A
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you, hon Chairperson of the NCOP and thanks to hon Maleka for the question, the reply is as follows: The National Health Insurance, NHI, is South Africa’s strategy of moving towards a
universal health coverage, which means that when we reach that coverage, everyone everywhere will be able to access health services without experiencing financial hardships.
Currently, more than 84% of the South African population doesn’t have secure coverage. This percentage depends on the public health care system, which as we know, is very stretched with regard to its resources.
Our fight against COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus the downside of the current health system that is not underpinned by the principles of universal health coverage, as I have mentioned, of where we want to go, social solidarity and equity. So, COVID-19 has also exposed the disadvantages of our current fragmented and inequitable health system.
To address these challenges and through the stewardship and leadership of government during this pandemic, measures were put in place to integrate financing and provision of health care services in both the public and private sector in line with the principles of solidarity and equity.
The interventions which were embarked upon included ensuring that the required workforce is distributed equitably between provinces and private and public sector including primary health care practitioners such as general practitioners, nurses, provision of Intensive Care Unit, ICU, and also private hospitals. Laboratories were also spread between the public and private sector based on the need. The private sector also ensured that the public health facilities are not deprived of oxygen supply, which was also under a lot of stress of ensuring that everybody can access it when they need it.
Quarantine sites were provided by both the public and private sector ensuring that the population in need did not suffer the hardships of accessing the quarantine services.
The NHI will contribute to the general improvement of our health services in that it requires that facilities that are going to be accredited to provide services must comply with quality standards as prescribed by the Office of Health Standards Compliance, OHSC. This has been demonstrated by the efforts put in place as we have been
managing this pandemic, amongst other things, making sure that we strengthen infrastructure in getting ready for the NHI. This was accelerated during this period through revitalisation of existing infrastructure, completion of some of the outstanding facilities such as the Pixley Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, the building of some new clinics and also hospitals throughout the country. We also strengthened infection, prevention and control in our facilities as per our guidelines.
We have established occupational health and safety committees in all facilities to provide the safety of health workers and patients and to improve the quality of service. We have implemented stock visibility systems to mitigate against shortage of medicines and personal protective equipments, PPEs. We also implemented the clinical care pathways including the use of protocols and guidelines for the various levels of care which is an essential component of ensuring the delivery of quality services as required under the ... [Inaudible.]
The management of COVID-19 as highlighted ... the importance of using clinical protocols and guidelines has therefore laid a very good foundation for the implementation of the NHI in the system. Thank you very much, hon Chairperson and hon members.
Mr I NTSUBE: Thank you very much, Chairperson of the Council, let me also thank the Deputy Minister of Health for providing an honest response. Deputy Minister, having listened to your response, it appears to me that the pandemic has basically forced us to go in the lines of the NHI, like integration of financing and provision of health care services.
I want to check with you and your department that don’t you think that this is now the time to fast-tract the implementation of the NHI because we believe that it is the only way to guarantee universal health care provision to the people of our country? Thank you very much, hon Chairperson.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, hon Chair and hon members, indeed, this pandemic has
highlighted the fact that we need to move with speed because what we have been doing with the limited resources split between the private and the public health sector was more of a stop-gap. What is required with regard to long-term readiness is the pulling of all health resources such as human resources and infrastructure rather than what we have done during this period where we had to go out on an impromptu basis and recruit, volunteers, professionals and community health workers while also entering into agreements with private providers such as private health care, private hospitals and laboratories.
Once we can put all these resources together and create one national health service under the NHI, pandemics like the COVID-19 will be managed with a lot more certainty because instead of spending a lot of time in negotiations and entering into agreements, we would have this as a standing arrangement with regards to not having major divisions between public and private sector and also with the financial resources. We will be able to pull all these resources and plan emergency services, laboratories and everything.
I agree with the hon member that NHI will go a long way in preparing us for future pandemics. Thank you, hon Chair.
Ms H F BOSHOFF: Good afternoon, hon Chair and hon Deputy Minister, Deputy Minister, speaking of COVID-19 and how each province performed in handling the pandemic where the majority of provinces failed dismally in preparing for the peak, how would you assure the ordinary South African that the NHI model won’t be used just to buy more scooter ambulances and providing tenders for connected cadres or is the NHI designed for a competent government like the DA in the Western Cape?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Well, let me start by saying unfortunately I don’t know whether our hon colleagues in the DA can ever focus on South Africa as a whole because South Africa is a unitary state with provinces for administrative purposes. And our approach as per the Constitution is that we are a unitary state. The assertion that says that the majority of provinces failed dismally is unfounded factually because all provinces in our view did their best. I don’t even know
on what basis does the hon member want to single out the Western Cape because there was no different performance if we look at the facts and statistics with regard to the number of infections, the ability to contact trace and quarantine, for example, with regard to contact tracing and quarantining, the Western Cape province at its peak had major difficulties, which resulted in the national government coming in. Even the President came to visit the province and made available national resources to ensure that more beds are procured and expand quarantine facilities.
Only about 20% of those quarantine facilities were used with the majority of people who should go into them either as contacts or for isolation, were very reluctant because they were no properly mobilised to use those facilities.
We work together as one team of health leaders in the country because COVID-19 doesn’t know the boundaries. We all had together. I would say it was a major foundation to remind us that we are a unitary state and that diseases don’t know any boundaries. We need to work
together and we did well as a team. I would therefore disagree with any attempt that tries to isolate one particular areas and say it was the best. In our view, we have been able to contain the virus up to where we are, working as a team. Thank you, hon Chair.
Ms L A LUTHULI: Thank you, Chairperson, Deputy Minister, since the Health Department has suffered from the general mismanagement ... [Inaudible.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can the table try and assist. Hon member ...
Ms L A LUTHULI: ... as well as staff and equipment ... [Inaudible.] ... and the fight against COVID-19 ... Can you hear me now, Chair?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, I can hear you now.
Ms L A LUTHULI: Deputy Minister, since the Health Department has suffered from the general mismanagement for decades and during the pandemic, the PPE procurement fraud as well as staff equipment shortage despite money
being channelled towards ... [Inaudible.] ... and the fight against COVID-19, what guarantees do we have that the funds meant for the NHI ... as opposed to serving their intended purpose? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Let me disagree with the hon member from saying the Health Department and the health sector has generally suffered from mismanagement for decades. We had our challenges for a number of years, which we have addressed and continue to address. As you would know, last year, there was a process through which Minister Mkhize on behalf of the Ministry and the department, working with the President, launched a health sector anticorruption network. It works with law enforcement agencies such as the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, the police, the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, the civil society and the private sector to monitor all issues related to mismanagement and corruption. As a result of that and through the President instructing the Auditor-General to get involved very early rather than the usual auditing after the effect. We constantly in touch with the Auditor-General and the SIU.
It is not correct to say that during the period there was generally mismanagement. Where there were acts of mismanagement, they were identified and interventions were made. Through all these, we have laid the foundation for proper management and ensuring that public resources are utilised properly once the NHI is instituted. Thank you, hon Chair.
Mr S E MFAYELA: Hon Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, does the department think that South Africa has enough resources to successfully implement the NHI given the fact that within the NHI Bill, citizens are restricted to use only the NHI accredited primary health care facilities? Is there any guarantee that those facilities will offer high quality services? I thank you, Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson, hon members and thanks for the question, hon member, we can never say that resources are enough. What the NHI, its basis and foundation is striving to achieve is optimal and properly co-ordinated utilisation of resources because it is only ... If you look at the
current moment, somebody can argue that those who are able to access private health care have the best and therefore that’s where the optimal resources, services and facilities are.
As we have seen through the former Chief Justice Ngcobo on the Health Market Inquiry Report, it revealed that there is a lot of wastage, overcharging and resources which could be put to good use by South African citizens. If we are to make sure that all those are properly co- ordinated, we would be able to make sure that with regard to human resources, equipment, facilities, hospitals, clinics and medicines are properly put together and co- ordinated from a level of ... if somebody needs just a primary health care general practitioner or a primary health care nurse to look at their headache, they don’t have to go have a brain scan ... from what we know from the Health Market Inquiry is that there is a lot of abuse which results in people paying more. That’s why our medical aids run out of funds in June before we even reach August because of some of these problems.
The Bill which we have put before Parliament and the plan is meant to ensure that all these resources can be maximally utilised so that those who need care at a certain level can access it and those who are not sick enough but just need some assistance, prevention and early treatment can be cared for by general practitioners and also at the clinics.
Currently, the difficulty is that ... it is a fact which is confirmed in the Health Mental Inquiry and other investigations. Unfortunately, when some of these private health care looks at your medical aid and see that you still have a balance, when you could simply just be checked for blood pressure and headache, then they send you for the brain scan. Those are the problems which have been bedevilling us. Once we rationalise these resources equitably, we would be able to achieve a lot, hon members. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Again hon Chairperson, the hon members and to the hon member who asked the question, indeed the department has put measures in place to
mitigate against the effects of what the hon member calls the dilemma of the medico-legal claims.
Amongst the interventions which have been put in place, is to make sure that amongst other measures we can use is mediation that in order to have it as one of the avenues to resolve where there is a dispute in terms of the health outcomes, we have now amended the patient admission form which has been reviewed, considered and approved by the National Health Council which is where the Minister and the MECs meet to look at the provision in the form to make sure that the admission form where the patient is admitted thus indicate that in the case of a dispute or some unhappiness is one of the steps to be accepted as intervention is mediation.
There already a number of officials across the country and all provinces who are being trained both from legal profession and also from medical science are being trained in this mediation. For we have found that sometimes is just the lack of communication which ends up with big costs in the courts.
Secondly, the provision of future medical treatment, the department has public health facilities in the Government Gazette on 5 September 2019 to provide for future medical services instead of a lump sum claim. For we play a lot of money in lump sum where it is claimed for the future medical cost.
So, through the publishing of these facilities for instance for children with Cerebral palsy which is a major claim to government at the current moment by showing that we can be able in public facilities look after these children who have suffered certain defects like Cerebral palsy then we can make sure that the lump sum which has now being paid go to private sector can actually the cost of medical care can be done in public facilities.
Also, through the assistance from the Justice Department and Correctional Services is currently looking at the amendment at the State Liability Act which is the State Liability Bill which will also make provision that the things which I have mentioned about treatment in public facilities will then be catered for and also have a legal
framework. Also, to cater for the fact that you do not have to pay lump sum it can also be staggered where is not health costs, but also other costs it can be staggered rather than a lump sum. These are some of the things which are being catered for in this Amended Bill, but also the State Law Reform Commission is also looking at other legal means through which further avenues as I have mentioned like mediation for instance and again also the staggered payments that they can be reformed in the law so that there can be other means through which when there is a dispute it can be settled.
Case management has also been introduced from the national departments with provinces to create a facility through which national and provinces can work together to trace this litigation so that there can be a systematic way of intervening.
Lastly, we have also embarked on forensic investigations where we put together teams which go and look of some of these claims and see which are the legal firms which are mainly pursuing these, what are the bases or are they all genuine? I must say that some of the claims have already
been stopped for they have been found actually to have been frivolous and nonexistent.
So, these are some of the steps which have been taken to mitigate against the cost of this litigation. Thank you, hon Chair and hon members.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, although Question 68 has been asked by the hon D C Christians, I have been informed that the hon Bara is standing in for the hon Christians. Therefore, the first supplementary question will come from the hon Bara. Hon Bara
Mr M R BARA: Hon Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, the DA supports appropriate fair and sustainable compensation of victims of medical negligence, but the current medico- legal environment is afflicted with the following serious problems. A lack of limits on contingency fee payments based on large lump sum awards which often leave attorneys better off than the victim, a lack of alternate dispute mechanism like mediation in specialised courts to reduce legal costs. A lack of expert witness panel serving the courts not attorneys to lessen moderate
spurious claims. This state of affairs has rendered many medical professionals simply uninsurable and has led to many leaving the practice.
What concrete measures is the Ministry taking to intervene in these kind of crisis. Thank you, Chairperson.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair, I am very pleased that the DA also on this matter in a way in a large measure agrees with us. As much as the hon member says that there has been negligence and fair compensation. Of course we also support that to say it should not be that negligence should be condoned where it has happened. There must be relief to those who have suffered. I agree that the current system is just not sustainable. Therefore, as I have indicated there are short-term interventions where we are making sure that firstly, that we can improve just in terms of saving the public funds and ensure that funds are allocated to provide services as much as possible should be spent on services rather than huge legal costs and paid in terms of these contingency fees.
So, that is why I have mentioned for instance the case management system in which we are working together with some professionals, legal, financial and medical health people so that they can examine some of these things and where it is frivolous and nexecious claims. They can be identified. A lot has already been saved in some cases bringing even the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, where some of the people were taking chances, the legal firms who are even advertising on radio to say come to us if you have any complain against a health practitioner or a health facility. So, they have just replaced the Road Accident Fund with medical negligence. So, those interventions are there. Forensic investigations immediate and this is what we are doing to limit.
However, in the long-term, as the hon member has indicated that you know there has to be a different approach. We are looking at the law working with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services and the Law Reform Commission to make sure that the law as in other countries there must be some limits and some parameters in terms of this be done this way. If we do it this way, this is the limit. If there is indeed this kind
of negligence these are the areas and the medical care can be done not only in private, but also in public and so on. In some finances there must also be some control. Indeed, we are going in the direction in which the hon member is pointing. Thank you.
Mr M E NCHABELENG: Hon Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, for the response. It is indeed very comprehensive. The department has developed a case management system to help track the medico-legal cases. The system has already rolled back in some of the provinces.
What I would like to know is when will it be rolled out to the rest of the country? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair and hon member, indeed because this we have to put together teams of expertise, as I have said both from forensic, legal and medical, also make sure that there is training. For all these interventions will indeed only be effective. It starts right in the health facility like hospitals - the record. Do we have the records? Making sure that you know
people are properly trained to know the importance even clinicians to make sure that when they write the records they write in the manner which somebody else can be able to read, so that when the records are retrieved. For all these things to be finally very effective there has to be proper training, resourcing of the necessary expertise.
So this has been rolled out currently there are four provinces where the systems are already working. We expect that the latest by the middle of next year this should have been rolled out to all the provinces because you know provinces like Gauteng, the Eastern Cape need intervention very urgently. We are sitting with billions of claims currently some of which indeed are not justifiable claims.
So, only through this case management and the forensic investigations will we be able to identify those. We are working with the colleagues, the MECs and head of departments in the provinces to make sure that the intervention systems are rolled out as I have said we expect the latest by the middle of next year we should have reached all the provinces. Thank you, hon Chair.
Mr A B CLOETE: Hon Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, R80,4 billion that was the amount South African taxpayers paid by 2018 for medico-legal claims.
Now the Auditor-General, AG, also flagged and expressed his concern about the amounts provinces especially had to pay for these legal claims which kind of bags the question will be responsible for these claims in the National Health Insurance, but that is not my question. I would like to put to you about the Cuban doctors. Now we know that the Cuban doctors let us say are highly specialised in training, but not in general practitioning.
So, my question to you Deputy Minister, currently as we stand now, there are processes to streamline currently: Does government allow for claims against for Cuban doctors in the state hospitals and has there been such claims to your knowledge?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair, let me first correct the hon member on the issue of the Department of Health. It did not pay an amount of R80,4 billion in
2018. This was the composite liability – the claims. There is a difference between what the lawyers had put as a claim when you add all provinces and what was actually paid. Otherwise there would be more Health Budget left if in one year the public health sector lost R80,4 billion. This is just the understanding of what it means. This is the amount which was on the roll in terms of when you add all the claims from the nine provinces, but as I said through these processes of checking and so on, some of these do not even end up in court. For once we do proper work with our case management system and forensic some of these are just withdrawn because many of them take chances. Therefore, just to correct that so that the public is not left with the wrong impression that this is what was paid. This is claims which were put there.
With regard to doctors, all doctors whether you are Cuban, you come from Cuba, Germany, UK, as long as you are employed in the public health sector, you are treated the same. So if there is firstly negligence a claim will come to the state. That is what the claimants will say to the Minister of Health and the MEC and so on and so on.
Depending on the nature of the case if it is identified
that it can be zeroed into an individual health practitioner whether it is a nurse or is a doctor, pharmacist or a physiotherapist or any practitioner, it does not matter which country they originated from. If they are employees of the state the state is the one which is liable, but once it is zeroed into an individual based on the professional council to which that individual belongs, that matter will then also proceed for that person also to face the music in the professional council which they belong to. If is a doctor the Health Professions Council, if it is a nurse, the Nursing Council, if it is a pharmacist is the Pharmaceutical Council. It does not matter. I know the hon members especially from the DA are very much, you know, are so much caught up in the obsession about being anti-Cuba. You do not employ doctors; we do not say you are Cuban or you are what? ... [Interjection.]
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, on a point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Deputy Minister, just a second. Hon Labuschagne, what is your point of order?
Ms C LABSCHANE: My point of order is: The hon Cloete is not from the DA. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Alright. We note the correction.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: The fact of the matter is that we treat all the employees of the government of South Africa the same in the Department of Health. It does not matter which country they are from. Thank you, hon Chair
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair and hon members, my response to this one will be fairly free. During the COVID-19 surge - because we are still in the pandemic and not yet out - we had the peak or the surge around July and August and right up to September. This specifically talks to nurses. Nurses were employed on a temporary
basis to specifically capacitate the health services to respond to additional demands for services due to the pandemic. The nurses were, amongst others, employed to assist in a whole continuum of care for COVID-19, starting with screening in the public, testing and contact tracing, assisting at quarantine sites and treating COVID-19 patients in general wards as well as in the intensive care wards.
During this period, some nursing permanent posts were also filled because of the fact that we were able to get some additional funding from Treasury. Some posts, in line with the organograms of various health departments, were filled on a permanent basis, depending on availability of budgets. And as long as budgets were provided for, they were filled permanently.
It is however not possible to employ all the nurses who were taken in during the peak and surge on a temporary basis to now employ them on a permanent basis. The reason is largely because we just don’t have adequate resources to do so. But also the fact that some of those tasks were indeed temporary tasks, and as the surge is decreasing
the provinces will also have to readjust their subbing but keep enough capacity that if there is a sudden increase in infections they should still have capacity.
We would wish that we had enough funding because nurses are very resource for health care provision. If we had all the adequate funding we would have wished that all of those health professionals, including community health workers, and not only nurses, would be employed permanently. But the reality of the situation as hon members would know that we are coming from the Medium- Term Budget Policy Statement not long ago where the Minister of Finance cited out clearly the fiscal situation of the country. Because of that reality, we are not able to promise that all those who were employed temporarily can now be employed permanently. That is the response, hon Chairperson and hon members.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, Deputy Minister. The first supplementary question is from the hon Motsamai. Hon Motsamai?
Mr A ARNOLDS: Can I rise on a point of order?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes.
Mr A ARNOLDS: Can you please go back to the question that was asked by ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We are on ...
Mr A ARNOLDS: My name is there but you didn’t call my name out. [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, I can see. Thank you very much. Let’s go back to the fourth supplementary question. Arnold?
Mr A ARNOLDS: Thank you Chairperson and Deputy Minister, the National Health Act 61 of 2003 provides the framework for a single health care system of South Africa and also provides for a number of basic health care rights.
Medical legal claims in South Africa are dealt with in terms of the common law because current policies do not provide guidance for dealing with the problems. The nature of the crisis is that our country is experiencing a very sharp increase in medical malpractice mitigations.
The cost of medical malpractice claims has skyrocketed and the number of claims has increased substantially. What, according to your knowledge and understanding is the main reason for the enormous increase in medical legal litigations against the state? What single intervention do you believe will have the biggest impact on improving the current situation. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, hon Chair. Hon member, there are two broad factors. The first one in the public health’s side is just the enormous pressure of service. As you would be aware, I have alluded to earlier on that the burden of disease in South Africa is huge. Whether we talk about HIV, TB, infectious diseases and now Covid-19, noncommunicable diseases, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease, all those are a burden in South Africa because of various socioeconomic factors.
The national Department of Health’s lack of some basic facilities like clean water, housing and also our own ability to look after ourselves in terms of the kind of diet we eat and some social behaviour like smoking, abuse
of alcohol, lack of exercise and all those things contribute to the whole burden of diseases and added to that is violence in families and on the roads and so on.
So, our facilities are highly burdened and health workers work under immense pressure and as a result mistakes happen. Here and there you will find that there are bad apples and things which shouldn’t have happened at all do happen and it is huge burdens which leads to pressure.
That is one aspect which makes our system very vulnerable.
The second factor is in terms of greed as well. Greed is all over the country whether we talk about it or not – in the form of tendering and so on. The health fraternity has not escaped that. A lot of what used to happen with the Road Accident Fund which has now collapsed has now moved to health litigations where you will find frivolous claims also happening.
So, it is not only in the public sector. That is why this is also driving even private practitioners out of the service. The protection plan for professionals and
insurance is now running at no less than a million rands for one health professional per year, which is unaffordable. The intervention therefore as I have mentioned, is to improve efficiencies in terms of protecting the public health, making sure that there is proper management regarding systems and protocols right from admission at the office where the clerks issue cards to make sure that proper records are kept and properly secured.
Sometimes what we experience regarding this fraud is that some of our own selfish health workers have been found to be colluding with some of these fraudulent people, stealing even health records. We have to secure records and make sure that all those things can be kept safe – but also changing of the legal framework as we have said that there is a gap in the legal framework. Through the SA Law Reform Commission and the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services we are also addressing the legal framework. Thank you, hon Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, hon Deputy Minister. I am making an apology to the hon Arnolds there and the Deputy Minister.
Mr A ARNOLDS: Apology accepted, Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You should have noted that the Minister has already dealt with the first part of the question from the hon Motsamai, that is Question 58. We will now move over to the hon Motsamai for his first supplementary question on Question 58.
Mr K MOTSAMAI: Thank you Chairperson, Deputy Minister as spoken here by the EFF when we expressed our gratitute to health care workers for the work they did during South African Workers’ Day worse day of COVID-19 pandemic, the real heroes who were on the frontlines are indeed our health care workers. It seems nurses’ job is a thankless job. When one considers the work nurses do, which is over and above the working conditions and the salaries of nurses, can the employers not employ them on a permanent basis. What does your department intent to do regarding the salaries of those nurses? I thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much hon Chairperson and the hon member. I want to join the member by saying that indeed as a Ministry and as a department – as government as a whole, we have on countless occasions expressed our deep appreciation for the health care workers of this country because without their sacrifices, without their commitment, we would not have stabilised the country to the extent where now a lot of activities have now resumed. Indeed, he is not alone in viewing health workers as heroes. We have been very upfront - from the President, Minister, myself and other members of the Cabinet. We have been very upfront by saying that we are very thankful for the commitment of our health care workers and they are indeed our heroes.
It cannot be correct to say that we are sort of or seem not to be caring about them, and that they are not being considered. If everything was possible, we definitely would leave no stone unturned in making sure that these heroes of the people of South Africa can be properly thanked and recognised. Due to limited resources, as I have mentioned, we have been discussing with
representatives about issues around some recognition awards and so on.
These are matters which are on the table for discussion. There is also the issue of making sure that those who made their services available on a temporary basis should be offered permanent positions. We agree with that idea but as I have said, it is just that the current fiscal situation of the country is not making it possible.
We would have wished that and as soon as there is an improvement in the financial position of the country and the department, we will prioritise frontline health care workers and make sure that they are properly remunerated and also that those who are making their services available can also be employed so that they have sort of security of tenure. It is not out of not willing, but it is just out of the fact that we don’t have the means at the current moment. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Mr S E MFAYELA: Hon Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, given the fact that KwaZulu-Natal has a total of
3 561 COVID-19 cases amongst health care professionals as
of August 2020, I would like to know whether any efforts have been made by the department to conduct the comparative study to determine the psychological effects of the pandemic on nurses and offer support to nurses’ mental health, and even the stresses of being a health care worker during the pandemic.
I also would like to know whether the Minister has any strategies in place to ensure that the department remain a competitive employer of choice to allow for retention of nurses. What progress has been made regarding the recruitment, training and placement of experienced intensive care unit, ICU, nurses, high care nurses after the National Assembly presented that there was a shortage of them. I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: I thank you very much hon member and hon Chairperson, indeed one of the sad realities of the COVID-19 pandemic is the nature of the work of our health care workers. They work under very stressful conditions on a daily basis; they have to travel back to their families who also get stressed. The stress does not just affect the health care workers, but
it also affects their families because every day, those family members don’t know if their mother, their sister or their father will bring the virus to the family when they come back from work. That is the reality that we are going through. We have lost quite a number of health workers. I think the last count was just under 400, it is regrettable that this has happened.
We have been working together with representatives of various worker organisations to make sure we provide the necessary services or facilities for psychosocial support, and not only physical support. We have been creating the health safety committees. We have insisted that there must be health safety committees at all health care institutions like hospitals and clinics. We have also brought in the National Institute for Occupational Health to work with us and monitor these health safety committees in the various institutions.
We have said that amongst the services which must be prioritised is psychological support. We are making sure that where we don’t have resources we will source out psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers who can
give this support - not only to the workers, but also to their families. [Interjections.] [Inaudible.] ... making the department an employer of choice, of course. As I have said, we would like to provide even much more support and also more competitive recognition including better remuneration and recognition of excellence of service but we have limited resource.
We have also emphasised that some of this support doesn’t have to be financial. We have encouraged our managers at various levels to even just recognise a good service done by various health care workers. Even if it is just a small prize, but it should not necessarily be financial - just that proper recognition will go a long way.
With regard to recruitment of nurses and other professionals for ICU and high care, definitely this is also our priority in terms of when its during the peak when we look at various fields. We were also looking at ICU because as members, you would be aware of the need for more ICU beds are needed for high standard care and high flow oxygen therapy. Unfortunately, in some cases we also had to create temporary employment but it is
possible we can retain some of these professionals. We would do our best to make sure that they are retained within the service. I thank you, hon Chair.
Nksz N NDONGENI: Enkosi Sihlalo, enkosi Sekela Mphathiswa ngeempendulo zakho ezicacileyo. Kwezinye iindawo ndiphendulekile kuba ucacisile malunga nabasebenzi abasisigxina ukuba baqashiwe kusini na ngeli xesha leCOVID-19. Ingaba lindawoni isebe ekugcwaliseni ezinye izithuba zemisebenzi ezikhoyo kumanqanaba olawulo lwamaphondo kunye nohlahlo lwabiwo-mali oluphunyeziweyo? Enkosi Sihlalo.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair, as much as I try to be very knowledgeable on the 11 languages, the hon member went into some fairly deep Xhosa which made me get lost at some areas. I lost some of the gist. I did not put on headphones thought I could any interpretation. I don’t know how, but I think I might be short-changing her.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Why don’t we try and get the hon Ndongeni to just repeat the question again. Would you sort out there.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Please, if you can be less deeper in isiXhosa, just make it more easier ... [Laughter.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: As she was the former teacher; she’ll try.
Nksz N NDONGENI: Enkosi Sihlalo.
Thank you hon Deputy Minister for the answer you have provided to the question. I understand that the department has filled some permanent posts during this COVID-19 period. How close are we from filling all the vacant posts that are in the organograms of provincial approved budgets? That is my question.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much for understanding, hon Ndongeni. Hon members and hon Chair, it is our wish that all needs that have been identified through the assessment of needs at various institutions should be met. Our wish is that all the required posts in terms of those needs be filled – because we do have a system through which the appropriate staffing norms have been identified. Once that is done – that is the needs are within staffing norms and posts are created, then that is good. Our wish actually is that in all those instances all those posts should be funded so that they can be filled.
As I have indicated, we wish in not so far future we will be there. But currently what we are able to do with our colleagues in various provinces is that we have also been helping them to seek additional funding which now and then we have been able to prioritise from other sources. We have done our best to make sure that as much as possible we can work with our colleagues in provinces to fund the majority of the posts which have been identified in terms of the staffing norms.
Unfortunately, it is only in cases where such funding has been identified and been provisioned for in the budget that we are able to fill those posts. At the current moment, there will be very few. We can come back to the honourable House to indicate the actual numbers, but over this period we have tried to make sure that ... unless in cases where the necessary skills could not be found. But wherever the skills could be found, we have made sure that those posts get filled as long as they are budgeted for. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Thank you, Chairperson, through you to the Deputy Minister, it has become obvious that the ANC national government are more determined in investing in failed projects such as SA Airways, SAA, instead of investing in the health care professionals who put their lives at risk to look after us, all of us instead of the existing ... [Inaudible.] ... whom we all call heroes.
Deputy Minister, the hypocrisy of this national government could that be more insulting to the people of South Africa. My question is: Why would national government with the struggling public health care system, especially during the pandemic, not spend all available
resources on the health care infrastructure such as more staff than awarding another bailout for a failing state- owned airline? How could you allow that?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Let me start by saying that the hon member is totally disregarding serious interventions which were made. If the hon member would remember, when the President announced the R500 billion interventions at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, in that R500 billion there was not less than R21 billion which was made available to capacitate the health sector which was the reason why we were able to see through the peak. We created field hospitals, including the convention centre in Cape Town and various other field hospitals, putting in extra capacity across the country, employing more professionals and putting in money to improve testing capacity.
Many of those interventions are going to be long-term investment. They were put in to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic but those facilities to be left as they are to expand the capacity of the health sector. This is not a question. You see, as a responsible government we look
after all South Africans and their needs. If for instance you are saying to the employees of SAA and their families who are losing their jobs and their livelihood, they will actually feel very hurt by the fact that you want to counterpose them. It is as if the airline helped to resuscitate people and was able to provide the service and employment - it is counterposing against people who studied medicine and are doctors, which is not the case.
South Africa is a wholesome country. You have to look after the economic sector – SAA is not just an expenditure, but it is also part of reviving the economy of the country, making sure we get tourists from all over the world; making sure that our hotels are busy and they bring in money into the country to eject it into the life of the country which makes sure that we have taxes to be able fund the health sector. It is not really a correct notion to say that if you save the airline that is therefore counterposing. We are looking at both, saving the lives and also saving livelihoods. That is our approach, hon Chairperson. Thank you. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I will now hand over to the hon Ngwenya, but as I do so, the next question which is Question 53 is on minimising effects of COVID-19. The question is tabled by A B Cloete and it is directed to the Minister of Health. As I do so, I am handing over to the hon Ngwenya. Deputy Minister?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair, indeed the health measures used during alert level 5 right up to level 2 of the national state of disaster contributed positively towards minimising the detrimental effect of COVID-19, as experienced by other countries that did not impose strict measures.
As at 2 November, the total number of South Africans infected was just over 725 000, as at 3 November, it was over 728 000 confirmed cases, and there has been just over 19 000 deaths since the beginning of the epidemic.
The country has moved from being ranked number five in the world, at the peak of the epidemic in July, to now being ranked number 13, as I speak, with a recovery rate
of 90,2%. As at 30 October, our national case fatality rate compares favourably with that of other countries at 2,6%. Nationally, we have been able to flatten the curve since the second week of September, if we take a seven- day moving average number of new cases by province – considered from April 2020. The seven-day moving average has markedly declined compared to where we were at the peak in July. So we have made a lot of progress with these measures.
These measures were also aimed at strengthening national and provincial mechanisms for detection, management and containment of the virus using, amongst other things, the following interventions: providing effective governance and leadership including through the mobilisation of finances and the resources required to curb the spread of COVID-19; strengthening surveillance and strategic information systems at national and provincial levels in order to monitor trends, guide policy actions and effect swift changes in response based on the reports on the trends; augmenting the health systems’ readiness against the epidemiological curve by identifying gaps and planning to ensure health services’ availability is
improved according to the need; ensuring the ability to deliver these services and the required health workforce, medication, equipment, products such as ventilators,
high-flow oxygen nasal cannulae and oxygen at all the facilities; enhancing effective community engagement and communication through public health risks and other related mitigating factors, such as wearing masks, social distancing and making sure that we communicated adequately about these measures as well as restricting the numbers of people attending events, including at funerals, religious events, sporting and other recreational events, and also protecting vulnerable populations; including laboratory capacity and testing through the National Health Laboratory Service, the NHLS, and other private laboratories; establishing a clear continuum of care pathways and clinical guidelines; strengthening the scale-up of infection and prevention control; enhancing screening capacity at the ports of entry to make sure that we could limit the importation of the virus; and, lastly, expediting research and the introduction of new therapeutics, new diagnostics and also working with various partners in the search for a vaccine.
So, these serious lockdown interventions at the peak of the epidemic helped us to get to where we are today in terms of drastically reducing the infection rate from our being number five in the world to now standing at number
13 and still going down as other countries’ rates of infection rise. Thank you, hon Chairperson, and members.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you, Deputy Minister. I now call on the hon Cloete to pose his follow-up question. Hon Cloete?
Mr A B CLOETE: Thank you, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon Cloete ...
Mr A B CLOETE: Can you hear me, Chairperson?
An HON MEMBER: We can hear you.
Mr A B CLOETE: Can you hear me?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Yes, I can hear you.
Mr A B CLOETE: Thank you. I will continue. I just want to make one or two statements or give some background regarding the question. This might be regarded as mustard after the meal, but we need to have a look at this as well.
I put the possibility that if the hard lockdown had been effective, the rate of infection would have dropped significantly seven to 14 days after the lockdown was implemented. Now, one would have expected that the rate of increase would have changed when lockdown changed, but research found no such change. In fact, during level 3 the pandemic peaked, so if lockdown regulations were having the intended effect, Deputy Minister, one would have expected the rate of infection to spike as restrictions were relaxed, but this did not happen.
Let me come to my question. We all know that Professor David Nabarra recently said ... Now, remember he is the world’s highest ranking expert on COVID-19. He said that the World Health Organisation, the WHO, does not advocate lockdowns since their only consequence is to make poor people poorer. He also went on to say that the only time
when a lockdown was justified was to buy you time to reorganise, to regroup, to rebalance your resources and to protect your health care workers who were exhausted but that “But by and large, we’d rather not do it.”
His comments align perfectly with the grave concerns of many other health care workers regarding the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies. I would like to point to the Great Barrington Declaration that advocates fully reopening economies and letting those who are not especially at risk from COVID-19 resume their normal lives albeit with sensible hygiene practices.
With that in mind, Deputy Minister, our society and our economy are still under a lockdown – to a lesser degree, but they are still under a lockdown. The President will make an announcement next week. We hear that the Minister in the Presidency has dubbed it his meeting with his family. What has the department counselled the President in this regard, especially in terms of what Professor Nabarra said regarding lockdowns?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Can I come in, hon Chair?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Hon Chair ... ? Okay.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon Cloete ... Yes, Chair ... Yes, Deputy Minister, you can respond.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, hon Chair. Firstly, let me just say to the hon Cloete that maybe his expectation was wrongly placed. The lockdown was brought in to flatten the curve.
Now, that did happen, because if he says that he expected that the numbers would go down after the lockdown ... I don’t know whether we failed in communicating. Maybe we must re-examine our ability to communicate, if even an hon member misunderstands. This is because the Minister, ourselves and the President, on countless occasions, indicated that the hard lockdown was to flatten the infection rate ... to stop a sudden rise in the infection rate, which would have overwhelmed health facilities,
something we have seen in various parts of the world – in very advanced countries like the US; in a big city like New York; in Italy; in Spain; in the UK; in big cities like London, Paris, Rome and so on.
This is not theory. We have seen it happening. And, indeed, the lockdown did have the effect of flattening the curve, making sure that we didn’t have a spontaneous or serious peak in the infection rate immediately without our being ready to handle that. That happened.
So, if he expected a miracle or a sudden dip ... that, of course, was not expected. It was to keep it at a low base, which happened. And the hon member himself accepts the fact that the peak came in not at level 5, not at level 4, but at level 3.
This is because, as hon members would remember, we went down to level 3 early in June. This was as a result of trying to make sure that there was more social and economic life, that more people could earn a living and could relax, that a number of economic sectors could open up, including mining and restaurant sit-downs, and that
there could be some level of travelling – all sorts of activities.
As we went down to that level, he himself says that that’s when the peak happened. Yes, because we then, at that stage, had bought the time to prepare the foundation: the facilities, the staffing, the equipment, the oxygen and everything. We had to now give in to more economic and social activities – and that was expected.
So, indeed, contrary to what he said, it was the relaxation, but once we reached level 3 and were able ... because we were ready with testing and with various interventions, we contained it. It did not overwhelm the health facilities.
We were able to contain it even at the highest peak in the Western Cape. When it moved to Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and everywhere else, we were able to contain it. Not a single person ... It would have made the front pages if there were people who went to health facilities with COVID-19 and just told that there were no beds. That did not happen.
In fact, to the contrary, some of the opposition parties were now saying that we were wasting money by providing extra facilities. But if people had come in and there were no beds, they would have been the first ones to say that people were turned away, because there were no facilities. So we were ready. That’s why it was able to burn itself out through these containment measures and we were then able to go to level 2 and to level 1, where, now, there is containment and we are just monitoring. So at the current moment in terms of working with the President, and the Cabinet and the National Coronavirus Command Council we are clear that we are at a stage where we are monitoring to see whether there could be a second wave. That is really what we are looking at and making sure that we are ready. So, let me leave it there, hon Chair. [Applause.] I’m finished, hon Chair. I hope you can still hear me.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thanks, Deputy Minister.
Izinto zabelungu lezi ziyahamba zibuye.
An HON MEMBER: We can’t hear the Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Whilst
the Chairperson is trying, could we continue. The next follow-up question is from the hon Brauteseth.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Thank you, Chair. May I proceed?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Yes,
please ... [Inaudible.] ... hon Ngwenya ... [Inaudible.] She will come back when she can continue.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Hon Deputy Minister, I think most of us would agree that the initial lockdown was essential to flatten the curve, as you say. The problem is that your government ... [Inaudible.] ... sledgehammer approach, not a scalpel approach.
Those severe regulations decimated the economy, adding millions to the unemployed, wreaked havoc among the middle classes who through hard work fought to improve their lives and contribute to our fiscus, and destroyed thousands of businesses which, in spite of national
government, kept our country afloat. With the tanking economy, more lives have been negatively affected, adding more strain to our health care services and social services than the virus itself.
So, the question to you, hon Deputy Minister, is: Should a second wave of COVID-19 infections or another pandemic become evident, will you adopt a proactive scientifically driven approach that targets the problem in a surgically accurate manner, rather than adopting an economically disastrous blanket approach, which you and your government adopted the last time around? I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Well, thank you, hon Chair. May I continue?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas):
Continue, Deputy Minister. She is still struggling with the network, so you may continue.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you, Deputy Chair. Thanks, hon member. Well, hon member, we definitely differ from you in saying that we used a sledgehammer
approach. The kind of measures which were taken, on a very temporary basis, were indeed very necessary, as I said earlier on, and in terms of containment as they helped to contain the virus by limiting movement, limiting activities, limiting gatherings, including economic activity, social gatherings and even economic activity. This was a necessary sacrifice.
We are convinced, therefore, that this was a long-term or a medium-term investment in the sense that when you look at countries which did not do some of the things we did and which thought these would be too hard – looking at countries like Belgium, Sweden and at some parts of the US ... Some of those countries which took half measures and were afraid to go all the way in terms of making sure that they could nip this pandemic in the bud, have had to come back now and do what we did much earlier.
Now, you may not agree with that, but indeed the science is there and you may be quoting ... You know, you are very selective in quoting one particular professor, but there are many other scientists in the WHO and in South Africa itself and various other places who actually point
out the fact that through these decisive steps, we have laid a foundation on which we can now build.
As to what we are doing, we are busy now making sure that we stabilise our plans: firstly, proactively, by monitoring the flames as Professor Karim has said to us – looking at the flames before them become veld fires. We are monitoring on a seven-day and 14-day basis. When we identify an area we move into it; we work with the health providers in the area and make sure we can trace, quarantine and intervene and so on.
We have, indeed, learnt in terms of what we have done. We have laid a foundation at our facilities. Even as the rate goes down, don’t dismantle everything. We don’t want to start from scratch. If there is a second wave, we will try to stop it before it becomes a veld fire. But if it does become a veld fire, we will make sure that we quickly resuscitate the facilities we have, so we do scientific monitoring.
We disagree with you that we have not done things with a scientific approach; we will continue in that way. That’s
why even when we opened up, there were a lot of demands, some of which ... you know, maybe because I always assume that people who oppose us from the main opposition – the kind of opposition that you come from ... I know you supported the President when he imposed ... [Inaudible.]
... then you jumped ship, very opportunistically so.
We want to say to the people of South Africa that we are a responsible government. Whatever we do it will be to save lives and to save livelihoods, so that is our approach. Thank you.
Mr D R RYDER: Point of order, Chair: There are now
3 million unemployed people ... [Inaudible.] Deputy Minister, tell that to 3 million unemployed people. Point of order please, Chair ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Can we
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you, Deputy Minister. The next speaker is the hon Ntsube.
Mr D R RYDER: Point of order, please Chair.
Mr I NTSUBE: Thanks, Chair. Can I proceed, Chair?
Mr D R RYDER: Chair, am I not being recognised?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon member Ryder, I don’t know ... what are you saying because I have got a problem of network. You want me to recognise on what, sir?
Mr D R RYDER: Point of order, please Chair. Chair, I will go ahead with the point of order and just say that the Deputy Minister is accusing the opposition of dumping the President, when, in fact, it was the other way round, because ... [Interjections.] ... [Inaudible.] ... the President that ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon Cloete, you are out of order because there is no point of order. [Interjections.]
Mr D R RYDER: Now she hears me quite well. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): [Inaudible.] ... it is a point of argument. [Interjections.]
Mr D R RYDER: Now, she hears well. Now there is no problem with her network. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon members, order please! Hon members, could you please allow the Chief Whip to assist me? I was calling the hon Ntsube, Chief Whip, but now there is this point of order. Can you please help me?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: I’m happy if you make a ruling, hon Chair. I want to abide by your ruling in that it was just a recycled argument. It was not a point of order, what the hon member ... [Inaudible.] Thanks.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thanks very much, Chief Whip.
Mr D R RYDER: Hon Chair ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon Tsube, could you please ask your follow-up question?
Mr I NTSUBE: Thanks, hon Chairperson. I think the Deputy Minister of Health has largely covered part of the question that I wanted to pose. However, Deputy Minister, in listening to your answer, it is evident that different lockdown stages did not only contribute towards minimising the effect of COVID-19, but also assisted in proving the space to get the health system ready for an epidemical curve.
Deputy Minister, as we have seen in the past and just now in the plenary, there has been a hullabaloo particularly by the opposition in that we should have lifted the lockdown and that we shouldn’t have had it. Could you please emphasise that if we had not had a hard lockdown in the beginning, would we have yielded the positive results that we are seeing today, Deputy Minister? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Indeed, as I have emphasised, we have ample evidence to see ... As we sit here, hon members, you just have to look at a number of countries or people that had a denialist approach. Some of them have been heads of states, saying that this would go away like the flu, but what a disastrous impact that has had. As we speak, to give an example, we know that the current president of the US kept on promising people that as the weather improved and this and that, that this would just be like the flu and disappear.
Even this week, as they were going into elections, they were actually at a higher peak than previously, with more than 100 000 infections per day in the country. There are also a number of other countries in Europe and in the Northern Hemisphere that are having the same experience, especially those that didn’t take the kind of steps we took.
On the contrary, if you look at a country like China, which had a very severe intervention right at the beginning, it has been able to contain the coronavirus and are still very stable. Let me just emphasise that I
know a number of the opposition also keep on saying that even now we are still suppressing economic activity and that we should open up everything. If we just told people that there was nothing to worry about, that would mean that there was no need to wear masks, no need to social distance, no need to avoid crowds. That’s exactly what they would be saying if they were in charge; they would go that way. That would be a disaster. We are going to always be responsible and we will not advise our people to go in the direction which would really endanger their lives and the lives of those around them.
Indeed, we still believe that. Regarding the steps which were taken, we are now, as the President announced, focusing on economic recovery. Some jobs were lost on a temporary basis, but as the economy opens up and as there is more and more economic activity, more and more jobs will be created. This is not an experience unique to South Africa. Many advanced countries lost millions of jobs ... contracted. Even countries like the US and the UK there had contractions of more than 8%. So we are not alone in terms of the impact of the interventions and the
pandemic itself. And, indeed, we believe that we have always acted responsibly. Thank you very much, hon Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you, Deputy Minister. The next follow-up question is from the hon Mokause.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Thank you, House Chairperson. Hon Minister, in some of your responses during this process of answering questions, the arrogance – the way you attend to the matters – is extremely worrisome, considering the fact that there are a lot of South Africans who actually lost their lives. Some could not even afford health care services in the same country that you are administering.
Nonetheless, hon Minister, considering the strengths and weaknesses of the various lockdown stages, as communicated by your Minister, what will you do differently should there be a second wave that would require drastic measures in order to safeguard the ordinary lives of South Africans – considering the fact that we do not have a health care system in South Africa?
We have a health care service. A health care system, hon Deputy Minister, should actually speak to all the departments which are, in fact, important in one’s life. So, in South Africa there is not a health care system; there is a service that you are giving to our people.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you, hon Mokause. Hon Deputy Minister, could you please respond.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, hon Chair. Well, let me say that I don’t know where the hon member gets the impression that I am responding in an arrogant way. I am simply stating the facts in terms of how we have responded to challenges. I think she has the right to her own views and I can’t do anything to change her views, but I don’t agree with them.
We are indeed very grateful for the way in which South Africans have worked together with the government in terms of dealing with the very serious challenge – a pandemic which has ravaged not only our country but the world. Indeed, through the President and through various
other platforms, we have always expressed our full gratitude not only to the health workers but also for the way in which South Africans from all works of life have actually assisted in making sure that we can save lives and also save livelihoods.
Now, in terms of how we would act differently – and the hon member saying that we have a service and not a system
– indeed we don’t have a perfect health system. There are a lot of weaknesses. First of all, as I have mentioned in earlier replies, there is a lot of fragmentation between private and public and also within the public sector in terms of our political system. Sometimes it shows up in weaknesses in terms of our architecture regarding things done in the different spheres of government – sometimes not talking to each other. But during this time of COVID- 19, I think there has been a lot of improvement in terms of those.
Going forward, as I have already mentioned, we are indeed quite confident about the foundation that has been laid in terms of containment measures, readiness for intervention regarding testing and screening, those who
need to be quarantined who are contacts, those who have shown symptoms, and those that are positive finding facilities for isolation. On a constant basis, we are monitoring how things are going, district by district – not just in each province but quite often when we have our coronavirus council meetings we also go down into the districts. For example, if there is a flare-up in the Free State: we look at which district it is, which local municipality it is so that we can go right down to the locality. This is so that in the case of a second wave, it will not catch us by surprise. We will be able to monitor it. The basic tools remain the same: it’s prevention in terms of face masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds and making sure that when there is a warning, in terms of the fact that there is a number of infections, making sure that our health workers move in, do the testing, do the screening, find the contacts, isolate them. There is no other miracle until we get a vaccine. We will be making sure that all these tools – all these systems which have been tried and tested – can be utilised maximally through our alert system and monitoring, which are already working. Thank you, hon Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you very much, hon Deputy Minister. Hon members, I would like now to call the Deputy Minister to respond to a question on behalf of the Minister. I now call the hon Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture to respond to Question 72 that has been asked by the hon D C Christians. But, hon members, I want to remind you that that question’s follow-up question will be asked by the hon Bara. Hon Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Deputy Chair, the only thing that you forgot to say is that the hon Dr Phaahla is done in terms of responding to his questions and to just express appreciation to him for his being here. I just wanted to remind you, Deputy Chair, so that people see to the next hon member.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): It’s
the House Chair, ne.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Yes, okay: “House Chair”. Thank you. You are interchanging so I get confused.
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Niyazithanda izikhundla.
USOSWEBHU OMKHULU WOMKHANDLU WEZIFUNDAZWE: Lalela baba
siyasebenza manje. [Ubuwelewele.]
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk W Ngwenya): Asisebenzi. Kwenzakalani?
I’ve got a guide in front of me that I must also ask the Deputy Minister on Question 72 ...
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank you
very much, House Chair ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): ... or what you are saying: you said I must pass Question 72 and go Question
73. I don’t understand.
An HON MEMBER: House Chair, would you like to phone a friend?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): No.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): May I
proceed, House Chair? Can I chair the session? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Deputy Minister ...
... ngoba bengilokhu ngihlushwa yilo-Zoom wami - ngingena ngiphuma. Ngathi kukhona okungishiyile yingakho ngicela uSoswebhu noma iTafula lingisize.
I was instructed that I must do these questions: Question
72 and Question 73 ...
...ngemuva kokuqeda ngalombuzo ebengiwenza khona manje. [Akuzwakali.] [Ubuwelewele.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: House Chair, follow what I was said. I did not change any proceedings, but I accept that you were saying that your correction – from time to time – you don’t follow as the audio is poor. So all what
I was saying is that we thank the Deputy Minister of Health for being here in the House and that he’s done, so that we move smoothly to the next Deputy Minister, the Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, with regard to responding to his question. So it was just that matter, House Chair, otherwise nothing bad ... You can just acknowledge the Deputy Minister of Health: “You’re done,” and then proceed to the Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thanks very much, Chief Whip, for your clarification. That means now that we can go to the Sport, Arts and Culture questions.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank
you very much, House Chair, and good afternoon to hon members. Thank very much for the question from hon Christians. The response is like this, yes, the department has undertaken to conduct a national audit of statues, monuments and memorials. It will be undertaken as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus package where about 260 job opportunities will be realised from
the project. The agency of the department known as the SA Heritage Resources Agency, Sahra, will be implementing the project for the department.
The project will start next week, the advertisement is going out and it will be finished at the end of March 2021. The 260 recruits will be coming from the unemployed graduates who will be employed by the department’s agency and will conduct the national audit. Sahra has set up a reference group made up of experts in history and heritage to play and advisory role on the audit and towards transforming the heritage landscape. The department will also appoint a steering committee to drive the consultative and implementation process. Public consultative processes will take place before the relocation or repositioning of any monument. This will be as provided by the National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999. Thank you very much, House Chair.
Mr M R BARA: Thank you, House Chairperson, and thank you Deputy Minister for your response. Deputy Minister, has your department only received a fraction of the coronavirus disease 2019, Covid-19, budget and is also
severely restricted in terms of finances. And considering that there are more pressing issues for your department to consider such as supporting the livelihoods of sports men and women, artists and people in the acting entertainment industry, script signage that hasn’t been updated and renewed in years as well as keeping museums and cultural heritage sites that the removal of the nation’s history. How will the project of removal of statues and monuments take place with no budget at all?
Thank you, House Chairperson.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank
you very much, House Chair, and thank you very much, hon Bara, for that follow-up. Of course, it is true that budget constrains not only for us as the department, but the entire government, is something that we are dealing with. However, it doesn’t mean that issues of social cohesion and nation building must be put at the bad banner because of that, we have to find a balance. That’s why in my response, hon Bara, I have explained that this project will be funded through the Presidential Employment Stimulus package which is one of the projects that we have put in place to make sure that, amongst
other things, it tries and activates the economy in the country, but also we believe that we should be looking at these issues not as a reactive way, but more proactive.
Therefore, the issue of doing the audit because at this point in time we are just doing the audit so that we are able then to take a decision which statue gets to be stored and which one stays, and that decision can only be taken after the audit has been done. Thank you very much, House Chair.
Mr S E MFAYELA: Yes, Mam. Hon Deputy ... Yes ma’am, do you hear me?
AN HON MEMBER: Can we talk?
USIHLALO WENDLU: (Nk W Ngwenya): ... siyabonga baba, mhlonishwa uMfayela, ngicela ukuxolisa kancane ...
... the next follow-up question has asked by hon I Ntsube, then ...
Mr S E MFAYELA: Yes ma’am, thank you.
... bese wena uzoza emuva kwakhe. Ngiyabonga baba.
Hon I Ntsube! Hon I Ntsube!
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Chair, they are not here. These people are not concentrating.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk W Ngwenya): Hhayi! Kahle!
Hon Ntsube! You can ask your follow-up question.
Mr I NTSUBE: Thank you, House Chair. Let me appreciate the response by the Minister. However, my follow-up question relates to the apartheid statues and the symbols occupying at the same prime position that they occupied under apartheid. What prevent the department from removing these statues from the public spaces migrating
them to museums like it has been used in the Rhodes statue from the University of Cape Town. Thank you very much, hon House Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank
you very much, House Chair, and thank you very much, hon Ntsube for that follow-up question. It is, indeed, true that there would be those feelings amongst the members of the society that we need to remove some of the statutes and put them in the place of safety. The reality of the situation is that we can’t just decide at our whim as the department that we are removing this statue and not removing this one. That is why it is critical for us that the audit is done first, and once that audit is done, there is then a process of consultation and also allow the experts in the history and heritage to actually play and advisory role so that when we then decide that which one must be stored, we have done that process.
However, also it is important for members to also remember that in whatever that we will be doing at uppermost empowerment programme is to make sure that the
issues of social cohesion and nation building will be playing a key role. Thank you very much.
Mr S E MFAYELA: Yes, hon House Chairperson. Hon Deputy Minister, actually I’m partly covered. My question was whether the department has considered your alternative of placing monuments and statues that represent South Africa’s at old past in a history museum ... [Interjections.] ... in order to preserve the history of our country without offending our people. I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank
you, House Chair. As hon Mfayela says that he’s partly covered, it is also important to remember that our history is a painful one. Therefore, we will always have to make sure that as we deal with these issues, we also not look at the fact that we need to clean the history totally, because remember that every country has got a history. Whether it is painful we need to be moving from a history and making sure that reconciliation and nation building is done in such a way that it accommodates everybody.
As I’ve already mentioned that that’s one area that we will be very sensitive when we are dealing with this issue. Therefore, as soon as the audit is done, on the advice and the inputs that would have been done by the people of South Africa, we will then be able to remove those statues and areas that people need us to take away and restore. We will do that, but it cannot be just us as the department deciding which must go and which must stay. Thank you very much.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Deputy Minister, there is no history here. The history which is here is a painful history which reminds us how our land was stolen from black people. Therefore, there is nothing to protect.
Nonetheless, Deputy Minster, for years we have been calling for the removal of colonial and apartheid statues and monuments in this country. They are offensive, they are harmful and they are constant reminder of our bloody past whose stains still blind even today. They remind us of the roots of our continued landless, Deputy Minister, and the subjudication in Parliament was surrounded by the statues of these bloody colonial criminals: Queen Victoria, Louis Botha and Jan Smuts.
Why is there resistance within this current government against the removal of these statues, Deputy Minister? What historic and preserve value of these monuments honouring killers of black people? Do these statues serve, Deputy Minister, except a painful history of a black landless society which today we are facing in South Africa and Africa? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank
you very much, hon Mokause. I agree with you that our history is the painful one. Therefore, as we move forward to build a better South Africa we are not going to be able to do it the same way that those that have been made our history painful, and we also repeat the painful process. Ours is to make sure that we deal with the issue in a manner that it is caring everybody along. It is making sure that as outcome 14 of the National Development Plan, which talks about social cohesion and nation building, we make sure that we adhere to those.
That is why it is going to be important that when this process unfolds and the consultative process takes place of the public, the public then make sure that they participate fully so that all those statues that they
want removed their voice is heard and must so that the department is taking what the majority of the people of South Africa saying - in terms of those that must be removed and those that must stay.
I agree that from a subjective point of view when you look at those statues sometimes you don’t understand why we are not taking a decision. Unfortunately, we can’t take a knee-jerk approach on this thing, we have to make sure that we follow due processes. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair and thank you very much for the question from hon Gillion. The response is; the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture had made a number of attempts, to ensure that it reaches out, to entertainers since the begging of the lockdown to date. It has further actively engaged with its provincial counterparts to heighten efforts of reaching out to their local artists. The following programmes were rolled out and others are still underway: from April until...for two weeks we called out on applications for the first wave of the relief funds,
which had taken place and the second wave was advertised in September, and there’s also a partnership between the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the Department of Small Business Development, for visual artists, craft design and audio visual arts, there’s also a presidential employment stimulus package that I have spoken to.
The interventions instituted were not without challenges as they occurred under unfamiliar and rapid changes circumstances. The sector outcry for opportunities to receive relief is the process that incrementally being responded to. The effectiveness of each intervention is being evaluated and subject...sequent improvements are being implemented to complement the interventions.
The total evaluation of these and their impact will be undertaken when all have been fully executed and concluded. Wherein a complete report will be presented. Thank you very much House Chair.
Mr M E NCHABELENG: House Chairperson, thanks Deputy Minister, DM, for your response, it is quiet detailed and very helpful in helping us to understand where we are. I
just want know, has the department considered the possibility of mobilising the business community both locally and internationally, with a view to securing assistance for many artists who have not yet benefited from governments’ relief programmes? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair, and thank you very much hon Nchabeleng for the question. The government’s approach on dealing with issues of relief is always about, first of all making sure that there’s partnerships within departments themselves, hence I even mentioned the fact that we have got one, that we are dealing with the Department of Small Business Development, but also private partnership is critical because government or the department on its own cannot be able to do everything. That’s why the issue of partnership is very critical. We are looking at our friends that we have a relationship with, which we will be able to for instance deal with the issues particularly amongst the Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, BRICS, countries, the G20 countries, to make sure that what is it that we can do to make sure that our artists and athletes are able to benefit from this process. So
yes, to finalise the question, hon Nchabeleng we have looked at the issues of partnerships, because partnerships are the only way to go. Government cannot be able to do everything by itself. Thank you very much.
Mr M R BARA: House Chairperson, thank Deputy Minister, DM, for your response. DM in our last meeting as Sport, Arts and Culture we had various stakeholders, after they had a protest march to the department. Those who participated to the march, voicing their despair on non- payment and/or lack of government support in the fight against COVID-19. In the meeting that we had, it was stated that The Cultural and Crea6ve Industries Federa6on of South Africa, CCIFSA, was a small screen who received money from the department. What steps have been taken by the department to resolve such issues from those hard done during the strive with COVID-19. Thank you Chairperson.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair, and thank hon Bara for the question. I think first approach is to contrast the two. If you understand the sport sector, the sport sector is better organised than
the arts and culture sector, in the sense that on the sport side you have, federations so it becomes easy to interact with the sports bodies, through the federations. When you come to the arts and culture side, they are less organised than the sports. So, The Cultural and Crea6ve Industries Federa6on of South Africa, CCIFSA, was put together to try and mitigate that factor, that you have a structure that you would be able to interact with, when you want to deal with issues of arts and culture. That you would have all bodies or structures that are organised for artist being under one umbrella body, so that it become easier for the department to interact with them.
Of course it has not been an easy road, and we have not reach that thing yet, that’s why as hon Bara puts it: “...there has been different stakeholders that have come forward complaining...there’s also been some protest around this”. The department has met with a lot of them, to try and resolve the issue but the big issue is, how this should be organised, so that it becomes easy for us to interact with them.
In terms of the first wave, hon Bara for instance, the applications that we have received for people, particularly from the arts and culture side, were around 4910 and they didn’t come from CCIFSA only, they came from across the board of the artists. To date we had paid about 4166 of those, the reason why the number is low, is because we had picked up that, there were some duplicates. So, there were about 744 duplicates [Interjection.] [Inaudible.] but in terms of those who benefited, they are not necessarily coming from CCIFSA, is the artists themselves, whether they are coming from different structures but the bottom line is that at some point, we need to make sure that they are organised, so that it become easier to [Inaudible.] everything. Thank you very much.
Mr M S MOLETSANE: House Chair of the session, well said. Deputy Minister, the qualification criteria for relief funding for artists was very exclusionary, as it focused only on those already established artists who suffered financial loss due to cancellation or postponement of shows. Was any consideration ever made for less established artists who were also hard hit by the
lockdown and couldn’t access any form of alternative income. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair, it’s true that during the first wave the qualification criteria was a bit tight because at the time we looked at those artists that would have had some events that they would have performed and the criteria needed them to bring a letter that shows cancellation and it did not even include those that would have had postponement. As I have said we learned as we moved, so when we then took a decision to implement the second wave. The second wave’s criteria then were much better than the first wave because we then looked at what went wrong during the first wave.
So, the second wave’s criteria were more relaxed, it didn’t have those exclusionary areas. We made sure that, for instance, if you had an event, if can’t get the promoter, get somebody who is even within the industry, to actually write you a letter and you submit, we also made sure that you can submit through a WhatsApp. We also made sure that- because I don’t know if hon Moletsane
remembers that, there was also a problem of people that were saying that some of them are freelancers and that criteria were not accommodating them. The second wave made sure specifically that even the freelancers were accommodated. So yes, the first wave was a bit tight but the second wave criteria were more accommodative. Thank you so much.
Mr S F DU TOIT: House Chair, hon Deputy Minister does the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture have any reserve funds to compensate beneficiaries, should harsher lockdown be imposed if another wave of infection that takes place. If yes, how much. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair, thank you very much hon Du Toit. You will remember that when we announced the first wave, we announced an amount of about R150 million, which was taken from the events that the department wouldn’t be able to perform due to lockdown. So, there was no new money that came from anywhere. The department looked at those programmes we wouldn’t do and we put those funds together and we came up with about R150 million. What happened is that at
the end of the first wave, when we realised that we had used about R80 million and we still had some surplus that are left, we then announced the second wave.
Now, the second wave is not complete yet, it is still in progress and we also are aware that, when the Minister of Finance announced on the adjustment budget a lot of departments were affected with the reduction of budgets particularly the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.
So it’s going to be very difficult for me now, here to say there is an excess fund somewhere that we will have in the event there is a second wave. It will be a process where the department will have to sit down and look on how to move forward. If there is a need for us to have a call for a third wave. At this point in time we are completing the second wave. Thank you very much, House Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Through
you, House Chair, let me thank hon Mfayela for the question, for which we are responding like this: The department is unable to confirm, whether it will support
the KwaZulu-Natal entertainment awards at this point in time. Due to the national lockdown regulations, all Mzantsi Golden Economy, MGE, open plan proposals, have been cancelled, and some of the Mzantsi Golden Economy’s budget has been prioritised, to address the relief efforts related to COVID-19.
Further to this, the budget was further reduced during the national budget cuts. So, the department has since publicly communicated to the potential applicants that they will have to reapply in the new financial year, and the new call for application is scheduled to be opened at the end of November. But having said that, the awards themselves are very important, generally, in the lives of any Arts practitioner because, being awarded Mzantsi Golden Economy award, is a potential trajectory to one’s career to open new opportunities and it is an acknowledgement of one’s excellence in the arts.
So, to that extent, the department does not perceive as a waste of resources, but the crucial process in the growth of emerging and developed artists, when you have awards. As indicated above, the use of the departmental funds
towards these ceremonies, is already been seen as a means of improving the lives of Arts practitioners. Thank you very much, House Chair.
Mr S E MFAYELA: Hon Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, my follow-up question is that, what allocated budget for these projects and who is meant to benefit from the projects? Secondly, how does the department intend to practice transparency to prevent any fraud and corruption with the funding? Thank you, sir.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Through
you, House Chair, let me thank hon Mfayela for the follow-up question. As I have already explained, I think that I must further explain that this KwaZulu-Natal Entertainment Awards, is not a government programme. It would have been that some NGO or a company would have wanted to host the awards who apply for assistance in the government.
So, as I have already explained that due to lockdown, as the department, we have since cancelled all the Mzantsi Golden Economy projects, and we will only be opening for
new calls in November 2020. So, at this point in time, we have not allocated any budget for this project. We don’t even know if we will allocate any budget for this project because at this point in time, we are not allocating anything yet, due to the fact that we are only waiting for the proposals to come, once we open in November 2020. Thank you very much.
Ms S A LUTHULI: Hon Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, everyone is aware that we as the EFF are in support of giving back to the industry, and we are the only political party that makes sure that the artists got something during the lockdown in order for them to put food on the table.
An understanding to your reply is that, there is nothing that says that you will fund this ceremony, but in case you do, because, as you are saying, that for the programme, some NGO would ask funding from the government. What guarantee would you give that the ceremony will benefit the artists and the industry at large, and that the money will not mismanaged and lootered as is the case with all the funding? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank
you very much, hon Luthuli for the follow-up question. I just want to say that, that the EFF have assisted some artists, I really appreciate that. But I also want to indicate that they are not the only organisation that did that, as I have already indicated that the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture had about 4 910 artists that have been allocated, and out of those, 4 166, were given the relief.
The reason for the number to be low, is because there was duplication of applications which was about 744. So, I’m sure, hon Luthuli you would agree with me that, those that you have funded as the EFF won’t even get to 2 000. I am talking to you about 4 000 plus that we have funded as this department. But nonetheless, we appreciate the work that you have done. But it doesn’t negate the work that has been done by this government, led by this department.
Ms N NDONGENI: Through you, House Chair. Deputy Minister...
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Yes.
Ms N NDONGENI: Through you, House Chair, Deputy Minister thank you for the replies that you have given us. The follow-up question is, whether the department has done an audit in terms of the success of COVID-19 relief fund, set aside for artists across South Africa? How many artists benefited from the scheme, and how many are earmarked to benefit, moving forward?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair, let me thank hon Ndongeni very much for that follow-up question. Quickly, I have already explained on the first wave that the people that have benefited are
4 166, but I also want to explain that above that, there were about 417 applications that were of digital in nature. Those that would have then assisted in making sure that there is work that would be done online.
The applications that came were about 417, and we have paid all of them. Also, there was programme of Living Legends, those that would have been old enough not to benefit because some of them are getting some kind of a
social grant. But what we then did is to make sure that they are paired up with some young people to do some work. Those Living Legends were about 138, the total that came from all the nine provinces. So, that’s what we have done during the first wave.
As I have already explained that we are now busy with the second wave for which, at this point in time, have received 2 702 applications which are handled by the two entities of the department, the Business Arts SA and the national Arts Council. The process of making sure that they are being adjudicated and being paid, is in progress. Secondly, from the solidarity fund, we have received ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): You are protected, Deputy Minister, continue.
Mr D R RYDER: Chairperson, there’s a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Who’s calling for a point of order?
Mr D R RYDER: It’s Mr Ryder calling for a point of order, please, Mr Nyambi.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Ryder.
Mr D R RYDER: House Chair, can the Deputy Minister clarify the number please, it was unclear whether she said 200 000 or 2 000.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: The
number is 2 702.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): You can continue, Deputy Minister.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: We have
received from the solidarity fund, food vouchers which were up to R7 000. So, what we have done, is to divide those food vouchers per province and allocate each province per how many that they can have. We have worked on the breakdown. We can submit if members so need. But at this point in time, we ended up exceeding the R7 000. We had about 7 433 to give to the people.
The last part is that, I don’t know if members saw that, two days ago, an advert has gone out on the partnership between us, the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and the Department of Small Business Development, calling for applications to assist those that are in the crafts and in the arts. So, that’s more or less what we have done.
Obviously, in terms of then making an audit of how many would have benefited, that process can only be taken once that process is done, so that we can be able to give a roundup number of how many artists and athletes have benefited from that programme. Thank you very much, House Chair.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Through you, House Chair, hon Deputy Minister, thank you very much for your response, which I’m very glad that it displays a certain measure of responsibility in terms of funds and Covid spread. If we can just go back to the proposed event, Deputy Minister, it appears that there has been a huge event that has been held at the International Conference Centre, ICC, in Durban, and being the past EThekwini Councillor myself, I
know that the EThekwini Municipality is very fond of lavish award ceremonies.
I think that we would agree that such a ceremony will be a complete waste of money, and the money should rather be spent on South Africans or South African artists that also on its own would be a super spreader od COVID-19.
So, I you prepared here and now, Deputy Minister to issue a note of caution to EThekwini Municipality that they should not waste any money in such an event, and that such an event could be a super spreader of the Covid virus? Therefore, they should abstain from holding such an event for now. Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair, let me thank hon Brauteseth very much for that follow-up question. As I have already explained, as the national Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, we are not funding any event right now until such time that call for proposals is opened in November, and therefore, we would then see who then applies to the department and who doesn’t.
But having said that, I also want to make sure that we also understand that the South African government has got three spheres of governance which each of them have got their own responsibilities. Of course, the important riding factor here is that, there has to be intergovernmental relationship on the three spheres of governance. Listen, hon Brauteseth, that this is an event that is normally held by the EThekwini Municipality, and is normally held in ICC.
I am not aware of it, but obviously, we are all as government cautious of the fact that at this point in time, we make sur that whatever rands and cents that we have, are there for the people of South Africa. As we mitigate and look at it, we have to make sure that the economy is revived in the country. The important thing is that, if that reality takes place, we have to evaluate, what effect and who benefits, and what is it going to assist those that would have needed it. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair, we note the limited funding for this area of work, the department has placed intervention measures to address equitable participation in sports and development of sporting codes, especially for the underprivileged.
To ensure equitable participation in sport development, the department has taken a conscious decision to work together with all spheres of government, sporting bodies and other relevant stakeholders.
Through the mass participation and sport development [Inaudible.] in all provinces, we strive to increase and sustain participation in sport and recreation and also to improve sector capacity to deliver sport and equitable participation.
The development of sport codes is done through the following [Inaudible.] using the conditional grant funds: firstly, full sports. There are 16 priority codes that is focused on the full sports with the view to increase access to participation and increase participation opportunities in sport.
Through school sport the department aims to achieve the following outcomes: increase the number of learners supported to participate in the national school sport championships; increase the participation of learners participating in provincial and district school [Inaudible.]; increase the provision of equipment and/or attire [Inaudible.]; support school sports structures and create employment through employing [Inaudible.].
In active [Inaudible.] we implement provision of equipment and attire to hubs and clubs, and community sports co-ordinators employed to run programmes in communities. There’s also club development, where we support local leagues as organised by [Inaudible.]
But to bridge the gap, the scientific support from sport academies is implemented; athletes are supported by these sport academies.
Now, in addressing the underprivileged, the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture is continuing to build good facilities through the municipality infrastructure fund in villages in our country.
Completed facilities sometimes are handed over by the Minister or myself to the communities. But there’s a Rural Sport Development Programme known as RSDP, which was launched in 2016. It has been conceptualised out of the realisation that notwithstanding the efforts made by government to promote sports, arts and culture, most disadvantaged communities, particularly in the rural areas and areas under traditional leadership still require a structured focus for sport development programmes and facilities. The Rural Sport Development Programme is, therefore, one such programme aimed at uplifting sport in the rural as well as farming communities.
Federations will still be funded, specifically earmarked for sport development. The department funds qualifying national federations according to the financial and nonfinancial support [Inaudible.] Funding will be provided across [Inaudible.] one, guaranteed funding and conditional funding, which will constitute the bulk of the funding that will address issues of governance, transformation and performance.
Amongst the varied athlete support programmes provided is the ministerial sports bursaries, which is traditionally awarded to learners from Grade 8 until they complete their high school education. The bursary recipients are identified through the school sport programme and placed in the sport-focused schools in order to give them opportunities to learn and improve sport [Inaudible.] whilst being supported [Inaudible.]
But lastly, the department works with its partners ... sport for social change network and love life to roll out programmes in communities to promote active and healthy lifestyle in order to combat the social ills that plaque our society. Thank you very much, House Chair.
Mr A ARNOLDS: Deputy Minister, when building an active nation, it is clear that no country can expect to achieve and sustain success at an elite level. There must be a strong participation based in local communities because that is where every champion has the beginning. Equitable participation in sports also means that sporting codes must split the budget between female and male teams, starting from Banyana Banyana and Bafana Bafana.
The legislative authority to oversee the development and management of sport and recreation in South Africa, the Constitution affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
Are there any targeted talent identification processes in place to enable the identification of athletes from previously disadvantaged communities? And if the answer is yes, what are the details? Thank you, Chairperson.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair, it is very true that you are not going to have a winning nation because winning nations is for elite sport, you are not going to have a winning nation if active nation is not adequately funded and making sure that it fits into the winning nation; that is very true.
There are two things that hon Arnolds raised, one, is the issue of the federations funding the male and the female teams. We want to agree that this is one area that concerns us as the department, as a result, particularly around the issue of the elite, which is the winning nation. When you look at Banyana Banyana and Bafana
Bafana, we gonna look at Proteas women cricket and Proteas male cricket and others. And even when you look at rugby, the women’s rugby and the male rugby. The department is ... we are in the process of a women’s sport policy, hon Arnolds, that we hope that we will be able to make and launch by the end of March 2021. We have done consultations [Inaudible.] all the provinces; the end of last month we were finishing the last province, which is the Northern Cape, so we’ve done all nine provinces now. We are going to release the draft policy to make sure that at the end the issue of women and male athletes is been [Inaudible.] equally.
The second part, hon Arnolds, I don’t know if you know there is a book called Eminence Persons Book, which amongst other things looks at federations and how they are dealing with the issues of [Inaudible.] and they release their report annually; and the Minister then will talk to this report and look at those federations that are not complying with the issues of transformation. It’s a very important book and I would love that at some point, you know, hon members, acquaint themselves with
that book because it talks to the areas that we are always concerned about as a nation.
But lastly, as I have said, the bursary that the department has, which identifies promising athletes at high schools, who would then be given a bursary identified by the coaches and federations themselves, and those students will be then taken to the elite schools where the sport is primary and that helps them to be able to transcend, to be able to be recognised and be happy to play at the elite sport.
It is not enough, hon Arnolds, we can’t say this is enough; more could be done to make sure that the issue of transformation in sport is done more than it is. And we are happy that we could provide that kind of numbers at this point in time to say how many have been given bursaries and how many have we taken to [Inaudible.] Thank you very much, hon House Chair.
Mr S F DU TOIT: Deputy Minister, the initial question speaks to the National Sports and Recreation Plan, NSRP. But I’m quoting the August 2012 NSR Plan:
At the heart of the NSRP is a Transformation Charter and a multi-dimensional Transformation Performance Scorecard. The purpose of the Charter is to transform the delivery of sport in South Africa [Inaudible.] refers to equal opportunity, fairness and just behaviour, equitable resource distribution, empowerment, and affirmation.
So, the mission of the NSR Plan is to:
Transform the delivery of sport and recreation by ensuring equitable access, development and excellence at all levels of participation and to harness the socioeconomic contributors that can create a better life for all South Africans.
It also describes equitability as follows:
Every individual should have an equal opportunity to make for him/herself the life that he/she is able and wishes to have, consistent with his/her duties and obligation as a member of society without being hindered in or prevented from doing
so by discriminatory practices. Equitable treatment is a fundamental value of all participating in sport.
Minister, with intervention measures such as quotas that forced representation of different races in sport, would you agree that some athletes are deprived from reaching their full potential because they are replaced on the basis of race and not merit? Thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon du
Toit, thank you very much for your understanding of what the National Sport and Recreation Plan seeks to achieve and I hope you will also remember that it was put in place specifically because at that point in time there were a majority of South Africans which were not necessarily being represented in the sport and therefore, the plan was trying to level the playing field to make sure that every South African has got equal access, whether it is rugby, cricket, athletes [Inaudible.]
And of course, hon du Toit, you can put documents in place, you can put plans in place, but one of the things
that unfortunately you have to be conscious about when you dealing with issues of transformation is to make sure that you actually try to make sure that you bring everybody, to make sure that even those that necessarily don’t believe in this transformation actually understand the importance of it so that at the end of the day sport is important in making sure that we build a social cohesion [Inaudible.] but also we make sure there is unity in sport in South Africa.
Now, the plan could be there but if the people that have to implement the plans are not able or willing to implement the plan, government had to make sure that it puts [Inaudible.] So, the quotas were one area of making sure that as we move forward with this plan to make sure that everybody ultimately will have equal opportunities; but in the meantime let’s make sure that we start by making sure that those that were disadvantaged, that did not have access, have the access now that is put in place by making sure that quotas are working for them, to make sure that they become part of the mainstream of sport. It is not enough because those quotas still don’t give a majority of the previously disadvantaged to be able to be
in the mainstream of sport but it is a good way in the right direction.
But ultimately we would want to see a situation where we don’t use quotas anymore; everybody gets in there by merit and make sure that every South African, whether they come from ...
... ezantsi kuQumbu ...
... or they come from Limpopo, those people ...
... bazakukwazi ukungena ...
... and be part of the elite sport, not because they don’t have the [Inaudible.] but the processes that have been put by government and this National Sport and Recreation Plan has made it possible for everyone to [Inaudible.] Thank you very much, Chair.
Ms H S BOSHOFF: Deputy Minister, I heard you speak of wanting or looking at increasing participation of learners in the sporting fields.
In view of this I’d like to ask you: How is SA Sports Confederations and Olympic Committee, SASCOC, intending to address the issues of school sport when there are matches related to the Cricket SA, CSA, where there was resistance to table the annual and financial report? And how is sport going to be sinful in our country if sporting codes are not at ease with SASCOC? Thank you, House chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair, one thing that we must all acknowledge is the fact that SASCOC, which was put together to make sure that all the sport federations in the country are all under umbrella of SASCOC, and therefore, the importance of making sure that federations adhere to what would then help young people through the federations, federations making sure that they are implementing their transformation programmes.
Yes, SASCOC is having its own challenges, hon Boshoff, and I hope you know by now that they are going to their [Inaudible.] congress this weekend on the 7th, and with the new leadership that would emerge there one hopes there will be new energy of making sure that they deal with the issues of sport and the issues of making sure that young people have got all the opportunities of participating in the sport.
But also ... I think for me it’s going to be very important as well to say ... you know, SASCOC with all its challenges, the issue of school sport is an issue that is still a very critical area because you will remember that we don’t have the full control of the school sport as the Department of Sports, Art and Culture. Remember the Department of Basic Education is still in control of that, that’s why we had to get into a memorandum of understating with the Department of Basic Education to try and level the playing filed around the issues of school sport. It’s an area that we working on because whilst we are putting funding there, but at the end of the day what happens in the school premises doesn’t lie with SASCOC, doesn’t lie with the Department
of Sports, Arts and Culture, it squarely lies wit the Department of Basic Education. Thank you very much, House Chair.
Mr I NTSUBE: Deputy Minister, we want to check from your department: What is the level of commitment on part of the department to streamline the indigenous South African Games and to promote them the rest of the universe?
Dibeke, [Inaudible.] kgathi, diketo, intonga, morula le [and] morabaraba, jwalo jwalo [etc]. Thank you very much, Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon
Ntsube, thank you very much for that question.
Ndinethemba lokuba amalungu ahloniphekileyo ayazazi ukuba ziintoni ezi ...
... indigenous games.
Abanye bethu ekukhuleni kwabo babezidlala iintonga, oopuca, oogqaphu, zizo ke ezi athetha ngazo umhlonipheki uNtsube. Isebe liyixabise kakhulu le midlalo, kangangokuba ukususela ngowama-2003, kwakukho indawo eyayibizwa ngokuba yiBasotho Cultural Village phaya eFree State. Sakufumanisa kubalulekile ukuqinisekisa ukuba onke amaphondo ayayidlala le midlalo.
Into eyenzekayo ngoku, le midlalo iyadlalwa nasezikolweni kwaye siqinisekisa ukuba eminye yayo izakudlalwa ...
... at national level.
Senzela ke ukuba nikhumbule ngoko ukuba le midlalo ihamba ncakasana nokuthi singoobani, sisuka phi na, kwaye siqinisekise ukuba le mindlalo asiyiboni ingabalulekanga kuba sibona le idlalwa koomabonakude, ekubeni le imidlalo ingadlalwa koomabonakude. Isebe lidibene namaphondo linenkqubo yokuqinisekisa ukuba ...
... these games are structured.
Andazi nokuba niyayazi kusini na ukuba qho ngenyanya yoMsintsi kuba iyinyanga yamagugu, sibanayo le ...
... programme of these indigenous games.
Iye iqale ...
... a day before the Heritage Day.
Idlalwa iintsuku ezintlanu. Kwiminyaka emithathu edlulileyo iLimpopo phaya eSeshego ibisingathe le midlalo. Noxa imidlalo le ibisingathwe liPhondo iLimpopo, iKwaZulu-Natala iye yaphumelela iminyaka ilandelelana kangangokuba siye savumelana ukuba mayisuke le midlalo ekudlalweni eLimpopo iye kudlalwa KwaZulu-Natal, kuba
kaloku kudala beyiphumelela. Ngelishwa kulo unyaka kuye kwafika ubhubhane iCorona asabinakho ukudlala. Sinethemba lokuba kulo nyaka uzayo izakudlalwa kwaye idlalelwe phaya KwaZulu-Natal le minyaka mithathu izayo.
Into endifuna ukuyithetha kuni yile yokuba, ngaphandle kokudlala le midlalo kuzwelonke, enye into esiyenzileyo yile yokuba uMzantsi Afrika ulilungu lombutho oyi...
...The Association for International Sport for All, Tafisa
Lo mbutho ujongene nale midlalo. uMzantsi Afrika ke udlalile ngowama-2008, le midlalo iseSouth Korea, ngowama- 2012 eLithuania, ngowama-2016 eIndonesia. Sinethemba ke lokuba ukuphela kwalo bhubhane, xa le midlalo idlalwa kwelinye ilizwe uMzantsi Afrika uzakusimela apho.
Sifuna ukutsho ke ukuba ngoku besinayo le midlalo ngowama-2019 phaya eSeshego, besinamazwe amabini
ebesinawo azokubona ukuba zinto zini anokuthi azifunde kule midlalo yaseMzantsi Afrika. Besinalo iqela ebelisuka eNgilane, sinalo neqela ebelisuka eIndia. Le midlalo ibalulekile kwaye sinqwenela ukuba amalungu xa ikhona la
Indigenous Games Festival ...
... abekhona, kubamnandi phaya. Kubakho nemiqombothi kunye nento efana nemigcobo, nemibhiyozo (carnival) ukuze abantu bayibone ukuba le midlalo ihamba nenkcubeko.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon
House, hon Christians, hon Bara, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has, in its first wave that was open for the public for applications, included a category for digital proposals. This is a category to take in consideration the limitations that the lockdown presented, in terms of public gatherings where a number
of clientele could not attend any arts and cultural events.
With this mode of presentation, productions had the likelihood to reach even greater numbers possible than with physical events. An amount of 417 such applications were approved for funding. The outcome of the applications was made public through the departmental website. And the applicants had provided their publicity posters, which had been shared through WhatsApp platforms and groups. It is accepted that more can still be done, going forward.
All relief interventions by the department were financial in nature. The first wave provided the applicants with funding of between R10 000 and R20 000 for loss of income and up to R75 000 for the digital applications.
The second wave had been set for R6 600 for all approved applications in the performing arts. Further to these, there are two more streams that the department will be rolling out. It is the Department of Small Business Development partnership for the visual arts, design,
crafts and audio-visual subsidies, and the Presidential stimulus package, which had been broken into two work streams as follows: firstly, the public employment work stream; secondly, the employment creation initiative for artists, creatives, cultural workers and sport and recreation practitioners to support their outputs. This includes support to innovation in digitisation efforts for content creation and dissemination and development of e-commerce systems.
This objective will be implemented through an open work stream done through the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture agencies and associated institutions. Thank you.
Mr M R BARA: House Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, what impact did Covid-19 have on staffing at museums and heritage sites and what will the long-term implications for keeping museums open be? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chairperson, hon Bara, museums have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. You all know, generally, when it comes to sports, arts and culture, you
need people to gather, you need people to visit and you need people to go there. The lockdown regulations had a very negative impact on these areas. Therefore, it has also affected the employment of the people in this area.
That is why this area of Sports, Arts and Culture is one of the areas that we are trying to address through the economic programmes that government has put place.
What we have identified is that the creative economy, if it is totally looked at, including what it can bring to the country, this area can mitigate risks for the country, while other economies are being affected.
That is why all of us participate and interact and we are putting together a programme to ensure that the creative economy is looked at, in terms of the country’s survival. Thank you.
Mr M E NCHABELENG: Hon House Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, for long, the sector has not been seen as a priority for career choices and as a result, many artists, especially young people, do not have the
opportunity to have their talents identified and developed at school level. Are there any plans by the department to reposition the arts, culture and heritage sector as an economic growth sector and introduce programmes that will integrate the sector at the core of our education system? Sorry for the disturbance in the background. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): Hon member,
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: House
Chair, hon Nchabeleng, the department is currently providing bursaries to arts practitioners through the National Arts Council for the arts and culture sector.
Furthermore, the department also provides more than 300 language bursaries per year to deserving students, which is managed by six universities throughout the country. We also provide about 66 heritage bursaries per year.
The department also established the Artist in School programmes in all nine provinces to provide practical
support to teachers, augmenting the theory in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, CAPS, syllabus.
These are all the programmes aimed at integrating the creative industry across all domains into the core of the education system.
However, we are aware that this might not be enough. More could be looked at to make sure we do more around this area. Thank you.
Mr M S MOLETSANE: ... to the arts industry to fund projects and events, specifically for those less privileged arts practitioners in townships and rural areas that could assist in the economic recovery of the sector, as well as create employment opportunities for those who lost their jobs? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon
House Chair, hon Moletsane, it is true that the entertainment industry is hard hit by Covid-19 because unfortunately, it depends on people gathering and at this
point in time, the limitation on gatherings is affecting the entertainment industry, and also because government had to make sure that it balances saving lives and building up livelihoods.
As I have explained earlier, the department together with the Department of Small Business Development have put a programme in place to make sure that, particularly the arts people in the creative sector are able to access the funding, in order to build up their small businesses.
Two days ago, on 2 November, the advert went out for artists to apply for that funding to make sure they are able to get it and build up their small businesses.
Secondly, remember, I have also explained that through the Presidential stimulus package programme, we have also motivated, as a department, that the artists must not be left out of it. Therefore, there are two streams: first, the stream to make sure that there is job creation; second, to retain those jobs that would have been lost, in order to save those jobs.
More than that, I have also explained that the digital funding, which was made available to 517 organisations or individuals, ensures digital mainstreaming of events.
This means that, while we cannot gather, there will at least be some kind of entertainment happening and artists will be able to earn some kind of money.
Yes, in the long term, we would need to look at what can be done beyond this. Remember, Covid-19 has given the department the opportunity to look at long-term plans on how to assist our artist, not just in the short term, but to have long-term plans. Thank you.
Mr S E MFAYELA: Hon House Chair, hon Deputy Minister, I want to know whether the department has considered implementing some best practices around the globe such as the introduction of virtual visits to our sites? I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Hon
House Chair, hon Mfayela, yes, the department is looking at this area of the virtual visit, but it is still on a limited scale. We need to look at making sure that it
gets broader and make sure that it ... What developed countries have been able to do around this area is massive. And we need to learn from best practices and make sure that we also go that route, so that we don’t allow this area of work to die because people cannot physically be present.
So, it is one area that we are looking at. At this point in time it is implemented on a very limited scale, but we are hoping that in the next financial year, we would be able to do it on a bigger scale. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank
you very much hon House Chair and thank you very much hon Ndongeni for the question. The response is that in South Africa, December is dedicated to inter alia the reconciliation month. This is because the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture is responsible for the six national days in the calendar including the Day of Reconciliation.
Fortunately, the question emerges as the department is in the middle of preparing for the reconciliation month of 2020. Ironically, the recent incidents and outbursts on what has now been termed as the farm murders, is an indication of how unreconciled we still are as the nation. The march by farmers in Cape Town on 25 October 2020 is further indication to this. It somehow resembles the black march in Pretoria two years ago.
Reconciliation is a deep and detailed process or journey. Some may even venture into asking the question: How can people be reconciled if they were never friends in the first place or ever had a relationship? Reconciliation is deep as it requires truth, honesty, trust and justice, something that we might not have explored extensively and exhaust fully in south Africa, hence the sporadic states of eruption incidences of racism.
There has to be a realisation that these outbursts and incidences occur in government offices, not only in government offices but in communities where people live side by side harmoniously despite their differences. It is the responsibility of all people living in South
Africa to prevent hate crimes, to avoid divisions and promote inclusion and unity
The United Nations Development Programme in South Africa and the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture launched a partnership agreement which aims to intensify efforts to strengthen national social cohesion programmes. In this connection, the two entities signed a project document, which is the basis of the partnership agreement and guides the collaboration to facilitate integration and partnership social cohesion for South Africa.
The social cohesion project is a long term nation building initiative. It is informed by a recognition that the promotion of social cohesion is an important part in nation building and the articulation of South Africa’s national identity. The project is an outcome of analysis and deliberations on critical social trends as the country transitions from apartheid to a non-racialized democracy. The project will focus on strengthening capacities of stakeholders at national, provincial and local governments. Strengthen early warning systems to anticipate and possibly prevent violence and social
unrest. Advance social dialogue between key stakeholders to strengthen relationships, improve understanding and involve communities to align local solutions with national priorities.
Regarding the matter of Senekal in the Free State, the Office of the Premier has been contacted in relation to a proposed creative community engagement, to promote and foster social cohesion and peace among Senekal community. The Free State Provincial Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and Recreation has also been consulted on the same matter. We were however advised that tensions were too high for any community engagement to be held and that the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture will be notified as soon as the security cluster declares the area safe for interracial engagement.
We will also continue with the programme national days in the province as a vehicle to promote social cohesion and nation building. Our colleagues and partners such as the social cohesion advocates will continue with the programmes of creating platforms for advancing social cohesion and nation building. The moral regeneration
movement programmes will be also pull through with the department in promoting amongst others positive
...[Inaudible.] Thank you very much House Chair.
Nksz N NDONGENI: Sekela Mphathiswa, sicela isimemo kwi
... indigenous games ...
... ungasixeleli ukuba ... [Ayivakali] ... kuba uthethe kamnandi? Ndicela siye kumbuzo ke Sekela Mphathiswa.
Thank you Deputy Minister for your detailed response in this important question of reconciliation and racial unity. Deputy Minister, it is clear that we have not been able as the country to adequately deal with issues relating to reconciliation and social cohesion.
What room is there for the department to establish countrywide awareness campaign using the arts as an instrument like we did in the fight against apartheid.
Ndiyabulela Sekela Mphathiswa.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: thank
you very much hon House Chair, thank you very much hon Ndongeni for that question. First of all, I think the government led by the ANC had identified the fact that, we cannot assume that we are a united nation just because we had voted and therefore, we think that where we come from has just disappeared. That is why when the National Development Plan, NDP was put together, outcome 14 of the NDP talks about social cohesion and nation building and that is the responsibility of this department to deal with those.
When you talk about social cohesion and nation building, it also important to realise that it comes from form the individuals first to understand that they have a role to make sure that they actually build a better South Africa.
Each and every one of us, we have a role to make sure that we build this country, not only for ourselves, even for our future generations, we have got that duty. We have to make sure that we do not fail in that.
Now, it is a long term journey, it is not going to happen overnight. The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture which is the department that I am deployed at has got a very critical role to play in this area of social cohesion and nation building. We will remember when the Springboks came back having won the world cup, even in our corners and divisive way, we came together to celebrate the success of the Springboks and for a moment there was hope for this country because we saw the kind of a South Africa that we wanted. All of us were out there celebrating the Springboks, black and white, happy that we had won the world cup. We had hoped that for a moment, we could be able to sustain that social cohesion and make sure that we build the nation.
Also, whilst we were sitting in the lockdown, some of us in our corners we saw what Master KG’s song Jerusalema has done to the world, which is a gospel song but with an
upped rhythm. Everybody in their corner in the world were dancing to this song because for some moment it actually united the people to make sure that we are all the same.
So, hon Ndongeni, sports, arts and culture are very central in making sure that we build social cohesion, we build nation building. All of us we need to make sure and understand that, even at the localities, in the municipalities and in the provinces, when we understand the role that this department can do, it is not just about playing sport, it is not just about arts and culture. The fundamental role is to make sure that nation building and social cohesion is central in whatever we do. Thank you very much.
Mr A B CLOETE: Hon House Chair, Deputy Minister you should also remember that this partnership with the United Nations Development Programme will involve investment, I think they talk about 30 investment opportunities, I will get back to that in a while. When we speak about social cohesion and reconciliation, we need to go back to the one document that is important to all of us and that is the Constitution. I would like to
again read; I know many of us have read the preamble to the Constitution. We all know the start; it goes on to say:
We, the people of South Africa,
Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it united in our diversity.
Not we are welcome, belongs to all who leave in it. It goes on to say:
We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to
Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;
Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person
Now, considering that we are looking at huge investment opportunities, Deputy Minister I would like to ask you, do you honestly believe – I am not asking whether your party has got the correct policy, I am asking you, do you honestly believe that by racially based policies such as affirmative action, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE and Black Economic Empowerment, BEE that social cohesion is improved in South Africa?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank
you very much hon House chair and thank you very much hon Cloete for that question and quoting the Constitution, which is the universal document for all of us in South Africa. I just wanted to remind you that South Africa belongs to all of us, black and white, not just in diversity but all of us, black and white.
It is important that when we quote the Constitution, we remember that it covers all of us and I am happy that you started there because it means that we are on the same footing in terms of understanding where we are going.
Your question to me is a subjective question. Do I believe in affirmative action and the BEE? You want to divorce my belief to my organisation which is the ANC. I am the Deputy Minister for Sports, Arts and Culture which is deployed by the ANC. What it therefore means is that, my beliefs and the beliefs of my party becomes one. I am a member of the ANC.
Therefore, hon Cloete to answer your question specifically, I believe fully in the affirmative action, I believe fully in the BEE because those are the policies of the ANC. Thank you very much.
Mnu M R BARA: Khawubanqande Sihlalo, bayangxola.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): Hon Bara do not do that. Continue you are protected.
Mr M BARA: Deputy Minister, I hear your response but also we might say all the pretty things in trying to be as good as we can be because of the offices that we occupy. I think that mainly, what transpired in the town or area
in question, was more to talk about the outburst proposing violence and arson and all the people that were there which is not a good build up to the social cohesion that we talk about as a country.
Nation building becomes the key and central to building a better South Africa. I think that is something that we agree upon all of us. My question is: What intervention will your government put in place to address divisive projects and work for all South Africans? Thank you Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: Thank
you very much hon House Chair and thank you very much hon Bara for the question. First of all, I want to acknowledge what hon Bara says that social cohesion is critical for a better South Africa. I think all of us agree and in agreement. All of us will sit here wherever we are striving to make sure that we participate in making a better South Africa.
Now, divisive jobs and programmes is going to be a responsibility of everybody because government on its own
can out put all systems in place to make sure that we do what we can in terms of making sure that we are able to meet what South Africans are expecting in terms of social cohesion. As I have said in the first place it becomes a responsibility of all of us as citizens of South Africa to understand and actually know what role we must play in making sure that this better South Africa is achieved
We are not – the government in all of its programmes, in all of its policies doesn’t have any policy that deals with divisive jobs. The government of South Africa led by ANC strives at all time to make sure that we deal with the issues of unity even to the detriment of the people that believe in us, that sometimes feel that we should actually be dealing with the previously disadvantaged.
Because we understand what is it that we want to achieve, we try and make sure that we accommodate everybody.
When it comes to divisiveness the ANC and its government is not even close to dealing with issues of divisiveness because we are not even having that in our policies. What is important is to make sure that political parties and
individuals work with the ANC government in making sure that what we have put in place, you work with us.
At this point in time, the issue of social cohesion looks like it is only a project of the government of the ANC and everybody else must look and see if the ANC wins with this project or not, and then you are able to say the ANC has failed, the ANC did not do enough. What have you done to make sure that this project succeeds. Thank you very much.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: House Chair, it is so irritating today to listen to disrespectful descendants of white supremacies in our country quoting the Constitution. Descendants of land thieves quoting the Constitution forgetting what they have done two weeks ago in a small town called Senekal, and what their forefathers have done to us, stealing our land. It is actually disrespectful to even give them a listening ear.
Deputy Minister, social cohesion is not manna from heaven and that will not fall from heaven. It must be a deliberate act by genuine parties, all committed towards
building a common nation which we do not have, more than
25 years in this country. Deputy Minister we are far from that as a country because your government failed to address the injustices imposed upon us by colonialism and apartheid criminals whom we are made to listen to today in this very same democratic Parliament.
Are you of the view that there can ever be social cohesion without justice... [Interjections]... and without recognition by recognition by white beneficiaries of a bloody privileged bestowed upon them by apartheid criminals of their grandfathers and colonialism? That is our question to you. Can you close there by being honest to the ruling party and stop being a coward
Hon MEMBER: Chairperson, point of order.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Stop protecting white... [Inaudible.]
Hon MEMBER: what is the EFF’s ... [Inaudible]... on social cohesion?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): Hon Mokause, let me take the point of order.
Mr A B CLOETE: POINT OF ORDER: Chair the hon member referred to this Parliament, we would like to know if she can indicate who they are and then work from there. [Interjections]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: I referred to criminals who stole our land.
Hon MEMBER: What about VBS looters?
Ms M O MOKAUSE: I am referring to criminals who are still sitting in Parliament, who stole our land
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): POINT OF ORDER:
Hon Mokause you are not recognised. Hon members, I’ve listened to the question, I’ve listened to the point of order. I will rely on Hansard to get the actual context of how the question was structured but now let us allow the hon Deputy Minister to respond to the question. Hon Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE: thank
you very much House Chair, thank you very much hon Mokause. Maybe let me start by responding to this question by quoting what the Deputy president said to this House yesterday when he was responding to a similar, but not exactly the same question. The Deputy President said:
Social cohesion hinges on minimisation of economic inequalities. The hosting of cultural events and debates will not produce a cohesive society.
That is what the Deputy President said yesterday. Therefore, comrade Mokause when you talk about injustices of the past, we all agree. When you talk about what is it that needs to happen, one of the basic things that needs to happen is to make sure that South Africans in general, those that are coming from the previously disadvantaged must be given the opportunity to be actually equal economically.
Once you have economic equality, some of the areas that are becoming very touchy will be dealt with, because the
real issue at this point in time is that these things of flare-up events come from frustrations of poverty, of inequality which in many policies that we are trying as this government to deal with.
Of course, we have not been able to deal with all of them equally because it is work in progress. The important thing here is that it is needing everybody’s co- operation. It is needing everybody’s making sure that we are committed to the project of social cohesion. It is not going to happen – it is not going to be a manna from heaven for social cohesion to happen if it is only the previously disadvantaged that are committed to this project. It must be a commitment from all of us including those that had benefited before to make sure that they make resources available to actually bridge the gap between the have-nots and haves.
So, yes social cohesion is going to be a long term project. It is also not going to assist us when we actually try and become a bit reactive on these issues. We need to find a way of making sure that we have a long term process of becoming proactive, without trying to
provoke each other and making sure that this project is a project of all South Africans. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): Hon delegates, I would like to thank the Deputy Minister for availing herself to take questions in the NCOP. I would also like to thank our special delegates and all of you. Hon delegates, that concludes the business of the day. We will now be adjourned.
The Council adjourned at 17:26.