Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 24 Nov 2022
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2022
PROCEEDINGS OF HYBRID NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:01.
House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members. Let us wait for the other members who have to settle down in the House surrounding so that we can start with our proceedings. Hon members, would you take your seats, please. Order, hon members, you are already delaying us and I don’t want to hear further comments.
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Thank you very much, House Chair. House Chair, I hereby move that this Report be adopted. Thank you very much.
There was no debate.
Declarations of vote:
Ms E L POWELL: Chairperson, every year this House adopts the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report for the Department of Human Settlements, but frankly, I am not sure why we bother. Virtually, none of the recommendations adopted by this House last year have been implemented by our lackluster portfolio committee this year. No formal Public Finance Management Act, PFMA, reports; no disciplinary action has come before our committee; not a single quarterly report on audit action plans investigations and consequence management have been forthcoming from its entities.
Chair, because of the failure of our committee to exercise efficient oversight in the past financial year while the department managed to spend 97% of their budget, they achieved 56% of their targets. On the formal housing programme they achieved 41%, their worse performance in history and an indication of just how badly the ANC continues to fail the poorest people in this nation. Key findings include just over half of formal planned houses were delivered. No land parcels were rezoned in priority development areas against the target of 30. Only 7% of service sites were delivered.
The cities such as the Nelson Mandela Bay and Mangaung delivered zero. On the provision of bliss opportunities, the Western Cape outperformed the second highest achieving province by 300%. Despite all of this performance bonuses were still paid to officials of the department. Seventy-one percent of targets at the hierarchical task analysis, HTA, were not met; 77 were not met to the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority, PPRA; 63 at the National Housing Finance Corporation, NHFC and 65 at the Estate Agents Affairs Board, EAAB.
The Department of Human Settlements continued underperformance and lack of consequence management will not change until we kick the corrupt ANC and their cronies out of power. 2024 wulapha(is here). I thank you, Chair.
Me T BREEDT: Huisvoorsitter, hierdie departement se mandaat is om volhoubare behuising te fasiliteer. Deur eie observasie kan ’n mens duidelik sien dat hierdie departement nie aan sy eie
mandaat gestand doen nie. Wanneer daar verder na die afgelope vloede gekyk word, dring ’n besef deur dat hierdie regering beslis nie toegerus is vir rampe nie. Huidige behuisingskemas bewys dat basiese dienste en infrastruktuur beslis ook nie ’n prioriteit van hierdie departement is nie.
What is more worrying than the fact that the department only managed to achieve 56% of its targets. It is the excuse of the COVID-19 pandemic that is still being used. Furthermore, 98% of the budget has been spent. Chairperson, 56% versus 98% is not good odds. Let me make this clear, you cannot spend all your money and have nothing to show for it. The Auditor- General of South Africa, AGSA, indicated that overall three years in the current administration, the Human Settlement sector has shown no sign of improvement in overall audit outcomes, performance targets, consequence management and co- ordination.
This was characterised by the stagnant audit outcomes where material findings were reported for most entities as well as poor performance against set targets. The Auditor-General of South Africa identified projects that were incomplete due to insufficient and inadequate project management skills. The
Auditor-General of South Africa further observed that the current processes in place remained inadequate. On the follow up on prior years’ findings it was also confirmed that accounting officers were not implementing a responsive action plan to address the AGSA’s findings. This was indicative that the call for action was not taken seriously and this was driven ... [Inaudible.] ... observed the negative trend of repeat audit findings.
Een van die grootste struikelblokke in Suid-Afrika is behuising. Suid-Afrika verdien beter. Ek dank u.
Ms S A BUTHELEZI: Thank you, Chairperson. The right to adequate housing is a basic human right that is recognised in both by the Constitution and the International Human Rights instruments. Housing provides shelter for the elements, a place to eat, sleep, relax and raise a family. The right to adequate housing ensures that people enjoy physical and mental health and live in a safe place with peace and dignity.
The mandate of the Department of Human Settlements is to determine, finance, promote, co-ordinate, communicate and monitor the implementation of housing policy and the provision
of human settlements. This matter has not been implemented or achieved. A lack of project management skills at both departmental as well as provincial level has resulted in both unacceptable standards and delays. A lack of responsiveness and adequate co-ordination by the department with other government departments has resulted in fragmented Human Settlements in which citizens face barriers in accessing schools, clinics, running water with adequate sanitation.
The department’s inadequate response to the aftermath of the floods in KwaZulu-Natal in April 2022, is a microcosm of the issues raised above. In the floods, 4 893 dwellings were reported as destroyed, however, only 254 temporary residential units have been built. This absence of both timeous assessment and project implementation meant that displaced households could not become valid beneficiaries of temporary residential units, TRUs, while the majority of those that were validated are yet to take up residence in the temporary residential units promised to them.
The affected individuals and households continue to wait, crammed into temporary relief shelters and struggling with greater distances that they must now travel to commute to both work and school. Furthermore, the temporary relief shelters
that were completed were done so at an unacceptable standard with 100% of the units constructed ... [Time expired.] ...
With the above taken into account, the IFP accepts the Report.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, you must keep in mind that you only have two minutes for the declaration. Prepare for two minutes.
Mr K R J MESHOE: Thank you, Chairperson. Good financial management is not always found in this department while disregard for some of the Auditor-General’s findings not just once but year after year are common. Not all accounting officers have taken the trouble to implement plans to deal with the Auditor-General’s findings and not all legal requirements are met. As a result, a total of five tenders to the tune of R13 million were actually awarded without being published in the tender portals.
Chairperson, four of the six Human Settlements entities have governance challenges while only two have done well. The ACDP believe that government has failed their people. I think the time has come for them just to admit that: We have tried and failed let us give somebody else an opportunity. Thank you.
Mr B N HERRON: Thank you, House Chair. House Chair, progress in the Human Settlements sector in improving our spatial planning is progressing at a snail’s pace. Informal settlements, neglected townships, backyard dwelling and tent cities of the cold truth across our country. Housing projects are built at the edges of our urban forms on cheap greenfield land creating large suburbs of poverty While our National Housing program has delivered an unprecedented number of housing opportunities in the democratic era, we have done so in a manner that is largely entrenched apartheid spatial plans. We have relegated the poor to poverty traps.
Chairperson, by now we should be able to look back at what we have built and have studied the socioeconomic outcomes of that large scale housing programme. If we have done so honestly we would conclude that where people live matters and a free house is not necessarily an affordable house. The report makes it clear that the department has failed to meet its basic mandate to provide adequate housing as required by section 26 of our Constitution.
Our country has a housing crisis that the failure to meet our targets which are already too low to address that crisis means that we fail the millions of people who do not have adequate
housing. The blame for this is shared by provinces and metros who implement the housing programme on behalf of the national department. The housing crisis and our inability to even reasonably meets the demand incrementally and meaningfully must force us to reconsider the housing programme. The problem is not only one of poor planning, poor execution or poor leadership it is also systemic.
The Housing Development Agency, HDA, stands at the peak of these failures. What has it done or doing with all the land that it has acquired or which has been transferred to it? The Social Housing Regulatory Authority follows in the Housing Development Agency HDA’s footsteps. Only 42% of the social housing target was met. While there are areas in the Report which show medium to small improvements it is clear that the prospects of meeting the 2030 goals set out in the National Development Plan will not be achieved. The department may report to us on numbers of housing opportunities created ... [Time expired.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, House Chairperson. The National Freedom Party notes the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report tabled here today. Let me start off by saying that this department only achieve 56% of its target after having spent
97%. Once again we have mastered the art of spending but not achieved. The NFP has repeatedly raised the consent of the number of people in this country that are without houses. That is why we have suggested, in order to alleviate this, the recommendation is that we provide fully service sites to those homeless people and then allow them to build those houses themselves. The government does not have to take the responsibility of building houses for people.
Of course, you know they could consider for those indigent people that really can’t. Look at the reports of the Auditor- General or ... [Inaudible.] ... for three years into the current administration the Human Settlements sector has shown no sign whatsoever of any improvement. ... [Inaudible.] ... the Auditor-General also identified projects that were incomplete due to insufficient and inadequate project management. The Auditor-General also observed that the current mechanism approaches that they have in place remains inadequate.
Now, hon House Chairperson, how long and how are we going to actually support this department particularly when it comes to the appropriation of budgets when they spend 97% of the budget but only achieve 57? Look at the issue of title deeds, 73 764
issued in the medium term target set of 1 193 222. So, I think a lot of work need to be done by the department to get its house in order. The Auditor-General has made his recommendations and I think it is up to us now to ensure there is consequence management. Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr S M JAFTA: Thank you, House Chairperson, in our Budget Vote speech, this year, we called upon the Department of Human Settlements to foster intergovernmental developmental co- ordination between human settlements government departments at provincial level within the regulated discipline of the shared legislative and executive competence. We also said Human Settlements Development grant allocated to these provincial departments must reach every single individual in the human settlements value chain.
The committee report vindicates this proposition in that it clearly identifies the key role of the department as having to, and I quote: “facilitate the creation of sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life.” Part of unlocking the human settlements value chain is to invest in social housing, water and sanitation, transport and student accommodation in partnership with the private sector.
Whilst the department has achieved 56,6% of its targets, it has fared well in facilitating and promoting youth and women participation in human settlements development programmes as posted in the report. It cannot be gainsaid that human settlements is not only about housing, it is also about tapping into human settlements value chain, it is about dealing with housing backlogs in partnership with the Department of Land Reform and Rural Development providing title deeds to our people, it is about promoting sustainable human settlements to unlock direct investment in telecommunications, road infrastructure and energy supply ... [Inaudible.] ... and the work of the Housing Development ... [Inaudible.]
Mr T MALATJI: Hon House Chairperson, the ANC declares its full support for the Budget Review and Recommendation Report of the Department of Human Settlements as adopted in the portfolio committee on 26 October 2022.
Hon House Chair, the democratic government is dedicated and committed in the realization of the Freedom Charter that there will be houses, security and comfort.
The department’s accomplishments during the year under review in dismantling apartheid spatial planning and restoring the dignity of our people through the provision of housing, serviced sites and the upgrading of the informal settlements has led us to the support of the Bill.
We welcome and support the initiative by the department’s entity such as the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority in their quest to deracialize the housing market by training young people to actively participate in the sector by becoming estate agents.
In addition, the department has managed to empower historically disadvantaged individuals through the development of female contractors, youth contractors and people living with disabilities.
We further note the financial-linked individual subsidy to cater for those individual households that did not qualify for government subsidy and home loans. This initiative will go a long way in addressing the housing challenges for the missing middle.
Lastly but not least, we are concerned about the fact that the department and its entities have remained stagnant in the previous three financial years, showing no evidence of progress in the audit outcomes. The portfolio committee has suggested the performance-based consequence management for the human settlements sector. As the ANC, in the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, we will continue to play an oversight role to ensure that the department achieves its targets as set aside in the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, of 2019 and 2024. Thank you.
Motion agreed to (Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting).
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION FOR 2021/2022 FINANCIAL YEAR
The Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.
Declarations of vote:
Mr B B NODADA: This report ought to measure where said targets have a meaningful impact on the quality of education and preparation of learners for further education and employment. What they reveal is that the ANC-led government’s poor quality education continues to destroy the future of this country while they plunge young South Africans into poverty and a life of despair.
The Auditor-General revealed that many learners are still studying in unsafe environments. They are subjected to pit toilets, dilapidated mud, asbestos and plank schools and overcrowded classrooms because Minister Motshekga and her department have allowed implementing agents syndicates to loot the infrastructure budget. A whopping R1,47 billion has been irregularly spent by implementing agents tasked to build infrastructure. This could have bought at least seven schools, eradicated open toilets and installed Wi Fi in 267 schools, yet, there is no consequence management for this looting.
The report makes no mention of President Ramaphosa Special Purpose infrastructure vehicle announced at state of the nation address, Sona. Minister Motshekga is attempting to remove deadlines in infrastructure norms and standards,
thereby removing an accountability measure in eradicating of unsafe infrastructure while learners try, survive and dying in pit toilets.
Instead of building schools, the ANC-led government has chosen to bring legislation that scapegoat 1 200 schools of the 24 000 schools’ inability to provide quality education. Yet the Department of Basic Education, DBE, has failed to create learning environments that inspires learners and teachers as per their strategic framework.
The Minister continues to ignore our solutions. And that’s why South African Council of Educators, SACE, has failed to even build quality teachers and train them and monitor them. Poor infrastructure and poor quality teaching contributes to dropouts. It is now the ANC’s legacy that 3,8 million people are not in education, employment or training. And seven in every 10 young South Africans are unemployed. The ANC will never provide ... [Time Expired.]
Ms N R MASHABELA: Chairperson, we make this declaration as thousands of our children are in the final lap of their examinations. Amongst these children are children from Mpindweni in Libode in the Eastern Cape, who have to wake up at three o’clock in the morning to embark on a four-hour trek to school. In KwaZulu-Natal, others are writing their exams while staying in community halls. Because the government of the day has not assisted them after the devastating floods that hit that part of the country early this year.
Many of them in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga got their study materials very late in the year. As if that was not enough, a number of them got taught by unqualified teachers right throughout the year. Many studied on schools that do not have water, sanitation, electricity and libraries. These are black children who were born many years after we attempted political freedom. But they have to live with the consequences of an inept, corrupt, incompetent and unsympathetic and self-serving government of a black predatory class that does not give a damn about the future of this country.
The reality is that this department has even ignored their own norms and standards for basic infrastructure for schools. As a
result, hundreds of thousands of pupils drop out of school every year, and there is no way of tracking where these learners go. The department does not know the reasons of these drop outs. And the country will inevitably pay because of the high rates of poorly educated and therefore unemployable young people. This is the most enduring form of hatred that the ANC has shown towards black people. Black people must reject the ANC if they want improvement in their lives. We reject this report, Chairperson. Thank you.
Mr S S ZONDO: Hon Chairperson, the said most powerful weapon is starting to become a blunt not because it’s not important nor by doing of learners, but by the doing of the Department of Basic Education, DBE, and each operations department has has for too long left our education system and equality to deterioration in such a way that division, that has to improve the quality of life and building a peaceful and prosperous South Africa has become an ... [Inaudible.] ...
Even though the department achieved most of its programmes or target, attention has to be paid to the special needs school having no access to electronic devices, nor monitoring of school that did not perform well and a school where art is not offered.
The record management practices of the department have and will continue to cost the country and the children who rely on the government for the service to be delivered. And ultimately, in the long run compromise the education. It is quite shocking that the department has modified its financial statement showing a clear lack of proper management and allowing for a lot of more corruption to take place within the department. Even though irregular expenditures have decreased to 1 471 million, this year. This is not something we can applaud or marvel as it is quite high and still pose a huge obstacle to the department ability to deliver its mandatory educational services. It is in these numbers that we indeed see the inaction of implementation agents and their silence speaking volume.
We have schools falling apart in all over the provinces of our country year in year out. Just like the year we hear of the claim of school’s infrastructure falling apart. This should not be acceptable that schools are not in full capacity and others are there operating, but have hundreds of learners in them. Even though the department achieved most of its programme targets, attention has to be paid to the school who need access to electronic device. The department has to ensure that ... We accept the report. Thank you. [Time Expired.]
Dr W J BOSHOFF: Hon House Chairperson, if one looks at the core functions of the Department of Basic Education
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, of the ANC, and some members sitting over there, if you want to have a personal discussion please go outside. You can’t have it across the speaker that’s currently at the podium. It’s wrong. Please continue, hon member.
Dr W J BOSHOFF: ... Thank you, hon Chair. As I was saying the core functions of the department, according to the paper is transformation, access to education and relations to negotiate the relations between the national and the provincial departments. Which seems to be quite fine because there is no mention of quality education, which the department indeed, does not present. Where there is quality education, it is more as a result of the work of the school governing body than of our department. The department is not working on education, where ...
... om dit in goeie Afrikaans te sê, waar die tekkie die teer tref nie.
The department is actually just facilitating what provinces should do. Of course, also the South African Council of Educators, SACE, is part of this department. Infrastructure roll out is not effective. And there is a golden thread going through all these reports that there is a lack of consequence management. Now, it strikes me that the way in which the departments works with the teachers is very much the same way than teachers work with children in school. Not very well.
About the objectives of education, the child should be trained as a balanced person, a worker, a member of a community and the carrier and co-creator of knowledge. However, we find out is that there are programmes like the inclusion on different sexual identities which is funded from abroad, not budgeted for and not accounted for, and nobody knows who makes the decisions about all this stuff. It is impossible to support the Budget Review and Recommendations Reports, BRRR, for this year. Thank you.
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon Chair, the fundamental problem in the Budget Review and Recommendations Reports BRRR, is its focus on inputs rather than on impact. We read in numerous places of all targets being met. But these are input targets rather than
the evidence of these policies having an impact on the quality of education. The department needs to be held accountable for the actual impact that its programmes have. If we can’t see an impact, then a programme must be scrapped.
In the next BRRR, it is our hope as the ACDP that we will hear how many programmes have been abandoned because they were ineffective, rather than about another expansion of programmes that do little more than create unevaluated busy work for officials. Policy development in the Department of Basic Education, DBE, is in crisis. The annual report of the department did not include a full report of policies under development and progress against timelines for policy development, as was just indicated by hon Boshoff.
The flaws in the Basic Education Laws Amendment, BELA, Bill, are becoming apparent during the oral submissions. Yet this Bill was published for public comments in 2017. And the Department of Basic Education, DBE, has spent nearly five years processing the Bill. The same applies to rural education. When the portfolio committee asked to be briefed on the rural school closure, we were told that the departmental frameworks were excellent. A few weeks later, the Western Cape MEC placed a moratorium on all school closures in the Western
Cape. Because the MEC believed the guidelines and the frameworks are flawed.
I want to welcome the step and it highlights the confusion and incoherence in policy development, which is a core function of the DBE. We want to call on all MECs to follow the Western Cape MEC and put a moratorium on school closures. Thank you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Hon House Chair, the UDM is concerned that the department’s programmes contained in the report do not, in our view, entail any detailed programmes or plans aimed at addressing the persistent and devastating challenges facing the basic education sector. There are no initiatives or concrete plans put in place to curb the alarming increase of violence at school, and the lack of security that our schools face, including the lack of improved technology and the attainment of the minimum norms and standards for public school infrastructure as the document was adopted many years ago.
Although the report reveals or indicates an expenditure on education infrastructure grant but as you know most schools lack the improved infrastructure, they still rely on pit latrines which is particularly concerning. Amnesty
International South Africa reported recently that more than
5 000 schools are still subjected to pit latrines due to the failure of the Department of Basic Education despite the department’s legal obligation to address this challenge.
If the department fails to eradicate pit latrines, mud schools, bungalow classrooms then it means the implementation of robotics coding and technology in all schools for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is just a pipe dream.
Enye ingxaki kukuthuthwa kwabantwana apho ufumanisa ukuba abantwana kwilali ngokwahlukeneyo basahamba ngeenyawo ukuya ezikolweni kuba ezi zithuthi azifiki kodwa ziphinde zifolele ukuhlawulwa. Zibanamabali imihla nezolo xa kufuneka kuthathwe abantwana kungekho nendlela yokuba bangaxoxiswa.
A research conducted in the Western Cape Province also revealed that over 180 teachers have been attacked on school premises. There needs to be an allocation of resources in order to deal with this problem in collaboration with the Department of Social Development and the South African Police Services ... [Time expired.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: House Chairperson, education is the key to success. If you look at the quality of education under the Department of Basic Education where one in two children that start school do not finish school or do not go up to Grade 12, and 60% of those that go to Technical Vocational Education and Training, TVET, colleges drop out in the first year, there is very little or nothing to attract learners to school today.
If you look at the performance of this particular department,
91 000 children gave birth to babies last year, many of whom are at the age of 10. The department indicated that they were going to investigate this but very little or nothing has been done to ... [Inaudible.]
When children as young as 10 years old are giving birth the question is what is this department doing with the budget that is allocated to them? Is this department really fit for purpose? Is it yielding the positive results we want in being able to provide quality education? Many schools still have pit toilets, there is no doubt about that, but now the department is talking about creating unisex toilets despite 91 000
children having given birth last year. We really believe that a lot of work needs to be done by this department.
The Auditor-General reported that R78 million was spent by this department to implementing agents alone. They found that this Department of Basic Education spent R1,4 billion in irregular expenditure. I mean it really questions ... The emphasis in this department is on quantity and not on quality. The Minister seems to brag about the number of learners that are passing. It is not about the number of learners but about the quality of education, and that is why they even drop out in the first year.
Look at the Eastern Cape, 147 schools have a problem where the water supply was cut ... [Time expired.] ... Thank you, House Chairperson.
Mr S M JAFTA: House Chair, the Department of Education has an obligation to provide quality and accessible basic education to our people. In our 2019 manifesto we made it clear that rural schools needed to be rationalised to maximum better co- ordination, efficiency and access. We understood that resources must be streamlined for the greater good of our learners in rural schools. This will also help in the process
of bringing our education system in line with technological shifts.
It is in this regard that we take note and commend the department’s intention to introduce coding and robotics in Grade R to Grade 3 in 200 schools. We also cannot overemphasise the value of childhood development in the early grade learning, and indeed our focus on childhood development will harness the potential of each learner and propel them to greater heights in society.
All these lofty ideas will unfortunately remain mute if the department continues to incur irregular expenditure. The irregular expenditure of R147 billion incurred by the department due to noncompliance with supply chain management laws and regulations is a blight on the poor. A culture of consequence management must be inscribed in the DNA of the department. Without this culture, non-delivery of textbooks in rural provinces like Limpopo and the Eastern Cape will continue and will one day explode like a volcano. We nonetheless support the report. I thank you.
Ms N G ADOONS: Hon House Chairperson, education is an apex priority of the ANC and government allocates a significant
component of its budget to education. The department faces multiple challenges, however, the department has improved its performance in critical areas. The department’s annual report and its entities, Umalusi and SACE, reflected an improvement in some areas whilst Umalusi continues to receive a clean audit.
We have raised our concerns on irregular expenditure by the department and weaknesses in ensuring implementing agents are accountable and consequence management actions quickly be implemented. We have recommended strengthening governance by supporting and helping ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, can I request ICT to disconnect the audio of hon Mashego? Please continue, hon member.
Ms N G ADOONS: Thank you, House Chair. We have recommended strengthening governance by supporting and helping the noncomplying provincial education departments. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, it seems to me the hon Mashego is still on the platform. I have
requested for the microphone to be disconnected. Please continue.
Ms N G ADOONS: We have recommended strengthening governance by supporting and helping noncomplying provincial education departments. This will address challenges of efficient record keeping and optimal usage of grants allocated to critical programmes such as the HIV and Aids grant and Maths, Science and Technology grant.
We have recommended that the South African Council of Educators strengthen its efficiency in improving case management of sexual harassment related matters impacting teachers. On Umalusi we have recommended that, in collaboration with the Department of Higher Education and Training, consider and review the timing of release of the matric examination results, giving enough time for students’ admission and placement. This is to improve the transition from schooling to higher education.
We welcome the progress of the department in closing infrastructure backlog and its continuous curriculum recovery programme.
Siyayixhasa le ngxelo.
Thank you very much, House Chairperson.
Question put that the report be adopted.
Motion agreed to (Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Freedom Front Plus, African Christian Democratic Party and United Democratic Movement dissenting).
Report accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Thank you very much, House Chair. House Chair, I move that the Report be adopted by this August House. Thank you.
There is no debate.
Declarations of vote:
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Chair, we need to stop fantasizing about the developmental state and we need to start being an enterprising economy. Since time immemorial, the African National Congress have fantasized over the developmental state. A dream of a country where a benign dictator is able to rule by executive fiat, free from criticism by the chattering classes and opposition. An economy that is reminiscent of an Asian tiger in the mid to late 20th century, such as China, South Korea or Japan. A country where the state determines the nature of the economy and which sector to promote and not to market. A world where there are no international trade obligations to comply with and they are able to implement tariffs and other protection measures at will - sounds ideal, no, it’s definitely not. What we need is an enterprising economy, which allows businesses and entrepreneurs to create jobs, generate economic growth and improve the welfare of its citizens. Where there is an acknowledgment by the state that it is responsible in so far as the creation of a conducive environment for economic activity to flourish and welfare provision for only the most vulnerable. This is an economy which actively sources international investment and trade opportunities instead of trying to block them. It’s an economy where the market decides which industries are competitive and not a set of master plans. A country where does not matter
what you look like and where you come from. This is the kind of country and economy that the DA wants to build post 2024. I thank you.
Mr M TSHWAKU: Thank you very much, House Chair. Chairperson, the EFF rejects the BRR of the Portfolio Committee on the Trade, Industry and Competition. Currently, all special economic zones, SEZs, that are being established by the department are not functioning at all at this time and this has been going on for years whereas the billions of rands are being approved to establish them. These SEZs have the potential to create jobs. The state must aggressively intervene to ensure that they are sufficiently funded and they are functioning. The department must not rely too much on the private sector.
Chairperson, the current industrial policy adopted by the department is not resulting in any job creation. The industrial policy, in fact, shows that South Africa is moving backwards in relation to industrialisation as compared to other developed countries. Other countries achieved their industrial development through state-led development and decisive political leadership. This country is going in the opposite direction under the Ramaphosa regime. Believe that
massive privatisation of key sectors of the economy will resolves growth and unemployment crisis.
The National Empowerment Fund, NEF, and Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, need to ensure that our people are assisted in accessing funds for projects. Currently, there is a high rejection rate of funding of black people. Currently in these black industrials, there are no appeals committees so that they can be taken to what ... led to ...rejection of their application. The Special Investigation Unit, SIU, report on the LLC alleged that corruption ... is not finalized before the action is taken. Now we must ensure that the portfolio committee must not listen to the allegations of corruption until their report is finalized and submitted to the President. The overall progress on key aspects needed for growth in this country are not there on this BRR Report and the EFF will reject this report.
Inkosi E M BUTHELEZI: Thank you very much, hon Chair, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s vision is to create economic, industrial, global competitiveness economy characterised by meaningful economic transformation, inclusive growth and development built on the full potential of all citizens. However, Chair, in the second quarter of this year,
the number of unemployment persons in South Africa increased settling to a total number of unemployed persons around
7,9 million. Therefore, it is important that the department prioritizes job creation initiatives as per this report.
Considering the investment drive which has received an amount of over a trillion in pledges to date, we urge the department to use some of these funds to explore new economic opportunities in underexplored reaches within industries. The purpose of the investment drive is to expand the overall output of South Africa’s economy, therefore creating job opportunities and economic growth. Consequently, Chair, an example of possible new streams of job creation opportunities might lie in exploring the manufacturing of new energy vehicles and or further develop the green energy sector. We note the government’s spending billions of rands bailing out state-owned enterprises, SOEs, which impact the department’s ability to adequately allocate funds towards infrastructure development which puts the department in a position of not being able to operationalize its mission of economic transformation. The IFP supports the Report, Chair. Thank you.
Mnr F J MULDER: Agb Huisvoorsitter, die 2022 Begrotingsoorsig en Aanbevelingsverslag vir die Departement van Handel,
Nywerheid en Mededinging is van die beste en mees volledige en omvattende verslae wat in hierdie agb Huis gedien het en daarvoor kan ek die departement en die komitee gelukwens. Maar die rol wat hierdie departement behoort te speel in die herstel van die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie en die skep van werksgeleenthede word onderskat.
House Chair, while investment pledges across a number of projects could promote industrial development and job creation. The impact on labour absorption appeared to have been insignificant giving continued rising levels of unemployment. The Freedom Front Plus’s opinion in that the DTIC should consider serious changes on outdated polices to name broad-based black economic empowerment, B-BBEE, but a few. The FF Plus will therefore not support the Report. Thank you, Chair.
Mr W M THRING: Hon House Chairperson, as we consider this report, the ACDP believes that this department is pivotal to the economic success or failure of South Africa as it drives the industrial agenda. Unlike most other departments, DTIC is not a delinquent when it comes to compering budget spends to targets achieved, 98% of the R11 billion budget allocation was
spent in the first quarter; 94% of targets were achieved while in the second quarter it was 95%. However, a blight against this department’s good achievements was the rot at the Lottery’s Commission, where more than R1 billion was looted at this entity. This scandal is yet another kick in the teeth of our poor, indigent and vulnerable as the unscrupulous greedy officials at the NLC colluded with syndicates to steal from the poor.
Hon House Chairperson, has long positioned that South Africa must come first above political ideology, race-based and cadre deployment policies. While the Minister acknowledged that during the empowerment process lessons were learned and the worker empowerment objective is to provide equity to workers irrespective of their race. One only has to look at Eskom, SAA, Denel and PRASA to name a few. To realize that merit and not race-based policies is what is needed to grow our industrial base. While our President rubs shoulders with unelected billionaires of the world economic forum, who have boldly stated to the people of the world you will own nothing and be happy. Our people languish in poverty and unemployment. Let it be known to this House that the ACDP will fight this ungodly totalitarian secular humanistic agenda with everything that it has. I thank you.
Mr A M SHAK EMAM: Chairperson, this department ... in fact, there were several instances of fraud and theft of money going missing after being allocated to various infrastructure projects. In fact, there were R65 million allocated for several multimillion rand infrastructure projects.
What is the beauty of this is that on the very same day that monies were deposited, these accounts were emptied. So, you can look at the level corruption that has taken place.
Two-hundred and forty million rand was allocated, some for ... I can tell you, a rehabilitation centre in Kuruman in the Northern Cape received R14 million for its completion. Since 2016, Abrina, a non-profit company, has received R34 million from the National Lottery Commission and the forensic investigation found that only R5,3 million of the R22 million originally catered was spent on the centre. Idumbe, again, another one, okay, R36,8 million was given to a contract, only R13 million was spent on this. So, you can look at the high levels of corruption.
Let me talk a bit about the Competition Commission, Chairperson. What is actually happening in the airline industry, the department has done very little or nothing to
investigate the monopoly that some of the airlines and the price fixing that takes place. Exactly the same thing in the food industry and the food chain, the very same manufacturers are the wholesalers and the retails and price fixing; and of course, our people, now, with this Black Friday are being taken for a ride.
The NFP is not satisfied with the audit outcomes, with legal fees amounting to R78 million or 31% of all goods and services. Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Ms J HERMANS: House Chair, I stand on behalf of the ANC to support the budgetary review recommendation report of the Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry and Competition.
The ANC fully understands that industrial policy is the backbone of any developing country. As a result, the reimagined industrial strategy aims to drive this by systematically supporting structural transformation through special economic zones and revitalizing industrial parks for broader and inclusive economic growth.
The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, DTIC’s, budget has been adjusted up to R11,8 billion with notable
increases in industrial financing, competition policy and economic planning, and industrial competitiveness and growth programmes, having being adjusted upwards by R1,4 billion, R748,5 million and R3,6 million respectively.
We are pleased that there are increases into the industrial financing programme because of the update of the services, investment and automotive incentive programmes by companies across the critical sectors of the economy as well as top structure under the special economic zones programme.
While we support the efforts to deepen and intensify industrialization, we are concerned that some of the entities like SA Bureau of Standards, SABS, and National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, NCRS, that are meant to support to economic development are being underfunded, particularly as it relates to the infrastructure upgrades, therefore, inhibiting the ability to operate optimally.
We support this budget vote.
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND INNOVATION ON PERFORMANCE OF DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION FOR 2021/2022 FINANCIAL YEAR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND INNOVATION ON 2021/22 ANNUAL REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING AND ENTITIES
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chair, I move that this House adopts the report as read by the table staff. Thank you.
Declarations of vote:
Ms C V KING: No student left behind in an ideal world is what we strive towards. The DA understood the assignment to achieve this under constraint budge and they are clear on their mandate. Bulelani, Vena, Valentine and Makhathini found themselves amongst 94 000 NSFAS, National Student Financial Aid Scheme, appeals for 2022 and is still awaiting proper confirmation of that funding outcomes. A total of 120 000 missing middle students will not graduate this year because they owe universities R7 billion. This is what student debt crisis at universities of R16,5 billion.
USAf, Universities South Africa, reported that university application of the actual space available, for example, for university, their enrolments space is 19 630 and 219 000 applications received. An amount of R39 million wasted on rabbit farming skills as identified by NSF, National Skills Fund, SIU, Special Investigating Unit, report, failing to produce the necessary critical skills in the country. Through the merit of skills development policies, the Minister’s plan is to sugar coat it with the master skills plan.
Minister Nzimande totally ignoring the recommendation of the hidden report on student funding played us like Zuma by announcing that NSFAS will continue disbursing of funds on the current model ignoring the missing middle.
To top it off, NSFAS is considering covering the cost of medical students studying in Cuba. This is a slap in the face for students studying in South Africa.
When Setas and NSFAS are not integrated to disburse bursaries then yes, the Department of Higher Education and Training has left students behind and continues to do so. The long list of critical skills needed is a clear indictment of the failure by this ANC to upskill South Africans. A void left by public
institutions that can and must be filled by private institutions.
Time is not on our side and this unemployment rate is skyrocketing. Minister, you either get your house in order or you ship out. Minister, we welcome the latter.
Mr S TAMBO: House Chair, the Department of Science and Innovation has had respectable performance in the financial year which is characterized as a clean audit. There has been a full or cofounding if 287 high level research students of which 57 are PhD level in designated areas such as advance manufacturing, aerospace and mining.
The department must have a much more meaningful beneficiation of scientific and innovation in significant areas where the for potential skills exist side by side with mineral and wealth extraction potential such as in the platinum belt.
The disjuncture between innovation, skills, development and beneficiation at local level is not next to progress in the department seen and ostensibly be meaningless. The target to our bursaries to pipeline postgraduate students was not met and it is concerning. The likelihood of those who needed
funding being from previously disadvantaged backgrounds is high meaning much more needed insight and propensity that is linked to local and societal needs is lost.
It goes without saying that the nightmare of funding constraints in the department hampers progress and the leaning towards private sector investment will not alleviate our developmental problems but rather deepen in realist control over the trajectory of development in South Africa.
However, when it comes to the Department of Higher Education nothing exposes it more than its current attitude towards the TVET sector where muscly excuse of a lack of availability of computer equipment is given for underspending on the provision of computers.
Further to this, R135,89 million was underspent on TVET system planning and institutional support. It is surprising that there is no reflection on the irregular expenditure accrued at the National Skills Fund which the Minister who is out giggling in London tried to seal in the Standing Committee on Public Accounts recently.
Perhaps put on record for the nation to know almost R5 billion is unaccounted for with the National Skills Fund in the past two financial years and Minister Blade Nzimande was at pansy in recent months to hide the report of these billions rands of corruption by asking this Parliament of the people to hide this information from the public which elected us all.
Even without this corruption being taken into account, the department has incurred irregular expenditure amounting to R2,44 million. Furthermore, to add that, performance targets unimplosive across all programmes in the department. the unimpressive performance is unreliable and not usefully to tick the findings of the Auditor-General who has found that supporting evidence to the targets achieved did correlate.
Mr S S ZONDO: Hon Chairperson, the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation directly contributes to the developmental goals of South Africa. As a department, their mission is to develop capacity, capable and well educated and skilled citizens who can compete in sustainable diversity and acknowledging international economy.
However, the department is yet to coerce and address South Africa’s challenges of youth unemployment as South African
youth remain vulnerable in the labour market. This indicates that the target related to programmes such as community education and training programmes are of utmost importance.
As this directive contributes to the decreased unemployment rate, therefore the department should aim to always meet students’ targets by enrolling at community education and training colleges annually.
A further concern we have is the safety of community students as well as the condition of students’ residence in some institutions. The needs of ... [Inaudible.] ...students are often neglected as much focus is placed on the safety of those living on campus.
However, the recent released ... [Inaudible.] ... report has always detailed how the social structures within on campus residents are for social ills. We therefore urge the department to priorities these issues and consequences will be there if left unattended to. The IFP accepts the report.
Dr W J BOSHOFF: Agb Voorsitter, die departemente vir Hoër Onderwys, Wetenskap en Innovasie is nogal baie omvattend. Dit omvat alle universiteite, al die ...
... Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET, colleges, all the Community Education and Training, CET, colleges, all the sector education and training authorities, Setas, the National Research Foundation, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, the Human Sciences Research Council, HSRC, Hydrogen SA, the National Skills Fund and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS. It’s quite a list and there are many problems.
TVET colleges are still not competitive with universities as preferred institutions of training. Seta still waste money and the NSFAS money is still gone and is still ridden by operational problems.
Historically disadvantaged institutions still do not catch up with others and they have been existing longer under the so called democratic government than the previous one. Yet in this committee, officials and the committee created a very good understanding with each other.
In addition, the committee itself functions in a very nonpartisan way in which officials are questioned and held to account equally by members of the ruling party and opposition parties. The BRRR, Budget Review and Recommendations Report, is therefore a very complete, comprehensive and honest report highlighting all the problems that occur in these two very important departments. For these reasons, the FF Plus supports the report.
Mr M G E HENDRICKS: Al Jama-ah supports the report Chair.
Ms K D MAHLATSI: Chairperson, the Department of Higher Education and Training has experienced the highest budget allocation in response to the demand of higher education and free fee higher education policy.
These strides ensure that the working class and the poor’s children have access to higher education and contribute to eradicating poverty. We have recommended additional funding allocation to increase the enrolment of students in the TVET and the CET, Community Education and Training, sector.
A review of high education and training budget allocation is an equitable manner between the university programme and TVET
and CET colleges is imperative to realise the National Development Strategy and plan trajectory in skills development.
Making TVET colleges institutions of choice remains a critical priority for the ANC. Missing middle remains our priority. The MTT, Ministerial Task Team, report on the student funding man to accommodate the missing middle is out and the Minister is busy with the consultations.
As we speak, Safetsa and SAUS, SA Union of Students, student bodies that are representing more than one million students in the country have been consulted. The myth that we do not care about the missing middle is actually a myth.
For optimal use of skills fund and integrated information management system for Setas is necessary to address the duplication and management abuse of skills development funds which have found to be prevalent.
The science and innovation board is well managed and the department received a clean audit with most of its entities having commendable financial and non-financial performance.
Science and Innovation are primary catalysts for development and social advancement.
We have recommended that the department should enhance its collaboration with other department entities and the private sector to ensure better coordination as Science and Innovation can respond to challenges impacting state capacity and its ability to resolve socio economic challenges. The ANC supports this report. Thank you House Chair.
Motion agreed to (Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting).
Reports accordingly adopted.
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT, NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY, INFORMATION REGULATOR, LEGAL AID SOUTH AFRICA, SPECIAL INVESTIGATING UNIT, SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION AND PUBLIC PROTECTOR
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
CONSIDERATION OF BUDGETARY REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ON OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE
There was no debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon House Chair, I move:
That the House adopts the Reports as read by the Table staff.
Thank you very much.
Declarations of vote made on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus and African National Congress.
Declaration(s) of vote: Afrikaans:
Mnr W HORN: Voorsitter, hierdie drie verslae vertel drie jammerlike verhale oor hierdie drie departemente. Die Departement van Justisie strompel van een krisis tot die volgende. Op die oomblik word hofprosesse tydelik opgeneem deur die tegnologie en onder die leiding van dieselfde maatskappy wie se oorspronklike kontrak al in April verlede jaar tot ’n einde gekom het en nie vervang is nie. Die terugvoer oor die proses om ’n nuwe kontrak teen volgende jaar April in plek te hê, wat sal keer dat ons howe weer tot stilstand kners, boesem geen vertroue in nie.
Intussen is baie hofgeboue in ’n ernstige staat van verval met die ineenstorting van die Potchefstroom se landdroshof gebou se dak wat simbolies is van die manier waarop Justisie en Openbare Werke nie na die strukturele integriteit van ons hofgeboue omsien nie. Dit alles terwyl die departement aanhou, soos in die laaste 10 jaar, om miljoene rande per jaar te stort in die bodemlose put wat bekend staan as die vlagskip projek om ’n geïntegreerde regstelsel en strafregstelsel te ontwikkel. Dit is nog een van daardie droom projekte wat ’n nagmerrie geword het.
Korrektiewe Dienste aan die ander kant is nie net onbeholpe en sonder geloofwaardigheid wanneer hulle besluite oor parool
moet neem nie. Ongeoorloofde en onreëlmatige uitgawes is die reël eerder as die uitsondering en ook hier is ’n vlagskip projek — die ontwikkeling van ’n geintegreede bestuurstelsel rakende gevangenes — waarop miljoene rande jaarliks uitgegee word sonder dat daar hoop is om eendag ’n eindproduk te sien.
Laastens, die onsmaaklike verwikkelinge by die Kantoor van die Hoofregter, waar voormalige senior administratiewe amptenare beskuldig word daarvan dat hulle deel was van die toekenning van kontrake rondom die departement se vlagskip projek om elektroniese aanlynhofindienings-dokumentstelsels te ontwikkel en te implementeer terwyl hierdie amptenare stilletjies in die geheim aandele in ’n maatskappy wat ook ’n rol sou speel bekom het. Maar veral ook die onwilligheid van hierdie Kantoor om deursigtig verslag aan die portefeuljekomitee te doen wys vir ons presies wat die stand van die administrasie van die reg in Suid-Afrika is. Dankie.
Ms Y N YAKO: Thank you very much, House Chairperson. The EFF rejects this Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report. It is not a secret that this department is on a continued downward spiral mud by underspending and underperformance and a lack of
... [Inaudible.] ... Minister to see to it that consequence management is enforced for those who continue not to care. The
Department of Justice and Correctional Services provides a very important role that it is a custodian of those who have transgressed laws in a country. However, how can that role be fulfilled when within it confines ... [Inaudible.] ... as a lack of performance? Part of the role of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services is enforcement of South Africa’s laws, rehabilitation and correcting behaviours and also providing skills to those incarcerated so that when they come out they make it and provide a contribution back to communities. Its role is also minimise in corrupt activities committed and an oversight over those who are trusted with the coffers of this country.
The fact that the Department of Justice and Correctional Services underspent on its budget but overspent on its employment compensation leaves much to be desired and is unacceptable, primarily because most of our state-run prisons are deemed unacceptable. The matter of ... [Inaudible.] ... detainees being part of the problem in Correctional Services feed into the concern that our magistrates and judges do not seem to find a connection between crime and sentence thereby feeding into the overcrowding of our prisons. The department is layered with corrupt activities that it refuses to deal
with. Part of the Auditor-General, AG’s, concerns is the amount of litigation faced by the department.
This is an issue that we should not be sweeping under the rug as it undermines the credibility and reputation of correctional service. That the same department is part and parcel of procurement processes being flouted speaks to the moral ground that this leading government has chosen to adopt, that of corruption by any means necessary, and that of lack of care for those it supposed to protect. Corruption within government departments continue to grow because our protection agencies don’t have their wings, their wings are being clipped so they cannot enforce proper consequence management and can only make recommendations. Our courts are not fully operational due to lack of information and communications technology, ICT, material and basic function of ITC’s ... thank you. [Time expired.]
Prof C T MSIMANG: Thank you, hon House Chair. The IFP reaffirms the concerns contained in the report with regard to the need for the department and all its entities to capacitate themselves with the warm bodies to ensure a functional legal system. There is a huge need for justice college to put out more trained officials to assist us with this plight. The
featured open vacancies and failure of initiatives such as youth programmes are quite discouraging considering the high youth unemployment rate. Vacant positions create instability within government departments, reflect a lack of leadership, disrupt the ability to deliver justice services to the people and allow for irregularities such as in the case of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Department of Correctional Services.
The office of the Chief Justice must start taking the employment of women and persons with disabilities seriously.
It has been two years of delays and we cannot continue to accept subpar reasons as to why these transformation goals are not being achieved. For the department to solely state that: “the fight against fraud and corruption would continue” does not in any way assure us that it will. Our country has been, for years, being held hostage by corruption and yet, only little has been done to redeem us from the scourge. We need precise and effective action plans from the National Prosecuting Authority ... the IFP accepts this report. [Time expired.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): No, hon members, I was lenient because the hon member has got a hearing problem. Therefore, that’s why he’s not undermining the presiding officer. Other than that we shall proceed, FF Plus, you are recognised.
Mnr F J MULDER: Agb Voorsitter, die Departement van Justisie en Korrektiewe Dienste is seker een van die mees- verpolitiseerde departemente in Suid-Afrika. Ek het reeds in hierdie Huis ’n hele aantal kere die opmerking gemaak dat die Suid-Afrikaanse Grondwet en Suid-Afrika se regsreëls nie noodwendig as die oppergesag gesien kan word nie en dat die politieke ideologie van die regeringsgesag dikwels regsreëls oorskadu. Die onlangse hantering van die paroolsake van Janusz Walus en voormalige President Zuma is slegs twee voorbeelde daarvan.
Hon House Chair, much can be said about the lack of proper management and expenditure on several programmes in the department. The Auditor-General highlighted several control deficiencies, the leadership did not exercise efficient oversight regarding compliance with laws and regulations
regarding internal controls and action plans were not timely implemented to address prior year’s audit questions and matters. This should not be the case especially not in the Justice Department. The Freedom Front Plus will not support the 2022 BRRR report. Thank you, House Chair.
Mr S N SWART: ... [Inaudible.] ... report deals with the whole department and entities such as the Human Rights Commission, Public Protector, Information Regulator, the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, Legal Aid South Africa, National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, and Correctional Services and office of the Chief Justice, and gives a useful insight into the state and challenges facing the criminal justice system.
The committee previously reported on the deplorable state of many of the courts. Some of the courts buildings are so neglected that they become structurally unsafe, other courts one cannot access due to a lack of running water and electricity. Therefore, when there are outages clearly the courts conceit and this obviously the ACDP finds unacceptable because this results in a further backlog of criminal cases, a backlog in civil cases, and that, of course, puts pressure on awaiting trial prisoners and the size of our prison population.
We know the justice delayed is justice denied. Another aspect which we appreciate that the Minister of Police is addressing is the issue of the deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA, reports. There was a huge backlog and that, of course, also adds to the criminal cases and the backlogs. Despite this, we do see the NPA has improved performance and they are, with specifically, the Independent Directorate, ID, has succeeded with the number of matters in its regard. They do raise a problem with seconded staff of the ID, those are SA Police, SAP’s, officials that still have to do the SA Police Services, SAPS, matters as well as state capture matters and this is something that cannot be continued with as it results in inefficient prosecutions and inefficient investigations. The challenge, of course, with these reports are the Auditor-General gave a qualified audit opinions for the Department of Justice, for Correctional Services and there were a number of targets that were not met. Now, this is a massive concern because this is ongoing, for example, if one looks at the issues where we, as the committee, have seen oversight, and we have seen things that do not tally with what the department is telling us.
Therefore, regrettably whilst there is improvement, the ACDP will not support this report. I thank you.
Mr X NQOLA: House Chair, we the ANC rise to support the Reports of all the departments that have been listed in this
... [Inaudible.]. Any democratic state which governed by the rule of law, the Department of Justice plays an important role in the functioning of the state.
We wish to commend the Department of Correctional Services for achieving its target of unqualified audit opinion. We encourage the department to work towards improving on matters of emphasis raised by the Auditor General.
The persistent challenge of overcrowding is a cause for concern. We urge the department to find a lasting solution to address overcrowding. It will be important for the Department of Correctional Services, DCS, to look at other models on how best to deal with ‘prisoners of poverty’. Those prisoners who are in jail on the basis that they could not pay bail.
Regarding the aging infrastructure in many of the correctional facilities, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services is requested to engage with the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure to look into the state of infrastructure in Department of Correctional Services and come up with an integrated plan to address these challenges.
We commend the National Prosecuting Authority on its improved performance and welcome the report that it exceeded its target for the conviction of sexual offences and that the number of Thuthuzela Care Centres, TCCs, increased from 55 to 60.
Much work is being done on the deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA, Backlog project, despite the challenges. This will assist in the fight against gender-base violence, GBV.
We note that the department has committed to clearing backlogs in the Master’s Office. We hope that this commitment will be realised and will be following up on the matter.
Funds have been reprioritised to Legal Aid SA over the Medium
Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period to capacitate the six newly established Specialised Commercial Crimes Courts.
We are pleased with the Office of the Justice, OCJ’s report on progress concerning the employment of women in senior management although it has not yet met the target of 50%. We will continue to monitor work of all these departments.
House Chairperson Judges that are adjudicating cases both in the Constitutional Court and ... [Interjection.] we support the Reports. [Time expired.]
Question put. That the Report be agreed to.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon members, order please, arising from discussions in the National Assembly Rules Committee meeting yesterday. Where the matter of orderly conclusion of sittings was raised, the agreement is that, going forward at adjournment of the sitting mambers should stand and wait for the chair and the mace to leave the Chamber. Hon members, that concludes the business for the order of the day. The sitting is adjourned. Thank you.
The House adjourned at 15:27.