Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 30 Nov 2022
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2022
PROCEEDINGS OF HYBRID NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15:01
The House Chairperson Ms M G Boroto took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: House Chair, hon members, I hereby move that the precedence be given to the second Order which is on the Order Paper debate on the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence Against Women and Children, empowering build resilience against gender based violence and femicide as it appears on the Order Paper after which the House will then consider the first Order Paper. I so move hon House Chair.
There was no debate.
DEBATE ON 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM ON NO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN: EMPOWERING WOMEN TO BUILD RESILIENCE AGAINST GENDER- BASED VIOLENCE AND FEMICIDE
Ms M M MATUBA: Hon House Chair, this month marks an important month in our history, it is a month that reminds us that as South Africans we need to intensify our fight against plights in our society. Plights find expression in the form of gender based violence, fermicide, patriarchy and misogyny.
The ANC fundamentally comprehends that these scourges against women are atrocities that need to be dealt with swiftly in order for us to attain a national democratic society based upon dignity and affirmation of rights in a constitutional democracy.
Hon House Chair, the founding provisions and the Bill of Rights as enshrined in Chapters 1 and 2 of the Constitution establish women’s rights in South Africa. The reconstruction and development programme mainstreamed non-sexism and women’s emancipation highlights the need to tackle women’s unpaid labour employment discrimination, credit constraints for women, inadequate early child care and education, gender discrimination in law enforcement and treatment of offenders, discriminatory treatment based on marital status or pregnancy and insufficient public health care services.
The strategies and tactics of the ANC recognised women as a motive force necessary for the advancement of the national democratic revolution. It is within this context that women empowerment and gender equality need to be debated in the context of the history of women in the political economy of South Africa.
The development of gender inequalities has been seen in the context of the evolution of society in which the acquisition of property, colonial structure of economic relations, the industrial revolution and rampant capitalist ideology emerged.
These have profoundly contributed to gender inequality hence our history has been one of the struggle for land, pass law, social economic and political injustices in a discriminatory unequal society.
The Women’s Charter for effective equality of the gender national collective framework are regarded as a pivotal engender transformation. In assessing progress, since 1994 towards a non-sexist society and women’s emancipation research reports including the background paper by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation on women’s empowerment and gender equality as part of the 20-year review 1994 to 2014 and the 25th year review 2014 to 2019 on the empowerment of women and gender equality by the Department of Women. It had looked at the data and examined initiatives to look at the social, economic, political changes towards the advancement of the status of women in our society.
Hon House Chair, we are having this debate with a dark cloud over our heads as a nation. The recent South African crime report has indicated that the rate at which women are abused, violated and killed in our country is alarming. This is a serious indictment on all us as the fight against gender based violence and fermicide should be a responsibility of all of us.
Hon Chair, the ANC led government during the 2022 Sona debate has made firm commitments towards the strengthening of the criminal justice response and supporting survivors of gender- based violence.
In January 2022, the President of the ANC and of the country, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, signed into law anti gender based violence legislation that is aimed at strengthening efforts to ending gender-based violence with specific emphasis on the victims.
The amendment Bills signed into law were Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill and the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill.
Chair, however, taking a cue from the 54th National Conference resolution of the ANC manifesto and also quoting His Excellency President Ramaphosa when he said:
“The enactment of the legislation that protects victims of abuse and make it more difficult for perpetrators to escape justice is a major step forward in our efforts against this epidemic and placing the rights and needs of victims at the centre of our interventions.”
Hon House Chair, the gender Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill provides the Minister with the necessary governance authority to monitor, review and oversee gender mainstreaming to promote empowerment to ensure equal representation and meaningful participation of all women in decision making positions and structures.
However, the responsibility to deal with gender-based violence is a societal one and it cannot be reduced to government or the ANC led government. Society requires all formations and all citizens to be mobilised behind a sustained programme of social action.
The women’s league aims to ensure that we as women play a full role in the people’s struggle and nation building. It is however the ANC Women’s League along with its desk, the Young Women’s Desk and the LBGTQI+ that have remained consistent in the fight against gender-based violence patriarchy and misogyny and provided solace and other forms of support to the victims throughout the year. Ours is not only the 16 days of activism but 365 days.
We therefore commend all women who have played a critical role in addressing the plights they face. History teaches us that women have always been resolute in addressing these issue head on. I thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): We again have a young woman, hon Khakhau who is also delivering her maiden speech.
Mof K L KHAKHAU: Ha ke lebohe motsamaisi wa dipuisano.
Hon Chair, when the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute initiated the campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender- Based Violence in 1991, it did not imagine that 31 years later, this House would still be debating how to get the South African state to finally deliver us from this evil.
The institute did not imagine that in 2022, a 148 women would be opening cases on assault with grievous bodily harm in this country every day; that in South Africa, over 10 590 people
would’ve been raped between July and September alone;
and that the latest quarterly crime statistics would paint the painful picture of 536 cases of attempted sexual offences,
1 895 cases of sexual assault, 262 contact sexual offences and the killing of 989 women.
The bottom line is that as horrifying as these statistics are, they still do not factor everyone else who is battling gender- based violence and femicide in silence.
Hon Chair, the institute did not imagine that ...
... le tsatsing le na ha re ya dikantonorong tsa mapolesa re tla be re botswa dipotso tse tlongtlollang, tse diyang meya, tse re qosang jwalo ka hore re ne re entseng ha re tla otlwa, le hore re ne re apereng ha re tla betwa.
The institute definitely did not imagine that three decades later, the President of a democratic South African government would choose an opportunity to score ANC political points over securing the lives and safety of women.
Yes, hon Chair, President Ramaphosa has sold us out!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Order hon members. Proceed. You are drowning the speaker. Just talk.
Ms K L KHAKHAU: Chair, I repeat, President Ramaphosa has sold us out! For him, gender-based violence and femicide remains a mere conversation appetizer that is meant to make him and his government seem somewhat relevant and aggrieved by the pain of being brutally murdered, raped and assaulted for simply being a woman.
If this were not true, police stations would be safe spaces and we would’ve seen an implementation of effective monitoring mechanisms for cases of gender-based violence. If this were not true, he would have fired Minister Bheki Cele by now. We are cursed with a Police Minister who considers us lucky to be raped by one man instead of many.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Khakhau, your Chief Whip has her hand up.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY: Hon Chair, could you please ask that the members do not drown the speaker. We are really battling to hear her.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, I said from the beginning that this is a maiden speech, which I believe ... order, order, order! Let me talk, don’t talk back
to me. Hon members, the same as when you are making a maiden speech, you must reciprocate what the others are doing because you really cannot say what you want to say in your maiden speech in a different way. Proceed ma.
Thank you Chair. We wouldn’t be cursed with a Police Minister that has absolutely no clue nor care on how to deal with this plague.
Chair, if this were not true, President Ramaphosa would have done more than to be shocked all the time and deliver a summit with no tangible and sustainable outcomes and progress to tackle gender-based violence head on as his alfa and omega strategy.
Chairperson, what remains clear is that President Ramphosa and Minister Cele do not care about us because under their watch, our blood and souls are mere sacrificial products.
Hon Chair, through you, allow me to say this to Mr President, President Ramaphosa, the first step to empowering women and building resilience against gender-based violence and femicide is to appoint a Minister that is capable, that cares and
understands the mandate of the people he represents and serves.
That person is definitely not Minister Bheki Cele. So, I dare you, Mr President, choose us. Honour us, honour your commitment to serve and protect. Get rid of Minister Cele with immediate effect!
Ms O M C MAOTWE: Thank you very much, House Chair, in preparation for this debate we have gone back at least four years, reflecting on the contributions we have been making. It is mind bottling for us how Parliament, the executive and the Judiciary have collectively held so many women who have been victims of heinous crimes by men against women and children in this country. Chair, in 2018 we spoke here about the brutal murder of Nokhanyo Mtalana who was gunned down in Nyanga on 8th of November while driving home from a prayer service. To date, those who murdered her were never arrested and her death was in vain. This is the failure of the police to protect women and properly investigate crimes committed against women.
In the same year, Chair, we spoke about the bravery of young woman like Cheryl Zondi who stood up to the abuse of young girls who suffer in churches from the likes of pastors such as
Tim Omotoso. While in this case of Omotoso when he’s in jail, this case has not been concluded so many years later. This is the failure of the Prosecuting Authority and the Judiciary.
Chair, in 2019 we noted the brutal murders of Precious Ramabulana, Uyinene Mrwetyana, Anele Booysen, Aviwe Wellem, who were only a tiny fraction of thousands of women who get raped and killed every single year in this country.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Maotwe, just a minute.
Ms O M C MAOTWE: Yes, mam.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Jeffrey, I see your hand is up. Is that a point of order?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES (J H
Jeffery): Sorry, House Chair, that was a mistake.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, proceed Ma.
Ms O M C MAOTWE: Thank you, Chair, in 2020 we spoke about the brutal murders of Danielle Maistry, a final year student from Durban who was killed by her partner. We also noted the
shameless murder of Naledi Phangindawo a 25-year-old from Mossel Bay who was hacked and stabbed to death with an axe allegedly by her partner when she tried to end their relationship. We also noted, Chair, the inhumane killing of Tshegofatso Pule who was eight months pregnant and lived in Meadowlands Johannesburg who was found with stabbed wounds and hanged from the tree in Roodepoort.
Last year again, Chair, as part of a larger group of women who succumbed to the violence perpetrated by men we told this House of Ntomboxolo Xhobane a 41-year-old woman who was butchered to death by the estranged husband in Delft in Cape Town. We spoke of Nosicelo Mtebeni a last year law student at the university of Fort Hare, who was murdered and her body was cut into pieces and stashed in a suitcase by Alutha Pasile who was at a time alleged to be her boyfriend. We spoke House Chair, of Nikita Maloni a 28-year-old woman from Kwatshatshu Village just outside King William’s Town who was killed by her father of their grand seven months old baby even after she was gone to the police to obtain the protection order against the abusive boyfriend. Chairperson, we can go on and on, the reality is that this House, the executive and the judiciary do not care about the plight of women in this country.
Chairperson, year after year this debate has become a box ticking exercise in this House, because as we speak, a woman is murdered every three hours in this country. Over 150 women report being raped every single day in this country. In the most recent crime statistics, Chair, from the period between July and September this year we learned that over 13 000 women were victims of assault and that is only the number of cases reported to police stations. About 989 women were murdered, and over 1200 were victims of attempted murder. During this period over 10 000 raped cases were reported to SAPS stations across the country.
Chairperson, over the past four reporting quarters, rape cases across the country are consistently over 10 000 mark. Meaning that over 40 000 rape cases are reported in this country every single year. We know that Mthatha and Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, Delft in the Western Cape, and Inanda in the KZN are prime spots of these crimes. But what intervention has been done in these areas to deal with these crimes? The SAPS and all those involved in the criminal justice system have done absolutely nothing to deal with these crimes. In fact, the SAPS has basically told us that they have given up investigating the brutal murder of Namhla Mtwa in the Eastern Cape because there are no leads. It is for this ...
[Inaudible.] ... approach to investigating crime that you only have a tiny fraction of these crimes leading to successful prosecution. While over 150 cases of rape are reported every day in this country, fewer than 30 will ever be enrolled for prosecution in court and less than 10 will result in successful prosecution.
Chair, that means that at any given point, there are possibly thousands of rapists and repeat rapists who are walking out our streets, tormenting women and the state has absolutely no idea who these rapists are because we do not have the capacity to investigate these rape cases. This Annual Report of 16 Days of no violence against women is meaningless to millions of women in this country, who have nowhere to turn to. The abuse of women is not only limited to physical abuse. We also have a deeply embedded tendency of state-sanctioned violence against women in this country. We witnessed, Chair, what the Chairperson of the section 194 is doing to our Public Protector in that committee is nothing less than state sanction abuse of a woman who dares to hold a different view from those with power.
We also know that the police and the Prosecuting Authority connived to have the woman who accused Mr Godongwane, he was
walking here just now freely of sexual assault to withdraw the cases. We know, House Chair, that those in power even in this Parliament those who hold high offices sanction the kidnapping and assault of a woman, female, domestic worker at Phalaphala farm. If men such as these are at the hem of perpetrating these crimes against women, what hope do ordinary women have of ever getting redemption? We would like to call on all male members of the society to reflect on their actions and to stop this crime against women, particularly to the members of the Economic Freedom Fighters let us start with a million members that we have recruited to instill a culture of respect. No member of the EFF must ever be found to have committed any sort of crime, particularly against women and children. ...
[Time expired.] I thank you, Chair.
Ms M D HLENGWA: Thank you, hon Chairperson, a women's rights activist recently said that women are dying in this democracy, and she posed the question of whether our country is at war with its women. Sadly, we cannot label this question as controversial as gender-based violence and femicide have become a common occurrence, and children as young as four- years-old are subjected to sexual assaults at alarming rates. In question our eagerness to frame this debate, around the development of resilience in South African women. Women in
South Africa have been continuing to live their lives despite the possibility of becoming yet another gender-based violence statistic and story. South African women have an indescribable amount of resilience, as their existence in circumstances they have always been dependent on their ability to survive in one of the most dangerous countries for women. Is this not enough proof of resilience? Building resilience against murder and rape means accepting that it will always be there. Therefore, increasing your ability to stay alive. We need to start shifting the narrative and focus from resilient women to responsible men. What we should debate is why South African men are so angry that they deemed fit to take their anger out of the ... [Inaudible.] women and children.
Every citizen in our society has a crucial role to play. As South Africans, we need to move from awareness to accountability. The government must be held accountable for implementing legislation effectively and taking to task public servants who neglect their Public Service duties, especially those who take bribes and release perpetrators prematurely or lose dockets.
Inkatha Freedom Party ikhathazekile ngokuthi baqhongoza ngaphandle laba bathi esithi siyababopha ngoba bahlwengule izingane zethu kodwa umthetho ufika ubakhiphe ngoba kuthiwe hhayi banabungozi. Abaphumele ngaphandle Sikhathazekile ngalokho. Sifuna uhulumeni aqinise laphaya emakhaya kuma policing forums abanikeze amandla okwenza izinto zenzeke ngoba izinto zenzeka laphaya emphakathini lo onganakiwe. Sicela futhi ukuthi akungabi nje 365 days obhaliwe kodwa akube 365 owenziwayo nozoqala njengoba unyaka uqala kuze kuyophela unyaka.
I thank you.
Mrs H DENNER: House Chairperson, we’ve heard a lot about programmes, frameworks and initiatives that government has in store to empower women to build resilience against gender- based violence, GBV, and femicide. However, we cannot empower women without empowering society first, and society can only be empowered through a properly functioning education system, a functioning health care system, a functioning police force, proper service delivery and a growing and prosperous economy.
Over 13 000 women were reportedly victims of assault during the period July to September of this year. A total of
989 women were murdered and 10 000 rape cases were opened with the SA Police Service, the SAPS. These were only the cases that were reported to the police. There are many women who don’t report the crimes perpetrated against them for fear of further victimisation. With the shortage of rape kits at police stations, insufficient resources and with approximately one police officer for every 408 citizens, continued victimisation is often a result of a failing support system.
Where is the activism?
The delay in the establishment of sexual offences courts, in contradiction with the President’s promises in 2019 and backlogs at these courts, like the 200 pending cases at the Parow Sexual Offences Court by May of this year, destroys victims’ confidence in the system. Hon Matuba, by empowering the police and National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, you will empower women.
Voorsitter, 90 037 meisies tussen die ouderdomme van 10 en
19 het gedurende die tydperk Maart verlede jaar tot April vanjaar swanger geraak. Jaarliks word meer as 10 000 babas
weggegooi, die meerderheid waarvan dood gevind word. Tienerswangerskappe hou ook direk verband met die uitvalkoers in skole.
Volgens ‘n verslag van Amnestie Internasionaal faal Suid- Afrika se onderwysstelsel die jeug van die land. Ons onderwysstelsel word gekenmerk deur verbrokkelende infrastruktuur, oorvol klaskamers en swak onderriguitkomste. Bemagtiging begin in die klaskamer waar kinders met die gereedskap toegerus word om vir hulself ’n ekonomies- volhoubare toekoms te skep. Hier misluk die ANC klaaglik. Waar is die sogenaamde aktivisme?
A total of 3,5 million of the 10,2 million young people aged between 15 and 24 are not in any form of employment, education or training. The unemployment rate is 43,1%. Nearly half of the economically active population of South Africa is jobless, and this includes demoralised and discouraged workseekers.
This feeds into the pandemic of GBV. Hopelessness, despair, depression, substance abuse, a rise in crime and other social ills all increase with a high unemployment rate — an unemployment rate that is exacerbated by rolling blackouts, poor service delivery, poor economic growth and a failing
social support system. Women must be empowered through economic opportunities.
Unemployment also compounds the pressure on our health care system, where 80% of the 60,4 million population is dependent on 420 state hospitals where conditions are so dire that even the largest hospital in Africa, Chris Hani Baragwanath, is running out of food. You must empower women, hon ANC members, by ensuring that they receive quality health care.
Programmes, plans and initiatives are a mere band-aid on the gaping wound that is GBV and femicide. True empowerment will only happen when children receive quality education; when victims of GBV and other crimes have the confidence and trust in the police to report these crimes; when these crimes are successfully prosecuted; when women and victims of GBV have access to quality health care and support services; and when women are enabled to take part in the economy to provide for themselves and their children with pride. That is true empowerment. I thank you, House Chair.
Rev K R J MESHOE: House Chairperson, government has the power to reduce GBV, particularly the rape of women and femicide in the country. We are one of the top five countries in the world
when it comes to femicide. At least a third of our women and teenage girls and boys have suffered sexual violence and half of them have experienced physical violence.
The highest number of rapes are taking place in residences of either victims or perpetrators, and yet, surprisingly, government does not investigate the role of pornography in these ever-increasing rapes taking place in homes. The ACDP believes that pornography is the theory and rape is the act.
Nobody’s wife or daughter deserves to be raped because she had to walk home from work or school through the veld. It is a shame that until today, only fewer than 10% of those arrested for rape are convicted. The DNA samples that are taken to forensic laboratories for testing take years before they are finalised. The current DNA backlog numbers a massive
81 291 cases, with the ring-fenced backlog of cases a shocking 11 000.
The ACDP is totally opposed to parole for those convicted of rape or murder. Bail for those accused of rape or murder must also be denied. Nobody should have to picket outside a court because they are afraid that a suspected or convicted perpetrator will be allowed back onto the streets. Recently,
four-year-old Bokgabo Poo of Wattville, Gauteng, was lured away from her friend in a park to be raped and murdered.
Unbelievably, the suspect was out on bail for the rape of a nine-year-old girl at the time.
If government is to show seriousness about ending GBV in this country, then they should take drastic steps to end this scourge. Among others, they should ban pornography, they should deny bail and outlaw parole for rapists. They should also end their cosy relationship with countries that deny women their rights.
Is it not hypocritical for government to invite an Iranian Foreign Minister to visit South Africa without challenging their treatment of women or speaking in defence of women who are crying for liberation in that country? We know that for the past two months, the Iranian government has violently suppressed protests calling for women's rights. It is morally repugnant that our government, which claims to champion ...
GBV, would be silent when women are being harassed and arrested for claiming their rights.
This invitation portrays the shallowness and hypocrisy of the ANC government’s statements and its commitment to the fight
against GBV. How can our government be so vocal about women's and children’s rights but then invite these suppressors of women to our country? The South African government has yet to utter a single word of support for the women and girls of Iran. Thank you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: House Chair, 16 days of activism is a clarion call for the world to do something, especially for South Africa to do something to free our women and children from all forms of violence. We live in a country where GBV is a pandemic and a widespread problem, impacting on almost every aspect of our lives. We must admit that it is systemic and deeply entrenched in our institutions, religions, cultures and traditions in South Africa. We have an example where we were shocked by GBV cases skyrocketing unbelievably during the COVID-19 pandemic, where more than 120 000 cases were reported or recorded by the government-run Gender-Based Violence Command Centre in just the first three weeks of the national lockdown.
Most types of violence in our country, whether it be from a physical, sexual, emotional or financial nature, is almost always of a gender nature because of how gender and power inequalities are entrenched in our societies and due to the
culture of patriarchy which has not relinquished its grip, leading men to perpetuate violence against women with impunity. It is critical to address the systemic forms of violence and the problems that occur as a result, as violence does not occur in a vacuum but rather in a society that condones and encourages it.
Regrettably, nearly three decades since the establishment of the Commission for Gender Equality and other institutions that seek to fight against gender inequality and GBV, South African women still continue to face some of the highest levels of domestic and sexual violence of women found anywhere in the world. Children are being brutally murdered. Violent crimes committed against women and children recorded high and unacceptable levels, such that 855 women and 243 children were killed in less than 90 days in this country between the period of April and June.
We have to do something to curb this and while steps are being taken for example to amend and strengthen existing laws such as the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill and the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, which were recently signed into law by the President, nothing is going to be achieved until we ensure that the
enforcement of these happens on a daily basis and we create an environment that is conducive for the implementation of all these important amendments. It is important that government strengthens and enforces the new legislative measures in order to end violence against women and children.
In addition, the departments of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities and Social Development, and the SAPS and other related stakeholders, should collaborate to strengthen educative programmes aimed at empowering women and educating men about GBV, as ending violence against women and children in our communities is our collective responsibility. Thank you very much.
Mr B M HADEBE: House Chairperson, our country is infested with many socioeconomic challenges, with gender inequality ranging amongst them. In a country vast with gender inequality, women and marginalized groups such as children, persons living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community are exposed to violence and usually carry the brunt of consequences of inequality.
Annually, cases of gender brutality and gender injustice keep on rising. Women, children and the vulnerable are more
impacted by the inequality than any other groups and they are the most unsafe in our society.
I fully concur with you, hon Matumba that 16 Days of Activism of no violence against women and children should not only be from the month of November until December. Women and the vulnerable in our country needs to be protected on daily basis. We ought to ask ourselves – like uMama Hlengwa has asked – why? This very culture of violence in our society persists. Why do men in our society perpetuate violence against women and children and hunt them like animals so as to eliminate them from society, why?
Hon House Chairperson, as a country, we continuously attempt to address gender-based violence and femicide with the implementation of various strategic initiatives such as the National Strategic Plan on Gender-based Violence and Femicide and other initiatives to alleviate gender-based violence and femicide. However, the number of gender-based violence is still on the rise. This indicates that perhaps we are not dealing with the root cause of the problem but we are addressing the phenomenon or consequences of the problem. This is what I call a “panado or grand pa approach.”
The violence perpetrated by men towards women is rooted in a patriarchy and the entitlement of men over women as their agents. Patriarchal oppression is embedded in the economic, social, religious, cultural, family and other relations in our community. Dismantling the system of patriarchy in all its manifestations is imperative for the attainment of gender equality in our society. Part of dismantling the system of patriarchy includes addressing toxic masculinity embedded in the culture and religious practices.
Perhaps as a society, we need to consider having uncomfortable conversations amongst ourselves to reconsider eliminating toxic, cultural and religious practices that contributes to the detriment of our communities. In the same breath, we ought to uphold cultural and religious practices that promotes positive masculinity in our communities and society. The emphasis of these practices will counter the toxicity that is embedded in our society.
The Government, Communication and Information System, GCIS, and the Department of Social Development must continue to host conversations on challenging the culture of toxic masculinity to combat violence under the theme of moving toxic masculinity to positive masculinity which seeks to highlight the role that
the cultural toxic masculinity has in perpetuating gender- based violence and femicide. These are discussions that needs to take place in our country and they will take forward our country in addressing the root cause of toxic masculinity which is entrenched in the patriarchal practices - not what we have just been subjected to by Pinky on my left here. They blame everyone else and say nothing ... [Inaudible.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order. Hon Hadebe, please take your seat. Yes, hon Chief Whip of the Opposition.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: House Chair, the member on the floor is talking about toxic masculinity, but refers to another female member as Pinky. Can he please withdraw?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Hadebe ...
Mr B M HADEBE: Chair, I withdraw. I am colour conscious. I am appreciating the beauty of the colour.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Don’t just talk. Who asked you to do that because I was still coming to you?
Mr B M HADEBE: Alright.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): We must respect the Rules. You know that you aren’t supposed to do that. There is no Pinky in this House, there is an hon member. I don’t know who you are talking about, but please, just withdraw.
Mr B M HADEBE: Thanks, House Chair, I love colours. Hon members in the platform stood up and blame everyone else and say nothing positive in terms of the solution contribution that will put this matter on the agenda ... [Interjections.]
... talk is cheap.
Hon House Chair, another matter that is central to the discussion is the role of family unit ... [Inaudible.] ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Hadebe, please wait
Mr B M HADEBE: Please, stop my time.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): It is stopped already. Once I speak to you, you must check. It is off. Hon Peacock and hon members on the platform, let’s respect this House.
When you unmute, there are other voices in the background, and
it tells us that you are not alone there. We take the seat of where you are as the seat in Parliament, in this House.
Please, everyone check your microphones. We can’t keep on stopping people. Proceed, hon Hadebe, I am sorry for that.
Mr B M HADEBE: Thank you, hon House Chair, another matter that is central to the discussion is the role of family unit. We have to rectify the destruction legacy left by apartheid evident in our democracy. Our society is engulfed by the legacy of apartheid which left South Africa with an unusual pattern of family structure, which mostly affects the black majority. Nearly half of the households are female-headed and it has led to what we see today, many children with absent fathers. This has major implications on poverty as single parent households and those headed by women are the poorest of the poor.
Relatively, South Africa has high levels of violence. This is likely due to the sense of powerlessness and aggression that comes with poverty as well as the hype of masculinity that emerge as the means of overcompensating the lack of masculinity training that boys are missing from their absent fathers.
As a society, we need to strengthen family structures for men to own up to their responsibilities and assume their parental role for some boys have no father or positive male role model can lead to emotional disturbance, aggression and violent behavior. Of course, this does not excuse the violent behavior of boys. However, I am pinpointing the challenge that emerge from such fractured family units.
We need to pay special attention to socialization of both girls and boys in our communities and broaden the society for us to achieve a nonviolent society.
Hon Maotwe, this thing of saying ...
...umjolo uyanyisa ...
... must come to an end. There is no such a thing. Once he starts laying hands on you, walk away. For us to achieve a nonviolent ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Hadebe, take your seat. Hon Malatsi. Please switch on your mic.
Mr M S MALATSI: Mme Boroto, I think there is a certain language that, particularly coming from a man is problematic in a debate of this nature.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): What are you talking about?
Mr M S MALATSI: I can’t repeat it because I will be condoning the same sexist element that I ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay, there is something that he said that you are not happy about?
Mr M S MALATSI: He said umjolo what what.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay, check that with Hansard. Thank you very much. Proceed, hon Hadebe.
Mr B M HADEBE: Perhaps I must say it in Eglish – you cannot perpetuate this culture that says love hurts and force our friends and partners to remain in relationships on the auspices that love hurts – That’s what I meant ... [interjections.] ... exactly. There is no such a thing as love
hurts. We are dealing with a stereotype of gender-based violence.
In closing, we are a wounded ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members. Please, allow the speaker, don’t drown him.
Ms O M C MAOTWE: But he must also finish, House Chair. He has been talking nothing. He has been saying nothing. He must finish.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Maotwe, you don’t do that in this House. You don’t just switch on the mic and speak. Please don’t do that. It is a warning. Proceed, hon member.
Mr B M HADEBE: ... population of people in pain. We must respond and address the psychological trauma that we are experiencing as people. Simply dealing with consequences of trauma will not address the problem. Rather, we must confront the essence of the problem if we are to uproot the social ills of the culture of violence in our country against women. I thank you, House Chairperson.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: House Chairperson, I hear a lot of talk, I hear a lot of attack on the police officers. Year in, and year out, we come in and talk about the same things. Well, I can assure you that in the next 10 years or 15 years, we will be talking about the same thing. We will be attacking each other, but that is not going to save our women and children in our country. I think we need to be realistic and honest about the root causes of why the levels of gender-based violence are so high, particularly in South Africa.
Let us look at this very seriously. First of all, last year,
91 000 children, some as young as 10-years-old. Is that okay?
Certainly not okay. Look at the levels of poverty in the country. Is it okay? It is clearly not okay. Let’s look at this, one in two children starts school and never finish school. Sixty percent drop out in the first year. If you can look at the living conditions and the number of homeless people, but more importantly, look at the availability of alcohol and drug abuse in the country. Look at the issue of taverns that are open 24-hours. Then of course, you can’t create a better society.
Seventy-eight percent of black children do not have a father at home. Fifty-six percent of coloured children don’t have a
father at home. Twenty-two percent of white children have no father at home and thirteen percent of Indian children have no fathers at home. Do you think this is okay? And you are going to solve all these problems? Clearly, not.
So, let’s get to the root cause. If you want to solve the problem, we say, start today. This is how you start. Start in the schools. Make sure that every child goes to school. Make sure that every child stays in school until they complete their studies. Make sure the school is conducive for children to want to come and stay at school. At the moment? No, they don’t. Make sure that we deal with the issue of dysfunctional families through the school system. Introduce safety ambassadors and identify children coming from dysfunctional families or problems. Roll out social workers to go and deal with these children. Also, it is important that both mothers and fathers chose the parents that they want for their children. You cannot go out have babies at 10 years and 11- years-old. It is not acceptable.
So, these are some of the problems. We need to deal with the high levels unemployment and the socioeconomic conditions our people are living in. We have 10 people living in one shack, and we think that nothing will go wrong.
Most of these crimes are committed by perpetrators known to the victims living with them. Yet we come here and blame the SA Police Service. Are the police going to put an officer in every home? No. The entire community knows that there is abuse taking place, they do nothing until a woman is raped, until a child is raped or murdered. That is when they act. Even organized civil society who receive millions of rands, they go and grandstand outside the court when somebody is raped. No bail for the perpetrator.
What did we do save our women and children? It starts with us in our very homes and in our communities. Each and every one of us has to take collective responsibility to change the society within which we live. I thank you very much, House Chairperson.
Ms A M M WEBER: Hon Chairperson, it is shameful that the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is still needed in a country that affords all its people, including women and children, the constitutional right to equality, life and administrative justice. It is horrifying that we have to ask ourselves if South African women truly have the freedom to make choices and control their decisions and resources that determine their quality of life.
In this day and age, the scourge of gender-based violence continues to disempower women. We are constantly living in fear of assault or rape at home, work, or while socialising and we know that little will be done to protect us or bring the perpetrators to book. Men, sex is not a right. Too many men in this country do not understand that sex is a consensual act, that no is no, and that real men do not rape women and children.
They treat their partners and children like property and beat and abuse them. Child rape is a dime a dozen in South Africa, yet justice is rarely seen.
Genoeg is genoeg. Ons vereis geregtigheid. Veilige omgewings vir vroue en kinders word al hoe minder en dit terwyl 115 vrouens daagliks verkrag word.
Articles abound of children dying in horrendous circumstances, yet justice often remain elusive.
Suid-Afrika val onder die top-50 gevaarlikste lande in die wêreld. Ons kwartaalikse misdaadstatistieke hou aan styg, skynbaar onverpoos.
Yet, the backlog for DNA testing has yet to be eradicated. DNA testing is one of the most effective accredited resources available to ensure perpetrators of violent crimes are brought to justice. The DA has been raising the alarm on the challenges with DNA testing since 2019. Three years later, the implementation of solution is happening at snail’s pace. Until the backlog is gone, there will be little, if any consequence for rapists and violators, while their victims continue to live in fear.
Little came of Police Minister, Bheki Cele’s promises to have the backlog completely cleared by October this year and I will be very surprised if the extended deadline of January 2023 is managed to be met. In the meantime, the brutality against the vulnerable is increasing and is becoming very alarming. Nearly every day, a new horror was brought to light by the media - women beaten to death by their partners, raped, gang raped, cut into pieces, tied, burned by their neighbours, family or
friends and children killed, raped, kidnapped or murdered by those who were meant to love and protect them.
Many gender-based violence instances are perpetrated by strangers, but the people we love and trust often pose an unexpected danger.
Hoe verwag ons van vroue om effektief te funksioneer in ons samelewing, te werk, om kinders te voed en te klee, te onderrig en ’n huis vir hulle gesinne te skep, as ons samelewing hulle nie as gelykes behandel nie?
How many promises have been made to gender-based violence victims in the 31 years of the annual 16 Days of Activism programme? Yet, there seems to be almost ... The DA-run Western Cape has 25 active shelters to assist gender-based violence victims and continues to train Law Enforcement Advancement Plan, Leap, officers to fight crime.
There are also eight Thuthuzela Care Centres with 24-hour medical service. The fight against gender-based violence should be inclusive in the school curriculum.
Vroue en kinders in Suid-Afrika trek aanhoudend aan die kortste ent.
Government needs to join hands and assist the DA with our whole-of-society approach to combat gender-violence. Empty promises will not be tolerated anymore. The women and children in this country are in the fight of their lives. We cannot win the war against gender-based violence alone.
Women in South Africa have the right to be treated with dignity, respect and to equality. Women in South Africa deserve justice. Thank you.
Ms N H MASEKO-JELE: Hon House Chairperson, hon members, fellow South Africans, the feminisation of poverty is a phenomenon that has been used to understand and contextualise the patterns of rising living standards disparities between women and men, as a result of a widening gender gap in poverty. This phenomenon essentially highlights the persistent fact that women and children make up the majority of groups in society that are economically and socially marginalised.
In South Africa, especially our framing of this idea is underscored by the legacy of colonialism and apartheid. Women in South Africa have before been oppressed and discriminated against on the basis of their gender and the majority of South African women are race and class positioned as well.
This is the unfortunate history that continues to plague our society, even as it relates to the manifestation and scathing form of economic inequality.
While in the democratic dispensation, efforts have been made to address the socioeconomic disparities that exist between women and men. The social construction of the family and household structure, unemployment, poverty and inequality, as well as gender-based violence and femicide further entrench the face of poverty in South Africa as largely female, African and queer.
The reality of the gender pay gap is an example of the structural inequality that exists insofar as women’s access to financial resources and alternative forms of income. In South African, the gender pay gap continues to a problematic area of redress and transformation, with women in South Africa making up to 25% less money than their male counterpart for doing
labour of equivalent worth in a context where almost 38% of households rely on women incomes in order to survive.
Although there are some areas which mark progress in various sectors, the work that still needs to be done in order to address this inequality across sectors is still significant.
The global economic crisis has also affected women’s ability to take care of themselves and their families, over and above the documented disaggregated impact that Covid-19 has had on livelihoods and women’s stability to unpaid domestic work, as well as the increase in the occurrence of gender-based violence during the various stages of lockdown.
The job losses that have been noted during this period contribute to the already existing imbalances in economic activity between women and men. According to Statistics SA Gender Series Volume 15 reports of 2017 to 2022, between 2017 and 2022, the country’s overall unemployment rate increased by 6,8%, increasing from 27,7% to 34,5% in both years. The female unemployment rates were higher than male unemployment rates and provincial dynamics indicated that the Eastern Cape, for example had the highest unemployment rate.
Males were more likely to be unemployed in short-term unemployment than females in both years - 55,8% in 2017 and 61,5% in 2022, visa vee 44,2% and 38,5%, respectively.
These statistics reinforce the view that, while women economic empowerment programmes have been prioritised, the systemic nature of capitalist patriarchy is such that it fundamentally thrives on cheap and disposable labour, an approach that is not completely suitable of the South African economy.
Women economic vulnerabilities serves as an enabler for gender-based violence and femicide to strive. This is so because when women are not economically stable and in a position to take care of their basic and other needs, they tend to become reliant on men in their lives who, as highlighted previously, generally stand a better chance at being economically active than their women counterparts. This therefore inevitably serves as a basis for power relations between women and men to become enforced, creating a context where men exert violence on women.
Intimate partner violence is one of the highest types of violence that women experience in South Africa. Almost 50% of cases of violence against women are being attributed to
intimate partner violence. Of course, the economic status of women is not the only reason behind intimate partner violence, however, it is tandem with the notable scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.
In addressing this, it is important that, as a way of contributing to the management of the GBVF and the liberation of women, women be exposed to economic opportunities as well as those that would enable them to participate in food systems and the agriculture value chain, in order for them to both sustain their livelihoods and to contribute to the economy.
Being able to exercise the urgency to be liberated from the cycle that perpetuate women’s economic exclusion and vulnerability to gender-based violence, it is imperative that in its response to the scourge of gender-based violence and efforts towards empowering women, government departments and various entities contribute to the enhancement of its capacity, in order create an enabling environment where women entrepreneurs in SMMEs and the informal enterprise space are adequately supported. An environment must also be created for women to thrive.
The call to connect, collaborate and contract is imperative to the gender, and to building women’s reliance against gender- based violence and femicide. This is indeed the only way that socioeconomic equity can be a reality for women of South Africa. I thank you.
Mr S M JAFTA: Hon Chair, the research statistics released by the Department of Police mirrors a bleak picture of the plight of women and children in our country. Between July and September this year, 989 women were killed. We also heard that children are not spared. Over a period of three months, over
294 children were killed. This was amplified by the recent killing of seven family members in the Eastern Cape.
If there was any doubt that our criminal justice system is blunt, these recent statistics are instructive. They reveal a weak criminal intelligence system, including an inefficient policing system. There is no equal protection and benefit of the law for women and children in this country. They continue to be treated differently. Protection against them is weak and at the best dismal.
This calls for the pulling of financial resources to fund GBV programs, as well as the criminal justice system. We cannot
leave anyone behind. Part of that inclusive drive is to invest in gender-mainstreamed projects so that boy children are not left behind. We have to unravel these symptoms - the symptoms of gender-based violence - and not merely pepper spray its wounds. In this regard, we must be firm in our messaging that toxic masculinity, patriarchy, gender stereotypes, sexism and ukuthwala must fall. I thank you
Rre M S MALATSI: Ke a leboga, Modulasetulo.
Every year, Parliament schedules this debate to showcase how it takes the fight against gender-based violence seriously. Government unleashes its PR machinery with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign to somehow show that it cares about the rights of women. It is like all of a sudden, we all wake up from a slumber to the harsh reality that women’s lives are under siege in South Africa. Yet, every day, a woman is battered to death in South Africa by someone they once considered the love of their lives.
In each and every case of the murdered woman or a homophobic attack the common denominator is a man or group of men known
by others. If truth be told, we need to do better as men, and it equally starts in this House. We all need to play our part to make our country a safe space for women and same-sex couples, to enjoy the freedom of living without any victimisation. From young boys in our communities to those adults in our cycles of brotherhood, we must hold each other more accountable to squash chauvinism and misogyny.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Malatsi, just take your seat. The hon Minister Zulu!
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Will the member take a question?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): hon Malatsi, are you prepared to take a question?
Mr M S MALATSI: I have got four minutes. Three previous speakers didn’t speak, so there is enough time after my speech to take your question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay, thank you. Proceed!
Mr M S MALATSI: We need to educate each other better as men, that we are not entitled to women’s bodies. We need to empower each other that catcalling women is not sexy, as some member tried earlier. We need to enlighten each other that gaslighting victims of gender-based violence is not cool at all. We must call out all sexist stereotypes in all spaces, to dispel this notion that somehow they are sacred elements of a bro code. As men who are leaders in society, we have a bigger responsibility to prevent gender-based violence because our ways and deeds have wide reach and carry powerful currency.
However: How can we truly make progress in the fight against gender-based violence when we have leaders, such as the Minister of Police, saying outrageous stuff, such as, “Women are lucky to be raped by one person... “, at a time when South Africa has one of the highest rape statistics in the world?
The latest quarterly crime statistics show that 10 590 rape cases were reported nationally, between July and September 2022, representing a 10% increase compared to the previous year. More than being a victim of the worst inhuman assaults of their dignity, many of these women never get the justice they need because South Africa’s criminal justice system is broken.
The shortage of rape kits at police stations, coupled with the DNA backlog, means that far too many investigations in rape cases are botched to secure successful convictions. Far too many police officers do not have the required professional etiquette and the emotional intelligence to deal with gender- based violence cases.
We need an overhaul of the National Sex Offenders Registrar, so that it can accurately identify specific sex offenders.
This information can be easily accessed from the Department of Justice. The truth of the matter is that ANC failures in government create an enabling environment for gender-based violence to thrive.
So, for all this talk about women empowerment and emancipation, the ANC and its tripartite alliance apply a different set of rules to their leaders. For example, an ANC councillor, in a municipality in the Eastern Cape, who was convicted of raping an ANC volunteer, had been receiving his full salary despite being sentenced without any condemnation by his party. I can easily provide you those details.
None of this is surprising because the ANC’s institutional architecture is hostile to gender equality. How is it that in
its entire existence, the ANC. its alliance partners and its former youth league have never had a female president in their history? [Time expired.] Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES (Mr J
H JEFFERY): House Chairperson, this is indeed an important debate. The 16 Days Campaign of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children is an international campaign. It starts on the 25th of November, which is International Day of No Violence against Women, and it ends on the 10th of December, which is International Human Rights Day.
So it’s an international campaign, showing that it’s a problem throughout the world, although yes in South Africa we do have a more serious problem of gender-based violence than most other countries. But it is not something that government has invented, we are participating in an international campaign.
I remember the day as if it were yesterday - it was August 2019, three years ago, when we heard about the death of
19-year-old Uyinene Mrwetyana. She had gone to the post office to collect a parcel. But she was raped and killed by a post office employee, Luyanda Botha.
I remember listening to Ma Graca Machel, speaking at the memorial service for Uyinene, saying and she said:
I had high dreams about my country and my Africa, then I get to this age where I am now planning to go somewhere where I think I will have real peace ... and you say, what has happened? Where did we fail? How do we start to rebuild the social fabrics of our societies? Where do we start and how?
And I thought surely now, we had reached the point where South Africans across race and gender lines, across ethnicity, across socio-economic status, across party lines, would take a united stand against gender-based violence and say “enough is now enough.”
And, House Chair, I think what has been disappointing with this debate is that some parties have chosen to seek the opportunity to try and score points, to try and blame government, when this is a societal problem that is facing all of us and when it comes to gender-based violence, hon Malatji, in all our parties, generally, these problems are ... we are facing problem on this issue. The DA is not exempt.
The three years have passed and gender-based violence and femicide is as much of a scourge and today, as it was then. We are, as President Ramaphosa has said, a nation still at war with itself.
Now, there are speakers who have given some crime stats, which are much, much, much too high, they are horrendous. And while we refer to crime statistics, and whilst crime statistics have a place in the methodology of monitoring and deterring crime, we must remember that, as Ma Graca Machel also said, we need to stop speaking of violence against women as statistics and said:
Each one of these women has a name, an identity. Let us find a place to write every single one of their names so they are never forgotten. Of the all the women who were murdered, each one was someone’s daughter, someone’s sister or someone’s mother.
So, who is committing these crimes? It’s not aliens from some other planet who descend on us and kill and beat up women.
It’s not aliens from another country. It’s men - men in South Africa. These are our fathers, our grandfathers, our sons, our brothers, our uncles, our nephews, our male colleagues.
It’s men we know, men who live under our roofs, who walk in our streets, who live in our communities. We know the perpetrators, they are not strangers, we know who they are, where they live, yet we seem to have normalised these levels of brutality. And I would like to echo the words of some of the previous speakers, who also were raising these issues.
Some of the previous speakers have touched on the measures and interventions that government has put in place to strengthen our response to GBV, such as our Sexual Offences Courts, which incidentally, hon Denner, it’s not a delay in them being established and they are being rolled out.
And also while I am with the hon Denner, it is quite remarkable that somebody from your party will complain about the general socio-economic conditions of all the people of South Africa, particularly black people. I remember H F Verwoerd allegedly saying that black people didn’t need education because they were just going to work in the garden. That is the legacy of your party, hon Denner.
I spoke about Sexual Offences Courts and initiatives such as Thuthuzela Care Centres. I was a bit disturbed that the hon
Weber spoke about the fact that there eight Sexual Offences Court in the Western Cape as a DA success.
Thuthuzela Care Centres, TCC, are from national, they are run by the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA. But let’s not score points. That’s the point I’m making, let’s not score points, let’s work together to combat this scourge, rather than saying we’re better than you are, as DA or as ANC, because we’ve done X or Y.
The reference has been made to the three Acts that House passed - The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act expands the scope of the National Register for Sex Offenders. I’m not sure what the Hon Malatji was referring to when he wanted an overhaul. It now includes the particulars of all sex offenders and not only sex offenders against children and persons who are mentally disabled.
It also expands the list of persons who are to be protected to include other vulnerable persons, namely, certain young women, persons with physical, mental or intellectual disabilities and persons over 60 years of age who, for example, receive community-based care and support services.
The second Act - the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act amends the Magistrates’ Courts Act to extend the appointment of intermediaries for witnesses in additional categories - previously it was just for children, as well as providing for the giving of evidence through intermediaries in proceedings other than criminal proceedings. So in a civil matter you can also have an intermediary.
It also amends the Criminal Procedure Act to further regulate the granting and cancellation of bail, the giving of evidence by means of closed-circuit television or similar electronic media and the right of a complainant in a domestic related offence to participate in parole proceedings.
And to the hon Meshoe, you have been here since 1994 and you play to the gallery. We cannot deny the court’s right or the court’s power to decide whether a person gets bails or not. We can tighten the bail conditions, but the ultimate ultimately it’s up to the court to decide whether bail should be granted or not.
The other two Acts are effect, the Domestic Violence Amendment Act, which is coming into effect, acknowledges that violence is not always physical, it can take other forms. That’s why
the amended legislation includes definitions, such as “controlling behaviour” and “coercive behaviour”, and expands existing definitions, such as “domestic violence”, to also include spiritual abuse, elder abuse and/or exposing or subjecting children to certain of listed behaviours.
The enactment of these pieces of legislation makes it more difficult for perpetrators to escape justice - this is a major step forward in our efforts against this scourge and in placing the rights and needs of victims at the centre of our interventions.
But laws can only do so much, it’s the people who have to observe those laws and we need society to accept and understand that these laws need to be observed.
We are also implementing a number of interventions, such as the various Pillars of the National Strategic Plan on
gender-based violence. Some of these interventions include GBV service delivery training to all service providers such as police, prosecutors, magistrates, intermediaries, court preparation officers and heath care providers.
What times means, in practice, is that when a GBV survivor goes to a police station or to a hospital or to a court, the officials working there must be trained to handle the matter competently and with sensitivity and compassion.
Police officials know that if they send a person who has come for a protection order home without such an order, they may well be sending her to her death. Police officials know that no women should be sent home and be told “go and fix things at home.”
So as we enter another 16 Days of Non-Violence against Women and Children, we need to, once again, stress that incidents of gender-based violence are human rights violations.
We need to look, as some of the previous speakers have done, more closely at the systemic causes of violence against women - from a political, economic, social and educational point of view.
We also need to look at the underlying causes of toxic masculinity and how to prevent patriarchy and misogyny when we raise our boys. We need to break the silence. Violence against
women and children often goes unrecognized and unreported, because people don’t talk about it.
And, again I want also to make the point, we can tighten our laws, but we need to get people in society to abide by them, to respect those laws.
Government can pass the best laws, can put in place the most progressive policy measures and have summit after summit, but until such time as we agree that men and men’s attitudes towards women are the problem, and thus men need to be part of the solution - we will not eradicate gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence happens in our country, because men do not respect the rights of women and girls to be treated equally. Why is it that society has no problem when men speak of “a side chick” and a “spare wheel”, but if a woman does the same she is judged and criticised. Why is it okay for one gender to have a “spare wheel”, but not the other? Why do some men still regard women as their possessions and violently assault or kill them when they as much as suspect them of cheating?
These are the questions we need to ask ourselves, our sons and men in society. It’s because of patriarchy and toxic masculinity that our levels of gender-based violence are still shockingly high.
Every single person can be an activist against gender-based violence in a number of ways - for example, by challenging cultures and practices which perpetuate gender inequality and thus result in the abuse of women and children.
Do not protect abusers, report them. Protect children from exposure to violence and harmful content on the internet and social media. Seek help if you are struggling with harmful behaviour such as alcohol and substance abuse. Every one of us can play our part to stop gender-based violence.
I want to conclude by, once again, referring to what Ma Graca Machel said at the memorial service of Uyinene. She said:
This is a call for all South Africans, this is not the country we fought for, this is not what we wanted for our people, to be afraid and to look over their shoulders when they move around. We have the power and the capacity to change this.
And in closing, House Chair, I would appeal to members to stop politicking on this issue. It is too serious an issue. We need to combine our efforts to eradicate gender-based violence in South Africa. Thank you, House Chair.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF JOINT COMMITTEE ON ETHICS AND MEMBERS’ INTERESTS ON ALLEGED CONTRAVENTION OF CODE OF ETHICAL CONDUCT AND DISCLOSURE OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS: HONOURABLE PINKY KEKANA, MP – DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY
There was no debate.
The Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.
Report on Alleged contravention of Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests: Honourable Pinky Kekana, MP
- Deputy Minister in the Presidency accordingly adopted (Economic Freedom Fighters dissenting).
The Speaker administered a reprimand in the following terms:
Hon Members, the House has now adopted this report. The Report recommends a reprimand. A reprimand in the House is a public act aimed at ensuring that discipline is meted out fairly, transparently and applied consistently. I hereby now issue the reprimand, and I request the member to stand while I issue it. Hon Kekana, the charge of breach of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interest for Assembly and Permanent Council Members which you have been found guilty of by this House is serious.
In terms of the Constitution, before members begin to perform their functions, they must pledge faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution. They pledge to also obey, respect and uphold the Constitution and all other law of the Republic and to perform their functions as a member to the best of their ability. The Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests is intended to provide a set of ethics, principles or values for members in relation to which decisions, actions or judgments can be made when discharging their duties and responsibilities.
It comprises such minimum ethical standards of behaviour that are expected of public representatives, including upholding propriety, integrity and ethical values in their conduct.
Members must strive to abide by and uphold these standards. One of these principles, namely Integrity, requires that:
Members steadfastly avoid placing themselves under any financial or other obligation to any outside individual or organisation where this creates a conflict or potential conflict of interest with his or her role as a Member.
You have fallen short of this and breached the code by not disclosing the benefit that accrued to you and which had the potential to create a conflict of interest as a member of this House and as a public representative. The code further clearly stipulates that its purpose is to create public trust and confidence in public representatives and to protect the integrity of Parliament. Your actions had the potential to erode both public trust in Parliament and the integrity of the institution. Where a member is in doubt as to whether any financial interests must be disclosed or not, the member must at all times act in good faith and err on the side of caution by disclosing such interest in the interest of transparency and to uphold the public’s trust, faith and confidence.
Members are required to fill out their disclosures fully every year, you had the obligation and duty to do this, and you did not do so. As a member, you must always make every effort to
act in accordance with the set of ethics, principles or values contained in the code, to ensure transparency in the way you perform your functions and guarantee that you remain accountable as a public representative. Failure by members to do so, effectively hinders Parliament’s efforts to build and uphold public trust, faith and confidence in democratic institutions such are ours. I thank you, hon member, you may be seated.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SADC PF STANDING COMMITTEE ON GENDER EQUALITY, WOMEN ADVANCEMENT AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ON ENHANCING PARLIAMENT’S RESPONSE IN PREVENTION AND ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS DURING PANDEMICS TO 50TH PLENARY ASSEMBLY
Mr D L MOELA: House Chair ...
... sanibonani bantu baseNingizimu Afrika ...
... since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging reports have shown that several types of violence against women and girls have intensified. Gender-based violence is
known to be widespread in the Southern African Development Community, SADC, and presents major obstacles to attaining gender equality and equity. The region received reports of abuse, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, child marriage, female genital mutilation, domestic and sexual abuse of women and girls, and that this has been exacerbated ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Mente? Sorry, hon Moela, just a minute. Yes, hon Mente?
Ms N V MENTE: Chair, on a point of order: No, this is not in order. It's inappropriate. We are introducing a report, a very progressive report from SADC, and a person doesn't have a video. A person is not in the House. It's very much inappropriate.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, no, no, no, no. That's not how we work.
Ms N V MENTE: We ... [Inaudible.] ... about 16 Days of Activism ... [Inaudible.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Mente, please. That's not a point of order. People are not here all the time. We allow them to speak. No, no, no. It doesn't work that way. Hon Moela, please proceed.
Mr D L MOELA: ... by the COVID-19 lockdowns. The SADC Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development sought to document the sharp increases in gender- based violence by outlining the consequences, emerging priorities, and promising practices, and highlighting their potential to actively support and protect women and girls from gender-based violence as a standard part of a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.
The meeting also sought to outline some practical evidence- based recommendations to SADC member states and other stakeholders to ensure that actions against gender-based violence were mainstreamed in their COVID-19 response and recovery activities. A presentation at the meeting highlighted recent trends and emerging forms of gender-based violence in the SADC region, the need for a comprehensive legal and policy framework and a SADC strategy and framework of action for addressing gender-based violence from 2018 to 2020.
The recommendations, therefore, that emerged from the Standing Committee on Gender Equity, Women Advancement and Youth Development require the attention of Parliament, and this can be summarised as follows; To urge member Parliaments of SADC to provide policy advice to SADC states on integrating gender- based violence in national and subnational COVID-19 response plans and budget; To also urge member states to create an enabling policy and legal framework, resources, environment, and the national action plans for the elimination of violence against women and girls; To urge member states to adapt and scale up of evidence-driven implementation programming such as comprehensive, accessible and quality service for survivors of gender-based violence.
To further encourage member states to create an enabling and empowering environment for autonomous girl-led and women’s rights organisations to exercise their expertise in addressing gender-based violence and to prioritise women’s involvement in the parliamentary response to COVID-19. It also appeals to SADC governments to adopt a holistic approach to ending
gender-based violence and to co-ordinate and unite entities to prevent and eradicate violence, including through implementing well-resourced national strategies that outline roles and
responsibilities and risk-based approach that could be applied before, during and after COVID-19.
It also encourages member states to reinforce reporting gender-based violence to understand the status to inform the prevention and response initiatives, including reporting on gender-based violence to the SADC Council and the Head of State Summit. To further urge member states to incorporate anti-violence messages and avail resources in social, psychological, health and legal services for available
survivors into mass media and social media campaigns to ensure that women’s centres, shelters, domestic violence helplines, police protection, legal aid, and other critical services were identified as essential services.
In conclusion, the committee called for the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls to be prioritised. The National Strategic Plans for COVID-19 preparedness and response must ensure meaningful participation of affected groups, including women and girls, and decision-making and implementation. In this regard, SADC members should intervene
... [Interjections.] ... [Inaudible.] ... I love you, hon Mente, bye.
Declaration(s) of Vote:
Mr L MPHITHI: Thank you ... [Inaudible] ... House today offers a reflection on the Southern African Development Community progress since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The region noted that gender based-violence was known to be widespread in the Southern African Development Community, SADC region, and it presented a major obstacle to attaining gender equality and equity. The region had reports of abuse such as intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, child marriage, female genital mutilation, known as FGM, domestic and sexual abuse of women and girls that had been exasperated by the lockdown
Based on the presentations made before the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women’s Advancement and Youth Development, it was noted that despite inactive laws and policies and various programmes in the SADC region, gender-based violence remains the significant problem with new forms continuing to emerge. According to the World Health Organization, intimate partner violence was estimated to have increased by 13% across the world, and 20% across sub-Saharan Africa. Actually, experiences of violence were higher than the data indicated, as many women did not report the violence due to various barriers that existed.
Although gender machineries existed in the region, they were under resourced, and not all countries had national action plans. The theme for the meeting of the Standing Committee ... [Inaudible] ... COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of lockdowns in the SADC region, the meeting sought to document the sharp increases in gender-based violence by outlining the consequences, emerging priorities, promising practices and highlight their potential to effectively support and protect women and girls from gender-based violence as a standard part, to the response of COVID-19 pandemic in the region.
The meeting also sought to outline some practical evidence- based recommendations to SADC member states and other stakeholders to ensure that, actions against gender-based violence were mainstreamed in their COVID-19 response and recovery activities. House Chair, it is a major concern that SADC member states continue to experience impediments to access to justice, policing, health, social services, shelters, psychosocial counselling, and multisectoral co- ordination and governance.
In addition, there was inconsistent quality survivor safety services. It was noted that age, disabilities and socioeconomic status conflict and disasters and sexual
orientation further contributed to the marginalisation. In combating these concerns, the SADC strategy and framework of actions for addressing gender-based violence ... [Inaudible]
... 2018 to 2030 was seen as a key component in this fight. It is anchored of five main objectives, including prevention and early identification of gender-based violence by addressing associated social, cultural and religious issues, delivery of effective and accessible protection care and support services to gender based violence victims.
The standing committee resolved amongst other things, to implore all member states to create an enabling policy legal framework resource environment, and national action plans for the elimination of violence against women and girls.
House Chair, at this stage South Africa has not been able to introduce legislation that begins the work of combating gender- based violence. At the Presidential Gender-Based Violence Summit, the President proudly announced the introduction of the National Council of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill, which in fact has not been introduced to Parliament. Instead, he misled South African civil society and nongovernmental organisations, NGOs that indeed the
legislation was introduced. This hon members, should tell us all we need to know about where this government is. Thank you.
Nksz N V MENTE: Mandibuelele Sihlalo kwaye ndicela undikhusele, abantu bakho bayahlasela.
Chairperson the very nature of the structuring of our society makes it extremely difficult for women to cope with any sort of disturbance to their lives. The patriarchal and exploitative nature of our society towards women, makes it difficult for women to assert themselves and lead their lives without undue influence from men, especially black women.
We therefore commend the SADC Parliamentary Forum for taking the initiative and prioritising the question of gender equality and the prevention of violence against women and girls during the pandemics. Chair, on our arrival in the last parliamentary forum, a girl from Zimbabwe had resorted to using cow dung as a sanitary towel. Those are the problems that young women are faced with in the SADC region.
From our own experience in this country is that, during the lock downs from 2020 there were spikes in the levels of domestic violence against women in the country. Women could not even find escape routes from violence that normal working hours provided and were forced to stay with abusive men during this period. Our government and perhaps governments across the region never thought of how our homes will be like prisons.
The isolation brought about by lockdowns increased violence against women, and that is what the you are in United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR noted right across the continent. The report quotes a variety of factors such as underfunding of essential services for women and girls affected by violence, restrictions and mobility in lockdowns, school closures, loss of income and poor support, limited and change available referral services for survivors, perceptions and bias from service providers that deferred reporting, the lack of information on available services, heavy reliance on technology, lack of investment and reach of social protection measures pre-COVID-19, pre-existing gender inequitable forms. These are the problems that exist even here at home. We must change that situation.
Chairperson, this calls for a rethink in the manner public policy decisions are made, particularly those that affect the safety and security of the most marginalised members of society. The recommendations made by the standing committee for member states to incorporate interventions aimed at reducing violence against women, in almost all public service interventions is welcomed. We are an already violent society. The Minister of Police will attest to that, where women over than 150 are raped every single day. Imagine what will be a situation where you have no other alternative, but to sit at home with a monster.
Even without the impact of the pandemic, our society was already ridden on a slippery slope. Parliament must do better to hold the executive to account. Minister of Police, we must make sure that our schools are safe. Just yesterday, a deputy principal in Limpopo was caught by society, and that community dealt with a rapist that raped a child in the precinct of the school.
We need to change the security measures in our schools. The fact that there is just a watchman is not enough, because the principals and the teachers themselves are a danger to the children we send to school. We plead to all the men please
take care of women. Take care of a girl child, SADC agrees. We support the report. Thank you.
Ms Z MAJOZI: Hon House Chair, the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1997, the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act of 2021 and the Domestic Violence Amendment Act of 2021 forms part of South Africa’s legislation geared at combating gender- based violence. However, during the first three weeks of the national lockdown in South Africa, more than 120 000 cases of gender-based violence were recorded by the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre.
According to research prior to the coronavirus outbreak, our country already had five times higher than the global average for gender-based violence, while the female interpersonal violence death rate was the fourth highest out of the 183 countries listed by World Health Organization in 2016.
Allow me to re-emphasize the report statement that, national strategic plans for COVID-19 preparedness and response should have been grounded in strong gender analysis to ensure meaningful participation of affected groups including women and girls. In decision and implementation, South Africa has an impressive 46% women representation in Parliament because of
the ANC’s policy of 50% representation for women. However, what have the women in Parliament done to spearhead COVID-19 response policies against gender-based violence? Short answer, not enough.
Evidence of this is the fact that the South African government was forced to draw up a National Strategic Plan on Gender- Based Violence and Femicide, by the pressure they faced from the total shutdown movement in 2018. Women’s representation in Parliament without substantive action, passing legislation without properly implementing it and drafting gender-based violence plans without adequately resourcing its objectives, means absolutely nothing.
Shelters for domestic violence are still underfunded by government. One Stop Thuthuzela Care Centres and police stations to treat rape victims with the necessary sensitivity, are being rolled out too slowly. All of this is topped off by the fact that, the establishment of the National Council and Gender-Based Violence, the centre agency that’s supposed to
co-ordinate official responses has been stalled since 2012.
While we are cognisant of the fact that there is no simple response for how to choose gender-based violence in our
country, or the Southern African Development communities, it is our job as Members of Parliament to ensure that, all interventions are contextual and that we aim to unhealthy a multidimensional problem that underline gender-based violence. The IFP supports the report. Thank you Chair.
Ms T BREEDT: Thank you, House Chairperson. Chairperson, the findings of the Southern African Development Community parliamentary forum Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development are not a surprise and just proves what we see in our country on a daily basis. What it further proves is that we as a continent are becoming more violent, that gender-based violence and femicide, GBVF, is out of control and that we need to step up our responses.
Chairperson, what was also shocking is that according to the World Health Organisation intimate partner violence was estimated to have increased by 13% across the world, but staggeringly increased by 20% across sub-Saharan Africa.
Chairperson, also the actual experiences of violence were higher than the data indicated as many women did not report the violence due to various barriers that existed. Some of the other observations that were made include that despite laws
policies and various programmes enactment thereof remained low.
The gender machineries were found to be under resourced and although there was a strong trend towards civil societies it was found that more partnerships were needed. A number of SADC member states have little to no access to services like justice and policing, health, social services, shelters, psychosocial counselling and multisectoral co-ordination. The pandemic further exacerbated intimate partner violence and other forms of violence such as child marriage and exploitation.
Chairperson, a number of other factors are as mentioned previously; restrictions in mobility and lockdown, school closures, loss of income, poor support, limited and changed available referral services for survivors, perceptions and bias from service providers, lack of information on available services, lack of investment and research of social protection measures pre-COVID-19. There have been a number of responses from SADC member states, Zambia for example, ratified several international conventions and declarations.
Hon Chairperson, you can however ratify as many international conventions as you wish but if you do not focus on the implementation thereof, ensure that various sectors dealing with gender-based violence and femicide are capacitated and that victims feel safe to report such crimes, you will always fight a losing battle. The committee made a number of recommendations that urge and implore member states to ensure there’s responsiveness, legislation and programmes that not only combat the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide, but also creates an environment in which victims will be able to report these crimes without fear of discrimination.
It is actually sad that we need to create and adopt recommendations to ensure this. What I would however have wished to also see in this report was an urge to ensure enactment of laws and capacity building of the necessary government institutions. However, the long and short is that the women and children of sub-Saharan Africa deserve better. They do not need more words but they need more action. I thank you, Madam Chair.
Mr S N SWART: SWART: Thank you, House Chair. House Chair, the ACDP has taken note of this report and it is the theme of the meeting for the standing committee was to bring to light the
rise of gender based violence as an aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns in the SADC region.
South Africa we know had one of the world’s longest and harshest COVID-19 lockdowns and was not spared the scourge and the increase that the statistics showed. That lockdown led to thousands of businesses closing and millions of people losing employment and of course, as hon Mente pointed out, that homes became prisons and a lot of abuse took place in those homes despite the best actions of people trying to prevent that.
Sadly, many clergymen and faith-based organisations were not granted essential service status to be able to council and assist those women and children that were experiencing this violence taking place. Now, this SADC report is very important because as other speakers have indicated it quotes the increase of intimate partner violence 13% across the world and 20% across sub-Saharan Africa. It is sad because clearly what we debated in the previous debate of 16 Days of Activism is broader and one sees that also in the SADC region.
However, as the ACDP we welcome this report and we welcome the fact that a number of issues were highlighted, practical evidence-based recommendations to SADC member states and other
stakeholders to ensure that actions against gender-based violence were mainstreamed in their COVID-19 response.
Nevertheless, we clearly need to make sure we never have such a severe lockdown ever to take place again because that in South Africa’s context caused a lot of the gender-based violence and the increase.
The member states in this context were urged to take various action steps including to incorporate antiviolence messages, available resources, social psychological health and legal services available for survivors in mass media to make that communicable. Also, to ensure that women’s centers, shelters, domestic violence helplines, police protection, legal aid and other critical service were identified as essential services.
I would add faith-based organisations as well and identify safe spaces where victims could report abuse without alerting perpetrators. The ACDP would like to thank the participants in this very important discussion. We would like to thank this Report and in particular, the hon Kate Bilankulu, who represented South Africa at the SADC forum. We support this Report. I thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, Chairperson. The National Freedom Party will support the Report tabled here today by the standing committee at select parliamentary forum particularly with Gender Equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development. Chairperson, the entire African Continent appears to have a serious problem when it comes to gender-based violence.
Chairperson, some of the problems are cultural, religious, some of the things like ukuthwala (child marriages) and patriarchy. Men have very little or no respect for women. However, also migration plays a key role. Some of them migrate for economic reasons, absent fathers more often than not. You know, Chairperson, the most difficult thing to accept in the African Continent is that it’s one of the richest continent in the world it has everything but in the end it has nothing. because whatever it has is in the control of others unless this African continent and particularly the SADC region becomes self-sufficient and find solutions to its own problem, the challenges that women and children face in the SADC region will continue.
Let me welcome any initiative particularly this one and congratulate all those who represented us at SADC for the role that they are playing be able to deal with the challenges of
gender-based violence particularly in the SADC region. We talk about gender equity, but yes indeed, when it comes to high profile positions, managerial positions, political heads then there’s a very little or no space for women. The questions that you ask are: Who are the ones that really you will find at the voting stations? Who are the ones that really are bringing the votes?
So, the women go out there, sacrifice, bring the vote for the men but men are not willing to accept that women can play a major or pivotal role in the success of this SADC region. So, in supporting this, Chairperson, a lot of work still needs be done. However, what I want to urge the SADC people there is no point in us doing motions and motions after motions, it must be converted to action. We must implement these motions and we must make a difference in all these SADC countries so that our people can have a better quality of life.
I want to urge them today to start. You have lost the war on even the teenagers. You’ve lost the war, at least start with the young ones right from grade R today and 20 years from now you will reap the benefits of that effort that you put in ensuring that we protect the children who are the future generation. Thank you, Chair. [Time expired.]
Ms N K BILANKULU: Ndza khensa Mutshamaxitulu. Eka maAfrika- Dzonga hinkwenu, I nhlekanhi.
The ANC in its 54th National Conference recommitted to work for a better Africa and a better world. It is also committed in assisting with finding solutions for African challenges towards attainment of peace, prosperity and equitable development across the African Continent. In considering the SADC Parliament forum subcommittee on Gender equality, Women Advancement and Youth Development recommendations, the ANC takes this recommendation as a call to action.
In many respects the fact that we have developed our own national strategic plan and gender-based violence and femicide and we are now in phase two of its implementation, many of the recommendations of the subcommittee are matters that are already fully engaged with. Whilst the focus of the subcommittee presentation of the 50th plenary session was on increase of violence against women and girls during pandemics specifically COVID-19, our focus has got to be on the eradication of the pandemic which destroys the very fabric
upon with that we are trying to contrast our national democratic society.
So, whilst the focus was towards COVID-19, we would not be blaming COVID-19 for increasing the violence but rather analyse the reasons why the violence exists in the first place as the Report clearly indicates and I quote:
Gender-based violence was known to be widespread in the Southern African Development Community and presented a major obstacle to attaining gender equality and equity. The region has had report of abuse such as intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, child marriage, female genital mutilation, domestic and sexual abuse of women and girls.
Therefore, our response as a Parliament of SADC needs to be commensurable with the analysis of the correct analyse of the challenge.
Let us bear clear the legacy of the colonial political economy in the SADC region in which feminists become displaced and scattered in order to serve the often migratory labour system has had a hugely negative impact and provided fertile ground for gender based violence to flourish. This analysis is
largely absent on the SADC report and it shows a weakness. There is and it remains a direct correlation between the political economy of Southern Africa and gender-based violence of course exacerbated by COVID-19.
This is what Parliament and the heads of state summit must address with urgency. For the ANC what we can practically contribute is our specific high impact economic intervention which centers on increasing access to childcare and promote gender equity, domestic labour through legislative amendments, improving the affordability and availability of childcare, options for women in both the formal and informal sector and addressing the social norms that drive the gendered nature of the distribution of household labor.
To improve the schools to work towards transition in science, technology, economics and mathematics frontier skill sectors by promoting girls access to these subjects at the secondary and tertiary levels. Addressing the legacy and social barriers to gender equitable entry and reiteration in the workforce through legislative amendments that promotes pay transparency and identify sexual targets for women in inclusion. Also, to improve financial inclusion and entrepreneurship of women by introducing the professional procurement targets,
strengthening women-focused business development service, strengthening women’s financial literacy and access to credit, strengthening women’s voice and urgency by addressing women’s roles in decision-making structures for the local level up and high level of gender-based violence and HIV and Aids in their consequent effect on women and girls.
Chairperson, by strengthening these interventions in the SADC region we will be making as the South African Parliament and state an important contribution to the fight against the process towards the eradication of gender-based violence. We support the call by the subcommittee for comprehensive legal and policy framework across SADC as an extremely useful intervention in the campaign. This will require our Parliament to provide leadership given that we have such policy and legislation in abundance and this can be usefully shared with our colleagues in the SADC parliaments, neither must we reinvent the will we have.
Chairperson, the SADC strategy and framework of action for addressing gender based violence 2018 to 2030. This framework of action we need to be actively promoting which when we consider what it is the framework match if it has been generated by ourselves. Its five objectives of preventing and
early identification of gender-based violence are: Delivering of effective and accessible protection; care and support services to gender-based violence victims; capacity development for efficient and effective response to gender- based violence; information and knowledge management including effective co-ordination, networking and partnership building are all matters that we are familiar with.
Our National Strategic Plan on gender-based violence and femicide embodies most of what is in the recommendation of the subcommittee. What lies ahead is how we integrate this work with the initiatives of the Parliament in the SADC region.
This is the test that our Parliament must rise to and the multiparty women’s caucus should be seized with this. Thank you so much, Chair.
The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Ms R M M Lesoma):
Thank you, hon House Chair. I move:
That the Report be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF VIRTUAL SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATIVE SESSION WITH COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS ON DEVELOPMENT OF SADC MODEL LAW AND PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT
Mr M L D NTOMBELA: House Chair, the ANC welcomes the deliberations that have taken place at the Stakeholder Consultative Session on the Development of SADC Model Law on Public Finance Management. The SADC Parliamentary Forum has in the last decade, been developing a Bill of Rights in the form of successive model laws which are standard setting instruments to facilitate domestication and advocacy exercising in the view of enactment of similar norms at a domestic level. These norms can take the form of regulations, laws or administrative guidelines which are done under authority of law.
The SADC Model Law on Public Finance Management is the very first model law that speaks to financial and economic issues, and earlier yet unexplored by the forum and its membership. As a SADC Model Law on Public Finance Management, it is the first of its kind in the world and the forum is thus stepping towards the discovery of a completely new territory of norms in financial management. What is important about that particular session is that it is taking forward in an
interconnected manner, a model of public finance management alongside other work that has been carried out on financial crimes. That once the proposed management model law only deals with management of public finances.
There is - through stakeholder engagement - an entire network under the SADC Parliamentary Forum which connects the management of finance to other operations in the region. That deals with different forms of financial crimes. The model law which is an initiative of SADC Parliamentary Forum to bring about uniformity in the management of finances across the region is designed - not only to strengthen accountability over the use of public finances - but also facilitate easier co-operation between law enforcement agencies to track money laundering, corruption, financing of terrorism, etc. The Model Law of Public Finance Management, therefore does not contain anything to do with prosecution of matters which regard to illicit financial action.
So, what is our responsibility as South African Parliament? Firstly, the four respected Chairpersons of Finance Appropriations, Auditor-General and Scopa, need to come together and deliberate the final Draft Model Law on Public Finance Management and submit their comments back to the sub-
committee on the content. Secondly, whilst we recognise that prosecutors are not involved in policy processes concerning modern law, it is expected that prosecutors across the SADC lend their support to push for domestication of prosecution policy regarding public finance management related offences. Thirdly, we will need cohesion and cogency with National Treasury around the model law.
The impact of both the Public Finance and Municipal Management Act, in terms of its scope provides a useful reference to the content of the model law Fourthly and finally, is the critical role of the office of the Auditor-General who can advise on international best practices and policies for the SADC Model Law and benchmarking, especially with financial and revenue related treaties signed by Members State. Once rectified in the SADC Parliamentary Forum we will as Parliament be called to participate in domestication initiatives of the dedicated organs of SADC Parliamentary Forum, notably the Regional Parliamentary Model Laws Oversight Committee. The ANC supports the report. Thank you, Chair.
Declaration(s) of Vote:
Mr J N DE VILLIERS: Chair, imagine a tribe of desert dwellers that you get together and you ask them to make laws on long
distance swimming. This is kind of the same absurdity that this report deals with. A virtual session between SADC, the South African Development Community of Chairpersons on the Development of Model Law for Public Finance Management.
Perhaps the most entertaining part of this report or event is that the keynote speaker was a Zimbabwean MP, Mr Brian Dube. Imagine that, the keynote speaker at a meeting whether apparently meant to make Model Laws on Public Finance Management was a representative of one of the country that possibly has the worst public finance management record on earth.
To pin context how serious South Africans Chairpersons took this session, you only must look at the South African delegation that attended that session, which not one was a South African Member of Parliament. So let’s not waste any more time reflecting on SADC model laws, but that no one will take seriously when in our own country, taking the law seriously is already a serious problem. Consider this very venue where we are meeting today and for the last eight months. According to section 59 and 72 of the Constitution, the highest law in the land, both the National Assembly and the NCOP must facilitate public involvement in the process of
the National Assembly and conduct its business in a manner that is accessible to the public.
This venue, where we are sitting today, is only accessible to
120 of the 400 Members of Parliament, not to even mention the media or the public. That’s what the highest law in the land says. Yet, here we are, eight months later in total contrast to what the law requires. And once again, the DA will have to take the ANC to court to make them implement the law so that we can have a venue where all 400 Members of Parliament, the public and the media are welcome and can take part.
Then of course, there is section 197(3) of the Constitution which states that no employee of the public service may be favoured or prejudiced only because that person supports a particular political party or cause. That’s the law. Yet, for the last 25 years the governing party have boldly ignored this part of the law with their brazen use of cadre deployment, which appoints ANC cadres in the public service based on ANC membership. Indirect contravention of the Constitution. So, once again, the DA has taken the ANC to court to finally have cadre deployment rule unconstitutional via court. So the ANC can - after 25 years - stop ignoring the very clear and simple letter of the law.
Then of course, there are also those little pesky exchange control regulations that requires all foreign currency transactions are reported to an authorised foreign exchange dealer within 30 days, whether they are in a Phala Phala couch or not. So, time will tell if our own President was bothered enough to abide by these laws. You see Chair, laws can be made, but they are worthless if the governing party itself chooses which laws applies to them or not. This report is laughable, an attempt to make SADC modern laws and we reject the report.
Ms N V MENTE: Chair, it’s unfortunate that I have to speak after such an attack on Africanism. But I will deal. Pan Africanism ... unfortunately you will not comprehend it. I take too much big offense when you insult that a Zimbabwean was the one speaking on the issue of financial management. Well, Zimbabwe has very high standard of education, and therefore a black person can speak on matters of financial management. A black person can produce a law. You can’t come here and tell us that we can speak on Pan Africanism.
House Chairperson, the current legislation that governs public finance management here in South Africa and many of SADC members - if not all - was informed by either self-imposed
neoliberalism or by neoliberal posed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, IMF. This is why after many years of independence, the majority of countries continues to support public finance management that seeks to entrench fiscal austerity, privatisation of strategic assets in the name of market efficiency, and misguided faith in the private sector.
As we seek to develop a model law on public financial management from prosecutors involved in the prosecution of financial crime and related offences, we must first go back and fix the basics. Many will be shocked that once we have a model law that takes domestic conditions into account, the majority of SADC Members State be prosecuting mostly illicit financial flows base erosion and profit shifting instead of typical misdemeanours of minor misconducts. We first have to find a coherent model law that protects revenues lost because of illicit financial flows before we put measures in place to ensure effective management of public finance including prosecution of financial crimes.
We must also ensure that we incorporate localisation in the modern law to stimulate the procurement of locally produced goods by Members States, even those that are coming from
Zimbabwe. What is encouraging is that SADC Members States agreed that as much as it is a modern law of public finance management is needed. We must first fix the foundation of fiscal policy to avoid revenue loss because of illicit financial flows.
The EFF supports the report and encourages all political parties to review the draft documentation circulated. Mama Bilankula earlier on mentioned the stunts of the ANC in their conference about the African trade. It is very unfortunate that the trading between ourselves and the free-trade agreement that Africa has entered into is going to be very difficult if we do not acknowledge each other’s rights. What we have seen with a woman of Zimbabwe being reminded that you do not belong here and therefore the health benefits of this country are not going to be benefitting you. It’s wrong.
If we sit here as SADC Members States, we must agree and guarantee each other that you will be safe when you come to trade in South Africa, you are coming from a Members States. You will be safe to be in South Africa if you are coming from Africa. That is why we can have people who undermine us this much from the right. Those that are still going to come here to advance the neoliberal ideas with the IMF and the World
Bank. We will take that and believe it’s true. Let us always take that with a pinch of salt. We support. [Time expired.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson, I did not serve on this committee but from what I read about this and the report my understanding is that a Model Law is being developed to ensure that the Southern African Development Community, SADC, National Parliament are able to conduct their legislative budgetary and oversight functions for public financial management in a way that is transparent, efficient and responsive to the needs of SADC citizens.
A Model Law is one that is drafted centrally to be disseminated and suggested to enactment in multiple independent legislatures. One being ours. The Model Law as we believe is an opportunity to SADC member state to identify and close any policy, legal and regulatory gaps allowing best practices to emerge to tighten resources mobilisation, set standard and harmonise regulations across the region.
South Africa is losing between $3,5 to 5 billion a year which is more than 1% of GDP to illicit financial flows. The Model Law will create an opportunity for finance entities owned by state to have a clear advisory role and provide solutions.
This law seeks to narrow the ambit of report under the scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee and force stronger regulation of public sector debt, strengthen the enforcement regulations of public sector debt, hold entities accountable for the lack of performance based budget with clear key performance indicators and address the existing disconnect between international commencement and budgeting by National Parliament.
These issues are also matters that South Africa is dealing with. There needs to be consultation on the issue of the proposed debts ceiling specially for a country such as ours which has a developmental agenda and is experiencing natural disaster and recovering from the COVID -19 pandemic.
The report as I read, hon Chairperson, refers to matters that need further liberation and discussion. It highlights that further discussion is needed on Public Accounts Committees not being dominated by the ruling party and how they should work in practice. And the matter of the powers of the Ministers when borrowing need to be looked at and also the provision for special fund and taxes need to be included notable in terms of how these can be monitored by Parliament.
All in all, I think this is an ideal opportunity for us to learn from each other’s Parliament and share best practices. The IFP accept the report. Thank you.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Chairperson, the NFP will support this report not because we are convinced that this will be implemented that they will ensure ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Hon Tshabalala Judith, order. Mute your mic. Proceed hon member.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Yes, Chairperson, they need some management I can see.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, I have been staying for too long now.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Chairperson, whilst we will welcome any initiative to put measures in place to ensure there is compliance as consequence management in fact consequence management should be the last. What we should be putting measures in place for will be to prevent this corruption, maladministration and looting. Now all these countries in the
SADC region got some Public Finance Management system in place.
South Africa has got and I think through some of the educational tours we have being to and they told us that we have got some of the best system in the world. The problem we have is that we are not willing to implement them and make sure there is consequences to those people who do not apply and do the right thing. That’s the problem we are experiencing.
But Chairperson, having said this my experience with SADC is this and I must agree with the member of the DA, this has nothing to do with race. Motion after motion, Model Law after Model Law after Model Law is adopted and that’s it. You will never ever hear about it again. It goes into 5:30 lots of money is spent. In fact, lots of taxpayers’ money is spent though we spent time in the hotels. We do everything. But the question is what do we achieve ultimately - very little.
That’s the challenges that we are facing in the SADC region. And I am not undermining the work but attentions are very good. And the SADC needs to do more. But the problem is that from the time you implanted or adopted to the time it goes to
the countries and for it to be implemented and come back and report, it never happens, Chairperson.
So, I hope that our colleagues that are on the SADC will make sure that through the meaningful contribution there is accountability at SADC - whatever you adopt is implemented.
There is report that is coming every time you need so that you can see that the work you are doing is yielding positive results. The NFP will support. Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms M C DIKGALE: House Chairperson, the SADC Parliamentary Forum met on 17 February 2022 to consult with National Parliament, chairpersons of relevance committees, standing committees on all Parliament including Public Accounts, finance, budget, anticorruption and good governance committees so as to finalise the draft SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management.
The SADC Model Law on Public Finance Management will be first of its kind globally and chairpersons of national finance related parliamentary committees are being consulted due to the important role they can play in the Model Laws Domestication. Their National Parliament will then be able to report to the forum on their parliaments processing of the
Model Law. Central in the presentation of the SADC organisation of public accounts which promote good governance through sharing knowledge and experiences to enhance parliamentary oversight. It systematically works among the public accounts committees on the 13th SADC Parliament who are members of the organisation.
A memorandum of understanding will be concluded between the SADC Parliamentary Forum and the SADC organisation of public accounts committees to strengthen, co-operation, contact join research, facilitate capacity enhancement, hold annual join working and review sessions and conduct bilateral consultations.
Following a presentation of the draft model on public finance management, it was outlined that the draft Model Law seeks to balance a number of issues the key ones being balancing conflicting, simplicity and certainty being certain that everyone understand what the law requires and the need to balance flexibility with clarity.
The law need to be easy, domesticate allowing for flexibility and some domestic modifications. According to the report delegates were informed that the consultation is part of a
large process of engagement with various stakeholders including from National Parliament. Emerging from the presentation initial comments and question that emerged were as follows: That the Model Law need to expand on the appearance of witnesses before committees. Although such provisions we would need to consider national laws of privilege and self-incrimination when dealing with non-public officials. That more discussions in the appointment of the Auditor-General is required in a number of member state. That the powers of Ministers when borrowing needs to be looked at. And provision for the special funds and taxes also need to be included notable in terms of how this can be monitored by Parliament.
And I want to encourage that the written report must be submitted timeously. This means that both finance committee chairs both appropriation committee chairs, the Chair of the Auditor-General and the Chair on Standing Committee on Public Accounts need to submit their comments on the Model Law as soon as possible. Thank you, House Chair.
The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Ms R R M Lesoma):
House Chair, I move that the report be adopted.
Motion agreed to (Democratic Alliance and Freedom Front Plus dissenting).
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF 52ND COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE, AFRICA REGION, CPA AFRICA REGION CONFERENCE
Mr B M HADEBE: Thank you, House Chair. The Parliament of the Republic of South Africa represented by the Deputy Speaker and the House Chairperson of the International Relations in the NCOP, participated in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the CPA, Executive Committee Meeting held in Accra, Ghana in March, 2022. The Executive Committee Meeting was amongst other things, to take stock and reflect on the extent of the implementation of resolution of the 52th CPA Africa Region Conference.
Also, it had to adopt the report of the Executive Committee, as well as to assess the business and the operation of the CPA Africa Region, in so far as the annual calendar of activities is concerned, and thereafter chat the way forward. The Sixth Parliamentary Strategic Plan, has set out the regional and international relation as one of its fight strategic oversight
plan for the term. Theme fight of the oversight plan enjoins Parliament to play an important role in influencing and overseeing international and regional decision making.
Giving effect to the regional and international participation, the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa is affiliated and participates in the political activities of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at both Africa region and international level. This participation fulfilled one of Parliament’s strategic objective, premise on deepening and enhancing parliamentary international engagement and co- operation. The aim of the CPA is to promote knowledge and understanding of constitutional, legislative, economic, social and cultural systems within the parliamentary, democratic framework.
The Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, and the regional representative from the Southern Region, reported on the activities undertaken by the Parliament of the Republic that includes the following: Firstly, they convened Women’s Day and completed the Review on Women’s Charter. The regional representative coordinated and presided over the launch of CPA national branch of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. The regional
representative attended the launch of CPA in Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature and Limpopo Branch Meeting Programme.
The Gauteng Sub-Branch of the CPA convened a gender sensitisation framing and social media training. The Eastern Cape CPA Sub-Branch held a Men’s Conference in 2001, and organised a seminar in observing Africa Day. The Kwazulu-Natal Commonwealth Women Parliament, CWP, Branch convened a Women’s Parliament to commemorate the role of Charlotte Maxeke in women leadership. The Western Cape CPA Sub-Branch convened a Women’s Day Seminar in 2001, in recognition of Women’s Month.
Among the observations made by the South African delegation are that, the meeting was resounding success on the basis that, the Executive Committee Member of CPA Africa Region from South Africa, also prescribed in Article 28 of CPA Constitution, managed to attend and participate in all proceedings of the 82nd Executive Committee Meeting in Ghana. The delegation also noted and congratulated the CPA Africa Region Treasurer, hon Ntombi Monkgoe, for being part of the
... [Interjections.]... Thank you hon Hope Papo, Treasurer, hon Ntombi Mekgwe, for being part of the office bearers in the term of Article 38 of the CPA Constitution.
The 82nd Executive Meeting was her maiden meeting to attend in her capacity as the Treasurer, following her election in November 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria. Some of the recommendations that were made in the report are, firstly, that the South African delegation should finalise the nomination and representation of Sub-National Branches to participate in the deliberations of the CPA Executive Committee. The position became vacant, owing to the election of hon Ntombi as the office bearer.
Secondly, the South African delegation must convene a preparatory meeting comprising of all delegates from national, sub-national branches to prepare for the state of readiness for the delegation to attend the 52nd Conference to be held on
3 to 9 June in Sierra Leone. I thank you.
Declaration(s) of Vote:
Mr D BERGMAN: Thank you very much. My ANC colleague might fly out of Africa, only to fly back into Africa, and then hosted a very long wait who flew into Sierra Leone, besides having SA Airways, SAA, flight, directly fly next door, or three other continental flights, at half the costs and time. Our staff neglect came clear when two major pull-out banners, featuring the face of our dear Deputy Speaker and the NCOP Chair, hon
Masondo, filled the foyer with a huge heartwarming and welcoming song, surrounded by cattle of excited parliamentary staff members, promoting their eminent arrival, talk about feeling like the VHS machine when the DVD player walks in.
Due to the short time in the speech, I cannot go through everything, but it is safe to say that, the only reason that my ANC sister and I got out of Sierra Leone or got our COVID-
19 test back in time for our flight, was because of this call made to a speaker from another country by myself and my persistency. It is no exaggeration that, our new Speaker is lucky that, one of us never came home in a wooden box, because of the lack of her leadership and control.
It was also by the saving grace of the Western Cape Legislature that, everything had some semblance of our organisation from our side. Our own staff members did well under the circumstances, and my fingers do not point at them. Being a diligent member of the PGIR group, and wishing to protect future MPs from any danger, I wrote what I thought was a fair set of easy to understand questions, to the people responsible for the welfare abroad, and to try and understand why poor provinces were paying nearly double the SNTs of our Parliament.
In true Helen Suzman star, I knew the answers already because I have done my homework, but I wanted to help our Speaker and her office, and also the Chair of PGIR. Unfortunately for them, they have the Mfundo Sonjica response. She either thought that, I was 10 years old or that I would accept any insulting answer that she would give me. Let me tell you that, Minister Thandi Modise would have never accepted a letter like this that was written. The official would have been disciplined in a second or lambasted in my presence. I made that letter available to anyone that requests for it.
Thankfully, the actual Conference itself was a success because, the covered kits of such as the fact that, the CPA is registered as a charity, and how it would affects continuity and sustainability that has been plaguing the African Charter for two decades. They have been close to resolve it, but the UK Parliament seems to have brushed their last efforts as if it’s a nonpriority. I made a proposal that I believe it would have a win-win situation. All the parties that I’ve heard that were excited and ask for it, to please be presented in Canada, including the Secretary-General.
Unfortunately, due to my enquiry about it, my ex-Chief Whip was miraculously sent a strongly insinuated letter that, she
sent the female delegates to the Canadian AGM. Another opportunity lost, and again, the officials playing politics. Under COVID-19, I pointed out that, there was a more important, than rather trying to get a cohesive continental plan, that could agree that, Africa work together and not against each other. During Covid, it was horrible to try rescue truck drivers put between borders for days on end, because one country locked out while the other locked in.
We must be on the same page as for travel and regulation as the Continent, but it must not just be Covid, but for any eventuality. Vaccinations cannot be enforced, but rather highly encouraged to make sense for us. The Abuja Declaration can be our starting point. With regards to the Intra-African Trade Discussion, I proposed to review that about our double border systems. We could be cutting costs, clamping down corruption and protecting the lives and livelihoods of our vulnerable people, such as the old ladies with goods on their shoulders, as they negotiate borders and the moment they are having on foot and be liter on teeth.
I reiterate to the need for African countries to invest in infrastructure that could push goods quicker and cheap from borders in the countries, from one side to the other, so that
we can grow our Intra-African Trade and build a build a sustainable African Gross Domestic Product, GDP. Overall, the trip was a success in terms of the actual work and networking. I believe that, it is important politicians and officials must find one another on the trips like this, and ensure that each one is doing their job that are their job description and tasks that they be doing.
We have common objectives in going on to overseas trips and we must support each other. It will be a sad day for a taxpayer membership fees to bodies like these or paying officials to take advantage of a vacuum political leadership, and trips like these becomes unproductive and serves a lack of continuity on purpose. Unfortunately, with the loss of the previous speaker, it is possible that one can receive a letter like that one from Mfundo Sonjica. Officials can be the politicians and not to be let for trips, and we will need to
... [Interjections.] for returning home safely. Thank you. [Time expired.]
Mrs T P MSANE: Thank you, Chairperson. The EFF represents a new generation of African activists and leaders who are characterised by unconditional rejection of colonialism and institution of neocolonialism that seek to keep African
countries beholding to their formal colonial masters, even after the end of former colonialisation of the Continent. Here in this country, we are not blind to the enduring impact of the British colonialism, nor are we blind to its continued hold over those who hold political power in the country.
Therefore, we reject any association or celebration of whatever institutional heritage we may have inherited from our former colonial masters. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, previously known as the Empire Parliamentary Association, which was founded in 1911, and has had a ceremonial head as the Queen of Britain. It aims to promote good governance, respect for the Constitution and democracy, chartered in South Africa and the rest of the formerly colonised nations, from which Britain extracted immeasurable wealth and caused immense pain.
We have nothing to learn from Britain or any institution associated with Britain. The commitment to democracy and good governance in the eyes of Commonwealth, means the maintenance of the past and present architecture of oppression, not disturbing the colonially acquired property right, and keeping the racist nature of our neocolonial economy. That is why we
did not participate in this Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
We therefore condemn the present leadership of our Parliament, for being willing neo-colonial subject who will do nothing and everything to be accepted by the former colonial masters.
Chairperson, we see how the current President is busy parading and being excited in Britain, which says nothing for South Africa. We therefore reject this report, Chairperson.
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Hon House Chair, we have been entrusted by our people to represent them and to do so very well. It is with this trust that we make and preserve legislation and we think that will reflect their interests and voices. Our people are the most vital component in Parliament structure and every decision that we make, we must have that in mind. We have to play our part in building a more robust and more secured democratic country through collaboration, willingness with our people, each other and countries with the same goals to ensure that democracy is respected and upheld.
Covid-19 has deeply affected and broken down many of our social and economic systems throughout the continent, pushing us to adopt new ways of doing things. It has also exposed us
to lack of preparedness to counter any threat or risk that exacerbate the vulnerability of our people and also, which is more important, exposed us to how resilient we are as people. Our post recovery plan should be strong enough to create an enabling environment for our people to rebuild their lives and we can only do so through willingness to adapt to change and proactive service delivery.
The report speaks to ways in trying to counter unforeseen circumstances however, our focus as African countries should go beyond just putting systems in place and rather work on how quickly we are to respond to calamities and to implement those systems. We can have disaster plans in place but if we are not able to readily execute, it will not materialise and then those plans are not effective and are null and void. We have lamented on the issue of women and youth and the importance of their representation across many platforms. What is confusing hon Chairperson, is that there has been the same conversation about this issue for a long period of time. However, we still have not reached our goals in increasing women and youth participation. This shows a clear discord between what we are doing and what we are saying as citizens and leaders of our respective countries.
The conversation we should have must be directed at what is it that we are not doing to make sure that women and youth are represented. We all know that women and youth make up the majority of the population but yet make the minority that is elected. We have noted the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, CPA’s prioritisation to change their status from the charity organisation to an international organisation.
However, it is important to raise this that the association has the autonomy to change its course and to enrich without remodelling itself to fit with the international lens.
Even with how we define our African continent, it should reflect and speak to our very own nature as we house multiple economies, rural and township economies. It is through our people and the business that they nurture that we can grow our economy. People have given us power so we must use this very power to benefit them and to make them stronger to compete globally. Thank you, the IFP supports the report. [Time expired.]
Mnu N L S KWANKWA: Ndiyabulela Sihlalo weNdlu ... kwenzeka ntoni ngoku?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Ooh, it is interpreter now. Interpreter and now it is procedural officer ...
... kanti kwenze njani Bab’uKwankwa, kwangena wena kwamoshakala izinto?
Mnu N L S KWANKWA: Bafuna ukundibhukuqa kanti ngekhe balunge. Sihlalo weNdlu, i-UDM ayiyixhasi le ngxelo ngezizathu ezibangela ukuba akusekho mfuneko zezinto ezifana noMbutho weePalamente zamaZwe ayeSakuba ngamaThanga (Commonwealth Parliamentary Association) ezizama ukuqhubeka nendlela ababesenza ngayo abo babesicinezele kulo Mzantsi Afrika.
Sihlalo weNdlu, sithetha sibaninzi apha, andazi kwenzeka ntoni na.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Interpreter, I do not know what is happening with your cables.
Le nto yalo Mbutho weePalamente zamaZwe ayeSakuba ngamaThanga yeyaba bantu babesiphethe kakubi ngexesha lengcinezelo befuna
ukuqhubeka ngokusixelela ukuba senze ntoni. Eyona nto isikhwanqisayo neyinto ekwakukudala siyithetha, yeyokuba awukwazi ukuba noMbutho weePalamente zamaZwe ayeSakuba ngamaThanga nokuba ngumbutho wesisa (charity organisation) enamakhonkco aseLondon kodwa kuthiwe ...
... it is not international.
Siyayingqina ukuba kufanelekile ukuba utshintshiwe nangona kutshintshwa nje igama nento engenakuze ikwazi ukusebenzela i- Afrika nokuyiphuhlisa. Sibona apha sekuthethwa ...
... about subscription fees paid by the 64 branches.
Ngoku siququzelela imirhumo yobulungu kwi ...
... CPA but the legal status has not been dealt with.
Sinamazwe aliqela kwiMbumba yamazwe ase-Afrika (African Union) angayihlawuliyo imali yobulungu awo abangela ukuba kuxhomekekwe kumazwe ambalwa ukuze sikwazi ukwenza izinto zeMbumba yamazwe ase-Afrika. Endaweni yokuba sikhathalele ezi zilapha kufutshane kuthi izinto, ezifanele ukuba ziphuhlise i- Afrika, silibele zizinto zabalengu baphesheya kolwandle abangenaxesha lethu. Aba belungu bafuna ukusenza oopokobhane nje babo abaza kwenza izinto ezithandwa ngabo. Ngezo zizathu, thina asiyixhasi le ngxelo kwaye siyibona njengonobenani nomdlalo kapuca.
Ms M R SEMENYA: Ke dumediia Modulasetulo wa Ngwako le Maloko a Palamente yeo e hlomphegilego. Re le ba ...
... ANC, we support the report of the CPA executive committee meeting. As the member of the international community of nations the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa plays a pivotal role in the international parliamentary affairs. This is to ensure the strengthening of democracy at the international level through multilateralism. The meeting reflected on the matters that affect women especially the
representation of women in legislatures. To quote the Vice President of Ghana:
Practices that affect women, children and marginalised in our societies should no longer be considered as economic or social issues but as issues that help direct correlation with democratic governments.
The Vice President went further:
It is a democratic imperative that men support representation of women and the marginalised in governance.
The observation however, is that the trend of underrepresentation of women in legislatures is changing across the globe and as a result this should be perpetuated and sustained support for women to ensure that they are increased in representation and participation in all spheres of government and Parliament. It is worth noting that the top
10 countries in the world with the highest representation of women in Parliament, of which the three are from the commonwealth and are: Rwanda with 56% of women in Parliament, our South Africa with 44% of women in Parliament and Mozambique with 39% of women in Parliament.
This observation also reflects on our case in South African Parliament. We should also strive for parity in the participation and representation of women in Parliament. In this regard, we applaud the ANC for taking a lead as far as women representation is concerned in this Parliament. We affirm that the report by the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of South Africa and the regional representative of the southern region on the activities taken by the Parliament of South Africa.
We support the recommendation made in the report including the finalisation of the nominations of the representative of subnational branches to participate in the deliberations of the CPA Executive Committee. On the preparations of the state of readiness for the delegation to attend the 52 n d to be held from 03 June in Sierra Leone. The ANC supports the report. I thank you.
The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Ms R M M Lesoma):
Thank you, hon Chair, I move that the report be adopted.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, I request you to stand and wait for the Chair and the Mace to leave the Chamber.
The House adjourned at 17:58.