Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 05 Sep 2007
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER 2007
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at: 15:06
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, before we proceed with today’s business, I wish to announce that the vacancy that arose as a result of Mr A Harding losing his membership of the Assembly has been filled by the nomination of Mr M H Hoosen with effect from 5 September 2007.
Mr M H Hoosen, accompanied by Mr L W Greyling, made and subscribed to the oath, and took his seat.
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
SOCIAL SERVICES AND GOVERNANCE
Plans to enable learners in Khutsong to study for matric examinations
290. Mr R S Ntuli (ANC) asked the Minister of Education:
(a)What are the details of the plan being implemented to ensure that learners, especially Grade 12s, in Khutsong are afforded the opportunity to study for matric examinations and (b) what progress has been made in implementing that plan thus far? 1974E
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Thank you, Madam Speaker. May I say, Madam Speaker ...
Sebui, re ne re itumetse thata maabane fa re go utlwa o bua Setswana se se monate. [... we were fascinated by the fluency in which you spoke Setswana yesterday.]
The reply to the question is as follows: The plan with respect to learners in Grade 12 in Khutsong was to move all the Khutsong matric learners to an intensive tuition centre in the North West province where they would live, learn and study until the completion of their exams at the end of November 2007.
On 12 August 2007, 441 – the total sum of Grade 12 learners - Grade 12 learners in Khutsong were moved from their homes to the Vuselela FET college in Taung. The plan has been put into practice, and I receive reports from the department constantly. I am informed that the learners are benefiting from the tuition provided by the subject specialists appointed by the North West education department to assist the learners.
The Grade 12 learners who chose to remain behind will write their final exams in registered exam centres around Khutsong. There were a few who chose not to join the 441 that I have referred to, which is bulk, the majority, in fact – almost the entire number - of the learners in Grade 12 in Khutsong. Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause.]
Mr R S NTULI: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Thank you, hon Minister, for your informative response. Minister, while we applaud the positive interventions by the North West department of education to manage the plight of the Grade 12s in terms of affording them, as you have reported, an opportunity to study for their matric exams; would the Minister consider advising the North West department of education to put in place a contingency plan for next year to give similar support to learners currently in Grades 10 and 11, in particular, given the fact that they also lost a lot of learning time this year, especially if the learning environment in that community doesn’t normalise next year?
I am asking this question in the context of the fact that with matters of education, the interest of the learner is paramount. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Speaker, in reply I remain hopeful that the situation will normalise; that parents, adults and others in the community will realise that the impasse that we have had for several months is harming irreparably the future of children who should be in school. I must, however, repeat what I’ve said in the House before that the majority of the schools continue to function. There are disruptions from time to time.
There are some schools where we do not have full attendance both by learners as well as by teachers, but we are working hard with the North West education department to ensure that all children are in school with schools functioning fully as they should. Of course, hon Ntuli, we will continue with the support programmes that we believe should be there to support our children in our schools anyway so that they have the study material. Any additional programmes which have become part of the fabric of the education offering would, of course, be continued.
Dr P W A MULDER: Madam Speaker, the FF Plus welcomes the fact that something is being done to solve this problem of the Grade 12 learners or students of Khutsong. Our information is that the cost of this exercise is about R10 million and that R8 million of this amount is for food and housing. Now, I really don’t think that we can afford to solve this type of problem this way if, in the future, something similar happens again. Are my figures correct? I would like the Minister to respond to that, please.
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: I don’t have the full budget or figures in front of me, but the ballpark figure referred to sounds accurate, given the transport and other costs as well as the fact that subject specialists have been invited and therefore must be paid. My own hope would be, of course, as I have said, that we have normal schooling. And I would hope all political parties will make it their business to indicate to the public of South Africa that education is a vitally important practice for the future of our country and that we should never again have a repeat of what we have seen in Khutsong with respect to schooling.
Mr R COETZEE: Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you, Minister. The information that I have, including from one of the principals involved, just this morning, is that over 40 Grade 12 learners at one of the high schools in Khutsong, in fact, not in Taung, have no accounting teacher, no business economics teacher and the science teacher is on extended sick leave. Now I appreciate that this is a difficult situation, but would the Minister be happy to look into that particular situation to ensure that those learners who’ve remained behind are actually taught the subjects they need to be taught so that they can write their exams? Secondly, what additional steps are being taken to physically secure the schools in question, because in one case three classrooms were burnt down just a few weeks ago, so that the learners in Khutsong can get through Grade 12? That is obviously not referring to the rest of the learners in Khutsong who are not in Grade 12 yet. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Unfortunately, the principal didn’t give us the information as to whether those 40 learners chose not to participate, or were rather excluded by the North West education department. All Grade 12s were invited to be part of the programme. There are some who have been participants in the kind of action we have seen who have chosen not to be part of the programme. Therefore, since I don’t have that information it is difficult for me to actually answer the question fully. Perhaps if you could pose the question in the form of a question for either written or oral reply, I then could investigate the matter and certainly look into it. I do volunteer that if you give me the name of the school I will look into the matter of the teachers and the subjects and come back to you on that one.
With respect to the question of security, it is a matter that we are constantly addressing in collaboration with the SA Police Service and are attempting, as much as we can, to ensure that we do secure the schools in the area. However, as you would have seen, some of the attacks take place at night, and what we are really trying to do is to inculcate the culture of consciousness of the value of education and educational facilities and their very close relationship to the lifeblood and quality of a community. This is why I am saying that, while we will take the steps as policy heads, it is vitally important that we change the attitude and consciousness of our communities towards education and public facilities generally.
Success in applying skills obtained in poverty alleviation programmes
265. Ms T E Lishivha (ANC) asked the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry:
Whether, in light of the various poverty alleviation programmes administered by her department, such as Working for Water and Working on Fires, the participants in these programmes have any success in applying the skills they have obtained once they have exited these programmes; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO1947E
The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, Madam Speaker, the reply is as follows. The Working for Water and Working on Fire programmes are the main poverty alleviation programmes administered by my department.
The key objectives of the Working for Water programme are to increase our water availability, to make land more productive and to improve ecosystems by removing alien invasive species. Working for Water provides employment and training opportunities to over 29 000 people, 56% of whom are women, 45% youth and just below 2% are people living with disabilities. The majority of the people who are employed by the programme are poor and mostly from the marginalised groups.
The Working on Fire programme, on the other hand, is aimed at preventing wild fires and combating them when they do occur. This programme draws its workforce from the poorest of the poor, focusing on marginalised groups, including by race, gender and disability. It provides employment and training opportunities to over 1 500 people 28% of whom are women, 95% youth and just below 2% are people with disabilities.
Now, both of these programmes form part of our Expanded Public Works Programme, which was established for poverty relief and skills development. This is a co-ordinated focus by government to try to secure as many work opportunities and training for the unemployed as possible, while still achieving the outputs and outcomes of the specific initiatives.
We therefore require people who come into both programmes to exit after a period of time to make way for new people. What we have done over the years is that the programme has adapted to allow for a learnership engagement with the contractors and their work teams to ensure that their exit is accompanied with the necessary skills that will allow them to be able to get employment from the formal economy.
Employees in these programmes are given skills both in the areas in which they work, in terms of fire, the plants and the clearing as well as through training initiatives which are run by these programmes. In partnership with the Department of Labour and the relevant Setas, training is given to the employees. Skills that would be acquired by people in this programme would be, for instance, a vast knowledge of our plants and how to identify invasive alien species. They would obviously be trained in firefighting, chain-saw operating, working with wood, advanced four-by-four driving as well as business and entrepreneurial development support and marketing skills, amongst other things.
Ms C C SEPTEMBER: Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you, hon Minister. Indeed, hon Minister, the programme was started particularly for poverty alleviation. However, have we not arrived at a point at which we can say that the skills that have been acquired in both the Working for Water and the Working for Fire programmes are now required, not on ad hoc basis but on a permanent one?
With regard to these valuable skills that these young men and women have acquired in both these programmes, have we not arrived at a point at which we can say that in addition to creating work and alleviating poverty, these skills are now needed on a permanent basis in South Africa?
We particularly need to augment our water resources on a daily basis in South Africa, and therefore have a more ongoing programme on clearing alien invasion, and fires have now also become a permanent feature in our country. So these skills too are required on a more permanent basis. I would like to know whether the exit strategies couldn’t take this into consideration. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, hon member, and thank you, Madam Speaker. It is correct to say that if you look at the potential of the programme, the ease with which people enter the programme, and its impact on people’s lives, then it would be in our interests to make sure that the programme expands.
However, this is how it was started and we are currently discussing how we can expand the programme to ensure that more and more people, particularly in the rural areas, get absorbed, because it is true that whilst some of the people who get trained and acquire new skills in the programmes particularly in the Working for Water programme, not all of them are absorbed in formal employment and not all of them are able to start businesses that I will be talking about later on.
Some of those that haven’t been absorbed may require to continue with the programme. So the hon member is correct to say that with climate change and the extent and intensity of fires that we are experiencing, we may need even more firefighters. Therefore the Working on Fire programme could arguably be ready for an increase in budget. We are working on that, but hon member thank you.
Mr M M SWATHE: Thank you very much, hon Speaker. Minister, last month, August 2007, South Africa experienced disaster: veld fires destroyed forests, farms, properties and killed animals costing government millions of rand in damage. Minister, are the 1 799 Working on Fire workers enough to prevent, fight and contain fire wherever it occurs countrywide? At the end of this programme, have you negotiated with municipalities to employ them to retain the skills acquired to render further service? If not, why? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, hon member. Of course, the number of people working in the Working on Fire programme can never be enough to contain and fight fires. We must remember that the programme competes with other programmes for funding. However, we must say that results show – and even the people on the ground would say - that if it was not for this programme, the devastation of the recent fires would have been much greater than it was.
This group Working on Fire works with municipalities. There are fire brigades in every locality. Landowners are encouraged to join fire protection associations, so they are working with them and with fire brigades as well as with the municipalities themselves - their own disaster management committees. So we are working closely with them. When you talk about employees in the Working on Fire programme, most of them are young.
As you can imagine, fighting fires requires you to be fast in what you are doing. They are highly trained and disciplined. You need all of those things in this programme. So they get that training. Because of that, they are very attractive to security companies, and municipalities are also taking them over to do their own fire fighting and prevention. They are also able to start their own businesses.
We are now talking to landowners to use these people. Once they have done the work that they are doing for us, they must use them to create firebreaks, to educate and to create awareness. So, yes, we are talking to all the partners that we are required to talk to. However, our aim would really be to increase the extent of the programme in such a way that we are able to work faster and have more people on the ground. That, of course, requires more funding. Thank you.
Mr H B CUPIDO: Hon Speaker, the hon Minister has answered me in her response now. Thank you.
Allegations in media reports regarding conviction for theft
254. Mr M Waters (DA) asked the Minister of Health:
(1) Whether, in light of the allegations in recent media reports, she had been convicted of theft in 1976 or thereabouts while employed at the Athlone Hospital in Botswana; if so,
(2) whether she disclosed this information to the President when she was informed of his decision to appoint her to this portfolio; if not, why not; if so, what was his response? NO1958E
The SPEAKER: Question 254, which has been asked by hon M Waters to the Minister of Health, has been ruled out of order, and Mr Waters has been informed accordingly. The DA’s next question on the Question Paper ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, will you take a point of order?
The SPEAKER: Yes, what’s your point?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Can I ask for the reasons why that question has been removed from the Order Paper?
The SPEAKER: I have ruled the question by Mr Waters out of order, because it transgresses the Rules and practices of the National Assembly, particularly Rule 63, which forbids the use of offensive or unbecoming language. It is patently clear from the question that was submitted by the hon member that it reflected on the integrity of the Minister as it impugns impropriety on her part.
As you know, it is established practice in this House that allegations against another member can only be brought before the House by way of a substantive motion, and such a motion should be properly motivated and substantiated.
Members cannot be allowed to reflect on the integrity of others in the form of questions or other means other than through the mechanisms that this House has imposed upon itself. [Interjections.] So, I am not going to debate that issue with you, Mr Davidson. I have ruled the question out of order, and am not allowing a debate about the matter. Mr Davidson, I’d like you to take your seat regarding this matter. [Interjections.]
Dr J T DELPORT: Madam Speaker, on a further point of order, may I suggest that the Chair is not in order by simply directing a member to take his seat when he is willing ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Delport, I also want you to take your seat, because I am not allowing a debate on Question 254, which I have ruled out of order and that is the end of that particular issue. [Interjections.] We now come to Question 298. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: Madam Speaker, as the person who submitted that question, could you refer me to the exact words which are unbecoming, please?
The SPEAKER: Hon Waters, I have finished with the issue of Question 254. If there is nothing else you want to raise, I’d like you to take your seat ...
Mr M WATERS: I would like you to direct me to those words ...
The SPEAKER: I am not allowing you ...
Mr M WATERS: ... that are unbecoming of an MP ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Waters, get out of the House. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: I will not. I want to know ...
The SPEAKER: Hon Waters, get out of the House ... [Interjections.] Get out. Leave the House.
Mr M WATERS: I will not ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Waters, get out of the House ... [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: I want to know what is unbecoming ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Leave the House, Waters. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: Is that an instruction from Luthuli House or from yourself?
The SPEAKER: It is an instruction from me, and I would like you to leave the House, hon Waters. [Interjections.] Hon Waters, leave the House.
Mr M WATERS: This, Madam Speaker, is a farce and you know it ...
The SPEAKER: Hon Waters, leave the House.
Mr M WATERS: It’s an absolute farce. You are covering up for a thief ...
The SPEAKER: Leave the House ...
Mr M WATERS: You are covering up for a thief. [Interjections.]
Mr M Waters, having disregarded the authority of the Chair, was ordered to withdraw from the Chamber for the remainder of the day’s sitting. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! [Interjections.] Order, hon members! [Interjections.] Question 298 ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I just wanted to warn people who want to wreck these proceedings that, for their own good, they must behave or leave Parliament. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, on what point did the hon Chief Whip rise? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, can you take your seats. I now want us to proceed to Question 298.
Proposed visits by Portfolio Committees of Parliament to departments other than their designated departments
298. Mr M B Skosana (IFP) asked the Minister for the Public Service and Administration:
Whether, in light of the recent appeal made by President Mbeki that government departments should undertake closer cooperation for effective service delivery, the Portfolio Committees of Parliament need to visit government departments other than their designated departments in pursuing cross-cutting issues in order to facilitate and coordinate service delivery at all levels of society; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NO1982E
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon member for the question asked. However, I do want to raise that as a member the executive standing before the National Assembly to give account, it would be an inappropriate breach of the concept of the separation of powers and presumptuous of me to give advice to Parliament or its committees on how to conduct their oversight mandate.
Such discussion, I believe, would be more appropriately conducted within the forums of Parliament and in the light of ongoing work in this regard within Parliament. I am informed that a report in this regard from the task team on oversight and accountability is scheduled to be presented to the next meeting of the Joint Rules Committee. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr M B SKOSANA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Thank you, hon Minister. I don’t think I want to pursue this because of the answer you have just given. If only the Minister could give an assurance that this issue will, in fact, be pursued in that committee or in that institutional task team.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Madam Speaker, as I indicated in my initial approach, it would be inappropriate for me to advise the House on how to conduct its oversight. As an elected member of this House since 1994, I will venture my opinion and say that indeed one would make the assumption that the oversight on the part of committees of Parliament should take a cross-cutting and integrated approach.
I am sure that the chairperson of the subcommittee will bring it before the Rules Committee, and the nature of this Parliament and its members will ensure that the kind of rigorous input and engagement with the resolutions and recommendations will ensure greater co-ordination between the various committees and would be a first step in taking an integrated approach for committees of Parliament to work in a more integrated fashion. Thanks.
The SPEAKER: Question 289, which had been asked by the hon Komphela, to the Minister of Sport and Recreation will stand over. We now come to Question 253 ...
Mr K J MINNIE: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
The SPEAKER: What’s the point of order, hon member?
Mr K J MINNIE: I had my “to talk” light on; I pressed the “to talk” button. Can I have an opportunity ...
The SPEAKER: On which question?
Mr K J MINNIE: On the question to the Minister for the Public Service and Administration.
The SPEAKER: Okay. Go ahead, hon member.
Mnr K J MINNIE: Dankie, Mev die Speaker. Agb Minister, die DA stem saam dat daar beter koördinasie om meer effektiewe dienslewering te verseker, nodig is. Ons stem daarmee saam.
Die DA stem egter nie saam dat portefeuljekomitees oorsig uitoefen oor ander portefeuljekomitees se werk nie en ek glo dit sal in die verslag – ons sien uit na die verslag en ons sal sekerlik daaraan aandag gee. Ek wil graag een punt maak en dit is dat portefeuljekomitees kom tans nie eers by hul eie oorsigwerk uit nie. Minister, die antwoord lê daarin dat Ministers en departemente diensleweringsteikens gestel word en indien hulle nie daarby kan hou nie, moet die skuldiges vervang word.
My vraag aan u, Minister, is wat doen die Regering om diensleweringsteikens te behaal en is die Minister bereid om die Staatsdienskommissie te versoek om ’n volledige ondersoek in die verband te doen en ’n verslag uit te bring? Ek dank u.
Die MINISTER VIR STAATSDIENS EN ADMINISTRASIE: Baie dankie, Mev die ... Madam Speaker. Ek wil graag sê aan hon [agb] Minnie dat soos ek dit uitgestel het – agb Minnie; baie dankie, agb Jordan – dat hierdie verslag voor die Parlement gaan kom en ek het gesê ek wil nie juis dit bespreek op hierdie stadium nie. Laat ons wag vir daardie verslag en dit vooruit vat. In terme van die rol van die Public Service [Openbare Dienste] Kommissie: ek dink hulle weet beslis wat hulle rol is en het al reeds - (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Mr K J MINNIE: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Hon Minister, the DA agrees that better co-ordination is needed to ensure more effective service delivery. We agree with that.
The DA, however, does not agree that portfolio committees should oversee the work of other portfolio committees, and I believe that it will be mentioned in the report. We are looking forward to the report and we will definitely give attention to it.
I would really like to point out that at the moment portfolio committees are not even managing to perform their own oversight functions. Hon Minister, the solution lies in setting service delivery targets for Ministers and departments, and when they fail to meet these targets the guilty parties should be replaced.
My question to you, hon Minister, is: what is the government doing to meet service delivery targets? And, is the hon Minister willing to request that the Public Service Commission undertake an in-depth investigation and publish a report in this regard? I thank you.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I would like to say to hon Minnie that, as I explained earlier – thank you very much, hon Jordan – this report will be tabled in Parliament. I also said that I do not really want to discuss it now. Let us rather wait for the report and take it from there. In terms of the role of the Public Service Commission, I think they definitely know what their role is and have already ...]
- they have already done quite intensive investigations on areas relating to service delivery, better co-ordination of service delivery, accountability and all that at a comprehensive level. I am sure they won’t hold back on the work that is required. However, let’s not pre-empt the outcome of the commission report but rather look towards it, because I think then there would be a discussion and debate about the issue around the nature of co-ordination and integration between committees. I don’t believe that there is any proposal from any quarter that suggests that one committee oversees the work of another, but rather looks at greater collaboration and integration, and I think that would be appropriate to consider. Thanks.
Precautions to protect South Africa from effects of global warming with regard to water reserves
253. Mrs C Dudley (ACDP) asked the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry:
(a) What precautions are being taken to protect South Africa from the effects of global warming with regard to water reserves, and (b) what will be expected from South Africans to assist government initiatives? NO1117E
The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you to the hon member for the question. The impact of climate change on water resources is a global issue that requires a commonly shared vision and concerted efforts among all nations of the world. If prediction by scientists is correct that the rate of climate change will be more rapid than previously expected, then droughts, floods and other extreme weather events will become more frequent and intense.
Extreme variation in South Africa’s climate has been a reality for the country, with dramatic swings between drought and floods. Over the past few years, and this past year in particular, the extreme climatic conditions have been strongly accentuated.
Recent studies that we have conducted reveal that air temperatures in South Africa are rising; that rainfall patterns are changing causing less rain in some areas and floods in others, as we have seen here in some parts of the Western Cape, and that there is an increase in adverse climatic events such as hail.
The consequence of the warmer temperatures and the drier conditions has been that this year we have experienced the worst-recorded series of veld and forest fires. There are also implications for the growth of alien invasive species, which are thriving in the current climatic conditions and there are also implications for water quality.
In tackling global warming, the government encourages a more holistic and comprehensive approach that takes into account the impact of climate change on tourism, health, food security and the ecosystems since water is a cross-cutting commodity that is central to all developmental initiatives. Hence, our mitigation efforts should be coupled with adaptation measures to build resilience against climate change and its effects.
The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has been focused on development and implementation of adaptation strategies to ensure sustainability of water resources.
What has been our response to climate change? Firstly, we have had to understand the problem by conducting research and improving our monitoring capacity. For example, if climate change alters the magnitude, the timing and the distribution of storms that produce floods, this would have implications for our existing water resource infrastructure.
Secondly, we are developing water resource management strategies that take into account the impact of climate change. Thirdly, we are participating in national and international structures, amongst other things, to ensure that water issues are adequately addressed during climate-change discussions. Fourthly, we are continually having a dialogue with internal and external stakeholders so that we can have a holistic response to climate change and the development of adaptation strategies by the water sector. It may therefore become necessary for us to update our national water resources strategy to accommodate the anticipated effects of climate change.
Possible adaptation strategies in response to climate change are that we are regularly and continually increasing the water-shortage capacity of our reservoirs and our dams by raising dam walls, by building new dams and reservoirs, and by increasing the width of the pipelines, amongst other things. This approach would be in addition to our existing bill strategy to cater for the millions of South Africans who still remain without access to clean water. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Hon Minister, it is true that according to scientific studies it is predicted that Africa will suffer the direct impact of extreme climatic changes. They say that South Africa, which has a stable economy as compared to most other African countries, could expect to be a shelter for people from other parts of Africa. We have this in mind and rising temperatures, drought-destroying crops, animal populations declining and the thought of obviously our having to be prepared for not perhaps just our South African population, but those countries surrounding us.
Has this been taken into consideration? Also, you have mentioned obviously some intersectoral work that has been done on the holistic approach. So my follow-up question was going to be: What kind of intersectoral approach has been taken and are the possible repercussions - water sanitation for migrants - broader than our South African population being taken into consideration? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. As I said earlier on in my reply, as government we have decided that we should take a more holistic and comprehensive approach which takes into account the impact of climate change on all these areas that I’ve spoken about - food security, eco-systems, health and water.
What we are busy doing right now with regard to our water resources and planning is to try to reach a number of people in our country who do not have access to clean water and basic sanitation. As I stand here, my struggle is to reach those families.
If there are migrants or immigrants who are in the country, they will obviously benefit from whatever services that municipalities are providing. I think the challenge facing us right now is to ensure that those who don’t have in our country get this clean water and sanitation. Moving from there entails looking at how we can encourage our people to use water for economic growth.
So, as far as the question you’ve asked, it can be addressed in that holistic and comprehensive approach in which all government departments are taking measures for adaptation and to mitigate climate change. Thank you.
Ms S RAJBALLY: Thank you, Chairperson and hon Minister. If one watched the Special Assignment programme in respect of global warming and climate change, one will have found that it was shock and gave cause for concern. Could you tell us if South Africa is really 20 years behind in preparing to face this sort of climate? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Unfortunately I didn’t see the programme the hon member is talking about, but I do not think South Africa is 20 years behind. I think South Africa would be on par with other developing countries and maybe much ahead of others in terms of preparing for adaptation and mitigation measures to deal with climate change.
What we always say is that we still have a duty to develop our society and our people, and we will have to balance the development that we are having with the mitigation factors. That is the balance we are trying to get. What is becoming very clear is that we, the developing countries, are expected to adapt and do a whole lot of other things that will have a negative impact on providing jobs and basic services we need for the people.
However, the countries in the world that have actually been responsible for the situation that we are in terms of major greenhouse emissions are not cutting back on consumption. So, whilst we are expected to cut back and stop our own development, they are not cutting back on consumption. I think that’s where the message should be directed: that they must also cut back on their own consumption whilst we are trying to mitigate and adapt to the situation that we all find ourselves in.
So, I wouldn’t agree with an assertion that says: we are behind. We are participating in quite a lot of international fora where we know that we are comparable with countries like us. Thank you.
Dr R RABINOWITZ: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Hon Minister, I must take exception with what you said about asking other countries to do better instead of asking ourselves to do better, because all leaders are taking initiatives. Even people in America who are regarded as arch Republicans are taking initiatives to change the law.
So, one commends the holistic approach taken in this country. I wonder if you can’t influence the local governments to encourage people to use the enviro loos because they are so much better for the health of the water services and yet are not popular. People have been offered piped sanitation instead of the enviro loos and it takes longer and is often more expensive. The other question: Is there any encouragement of the Department of Science and Technology to do work on desalination of water, because as the temperature increases the sea levels will go up? We could, if we do research on desalination of water, use the sea water if we can remove the salt and use it for piped water. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, hon member. I want to repeat this and say it is clear as we engaged both in national and international debates that we must call more and more on the developed countries to play their part by coming on board with the commitments that were made. However, they also need to cut back on their own consumption. Consumption is going on and on.
So, they have to play their role. And that doesn’t mean that I’m saying we are not taking responsibility for what we have to do here at home. We are taking responsibility. I didn’t even mention most of the things that we are doing. However, there are many things we are doing to try and mitigate. Now, you are asking: shouldn’t we be using enviro loos instead of using something else?
Alternative technology is something that we encourage in municipalities, who are the ones rolling out the sanitation programme. So, we are working with the Department of Science and Technology. We are suggesting what technology is appropriate for where and when. Yes, those who want to adopt the enviro loos will take it, others will take other things - urine diversion and dry sanitation. So there are different technologies. We haven’t regulated that this is what needs to be done.
Having said that, I think every South African has a role to play. This is not just about what the government must do. I think you, your children, your neighbours, your friends and everybody have a role to play in terms of more efficient use of water in our country. I think as ordinary South Africans we do not realise that we are a water-stressed country, and if we could just use water more efficiently we would save it for other people.
With regard to the agricultural sector, I think farmers could be encouraged to give preference to those crops that are drought-resistant or to use more efficient irrigation methods as part of water-saving initiatives. The biggest initiatives are to ensure that we plug the leaks, to ensure that we repair water leaks, to try to use treated water or what they call grey water, and to refrain from doing things that will have a negative impact on the quality of water.
We plant trees. It is Arbour Week this week. All of us must take time to plant trees because you know trees help us with the cleaning of the atmosphere – the oxygen they give us - preventing soil erosion and all those things. We have to continually remove the alien plant species that take a lot of our water so that water is released to the dam. So, there are a whole lot of things that we have to do and we are doing them. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr K MOONSAMY: Thank you, Comrade Speaker. Thank you, Comrade Minister, for the in-depth and lucid reply. Comrade Minister, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say it is a recognised fact that global warming is a threat to our environment and thereby affects humanity. In view of this, would the Minister consider calling an extraordinary summit of all role-players in our country to address the social and economic impact of climate change? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, hon member. Climate change as a concept itself is dealt with by the whole of government. However, I think it is important to say that the drive is led by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. We are dealing with climate change as far as it affects our water resources, moving into the future and all the things that I’ve said.
I am sure in consultation with the Minister we could consider the proposal from the hon member. I must say that after we went to the Stockholm Water Week, where 43 South Africans participated, at some stage we sat down and said we need to talk to one another at home. As part of that national conference that we are going to have in South Africa, a national conference looking at our water resources and the trends in terms of how water is being managed, would obviously be an issue of climate change and its negative impact on our country. Thank you.
Suspension of Telephone Interpreting Service for South Africa
256. Mr V C Gore (ID) asked the Minister of Arts and Culture:
(1) (a)(i) When and (ii) why was the Telephone Interpreting Service for South Africa (Tissa) suspended and (b) what has become of the 39 disabled interpreters who were employed by Tissa;
(2) whether Tissa will be resumed in the future; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO1897E
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Madam Speaker, the Tissa - the Telephone Interpreting Service for SA - project was not suspended, but the tenure of the consortium that won the pilot project which ended on 31 August 2006 was suspended. The consortium was suspended owing to mismanagement of funds, lack of reporting and the low-call volume based on poor marketing.
There were only 30 employees – not 39 – namely 15 males and 15 females. Interpreters were employed by the consortium and not by the Department of Arts and Culture. Hence your query of what happened to them should be directed at the employer who would know best.
Yes, the intention is that the Tissa project will be resumed in order to fulfil the initial objectives of government in promoting multilingualism in South Africa, subject to thorough evaluation. The department would want to see a shift of focus from a stakeholder acquisition drive to stakeholder management in order to increase the use of the service, the evaluation of the interpreter training material, content, delivery methodology and facilitation capacities in order to address the apathy of site officials towards other speakers of indigenous languages and the expansion of the service to include sign language. Thank you.
Mr V C GORE: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Hon Minister, thank you very much for your answer. Tissa was launched as a very important service in dealing with the issues of providing language services to many of our citizens, particularly on health, police and court services, and you quite correctly identified the multilanguage environment in which South African operates and you quite correctly identified it as a constitutional right.
One of the other objectives of Tissa was to employ disabled people and it went a long way in creating employment for them. I would like to thank the hon Minister for his answer and for explaining that the service wasn’t suspended but the service provider was. However, I would like to ask the hon Minister a follow-up question as to when and how he envisages these services being reintroduced. What are the timelines in that regard? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Madam Speaker, as I indicated in my answer, after thorough evaluation we shall reintroduce the service. What happened is that our service provider did not market the service, so many people who needed the service were not aware of it, did not know how to access it and consequently the call volume was extremely low.
We have to learn lessons from all that, and after we have done that the service will be reintroduced because as government we are committed to multilingualism and to giving people access to government and its services.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Minister, in your own departmental report you claim quite rightly that the Telephone Interpreting Service for South Africa is “pivotal to the framework and the promotion of linguistic diversity in this country”.
I would like to know, Minister, how it is that Tissa has collapsed so soon after you heralded the fact that 10 government departments and public entities had installed the Telephone Interpreting Service. Indeed, your attempt to reach a target of 100 government department sites has been a resounding failure, and yet the budget for the national language service programme was increased by nearly R20 million.
Minister Balfour impressed this House mightily yesterday saying that heads of those who had failed in his department would roll. I would like you please to assure us that those behind the hiring of this consortium, this latest debacle in your department, will be dealt with in the same manner that Minister Balfour will be dealing with members of his department. One wants to know why on earth a contract would be given to a body so obviously incapable of doing the very job for which they were paid.
The MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE: Madam Speaker, I think the hon Kohler-Barnard, of course, has clairvoyant capacities. We in the department do not. You only find out that people cannot deliver a service when they fail you. Sometimes they succeed, but we didn’t have that sort of clairvoyance. Thank you.
Steps to enable learners to catch up with lost learning
259. Mr R P Z van den Heever (ANC) asked the Minister of Education:
What progress has been made to enable learners to catch up with lost learning as a result of the recent national strike? NO1941E
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you to the hon Van den Heever for the question. The reply is as follows. As hon members would be aware, there were different levels of disruption in education during the public-sector strike. The provincial education departments have thus developed plans that respond to their specific needs.
In some provinces we lost up to three weeks of teaching, while in others we lost no more than a day or two. Teaching time was not disrupted at all in one or two of the provinces and in others we had mid-year tests, which were the only form of learning disruption, as well as mid-year examinations. So we’ve had to develop plans that respond to this range of challenges.
The plans that we have developed have been more successful in some provinces than in others. The majority of provinces are implementing the additional teaching programmes. In some we still have a difference of opinion as to levels of stipend to be paid for additional teaching, but I’m hopeful that this will be resolved.
Our part at the national level has been the provision and large-scale distribution of learning materials. Colleagues should be aware that, when we developed the intervention, we had no knowledge as to how long the strike would last and therefore had developed quite a detailed set of self-directed learning materials for young people across all grades in the system.
During the past two months we have used radio adverts; we continue to do so. We are continuing to distribute the self-directed learning material via newspapers and are providing lessons on the SABC learning channel. These have contributed to our overall strategy. Community radio stations are also assisting in this area.
We intend to have distributed 93,8 million copies of the learning materials by the end of October 2007. We have also purchased workbooks to assist learners in the higher grades at secondary school with revision in English and mathematics. We are using 89 distribution points throughout the country, and from those points books and material are delivered to schools.
Mr R P Z VAN DEN HEEVER: Madame Speaker, I wish to thank the Minister for that reply in terms of the various plans that have been developed with regard to this matter. I note that she talked about difference of opinions between various role-players. I would like to ascertain whether we are able to say that, by and large, we have the co-operation of teachers and teacher unions generally with regard to this important matter. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Speaker, I would say in the majority of provinces we do. In the Western Cape there is still some discussion with the provincial education department as to the level of stipend that I have set out as the guide for provinces. However, in conversation with the MEC for education in this province, he informs me that, in fact, in several schools teaching has been going on. Saturday programmes are going on. In all nine provinces we anticipate that, in the spring break, there will be teaching on all the days of the holidays in our schools.
Mr R COETZEE: Thank you, Madam Speaker, and Minister. We have information that the MEC in Gauteng, for example, has essentially conceded to our spokesperson that in schools in poorer areas, it’s not being implemented because teachers who belong to SA Democratic Teachers’ Union are fundamentally unhappy, not only with the stipend, but also with what they say are some unresolved issues from the negotiations in the Bargaining Council in June. In KwaZulu-Natal it began pretty quickly and then seems to have slowed down, if not ground to a halt in certain parts. In fact, in five of the nine provinces this is not happening properly.
Now, I appreciate that this is a difficult matter but, at the end of the day, it’s the management of the teaching in the classroom that needs to be tightly controlled. I wonder if the Minister could undertake to actually go into the stuff in detail because it’s already September. Apparently, issues that are outstanding from the Bargaining Council in June include the amount of money teachers are being paid to work overtime. They are resisting doing this stuff in large parts of the country.
One accepts what the Minister says, but one doesn’t just want to accept that everything is fine. The person at the top doesn’t always know or necessarily get the right information about exactly what is going on classroom by classroom around South Africa. I wonder if the Minister could, firstly, comment on that and, secondly, just undertake to investigate this thing a bit more thoroughly because the information I have actually shows that there is quite a significant problem in many parts of South Africa.
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would say the person at the bottom doesn’t always get accurate information either! However, given that there are different features to the implementation I’ve referred to, yesterday I directed my department to send out a team for the next two weeks in order to investigate school to school, across the country, exactly what is happening.
However, I would be very wary of wanting to have a situation in which a demand is made that we retrieve enough finances to pay back the “no-work, no-pay” deduction. I would not agree to that. So we must be very clear that we cannot insist that we teach from Grade R to Grade 12 so that each one of us who went on strike recovers the money that we lost as a result of the “no-work, no-pay” rule. If we engage in strike action, it is standard practice that there is a “no-work, no-pay” rule.
The stipend we have put forward is merely to really recognise the effort that educators say they wish to make to support children to learn. My appeal nationally has been: Let us as parents and adults assist children to use the material we are providing because, as I said, we had no notion that the strike might end in three weeks or 30 days. Therefore we had said to the community and to the nation: Let us get our children learning. I still think it is incumbent on us to do so.
The notion that we will get every teacher in class is belied by some of what we see. However, while we note that there is someone not teaching, there are thousands whom we thank because they are actually going well beyond the call of duty. We recognise that there is an effort out there. So let us get our children learning; let us support the children in learning; and let us encourage those teachers who wish to continue doing what is necessary to assist South Africa to achieve and learn.
Timeframe for issuing of identity documents
270. Ms S Rajbally (MF) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:
(a) What is the timeframe for the issuing of identity documents upon application and (b) how does her department measure the consistency of this? NO1952E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Thank you, Chairperson. It is supposed to take 30 working days or six weeks from the date of application to issue an ID. The department measures this regularly and we are aware that in practice it takes even longer; even up to 100 days or more on average.
The department is therefore implementing some interventions which are intended to ensure an improved turnaround. One of those includes the introduction of an Identity Document Electronic Track and Trace System which will enable both the Department of Home Affairs as well as applicants to determine the status of any application at any given time through the various stages of processing.
It will, furthermore, serve to improve the management system of applications for identity documents. We are also reviewing courier services to improve the efficiency and turnaround times regarding the dispatching of applications to the department’s head offices on time. We are also introducing a South African Post Office contract for the distribution of identity documents so that we are able to dispatch the applications of the people well on time back to the offices of source.
We have also established an Identity Document Project Team to review all processes in the production chain of identity documents so as to introduce new, efficient and faster processes. Thank you.
Ms S RAJBALLY: Thank you, Chairperson. Thank you, hon Deputy Minister. Minister, we want to thank you and the department because we can see some light at the end of the tunnel now. My question here is: Do you see the department having overcome its backlog by 2009? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Thank you very much, hon Rajbally, for the comment and the question. Indeed, the Minister had appointed a turnaround team in the department comprising experts and members of the department.
As we have indicated, there is an ID project team within the department so that within the next 18 months we will be able to introduce more drastic changes. Therefore, I would say confidently that by 2009 there will be radical changes throughout the provinces in the country in dealing with this particular matter of the IDs.
We are quite aware that when people apply for IDs, they are not applying for something that they will hang up on their walls like posters, but that they are applying for documents that they need for real. We are taking the matter quite seriously; there is work taking place. We shall ensure that we are able to fulfil the needs and aspirations of our people.
Mr C M LOWE: Chairperson, the problem with the hon Deputy Minister’s reply is that we have heard it all before. I really have to ask him what has changed to make us think that it is going to be any different in the future. The only bit of good news is yesterday’s announcement by the director-general of the department when he actually admitted that there was a serious problem within the department. He admitted that the department continues to be sick when it comes to questions of IT and that it takes more than 100 days on average to produce an ID document.
Now, in the two months that I have covered this portfolio for the DA, I can tell you that all those things are true. From the numerous offices that I have visited - sometimes unannounced, Deputy Minister, which has caused fun and games of its own - to actually asking questions of the Minister. Now, the major problem with the department is that we have a dysfunctional department with a largely absentee Minister.
Once again, this afternoon is a case in point. Not only do you appear to be playing fast and loose with taxpayers’ money, but you are also playing fast and loose with MPs’ questions in this House. I would like to ask the hon Minister if she thought she should have to take responsibility. I ask her to resign but she is not here. So, I won’t be able to do that. Thank you. [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson, Mr Lowe, as he said, has been a member of this portfolio committee for two months, during which time he has missed virtually all the meetings of the portfolio committee.
With regard to the few offices that he has visited, I wish to assure you, hon member, that we have visited even more offices than you would have dreamed of visiting during the last two months that you have been an absentee member of the Portfolio Committee of Home Affairs.
The programmes of the Minister of Home Affairs are not determined by you, sir, and therefore the Minister is busy with other responsibilities. Fortunately, she has a Deputy Minister and that is why I am answering the questions on her behalf. [Applause.]
Mr M SWART: Hon Deputy Minister, the director-general also pointed out yesterday that there were some 600 000 applications outstanding and he seemed to imply that because Home Affairs was so slow, it encouraged people to try to obtain a document elsewhere which contributed to corruption. Now we understand that the electronic tracking system which has been introduced will contribute to cutting down on corruption. Is that so, and are sufficient funds being made available to cut down on corruption, which we all agree is a serious challenge in the department? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Thank you very much, hon member. We are indeed paying urgent attention to the issues of corruption and the outstanding IDs. Some of the IDs are outstanding because applicants go to an office to apply and then change their addresses to other provinces, for example. They then go to those offices to apply for new identity documents in those different provinces.
The Electronic Track and Trace System will also allow us to be able to determine that you have applied for an ID within three months so that we are able to dispatch your ID from the previous office at which you had applied, to your new address. It will assist us to deal with those challenges. The issues of corruption are being addressed. There are resources that are being availed to deal with that.
We have instructed our officials, the provincial, regional and district managers, to ensure that the department’s
anticorruption strategy doesn’t remain a document collecting dust at head office, but that they put it into their implementation plans so that they are able in their own respective areas to implement the anticorruption strategy and deal with the problems that we are facing. Thank you.
Mr F BEUKMAN: Thank you, Chairperson. Flowing from the answer of the Deputy Minister on the original question, during the recess the portfolio committee visited head office and we had a briefing by the turnaround team. That briefing session was only attended by the full complement of the ANC and one member from the UCDP. Now, Deputy Minister, the turnaround team indicated that one of their main tasks was to look at the processes in ensuring that the issuing of ID documents and other documents could be simplified. Are you satisfied that the current work of the turnaround team is bearing fruit already at this early stage?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: We are indeed, hon Beukman, satisfied that it is already bearing fruit. We are simplifying the processes of application, production and distribution of IDs so that the process becomes seamless. We are also ensuring that in the offices where we are processing and producing the IDs, there is greater and stricter production so that corruption is dealt with at that level.
We also need to improve the work that is taking place at that level - that will be at our offices at BVR in Pretoria. So we are satisfied that there is work taking place and that that work is already beginning to bear fruit. In the next 18 months it will begin to be felt by all South Africans. This is because, at the end of the day, it is not us who must be satisfied as the executive and officials in the department that our work is bearing fruit, it must be ordinary South African citizens who feel that there is real change taking place in terms of the work that we are doing and the promises we are making. Thank you.
Position regarding offering of choice voluntary termination of pregnancy to HIV-positive pregnant women
261. Mrs M M Madumise (ANC) asked the Minister of Health:
Whether, in light of the many challenges facing maternal health and the notable progress being made in this regard, particularly in terms of the offer of high quality antenatal and post-natal care to HIV-positive women, she will heed the recent call by the Health Systems Trust to routinely offer the choice of voluntary termination of pregnancy to HIV-positive pregnant women; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO1943E
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, thank you very much. Let me thank the hon member Madumise for the question. Hon Madumise, no, the department has no intention to offer voluntary termination of pregnancy on the basis of HIV status. The choice to terminate a pregnancy is there for any woman to exercise irrespective of her HIV status.
For us to suggest that an offer for voluntary termination should be made to women whose HIV status is confirmed as positive, would indeed be to discriminate against those women. What the department does routinely is to counsel all women about their pregnancies. Should they test positive for HIV, we also counsel them on the implications and on available mechanisms for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Thank you.
Mrs M M MADUMISE: Thank you, Chairperson. Thank you, Minister, for your answer. Based on your response, would a second termination of pregnancy be provided to an HIV-positive woman if she so chooses?
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Care is indeed ensured that patients, irrespective of their status, do not substitute termination of pregnancy for other types of contraception. Stringent counselling is provided as multiple pregnancies impact on the lives of women, more so those who are HIV-positive. Thank you.
Dr R RABINOWITZ: Thank you, Chairperson. Hon Minister, obviously it is everyone’s intention that we should reduce the number of women who have HIV falling pregnant and having babies - whether those babies do or do not have HIV. Therefore, would you not consider it appropriate to introduce legislation which will require all people who are entering into marriage or formal partnerships to sign a document stating that they have had an HIV test and that they know their status and the status of their partner? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: I’m sure we don’t need an additional identity document in this regard. This is not the first time that the hon member asks this question, and we have given a response to this question. No, the department will not legislate on this matter. Thank you.
Mrs S V KALYAN: Thank you, Chairperson. The vertical HIV transmission rate at the moment stands in the region of 20,8%. The Minister says that during antenatal care, those women who are HIV-positive are counselled and are made aware of the available mechanisms for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. But now, only the Western Cape offers dual therapy without the approval of Cabinet. All the other eight provinces have to get the approval of Cabinet for dual therapy.
I ask you, Minister, would it not be more humane to offer, in the counselling process, the opt-out approach to those women who are HIV-positive rather than to perpetuate the trauma of delivering babies who may be HIV-positive and then watching them die within the first year of their lives, given that half of HIV-positive children die of Aids within the first year of their lives? [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, those are too many questions in one question. The first one is about counselling; the second one is about dual therapy; and the last one is about the opt-out approach. I don’t know which question the member wants me to answer. But let me take this opportunity, with regard to dual therapy – and I think this is a golden opportunity for me - to address the House on this matter. I do so because out there, particularly by the opposition parties, there is a notion that this government does not want to provide dual therapy. There is a question coming and we will address this in more detail.
However, I just want to remind all of us that it was this government and through this Minister who, in the first instance, asked the question: Why mono therapy for pregnant women? Are we not discriminating against them instead of giving them dual or triple therapy? Everybody was: give nevirapine, nevirapine, nevirapine. Now everybody is saying, “No nevirapine. Nevirapine is dangerous dual therapy.” We could have gone a long way if we had been listened to as this government at all on the approaches that we were taking in order to ensure that we protect the women of this country. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs C DUDLEY: Hon Minister, I must commend you on your response to this question. It would be unthinkable for us to justify routine offers of destruction of unborn children. It’s actually gross discrimination against these children, let alone their mothers, and it’s despicable. Next we would have members asking for us to offer euthanasia to HIV-positive patients. Minister, I was going to ask you: Would you condemn this call by the Health Systems Trust? I see you have actually put it down, and I would ask you to make a strong condemnation of such a call. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: I would have expected that question from the hon Dudley. She never misses an opportunity to ask about the termination of pregnancy and euthanasia. So, I would have expected it. I don’t know what call you want me to make, because you yourself are saying that we have already said it. So, I really don’t know what this extraordinary effort is that this Minister must make, because you yourself are saying that it has been made and you congratulate us. Thank you very much for congratulating us.
Measures to improve accountability for, and performance of school feeding scheme
273. Mr G G Boinamo (DA) asked the Minister of Education:
(1) Whether, with regard to the various problems with the management of the school feeding schemes around the country that the Auditor-General identified in his reports on provincial education departments for 2005-06, she has introduced any measures to improve (a) accountability for and (b) performance of the school feeding scheme in the provinces; if not, why not; if so, what measures;
(2) whether she intends extending the feeding scheme to include school holidays; if not, why not; if so, when will this be done? NO1955E
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: As Prof Asmal would have said, the hon Boinamo has transmogrified into the hon Coetzee. The reply is as follows: In terms of agreed policy for 2007-08, the National School Nutrition Programme provides school meals on all or some school days for about six million learners at 18 000 primary schools throughout the country at a budget of around R1 billion.
My department works closely with the provincial departments in the implementation of this important programme. We have indeed taken note and account of the reports of the Auditor-General, and various measures have been taken to improve accountability. These include the establishment of internal audit procedures within departments of education, and the development of a regular reporting system in order for us to ensure that we identify irregularities and shortfalls speedily. We are also working together to develop solutions to challenges that are identified, and these are discussed and further developed at the regular interprovincial meetings which are held on a quarterly basis or, when required, more regular basis.
At our second quarterly meeting of this year between the national department and provincial programme managers, we developed a set of performance indicators and agreed on financial reporting procedures, as well as on the use of the existing business plan template on a more strict basis in order to ensure that we correct the irregularities that have been identified in some of the departments of education. I have been asked to extend this scheme to all school days and to provide the scheme to secondary schools. I have, at this point, not had any approach which asks that we should provide meals during school holidays.
Mr R COETZEE: Thank you, Chairperson, and thank you, Minister. We are obviously very pleased to note the things that you are doing to ensure that the money the taxpayer spends on this important programme, as you said it is, is being properly spent. I wonder if you can comment on the situation in the Eastern Cape where a vast amount of money - R230 million - has gone missing, essentially. The provincial authorities did get a forensic auditor from the firm Ngubane & Co. They found significant corruption. The Scorpions have been called in, but that forensic report by the auditors has not been made public. I wonder if the Minister could say why it has not been made public and whether she would intervene with the provincial department to have that report made public. This is because we can see no downside to the public knowing what has happened to its money. I think that is the point at the end of the day. These things need to be made public because it is the public’s money that is being stolen by a lot of fraudulent companies. [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: As I have indicated, we continue to work with all departments. I am very concerned about the fact that children in the Eastern Cape have not been provided with the programme and meals for a number of months. I am personally going to the Eastern Cape next week in order to ensure, as we begin the implementation following the investigation, that indeed the situation is addressed adequately.
The forensic report is the property of the provincial executive of the Eastern Cape, and I am sure the education standing committee in the province would probably have the report tabled before them and at that time I am certain it would be released. I shall, I am sure, advise the member to put his request to the DA representatives in the Eastern Cape legislature. I don’t see the need for the intervention, which would be a section 100 one, given that the investigation was at the instance of the provincial government. I believe they will deal with it there.
My own is to ensure that funds are utilised appropriately. They are a conditional grant; you are able to stop them. We did when the intervention by the premier occurred. We continue to work together to ensure that the scheme which we will develop following this process is indeed implemented better than has been in the past. The investigation has also involved suspension of officials and so on. I am sure you are aware there are various procedures. Therefore, to demand public domain access immediately, I think, may infringe upon those processes.
Nevertheless, I do invite the member to put the request to the provincial legislature through the DA representatives there.
Implications of establishment of Housing Delivery Agency
286. Mr D C Mabena (ANC) asked the Minister of Housing:
In view of her media statement that her department intends finding practical solutions to housing delivery, in particular deadlines for delivery through the establishment of a Housing Delivery Agency, (a) what are the relevant details and (b) to what extent will this agency be different in terms of (i) scope and (ii) practice to existing departmental agencies? NO1970E
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION (standing in for the Minister of Housing):
Chairperson, I am the acting Minister for the Minister of Housing. Given her deep interest in replying to the questions, there was a request to the National Assembly that the questions posed to the Minister stand over. The table had agreed that this would be done.
Practical implications of National Credit Act regarding extension of credit by municipalities
301. Mr P F Smith (IFP) asked the Minister for Provincial and Local Government:
What are the practical implications of the National Credit Act, Act 34 of 2005, on the extension by municipalities of credit to their consumers? NO1988E
The MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: The sections of the National Credit Act of 2005, relevant to this matter, came into operation on 1 June 2007. The provisions of the Act relating to the so-called incidental credit agreements apply to debt-settlement arrangements entered into between a municipality and a consumer of municipal services. Thus, municipalities have to give full effect to the obligations which the Act imposes on creditors entering into what the Act refers to as “incidental credit agreements”.
The SA Local Government Association, Salga, and the Department of Provincial and Local Government have analysed the provisions of the Act and have given consideration to the matters which the hon member is raising. Guidelines aimed at ensuring that municipalities deal with this matter in a uniform manner are being prepared. These guidelines are based on legal opinions which have been given and will deal extensively with all the practical implications. The guidelines will also deal with the impact which the Act will have on, amongst other things, the provision of free basic services by municipalities, as well as the implementation of municipal indigent and credit-control policies.
The first draft has already been considered by the executive committee of Salga. The guidelines will be made available to the relevant portfolio and select committees of Parliament once they have been finalised. I might just as well also mention that the public education division of the National Credit Regulator is already providing training to some municipalities to ensure that they implement the Act correctly.
Finally, discussions are currently under way to determine whether municipalities will have to be registered as credit providers. This matter will be finalised shortly. Thank you.
Mr P F SMITH: Thank you, Chairperson. Greetings, Minister, and thank you for your reply. The reason why I asked this question was that there are couple of newspaper articles which are fairly alarmist. I was wondering to what extent they are correct. For example, one said that many municipalities will be compelled to write off much of their arrears, because they could be considered reckless lenders in terms of the Act. Another said that, in terms of the Act, credit granters may not allow accounts to run wild, as it is the case in most municipalities at the moment, without realistic expectations of collection.
This is obviously a concern, because as you’ve indicated the law does apply to all municipalities. It’s a bit of a concern perhaps that guidelines are only being prepared now, when the Act came into effect a couple months ago. Perhaps, it would have been advisable for the guidelines to have been produced in advance of the commencement date of the Act. A simple reading of the law suggests that all consumers who are not pay-as-you-go consumers have to have their creditworthiness checked. And, if people are not creditworthy, then credit cannot be advanced to them. So this is a major issue. The issue of bad debt ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order, hon member. Your time has expired. Minister, do you have a response?
The MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: I don’t have a response to a nonquestion.
Mr P F SMITH: Chair, I have a point of order, if I may. Well, a point of request if I may.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Okay, state your request.
Mr P F SMITH: The normal procedure when you are not in the Chair is that as the member is reaching the end of the minute, the person who is in the Chair says: please phrase your question, or something. When you are cut-off abruptly in the middle of a sentence, it does make it awkward since we don’t have a 60-second timekeeper in front of us.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Hard luck, Mr Smith. There are big clocks in front of you. There is a huge one directly opposite you there. You should know the Rules by now.
Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH: Chairperson, I hope that my question will be answered. The Minister has answered largely, some of the questions I wanted to ask in terms of the Credit Act and its implications. However, given the social context, there is deep-seated poverty in some areas in certain municipalities. That is the reality. The fact is that many people cannot afford to pay, and we realise that.
However, how is the Minister going to deal with that section of society that has enough money to have all the social enjoyments in life – who have money to attend functions, soccer matches and everything else; they have money for entertainment - but they simply will not pay what is due to the municipality? How do you deal with that? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): I am not sure about that question either, Minister, but it is up to you.
The MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Chairperson, that’s why he was doubting if I would answer that question.
Allegations regarding involvement of Deputy Minister and departmental officials with a certain institute, and receipt of sponsorships by said institute
277. Mr C M Lowe (DA) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:
(1) With regard to the allegations levelled against her Deputy Minister (name furnished) in a newspaper article (copy furnished), what are the relevant details regarding the said Deputy Minister’s involvement with a certain institute (name furnished);
(2) whether any other officials of her department are board members of this institute; if so, who;
- whether the said institute has received any sponsorships from her department or any of its officials; if so, (a) from whom and (b) what was the nature of the sponsorship?
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES (for the MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS): The institute that’s referred to in the question does not exist. It was formerly an idea of the Deputy Minister to establish an organisation, an institute, and it never came to fruition. For this reason, such envisaged institute or organisation was never established let alone registered. Therefore, parts two and three of the question fall away as a result of this response. Thank you.
Mr C M LOWE: Chairperson, I’d like to thank the Acting Minster in the presence of the Deputy Minister for answering the question. Mr Acting Minister, the allegation is that the Deputy Minister established a youth organisation of some sort, and he then organised for the payment of travel and accommodation for members of this organisation. Now whether this institution existed or not is an allegation, I understand, that was being investigated at the time.
Could I then ask you to give an assurance to this House, on behalf of the actual Minister that, in fact, this institution’s allegation is incorrect; that no such organisation was established by the Deputy Minister; that no such persons were ever sent, whether they were on Home Affairs business or other business, around the country; that transport or accommodation costs were incurred, and in fact that any money that was spent – if in fact it was spent at all – was spent in the best interests of the taxpayer on Home Affairs business? Could you give us that assurance, please? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES (for the MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS): I think I’ve already mentioned that it was an idea. The Deputy Minister and anybody else in this country have a right to ideas, thinking of the good things that they would want to do.
On the question that you are asking on giving assurance, you’ve already asked that question. It’s Question 276, which is still coming up. So, I would rather you wait until we get to that question, then I can deal with all the other aspects of what you are asking now. Thank you.
Plans to improve effectiveness of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) and to implement dual therapy for PMTCT
264. Ms M L Matsemela (ANC) asked Minister of Health:
In order to meet the millennium development goals to decrease the mortality rate among children under five years of age, and considering that HIV and AIDS are important causes of mortality in this age group, (a) what plans does her department have to ensure that policies are developed and implemented to improve the effectiveness of the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) programme and (b) when will her department implement dual therapy for PMTCT? NO1946E
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, Chairperson. I would like to thank the question from the hon Matsemela. We are finalising the draft PMTCT – prevention of mother-to-child transmission - policy guidelines which are in line with the expectations of the National Strategic Plan for South Africa 2007-2011. May I also take this opportunity to say to this House that even when I was ill I was part of the formulation of that strategy, very actively so. We are currently finalising the policy guidelines which guide implementers on how to administer dual therapy. A stakeholders’ meeting to review the final draft of the guidelines with HIV and Aids experts, obstetricians and paediatricians is planned for 11 September 2007.
As I said, we would have gone a long way if indeed we had been allowed to do what we had thought was correct, and that was the establishment of 18 sites in the country – one rural and one urban in each province – in order to ensure the efficacy and effectiveness of monotherapy. Of course, as you know, the Constitutional Court has ruled that we should roll out the monotherapy and this is why it is taking us some time because now we are doing the work that we should have done a long time ago. I’m sure we are learning lessons from this. Thank you.
Ms M L MATSEMELA: Thank you, Chairperson. Thank you, Minister. Thank you for being an integral component of the struggle that has effected a fundamental change in our society, and thank also for a precise answer. Therefore, hon Minister, would you kindly share with the House what challenges are envisaged by the department with regard to the implementation of dual therapy, and what contingency measures are in place to counter any adverse side effects? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Thank you very much for the follow-up question. Also, thank you very for acknowledging the role that most of us played in the liberation of our country. May I say that if I were to choose that same path, and thank God it’s not going to happen again, I would have travelled the same path again because of my convictions about the liberation of the people of this country to ensure that they indeed access quality health care which they were deprived of in the past.
The challenges, hon member, are that AZT is a long-term therapy – from 28 days gestation to delivery – and women must therefore be properly counselled to ensure adherence, and followed up to monitor any side-effects or problems with the drug, whereas a single dose of nevirapine was a once-off regimen.
That is why I say we regret today that we didn’t do those things that we were supposed to do in order to ensure that we didn’t lose time in implementing dual and triple therapy. Therefore, the training of health care workers at PMTCT sites will need in-service training to prepare them for implementation, including protocols, follow-ups and referrals of women, monitoring and data management and strengthening of all our follow-ups of the mother-baby pair. This is very important so that we can determine whether what we are doing is effective or not, and not just efficacy only. Thank you very much.
Mrs S V KALYAN: Thank you, Chairperson. Professor Nigel Rollins, the head of the Centre for Maternal and Child Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal recently told Health-e that the delay in introducing dual therapy is a shame. In KwaZulu-Natal alone, 20 000 to 30 000 children are being infected with HIV each year. Minister, could you give us a definite date on which this will be introduced in South Africa? Could the Minister explain to the House why the Western Cape has implemented dual therapy in public hospitals without the permission of Cabinet, and why the other eight provinces still have to wait for Cabinet approval before implementation?
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: I don’t know about shame. What I know is that this department is committed to ensuring quality and safe health care for our people. This is why we are doing what we are doing, which I have just articulated - in-service training for the providers. We think this is absolutely critical for the women of this country, not just to jump because we are afraid of shame. Shame will not solve problems. I think what will solve our problems is to do things correctly, calculatingly and with a little bit of concern in particular for the women of this country. So, I don’t know anything about shame. I only know the issue of providing quality health care to the people of our country.
Now, the question you are asking about the Western Cape, I think you must ask the Western Cape why it did it and therefore ask them to give you the results with regard to efficacy and effectiveness. They haven’t given me those reports. Thank you.
Dr R RABINOWITZ: Chair, hon Minister, we appear to be debating around the fringes of Aids management. In the meantime, while people are admiring the changes to the National Action Plan and to Sanac – the SA National Aids Council - the changes are mainly on paper and, admittedly, there is better communication amongst all the role-players who are going to deal with HIV.
However, many people doubt whether those changes will be able to come about until the structure of health services is changed. And that will require greater efficiency, less duplication, more decentralisation and more accountability – the very things that the Deputy Minister of Health was fired for pointing out to the hon Minister and the government. Do you not believe that an urgent summit or some urgent action should be taken to look at the entire health services so that these debates that we have are about fundamental issues, and not about fringe issues like mono or dual therapy?
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, I thought the hon member was a member of the Portfolio Committee on Health and therefore she should be aware of what the department is doing. I just want to take her back a little bit: If she looked at the ANC health plan before 1994, which we developed in anticipation of our democracy, it really deals with these issues. If you look at the National Health Act, it deals with these issues – and we didn’t just end there. Since she is a member of the Portfolio Committee on Health – I hope you attend all the meetings – she would know that as from 2001, contrary to what is being said out there, this department has been working on these issues. So, I don’t know what you want me to say here. If you have another political agenda in the manner in which you phrased your question, I am not going to be party to it and I am not going to engage on those issues. Thank you.
Measures to ensure sufficient human resources to effectively implement Children’s Act
293. Mrs T J Tshivhase (ANC) asked the Minister of Social Development:
What measures have been taken to ensure that sufficient human resources are in place to effectively implement the Children’s Act, Act 38 of 2005? NO1977E
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, the department commissioned Cornerstone Economic Research to estimate the cost of implementing the Children’s Act, Act 38 of 2005. From the costing exercise, all departments which have functions to perform in terms of the Act are obliged to plan for the implementation of the Act.
Departments are required to ensure that there are sufficient human resources by providing short-term, medium-term as well as long-term human resource needs and plans associated with these plans. Departments are also expected to present strategies for the recruitment of staff needed to implement the Act. The staff would include social workers, psychologists, social auxiliary workers, development workers, probation officers, child and youth care workers and other social service professionals.
The department envisages that the consolidated implementation plans from all the affected national and provincial departments and, where applicable, municipalities will be ready by December 2007.
Currently, the department is implementing the strategy on the recruitment and retention of social workers which is a mechanism to increase the number of social workers and social auxiliary workers needed to implement the Act. Universities are being engaged to increase the intake of social work students in order to produce an increased number of graduates.
Extensive countrywide recruitment campaigns are currently in progress to recruit and train social auxiliary workers and offer scholarships to high school students wishing to study social work, as well as current social work students who cannot complete their studies because of a lack of finance.
National Treasury has allocated R350 million over the current Medium–Term Expenditure Framework period for scholarships, and currently a total number of 2 157 scholarships have been provided by both national and provincial departments to social work students. The target for social auxiliary workers in this financial year is 3 000 students. Thank you.
Ms I W DIREKO: Thank you, Chairperson. Deputy Minister, thank you for your encouraging response. However, clearly, we are not going to succeed in producing the large numbers of social workers needed for the provision of social services in the short to medium-term as a country. The concern, though, is the capacity of provinces to deliver these services which is currently lacking in the provinces. What supportive role are the Ministry and the department offering provinces in this regard? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you, Chair. As I said, there are people being trained and there are also social auxiliary workers being trained within the provinces at this time. The implementation of the Children’s Act will be a phased-in implementation so that all the staff – the human resources – won’t have to be there at once.
Everything that I have mentioned in my comprehensive answer is the totality of what is being done, and it is being done at the provincial level in order to provide the necessary human resources for the implementation of the Act. Thank you.
Visits by Minister to Khutsong, and communication by him with Khutsong community
280. Mr W P Doman (DA) to ask the Minister for Provincial and Local Government:
(1) Whether he has visited Khutsong in 2006; if so, (a) on what date(s) and (b) what message did he convey to the community; if not, why not;
(2) whether he has been in communication with the Khutsong community; if so, how; if not,
(3) whether he plans to communicate with that community in the future; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details NO1964E
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): We now proceed to Question 280 asked by the hon W P Doman to the Minister for Provincial and Local Government, but we are informed that Mr Doman is not in the House. So, it’s up to the Minister. You may give the response or let the question stand over. It’s up to you, Minister.
The MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Chairperson, I suggest that I be allowed to table the response. Thank you.
Success rate of anti-corruption hotline
299. Dr U Roopnarain (IFP) asked the Minister for the Public Service and Administration:
(a) What is the success rate of the anti-corruption hotline, (b) how many cases of corruption were handled so far and (c) what percentage has resulted in prosecution? NO1983E
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): That is agreed to. The next question is Question 299 from Dr U Roopnarain, who I am told is also not in the House, to the Minister for the Public Service and Administration. Minister, do you want to table the question or give a response?
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, I will table the response.
Proposed increase in budget of Working on Fire Programme
266. Ms M N S Manana (ANC) asked the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry:
Whether, in light of the fact that veld and forest fires are a recurring problem, she will increase the budget of the Working on Fire Programme with a view to retaining the skills obtained by the participants in the programme; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO1948E
The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Thank you, hon Chairperson, thank you, hon member. Yes, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is considering increasing the budget of the Working on Fire programme, as I intimated earlier.
This programme is, however, a partnership between the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the Department for Provincial and Local Government, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and provincial competencies as well as many other partners. Of course, there will have to be consultation with them on the programme before we say how we are going to move forward.
I can mention that the budget for the programme has grown significantly over the years since it was initially started in 2003-04 with a budget of only R20 million. Today it has a budget of R81,3 million including contributions of R8 million from our partners – the KwaZulu-Natal provincial department of agriculture, and a proposed R2,2 million from the Gauteng provincial department of agriculture, conservation and environment.
So, the principal contributions are R56,4 million through my own department as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme, and R14,7 million that is transferred to my department from the Department for Provincial and Local Government for our aerial firefighting capacity. It is certainly our desire to increase the number of firefighters. The number of firefighters that has been proposed to give optimal coverage is about 5 000 in the country.
The needs of the programme must, however, be weighed up, as I said earlier, against the other demands on the available resources. However, we are in a position to motivate the need for more funds. It is, however, also important that we look at other ways and means through which the functions can be supported, including taking an integrated approach to fire management, that is securing support from local government through working more closely with their structural firefighting capacity.
We could also secure support through the fire-protection associations because where fire-protection associations have been established, the response to problems of fire is a lot faster and they are better organised to respond quicker and to bring on board the authorities. It is also important that we try to secure investments from sectors that stand to benefit from the work of the programme including public entities. The obvious ones here, of course, would be the forestry and sawmilling industries, amongst other entities.
It is important that we also optimise the use of our resources, such as using Working for Water teams to do the less dangerous mopping-up work after fires, thereby freeing up the trained firefighters to only having to deal with fighting fires.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is getting people to prevent wild fires and to report them timeously and accurately when they do occur. Speed is vital in firefighting, and so is preparedness in being safe during a fire. Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms J L FUBBS: Thank you very much, Minister. Your response is very welcome. The ANC really welcomes the idea that the current situation in the country will be contextualised in the fresh configuration of the budget. We also wish to congratulate the Minister on the current responses that have already been made. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Any comment or response, Minister?
The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: No comment. Thank you.
See also QUESTIONS AND REPLIES
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr L ZITA: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that I shall move:
That at the next sitting of the House, or on a date thereafter, this House debates the role of the state in promoting local economic development.
Ms S N SIGCAU: Chairperson, I shall move:
That this House debates the plight of teachers in South Africa in comparison with other public servants in other government departments, in particular those in rural areas, in terms of salary, travel and subsistence, and subsidies, such as, for example, housing and car allowances.
TRAGIC PASSING AWAY OF MPHO GIFT LEREMI
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY:
That the House –
- notes that on the evening of Monday, 3 September 2007, Mpho Gift Leremi tragically passed away in a car accident;
- remembers that Gift Leremi was a star soccer player with the team Mamelodi Sundowns, having emerged as a teenager from the ranks of Orlando Pirates development structures in 2002, and that it took him only a few months before making a name for himself at the club, playing a prominent role in their championship triumph that season;
- recalls that Mpho Gift Leremi has represented South Africa at the under-20, under-23 and senior national team levels;
- acknowledges that Gift, together with all our sports roleplayers, has played a positive role in the field of sport, contributing to strengthen social ties and networks, and to promote ideals of peace, fraternity, solidarity, tolerance and justice;
- acknowledges that sport disregards both geographical borders and social classes and that it plays a significant role as a promoter of social integration and economic development in different geographical, cultural and political contexts and that Gift’s contribution in soccer advanced these causes; and
- conveys its condolences to the Leremi family and loved ones, his team Mamelodi Sundowns, our various national soccer teams, soccer supporters and the entire football fraternity.
The House adjourned at 17:04.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Draft Bill submitted in terms of Joint Rule 159
(a) Second-Hand Goods Bill, 2007, submitted by the Minister of Safety and Security. Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs.
1. Membership of Committees
(1) Mr M R Mohlaloga has been elected as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs with effect from 4 September 2007.
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister of Defence
(a) Report and Financial Statements of Vote 21 – Department of Defence for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 21 for 2006-2007.
2. The Minister of Finance
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Development Bank of Southern Africa Limited for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(b) Report and Financial Statements of Sasria Limited for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 85-2007].
3. The Minister of Education
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 145-2007].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 180-2007].
4. The Minister of Arts and Culture
(a) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Library for the Blind for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
(b) Report and Financial Statements of the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 195-2007].
(c) Report and Financial Statements of the National English Literary Museum 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 Heritage Council for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 192-2007].
(e) Report and Financial Statements of The Playhouse Company for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
5. The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
(a) Strategic Plan of the Marine Living Resources Fund for 2007 to 2010.
1. The Speaker
(a) Report of the Public Service Commission (PSC) on the Audit of Reporting Requirements and Departmental Monitoring and Evaluation Systems within National and Provincial Government – June 2007 [RP 17-2007].
(b) Report of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Third Consolidated Public Service Monitoring and Evaluation Report for 2005-2006 – March 2007 [RP 22-2007].
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Finance on the Co-operative Banks Bill [B 13– 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 4 September 2007:
The Portfolio Committee on Finance, having considered and examined the Co-operative Banks Bill [B 13– 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B13A – 2007].