Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 28 Sep 2022
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 2022
PROCEEDIGNS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:00.
The House Chairperson Ms M G Boroto took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF HEAVY-DUTY TRUCKS ON THE SAFETY OF COMMUTERS ON THE ROADS AND THE RECENT LOSS OF LIVES
Mr L E MCDONALD: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister of Transport, hon Members of Parliament, fellow South Africans, the importance of the South Africans logistic sector can never be underestimated. It is worth R480 billion, with the road transport system being the biggest industry in this sector.
However, while we recognise that heavy trucks performance and... [Inaudible.] ... economic function utilising public rods in the movement of freight and goods through the country, it is of equal importance that we must recognise that there have been several very serious accidents on national, provincial and municipal roads.
These accidents have resulted in the loss of innocent lives of commuters, whatever our economic priorities, we may never subject that to our common humanity and the sacred duty to preserve human lives. This is not the first time that this House is debating the issue of heavy-duty trucking and the negative impact of heavy duty trucks on our roads.
However, this debate is again necessitated by the recent tragic events and accidents involving heavy-duty trucks in various parts of our country which is of great concern and needs us to extensively and comprehensively discuss driving behaviour by heavy-duty trucks and specifically plans to ensure a change in the working conditions of truck drivers functional ... [Inaudible.] ... law enforcement and to ensure safety on the road in order for us to mitigate accidents on the roads, especially those that leads to fatalities. It is also government’s pronounced policy to increase the level of goods and freight from road to rail through the development of rail infrastructure. Sadly, we must ask how much is actually being done to achieve this laudable objective. We have heard the Minister of Transport making many high profile public pronouncements in this regard, yet, this unfortunately translated to very little real practical action. This credibility gap between pronouncements and good intentions and real action sometimes must be addressed as a matter of urgency. It causes a credibility gap that fundamentally undermines the trust our communities have in us.
The recent horrendous accident among many, which has raised a cause for much concern on the role of every truck on our road is a tragic accident which happened on the N2 of Pongola in KwaZulu-Natal. The N2 freeway in KwaZulu-Natal has an infamous association with reckless and rash driving by truck drivers.
One and half weeks ago, the careless driving of one truck driver resulted in a head-on collision accident where a truck recklessly tried to overtake another vehicle. This accident involved the truck and a bakkie that was carrying learners.
The accident claimed the lives of no less than 19 learners who were aged between 5 to 13-years old, and also two adults.
This has inflicted huge pain and tragedy in the lives of the people of Pongola. One mother lost three of her children due to this accident. At the outset of this debate, it is of critical importance to highlight that the ANC strives to be a caring government and as a caring government the ANC must never ignore the loss of innocent lives through reckless driving and a continuing menacing presence of heavy-duty trucks on our roads.
Our government sends its sympathy and condolences to all the colleagues, friends and family members of those affected by the tragic loss of lives in this particular accident and all road accidents. We know and comprehend that some of the children who died in these road accidents carry the dreams and aspirations of the economic freedom of their friends and family and that some of the parents who died were breadwinners.
Once again, it must be emphatically emphasised that the ANC government will never condone reckless driving which endangers the lives of other road users and commuters and the violation of road safety. We must recall with regret and order that there have been various other incidents of accidents in South Africa, and I will name a few. This past weekend, a young couple, Dewald and Izanie left the mall excited about the future, as Izanie was pregnant with her first child. Their lives were ripped from society as a speeding abnormal truck failed to stop and also failed to use 1 km emergency sandpit.
The sandpit is about 500m from where the truck collided with the couples’ Polo. It took more than 4 km for the truck to come to the stop as it ploughed through another 10 cars.
In July this year, Joe Strydom, a father, a husband, a grandfather was crushed by a truck carrying chrome in Hartebeespoort. The truck had no licence disc and to top it all, the truck trailer had no breaks installed and it had a roadworthy certificate check done only two months before.
Three hundred kilometres from the owners’ place of business without the truck never been seen. This type of corruption in the trucking industry is murdering our citizens. This behaviour will only stop when the charge the owners and drivers with murder.
Data released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC, states that heavy accidents that involve trucks and buses throughout the country from 1 January 2020 to 15 June 2022 as a result 18 major crashes for buses, with 178 people killed and 600 with different types of injuries and 71 major crashes for trucks with 463 people killed and 431 with different types of injuries is a war zone on our roads. This is a national problem and a national tragedy. Primarily it is due to the heavy reliance of moving goods and freight through the heavy-duty trucks and not utilising other modes of transport such as rail which is actually most suitable and efficient in the moving heavy load.
This is therefore critically important that we must unequivocally understand that road accidents heavy-duty trucks and the loss of lives, reckless driving have a negative socioeconomic impact on our country, especially on the working, poor and middle class. The accidents caused on the roads do not only tragically claim the precious lives of people, but they also cause severe disruptions in our economy as we saw of the various accidents supply chains of medicine, coal and food has been disrupted and in some instances halted because roads were either congested or closed down.
We must also understand that it is not good enough to merely express our sympathies, sadness and condolences. We appreciate and acknowledge all the flaws that underpin the quagmire we face of road accidents in general, and the fatalities. The ANC government dedicates itself to continue to take action to stop these fatalities on the road and the loss of innocent lives of commuters through road accidents.
The importance of heavy-duty trucking to the economy for the movement of goods and freight is critical, given the current weakness in our rail infrastructure system. For the movement of freight and goods, this is indisputable reality for now the trucking ensures the functioning of the economy through its logistics services.
However, whilst acknowledging the important contribution of the trucking industry, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, that it makes the economy of the country, this contribution must all times occur on the basis of road regulations being observed and the strict enforcement of road skilled truck drivers, and the roadworthiness of trucks that they drive are of paramount importance.
In order for a person to become a well-skilled truck driver, such person needs to have excellent driving skills, practical experience and knowledge of the truck and public roads that are being driven on. On 21 June 2021, it was reported that in South Africa, 16 000 die each year on our roads, and the carnage of Code 14 drivers is a contributing factor to the phenomenon. It was reported that the shortage of round about
3 000 skilled Code 14 drivers is occurring in this country, which has a very unemployment rate.
This actually can and must be addressed as job creation is a fundamental pillar of our ANC economic policy. Because of this, we will ensure that there are more truck drivers who are able to ensure safety of the roads and are less tired and overworked drivers. It’s important that the different workers’ conditions between South African truck drivers compared to foreign nationals driving every trucks is eliminated. This is another contributing factor as trucking companies do not pay foreign nationals the salary but they are rather paid for the number loads that they make.
It is critically important that licencing and working conditions of all truck drivers in the country must be uniform, whether South African or foreign nationals. We cannot tolerate the super exploitation of fellow human beings, which is honestly tantamount to modern day slavery.
In order to mitigate accidents subsequent fatalities on the road, we need more truck drivers with the required proficiency, as we have seen how South Africa has a shortage of truck drivers. The shortage unfortunately leads to a pressure for drivers in the market to operate at an optimum rate all the time where they have little or no rest, which impacts on road safety. The shortage indicates that drivers are in high demand in low supply, and this phenomenon tell us that employers may be unable to afford drivers, adequate time to risk and to announce their ability to work effectively and efficiently.
The lack of skilled truck drivers, roadworthy trucks and proper driving ability has impacted South African trucking industry extremely negatively. We need employers with an understanding of socioeconomic issues employers who are able to introduce programmes in the workplace to risky old drivers. This is of critical impotence because it will assist us in correcting driving errors which tend to be major contributing factor, especially on high risk roads that are known to have high rates of accidents. South Africa is a country with raod traffic laws that pertain to the usage of public roads and safety.
However, we have shockingly low level of enforcement laws. These laws will work effectively for individuals who are negligent on the roads and do not take care for their vehicles and they must be effectively held accountable for their actions. We also need more law enforcement agents to be deployed in areas which are known as high accidents zones.
However, whilst law enforcement is a deterrent for ensuring that there is a no reckless driving and that road safety is adhered to, it is common cause that they are unable to be everywhere all the time. Therefore, it is important that motorists and especially heavy-duty truck drivers obey regulations and safety rules of the road. The participation of the people in the process as road users is of paramount importance.
In many provinces, including the ones run by the opposition, weighbridges are not always functioning for heavy-duty trucks this negatively impacts on the safety of the vehicles which are overloaded and also consequently damages the roads which these truck utilise. The trucking industry will remain important in the logistic industry, even when we improve our rail network.
As a whole, the country is not completely covered by rail. However, as I already stated, it is absolutely critically important that there must be a movement of goods and freight from road to rail. As I have also already alluded to, the movement to rail is occurring overly slow due to the damage of rail infrastructure and the failure to implement and regulate rail tariffs which ensures that the heavy-duty trucking is more profitable than rail.
Our aim at all times must be to reduce the level of road usage of heavy-duty trucks and the increased safety to ensure the preservation of treasured human lives while engaging in economic development, utilising all modes of transport as part of our country’s regressive logistic development. I thank you.
Mr C H H HUNGSINGER: House Chair, any loss of life caused by a crash is heart-breaking and frustrating. It always causes some form of disruption especially to the people who are directly impacted, their families and friends. Since there are more factors involved with trucks, including freight, businesses, infrastructure damage traffic flow, and the different recovery configuration, this interruption is typically worse.
Intervention is urgently required because current road safety measures hon McDonald are inefficient. It should be obvious that the current strategy would fail to meet the targets, set for a 25% decrease in road fatalities in South Africa by 2024. Road safety can be improved immediately by a number of practical alternatives, that are all overlooked by the department and by state-owned enterprises, SOEs.
Disappointingly in the Minister Mbalula’s latest budget statement, no mention was considered or made of problem solvers like the established Ministerial Traffic Law Enforcement Review Committee. Our nation’s road safety crisis won’t be resolved by just extending the working hours of traffic law enforcers, and by equipping them with body cameras. much more work needs to be done.
I have reported a number of instances of vehicles especially trucks, receiving roadworthy updates while being far from the roadworthy centre, based on the information I have received. As long as this is treated as a unique and isolated incident rather than the opportunity to improve the system, not much will change. There is just no tolerance for cutting costs in an industry as important to the economy as trucking.
Operators are responsible for making sure that vehicles are roadworthy and that they are not overloaded. That pre-trip inspections are done and that drivers have the necessary professional drivers permits, and that all drivers get regular physical exams. Lack of maintenance is frequently the result of customers pressuring transporters to offer the lowest price. Customers implicitly encouraged noncompliant behaviour by cutting the transit rate, sometimes with severe results.
From a commercial standpoint, noncompliance can be disastrous. The outcome for customers looking for lower transportation costs, leads to some compliance alternatives for unsafe vehicles, that cause collisions and add to the nation’s already alarmingly high incidence of traffic fatalities. The DA believes it is mandatory to obey by all rules and regulations. An organisation will ultimately secure its capacity to continuously meet client requirements by focusing on compliance with quality requirements.
Given the global context in which we operate, ensuring that the right items arrive at the right location, at the right condition, at the right time, is top responsibility for both the supply chain and customers.
In the DA-run Western Cape, a local company called Turing Tip Trans uses weight assessment in motion and GPS supported position and route monitoring. Innovations which are acknowledged as effective compliance necessities. Positive results achieved by Turing Smart Truck Pilot Project include a 13% reduction in roadway impact, a 17% reduction in fuel use, a 23% fewer truck kilometres travel and a 41% reduction in road crashes.
Freight transit is currently the foundation of transporting goods in South Africa, with 85% of all commodities distributed over the road network. Therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest to make sure it is as secure and optimised as feasible, while also pursuing the best multimode solution for the nation.
As the greatest killer in the world, collisions amount for almost 1,3 million preventable fatalities than an estimated
50 million injuries to children and teenagers every year. From preschool and pre-primary through to high school ... [Interjections.] [Time expired]
Ndiyabulela ngexesha enindiphe lona.
I thank you.
Ms N J NOLUTSHUNGU: House Chair, the EFF sends its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends, who lost their children and loved ones in the Pongola accident. May their souls rest in eternal peace. While rail transport is the backbone of many economies as it transports large volumes of
people and goods, inaccessibility of rail in the country has put a lot of strain on the road freight.
The SA Rail System has collapsed and the ANC government cannot shift the blame of the rail infrastructure vandalism to anyone but themselves. What did they expect when they removed security that was looking after the rain infrastructure?
Heavily loaded freight trucks have become a permanent feature on SA roads, yet local roads are built for light traffic vehicles.
Multinational companies owning cross border trucks that carry heavy goods and equipment, enter local towns and overload local roads that are designed for light vehicles. These trucks start competing for road space with minibus taxis and school transport.
It is irresponsible for the Minister of Transport to say that, his department could not be held responsible for reckless driving after his department has failed dismally, to put the necessary mechanism in place to curb reckless driving. South Africans find themselves in this situation due to the failure of government to deal with obvious infrastructure, and systematic problems that needs leadership and political will.
For instance, the reason for so many coal trucks running through Pongola is due to the rail system in Richards Bay that has collapsed.
Concerns were constantly raised by the community regarding the N2 crossing in the dangerous area where the Pongola tragic accident happened, and have been ignored. This area has been reported as being a black spot with no visibility of traffic officers to stop the reckless truck drivers.
Calls by the EFF to the Minister of Police and the Minister of Transport, to increase the visibility of authorities on our national road fell on deaf ears. Had they listened, we would not have witnessed the Pongola accident that took lives of 19 innocent children.
Related to this, it is noteworthy that the trucking industry says, they have been engaging the Department of Transport regarding the situation for the last two decades, but nothing has been done. The Minister of Transport says it is working together with the Department of Public Enterprises to deal with the situation, and that it will take five years to move the trucks to rail. This is totally unacceptable.
There should be a concerted effort to short-circuit the process as lives are being lost now, and this will continue to be the case. To reduce the carnage and improve safety for all, the EFF demands that:
1. A clear implementation and monitoring plan of the removal of these trucks on local roads immediately.
2. High visibility of law enforcement on all truck routes as of yesterday.
If the EFF demands fall on deaf ears, as it is always the case with the arrogant ruling party, South Africans must brace themselves for more accidents and loss of lives. Thank you.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon House Chairperson, on behalf of the IFP President-emeritus, His Excellency, our leader in Parliament, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the entire IFP caucus, I wish to extend my condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the horrific crash in Pongola last week. May their souls rest in peace. Further, I wish to empathise with those parents who have lost their children during this horrific accident. The passing of these souls and many other road fatalities in this country are completely unnecessary and the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of government.
Government has failed to sufficiently maintain and improve the safety of our roads. Personally, I have repeatedly raised the issues of poor maintenance and road infrastructure in this House. I have highlighted the danger that road users face through, no fault of their own, but through government’s sheer negligence in maintaining our road network. The road network is something that we all make use of, to travel to work, for education and economic development.
Yesterday, when we discussed the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill, the opportunity was missed to make legislative change that could make a real difference to the poor of this country. Parliament and government must look at the laws of enforcement around the trucking industry. These are heavy-duty vehicles, which require other safety measures. We need to enforce more stringent oversight through road traffic authorities regarding the operation and behaviour of truck drivers.
There need to be better management of roads and safer driver behaviour than operating so reckless. Trucks can cause a lot of wear on our roads, which means that maintenance is needed more frequently.
The committee of Transport along with the Minister must work together to find solutions to the way in which we move goods with over the borders, without jeopardising the trucking industry. We must encourage Cabinet to look at a different method to ensure safe, secure and roads for passengers and a good rail network. This is a burden on our roads.
Prasa must present a plan to commit to ensure that there is a budget for security, to avoid the destruction of infrastructure.
... kunombuzo nje mhlawumbe umuntu angawubuza ukuthi abaholi baseMpumalanga bathini uma bebona i-Standarton sinjeya? Bathi ukhona umgwaqo edolobheni e-Standarton. Abase-Free State uhambe nge–N3 uya eVrede awukwazi, ungangcwaba ingane laphaya ukwazi ukuhamba khona. Baholi ngicela ukuthi sizimisele ngoba yithina esenza izimpilo zabantu zibe engozini. Ngiyathokoza.
Mnr P MEY: Voorsitter, om ’n geliefde in motorongeluk te verloor is seker een van die moeilikste dinge om te beleef. Ek het na mnr Macdonald van die ANC geluister. Hy het baie
gekonsentreer op die gevolge van ongelukke, maar ek wil graag meer verwys na die oorsake van ongelukke.
Vragmotors is een van die grootste oorsake van ongelukke. Hoekom sê ek dit? Vraagmotors verskaf soveel slaggate en dit lei tot ander ongelukke. Ek het onlangs van die Despatch na die Noord-Kaap. Ek was geskok om daardie paaie in die Noord- Kaap te sien. Soos die ertsvragmotors en die oorlaaide vragmotors daardie pad vernietig het, kan jy nie vir iemand beskryf nie. Die slaggate is twee meter breed. Hy is die diepte van ’n kruiwa se bak. Dit is gevaarlik. Jy kan nie in die nag daar ry nie, want niks word daaraan gedoen nie en die vragmotors gaan maar elke dag voort op daardie paaie.
Dan vra ek myself die vraag, ... Ek het nie een weegbrug langs die pad teegekom nie. Waar is die polisiëring? Baie van daardie voertuie is oorlaai. Baie paaie is nie eens vir sulke swaar voertuie gebou nie. Orals in ons land is daar baie slaggate. Ek kan nie verstaan nie. As dit die grootte van ’n sokkerbal is, maak hom reg, herstel hom.
Jare gelede is hierdie probleem al begin en dit word net erger en erger. As ons na die provinsiale paaie kyk, die provinsiale departemente kry ook almal begrotings. Hulle doen niks nie.
Die rede hoekom hulle niks doen is omdat hulle dit vir ander doeleindes gebruik.
Van munisipaliteite wil ek nie eens praat nie. Hulle funksioneer nie meer nie. Ons het na die Oos-Kaap gegaan en gesê dat hulle ons net die teer moet gee, want die publiek sou dit doen. Toe sê hulle dat hulle nie teer het nie. Nou, hoe is dit moontlik?
Op die gebied landbou, as u kyk die skade wat boere ly om hulle voertuie te herstel, baie van die boere skraap hulle eie paaie. Ek het dit met my eie oë gesien. Niks word van die regering se kant gedoen om hulle op enige manier te vergoed nie. Landbou is die enigste plek waar nog werk verskaf kan word. As u veral na die vrugteboere kyk, beweeg hulle van die een plaas na die ander na die pakstore. Ek het met my eie oë gesien hoe die nuwe tegnologie net die vrugte uitskiet, as die vrugte gekneus word en dan kan hy nie weer die vrug uitvoer nie. Wat is die probleem daarmee? Daardie geld moet vir werkverskaffing gebruik word, sodat die boere nog meer bome kan aanplant en alles.
Ek sien my tyd raak min. Ons sê so baie kere ...
... we must move from road to rail.
Ons praat net, maar ons doen niks nie. Kan die spoorweg voorsien? Nee dit kan nie. As ons kyk die afgelope tyd, dat die passasiers oor die jare van 500 miljoen na 17 miljoen verminder het. Die infrastruktuur is geplunder. Daar word miljarde rande per jaar aan sekuriteit spandeer en niks verander nie.
Ek wil ook vandag op ’n positiewe noot afsluit. Dis nie elke dag dat ’n Minister van die ANC ’n kompliment van die VF Plus kry nie. Ek wil elkeen van die portefeuljekomitee bedank. Ons het ons misnoë oor die groot getal slaggate uitgespreek en die Minister het geluister. Minister Fikile Mbalula het ’n projek, Vala Zonke, aangekondig, en dit is daarop uit om slaggate oor die volgende jaar te herstel. Dit sal ’n wonderlike ding wees as ons voort kan gaan.
Agb Minister, u het gesê 8 Augustus. Ek het verlede week op Dispatch stilgehou en hulle is besig met ons daar. Ons sal vir u verantwoordelik hou. Ek prys u vandag, want ek dink dis die regte ding wat u gedoen het om dit te prioritiseer, maar ons
sal u verantwoordelik hou. [Tyd verstreke.] ... mense van Suid-Afrika. Baie dankie.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Hon House Chairperson, I wish to, on behalf of the ACDP, convey our condolences to all the innocent people who lost their lives on the roads because of the heavy-duty truck drivers, many of whom are reckless. In particular, I wish to convey our condolences to the families of the children who lost their lives in the tragic Pongola accident.
Our roads are deteriorating very fast because of heavy-duty trucks moving goods that should be transported via rail, thereby making our roads very unsafe. Regardless of what government says, the number of accidents increases, the number of potholes keep on increasing and the ACDP believes that it is time now to say, enough is enough.
The driver involved in the accident, which killed 20 people, including those children in Pongola has given up his bail application. They articulated truck he was driving was found to have its camera blocked and it is reported that he illegally drove on the wrong side of the road and he forced oncoming traffic to be in danger and he dragged a bakkie with the truck that he was driving, in the process killing two
educators and the 18 learning, they were illegally transporting in the back of the van.
In Pinetown, on Monday, 19 September, a driver lost control of his truck, which jack-knifed, trapping him, and he obviously died on the scene.
It is time that Prasa take back the freight that is rightfully theirs. According to the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, most of our freight goods are carried on our roads and not on rail. It is a fact that road fright has grown by almost 50% in the last 10 years. The result is that a third of all vehicles on our highways are heavy-goods trucks and they cause accidents.
We, in the ACDP, believe that these heavy-duty trucks must be removed from our roads, in order to ensure that public transport becomes safer. We must go back to rail. Government must do something about ensuring that heavy-duty goods are transported by rail. They must restore the railway tracks that we used to have. When the accidents in this country, great and small, or few because most of these heavy-duty trucks ... [Time expired.] Thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, House Chair, I think this House is doing it once again, we have to wait for somebody to die so that we can come here to debate and we have to wait for a woman to be raped before we can come have a debate. Why not be proactive and put some measures in place to prevent these accidents or prevent our people from dying?
I am glad the Minister is here. Minister, in my observation, these are some of the problems we have on the road. If you notice some of these heavy duty accidents take place at night, late hours of the night or early hours of the morning. One of the reasons for that is fatigue. Remember that these drivers are paid by the number of trips they made. Employers are merciless, they want the job to be done. These poor workers have absolutely no time to rest.
Contrary to what happens internationally, Minister, this is what we need to look at: we need to have more truck stops on the road where drivers can stop, rest, have a shower, and sleep. In fact, I am told that in many other countries, I think they have to stop every 200 miles. There is a mechanism were one can log onto and it will be able to establish whether this person rested or not. As a result, there is very little accidents that are taking place.
I heard a very foolish statement by one mayor who said trucks must drive more at night when most of the accidents take place at night, particularly heavy duty accidents.
The other problem if you noticed, Minister, because of the kind of roads we have. I have noticed that heavy duty trucks sometimes travel sometimes in convoys and that makes it very difficult for other motorists to overtake them. That’s a serious problem and that’s why people would be tempted to try overtake, which would result in fatal accidents.
I think another message that should go to people driving trucks is that they need to leave a gap between each vehicle so as to make it easier for other motorists to pass. You find that from time and again, the long distance ... let’s look at it between Durban and Cape Town, that’s 1 700kms. If one is not going to stop on that road and have a rest, you are going to have an accident. It takes just a blink of an eye, a second or two and you are off the road.
You will also notice that a lot of these accidents are taking place on straight roads. Is it because people fall asleep?
Again, it is as a result of fatigue.
Law enforcements are not doing enough on the road, Minister. I can assure you and I will give you an example of one youngster who drove a fuel tanker for about 30 times and on the 31st time, with added pressure from the employer, he had to get to Witbank in the early hours of morning or by six o’clock, he went off the road and died on that accident. He was not compensated, no accountability and no consequences, absolutely nothing.
I think my time is running out. It is important Minister that you need to put some stringent measures as far as compliance id concerned if we want to save lives. Thank you very much.
Mr L N MANGCU: Good afternoon, House Chairperson, hon members, colleagues, hon Hunsinger - the shadow minister of transport of the DA – good afternoon, always in the shadows whilst uJola is busy running the department, not shadowing anybody, good afternoon, Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, fellow South Africans.
Let me start by welcoming this opportunity to contribute in this very important yet very sad debate on the negative impact of heavy duty trucks, on the safety of commuters on the road and the recent loss of lives.
Let me also extend our heartfelt and deepest condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of those who perished recently in a crash involving a truck in Pongola. Our condolences also goes to many others whose deaths and injuries did not make it to the television screens, to the newspaper headlines, and to the Twitter streets.
Sithi kwezo ntsapho, tutwini, akuhlanga lungehliyo. Lalani ngenxeba nangona kubuhlungu.
We also take this opportunity to pay our respect and tribute to the dedicated traffic officers who died in the line of duty protecting irresponsible drivers on our roads. These men and women are also parents, they are daughters and sons, uncles to somebody, and they are breadwinners in their own right, and they never make the TV screens and the newspaper headlines. To all of those brave men and women who continue to put their lives on the line to protect us on our roads, we salute you.
These unsung heroes’ work normally go unnoticed. However, we must condemn in the strongest terms possible those few rotten apples who give the traffic law enforcement profession a bad
name by issuing driving licenses illegally, issuing roadworthy certificates illegally, and accepting bribes from offenders on the road.
Let me give you a sample of what the headlines carried in the recent past, which illustrates further the importance of this debate and the impact of these few corrupt officials who are contributing towards this carnage. On 17 September 2022, these are the headlines after the terrible crash that many of us are referring to and I quote: “We begged them to obey the law. We knew this day would come.” This is from Pongola N2 residents. Twenty-one or 19 people have died. The number becomes insignificant because many family loved people have died. Many of them children, after residents warned about the conditions of the road where a disaster awaited to happen.
On 26 September 2022, these were the headlines. Eastern Cape Transport MEC, Xolile Nqatha has called upon the trucking community to be more considerate, respect fellow road users, and abide by the rules of the road at all times. This was after another terrible accident on the N10 that had just took a couple of lives.
On 27 September 2022, the headlines read as follows: “Two heavy articulated vehicles collide on the N4 at the Sudwala turnoff.” On 27 September 2022, just a day ago: “Three injured in a collision on the R34 near Heatonville.” The quote went on to say: “This morning, KwaZulu-Natal private ambulance service responded to the R34 near Heatonville offramp for reports of a collision.” When emergency services arrived, they found that a truck had lost control and overturned.
On 28 September 2022, the headlines read as follows: “Bakkie carrying workers rear-ended by a truck, multiple injured - R102 Maidstone.” “Medi Response was on the scene where a bakkie carrying workers has been rear-ended by a truck”, and so the headlines continue. It cannot be, it has to come to an end.
The question that comes to mind is: Had all the conditions of the National Road Traffic Act, which we amended only yesterday in this House been implemented, monitored and enforced, would we have seen these headlines and scenes playing out? The answer is simply, no. There is an element of poor law enforcement that most colleagues have spoken about. Most heavy duty truck drivers are paid per load. Therefore, increasing for them to be on the road for much longer hours than what a
human body can take, and this leads to exhaustion and fatigue
- I think as hon Mey has alluded to earlier on.
Hon House Chair, Members of Parliament, and fellow South Africans, there is a need to regulate the trucking industry as such regulation will address issues of compliance and not only to road traffic legislation but also labour laws that for the better part of last year has seen acts of violence allegedly because of nonregulated employment of foreign drivers. This cannot go unchallenged or unnoticed.
The lack of effective overload enforcement is another huge area needing serious attention. The lack of this enforcement results in the deterioration of secondary roads as drivers avoid weigh stations and at times with the assistance of some corrupt traffic officials and increase the burden on these roads. Cheers!
The Road Freight Association, RFA, has been in the forefront of calling for action to be taken against noncompliant operators and we need to support that call, where belonging to such an association they are calling for is currently voluntary because it is voluntary to belong to any association such as the RFA currently. It is difficult to enforce codes of
practice within the industry. There is an urgent need to have negotiated agreements between employees and employers so that issues such as minimum standards for drivers, truck owners, and working hours, amongst others, can be addressed as some of these issues cannot be addressed through legislation only.
House Chairperson and hon members, we have also seen scenes of violence as I already alluded to earlier on and destructions through the action of groupings opposed to the employment of foreigners in the industry and as various horror crashes have filled our screens and news headlines and Twitter lines. Who still recalls the Filshill and Townhill crashes some years back? That is a sad story. After all has been said and done, we remember very little about those crashes.
Those operators who refuse to register with and abide by such agreements could be held or should be held accountable for the behaviour of their drivers. Little, if any, is being said about the owner of the truck that through the reckless behaviour of its driver slaughtered innocent children in Pongola and many other accidents. If we were to ask how many people know the owner of that truck, or even the company, very little know, if any. Those people must be held accountable. We call upon for more action to be directed at the employers too
as they have to take some responsibility in these terrible incidents on our roads. It is very easy for an employer to get rid of an accused driver and employ the next desperate person and continue with their business as if nothing ever happened. We have to do more to save lives. The carnage on our roads, especially involving trucks is fast becoming a disaster if not already one.
Some key consideration which have proved effective on developed economies are, amongst others, one professional, well-trained and uncompromising traffic policing.
Uncompromised traffic policing, I repeat that portion; strict registration requirements for all public fleet operators; compulsory registration requirements with independent trade associations which checks standard compliance before registration is done; and swift and targeted action against those who choose to be noncompliant.
We welcome the recent release or launch of the White Paper on Rail Policy by the department, and the amendments of the Road Traffic Act which went through here yesterday. These two, amongst others, should give the necessary teeth to the law enforcement agencies to root out this untoward behaviour on our roads. The deterioration of, and in some instances total
destruction of our rail infrastructure is of major concern as the movement from freight to rail will remain a pipedream without a reliable freight and passenger rail system.
We call upon for more co-operation amongst departments to bring those responsible for the vandalism of our rail infrastructure to book.
Lastly, much effort is needed to improve the condition of our roads as this has a direction correlation to accidents, especially on side roads in the mining towns and our rural road network. There is a joke that says if you are driving straight on many of our roads, you are likely to be arrested by traffic officials because it means you are drunk. For you to be sober, you need to zigzag because you are avoiding potholes. Thank you, House Chairperson.
Mr S M JAFTA: Hon House Chair, the African Independent Congress, AIC, firstly wishes to pass its condolences to the family of the victims who lost their lives in the Ophongolo truck accident where 20 lives were lost. This debate is therefore as important as it is urgent. In this year’s Department of Transport’s budget speech the department allocated R76,4 billion to Sanral. We were also told that over
the medium term R45,3 billion or 59,3% of the allocation to Sanral is budgeted to upgrade, strengthen and refurbish the national non-toll roads network. This is an important intervention in light of the impact of heavy duty trucks on the road infrastructure as well as on the safety of commuters.
The collapse of the railway infrastructure network has unfortunately given rise to an increase of heavy duty trucks on our roads. It is in this regard that we are of the firm view that the implementation of the integrated public transport network in various cities must closely look at how railway transport infrastructure can assist businesses in ferrying their goods from one destination to another with the view to alleviate the impact of heavy duty trucks on our roads.
We also welcome the department’s commitment in its budget speech that it is registering significant milestones in introducing policing as a 24 hour seven day job within several provinces. I thank you, hon House Chair.
Num T B MABHENA: Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo. Ngilotjhisa isitjhaba soke.
In a study published in 2010, titled Improving truck safety and the potential of weigh in technology, leading experts, Professor Bernard Jacob and Veronique Beaumelle, made the following observations: They noted that among other issues that gives rise to the negative impact of heavy duty trucks is overload. Furthermore, overloaded trucks pose serious threats to road transport operations with increased risks for road users, deterioration of road safety, severe impact on the durability of infrastructure pavements and bridges, and on fair competition between transport modes and operators.
Professor Bernard Jacob notes that an overloaded truck is more likely to be involved in an accident, and have more severe consequences than a legally loaded truck. The heavier the vehicle the higher its kinetic energy resulting in greater impact forces and damage, to other vehicles or to the infrastructure, in the event of a crash. However, the absolute weight is not an issue in itself and heavy loads can safely be carried by trucks designed for that purpose, such as the so- called high capacity vehicles.
We agree with these findings in that the lack of stricter law enforcement on our roads is a contributing factor that gives
rise to some of these accidents. Trucks can drive for long distances on end without any law enforcement officers including the weigh bridges. Perhaps the time has come to embrace technology and explore the potential for weigh in technology.
The fact that this debate is sponsored by the governing party, a party that is in charge of government policy and executive authority in this country is but laughable. Anyway, why sponsor such a debate when you can just implement sound government policy and address the problem at source once and for all? If you still have an urge and an appetite for such a debate, schedule a debate and tell us what you’ve done to solve the problem and how your solutions are the greatest invention since sliced bread.
Jokes continue to write themselves as pretty soon the ANC will continue doing what it does best by causing another jobs bloodbath in the comedy sector, this time, deploying all their so-called government leaders, and finally their cadres will be fit for purpose, competent and efficient – cadre deployment on steroids. In fact, some of them may very well be over qualified. Unfortunately, in the process, displacing all hard-
working comedians earning a decent and honest living so effortlessly.
The hypocrisy of the ANC government leaders is pathetic, their ability to play to the gallery has reached boiling point. The ANC is reactionary, a characteristic synonymous with organisations and institutions which are in their dying phases. We have been lamenting about the dangers of heavy duty trucks and other heavy duty vehicles like busses ever since we arrived here in Parliament in 2019. The ANC today has suddenly woken up from their slumber and decided that oh no, let’s talk about these dangers following the horrific accidents in Ophongolo.
Thousands of people have been killed on the Moloto Road R573 and yet the safety of those commuters does not matter because you have normalised that situation; you don’t care anymore.
Lives lost on the Moloto Road R573 didn’t spark a sudden interest similar to the debate you’re sponsoring today, and I’ll tell you why. The ANC just doesn’t care, and the fact that you’re playing to the gallery seals it. That is a fact!
We want to assure South Africans that come 2024 when the DA comes into power, we are going to give you tangible solutions
and we are not going to come on this platform and literally cry for help. Two speakers of the ANC came on this platform literally crying for help. It reinforces what former President Thabo Mbeki is saying that the ANC does not have a plan. How can you be in government and come on this platform in literally cry for help when you are in charge of government and you can do something about it? Once again we want to assure South Africans that come 2024 the DA will be in power
Mr A H M PAPO: Point of order.
Mr T B MABHENA: ... president John Steehuisen will make sure that we implement sound policy ...
USIHLALO WENDLU (Ksz M G Boroto): Mbuduma, akhe ujame kancani.
Mr A H M PAPO: Is it parliamentary for hon Mabhena to wear laboratory goggles in the meeting?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): That is not a point of order but a frivolous point of order. Hon members ... [Interjections.]
Mr W F FABER: ... definitely take exception to that please. The member must withdraw that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Faber, you are the first to be cautioned. Don’t do what you are doing. Don’t press the mic and start speaking. Please, you will be saying time is not on our side when you are wasting time yourself.
Frivolous points of order is what we are not going to tolerate. Hon members, thank you hon Mabhena.
Mr T B MABHENA: House Chair, is my time finished, because you said I must stop? You didn’t tell me if my time was up.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): You had three seconds. Yes, if you want to proceed from when you stopped.
Mr T B MABHENA: I want to say that is why he got 24 votes in the entire province because of this childish behaviour. I thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. Hon members, the debate is now over; it has been concluded. Minister, my apologies. My apologies, I am confused by the noises that are
being made. My apologies. The last speaker on the debate is the Minister of Transport, hon Mbalula.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Madame Chair, members of the portfolio committee, hon Members of Parliament, today I stand before the nation a proud Minister of Transport in celebration of the accolades we continue to receive from the international aviation community. Last night our director of civil aviation, Ms Poppy Khoza, was elected president of the 41st Triannual Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation in Montreal, Canada.
This makes Ms Khoza the first ever president of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAWO, Assembly in its history leading an assembly representing 193 member states. She is the first woman. This is a proud moment for South Africa and an affirmation by the aviation community of our immense contribution to international aviation. Our country delegation able led by the Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, continues to fly our flag high as we contest for re-election on to the 36-member council. A seat we have retained since our first election in 2003.
South Africa has a vast road network of some 750 000 kilometres. These roads enable movement of goods and people on a daily basis. The significant investments in the upgrade and maintenance of this road network also meant an increase in traffic volumes over time. The rapid increase in the movement of cargo by road was given impetus by the deregulation of the road freight industry. The evolution of South Africa’s road freight centre can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th Century. The industry was in its infancy and there was a little competition between roads and rail transport.
The control of road freights was achieved through a permit system in which a route carrier permit was required for the conveyance of goods. In the later years, many problems arose leading to the deregulation of the industry and withdrawal of the permit system. More than 150 million tons of freight were moved by road between January and March 2021, with only approximately 40 million tons moved by rail. In July 2022, the volume of freight moved by road increased by 25,3% year-on- year. This is a sharp contrast to the decline of freight moved by rail of 11% over the same period. This increase is further demonstrated by the increasing number of heavy haul trucks registered on our National Traffic Information System, eNaTiS. South Africa has a total of 395 273,000 registered trucks with
vehicle mass in excess of 3,500kg and an additional 227 424 trailers.
These numbers demonstrate the magnitude of the challenge who have to deal with on a daily basis. We are under no illusion about the importance of the road freight sector to South Africa’s economy. Its contribution to our economic growth has been marred by reckless behaviour that has resulted in horrific crashes that have claimed innocent lives. We must be resolute in the implementation of the national freight logistics strategy that was approved by Cabinet in 2017. This will enable us to realise a more enhanced and efficient enforcement regime.
It is through this focus implementation that will make headway in achieving our target of migrating 10% of freight currently moved by road to rail. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic and devastating theft and vandalism of rail infrastructure have proven to be major setbacks in this regard. However, we are firmly on track in rebuilding rail infrastructure and expediting the implementation of the national rail policy.
Enabling private sector participation and concession of branch lines will create the necessary impetus to achieve this goal.
We are therefore working closely with the Department of Public Enterprises to unlock this potential in the shortest possible time. The proliferation of trucks on the N3, N4 and N12 national routes speaks to a challenge that requires immediate attention. These increased volumes do not only put our road network under extreme pressure, but also poses a real and present danger to other road users. The tragedy that befell the nation on that fateful day of 16 September 2022, when young lives aged between the ages of five and 13 and a teacher met their untimely demise under the most tragic circumstances, is a grim reminder of the magnitude of the truck challenge on our roads.
The tragic circumstances under which those young lives were cut short are heart-wrenching and could have been avoided. Each death must serve as a reminder of our collective responsibility to arrest the scourge on our roads and prevent loss of life. This incident must serve as a reminder of our duty to protect the vulnerable on our roads. This is not only the duty of law enforcement but of all those who use the roads. The road freight industry has a particular responsibility of ensuring that trucks transporting freight on our roads are in good state of repair and drivers are competent and can get necessary rest.
We have also borne witness to horrifying scenes of a crush on the R34 between Vryheid and Ulundi in the last week. This was followed by a collusion between two articulated trucks on the N4 at the Sudwala off-ramp in Mpumalanga. Similar incidents in recent weeks include the collusion between a bakkie and a truck on the R501 between Carletonville and Potchefstroom as well as two vehicle and truck collusion on the KaNyamazane road in Mbombela. Efforts to regulate the road freight industry have resulted in the introduction of the Road Traffic Quality System. They are RTQS pays particular attention to road freight operators contributing overloading. The effective implementation of the RTQS is a matter that is receiving our top most attention.
Our policy post law enforcement model acknowledges these challenges. We are also taking a hard look at the licensing regime applicable to drivers in order to ensure that companies that own trucks and that move goods on our roads adhere to strict compliance with the law. We have encouraged the members of the executive council, MECs, to invoke the provision of the National Road Traffic Act of 1996, that enable them to investigate the specific activities of an unidentified operator. Road freight operators who are found wanting in
meeting their obligations in terms of the law will be prosecuted.
In looking at practices employed by freight operators, conditions of service of drivers which contribute to unsafe conduct on the road will be on our radar system. We have equally been working with relevant stakeholders to address the demands of truck drivers. This is one of the measures. Among some of the measures that we want to undertake, is to adhere to our festive penalties. In the wake of the heart-wrenching crash at Pongola, we mobilise our traffic law enforcement authorities to implement immediate measures to improve safety on our roads.
We are strengthening our law enforcement interventions under the co-ordination of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC. Immediate deployment of traffic law enforcement resources on the identified hazardous location, deployment of the national traffic police on ad hoc basis to assist provinces and initiating block patrols in the form of compulsory stopping of trucks at certain intervals to ensure speed reduction. Our commitment to increasing visibility on the road remains unwavering. We are making strides towards the classification of traffic policing as a 24hour-7day job.
While five of the nine provinces have already approved the merger, we remain engaged with organised labour on their concerns. Our ability to save lives and ... [Inaudible.] ... on the roads depends on our ability to work towards the realisation of a common goal. The organised labour and civil society must, therefore, come to the party and work with us in making our roads safe. When I conclude, I want to make the following points arising from the discussions of the hon members. First and foremost, I wish to clarify the hon member that the task of moving goods from road to rail, we are dealing with it decisively together with Public Enterprises.
We have passed the rail policy that enable concession and working with the private sector to intervene by reviving some of the branch lines in our different communities. The task of safety on the road is not only a task of law enforcement and government, government must lead, but it is also the responsibility of the nation as a whole. When a truck killed
20 young lives in KwaZulu-Natal the blame was that the road is a problem. I went to Pongola and I went on the ground, there is no problem with the road, the problem was of a reckless driver who overtook on a double barrier line and killed 20 young children.
There was equally a lie, fake news on social media that the driver who was arrested was from Zimbabwe. Now, we must avoid fake news when we deal with incidents of this nature and be careful of fake news spreading through the social media. We need to be alive to that particular reality. I want to thank the people of Pongola and at the same time, everyone else who have rallied in the activities that led to the burial of the
20 young people, the municipalities, the provincial government and society at large.
More than 10 000 people gathered to send their farewell to their loved ones. It was heart-warming to see the working together between communities and the government in dealing with that particular situation. As the Department of Transport and our governments we really wish to thank our people in rallying together. We will never fail them in ensuring that we fight incidents of this nature not to happen again in our roads on a daily basis. Thank you very much.
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY – CLUSTER: ECONOMICS
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Thank you
very much, House Chair. The question relates to the antidumping duty on tyres. Hon members, the antidumping duty on any product is normally made by an application from a firm. In this particular incidence four firms put an application asking for an antidumping duty against tyres from one country, and in this case, China. These firms employ about 6 500 workers. A total of 1 500 of those jobs are in KwaZulu-Natal,
2 900 in North West and 2 200 in the Eastern Cape. Antidumping duties are typically set within the framework of the World Trade Organisation and there are certain legal tests that would need to be complied with. The first test you have to show injury, material injury. The second test is that you have to be able to show that an injury is as a result of the dumping. Dumping is defined as when a country or a firm sells a product in another market below the normal price of that product. That is really the background of this.
Hon member, hon Cebekhulu asked the question, whether I found merit in imposing the levy at this juncture. I would like to explain this as follows. There is a two stage process in which antidumping duties are put in place on any product. First, after the application has been received the International Trade Administration Commission, ITAC, does an investigation.
They publish a call for request for information and comments and anyone can then comment on that.
During the period of that investigation, if they believe and have grounds to say that the injury is real, the injury is substantial and it can even prejudice that firm, they can impose a provisional antidumping duty. There is no ministerial decision in that. It is an immediate decision that ITAC tags as an administrative body and it is implemented immediately.
But there is only for a limited period - for a six months’ period.
During that period, ITAC must complete its investigations. Once they have completed the investigation they make a recommendation. That recommendation comes to the Ministry and we then apply ourselves. I have to apply myself that the facts before me with the law and with the recommendations of ITAC, and then make a decision. In this case the first phase is where we are. The International Trade Administration Commission has made a decision for an interim duty, or an interim antidumping duty, and it is in place. As soon as the investigation is completed they will send the file to me with a recommendation. That recommendation could be to continue with that duty, to increase that duty, to decrease that duty
or indeed, they could make a recommendation to me not to impose a duty. That’s the point that which I then apply my mind on the matter. Thank you very much.
Ms Z MAJOZI: Thank you, hon House Chair I will take the question. Hon Minister, has your department had any communication with the Ministers of Transport and of Agriculture on how the levy will affect the South African consumers following the report that transportation cost will increase and truck reliance industry will be affected? If not, why not; if so, please, provide details. Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Thank you
very much for the follow-up question. I have had no communication with any of the Ministers because at this stage I have not yet been required to apply my mind to the mater particularly with an application like this there is request by ITAC for any interested party to make representations. That is ordinarily where the information is provided, ITAC then weighs all of that up. It will get comments from a range of different institutions from the private sector and the public sector. It weighs all of that out and it makes a recommendation. We haven’t got to the point where I need to apply myself to a recommendation from ITAC. I thank you.
Mr C N MALEMATJA: Thank you House Chair. How does the action measured by ITAC fit in with government’s overall vision of growth of the auto sector, Minister? Thank you
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Thank you
very much, hon Malematja. Tyres are part of an overall ecosystem in the autoindustry. The South African autoindustry is quite significant by African standards with the biggest car maker in the continent. We produce ordinarily about 600 000 cars per year. Yes, the reality while Africa, as a continent, account for 17% of the world’s population. We produce as a continent fewer than 1% of the local cars, less than 1% of global steel output. This is the challenge that we are grappling with, how to industrialise more of our own continent and our own country? Where we focus on in the car making industry is not just the assembly plant, that is, your Toyotas, BMWs, Mercedes Bens, but it is trying to get more component manufacturing because that’s where really the jobs are. There is at least 2:1 ratio probably a bit higher for each one job in the assembly more than two jobs aggraded in component manufacturing. Tyres are clearly a critical part of it. Government has put forward a proposal to the industry and they have accepted it to deepen the level of localisation of components that go into every car. That is not only the
assembly of the car, but also critically each of the components.
Very recently we launched in KwaZulu-Natal a major opening of a factory that employ 4 000 people in the electric harness industry. That shows the kind of potential and opportunity there is for South Africa to really drive jobs and development through this programme. Thank you.
Mr S N SWART: Chair, may I ask you to just allow Mr Kwankwa to ask his question and come back to Rev Meshoe. Thank you. I want to check his connectivity.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Thank you very much, House Chair. Hon Minister, when one follows this debate from the media, one of the things one gathers is that industry experts believe that although the imposition of these duty is intended to protect local manufacturers, but there seems to be a case where most local manufactures import about 80% of the more than 3 000 tyres that they sell to the South African market. In that case, how effective is that duty going to be in the light of the fact that they themselves have been local manufactures import most of their tyres they sell to the South African market instead of producing them locally? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Thank you
very much, hon Kwankwa. It is quite an interesting programme that we have developed with the autoindustry which covers both car making as well as component making. We don’t try to produce everything in South Africa. So, if you take tyres as an example, hon member, it is a wide variety of tyres each with their own specifications based on quality, based on size of the vehicle, the weight bearing, the kind of the road that it will be on. We have tried to build competitive industries where we are able to get long production lines and bring down the unit cost. That means, because consumers need a wide variety of products, cars, tyres, and so on, that we will always be importing some of the tyres and we will be producing some of the tyres we need. Some of the additional tyres we will be exporting. In the auto sector as a whole is not peculiarly just to tyres. Manufactures would make one model, or one type, or few models, they would produce that on scale, they would sell a lot of that in the domestic market and export quite a bit of that. In one case a big luxury car a probably export about 80% of the vehicles that it assembles here in South Africa. And they earn a duty credit that can enable them to import free of duty tyres. So, in that way the system is designed to make us go for long production runs, bring the cost down and export significant part of our
products. The auto industry today is a very major generator of foreign exchange that South Africa earns because of that system. I hope that that helps to clarify and give context.
Thank you very much.
Mr S N SWART: Thank you House Chair and thank Minister. Hon Minister, one of the concerns obviously relates to safety and the car specifications when one looks at imported tyres and local tyres given the earlier debate that we had about road safety and the higher number of deaths on our roads. Minister, to what degree can one ensure that the specifications are adhered to when it comes to both the imported tyres and local tyres, particularly when it comes to low priced tyres? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Thank you
very much, hon Swart for that question. In fact, that is an extremely important matter that you have raised attention to. The standards that apply in the domestic markets of South Africa on tyre supply, whether those tyres are locally made or whether, are imported. Of course, the difficulty is, when you have large numbers of transactions where people import tyres is to ensure that the specifications are enforced for each
import or each batch of tyres that comes in. Therein sometimes lies a challenge that we need to be alert to.
In addition to that there is a difference way between new tyres, retreaded tyres and second hand tyres. Of course, in our case the trading arrangement permits the importation of new tyres and retreaded tyres. The industry has raised with us that they have great concern about the safety of the retreaded tyres particularly imported retreaded tyres. It is a matter that is under discussion between government and the sector to address. But really you have drawn an attention to an area that we will have to look at because complementing the other measures on road safety must be ensuring that the specifications are appropriate and that they are indeed adhered to. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (Mr S M
Dlamini): House Chairperson, indeed my response is that the Department Small Business Development, DSBD, has and continues to work with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and the Competition Commission to address the concentration of the economy and efforts to deconcentrate the economy.
This, it does through some of the following interventions: Participating and contributing to Competition Commission markets inquiries; ensuring that barriers to entry into the markets for SMMEs and co-operatives are significantly reduced; recommending special accommodation for SMMEs and co- operatives; applying to the Competition Commission for appropriate exemption for SMMEs and co-operatives from certain provisions of the competition Act; implementing SMME-related recommendations of the Competition Commission markets inquiries by providing nonfinancial and financial support to SMMEs and co-operatives; to access and participate in markets that the Competition Commission has issued market demonstration rulings against; and other related recommendations.
The Spaza Shop and General Dealers Support Scheme implements recommendations for direct DSBD implementation, while the Auto-Body Repair and Mechanics Support programs does the same
for the guidelines for competition in the automotive aftermath Report. It is also a fact that the heart of the department's programming is aimed at squarely removing barriers, both historical as well as current, which are an expression of the slow pace of transformation of the ownership structure of the economy.
Briefly, this is illustrated by some of our core programs listed below. Business registration, license and permit issue have been identified as fundamental barrier and gatekeeper to allowing our people to participate in the mainstream economy. Hence, the department is reviewing the Business Act 71 of 1991, with the intention of amending the legislation, to provide for norms and standards. A common business licensing framework and better protection for informal traders.
Access to finance for SMMEs from historically disadvantaged backgrounds and areas, largely determined along racial lines, are another factor that presents a massive barrier to entry for our people. To address the market gap of R380 billion between the needs of historically disadvantaged SMMEs and
the current rate of finance provided, the department has worked in collaboration to develop its SMME funding policy that will meet the needs and aspirations of our people.
The SheTradesZA platform... [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Deputy minister! [Interjections.] Unfortunately, your time is up and it went over. [Interjections.] Before I proceed, may I please ask ICT to come and assist? The clock just stopped. Can’t they do it
from somewhere? Then, you have to use your ... notice. Thank you. Sorry for that hon members. These things happen. Maybe it was affected by the loadshedding outside. I am not sure why; everything just went off here. We proceed now and as the hon Tlhomelang with the supplementary question.
Ms K B TLHOMELANG: House Chair, Deputy Minister, the department developed a program and a plan to reduce barriers of entry and red tape to ensure... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Tlhomelang! Hon Tlhomelang, please allow me. [Interjections.]
Hon Tlhomelang! Hon Tlhomelang, please allow me. [Interjections.] Hon Tlhomelang! Hon Tlhomelang! [Interjections.] We couldn’t hear your question. I think it’s your network. Please allow me to give your question to the hon member, Faiez, in the House [Interjections.] Hon Jacobs!
Mr F JACOBS: Thank you, Chair. Will the department develop a program have a plan... [Interjections.] ... to reduce barriers of entry and red tape to ensure that the development of small
businesses... [Interjections.] ... townships, which of course... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay just wait, Mme Tlhomelang.
Tlohela, re e file Ntate Jacobs.
Hon Jacobs your network is very bad. We can’t hear you. Hon Jacobs, please start from the beginning so that the Deputy Minister is able to respond. Your network is bad. Yes, I am sorry. Proceed, hon Jacobs.
Mr F JACOBS: Thank you, Chair. Deputy Minister, will the department develop plans and programs to reduce barriers to entry and rate production for small business, especially for our township developing businesses, to afford markets and also for local employment?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you very much. Members on the platform, please switch off your microphones. I know it is a problem of people who come late: They try to log
and they don’t check if their microphones are on or off. Check them now, as we proceed. Hon Deputy Minister!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (Mr S M
Dlamini): Chair, as it is evident from the information given above, the department's programs target SMMEs and co- operatives and the informal sector. This is supplemented by the department's Red Tape Production Awareness Program that fosters red tape awareness amongst municipalities with respect to the following good practices: The importance of improving administrative systems, like license and permit issues; the importance of issuing timeous building plans, approval and construction permits; the importance of expenditure management, 30-day payment and targeted procurement in supply chain and financial management functions at local municipalities; the importance of managing and timeously addressing customer complaints; the importance of regular capacity building and upgrading skills of municipal officials.
These are the important management resources constraints and addressing high levels of corruption and agency in municipalities. Thank you, Chair.
Mr J N DE VILLIERS: Deputy Minister, one of the biggest barriers to entry for small business is the current racially motivated BEE rules that only serve to create tenderpreneurs that win tenders based on these BEE racial rules.
These tenderpreneurs, typically, are: Family members, cadres or connections of state officials and charge massively over- inflated prices; can rarely do the actual work; and then either fail in delivering on these tenders or just subcontract the actual work to small businesses that can do the work, but cannot comply with the current BEE rules.
Will the Minister consider supporting the DA's Social Impact Private Bill that proposes to scrap all BEE requirements by repealing the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act and, instead, implement the internationally accepted sustainable development goals as framework for the implementation of procurement policy so that small businesses can grow, create jobs and stimulate the economy, resulting in better service delivery for residents and the responsible use of taxpayer money?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (Mr S M
Dlamini): Access to finance for SMMEs from historically
disadvantaged backgrounds and areas, largely determined along racial lines, is another filter that presents a massive barrier to entry for our people. To address this, the market gap between the needs of historical disadvantaged SMMEs and the current rate of finance provided, the department has worked in collaboration to develop SMMEs funding policy that will meet the needs and aspiration of our people. Thank you.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Chair, the member put a specific question to the Deputy Minister. In response, he just read the rest of his speech. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, how would I know?
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Well, as you could see it on the screen! [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No! How would I know whether he is reading or not? [Interjections.]
Mr D W MACPHERSON: But, he asked a specific question: Will he support scrapping BEE? Then, he just read the rest of his speech. That is not the question session.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Taken! He is listening. I think they will proceed in the committee room to answer each other. Hon members, the supplementary question by hon Hendricks of Al Jama-ah will be read by hon Jafta of the AIC. Hon Jafta!
Mr S M JAFTA (On Behalf of Mr M G E Hendricks): Deputy Minister the informal economy plays a huge role as a means of survival for millions of South Africans without access to formal employment. They desperately need to put food on the table, resulting into finding themselves in vulnerable situations and the upper light is that reminder that the government cannot afford to ignore the need for formal support of the informal sector.
The question then, Deputy Minister, becomes: What can the Minister do to replace the permits with registration certificates for roadside informal traders, which will prevent their unnecessary arrests and harassment by metro police?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (Mr S M
Dlamini): Chair, as I indicated earlier, on the importance of improving administrative systems, like license and permit
issues, it becomes critical that when we do that, we are able to see those who really need the requirements or those who really need assistance, and we will be assisting. Thank you, very much.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Chairperson, Deputy Minister, the high labour costs, the stringent labour conditions, the minimum wage, including, but not limited to, the fact that local authorities are not creating a conducive environment, perhaps, by providing subsidised business premises for rentals for small businesses.
What can your department do to address some of these challenges, so that it makes it easier for small business people entering the market to be able to gain access to premises subsidised by the municipality and, of course, deal with the entry level as far as the minimum wage is concerned? Thank you
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (Mr S M
Dlamini): The Ministry has not engaged in the Small Business sector about bargaining councils directly, but it is participating in engagements at Nedlac that are led by the Department of Employment and Labour, which seek to amend
certain provisions of the Labour Relations Act. I want to end here, Chair.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, House
Chairperson, the answer to hon Cachalia is that certainly, paraffin increases will have an impact on various parties, but in very different ways, depending on whether residents or businesses are supplied directly by Electricity commission, Eskom Supply Commission, Eskom or by municipality.
Secondly, there are some elasticity studies ... [Interjection.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: How come this guy is still a Minister?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ntlangwini, you know that you are not allowed to do that... [Interjection.] proceed hon Minister.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Sorry House Chair, he just went on ... sorry House Chair, sorry House Chair, my apology.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Elasticity study will indicate the extent to which different parties and classes or citizens are able to absorb this cost or not. National Energy Regulator of South Africa, NERSA, in determining what it allows us tariffs indicates and I quote:
It is important to note that Eskom’s revenue applications for 2022-2023 financial year coincides of various economic and social issues, currently affecting the South African economy. Accordingly, the energy regulator’s decision provides the balance between the sustainability of the Eskom on the one hand and the economic wellbeing of consumers and the economy on the other hand.
The second factor House Chairperson, that has to be considered is that municipality levy a set charge on the amount or the tariff that Eskom itself levying. These set charges vary from municipality to municipality, remain largely unregulated or either they get the consent of NERSA, and could have a serious impact in certain parts of the country depending on what the municipality decides to balance its own books at the end of the day.
The third point is that the middle class and the poor both will have some level of impact in the context where inflation is increasing, interest rates are increasing and therefore the cost of living or the cost of doing business will also be impacted in a negative way. The poor in South Africa have the impact mitigated by the free basic services that are provided, part of which is the subsidy on the side of the electricity itself.
And then, I think we need to be frank that Eskom itself, although says that it requires cost recovery bill, tariffs need to do more, to undertake savings that will result in a reduction of avoidable cost. So, firstly it’s a question of fuel in the form of coal and diesel. Secondly, in terms of the procurement processes, where business people are overcharging Eskom, in collaboration with Eskom employees. Thirdly, contract that doing poor piece of work which results in poor maintenance and impacts on load shedding as well. But actually making a lot of money in the process itself.
So, some costs are unavoidable, there are other costs that are avoidable or can be mitigated and more work needs to be done in that particular regard.
And lastly, the Electricity Regulation Act also ensures that it provides for the recovery of cost of electricity and a fair return of Eskom itself. However, we need to ensure that fair return is one which allows for cost recovery, it allows for further investments and it allows for a margin of profit for the enterprise itself. Thank you.
Mr F ESSACK: Thank you, House Chairperson, hon Minister during oral public hearing held by NERSA on 21 September, sometime last week, Eskom indicated that it had consulted Treasury, the Department of Public Enterprises as well as other relevant stake holders on its 32% tariff application to NERSA, which you just alluded to. The question is; can the Minister confirm if such a consultation ever took place? What are the relevant details Minister? And if indeed the consultation did take place, then I must ask; does the Minister support Eskom’s 32% tariff application for 2022-23? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: I think what’s important hon Essack is to distinguish between, let’s call it the core tariffs on the one hand and the amounts that NERSA has not allowed in the past in terms of regulatory asset account and recovery.
And what we’ve heard over the last few years is an underprofeciary if you like by NERSA to Eskom for the basic tariff and the return of monies that are in the regulatory recovery account. And, as a consequence what you have in the 32% is an accumulation of all of those factors.
The 32% is definitely not affordable by the public and by this economy in this particular point in time. And we did this last year, where mediation if you like between NERSA and Eskom and found an amount less than 10% in terms of the increase at that particular point in time.
But I think what is also important hon Essack is that the kind of behaviour we’ve just seen by a senior councillor in the City of Cape Town, where he had to step down from his position in mayoral committee because of an alleged tempering with an electricity meter on his own property. If we can avoid these sort of things, this will actually help us to ensure that everybody pays their fair share as well. And I’m sure you would like say something about that at some stage.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order hon members, order! Hon members in the rules we talk of gestures. The
gestures that I see are not parliamentary, please. Let’s proceed to Ndabezitha Kwankwa.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Thank you very much House Chairperson, Mr Minister in fact the question I wanted to ask you had to do with free electricity allowance especially for the poor. And maybe to appeal to you and government that there need to standardisation of this, I mean developed country standardised the free electricity allowance for the poor. They don’t leave it up to the discretionary authority of each municipality, simply because they want to provide equal protection for the poor. Because what ends up happening is that you end up with an exceptionalism, where certain municipalities give higher rates and other municipalities give very low rates to nothing.
But Minister, what I want to say is that, I have been reliable informed that certain privately owned establishments around the country do not ever experienced load shedding even during load shedding. Not because they have backup generators but simple because they do not ... the question is a concern to say if the allegations are true will the Minister be willing to investigate that? If it’s true will he be also make sure to hold people to account. I can give the name of one of the
establishments in in Cape Town ... [Interjection.] [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: House Chairperson, the hon member is welcomed to give any names if he likes. And we will certainly investigate that and give you a response and both Eskom and many municipalities are precisely investigating these areas at the moment. Where because of tempering, because of secret deal between city’s officials and big businesses including shopping malls. You are actually having an underpayment taking place either directly to Eskom or to municipality.
As far as the free basic services is concerned, as far as I understand it, the Treasury provides for the standard amount, however the municipality to municipality, what varies is the extent to which the indigent register is compiled properly. So that those who are entitled to assistance, actually get the assistance. But again I will investigate that or ask the Treasury to respond to you, about whether there are variances. Thank you.
Mr M N PAULSEN: House Chair, I will take the question on behalf of Ms Nkomane. Minister, your response to the questions
so far shows how out of touch you are with the live realities of our people.
I am going to tell you Minister, we had 20 days of uninterrupted load shedding causing businesses to close and people to lose jobs and income. They are paying more for everything and more so for the electricity than they ever had in history. In what way is any form of increase justifiable, given the conditions of this country? Thank you very much House Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: We all have different experiences of different realities I suppose. And all have different ways of expressing our concern about that. We work hard every single day with every single entity to make sure that the impact on the economy and on the people is minimised to the extent possible.
Load shedding, we have exhaustibly explained, is because the history of Eskom, the battle maleficence that we have seen in Eskom and the slow rate of recovery, as well.
But let me give you an example, House Chairperson of work done in last week, where both the Department of Health and Eskom,
National Department of Public Enterprises, NDPE, extraordinary measures were taken to disconnect certain hospitals from the normal municipal grid, so that when load shedding happen in a particular area those hospitals are no longer load shed. So, most of the hospitals we have attended so far, that has been possible. There’s has been one or two exceptions, where is not possible to disconnect them from the grid.
In regard to paying more for everything. I think if all of us, wherever we find ourselves as public office bearers, whether is municipality or elsewhere. Whichever political party we come from, our diligent about how public funds are spent, where they have spent and how tendering actually occurs and what share of tenders we get for our own pockets? We will actually have a lot of cross hearing in that regard. Thank you.
Mr I M GROENEWALD: Thank you, hon House Chair, hon Minister the Department of Public Enterprises is usually created to be in touch with the needs in our country. Eskom however just seem to run economical viable, even with bail outs to the tune of billions of tax payers’ money. You took poor corruption and management Black Economic Empowerment, BEE, and as you confirmed in your regular answers as well. This new poor
structure in Eskom can be seen as the citizens of this country that now are to subsidised the ANC’s failure. Therefore, will the new ... [Inaudible.] ... structure, as proposed ensure that there would no more load shedding, specifically no more bail outs to Eskom? Thank you House Chair.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: There will be eventually no more load shedding once we have more megawatts connected to the system. It’s not going to happen overnight. But it might also interest the hon member and many others as well that in 1983 under a very different government, you had load shedding in South Africa and that load shedding led to a decision at that time to build several power stations amongst them: Majuba, Matla and so on, which were eventually were completed in the early 1990s. And those are some of the power stations that have some difficulties even today as well. So not everything is the fault of the ANC.
And the bail out that you are speaking about is as a result of the maleficence that took place during the state capture period. And as we recover from that and as we improve the performance of the plants. We will see more megawatts coming on to the system. So to be frank with the South African public, government has repeatedly we could still have load
shedding for another 9-12 months. We want to limit to low stage 2 load shedding if possible.
And Eskom management at the power station level needs to do more to ensure that those plants are maintained properly. They run efficiently and they minimise the discomfort and the cost for citizens and for business as well. And for anybody who thinks that there are instantaneous answers, like the hon member at the back, I am afraid ... [Inaudible. ... thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, has committed to rebuild and return to 10 service corridors this year. Six of these corridors has been returned to service with varying degrees of progress in the rehabilitation of infrastructure. While the new trains have been deployed in some of the corridors others are operating a limited service due to ongoing works in relation to signalling, overhead electrical traction, station renovations and track rehabilitation.
New trains are operational in Mabopane to Pretoria, Saulsville to Pretoria, Cape Town to Simon’s Town, Cape Town to Retreat via Athlone. In some of the corridors in the Gauteng region
stations were severely vandalised and these are still under construction to provide full operational readiness.
We are on track with the commitment to return all the 10 priority corridors this year. The following lines are on track to resume services within the planned time lines: Pienaarspoort to Pretoria corridor is schedule to return to service from October and on Monday I will be there to oversee the starting of this line. Pretoria to Elandsfontein, Lehenga to Johannesburg, Johannesburg to Naledi, are all envisage to return to service in November 2022.
Cape Town to Chris Hani, Kapteinsklip and Umlazi Durban, KwaMashu Bridge are still being rehabilitated and are at various stages of completion.
In KwaZulu-Natal, Prasa is recovering from the severe floods and are operating two corridors, KwaMashu, Dalbrige and Tongaat to Durban under the construction and one corridor Isipingo to Durban under electric traction.
In the Western Cape, Prasa recently recovered two corridors supporting the central line corridor from Cape Town to Langa via Pinelands and Langa to Bellville via Sarepta. These are
delays experience on the portion of the corridor from Langa to Nyanga.
Other corridors have been prioritised for rehabilitation and recovery in the next financial year. These are Deveyton, Germiston, Cape Town, Strand, Umkomaas, Durban, Brenengen to Georgekog, Kwesine to Germiston, Springs to Johannesburg, Randfontein to Johannesburg, Cato Ridge to Durban and Crossmoor to Durban.
Prasa initiated its phase 1 security deployment to additional corridors on 1 June 2022. This has allowed an additional deployment of 1 650 armed and unarmed guards in 16 corridors in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal as well. Phase 2 of the plan commenced on 1 September 2022. The two phases have been implemented successfully and phase 3 will commence on 1 November 2022. This will bring a total additional deployment to 4 878. Implementation of protective measures for all missions’ critical infrastructure through the utilisation of security technology as have force multiplier is in place.
Thank you very much.
Mr L N MANGCU: Minister, despite what the department has done which we appreciate practical experiences that the guards are
not necessarily found on the station and the tracks as the Minister is saying to us. However, we would like to hear more as to what you are really going to do and the department to make sure that this revitalisation is speeded up? The speed within which is done is really appreciated and Prasa is unable to spend their budget fully despite all the challenges that we all know. What is the Minister and the department going to do to support this entity to ensure that they deliver on budget and on time? Thank you, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Rule 1427 was floated but it is up to you, hon Minister. The Rule means you can only ask one follow up question.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Okay. We are copying the model we are implementing at SA National Roads Agency SOC Ltd, Sanral, in terms of sourcing capacity from the Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA, to accelerate implementation of capital projects at Prasa. We have sit down with the board to ensure that major capital project in Sanral in terms of expenditure expedited. When I arrived as a Minister there was a Rule that says that anything above a billion must be approved by the Minister. I stopped that because Ministers are
not involved with allocation and approval of major capital projects and that is bureaucracy.
So, I pushed it back to the board. They must decide and they must decide with the necessary speed. And they must sort out issues that relate to propriety, issues and challenges and the problem of supply chain. So, we are implementing a programme to ensure that Prasa does source a capacity in terms of human, capital particularly at the supply chain area to ensure we expedite but over and above that we are looking also enlisting the services of entities like DBSA to assist with the acceleration of the implementation of expenditure on capital projects. Thank you very much.
Mr C H H HUNGSINGER: Listening to your response, Minister, you repeated admission for being responsible for exposing our infrastructure to theft and vandalism by allowing security and protection contracts to expired and by acknowledging that you are unable to restore the railway transportation system to what we were having in 2019. Could you please explain why you are considering involving rail services and what advantages might this have for colluders and freight lines in the near future? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: In the rail policy we are addressing the question of the devolution which has been propagated and led by the DA in the Western Cape. And then in the rail policy we are saying that for us to implement that we need a rail strategy. So, we are not bog down on the debate about whether or not we shouldn’t. So, we are agreed. It will happen but it will be informed by strategy because some of the municipalities have got to answer the question of whether they have the capacity to sustain that.
If a municipality inform by the devolution strategy can demonstrate that we can run trains effectively and all of that I think we have moved away from just being married to concepts for no reason devolution will then kick in. And then we are working on that and we have place that even to the country and to everybody to understand that we are working on the devolution strategy for South Africa. Thank you.
Mr M M CHABANGU: House Chair ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): You are allowed, Ntate Chabangu.
Mr M M CHABANGU: Minister, the entire southern line in the Cape Metro has been vandalised. You have organised criminal gang demanding protection fee from the contractors that have been appointed to fix some of the railway lines. Have you done a comprehensive assessment to understand what are the underlying causes of this destruction of railway infrastructure who stand to benefit? Why have you not put sufficient security to protect both the contractors and the infrastructure in the Cape Metro? I thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Before you respond Minister, I must also state that Rule 1427 says you can only be asked one supplementary question but it is your prerogative.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Yes. Thank you very much. We are working very hard to recover the central line. It’s our Achelous hill in the recovery of the corridors correctly said. I think, hon member, there are criminal elements who are demanding to be paid through their various security companies in the central line. And that has affected our work. We have worked very hard here. We are removing people. We secure land and there are obstacles in relation to that. But we are succeeding. We have got now a compact between government and
the communities They have agreed to move and then we have secured land. By November the track of movement of people will begin in the central line.
With regard to criminal elements, we are working on various methods of intervention that I cannot divulge at the present moment but we are considering to reinforce our capacity.
Obviously, the state cannot allow lawlessness and to be held at random by the criminal elements. So, it means the state through its capacity must clamp down on the anarchy that is going on in the recovery of the central line. So, we have deposited that question to the National Security Council to consider extra capacity on the ground particularly in Cape Town where gangs have shot at contractors on site and all of that.
Syndicate operating in sabotaging the rail lines are multi- faceted in terms of their existed. Some are in the transport industry itself because they stand to benefit if the trains are not operational. Then they sabotage. But some are actually contractors. So, when they know that this work I am doing is coming to an end they cut the lines so that they created
...[Inaudible.] ... in the system.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Minister, your time is up.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you very much.
Mr B N HERRON: Minister, I also want to ask some questions around the central line which in one point in South Africa was the busiest line or corridor for commuter rail and certainly regarded as one of the most important and has been out of operation for three years since 2019. One of the causes of delays as I understand was the inability for Prasa and the City of Cape Town to reach a land swap agreement that would allow the relocation of people occupying the railway zone. And I am wondering if the Minister can update us on whether that land swap has been resolved and whether the occupiers of the rail reserve are on the process of being relocated so that line can become operating? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, hon member, for the question. The issue of land in terms of Cape Town is that the Department of Human Settlements led by Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi and the local government in the City of Cape Town, the issues there has been about who must foot the bill and then we know that the money in terms of Human Settlements is with
municipalities. So, they are responsible for that one. Portion of land has been identified and I have gone also to see the land. I have shown the people the land where they are going to move. And together with the City, the Housing Development Agency, HDA and provincial government this land has been secured.
Of course, we need to get other parcels of land for the people in Khayelitsha also to move from the rail tracks. So, we have an Inter-Ministerial sort of committee that it also involves local government in the City of Cape Town that oversee the implementation of moving the people from the rail tracks.
Up until now, we are succeeding. We are running a service in the central line. But it doesn’t go over up until Khayelitsha. We envisaged that they will run a full service 360 degree within the central line come December this year. But there have been delays in terms of land and moving people. We can’t move these people because they have sort of used this thing of occupying the tracks successfully and as a bargain with the government to get them where they must go before they can actually move.
So, we negotiate, we use everything but at the end of the day it looks like we will succeed once the other portion of land are found and they have agreed to move from the tracks. I have been there personally talking to the people on the ground engaging in different committees with them and getting them to agree to move. So, in that direction we are succeeding and I am hopeful that within a very short space of time the full central line in Cape Town will be operational. We have got no choice here. There has got to be operational. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Chairperson, South Africa has committed to addressing the issue of climate change in a very dedicated way, and similarly, at COP26, it presented a very ambitious, actually a very determined contribution in terms of reduction of carbon emission. So, there are two processes that flow from this commitment. The first is the decommissioning of cold power stations over the next 30 years, and the second, is to ensure that this process follows a just pass, meaning, justice and fairness, for communities, for work at power stations and work at coal mines.
The just transition process is, firstly, it must ensure that nobody is worse off than before. But secondly, it must also
ensure that current workers, for example, at power stations, must undergo reskilling and new entrances to the workforce, must be trained for what is going to grow in our economy, as the percentage of our economy is within the green economy.
Similarly, there will be new industries that we will be developing, as my colleague, Minister Patel, will tell us. Those new industries could be the green hydrogen, manufacturing of winter vine, manufacturing of photovoltaic, PV, panels, and so on, and new workforce, a new set of skills and a new sciences need to be introduced in the South African economy. All of these, requires that training becomes a centre piece of what Eskom and the country does, as far as the Just Energy Transition, JES.
The partnership with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, CPUT, and Eskom is one example that needs to be done. The second is, to revitalise the Eskom academy, which has fallen into disuse, and thirdly, a special facility that has been created at the Komati Power Station which will be decommissioned shortly, and which will also train workers and the local community on site, so to speak, at Komati itself.
The training and these sorts of example will even become more common, and wider, as an important part of the Just Energy Transition. Thank you.
Mr B N HERRON: Thank you, hon Chairperson, and thank you hon Minister, for the detailed reply. Obviously, the most pressing priority for the South Africans right now is a stable electricity supply, as soon as possible. The partnership with Eskom and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology is, I would imagine, part of the longer term in ensuring that the risk and the workers takes place as transmission of e- commissioned. It is also encouraging to hear that there are other examples of the reskilling programme, including a dedicated academy.
So, I think the question that was not properly or clearly answered was, whether Eskom is now fully engaged in preparing its employees and those involved in the generation of power for the transition to the renewables and other forms of energy or energy generation, as we start with the e-commissioning of power plants, so at to not allow us to be a transition that happens without justice? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Chairperson, the answer to Mr Herron is, yes, Eskom is already doing that and tapping on a much wider basis as well. We certainly agree that, everything must be done to ensure a stable supply, even more importantly, energy security in South Africa. The CPUT
partnership and the academy, and the training that is happening, and would be happening shortly at Komati, are all part of two processes.
Firstly, the Just Energy Transition process and preparation for that, the second, is also upskilling of current operations within power stations, to provide them with coaches, to provide them with mentors, but at an operating level, to make sure that as rapidly as possible, the previously experienced people, and people who worked at the academy, are reinstated, and that the courses that used to be operative at the academy are reintroduced sooner rather than later.
This will be done, in order to upgrade the skills of current operators within the power station, so that we can get more, in terms of the available energy from the current plant. Thank you.
Ms V T MALINGA: Thank you so much, hon House Chair. Minister, good afternoon. Seeing that labour unions have indicated that their opposition to the Just Energy Transition and the unbundling of Eskom, as precursors to full job losses. How will the initiative to retrain and reskill workers save and provide better jobs at Eskom, and what will be the impact of
such retraining initiatives on the jobs that exist today in the mining industry? Thank you, House Chair.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon Malinga and
Chairperson, the unions are both in favour of, and some are opposed to what we call the unbundling and the Just Energy Transition. But at advanced level, there is intensive consultation going on, both in terms of the unbundling processes, but also in terms of preparation for the Just Energy Transition processes skill. I think that, it is important for the country to realise that, we will include the unions, the public at large, and the communities around power stations, that we are living in the fast changing world, although it has the hiccups, as a result of the wars in Europe.
That climate change is a reality. We have seen in KwaZulu- Natal, we have seen in other parts of the country, and indeed, in other parts of the world, that changes in the energy terrain is going to become increasingly important for South Africa to adapt to, and South Africa is totally committed to the Just Energy Transition process itself. That involves creating more jobs in new sectors, like the green economy, the reskilling that I’ve just mentioned that we are on, and to
ensure that there is a continuation of employment in one form or another for current workers, both at power stations and the mining industry itself.
The new green industries that are going to develop and grow, as I have indicated earlier on, are going to be an important part of introducing a new growth dynamic in our economy, and we will change the character of our economy, over the coming
10 to 15 years, and we’ve got to prepare for that reality in terms of new jobs, new investments and new way of doing business in South Africa. So, the private sector ... [Inaudible.]... Eskom and government must also be part in this regard. Thank you, Chair. [Time expired.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. We proceed and invite hon Maotwe for the next follow-up question.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Chairperson, I will be taking it on behalf of hon Maotwe. Minister, you speak about what you are going to do, sometime in the future. Our crisis is now, Minister, and you are of the view that, renewable energy alone, can get us out of energy crisis caused by your incompetency. Also, which countries did you use as a reference, and did it help to grow those economy, and if there are none, why is Eskom not scaling
up the use of coal and other fossil fuels to address our immediate crisis? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: we agree with hon Paulsen on behalf of hon Maotwe that, renewable energy alone, is not the solution for today, but increasingly, renewable energy in its different form, including that we still need to develop the technologies in the future, will become an important component over the next 30 to 50 years of what countries will be using as energy sources. So, over the next 30 years, we will be going to a journey, which is reflected in the integrated resource plan build today and the future.
Also, you have asked the question, which economies are both growing but also utilising increasingly, the renewable energy? India is growing at 10%, Vietnam is growing at 8 or 9%, China is growing between 6 and 7%, and every one of those countries is investing in renewable energy. If you want some evidence in this regard you will come to us straight, we will give to you. Why don’t we have more investments in the coal? Because no one has funded. Simple. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. Over to you, hon Buthelezi. I have missed the initials. I don’t know which
Buthelezi is this, there are two Buthelezis. Oh, Inkosi Buthelezi.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Thank you, Chairperson. I think that he has got a challenge with the network.
MODULASETULO WA NGWAKO (Moh M G Boroto): Kgoii ya tloga molata o a dula [Tsenoganong.] Ke wena mang?
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): He-eh Majozi, ima kancane. Asikuzwa nakancane sisi. Asikuzwa.
Ms Z MAJOZI: It’s E M Buthelezi.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Yes, but you have a network problem. Can you allow Mr Sithole in the House to take the supplementary question?
Ms Z MAJOZI: I have, hon Chair. Yes, I have.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay, you can proceed now, I can hear you. Proceed.
Ms Z MAJOZI: Can you hear me now, Chairperson?
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Hhayi! Kuyala sisi. Kuyala. Phuma lapho, ubab’ ... [Ubuwelewele.] ...
Ms Z MAJOZI: Can hon Sithole take the question in the House, please?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Yes. That’s what I was suggesting to you. Over to you, hon Sithole.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nk M G Boroto): Jobe, isikhathi sakho.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Thank you, hon Chairperson. Hon Minister, considering that traditionally to renewable energy is a
national aim. Initially, why did you not consider to roll out a national or a blanket programme to upscale and capacitate this generative unity of an already suffering Eskom and simultaneously, attend to the severe skills deficit that the enterprise is experiencing? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon Sithole, I have just outlined a number of measures, including partnerships with university revitalisation of Eskom academy and the programmes like Komati itself, and I’m sure that there are many special institutions that are also planning ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Minister, please don’t take it that you are talking to him, he’s closer to you. We also want to hear you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: We bought some plants in KwaZulu-Natal, you see, so...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Let me repeat,
Chairperson. I have already indicated that thaere are partnerships with tertiary institutions, the revitalisation of
Eskom academy, the training centre at Komati, and there are many other institutions that are providing similar training, as the industry itself. So, as the sector grows inevitably, this programme we speak of, will grow, and it will certainly become an important part of upskilling our younger people and also all the workers, in a new set of skills that will enable them to keep their jobs into the future. This is what we all want. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon House
Chairperson, Infrastructure SA, Isa, is responsible co- ordination and planning of all the strategic infrastructure projects that were gazetted on 25 July 2020. That is in line with the Infrastructure Act of 2014.
I must also state that any strategic infrastructure project that we have gazetted in 2020, remains under the ownership or sponsorship of the relevant department or implementing agent.
It is also important to note that line function departments, state-owned entities, SOEs, public entities, provincial government and municipalities are responsible for the
implementation of these projects in terms of the Public Finance Management Act and Municipal Finance Management Act.
We will provide a breakdown as part of the answer to the question of where this projects are and which areas and which province.
Where we are currently being that out of the gazetted projects, the total value is about R340 billion. The status is that these projects are in human settlements, transport, water and sanitation, energy, digital infrastructure, agriculture and agroprocessing.
So far we have 16 of those projects and project preparation. Twenty-five of them are in procurement. Nine of them are being completed. So far we have created over 438 000 jobs. So, it is all work in progress and we are still working with all the departments to assist them in project preparation for all future projects. I thank you.
Ms N NTOBONGWANA: Hon House Chairperson and thank you hon Minister, for responding to the question. My follow-up question is: What are the plans and structures that have been put in place by the Department and its entities to ensure the
execution of the strategic infrastructure projects and when will these projects be ready for execution? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon House
Chairperson, like I have said they are all in various stages of implementation. Some of them are in procurement, some of them are in project preparation and some of them are completed.
The figures that I have just given to the hon member are as an update as of the end of August 2022. I thank you.
Ms S J GRAHAM: Hon House Chairperson and Minister De Lille as you said it was reported in July 2020 that private sector funders have committed R340 billion to 62 of those projects that were announced by the President. The first 50 of these were deemed to be shovel-ready. They included an emergency power programme and the delivering up to 2 000 megawatts of new generation capacity, as well as R106 billion in water and sanitation projects.
Dr Ramokgopa, head of Investment and Infrastructure Office, IRO of Isa stated that despite projects of this nature taking up to 36 months for approvals alone, these will be finalised
within 56 days. So, in effect, we were promised 62 projects within three months. Two years later, we have rolling blackouts and severely constrained water and sanitation systems.
Hon Minister which of the promised 62 projects was actually completed in those three months? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: It can only
be a miracle if you complete an infrastructure project in three months.
Hon House Chairperson and hon member, what we have said is that the total value of all the Strategic Integrated Projects, Sips, together is R343 billion.
What we are reporting on today is that out of the
R340 billion, so far we have been able to raise funding to the value of R238 billion.
So, I think it is just a misunderstanding but the total value of all the Sips together is R340 billion. I thank you.
Ms A M SIWISA: Hon House Chairperson and hon Minister, in May this year, it was reported that almost a quarter of South Africa’s R340 billion worth of Strategic Infrastructure Projects have been delayed or put on hold because of load shedding. How much of projects allocated to Isa, have been delayed or abandoned because of load shedding?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon House
Chairperson, no, not a single project was abandoned because of load shedding. Infrastructure SA is responsible for the strategic infrastructure projects and 62 of them. Like I have said, the implementation of these projects is done by the relevant line departments, the relevant municipalities and provinces. Infrastructure SA is not implementing. That is why I made that point in the first response. The role of Isa is to co-ordinate and to assist all three spheres of government SOEs and who ever needs the help of Isa in planning and co- ordination. That is what we are doing. Thank you.
Mr P A VAN STADEN: Hon Minister, with the establishment of Infrastructure SA in November 2019 – the aim of this entity was to raise an amount of a hundred US dollars to get international investments for infrastructure projects.
Can the Minister indicate if the said target for these huge amounts of investments was successful? What amount was actually received by government from international investors and can the Minister give an indication of how these investments will be utilised if received? Thank you, hon House Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon House
Chairperson, certainly I can give the hon member a breakdown which I do not have with me here. However, there is also the Presidential Infrastructure Investment Office that is also responsible for raising investment. As you know, we had two investment conferences already and I will get the breakdown of what we were able to raise. How many of those projects that have materialised, but I do not have the information in front of me. However, I will provide it to the hon Van Staden. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: House Chair,
as hon Macpherson the determination of is set out in our legislation and I referred earlier on the matter of tyres to how the system works.
When International Trade Administration Commission considers a tariff application, it takes a number of factors into account. They take into account the impact on the industry, on workers and jobs, on consumers and prices and that is brought to the attention of International Trade Administration Commission by public submissions.
We have consumer groups, importers and domestic players, all of them making representations. International Trade Administration Commission then sets out the recommendation that comes to the executive authority, in this case, the Ministry.
The circumstances that we are in, the impact of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, all of these have seriously disrupted supply chains and we have a seen a significant spike in prices particularly of significant food products. Many south Africans are hard pressed.
When an application is made under these circumstances and International Trade Administration Commission takes these things carefully into account and makes recommendations. We also balance that against the enormous job challenge that we face.
Eleven million South Africans need jobs and are willing to work. We have got to be able to do everything possible to retain those jobs. Tariffs play a role in protecting those jobs, just in the food sector alone, if we take the food value chain, significantly more than one million South Africans are directly employed in agriculture, in food production.
In addition to that, I should point out the importance of food security. Countries generally take permissible measures in terms of the global rule set by the WTO, World Trade Organisation, as well as the domestic rules to ensure that countries have a domestic supply of food.
We saw a significant number of countries faced with enormous price rises, untenable situations because they were completely dependent on imported food production and when those supply chains are broken, when they are disrupted, it has enormous hardship.
Our job is to find a proper balance between all of these to ensure that we have food security and that we take every reasonable step to protect jobs and assist consumers.
Finally, I should point out that there is also a number of food products that do not have tariff in place, in other words where the tariff duty will be regarded as zero and I am happy to share some of those details.
If we take of this into account, the job of governance which entails balancing carefully these considerations to ensure that we do not put many more jobs at risk and that we have food production in South Africa. We have tried taking that position.
I have applications come through with recommendations from the International Trade Administration Commission, I have had to carefully consider those and in one instance I have had to postpone the implementation date in order to take into account the challenges that are faced by South Africans. Thank you.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Minister, in April this year, the DA called on you to suspend tariffs on poultry as the cost of living crisis started to take haul because we know that chicken is the cheapest form of protein for millions of people in this country.
On 21 May, in this House, seated where you are, I again asked you if you would suspend tariffs on poultry to assist people who are struggling to put food on the table. You responded by saying that would be and I quote “an extreme move” and your approach and I quote “was more balanced and more mature.”
Nine weeks later, you tore up your talking points and did what you said you would not do. You suspended poultry tariffs for
12 months. However, since then, you have instituted tariffs on a range of consumer items from frozen potatoes to tyres for taxis.
It is clear that South Africans are battling to survive this crisis, will the Minister commit to review all tariffs on food and consumer items with the review to possibly suspend those tariffs for 12 months like you did with poultry this year and if not, why does he believe consumers should continue to pay more because of this protection of policies? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Let me perhaps
start with a basic lesson in education. Let us try to educate hon Macpherson on how the world really works and how our law works. I think in these circumstances, if one of the outcomes
of today’s meetings is the more educated hon Macpherson, we would have achieved something.
Let us start with poultry. In February 2020 we put a set of tariffs that apply to poultry and those tariffs remain in place, they have not gone up, they have not been removed and they apply to all countries where we have what we call the MFN, Most Favoured Nation, tariff but it would not apply where we have a free trade agreement.
Separate to that, there was an application to the International Trade Administration Commission to put in place anti-dumping duties, not the tariffs but the anti-dumping duties. Those anti-dumping duties application came to me and it was the first time that I had to consider it. There was an interim duty that the International Trade Administration Commission had applied as I indicated in the case of tyers.
When I considered the application, based on its merits, I felt it was a compelling case and I approved it.
Looking at the timing of implementation and taking into account the circumstances that we are faced with, I decided that we should postpone the implication of the anti-dumping duties, not the normal tariffs that hon Macpherson spoke of.
So I hope that, that lesson in basic trade law would assist hon Macpherson. Similarly, on tyres, I have not made any decision on the tyre matter as I took some time to hon Cebekhulu’s question to explain.
I would like a more informed debate because it is valuable and helpful in Parliament to account for what we do, to have some alternative ideas put here but let us at least start with the same facts. We do not invent our facts. We can have the liberty of drawing our own opinions but we cannot invent our own facts. Thank you very much.
Prince Z BURNS-NCAMASHE: Thomas Sankara once retorted:
“He who feeds you controls you.”
The effects of Covid-19 and the impact of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia has had a negative impact on the price of goods and this has shown how important it is for nations to be self-sustainable and not dependent imports.
The question I have for this hon Minister is, what measures are in place to protect local industries, particularly those in the food production sector so as to ensure the preservation
of jobs and ensure the self-sufficiency as well as protecting the sovereignty of the country? Thank you Chair.
The MINISTER OF TRADE INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Thank you hon
Burns-Ncamashe for the question. In putting forward a proposal on food security, government as a whole drawing in different departments, draw on trade measures and trade measure can be one of two things. We can increase tariffs that can provide some support, we can decrease tariffs which can enable prices to stabilise and it is getting that balance right.
The second part of what we do is to provide industrial funding to small scale food producers, we hope for the kind of competitiveness they can give us is the food security we need. Industrial Corporation Development has those programmes and the National Empowerment Fund has those programmes.
The third leg of what we do as government is to try and access additional markets. South Africa would never be 100% self- sufficient in every product. These are functions of climate, they are functions of economy sub-scale, there are many different factors that determine this but we want to be able to be a significant and serious food producer.
So in the Southern African area for example, my team has done calculations and they tell me it’s about 99% of tariff lines that have no tariffs in place for trade between fellow African countries. That would be the 15 other countries in the Sadeq in the Southern African development community.
We have a free trade agreement with the European Union which also covers a significant number of products that are duty free.
So hon Burns-Ncamashe and hon members, it is finding serious measures which when taken together, provide South Africa with security that we remain a significant food supplier even in difficult times, even when others may want to close their borders, even when supply chains are disrupted, that there will be food production in South Africa. Thank you very much.
Mr K CEZA: Minister, our question is quite opposite of what DA asks. Many infant industries in the country have been destroyed because of low import tariffs for cheap products produced elsewhere in the world.
The dairy industry, chicken industry and the textile industry are typical examples of how lack of protection for our own industries lead to their destruction and loss of jobs.
In light of immense pressure on our economy at the moment, have you considered increasing the tariffs to protect some of our infant industries, if so what are the relevant details?
The MINISTER OF TRADE INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: I think you
point correctly to the big challenge that countries have and that is food security and I would say there is a range of other products like healthcare. In the middle of the pandemic, we found that it was difficult to access face masks, hand sanitizers, ventilators and so forth and South Africa needed to repurpose its own industrial capacity to be able to manufacture that.
Tariffs play a role but if we increase tariffs to the highest as possible, we also remove the opportunity and the incentive for companies to innovate, we become more competitive to offer products to the South African consumer at prices that are reasonable.
So I think the point that hon Macpherson made earlier about the negative impact of tariffs, if taken too far, his point would be right. On the same note, the point that hon Ceza made about the negative impact of reducing tariffs too sharply is valid.
What is government’s role? It is to find the balance between all of these, to look at the facts, to look at the details to see the number of jobs involved and see how critical the product is in feeding the nation or providing health to the nation and then based on the evidence and the law to make those decisions. That’s what we do.
We do not favour that we simply become absolutely protectionist on everything. It is that care for balancing act that represents what we do but it is within a strategy that must drive industrialisation and must wing ourselves away and shift Africa’s course where Africa is and export of raw material and importer of consumer goods. That needs to change.
That’s a new colonial legacy and that is what we must practice. That is what our industrial and trade policies are designed to do. Thank you very much.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Minister, good point. During the days of apartheid, we manufactured everything to beat sanctions. Today we have the entire country but we are importing on almost everything to such an extent that most of the industries are shutting down. Look at how the confectionary industry are affected by the sugar free duty from Eswatini and others.
What measures can your department put to ensure that we become more productive and self-sufficient in this country and limit imports to the country particularly for goods that we can manufacture and boost economic growth and job creation in South Africa? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Thank you for
that question hon Shaik Emam. In addition to the points made earlier on the importance of funding to small scale farmers, I would add the supply of water, the basic infrastructure that you need in an agricultural area is vital to bringing more South Africans, more scale farmers into food production and increasing the supply of basic foods.
Hon Shaik Emam you pointed out on food and I think you take the point that the supplies even more generally you can take
that broad approach that you have outlined and apply it to a number of other different sectors.
The confectionary industry is particularly a challenge one. It is challenging for the following reasons; we are in a Southern African Customs Union with four other countries, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Botswana.
Within that customs union, we do not have tariffs on products that move between these. If you go to a shop Eswatini you will see many of the manufactured products there would have been made in South Africa. We have got to trade with each other as part of the quid pro-quo, part of the reciprocity that is a single customs union.
At the same time our challenge is how to keep thousands of jobs in the sugar industry both in farming and in confectionary and beverage supply. So what we have done there is that there is a tariff in place that applies to what we call deep water imports. These would be imports that are particularly from Brazil and we provide protection to local farmers.
The Eswatini sugar helps moderate to some extent the tangency for the domestic price that there is absolutely no competition. We must work to see how we can get more of those small and medium size confectionary firms stronger, more competitive and able to expand their businesses.
One of the things that we have done is that in the African continental trade area, we have tried to ensure that we are able to gain access for confectionary producers to market elsewhere. I hope that, that assist in setting out the overall approach.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, House
Chairperson. From the Eskom’s point of view, firstly, the R7 billion is the amount of money it spent on purchasing and using extra diesel given the unpredictability of the coal
power plant. However, equally importantly, Eskom is cognisant of the negative impact of load shedding, as I have indicated before, on the country’s economy and the inconvenience and hardship it causes to the country. However, load shedding is a last resort to protect the system from a total blackout, as one will call it, which is the total loss of electricity in the network that we’ve seen in Texas, California, and certain
other parts of the world. Therefore, load shedding is a system designed and the stages of load shedding to ensure that the grid does not collapse entirely.
Eskom generation fleet, as I’ve indicated, is unreliable and unpredictable because its plants have been running for nearly two decades and exceptionally high utilisation factors. This utilisation factor, House Chairperson, should be around 65% to 70% and currently, is running at about 90% because of the unpredictability and the lack of midlife refurbishment in many of the plants that have been independently confirmed. There has also been insufficient investment in maintenance, and as I said midlife refurbishment, because of inadequate capacity and the years of tariffs that were not reflected ... [Inaudible.]
... an efficient costs and, of course, the maleficent that we have seen in the recent past. The delay in completion of Medupi and Kusile and poor performance in Medupi and Kusile have also been negatively impactful on Eskom generation capacity.
Together with inadequate capacity in the system, the unreliability and unpredictability have led to load shedding, and it means of the risk of load shedding remains, if there are more breakdowns and predicted in the best planning
scenarios. And as I indicated the R7 billion to spend and procuring diesel for the open cycle gas turbine, OCGT. Without the use of these the stages of load shedding would have been most severe. Despite Eskom’s plants to improve performance, the factors mentioned above mean that a sustained end to load shedding cannot be achieved overnight, as I indicated earlier as well. This requires both an improvement and the reliability and predictability of Eskom’s fleet. However, above all as have been in the year 2000 an additional 4 000 to 6 000 megawatts are necessary to give in the space to do the necessary maintenance.
An improvement in the reliability and predictability of the fleet requires adequate financial resources some of which, House Chairperson, we must be frank, can be reclaimed from the losses, the theft and the overpricing that currently occurred between Eskom and its various suppliers. To achieve this Eskom is driving a generation turnaround programme that focuses on strategic initiatives, I mentioned training earlier on, competency development, technical excellence, and the better management of supply.
Finally, due to the high level of load shedding experience, the President announced the establishment of the National
Energy Crisis Committee, Neco, on 25 July this year to oversee the implementation of integrated action plan to end load shedding and achieve energy security. This committee and its technical is hard at work to ensure that we must speedily attend to. On the one hand the load shedding and better performance of Eskom and on the other hand the additional megawatts into the system through renewables and other sources. Thank you.
Mr M K MONTWEDI: Thank you, House Chair, I will take it on behalf of hon Maotwe. Minister, from your response and what is currently happening we doubt that load shedding is the last resort as clearly yours is to privatise all state assets. Mr Jamnadas, your guy De Ruyter has been at Eskom for almost 30 months, and during this period we have seen the worst load shedding ever in this country. He has on various occasions referred to Eskom as a dead horse and made public pronouncements that seem to promote independent power producers and not really concerned to address the challenges that are faced by Eskom.
Minister, what logical explanation can you provide for continuing to support and protect this seemingly incompetency chief executive officer, CEO, and why do you think is the
right person to turn around Eskom despite his public pronouncements on independent power producers? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, House
Chairperson. You know, House Chairperson, there comes a time when host that members who are supposed to be called hon, apparently some dignity and with some respect to each other. Therefore, what one here is constantly from certain people in the House is in south and also to remarks that have no place here. Having said that there is a continued ... [Interjections.]
Mr M N PAULSEN: House Chair, the Minister must answer the question, instead he wants to come and dictates to us how we must ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member, that is not a point of order, take your seat. Continue, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: I’m responding to the question, hon House Chairperson. There is also a repeated narrative put out there which is a false narrative, to put it more simply is a lie, to put it even more simply it’s
misleading to the South African public and to put it even more simply is just political gymnastics at this point in time, there is no intent to privatise anything in Eskom. There’s every intention to ensure that where it is appropriate the private sector will get involved that has investing in the generation arm so that we have more megawatts on the system.
We will soon announce, as we said a few days ago, a new board. That board will review the entire management system and the management of Eskom will also review the current operations of Eskom and make the necessary recommendations in respect of any changes that need to be made. Therefore, as I indicated earlier on as well, it requires balance correctly between attending to the coal power stations at this point in time and the challenges that they face and at the same invest in future sources of energy like renewable which, however ... [Inaudible.] ... want to be is the future of the next 20 to 30 years. Thank you.
Mr S N GUMEDE: Thank you, House Chair. Thank you, Minister, for the answers that you have given. At this stage it still remains ... [Inaudible.] ... My story goes insofar as Eskom existing spending aimed at addressing energy challenges amid the oil prices hike due to Russia invasion of Ukraine is
concerned. Are there any less expensive ways or Eskom to cover operations, fuel and maintenance cost to match the growing energy demand? What alternative sources of funding does Eskom have to meet investment required to address the inefficiencies within the current electricity networks? I must say, Minister, that congratulations ... Thank you very much. [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, House
Chairperson and hon Gumede. I suppose less expensive ways as you say in relation to fuel and maintenance costs is to work more closely with the, firstly, industry; secondly, the law enforcement agencies; and thirdly, with forensic investigators within Eskom itself to ensure that Eskom does not pay beyond market rates for the fuel oil that abuses in the first instance diesel, and second is the fuel oil and you’ve heard a number of people talking about the corruption that is taking place as well as fuel oil is concerned where a truck of
100 000 litres get into the power station area doesn’t actually offload the oil collaborate with somebody within Eskom itself leaves and comes back. Therefore, it comes twice one load of fuel oil.
Similarly on the maintenance side far greater efficiencies are expected of the current contractors to Eskom, but there are
also mechanisms in place now to explore whether original equipment manufacturers need to be brought on board in order to attend to some of the maintenance in particular power stations that they were responsible for constructing and thereby reduce the cost of maintenance itself. Alternate sources of funding for Eskom partly it will come through investment, as I said earlier on, by various parties as part of the just energy transition in independent power producers, IPP, and other forms of energy generation. Secondly, it’ll come through grants and concessional funding from international sources as we undertake the energy transition in South Africa and that would reduce the cost of funding ultimately.
However, currently, the debate with the international community in particular the developed countries is that they are the major of polluted over the last 100 years as far as carbon dioxide is concerned. They need to now pay up for developing countries to undergo for this particular transition in investing in the network that’s the next big challenge because they need to be somewhere between a R100 billion and R150 billion of investment that needs to take place to extend the transmission grid. Thank you.
Mr F ESSACK: Thank you, House Chairperson. Hon Minister, with due respect to you before I get into my follow-up, I just like to point out to you that, you know, in the DA we do things and practice things differently. One based on transparency and fairness, the ... [Inaudible.] ... member you referred to in the City of Cape Town a step down and aside and called for an open transparency investigation. Look behind you, hon Minister, and you will see as well as our President who refuses to subject himself to certain questions, cover-ups or the order of the day within the ANC. Yes, in the DA we do things differently.
Therefore, to go on to my follow-up question, hon Minister, it was recently reported that Eskom is only hired 18 engineers today to help with the maintenance programme of Eskom power stations. With Eskom plants constantly breaking down at an alarming rate, it is obviously that Eskom needs ... much experience ... hon House Chairperson, I would like to find out why has recruitment levels of experience engineers at Eskom remain low despite the elevated breakdown of power plants and what role has broad-based economic, BBE, play in slowing down this recruitment process? Thank you, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Before the hon Minister reply, I want to remind members in terms of Rule 142. In terms of Rule 142(7) a supplementary question may not consist of more than one question. Therefore, you can’t ask two to three supplementary questions. Please respond to whichever one was asked, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, House
Chairperson. The President, Mr Essack, will be in this House tomorrow. I’m sure you’ll have your opportunity to raise your issues with him and that’s as transparent as you can get.
Secondly, as far as the 18 persons are concerned Eskom has just launched what it called crowdsourcing programme, you might be heard about, which will ensure that anybody who’s interested and so far as 150 or so individuals that have volunteer to assist Eskom in one way or another, they will go through screening process and Eskom will decide who to deploy and in what capacity. As far as stepping down is concerned, well, the DA must also explain why there has been this massive exit of black individuals from the DA. Thank you.
Mr S N SWART: Thank you, House Chair and thank you, hon Minister. I’m rising from your response, the ACDP shares deep concerns about the ongoing load shedding and the devastating
impact that it is having on households and businesses and the economy as whole. We are, however, fully aware that load shedding can be attributed to a multitude of factors ranging from state capture, internal sabotage, criminal syndicates, poor power stations designs and maintenance, poor quality coal and other management issues. We do, hon Minister, welcome the announcement of pending changes to the board given the vacancies that exist and other needs, and while the company’s operations are the purview of the executive management. Is it envisage that possible new directors who have greater industry knowledge and technical proficiency, possibly including electrical engineering, who understand what they refer to as power plant language as well as other possible attributes sort from appointing new directors to conduct the review that you mentioned them that which is very important. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: The answer to your last question, hon Swart, is yes, there will be new service skill brought on board. Secondly, we’ve heard about three reviews in recent time, high qualified engineers of where the ... [Inaudible.] ... the problems lie. Therefore, the problems are known and is about execution, is about getting things done, is about change necessary agency both at the top, but also at the plant level as well, and to have a significant
change in culture within Eskom itself at the plant level. You will remember well all the discoveries you and I and many others made in 2017, during the Eskom inquiry and we certainly share the concerns that you have in respect of load shedding as well because hon Mazzone was very much active with us at that time. I think she is absent today.
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: House Chair,
the question relates to South Africa's transition from internal combustion engine technology to electric vehicles. And really the rationale for the shift that we're seeking to do is that this is a significant industry, a significant employer of labour in the South African economy and in the context of climate change, there are risks attached to us not making this transition and making it successfully.
The question that hon Mbuyane asked has two additional components to it. The one relates to the matter of technology. What we've done here is we are working on two technology platforms. The one is obviously electric vehicles which the question refers to, and the second one is the development of green hydrogen technologies which would be vital for fuel cell
technologies that can power vehicles and indeed many other users of energy in future.
There is work being done across the government, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, for example, has done work in the past. Hon members will know it was a leader initially in the work that was done around the dual vehicle.
But, in addition, the Department of Science and Innovation is working on aspects of the Hydrogen Society. We also have the Technology Innovation Agency, Tia, working on some of these areas. There are research entities that have done technical economic work for us that have tried to look at what other countries have done. We've used the services of BNM Analytics and Trade and Industrial Policies Strategies, Tips, and we've done work with Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers, PwC.
So we've tried to draw all of that together in looking at an appropriate road path for us to electric vehicle production. The last leg of the question relates to skills development. And there the transition to electric vehicle production will require new manufacturing capabilities. And because it's not only that the source of power in an electric vehicle changes, it's that quite significant components also change. The skills transition is going to be a vital part of it. We've put
together a task team made up of the seven largest auto assemblers, and component manufacturers, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, Numsa, representing organised labour and the government, to look at the skills element of that transition. Part of what we hope we can achieve is not only to make that transition successfully but that the auto industry can help to create additional jobs in the value chain to compensate for some of the other challenges that come from a successful transition to a more climate resilient industrialisation path. Thank you very much.
Mr C N MALEMATJA: Chair, I will take it. Minister, has the department done a cost-benefit analysis as to how advantageous and beneficial it will be for the economy and ordinary South African, such as job creation to transition from an internal combustion engine to a new energy vehicle? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Hon
Malematja, yes, part of trying to set out the business case for the move to electric vehicles required us to see what are the costs and what are the benefits. Some of that is referred to in the Green Paper that was published, but critically for us, the auto industry is a very large employer of labour, just the manufacturing component of it employs more than 100 000
people. We've broken that down into the regional concentration of industry that's very concentrated in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
In addition to that, some of the component manufacturing also takes place in other parts of South Africa and indeed in neighbouring countries. I visited Botswana recently and we had discussions there about electric harness manufacturing. In looking at the overall economic impact of the sector, its contribution to our GDP is very, very significant. With the economic multiplier taken into account, it accounts for about 5% of South Africa's GDP. And a very large part of the foreign exchange that we earn that we need to use to pay for the fuel and other things that we import.
So when we look at that, when we look at the impact on the regions, when we look at the impact on jobs, it's clear there's a compelling case. And we've done a careful analysis looking at the advantages of not shifting, the advantages of shifting, the problems of not shifting, and the problems with shifting, and based on that, we believe there's an absolutely compelling case for South Africa to make that transition to electric vehicles. Thank you.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Chair, Minister, basic education in investment policy will tell you that when you say something. and commit to doing it, you need to do it in time so that investors know where you are headed. So in May 2021, your department released the Auto Green Paper for public comment. The paper, except for BEE, seems to be a good document and one which we might be able to support. It was expected that a White Paper would be ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Macpherson, there's a member on the virtual platform who is drawing my attention. Yes, hon member?
Mr W T LETSIE: No, thank you very much, Chair, on a point of order: I just wanted to inform Macpherson that the DA lost the speakership ... [Interjections.] ... [Inaudible.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!
Mr W T LETSIE: He asked ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No! Hon member, you are completely out of order. We are now dealing with questions
and the hon Macpherson has been granted an opportunity to ask a question. You cannot interrupt the member with a trivial matter that has absolutely no bearing on these proceedings.
Please continue, hon member.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Thanks, Chair, you might want to consider throwing him out. ... submitted to the Cabinet in October 2021, that is yet to be done, sir, nearly 12 months after your own imposed deadline. Why is your department dragging its feet on this important policy paper and by when will this paper be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration?
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Thank you
very much, Chairperson, and hon Macpherson, we did indeed last year publish a paper. We set out a number of proposals based on what the industry had felt were the necessary elements of a transition. And then we did something important based on the public comments that came in because that paper was a Draft Green Paper to enable public comments to be made. Based on all of that, we commissioned research on costing the various aspects of what each of the parties required, the Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs, those are the big automakers, the component manufacturers, each had specific requirements
looking at the ball of what it would've cost South Africa to make that transition, it was unaffordable.
And so we commenced with the second phase of the discussion to find a roadmap that was more affordable, and we took into account the developments in other countries. Fortunately for us, there's a growing body of information and evidence available about what countries are going to be doing to get onto this, green road path. So, having initially set out a frame, receiving the advice from the public, getting comments from experts, costing all of this, realising from those comments that the original proposals and what the parties needed as they indicated in their submissions, were not going to be affordable. We did what was sensible. We reviewed how can we make that work. And perhaps just to ... very briefly, given the limited time, to take the House into my confidence on this issue and say, the challenge ultimately was about the cost of a consumer incentive. How wide it would be, what would be required to make it effective and how costly it would be?
And given the fiscal constraints, that path of a very expensive green energy and electric vehicle path needed to be adjusted. Finally, we also then engaged a number of partner countries, the International Partners Group, IPG Group, in the run-up to the Glasgow Conference of the Parties, COP 26, to
work out how partner countries can help finance South Africa's green transition. They made a significant commitment, and that commitment has now been unpacked. We're working through the terms of this. In fact, we are quite close to finalising a proposal for that to the Cabinet. And I should add then really in the half a minute that's available, we've also had to take into account our electricity grid.
A sudden move to electric vehicles in the domestic market will place the road path in danger because if you have a significant additional demand from energy for the charging of the vehicles, that would affect their effectiveness of it.
Taking all of this into account, what we've had to do is adjust some of our timeframes and ensure that we have a robust fit-for-purpose roadmap. Thank you.
Mr K CEZA: I will take it on behalf of hon Tshwaku, Chairperson, thank you very much. Minister, we do not have sufficient power for domestic and industrial use as things stand in the country. What measures will you put in place to ensure that the introduction of electric cars is not hampered by load shedding? Generally, how would you describe the impact of load shedding on the industry in the country? Have you had engagements with Mr Gordhan and told him that this
mismanagement of Eskom is costing the country? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Chairperson,
so let me break the load shedding issue into two different components. The first component is if we have a very high take-up of electric vehicles among consumers in South Africa, it would place an additional load on our energy system. The second leg of this is if we don't make the transition to electric vehicles, we lose the opportunity to export a large volume of vehicles that create jobs here in South Africa and help us to industrialise. Two key markets where we sell an enormous number of vehicles have taken a broad regulatory approach. The UK says that from 2030, they will no longer permit the sale of new ICE vehicles, vehicles that use the internal combustion engine. The European Union says from 2035, they won't do this.
So we've got to position ourselves so that a big part of our production shift must be for export markets and then blend slowly as we build our energy system, we enable a greater offtake of electric vehicles in the domestic market.
Minister Gordhan is very aware and familiar with the strategy, supportive of the strategy, and we take into account the greening of the energy mix in South Africa. If we have energy that is principally generated from coal, the climate change benefit of driving an electric vehicle that pulls energy that is generated from coal is more limited than if your grid has significant renewable energy together, of course, with all the other baseload technologies that we need. So these are the kind of discussions. You've pointed to some of the complexities in getting this balance right. And certainly, we are working on it. Thank you very much.
Mr S S ZONDO: I will take ... for Inkosi Cebekhulu. House Chairperson, with the report, focused on production, what measures have been taken to ensure the standardisation and availability of charging stations? Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Did you get the question, hon Minister? Please, proceed.
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: House
Chairperson, I think what the question ... just to repeat the question as I understand it is, given our shift of production to an electric vehicle that we are planning, what are we doing
to ensure that there's a charging infrastructure South Africa? And that there's some standardisation so that you don't need a charging station for your Toyota, like the one that I drive, or for a VW Polo as another member may drive, or for a BMW that yet another member may drive? So the charging station infrastructure's been built. It's private sector-led at the moment.
The government has worked with ... in fact, I have the Minister of Transport in the House now, he's released the work on the transition to green transport, which has as its core, one core element, charging station infrastructure. We're working on interoperability so that you'd be able to charge cars irrespective of the make of the car. So all of these things are now being built into the phase. As I have said in response to the earlier question by the hon member from the EFF, we've got to do the speed of the roll-out taking into account the challenges that Africa faces with our energy grid. If we move too fast and we have too much of the energy going into charging batteries at this point, then we undermine the effort to have stability in our electricity. So we are onto that. We recognise it's an important area, and we hope we can do more in future. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: House Chairperson, the SA Airways, SAA’s, strategic intent as per the South African Airways Act that exist at the moment is firstly to promote airlinks with the Republic main business trading and tourism markets within the African continent and globally. Secondly, since the state has a development orientation and regards the SA Airways as a national carrier and strategic asset that will enable the state to preserve its ability to contribute to key domestic interventional and international air linkages.
To realise the above objectives for the newly restarted SAA, the government has undertaken the following steps to ensure that SAA is sustainable and the facilitator of economic growth. Firstly, the conclusion and implementation of the business rescue plan this results in SAA being able to compete on a competitive basis ... [Inaudible.] ... free from legacy challenges and with the introduction of a strategic equity partner. Secondly, the conclusion of the regulatory processes to enable the disposal of 51% of the shares to a consortium.
Thirdly, the injection of operating capital by the Takatso Consortium to enable the growth of the airline. Fourthly, the appointment of a competent board and management to implement sustainable and an agile business plan.
The short to medium term network strategy of the airline is rooted in deepening intercontinental or intracontinental connections since its restart of operations in September 2021. The SA Airways flies to the following African countries, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, DRC and Mauritius. The promotion of the development of the tourism sector and the facilitation of the intracontinental trade and economic development are at the heart of SAA value proposition.
The single African air transport market is a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063 and it is to create a single unified air transport market in Africa to advance the liberalisation of civil aviation on the continent and to act as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration. In recognition of the importance of expediting the realisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AFCFTA – Minister Patel will remind me. Plans are underway to develop roots to connect one in the area and the rest of South Africa to the rest of the African continent.
Finally, to demonstrate SAA initiatives and implementing this objectives, SAA has entered into a partnership with Kenyan Airways which will be consolidated once the transaction with Takatso is over and sign to give partnership framework. These
two airlines have contracted to work together to increase passenger traffic cover opportunities and general trade by leveraging on the respective technical and strategic advance of the two airlines. Thank you.
Mufumakadzi Vho C M PHIRI: Mudzulatshidulo, ndi resha Nn?u heyi ya vha?honifhei na muhulisei Vho Gordhan. Muhulisei, ngauri hu na u lenga ha u khunyeledza hovhu vhu?ama havho vhukati ha muvhuso na vhukati ha Takatso Consortioum kha mafhungo haya ane a vha u ri a kha ?i vha o ima ha athu u khunyeledziwa nga Khomishini ya Khophethishini. Mbudziso yanga ndi ya uri, honeha hu ?o itea mini ngauri haya mafhungo a kha ?i vha o ima ha athu u khunyeledziwa u ri a ?o tandululiwa lini nahone hani? Hone arali muvhuso kana muhasho wavho u ?o ita mini u ri u khunyeledze kana u ndondomedze uri hezwi zwithu zwi songo swikisa kha u ri heli Bufho la Afurika Tshipembe li fhaladziwe? Ndo livhuwa, muhulisei.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: House Chairperson and the hon Phiri, the Competition Commission is being urged to speed up the processes under review as soon as possible so that other regulatory processes can be concluded as well and the
object of the exercise is that by the end of the year we will soon after this partnership between Takatso and government will be formalised and commercialised.
Secondly, the whole purpose of the business rescue process was to ensure that we save as many jobs as possible that we secure as many assets as possible and we keep the connectivity which I indicated earlier on within South Africa and the continent on the one hand and globally on the other hand as intact as possible as we realise the importance of this during the
COVID-19 pandemic. Liquidation has never been an option.
However - I must be frank, as we sit here today, there is a matter in the High Court in Cape Town, where parties which originally could not show a single sense of every consequence in order to become the strategic equity partner have initiated some litigations and we believe that the entire purpose of this - and it’s interesting that the political parties from this House had a legal representative during these hearings today and one wonders what the interest in these matter is.
But if there are any efforts at this stage to ensure that this very important project in restructuring of state assets and ensuring that we secure the jobs of pilots, airline staff and people on the ground is sabotaged to whatever extend possible.
On our side as government we want to ensure that this project succeeds and that everything possible will be done to avoid any attempt to liquidate SAA. Thank you.
Mr F ESSACK: Hon House Chairperson, thank you again for the opportunity. Hon Minister, I hear and take cognisance of what you have just said and I am digesting what happened this morning in court, etc. With due respect, recently we learned that the International Air Services Licensing Council has revoked 20 of SAA’s international routes because the airline cannot service them due to limited capacity, of course.
Considering South Africa’s overstretched public finances which you are aware of, Minister, and the burden that SAA continues to place on the fiscus, why will you not consider terminating this SAA to ... [Inaudible.] ... ordeal and selling off the remaining assets of SAA to pay off the outstanding debts - I mean it’s just common business sense - if not, why not, Minister? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Well, I don’t know hon Essack and Chairperson - whether it’s common business or commercial interest, and there is a difference between the two. There are many commercial interests that have been trying using various means, let me be euphemistic about that for now
– both in this House and elsewhere to undermine this project to ensure that it does not succeed and that indeed the assets of SAA built over a long period of time, which includes buildings ... [Inaudible.] ... on a very cheap basis, those assets are picked up by other commercial enterprises and utilised for their purposes and we believe that the state feels even more in that way than in this particular instance.
Secondly, and much more importantly, on the question of revoking licences - I would say that licences can be revoked and licences can be reapplied. This is not a granite wall and it’s a matter that we can attend to as an airline has spread its wings. But this fiction that there will be even a greater reliance on the fiscus is precisely that – it is fiction. The only cost that the state has to bear is the cost of implementing the business rescue from that point onwards, there are no further calls on the fiscus at all. And there is a mistaking notion amongst some in the media and elsewhere that there would be an additional burden on the fiscus.
The precise deal and proposition to anybody who was interested in SAA was that the state takes the responsibility in order to clean up the past. Secondly, any new entrant or partner will
pay for any operating costs that are involved into the future, and that is what we are implementing. Thank you.
Ms B MATHULELWA: Enkosi Sihlalo. Imibuzo yelungu elihloniphekileyo uKomane iza kubuzwa ndim. Mnu uJamnadas musa ukusudlalisa ugqaphu apha.
Over the past few years we have seen rapid decommissioning of many airlines. The most recent is that the final liquidation of SA Express leaving travellers with very limited choices for air travel. However, the so-called sale of SAA shares recently it has been reported that the International Air Services Licencing Council has revoked 20 of the airline routes and questioned the business model of Takatso. What is actually the nature of the sale of SAA to Takatso? When will the airline be able to fly optimally again? I thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: House Chairperson, must I refer to this person by her first name as well, or the middle name that I’m referred by. Because again, we are allowing in this House, where there is supposed to be a dignified respect for every member, for insults to be conveyed all the time. And
it is time that this people in the red uniforms are called to order. But let me called to the point ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, just before you continue. No, indeed, members must refer to each other in dignified terms. I did not pick up ...
Mr M N PAULSEN: ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, I am going to put you out! Hon Paulsen, this is the last time that you do what you are doing. It’s the last time. I am going to ask you to leave the Chamber. Hon Minister, indeed, I did not pick it up because there was a delay with the translation but that is why we have the Whips here. The Whips must alert us in terms of the Rules if they are not adhered to, but we expect all hon members to be engaging in a respectful manner. It is only courteous to do so and polite to do so. Please continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Let me point out, House Chairperson that people like us who survived the apartheid security branch. We have no problems in surviving this at all! Let me make that clear.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, will you continue.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Let me make that very clear!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister!
Mr M N PAULSEN: We want to hear this ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Paulsen! Hon Paulsen!
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Let me get to the question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I have cautioned you. Can you leave the Chamber now, please. Thank you. Hon Paulsen, I am waiting for you to leave the Chamber. Hon Minister, will you also address the Chairperson so that we can get through this question session. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: On the question of SA Express, SA Express was brought to its knees because of theft
and corruption. They had nothing to do with this, administration is regrettable, people lost their jobs and we didn’t want a repetition of that as far as SAA is concerned and I inexhaustibly talked about the kind of efforts that we have actually made. On the question of licences, I have just addressed that to the hon member so that he can refer to that to get a point. And the sale of shares, that’s a normal commercial process that will go through, and once we are ready, the public will know about it. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members! Hon members, please do not behave in a juvenile manner. It’s really unbecoming – really it’s unbecoming. The next supplementary question ... Hon Paulsen, will you leave the Chamber now. You had plenty of time to do so. Hon Paulsen, can you make your way out of the Chamber so that we can continue with the business of today. Thank you. Hon member, if you do not want to voluntarily leave the Camber, I will ask for assistance to get you out of the Chamber. Hon member, will you leave the Chamber. Serjeant-at-arms will you assist the hon member out of the Chamber please. And if he doesn’t want to do so voluntarily, we will call for assistance to have him removed. Serjeant-at-arms can you call for assistance to remove the member? Thank you. Hon member, I also do not expect
you to interfere when we are implementing the Rules of the House. You are also not assisting the process. I now recognise the hon E M Buthelezi.
Mr S S ZONDO: I will take E M Buthelezi’s question. While SAA is expecting to play a key strategic role in continental development agenda, it need to consolidate a domestic presence first. Is the department planning to ensure that the SAA becomes a big player domestically as the current dominating airline?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you for the question, hon member. Clearly the airline needs to start domestically, but also the SAA has played a very important role in South African connectivity. There are many countries that rely on SAA to get to different parts of the continent but certainly in South Africa, and that helps as far as ... [Inaudible.] ... investment is concerned, and tourism is concerned as well. So, it has very plans as you know at the moment and once the transaction takes place you will get injection of capital, there would be more planes that will be leased and there will be wider network that actually operate both within South Africa and beyond that as well. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Thank you
very much, Chair. The National Treasury was entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the bounce-back scheme. The bounce-back scheme comprises of two mechanisms. The first mechanism is a loan guarantee by government to eligible businesses. The loans will assist the eligible businesses to recover from constrains in accessing finance due to COVID-19 lockdowns, the July 2021 civil unrest as disasters like floods affecting KwaZulu-Natal, KZN. This scheme will also support economic growth and foster job creation in South Africa. The Department of Small Business and Development has requested the National Treasury to allow non-banking financial institutions such as Small Enterprise Finance Agency silver to access the
... bank scheme directly since this is aligned to their mandate and they have requisite systems and expertise to roll out the scheme of the nature. Thank you very much, Chair.
Mr F JACOBS: Thank you, hon Chair, access to affordable finance for SMMEs is the biggest problem that small businesses face. We had the COVID guarantee scheme of R200 billion. The banks only provided R18 billion for small businesses. Now we have the bounce-back scheme, again, only one bank subscribes to this. If our financial sector is not willing to cooperate
to low-cost finance available to support our emerging businesses. What other interventions can we bring to them? Thanks, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS: Yes, I agree with you, hon member. Hence, as a department, we have been implementing a credit guarantee scheme called Khula Credit Guarantee Scheme, which offers individual portfolio and supplier credit guarantees as well as hybrid of guarantees. For this scheme, we have almost all commercial banks you can name them ABSA, FNB, Nedbank, Eubank, Sasol, Mercantile Bank, Mr Price Group and others. The KCG is more successful because SMME’s who are benefiting from the credit guarantee also get the benefit of accessing business development support, which is not the case with other schemes. We will continue to call upon the National Treasury to capitalise this scheme because of its success as the R300 million that was invested in this scheme enable KCG to leverage over six times. Meaning, if Treasury can provide a guarantee of R10 billion, KCG can guarantee total loans to a tune of R62,5 billion, which will go a long way in providing funding to support SMME’s that desperately need it. Thank you, Chair.
Mr J N DE VILLIERS: Thank you, Chair. Deputy Minister, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen funding of massive corruption relating to the allocation of COVID-19 funds, especially relating to the allocation of PPE tenders and the illegal payment of TERS, UIF payments to government employed cadres. What measures will the Minister take to ensure that the allocation of funds from the bounce-back scheme are not also dispersed illegally and will the Minister commit to make sure that the full list of bounce-back scheme beneficiaries is published for oversight to ensure transparency and minimise corruption?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS: Thank you, Chair,
indeed, in acknowledging and recognising the question, we as a department, continue to be on the lookout as we do our work and to ensure that there is no mismanagement of the fees and where that could be identified there will always be processes to manage those areas. Thank you very much.
Mr D F MTHENJANE: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Chairperson, it’s not Thenjane is Mthenjane.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Mthenjane, my apologies for that, Sir.
Mr D F MTHENJANE: Thank you very much. Deputy Minister, the Post Bank has for many years been the one closest to the people. Now the question to you, Deputy Minister is: Have you had any interaction with the Minister of Communication with the aim of restructuring the Post Bank into becoming a viable banking for the small business, if yes, if no why not? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS: Thank you, Chair, I
should indicate that we have not yet engaged with the Department of Communications and indeed it’s an important matter because must explore how we strengthen our banking system in order to assist the small businesses. I thank you.
Mr B N LUTHULI: Thank you, hon Chair. Hon Minister, following the dismal failure of the loan guarantee scheme, how does the Department of Small Business and Development intend to put in place checks and balances to reduce the fraudulent applications from the SMMEs? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS: Thank you very much, Chair. I think the question is very important if I understood Baba Luthuli very well because we have to when doing banking in our work. We have to ensure that even those who have not
been able to benefit can benefit and as a department, we have to be looking and we do look closely into these matters of our businesses’ work to ensure that there is accountability and those who are employed report quite well to us and indeed I assure you ...
... Madlanduna kuzawuhamba kahle.
The MINISTER OF PUBLC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, Chairperson. Hon Issack, thank you for the question. The mobilization of skills has been happening over a period of time. And we have approached business organizations of all shapes and types, any professional organizations as well, and have had good responses.
I referred earlier on to the following which Eskom has indicated. That they have sent out a media statement on the 16th of September 2022, wherein a call was made for skills through a crowdsourcing initiative. Outsourcing is a practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of many people either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet.
South Africa has a pool of skilled person who may be available and willing to support Eskom to resolve business challenges that have a negative impact on the country. The opportunity was prompted by multiple submissions to Eskom from experienced engineers and ex Eskom employees offering support. The SA- Eskom crowdsourcing initiative could allow Eskom to supplement its existing skills base to help address its operational challenges. The SEC, as it is called, will leverage partnerships with statutory and non-statutory bodies, such as the Engineering Council of South Africa, the Black Engineers Council of South Africa, and many others. This initiative will be piloted within the generation space with a focus on engineering related skills. It’s important to note that the crowdsourcing initiative will be driven by the needs of the business and will follow a standard governance process.
A project plan has been drafted to outline the design and delivery of this initiative. The concept has the potential to be expanded to other business areas and skills in the medium- term, as well as other state-owned enterprises, SOEs, in the long term by themselves.
A crowdsourcing mailbox was launched already, and this is actively monitored. Today, as I indicated earlier, hon Issack,
they received 179 responses, which are being added to the database. These submissions will undergo vetting to ensure they meet Eskom’s governance standards. Additionally, generation and information technology, IT, have developed a basic database or list already with previous submissions, and are using this to meet their existing needs. The platform will ensure sustainability and allow South Africans the opportunity to contribute.
We are also working with various professional organizations to establish a memorandum of understanding, MOU, to strengthen this database and improve Eskom’s engineering training programme and professional registration process. The next engagement will be held on the 17th of October. Thank you.
Mr F ESSACK: Thank you, hon Chair. Hon Minister, - It’s a busy day at the office isn’t it today. Hon Minister, in what has been one of the worst load shedding episodes on record, Eskom Chief Executive Officer, CEO and Chief Operations Officer, COO, have finally started to change their language to reflect the true severity of the situation, with words like “catastrophe” now entering their daily press conferencing vocabulary.
Will the Minister inform the House if you will support the call for the dissolution of the National Energy Crisis Commission, which of course both of us now know has become top secret and the appointment in its place of an outside industry expert to oversee the implementation of the energy response plan? If not, Minister, I must ask you then, why not? With due respect. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLC ENTERPRISES: Chairperson, I don’t know what the applause is about, these are very ordinary questions. As far as the national ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T FROLICK): Order hon members!
The MINISTER OF PUBLC ENTERPRISES: ... yes, no, sure. I am
sure you will do better. You can try. Chairperson, as far as the National Energy Commission is concern that the President has established is neither top secret nor is it unknown. On the 21st of July he made an open announcement. Subsequently they have been briefings to all sorts of constituencies on the four or five work streams that are currently being undertaken. We’ve been very open from the Eskom side and from the department itself. The word “top secret” comes from, I’m not sure.
Secondly, it’s well-known, the President has said it, any others have said it, and you have said it that our load shedding situation is an unacceptable one. And I have said it earlier on as well ... [Interjections.] ... Mr Macpherson, just give me a chance. Why don’t you just give me a chance?
Chair, you know – as the hon Patel said earlier on, if you would just listen, it will be useful. I don’t think he is an engineer. I don’t think he knows everything. Would you just listen!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T FROLICK): Order hon members, order, order. Hon Minister, you must also realize listening is a skill, and not all of us have that skill. Please continue hon Minister. Hon MacPherson, let us allow the Minister to respond. He is the Minister of Public Enterprises. We don’t want to hear from you. Continue, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF PUBLC ENTERPRISES: ... so, in addition,
Chairperson, in my not limited experience, apart from skill, listening is also a sign of humility. And that’s the more important thing.
On the question of outside experts, let me simple put it to you that we’ve got three different reports from three
different sets of experts, including former Eskom engineers that have collectively some 100-years of experience in Eskom. And, we now have this crowdsourcing initiative as well, to bring in experts as well. And of course, the ultimate point of accountability is Parliament itself. So you are welcome to ask any questions. Those that have the relevant answers, and who are doing the relevant work will certainly appear before you, Chairperson and make the information available. Thank you.
Mr B N HERRON: Thank you, House Chair. Thank you, Minister. Minister, the reliable fleet of power stations requires the engineering and maintenance skills. And we know that that process is underway. But a reliable fleet also requires easy and readily available access to manufacturers parts and support. As far as I understand that parts for coal powered power stations are diminishing around the world. And this is making it more difficult for Eskom to procure those parts.
Does Eskom have sufficient flexibility in the procurement space to procure the right plug parts and support from the manufacturers that are required? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLC ENTERPRISES: Hon Chairperson, there’s more than adequate supply. And in particular, as I indicated earlier in the afternoon, the original equipment manufacturers
are both on site being given some additional responsibilities and they supply the parts. In addition, there are many South African firms that are also producing a limited set of parts of good quality that are also available to Eskom. But there’s also some businesses that are producing less than adequate quality of that need to be done away with as far as Eskom is concerned as well. So at this point in time as far as procurement is concerned, there is no serious challenge to worry about. Thank you.
Ms J TSHABALALA: Thank you so much, House Chairperson. I must say indeed, today it’s a beautiful day. We all saw the City of Johannesburg having another Speaker and the removal of that da Gama. Indeed, it was a good resolve. So we urge them to continue to remove that Mpho Phalatse. She must be next.
Hon Minister, since Eskom will be retaining and reskilling its workers for the renewable energy sector, has Eskom ever considered extending the same retaining and reskilling initiative to capacitated engineers and technicians with advanced skills to manage the current fleet of coal fired power stations instead of recalling the experienced former engineers and technicians. Does Eskom have the financial
capacity to recall the experienced former engineers and technicians? Thank you so much.
The MINISTER OF PUBLC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, hon Shabalala. Eskom does have the resources. Eskom is training both future engineers but also importantly, as I indicated, there’s a system of mentoring and coaching that needs to be put in place. There’s the revitalization of the Eskom academy that is currently work in progress. And the old engineers are not called upon to take the place of current managers and operators. They are called upon to stand next to them.
And what is clear from all of the reports that we are getting is that having qualification, even PhDs is no substitute for experience. So what we need to do is extremely good, highly qualified people. They need to be mentored by the more experienced people in order to grow in order to manage better and in order to operate the plants better. And the consequence of all of that, over a period of time is going to be a much better output from the coal power stations than we have today.
Today, the energy availability is below 60%. Ideally, you want it to be above 80%. And the best of the power stations, I rather not mention it. But there is one power station that is
doing extremely well. And I’m not mentioning it because we don’t want that to be sabotaged. Thank you.
Ms N K F HLONYANA: Thank you very Chairperson, I will be taking it.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T FROLICK): Please proceed.
Ms N K F HLONYANA: Minister, the white engineers who were there during apartheid serviced, only the population that the racist wanted to service. The problem with Eskom is that they did not expand their production capacity to be able to handle expanded provision of electricity to the rest of the population. There are however experienced black engineers, such as Matshela Koko and many others that de Ruyter got rid of when he arrived at Eskom. Will you be looking at inviting back those black engineers such as Koko and others? If not, why not? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLC ENTERPRISES: The answer on the individual that you’ve mentioned, hon member is no. Because of the history that they enjoy within Eskom and the kind of damage that was caused, notwithstanding the Twitter trends to the contrary, that was done during that particular period,
which we are still recovering from today. So you are right, that on many different fronts, water, electricity, housing man, the apartheid system did not make any of that available adequately to the majority of the population. You are also right that it is during the democratic era that there was a vast expansion of access to health, electricity, water, etc. that people didn’t enjoy at that particular point in time. But that’s our legacy. And our job is to overcome that legacy and ensure that there’s equity amongst all South Africans, that there is social justice amongst all South Africans. And that all South Africans enjoy an increasing standard of living compatible with human dignity. We don’t have it yet. There’s a lot of work to do in that particular regard. And then, as far as energy and power is concerned, I have indicated during the course of the afternoon, hon Chair, that there are any number of initiatives that work now to minimize load shedding, and we must get there sooner rather than later. But, at the end of the day, the objective must be energy security for all South Africans both individuals and businesses as well. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, the time allocated for questions have expired. Outstanding replies received will be printed in Hansard. We will now get to the Motion on the Order Paper. Hon members, the next item on the
Order Paper is the decision on the Question Draft Resolution in the name of the Chief Whip of the Opposition, for the establishment of an ad hoc committee on Phala Phala.
I wish to remind hon members that, this Draft Resolution was debated in a virtual mini-plenary yesterday. But, the decision thereon can only be taken in a full plenary. I now put the motion. Are there any objections to the Motion being agreed to? Yes, hon member.
Ms R M M LESOMA: Thank you, hon Chair, we wish to object the Motion put by the Leader of the Opposition. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Are there any other objections? Over to you, hon Chief Whip.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I would like to call for a division please, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The division has been called. Bells will be rung for five minutes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, the Speaker has determined that in accordance with the Rules, manual procedure will be used for the division, and the first thing is that, in order to establish the quorum, I have requested the Table staff to confirm that we have the requisite number of members physically present in the House and also on the virtual platform. The party Whips will then be given an opportunity to confirm the number of their members present and to indicate also, if they are for or against the question.
The member who wishes to abstain or vote against the party vote may do so by informing the Chairperson. The Table staff has confirmed that we do have the requisite quorum and we will now proceed. The question before the House is, in the Draft Resolution in the name of the Chief Whip of the Opposition be agreed to. Voting will now commence. The doors of the Chamber will remain locked, and members are not allowed to enter the platform until voting is concluded. I will now recognise the party Whips, who will then confirm the number, hon Nkwankwa, the number, not the percentage, of their members present in the Chamber and on the virtual platform. They must also indicate if they are voting for or against the question.
[Take in from Minutes.]
Motion not agreed to.
FUND-RAISING AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Social Development thereon)
There was no debate.
Ms R M M LESOMA: House Chairperson, I move that the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
FUND-RAISING AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading Debate)
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much hon House Chairperson of the House, hon members and comrades and
fellow South Africans. Thank you for the opportunity to address this honourable House in this debate of the Fund Raising Amendment Bill.
The Bill that I am introducing today proposes amendments to the Fundraising Act of 1978, a 107... mind, 1978. It is worth noting that 44 years after this piece of legislation was first brought through by a restricted Parliament that served the parochial interest a narrow population of our country.
Today, I, Lindiwe Zulu, I am presenting to this democratically composed Parliament ... [Interjection.]
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister of Social Development, can you just hold. May I ask those members who are leaving the House, to do so quietly so that we can get on with our business. Hon members I didn’t ask for you now to create another problem for us, please. Please continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much House Chairperson of the House. The Bill resonates with the ongoing legislative changes that were duly processed by this honourable House. This included the need to align with, for
instance the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, the Public Financial Management Act and the Non-Profit Organisation Act.
As much as the reformulations that we are introducing are inspired by our democratic ethos, it is very important to note that Bill intentionally seeks to complement the existing programmes that concern the eventuality of external shocks disasters and similar emergencies which we’ve all experienced in the past few months.
This Bill consolidates, rationalises and simplifies otherwise disparate funds. In view of this cloning global economic outlook and the tight availability of relieve funds through this Bill, we seek to consolidate, the existing multiple funds into the unified disaster relief, and national, social development fund.
With the aim of effecting lasting recovery, this fund will be used to effect sustainable socio-economic reconstruction among populations and communities that have adversely been affected by external shocks, such as the pandemics, social unrest, climate change and the host of others.
The existing provision of the Social Assistance Act and its supporting regulations will ease the intentions of the Bill. In light of pressing need to attend to the felt needs of the victims of these external shocks, extra measures have been put in place to guard against fraud, corruption and impropriating where the funds resources are concerned.
Likewise, the misappropriation and handling of public and partners’ resources with impunity will be dealt with decisively, working closely with all law enforcement authorities.
And, adequately respond to the recurrence of the external shocks that in recent years and months have been experienced by people of South Africa, as economic depression, health pandemic, social unrest, food insecurity and hunger, climate change and a host or lot of others.
Hon House Chairperson, as our recent history self-evidently assess, shocks, national disasters and similar emergences are lived realities that all South Africans know. True to their nature, not only did these unfortunate occurrences, immediately disorient the lives and livelihoods of families in different communities throughout our society, they
particularly impacted on vulnerable sections of our constituencies adversely.
The hardship that that have been impressed by this external shocks will continue to be visible in our communities, owing to the structural nature of poverty, inequality and economic exclusion in our society.
It is on account of this observation that the intentions that we are proposing in the Bill are timeous and responsive to the people’s felt needs.
Yes, the recent floods that largely affected KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and North West Provinces imparted indispensable lessons to our institutions. Key among these lessons is the need to optimally use, whether system data as disaster intelligence.
This intelligence will prove useful when for an example: 1 It is assembled and activated for the purposes of saving lives and property. It is factored into planning, resourcing, establishing and managing flood responsive partnerships and reinforcing institutional capabilities. And lastly socialising flood adaption and resilience strategies at the family, as
well as community levels were the necessary basic leadership to embrace and realise the Bill’s intervention resides.
We wish to express our appreciation to the stakeholders who contributed their expertise towards making the Bill. We also thank the Portfolio Committee on Social Development who added in their value insight, to and process the Bill for approval by the National Assembly.
Hon House Chairperson and members I support this Bill as it serves to strengthen our disaster management ecosystem and also call on our people to be aware of the challenges that we face, so that they themselves can assist us in planning together to make sure that they are saved in times of disasters. I Thank you.
Ms N Q MVANA: House Chair, the Fundraising Amendment Bill and strengthening government systems, the amendment of the Fundraising Act 107 of 1978, comes at a critical time when the country has recently experienced devastating health and natural disasters, in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the floods in KwaZulu-Natal and also parts of the Eastern Cape and North West provinces.
Given the reality of increasing climate change and consequences that this will have on health, food security, shelter, access to water, and energy, among other things, experts have warned that countries need to strengthen their disaster management legislation, such that it is responsive, risk averse and informed by mitigation measures as more occurrences of disasters are expected
The United Nations reports that, the least developed in low to middle income countries are most at risk, given the extent of underdeveloped infrastructure and limited economic options in response to this crisis. Acknowledging the expected increase in crisis and disaster prevalence, it is worthwhile to note that the Office of the Auditor-General has over the past financial years expressed its findings and concerns to the committee on the four disaster funds, the Disaster Relief Fund that is active, the State President Fund that is dormant, the Refugee Relief Fund which is also dormant and the SA National Defence Force fund.
These funds of which have remained dormant as I have already said, this effectively means that, there are amounts of money that lie locked in these three different dormant funds, making it difficult to address a wide ranging emergency situation
affecting vulnerable communities. Of most concern to all the committee and the Auditor-General is that, some of the funds could not be audited as they are dormant and also that they are not aligned to the Public Finance Management Act of 1999. Therefore, reporting on them is not legally required.
These funds are governed by various boards and the Public Finance Management Act of 1999, PFMA sets legal principles or fiduciary duties of accounting officers. Alignment of the Fundraising Act of 1978 to the Public Finance Management Act of 1999, is therefore a critical amendment of the Bill.
The Minister of Social Development has advanced a portfolio approach on how the department and its entities work, rightly so and within the context of the Bill. The SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, and the National Development Agency, NDA provide short-term relief and community development programmes, that can be funded through these funds.
The current Fundraising Act of 1978 is outdated and not aligned with the Social Assistance Act of 2004. It is also in conflict with the Disaster Management Act of 2002, which sets out prescribed criteria for a person affected by a disaster. Thus aligning the Fundraising Act with other legislation which
will not eliminate duplication, but also ensure firm delivery of relief programmes.
The dissolution of the dormant funds into a single fund under one board will only not unlock these monies, but will also eliminate the administrative and governance hurdles, ensuring efficient service delivery to the to the needy communities especially in times of disasters.
Fragmentation has largely been a serious challenge that impacts upon effective and efficient implementation of policies and programmes, not just in social development sector but across government. This has resulted in implementation gaps that have at most times opened up for fraudulent activities, wasteful use of resources, duplication of services and a lot of frustration on the ground. It is in the interest of South Africans, that government deal with fragmentation and working in circles as this hinders seamless service delivery.
As a country, we should be proud of the interconnected ...
... ndithi mandoyame ngodonga ...
... and interest that actors across sectors have for the most part-show commitment to making a difference in the country, through multiple efforts towards ending inequality, poverty and unemployment, as such a strategic multiple sectoral approach to dealing with the Bill.
Attempt is non-negotiable. It however remains critical that this approach is one that is adequately governed by existent framework, that is anchored on principles of ensuring that transparent, accountable and ethical governance principles prevail, towards the development and strengthening efforts towards a better life for all. Thank you very much.
Ms A L A ABRAHAMS: House Chairperson, the Fundraising Amendment Bill stems from a 2011 assessment by the Auditor- General that it could not evaluate the following funds, the Refugee Relief Fund the Social Relief Fund and the State President Fund, due to all the accounts being dormant and recommended a legislative process to amend the act. It is unthinkable that these funds that were created to ease the burden of vulnerable citizens during the time of crisis were allowed to go dormant in the first place.
Eleven years later, and Parliament is in the final stages of processing this Amendment Bill, which will see dormant funds as well as the Disaster Relief Fund dissolved with their boards and provide for the establishment of the Disaster Relief and National Social Development Fund. The intention of the Bill will focus on proactive mitigation of disasters, and promote the social development of communities. The Consolidated Fund will streamline the administrative processes and enable efficient services to the poor communities and reduce costs.
The majority of the amendments were technical changes and to align with supporting pieces of legislation, such as the Disaster Management Act of 2005. Under Clause 2, the DA successfully ensured the proposed inflated board of 15 members be reduced to 10. Interesting, this was agreed upon at our committee meeting, but some other board was re-inflated to 15 during our last presentation. We are aware that with some ANC cadres and comrades being a board member is a lucrative side hustle.
Under Clause 4, the DA successfully included the phrase, “within reasonable time” for the disbursement of funds and in line with section 50 of the PFMA. We have all borne witness to
the slow rollout of food, water and sanitation to the KwaZulu- Natal flood victims who still languish in halls, while reports of misused funds and donations makes news headlines.
While the legislation is sound and the DA supports it, the pending regulations and implementation of the fund under the ANC government is a different story. Many are wondering, will this be the COVID-19 Solidarity Fund 2.0? The truth of the matter Chairperson is that; the ANC simply cannot be trusted with taxpayers’ money. The truth Chairperson is that, in a time of disaster, the ANC cannot be trusted to do what is morally and ethically right. It is the politically connected first and the destitute South Africans last.
Chairperson, as a country, we will have many more disasters be it natural due to climate change, manmade or ANC disasters.
Currently, South Africa is a disaster. It is a disaster as a result of 28 years at the mercy of a government that has no idea how to put South Africans first. A government that collapses everything it touches and wholly incapable of building anything new.
The questions that Africans must ask themselves, who do they want lead in during a time of disaster? Whom do they want lead
in during a time of a drought? A DA government who has proven to build world class desalination, plants and defeat Day Zero or an ANC government who can’t even fix a leak in common deer water tankers. In terms of wildfire, a DA government with a fleet of state of the art fire trucks, or an ANC government with a one fire truck stuck in the in the repair garage?
In the time of the next health pandemic, the DA’s Sizani Universal Healthcare Plan and a hospital of hope, or the ANC’s National Health Insurance, NHI which will only further decimate a public health care system led on his knees? In times of poverty, hunger and mass unemployment, a DA government which has offered realistic and workable solutions to the current government or the ANC who are too ignorant and narcissistic to accept the help?
A South African President who is in the trenches with you, who will provide with confidence reassurance South Africans will need, who had the foresight to warn us all of the dire impact Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have such as the DA leader John Steenhuisen, or the complacent billionaire President who has effectively led our country to the edge of a cliff,
...[Inaudible] ... he has got the only parachute and will crispy cushion by the millions of dollars in his landing?
Chairperson, the year is 2022 and South Africa is a disaster, but it does not have to be. It is time to separate emotional nostalgia from the cold reality that forced Africa to strive. We must take immediate emergency action, because in truth Chairperson the ANC is the disaster, not South Africa and the patriotic ... [Inaudible] ... we call it home. I thank you.
Ms P MARAIS: Chairperson, Marais will take it on behalf of hon Arries. Hon Chairperson, the EFF rejects the Fundraising Amendment Bill in its current form as tabled by the Minister of Social Development and processed by the Portfolio Committee on Social Development. The Bill seeks to consolidate three important relief funds that are currently administered separately. The Bill seeks to consolidate the catastrophic Disaster Relief Fund, the state President’s fund, and the aid for Refugees Fund.
All these funds exist as immediate relief for our people, in particular, the underprivileged and the victims of disaster and current attacks. We reject the Bill because of fear that the corrupt ANC government will use these funds to loot state resources and fundraise for the 2024 elections. We are told that the Bill will make it easy to streamline all funds, in
reality, the ANC failed to steal the money because each fund has specific intend purposes.
The state President’s Fund has more than R40 million inactive fund, while there are families and children that go to sleep with empty stomachs. The Social Relief Fund has more than
R39 million that can be used to fight the scourge of gender- based violence in our communities. These funds have been neglected and we know that the money will be stolen. We know that even Mr Cyril Ramaphosa is clueless about these funds because he went and established solidarity fund for COVID-19 relief that was managed like a private trust fund and did not account to anyone when there were enough funding vehicles.
South Africa has so many refugees like all over the world but the aid for Refugees Fund is still not the same to not one single person. Over time the Bill has ... [Interjections.] ...
Mr H G APRIL: ... but you can’t even read English.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon April, please, don’t do that. Don’t do that. Okay, order, hon members. Sorry about that, hon member. Go ahead.
Ms P MARAIS: Overtime the Bill just generated ... and now it is clear that the purpose is not intended to support our people. The ruling class does not care about victims of disaster. We had floods in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape and we are still having families that struggle to feed their families. The victims of the dam collapse in the Free State in Jagersfontein, are still waiting for assistance. We are still waiting for the stimulus packages pay out intended for early childhood development, ECDs, that were promised more than a year ago.
They plan to create one fund with fulltime board members who will be deployed from Luthuli House to address these funds and salary problems. Soon Luthuli House workers will be paid their salaries as victims and beneficiaries of one of these funds.
While we acknowledge at least that they are indeed for a relief fund, South Africa need much more permanent solutions as many of the challenges are because of the mismanagement of the economy.
Our people need land, need suitable jobs and need participation in the economy as productive members of society. Today, our people are permanent victims of unemployment and victims of poverty because of landlessness. The time has come
for us to do complete overhaul of the social safety legislation that is not driven by greed and corruption. No neoliberalism policies of the National Treasury. The EFF rejects the Fundraising Amendment Bill. Thank you, Chair.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Thank you very much, hon House Chairperson. Hon House Chairperson, if one has to contemplate the intended purpose of the Fundraising Amendment Bill before us all seems about board. Their amendment seeks to consolidate the Disaster Relief Fund, the Refugee Relief Fund, the Social Relief Fund and the state President’s Fund into a single Disaster Relief and National Social Development Fund.
The Amendments will lead to one board, centralised decision- making and so this will cut costs. We, of course, welcome that. However, the distributing vehicle of these funds will be the ANC-led government. That is where the real problem arises. It is a fact that our government does not have a good track record with regards to distributing funds to the poor. Let’s just look at recent examples. Millions including food parcels meant for the poor were stolen during our COVID-19 pandemic, during our response to the failure of KwaZulu-Natal insurrection as well as during our flood relief efforts.
They were meant for the most vulnerable of our citizens but ended up in the pockets of unscrupulous officials and politicians. So, this backs the question: Will these funds suffer a similar fate? Will this be another piggy bank for the ruling elite? Also of concern is the fact that it will be the Minister who gets to decide who gets funds, when ... [Inaudible.] ... Additional powers have been granted to that the board must ensure the disbursement of funds or provision of citizens is done in accordance with any written directions of the Minister.
Let me remind all of us that millions are at stake here, once all the funds are consolidated into the single fund, there will be just over R100 million available for distribution. Who will carry the responsibility for safeguarding this money?
Well, according to the proposed amendments, the fund is subject to directions of the Minister and under the control of the director-general who is the accounting officer of the fund. It is our view that this fund should not have been administered by officials, but it should have been administered by an independent party or body.
We hold this view because the 2024 elections are just around the corner and it is our fear that the ruling party might
therefore, divert funds or resources towards campaign activities as it has done before and as it fears losing grip on power into 2024, or there is the very real possibility that these funds might be held back and then be distributed prior to the elections, even worse these funds might simply just disappear.
Hon Minister, as we are speaking about interventions to protect the most vulnerable today, I would like to digress just a little and make this sincere appeal to you today.
Please, release some of these funds urgently to address the child malnutrition crisis. It is a disaster on its own.
Another disaster we face is a disaster with regards to our social workers. Please, could you come back in the first term and Table a plan of action to Parliament to ensure that we absorb all social workers that remain unemployed.
And, please, can you make sure that your department solves the issue with regard to the payment or late payment or nonpayment of nongovernmental organisations, NGOs, who provide vital services on behalf of the most vulnerable in our society.
Chairperson, the IFP will be keeping a close watch on these funds and how it will be spent and we will demand accountability on behalf of the most vulnerable. It is time to
stop paying lip service to the needs of the poor and marginalised by those in power. Every cent must be spent on putting vulnerable South Africans first. The IFP continues to do so in every municipality in all of the 29 municipalities that we govern in KwaZulu-Natal. The IFP will abstain from voting. Thank you.
Mr W W WESSELS: Thank you, House Chairperson. House Chair, this Fundraising Act is an outdated piece of legislation from 1978. It had been largely replaced by the Non-profit Organisation Act of 1997, as much of the disaster management work of Department of Social Development is being rendered by the non-profit organisation, NPO, sector. The implementation of this Act has faced challenges as some of the funds within the Act has become dormant.
Chairperson, furthermore, this fund was not allowing for timeous response to disasters, as well as the funds that are dormant are largely difficult to access in cases of emergencies. The committee went out on public comment with this Fundraising Amendment Bill but only received a single input from the Western Cape government. Largely, the amendments are of a technical nature and seeks to clarify and
align the Bill with existing legislation. It has thus been long overdue for an amendment.
All in all, these amendments are set out with the best of intentions and ideologies to improve the manner in which funds for disaster and social relief are disbursed. We should take into account the probable mismanagement, fraud and corruption of these funds. This is where a number of concerns arise.
Clause 4 seeks to amend section 20 of the principal Act in order to empower the Minister to give directions to a board in respect of disbursement of funds and to ensure that the board act in line with section 50 of the Public Finance Management Act. Clause 8 seeks to amend section 36 of the principal Act in order to further provide for the making of regulations.
These might have noble intentions and the work done to make this Act streamlines to modern times and currently legislation is commendable. However, centralisation is always problematic. In other departments such as Agriculture and Labour, we see daily the dire implications when a Minister is given sole power. With great power comes great responsibility but also ultimate power corrupts ultimately. Whether the intention of the Bill and what is implemented will align, remains to be
seen. Chairperson, there is no fund that the ANC has touched or managed that has not been looted.
The legislation can be perfect but with a corrupt to the core power hungry government, the most vulnerable will continue to suffer and the much needed disaster management and disaster relief will still be wanting. The FFPlus will support the Bill. I thank you.
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon House Chairperson, the ACDP notes the submissions by the department, on the need for the amendment of the Fund Raising Act 107 of 1978, which provided control of collections and contributions from the public and that governs the fire funds in existence to assist in cases of disaster.
The department in its submissions states, that the amendment would remove duplication, streamline responses to disaster and ensure risk mitigation and the development of risk mitigating strategies.
The latter, we trust would mean that preventative strategies would be on top of the list to deal with the ongoing and costly fires in our informal settlements and tragedies that happen in communities in high risk flood areas.
The ACDP support the need for the alignment of the legislation that will allow clear legal parameters to respond to disaster of whatever kind timeously and effectively.
We support the amendment, but with great caution and reservations, due to the tragic tale of blatant thievery even in the face of the worst humanitarian crisis. We have stories aplenty of where as a nation of we had to with disgust had to learn that those in power can steal at a grant scale even in the face of death and misery.
The disaster of the covid response, the floods in KwaZulu- Natal and the unrests in KwaZulu-Natal, give credence to the need to improve the legislation that will define, who must respond, what measures must be developed and how the response would be activated and rolled out to ensure an effective response to bring relief and ensure communities are being assisted are assisted in the long-term.
Thus we want to echo the need for an independent body as was suggested earlier by the hon member, Liezl Van der Merwe, to administer this fund and the committee’s inputs that must be developed to set parameters and it must be done with wide consultation.
The recruitment of the board must be done in consultation if it happens with the committee and not form part of the supply chain of jobs for the politically connected or as a political tool.
The Disaster Relief and National Social Development Fund cannot become a slush fund. Lastly, it would have preferable for the committee to roll in the recruitment and selection of the board.
This is perhaps something the National Council of Provinces should look into. We support this Bill. Thank you.
Ms B S MASANGO: Hon House Chairperson, the objectives of this amendment Bill serve to highlight the many lessons COVID-19 taught us as a country. The first of which is the existence of the law is not necessarily translating into smooth implementation. We are therefore mindful of the potential of this Amendment Bill becoming law and still not making the situation of those it is meant to serve any better.
The logic of consolidating the various funds into to one expedite channelling the resources during disasters is not in dispute. The DA is in total agreement with this move.
The Department of social Development should and ought to have learnt many more lessons during COVID-19, the recent floods and looting. Such lessons include ensuring a speedy co- ordination is undertaken to ensure the vulnerabilities primarily of children are not sacrificed at the altar of the red tape, lack of capacity and working in silos, as is was the case in many instances during recent disasters when money was desperately needed and could not be accessed because it was locked in dormant disaster relief funds.
The other heart wrenching lesson learnt was the critical need for the Department of Social Development to work closely with and not against nonprofit organisations, NPOs, who have been doing this work for years.
A collaborative working relationship within the department and NPOs would have prevented painful scenes of people queuing for food.
The committee report on this Bill aptly emphasizes this point and I quote:
A lot of the work of the Department of Social Development did to support the disasters was largely done through NPOs.
I want to add that the NPOs not only used to do a great chunk of the work of the department, but still continued to do it to this day.
We are also reminded to ensure co-ordination among all spheres of government to avoid the horrific report of ill-treatment or channelling of much needed resources based on political affiliation and fragmentation of processes to access food by many deserving individuals and families.
We call on the Minister and the department to have processes in place that expedite the fast-tracking of resources to the poor and the vulnerable, instead of erecting of barriers that block them. That would make a world of difference to those whose hope for survival during disasters is the protection provided by the Constitution and the laws that emanate from it.
As a caring party, the DA, has learnt these lessons and has submitted solutions to government.
Hon House Chairperson, most importantly, the DA will put them to good use, when we take over government in 2024. I thank you. [Applause.]
Man N K BILANKULU: Mutshamaxitulu na Maafrika-Dzonga hinkwenu, ndzi lava hi ku sungula ndzi hlamula xivulavuri lexo hetelela. Tanihi ANC aku na nchumu lexi xi hi chavisaka. Ku ya hileswi hi nga swi endla kusuka hi 1994, vaakitiko va swi tiva leswaku ANC i nhlangano wu ri woxe lowu wu nga va tekaka wu va susa kun’wana wu va yisa kun’wana. Hikwalaho, i milorho leyi DA yi yi vulavulaka. Yimani ndzi tlhela ndzi mi byela leswaku laha ndzeni ka Yindlu ANC yi tekiwa tanihi chepisi. Chepisi loko u sungula ku yi dya ya nyanganya. Un’wana na un’wana u rhandza ku yi dya, kambe loko a heta ku yi dya wa yi cukumeta. I ANC yi ri yoxe leyi yi nga ta mi rholela yi mi endlela leswi mi faneleke ku endleriwa swona. A swi hi hlamarisi loko van’wana va n’wina mi ala kumbe mikarhi hinkwayo mi nga kaneti. Endzeni ka timbilu ta n’wina mi hava ku navela na ku vona vaakitiko va Afrika-Dzonga va hluvukile. Tanihi ANC a mi nga hi endli nchumu. A mi hi chavisi naswona hi ta ya emahlweni hi tirhela vaaki.
ANC a hi mali. Loko a yi ri mali a yi ta rhandza hi munhu un’wana na un’wana. Mhaka ya leswaku a hi mali mi boheka ku yi vulavula mi endla leswi mi swi rhandzaka. Kambe leswi a swi nga hi “defocus” [tekela nkongomiso] tanihi ANC. Hi ta ya emahlweni hi tirhela vaaki ku ya hileswi hi lavaka ku endla swona. Nawumbisi lowu a wu ti ntsena , kambe wu tela ku ta vona leswaku hi antswisa vutomi bye vaaki.
Chairperson, the social contents of the Bill are in line with the idea of a social compact towards economic growth development. The sixth national administration has since the beginning of the term made emphasis on the importance of anchoring government interventions on a social compact framework that will see to it that efforts made towards building a nonracial, democratic and prosperous South Africa are inclusive of different stakeholders in our society.
The work of the national government as led by President Ramaphosa has prioritised the consolidation of social compact framework to deal with the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment that continue to plug the nation and pose a significant challenge to the gains of the democracy.
One of the main goals of the Department of Social Development is to deal with inequality, poverty and where possible provide opportunities through the social grants such as the social relieve of distress. We are aware of the impact that the social relieve of distress, SRD, grant has had in changing the lives of many South Africans who are at the economic periphery and notably in the current economic climate. They are completely reliant on the assistance of government for their livelihoods.
Given that, one of the objectives of the Department of Social Development is also to create a caring and self-reliant society. It is important to ensure that measures are put in place to improve and strengthen social welfare services for the betterment of all South Africans especially the poor, the marginalised and the working class population of our country.
We are undoing the legacy of apartheid through strengthening the developmental agenda and marginalised communities. In order to do this, it will be critical that we address the scathe legacy of apartheid and how it has been shaped the vulnerable of many South Africans. This vulnerability is still prevalent in many communities, in rural areas and townships where the majority of African people continue to live.
The Fund-raising Bill under debate is a response to the limitations in the Fund-raising Act, Act 107 of 1978, which was adopted and used as a means of alleviating the impact of disaster of white South Africans at that time. Given that reality, the democratic government was responsible for exploring various avenues to provide social support for all vulnerable South Africans in the context of a disaster. It is this understanding that has contributed to the foregrounding of this debate in Parliament. In pursue of the national democratic society, it is important that the historical reality that is underscored by inequality on the basis of race, class and sex be used as the basis for spearheading policy and legislation that in the main serves the interests of all South Africans. With a specific bias towards the working class, it is imperative therefore that we are conscious and learn from our past and be intentional about undoing the persisted injustice of apartheid.
A socioeconomic impact assessment conducted in 2019 on the impact that the amendment of the Fund-raising Bill will have highlight the importance of the commitment to deal with the remnants of apartheid exclusion of Africans from benefiting from the state by factoring in the necessity for broader development interventions in rural and underdevelopment
communities. A perspective that is supported by the department’s approach to ensuring the social services provided can create a platform for creating sustainable and self-relent communities. The successful building of self-reliant communities through government support will reach its best potential through integrated efforts between the public, private sectors and civil community engagements. The prospect of the public-private partnership, PPP, and strengthening stakeholders’ relation with nongovernment organisations, NGOs, and other community organisations or community development practitioners, CDPs, is already working in development space.
Following the narrative of strengthening efforts towards a social compact which involves the participation of the various sectors towards bringing about the development we need in the country, it is imperative that private-public partnerships are fostered. Acknowledging that while some of the interventions by government are confronted by limitations, the public perspectives that may suggest inadequacy. The Department of Social Development has over the years worked with various nongovernment organisations that have contributed to the development agenda of the nation. In this regard it is important that the amendment process of the Bill that efforts made by the civil society and NGO space be enhanced in order
to advance developmental interventions in line with the broader objectives of the Bill. The amendment of the Fund- raising Act through establishing a national social development and relieve fund is important in that it will provide a framework for government to expand its capacity to raise fund from the public and private sector under one fund in order to assist organisations, bodies and individuals to undertake social economic development activities though co-operatives.
This as such create an opportunity for already existing community development practitioners to better integrate and economically benefit from government-led interventions.
The importance of the disaster management awareness at a community level is important for economic sustainability to safeguard the interests of the cadre of CDPs that exist in our communities as way to nurture the already existing relationship between the department and communities through the various programmes that address issues such as education and food security and nutrition as administered through departmental agencies. One of the issues that the content of COVID-19 ever since is the fragmentation of efforts between government and the organisations that work in the sector.
Disaster management awareness at community level is necessary as it will provide an understanding by communities of what support government provides in disaster context and also how community-led initiatives can also be aligned with what the Departed of Social Development seek to do. Community remains the custodian and beneficiaries of the programmes of government. It thus important that the citizens of South Africans also understand the importance of integration and the amendment of this Bill thereof. It is our view as the ANC that amendment of this Bill is a vote for justice and a vote for a more equal society in the pursue to deal with the scourge of inability in the country. As the ANC we support the Bill. I thank you, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon members, may I please draw your attention, please. Please, be aware that shooting of photos in the House is not allowed. Please, refrain from doing that. It can happen in any other public place, but not in the House.
Bill read a second time.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPEMENT: Chairperson, it’s Minister Zulu speaking. I have been trying to get in, but I could not.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Mnu M L D Ntombela): Siyabonga Malandela kodwa sekudlulile. Sesiyobona ngelinye ilanga.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KOMPHAKATHI: Cha, phela
akukwazi ukudlula abantu beqeda ukusithuka kangaka bese ngiyayiyeka kanjalo, Sihlalo.
This is virtual, and when it is virtual it becomes difficult. When you are in the House you are able to speak.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombele): Hon Minister, we have passed that one. I did call you, but you were not there. Unfortunately ... you might have had problems ...
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPEMENT: I am here, Chairperson, and I have been here.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombele): Thank you very much. The secretary will read the Fourth Order.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE ON EXPROPRIATION BILL
The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Ms R M M LESOMA):
moved: That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to (Freedom Front Plus and Inkatha Freedom Party dissenting).
Report accordingly adopted.
(Second Reading Debate)
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: House
Chairperson, ... [Interjections.] ... much has been said about the Expropriation Bill and it has been a process over many years, including widespread public consultation to get to this
point where we are today, with the latest version of the Expropriation Bill, before Parliament for debate.
The Expropriation Bill has been drafted by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, after extensive consultation and with the assistance of senior counsel and constitutional experts. Expropriation is not unique to South Africa. The ability of governments to acquire or expropriate land for the public good is something that is found worldwide.
These powers are given different names in different places: In the USA, the term used is used as, “Eminent domain”; in India and Singapore it is referred to as, “Land acquisition”. In the UK, New Zealand and Ireland it is called, “Compulsory purchase”; and in Canada, Russia, Brazil and most of Western Europe, these powers are referred to as, “Expropriation.”
The Expropriation Bill is intended to replace the current and apartheid era law, the Expropriation Act of 1975. The 1975 Act is inconsistent with the Constitution in many respects. So, the current Bill proposes to bring the law in line with the Constitution.
With the Constitution as the highest law in the country, all our legislation as a Constitutional Democracy, must be in line with the rule of law, and above all they should pass Constitutional muster.
Section 25(1) of the Constitution states that:
No one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application, and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property.
The Bill is framework legislation that spells out clearly how and when expropriation can take place to, and by all expropriation authorities.
The Expropriation Bill makes explicit what is implicit in Section 25 of the Constitution. Expropriation of property with nil compensation is not a silver bullet. Expropriation is only one acquisition mechanism that in appropriate cases, for public interest, will enable land reform and redress.
Clause 12(3) and (4) of the Bill deals with instances where it may be just and equitable to pay nil compensation for expropriation of property in the public interest. The Bill
outlines circumstances when it may be just and equitable for nil compensation to be paid. The Bill does not prescribe that nil compensation will be paid in these circumstances.
Section 25 provides a solid and clear foundation for the implementation of section 25(2) of the Constitution, which says:
Property may be expropriated only in terms of law of general application-
a) for public purpose or in the public interest; and
b) subject to compensation, the amount of which and the time and manner of payment of which have either been agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court.
Here, the Constitution is very clear on why property may be expropriated and that the compensation will be determined by agreement between parties, and in the absence of an agreement, the land owner can approach the courts.
Our retired Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke at an occasion marking 20 years into our democracy, said and I quote:
Our constitutional democracy was forged on the anvil of division, past injustice and economic inequity, but also on the hope for reconciliation, nation building and social cohesion.
It envisions restitution of land to victims of dispossession but does not permit arbitrary deprivation of property. It permits expropriation and redistribution of land for public good, provided that it is against just and equitable compensation.
The Expropriation Bill brings certainty to South Africans and investors, because it clearly outlines how expropriation can be done and on what basis. So, it is extremely dangerous to suggest that government will arbitrarily take people’s property such as their homes.
House Chair, land is an emotive issue. Across the country, there is still great pain being felt by people of colour who were stripped off their homes and denied the right to own
property under the apartheid regime. What is wrong is to instil fear mongering and distort the facts in a debate about land, and this is done all too often.
Many times, those against the Expropriation Bill have been people who were never subjected to laws that stripped people of their property, their dignity or their rights to own property. These scripted commentators have insinuated that... [Time expired.] Thank you.
Ms N NTOBONGWANA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, De Lille, hon Deputy Minister Kiviet, hon members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure, hon members in the House and fellow South Africans ...
... molweni ngolu rhatya.
Most of the challenges related to unemployment, poverty and inequalities faced by Africans in particular and blacks in general can be traced back to land dispossession. A brutal and merciless activity that made South African natives not
actually slave, but pariahs in the land of their birth as said by first Secretary General of the ANC Comrade Sol Plaatje.
The amendment of the Expropriation Act No 63 of 1975, an apartheid piece of legislation, will ensure consistency and alignment with the spirit and provisions found in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The object of the Expropriation Act of 1975 wants to:
provide for the expropriation of land and other property for public and certain other purposes.
This Expropriation Bill we are bringing to the House today will amend that Expropriation Act. The Expropriation Bill is often conflated with the process that Parliament undertook in 2018 of seeking an amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution. That is not the case. This is a different process and it relates to the law of general application that puts in place enabling legislation in line with the Constitutional prescripts that allows for the Expropriation of property for public interest and public purpose.
The Expropriation Bill was first introduced in Parliament in 2008 and as an important Bill that would ensure the
acceleration of our land reform and infrastructure development programmes. This Bill, B-23-2020 is a Bill affecting the provinces and is tagged by Parliament as a Section 76 Bill.
This Bill, after its passing by the NA will be referred to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence. This Bill will provide for our government the land question in South Africa and use that to bring the dignity of those whose land was repossessed.
As I said earlier, the Bill will repeal the Expropriation Act No 63 of 1975 and will provide a legislative framework where expropriation of property takes place in a just and equitable manner. It puts down the legal frame to do what the Constitution says, expropriation must be done in a proper administrative way to ensure just and equitable compensation and in some cases nil compensation may be considered just and equitable. This is in line with the provisions found in Section 25(2) and (3) of the Constitution.
Section 25(1) of the Constitution states that:
No one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property.
This is what this Bill is all about. This Bill makes certain that all instances where expropriation is to be done, it will be done in a lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair manner. Even when it is done, there will be nil compensation and it will be done as per Constitution where assessment, proper notice and allowing appeals of all affected parties.
The apartheid era Expropriation Act of 1975, is not aligned to our Constitution and this Bill makes sure that the way in which we deal with land fits this democracy that so many people fought for and lost their land, property, rights and lives. With this Bill we are taking that back legally, correctly and respectfully as per the ethos and provisions of the Constitution what was taken illegally without respecting even the dignity and rights of those that were affected by the Expropriation Act of 1975.
The Constitution of the Republic provides for public participation in legislative making and the portfolio committee commenced with the public hearings on the Bill in March 2021, with written and oral submissions received.
Notwithstanding the constraints imposed by the Covid-19, the committee was able to successfully meet and listen to people in public hearings in all the nine provinces.
Further submissions by stakeholders were also accommodated as some of them sought to make inputs on the Expropriation Bill before the committee. When more people came forward and requested to make presentation a second round of parliamentary hearings was undertaken. Various stakeholders who had made submissions and participated in the public hearings made important inputs which shaped the engagement in the Committee and the final product before the House. The committee deliberated on the Bill, clause by clause and this was taking into consideration the submissions that were received from the public citizens. This enabled corrections and amendments in the portfolio committee to be made to the Bill.
As the Committee, we would like to thank members of the public and various organised community groups, civil organisations, academics, political parties and traditional councils. Their contribution was invaluable and their inputs had assisted the committee to produce the B23-B 2022 version, that we place before this House.
As I said earlier, there is a need for this Bill to lay a proper foundation so that the correction of historical injustice can take place. This Bill is part of that foundation as amongst others, it provides expropriation of land for
labour tenants on farms who have been historically dispossessed. The Minister of Agriculture may also apply for land expropriation in the public interests or for infrastructure development. However, it only provides a foundation for such corrections of injustice that took place in the past.
The Bill is not specifically land reform legislation as it is based on expropriation for the public interests and public purpose. This Bill provides for other government departments to apply for expropriation of land for public purposes through the Minister and the executing authority as this needs to occur with motivation and in the public interests.
There are currently at least seven government departments, local municipalities, provinces and state-owned entities with expropriating powers in terms of the 1975 Expropriation Act. The Bill allows for the expropriation of land and or property on an urgent basis and this is done in the public interests and the state can withdraw the notice of expropriation when such a need arises.
Given the fact that the procedure and process to be followed when dealing with cases of expropriation is stipulated in the
Bill and enshrined in the Constitution and makes no room for arbitrary expropriation of land or deprivation of land on arbitrary conditions. The Committee is of the view that this is a progressive Bill not only in as much as it aligns with principles of our democratic Constitution but again as it intends on redistributing land to address the national grievance on the land question brought about by the forced dispossession of land.
Provisions for the legal process and procedures for expropriation of land and property by organs of state are set out in clause 12 of the Bill and allows for the determination of nil compensation as just and equitable compensation in conjunct with the provisions of Section 25(2) of the Constitution of the country. To illustrate the progressive nature of the Bill, in an instance where there is a consideration for determination of compensation, in terms Section 23 of the Labour Tenants Act, the court may find that is may be just and equitable for no compensation to be paid having regard to all circumstances.
The report notes the objections of the Bill by some members of the committee and thus indicates that the progressive provisions of the Bill makes provisions for the aggrieved
party to approach court as a final arbitrary in instances of disputes and disagreements over the Expropriation Act by the expropriating authority. The Land Court Bill, once finalised by our sister Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services and passed by this Parliament, will deal with land claims and expropriation which are in the public interest and for public purposes.
The Bill notes that under international law, there is a principle of compensation which is associated with cases of expropriation and also nil compensation in certain instances. The issue of nil compensation was not brought in through the back door as some members of the opposition so incorrectly imply, but was brought in through the front door as it was always a part of the deliberations on the Bill from the first day. Nil compensation is part of our international trade agreements, international economic agreements and is internationally recognised. Let me repeat, nil compensation is part of our international trade agreements, international economic agreements and is internationally recognised. The Committee is convinced that the Bill, with its amendments, was properly crafted within our Constitutional framework.
We have received legal opinion from the departmental legal team, State Law Adviser and from the Parliamentary Legal Services and the committee is of the view that the Bill passes the constitutional muster and there is no need for panic among members of the opposition and the constitutionality of the Bill.
In conclusion hon Chairperson, the committee recommends the passing of this Bill, with amendments made to it by the House and referral to the NCOP for concurrence.
Ms S J GRAHAM: Thank you, House Chair. Expropriation of property for a public purpose is not a new concept in South African law. In fact, the Bill under discussion today seeks to repeal an existing piece of legislation that deals with the expropriation of property. Namely, the Expropriation Act 63 of 1975, the Expropriation Bill 2020 has been drafted with a view to aligning expropriation by the state with the Constitution. What is new in our law is the concept of public interest as a basis for the expropriation of property. Public interest relates to our commitment as a country to bring about redress
for past injustices through mechanisms such as land reform. As we know Parliament failed to pass an amendment to section 25 of the Constitution last year which would have entrenched expropriation without compensation in the property clause. In spite of this, the ANC haven’t insisted that the exact clause that they failed to pass be retained in this Expropriation Bill.
It is our contention that this is a brazen attempt by the governing party to amend the Constitution through the backdoor using ordinary legislation. It cannot be countenance that the clause that was deemed as pivotal as to require a constitutional amendment should not just be adopted in the House by simple majority. Section 25(2) of the Constitution stipulates that expropriation must be subject to compensation that has been agreed to or has been decided on by the court.
Section 12(3) of the Expropriation Bill before this House clearly contravenes this by providing specific instances where no compensation is already deemed to be just and equitable, no consensus and no codetermination. Our proposed amendment to section 12(3) of the Expropriation Bill stipulates that no compensation should only be the starting point in two instances, where land is owned by the state and is no longer needed by that department, and when state property that was
previously expropriated and paid for is needed for another purpose.
Expropriation without compensation should never be the basis for the commencement of negotiations between the state and private property owners. It places the state in a position of greater strength than the private property owner which is contrary to the foundations of a constitutional democracy. In his book Land Matters: South Africa’s Failed Land Reforms and the Road Ahead Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi states that just compensation which has not been defined is based on the idea of justice. Expropriation in the public interest is not intended to cause further injustices, but rather to reverse past injustices. He states further that the focus should be on striking the proper equilibrium between the interests of the nation in land reform, the landless and those that must ultimately give up the land.
The expropriation before us with inclusion of current clause 12(3) is not a tool for land reform, but rather a mechanism for punishing private-property owners using arbitrary criteria that are not easily measurable nor address historical spatial disadvantage. The Democratic Alliance has further proposed an amendment to the definition of expropriation to include
indirect expropriation. This includes custodianship of property as well as what is termed regulatory takings. In both instances the state is entitled to take control of a person’s property and limit the owner’s rights to use and enjoy that property without paying any form of compensation. While ownership of the property is not transferred to the state, the extreme nature of the curtailment of rights in the property is nothing short of expropriation without compensation. For this reason, the inclusion of indirect expropriation in the definition of expropriation would afford some compensatory remedy to the owners of property who have been affected by the actions of the state. The ANC has used this Expropriation Bill to sell a lie to the people of South Africa. They have allowed our people to believe that the biggest obstacle to having their own property is the greediness of the land owners demanding compensation. It is patently untrue. The biggest obstacle to land reform in this country is the governing party. There are a number of legislative mechanisms and tools available to ensure meaningful land reform. There is just no political will to implement them. Instead, the expropriation without compensation catchphrase has been used to cover the failure of the ANC to deliver on its promises, and to create an illusion that property ownership for all is just one piece of legislation away.
The Expropriation Bill is certainly one of the tools that can be used for land reform. However, its primary purpose is to allow government expropriated property to further its own objectives. Therefore, while we do not to stymie the state in pursuing its mandate, we must ensure that we protect private property rights against the potential abuse that this Bill in its current form, would lead to, particularly with respect to the inclusion of specific instances allowing for expropriation without compensation. The Democratic Alliance does not support this Bill without our proposed amendments. I thank you.
Ms A M SIWISA: Thank you, House Chairperson. We object to this hideous regressive and sell-out piece of legislation. Over the past four years, we’ve initiated the process to amend the Constitution to permit expropriation of land without compensation. While we were busy with this constitutional amendment process, the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure now led by an expired Pan-Africanist initiated this Bill thereby putting the cart before the horse. It was this Bill that first came up with an intangible term of nil compensation for expropriated land. The Bill goes further and identifies categories of land that would be candidates for nil compensation and these are: Land that is not used for productive purposes, state-owned land, abandoned land, land
that is worth nothing in the market, and land that poses health physical, safety risks to society.
Now, when we started this process the Chairperson of the committee indicated that the purpose of the Bill was to resolve the land question in this country to empower the state to expropriate land in order to give it to the native since land was taken by European settlers. Do natives in this country want land that is not used for productive purpose? Do they want state-owned land? Do they want abandoned land? Do they want land that is worth nothing or land that poses significant safety risk? If not, why is the ANC playing with the white people’s emotions and claiming to be for expropriation of land without compensation when they want to expropriate these land that is of little or no value at all to our people?
The provisions of this Bill are even more restrictive than the current section 25(3) of the Constitution. The section outlines factors that must be taken into account when determining compensation for expropriated property and these include: the current use of the property, the history of acquisition of the property, the market value, the extent of direct state investment and the purpose for which the property
is expropriated. These factors limiting as they are, are more expensive than the provision of this Bill. This Bill will basically leave the almost 72% of the land owned by whites in the country untouched and the government would still need to pay market value for expropriating white-owned land for land reform proposals. If in such cases without an overreaching constitutional provision for expropriation without compensation, these provisions will be subjected to endless court’s challenges, leaving the land reform programme in disarray and as it has been over the 28 years of ANC ... [Inaudible.]
What will resolve the present crisis of land in this country is a bold constitutional and legislative amendment that recognises that the current state of the land ownership in this country is the result of colonialism and apartheid, and the Constitution itself must acknowledge this and make provision for expropriation of land from European settlers without compensation to be allocated to the natives for the productive use for housing and for cultural purposes. What this Bill does is to basically take the 1975 Expropriation Act and nearly align it with the Constitution. It will do nothing to help speed up the pace of land reform, it will not touch the sanctity in which private ownership of land by whites is
held in this country. It is thus that has kept black people landless in this country. We reject this Bill and call upon our people to see the ANC for what it truly is, a staunch defender of interest of white land owners and an opponent of thorough going land reform. I thank you, House Chair.
Mr S S ZONDO: Hon House Chairperson, on an outset let me once again reiterate that the IFP is in full support of a meaningful land reform in South Africa on the premises that such reform is just and equitable. However, after extensive deliberations in the portfolio committee which include engagement with stakeholders, citizens and civil society organisations to listen to formal presentation on specific clauses of the Bill, we remain of the considerate option that we cannot support the current form of Expropriation Bill. Our main concern relating to the introduction of the concept of nil compensation in the Bill as a current phrased. Clause 12(3) of the Bill not only provide an open-ended list of circumstances that may potentially justify the determination by nil compensation by expropriation authorities. However, clause 12(3)(a), clause 12(3)(c) and clause 12(3)(e) in specific are extremely verge and will not engage legal and certainty.
These clauses have not been amended to provide any further clarities. The IFP retaliates that the clause 12(3)(a) is extensively wide and a land owner who hold land for investment purposes may be specifically targeted. Clause 12(3)(c) provides no objective element to determine when the land owner had habitat land providing ample opportunity of this provision to be abused. Therefore, clause 12(3)(e) relating to when the property pose unhealthy and a safety or physical risk is extensively or subjective. The IFP is the same verge it does not support the clause 12(4) of the Bill in relation to the deterioration of nil compensation.
Furthermore, clause 15(3) provide that the declaration of the dispute will not prevent the passing of the position to the expropriation authority, and clause 19(8) provide an appeal against the court decision on the amount of competition will not prevent the interdict are highly prejudice towards expectation owner or expropriated holder concealing the cost of the litigation and the fact that litigation is a land of procedure. The burden upon the land owner is further
...[Inaudible.] ... by the fact that the Bill currently provide that position of the property passes through the expropriation authority on the future date depleted in the notice of the expropriation, determining disputes have been
declared. This must be seen for what it is. The poor draft attempt by the ruling party to cover up its own adequately ineffective meaningful land reform in South Africa since assuming power in 1994. The IFP rejects the current form of Expropriation Bill. I thank you.
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter, ...
... this is a dishonest Bill. Why do I say that? The start of the preamble of this Bill is referring to section 25 of the Constitution. It wants to create the impression that the Bill is in line with the Constitution. Now, I challenge the hon Minister to take this Bill to the Constitutional Court. Take it for a test to ensure ... You are shaking your head, so can I accept that you will take it and refer it to the Constitutional Court? The Constitution provides that Parliament can, before promulgation, refer it to the Constitutional Court. I challenge you to do that.
Why do I say that it is dishonest? Firstly, what are the pitfalls? Firstly, if we look at the definition of property, it must be clear to the people that property is not only
limited to land. That means that moveable property, intellectual property is at stake and we are actually saying that the government has the power to expropriate those properties without compensation.
I also further want to put it very clearly that, for the governing party, land reform is not really the main issue in this Bill, it is about power. It is to get hold of land in South Africa. What are the consequences? Besides unforeseen consequences, there are clear consequences. Firstly, who is going to pay the price? It is going to be the commercial banks, financial institutions, in fact, private owners of those properties, and those who want to develop property in South Africa. They are going to pay the price.
What is the price going to be? The price is the destruction of the economy of South Africa, because private ownership is one of the pillars of democracy and a free market economy.
Ons is besig om daardie pillare te vernietig. Die gevolge gaan wees dat daar ’n voedseltekort gaan ontstaan en mense se lewenskoste gaan dan styg, as gevolg daarvan. Die beleggers wat in Suid-Afrika wil belê, sal nie kom belê nie, want wie
gaan belê, as jy weet dat jou bates eenvoudig onteien kan word, sonder vergoeding. Dit gaan tot gevolg hê dat daar minder besighede gaan wees en dit gaan daartoe lei dat daar werksgeleenthede verlore sal gaan.
So, this Bill will create more unemployment in South Africa, destroy the economy. Do you know who is going to pay the final price? The children and future of this country.
Hierdie Wet behoort nie as die Onteieningswet bekend te staan nie; dit moet as die Vernietigingswet bekend staan, want dit is presies wat dit gaan wees. Ek dank u.
Mr M W THRING: Hon House Chairperson, as we consider this Amendment Bill, the ACDP is cognisant of the need for legislation to deal with the expropriation of property for a public purpose or in the public interest. It must be remembered that an attempt was made by the ruling party to amend section 25 of the Constitution of South Africa, in order to provide for expropriation without compensation.
The ACDP, along with most other opposition parties voted against the proposed amendment, as we believe that it was not necessary. Furthermore, we believe that amending section 25 of the Constitution to provide for nil compensation would cause capital flight, impeding foreign and domestic investment.
It is the view of the ACDP and many sober-minded South Africans that this Bill is yet another attempt to provide for expropriation without compensation, particularly when one considers section 12(3)(a), (c), (d)and (e), which targets private property.
These sections allow for nil compensation on expropriation, if the land is not being used or is kept to generate income from appreciation; if the land is considered abandoned; if the market value of the land is equivalent to, or less than the present value of the direct state investment or subsidy; and when the nature or condition of the property poses health, safety or physical risk to persons or other property.
While acknowledging the need for reformation and restitution on the land question, the ACDP cautions, as it did with the attempt to amend section 25 of the Constitution, that expropriation without compensation is not the panacea.
Property rights must be protected, because a failure to do so will destroy the value of that property. As in any business, if a property loses its value, it becomes nontradable and business will move to places where they can trade.
The ACDP agrees with former President Kgalema Motlanthe when he said: “If property is not protected by law, society, as we understand it today, will disappear because the kind of anarchy and chaos that will ensue will be difficult to imagine.” One of your own.
The ACDP believes that this Bill in its current form is nothing more than a populist political tool to consolidate and hold on to power, regardless of the consequences. We will not support it. Thank you.
Mr B N HERRON: Hon House Chair, those who oppose the Expropriation Bill do so mostly from a historical perspective or an irrational misunderstanding of current Constitution.
While this Bill is not only about expropriation with nil compensation, those who have implemented the most horrific expropriations through false removals and still execute expropriation where they govern, have made this all about that.
I can assist them with their ignorance and their fear, if only they could try to identify it as part of the South African solution and find a little bit of care. I could take them on a short trip not 20 minutes from our Parliament, to Langa, Nyanga or Gugulethu, to privately owned apartheid-era migrant labour hostels, where people are living in squatted conditions, long since abandoned by their private landlords.
Take the Cape Sun hostel in Gugulethu, for example. It is a hostel named after the luxury Cape Sun Hotel, because that is where those who built the hotel were permitted to stay. The developers of the hotel and the owners of the hostel have abandoned their tenants in a building where children are covered in sores because they are exposed to raw sewage floating in the courtyard.
This is legacy that nil compensation should be used to address
- the apartheid legacy that those who need to be dishonest, in order to make an argument, must confront.
Colonial and apartheid land grabs never reversed, are a major contributing factor to the state of the acute inequality in our land today. Historically excluded from land ownership, the
vast majority of citizens remain excluded today, because they cannot afford the price of entering the property market.
Their exclusion from the property market means they lack tangible assets to leverage cash from the financial centre, which leads to be economic exclusion. It is a cruel and vicious cycle.
Expropriating land in appropriate circumstances is one of the tools at government’s disposal to accelerate land reform and this is not new. For the past 47 years, the state has been expropriating land under the 1975 Act. That is the Act that this Bill seeks to update. Nor is expropriating land without compensation new. Section 25 of the Constitution provides for nil compensation in circumstances in which it is just and equitable. That matter has been settled law for the past 20 years.
In 2002, the Constitutional Court said that there are appropriate circumstances where it is permissible for legislation, in the broader public interest, to deprive persons of property without payment of compensation.
The Bill is not the loaded gun to chase landowners into the sea, that the hon members from the DA and the FF Plus project it to be. The campaign they launched against it during the public consultation process, warning that citizens will lose everything they own, including their cars was dishonest and inflammatory.
The truth is that the Expropriation Bill is not the panacea for all ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Nthombela): Order, hon members! Please, calm down. Hon members, you are drowning the speaker. Hon members, please.
Mr B N HERRON: The truth is that the Expropriation Bill is not the panacea for all the ailments that afflict the land reform process in South Africa. That requires the relevant department to improve its performance. The Bill is a much needed improvement on the 1975 Act. In fact, it provides for more protection of property rights than the current Act it will replace, because it is compliant with the progressive Constitution.
The Constitution has always provided that no one may be deprived of property, except the .... [Time expired.] And no law may permit ... [Interjections.] ... of property. Thank you.
Ms M B HICKLIN: House Chair, land and property rights is a very emotive issue. They are the means by which a person is judged and the single most valuable measure of the legacy one leaves one’s children. Many in this House would have South Africans believe that the DA is firmly against this Expropriation Bill 23 of 2020 because the DA doesn’t want South Africans to own a piece of land on which they can prosper, become successful or leave a lasting legacy for their children. They are wrong. That is exactly what the DA wants.
We believe that land reform is both a moral and a political imperative but this Bill is not going to guarantee that.
The ANC has packaged this Bill as the panacea to South Africa’s land reform woes, selling it as a means by which South Africans will gain access to their own land which the ANC will give them. This is not the case. The government has thousands of hectares of land which it could make available tomorrow in both rural and urban settings, against which many
land claims have been lodged but which the ANC government has failed to finalise or even address for over 20 years. These same South Africans have waited for years for additional schools, paved roads and jobs, and they are now being hoodwinked into believing that this Bill will solve all their problems. It’s a shameless and bold-faced lie.
Likewise, the EFF didn’t support this Bill in the public hearings. In public hearing after public hearing, their supporters told us ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order, hon members. Hon members? Hon members, do not drown out the speaker, please. Go ahead, hon Hicklin.
Ms M B HICKLIN: Thank you. We were merely told to amend section 25 of the Constitution, and once amended this Bill would not be necessary. The amendment was not passed and now this Bill is the backdoor through which expropriation without compensation will put property into the hands of the state; not the people, the state. It’s snake oil sales pitches at best.
The DA supports a realistic approach to land reform, acknowledging the horrific injustices of the past, particularly how our history of racial dispossession has left the country on a skewed pattern of land ownership that has excluded the majority of South Africans from land assets and inclusion in rural economies. We want to create programmes that effectively addresses the land needs of South Africans who have historically been excluded from land and property ownership, including the need to access urban land and housing opportunities.
The purpose of this Expropriation Bill is not ... [Inaudible.]
... land reform. None of this will be guaranteed by this Bill. I thank you.
Tat T V MASHELE: Mutshamaxitulu, tanihi ANC hi khensa ku nyikiwa nkarhi lowu leswaku hi ta veka erivaleni ...
... some of the mistruths brought here. Let me assure the descendants of Jan van Riebeeck that we are not going to behave like your great-grandfathers. We are a responsible
government. We are the ANC. South Africa belongs to all those who live in it, black and white.
House Chair, members of the executive, members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works, hon members of this House and fellow South Africans, we have listened to the debate by the political parties that spoke here today. What then becomes important is that the Expropriation Bill should be adopted by this House as a matter of urgency. We are meeting here today, just two days after we celebrated the 86th birthday of Me Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Her contribution to humanity is even known by those who plagiarise the history of this country. We all know that she loved South Africa and her people. In her memory and honour, we call on all progressive forces to support this Expropriation Bill B 23B of 2020. It is through this Bill that the dignity of a black person will be restored. It is through this Bill that the people of Winnie Mandela informal settlement in Thembisa will have their dignity restored.
Vanhu va le Pilgrim's Rest na le Sabi eMpumalanga va ta swi kota ku akeriwa tiyindlu ta ...
... RDP houses through this Bill. This Bill will make it easy for the Department of Health to build hospitals in places like Mabopane in Tshwane.
None of the opposition parties laid claim that the process leading to the tabling of this Bill did not meet nor satisfy the parliamentary requirements of this Parliament. This Bill was adopted by all members in the portfolio committee. In seeking to build a nonracial, nonsexist and peaceful democratic South Africa, we have taken note that the flower of peace cannot be sustained in the midst of poverty and want.
Poverty and want leads to great feelings of discomfort within society. It makes social cohesion almost impossible to achieve, which will lead to conflict. As a caring government of the ANC, we are going to avoid any conflicts in South Africa. We are going to marshal all South Africans towards a peaceful South Africa. It is against this background that the House cannot be held at ransom by those on my left ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Mashele, there’s a point of order being called. You can take a seat, sir? What’s your point of order, hon member?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I think House Chair Frolick is disturbing the proceedings. He’s unmuted.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): That’s not a point of order but I realised that. Hon Mashele?
Mr T V MASHELE: The theoretical objection to this Bill by some opposition parties is deeply flawed. They are informed by fears which are unfounded and not supported by any empirical evidence. They are just an instrument to mobilise property owners and investors against transformation imperatives that the country is pursuing. The ANC-led government is committed to transformation and the promotion of inclusivity. The diverse inputs from consultations across the country gave impetus to the objective of ensuring that certain properties and land should be expropriated in the interest of our people. Fears that the Expropriation Bill will undermine property ownership must be rejected. Section 25 of the Constitution already provides for the expropriation of land without compensation in circumstances where a court can determine that such expropriation by the state for nil value is just and equitable. Therefore, the Expropriation Bill will be applied within the ambit of the law.
The constitutionality of the Bill is never in doubt. Obviously, the wrong assumption that it is intended to weaken and undermine the rights of private property owners is just formulated to undermine the intentions of the Bill.
At least some opposition parties agree that we must build an inclusive society and free our people from the ravages of apartheid. This Bill is an instrument to achieve such and it must be supported by everyone in this House.
As Parliament, it is our duty to pass legislation that will improve the quality of life of our people and harness their potential towards self-sustainable development. Our forebears imagined a democratic South Africa which will vigorously tackle landlessness, inequality and poverty. The Expropriation Bill seeks to readdress, rethink, reimagine and reposition South Africa, and respond to the variety of challenges that our country faces. We cannot simply fold our arms, as there is a need to introduce deliberate reforms through state intervention to bring about inclusivity in property and land ownership in South Africa.
If we are to listen to the opposition parties, we will not move. Their arguments seek to create an impression that
government wants to expropriate any property without compensation, which is completely incorrect. We cannot allow opposition rhetoric to hinder the ANC-led government’s mandate to build an inclusive society and implement reforms. President Cyril Ramaphosa, when he was handing over title deeds in Franklin in Kokstad, said the following:
This event is significant because it forms part of the work we are doing together to restore the dignity of South Africa’s people. From the wars of dispossession, to the 1913 Native’s Land Act, to the Group Areas Act and other apartheid legislation, black South Africans were denied the right to own property.
President Ramaphosa went on to say that since 1994, the ANC- led government has been working hard at correcting this historical injustice by providing houses to poor people and land redistribution through the provision of basic services.
The Expropriation Bill will advance the work of the ANC-led government in decisively tackling the historical injustice ... disparities in property ownership in the country. We will pursue a comprehensive approach and not undermine investments and the property rights of individuals. We urge all South
Africans to join us on this journey to build a truly united and prosperous South Africa.
Frantz Fanon said, “For colonised people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land; the land which will bring them bread, and above all, dignity.” The Expropriation Bill must not only be understood as an important process of restoring the dignity of the dispossessed because land is both bread and dignity.
President Mandela once warned us that any man who changes his principles depending on who he is dealing with is not a man who can lead a nation. The instruction from President Mandela was that we must fight on the side of truth at all costs. We must be on the side of the poor working class. We must be on the side of the poor people of Kennedy Road informal settlement and Phoenix ... [Inaudible.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order, hon members!
Mr T V MASHELE: We must be on the side of the rural people of Giyani who want government to build a university in their community. We must be on the side of the poor people of the
16 informal settlements here in Cape Town who cannot have
access to houses because the DA-led government here cannot give them land to build houses. We must be on the side of the poor people of Johannesburg, Tshwane and jimmy steyn who live in squatter camps. Those who oppose this Bill should be unmasked, for South Africa to know their real characters.
During the day they masquerade as progressive forces, while they are reactionary agents. They perfectly fit the description of the biblical philistines. These political Judases in their red uniforms should be stopped from joining the duet ... [Inaudible.] ... What a contradiction ... [Inaudible.]
Ms K N F HLONYANA: On a point of order. On a point of order, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Mashele, can you take your seat please? What’s your point of order, hon member? Hon members, can we ...
Ms N K F HLONYANA: House Chair, I don’t think it is parliamentary for this member ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay, hon members, please. Go ahead, hon member.
Ms N K F HLONYANA: I don’t think it’s parliamentary for this member to refer to the members of this House as red Judases. [Inaudible.] It is unparliamentary and he must withdraw. He must withdraw, Chair. [Interjections.] Chair, he must withdraw or he will not speak.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, take your seat. Hon members? Hon members, can I refer you to Rule 84? Can I refer you to Rule 84? Rule 84 says that no member may use offensive, abusive, insulting, disrespectful, unbecoming or unparliamentary words or language, nor offensive, unbecoming or threatening gestures.
So, hon Mashele, in the context of what you have uttered, I think it was unparliamentary. Can you please withdraw it?
Mr T B MUNYAI: What did hon Mashele do now?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Can you please withdraw that, hon Mashele?
Mr T V MASHELE: House Chair, I did not refer to anyone but those that fit the description ...
Ms J TSHABALALA: Point of order, Chair. Point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Mashele, if you are not happy with my ruling, you know what steps to take.
However, at the moment my ruling is that you withdraw that please. It’s unparliamentary.
Mr T V MASHELE: South Africa ... I withdraw, Chair. South Africa is waiting on us to adopt the Bill.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Thank you very much.
Ms J TSHABALALA: On a point of order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Mashele, there’s another point of order.
Ms J TSHABALALA: Chair, firstly, while we respect your ruling, we will also implore you to go back to Hansard and look at it, as that’s a point of debate. Secondly, I want to call a point of order around the heckling. It is drowning out the member.
We need to protect the member because the other side is really
drowning out the member. Can you please do that? Be consistent.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Thank you very much. Hon members, the heckling in the House is indeed allowed but it also has to be controlled in such a way that we don’t drown out the speaker. However, in the same breath I will request the whole House to observe that. All of us need to observe that.
Mr T V MASHELE: House Chair, what a contradiction that the have-nots are singing from the same hymn book as the haves. South Africa must stop this unholy marriage of these ones because it’s a disaster in waiting in South Africa. South Africans cannot be lampooned by these charlatans. We must stop these double-faced agents of darkness. We must stop these pickpocketers from peddling lies to the masses of our people.
In conclusion, we support the Expropriation Bill. The ANC supports the Expropriation Bill.
Izwe lethu alibuyi, [Our land is not coming back
Thina sizwe esimnyama, [We, the black nation]
Sikhalela izwe lethu, [We are weeping for our land] Elathathwa ngabamhlophe [Which was taken away from us by white people]
[Mr T V Mashele singing in IsiZulu about the land]
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon members, can you please take your seats? Can you please take your seats? Hon members! Hon members! Hon members from the ANC! Hon members from the ANC, your actions are disruptive. Your actions are disruptive. I would definitely expect much, much better from you than what you are doing.
Mr A H M PAPO: Noted, Chair. Noted, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): What you have just done is totally unacceptable.
Mr A H M PAPO: I’ve spoken to them. Noted, Chair. Don’t worry.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Kwankwa?
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Chair, I was going to ask you to call the bouncers and eject these members from the House. [Interjections.]
Mr A H M PAPO: Point of order!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Who is talking? Hon members? I don’t even know who is talking.
Mr A H M PAPO: Point of order!
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Chair, I was saying ...
Mr A H M PAPO: I want to call member Kwankwa to order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay, hon Papo. Hon Kwankwa?
Mr N L S KWANKWA: I thought you didn’t hear me, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): I did not hear you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Oh, you did not hear me. I was making a humble request to you ... [Interjections.] ... to say, can you
please call the bouncers to evict all these members who are making a noise here because they are disrupting the proceedings. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay, thank you, hon Kwankwa. I have already given advice. I will not do that. Hon Papo?
Mr A H M PAPO: I want to call member Kwankwa to order because he calls the parliamentary protection services, bouncers.
Mr N SINGH: You are wasting our time now.
Mr A H M PAPO: That is a demeaning term to use.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay, thank you, hon member. I will ... Hon members? Hon members, please. We are out of order. Hon members, you are out of order! Please. Thank you, hon members. Hon Papo, with regard to your concern, I will come back to you after having looked into what you are saying. I have noted what you are saying. We will look into that and come back to you with regard to the word bouncer and its implications. I will definitely come back to you. Okay,
that is your assertion but let me look into it. I will come back to you about it. Thank you very much.
Hon members, we still have to observe the decorum of the House. So let’s continue to do that. The hon Minister? I also wanted to warn hon Cuthbert not to intimidate the Minister while she was sitting there comfortably. Thank you, hon Cuthbert. Hon Minister?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you,
hon House Chair and thanks to the members for supporting the Bill, and those parties that do not support the legislation, I must make it clear to you that we can’t continue with the 1975 Act because it is unconstitutional.
Hon Groenewald - that’s why I was shaking my head - if you take the 1975 Act to the Constitutional Court, they will declare it unconstitutional. This is an effort to replace ... [Interjections.]
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter, ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Minister, can you take your seat please. Hon member, what is your point of order?
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Is the hon Minister willing to take a question? ... [Laughter.] ... No, she is brave enough.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Minister, are you willing to take a question?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: No, I will
take him for coffee.
Ek sal jou vir koffie vat. Moenie nou vrae vra nie.
Did you really think that I ... [Inaudible.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, take your seat. The Minister is not prepared to take your question. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Hon House
Chairperson, I think we have to remind ourselves what are we talking about and what are we dealing with. Seventy-nine percent of the land is in private ownership. Fourteen percent of the land is state-owned, national, provincial and local government. They all share the 14%. Seven percent of the land is unaccounted for. These are the imbalances that we are trying to correct.
Hon Members of Parliament, I think it is our duty to correct the imbalance. Therefore, I will say it again that the independence and the fairness of our judiciary must never be questioned. I put my faith in the judiciary. The judiciary will be the final arbiter in this Bill. We can’t be supporting the judiciary when they rule in our favour, and doubt that the judiciary will be fair when it comes to expropriation. That is not correct. If it was not such a serious debate – I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in the political alignment here, but I think the FFPlus will win in the end because they walk straight. You heard the DA being the spokesperson for the EFF. I never thought I will ever experience something like this. We mustn’t play politics with this Bill. I want to say ...
Ke lefase la rena!
The land is ours.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Amendments to the Bill have been proposed in terms of Assembly Rule 291 and published on the Order Paper in the name of Ms S J Graham. In terms of Rule 29(5)(b), the Speaker has decided to put the amendments for decision by the House. The amendments that have been proposed are to two clauses that are part of the Bill.
The amendments will be put together for a decision. Once the House has taken a decision on them, the Second Reading of the Bill will be put for a decision.
Question put: That the amendments to the Bill, as printed on the Order Paper in the name of Ms Graham be agreed to.
An HON MEMBER: The ANC objects the amendments as presented here. Thank you.
The House divided.
House Chairperson Mr M L D Ntombela 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.
Question put: That the amendments as they appear on the Order Paper in the name of Ms S Graham be agreed to.
A quorum being present in terms of Rule 98(1), voting commenced.
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES]
Mr N SINGH: House Chairperson, I think one would have to record the abstentions as well.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Oh, thank you very much. Thanks for the correction, hon Chief Whip. The abstentions are nine. Hon Sithole, it’s nine.
Amendments accordingly negatived.
Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.
Bill read a second time (Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting).
Question agreed to.
The House adjourned at 20:45