Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 27 Sep 2022
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 27 SEPTEMBER 2022
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:00.
House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
MOTION OF CONDOLENCE
(The late Anastasia Motaung)
Mr B A RADEBE: On behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I move:
That the House–
(1) notes with sadness the passing of the ANC Member of Parliament, Ms Anastasia Motaung on Sunday, 14 August 2022;
(2) acknowledges that Ms Motaung became a Member of Parliament in 2019 and she was serving on the Portfolio Committee on Social Development;
(3) remembers that prior to her deployment as a Member of Parliament, she was a proportional representation, PR, councillor in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Council, and served in the Community Safety Oversight Committee and was later deployed as the chairperson of the Transport Oversight Committee;
(4) further remembers that after the 2016 Local Government Elections, she was re-elected as PR councillor and subsequently deployed as the Chairperson of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities’ portfolio committee;
(5) recalls that she served the ANC as a branch executive committee member in Ward 13 and later a zonal chairperson in Katlehong;
(6) further recalls that she served as the regional executive committee chairperson of the ANC Women’s
League of Ekurhuleni and later Gauteng ANC Women’s League provincial executive council, PEC, member;
(7) believes that Parliament and South Africa as a whole have been truly robbed of a dedicated public representative; and
(8) extends its deepest condolences to the Motaung family and friends.
Motion agreed to, members standing.
Ms G OPPERMAN: On behalf of the DA, especially the colleagues in the Department of Social Development portfolio committee who worked closely with the late hon Anastasia Motaung, we convey our sincere heartfelt and deepest condolences to her children, family and relatives. I met and came to really know the late hon Motaung during the Department of Social Development nationwide public participation engagements on the Children’s Amendment Bill. She was already unwell at that stage, but took her responsibilities as a public representative very serious and flatly refused to miss the opportunity to directly engage with the public, despite her health concerns.
Her love for the people of Gauteng was palpable whenever we discussed issues of gender-based violence and femicide, and how helpless she sometimes felt when women came to her with their heart wrenching stories. This was a subject hon Motaung was uncompromising about. She loudly advocated for women’s emancipation and female representation on every occasion. This was a true activist and volunteer who knew the conditions and the needs of the communities under her custodianship like the back of her hand.
When we held meetings in the Gauteng region, she often said that she knows this area. She said that she had knocked on every door of every dwelling of those neighbourhood and she will further say that those are her people. This was a headstrong yet dedicated woman who loved being on the ground. If you knew this member you would know that she was soft- spoken and kind-hearted, but she didn’t mince words when it came to the issues of gender-based violence, femicide, child neglect and abuse and bad service delivery. She told it like it was no matter the audience. We were labelled the youngsters on our oversight and therefore ... [Inaudible.] ... companions during our oversight had to constantly reprimand the hon member to rest and look after herself.
I remember at one stage this hon member was so concerned about the people that she served. When she became sick on the road, we had to call for an ambulance thinking she will be grateful, yet her only stern response was, “Who dared call the doctor?” She was a consummate ANC member who often sad when some things were done differently to improve the lives of ordinary people. This was a true servant of the people, who had such a determination and tenacity to help those in need, wherever and whenever possible.
Through the late hon Anastasia Motaung, the spirit of Charlotte Maxeke was emulated. It was Mma Charlotte who said, “This work is not for yourselves, kill the spirit of self and do not live above your people but live with them. And if you rise, bring some with you” The hon Anastasia truly lived a selfless life. She lived for others. She was ever the humble servant not living above her people but with her people, ... [Inaudible] ... their woes, carrying their burdens and promoting their plight.
The country lost a devoted servant to the people. The province lost a committed leader whose only concern was the people. The region lost a former ANC Women’s League chairperson, whose energy and drive are yet unrivalled. The family lost a dear daughter and beloved mother and the ANC lost a member who was literally committed to her very last breath. Anastasia Motaung may be called honourable because she acted honourable. She spared herself no rest for the course. May her soul now rest in eternal peace.
Ms L H ARRIES: Thank you very much, House Chair. As the EFF, we want to convey our deepest condolences to the Motaung’s family. I had the privilege to serve with the hon Motaung in the Portfolio Committee on Social Development. Even during this difficult time of COVID-19 period, the portfolio committee was on the public hearings on the Children’s Amendment Bill. She did not shy away from her responsibilities. Well, not being in a good state of health, she attended every public hearing sittings in all provinces. Hon Motaung was always a very humble person, quiet, patient and who only did things on her own, and only spoke when the need arose.
I remember at our public hearings how she sat next to me while we were travelling from Beaufort West to George, and how she was amazed at the natural beauty, especially the Meiringspoort. For a long period of time, she made a video recording and could not get enough spoken of the creative work of God. The fact that she was so inspired by nature was an indication of her relationship with God - the fact that she was so inspired.
I want to ask the family that if they still have her phone, they must look at that video recording because she was saying that she wants to come back to experience this beauty again. She told me that she had never seen such a beautiful work of God’s creation. Although one could see physically that she was not in a good state of health, she never complained about it.
On our trip to the Eastern Cape, the hon Motaung got sick and we had to call the ambulance to take her to the hospital and even then, she didn’t really want to go and she said that she was okay, she just needed her medication. This was a type of commitment she had for her work. Therefore, women in politics should be respected for the selfless role they play and the sacrifices they made. I could tease her a lot and she would always say, “Arries, you are always naughty.” I want to say to the family of the hon Motaung, the name Anastasia means resurrection. As Christians we believe that the resurrection shows that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God. We believe that everything He said and did was true. We also believe that resurrection means that Jesus is still with us and He is guiding us every day. Therefore, the soul of the hon Motaung, a mother, a wife, will remain in the hearts of the family and the colleagues and He will watch and guide you.
Psalm 73 verse 26 “My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Matthew 5 verse 4 said that blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Today I want to say to the family that they shpuld take God on His Word; He is the only comforter in this difficult time in your lives. May the soul of the hon Motaung rest in eternal peace. Thank you.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Thank you very much hon House Chairperson. It is in times of mourning when we Members of Parliament truly become what is expected of us. We become just South Africans, united in our grieve as one in mourning the loss of one of our own. The late hon Anastasia Motaung was indeed one of our own. He joined the portfolio committee in 2019 after the 2019 general elections. Before joining the portfolio committee, she already had a long and distinguished career serving the political party she loved, the ANC, both in Gauteng and in the Women’s League structures. She had already left a legacy in Gauteng, before joining Parliament.
It quickly became apparent to me that even though she had a very quiet demeanour, she was a person of deep integrity, of deep conviction and faith, and that she had a strong resolve to see us building a better South Africa for all. It was during our hearings on the Children’s Amendment Bill that I also began to see the hon Motaung not only as a mother figure but someone that espoused servant leadership. She was already unwell at that stage, but she continued serving.
We will remember her for her commitment in our portfolio committee. We will remember her calm spirit and dedication to her work. We will remember her for her activism, for her love for the most disadvantaged and her love for the people. In the words of the poet, David Hawkins, and I quote:
You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived
You can remember him and only that he is gone Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on
On behalf of the IFP, and on behalf of our President Emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, I wish to convey our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to her family, her friends, and the ANC.
We wish her family strength during this very difficult journey of mourning. The wound of her loss is deep, and we trust that her family and loved ones find peace and comfort during this trying time. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
Ms T BREEDT: Hon House Chairperson, on behalf of the FF Plus, I wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of hon Motaung and to the ANC which lost a dedicated and loyal member. I did not know hon Motaung all that well. We met at the start of the Sixth Parliament and our interactions were mostly in the Portfolio Committee on Social Development. What I could say of her is that she was strongly opinionated. She always gave me a hard time for not attending portfolio committee meetings although I was not a permanent member of the committee.
She was fiery comrade that was extremely loyal to her party. When she got into a debate which she felt passionate about it she would often had a slip of tongue and call us opposition, comrades. Then we knew she meant business. To the family, friends and the ANC family, always remember that goodbyes are not forever and are not the end. It simply means that we will miss you until we meet again.
During difficult times we need to turn to our Lord and shepherd. I wish to read three verses for times of sadness during the passing and I hope they bring you comfort. Psalm 34V18 reads:
The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 37V26 reads:
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Lastly, Mathew 5V4 reads, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
May her soul rest in eternal peace? I thank you Chair.
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon House Chairperson, I rise on behalf of the ACDP to offer our sincere condolences to the family of hon Anastacia Motaung. It is indeed a very sad moment for me, personally because I learnt a few lessons from hon Motaung. My colleague hon Opperman referred to the moments when the ambulance was called in the Eastern Cape. We had a moment of misunderstanding while we were on the oversight duty and it was what the hon was referring to. As time passed I understood better what motivated here and what kept her to keep on keeping on.
Hon Motaung took pride in being a member of this august House and she wanted to remain active. In spite of the challenges that she faces physically, she was determined to remain active as a committee member and by doing so, she displayed formidable strength. The strength of African women. Through this incident I realised how naïve I am to really know what it takes for women to serve in politics and the high price that they pay in this arena. It is mostly unforgiving as an environment that many times we fail to consider the sacrifices, the considerable sacrifices that individuals make to serve and especially women.
I want to say to the family of Mama Motaung, your mother leaves a legacy to you as an African woman, as a leader and as a mother. Never forget her sacrifices. Never forget what it cost her and make her proud. She taught me a valuable lesson even in her anger. I better understand her today her tenacity, her determination to continue and to press on even when she was not feeling well. I know what motivated her, it was a love for her children and to be counted when it matters. God bless you.
Ms T L MARAWU: Hon House Chairperson, the ATM sends heartfelt condolences to the family members and friends. We are saying as the ATM her role to serve the community was a clear indication of servanthood. We are saying to her party ...
... maze bangalahl’ithemba, bayazi ukuba uThixo akathathinto angabeki enye. Umsebenzi awenzileyo kweli lizwe ngongathethekiyo noncomekayo. Masibulele usapho lwakhe ngokusiboleka eli qhajazana, sisithi uThixo akathathinto angabekinto.
On behalf of the ATM, may her soul rest in eternal peace?
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chairperson, on behalf of the NFP allow me to extend the condolences of Anastacia Motaung and also to the ANC. Hon Chairperson, hon Motaung has been a very dedicated and committed member of the ANC having served in various portfolios. Of course, let us not forget the memorable role she played in the fight for better rights for women and
children, particularly as we are aware that she also chaired the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities. She has conducted herself in a very high level with integrity, with commitment, dedication and passion.
She certainly leaves behind a legacy of hard work, commitment and dedication. To her family, you have lost a mother. A nation has lost a dedicated servant. When she served the people of this country she put aside even her family. She had to sacrifice the time she spends with them just to serve the people of this country. So, we extend our deepest condolences to all of you. May her soul rest in peace? I thank you.
Mr S M JAFTA: Hon House Chairperson, on behalf of the AIC we wish to convey our condolences to the family of our cadre, Mme Motaung. Cadre Motaung served on the Portfolio Committee on Social Development after joining Parliament in 2019. This portfolio resonated with her passion for social development and advancing the rights of the poor including persons living with disabilities.
Mme Motaung ensured that the poor duly received their grants including government’s Social Relief of Distress. [Connection problems.] 07:47 15:00 ... in the SA Social Security Agency,
Sassa and the Minister of Social Development to see to it that
... [Connection problems.] Her work in the ANC saw her leading in a number of portfolios including the ANC Woman’s League where she was a provincial executive member. She was also the zonal chairperson of the Paul Sethloho Branch in Katlehong including being the political school facilitator at Masupatsela. May her soul rest in peace? I thank you.
Mr M NYHONTSO: Hon House Chairperson, on behalf of the PAC of Azania, I convey our heartfelt condolences to her organisation, the ANC and to her family. May her revolutionary soul rest in perfect peace and rise in glory? Thank you, hon Chair.
Ms N Q MVANA: Chair of Chairs, it is with honour to speak today about Comrade Anastasia Motaung. As we take a moment to remember her and all her contributions to the ANC in Parliament. As the ANC, we have lost a dedicated member of our organisation who has contributed and shaped the ANC whilst she was young, and more so, in the years she has spent in the ANC Women’s League as the chairperson.
It was indeed an honour to work with Cde Anastasia at the Portfolio Committee on Social Development. Her contribution to
the work we did was always refreshing and reflecting her commitment to serving the lives of South Africans, especially young girls and women.
Although, we wish we were talking at her at her retirement party instead of this occasion. It is unfortunate that life and death happen to us all and we do not have no control over some events, such as the loss of a loved one. As the portfolio committee and Members of Parliament in the ANC Caucus we were aware of Cde Motaung’s ill health.
The hon members that have already spoken reminded me of the ill health of hon Motaung whilst we were busy with public hearings in terms of the Children's Amendment Act because it was tough. Whilst we were addressing the amending Bill, people were requesting and asking for R350 from us. While the work of government has had to continue ever since, we are very aware that this has been done with great hardship, as we realised that one of our own is no longer with us.
Things have not been and will never be the same without hon Motaung. She... In fact, let me say: As a study group, we felt the pain during her period of sickness. The hon member has even shared with you, hon members, that they had some quarrels
because she didn’t even want us to call that ambulance that was going to take her to hospital. We required the full complement of the static group. So, by the time she was supposed to go to hospital, she denied because she wanted to continue with her work, and continue with the public hearings.
In her honour, we shall continue to advocate for social transformation. Through Social Development, we shall contribute to the wellbeing of all South Africans, particularly the vulnerable and marginalised.
Comrade Anastasia Motaung's history of political activism that is selfless and always putting the people of a community and her country first is a legacy that we will always cherish as an organisation. The ANC has surely lost a good comrade - a leader!
As we pay our official respect, we wish to thank her for walking the journey to advocate the struggle for nonracialism and nonsexism with us. As a member of the ANC and a member of the ANC Women’s League and its leader, in fact, we will continue to advocate for the ideals that Cde Anastasia stood by. We will also continue to forge ahead on the fight against
gender-based violence and we will not rest until our country is safe for every woman.
Let us take the spear from hon Motaung, as hon members, especially ANC comrades.
... and go forward! She left us whilst we are few months away from the ANC National Conference. To the family of Cde and hon Motaung, we want to say: Don't curse God, but you must be thankful, because your mother was a very old and gallant fighter.
Robala ka kgotso leloko le hlomphehileng, Anastasia Motaung!
Lala ngoxolo. Thina kule Ndlu yePalamente sikukhapha ngeNdumiso 23, “uYehova ngumalusi wam.”
Thank you very much, Chair.
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, that concludes the Speaker’s List of members on this matter. I take it that there are no objections to the motion being adopted.
Will all members please rise to observe a moment of silence in memory of the hon Motaung? [Silence.]
Please be seated. The Presiding Officers associate themselves with emotion and the condolences of the House will be conveyed to the mutual family. The Second Motion on the Order Paper is also in the name of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party. I now recognise the hon Chief Whip of the Majority Party.
SECOND MOTION ON THE ORDER PAPER IN THE NAME OF THE CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
Mr B A RADEBE (On behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party): Moved:
That the House, notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 140, schedules supplementary questions on 29 September
2022, in respect of Question 11 of 30 August 2022, after the questions to the President scheduled for that day, in the following order: Mr V Zungula, Ms T M Joemat- Pettersson, Leader of the Opposition, and Mr J S Malema.
Question put on the Motion.
Ms T L MARAWU: Objection, Chairperson. This is hon Marawu.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Are you objecting?
Ms T L MARAWU: Hon Marawu, on the platform, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, I recognise you, hon member and that you are objecting to the Motion.
Ms T L MARAWU: We are saying, as ATM, that the Programming Committee did... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, let me just inform the House what will happen now. There is an objection and we have been informed in writing by the ATM of the intention to move an amendment to the Motion that was read now by the whip of the ANC. I am, thus, allowing now the hon
Marawu to put the amendment to that Motion first; then, we will take a decision on that; and, eventually, we will revert to the original Motion. Please continue hon member.
Ms T L MARAWU: Thank you very much, Chairperson. We are saying that the Programming Committee agreed that the President appears before the Parliament before the 29 September 2022, to answer unanswered questions. That, should then be the first priority. The resolution by hon Majodina undermines the agreement that the President must appear before the 29 September 2022, to account and respond to the questions that were pending. Procedurally, it is foreign that we start with new supplementary questions when there are questions that were unanswered.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Marawu! Hon Marawu! [Interjections.] In terms of the rules you must first move the amendment... [Interjections.] Then, thereafter, I will put a question to your amendment. Then, ultimately, parties can raise their objections or support. So, please put the amendment first.
Ms T L MARAWU: Okay! Chairperson, the ATM is proposing an amendment to Resolution 2 of 30 August 2022, during a meeting of the House, to say:
That the House, notwithstanding the provision of Rule 140, scheduled Question 11 of 30 August 22, and related supplementary questions, on 29 September 2022, in the following order: Mr V Zungula; Ms T M Joemat-Pettersson; Leader of the Opposition; and Mr J S Malema, before the questions to the President scheduled for that day.
We are saying in terms of Schedule 121, we are proposing an amendment to Resolution 2 of 30 August 2022, of the House. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, I will now put the amendment, as put by the hon Marawu, on behalf of the ATM
Mr B A RADEBE (On Behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party): Yes, the ANC objects the amendment!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, do you have a question?
THE CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSSITION: Chair, it was not clear from member Marawu. However, does the Table have a copy of the amendment so that we can hear exactly what the key difference is?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): What should happen is that when a party moves an amendment or intend moving an amendment, it is important that it is circulated to all the different political parties. I gave the hon member a chance to read the amendment, but there was a deviation from what was presented to the Table as compared to the one that the hon member is reading. Thus, I am going to ask the secretary, for the sake of clarity, just to read the amendment as proposed by the ATM.
The SECRETARY OF THE TABLE STAFF: Based on Rule 111, the ATM
is also proposing an amendment to Resolution 2 of 30 August 2022, on meeting of the House, to say:
That the House, notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 140, schedules Question 11 of 30th August 2022 and related supplementary questions on 29 September 2022 in the following order, Mr V Zungula, Ms T M Joemat-Pettersson, Leader of the
Opposition, and Mr J S Malema before the questions to the President scheduled for that day.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Okay! That is the amendment that we have received in writing and it complies with the Rules.
Question put: That the amendment as moved by Ms T Marawu be agreed to.
Are there any objections? Will those parties who are objecting please indicate so for record purposes?
Ms R M M LESOMA: Hon Chair, the ANC objects to the amended Motion. Thank you so much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Can we just concentrate, please? We are dealing with a very technical matter. So, please concentrate. There is an objection. Is it only an objection or is there a request for a division as well?
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson, may I just get clarity: Are you now putting the amended Motion to the House?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes! In terms of the Rules, hon Singh, we are putting the amendment first to question.
Mr N SINGH: Thank you!
[BELLS RUNG FOR 5 MINUTES]
The House divided.
The House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick announced that the Speaker had determined that, in accordance with the Rules, a manual voting procedure would be used and that the Whips would conduct a headcount of members in the Chamber and on the virtual platform for the purpose of ascertaining quorum and voting.
A quorum being present in terms of Rule 98(1), voting commenced.
AYES – 111: (DA – 67; EFF – 32; FF Plus – 6; ACDP – 4; ATM –2;
AIC -1; PAC – 1).
NOES – 170: (ANC –170).
ABSTAIN -10: (IFP - 8; Good –1; NFP - 1).
Question not agreed to.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT ON ECONOMIC REGULATION OF TRANSPORT BILL
There was no debate.
Mr B A RADEBE moved: That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
ECONOMIC REGULATION OF TRANSPORT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, chairperson of the portfolio committee, hon Chairperson and hon members, ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! I know you are excited to see the hon Minister but keep your excitement to yourselves. Please keep your excitement to yourselves. Thank you. The hon Minister, you may continue.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: ... international benchmarking indicates that transport has an unacceptably high proportion of logistic costs and that the precondition for efficiency and cost-effectiveness do not exist in the sector. In his state of the nation address in June 2019, President Ramaphosa said, if we are to be internationally competitive:
If we are to attract investment, we must address the high cost of doing business in South Africa, and complicated and lengthy regulatory processes. ... We will continue to reduce the cost of doing business by reducing port export tariffs, pursuing lowest cost electricity generation options, and making rail transport more competitive and efficient.
This is the premise on which we have grounded our approach to the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill. This Bill lays the foundation for a competitive and economically viable sector that contributes immensely to our economic development objectives. We intend to achieve this through the consolidation of economic regulation of transport within a single framework.
Indeed, effective economic regulation is needed to ensure technical, operational and pricing efficiency in the transport sector and to reduce the cost of doing business while improving the overall competitiveness of the economy. The Bill, therefore, addresses the regulatory and capacity gaps that relate to South Africa's need for an efficient and cost- effective transport system in order to advance economic growth and meet its social goals.
The critical role transport plays in tackling our top three challenges of poverty eradication, unemployment and inequality cannot be overemphasised. Through this Bill, we intend to consolidate, rationalise, and where necessary redesign economic regulation in the transport sector into a single multimodal regulator. Until now we have had pockets of economic regulation fragmented along modal lines. It is for
this reason that the economic functions of some of our entities will be transferred to the new regulator. We are mindful that this Bill traverses previously untouched ground, an indication of the evolution of our economy and a need to find new and innovative ways to stimulate our economy.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown us into the deep end and has forced us to confront the reality of a new economy which must emerge out of the economic devastation it unleashed on us. We see the economic regulation of the transport sector as a strategic opportunity to shape a transport sector of the future adequately positioned as a catalyst for the new economy. Economic regulation by its very nature is about the efficacy of regulating barriers to entry and controlling pricing in a manner that creates positive spinoffs to the economy. The model of economic regulation for the transport sector will determine the pace with which we are able to effectively regulate barriers to entry and pricing such that the playing field is truly level.
The stakeholder engagement process that has informed the Bill before us has been truly enlightening. We have paid serious attention to a number of constructive recommendations emerging from this process, ensuring that economic regulation is not
only applicable to the public sector. It is our intent that the rules of the game should be equally applicable to both the public and private sectors in order to create policy certainty.
In conclusion, the economic regulation model envisaged in this Bill will go a long way in ensuring that public transport users across all modes have recourse both in terms of the fares they pay and in ensuring that the quality of the service meets their expectations. For too long our people have been getting a raw deal from operators who abuse their market power at the expense of ordinary people. I thank you.
Mufumakadzi Vho M M RAMADWA: Muhulisei Mulangadzulo, Tshimebi Tshihulwane naho vha siho masiari a ?uvha la ?amusi, Muthusa Tshimebi Tshihulwane, Vho Doris Dlakude, Mira?o ya Buthano la Lushaka, ndi masiari. Muhulisei Mulangadzulo ...
... the Portfolio Committee on Transport has submitted to the National Assembly for Second Reading debate of the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill its report. The Bill has been tucked as a section 76B and the portfolio committee has
approved the Bill submitted the report of approval of the Bill to the House for debate, consideration and approval. The Bill was published for comment in June 2020.
The public hearing on the Bill were conducted over a number of days in October 2020. Oral submission was heard from Uber Bolt, City of Cape Town, MMC for Transport, Transnet, the Regulation Committee of Acsa and ATNS, SAASOA, Sakeliga, the Mineral Council of South Africa, Traxion Sheltam, the Gautrain Management Agency, the Rule of Law project of the Free Market Foundation, the RailRoad Association of South Africa, OUTA, Dr Douglas Blackmur, Dr Sean Muller and Mr Ofentse Mokwena.
During the deliberation the committee raised concern on the Bill not specifically incorporating the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency. Moreover, the committee felt that the critical need to be incorporated into the Bill on the functioning of the economic regulator in order to incorporate the proposed substantive commence. The committee was advised that it would have to further public participation for this proposed amendment.
The committee advertised in December 2021 for deliberations on the proposed amendment to the Bill. The 2022, more than 21
stakeholders involved in different transport modes contributed and participated in the hearings. This indicates the thoroughness of the work embarked upon by the Portfolio Committee on Transport in relation to the Bill given its importance for the future functioning of the transport sector. The proposed substantive amendment was in relation to provide provision for the protection of personal information and the promotion of access to information phased in approach for other regulating entities to be incorporated into the Economic Regulatory Authority to eventually have a single Economic Regulatory Authority for the country. Moreover, amendment that have allowed the parliamentary committee responsible for transport to participate in the appointment of members of the council and amendment that is consequential in schedule 1 of the Bill amending the National Court Act.
The committee notes in its report that notable amendment to the Bill are that the Bill amends to consolidate various current transport regulators into the transport economic regulator in a phased approach. Through the approach amendment the Bill start this consolidation with the Ports Regulator of South Africa and further allows for the Minister to add other regulators by notice of gazette from time to time. The Bill also seeks to establish the transport economic council.
Through the proposed amendment the process outlined in the Bill to appoint members to the council now allows for the statutory participation in the short listing process by the relevant portfolio committee in the National Assembly with the consultation of the relevant select committee in the National Council of Provinces.
The importance of the legislation lies in multiple areas which must be highlighted. The aim and purpose of the legislation is to consolidate the economic regulation of transport within a single framework and policy. This is to ensure the development of efficient, cost-effective and integrated transport sector even between different modes of transport. The implementation of the economic regulation will occur through the establishment of transport economic regulation and the transport economic council as the department requires an entity to effect the policy and the regulation with regard to the economic regulation.
The economic regulation of transport Bill is critical legislation for the regulation and efficiency of the transport sector. It seeks to consolidate the economic regulation of the transport industry for the first time in the history of the country will have an economic regulator which encompasses
regulation of different modes of transport and the sector as a whole. The country requires such an entity to ensure that the transport sector is cost-effective in the different modes and does not contribute to creating structural inflation through high cost for usage of single mode of multiple modes of transport.
Moreover, the country has vast geography for the movement of people, goods and freight. Therefore, the integration of transport to link economic centres which are locally developed must be integrated into different modes of transport. The Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan requires both development and economic efficiency in the transport sector.
Economic regulation transport directly impact on the movement of goods and freight from road to rail. The economics of rail transport needs to be improved for this to effectively occur.
The current economic regulator system encourages the usage of heavy duty transport as the major mode of transport for the movement of goods and freight as it is more profitable with its concomitant problems in terms of road accident and the negative impact on the roads.
The cost of public transport is certainly a matter of concern for the people of the country as it directly impacts on the cost of living and ensuring access into transport. The cost of public transport is part of the Bill and the economic regulator enquires ensuring that the cost of public transport occurs at a cheapest possible cost.
In transport such as aviation, rail and ports as the cost need to be such that it lowers the cost of doing business rather than increasing the cost of doing business to encourage investment in the economic recovery of the country government subsidies for public transport must be utilised to mitigate undue increases in frames of public transport rather than merely going to increase the bottom line of the transport companies.
Transport infrastructure project must occur on a cost efficiency basis and come in on budget as this also impact on first as a cost recovery mechanism amongst others.
Integration between efficient mode of commuter transport such as rail and road is important as workers and the poor spend far too much of their income on public transport. This is coupled with increasing roads of living which reduces
disposable income for this households. This trend needs to be reversed. Therefore, the economic model chosen of prising differently modes of transport must be cost-effective and not enable the sector to seek any loss imagine through regulated tariffs structure but rather to seek and increase in revenue in the market through service delivery.
There are a number of structures representing different modes of transport which form part of economic regulator commencing with the port regulator and it is important all designated economic regulator structures are integrated into the structure as soon as possible so that the economic regulator can hit the ground running.
The Bill in this implementation must seek to promote SMMEs at transport nodal points of train stations and bus stations or taxi ranks. This must also address historically disadvantaged in the transport sector. It must also enable to increase in revenue to act as a buffer against undue increases in transport cost. Economic regulation also requires this application of international standard to the functioning of the different modes of domestic and international transport and it is crucial that this form part of the conceptualisation of the economic regulator.
House Chair, what has been highlighted clearly indicates that the economic regulator and transport economic council upon approval of the legislation has their work cut out of them. In this regard, it is imperative that as part of the enhance oversight that the department put in place mechanism for accountability and performance for the transport economic ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, your time has now expired. Thank you.
Ms M M RAMADWA: I submit this report to the House to be adopted. Thank you.
Mr C H H HUNSINGER: House Chair, tabled before Parliament here today is a half-cooked dish in the form of this Economic Regulation of Transport, ERT, Bill. Half-cooked because it lacks three core ingredients; it lacks detail, purpose and benefits. Similar to previous experiences with the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences, AARTO, Bill, the National Land Transport Amendment Act, NLTA, and this ERT Bill was similarly rushed instead of being a useful piece of legislation. It fundamentally lacks a level of completion in the sense of content and contribution. It is not
thought through and not aligned to any particular need or end user benefit.
Arguably the most incomplete and underdeveloped Bill ever to be submitted for consideration by this House. To a large extent, this House is asked to sign a blank cheque. A blank cheque which the ANC will fill in the amounts. The idea behind this Bill is to pluck out all the tariff fee permit charge fare levy licensing and toll charge functions from amongst nearly all of the 12 entities in transport and to plunk them together in the entity. Something which immediately triggers the question, do we need another entity? An idea which assumedly was drafted during loadshedding and most certainly not when the lights were on.
On some occasions the committee was, as a whole, and members individually found themselves baffled during PowerPoint presentations with anything but a powerful point. No clear answers, no direction and no purpose. During the public participation process numerous submissions queried the reason for this Bill, not a single submission regarded this Bill as filling a gap or bridging a current problem. Naturally, most entities followed suit and rubber stamped idea with the least
input from them I have ever seen in my eight years on transport.
The third dimension of weakness was shown by submissions from the department in which flip flopping could be regarded as understatement. It took three full committee sessions to re- establish confidence after this Bill was introduced to the committee initially. From the motion of desirability to its sales speech much changed. First we were told this is the Single Transport Economic Regulator idea or STER Bill mentioned in chapter 7 of the 2005 commission and 2010 completed National Transport Master Plan or NETMAP document.
Not surprisingly you will find ERT Bill being mentioned in each of the progress reports of Operation Vulindlela. The suspicion is that when each department had to come up with an idea about come up with an idea about content for the President’s desperate Operation Vulindlela reform agenda, the ERT idea was offered as the perfect fix nothing original but the copy and paste off the old outdated STER idea.
On page four of the quarter Vulindlela report the Department of Transport promise to get this Bill approved now since it is on track. As such and with our role here today it is all about
a tick box. A tick box to help this no fix idea Bill turn from yellow to green, or to refuse such work and see this Bill for what it is. A rushed document with unclear language, cluttered with ambiguous clauses.
What we would have liked to read in this Bill is legislation producing the development of a competitive effective and efficient viable transport industry that will contribute to economic growth. I am afraid this version will remain religion because the necessary enablers are not included in this Bill. What is clear in this Bill id that this new entity will see yet another board, another CEO, more technical and administrator staff, a new regulator and a new seven member transport economic council. This while all of the envisaged functions are already done within each of the entities.
This proposed transport economic council and planned to act as an overlapping tribunal of some sort thereby duplicating the already well established competition commission. Furthermore, it would clash with the consumer commission whose legislative framework is linked directly with the consumer protection Act
68 of 2008. Do we really need another new entity? The idea of bridging these conflicts with an MIU just adds to the uncertainty and confusion of this ...
... potjiekos ...
... brew. A 2017 market inquiry by the Competition Commission is a most relevant example of why separation of power with check and balances are important. This investigation was prompted after receiving several complaints of public transport industry features that were distorting or inhibiting competition. You simply need this distance to create the needed confidence and trust with independence for credible and reliable outcomes. But these aren’t the only missing ingredients. Imagine the complexity associated with major HR issues. When you signal to withdraw staff and officials from current entities, positions, buildings, salary, pension and benefit structures and then want to group them from maritime, aviation, rail, road together in a new office with new reporting lines somehow somewhere under these conditions with no detail which is written anywhere but everything will somehow workout.
Parliament will be this decision. The pressure to complete today’s tick box should not determine the fate of employees in this manner. If this Bill is intended to be instrumental for
structural reform towards improving fairness, sustainability and progress why should staff and employees not receive the same assurances? Our transport sector requires change due to the sizeable involvement of the already large and monopolistic state owned enterprises. We are unconvinced that economic regulation as put forward in this Bill will solve the core problematic issues in the sector. Least of all by adding an additional new entity. The DA does not support this Bill. I thank you.
Ms N J NOLUTSHUNGU: House Chair, we want to make it clear as the Economic Freedom Fighters that we reject the economic regulation of transport. We reject the IMF and World Bank sponsored privatisation Bill of South Africa transport system
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Continue, hon member. No, no, no, ... some of your members ... [Interjections.]
Ms N J NOLUTSHUNGU: We are not sure as to why there is this aggressive move towards privatisation of strategic sectors of the economy, in particular transport, energy and essential services. Many did not believe us when we warned them that the National Treasury paper that was drafted in America by
consultants will champion neoliberal policies everywhere they go was intended to deepen privatisation in South Africa.
When the paper was publicised in 2019 the section that deals with transport clearly called for privatisation and unashamedly called for granting of third party access to the core rail network. This is the source of collapse of Prasa. The Bill is the source of retrenchments that we have witnessed at Prasa that has left many train drivers unemployed. They allowed destruction of rail infrastructure and stealing of cables because they wanted to come and claim that private sector will do better.
The National Treasury paper is the source of the collapse of Transnet. They said Transnet is failing. They removed competent black mangers with experience so that they can claim that private sector will do better. They do not want to introduce competition between port terminal operators. They do not want co-ordination with government, private sector and state owned companies. All they want is to handover strategic transport assets that belong to the people of South Africa and was built over years by tax payers’ money.
We are not going to solve challenges of inefficient transport system between road, rail, air and water by privatisation.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, my apologies. There is a member on the platform that is interrupting the sitting. May I ask the IT serjeant-at-arms to remove that member or to mute the microphone, please? Please continue.
Ms N J NOLUTSHUNGU: We are where we are today because of incompetent leadership that lacks vision and political will to build and to have too much faith in white Americans and Europeans as if they have ever done anything especial for Africa besides colonisation and stealing of our mineral resources.
We must fight against privatisation of Transnet and all its infrastructure. We must fight against the deliberate destruction of state property, including rail networks. We must fight against wholesale privatisation that is being rushed before the ANC December conference because Mr Cyril Ramaphosa knows very well that he is not coming back.
The solution to South African inefficiencies when it comes to transport management is clear political will. The solution is to move away from export raw material to beneficiation locally. The solution is to build sustainable economies outside Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Gqeberha to establish new cities that will create new industries in agro- processing, mineral beneficiation, new service industries and expansion of human settlements. The solution is to build efficient state owned transport companies that will ensure efficient movement of goods and our people, a reliable, dependable and affordable transport system that supports industrialisation and not profit and greed.
House Chair, the solution is to build capacity to maintain infrastructure in a far much consistent manner. The solution is not misguided faith in private sector as claimed by the economic regulation transport Bill. We cannot rebuild, expropriate land, nationalise strategic sectors of the economy and build state capacity without control of transport.
To see that this whole economic regulation transport Bill is misguided, you just have to look at the idea that the ANC-led corrupt government can set up a self-funded regulatory body when they cannot leave SGBs in schools to do their work in
peace. The Economic Freedom Fighters reject the privatisation and regulation transport Bill of Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and the National Treasury. Thank you.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Honourable Chairperson, it is quite concerning that the current administration is looking to centralise the regulation of transportation to the Office of the Minister, and his Department. This Bill in its current state seems to be yet another poor piece of legislation, intended to be slipped under the noses of South Africans, despite having major consequences for their daily lives and the economy.
The intent of this Bill is to centralise the regulation of transport policy and its framework, which strips the powers from local government, which is better able to regulate economic norms and standards, as they are situated closer to the individual needs of our communities. The current proposed Bill removes powers from the local sphere of government and places them under the custodianship of the Minister, who will then assume complete control of the economic transportation sector.
The attempt to give the Minister such sweeping powers will have dire effects on our economy. It will prevent the
development of best practice and fit-for-purpose transportation policies at local level. Such overreaching powers given to the Minister should surely also raise questions of constitutionality, as similar attempts to consolidate such power have been before the highest court.
It is concerning that the Minister will in phases impose transportation regulations on any other regulator in the transportation industry in South Africa. We should exercise caution against giving such unchecked levels of power to one centralised level of government. This creates vulnerability within a large sector of our economic development as a country.
In fact, the President of the country agreed in his reply to the State of the Nation Address that it is important for us to remember that all development is local and that municipalities should be empowered. With this in mind, the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill acts in direct contradiction to the firm belief that the power to govern is driven by the people. This means that all levels of government have an important role to play, unique in their representation of community through local development at the municipal level.
Honourable Chairperson, this Bill, through its public participation process, only consulted 25 stakeholders. It is unacceptable that the consultation process did not include one of the most prominent players in our national transportation system, the minibus taxi industry. This Bill must be sent back to accommodate a less centralised approach by the government to include the collaboration of all major stakeholders, as well as local government. THE IFP therefore rejects this Bill.
Mr P MEY: Chairperson, ...
Die hoofdoel van die Wet is om een nasionale vervoerreguleerder daar te stel, wat oor alle magte beskik en sosialisme versterk. Op die stadium is daar veskeie reguleerders by verskillende entiteite. Deur slegs een nasionale vervoerreguleerder daar te stel, word daar gepoog om geld te spaar en die funksies van die Departement van Vervoer te verbeter.
Insetting is ook verkry van die publiek, sowel as verskeie organisasies en departemente. In die Portefeuljekomitee oor Vervoer was daar ’n verskil van mening oor die woord “amalgameer” of “inkorporeer”. Die regsadviseers het
voorgestel dat “amalgameer” die korrekte woord is, omrede daar ’n samevoeging van verskillende reguleerders sal wees, wat van hul magte gestroop sal wees, om die nasionale vervoerreguleerder te vorm.
’n Raad sal ook aangewys word. Die Minister moet die nominasies wat ontvang is voorsien aan die Portefeuljekomitee oor Vervoer, wat dan ...
... compile a shortlist of candidates and interview in a public and transparent manner
... asook ...
... of each candidate whose names appear on the shortlist to consult the relevant select committee in the National Council of Provinces and compile and forward to the Minister for final shortlist. The Minister after consultation with the relevant portfolio committee must appoint the seven members of the Council from a person whose name appears on the final shortlist.
The aim is also to make consequential amendments to other Acts and to provide for related incidental matters. Clause 4 establishes framework for economic regulation of transport and defines the scope of a Bill. This allows for the scope of the regulation to be tailored to address economic problems that the transport market experience and changes over time as market realities do.
The purpose of this Act is to be persuading in a manner that promotes the development of small and medium enterprises and the achievement of equality through measures designed to advance persons of capillaries and persons historically disadvantaged by unfair discrimination in the operation of access to transport facilities and services.
Die reguleerder het ook die magte om pryse in die vervoersektor te reguleer, en as daar alreeds ’n prys vasgestel is, sal so ’n prys in werking wees, totdat die reguleerder ’n nuwe prys vasstel.
’n Belngrike aspek vna die reguleerder is dat hy of sy by magte is om klagtes te ondersoek en opdragte te gee om te visenteer en beslagleggings uit te voer. Dit moet egter deur
middel van ’n lasbrief geskied. Die Minister mag, in konsultasie met die reguleerder, van tyd tot tyd, deur kennisgewing in die Gazette, veklaar dat enige ander reguleerder geamalgameer word in die reguleerder.
Die tyd om die proses af te handel kan jare duur, daarom is dit belangrik om na die toekoms van die werkers te kyk, en ook wat die finansiële komplikasies daarvan is.
Die VF Plus kan nie voorsien dat die nasionale vervoerreguleerder enige bydrae kan lewer, om die funksies van entiteite en departemente van die Departement van Vervoer te verbeter nie, of daardeur geld te spaar nie. Soos ek al vroeër gesê het is dit maar weer net ’n geval van die bevordering van swart ekonomiese bemagtigting. Dit is altyd ’n geval van histories-agtergeblewenis.
Ons is al 27 jaar in die nuwe Suid-Afrika en ons hou nogsteeds daarmee aan. Ons weet presies dat BEE niks ander is as ’n fishing dam [geleentheid] vir korrupsie nie.
Daar moet weggedoen word met BEE en regstellende aksie, dan sal die Departement van Vervoer regkom. As ek sien hoe die
werkers in .... [Tyd verstreke.] Daar is geen trosts nie. Dankie.
The FF Plus does not support the Bill.
Mr W M THRING: The ACDP notes that this Economic Regulation of Transport Bill has the noble aims of consolidating the economic regulation of transport within a single framework and policy, esstablishing the Transport Economic Council, which would allow for the statutory participation in the short- listing process by the relevant portfolio committee in the National Assembly with the consultation of the relevant Select Committee in the National Council of Provinces, making consequential amendments to various other Acts and provide for related incidental matters.
The ACDP also notes the consultation process engaged with the various stakeholders from Departments of Transport, road, rail, air, and port authorities, OUTA, the Mineral Council South Africa and significant others. Missing from this pool is the all-important mini-bus taxi industry.
This Economic Regulation of Transport Bill, together with the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill and the National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency Bill, has been viewed as key to the success and implementation of the President’s Operation Vulindlela, which seeks to implement the necessary structural reforms for economic reconstruction and growth.
What is key to the Bill is the establishment of the transport economy regulator, with the view to consolidating the economic regulation of transport, including third-party access to rail and other infrastructure into a single policy framework. It is argued that this would make it possible for broader private sector participation and would enable transparent and non- discriminatory access to the freight rail networks.
According to a recent World Bank Container Port Performance Index, Durban, Cape Town and Ngqura, were the bottom ten port out of 370 worldwide. The report said:
“South African ports are beset with operational inefficiencies.”
The ACDP positions that the same can be said of our road, rail and other key transport sectors and entities. Inefficiencies
hamper structural reform, and the ACDP is not convinced that this Bill will improve performance to the benefit of South African companies and their export business and believes that this is another move to centralize power in the office of the President.
South Africa is facing a crisis, one which is man- made and self-inflicting. This crisis is called Eskom, and if the inefficiencies at Eskom are not resolved, the Presidential structural reform initiatives will be dead in the water. The ACDP does not support this Bill. Thank you.
Mr B N HERRON: House Chair, there can be no meaningful economic growth without a functional and competitive multimodal transport network.
The current state of our transportation networks dominated by state-owned operators with little competition and severe capacity constraints is holding our inclusive economic growth back.
Our ports tariffs are too high and serve to undermine our geographical advantages to the shipping sector. Our freight is increasingly transported by road instead of rail due to
infrastructure and capacity failures. Our commuter public transport is collapsing rapidly with commuters being forced to travel on heavily congested roadways with minibus taxis the mode of choice because it is now the most reliable mode. All of these needs to be fixed.
Where the state-owned entities and current operators are unable to serve the demand, then it is time to give other operators access to the networks to increase capacity, efficiency and reduce costs. To the extent that this Bill promotes the more efficient, competitive and user-centric transport system, it is a well-conferred step.
Movement of goods and people are at the core what the transport sector is about and the core without transport sector is an urgent need of improvement.
South Africa used to be one of the most geographically important global shipping lanes in the world. With proper infrastructure, reinvestment and safekeeping, this sector could flourish and boost the nation that is in need of more foreign investment.
We also had an extensive freight rail network capable of moving goods and produce efficiently but logistics operators have lost confidence in our freight rail services and are moving their transportation needs to road and air. Our commuter rail networks are virtually non-functional.
We support this Bill as an important first step for fixing our dysfunctional but critical transport sector. This will only succeed however if we embrace the urgent need to ensure that there is a well-priced capacity. Thank you.
Mr L N MANGCU: House Chair, hon members of this august House both in the House and on virtual platform, members of the executive present here and also on virtual platform, and fellow South Africans, good afternoon. Thank you for the compliment of the tie, hon Hunsinger, appreciated.
At the start of the 6th Parliament, this is one of the pieces of legislation that could not be completed in the 5th Parliament, and had to be resuscitated.
Amongst the proponents of this legislation were members of the DA who were pushing very hard that this legislation should be passed. It is not surprising that today they are not
supporting it. However, it is also very disappointing that during the deliberations in the portfolio committee there was an agreement that despite whatever the shortcomings might be, the legislation was ready to come here. The committee has never brought any half-baked legislation to this House. One understands that people having ambitions for 2024, these things will happen and this is the right place for them to happen. We need to make sure that South Africans are not fooled. Have your eyes wide open because most of what was said here doesn’t talk about what is in the legislation. It’s very important. It is very good English and very good ... [Inaudible.] ... because all of us can stand here because the oxygen is free. The sooner we pay for the oxygen we breath, the better we will calculate what we say when we stand here.
The legislation before us has been well articulated. Amongst others, we must thank hon Mey, who attends the committee as she seems to be the one who understands what the legislation in front of us seeks to achieve. I think that is very important.
The Minister, in his introduction did mention in particular what these legislation seeks to achieve. As the ANC, we do support this legislation before us.
It is in the main about effective government oversight and economic regulation. While infrastructure is a concern to all of us, and have spoken about it, but the legislation before us is about economic regulation. Let’s just educate a few in a simplified way about the concerns raised, even those who have found it very much in their energy just to come and howl without reading the Bill itself.
The objects of the Bill – let’s get to the actual issue now – firstly, it is to consolidate the economic regulation of the transport within a single framework and policy. Whilst you do create another entity, you rationalise what others are there. There is no addition that is going to be there, in fact, there will be a reduction because that’s what we are talking about; secondly, to establish the Transport Economic Regulator; thirdly, to establish a Transport Economic Council; fourthly, to make consequential amendments to various other Acts that could be affected by this legislation; and lastly, to provide for related incidental matters. These are the issues at the core of this legislation, not everything else that has been spoken about.
There are key tenants to the Bill that maybe some people need to go back and read. Some of them have been articulated, like
the Transport Economic Regulator and establishing the Transport Economic Council.
Fellow South Africans, what is most important to note is that the cost of transportation especially amongst the vulnerable and the poor is very high. This legislation, amongst other things, once fully implemented, will be able to address that. People who are opposed to black economic empowerment cannot favour improving the transport cost of a black person who must commute from many areas at four in the morning to seek employment because they were chased away from the cities by their forefathers.
One element that is critical in this legislation that might have not been touched on is the element of enforcement. I think one colleague did mention it. It was hon Thring if I am correct and I think it is a very important aspect of this piece of legislation that is in front of us.
The Bill gives the Regulator some of the following powers: to investigate complaints and monitor regulated sectors, services and facilities for compliance; to issue compliance notice to a person’s association from whom the Regulator believes has engaged in prohibited conduct. It is an offense to fail to
comply with a compliance order. It is something that brings some radical change in the sector because it has not always been there. It also gives the power to refer alleged offenses in terms of the Act to the National Prosecuting Authority. The Regulator is given substantial powers in support of investigation including the right to subpoena and the authority to search under warrant.
These powers are very important and necessary because they will assist in the achievement of the goals of this legislation before us.
In order to do this, the Regulator needs to have access to detailed high quality information, which is what has been articulated here.
Lastly, before I would want to respond to one or two issues raised by previous colleagues here, is that the Bill before this House proposes to work within the existing regulatory framework with some adjustments. It will repeal certain provisions as already mentioned primarily to bring an end to specialised sector regulators. Beyond that, the Bill leaves substantive law governing specific sectors in place, but this
Bill will override those laws in case of any procedural conflicts.
I have attempted to bring the truth or sift what is the truth and fiction in what the colleagues have raised, but I think we do understand the season we are in and that doesn’t bring us anywhere further from the colleagues who we work with very well in the committee. I challenge any committee to work as better like the Portfolio Committee on Transport, until we come to the House, things changes. We understand there are cameras here. I can take a question if I have time, hon Hunsinger, so, prepare a proper question. I am challenging you. Not hackling. You know me, I deal with facts.
Mr C H H HUNSINGER: On a point of order, House Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, why are you rising?
Mr C H H HUNSINGER: House Chairperson, I would like to know through you if the member would like to take a question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Are you prepared to take a question, hon member?
Mr L N MANGCU: I offered that when I am done, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The member is not prepared to take a question now. Thank you. Please proceed, hon member.
Mr L N MANGCU: I will invite that question. [Interjections.] Lastly, the ANC fully supports this legislation and we call upon this House to support this legislation as it will bring transformation ... [Time expired.] ... As I thank you, House Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, House Chair, hon Hunsinger, it is rather unfortunate that the hon member sees this Bill as half-cooked. This Bill is a game changer that will transform the face of the industry by ensuring a levelled playing field.
Competitiveness of transport sector is critical for the growth of our economy. The establishment of the Regulator will not result in more entities but will result in the rationalisation of existing entities, starting with the Ports Regulator.
It is rather disingenuous of the hon Hunsinger to pretend that he does not understand the most important purpose of the Bill, been to establish a seamless integrated regulatory system that will enable competitiveness and a levelled playing field.
Administered prices remain a critical challenge in enabling a competitiveness of the sector.
The Competition Commission has flagged critical issues that will be addressed through economic regulation.
Hon Nolutshungu is rather disingenuous in suggesting that this Bill seeks to deepen privatisation. We must not confuse measures that enable competitiveness of the economy with privatisation.
State entities such as Passenger Rail of SA, Prasa, and Transnet will continue to operate in an environment to ensure efficiency and competitiveness to create a multiplier effect in relation to options available to users without undermining the role of the state entities. The intent is to ensure efficient state entities that are able to deliver on their mandate.
Hon Sithole, the Bill is a game changer that will unlock the critical potential of our economy. It is not true that this Bill take away powers from the local sphere of government. No economic regulation can achieve its objectives in a fragmented environment. We have seen this fragmentation over the decades with subsector regulators having a blind spot to the impact of their determination ... [Time expired.] ... Thank you very much. I was just about to finish off the FFPlus ... [Inaudible.]
Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.
The House divided.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Announced that the Speaker had determined that, in accordance with the Rules, a manual voting procedure would be used and that the Whips would conduct a headcount of members in the Chamber and on the virtual platform for the purpose of ascertaining quorum and voting.
A quorum being present in terms of Rule 98(1), voting commenced.
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES]
Question agreed to.
Bill accordingly read a second time.
NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Transport)
Mr B A RADEBE: Chairperson, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I move that the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chairperson, hon Chairperson of the portfolio committee and hon members, the carnage on our roads remain an albatross on our neck that stifles our ability, to maximise our contribution to economic growth, not only is the high number of fatalities, and injuries are taking away productive citizens from economic activity. It also raises the costs to the economy of moving valuable cargo by road. We have been emphatic that our arsenal of interventions aimed at delivering a reduction of 25% of fatalities on our roads by 2024 include policy and legislative interventions.
The design of our Road Traffic Management system is premised on appreciation that while provincial roads, traffic and parking fall within the ambit of exclusive provincial legislative competence. Maintaining national norms and standards is necessary to ensure effective performance by SAP national spheres of government of their executive authority. This is equally through of maintaining the economic unity of the Republic and arrest the negative impact of road fatalities and crashes on the economy.
It is important to appreciate that policy and legislative interventions are meant to ensure a safe environment for all road users. These are by no means a panacea for a plethora of challenges we encounter daily on our roads. Motorists and other road users alike must appreciate that roads are a shared space that requires behaviour that respects the right of others. As a society, we have a collective responsibility to change wayward behaviour that places other road users in harm’s way. Behavioural change starts with each individual respecting the rules. The competence of drivers remains one of the most critical elements that require our focus attention to ensure safety of all road users.
The Bill provides us with more instruments to aggressively tackle the intractable challenge of corruption that continues to bedevil the vehicle and driver licencing system. Our efforts to uproot the cool drink phenomenon will intensify. We will not hesitate to throw the book at those law enforcement officers who continue to allow unlawful conduct on the roads. We are similarly determined to lock up those motorists who bribe our officers. The regulation of driving schools will enable close scrutiny on the conduct of the schools and ensuring that uniform standards are applicable to all driving schools. Improving driver competence means strengthening
quality assurance across the value chain, from a time a learner enrols for a learner license test to the driving school until the driving licence card is issued. It is for that reason that stricter rules are being introduced to address cheating by learners or wayward behaviour by instructors. The prevalence of criminal conduct ranging from cloning of vehicles to fraudulent issue of driving licences is a matter of concern that requires our most urgent attention.
In conclusion, House Chair and hon members, the strengthening of the regulatory framework through this Amendment Bill will provide us with more instrument to hold the motorists accountable on the road. We call motorists and all organs of civil society to work with us in instilling a culture of mutual respect and responsible conduct on our roads. The law and regulation can only take us so far; the rest relies on our common resolve to arrest reckless behaviour in our road traffic value chain. I thank you, hon House Chair.
Mr L N MANGCU: Thank you House Chair. I thought I’ll get an applause from my colleague hon Hunsinger on the left. You can do better than this. Thank you very much.
Thula wena, andithethi nawe.
Good afternoon, House Chair, colleagues, hon members, members of the executive, fellow South Africans and fellow South Africans.
I stand here on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, hon Zwane to present to this House, the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill as already articulated by the Minister. It is an honour and singular privilege that I do not take lightly to be asked to present to this august House. The National Road Traffic Amendment Bill went through a rigorous process of public participation. The Bill also went through a lot of versions or rigorous participation within the Portfolio Committee of Transport.
It started around October 2020, and it was published by the Department of Transport around the 25th of October to the 28th of November 2020 in national and regional newspapers, on the parliamentary website on Twitter and Facebook. The period for comment was extended in January 2021 for further comment.
Close to 7 000 submissions were received from the public.
There were public hearings that were held during March 2021, for stakeholders that indicated that they would like to submit oral submissions in addition to the written comments made. The department also had an opportunity to respond to those submissions in June 2021. The deliberations of the proposed amendments to the Bill were concluded on the 31st of May 2022. The public participation process and deliberations by the portfolio committee to conclude the amendments, as I said was very thorough prior to adoption of the report and influenced the amendments to the Bill.
The Bill before this House is critical legislation for the regulation and efficiency of the road transport sector. The aim and purpose of the legislation is to address important areas which empower the Minister of Transport to deal with a number of matters amongst others dealt with and not dealt with within or rather not dealt with within the principal Act.
There are far too many accidents and fatalities on our roads. And the motoring public does not always adhere to road regulations, speed limits overloading as espoused in the principal Act. The National Road Traffic Act sets out the national uniform standard for road transport on public roads throughout the country. That is in all provinces and
municipalities and is also based on best international practice. The principal Act remains the guide, and loadstar of regulations for public roads that define road usage and regulations designed to ensure road safety.
The amendments before the House today seek to build on that and also add to it areas that strengthened the principal Act. The amendments contained in the amended bill seek to change definitions in the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996, improving on definitions and new terminology to align the legislation, with practical aspects of road traffic law enforcement and administration is critical for the safety of the motoring public in private or public transport. This is important hon Chair as these definitions required to be updated to serve and also improve legal enforcement of the legislation as well as to cover current conditions which were not part of the principle Act that impacts on the regulation of road transport and road safety.
Hon Chair and hon members, the amendment Bill now provides for the suspension for instance and cancellation of the registration of an examiner of driving licenses or an examiner of vehicles. If such a person has been convicted of an offence listed in schedule one or two of the Criminal Procedure Act no
51 of 1977 or has a direct or indirect conflict of interest, conflict of interest. This is to ensure that learners and driving tests occur on the highest standard possible by examiners and that any form of short circuiting the system will not be allowed by law. This amendment also ensures integrity and high standard required for such a role.
Moreover, hon Chair, the amendment also prohibits the wilful or negligent issuing of learner’s licences or authorizing the issue of a learner’s licence endorsing of failure to endorse a learner’s licence, or to produce and or print or manufacture any document similar to a learner’s license. Contrary to Chapter Four of the National Road Traffic Act of 1996, this will be an offence Furthermore, the amendments also prohibit the use of unauthorized aid during a test for a learner’s license or a driving test and the disqualification through the use of such aids. Simply put, poorly skilled drivers who do not understand the rules of the road and possess the necessary driving skills should not be on the road. In this regard, the amendments also now require a provincial department responsible for transport or local authority to register a driving licence testing centre before operating a driving licence testing centre. The rationale for this is to ensure oversight of centres and for enabling a single standard for
such testing nationally. Critical data collection also requires to be acquired from such centres for planning purposes.
Hon Chair, the amendments in this Bill also further provide for the registration of body builders, importers and manufactures of number plates including manufacturers of reflective sheeting of number plates, suppliers of blank number plates, suppliers of reflective sheeting for number plates, embossers of number plates, weighbridge facilities, manufacturers of microdots suppliers of microdots and microdot fitment centres. This registration enables the regulation of these sectors to ensure legal compliance. Microdots on vehicles are the latest technology to identify stolen vehicles as these invisible numbers on the body in microdots match with the vehicle identification number, VIN, on cars.
As part of improving the functioning of the training and examination of learners of driver’s licences in the registration and grading of driving school instructors. The amendments further cover the registration and grading of driving schools. In this regard, amendments also provide for the registration and grading of training centres. This is important to ensure that standards are maintained in training
for the different categories of driver’s licences and ensuring that competent drivers utilize our public roads.
The development of an inspectorate for manufacturers to ensure that there is no illegal activity for example, in the body building of cars as it is now a regulated activity as vehicles which are illegally modified pose a road hazard to other motorists. The well-known illegally converted panel vans into ambulances and taxis is well-documented. These amendments will go a long way in beginning to address those shortcomings.
The National Road Traffic Act with the important amendments that have incorporated have been incorporated the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill before us are geared towards ensuring better systems for the development, training and testing of drivers. It is important that youth obtain their learner’s driver’s licences as this is a critical skill like for ensuring employment or increased opportunities of employment. And this must occur, fair and in a rigorous testing. Traffic Law enforcement is important to enforce safety of traffic laws. Hon Chair and members, I present to you on behalf of the Portfolio Committee on Transport the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill for debate, consideration and approval. I thank you, House Chair.
Mnu T B MABENA: Ngiyathokoza, Sihlalo.
First and foremost, the DA supports this Bill. This is because the work that went into the Bill is reflective of a well- researched and evidence-based contribution of the DA caucus in the portfolio committee. The objectives of the Bill seek to strengthen legislation to better regulate road transport in our country as well as provide the greater definition of some sections and align these sections with other legislation to ensure a greater impact in implementation.
The Bill tries to a great extent to address the issue of examiners that have a criminal record in serious crimes and disqualifies them to be pointed as examiners. The Bill now deliberately and explicitly states that: Anyone that has been found guilty of any offence as listed to Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act, cannot occupy a position of an examiner. This is important because in the many oversights that we have conducted a lot of insight was provided into how some examiners simply short-circuit the system and corrupt the system and undermine the law to achieve the quick buck.
This is in no way mean that this insertion in the Bill has permanently solved the problem that we have at the driving licence testing centre, DLTC, in as far as corrupt officials are concerned. However, we believe that by plugging this loophole the entity can focus on other urgent loopholes that need to be plugged. There are those examiners that have no criminal records and yet on a daily basis are able to corrupt the system. My colleague, Lindy Wilson, did an oversight at the Ephraim Mokgale Local Municipality DLTC in the North and the findings were just horrible.
The use of corrupt examiners and officials is a war that the entity must prepared to wage and must be determined to be the victors. A case in point, an old tope just came in the morning driving a tractor and just parked outside the DLTC and after about an hour and a half later he was in position of a roadworthy certificate of a tractor. The question was: Why didn’t he use the legitimate and lawful route? His argument was that regardless of the fact that the vehicle was roadworthy, the officials there simply don’t like law-abiding citizens and go out of their way to ensure that those that don’t want to pay a bribe are penalised and fail. That is the real state of many DLTCs cross the country.
Chairperson, the driver-behaviour on our roads is largely a reflection of that issue of the Department of Transport and its entities towards driver development and education. The department continues to neglect driving schools. The
privately-owned driving schools are not regulated at all while the driving schools’ associations do not take kindly to the idea of possible regulation of the industry. If it is done correctly, it may go a long way in improving the driving conditions on our roads.
The solicited public comments as part of the life cycle of this Bill point to the fact that we need to improve learner driver education. This perhaps reintroduces the debate that the Department of Basic Education should incorporate some of the K53 curriculum in the space of the education curriculum. A driving license shouldn’t be an economic issue but it should be a basic life skill that is taught and that it should go a long way in reducing the opportunity cost of getting a driver’s license and putting food on the table.
Chairperson, the idea of provisional driving licenses does not make any sense given the massive volumes that the DLTCs are not able to cope with current demand and that results in the backlog that South Africans witnessed most recently. It is
worth noting that the ANC government deployees have a hostile relationship with evidence-based leadership and governance.
That is not a concept that is embraced in its entirety and it is not fully explored by the cadres. A case in point, Minister Fikile Mbalula, unprovoked went into public platforms and made known his intentions to revise the blood alcohol concentration from the current 0,05% to 0%.
This was unscientific and not evidence-based, just pure ridiculous pie in the sky rhetoric by an ANC government deployee. What a shame! Not to mention the damage in significant impact that this ridiculous wish if granted could have had on the economy. Nevertheless, we are not surprised, former President, Thabo Mbeki, is unequivocal in his conviction that this ANC government is on autopilot and has no plan whatsoever to address the challenges that face society.
The global average of the blood alcohol concentration is parked at around 0,05%. This is acceptable because any movement from this current stipulated rate would just be infringing on the constitutional rights to religion as it would preclude congregants from participating in religious practices such as; Holy Communion, use of medication, mouthwash, food that contain alcohol as well as the natural
digestion processes in the human body that may produce low levels of alcohol in the blood or breath samples.
There simply is not enough evidence to support an argument that the high number of road accidents and fatalities is as a result of drivers whom when tested were discovered to have 0,05% and below alcohol volume in their body. Therefore, the information was just a figmentation of imagination in the life of an ANC deployed cadre with no plan whatsoever who’s just strolling along by the grace of God and permanently aided by the blue lights. The DA will form part of the government to the National Assembly in 2024. We can assure South Africans that we have a plan and that we are ready to govern. #John vul’i gate, 2024. ... [Inaudible.] ... I thank you, Chairperson.
Mr T B MABENA: Ke sono ka mothaka yo, waitsi
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Uh, hon Tebogo!
Ms N J NOLUTSHUNGU: Chairperson, the Bill seeks to address some of the technical and administrative issues that should have been addressed a long time ago. Some of the technical and
administrative issues include, management of National Road Traffic personnel, enforcement processes and regulation of the entities that are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the process of assessing vehicles roadworthiness is in line with the efficient standards.
House Chairperson, we support the Bill. However, it worries us that we have the Cabinet and the ruling party that wants to make laws about everything when we don’t deal with obvious infrastructure and systemic problems that just need leadership and political will. As for the EFF we agree that the amendments in the Bill will go a long way in improving efficiency in National Road Traffic Management. We agree that streamlining some of the processes outlined in the Bill removing some of the duplications and giving members of the executive council, MECs, clear responsibilities it will make management of our roads easy in the long run.
We also agree that alcohol both for drivers and pedestrians is a major problem in our roads. In fact, the EFF president and commander-in-chief has spoken about this matter for the longest time. As the EFF we even proposed the banning of alcohol advertisements. We also proposed strict enforcement of legislation when it comes to the sale of alcohol,
particularly, next to schools. We made all these proposals because we understood very well the impact of alcohol in our communities. We are the ones who pleaded with the Minister of Police and the Minister of Transport to increase the visibility of authorities on our national roads.
Had we done so, we would not have witnessed the Pongola accident that took the lives of 19 innocent children. We would not witness accidents that happen every year on the N2 near Greytown between Mthatha and East London. We would not witness the carnage that happens every year on the Moloto road that goes between Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga which is used by more than 60 000 commuters per day. It does not matter what legislation we put in place. However, when it comes to our national roads and the management of traffic to reduce the carnage and improve safety for all we need to do something.
We need to do the following and we must do it urgently: Firstly, we must improve safe and dependable public transport. There is evidence that safe and reliable public transport saves more lives than strict and sometimes inconvenient laws. The reason why Sweden recorded the lowest number of road accidents in 2021, it was because of safe public transport.
Here, in South Africa, you wake up one morning and you are
told that the trains are able to do this ... sorry. No, no, I lost my cursor, sorry. Here, in South Africa, you wake up one morning and you are told that trains between Mabopane, Saulsville and Atteridgeville are not working because Prasa did not pay Eskom. We need to reduce the number of cars on our roads and the only way we will be able to do this is when we have a proper, reliable, affordable, safe and accessible public transport system.
Secondly, you must increase the number of well-designed speed humps, zebra crossings and on top of this, we need more pedestrian zones where vehicles are not permitted. Every year, we call on the Minister of Transport to go and put “cat eyes” on Moloto Road, speed humps and zebra crossings. Nevertheless, this is done only after accidents and some of the projects we witnessed were poorly managed. Lastly, they are too many trucks on our roads due to the collapse of Transnet. The lack of wisdom and vision, made them not to see that if there were no trains transporting coals from Carto and Kuruman to Richards Bay, trucks would be on our roads.
We need a Transnet that is owned by the state and that works. That is why Transnet must fall under the Department of Transport and not being mismanaged and privatised by a
pharmacist who understands nothing about logistics and the movement of goods. The EFF supports the Bill.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon Chairperson, the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill is brought before this House at a critical time of South Africa’s socioeconomic development. Our road network infrastructure is severely constrained, on the brink of collapse and further compromised by the persistent load shedding, causing additional road fatalities.
Whilst we recognise that the amendment to this Bill seeks to strengthen certain areas of our legislation, we believe that the committee and the Minister should have worked on a long- term project to completely revisit all aspects of the Road Traffic Bill. Further work is needed to bring this Bill up to date with international best practices, as road and road-user technology is consistently improving.
The registration of grading, training and testing centres is a welcome amendment. However, we are concerned about whether government has the capacity to ensure oversight and enforcement of compliance in this regard. Whilst the Bill correctly prohibits the use of unauthorised aids during a learner’s or driver’s test, we have not taken stock of how,
who and when training of the officials in the centres will take place, so that examiners are kept up to date with the latest technology, to enforce this prohibition. Yet, not all driving aids are bad. This legislation should have gone a step further, to prescribe the quality and compliance of vehicle manufacturers, to meet certain safety specifications regarding passenger and commercial motor vehicles that are allowed on the roads.
Hon Minister, we are all aware that the impounding of vehicles in South Africa means that a person’s car becomes a parts car, if he or she has not acted with speed to get the car released. Whilst we support the provision to impound, we need to look at the root causes of why vehicles become impounded, so as to reduce the need for this.
One such glaring aspect is vehicles that are not roadworthy. We need to relook the way in which our vehicle testing centres are run and monitored. We hear of situations where bribes are paid to pass vehicles that are clearly not roadworthy. Again, this is an issue of capacity to enforce legislation.
The IFP supports this Bill but encourages the Minister to look at current capacity issues and loopholes in our road transportation legislation and enforcement. I thank you.
Mnr P MEY: Voorsitter, ’n wet is nie staties nie, maar moet gewysig word soos omstandighede dit vereis. Die Departement van Vervoer se visie en missie moet die harklop van ekonomiese groei in Suid-Afrika wees. Die mense van Suid-Afrika, soos die res van die wêreld is afhanklik van ’n goeie vervoerstelsel.
The Bill seeks, among other things, to amend the National Road Traffic Act of 1996, so as to insert new amendments that amend other definitions.
Verskeie voorstelle is ontvang dat openbare vervoerstelsels verbeter moet word, sodat taxis kan verminder. Ek wil beaam dat wysigings van ’n wet van tyd tot tyd nodig is, maar die belangrikste van ’n wet is die uitvoerbaarheid en toepassing van wette. Belastingbetalers wil positiewe resultate sien. Ons het die laaste tyd gesien hoe gewelgig ongelukke op ons paaie toeneem.
Alkohol is een van die moontlike oorsake. Verskeie voorstelle is ontvang dat ’n nul-alkoholinhoud aanvaar moet word. Die Portefeuljekomitee oor Vervoer se siening is dat dit ons ekonomie nog verder kan verswak, aangesien restaurante en ander plekke vermy sal word.
Die siening van Mnr Beer, tydens die voorlegging, is dat ’n zero-alkoholinhoud nie die oplossing is nie, maar dat mense opgevoed moet word om alkohol verantwoordelik te gebruik. Die 0,05% sal dus onverandered bly.
Verkeersbeamptes word deur munisipaliteite aangestel en dis duidelik uit die voorlegging dat daar ’n tekort aan verkeersbeamtes is en dat hulle nie die stede en dorpe behoorlik kan polisieer nie. Strenger maatreëls moet ook ingestel word om bedrog en korrusie uit te roei.
Daar word ook voorgestel dat die werksure van verkeersbeamptes van ag na vyf in die middag moet verander na 24 uur bedags, sodat verkeersbeamtes meer sigbaar is. Hoër boetes moet opgelê word vir die wat verkeersreëls oortree.
Slaggate bly ’n groot probleem op ons paaie en daarom moet meer weegbrûe beskikbaar gestel word, om teen oorlaaide
vragmotors op te tree. By Potchefstroom het ek inligting gekry dat daar vir twee jaar al ’n weegbrug is. Hy word elke dag opgepas, maar hy word nie gebruik nie. Dit is totaal onaanvaarbaar.
Die provinsiale regering of plaaslike owerhede verantwoordelik vir vervoer is daar om bestuurderlisensies, toetsentrums, soos in Engels, die Drivers licence testing centres, DLTC, te registreer, alvorens dit mag opereer. Die inspektoraat word deur die MEC [LUR] aangestel. My persoonlike ondervinding die afgelope twee jaar is dat die inspektoraat in die Oos-Kaap nie sy verpligtinge nakom nie. Op Albertinia in die Oos-Kaap kry die bestuurder van die DLTC opdrag van die inspektoraat om die DLTC se afdeling wat verantwoordelik is vir die uitpasering van bestuurders om hul lisensies te bekom ’n dag voordat daar verbeterings kom, te sluit. Hy ignoreer die opdrag in Februarie 2021 en toe sluit die afdeling deur wens van die inspektoraat.
Die projek begin eers in Februarie 2022 om die oppervlakte te verbeter ... [Onhoorbaar.] ... sal hopelik in Desember 2022 voltooi wees. Ek het Sondag ’n besoek afgelê en ek kan nie glo dat ’n kontrakteur so lank aan so ’n projek kan werk nie.
Tweehonderd meter van die DLTC is ’n nuwe bestuurskool, met al die nodige fasiliteite opgerig. Die eienaar bied aan dat hulle hom gratis kan gebruik. Die munisipaliteit weier dit.
Dit is weer ’n geval van die armstes van die armes wat daaronder lei. Ek kan nie verstan nie, die ANC gee niks om nie. Hulle gee niks om nie. Ek kan dit nie verstaan nie. Om ’n lisensie te bekom of te hernu is ’n groot probleem in Suid- Afrika. Klein dorpies beskik nie almal oor Pick n Pays en winkelsentrums nie, daarom sal dit goed wees as ons ook toestemming aan elke bestuurskool in hierdie land kan gee, om ook lisensies te hernu.
Die VF Plus is van mening dat die wysigings wat aangebring is goed deurdink is en ’n stap in die regte rigting is.
I support the Bill. The FF Plus supports the Bill. Thank you.
Mr S N SWART: Hon House Chair, South Africa’s road deaths, at average 14 000 every year, and amongst the highest in the world have been described as a national crisis by the Automobile Association. Besides the staggering human death
toll, the economic cost of fatal accidents is estimated at more than R147 billion per year and that was in 2019.
The carnage on South African roads was once again brought into sharp focus recently with the tragic deaths of 18 children and two adults in Pongola. The ACDP’s thoughts and prayers are with all those victims of road accidents, the fatalities and those who are injured, the survivors and the families.
Most accidents are caused by excessive speed, driving with fatigue, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving vehicles that are not roadworthy and ignoring basic traffic rules.
So, the ACDP is fully in support of any measure that can reduce this carnage on our roads. This Bills seeks to reduce this carnage by improving standards in motor vehicle driving licenses, ensuring there is good ethos inculcated in novice learning driver’s licences, improving road safety on public roads and eliminating cloning of motor vehicles, improving and streamlining incident response systems to scenes and accidents. Clearly, these measures are to be supported, as they will go a long way to reduce this high accident rate in South Africa.
One of the contentious issues related to the proposal of a zero blood alcohol content, and whilst this proposal seems reasonable, given the high levels of motor vehicle accidents attributable to alcohol, stakeholders varying from provincial governments to the South African Catholic Bishops Conference warned about the unintended consequences of such a blanket ban. Metros argue that such a ban would criminalise ordinary people who, for instance, take over-the-counter medicine, food supplements that contain varying levels of alcohol and even, as a previous speaker indicated, Holy Communion.
Provincial governments argue that such a step will, in fact, result in already overburdened traffic officers focussing on minor offenses, resulting in really intoxicated drivers possibly going undetected. Now, we are already aware of the laboratories that are under severe pressure and one can imagine the multiplication of test that they then have to do placing additional burdens on those labs. So, clearly, the answer lies in strictly enforcing existing provisions, as other speakers have indicated.
So, the ACDP is fully in support of these comprehensive measures in the Bill and we wish to thank the Minister and members of the portfolio committee for their hard work in
processing this Bill. Let us trust that it will be implemented correctly and that there will be sufficient resources to be effective in reducing the carnage on our roads. The ACDP supports this Bill. Thank you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Hon House Chairperson, 50% of the UDM that is in attendance in this House supports this Bill. I hope ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order, order, hon members.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Well the 50% that is in attendance supports and I hope you are not going to call me to order simply because I support you.
Hon House Chairperson, the issue ...
... apha ekufuneka icace kuqala - kufuneka siyilungise le nto yotywala kuba niza kusibamba nithi sinxilile ekubeni sisele amayeza. Le yingxaki ekufuneka niyiqaphele kuba iza kuchaphazela abantu abangenatyala. Okwesbini, masiyithethe nje icace gca okwekati emhlophe ibaleka ehlungwini ukuba, nakubeni kuzanywa ukulingiswa iingxaki kunye nemiceli-mingeni esinayo
nekufuneka siyiphakamele, iimoto zabantu zimoshwa zezi ndlela zikarhulumente zingatshongo khona.
Mna ke andisuki dolophini, ndisuka ezilalini. Phaya ezilalini iindlela ziingxondorha. Abantu kunzima ukuba bakwazi ukufika kwiilali zabo behamba ngeemoto zabo. Bazithenga ziziimoto zodidi, zimbeje-mbeje. Akupheli neenyanga ezintathu, uyibone imoto sele ihamba ngecala ikekele.
Baphinda ke ngomso bamiswe ngamagosa ezendlela kusithiwa imoto ayikulungelanga ukuba sendleleni. Ngubani ingxaki? Ngubani owenza ingxaki? Ezi zinto kufuneka sizijonge xa sizenza ukuze singazilulngiseleli ezi ndawo sihlala kuzo zisezidolophini kuphela. Okwesibini, nantsi ...
... for an example, even if you were - some speaker spoke about the issue of impoundment.
There is a sector ...
... exhatshazwayo negezelwayo ngamapolisa namagosa ezendlela
... the taxi industry ...
... apho abantu bahamba baye kufaka izicelo zemvume ksiXeko saseKapa okanye nawuphina umasipala ofanele ukubanika amaphepha emvume.
They are told that there is a backlog to permits. Whose problem is that? It is the government’s problem, but guess what ...
... xa bemiswa ligosa lendlela endleni kuthiwa ...
... you do not have a permit and we are going to impound your car. Simple.
IsiXhosa: Akuthiwa, ...
... did you submit the application? Are you sitting with the reference number and all other issues?
Ezi zizinto ekufuneka sizihoyile noxa siyiqinisa le nto.
But also, I tend to have a problem at times personally, whenever, we cannot fix a problem, we want to centralise it. We create an even bigger problem with these centres ...
... apho kuza kuphinda kube nzima kubantu bethu ...
... to access these centres. We know any service that you would solve by saying no, no, no, rather than creating standards that we want and enforcing those standards and ensuring that the standards are there that we are going to take over processes. It never really works. Especially with the incapacity of the state to address and deal with the issues.
Ngoko bendisithi lo 50% uyanincedisa, kodwa ze nizilungise ezi zinto, kodwa abantu basezilalini iimoto zingamagxokogxoko ngurhulumente.
Mufumakadzi Vho M M RAMADWA: Muhulisei Mulangadzulo, Tshimebi Tshihulwane naho vha siho, dzi Minisi?ara dzine dza vha hone na Vhathusa dzi Minisi?ara, Mira?o ya Buthano la Lushaka, vhadzulapo vha Afurika Tshipembe, Aa! Ndi masiari.
The National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B 7 – 2020] was drafted to give effect in the short-term to some of the principal strategies contained in the 2006 national road safety. The road safety strategy among other things contains the Millennium Development Goals set out by the Ministers of Transport in Africa for the purpose of reducing road crushes, improving law-enforcement and on existing mechanisms and creating more measures just to ensure road traffic safety.
This Bill seeks to achieve proper implementation of the strategic highlighted in the road safety and addresses practical changes. The Bill seeks to amend the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996. The main objectives of the Bills
amongst others are to provide for the registration on and licencing of motor vehicles, manufactures, builders, body builders, importers and manufactures of number plates.
This Bill empowers a member of the executive council that is the MEC to register an applicant as a manufacturer body builders and manufacturers of number plates. This Bill seeks to regulate the registration and grading of applicants as driving school instructors and direct how the applicant and registration of driving school instructors should be made to further regulate the driving schools’ industry and to prohibit the operation of unregistered and ungraded driving schools and utilisation of ungraded driving school instructors.
This Bill seeks to ensure that misconduct and criminal processes are more efficient, effective properly enforced and implemented.
This Bill seeks to empower an MEC to declare as void all documents purporting to be driving licences.
This Bill seeks to empower the Minister of Transport to appoint a person or authority as an inspectorate of driving licence testing centre.
This Bill seeks to ensure the compulsory registration and grading of driving schools and the suspension and cancelation of registration by the MEC.
Following the engagement by the Portfolio Committee on Transport, and in consideration of the proposed amendment to the Bill as received from stakeholders, some of the notable amendments to this Bill are several proposed amendments and insertion to definition to have been strengthened or expanded upon.
Additional terminology is introduced to this Bill to align the legislation with practical aspect of road traffic law enforcement and admission as well as strengthening the need to ensure registration of training centres, testing centres, driving schools and the official linked there to.
Provisions are made for the impoundment of vehicles to be in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, as well as compliance in other sections to the applicable traffic laws and prescribed requirements including provincial ordinances and municipal bylaws.
The proposal of the introduction of provisional driving licence is rejected and removed from the Bill. Provisions are strengthened to address prevalent consensus pertaining to the recognition of foreign driving license or permits as well as addressing linked to the employment of drivers who do not hold valid and recognised driving licenses or permits, as well as addressing concern linked to the employment of drivers who do not hold valid and recognised driving licences and recognised permits.
This is important as the Durban port is the gateway for imports and exports to most Southern African countries. Most of the goods and freight are transported from the country utilising public roads through heavy duty trucks.
The drivers of these heavy duty trucks are foreign nationals with valid driver licenses from those countries. Moreover, a number of foreign nationals hire cars as tourists whilst visiting the country, with foreign driver licenses and need to obey the public road rules and regulations. Foreign nationals are also hired as drivers in South Africa, but do not have a local driver licence.
The proposed amendment to the level of concentration of alcohol in blood or breath specimen taken were rejected. The committee decision to reject the proposed amendment to the levels of concentration of alcohol in blood or breath specimen taking was informed by the submission it had received from various stakeholders. This include, but not limited to the possibility of false positives from cough medicine, toothpaste and other products containing trace amounts of alcohol.
The traffic department’s inability to enforce the rules and the unlikelihood of the Bill reducing fatalities and the possibility of the Bill criminalising the innocent. In addition, the committee had arguments from certain sectors of the religious community that religious practices hold; live trace amounts of alcohol in the system which could lead to arrest based on the false positives.
It is more important that we recognise that these are not merely just technical amendments only but, the legislation need to be understood by the people to ensure that rules of the road are observed and road safety is of paramount important as it is designed to save lives.
The committee encourage that the Police visibility and strong enforcement of the current laws and would be more effective in combating alcohol related. Achieving the goals that the country has set itself including achieving 25% reduction in road fatalities remains a doubting task South Africa must tackle collectively. As South Africans the country’s citizens should work together to change behaviour that perpetuate lawlessness. Those South Africans who continue to obey the laws of the road and make it to their destination without any incidents should be loaded. They achieve this by among other things: Adhering to the rules of the road, driving within the speed limit, fastening the seatbelts, avoiding the use of the cell phones while driving. The ANC supports this Bill. [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon members, hon Mabhena, you are correct that this Bill will go a long way in addressing the corrupt practices in Driving License Testing Centres, DLTCs. Your support of this Bill is soiled by an attempt to score cheap political points with your comments on the role of alcohol in the road carnage.
Despite your misgivings, we cannot pretend that alcohol does not make a big contribution to high number of fatalities on
our roads. Pretending otherwise, as the hon Mabhena is doing, is nothing more than burying one’s neck in the sand.
The hon Nolutshungu, you are absolutely correct that the number of traffic officers on our roads are a far cry from what we require. This is a collective effort we are working on with other spheres of government. Visibility of traffic law- enforcement officers on our roads will be given impetus by the number of provinces that have classified traffic policing as a 24/7 and job.
The hon Sithole, we have taken note of your concerns relating to capacity to enforce the law on the roads. These amendments are a major contribution towards addressing these concerns.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC, is working closely with all traffic authorities.
The hon Mey, the commitment of the ANC-led government is to arresting the carnage of our roads in ensuring that the system is responsive to the needs and aspirations of ordinary South Africans.
Hon House Chairperson, I must thank all the parties for supporting this Bill. Thank you very much.
NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
Bill read a second time.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ON DRUGS AND DRUG TRAFFICKING AMENDMENT BILL
Mr G MAGWANISHE: House Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members. The Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act of 1992 forms a part of the domestic legal framework that gives effect to the South Africa’s international obligations relating to drug control.
The Act criminalizes the manufacture and supply of any schedule substance included in schedule 1 to the Act and the use, possession and dealing in any dependence producing substance, dangerous dependence producing substance or any undesirable dependence producing substance included in schedule 2 of the Act.
As provided in section 63 of the Act, the Minister has amended schedule 1 and 2 of the Act by notice in the Government Gazette of the 1st of November 1996, 13 March 1998, 11 June
1999, 15 June 2001 and 8 October 2010.
In the case of Jason Smit versus the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and others, the Constitutional Court declared section 63 of the Act to be unconstitutional and invalid to the extend that it purposes to delegate plenary legislative power to the Minister to amend the schedules to the Act and the amendments which have been affected in terms of section 63 to the schedules are invalid.
The Constitutional Court suspended the orders of invalidity for a period of 24 months to give Parliament an opportunity to chore the defence. The 24 months’ period will lapse on the 17th of December 2022.
The Drugs and Drug Trafficking Amendment Bill, B19 of 2022, was introduced and referred to the committee for consideration and report on the 29th of August 2022.
The Bill seeks to amend the Act and to address the constitutional invalidity of section 63 and the amendments
that the Minister effected in terms of section 63 to schedule
1 and 2.
During the public participation process on the Bill the committee received 319 submissions, most of which took the form of petitions. Public hearings on the Bill were held on the 20th of September 2022.
Having considered the public participation submissions, the committee if of the view that the issues raised fall outside the scope of the Bill and largely fall within the ambit of Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill.
Having considered the Drugs and Drug Trafficking, B19 of 2022, referred to it and classified by the joint taking mechanism as a section 25 Bill.
The committee reports the Bill without amendments. Thank you very much.
Declarations of vote:
Mr W HORN: Chair, we rise to support this report and this Bill. Which, as the report indicates, is aimed at amending
part of our legislative framework found to be unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.
Luckily the issue that had to be addressed in order to establish constitutionality in respect of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act was clear, unambiguous and simple.
If this was not the case, Chair, this Parliament would once again have been at risk of not complying with orders of the Constitutional Court declaring invalidity on the basis of inconsistency with the Constitution within the period afforded by the court.
In this regard Parliament must, in our view, adopt a different approach to prevent the pattern of failures to remedy such deficiencies timeously.
Firstly, it must be considered whether the perpetual attitude of deference to the executive is in the best interest of constitutional democracy and Parliament as the arm of state solely responsible for the passing of laws. It’s clearly not, if situations constantly arise where the courts feel it necessary to remind us the it’s our duty to make and amend
laws, and that this is not constitutionally dependent on the executive.
Our view, Chair, is that at the very least parliamentary system should be set up to monitor whether executive Bills that is to address constitutional deficiencies are developed at a pace by the executive, which will not unduly expose Parliament to findings that we were neglecting and failing in our duty to uphold the Constitution and the law because of the limited periods we are invariably afforded to process such draft legislation.
Secondly, we must set up a system to enable the development of Bills in a timely manner, if and when the executive keeps on dragging its feet with the drafting and introduction of draft legislation.
Furthermore, Chair, the other lesson that is to be learned from the judgement, that informs the Bill under discussion, is that Parliament should carefully guard and protect its own dedicated powers to make laws and should stop buying into attempts by the executive to encroach on this power through Bills that afford Ministers all sorts of secondary legislative functions.
In short, unless we as Parliament properly embrace the separation between party and state, and between the legislature and the executive, something the ANC has historically been very relaxed to do, we will invariably be found wanting by our courts in respect of the timely performance of our legislative functions and duties. Thank you.
Ms Y N YAKO: Chairperson, this Bill and the court’s decision that led us here is basically about the powers of the Minister to pass subordinate legislation.
Section 101(3) of the Constitution outlines that subordinate legislation must be made accessible to the public. But it does not always in any way take away from the executive powers to make such subordinate legislation, as long as that is still within the law.
The making and publication of schedules for the Drug and drugs Trafficking Act was, and correctly so in our view, thought of, as part of subordinate legislation, requiring no plenary process by Parliament.
The Constitutional Court, however, has ruled otherwise. Arguing in the matter of Jason Smith versus the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and others, that section 63 of the Drugs Act is unconstitutional and invalid, to the extend that it purports a delegate plenary legislative power to the Minister to amend the schedules to the Drugs Act.
Chairperson, the country faces a serious drug problem and the proliferation of new and evolving drugs require that authorities be always on the lookout in order to respond faster.
Section 63 of the Drugs Act, which is now being declared as unconstitutional, allows the Minister, in consultation with the Minister of health, to react faster and make amendments to the schedules of banned substances in the country.
We, however, accept that the Constitutional Court’s decision on the matter is binding on all of us. This requires of us, as Parliament, to be very agile and to be able to pass legislation in as much as expeditious as manner as possible.
The publication of drug schedules as a legislative matter, strictly with the competence of Parliament.
The judgement further indicates that (a) the legislative authority of the national sphere of government is, in terms of the Constitution, vested in Parliament, which confers the National Assembly the power to pass legislation with regard to any matter; (b) the legislature may not assign ... [Inaudible.] ... legislative power to any other body, including the power to amend an Act of Parliament.
We now accept this and the Bill that addresses the concerns of the Constitutional Court. We wish that Parliament would be able to streamline its functions so that we can respond speedily to issues of national importance such as the growing drug problem in this country.
So, the EFF is in favour of this Bill. I thank you, Chair.
Ms M D HLENGWA: Hon Chairperson, history has repeatedly indicated that centralized and unlimited power in the hands of a single person or a group of persons in most instances means that others are suppressed or their powers as freedoms curtailed.
As a country we have first-hand experience of how the concentration of power, coupled with an unauthorized political
culture, can affect and impede the freedom and livelihoods of millions.
The IFP has always been in favour of the separation of power and a more federalist system of government, in our opinion, such prevents the abuse of power and provides additional safeguard, checks and balances that would not be possible under a more centric model.
In relation to the report, the IFP welcomes the committee’s support of the Bill. This clearly indicates that much like our party, the committee values the importance of stringent oversight and checks and balances as set out in chapter 4 of the Constitution.
Section 63 of the Drugs Act undermines the doctrines of the separation of power and institution accountability, openness and responsiveness and its centralized power afforded to the Minister.
We recommend that the committee be extra vigilant about the occurrence of this in other pieces of legislation.
In addition to this report, also emphasize the intent of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, which criminalizes the use of, possession and dealing with any dangerous dependence producing substances.
It is important in this respect that we do not become so laser focused on amendments that we lose sight of the main purpose behind the legislation, [Time expired.] which seek to amend.
The IFP accepts the report. Thank you.
Mr W W WESSELS: Thank you, House Chairperson. House Chair, the FF Plus supports this Bill, as it is aimed to rectify constitutional infirmity of the Act. The Constitutional Court in this matter has once again reaffirmed that Parliament has a very special role to play in our constitutional democracy, and reaffirmed the constitutional principle of the separation of power. The encouragement of the Executive into the powers of the legislative arm or government, is a serious threat to our constitutional democracy.
Die skeiding van magte dien die demokratiese oogmerk, om gesag in toom te hou en vryheid te beskerm. James Madison het gesê
dat die regering eerstens in staat gestel moet word om te regeer, dan moet die regering gedwing word om homself te beheer.
Indien die oorskryding van magte van die uitvoerende gesag in die magte van die wetgewende gesag voortgaan, is ons grondwetlike demokrasie in die moeilikheid en die rooi gevaarligte flikker reeds. Ek dank u.
Mr S N SWART: Thank you, House Chair. House Chair, South Africa like many other countries suffers from a scourge of alcohol and drug abuse. According to the National Drug Master Plan, the world drug problem and response, continue to present challenges to the health safety and wellbeing of people in South Africa. South Africa has become a consumer, producer and transit country for drugs. Socioeconomic factor such as poverty, inequality and unemployment has remained key contributing elements to the increase use of drugs, and the development of substance use disorder.
This Act plays a key role in the fight against drug abuse, drug trafficking and the like. However, in the matter of Jason Smit versus Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, certain sections of this Act was struck down,
have been invalid, in as much as it purports do delegate plenary legislative powers to the Minister, and this clearly is untenable. The results of this striking down, two years ago was that, should Parliament not remedy the defect by 17 December, or prosecutions and arrests of drug related matters from the date of judgement, would be in jeopardy.
Now, the question arises: Why it took so long for the matter to come to Parliament? We dealt with this piece of legislation in one month, and I want to commend the Chairperson of the Justice Portfolio Committee and its members, who held public hearings in the space of this one month of September, and the Bill was dealt with. Had we not dealt with it, and looking forward that the NCOP doesn’t deal with it, and the President doesn’t sign it into law, we would have drastic implications, as there’s a gap in the law, and there are no real provisions for it. We trust and we know, that this will be done by 17 December.
This highlights the need for speedy responses to Constitutional Court for judgements. This is an issue which we, from the ACDP, continuously raise in the Whips Forums and in the Programming Committees. I’m pleased that, mechanisms have been put in place in Parliament, to ensure that this
doesn’t happen, and that we are alerted early when Constitutional Court judgements are given against Parliament. Let us pray in one, a new nation movement, which indicated that, it say in Paragraph 6 that, Parliament awaited the Minister’s introduction of the Bill.
When it was long delayed, Parliament should have taken steps to introduce the Bill without the reliance on the Minister. Parliament could have, and indeed, should have, introduced the Bill itself. Compliance with this court order, rests with Parliament. So, I think that we are progressing in this regard, but there’s a lot more that needs to be done to ensure that we uphold Constitutional Court judgements and deadlines. The ACDP supports this Bill. I thank you.
Mnu N L S NKWANKWA: Siyayixhasa Sihlalo. Siyabulela.
Ms W S NEWHOUDT-DRUCHEN: It’s me, Chair, for hon Newhoudt- Druchen. We can continue in any case. Thank you, hon Chairperson, hon members, South Africans who are watching from home, good afternoon. The ANC rises in support of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Amendment Bill. In Jason Smit versus Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and others,
the Constitutional Court handed down judgement in an application for confirmation of an order of the Western Cape High Court of South Africa, which declare section 63 of the Drug and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992, and certain amendments made to Schedules 1 and 2 thereof, inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid.
The judgement also addressed an application for direct appeal, seeking the declaration of the constitutional invalidity of Schedules 1 and 2 of the Drugs Act in their entirety, as well
as section 5(1)(a) of the Extradition Act 67 of 1962. The applicant, Mr Jason Smit, was alleged to have committed
offences related to the supply of cannabis, while residing in the United Kingdom. In 2011, the UK delivered the request for
the applicant’s extradition, for him to stand trial in
connection with the alleged offences. The respondent, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, subsequently,
in the same year, issued a notice in terms of section 5(1)(a) of the Extradition Act, requesting the Magistrate in Pretoria,
to issue a warrant for the applicant’s arrest as the precursor to the conduct of the extradition inquiry.
Mr Smit, instituted proceedings, seeking an order declaring section 63 of the Drugs Act, as well as Schedules 1 and 2
thereof, constitutionally invalid. Mr Smit submitted that section 63 allows the Minister, by notice in the government gazette, and after consultation with the Minister of Health, to include, delete or otherwise amend substances in the relevant schedule. Mr Smit further submitted that the power conferred on the Minister, was a plenary legislative power and when exercised by a member of the executive, it breached the separation of powers doctrine.
Considering the doctrine of separation of powers in the High Court. Francis A J find out that, section 63 of the Drug Act constitutes an impermissible delegation of plenary legislative power to a member of the executive, the Minister. When the Minister takes a decision to include or delete a substance in the schedule to the Drug Act, he is, in fact, amending plenary legislation. This amendment takes place unilaterally with the legislature having a secondary role, and certainly, does not follow the manner and form provisions relating to the enactment of legislation.
The decision of the Minister is not exercised with the oversight of Parliament, and they do not appear to be any statutory limit on how the Minister ought to exercise his discretion. Instead of public participation, one Minister, in
consultation with another, is entitled to determine, which substances are prescribed. This offends the manner and form in which legislation is enacted in South Africa’s deliberative constitutional democracy. The High Court held that section 63 of the Drugs Act, represented the violation of separation of powers and the usurpation of the legislative making powers of Parliament.
It further held that the delegation of the powers to amend the schedules to the Drugs Act, which contain criminal sanctions related to the drugs listed in the relevant schedule, results in the subversion of the requisite public consultative processes. The High Court consequently declared section 63 along with the amendments made to Schedules 1 and 2 by the Minister, unconstitutional and invalid. The Constitutional Court also ruled that the amendments effected in terms of section 63 to the schedules through the Act, are invalid. The
Constitutional Court suspended the orders of invalidity for a period of 24 months, until 17 December 2022, to give Parliament an opportunity to cure the defects.
The Amendment Bill seeks to repeal the Minister’s delegated plenary legislative powers to amend Schedules 1 and 2, to amend Schedule 1 and Schedule 2, and thirdly, to provide for
matters connected to their worth. The Bill was tabled before the portfolio committee with under adopted, and it has been adopted by the Cabinet. Public participation processes were followed in line with our constitutional democracy. This Bill is important because without it, there would be a gap within
the law. The ANC supports this amendment. Thank you, Chair.
THE ACTNG CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Mr B A Radebe):
Chairperson, I move that the report be adopted.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: But his one is not a Chief Whip.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Mkhaliphi.
DRUGS AND DRUG TRAFFICKING AMENDMENT BILL
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
LAND COURT BILL
(Consideration of Report and Bill)
Mr G MAGWANISHE: House Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and hon members, the Land Court Bill was introduced on 20 May 2021, and it was referred to the committee for consideration and report. Section 22(1) of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, establishes a Land Claims Court with exclusive jurisdictions in respect of the restitution claims arising from the Act. The Land Claims Court also has exclusive jurisdiction in respect of the Land Reform Act and it shares jurisdiction with the magistrates’ courts in respect to the Extension of Security of Tenure Act
However, the Restitution Act never envisage a permanent court with permanent judges. Instead, the Land Claims Court was established as a dedicated court with a limited life span to deal with claims for the restitution of land, but the restitution process became protracted and it is not complete. A lack of permanence of judges presiding over matters before the court and the absence of a permanent sit has contributed to the slow processing of land restitution claims to the dissatisfaction of the land claimants.
The Bill proposes for the establishment of a specialist land court to deal with all land related matters as regulated by the legislation. This will facilitate the speedy resolution of cases and contributes towards the development of the appropriate jurisprudence in relation to the land matters.
Judgments of the courts are appealable to a full bench of the Court. Notably, the Land Court is established as a court of law and equity and it is a high court which has the authority, inherent powers and standing in relation to matters under its jurisdiction equal to that of a division of the High Court of South Africa.
The Bill also proposes a cheaper and speedier alternative dispute resolution mechanism in the form of mediation. In addition, the Bill makes provision for future legislation to confer jurisdiction to the Land Court as when the need arises.
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, having considered the Land Court Bill, B11 11 of 2021, referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments. I move that the House aggress to the report. Thank you very much.
Declarations of vote:
Mr W HORN: Chair, this Bill seeks to establishes a specialist Land Court which will replace the Land Claims Court. It will enjoy the status of a high court and have concurrent jurisdiction with magistrates’ courts in respect of matters related to land where the magistrates’ courts currently have the jurisdiction in matters mainly related to unlawful occupation and eviction.
If section 2 of the Bill is carefully considered, which determines that the purpose and the objects of the Bill is to be the enhancing and promotion of the ideal of access to land on an equitable basis, to promote land reform as a means of redressing the results of the past, discrimination and to facilitate the land justices, further stating that the primary objects of the Bill were to be to establish a Land Court with a jurisdiction to grant any order appropriate to relieve for impose an any sanction as provided for in the Bill or any other law, to establish a Land Court of Appeal, to hear and determine appeals emanating from the judgments and orders of the court and to provide for court ordered mediation or arbitration, it is interesting to note that the Bill presented here today is insignificant ways different from the Bill introduced.
Of course, land restitution and land reform remain an important issue in South Africa. Land ownership and specifically historically land ownership patterns are invariably used as a political tool in the run-up to elections. Very little has been done by government between elections to expedite and finalise unresolved land claims or to implement an effective land reform programme. Therefore, a Land Court with permanent and full time judges could in theory enable the speedier resolution of disputes related to land and land usage.
The Bill improved insignificant ways after its introduction on the basis of not very valuable inputs received during the public participation process, but also because of the willingness of the members of the portfolio committee from all parties to consider proposals that would improve the Bill irrespective of who made the proposals.
We are therefore proud of the fact that the concurrent jurisdiction of the magistrate’s court in respect of matters where they currently enjoy jurisdiction, was restored by the portfolio committee in a way that give real effect to the concept of access to justice.
We also hold the view that the provision that limits the application of equity considerations along with the law to restitution matters and the careful regulation of the way in which hearsay evidence in these matters are to be accepted and waited will enjoin the court to carefully balance the competing rights of land owners and claimants.
Maintaining the Supreme Court of Appeal as the final court of appeal for matters decided by the Land Court and magistrates’ courts, not only gives proper effected Constitution, but also ensures that the rule of law is protected.
The removal of the initial proposals around possible compulsory arbitration will also limit the possibility that land related disputes are adjudicated politically rather than in terms of the law.
In conclusion, we know that the ANC will use the passing of this Bill to try to convince the electorate that this will fix everything around land reform which this government has failed to do over the last quarter of a century. Of course, it will not. If one considers the dragging of feet that characterise the stifling manner in which the ANC government has failed for many years after they have been established to properly
operationalise the High Court divisions in Mpumalanga and Limpopo. People must know that it will in all likely take years before the Land Court is fully established. This will once again display the hypocrisy underlying to all of the election propaganda about land justice that is invariably forth coming from this failed ANC in every election.
While we therefore support this Bill, we are mindful of the fact that this ANC government fails at everything worthwhile and we therefore expect that the implementation of the Bill will be slow and inefficient just like the ANC on one of its better days. Thank you.
Ms Y N YAKO: Chairperson, the EFF is in support of the Land Court Bill. The contents of the Bill are related to the resolutions of our second national people’s assembly in which we resolved that there must be a permanent Land Court with national jurisdiction empowered to resolve all land disputes. The resolution was informed by our recognition of the structural and juris potential limitations of the Land Claims Court established by the Restitution of Land Courts Act in 1994.
The first limitation is that the Land Claims Court was never meant to be a permanent court and was established to deal with legal disputes emanating from the land claim process as well as disputes relating to the land tenants Act. The second limitation flows directly from the first in that. Because of the lack of permanency, the court has been unable to organically develop its own jurisprudence in South Africa. The result is that you get conflicting judgments on matters whose facts are almost similar in that court, particularly on the court’s definition of labour tenancy, dealing and leading to suffering of many vulnerable people.
Having observed the decisions of that court, we want to thank many of the acting judges who have attempted to resolve these contentious issues and matters there. We would like to particularly mention Acting Judge Luleka Fratella whose judgment on the question of labour tenants has been refreshing. The lack of juris potential coherence on land matters has permutated across our courts with recent Constitutional Court judgement on the matter of Grobler vs Phillips and Others, being the most ridiculous and disempowering of the judgement ever to come across our courts. The court dismissed the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Western Cape High Court which has ruled
against the eviction of Mrs Phillips who is now 84 years old and lived in the house which she is now evicted from since she was 11 years old. The entire Constitutional Court declared her an illegal occupant of the land and said that her feelings and wishes do not matter, what matters is what the new land owner wants. This judgment is despicable in so many ways. All these developments point to a need for a permanent specialist Land Court and Land Appeals Court. Judges of this court must be trained thoroughly, and not just in law, but in the social effects of the application of these laws.
We would have loved for this Bill to specify that the court must have at least a minimum of 12 judges and that it should have at least a satellite court across the country for the ease of access.
Section 7 of the Bill is open ended and this provision gives the Minister to determine these issues. This is not ideal. We are also not happy that the court is given jurisdiction over restitution and labour tenant issues.
But the dispute of land has evolved over time such that one of the most contentious issues relate to evictions and not just from farms, but from urban residential places too. The court
ought to have a jurisdiction over these matters too and has more powers to deal with these matters related to the extension of the Security Tenure Act. And perhaps remove from the magistrate’s court the jurisdiction related to these matters because magistrates have been ruling in favour of farmers for years. Often when their judgments are taken on an appeal they are overruled by the high courts. Overall though, the EFF does support this Bill. We thank you.
Ms M D HLENGWA: Hon Chairperson and the House at large, the Bill before us seeks to create a specialised court to deal with land claims and of itself. This is not an entirely bad proposal as such a court would purportedly be staffed with judicial officers specialising in such areas of the law.
Our concern revolves around the ousting of the judicial of other courts to hear land court claims and other glaring procedural irregularities. Our constitutional order firmly established upon our courts the task of deciding what is just and equitable in respect of compensation accruing from land reform.
The IFP has always been of the view that in some instances the court may well and truly prescribe normal or even nil
compensation and that section 25 of the Constitution of 1996 is wide enough to accommodate such findings.
Our concern remains around the numerous issues of the procedural fairness and that of impartial with many provisions of this Bill creating fatal ground for participants. When it comes to issues of facts advanced by court pointed assessors and arbitrations under the guides of speeding up land reform, it could further be argued that the ruling party appears to be wrestling away procedural fairness to access to court and the rights of all persons to have a legal matter presided over a manner that is just and equitable.
This issue of procedural and substantive fairness in the current form of the Bill remains of serious concern to the IFP. The IFP accepts the report. Thank you.
Mr W W WESSELS: House Chair, if the ideological premise of the Land Court Bill is that private property rights are the problem and state ownership is the solution, it is problematic.
It is however common course that the Land Claims Court is currently a bottleneck in the land restitution process as it
has limited capacity. The current delays have caused frustration and is detrimental to the sustainability of the agricultural sector.
The other courts of failed land reform process current are the inefficiency of government and the corruption of ANC cadres regarding land reform projects.
The FF Plus supports the Bill as this specialised court is much needed to adjudicate on land matters and protect all parties involved. I thank you.
Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, the Land Court Bill was introduced on 20 May 2021 and was referred to the committee for consideration and report. It proposes to establish a specialist land court with its judgement appealable to the full bench of the court to deal with all land related matters as regulated by legislation.
One hopes for the facilitation of the speedy resolution of cases and contribute towards the development of appropriate jurisdiction on land matters. The Bill also proposes a cheaper and speedy alternative dispute resolution mechanism in the form of mediation.
What is important is that the court is established as a court of law and equity in respect to the Restitution Act and has the status of a High Court that has the authority inherent powers and standing in relation to matter under jurisdiction.
It has clearly been a matter of concern that they have not been designated judges for designated Land Court to deal with matters of this nature.
The ACDP clearly supports these provisions [Inaudible.] right from the outset related to the clumsy attempt to austere Supreme Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction through the Bill. The reason we appreciate the speedy resolution of land cases is required and endless support appeals should be avoided such an austere could not take place through legislation.
Section 168(3)(a) of the Constitution states that the SCA, Supreme Court of Appeal may decide appeals in any matter arising from the High Court of South Africa except in respect of labour or competition matters.
It is important that the austere of the SCA jurisdiction to only take place through a constitutional amendment. It is startling that the Bill went through the whole process of
Cabinet approval of certification by state law advisors with the clause that austere the Supreme Court jurisdiction without the constitutional amendment.
The was argued strenuously by the ACDP and thankfully this clause was removed in view of the fact that in constitutional mandate will be required and this would delay the Bill. Sense prevailed and that offending clause was removed and so appeals of permissible to a full bench and then to the Supreme Court of Appeal and to the Constitutional Court if necessary.
In general, the ACDP supports this Bill as this one clause was removed and we trust that it will go a long way with the speedy resolution of very emotional land related matters. I thank you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Hon House Chair, the UDM supports the Bill.
Kwasekuqaleni ibe yimpazamo enkulu le, kuba kaloku umgaqo- nkqubo kwasekuqaleni wawusithi kufuneka sibuyisele umhlaba kubantu bawo kuba siyazi ukuba wawubiwe. Ingxaki ke ngoku isekubeni, ngeli xesha lale Nkudla yezeMihlaba nohlobo eqhuba ngalo, kufumaniseka ukuba kwa abanye abahlala phaya anbanye
babo bakhulisa nje inkcazo ngobomi babo (CVs), abayanga phaya kuba befuna ukuqinisekisa ukuba amatyala ayasonjululwa ngendlela eyiyo nokuthi ...
... this bottleneck that has to do with land claims ...
... iyalungiseka. Ndithetha ukuthi ke le ...
... Land Claims Court to a large extent ...
... ibingasebenzeli bantu, ibisebenzela iqaqobana. Enye ingxaki yile yokuba, abantu bakuthi baza kuyidinga inkxaso esuka kurhulumente, kuba yenye into ukwenza iNkundla yoMgaqo- siseko kodwa uphinde ungabaniki abantu inkxaso ngokwezomthetho ukuze bakwazi ukulwa, kuba abantu abalwa nabo ngabantu abaneepokotho ezinzulu.
Ndibonile kaninzi mna, uye kwinkundla yamatyala umane uzigobha amacala uxele uthekwane emi phezu kwamanzi esithi, ndimbi
ngapha, ndimhle ngapha, ndoniwe yie ndawo kuba ucinga ukuba
... your case is strong, going to court. You then deal with a technicality ...
... ongakhange uyibone uba kaloku ungenayo ...
... the necessary legal representation you require to deal with such complex matters such as this one.
Aba bantu ke banamabango kuza kufuneka baxhaswe ngurhulumente ingabiyiyo inkundla kuphela. Kufuneka singayibaleki into yokuba kuza kuphinda kukhangelwe ...
... from the pool of people who are ...[Inaudible] ...
... ukuthi bahambe baye kuhlala babe ziijaji phaya, bangalweli bantu bakuthi kule nto ye ...
... land restitution, but to defend interests ...
... kuba sinayo le nto yokwenza ingathi ...
... that arm of the state ...
... yona bangoothixo bona ...
... they don’t have vested interests in the outcome of certain processes. It requires us in this House to be vigilant and ...
... sizijonge izigqibo abazithathayo ukuze sikwazi ukuthi ...
... politically, we do what is expected to protect our people from ...
... izinto ezinjalo. Okokugqibela, akufuneki ukuba le nto simana ukuyithetha kakuhle kwaye siyithethela phantsi, into yokuba ...
... there is a certain section of our society that doesn’t want this land restitution process to start. They will do everything in their power to undermine it, including capturing the court if they have to. So, we have to be vigilant and make sure that ...
... umhlaba lo wethu wabiwa ebantwini, kwaye futhi masingawuqali ngexesha le 1900, kuba waqala wabiwa ezinkosini nakwiikumkani, singekadibanisi amadolo sithi, madolo phezulu. Siyabulela.
Thank you very much.
Mr X NQOLA: House Chair, the tabling of this Bill before the House gives us an opportunity to remind the nation in the world of the importance of land and land justice. Indigenous African people were violated, dispossessed of their land and its natural resources by the Dutch and British settlers. It is well documented in the books of history that, the War of Mlanjeni was the longest, hardest and ugliest war ever fought over 100 years of bloodshed in the Cape Colony’s Eastern Frontier.
Ultimately, the Xhosa were pushed across the Kei River and removed from their land. The Xhosa are lost the Amatola, the area around the Tyhume, Keiskama and Buffalo Rivers which where their most prized pieces of land. They were pushed across the Kei River and squeezed into the confined space.
In that war alone, 16 000 Xhosa people died. Many more were displaced and the traditional stretch of government was destroyed. White employers and their agents plundered Xhosa villages for labour. They collected hundreds of starving, withered people and sold them to farmers and other employers. The demand for our labour broke, broke the ties of family, clan and kingships. The social structure of the Xhosa had undergone irrevocable disruption.
George Grey considered the back of Xhosa resistance broken, trumped up charges led to the arrest of chiefs. Some trials were conducted where no legal representation was permitted. The chiefs were imprisoned on Robben Island. Grey was finally able to control the land of the Xhosa and declared the inhabitants, a conquered people.
The War of Mlanjeni is only one example of the many wars of resistance against land dispossession, and the protection of the right to human dignity. The colonial and apartheid states sponsored possessions are a direct cause of the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and deep inequality which are at the core of black South Africans’ lived experience.
In the Ready to Govern policy document, the ANC made an argument that our approach to land issues must be placed in the context of our overall developmental strategy, addressing problems of poverty, malnutrition, landlessness, and unemployment. It further argued that our approach should ensure that the homeless and landless will have access to land, shelter and necessary services for family security.
The ANC argued for the prioritisation of the need to address the demands and grievances concerning land restoration and
land rights, including ownership by the creation of a Land Claims Court, through which competing claims to land can be resolved. This Land Claims Court, it argued, would be affordable and accessible and that the state, would provide a certain financial assistance for those with limited means.
The Land Court Bill was tabled in the National Assembly in 2021. The Bill seeks to establish a specialist Land Court, with its judgment, orders and decisions appealable to the full bench. The Bill seeks to deal with a land related matter regulated by various acts. It is envisaged that, the establishment of this court will facilitate the expeditious disposal of cases, and contribute towards the development of appropriate jurisprudence in relation to land matters.
Presently, the Land Claims Court is battling to deal with the backlog of older land claims, which have left many land claimants disgruntled and frustrated. It has been reported that the backlog for land claims attributed to the absence of permanent judges and insufficient staff capacity, to process claims efficiently and timeously. Additionally, appeals against a ruling by the Land Claims Court can only be decided by the Supreme Court of Appeal. These do take lengthy periods to finalise.
Every judge on the Land Claims Court will be permanent. Judges will be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Services Commission, and must have experience or expertise in land rights matters. The judges of the court must also be representative of the race and gender demographics of the country.
The Bill places emphasis on alternative dispute resolution. Provision empowers the judge president to decide that a case so rather be resolved through mediation or arbitration, and not in an open court. Judges will also be empowered to suspend the hearing at any time, and refer a case to mediation or arbitration as they deem appropriate. This is supposed to provide a cheaper and quicker alternative, for cases to be decided outside their usual court process, which tends to be more costly and ... [Inaudible.]
Judges will also be empowered to refer cases to Legal Aid South Africa so that unrepresented party can be provided with a lawyer. The Bill says that Legal Aid South Africa must provide a lawyer if a substantial injustice would result otherwise, in keeping this with land justice. Hon Chair, the ANC supports the Bill. I thank you.
The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Mr B A Radebe):
Chairperson, I move that the report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
LAND COURT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT NOTICE DETERMINING THE REMUNERATION OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF SOUTH AFRICA (IEC) FOR 2021/22
Mr M S CHABANE: Thank you, House Chair and members of the House. I Table before the House the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on the draft notice determining the
remuneration of Commissioners of the Electoral Commission of South Africa for the financial year 2021-2022 for approval by this august House. A letter dated 10 June 2022, was received from the President of the Republic requesting the National Assembly to consider the draft notice of determination of salaries and allowance of members of various institutions including the Commissioners of the Electoral Commission in terms of the determination of remuneration of office bearers of independent constitutional institutions Law Amendment Act of 2022, usually required by the end of financial year.
Section 7(2) of the Electoral Act 23 of 1998, provides that condition of service, remuneration, allowance and other benefits of commissioners shall from time to time be determined by the President after consultation with the commission on remuneration of representatives. A distinction may be made between the commissioners appointed in fulltime and part-time capacity. The President received the annual salary recommendation from the public office bearers of the independent constitutional institution from the independent commission for the remuneration of public office bearers.63
The commission having considered amongst others, the state Wage Bill and the fiscus of the country, recommended a 3%
salary increment for all public office bearers for the financial year 2021-2022. One part-time IEC Commissioner is a judge and is remunerated in terms of the section 2(4) of Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act 47 of 2001, at a daily or hourly sitting rate calculated and paid on a basic salary of Judges of the High Court. The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on 07 June 2022, agreed to the President’s recommendation of 3% increase to salaries of Constitutional Court Judges and judges of other courts.
The committee having deliberated and concurred with the President determination on remuneration adjustment of the IEC commissioner that the salary increase of 3% be implemented for the chairpersons and other fulltime commissioners given their salary level for the financial year, 2021-2022. House Chairperson, the committee recommends that the National Assembly approve the notice determining the remuneration of commissioners of Electoral Commission of the IEC. Thank you, Chair.
Declarations of vote:
Ms T A KHANYILE: Thank you so much, Chairperson. Chairperson, in terms of section 190 of the Constitution of the Republic of
South Africa, 1996, the Independent Electoral Commission has clearly defined obligations as well as a specific mandate to manage elections of national, provincial and municipal legislative bodies to ensure that those elections are free and fair, to declare the results of those elections and compile and maintain a voter’s roll.
Furthermore, section 5 of the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996, states that the IEC required as part of its mandate to compiling and maintain the register of parties, undertake and promote research into electoral matters, developing promotes the development of electoral expertise and technology in all spheres of government, continuously review electoral laws and proposed electoral laws and makes recommendations, promote voter education, declare the results of elections for national and provincial municipal legislative bodies within seven days and appoint appropriate public administrations in any spheres of government to conduct elections when necessary.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa is South Africa’s election management body and an important Chapter 9 Institution established to support democracy. It is therefore, the responsibility of the IEC to ensure that each and every election is free and fair, and that it is a true reflection of
the voters’ choice and expressions. If the IEC fails in its duties in discharging its functions and responsibilities, this failure will unfortunately not be a reflection on the institution, but a negative reflection on South Africa and her people to the international community.
Chairperson, we had an awful experience in various voting districts, VDs, during the 2019 local government elections. Challenges which have been highlighted before the House which included the fact that voters who did not appear before the voters’ roll were turned away, when they have actually registered during their registration weekend. The IEC has an obligation to ensure that this does not happen again in the coming elections. Moving forward, the IEC must know that if they fail to discharge their duties with integrity and efficiency as entrusted to them by our Constitution, the institution must be prepared to take full responsibilities of such failures because they are actions are interlinked to that of South Africa’s young democracy.
Today, we have many households who are unable to put food on the table due to high rates of unemployment in our country. As a country we are in this mess because we do not have leaders who have the voters’ best interest at heart. As such, it is
important that the IEC must ensure that each and every election is a true reflection of democracy and that no voter is left behind. Chairperson, the DA is the only party that that has taken a firm stance against the rising prices of fuel and food prices.
It is a message that has resonated with a generality of our population. The citizens must, therefore, be given a sound electoral system to have their say on who should take South Africa forward. The DA is the only party that has solutions to the many challenges faced by majority of South Africans. We support this Report. Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms L F TITO: House Chairperson, we have one of the most inequal societies in the whole world. This inequality is sharpened by an abnormally large gap in salaries in the public services. We have to systematically address this problem and ensure that those at the bottom of the wage gap have their salaries gradually improved.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed our society and the circumstances call upon all of us to make sacrifices for the sustenance of the whole nation.
The report of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, which deals with the remuneration of the Commissioners of the Electoral Commission, needs to be viewed with some sort of capitation.
The proposed increment means that a total remuneration of R2 498 817 for the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, and R2 175 568 for the fulltime Commissioners. These are the same people who have not been
able to undertake any voter education for the majority of our people.
It is under the current leadership of the IEC that we have seen the lowest voter turnout in the history of this country’s democratic dispensation.
Furthermore, over 10 million people eligible to vote are not registered in this country. Meaning that the democracy we now live in is not legitimate when over half the voting population simply does not vote. The blame for this must be laid squarely at the inadequacies of the IEC and the inability to conduct voter education across the country.
While we previously voted in support of the salary increment for the state institutions, none of the people leading the IEC are deserving any increment.
We as the EFF reject this report. I thank you, House Chairperson.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon House Chairperson, we are today expected to agree to a salary increase for Commissioners of the Independent Electoral Commission which will see the Chairperson of the Commission earn an annual salary of nearly R2,5 million. In addition, fulltime Commissioners of the IEC are set to earn just over ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order! Order, hon members! Sorry, hon van der Merwe. Order, hon members!
You may continue, hon member!
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: ... which will see the Chairperson earn an annual salary of nearly R2,5 million. In addition, fulltime Commissioners of the IEC are set to earn just over
This comes after the President of the Republic requested our portfolio committee to accept the recommendations as outlined by our Chairperson earlier.
It goes without saying that approving increases during a time when South Africa faces a number of deepening and severe challenges, a deep economic crisis, a poverty crisis, a hunger crisis, an electricity crisis and more, it might be difficult for South Africans to comprehend why they should even agree to these increases and they have a point.
However, it should be pointed out that the IEC will be facing severe challenges in the lead up to the 2024 national and provincial elections.
The IEC and its representatives will have to contend with a reduced budget, the implications of the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill, voter apathy, the low participation of the youth in the elections, the impact of misinformation emanating from social media and the ever-growing discontent as the gap between those who rule and those who vote becomes more and more fractured daily.
In addition, the IEC will have to correct all the shortcomings of the past elections. They will have to correct the fact that people who had registered were missing from the voters’ roll or appeared in voting districts where they were not supposed to cast their votes. More so, the new voting machines were not working properly. All of these failures, Chairperson, will have to be corrected.
To ensure that the next election does not repeat the failures of the 2021 elections, the IEC will require the very best South Africans with the best possible skills to ensure that they deliver an election that is free, fair and credible.
We believe that the current IEC component, who are receiving increases today, has what it takes but they will have to do better in the next election for South Africa and its people.
With all of this in mind, Chairperson, the IFP will support this report. I thank you.
Mnr W W WESSELS: Huisvoorsitter, die Verkiesingskommissie gaan tans gebuk onder geweldige finansiële druk. Daar was tydens die 2021 munisipale verkiesings nie genoeg fondse om twee
registrasie naweke te hou nie, en dit het uit die aard van die saak gewone burgers, mense wat wou registreer en wat moes reg registreer, benadeel. So ook was daar baie probleme waar finansiële tekorte ’n rol speel met tydelike verkiesings of stempunte, en baie ander finansiële tekorte wat die demokrasie en die verkiesingsproses op die einde van die dag ondermyn.
Hierdie voorgestelde verhogings sal die voorsitter van die kommissie se salaris tot R2 498 817 miljoen per jaar verhoog; so ook ’n voltydse kommissaris se salaris tot
R2 175 568 miljoen. Terwyl ons Suid-Afrika se fiskale posisie in ag moet neem, die feit dat die meerderheid van Suid- Afrikaners onder die broodlyn leef, dat ongelykheid ’n geweldige krisis in Suid-Afrika is en mense honger is – meer as 50% van Suid-Afrikaners voldoen aan die definisie van honger — kan ons nie hierdie tipe salarisse regverdig nie.
Alhoewel salarisverhogings op die einde van die dag wel ’n gemeensaak is en in ag geneem moet word dat almal se lewenskoste verhoog, moet ons in Suid-Afrika ’n meer nugter benadering hê ten opsigte van hierdie tipe salarisse wat nie meer bekostigbaar is nie. Die ekonomie kan nie groei terwyl ons salarisse aan hierdie tipe openbare poste bestee nie, en nie geld bestee om in die eerste plek regverdige verkiesings
te verseker nie, en tweedens om ekonomiese groei te bewerkstellig nie. Daarom ondersteun die VF Plus nie die verslag nie.
Ms M MODISE: House Chairperson, in the ready to govern document the ANC declared that all elections at a central, regional and local level shall be conducted by an Independent Electoral Commission; which shall enjoy freedom from government and political control.
Established under chapter 9 of the Constitution of South Africa, the IEC is an independent institution supporting constitutional democracy.
The IEC must manage elections at national, provincial and municipal legislative bodies in accordance with the national legislation and ensures that those elections are free and fair, and declares the results of those elections within a period that must be prescribed by the national legislation and that is as short as reasonably as possible.
The Independent Electoral Commission is critical for a well- functioning democracy like ours. It gives life to the 1955 call of the Freedom Charter that the people shall govern.
Since its establishment, the IEC has been able to deliver free and fair elections.
The electoral commission received an unqualified audit in the 2019-20 financial year as a result of material adjustments made to the financial statements.
The focus for 2020-21 was improving findings identified in the prior year by the Auditor-General. We are pleased to learn that the Auditor-General issued a clean audit opinion in the 2020-21 financial year.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and declaration of the national lockdown, challenges were imposed in the IEC. Even in the face of many challenges, the IEC managed to deliver the 2021 local government elections.
Over the past 28 years South Africa’s electoral democracy is evidenced by the considerable growth in the number of political parties contesting all elections. From 19 parties in the first democratic elections in 1994 to 48 parties in the 2019 national and provincial elections; and from 79 parties in 2000 to 205 parties in the 2016 local government elections.
The electoral commission prioritizes the procurement of Voter Management Devices, VMDs, to address the deficiencies in the current voters’ roll ahead of the 2021 local government elections.
Notwithstanding the funding pressures the electoral commission succeeded in prudent spending.
Chairperson, from time to time the President of the Republic determines the conditions of service, remuneration, allowances and other benefits of commissioners.
After consultation with the Commission on Remunerations of Representatives established by section 2 of the Commission of the Remuneration of Representatives Act, the commission recommended a 3% annual increase.
The President received the annual salary recommendations for the public office bearers of the Independent Constitutional Institutions which were sent in a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly.
The committee, having deliberated, agreed that a retrospective salary increase of 3% be implemented for the Chairperson and
other fulltime Commissioners given their salary level for the 2021-22 financial year.
For the part-time Commissioner, who is a Judge, salary increases will be as per that approved by the portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the 7th of June of 2022.
In conclusion, House Chair, the IEC has over the years demonstrated good governance which places itself as one of the best and well-managed electoral institution across the continent.
The ANC supports the report. [Applause.]
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF ALL PERSONS FROM ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE (ICPPED) IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF CONSTITUTION, 1996
Mr G MAGWANISHE: Thank you, very much House Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members. I stand before you to urge you to approve the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
This convention is intended to prevent and eradicate the enforced disappearances of persons described under international law as crimes against humanity.
The Convention defines enforced disappearance as:
The arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the state or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the state, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.
The convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2006, and came into force on 23 December 2010.
To date, 68 state parties have ratified or acceded to the convention.
The committee notes that the convention, must be incorporated into our domestic law. This is because the Rome Statute, which South Africa has ratified and domesticated, applies only to enforced disappearance in the case of a collective or groups but not in the case of individuals.
Cabinet approved accession to the convention on 25 May 2022 and, in terms of Section 231(2) of the Constitution, the convention now requires the approval of both Houses of Parliament.
The convention was tabled for approval on 16 August 2022 and was referred to the committee for consideration and report on
18 August 2022.
Having considered the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, tabled in terms of Section 231(2) of the Constitution of 1996, and the Explanatory Memorandum, referred to it, the committee recommends that the National Assembly resolves to approve the Convention. I thank you.
Declarations of vote:
Mr W HORN: Thank you, House Chair, we rise in support of this report and the adaption of this convention. As hon Magwanishe has pointed out victims of enforced disappearance are people who have literally disappeared. Generally, at the hand of state officials or someone acting with state consent.
Followed by placing in a space outside of the protection of the law. Enforced disappearance are also typified by a denial or refusal by the state to give information on the enforced disappearance.
House Chair, Amnesty International has pointed out that enforced disappearance is a human rights violation with following rights that might be infringed:
The right to recognition as a person before the law and equality before the law, the right to dignity, liberty and security of person, the right not be subjected to torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment, the right to life when the disappeared person is ultimately killed, the right to a fair trial and to judicial guarantees and the right to access to information.
Critical for our purpose the convention seeks to achieve imposing obligations on state parties to do the following:
To criminalise enforced disappearance and make a punishable offence. To search for disappeared persons, investigate their disappearance and provide victims with access to justice and reparation. To guarantee minimum legal standards around depravation of liberty. To refuse to extradite a person to another state, where there are substantial grounds to believe that persons would be in danger with the enforced disappearance. To prohibit secret detention and to train law enforcement officials on policing and enforcement of these offences.
House Chair, we deem this imposition of these obligations on our state through the adoption of this convention as laudable and necessary in the context of specifically an increase in not only state sponsored enforced disappearance globally but also in respect with kidnappings and organised crime in South Africa. Thank you
Ms Y N YAKO: Thank you very much House Chairperson, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, is a crucial international
instrument for the protection of vulnerable people and people killed or forced into exile by repressive regimes.
We are a country with a particular legacy, and legacy of colonialism and apartheid, in which black people opposed to the inhuman treatment. That was perpetuated on blacks or subjected to the most the heinous of crimes. Most of our fathers, grandparents, great grandparents were subjected to torture, kidnaping and pain through to the hands of those who had power to do so.
Most families are still to locate the loved ones from 1976 uprisings due to the total disregard the apartheid government had towards the lives of the black South Africans. Therefore, we support international instruments that will help against the forced disappearance of citizens, either at the hands of the repressive governments or through human trafficking.
It is in this spirit that we thoroughly opposed to the criminal and the apartheid regime of Israel that continues to imprison, kill and exile Palestinian people who are fighting for their land. This international instruments are hollow and meaningless if they do not at the same address question of apartheid Israel.
We need an international instrument to address the plight many people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, who are placed and displaced and disappeared by western companies, looting the wealth of the Congo. We must be able to address the plight of Libyans who have been subjected to human trafficking and deaths since the west sponsored the killing of Colonel Gaddafi. Therefore, we believe it’s our duty to protect the citizens of South Africa from these crimes as well as system of the world.
As Section 231 of the Constitution says, it is our responsibility as Parliament to agree to international agreements and we do agree to this one. So, therefore as the EFF we support this report. Thank you.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Thank you, hon House Chairperson, as one global community, human rights should be sacrosanct, and violations thereof met with universal condemnation and sanction.
Enforced disappearance under whichever form it is qualified, remains a deprivation of liberty and is in violation of the norms of international human rights law, fostering a culture of impunity and lacking in any kind of oversight.
This may lead to arbitrary arrests, with no substantive investigations taking place into the merits of the arrests.
As a progressive constitutional order and democracy with an enshrined Bill of Rights, and as a political party founded primarily to fight against human rights abuses wherever they may occur, the IFP will continue to uphold and protect human rights.
It is in this vein that we support the request for approval of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The IFP supports. I thank you.
Mr W W WESSELS: House Chairperson, the FF Plus supports the report and our commitment to this convention. The question though is why did it take us so long to sign or rectify this very important convention? That is a very important question. It is also now very important that the necessary legal developments of our domestic law takes place to also then include this in our domestic law as we currently have a void in this regard. We thus support the report and support this gratification of this convention. I thank you.
Ms N H MASEKO-JELE: House Chairperson, the ANC supports the report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services. The term ‘disappeared’ first emerged as a description of victims of state sanctioned adoptions coupled with denial of arrest. The practice of enforced disappearances reached prevalent proportions in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Ksz M G Boroto): Mma Jele?
Ms N H MASEKO-JELE: Hi, Chair.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Ksz M G Boroto): Umntwana uyarhuwelela lapho. Sibawa bamlahlele kude le. Abambeke kude.
ILUNGA ELIHLONIPHEKILEKO: Bamlahlele? Heee!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you very much, you may proceed.
Ms N H MASEKO-JELE: Thank you, Chair. Apologies for that.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Ksz M G Boroto): Akunamraro, siyawazi umsebenzi wabogogo ekhaya. Ragela phambili, mma.
Ms N H MASEKO-JELE: Thank you very much. The practice of enforced disappearances reached prevalent proportions in Latin America in the 1960s and 70s. In 1988 in a landmark case the Inter-American court of Human Rights held in Velásquez- Rodríguez v. Honduras,
Disappearances are not new in the history of human rights violations. However, their systematic and repeated nature and their use not only for causing certain individuals to disappear, either briefly or permanently, but also as a means of creating a general state of anguish, insecurity and fear, is a recent phenomenon. Although this practice exists virtually worldwide, it has occurred with exceptional intensity in Latin America in the last few years.
Enforced disappearances are crimes usually perpetrated by states. It is considered to be the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the state or by persons or groups of persons acting
with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the state, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.
definition of an enforced disappearance has been expanded in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to include non-state actors as well, even though the definition of an enforced disappearance has traditionally only been applied to actions carried out by states or their agents. An enforced disappearance is recognised as an international crime and a wrongful act by international customary law, treaties and jurisprudence due to its continuous and multi-offensive nature as well as to the multiplicity of victims.
Our painful history as a nation is littered with many examples of enforced disappearances. One example is that of uMkhonto weSizwe courier, Nokuthula Aurelia Simelane, who was 23 years of age when she disappeared in 1983. She was last seen some five weeks after being abducted in the boot of policemen’s motor vehicle in Johannesburg. Many families like the Simelane family lost loved ones. Most of them are still bleeding.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC, identified 477 persons as missing. Some of these have had their remains found or at least an explanation as to what happened to them. There is 304 persons still not had their remains recovered. This figure though does include people who may have been killed by other means whilst in exile. So, it is not only people who were disappeared and being disappeared requires the state to be responsible. Many families still seek justice.
We welcome the report by the National Prosecuting Authority to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services regarding the investigation and prosecutions of TRC cases. We urge it to move with speed in its investigations and prosecutions so as to ensure that justice is served to the families.
The United Nations Human Rights Commission noted that state parties should also take specific and effective measures to prevent the disappearance of individuals and establish effective facilities and procedures to investigate thoroughly by an appropriate and impartial body. Cases of missing and disappeared persons in circumstances which may ... [Inaudible.] ... the convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance is intended to prevent and
eradicate the enforced disappearances of persons described under international law as crimes against humanity. The convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2006 and came into force on 23 December 2010. Since the convention is an international law instrument and once it is binding it will need to be domesticated, the pain many of us have lived through during the apartheid era should never be experienced again by anyone. The ANC supports the report. I thank you.
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) approved.
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE SUPPRESSION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF APARTHEID: ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS ON 30 NOVEMBER 1973 IN TERMS OF SECTION 231(2) OF CONSTITUTION, 1996
Mr G MAGWANISHE: Thank you very much, House Chairperson. Ministers and Deputy Ministers, and hon members, I rise to move for the adoption of the Convention on the Suppression and
Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. It has its roots in the opposition by the United Nations with the discriminatory racial policies of the South African apartheid government. The convention declares apartheid to be a crime against humanity and that it is inhumane resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discriminations are international crimes constituting a serious threat to international peace and security. The convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 30 November 1973, and came into force on
18 July 1976. To date 110 state parties have rectified or acceded to the convention.
Cabinet approved the accession to the convention on 24 February 2021, and in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution the convention now requires the approval of both Houses of Parliament. The convention was referred to the committee on 8 April 2021, for consideration and report. The committee is of the view that there is a need to assert that apartheid is, indeed, a crime against humanity, and that practices associated with apartheid, racial discrimination and other related intolerances will be punished. Further, the need for preventative measures as well as steps to redress the terrible harms caused by this crime should be considered.
Having considered the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 30th of November 1973, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution of 1996, and the explanatory memorandum to the convention referred to it, the committee recommends that the National Assembly resolves to approve the Convention. Thank you.
There was no debate.
Declarations of votes made on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus, African Christian Democratic Party, United Democratic Movement, Good and African National Congress.
Declarations of vote:
Mr W HORN: Thank you, House Chair. The report of the portfolio committee on this convention states that the committee concluded that there is a need to assert unambiguously that apartheid is, indeed, a crime against humanity. An interesting observation specifically, if one considers the historical context and the explicit decision by the government after the dawn of democracy, do not adopt this convention because as it
was risen at the time apartheid was decisively and were finality defeated South Africa. Therefore, to argue that this all of a sudden a need to make a new declaration to this effect could be seen as undermining this proud historical in definitive moment in our history.
At to this, House Chair, this convention is for a practical purposes a defunct international instruments with monitoring and reporting of it having ... [Inaudible.] ... when apartheid was defeated in South Africa and that the declaration of apartheid as a crime against humanity was already in no uncertain terms incorporated into our domestic law with the adoption of the Rome Statute in 2002, supported unanimously at the time by all parties represented in Parliament and one cannot, but wonder what is really behind this proposal. Is it that this government, despite public assurances, is given by Minister Lamola 30 days no appetite to withdraw from the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court after the shameful unlawful attempt to do so by the Zuma administration is still silently considering to do so?
Is this report and the adoption of the convention, therefore, and that ... [Inaudible.] ... and buying cover for when the ill-advised foolish International Crimes Bill is to be rushed
through Parliament, cover against an argument that we will be simultaneously abolishing the local criminalisation of apartheid as a crime against humanity. If this is not the case maybe we can get an undertaking today here that this government is to withdraw the International Crimes Bill rather than withdrawing from the Rome Statute.
House Chair, we must also ask if the need to adopt this convention is may be founded in the fact that it along with the Rome Statute is increasingly use to agitate for international actions against the state of Israel, acquire with which our government is happily singing along, acquire which is, of course, cringingly tone-deaf and off-key when cronies like Russia and China have accused of undemocratic and discriminatory practices. If so, let me remind this House of the words of Justice Richard Goldstone one of our most distinguished judges who also served at great distinction at the International Criminal Court, who said:
But those who conflate the situations in Israel and the West Bank and liken both to the old South Africa do a disservice to all who hope for justice and peace. The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and
malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.
Lastly, House Chair, one must consider whether this newly discovered need to again declare that apartheid was an abhorrent system and a crime against humanity, is may be founded in the realisation by this failed ANC government that apartheid must be kept alive at all costs in the mind of people even if is to have any chance of not totally imploding in 2024. If so, then our only reaction is to say that well, we have no interest in assisting the ANC while its wheels are coming off, it will be, indeed, very sad if time and money has been spent on this proposal which could have been spent dealing with a real problems faced by people today.
Never ending blackout, lack of access to clean water, the ever-rising cost of electricity, food, transport, cost of living in general, crime crumbling criminal justice system, poor education and health care. All, of a course, again to be blamed today solely on the legacy of apartheid without explaining why billions of rand that could have been spent to help fix these problems, have been wasted and stolen on the watch of this ANC government.
House Chair, finally, we take this opportunity to say unequivocally that as the Democratic Alliance we stand firmly with everyone who holds ... [Inaudible.] ... our constitutional democracy and the decisive antiapartheid which it symbolises an embodies. We stand firmly with everyone who aspires to see in their lifetime a flourishing South Africa. We stand family with everyone who regard 1994, as a never again moment in our country’s history and who does not want to repeat of any of the practices that characterise apartheid, including benefiting some at the expense of others purely on the basis of skin colour. Therefore, while being highly suspicious of the motivations of this government for bringing this to Parliament now, we will support this report and propose. Thank you.
Ms Y N YAKO: Thank you very much, House Chairperson. Perhaps it is proper that we begin this declaration by wishing the unfitting stalwarts of our liberation struggle Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela a post-humorous belated birthday. Umama Winnie represented the best of our people ... [Inaudible.] ... produced over centuries. She was resilient, she was fiery, she was uncompromising and she was principled in her fight right up until the end of her life. She stood firm even as those who fought alongside her abandoned her and handed her over to the
wars of apartheid. House Chairperson, the 1973 declaration of the UN General Assembly that apartheid was a crime against humanity represented a turning point in the national and international struggle against racist regime that benefited a tiny majority of the European sector or settler community.
Today it’s still ... [inaudible.] ... like a staunch in everything we do and everything we are as South Africa. Today we have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC, we have had one and yet, no one has ever fully being held accountable for the atrocious acts that were perpetrated against the black people of this country. Therefore, that is something that the governing party should hang its head in shameful, instead it was used as lunging ground for those who fought against the same oppressive system, namely, Umama Winnie Madikizela- Mandela. These and there are those who still live today who participated directly in ... [Inaudible.] ... inhuman violations against our people, and who have never been held accountable for those acts because we have a government that does not value its people, doesn’t value its history, and is not centred around justice.
Yes, we do agree that with the report however it is purely lip-service if it does not translate to tangible ...
[Inaudible.] ... of those who are responsible for these violations. In this country not a single perpetrator of apartheid crimes has ever been held responsible. We are talking about those who took decisions not nearly foot soldiers of the reason. We do support this report and urge the UN to consider that these crimes committed by Israel assisted by the US in Palestine as crimes of against inhumanity.
Therefore, we support this report. Thank you.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon Chairperson, on November 12 1974 the United Nations General Assembly suspended South Africa from participating in its work due to international opposition ...
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Bab’uSithole, awuhlale kancane.
What is it, hon member? what are you rising on?
Mr M N PAULSEN: Hon Papo just used a very unparliamentary word
... [Inaudible.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Paulsen, you and Mr Papo have actually been disturbing Mr Sithole here on the podium. I was watching you. So, please don’t bring us into your arguments; you and Mr Papo.
Proceed, hon Sithole.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon Chairperson, on November 12 1974 the United Nations General Assembly suspended South Africa from participating in its work due to international opposition to the policy of apartheid. As many are aware, South Africa was readmitted to the United Nations in 1994 following its transition into democracy. The national government has moved at an extremely slow pace to approve this Convention.
The Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 30 November 1973 and came into force on 18 July 1976 in solidarity with our fight against apartheid.
To date, 110 states parties have ratified or acceded to the Convention. All member states of the United Nations are signatory to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. As a member state, our government should be the one that seeks to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms
for all without distinction to race, sex, language or religion.
Our country has the historic stain of ‘coining’ the term apartheid. Apartheid is considered a crime against humanity. It is a system of state-imposed policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination that were practiced by the undemocratic government of the past. It encompassed inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group.
This gives even more reason for South Africa to have sought to ratify the Convention immediately after the establishment of the democratic state and Parliament. This Convention seeks to stop the crime of apartheid ever being committed again; no person has the right to oppress another.
The IFP does support the Convention. Thank you very much, hon Chairperson.
Mr W W WESSELS: House Chairperson, nobody should want to go back to apartheid. Nobody should condone human rights violations.
Yet, the ANC government with its silence regarding human rights atrocities committed by their international friends such as China, is condonement of such.
Being silent about the atrocities committed by Iran against the Kurdistan people does not serve a better future.
Turning a blind eye towards the current racial segregation and human rights violations committed against the Weager [tried to get proper spelling but couldn’t] people by the Chinese government is unacceptable. Weager people are placed in racial segregated camps but the ANC government is silent and has not condemned such.
Fighting for a better past serves no purpose, fighting for a better future free from human rights violations and discrimination should be the focus.
Ons moet uit die verlede leer, ’n herhaling daarvan verhoed, in die hede leef en op ’n beter toekoms fokus.
A future where there are equal opportunities for all, where skin colour is not used to discriminate and exclude.
Stop keeping South Africans hostage of the past for your own political benefit. And let us start building a better future. I thank you.
Mr S N SWART: House Chair, the ACDP fully appreciates the need for this Convention although it was signed in November of 1973 and it was considered by the Justice Portfolio Committee.
However, we are concerned when we already have speakers in this platform that are speaking about using it against Israel and we would strongly object to that.
But the context of this Convention relates to apartheid in South Africa at the time of 1973 and it is regrettable that it has taken such a long time for it to be endorsed by this Parliament by having the context of it be needed and fast to address the ills of apartheid. The ACDP will support it in that regard. I thank you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: House Chair, since we were able to mobilise the international community to ensure that the apartheid
regime was and their systems were declared crime against humanity, some of us thought that we would, as a country, take a lead in human rights violations, especially those that had been declared as a crime against humanity on the continent and in the rest of the world.
Recently I participated in an International Parliamentary Inquiry where we looking into human rights violations in Myanmar. And one of the things that are happening there is that, that Myanmar, the military junta there continues to commit seriously human rights violations where children are tortured, killed, unscripted, murdered.
That, even though it’s not about children on the African continent, I’m sure to some extent parts of the continent where they are volatile, where there’s instability; I’m sure that some of the regimes have committed crimes against humanity.
Our view is that we were, for a large extend, for the longest period, considered to be reliable exporters of human rights or a culture of human rights to other parts of the continent and the world, and my view is that we should continue to do so wherever the human rights violations occur, especially those
that have been declared or considered to be at the level that they can be declared a crime against humanity. We continue to be a voice of reason in so far as that is concerned.
But coming back home, it is a pity that we continue to talk about an apartheid regime and its system that was considered to be a crime against humanity but that does not seem to be having anyone who has been held account for all those violations that occurred. Instead we short-circuited and short-changed ourselves in the reconciliation and nation building pact that we built together because the Bothas and other Presidents they would proudly come on TV and defend apartheid and yet ...
... babulele abantu abanintsi bethu ...
... and yet in many parts of the continent the country rather, we are where we are in terms of transformation and all the other challenges that we have today because we have to address the past imbalances and backlogs created in our country by the apartheid regime. I thank you. we support the report.
Ms A RAMOLOBENG: Thanks, House Chair, members of the House, compatriots, comrades and friends, the ANC supports the report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services.
The enactment of the infamous 1913 Native Land Act marked the beginning of territorial segregation by forcing black Africans to live in reserves and making it illegal for the to work as sharecroppers.
In 1948, the Afrikaner National Party won the general elections under the slogan “Apartheid” literally translated as apartness. Their goal was not only to separate South Africans white minority from the black majority but also to separate blacks from each other and to divide the black South Africans along the tribal lines in order to decrease their political power.
The apartheid government forcefully removed black South Africans from rural areas designated as white to the homelands and sold their land at low prices to white farmers. From 1961 to 1994, more than 3,5 million people were forcefully removed from their homes and were deposited in the Bantustans. Even in urban areas, forced removals took place, and this acts of
brutality plunged blacks into poverty and hopelessness. These Acts, took away the essence of being a human being and human dignity.
Apartheid was a system of multiple laws, rules and regulations designed to keep South Africans physically, economically and culturally apart in order to consolidate power and wealth in the hands of the white minority using discredited social and scientific theories to claim differences of culture and nature.
South African authorities classified people as white, black, coloured or Indian and endowed these groups with unequal rights, degrees of mobility and opportunities.
A highly institutionalised structure apartheid-governed every aspect of South African life, determining everything from whether one could vote, where one could live, to what sort of education one was entitled to, and with whom one could interact with.
Hendrik Verwoerd, infamously known as the architect of apartheid stated that:
What is the use of teaching the Bantu child mathematics when it cannot use it in practice? That is quite absurd. Education must train people in accordance with their opportunities in life, according to the sphere in which they live.
The effects of Bantu education system cannot be ignored. In the 1960s and 1970s, EG Marlherbe, an Afrikaaner educationist, chronical to the devastation brought by apartheid, estimated that it would take two generations – about 60 years – to undo the damage and achieve parity amongst the various groups in educational attainment.
The ANC has throughout its existence promoted human rights, justice and human dignity. These have been amongst the key issues that were at the heart of our liberation struggle.
The principle of humanity and its inherent values of freedom, equality and justice for all people irrespective of race, gender or social status, have always been contained in the 1923 Bill of Rights and in the 1943 Africans’ Claim both of which informed the formation of the Congress Alliance.
In the mid-80s, the ANC issued constitutional guidelines for a democratic South Africa which contained its human rights-based vision of a postapartheid South Africa.
The ANC’ sponsored the Harare Declaration in 1989 which laid the foundation for a negotiated settlement and the establishment of a democratic South Africa. All these were consolidated by the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in 1996.
While we have achieved political freedom, much work must still be done to ensure economic transformation and attaining non- racial, non-sexist and a prosperous South Africa for all who live in it.
With the committee, we are of the view that there is a need to assert ambiguously that apartheid is a crime against humanity and that practices associated with apartheid, racial discrimination and other related intolerances will be punished. In addition, the need for preventative measures, as well as steps to redress terrible harms caused by this crime should be considered. The ANC supports. I thank you.
CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS TO SCHEDULE 1, 2 AND 3 OF FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE ACT, ACT 38 OF 2001
Ms P N ABRAHAM: Thank you, hon House Chair, yes Chair, I am standing in for the chairperson of the Finance Standing Committee. I will be speaking for the approval of the amendments to the Schedules of the Financial Intelligence Act.
The amendments of the Schedules of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, FICA, are aimed at improving South Africa’s legislative and regulatory framework of combatting money- laundering, terrorism financing and weapons proliferation. Many of the amendments to the Schedules are technical, as they are aimed aligning our laws, for instance, Schedule 1 of the FICA still refers to law societies, whereas we now have the Legal Practice Councils, following the passing of the Legal Practice Act by Parliament a few years ago.
In Schedule 2 of the FICA, there are still references to the Financial Services Board, FSB, which was replaced by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, FSCA, and Prudential Authority.
Other amendments are meant to expand the operation of the FICA to institutions or persons that were not previously covered, but pose some risk of money-laundering. We will know the severity of these risks once proper risk assessments are conducted in those sectors.
The powers to amend the Schedules are delegated to the Minister of Finance in terms of sections 73, 75 and 76 of the FICA, with Parliament approving such amendments. However, instead of merely approving such when the Standing Committee on Finance, SCOF, received a briefing on the amendment of these Schedules from National Treasury and the Financial Intelligence Centre on 15 June, before Parliament went to recess, the committee decided that we have to ensure that some public participation takes place. This was simply because new persons and entities will now be covered by these Schedules. The new entities to be covered include crypto asset dealers, accountants, company service providers, and trust service providers, which all are at risk of being used to launder money.
There has been some media coverage of how Parliament has delayed approving the amendment to these Schedules. This was in the light of South Africa facing a possible greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force, the international standard setting
body against money-laundering based in Paris. Such media coverage was unfortunate, as delays in approving the amendments were not on the part of Parliament. The amendments were only tabled in Parliament in May 2022, whereas the Minister of Finance started consulting on these in 2017. The delay is therefore not on the part of Parliament.
The main issue raised in the public hearings hosted by the SCOF was that the antimoney-laundering regulations are increasing the cost of compliance for businesses and regulated persons. This therefore affects consumers as regulated institutions have the luxury to pass on such costs to their customers.
As the committee, we believe that any regulatory intervention should be mindful of the cost implications. In this regard, a risk-based approach is necessary. When implementing the regulations on businesses which pose a low risk of money- laundering and terrorist financing, the FIC should be circumspect and guide these businesses and supervisory bodies accordingly. Slapping noncompliance with exorbitant sanctions results in perverse outcomes and may lead to regulated institutions treating customers unfairly for fear of being sanctioned.
We believe that administrative sanctions partly contribute to the unilateral closure of banks accounts by banks. However, that is an issue that the committee is looking closely into as unilateral closures of bank accounts by banks may contribute to job losses and financial exclusion.
Lastly, as the committee, we believe that the Minister of Finance should ensure that plans are in motion to prevent South Africa being greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force, as that will have dire implications for the economy. It will make it difficult for South Africa to transact and trade with other countries. We believe that South Africa will avoid the greylisting as three weeks ago, the committee started processing the Financial Laws Amendment Bill which focusses on antimoney- laundering and counterterrorism financing.
The FICA regulations should enable the country to deal with corruption, illicit financial flows and tax evasion by big businesses who shift money offshore. We therefore should move into the area of prosecutions and asset forfeiture. Just complying with the Financial Action Task Force standards is not enough. We need results. We support the approval of these amendments by the National Assembly. I thank you, House Chair.
Declarations of vote:
Dr D T GEORGE: Chairperson, every South African who owns a bank account will know how difficult it is to open an account and to keep it open for the constant requirement to provide evidence of their physical address and source of income. When a bank account is suddenly frozen the bank blames the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, Fica. In 2001, the Financial Intelligence Centre, Fic, a money laundering advisory council, was established to combat money laundering. Schedule 1 listed accounts which the institutions that will require to implant internal rules to establish the identity of the person with whom they are doing business with and to report suspicious transactions. Schedule 2 listed supervisory bodies to which accountable institutions reported. Schedule 3 listed entities that did not have a supervisory body that nee to report directly to the Fic. They will now fall under schedule 1.
The Financial Intelligence Centre imposed significant additional compliance costs that were passed directly to the heavily taxed consumers. Despite these additional costs and inconvenience, the Act failed in its objectives. It inconvenienced honest people and never stopped financial criminals. The Fic was meant to assist in identifying the
proxy of crime, combating money laundering, financing terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It does this by receiving data from accountable and reporting institutions and producing financial intelligence for the use of competent authorities in their investigations. We never knew whether Fic was doing its job or not because all questions we ever asked via the Minister of Finance about the court received and action taken, were left unanswered under the guise of confidentiality. The latest report from the Financial Action Task Force, FATF, has now clearly answered this question. The Financial Intelligence Centre has failed.
An assessment in 2019, raised a number of red flags that put South Africa in a very poor light. But no action was taken. In its report in 2021, FATF found the country lagging in 20 of the recommendations. The key findings of the report were that, although South Africa displays an understanding of the money laundering threat from the domestic perspective, the understanding from a foreign perspective is limited. South Africa’s law enforcement agencies were found to be wanting in relation to investigating money laundering and terrorist financing cases. The country’s capacity to prosecute such
matters has also been brought into question. There is no accountability and no consequences for this financial crimes.
South Africa will be expected to produce a progress report by the end of December 2022, which will need to show how the country has stacked up against the recommendations and action items that came out of the assessment. The Treasury is now scrambling to make the necessary regulatory changes to keep our country off the grey listed countries at high risk for money laundering and terrorist financing that includes Pakistan, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and others. Our fate will be decided in February 2023. It appears that the National Treasury has responded with too little and too late.
The co-ordination between the National Treasury and the security cluster is lacking and there is no single person co- ordinating effort especially on prosecutions.
The international banking community has been aware for a very long time that illicit money is flowing through South Africa. High levels of corruption and significant leakage from the public financial system has generated a huge amounts of money that was laundered and transferred abroad - the money that could have alleviated the plight of the poorest South Africans
households who are now unable to put enough food on their tables.
If grey listing materialises South Africa could face a downgrade in investment rankings - a potential of disinvestment adverse economic consequences for trade and transactions and possible restrictions on banks in the US, UK and the European Union, EU, from transacting with the South African banks. This would compound the consequences coming our way from the USA given the ANC government’s warmth towards the Russian aggresses in their war in Ukraine.
The amendments to the schedules are intended to address the deficiencies relating to the scope of the schedule by including new sectors and business activities within the scope of the regulations. Various participants in the process have raised their concern about the additional compliance burden and costs. The Fic and the National Treasury have dropped the ball on this. It appears highly probable that we will be grey listed next year. Those responsible must be held to account and all efforts must now go into getting off the list as quickly as possible. Given the dire consequences we otherwise face, the DA supports the amendments. Thank you.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Chairperson, the proposed amendments to schedules 1, 2 and 3 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act by the Finance Minister is intended to bring the work of the Financial Intelligence Centre in line with the international standards of the Financial Action Task Force and some amendments to recent legislation particularly the Financial Sector Regulation Act. Amendments will include legal practitioners. It will also include trust and company service providers. It will include credit providers, encrypt currency traders amongst other organisations who, going forward, will fall under the oversight of the Financial Intelligence Centre, FIC.
While widening the scope of organisations and entities that fall under the oversight of the Financial Intelligence Centre, as long as the FIC behaves like a unit or a department under the National Treasury, we will not be able to deal with money laundering, fraud and corruption including cross border, illicit financial flow. We need a complete overall of our legislation related to money laundering, fraud and corruption in particular tax legislation to criminalise aggressive tax avoidance. We need to criminalise base erosion and property shifting. But we know that this will not happen because the FIC is partisan, and not independent.
We wrote to the FIC about the Canadian bank account held by a proxy of Jamnadas, the Minister of Public Enterprises. We did not get a conclusive response on this matter. We wrote to the FIC about the ramadollar and to this date there is no action despite the overwhelming prima facie evidence.
While the amendments of schedules 1, 2 and 3 will assist with the case against grey listing, the reality is that the problem of money laundering, fraud and corruption and cross-border illicit financial flows will require far more radical amendments to the legislation. Thank you very much.
Mr E M BUTHELEZI: Hon Chair, South Africa has become a hotspot for financial crimes, with our legislative framework needing to consider the ever changing nature of these crimes, and supporting activities as a way to counter them. Of course, it should be done in line with the Financial Actions Task Force while mindful of South Africa’s context in relation to the global financial system.
The Report has highlighted one of the most important steps in adopting amendments by the government, which are those of public involvement and participation in the efforts to honour and include the public and new businesses. It is essential for different stakeholders to engage in these changes when it
comes to legislation and regulatory entities that they refer and report to. The platform for individuals and organisations to meaningfully contribute to the decision-making processes is one that we have found to be commendable.
However, we do not want to lose sight of how we arrived where we are in terms of money laundering and all other financial crimes. As the IFP we have been consistent in pointing to the real causes of where our challenges are coming from which speak to the need to build leadership, the lack of accountability and consequences towards those who are in the wrong and the rampant corruption which is threatening our country. The leaders and structures tasked with dealing with these problems have turned them into systematic problems, which have left our country bleeding more than it heals. If there is one thing that must be done, it is holding every single person to account starting in this House.
With this being said, we have found ourselves sharing the same concern that is lamented in the report regarding the costs that will be accompaning the regulation and compliance of sectors that fall under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act. We would like to reiterate that attempts must be made to ensure that the regulatory costs do not have a heavy impact on
the low risk sectors and ultimately, the consumers. In addition, sectors such as the informal economy should not be the victims of the misguided focus by authorities and entities such as banks who take part in the informal economies as scapegoats for financial crimes.
We have seen individuals in rural communities such as Engoje where I come from where sales of cattle in action resulting in them making sums of money and when they go to banks they are being questioned and treated like money launderers while the same line of questioning is not asked to those actual perpetrators of financial crimes. We encourage the establishment of a risk-based approach in efforts to reduce the costs that trickle down to an already suffering consumer. If there is anything we should be aiming for, it is protecting our consumers from the multiple and mounting costs they are exposed to on a daily basis and bringing criminals to book.
With South Africa being one of the hottest hubs for financial crimes, including money laundering and funding terrorism, it is very important to ensure that tightening of regulations and that active work being put to ensure that financial crimes are solved efficiently. The work being done by the regulatory entities to do so should be enhanced, and focus should not
only be on meeting compliance standards but also on ensuring that these crimes are decreased as the report points out.
Our fight against the potential of being grey listed ... [Time expired.] We support the report.
Mr W W WESSELS: House Chair, the Financial Intelligence Centre Act and how it is actioned affects ordinary law abiding citizens the most, whilst those who launder continue unhindered. The Financial Intelligence Centre Act and the Financial Intelligence Centre, Fic, have failed. These amendments are an attempt to keep South Africa off the grey list. It is too little too late, and the amendments do not take the concerns of role-players into account. The compliance burden placed on certain role-players will not serve the purpose to counter money laundering, fraud, corruption and the illicit flow of money. The Fic is a failed institution and no amendments to the schedule or to the Act itself will fix such.
Eweredige, konsekwente toepassing is wat nodig is en ’n instelling wat werklik dan die geweldige krisis wat die onwettige vloei van fondse en die huidige vlak van korrupsie
en bedrog behels, moet teenstaan. Dit is wat nodig is. Ek dank u.
Mr S N SWART: House Chair, the ACDP supports the amendments to the schedule 1, 2 and 3 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act. The ACDP like many others is extremely concerned that the country is on the verge of being grey listed by the Financial Action Task Force, FATF, which is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. This must be avoided at all costs as it will raise the country’s risk profile to unacceptable levels to place a question mark on its financial regulatory bodies and attach a higher risk premium to corresponding relationships between South African banks and international financial institutions. Corresponding banking relationships could be cancelled and it would have a devastating impact on our financial services and the economy, which is already facing a technical recession.
Now, the amendment in our view goes somewhere and there are a number of amendments that are to be placed before Parliament, such as the Nonprofit Organisations Act, Trust Property Control Act, Companies Act, Financial Sector Regulation Act, all amendments to this, but these Bills only address 14 of the
20 areas identified as weaknesses in the mutual evaluation report by the Financial Action Task Force. This must be addressed.
In addition to this, the more challenging part relates to the prevention, monitoring and prosecution on terrorism finance where the country obtained the lowest possible score. That was in October 2021 assessment, where the FATF has stated that South Africa convicted one person for terrorist financing since the last mutual evaluation report and was prosecuting one case which is inconsistence with its significant terrorist financing risks. These are matters of great concern when one considers the implication of a grey listing which is the consideration of what is to take place next year in 2023. We trust in supporting this amendment and in the fact that the other amendments are being considered, so that this, together with an improvement in prosecution and asset forfeiture unit will go a long way and will prevent the grey listing with its severe implication. The ACDP will support his report. I thank you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: This is a step in the right direction. We support it, House Chair.
Mr B N HERRON: We support the amendments, House Chairperson.
Ms M D MABILETSA: House Chair, Minister, Deputy Ministers, hon members ...
... badudi kua gae, ka segageio re re, “Le hlwele naa?
The ANC welcomes the greater focus and attention that is being given to the importance of dealing with illicit flows out of the country, illegal base erosion, profit shifting, money laundering and broader financial malfeasance and corruption.
As the ANC we have consciously raising these matters since 2015. And it was the Fifth Parliament that provided concrete recommendations in 2017 on what needed to be done. We must say that if there had been consistency in following through on what Parliament had then said, we should not be in a position now where there are threads being issued by the international Financial Action Task Force, unless the country acts we could by next February be grey listed.
These amendments are about giving the Minister the necessary amendment powers on the list of accountable institutions
schedule 1. Supervisory bodies schedule 2 and reporting institutions schedule 3. We welcome the fact that there are going to be new sectors and institutions that are going to be regulated, given the extend of the challenges we face. The current deficiencies are multiple and in response to the scope of the institution that has to deal with these financial irregularities, they have to be broadened.
During the public hearings processes, there was broad agreement among the presenting bodies and through written submissions. On the need for draft amendments to the Act, but greater agreement that these proposed amendments have come about too late. This should be a lesson for us that there has to be far tighter follow through between one Parliament and the next. Submissions made in the public hearings demonstrated that practitioners on the financial sectors are keenly aware of the level and extend of problems.
It therefore falls on Parliament to assert its legislative authority to deal with the wrongs that are taking place. As expected during the public hearing, comments were mainly on schedule 1 of the Act. With institutions requesting to be excluded from the Act and the ambit of the regulations,
exclusion is not a simple matter to agree to. In addition, the other main areas of engagements were compliance.
We welcome the fact that the changes to the schedules in the Act will mean that in the life insurance of long-term insurance industry, the current institution that no types of insurance business are excluded from the Act, will change through amending and narrowing the scope of the Act. The type of products offered by companies are a major source of irregularities but not the only factor that affects risks in compliance, with antimoney laundering legislation.
Rather, attention to the individual concern their features and geographic location are critical. The level of effort required by banks to comply with antimoney laundering legislation has to be higher and these amendments correctly introduce this.
The deception that banks have to deal with has grown, hence the need for further amendments. We are duty-bound to improve the country’s compliance with global standards against money laundering. Terrotist financing of proliferation of weapons mass destruction, but we must say that law enforcement agencies have got to respond far quicker in prosecuting financial crimes and pursuing illicit financial flows. Delays
in tabling the amendments to the schedules to the Act have not assisted.
However, we do welcome the draft content we received for processing. In particular, we welcome a more coherent and co- ordinated efforts in combating illicit financial flows but are deeply conscious that we are still losing substantial revenue through corrupt practices. The introduction of the Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill certainly assists in our fight. We want to emphasise that the burden of compliance cannot be equal, the real syndicates hit within multinational and smaller companies, with a lower revenue base should pay proportionately.
Since 2020, approximately 2,5 million people have lost jobs, and therefore every building jobs and the economy we need to be sensitive to where jobs can be created and what level of financial responsibility is required when meeting the international responsibilities. We have argued that the amendments should be operationalised in a risk-based way in that the highest risks should get the most attention. This will alleviate the compliance budget on small businesses that do not pose much significant risks hence risk-based and proportional budgets.
In conclusion ... [Interjections.] ... Yes, but at least you must be quiet. In conclusion ...
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Cha, cha, cha, niyamupha umzuzu owodwa owongeziwe ngalomsindo eniwenzayo. Qhubeka.
Ms M D MABILETSA: In conclusion, we believe that National Treasury needs to develop a risk strategy for mitigating the possible grey listing of South Africa. The ANC supports the amendments to the schedules.
Amendments to Schedule 1, 2 and 3 of Financial Intelligence Act, Act 38 of 2001 approved.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ON THIRD QUARTER PERFORMANCE AND EXPENDITURE REPORT FOR 2020-21 OF DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ON FOURTH QUARTER PERFORMANCE AND EXPENDITURE REPORT FOR 2020-21 OF DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL SECURITY AGENCY AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Ms N Q MVANA: Chairperson, it has been a ... [Inaudible.] ... day. The Portfolio Committee on Social Development considered the quarterly performance of the Department of Social Development and the National Development Agency, NDA, for 2020-21. The committee made the following key observations.
The department had improved on its achievement of targets from 67% in quarter three to 71% in quarter four. It spent 99% of its allocated budget of R230,8 billion. Most importantly, the department developed the maternal policy which will integrate the relevant systems from key departments. The department also developed a draft policy on income support from 18-years-old to 59-years-old. This policy will expand the safety net ... these additional vulnerable groups whilst also ensuring improved targeting of government services that will assist in empowering social grant beneficiaries.
By the end of quarter three, the department had spent R15,5 billion in COVID-19 related expenditure. We all
understand that it was with the payment of the Social Relief of Distress, SRD, grant, which is the grant of R350 that we are talking about and a top-up grant on existing grants.
At the end of quarter four, the department had spent
R19,588 billion. A total of six million beneficiaries were in receipt of the SRD grant. It also spent R29,7 billion on top- up grants, making it a total expenditure of R49,3 billion.
However, despite the expenditure, the committee had noted with serious concern delays in the payment of the SRD grant. On each and every corner wherever you go in the Department of Social Development or the SA Security Agency, Sassa, offices, you will hear the cry, we haven’t been paid. So, we have really acknowledged and seen that there was a concern with regard to the SRD grant.
It also noted with concern that in quarter four the department had underspent by R77 million due to the lower absorption of social workers. Yes, we know it’s a cry, even in the committee. That is why we are reporting that the issue of social workers is still a crisis. The department only employed
1 021 social workers out of the target of employing
1 800 social workers. The department was allocated an additional amount of R124 million for the absorption of social workers.
The committee expressed concern that in bother quarters the department had not achieved longstanding targets on the information management system and technology, and also in monitoring and evaluation. Yet again, programmes were not achieved. These are essential systems that are aimed at integrating some of the key programmes of the department such as gender-based violence, GBV, and victim empowerment systems.
The digital monitoring and evaluation tool will assist the department to improve on data collection, the comprehensive quality of data, service-delivery reporting, as well as risk management. The committee had on a number of occasions expressed its concern over the nonreporting of the outcomes and impact of the programmes. The policies implemented by the department ... [Inaudible.] The systems are therefore critical for purpose. We put the report ... Thank you, Chair.
Declaration(s) of vote:
Me G OPPERMAN: Franklin D Roosevelt het gesê die toets van ons vooruitgang is nie of ons meer byvoeg tot die oorvloed van diegene wat reeds baie het nie, maar of ons genoeg voorsien vir diegene wat te min het.
Ons sit met die Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling wat die voogdyskap van die armes, die behoeftiges, die mees kwesbares en weerloses in haar sorg het, maar wat net meer en meer wegneem en te min voorsien aan diegene wie reeds niks het nie.
Met 'n ses persent afname in kritieke programme se teikens wat nie in die vierde kwartaal bereik is nie, kan ons tot die slotsom kom dat hierdie departement nie werklik die kwesbares en armes van Suid-Afrika ter harte neem nie.
Daar was onderbesteding in die departement se voeding- en voedselsekuriteitsplan. Ons het 235 gemeenskapsvoeding- en ontwikkelingsentrums, maar te midde van 'n nasionale voedselsekuriteitskrisis is daar onderspandeer. Een uit elke vier mense gaan slaap vanaand honger. Weens astronomiese kosprysverhogings, slaan gesinne reeds een maaltyd per dag oor, en selfs voor die COVID-19 pandemie het 13,7 miljoen mense nie toegang tot voedsame kos gehad nie. In die afgelope drie jaar alleen het 2 818 kinders onder vyf jaar weens wanvoeding en ondervoeding in hospitale regoor die land gesterf, maar ons onderbestee op voedselsekuriteit.
Daar was ook onderbesteding in program een. Die verskonings vir onderbesteding in program twee was dat minder bejaardes aansoek vir pensioene gedoen het en minder kinders vir die kindertoelaag as wat verwag was. En dan, die universele verskoning van COVID-19 beperkings vir onderbesteding in programme drie, vier en vyf.
Hoe bereik jy nie jou teikens vir sosiale misdaadvoorkoming en slagoffer ondersteuningsdienste nie, maar geslagsgebaseerde geweld het die hoogte tydens die COVID-19 inperking ingeskiet? Vrouemoord is vyf keer hoër in Suid-Afrika as die wêreldgemiddeld. Uit 183 lande, lê Suid-Afrika vierde hoogste met ons sterftesyfer vir vroulike interpersoonlike geweld. ’n Totaal van 21 vroue en kinders was binne die eerste twee weke van die vlak 3 inperking vermoor. Dit het die President laat erken dat Suid-Afrika twee verwoestende pandemies het — die COVID-19 pandemie en geslagsgebaseerde geweld. Meer as
2 000 kinders was slagoffers van aanranding in die boekjaar.
Departementele teikens is weereens nie bereik vir die anti- dwelmmisbruikprogram nie. Suid-Afrika lys nie net nommer een vir die mees ongelyke land ter wêreld nie. Uit 187 lande is ons vandag die land met die grootste persentasie fetale alkoholsindroom, FAS, versteurings onder kinders. Navorsing
dui daarop dat minstens drie miljoen van ons bevolking deur FAS-versteurings geraak word, maar daar is onderbesteding vir die anti-dwelmmisbruikprogram.
Teikens is nie bereik vir kinderdienste nie, maar kinderhonger en die wanvoeding van kinders staan op 10 miljoen kinders per dag. Child stunting of kindergroei- en ontwikkelingsbelemmering staan op 27,4%. Dit wil sê, vier miljoen kinders in Suid-Afrika groei en ontwikkel nie, weens kroniese of langdurige armoede.
Tienerswangerskappe het eksponensieel toegeneem en
90 000 tienerswangerskappe is aangemeld. Die ergste nog is dat dogters tussen die ouderdom van 10 en 14 jaar het 4 053 geboortes geskenk. Dié skokkende getal sluit dogters uit wie swanger was en die babas verloor het. So, daar was oor die
4 000 statutêre verkragtings van minderjariges waaroor ons nie vandag praat nie, maar daar is onderbestee op dienste vir kinders.
Teikens is nie vir MIV/Vigs bereik nie en ook nie vir persone wie met gestremdhede saamlewe nie. Twee provinsies kon nie eens die stand van dienste aan families en kinders wie met gestremdhede saamlewe aan die departement voorsien nie, en die
beleid vir sosiale ontwikkelingsdienste aan persone wie met gestremdhede saamlewe is ook nie betyds aan die Kabinet vir goedkeuring voorgelê nie.
'n Totaal van 22 uitstaande sake rakende vrugtelose en verkwistende uitgawes was sonder enige nadere besonderhede voorgelê. Ek wil nie eens praat oor die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsagentskap nie.
Tussen al hierdie onderbesteding en al die teikens wat nie bereik is nie, moet hierdie ... [Onhoorbaar.] ... verslag met groot kommer beskou en bejeën word.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Unfortunately, your time is up, hon member. The EFF?
Mr S N SWART: House Chair, on a point of order: I’d like to wish the hon member a happy birthday on her birthday today.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. We will sing hereafter hon members, not now. No, hon Ma Khawula, asseblief [please.] We will sing for her as soon as we adjourn.
Ms P MARAIS: Hon House Chairperson, the correction of structural issues facing the department depends critically on non-profit organisations. Although financing and payment of non-profit organisation is essential, it is obvious that this department does not value the service that non-profit organisations provide.
While non-profit organisations are fighting to stay open and some have been forced to close due to non-funding by the Department of Social Development or non-profit organisations are friends with NPOs being funded, the department returned about R400 million to Treasury – money they didn’t use for the poor and the needy.
Despite having an acting director since 2020 the department has very high critical vacancies of important jobs that remain unfilled. The country’s shortage of social workers is worse.
Permanent social workers’ hiring requests are ignored. Graduate social workers who were trained by the Department of Social Development are unemployed. A lack of auto mobiles make it difficult for those workers within the department to reach vulnerable persons who need assistance. New social workers must be hired on a permanent basis, undergo departmental screening, get training resources and access to cars.
The National Development Agency, NDA, was established to end poverty, however, no new board members have been appointed despite the fact that the current board term expired in June 2021. More children under the age of five died of malnutrition. The NDA struggles to carry out its objective on the ground, particularly in the country where 18 million homes per one parent, women are particularly responsible for putting food on the table. The 13,7 million people experience food insecurity, they do not have any intention to establish community food banks which serve a wider population. To lessen dependency on community nutritional development centres, the NDA also needs to provide skills development programmes.
Unregistered drug rehabilitation centres have proliferated around the country as a result of the department’s inability to provide enough public drug rehabilitation centres. While the department doesn’t oversee or regulate these centres, children with deadly alcohol syndrome are the most prevalent in South Africa yet there are no awareness campaigns in place. Poor children cannot learn anything in schools.
While some South African Social Security Agency, SASSA, officials lack the required credentials, pensioners are finding it challenging and costly to collect their social
grants as a result of closing of points. Pensioners must spend up to R120 in taxi fares and occasionally R30 in withdrawal fees in order to get their monthly allowances. The ability of cash send money is still in the pipeline and it is still a dream. In a disadvantaged community loan sharks continue to use recipients SASSA cards as collateral and fraud with the SASSA cards just continue.
The Social Relief of Distress, SRD, grant continues to be a major burden since applications are still being rejected because of alternative source of income. The Unemployment Insurance Fund, UIF, bank verifications and the use of databases like UIF, the South African Revenue service, SARS, National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, which is sad, remain to be a barrier. Chair, we as the EFF cannot support this. We are rejecting this report. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members ...
... into eniyenzako ayakarisi nakancani.
If a member comes here and you keep on saying time up, I am going to leave the member to speak until they are done because you are disturbing that member by saying time up when it is not your duty to do so. Let us proceed now to the IFP.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon House Chairperson, South Africa is
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order in the House. We must listen. Sorry, Mrs van der Merwe, proceed.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Thank you very much, hon House Chairperson. House Chairperson, South Africa is now in perpetual crisis mode; it faces an unemployment crisis, an inequality crisis, food crisis as well as an electricity, water, sewage, crime, public health care and many other crisis. The poorest of the poor are bearing the brunt of these failures. South Africa is in many respects going backwards and fast. South Africans are now 10% poorer than they were in 2014, and 18,3 million people now live below the poverty line. Our people are going hungry.
Government’s answer to these crisis is SASSA and the NDA. Both are expected to protect the vulnerable against poverty but
what this report before us don’t tell us is that this is simply not happening. Poverty, inequality, hunger and malnutrition are on the rise. Instead the NDA and SASSA are merely plasters on the deep wounds which are the struggles and poverty of our people. The NDA has been plagued by several challenges over a number of years and so they find themselves perpetually being ceased with some type of turnaround strategy thereby, by its own admission, rendering it unsuccessful in executing its mandate.
While SASSA stands between life and death for many it has its very own shortcomings. The delay in payments of the SRD grant remains a grave concern while the abuse of social grants are rife and the department is unable to monitor whether grants are used for their intended purposes, and they have been unable to link beneficiaries to a basket of government services.
House Chairperson, where the state fails it is NPOs and NGOs who step in to provide vital services on behalf of the state. It is therefore simply unforgivable that many NGOs have had their subsidies cut, have been paid late or not paid at all. We asked about this matter and received no response in the committee, and yes this is what often happens in our portfolio
committee where officials simply pick what they want to answer or not.
Currently there are many organisations who face closure due to delayed payment or non-payment of subsidies by the Department of Social Development thereby undermining the rights and the needs of vulnerable persons, their constitutional right to social services and dignity and even the right to life.
With regard to the reports under consideration it is of great concern for us the IFP that numerous targets are routinely missed. The reports that we get before the committee are devoid from the reality on the ground. House Chairperson, I am glad that our chairperson, Mvana, labelled this matter a crisis, the matter of our social workers that remain unemployed. It is simply unjustifiable that the state continues to dither with an assortment of excuses as to why they cannot employ social workers. The very social workers that have been trained by the state. Gender-based violence ... [Time expired.] ... Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms T BREEDT: Madam Chair, the Department of Social Development reported that during the third quarter around 12,79 million children and more than 3,7 million people above the age of 17
receive SASSA grants. These are only for the child care grant and the old age grant. The department is proud of this but this is not something to be proud of. I have said it before but will say it again, the goal should not be to see how many people you make reliant on grants but should rather be how many people have you empowered that have become self- sufficient.
By the end of the third quarter the Department of Social Development had only spent 61% of its total compensation of employees, CoE, budget for the year. We have a social worker crisis, yet we do not spend the allocated budget to employ more and this is unacceptable. The committee wanted to know what caused the delays in the employment of over 1 809 social workers and when the department will appoint the rest of the social workers. We were informed that it is cumulative and will look better in the coming quarters.
During the fourth quarter’s reports this situation did not improve. The committee was once again deeply concerned about the R77 million underspending due to lower absorption of social workers and not meeting the target of employing 1 809 social workers. This was concerning in the context of increasing social ills. When asked of the reasons behind this
and the department replied that the employment of social workers is the responsibility of provincial DSD and that the Western Cape department was not willing to appoint 200 social workers. There was also a two months delay in National Treasury transferring the allocated funds.
Chair, all departments have the chronic excuse and that is concurrency. Departments should stop hiding behind this. They should also stop blaming one province for its failures because the guilty provinces are all nine. Further this department needs to guard against fiscal dumping in the last quarter. It is not right to have less than 75% of your budget spent in the third quarter and by the fourth you are at 99% spending. It is also worrying that 99% of the budget is spent but the most important targets have not been achieved, and this included the following: Analysis of the requirements of the integration of the gender-based violence, GBV, and Victim Empowerment Programme, VEP, systems, development of the substance abuse system, completion of the rapid assessment studies in the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in the social sector, the rapid study on the food relief mechanisms had to be changed to synthesis evaluation and there was already considerable evidence related to food relief mechanisms collected from
various studies. This is an example of poor planning and research by the department.
A great concern is also the lack of reporting on the outcomes and impact of policies and strategies implemented, for instance, the presentation received was silent about the impact of anti-gangsterism strategies. For effective oversight it was important for the committee to be briefed on changes of these policies into the people’s lives, but Chairperson, in short ...
... die departement moet sy sokkies optrek. Ek dank u.
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon Chairperson, the South African taxpayer invests R230 billion of their hard-earned money into the provident of social relief for the most vulnerable among us. The staggering number of people in need of relief and social protection stands at 18 million. We are in the red zone when considering the need for us to escalate the right interventions to develop capable communities that are not reliant on the state.
In reviewing the priorities of the department and its entities as set out by the medium-term in three priorities it lists, the economy, job creation, education, skills integration, human settlements and local government. Just on those three priorities with those elements being present in it, I can list case by case on the ground where my constituency office is met with frustration, where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. There is no integration to move the needle on poverty. The ACDP therefore calls that we move to assist communities and remove beaurocracy and serve the communities that we are meant to serve.
Ms J MANGANYE: Hon Chairperson, the ANC welcomes the quarter three and quarter four reports as introduced by hon Mvana ... [Inaudible.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, ...
...jule kan nie almal op dieselfde tyd praat nie.
Continue hon member.
Ms J MANGANYE: ... the African National Congress stands to welcome the quarter three and quarter four reports as introduced by hon Mvana. The tabling of these reports remains an important aspect of the budget cycle that shape the work of Parliament. The African National Congress programme of the strengthening governance systems and ensuring accountability to the public in line with the first priority of the medium- term strategic framework to build a capable, ethical and developmental state.
In the 2020-2021 financial year, the country was confronted with covid-19, which was an issue to be taken into consideration in line with the service delivery agenda of government. This was done in such a manner that management of the pandemic would not negatively affect the achievement of the targets in the year under review. Most significant in this respect is the decision to roll out social relief of distress grant as a way to alleviate the financial pressure of the unemployed between the age of 18 and 59 as far as possible.
And protect the livelihood of millions of South Africans who have been displaced by the consequences of covid-19 on the economy among others.
In the third quarter, it is notable that the department saw a fluctuation of performance between quarter two, three and four with a plugging of the overall performance notice in quarter three. However, the department improved in the last quarter of 2020-2021 financial year.
The improvement of the department’s performance contributed to the department spending of its allocation budget. Some of the key issues where progress has been made include but not limited to - Programme two - on social assistance, it is important to mention that [successful] should be considered as a department prioritisation of its core agenda which is protecting the lives of the vulnerable people of our country.
Programme three – social security policy and administration under this programme, notable interventions were made and the department has already put pressure in order to address the one target that was not achieved during the quarter. It is also important to appreciate the work done in order to deal with the unfortunate reality of fraudulent activities that had been identified under this programme as a flag in third quarter report. Programme four, focuses on welfare policy development and implementation support, 19 out of 25 were achieved. Key among this being the development and
finalisation of the draft regulation of the Children’s Amendment Bill, the development of the draft monitoring tool on the implementation of the Intersectoral Protocol on the Management and Prevention of Violence against Children, children abuse negligent and exploitation and consultation with KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape on the issue pertaining to the evolution of the sheltering system, which is one of the key responses to manage gender-based violence and protecting victims.
Programme five - on the social policy and integrated service delivery, some of the key interventions that have been identified under this target include the development of the framework for programme linked social protection beneficiary to sustainable livelihood opportunity. The framework is aimed at providing systematic aid to social services protection to mobilise community and facilitate community development process in a standardised and uniform manner.
Some of the concerns highlighted by the portfolio committee reports such as the failure to meet long standing target of information management system and technology and monitoring and evaluation. Inadequate reporting of the importance of policy that are adopted by the department to reflect how the
policies meaningfully contribute to the agenda of transformation community and building self-reliant citizenry.
The portfolio committee has a responsibility to provide oversight of the work that is undertaken by the department., safeguarding the interest if the nation and seeing to it that the mandate of government is not undermined, that the programmes where underperformance is persistent should be given the needed prioritisation in order strengthen the effort towards the failure that we all aspire towards the future that we all aspire to. A future that has made inroads in confronting poverty and inequality. Chairperson, it is on this basis that the ANC welcomes the quarterly report as tabled.
Thank you, Chair.
The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Ms R M M Lesoma):
moved: That the Reports be adopted.
Motion agreed to (Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Freedom Front Plus dissenting).
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ON 2020-21 FOURTH-QUARTER
AND 2021-22 FIRSTQUARTER PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ON 2020-21 FOURTH QUARTER AND 2021-22 FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL AND NONFINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION
Ms N T MKHATSHWA: Hon House Chairperson, hon members, citizens of South Africa, good evening. Allow me to present to you the fourth-quarter Reports of the Department of Science and Innovation, DSI, the Department of Higher Education and Training, DHET, of 2020-21, and the first-quarter Reports of the Department of Science and Innovation and the Department of Higher Education and Training for 2021-22.
On Higher Education and Training in the 2020-21 fourth quarter, the department achieved 72% of their plan targets and spent 99,6% of its budget. Whilst we acknowledge the impact of Covid-19 on performance, this performance was not satisfactory. We were gravely concerned that the department was not able to achieve the targets, to conclude investigations on irregular expenditure, fruitless and
wasteful expenditure within 19 days and pay invoices within 30 days.
We have implored the department to put measures in place to fast track the conclusion of investigations so that consequence management can be implemented against those officials who did not adhere to supply chain policy processes, calling the department to incur irregular expenditure.
We must also acknowledge the department’s development of norms and standards for the post-school education and training student housing, acknowledge the work on the draft framework to accommodate students with disabilities at TVET colleges and acknowledge the massive reduction of the backlog on certification in the TVET sector.
Day Zero of the certification backlog has been a key program of this committee as such as certification speaks into ensuring that young people are active participants of the economy. For the first quota of 2021-22 the department achieved 67% of its planned targets and spent about
R2,6 billion against the projected quarterly budget of R3,1 billion.
In this quarter, we were concerned by the performance or we were concerned by the performance of the TVET program and implored on the department to put measures in place to address the causes of underachievement. We called for the filling of the DG and D-DG university program positions. Since then, the position of the DG has been filled, with the appointment of Dr Nkosinathi Sishi.
We further recommended that the department considered the possibility of reviewing the Continuing Education and Training Act, the CET Act, to provide for ministerial powers to develop regulations to strengthen governance through development of governance standard regulations and regulations for the conduct of credible TVET examinations.
Lastly we recommended that the TVET colleges be given the necessary support to improve their capacity, to manage and spend infrastructure efficiency grants, to improve the maintenance of the existing infrastructure and construction of new teaching and learning facilities.
In relation to Science and Innovation on the fourth quarter of 2020-21, the department spent 98,4% of its budget and achieved 74% of its planned targets. The 2020-21 financial year was
dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which emphasized the importance of science and innovation to both prepare for and react to future crises, and highlighted the need to ensure that Science, Technology and Innovation policies, STI policies, have direct impact on achieving social economic and environmental sustainability, inclusivity, and resilience.
Noteworthy examples included the genomic surveillance project that led to South Africa discovering the first variant of Covid-19. South Africa is recognised as a world leader in this regard and continues to participate in global networks to monitor the evolution of new variants, as well as evaluate the effects of new variants on neutralisation and vaccines.
Furthermore, a national Covid-19 data and decision support centre, hosted and supported by technology developer - the CSIR - was established. This led to the establishment of the national policy data observatory. The systems engineering and integration expertise gained through the department's work on the Square Kilometre Array project, SKA project, ensured that we could build 20 000 ventilators in November 2020.
In terms of the first quarter of 202-22, the department spent R1,1 billion. it had planned to spend R1,7 billion and achieve
73% of its planned targets. Noting underexpenditure in this quarter, we employed on the DSI to ensure that there are no contract delays and insufficient documentation needed to process transfer payments.
We further implored on the DSI to ensure that young black women are included in opportunities in this quarter, to render goods and services as part of the need for preferential procurement. A key achievement in this quarter was also the synchronisation of indigenous knowledge from two IKS documentation centres to the central server of the information communication system of the national recording system. [Time expired.] Hon members, these are four Reports presented in five minutes and we ask that you consider and adopt these Reports. Thank you, so much.
Declarations of Vote:
Ms C V KING: Chairperson and members at large, the Department of Higher Education and Training Appropriations for 2020-21 and 2021-22 were R106,5 billion and R115,6 billion, respectively. During these periods on the review, GBV at institutions of higher learning again came to the forefront when the University of Fort Hare student, Nosicelo Mtebeni was brutally murdered by her boyfriend and when NSFAS were again
faced with student funding shortfall for the 2021 academic year.
The year that: 81 targets for the fourth quarter of 2020-21, of which 58 were achieved; 12 targets for the first quarter of 2021-22, of which eight were achieved; R10,8 million were reprioritised to Health to address the Covid-19 requirements in the CET sector; R6 million reprioritised to fund the shortfall for the write off from fruitless and wasteful expenditure; 14,2 million were reprioritised to fund the shortfall on payment of leave gratuities resulting from termination of services; and R50 million reprioritised to NSFAS, to fund the budget shortfall of 2020-21.
For the 2021-22 financial year, R3 billion reprioritised to NSFAS for the 2021 academic year. The R3 billion was made up of R2,5 billion from university EMR grants, R500 million from TVET College Infrastructure and Development Grants and
R50 million from goods and services.
The Department of Science and Innovation saw its first real increase in the budget since 2015, with an allocation of R8,8 billion in its 2020-21 budget. However, the adjusted budget allocation revised the budget to R7,28 billion.
Thirteen out of 37 targets were achieved in the fourth quarter of 2020-21.
The 2021-22 budget increased to R8,9 billion, with eight of the 22 targets not achieved in quarter one. The underspending of the budget during both quarters for programs 2, 4 and 5 amounted to delays in the research development and support, socioeconomic innovation partnership and technology innovation, making it difficult to advocate for more funding for the DSI.
University and TVET colleges did not receive real increases to their subsidies to offset increased operational costs, especially when funds are reprioritised to cover funding shortfalls. With the cost of living increasing exponentially, universities are more and more finding themselves stretching their budgets to relieve hunger of students - mostly, those falling in the missing middle - due to the effects of Covid- 19, as is the case with the University of Johannesburg, which assists 670 students with hungry relief every month.
Having to reprioritise funds away from the entrepreneurship skills development result in self-sustainability in the long run being missed. Perpetuating mismanagement of the Post-
School Education and Training sector, PSET sector, in the increasing political pressure has left the legacy of misguided policy framework and fragmented skills and knowledge generation institutions, which are not addressing the issues of skills development to deter the crippling unemployment.
How long are we going to turn a blind eye, that South African schools of intermediate skills, especially artisanal skills, are too low to support national and sector development and growth? A review, reading and reimagining of the PSET sector is urgently needed to get skills development in South Africa back on track.
What this ANC does not understand is that creating a Master Skills Plan without critically reviewing the National Skills Development Plan will not be solving the issue of critical skill shortages. What this ANC does not understand is that reprioritising funds away from university and TVET colleges to fund NSFAS is only adding to massification of student enrolment, which is not linked to critical skills.
It is for this very reason the Department of Higher Education and Training were sent packing when they could not present the
committee with the Ministerial Passive Reports on the National Skills Fund and the review of the funding model for students.
There is one small window of opportunity with the draft policy of higher education institutional types: To ensure private universities have the same status of public universities; and to ensure that TVET colleges be brought into the higher education sector. The rushed public participation practice... [Time expired.] We support the Bill.
Mr S TAMBO: House Chair, the EFF rejects the 2020-21 fourth quarter and 2021-22 first quarter performance report of the Department of Higher Education, because to endorse them with make us complicit to mediocrity and neglect of the sector. In a country ripe with unemployment and ... [Inaudible.] ... youth critical targets were not met in terms of school development in the 2020-21 fourth quarter.
Some of the targets which were not met to include the target of 2 000 learners entering artisanal programmes, target of
100 000 learners or students being placed in workplace-based
146 000 learners being registered in skill development programmes and the target of 90 000 artisans to be found
competent. This is a damning reflection of higher education sector that is not developing skills.
In the 2021-22 first quarter the Technical Vocational Education and Training, TVET, colleges were once again deliberately sabotaged by the ... [Inaudible.] ... incompetence of the department, which saw the transfer of R179 million for TVET infrastructure not made because Mr Blade Nzimande first wanted the department’s infrastructure oversight unit to be established before TVET infrastructure payments can resume. Blade Nzimande’s failure to establish an oversight unit contributed to the continued failure to develop TVET infrastructure.
Furthermore, the continued separate development between TVET colleges and universities, namely the disparities in terms of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, allowances between the two sectors ... [Inaudible.]. The TVET sector and students in the sector ought to be the beacon of this country’s developmental objectives but sadly they are treated as subhuman. Till today, NSFAS gives higher allowances for meals, accommodation and transport to university students as opposed to TVET students and the ... [Inaudible.] ...
The EFF would not endorse clearly incompetence and include separate development which undermines the role of the TVET sector, and that is why we cannot endorse the report.
Furthermore, the EFF rejects the 2020-21 fourth quarter and 2021-22 first quarter financial and nonfinancial performance report of the Department of Science and Innovation. The report is a reflection of lacklustre department which has no appreciation of the need for financial investment and state- led innovations that will respond to the socioeconomic needs of the country.
The performance in the fourth quarter of 2020-21 and the first quarter of 2021-22 has been capitalised by underspending in socioeconomic in relation to partnerships, research, development and support and technology innovation. This begs the question on what mandate the department is fulfilling when it underspends what is critical to its very existence. The report reflects financial performance and nonperformance during one of the deadliest pandemic which has confronted ... [Inaudible.]. It reflects that there was no developmental intervention and the local development of vaccines by the department task team ... [Inaudible.] ... innovation.
There is no verifiable financial investment in renewable energy and how to rescue Eskom to ensure that the state remains at the centre of the energy generation and distribution. It is no ... [Inaudible.] ... of research or investment per development of sophisticated railway networks to ease the transportation of goods and minerals, and there is no research to investment in innovation within aviation to ease the financial burden of air travel for ordinary people.
What exactly is the Department of Science and Innovation neglected in its budget that is responsive to the prevailing challenges in society. It seems as if it is the department that is preoccupied with existence and theoretical terms with no meaningful contribution to the real challenges such as reorganising apartheid spatial planning, responding to the energy crisis and developing of the state of municipal capacity. It is not only a report on nonperformance but perhaps a lack of purpose and nonexistence. The EFF rejects all the reports. Thank you very much.
Mr B N LUTHULI: Hon House Chairperson, the opportunity to reflect on the Department of Higher Education and Training’s performance for 2020-21 and 2021-22 provides us with the ability to collectively identify key problems and relevant solutions.
Therefore, the IFP cannot state enough how much we value discussions
like these, as the success of the department directly correlates with the employability of young South Africans. Concerning the report ...
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Nkosi uLuthuli, bangakuhluphi, ungagxili kubo. Qhubeka lapho.
Mr B N LUTHULI: Concerning the report, we are disappointed to note the department delays in aligning the annual performance plan to the decadal plan. This delays the department’s ability to increase the available number of science, technology and innovation programmes that will help develop and match the skills of our youth to the relevant employment opportunities. We wish to re- emphasise the committee’s recommendation that the department provides a written report on its external engagement processes for the decadal plan, so that the best possible solution can be found to address this delay.
In our consideration of Programme 4, which deals with technical and vocational education and training, and Programme 6, which deals with community education and training, we were quite concerned about two targets that were not achieved.
Creating a comprehensive proposal for the expansion of the TVET college systems is a target that should not fail to materialise, especially considering the high unemployment rate and the critical skills ...
Dr W J BOSHOFF: Hon House Chair, it is Boshoff here. I just want to ask permission not to open my camera as I have load shedding this side of the country.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Proceed. No problem.
Dr W J BOSHOFF: Thank you, hon House Chair ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, hon members! We are still in the House. Apologies, hon Boshoff. I can hear you from where I am seated, but you are talking to a person next to you. Please, just lower your voices. Proceed, hon Boshoff.
Dr W J BOSHOFF: Thank you, hon House Chair. The sister departments of Higher Education and Training and Science and Innovation is actually a tale of two departments as the tale of two cities says it was the best of times and the worst of times, the same could be said of these departments. If we look at Higher Education, it is a large comprehensive department
with many institutions. All the universities, all the technical colleges or all TVET colleges, all the community colleges, all included in this one very large department, also the NSFAS, which is a little bit of a running problem.
It is must be said that some of the problems in the Department of Higher Education and Training has been ironed out with a new director-general appointed. It is no secret that the faction fighting within the ANC, and in this case, actually within the SACP was represented by the Minister and the director-general as it played out in the recent election of this chairperson of the SACP, where the Minister and the former director-general were pitted against one another. It is just that too many people are not interested in what happens in the SACP, the Minister issue. It seems as if there are some signs of the department getting direction but the main problem is that too much is actually put in the corner of the state to execute.
The universities which perform well are those universities which actually operate as if they have nothing to do with the department, which really work with their own academic communities, with communities of former students, with alumni and with a wide variety of international partners while the
universities which are very dependent on the department have underachieved. The same goes for TVET colleges which are fully under the control of the department and don’t even have something like a school governing body or a similar way in which the local community really takes ownership of the colleges. I think that is the very important reason why they underperform so badly.
On the other hand, we have the Department of Science and Innovation which is led by a notable internationally acclaimed scientist who, luckily for us and for the department has the ability to both lead the department as the manager and as a scientist. And it ... [Time expired.]
Mr B S YABO: Hon House Chairperson and hon members, one of the central roles that we must play as Members of Parliament ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): If they keep on talking, take your time.
Mr B S YABO: ... is our constitutional obligation of the oversight of the executive. This is a task Parliament undertakes through various mechanisms as prescribed by the
Rules of Parliament and through the various structures of Parliament.
Portfolio committees play a critical role in executing this constitutional obligation. They are the base of scrutiny and oversight as required by the Constitution.
As the ANC the Higher Education, Science and Innovation Portfolio, is the key priority. At all times we play a vital oversight role over the executive, because as a portfolio committee our approach is to also contribute to the work of the department through recommendations and critical engagements to ensure that the department succeeds in its mandates.
The current socioeconomic conditions require a postschooling education and training system which responds to the problems facing the nation and skills development is the key mandate of the department to integrate the youth into the mainstream economy.
In the report for the fourth quarter of 2020-21, and the first quarter report of 2021-22 for higher education the department achieved 72% of its planned targets. What is of concern is the
underperformance of the community education and training programme. On digital skills programme in Communication and Training sector, CET, colleges that was approved which was achieved outside of the timeframe and the target to approve entrepreneurship programmes in CET colleges. These two targets are critical for skills development in the digital economy.
The nature of work today which has a large use of information technology and communication systems.
We are currently facing high-levels of youth unemployment with a high number of youth not in education, employment or training. This requires multiple interventions. However, entrepreneurship is an important skill which can enable people to open microbusinesses and small businesses which support many livelihoods. Small enterprises employ between 50 and 60% of South Africa’s workforce and contribute around 34% of gross domestic product, GDP.
Therefore, we ought to ensure the entrepreneurship curriculum is finalised for training.
In the university programme the department overspend through an authorised vehement to provide additional funding for
National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, to cover a portion of their budget shortfall for the 2021 academic year.
I should also hasten to say that applications for NSFAS funding have opened and all our young people should apply. We will make sure that NSFAS carries its mandate and play oversight that no one who deserves to be funded is left out of the funding.
Part of our recommendation is for the department to highlight its performance compared with the Medium-Term Strategic Framework targets to ensure alignment of programmes and assess progress in critical targets of the Sixth Administration.
In this report, we have recommended a review of the student’s funding model to ensure parity of allowances disbursed to students in both the Technical Vocational Education and Training, TVET, and university sectors. Particularly meals, accommodation and transport allowances.
The skewed distribution of the higher education budget is inconsistent with the vision of the National Development Plan. Our point on parity is part of ensuring technical and vocational and training colleges are adequately funded to
advance the skills revolution which will benefit many young people.
We need to develop TVETs as institutions of choice in our education system. This requires adequate funding and ensuring curriculum relevance.
We have also recommended that the Community Education and Training sector, CET, sector needs adequate funding to improve its development and expand funding to more out of school youth and adults without adequately supporting community education training colleges and technical and vocational education and training colleges we create conditions for reproducing unemployable citizens.
As the world changes, with an increased digitisation, we ought to ensure all South Africans have access to continuous skills development.
We must also leverage technology to make skills development accessible and fashionable. For this reason, we recommended that CET lecturers be provided with digital devises to improve their digital skills.
As the ANC, we support this report, and recognise the department’s strides in the work done during the reported period which was under the pandemic. The department did steer the postschooling education and training system during a challenging period.
Now, I want to correct something hon member King mentioned on us making the department pack their bags and leave us. It was not because of the report of the Ministerial Task Team, it was because they did not bring and submit the reports. Not because of the content of the report, but because they did not bring the reports to the committee. We also must admonish and reprimand the hon Tambo from the EFF. He must attend meetings. [Time expired.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: House Chairperson, on a point of order.
Mr B S YABO: He must attend meetings!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Thank you.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Who are you to reprimand the hon Tambo!
You will never reprimand any one of the EFF, wena [You.] Pombo!
You will never reprimand any one!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ntlangwini!
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Who the hell do you think you are?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ntlangwini!
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: You will never reprimand any one of the EFF! Who the hell you think you are?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ntlangwini, do not hold us into ransom! Please!
Mr W T LETSIE: We are reprimanding him!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ntlangwini, hon Ntlangwini, I never gave you permission to speak! You do not have a right to open the mic and start talking to somebody.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Who is he?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, no, no, no!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): hon Ntlangwini are you tired? Do not do that!
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: No, I am not tired! I am full of energy; I can still do another ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I will give you the chance! Do not do that!
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Do not patronise me!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, please leave this House!
You cannot argue with me!
Please, leave this House!
I am talking to you, you proceed arguing!
Please leave this House!
Hon Letsie, please, I am addressing the hon Ntlangwini! Please. I am addressing the hon Ntlangwini! Before she leaves I am not taking any other order!
You cannot do that!
Ms N K F HLONYANA: Hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, no! Until she leaves, I will give you an opportunity after she has left!
Ms N K F HLONYANA: Hon House Chairperson, we are almost done.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Serjeant-at-arms, can you please assist the hon Ntlangwini to leave this House!
Ms N K F HLONYANA: Hon House Chairperson, I think you are just a little bit harsh.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, no, no, no!
That is how I work! I did not allow you to speak, I am addressing this issue! You will speak after!
Ms N K F HLONYANA: We are almost done with the days’ job, come on, please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ntlangwini, we want to proceed!
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: It was going on fine today, but I left because I had to go to the Chinese embassy. Then I came back.
Ms P MARAIS: You must come join the EFF, the member at the back there. You must come join the EFF because you are enjoying!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): The hon Marais, hon Marais, that is a warning! You do not do that!
You do not switch on the mic and talk without my permission! You do that again; you will also be taken out! Please do not do that, it is a warning!
Ms N K F HLONYANA: Hon House Chairperson, can I please address.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No! But you do not have to switch on the mic! You can only do that with my permission.
Thank you very much. The hon Hlonyana, what is your point of order?
Ms N K F HLONYANA: Hon House Chairperson.
Hon House Chairperson, I think the hon House Chairperson seated here today was very unfair to the hon Ntlangwini. She was just simply trying to address a member who was out of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. You may take your seat. That is not allowed! You cannot switch on the mic and talk without my permission!
Let us proceed! The hon Chief Whip of the Majority Party.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma) moved: That the report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report on 2020 -21 fourth quarter and 2021-22 first quarter performance of the Department of Higher Education and Training accordingly adopted.
Report on 2020-21 fourth quarter and 2021-22 first quarter financial and nonfinancial performance of Department of Science and Innovation accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO GWATYU FARMS IN EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE FROM 31 JANUARY TO 4 FEBRUARY 2022
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH COUNCIL AND ONDERSTEPOORT BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTS, GAUTENG PROVINCE ON 19 – 22 APRIL 2022
Mr Z M D MANDELA: House Chairperson, in carrying out our responsibilities as members of Parliament in holding the executive accountable, the portfolio committee conducted an oversight visit on the Agricultural Research Council, ARC, and the Onderstepoort Biological Products, OBP, noting that redistribution is the key driving force behind the
government's Land Reform Programme. The committee's aim on the oversight visit was to ensure that the state release of land contributes to the objectives of our transformative agenda.
The committee noted the complex challenges facing the Gwatyu farms, and these include competing for land claims by various groupings, including claims by the AmaTshatshu Traditional Council. Despite these challenges, the committee is looking for a speedy resolution to the land impasse in Gwatyu. The prolonged resolution of the land impasse will contribute negatively, not only to the agricultural productivity in the area but to the country's food security needs.
During the oversight visit, the portfolio committee had engagements with a number of stakeholders, including the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, and through a call for a social compact, a workable and beneficial solution for all can be found. The farming community in Gwatyu needs urgent support, and as one of the community members said, there were only 12 farmers with access to electricity and some are in need of farming implements such as tractors, repairs of windmills, shearing sheds, breeding facilities for livestock, including the provision of government services to the community.
The objective of our oversight visit to the OBP, as well as the ARC, was to get first-hand experience of the operational environment and challenges faced by the two entities, as well as the impact on service delivery, including the development and transformation of the agricultural sector. Despite the funding challenges faced by the ARC, the entity intends to offer solutions that address profitability, sustainability and resilience of the entire food system, including the development of smart farming systems. And this, in the long run, will ensure that our domestic agricultural sector is globally competitive with an increase in our share of the global agricultural market.
Small-scale farmers are benefiting from some of the research being done by the various units of the ARC and, hereby, make mention of Kaonafatso ya Dikgomo, on the training of farmers on production and processing that enhances their active participation in the meat value chain. We have also observed and taken note of the vaccine production challenge that the OBP is grappling with and are cognisant of the fact that the entity generates about 55% of the revenue from the international markets. With the required assistance and support required, the ARC can take advantage of market niche
opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area and its increase in foreign income revenue.
In conclusion, the committee makes a recommendation for additional funding to the ARC and calls on various stakeholders to make use of the research conducted by the entity. I, therefore, hon Chairperson and hon members, present the reports on the oversight visit to Gwatyu, the arc, and OBP for the consideration and adoption of the House. I thank you.
Declarations of vote:
Mr N P MASIPA: House Chairperson, the Gwatyu story is a sad tale of broken promises by an uncaring government, a typical strategy of the corrupt ANC that is designed to keep the poor even poorer, and thus gain control of the majority of citizens of this country by keeping them dependent on meagre handouts disguised as social welfare.
The original application to be registered as Communal Property Association was substituted by the department in July 2014.
Eight years later, the farm dwellers of Gwatyu who should be protected by the Restitution of Land Rights Act and the Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 are still destitute. Instead, we are sold a false narrative of the
AmaTshatshu clan having jurisdiction over Gwatyu farms which are registered under the title.
The same AmaTshatshu who applied for restitution over the land and failed. The DA does not dispute the chieftaincy of the AmaTshatshu, what is questionable and certainly not acceptable is that the Gwatyu farms are part of the land that the AmaTshatshu chief presides over. Why are the descendants of the farm labour dwellers in Gwatyu treated differently from any other in the country? Why is it now the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development dragging its feet in registering the Gwatyu Communal Property Association? Why would there be a need for chieftaincy oversight on land that is under the title? The DA calls for the immediate registration of the Gwatyu Communal Property Association in order to facilitate the transfer of the land to its rightful owners.
On the OBP and ARC oversight visits, the committee went a year after the DA MPs conducted their private oversight at this institution. The DA MPs’ oversight was prompted by the farmers' concern regarding the shortage of vaccines and obviously, they had to do this visit. And poor progress was observed on the upgrade of the Good Manufacturing Practice,
GMP, and building of the new Foot-and-Mouth Disease, FMD, facility at OBP and ARC respectively.
During the committee visit, both institutions have just employed new CEOs. At the ARC, the new CEO with a PhD in Agricultural Economics started a month ago. The chairperson of the board is a former HOD of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. A litany of problems faced by the institution and plans to address them was presented to the portfolio committee. At the ARC, the current chair is the Acting CEO. He is an accountant with a consulting background. An Acting chairperson is a Chartered Accountant. The committee was informed the former CEO was dismissed due to corruption.
According to LinkedIn records, this former OBP CEO obtained Honours and PhD degrees in Animal Health and Vaccinology and is a board member of the International Veterinary Vaccinology Network. The case is at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, CCMA, and is still ongoing.
The OBP leadership informed the committee about several challenges and their efforts to fix them. Members of the committee still flagged the lack of animal health expertise in the management and board as the most considerable risk factor that could jeopardise the proposed turnaround strategy. The
failure of the board and management to turn around these two institutions poses a big threat to food security and agricultural reforms in this country.
We warned the ANC government to stop wasting time and taxpayers’ money on issues of expropriation of land without compensation but fix these important institutions that are instrumental for successful land reform and food security. We are going to keep a close watch on this institution. We agree with the recommendations. And in 2024, when the hon John Steenhuisen takes over, we will sort them out. Thank you.
Mr M K MONTWEDI: Thank you, House Chairperson. The portfolio committee had decided to visit Gwatyu to understand the complexity of issues and perhaps to unlock the deadlock that appeared to have hamper the department’s initiatives to resolve the contestation and disputes at Gwatyu. However, during the visit the committee went straight from Queenstown and passed the Gwatyu Farms and spend the whole day with the royal family of the Matanzima and then met with government departments. The following day the committee came to Gwatyu Farms instead of meeting with the former farm workers. The committee went to have a meeting with Mondli Gungubele’s uncle, Chief Mncedisi Gungubele, the Chief of AmaTshatshu
people. It failed to meet with the leadership of former farm workers who have attempted to register a Communal Property Association, CPA, since 2000.
House Chair, as early as 2000, the former Department of Land Affairs in the Eastern Cape had commissioned a land rights inquiry in Gwatyu in attempt to resolve the land tenure insecurity. Fast forward to 2016, the former Minister Gugile Nkwinti established the Ministerial Task Team which undertook to register the Gwatyu CPA by the end of July 2016. To date the people of Gwatyu are still waiting and one can understand the frustration and anger by the community of marginalised people. They’re deprived of their own land by the ANC government by refusing to confirm and register the land rights of the people who lived on the Gwatyu Farms for decades.
There appears to be attempt to impose the AmaTshatshu Traditional Council and of AbaThembu on the people of Gwatyu. Now, it’s important that the Chair of the committee came here and misled this House. There are no competing claims as the Chair just said in Gwatyu. The AmaTshatshu Traditional Leadership lost claims on two occasions and their claims failed, hence today we hear some desperate members of this committee making some proposals to amend the Act in order to
accommodate AmaTshatshu to lay claim over the Gwatyu land. House Chair, we as the EFF in Parliament will not sit in our benches and watch the outgoing ANC government and changes the laws to pursue their agenda of giving land to those that are in their network of patronage.
We are, therefore, calling for the finalisation of the registration of the Gwatyu CPA and the recognition of the land rights of the people of Gwatyu in particular the former farm workers who have become farmers in their own rights. The process would require an objective system of adjudicating of existing rights often overlapping rather than imposing the traditional leaders, Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act offers the state legal instruments which the rights can be secured. As far as the visit to the Agriculture Research Council, ARC, and the Onderstepoort Biological Products, OBP, is concerned we welcome the collaboration between the ARC and the OBP in their joint research work with regard to foot and mouth disease outbreak with the highest concern being the measures in place to control the spread of the disease which continue to bring the livestock sector to its knees.
Biotechnological platforms initiatives where the latter is meant to create the high throughput resources and technology required for application in genomics, quantitative genetic, maker assisted breeding, genetic sequencing and bioinformatics within the agricultural sector. The OBP continue to be the key strategic asset of South Africa, not only in terms of disease control and management, but also in terms of vaccine products exported to other parts of the world particularly in the continent. Equally, the ARC should be supported in order to continue to offer scientific solutions that address the deficiencies in quality to produce development of improved cultivars and to provide smart farming systems of farmers using modern technology.
The entity should in their endeavour pursue their respective mandates guided by the national priorities as well as the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to boost Intra- Africa Trade. The land ownership must reflect at the demographics, hence we are saying that as the EFF we welcome this report. Thank you very much. [Time expired.]
Mr N SINGH: Thank you, hon House Chairperson. I will make a contribution on behalf of Inkosi Cebekhulu who is having a network problems. Hon House Chairperson, what these oversights
reports have in common is that they showcase potential. Unfortunately, this potential is not being realised, complex social issues of halted positive developments amongst 77 Gwatyu Farms. The future of these farms is clouded by a lack of clarity around land issues which have inhabitant collaboration. Tense relationship between the community and government have been eroded by years of service delivery failures and unemployment. As stated in the report government must provide clarity with regard to ownership and allocation of the Gwatyu Farms.
The IFP recognises that the situation is complex and the issues of land tenure can take time to resolve. Therefore, a time-bound plan is vital to community-government relations. The authority of the department must be use responsibly to facilitate community meetings that will ensure that future development in this area is as inclusive as possible. Projects such as the installation of fencing to prevent accidents and the implementation of skills development programmes should be initiated with immediate effect as these practical intervention provide the opportunity for immediate gangs.
While the potential of the Gwatyu Farms remains unmet due to complex social issues, the problems facing both the Agriculture Research Council, ARC, and the Onderstepoort
Biological Products, OBP, are predominantly that of infrastructure and funding. Money is being unwisely spent on importing costly equipment instead of the development of local technology ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Yho, yho, hon Moroatshehla ... [Interjections.] ... no, I warn you first, I don’t just remove. Proceed, hon Singh.
Mr N SINGH: Thank you, hon House Chairperson. Laboratories are in need of upgrades and the value of the research and technical innovation is not being realised ... [Inaudible.]
... infrastructure is hindering modernisation and must be seen as an unacceptable setback. Funding from the National Treasury is required for the modernisation and maintenance of vaccine production. This funding has the potential to extend the provision of vaccines even to vulnerable subsistence farmers. Marketing is needed for the ARC is excellent work. The most feasible an inexpensive way to do this would be for the department to support the national use of these innovations.
House Chairperson, this will provide evidence of the quality of these innovations and make them marketable on an international scale. In the context of institutional failure
the ARC and OBP are both institution that South Africa could be extremely proud of. If correctly supported they have the potential to showcase in domestic markets as well as on international scale what South Africa has to offer in the ... we will support the reports provided it is time bound. Thank you. [Time expired.]
Ms T BREEDT: Thank you, House Chairperson. I don’t need to say a lot about our oversight to Gwatyu. What we saw was quite clear and a few things became more apparent as the week went on. The department has failed in its mandate of Land Reform and Rural Development ... [Inaudible.] ... working of department is the enemy and corrupt officials do not help people only themselves. Our oversight to Onderstepoort Biological Products and the Agricultural Research Council was actually very insightful for the first time. Since the start of the Sixth Parliament I got a sense that the entities took the committee into their confidence and was honest with us regarding the challenges they face. One story sticks out in my mind and it speaks about the institutional issues they face and not only the entities of agriculture, but government wide.
The news here over IBP from backstage had not even completed its six months at the entity told us that big issues like the
FNB facility and increase that ... [Inaudible.] ... production are still in the process of being addressed because small issues had to be addressed first. These small issues, however, cause very big problems. One such issue was working hours. The chief operating officer, COO, had to spend his first six months explaining that when business hours start at 8:00 a.m., you need to be in the office by that time. It is actually quite ridiculous that speaks to the mediocrity that the departments and their entities drive towards. Giving another incident of employees not doing their job the OBP burned out machine that halted vaccine production and oversight that was easily corrected had the employee only turn the tap over valve shut off the ... [Inaudible.] ... not rocket size either, House Chair.
I can go on to tell you of the state of ... [Inaudible.] ... laboratory equipment that has started and unaccounted for and under 20 centimetres of bad droppings around the OBP premises without an asset register for seven years while the FNB facility is still not built and FNB is running rough in our country. All... [Inaudible.] ... of the ARC that the department refuses to ... [Inaudible.] ... instead contractor work out because of personal issues between the Minister and the ARC management. I am worried about both the ARC and the
OBP but for ... [Inaudible.] ... very different reasons. The ARC has some of the best research as South Africa has to offer
... [Inaudible.] ... there is no assistance or plan to encourage young people to pursue a career in research without an active campaign to involve young researchers and to ensure skills are transferred in a few years we will have lost a very good entity.
The OBP are on the ... [Inaudible.] ... trajectory and if the department doesn’t ensure that those people at OBP that want to make a difference are empowered, we will have no vaccine production and the country might as well close its agricultural doors. We can see that with a recent strikes at the OBP. However, let me conclude I’m worried about Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development. I’m worried that this department is politicking whilst the people are suffering.
Hierdie departement gaan ook sy sokkies erg moet optrek. Ek dank u.
Ms K D MAHLATSI: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson, the ANC supports the report on the oversight to Gwatyu farms in the
Eastern Cape and Agricultural Research Council, ARC, as well as Onderstepoort Biological Products, OBP, in the Gauteng Province from 31st of January to the 4th of February and between 19th and 22nd of February 2022 respectively. Hon Chairperson, the portfolio committee had an oversight visit to the province of the legends the Eastern Cape in Chris Hani District to be precise. The anchor of the oversight visit was twofold, firstly, to overseeing the executive function and fostering accountability and secondly, to gather facts about the ongoing competing claims to the land of Gwatyu. The overarching aim of the visit to Gwatyu in addition to enforcing accountability of the executive was to ensure that the state land release project of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development contribute to acceleration of the redistribution land to the landless poor and enhance security of tenure for farmers and or households occupying the land. Just to give a quick brief on the complaint of Gwatyu. In 2019 the portfolio committee received a complaint from people of Gwatyu regarding the land ownership. The portfolio committee then took the matter to the department for investigation and further action. Therefore, the visit to Gwatyu was a follow up on the work meant to be done by the department as part of our oversight responsibility.
Chairperson, the visit then focused on the following: Firstly, the monitoring process that the department had been facilitating to resolve the Gwatyu land issue; Secondly, assessing the effects of government intervention as well as soliciting a bottom-up solution from stakeholders and all role-players. Hon chairperson, at the centre of the challenges of the people of Gwatyu is the ownership and allocation of Gwatyu funds or lack thereof of Amatshatshu Traditional
Council at the time of its re-establishment and recognition by the Eastern Cape government.
Hon Chairperson, as the ANC, we remain focused and hopeful that the government will find an over lasting solution aligning with the available legislation. We have noted that some of the farm workers in Gwatyu have established a community property association though not yet registered. As the ANC, we would like to see the democratisation of functioning and administration of the CPAs. Hon Chairperson, we are encouraged that the introduction of the communal land tenure as well as the beneficiary selection and land allocation policy will contribute meaningfully to the enhancement of the land tenure system, including insurance that the land will be given to those who work it and be able to use it productively. The leadership of the CPA must at all
times ... or the interest of the community and its members before its own. As indicated by the portfolio committee, there is a need to invoke or involve the community in finding solutions to problems that behest them.
Chairperson, hon Masipa comes here on the podium and mislead the House that we went there with an intention of handing over the land to the traditional leadership. In actual fact, hon Masipa must indicate to this House that they went there with the intention of creating confusion amongst the communities of Gwatyu. They went there with a perception, because they undermine traditional leaders. They undermined the traditional leadership of Gwatyu. They decided to stand on the side, to choose a side and stand on the side of the unregistered CPAs. So, they must not come here and grandstand and mislead House, including hon Montwedi. Hon Montwedi comes here to the House and speak about 1913 Land Act. When we were in section 25, EFF was vehement on the removal of the 1913 Land Act cutoff date. Today, he comes here and say we must not remove it. Where are we ...
... kahle, kahle?
Hon Chairperson, as we move towards the report on the ARC. Chairperson, at the ARC and the OBP, we monitored the progress being made on the establishment of the foot and mouth disease facility and construction of the grand manufacturing practice project. This year, we had an outbreak of FMD in many of our provinces, with the highest rate recorded number of reported outbreaks in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State. The outbreak of the FMD which is foot and mouth disease has a negative impact on the sector and our slow growing economy. Even though our country is not food insecure. Climate change poses a direct threat to our food security. We are greatly encouraged by our hopeful commitment by the ARC to offer scientific solutions that will address profitability, sustainability and resilience to the entire food system in our country.
In conclusion, hon Chairperson, in order to place agriculture on a higher economic pedestal, we need to ensure that the research output and the broader work conducted by the ARC gets to reach and be used by all relevant government departments, all spheres of government, SOEs and farmers, but equally gets to be used productively by small scale farmers and this can be best be assisted through the District Development Model. We are encouraged by the mobile plant health clinic that enables
ARC researchers to be able to reach the most remote areas and to facilitate plant health diagnostic services to smallholder farmers. As the ANC, we support the tabling of these reports on our oversight visit. Thank you very much, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Can we be guided by the Chief Whip of the Majority Party on what to do with the reports.
The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY (Ms R M M Lesoma): Thank
you very much, hon House Chair. I move that the Reports be adopted by the House.
There was no debate.
Declarations of votes made on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus and African National Congress.
Motion agreed to.
Report on Oversight visit to Gwatyu Farms in Eastern Cape Province from 31 January to 4 February 2022 accordingly adopted.
Report on Oversight visit to Agricultural Research Council and Onderstepoort Biological Products, Gauteng Province on 19 – 22 April 2022 accordingly adopted.
The House adjourned at 21:07