Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 22 Nov 2007

Summary

No summary available.


Minutes

UNREVISED HANSARD

THURSDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2007

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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

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The House met at 14:04.

 

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

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.

 

SUSPENSION OF RULE 253(1)

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move without notice:

 

That Rule 253(1), which provides inter alia that the debate on the Second Reading of a Bill may not commence before at least three working days have elapsed since the committee’s report was tabled, be suspended for the purposes of conducting the Second Reading debate today on the following Bills:

 

  1. Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill [B 21B– 2007] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76(2)); and

 

  1. Traditional Health Practitioners Bill [B 20 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76(2)).

 

Agreed to.

 

REMUNERATION OF PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I hereby move the motion as printed in my name on the Order Paper:

 

That the House resolves that -

 

(1)        in terms of section 2(1) of the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act, 1998 (Act No 20 of 1998), and having due regard to the criteria listed in that subsection, the salary payable to the President of the Republic of South Africa be determined at one million two hundred and seventy thousand and forty five rand (R1 270 045,00) per annum, with effect from 1 April 2007; and

 

(2)        in terms of section 2(2) of the said Act, the amount of forty thousand rand (R40 000,00) per annum be determined as that portion of the remuneration of the President to which section 8(1)(d) of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (Act No 58 of 1962), shall apply.

 

Agreed to.

 

LAUNCH OF SILINDIWE CONSORTIUM

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mrs Z A KOTA (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC believes that housing is a right. We, therefore, endorse the principle that all South Africans have the right to a secure place in which to live in peace and dignity.

 

Housing is a human right. The ANC congratulates the SA Women in Construction for the successful launch of the Silindiwe Consortium. This is a consortium of unemployed women who volunteered their services during the month of August by building houses in New Rest. These courageous women continue to work hand-in-hand with Thubelisha. As we speak, they are part of the Women’s Build in New Rest, aimed at marking the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children.

 

The ANC welcomes this bold initiative, and thanks them for their participation in this joint venture, along with the Department of Housing and the private sector. We thank the Minister, in particular, for the support given to these 300 unemployed women, who from today will be active participants in the housing industry. We call upon all women from all walks of life to emulate this example. Forward to the caring ANC government! Thank you. [Applause.]

 

SUITABILITY OF KHAYA NGQULA FOR SAA CHIEF EXECUTIVE POST

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Dr S M VAN DYK (DA): Madam Speaker, despite celebrating the three-year anniversary of his position, SA Airways chief executive emperor, Khaya Ngqula, has roundly failed to prove his suitability for his job.

 

SAA’s momentary return to profitability after the hedging disaster of 2004 was due to operational gains achieved by Ngqula’s disgraced predecessor and Transnet’s financial engineering, and not because of Ngqula’s skills. His numerous run-ins with staff and his personal extravagance aside, Ngqula has also fallen into the habit of spoon-feeding Parliament bad news in bite-sized pieces, only when he has pie-in-the-sky profit projections to sugar-coat it with.

 

Presumably to escape scrutiny, Ngqula announced that SAA is facing a R3 billion loss at the end of 2007-08, only on 8 November at a public press conference, instead of in Parliament. SAA has already received in excess of R2 billion of the R3 billion in recapitalisation funds that it was promised by government. In the light of this situation, the R1,7 billion in profit targeted for the end of the 2008-09 financial year is not credible at all. Ngqula is clearly engaging in a massive game of smoke-and-mirrors to ensure that his tenure at SAA is extended for as long as possible. If Minister Erwin allows it to continue, the joke will be on him. Thank you.

 

THEFT OF DETONATORS FROM DENEL FACTORY IN PHILLIPI

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mrs S A SEATON (IFP): Madam Speaker, the IFP has learned with great concern about the theft of more than 3 000 detonators from a Denel munitions factory in Philippi.

 

The theft was apparently discovered last Friday, but it is not yet clear when it actually took place. Detonators are harmless on their own, but are a critical element for triggering explosives. When these detonators are combined with commercial or military-grade explosives, it becomes a lethal combination. We know that hundreds of ATMs around the country have been blown up using stolen explosives, usually of a commercial nature. If these stolen detonators were to find their way to criminal syndicates with access to stolen explosives, one of their biggest problems of getting detonators would have been solved, and we can expect an increase in the use of explosives to carry out crimes.

 

What is even more worrying is that this is the second theft in a couple of weeks from this Denel factory. Previously, smoke grenades were stolen, and two employees were arrested. Clearly security at this factory is inadequate, and serious questions have to be raised whether employees are subject to security clearance and vetting procedures. In addition, we have to wonder about access control procedures, and whether random searches of personnel are carried out.

 

This is a matter of national concern, and drastic steps are needed before more lethal ammunition is stolen from this facility. Thank you.

 

ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT INJURIES

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Ms B M NTULI (ANC): Madam Speaker, road traffic accident injuries are a global problem affecting all sectors of society. Due to the number of road traffic accident injuries worldwide, there is a need to focus increased attention on searching for ways to reduce injuries, including multidisciplinary collaboration.

 

The ANC believes that the response to road accidents should be interdisciplinary and intersectorally scientific. It should involve collective action, emphasise primary prevention and provide maximum benefit to the largest number of people. The Sifundzekhaya Primary School in Driekoppies is the site of a junior traffic training centre, complete with a miniature road network that includes pedestrian crossings, traffic lights and stop streets. Children are taught about, among other things, the rules of the road and other road safety measures.

 

The ANC commends the efforts made by the school to raise awareness about the rules that govern road usage. Thank you.

 

NATION’S LOSS OF VALUES

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Rev K R J MESHOE (ACDP): Madam Speaker, one of the most important values this nation has lost is respect for life, authority and property. Many children have lost respect for their parents, teachers and the elderly in general. When one sees how old pensioners are treated by officials, the long queues they have to stand in and the long hours they have to wait before receiving their grants, one can only conclude that government has also lost respect for the elderly. We wonder why our elderly people are not treated with the dignity they deserve as they are our parents.

 

It was sad to read about pensioners who had to flee from robbers yesterday morning in Umlazi. Reports said that some of the elderly people sustained injuries when the robbers attacked. One of them, who was pistol-whipped, sustained serious injuries. A police spokesperson said that the robbers entered the hall and held up people at gunpoint. This incident happened just a week after three elderly women escaped a hail of bullets at the Hibberdene pension paypoint.

 

The ACDP wants to know why government is not providing sufficient security for these elderly people at paypoints. Why are we seeing

government guaranteeing the safety of international guests, but not concerned enough about ensuring the safety of our most vulnerable people, especially the elderly? If government cannot protect us all, the least they can do is to protect our elderly, and that is my appeal.

 

SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mrs P DE LILLE (ID): Madam Speaker, the ID calls on all South African leaders to move quickly to eradicate the sexual abuse of our children by their elders and other children. I was shocked to read the Sunday Times story that showed that some of our children are continuing the cycle of sexual violence of older generations. This is an emergency that threatens to become a permanent stain on our national conscience.

 

As leaders, we have a constitutional mandate to ensure that our children are protected from all forms of abuse. Section 28(1)(d) of the Constitution states that every child has a right “To be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation”.

 

Children are the only sector of the population that are entitled to second-generation human rights. This is not just a responsibility of government, but every single public representative who must teach their constituency to protect the most vulnerable in our society. Our communities must break the silence and report perpetrators, so that we can convincingly restore our dignity as a nation.

 

Minister Zola Skweyiya must be supported in his struggle to deliver on the constitutional rights of our children. We hope that he will be successful in his quest to extend the child grant to children up to 18 years, and we hope that Minster Manuel will agree to this. Thank you.

 

MATTERS CONCERNING AWAITING-TRIAL DETAINEES

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr D V BLOEM (ANC): Madam Speaker, as the ANC we acknowledge the collective downward management of offenders which demonstrates that we are on the right track with a small, but significant and sustained impact on, for example, the numbers of those awaiting trial that were reduced during the reporting period by 1,53%.

 

We further commend and appreciate the initiatives by Minister Balfour and further note his recent visits to the correctional centres in the Eastern Cape, namely Middledrift and Fort Beaufort. The ANC condemns the inhumane conditions in our prisons caused by overcrowding. The visit by the Minister has urged the magistrates in Alice, Middledrift and Fort Beaufort to help cut down overcrowding, especially with the expected increase in arrests over the festive season.

 

These interventions are informed by our commitment to prioritise the human conditions of our correctional centres in order to curb any systemic failures that could destabilise the entire prison population.

 

We support the Minister in his efforts and further urge the state not to oppose bail for nonserious offences unless there is a danger of them influencing the investigation. The officials should make an extra effort to assist the awaiting-trial detainees still in prison because they cannot afford to pay their bail. Over 10 000 awaiting-trial detainees cannot afford bail of R1 000 and less and yet keeping them in prison costs the taxpayer R2,34 million per day. That is a lot of money. Thank you very much.

 

COMPLETION OF GRADE 12 EXAMINATIONS

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr I S MFUNDISI (UCDP): Madam Speaker, it has been a long slog for the Grade 12 learners who were sitting for an examination that also put paid to the old curriculum. Notwithstanding what we said in the early days of the examination, a fair share of hiccups reared its head as a very small number of cases occurred – or rather, a number of wrong papers were opened - for which wrongdoers have been taken to the cleaners already.

 

A plus in this case is that backup papers are always at hand so that when the need arises there is no crisis. This may cause some discomfort, as has been the case with learners in the Western Cape who feel hard done by because of having to finish their examination tomorrow, 23 November 2007.

 

The UCDP calls on teachers to teach and take pride in what they do to avoid encouraging young people to indulge in acts of dishonesty by allowing them to copy from textbooks and notes during examinations. Such a practice destroys the future of the children as more often they will strive to obtain whatever they have to by such underhand methods. We also commend the authorities for acting promptly by bringing in prefabricated structures to assist after school roofs were blown off by heavy storms.

 

A big test awaits the Department of Education, however, as Grade 12 learners, who do not make the grade, will not be allowed to repeat because of curriculum changes. It remains to be seen what will happen to these unfortunate learners. Will they be allowed to swell the numbers of the partly schooled and unemployed people roaming the streets? Let us hope the department props them up. I thank you.

 

FAILURE BY GOVERNMENT TO ERADICATE POVERTY

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mnr S E OPPERMAN (DA): Speaker, die skokkende verslag van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut vir Rasseverhoudinge, dat armoede in Suid-Afrika oor ’n tydperk van 10 jaar verdubbel het, plaas groot vraagtekens oor die regering se verklaarde vermoë “to drive back the frontiers of poverty”.

 

Volgens die verslag het armoede in al die provinsies persentasie gewys toegeneem. Dit is duidelik dat die sogenaamde swart ekonomiese bemagtiging, SEB, net ‘n cliché is wat gebruik word om goed gekonnekteerde kamerade multimiljoenêrs in multibiljoenêrs te maak, wat weer op hulle beurt die primêre donateurs van die regerende party word.

 

Die Uitgebreide Openbare Werke Program intervensie met sy polities-gedrewe verwagtinge bereik glad nie sy doel nie. Miljoene rande wat deur die Departement van Sosiale Ontwikkeling vir hulpbehoewendes bestem is, beland in die sake van duisende amptenare wat nog knussies in hul posisies sit met slegs ’n “slap on the wrist”. Dan spandeer moedswillige en hartelose staatsamptenare nog miljoene aan hofonkostes teen mense soos Me Jonghi van die Oos-Kaap om haar te

ontneem van toelaes wat sy verloor het omdat daar chaos in die administratiewe prosesse van die Departement van Sosiale Ontwikkeling is.

 

Dit is duidelik dat die 2014 Millennium-ontwikkelingsdoelwitte om armoede te halveer net ’n droom sal bly. Dat ons te midde van hierdie see van armoede en verbreekte beloftes van “a better life for all” nog miljoene wil spandeer aan die bou van ’n nuwe parlementêre gebou beteken ‘of iemand is die kluts heeltemal kwyt’ of daar word weer geleentheid geskep, soos met die wapenaankope, vir die skuim om die room van ons land te steel. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)

[Mr S E OPPERMAN: Speaker, the shocking report of the South African Institute for Race Relations, that poverty in South Africa will double over a period of 10 years, raises questions about the government’s declared ability “to drive back the frontiers of poverty”.

 

According to the report, poverty has increased proportionally in all provinces. It is clear that the so called black economic empowerment, BEE, is simply a cliché used to make well-connected comrades millionaires into billionaires, who in their turn again are the primary donors of the governing party.

 

The Extended Public Works Programme intervention with its politically driven expectations is not achieving its goal at all. Millions of rands earmarked by the Department of Social Development for the vulnerable, land in the pockets of thousands of officials who are still sitting cosily in their positions with only a “slap on the wrist”. Then wilful and heartless public servants spend more millions on legal costs against people like Ms Jonghi of the Eastern Cape to deprive her of grants she lost because there is chaos in the administrative processes of the Department of Social Development.

 

It is clear that the 2014 Millennium Development Goals to halve poverty will remain a dream. Since we intend, in the midst of this sea of poverty and broken promises of “a better life for all”, to spend millions more building a new parliamentary building, it means that either someone has completely lost the plot, or another opportunity is being created, as with the arms deal, for the scum to steal the cream of our country. I thank you.]

 

OPERATION VALA

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr N B FIHLA (ANC): Madam Speaker, the people of South Africa laid down their lives to live in peace and in a secure environment. The festive season again poses a serious challenge to the Department of Correctional Services in terms of the perceived escalation in attempts by offenders to escape and the security risk this brings to the safety and security of the public.

 

One escape by an offender places an enormous and extra burden on the resources of other security partners, namely the SA Police Service and this further diverts attention in terms of human and material resources from more critical crime prevention operations to the tracing and tracking of the offenders.

 

The festive season safety plan under the banner of Operation Vala should also find resonance within the context of diverting and channelling offenders’ activism towards sports and recreational activities as a means of promoting rehabilitation through sports during this period. The launch will take place in Kokstad during the beginning of December and as the ANC we commend the Department of Correctional Services on its efforts to involve itself in crime prevention and awareness measures that aim to complement government security measures and plans during the festive season. I thank you.

 

CONTAMINATED WATER IN GAUTENG

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Nkul M W SIBUYANA (IFP): Manana Xipikara, IFP yi hlamarisiwa yi tlhela yi thukisiwa ngopfu hi leswi tsariweke eka phepha hungu ra Star ra 24 Ndzati 2007, hikokwalaho ka mati ya le Gauteng lawa lava sayense va kumeke leswaku ya na switsongwa-tsongwana leswi nga na matimba yo hlamarisa matimba lawa ya nga kotaka ku hundzuluxa rimbweu ra vanhu.

 

Hi kombela leswaku mhaka leyi yi langutisisiwa hikuva exikarhi ka hina a nga kona loyi a nga tsakelaka leswaku loko a ri wanuna siku rin’wana a tikuma a ri wansati. Loko a ri wansati a tikuma a ri wanuna. Inkomu. (Translation of Xitsonga member’s statement follows.)

 

[Mr M W SIBUYANA (IFP): Madam Speaker, the IFP is baffled by what has been reported in The Star newspaper of 24 September 2007 about the water contamination in Gauteng. Scientists have found that the water is so contaminated that it can even change a person’s sex.

We request that the matter be investigated. There is no man amongst us who would like to wake up one day and be a woman, or a woman who would want to be a man. Thank you.]

 

NEW ANC WEBSITE LAUNCHED

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr J J MAAKE (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC launches its website today. We congratulate the caucus on this important development. The development of the caucus site is informed by the need for the ANC to reinforce its communication machinery and to ensure efficient and effective dissemination of information.

 

The website will provide visitors with an introduction to the ANC parliamentary caucus, its role and its objectives and further provide insight into the day-to-day parliamentary activities of the parliamentary ANC Members of Parliament. Through this site member of the public will get an opportunity to interact with the ANC representatives by visiting them on their pages, which contain their parliamentary and constituency contact details.

 

We encourage everyone to make use of this website and turn this institution into a truly e-Parliament. Let us all narrow the digital divide and create a prosperous society. I thank you.

 

PROGRESS IN N2 GATEWAY DEVELOPMENT

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr A C STEYN (DA): Madam Speaker, last week the Minister of Housing hon Lindiwe Sisulu made a presentation to the portfolio committee regarding the progress, or lack thereof, of the N2 Gateway development. During her presentation Minister Sisulu said that, “Five parcels of land earmarked for the project was retracted by the city”.

 

Minister Sisulu must stop trying to blame the N2 Gateway project failures on others and take responsibility. If she wants to criticise the city she must do so on the basis of the facts. The facts are as follows: The city withdrew no offers of land; city officials conducted extensive research into identifying suitable land, which was presented to the N2 Gateway Steering Committee for consideration.

 

The land in Epping is on the Nigeria Way road reserve, which has a number of buried bulk services. It was considered only for temporary housing after the Langa fire in January 2005. The required rezoning environmental process was initiated and was shelved when approximately 1 800 written objections were received and negotiations between the then Executive Director for Development and Infrastructure and the Epping Chamber of Industries failed to reach consensus.

 

The land in Gugulethu is privately owned and a price was negotiated for the land. However, use of the land for the N2 Gateway project was rejected outright by the local community. Driftsands is owned by the province and is a declared biodiversity reserve, except for a relatively small portion which is being developed to consolidate two informal settlements on the land. This process is being driven by the province with support from the city.

 

A piece of land, 40 ha in extent, in Ottery was considered. However, the land requires major earthworks and drainage work to render it suitable for any form of development. In consultation with the provincial housing department regarding funds available for remediation works, it was agreed that the unit cost would be far too high to consider this piece of land further. [Time expired.]

 

FOOD PRICE INFLATION

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Ms N N SIBHIDLA (ANC): Madam Speaker, food inflation almost reached a year-on-year increase of above 90% in July this year. The consumer price index of all items, excluding food items, followed a slower increase, reaching 5% by the end of 2006. The result is that some millions of our people in the country remain vulnerable to food security and 43% of households suffer from food poverty.

 

Much of this poverty is associated with rural areas, particularly the former homelands. The price of super maize meal, for instance, has increased by 36% from December 2005 to December 2006. Yet, more than 2 million ha of arable land lie unused in communal areas.

 

The ANC calls on the Department of Agriculture to implement policies and programmes that will have a positive impact on household food security, food prices and environmental sustainability. Thank you.

 

REDUCTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG YOUTH

 

(Member’s Statement)

 

Mr C M MORKEL (ANC): Madam Speaker, unemployment can indeed be drastically reduced. We, together with the young people in particular, must act together in our communities to create work and fight poverty. Dirang mmogo Business Enterprise is one of the top and outstanding youth initiatives operating in the Mathlosane Local Municipality to reduce the level of unemployment amongst young people.

 

Although there are many mines in the municipality that are renowned for their abundance of rich minerals such as gold, unemployment amongst young people remains a serious challenge. To curb young people’s dependence on mines for employment opportunities, innovative young people in the municipality have come up with a good idea which is now proving successful.

 

Three young people saw an opportunity for creating work through the efficient means of garbage disposal. This led to the establishment of DMBE in 2003. It is a company which renders different services, ranging from cleaning the streets and cemeteries to the maintenance of parks. The enterprise currently employs more than 400 young people, 60% of whom are young women.

 

As a result of the dedication of the employees and their willingness to render high quality services, DMBE is now in charge of most outdoor cleaning projects in the municipality. The ANC commends the work done by DMBE, as well as Kagiso Matswenere, who brought this and the good work done by these young people to the attention of the public. I thank you. [Applause.] [Interjections.]

 

SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN

FAILURE BY GOVERNMENT TO ERADICATE POVERTY

FOOD PRICE INFLATION

 

(Minister’s Responses)

 

The SPEAKER: Hon Manuel, please leave me to preside.

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: I shall certainly do so, Madam Speaker.

Firstly, I would like to respond to the three statements. The first one is from the hon De Lille. It is rather confusing because she starts with a confusing story in the Sunday Times and it looks like the Daily Voice or Die Son or something like that. It is a serious reduction in the quality. She then ends up with the child support grant and I don’t see what the link is. I don’t see what the link is, because these two issues are quite unrelated.

 

As far as the child support grant issue is concerned, I thought that I have adequately responded to the hon Greyling, two weeks ago, and the hon De Lille was in the House. You can rake this thing up all the time, but we can’t go any further with it.

 

In respect of the hon Opperman, if he has left the House I suppose I should just ignore what he has said. [Interjections.]

 

No, Madam Speaker, I stand to be advised. If somebody makes a statement and doesn’t want it to be responded to ...

 

The SPEAKER: Proceed and give an answer, hon Minister. It is of interest to the House.

 

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Indeed, it is of interest to the House. If he had read today’s newspapers, which I’m sure he might get to do next week, he would have seen that the president of the South African Institute of Race Relations, Mr John Kane-Berman, confirms the results of the community survey. He confirms that there have been very significant improvements in the quality of life of the people of South Africa; confirms that services have reached people where previously nothing had existed; and says that there are still people who are left outside of the system.

 

It does not accord with the basis from which the hon Opperman, who now has found his way back to the coffee room, has argued this point. So I think he is so fundamentally wrong on the issue, because he doesn’t have any facts that accord with what he is saying. We must invite him to read Kane-Berman this morning on this issue.

 

The hon Thompson had spoken to the issue of food price inflation. Indeed, it’s an exceedingly difficult problem. As we pointed out yesterday, rising from the G20 meeting, across the world without exception food price inflation is a huge problem and the largest increase is seen in grains, maize and wheat. In respect of maize prices we’ve seen people in Mexico, where maize is a staple as it is here, take to the streets because we’ve had these very rapid increases.

 

The Department of Agriculture is engaged in programmes that involve food gardens and local support systems, but the challenge of significantly increased food prices is a global phenomenon, and like oil prices, it is something we have to face for a while. We must then ensure that the maximum amount of land will be utilised for the planting of maize and that we won’t divert the use of maize away from its consumption, as primary foodstuff, into other uses that may impact on supply and demand preferences. Thank you.

 

ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT INJURIES

COMPLETION OF GRADE 12 EXAMINATIONS

NATION’S LOSS OF VALUES

 

(Minister’s Responses)

 

The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Thank you, Madam Speaker. We would join the hon Zoliswa Kota in congratulating and thanking those women who have come forward as volunteers to assist communities in the building of houses and the provision of shelter to the people of our country.

 

I also want to respond on the matter of road safety that has been raised by the hon Ntuli, to just indicate that we welcome the statements members have made calling on the people of our country to ensure that we arrive alive and do as much as we can to reduce speed and ensure safety on our roads.

 

I am pleased to be able to thank the hon Ntuli for drawing attention to the work that is being done by schools. We have a life skills programme that is fundamental within the curriculum that includes road safety for all our children who study life orientation.

 

We also have a 365 days programme on Road Traffic Safety which is run in our schools and our MECs have been asked to play a clear role in this regard.

 

Finally, we would want to say as we call on drivers let us also call on pedestrians because they are the ones most affected in terms of collisions and accidents and fatalities that occur during the festive season. Therefore, let us pay more attention to those who are walking on our roads.

 

Lastly, if I could just say that we wish to express our thanks to all the teachers of our country, particularly those who have exerted maximum effort in supporting our children to recover following the public sector strike. We would also want to indicate to the hon Mfundisi that we thank him for his words to the Grade 12s and the teachers.

 

Furthermore, we would also say that we will be running a national tutorial programme next year to create awareness that this is the final year of the old matric. We will be running tutorial programmes through hundreds of centres throughout the country for those children who would not have succeeded in passing their matric this year in order to assist them to work toward concluding by 2011,

which is the cut-off date for young persons who might write as part-time writers. We have made it our responsibility as government to provide support in 2008 to children who would not have fully succeeded in the 2007 examinations.

 

I would also say to the Rev Meshoe with respect to the elderly that more must be done. Government has so far done a great deal. But why don’t we go into Umlazi and ask members of the community to form a phalanx around the elderly as they go to the pension paypoints, and that we as communities should provide support and protection to the citizens who are aged in our country to ensure that everybody understands that as communities we will take on the mantle of ensuring that every person is safe and able to exercise their rights to pension and other forms of grants, and that no criminal will be tolerated in our communities, by us, the members of the community working hand in hand with the Police Service in our society. Thank you.

 

REDUCTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG YOUTH

 

(Minister’s Response)

 

The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Ek is baie dankbaar teenoor agb lid Morkel. As ons mense saamwerk, sal ons slaag. [I am very grateful to hon Member Morkel. If all our people co-operate we will succeed.]

 

Intle le nqwelo, Mnu Morkel. Ewe, sinakho ukukulwa ukungaqeshwa koluntu, ukuba sisebenza kunye. Singayilwa indlala, ukuba simanyene kwaye siyasebenzisana. Ngoko ke, ... [It’s true indeed, hon Morkel. Yes, we can fight unemployment in our society, if we work together. We can alleviate poverty, if we unite and co-operate. Therefore, ...]

 

... all I want to say is, Halala Dirang Mogo Business Enterprise, Vuk’uzenzele!

 

We have been saying with regard to creating work through garbage, who has ever managed to think that you can create jobs by collecting garbage? Indeed, together we can push back the frontiers of poverty only if we work together. What one needs are ideas. Ideas will make a good business case and ideas will make a good business plan. It is ideas, a good business case and a good business plan that will create jobs, not shouting here in Parliament as the hon Louw is doing at the moment. Thank you.

 

NEW ANC WEBSITE LAUNCHED

 

(Minister’s Response)

 

The MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS: Deputy Speaker, I welcome the statement and give support to the hon Gabanakgosi for bringing to our attention the fact that an ANC caucus website has been launched. This is long overdue and we think it is very good that we have it now. I hope other parties that do not have such websites will also come on board and have such websites.

 

During this forthcoming break we hope that all MPs will check whether in their constituency areas there are institutions like post offices, multipurpose centres or schools where people could in fact go and use them to contact their parliamentary offices through the caucus website.

 

It is really true that with this launch it will indeed make e-Parliament begin to work and increase the usage and the uptake of ICTs among our communities. This would indeed begin to narrow the digital divide because we hope that this will allow voiceless indigenous language speakers in particular to have their voices heard in Parliament, so we thank you for bringing this to our attention and thank the ANC for taking such a step. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO BAFANA BAFANA ON BEATING THEIR CANADIAN COUNTERPARTS

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, with leave, I hereby move without notice:

That the House –

 

  1. notes that on Tuesday, 20 November 2007, the South African national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, beat their Canadian counterparts by 2 goals to nil, in Durban;

 

  1. congratulates Bafana Bafana, the coach and the entire team management on this splendid victory; and

 

  1. wishes the team well as they prepare for the African Cup of Nations and the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

 

Agreed to.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That means that the House joins you in this celebratory mood. The Secretary will read the first Order of the Day.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I now recognise the Chief Whip of the Majority Party.

 

CHOICE ON TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Health thereon)

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: I hereby move:

That the Report be adopted.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Report accordingly adopted.

 

CHOICE ON TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Second Reading debate)

 

Declarations of vote:

 

Mr M WATERS (DA): Deputy Speaker, it is an absolute disgrace that we are here today debating a Bill that was debated three years ago, simply because the NCOP refused to hold public hearings. What a waste of time and money! I am sure the Minister agrees.

 

The Constitutional Court was right in forcing Parliament to hold public hearings on this very important piece of legislation. It is in the public interest to do so.

 

Deputy Speaker, these amendments intend to allow nurses to perform first trimester abortions up to twelve weeks after going on a prescribed course which is within the World Health Organisation’s recommendations. Since 1994 when 425 deaths occurred due to unsafe abortions, there has been a 90% reduction in early maternal deaths.

Many of the public submissions raised several concerns which relate to people’s moral and religious beliefs and in fact mainly related to the principal Act.  I certainly believe that there was an opportunity missed by the ANC by not addressing some of them. The right to conscientious objection is a fundamental right which the ANC, for some unknown reasons, refuses to insert in the Act.

 

Currently there is no provision in the Act which allows medical staff the right to refuse to perform or assist in abortion. During deliberations in the principal Act of 1996 and this week’s discussions, the ANC and even pro-choice groups felt that medical staff were adequately protected under the Constitution of Chapter 2 (9)(3) of the Bill of Rights, where a person cannot be discriminated against for amongst other reasons religion, conscience or beliefs.

 

However, 11 years down the line, some medical staff are claiming that this provision is simply not good enough and that they are being pressurised to perform abortions. In addition, in order to enforce their rights, they have to go to the Constitutional Court which is costly and time-consuming.

 

Since the adoption of the Civil Union Act, where a conscience clause was inserted, giving marriage officers the right to refuse to marry same-sex couples, the government has through its actions accepted the principle of conscientious objection and that it should be spelt out in law, clearly indicating on what basis this can be done.

An inclusion of such a clause would not have had any negative impact on this piece of legislation.

 

The fact that the department is still formulating draft regulations pertaining to when a medical staff member can refuse to conduct an abortion, 11 years after the adoption of the Act, is an absolute disgrace and shows the contempt this government holds for people wanting to express their conscience. [Applause.]

 

Another issue of contention was that of mandatory counselling as opposed to nonmandatory counselling. Every person going for HIV-testing has to have counselling for obvious reasons, so why should the same not apply to those wanting abortions?

 

Having an abortion cannot be downplayed as a simple procedure that has no or little impact on the person concerned. Counselling is essential in order to inform the women or a girl of her options so she can make an informed decision - an empowered woman will make the right decision that is appropriate for her.

 

Equally important is postcounselling, not only to ensure that the woman or girl is coping emotionally, but also for promotion of family planning and birth control to prevent repeat abortions.

 

I thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.] [Time expired.]

 

Dr R RABINOWITZ (IFP): Madam Deputy Speaker, the termination of pregnancy issue essentially boils down to one’s approach to life: when does it begin, what is a soul, how do we differentiate between the sacred and the profane?

 

True, life is a continuum. There is no one moment when a foetus becomes pain-sensitive or viable and science pushes back the limit daily. Some contraception causes fertilized eggs to be bled away. How is this different from termination of pregnancy in the first twelve weeks?

 

The procedure is simple. Misoprostil is given; it softens the cervix and begins contractions or bleeding. The practitioner dilates the cervix and inserts a sterile syringe to suck out the foetus and scrape the womb. It’s so easy, we were assured time and again, and who wants a 12-year-old girl to be saddled with a baby?

 

In choosing between saving unborn babies from the pain of chemical or mechanical death, or women from the pain of backstreet abortions the choice between right and wrong is impossible to make. But it is the job of legislators to make difficult choices and to steer society in certain directions. So, the IFP will not sit on the fence and give our members a choice in this vote.

 

The IFP’s core principles are to strengthen the family, recognise and promote the sacredness of life and to protect people from harm. We do not support the move in South Africa to talk about morality to let people do what they like, to protect the lives of heinous criminals or to let our children treat each other like sex toys.

 

This legislation entitles a girl who menstruates, from whatever age, to access abortion on demand, enacted by nurses with short training courses and facilities only with access to emergency or hospital facilities. We support termination of pregnancy under qualified circumstances; with parental input for minors; with mandatory counselling, in facilities with emergency equipment and managed responsibly in a decentralised fashion. This legislation does not cater to all of these.

 

Life is a wondrous gift and we are the custodians who must spread that message. Therefore, we oppose this legislation which moves to trivialise life.

 

But I must say that we did not come easily to this decision and we did benefit, in making it, from the hearings. Our chairperson, Mr Ngculu and the committee conducted them in a thorough, fair and respectful fashion, for which we congratulate them. No person or group can now claim that they have not been heard on this issue of termination of pregnancy. Thank you.

 

Mr S N SWART (ACDP): Madam Deputy Speaker, most presenters at the public hearings expressed grave concerns about the implications of this Bill, which aims to increase access to abortion. The negative impact of the Bill on health workers and health services was a common concern. The overriding issue was, however, the increased risk to woman’s emotional and physical well-being and the blatant further violation of the unborn child’s right to life. The committee yet again simply ignored the inputs and proceeded unabated on a mission to steamroll the Bill through Parliament.

 

The ACDP proposed various amendments aimed not only at protecting women and children considering termination, but also providing protection for health care workers and professionals who choose not to participate in termination of pregnancy due to religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Court cases, as we are aware, are ongoing where medical staff has been discriminated against for refusing to carry out termination procedures.

 

The ACDP’s amendments also provide for mandatory counselling to ensure that mothers are well informed about the risks of abortion and the alternatives available. Many women are suffering from physical, emotional and psychological consequences of abortions as they did not have enough information to make an informed choice. We need to reach out with compassion to such women, particularly those suffering from postabortion syndrome.

 

The ACDP believes that by ignoring calls for explicit and mandatory counselling, government is setting itself up to be sued in the future for suppressing information and the findings of medical research. The Uniting Presbyterian Church in South Africa, for example, has cautioned that unless such amendments are adopted, women for whom we are seeking protection will soon be seeking justice and compensation just as in the case of tobacco companies and mines who have had to pay for the consequences of their neglect in failing to fully inform smokers and the users of short-fibre asbestos about the inherent risks.

 

This is a timely wake-up call which should be heeded - and we would as the ACDP fully support and in fact encourage women to embark upon this litigation. Women who have had abortions require every form of assistance due to physical, emotional and psychological effects.

 

The ACDP, in addressing these issues, does not waiver in its conviction that the value of innocent human life is priceless and is in full agreement with the views of the Uniting Presbyterian Church of South Africa that human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.

 

The great antislavery campaigner, William Wilberforce, understood that while people may ignore the truth, they still recognise it when they see it. So, he looked for ways to remind people of what they already knew in their hearts, that slavery was wrong. Similarly, we are winning the hearts and minds of our people that abortion is wrong. Independent polls showed the 1996 abortion law to be South Africa’s most unpopular law. The ACDP will oppose this Bill. I thank you.

 

Dr C P MULDER: Agb Mev die Adjunkspeaker, ek is bevrees die ANC sal nie luister na wat die argumente van vandag is nie, net so min as wat hulle geluister het 11 jaar gelede toe die hoofwet deur die Huis gedebateer is.

 

Die argumente is reeds gestel rondom die beginsel van aborsie en hierdie wysigingswetsontwerp verander niks aan daardie beginsel nie. Inteendeel, aborsies word makliker gemaak as wat die hoofwet aanvanklik toegelaat het. Dit word tegnies afgewentel na die provinsies toe om die besluite te neem, provinsiale LURe kan die besluite neem om sulke inrigtings in te rig, maar die onstellendste daarvan is dat ’n kind – nie ‘n vrou nie, ‘n kind – van 12-jaar-oud, op haar eie ‘n besluit kan neem om ’n aborsie te ondergaan.

 

Ek wil vir u sê dat daar geen manier is dat ‘n kind van 12 jaar die implikasies besef wat sy die res van haar lewe met haar gaan saamdra wanneer sy volwasse is, nadat sy ‘n aborsie ondergaan het nie. Dit is prakties wat hierdie wet gaan moontlik maak.

 

Ek is bevrees, soos ek gesê het, dat die ANC nie daarna sal luister nie. Miskien moet ons eendag ‘n debat daaroor voer, oor wat die werklike rede is waarom die ANC, en veral die dames in die ANC, so sterk voel oor aborsie. Ek is van mening dis om ‘n verkeerde, misplaaste rede, maar miskien moet ons daardie gesprek eendag voer. Die VF Plus sal teen hierdie wetgewing stem. Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

 

[Dr C P MULDER: Madam Deputy Speaker, I am afraid that the ANC will not listen to today’s arguments, just as they did not listen when the Principal Act was debated in this House 11 years ago.

 

We have argued on the principle of abortion, and this amending Bill doesn’t change anything regarding that principle. As a matter of fact, to have an abortion becomes easier than the Principal Act initially allowed. Technically, the power to make decisions on allowing abortion clinics is being devolved down to the provinces and provincial MECs can make these decisions.

 

What is even more upsetting is the fact that a child – not a woman, but a 12-year-old child - can make an independent decision to undergo an abortion. I want to emphasise that a 12-year-old child cannot grasp the implications that she will have to carry throughout her adult life after undergoing an abortion. This is what this Bill will make possible in practice.

 

I am afraid, as I have said, that the ANC will not listen to this. Maybe we should, one day, debate the actual reason why the ANC, and especially the ladies of the ANC, feel so strongly about abortion. I believe that it is for a wrong, misplaced reason, but maybe we should have that discussion someday. The FF Plus will vote against this piece of legislation. Thank you.]

 

Mr L V J NGCULU: Deputy Speaker, the sad part in what we are dealing with here today is that the parties that have contributed to the debate thus far have not addressed its substance.

 

This piece of legislation was brought to the House because there was not sufficient public participation. That is the crux of the matter. As a result, we, as the portfolio committee, entertained over 60 submissions which, collectively, cost us 1 265 minutes.

 

What was most gratifying about the entire process of participation was, of course, the conduct of members of the different political parties, in particular that of Mike Waters from the DA and Ruth Rabinowitz ...

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: They are both hon members!

 

Mr L V J NGCULU: I want to congratulate them very much on their conduct and for the manner in which they participated in this process.

 

The sad part was the spoonfeeding by hon Cheryl Dudley. Every time she asked a question, she actually told the participants what to say, which is quite sad. I’m sure that, as a leader of a party, she should, at some point, do some introspection with regard to her conduct around these particular issues.

 

Therefore, the substance here is about the amendments that were there. One of the things that must be commended about this Bill is the fact that it has opened access for women. It has dramatically reduced maternal deaths since its introduction.

 

Equally, it has allowed women their right to reproductive health, and that is the crux of the issue. All your philosophical, ideological and religious beliefs should be subservient to the rights of women in terms of their access to reproductive health. As I have indicated earlier, that is the crux of the matter. Let’s not introduce things that are actually ancillary to specific interests of this particular piece of legislation.

 

In particular, we would like to thank the people who took the time to make their submissions. There are a lot of people who we, as the ANC, would like to congratulate on the manner in which they made their submissions. We are satisfied that the process was thorough, efficient, and, from our side, I think the diligence and patience on the part of the Members of Parliament was something salutary.

 

Any other issue outside of this piece of legislation should remain there, because the question of conscientious objection, counselling and all those things are covered by a number of pieces of legislation. If you look at your National Health Act, it covers them.

 

If you look into the question of counselling, you’ll see that it is covered in the Principal Act: “There shall be nonmandatory, nondirective counselling.” It’s there. Why do people want to include things that are actually their own philosophical, subjective interests in the piece of legislation in order to drive the point home that there must be counselling?

 

At some point some of us here who hold some of these quasi-religious beliefs must begin to look at ourselves and ask the question: What is the interest of women in all of this? Thank you. [Time expired.]

 

An HON MEMBER: He is out of order, Madam Chair!

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! You should have raised a point of order whilst he was at the podium, instead of screaming at me after he has completed his speech. I want to go on with my work. Will you please allow me to do so? Thank you. Are there any objections to the Bill being read for the second time? Since there are objections, I now put the question. Those in favour will say “Aye” and those against, “No”.  The “ayes” have it.

There was no debate.

 

Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.

Division demanded.

 

The House divided:

 

AYES - 148: Asiya, S E; Bhengu, P; Bhoola, R B; Bloem, D V; Bogopane-Zulu, H I; Cachalia, I M; Carrim, Y I; Chalmers, J; Chohan, F I; Cronin, J P; Daniels, P; Davies, R H; Direko, I W; Dithebe, S L; Dlali, D M; Doidge, G Q M; Frolick, C T; Fubbs, J L; Gcwabaza, N E; Gerber, P A; Gogotya, N J; Gololo, C L; Greyling, C H F; Gumede, D M; Gumede, M M; Gxowa, N B; Johnson, C B; Johnson, M; Kasienyane, O R; Kekana, C D; Khumalo, K K; Khumalo, K M; Khunou, N P; Kohler-Barnard, D; Kondlo, N C; Kotwal, Z; Lishivha, T E; Louw, J T; Louw, S K; Lowe, C M; Ludwabe, C I; Madella, A F; Mahote, S; Maine, M S; Maja, S J; Makasi, X C; Makgate, M W; Maloney, L; Maluleka, H P; Martins, B A D; Masango, S J; Maserumule, F T; Mashangoane, P R; Mashigo, R J; Mashile, B L; Masutha, T M; Matsemela, M L; Matsomela, M J J; Mbili, M E; Mbombo, N D; Mdaka, N M; Mdladlana, M M S; Meruti, M V; Mkhize, Z S; Mkongi, B M; Mlangeni, A; Mnguni, B A; Mnyandu, B J; Moatshe, M S; Modisenyane, L J; Mofokeng, T R; Mogase, I D; Mohlaloga, M R; Mokoena, A D; Montsitsi, S D; Moonsamy, K; Morgan, G R; Morkel, C M; Morobi, D M; Mosala, B G; Moss, M I; Mpahlwa, M B ; Mthembu, B; Mtshali, E; Mzondeki, M J G; Ndlazi, Z A; Ndzanga, R A; Nel, A C; Nene, M J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngcobo, N W; Ngculu, L V J; Ngele, N J; Ngwenya, M L; Njikelana, S J; Njobe, M A A; Nogumla, R Z; Ntuli, B M; Ntuli, M M; Ntuli, R S; Nxumalo, M D; Nxumalo, S N; Nzimande, L P M; Olifant, D A A; Oliphant, G G; Padayachie, R L; Pandor, G N M; Phala, M J; Pieterse, R D; Rabie, P J; Rwexana, S P; Schippers, J; Schmidt, H C; Schneemann, G D; Schoeman, E A; Seadimo, M D; Sefularo, M; Selau, J G; Semple, J A; September, C C; Sibanyoni, J B; Siboza, S; Sikakane, M R; Skhosana, W M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Steyn, A C; Surty, M E; Swanson-Jacobs, J; Thomson, B; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tolo, L J; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala-Msimang, M E; Tshivhase, T J; Tshwete, P; Twala, N M; Van den Heever, R P Z; Van Wyk, A; Vundisa, S S; Wang, Y; Yengeni, L E; Zulu, B Z.

 

NOES - 41: Blanché, J P I; Botha, A; Botha, C-S; Camerer, S M; Chang, E S; Cupido, H B; Davidson, I O; Delport, J T; Doman, W P; Dreyer, A M; Ellis, M J; Green, L M; Jenner, I E; King, R J; Labuschagne, L B; Likotsi, M T; Marais, S J F; Meshoe, K R J; Minnie, K J; Mulder, C P; Nel, A H; Opperman, S E; Pule, B E; Rabinowitz, R; Sayedali-Shah, M R; Seaton, S A; Selfe, J; Seremane, W J; Sibuyana, M W; Skosana, M B; Smuts, M; Swart, M; Swart, S N; Swathe, M M; Van der Merwe, J H; Van Der Walt, D; Van Dyk, S M; Van Niekerk, A I; Waters, M; Weber, H; Zikalala, C N Z.

 

ABSTAIN - 4: Bici, J; De Lille, P; Mdlalose, M M; Sigcau, S N.

 

As the result of the division showed that there was not a majority of the members of the Assembly present for a vote to be taken on the Bill as required by Rule 25(2)(a), decision of question postponed.

 

TRADITIONAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS BILL

 

(Second Reading debate)

 

There was no debate.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please take your seats or leave the House quietly. Hon members!

 

Bill read a second time.

 

ROAD SAFETY OVER FESTIVE SEASON

 

(Draft Resolution)

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, with leave, I hereby move without notice:

 

That the House –

 

  1. notes that the next few weeks will mark the beginning of the festive season, when people will spend quality time with families and friends;

 

  1. further notes that it is the same period that brings joy and happiness to some of our people, whilst it also brings pain to other families;

 

  1. observes that pain is caused in some instances by driver negligence and disregard for road regulations, resulting in road fatalities and that abuse of alcohol contributes significantly to accidents; and

 

  1. calls on our road users to observe speed limits, not to drink and drive, to take regular rests along the road and calls on pedestrians to wear visible clothing.

 

[Applause.]

 

Agreed to.

 

CONSIDERATION OF INTERIM REPORT OF AD HOC COMMITTEE ON MATTERS RELATING TO THE EX-MINEWORKERS UNION

 

Mr M R SONTO: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Please take your seat at the podium whilst we try to get an audience from hon members.

 

Those that are leaving must have a Merry Christmas, but please leave us in peace. Don’t make this noise. We don’t need that. Hon Mlangeni, will you please take your seat or leave the Chamber. That is the best way now – I have to call you by name. I also just want to remind you that everything I am saying is captured in Hansard, and your grandchildren will read about this one day. Hon Sam Louw, take your seat or leave the Chamber; followed by Mr Bloem. We now have a little bit of order. Mrs Morobi, will you please find your seat, madam; and Dr Rabinowitz and hon Smuts. That is it. Now we have an audience. Hon chairperson, please address us.

 

Mr M R SONTO: Madam Deputy Speaker, Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, hon members, on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee on Matters Relating to the Ex-Mineworkers Union, I submit to the House a preliminary report and the necessary recommendation thereon. This ad hoc committee came about as a result of a resolution by this House following interaction with a group of people representing ex-mineworkers. The mandate given to the committee was to investigate complaints made by the group on 31 October 2007 at the People’s Assembly in Bizana.

 

In the process of investigating complaints, the ad hoc committee received, in the form of presentations and briefing sessions, contributions of high quality from a number of stakeholders were received. The context in which the contributions were made by involved parties assisted the investigation as complaints started to translate into pensions, death benefits, occupational injuries and diseases contracted in service.

 

In pursuit of these labour rights, ex-mineworkers sent representatives to various government departments, offices, labour organisations and high profile people to present their case. There were strange instances where the complainants would employ approaches like sit-ins, protest marches, disruptions of government events and even withdrawals from processes that sought to resolve the matter.

 

Despite all these, parties involved, the ad hoc committee included, hold a view that if more could be done, the resolution of this matter is possible. Inputs made to the committee suggested that there remain stakeholders out there with crucial information that can further assist in resolving the matter. Because of that, the ad hoc committee recommends that whilst it understands the gravity and urgency of the concerns and complaints raised, the House considers the following: ... [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! We are requested to consider some things here. We need to be in a position to hear what we are supposed to be doing. Hon member, please continue.

Mr M R SONTO: Deputy Speaker, the ad hoc committee asks the House to consider extending the deadline for the committee to report to 31 March 2008. I must emphasise the fact that the committee has not at this stage formed any opinion regarding the process and the matter.

 

As the chairperson of the ad hoc committee, I must thank all members, professionals and staff, who made this preliminary report possible. I hope you will have a happy festive season with your families and come back next year so that we can finalise what we have started. I thank you.

 

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:

 

That the House refers the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Matters Relating to the Ex-Mineworkers Union back to the Committee for further consideration and that the Committee be granted an extension of the deadline to allow them to report before the end of the first term of 2008.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

SOUTH AFRICAN EXPRESS BILL

 

(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)

 

There was no debate.

 

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move:

 

That the Bill, as amended, be passed.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Bill accordingly passed.

 

BROADBAND INFRACO BILL

 

(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)

 

There was no debate.

 

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move:

 

That the Bill, as amended, be passed.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Bill accordingly passed.

 

TRANSPORT AGENCIES GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Consideration of Report on Bill)

 

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move:

 

That the Bill, as amended, be passed.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Bill accordingly passed.

 

EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Consideration of Report on Bill)

 

There was no debate.

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move:

 

That the Bill, as amended, be passed.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Bill accordingly passed.

 

CRIMINAL LAW (SEXUAL OFFENCES AND RELATED MATTERS) AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)

 

There was no debate.

 

CHIEF WHIP OF MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move:

 

That the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill, as amended, be passed.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Bill accordingly passed.

 

CRIMINAL LAW (SENTENCING) AMENDMENT BILL

(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)

 

There was no debate.

 

The CHIEF OF MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move:

 

That the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Amendment Bill be passed.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Bill accordingly passed.

 

CHILDREN’S AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Consideration of Report Mediation Committee)

 

There was no debate.

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move:

 

That the Report be adopted.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Report accordingly adopted.

 

CHILDREN’S AMENDMENT BILL

 

(Consideration of Bill)

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The hon Chief Whip would you please advise us. Does he want to address us from his seat? You are free to do that hon member, if you wanted to. But would you please come over.

 

Mr J B SIBANYONI:  Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. As the co-chairperson of the Mediation Committee, I would like to report that the mediation committee was established after it was discovered that between the period that the Children’s Amendment Bill was passed by the National Assembly and when it appeared before the National Council of Provinces, there were what people believe to be serious discrepancies. The Mediation Committee met on the 21 November 2007 and went through those discrepancies with a fine comb.

 

What was discovered was that, in actual fact, the discrepancies related to grammatical mistakes; the changing of a comma from one place to another or changing a full stop and putting in a comma. There were no substantial issues which came about. It shall be recalled that when the Bill was passed in the National Assembly, it was passed on the understanding that consequential changes should be made.

 

The committee came up with what you see before you today, that is the Bill 19 (F) of 2006, reprint. But at this stage, I would like to inform the House that there are only two issues. The document has been circulated. Each and every member has this document. It relates to clause 6, ie, that there is a change on Page 25 line 24 after the word “child” to omit a full stop and put in a comma. Then in clause 11 there is a change, in the sense that after “investigation”, there should have been inserted the words “to be conducted”. Also on page 51 line 14 after the word “child”, to omit those words “to be conducted”.

 

It is the submission of the mediation committee that as the Bill stands now, today, with those two issues I’ve referred to, it is in order. As such, we as the mediation committee submit that the Report should be adopted.

 

I would like just to mention that the mediation committee consists of members of the National Assembly, as well as members of the National Council of Provinces. It was a multiparty mediation committee. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in it. I would also raise one issue and that is to say that what happened is something that we, as Parliament, would say we do not wish to see happening again. Thank you.

 

There was no debate.

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move:

 

That the Children’s Amendment Bill, with the textual amendments, be passed.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Bill, with textual amendments, accordingly passed.

 

  1. On page 25, in line 24, after “child” to omit “.” And to substitute “;”.
  2. On page 51, in line 13, after “investigation” to insert “to be conducted”.
  3. On page 51, in line 14, after “child” to omit “to be conducted”.

 

CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE – IMPROVEMENT AND WELLBEING OF MILITARY VETERANS

 

Mr S D MONTSITSI: Madam Speaker, as the Joint Standing Committee on Defence, we wish to present these proposals to Parliament. I wish to thank members of the joint standing committee for the tireless efforts to ensure that we are able to put these proposals together.

 

These proposals took time to put together because we had to call on public hearings to get veterans to come and speak for themselves. We also had to get other stakeholders to make presentations in order to bring about an improvement in the lives of military veterans. These are the sets of proposals that the committee puts before the House for adoption.

 

Most importantly we are also grateful to the Minister of Housing who, during her speech, indicated that she is prepared to make housing available for unemployed military veterans.

 

Again, some of the proposals here deal with the Non-Statutory Forces, NSF, Pension Fund. This particular fund should be reviewed because you find a situation where membership of this fund is applied for by those who are not employed. Those who are employed as Members of Parliament and those who are even employed in departments, for instance, cannot access the NSF pension. Those who have tried to have access, even within the military itself, find it very difficult to pay it back because there are debits in their bank accounts.

 

With this, we wish to thank the Minister for the role he played in being supportive to the committee and in also ensuring that these measures reached the stage they are at now. Fortunately these measures have been adopted at the policy conference of the ANC. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, I move:

 

That the Report be adopted.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Report accordingly adopted.

 

DRAFT NOTICE ON REMUNERATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGES AND JUDGES

DRAFT NOTICE ON REMUNERATION OF MAGISTRATES

 

(Consideration of Reports)

 

There was no debate.

 

Draft Notice on Remuneration of Constitutional Court Judges and Judges approved.

Draft Notice on Remuneration of Magistrates approved.

 

CONVENTION BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE REPUBLIC OF MOZAMBIQUE FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION AND THE PREVENTION OF FISCAL EVASION WITH RESPECT TO TAXES ON INCOME

PROTOCOL ON FINANCE AND INVESTMENT OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

 

(Consideration of Requests for approved by Parliament)

in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution

 

Mr M N NENE: Deputy Speaker and hon members, in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, international agreements are only binding to the Republic after they have been approved by a resolution of both the NA and the NCOP. It is in compliance with this provision that we table this protocol to this House today after the Portfolio Committee on Finance has satisfied itself, as was referred to it by this House, that it is in keeping with the spirit of our country’s participation in the international family.

 

This protocol on the Southern African Development Community, SADC, gives effect to Article 22 of the SADC Treaty by seeking to foster harmonisation of the financial and investment policies of the state parties in order to make them consistent with the objectives of SADC and to ensure that changes to the financial investment policies in

one state party do not necessitate undesirable adjustments in other state parties.

 

The vehicle for achieving this objective will be the facilitation of regional integration, co-operation and co-ordination within finance and investment sectors, with the aim of expanding the productive sectors of the economy and enhancing trade in the region to achieve sustainable economic development and eradication of poverty.

 

In terms of this SADC protocol, 15 practical interventions are identified, ranging from creating a favourable investment within SADC; maintaining macro-economic sustainability and convergence of fiscal and monetary policies; to co-operation in all strategic areas including IT and financial institutions.

 

The protocol also proposes the establishment of the SADC Project Preparation and Development Fund as a stand-alone institution that is to be housed within a reputable regional development financial institution. This is envisaged to be the only structure that would have financial implications for member states, including South Africa, which is estimated to be around US$300 000 dollars.

On behalf of the committee, I present this protocol for adoption.

 

On the convention between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Mozambique, it is also in terms of the same provision of the Constitution that I present the above-mentioned convention to the House for adoption after the committee has considered it in terms of our mandate.

 

I thank you. Have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new season all. Thank you. [Applause.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you and the same to you.

 

There was no debate.

 

Convention between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Mozambique for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income approved.

 

Protocol on Finance and Investment of the Southern African Development Community approved.

 

CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF FISHERY RESOURCES IN THE SOUTH EAST ATLANTIC OCEAN (SEAFO)

 

(Consideration of Request for Approval by Parliament in terms of section 231(2) of Constitution)

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there any objections to the approval of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Fishery Resources in the South East Atlantic Ocean (SEAFO)? Any objections? No objections.

 

There was no debate.

Convention on the Conservation and Management of Fishery Resources in the South East Atlantic Ocean (SEAFO) approved.

 

ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE BREACH OF PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE BY MS GLORIA SEROBE

 

(Draft resolution)

 

Ms S C VOS: I hereby give notice that I shall move:

 

That the House—

 

(1)        noting that -

 

(a)       Ms Gloria Serobe was one of the 12 candidates recommended by the House on Thursday, 13 September 2007, for appointment by the President to the SABC Board;

 

(b)       when interviewed by the Portfolio Committee on Communications and asked whether she knew the person who had nominated her for appointment, a Mr Louis du Plooy, who gave his address as P O Box 2012, Groenkloof 0027, she replied that she did not know him but it was "nice" of him to have done so;

 

(c)       according to  a report in the Sunday Times of 16 September 2007 Mr du Plooy "... revealed yesterday that he had discussed Serobe's nomination with her (emphasis added) 'as I had to get a CV from her to submit with the nomination form'"; and

 

(d)       Mr du Plooy is the Chief Director for Ministerial Services in the Ministry in the Presidency but did not reveal this important information in nominating Ms Serobe;

 

(2)        resolves -

 

(a)      to appoint a committee to conduct a preliminary investigation into whether Ms Serobe, in informing the Portfolio Committee that she did not know Mr du Plooy, wilfully furnished the Portfolio Committee with false or misleading information and thereby committed the offence  of breach of parliamentary privilege in terms of section 17(2)(e) of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act 4 of 2004 (possibly in an attempt to conceal from the Portfolio Committee Mr du Plooy's direct link with the Minister in the Presidency, Dr Essop Pahad), the investigation to be conducted with a view to establishing whether the matter warrants formal referral to the National Director of Public Prosecutions for prosecution under the Act;

(b)      that the committee may exercise those powers in Rule 138 that may assist it in carrying out its task;

 

(c)      that the committee reports to the House within 15 working days; and

 

(d)      that the President be informed immediately of the decision of the House to investigate whether Ms Serobe may have committed a breach of parliamentary privilege.

 

Madam Deputy Speaker, the issue with regard to Ms Gloria Serobe’s interview with the Portfolio Committee on Communications for the position on the SABC Board is quite clear.

 

It is more than obvious when one examines the verbatim transcript of her interview and her letter to Madam Speaker about this matter; that Ms Serobe apparently tried to hide the fact that the person who nominated her, Mr Louis du Plooy, works for Dr Essop Pahad in the Ministry in the Presidency. He is in fact the Chief Director in the Ministry of the Presidency.

 

The same Mr Du Plooy has a P O Box number in Groenkloof and it was this box number that he used for his letter to Parliament nominating Ms Serobe.

 

In her words, Ms Serobe appears to have chosen to be devious and purported to the committee when asked that she did not know Mr Du Plooy at all. She now says that she knows Mr Du Plooy who works in the Presidency, but she doesn’t know the same Mr Du Plooy who has a Groenkloof P O Box number.

 

This is obviously complete and utter nonsense. It is quite simply contemptuous of the intelligence of the hon members of this House. If this is so then quite frankly this is patently wrong. I submit that we cannot sanction the appointment of a person to the SABC Board who believes that she can treat Parliament in this manner.

 

I am therefore respectfully requesting that this House proceeds with appointing a committee to conduct an investigation into whether Ms Serobe wilfully furnished the committee with false or misleading information and in so doing committed a breach of parliamentary privilege.

 

There was nothing wrong in law with Mr Du Plooy nominating her. So, why did she try to hide it? Mr Du Plooy is a citizen of the Republic and could have nominated Ms Serobe and openly stated his title and his work address; Ministry in the Presidency. He chose, instead, to give a somewhat anonymous P O Box number.

 

Conclusions can, of course, be drawn about this; but this is not the nub of the matter today. Whether an official and an appointing authority of the Presidency should use subterfuge to insert a candidate or candidates into a parliamentary process can be the subject of an entirely different debate, but not today.

 

At the time of her interview, the Chairperson of the Communication’s Committee asked Ms Serobe directly in these exact words, I quote: “Who nominated you? Mr Du Plooy? Is he any organisation or is he just an independent person?” Ms Serobe answered, I quote: “I actually don’t know and I never found out who that is and finally it was very sweet of him. I must call him or her.”

 

It is my contention which I would like the committee to investigate that by saying this, Ms Serobe wilfully furnished the portfolio committee with false or misleading information. She knew Mr Du Plooy; she’d spoken to him. She knew exactly who he was!

 

Ms Serobe is now trying to say in her letter to the Speaker that the chairperson referred to Mr Du Plooy of Groenkloof and that she doesn’t know a Mr Du Plooy of Groenkloof. This is sheer sophistry.

 

It is clear in the verbatim transcript of her interview that the Chairperson did not refer to a Mr du Plooy of Groenkloof, but merely asked about Mr du Plooy. Ms Serobe is, therefore, blatantly continuing her misleading conduct by adding the words “Groenkloof” in her letter to the Speaker.

 

She is now admitting that she was telephoned by Mr du Plooy of the Office of the Presidency asking whether she would agree to a nomination to the SABC Board. So, why didn’t she tell us that she knew precisely who this particular Mr Du Plooy is? Because hon members, that would appear that she recklessly chose to mislead the Committee.

 

This is why the IFP believes that there is serious doubt as to her integrity. Surely given the facts to hand, she cannot be honoured by a statutory appointment to the SABC Board - approved by the President of the Republic - until this hon House appoints the committees as requested and investigate her conduct. Thank you.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Were you not expecting to speak? If you want to take the slot now, please do so. No. I have the right to rearrange the order.

Ms M SMUTS: I recognise your rights, hon Deputy Speaker. I had hoped to hear the ANC on the subject because I think the central subject or point that we wish to make here is that this entire episode has demonstrated that there is in fact a need for a mechanism to follow up incidents such as the one that has just occurred.

 

When Ms Vos’s motion was tabled on September 20th the points available by way of background evidence were: Her interview during which she said she did not know who Mr Du Plooy was; and secondly, the sterling work of the Sunday Times who spotted Mr Louis Du Plooy of the Office of the Ministry in the Presidency, traced the fax number of the nomination and spoke to Mr Du Plooy who confirmed he had nominated her.

 

The evidence now available includes the letter that Ms Serobe wrote to the Speaker and which was very properly published in the ATCs of 15th November. We now have the reported words of Mr Du Plooy but we also have now the verbatim signed words of Ms Serobe, that, to use her own her own words:

 

I was contacted telephonically by Mr Louis Du Plooy of the Office of the Presidency and so forth, as you have heard. According to the transcript of our interview and our proceedings the Chairperson asked her whether Mr Du Plooy was in any organisation or was just an independent person, and Ms Serobe said as you have heard “I actually don’t know. I never found out who that is”.

However, in her letter she says:

 

Had the chairman asked me if I know Mr Louis Du Plooy of the Office of the Presidency, I would have confirmed yes as I had no need to conceal the fact.

 

Madam, what we need to convey is that persons who appear before parliamentary committees must understand that we act in good faith here and that they may not mislead us. And they may certainly not to lie to us. You do not come here to play games.

 

It is ironic that it is the concern of myself and the hon Mr Khumalo in particular, and one of the reasons I look forward to hearing him now. Our concern was to explore conflicts of interest and to warn her that the SABC is contested terrain. I asked her considering her, part-ownership of Telkom together with Mr Smuts Ngonyama and the Elephant Consortium, about her possible conflict of media which is entering the same terrain.

 

Mr Khumalo in particular, prophetically as it turns out, described how, I quote: “... respectable, dignified people sometimes they leave the Board of the SABC in tatters, their images in shambles”.

 

Now, we have in fact the mother of all conflicts of interests on our hands because the Ministry in the Presidency is part of the body that must appoint independent institutions like the SABC, which are supposed to be selected strictly by Parliament under our law. Parliament is given the power of selection and the public has the right to nominate so that the executive from which the SABC must be statutorily independent is precisely not empowered to select the board.

 

That is why it constitutes subversion of the selection process when the Presidency – the very formal appointing body that signs our choice into office at the end of the process – intrudes on the nomination process in the first place.

 

What were Mr Du Plooy and Prof Anver Salojee, by the way, doing, having sight of the nominations, when the MPs did not even seen them, and faxing the nominations from the Union Buildings? Just in case hon members, you thought Mr Du Plooy was an unguided missile, we also received a nomination for another prominent Wiphold lady, Louisa Mojela, from Prof Anver Salojee of 114 Graskop Road, Waterkloof Heights, from the ubiquitious fax number 012 300 5779. If any one does not know to whom Prof Salojee advises and reports, try the fax number. It belongs to the Union Buildings.

 

Can we please dispense now with the pretence that the public servants are exercising their constitutional rights in acting as purported private citizens when they try to buy the Sunday Times or to influence the composition of the SABC Board? Hon members any Minister or any President can then do what is clearly outside his powers by telling his public servants to act and then defending their personal private right to do what he cannot. It is self-evident.

 

In our system the political head is the accountable person and his departmental staff act on his or her instruction or with his or her approval only. Mr du Plooy is not under fire here, he is a public servant. I would have preferred not to have to deal with a matter like this with Ms Serobe who is the civilian, but she has I regret misled us and I think we lack a proper mechanism to deal with situations like this. Thank you.

 

Mr R D PIETERSE: Deputy Speaker, hon members, this debate and this motion are completely unnecessary because they do not seem to ask the right questions.

 

Mrs S M CAMERER: [Inaudible.]

 

Mr R D PIETERSE: Just be quiet! I will come back to you now.

 

Meneer, as ek nou omdraai en vir jou antwoord, dan sal jy spyt wees en ons is op die laaste dag, voor die Kersfees reses. [Sir, should I now turn around and respond, then you will regret it, and this on the last day before the Christmas recess.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, go back to your debate.

Mr R D PIETERSE: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. This is an unnecessary debate because Ms Smuts and Ms Vos did not ask the right question.

 

They asked about Mr Du Plooy from Groenkloof, which a person answered. Nobody bothered to ask: “Do you know somebody in the Presidency or somebody working for a particular Minister? If you have not done that, how do you blame anybody else? People did not ask that question. By the way, the law allows any South African to nominate a person of their choice. It is up to us as a committee to consider that nomination.

 

Members, if I did not know Ms Smuts and Ms Vos better I would have called them closet racists because this is not the first time that when particular people are nominated they have a problem with it. [Interjections.] It is nothing like that. It is because an African woman has been nominated that they have a problem. [Interjections.]

 

I do not know what the point of order is. Maybe I am too close to the truth when I call them closet racists. Maybe it is about time that they must come out and say: “Yes, I am a racist. I have a problem with the African woman.” [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon member. Will you please take your seat.

 

Ms M SMUTS: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: I wanted to ask whether I might ask the hon member a question – but I am now going to ask for more – drawn exactly from the transcript which contradicts what he has just said. [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Let’s ask him whether he would like to take a question first.

 

Ms M SMUTS: I would now like to take a point of order. I have just been called a racist.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, if that is what you have said, you must withdraw. [Interjections.] Will you please allow me just even a moment to take a ruling on this matter? Mr Waters, Mr Van der Merwe, will you please take your seats. We are not yet on holiday. We take our proper seats and we do not sit on the side of the seats.

 

Mr Pieterse, withdraw please – unconditionally!

 

Mr R D PIETERSE: Even if I call them closet racists? [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Unconditionally!

 

Mr R D PIETERSE: Withdrawn, Deputy Speaker. Withdrawn!

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.

 

Mr R D PIETERSE: But the fact still stands that they have a problem that an African woman has been nominated. [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Will you please take your seat.

 

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Deputy Speaker, the speaker also referred to Ms Vos as being a racist.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: He referred to whom as what?

 

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: He referred to the hon Ms Suzanne Vos as being a racist. He should withdraw that. Madam Deputy Speaker, he knows that the word should not be used. You should ask him to apologise.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No. You are raising a point of order and I am trying to get the attention of the member at the podium. If that is what you said, hon member, we need an unconditional withdrawal.

 

Mr R D PIETERSE: Deputy Speaker, I referred to both of them and I want to repeat myself. I said that if I did not know them better, I would say that they were closet racists. Those were my words. If you say that I need to withdraw that, then I am more than happy to withdraw. Mr Van der Merwe, you ... [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Pieterse, take your seat, please. Mr Pieterse!

 

Mr R D PIETERSE: Ma’am!

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Will you please withdraw?

 

Mr R D PIETERSE: Withdrawn, Ma’am.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.

 

Mr R D PIETERSE: Mr Van der Merwe, you know you are not supposed to bring a cake into the House, but you still did. That is how stupid you are. Thank you. [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No! Mr Pieterse, please take you seat. I think you want us to remember you during the recess period, but let us remember you for very good behaviour. There is nothing wrong with a member being unintelligent, but it is not good manners to say to hon members they are stupid. I would like you to withdraw that as well.

 

Mr R D PIETERSE: I withdraw, Deputy Speaker.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Take your seat. Mr Oliphant has another point of order. [Interjections.] Okay! Now go back to your speaking notes, sir.

Mr K M KHUMALO: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, comrades and friends, ladies and gentlemen, I am not going to ``gooi hulle” [fight with them]. I must say that I am in a festive mood, so I am not prepared to leave here and go on my Christmas holiday fighting with anybody, but the truth shall prevail. [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Don’t start with the festive mood too early. [Laughter.] We are still working here and the festive mood is for after adjournment.

 

Mr K M KHUMALO: Madam Deputy Speaker, the matter that we are dealing with is the process that the portfolio committee usually engages with every after four years of the SABC Board term of office. What has happened is that the Portfolio Committee on Communications issued out an advertisement to invite people to apply to become members of the Board of the SABC. Everybody applied and the criteria was quite clear: You must be a South African; have no criminal record; possess particular qualifications, skills or expertise on which then all those who qualify had applied and sent their application forms that we short-listed.

 

Out of the shortlist that we did, Madam Deputy Speaker, we then short-listed the 12th we had submitted. Once we had done that the important thing was not even about the warm bodies that were there but actually what were the challenges facing the SABC. It is quite clear that the public broadcaster has got only three main mandates, namely to educate, inform and to entertain. It is those mandates that inform how we constitute the team that we want to lead us. But fundamental to that I would have to respond to ... [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please continue. The House is listening to you.

 

Mr K M KHUMALO: Madam Deputy Speaker, I nearly said to the member that he needs vitamins A and C because it is quite clear that the hon member is sick and vitamins A and C would help him. Vitamins A and C are black, green and gold, he wouldn’t miss them. They are found in all the branches. [Applause.]

 

The process that we followed was quite fair, transparent, clear and honest. It is unfortunate that very often the DA ... [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order!

 

Mr K M KHUMALO: The DA would often want us to put forward people that they prefer and every time that we put forward credible South Africans, especially educated, powerful, black African women or any other, they sometimes have serious objections to that. [Interjections.] You see! They have serious objection to that and that is how then this issue created this particular problem.

 

However, what we then did is in fact that after the interviewing and selection process, we had the best candidates. We had followed the process to the letter and whoever nominated who is not the issue because the guideline says every South African, black or white, does qualify to nominate anybody to be in the Board of the SABC and that board must then carry its mandate.

 

Fundamental to the challenges of the SABC is, firstly to provide information that is credible, fair, balanced and that can then inform the society as we move. Secondly, it is to even educate the population of the country and entertain them through various programmes and the people that we have selected are the best.

 

What the motion wants to do is to try and tarnish the images not only of the candidates concerned, but also images of men and women who are credible, powerful and good that we believe can actually achieve the mandates as expected.

 

Most importantly, we believe that the broadcaster must do one of the fundamentals contained in the African Union Commission on Human and

People’s Rights which talks about freedom of expression that is also contained on the United Nations ... [Interjections.]

 

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: Is it allowed that the ANC is not addressing the issue before us, namely that the person misled the committee? [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, stick to the topic.

 

Mr K M KHUMALO: Madam Deputy Speaker, I am sticking to the topic and I am not going to be dictated to in terms of how I should proceed with my discussion by Mr Van der Merwe. [Interjections.]

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member!

 

Mr K M KHUMALO: Yes, ma’am.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please stick to the topic and try to conclude your speech.

 

Mr K M KHUMALO: Madam Deputy Speaker, the topic is around the fact that the motion, tabled by the IFP and supported by the DA, is not informed. I said that this motion that they are tabling is intended to tarnish the image of the candidates that have applied and the SABC because they consider the SABC as an area that has been taken or hijacked and therefore they just want to point fingers at what they believe is wrong.

 

Therefore, the ANC utterly rejects this motion. We will not accept it and we say that we have confidence in the current board and even in the upcoming board to lead the SABC for the next few years. So this motion will not be accepted. It is rejected and we say no to the motion. That is our stand as the ANC, and I am prepared to take any other question. I am very ready. [Laughter.]

 

Prof E S CHANG: Madam Deputy Speaker, I have a question.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, he said he can take any question outside the House. [Interjections.]

Prof E S CHANG: Protect the integrity of this House!

 

Ms S C VOS: Madam Deputy Speaker, I thank the hon members for their contribution such as they were in part even though the ANC did not address the real issue at all, and that was that Ms Serobe misled the committee. I believe that all that needs to be said is that the crux of the issue is whether or not this House intends to exercise its constitutional mandate of independent, efficient and effective oversight. Clearly, the ANC does not intend to do that and shame on you.

 

The matter relating to Ms Serobe should not be conflated to an emotional issue and should not be seen as a personal issue. The law is clear and we in this House have sworn to uphold the law. It is an offence when being examined by Parliament, as Ms Serobe was indeed being examined during her interview with the Portfolio Committee on Communications, to wilfully furnish the House or committee with information or make a statement before it which is false and misleading. That is what Ms Serobe did. She doesn’t even know who Mr Du Plooy is and yet she wants to sit on the board. She admits not even knowing the person who nominated her. How pathetic is that!

 

Now, we are therefore surely required - which the ANC does not intend to do, but given the facts to hand - to establish a committee to investigate a possible breach of parliamentary privilege. Thank you. [Applause.]

 

Debate concluded.

 

Question put: That the motion by Ms S C Vos be adopted.

 

Division demanded.

 

The House divided:

 

AYES - 45: Blanché, J P I; Bogopane-Zulu, H I; Botha, A; Botha, C-S; Chang, E S; Cupido, H B; Delport, J T; Doman, W P; Dreyer, A M; Ellis, M J; Green, L M; King, R J; Kohler-Barnard, D; Labuschagne, L B; Lowe, C M; Madikiza, G T; Marais, S J F; Mdlalose, M M; Meshoe, K R J; Minnie, K J; Morgan, G R; Mpontshane, A M; Nel, A H; Opperman, S E; Pule, B E; Rabie, P J; Rabinowitz, R; Sayedali-Shah, M R; Schmidt, H C; Semple, J A; Sibuyana, M W; Sigcau, S N; Skosana, M B; Smuts, M; Swart, M; Swart, P S; Swart, S N; Swathe, M M; Van der Merwe, J H; Van Der Walt, D; Van Dyk, S M; Vos, S C; Waters, M; Weber, H; Zikalala, C N Z.

NOES - 159: Abram, S; Anthony, T G; Asiya, S E; Baloyi, M R; Beukman, F; Bhengu, F; Bhengu, P; Bhoola, R B; Bloem, D V; Burgess, C V; Cachalia, I M; Carrim, Y I; Chohan, F I; Cronin, J P; Cwele, S C; Daniels, P; Davies, R H; Direko, I W; Dithebe, S L; Dlali, D M; Doidge, G Q M; Frolick, C T; Fubbs, J L; Gaum, A H; Gcwabaza, N E; Gerber, P A; Godi, N T; Gogotya, N J; Gololo, C L; Greyling, C H F; Gumede, D M; Gumede, M M; Hendricks, L B; Holomisa, S P; Jeffery, J H; Johnson, C B; Johnson, M; Kasienyane, O R; Kekana, C D; Kgauwe, M K; Khumalo, K K; Khumalo, K M; Khunou, N P; Kondlo, N C; Koornhof, G W; Kota, Z A; Kotwal, Z; Landers, L T; Likotsi, M T; Lishivha, T E; Louw, J T; Louw, S K; Ludwabe, C I; Luthuli, A N; Mabena, D C; Madella, A F; Madlala-Routledge, N C; Mahomed, F; Mahote, S; Maine, M S; Maja, S J; Makasi, X C; Makgate, M W; Maloney, L; Maluleka, H P; Martins, B A D; Maserumule, F T; Mashangoane, P R; Mashigo, R J; Masutha, T M; Matsemela, M L; Matsepe-Casaburri, I F; Matsomela, M J J; Mbombo, N D; Mdaka, N M; Mdladlana, M M S; Meruti, M V; Mgabadeli, H C; Mkhize, Z S; Mkongi, B M; Mlangeni, A; Mnguni, B A; Mnyandu, B J; Moatshe, M S; Modisenyane, L J; Mofokeng, T R; Mogale, O M; Mogase, I D; Mohlaloga, M R; Montsitsi, S D; Moonsamy, K; Morkel, C M; Morobi, D M; Mosala, B G; Moss, M I; Mpahlwa, M B; Mthembu, B; Mtshali, E; Mzondeki, M J G; Ndlazi, Z A; Ndzanga, R A; Nel, A C; Nene, M J ; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngculu, L V J; Ngele, N J; Ngwenya, M L; Njikelana, S J; Njobe, M A A; Nkuna, C; Nogumla, R Z; Ntuli, M M; Ntuli, R S; Nxumalo, S N; Nzimande, L P M; Olifant, D A A; Oliphant, G G; Padayachie, R L; Pandor, G N M; Phala, M J; Pieterse, R D; Ramodibe, D M; Ramotsamai, C P M; Rasmeni, S M; Rwexana, S P; Schippers, J; Schneemann, G D; Schoeman, E A; Seadimo, M D; Sefularo, M; Selau, J G; September, C C; Shabangu, S; Sibande, M P; Sibanyoni, J B; Siboza, S; Solo, B M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Swanson-Jacobs, J; Thabethe, E; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tolo, L J; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala-Msimang, M E; Tshivhase, T J; Tshwete, P; Twala, N M; Van den Heever, R P Z; Van Wyk, A; Wang, Y; Yengeni, L E; Zulu, B Z.

 

Question not agreed to.

 

Motion accordingly negatived.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We seem not to be ready for the vote that I spoke about just now. We will come back to it, because it has to be done some time today still. The next item is a subject for discussion in the name of Mr M Waters on 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.

 

Mr D V BLOEM: Madam Speaker, I just want to raise a point of order.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is it related to this matter?

 

Mr D V BLOEM: No, to the previous matter.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We are dealing with that matter.

 

Mr D V BLOEM: Madam Speaker, I just want to raise a point: I think that the voters must take note of their representatives from the DA.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That’s not a point of order. Can you sit down? [Interjections.] Hon members, what is going on? [Interjections.] I think Christmas is coming too early for some of you. I just want to warn you that I am not going to allow this kind of behaviour from both sides of the House. We may ask some of you to take an early Christmas, so that we remain with a collective that wants to go on with the business of the nation.

 

SIXTEEN DAYS OF ACTIVISM FOR NO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN

 

(Subject for Discussion)

 

Ms J A SEMPLE: Madam Deputy Speaker, South Africa has one of the highest rape statistics in the world. It is common knowledge that only one in ten rapes is reported to the police but some nongovernmental organisations believe the figure to be as high as one in 15. On the basis of these estimates, it is calculated that one rape occurs every 20 seconds.

 

So, even if one stands on a street corner for 20 minutes - as a former Minister of Safety and Security infamously said - and no rape occurs, at least 60 rapes have occurred around the corner or on the next street somewhere in South Africa during that time. It is totally unacceptable that women and girls, and in some cases even men, cannot walk the streets safely without the fear of being raped. We must all work together to claim back the streets for ourselves.

 

Since 1991, the 16-days campaign has helped to raise awareness about gender violence and has highlighted its effects on women globally. Each year, thousands of activists from all around the world utilise the campaign to further their work to end violence against women.

 

It has challenged policies and practices that allow women to be targeted for acts of violence. It has called for the protection of people who defend women’s human rights and it has demanded accountability from states, including a commitment to recognise and act upon all forms of violence against women as human rights abuses.

 

The 2007 16-days campaign seeks to dismantle obstacles and overcome challenges posed by social attitudes and policies that continue to condone and perpetuate gender-based violence. These include: demanding and securing adequate funding; calling for greater accountability and political commitment from states to prevent and punish all forms of violence against women in practice, and not just in words; increasing awareness of the impact of violence against women; including engaging in measures to end it by men and boys; evaluating the impact and effectiveness of work to prevent violence against women; and securing the space for advocacy and defending the defenders of women’s human rights in their work to end gender-based violence.

 

Against this background it is quite extraordinary that South Africa refused to support a UN General Assembly resolution condemning rape used as a weapon of war. What makes it even more peculiar is that South African women, including our present Foreign Minister, Nkosazana Zuma and Public Service Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, were instrumental in getting rape declared as a war crime at the Beijing Conference in 1995.

 

It is important that we understand the impact this violent crime has on its victims. When a woman is abused, the damage extends far beyond her. The psychological effects of rape result in a pattern of reaction called Rape Trauma Syndrome, which is suffered by many rape survivors. Rape is not just about unwanted sex; it is a highly traumatic experience and, like other serious traumas, it has negative effects on those who survive it.

 

Rape is usually experienced as life-threatening, and an extreme violation of a person. It does not only have an effect on the victim but it is also very traumatic for the family, friends and colleagues. The effects of rape are long-term, maybe even lifelong, and although rape survivors never forget being raped, they may eventually learn how to deal with the memory.

The negative effects of rape are not yet widely known or recognised in South Africa. In fact, many of our courts are still operating under the false impression that rape is merely unwanted sex, and therefore it does not damage rape survivors in the long term. Rape Trauma Syndrome is only now being introduced as evidence in South African courts.

 

Freda Adler says, and I quote, “Rape is the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused”. Unfortunately, this is so true. With all the emotional problems arising from the rape that women have to endure, during the police investigation and the medical investigations a second round of victimisation usually occurs in the process.

 

Our justice system does not have mercy for hundreds of rape victims. We have a woman Minister of Justice. She must ensure that rape victims are treated with dignity and respect, and that justice is swiftly and effectively done.

 

Rape is about power and not sex. A rapist uses actual force or violence, or the threat of it, to take control of another human being. Rape is a crime, whether the person committing it is a stranger, a date, an acquaintance or even - and shamefully - a family member. There is a well-known saying, “if you strike a woman, you strike a rock”.

 

”Wathinta abafazi, wathinta imbokodo”. [... you strike a woman, you strike a rock.]

 

We, the men and women of South Africa, must remember that these women of rock, this backbone of our society, should never have to endure the suffering and humiliation of rape.

 

This violent and hateful act will shatter any rock into a million pieces. Can South Africa afford a million little pieces of rock? [Applause.]

 

Ms P TSHWETE: Chair, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, our guests in the gallery, I’d like to thank the chairperson of the women’s caucus, Kiki Rwexana, for giving me the opportunity to take part in the debate on the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. This campaign plays a significant role in the lives of women and children in South Africa.

 

As parliamentarians, we want to make sure that we highlight and sensitise society on the notion of restoring moral regeneration, which we need to embrace together with the value of human dignity.

 

There is a primary element that we need to apply when combating violence against women and children. It is that time of the year again, when we need to pause and reflect on our moral values and examine the manner in which the most vulnerable of our people, that is women and children, are treated in society.

 

We are not referring to rural women only, but also to women who are well-educated and holding senior positions at work. The latter are also victims of abuse either at work or behind closed doors at home.

 

South Africa has joined the international community in making the statement that violence against women and children is a crime and will not be tolerated. You will agree with me that currently – and

contrary to expectations – the rate of abuse against women and children is going up.

 

As society, we need to make the point that we are sick and tired of reading in newspapers and watching on television stories about horrible incidents of abuse of women and children. Recently, there has been a number of reported cases of murder of women, with their bodies dumped at Shayamoya sugar plantation in KwaZulu-Natal. The question is: Why women and girl-children? We are by no means saying that boy-children are not victims, because they are. However, in this instance women are clearly targets.

 

The South African government runs a parallel campaign that includes issues relating to violence against children. This campaign focuses primarily on generating an increased awareness of the negative impact of violence against women and children.

The Department of Provincial and Local Government is working closely with the Office on the Status of Women in the Presidency, the Office on the Status of Disabled Persons, the Office of the Status of Children, as well as other government departments. These offices report directly to the Minister in the Presidency, Dr Essop Pahad, who spearheads the campaign.

 

We need to pay special attention to municipalities. We are not alone in this battle; we also have our chapter 9 institutions, such as the Commission on Gender Equity and the SA Human Rights Commission. These institutions have primarily been mandated to protect and promote our constitutional democracy and uphold the value of human dignity within society at large.

 

The Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women in Parliament, led by hon Morotua, is working hand in hand with the Office on the Status of Women and the Commission on Gender Equity in trying to implement the national gender machinery at provincial, local and municipal levels. The purpose is to bring about awareness, to review policies and to monitor proper implementation of the machinery.

 

We further need to provide adequate training to people appointed at gender focal points, be it at local or municipal levels. The implementation of this machinery does not end with government; it extends to the private sector and NGOs. Our excellent Constitution is praised worldwide and globally is the only one that protects the provisions of the equality clause.

 

As a result of this clause, we have the Equality Court and relevant institutions in place. Once again, we have wonderful pieces of legislation such as the Domestic Violence Act, which protects women against any kind of abuse. We also have the sexual offences legislation that introduces a number of new crimes that are regarded as sex-related crimes and makes it an offence, for example, to compel one person to rape or sexually assault a third person.

 

Ndinovuyo ngokuthetha ngomsebenzi owenziwe yiPalamente ukukhusela amalungelo amakhosikazi. Ndikwavuyiswa nakukuqaphela umsebenzi owenziwa ngoomasipala ukuncedisa ekulweni uxhaphazo lwamakhosikazi nabantwana.

 

Ndikwavuyiswa nakukuqaphela umsebenzi owenziwa ngusihlalo weKomiti yeMicimbi yeSebe, uMaggie Sotyu, owenze ukuba amapolisa abe namhlanje ayaqeqeshwa ukuze akwazi ukujongana nezimo zodlwengulo lwamakhosikazi. Amapolisa asekwaqeqeshwa nasekubeni akwazi ukusebenzisana namaxhoba odlwengulo kwanokuba azamkele kwaye angazenzi intlekisa iingxelo eziza namakhosikazi kuwo.

 

Ndisekwavuyiswa nakukuba iinkundla ziyabagweba ngokuqatha abo badlwengulayo. Udlwengulo yinto ekufanele siyithathe njengento exhomisa amehlo, singayenzi into yokudlala. Xa udlwengule ungumntu ongutata, akukhathaliseki nokuba ungubani na okanye ukweliphi na inqanaba lobomi, okusalayo kukuba udlwengule. Ngaphezulu, asizi kuyihlekela into yokudlwengulwa ngabantu esilindele ukuba basikhusele, simana sikrwecana singamakhosikazi xa sibona loo mntu sisithi: Kanene wayedlwengule!

 

Siyacela ukuba igqugula lamakhosikazi liyiqaphele into yokuba ngekhe silwamkele udlwengulo noxhaphazo lwabantwana.

 

Ndifuna ukubonisa indlela urhulumente awukhathalele ngayo uMzantsi Afrika nabantu bawo. Phezolo bendibukele inkqubo kamabonakude kwijelo i-SABC 3, ndanqwena ukuba abe kanti uMphathiswa uMdladlana abe naye ebebukele. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

 

[I am pleased to talk about Parliament’s efforts to protect women’s rights and to note the work that is being done by the municipalities to help to curb the abuse of women and children.

 

I acknowledge the work that is done by the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, hon Maggie Sotyu, who has made it possible for the police to be trained so that they are sensitive when dealing with cases of women who have been raped. They are also being trained to be sensitive when dealing with victims of rape and not to take lightly the complaints that are brought to them by women. I am also pleased that the courts are handing out heavy sentences to rapists.

 

Rape is a crime that should be regarded as something alarming and not as something trivial. When you have raped, as a man, regardless of who you are or what your status in life is, you are still a rapist. Furthermore, we are not going to condone being raped by people from whom we expect protection and whisper among ourselves as women and say, By the way, he is a rapist!

 

We would like to plead with the women’s caucus to note that we are not going to condone the rape and abuse of children.

 

I would like to demonstrate how the government cares for South Africa and its citizens. Yesterday I was watching a programme on SABC 3 and how I wished that the hon Minister Mdladlana was also watching.]

 

Sometimes I don’t go to sleep early; I watch TV until midnight. Don’t ask me Why. [Interjections.] The programme was about sex workers, and it made me feel very sad. As parliamentarians, we do not know what is happening in South Africa.

 

The sex industry is in existence, even right here in Cape Town. Young children of about thirteen or fourteen years of age were saying: “We are unemployed; we want this industry to be legalised.”

 

We still have a big problem, and that problem faces us directly, as parliamentarians. [Interjections.] We’ve just passed the Civil Union Act. Today people are moaning about the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act.

 

Lo ngumba ocinezela amakhosikazi. Kwaye ukuba zange ube yinkosikazi emnyama ezaziyo iingxaki zamakhosikazi, ... [This is an issue that affects women. If you have never been a black woman, who understands the problems facing the women, ...]

 

... you would ask: “Why this piece of legislation?”, as the opposition parties are doing. We know that the government ...

 

... osikhathaleleyo eMzantsi Afrika nokhusela amakhosikazi, uyayazi into yokuba kukho ingxaki yokhutsho lwezisu oluqhutywa kwiimeko ezingakhuselekanga ngokungekho mthethweni mihla le. [... which cares about us in South Africa and which protects the women. You know that there is the issue of abortions that are conducted under unsafe conditions on a daily basis.]

 

Government is saying: “Let us avoid that”. People must come forward and say: “I have a problem”, so that they can get counselling. Choice of termination of pregnancy does not happen on its own, it goes with counselling.

 

Sifuna ukuqinisekisa, makhosikazi, ukuba uxhaphazo nodlwengulo siyajijisana nazo. Enkosi. [We would like to make sure as women that we confront abuse and rape. Thank you.] [Time expired.]

Ms C N Z ZIKALALA: Chairperson, every couple of seconds a woman is raped and her rights are violated in South Africa. Every few seconds a child is raped or molested in South Africa.

 

The Law Reform Commission estimated that there are as many as 1,7 million rapes in our country every year, but only a small fraction of that number is reported to the police. It is sickening to think that serial killers can call on the best legal defence and that rapists often appear to have more rights than the victims.

 

Where is this situation taking us as South Africans? We have to question whether this is the democracy we fought for. Surely we did not fight apartheid only to be brutally murdered and attacked by people who have no respect for life in our democracy. Everyday innocent souls are being bought and sold or tricked into slavery. Women and children are shipped off far from the safety of their homes and end up exploited as slaves or worse.

 

My party’s message is simple: Men of South Africa, change your attitudes and behaviour towards women and children now. Treat women and children with respect and dignity. Value their lives and the contribution they make to society!

 

Imagine if, for 16 days, there was no rape, no child abuse, no sexual harassment, no emotional abuse and no human trafficking. South Africa would be at peace and have harmony. However, even 16 days of such peace and harmony is not enough. Now, we say let us have a campaign of 365 days of activism against women and child abuse. Let us commit to a year-round rolling campaign without end, to get rid of this scourge forever.

 

The IFP strongly believes that respect and concern for human rights, including the rights of the child and equality between men and women, must be at the foundation of a communal response to violence against women and children. Hence this year’s 16 days of activism campaign must promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in relation to violence against women and children so that they can fully enjoy life and the rights guaranteed by our Constitution.

 

As members of the IFP, we pledge solemnly to do everything we can to end violence against women and children; and to work especially on the attitudes of our men. Men must join us when we invite them to our meetings; they must not run away. Thank you.

 

Mr J BICI: Chair, hon members, the UDM supports the idea of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. What we need to do now is to change the focus from the past preoccupation with how many women are represented where; the key now must be to move beyond numbers.

 

In the UDM pledge to mark the 16-days campaign, we said, amongst other things, that we recognise that violence against women and children is not only widespread, but also under-reported, poorly policed and that only a small percentage of it is ever successfully prosecuted. We recognise that violence against women and children reflects the deep seated misogyny that still pervades many areas of our society.

 

As individuals and as an organisation, we pledge to pursue the education and awareness of gender equality amongst adults and the next generation. We recognise that the biggest obstacle is the culture of silence that surrounds the abuse of women and children. We, therefore, pledge, as individuals and as an organisation, to speak out whenever and wherever we encounter the scourge.

 

Lastly, I hope and wish that one of the ANC caucuses received from the UDM caucus a manifesto of our preparedness to fight ruthlessly against violence against women and children. I thank you.

 

Mr H B CUPIDO: Chairperson, the ACDP is not convinced that the methodology employed by the government for purposes of this 16 days of activism is effective. The question as to whether or not the 16 days of activism is the best government can do in response to the growing prevalence of abuse amongst women and children is controversial.

 

As the ACDP has stated in the past, it is time for government to move beyond trying to create awareness as it needs to begin solving the problem. Government must stop making excuses, such as that it is very difficult to police the crime of abuse against women and children as the majority of these incidents occur in the home, especially at the hands of the people that they love, admire, respect and trust.

 

This stance by government reminds me of the statement that goes: “A man who hits his wife, is a man who has run out of ideas.” If government is truly interested in combating this phenomenon of violence against women and children, then we recommend that it applies the following: Impose heavier sentences for convicted abusers; provide more courts and personnel to deal specifically and swiftly with these issues; provide better training for police, better forensic services, paedophile registers and care centres; and amend destructive laws.

 

Additionally, government must also learn to adhere to a moral philosophy that is based upon the word of God. The ACDP guarantees that if they do, problems of this nature will decrease rather than increase.

 

Government must realise that anything that is a threat to the family, is a threat to society. Therefore, the ACDP advocates that steps, and not just the creation of awareness, be taken to maintain the family unit as the strongest building block of society.

Furthermore, it makes no sense for government to squander taxpayers’ money on rallying the public. It makes more sense for government to put resources into finding solutions, and not into celebrations, under the guise of activism. The public is fully aware of what is happening around them.

 

To conclude, to the nation out there, let me quote a message from the Bible, in Second Book of the Chronicles, Chapter 7, verse 14:

 

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 

That is a promise from God. I thank you.

 

Dr C P MULDER: Chairperson, the FF Plus pledges its firm commitment to, and support for, activism against violence and abuse against women and children. The scourge of violence being perpetrated against the most vulnerable sections of our society is eating away at the moral fibre of South Africa and is destroying our society.

 

We therefore acknowledge that our efforts to protect and promote the status of women and children have to be stepped up. We undertake to constructively participate in the national campaign to combat violence against women and children and, as public representatives of the FF Plus, we pledge to show our solidarity with the victims of violence against women and children through leading by example.

 

Voorsitter, ’n man wat aan ’n vrou slaan of wat kinders mishandel, is nie ’n man nie, maar ’n lafaard. ’n Man wat dit doen, hoort in die tronk. Dit is wat hy is en waar hy behoort te wees.

 

Die feit van die saak is, dit hoef ook nie net altyd fisiese geweld te wees nie. Ek wil vandag sê dat mans wat nie hulle onderhoudsplig nakom teenoor hul eie kinders nie, is presies besig met dieselfde geweld en intimidering van hul eie kinders en daar behoort ook teen hulle opgetree te word.

 

Die VF Plus voel baie sterk daaroor dat ons hierdie saak sal moet verder voer, nie net vir 16 dae nie, maar dit behoort die norm te wees in Suid-Afrika dat vrouens en kinders en hierdie gedeelte van ons gemeenskap beskerm behoort en op die voorgrond gestel te word. ’n Man wat dit nie doen nie, is ’n lafaard en hoort in die tronk. Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

 

[Chairperson, a man who hits a woman or abuses a child, is not a man, but a coward. A man who does that, belongs in jail. That is where he is and should be.

 

The fact of the matter is that it does not always need to be physical violence. I want to say today that men who do not carry out their maintenance responsibilities toward their own children, are busy with the same violence and intimidation of their own children and action should be taken against them.

 

The FF Plus feels very strongly that we will take this matter further, not only for 16 days, but it should be the norm in South Africa that women and children and this part of our community should be protected and put in the foreground. A man who does not do that, is a coward and belongs in jail. I thank you.]

 

Ms M M MDLALOSE: Chairperson, the 16 days of activism campaign has been used to create a global movement, to raise awareness, to address policy and legal issues, to campaign for the protection of survivors of violence and to call for the elimination of all forms of gender violence. It has been successful in creating nationwide awareness of women and child abuse. However, the campaign should be more than just a series of marches, banners and speeches.

 

Izwe noma selizwile, uhulumeni kanye nathi sonke kuyadingeka ukuthi sakhe izinhlelo zokusiza labo abathintekile kanye nalezo zokusiza nalabo abanesifo sokuhlupha nokuhlukumeza abantu. [Even when the nation has been alerted, the government and all of us need to create programmes for helping those who are affected as well as those who suffer from the malaise of harassing and abusing people.]

 

Adequate funding and monitoring of this programme is required. Many departments may have gender policies and gender unions, but the importance and power assigned to these is minimal. The gender focal points often experience budgetary constraints.

 

Statistics by Childline state that one in three girls and one in five boys have been sexually molested. Tragically, most cases of abuse go unreported. The full extent remains unrecorded. The Constitution recognises gender equality as a cornerstone of South Africa’s democracy, and government needs to use the 16 days of activism in conjunction with creating awareness about gender equality.

 

We, as Nadeco, also believe that amongst the programmes the government needs to create, emphasis has to be placed on issues of gender mainstreaming. Each department needs to place importance on its gender policies and programmes. This, as a result, will have a bearing in assisting in changing the behaviour and thinking of some of the males who have a problem, as well as those who have been brought up in families where subordination of women was the norm. Ngiyabonga. [Thank you.]

 

Ms B T NGCOBO: Chairperson and hon members, since 1998, South Africa has joined the world community by actively engaging in the campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women.

 

For South Africa, it became very important to also include children in this campaign because we are a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Indeed, we have ongoing debates around this issue. To mention a few examples -

 

Sithini uma ngabe indoda ihlupha inkosikazi yayo iminyaka yabo yonke besemshadweni, kodwa kuthi mhla ishona ibeke izimbali ebhokisini layo?

 

Sithini ngengqungquthela eyayiseNyakatho Koloni eyayimayelana nodlame olubhekiswe kwabesifazane, lapho kwavela khona ukuthi iphoyisa lashisa inkosikazi yalo ngamanzi ngesikhathi kuqala lo mbhidlango?

 

Sithini ngentombazane engezwa eyadlwengulwa abantu abathathu okwathi uma ifika enkantolo icela umuntu ozoyitolikela kwathiwa akekho, ngaleyo ndlela yangaluthola usizo?

 

Sithini ngentombazane ekhubazekile enqondweni eyadlwengulwa umuntu emaziyo kwathi uma sekufikwa enkantolo, kwabuzakala ukuthi ubani oyidlwengulile, yakhomba umfana wakwaSimelane okwakuvele kukunguyena umfana wakwaSimelane? (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

 

[What do we say when a man abuses his wife throughout their marital life, and yet when he dies she places flowers on his coffin?

 

What do we say about the conference that was held in the Northern Cape in which we heard about a policeman who had poured boiling water over his wife during the early days of this campaign?

 

What do we say about the deaf girl who was raped by three men and when she went to the police station to report the case, and she further asked for a sign language interpreter she was told that there was no interpreter and could therefore not receive any assistance?

 

What do we say about the mentally retarded girl who was raped by a man who was known to her and, in court, when she was asked to identify the person who had raped her, she pointed out the son of Simelane who turned out not to be the son of Simelane?]

 

What do we say about the woman who was stripped naked by the hostel dwellers, because she was wearing pants? This time it was not a short dress, to which people always say, “You were raped because you were wearing a short dress”.

 

Sithini ngendaba yase-Free State ngesikhathi ikhomishane ebhekelele ubulili ebizwa nge-Gender Commission, lapho kwakunengqungquthela eyayimayelana nodlame olubhekiswe kwabesifazane kwavela ukuthi ...

[What do we say about the Free State case, during the conference on violence against women, organised by the Gender Commission, in which we heard that ...]

A 64-year-old man raped an eight-year-old girl. On failing to penetrate, he had to cut this little girl’s vagina to be able to penetrate her.

 

Sithini ngendaba yaseMpumalanga, KwaBhokweni, lapho inkosikazi yashonelwa umkhwenyana wayo owayeyihlupha futhi engayinakile? Kwathi omama ababekhona lapho bathi ukuze ikwazi ukukhalela umkhwenyana wayo, bazoyincinza ngempintshisi lapha ezinhlangothini. Bayincinza-ke ... (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

 

[What are we saying about an incident in Mpumalanga, KwaBhokweni, where a woman who had lost her abusive and uncaring husband was hurt? The women who were there at the funeral said that if she did not mourn the death of her husband, they would pinch her with pliers on her sides so that she could be seen to be mourning the death of husband. They pinched her ...]

 

... until she was black and blue.

 

Siyazi-ke ukuthi ... [We all know that -.] ...the provincial and local governments are spearheading this programme.

 

In any case, the government is doing all it can through the laws and other ways to fight this scourge. The Sexual Offences Bill broadens the definition of sexual violence and helps ensure heavy sentences for convicted offenders. The legislatures, the judiciary and the public have got to ensure that this legislation has an impact.

 

South Africa has taken concrete steps in dealing with abuse through courts, Parliament, Chapter 9 institutions and specialised training that is given to the police in dealing sensitively with survivors of violence. The women of South Africa, during the last decade, followed their sisters on other continents, leaving behind the title of housewife and entering the labour market.

 

However, these days, women in South Africa find themselves unemployed and because of this there is an increased need for cash incomes to produce economic empowerment, particularly in the rural areas. Young women, with some education, are aware of the gap between urban and rural life, and reject the drudgery of enforced domestic work as daughters in the family and increasingly have access to information about the lack of opportunities and how others live their lives.

 

The way these dimensions impact on one another is contextual, but they ultimately contribute to the major migration of young women and girls, not just men, as it used to be. Many of them are at high risk of being trafficked and others killed, as was the case on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast’s Shayamoya, where women were promised employment, only to be killed and some of their body parts removed. These killings have raised serious concerns throughout the country.

According to the report of the International Organisation for Migration, trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation is a significant problem in Southern Africa. Trafficking of women is the fastest-growing source of profit for organised crime worldwide, second only to guns and drugs.

 

Unlike drugs, the advantage of human cargo is that it is recycled and reused. It is clear that women and children are trafficked specifically to work in forced prostitution; others are recruited to work in agricultural and manufacturing sectors for next to nothing in appalling conditions.

 

In conclusion, it is the responsibility of all South Africans to strive for nonviolence, particularly against women and children, and to conscienctise their children on nonviolent behaviour. Further, men have a role in ending violence and making a difference.

 

Let men be counted in the fight against violence and abuse. We are, however, encouraged that some men are becoming advocates of no

violence against women and they are becoming part of the solution. We further caution women who expose other women to violence, such as...

 

... kuyabekezelwa emendweni futhi libanjwa lishisa ... [... marriage is not a walk in the park and that one must persevere ...] ... because that is oppressing and that is violence against women. Thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mong B E PULE: Modulasetilo, tota go a gakgamatsa e bile go a swabisa, gore morago ga dingwaga di le some le boraro tsa temokerasi re be re sa ntse re bua ka ntwa kgatlhanong le tshotlako ya bomme le bana. Go bonala tota gore go na le batho, bogolo borre, ba ba gaisiwang ke diphologolo. Ga go na phologolo epe e tonanyana e e ka lwantshang e e namagadi kampo ngwana wa yona. Ke rona borre fela re dirang jalo.

 

Ka na tota molao o sa le o tswa kwa Modimong ka osi fa o re: ``banna ratang basadi ba lona, basadi tlotlang banna ba lona, bagolo ratang bana ba lona. Kana go ne go sa tlhokege gore batho ba direlwe melao ya go tlhokomela bomme le bana. Botho ke jona bo tshwanetseng go ba ruta. Fa botho bo leng teng, re ne re tshwanelwa ke go bua ka malatsi a ngwaga otlhe, ke gore a le 365, gonne letsatsi le letsatsi mosadi le ngwana ba sotlwa ka mekgwa e e farologaneng.

 

A le rona re le Ntlo e e tlotlegang e, re nne dikai, re seka ra tswa batlhanka ba mafoko a rona ka go sotlaka malapa a rona. Tota batho kampo banna ba ba ganang go utlwa ka ditsebe fa ba bolelelwa ba tshwanetse go utlwa ka letlalo; ke gore ba bidiwe. A e re mo malatsing a a khunologo go tswa mo ditirong tse di farologaneng, borre botlhe ba nne tshegofatso mo go bomme le bana ba bona. Ke a leboga. (Translation of Sesotho speech follows.)

[Mr B E PULE: Chairperson, really it is surprising and disappointing that after thirteen years of democracy we are still talking about the fight against woman and child abuse. It is clear that there are people, especially men who are worse than animals.  There is no male animal which abuses a female animal or its young. Only us; men are doing that!

 

Indeed, the law came from God: “husbands love your wives, wives respect your husbands”. There was no need to enact laws for the people in order to protect women and children. Humility should teach them. If there was humility, we were supposed to talk each and every day of the year - 365 days, because women and children are abused daily in different forms.

 

As members of this House, let us be good examples. Let us not do the opposite of what we preach by abusing our women and children. People or men who do not listen, should feel the pinch by being given a hiding. During our holidays free from our different work commitments, let all men be a blessing to their wives and children. I thank you.]

 

Mr R B BHOOLA: Chairperson, the 16 days of activism is a productive way of addressing gender-based violence and liberating women, globally, from all forms of abuse. We have been working in our constituencies to educate and unite in the fight against violence against women and children, but it is evident that abuses are still high. The news bulletins have, on a daily basis, reports of violence and abuse against women and children. These abuses stem from rape, violence and even economic abuses to human trafficking.

 

There, however, appears to be a greater awareness on the dilemma, and more victims have found the strength to speak out. We need victims to speak out so that we may stamp out the crimes being committed.

 

The MF unites in the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. All spheres of government need to actively take part in reducing crime and violence in South Africa. Local government needs to realise the importance it has in this regard. Our SAPS remains incapacitated to assist in this situation and it is high time that the promised funding be utilised to train personnel and equip police stations with the means to assist victims of violence.

 

Parents and guardians, remember you are not obligate to trust anyone, but you are obligated to protect your children. Murderers and rapists do not have one face but many faces, colour, or sex. Rather protect than to regret. I thank you.

 

Mr M T LIKOTSI: Modulasetulo le Matona a hlomphehileng a teng kwano, bomme le bontate. [Chairperson, hon Ministers present here today, ladies and gentlemen.]

The APC aligns itself with the campaign of 16 days of activism as initiated by the UN and adopted by many countries in the world. We embrace the International Day of No Violence Against Women and Children and the International Human Rights Day.

 

Re le mokgatlo rere: Hoa hlokahala hore banna ba kgone ho itlhompha jwalo ka banna, mme ba se ke ba ba le tlhekefetso baneng le ho bomme. Re le mokgatlo re re bontate ba tlameha hore ba baballe bophelo ba bana le ba bomme. [As an organisation we are saying that it is important for men to respect themselves, they must stop children and women abuse and they are supposed to look after women and children.]

 

Xa oomama nabantwana bengaxhatshazwa, eli lizwe lethu liya kukwazi ukuba libe nekamva elihle kakhulu. Kaloku sithi abantwana bethu ngabo abaza kuba ziinkokeli kwixesha elizayo. Side sitsho kwanokuba oomama ngabo abantu abakwaziyo ukuba baqinise isizwe. [When women and children are not abused, this country would have a very bright future. Indeed, we say that children are the leaders of tomorrow. We also say that women are the pillars of the nation.]

 

Hon members, let us bow our heads and remember the many women and children who became victims of violence this year and in the past years.

 

APC e tshehetsa letsholo la ho thibela tlhekefetso ya bomme le bana lefatsheng ka bophara. Re etsa boipiletso ho batho bohle, haholo bontate, ho emisa ka tlhekefetso ya bomme le bana, mme re etsa boipiletso ho dikereke le baruti hore le bona ba ke ba tiise haholo ka hore hobe le tlhokomelo eno. (Translation of Sesotho paragraph follows.)

 

[The APC Women’s Network Support Programme supports the Stop Women and Children Abuse Campaign worldwide. We are urging everyone, especially men, to stop woman and child abuse and we also urge churches and its Ministers to make sure that this surely does happen.]

 

Mr L M GREEN: Chairperson, the FD believes that 16 days of activism is not enough to rid our nation of the scourge of violence against women and children. We must support the UN campaign for 16 days of activism, but this obviously is not enough because it does not impact the rape statistics in South Africa. If the fundamental reasons for violence against women and children are not addressed we will not rid our society of the scourge.

 

Though we have managed to instil in our people the values of a nonracial society, we still lag behind in instilling in them the value of respect for women and children. The next leg of the challenge of human freedom in our country is to work towards respect and appreciation for women and children.

The FD concurs with all the comments made by the speakers against the crime of rape and sexual abuse. We need to reiterate the role of religious and cultural entities in restoring the dignity and humanity of women and children as well as to challenge traditions and conventions to review those values which may diminish the status of women.

 

The FD will continue to strive for the wellbeing of family life where women, men and children feel safe and secure at home and is supported by political laws and institutions that guarantee the stability of a social environment in which families can find the space for growth and development. I thank you.

 

Mr S L TSENOLI: Chairperson, there is no doubt that the national democratic society that the ANC seems to bring about will be characterised by freedom from fear and want. The fear and want we are fighting to change is partly a bad heritage of the past. We must attack these two evils at their roots with all the energies at our disposal.

 

Women and children are principal sufferers of this scourge. The campaign of no violence against women and children helps us all in these Houses of Parliament and elsewhere in the country, and the world, to focus on the work that must be done to rid society, once and for all, of such violence. It affects directly the poor and the rich, but clearly poverty exacerbates vulnerability.

Whilst it is true that this matter has become a societal matter, profound changes in the nature of society will bring about better results and we can, at an individual level, bring about serious changes for the better without waiting any longer. It is for this reason that this year’s call to mobilise men is appropriate without slackening one bit of effort to resocialise women and children to be their own liberators.

 

It is this pillar of the national democratic struggle to entrench a human rights culture, and a belief by people that they are their own liberators, that makes this campaign such a crucial one. Campaign work requires lots of patience, painstaking persuasion, mobilisation and organisation of communities, to have any significant impact. In fact, the resources government is putting into this, is very appropriate. It requires constant research work and gathering of knowledge, to understand better the root causes of these scourges. By managing the stakeholders from all walks of society behind this campaign, government has demonstrated the power of working together across boundaries.

 

This war to reclaim our neighbourhoods, homes, schools and places of work, must be reinvigorated, so that as we said, women, children and all of us, must be free to walk about or run around without fear. Our liberation will remain an unfinished business if we do not achieve this objective.

 

Setho se re: “Motho ke motho ka batho”. Haholoholo banna le bashemane ke bona ba ka tlisang phaphang e kgolo ha ba ka kena letsholong la ho fedisa tshebediso ya dikgoka le tlatlapo ho batho ba bomme, banana le ho bana. Ba bileng teng pele ho rona ke ka hona ba neng ba re: “Pharela ha e hlole banna”. E ka ba ntho e ntle ha re ka itshupa ka dipuo, ka diketso le ka metsamao hore re utlwisisa ka botlalo tlhompho e tshwanetseng bomme, banana le bana jwalo ka theho ya setjhaba se motlotlo.

 

Kgotso e keke ya rena ka hare ho metse ya rona ha feela ho ntse ho na le batho bao re iphaphanyang bona le ha ba tsebahala ka dikgoka le tlatlapo. Re tlameha ho bontsha ba ntseng ba hola hore di teng ditsela tsa ho amana le batho tse sa hlokeng bokgopo bo sebediswang ka dikgoka. Dikolong le mekgathlong e teng ka hare ho setjhaba re tshwanetse ho ruta ditsela tse nepahetseng tsa ho kenya maikutlo taolong, hobane ha maikutlo a lahleha, hona ho isa tshebedisong ya dikgoka. Ha re ka ntlafatsa thuto, kgudiso e ntlafatsang kutlwisiso le taolo ya maikutlo, re tla be re jala peo ya phediso ya tshebediso ya dikgoka le ditlatlapo.

 

Makgotla a Melao, tsamaiso ya ditjhankane, seponesa le ba ditshebeletso tsa ntshetsopele ba tshwanela ho ba le tshebedisanommoho e tiileng. Ka tsela ena ba leng molato ba tla tlalehwa hore molao o sebetsane le bona ka potlako, ka ditsela tse tla tiisang hore ha ba kgutlele mekgweng ya bona e mebe, hore ba tlalehileng le bona ba tshwarehe ka tsela e nang le tlhompho.

Phephetso e kgolo ke ya ho qeta bofuma, hobane le bona bo jala bora ho babang ka hara metse. Tshebediso ya tahi le dithethefatsi le yona e na le tshusumetso e kgolo tshebedisong ya dikgoka le tlatlapo. Batho ha ba se ba tahilwe ha ba sa na kelello, seo ba se bonang ke tshebediso ya dikgoka le tlatlapo feela.

 

Moruo-kgodumodumo le ona o jetse meharo e bakang hore batho ba sebedise ditsela dife kapa dife ho fihlela maemo a phahameng, mme hona le hona ke tshebediso ya dikgoka. Ka mantswe a mang re tshwanetse ho shebana le moruo-kgodumodumo ona re bone hore na re ka etsa jwang hore re kgutlise botho ka hara setjhaba sohle seo re phelang le sona le dinaheng tse ding.

 

Hara ditsela tsena tse teng tsa kutlwisiso le tshebedisano e ntle ka hara setjhaba ke tsona feela tse tla thibelang tshebediso ya dikgoka le tlatlapo ho batho ba bomme, banana le bana. Ka borona jwalo ka ha re dutse mona, mosebetsi oo re nang le ona moo re sebetsang teng ke ona o moholo wa ho thusa ho hlohleletsa bohle ba nang le boetapele le kutlwisiso ya mosebetsi ona ho tiisa mosebetsi oo ba tshwanetseng ho o etsa.

 

Ha se mmuso o ka kgonang ho fedisa Bohloko bona bo teng ka hara setjhaba, empa ke mmuso le babang ka hara setjhaba ba ipopileng jwalo ka mekgatlo ya dipolotiki, basebetsi, baahi metseng moo ba dulang teng. Ke ka bona re ka tiisang hore re tswela pele mme ebile re a atleha letsholong lena.

Ha hona ka mokgwa oo re ka reng re se re qetile re se re fihlile, mme tokoloho e teng, empa ho ntse ho na le batho ba llang hobane malapeng a bona ho sebediswa dikgoka mme ba dula ba lla ba lliswa ke tlatlapo ya mofuta ona. Ntwa ya rona ya boitseko ba tokoloho e tla be e sa fella ha re soka re qeta mosebetsi o moholo ha kana. Ke a leboha Modulasetulo. (Translation of Sesotho paragraphs follows.)

 

[In our culture we say, “No man is an island”, especially men and boys. They are the ones who can bring about a lot of difference if they can be part of the campaign to end the use of violence and abuse against women, girls and children. Those who came before us used to say, “There is no problem that cannot be solved”. It would be good if we could show through our speech, actions and behavior that we fully understand the respect that women, girls and children deserve as the basis of a proud nation.

 

There can never be peace in our communities as long as we are pretending not to notice the people who are known for violence and abuse. We have to show those who are still growing up that there are ways of interacting with people that do not need cruelty in the form of violence. At schools and in community organisations, we have to teach the right ways of controlling emotions, because when control of emotions is lost, this leads to the use of violence. If we can improve education, child-rearing that improves understanding and emotional control, we will be planting a seed to curb the use of violence and abuse.

The courts of law, correctional services, SAPS and social development have to co-operate fully. In this way the suspects will be reported so that the law can deal with them immediately in ways that will ensure that they do not go back to their wayward ways, so that the victims should be treated with dignity.

 

A major challenge is to eradicate poverty because it also causes extreme animosity in communities. Alcohol and drug abuse are perceived to make a major contribution to the use of violence and abuse. When people are drunk they become senseless, the only solution that they see is the use of violence and abuse.

 

The scourge of poverty has ploughed greed that causes people to resort to any means to attain a high social status, therefore, this is also a use of violence. In other words we have to deal with this scourge of poverty in order to see what we can do to bring back humanity to the rest of the communities that we live in as well as in other countries.

 

Among the available means, understanding and co-operation within the community are the only ways that can prevent the use of violence and abuse against women, girls and children. Even as we sit here, the duty that we have in our constituencies is a huge one of influencing everyone who is in a position of leadership and has an understanding of this duty to be committed to the work that they are supposed to do.

It is not only the government that can eradicate this scourge that exists within the communities, but it is the government together with others in the community who have organised themselves into political organisations, workers, members of the community in the areas where they live. It is through them that we can ensure that we continue and succeed in this campaign.

 

There is no way that we can say we have finished or we have arrived and that freedom is here, and yet there are still people who are suffering because there is violence in their homes and therefore they are always crying as a result of this kind of abuse. Our struggle for freedom shall have been incomplete if we have not done this enormous task. I thank you, Chairperson. ]

 

Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, hon Ministers and members, I must say that this year’s debate has been more productive than last year’s, and I am very encouraged to see our Ministers in the House to share in this debate – I really am. It shows an interest in the topic and the fight against woman and child abuse. It is unfortunate though – I mean that sincerely - that the Deputy Minister in charge of the campaign is not here, maybe there is a good reason, I don’t know; but it’s a pity she is not here.

 

I would like to thank all the members that have participated in the debate, the hon Ngcobo mentioned human trafficking and the fact that in Southern Africa it’s rife and that amongst the crime affecting women it’s one of the fastest growing crimes in southern Africa.

 

I think the hon Tshwete was off the mark a bit with the abortion Bill. The thing is that the hon member was not there for all the proceedings but if some compromises had been reached, for example, on mandatory counselling and conscientious objections, you might have had a few more yes votes in the House today and maybe got it through – anyway be that as it may.

 

Everybody agrees that the campaign should be 365 days, but how do we sustain the campaign that has been developed for 16 into 365 days? I think we should each year take a particular topic to deal with child

and woman abuse - and there are many – and focus on it and see what we can do as Parliamentarians and as a nation to address that.

I would like to suggest that this year we look at human trafficking and I want to focus particularly on children because I have a soft spot for children, not that I don’t have a soft spot for women, but I think the House knows my sentiments. I have done a lot of work in the campaigns against child abuse.

 

Trafficking in humans and children in particular has to be one of the most heinous crimes. There are no exact numbers of how many children are trafficked around the world. However, one estimate is that 50% of trafficking victims worldwide are actually children under the age of 18.

There are many reasons for the imprecise data on child trafficking. Trafficking is obviously a criminal act, shrouded in secrecy, and victims are afraid to come forward. This makes it difficult to get accurate numbers.

 

Despite the absence of an exact count of the trafficking of children, the numbers are enormous and the trends are on the rise around the world.

 

Children are trafficked for a range of exploitative practices that include labour exploitation, where children may be used to work on plantations and in mines; domestic work – and if anyone saw the Law and Order programme the hon Tshwete likes watching on TV you would have seen a few weeks ago children being trafficked from Nigeria into America for domestic work and sexual exploitation.

 

Children, especially girls, are trafficked to work in brothels and massage parlours. The IOL global child labour figures of 2000 indicate that 1,8 million children are exploited in the commercial sexual industry; military conscription is another reason, some 30 ongoing or recent armed conflicts in almost every region of the world are sustained by child soldiers. When poverty is acute, a girl may be regarded as an economic burden on her family and marriage to an older man may be seen as a family survival strategy. Illicit adoption is also a reason, as is sport and I find this very strange. This pertains to young boys who have been trafficked as camel jockeys, which is big business I believe in certain parts of the world; begging and body organs and of course child pornography which has become a multimillion dollar industry in itself.

 

The factors that contribute to making children vulnerable are obviously poverty, which many members have alluded to today. It makes children highly vulnerable to traffickers and the inequality of women and girls in many societies means they are often seen as objects and commodities. Low school enrolment is also a cause, and I am glad to see the Minister of Education here as she knows that uneducated children have few opportunities and that the longer we keep them in school the better the chances are.

 

Children without care givers are also vulnerable. Parents provide a safety net for their offspring. Those without parental protection, or those placed in institutions, are targets for traffickers.

 

According to the government’s own report on the costing of the Children’s Act 1,7 million children in South Africa are estimated to be maternal orphans due to HIV and Aids. This makes them extremely vulnerable to trafficking. The Unicef report clearly states that combating HIV and Aids would have the additional effect of reducing child trafficking in the world. The failure to register births is also another factor as are traditions and cultural values.

 

So what can we do as Parliamentarians? Parliamentarians can be instrumental in reversing this tragedy by taking action, through legislation and allocating funds to combat this scourge.

 

It is critical that any legislation against trafficking not be restricted to transnational trafficking. Many children are trafficked within countries, particularly from rural to urban areas.

 

We currently have no legislation to combat trafficking in our country. However, hon members, last year we passed the Children's Act, section 75 of which contains a chapter on trafficking in children and it is a very good chapter. It still has to be enacted and it lays dormant, gathering dust.

 

It was a lost opportunity when the Minister of Social Development fast-tracked certain chapters of the Children's Act, but failed to fast-track this particular chapter and maybe it can be brought to his attention that he should fast-track this chapter. As parliamentarians we can put pressure on him to do so.

 

We have also passed the Sexual Offences Bill, which some members also mentioned. This Bill also includes a chapter on the trafficking of people in relation to sexual crimes.

 

While it would be preferable to have one Act pertaining to all types of trafficking of children, women and men, we cannot sit back and wait for this Act to materialise. We as parliamentarians from all parties need to place pressure on the two Ministers concerned to fast-track the implementation of the two chapters I have mentioned.

 

We all need to work together irrespective of which party we may belong to. Trafficking in children compels us to join hands and act as the first line of defence against it. People who traffic in children don't care from which community children come from, and we should not care from which party we come. Thank you very much. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

 

Debate concluded.

 

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, before we make the farewell speeches, as we will be gone for a long time, I just want to announce that there are outstanding orders that have to be completed today and I have been advised that there is political consultation taking place. I, therefore, suspend the business of the House ...

 

I will go back to that announcement that I have just started making. In support of the debate, I now recognise the Chief Whip of the Majority Party.

 

16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM

 

(Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move the Draft Resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

 

That the House –

 

  1. notes that Sunday, 25 November, will mark the beginning of the 2007 campaign of the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women and Children;

 

  1. further notes that the 16 Days of Activism Campaign is a United Nations initiated campaign which takes place annually from 25 November, International Day of No Violence against Women, to 10 December, the International Human Rights Day; and

 

  1. calls on all South Africans to act against gender-based violence and to ensure that the objectives of the campaign are realised throughout the 365 days of the year.

 

Agreed to.

 

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I will now go back to what I was just saying earlier on, namely that at this stage we will suspend the business of the House for about 10 minutes. The bells will be rung so that we can complete the other Orders that are still outstanding.

Business suspended at 17:14 and resumed at 17:29.

 

HUMAN SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL BILL

 

ASTRONOMY GEOGRAPHIC ADVANTAGE BILL

 

(Consideration of Bills and of Reports of Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology thereon)

 

There was no debate.

 

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move:

 

That the Human Sciences Research Council Bill be passed.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Bill accordingly passed.

 

THE DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move that the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Bill, as amended, be passed.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Bill accordingly passed.

 

DECISION OF QUESTION ON SECOND READING OF CHOICE ON TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY AMENDMENT BILL

 

 

THE SPEAKER: I am informed that we are unable to master the necessary quorum and therefore this matter will have to stand over. [Interjections.]

 

I am now informed that the Whips would like to attempt one more time.

 

There was no debate

Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.

 

Division demanded.

 

Dr C P MULDER: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The point of order is that before we have a division, the bells should be rung. The bells that have just rung were to reconvene the House. I refer you to Rule 85(1).

 

The SPEAKER: The bells will be rung for one minute.

 

The House divided:

 

AYES - 152: Anthony, T G; Baloyi, M R; Beukman, F; Bhengu, F; Bhengu, P; Bloem, D V; Bogopane-Zulu, H I; Burgess, C V; Cachalia, I M; Carrim, Y I; Chalmers, J; Chauke, H P; Chohan, F I; Combrinck, J J; Cronin, J P; Cwele, S C; Daniels, P; Davies, R H; Dithebe, S L; Dlali, D M; Doidge, G Q M; Frolick, C T; Fubbs, J L; Gcwabaza, N E; Gerber, P A; Godi, N T; Gogotya, N J; Gololo, C L; Greyling, C H F; Gumede, D M; Gumede, M M; Hendricks, L B; Hogan, B A; Holomisa, S P; Jeffery, J H; Johnson, C B; Kasienyane, O R; Khumalo, K K; Khumalo, K M; Khunou, N P; Kondlo, N C; Koornhof, G W; Kota, Z A; Kotwal, Z; Landers, L T; Lishivha, T E; Louw, J T; Louw, S K; Ludwabe, C I; Luthuli, A N; Mabena, D C; Madella, A F; Mahlangu-Nkabinde, G L; Mahote, S; Maine, M S; Maja, S J; Makasi, X C; Makgate, M W; Maloney, L; Martins, B A D; Maserumule, F T; Mashangoane, P R; Mashigo, R J; Mashile, B L; Masutha, T M; Mathibela, N F; Matsemela, M L; Matsomela, M J J; Maunye, M M; Mbombo, N D; Mdladlana, M M S; Meruti, M V; Mgabadeli, H C; Mkhize, Z S; Mkongi, B M; Mlangeni, A; Mnguni, B A; Mnyandu, B J; Moatshe, M S; Modisenyane, L J; Mofokeng, T R; Mogale, O M; Mogase, I D; Mohlaloga, M R; Mokoena, A D; Montsitsi, S D; Moonsamy, K; Morgan, G R; Morkel, C M; Morobi, D M; Mosala, B G; Moss, M I; Mpahlwa, M B; Mthembu, B; Mzondeki, M J G; Ndlazi, Z A; Ndzanga, R A; Nel, A C; Nene, M J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngculu, L V J; Ngele, N J; Ngwenya, M L; Njikelana, S J; Njobe, M A A; Nkuna, C; Nogumla, R Z; Ntuli, R S; Nxumalo, M D; Nxumalo, S N; Nzimande, L P M; Olifant, D A A; Oliphant, G G; Pandor, G N M; Phala, M J; Pieterse, R D; Rabie, P J; Ramodibe, D M; Rasmeni, S M; Rwexana, S P; Schippers, J; Schneemann, G D; Schoeman, E A; Seadimo, M D; Sefularo, M; Semple, J A; September, C C; Sibande, M P; Sibanyoni, J B; Siboza, S; Sikakane, M R; Solo, B M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Swanson-Jacobs, J; Thabethe, E; Thomson, B; Tinto, B; Tolo, L J; Tshabalala-Msimang, M E; Tshivhase, T J; Twala, N M; Van den Heever, R P Z; Van Wyk, A; Vundisa, S S; Wang, Y; Yengeni, L E.

 

NOES - 9: Bhoola, R B; Cupido, H B; Doman, W P; Ellis, M J; Meshoe, K R J; Mtshali, E; Ramotsamai, C P M; Skosana, M B; Swart, S N.

 

ABSTAIN - 2: Abram, S; Gaum, A H.

 

As the result of the division showed that there was not a majority of the members of the Assembly present for a vote to be taken on the Bill as required by Rule 25(2)(a), decision of question postponed.

 

FAREWELL SPEECHES

 

Mr M J ELLIS: Thank you very much indeed, Madam Speaker. It is always good at these end-of-year functions to reflect on the year that has passed, both the good and the bad. There is always the good. We have passed legislation, we have done our oversight work reasonably well, we have tried to hold the executive to account and, generally, we have done the work that is expected of us – not always well, but we certainly have done it.

 

But, of course, there is the bad too. Parliament itself is anything but well run. As MPs, we are dictated to by the bureaucrats who clearly run Parliament and, quite frankly, the bureaucrats themselves are not doing a good job. It certainly is a challenge for 2008 for us as MPs to assume control of our own institution again, and let the bureaucrats know that Parliament exists because we as MPs, elected by the people, are here and not because they are here. They are here to serve us, and not vice versa. And I sincerely hope that we will take up this challenge in the new year.

 

I want to say that from the DA’s point of view, we as a party have had a particularly good year. Apart from our good performance in this House and in the NCOP, we have undergone a remarkably smooth transition from the brilliance of the Leon years, as our leader, to the huge opportunities that the Zille years present us with in the future.

 

Now this change of leadership could not have been smoother: a leader retiring on his own terms amid a huge wave of popular sentiment in favour of all that he has achieved and a new leader elected in a clean, hard-fought election campaign and immediately endorsed by the whole party in an equally huge wave of acclamation and support. [Applause.]

There can be no better way of doing things and South Africa, generally, has acknowledged this. Now, of course, this year ends with the ANC facing their own congress at which their leadership challenge will come to a head. It is quite clear that it is unlikely to be anywhere near as clean and peaceful as the DA’s was.

 

I have to add, watching the shambles in the House this afternoon, that I do trust that their congress will be better run than the ANC have run their party in this House this afternoon. [Interjections.] It has been a shambles.

 

Now we acknowledge, of course, that the ANC congress will be a much bigger event than ours was, because while we may have been electing a person who may well become the President of South Africa in the future, the ANC will most probably be electing a leader who will become the President of the country in 2009.

 

So, it would be appropriate on this occasion, since it is the last time that we will be with our ANC colleagues before their Polokwane congress, to wish them all the best for their congress. I believe it is also appropriate to remind them that they are not just electing a new leader for their party.

 

They are, probably electing the next President of South Africa – a person who will be the President of us all, not just of the ANC. So, to ANC members I say: Please, for the sake of all South Africans, choose wisely, choose carefully and choose someone who will truly represent all South Africans. You owe that to all of us.

 

Now, with farewell speeches of this nature it is always appropriate in them to say a number of thank yous. I was remarkably well informed yesterday that Sound & Vision feel very left out because nobody ever thanks them for anything. They tell me they get blamed for everything, but never thanked, and they asked me to make this House aware in particular that they had nothing to do with the Children’s Bill. [Laughter.]

 

So, let me begin by thanking Sound & Vision for their work this year. They have a tough time, often having to work with obsolete equipment, but Sound & Vision’s services are certainly appreciated. [Interjections.] Yes, John Jeffery, I heard that and I’ll get you back.

 

To all the staff in Parliament, especially those who make a real effort, thanks for all you do, whether it be cleaning or catering, whether you are a service officer, or you work in the Finance Section and pay our salaries - thank you to you all for your efforts during this year.

 

To the Table staff in the National Assembly, Mr Mansura and his gang, thanks for a job well done. You are always most obliging in all you undertake, and we are grateful to you. [Applause.] “Gang”: that’s exactly what I said. I’m very glad that you are listening. It’s marvellous.

 

To my friends and colleagues in the Whippery, I have to say that apart from the Moseneke Commission, I believe we won some important battles during the course of the year on behalf of MPs. We have worked well together generally, and it has been good. My own colleagues inform me that the Moseneke Commission was the most important battle and, having failed on that, we failed miserably. I would like to think that some of us know a little bit better.

 

To the House Chairs, it has been a pleasure working with you – good, efficient people who take their jobs very seriously and, I believe, genuinely are there to serve MPs. To the presiding officers, the Deputy Speaker and the Speaker, you have kept us in check. You have given us a hard time, but I believe we have not all been paragons of virtue and have made you earn your money in trying to keep order in this House. [Applause.] Some of your rulings have been difficult to agree with but, generally, you have been very fair and we appreciate this very much, indeed.

 

Finally, to all the MPs particularly those in my own party but to all of you: Parliament exists because of us. We have, as a party, enjoyed interacting with you, admittedly some more than others, but on behalf of the DA, I wish you all and all members of the staff of Parliament as well – everyone related and associated with Parliament – a truly enjoyable rest and a happy and successful festive season. Thank you very much, indeed. [Applause.]

 

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Speaker, I want to associate myself and my party with all the thanks expressed here by Mr Ellis and in particular with his comments on the election of the new President for South Africa. It should be somebody that will represent us all.

 

An HON MEMBER: Thank you, cowboy!

 

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: You are welcome, cow-girl! [Laughter.] We have come to the end of yet another year and for me personally this is a very historic moment, because I have come to the end of 30 years in Parliament. Next Friday I will be celebrating my 30th year in Parliament. I have served here under Mr Vorster, Mr P W Botha, Mr F W de Klerk, President Mandela and President Mbeki. I have lived through all the dramatic changes that we had, the bloody violence that we had, the negotiations and the birth of the New South Africa up until where we are today. We have moved from a white parliament to this Parliament. I have, therefore, seen the whole transformation movie. What do I say now after these 30 years and the 14 years in this Parliament? [Interjections.]

 

Mr M J ELLIS: “Goodbye”! [Laughter.]

 

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: No, Mike! Mr Ellis says that I should say goodbye, but I also wanted to announce today that I was going to retire and also when I would retire. I am going to retire on the day that I die. [Laughter.] What am I saying?

 

I am reminded of the prophets of doom 14 years ago, in particular Mr Hennie Smit of the then NP, who said that this Parliament wouldn’t work. It didn’t have the experience and it was going to collapse. You were there and you remember that. Yes, we were all inexperienced, or most of us were. The President was inexperienced, the Ministers, the Speaker, the whips, all of them, but we have adapted quickly.

 

Today I am convinced that we have a parliament that operates according to international parliamentary standards. Today, we have highly experienced presiding officers, Whips, Chairs, Members of Parliament and staff. We can also say that we have progressed very far in respect of reconciliation. Yes, we have done well here. We co-operate well, despite many differences that we still have.

 

We have in fact, as we sit here, become a real parliamentary family. We have developed our own set of values here. We have the Constitution that binds us together. We co-operate with one another. We have co-operation and camaraderie. We have built friendships over these 14 years. So yes, today I say, after all these years, South Africa has a Parliament of which I am particularly very proud. I am proud to be a member of this Parliament.

 

I wish to thank everybody and I wish to say to all of you, and in particular to Gerhard Koornhof – we are so sorry your dad passed away, Gerhard – a Merry Christmas, a prosperous New Year and may you all, no matter which party you belong to, enjoy the festive season. Look after yourself and make sure that you come back next year and let all of you try again, but I don’t think you will succeed, to get the Children’s Bill through. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

 

Mr G T MADIKIZA: Madam Speaker, hon members, once more we find ourselves at the end of the year, looking back upon the time we have spent together as political opponents in one sense, but also in another sense as partners in the project of democracy.

 

Significant legislative work has been balanced by intense policy debates, as well as some committees demonstrating an admirable tenacity in their oversight of the executive. On the downside, we cannot recall the past year and bid each other farewell, without remembering that we have also bid final farewells to a number of our late hon members, who passed on. May their souls rest in peace.

 

The year was also blighted by floor crossing at national, provincial and local levels. We can at least draw consolation from the growing consensus, even among the Ruling Party members, that this is an unseemly spectacle. Perhaps we will also in the near future be bidding a final farewell to this law that mocks the expressed choices of the electorate.

 

As always, we need to acknowledge the parliamentary and party administrative staff, who have contributed to all the successes that we have attained in 2007.

 

The ruling party will no doubt be quick to point out that the opposition’s opinion of their internal affairs is not welcome or relevant, but I hope that you will at least allow me to wish you the best of luck with the upcoming conference in December. It certainly seems like you will need it.

 

At the end of the year we are faced again with the dilemma of many South Africans, ourselves included, travelling far and wide across this beautiful country of ours. Most will do so by road. There is, understandably, a certain rush and urgency to get to family or destinations where time can be spent with family and friends. Yet, we appeal to each and every road user to remember that getting there alive is far more important than getting there quickly.

 

We wish everybody a peaceful holiday and a happy New Year, filled with joy and achievement. To our many Christian brothers and sisters, we wish them a Merry Christmas and express our hope that they will draw renewed faith from celebrating this important religious day so that they may return in the coming year with renewed commitment to help build a better future for all South Africans. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Rev K R J MESHOE: Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to wish all hon members of this House a refreshing time of rest after yet another long year of hard work. May you and your families have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

 

As most people in this country are waiting with great anticipation for the decisions that will be made at the ANC conference in Limpopo next month, with the knowledge that the decisions made there will affect us all, I want to give the ANC some advice and also pray for their conference. [Interjections.] My advice to the voting delegates is that they choose as their leader, a person of integrity who believes in and will pursue righteousness and justice far all.

 

May I remind hon members of the words of a great king who in his time was the wisest person alive, King Solomon, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people”.

 

I now want to pray for hon members and the ANC conference:

 

Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank You for Your help and for Your grace throughout this year. As we will be going to our respective homes, I pray for travel mercies for every member of this House.

 

I pray even for the ANC conference that is coming. My prayer, Father, in the name of Jesus, is that the decisions that will be made there will fit into Your plan and purpose for this nation.

 

I thank You for Your guidance and for ensuring that everything is done according to your plan and your purpose. May Your kingdom come and may Your will be done. In Jesus’ name, be blessed. Amen.

[Applause.]

 

Dr C P MULDER: Madam Speaker, the Chinese have a very well-known saying or proverb to say as a wish, “May you live in interesting times”. If one looks at what we’ve done in the past year, then, surely, this year we did live in very interesting times and we are not at the end of these interesting times. A number of colleagues have referred to the big conference of the ruling party at the end of the year and obviously the whole of South Africa will be watching what is going to happen there.

 

Let me start off by saying a word of sincere thank you to each and every colleague of ours in this House. It has been a very exhausting year, but I think in the end, despite all the political rumblings and all the differences, we remain colleagues of one another. I think it is very important that we send out a very constructive and positive message to the public in South Africa that we can co-operate in the interest of our country and we should continue to do so.

 

I also would like to say a word of sincere thanks to the parliamentary staff, each and every member of the staff, the catering staff, the messengers, everyone in protection services, each and every member of Parliament and the staff that made it easier for us this year to do our jobs. Thank you very much.

 

Ook ’n woord van hartlike dank aan die media, want sonder die media wat rapporteer wat in die Parlement gebeur - die televisie, radio en koerante wat skryf - sal die publiek nie noodwendig weet wat ons hier in die Parlement doen nie. Ook ’n woord van dank aan elkeen van hulle.

 

Dit is my wens om namens die VF Plus vir elke lid en vir elke kollega van elke party ’n voorspoedige 2008 toe te wens, maar ook ’n baie geseënde Kersfees. Mag dit ’n Christusfees wees, mag u die vrede van Christus in u hart ervaar en mag ons ’n toekoms ingaan wat in die belang van al ons mense is. Baie dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

 

[Also a word of thanks to the media, because without the media reporting what happens in Parliament - television, radio and news papers - the public will not necessarily know what we are doing here in Parliament. A word of thanks to each and everyone of them.

 

On behalf of the FF Plus I would like to wish every member and each colleague from every party a prosperous 2008, as well as a blessed Christmas. May it be a festival in Christ, may you experience the peace of Christ in your hearts and may we enter a future that is in the interests of all our people. Thank you very much. [Applause.]]

 

Ms M M MDLALOSE: Madam Speaker:

 

Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again and again after moments or lifetimes is certain for those who are friends”

 

This is a quote from Richard Bach.

 

As we sit here in the House, looking forward to the break, it is important for us to take a minute to reflect whether we did indeed add value to the theme of this year.

 

Sijulile yini ngengxoxo? [Have we deepened the debate?]

 

Public deliberation in this House and in our infant democratic state is crucial. In order for that public deliberation to take place we as opposition parties need to be able to be part and parcel of that process. That begins with us as the opposition not being gagged and by allowing us to actively participate and contribute to a meaningful discussion. We can only do that by being given the forum to talk and the contribution would be the deepening of democracy. This means reviewing the practice of the one minutes and the two minutes.

 

I would like to wish all the hon members, the parliamentary staff and the entire parliamentary family a peaceful, relaxed and enjoyable holiday.

 

Izwe lonke libe nempilo enhle, ehlanzekile, enenqubekela phambili. Siyabonga. [The entire country should have good quality of life that is prosperous. Thank you.]

 

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Madam Speaker and hon members, as we come to the end of yet another year, it is important that we exchange greetings as we head for the season of joy, peace and giving. We have to pat ourselves on the back for having soldiered through even the trying period of floor-crossing during which we witnessed the demise of some political parties. This period has passed, though its skeletons still haunt us regarding seating in the House and or administrative capacity.

 

We in the Chief Whips’ Forum heaved and puffed for a great chunk of the year with hon Andries Nel acting as Chief Whip. I want to thank him very much for the sterling work he did and still does to help hon Mogase settle in as the Chief Whip.

 

Goroga Mokwena, re nelwe ke pula. [Let your presence be a blessing to us.] This collective has steered this Parliament to greater heights as we have always agreed to differ and thus bring stability to the proceedings in this House. Thanks go the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the House Chairpersons for the even-handedness with which they direct the proceeding of the House. We take note that they, to some extent, have a thankless job, taking into account what we sometimes say and do. We pray for their strength and wish them well.

 

Thanks go also to the administration of Parliament, the Secretary, the Secretary to the National Assembly, Mr Mansura, the entire Table staff and, of course, to people like Andrew Mbanga, who never ceases to ask for updates on the list of speakers for each debate and he constantly reminds us about our business in this Parliament. We thank the affable service officers for their delivery of documents and the upkeep of our offices.

 

Finally, let me, on behalf of the UCDP, invite you all to the mother of all celebrations as we shall be thanking God for His blessings on 8 December 2007 in Mmabatho. Let us wish the ANC a successful conference and hope they emerge from Polokwane with an acceptable future President for this country.

God be with you till we meet again. When life’s perils thick confound you, put His arms unfailing around you. God be with you, till we meet again.

 

I thank you.

 

Mr R B BHOOLA: Madam Speaker, it is unbelievable how fast this year has passed, and that we have once again concluded our fourth term. The MF, however, pays respect to 2007 as a constructive and progressive year for Parliament and South Africa as a whole.

 

As Parliament, both Houses have productively embarked on task teams and oversight visits that have served to give us a hawk’s-eye view of the realities of South African living standards.

 

Great developments in legislation have been made, which is proof of the commitment of the executive and Parliament to endorse laws that uphold the values of the national Constitution and are instruments of transformatory legislation for further development and growth as a democracy.

 

I take this opportunity to applaud the three spheres of government for their great efforts to fulfil their mandates. We applaud both the NA and the NCOP for a good year’s work. Applause is also rendered to the Chairs of both Houses and the administration just below the Table for their auspicious management of House affairs.

To our members - even though we have often been at loggerheads - it has been a productive and progressive year that deserves a pat on the back. As we return to our constituencies, let us not lose focus on our ultimate commitment to serve the nation. May we return to this platform with the determination and commitment to further deliver upon nation building, transformation and democracy.

 

We have an impeccable team of staff and support staff in Parliament that has been by our side, making every parliamentary function possible and workable. For this we are abundantly grateful.

 

We thank all our supporters and members in our constituency for all their support and trust in our leadership and ability to best represent their interests.

 

To the Almighty God who has given us the health and strength to fulfil our tasks, we thank you and pray that we shall be blessed in the new year.

 

Lastly, we pay respect to our hon state President, the Presidency and the executive for the co-operative governance that they so highly institute. Let me also take this opportunity in wishing our matric students great success.

 

A beautiful life is built daily on honesty, integrity, friendship, sacrifice, consensus and humility. May this beautiful life be yours. I wish all of you a festive season with beautiful thoughts, wonderful wishes, an abundance of prayer and a fantastic 2008. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mr M T LIKOTSI: Madam Speaker, we have once more reached the day where members must part ways and join their families. It has been a very long and strenuous year that took the lives of some of our beloved members and staff. It is a year where many untold truths happened because of the evolution of politics – a year which many of us would love to forget as challenges unfolded without solutions.

 

We must thank everyone in this Parliament - from members, the Presidency, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, the Secretary to Parliament, the parliamentary administration, the protection unit, the police and all ground staff members who made us feel at home here. Let me not forget the staff and administration at our residences in Acacia Park and other parks, who, under difficult circumstances, accommodated us in a reasonable manner. To all of you, I want to say Happy Christmas and a very Prosperous New Year. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

Mr L M GREEN: Madam Speaker, one of the undisputed highlights of 2007 has been the surplus budget which indicates that our country is on an upward curve towards a better life for all.

 

South Africans are beginning to show confidence in the way Parliament and the state institutions are conducting their affairs as indicated by the World Values Survey results earlier this year. As Parliamentarians we may go into this holiday period with a semblance of ease that we have accounted ourselves reasonably well in our duties.

 

The second highlight for us was the visit to Parliament by the Springboks with the Rugby World Cup. We especially want to thank Madam Speaker and the Deputy Speaker for the clever idea of the invitation.

 

We are entering a new phase of a united country, and the 2010 Soccer World Cup preparations are another yardstick to show how we are growing in stature as a nation.

 

There is, of course, still much to be done, such as getting the Child Justice Bill approved. But we have done well in getting the Children’s Amendment Bill passed this year.

 

Madam Speaker, in looking forward to the parliamentary programme for 2008, we need to be mindful that 2008 will be a watershed year because it will be the final year for the present government to make a lasting impact.

 

On behalf of the FD I wish to commend the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and all the presiding officers for the manner in which the parliamentary business was conducted. My thanks go to the Table staff and all the parliamentary support staff for a job well done.

 

Finally, the FD wishes everyone a safe and pleasant holiday, and may the Christmas of peace be the message we take to our constituencies and our families. May we all continue to live with hope and happiness in the land we love the most. I thank you. [Applause.]

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, before I get into my farewell speech, I want to thank Ntate Mfundisi for the kind words he said about the ANC. I want to tell you, I’ve been a member of the ANC for 51 years, happily, and the past government of apartheid tried to smash us. We beat them, and that is why we took over here. [Interjections.]

 

So, all the speculation in the newspapers about the ANC conference is unfounded. In fact, we are going to come out of it very strong and some parties are going to disappear when we have elections in 2009. [Interjections.] They are going to disappear!

 

Mr M J ELLIS: Time will tell!

 

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Right!

 

Today, we bid farewell to one another as Members of Parliament. We bid farewell in the knowledge that we have taken forward the task of deepening and consolidating our democracy through creating a parliament which is compassionate, accessible and reflective of the needs and interests of the aspirations and hopes of the people of South Africa.

 

This is in line with the Freedom Charter that speaks of a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it. You must enjoy it. All of you, you must go under the Freedom Charter. You are ruled by the Freedom Charter. [Interjections.]

 

In this Chamber, in committees and in constituencies we have worked hard and tirelessly to make a real difference in the daily lives of the people of South Africa. It is here that our society, through its public representatives and political parties, has an opportunity to develop the national policy.

 

We have continued with our task of passing transformative legislation. As we prepare for the end-of-the-year break, I’m sure all of us will remember the moments of excitement in this Parliament and the drama that has characterised the parliamentary year, especially the birthday party cake that was brought here. Some will look at it with scorn, but to some it was the joke of the year in this Parliament.

 

I am sure that members are genuine in their beliefs and whilst I may not agree with the views they express, I’ve never doubted the genuineness of the manner in which they represented their constituencies. We should all be proud of and maintain that record in this Parliament.

 

Madam Speaker and Madam Deputy Speaker, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to you for your patience and thoughtfulness throughout the year. Even though some of the more significant pieces of legislation have been debated vigorously, robustly and uncompromisingly, you have exercised a steady hand over our sometimes heated exchanges to ensure the smooth running of this Parliament.

 

My appreciation also goes to the Secretary of Parliament and the legal advisers behind me here. I further extend my sincere thanks to the security staff and the police, who must feel they have the least pleasant task in this place. To the staff of the parliamentary dining room, I thank you for the good food and fine service. I sometimes see people going for some more! [Interjections.]

 

Many people help us carry out our duties as members of this Parliament. An important group is the staff of the various parties. They are often the frontline troops and we all recognise their considerable efforts. I extend my thanks to all of them.

 

It is with pleasure that I extend my Christmas wishes to members and staff who have made all this possible. Surely I’m not the only person who is looking forward to Christmas and a chance to return to my constituency, and to spend some well-deserved time with my family and friends.

 

So, we say farewell! Go in peace now from this place to our regions and constituencies, and prepare for the next chapter in our success story. Spend your time well - spend it with your families and relatives, and we say thank you. The ANC is coming back in 2008 stronger and stronger. Thank you! [Interjections.] [Applause.]

 

The SPEAKER: I thank the hon members for the farewell speeches and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the hon members for the work done for our people in this year. It was a hectic year.

 

We started the year off looking forward to major changes in the biggest parties in the country and it has happened with the DA, and we are now, as hon members have pointed out, going on to the conference of the ANC, the ruling party. We move towards that major event with no doubt that it will be a success and therefore we will come back with a strong House, strengthened by the fact that the two biggest parties have renewed themselves in whatever way that they will have decided.

 

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the honourable staff, and today the staff is called “honourable,” because I do believe they are very honourable. [Applause.] Members of staff work very hard. I’d like to say that to us as hon Members of Parliament. They work very hard and they do a mostly thankless job, because nobody really gets to know just what they go through and the amount of time and energy they put into what they do to help us to do our job.

I thank the Secretary of the National Assembly and his team, because they have carried the work in spite of the ongoing challenges, which we, of course, will continue to try and improve on. [Applause.]

 

I wish to thank the Deputy Speaker and the House Chairpersons, who have come into the Office of the Speaker to try and share the load of the work that we have to carry. I’d like to thank the Deputy Speaker for launching the gyms and in particular the attention and energy with which she looks after the issues of our wellbeing. [Applause.]

 

May I also congratulate all hon members for finally being approached by an additional cheque before their December cheque, because either in the next two days or on Tuesday at the latest, hon members will receive an additional cheque. [Interjections.]

 

Hon members, may I also add my voice to those who have wished you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and indeed also emphasise what has been said, that we should spend the time with our families, whom we neglect most of the year. Be renewed and come back more charged and ready to tackle 2008, which is not going to be a relaxed year, because it’s virtually our last year. So, as we part, I wish you well, hon members.

 

The House adjourned at 18:15.

__________

ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

 

The Speaker and the Chairperson

 

1.       Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent

 

(1)     Bill passed by National Assembly and National Council of Provinces on 22 November 2007:

 

  1. Children’s Amendment Bill [B 19F – 2006] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76(2)).

 

(2)     Bills passed by National Assembly on 22 November 2007:

 

  1. Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill [B 50D – 2003] (National Assembly – sec 75).

 

  1. South African Express Bill [B 14D – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).

 

  1. Criminal Law (Sentencing) Amendment Bill [B 15B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
  2. Human Sciences Research Council Bill [B 16B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).

 

  1. Astronomy Geographic Advantage Bill [B 17D – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).

 

  1. Traditional Health Practitioners Bill [B 20 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76(2)).

 

  1. Broadband Infraco Bill [B 26D – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).

 

  1. Transport Agencies General Laws Amendment Bill [B 27B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).

 

  1. Education Laws Amendment Bill [B 33D – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).

 

(3)     Bills passed by National Council of Provinces on 22 November 2007:

 

  1. Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill [B 24 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 74).

 

  1. Cross-boundary Municipality Laws Repeal Amendment Bill [B 25 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).

 

  1. Electronic Communications Amendment Bill [B 38B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
  2. Adjustment Appropriation Bill [B 41 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 77).

 

  1. Revenue Laws Amendment Bill [B 42 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 77).

 

  1. Revenue Laws Second Amendment Bill [B 43 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).

 

  1. Securities Transfer Tax Bill [B 44 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 77).

 

  1. Securities Transfer Tax Administration Bill [B45– 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).

 

TABLINGS

 

National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

 

1.      The Minister of Safety and Security

 

(a)     Report of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) for January 2007 to June 2007, in terms of section 18(5)(c) of the Domestic Violence Act, 1998 (Act No 116 of 1998).

2.      The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

 

(a)     Agreement establishing the Africa Institute for the Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous and Other Wastes, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996.

 

(b)     Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement establishing the Africa Institute for the Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous and Other Wastes.