Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard

House: National Council of Provinces

Date of Meeting: 12 Nov 2020


No summary available.




THURSDAY, 12 November 2020


Watch the video here:


The Council met at 14:00



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



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon delegates before we proceed, I would like to remind you of the following: rules and processes apply in this virtual sitting. The virtual sitting constitutes a sitting of the NCOP that the place of the sitting is deemed to be Cape Town where the NCOP is. Delegates in the virtual sitting enjoy the same powers and privileges that apply in a sitting of the NCOP. For the purpose of the quorum, all the delegates who are logged on to the virtual platform shall be considered present. Delegates must always switch on their videos, delegates should ensure that the microphones on their gadgets are muted and must always remain muted. We



should please note that the interpretation facility is active and that any delegate that wishes to speak must the raise your hand function or raise your hand icon.



Hon delegates I’ll advice that in accordance with Council Rule 2471, there will be no notice of motion or motions without notice.



We therefore move on but before we proceed to questions hon delegates, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation as well as the Minister of Social Development.



Further, I would like to make the following remarks: that the time for replies by the Ministers to a question is five minutes; that only four supplementary questions are allowed per question ; that the member who must ask the initial question will be the first to be afforded an opportunity to ask a supplementary question; that the time for asking supplementary question is two minutes; that the time for replies to a supplementary question is four minutes; that the supplementary question must emanate from the initial question.



I now take this opportunity to call upon Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation to respond to Question 133 asked by hon T S C Dodovu. Hon Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation please respond to Question 133.



AN HON MEMBER: Chair, my apologies. I’m informed that the Minister is struggling with connection. May I request the Chair to proceed to Questions on Social Development.



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I will now then hand over to hon Lucas, the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP.






Question 125:


The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson I wish to thank hon Ntsube for the question. Yes, the department has given very serious consideration to the introduction of basic income grant which we call BIG as part of the responsive social protection system as envisaged by the



national development plan. The national development plan is still alive hon members.



The NDP calls on government as a whole to define and adopt a social protection flow which means providing an acceptable standard of living. Social protection floor is about measures to lift recipients out of poverty in order to meet the most basic needs and to provide relief during crisis situations such as we’ve just experienced Covid-19 pandemic.



In fact may I Chairperson indicate that before the advent of Covid-19, the department had identified the exclusion of working age adults between age 18 to 59 from social assistants as a significant gap in social security system. The issue was already under consideration among the Nedlac social partners as part of the discussions on the comprehensive social security reformed.



The basic income grant had been suggested as a proposal to address income poverty as long ago as 2002 by the Taylor Committee of Inquiry which was appointed then by the late Minister of Social Development DR Skweyiya.



The devastating impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent introduction of special Covid-19 grant brought into sharp focus the importance of a long term intervention to address the systemic poverty in the country and the need to fast track policy proposals for a basic income grant.



I must indicate Chairperson that when Covid-19 arrived and we were looking at what’s going to happen after at the end of the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of the R350, we were looking for options and as I inquiring from the department what other policy discussions might have been held before I was then told about the Taylor Committee which contains substantial research and policy motivation for basic income grant.



It is important to note that the basic income grant is a universal grant for everyone in society. However, we already have categorical grants for children, older persons and persons with disabilities. Our focus will be on the introduction of the basic income grant to supplement and support the incomes of the working age population that is those of ages 18 and 59 and I think that most members who are here will appreciate and



understand because they live with those people who fall into this category and they always end up having to assist them one way or the other.



In the first quarter of this year, we completed a concept note on the basic income grant and engaged Professor Taylor to contribute her wisdom into this body of work.

We have now expanded the work into a comprehensive discussion paper that will be used for consultation during these third and fourth quarters of the financial year.



We have noted that the diverge and views expressed on various platforms both supporting and opposing income grant, urgent and necessary is the basic income grant maybe that we are also fully cognisant of the fiscal climate currently facing the country and the limited scope for financial and universal grant in the immediate future.



We are however of the view that as we recover and reconstruct our country from the pandemic, notas is more urgent than to free our people from poverty and



unemployment and ensure that we build a new and inclusive economy that benefits all.



President Cyril Ramaphosa himself has said to us, we need to be creative, we need to open up the space for the engagement, we need to talk to a whole host of people who might be specialists in the area so that finally we come to a finalisation but I don’t want hon Chair to say that this is going to be an easy ride. We know it’s going to take us some time, we know there are those who are going to argue against it but as a Minister of Social Development and as seeing the plight of our people on the ground, I believe that this discussion is very necessary for the people of South Africa. Thank you Chairperson.



Ms A D MALEKA: Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister thank you for the response to the question. The department has been managing and implementing the Covid-19 relief grant for the past few months. Are there any lessons learned in the implementation of this grant that can help in the implementation of the basic income grant? Thank you.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chairperson, hon members, as I mentioned in my original response, the department has identified the inclusion of the working age of 18 to 59 from social assistant as a significant gap in social security system. The advent of Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this gap and highlighted the need for a comprehensive safety net for everyone irrespective of age or ability. When the pandemic struck, we could easily reach out existing beneficiaries with additional income support by nearly topping up their existing grants.



However, our existing reach had many gaps and we had to develop and implement new systems to reach those already on our database.



This had many challenges and there are few lessons that we have learned. Firstly and most, one is to develop a comprehensive social security system that adequately reaches and protects everyone in society and in particular the vulnerable. When a crisis strikes, whether it’s a recession or pandemic in our current case, both



systems need to be in place and government should merely leverage its existing social security framework.



Contrary to popular believe, our people especially those in the ages of 18 to 59 age group do have access to digital platforms and adequately utilise these platforms to access social security benefits. In a very short space of time, Sassa receive over 9 million applications, these processed approvals over 6 million in ordinary year with a conventional system, Sassa would probably only process a million or two applications.



Therefore, the implementation of the Covid-19 social relief grants over the past few months has demonstrated the department and Sassa’s ability to successfully introduce and implement a brand new grant within a very short space of time.



The need for need for means testing provided valuable lessons, that’s one and also the fact that people were able to apply without necessarily going to the Sassa offices, people were able to use digital platforms to do all those applications that we have spoken to.



So, the use of digital platforms combined with our conventional system will enable us to reach faster and create significant efficiencies. Let me also say Chairperson that this was not only a lesson for the department and the people who are working in the department, it was also a lesson for our own people who had to find a way one way or the other of using the digital platforms and they’ve used the digital platforms very well and lessons again is about us reaching out to our people and educating them about the use of digital platforms not only for social grants but a whole variety of services by government.



Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Thank you Deputy Chairperson. Hon Minister, the basic income grant, could potentially South African social security systems as it is a deep ethical shift towards individualism. And furthermore, its effects could lead to deep social and cultural changes and essentially this could change the basic structure of our economy.



The difficulty however is that Sassa has failed the poorest in the country just recently with the inability



to administer the grants during lockdown, leaving many people vulnerable to the effect of the virus.



Furthermore, the Minister introduced the idea of a basic income grant during the worse time experience for the country and its people and this was during lockdown. The President simply took it off the table. This left many vulnerable and destitute people questioning the integrity of the government.



 Minister, the billion rand questions therefore are the following: how will a basic income grant be financed? Is it even possible to finance such a grant scheme without fraud and corruption coming into play? How will this be administered considering the current administration failures or Minister is this just another empty promise to the people of South Africa? Thank you Deputy Chairperson.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much hon Christian. Let first start by saying, if you listened to me carefully when I was answering the question, you will realise that I spoke about the basic income grant as



something that the Department of Social Development had looked into way, way back. The fact that it wasn’t implemented was a pain for me particularly as a Minister of Social Development especially when I see the plight of our people on the ground. I decided to request the department to pull it back onto the table because the people of South Africa expect me, expect the department, expect government to look for solutions to our problem.



You will also realise hon Christian that there was a whole of discussion about the extension of the R350 and many said the R350 will not be extended. Here we are today; President Cyril Ramaphosa extended it on the basis of the analysis first and foremost of the impact of the very R350.



Therefore, let me tell you hon Christian, I don’t sit here to be a populist for anything. I don’t think the ANC as an organisation that I belong to thinks that our policies must be populist policies. Our policies must be policies that we need to think about and see how we can implement them. The fact that I have already indicated in my answer that we are calling on society to help us have



the conversation. The fact that this is already with the partners at Nedlac and it was there long before I came into this position. So, the issue here is let us all collectively as South Africans be conscious of those that worst of than us, be conscious whom we are talking about between the ages 18 and 59 and look for what else we can do.



Let me also tell you, even when the issue of the R350 was discussed for extension, it was said it is not possible, the fiscal situation is very difficult but here we are.

The government took cognisant of what the R350 did for our people and therefore decided to put it back.



I don’t think it is correct for hon Christian to say that the President removed it from the table. Please go back to the discussions and statements that have by the President which only calls for us to be creative not only to look into government but to look at other support that we can be able to get.



Lastly, the issue of corruption, I don’t think it is correct that every time there is an issue that is on the



table that is supposed to assist our people, the issue of corruption is put in the forefront. Yes, we are a government that needs to deal with corruption. Yes, we have got institutions of governance whose role is to look out for corruption. Yes, it is the government of the ANC that put those systems in place. So, allow us to finalise it and while we are working on it, we obviously will have to look at how we protect it once it has been agreed that it has to be there.





Nk S A LUTHULI: Ngqongqoshe, siyi-EFF sikushayela ihlombe futhi siyakwamukela ukungenelela komnyango wakho ukuthi abantu bakwazi ukuthola isibonelelo ikakhulukazi kwi- basic income grant kepha ngeke sakushaya indiva ukuthi lezi zibonelelo esikhathini esiningi iminyango esuke inikezwe amandla okuthi baziphathe ayiziphathi ngendlela okuyiyonayona.



Ngakhoke, umbuzo wami kuwena Ngqongqoshe uthi, yikuphi umnyango wakho ozokwenza kube yisiqinisekiso ukuthi lezi zibonelelo ziya kulabo bantu okuyibona ngempela



abazidingayo. Okwesibili, nanokuthi ikuphi ozokwenza ukuthi ...





... as much as ...





 ... uthi umnyango wakho uyakuqinisekisa ukuthi njengamanje ulwe nobugebengu obukhona emnyangweni kepha yiziphi izindlela ozibekile ukuthi le mali iye kubantu abayidingayo ngempela nanokuthi ayingeni emaphaketheni abantu basemnyangweni? Ngibonge kakhulu.





kakhulu umbuzo futhi ngiyajabula ukuthi lowo mbuzo lowo uwumbuzo oqondile futhi uwumbuzo ofuna ukuthi siwuphendule ngokuthi sithi, sisonke siwuHulumeni nabantu nawe lungu elihloniphekile njengoba usho nje, nami ningamaLungu ePhalamende nigade umsebenzi ngaso sonke isikhathi futhi ngifuna ukusho ukuthi mina ikomdi lami eligade umsebenzi womnyango wami abantu abasukume bama ngezinyawo. Siyabalalela uma bekhuluma nathi besiqondisa



ukuthi engathi ngalana kunezigwegwe, hambani niyozilungisa.



Ngifuna ukusho futhi ukuthi singumnyango ngisho ngalesi sikhathi se-COVID-19 siyalibikela ikomidi elibheke umsebenzi ngaso sonke isikhathi ukuthi imali le esiyisebenzisayo ye-COVID-19 siyisebenzisa kuphi, siyisebenziselani, siwenza kuphi umsebenzi. Ngakhoke, mina ngiwuNgqongqoshe ngikholwa ukuthi kusazofuneka ukuthi sizenze zibengcono izinhlelo zethu ukuze izandla zabantu ngaphakathi ohlelweni kungabi yizo ezihambisa imali kakhulu njengoba sibonile nje kule mali ye-R350, akekho umuntu ehhovisini ongathi uyiphathe ngesandla leyo mali. Leyo mali ifika eposini, ifika ebhange, ifika la ifika khona, bese iyakhokhwa iye ngqo, akukho muntu phakathi nendawo.



Futhi-ke, nale-R350 sikhumbule ukuthi abantu abayanga nokuya emahhovisini e-Sassa ukuthi bayofaka izicelo bese kubakhona umuntu eceleni ozothi, hhayi, ngesikhathi ufaka isicelo ngicela ukuthi sikhulume ngalokhu nalokhu.

Ngakhoke, ubuchwepheshe sibona ukuthi yenye yezindlela



ezosisiza ukuthi silwise lobu bugebengu okhuluma ngabo. Ngiyabonga.



Mr S F DU TOIT: Thank you hon Chair. Hon Minister the mission of the Department of Social Development is to enable the poor, the vulnerable and the excluded within the South African society to ensure better for life for themselves in partnership with them and with all those who are committed to building a caring society.



I acknowledge the temporary relief that the basic income grant has brought to some South Africans, but what has your department done to empower the needy South Africans to provide for themselves rather than being reliance on social grants? Thank you Chair.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much hon du Toit. Can I please correct the fact that the basic income grant is not what we have been distributing. What we have been distributing in the form of the R350 is the social relief of distress during Covid-19 which was meant for the unemployed. That is what has been extended by the President.



The basic income grant discussion is still ongoing and it is our call that even political parties at different levels where they are, they can have the conversation about it and send their submissions to us and say whether they think it’s a good idea or not and if they think it’s a good idea this is how they thing we can do it.



We are not yet there for the basic income grant but in order for us to empower our people, we believe as the Department of Social Development, we need to create conducive environment for our people so that they can be able to do things for themselves. That is why as a department we are saying all other departments are important. Those that grow the economy are important, the small business development is important, education is important, health is important; all those departments can help us in creating the conducive environment.



We also have within the department taken a decision that for instance the national development agency must be at the centre of empowering our people both at the level of supporting your cooperatives, supporting your small business development. I think that if all of us accept



the fact that people themselves do not want to wait in a corner for government, they are waiting for government to create a conducive environment including the private sector by the way Chairperson. Thank you very much



Question 117:


The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much Chairperson. Thank to hon Christians again for the question. The National Department of Social Development during lockdown provided guidance and leadership for the provision of food and nutrition in all nine provinces.

During lockdown level 5 and 3, all schools were closed, meaning that all learners could not access food at schools.



As mandated by the Constitution, the Department of Social Development provided food to all vulnerable and poor households including learners in those households. The department in the Northern Cape implemented a programme of food provision through parcels to households that was inclusive of learners from all needy schools. All food provision was targeted at households’ level which was



inclusive of the learners who would normally benefit from the School Nutrition Programme.



The department was aware that learners had challenges in accessing food at schools. As such, the department provided food parcels to all needy, poor and vulnerable households as far as is possible could.



This complimentary ensured that government provided the needed support to poor and vulnerable, including those that was made poor and vulnerable by Covid 19. We do have an indication specifically of what was distributed where in the form of a table and I don’t want to go through that entire table but we can send it to the hon member to see for herself specifically where the food was provided.



Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. Minister, thank you for your answer. Minister, what challenges has your department faced in ensuring that all vulnerable persons in South Africa have received nutritious food during national lockdown, and of course that they continue to receive during the extended lockdown, how are you addressing these challenges given



that not all these persons have been assisted or read by the government during lockdown? Furthermore, Minister, how is your department going to ensure that school children whose parents have recently lost their income are now also included into school nutrition skills? Do we have an idea of how many children are impacted, and have provincial department indicated that additional assistants is needed by your department? Thank you, Minister.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much for the follow up question. Yes, I also would like to indicate that by the way, when we talk about food nutrition in schools also do remember that the Department of Basic Education works with us in as far as ensuring that we reach out as far as we possibly can. I cannot deny hon members the fact that Covid-19 makes it very difficult for us because we were almost caught off guard by a pandemic that we had not planned for. So, our own structures which we have for the distribution of food whether it was in the Community Nutrition Development Centres, CNDCs, or whether it was even for the elderly was tested. So, we needed to fix our system in order to



reach as many as we possibly can. I can say that we were not able to reach as many as we would have wanted to reach because again we had to upscale our systems in order to reach people.



As a department and in particular as a Minister, I believe we still need to strengthen the provincial and local structures so that it is not just national department and the national Minister who has to make sure that people are reached out even in the deepest areas of South Africa but it is the structures of local government that do so.



What we also did hon Chair and hon members, was to identify the hotspots of where the hunger actually was and that was very difficult for us to do because in terms of Statistics SA, we access information from Statistics SA, we access information from the Department of Basic Education and therefore, our plans, we had to make sure that they are co-ordinated.



But at this point, I also would like to thank the private sector who step up and came to us and said to us Minister



we are here, for instance, I can say with pride that Afrika Tikkun was one of those non-profit organisations, NOPs, that came right at the beginning and said Minister this task is quite huge, you cannot do it alone, let us look at our systems and just look where we can be able to help each other.



I am hoping that the partnerships that we have managed to do with all the other private sector but all other department, we are able to co-ordinate properly because one of the biggest challenges that we have in reaching people out is about co-ordination.



Ms N NDONGENI: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. Thank you, Minister for the answers to the question. Here is my question, will the Minister not configured to continue with the food distribution to the poor and unemployed families with the support of the private sector until a permanent solution like a basic income grant is implemented? Thank you, Deputy Chair. Thank you, Minister.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOMENT: Thank you very much, hon Dongeni for that question. Yes, of course, the department will indeed continue with the provision of food parcels to the vulnerable and needy families and will also welcome the support of other stakeholders including the private sector in the provision of food parcels until a permanent solution is found.



We also would like to say those families that are very vulnerable especially those that are in the rural areas and ... areas, we will continue to speed the best way that we can be able use to support them.



Remember also hon member that at the time that we were distributing the food parcels there were quiet a whole lot of issues that were raised particularly political that the food parcels were being distributed by councillors and the food parcels were not reaching the people that they are supposed reach.



It is also for this reason hon Chair that we are looking for different ways. We are looking for improving on the system because, remember the system that we have is



really been here for a very long time and the challenges of today are calling upon us to do something different.



Lastly, Chairperson, we are also even thinking about content of the food parcel because we are saying, I am asking as a Minister for instance, I have asked the department, I have said to the department, department I know that the food parcel has to be nutritious and the Department of Health has helped us in terms of ensuring but I am saying to them it is not everybody that wants to eat tin fish. So, everybody that wants to eat those baked beans, they must come back to me and explain to me how else can we be creating and also look at different communities because communities are also not the same.

Even if the nutrition can be one thing the same but communities are not the same. So, we cannot have a blanket approach and say ...





 ... abantu base-Mqanduli badla ubhontshisi nestambu bese sithi ngokzenzakalela nabanye abase-Northern Cape badla into efanayo.





But of course, we have to always be considerate of the budget, considerate of the systems, all I want particularly as a Minister mandated by the government of the ANC is always to look for creative ways and the easy ways of our people accessing the services that they need from us. Thank you, Chairperson.





your name is coming. We are asking according to how the names are there. Why are you so anxious, you will ask your question?





Mnu S E MFAYELA: Mhlonishwa Sekela Sihlalo, ngibingelele nakuNgqongqoshe womnyango uZulu, sithi thina njengeqembu le-IFP siyakuqonda ukuthi umnyango wakho ungeminye yeminyango ethwale kanzima kulesi sikhathi sempi yobhubhane lwe-COVID-19. Siyazi ukuthi umnyango wakho wonke umuntu ebebheka kuwo ukuthi kube khona okwenzayo ukubahlangabeza, umphakathi wakithi ngalesi sikhathi esibhekene naso sale mpi. Kodwa ngiyafisa ukuba uNgqongqoshe akasitshele ngokucacileyo ukuthi



uzokwenzenjani ngoba njengoba umphakathi uhluphekile nje nesimo senkohlakalo naso sithole indawo, manje ngiyafisa uNgqongqoshe akasicacisele ukuthi uzokwenze njani ukubhekana nenkohlakalo le ekhona ngohlelo lwamaphasela okudla nanokuthi mhlonishwa abantwana ezikoleni uzokwenzenjani uNgqongqoshe ukuthi baqhubeke nokuthola ukudla njengoba bebekuthola nenqubo ilandeleka ngendlela efanele? Siyathokoza, Mageba.





nami kakhulu kumhlonishwa we-IFP ngombuzo wakhe, impela ubhubhane lolu lwenze ukuthi umnyango wethu ube yileyo yeminyango egijima phambili ngoba kuye kwafuneka ukuthi nalabo abantu ababekwazi ukuzakhela, ababekwazi ukuzitholela ukudla bazisebenzele bazithole sebengenayo imisebenzi.



Futhi siwumnyango asizange sisebenze sodwa sasebenzisana nayo yonke iminyango kaHulumeni we-ANC futhi nje ngijabulela kwakhona ukuthi kulezo zinhlaka ezazenziwe, ngokwesibonelo, uMongameli u-Cyril Ramaphosa uma ethi makube nokusebenzisana kazwelonke woNgqongqoshe behlangene bonke naye babona ukuthi eZokuthuthukiswa



Komphakathi nezinto eziphathelene nokuthuthukiswa komphakathi kumele zibe endaweni yesibili, kwaqala ezeMpilo kwagijima zona phambili, kwalandela izinto ezibhekene nenhlupheko yabantu. Ngaleso sikhathi futhi siye sabona ukuthi impela abantu abaningi bayakhala bakhala ngenkohlakalo yingakho uMongameli wacela uMcwaningimabhuku-Jikelele ukuthi angalindi kuze kube siqeda ukuhambisa lokhu esithe zizokuhambisa wathi uMcwaningimabhuku-Jikelele makabe neso elibukhali ngalesi sikhathi sisahlela simunikeze naye ukuthi sizokwenzani, kuphi ukuze naye akwazi ukubheka ukuthi umsebenzi wenziwa ngendlela okokuqala.



Okwesibili, sengike ngasho futhi ngathi iKomidi eliBhekene noMsebenzi wethu leli esisebenzisana nalo kahle futhi, thina singuMnyango Wezokuthuthukiswa Komphakathi nalo belinanamehlo impela abukhali ngoba belifuna size ngasosonke isikhathi sizophendula ukuthi imali ethize iye kuphi futhi befuna ukwazi ukuthi umthelela waleyo mali la siyifake khona la siyitshale khona yini.



Ngokubona kwami ukuya phambili, yona i-COVID-19 yenze ukuthi siwuHulumeni sikwazi ukuthi siqinise amandla ngokuthi lawo ma-structure aHulumeleni aphathelene nezenkohlakalo athi ukunyusa amadolo, athi ukugijima ngokushesha ukuze akwazi ukuthi athole abantu abakhwabanisayo kusenesikhathi ngaphambi kokuthi isimo sibe simbi kakhulu. Ngiyabonga.



Ms S B LEHIHI: Okay, thank you, Chair. Since the reopening of schools, schools last numbers of learners have been working on a rotation system for the attendance of classes. In aid of social distancing and keeping the number in classroom low, were any provisions made to ensure that those learners whose turn it is to stay home for certain days also receive their meals? Thank you.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, hon Chair. Even though I would say that this will be a very good question to be asked by the Minister of Basic Education but because we are one government, but because we also hold each other accountable and we discussed amongst ourselves how this is done, the Minister from the very beginning, we will recall that there was an outcry



about the schools being open and all that. The Minister of Education not only looked from the academic side of things for the children going back to school. The Minister also considered in particular the pupils in particular where they coming from, poor families, those that dependent on the food that is being distributed in the school.



Let me say it has not been an easy task. It will continue to be a difficult task because let us also remember that Covid-19 is not gone yet, we have lost 20 000 people and that is the reason why we are still insisting that even if we are lifting more children are going to go to schools and we will support and open our own programmes. As a Department of Social Development we are still going to be calling for the social distancing and all.



Therefore, normal for us that we know we will not be that normal anymore. We will continue to look for better solutions because we have to protect the children, protect their parents at home, and protect their grandparents at home.



Yes, there was a system of trying to get this back but it is not yet where it is supposed to be because under normal circumstances serving children at school through meals though at 100% implemented we cannot unfortunately do it like that at the moment but as we begin to open we will also keep on improving on our system. Thank you, Chairperson.



Question 112:


The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chair, during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown levels, the department provided food parcels to the most vulnerable and poor households using existing food and nutrition Non-Profit Organisations through knock-and-drop. Let me repeat that it wasn’t difficult for us to do the knock-and-drop because the system for the distribution of these food through the Non-Profit Organisations is already an old, tried and tested system.



Of course, several complain and allegations of irregularities and corruption regarding the supply and delivery of food parcels in KwaZulu-Natal Department Social Development were reported. And yes, immediately



after the department received complains, it instituted the process to conduct an investigation into the allegations of irregularities and corruption regarding the supply and delivery of food parcels during lockdown in KwaZulu-Natal.





Minister, it’s just that I am working here from my tablet for the guide, sorry for that. Hon Mfayela, do you have a follow-up question?



Mr S E MFAYELA: Yes, ...





 ... mhlonishwa Sekela Sihlalo, Ngqongqoshe Mageba, siyathokoza njengeqembu le-IFP ukuthi uphendule ngokubanzi ucacise ngoba lento ethinta ukudla ithinta izimpilo zabantu. Njengoba usuphendulile Ngqongqoshe, thina njengeqembu le-IFP besifisa ukuthi sizwe ukuthi uNgqongqoshe yini angase ayenze ekutheni lolu hlobo lwenkohlakalo okugcina kwenza abantu bangakutholi ukudla ukuthi umnyango yisimo azosithatha manje ukugwema ukuthi ungaphindi kusasa lokhu ukuthi abanye abantu uma kufika



ukudla okuya kwabanye abantu umuntu agcine esefuna ukuthatha kube ngokwakhe.

Besifisa ukuthi umnyango noNgqongqoshe babuyise ithemba kubantu ngoba i-COVID-19 mhlonishwa isazohlala nathi, isekhona ayikhambi. Sizwe ukuthi abantu bangalibeka yini ithemba emnyangweni ukuthi lokho abakubonile ukudla kwabo kudliwa ngabantu abambalwa ngeke kubuye kuphinde ngoba kuzoncipha. Mageba!





kakhulu mhlonishwa uMfayela ...





 ... and I do want to indicate to you that, of course, it is our constitutional responsibility as the Department of Social Development to make sure ...



IsiZulu: 14:46:52


 ... ukuthi siyafikelela kubantu futhi sibanikeze lokho kudla uHulumeni usuvumelene ngakho ukuthi kufuneka kunikezwe abantu. Into engizwisa ubuhlungu kwamina ngila ngiphendula namhlanje ukuthi kubekhona abantu abacabanga ukuthi kungcono ukuthi bathathe lokho kudla okufuneka



kunikezwe labo abangenalutho. Kufana nokuphuca umuntu isinkwa emlonyeni lowo muntu loyo engenayo indlela yokuthi aphinde asithole leso sinkwa.



Eyokuqala nje into engikhuluma ngayo mina ngiwumnyango kazwelonke, wesifundazwe noHulumeni wasekhaya kumayelana nonembeza womuntu ngoba kwesinye isikhathi singazifaka lezi zinhlelo sizenze lezi zinhlelo sithi ziyasebenza kodwa uma usebenza nabantu abangenalo uzwelo lokuthi kwabona kufuneka bacabangele laba bantu okufuneka banikezwe lokudla sizohlala sinayo le nkinga. Kodwa-ke ngokubona kwami njengoba nje isifundazwe, akusona isifundazwe saKwaZulu-Natal sodwa njengooba isifundazwe nezinye izifundazwe sesikhulumile nongqongqoshe bezifundazwe ukuthi make senzeni ukuthi ukuthi izinhlelo zethu ziqine angavumeli isandla okufuneka singene lapho phakathi simoshe. Ngakhoke nokubona kwami okokuqala ukuthi ...





 ... we must be able to conscientize our own people that when they see wrong things happening they must report it. Secondly, the same people whom I work with in the



department, it is our responsibility to be conscious of the need of the people on the ground. What we call the feds needs of the people must not be something that is only felt by the Minister or any other political person, it is something that has to be felt by even those that are delivering.



On the other hand, we must remember that some of the food parcels are delivered by your NPOs who get the contract to do that. In some instances, you find that in the process of awarding the tender or something ...





 ... kukhona ukuzwelana phakathi kwama-NPOs nabantu abathole leyo nkontileka nabantu abasebenza ngaphakathi. Yingakho ke sithi, izinhlelo zethu ngaphakathi kufuneka siziqinise ngempela ukuze abantu basithembe. Mina ngifuna ukusho ukuthi, ngiwuNgqongqoshe nje, angilali ubusuku nemini ngibhekene nayo yonke imiqulu efika la phambi kwami. Kufuneka ngiyifunde ubusuku bonke ngibheke ukuthi yonke into izohamba ngendlela efanele na kodwa ngingapheleli lapho.





I must also go down to the ground physically to listen to the people. But again, Members of Parliament ...





... ngokubona kwami ...





... they are good in terms of the fact that ...





 ... kwabona baqaphile ukuthi umsebenzi wenziwa ngendlela futhi ngicela ukusho ukuthi ...





 ... most of the members are not afraid of calling me or even sending me messages when they see some of these corrupt acts happening. They send them to me and say; Minister we are asking you to act because we represent the people we are speaking for.



Mr A B CLOETE: Minister, you spoke about politicizing food parcels these past two weeks. I think we should also



agree that politicizing food parcels is not only unethical but also illegal. You mentioned earlier that you are looking for creative ways to address this problem because you acknowledged the fact this is a problem.

Maybe here are the two words that you can consider; introspection and consequence.



Now my question is this, as the Minister of Social Development and a senior member of the ANC, have you put this issue high on the agenda on the ANC? And, leading a discussion on how the ANC will stop abusing state funds. Thank you, Chairperson.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much hon Chair and hon Cloete, let me tell you, as the child of the ANC – I still consider myself as the child of the ANC because I grew up here - introspection and consequence management is not something that I heard of in the streets, it is something that I know happen within my organisation. It might not be as adequate as it is supposed to be but I can assure you that we are where we are today, with the kind of government we have in place,



a government that when it sees that it has challenges, it deals with those challenges.



You are now seeing for yourself the Zondo Commission and a whole host of other anti-fraud, anti-corruption. It is the government of the ANC that has made that possible because if we didn’t believe in it, it wouldn’t be happening, and that is a fact. It wouldn’t be happening if we didn’t believe in it. It is happening because we are the people who ushered multiparty democracy in South Africa.



Secondly, we are the ones who ushered democracy with a rider that said; build the institutions of democracy so that the people of South Africa can have institutional recourse. We are the people that made sure that there is a separation of power between the three spheres of government because that is the check and balance that we need to have.



Yes, we will accept that here and there you will find that there are people who still want to rob the system one way or the other.





... o-tsotsi [izigilamkhuba] bagcwele yonke indawo ...





 ... whether its in government or in the private sector or churches, all “tsotsis” [crooks] are everywhere.





Uma ungazi ukuthi u-tsotsi yini ...





 ... I am talking about thieves and crooks. Those are the people that we need to make sure that we improve our system for so that they don’t get the opportunity to do that.



And besides, hon Cloete, building a democracy within a short period of time, pulling ourselves out of apartheid that was as corrupt as anything and we had our own people sometimes working within that system, is going to take us a long time to do that but what is important is that we are doing something about it. We are not closing the



doors. We are not closing our ears and eyes in dealing with it. Thank you, Chairperson.








Ms N NDONGENI: Iimpendulo zakho Mageba zindivisa kamnandi noko.





Hon Minister, about your response to the question, it is very encouraging to know that the department has distributed about one million food parcels that benefitted about five million people. How helpful was this programme to the poor and the unemployed? And, are there mechanisms in place to curb corruption before it takes place? Thank you, Chair.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much hon member and thank you for a question that I think is going to take us forward into addressing the bigger picture of poverty, food distribution, the bigger picture that would even say to those that have food and those



that throws away the food and even those that keeps food until its sell by date has passed. This pandemic that has landed on us and managed to propel us in distributing that more than one million food parcels to the most vulnerable.



I think the question that I answered earlier on with regard to lesson learned is one of the things that we have to take and really look into and study. I am also happy that some people are already doing studies and some have already done a bit of research which we must take a look at. Those who did the research were looking at the impact of the R350 but they were also looking at the impact of the reach of the food parcels that went this far to millions of people.



My view is that let us learn a lesson from this and let us improve our system. Let’s also be creative because I know that there is quite a number of NGOs out there that have been distributing food even before COVID-19 and are still continuing to distribute food even now. We need to partner with them. Hon Ndongeni, ...





 ... iyodwa into engizwisa ubuhlungu, ukuthi manje sekungathi sesisele sodwa ekusabalalisweni kwalokhu kudla.





... in the distribution of this food.





Ngabuza ...





 ... earlier on, when the food was everywhere and being distributed everywhere, I said,





... ngiyathemba ukuthi lokhu kudla nangoZibandlela ...





 ... this food will still be there in December 2020. I hope that the food we saw coming out from all corners will still be there even next year, 2021, because now I am being told of donor fatigue and all those fatigues. We



cannot afford to have fatigue when we know that our people are hungry. It is for us to unite and look at where the food is and distribute it to those who need it most. Thank you, Chairperson.



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Minister, not in question 112 but previously, you said you don’t find it necessary that we focus on corruption all the time and I disagree with you and the reason is that state capture, through corruption, brought us as a country, to the point that our service delivery is compromised and investors don’t want to invest or are fatigued to donate because of corruption.



Therefore, Minister, again I want to ask you, has any specific person, NGO or registered company being identified as having had irregular dealings with COVID-19 and what steps are being taken against them and what are the consequences?



Furthermore, what lessons has the Minister and the department learned from the fraudulent dealing and irregularities that occurred during lockdown? What will you and your department do differently to ensure that the



same doesn’t occur again in order to assure the country’s people that money meant for them and the food that they desperately need, does not lie in the profit of ANC cadres again? Thank you.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, hon Labuschagne. Is it how you pronounce it? I always want to pronounce people’s surnames properly because I want mine to be pronounced properly too.



Firstly, let there be no misunderstanding whatsoever, that I am saying corruption is a small issue in South Africa. I am not saying that. All I was saying was that we need to be able to focus on almost everything in terms of the service delivery that we have to do for our people. We need to be able to deal with corruption where we have to deal with it and not over generalise and end up even talking about corruption in places where there hasn’t been any corruption. That is what I mean.



Secondly, I have said it myself that there are institutions in South Africa whose sole mandate and sole responsibility is to deal with corruption where it is



found and it does not matter where that corruption is. I think that it has been demonstrated by the very institution that we are talking about; that it doesn’t matter who you are. If there is suspicion, prove, or anything, there is due process that needs to be taken in order for us to clean corruption.



I am also saying that please do not mix the issues about fatigue to donate food. Nobody must hide behind the fact that maybe there was corruption – maybe there is corruption. Separate the two issues. When I raised the issue of fatigue for donation, it is not about corruption. I am saying the very amount of food that we saw crawling out of every cupboard and every place must still continue because we are still facing the same problem. People have not been able to go back to work.

People are still finding it difficult to take care of their livelihood as they always did in the past.



By the way, when you talk about NPOs and NGOs that are fatigued, those NGOs and NPOs were distributing food without us. We did not interfere with any of the due



processes. We enabled everybody who was an NGO to go out there and distribute the food.



So, let us not mix the two issues because the issue of poverty is across the board. But the issue is that there should be enough food in South Africa for people not to go hungry every day. That is what I am talking about.

That as a nation, we must not take any pride, whatsoever, when we find out that people do not have food to eat. We must also help our people to be able to make a living for themselves. That is what I was saying.



By the way, the Solidarity Fund whom we are having a conversation with and they have very good ideas about going back to look at the plans the government had about gardens in people’s homes and co-operatives in different places. That’s why I am saying that fatigue of NPOs cannot be associated to corruption. Fatigue is because they are saying they don’t have the amount of money that they had before. They don’t have the amount of food they had before, hence they are fatigued. They cannot be fatigued by corruption. They need to continue the fight



against corruption because ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, on point of order.





continue to do the good work that they are doing. So as much as you are talking about ANC members, by the way, it is this government ANC that put the systems that we have to catch people irrespective of who they are and irrespective of which political party they belong to. If I am found to be corrupt – mark my words – they will come for me and I am not afraid of that.



The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Labuschagne, what was your point of order?



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, my point of order is that the Minister really went into a lecture and didn’t answer my question. I mentioned ... [Interjections.]



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: You asked for a lecture. [Interjections.]



The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: [Interjections.] Can we have order here? There was a question and there was a response. [Interjections.] So, we will continue. Hon Minister, please go to question 108 by hon A Arnolds.



Question 108:


The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chair, it is my plea; I request graciously to the members they stick to the questions because when they then mix the questions they want to confuse me and I am not going to be confused by them. I know what I am about here and I know what I am doing. So ... [Interjections.] Arnolds ... Western Cape

... [Interjections.]



The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, can you continue to respond?



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Deputy Chair, on a point of order:



The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Labuschagne, I addressed the Minister on the issue and that is why I said she must continue to respond. Can I be allowed to chair the meeting, please? I said, “Hon Minister, please



continue with your response” so that there are no other issues. Continue hon Minister.



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Deputy Chair, I just wanted ... [Interjections.]



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, at present no funds have yet been recovered from the mentioned company as the liquidation process is still underway. The SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, applied for the company to be placed under liquidation with the hope of recovering some of the money. The application was granted on 16 October 2020 and two liquidators were subsequently appointed on 21 October.



Out of the R1,5 billion, the money that has been determined by the court in the Corruption Watch matter is R631 056 347, this amount comprises the capital amount of R316 447 361 and interest of R314 608 986, that is millions that I am talking about as of 3 November 2020.

The remaining amounts are still subject to court processes however, since the company is now in liquidation, all pending cases have been halted and



further guidance will be taken from the liquidators and the court process.



A detailed report on the final outcome of the liquidation process can be provided once the matter has been settled. I thank you, Chair.



Mr A ARNOLDS: Deputy Chairperson, the Minister can relax, I will definitely and stick to the questions on the Order Paper but Minister, can you take South Africans into your confidence and confirm if investigations into this matter revealed whether there was any political interference or influences when the contract for the distribution of social grants was awarded to Cash Paymaster Services, CPS, and what was done in terms of consequence management if any? Thank you.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chair, thank you hon Arnolds for that question. Now, I think there has to be that appreciation of the ongoing legal and court processes and the issue of the liquidators. But also, I think that in the process of the court process as well as the liquidation, if there was any influence whatsoever



which I am not aware of the moment, and remember that I came into a process that had started a very long time ago. If by any chance there is something that shows that, you know that this government of the ANC has said it out loud that it will do the best that it can, through due processes, through court processes and any other process that is institutional. If there is anything that is found, then I am sure we can be able to deal with it at that time. Right now, nothing has been put in front of me, neither through the court processes that took place and the rulings that were made by the court indicated that there was any interference at this point in time.

Thank you, Chair.



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Deputy Chair, hon Minister, the truth is that you and your department have consistently failed the vulnerable people. Your department received an unprecedented R50 billion for COVID-19 support during the lockdown, yet your department failed to ensure that no one was left hungry during this period and to date some people are still waiting for their R350 grant to be paid.






Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: There have been reports ... yes, Chairperson?



The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: According to Question 108, it’s about the Cash Paymaster Services, so I don’t know ... is it ... but because you’re taking us back now to the food parcel question. I’m just ... because if the Minister starts again then there will be this up and down between the two of you ... [Interjections.] usually ... this is a different issue, but you can continue.



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: This is not a different issue, Chairperson.








Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Thank you. Instead, there have been reports of millions of rand of tender fraud and many people who have been promised food parcels who have to date not received anything. Helpless South Africans have slept outside closed Sassa offices in the cold and rain.



Senior citizens have died in long Sassa lines and call centre numbers for Sassa have gone unanswered.



Your department was on its knees due to the pandemic. You and your department have the cost the country

R1,5 billion lost in taxpayer’s money due to an agency that lines their pockets rather than adequately assist thousands of vulnerable citizens. Your lack of leadership has cost the country dearly hon Minister. The only question left to ask today is, will you do the honourable thing and vacate your position so that the President can appoint a more competent person ... [Interjections.]

AN HON MEMBER: That is not a question.





ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Uyahlanya! [You are crazy!]





Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: ... one that actually cares for the people of South Africa [Interjections.]






ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Ngeke ukubone lokho! [That won’t happen]



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: ... one that can actually answer the questions. [Interjections.]



AN HON MEMBER: Out of order!





ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Ugula ngengqondo. Ngeke akubone lokho lomama. Ugula ngengqondo. [You are mentally ill. She won’t see that happening. She’s mentally ill.]





The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, there is one thing ... [Interjections.] if you feel the question is not in line with the original question, you have the choice to respond and I will leave the choice to you.





will respond because even though the member is not sticking to the question that is the reason I said



earlier on that the member was not following the question.



Secondly, I wish we could have had that R50 billion because if we had that R50 billion God knows how many vulnerable people we would have covered. So, the hon member is wrong first and foremost with that number.



The second issue, the member says our department is on its knees. I don’t know whether the member understands when she says something is on its knees. I wouldn’t be here if I was on my knees. We wouldn’t be out there servicing the people of South Africa if we were on our knees and also I don’t want to play politics here, hon member, because it is the member’s opinion, not even with facts that she is putting on the table and saying that I must resign, I must do that.



I think the hon member knows exactly what happens when a person is not performing. It is the President that will make that decision. I have just signed my performance agreement with the President not long ago, so if I sign the performance agreement with the President a few weeks



ago it means this President still has confidence in me, my organisation the ANC still has confidence in and I respect that confidence and I will do the best that I can as I said when I was appointed.



I am not refusing, Chairperson, that there are challenges along the line. There are issues that we need to fix here and there, but this department and myself – look at me – I am not on my knees.






AN HON MEMBER: Malibongwe! [Interjections.]



The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, may we have order Hon members, may we have order. ... take into account ... of time, please. [Interjections.] Can we have hon baba Mfayela to ask the follow-up question? Hon Mfayela! So it seems as if there is something with his connection. We will continue in the meantime and ask hon Nchabeleng to ask his follow-up question.



Mr M E NCHABELENG: Deputy Chairperson, thank you hon Minister for the response to the question. It is good to hear that Sassa has taken the necessary steps to recover the money from the company. What I want to know, hon Minister is, do you have an idea when this process will be finalised?



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much hon Nchabeleng, in fact, I wish this issue would have been resolved long even before I came into this space of being the Minister of Social Development. But as you know, hon Nchabeleng, sometimes the wheels of justice take a very long time and the fact that now there has been that decision that has now halted some of the activities that were happening before.



I think it is going to be very difficult for me to give a timeframe as to when this can be finalised. We do not know when the process will be finalised, however, the Master of the High Court has appointed the two liquidators as of 21 October and I am hoping that they will be able to speed up the process because I can tell you there is nothing as disruptive as things that are



supposed to be put aside and be completed and be closed in order for us to focus on the current mandate. But, however, we appreciate that there are those due processes. We will do the best that we can to speed the process up because it takes too much of our time when actually we should be focusing on the rest of the issues. But, because we have to be an accountable government, we have to let the due processes to take place.



The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mmoiemang, is that a point of order?



Mr K M MMOIEMANG: No, I’m covered, Deputy Chair.





Mnu S E MFAYELA: Mhlonishwa Sekela Sihlalo, mhlonishwa Ngqongqoshe, ngiyazi ukuthi umnyango wakho ubhekene nengwadla enkulu njengoba uKwaZulu-Natal uwodwa kunabantu ababalelwa ku-R1,3 million abalindele ukuthi bacoshe le mali obanikeza yona umnyango wakho. Kodwa-ke Ngqongqoshe, nakuba ngazi ukuthi kunobunzima emnyangweni ngeke ngingawubuzi lo mbuzo othi, kodwa umnyango wenzanjani ukuqikelela ukuthi laba bantu abalanda le nkece yabo



kulezi zikhungo zokuyilanda, ukuqhelelana ngokomzimba, senza kanjani ukuthi sikuqikelele, ngisho ngoba, mhlonishwa, namhlanje ngiye ngathi shelele edolobheni la abayilanda khona imali ngathola ukuthi, hhayi!, konakele, omunye duze komunye, ukuqhelelana ngokwemizimba akukho.



Umnyango wenza kanjani ukusiza ukuthi kubekhona lokhu kuqhelelana ngokwemizimba? Singaqhubeki phela, Ngqongqoshe, nokuthi lolu bhubhane lwesigcwelegcwele luqhubeke nokusilimaza. Ngiyabonga, Mhlonishwa.





kakhulu, mhlonishwa uMfayela, empeleni ngokubona kwami kusho ukuthi kukhona la kwathina kuloku kuxhumana lapho singenzi kahle khona ngoba abantu uma bazi ukuthi balandelane ngale ndlela abalandelana ngayo bangafaki nezifonyo, kungabi nesikhala nebanga phakathi kwabo, bangagezi nezandla kuyasho ukuthi kusenomsebenzi okufuneka siwenze emakhaya, emalokishini, yonke indawo ukuze sikwazi ukutshela abantu ukuthi uma wenza lokhu uyazivikela wena.



Akuzufuneka ukuthi kubekhona iphoyisa ngasosonke isikhathi elikutshelayo ukuthi geza izandla, shiya ibanga elanele, yenza konke lokho. Nje, into engiyicelayo ngoba namhlanje sikule nkundla, futhi iyinkundla yokuthi sonke isikhathi thina sisebenzisane. Singazama ngisho nangamaqembu ethu ezombusazwe, mina angikuboni okungalungile ngalokho, ukuthi umangabe kuyi-ANC etshela abantu ukuthi hheyi, hambani, ngicela nenze kanje, uma kuyi-IFP nayo itshele abantu uma bephuma siyanicela ukuthi nenze nje Kodwa-ke ...





... having said that ...





 ... kumqoka kuthina njengoHulumeni ukuthi abantu, ngokwesibonelo, uma beya eposini, into ephethwe yithi, kufuneka kubekhona abantu abakhona lapho abazama ukusiza. Yingakho nje i-National Development Agency yabona ukuthi ibe namavolontiya azokwazi ukuthi aye kolayini ayocela abantu ukuthi bagqoke izifonyo, bashiyane ngebanga lelo. Kodwa nje okumqoka kakhulu ukucela kubantu bakithi ukuthi



bazi ukuthi uma uzivikela wena uvikela umndeni wakho, uvikela umphakathi wakho, uvikela wonke umuntu okhona.



Esisazokwenza ngoba phela njengoba kushiwo nje, uMongameli ubekhuluma nathi izolo, kuyabonakala ukuthi into ebeyikhuluma izolo ukuthi sesiyavula lapha nalaphaya ikhona indlela yokuthi sithi asikhulumisaneni ngoba ukuvula kusho ukuthi ngisho i-COVID-19 kwayona umangabe singazivikeli singathola ukuthi u-20 000 wabantu abasilahlekele okwamanje singazithola ukuthi ...





... within the next six months ...





 ... sizozithola sesilahlekelwe omunye u-20 000 wabantu futhi. Kusho ukuthi nje kusenomsebenzi omningi kakhulu ikakhulukazi thina singuHulumeni ngoba phela uma sihlezi nesikhwama semali esisisizayo ukuthi sisize abantu kuyafuneka ukuthi siphume siyenzebenzise ngendlela elungile imali esinayo. Ngyabonga.



Question 119:



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, hon Christians. The Department of Social Development, like other government departments, has indeed experienced budget cuts owing to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, something that we were not thinking was going to happen. In some cases, we had to reprioritise our funding and automate some of our services to respond speedily to the demands of COVID-19.



House Chair, the Department of Social Development will certainly be in a position to implement the recommendations contained in the evaluation report that was commissioned on the implementation of the Older Persons Act, Act 13 of 2006. However, the department will implement these in a phased-in approach irrespective of the reprioritisation of services that were necessitated by the current state of disaster.



One of the recommendations made in the implementation evaluation concerns strengthening integrated planning in all spheres of government, and this is one thing that we keep on repeating over and over again. This is not only through the three spheres of government but also through



us as a portfolio on Social Development, the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, and the National Development Agency, the NDA. Other recommendations are: developing a research agenda; strengthening monitoring and evaluation; knowledge generation and sharing; and, lastly, promoting the professionalism and capacity development of caregivers.



The recommendations will be implemented in phases over the short, medium and long term. In the short term of three months, we will improve our inter-sectoral co- ordination to give better policy and programme direction to the sector and ensure that the sector speaks with one voice. In the medium term of 12 to 24 months, we will promote the professionalisation of caregiving whilst providing opportunities for skills development in line with building the capacity of the state. The building of the capacity of the state is but one of the elements that has been recognised and being dealt with by government, because it has become very clear that if we don’t improve the capacity of the state, we will never be able to deliver to our people. In the long term of 24 to 36 months, we will improve data and knowledge management.



One of the lessons we learnt from the lockdown was that, in order to effectively deliver on our mandate, especially in times of crisis, we needed to build strong partnerships with our social partners and with members of the private sector and civil society who are willing to work with us in improving the wellbeing of older persons.



By the way, may I say, Chairperson, that we have come out of a time that required us to really look at and go out and visit older persons. I must say that there are institutions and people who are truly dedicated to the elderly. I visited two centres when I was in Mpumalanga last week and I was amazed at the commitment shown by the caregivers. They go the extra mile to help our people.



During lockdown, we worked with partners, such as First National Bank, the National Institute Community Development and Management, the Right to Care organisation, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and the SA Pandemic Intervention and Relief Effort.



We received support from, and worked very closely with, various representatives from these sectors to provide PPE to some of our elderly persons at residential facilities. We were also able to expand our support to staff and residents of facilities through an educational and training programme on COVID-19 preventative measures.



It pains me to say at this time, hon Chair, that one of the people who was at the forefront of this work was the late Connie Nxumalo, who passed away due to COVID-19. May her soul rest in peace. I never stop thinking about her when I go to these places because she was a woman who was totally dedicated. Thank you, Chairperson.



Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Thank you very much, Deputy Chairperson. Minister, I think that you would agree that caring for the aged is still a huge concern in our country. The Older Persons Act stipulates in chapter 3 the right to community-based care and support services. The Act also speaks about developing community-based programmes and home-based care, the establishment of recreational opportunities for older persons, the



provision of nutritionally balanced meals and the establishment of multipurpose community centres.



Care of the aged, Minister, is still being historically neglected in South Africa. There have been reports of elderly people being abused and ill-treated in homes for the aged and also in the community at large.



Therefore, we welcome the Older Persons Act. In light of this Act, could the Minister please elaborate on the community plans directed at the aged? When will we see the implementation of these plans to uplift and support older persons? Furthermore, what are the plans of provinces to renovate, upgrade and maintain mostly dilapidated old age homes, especially frail care centres and community centres where these recreational opportunities could be offered to our older persons?

Thank you, Minister.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you for that question. I must say that that is really a question that continues to touch our hearts and mine in particular as we go out to the communities. As a result, as the



department – the two years that we have been here – we have been trying our best to make sure that we have strong relations with older persons’ organisations, such as the SA Older Persons’ Forum.



We recently jointly hosted and commemorated the International Day of Older Persons in the Lejweleputswa district of the Free State. We wish we could have done that throughout the country. In fact, we would have if it hadn’t been for COVID-19, as we had had grand plans for our programmes for the elderly.



I do agree with the hon member that we are still very far from what we need to see happening in South Africa for the elderly. But here I am talking about one side where people were being properly taken care of. The homes that I visited were very well kept. They were even complaining about the fact that the money they received had not increased in a very long time and they were asking me, as the Minister, to really and truly look at that so that they could improve.



On the opposite side, I have also been to homes that were really not in a very good condition. You could see when you got there that the elderly people were really not being taken care of.



This is our responsibility and mandate and, of course, through working with the provinces and local structures in this regard. The issue here is that while it is fine for us to have legislation, regulations, programmes and plans, elderly people need people on the ground to respond to their needs. We say thank you to those that take care of the elderly who are in good homes.



But there are elderly people whose homes still need to be renovated and still need a lot of work. And, in fact, we have to talk to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure because we believe that it is helping us at the moment, even when it comes to the identification of shelters and buildings that have been neglected but are still in good shape. We think that we can have a conversation with the department about all the things that the hon Christians spoke about – such as caring for



the elderly, having community-based organisations, balanced meals and everything else.



This government spends about R7,9 billion per year supporting non-profit organisations with the necessary finances in order for them to help people on the ground. I think that the best thing we can do is to see that there is value for money. We can only see value for money when we see a change in the lives of our people and that includes the elderly.



I fully agree with you regarding neglect of the elderly. From the point of view of government, we must create the right environment, and that is something we have to commit ourselves to and work on.



There is also the issue of those who are in centres which are supported by the department. Many of our elderly, particularly those living in rural areas and in townships, don’t have the money that was kept by somebody somewhere to have people take care of them and pay for private centres.



The plea is that our communities continue to do what used to be done in the past. We used to know the grandmother next to us, we used to know the great-grandmother next door to us, and we always used to go and assist. Our own parents and grandparents used to ask us to go to the homes and check what was happening in those homes through the volunteer programmes.



I hope that the National Development Agency’s volunteer programme can be up-scaled to assist us in this respect. Thank you, Chair.



Mr A ARNOLDS: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. South Africa would not have been able to develop as a country if it were not for the elderly who tasked themselves with carrying generations on their backs for the collective growth and development of families and communities. When we neglect to care for our elderly, we leave them exposed and vulnerable.



The Older Persons’ Act, Act 13 of 2006, states that “All organs of state and all officials, employees and



representatives of organs of state must respect, protect and promote the rights of older persons.”



Now, Minister, the lack of management and co-ordination of services for older persons is very concerning and needs urgent intervention. I can name a few of those departments: Transport, Health, Co-operative Governance, Education – we can go on like that – and the SA Police Service.



What are you doing to ensure inter-sectoral collaboration amongst government departments and what are your plans to deal with dysfunctional structures that are responsible for older persons’ rights within provinces? Thank you.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, hon Arnold. I agree with you fully. I don’t even want to argue about the areas and concerns that you were raising. I agree fully with you.



In fact, one of the things I took upon myself as the Minister of Social Development was to indicate this to all government departments. Even at the meetings I attend



of Cabinet and all that, I raise this issue of the fact that the Department of Social Development alone cannot manage to implement ... Even if it could implement the Act that exists for the elderly, the biggest challenge for us is, for example, transport not being adequate for the elderly when they have to go and collect their Sassa grants and all that. It pains me to see an elderly woman getting into a taxi, and then when she gets out of the taxi they say she fell there, and she died even before she got to where she was supposed to go to collect her grant.



My call, which I consistently make to my colleagues, is that when these areas are improved ... Whether it’s Health, whether its Education, whether it’s bringing clinics closer to the people, whether it is ensuring that the transport is closer to the people, these are things that as a department and as a Minister we are committed to ensuring that I raise all the time. Even when the plans of government are presented at platforms I attend, I always raise the issues that are related to the wellbeing of citizens of South Africa and, in particular, the ones who are vulnerable.



If we were to focus on the new district development model, which the President introduced last year, and get the champions among the Ministers who are supposed to go to those districts to also raise the issues, it’s my duty, it’s my responsibility to then empower them with the necessary information that is relevant so that when they get to provinces, when they get to local structures, they ask the relevant questions relating to improving the status of the elderly.



So, the inter-sectoral approach is very important and, I think, that it starts with me as the Minister of Social Development being able to raise those issues. If it’s the police, then it’s me and the Minister of Police talking to each other. If it is the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, then it’s me and that Minister that must talk about human settlements that also take into consideration the conditions of the elderly.



I hate the fact that some of those homes we have been talking about are so far away from where people live. This is because if we had those homes, for instance, where we could keep the elderly – those who cannot be



kept by their children – the first prize for me is for the children or the grandchildren or whoever to be the ones who protect ...





 ... bakhusele abantu abadala kube yibo abokuqala abenza njalo. Bayeke nokubathathela imali yabo. Bayeke nokubathathela amakhadi wabo e-Sassa ...





... and go and withdraw the money and not give back their money. So, again, it starts with the community, but government must also take responsibility and create an environment conducive to the elderly. Thank you.



Mr S F DU TOIT: Thank you, hon Chair. Hon Minister, with reference to the register of persons convicted of abuse of older persons in the Older Persons’ Act, how many people have been listed in the register since it was established and what is the average turnaround time for institutions that lodge enquiries on this platform? Thank you, Chair.



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, Chairperson. I am personally not really happy with what we have at the moment with regard to the implementation of that register. I believe it is one of the areas I must try to do something about in order to make sure that the department does the change. This, of course, changes all the time. I think, your question is very straightforward and clear. I am saying to you: I am not personally satisfied with what is going on at the moment and it is my responsibility to go back to the department and ask for a full report. Right now, I cannot give you the statistics immediately, but I am promising you that I will go back to the department and ask and I can send through the answer to that. Thank you, Chair.



Ms A D MALEKA: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson, and thank you, hon Minister, for the response. We deployed you there because we knew you were capable of dealing with the difficulties in Social Development. The people of South Africa indicated their trust in you and your organisation, the ANC, in the by-election yesterday, unlike the DA which was rejected by voters and lost eight wards.



Hon Minister, my question is: Are the current older persons’ structures active and equipped to monitor the implementation of the plan? Thank you, Deputy Chair.



The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I just thought your question was so out of order but now I see you’ve got a question. Hon Minister?







ukuthi ngiphendule ngoba ngizosuke ngikhulume ezinye izinto, Sihlalo.





Thank you, hon Maleka, for that question. The Department of Social Development works very closely with older persons’ structures and we have a cordial relationship. May I also say, Chairperson ... because I am sure the SA Older Persons’ Forum is probably listening. We had grand plans, including how many times we were supposed to meet from last year October.



By the way, we were supposed to have been here in the Western Cape in October to celebrate with the elderly people who were supposed to be coming from all nine provinces. However, when we were in Bloemfontein, the forum did attend our meeting and we did have a meeting with them. They still have very serious questions and concerns, which, I think, we need to be able to respond to as the Department of Social Development.



I have also said to the forum: “Let it not be just the Department of Social Development alone that deals with the issues of the elderly. Let us talk to Health, let us talk to Sport, let us talk to other departments so that when we apply the district development model we even know how many elderly people live in a district, what their conditions are in the district, what it is that we can do in partnership with the Older Persons’ Forum and other older persons’ organisations.



This is because I know that we have the Older Persons’ Forum that we work with and that there are others who raised concerns with me and said, “Minister, you seem to



be looking only one way. There are others who ... ” There are others who also want us to work with them.



I make a concerted effort to meet personally with these structures as regularly as possible, and thus I am confident that they are both active and equipped to monitor the implementation of this important Act.



Representatives of the structures have also participated in the development of the improvement plan and remain key in providing oversight in the delivery of older persons’ services. One of the things that they raised with me, of course, this past October was finances and resources.

They indicated that there was very little you could do when you don’t have financial muscle to move around the country, go to places and even visit some of the elderly people.



I must also add, hon Chair, that in order to facilitate the state’s capacity to deliver on these recommendations, the department has already started capacitating social service practitioners, government officials and sister departments and stakeholders on the Older Persons’ Act



and other relevant related pieces of legislation that could improve the wellbeing of older persons. This will enable the state to be responsive to the felt needs of these people.



When all is said and done, Chair, I repeat: It is house to house, street to street, community to community where we should know what is happening around the issues of the elderly and be able to respond. Only then can we respond, because if we know in each and every home where the elderly people are and make sure that the services reach them, that would be number one for us as a nation.





Umuntu nomuntu.



Question 127:


The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chair, thank you very much to hon Maleka for the question. Yes, the intention to transfer the early childhood development function, ECD function, to the Department of Basic Education is still on the cards.



The department is currently working in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education and government technical advisory committee, which we normally call G- tech, to facilitate the process. The Minister and I are meeting to make sure that we give political direction to this process.



In this regard, government structures have been established to facilitate the smooth transition of function shift. These structures include the interdepartmental project steering committee chaired by the respective deputy director-generals and overseen by the respective director-generals from the Department of Social Development and the Department of Basis Education.



In addition, there are eight technical interdepartmental teams that manage the issues related to: Policy and legislation that will be require amendment as a result of this function shift; human resource management to quantify the human resource to be transferred with the function; data management; system migration; monitoring and evaluation; finance and assets; stakeholder management and communication, to ensure that everyone is



on the same page throughout this transition; infrastructure; and lastly, ECD service and programmes. It is also important to note that provinces, on both Department of Basic Education and Department of Social Development, have since established technical working groups, covering the above areas as the function shift will largely affect the work of the provincial departments.



The manner in which the local and district offices are organised is such that social workers are responsible for a range of Social Development services that are not necessarily dedicated to perform ECD functions only, adding to the complexity of this matter.



In addition to ECD functions, the same social workers are also executing functions related to services to older persons, child protection services, including foster care, placements, adoption, etc, addressing a whole range of issues which by the way I keep raising with my department: That while we might want to make social workers to be general, there are certain areas that need



specialised skills and it is important for us to focus on empowering these social workers.



Furthermore, partial care facilities do not refer to ECDs alone, but include after-school care, respite care and private hostels. It is important to note that these facilities are legislated in terms of the Children’s Act and therefore the Department of Social Development has a responsibility to deliver on this area of work.



Therefore, G-tech has completed its initial diagnostic report and they are currently working on the state of readiness assessment to the Department of Basic Education to receive the function from the Department of Social Development.



Therefore, there is some progress recorded in this regard, even though I personally feel that it is taking very long. However, my department and the Department of Basic Education keep on saying to me: Minister, while we know we want to implement a decision that was made, we must make sure that all systems are in place because this would affect children. Thank you.



Ms A D MALEKA: Deputy Chair, hon Minister, thank you for the comprehensive response to the question. Having listened to the report, it is clear that there is a process being followed to finalise the transferring of early childhood development. What are the main advantages of transferring the ECD to the Department of Basic Education?



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, may I indicate that ECDs transfer seeks to achieve the National Development Plan’s Vision 2030, and I repeat again: That plan is still alive. We have to implement it. We are not very far from 2030 at this point in time. Vision 2030 is a goal of making early childhood development a top priority among the measures to improve the quality of education.



It is important to highlight that ECD programme is an integral part of the education system overall and the function shift will make it easy to transit children towards 2 years of compulsory Grade R before they enter Grade 1. The shift will therefore enhance the co- ordination of the sector and align it with that of



Department of Basic Education to achieve improved outcomes for children.



You cannot say that children are the future and you only talk about that when they are now teenagers and also getting to universities. When we say children are the future, we must start feeding them with the necessary nutrition, the necessary education and the necessary mind building, so that by the time they get to primary or high schools.



We have already set that pace from the very beginning. Children in ECD centres will be able to benefit from the existing programme in the BDE, such as the integrated School Nutrition Programme, as well as all infrastructure allocations to support ECD infrastructure development.

Thank you.



Mr S E MFAYELA: Deputy Chairperson, Madam Minister, following the government intentions to transfer ECD centres to Basic Education: How will this department assist ECDs who suffered as a result of Covid-19 lockdown by means of loss of business? Also, what has this



department done to understand the impact on the development of children during lockdown, where they were not able to attend these centres? What is the department’s plan to respond?







kakhulu Bab’uMfayela, ningixolele ukuthi njalo uma ngimphendula ngikhuluma isiZulu. Yingoba siyazwana mina naye.





But I am supposed to speak all languages.





Ngifuna ukuthi ngithi kulo mbuzo awubuzayo uMnyango nohulumeni ... impela i-COVID-19 iguqule izimpilo zethu singabantu abadala, kwaphinde kwaguquka nezimpilo zabantwana. Ngokujwayelekile labo bantwana bebevuka ekuseni bagijime, bageze futhi bagqoke baye lapho okufuneka baye khona.






All of a sudden, that had to come to a standstill.





Kungakho ke siyesaqhubeka sasebenzisana noMnyango Wezemfundo Eyisisekelo noMnyango Wezempilo. Sasebenzisana futhi nalabantu engibathandayo kakhulu ababizwa ngoSonhlalakahle. Nanoma nje bengabaningi ngendlela okufuneka babe ngakhona. Labo abakhona impela bawenza umsebenzi omkhulu ngoba abaningi babo la bayazama ukufinyelela khona. Ngiyazi ukuthi emakhaya ikakhulukazi yibo abantu abahlupheka kakhulu ...





... because it was very difficult for us to even have the social workers there. In fact, this brings me to the issue where I say the importance of social workers and importance of having them close to the people is beyond the challenges of Covid-19.





Yingakho ngishilo ekuqaleni uma ngiphendula ukuthi izinhlelo zethu esinazo kuyafuneka ukuthi zizilungiselele, zifunde ukuthi ngesikhathi se-COVID-19



yini into esiye sayenza kahle, nokuthi yikuphi la esingazange senza kahle khona.



SiwuMnyango sigxile ekuqinisekiseni ukuthi le-stimulus package lesi uMongameli uRamaphosa akhulume ngaso kanye nezibonelelo kuzofuneka kube yizo izimali esizisebenzisa ezingeni lezifundazwe ukuze sincede abantu. Okunye futhi esikwenzile esikuqale ngaphimbi kokufika kwe-COVID-19 besinale nkinga isekhona namanje. Le nkinga siyibiza ngokuthi ‘Bangasali’. NgesiZulu sithi bangasali.





Ka Sesotho re reng? [Kenello.] Ba se ke ba sala! Eya!





Lelo uhlelo olufuneka lusincedise ukubhalisa ama-ECDs ukuthola ukuthi ngabe akuphi. Enye into esiyibonile evezwe kakhulu yi-COVID-19 ukuthi sithe uma sithuthukisa amalungiselelo wokungenelela sathola ukuthi kunama-ECD amaningi kakhulu angabhalisiwe. Sazibuza ukuthi lawa angabhalisiwe siyofika kanjani kuwo. Lohlelo lolu Bangasali siluvulele ukuthi labo ...





... who are not registered. This is the time to register because when they register, they have an advantage ...





 ... yokuthi uhulumeni abhekane nabo nqo. Azi ukuthi bakuphi. Azi ukuthi izinto abazenzayo lapho ku-ECD zisemthethweni. Nabazali uma beshiya abantwana babo kuma- ECD bakhululeke bazi ukuthi babashiya endaweni ekhuselekile.



Into yokuthi sithuthukise ama-ECD ngibona ukuthi kufuneka sigxile ezindaweni zasemakhaya nasemalokishini. Sitholole ukuthi ama-ECD amaningi ngempela awenzi lokhu okufuneka ukuthi bakwenze ukuze bakhulise abantwana. Kepha ngumsebenzi kahulumeni ukuthi ...





... we must do the monitoring, the evaluation, the planning and everything.






Ngiyethemba ukuthi lokhu esikutholile nesikufundile ku- COVID-19 futhi kuzosinceda ukuthi sigxile emsebenzini wethu. Ngiyabonga.





Man B T MATHEVULA: Ndza khensa, Mutshamaxitulu. Mi ta ndzi khomela ku vulavula handle ka ku pfulelela khamera. Mina ndzi huma ematikoxikaya laha ku nga ri ki na netiweke.





Minister, the main concern brought forward with regard to the planned migration of the ECD to the Department of Basic Education has been the quality of practitioners for early childhood development. We are concerned about entrusting the early childhood development to people who are neither educators, nor qualified, nor skilled enough to deal with children, especially regarding children with special needs and learning challenges.



What measures will you put in place to ensure that qualified practitioners are employed in ECD centres,



especially from disadvantaged communities in rural areas and townships?



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon member, mina ndza khensa! I wish I could just go on ... I will get there, don’t worry. One day, I will answer this question exactly the way you asked it, in Xitsonga.





Le ha ho le jwalo, ke a tseba hore ke tshwanetse ke re: Mina ndza khensa! [Kenello.] Eya, ke a leboha.





In answering your question, hon member: As I indicated earlier on, really, I must say upfront that the whole issue of professionals and practitioners in the first 26 years in which we say we have done our best, is to transform and to change. What I also want to recall is that by the way, we are changing systems that were different on almost nine countries and we have put that into one.



So, the Department of Social Development, working with the Department of Higher Education and Training, as well as the Department of Basic Education, need to look at what they have been able to do in the past, but also look at the demands of today. This is because yesterday was different; and today is different.



So, it is important for us to continuously look for better solutions and better empowerment of our human resources because if we don’t empower human resources, it becomes very difficult for them to deliver on the ground. Thank you very much.



Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Deputy Chairperson, the people of South Africa are held hostage by an incapable government. They merely need to be shown what a good government looks like by looking at the Western Cape. It is indeed unfortunate that to date the people of South Africa are still exposed to hunger, poverty and so much more under an ANC-led government.



The Department of Social Development has to date failed to ... [Inaudible.] to Basic Education, and the totally



inadequate response to the impact of Covid-19 on young children has called into question the department’s commitments to the rights of children that are enshrined in Section 28 of our Constitution.



While the country waits for the transition of ECDs to Basic Education: How far is the implementation of the [Inaudible.] proposal which was submitted to National Treasury at the end of August for the allocation of R1,3 billion to an [Inaudible.] package, to enable ECDs to operate, to provide their staff with a basic stipend that will allow them to revive their services? Have ECD centres been assisted yet? If not, why not? If so, what are the relevant details?



The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Deputy Chairperson, hon member, you know, respectfully, I will say this to you: I guess you are doing politics there and I tried by all means to move myself from politics because I am a Minister for all South Africans.



So, I tried to move away because if you start talking to me about the Western Cape, I don’t want to start talking



about Khayelitsha, Phillipi, Gugulethu and all that. I don’t want to get into those politics because they belong somewhere else. However, my answer to you hon member is that you will recall ...



Let me start here: We are engaging with Treasury, because out of the employment stimulus package that President Cyril Ramaphosa has been speaking about, we have to make sure that we are not lost in that. Also, we do have the Conditional Grant that we are currently providing for personal protective equipments, PPEs, and additional support for ECDs.



Now, again, I am like you are bringing politics into the matter because you are busy telling me that the people must know which government they need in power and all that, while you are making comparisons. This Ministers sitting here, in front of you, are responsible for the entire country, including the Western Cape.



We don’t discriminate when it comes to the resources that we need to give to provinces and all. We do not say that the Western Cape is this and that. No, we give all the



necessary money to everybody and we want everybody to be held accountable in all the nine provinces. My responsibility, when we talk about the economic stimulus, the conditional grants and additional support for ECDs and all, as a national government, we cover all provinces.



As a national government, through the Minmec, that I normally hold with all the MEC ... I must really thank the MECs of all the provinces, by the way including the Western Cape. Those MEC come to meetings. They are very constructive in the meetings. They are looking for solutions for our people. I wish to thank them because I work very well with them.



But also, as government, we are a government of the people, by the people. We will continue to respond to the needs of the people. Thank you. [Applause.]



Question 133:




Chairperson, and good afternoon to all, Question 133 asked by the hon Dodovu takes us into an area that is



very fraught with problems. This year has been a particularly difficult year for Water and Sanitation, especially in that particular area, amongst others. I had to rack my brains to find out how to package it in such a way that it fits into the timeframe that we have.



Fortunately, hon Chair, we had the opportunity when we had COVID-19 to brief the NCOP about what the problems were and what we were doing about them. I am assuming that there is a kind of background information that should assist us in answering most of the questions that we have here, especially this one.



We also had the opportunity to have a meeting with the select committee. The select committee has asked us to come and respond to them. It is almost the same kind of question that we have here, and we brought the CEO of Sedibeng and myself to the meeting and explained the problems that we were experiencing in Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality. Before I go into detail, I just wanted to indicate what it is that the Department of Water and Sanitation is responsible for and what the municipalities are responsible for. Because with time I



have found that there is a clear distinction of what the roles are. If you give me time I would like to say that schedule 4 of the Constitution places the function of provision of water services to local government - municipalities.



Section 154 places the responsibility on national and provincial government to support and regulate local government in caring out the mandate that is directly given by the Constitution to local government. Section 9 of the Water Services Act prescribes that the Minister may from time to time develop compulsory national norms which we have done to ensure that the water services authorities which are the municipalities function in a particular way. Section 84 of the Municipal Structures Act mandates the municipalities which are responsible for potable water and domestic waste disposal. Therefore the department, including the Minister, is the custodian of water in terms of the National Water Act and is responsible for insuring that water as a resource is allocated equitably and used beneficially.



However, potable water remains the responsibility of a particular municipality. This is where we are now with Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality. Maluti-a-Phofung has a particularly challenging situation. It has experienced drought. Over and above the drought that it experienced in the past year, it has also been put under administration. So, it is a municipality under administration. All of those have worked towards making this a particularly fragile environment over a number of issues.



What are we doing to provide? We have provided Maluti-a- Phofung with a total of R5,9 billion through our regional bulk infrastructure grant to make sure that water and sanitation infrastructure for the year 2020-21 is looked after. We felt that provided a R4 billion through the Water Services Infrastructure Grant to fund water sanitation projects countrywide and they would have had a share of that.



With regard to Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality, a total of nine projects are currently under implementation because it is going through a certain level of a dry environment.



The total allocation of these projects amounts to R190 million and since 2012, a total of seven water

supply projects costing R309 million were completed in Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, with funding provided by Water and Sanitation.



Hon member, I will provide you with a breakdown of the money and the projects that we have in Maluti-a-Phofung. And I just want to go over some of them. We have the Sterkfontein Phase 1 project ...



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Whilst you are doing that Minister, please note that the total time allocated for you to respond to a question is five minutes. We have to balance that with perhaps responding and providing the details in writing.





My sincerest apologies, sir; I will observe that.



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, your five minutes is over now.





I beg your pardon.



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That is the difficult thing. Why don’t we say that you would need to provide that information and allow the hon Dodovu to raise a follow-up question as the first supplementary question, and take it from there? Hon Dodovu?



Mr T S C DODOVU: Thank you very much Chairperson and thank you very much Minister for your responses. I am quite happy that the Minister acknowledges that in Maluti-a-Phofung there are problems which need to be attended to, because since 2012 the people of Maluti-a- Phofung were suffering severely because of water shortages and that millions of rands were spend in that respect. I am also happy that the department in

conjuction with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has unearthed malfeasances and acts of corruption in the water projects in Maluti-a- Phofung. What I want to establish from the Minister is to check whether there are any culprits to date that are brought to book as a results of your efforts to ensure



that there is proper financial management in Maluti-a- Phofung. Thank you very much.





Hon Dodovu, what we did when we discovered that there was a great deal of bad administration in Maluti-a-Phofung - including possible criminality, we decided that we would end the term of the board while we investigate the board there and also working together with the Minister of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, investigate any possible corruption in Maluti-a- Phofung itself. We have not yet concluded our investigations, hon member.



All what the Minister of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs did was to put that municipality under administration and we are required to ensure that we give it all the necessary support. As soon as our investigations are over, we will come back to the House and report to them, the same way we reported to them on how we were dealing with the problem of the drought that occurred in that particular place. Nobody



has been brought to book yet, because we are still continuing with the investigation, hon member.



Ms H S BOSHOFF: Thank you very much hon Chair and good afternoon to the Minister. Minister, I have just heard you say that this municipality has been placed under administration and has gone through a lot of drought. You said that you have nine projects under implementation, and a R5,9 billion infrastructure grant has been made available to this municipality. We all know that this municipality’s bank account has been attached by Eskom and contracts cannot be paid, etc. Critical water infrastructure projects have been implemented.



Minister, what is our concern is that if the municipality is on administration and so much money is going to be made available and the bank account has been attached by Eskom, how are we going to ensure that the money that has been made available is used properly and that the projects are protected from collapsing, and the people’s right to water is not compromised? Thank you, hon Chair.





Thank you very much, yes indeed the municipality has been placed under administration and we are investigating a great deal of what could have gone in that municipality. Yes, I do know that Eskom has taken legal action against the municipality and I do know that now the municipality is unable to utilise its bank account.



However, the nine projects and the money that I am referring to does not go to the municipality, it goes to the water board that services and assists the municipality in keeping it afloat. Therefore, the projects that we were talking about are under the stewardship of the water board which is called Sedibeng. So, we are not affected in terms of the line of production of the infrastructure there.



Where we are affected is that the municipality is completely unable to do the barest, even in terms of putting out the water tanks that we sent out there. There were pictures that were floating around, showing that the tanks are still kept in the municipality offices for reasons that we do not know. But we do have a water



board, and from time to time we find a way of intervening to make sure that we can assist them in providing the necessary basic water in that area. But it shows red flags on regular occasions and I know that the people of Maluti-a-Phofung are very frustrated because they do not have water that you and I have. It is because of their geographic area and the administration in that place as well. But we are doing everything we can to assist them, hon member.



Mr S ZANDAMELA: Minister, part of the reason it is inaccessible to many communities is because of the municipalities that default on payments to Rand Water. Currently, water pressure in Emfuleni in the Vaal, and Govan Mbeki and Victor Khanye in Mpumalanga will be reduced by 20% due to nonpayment to Rand Water. What measures does your department plan to put in place to ensure that nonpayment does not become a norm in those municipalities. Thank you very much.





Thank you. Chairperson, for the past week we have been having discussions with the study groups, the portfolio



committees, joint Ministers and Members of Executive Councils Meeting, Minmecs, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs because this is a

head-splitting crisis that we are faced with. We are discussing what we should do with those municipalities that are unable to pay. The rate at which they are not able to pay is extremely high. If they are not able to pay for their water, we are not able to supply them with water because we need that revenue. The amount of money that we are owed by municipalities is R15 billion.



Now, if we put that R15 billion back into our account, imagine how many dams we would be able to put into our system. Imagine how much we would be able to assist those municipalities, but there is just a serious crisis that we have to overcome. We have been sitting on this matter and at a time that is convenient, I think we - the Ministers together, will ask you to come and brief NCOP to see how we are solving the problem. We are not getting any joy right now, municipalities are unable to pay for the water, and we are unable to find additional resources from Treasury to provide them with water and it is



keeping us up all night. Every night we go into this matter to see how we can solve this.



One thing that we are committed to is that we should give our people water because it is a right and it is an essential part of their lives. What the member is asking is head splitting. We are stuck with that problem and maybe you will help as a Council to see how we can deal with this matter.



Mr A B CLOETE: Thank you Chairperson and Minister because this is a serious issue we need to attend to and thank you for acknowledging that the Free State municipalities is always in dire strait with this issue. My concern is the following, we are looking at Sedibeng Water to be a possible answer to the problem, but during the provincial week, and you will probably know this as well that Sedibeng indicated that it is technically insolvent. My concern is now we are looking at the situation where Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality, which is under administration, will rely on Sedibeng Water to get water which is also insolvent. Is this really the correct fix?





Hon Cloete, the reason I was indicating that the Minister of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and myself are having sleepless nights is precisely this head-splitting conundrum that we are stuck with. Sedibeng is bankrupt because the Free State Municipality is not able to pay. Most of the municipalities around there are unable to pay. We have approached Treasury to see if they cannot top slice money that has been put aside for the municipalities in their adjustment. They should top slice it and give it to us so that we can be able to provide Sedibeng with the necessary resources for them to be able to perform the responsibilities that would otherwise be performed by the municipality.



When we are done with our negotiations with the Minister of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, we are hoping that the Minister of Finance will agree - and that would solve our problem. If it is not possible we will come back to you - the two of us, and admit that there is a crisis. It is a crisis; our



climate is an implement climate, we are getting drier and drier.



The only province that seems to have had some success is the Western Cape; it has had dams filled to a 100% for the first time in 100 years. Everywhere else we are experiencing serious drought and in those areas we are unable to collect money from the municipalities and the water boards are absolutely broke. It is a conundrum that we can only solve together with you.



Question 124:




The matter of the land invasion is a matter that brought me to Cape Town to sit down with the Mayor of Cape Town because they were one of the affected areas and also was Gauteng. Our analysis was that these are the people who were in dire states for one reason or another, but there were some elements that were taking advantage of this situation.



We had the opportunity to meet with the communities that were taking the kind of action during the lockdown. They



explained to us something that we had missed in our calculation around that particular period of COVID-19. We are working around how we can deal with it. We are working around how we can deal with it.



Hon member, we have developed a new policy which will be placed before Cabinet in the next Cabinet that we have of land release, so that we can release land so that where there is pressure, justifiable pressure which we can measure as well, people will be able to build their own houses. COVID-19 did bring a great deal of distress to a number of homes. The regulations around COVID-19 were very specific, that nobody, no municipality, no segment of government may evict anybody during that particular period nor may land be invaded by anybody.



The land issue in its totality and the lessons we have learnt, have driven us to create a new policy which will lead to an amendment of our legislation.



Ms C VISSER: Hon Minister, do you intend to address land invasion crisis ...[Inaudible] ...an amendment or by introducing new legislation, which require Parliament to



consider the provisions that address the prevention of implementation of Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act of 1998. If not, why not? If so, what are the relevant details? Thank you.





Hon member, yes indeed that is exactly what it is that I was talking about. The department is considering policy that deals with the situation that faced us. We will provide yourselves with the policy after it has been approved by Cabinet. We will put that policy into practise and see how it works, then we will amend the legislation. We can’t go to the legislation without actually checking whether what we are amending is going to work. We have macro policy that we are dealing with and when that is presented to yourself, you will be able to see what we are dealing with and how we hope to amend it.



Mr S A LUTHULI: Minister, what Parliament should be focussed on currently is fast-tracking the process of amending Section 25 of the Constitution, to allow the expropriation of land. This in turn will be remove the



notion of illegal occupation of land or land invasion. It should be noted that the majority of people that still need land are black people. The pursuits of forceful removal of so called land invaders is removing black people from their own land.



Minister, don’t you think that Parliament ought to speed up the process of amending section 25 of the Constitution, instead of criminalising black people for the failure of your department to provide them with adequate housing? Thank you.





No hon Luthuli, you are jumping several steps to go to the Constitution. The matter of the Constitution is still under consideration and we are dealing with that matter. Right now, what we are dealing with is what are we going to do about the problem of people who are invading land. What we have done is to consult those various municipalities that have been affected by land invasions, to say to them we are putting in place a policy that will make it possible for us to contain the situation.



That policy will be going to Cabinet and as soon as Cabinet has approved that policy, it will be put into legislation or the various pieces of legislation that are affected by that, will be amended.



Section 25, whether it is there or not, the various instruments that we are working on now, will need to be amended to make sure that we are able to release land to people, to make sure that they are able to build houses for themselves as we go along.



The matter of section 25 does not belong to this particular discussion. We are all aware that black people had their land taken away from them, we have all considered that something must be done which is why this matter is under consideration. Right now we are talking about, what do we do about those people who forcefully occupy land. What we have done in that case is look at policy. What we have done right now under lockdown is that, no municipality, no province may forcefully evict anybody, it is illegal. We have taken those municipalities who have done that to court.



Nobody is allowed to occupy land that does not belong to them, that is illegal and we have taken action against those people. Hon Luthuli, you are jumping to the final conclusion, we have to take one step at a time to make sure that we are able to cope with this situation on time. The amendment of the Constitution will take a long time. What we are dealing right now, we will be able to get over in two weeks’ time



Mr S E MFAYELA: Hon Minister, does your department have any mechanism in place to deliver housing to people who have been staying in transit camps for over years without any top-up housing. Thank you Minister.





Hon Mfayela that is a question that both yourselves and ourselves will need to respond to. We do have the capacity to deliver houses; we do not have the budget to deliver houses to everybody at the same time. In those areas where we need the land to build on, we have requested the occupants of the land to provide us with space so that we can put the ...[Inaudible] ... and be able to build and they have been living in Temporary



Relocation Areas, TRA’s. the intention is that, as soon as the houses are up, they will be put in their own houses.



Each person in a TRA ideally should know which house is his or hers as it being built. We need to clear the area especially when it is an area that is what is called, an evergreen area, because we can’t build on top of informal settlements. We’ve got to clear the area, we’ve got to even it out, we’ve got to put in infrastructure and make sure that the houses that we build are on solid ground.

That is why we put people in TRA’s.



It is not our intention to keep them there forevermore. Our intention is to build as quickly as possible but we also have other impediments that come our way, finance is one of them, the COVID-19 did hold us back for quite a long time. As soon as it is down to zero now, we will be building up on scale. We have been showcasing what we have been doing so that people can understand that in fact we did not have ... [Inaudible]... sitting on our hands. We are building houses so that as soon as it is possible for us, we will be putting people in descent



houses which is what we have promised them. TRA’s are a temporary shelter and we want to keep it that way. Thank you.





Nksz Z V NCITHA: Enkosi Sihlalo weNdlu, ndibulise kuMphathiswa weSebe lezeNtlalo yoLuntu. ezaManzi noGutyulo lwelindle, aBaphathiswa ahamba nabo, oogxa bam amaLungu ePalamente namagosa akhoyo.



Sihlalo, ndicela ukubuza kuMphathiswa ukuba uyiqwalasele kusini na into yokuba apha kweli Phondo leNtshona Koloni, abantu bahleli phantsi kweemeko ezingathandekiyo. Iimeko abaphila phantsi kwazo zimbi kakhulu, azifanelanga mntu uphilayo. Bahlala ematyotyombeni, kwiindawo ezimbi kakhulu.



Into endinqwenela ukuyazi kuMphathiswa umama uLindiwe Sisulu yile, ingaba isebe eli linanjongo zini ukuhlangula aba bantu baphila phantsi kwale meko imbi kangaka, kwaye ingabantu abamnyama, ukuqinisekisa ukuba bayaphuma kule meko baphila phantsi kwayo yokuhlala ematyotyombeni?



Lo mbuzo ndiwubuza kuba iphondo linayo inkqubo ebeliyenza eBhayi naphaya eMonti, yokuqinisekisa ukuba abantu bayahlengahlengiswa ngakumbi ngeli xesha leCOVID-19.






LWELINDLE: Enkosi Sihlalo, kamnandi ndithetha nabantu abayaziyo le meko. Ohloniphekileyo uNgcitha ebelilungu leBhunga laseMonti, uyayazi ke imeko esithetha ngayo. uSihlalo ebefudula enguSodolophu wesiXeko saseRhawutini. Sonke siyayazi le meko. Sijongene nayo ...





... every year, year in and year out.



Asilali ebusuku sijongene nale meko yokuba sikhuphe abantu bethu kule ndawo bakuyo sisilwela ukuba sibabeke kwindawo ezakubanika isidima esifanelekileyo. Lungu elihloniphekileyo, akukho nto singayenzanga ukuqinisekisa ukuba ...





... to the extent that is possible ...





...wonke umntu ufumana indlu. Sithetha nje ngoku uSekela Mphathiswa uPam Tshwete useMonti, ujongene nala nkqubo iphaya apho besijonge ukuba xa kungoku sizakube sisusa abantu kwiindawo zokuhla zethutyana (TRA’s) sibafaka ezindaweni zabo.



Sisebenzela loo nto lungu elihloniphekiyo ukuba abantu bethu sibakhuphe ebugxwayibeni ukuze bahlale kunye nabanye abantu kwiindawo ezindilisekileyo. Akukho nto singayenziyo, ubusuku mnemini sisebenza le nto.



Ndingavuya lungu elihloniphekile ukuba nani niyi-NCOP ningazibandakanya nathi xa sityelela amaphondo, ukuze sibonisane ukuba zingazilungisa njani na ezinye izinto. Sinawo amacebo esinawo kodwa kungamnandi ukuba ...





... from time to time ...





... sisebenzisane nani, siye lula maphondo enu sijonge ukuba singenza nton na siqinisekise nabantu. Enye into



eyingxaki esiyibonayo ebantwini kuxa bengayivumeli lo mgaqo-nkqubo sifuna ukuwusebenzisa, bathi asiyifuni le sifuna leya. Enye into ngabantu abahleli emhlabeni. Siye sithi silungisa umhlaba silungisela ukwakha izindlu kubekho abantu abahlala kuwo umhlaba. Ndingavuya ukuba le nto siyijonge Sisonke sincedisane kuba ...





... there is nothing greater than a person’s dignity ...





...xa enendlu yakhe. Ndiyavuya kuba sikhona sonke apha kwaye ndinesicelo sokuba xa nisenza uhlolo emaphondweni, nisimeme sihambe nani sithethe nabantu ekuhlaleni ukuze siqinisekise ukuba ezi zindlu bazinikiweyo abazithengisi. Abantu bakuthi lungu elihloniphekileyo uZukiswa bayazithengisa izindlu zabo, bayazithengisa. Sihlalo, erhawutini bezithengisela abantu bamazwe angaphandle.





No foreigner has any right to a free house from government. They can rent houses; they can do whatever but ...





... abanalo ilungelo lobunini kwizindlu esizinika abantu bethu. Abantu bethu bayazithengisa izindlu zabo.





So, when we are together on this trail hon Chair ...





... kungamnandi, sibabuze abantu ukuba kutheni bezithengisa izindlu. Into esiyijongileyo ngoku kukuba sinike abantu umhlaba bazakhele. Sifuna ukubafundisa ukuzakhela ukuze xa sele begqibile apho baye kwezinye iindawo bengabakhi. Besinengqungquthela yabakhi abangamanina ...





... it was very heartening to see how many women are in the construction industry. So, we are actually growing the industry and the basis of our growth for our economy is to make sure that everybody has a house. Right now we want to make sure that we can empower people by giving them land and let them build on that land themselves together with the members of the NCOP.



Question 114:




Chairperson, in line with our business plan for 2020-21, that was submitted to us by the various provinces, we have 901 informal settlements in the country that are now ready to be upgraded. I accordance with the policy that we call Upgrading of Informal Settlement Programme, UISP. The timeframes that we have set out for the commencement and completion of upgrading of identified informal settlements – I think that it should be noted right now that some informal settlements will be a multiyear project as opposed to a once off project, depending on the scale of the numbers that we are dealing with, depending on the topography, the land on which they are on, depending on how much bulk infrastructure we have in that particular area and many other variables. We have identified these 901 informal settlements and we are going to make sure that we upgrade these 901 informal settlements, within the shortest possible time.



The detailed project report has been completed on how we are going to do this, as part of our work unfortunately we did experience COVID-19 and it brought most of our



work in a screeching halt, but we have since started and we are hoping that we will be building at every possible site that we have, because apart from just building and providing shelter, it will mean a great deal to the improvement of our economy, if we are able to provide jobs and have kind of investment into properties such as we hope to have.



So, we have worked out something that we have borrowed from the Second World War and from General Marshal. We have a marshal plan to make sure that as soon as it is possible we will roll out and ensure that all these 901 informal settlements are attended to as speedily as possible. This will mean close co-operation with municipalities, making sure that all those areas can be given over to us to be able to put in the necessary infrastructure.



As you know Chairperson, hon Ncitha will know and hon members will know, sometimes we face a great deal of resistance from people in an area as we try to improve the area. We have taken on board the services and support of a number of nongovernmental organisations, NGOs, who



deal with informal settlements, so as to talk to our people in a language that they can understand, that this is absolutely necessary. Our economy will have a revival such as has never been seen before if we are able to deal with these 901 projects that we have identified. We have put aside the necessary resources, necessary energy and would like our people to give us a space to be able to do what we need to do. Thank you.



Mr A ARNOLDS: Chairperson, and also thank you to Minister for the response on the question. Minister it must be emphasised that the upgrading of informal settlements cannot be an outright success with the actual participation of the beneficiaries themselves. This has been one of the major shortcomings of most of the planning which took place during previous years. Now, it is much important that informal settlements must be sustainable, human settlement geared to improve access to services, dignified and quality homes.



Now, dealing with informal settlements is a matter of inequality and this inequality is both social and spatial in nature. The physical conditions of informal



settlements and the informal status itself often pose a serious threat to the wellbeing of communities. Now, this in terms of the housing code, which also deals with incremental interventions. What is your plans in terms of suitable land for informal settlements? Because if we don’t have suitable land we going to put the people in same spaces where they are. You must take them out of those areas and put them on suitable land, close to economic activities. Thank you.





Hon Arnolds, I have been in this portfolio now for three terms. What you are saying is something I know even in my sleep. It is easier said than done. If you take the N2 gateway project here, when you drive out of Parliament to go to the airport – we are still not done with that. Our intention was to put our people in better places and take them away from places that are not suitable for them.

One, they resisted, two, they took us to court and therefore took the authority of determining where and how we build into the hands of the law.



The courts have taken over the management of that project. The project has been running for 15 years and more now. Something that we could have finished on time. Now, what we doing is, we have engaged the services of NGOs, to assist us to talk to...it’s easy for you and I to see the logic of taking people out of where they are and putting them in better places, they might not want that. You saw that in Gauteng Province, the people in Setswetla informal settlement don’t want to move because your logic and their logic are very different. So, we need to engage with them and see how we can upgrade them either in the places where they are or take them to better places. It’s a story of our lives. The hon Chair will tell you about that, he was unable to persuade many of his people to go to better to places so that we can give them houses. If we work with them and especially work with yourselves so that you don’t occupy land that we have identified to build houses for the indigent, then it will work so much better.



If housing the poor can become a... [Interjection.]



Mr A ARNOLDS: Chairperson, point of order here.



The CHAIRPESON OF THE NCOP: Hon Arnolds, what is your point of order?



Mr A ARNOLDS: My point of order is no the Minister [Interjection.] [Inaudible.] ... becoming personal here... [Interjection.] [Inaudible.]...



The CHAIRPESON OF THE NCOP: Hon Arnolds, that’s not a point of order. Just become more tolerant and...



Mr A ARNOLDS: ...no! It’s a point of order and you must rule.



The CHAIRPESON OF THE NCOP: ... listen to the response of your question [Interjection.] [Inaudible.] ...I will give the opportunity later on [Interjection.] [Inaudible.]

...and to say, your saying [Interjection.] ...hon Minister, please proceed.





Chairperson, can I answer? I am not being personal, I am... pardon, can you hear me?



The CHAIRPESON OF THE NCOP: No, hon Minister, let’s not have a dialogue. Let’s just stick to your response. [Interjection.], Arnolds, you had your own time to speak. [Interjection.] ...please proceed





Chairperson, what I am saying, I am conveying too himself, as well the truth. I met with members of the EFF, when they had indicated to me that they are going to occupy land. I met with members of the EFF when they were being evicted from one of the informal settlements there. I have been there more times more than you have hon Arnolds, and I do know how they feel, we have had discussion. I have asked them to come along and worked with us [Interjection.] what I am saying is not personal at all. We want all parties to work with us for our programmes to succeed.



I am therefore appealing to you directly in the same way as I appealed to those members of the EFF to come and work with us and they have worked with us and we have been very grateful for that. Thank you very much.



Mr A B CLOETE: Chairperson, thank you, Minister, I almost wanted to say [Inaudible.] but I won’t say that. Minister upgrading is one thing but it’s something else and completely different to ensure sustainable and reliable access to services such as water, we know this. So, we want to thank you for your reply received, in terms of upgrade at Masilonyana Local Municipality, especially in Bramford, the residents experience, there wasn’t any interruption. With all due respect, this appears to be process management. I know the reason why you are going to say this. We need to be forward as well. So, what are the department’s plans to ensure reliable water services in these areas after upgrades have been finalised? Thank you.





Chairperson, hon Cloete, the reason why our preferred way of dealing with upgrades is to get cleared land, which is why we put people in temporary shelter, so we can put infrastructure, because we cannot put infrastructure where people are living. This is where we faced greatest difficulty, because people become very reluctant to leave, to go to temporary shelter and we have to explain



to them that to put out bulk infrastructure we have to dig huge tunnels under the ground, to be able to carry the sewer, to be able to put water in there.



Now that we are talking about it and all parties are here, we are hoping that we can speak with one voice about assessing the need, time and make sure that there is water infrastructure, there is sanitation infrastructure, because otherwise what we are doing is leading people in the same conditions without the necessary amenities and they need those amenities.



Our definition of human settlement is; houses that have schools next to them, that have clinics next to them, police station and all of these amenities which are not possible when you are upgrading people as they are living in a particular closed up place. So, I am glad that we are here, all of us from various parties to understand that we need to ask our people to work with us so that we can fast track our delivery. A lot of time our delivery is held back because of the resistance from our people, who feel that they don’t want to leave the places that they are leaving in. Even though in the long run it



becomes a much better place for them to get back to, because it has all the necessary amenities.



We can proof that when we have the opportunity, we can proof that with all the areas where we have asked people to shift for us put infrastructure, for us to build other amenities that are necessary for complete human settlement. To build schools, to build shopping malls, to create place where small businesses are able to operate and all of those things.



So, in our upgrade programme we have all of that, included as part of what we are doing. From time to time we have Ministers and Member of Executive Council, MINMEC, and at MINMEC we discuss each one of these projects. First, with the Member of Executive Council, MECs and we invite the local government that is responsible, so that we are speaking with one voice and working towards the same end. We have had success it has been great success and where we have had blockages we are still standing in the same place that we are standing in

15 years ago. Thank you.



Ms B M BARTLETT: Chairperson, good afternoon Minister, I just want to find out – can the hon Minister please explain the position of the ministry regarding to the multimillion rand shacks project, built for our people in Limpopo Province and Harrismith in the Free State Province. What has the department done to correct this unfortunate development that strip off the people from the dignity? Thank you very much.





Chairperson, the ministry had nothing to do with the planning, however, what we did do was to put in place a process of understanding what had gone wrong. We have discovered what had gone wrong and we are making sure that it doesn’t happen ever again. The place that was built in Limpopo Province did not have a sanction of the ministry, at all. It was meant to be transitional residential areas, TRAs, however there wasn’t enough oversight over that project to be able to ensure that all the standards were kept.



The Premier apparently went to the area even before it was completed, it was still in progress and I am certain



that he didn’t know that the shacks were...whatever is called now...were work in progress, that was the work in progress that he had unfortunately gone to – to go and open one of those places.



We have since sent our housing development, HD, agency to find out what needs to be done, but that was meant to be a temporary shelter place, where we are able to de- densify those areas in line COVID-19. It’s a project that went very pear-shaped, was very badly handled and there was no co-operation between ourselves and that particular project over there. We learnt about it at about same time as everybody else, learnt about it on television. We done everything necessary and possible to make sure that we understand and if there was anything that was untoward that was done – those people will bear the consequences of that.



 It was unfortunate, the Premier was not properly briefed and between the board that was put out there of a multimillion rand project and what was on the ground was completely different. It is not the kind of place would have sanctioned, it is not the kind of place that we



would allow people to move into. If it was I, myself would have been there. Thank you.



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, hon Minister, the ANC in Parliament cut more than 2,26 billion rand from the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation in the budget this year for COVID-19 supplementary budget adjustment. Of the 2,26 billion rand raised from the housing budget, 1,7 billion rand was cut from the Human Settlements Development Grant and 1,1 billion rand was cut from Urban Settlement Grant. The Urban Settlement Development Grant is used by provinces as you know some accredit some municipalities to build some formal houses that are awarded with title deeds. The Urban Settlement Development Grant, USDG, is used by densely populated municipalities to ensure that our country’s poorest residents living in informal settlements have access to services like cards and toilets.



The Title Deeds Restoration Grants which was identified as a priority programme by the department during 2018-19 but has sadly seen little progress since it was reduced by 377 million rands. What has the impact of this cuts



been on the department’s ability to continue delivering, formal breaking new ground houses to disparate South Africans and address the national housing backlog? Thank you.





Chairperson, hon Labuschagne, your gripe is my gripe, so we are both of us, on the same side on this one. I would not have wanted to give away a penny from my budget but unfortunately we had to cater for the fact that we did have COVID-19 and therefore in the medium term adjustment budget and number of other factors, you know, affected the distribution of resources. We would just have to make sure that we can make up for this by, perhaps doing things differently, so that we do not have a shortfall in the output that we have. This is how we had it and we have accepted it.



It wasn’t just the ANC, it was the Department of Finance, trying to readjust the budget to ensure that we can cater for the huge cost that we experienced during COVID-19. We didn’t budget for COVID-19 it was just something that happen, it’s just one of those things and somewhere,



somebody had to make sure that the country and the government still run. This is the consequence of what happened in my case. It might have happened in other cases as well. The USDG, is as important to me as the grant itself, because in the USDG, I have come to an agreement with the levels that have USDG, to say; this is what I would like to see out of the USDG and we signed a contract around what it is the USDG is going to do.



Apart from anything else, I have been very determined that we will have very clean towns, we will not have trash all over the place. We will have our potholes repaired and etc. Apart from the housing itself, because we deal with the entirety of urban settlement that we are responsible for. So my heart bleeds as much as your heart bleeds, around the fact that we don’t have the resources that we had planned to utilise at the beginning but that how the dice was strong and that is how it landed. We will have to find a way of trying to make up for it in the outer year.



On the issue of the restoration of the tittle deeds, that is indeed a really big problem for us. The last MINMEC



that we had some years ago, with Members of the Executive Council of the Provinces, we had agreed on a separation of several phases of restoration of the title deeds. I had said to them, because I have the capacity, I would like to take all the titled deeds that predate a particular time, that predate 2014. Ensure that we are able to deal with them as a national government.



Municipalities together with provinces will deal with all other title deeds after that. We agreed in principles but it hasn’t happened and the truth of the matter is that provinces have a certain level of independence, where they can decide what to about certain things and whether or not they will be bound by the joint decisions, they have been bound by the joint decisions in this case and therefore we have the situation here. If I were to have my way, I would have a legislation passed that actually says that, you know, we ring-fence title deeds for a particular year going back and make sure that it is put in a central pool to be dealt with by national government, if the provinces will allow that. If they allow that, we will be able to fast tract the issue of title deeds. It remains a real big problem, because



without a title deed the house itself is not worth the value that we have attach to it.



On a yearly basis the value of the house goes up and the people who have those houses are able to take advantage of the value of the house because we are not able to give them their title deeds on time. We are working on this and as I indicated a little earlier the Deputy Minister who is in the Eastern Cape Province has particular passion for title deeds. She has been giving them out whenever she has the time and we would like to fast tract this process, it is a burden on our shoulders, that would like to ensure that is ours but an advantage and an asset for the people who owned those houses.



We have to get the concurrence of provinces because that rests with the provinces. It’s not the national competence it’s a provincial competence. Thank you.



Question 123:




Hon Chair, indeed, I did say when I came in that from the Auditor-General’s report it had become quite clear to me



that we were dealing with the department in serious distress. Not only was it in distress because of the handling of funds, it was in distress also because so many people who had been fingered by the Auditor- General’s findings had either been put off on leave or had resigned.



From the year 2013 to date, 11 senior managers have been found guilty, and we are in the process of concluding that. They have had several dismissals of people. In total we had 138 positions that have been affected by the process of the disciplinary action that has been taken over a period of time, and that has increased over a time that I indicated that we are going to have a clean up.



So, what happens is that when somebody is undergoing a disciplinary process, they take leave of absence so that they can attend to the disciplinary case, and therefore we can have somebody who is acting. When they are dismissed, they would be somebody who is acting. This has been going on for some time.



Therefore, we have had to restructure the Department of Water Affairs. We now have a new organogram that is in line with what it is that we found has been wrong with the previous organograms and how we would like to move forward.



We have completed the organogram and as you all know, the organogram has to be signed off by the Minister of Public Service and Administration. The Minister of Public Service and Administration, on 3 November 2020 - a few days ago – signed off on it. So, we are now able to put in advertisements to fill those posts that are vacant.



So, we will not have Hollywood with people acting; we will have people who are qualified to be in those particular places, but right now we are dealing with a problem. We are dealing with instability. We are dealing with the Auditor-General’s findings which were very incriminating. We had to do something about it.



When somebody has been found guilty, we need to make sure that somebody else is in that place to ensure that the work does continue. That is why we have so many of these.



These are the results of forensic investigations and the reports that have been given to us.



When we take action, the person against whom we take action has to stand aside and we continue with the work of the department. Continuing with the work of the department means getting somebody is equally suitable for that place to act at that place. Otherwise, the whole department would collapse.



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, Minister, thank you for the response. You know, as you said, several audits and oversight bodies point out the dangers of institutional instability as well as the heightened risk of fraud and corruption as a result of the confused retention of government employees based on the reasons that you have given at the executive level.



In spite of that, you were not able to fill all these crucial posts. Instead of building stability to the department, you have instead opted to appoint two of national response task teams and a number of so-called



‘advisory committees’, costing the taxpayers millions of rands.



A lot has also been said about these rapid response task teams when it comes to ethics, discipline and recruitment processes in terms of good governance. Minister, on the specific legislation you rely on in the appointment of these national rapid response task teams: Can you confirm whether or not all the members of these task teams were selected on the basis of a merit base, competitive recruitment and selection process, free from political interference? If so, could you be able to furnish this House with the necessary evidence?



Then, in your response, you said you have got a new organogram for the Department Water Affairs which has been signed off. How does that have impact now on the rapid response teams? Does one now take over the responsibilities of the rapid response teams? Or what happens now that you have got a new organogram plus two rapid response teams? Thank you.





I just want to say to hon Labuschagne, the two positions she puts forward have nothing to do with each other. The reason that we had instability in this department had do to with what going in this department. We rely on the findings of the Auditor-General. We had to act on it!



We put together a disciplinary committee to fast track these cases so that we have the kind of ethics in the Department of Water that will be able to carry us through. We explained that yourself. That is why we have so many vacancies. The reason why there are acting people is because the department has to function.



The disciplinary processes are going ahead. Some have been found guilty; and some have not been found guilty. Those who have not been found guilty have been brought back. Those who have been found guilty, obviously, will face their consequences. However, in the meantime, we have also looked at how functional the organogram is.



Restructuring the organogram to make sure that we are able to get rid of some of the problem that we had



experienced in the past, we had to submit it to the Minister of Public Service and Administration. He has since signed off on it. Everything in it is what we are now going to put in place.



Now, you are talking about rapid response. In the area of the Vaal, we are experiencing severe crises on the sanitation problems there. The crises are twofold: There is a flooding of sewerage that comes from up north, from four provinces right down to the Vaal. The Vaal is not able to cope with that. It has not been upgraded for a number of years. We have got to look at how we upgrade that.



What we did was to bring in some help from the military. The military is not the correct operational machinery to deal with that. Therefore, we took some people from around the Vaal because those are the people who are the custodians of the area, to clean up the area and to make sure that the sewerage does not flow into the streets.

This is allowed by legislation.



This is legislation that was passed as Water Services Act


108 of 1997. Chapter 7 of it speaks of Water Services Committees, of which Section 51 is on the establishment and disestablishment of water services committees:



(1) Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (4), the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette—

(a) establish a water services committee;


(b) give it a name or approve a change of its name;

(c) determine or change its service area; ...



It is catered for in law! Thank you.



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much. The next question comes from hon Mthethwa. The second supplementary question comes from hon Mthethwa! Is hon Mthethwa there? If he is not there, let is move on to hon S E Mfayela.



Mr S E MFAYELA: Chairperson, I am covered, you can carry on. I am fine.



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much. The last supplementary question will come from hon M S Moletsane. Hon Moletsane!



Mr M S MOLETSANE: Chairperson, the Minister has partly covered me on the issue of the officials that were found guilty. I just want the Minister to elaborate for those who were found guilty and were expelled: Is there any among them who were found guilty of corruption? Were cases of corruption opened for them? Are there any of them who have been arrested for corruption by now?





Hon Moletsane, corruption is something that we live with on a regular basis in this environment. We have been dealing with it, not only within the institution of the department, but also in the water boards. We have been trying to ensure that we can put up very clean institutions because we depend on these institutions to raise money in the markets to provide ourselves and everybody with water.



We have been struggling in some places in getting co- operation from the police. Perhaps it is because their hands are full with other case, but we have not as yet been able to have anybody arrested. We have written to the Minister of Finance to find out why there have not been any arrests, even though we have taken cases to the police. So, we await his response.



A few days ago, the SIU gave a briefing to the portfolio committee, indicating what it was that they had been dealing with, what cases they had found and what they are doing about it. What we do is take my personnel through disciplinary cases and after that it becomes a police or legal matter. I would suggest that when the Police Minister gets to the House, you can check how many of our cases have been arrested.



We don’t execute arrests; we report matters to the police and wait for the police to take necessary steps. I am glad that hon Moletsane asked that question because we are waiting for arrests of those people who have abused resources of the state, denying millions of people who are poverty stricken waiting for water.



Question 106:




Well, hon Chair, the assistance that we give to our provinces and our municipalities is granted. Whenever they need assistance we are there to provide them with the necessary assistance. However, as I indicated at the beginning, I did read out what the Constitution says and what the constitutional mandate are of the national department, what the constitutional mandate are of the provinces, what the constitutional mandate are of the various cities and towns at that particular level and municipalities.



Where we have been asked to help we are very happy to help but otherwise we do not intrude on spaces which are not ours and constitutionally not ours. But we are always there to make sure that we are providing our water and infrastructure.



When I started earlier on, Chairperson, I was going through the whole list of what we have done in just at Municipality of Maluti-a-Phofung. Then you reminded me that I was eating into my time but the responses that we



have will be tabled. So, anybody who would like to go through them will find them in the House and be able to go through what it is that we are doing to assist municipalities. It is our job to make sure that the water that we are providing does get to the end user. But that process is very clearly classified by both the Constitution and the laws that we operate under.



Reticulation making sure that portable water gets to the people is the responsibility of the municipality, Chair. My responsibility is to make sure that I look after the waters of the entire country that we have reliable water supplies around the country and all of those matters that go with it and be able to intervene as and when there is a problem such as a drought as and when I am referred by municipality or a province I am available to do that. But otherwise, there are very clear regulations and schedules that indicate what who needs to do what at what time.



Mr A B CLOETE: Thank you, Chair. Thank you, Minister. I understand the different obligations of different spheres of government are. I will get to that just now. I would like to give the Minister few figures announced that was



published just this week by the Auditor-General regarding both loses. An amount of R155 million that’s a loss this year, now municipalities R16 million, Masilongane

R2 million and from the latest we know is Mangaung as much as 3 000 a litre per minute. Now, yes, much of this water that has been lost is according to illegal connection but I would like to put it forward that is actually our ailing infrastructure.



So, in a water scares province and as custodian of water in the country, Minister, is it not time maybe to start with a decent audit for early infrastructure to determine what the extend of the problem is so that we can budget for it and plan accordingly. Can we not start with a decent audit to see? We know is ailing infrastructure we heard this every time you are here but we don’t know to what extent, is it 80%, is it 60%, 75%, we need to know to what extent we need to budget, we need to plan for the future 20 years 10 years from now. My suggestion or question, would you do such an audit or do a project with such an audit so we know exactly what you budget for and how to plan for it.





Chairperson, yes, we have all the capacity and institutions that assist us to be able to plan and audit, we have plan and we have audited. Most of the water losses that the hon member is talking about are not necessarily out of leaks, leaks is one of the losses. It is loss in revenue. The municipalities are not collecting the revenue to pay for the water that is given to them.

That is called a loss in terms of the audit. But certain percentage of that obviously will be water leaks. Water leaks have a number of reasons why we have them and you identified that it will be sometimes illegal connections, sometimes is aging infrastructure. We have the technology that is able to detect aging infrastructure and has also the capacity to fix aging infrastructure without having to dig. But there are number of societal problems that we experience even as we try to do that.



Hon Chair, one of the first thing that happened top me when I became Minister of Water was that the MEC for KwaZulu-Natal came to me and said all our water projects have come to a holt in KwaZulu-Natal because of people who are called Amadelangokubona. These are disgruntled



citizens of the country who will stop the project and demand 30% of that particular project, Very rife in KwaZulu-Natal. These are some of the issues that we encountered on a regular basis where you will find that even when we planned to do something have got time frame in terms of allocated money, the citizens or communities around there will either vandalised it or not allow it to continue and we experienced a whole lot of other problems in relation to that.



But we have got an audit and we are planning. The plans don’t always go the way that we want them to because of resistant from locals who feels that perhaps the project was given to people because they had money they who are there who live in the area need to have some part to play in providing necessary infrastructure. They need to work which is understandable.



So, we are looking at some of these problems and saying to ourselves that for every project that we have we must have a certain percentage of people from local community so that they participate and are able therefore to protect the infrastructure that we dealing with.



But this is something that we are doing on a regular basis. We have a plan, we have an audit and I can indicate to you that we haven’t progress too much from what we inherited and we are trying to build on what we inherited.



What we inherited is so skewed that in the agricultural space 95% of the water used for agriculture is still in the hands of white people. Hon Cloete, you listening?

Only 5% is available for black framers. Those are some of the problems that we still have to deal with. Very soon we will be putting forward a handbook but it is in isiXhosa.



We are wanting to rename that handbook a water charter so that we are able to redistribute water in such a way that there is an equitable share for everybody and all of those people who need water will be able to get water. We are still living with the structure that we inherited when we came into this government.



The infrastructure is still stuck where it was at that particular time. But we have tried everyway we can to



build dams; we have tried everyway we can to build new infrastructure and it has been possible to take potable water to some places but not all the places that it needs to go to.



The skewed nature of our distribution of water is something that we need to talk about and do it in such away that nobody feels that we are taking anything away from them. Water needs to be given equitable to everybody in this country.



Ms M S MOLETSANE: Thank you again, Chairperson. Minister, for the past 10 years, the community of Theunissen in Masilonyana Municipality in the Free State has been struggling with access to water affecting not only the households in the community but the local clinic as well. In that Malonyana Municipality, the other two towns, the Brandfort and the Winburg, their problem at least has been improved through your intervention. Hence now I want to know that, is Theunissen one of the places that are going to be prioritised for the delivery of basic services to have been having access to for the past 10 years? Thank you, Chairperson.





Hon Chairperson, I do not have the spreadsheet in front of me. However, I promise to give it to the hon member so that he can see whether or not his municipality is one of those that are prioritised. We prioritised areas in relation to how long they have waited. We prioritised areas in relation to how quickly we can put water there. The story that you are telling is a story of many disadvantage communities in our country. Many of our communities still remain very disadvantaged. We are working around the clock. This is a very difficult environment to be in. we are working around the clock to make sure that water which is life is accessible to all.



So, we will look at the spreadsheet and have a look at the municipality that you are talking about and be able to provide you with that information.



If I provided that information right here and now, do you know how many other hands will be shooting up to say what about my municipality, Minister, because we have these problems right through the country.



But we are doing everything we can to make sure that we can cover every area. We have learned from the Covid-19 intervention just how many of our people are disadvantaged.



In the mean time, what we are doing is leaving those tankers that we put out there where they were and we have given over the tankers to the municipality to provide water and we are monitoring whether or not to provide water.



We are going to keep this system going because it has managed to reach the furthest corners of our country and our people have been able to benefit from that.



Where we withdraw, we have seen a serious decline in accessibility to water. So, we are going to be for a while using the system that we learned from the command centre because it has been able to identified every area in the country that need water and look at our own planning to make sure that we can also prioritise those areas that we have seen from our working in the command centre are in desperate need of water.



So, hon Moletsane, I am sorry right now, I cannot confirm whether your particular village is on the priority list. They are all on our priority list. We work together with the provinces and the municipalities to make sure that we can assist them in making this a reality but we need their support in this regard.



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Minister, a lot has been said about the state of local government in the Free State. You have shared with what your department is doing in dealing with water crisis. Its worth noting about what did in May this year having originally written to the Sedibeng Water Board members informing them of determination of employment only to then retract that claiming it was a mistake you dismissed them in the middle of a National State of Disaster.



Minister, noting that appointed Sedibeng water as an implementing agent and considering the allegations of contractors not been paid, are you ensured that what was clearly already be a strange relationship with the water board you will ensure that this will not lead to the collapse of water infrastructure strategy?





I think that hon Labuschagne should be able to distinguish between employees and members of the board. What she is talking about are members of the board. This particular board was appointed by hon Nkwinti at the end of his term. It had not been concerted to by Cabinet.

Therefore, we indicated to the board, it is not the only board, there are several other boards to say we would like you to step aside so that we can regularise your appointment, please make sure if you want to serve, you respond to the advert that we are going to put out there. That has nothing to do with the municipality.



So, combining municipality with the board is a better of an overreach. However, the matter was taken to the courts by the board. We have won. Not only did we win our case and the logic in our case, the judge make sure that there were replications for the board resisting stepping aside while we regularise.



In similar cases, we have won seven cases where such a situation happened. That should speak for the correctness



of the approach. Otherwise we would not have seven separate judges agreeing to what we have done.



We now have put out adverts for various water boards and we are putting in place water boards that have been approved by Cabinet. That is a Cabinet requirement. Only Cabinet can put water board in place. Those water boards were not put in place by Cabinet. They were stopgap.

Therefore, we are now going to make sure that every water board starting with Amatola is properly constituted, properly agreed to by Cabinet. The success that we have had in the courts speaks volumes. I will send you the outcome and the judgement that we have had to indicate that we were in the right track. If we were not in the right track, we would not have won a single one of them.



What is more, the judge has put punitive charges on all of those boards that have taken us to court. But only did we win them they also were required to pay the costs of the case because in terms of what the judge saw from the documents we had, we had every right to regularise what had been put in place irregularly. No board has a right whatsoever to resist anymore than I have the right to



resist when the President says I think you better go and do something else. They are put there for a particular purpose. That purpose needs to be rectified if indeed it was not done properly.



We have won seven cases hon Labuschagne. I love flowers so you can send them to say congratulations; roses are the best of them. [Laughters.]



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chairperson, is that to trying to





The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Let just note the clowns.





I will await those, Chairperson.



Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: [Inaudible.}



Ms S SHAIKH: Thank you, hon Chairperson. Thank you, hon Minister, for your responses. Hon Chairperson, I am pretty much covered and we will wait the additional information from the Minister. However, Minister, with



regard to the water crisis you indicated that in addition to the draught situation in the Free State municipalities are also unable to pay for water. Now this has also been exposed in the provincial week where the inherent inability by Free State municipalities to pay for water has turned up.



Hon Minister, can you perhaps maybe elaborate on how the department is dealing with the alarming high debts of prepaid municipalities to the water board? Thank you.





Okay, hon Shaikh, today I have lost count of the dates but from last week everyday we have been having meetings with the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. My logic to the Minister of Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs is, if you can top slice the money of the municipalities and give me money so that I can provide water which is essential, it will make sense. She has been indicating to me that the municipalities don’t have that money. We are really in a conundrum that we have been sitting up tarring our hair trying to see what we can do. Last night



we had a joint portfolio committee meeting that went on and on to see what we can do but that is what government is about. We have to sit up and solve problems as and when they arise. None of us had anticipated we will be in this situation.



But our municipalities are not paying for their debts and they are not paying for their water making our water boards unable to operate as they should. Our water boards are there to provide the necessary water. They sell the water to the municipalities. They are there to assist municipalities when there is a draught. They are an essential element in extension of our work.



We would like them to be in a state of health that is able to do its work. But most of them are collapsing because they don’t have the resources. As soon as we are able to find a solution to this we will come back to the House, Chairperson, perhaps through you to indicate how we have solved the problem. But we are struggling. We really are struggling with municipal debts.



I would like to see a situation where the Municipal Act start of by saying that before a municipality uses its resources or allocated resources for anything; it starts with water because it is such an essential element. But we are very much sad the last thing that is on their allocation of resource or alternatively to go direct to the Minister of Finance and say we would like you to top slice which is what we did a few months ago and he is unable to because of the law. A law doesn’t allow him to top slice money from there that is budgeted for the municipalities or provinces. Therefore, we are unable to do that. But if we can change the law, I would be very much wanted to be at the head of changing the law to say the first thing they will do is pay for water so that our citizens have access to water.



Question 130:




Hon Chairperson, yes we have done audits, hon Nkosi. We do that every year. We ask provinces to look out for land that is well located, land that we are able to build several typologies of housing and other needs that are required for a settlement.



So far for this year alone we have identified 14 296 ha which comes to 7 907 land parcels around the country.

This is land that is state-owned. We have identified it and we are intending to use it for our own purposes. We had requested that this be done when we were dealing with the matter of the land redistribution and we were happily granted that permission. We have 7 907 land parcels. We are wanting to make sure 168 of these are given to municipalities because some of this land is municipal- owned. We have identified it as suitable for development. We would like to ring-fenced it for development as opposed to anything else. We have a lot of land that we have taken over which we would need to turn into suitable for human settlements. It is privately owned. It is within the priority of the human settlements to be the first buyer of this land which is identified as suitable for human settlements.



Ms N E NKOSI: Hon Chairperson and hon Minister, thank you for the responses. Hon Minister, can you explain what is the position of the department regarding South Africans who live in old settlements and still do not have dignified housing, but those living in new settlements



have houses? Is it reasonable to find people still in shacks and many such deplorable conditions in areas have been in existence for decades, but those people that live in new areas are prioritised? Thank you.





Hon Chairperson, you know it is a very difficult question to respond to. The reason why there are new areas is because we have been able to identify land suitable for human settlements and we have built those houses. We have built them to the standard we find acceptable, not a standard that we found have been given to them.



We are hoping that in time we will be able to persuade people who are in old settlements to either move or allow us to put up new houses.



We had a serious problem in Port Elizabeth, where old the houses were on a regular basis falling apart. We had put in place a project which we call rectification so that we can rectify the houses and they can look as decent as possible. On calculation we discovered that we are spending more on rectification than on building new



houses. So, we are trying to phase out that project of rectification.



We are still dealing with indigent who are living in informal settlements. However, is not taking away people who are living in deplorable conditions anywhere in the country.



Our municipalities have a register which is open for everybody to come and register and make a request of a house. We examine this on a ... [Inaudible.] ... and the chairperson sitting in front here is in a better position to explain how this is done. The municipalities are then able to put people on the waiting list in relation to certain criteria that is set there. One of them I hope is the age of the people who are applying, condition in which they are living in, etc, etc. We are trying to build as fast as we can, but there is very little that we can do about people who already have houses. We are still dealing with people who do not have houses, who live under bridges and people who live in informal settlements who their houses are burned down, every time there is a



fire and every time there are floods they are washed away.



So, it is the matter of how the municipality would prioritise who urgently needs a house and that prerogative is given to the municipalities, hon Nkosi.



Mr S E MFAYELA: Hon Chairperson, Nyambose and hon Minister.





Yes, Sir.



Mr S E MFAYELA: Hon Minister, in order to see all houses built with the available funds we need to eliminate the overwhelming irregular and wasteful expenditure in our municipalities.



Now, has any audit been undertaken regarding rectification and the reconstruction of poorly built houses under the government’s Reconstruction and Development Programme, hon Minister? Thank you.





Hon Mfayela, when we got into government we set up an institution called National Home Builders Registration Council, NHBRC. This is an institution which insist on a warranty so that any construction of the house is backed up by resources that are put aside should there be anything that has gone wrong in the construction of the house. That resources used for the rectification of that house.



In so far as the wasteful expenditure in the municipalities, it is not necessary our domain. However, do have regular meetings with the municipalities, especially those municipalities that been given certain accreditation. We regularly go through what resources they have. Hon Mfayela, we have worked out a way within the environment of human settlement that at a particular in September if money is not allocated or used by any province or municipality we take it back and distribute it amongst those who are able to use it. So that we are able to utilise the resources and that we have and we have budgeted for. This has worked for us and I hope it will continue to working for us.



We have not reached as far as the municipalities because they fall outside of our domain except those that are accredited. Those that are not accredited do not fall within our domain, but the engagements we have with the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the regular engagements of late get us to a point will be requesting that if there is any wasteful expenditure of resources in any municipality that we are able to ensure that can ring-fence money that is meant for human settlements and brought back to a central fund that we can allocate to people who are able to use that money.



However, and unfortunately when you talk about wasteful expenditure we discover this only at a point at which the Auditor-General is auditing which is way past our ability to have taken that money. So, we do not have the instrument or the power to do in municipalities, what we do in provinces.



If we could change the law I will be very happy and we would not have the wasteful expenditure, that hon Mfayela



is talking about in municipalities. For we would take it and give it to the next municipality that can use it.



Mr S ZANDAMELA: Hon Chairperson, I am actually partly covered. My question was actually about the hectares where the Cabinet and I think the Minister has answered that. However, what I would like maybe just to ask the Minister how far is that process and when can we expect the start of developments on land allocated to provinces? Thank you very much, Chairperson.





Hon Zandamela the first request I have of you is you help us protect the land?



Mr S ZANDAMELA: Protect the land. Well Minister I am just like you. I cannot if people are looking for land.






The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, we will not have a dialogue.





I am sorry, Chairperson. I withdraw.



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Zandamela. Is there anything you want to say, hon Minister?





Hon Chair, we do have the number of hectorage that has been released to us and that we are releasing to provinces and we will provide that to provinces in the next Minmec and they will have the advantage of indicating how many hectors they have if they have the courage to declare that to the public. Our biggest problem is that we must protect the land from invasion because it would have been cut out for settlements to ensure that we are able to reduce our backlog. We still have a huge backlog of people who are in their 80s and 70s and they have no houses. This includes military veterans, people who have fought for this country against all kind of hardship you can imagine and they still have no houses. It is unacceptable. However, Zandamela, we do have the hectorage and it will be given to the provinces and the provinces will be free should they feel brave



enough to indicate how many hectors they each have and where it is.



Mr D R RYDER: Chairperson and Minister, your question to Mr Zandamela sent you a rose from me. So next time I see you I will definitely give you a rose.





Thank you.



Mr D R RYDER: Minister what I heard from your answer on land audits that there is indeed quiet a lot of land and to give back to housing. Minister you are on record in 2016 that the current model of delivering housing is unsustainable. Now you are the Minister in the postCOVID-

19 reality and the economy that is in crises we heard today that there is further money being taken to the Department of Human Settlements, water and Sanitation both provincially and nationally.



So, I just want to hear Minister: What is your recommendation to Cabinet at this stage on the future of housing provision in South Africa?





Hon member, we have a policy that we have developed and we took time, the clamp down to recalibrate and look at our delivery model. We have developed a model where we are going to be giving land to people for them to build their own houses. It works out cheaper for us and it gives more responsibility to the people who own the land to build houses and we are hoping that it will be better quality because they will be building it themselves. In the process they will be getting skills of building. We are quite certain that it will work.



So, we have what we call the Rapid Land Release Programme. We will be releasing land, cutting it out and fencing it off and giving it to those people who are beneficiaries of that. We will be providing them with essentials of how to build the house. We believe when they build their own houses they will look after them better. We believe that they will protect the area better. When that policy is accepted by Cabinet we will bring it to yourselves for consideration and also approve. Thank you.



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We now come to the last question. The questions that are on the Question Paper and where replies have been given are noted.



The last question that we come to is a question that was transferred from written to oral form in terms of Rule

249 of the Council Rules. I call on the Minister to respond to Question 11, which has been asked by the hon G Michalakis. I am informed that the hon Kleynhans, a special delegate from the Free State province, is standing in for the hon Michalakis. Please note, Minister, your response is supposed to be no more than five minutes.



Question 11:




Yes, Sir. I will try. We have it broken down, so it would be possible for us – if I am not able to go through it – to give it to hon Michalakis, as a special to the Free State, so that he can present it to the Free State legislature.



Two thousand of the 5 000 water tanks were ordered. He was asking about how many of the 5 000 tanks provided to KwaKwa in the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality are being used and whatever. Two thousand of these that we had originally ordered were finally delivered to KwaKwa; and a total of 1 349 tanks directly so to KwaKwa. Of these tanks, only 675 have been installed.



The arrangement that we had is that we would order these tanks. The responsibility of taking them in and putting them up would be the responsibility of the municipality. Of the 1 349 tanks that were delivered to KwaKwa, only 675 tanks have been installed. This means that we still expect that the municipality in that area will continue installing those tanks, because they have served a very useful purpose. If we only install 675, we get an audit query, when, in fact, we have delivered 1 349 tanks. We were delivering tanks as and when they were installed; so if you install so many, we give you out of your allocations so many. So far, only 675 have been installed.



They are filled with water on a regular basis to provide water for those most needy.



A further 674 tanks were then distributed to the wards and fitted on temporary installations, because those were not areas that were identified by the municipality. They were areas that we ourselves had identified as in need of water, so we put up temporary installations so that we were not running ahead of the municipality.



The other 674 tanks are in wards and they have temporary installations. Should the municipality decide to keep them there, then they will put in the necessary concrete and make them permanent. Should they decide to shift them to another place, then they are free to do so.



The balance of the 3 000 tanks will only be procured upon assessing the impact of the capital projects already in place. Of the tanks that were sent to them, only half of them have been installed. The others are in temporary situations. Should we find that they are able to install these tanks, we will make good of the 3 000 tanks that



had been promised them and ring-fenced for them. Our projects are continuing ...



The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The first supplementary question is from the hon Kleynhans.



Ms L M KLEYNHANS (Free State): Thank you very much, Chairperson, and thank you, Minister. Minister, you spoke earlier today about the conundrum in Maluti-a-Phofung. I can well understand your extreme frustration because your department has made a huge investment in assisting Maluti-a-Phofung through disaster measures, such as Jojo tanks, tankers, boreholes, etc, but also in terms of infrastructure development and infrastructure projects which you spoke about earlier.



Now, Minister, you might know that I wrote to you last week, to the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, and to the Minister of Finance, because of the extremely dire financial situation in Maluti-a-Phofung at the moment. The water tankers have been withdrawn because they cannot be paid for and the bank account has been attached so the money



which is being deposited into the bank account cannot be paid out to the contractors because the account is frozen.



And, Minister, I just wanted to also clarify something, because you did say that the municipality was under administration. The MEC in the Free State lifted the administration on 1 June, so the municipality is currently not under administration and we felt that a section 139(5) or section 139(7) would be the only solution to really get stability into the finances of that municipality.



I don’t know if you can give me a response now on what your deliberations entail. But the fact of the matter is that the municipality has, for all intents and purposes, collapsed, thereby threatening your own investment or the investment of your department in assisting the municipality. I would just like to hear what your thinking is and what that of the Minister of Cogta is with regard to assisting the municipality. Thank you, Minister.





Hon Kleynhans, why would you want to give me a nightmarish finish to this session? [Inaudible.] I don’t know what the merits were that would have taken the municipality out of administration. If I had any say in that, I would have urged that they keep it under administration. In that way, between Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality and Sedibeng there is a contractual agreement that would assist them. Now that it is in the situation that you are talking about, I don’t know what the basis is of the relationship that we have with them. Thank you for bringing some of those matters to our attention.



I haven’t discussed this matter with Minister Nkosazana Zuma, and if I have the opportunity I would want to have it under administration for the very reason that we have invested so much in that area. It is a very volatile area, because the people there take to the streets at the earliest opportunity that they get because it is such a flat dry area. We have done everything we can do there.



There is a crisis committee in Maluti-a-Phofung, which is trying to perform the services of the municipality, but we have no service level agreement with the crisis committee because they are not a constitutional body.

Therefore, we are left in limbo. If there is any suggestion that could come from those of you who have lived there or who have had any direct relationship with that area, we would be open to that.



But from where I stand, I would urge the Minister not to lift the administration over that particular municipality. Right now, even as I was talking about the tanks, they have only been able to process ... [Inaudible.] ... half of what we were able to give them.



In a dry area like that, that would have been the first thing that they would have done to put up all those tanks so that so that people have access to water. But, anyway, thank you for giving me the nightmare. I will have a terrible night.



Mr A B CLOETE: Thank you, Chairperson. I have basically been covered by the hon Kleynhans’ questions. It’s



interesting as I know she is actually from Maluti-a- Phofung – from that area – so she knows first-hand what is going on there.



Minister, just coming back to the initial question: Could you elaborate a little bit more on the service level agreement with Sedibeng Water please?





We established a service level agreement between ourselves and Maluti-a-Phofung because at the time that we were called to bring some normality to that area, one of the big problems there was the issue of water, and because there was a drought. The money that we had allocated for the drought we gave to the Sedibeng Water Board to assist Maluti-a-Phofung. Out of that we signed a service level agreement to assist. That is what we have been doing, but if that administrative arm or instrument has been lifted, we are in serious trouble then in Sedibeng. We will attend to this by tonight ... by tomorrow, Chair, we will try to solve this because that area is very badly in need of our help – all of us.





Nksz Z V NCITHA: Enkosi Sihlalo, ndibulele kwakhona kuMphathiswa. Mandiyithethe into yokuba nathi asilali buhlayo yile nto yaseMaluti-a-Phofung. Ndicela ukuqonda kuMphathiswa, ingaba ziintoni izinto abathe bazithathela ingqalelo nezingunobangela wale ngxaki besebenzisana noMphathiswa weSebe lezeNtsebenziswano kuLawulo neMicimbi yezeMveli, ezinokunceda ekubeni into ekumila kunje ingaphindi isehlele eMzantsi Afrika nakoomasipala bethu?



Ukuba zikhona izinto enithe nazithathela ingqalelo, ingaba sikhona kusini na isicwangciso esibhaliweyo esinokuthiwa thaca kwiofisi yakho, ukuze kwaziwe ukuba nali icebo lokusikhupha kule meko ukuze ingaphindi isehlele. Enkosi.










LWELINDLE: Enkosi Sihlalo, kwilungu elihloniphekileyo uNcitha, sinalo icebo. Eli cebo kufuneka kuqala silise kwikhabhinethi. Ukuba ikhabhinethi iyasivumela ukuba



siqhube ngalo, sizakuqhuba ngolo hlobo kula ndawo yaseMaluti-a-Phofung.


Asilali nathi singaBaphathiswa kunye noMphathiswa wezeNtsebenziswano kuLawulo neMicimbi yezeMveli yile ngxaki yaseMaluti-a-Phofung. Sicinga ukuba eli cebo sinalo lizakusincedisa, kwaye xa livunyiwe yikhabhinethi sizakulizisa kuni njengabaphathi boorhulumente bemimandla. Siyafuna ukunibonisa ukuba xa siceliwe ukuba silungise, asilali ebusuku, senza lo msebenzi nisicele ukuba siwenze. Siwuthathile nalo waseMaluti-a-Phofung, sifuna ukuwulungisa kwaye xa sele wamkelwe yikhabhinethi sizakuphinda sibuyele kuni. Enkosi Sihlalo.





The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, Minister. Hon members, I am sure you would agree that it has indeed been a long, long day. So you would, I am sure, allow me to thank the Minister for availing herself to answer questions. [Applause.] There being no other business, the Council is adjourned.



The Council adjourned at 18:00.



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