Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 23 Nov 2022
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 2022
PROCEEDINGS OF HYBRID NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15:00.
House Chairperson Mr M L D Ntombela took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order, hon members. The only item on today’s Order Paper is questions addressed to the Ministers in Cluster 5 – Economics. There are four supplementary questions on each question. The political parties have given an indication of which questions their members wish to pose a supplementary question. Adequate notice was given to parties for this purpose. This was done to facilitate participation of members who are connecting to the sitting through the virtual platform.
The members who will pose supplementary questions will be recognised by the presiding officer. In allocating opportunities for supplementary questions the principle of fairness, among others, has been applied. If a member who is supposed to ask a supplementary question through the virtual platform is unable to do so due to technical difficulties, the party whip on duty will be allowed to ask the question on behalf of their member. When all the supplementary questions have been answered by the executive, we will proceed to the next question on the Question Paper.
Hon members, before we proceed I would like to remind you that Question 911 was approved as an urgent question for today’s question session in terms of Rule 141(1). As a result, the question will take precedence over all other questions. The question has been asked by the hon G K Y Cachalia to the Minister of Public Enterprises. The hon the Minister.
QUESTIONS CLUSTER 5 - ECONOMICS
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Good afternoon Chairperson and good afternoon hon members. Thank you to hon Cachalia for
the question. The question has two essential parts, Chairperson. The first is, have we taken any steps to find funds to ensure that Eskom can purchase more diesel in order to keep the electricity going as much as they can? And secondly, what are the relevant details about the initiatives that we have taken?
So, the answer simply is; firstly, yes, we have taken steps to find funding and the details are as follows: Firstly, as a matter of urgency both the Minister of Finance and myself talked on Sunday evening about where money could be found.
Secondly, there was a meeting between my delegation and the Minister of Finance’s delegation on Monday morning where a number of hours were spent. Firstly, understanding what are some of the crises that are being faced by Eskom which involves not just diesel but the kind of disruption that Eskom is confronting both in the sense of malfeasance but also the question of reliability of its plants, which I will come back to.
Chairperson, a number of options were identified and those options are currently being evaluated by the Treasury team. We expect a response soon in respect of the particular option or set of options that the Minister of Finance thinks we should
pursue. The second element, Chairperson, is that for the whole of yesterday the Department of Public Enterprises itself has been liaising between Eskom and PetroSA to find a way within the limited resources that Eskom currently have, to have immediate availability of diesel.
Hon Chair, in this respect by the evening and this morning
50 million litres of diesel have been found and have been provided by PetroSA. Some of those litres travel by pipeline, some by trucks depending on what ... [Inaudible.] ... that they are due for. We will discuss further both with the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy and the Minister of Finance on how the next consignment can be made available. Thirdly, the board is currently looking at what needs to be done in respect of the generation side of the Eskom business.
House Chairperson, as you know that a number of plans were developed as the President announced on 25 July to ensure that generation becomes a lot more stable and that the current plant offers the optimal amount of energy possible. However, clearly not enough has been done in this particular regard.
So, the board has been occupied with meeting power station managers. We have discussed a particular target in terms of load shedding until there’s enough megawatts in our system by
next year and the years that are to follow. We will get some definitiveness about the steps the board is suggesting in relation to stabilising generation by next week.
The law enforcement has a critical role to play, Chairperson, because Eskom operates within an ecosystem that is seriously contaminated with various efforts made to provide, for example, poor quality coal, and there is a recent example from last week where a consignment of rock and stone was delivered to the Majuba Power Station. Once that gets into the power station through the conveyor belt we would have a destruction of the most. In respect of finances, and is my last point, clearly the unreliability of our generation plant is hampering efforts to provide greater stability and certainty to the country; the inadequacy of maintenance; corruption as I said in coal; in fuel oil and in past provisions amongst other things.
Chairperson, more breakdowns mean that more diesel has to be utilised. It is in that context that Eskom has run out of cash that it had budgeted for which was some R10 billion for this year. By 17 November we had reached a R14,7 billion in terms of its actual requirements at this point in time. So, we continue to engage with the Treasury and later this week we
hope we can resolve the question of access to funds most definitely. Thank you.
Mr G K Y CACHALIA: Thank you, Chair. Anyone with half a brain could have seen that this crisis of Eskom has been long in the making and the Minister and his government probably have yet to address it. However, what have they done? They have overseen year after year of increased load shedding, changed boards, set up committees and task teams. All to no avail. We are now by Eskom’s own admission in the most powerless state having spent its entire diesel budget in six months. If this does not represent a crisis, then I and millions of South Africans simply don’t know. The crisis that Mr Gordon has presided over.
Chairperson, now that the lights flicker while the President
... [Inaudible.] ... with the king in England, will the Minister be prepared to invoke the National Security Act and the National Key Points Act? Not least to save monies for diesel and certainly not to keep oversight out as he has done to Mr Steenhuisen this morning at Kusile, but to allow the utility to be fixed without little hindrance from politicians’ vested interests, some scrupulous employees and tenders as
mired in a rotten system created by ANC that is all but destroyed Eskom.
Chairperson, if the lights go out because there is no action in this regard what is he going to tell the nation? My fellow South Africans, it was poor quality coal. We don’t have the capacity to do a black start and the dog ate my homework. It simply won’t wash.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, Chairperson. Well, anybody with a quarter of a brain would have realised by now that the facts have been put to the nation in a very transparent way that Eskom is in a powerless state, that state capture did do immense damage, that we do have a shortage of electricity to the extent of about 4000 megawatts and that until we provide that source of megawatts through renewables and possibly through other mechanisms provided for in the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 or its amended form, we are going to be in difficulty as a nation.
Our plan is that within the next 18 months or so we must get out of this crisis. That is very clear. The President on 25 July said very clearly that there’s a Five Part Plan that he has instructed all of us to work towards. Firstly, that we
want to improve the performance of Eskom’s existing fleet, I have addressed that already and indicated that the new board of Eskom has been asked to look into this matter. There is absolutely no doubt that something needs to change on the generation side of Eskom; secondly, we will accelerate the procurement of new generation capacity.
Yesterday I spoke to a business person from another part of our continent who have a couple of 100 megawatts to offer and I have referred him to Eskom. So, instead of Mr Cachalia repeating his points ad nauseam, what the hon member should be doing is finding other options in terms of where possible megawatts could be found. Thirdly, that there needs to be an increase in private investment and that is already on its way and various forms of facilitation and cutting of red tape is happening through Operation Vulindlela and the crisis committee that is set up.
Fourthly, we must enable businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar. Again, we can encourage people to do that. Finally, we must fundamentally transform the electricity sector. So, those are the five points that the President has very transparently put to the country, Chairperson. We did exactly what Mr Cachalia is suggesting as far as the leader of
the opposition’s surprise visit as he calls it to Kusile this morning is concerned. [Inaudible.] ... applied the National Key Points Act. I will come back and ... [Time expired.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, hon Chairperson. Minister, I see you say that you managed to find 50 million litres. My concern first of all is that Eskom appears to be using 9 million litres a day or an average of 3,3 million litres a day, which if you divide this perhaps about 16 days of diesel. Added to that is the fact that our refineries have all shut down. What would happen if we do not have enough supply of diesel in the country? Can you guarantee us that we will still have an uninterrupted supply of energy given the fact that we might be experiencing not only a funds crisis but also a supply problem in the country as far as diesel is concerned? Thank you, Minister.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon member, it is very clear and we have an indication this morning of that, that Eskom is the biggest customer that PetroSA has in addition to certain other state entities. Secondly, that once we have the funding pipeline sorted out with the Treasury, we can get the supply pipeline arranged as well. Thirdly, PetroSA and my colleague there, Mr Mantashe, will ensure that they have
sufficient supplies available at all times. Again, based on the consumption that Eskom engages in and, of course, the level of consumption that Eskom has will depend on the level of breakdowns that they experience.
In fact, cutting down on the number of breakdowns and give more consistency in terms of plant performance and do the right things at the power stations then we will ensure that we don’t need what Mr Cachalia calls the black star facility which does exist and we have said that before, Chairperson, on this platform. However, if you don’t want to hear something, of course, you won’t hear it. So, hon member, we will do our best to make sure that the supply pipeline remains in place at an adequate level to meet the requirements of Esom. Thank you.
Mr S M JAFTA: Thank you, hon Chair. Hon Minister, considering the ... [Inaudible.] ... constraints confronting Eskom which not only hinder its ability to purchase diesel in order to run some of its plants but also its potential to attract foreign direct investment, is it not time to list Eskom either partially or in full on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in order to raise capital and possibly positive returns which in turn will empower the utility company to sustainably invest in
long term acquisition of generation enhancing products like diesel? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, hon Jafta, for your question. There is no doubt that there are capital constraints. However, what we are trying to ensure through the board and as Eskom management is to make sure that there is enough cash in the system to undertake some other maintenance work that requires to be done and done on a value for money basis. Increasing a watchful eye need to be kept on that.
Secondly, there is no doubt that electricity crisis means that business suffers and as a consequence jobs might suffer as well.
So, the stability that we have asked of the board, the management and the managers of power stations is absolutely crucial for the future of the country and the future of the economy. As we go through the separation process and the so- called unbundling of Eskom we will be able to consider the question of listing as you put it for perhaps the transmission entity but that might take another six to 12 months for us to begin to consider and get the appropriate advice and ensure that we have the long term capital flow as you have actually indicated. So, those are interesting thoughts and we thank you
for that and certainly that is within the radar screen that we have in mind once we get over either the crisis would be some of the restructuring processes that Eskom is going through.
Thank you, Chair.
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Thank you very much, hon Chair. We have spent about R12 billion on diesel to date as South Africa has been promised billions of investment capital into development of South Africa’s energy sector. This money is committed particularly to South African transition to cleaner energy sources. Despite these we are unable to keep the lights on presently.
Why the Minister and his department has considered the potential use of some of these funds to purchase biodiesel which would align with our commitments to cleaner energy sources and allow us to ensure electricity supply for South Africans. If not, why not? If so, what is the position in this regard? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon Buthelezi’s emphasis on cleaner energy sources is an important one that is within the government policy framework into the future and there is no doubt that renewables as part of the generation machinery
in South Africa will play an important role. Equally important is going to be the kind of investment that the private sector puts into renewable energy and there is no doubt that billions of rands currently being invested both on land that has been auctioned by Eskom itself around its power stations but also elsewhere in the country where the private sector is welcome to invest.
Chairperson, as I pointed out earlier on as a result of the instructions we got from the President on the 25 July, a lot of the red tape has been cut, a lot of the time taken for approvals of one kind or another from different regulators is also being cut. It is something that we need to reconsider which is the biodiesel issue. When last it was looked at, it required a subsidy from the state.
However, Chair, this is a matter that the Minister of Trade Industry and Competition and the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy will be looking into as alternate sources of potential energy as well. Of course, the cost factor and the subsidy factor needs to be taken into account. So, if I round up, Chair, in respect of this question money is being found; diesel will be made available; plans will be enhanced in terms of stabilising generations and the less grandstanding we have
the better. Once again, I want to make the appeal that I have made before in this Chamber which is: Let us not use the electricity crisis as a political football, let us put our thoughts and ideas together and they to go beyond just some of the things that we are talking about at the moment nor should we create a frightening environment in South Africa unnecessarily because there is a black star facility. We have said that before in this particular context.
To the leader of the opposition, my call to him this morning was merely a courtesy to say: Can I facilitate this rather than you enforcing yourself at the gates of Kusile. Of course, he turned that down. Nevertheless, I will continue to approach him so that they receive a proper briefing because clearly his representatives in this Chamber and in the committee are not doing their job. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Hon House Chair, I
would like to respond to the question that has been asked by the hon. Firstly, just to explain one thing, unfortunately having to comply with the copier, we cannot publish the individual’s names, the names of the individuals that are beneficiaries of the programmes that we are running. In this
context I am talking about KwaZulu-Natal flood relief scheme including the Covid-19 Relief Fund. We have managed to support about 1 497 small, medium and micro-sized enterprises, SMMEs through Small Enterprise Finance Agency, Sefa, for the Covid-
19 with a total of R360 million that was disbursed.
From the Sefa side we have managed to support for the floods
145 SMMEs in KwaZulu-Natal which talks to a R50 million that we had aside for formal businesses and R10 million for informal businesses. Thank you, hon House Chair.
Mr J N DE VILLIERS: Hon House Chair, Minister would you not agree that keeping the names of these beneficiaries sealed actually owed it a bit and assist potential corruption in your own department? This is especially government officials who have possibly channelled funds illegally to themselves, their families and their cronies like we saw with the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa Relief Grant payment. Would making the names and identities of these beneficiaries of these relief funds paid for by the taxpayer’s money known to the public not assist the Minister to identify corruption in her own right?
Also, the opposite, if she insists on hiding the names on public would this not help cover up any corrupt activities in her department? Thank you, Chair.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: House Chair,
indeed, if we were refusing to provide the information to the hon members we would be colluding with potential corrupt elements. I am responding to the question that talks about publishing the names publicly. It is an Act that has been passed by Parliament. We can provide information to the hon members because they have taken an Oath of Parliament and we are confident that they will protect whatever that needs to be protected. Unfortunately, we cannot be in breach.
The information of all the beneficiaries, addresses and all of that can be provided to the House anytime the members or Parliament dictates so. What we are cautioning against is what the question asks in relation to us providing a data for publishing for the public. With all due respect, we cannot do that because we will be breaking the law. Thank you, House Chair.
Ms K B TLHOMELANG: Hon House Chair, hon Minister, in what ways did the enterprises benefit from the Covid-19 Debt Relief Fund and the KwaZulu Natal Flood Relief Scheme given the copier Act, how will we ensure greater accountability and transparency of government beneficiaries demonstrating that
the ANC-led government cares about the people? I thank you, House Chair.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Hon House Chair,
the enterprises benefitted on a nonfinancial support wherein we provided equipment and of course others got the financial support as I gave the numbers in terms of the R360 million that we disbursed during the Covid-19 period. As I indicated earlier, the hon members can get the list and addresses of the beneficiaries for them to be able to provide oversight. What we are saying is, we cannot publish the list to the public.
The list is available for parliamentarians who are expected to do their oversight work. We will provide the list to Parliament. Thank you, House Chair.
Ms B MATHULELWA: Hon House Chair, Minister, we know that many of the beneficiaries of the Covid-19 Debt Relief Fund were white businesses and that very few informal black businesses got any form of assistance. We know that black businesses in particular rural provinces such as the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu- Natal, Limpopo and others are still struggling to bounce back from the Covid-19 devastation. What have you done, Minister, to ensure that intervention aimed at small businesses do reach
out to the rural informal sector particularly that which is led by black people. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Hon House Chair,
it is not true that the people who benefitted are only white people in terms of the support we provided. I will provide, again, the list to the Members of Parliament so that they can see that there were black enterprises that benefitted ... [Connectivity disturbances.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Sorry, hon Minister, hon Kwankwa ...
... vala Baba.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Hon House Chair,
we are engaging with local municipalities in each and every municipality. Our services are found in the Local economic development, Led offices. You can go to the Small Enterprise Development Agency, Seda offices if you have them, even if you do not have, which we know that there are Led offices in each and every municipality. Interested parties submit their
applications in order for them to enjoy the benefits they are supposed to enjoy.
Of course, we are running townships and rural enterprises programme which specifically targets enterprises in those areas but, again, as we do this, we are cutting across all the services or products that we are rendering House Chair. It is not true that we exclude townships and rural services. Of course, one can then complain about the quality of the applications if we are talking about the intake of the services that we are talking about. Yes, we are still receiving very few applications that with the criterion which is why we have dispersed our team to go and conduct training and workshops in the rural areas where our enterprises are published. Thank you, hon Chair.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Hon House Chair ...
... Nkosazana, gxebe, Mphathiswa, naku ukwenzeka, ingxaki esiye sibenayo thina, urhulumente xa esiza nezi zinto nokuba ungathi ...
... Debt Relief Fund or Loan Guarantee Schemes ...
... ebezizama ukunceda abantu ngexesha leCovid-19 kukuba zikhona iinkampani eziye zathatha iimali ezi, ntonje zaqhubeka zibadenda abantu bakuthi, baphelelwa ngumsebenzi nangona urhulumente ebezama ukukhusela imisebenzi yabo. Ingaba kulena imali eniyikhuphileyo, niqinisekisile ukuba la mashishini asakhasayo, ingakumbi la angathi abukhula, awabadendanga abasebenzi kusini na emveni kokuba bezuze uncedo lukarhulumente? Ukuba kunjalo, lithini icebo? Enkosi.
UMPHATHISWA WOPHUHLISO LWAMASHISHINI ASAKHASAYO: Sihlalo
weNdlu, ohloniphekileyo uKwankwa unyanisile, eneneni ziyenzeka ezi zinto azithethayo. Yiyo lento xa sigqiba kunikezela ngemali ...
... we also provide with post investment support.
Nalapho siyaqwalasela kuba injongo yokuba urhulumente afake ezi mali kukuba abantu bangadendwa emisebenzini yabo. Kodwa ke, ukuba mhlawumbi ohloniphekileyo unalo ulwazi oluthe vetshe
ngokwenzekileyo, singakuvuyela kakhulu ukuba asinike inkcazelo khona ukuze sikwazi ukuba siyilandelele loo nyewe. La mashishini aphaya ekuhlaleni nabantu. Yiyo lento sisithi sisebenza nabantu kunye namagosa ethu e-Seda ne-Sefa kwaye ngawo athe gqolo ukukhangela ukuba la mashishini asa hamba kakuhle kusini na. Okwethu akukokuthumela imali kuphela, koko kukuqinisekisa ukuba la mashishini ayaphila ixesha elide, angafi, ukuze akwazi ukudala amathuba omsebenzi njengoko iSicwangciso soPhuhliso lweSizwe sisiyalela. Enkosi, Sihlalo weNdlu.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, House
Chairperson. The response is as follows, this is ... [Inaudible.] ... regarding the validity of the contract for fuel oil between Eskom and Econ Oil, a company. The ... [Inaudible.] ...found that a contract existed between the parties Eskom opposes finding and referred the matter to arbitration. Eskom also launched an application at the High Court on the 29th of July 2021, to review and set aside the tender award. On 29 June 2021, the South Gauteng High Court presiding over Judge Vally reviewed and set aside the tender of October 2019, and awarded costs against Econ Oil. The court further ruled that no contract was concluded between Eskom and
Econ Oil for the supply of oil for a period of five years commencing October 2019. On 15 July 2021, Econ Oil brought an application for leave to appeal against Judge Vally’s judgement to the Supreme Court of Appeal ... [Inaudible.] ... full bench of the High Court.
The ground raised in favour of leave of, specifically included Judge Vally’s reliance on the confirmatory affidavit by Mr Hewu which tender ... [Inaudible.] ... not to have been provided. On 22 July 2021, the High Court dismissed Econ Oils application for leave to appeal. On 28 August 2021, Econ Oil brought an application for leave to appeal directly to the Supreme Court of Appeals. Again, the grounds raised in favour of leave specifically included Judge Vally’s reliance and a confirmatory affidavit by Mr Hewu which as I said earlier had not been provided. On 25th October 2021, the Supreme Court of Appeal, SCA, dismissed Econ Oil’s application for leave to appeal on the ground that, and I quote:
There’s no reasonable prospect of success in an appeal and there’s no other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard.
On 18 November 2021, Econ Oil applied to the SCA Judge President for reconsideration of the dismissal of the applications. On the 28th of January 2022, the SCA dismissed Econ Oil’s application. This matter has the evident from the above has been ventilated and numerous legal platforms clearly indicating that the alleged error made by Judge Vally in his judgement has no material bearing on the judgement. Eskom respects the decisions of the High Court and the SCA and will abide by those rulings. In December 2020, Eskom received the forensic report on the quantification of possible overcharging by Econ Oil in the amount of approximately R1,2 billion over the five-year period, that is 2012 to 2017.
On 17 December 2020, Eskom instituted an arbitration proceedings against Econ Oil to recover the sum of money. The findings of multiple forensic reports confirmed allegations of unethical conduct between Econ Oil and a former Eskom employee as well as reasonable suspicion of fraud and corruptions and significantly overcharging of Eskom by Econ Oil as indicated above. As required in terms of the prevention and combating of corrupt activities act, Eskom has reported the alleged fraud and corruption to law enforcement agencies. Finally, having regard to the serious allegations of fraud and corruption the current arbitration proceedings to recover over a billion rand
due to overcharging and a court vindications of Eskom’s decision to cancel the bad document call 4786. Eskom is within its rights to cease business with Econ Oil. We must assure the South African public that Eskom is committed to acting in a fair and equitable manner and is followed due process in reaching a decision to deregister Econ Oil from its supplier base. Thank you, House Chairperson.
Ms R N KOMANE: Thank you very much, hon Komane will take the question. Minister, the chief executive officer, CEO, came to us as Members of Parliament who sit in the Public Enterprise committee and we had to listen to very traumatic experience of how you deliberately collapse the thriving company owned by a black woman just to make way for company owned by Investec because of your daughter. We know that FFC replacing Econ Oil is owned by Investec. We also know that there is a racist agenda at Eskom to purge black executives. A black chief procurement officer was replaced by an Indian, black head of international audit was replaced by an Indian, black executive in Eskom Treasury was replaced by a white man, a black woman executive in commercial was replaced by a white male. There are many of these positions. Why is Asea Brown Boveri, ABB, not been deregisters if we are dealing with the corruption as a principle of matter? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: House Chairperson, hon Komane is overstepping her mark by making personal references to my family. My family has nothing to do with an oil and has nothing to do with Eskom and has nothing to do with collapsing or any firms. I gave all the detailed information in my initial answer so that we can make up our minds that this regrettably was a firm that has engaged in some form of corruption it would seem that this firm owes Eskom
R1,2 billion as a consequence of malfeasance between 2012 and 2017. Therefore, whether you are Indian, African, and Coloured whether your IsiZulu speaking or any other language in South Africa, we are all South Africans. All South Africans are entitled to do business, all black South Africans are entitled to have the privileges that what would eventually become the procurement act initiated by the Treasury, becomes law in South Africa and all black South Africans need to be empowered in order to ensure that they have a first stake in the economy of this country. As far as ABB is concerned I don’t have the reasons before me, safe to say that they supply important equipment it would appear to Eskom. However, if there’s a separate question in this particular regard, I will get the details as well. But, there are other firms like McKinsey & Company, like Bain & Company, like some of the other accounting firms that were involved. We have all been either
blacklisted or have been told that the interviews with Eskom will not do any business with them. Making personal attacks it’s not keeping with the decorum of this forum. Thank you, House Chairperson.
Ms O M C MAOTWE: No, Minister, it’s a fact. Minister, it’s a fact that your daughter is involved in Investec, it’s a fact.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: My daughter has been in Investec for years.
Ms O M C MAOTWE: It’s a fact, and it’s also a fact that you are replacing black executive with Indians at Eskom. It’s a fact, Minister.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Information and communications technology, ICT, could you please remove that member.
Ms O M C MAOTWE: I don’t care you can remove me, but the fact remains. It is truth, House Chairperson, you can ...
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Since when do you speak the truth?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Please, remove that member. The second supplementary question will be ... [Interjections.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Hon House Chair, can you please note me, on a point of order. But, you can’t just remove members, House Chair. You ought to have given the hon Maotwe first a warning, to just blindly just remove a person like that, it’s not following the rules. Don’t do that, please, I’m pleading with you. I’m a Whip and I’m pleading with you, don’t do that to my members.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Thank you, hon Ntlangwini. Your advice is taken, but not adhered to because the member knows the rules. The second supplementary question will be asked by the hon Phiri.
Ms C M PHIRI: Thank you, House Chair. South Africa belongs to all who live in it, be it black or white. We can’t be entertaining issues of national importance with issues of race tendencies. However, nevertheless, House Chair, through you to hon Minister, since the CEO and the board of Eskom are committed to protect Eskom financials and operational interests from corrupt elements as evident by the utility
successful challenges to scrap the multibillion rand contract with fuel oil supplier of Econ Oil. My question is that has Eskom implemented as a consequence management to hold the implicated employees to account for contravening key provisions of procurement regulations in awarding the multibillion rand contract to Econ Oil, and what are the implications for scrapping fuel oil contracts given that Eskom relies on fuel depends on open cycle gas turbines to match the peak demands. I thank you, House Chair.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: House Chairperson and hon Phiri, South Africa does, indeed, belong to all who live in it black and white. Therefore, that is a principle that many of us have lived for, and we are willing to die for, and still willing to die for - just for the statement of facts. As far as consequence management is concerned there are any number of employees, hon Phiri, who have been suspended or dismissed or gone through disciplinary processes or left of their own accord with as is often happens post the state capture period itself because they knew that they would actually get into trouble in this particular regard. I don’t have information on this particular individual that was involved in collaborating with this company or any other company for that matter.
However, I assume that the appropriate consequence management steps were, in fact, taken. I can obtain that information, House Chairperson, and make sure that hon Phiri has access to it in due course. However, what we should be all agreed on, there shall be zero tolerance for corruption whatever source it comes from and as we all live by that and act in terms of the South Africa will be a much better country and will leave a better South Africa for future generations. Thank you.
Mr G K Y CACHALIA: Thank you, House Chairperson. Given the crisis at Eskom the huge cost to the economy in the DA’s long- standing call for the removal that has assisted fraud and corruption at the Ministers referred to such as black economic empowerment, BEE, cadre deployment localisation and preferential employment that would give Eskom’s executives and board a free hand to fix plants that help close our gap in generation. Will the Minister now agree with us notwithstanding in having ... [Inaudible.] ... invoking the necessary act and will bid at one minute to midnight better late than never has they say? And will you assume full responsibility in the event of continued and increased load shedding and tender his resignation in the absence of having introduce this lights saving measures? In this regard, what
timeframe would you deem reasonable one year, two years, five years 20 years, or never mind 2024 is coming.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, House
Chairperson. 2024 is, indeed, coming and let’s wait for it and then we’ll see what happens in 2024. If you think hon Cachalia you will be a Cabinet Minister then as you’ve had many other similar aspirations prepare yourself for disappointment.
However, secondly, House Chairperson, BEE and black empowerment and ensuring that this is broad-based empowerment and empowers the involvement of black people who’ve been excluded from the economy. I’d like to understand what the political party that is represented by Mr Cachalia has to say about involving historically excluded communities in the economy of South Africa, are they opposing that they should tell the South African public that they are truly oppose to it.
Secondly, Mr Cachalia knows in as much as he doesn’t operate anything in Ekurhuleni on any other places where involved in I don’t operate the power stations. What we have to make sure is that we have the right board, we have the right management and do not doing the right things, take the steps that will be necessary in order to ensure that the plant is actually fixed.
Lastly, House Chairperson, this problem has been accumulating over many years before my time, we take the onus of doing the best we can doing the current term of office to put Eskom on a much better footing where it has been before. I certainly do hope that the involvement of the private sector that the investment that is happening thorough the private sector and the initiatives that we have seen from Eskom itself and the general initiative from government as a whole as initiated by the President will begin to have an impact in 2023, and we will see a much more stable environment in that particular regard.
Of course, in order to get there we need to ensure that every corrupt element both outside of Eskom and inside of Eskom is dealt with by law enforcement agencies and they find themselves behind bars. That’s what Mr Cachalia and other should be joining us in doing identifying individuals and companies that do engage and undermining Eskom. Instead, we have all sorts of rhetoric that ... [Inaudible.] ... no contribution towards a better performing Eskom at the end of the day. Thank you.
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Thank you very much, hon House Chair. Considering that Eskom has had issues with caring over of a
legacy contract of the same nature and noncompliance to Public Finance Management Act. What is your department doing to ensure that effective measures are implemented to recover monies awarded to suppliers irregularly and to improve their audit controls? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: House Chair, the first step of this issue is to have a board with chairs and effective audit committee which I believe we do now and the previous board has try its best in its time as well. Secondly, we need to ensure as Eskom has begun ensuring since the time of the late Jabu Mabuza when he was chairperson of the board that they will be consequence management on those who’ve been engaging in malfeasance or one kind or another including violation of the Public Finance Management Act and a number of people as I indicated earlier have either left or have been charged and as you know the National Prosecuting Authority and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, DPIC, or the Hawks as we know them have done some work in this regard as well. I certainly believe that work can be intensified so that more of the culprits who have contributed to some of these problems actually find themselves in difficulty in an appropriate way with the law enforcement agencies.
Similarly, there has been financial recovery from ABB which aforementioned earlier on from Deloitte from McKinsey & Company and a number of other firms that have ... [Inaudible.]
... to some of the difficulties that they have engaged in, that has a created the problems for Eskom itself. Therefore, that process will continue, House Chairperson, so that we hold businesses accountable but we hold employees accountable as well. I still think that there’s a ... [Inaudible.] ... from what I hear of corrupt people who are within the Eskom system and I want to use this platform to warn them that they must desist from the kind of activities that they are engaging in which is undermining the country as a whole and that sooner or later they will be caught and they will find themselves in difficulty with law enforcement as well. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, Chairperson. Thanks to hon Gumede for the question. Let me respond as follows. Over the past few years the Department of Public Enterprises has taken many steps to overcome the negative impacts of state capture. However, the lack of operational capital has been a major constraint as has been the passive resistance, if you like, of individuals implicated in state capture but are still within Denel’s field. As a result, the
entity has experienced a substantial decline in operational activity which had a negative impact on the entity itself which is struggling during that period to meet its contractual obligations, both to the SA National Defence Force and to other contractors as well.
This entity has to contest a number of legal actions by aggrieved employees, suppliers and customers during that time in order to fend them off and keep the entity going.
Nonetheless, many crucial steps have been taken to restore the operations and reputation of Denel both by the board and by the shareholders. Firstly, we have obtained the approval and support for Denel to proceed with the amendment of the Denel Medical Benefit Trust. This unlock to over R990 million in July 2022 which had enabled the entity to settle outstanding salary payments, pay critical suppliers and ensure that there are other statutory obligations that that they can meet.
Secondly, facilitating the strategic engagements between Denel and other state-owned enterprises, SOEs, and other relevant organs of the state to explore collaborations in terms of improving their capabilities where also purchasing their requirements from Denel itself.
Thirdly, the appointment of the chief restructuring officer in June 2022 by the board. The chief restructuring officer, CRO, was instrumental in the development of the restructuring plan which has been approved by the board and submitted to the shareholders in July 2022. The bushiness case in the restructuring plan was one of the reasons that enabled the Minister of Finance to allocate R3,4 billion as a capital injection as part of the special appropriation recently announced during the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS.
Fourth, the 2022 Africa Aerospace and Defence which was held in Pretoria between 21 and 23 September, afforded Denel the opportunity to engage in communicate government strategic intent regarding Denel itself with both local and international stakeholders. The conformation by the Minister of Finance soon after this exhibition helped to reinforce the message.
Fifth, there is a normalisation of relationship with the local users. To this effect Denel and Armscor have signed a memorandum of understanding, MoU, which amongst other things, formalise the commitment to unlock key programmes, support and
recovering market opportunities and intellectual property exploitations at a better level than they have done before.
Sixth, on export Denel is implementing a focus plan to restore its reputation. Internally, Denel is consulting with its employees on a new direction it wishes to take.
In respect of the second part of the question, the
R3,4 billion allocation is divided according to specific obligations which makes possible for Denel to track the deployment and utilisation of the financial resources and enable the Department of Public Enterprises to do the same. For example, one of the conditions is that the funding for the legacy obligations must be ring-fenced and used specifically and exclusively to settle the legacy gap. Secondly, the department already has mechanisms in place which include directly as one of the board and executive management and the CRO to account on the financial indicators, operations performance and implementation of strategic initiatives.
Thirdly, in addition, one of the conditions that tells to the allocations is that there should be a multidepartmental oversight team and such a team will meet monthly to evaluate progress that Denel is making. Fourthly [Time expired.]
Mr S N GUMEDE: Thank you, Chair. Thank you, Minister. It goes clear that Denel is a very capable entity. Since Denel’s turnaround strategy includes establishing partnerships and joint ventures for accessing market, funding and technology even though the government funding is the one that provides working capital to execute the turnaround strategy while does the sustainability of Denel hinges on partnerships and joint ventures, what will it take Denel to address its current challenges to return to profitability as a state-owned company without partnerships and joint ventures?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, Chairperson and thanks to hon Gumede. Clearly, where we are at the moment Denel has the minimum resources it needs in order to meet some of its debt requirements and also to provide working capital for itself in order to execute somewhere between R12 billion and R15 billion worth of orders that it potentially has today.
The key to regaining its reputation and place in the defence marketplace is going to depend not just on words and public relations, PR, exercise, but on its ability to execute these contracts efficiently. In executing those contracts it has to gets its operational machinery in check. That will ultimately take it to the profitability stage within the next two years
or so if all the right things are done. Our job together with the board is to make sure that their job is in fact done as the state has now provided them with some capital.
Where appropriate Denel is also an integrator of systems. It is not an originator of every part of that system. To that extent, there is a wide network of connectivity between Denel itself and other players within the defence industries which also depend upon Denel for various types of orders, equipments and parts to be provided which Denel integrates into bigger systems, if you want to put it in that way. It is then able to on sale those equipments to different customers including within South Africa itself. Those partnerships are going to be crucial to revitalise, reinvigorate and to ensure at the same time that new sets of efficiency and operational performance must be introduced within Denel itself. The pedestrian pace that we think was happening until now must change so that Denel can prove to both Parliament and the state on the one hand and also to its customers on the other hand that it has the ability to deliver the orders it receives. In that way it will regain the respect in the market place as well. Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr G K Y CACHALIA: Chair, in view of the suspension of Denel’s bonds in February 2022 from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, JSE, rattling bondholders, over its failure to submit annual results for the 20201 financial year which bridges JSE’s debt listings requirements that stipulates that state-owned companies must submit their annual statements within seven months of the financial year end, and Denel’s currently due accounts are still missing in action. Will the Minister unequivocally support the DA’s Private Member’s Bill that seeks to provide for an additional cohesive measures in instance where the executives fail to table annual financial statements in the National Assembly? If not, why not? Surely, any responsible person encouraging oversight would agree would it be a Minister or but his got formia hon Steenhuisen in Kusile.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Chairperson, Mr Cachalia now comes to be himself. We are putting him. But, Chairperson, let’s get to the substance of the matter. In many of the SOEs we have different levels of chaos, if you like, and orderliness as far as availability of documents and the putting together of financial statements is concerned. Each entity is asked through its board to ensure that it fix up its processes. We all know that they are trying to reconstruct
past financials. It is a difficult exercise particularly when people who were there have left and have left behind the mess of one sort or another. Depending on what those cohesive measures are, I hope that doesn’t mean that people must get into the boxing ring with hon Cachalia.
Certainly, there is room to ensure that. Firstly, we all understand that there are difficulties, and they are very real difficulties. Secondly, whether it is laxity there should adequate penalties and consequences for that. Thirdly, if this involves any malfeasance of any sort then there are enough laws in our books in order for people to be taken to task for the malfeasance that they have engaged in. Thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, Chairperson. Minister, first of all, can you tell us, is Denel is still a state-owned company? There is a lot of reports going around that Denel was sold.
Just provide us with clarity. More importantly, have you conducted a comprehensive study of everything that you will need to turn Denel around again and make it the success and pride that it was once in this beautiful country? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Chairperson, I can assure hon Emam that Denel remains within the state fold. The
government as a shareholder owns 100% of Denel except for those subentities within Denel that we have disposed over at some stage. In those instances they are partnership, for example, Rheinmetall Denel Munition which operates from Somerset West. These are partnerships with different types of arrangements. Essentially, Denel still belong to the state.
Secondly, yes, there have been many number of studies. Firstly, what is changing in the defense marketplace; secondly, the kind of technological advances that have been made within this particular industry; and thirdly, what will it take Denel in order to be in a position to catch up with the technological development in the world so that its products are marketable and that its products are going to have a market within which to serve and those particular products as well.
I think the key elements are certainly there. Now they have to get on with the job of restructuring on the hand. Secondly, they get on with the job of complying with the conditions set by the National Treasury and government as a whole. Thirdly, they have to get on with the job of getting the production machinery, both within Denel and amongst its partners, moving again so that it can produce the goods that can meet the
orders that already are lining at Denel’s doorstep - those that it has to comply with. Thank you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Hon Minister, the inability of some of these SOEs to submit annual financial statements has a tendency of undermining the ability of Parliament to play financial oversight over the work of these entities. Given this challenge and this limitation, are you then as a department as we play oversight over Denel and to ensure that it meets the stringent conditions, able to over the medium-term make sure that you provide these institutions with credible management account information so that we are able to make sure that we hold Denel accountable for the resources given to it and other institutions and SOEs of government? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, Chairperson and thank you to hon Kwankwa. Accountability to Parliament is a crucial element both in terms of the constitutional requirements of the executive on the one hand and of the entities that report to an executive on the other hand.
Secondly, we must do everything possible to ensure that you have the information that you need in order to play the
oversight role and to critic what might not be happening at an adequate level in your view. Thirdly, I certainly give you an assurance that everything possible is being done. But I will take the responsibility of once again checking on whether holdups are in certain entities and direct officials within the Department of Public Enterprises to make their presence known in these entities and to speed up the processes that will ensure that you receive credible information that you require in order to do the oversight role that you have responsibility for. Thank you very much for urging us on this.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon members, can I please have your attention. During questions to the Ministers in the Peace and Security cluster on 27 October 2022, hon Ntlangwini rose on a point of order and submitted that hon Ramolobeng’s supplementary question to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services was out of order because it was a new question.
I ruled that it is up to the discretion of the Minister to reply or not. Hon Ntlangwini rose on a point of order again amidst interjections from the other members of the House and pointed at the ANC benches and said, and I quote:
I don’t know why that idiot is still talking out there because I am standing here. I don’t know why a person just comes up and wants to speak. She wants to look relevant somewhere where she is, and she thinks we are in a beer hall.
At this point hon Radebe rose on a point of order and submitted that hon Ntlangwini had used unparliamentary language by referring to a member who spoke earlier by unpalatable term which is, idiot. I advised the House that I will consult the Hansard and return with a ruling.
Having had the opportunity to consult Hansard, I rule as follows. The Rules of the National Assembly, Rule 82, provides that members must refer to one another in respectful terms and may not use any name to impugn the dignity of any member. In the same Rules of the National Assembly, Rule 84, provides that members may not use offensive, abusive, insulting, disrespectful, unbecoming or unparliamentary words or
language. Furthermore, Rules of the National Assembly, Rule 85, provides that no member may cast personal reflections upon a member’s integrity or dignity or verbally abusing a member in any other way.
Hon members, Hansard reflects that hon Ntlangwini did not direct her remarks to hon Papo, but to hon Phiri who interjected from the virtual platform. Accordingly, having found that hon Ntlangwini referred to hon Phiri as an idiot, and that such remarks falls short of the conduct expected from an hon Member of Parliament as provided by Rules 82, 84 and 85 respectively, I call upon the hon Ntlangwini to withdraw the remark. Hon Ntlangwini, please withdraw the word idiot in reference to the member of the House. Hon Ntlangwini is on virtual. Hon Ntlangwini! Apparently hon Ntlangwini is no longer available. Her mic is off, but the ruling stands. I hope we will make a follow up on this so that she is able to withdraw the remark.
Hon members, shall we continue!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): Hon House Chairperson, the question is: What is it that
we are doing as the department through our National Empowerment Fund and Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, in making sure that we provide financial support to small and medium enterprises under the jurisdiction of industrial parks located in the rural and township areas?
I will start with the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, about what is it we are doing. We know that the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC ... [Interjections.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: On a point of order?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, hon member, what is the point of order?
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Hon House Chairperson, I do not know, am I late because I was load sheded when the House Chairperson was making a ruling on my name. So, I missed the in-between the House sitting. So, I do not know what am I standing to do? Do I wait till he presides over the House again or what do I do?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, an arrangement will be made when the hon Ntombela chairs the
session again. That will now be done at a later stage. He has just vacated the seat.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Thank you, House Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you.
Hon Deputy Minister, please continue.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): Thank you, House Chairperson.
I was still saying the IDC funding instrument and mechanism cuts across all geographical areas and accommodate various sizes of enterprises with an aim of promoting industrial capacity in the country.
The IDC provides catalytic funding to support the social and solidarity economy which includes, co-operatives, social
enterprises, as well as worker and community empowerment models to take advantage of opportunities.
We are also seeing that the IDC’s strategically located in all the regional and having satellite offices in all the provinces making sure that they provide necessary assistance to small and medium enterprises so that they develop in the areas of rural of rural and township economies.
However, again, the Ministry has just recently established a project management unit known as the Industrial Zones Project, IZP, that has been located within the IDC. This IZP provides, technical and advisory support for infrastructure development, project management, attraction of investors and good governance of the industrial parks.
What the IDC does and I will just cite one or two examples that those industrial parks are the assistance the IDC gives to make sure that Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises, SMMEs, are assisted. The IDC provides financial support to the industrial park tenants or the investors there that fall within their funding mandate. The IDC and the IZP are working together to make sure that there is greater support provided to the industrial parks and their tenants.
What we have also seen the IDC doing, one example, it has established a furnisher industry fund to support entrepreneurs in this space which are typically located within the industrial parks. This fund is expected to benefit the township and the rural economy.
Again, we have seen the IDC developing the township economy flight path, which is the project which will be reviewing industrial hubs to be considered as focus points for SMMEs development across the country.
The IDC in collaboration with the Gauteng provincial government has established a task team to facilitate township and economic development, a pilot focusing on Sedibeng, Soweto and Soshanguve. In this regard, the industrial park upgrading and revitalisation are key strategic trust. We are looking at that to say the revitalisation in all these industrial parks are going to happen in all the provinces and that is what we are working through IDC and that Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.
Again on the side of the National Empowerment Fund, NEF, supports the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition request of increasing the investment and making sure that we
grow the economy when it comes to rural and township economies.
We have seen that to achieve this mandate the NEF has established two specialised funds. The first one is named the Rural Township and Community Development Fund, RTCDF. The second one is called Imbewu Fund.
What the RTCDF is doing is, it was established to provide the financial support enterprises ... [Time expired.]
Mr C N MALEMATJA: Hon House Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, what has been the intervention made by your department in those industrial parks in the townships and rural area to attract youth to the economy?
Mohlomphegi, taba ya bana ba e kweia bohloko kudukudu ka gobane kamoka re a tseba gore ba tsene sekolo. Ba nawo mangwalo ebile ba na le bokgoni. Bontii ba feleletia ba tiea maphelo a bona, mola ba bangwe ba tlala diterata. Ba bangwe ba a tiofala, ba hlagalela ka magae ka lebaka la gore ga ba hwetie moiomo. Ke a leboga.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): Hon House Chairperson, as part of attracting the youth into the economy, what we have done is we have taken to revitalise and modernise the industrial parks. We have partnered with Small Enterprise Development Agency, Seda, to add digital hubs within the industrial parks.
Hon House Chairperson, these digital hubs are the state-of-art incubation hubs for youth innovators, entrepreneurs with business mentors that are there to assist them on daily basis to develop their own businesses, using free facilities installed there like computers. We have free Wi-Fi that is there, boardrooms and mentors that are ever there guided to access the government incentives.
So, it is one area where we are saying when it comes to youth development, we are putting all that we can in making sure that our youth do have all these facilities that can help them to develop their own businesses and play a meaningful role in the growth of the economy of our country. Thank you very much, hon House Chairperson.
Mr F J MULDER: Hon House Chairperson, my question to the hon Deputy Minister would also be to the Minister is that while recognising the real challenge of economic and industrial development in rural areas and underdeveloped provinces, would the hon Deputy Minister consider a study or an alternative approach of local economic development that has already resulted in a successful establishment of a self-respecting community, not relying on a total input from the state that successfully created a sustainable local economy which is sustainable?
This community is of course in the Northern Cape, Orania that already proved to be the developmental community contributing towards economic growth of a larger area. I would be willing to accompany the hon Minister or the hon Deputy Minister on the fact finding visit to Orania. Thank you, hon House Chairperson.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): Hon House Chairperson, though it was not much of a question, but just a comment to say that he can contribute in making sure that we broaden our understanding and knowledge on things that we can do to broaden the issues of rural and township economy.
There is so much that the department is doing. We are undergoing a lot of studies and so many initiatives that we are doing in making sure that when it comes to the issues of rural and township economy, we are there. However, as we always say we are welcoming to whatever contribution and ideas that come as long as those other contributions are going to change the lives of our people for the better. Thank you very much, hon House Chairperson.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, the success of these digital hubs or industrial parks is not limited to money or computers, but also very importantly that they get human resource skills, marketing skills, marketing skills and financial management skills. What is your department doing to ensure that they get these skills? More importantly can you tell us what has been the success rate for all those that you provided funding for? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): Hon House Chairperson, indeed, the success does not lie on the monies and the resources, as the hon member is saying. However, what are we doing to skill them? After these SMMEs have been skilled, what is it that we are doing as the department to make sure that we open up the doors for them to
shade the market doors? That is exactly that is what we are doing. We incubate them, provide those mentors and supply them with all the resources that they need. However, once they get up on their feet giving necessary resources whether financial on nonfinancial, as the hon member was saying.
Another main financial resource that we have and the assistance that we have to give them is to make sure that whatever they produce the markets are there. Whenever they need to trade, we open up for that. The mentorship even there that is nonfinancial is what we give.
I can come up hon Shaik Emam, with a lot of examples where in these digital hubs, we have a young person who has started to manufacture and I can take to one of them that we just launched in Botshabelo in the Free State where you can meet a lot of young people that are very productive on what is being offered in the digital hub. Those are the examples.
We are having a lot of SMMEs that have developed through the digital hubs that we are working together with small business through Seda in those industrial hubs. So really, I would be very glad to invite you and go to one of the digital hub and
you can see the living examples that we are talking about. Thank you very much, House Chairperson.
Mr M E G HENDRICKS: Hon House Chairperson, I am a member of the Small Business Development Portfolio Committee. We have a parliamentary constituency office in King William’s Town.
Thank you, hon Prince for putting this question to the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.
Does the Minister have plans to do anything about the industrial park in Dimbaza near King William’s Town? After serving time for the Sharpeville Massacre, freedom fighters were duped here and now our Minister has dumped the industrial park and we this industrial park in Dimbaza to rise again.
Will the Minister or the Deputy Minister visit the Dimbaza park, in honour of our fighters who died after Sharpeville and revive it to take the fans out of poverty? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): Hon House Chairperson, Dimbaza Industrial Park is one of the industrial parks that are in the pipeline and in the
plans. It is not even that the hon member is saying that he is inviting the Ministry to visit that industrial park. We have been there several times. It is part of our plans to say it is one of the industrial parks that we are going to be revitalising we have started doing that in the name of making sure that the people surrounding that area they do benefit in that industrial park. When we talk to the issue of township and rural economy, we know the meaningful role that that industrial park will be playing.
Indeed, hon member, Dimbaza Industrial Park is one of the industrial parks that are going to be revitalised by the department. Thank you very much, hon House Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Can you hear me hair?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I can hear you now hon Minister, please proceed.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Can you see me?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): We can’t see you, but we can hear you.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: How do I look like? Hon House Chair and hon members, with reference to the SA National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral key nontoll projects directly linked to the ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order hon members! Proceed hon Minister, the members are very excited to see you. [Laughter]
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: With reference to the SA National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral key nontoll projects directly linked to the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, Sanral has made following progress on four key corridors:
1. N2 and Wild Coast corridor estimated at R16 million. Two- time project construction tender adjudication and five- time detailed design construction tender advert 2023-24.
2. N2 Ethekwini corridor estimated at R14 billion. I will spare the details.
3. N3 Ethekwini corridor estimated at R22 million.
4. R573 Moloto corridor estimated at R9,1 billion.
With regard to development of Sanral key toll projects directly linked to the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, Sanral has made the following progress on four key corridors one:
1. N1 North, estimated at R10 billion.
2. N1 South, estimated at R8,5 billion.
3. N2 South and North estimated at R3 billion.
4. N3 Marion Hill, estimated at R4,8 billion. Thank you very much Hose Chair.
Mr L N MANGCU: Minister, thank you very much. Having gone through the debacle of the e-tolling that has just been resolved, and given the report you have just given, what is the split between toll and nontoll roads, in what is being developed in these corridors? This is really because we would not want to see more toll roads being developed. So, what is the split between the toll and nontoll roads? Thank you Chair.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: The split is between R2,3 billion and R2,5 billion nontolling, hon member.
Mr T B MABHENA: Thank you very much House Chairperson. Given the other corridor of R573, how true is it that, this corridor is experiencing severe delays? Secondly, the issue that there have been business forums that have gone in and stopped the project and that; the project itself is going to be going into because of overruns.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I don’t have a report that says the project will go on cost overruns. I gave feedback last week in Mpumalanga that, Moloto corridor designs have been finalised and that the project is ready to start. The board gave me feedback that the service provider. Tendering processes have been finished and the service provider is ready to start.
Thank you very much House Chair.
Ms R N KOMANE: Minister, while we appreciate the role played by Sanral, the entity is not only responsible for 30% of the road network in the country. What is your response to the infrastructure report from the SA Institute of Civil Engineers, which shows that year after year, funding is allocated to roads in good condition and that low volume roads are neglected? While these roads make heavy low volumes of traffic, they are key links to some isolated communities.
Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Sanral is responsible for national roads. In terms of some of the challenges we face in terms of local roads and so on, that is the matter that we are attending to in terms of funding because that relates directly to the capacity of local government to execute. But, from a Sanral point of view, where we undertake a mission of major construction of national roads, we also implement a project of community development projects that linked to different communities in different areas in the country. Thank you very much House Chair.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Chairperson, thank you very much. Minister Mbalula ...
... masize apha eNtshona Koloni. Apha eNtshona Koloni ngumbhodamo kuba abanini beeteksi balwa norhulumente ngenxa ye Blue Dot ekupheliswe imali ebisetyenziswa ...
... to try and professionalise the industry.
Urhulumente wephondo apha nomasipala bathi ingxaki ikurhulumente kazwelonke ongezi namali. Le nto apho iyingxaki khona nanjengoko ingenamsombululi kukuba, ichaphazela abantwana ekubeni bebhala iimviwo, kungakwazi ukuphangeleka nokuya esikolweni ngamandla ezilokishini. Ndifuna ukubuza ke ngoko, njengokuba urhulumente wephondo ethule nithini nina njengorhulumente kazwelonke kuba le nto kubonakala ukuba iyaqhubeka. Ingxaki kukuba asikwazi ukuthula. Siyabulela.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Kwankwa, that sounds like a completely new question that you have asked. But, I will ask the hon Minister to respond. The hon Minister.
UMPHATHISWA WEZOTHUTHO: Lungu elihloniphekileyo uKwankwa, ndicinga ukuba lo mbuzo wakho ngumbuzo omtsha. Into yeBlue Dot ndingayiphendula xa unokundibuza ngenye inldela, hayi namhlanje ukuze ndikucacisele ukuba sizakwenza ntoni ukuncedisana norhulumente wephondo, ukulungisa lo mba weBlue Dot.
Le nto yeBlue Dot yaqala eKapa baza bayikopa ke kwezinye iindawo. Ndiyafuna ukukuphendula kodwa ngumbuzo omtsha kwaye oza kufuna ukuba ndifumane lonke ulwazi neenkcukacha ngalo mba ukuze ndikwazi ukukuphendula kakuhle. Kodwa, ndiyayazi yona
kwaye siza kungenelela ukuncedisana norhulumente wephondo ekulungiseni lo mba weBlue Dot ephondweni.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: House Chair, well the question by hon De Freitas is about the amalgamation, according to our understanding, the process of amalgamation of the two entities that is Brand SA and SA Tourism has not been stopped. The process is ongoing. There is work that is being done by both the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Government Communication and Information System, and we are at an advanced stage in the discussion of these two. So the process has not been stopped as alleged by the member. It is ongoing. Thank you very much.
Mr M S F DE FREITAS: House Chair, for a few weeks now, the committee has been trying to get hold of the Minister to join us in the committee to address this issue and a whole lot of other issues. Her response has been delinquent showing us her middle finger and not attending to the committee. Now the reality is that unfortunately, the Minister's not here, I'm very sorry that she's not because she is not a princess, we don't have a monarchy and in this Republic, she's accountable to the committee and this House. So the committee,
unanimously, was put in a very difficult position to ask her to be summoned to come and subpoenaed to the committee and she hasn't pitched and I see she has done the same today. So it is very disappointing.
What I did want to say is, this is one of the outstanding problems, and what the Deputy Minister is saying is that this process is going on well. How is it then that the Presidency has issued a call for new members of the board of Brand South Africa? Surely if there's an advanced stage, you would not want to call for a new board to be called for this new entity because we are a completely new one with the amalgamation. So if the Deputy Minister could please explain that. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: House Chairperson, no, as I've indicated, the government in January 2020 took a position that there is a need to reorganise and repurpose some of the entities of which Brand SA and SA Tourism became one of those. So the two Ministers were then mandated to go and meet and look at what processes must be done in the context of the mandates, the operating models, the programmes, and the marketing approaches of the two entities with a view of making sure to then come back to the Cabinet and say, what is workable and what is practical. A task team was then
established, composed of the senior officials in the Department of Tourism and the Department of Government Communication and Information System.
The task team worked on the matter, came back to the Minister and indicated that there are three scenarios that can be looked at. One scenario is the merger. The other scenario is either leaving the current situation as it is and then the last scenario was to look at forming strategic partnerships between the two. Finally, this was brought to the attention of the two Ministers to make a decision. Of which a decision was then made that the first scenario was the best scenario for the merger.
So the officials are now working on what modalities because they're established by two different legislations, SA Tourism was established by the Tourism Act of 2014. Brand SA was established by a trust. So you need, therefore, to come up with new legislation. For that to happen, does it mean, therefore, that the two entities must, therefore, not have their boards in the current state? You need to have them proceeding and working until such time that we have got legislation that is put in place to establish one entity.
Thank you very much.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: House Chair, Brand SA has advertised for the recruitment of board members while SA Tourism has just appointed an interim board. This is a clear indication that there is no willingness to merge the two institutions. What are the timelines for this merger, Minister? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: House Chair, well, as I've indicated, the terms of the two boards have come to an end and the process of finalising the merger is still ongoing. So you can't, therefore, sit back and not have boards on both sides. So the boards are there until such time that the legislation is put in place of which a timeframe will be determined by the manner in which all the government processes, including the processes here in the House, will be finalised. Once finalised, then you'll then have to reconstitute a new entity with a board.
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Thank you very much, Chair, Deputy Minister, if for example then the merger happens say next year, having established the board. What then will be the status of these boards after the merger?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: House Chair, isn't it the new legislation, once established, there will be a transitional
arrangement and that transitional arrangement will then determine how we disestablish the two boards of the two entities with the view of them coming with one single entity with one board. Thanks.
Mr I M GROENEWALD: House Chair, 53% of the total budget of the department is going to the entity Tourism South Africa, and a majority of the rest of the 47% is going to assist SMMEs.
There will be a greater demand with the merger between the two, Tourism South Africa and Brand SA. Would the Deputy Minister agree the department could easily be integrated into the Department of Small Business Development, thus dissolving the Ministry of Tourism which will save taxpayers over
R220 million a year? Thank you, House Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: House Chair, well, I'm not sure how that question is related to the question of the merger of SA Tourism and Brand SA because I don't see any relation between the two because small business and whatsoever you're raising is not related to the question at hand. How do you measure tourism with SMMEs? How do you do that because it's not relevant? So I'm not sure what is it that one is expected to respond to because I can't see the relationship between the two.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): House Chair, hon Tshwaku has asked the department to say have we done any assessment on the just transition and to say what impact will it have on the industrial development plans of the Republic? Yes, hon Tshwaku, a number of assessment has been done both for the Presidential Climate Commission and also for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition on the coal value chain, the transition away from coal as well as the opportunities and cost associated with this transition.
A reference can be made to a policy brief for the Presidential Climate Commission, the Just Transition in coal, Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies by Dr Neva Makgetla that was done in September 2021 and also the coal value chain in South Africa that was done in July 2021.
The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition has been leading in the green hydrogen commercialisation approach with the Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, performing the role of Secretariat and Chair of the Green Hydrogen Commercialisation Panel. The panel consist of public and private stakeholders who have contributed to the value chain
development for global competitive green hydrogen economy in South Africa. The five-year pathway of the commercialisation plan is incorporated into the GDP included are 17 projects at various stages of the development which includes mobility, sustainability aviation fuel, green hydrogen, green ammonia and green steel.
The SA Coal, Oil and Gas Company, Sasol, is a key player in the coal value chain with a focus of energy rather than electricity. The green hydrogen economy is a critical decarbonisation pathway for Sasol and other hard to albeit factors. And in addition, the new energy vehicle carbonisation pathway is critical to preserve industrial capabilities and employment in the SA Automotive Sector. Sixty percent of automotive export go to US, UK and European markets. The announcements of these markets of the burning of internal combustion engine vehicles within the next 15 years requires a transition to a new energy vehicle manufacturing in South Africa, which will sustain jobs and economic contributions as well as provide local vehicle capacity to support carbonisation of our transport sector. So, those are some of the assessment and the studies that we are doing is to say what is it that we will be done. Are there any opportunities once we get into this path of just transition? But we know
very well as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition that this is not something that will just happen overnight. We still say we still have space to moderate the cost to the working people of poor is to say what is it that can be done to make sure that the overall economic growth and the quality of life for the people is being sustain. So, those are the assessments. Those are the studies that we are getting into, hon Chairperson, when it comes to the issues of just transition. Thank you very much.
Mr M TSHWAKU: I wanted to say to the Deputy Minister other countries like to the west now they are ramping up the use of the coal but here in South Africa we are saying that we want to do the transition. It’s very weird but in any case in the just transition framework published in July by the President, the Presidential Climate Commission anticipates that the just transition will have a huge impact not only on coal value chain but on agriculture and as well as on motor industry. I think you have alluded to the issue then. But this is going to lead to a massive loss of jobs in areas wherein industries are concentrated. What are the alternative industrial activities that have proven record that you are planning to usher to buffed against the paying of impending job losses? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): Yes, I will agree with hon Tshwako as to say there are jobs that are being threatened by the just transition but at the same time there are a lot of number of job opportunities, new types of jobs that are there as I have said in my initial respond as to say as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition that is exactly what we are looking at. Yes, some of the coal workers would be affected but when it comes to all the new opportunities new kind of work that is going to open the opportunities that are there. That’s exactly where we are saying as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition as we are part of the International Media and Communications Studies, IMCS, with the relevant line departments that are leading when it comes to the issues of energy. We are saying we are looking at the opportunities as to say when it comes to the issues of creating jobs, when it comes to assistance that will be needing to the new companies that will be getting into the new opportunities they find us ready. As the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition we are ready to assist them as I am saying we will always be taking a lead from the line departments as to say where are we. It’s not something that is happening overnight. Those are the opportunities that we are studying and we are ready to take up the opportunities that
comes and we assist our companies to play a meaningful role in the economic growth of our country. Thank you, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): The second supplementary question will be asked by, the hon Cebekhulu.
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: May I take it, hon Chairperson?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, proceed.
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Thank you very much. I would like to ask the Deputy Minister whether her department has conducted any study on the impact of just transition in South Africa mining towns especially those that are mining coal? If not, why? If so if she can provide details on how this will affect the mining communities and industry. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): Hon Chairperson, yes, I think I have responded to this question because that was the initial question to say are there any assessment and studies that we are doing. I even highlighted to say, yes, the department of the Presidency, the Presidential Climate Commission has done the study together with us as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.
Those are the studies that we are doing. It’s exactly what the hon member is saying. It’s a lot of work that we are doing.
Why we are doing that, why we are studying on that is to make sure that as we plan for the future as we get into the transition we are there, we are ready to make sure that we assist our companies in making sure that they are getting to the new mode of what gain when it comes to the issues of just transition.
But I can be happy, I can even share the document if ever the hon member wants me to with him that document as to say what is the assistance, what are the studies that are taking place because I truly believe, hon Chair, it can even assist him to understand more and have more plans from his side to say what is it that is awaiting us as we move towards the just transition as a country. Thank you very much, Chair.
Mr F J MULDER: Hon Deputy Minister, there is a White Consensus that the Just Transition Initiatives should have the potential to address social, economic, environmental and justice concerns. Considering the current positioning and skill levels of the South African economy, Deputy Minister, are you of the opinion that the South African industries and labour force will be able to make the required mind shift? And this is
important one. Hon House Chair, to make a required mind shift and adapt to a new requirement for a new energy environment. Thank you, House Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): Fortunately, what the hon member is raising is not only peculiar to South Africa only but it is a global phenomenon.
We are learning lessons from all over. This is the way that we are heading to and there are so much lessons that we are learning but that is what the country is rolling itself towards. There are so many lessons as I am saying that we are even learning from other countries as to say how do we transit to where we want to. So, it’s one area. Thank you very much for him to raise that but as I can assure him we are on top of it but we are going to be learning lessons as we go fourth and as we are saying we are the department transition even open to the views and the ideas whenever hon members can have such but that is what we are really on top of. Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Mr W M THRING: Hon Deputy Minister, South Africa has some of the largest coal deposits in the rest of the world. This can give us the comparatives as well as the competitive advantage from economics of scale over most of our counterparts.
The ACDP has repeatedly said that beneficiation is one of the most underutilised policies of this government. As we export the bulk of our raw materials and import finished products we cannot do the same with our coal as the European and Asian nations hypocritically buy our coal to supply their coal power fired power stations whiles simultaneously telling us to shut down our coal power stations. Does the Deputy Minister agree that we cannot give away the beneficiation comparative and competitive advantages of using coal as a catalyst for industrialisation and inform this House of credible fact-based and government policy that was used to make the decision of a just transition initiative? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): Hon House Chair, that is a very new question because the original question was to say what is it that we are doing as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition making sure that when it comes to the issues of just transition we do this assessment and studies making sure that when it comes to industrial development what are the plans that we are having for the country.
Yes, as I have said we have the leading departments when it comes to the issues of coal where and when to leave coal and
so forth but as the member is saying, yes, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, we will always be putting our eye on that. We will always be making sure that no jobs are lost when it comes to the issues of transition even when there are lost jobs what is it that comes into play. How are we upskilling the people in making sure that they fit to the new way when we talk to the issues of just transition. So, we are saying as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition its one broad topic. It’s one broad journey that we are all in within the country but as the government as a whole we are working together. I have even mentioned that we sit in the Industrialised Markets Economy Countries (UN) IMEC, where Inter-Ministerial Committees where we look at all those possibilities and say how best can we take our country forward. When we say just transition what is it that we can do so that we don’t crippled the economy. We don’t even have much dent on the high levels of employment that we are having as a country. So, those are all the things that we are taking into consideration as we move towards this just transition. Thanks very much, hon House Chair.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: House Chair, I
would like to respond to the question that has been asked, by
the hon member, in relation to the support that we are giving to small businesses considering the criteria that is very complicated. The department understands the difficulties that our small businesses are facing, whilst they try access finance.
To enable ease access of finance, Skills Initiative for Africa, SIFA, has implemented the automation of its own loan applications process. Through the automated loan application system, small businesses can go anywhere within South Africa and be able to apply for loan funding, using the online system. Which means they do not need to travel to the SIFA offices to apply.
Our blended financing instrument is aimed at lowering the cost of finance for small businesses through a mix of grant funding and loan finance.
Hon members, during the current financial year SIFA is targeting to disburse about R1,3 billion to black-owned enterprises and R601 million to youth-owned enterprises. This will be achieved through the implementation of township and rural enterprises programme as well as through the wholesale lending and cooler credit guarantee home insurance.
All these efforts are complimented by an away of business support services that are provided by the Small Enterprise Development Agency in order to increase and channel the pipeline for SIFA funding. Thank you House Chair.
Mr H G APRIL: Thank you Minister for your response; I would
like to know Minister has new and developing Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, SMMEs, been able to access this funding and if yes, how many of them have been able to access this funding in the past financial year and the current financial year?
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: House Chairperson,
we have supported 6643 SMMEs according to the reports that we’ve got from the agency. Thank you House Chair.
Mr J N DE VILLIERS: House Chair, Minister for SMMEs, for small businesses turnover is just vanity, cash flow is king. So without cash flow and a payment record SMMEs can’t simple successfully apply for any type of finance, be it from SIFA or from private sector. Yet the ANC-led government itself has not managed to pay R4,73 billion owed to businesses by the government within the 30 days specified period of Public Finance Management Act, PFMA.
What is the Minister, being the Minister of Small Business Development doing to ensure that SMMEs that do business with government get paid within the 30 days as prescribed by law? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: House Chair,
indeed the ANC-led government, a caring government ensures that it puts instrument in place, hence we are able to talk about the 30-days payment zone. What we are doing now together with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in
the Presidency and National Treasury, is to get National Treasury to tighten the guidelines, as we know that all the
accounting officers now have the responsibility to ensure that the 30-day payment period is met.
We still experiencing challenges of course as the hon member has said. But now the team are working on tightening whatever
instruments that are there.
We continue as the department to engage all the affected parties from departments to the provincial level to encourage them to pay, because failure to pay on time, it doesn’t only affect the small business but it affects all those that are
relying on the services that are provided by the small business.
We are working on amending the legislation, wherein we will then put an office of an ombud, when we can be able to
therefore say how do you then put punitive ways that must
ensure that small businesses are paid on time. Which emphasizes compliance, but in the meantime we are engaging all
and National Treasury as is working on tightening those regulations. Thank you House Chair.
Ms B MATHULELWA: House Chair, Minister...
... izinto ezingumqobo ekufumaneni uncedo lwezezimali ukuze kuphuhliswe amashishini asakhasayo ziyanda, nakubeni kwenziwe icandelo elikhethekileyo nguMongameli noxa bekungekho mfuneko yako oko. Yintoni enzima ukuyalela amashishini aphantsi korhulumente ukuba enze ntoni kuba la afaka izicelo abhalisiwe? Enkosi Sihlalo.
UMPHATHISWA WOPHUHLISO LWAMASHISHINI ASAKHASAYO: Sihlalo,
ilungu elihloniphekileyo liza kukhumbula ukuba, into ebangele ukuba uMongameli athathe isigqibo sokufaka uMnu Nkosi ojongene
kanye nezi zinto zixaba endleleni ukuze kuphuhle amashishini asakhulayo kukuba, ingxaki ezi sithetha ngazo ...
... are cutting across, for example House Chair, if we are faced with a situation wherein a farmer has access to a lake or a dam but cannot utilize that dam because, one he does not have water rights or a license, it means they must go the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.
If any other small business in the area or any other business in a municipal area, while searching land, there’s a rezoning cost and rezoning processes.
If one wants to trade he must get a permit, all these things they start from local level to national level. Therefore, the President as wise as he is, saw it is important that as we look at these cutting across issues. We need somebody to
co-ordinate all of us and be able from his office as the highest office in the land to give a directive and therefore be able to say, let’s join hands in ensuring that we deal with those.
Yes, red tape is a crisis in our country and this is why collectively as government both at national, provincial and local level as I’ve indicated earlier we are engaging whilst when the process of amending the legislations, how do we sign agreements that must enable small businesses to able to trade. At the centre of it is South Africans that must buy from the local products. Because they are existing businesses that are offering products but South Africans are not supporting them. We urge...
... onke amalungu ahloniphekileyo ukuba baqinisekise ukuba oosomashishini abasakhasayo kwiindawo zabo bayaxhaswa ngokuthi kuthengwe kubo. Naxa besenza imisebenzi emincinci kurhulumente, mabancediswe ngolwazi ekufuneka belufumene.
Sisebenza sisonke ukuqinisekisa ukuba amashishini asakhulayo ayaphuhla, ukuze adale amathuba emisebenzi ezizigidi ezili-11 nanjengoko isitsho ...
... the National Development Plan.
IsiXhosa: Ndiyabulela Sihlalo.
Inkosi B N LUTHULI: House Chair, hon Minister whether in light of this recent relief given to about 45 businesses, whether is in a phase plan to continually support all the business to achieve growth targets and become economic and job contributors to the economy. If no plan exists why not? If so what are the details and timeline of such plans? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: House Chair, with
all the due respect, I will ask the hon member to repeat the question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, will hon Inkosi Ntuli just repeat the question and speak into the microphone please?
Inkosi B N LUTHULI: Whether in light of the recent relief given to about 45 businesses, there’s a phase plan to continually support all the businesses to achieve growth targets and become economic and job contributors to the economy. If no plan exists why not? If so, what are the details of the timelines of such plans? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: House Chair, thank
you to the hon member. Let me first correct this, we did not
support 45 businesses we supported 145 businesses and as part of the support that we provide to businesses all of them, whether they are in a flood crisis or any other crisis. For as long as they are beneficiaries of our programmes, we provide key investment support which is meant to ensure that before we disburse money, the company is ready to be invested in.
The second support that we provide is post investment support. Which is looking at ensuring that the sustainability by the SMMEs that are there. I said earlier the reason we are doing everything to support small businesses is because they have critical role as defined in the National Development Plan.
Now if we not gonna ensure that there’s sustainability, it will mean that by 2030 South Africa will not be able to create the job that we are talking about. Therefore, when we have spent we make sure at least that the jobs are safe and they can also create new ones.
These are the plans that we have, different schemes that we provide to our businesses. The business viability programme, the TRAP that I have mentioned, wholesale and lending for those that are getting tenders or any in business, they purchase order, they go to SIFA and they apply for the funding
and this is why hon members we continue to plead for more budget because the more government says we ask them infrastructure so much, it means there’ lot of SMMEs that require credit guarantee that we must provide to them. And all of these are meant ensure that there’s sustainability. Thank you House Chair.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Chairperson, thank you very much, and good afternoon to you. Transnet subscribes to the government policy, which is to move the transport of most goods from roads to rail. There is no doubt that an excessive number of trucks pose a threat, both to the conditions and the repair of roads, and into the safety and well-being of citizens, whether they are in another vehicle or on the road.
With specific reference to the damage caused by the floods to the rail mode, Transnet Freight Rail, TFR, has been hard at work, right through the day of the floods to repair the damage caused by the KwaZulu-Natal floods in April. So, following is the progress made on some of the areas that has been receiving attention of Transnet. Firstly, the access to Bayhead, which is quite crucial to the removal of containers. This refer
works, if you return to the washed away section of Bayhead road, and was completed in June 2022.
Secondly, alternative road access has been sought and identified, and that is under construction at the moment, and will be completed by 15 December 2022. The state of repair of the one line to Gauteng, this has been opened since 13 June 2022; the second line has been operating between Cato Ridge, in South Cross, since 13 September 2022. There are also severe damages that the hon members and hon Buthelezi would be aware of, towards the South Coast line, part of which are under the control of Prasa.
That bridge repair is going on the following process, on 28 September, the Transnet Freight Rail received and accepted a letter of appointment from Prasa for the Phase 1 portion of the repair to what is called the Illovo Bridge on the South Coast. The delivery date for Phase 1, is the end of January 2023, and the primary deliverables in this phase, is for Prasa to review conceptual designs and selected further options.
This will not release any capacity immediately on the line, and thereafter, Phase 2 would follow, once the stresses are made, where the actual commencement of construction to repair
the bridge will proceed and timelines informed by the selected design.
The reunion section was restored on 1 August 2022, and this has enabled the importance of manufacturing operation of Toyota to the South of Durban, to take their vehicles directly by rail to the port for export purposes. The back of port operations at the Durban Harbour, in this regard, the Bayhead Terminal, has been on operation throughout the period, when the mainline was closed as a results of the floods, it is used for massive evacuation from the port. The clearance of the import containers from the terminal, has become congested during the flood period, and the damages caused.
All these containers that were in the port before the floods have been evacuated or allocated out of the port. The availability of slots on the line between EThekwini and Gauteng, in this particular regard, the slot capacity has been released as from 1 October, and there are still negotiations going on between sections of business who want to utilise these slots and Transnet itself. Thank you, Chairperson.
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Ngiyabonga, Sihlalo ...
... Thank you very much, hon Minister. Minister, with referral to Transnet opening up slots for third parties in attempt to liberalise the rail network, which I believe will actually assist in terms of capacity and efficiency, what measures are there in place, to ensure that it attracts investors, and secondly, considering the fact that, there has been reduction in the maintenance expenditure? Will the Minister not regard as wise to redirect most of government investment in maintenance of the failing network? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, hon Buthelezi. Hon Buthelezi, the structures, I have just indicated, have now been made available, but there’s a bit of dispute about two elements. The first is the timeframe within which the slots are allocated, and the second is, if you like, the voetstoots [as is] condition, that has been attached to the allocation.
So, those are matters that the TFR is currently reviewing.
There is no doubt that the additional capital needs to be found, both within Transnet, and perhaps with partners, in order to upgrade the rail network, and certainly, in respect of importance, export lines, like the all lines that operates in the Northern Cape. But these are matters that Transnet is
looking into, and wherever possible money is being directed towards these maintenance projects.
But as you correctly pointed out, opportunities are also being sought for creative, constructive and mutually acceptable partnerships between Transnet and the various customers who might be actually in this partnerships. So, there are ongoing discussions on that particular regard. Thank you.
Mr N E DLAMINI: Thanks, chair. Hon Minister, in light of the fact that the National Development Plan, NDP, places an integral responsibility on Transnet for the delivery of reliable supply of coal to Eskom and for export, yet, Transnet market share in the movement of domestic freight indicates that really, it’s not an attractive mode of transport.
How will the selling of Transnet slots to third parties enable Transnet to provide efficient and reliable rail services to the movement of domestic freight, including coal, and subsequently, lead to lower costs of rail relative to road? Of course, the Minister will understand that, the current volume of trucks is as a result of the war in Ukraine, and the growth in the mine for coal. But this is going to subside in the next
two years. Can we then respond more along the lines of a long- term plan?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, hon Dlamini. Those are the important question that apply to our logistic system as a coal, and as you have pointed out, the responsibilities that Transnet has. So, as far as the Northern line of the four lines is concerned, this is a very different line from some of the other lines in the country in that, it passes through many communities and many areas, and it is constantly under attack either as the result of cable theft or for other destructive reasons as well.
There are important partnerships that we entered into with the the coal mining industries, in order to provide additional security around these lines, and primarily, you should also be aware that, the shortages of locomotives or the repairs to some of these locomotives, which has been held up by the lack of spare parts and technical capability by the original equipment manufacturers, has also been a factor.
So, these are the slots that we are referring to are largely, as you point out for freight, and that is on the eThekwini and Gauteng lines. As far as the coal line is concerned, this is
still remaining under the operation of Transnet, and there’s no doubt that, as you have pointed out, that the rail mode of transport provides the most cost efficient way in which there can be an effective move. But Transnet has now given attention, firstly, in terms of safety, together with the other government entities.
Along those lines, secondly, continues to maintain those lines and improve their maintenance. Thirdly, it solve the amount of problem, some of which is external and some of which is external, and fourthly, tries to meet the volume requirement of the coal mining sector. As you correctly pointed out, the price of coal has increased massively as a result of war in Europe, and that is not going to be the case continuously ... [Interjections.]
Mr F ESSACK: Thank you, hon Chairperson. Hon Minister, the so- called business forums that have held the construction sector hostage through the illegal demands to be included in contracts, appeared to have extended their tentacles to Transnet. Recently, Transnet had to withdraw its teams from the site of a derailment after one of these business forums demanded business opportunities in the salvage operations.
What action is the government taking to prevent the organised crime by these mafia organisations from taking route at Transnet? Does the Minister agree that these business forums are economic saboteurs, or is Transnet going to eventually turn out to be the next Eskom? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Thank you, Chairperson. Hon Essack, Transnet is not going to be Eskom. Transnet has its share of problems, but by and large, it is still an operational organisation. It has capabilities that few organisations in South Africa have, and thirdly, the answer that I have raised earlier on in terms of the repairs post the April floods, it is more than an adequate example of the kind of technical capacity that we have within Transnet. So, we should respect that, we should nurture it and we should protect it.
Secondly, you’re right, the business forum phenomenon is being abused in different parts of the country. It’s affecting not only Transnet, but any other businesses and enterprises both in the private and public sectors, and where there is illegal activity, there is no doubt that, there should be and can be called the economic saboteurs. At the same time, there is a demand from communities that, their businesses are operating
from and within those communities, and the workers from those communities should be involved.
So, there are many parts of South Africa where Transnet rail, in particular, has come to agreements with communities, in order to find work for the members of the communities, particularly, in this period, post of floods, but subsequently as well. So, that is a positive side, of getting local community’s involvement. Also, there is no doubt that there is a negative side, when violence and other forms of the enforcement are used, and this is where finally, law enforcement needs to do their job, and ensure that they bring this phenomenon of business forums and certainly, their illegal activities under control. Thank you.
Mr S N SWART: Thank you, House Chair. Hon Minister, the ACDP supports the road to rail policy to reduce the number of large trucks on the roads, and to reduce the number of fatal accidents. But you are also acutely aware that, Transnet was targeted during state capture, and as you pointed out, it is also recovering from the KwaZulu-Natal floods earlier this year. I was going to ask you, hon Minister, about the issue related to criminal justice, criminal syndicates and the forums, and that was covered by my colleague and responded to
you. If I may, with your permission, ask about an issue he raised about the locomotives, and that has transpired in the state capture report about the self-channeled rail and the locomotive deal.
Is it or seeing that locomotives will be provided and that spares will be provided, given the fact, as you have pointed out that, it is one of the major challenges in Transnet Freight Rail, is the issue relating to locomotives deals arising from some of the suspect transaction that you have highlighted in state capture report? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Chairperson, hon Swart is my reference find for all of the activities under state capture. So, he may say the important points. Secondly, in the last few months there has been a lot of progress in negotiating with the original equipment manufacturers that comes from China, and the other parts of the world as well, including the involvement of companies like Eskom, which has taken over some of the bombardier facilities that are operating in South Africa.
So, there is a bit more work to do, in order to have consistence supplier of parts, and the usage of those parts by
Transnet engineering. In a more efficient way we can get, what I call wrong standing locomotives that are already in the country, but which cannot be utilised because of lack of parts, or inability to maintain and repair them. Thirdly, to ensure that there is the right technical expertise provided by the original equipment manufacturers, because, one of the problems of the contracts signed during the state capture period was that, maintenance contracts and arrangements were not adequately made.
At the same time, which is my last point, there are outstanding suppliers that still needs to be provided by the various companies, that were part of the 1064 deals, so to speak, earlier in the 2016-17 period, and before that as well, and hopefully, these discussions that have been taking place, and the arrangements that have been reached will ensure that, new locomotives will also make their way into South Africa sooner rather than later. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you,
chairperson, and thank you, hon Mashele, for the question. The function of oversight of public entities have been maturing, hence, the observance of governance improvements within the
entities. One of the measures that we have put in place is to make improvement in the shareholder compacts with the entities. The shareholder compact is a legal requirement for Schedule 2 Public Entities, but we have also extended it to Schedule 3 Public Entities.
The improvements that we have made was to insert clause, making it a requirement for the board of the entities to conduct annual independent board performance assessments. We have also made it the requirement for the entities to contribute towards the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. One of the entities that ...
We are also busy with the project to investigate the options for the rationalisation of public entities in line with the work done by the Presidential State-Owned Entity Council. One entity in Schedule 2 is the Independent Development Trust, IDT. It is a very good example. It is supposed to be generating its own trust. I trust that we all know the sad history about the IDT.
However, since the start of the term, with the current board, in August of 2021, we have seen the entity that is surely making its way towards fully financial sustainability. The
board has put in place turnaround measures: They are cutting expenditure; focusing on essential operating requirements; and they have also recruited key personnel in strategic positions to drive the turnaround strategy.
So, the developments within the IDT, with the turnaround, indicate that the IDT might even break even in the 2024-25 financial year. So, maybe thereafter move towards a surplus. Then, other entities, like the Construction Industry Development Board, the CIDB.
We have gazed the best practice fee assessment scheme in September 2020. This has allowed the entity to generate more funds that will be used towards contractor development, which is being a missing element in the entity’s operations because of funding. However, the CIDB has been able to remain financially sustainable through the generation of the funds. The best practice fee assessment has gained traction and they are generating enough funds to continue with the programs.
Another entity is Agreement South Africa, Asa. They not only service the local market, but also international market. The main requirement now for Asa is to market its services, as to ensure that those people and companies who want to introduce
innovative building products and systems into the market know about their offerings. Those are just some of the entities, but I will put some more in the written response. Thank you.
Ms N NTOBONGWANA: Thank you, Minister, for such a response on the question. My follow up is: What are the developmental and other projects which entities are undertaking to ensure a revenue stream that ensures financial sustainability; and what is the developmental and economic contribution of these projects to the country?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you,
hon Chairperson. There are a number of developmental projects that we have introduced since early 2019. We, from time to time, do provide the Portfolio Committee of Public Works and Infrastructure with update, but they are making a major contribution towards the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. It is different, in different entities.
In terms of the IDT for instance, the IDT is very active in the social infrastructure space, and they have signed a number of new contracts with government departments. In terms of the, the CIDB, the CIDB, with a very young CEO that has just been appointed a few months ago, also run a lot of development
program, including the offering of internships, for both environment graduates - not only just in the private sector; but also within government departments. So that is all part of the developmental plan that we have for all the entities under the oversight of Department of Public Works in infrastructure.
Ms S J GRAHAM: Thank you, chairperson. Minister, the IDT has been floundering since its inception. It is a social infrastructure implementing agent by design, but is still unable to earn enough external funding to support itself. The IDT Board is now taken as a decision that due to the per condition of their own building, they are going to sell this building and rent premises for the head office in two regions.
It begs us to believe that as an implementing agent, the IDT is unable to maintain and/or repair its own head office.
Furthermore, that an organisation that is failing to generate sufficient funding, to be deemed a going concern, would now incur an additional substantial cost to rent facilities when it can remain in its own current building at no cost.
Minister, would it not make more sense for the IDT to use the money it is allocating for rental on repairing its own building and investing in its own assets, rather than adding
another huge monthly cost to its unfunded budgetary expenditure?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you,
hon Grahame. Hon Chairperson, we did engage with the IDT: It is a decision that was taken by the Board of the IDT. We have convinced them that they need to delay the project. We need to look at getting a total facility management plan for the existing building, but they have reviewed the decision and they have not proceeded. Thank you.
Ms B MATHULELWA: Thank you, Chair. I will take the question of hon Siwisa. It is hon Babalwa Mathulelwa. Hon Minister, the SOEs do not receive enough support from the department, with specific reference to IDT, which has become clearly daily through reports that it lost its mandate as an implementing agency for projects when allocation decreases and when it is always side lined; whilst, preference is given to private entities like, DBSA, Coega and the recent times, Isa. The entity will not be able to sustain itself financially.
What are the reasons for the IDT being side lined, for example, on the Telkom Tower Project and the construction of Kagiso Barolong High School in Logageng, at Ngaka Modiri
Molema District Municipality, where DBSA is the implementing agency?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you,
hon Chairperson. We must understand that we have got three implementing agencies: It is the DBSA, Coega and the IDT. Government departments make their choice which implementing agent they want to use. These implementing agents also charge a management fee. The IDT is competing in that space.
I know that the IDT has just recently signed some service level agreement with the education department, but the bailout of IDT is R92 million per year. To give the bail out to IDT, we need to get permission from National Treasury, which we receive with conditions.
So the IDT had to comply with certain conditions. Even in the current financial year, we had to provide operational costs. The IDT will apply for funding for next year, also for operational costs, because, as I was explaining, they are making good progress in implementing their own turnaround strategy. However, it is not a matter of giving to the IDT and not to DBSA or Coega. They are all implementing agencies in their own right. Thank you.
Mr S S ZONDO: Hon Minister, your department has been able to pay all service providers within the mandated 30 days; and whether it has recently experienced any challenges regarding the financial control? If not, why not? If so, please provide the details.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you
very much, Chairperson. I just reported to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, this morning: We are very proud with our achievement in terms of paying service providers within 30 days. You can look at my Twitter account, yesterday and on a weekly basis, we put it out on the social media. Can you just listen? Maybe you can learn something! No one... [Interjections.] Can you just listen? [Interjections.] Can you just listen?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Order, members! Hon Macpherson, you drowning the speaker. Hon McPherson! [Interjections.] You are drowning the speaker.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Can you
listen? This is stupid ... [Interjections.]
There is a point of order. [Interjections.] Hon McPherson! [Interjections.] No, no, no! Wait, before you proceed. You started to have your own engagement directly with the Minister. After a second thought, you want to raise a point of order. What is the point of order?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: I am so sick!
Mr D W MACPHERSON: So that the howling can stop: Chair, the Minister decided to engage me. The point I had made... [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Don’t lie!
Don’t lie! [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon members, order! Let us hear the point of order.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: You can’t talk when you have howling like this. [Interjections.] You can't when you have howling like this. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon Minister, you may sit down while he is [Inaudible.] ... on point of order!
Mr D W MACPHERSON: So, the Minister engaged me; not the other way around you. [Interjections.] What I had simply said is that I would like to read what the Minister says, but she blocks people on Twitter. So we can’t read what you said!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Thank you. No point of order! Minister, you may proceed. Order, members! Order, hon members! There is no point of order, hon Minister. You may proceed.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thank you,
Chairperson. We just reported this morning to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, the progress that we have made, with a system that we have introduced more than a year ago, called, “Re a patala!”
Our paying rate is between 95% and 98% per week. We publish our 30-day payments on the website of the department every week. The system that we have introduced, I have reported the success to Cabinet. We have shared the system that we are
using with all other government departments. Even this morning, in the Portfolio Committee of the DPSA, we were commended for the progress that we are making with 30-day payments.
So, that is what we have achieved, Chairperson. I am very proud to say that our achievement does help small and medium enterprises, especially those that cannot wait for late payments from government. So, thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): House Chair, the response to hon Macpherson will go as follows: Yes, the B-BBEE initiatives have demonstrated and they are still demonstrating the ability to create jobs and grow the economy. These initiatives are structured and implemented by public and private sector through the guidance of codes of good practice. These initiatives are monitored in the codes of good practice, are towards ownership and management control, skilled development, enterprise and supplier development and socio-economic development.
There are quite a number of programmes that we are having as the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, that makes
sure that we leverage on the issue of B-BBEE where when we talk off to the issue of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, its where we want to make sure as to say, those communities that were previously excluded from the economy, they get a very fair stake in the economy of our country. We have programs like the Black Industrialist Programmes. And the achievements of the Black Industrialist Programmes that we are having is that ... I can just mention that for now. About
R32 billion has been invested through funding initiatives through the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition where nearly 800 black industrialists’ businesses and black entrepreneurs have been assisted. This funding has supported on the creation of new and dynamic enterprises in a number of critical value chains across the nine provinces.
Crowding in an additional investment from the private sector as well as creating and saving nearly 120 000 jobs. We are looking at projects that covers a variety of products and sectors like food production, clothing, textile, and so forth. Over the next five years, the social partners, we will seek to invest in industries which can build the local industry capacity up to R200 billion annually. Those are some of the achievements, as hon Macpherson has asked us that what is it that we are benefiting.
From November 2021 to October 2022, R34 billion received, the black industrialists received disbursements and reported the creation of 1 074 new jobs since being supported through the Black Industrialist Programme. I will just mention few programmes. We have the YES Programme, that is the Youth Employment Service. The Yes initiative is the intervention with the specific objective to address youth employment. The B-BBEE recognition is one of the enablers put forth by government to fast track the achievement of YES Programme, which help a lot in the reduction of unemployment in our country. For the period under review, 18 494 new job opportunities were created for unemployed youth through this yes program. So, again, that is some of the achievements. We cannot mention them all, that the hon Macpherson has asked about.
Black Exports Support Programme again. This is one program that we are proud of again. Which is enabling ... we see it enabling the participation of black enterprises in export and international markets. The department has had this program from the 1 November 2021, and we have supported more than 676 black-owned entities through exports awareness and exports training initiatives. So those are some of the things that we are doing. We also have the NEF, that is the National
Empowerment Funding that is playing a very critical and vital role when it comes to the issues of empowering black people in making sure that they do get this opportunity of playing their
... Thank you so much, House Chair. [Time expired.]
Mr D W MACPHERSON: House Chairperson, South Africa, which has been governed by the ANC for the last 28 years, currently has the worst unemployment rate since 1994. Life for black South Africans have gotten worse under your government. They are poorer than they were a decade ago and poverty amongst black people have increased very year for the last 10 years. We also know that the costs of goods and services skyrocketed in South Africa, making it harder for people to feed their families and put clothes on their backs.
None of these realities are an act of God. They are as a result of the ANC’s economic policies of B-BBEE and localisation. Instead of making the connection between your failed policies and growing black unemployment and poverty, President Ramaphosa and Minister Patel have said the solution to this is simply to intensify B-BBEE and localisation. So in other words, make things a lot worse - a lot quicker.
Recently, Eskom board member Mteto Nyati made the connection between these two realities when he said that the only way to save Eskom was to do away with B-BBEE and localisation. He is of course a very successful business man. So he knows what he is talking about. Deputy Minister, do you not think that it is time to start listening to the Nyatis of this world and rid South Africa of ANC’s failed economic policies? And if you don’t, how do you explain rising unemployment and poverty for black South Africans despite the policies adopted by your government 20 years ago that you said were going to do the very opposite. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): House Chair, if we are all living in South Africa and we are all experiencing what we are all experiencing. Right now, when was it? We are coming to the portfolio committee where we are talking to the issues of localisation and what is it that we are doing when it comes to the issues of localisation in the issues of creating more job opportunities in our country. I am surprised, really, to hear hon Macpherson saying that we should do away with the issues of localisation and issues of B-BBEE.
Looking at what we have achieved looking at the localisation - looking at the masterplan that we have come up with, where we include labour, where we include government, where government is in opening up avenues for all those emerging companies to get in – in making sure that when it comes to manufacturing in our country, that is what we are looking at. I am surprised really if ever we can be hearing a hon member saying that those are the things that we should drop. Where else they are benefitting, more especially, the black people of our country. Those people who were previously disadvantaged.
So, I am not sure if we are really looking in our country through different lenses. Maybe hon Macpherson is using another lenses of which is not the lenses that we are looking at as to say; how do we develop? How do we make sure that we marshal so many black people to play a meaningful role in our country? What I would say is that, hon Chair, thank you very much, even to the private sector, the big businesses for opening up when we sit down with them, when we make sure that we open up these avenues in making sure that we get more and more black people when it comes to the issues of localisation
- when it comes to the issues of B-BBEE for them to be having a space to have a stake in the economy of our country. Thank you very much, House Chair.
Ms J HERMANS: Deputy Minister, while there are indications of progress, albeit very slow on achieving B-BBEE targets, women remains far behind from benefitting. Even the national status report confirms this. What are the additional interventions to catalyse benefit for women? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): House Chair, yes it is true that women are lacking behind in terms of benefitting in the B-BBEE policies. It is a very concerning matter. In the private sector we that there is still a lot of doubt. They place that doubt when it comes to women-owned companies as partners in big transitions and subcontracting in general. Yet, evidence shows that women owned companies perform better and even break even quicker.
We got excited in 2021 when President Ramaphosa during Women’s Day announced that government has set aside 40% for women in public programming to address its anomaly. Our task is to make sure that we monitor. We assess all the public procurements from the department to SOEs on whether they comply with when the announcement was done. So, with this anomaly - with this concerning reality that we are faced with, it is all our duty in making sure that when it comes to the issues of private sector, our SOEs, the departments, let us monitor and make
sure that when it comes to comes to the issues of women, comes to ownership, comes to decision making, we will find women up there. Thank you very much, House Chair.
Mr M TSHWAKU: Deputy Minister, a clear distinct must be made between your government’s poor record in building up and supporting black businesses, and the entry of enterprises by black people in various industries. The DA’s racist attitude which views any black participation in the industry as tokenism ... [Inaudible.] ... Your failure to build up and support black businesses feeds into the racist view of the DA which underpins the questions that they ask. However, that does not absolve you and your failures. What happened to the much talked about ... you know this black industrialists? I have been raising it within these committees that you need to list the successes that actually happened there. And one of the things that I said was that; one, as long as you don’t own
... or production, you are not going to have anything. And which brought that standing out ... [Time expired.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): ICT, switch him off please. Thank you. Hon Deputy Minister ...
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): House Chair – yes - I would say that there are a lot of strides that we have taken in making sure that we support black businesses, as hon Tshwaku is saying. We might not have reached where we need to reach. There is so much and we are working with various departments when it comes to that, but when the mentions specifically the programme of the Black Industrialist Programme, I am not sure ... I am happy that hon Tshwaku is even a member of the portfolio committee, where just few weeks ago, we were there to showcase what has been done by the Black Industrialist Programme. Showcasing the cases where people have benefited when it comes to this. Yes, no one can ever come here and say that we have done it all.
But to say that we are not doing anything, really I wouldn’t agree.
Yes - I know we are here and we are from various political parties. We need to politic somewhere and somehow but really to come here and misled to say there is nothing we are doing when it comes to the program of Black Industrialist Programme, I would really totally disagree with what hon Tshwaku is doing. But, I am prepared if he didn’t get the report, as the Ministry we are going to, as the department, we can furnish him with the report to say these are the Black Industrialists
where you can go and judge them and interview them and see the contribution that the government is doing in making sure that our black people do play a meaningful role when it comes to the economic growth of our country. Thank you very much, Chair.
Mr F J MULDER: House Chair, the FF Plus is in support of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment like all people in South Africa. Do the hon Deputy Minister acknowledge that the initial intension of B-BBEE was largely hindered and even defeated by corruption state capture which resulted in a crippled Eskom, collapse of service delivery, and thus denying a large number of South Africans opportunity to be educated, skilled and employed? Thank you, House Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION (Ms N
Gina): House Chair, again, I would stand here and say the issues of corruption, the issues of state capture, did not have an impact on the good goals that we are having as a country when it comes to the issues of B-BBEE, but we are saying that is one policing that is there to make sure that we level the playing field for everyone to play. When it comes to the issues of corruption - the issues of state capture – it’s us again as government that has even come up with all the
commissions and the investigations just because we want to uproot all what hinders our progress in making sure that we serve the people of our country the way that they need to be served. So, yes, partly I would agree with you, but we are saying this is the policy that is there that we are saying that it is here to assist in making sure that we level those playing fields to make sure that everyone does get that space to play in the economy of our county. Thank you very much, House Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon House Chairperson and Rev Meshoe, thank you for the question. Komati Coal Power Station is now 62-years-old. It was put into operation in 1961. Essentially, it has reached the end of its operating life. Of the nine original units, only one has been operating in the past few years. This particular unit, unit nine delivered only a 120 megawatts at a cost approximating the cost of operating on opal cycle gas turbine. That is the turbines that utilise the diesel that I was referring to earlier.
Furthermore, it was no longer legally compliant from a safety perspective. It was accordingly shut down at 12:41 on 31 October 2022.
When coal stations reach the end of their economic life, they need to be decommissioned or shut down. The running of unit nine at Komati Coal Power Station is not economically justifiable. Eskom is pursuing a strategy of repowering and recommissioning these units to minimise the impact of shutting down of electricity supply, as well as minimising the impact on workers and surrounding communities. All of that is part of the just energy transition that South Africa is committed to.
In addition, the integrated resource plan resumed at Komati Coal Power Station unit nine would be shut down in 2020, however the operation of this unit was extended to 2022.
As far as the just energy plan for Komati Coal Power Station a number of objectives have been set to ensure: Firstly, that the development of a new generation capacity takes place; 100 megawatts of Photovoltaic, PV, or solar voltage plants; 60 megawatts of wind and 150 megawatts of battery storage.
Furthermore, a synchronies condense would be installed to assist with the frequency control which is essential for the transmission process to work. No Eskom workers will lose their jobs as a result of a shutdown of unit nine.
A training center is being established in co-operation of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to train, reskill and upskill workers from surrounding communities, as renewable energy technicians.
The fifth one is that Eskom has also established an assembly line for modular micro-grid at Komati Coal Power Station to further enhance job creation.
The sixth one is the development of newly industrial development and enterprises in Mpumalanga for renewable components is also under consideration with the assistance of Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.
In addition, various other initiatives will be taken to ensure energy production continuous and importantly as we say, no one is left behind.
The above is also supplemented by the Eskom initiative to make land available through an auctioning process around other power stations for the private sector to invest in renewable energy. It is estimated that this initiative alone, will attract a hundred billion rand of investments in Mpumalanga and add more than 2 000 megawatts to the grid at no cost to Eskom to the fiscas. Thank you, House Chairperson.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Hon House Chairperson and hon Minister, thank you for the reply. The ACDP is obviously concerned about the job loses that will take place, even I heard what the Minister said about training and upskilling workers. We know that it will not be the same workers who are upskilled who would be needed when the transition has been made.
We also know that a windfarm in Western Germany is being dismantled as we speak, to make way for the expansion of a coal mine, in spite of their commitment to renewable energy transition.
Does the Minister not agree that maintaining our existing power plants and expanding some of our coal mines, will help mitigate the challenges that Eskom has of load shedding, particularly in the long-term? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: The hon Meshoe, this a new face that the world is entering. As we know Climate Change Conference, Cop 27, is being concluded in Egypt in the past week or so.
At the same time the war in Europe has required various countries to make changes. What South Africa is demanding from those countries is honesty, frankness and a recognition and acknowledgement of the fact that some of them have had to make alternative arrangements to ensure energy security for their citizens and for their economies, as well.
As a consequence, Europe as a whole, is making various adjustments, whether it is the reopening the coal powered stations, whether it is relying upon France with nuclear power, or on Norway, for gas which it did not want to use initially, so these are the adaptations that are necessary for them as they see it in their national interest.
Similarly, in the South African context, what we are talking about in terms of decommissioning or shutting down plants or repurposing them, is the process that is going to happen over the next 30 to 40 years.
Medupi and Kusile Power Stations are only recently constructed and Kusile is still on its way and they have a life of 40 to
50 years ahead of them. They will continue to use coal that is available in Mpumalanga.
Of course, we share your concern, as I indicated earlier on, about job losses. We must now do everything possible to ensure that in one way or another, either through training, reskilling or through other mechanisms that workers who were originally employed at Komati Coal Power Station do find alternative jobs and actually develop new skills for the decades that are coming ahead of us. Thank you, House Chairperson.
Ms J TSHABALALA: Hon House Chairperson, thank you so much for your indulgence.
Minister, we appreciate the response. I think my question was mainly on the Komati Coal Power Station and obviously the fact that it was nearing the end of its lifecycle. This implies that Komati Coal Power Station was a less efficient power station before its decommissioning.
What were the costs and risks of running and maintaining all the less efficient power stations that made this decommissioning a viable alternative and will this repurposing of the Komati Coal Power Station turn into a renewable plant, supply sufficient electricity for the long-term sustainability of this country and its economy and if not, really Minister, how will this supply of electricity below the decommissioned capacity be addressed? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon House Chairperson, the hon Tshabalala raises important questions that have been addressed as far as the planning by Eskom for the repurposing of the Komati Coal Power Station, but also as I pointed out firstly, introducing new capacities for megawatt production through wind, solar and battery storage as well.
Secondly, the establishment of the academy and training center at Komati and then bigger ones in Mpumalanga much later, is going to play an important part in ensuring that as I said workers are retrained and new generations of workers are trained in new technologies that are beginning to emerge around the world.
Thirdly, power stations have a particular life span, as I pointed. Eight of the nine units are already shutdown at Komati and the last one which is unit nine is the last one which will shut down on 31 October. It would have been both unviable in terms of costs, but also in terms of meeting legal requirements, for example on emissions and so on, therefore had to go through the shutdown process.
For the information of the hon members, I think it is important to point out that both at Cop 26 and Cop 27, the Komati just energy transition project and plan was the first one in the world of its kind. Similarly, the investment plan that South Africa presented to the world and in particular to those who are willing to be part of 8,5-billion-dollar grant and loan that belongs to Eskom by the South African government, was also the first in the world. Indonesia is the second that is about to actually follow. That investment plan for power station and electricity production, the green hydrogen projects that the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and others are working on ... [Time expired.]
Ms R N KOMANE: Hon Minister, soon after the announcement of the decommissioning of the Komati Coal Power Station was made, there was a follow-up announcement on the loan received from
the World Bank to assist with the decommissioning of this power station.
What are the full details of this loan?
Why is Eskom taking loans for the so-called just transition programme, when the bulk of the responsibility for reducing greenhouse gasses ought to lie with the biggest polluters in the world? Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon House Chairperson, we certainly agree with the hon Komane that the developed world must take responsibility before historic contributions in terms of their industrialisation and advancement of their economies to what is the current situation as far as carbon emissions are concerned.
Secondly, one of the demands on what South Africa and many other developing countries led the discussion on at Cop 27 was precisely about the question of damage and payment. I think it is called something else, but you would notice in the media that that became a central point of debate at Cop 27.
Thirdly the developed countries have accepted the responsibility for at least committing themselves once again to contribute to both the loans and the grants that developing countries are going to require. To some extent some are talking about the private sector coming to the party as well.
So, all of this is what is involved. The World Bank is part of this group of agencies. They are providing grants for certain types of projects particularly in relation to skills development, but also very cheap loans which are not available in the market place, to governments of South Africa and to Eskom via the government in order to execute projects of the sort.
So, the demand from the Western world or the developed countries for their contribution in various forms must continue and more noise needs to be created in that particular regard, until they meet their commitment over the next 10 or
15 years, as the world goes through the reality of climate change transitions are necessary. Thank you.
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Inkosi iyagcina. Ngiyabonga kakhulu, Sihlalo.
The hon Minister will understand that sometimes when hon members ask questions here, we ask them on behalf of the public in order to obtain some information. Whether it be about the issues of the decommissioning of power stations in the context of our energy crisis.
Then the question is: Is government not considering that possibility of withdrawing from some of our commitments in supplying our neighboring countries with power in order to providing for ourselves? Maybe the Minister can explain that. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Hon House Chairperson hon Buthelezi we certainly understand why you have to ask these questions. However, hon Buthelezi, remember that the relationship between South Africa and the neighboring countries is very much synergistic one. In other words, there are contracts that Eskom is expected to keep to, in terms of the supplying to our neighbors. Those supplies unfortunately I do not have the numbers in front of me, but do not amount to any large number. It is a few 100 megawatts that goes to different countries.
However, South Africa is also part of the Southern African power pool and we are also drawing from that power pool. So, we draw power from Cahora Bassa, for example and that gives us some what 900 or 1 500 more megawatts at this point in time, if it is in full operation.
We are also in a process via Eskom to negotiate with those countries that I have in - inverted commas - surplus megawatts that could be supplied to Eskom and to South Africa as well.
There are business entrepreneurs one of whom I spoke to yesterday, who are also saying, “I have X to offer in this instance a couple of hundred megawatts. What is South Africa is saying? So, that is up to Eskom. They must engage in the necessary negotiations. If the price is right and the logistics works out, South Africa can buy those extra megawatts that are actually available.
So, we have a healthy role both in contributing to other country’s wellbeing on the one hand, but we also draw on their resources on the other hand. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Thank you, hon Minister. Hon members, I would like to draw to your attention that as a result of the urgent question that was put before the other
questions that were scheduled, then we will proceed with the questions.
Question 865, has been asked by the hon S T Xego, to the Minister of Tourism.
It will be for 30 minutes, hon members. Thank you.
Order, hon members!
No, no, no! Order, hon members!
Mr N SINGH: Hon House Chairperson, on a point of order!
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon Minister.
Are you a Minister?
Mr N SINGH: No, hon House Chairperson, I rise on a point of order!
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Is it a point of order? Alright.
Mr N SINGH: Hon House Chairperson, my point of order is: It is normal that if we have questions, that are added to the Question Paper, we do them after the three hours. However, today, we did them within that time. So, I do not see any need to sit another half an hour here to continue with questions.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): There is another point of order. The hon Macpherson.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Hon House Chairperson, I rise on Rule 137(5)(b), it says that an additional 30 minutes’ must be added. It is not may. So, it is instructive that the extra 30 minutes must be made. So, we must proceed with the questions. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon members, I was just about to read the rule. That brings us to Question 865 that has been asked by the hon S T Xego, to the hon Minister of Tourism. The hon Deputy Minister, you may proceed and respond.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Thank you very much, hon House Chair, and thank you very much, hon Xego for the question, indeed the department in terms of the Auditor-General’s report did not achieve the 11 targets, of which the main cause for the failure to achieve the 11 targets were as a result of procurement. The promotion and support of the small businesses and those owned by historical disadvantaged individuals, women, youth, and people with disabilities are specifically part of the important programmes in the department’s agenda.
We therefore view this as one of the key factors that we need to pay special attention to.
The report from the Tourism Transformation Council of SA continues to show us that transformation in the sector is seriously lacking behind. It therefore in this context that the intervention by government by providing dedicated support will be necessary because without it, we will not be able to achieve the transformation of the sector. Therefore, to avoid the delays in the implementation of the programmes that begin to address the issues Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, SMMEs, youth, women, and people with disabilities, we have as a department adopted a plan to start with procurement ahead of the coming performance period, but more importantly, we are
also engaging in a programme to capacitate and train the supply chain unit in the department so that we are able to achieve the targets.
Lastly, some of the nonachievement is as a result of the nonresponse from various stakeholders. So, we will be developing programmes in the form of campaigns so that we can be able to communicate some of the programmes and the projects that we are running as the department so that when we advertise, we are able to get the necessary responses from various groupings, especially women and youth. Thank you very much.
Ms H S WINKLER: Thank you. Deputy Minister, considering Minister Sisulu’s perpetual absenteeism at the portfolio committee meetings and that she has openly expressed that she considers her deployment to the Ministry of Tourism a demotion, it’s not surprising that the department is underperforming. Tourism in eThekwini municipality is in a death spiral with reported 82% decline in tourism to the city. Durban’s famous Golden Mile and Umhlanga beaches, Durban harbor, Amanzimtoti beach are being forced to close at short notice because of high E.coli levels caused by ongoing catastrophic sewage spills from decrepit pump stations in the
city. As the national Ministry of Tourism in South Africa, what has been done to address this tourism death spiral in eThekwini and what is the emergency action plan going to going forward?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: No, I need to be called, I can’t just stand up for the sake of standing up. Thank you very much for the question, hon Winkler, you will firstly know that tourism is a concurrent function. National government’s main function is policy-making. The implementation of some of the work that you are referring to is: firstly, a responsibility of the provincial government, which in this case is KwaZulu-Natal; and secondly, it is the responsibility of the municipality, and in this case, it is eThekwini municipality.
The spillage has nothing to do with the Department of Tourism. It is a matter that belongs to Water and Sanitation but also a matter of the local municipality. We have taken initiatives, we have engaged with the municipality to ensure that they try to fix the problem of the water spillage. As of last week, I was discussing this matter. You’ll have heard the mayor a day before yesterday responding on what is it that they are doing to make sure that by the 1st December the issue of the
spillage, E.coli, the beaches that are closed are addressed so that when we go into the festive season, we ensure that all those bottlenecks of E.coli and the beaches that are closed are resolved. We are pushing and working with the municipality. We believe that we are on course. By the 1st of December, we will be able to have different results altogether. Thank you very much.
Mr H G APRIL: Thank you, House Chair, I would like to ask what measures would be put in place to strengthen internal controls, particularly as it relates to supply chain management and compliance with key legislation as mentioned by the Auditor-General of SA, amongst other things? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: You’ll recall that after the Auditor-General’s report was released, we presented a plan as a department and what measures are we putting in place. One of them was that we undertook a risk assessment of making sure that we have efficient internal control systems so that we are able to root out maladministration and inefficiencies in the system. Priority was placed on viewing interest risk that exist in terms of control and strengthening of the mitigation by making sure that we address the areas of weakness that were flagged by the Auditor-General in terms of other oversight
responsibilities. The areas that we identified were inadequate procedures as identified by the Auditor-General, with control weaknesses and we put preventative measures in terms of making sure that we control that. We have also ensured that we put up early warning systems that will enable us to intervene from time to time without waiting for the Auditor-General to audit. We will also be doing promotion of sound practices through the periodic quality review so that we make sure that we identify all the high risk areas and be able to ensure that we intervene as well as being able to detect.
As you know, we have received unqualified audit this financial year, with very few matters of emphasis from the Auditor- General. We are moving working towards making sure that we address those so that we are able to obtain a clean audit at the end of the day. Thank you very much.
Mr A MATUMBA: Minister, reading from the audit report, it is clear that your Ministry is on autopilot and leaderless. You are not available to account to Parliament and the Portfolio Committee on Tourism is not sitting because you are refusing to attend. You even undermined the summons to you under section 56 of the Constitution. So, our question to you is simple: if you are no longer interested in the job, why don’t
you simply resign because you don’t want to account on anything? Thank you, House Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Thank you, hon member, before the Deputy Minister responds, hon Mashego, have you got a point of order?
Mr M R MASHEGO: My point of order is that the Deputy Minister is accounting and it has been said that he is not available to account. The person who raised that point is not here to answer that question. He is accounting, here he is. He is sitting here. That man is out of order.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon Mashego, that’s a point of debate. Let’s give the hon Deputy Minister a chance to respond.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Well, I have always been available to the portfolio committee at all times when the portfolio committee needs me. [Interjections.]
Mr A MATUMBA: On a point of order, House Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon Matumba, what’s your point of order?
Mr A MATUMBA: Thank you, House Chair, this question was asked in accordance with section 92(2) of the Constitution, which simply says that “members of the Cabinet are accountable to collectively and individually”. This question is for Minister to account individually to Parliament. So, this question will require the Minister herself to answer in accordance with section 92(2). Thank you. [Interjections.]
Mr M R MASHEGO: The Minister is here.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): No, hon members, let’s allow the Deputy Minister to respond.
Mr M R MASHEGO: And he is accounting in Parliament.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Hon Matumba, I have indicated that I am here in the House. [Interjections.]
Mr A MATUMBA: You are not a Minister, you are a Deputy. The question is to the Minister.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon Matumba, don’t do that.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: As you have said, we are the members of the executive ... [Interjections.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: On a point of order, House Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): There are two points of order. Hon member, may I take the first point of order from the House, then I will come back to you, hon member.
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Thank you.
Mr B A RADEBE: Thank you, hon House Chairperson, as the former member has said that the Constitution provides that the executive must account, it is true. But the very same Constitution provides that Parliament can make its own rules in order to regulate its own affairs. So, one of the Rule is that, “when the Minister is not available, the Deputy Minister can take charge of the question asked to the Minister.” So, you are out of order. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Thank you very much. That point and the Rule is sustained. Hon Ntlangwini, what is your point of order?
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Thank you very much, House Chair, firstly, you are very quick to reprimand members of the opposition, but very slow to reprimand members of your party that just stands up and talk.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): And your point?
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: And that is pointing out to your biasness. Look now, I am being interrupted here yet again by a person from your party. So, can you please follow the Rules yourself as the presiding officer for you not to be biased?
Secondly, the Minister is Tourism must stop going out and campaigning for Presidency, she must come to this House ... [Interjections.] ... and account. She must stop those things.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon Ntlangwini, your first point is note, the rest we may proceed. Hon Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: My understanding is that the issue that was firstly raised by hon De Freitas, hon Winkler
and, now hon Matumba is that the matter was comprehensively discussed at the portfolio committee. Subsequently, the portfolio committee resolved that the matter should be brought to the attention of the Speaker. And that’s where the matter is. Why being raised now in a matter that is not relevant to it? One doesn’t understand why because we are dealing with a question on the performance of the department in the context of the targets that were not reached, which we are explaining what has happened, what are doing to ensure that going forward, those procurement processes that have made us not to achieve the targets ... [Time expired.] ... we are able to achieve them.
Mr I M GROENEWALD: Thank you, House Chairperson, I know that the general sentiment is such the Minister could not be here. The sentiment further says that the hon Deputy Minister doesn’t know the correlation between small business and tourism. Nonetheless, let’s ask the question: hon Deputy Minister, during the discussion on the Auditor-General’s report the Minister said that she is committed to pursuing cases against officials involved in corruption and fraudulent procurement, how many cases have so far been reported at the SA Police Service, SAPS, and how many of those have been successfully prosecuted? Thank you, House Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: Thank you very much. It is misleading to say that I don’t know the relationship between small business and tourism. I never said that. I said: what is the relationship between the measure of Brand SA, South African Tourism and South African business, because the question is not related? That was the issue. [Interjections.]
Mr I M GROENEWALD: Hon House Chairperson, on a point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon Deputy Minister, take your seat so we can take the point of order.
Mr I M GROENEWALD: House Chairperson, the Deputy Minister is engaging me. Can I answer him, please?
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): No, he is responding. Hon Deputy Minister, you may proceed.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM: No, thank you very much, I am not in a position to give the exact figures as to how many officials have been suspended and how many cases have been reported to the police. We do have those figures. We can be able to provide them in writing as to how many cases have been opened, but those are not related to the current Auditor-
General’s report. In relation to the current Auditor-General’s report, we don’t have any irregularities, we don’t have any wasteful expenditures and therefore there is nothing related to that. But the cases that we have, are cases relating to 2018-19 financial year, which are projects that were implemented somewhere in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and which then picked up by the Auditor-General in the audit report of 2018-
19. We then constituted a forensic audit, which report came up to say there are projects that were not completed but money was spent. We were able to identify those officials, we charged them and opened cases. So we can be able to provide the details if a member needs the details in terms of names, the cases, case numbers, and all other related matters. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Thank very much, hon Deputy Minister. Hon members, Rule 138, “Questions to the Ministers”, I think it is important that we just remind ourselves.
A Minister may authorize his/her Deputy Minister to reply to a question directed at that Minister provided the Deputy Minister is also able to respond completely to any permissible supplementary question that may be asked.
That was the Rule that has been used.
The House adjourned at 18:33