Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 18 Nov 2021
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2021
PROCEDDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Watch vidoe here: PLENARY (HYBRID)
The House met at 14:01
The Deputy Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
MOTION OF CONDOLENCES FOR MR E R K MAPHATSOE
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: That the House –
(1) notes with deep sadness the passing of ANC Member of Parliament and former President of uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association known as (MKMVA), Mr Kebby Emmanuel Ramaotoana Maphatsoe who passed on, on
31 August 2021;
(2) further notes that Mr Maphatsoe became a Member of Parliament in 2014 and at the time of passing he was a Whip responsible for Sports, Arts and Culture;
(3) to remembers that he previously served in the Portfolio Committee of Police as Whip of the study group and was a former Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans from 2014 to 2019;
(4) recalls that his long political history includes training as a political soldier of Umkhonto we Sizwe in Uganda which he also went to Angola;
(5) further recalls that he is a former member of the COSAS, Congress of South African Students, former member of SOYCO, Soweto Youth Congress, as well as former member of SAYCO, South African Youth Congress;
(6) believes that his passing has robbed the country of a dedicated, loyal and patriotic freedom fighter, a robust and fearless legislator and a capable leader; and
(7) The family of Mr comrade Maphatsoe, the bishop, sitting over there, Ms Lerato, the daughter, Lehlohonolo, Thabiso, Neo and Victoria may this House convey its heartfelt condolences to this family and say ...
... mosia, motobatsi, o robale ka kgotso.
Mr A G WHITFIELD: Thank you Deputy Speaker. On behalf of the DA I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just a moment hon Whitfield. Hon member and others, please switch off your microphones so that we don’t disrupt the proceedings. Thank you. Go ahead hon Whitfield.
Mr A G WHITFIELD: Thank you Deputy Speaker. On behalf of the DA I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late hon Kebby Maphatsoe. Hon Maphatsoe and I arrived in Parliamnet at the same time in 2014 and ultimately served together for the past two and a half years on the Portfolio Committee on Police. Hon Maphatsoe served as Whip of the committee and from time to time he stood in for the chairperson and led the deliberations of the committee.
During our time together on the committee we disagree vehemently with each other on the issues about which we felt
strongly. Our engagements however never descended into personal attacks no matter the nature of our disagreements. And this I believe must be his legacy to all of us in this House.
We in this House all need to rise above the petty politics of personality and challenge ourselves to develop a more responsible, more mature approach to politics based on the issues that matter to our nation. We wish his family, friends and colleagues in the ANC the courage to overcome this difficult time. May his soul rest in peace.
Mr W T I MAFANYA: Thank you very much Deputy Speaker. When we first heard about the passing of comrade Maphatsoe, we called each other asking ourselves which Kebby Maphatsoe because we couldn’t believe. There’s only one Kebby Maphatsoe in the county and we had to sober up a bit and say, it is the one that we know.
The passing of comrade Maphatsoe came as a shock and dismay to many of us, dismay because he was unable to complete his mission of economic freedom for all in his lifetime. To Ms Maphatsoe, Ms Lerato and the kids …
... basotho ha ho hlaile tsena ba re phephi. Re re phephi, ha se wena feela. Re lla le wena.
To you Ms Maphatsoe, had a remarkable husband and a father to your kids. We thank you for allowing us to be led by a determined soldier and very principled cadre who was prepared to be killed for his convictions.
To his kids, we sincerely apologise for not having enough time and moments with a well deserving father like your dad. He became a father to all South African Children through his deeds. He fought for equality for all South African children through his deeds. He fought for equality to the yield. All of us sitting here in this Parliament and on virtual, we are in this Parliament that was designed for whites only, we are sitting on benches that were meant for whites only, P.W Botha, De Clerk, Tony Leon, Helen Suzman, H.F Verwoed just to name a few who passed legislations in this House to oppress, murder and expropriate the indigenous people’s land without compensation
Chair, can you just defend me from these people?
Comrade Kebby did not agree to that. He joined the military wing uMkhonto we Sizwe whilst others were taken to the parks to enjoy life. He joined uMkhonto we Sizwe to dethrone an unjust regime. The irony that he succeeded against all odds and eventually worked in this Parliament to strive to bring about equality.
Comrade Kebby bemoaned the slow pace of addressing the needs of military veterans, homelessness, unemployment, rape and poverty befell his former comrades in struggle in his term and lifetime in government.
His life in exile in Uganda and Soviet Union was a sacrifice to his youthfulness, his plans and career. He never enjoyed a life of a child with his parents, he never showed regress to the path he chose. Let him rest in peace, the struggle continues. Thank you.
Ms Z MAJOZI: Thank you hon Deputy Speaker. The IFP is saddened by the death of hon Kebby Immanuel Ramaotoana Maphatsoe who served as the Deputy Minister of Defence for the Republic of South Africa from 2014 to 2019. Hon Maphatsoe was serving in the Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture and Police at the time of his passing.
The IFP values the contribution made by hon Maphatsoe in the fight against apartheid. His dedication in the liberation of South Africa will always be remembered. We appreciate his efforts in pursuing the courses of more veterans in the country.
The first encounter with hon Maphatsoe was within the Portfolio Committee on Police. We did not meet as opposition parties but he became a father figure. I later found out that we came from the same township, he was from Mofolo and I’m from White City. We then continuously called ourselves ...
The welcome I received from hon Maphatsoe during his tenure as the Whip of the Majority Party Committee was amazing. He has always followed up whenever I had not attended the committee meeting to find out if I am okay and what made me not to attend the meeting. We have not only lost a member in Parliament but he was my ...
The IFP extends its deepest condolences to his friends, family and colleagues and his political organization. His death has left a void in the peace and security cluster as well as the portfolio committees he served. Our thoughts are always with the people of South Africa to whom he served diligently in his time. This is particularly a difficult time and painful time for his family and we wish them courage and to bare his irreparable loss. May all those who grieve this untimely loss be comforted. May hon Maphatsoe rest in eternal peace. I thank you hon Deputy Speaker.
Mr W W WESSELS: Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the FF Plus I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences with the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Mapatsoe. Mr maphatsoe was a dedicated member of his political party. He fought for what he believed in and dedicated his life to public servants [Inaudible.]
Although we differed, may his family find peace after his sudden and untimely passing and may his souls rest in eternal peace. I thank you.
Mr M W THRING: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. On behalf of the president of the ACDP, the hon Reverend Doctor Kenneth Meshoe, our leadership and members of the ACDP, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of the hon Maphatsoe. It cannot be argued that the hon Maphatsoe had an illustrious political career holding many important portfolios. He was a former member of the Congress of South African Students, Soweto Youth Congress and the South African Youth Congress.
During his tenure at National Parliament he served as the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans from 2014 to the year 2019. He also served in the Portfolio Committees on Sports, Arts and Culture, Police as well as one of the whips for the majority party. The hon Maphatsoe dedicated his life to fight for social justice, human rights and above all, for the liberation of all South Africans from the brutality of apartheid. ... [Inaudible.] ... political direction, the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veteran Association, MKMVA, became an integral component of the ruling party. Known as a humble leader, we in the African Christian Democratic Party pray that this unique and scarce character trait of humility becomes transferred as a trade to be emulated and admired within all political parties and taken up by the respective leadership.
In conclusion, allow me to comfort the family and his currently ruling party with these words. In Psalms 34:18, the word of God says, the Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. In Psalms 147:3, it says, our God is the one who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. I pray for the family, especially, that you’re broken heartedness and your wounds will be healed and bound by our Lord and Savior. I thank you, Deputy Speaker.
Mr S N AUGUST: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. On behalf of Good and on behalf of our leader, Patricia De Lille, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the late Umkhonto, MK, veteran. We further convey our heartfelt condolences to the Maphatsoe family. May his soul rest in everlasting peace knowing that his role in building our country’s future will never be forgotten. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker. Deputy Speaker, at the very outset allow me to apologise that I was not available in Cape Town at reply by tragedy and I could not meet the family members of the deceased. Hon Deputy Speaker, Comrade Emmanuel Kebby Maphatsoe, as he was referred to as the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans from 2014 to 2019, was also a trained political soldier of Umkhonto
weSizwe, which clearly indicates the role that he would have played and the sacrifices that he would’ve made in his lifetime so that we could be liberated and have a free South Africa today.
Allow me to salute him for the role that he played so that we could be where we are today. He was a former member of Congress of South African Students, Cosas, and many other institutions. Under his political direction the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association, MKMVA, became an integral component of the ANC and for the first time the association was in ... [Inaudible.] ... of the ANC ... [Inaudible.] ... of the achievement progress resolutions. Now, I remember him very clearly, hon Deputy Speaker, as I’m a member of the Portfolio Committee on Police, his commitment and his engagement with some of the questions that he posed, particularly to the SA Police Service.
It is sad indeed that just when he was promoted to the chief whip in the arts and culture committee that we had to lose our comrade, Comrade Maphatsoe. To his family, friends and colleagues, you have lost a friend, a father and a brother.
However, more importantly, South Africans have lost an ideal hero, somebody was has served and liberated you. On behalf of
the National Freedom Party, we extend our condolences to all of you, family, friends, colleagues, the African National Congress and South Africans at large for such a great loss. Thank you.
Ms T M JOEMAT-PETTERSSON: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Chief Whip, Members of Parliament, the Maphatsoe family ...
... dumelang bo mme le bo ntate.
Today we pause to remember an extraordinary member of this Assembly. We come here to salute the legacy of the person who we knew as Kebby Maphatsoe, member of the African National Congress, Member of Parliament and Whip of the African National Congress in the Portfolio Committee on Police. He was a father, a husband, an uncle and a comrade to many. He joined the 5th Parliament in 2009 and became the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans in 2014. He served courageously.
I want to say that he was more than a comrade that one could depend on. I want to say that I stand here before you to pay tribute to a dear colleague, a dear friend and a dear comrade.
I learned so much from Comrade Kebby during our time together in the structures of our liberation movement and our portfolio committee. He had a wisdom that was not easily earned. It was clear that he thought deeply about the problems we addressed before he would utter a word. He was a careful listener and did not offer to say anything before he really understood the situation and he was asked to comment on. Let me say that there were many situations where we became impatient with each other, but this patience with me always won over my impatience with him.
We agreed that he had a sense of passion and he had a sense of reason and the juxtaposition between his passion and reason, more often than not, caused us to differ with one another.
Nevertheless, even though we differed in many aspects I admired him as a person, a father, a human being and a very loyal soldier. Let us in honor of him mobilise all the positive factors that can be mobilised. Let us in in honor of him, pull together with strength in our collective endeavors to further our freedom agenda. Let us have much more strength as possible as a collective as you lead us hon Chief Whip that unity behind the goal of national renewal and rebuilding our society and our institutions is a hallmark that distinguishes the ANC from other political parties.
It is our courage to undertake self-correction. It is so vital and vibrant despite having to undergo so many trials and tribulations in this effort. We need to respond appropriately to the risks and tests of the different historical periods.
Let us demonstrate a greater political awareness because our journey which Comrade Kebby started for self-freedom and freedom of our country through our liberation movement is a never ending journey. It has not yet ended. We must tighten our party and our organisation and our country’s organisational systems and work harder to train high caliber political officials where both the moral integrity and the professional competence to remain committed to this House’s fundamental constitutional principles.
Let us have people in our communities with conducts that upholds integrity, combat corruption and root out any elements that would harm our beloved country. During the time of the pandemic I had long conversations with Comrade Kebby. I really had to pose, serve, understand and believe that there was such a strong understanding of how we would uphold and develop our country after this pandemic. His fight has not ended. Instead, for us there remains zero-sum games. We will oppose whatever power politics there needs to be and will be in our interaction with one another even in the committee.
Because of Comrade Kebby, we will uphold justice and a social justice system which centers around the Portfolio Committee of Police and will not be intimidated by forces of gender-based violence or any threats of violence against our nation and against our women. As a portfolio committee which we lead really as an ANC, we will demonstrate stronger vigilance and always be prepared for the potential dangers which fails our hard-won freedom. We must be both brave and adapt in carrying out our struggle wherever we are in this Parliament.
As I said, Comrade Kebby was a person of passion and a person of reason to his family, may I say that let his passion live on, let him rest in his passion and may he rise in the reason which is sought so harshly for. I thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. I thank you, comrades. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon member. That concludes the speakers list on this matter. I take it there are no objections as to the motion being adopted. No objections. Will members please rise to observe a moment of silence in memory of Mr Kebby Emmanuel Ramaotoana Maphatsoe.
Thank you, please be seated. On behalf of the rest of the Presiding Officers we associate ourselves with the motion. The
condolences of the House will be conveyed to the Maphatsoe family. The second Motion on the Order Paper is also in the name of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, hon Majodina.
Agreed to, members standing.
MOTION OF CONDOLENCE
(The Late Ms Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize)
UMBHEXESHI OYINTLOKO WEQELA ELILAWULAYO: Sekela Somlomo,
ndenza isiphakamiso ngaphandle kwesaziso:
Sokuba le Ndlu-
(1) notes with deep sadness the passing of the(ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) and who was a Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Professor Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize who passed on 16 September 2021;
(2) acknowledges that her untimely passing has robbed us all of a selfless patriot, a well-rounded cadre, an experienced global citizen with vast experience in civil society struggles, and a passionate defender of human rights with a commitment to improving the quality of life especially for women, children and persons with disabilities;
(3) further note and acknowledges that Professor Mkhize became a Member of Parliament in 2009 and was appointed as Deputy Minister of Correctional Services between in May 2009 to June 2012;
(4) remembers that she served in Parliament as a member of the Portfolio Committees of Basic Education and International Relations and Co-operation and served as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications;
(5) recognises that her illustrious career also saw her occupying the positions of:
(a) being a Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training from 2010 until June 2012;
(b) Deputy Minister of Economic Development from 2012 until April 2014;
(c) Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services from 2014 until March 2017;
(d) Minister of Home Affairs from March 2017 until October 2017; and
(e) Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training from October 2017 to February 2018;
(6) further recognises that before coming to Parliament, Professor Mkhize was the Ambassador of South Africa in the Netherlands from 2005 until 2009, where she played a critical role as the Chairperson of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons;
(7) recalls that she also played a critical role in the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission where she served as a Commissioner and Chairperson of the Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee from 1998 to 2003;
(8) further notes and recalls that Professor Mkhize worked at the University of Natal with detainees and offered trauma counselling to political survivors;
(9) realises that she was a formidable leader who served with courage, dignity and respect; and
(10) conveys its heartfelt sympathies to her family, the husband seated over there Bhuti Pat. What is your philosophy of life? To the daughters Londi, Fikile and Zinzi ...
... lala kakuhle Siyaluza, Majiyane, Doda. Wena ubungene waphelela kooKhabazela, kaMavovo.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members let us thank the Chief Whip. Before we proceed and now that the families have been introduced, please join us in welcoming the two families, the Maphatsoe and Mkhize families in the gallery, welcome. [Applause]
Mr L MPHITHI: Thank you very much Deputy Speaker. On behalf of the DA, I rise to support the motion and join the rest of the nation in sending our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize who sadly passed away on 16 September 2021.
My first encounter with Professor Mkhize was in 2011 while still a student, she was humble, down to earth and strong- willed. We were at the IBSA Trilateral Conference and she was delivering a keynote address. I felt comfortable to go up to her and ask her about a range of issues that I did not agree with her on. She did not dismiss nor ignore me, she engaged me. I still have the picture that we took together and I wanted to show her and ask her whether she remembered the day. Sadly, I never got the chance to show her.
What I do know is that, Deputy Minister Mkhize will be remembered for the dedication to her work including her visible concern for the plight and rights of persons with disabilities. Deputy Minister Mkhize remained very passionate about the rights of persons with disabilities and was very instrumental in the proposed Disability Rights Framework and the Disability Bill before Parliament today.
She maintained an excellent rapport with organisations representing people with disabilities. She played an exceedingly important role in overcoming the obstacles usually encountered by persons with disabilities in our country. She enjoyed the championing of human rights especially for persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Deputy Minister has always advocated for the rights of persons with disabilities, showing understanding and solutions to whatever issues came to her attention.
The loss of Professor Mkhize is a national loss across many sectors in our nation. She was a distinguished gender activist, human rights activist and an academic. She applied these extraordinary achievements selflessly and with humility to serve her country with honour.
To her family, her husband, her daughters we pray for healing and strength in unity. Professor Mkhize we will never forget you and we will never forget your commitment to South Africa. I thank you Deputy Speaker.
Ms N P SONTI: Thank you Deputy Speaker. Condolences to Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize. Chair, on behalf of the EFF, I would like to send our deep condolences to the family, friends and
comrades of the late Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize. Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize was an absolute phenomenal individual who dedicated her life to the freedom of African people. In particular, she had genuine passion for the development of young people and care for the disabled and the elderly.
As early as 1995, she founded and became a trustee of the Children and Violence Trust which focussed on the wellbeing of children and tried insulate children from violence. Her training on sociology and social work gave her a broad perspective of the issues facing society particularly women, children and those with disabilities. Her unflinching commitment to the wellbeing of others is hard to find these days among the political elite.
South Africa was truly blessed to have a leader like her. This Parliament was blessed to have her gracing this House with her presence. May her soul rest in perfect peace and may her family be comforted. Siyabulela (thank you).
Ms M D HLENGWA: Deputy Speaker, it is with a deep sadness that the IFP heard of the death of hon Professor Mkhize. I wish to extend, on behalf of His Excellency, Prince Mangosuthu
Buthelezi, the president emeritus of the IFP and founder of the IFP and leader of the caucus in Parliament ...
... ukuzwelana nomndeni naleli Phalamende ngokulahlekelwa yilesi sishabasheki, umakoti wakwaMkhize obezimisela ngomsebenzi ngokuthe xaxa. Uma kukhulunywa ngokuthi kukhona into ekuthiwa i-extra mile ...
... that was Professor Mkhize. In her role as a Deputy Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities ...
... sigqemeke engeqiwa ntwala. Umnyango uvalwe ngisho amawindi. Sinosihlalo-ke thina uMam’Ndaba oyifuna into ayifune la, anibuze ngamunye aze anibuze nonke ukuthi niyakuzwa yini lokhu. Kodwa, ume ebona u-Professor ukuthi konakele, wayesho, ngomoya ophansi, oyimisele, athi, “sicela ukunikezwa olunye usuku lomhlangano.” Ngalelo langa uyofika ezimisele, ekwenzile.
Yintombazane yaseMahlabathini-ke leyo le eDlebe lapho ezalwa khona. Inkosi yakhe inkosi yakwaButhelezi, uMntwana
uMangosuthu Buthelezi, la ezalwa khona wathola lamazolo, enyathela nobulongwe bezinkomo zakhona eMahlabathini.
In her service to our beautiful country in evidence is a long commitment in the fight for justice and equality for all South Africans. Before she was appointed as Deputy Minister for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, she also served in various departments with dedication and commitment. The passing of Professor Mkhize is a stark reminder this service is humble work and our work as parliamentarians is to lead with passion and dedication. May we all honour the life of Professor Mkhize in our daily work by working together to uplift our country and ensure a better future for all in South Africa.
Sengiphetha, emndenini wakwaKhabazela ngithi, alwehlanga olungehlanga. Lalani ngenxeba bese nifunde kumaHubo:21, “Ngiphakamisela amehlo ami ezintabeni.”
May her soul Rest in peace. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I know this is a sad moment. Hon members, comply with time.
Nk M D HLENGWA: Ngiyathobela
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Hhayi! Awuthobelanga. Awuthobelanga.
Ms M D HLENGWA: I am sorry, baba. [sir]
Ms T BREEDT: Deputy Speaker, Deputy Minister Mkhize was a fierce woman that prioritised her education and used it to her advantage to better serve her community. Her career has been that of a mother, an academic and a politician, and has through the years amounted to quite a list of highlights.
After completing her BA degree in Psychology, Social Work and Sociology at the University of Zululand, Deputy Minister Professor Mkhize furthered her studies with a BA Honours in Psychology and also a Master's in Clinical Psychology from the University of Natal.
She was a senior lecturer and researcher at Wits and a founding member and trustee of the Children and Violence Trust. She was a board member, commissioner and chairperson. Deputy Minister Mkhize has been an ambassador and had a short stint as Deputy Minister of Correctional Services and Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services. Prof Mkhize also previously served as the Minister of Higher Education and Training, after a brief stint as Minister of Home Affairs. To me, she is, however, best known as Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, the right-hand woman of Minister Maite. Ma’am, you were a fierce opponent, a feminist and a protector of the rights of women and children.
To the ANC, we are sorry for your loss. Losing a colleague is never easy. To the family, you leave behind, Deputy Minister, our greatest condolences. You are in our prayers. When the loss is overwhelming, please remember Psalm:34 Verse 18 and Psalm:147 verse three:
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted. He rescues those whose spirits are crushed, and he heals the broken- hearted and bandages their wounds.
May her soul rest in eternal peace. I thank you, Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon Deputy Speaker, the ACDP wishes to extend its sincere condolences to the family of the late hon Deputy Minister Professor Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize. As a young African woman and a mother of daughters, it is my privilege to celebrate the home-going of Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize. The world is not our home. We are pilgrims on a journey passing through to our forever home.
There is the hymnal written in the 1800s and it reads, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine.” For them who depart this life, having found the Life-Giver and Saviour Jesus Christ. Death is the graduation ceremony that leads to our eternal reward.
Professor Hlengiwe, in an academic career, is the seed that falls from the acorn tree that is Charlotte Maxeke. They served to a generation of women as torchbearers, a testimony of the brilliance of mind, and the depth of character that we possess as African women of the soil. The depth of potential that resides within us, when fully realised, stands out and changes the lives around us. It is my loss for not having
known her, but certainly the privilege of the ANC women to have known her and to call a part of their own.
Every fight that we fight on behalf of every woman is so that more women of academic and political distinction may arise and take their place. The life of Professor Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize stands as a witness to that.
Hamba Kahle! [Ihlombe.]
Mr S N AUGUST: Deputy Speaker, on behalf of GOOD leader, Minister Patricia De Lille, on behalf of GOOD, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the late Deputy Minister Mkhize. We further convey our heartfelt condolences to the Mkhize family. May her soul rest in everlasting peace. Knowing her role in building our country's future will never be forgotten. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Deputy Speaker, comrade Hlengiwe Mkhize was the Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities. If you look at her resume, Professor Mkhize held a BA degree in Psychology, Social Work and Sociology from the University of Zululand; BA Honours in
Psychology, and a Master's in Clinical Psychology from the University of Natal.
She was a senior lecturer and researcher at Wits from 1990 to 1995. She was a board member of the SA Prisoner’s Organisation for Human Rights from 1994 to 1995; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and chairperson of the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee. Prior to her appointment, we do know that Professor Mkhize was an ambassador to the Netherlands. It is as a result of the qualifications, commitment and passion on matters to do with women, children and those with disabilities that the President appointed her to the position of Deputy Minister.
She is indeed a great loss, currently, with the struggle that we have in terms of gender-based violence in this country.
Indeed, a great loss to the family, friends, colleagues, the ANC and the South African public at large. On behalf of the NFP, I extend our condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and the ANC. May her soul Rest in peace.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY FOR WOMEN, YOUTH AND PERSONS
WITH DISABILITIES: Hon House Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Uh-uh. [Laughter.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY FOR WOMEN, YOUTH AND PERSONS
WITH DISABILITIES: Hon Deputy Speaker ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY FOR WOMEN, YOUTH AND PERSONS
WITH DISABILITIES: Sorry. Hon Chief Whip and hon members, I join other hon members who spoke before me in celebrating the lives and memories of our departed colleagues and comrades: Comrade Kebby Maphatsoe and Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize. Their passing is a great loss for this august House, our movement: the ANC, our government and our nation at large.
While I worked with both Comrade Kebby and Comrade Hlengiwe in various structures in our government and movement, allow me to limit my remarks to paying tribute to the life, memory and legacy of Prof Mkhize, who I worked with closely in the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.
Respected Deputy Speaker, just over two months ago Hlengiwe passed – since her passing – yet the pain and sorrow of her departure remain fresh in my mind and, I guess, in the minds
of many of our comrades in this House. For me, I always, as I have said on another occasion, look at her husband and her children and think: What do they think? Her husband has an answer in his philosophy of life. I’m sure his children also have something to remember about their beloved mother, Buhle.
I, personally, have lost a colleague, a comrade and a big sister. On many occasions I depended on Prof Mkhize in the execution of our political mandate as the executive members responsible for the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities. The responsibility and task of running and leading this department, with its complex mandate for three important sectors of women, youth and persons with disabilities, was never easy, but with the support, expertise and experience of Deputy Minister Mkhize I can argue confidently that it was do-able. Prof Mkhize devoted her personal and her family time to the work of her beloved people, community, her movement: the ANC, and our government.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her in various capacities in government and in diplomacy, as I am also a former ambassador, and within the ANC structure. She had a fine political mind and a true commitment to public service. Over the past couple of years since our assignment to
the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, I witnessed her passion for the empowerment of our people and, at the end, for social injustice.
Prof Mkhize was particularly driven by the need to empower and capacitate women within vulnerable groups. She passionately spoke of the need for the voices of the youth, especially of young women in all decision-making processes.
Prof Mkhize was a humanitarian at heart. With her clinical psychology background and serving as a commissioner at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, her unwavering spirit to understand the human being and internalise the pain we suffer due to subjugation has remained with me through the years as I learned from the experience she went through.
This Parliament has lost a trailblazer, a humanitarian in the year in which we celebrate Charlotte Makgomo Maxeke, another trailblazer, and a leader who was not afraid to take a stand against injustice. She will be remembered, amongst her many other achievements, for being a critical thinker and an intellectual of note who never allowed herself to be silenced when she had a strong point to make.
I am devastated by the loss of her as I relied on her support, counselling, guidance and sisterhood in the work we did in this portfolio of looking after women and persons with disabilities. I have lost a sister, a comrade and a dear colleague at a crucial time when her insights and knowledge are much needed.
Beyond government work, I also witnessed Prof Mkhize’s contribution to strengthening our movement, the ANC. We served together in several ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Minister, I’m afraid your time has expired. You must always look to your left. The red signifies the time has gone, ma’am. I can’t add any more. You know you’ve had more than a minute I’m afraid.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY FOR WOMEN, YOUTH AND PERSONS
WITH DISABILITIES: Thank you very much, Chair. I would like to say:
O robale ka khut?o sesi waka. [Legowa.]
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT - THIRD QUARTER PERFORMANCE AND EXPENDITURE REPORT FOR 2020/21 OF DEPARTMENT OF SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL SECURITY AGENCY (SASSA) AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (NDA)
There was no debate.
Ms N Q MVANA: Chair, let me go straight to overall financial performance and non-financial performance for third quarter of 2021. The report deals with the compensation of employees which had an expenditure ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon A V Siwela, please switch off your microphone. And all of you members, please make sure and check to confirm you are on mute, please. It is disruptive.
Ms N Q MVANA: Deputy Speaker, let me again inform the House that South African Social Security Agency, SASSA, for the current financial year was R718 421 billion. The actual expenditure for the third quarter was R5 305 623. That is 69%. When you compare it with the second quarter which was
R3 371 86, you would see that it is 44%.
The expenditure of agency was reported as follows: I will just make mention of the headings; the compensation of employees, goods and services and charges, bank charges, advertisement and marketing, communication, consultants, outsource services. I will just mention but not few.
Deputy Speaker, I will go straight to the performance information by the programmes. We do have Programme 1 from SASSA which achieved 94. We do have Programme 2 that is the benefit administration and support. Under this programme SASSA managed to achieve 72% of its planned target and related to this National Development Plan, NDP, priority for this quarter.
Linking these targets to these priorities, SASSA performed as follows: Reducing income poverty by providing social assistance to eligible individuals. Empowering resilient individuals’ families and sustainable communities. The overall of this agency, we know that SASSA is an entity of the Department of Social Development, which has a critical role to play towards the achievement of government priorities indicated above.
Let me go straight to National Development Agency. I will also go that the National Development Agency has a twofold legislative mandate consisting of a primary mandate and a second mandate.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, switch it off. It doesn’t help
to ignore it. Just switch it off. [Laughter.]
Ms N Q MVANA: Okay Deputy Speaker, I am sorry for that. Its off. As I have said that it is only to fold the legislative mandate consisting of a primary and secondary. I will also go to overall financial performance and non-financial performance for the third quarter. Being a schedule NDA entity as defined by Public Finance Management Act No 1, NDA is driven principally by government funds.
The budget of NDA is made of transfer from Department of Social Development as I have already said, to the value of R224 million, that is 95%. And you get that it has an interest of R2,3 million, that is the 0%. The NDA did not receive any additional funding from Department of Social Development during the supplementary budget allocation to deal with the impact of COVID-19. It however reprioritised its budget
allocation, and allocated R95 million for COVID-19 related responses.
When taking the R95 million into consideration, the budget of the NDA was R325,9 million. Now programme performance, the budget of NDA is spent amongst three programmes. Those programmes are governance and administrations. Programme 2 is civil society organisation. Programme 3 is research which focuses on action research and impact evaluation status. Now, let’s get to Programme 1. Programme 1 spent 57% of its ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, no, you can’t go to Programme
1. Your time has expired. [Laughter.] I thought you were concluding. No, please have a watch next to you.
Ms N Q MVANA: Okay, thank you Deputy Speaker, let me just go to the general overview. The committee noted that the report
... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.] Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
Declarations of vote:
Ms B S MASANGO: Hon Deputy Speaker, the third quarter report of SASSA and NDA’s performance and expenditure has been overtaken by circumstances, with the fourth quarter having
been presented to the committee thereby updating what may have been matters to be raised in this declaration.
To contextualise the concerns that I’m about to raise, I would like to quote the Auditor-General of South Africa, AGSA, in a meeting with the portfolio committee recently:
“As these entities have been to achieve a clean audit outcome, it is important that they focus on ensuring that this also translates into service delivery to citizens”
In recognition of the hard work, the department and its entities have done in this regard congratulations are due. But, that is where the good news ends. On the ground, where it all matters and citizens are waiting for service delivery, things don’t look god at all.
As one who should answer members of the public’s questions, I need to raise the following issues: Let’s take the cash send option for the Social Relief of Distress Grant, SRD, where many grants applicants depend as they don’t have bank accounts that would keep incurring bank charges while they wait endlessly for the grants to be paid into them.
SASSA confirmed at the recent meeting that although this payment option was marketed as one option, SRD Grants recipients could use to receive their emergency SRD Grants, it is still not operational due to delays in negotiations with the banks. Let us turn to the SASSA call centre.
The SRD Grants is processed online and no services are provided or enquiries entertained at local SASSA offices. Applicants are advised to use media channels or to phone SASSA. Not one of these contact platforms are functional. This leads to applicants giving up applying for the money they so desperately need to stay alive with their families, even before they start.
Tragically and based on the direct communications I have received, SASSA grants beneficiaries are still subjected to fraudulent withdrawals, particularly the elderly. I am suspecting old age grants recipients have their pins changed and their money withdrawn at areas far from their homes, often for other people in other provinces. How can they provide for their food, for their chronic medication and any other need they depend on this money for?
Again, SASSA is having serious discussions with the post office on this issue while beneficiaries are being inconvenienced at best or left to starve at worse. It gets worse, hon Deputy Speaker, the post offices often do not have sufficient money when grant approval and money transfer messages have been sent to applicants.
Desperate recipients travel long distances to collect their grants, confident that they will receive their money when they arrive at the post office, having received a confirmation message, but on arrival they are told that the post office does not have money, and they are forced to ... [Interjections.] ... They are forced to travel back home empty handed. The problem deepens when they have to borrow money to come back the following day to start again. By the time they get the money, if they do at all, they have to refund all the borrowed transport money, leaving them little to survive on.
The money announced by the hon President has never reached the intended recipients, months after it was announced. While the audit looks good, we cannot celebrate while poor people starve. In light of these very serious and damning lapses in the implementation, one can only reflect. Hon Minister, the
presentation of the AGSA puts an amber label on the effective leadership of SASSA at a miserable 33%. You need to step up.
Hon Deputy Speaker, there is no time on this declaration for very critical issues that are long overdue. Investigations taking years to finalise while millions of rands have been wasted. The filling of key positions can be directly blamed for lapses and administration of SASSA grants and this also was sighted by the AGSA as compromising the effective execution of their mandate. That’s compromising the delivery of services to the poor and vulnerable citizens. Please stop their suffering, hon Minister. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms L H ARRIES: Deputy Speaker, the country’s false perception of us being a united nation was thrown asunder by the Covid-19 pandemic, which laid bare the depth of poverty and suffering of the majority of our people.
At the greatest moments of need from our people, the South African Social Security Agency, Sassa, dismally failed to ensure that the most vulnerable were treated with dignity and respect. The six million people who were recipients of the Covid-19 special relief grant had to stand in inhuman queues for hours and sometimes were turned back at a post office
where their funds were not disbursed. To date, there are still people who were approved for this special relief grant who have never received this money.
It is an indictment on the department that played with the emotions of desperate and hungry black people. The response to and desperation shown by South Africans in relation to the special relief grants is the clearest indicator that we are a country that has ignored the poorest of the poor. The inability to create sustainable jobs means that more and more of our people will be languishing in poverty for a very long time.
Now is the time for the state to consider a universal employment grant in the country. The Minister of Social Development indicated that this will be a consideration and they have since gone silent on the matter. We guess it is because of the bullying of the National Treasury, which has taken a patently antipoor posture in recent time. Therefore, as the EFF, we reject this report. Thank you.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon Deputy Speaker, we are asked today
... [Inaudible.] ... matters of entities, Sassa, and the National Development Agency, NDA. Both these entities are
tasked with looking after the most vulnerable citizens of our society. When we hold them to account, we are doing so on behalf of South Africa’s vulnerable children, the elderly, those with disabilities and all those who face the daily onslaught of hunger and poverty.
Much has happened since this report was tabled. The IFP must therefore qualify our views on this report. Firstly, we cannot ignore the fact that social ills continued to deepen this year. According to this report, the NDA was only able ... [Inaudible.] ... for the third quarter. The NDA’s core mandate is to support civil society organisations, yet at a time when civil society organisations are desperate for a little bit of government help to provide vital support and services to our communities, the NDA fail to meet more than a third of its targets.
Sassa that provides a thin buffer between starvation and survival for many South African families also did not meet a third of its targets. There are also still ongoing concerns with Sassa, such as fraudulent deductions, people sleeping at Sassa offices for days on end and a nonfunctional call centre. Many South Africans were rejected from the R350 grant for no apparent reason, while many are still waiting to get paid.
Moreover, yet again, Sassa is unable to explain the delay in collecting R6 million in debt. However, we must face the facts, the debt owe to Sassa is only going to balloon because Sassa’s systems are broken. So ineffective and outdated are their databases that many government officials and even company CEOs had been able to collect the R350 grant unlawfully and not a single cent had been recovered from any of these fraudsters.
In a recent written reply to my question and to the DA, it was revealed that more than a 177 000 government officials were collecting a social grant of some sort. Over R200 million has been paid to grant ... [Inaudible.] ... to officials ... [Inaudible.] ... These social grants had now been suspended.
But my question is: Why did it take a parliamentary question for the Minister of Social Development to realise that she might be paying government officials grants for which they did not qualify? How many more people are collecting grants unlawfully?
However, more importantly, how is Sassa going to recover this debt? How is it possible that, while our communities face a daily war against poverty, we have government employees collecting grants meant for the poorest of the poor? Where is
this so-called caring government when our vulnerable citizens need them?
The IFP supports this committee report, but we want the Department of Social Development to start holding to account government officials who fail our people. Sassa is routinely being abused by slippery greedy government officials filling their pockets while the real issues like gender-based violence, gansterism ... [Time expired.] Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no, no. Members, this is the third, fourth or fifth appeal over a long period of time to keep to your time. Please, do that. [Interjections.]
We hope to introduce a system here that will automatically shut you off completely so that none of us have to waste our airtime on you because you have exceeded your time.
Me T BREEDT: Agb Adjunkspeaker, ...
... the National Development Agency, NDA, has marginally improved when looking at spending. It is however still
unacceptable that at the end of the third quarter, spending of the budget is only at 51% and the Criminal Assets Recovery Account, Cara, is even worse, at 26% spending. The 63% overall achievement rate is also nothing to get excited about. The only target that has been achieved was to source goods and services from BBBEE companies, but even that target has a “but wait; there is more” disclaimer.
An entity with a mandate to eradicate poverty and its causes by granting funds to civil society organisations and to promote consultation dialogue and sharing of development experiences between CSOs, community security originations and the state, but only pays out 12 of the R75 million target towards CSOs is not an entity that is doing their jobs. The NDA needs to pull up their socks.
Turning to Sassa, let me start out by saying that I would like to thank the senior managers and staff at head office that deal with grant problems, which I and my colleagues report to them regularly. My wish is that all Sassa staff, especially those at ground level can be as efficient and helpful. To a call centre agent in Mpumalanga called Kasper, when no other call centre lines were answered, you answered and assisted.
An overall achievement rate of 74% is better than the 39 and 71% achievements during quarter one and two, respectively, but it is still not ideal, especially taking into account the hardships faced during this pandemic and the amount of people who reliant on Sassa.
Furthermore, the prolonged delay for the payment of social relief of distress, SRD, grants and ECD stimulus packages is a matter of concern. ECDs are extremely important for the development of our youth. Having ECDs not supported and moneys delayed, directly affect South Africa’s future.
The SRD grant has been problematic since it its inception 19 months ago and my colleagues have all addressed that - the delays of payments, the issues with the payment system having to be reactivated, appeals taking forever to be settled, people who have applied at the start of the process not having received a cent to date, despondent South Africans not even applying after reopening. We have truly let our most vulnerable down.
I want to conclude by quoting the Helen Suzman Foundation:
The questions are: by how much, with what efficiency, and can legitimate demand for SRD grants increase well beyond the number of grants made in the first 12 months of experience with it? The analysis indicates that there are grounds for serious concern about the answers to all three questions.
Ek dank u.
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon Deputy Speaker, the report on the entities of the Department of Social Development comes as the reality of a deepening social crisis, and it is becoming clearer by the day. The reality is that, when the morning breaks for most South Africans, the darkness does not disappear, it brings home the stuck reality of having very little protection against violence, hunger and severe levels of poverty. I will focus on the broad strokes that this report comes under. We have reported cases of child rape that was reported to our constituency offices, and an increase in child pregnancies reported by the communities.
This brings home the reality that there exist very little protection against violence, hunger and severe levels of
poverty for women and children. The breakdown of the family unit affects women and children the most, and right now, we are struggling to accommodate women, to find the accommodation for women with children faced with evictions, or that are in the process of being evicted. It is my experience of the services of the department and its entities that it is sluggish, fragmented in approach, protective of its own mistakes, with the lack of integration between departments with a shared mandate.
I will have to add that, there are moments of hard warming brilliance, especially in the children sector and where it concerns children, but it is moments fun, far and filled between. The third hope makes the heart sick. We are out of time in presenting timeous solutions and interventions that will reduce the mental trauma and provide the needed social support for those who needed it the most. Deputy Speaker, it is impossible for this department and its entities to respond to the escalating crisis we witness around us, and we have to divorce ourselves of the notion that there is such a thing as a capable state, able to respond to the ever-deepening crisis before us. It is impossible.
The ACDP believes that the model for building capable communities is the answer. We need to move beyond the incapable and capable state, and create capable communities. We are at the point where with urgency we need to close a strong loop to ensure that were the delivery of essential and critical services happens within our communities. The ACDP has called for greater oversight over the department, because we fail to see the impact of the National Development Agency, NDA, in a real and sustainable terms that will ensure execution of its mandate in light of the underspending on its core programme.
It is in light of this that we reiterate again that the oversight needs to be strengthened over this department, and particularly on the NDA. I thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, Deputy Speaker, for your humour in this matter. Deputy Speaker, ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Shaik Emam, when you put up your
speech in front of you, we can’t see you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: You can’t see me?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, not with the paper in front of you, we
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: There’s no paper, but it’s okay. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Let me also explain to you the other reason, I always talk about disability inclusion. There are people who want to read your lips, so, don’t hide yourself. People want to see you and read your lips because otherwise, what’s the point of having that video? Unless you ask to be switched off. In which case, that would be okay, because ... [Interjections.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Go ahead, Ntate.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you for your wisdom and guidance, Deputy Speaker. It looks like your international visitors have done a lot of good, but thank you very much. Deputy Speaker, allow me or ask me first of all to advise the National Department of Social Development that, with the high unemployment rate in the country, and with the fourth wave that is anticipated in December, it can only get progressively
worse, and that is the socioeconomic condition under which our people live.
So, what I’m pleading with the starters or the department, is to up its game. I know that they find themselves in a very difficult situation, and they did not expect the impact of Covid which impacted on their department because they have been in a very space short of time put on some measures to deal with this. Let me also welcome the new initiative, something that we have been very vocal about in this House.
Also, let me commend the Minister for it, and that is the number of social worker graduates in the country who have been unemployed, and now the department is talking about employing them and deploying them on the ground.
This will go a long way in dealing with the issues of gender- based violence and other things, rather than waiting for people to be murdered, raped and grandstanding here. You are going to put it in these benches to prevent these things from happening. So, congratulations, Minister, for you and your team on that new initiative which I think it was long overdue. Now, the issue of social grants is a problem. Many people are not able to get through to your call centers, and they don’t have a luxury of data or airtime to be able to do that.
So, you need to deal with that, particularly the Post Office, and you know that the Post Office is bankrupt right now. It is technically insolvent and it is calling for a bail out. The Medium-Term Policy Statement, MTPS, has not provided for any bail out for them. So, whether they are going to survive or not, I don’t know. Again, this means, Minister and your team that, you are going to look at other ways of providing this, Social Relief of Distress, SRD, grant, to our people on the ground.
Added to that, I want to tell you that, the is R350 grant does not solve the problem, even though it goes a long way on assisting our people because, our business is to up the prices by 40 and 50%, and the R350 is not worth R100 then. So, I want to plead with the department to support this report and also, we support your new initiative in putting more social workers on the ground. Let it ... [inaudible.] ... with you. Thank you very much.
Mr D M STOCK: Thank you very much, hon Deputy Speaker. The ANC has placed the theory of a developmental state as a key policy framing building, a state which has got the capability to respond to the social and economic means of our people. It is for this reason that the ANC has advanced and activist this
Parliament. which emphasises the centrality of the people and their challenges as a core focus of our parliamentary work.
The SA Social Security Agency, SASSA, plays a critical role in ensuring that grants are distributed effectively and efficiently.
The mandate of SASSA is critical in reducing poverty and the high levels of income, and as well as inequality. A critical indicator to assess the administrative capacity of this entity is the pace it takes to process the applications as it relates to the different grants, as to whether SRD grants or any other social related grants. It is commendable, hon Deputy Speaker, to note that SASSA managed to achieve 94,2% over a nonfunded and 35% of the targets of processing new grants applications within 10 days. Contrary to the expectations from opposition benches on the capability of the state to upscale disbursement in a short space of time, SASSA has risen to the occasion amidst the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 conditions.
The National Development Agency, NDA, also plays a critical role in eradicating poverty through granting funds for civil society organisations for various social objectives and through social dialogue and mobilisation for progressive movement and development as well. The NDA did not receive any
additional funding from the DSD during the supplementary budget allocations to deal with the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. It has however, reprioritised its budget allocations and allocated about R95 million for COVID-19 related responses.
The ANC supports this report and welcomes the improved performance from SASSA as well as NDA amidst the challenges that they are facing imposed on the two entities by COVID-19 pandemic. Hon Deputy Speaker, building an ethical and developmental state requires continued enhancement of systems and the capability of a department to deliver its mandate efficiently. The two entities have demonstrated the most positive improvement, and therefore, they need to be applauded for the efforts they have actually undertaken. As the ANC, we fully support this report. Thank you very much, hon Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Thank you, hon
Deputy Speaker. I move that the report be adopted. Motion agreed to.
[Take in from Minutes.]
Report accordingly adopted
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO GAUTENG AND MPUMALANGA PROVINCES
Mr L N MANGCU: Thank you, Deputy Speaker, my name is Lisa Mangcu, I will introduce the report on behalf of the Chairperson.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, let’s say that I was misled, some mistake happened here. What’s written here is Zwane ... [Laughter.] ...not Mangcu ...
Besengithi bakushintshile kune-home affairs la ngaphakathi. [Uhleko.]
Mr L N MANGCU: Thank you Deputy Speaker, hon members of this august House, members of the portfolio committee from all the political parties. The Portfolio Committee on Transport is presenting before the National Assembly, the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on an Oversight Visit to the Gauteng and Mpumalanga Provinces for consideration. The visit
by the portfolio committee to the two provinces occurred during 26 to 28 November 2020. The report was approved by the portfolio committee, subsequently.
The purpose of the visit was to establish the progress made by the Department of Transport to date at the time, regarding the Moloto Corridor Project with emphasis on the rail component of the project. Ensuring improvement of the road and rail infrastructure in a critical priority for efficient movement of goods and people thereby contributing to the economic development in the country and the region in particular.
The focus of the oversight was to meet the respective stakeholders and to understand the current budget, spent on the project. The Committee also sought interaction with many stakeholders, the South African National Roads Agency, SANRAL,
and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, PRASA amongst others.
Furthermore, the information on the project was also sought from the Department of Transport in relation to the budget for the project and the outcomes of feasibility studies as well as on the memorandum of understanding, MOU, signed with the China Communications Construction Company.
The Committee further focussed on the second leg, on PRASA’s ability to execute its mandate. PRASA was negatively affected by the national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Moloto Railway Project was conceptualised to reduce road fatalities as these were rather high as it was the only means of transport for people in the area. The project was also conceptualised to increase economic activity in the area which is a key priority of government.
The committee visited His Majesty, King Makhosonke II’s cluster in the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality, to seek to hear from him first-hand what the position of the kingdom is regarding this project.
The report raises a number of observations. The community raised their frustration with government not implementing the project as was initially indicated to the people of KwaMhlanga. Community representatives frustratingly reflected on the high loss of life on the Moloto Road as some 40 people a month lose their lives on that road. The community was concerned with the lack of development in the area which can lead to economic development and job creation.
Community leaders and representatives sought in our interaction the development of the project to reduce the loss of lives on the Moloto Road and also seek economic development and job creation in the area.
In Gauteng the committee visited couple of stations on the Mamelodi side, the corridor Koedoespoort, situated at Kilner Park, Tshwane and Mamelodi Gardens train stations and it also met with PRASA at its head offices.
Lastly, Deputy Speaker, rail development has been announced on this area of KwaMhlanga, Moloto Road, and requires to be implemented to the benefit of the people. And as a committee we are unwavering in calling on the department and government to make sure that this project is implemented. The portfolio committee will resolutely continue with the work in conjunction with the key stakeholders and implement the recommendations of the report. The portfolio committee approved the report and submits this report for the consideration of the National Assembly. I thank you House Chair.
Declaration of vote: IsiNdebele:
Nom T B MABHENA: Sihlalo, ngilotjhisa isitjhaba soke.
Mr T B MABHENA(DA): The Mpumalanga visit ... hon House Chairperson, just before we start I want to acknowledge the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Transport, hon Mangethe for his recognition of traditional leadership in that, when I approached him about the need to go traditional leaders and brief them first about the visit in the Province Mpumalanga, he was amenable and in fact even went far beyond the call of duty and ensure that he played a pivotal in the preparation to meet his Majesty, the King of Amandebele, King Makhosonke II as well as the late Chairperson of the Ndzundza Traditional Council, his Royal Highness Inkosi Ubaba Mbangwa Mahlangu, may his soul rest in peace.
Hon House Chairperson, firstly the people of Mpumalanga are dying and they continue to die and the current government has no care in world to stop the bloodbath. I say this with conviction because the actions of the ANC-led government dictates so. Since the oversight visit in the Province of Mpumalanga last year, six people have burned beyond recognition when a bus they were travelling in caught fire on the notorious death threat that is Moloto Road R573. This
happened on 21 May 2021, since then, another two people we killed and 26 people sustained serious injuries on the 22 October 2021.
Most recently, just last week Friday another horrific accident, involving a bus, truck and three light commercial vehicles on the same road stretch Moloto Road R573. Hon House Chairperson, the Portfolio Committee on Transport through the Chairperson Msebenzi Zwane promised the people of Mpumalanga that the committee will come back and provide the detailed report back with regard to the Moloto Railway Corridor. The portfolio committee was scheduled to go to Mpumalanga at the end of March 2021, but the Portfolio Committee on Transport postponed the report back session. When the DA proposed that the portfolio committee should go to Mpumalanga, in the month of June, the ANC flatly refused and provided a lousy reason that all oversight visits during recess were banned by the chairperson ... [Inaudible.] ... and even provided an email correspondence to this effect.
Just this past Tuesday in the Portfolio Committee on Transport, the ANC further rejected another opportunity for the portfolio committee to go on a scheduled visit in Mpumalanga next month in December. Hon House Chairperson, I
ask, how many people must die in Mpumalanga before the ANC implements the Moloto Railway Corridor?
On the Gauteng component of the visit for this component visited Germiston Taxi Rank, Baragwanath Taxi Rank, Bree Taxi Rank and MTN Taxi Rank, needless to say what we discovered was disheartening and harrowing. It was horrific to say the least, the inhuman condition at those taxi ranks leaves very little to be desired. The situation is dire and very disparate on a wide range of challenges. Most of the challenges are listed below. For instance, in the Greater Germiston Taxi Rank there were no functional toilets that we got there. There was no running water, there was no facilities to wash hands. The facilities generally, were very filthy and the small water tank was supplied but was never really used and then also the Department of Transport claimed that they provided masks but they never provided anything.
Again the same situation at the Baragwanath Taxi Rank, here, it is a very sad moment. On 11 May 2020, there was a public relation, PR exercise, which was undertaken by the Minister of Transport, Gauteng Member of Executive Council, MEC for Transport and the late City of Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo, a sanitation booth was put up at the Baragwanath Taxi
Rank and just for that visit for the commuters to use it, as soon as that visit was done and completed and all these politicians who want to be celebrities were done, going through that sanitation booth, it was taken exactly less than an hour, after the media had left that facility. What does that say? It says the ANC-led government does not care at all about the wellbeing of the people but they are more concerned the media needs and PR exercises, which do little to serve the people that they claim that they represent and this happens because an ANC-led government still does not care about serving the people, they only care about corruption and stealing money and making sure that they continue to let people of Mpumalanga to die. And ask this question again and I say how many more people in Mpumalanga must die before you implement the Moloto Railway Corridor and the blood of those people is in the hands of the ANC. I thank you.
Ms N J NOLUTSHUNGU: Hon House Chairperson, let me state upfront that the hon Makhosini was supposed to be doing this declaration, however he had an accident this morning and he is in hospital. So, I will be doing both declarations on his behalf. Thank you.
The EFF formed part of the team that went to do oversight in Gauteng and Mpumalanga. The findings in Gauteng and Mpumalanga were no different from that of the Free State. The state of transport and the infrastructure in this country is shameful. For instance, Passenger Rail Agency SA, Prasa, has completely collapsed and the Minister is only concerned of being the Twitter celebrity instead of ensuring that the roads are fixed, the trains are working and the perennial problems of taxi violence are sorted out.
We accept the report, because we were there and saw for ourselves the devastating impact of years of neglect of transport infrastructure by the Transport Ministry. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms Z MAJOZI: Hon House Chair, I will speak on behalf of the hon Sithole. He is having a network problem.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Proceed Mam. Do not worry about the noise, it is just that we cannot see your face. There is something disturbing you.
Ms Z MAJOZI: Let me move to a better place or position.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): You can just switch off the video and speak, Mam!
Ms Z MAJOZI: Hon Chair, can you see my face now?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Yes. We can now see you, Ms Majozi!
Ms Z MAJOZI: Hon House Chair, this report regarding the committee’s oversight tour to the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga, specifically the Moloto Rail Corridor project has a clear example of this government failure to our people.
I a recent article it was discovered that Transnet rail network could help ease the burden of 58 million tons of cargo from our roads. This highlights a huge potential for alternative means of transport with lower running costs. Given the recent fuel increase that government has passed on to our citizens. It also means that there could be far less fatalities on our roads.
The Moloto Rail Corridor project has been a burning issue for the local people for about 14 years. Local communities have been pleading with government to implement this rail project
as the road is overburdened. It is estimated that almost 500 people lose their lives on the road alone per annum.
Furthermore, the devastating cost by the loss of life leaves a lasting social problems in creating child-headed families.
Yet this department simply does not care about the precious life of South Africans. This committee heard that the department provided false timelines for councilors to report at the local community. In a devious stalling tactic to keep the community quiet all while lives were being lost.
The ANC-led government takes pleasure in grandstanding in this House telling us how wonderful their work is. Yet here is the evidence found in the committee that their promises are all lies.
The former President, Mr Jacob Zuma, in his state of the nation address promised that this project will be implemented in the year 2006-7 financial year. However, upon conducting the oversight, the committee heard that this has become a blame game on the part of the department and its entities.
They are clueless on how to go about implementing infrastructure projects. This department is currently
experiencing its own state of disaster. This project is also quite concerning as it has been handed to the China communication construction company to build a rail corridor.
Why has government not found the necessary skills in our local industries to support this project in 14 years? Why has government has not developed the needed skills and capacity within our country for local businesses to benefit from?
The IFP supports the committee’s recommendations that this department must submit a comprehensive report on the matters concerning this oversight visit within 30 days. However, this report must contain the action and steps by this department to address the needs of the community with an immediate six months’ plan in follow-up report. The IFP supports this report. Thank you, hon House Chair.
Mr L N MANGCU: Hon House Chair, thank you very much and good afternoon once more. Hon members, colleagues, members of the portfolio committee and South Africans at large, good afternoon. Firstly, as the ANC we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families of those people who have lost their lives through different crashes on the notorious
Moloto road. We are saddened by what is happening and we share in the pain of those people.
Secondly, the report on the second leg was mainly to the Passenger Rail Agency, SA, Prasa, and not to the taxi ranks as my colleague from the DA could have just missed that. So, I thought I should just correct that. That the second leg of this particular report was to Prasa and not to the taxi ranks. That was totally different. Of course the things that were raised are true and they are factual, but that just the report is not the one we are presenting here today.
So, from the onset I think we need to confirm that the ANC-led government subscribes to the provision of safe, reliable affordable and efficient public transport available to all South Africans including the citizens of Mpumalanga, in particular the Moloto road corridor citizens there.
Ndiza kuphendula qabane.
As part of its oversight responsibilities, Parliament through the work of this committee committed to holding the executive
authority responsible and all the state-owned entities, SOEs, accountable. Therefore, the notion that certain members of this committee, care more for the people of Moloto, than other members do must be rejected with the contempt it deserves. All of us are saddened and all of us in the committee have expressed our disgust at what is happening on that road.
This committee will use its constitutional powers to continue to monitor that the Minister of Transport, the department and provincial departments involved in the Moloto Rail Corridor project are held accountable and all that are responsible.
The Portfolio Committee on Transport undertook this oversight visit as it was indicated in the introduction and made a couple of observations which the two previous colleagues have already highlighted and I will not repeat. I could really pick up from the IFP what she was saying. She was breathing heavily, you know, and I do not know what was angering her.
Maybe she could have been able to ... [Interjections.]
Ms Z MAJOZI: Lies by the ANC!
Mr L N MANGCU: They say the truth hurts and it is very true.
The purpose of the report I think both my colleagues, the hon Mabhena and the hon Nolutshungu have already explained what the purpose was. However, I want to add on that one of the key stakeholders we wanted to meat, were the people who had organised themselves and had camped at the Union Buildings for a long time wanting as a means of drawing attention to the plight of the Moloto corridor residents. We listened to them and heard their plight. We shared their pain and it is out of that.
It is not entirely correct, but I think 90% correct that the committee agreed to go back in March. That was said, but it was also qualified and it is in the report that if not, at the closest possible time the committee will find.
So we must just try and not highjack the plight of the people of Moloto, grandstand and try and seem to be Holy Art Thou.
The pain there is too big and we need to pull hands together and address it.
The committee on its second leg went to visit Prasa as we already said and the stations in Gauteng, particularly in Tshwane. The committee visited the Pienarspoort Corridor which includes Koedoespoort train station and Mamelodi Gardens train
station and we had an opportunity to interact with commuters who were standing in lees and the report and the feedback we got was not very encouraging.
We call on the Minister of Transport and the board of Prasa to reinstate as speedily as possible the train services that our people need mostly and to make sure that security is improved.
In our interaction with the board, which was newly appointed at the time, it was clear to us as the portfolio committee that the destruction of infrastructure during hard lockdown, due to poor or lack of security, there was still no convincing plan to turn around the situation. The committee also urges the Minister through the board to ensure security is addressed and we will continue to ensure that we hold them accountable.
Lastly, House Chairperson, the committee resolved to meet the National Treasury which was since done to understand for ourselves the financial implications or not of the Moloto Rail Corridor.
We therefore thank the committee members for their positive contribution in the deliberations in the committee and in the oversight, particularly today. The ANC supports this report on
the oversight visit to Gauteng and Mpumalanga. I thank you, House Chairperson. [Applause.]
USIHLALO WENDLU (Kkz M G Boroto): Mma uMajozi, nawowoke umuntu okilelivadla lemikhulumiswano le-Inthanethi, [Virtual platform] into oyenzileko leyo, ayikarisi nakancani.
When a person speaks, you do not respond because you get your opportunity to speak. Leave the mics!
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly agreed to.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO MANGAUNG METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY
Mr L N MANGCU: Chairperson, on behalf of the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, hon Zwane, it’s my honour and privilege to present to the House the report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on an oversight visit to Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality. The visit took place on 13 and 14
November 2020 and the report being introduced to the National Assembly was adopted by the Portfolio Committee on Transport.
The purpose of the oversight visit was to gain an understanding of the progress made to date on the implementation of the integrated public transport network in the metro and, more specifically, the Bus Rapid Transit system, commonly known as the BRT, and the infrastructure projects component of the Infrastructure Public Transport Network, or IPTN, for the metro. Furthermore, the committee sought insight into the budget allocation versus budget spending.
The committee also visited the Lengau Testing and Traffic Centre in the metro to understand the challenges experienced internally at the centre and from the public that have complained of limitations in accessing services of obtaining driving licences.
The site visit to the Bloemfontein Mangaung Licence Testing Centre occurred on the 13th and commenced with a meeting with officials from the respective departments. The purpose of the meeting was to receive a briefing on the functioning of the
licensing testing centre, which was critical in the assessment of the centre.
There were a number of challenges that the committee observed at the licensing testing centre which were highlighted to the committee and, at the same time, remedial action was also proposed for implementation. The challenges amongst them include the availability or the nonavailability thereof of what is called the electronic National Traffic Information System, or eNaTIS, and debt due to unpaid motor licence fees. The country has to develop a culture of payment for services, we noted. A new debt management system is being implemented to ensure a culture of compliance. There was also the closure of some driving licence testing centres, or DLTCs, owing to
The report also seeks to point at the combating of corruption at the centre as seven officials – administrative clerks – had been charged by the Hawks for fraud, corruption and money laundering at the centre. This is a very critical part of ensuring that service delivery occurs in the sector.
The visit to the licensing and testing centre was part of establishing a culture of striving for efficiency, constant
improvement and innovation to improve service delivery through the monitoring of the public and, in particular, the public in general.
In terms of the IPTN, the committee visited the bus depot – the construction site which is part of phase 1 of the infrastructure project for the metro or the IPTN. Thereafter the committee visited the metro’s depot where we were exposed to some buses which, unfortunately, had not been used for a long time. Amongst other municipal fleet at the depot, we saw the 10 coaches or buses that were purchased in 2019, and these buses had been stationary for a period of about a year. This is a source of concern for the committee. A debriefing was held with the committee on 14 November to explain some of the issues.
The report before the House presents or makes a couple of observations and recommendations, which have been analysed and implemented to ensure that the public transport sector is being attended to.
House Chairperson, hon members, once more we present this report to the National Assembly for consideration. We will make sure that we hold the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality
accountable once this report is approved with its recommendations. I thank you, House Chairperson.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Inani labantu abakuleNdlu liphansi, nezinga lokushisa nalo linjalo. Hhayi, siyafa bakithi. [Ubuwelewele.] Thokozani!
It can’t be the same as when we are 200. We will proceed. There has been a request for declarations. The DA.
Declarations of vote:
Mr I S SEITLHOLO: House Chair, allow me to start off by thanking DA councillor in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Ward 47 councillor Mokgadi Kganakga, for her continued oversight in the Mangaung’s integrated public transport network, that is the IPTN.
On 13 and 14 November 2020, the Portfolio Committee on Transport undertook this oversight visit to the Mangaung Metropolitan’s Lengau Testing and Traffic Centre, as Mr Mangcu indicated, including to the integrated public transport network project, otherwise known as the Hauweng Bus Service.
While I recognise and appreciate the visit to the Lengau Testing and Traffic Centre, I’ve chosen to focus specifically on the integrated public transport network in the Mangaung Metro. I trust that my colleague there, the hon Karabo Khakhau, will deal with all the learner testing centres in the Free State.
In 2019 I stood before this House and I made it abundantly clear that the DA regards public transport as one of the most important reform essentials. However, to the ANC-run Mangaung metro, public transport is seemingly an opportunity to dispense patronage, continue with failed cadre deployment and enrich politically connected companies; never mind the number of people who were in acting positions there.
When the portfolio committee undertook the oversight visit to the IPTN on Friday, 13 November 2020, the project was estimated to be at 40% completion. The then city manager and the head of the IPTN, Mr Rapulungoane, made a commitment to the committee that the first IPTN route would be launched by March 2021. It is now November 2021 and I can confirm that not a single IPTN bus route has been launched by the Mangaung Metro.
The construction of the IPTN bus depot in terms of phase 1, which includes the civic works, was due to be completed between February and March 2021. This has also not materialised and, in fact, based on the last meeting that was held, the new date for phase 1 completion is now March/April 2022. While these completions and broken promises are synonymous with ANC-run municipalities, what irks me the most is the amount of money that has been spent on the project thus far, particularly as it relates to the leasing and/or purchase of the buses.
The Mangaung Metro has leased or purchased 10 buses, each costing R5,5 million, and that is a total of R55 million. It was also indicated that the national Department of Transport approved the leasing and/or purchase of these buses. Asked why so much money per bus, the answer was that there were modifications and/or features that were added to the buses such as GPS and making the buses wheelchair-friendly.
However, for the life of me, the closest that I could get in my research, given the said modifications, was a mere
R2,5 million. We learned during the continued oversight that in fact a third party had facilitated the lease contract with Standard Bank. Mothebe Wheels had facilitated the contract on
behalf of the metro as a middle man, which earned them a whopping R11 million. None of the questions asked regarding the leasing and the purchasing of these buses were responded to by Mangaung Metro.
In June 2021, the Auditor-General of South Africa noted that since 2016 Mangaung Metro had spent well over R705 million on the IPTN planning and feasibility studies. The bulk of this money has gone to two companies, namely GladAfrica and LTE.
While issues of concern and challenges regarding the Mangaung IPTN are plenty, what I cannot shy away from is that millions of hard-earned taxpayer’s money continues to be poured down the drain by the metro municipality which, clearly, cannot get things done on behalf of its people. While Mangaung and Rustenburg in particular cannot use Go George as a benchmark is beyond me.
The national Department of Transport must make a commitment to the people of Mangaung and South Africans at large that they will withhold whatever funding there is to the Mangaung Metro’s IPTN project until such time that a properly constituted monitoring and evaluation plan is presented to both the department and the portfolio committee. South
Africans can no longer afford to have their hard-earned money go down the drain and make and create instant millionaires. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms N J NOLUTSHUNGU (EFF): House Chair, when we went to Mangaung we were met with shock to note that the buses that had been bought for millions since the launch of the Bus Rapid Transport system were not being utilised and were gathering dust. For years, the Free State government had been turned into a cash cow for corruption and those who were close to political leaders were milking the province dry. Upon us asking what caused the delay on this project because it had been funded, and was supposed to be launched. We were merely told that is a second batch of buses which had been subsequently been bought to pile on the number of buses that were gathering dust.
The bus system in the Free state is a completely failed project and this is despite the dire need for a working public transport network in that province. There are a number of public transport challenges in Bloemfontein, including deteriorating roads and the narrow road infrastructure that has not been upgraded as corruption has taken over. We, however, support this report and its recommendations because
we were part of that oversight and we witnessed what was happening in Mangaung. Thank you.
Mr K P SITHOLE(IFP): Hon House Chair, the oversight visits to Mangaung Municipality have unveiled the long-standing trend within the department, maladministration and lack of planning. During the committee’s visit to the area on 13th November 2020, we uncovered several issues within the licensing and testing centres. Reforms are needed to automate the renewal of licenses and bookings so that there is reduced reliance on the need for physical attendance on these centres. Using the more automated system would be a smooth flow of flying being assisted each day and reduce the time people lost standing in long queues and taking time away from work.
The automation of a large portion of the licensing system is well established. However, there is a common trend in government departments, entities and service offices where the equipment is not properly managed and maintained. At this particular station, several officials have been charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering. While we congratulate the SIU in this regard, we must equally stress the importance of bringing those in the position of authority, the high-level officials and management to book for serious crimes. The
integrated public transport network in Mangaung has shown dismal performance and a complete lack of service delivery.
The committee visited at the time when a bus depot was still a construction site while at the same time saying that ... [Inaudible.] ... that 10 brand new busses were purchased but have been left standing idle. A fleet of busses was purchased in 2019. At the time, they have been stationed for the entire year, while the people urgently needed transport. This is unacceptable and a clear demonstration of the municipality advocating the same adequate lack of planning of the department. Whilst these busses were purchased, before there were busses stationed which cost R5,5 million each and that was noted by the committee. This seemed to be inflated.
Comparatively, these busses cost far more than a similarly premium Mercedes or Volvo busses. This is a sad programme in South Africa due to corruption, price inflation etc. These people of this country suffer within inferior standard of service delivery ... [Time expired.]
Muf M M RAMADWA (ANC): Ndi khou livhuwa Mudzulatshidulo wa Nn?u, Tshimebi Tshihulwane Vho Pemmy Majodina, Muthusa
Tshimebi Tshihulwane Vho Dorries Dlakude, Mira?o ya Buthano ?a Lushaka na vhadzulapo vha Afrika Tshipembe, ndi mathabama.
The Portfolio Committee on Transport had an oversight visit to the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality as it has been indicated by my colleagues. The purpose of the visit was to get firsthand experience in the implementation of the integrated public transport network in the municipality and more specifically for the Bus Rapid Transit infrastructure project. In addition, the committee also made an oversight visit to the Lengau Licensing and Testing Centre to understand the challenges which the centre faced as well as to interact with the members of the public which utilises the centre.
Prior to the committee going through the Licensing Testing Centre on 13 November 2020, we received a briefing from the national Department of Transport, Free State Department of Transport, officials, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and Lengau Licensing Testing centre. A number of challenges were highlighted to the committee and the remedial action to address the challenges. Some of the challenges raised was the closing of the testing station due to detected COVID-19 positive cases. The department took a positive step to
debilitate a recurrence of COVID-19 cases at the testing station through appointing a service provider to disinfect the testing station. Staff were provided with PPEs and COVID-19 protocols are in place.
There was a challenge of a limited number of people being serviced on a single day and this was resolved through the opening of the stations on two Saturdays, every month to increase the service. During the period of COVID-19 and given necessity of Disaster Management Regulations, there have been a backlog in driver’s license application and renewals. This has been attended to through the testing station opening on two Saturdays in a month and seven examiners deployed to conduct learners and driver’s test.
The committee commended the testing station for all the remedial actions that are in place. Telephone lines not functional due to cable theft. RTMC to ensure that there are 3Gs to back up in case of cable theft. The department is currently working with Vodacom to replace the current telephone system. During the engagement at the Service Centre, the committee was informed that there was no law that regulates the process of issuing professional driving permits to foreign nationals. It was unclear whether there was a
process of establishing whether foreign nationals had criminal records in their countries of origin prior of being granted PDP in South Africa. The committee recommended that the national Department of Transport to clarify the process of obtaining PDP by foreign nationals.
The discussion focused on the BRT Infrastructure project and budget spent. The BRT Infrastructure project started in 2014 and was planned to be developed in phases, including the rural corridor as it will provide community, especially the working class and the poor with affordable and reliable transport. The committee recommended that the national Department of Transport to provide comprehensive report on the implementation of the integrated transport network. That is, they must be able to indicate how much they have spent and also how and when are the busses going to start servicing the community.
The Portfolio Committee on Transport is determined to ensure that public transport is improved in all three spheres of government. The ANC supports the report.
Ndo livhuwa. Aa!
Mr B A RADEBE: I move that the Report be adopted.
Declarations of vote made on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party and African National Congress.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT ON 2020/21 - FOURTH QUARTER EXPENDITURE OF DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
Mr L N MANGCU: Hon House Chair, good afternoon, once more. To hon members, colleagues, fellow South Africans and in particular colleagues from the Portfolio Committee on Transport and on behalf of the Chairperson I am representing in this report to this august House. We are introducing before the NA a report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on 2020/2021 fourth quarter expenditure of the Department of Transport. The report presented in this House was adopted by the Portfolio Committee on Transport on 17 August 2021.
The Department of Transport functioned in this financial year under review under very adverse conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Public transport came into a standstill due to disaster management relations and the entities under the department which were traditionally performing well were also negatively affected. The transport sector commends recovery with one mode at the time with road first and then rail. Air travel unfortunately, despite a slight recovery is not fully recovered. This was certainly an unprecedented situation.
In 2020/2021 the main allocation of the Department of Transport stood at R62 billion but post the supplementary budget the allocation of the department was reduced to R57,4 billion which was R4,6 billion less than the main allocation. The spending of the department was 0,5% or some R299 million less than the budget. The underspending of the department is marginally and not materially. This is more especially true given the difficulties with which the department experienced under the Covid-19 conditions.
This margin underspending partly occurred due to no spending of the allocated budget on compensation of staff due to vacancies, less travel and less legal advisory services. The department spent R384,3 million against the available budget
of R469,8 million which is some R85,9 million unspent. It is important that the department fills the vacancies as a matter of urgency with suitable qualified people to ensure that the department is able to execute its programme at a much higher level of positivity to contribute towards the economic recovery.
The department, the committee noted, has seven problems which have been characterised by underspending and in many programmes underspending occurred due to vacancies as I have already alluded to. In the report under observations and recommendations it expressed its concern over the lack of vacancies. The Auditor-General also indicated that in the financial analysis.
While the department has scored high in its key performance areas, KPAs, it was felt by the committee that it was not possible for it to have scored a 100% and as a number of critical project in the different programmes were not implemented as a result of the pandemic. The same has applied to road maintenance and the condition of roads in many parts of the country have not been entirely improved.
SA National Road Agency, Sanral has a good maintenance record but it does not translate the same way throughout the country. The report seeks accountability from the oversight over the department and therefore makes important recommendations in the report which are presented here today. While we noted that the department has made significant progress under difficult conditions, but we believe that the department can improve in ensuring efficiency and affordability in transport sector. The committee also will constantly be monitoring the department as to their spending and filling vacancies, amongst other things. As I said the report was adopted by the portfolio committee and we submit it to the NA hoping that the NA will adopt the same. Thank you, House Chairperson.
Declarations of Vote:
Nom T B MABHENA: Sihlalo, ngilotjhisa naso soke isitjhaba.
House Chairperson, just before we start I want to acknowledge the new and returning Deputy Minister of Transport hon Chikunga. She truly is a breath of fresh air. She actually listens to the contributions of members in the Portfolio Committee on Transport and she genuinely and carefully
considers the inputs of the members across political divide and understands that the Portfolio Committee on Transport also has a vested interest to see the department succeed. Now that was out of the way.
House Chairperson, the Department of Transport continues to be a disappointment and in our view the worst performing department of this so-called failed New Dawn. The Department of Transport can be compared with its counterpart at the Department of Public Enterprises whose sole mandate today is to inflict pain, frustration and jobs shedding characterised by consistent blackouts across the country.
This is indeed the same script at the Department of Transport, a direct copy and paste from the Department of Public Enterprises. This department has failed to ensure that rail is revived and that trains are back on the tracks instead they are in the forefront of championing derailments on a massive scale without any shame whatsoever. Just last month, the incompetence of this department saw the derailment of the luxurious Blue Train. Why is this significant? Well, tourism is the biggest economic driver and contributes to the informal and formal economy and in the main Blue Train is the big part of that ecosystem yet the incompetence of the Departments of
Transport and Public Enterprises ensures that jobs are lost in the tourism sector.
House Chairperson, the fiscal consolidation and the national exercise of Treasury saw the department in 2020/2021 supplementary budget being reduced by R4,6 billion. Besides the tough economic environment and the reduced revenue, the main driver for this reduction is the inability to utilise funds to improve the transportation experience of both people and goods.
Even with a reduced budget, through to form the Department of Transport still fail to utilise 100% of the allocated budget. The department fails to spend R291,9 million in its reduced revised budget allocation. Obviously this means the future allocation of the department will continue to decline. That is the unfortunate and is the clear demonstration of deficiency of leadership.
House Chairperson, the Covid-19 has wreaked havoc in the domestic economy which has resulted in many households losing their jobs and contributing to the unemployment rate in South Africa which now is at the alarming 36% among adults and 46,3# of young people in South Africa. Yet, this lousy and lazy
department had a R65,3 million in cash and budgeted for the sole purpose of employing South Africans but ...
... and could not fill the 120 available vacancies in the department. What a total failure and shame. Sies, these bunch of losers. The Department of Transport was also becoming the enemy of business and an emerging contributor of bad practice. The guidelines are clear. All invoices need to be paid within
30 days yet the department had untold delays in the finalisation of the payment of the advertising invoice for the 2020 Transport Month project. Over the years a lot has been said about the negative impact on businesses by government for failure to pay invoices on time.
House Chairperson, it is also worth noting that many of the targets of this department have been achieved only on paper and in the reports submitted to the portfolio committee. Yet these targets in general are not consistent with the state of service rendered by government on the ground.
In closing, the Minister of Transport yesterday, in this august House, made a very bizarre and bold statement that by January 2022 his department would have cleared the backlog of Driver’s License card renewals as well as new applications.
Furthermore, that the online booking system would have been optimised efficiently and that the experience of South Africans across the country is not frustrated with this process beyond January 2022. We welcome this. However, can the Minister Fikile Mbalula be bold enough and commit that if these issues persist beyond January 2022 he is prepared to resign as a Minister of Transport. If not, then this is nothing but another political gibberish. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms N J NOLUTSHUNGU: Thank you, House Chair. House Chair, the transport portfolio is crucial for the social and economic life in this country, without it hardly anything would be able to function. It is, therefore, important that we handle this portfolio with the greatest of care. It is impossible to say that this is properly managed portfolio under the leadership of this very noisy Minister. Of the department’s seven programmes, six programmes have a vacancy of over 120 fully funded posts. There is no indication why the department has failed to fill these posts. About 13% of the funds meant for
employee compensation are unspent because of these high vacancy rate at the department.
The rail network ought to be the backbone of the public transport network in the country, but this department has allowed Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, to be run to the ground. Your failure to protect the rail network is tantamount to treason because you have allowed greedy elements from your party who are used to eating funds meant for the rail network to vandalise public property because their greedy hands have been removed from the public funds. This is what happens when you use public resources as a form of dispensing political patronage. People feel entitled to public money and are prepared to do anything to keep eating. Thank you.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Thank you, hon House Chair. This department is central to unlocking the much-needed economic growth that South Africa needs. However, like the majority of government departments, this is failing to adequately spend its budget on program that would bring about reformed, safety infrastructure development, economic growth, and importantly jobs. The effect emanating from the department are being fed the South Africans. As the fuel price rise ... [Inaudible.] ... does this cost of living in already strained economic, the
department has shown its ... [Inaudible.] ... attitude to address the need for our communities. For example, this department could not have staged the opportunity to request a redirection of funds in order to undertake the much-needed maintenance and rail infrastructure during this period of lockdown.
If this department had done so, today all South African would have been receiving their levels of service delivery they deserve. There has been a call for better security for trains users whether it would be on platform or on the trains. The department needs to look at the spending some of unallocated funds on proposed model of how to improve overall passenger safety, not just on the platform. The entity of this department such as the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, RTIA, and the SA Maritime Safety Authority, Samsa, seen to know their management is in a ... [Inaudible.] ... state and have failed to submit their annual report to the committee even after the deadlock was extended. The so-called leaders of the government have been dancing around the issues of concern electronic toll, e-toll, project for years, I quote:
Despite this indication there is a pronouncement on ... [Inaudible.] ... that they will due by that end of October 2019.
As we seem with this Moloto Corridor project, this is just another example of government brutally lying to the people to keep them quiet. The Road Traffic Management Corporation has been plagued by the disease of irregularly expenditure since 2014, which is unacceptable given the continual collective major the committee has provided. This shows us that bluntly disrespect that government entities have been taught to show their people’s Parliament by their leaders. However, hon Minister, do you have believed that unauthorised and irregular expenditure is not prioritised joke. That is wrong and that is the people are ones who suffer. If so, why have not yet been walk to put an end to this ... keep on looting. Thank you very much, House Chair. [Time expired.]
Mr C H M SIBISI: Thank you, hon House Chair. Hon House Chair, we would like to commend the Department of Transport, particularly the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, for his commitment to turning things around for the better and safety on our roads. We acknowledge the fourth quarter expenditure of the department. With that said, the department
said on Friday that policy changes in the road freight industry will be hesitant following widespread protest by truck owners and drivers. However, hon House Chair, two weeks ago the government promised to meet aggrieved truckers and drivers who complain about foreign national taking their work opportunities and lack strict regulation in this industry within the country.
We are seriously concern about the unintended consequences that may be brought by these policy changes and such hope and urge the department to ensure that these new people’s laws and policies would adhere to, particularly by employers. It is one thing to make policy changes and laws, it is another to ensure that they adhere to. Now, though it may not be wise to take money from Peter to pay Paul, we do understand the frustrations that many South Africans truck driver have had to experience in the industry. We believe that the entire government needs to follow suit otherwise or should foresee these unrest and protests happening in other industries as well, especially in the hospitality industry where many South Africans feel that it is dominated by our sisters and brothers from within the continent.
Now, the Minister has said that the online booking system for drivers’ licenses that was initially introduced in Gauteng has provided a basis for it to be rolled out nationally to give with ... [Inaudible.] ... the license renewal backlog. Now, we all know that the term Fourth Industrial Revolution is throwing around a lot by our government, but we are here to see implementation. Though we welcome and commend the department for taking this step but, House Chair, I can tell you how much often nightmare it was accessing the online system and booking renewal for drivers’ licenses. The system in Traffic’s Departments are already bloated, ineffective and inefficient. Was there even a feasibility study conducted by the Department of Transport to ascertain whether these were the right direction. What about the cause implication because of a feasibility study who will give us a clear picture of how much it will cost the taxpayers’ money to roll out this ... [Inaudible.] ... nationally.
How is it going to be managed, it may waste be any days for some our questions to be answered, but we believe that before the department embarks on another initiative that has significance cause implication. How about we start cleaning the house and introducing controls and systems that are reliable in Traffic Department. Lastly, House Chair, we
recently saw reports about five assassinations in the public transport sector in the two month, two bus drivers were shot and killed in Ndwedwe, a month after their boss the owner of Injabulo Bus Services, Kishore Sathanlal, was killed in a drive by shooting near his home at oThongathi. 10 days before that a 43-year-old taxi boss was shot and killed in a hail of bullets from high calibre rifles whilst seated in his car outside oThongathi Taxi Rank.
Ngiyabonga Sihlalo weNdlu.
Muf M M RAMADWA (ANC): Ndi khou livhuwa Mudzulatshidulo wa Nn?u, Tshimebi Tshihulwane Vho Pemmy Majodina, Muthusa Tshimebi Tshihulwane Vho Dorries Dlakude, Mira?o ya Buthano ?a Lushaka na vhadzulapo vha Afrika Tshipembe, ndi a ni lumelisa mathabama a ?uvha ?a ?amusi.
The Department of Transport briefed the portfolio committee on the 2020-21 financial year fourth quarter expenditure report, and this was approved by the portfolio committee on 17 August 2021. In Program 1 which is the administration component, the
department had an available budget of R469,8 million and spent R384,3 million which is an underspending of some 85,5. This was largely due to vacant posts not being filled, outstanding vacancies for advertising the 2020 transport month. The department requires as a matter of urgency to fill vacant posts to increase the capacity of the department. However, the rest of the underspending in this program was due to the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019, Covid-19, pandemic.
In Program 2 which is the integrated transport planning, the allocated budget spent by the department was R57,6 million against an allocated budget of R90,1 million reflecting understanding of R32,5 million which is 36%. This was largely due to the insource of work, vacant posts and delay in executing projects. The delays in the Program 3 on rail transport underspending was marginally as the department spent R9,58 billion which against an available budget of
R9,6 billion reflecting underspending of R15,1 million. This was mainly due to delays in establishing the rail economic regulator as well as developing the White Paper of rail policy.
In Program 4 on road transport underspending was marginally by some R11,1 million as the allocated budget was R31,47 billion
and the department spent R31,46 billion and this underspending was due to vacant post. In Program 5 on civil aviation transport, the department spent R2,6 billion against an available budget of R2,7 billion. The underspending has been attributed to less travel under Covid-19 conditions. Delays in aviation projects related to Airports Company South Africa, Acsa, and Air Traffic and Navigation Services, ATNS, and vacant posts amongst a few others.
In Program 6 on maritime transport, the department spent R135,8 million against an available budget of R141,8 million reflecting underspending of R6 million. This organisation world maritime day parallel event as well as various women and youth empowerment in career awareness initiatives related to its as a results of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. In Program 7 on public transport, the department spent
R12,8 billion against an available budget of R12,9 billion reflecting underspending of R100 million. The underspending was due to vacant positions and delays in implementing programmes. In its observation the committee was concerned about the underspending by the department which was largely due to vacancies in the department and this reflected itself in the underspending across the various programmes.
This report recommends that this issue be addressed as a matter of urgency. The vacancies in the department also impact on the execution of programmes and while the department reports high achievement of its key performance target it is difficult for the committee to conceptualise this given the fact that many projects in all programmes were not executed and the department programmes have not as yet resulted in improvement of the transport system as the key performance areas and programmes are not directly linked to the social delivery. The committee was of the view that the department could not say that it reached 100% target as it did in terms of rail when its expenditure didn’t translate to an improvement in actual service delivery.
Members remarked that even though the department achieve its target for the rail programme, trains were still not moving on main lines. The rollout of new trains sets was very slow with no significant improvement. Its key performance areas are not in line with service delivery, but rather based on its programmes. A more co-ordinated approach needs to be developed between different spheres of government and SA National Roads Agency, Sanral, in relation to road maintenance. While Sanral certainly has robust maintenance plan, this cannot be set for road maintenance throughout the country. The condition of
roads impact the safety of drivers and high usage of roads has the same impact.
The report noted the problem of high-levels of casualties on the Moloto Road and the department will need to attend to the development of that transport corridor and ensure the safety standards of public transport on that corridor. In its recommendation the committee sought that the department report on a quarterly basis on the filling of vacancies, it is imperative that important programmes of the department are executed with the correct skills set and capability. The country needs ... the ANC supports the report. [Time expired.]
Ndo livhuwa. Aa!
Hon Mabhena, Blue Train is under Transnet not under transport.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Thank you, House
Chairperson. I move:
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
The House adjourned at 16:40.