Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 22 Nov 2007
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2007
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14.08.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
WITHDRAWAL OF MOTION
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Chief Whip, I was told that you want to move a motion without notice.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Chairperson, in the interests of saving time I’ve decided to withdraw.
WELCOMING OF SWAZI PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Before we proceed to questions, hon members, I wish to acknowledge a delegation from both Houses of the Parliament of Swaziland, the Senate and the First House, or the Lower House, in the gallery. [Applause.] Swaziland is a branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. They are led by the
President of the Senate, Mrs Zwane, who is also a chief in her own right in Swaziland.
Could she please stand up so that you can see her, as the leader of the delegation? [Applause.] Thank you very much. They will be observing our sitting today. Their timing was perfect because the Deputy President is answering questions in the House today.
STRICT TIME-KEEPING FOR QUESTIONS
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Deputy President, we now come to the questions. Can I just remind hon members and the members of the executive that, because of the lengthy agenda or programme of this House today, we will be strict when it comes to the timing of the questions. Now, the time for a reply per question is five minutes. I am reminding hon members; and presiding officers will stop you if you exceed that time.
The time for asking a supplementary question for members is only two minutes, and for replying to a supplementary question is four minutes. Only four supplementary questions can be asked. Because of that, we are going to be a little bit strict today. We now proceed with the questions addressed to the Deputy President and thereafter we will come to the questions addressed to the Peace and Security
cluster. The Deputy President!
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT
Government strategies to promote and accelerate rural development
16. Mr M A Mzizi (IFP) asked the Deputy President:
(1) What strategies has the Government put in place to promote and expedite rural development;
(2) whether the current pace of rural development is satisfactory; if so, what are the relevant details; if not,
(3) whether the government intends to pursue any new plans or initiatives in this regard; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?C02870A
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Chairperson, hon members, when accessing government’s initiatives aimed at promoting rural development and providing basic services, it would be wrong to focus only on those programmes that are specific to rural areas and to suggest that they represent the sum total of government’s extensive endeavours in this regard. This would leave out the social wage benefits such as free basic services, social grants, school nutrition programmes and housing.
In addition, this would leave out programmes such as the Extended Public Works Programme, SMME development programmes, access to finance for micro-enterprises, spatial development and programmes related to improving governance.
There are a number of programmes, however, that are intensively implemented in rural areas. These will include Project Consolidate and the development of agricultural corridors, among other things. These measures and their significance were extensively elaborated on by the President of the Republic to the National Assembly a few weeks ago. They are helping government to improve spatial planning and governance systems to the extent that they promote good governance and integrated planning at the local level, and among local, provincial and national spheres.
Prior to 2001, when measures such as the Integrated Sustainable Development Programme were introduced to focus on the poorest rural districts, there weren’t many programmes that were targeted at rural development. A number of the programmes that have since been implemented tended to focus on social development.
However, we are now intensifying the focus on expanding economic development. There is an initiative that is under way called the expanding economic opportunity in the presidential nodes, which is led by the Department of Provincial and Local Government in collaboration with The Business Trust.
In this project, the nodes have been profiled to improve economic information and to identify economic opportunities in these rural and poverty-stricken communities. This information is presented in a market-focused manner and assists in identifying growth opportunities that can be used by the private and public sectors to invest in economic activities in the nodes.
Specific challenges that will need to be fixed are also identified, and these would indeed include skills. The sectors that have been identified as offering the greatest opportunities in most rural areas include agriculture and tourism.
The DTI also has a programme called “One Municipality, One Product”, which also has its own budget and is being driven as part of the unit that deals with co-operatives. Under this programme different municipalities - starting with those in the rural areas - will be assisted to develop products that can be taken to the market, thus creating jobs and self-reliance for those communities.
Over two million households have benefited from services that come out of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant in the six nodes since 2001. Already a total of 37 834 women, 86 618 men, 59 222 young females and 34 792 young males, as well as 562 disabled people and more, have also benefited from the jobs that have been created in the nodes through the municipal infrastructure grant.
The number of households that have access to water has increased in nodal areas since 2001, when the programme was introduced. Just to give you an example, in Maluti-a-Phofung, a progressive increase of 15% in the provision of water has been noted and is still increasing.
Other areas that have benefited from such programmes in terms of intensity of service delivery would include Kgalagadi and Bushbuckridge, where, again, basic infrastructure has been significantly expanded.
While we commend the progress, we believe there is much more that still needs to be done and faster. Access to land and the slow rate of the resolution of land claims have continuously been a problem. This has a negative effect on the pace of both social and economic transformation. Even when development has taken place, the looming land claims hinder further development and progress. This is an area on which the Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs is focusing in order to address these problems.
In the area of skills shortages, hon members are aware of the initiative, Siyenza Manje, which has facilitated the deployment of experts into different municipalities that have a significant skills shortage. Many of those would be rural municipalities. This initiative has also had a positive impact.
While new plans are continually unfolding, there is a greater need to scale up on the programmes that have already been identified, especially those that are already funded.
The President has announced a wide range of initiatives in his state of the nation addresses. In the previous one he raised the issue of land reform, housing delivery, schooling and skills development, the Extended Public Works Programme, the National Youth Service Programme, small enterprise development and employment. These are some of the programmes that we intend to upscale. To the extent that we might need to make slight changes in some areas for greater effectiveness, that will be done.
In addition, we have Jobs for Growth, which is another new programme that is aimed at supporting women to develop productive capacity within co-operatives and micro enterprises, while at the same time assisting them with market access and ensuring that the quality of their product improves, and that they achieve economies of scale. Thank you.
Mnu M A MZIZI: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo. Angibonge futhi nePhini likaMongameli ngencazelo ende. Angithokoze uma ngizwa uzihumusha zonke izinto kodwa futhi ngibona nje utalagu ngaphambi kwami, ngoba le ngoma yokuthi siyathuthukisa emakhaya, ngoba amaphandle awekho kodwa amakhaya, ayikezwakali. Uma mhlawumbe umuntu engathola ukuthi nakhu okubambekayo mhlawumbe umuntu angakuzwa kangcono.
Ngimzwile uNgqongqoshe ebala nasePuthaditjhaba, eQwaqwa. Inkinga nalapho isekhona ngoba abantu uma ufika kubo bathi asazi ukuthi kuqashwa kanjani, sibona abantu bayasebenza nje. Abantu bayathutheleka emadolobheni. Ngabe-ke masu mani uhulumeni acabanga ukuthi yiwo angabagcina emakhaya abantu njengoba ngizizwa izinto uzibala nje? Yingakho-ke ngibuza namhlanje ukuthi-ke siyaphi njengoba selidumela emansumpeni. Unyaka uyaphela. Abanye bethu mhlawumbe ngeke sisaba nabo ngo-2009. Sifuna ukwazi manje ukuthi abantu batholani?
IPHINI LIKAMONGAMELI: Angazi lungu elihloniphekile ukuthi uzobe uyephi ngo-2009. Niyahamba emhlabeni? Iyongiphatha kabi leyonto ngoba kumnandi ukuba nawe lapha kule Ndlu. Ngiyasizwa lesi sikhalo esiqhamuka nelungu elihloniphekile sokuthi ukwenzeka kwemisebenzi emaphandleni kuyinto enzima. Uhulumeni into akwazi ukuyenza emaphandleni ukulungiselela abantu ukuthi bathole izidingo, ngoba phela amabhizinisi lawa akwazi ukuthi aqashe abantu sethembele kuwo ukuthi sibambisane nawo ngoba yibona abantu abangabakhi bamabhizinisi. Amabhizinisi enziwa uhulumeni yilawa emisebenzi yomphakathi. Inkinga yawo-ke kuba ukuthi amanye awo awabi naso isikhathi eside ngoba aba ngawesikhashana.
Enye indlela esesiyibuka manje okungenzeka ngayo imisebenzi lapho abantu bezosebenza khona unomphela, lokhu okungenza ngicele ukuthi nani njengamalungu nisisize, yile misebenzi okuthiwa iletha izidingo zempilo yemiphakathi. Niyazi ukuthi uhulumeni wenze kulesi sabelo mali esikhona manje ufake imali eningi yokwenza ukuthi yonke iNingizimu Afrika kube khona ukuqeqeshwa kwabantwana ebuncaneni babo ngokwemfundo. Leyo-ke izoqasha omama ukuthi bafundise abantwana kodwa izifundazwe eziningi aziyisebenzisi kahle leyo mali ukwenza lowo msebenzi, ngakho-ke uxhaso lwenu ukuthi lento yenzeke kungaba kuhle ngoba lowo msebenzi uphelele.
Ukunakekelwa kwabantu abagulela emakhaya ngenye yezindlela zokuqasha abantu abaningi emaphandleni ngoba bayaqeqeshwa bese bekwazi ukuthola umsebenzi. Ukunakekelwa kwabagulela emakhaya umsebenzi ohlala ukhona nawo-ke siyakwazi ngawo ukuthi senze imisebenzi yethuba elide. Abantu-ke futhi abasebenza njengonompilo ngenye futhi leyo indlela yokuqasha abantu uhulumeni anamandla okuyenza. Lolu hlelo olusha esikhuluma ngalo esithi umasipala ngamunye umkhiqizo owodwa sifuna ukuthi nani nisisize ukuthi emaphandleni sibone izinto abantu abakwazi ukuzikhiqiza, ezizokwenza ukuthi bathole umsebenzi ophelele. Kungenzeka kungabi yiyo imisebenzi ephakeme kakhulu kodwa imisebenzi ezobagcina ukuthi bakwazi ukuthi bathole okuya ethunjini.
Niyazi nani ukuthi kakhulu kule minyaka edlulile into ebisisixake kakhulu nayo futhi esingakayiqedi amanzi, imigwaqo, izindlu, ugesi, njalo njalo. Besingakwazi-ke ukuthi senze zonke lezi zinto ngesikhathi esifushane. Siyanikhuthaza-ke nani ngoba abanye benu banabo ubuhlobo nezinkampani nosomabhizinisi ukuthi phela abasizane nathi ngokuthi ezinye izimboni zabo ziye emakhaya. Kodwa izimboni ngokocwaningo esilwenzile ezibonisayo ukuthi zikwazi ukuthi zihlume emakhaya, ezolimo nezokuvakasha. Kuyadingeka-ke ukuthi lezo sizigqugquzele kakhulu. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr M A MZIZI: Thank you, Chairperson. I would also like to thank the Deputy President for her lengthy response. I am happy that you are mentioning all these things although I see discrepancies because this song of development has not reached rural areas yet. Perhaps if there was something tangible, we would understand you better.
I heard the Deputy Minister mentioning Puthaditjhaba in Qwaqwa. There is still a problem there because you will hear people saying that they do not know how people get employed. They just see people working. People are moving to the cities. What strategies does government think would keep people in rural areas? That is why I ask today: Where are we heading? The year is about to end. Maybe some of us will not be here in 2009. We want to know what the people will get.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I do not know where the hon member will be in 2009. Are you leaving this earth? I would be very sad because it is very nice to be with you in this House. I understand the hon member when he says that creating jobs in rural areas is not easy. What government is able to do in rural areas is to enable people to get basic needs because it is businesses that employ people. We rely on them to create jobs. Government is responsible for public works. The problem with businesses that are created through public works is that they are temporary.
We are looking at another way of creating jobs where people would be employed permanently – which is what makes me ask the hon members for their assistance. These are the kinds of jobs that will deliver basic needs in the communities. You know that government has put more money in the current budget to ensure that young children are being trained in their early childhood development in the rest of South Africa. This will enable women to get the jobs to teach children but most of the provinces do not use that money, therefore your support in this endeavour would be appreciated because those jobs would then be permanent.
Home-based care for people who are sick is another way of employing many people in rural areas because they get trained and get jobs. Home-based care work is always available and it could also be a permanent job. Government also employs people who work as health workers. We want you to assist us with this new programme we are talking about in which we say, “one product per municipality”, so that we could see what things people are able to produce, which would, in turn, enable them to get permanent jobs. They may not be top jobs but they will enable people to put food on their tables.
You will know that over the past few years we have been struggling with the delivery of water, roads, houses, electricity, etc, which we have not yet accomplished. We could not do all these things within a short space of time. We encourage you – since some of you have relations with companies and businesses – to ask them to work with us by taking their companies to rural areas. However, according to the survey we have conducted, companies do grow in rural areas, especially in agriculture and tourism. It is necessary that we encourage those. Thank you.]
Initiative for the exchange of senior officials of government departments and executives from the private sector
17. Ms J F Terblanche (DA) asked the Deputy President:
Whether the initiative launched at the beginning of October 2007 (details furnished) in terms of which senior officials from government departments and entities and executives from the private sector are to swap positions is part of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa, Asgisa; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon member. The SA Experiment is a programme that was launched by an independent training institution, the Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management, in October 2007. The programme is benchmarked on a number of internationally proven concepts in which business-driven action learning has been demonstrated to be one of the most effective ways of creating core skills amongst the leaders in both the private and public sectors. This has been done in countries such as Korea, Singapore and Belgium.
The objective of the programme is to facilitate the sharing of knowledge between public and private sector candidates who would consequently collaborate in addressing industry-based challenges as well as problems that are arising in the private sector. It may take the form of a formally facilitated communication, secondment or exchange programme.
In discussion between government departments and the private sector, different approaches may still emerge. It is too early to say specifically, what direction this programme would take in South Africa. This is a private sector initiative aimed at supporting the
Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa, similar to the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition.
Like many other initiatives that government has been part of, which, for instance, have been initiated by the Business Trust, we will be watching this to see how it is going to develop. At this stage though, there is not enough detail as the parties are still in consultation and further conceptualisation. I would encourage the hon member, however, to contact the Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management for details, as they are the ones who are driving the programme. Thank you.
Mr A WATSON: Thank you, hon Chairperson. Hon Deputy President, if I heard you correctly, you said that this is an initiative from the private sector that will support Asgisa. Yet in the media you were actually quoted - let me translate while I’m standing on my feet - as saying:
The experiment should, however, not be seen as an independent initiative but as part of the government’s plan for Asgisa and as part of Jipsa.
Were you misquoted, because the problem that we have is that in the original background document at the launch of Asgisa, nothing was mentioned of this even in the annual report, which was published in March this year?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes, hon member. I would assume so, but I don’t remember the quote or the detail. I’m telling you now that - as you say, it was not in our original concept document - as we implement Asgisa we meet industries and individuals who are interested in helping. They come across ideas; they bring them to us and we encourage them to test the ideas. This is one such idea. They are testing it, they are refining it and when it is ready, we will see how far we can test it.
We have encouraged them to talk to different departments and we are encouraging the departments to talk to them since this idea has had success in countries such as Korea and Belgium whose economies are successful. So, it is worth listening to them and trying it out.
Mr A WATSON: Here we go, hon Chair; just a very short one.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Do you still want to ask another follow-up question? Let me check with other members first. Okay, let me first check if other members want to ask follow-up questions. All right Mr Watson, you may continue.
Mr A WATSON: Thank you very much, hon Deputy President, for that reply. Is it your intention - seeing that we are now testing the ground on this, which probably is a very good initiative - to report on the success thereof in the next annual report?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes, hon member; if there is concrete progress we will definitely want to share it. If there isn’t, we will keep quiet. [Laughter.]
Plans to balance the economy, with reference to the export of raw materials, the consumption of imported goods, and the skills base
18. Mr W M Douglas (ACDP) asked the Deputy President:
(1) With reference to her warning that South Africa’s economic growth will not be sustainable if it continues to be driven mainly by the export of raw materials and an emerging black middle class that consumes mostly imported goods, (a) why is this the case, (b) by when did this imbalance start happening and (c) what is being done about the skills base in order to supply more locally produced goods;
(2) whether there are any plans in place to balance the economy; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO2882E
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Chair, South Africa is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, especially metals and minerals. There is a commodity boom in the world and naturally South Africa is one of the major beneficiaries. That is one reason why we are seeing the growth. At the same time, in South Africa, since 1994, we have seen a significant growth in the black middle class since the end of apartheid.
We are seeing an inclusive society with greater economic opportunities for black people and it is for that reason that we are seeing more black people with disposable income who also contribute to growth, albeit unbalanced growth.
Under colonialism, apartheid as well as business and government chose only to focus on providing raw materials and did not insist on mineral beneficiation. Government then helped the mining industry by ensuring a supply of cheap and unskilled labour for the mines to produce the raw material. This was achieved through political repression and social and economic discrimination so that we ended up with a situation where there was plenty of unskilled, cheap labour which focused on the mining of raw materials and excluded beneficiation of the abundant minerals in South Africa.
The then government did not have an industrial strategy that was aimed at taking full advantage of South Africa’s competitive advantage. Above all, the apartheid government also did not invest in human resource development. That is why today we are battling with the skills needed and we are, therefore, working with a different institution that supports the development of skills. We are also focused on ensuring that we increase the content of manufactured goods that South Africa is selling to the markets.
It is through such activities that South Africa is going to have balanced growth. Hon members would also realise that in Asgisa, when we talk about unbalanced growth, it is because we are saying that there is too much raw material and not enough manufactured products.
Asgisa therefore is a response to this situation because, through Asgisa, we are identifying and responding to the different causes of this unbalanced growth, including the fact that there isn’t shared growth, which on its own is a symptom of an economy that is not diversified enough. I thank you.
Mr W M DOUGLAS: Thank you, hon Deputy President, for your response. Apartheid has left us with a serious skills shortage. Yet, 13 years on, thousands of matriculants are leaving school each year. Only a small percentage of them are obtaining tertiary education through university, colleges and FETs. And areas like the Cape Flats and Khayelitsha and other areas in the Western Cape attest to the effect of this gap in skills transfer through an increase in drugs and moral decay within society.
What is being done to put in place catchment programmes specifically designed to afford ex-matriculants and unemployed youth further education and skills transfer for the job market, and when can we see the roll-out of such programmes?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I am not too sure whether your follow-up question is really related to your question, but I shall hear whether the Deputy President would like to respond to that. You are not compelled, Deputy President, because to me it sounds like a new question altogether.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I will give the member a DVD on Jipsa, in which we are dealing with the placement of young graduates in order to place them in jobs and, also, on Monday, we are going to be launching a programme with the private sector to address the plight of young, nonmatriculated students who cannot find employment because they are underskilled, out of school and are generally caught in-between.
In addition, the National Youth Service is also a response to that particular target group, but as the hon Chair is saying, that’s an ambush, hon member.
Ms H LAMOELA: May I also ask for a copy of the DVD from our hon Deputy President? Thank you.
Mechanisms to promote the functioning of the SA National Aids Council, Sanac, and the creation of partnerships with community-based organisations; and the achievement of consensus by Sanac on policy issues and strategy
19. Mr V V Z Windvoël (ANC) asked the Deputy President:
(1) Since the restructuring of the SA National Aids Council, Sanac, what mechanisms have been put in place (a) to strengthen its functioning and (b) to ensure that it achieves its objectives, particularly in creating and strengthening partnerships amongst all stakeholders, including community-based organisations, to expand the national response to HIV and Aids;
(2) whether, since its restructuring, Sanac has been able to ensure consensus on issues of policy and strategy among all civil society representatives; if not, (a) what are the fundamental issues of difference and (b) what mechanisms are put in place to address them; if so, (i) what were the contentious issues and (ii) what were the proposed solutions? CO2884E
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Chairperson, the answer is: To achieve its mandate, since its restructuring, the SA National Aids Council has ensured the establishment of various operational level committees responsible for programme implementation. There are task teams that are focusing on prevention, treatment and care, support, research, monitoring, surveillance, human rights, access to justice and communication. All of these committees are multisectoral. They have met several times and they are embarking on implementation of ongoing programmes and, in some cases, new programmes.
The answer to the second part of the question is: To ensure that Sanac achieves its objectives, particularly with regard to creating and strengthening partnerships with community-based organisations, we are establishing an evaluation framework that is multisectoral through which we will be able to gauge the implementation of the strategic plan by the different partners.
This framework should be finalised by the end of the year. We have one more Sanac meeting before the end of the year where we will
receive a report-back from the team that has been tasked to work on this. All Sanac members have been asked to provide information on their activities which they are already implementing and those that they are undertaking as a result of the adoption of the national strategic plan. Through that process we are able to see how we can support these activities, but even more important, we use this to share lessons that are learned by different partners during their implementation.
At a meeting on 10 September 2007, Sanac also received a presentation from the Department of Health on policy and strategy matters. Recommendations for policy direction were presented to the council, which included issues like the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, HIV-testing and, of course, clarity on the issue of male circumcision.
I must emphasise here that the issue is that we do not regard male circumcision as a form of preventing infection but we regard it as just a custom of rite of passage. Members must stick to the ABC. We also discussed the issue of human resources as well as sharing of financial resources.
There was also consensus in the meeting that these policy directions, even though they are not directly new, are in order. There were no contentious issues as far as I am concerned, however, we do have a credible process within Sanac that we can use in the event that there are disagreements.
I just want to emphasise to the members that the role of Sanac in relation to policy development is to advise government on HIV and Aids and sexually transmitted infections; to create and strengthen partnerships; to expand the national response to HIV and Aids in South Africa; to receive and disseminate information on sectoral interventions for HIV and Aids and consider new challenges; and to oversee continual monitoring and evaluation of all aspects of the national strategic plans.
Therefore, Sanac provides a platform through which we are able to forge consensus and also deal with differences on issues of policies. So, at this point there are no fundamental differences that we have not been able to tackle. This is not to say that we are succeeding in everything that we are doing. The task is big and we need to continue to be vigilant. I thank you.
SOSIWEBHU WEMKHANDLU WAVELONKE WETIFUNDZA: Mgcinisihlalo, ngibingelela bantfwabenkhosi labahleti lapha etulu, kanye nabomake nabobabe labasivakashele lababuya etindzaweni tetfu lapha eKapa. Ngibonga nakuSekela Mengameli – ngiyetsemba babe Mzizi uyeva, liSekela laMengameli hhayi Nggongqoshe – ngibonga imphendvulo lasinikete yona kutsi ngempela iyakhutsata futsi iyakhombisa kutsi umsebenti uchubekela embili, ikhona nemphumelelo kuletinhlelo temkhankhaso wekulwa nalolubhubhane lweNgculaza. Bengingatsandza kuva kutsi, njengobe umhlonishwa longangeliSekela laMengameli, kunguye lolihlahlandlela nelihambambili kulomkhankhaso, ngabe sitfombe sime njani lena etifundzeni?
Angawuchazela yini Lomkhandlu Wavelonkhe Wemaprovinsi lolapha, kuze sive kutsi ngutiphi tifundza letichuba kahle naletidvonsela emuva?
Loku kungasisita natsi njengeMalunga ePhalamende kutsi sikwati kufaka sandla kuleti letibonakala shangatsi tidvonsela emuva. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of Siswati paragraphs follows.)
[The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Chairperson, I want to greet the prince and princesses that are sitting up there on the gallery, as well as the mothers and fathers that are visiting us from our different places around the Cape. I also want to thank the Deputy President - I hope that Mr Mzizi is listening - the Deputy President and not the Minister. I thank her for the reply that she has given. It is really encouraging and it shows that there is progress in the work; there are also good results in the programmes to fight against the scourge of Aids. I would like to find out, since the hon the Deputy President is one of the pioneers and initiators of this project, what does the picture look like in the provinces?
Can she explain this to the NCOP today; this would help us to understand which of the provinces are progressive and which are not? It would also help us as MPs to be able to give a helping hand to those that are lagging behind. I thank you. ]
IPHINI LIKAMONGAMELI: Nami ngibingelela abantwana benkosi, omama nobaba. Ngithi angibazise ukuthi nathi siyakhuthazeka uma besivakashela. Izifundazwe ziqhuba kahle ikakhulukazi iNtshona Koloni enabantu abancane abagulayo. Isifundazwe esinenkinga enkulu iKwaZulu-Natali. Ezinye izifundazwe-ke zona ziphakathi nendawo. Lapho kunenhlupheko khona enkulu, isifo sengculazi siningi ngoba siyazi ukuthi sihambisana nendlala. Isimo simi kanjanalo–ke lapha ezifundazweni. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I would like to greet the royal family, ladies and gentlemen. I want to tell them that their visit is an inspiration. Provinces are doing well, especially the Western Cape which has fewer sick people. The problematic province is KwaZulu-Natal. Other provinces are moderate. Where there is more poverty, Aids is prevalent because we know that this disease is associated with hunger. That is the situation in provinces.]
WELCOMING OF GUESTS IN GALLERY
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Before we move to the following question, I am informed by the Chief Whip that I should recognise our elderly people who are sitting in the gallery who have been invited to visit Parliament today. They are from Mitchells Plain, KwaLanga, New Crossroads and Gugulethu, omama bethu nobaba bethu abaphezulu kugalari. [... our mothers and fathers who are seated in the gallery.] [Applause.]
Discussions regarding the role of traditional leaders in combating abuse of women and children
20. Mr V V Z Windvoël (ANC) asked the Deputy President:
Whether, during the meetings of the Presidency with traditional leaders and visits to several kraals in the country as part of the broader public outreach programme to engender better relationships between the government and traditional authorities, the role of traditional leaders in combating abuse against women and children was discussed; if so, (a) what was the outcome of the discussion and (b) what other areas were envisaged as a crucial role for traditional leaders? CO2885E
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Chairperson, I also greet ...
... Oomama abahleli phaya phezulu, abavela eGugulethu, kwaLanga naseMitchells Plain, njalo njalo. [... the people in the gallery who live in Gugulethu, Langa, Mitchells Plain, etc.]
The public outreach programme is a partnership between traditional leaders, represented by the National House of Traditional Leaders, and the Presidency. The programme seeks to engage government in reaching out to rural and traditional communities, while at the same time strengthening relations between traditional leaders and government.
Already, we have visited the houses of traditional leaders at Qaukeni, in the Eastern Cape, and others in Venda and Qwaqwa. All these visits are aimed at promoting the Moral Regeneration Movement and positive values; the use of African languages; the fight against HIV and Aids; youth development; service delivery; and improving relations between traditional leaders and government.
The issue of combating abuse against women and children was very central to the visit to Qwaqwa. There is a need for the traditional leaders to become centrally involved in promoting the combating of all forms of violence and abuse. This was more so in the case of this visit because it happened on the eve of the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children for 2007, on Sunday, 25 November in the Free State.
We hope that the traditional leaders in that province will assist us to mobilise for the march of a million men and boys. The visits to and the work that we are doing with the National House of Traditional Leaders have led to the establishment of a committee on gender and on youth living with disabilities. The committee has already participated in the planning and, definitely, in the execution of the 16-days campaign.
The committee is also expected to draw up a plan that will include, amongst other things, year-long activities aimed at combating violence against women and children.
As indicated, further work will focus on the use of indigenous languages. However, I must also underline that with any activity that we undertake in the rural areas, it is important that traditional leaders are also involved.
We are developing programmes in partnership with the relevant institutions, also on moral upliftment, in our communities. This requires traditional leaders to play a leading role.
There are initiatives to improve relations between traditional leaders and municipalities, and in this case Salga, the SA Local Government Association, has provided leadership. There is a signed memorandum of understanding with Salga, which will be translated into programmes.
We also want to pay attention to better implementation of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, which is an Act that governs our relations and work with traditional leaders.
Mnu M A MZIZI: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo. Phini likaMongameli, ngiyathokoza uma ngizwa ubeka udaba lwamakhosi. Ngiyaxinaxineka lapha ngoba angikuzwanga ukhuluma ngeKwaZulu-Natali. Empeleni angazi ukuthi nithintana kanjani nezigodlo ngoba udaba olubucayi ukuya esigodlweni. Uma ngihlangana namakhosi angapha ngakithi kwelikabhanana, athi awazi ukuthi izinhlelo zikahulumeni ziqhutshwa nhloboni ngoba ezwa ngosibhincamakhasana nje ukuthi uhulumeni wenza lokhu nalokhu, ngakho kubalulekile ukuthi kube khona ukuxhumana okuhle bamakhosi. Yingakho ngifuna ukuzwa ukuthi ngabe nibathinta kanjani laphaya esigodlweni noma yibo osibhincamakhasana labo asebetshela amakhosi ukuthi kuzokwenzekani. Wena wakomkhulu.
USIHLALO WOMKHANDLU KAZWELONKE WEZIFUNDAZWE: Cha, asingayoni lento, baba uMzizi. Ngicabanga ukuthi iPhini likaMongameli belisahambele abambalwa. Akakafinyeleli kuwona onke. Ngethemba ukuthi usazoya kuwo. Ubenza nje isibonelo ngalawo asewabonile. Nokho-ke angingamphenduleli. Ngethemba kunjalo, Phini likaMongameli.
IPHINI LIKAMONGAMELI: Yebo, kunjalo, Sihlalo, ngisendleni. Umthwalo usobhokweni. Ngisazoya ekhaya.
Imfushane nje kakhulu impendulo kababa u Mokoena ukuthi leli qembu elizosebenza akhuluma ngalo elibhekene nokusebenzisana kwezinyunyana ngezindaba ezithinta abantu abasebenza emapulazini, akulona ikomiti lika Mongameli. Nokho-ke sake saba nengxoxo ehlanganisa umnyango nezinyunyana ngezindaba zabasebenzi abasebenza emapulazini. Umsebenzi uqhutshwa umnyango futhi bayahlangana. Ngingabacela nje bakuthumelele umbiko wokuthi lo msebenzi uqhubeka kanjani. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr M A MZIZI: Thank you, Chairperson. Deputy President, I am very happy to hear you touch on the traditional leaders. I am confused because I did not hear you talk about KwaZulu-Natal. In fact, I am not sure how you keep contact with the palaces because it is a very delicate matter. When I talk with traditional leaders in my area, they say that they do not know how government’s programme works because they hear through the grapevine that government does this and that. It is therefore important that there is proper communication with traditional leaders. That is why I want to find out how you contact the people in the palaces, or do they still hear through the grapevine what is going on?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, let us not spoil this, hon Mzizi. I think that the Deputy President has visited quite a few traditional leaders so far. She has not reached all of them yet. She was just making an example with those she has already seen, but let me not speak on her behalf. I believe it is like that, Deputy President.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes, of course. Chairperson, I am on my way. I am still going home.
The answer is very short for hon Mokoena. This committee that he is talking about, which facilitates talks between unions and farmworkers, does not belong to the President. However, we had discussions with the department and the unions with regard to farmworkers. The department is going ahead with work and they meet from time to time. I would like to ask them to furnish you with a report which details the progress of this work. Thank you.]
PEACE AND SECURITY
Proposal that inmates be offered paid work in businesses set up within prison walls
142. Kgoshi M L Mokoena (ANC) asked the Minister of Correctional Services:
(1) Whether he has received and evaluated the proposal made by the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of Offenders, Nicro, that inmates be offered paid work in businesses set up within prison walls; if not, why not; if so, what will the financial implications to his department be;
(2) whether he will make a statement on the matter? CO1792E
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Let me express my gratitude to my colleagues; even though the Deputy Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development seems not to agree, I can only promise him a weekend in Pollsmoor as a way of appeasing him; just a weekend in Pollsmoor, free of charge!
To Kgoshi Mokoena, I want to say that firstly, I have not received a proposal from Nicro in this regard. However, I’m informed that Nicro has made submissions to the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services at the request of the committee.
Secondly, I currently don’t have any statement to make since I’m not privy to the context and detail of such a report or a proposal, but I do need to say that prisons should be treated as prisons.
Prisons are security establishments; therefore, allowing businesses to be set up in prison is something that I would not recommend. We are dealing with criminals that are sometimes very violent, therefore, I wouldn’t want to recommend that businesses be set up for other people working with them there.
There is, however, a lot of work being done by offenders inside and outside of prisons, for example, renovating schools and building churches like Reverend Mthini’s church in Gugulethu and another church in Mitchells Plain. We are in that business of building churches and it is a way of asking people for forgiveness that we build the churches.
Building educare centres is one thing that I’m open to. We use offenders to build educare centres for children, because they have offended against some of the parents and some of the children, and also to renovate old age homes, as we will be doing, probably for the old age home in Gugulethu.
They are building houses for destitute people there - one or two houses, not on a large scale and not competing with contractors but making sure that we have our own way of again saying that we are very sorry and remorseful for the things we’ve done.
On 28 November 2007 we will be handing over about 650kg of vegetables and more than 700kg of meat to the Gugulethu old age home. This is all coming from our farms; this time from Helderstroom farm and from Drakenstein. These are vegetables that are planted, looked after and harvested by offenders. This is surplus veggies and surplus meat that we have and if there is an old age home or any educare centre near your place, as a public representative, please feel free to approach my centres, not for yourselves but for those who are destitute. We can help in that; even with the renovations and building, so please try and talk to my members. Thank you.
Plans to release petty criminal offenders held in correctional service centres due to inability to pay fines
143. Mr O M Thetjeng (DA) asked the Minister of Correctional Services:
Whether there are any plans to release petty criminal offenders who are in correctional service centres due to their inability to pay fines, thus creating unnecessary overcrowding; if not, why not; if so, when? CO2894E
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Thank you Chairperson. The reply to the question is as follows: The Department of Correctional Services is managing such offenders in line with its strategic plan which states that all provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 should be used to implement alternative placement options where possible.
Offenders sentenced to a maximum of five years imprisonment as an alternative to a fine in terms of section 287(4)(a) must be considered for placement on parole as soon as possible after their admission into a correctional centre. Regional commissioners are sensitised to ensure that all offenders within this category who qualify to be considered for placement on parole are considered timeously.
However, aspects such as the availability of support systems and a monitorable address – we need to find an address where we can monitor the offenders’ movements - are critical in this regard and the lack thereof does not always allow for such placement. So, placements get delayed because we cannot get an address of a family who can take care of this parolee.
A total of 8 647 offenders within this category were released during the period 1 June to 30 September 2007 in terms of this provision. We also approached the courts, as Deputy Minister De Lange knows, to assist us with those who cannot afford their bail. We cannot just let them go. We’ve got to go back to the courts because it is important.
If you read today’s report about Pollsmoor, the writer of that report totally missed the point of what we are doing, but the Portfolio Committee on Justice had a very good report. We cannot once a person is admitted to our centre - whether it is a pregnant lady or not – just say: Go away you are pregnant, we cannot keep you here. We don’t have that right at all. We cannot release people on our own. That would undermine the justice system.
For awaiting-trial detainees, we go back to the courts and it is our biggest problem. For sentence prisoners, it is not a problem. For the awaiting trials it is the delays that take place between SA Police Service, the Department of Justice and our department that really cripple the whole system.
These two, SA Police Service and Justice, are assisting us in dealing with the management of awaiting-trial detainees. Again, I repeat this, whether it is a young child or older child, we cannot just release them. We have to go back to the courts. Therefore, this system must work because these three departments are critical to this.
So the report does not capture the gist of what the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development discussed. I’ve read the report today, it doesn’t at all; it is too sensational.
Thank you very much.
Progress regarding reintegration programme of inmates into their communities
151. Mr S Shiceka (ANC) asked the Minister of Correctional Services:
Whether the reintegration programme of inmates into their communities is bearing any fruit; if not, why not; if so, how has this been achieved? CO2956E
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon Shiceka, community service provides offenders with opportunities to give back to those they have harmed. As I have said just now, when they do those things for the community they are giving back something which has a restorative effect on offenders, their victims and the community.
Officials working at community corrections offices supervise these offenders, who render community service at various community institutions around the country. In so far as the people who are doing community service all over the country are concerned, we have big and small names. If I were to mention some of those names you would know them, but I am not going to do that.
These institutions where offenders carry out community service assisting with cleaning, etc, include, inter alia, public hospitals; clinics; municipalities at local government; police stations; welfare organisations; old age homes, for instance in Gugulethu; and homes for people with disabilities, for example at an orphanage in Nqgeleni. They do not get payment for this as it is part of their community service.
Hospices and zoological gardens can make use of community services. So, even communities can ask: “Can we ask offenders to clean the graveyards in the communities where we live?” We will oblige you in that, because they are there to do exactly that.
Communities are also beneficiaries of the work done by offenders within their communities. Some of these community service projects include cleaning parks in places that have parks, general maintenance, gardening – but do not ask them to do gardening in your own home because we are talking about community service and not gardening services in people’s private homes. They cannot even do gardening for me – only general administrative and clerical work and painting. We have renovated and painted a school in Cala, in Manzimdaka. The offenders have totally renovated and repainted that school.
We are rendering these services with the assistance of our partners such as Nicro, Khulisa and many other faith-based and community-based organisations.
One last point to be made is that research has been commissioned by the Institute of Security Studies to inform the consideration of a system to monitor re-offending in South Africa and this was done by the Department of Correctional Services. We get complaints about re-offending and abscondment by some of these people out there.
We are trying to find out what the problem is, how many of them are involved and what makes them re-offend and abscond from the system. So, those are the things that we are doing to make sure that the system works. Thanks.
Mr S SHICEKA: Chairperson, my question to the Minister is: Does he not think that it might be necessary for a deliberate effort to be made to create structures at a community level that must be able to monitor progress of its own sons and daughters who have been incarcerated and, as the people who come from these communities, they should make sure that when they come back, they are able also to be debriefed and reintegrated into society because some of these people do not have families or homes but the community can be the net that can receive them to ensure that they do not commit crime again. That means recidivism does not happen. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: I could not agree more with hon Shiceka. We have parole boards and community corrections. I have sent them out there to make sure that we have structures that would include the police, because we need the police to be involved in this so that they can trace those who abscond.
But the social reintegration process that we have is exactly asking for what the hon Shiceka is talking about. It is important that as public representatives we also find out about parolees and probationers that are in our region or community. We must also find out what is being done to follow up and to make sure that we get debriefed and that they really stay as part of the communities.
The community net is much more important, as hon Shiceka is saying, because without that community net catching them when things go wrong, it is not easy as they go back to reoffend. Some of them are rejected by and alienated from their families. There will be families who say, “Ningamkhuphi uMninwa Mahlangu, ngoba asifuni akhutshwe.” [Please do not release Mninwa Mahlangu because we do not want him out of jail].
It is the family that says, “Keep him there, Ngconde, until he is old.” I cannot do that. Firstly, it will be inhumane and secondly, against our own Constitution and human rights. So, these are some of the things that we are talking about. Victims should also be included in that process.
We always emphasise that point although victims will not always agree with the paroled person as they might say, “Hayi khona, makangakhutshwa, do not let this one out,” after a person has done probably something like 15 years out of 20. It becomes unfair but we have got to negotiate this through social workers, the community, and the families, especially that of the victims to see what we can do about that.
Mr A WATSON: Chair, and hon Minister, something concerns me here. You know, we read a lot about parolees and also people on bail reverting to crime, and the Minister has now also mentioned the absconding of parolees and reverting to crime, but he also stated that when they do this community work they do it free of charge and are not paid anything for it.
Now, in the comfort of the prison they get fed, clothed and housed but if they get nothing for community work, isn’t that a matter that drives them to crime because otherwise how do they eat and buy clothes? They are out here in the community doing work as part of the sentence but they have nothing to feed on or to sustain themselves on.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: I personally think that the second part of your question is a critical question in terms of processing. Remember we have got two streams here. The one stream that goes out and works or the work teams that do all the educare centres are looked after by us because we have got food and everything and we also pay them a stipend.
The problem arises when they have to go out as parolees and probationers and these are in the second stream. Probationers are released directly by magistrates and courts. So, we do not have anything much to do other than monitor them and parolees dealt with by the parole boards. But we need to find a way where we can do something that will assist them in the process of being parolees.
You are quite correct that sometimes some of them do not even have a place to live. We have got to find a way of assisting, and again any ideas that members have, please feel free to write to me and I will consider all of them.
Measures to address anomalies pointed out by Auditor-General
146. Kgoshi M L Mokoena (ANC) asked the Minister of Correctional Services:
(1) How is his department addressing anomalies pointed out by the Auditor-General;
(2) whether those measures will prevent his department from receiving qualified annual reports; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO2949E
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy Chair, Mluleki, hon George here, is very naughty. He says I should say this but I’m going to say it because I’m a Christian and he is a Christian himself. He says: If in the first place they didn’t commit crime, they would be having houses, but that is not the way to approach it. You can’t approach it from that angle at all. So I’m censuring him for what he is saying. Reverend Moatshe, please talk to him and counsel him.
Kgoshi, for the 2006-2007 financial year, the Auditor-General issued five management reports which highlighted various issues of non-compliance by my department. The reports were distributed to the relevant branches for them to provide suitable answers and strategies to address and prevent similar queries in future.
On 23 and 24 August, a senior management conference was held with the focus solely on the issue of compliance. In the department I’m known for one thing; whenever we start meetings with the senior management, my war cry is simple: Compliance, compliance and compliance because if we don’t comply, we’ll get Auditor-General reports that are qualified all the time.
So, these officials from all over the country attended the conference and took part in compiling action plans to address the qualifications and other important issues raised by the Auditor-General in the audit report. On a monthly basis, our audit steering committee meetings take place, where all branches and staff from Auditor-General’s office are represented. The items on the agenda include all qualification issues as well as other important matters highlighted by the Auditor-General. These issues are interrogated and progress is monitored.
Some identified anomalies will take longer to resolve. The asset register and asset management will take longer but other issues should take a short period of time to resolve. Some will be resolved within a short timeframe. The measures are incorporated into various action plans and progress reports from different branches.
I also must admit that the finance and budget committees in Parliament, the portfolio committee and the select committee assist us a lot when you ask us to come and report and to be able then to criticise the work that department does constructively and give guidance where it is needed.
Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Chair, let me thank the hon Minister for the honest and fair response. My follow-up question is to the effect that in some instances those anomalies that are pointed out involve the same units and same officials, who, in my own terms, are those who have reached the ceiling. They are not transformable; you cannot train them.
What can we do to those officials because they are tarnishing the image of these good departments? What must be done to this kind of official because if the Auditor-General points out the same mistakes for three consecutive years, obviously that is unacceptable? Something must be done about it. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Kgoshi, you are quite correct. Regarding those anomalies coming from the same unit and same officials, the new commissioner now has put some procedures in place. These procedures say that we will do a performance assessment on officials and units. If we find that, repeatedly, you are going on doing the same things and not correcting your offending behaviour, you will be disciplined. Disciplinary procedures will be put in place so that we can get you out of the system because you are not worth being kept in the system - you are not improving at all.
So those are things that I’m very happy about, and the new commissioner has made no bones about it to all the senior members. Right now, there are senior members that are complaining about that and I’m quite happy. I’m smiling because they are appealing to me and I’m saying to myself, “If only you knew that I love what the commissioner is doing.”
Measures to improve financial management of department
152. Mr A T Manyosi (ANC) asked the Minister of Correctional Services:
Whether his department has put measures in place to improve its financial management; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? CO2958E
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon Mluleki George, please! [Laughter] Deputy Chairperson, when a member is out of order in the House that member ought to be thrown out. And I have the Deputy Minister of Defence here. I am making a formal complaint.
Hon Manyosi, it is a long question. I would like to table your answer because it is quite a long one about certification of monthly financial management meetings which I have already talked about. It includes monthly financial meetings with the regional heads of finance and supply management and the issue of in-year monitoring reporting on budget expenditure and revenue, as well as budget blocking, financial policies and procedures and financial management training. I have all of those here in front of me. Can I table it so that the hon member can read it and come back to us with some of the queries that he might have? Thank you.
Reinstatement of official who assisted with exposing corrupt activities
153. Ms F Nyanda (ANC) asked the Minister of Correctional Services:
Whether the official who assisted his department with exposing corrupt activities by some officials at a correctional centre in the Free State was reinstated after he had been suspended; if not, why not; if so, when? CO2959E
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: That is the last one. I thank my colleagues very much for being so generous to this ``little man’’ - me. I appreciate it.
Hon Nyanda, the official in question declared a dispute following his dismissal from the department and referred the dispute for arbitration to the General Public Service Sectoral Bargaining Council-GPSSBC. The arbitrator ruled in favour of the employee and ordered that he be reinstated. The department is of the opinion that the arbitrator erred in his judgment and has filed for review proceedings in the Labour Court, which is something procedural that we can do. So we have done exactly that. Thank you.
Mr E M SOGONI: Thank you very much, hon Minister, for the response. Minister, what were the conditions of the arbitration because normally the decision of the arbitration is that it will be final and accepted by both parties? Wasn’t that perhaps the agreement between the two parties before going into arbitration? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon member, I will not say anything that might mislead this House. At the moment I am not sure if I know the reasons behind that but I can bring them to you once I find out from the department, write to you and give you the details thereof.
Mr S SHICEKA: Thank you very much, Deputy Chairperson. Minister, as an executive authority you know that we passed a Bill here on Tuesday. The Bill is changing the term ``executing authority’’ to ``an executive authority’’. Now, I am using a new term that might not be in your vocabulary.
Minister, as an executive authority, don’t you think that this issue of the said official, Setlai, is sending a signal that, if you expose corruption, you do not rest but are dealt with? I can tell you that since that official exposed that corruption the then National Commissioner came out very strongly, even against the views of the public including ourselves, that we are saying that we are combating corruption but if an official comes out in the open to combat corruption, that official is dealt with. By pursuing this matter isn’t that sending a signal to say that if you report corruption you will never rest but you will be hounded out of the organisation and the department because the department does not rest?
It means that you will exhaust this man until he is financially bankrupt because if you fight the state with all the resources that it has, at the end of the day you will decide to leave the case. You will not have the resources to fight anymore. Isn’t that sending a signal that if you fight corruption you will be dealt with, you will be hounded out of the organisation? According to me the world has handled the case. Unless I can be persuaded otherwise, I don’t think it is correct. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Thank you very much, hon Shiceka. May I, just out of sheer courtesy and respect for the labour courts and everything, not discuss the details of this particular case because if I do, I would really be putting myself into trouble? So I would rather not. I do, however, want to say that the ways in which cases are handled sometimes are different. Each case is seen and handled differently from others.
Secondly, when we talk of whistle-blowers - I am not referring to this particular case at all - you have to weigh up whether this really is a whistle-blower or a person who is just bent on mischief. Again, you have to weigh up these things. As executive authority, surely, when it is presented to me, after having listened to the case and to everybody, I am able to make a decision and say: Let the process continue or let’s stop the process right here and be able to wrap up this whole thing and see what we can do.
I am not particularly talking about this one case. At the end of the day we’ve got to make sure that there is closure in everything that we handle. It does not have to go on and on. We close it at a given stage and turn over a new leaf, all of us, to make sure that government’s work and policies are pushed forward. If we are going to be bogged down by one individual case, we won’t be doing justice to the electorate who voted us into government.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms P M Hollander): Hon Minister, I agree with you that that case is sub judice and that you may not discuss it in the House.
Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Chair, arising from the hon Minister’s reply, I want to humbly submit, suggest and propose to the hon Minister, whom I like so much, that they take the committee in confidence and that we be fully briefed an this case because, in the opinion of the committee, we feel that some other things need to be straightened out before we have different opinions on the issues. As a community, we feel strongly that some other things need to be addressed before the said official is thrown to the dogs. Thanks Chair.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: I can promise the committee that as soon as we come back from recess and if they put this particular issue on the agenda of the committee, I will lead that delegation that will come to the committee. I ask if only we could have that in camera because there issues will arise that may land us in trouble with the Labour Court. So, if they agree with me on that, I am quite happy to lead a delegation to that select committee to explain all these issues.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms P M Hollander): I now want to announce that we have officials in this House to pass letters from one person to the other so do not use the members of the House. Thank you very much, Mr Sogoni. [Laughter.]
Criteria applicable to reservists in SA Police Service
133. Ms B L Ntembe (ID) asked the Minister of Safety and Security:
(1) What is the difference between the work of a reservist and that of a permanently appointed police official;
(2) whether permanent police officials have preference over reservists when vacant posts are filled; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details;
(3) whether age affects appointments in the SA Police Service; if not, why not; if so,
(4) whether finality is given to reservists who are over the age limit but who are trained and actively involved in the Police Service; if not, why not; if so, (a) to how many and (b) where;
(5) what criteria are used in the allocation of the remuneration of reservists? CO1762E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Deputy Chairperson, a reservist while on duty is regarded as a member of the Police Service and has the same powers, duties and responsibilities as a permanent member of the service. Different categories of reservists have been established and the category to which a reservist has been appointed will determine the nature of the work that they will perform. The categories are Category A, B, C and D.
Permanent officials do enjoy preference over reservists when vacant posts are filled because of their differences in employment status. Permanent officials are employed on a permanent basis whereas reservists are employed solely on a voluntary basis.
Yes, it is logical to have an age limit due to the nature of the work performed by an officer, hence an age limit applies.
Yes, finality is given to reservists who are over the age limit but trained and actively involved in the Police Service.
The essence of the SA Reserve Police Service system is that of a voluntary service. The tariffs at which reservists are compensated when called for duty are based on a sliding scale depending on a rank level per eight-hour shift. Constables are paid R128,72; sergeants are paid R162,88; inspectors are paid R206,09; captains are paid R260,77; superintendents are paid R329,96; and senior superintendents are paid R451,62. Thank you.
Qualifications necessary for a police officer to be a trainer at a police college
134. Ms B L Ntembe (ID) asked the Minister of Safety and Security:
(1) What qualifications are necessary for a police officer to be a trainer at a police college;
(2) whether police officers who are qualified as educators are seen as preferred candidates to be police trainers; if not, where can they receive the required qualifications to become trainers at police colleges? CO1763E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Deputy Chairperson, the Police Service has a qualification at NQF Level 6 or higher and a qualification in education is a recommendation. However, functional police experience is also required. Educators without police experience are required to undergo a basic training programme for lateral entry.
Measures to deal with farmers allegedly violently arresting people crossing from Mozambique to South Africa
135. Mr V V Z Windvoël (ANC) asked the Minister of Safety and Security:
Whether his department has taken any measures to intervene or deal with farmers who allegedly violently arrest people crossing from Mozambique into South Africa in the Musina area in Limpopo; if not, why not; if so, what measures? CO1775E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Deputy Chairperson, presently there are no cases of farmers violently arresting any people crossing from Mozambique into South Africa in the Musina area. If any case of this nature is reported, a criminal case will be opened, investigated and submitted to the prosecuting authority for a decision.
Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Deputy Chairperson, arising from the Deputy Minister’s response, I want to make a follow up that the real situation in Musina is that farmers even have keys to some gates – keys that are supposed to be in the hands of either Home Affairs or this department.
It is true that there are farmers who do arrest these people. Some of them even make them work as cheap labourers. Can the Minister really look into this situation because it is a fact? A report was even tabled in Parliament to this effect where committees under this cluster, ourselves and colleagues in the NA, did what we call an inspection in loco about the same issue. It was discovered that it is true that this is happening. Can we be assisted by the hon Deputy Minister as to the action that is going to be taken to try and prevent this kind of arrangements? Thank you, Deputy Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Hon Kgoshi Mokoena, the issue you are raising is very important and critical. But the predicament you are putting us in is that we have no evidence where we are now. I believe that members of this House also have the right not to just raise issues but make sure that relevant cases or complaints are being lodged properly. That is the only way in which we will be able to pursue matters.
Whilst it might be good that you visited the area and that there was sufficient evidence for an action to be taken, it makes it very difficult for us to act unless we have concrete evidence. So, I would urge members, as they go around and do their inspections in various places, not to just go there and when they discover some misconduct then compile just a report. It would be appropriate to assist in lodging complaints and if there are victims, to assist the victims to lay cases against perpetrators.
In that way, this will make sure that if our members are involved in wrongdoing, they can also be taken to task. If we don’t do that and we just go and prepare a report, it will not assist us. The report will also not help us to send a message to perpetrators - be it farmers, police officers in our services or people in Home Affairs. We need tangible information and evidence to make sure that we charge any individual who happens to be involved in misconduct.
Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Chairperson, I want to thank the hon Deputy Minister for the honest response. I just want to confirm that the report was given to the provincial commissioner and to the national department. The issue was raised with the same department during our budget briefing this year. What we expected was a response on how far we are in terms of correcting this anomaly that is taking place at Musina. Thank you, Chairperson.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Thank you, hon Kgoshi Mokoena. We will make a follow-up on that report. As I have already indicated, it is not just enough to deal with a report without taking the necessary action, especially where individuals have been identified as wrongdoers. We will talk to the provincial commissioner for Limpopo. If there are particular individuals who have been identified, make sure that when you come back, maybe next year, you have a better report on progress in respect of those individuals who might be perpetrators in this particular instance.
Mr A WATSON: Chairperson, I must admit that I am confused. Here we have the chairperson of a committee of Parliament who states that they did local investigations, found proof and submitted a report. Yet the Deputy Minister or the Ministry is unaware of any cases. How is it possible that this is not followed through in the department? Can the Minister explain to us how the gap arises? We appreciate the fact that she says she will now investigate, but how did this gap arise?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Hon Watson, the chairperson said that the report was given to the provincial commissioner. I don’t remember hearing the chair saying that he gave the report to the Ministry. Hence I am saying we are going to make a follow-up on the issue raised with the provincial commissioner. At this stage, I cannot confirm whether there was any action taken
against the perpetrators. The only thing I can assure you is that we will make a follow-up and give you an answer. So, I don’t see anything different in what Kgoshi said to what we are responding to.
I don’t think there is anything wrong if the matters were raised with the provincial commissioner with an intention of him taking action even without us knowing. The question on the Order Paper did not indicate that the report was with the provincial commissioner. If it had raised that matter, we would have then definitely have gone out to find out exactly what transpired.
The question was around Mozambicans who were arrested in Limpopo in the Musina area. It was not specific to the report. So, I am just saying that if it was specific and referred to that report, indeed we would be have a relevant answer. But I am also saying to you that we will investigate. When you come back next year we will be able to submit a report to that effect without even coming to this House. I am giving an undertaking that we will submit a report to the chairperson in respect of this particular matter.
Mr B J TOLO: On the same issue, Deputy Chair, I also can’t understand properly. If a question arises that there is such a problem in Limpopo, before the department responds it would actually touch base with the department in Limpopo to find out if there were such things or not. Presently, it looks like the response was just crafted by the department without touching base with Limpopo to find out if there are such cases or not. That is my predicament. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Deputy Chair, can I read the question? The question says:
Whether his department has taken any major action to intervene or deal with farmers who violently arrest people crossing from Mozambique into South Africa in the Musina area in Limpopo; if not, why not; if so, what measures.
So, I don’t know what you are trying to say. Unfortunately English is not my first language, but I thought I understood it quite well. There is nowhere in this question where it refers to a report compiled by the committee! I am responding to this particular aspect. It is talking about Mozambicans crossing around Musina.
An HON MEMBER: We don’t even know who these people are.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: I don’t even know who these people are. I don’t even know the farmers. So, I am just saying to you that the follow-up question that was raised by Kgoshi Mokoena is the one I am responding to. I am not confused. I just want to say that I am not a sangoma or a prophet who can smell what is in the minds of individuals as follow-up or complementary questions.
Number of police officers dismissed due to misconduct
136. Mr A T Manyosi (ANC) asked the Minister of Safety and Security:
(1) In the past 12 months, (a) how many police officers were dismissed because of misconduct, (b) what offences did they commit and (c) what measures are being put in place to prevent such offences;
(2) whether he will make a statement on the matter? CO1779E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Hon Chair, 366 police officers were dismissed during the 2006-2007 financial year because of misconduct.
The police officers committed the following offences: 57 failed to commit to or contravened an Act, regulation or legal obligation; five were found in possession of property of the state without permission; 13 committed or caused intentional or negligent damages to or caused loss of state property; five committed actions that were prejudicial to the administration, discipline or efficiency of the department; 25 accepted compensation in cash or kind.
Furthermore, 28 failed to carry out a lawful order; 72 were absent without reason or permission; three contravened any prescribed code of conduct; one committed sexual harassment; one unfairly discriminated against others; four worked for compensation in a private capacity without approval; 11 were under the influence of alcohol whilst on duty; four conducted themselves improperly whilst on duty; nine gave a false statement or evidence; and 117 committed a common law or statutory offence.
The SA Police Service has an employee assistant service to improve the wellbeing of South African police members to enhance their social, spiritual and psychological functioning. Registered social workers, psychologists, psychometricians, as well as chaplains render services to members to enhance operational productivity and performance.
With reference to No 2 of this question, we are not going to make any statement on this matter.
Ms D ROBINSON: Chair, I would just like to know how the screening of potential candidates takes place. This is worrying - to think that there are so many serious offences committed by the people. When officers are taken into employment, does psychometric testing take place? What is the screening process to make sure that we are taking suitable candidates into employment?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms P M Hollander): Hon Robinson, that is actually a new question to the Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Hon Chair, maybe just to respond to the question, if you can come to the police college and see the people who are there, you will see that it is young people from the ages of 18 to 35. It is young people who go through all the necessary training. If you look at the world, broadly, no young person is corrupt or commits these offences. It is the influences around that particular individual that tend to cause that.
So, the screening in the Police Service is competent, efficient, and we bring in the right people. What happens in the process is another story and it happens in any company all over the world. There is no company that employs a crook, but crooks tend to be groomed within those companies. It is the same situation, unfortunately.
We cannot refuse to employ or recruit competent people, at the beginning, in the Police Service just because we anticipate that they are going to commit offences one or two. They are all innocent at the beginning, and they all qualify in terms of the requirements to become police officers.
Measures to combat drug dealing in Western Cape
137. Mr N J Mack (ANC) asked the Minister of Safety and Security:
Whether his department has put any measures in place to combat drug dealing (or drug trafficking) in the Western Cape; if not, (a) why not and (b) when will they be put in place; if so, what measures? CO1782E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Thank you, Chairperson. The reply is yes. With regard to the first part of the question, the reply is not applicable. With regard to the second part of the question, the following measures have been put in place to address drugs, including tik in the Western Cape.Drugs are addressed by means of a three-pronged approach, namely proactive policing, investigation and social crime prevention.
Mr W M DOUGLAS: Minister, as part of your measures to combat drug dealing specifically at manufacturing sites in the Western Cape, are police officers being trained in the specialist skills that they need? They need hazmat skills and specialist training to take down methamphetamine laboratories - meth labs - because it’s a toxic environment that is very explosive.
It is different to your normal manufacturing sites. Are they receiving that kind of treatment; because it is dangerous to their own safety to go in with loaded weapons and so on? So, I just wanted to know whether police officers are, as part of the measures to combat drug trafficking in the Western Cape, and specific to the Western Cape problem of methamphetamine or tik, actually receiving that necessary training.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Chairperson, all our officers are trained on how to handle issues of drugs in our country because if you don’t do that you have a problem of police officers coming across drugs, but because they are not trained they are not able to deal with the situation. I think one of the issues is that if police are not ready to do that they are able to cordon off the area and then call the necessary expertise to come and comb the area.
So, we have police officers who are specialising in matters of drugs. But not only that, we also have them in the area of information gathering because the drug problem in the Western Cape is something for which you need to set up special task teams in order to deal with it and that is what we are doing. Hence, we are seeing a successful process in retrieving drugs in various areas, including the different laboratories which you find throughout South Africa.
Also, the success in dealing with the issue of tik in the Western Cape is currently rocketing. Unfortunately it is an issue which cannot be a police matter alone. We need communities to help us because these issues happen and drugs are being smuggled within communities. Members of communities are the ones who understand who is a drug-lord, who buys, who sells.
All that kind of information you find within the communities. So, participation by communities in giving information to the police is very critical for us to have a successful operation within the Western Cape.
Mr A WATSON: Thank you, Chairperson. Can the Minister please tell us what these measures are that she refers to make sure that the police are properly trained and have these measures been sharpened to ensure that police actually concentrate on eradicating drug trafficking rather than arresting peaceful marchers in the campaign against drugs, as happened recently?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Chairperson, the police have to do their job at all times. Those who decide to be provocative and engage in illegal marches will also be arrested because they are breaking the law. Also, those who think that they will continue to support illegal actions, the police will definitely have to take action against them. They are not just focusing on trying to eradicate and combat drug trafficking and drug abuses but all those who do wrong things must be brought to book. That’s the work and the function of the police. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms P M Hollander): Order! Hon Watson, would you please allow the hon Minister a chance to respond to your question?
Ms D ROBINSON: Chairperson, the point that the Minister raised about needing the eyes and ears of the community is a very valuable one. I would like to know whether you are appointing additional staff because in so many areas, particularly the one in which I work, the people know exactly where the tik houses are and yet no action is taken against these people. If the police are made aware by the community, what do you do next? Are you appointing additional staff or how are you dealing with this to accept the information that you were given which is very valid?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Chairperson, I would just say that employment of additional police or staff is not going to change the environment because now you have more policing and information flowing from communities will be better managed. The issue currently is that we have staff and we are continuously improving in employing or adding more to our police capacity.
The issue of communities where you work who know who sells tik, who runs a laboratory, I think you, as a member of a legislature and of this House also have a responsibility of making sure that you assist those communities in collating information and giving it to the relevant authorities, because in that way we will make sure that we prevent those individuals who are involved in drug smuggling on a day-to day-basis.
So, I am just saying to you that it doesn’t help us to employ more police officers when that information that you know about is not passed on to the police. I believe the success of combating drugs in our country will be successful on the basis of information brought forward by you as a member of the legislature.
Ms D ROBINSON: Thank you, Chairperson. Minister, the problem is just that the information has been passed on not only by me to policing forums and to the officers concerned but by the community. The problem is that no action is taken against the druglords. This is why I am saying perhaps we need additional staff. I know it’s a difficult issue but the information is coming in and what the police are doing with it and whether they are actually following it up, that is the big question: There is no effective policing in that regard.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms P M Hollander): Hon Minister, you do not need to answer the question because it is a new question.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: I just want to say to the hon Chairperson, given the fact that she’s got such crucial information, I would suggest to the member to give us that information so that we are able to investigate.
Assessment of fitness levels of police officers
138. Mr Z C Ntuli (ANC) asked the Minister of Safety and Security:
(1) whether police officers undergo fitness tests; if not, why not;
(2) how are the police officers who have graduated from training colleges and are carrying out their policing duties, keeping themselves fit;
(3) whether his department is benefiting from such exercise; if not, what is the department planning to do; if so, how?CO1783E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Chairperson, the answer to Question 138 is: Firstly, yes, all functional police officials are required to undergo the street survival assessment programme at least once a year, which includes three modules of assessments, namely, knowledge of health and fitness, legal principles and use of firearms; units performing medium to high risk duties, for example, the dog unit, national intervention unit, special task force and air wing; and they are exposed to fitness training on a more regular basis.
Secondly, the department will benefit from such exercises by our members by having an acceptable standard of physical fitness among all police personnel.
Mr Z C NTULI: Chairperson ...
Phini likaNgqongqoshe, bengifuna ukwazi nje mayelana namaphoyisa la asemadala okungaselula ukuthi avocavoce umzimba ukuthi ngabe ikhona yini indlela abangaqeqeshwa ngayo ukuze bakwazi ukuyozisebenza bona njengoba kwenza abezokuvikela? Umbiko esiwutholile ngamasosha la asuke esekhulile owokuthi ayaqeqeshwa ukuthi akwazi ukuzenzela imisebenzi emakhaya njengozivulela amabhizinisi amancane. Ngabe ukhona uyini umqondo onjalo lapha emaphoyiseni? Ngiyabonga.
IPHINI LIKANGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUPHEPHA NOKUVIKELA: Ngiyabonga lungu lale Ndlu. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Deputy Minister, I just wanted to know whether there is a programme to train those policemen who are old and cannot be physically trained so that they can start their own businesses as is done in Defence. The reports we get about the old soldiers is that they are trained so that they will be able to start their own businesses at home. Is there such an idea in the Police Service?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Thank you, hon member of this House.]
Chairperson, I agree with Minister Balfour, I think what I need to do is pick up this Deputy Minister and talk to Minister Balfour and lock him up. [Laughter.] He is very destructive.
Engingakusho ukuthi emaphoyiseni asinalo uhlelo olufana nolwezokuvikela ... [What I can say is that in the Police Service ... we do not have such a programme ...]
... where our members when they are old, can be provided with extra training to start their own private businesses. We do not have that kind of a programme because it is not part of our core business. I think the difference between us and the Defence Force is that police officers are in the police force until the age of 60. We have a programme which tends to recognise the various experiences and skills which the police have until they reach the age of 60.
As we all know, at the age of 60 or 65 one has to go on retirement, so we follow that normal procedure or process but in general those old police officers whom you might call old, are very critical due to the experience they have and they’re better off. I know you might be talking about some of them who might be obese. [Laughter.]
We might have those who have health problems. We put them on a programme of trying to help them healthwise and if they are physically unfit, unfortunately, we have to find a way of boarding them from the Police Service. We don’t have a programme that allows them or helps them to be trained maybe to have small businesses later in life. It is not within the police competency.
Mr S SHICEKA: Chairperson, very good - Deputy Chair. I think practice makes perfect!
IPhini likaNgqongqoshe, le mpendulo yakho iyangigqugquzela futhi ivusa ugqozi. Into engifuna ukuyazi ukuthi yini indaba emaphoyiseni ningakwazi ukuthi nisebenzise ubuningi bezinto njengendawo yokuzivocavoca, ngoba siyazi ukuthi lo msebenzi unengcindezi enkulu okuholela ekutheni bazidubule nokunye kanti uma engaya ezindaweni zokuzivocavoca kungehlisa incindezi yomsebenzi futhi kwehle nezisu ezikhulu lezi ukuze abukeke kahle ngoba phela kufanele bebheke nezigebengu futhi bazigijimise.
Uma ngabe isisu sisikhulu kakhulu, kuba nzima ukugijima. Ngisho ukuthi-ke njengoba siwuhulumeni, sizama ukuthi sithole amanani aphansi ukuze abantu baye ezindaweni zokuzivocavoca ngaphandle kokuhlukumezeka. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Deputy Minister, your response is very encouraging. What I would like to know is why you do not use available resources in the Police Service such as the gym because we all know that this line of work is stressful which leads policemen to shoot themselves? If they could go to the gym, the stress levels due to their work could go down. They could also get rid of their big stomachs so that they look good and are able to keep up with criminals.
If they have big stomachs, it becomes difficult. I am saying that, as government, we are trying to negotiate low prices so that the police could go to these gyms for training. Thank you.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Chairperson, I wholly agree with the member. It is one of the issues which we are considering and trying to address. I don’t want to dwell too much on the issue of wellness and fitness within the Police Service but we are looking into that. Because we are talking about a very large institution or organisation that could spread all over the country, we have to make sure that in all corners of South Africa our members will be able to get that particular service.
If you look at the current situation, if we have to enter into discussions and negotiations, we must also consider that there are outskirt areas. Our members in those areas need also to get such facilities. We are looking into that. We hope in about a year or two or by the end of next year we will have managed to strike some arrangement with various fitness clubs where our members can participate at a reasonable rate.
Position regarding possible merger of Judicial Service Commission and Magistrate’s Commission
139. Kgoshi M L Mokoena (ANC) asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:
(1) Whether it is necessary to have the Judicial Services Commission separate from the Magistrates’ Commission; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) whether it will serve a good purpose to combine the two commissions into one entity; if not, what will the problem be; if so, when can this be expected to happen?CO1788E
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chair, may I start by saying although Deputy Minister George hasn’t said anything to me yet, I can agree with my colleagues that it would be a good idea if he was arrested and put in prison! [Laughter.]
Secondly, may I thank the hon Kgoshi Mokoena for the question. The answer to this is quite easy: Clearly, we do not want and we do not have to have two different commissions. In time we will have to create one commission to deal with the appointments of judges and magistrates, but of course we must remember that the fact that there are two commissions is a quirk of history. These institutions were created in a different time and space within the democratisation of our country.
The Magistrates’ Commission, you will recall, was created by the apartheid government in 1993, just before the new government. They saw the writing on the wall and just before the new government came into place they quickly got rid of magistrates as public servants and put them under the auspices of the Magistrates Commission.
The principle of that is correct, but the manner in which they did it was wrong. It was rushed and it took the magistrates out of a legal framework in which they fitted and put them in a vacuum.
A lot of problems we’re experiencing today with the magistracy in terms of discipline and rules and regulations which aren’t applicable - because those that did apply were pulled out of there and new ones weren’t put in place - are because of this.
Furthermore, the Judicial Service Commission was created in a completely different time in history. It was created when we had started our negotiations. We wanted a new mechanism to appoint judges so that the old mechanism under apartheid, whereby judges were appointed by the executive, would be changed, and we created the Judicial Service Commission to do that.
The other thing which we must also remember is that a lot of other functions that government used to perform in terms of the magistracy
have now been made a function of the Magistrates’ Commission, for example, transfers and a whole lot of issues around their salaries and so on. So, these two institutions were created for different reasons at different times.
However, as you know, the policy of the government is to create a single judiciary that must as far as possible treat all judicial officers the same. So this issue that we inherited from the people who colonised us and created a different judiciary and magistracy must be done away with together with all the artificial barriers that were created along with it.
So, in due time the policy is to create one institution; but as I’ve said, because they were created at different times and with different effects and so on, it’s not going to be that easy.
In this policy document we’re looking at the moment in the department to deal with all policy issues surrounding the judiciary, this is one of the matters that will be dealt with. So in time there will definitely be one commission but it will take a bit of time for us to get there.
Steps to address complaints about poor service rendered by Legal Aid Board
140. Mr S Shiceka (ANC) asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:
(1) Whether her department is addressing the complaints raised by people, including awaiting-trial prisoners, about the poor service rendered by the Legal Aid Board; if not, why not; if so, what action has been taken in this regard;
(2) whether she will make a statement on the matter? CO1790E
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you, Chairperson, and thank you to the hon Shiceka for this question.
Improving service delivery across the board is something that government continuously strives for, including those services afforded to it by the Legal Aid Board. The Minister has continued to engage with the department and related bodies such as the board and the National Prosecuting Authority in this regard. These engagements obviously also touched on matters such as access to sufficient services and complaints on or perceived lack and/or low standards of service delivery in some areas.
I wish to inform hon members that considerable progress has been made by the board in terms of service delivery and the way in which it is perceived and markets itself.
The following are interventions and monitoring tools introduced by the board to improve service delivery: firstly, a client-focused programme which comprises complaint registers, suggestion boxes and an ethics hotline managed by an independent company. Secondly, senior legal aid legal practitioners do random court observations on actual court work. This assists supervisors in reviewing the quality of work of practitioners.
Thirdly, once a year the Legal Aid Board contracts an external legal practitioner to make an assessment of the quality of work done by its in-house lawyers and the results thereof are assisting the Legal Aid Board in improving their monitoring systems.
Fourthly, legal aid justice centre executives periodically interact with Justice cluster stakeholders, including judges, magistrates and prosecutors to engage on matters of common interest, as well as to get feedback on the performance of the lawyers under the Legal Aid Board.
Lastly, awaiting-trial prisoners are visited once every two months through the Legal Aid Board prison-linked project. The visits are meant to reaffirm the mandate of the Legal Aid Board to assist awaiting-trial prisoners so that they can take an informed position on deciding who is to represent them in a matter.
In conclusion, we also want to congratulate and commend the board for its unqualified audit report it has received once again.
So, what is important here is that there can be no doubt in a big organisation such as the Legal Aid Board. It has a budget of R500 million with 56 legal aid centres and a lot of work being done by lawyers, so clearly there’s going to be a difference in the level of work that is performed.
It has to be through training and monitoring systems that we better that, and also, particularly, that members of this House, when they do their oversight work, tell us where there’re weaknesses in the system because I do not accept the criticism that all lawyers of the Legal Aid Board are bad. Of course that’s nonsense. You get good ones and then you also get some bad ones.
I also think we must be careful of this criticism because, clearly, a legal aid system – if you go and study any legal aid system anywhere in the world, I don’t care if it’s in the richest country you can find – per se is geared to give legal representation but not legal representation at a senior counsel level.
I mean, there is no system in the world that does that. Clearly, legal aid practitioners are, in some instances, relatively junior. In some instances they are, of course, more experienced but the important thing is that we must monitor it.
Please, members, bring to our attention where you find weaknesses, for example we’ve been told that Mafikeng’s legal aid centre is particularly weak and is having problems, and so on. So we’ll go and investigate and talk with the Legal Aid Board to have a look at that. So we’ll try and keep on making the work that they provide more professional and, of course, better than it is now. So please, we do request information wherever you find that.
Mr Z C NTULI: Chairperson, I would like to put it to the Minister that when we were doing the oversight visits to the provinces, wherever we went we found that the Legal Aid Board officials themselves complained that they were using junior officers, some of whom are fresh out of school. Can he elaborate why particularly the Legal Aid Board must get the junior people fresh out of school?
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: You’re naughty, you know! I mean, they are doing those jobs and if they come and complain to Parliament about these things, it’s really foolish of them. We must realise that it’s not just them, it’s the prosecutors as well. When prosecutors are employed, they don’t necessarily employ people with five years’ experience. They employ the people who have just come out of school.
In fact, if we want to complain we should complain about the prosecuting authority. In Gauteng, for example – Mr Shiceka would know this – in many of our regional courts we now have prosecutors with two years’ experience. Because of the high turnover of prosecutors – there is a question about that coming later – we have that problem. So it’s a general problem in our system. I mean, the Legal Aid Board mustn’t try and make as if they’re precious about this. That’s number one.
Number two: It’s the Legal Aid Board that’s responsible for training their people, for keeping their people and for giving them the best opportunities. So, I say again: a legal system anywhere – I’ll challenge anyone to go anywhere in the world – of course, stretches its money as much as it can to get as many lawyers as it can to assist people, but nowhere in the world does legal aid provide money for senior advocates or senior lawyers and upwards.
The system has a built-in problem in that it, of course, attracts a lot of young people into the system but we must remember that instead of having no legal representation at all, which is really bad news, at least they have a lawyer with, hopefully, the basic lawyers’ skills who can at least help them with their cases.
But I say this again and I don’t want to be defensive about it because there’s nothing to be defensive about. We must try, by giving more money to the Legal Aid Board, by attracting a higher-quality lawyer to it, through training and through monitoring, to make sure that we provide the best quality services that we can. Remember, we’re a young democracy. This Legal Aid Board, when we came into Parliament, anyone who is a lawyer will tell you, was a complete and utter shambles. They used to work on the sub judice system.
Judge Navsa, bless his heart, came in and cleaned that place up and now we have a completely different Legal Aid Board system that isn’t based on sub judice anymore but on these legal aid clinics. These are new clinics; they’re only a few years old, so we must give them a chance to develop. We must give them a chance to find their feet in our system.
They’re already making a huge difference, as far as I’m concerned, in the sense that for the first time ever, in many courts now, when you have a prosecutor you also have a public defender. We never used to have that. The vast majority of our people used to go straight to prison without ever being represented by anyone.
So I accept the fact that in some instances there may be a lack of experience among these people but we must over time – we can’t fix this in one day – build this institution because this is one institution we can be proud of. It shows an unqualified report and it has been turned around completely from what it was a few years ago to something that we really now look at as one of our really good institutions in the criminal justice system.
Mr S SHICEKA: Chair, it’s more of a pointed question, pointed in the sense that it is dealing with the response of the Deputy Minister with regard to the Legal Aid Board. There is a discussion that we have taken up as parliamentary committees dealing with Justice that says there must be a review of all people deployed in government and, of course, structures related to government around the legal profession to ensure that there is parity in salaries.
This means that you must be able to ensure that you avoid a situation in which people, because they are in a certain organisation, are paid less while others who are in another organisation are paid more, although they are employed by institutions in the same government.
That responsibility, we said, must be taken by the Department of Justice. If and when that work is done, are you going to look at the Legal Aid Board to ensure that people don’t move from the Legal Aid Board to the prosecuting authority or other structures because of a lack of parity? Thank you very much, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, we’ve also got another question here that I’ll answer in a bit more detail but there is definitely consensus, if you look at a statement the Minister for the Public Service and Administration has made, that for qualified people in government we want to create an occupation-specific dispensation, an OSD. That has been accepted in principle. The department has received at least two or three verbal report-back.
In fact, we had a meeting about a month ago with the last reporter to try and look at the practicalities of this and the institutions such as the department itself, the prosecuting authority, the Legal Aid Board and Chapter 9 institutions where there are legal professionals and other departments as well.
One of the problems we have – Mr Rodman who heads our legislative drafting is here and he’ll tell you – is that just as soon as they get young, black and female lawyers into that section of the department and train them, then the provinces in particular snap them up and employ them at two or three levels higher than they were paying them because those skills are needed so badly. Now this has created a huge destabilisation in government.
Under apartheid they had a very clever system - well, it’s not a clever system; it was a very oppressive system, but it worked effectively. Let me rather say that in the sense that when you were in the department they controlled completely whether you could move somewhere or not. You couldn’t just apply for a post. If you applied for something they’d say no, you’re not going to move there. That’s how they kept their system balanced.
Under the new democracy, we’ve just opened up everything. So everyone is moving everywhere else. As soon as you get a chance to get employed two or three levels higher, then you should really be employed. I just gave an example; those people with two years’ experience should never be working in the regional courts as regional prosecutors. They just don’t have the experience. They’re going to come up against senior lawyers and so on and they wouldn’t have a chance in this matter.
So what we’ve got is this dispensation that’s being worked out but it’s become very difficult to try and get everyone to buy into the idea that not only should there be one salary level but then, if you’re working in, say, legal aid and you’re at a certain level, if you want a promotion somewhere else in another institution, you must be at the same level. If we don’t have a rule like that it’s not going to work because otherwise people are just going to get higher salaries again, but they’ll employ them at a higher level as well.
So it’s a very complicated system we’re looking at. Let me just lastly say, what it doesn’t solve is the problem between magistrates and prosecutors. You see, over the past few years the magistrates’ salaries have rapidly jumped higher. A magistrate and a prosecutor always used to get the same salary under the previous dispensation. So there was no reason for them to move.
In the past few years, particularly with the introduction of that allowance, a magistrate now would get R70 000 to R80 000 more for a car allowance than a prosecutor at the same level of five years’ experience.
So what we have now is that we train prosecutors until they have five years’ experience – they’ve just become competent prosecutors – when they all apply to become magistrates, because at the same level, just by getting the new job, they get R70 000 to R80 000 more than they would be getting as a prosecutor.
We haven’t solved that problem yet. We don’t have a solution for it at the moment and it’s something we’re going to seriously have to look at. In fact, I’ve got statistics here that show you – let me actually give you the figures – in 2002-2003 there was something like three or four prosecutors who became magistrates. This year, with this new allowance, 43 senior prosecutors were appointed as magistrates. So it’s a completely fragmented salary system that is causing it to implode on itself.
That is why we’re trying to create this occupation-specific dispensation but we’re going to have to get everyone to buy into that once we’ve got that and we’re giving them higher salaries, it means that if they want to move to the other post they must move at the same level and not go higher unless there’s been a specific evaluation done which shows that they should go to a higher post. Otherwise we’ll have the same problems with the system.
Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Deputy Chair, thanks to the hon Deputy Minister for the reply. Arising from that response, during our oversight function as “oversight practitioners” in Northwest, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, the concerns of awaiting-trial prisoners was, number one, that these student attorneys were doing what you could call double-booking, in terms of which they were supposed to appear in two courts at the same time.
So what happens? They just run around to postpone cases and nothing is done. This was confirmed by the heads of the Legal Aid Boards in those particular provinces. How do we address this attitude of these student attorneys?
Number two, there were complaints that these student attorneys were encouraging those awaiting-trial prisoners to plead guilty because then they would plead for mitigation for them. That’s what they were doing. Hence many awaiting-trial prisoners are refusing the services of these Legal Aid Board representatives who are student attorneys because of this attitude. How do we address this? Thanks, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, I practised myself and many of my clients would probably say the same thing when they’ve done something wrong and you can’t help them out of trouble and they’re not happy with the result. Then everyone else in the world is to blame except them, which is a problem, but I’m not saying that there aren’t really problems.
Look, firstly, a legal aid lawyer falls under the same rules as any other lawyer and it’s an ethical rule for lawyers that you’re not allowed to double-book. If they double-book then, clearly, they should be reported like anyone else and they should be punished accordingly.
What is interesting is that you tell me that the supervisor himself was saying that they were double-booking. Now, I think we should sack that supervisor for telling you that because why is the supervisor, who is a senior lawyer, allowing his people to double-book when he knows it is totally and utterly against the rules for any practising lawyer to do it?
I mean, it’s one of the cardinal sins. As an advocate you would definitely get hauled before the Bar Council and be very severely reprimanded and punished if you ever double-booked. So that is clearly not on.
Regarding the second issue, I think we should take, with a big pinch of salt, whether the lawyers are telling them to plead guilty or not. It is a lawyer’s duty, when you think that the best result for your client would be achieved if he pleaded guilty and, for example, to get a plea bargain to get a particular sentence and not necessarily go through the process, to recommend that. So in some instances, if a lawyer doesn’t do that and advise you accordingly, then that person wouldn’t be acting ethically.
If you are trying as a lawyer to pressure a client to do something they do not want to do, then clearly that would be incorrect. Again, if there’s a complaint such as that then that particular complaint should be referred to the law societies and so on. Clearly our lawyers in the Legal Aid Board have to act with the same ethics as any other lawyer who deals with the law.
Role of Legal Aid Board in ensuring a speedy trial for awaiting–trial prisoners
141. Ms F Nyanda (ANC) asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:
Whether the Legal Aid Board assists in the reduction of overcrowding in prisons through ensuring that awaiting-trial prisoners get a speedy trial; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO1791E
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Madam Chairperson, I wish to indicate to the hon member that the Legal Aid Board is one of the many stakeholders involved in the criminal justice system that assist in promoting access to justice, particularly as far as awaiting-trial prisoners are concerned. In fact, one of the priority programmes of the Legal Aid Board is the reduction of the number of unrepresented accused going through the criminal justice system.
The board has focused on children awaiting trial as well as those accused that have awaited trial for a long period. The board assists in the reduction of overcrowding in prisons through the following interventions: Legal aid clinics are held twice a month at prisons accommodating awaiting-trial prisoners to inform prisoners of their rights within the criminal justice system as well as to access to legal services.
Secondly, a special awaiting-trial project that focuses on individual tracking of cases of all accused that have been awaiting trial for periods greater than 12 months has been implemented and is monitored by the Legal Aid Board’s national and regional offices. The system would individually track causes of delays with a view to resolution.
Thirdly, Legal Aid Board capacity at reception courts has also been strengthened. As the whole explanation had been given on this, I won’t read it because of time constraints. As for visiting prisons that house awaiting-trial prisoners through the Legal Aid Board prison-linked projects, I have also explained that to you in the previous question.
Fourthly, we have the prioritising of awaiting-trial detainees to ensure that before or after the time of their first appearance at court they have legal representation and the assisting of awaiting-trial detainees who cannot afford bail of R1 000 or less to have their bail reviewed and to establish dedicated units to deal with vulnerable groups and to, for example, establish 13 children units since the 2006-2007 financial year.
Lastly, we have started with the Police Service to try and create a system that, every time someone who wants legal aid is picked up, will inform us at the time of the arrest and not at the time of the first appearance in court. That system is busy unfolding. There are pilot projects in some areas to do that and I think this will change things quite dramatically.
I would also refer the hon member to my reply to parliamentary Question 140 where I have highlighted the interventions of the board which is just in the previous question. Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
Deployment of, and casualties sustained by SA National Defence Force personnel
144. Mr O M Thetjeng (DA) asked the Minister of Defence:
(1) With regard to the deployment of SANDF personnel to assist in various African countries, (a) how many defence personnel are currently in South Africa and (b) by when will the contingent sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo be allowed to return;
(2) whether any of the SANDF personnel deployed have been affected by any serious casualties in the recent six months; if so, what are the relevant details? CO2895E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Thank you very much Madam Chairperson. The reply to the question is as follows: A large portion of the SANDF personnel remains in South Africa because if you deploy soldiers you must have a group of soldiers on alert – the same number and two groups – for rotational purposes. The contingent currently deployed in the DRC will be rotated in due course from late November 2007.
Yes, some defence personnel deployed have been affected by serious casualties in the recent six months. Relevant details are provided in the table below. I don’t know whether Mr Thetjeng would want me to read this list. I can read you the list or submit the list of soldiers that were injured in the line of duty.
Mr A WATSON: Chair, I am representing Mr Thetjeng who is in Rwanda and I think we can just ask that the Minister table the report and we will send it to him and not waste time.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M N Oliphant): Thank you very much hon member, the Minister can therefore table the report.
Measures adopted by department to address challenges identified by Auditor-General
145. Kgoshi M L Mokoena (ANC) asked the Minister of Defence:
(1) Whether his department has any measures in place to address challenges identified by the Auditor-General; if not, why not; if so, what measures;
(2) whether those measures will prevent his department from receiving qualified annual reports, as was the case for the past three years; if not, why not; if so, (a) what are the relevant details and (b) how soon will those improvements be apparent? CO2946E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE: On the question by Kgoshi Mokoena whether the department has any measures in place to address the challenges identified by the Auditor-General, the answer is as follows: All government departments are now expected to participate in the National Treasury’s integrated financial management system, the IFMS project, to develop and implement standardised financial management systems throughout government.
The department is involved in and participates in all different IFMS work groups. This is a long-term project, with a five-to-eight-year timeline. That will not solve the current Auditor-General qualifications in the short term.
In the short term, however, the department is embarking on an initiative with the sector education and training authority to enhance its current financial management system by creating interfaces between, for example, IFMS and Persal, to address shortcomings regarding proper audit training for inland accommodation expenses and for subsistence and travel expenses.
A project is also under way to integrate the different logistical systems within the department into one system that will produce the necessary financial management information for audit and financial statement purposes. This logistical system will also form the basis for the future IFMS to be implemented within government. Members who are in that committee will realise that the greater bulk of the budget of Defence goes to logistics. So if we solve the problem of logistics, we would have gone a long way in addressing the problems.
The department is also strengthening its internal control system by enhancing the capacity and skills of the internal audit section, thus ensuring timely identification of and addressing cases of non-compliance with policies and prescripts as well as system failure.
The accounting officer has also, through the accountability management committee, established a project called ``Operation Clean Audit’’ under the leadership of the acting chief financial officer. This requires of the acting CFO to continuously engage with those managers who experience problems and assist them via dedicated teams and efforts to develop and implement robust internal controls, and to deal strictly with the cases of noncompliance.
The department is of the view that these measures will, within the next two years, improve the accuracy of its financial statements, and thus lessen the number of qualifications. Until such time as the IFMS is fully implemented, the department cannot guarantee that it will not receive any qualifications, as it is relying on manual systems to produce financial information, especially in the logistics environment. Thank you.
Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Sihlalo, le mpendulo kaNgqongqoshe ingiqeda amandla ngoba bengithi uma ethi kuzothatha isikhathi eside ukuthi bangatholi umbiko ofanele kodwa silinde nje, ngiphela amandla wena omkhulu. Okunye nje bathi ukwenganyelwa kwempahla yomnyango akuncomeki, ukukhipha izincwadi ezilawula ukugcinwa kwempahla kahulumeni akusebenzi kahle kanye nokuthenga izinto zomnyango nakho akukho emthethweni. Uma uNgqongqoshe engimhloniphayo ethi asilinde nje, ngizwa ngiphela amandla kodwa ngingathini. Angazi kodwa awuthi ngihlale phansi hleze angisize ngoba ngiphela amandla wena omkhulu. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Chairperson, the Minister’s response is very discouraging. When he says that it may take longer to get the relevant report and we must just wait, I am speechless. Another thing they say is that the management of the department assets is not up to scratch. Government bookkeeping and procurement is not up to scratch. If the hon Minister says we must just wait, I really am speechless but what can I say! Let me sit down and maybe he will help me understand. Thank you.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Sihlalo, ndiyavelana noKgoši. [Chair, I feel pity for Kgoshi.] We have been having meetings to deal with the problems of accounting and dealing with the problems of the Auditor-General in the department. I could come here, Kgoshi, and give you a very beautiful picture to make you happy, but come next year, the problem will not be solved. It’s a problem that has been there for a long time. Unfortunately, there is also a problem of capacity, which we are also dealing with.
I am very sorry that I am giving you bad news, but I also have to be honest rather than say things that I know are not possible. You know the seriousness of lying to Parliament. That would be very serious. [Laughter.] I don’t want to come and tell you lies. It’s something I would like to avoid. Besides that, my nature, as Ngconde was telling me, does not allow me to lie.
I am saying that these are the problems. For instance, we are busy now with a system to have a proper system of dealing with what we call the reconstruction of our financial systems, especially at the logistics level, but even with that, we gave it to our guys; it took them a year. When they were supposed to report to us, we found that what they were reporting to us was not as good as we thought it was.
Now we had to go out and say that we should get outside assistance. So, Kgoshi, unfortunately, we would be very happy to give you good news and say there will be no audit qualifications but the truth of the matter, from what we can see, is that unless something dramatic happens, we are going to take longer than we would like to sort out the issue of audit qualifications in the department.
Mnu S SHICEKA: Kumbuzo wokulandelisa mama, ndingathi kutata u-Goerge, umKhosi wezoKhuselo ngumbutho apho kusebenza umthetho kunye nengqeqhesho. Nto leyo ke ithetha ukuthi xa kukho umthetho nengqeqesho amajoni afundiseka lula izinto ezintsha, ngoba kaloku athobela umthetho ovela ngasentla okanye they always obey the command ngabula makhumsha. Ngoko ke umbuzo wam uthi: yintoni eyenza ukuba kube lula ukuba kulahleke izinto, ngoba imipu iyalahleka, nazo zonke ezinye izinto ngokunjalo. Akukho mntu ukwazi ukuphendula ngezi zinto.
Umbuzo wam ke uthi ulawulo lulahleke xa kuphi. Ngowokuqala ke le tata u-George, owesibini ithi, umba wexesha localucalulo, lokungabikho kweempendulo -ngoba kaloku kwakukwavula-zibhuqe phaya, kungekho unqanda omnye- unegalelo elingakanani kule ngxaki eninayo yokungabikho kweempendulo okanye i-lack of accountability, ngoba nigcine imali eninzi phaya emkhosini, ephantsa ifike kwizigibi zezigi ezingama-90. Okokugqibela, mandithi kukho amasebe ekuthiwa incwadi zabo zime kakuhle xa ziphonongwa - besisiva uSekela Mphathiswa ngoku esithi iBhodi eNcedisa ngenkonzo zoMthetho okanye iincwadi ze-Legal Aid Board zime kakhuhle – ngoko nina anifundi na kwabanye abantu, ngoba thina sakhula kusithiwa, “each one teach one”.
Niyithathe loo nto nize nayo apha kumKhosi woKhuselo ukuze sizibone zizintle iincwadi zawo, kwaye namajoni efunde into entle. Ndiyabulela.
USEKELA MPHATHISWA WEZOKHUSELO: Mandivume ukuba emkhosini sisebenza ngolawulo nomthetho kodwa ... (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[Mr S SHICEKA: Madam, in the follow-up question I want to say to the hon George that the Defence Force is a structure where control and discipline is used. That means then it should be easy to teach soldiers new things because they know how to always obey the command. Therefore my question is: What makes stealing easy in that environment of control and discipline because not only guns but also other things get lost as well? No one accounts for them.
My question then is: Where is the control? That is the first one to the hon George. The second one is how much effect does the lack of accountability, which happened during the apartheid times – because accountability during that time was not an issue at all –have on the problem that you have now because you have too much money – close to R90 billion there. Lastly, there are departments that are said to have unqualified audits – we were listening to the Deputy Minister now, saying the Legal Aid Board had unqualified opinions – so are you not learning from other departments because when we were still growing up we were told “each one teach one.”
Copy that and come to implement it here so that we can see some improved practices as the Defence Force or the soldiers have adopted best practices. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Let me agree that at the Defence Force we use command and control strategies, but ...]
... command and control are mainly within the military structures. If you talk about military discipline, I can say with certainty that there we excel. But once you come to questions of finance and other things that are more administrative, you would find that it’s not only soldiers that are involved. We’ve got a big component of our staff who are, what we call in Defence, civilians. Those are the people who deal with these things.
I must also agree with you. One of the problems we have is what we inherited. You know, we are at the moment trying to change Defence to be accountable. If you look at soldiers generally, by their nature, they don’t want to account to civilians and it’s not only in South Africa.
All over the world, they don’t like to account to civilians. It’s the nature of soldiers all over the world. In fact, sometimes you find that soldiers have a low opinion of civilians. They think that they can do things. Now we have come up with that but if you look at the past, the Defence Force in the past was a law unto itself. That was what was happening in this country. It was completely a law unto itself. It was untouchable. That was why, even with the budget, they did not account for it and they did as they liked with the money.
We have to change that situation, and changing old habits is not one of the easiest things. We are dealing with issues where things disappear but if you look into that, you will see that on that score it’s become smaller and smaller. I mean, there were ridiculous things where you will find that we send money to Burundi and when it comes back, some of that money is fake so a change had been made.
We have tried to tighten all those things and we are moving. But, as I am saying, we are dealing with a department and you must realise that the Department of Defence is very big. In fact, it is like a government on its own.
There is no department that does not exist in Defence. Justice, health, social order, social development, police departments, etc, are all there. Also, if you look at the services, we’ve got three
military services. The fourth one is the health services. They all run on their own model. So it’s a very complicated department and to change what is wrong is not as easy as we would like it to be.
That is why, as I said, we would be lying if we said that things are going to be sorted out overnight because it’s a very complicated department. I’ve already told you about the lack of accountability and where it comes from, but of course, you must understand that these days it’s not easy to always blame those of the past.
Even those of today quickly learn and you will find that it is not only people from the past who were involved in the SA Defence Force who are involved in some of these things. Even the new guys, some of them coming in from outside or some of them who have just joined now quickly learn because, normally, in life it’s very easy to learn bad habits.
Incentives to prevent exodus of senior prosecutors to the magistracy
147. Mr S Shiceka (ANC) asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:
Whether there are any incentives to prevent the exodus of senior prosecutors to the magistracy; if not, why not; if so, what incentives? CO2951E
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, I have partly answered this. I am not going to answer all of it but just to give you an indication of the exodus out of the National Prosecuting Authority: Over the last four years, from April 2003 to March 2007 this year, we have lost 112 prosecutors. Seventy-one of them were ordinary prosecutors; 22 were regional court prosecutors; six were senior public prosecutors; 12 were state advocates; and one was a senior state advocate. So it is a big pool of experience that we have lost over the last while.
As the hon member knows, the National Prosecuting Authority has been losing a significant number of prosecutors to the magistracy and to the private sector, including to law firms. Competition for skilled lawyers has therefore had an impact on the NPA.
In order to address this matter holistically, government has, through the Department of Public Service and Administration, started
a process of determining an appropriate salary level dispensation for officials performing legal functions in government as a whole. This will ensure that such officials are remunerated equitably within the same bands for similar work. This will hopefully reduce the movement of officials from department to department or within departments.
I wish to advise the hon member that this process is now at an advanced stage. Negotiations between government and labour have commenced at the bargaining chamber and the outcome will be communicated to all stakeholders. In addition, the NPA has embarked on extensive capacity-building programmes, both at organisational but particularly at an individual level to try and make the NPA an employer of choice.
Excellence and performance across and within the NPA, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Legal Aid Board and the judiciary, underpinned by the availability of capacity – that is skills, human capital resources and systems – attracting and retaining the right capacity, its location and optimal use, as well as maintaining an ethos of service is of central concern and importance for government, and this occupation-specific dispensation that is being proposed is part of addressing that problem. Thank you.
Mr A WATSON: Chair, let me start by thanking the Deputy Minister for going to such great pains to explain the whole setup, particularly in regard to magistrates and prosecutors. What I don’t fully understand, or maybe I do and I don’t know what the answer is, is that it sounds to me as if what is happening there is that it is the principle of borrowing from Paul to pay Peter or Peter to pay Paul.
The prosecutors, a large number of them, are migrating to the position of magistrates and yet we do sometimes read of backlogs in cases because of a shortage of even magistrates, if I have understood that correctly. If you block that advancement channel, where will you get the magistrates from to fill the positions that have been filled by those many prosecutors?
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: I don’t think it is a question of blocking anyone anywhere because as you correctly point out, people will always, as they get better skilled, move on to better positions. I do not expect any person and I don’t expect any prosecutor, who can get a better salary in another position – even in government – not to take it.
So that is not the issue but what we are going to have to look at is that our system doesn’t have loopholes and gaps within it; that you do not create a system in government which actually implodes on itself. It is fragmented; it is wrong. What you want to do is if someone wants to work in government and if you have one year legal experience, then you should be on a certain level and you should get paid for that.
You should not, as is happening now, have one year legal experience and then because you are upwardly mobile because you may be female or black, be able to take a job at a five-year experience level and get another salary. In that way, we undermine the system.
That does not mean that we shouldn’t have affirmative action policies and so on and that doesn’t mean that someone should not be promoted. The problem is at the moment the only rule there is that you apply for a job and you get it or you don’t. What we are starting to say is that if you want to move from a particular level you should at least go through a process of evaluation in order for people to see that you are ready for that post and then it will be fine for us to do that.
At the moment, if you are in government, for example, you are looking for a person with legal skills, you look around and you will quickly find someone, a relatively junior someone, who has been trained into a post. They have just been trained and now we move them on. It’s the same with the prosecutors. Do you know how much money we spend to train a prosecutor until he has got five years experience and then he never uses it again? He or she becomes a magistrate.
That kind of inequity that exists in the system - I must be honest - there is not an easy answer for it. For example, we cannot – suddenly there is this gap of R80 000 between a magistrate’s and a prosecutor’s post – just go through the system and say: Well, everyone at five years’ experience, we are now going to put you up by R80 000. That impacts on the people above them who must go up by R80 000; the people below also go up by R80 000 and we just cannot do that. Firstly, we can’t afford it, and secondly, it doesn’t make sense.
What we are really saying is that we have to try and find answers within what we have got to try and attract the best legal skills we can in government, but, equally, we cannot have a system where we are undermining and destabilising government departments because people are forever on the move somewhere since they are getting, for the same qualification and same experience, a totally different salary at another place. That is really the issue.
Particulars regarding suspension of magistrates with pay
148. Mr S Shiceka (ANC) asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:
In the past 12 months, (a) how many magistrates were suspended with pay, (b) how long have they been suspended and (c) what is the cost of these suspensions to her department? CO2952E
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, this House has a lot of questions on Justice. This is a bit easier.
There are currently four magistrates under suspension; three of whom have been provisionally suspended pending inquiries into their fitness to hold office as magistrates. You know them; you processed them in Parliament. The fourth one has been suspended, pending consideration of his removal from office. Of the four magistrates, only one is receiving remuneration.
However, this is the good news, on 8 November 2007– well, I don’t know if it is such good news – the relevant magistrate was convicted by the special crime court in Pretoria on a charge of receiving stolen property and was sentenced on 12 November 2007 to a 12-month period of imprisonment, suspended for five years. On 21 November 2007, which was yesterday, the ethics committee of the Magistrates’ Commission decided to recommend to the Magistrates’ Commission to withhold the person’s salary further until they are removed. That commission was going to meet today to make that decision. I imagine the decision will then be sent to Parliament. So it is not really good news; it is sad news that our judicial officers can be found guilty of receiving stolen property.
Mr S SHICEKA: Chairperson, the last point that I want to raise, which is the last follow up from my side in this question session, is to ask whether there is any investigation or research being done by the department to look at the reasons for these misdemeanours.
The people on the bench, the presiding officers, are expected to be an example to the country, to be beyond reproach compared to us as mere mortals. Is there anything that has been looked at so that these things can be prevented? I don’t think it comes across very well. The media has not picked up these problems that we have been having in the magistrates’ division.
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: It is really unfortunate that we have had these examples in our country and particularly after we have become a democracy. Obviously, it is very difficult to find out, when you are appointing someone, whether they’re a crook or not. That is what we are seeing now – this one has turned out to receive stolen property. A while ago we removed one who murdered someone. Then there were the guys who had sex on the backseat of a car with a young girl.
I mean these people that have been appointed, it is very difficult to find out what their morals are, what their ethical values are. Having said that, although it is difficult, our system, at the moment, doesn’t work as effectively as it should be to weed out the bad eggs.
There are flaws in our system and one of the things that we want to do, once we have dealt with the transformation at a High Court level - the Bills that were here that we’ve slowed down on doing the policy – we need to then, as government and all of us, even the opposition parties, look at how we want to change the magistrates’ courts and how we want them to function, since 95% of our court cases go through them. They are absolutely vital. Part of that will be that we have to relook at the appointment mechanism.
The appointment mechanism, and I want to choose my words carefully, has the potential to let people through the system that should not necessarily go through. Therefore, I am going to say why it is like that. Many magistrates who are appointed for the first time are sifted by what is called provincial committees. They are not dealt with at the Magistrates Commission itself.
The Magistrates Commission has created, and your Chief Whip will know this very well, provincial committees. Then, members of the commission, one of them serves in each of those provincial ones, but the vast majority of people in those committees are not from the commission.
They are magistrates and officials and so on that have a self-interest and a particular interest, in how people are and who is going to be appointed. Secondly, I do not think that the different committees, although they are now working on changing that, have the same criteria for the magistrates they are actually recommending for appointment. Thirdly, I do not think that the mechanism is very good in actually sifting people. For example, a magistrate was appointed
the other day that had actually been suspended and kicked out of the NPA. He gets appointed as a magistrate and no one picks it up in the process.
There is clearly a lack of capacity, when these committees at the provincial level – I mean the commissioners themselves and the people who are there – don’t have capacity of researchers to say, “Take this person’s curriculum vitae and go and check what they have done in the past”.
There are problems with the way the system that we took over functions because we are still using the same one that was created before we came into government. That system has got the potential to create big problems. Members that are part of that will know what difficulties they have.
Remember, this commission also only sits maybe once in three months. Then they just try and look at certain things like how you appoint people into higher positions. They don’t look at the people that enter the system. That is done by these different committees that all use their own appointment criteria.
In the process, unfortunately, we’ve seen that we have appointed people that should never have got close to the bench; I mean, people that are murdering each other, taking stolen goods, having sex with young girls on the backseats of cars, and so on.
Clearly those things are not good for our democracy. It is not good for our judiciary and I know that the judiciary itself and the magistracy are very worried about this. Hopefully, as part of all these transformation processes, we will have to change the appointment mechanism. The magistracy quite severely makes it much more foolproof and creates some checks and balances in the system which doesn’t let these friends of Baba Mzizi slip through like they are slipping through at the moment. [Laughter.]
Measures adopted by SA National Defence Force to avoid accidents like the one at Lohatla, and assistance to families affected thereby
149. Mr N J Mack (ANC) asked the Minister of Defence:
(1) What measures have been put in place to avoid accidents similar to the one that took place at Lohatla during the training session by the SA National Defence Force;
(2) whether there will be any assistance to the families of the members involved in the accident; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? CO2953E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Chairperson, a board of inquiry to determine the cause of the accident is in progress. The South African National Defence Force will be in a position to review measures only after the release of the findings. However, the firing of all 35mm anti-aircraft weapon systems has been put on hold until the cause of the accident has been determined.
All families were assisted by the SA Army in terms of the following: provision of liaison officers who were detached to the families in the week following the accident; pastoral support by army chaplains who met and conferred with the families; financial support, not public funds, to each family has already been provided, namely
R6 000 for funeral arrangements and other incidentals and R3 000 to families of the injured to utilise for travel arrangements to Bloemfontein; accommodation in Kimberley and Pretoria, as needed, at no charge to the families; families were flown to Kimberley and Lohatla in order to attend the memorial service and complete their rituals at the site of the accident; support in realising the payout of all insurance-related payments; comprehensive support in terms of finalising the various funerals; and continued support in terms of finalising all administration regarding outstanding payments.
The families will be transported to Kimberley in order to attend the annual SA Army Air Defence Artillery Formation memorial service on 5 December this year. All families are in possession of telephone numbers of the SA Army Formation and personnel. Liaison will continue until all outstanding issues have been resolved.
Mr N J MACK: Chairperson, usually when such an accident happens there are huge psychological and traumatic experiences for those who are left behind. Sometimes you get a situation where one blames the other. Are there measures in place for any psychological assistance in cases where we get a blaming situation, just to evaluate it?
I feel that kind of a situation could be very dangerous and might lead to the next accident happening because of the whole trauma. The evaluation of the group on interaction with their families when they go back ... What I am trying to explain to you is that when a cracker goes off, this person might just jump up and lose some of his senses due to the experience that he has gone through. Is there any assistance in that regard?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Madam Chair, we have all sorts of professionals in Defence. All of them are involved. We have psychologists who are helping the families. We have psychotherapists, doctors and social workers. All of them are working together to make sure that this situation experienced by families and those soldiers who were involved is handled in a manner in which trauma is minimised.
Criteria used in recruiting members for the SA National Defence Force
154. Mr A J L Moseki (ANC) to ask the Minister of Defence:
(1) What criteria are being used by his department in recruiting members for the SA National Defence Force;
(2) whether the criteria include getting new recruits from various schools in the provinces; if not, why not; if so, from which schools? CO2962E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Chairperson, the criteria used by the SA National Defence Force to recruit candidates for the Military Skills Development System are as follows: The candidate must be a South African citizen aged between 18 and 22 years, having passed Grade 12. If that person has got a diploma or a degree certificate, the maximum age is 26 years.
If you have Grade 12 it is 18 to 22 years, if you have got a degree or a diploma it is 18 to 26 years. The minimum requirement is Grade 12 and they must be medically fit. We check every disease, unlike what has been said that we only check for HIV and Aids. We check every chronic disease. You cannot be employed in Defence if you have diabetes.
With regard to psychometrical evaluation recommendations, there must be psychometrical tests and preferably you must be single, especially for soldiers. I am not saying if you are married we won’t take you but you must also realise the minimum age is 18 years. That’s why we prefer single people. We don’t want people who will
think about their wives and children when they are supposed to fight a war.
The recruitment process for the Military Skills Development System takes place in all provinces and the schools are identified by the Department of Education. During 2007 the following schools according to provinces were visited for recruitment: Eastern Cape, 77 schools and tertiary institutions; Northwest, 145 schools and tertiary institutions; Northern Cape, 101 schools and tertiary institutions; Western Cape, 79 schools and tertiary institutions; Free State, 70 schools and tertiary institutions; Limpopo, 84 schools and tertiary institutions; Mpumalanga, 120 schools and tertiary institutions; KwaZulu-Natal, 80 schools and tertiary institutions; Gauteng, 20 schools, tertiary institutions and 10 career expos.
The Department of Education rotates the schools every year to give the opportunity to as many schools as possible to be part of this recruiting drive. You will understand, when we go to schools, we have to liaise and work with the Department of Education. It also provides an opportunity for urban and rural schools to be part of the drive. Thank you.
Mr A J L MOSEKI: Chairperson, just a request to hon Mluleki, what seems to be lacking is communication in the form of brochures, especially for us also so that we can communicate the criteria that you have just articulated for us as members. That’s one thing we would request, that information in the form of brochures.
Secondly, I would like to ask if the same information can be distributed to the constituency offices and other relevant offices so that at least that information can be known in our communities. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Well, thank you very much, hon member. I think this has been one of the weaknesses we have identified in the system. We started to improve it by asking our communication system to broadcast it on all radio stations. But with regard to what you are saying, I can assure you that we can definitely work on it as from next week Monday to make sure that the
information is sent to all constituency offices so that Members of Parliament can make it known in the communities, especially the different types of youngsters we need because, for instance, if you talk about the navy and the air force, we need youngsters with Maths and Science.
And also, there are so many opportunities, just in the navy and the air force alone. Of course, we still have a big problem. We probably produce the biggest number of technicians in the country but the poaching by other departments is amazing. We lose them because they are being poached or stolen.
I can say that we will make sure that the information is sent to all constituency offices; fortunately Mr Ratsuma is here. He is going to see to it that that happens, I can assure Members of Parliament. [Applause.]
REFERENCE BY SPECIAL DELEGATE TO PREVIOUS DEBATE
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Order! I would like to make a ruling on a point of order raised by hon Terblanche yesterday during our plenary session. Yes, I know that the member is not in the
House but because this is the last sitting in this particular session I have to rule on it and she will get a copy of my ruling.
The hon member asked if it was correct in terms of the Council Rules for hon C A T Smith, a special delegate from the Northern Cape, to refer to a previous debate. She requested that I should make a ruling on this matter, which I said I would.
Hon Smith said the following in Afrikaans, which has since been translated:
South Africa has a history in which democratic principles did not exist and which we did not know of. It is absolutely arrogant, as the member of the DA did earlier, to come and speak about democratic principles in this debate, as if they taught these principles to South Africa. It is the ANC who taught South Africa about democratic principles.
In terms of Rule 47(1) of the Council Rules, no member, while addressing the Council, may reflect upon any decision of the Council taken in the same annual session, except for the purpose of moving that such decision be amended or rescinded. I, therefore, rule that what the hon Smith said did not violate the Rules of the Council as quoted. Therefore, the hon member’s statement was procedural and in order. That is my ruling.
See also QUESTIONS AND REPLIES.
CONSTITUTION THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT BILL
CROSS-BOUNDARY MUNICIPALITIES LAWS REPEAL AND RELATED MATTERS AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bills and of Report thereon)
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Madam Chairperson ...
An HON MEMBER: Gooi kole! [Go for it!]
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Ai, julle wil net kole hê hierso! [You just want to go for it here!]
Chairperson, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, during December 2005, Parliament passed the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill of 2005 and the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Bill, 2005.
Members would recall that the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Act amended the Constitution to redetermine the geographical areas of the nine provinces of the Republic of South Africa to, amongst other things, avoid municipal boundaries stretching over provincial boundaries and also to resolve challenges that were experienced relating to the provincial boundary between the provinces of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
This resulted in the provincial boundary between, amongst others, the provinces of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal being altered, with effect from 1 March 2006, with the Matatiele Municipality being transferred from the province of KwaZulu-Natal to the province of the Eastern Cape and new municipal boundaries being created as a consequence. Before the Twelfth Amendment Act and the Repeal Act came into operation, the constitutional validity of those two Acts was challenged in the Constitutional Court in the case of Matatiele Municipality and Others versus the President – which I call the first Matatiele case.
The court, on 27 February 2006, rejected the applicants’ main argument that Parliament, in passing the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill, unconstitutionally usurped the powers of the demarcation board to redetermine municipal boundaries. The court further ruled that the local government elections scheduled for 1 March 2006 should proceed on the basis of the constitutional amendment. However, the court also called for further argument on the constitutional procedural requirements in respect of the passing of the constitutional amendment. Such an argument was to take place after the elections.
On 18 August 2006, the Constitutional Court, in the Matatiele Municipality and Others versus the President, the second Matatiele case, ruled on the procedural defects, after having heard further argument on the procedural issues raised by the court itself and declared that part of the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Act of 2005, which transferred the area that previously formed the local municipality of Matatiele from the province of KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape, to be procedurally inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore invalid.
It should be emphasised that the court's order of invalidity was not based on the contents of the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill but on a procedural defect, namely, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature’s failure to facilitate public involvement when it considered whether to approve that part of the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill that transferred the Matatiele Municipality from the province of KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape.
In this regard section 118(1)(a) of the Constitution clearly provides that, and I quote:
A provincial legislature must
(a) facilitate public involvement in the legislative and other processes of the legislature and its committees.
As a consequence, the Court also declared that part of the related Cross-boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Act of 2005 that relates to the Matatiele Municipality to be inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore invalid. By suspending both orders of invalidity for a period of 18 months, the Constitutional Court gave Parliament the opportunity to correct the procedural constitutional defect during the period of suspension.
The suspension runs out in February next year. It will be on 18 or 21 February. So we have a bit of time, but not much. It is important to note that the Constitutional Court's judgment in the Matatiele case was handed down after the provincial boundary between the provinces of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal was altered and the Matatiele Municipality was transferred to the province of the Eastern Cape since 1 March 2006.
The Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill before the House today has been introduced into Parliament in order to make use of the opportunity that the Constitutional Court has given Parliament to process afresh new legislation, ie a Constitution Amendment Bill, in a manner that complies with all constitutional and procedural requirements.
The Bill is therefore intended to amend the Constitution so as to substitute and re-enact not only those provisions of the Constitution that have been declared to be inconsistent with the Constitution, in other words, those that refer to the Matatiele Municipality, but all the provisions in the Constitution that refer directly to the provinces of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The reasons therefore are explained in the memorandum on the objects of the Bill.
In the case of Doctors for Life International the Speaker of the National Assembly and the second Matatiele case, the Constitutional Court considered the nature and scope of the constitutional obligation of a legislative organ of the state to facilitate public involvement in the law-making process. It is necessary for this House to note the following general findings by the Constitutional Court, particularly as far as the NCOP and the provincial legislatures are concerned:
Firstly, the provisions of sections 72(1)(a) and 118(1)(a) of the Constitution, and I quote:
... impose a duty on the NCOP and the provincial legislatures to facilitate public involvement in their respective legislative processes.
Secondly, to facilitate public involvement in the legislative process means, and I quote: "Taking steps to ensure that the public participates in the legislative process." Thirdly, there are at least two aspects of the duty to facilitate public involvement, namely, the duty to, and I quote:
... provide meaningful opportunities for public participation in the law-making process and to take measures to ensure that people have the ability to take advantage of the opportunities provided.
Fourthly, Parliament and provincial legislatures have, and I quote:
... broad discretion to determine how best to fulfil their constitutional obligation to facilitate public involvement in a given case, so long as they act reasonably.
Fifthly, the obligation to facilitate public involvement, and I quote:
... may be fulfilled in different ways and is open to innovation on the part of the legislatures. That obligation will often require Parliament and the provincial legislatures, and I quote:
... to provide citizens with a meaningful opportunity to be heard in the making of the laws that will govern them.
Sixthly, and I quote:
The conventional method of public participation in the law-making process is through the submission of written or oral representations on the Bill under consideration by Parliament or through a combination of both written and oral submissions.
Seventhly, the provincial legislatures have broad discretion to choose the mechanisms that, in their view, would best facilitate public involvement in their processes. They may include providing transportation to and from hearings or hosting radio programmes in multiple languages on an important Bill.
Eighthly, the nature of the legislation and its effect on the provinces play a role in determining the degree of facilitation that is reasonable and the mechanisms that are most appropriate to achieve public involvement.
Lastly, the nature and the degree of public involvement that is reasonable in a given case will depend on a number of factors, which include the nature and the importance of the legislation and the intensity of its impact on the public.
The Bill is intended to redetermine the provincial boundary between the provinces of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The NCOP may not, in terms of section 74(8) of the Constitution, pass the Bill unless it has been approved by the provincial legislatures of the provinces concerned, namely, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
In terms of section 118(1)(a) of the Constitution, the affected two provinces had to facilitate public involvement when they considered whether to approve that part of the Bill that concerned them. I have been informed that both legislatures, for that purpose, held extensive public hearings in the affected areas of Umzimkhulu, Matatiele and Maluti, and not only in Pietermaritzburg.
As already mentioned, the Constitutional Court’s order of invalidity was not based on the contents of the Twelfth Amendment Act but on a procedural defect. In view of the public involvement which the two affected provinces facilitated in respect of the Bill, I am satisfied that the constitutional requirements relating to the facilitation of public involvement have now been complied with. I have noted that certain groups in the Matatiele area are still unhappy with the decision of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature to approve the Bill because they feel that by making that decision, the legislature did not take the residents’ wishes into account. I do not wish to comment on the validity of these views except that they do seem to me, in whole or part, to be based on a complete misunderstanding of the legal requirements that are applicable in a matter like this.
I understand the rule of law and our new constitutional dispensation to be that when the power to make a decision has been granted to an authority or an institution, such authority or institution is solely responsible for taking such a decision. Before taking a decision, they must listen to and carefully consider the views of the affected people. Furthermore, there is not, as far as I am aware of it, a principle of our constitutional jurisprudence which permits the invalidation of legislation on the grounds only that it is inconsistent with public opinion or the views of a particular individual or a group of individuals.
On the contrary, I understand the principle to provide that public opinion, while relevant, not to be decisive of constitutional validity of legislation. It is a principle which permeated virtually all judgments of the Constitutional Court since the Makwanyane judgment. This principle is firmly entrenched as part of our constitutional jurisprudence.
Lastly, I would like to thank the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs – the hardworking Kgoshi Mokoena and the members of that committee for the time and effort that they have put into considering and finalising the Bill. I wish to congratulate them on a job well done. I now in turn would like to really say that I will fully support any salary increase of the members of that committee! [Applause.]
I recommend the passing of this Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill to the House. Seeing that we probably won’t see each other again, I also wish those that are Christians a Merry Christmas and all others a very happy New Year. I thank you. [Applause.]
Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Thank you Chairperson. The advantage of addressing the House immediately after the Deputy Minister is that he has outlined everything and put it into true perspective. I do not want to sound like that old record of His Master’s Voice, which repeated exactly what was said by others. I am going to stay away from those comments because the hon Deputy Minister has done that excellently. Thank you very much, hon Deputy Minister; you deserve an increase as well. [Laughter].
Chairperson, I only want to address the fears of people who are affected by some of these changes and who prefer to fall into province A rather than under province B. Their fear always is that they are not going to get better services in the provinces that they will belong to than the one they were in before. The committee took that very seriously and asked the Department of Provincial and Local Government to commit itself to what was said by the people there.
The department assured the committee and the public at large that, in fact, there is a special budget to address all the shortcomings in that particular area. Deputy Minister Hangana can attest to this. These people said nothing will change even if there can be some
improvement in terms of service delivery in those areas. This is what people are afraid of. I want to thank my colleagues from the opposition because they were honest enough to tell us that they are not in favour of these two pieces of legislation and that they are going to oppose them. Their argument was that the will of the people must be tested. They were honest enough to tell us that.
But the issue is if that is the route we had to take in whatever legislation we are passing in this Parliament, they must tell us that we must test the will of the people in whatever legislation that is passed. Some of us will be happy to revisit the property clause. We will be happy to revisit the matter of the acquisition of land in this country.
If that is the route they want us to take, namely, to test the will of the people, we would be ready to do that. But let us not play big in a very narrow passage because this is not a fact. Emotions in those areas are high already. Let us not play politics by making some of these unnecessary comments.
Chairperson, as I have said, my reliable, dynamic, wonderful, calculated Deputy Minister has done his work. Why should I waste time? What I can do is to thank my colleagues in this committee. Colleagues, again, you are stars – some people are just the moon. You are so good. If I had to choose other members who must serve in my committee I can’t go next door, I will choose the same members who are in my committee. Let us support this Bill. Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr D A WORTH: Deputy Chairperson, unfortunately I’ve got to go through a little bit of the preliminary because that is how I prepared mine, despite the fact that the Deputy Minister has gone through most of it.
The Constitution Twelfth Amendment Act of 2005 amended the Constitution by redetermining the geographical areas of the nine provinces of the Republic and the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Law Repeal and Related Matters Act of 2005 and at the same time provided for consequential matters arising from the realignment of former cross-boundary municipalities and the redetermination of the geographical areas of the provinces.
In terms of these laws, the provincial boundary between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal was altered so that the area that previously formed the local municipality of Matatiele was relocated to the province of the Eastern Cape and new municipal boundaries of course were created as a consequence.
The constitutional validity of the laws was challenged in the Constitutional Court and that part of the Twelfth amendment which effectively relocated the Matatiele Municipality to the province of the Eastern Cape was found to be inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore invalid. The Constitutional Court stated among other reasons that Parliament had taken over the functions of the demarcation board and had not invited written submissions or held public meetings or hearings.
The order of invalidity was suspended for 18 months to give Parliament the opportunity to correct the constitutional defect and the Thirteenth Amendment Bill seeks to redetermine the provincial boundary.
As the DA did not support the twelfth amendment on the grounds that the wishes of the local inhabitants were not taken into account and in view of the fact that the opinions of the people of Matatiele were not determined at the time, we opposed the twelfth amendment.
While the DA is not against doing away with cross-boundary municipalities per se, we were opposed to the manner in which it was done. While public hearings have subsequently been held in the
Matatiele Municipality and many written submissions received, we are of the opinion that possibly a referendum should have been held in the area to truly ascertain the wishes of the inhabitants.
The judgment against the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government’s failure to include the Matatiele community in a participatory process should warn us that democratic participation is no longer considered a triviality or technicality.
Cross-boundary municipalities are complex structures that may easily become the domain of bureaucratic and administrative manipulation and control. The residents of Khutsong have now also appealed to the Constitutional Court and we await that outcome with great interest.
When will government learn that not all service delivery is equal among the provinces, for various reasons, despite the Minister’s statement that we are one country? Try convincing the people who must move from a reasonably well-functioning province to a poorly-functioning province. This can and will only lead to various levels of social discontentment, upheaval and unease of social relationships all round. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A T MANYOSI: Chairperson, Deputy Minister and hon members, the directives of the Constitutional Court having been complied with I now rise on behalf of the Eastern Cape to support the passing of the Bills that are the subject of debate today.
It will be recalled that Matatiele is in no way a stranger to the Eastern Cape, it being a well-known fact that historically and before the ultimate balkanisation of our country into ethnic states and a white South Africa, Matatiele had formed part of the Cape Province and especially the eastern part of the Cape.
The objection then to Matatiele remaining in the so-called independent Transkei had more to do with the racial connotations and implications of the apartheid system on the rights of the citizens of that area as South Africans as the granting of a pseudo-independence resulted in the loss of South African citizenship and
In fact, only the town of Matatiele and some white farms were incorporated into what was known as the Natal Province but the surrounding rural areas, including Maluti, were to remain in the former Transkei. Indeed, in the long term, this was to have far-
reaching adverse results for the latter areas in terms of resources and socioeconomic development, precisely because the policy of separate development was geared to distribute the wealth and economy of South Africa along racial lines and in terms of the designation of your area as either part of an independent nation state or part of what was generally referred to as greater South Africa.
The imbalances and backlogs that are a cause for concern and a bone of contention for a section of the Matatiele community are, by and large, a consequence of that policy of separate development. Having said that, let me directly come to the Bills under consideration in this House. The Deputy Minister and the Chairperson have already dealt with the objects of the Bill.
As mentioned earlier, it is common cause that the Constitutional Court decision invalidated certain provisions of the Constitution Twelfth Amendment and the Cross-Boundary Laws Repeal Acts on the grounds of defects in the procedure followed in the processing and passing of the Acts. To wit, conducting and facilitating public participation has become necessary to introduce and pass, as we now hereby do, the Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill and the Cross-Boundary Municipality Laws Repeal and Related Matters Amendment Bill in order to cure the defect pointed out by the court.
Of paramount importance here is to address the two major, glaring issues and concerns that are actually the bone of contention. The issues may sound irrelevant but they are paramount and important to the citizens of that area. The first matter is the legal issue that the two Bills sought to address, that is compliance with the constitutional requirement of allowing and enabling public involvement in the process of reincorporation and redefining the boundaries, a matter that has now been complied with to the letter.
The second matter is social and economic in nature and pertains to the social and economic links between the people of Matatiele and the two provinces in question, especially with regard to real perceived differentials in the levels of service delivery in the two provinces, it being a major argument that service delivery in the Eastern Cape may not be up to scratch. The irony that attaches to these socioeconomic concerns is that the most vociferous traders, who would like to remain in KwaZulu-Natal, bought their stock and goods from KwaZulu-Natal, indeed, but sold them to the customers of the Eastern Cape. However, to achieve objectivity and confront the challenges that come with the changes and implications of the two Bills it needs to be explained that Matatiele had a population of 20 000 with an equitable share of R12 million before incorporation.
It initially had five councillors and two wards and has now grown in size after the inclusion of Maluti and surrounding villages. The number of councillors is now 48 with 24 wards. By implication the boundaries have changed and the numbers of the population have dramatically increased by the inclusion.
It goes without saying that Matatiele has inherited backlogs in terms of roads, electricity, water and sanitation and as a newly-created municipality it has numerous requirements including office space, furniture and equipment. This is largely due to the fact that Matatiele is now inheriting an area deliberately neglected by the previous system. But what is being done to cushion these problems?
What is to be done to meet these challenges? Our interaction with the role-players in the province reveals that apart from Matatiele Local Municipality having ... [Time expired.] Thank you, the Eastern Cape therefore supports this Bill. [Applause.]
Mr M A MZIZI: Sihlalo, namaPhini oNgqongqoshe omabili ngithi unwele olude. [Chairperson and the two Deputy Ministers, long live!]
Chairperson, I’m probably one of those who would not get the increase. These two pieces of legislation have been tabled in this House before. They reappear today because they did not pass the test set by our Constitutional Court.
We should, however, have learnt that consultation is key to legislative processes. Perhaps one could say that cross-boundary municipalities should not have been created at all because they have caused a great deal of inconvenience to the residents involved.
Mainly these two Bills address the Constitutional Court’s verdict in the Matatiele case which led to the other affected cross-boundary municipalities approaching the court for recourse. The IFP is not in a position to support these two Bills. The Khutsong case is still before the court and no decision has been taken yet.
The reason we are debating these two Bills is because the court had made it easier for the government to ratify the deficiency in the original piece of legislation. It does not matter what other people say about this issue now. It is not going to help anyone. In plain isiZulu, one could say -
... noma ungathini kufana nokuthi usuzela emanzini nje kuphela. IsiZulu, baba. [... it is like f*rting in the water.]
If the court has said that the procedure followed in these Bills was unprocedural, without giving any further explanation, I do ...
USOTSWEBHU OMKHULU WOMKHANDLU: Ngiyabonga, Sihlalo. Ngifuna ukwazi ukuthi ngabe kuwulimi oluvumelekile yini eNdlini yePhalamende ukuthi ilungu likhulume ngokusuzela emanzini?
USIHLALO WENDLU (Ms N M Oliphant): Ngicela nithule. Ilungu elihloniphekile belisho isisho sesintu okungesesiZulu, ngakho akusho ukuthi ukusuzela emanzini akukho emthethweni noma kuyinhlamba kodwa kuyisisho sesiZulu. Qhubeka mhlonishwa uMzizi. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Thank you, Chairperson. I would like to know whether it is acceptable for the hon member to use the phrase “to f*rt in the water” in the House?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N M Oliphant): Please, be quiet! The hon member was using an isiZulu expression; therefore the use of the expression is acceptable and is not vulgar. Proceed, hon Mzizi.]
Mr M A MZIZI: Thank you, hon Chairperson. If the court had said the procedures followed in these Bills were unprocedural and stopped there without any further explanation, I do not think that these Bills would have been introduced in Parliament again. Therefore, the IFP is not convinced that the will of the people had really been taken into account. The IFP feels that the hurry-scurry approach to these matters is wrong and it does not help the public who elected us. Instead, it creates more problems.
Ngakho-ke besicela ukuthi, bakwethu, asibekezele ezintweni esizenzayo emphakathini abasikhethile ngoba uma singenzi njalo, sizodala izinxushunxushu nibone abantu sebeya ezitaladini bebulale yonke into ekhona. Ngakho-ke asikhulume nabantu bezwisise kunokuthi kugcinwe sekuthathwe izinqumo zezinkantolo. Ngehlela ngezansi. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[We therefore appeal to hon members to be patient with what we are doing in the community who elected us because if we do not do that, we will create conflicts and witness people taking to the streets and destroying everything at their disposal. Therefore, let us talk with the people and make them understand so that we avoid a situation where decisions have to be taken in courts. Thank you.]
Mr M E SITHEBE (KwaZulu-Natal): Chair, Ministers present here and other members that are attending this important debate in the NCOP, the ANC-led government in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature supports the Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill.
We, as a standing committee on local government in the legislature, have conducted public hearings, both in Matatiele and Umzimkhulu. With regard to the Matatiele issue, we have taken a position, as the ANC in the province, that is actually based on the issue of revenue generation.
In backing up our decision, we are saying that Matatiele is an area that generates a lot of revenue. You have this big area that is more of a rural area – the Greater Maluti area. We are saying that the fragmented system of local government created the situation where those people are completely ostracised from revenue generation.
It is for that reason that we are saying that the wall-to-wall system of local government in South Africa should be economically sustainable. We are not going to allow a situation where the Greater
Maluti area falls outside of Matatiele. This is one fundamental point we have advanced when we argued on this particular matter.
The other issue that we have actually considered also borders, I think, on the provision in section 153(a) of the Constitution, which goes thus, and I quote:
A municipality must –
(a) structure and manage its administration and budgeting and planning processes to give priority to the basic needs of the community, and to promote the social and economic development of the community.
So it is in that spirit that we, as a legislature, have decided, consciously and prudently, to vote for Matatiele to remain in the greater Maluti so as to realise the potential economic development in that particular area.
Amongst other things that we noted when we conducted those public hearings, especially in Matatiele, is that the issues that were raised by those people were of national and provincial competency. We then said that this is not going to deprive those people because we have a clear provision in Chapter 3 of the Constitution which deals with the whole question of co-operative governance, and our duty is to try and nurture that level of co-operative governance.
So as the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, we support the Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mnu Z C NTULI: Sihlalo, amalungu ale Ndlu ahloniphekile, maqabane nabangani. Sihlalo into engingayisho nje eqenjini le DA ne IFP laba akade bekhuluma la ukuthi bachathe bachathile, okusho ukuthi noma ungachaza kanjani ngeke besashintsha. [Uhleko]. Okufanele-ke kodwa sikwazi ukuthi-ke kuyilungelo noma igunya lePhalamende ukuthi ekugcineni kube yilo elinquma ngemingcele yezifundazwe. Ngisho abantu bangakhuluma bathini kodwa ekugcineni kuphezu kwale Ndlu ukuthi iPhalamende liphume nesinqumo ekugcineni.
Lokhu-ke futhi okwesigingu esibhekene nokuklanywa kwemingcele komasipala ukuthi omasipala bazoma kanjani. Siyazi ukuthi abantu kufanele bakhulume babeke imibono yabo. Esifuna ukukuchaza nje ukuthi kuyinqubo kaKhongolose ukuthi abantu babe nezwi kulo hulumeni futhi kuyinqubo kaKhongolose ukuthi abantu bazikhethele ukuthi bathanda ukuhlala kuphi. Siyazi ukuthi laba abakhulumayo njengamanje asebazi amalungelo abantu babebasusa abantu ngenkani bathi sukani lapha niye lapha. Thina asikwenzi lokho. Imingcele nje esikhuluma ngayo. Abantu basahleli lapho behleli khona.
Singasho nje kancane ukuthi yingani mhlawumbe usubona manje i-DA sebeqala ngokukhuluma ukuthi kufanele kuyiwe kubantu ne-IFP. Khona
manje kade nikhala ngokuthi uhulumeni oholwa nguKhongolose uma ethi akuthathwe iPhalamende liye kubantu nithi kumoshwa imali. Kodwa yini manje esenithi kufanele kuyiwe kubantu. Azisamoshwa yini izimali?
Okunye okusixaka kakhulu ngalaba abaphikisayo ukuthi anisho lutho ngokungena koMzimkhulu KwaZulu-Natal. Yini ningakhulumi ngakho khona kakhulu ukuthi akuyiwanga kubantu. Anisho lutho kodwa anginisoli nithanda ukuphikisa futhi nithanda abantu abaphikisayo. [Uhleko.]
(Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr Z C NTULI: Chairperson, hon members of this House, comrades and friends, what I can say about the DA and the IFP who have been speaking here is that they are sticking to what they have heard, which means that no matter what you say they will not change their mind now. [Laughter.] What we should know is that it is Parliament’s right or prerogative, at the end of the day, to demarcate provincial boundaries. People can say whatever they want but it is incumbent on this House of Parliament to take a decision.
This is for the committee that deals with the demarcation of municipalities to determine how municipalities will stand. We know that people should speak up and express their views. What we want to explain is that it is the ANC’s policy that people have a say in this government and that they choose where they want to live. We know that these people who are talking now and who now know people’s rights governed the people by coercion. They removed them forcefully. We do not do that. We are only talking about boundaries. People still remain on their land.
We can actually say why the DA and the IFP are starting to say that we must go to the people. Just now you have been saying that the ANC-led government is wasting money by taking Parliament to people but now it is you who are saying that we must go to the people. Are we not wasting money now?
What is also very confusing about the opposition is that they are not saying anything about the incorporation of Umzimkhulu into KwaZulu-Natal. Another thing that is very confusing is why are you not talking about the fact that we did not go to the people in this case? You are not saying anything but I do not blame you because you like to oppose all the time. [Laughter.]]
Mr A WATSON: Chairperson, on a point of order: The speaker said in isiZulu that the DA lies to the people and likes to make other people lie to the people. [Interjections.]
Uthe bayaphikisa, bathanda ukuphikisa abanye. [He said they oppose and they like to disagree with other people.] He must withdraw it, please. Nobody lies in this House.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon Watson, I have been listening very carefully. The member never said that you lied. There is a difference between “ukuphikisa” [“disagree”] and lying. Continue, hon member. You are not out of order.
Mr Z C NTULI: Thank you, Chairperson. Watson, I think you need ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, continue with the debate. [Laughter.]
Mr Z C NTULI: I would like to conclude by saying that the ANC-led government has a responsibility to lead the people of South Africa. It has a responsibility to hear people’s concerns. It has a responsibility to make informed decisions. The ANC-led government does not believe in referendums.
I know that its argument always encroaches on the referendums instead of consulting them. The ANC-led government believes in a unitary state and not in a federal system. It believes in strong local municipalities which can deliver proper services to the people of South Africa. Chairperson, I would like to thank you and I request this House to pass this Bill. Thanks. [Applause.]
Mr S SHICEKA: Chairperson, today is a day when we are finalising the whole issue of cross-boundary municipalities that straddle provincial boundaries. At the same time, what I want to touch on is the issue of people’s voices.
The parties that have been newly converted are the ones raising this issue on people’s voices. How do they define that the majority of people in an area have decided in a certain way? Have they counted and looked at the population? Have they seen that the majority of people in that area have given their point of view, and if so, are they in a position to provide us with statistics? We do not believe that what you are saying is correct; it is invalid.
We believe in the ANC - the people’s movement that has led this country for so many years and that has been in existence for 95 years. There is no political party in this country or even in Africa that is older than the ANC. The fact that it has survived for so many years shows that it has a visionary leadership that has been there for some time. The important issue here is that when you are a leader, you must be like a giraffe. A giraffe can see far. It must be in a position to see potholes and valleys so that the people that it leads are guided properly and do not fall in those valleys.
On this matter, we have seen that what is important is having municipalities that have a tax base and those that are able to raise their own revenue. The proposal that you have made, to transfer Matatiele Municipality and some sections in KwaZulu-Natal to another municipality, is not going to achieve that objective.
We were talking about a council that has four wards with seven councillors yesterday. That council is unsustainable and unable to raise its own revenue and it is a council that was not supposed to be there in the first place. We do not want that to be repeated in Matatiele.
However, I also think as a movement, we must be in a position to communicate our decisions unequivocally. We must be in a position to make our people clear about the reasons why certain steps were taken and not others. It must not be taken for granted that people will understand because we govern them. If we continue on that path we will lose the support of our people. We must be in a position to clarify our decisions. Our decisions must be predictable and people must be able to explain them. That, to me, has to be corrected. But that does not mean that the substance of the decision is incorrect.
The referendum is a matter that is not well defined in South Africa. We have not developed policies and laws in that respect. Therefore, we cannot be using this as a “gogga”. The danger in that is that we can put policies in place that are against minorities in this country to hold a referendum. If we develop that system, we will fragment this country. Therefore, we must avoid using this terms when they suit us because they are dangerous. Let us not play with fire.
People are raising an issue of the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court is our establishment. We said that there must be a highest court in the country that must be in a position to evaluate decisions of Parliament in relation to its validity as far as its constitutional dispensations are concerned and whether they are constitutional or not. Therefore, it must not be spoken as if it was not us who propagated for this structure in that respect. Therefore, I am saying that the people from parties that have recently converted must not teach us, the people who taught them, how things are done. A teacher remains a teacher. You cannot have a situation where you emerge ...
engceni nje okanye uvuke esicithini ... [out of nowhere]
...and then speak in the way you do. It is not correct.
The challenge that we are faced with here is to ensure that the Department of Provincial and Local Government sticks to what was agreed upon. We supported the Bill on the basis that the people in those areas were not going to be worse off because they fell in one province or the other.
As this Parliament, we must make follow ups in those areas. We must make oversight visits to go and check as to whether the department sticks to its decisions that it has made to us - not only to us but
also to the public out there. It has a social contract with the people of this country in those areas. I think that is an area we must focus upon other than this issue.
We are burying this issue today and we are finalising it. It will not arise. What will happen is that we will wait for what the Constitutional Court will say on the issue of Khutsong. Even there, I do not think that the Constitutional Court can challenge Parliament to make a decision on the issue.
An issue that they can look at is procedural fairness. Substantial fairness is our responsibility as lawmakers in this country. Therefore, I do not think you must have high hopes as an opposition that you can win Khutsong as your area tomorrow. Those people remain ANC supporters. They will die ANC supporters. We will, irrespectively, continue servicing them.
Xa kukho ingxabano ekhaya, elusatsheni ... [If there is a family dispute ...]
... it does not mean that people will go away from their home. They will remain part of the family. The issue is that there is a dispute on one issue or the other and that is how things happened.
I am saying that the ANC has taken a decision on this matter and we are going to look at it. You must recall that we are still going to review the provincial boundaries. This issue of making these boundaries the alpha and the omega is not a correct view because even these ones that we have are still going to be looked at before the 2009 elections.
You might find that in this country we have different boundaries around provinces. You might find that we have five to six provinces in this country. Therefore, the issue that we are raising now must not arise at all. I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Chairperson, members of the NCOP, and Deputy Minister Johnny de Lange, I’m not going to ``gooi kole’’ [go for it] because I think we’ve already done so. Agreeing to pass this Bill today has been that journey where we were really ``gooi-ing kole’’ [going for it].
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reaching this consensus for the sake of the people of that area so that we can continue and start looking at issues that affect that community in terms of infrastructure and all that. I’m very happy that we’ve reached this end, for the sake of the people of that area of Matatiele.
I would like to thank members of this House for participating in the debate on the Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill and the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Amendment Bill. We are all aware that the two Bills before us emanate from a judgment of the Constitutional Court whereby it declared that the KwaZulu-Natal Province failed to facilitate public participation in the legislative process, as required by section 118(1)(a) of the Constitution. The order of invalidity was suspended for 18 months,
during which time Parliament was given the opportunity to correct the constitutional defect that led to the order of invalidity.
Today we are here as part of the process to correct this procedural deficiency that the Constitutional Court ruled on. The Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Amendment
Bill seeks to amend the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Act of 2005 by substituting and re-enacting those provisions of the said Act that were declared invalid by the Constitutional Court.
I am given to understand that during the hearings on the Bill, especially the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Amendment Bill, comments that were received from the public and organisations in Matatiele raised issues relating to, amongst other things, personal preferences, ethnic and cultural links, and service delivery.
We need to continuously remind ourselves that we belong to one country and that we are one nation. Government will always strive to hold dear the values of our Constitution which is premised on building a united, nonracial society where the ongoing improvement in the quality of life of all our people is our overriding objective.
It is this very objective of creating a better life for all that was compromised by our system of cross-boundary municipalities. Our cross-boundary municipalities saw a very complicated set of administrative, governance and service delivery problems pertaining to the implementation of differing provincial legislation pertaining to health and traffic; the co-ordination of different provincial housing and infrastructure projects; the finalisation of integrated development plans, IDPs, and its alignment with different provincial growth and development strategies, and different provincial financial management systems impacting on the affected municipalities.
In retrospect, this system of cross-boundary municipalities impacted negatively on our communities and deprived them of the optimal set of services due to them. Since 2005, government has embarked on a range of measures to ensure that our people in our former cross-boundary municipalities are better off than what they were before.
The Matatiele Local Municipality continues to be a beneficiary of government’s programmes and targeted financial transfers. Matatiele’s allocation from the local government equitable share increased from R4 million in the 2005-06 financial year to R18,5 million in the 2006-07 financial year, and finally, to R34,7 million for the 2007-08 financial year.
Similarly, the allocation from the municipal infrastructure grant programme to the Matatiele Local Municipality is projected to drastically increase by over 70% in the medium-term from R10,1 million in 2006-07 to R17,1 million in 2009-10. That was the commitment from the department’s chairperson, hon Shiceka.
When we look at all the former cross-boundary municipalities, then we have 173 MIG projects in the design and tender phase that are estimated to benefit an estimated 511 722 households. In addition to this, a total of 484 MIG projects are in the construction phase with a value of R3,8 billion aimed at benefiting an estimated 3,4 million households. For the current financial year 2007-08, government has allocated a total of R1,146 billion in MIG grants to all the former cross-boundary municipalities.
From this, it is clear that government is determined to employ critical interventions directed at lifting investment in infrastructure and accelerating the pace of redressing service delivery backlogs in the former cross-boundary areas. This is in line with the ANC’s vision for 2014 of radically reducing poverty and unemployment, creating jobs and broadening access to basic services.
While there are still many challenges to overcome in the former cross-boundary municipalities, as government, we continue to explore the mobilisation of necessary resources and human capital to ensure that our people enjoy the benefits of our democracy. In this regard, we also continue to intensify our interventions of the Local Government Strategic Agenda 2006-11.
I would like to express my appreciation to the two select committees of the NCOP and their chairpersons, the hon S Shiceka and the hon Kgoshi Mokoena as well as the Chairperson of the NCOP, the hon M J Mahlangu for their able management of the passing of this Bill.
My appreciation also goes to the provincial legislatures, and especially the Eastern Cape and the KwaZulu-Natal provinces, for their support, commitment and dedication to the processes involved with the Bills. Furthermore, a special word of thanks should also go to all the residents and interested parties that participated in the consultation processes on this issue.
We want to call on everyone involved in the processing of this Bill before the House as well as those involved in the processing of the Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill to vote in favour of the Bill. And so saying, I would like to reassure members of the opposition parties who are in fact against the passing of this Bill that this ANC government is a government that cares. Thank you. [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I shall now put the question in respect of the First Order, the Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill. The question is that the Bill be agreed to. As the decision is dealt with in terms of section 65 of the Constitution, I shall first ascertain whether all the delegation heads are present in the Chamber to cast their province’s votes. Are all delegation heads present?
I shall now also allow provinces the opportunity to make their declaration in terms of Rule 71 if they so wish. Is there any province wishing to make any declaration of vote? There is obviously none.
We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. I shall do this in alphabetical order per province. Delegation heads must please indicate to the Chair whether they vote in favour or against or abstain from voting.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: All nine provinces voted in favour. I, therefore, declare the Bill agreed to in terms of section 65 of the Constitution. [Applause.]
Bill accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We now come to the question with respect to the Second Order, the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Amendment Bill. The question is that the Bill be agreed to. In accordance with Rule 63, I shall first allow political parties to make their declarations of vote, if they so wish. Any political party? There is none. We shall now proceed to the voting on the question.
Those in favour will say “Aye”.
HON MEMBERS: Aye.
The CHAIRPERSON OD THE NCOP: Those against will say “No”.
HON MEMBERS: No.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The “Ayes” have it. The majority of members voted in favour. I therefore declare the Bill agreed to in terms of section 75 of the Constitution.
Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution
(Democratic Alliance and Inkatha Freedom Party dissenting).
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)
Mr W M DOUGLAS: Hon Chairperson, hon members and friends, the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises passes the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill as introduced by the National Assembly unamended. It is necessary to pass the amendment to further create an enabling environment to roll out broadband access and bring down the costs of communication services in South Africa.
Notwithstanding the passing of the Electronic Communications Act of 2005, broadband costs in South Africa remain extremely high and the access severely limited. Hence, this community also recently passed the Broadband Infraco Bill to assist in lowering the costs and expanding access, thereby bridging the digital divide. In order for Infraco to become operational, the Bill stated that Infraco would obtain a deemed licence. Nevertheless, this contradicted the provisions of the Electronic Communications Act of 2005, in which licences can only be issued once the regulator, Icasa, issues an invitation to apply for a licence. Therefore, the most expeditious method was to amend the Electronic Communications Act of 2005 in order to licence Infraco.
The objects of the Bill are to amend the Electronic Communications Act of 2005 so as to empower the Minister of Communications to issue a policy direction and provide for matters connected therewith. It also provides an opportunity for government to make strategic interventions on infrastructure investments whenever it deems necessary.
Furthermore, it enables government to address some of the significant challenges such as reduction of cost to communicate by providing infrastructure at wholesale rates to operators; improving on government service delivery and supporting of Asgisa; linking Nepad broadband with Africa, Latin America and Europe; and providing the much needed band for strategic projects and consumers in general.
The Bill provides a forward-looking legislative framework, which facilitates government’s intervention in the ICT sector in line with the developmental state.
The key contents of the Bill is as follows: The long title was amended to empower the Minister of issue an additional policy direction; the preamble was amended to reflect the strategic intervention by government in the electronic communications sector in order to reduce the cost of communications; to reflect that the state intends to expand availability of access to the, ICT, on a wholesale basis at a cost-oriented rate in order to increase to communication services; and to amend the Electronic Communications Act of 2005 to facilitate the efficient licensing of public entities.
Infraco will initially be a full state-owned entity but might over time be sold off. We must just ensure, however, that Infraco meets its mandate of reducing the costs of broadband access and increasing communications services before we even consider selling it off. We must also be sure that Sentech and Infraco do not duplicate roles and infringe on each other’s territory. The roles of the two must be very clearly stipulated.
Notwithstanding these concerns, the Select Committee On Labour and Public Enterprises feels confident that the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill will result in the ultimate reduction of broadband and communications costs thereby increasing access to these services. This will be good for investment, economic growth and development in South Africa. Hence, the NCOP passes this Bill, unamended, as introduced by the National Assembly. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: That concludes the debate and I shall now put the question in respect of the Third Order. The question is that the Bill be agreed to. In accordance with Rule 63 I shall first allow the political parties the opportunity to make their declaration of vote if they so wish. Is there any political party that wishes to do so? There is none. We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. Those in favour will say “Aye”.
HON MEMBERS: Aye.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Those against will say “No”.
HON MEMBERS: No.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The “ayes” have it. The majority of members have voted in favour. I therefore declare the Bill agreed to in terms of section 75 of the Constitution.
Bill accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.
ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL
(Consideration of Votes and Schedule)
Mr E M SOGONI: Chairperson, the Adjustments Appropriation Bill appears in today’s ATCs. However, I just want to clarify a few things: Firstly, this Bill is in accordance with section 30 of the Public Finance Management Act, which allows the Minister to shift funds between and within Votes, or funds to follow transfer of functions in terms of section 42 of the same Act, and the roll-over of funds from the previous financial year. I know that members sometimes have a problem when departments shift funds from one programme to another programme. They do that in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.
The highlights of this Act are that in the past few weeks we met with the Department of Agriculture in the Eastern Cape, who complained that the farmers in that area were complaining about not having received the funds for their pigs that they had to cull. In this Appropriation Bill, that will be provided for. Then there are a number of other provisions that are made but I would really like to draw the attention of some committees to issues like the SA Airways, which is also supported along with Alexkor and others. We think that, as a committee, our colleagues in those select committees should really try to conduct some robust oversight because these public entities are supposed to be generating income, but they are not doing so. They continue to draw funds from government.
On that note, we propose that this House adopts this Adjustment Appropriation Bill so that we can improve the lives of our people. Thank you. [Applause.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, I am now going to put Votes in the order in which they appear on the schedule to the Bill.
Vote No 1 — The Presidency — put and agreed to.
Vote No 3 — Foreign Affairs — put and agreed to.
Vote No 4 — Home Affairs — put and agreed to.
Vote No 5 — Provincial and Local Government — put and agreed to.
Vote No 6 — Public Works — put and agreed to.
Vote No 7 — Government Communication and Information System — put and agreed to.
Vote No 8 — National Treasury — put and agreed to.
Vote No 9 — Public Service and Administration — put and agreed to.
Vote No 10 — Public Service Commission — put and agreed to.
Vote No 11 — South African Management Development Institute (Samdi) — put and agreed to.
Vote No 12 — Statistics South Africa — put and agreed to.
Vote No 13 — Arts and Culture — put and agreed to.
Vote No 14 — Education — put and agreed to.
Vote No 15 — Health — put and agreed to.
Vote No 16 — Labour — put and agreed to.
Vote No 17 — Social Development — put and agreed to.
Vote No 18 — Sport and Recreation South Africa — put.
Vote agreed to (Democratic Alliance dissenting).
Vote No 19 — Correctional Services — put and agreed to.
Vote No 20 — Defence — put and agreed to.
Vote No 21 — Independent Complaints Directorate — put and agreed to.
Vote No 22 — Justice and Constitutional Development — put and agreed to.
Vote No 23 — Safety and Security — put. Vote agreed to (Democratic Alliance dissenting).
Vote No 24 — Agriculture — put and agreed to.
Vote No 25 — Communications — put and agreed to.
Vote No 26 — Environmental Affairs and Tourism — put and agreed to.
Vote No 27 — Housing — put and agreed to.
Vote No 28 — Land Affairs — put and agreed to.
Vote No 29 — Minerals and Energy — put and agreed to.
Vote No 30 — Public Enterprises — put. Vote agreed to (Democratic Alliance dissenting).
Vote No 31 — Science and Technology — put and agreed to.
Vote No 32 — Trade and Industry — put and agreed to.
Vote No 33 — Transport — put and agreed to.
Vote No 34 — Water Affairs and Forestry — put and agreed to.
Schedule put and agreed to.
AJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL
REVENUE LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
REVENUE LAWS SECOND AMENDMENT BILL
SECURITIES TRANSFER TAX BILL
SECURITIES TRANSFER TAX ADMINISTRATION BILL
(Consideration of Bills and of Reports thereon)
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is it Robinson? I call Mr Robin ... Robertson. I normally say Robinson. There are differences! Mr Robertson?
Mr M O ROBERTSON: Chair, I’m glad you got the Robinson and Robertson right. Thank you very much!
Chair, what we’ve done is to combine the Revenue Laws Amendment Bill, B42 of 2007; the Revenue Laws Second Amendment Bill, B43 of 2007; the Securities Transfer Tax Bill, B44 of 2007; and the Securities Transfer Tax Administration Bill, B45 of 2007.
The economist, John Maynard Keynes, once said that the avoidance of tax was the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward. It required an innovative revenue agency such as Sars almost 100 years later to defy Mr Keynes. The vision of Sars is to be an innovative revenue and customs agency that not only enhances economic growth and social development, but also supports the country’s integration into the global economy in a way that benefits all South Africans.
One example of how these pieces of revenue laws amending legislation address distortions in corporate taxes and erosion of tax bases is in its response to the practices of holders of intellectual property rights. It is noted that the development of intellectual property is often fully deductible.
It is a common practice in South Africa that foreign offshore companies acquire South African patents and trademarks for which South African companies are also required to pay as a tax-deductible royalty expense. What we did not realise was that offshore companies were subsidiaries of South African companies and, therefore, this tax-deductible expense is, by all accounts, a payment to the South African companies themselves.
These offshore front companies were located in tax haven territories. For several years South African companies incurred tax-deductible expenses on this which, in essence, constituted fraud. This supposed royalty expense is a grand design to evade tax. Such measures are not aimed only at evading tax, but also at filtering out company profits to tax haven destinations.
These Bills counteract such behaviour of companies by proposing the following: The taxpayer cannot take any deductions when paying for the use of intellectual property if that property was previously owned by a resident or was developed by the effective taxpayer or any close relative person. The legislation includes efforts to reduce the Secondary Tax on Companies, called STC, from 12,5% to 10%. These tax Bills refine the definition of what constitutes dividends, thereby removing further loopholes in the system.
The distinction between what constitutes capital and what constitutes income in tax is a hotly contested terrain in tax disputes. The tax rates are different for income and capital. Taxpayers often disguise the true nature of their income to capture the benefit of the lower capital tax rate. Sars has many cases in court on the subject.
This tax legislation refines and clearly demarcates the constitution of capital and the constitution of income, thereby further eliminating opportunities for intellectual pursuit. In this way Sars has taken the initiative in order to ensure that tax avoidance does not occur.
More generally, these pieces of legislation legitimise several of the main tax policy changes announced in the Minister of Finance’s February 2007 Budget Speech. These Bills confirm the eligibility of co-operative banks to obtain small business tax relief and provide depreciation relief for rolling stock, for example, trains and carriages, port infrastructure and commercial buildings. It also provides for additional death benefits.
Securities tax transfer is not a new tax. It is a merging of existing taxes. The Stamp Duties Act caters for unlisted securities and leases, whereas the Uncertificated Securities Tax Act caters for listed securities. It is, therefore, proposed that the securities aspect of both Acts should be merged into the proposed Bill to provide for levying tax on listed and unlisted securities in respect of every change in beneficial ownership of the securities. This merger ensures that the rules relating both to listed and unlisted securities are comparable.
The democratic government requires revenue to cover the cost of providing public services, alleviate poverty and create jobs, yet taxes represent a cost to individuals and firms and thereby reduce the incentives to invest and create jobs. The democratic government’s main thrust in respect to tax reform is the following: to correct the distortions on personal and corporate income tax; to make the tax system more conducive to investment; to broaden the tax base, and lastly, to address the administrative difficulties of the tax system.
These revenue laws amending Bills and securities tax transfer Bills are a demonstration of our goal to achieve equity and enhance growth. The Select Committee on Finance recommends that the NCOP
adopt these section 77 and section 75 money Bills. Thank you very much, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Thank you, hon member. That concludes the debate. I shall now put the question in respect of the Sixth Order. The question is that the Bill be agreed to. In accordance with Rule 63 I shall first allow political parties ... Is it the Fifth Order? Can I first correct something here? There’s a dispute from the Table. They are the authors of this thing and I’m reading what they have written. Maybe I am reading some wrong things.
Hon members, according to the list in front of me, hon Mahlangu dealt with the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, which was handled by the hon Sogoni. I thought I was wrong, but I was right and the Table was wrong. They were saying I must call for the voting! [Interjections.]
However, that concludes the debate and I put the question in respect of the Sixth Order, the Revenue Laws Amendment Bill. The question is that the Bill be agreed to. In accordance with Rule 63, I shall first allow political parties the opportunity to make their declaration of vote if they so wish. Is there any party that wants to make a declaration of vote? None. We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. Those in favour will say “Aye”.
HON MEMBERS: Aye!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Those against will say “No”. The “Ayes” have it.
The majority of members have voted in favour. I therefore declare the Bill agreed to in terms of section 75 of the Constitution.
Bill accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.
I shall now put the question in respect of the Seventh Order, the Revenue Laws Second Amendment Bill. The question is that the Bill be agreed to. In accordance with Rule 63, I shall first allow political parties the opportunity to make their declarations of vote, if they so wish. We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. Those in favour will say “Aye”.
HON MEMBERS: Aye!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Those against will say “No”. The ayes have it. The majority of members have voted in favour. I, therefore, declare the Bill agreed to in terms of section 75 of the Constitution.
Bill accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.
Mr E M SOGONI: Chairperson, on a point of order: I am not sure where the communication went wrong. The understanding was that there would be one statement for all four of the Bills on taxation. I think there was a communication breakdown somewhere. [Interjections.]
Mr M O ROBERTSON: Chairperson, I did mention right from the beginning that we were combining the four Bills but for the record, I ask the NCOP to adopt the Bills. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): The debate is concluded. I shall now put the question. The question is that the Securities Transfer Tax Bill be agreed to.
In accordance with Rule 63, I shall first allow political parties an opportunity to make their declaration of vote, if they so wish.
We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. Those in favour will say “Aye”.
HON MEMBERS: Aye!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Those against will say “No”.
HON MEMBERS: No!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): I think the “Ayes” have it. The majority of members have voted in favour. I therefore declare the Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.
Bill accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): I shall now put the question. The question is that the Securities Transfer Tax Administration Bill be agreed to.
In accordance with Rule 63, I shall first allow political parties an opportunity to make their declarations of vote, if they so wish. There are none.
We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. Those in favour will say “Aye”.
HON MEMBERS: Aye!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): And those against will say “No”.
HON MEMBERS: No!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): I think the “Ayes” have it.
The majority of members have voted in favour. I therefore declare the Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution. [Applause.]
Bill accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE – CONVENTION BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE REPUBLIC OF MOZAMBIQUE FOR AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION AND PREVENTION OF FISCAL EVASION WITH RESPECT TO TAXES ON INCOME
Mr Z S KOLWENI: Chairperson, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, I stand here on behalf of the Select Committee on Finance to confirm that it was not by accident that on 18 September 2007, both the heads of state of Mozambique and the Republic of South Africa signed this treaty.
The Select Committee on Finance, having engaged the department on this treaty earlier this week, and in the course of the briefing and deliberations, the following realities were outlined and digested that this ratification tax treaty has the following pillars.
The first pillar is the policy that takes care of promoting economic growth by providing certainty in respect of cross-border investments. The same pillar goes further and prevents double-taxation of same income through provision of certainty on tax treatment as well as assignment of tax rights between member states.
I wish to inform hon members of this House that currently there are investment flows between the two countries. The committee was informed that South Africa has, by far, a larger investment into Mozambique and already, through the IDC, this country has further earmarked major investments.
The other pillar is the one of administration which takes care of facilitating exchange of information as well as processing mutual agreement procedures. Aspects like Articles 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 vary.
This treaty has been ratified by a number of participating countries. However, it has been reported that Nigeria and DRC are still defaulters.
Hon Chairperson and hon members, I hereby wish to submit this tax treaty for approval so that it can be a binding document. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Order! I shall now put the question in respect of the Tenth Order. The question is that the report be adopted. As the decision is dealt with in terms of section 65 of the Constitution, I shall first ascertain whether all delegation heads are present in the Chamber to cast their province’s votes.
I shall now also allow provinces the opportunity to make their declarations of vote in terms of Rule 71 if they so wish.
We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. I shall do this in alphabetical order per province. Delegation heads must please indicate to the Chair whether they vote in favour or against, or abstain from voting:
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): All nine provinces voted in favour. I therefore declare the report adopted in terms of section 65 of the Constitution.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON SECURITY AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS – REMUNERATION OF JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES
Order disposed of without debate.
Question put: That the Report on the remuneration of Magistrates be adopted.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Hon Motsamai Goeieman, could you please switch off your microphone to enable other delegates to use their microphones as well?
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Question put: That the Report on the remuneration of Judges be adopted.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SELECT COMMITTEE ON SECURITY AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS – REMOVAL FROM OFFICE AND WITHHOLDING OF REMUNERATION OF MR T V D MATYOLO, ADDITIONAL MAGISTRATE AT PORT ELIZABETH
Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Chairperson, Adv T V D Matyolo disappeared from his office. The department, through the Magistrates’ Commission, followed all the processes in respect of making sure that he came and appeared before that relevant structure to answer as to why he was not going to work as stipulated in his contract. Unfortunately he did not do that. They followed him to his home but he was nowhere to be found.
Therefore, the commission, in accordance with its rights, recommended that this magistrate should be removed from office. They recommended that to the Minister. The Minister, in turn, because she can’t remove him before asking for permission from yours truly, wrote a letter to him and my committee informing us they were removing the magistrate from office because he disappeared for more than eight months. During those eight months he was receiving his salary.
Because yours truly is so democratic, I wrote a letter to Matyolo to say that I couldn’t remove him now but I wanted him to give us reasons why we couldn’t remove him from office. Guess what? He didn’t respond – for the whole month. Therefore, I accept the recommendation by the Minister and the committee, led by yours truly, that this Chamber, the august House, accepts the recommendations that Adv Matyolo be removed from office because he is irresponsible. I thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): I shall now put the question. The question is that the report be adopted. As the decision is dealt with in terms of section 65 of the Constitution, I shall first ascertain whether all the delegation heads are present in the Chamber to cast their province’s votes. [Interjections.]
The Northern Cape is making a noise. Hon members, I don’t have to mention your name. It is disgusting, I must say.
In accordance with Rule 71, I shall first allow provinces the opportunity to make their declarations of vote if they so wish. In the absence of any declarations, we shall now proceed to voting on the question. I shall do this in alphabetical order per province. Eastern Cape?
Mr E M SOGONI: Elethu. [Supports.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): KwaZulu-Natal?
Mr Z C NTULI: KwaZulu-Natal siyavuma. [KwaZulu-Natal, supports.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Limpopo?
Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Ondersteun. [Supports.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Mpumalanga?
Ms M P THEMBA: Mpumalanga supports.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Northern Cape?
Mr C M GOEIEMAN: We have not been making a noise Chair but we are supporting. It is not disgusting.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Hon member, you are out of order. You cannot make that comment after I have made a ruling. Can I ask you to stand up and withdraw that?
Mr C M GOEIEMAN: I withdraw, Chair, but it was not disgusting.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Hon member, I will make a very harsh ruling against you; and you are a provincial Whip. Can you stand up and withdraw what you said.
Mr C M GOEIEMAN: I withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): North West?
Rev P MOATSHE: Elethu. [Supports.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Western Cape?
Mr N J MACK: Ondersteun. [Supports.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): All provinces have voted in favour. I therefore declare the report adopted in terms of section 65 of the Constitution.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
CHILDREN’S AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill and Report of Mediation Committee)
Mr B J TOLO: Chairperson, before I put the Bill for consideration, I just want to draw members’ attention to this pamphlet, which was distributed together with the Bill. This pamphlet contains amendments that were agreed to by the Mediation Committee but were omitted when the printing work was done. So these amendments are part and parcel of that which was agreed to by the Mediation Committee.
I want to put the mediated version of the Children’s Amendment Bill before this House for support. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Order! I shall put the question in respect of the Thirteenth Order. The question is that the report be adopted. As this decision is dealt with in terms of section 65 of the Constitution, I shall first ascertain whether all delegation heads are present in the Chamber to cast their province’s votes.
In accordance with Rule 71, I shall first allow provinces the opportunity to make their declarations of votes, if they so wish.
We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. I shall do this in alphabetical order per province. Delegation heads must please indicate to the Chair whether they vote in favour or against, or abstain from voting.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): All nine provinces voted in favour. I therefore declare the Report adopted in terms of section 65 of the Constitution.
Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Order! I shall put the question in respect of the Fourteenth Order. The question is that the Bill be adopted. As this decision is dealt with in terms of section 65 of the Constitution, I shall first ascertain whether all delegation heads are present in the Chamber to cast their province’s votes.
In accordance with Rule 71, I shall first allow provinces the opportunity to make their declarations of vote, if they so wish.
We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. I shall do this in alphabetical order per province. Delegation heads must please indicate to the Chair whether they vote in favour or against, or abstain from voting.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): All nine provinces voted in favour. I therefore declare the Bill agreed to in terms of section 65 of the Constitution.
Bill accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you, Chairperson. You will excuse me for having changed the speakers’ list. I have an appointment that I have to honour and it’s an hour late now. You are aware that I have visitors from Swaziland. That is why I requested the Chief Whip to please letr me make my remarks first and then be allowed to leave.
Let me leave with you these important words from one intelligent writer who once said:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear
is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
Actually who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people
won’t feel insecure around you ...
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that iswithin us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And when we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
At the closure of this House today, at the end of the last debate of the year, I want to say: Thank you very much. We have been a team. I’m very happy. I have again seen the fruits of what we have achieved in the year 2007.
I go home very encouraged and more motivated than last year because of the teamwork that I’ve seen in this House. We have had our differences but we have forged ahead in our fight to do our job as a team in this institution.
I want to thank the Chief Whip for the co-operation and work that he’s been doing with the Presiding Officers. I want to thank the House Chairpersons for the wonderful work they have done. I want to thank all chairpersons of committees for the wonderful and sterling job that they have done. It’s not an easy thing. You have been steering the ship in your committees throughout the year with all the perseverance and strength that you had.
To my deputy, I want to thank you for also offering your help in the institution so that we work together in the name of the NCOP and achieve the work that we have so far.
I want to thank the Secretary to the NCOP and all the staff members for assisting and supporting us to carry on our work and, of course, to achieve our political objectives as Members of Parliament.
May I also thank the Secretary to Parliament, along with all the staff of Parliament, for the support they’ve given us to do our work for the entire year?
Enjoy your festive season with your families and may you all have a prosperous new year. Till we meet again next year, may God be with you and bless you. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A WATSON: I can’t end the year without controversy, Chairperson. So, let me say: I know, as anybody in this country knows, that next month some important negotiations will take place in Polokwane ... [Laughter.] ... and I thought it would be unjust if we don’t submit a nomination for a leader from this House as well. So, I’ve considered a couple of candidates.
I couldn’t nominate the Chairperson because we need him too much in this House. [Laughter.] I couldn’t nominate the Chief Whip because the whole country will have to sign leave forms and will have to be fined! [Laughter.] I also considered the hon Mzizi because I wasn’t always sure in which party he was, but today he confirmed that he’s not in the ANC.
Lastly, I thought maybe the elder of the House, Kgoshi Mokoena, would be a good President, but alas, today, he proved beyond a doubt, with the hat that he’s wearing, that he’s a godfather and part of the Mafia. [Laughter.] We can’t have that!
But, seriously Chairperson, may I, on behalf of the DA and all the members of the DA, wish those who are going to Polokwane the wisdom of God when they decide on the future of this country. I really wish them well, and may sanity prevail at all times.
I have just a couple of seconds left. Let me say I normally end with thanking the Chair and all the Presiding Officers and all the staff and I do so again most sincerely. But there’s something wrong and I hope in the future we’ll rectify it. We are called members because this institution belongs to us, but lately it has seemed to me as if the administration is driving the bus.
We must change that. I call on the leadership of both Houses of Parliament and on all the members that are sworn in as members of this institution to take back the reigns and run this province. I want to get instructions from this House. I’m tired of getting instructions from administration.
Finally, whatever your religion is, I wish you a most excellent holiday; a prosperous new year but most of all - as I said this morning in our caucus - may that wonderful message of Christmas also get into the hearts and into the homes of all of you. God bless you. [Applause.]
Mnu M A MZIZI: Sihlalo, sesifike enjikalanga manje. Amathunzi aseyewukela. Zonke sezibhekise amabombo ekhaya njengoba sizophuma nje. Angikusho lokhu ukuthi iqembu le-IFP njengoba ngilimele nozakwethu bekhona ngoba sengikhulumela nabo, ngithi kini-ke nonke bozakwethu nabasebenzi bonke singabantu futhi sinenyama negazi esikuphiwe UNkulunkulu. Lapho sone khona ngokukhuluma noma ngezenzo besingeve sihlosile kodwa kungoba singabantu.
Lolu hambo lunengozi futhi lunezitha. Njengoba nizophuma nonke niye emakhaya, nazo izingozi eziyizitha namasela. Abanye nje izinkomo sezithathiwe ezibayeni. Niyohlangabezana nezinto eziningi. Ngakho-ke ngicela ukuthi UNkulunkulu abe nani. Angifuni ukukhuluma ngingene endabeni kaMnu uWatson yokuthi uKhongolose ne-IFP benzeni. Cha, lapha sesikhuluma indaba yokuhamba siye emakhaya. Sithi UNkulunkulu abe nathi. Uma usufisa ngonyaka ozayo uma sibuya ukuya kuKhongolose, usungaya ungiyeke mina ngoba angizukuya khona ... [Uhleko] ... kodwa wena ungaya uma uthanda.
Sihlalo, siyanibonga ngokusibekezelela kakhulu. Sona lapha nibhekile ningasixoshi nokusixosha kodwa nilokhu nisikhulumisa kahle. Ngalokho sithi UNkulunkulu anandisele. Kinina nonke nibuye UNkulunkulu abe nani. Asibuye sihlangane ngoba kuyavama ukuthi uma sihamba singabuyi sonke. Wena wakomkhulu. (Translation of isiZulu speech follows.)
[Mr M A MZIZI: Chairperson, we have come to the end of the year. Everybody is looking forward to going home as we finish up. Let me say this, as the representative of the IFP, to all of you, colleagues: We are people and we have flesh and blood which was given to us by God. Where we went wrong, it was not intentional. We are only human.
This journey has accidents and enemies. As you all go home, beware of accidents and criminals. Some people have already had their livestock stolen from their kraals. You will be confronted with many obstacles. I therefore ask God to be with you. I do not want to entertain Mr Watson’s comment where he asked what the ANC and the IFP have done. No, we are talking about going home here. May God be with us. If you wish to join the ANC next year when we come back, so be it but leave me out of it because I am not going there. [Laughter.] But you can go if you so wish.
Chairperson, we thank you for tolerating us. We would wrong you from time to time but you never dismissed us; instead you were very nice to us. May God take care of you. We hope to see everybody next term. God be with you. Let us all come back alive because it happens sometimes that some of us do not make it back. Thank you, Chairperson.]
Ms K A KGAREBE: Hon Chairperson, hon members of the Council, a correction hon Chairperson, my initials are K A not R A. I’m quite sure everybody has been longing to hear my voice because you know a person better if you know her or his voice.
My good people, I am happy to be with you. I’ve been watching how you debate issues and how you conduct your sessions. In our own language, if you are a stranger to the people, you sit back and see how they do things. We use to say we don’t like the person who, when he first comes to the people, takes the front seat - “mabina-go-tsholwa”
So, my good people, I’m happy to be with you. Next time I’ll participate in the debates because I’m also here on behalf of my constituency, our people, and I’m also happy to be part of the NCOP. I wish each and every one of you here a pleasant journey home, tomorrow or tonight, and I’m sure God will provide good health and will protect you during the holidays and I hope again that you’ll enjoy the holidays with your families and constituency. Until we meet again, God bless you all.
Mr W M DOUGLAS: Thank you, hon Chairperson. It’s kind of strange to be standing here and saying goodbye when I’ve just barely said hello! But I want to thank the whip of my province, the Chief Whip and all the members that have made me feel very welcome and at home. I appreciate it.
I’ve found this House to be very different from the National Assembly and from other political scenarios that I’ve been in and I think it’s a testimony to the character of the people that are in the NCOP and I look forward to next year when we can debate rigorously around issues and not individuals, as is much the case in politics nowadays.
The festive season is a time of reflection and introspection as much as it is a time of celebration and joy. I pray for each of you that God will help you to find your faith where you may have lost it or grown cold, and that God will help you to translate your faith into your work so that that which is your morality will be translated into your responsibility here in the House. I pray for next year, that God would speak to you about that during the festive season. May the Lord bless you and keep you and protect you during this period of time. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms B L NTEMBE: Chairperson, hon members, many good and positive things happened this year but as life is also full of many colours, negative things also happened. We have seen Bills passed to the betterment of people because life is about people.
So many people have died this year and are still dying. One needs to pause at this area and ask: What is the cause of all this? However, what I have observed is the coming closer together of the members of the NCOP regardless of political affiliation. The NCOP is bridging the divides.
This can only happen if the presiding officers in the NCOP set the trend although sometimes the opposition parties, including myself, disagree with rulings pertaining to keeping order in the House. When we decide on amending legislature in our Parliament, do we consider the Constitution of the country only, which is compiled by men or do we consider the “Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrica” as well? I take it for granted that the “Nkosi” we are singing about refers to the God of the Bible. I stand to be corrected if this is an error.
The honesty and fairness which some of the ruling party members in this House display in dealing with issues is a positive shift in the right direction. God bless every hon member in this House during the festive season. I thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Mgcinisihlalo lohloniphekile, ngiyabonga kutfola lelitfuba lekuvalelisa njengobe sitawuvala nje Kulendlu Yemkhandlu Wemaprovinsi. [Hon Chairperson, I'm grateful for this opportunity to say farewell as the Council goes into recess.] [Laughter.]
From today there will be no need for leave applications until 17 January. [Laughter.] You are now on your own. You will negotiate that with your wives and husbands. [Laughter.]
On a serious note, hon members, this year was very momentous and the busiest for all our hon members and committees in particular. It is a year in which our council demonstrated a strong resolve and commitment to come to grips with many challenges facing our people and to continue the advances of our second decade of democracy in our country.
The number of Bills and various oversight trips that we undertook are a testimony to what we are saying today. We have also seen the conclusion of the first round of our Taking Parliament to the People to the provinces as we visited the ninth province – the Western Cape - this last term of 2007 since we started with that programme in 2002.
We also had the very successful follow-up visits. We had two rounds of Provincial Weeks and a very successful intergovernmental relation summit which culminated in the tenth anniversary celebration in which, on 4 May, President Thabo Mbeki addressed us and I would like to quote what he said:
This important role of the NCOP in the evolution of our young nation is reflected in the advances we have made in the deepening of our democratic system.
Your outstanding work as members, particularly those who were really committed to work, is appreciated. I do not like to speak today about some members because we didn’t even know where they were when our committees couldn’t quorate.
Nevertheless, we want to thank those who were committed to their work, particularly our chairpersons who sometimes had to convene meetings at very late hours and we thank those members who co-operated with the chairpersons and the Whips to see to it that the work that we are here to do as hon members is done with distinction without being policed.
We are also grateful for the participation of various political parties so co-operatively. We have seen us coming closer to each other and taking off the horns that we started with in 2004. I think by 2009 it will only be the constitutional boundary that you cannot cross to the NCOP that will keep us apart.
I must also thank the leadership of our Chairperson, at the name of the hon M J Mahlangu, together with his lieutenants, the Deputy Chairpersons and the House Chairpersons for having ensured that we steered the ship in the right direction that it had to take.
I know that we had a very long day and a very long year. I don’t want to keep you long here because there is nothing that we have arranged after the adjournment here.
However, I want to say that as we go to Limpopo, it will not be the issue of the positions that we would be concentrating on but we will be looking in terms of saying how the ANC is taking the country to greener pastures so that all of us, political and apolitical citizens of this country, can enjoy the better life that we all fought for for so long. Thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T S Setona): Thank you, hon Chief Whip. I am advised to make the following announcement before I adjourn the business of the House today. The invitations for the state of the nation address 2008 for MPs have been given to the Chief Whip who will distribute them in consultation with the provincial Whips.
The Council adjourned at 19:02.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
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:
- Children’s Amendment Bill [B 19F – 2006] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76(2)).
(2) Bills passed by National Assembly on 22 November 2007:
- Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill [B 50D – 2003] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- South African Express Bill [B 14D – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- Criminal Law (Sentencing) Amendment Bill [B 15B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- Human Sciences Research Council Bill [B 16B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- Astronomy Geographic Advantage Bill [B 17D – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- Traditional Health Practitioners Bill [B 20 – 2007] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76(2)).
- Broadband Infraco Bill [B 26D – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- Transport Agencies General Laws Amendment Bill [B 27B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- Education Laws Amendment Bill [B 33D – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 76(1)).
(3) Bills passed by National Council of Provinces on 22 November 2007:
- Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill [B 24 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 74).
- Cross-boundary Municipality Laws Repeal Amendment Bill [B 25 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- Electronic Communications Amendment Bill [B 38B – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- Adjustment Appropriation Bill [B 41 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 77).
- Revenue Laws Amendment Bill [B 42 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 77).
- Revenue Laws Second Amendment Bill [B 43 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
- Securities Transfer Tax Bill [B 44 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 77).
- Securities Transfer Tax Administration Bill [B 45 – 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75).
National Council of Provinces
1. Membership of the Council
- The vacancy which occurred owing to the resignation of Mr J O Tlhagale in the National Council of Provinces with effect from 31 October 2007, has been filled with effect from 1 November 2007 by the appointment of Ms K A Kgarebe.
2. Referral to Committees of papers tabled
1. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Public Services for consideration and report:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 33 – Department of Transport for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 33 for 2006-2007.
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 27-2007].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of Agrément South Africa for 2006-2007.
(d) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 6 – Department of Public Works for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 6 for 2006-2007.
(e) Report and Financial Statements of the Independent Development Trust for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 182-2007].
(f) Report and Financial Statements of the Council for the Built Environment (CBE) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(g) Report and Financial Statements of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(h) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 28 – Department of Housing for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 28 for 2006-2007 [RP 113-2007].
(i) Report and Financial Statements of Thubelisha Homes for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
2. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises for consideration and report:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 17 – Department of Labour for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 17 for 2006-2007 [RP 49-2007].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the Compensation Fund for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 51-2007].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 26 – Department of Communications for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 26 for 2006-2007 [RP 204-2007].
(d) Report and Financial Statements of the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of 2006-2007 [RP 185-2007].
(e) Report and Financial Statements of the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial for 2006-2007 [RP 169-2007].
(f) Report and Financial Statements of Eskom Holdings Limited (Eskom) for 2006-2007, including the Reports of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(g) Report and Financial Statements of Sentech Limited for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(h) Report and Financial Statements the National Productivity Institute (NPI) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(i) Report and Financial Statements of arivia.kom (Pty) Ltd for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors for 2006-2007.
3. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Economic and Foreign Affairs for consideration and report:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 32 – Department of Trade and Industry for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 32 for 2006-2007.
(b) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 30 – Department of Minerals and Energy for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 30 for 2006-2007 [RP 35-2007].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the Electricity Distribution Industrial Holdings (Pty) Ltd (EDIH) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(d) Report and Financial Statements of the National Lotteries Board for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 170-2007].
(e) Report and Financial Statements of the Competition Tribunal for 2005-2006, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2005-2006 [RP 125-2007].
(f) Report and Financial Statements of the National Credit Regulator (NCR) for the ten months ended 31 March 2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for the ten months ended 31 March 2007.
(g) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Quality Institute for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(h) Report and Financial Statements of the Estate Agency Affairs Board for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(i) Report and Financial Statements of the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 91-2007].
(j) Report and Financial Statements of Khula Enterprise Finance Limited for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(k) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Micro-finance Apex Fund for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007
(l) Report of the Strategic Industrial Projects (SIP) for April 2002 to March 2007.
(m) Report and Financial Statements of the National Gambling Board for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 142-2007].
(n) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 3 – Department of Foreign Affairs for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 3 for 2006-2007.
(o) Report and Financial Statements of the African Renaissance and International Co-operation Fund for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(p) Report and Financial Statements of the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 95-2007].
(q) Report and Financial Statements of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 167-2007].
(r) Report and Financial Statements of Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
- Report and Financial Statements of the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
- Report of the National Industrial Participation Programme for 2006-2007.
4. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Social Services for consideration and report:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 18 – Department of Social Development for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 18 for 2006-2007 [RP 203-2007].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Social Security Agency for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 100-2007].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 172-2007].
(d) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 16 – Department of Health for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 16 for 2006-2007 [RP 115-2007].
(e) Report and Financial Statements of Servcon Housing Solutions (Proprietary) Limited for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
5. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises for consideration and report and to the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LG-Seta) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 69-2007].
6. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises for consideration and report and to the Select Committee on Public Services:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Transport Education and Training Authority (Teta) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 76-2007].
7. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises for consideration and report and to the Select Committee on Economic and Foreign Affairs :
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Transport Education and Training Authority (Teta) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 76-2007].
8. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs for consideration and report:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 23 – Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 23 for 2006-2007 [RP 119-2007].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the Presidents’ Fund for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 120-2007].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 22 – Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 22 for 2006-2007 [RP 223-2007].
(d) Report and Financial Statements of the National Prosecuting Authority for 2006-2007, including the Reports of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 and on the Financial Statements of the Criminal Assets Recovery Account for 2006-2007.
(e) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 20 – Department of Correctional Services for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 20 for 2006-2007 [RP 217-2007].
(f) Proclamation No R.19 published in Government Gazette No 30162, dated 10 August 2007: Notification by President in accordance with section 25 of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, 2004 (Act No 33 of 2004).
(g) Proclamation No R.24 published in Government Gazette No 30252, dated 7 September 2007: Notification by President in accordance with section 25 of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, 2004 (Act No 33 of 2004).
9. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs for consideration and report:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 27 – Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 27 for 2006-2007 [RP 80-2007].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 34 – Department of Water Affairs and Forestry for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 34 for 2006-2007 [RP 201-2007.
(c) Report and Financial Statements of Inkomati Catchment Management Agency for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 177-2007].
(d) Report and Financial Statements of the Water Research Commission for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 147-2007].
(e) Report and Financial Statements of the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(f) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 25 – Department of Agriculture for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 25 for 2006-2007 [RP 216-2007].
(g) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 29 – Department of Land Affairs for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 29 for 2006-2007 [RP 209-2007].
(h) Report and Financial Statements of the Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 219-2007].
(i) Report and Financial Statements of the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 1-2007].
- Report and Financial Statements of Onderstepoort Biological Products Limited for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(k) Report and Financial Statements of the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
10. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Finance for consideration and report:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 13 - Statistics South Africa for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for Vote 13 for 2006-2007 [RP 104-2007].
(b) National Treasury – Consolidated Financial Information for the year ended 31 March 2007.
11. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration for consideration and report:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 5 – Department of Provincial and Local Government for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 5 for 2006-2007.
(b) Report and Financial Statements of Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit (Proprietary) Limited (MIIU) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 27-2007].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the Municipal Demarcation Board for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 218-2007].
(d) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 10 – Department of Public Service and Administration for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 10 for 2006-2007 [RP 220-2007].
(e) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 11 – Public Service Commission (PSC) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 11 for 2006-2007 [RP 160-2007].
(f) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 12 – South African Management Development Institute (SAMDI) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 12 for 2006-2007.
12. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Education and Recreation for consideration and report:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 15 – Department of Education for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 15 for 2006-2007 [RP 110-2007].
(b) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 19 – Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 19 for 2006-2007 [RP 106-2007].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Council for Educators (SACE) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(d) Report and Financial Statements of the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training – Umalusi for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(e) Report and Financial Statements of the Tshumisano Trust for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(f) Report and Financial Statements of Boxing South Africa for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(g) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Drug-Free Sport for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 148-2007].
(h) Report and Financial Statements of the Africa Institute of South Africa for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 215-2007].
(i) Report and Financial Statements of Academy of Science of South Africa for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
13. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Education and Recreation:
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Sultanate of Oman on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Sultanate of Oman on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Argentine Republic on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Argentine Republic on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Slovak Republic on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Slovak Republic on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of Australia on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of Australia on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Hellenic Republic on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
- Explanatory Memorandum to the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Hellenic Republic on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
14. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Economic and Foreign Affairs for consideration and report, the Select Committee on Social Services and the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises:
(a) Report of the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate for 2006-2007.
15. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Finance, the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration, the Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs and the Select Committee on Education and Recreation:
(a) Government Notice No R.824 published in Government Gazette No 30264, dated 7 September 2007: Allocations per Municipality in terms of Sections 8(3) and 22(1)(a) of the Act for the following Schedule 7 Local Government Conditional Grants: (1) Bulk Infrastructure Grant, (2) Backlogs in Water and Sanitation at Clinics and Schools Grant, and (3) Backlogs in the Electrification of Clinics and Schools Grant in term of the Division of Revenue Act, 2007 (Act No 1 of 2007).
16. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Finance:
(a) Annual Economic Report of the South African Reserve Bank for 2007.
(b) Address of the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank – 20 September 2007.
(c) Government Notice No R.835 published in Government Gazette No 30276, dated 14 September 2007: Amendment of Schedule No. 1 (No. 1/11344) in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(d) Government Notice No R.836 published in Government Gazette No 30276, dated 14 September 2007: Amendment of Schedule No. 3 (No. 3/619) in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(e) Government Notice No R.837 published in Government Gazette No 30276, dated 14 September 2007: Amendment of Schedule No. 3 (No. 3/620) in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(f) Government Notice No R.838 published in Government Gazette No 30276, dated 14 September 2007: Amendment of Schedule No. 4 (No. 4/306) in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
17. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs for consideration and report and to the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 176-2007].
18. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs:
(a) Proclamation No R.21 published in Government Gazette No 30245, dated 31 August 2007: Referral of matters to existing Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunals in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No 74 of 1996).
(b) Proclamation No R.22 published in Government Gazette No 30245, dated 31 August 2007: Referral of matters to existing Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunals in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No 74 of 1996).
(c) Proclamation No R.23 published in Government Gazette No 30245, dated 31 August 2007: Referral of matters to existing Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunals in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No 74 of 1996).
(d) Proclamation No R.25 published in Government Gazette No 30290, dated 12 September 2007: Referral of matters to existing Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunals in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No 74 of 1996).
19. The following papers are referred to the Select Committee on Finance:
(a) Government Notice No 809 published in Government Gazette No 30247 dated 31 August 2007: Determination of interest rate for purposes of paragraph (a) of the definition of “official rate of interest” in paragraph 1 of the Seventh Schedule, in terms of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (Act No 58 of 1962).
(b) Government Notice No 1062 published in Government Gazette No 30220 dated 31 August 2007: Rate on the interest on Government loans made in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No 1 of 1999).
(c) Government Notice No R.815 published in Government Gazette No 30254 dated 7 September 2007: Amendment of Schedule No. 1 (No. 1/1/1342) in terms of the Customs end Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
(d) Government Notice No R.816 published in Government Gazette No 30254 dated 7 September 2007: Amendment of Schedule No. 3 (No. 3/618) in terms of the Customs end Excise Act, 1964 (Act No 91 of 1964).
20. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Finance for consideration and report and to the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 202-2007].
21. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs for consideration and report, the Select Committee on Education and Recreation and to the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Children, Youth and Disabled Persons:
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 126-2007].
22. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Public Services:
(a) Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Cuba on the Employment of Technical Advisors, tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution, 1996.
23. The following paper is referred to the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs for consideration:
- Report of the Auditor-General on the findings identified during a performance audit on the rendering of catering services at the Department of Defence – August 2007 [RP 221-2007].
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.
National Council of Provinces
1. The Chairperson
(a) The President of the Republic submitted the following letter dated 7 November 2007 to the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces informing Members of the Council of the employment of the South African National Defence Force in Darfu in Sudan:
EMPLOYMENT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE FOR A SERVICE IN FULFILMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TOWARDS THE AFRICAN UNION AND UNITED NATIONS
This serves to inform the National Council of Provinces that I have authorised the employment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel to Darfu in Sudan, for a service in fulfilment of the international obligations of the Republic of South Africa towards the African Union (AU) and the united Nations (UN), as part of the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfu in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769.
This employment is authorised in accordance with the provisions of section 201(2)(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, read with section 93 of the Defence Act, 2002 (Act No 42 of 2002).
I will communicate this report to members of the National Assembly and wish to request that you bring the contents hereof to the attention of the National Council of Provinces.
(b) The President of the Republic submitted the following letter dated 9 November 2007 to the Speaker of the National Council of Provinces informing Members of the Council of the employment of the South African National Defence Force during the 2007/2008 festive season:
EMPLOYMENT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE FOR A SERVICE IN CO-OPERATION WITH THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE
This serves to inform the National Council of Provinces that I have authorised the employment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel, for a service in co-operation with the South African Police Service in prevention and combating of crime and maintenance and preservation of law and order during the 2007/2008 festive season 1769.
This employment is authorised in accordance with the provisions of section 201(2)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, read with section 93 of the Defence Act, 2002 (Act No 42 of 2002).
A total of forty two (42) SANDF members will be employed as from mid-November 2007 until 31 January 2008.
I will communicate this report to members of the National Assembly and wish to request that you bring the contents hereof to the attention of the National Council of Provinces.
(c) Consolidated Municipal Annual Performance Report for 2005/6 by the MEC for Housing, Local Government and Traditional Affairs in the Eastern Cape Province.
Referred to the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration for consideration.
(d) Correspondence from Mr E Themba, a representative of victims of evictions in Emalahleni Municipality, Mpumalanga Province.
Referred to the Select Committee on Local Government and Administration.
National Council of Provinces
1. Report of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs on Draft Notice on Remuneration of Magistrates, dated 22 November 2007.
The Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the Draft Notice on Remuneration of Magistrates in terms of section 12(3) of the Magistrates Act 1993, (Act No 90 of 1993), tabled on 19 November 2007 and referred to it, recommends that the Council in terms of section 12(3) of the Act, approves the said Draft Notice.
Report to be considered.
Kgoshi LM Mokoena, MP
Chairperson: SC on Security and Constitutional Affairs
22 November 2007
2. Report of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs on Draft Notice on Remuneration of Constitutional Court Judges and Judges, dated 22 November 2007.
The Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the Draft Notice on Remuneration of Constitutional Court Judges and Judges in terms of Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, 2001 (Act No 47 of 2001), tabled on 19 November 2007 and referred to it, recommends that the Council, in terms of section 2(4) of the Act, approves said Draft Notice.
Report to be considered.
Kgoshi LM Mokoena, MP
Chairperson: SC on Security and Constitutional Affairs
22 November 2007
- B24-2007 - Constitution Thirteenth Amendment Bill
- B25-2007 - Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal And Related Matters Amendment Bill
- B27-2007 - Transport Agencies General Laws Amendment Bill
- B38-2007 - Electronic Communications Amendment Bill
- B41-2007 - Adjustments Appropriation Bill
- B43-2007 - Revenue Laws Second Amendment Bill
- B42-2007 - Revenue Laws Amendment Bill
- B44-2007 - Securities Transfer Tax Bill
- B45-2007 - Securities Transfer Tax Administration Bill