Hansard: NA: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 07 Mar 2023
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 7 MARCH 2023
PROCEEDINGS OF THE PLENARY SESSION OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Watch video here: Plenary (Hybrid)
The House met at 14:01.
The House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
FILLING OF VACANCIES IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order hon members. Order hon members. Please take up your seats. Thank you.
Hon members, before we proceed with the business of the day, I wish to announce that the vacancy which occurred in the National Assembly owing to the resignation of Ms L N Moss, has been filled with effect from 5 March 2023, by the nomination
of Mr E Patel. Hon members, you will recall that Mr Patel was appointed by the President, as a Minister from outside of the National Assembly in terms of section 91(3) paragraph c of the Constitution.
Lastly, the vacancy which occurred owing to the resignation of Mr D D Mabuza, has been filled by the nomination of Mr H M Z Mmemezi, with effect from 1 March 2023.
The members have made and subscribed the oath before the Speaker. I would like to welcome the hon members and the hon Mmemezi back into the National Assembly. Welcome back. Thank you.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT ON MARINE POLLUTION – PREVENTION OF POLUTION FROM SHIPS AMENDMENT BILL
Ms F E KHUMALO: Hon House Chairperson, hon Ministers and hon Deputy Ministers, and hon members of the portfolio committee, greetings from our new from the box hon Minister and hon Deputy Minister of Transport. The Portfolio Committee on Transport is tabling to this House for consideration and
approval the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport and seeks the passing of the Marine Pollution Amendment Bill.
This Bill is important for multiple reasons according to the South African legislation in terms of pollution is in line with current International Convention Law. The oceans economy is important to the economic development of the country therefore needs to be protected from different types of pollution based on the best international practices and standards.
Hon House Chairperson, the protection of the oceans ecosystem and the environment must form part of the country’s progressive policies to preserve marine life and minimise pollution. Legislation of the country has traditionally kept abreast with the application of the international law and the country can pride itself with international best practices in maritime sector. However, carbon emissions from fossil fuels and climate changes are a serious and a global concern for our country and a global community. South Africa must play a positive and a progressive role in this regard.
In different parts of the country we have felt the effective and destruction of incremental weather in our communities.
Therefore, we must be part of the global leadership on reversing environmental degradation and pollution.
The Marine Pollution Amendment Bill is part of ensuring that the domestic legislation is in keeping with best the international practices and have little tolerance for pollution of our territorial waters.
This Bill seeks to amend the Pollution Act of 1986. Specifically, this Bill seeks to incorporate to South African law annexure four of the international convention for the prevention of pollution from ships and to incorporate the 1997 protocol in order to give effect annexure of six convention.
This ensures that legislation in terms of marine pollution from ships is based on well just standards.
The Marine Pollution Amendment Bill, seeks to incorporate the Marine Pollution International Convention Fourth and Protocol which is linked to annexure six of the convention into the South African law. This Bill determines that the marine authority in the form of port regulated through the Minister
can determine the technical standards for shipping above 400 metric tons to enforce the regulation relating to maritime pollution by law.
Hon House Chairperson, the amendment relates to the prevention of air pollution from ships through their exhaustion as this contributes to carbon and Sal fair emission. This has resulted in this Bill declaring regulations on the designated emission controls. In this regard this Bill regulates the permitted types of emissions amendment of ships. This is important as the fuels specification for marine bankers can change to lower the sulfur levels. Therefore, all the vessels need to utilise marine bankers in line with the current global specifications. It also enables the ports regulatory to the usage of accredited laboratories eligible to test the fuel sample and the associate coast.
Furthermore this Bill provides for the prevention of pollution by the sewage from ships for the removal of endoction disruption substances from sewage stream before it is treated.
Hon House Chairperson, this Bill allows for the enforcement protective measures in particular sensitive sea areas and
other specific areas. It is in this case the country has harbours such as the Saldanha Bay in ecological sensitive areas that requires protection from marine pollution. Thank you, House Chairperson. [Time expired.]
There was no report.
The Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved: That the Report be adopted.
Declarations of vote:
Nom T B MABHENA: Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo. Ngaphambi kobana ngethulo ikulumo yami yanamhlanje, ngithandukuthatha lelithuba ngithokozise iNgwenyama uBabethu uMakhosoke wesiBili.
With a successful commemoration of ...
... umnyanya wakoMjekejeke.
That was held over the weekend. We had the attendance from across the political parties in this House which was held near Pretoria.
We would like to say thank you very much.
Kiso soke isitjhaba esifikileko. Sithi; Bayede Ngwenyama!
Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo, begodu ngilotshise isitjhaba soke.
Research scientist Willies and others made the following observations that increasingly the ocean has typically been used as a sink for pollution. This is problematic and points to an urgent need for law-makers to act with speed, decisively, and develop policy that would protect our ecological system. As such South Africa is no exception.
Furthermore, I also agree with Willies and others that there is a sufficient data that the human health, social and economic environmental risks of marine pollution resulting in increased awareness and motivation to address the global
challenge. However, a significant lack exists within implementation strategies to address this issue.
In part, South Africa was also lacking behind in synchronising our domestic policy and aligning with international practices and benchmarks, but also to ensure that we are consistent with the global practices that regulate the marine space.
As stated above, that the Bill in the main is enabling the domestic policy to give effect to international maritime organisation that regulates these charges from spills and waste generated on board through Maritime Pollution Rules 73 and 78, as well as to ensure the fulfilment of these International Maritime Regulation, the Maritime Pollution Rule
73 and 78 International Convention for the Protection of Pollution from Ships of 1973, as amended by the 1978 Protocol and 1997.
Furthermore, this involved reviewing the mandatory fees for lending sewage waste in the ports, the sewage treatment costs and the environmental impact of the threat factor fuel from the vessels.
Environmental benefits and addressing technical difficulties in order to meet normative standards required from vessels sewage in the regulatory framework of our local ports.
In the main, this Bill seeks to incorporate and integrate the marine pollution annexure four and six introdomestic policy toolkit and give it effect. This impact giving into effect to give the convention to address and regulate sewage treatment plans as regulated by annexure four of the marine pollution.
Hon House Chairperson, in closing the DA further supports the consequential amendments emanating from the Bill such as the increased in the fines and penalties regime in the event that noncompliance occur from R500 000 to R10 million or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, as this will serve as a deterrence to possible noncompliance.
Ironically, the integration and incorporation of these two Maritime Pollution International Conventions for the prevention of pollution from ship is long overdue in our domestic framework. Considering the fact that it is almost literally a copy and paste of the International Maritime Organisation Policy.
Now, the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, adopted these two protocols first in 1972 and in 1997. It took the ANC-led government, 26 years to just copy and paste these protocols to our legislation. Talk about ANC competence.
Now, with that said, our esteemed organisation, the incoming government of 2024, through our president the hon John Steenhuisen, has always held a view that policy is not a challenge, but the political will and the spectacular failure to implement policy by this incompetent ANC-led government is our Achilles heel and as such we can assure South Africans that when the hon Steenhuisen comes in as the president, we are going to ensure that firstly, we are going to give you good policies, but we are going to be very decisive . However the fact that the hon John Steenhuisen has a Capitec Bank account, something that your, President has no idea of because he stores his money in couches.
Furthermore, we would like to say, the DA supports this Bill. Thank you very much.
IsiNdebele: Bayede, Ngwenyama!
Ms N J NOLUTSHUNGU: Chairperson, the EFF is in support of the Bill. The Bill specifically introduces amendments that ensure compliance with our international law obligation, in as far as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships is concerned.
A specific requirement from the convention is that the states must put measures in place regarding the discharge of sewage into the sea from ships, including regulations regarding the ships’ equipment and systems for the control of sewage discharged, as well as the provision of ports reception facilities for sewage and requirements for survey and certification.
While it is generally accepted that, on the high seas, the oceans are capable of assimilating and dealing with raw sewage through natural bacteria action, these regulations seek to prohibit the discharge of sewage into the sea, within a specified distance from the nearest land, unless otherwise provided.
We welcome the position of the Bill in ensuring the incorporation of these regulations in the Bill. Toxic spills
are a threat to our environment and the marine life. The adherence to the Marine Pollution, Marpol, Convention will assist in the reduction and use of toxic material that is promoting and improving a safe and healthy working environment. This will also help in protecting marine wild life and its habitat.
We also welcome the mechanisms that have been put in place to monitor and investigate incidents in South African waters, although we would have loved to see the inclusion of heavy sanctions, such as the confiscation of ships for repeat offenders.
The increase in fines and imprisonment threshold gives us the comfort that government is committed to ensure that polluters are severely punished for their crime. The introduction of severe penalties will also serve as a deterrent.
While we support the Bill, we are worried about the narrow angle approach that seems to focus on pollution by ships only. We should envisage pollution from sources as artificial space, bodies, debris and chemical warheads falling into our shores one day.
Deliberate dumping of waste by multinational corporations by either air or marine conveyance should be factored in, and it should carry hefty fines, including confiscation of such means of conveyance from repeat offenders.
Finally, allowing the Minister to extend the terms of members would create a fertile breeding ground for corruption, cadre deployment and unfair manipulation. We also want to say that the Bill’s intention to declare certain areas for a mission control within the vicinity of major South African ports is a step in the right direction.
However, we want to caution the Minister and the Department of Transport to ensure that the appointment of committee members is done in a fair and transparent manner. It should be individuals with the necessary skills and expertise on the matter in question and not cadre employment. The EFF supports the Bill. Thank you.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon Chairperson, South Africa is a maritime country, which accounts for 3,5% of world sea trade, and where 80% of trade value is driven by the sea. Therefore, the protection of our coastal lines and their resources is rooted
in our collective need to grow and develop our country. However, our coastlines are also incredibly important for local coastal communities, as many of those living in these communities live in abject poverty.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr T Frolick): Hon member, take your seat, please. Hon Nzuza on the platform, you are now for the third time having your microphone on. May I just ask the NA Table just to disconnect the microphone and ask one of the ANC Whips to communicate with that Deputy Minister, please.
Mr K P SITHOLE: The IFP welcomes this Bill’s focus on the prevention of pollution from ships, as we have witnessed first-hand how the closure of several South African public beaches, due to sewage and garbage pollution, during the December 2022 holidays, impacted local communities reliant on income from tourists. At present, some of these communities are still struggling with polluted beaches.
In September 2022, the Department of Transport announced that it was considering a fine increase from R500 000 to
R10 million for maritime pollution, to make noncompliance by ships expensive. The department’s reason for the increase was
to strengthen the arm of the state to ensure recovery of damages resulting from pollution from fuel bunkers and other chemicals.
While we appreciate this means of addressing noncompliance, we have to contend that there is an urgent need for the government to become more proactive, instead of reactive on matters related to our coastlines. Annexure 6 of Marpol, as referred to by the report, essentially prohibits the discharge of sewage into the sea, unless ships have the necessary systems for sewage disposal in place when ships are operational.
Therefore, it is our suggestion that the department focuses on practically implementing this, for example by having the sewage systems of ships approved before they operate on our seas. It is the department’s duty to ensure that this Bill does not become yet another piece of well-amended legislation pending implementation indefinitely. The IFP supports the report. Thank you.
Mr P MEY: The Bill seeks to amend the Marine Pollution, Prevention of Pollution from Ships Act of 1986. The amendments
incorporate international marine pollution conventions that ensure that South African maritime law is in accordance with the best international practice.
Die wysigings verwys na verskeie oortredings wat gepleeg kan word, onder andere oliestorting. Ons is almal bewus van die skade wat die storting in die see kan veroorsaak en die kostes om dit te verwyder. Dit het ook ’n baie negatiewe impak op die seelewe.
Ons lees dikwels hoe seevoëls, wat met olie bedek is, deur vrywilligers oor ‘n lang tydperk skoongemaak word en dan weer in die see teruggeplaas word. Die mense is vandie grootste oorsake van die besoedeling van ons oseane. Dit is dus belangrik dat die wêreld kennis neem van die besoedeling en alles in hul vermoë doen om dit te verminder of te vehoed.
Amendments of the section dealing with offences was amended, as the fines and sentences in the original Act was not in line with current international norms and standards, as
international law is not sympathetic to marine pollution or any other pollution.
The committee report for adoption and passing of the Bill by the National Assembly was supported by all the political parties.
Die VF Plus ondersteun dit. Dankie.
Mr W M THRING: Hon House Chairperson, the ACDP notes that this Bill seeks to amend the Marine Pollution, Prevention of Pollution from Ships Act, so as to give effect to annexure 4 of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, to incorporate the 1997 protocol, in order to give effect to annexure 6 of the convention and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Furthermore, the ACDP recognises that this Bill will provide the Minister of Transport with powers to make regulations relating to amongst others, the prevention of air pollution from ships, the prevention of pollution by sewage from ships and any other incidental administrative or procedural matters
that are necessary for the proper implementation of the principle Act.
Those found guilty of these and other listed offences shall be liable to a fine not exceeding R10 million or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years.
In 2021, the Mail & Guardian reported that the minimum lifetime cost to South Africa of pollution produced in 2019 alone by big ships and ordinary citizens sat at a staggering R885 billion, including damage to livelihoods and key economic industries, such as fishing and tourism, clean-up costs to the government and threats to the health of the population.
The ACDP welcomes this important piece of legislation, as it will enable us to play a leading role in adopting and encouraging more sustainable attitudes and practices to promote healthy ocean and marine systems.
The ACDP believes that the Bill responds well to increase our efforts in forcing shipping companies to take more responsibility for their ocean pollution output, whilst at the
same time, raising awareness around protecting, preserving our oceans, its ecosystems and marine life.
This Bill has the potential to position South Africa as a serious player, when it come to the sustainable and responsible use of the ocean for economic growth, improve livelihoods and jobs and ocean ecosystem help. This resolve, however, the ACDP believes, will be tested when Minister Creecy decides on the Karpowership appeal. The ACDP supports the Bill. I thank you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: No declaration, Chair. The UDM supports.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chairperson, allow me to start off by welcoming our Deputy Speaker. It is indeed a great pleasure and honour to see him back in the House. The NFP notes the report here today and supports the Bill. The Bill seeks to amend particularly, the Marine Pollution, Prevention of Pollution from Ships Act of 1986, to give effect to annexure 4 of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, to incorporate the 1997 protocol, to give effect to annexure 6 of the convention and provide for matters connected herewith.
Annexure 4 contains a set of regulations regarding discharges of sewage into see from ships. Let us not forget that the marine industry contributes immensely to the economy of this country, but very importantly, particularly, to those local economies, like the port of Durban and the Ethekwini Municipality, as a whole.
Whilst we need protect marine life, we also need to protect human lives and I think this Bill goes a long way in doing just that. I think, we must welcome this Bill. Thank you to those who introduced it for the hard work that was put into it to bring it to today, where we are actually adopting it. So, let me commend and congratulate all of you that have actually played a pivotal role in making this come to a success.
Let us note that in proposing a fine, which will increase from R500 000 to R10 million will certainly be a deterrent for the shipping companies, so that they can respect marine life and more importantly, the human life. The alternative to the fine will be an imprisonment that will not exceed 10 years. So, we are hoping that with the fiscal situation in the country, that if they do breach it, they will rather pay the R10 million. We
need the money, because correctional facilities are actually, to a very large extent, currently full.
Ethekwini is one of the few ports in the country that is very close to the central business district and as such, the spin- offs are quite high and great. However, pollution does affect the community of Ethekwini. [Interjections.] The NFP believes that, in the interest of marine life, economies, the public as a whole and particularly - the Deputy Minister of Health is sitting here - the impact that it could have on the lives of our people, the we support the Bill. Thank you very much.
Mr S M JAFTA: Chair, Annex IV of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships contains three provision relating to the control of pollution of the sea by sewage, including the discharge of sewage into the sea. It is these provisions aimed at introducing and codifying the control of pollution by sewage from ships, which the Marine Pollution Amendment Bill is introducing.
It is convenient to remind this House that; South Africa is a signatory to a number of international instrument dealing with
climate change such as the United Nations Framework Convention of the Climate Change.
In this year’s 27th session of the Conference of the Parties,
COP 27, held in Egypt there was no denying that climate change was the greatest threat to humankind. The Bill incorporate the convention’s request to regulate marine pollution thereby minimising the threat to marine ecological integrity. The effect of the Bill will see the regulations of the new ships of over 400 tons. Also, the Bill contains strict requirements with regard to surveys and certification of ships. It also requires sewage treatment plant to prevent the discharge of raw sewage from ships into the ocean. This is an important intervention. It will prevent marine concealed medical waste from being dumped into our oceans without consequences.
The greatest obligation we argue laisse with the SA Maritime Safety Authority. It must provide land-based reception facility for sewage in the ports. The authority will have to exercise control over ships and their sewage systems in our waters.
We further note the incorporation of Annex V of the maritime protocol in the Bill, which in essence will culminate in the reduction of global suffer from fuel in 3,5% to 0,5%. We support all these developments, including this Bill. I thank you.
Mr M NYHONTSO: Chair, the PAC supports the Bill. Thank you, Chair.
Mr M G E HENDRICKS: Hon House Chair, like the PAC, Al Jama-ah support the Amendment to legacy that the outgoing Minister of Transport has left. And we hope that the regulations that will follow will assist the country with regard to the pollution of the oceans.
Hon House Chair, I am very happy for this amendment because, you know, one of Cape Town’s favourite fish is snoek and the University of the Western Cape got R1 million research funding to find out what this pollution does to our snoek. So, we have students at the University of the Western Cape for months and months cutting up the snoek and examining it and they found out that there is further pollution in the snoek.
So, we are very concern that our snoek is being harmed and our favourite dish snoek in Cape Town is going to be harm that these regulations will empower three Ministers, the Minister of Health, Environmental Affairs and the Minister of Transport also step in for the sake of protecting our snoek. I know we don’t get any ... [Inaudible.] ... from snoek. Al Jama-ah support this amendment. Thank you very much.
Mufumakadzi Vho M M RAMADWA: Muhulisei Mulangadzulo, vhahulisei vho?he vhane vha vha hone na lushaka lwo?he, ndi masiari.
Hon Chairperson, the ANC support the Marine Pollution Amendment Bill of B 5 – 2022. The Bill seeks to amend the Marine Pollution Act 2 of 1986. The Bill seeks to incorporate into South African Law Annexure IV of the International Convention ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Member? Order, hon members. May I once again request those members on the virtual platform to pay attention firstly to the debate because we can
just switch off your microphone because you obviously not paying attention. Mute your microphones. And I must also instruct the Table Staff with the ICT unit as soon as the microphone goes on and the member inadvertent switch it on just switch it off, please. Please continue, hon member. And my apology for the interruption.
Ms M M RAMADWA: Thank you, hon Chairperson. The Bill seeks to incorporate into South African Law Annexure IV of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and to incorporate the 1997 protocol in order to give effect to Annexure VI of the Convention. The Bill B 5 - 2022 was referred to the portfolio committee on 31 January 2022. On
6 September 2022 the department briefed the portfolio committee. The Bill was published on 15 September 2022 to 31 October 2022.
The Bill was published for comment in national, regional newspaper and on the Parliament website. Submission were received from stakeholders on 15 November 2022.
The department responded to the written submission. The committee concluded deliberation on the Bill on 7 February
2023 and there was no amendment to the Bill as it is. The Amendment Bill seek to incorporate the Marine Pollution International Convention and Protocol, which is linked to Annexure VI of the Convention into South African Law. The Bill determines that the Marine Authority through the Minister can determine the technical standard for shipping above 400 metric tonnes in voice regulation by a law.
The amendments relate to the prevention of air pollution from ships, the prevention of pollution by sewage from ships, the removal of endocrine disrupting substances from sewage streams before it is treated and released, the permitted types of emission abatement equipment, the requirements for the disposal of waste generated by the mitigation equipment.
Hon Chairperson, usage of accredited laboratories eligible to test the fuel samples and the associate cost, regulation of designated emission control areas, the enforcement of protective measures in particularly sensitive sea areas and other special areas and on general any other or incidental administrative or procedural matters that are necessary for the proper implementation or administration of the Act.
Amendment of the section dealing with offences was amended. The fines and sentence in this original Act was not in line with current international laws and standard. International law is not sympathetic to marine pollution or any other pollution. Any person convicted of an offence under sub section 1 shall be liable to a fine not exceeding R500 000 or R10 million or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or 10 years or to such fine as well as imprisonment.
The powers of the Minister or official designated have increased to the effect the amendment and protocol as well as regulation. The Minister is also allowed through amendment to have an advisory panel of expect which can assist the Minister.
The regulation dealing with the discharge of sewage and other affluent into the sea as part of the announcement of the Bill and become law with the passing of the Bill.
On 6 September, the Department of Transport when briefing the committee, the portfolio committee adopted and passing of the Bill and then there was no opposition in that meeting. So, in other words, there is no opposition to the Bill. The House
must consider and adopt the report. In that note, as the portfolio committee as you heard there was no any party that was disagreeing, we all agree with this Bill. In that note, the ANC supports the Bill. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon House
Chairperson, I move that the Bill be adopted.
Motion agreed to.
Report accordingly adopted.
MARINE POLLUTION (PREVENTION OF POLLUTION FROM SHIPS) AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading Debate)
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT ON TRANSPORT APPEAL TRIBUNAL AMENDMENT BILL
Ms F E KHUMALO: Hon Chairperson, the Portfolio Committee on Transport adopted the report on the Transport Appeal Tribunal with amendments and that was supported by all parties. The Bill sought to amend the definition in the act and to link all relevant transport legislation in terms of the lake level in terms of the National Land Transport Act of 2009 and Cross Border Transport Act of 1998 to this Act, and to enable Transport Regulatory Authority to make decisions in terms of licensing with binding in relation ... [Inerjections.]
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILEYO: Qina mbokodo!
Ms F E KHUMALO: ... and regulation. In bringing the Act in line with development since the implementation of the Act, as a number of different pieces of legislation has been passed and needed to be connected to the legislation to empower the decision-making process of the authority.
The Bill provides for certain powers of the transport Appeal Tribunal in terms of the composition of board members, not more than nine members and not less than five members. Its selection needs to occur after consultation with every member of the executive council in every province responsible for transport matters. It also seeks the appointment of fit and proper persons as matter of the Tribunal on the grounds of their knowledge of, or experience in, financial, economic commercial, legal, public and public transport or any other matters relating to the functions of the Tribunal.
It allows the Minister to extend the terms of office of members of the Transport Appeal Tribunal. It also allows the Minister to extend the term of office of the members of the Tribunal. It empowers the Transport Appeal Tribunal as the Tribunal to be able to make decisions related to all relevant transport legislation, such as the National Land Transport Act of 2009 and the Cross Border Transport Act of 1998 and to make decision in terms of licensing through linking this legislation to the National Land Transport Act of 2009 and the Cross Border Transport Act of 1998.
The Department of Transport briefed the committee on the proposed amendments on 25 August 2021. The committee resolved to the to publish the Bill for comment from 01 September 2021 to 08 October 2021, and to conduct public hearings to hear public opinions and comments on the proposed amendment. The Bill was published for comments on national and regional newspapers, on the Parliament website which is Twitter and Facebook.
The period for comment was extended to 18 February 2022 for further comments. Many regulatory and transport bodies were consulted on the appeal and submissions were received from Gautrain Management Agency and Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works as well. Both stakeholders opted not to submit oral submissions in addition to the written comments. Departments responded to the written submissions on the 01 November. The committee concluded its deliberation on the Bill on 07 February 2023 with the adoption of the proposed list of amendments to the Bill. Chairperson, the ANC supports the amendment. Thank you.
Declarations of vote:
Mr C H H HUNSINGER: House Chair, given the range of aspects that were necessary to review, from licensing application processes to the manner of use thereof when awarded, different to the National Land Transport Act of 2009, NLTA and Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offence, Aarto Act of 1998, this time, proper work was done by the portfolio committee.
Overarching the Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Act of 1998 can be viewed as a third component of what have united towards better road use and changed road use behaviour.
Instead, what we are considering here today now seems to be an isolated administrative addition and a remedial utility.
Sadly, the Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Act of today will have to idle in the driveway until the Aarto and the NLTA Acts are fixed. Both of these related Bills were dealt with in a rushed manner tick box and rubber stamped on all sides by the ANC, while all along the DA warned about gaps and blacks which might not survive constitutional scrutiny, and as a result delay implementation.
Not too long ago this portfolio committee had to deal with the embarrassment of a returned NLTA. Seven days ago, the Road
Traffic Infringement Agency swopped before us in the portfolio committee because Aarto is still with the Constitutional Court instead of generating income for them. Nothing short of counting the ostriches before they hatch, their executive team went from average earnings of R1,3 million each per year to R7,5 million, 12 plus pay cheques performance and Christmas bonuses. Had our ANC colleagues in the portfolio committee applied their minds with NLTA and Aarto as they did with this Bill, it could have been a lot different.
Much of the frustration that public transport service providers’ users and administrations have to deal with currently, is as a result of poor and under complete content of both the NLPA and Aarto. Related to these, this Bill will establish the function of an appeal to deal with appeals of applications of public road carrier permits, operating licenses and cross border or cabotage permits. The tax judicial mandate is to hear noted the Bills emanating from the decisions made by the National Public Transport Regulator, provincial regulatory entities, municipal regulatory entities and Cross Border Road Transport Agency regulatory committees.
Die beginsel van onpartydigheid is voldoende geïnkorporeer met die vestiging van statutêre provinsiale en munisipale vervoerregistrateurs. Die DA is vol vertroue dat hierdie struktuur moet verbeter in terme van die gedrag van verenigings, operateurs en bestuurders teenoor kliente.
Met slegs ’n paar provinsies en selfs minder munisipaliteite wat tot dusver plaaslike gereguleerde liggame gevestig het, moedig die DA dit wel aan. Dit sal die nodige struktuur daarstel in ooreenstemming met die vervoerafvaardigingsrolle en -funksies wat deur die Grondwet gemagtig is in die besonder om die beginsel van skeiding van magte te ondersteun.
Control to extend the term of the office of the Tribunal members by the Minister has been limited to 12 months and to enhance the fifth and proper list of requirements for appointments, the retained competencies in the field of economics, commercial and legal sectors and career experience in the public transport sector were added.
In conclusion, the DA supports this Bill as the last phase to delated structure of municipal, provincial and national
transport authorities, regulatory entities and associated transport appeals bodies, which does help the potential of an improved road transport sector. The DA sees the substantive provision of impartiality as a major step forward, while the optional establishment of municipal and provincial appeals bodies will bring this function much closer to stakeholders and affected parties involved. This, rather than the past situation of having appeals heard by something similar to the Historical National Transport Commission.
Ndiyabulela ngexesha enindiphe lona.
I thank you.
Ms N J NOLUTSHUNGU: Chairperson, the proposal is to amend the Act in order to empower the Transport Appeal Tribunal to take appropriate steps in cases where its rulings are not implemented, or effected timeously. To investigate delays in
the completion of its proceedings and also to allow the Minister to extend the term of office of the members of the Tribunal. The powers given the Transport Appeal Tribunal to impose time limits for performing duties to ensure implementation of the entity’s decisions, to enforce compliance and the power to investigate and act against parties, who deliberately delay proceedings is most welcome.
We support the changes in definitions and other areas for the Bill to be in line with the National Land Transport Act of 2009. We also welcome the emphasis on appointment of members with expertise in transport, particularly in financial matters because that is where corruption is rife. However, it is rather alarming for the Bill to provide that the director- general, DG must fix dates, times and places of proceedings after consulting the Transport Appeal Tribunal, but not accommodate the predetermination of the number of sittings and the number of approved hours per seating per year.
We believe that for the sake of transparency to avoid corrupt activities and proper budgeting, the director-general in consultation with the Chairperson of the Tribunal, should be allowed to plan ahead and determine the number of sittings
allowed for the Tribunal, the estimated number of hours per sitting in a financial year, and the estimated preparation time for sittings. The EFF supports the Bill.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Thank you hon House chairperson. The transport sector has suffered from poor policies, regulations and
management. The mission of the Transport Appeal Tribunal, TAT, is to promote the much needed stability in the transport
public sector. It does this by pronouncing or deciding on
appeals by public transport operators, to facilitate a regulated public transport system.
Therefore, the proper and the efficient function of the
Tribunal, is a central pillar to ethical and effective function of the department. Any matters related to the
Tribunal are of great importance. Looking ahead to 2050, the department envisages a different kind of transport landscape
for the country, with a greater focus on the integrated
transport system, a revitalised rail sector and the adoption of new technologies like, electricity vehicles and green hydrogen. They have all been communicated upon.
The transport systems will, therefore, need to be upgraded and integrated with the emerging technologies. The department has said that, its development and plan must be aligned with changing and growing needs of the passengers. Therefore, if
the TAT is to function successfully, it must also be in line with the developments in the public transport sector. The
intention of the amendment contained in the Bill, is referred to on the understanding of changing the context of the public
The process of public hearings and the amendments made after
these hearings, further highlights the contextual nature of the Bill. The empowerment of the TAT to take the appropriate
steps in cases where its rulings are not implemented, and to investigate the delays in the completion of its proceedings,
indicates concrete matters to address the needs of the operators and the customers in the sector. The Tribunal must
execute its mandate without fear, favour or prejudice, and no
amount of interference should be tolerated. The IFP do support the Bill.
Mr P MEY: The purpose of the Amendment Bill, is also to bring the Act in line with the developments. Since the
implementation of the Act, is a number of different pieces of legislation that has been passed, and it needed to be connected to this legislation.
Dit maak ook voorsiening dat geskikte persone as lede van die tribunaal aangestel word en dat hulle oor genoeg kennis en ondervinding op verskeie terreine soos die ekonomie, regte, finansies, handel en openbare vervoer beskik.
Die wetsontwerp maak ook voorsiening vir sekere magte van die tribunaal: Dat die raad ... net meer as nege lede en nie minder as vyf lede moet bestaan nie. Dit moet geskied na oorlegpleging met elke lid van die uitvoerende raad in elke provinsie wat verantwoordelik vir padvervoer aangeleenthede is. Die Minister mag die termyn van die lede van die tribunaal verleng.
The Bill was published for comments, and the submissions were received from Gautrain management ... [Interjections.]
Ms P T MPUSHE: Speak English, please.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, no, wait, hon member. You see, the rules of Parliament clearly allow for any member to converse in any of the official languages, and it is now the second time that hon Mpushe is interrupting the proceedings. If you have a point of order, you must simply indicate, and the table staff will alert me. May I ask the ANC Whips to talk with that hon member, please? Please proceed.
Mr P MEY: The Bill was published for comments, and the submissions were received from Gautrain Management Agency, the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works. Written comments were also received. The portfolio committee adopted the report and the Transport Appeal Tribunal Bill with amendments, and this was supported by all the parties. The FF Plus supports the Bill. Thank you.
Mr S N SWART: Thank you, House Chair. House Chair, we consider this Bill against the backdrop of yet more carnages on our roads, as 19 people, including six people that have tragically died in two horrific collisions on the Limpopo road this past Friday. The ACDP extends its deepest condolences to the families of all the deceased, which include, we understand, children of the ACDP members. Our thoughts and prayers are
also with all those injured, and we trust for their speedy recovery.
Chair, the Bill before us aims to empower the Transport Appeal Tribunal to take appropriate steps in cases where its rulings are not implemented, or effected timeously. It also empowers to investigate the delays in the completion of its proceedings. Sometimes, when the TAT takes the decisions in imposing duties, or those decisions are not complied with, then clause 6 will now enforce and allow the implementation to take place.
It also often happens that regulatory entities fail to implement to give effect to other rulings within the time specified, then the directive cannot be issued in this regard. It also sometimes happen that proceedings are delayed to frivolous, vexatious or irrelevant actions to delay the proceedings, and again, clause 8 of the Bill will allow the TAT to investigate such delays.
The ACDP supports these amendments, and trust that it will go somewhere, to improve the stability in the public transport, and reduce the number of fatal accidents on our roads. To
conclude hon Chair, and on a separate note, today the ACDP would like to wish the Jewish community well, as they celebrate the Festival of Purim. They celebrate it today. As it is set out in the book of Esther, they commemorates the Jewish victory over Haman and all those who plotted the destruction of the Jewish people.
May a similar fate befall all those who plotted the destruction of the Jewish people or the Jewish state of Israel, Am Yisrael Chai, [The Nation of Israel Lives.] Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. I thank you, in the Name of Yeshua. Amen.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: No declaration, we support, Chair.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Allow me, first of all, to extend on behalf of the NFP, our condolences to the families, friends and the ANC at large, on the tragic death of your former MEC for Education in the Free State, Tate Makgoe, and we also convey our condolences to the families and friends of the bodyguards who died in that tragic accident. Chairperson, also allow me to express our concern about the accident that took place in eThekwini, Durban, uMhlanga Rocks, on the M 41.
It is estimated that about 56 motor vehicles were wiped out by the heavy duty vehicle that was going downhill. I think that this clearly indicates that all is not well when it comes to our roads. We also need to pay more attention, but more importantly, stringent conditions needs to be put in place, particularly, I think, when it comes to the issue of issuing of drivers licences. The other issue is the number of foreign nationals who might qualify in their own countries to drive, but not necessarily in South Africa and our roads.
So, I think that this is something we need to look at. Thank you very much for that. Now, concerning this Bill and the report that is here before us, it was necessitated by the fact that there were limitations, currently as it stands, and we want to welcome the work that has been done by the portfolio committee. We also do acknowledge that all processes were followed.
There has been extensive submissions that were made by different stakeholders, it is also in our best interest, particularly, that this Bill be amended. I think that this will cause a lot of more stability in the transport sector. It will also announce safety, and it will ensure that there is
greater compliance. Very importantly, it will create an environment to deal with the delays, particularly, when it comes to rulings. This could be accelerated.
Also, it empowers the Minister and others to be able to deal with this timeously. Therefore, the NFP supports this Bill. Thank you very much.
Mr S M JAFTA: Thank you, hon Chair. The National Transport
Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill seeks to amend certain provisions of the Transport Appeal Tribunal Act, which was promulgated in
1998. The Bill extends the powers of the Transport Appeal Tribunal and also provide the empowering mechanism in respect
of which delays by any party or entity performing the duty to ensure the implementation of the Tribunal’s decisions, will be
The functions of the Tribunal, such as dealing with appeals relating to applications for public road carrier permits, and cross-border or cabotage permits, including hearing appeals from the decisions made by the provincial entities, the Cross- Border Road Transport Agency, the Regulatory Committee, the
National Public Transport Regulator and the Municipal Regulatory Entities, are retained.
The main purpose of the Tribunal is to create a fair and
equitable environment to which appeals emanating from public transport operators and the public transport regulators are
treated fairly and efficiently. An efficient and impartial process will only, I quote:
Improve the seamless floor by road of freight and passengers in the region, but also make a great contribution in respect
of domestic and cross-border road transport.
Our view, despite these concessions, is that the Bill should have envisaged a number of empowering dispute resolution mechanisms. Before its setting up, the powers were transferred to the Tribunal. This is important because the challenges in road transport and passenger movement, includes the intra- regional trade brokerages, the fragmented cross-border and the African infrastructure spillages in the adequacy and effectiveness of stakeholder management co-operative government systems.
It is these co-operatives and stakeholder’s initiatives which must be tightened up before juggling the powers of the Tribunal. We equally oppose the envisaged extension of the term of office for members of the Tribunal upon completion of their fixed-term contracts. A nonrenewable term of office yields independency.
These extensions may be abused, and they may depend of the attitude of a member of the Tribunal. They also opens up the process of abuse and lack of impartiality. We nonetheless support the Bill. Thank you, hon Chair.
Mr M NYHONTSO: Chair, the PAC supports the Bill. Thank you, Chair.
Mr M G E HENDRICKS: Thank you very much, hon House Chair. Hon House Chair, I would like to congratulate the members of the portfolio committee for presenting the amendments that are going to help us, especially when the opening of the borders, the African Intercontinental Trade hits the country of South Africa. So, the Cross-Border Agency will play a very important role.
Therefore, Al Jama-Ah will support these amendments, and we hope that when any regulations are passed, we will take it into account that very soon, there will be years and years of prosperity in Africa, as we open the borders and that the road transport will be very important to get the intercountry trade.
I congratulate the portfolio committee because, now we can have two Bills, where I don’t have to hear the monotonous that says, please don’t do the objections of the DA, the EFF or the ACDP. You know, that is what we only hear at Parliament.
Therefore, we would like to thank the portfolio committees for rejecting the Bill that is acceptable to most hon members.
Thank you very much.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT ON TRANSPORT APPEAL TRIBUNAL AMENDMENT BILL [B 8 – 2020]
Ms M M RAMADWA: Hon House Chairperson, the ANC supports the Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill [B 8 – 2020]. The Bill is critical for stakeholders in the transport sector. The transport sector plays a critical role in the movement of people, goods, freight and services and is therefore a major
driver for economic efficiency and growth. Different forms of transport play a critical role in various economic sectors and is supported by different forms of transport in terms of road. The transport sector is also a major creator of both direct and indirect job opportunities in different sectors of the economy.
Infrastructure development as part of the implementation of terms of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is also centred around transport especially commuter transport to benefit working class and poor communities. Therefore, given the importance of the road and transport sector, there are many critical pieces of legislation and regulations which govern the transport sector. These are geared towards ensuring proper public roads usage and importantly road safety licensing of transport operators. It is a critical area for ensuring the high standards of vehicles, efficiency of the transport operators and cross-border permits.
In this regard, whilst the previous Acts covered the licensing process which could either be granted or be refused on the basis of the legislation and the regulations, the original Act did not allow for appeal tribunal where transport operators
could appeal the decision on licencing or permits if they were declined. This forced the transport operators to go to court and which is expensive. The Bill seeks to amend definitions in the original Acts and to link all relevant transport legislations in terms of the National Land Transportation Act and Cross-Border Transport Act. To enable the transport to and the Transport Appeal Tribunal to operate within its legal framework.
Since its establishment, the Transport Appeal Tribunal has encountered a number of challenges that required amendment to the principal Act. The principal Act also required updating in respect of the development since 1998. It is against this backdrop that the Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill [B 8B –2020] was introduced. The Bill provides for certain powers of the Transport Appeal Tribunal in terms of the composition of the board, not more than nine and not less than five.
Its selection needs to occur after consultation with every member of the executive council in every province responsible for road transport matters. Government stakeholders and private sector stakeholders were consulted at the workshop which was held in Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality which was
held on 26 and 27 February 2020 and written comments were received. In a participatory democracy, no legislation can succeed without public participation and contribution of the stakeholders.
The Portfolio Committee on Transport is grateful and thankful to stakeholders and members of the public which assisted the committee to shape the framework by which we are us as the ANC that the “The people shall govern” and this is the case with our government.
In conclusion, the portfolio committee believes that it has done due diligence with a view of ensuring that shortcomings identified in the course of implementation of the principal Act have been addressed through the amendment to the principal Act. We ask the House to consider this Bill. The ANC supports the Bill.
Iyawina i-ANC, iyawina ...
... on the 2024 General Elections ...
... Iyawina i-ANC, iyawina!
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY: Hon House Chair, I move that the report be adopted.
TRANSPORT APPEAL TRIBUNAL AMENDMENT BILL [B 8B – 2020]
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill [B 8B – 2020].
MOTION ON THE ORDER PAPER
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): I now proceed to the Motion on the Order Paper. You will recall that this debate took place last week. The item is thus a Decision of Question on the Draft Resolution in the name of the hon A M Shaik Emam, on the call for the downgrading of the South African Embassy in Israel until such time that Israel respects the rights of Palestinians.
I wish to remind you again that this Draft Resolution was debated in a virtual Mini Plenary on Thursday, 2 March 2023, but that the decision thereon can only be taken in a full plenary. I now put the motion.
Question put: If there are any objections to the motion being agreed to.
[BELLS RUNG FOR FIVE MINUTES]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Having confirmed that we have the requisite Quorum, we will now proceed. The question before the House is the Draft Resolution in the name of the hon A M Shaik Emam, on a call for the downgrading of the South African Embassy in Israel until such time that Israel respects the rights of Palestinians, be agreed to.
AYES – 208: (ANC – 176; EFF – 27; UDM – 1; NFP –1; AIC – 1;
PAC – 1; Al Jama-ah - 1).
NOES – 94: (DA – 75; IFP - 8; FF Plus – 8; ACDP – 3).
Question agreed to.
Motion accordingly agreed to (with Democratic Party, Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus and African Christina Democratic Party dissenting).
DEBATE ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY - A YEAR OF DECISIVE ACTION TO ADVANCE WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN SOUTH AFRICA, AFRICA AND THE WORLD
Mnr H G APRIL: Agb Huisvoorsitter, ek is ’n man gebore uit ’n vrou. Ek is ’n pa van ’n wonderlike dogtertjie. Ek het ’n ouma gehad wie van die liefliste koeksisters kon bak. En ek is ’n man wat vir die regte van vrouens staan.
Tomorrow we join the global community in celebrating International Women’s Day, a Day. A day that is born out of the struggle for freedom as championed by the international working-class movement.
The observation of this day comes from the historic New York march in 1908 where women called for shorter hours, higher pay, and the opportunity to vote. This historic day has laid a foundation for many struggles that would be waged across the world advocating for social justice generally, and women’s justice specifically.
The global outlook of International Women’s Day as we have come to observe it now and historically, is such that it is embedded in the struggles of ordinary women who resisted an
authority that sought to make them invisible at best, and destroy them at worst.
The history of International Women’s Day cannot be divorced from the broader struggle against exclusion of people from opportunities and the silencing of their voice based on the gender, race and class.
The South African women’s movement has also been immersed in the politics and organising akin to that seen through the early 1900s when the international women’s movement was birthed.
As a nation our democracy is also embedded in the activism of women who have played a very critical role in shaping our politics and activism against the despotic colonial apartheid regime that was aimed at oppressing both women and blacks in general.
South African women from 1913 were discontent with the apartheid pass law policies that made them invisible and inferior to men.
Inspired by African Nationalist politics within the South African Natives National Congress, women confronted the oppressive regime, led by heroines such as Charlotte S Maxeke, Mrs A S Gabashane and Mrs Kotsi, and Katie Louw, who among other things carried a 5000 signature petition that was demanding that the rights of women be recognised, and burning passes at municipal offices as an act of defiance to the system.
The political work against entrenched patriarchy and racism of the apartheid regime was continuous, with the United Democratic Front marshalling and organising women across the country for a better and more equal future.
In light of this, an important turning point in the history of women in South Africa is the Women's March of 09 August 1956, where women of various races, ethnicities and class held a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest of the oppressive pass laws that restricted movement for many. Around 20,000 women are believed to have participated in this march lead by comrades such as mam Sophie De Bruyn, Albertina Sisulu, Lillian Ngoyi, Rahima Moosa and Helen Joseph, an
important legacy for our nation, and the women’s movement globally.
These women and the events in the history books of the women’s movement in South Africa have played an important role in creating a basis for women’s issues to be considered important in the context of nation building and the strengthening of democracy.
One of the key areas where that we should note is how the ANC government’s programme has since the democratic dispensation been at the forefront of advancing issues related to women’s inclusion and representation.
The Women’s Charter of 1954 and the Women’s Charter for Effective Equality have been instrumental in advancing some of the gains for all women, specifically for black working class women who carry decades of structural exclusion that
re-enforces their position as vulnerable.
In general, the status of women over the last 29 years of South Africa’s democracy has significantly improved, however
it is challenged by the reality and persistence of economic disparities and gender-based violence and femicide.
Government policy and the work of institutions focused on gender equality, such as the Commission for Gender Equality, continue to play a pivotal role in prioritizing women’s representation and inclusion in leadership.
The specific focus on women through the Ministry of Women,
Youth and Persons with Disabilities in the Presidency is important. It should continue to be used to prioritise the streamlining of women’s issues through a strategic approach that integrates the work of government to improve the lives of South Africans.
In the spirit of renewal and advancement of women’s rights, the ANC remains committed to the historical principle that women’s rights are human rights and will do all that is required to use the state as a vehicle for the advancement and the protection of women’s rights.
The pandemic on gender-based violence and femicide is a global phenomenon. Several statistics by international institutions
have reported that globally, one in three women have been beaten, coerced into sex and abused in some other
way - usually by someone they know. As many as 38% of murders of women globally are committed by their intimate partners.
This is a testament to a social norm that impacts the world and thus requires an international response to change. As a nation we have made strides through the introduction of legislation in this very Parliament.
Sex crimes, particularly of paedophilia. It also proposes to expand the ambit of the crime of incest and introduces a new offence of sexual intimidation.
The Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill aims to address gender-based violence and offences committed against vulnerable persons and provides for additional procedures to reduce secondary victimisation of vulnerable persons in court proceedings.
The new law expands the circumstances in which a complainant can give evidence through an intermediary and provides for evidence through audio-visual links in proceedings other than
criminal proceedings. This legislation also tightens bail and minimum sentencing provisions in the context of gender-based violence.
The Domestic Violence Amendment Bill and legislation include new definitions, such as “controlling behaviour” and “coercive behaviour”, and expands existing definitions, such as “domestic violence”, to include spiritual abuse, morutis that are naughty, it includes them. Elder abuse, controlling behaviour, and exposing/subjecting children to certain listed behaviours.
The Domestic Violence Amendment Bill introduces online applications for a protection order against acts of domestic violence and imposes obligations on functionaries in the Departments of Health and Social Development to provide certain services to victims of domestic violence.
These are decisive measures to strengthen the fight against gender violence, and femicide. Women must know their rights so they can protect themselves. Some of you must even go for karate lessons.
In today’s digital age, cyberbullying is another prevalent practice that violates many women’s human rights worldwide. Cyberbullying sometimes dehumanises some women by spreading personal information and private content. Social media and other digital platforms have become spaces of content where women’s pictures get sent around in a way that is dehumanising.
We should use artificial intelligence developments to orientate and harness a society that promotes women’s human rights.
We must transform our society and the behaviour of boys, men and fathers as it is our behaviour which will create an environment of safety for women of our nation and generally around the globe.
We must adapt several cultural practices in line with human rights as some contribute to creating gender stereotypes and practices which oppress women and impact peoples around world.
We want to send our solidarity to the women of Palestine who suffer under the apartheid government of Israel, which
continues to oppress the Palestinians and annex their land. We pledge solidarity with all women violated and impacted by wars, as women are the most vulnerable in conflicts worldwide.
In line with the global International Women’s Day theme of DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality, as a nation, we should focus on promoting maths and science and technology subject enrolment by girls and women in higher education and training.
The digital economy and technological developments can be exclusionary if women are not involved in these sectors.
Let us continue to work together to create a non-sexist society where men and women enjoy equal rights. It cannot be that in this year of 2023, women are still getting paid less than men for the same jobs that they are doing. It is something that we must fight as men. Women’s battles can never be about women alone; it must include us men.
Ons as pappas, ons as broers, ons as nefies, moet weet dat jou suster is my suster en jou ma is my ma.
I thank you.
Ms G G OPPERMAN: Chair, you don’t need to look further than Parliament to determine how much is being done to advance women’s rights in South Africa. Right now, we have a Cabinet Minister accused of sexual assault at Kruger National Park. We have a Police Minister who recently said that a victim was lucky to be raped only once. An ANC Member of Parliament was accused and arrested for allegedly killing his wife in November. We have derogatory public utterances by Cabinet Ministers saying things like educated men don’t rape. Our femicide statistics are five times the international average, as high as that of war-torn countries. It increased with 52% in the first quarter of 2021-22, and we have the highest incidents of rape in the world.
In Suid-Afrika spandeer ons R447 per dag op ’n gevangene, R17,50 op ’n kind in ’n crèche [kleuterskool] en slegs R5 per dag op ’n vrou in ’n skuiling. Dit is tragies om ’n vrou se traumatiese ervaring te reduseer tot rand en sent maar hoe
anders sal hierdie regering die finansiële implikasies van onderbefondsde skuilings vir slagoffers van geweld verstaan?
Ons land sit met baie beperkende regulasies en wetgewing wat die bevordering van vroueregte kniehalter. Tans in Suid-Afrika bepaal die staatsdienswerkersfonds dat ’n vrou slegs op 50% van haar man se maandelikse pensioen geregtig is sou hy tot sterwe kom. Die Departement vir Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling het ’n regulasie insake getroude pensioenarisse. Daarvolgens, kry die vrou minder as die helfte van haar man se toelae want die gesamentlike huishoudelike inkomste mag nie ’n sekere bedrag oorskry nie.
Recent Statistics SA data says that women are lagging behind in terms of social economic opportunities. Black women in particular, are the most vulnerable with an unemployment rate of 38,3%. More than four in 10 females are not in an employment, education or training. We need to outlaw child marriage. We must bravely engage the customary law debates around ukuthwala intombi. We banned female genital mutilation in South Africa. Let’s now fight for it to be criminalised in Guinea, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
We must include obstetric violence as a form of gender-based violence.
Many women in this country had forced and coerced medical procedures such as sterilization and C-sections without their consent. Many still are denied care and health systems and are assaulted and neglected during child birth and pregnancy. We have to advocate for safe relinquishment of babies and legalise safe havens as an alternative to unsafe baby abandonment in South Africa. Many babies are found in open veld, rubbish bins, shopping bags, toilets and rubbish dumps because it is illegal for a mother to safely relinquish her baby. Unsafe abandonment must always be a crime, but we need a safe alternative. The law in its current form is purely reactive, and it is estimated that 10 000 children are abandoned annually, most of them found already dead.
Die vroue van Suid-Afrika is pootuit van presidensiële taakspanne en keelvol van kommissies terwyl drie vroue steeds elke uur geweldadig vermoor word. Ons is op van louwarm beloftes. Ons soek antwoorde, befondsing, implementering en ons soek koppe wat rol.
Ms K N F HLONYANA: House Chairperson, let me first start by greeting the commander-in-chief, commissar and our ground forces of the EFF. First and foremost, I would like to start by saying that historically, the struggle for emancipation of humanity and emancipation of women in particular, has always been led by socialists’ organisation. The very origins of the International Women’s Day are rooted in the socialists’ struggle for emancipation for full recognition of women’s rights in the workplace and everywhere else in society.
It was the Socialist Party of America that shook the western world when in 1908, a 15 000 strong army of progressive women led a march across New York City to demand reasonable working hours for women. To demand equal pay for the same work, and to demand comprehensive rights for women. It was the same party that declared the 28 February in 1909 as International Women’s Day, to highlight the struggle that women faced. Then in 1910, Clara Zetkin, who was the leader of the women’s league of the Socialist Democratic Party in Germany at international conference of working women, it was in that conference that the idea of an International Women’s Day was decided. This was done to highlight the struggle of women across the world. To bring attention to the urgent need of affirming the human
rights of women to eradicate workplace discrimination on the basis of gender, and to affirm the leadership role of women across all sectors of society.
Today, very little have changed globally, in the continent, and in this country. It was in recognition of these challenges that in the EFF founding manifesto, we clearly states that the EFF will strive to realise women’s liberation through a variant of interventions from education against patriarchy and sexism, to legislation and the close monitoring of the implementation of the same, in order to realise women’s empowerment in society, the family and the workplace.
The EFF believes that the gender-based violence and related anti-social activities are reinforced and even sustained by the deplorable condition of our people. Therefore, a key to female emancipation is the emancipation of all. The EFF will emphasise transforming the lives of our people in the ghettos from one of the generalised structural violence as a mechanism to end all violence, including violence against women.
In this country, women still earn about 35% less than men for doing the same job. Over 40% of the households in this country
are led by women, and these homes are significantly poor and those with the male-figure head. Apart from poverty and economic exclusion, the most heinous of the injustices faced by women in this country must be the violent that is enabled by the state on women. Just between October and December last year, there were over 15 000 reported cases of sexual assault, and over 12 000 cases of rape. Most of these cases will not result in any successful prosecution, least of all arrest.
This is because the police service has its capacity eroded because of incompetent man now leading it.
The police have failed the family of Namhla Mtwa, whose murder and abuse at the hands of her then boyfriend Major Bhekizulu, was highly publicised in the country. Despite this, the police have completely given up on ever finding her killer, as they have given up on finding those who have raped over 50 000 women every single year in this country. We urge women of this country to come out in their numbers on the 20 March to close down this country and march for jobs – and march for the economic emancipation – and march for this end of crimes against women – and the march for the better capacitated people service – and match for a better healthcare, for sexual and reproductive healthcare services for woman.
Only a progressive social state will guarantee a progressive realisation of these rights, and the state is only possible under the EFF government in this country. House Chairperson, I thank you.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon Chairperson, the International Women’s Day on 8 March, much like South Africa’s Women’s Day on 9 August, is about highlighting the issues women face and the distance we still have to go to achieve gender equality.
We are all entitled to human rights which include the right to live free from violence and discrimination, to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, to be educated, to own a property, to vote and to earn equal wage. However, across the globe many women and girls still face discrimination based on sex and gender. Gender inequality underpins many problems which disproportionately affect women and girls such as domestic and sexual violence, lower pay, lack of access to education and inadequate healthcare.
While we can lament the inequalities faced by women for years on end, I welcome the pragmatic theme of our debate today.
Contrary to what has been shown by the government, women’s
issues are not soft issues that can be treated as additional matters, but must be taken very seriously. South African women need government to take decisive and substantive action to protect them.
More than a year ago, on 28 January 2022, President Ramaphosa signed into law three new gender-based violence, GBV, laws aimed at strengthening efforts to fight gender-based violence, namely, the Criminal Law Amendment Act, Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act and Domestic Violence Amendment Act.
While these pieces of legislation are crucial, I question how effective they can be considering the lack of urgency with which it is implemented.
Following the President's sign-off on these laws, violent crimes committed against women and children were once again recorded at alarmingly high and unacceptable levels. From April to June 2020, 855 women and 243 children have been murdered in our country. Over 11 000 assault cases with the intent to do grievous bodily harm to female victims were opened with the police and 1 670 such cases involved children. By July and September 2022 attempted murder of women increased
by 10,6% and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm increased by 15,9%.
Therefore, my question becomes what decisive action in relation to the passing of legislation will be taken to stop women from being murdered? It is clear that our government need to stop paying lip service to the fight against violence against women and children and to gender inequality to achieve our goals. My suggestion is that government starts to action the laws they pass by paying closer attention to the National Register for Sex Offenders and actually clearing up the DNA backlog. Perpetrators of gender-based violence, murderers and rapists have no place in our society. It is time for government to give effect to Chapter 2 of our Constitution, especially sections 10, 11, and 12. I thank you, Chairperson.
Ms H DENNER: House Chairperson, the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is a year of decisive action to advance women’s rights in South Africa, Africa and the world. However, measured against the current social circumstances and other stumbling blocks faced by women in South Africa are appalling and the ANC government of today is actually claiming success in this regard.
Die agb April se toespraak het baie mooi begin maar ek weet eerlikwaar nie hoe hy in die nag slaap nie.
Let’s just look at the so-called decisive action in South Africa only because charity starts at home. What decisive action has been taken to advance women’s rights in this country by this government that has actually worked? The National Strategic Plan On Gender-Based Violence, GBV, and Femicide was established on 11 March 2020, and that’s where it stopped. Quarter on quarter, GBV and femicide have been increasing at an alarming rate. According to the Police Minister, the first quarter of 2022 was a special brutal for women and children with double digit increases. In the third quarter of 2022, the Minister again stated that high levels of abuse and murder of women were worrying and unacceptable.
Again, in the fourth quarter crime statistics revealed the brutal spike in attacks against women and children. Hon April, I find it very amusing that you find this funny. Is this funny because it is a very serious matter? Perhaps the so-called decisive action of preventing and fighting GBV and femicide
are being taken to advance women’s rights. No, hon House Chair, it has not!
Economic empowerment of women is another decisive action that could and should have been taken to advance women’s rights.
Maar dit het ook nie gebeur nie. Suid-Afrika se kwynende ekonomie, ’n lewenskostekrisis weens van die swakste dienslewering in die wêreld, beurtkrag, bedrog en korrupsie, hoe brandstof-en voedselpryse en werkloosheid kelder die ekonomiese bemagtiging van vroue in Suid-Afrika, en voor wie se deur moet dit gelê word?
Unemployment in South Africa is another crisis that does immeasurable damage to the goal of women empowerment. At 42,6% and measured against the world’s average of 6,1%, we have the highest unemployment rate in the world, which is too worse than that of a war-torn country, Somalia. You express your sympathy with women in war-torn countries, but we have more than Somalia’s unemployment rate. Women are also those who suffer most under unemployment. A crisis that is compounded by
the gender pay gap that you have also mentioned, but what have your government done for 30 years?
The energy crisis and rolling blackouts that have been exclusively created by the ANC trough feeding is another burden on women empowerment. A lack of electricity does not only hamper job creation and economic growth, but it also exacerbates unpaid reproductive labour like domestic work and caregiving that usually fall to women, creating time poverty and preventing them from earning an income and empowering themselves. No decisive action there either!
So I say this with as much respect as I can master, stop taking the credit for something that you have not done and get your act together. You can start by the decisive action of getting rid of the new Minister of Women in the Presidency and her redundant department ...
... want as vrouesake soos die COVID-19 pandemie bestuur gaan word, sien ek vir ons almal swarigheid voor.
On this International Women’s Day, the FF Plus chooses to rather celebrate ordinary women and their extra ordinary achievements. For those who have empowered themselves and others, we salute you. I thank you, House Chair.
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon Chair son, I firstly wish to pay tribute to the first lady and co-founder of the ACDP, our Dr Lydia Meshoe, who left the legacy to be emulated by Christian women in leadership and in politics. Dr Lydia Meshoe was a practical Pentecostal and the fist defender of the biblical world view, a custodian of the vision of a transformed South Africa and Africa through biblical transformation. The restoration of the family as the cornerstone for social stability, the belief in the ownership of divine destiny, not only of individuals, but of nations and in particular, our beloved country South Africa.
When we consider the theme of this debate, the ACDP wants to reflect and ask a question, how does a government reveal itself to be serious about the rights of women pursue legalisation of prostitution? This proposed legislation that deem prostitution work which it is not, will become law in a lawless country that is overrun by organised crime. A county
where 82 murders are committed per day, that ranks as one of the most violence countries for children to grow up in.
Prostitution by nature promotes violence against women and wherever it was legalised human trafficking has increased. This comes from a research in northerly countries. The very same research that shows the severe psychological and emotional scaring of those who are forced by circumstance beyond their control into the necks of whims and madams. The rights of women to dignity and agency are violated in activities that reduce them to mere objects to be used and abused for the pleasure of the buyer.
Chairperson, this Parliament is a stone’s throw away from the old Slave Lodge where women were violated and had no agency over their own bodies and choices. This government by its aggressive pursuance of this legislation to give legitimacy to an illegal industry that thrives on the invulnerability in economic deprivation of women, is admitting its own inability to realise its foundational document, the Freedom Charter. It is a tragedy today that 200 years after the end of slavery within a few 100 meters of the Slave Lodge where women of colour were forced into, is now being called sex work.
Legislation can make its way into this Parliament to renew that practice.
I want to speak to the Speaker who referred to Israel. Let me state, don’t be selective in the application of critiques.
Include the women of Iran who are fighting and dying for freedom, or the women and children in China who work under appalling conditions to mention just a few examples. I thank you.
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Thank you, hon House Chairperson, South African women continue to face some of the highest levels of domestic and sexual violence of any women found anywhere in the world. They need equality, safety, decent jobs, equal opportunities and equal economic and political participation. However, the country is taking forever to unite and build momentum in order to find urgent solutions to the challenges facing women, as you know. We are even surprised that even in the context of this theme, where we are talking about decisive action to advance women’s rights. There is absolutely no clear action plan apart from tightening up legislation, but there is no co-ordinated programme in our view where government works together with civil society groups and other related
stakeholders, to set a clear agenda that will advance human rights and ensure gender equality in South Africa.
Even if one looks at the state of the nation of President Ramaphosa’s speech, he spoke about many social ills. However, the speech did not contain any concrete and effective plan to curb inequality and GBV in South Africa, as you know. Women’s problems are not addressed in our view urgently. Right now, there are helpless women in Afghanistan whose rights are being obliterated, girls are prohibited from attending school, women are banned from work, they are forced to work only to appear in public with a male, children are forced into marriages, for example.
There are also many women who are traumatized in Ethiopia whose bodies were used in the battle field during the Tigray War. They were kept in camps as sexual captives for most of the most sexual atrocities that occurred to them. Not only that, there are women and children who are disproportionately impacted by the armed conflict in Palestine. However, that does not seem to be even globally, even continentally here in Africa to be a co-ordinated plan to deal with the challenges facing women.
When we had a meeting of Afri-PA in Tanzania in December one of the issues that human rights activist spoke to us about: a pressing challenge for Tanzania from human rights perspective was, one of GBV, but it does not seem to be a cross pollination of ideas between the different member states of the African Continent on how to tackle and deal first with gender equality and human rights challenges and violations facing our women in our continent. We need to do better as one of the leading economies in Africa, but also as a Continental leader that has always had a reputation of exporting democracy and human rights to the rest of the world. Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, House Chairperson, ...
House Chairperson, allow me first of all to take this opportunity of thanking those who stood up to protect human rights, not just in South Africa like the women of 1956 but the decision you took today to protect the human rights of the
people of Palestine. So, thank you very much to the African National Congress. Indeed, today you have articulated that you are the champions of human rights.
Let me also thank the Economic Freedom Fighters for your contribution, your support and upholding human rights. Let me also thank you the United Democratic Movement for your unwavering support in protecting human rights, not being motivated by money, but by self-interest. Indeed, you have shown today that in the two seats that you hold, how independently you are in your thinking and your vision for a better world. I thank you.
To the AIC, once again, I thank you for your contribution in fighting for human rights as our former leader Tata Mandela said and always said that “We cannot be free unless the people of Palestine are free” and yes, indeed, our former leader would be resting in peace today.
But let me pay tribute to my former leader, Zanele Magwaza- Msibi in her unwavering support for the people of Palestine and let us not forget about the atrocities that she had to go through as a woman that we talking about women today that led
her to form the National Freedom Party. And, I have been personally one of the witnesses to that. Let me also thank the PAC, Al Jama-Ah for your contributions as usual in upholding the rights of our people worldwide and not being deterred by the dependents that some people believe that we may have on some of these countries. I have said it before and I will say it again, African Continent has everything and it is in the control of somebody else.
Let us not forget the role of Israel in breaking the sanctions in the apartheid together with IFP of the days of apartheid - let us not forget that. But on the issue of women, I want to say, I want to congratulate the women and the contribution you have made to liberate South Africa and where we are today. In fact, many of you are leading by example. I want to say continue with that good work, continue with uplifting human rights and the rights of women here. Many will come here and talk about women, but when they go back home they undermine their women. Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Mr S NGCOBO: Thank you, House Chairperson, for nearly 30 years, the ANC-led government has failed to advance the rights of women in South Africa. It is very shameful that the ANC-led
government has failed to make the country safe for women. According to the global survey conducted by the medical technology company, Hologic more than 70% of women in South Africa do not feel safe walking alone at night. South Africa has high levels of violence against women. Our country has amongst the highest rape incidents in the world. As South African men, we have a role to play in the fight against gender-based violence. We must be active participants in the fight against this scourge.
House Chairperson, the reality of the matter is that the Minister of Police has failed to ensure the safety of women in our country. In fact, we have a Minister of Police who believes that women are lucky to be raped once. This is the very same Minister of Police who is supposed to protect women and ensure that their rights to be free from all forms of violence are respected.
As a country, we surely cannot be able to advance the rights of women if we still have people like these as our leaders. How is it that Mr Bheki Cele is still a Minister of Police when he has failed dismally? South African women deserve better.
Women with disabilities have also been neglected by this uncaring ANC-led government. The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities has failed to fast-track the Development of the Disability Rights Bill. This piece of legislation would have gone a long way in advancing the rights of women with disabilities in our country. There are still many barriers preventing women with disabilities from being active participants in the country’s economy. We cannot talk about advancing the rights of women in South Africa without talking about the empowerment of some of the most vulnerable women in South Africa, women with disabilities. These are the women that have been left behind and disempowered by the failures of this uncaring government.
This government has also failed to get many women out of poverty. It is common knowledge that female-headed household are vastly poorer than male-headed households with the rising cost of living. Millions of South African women are suffering from hunger and unemployment. They are missing meals, they are unable to provide for themselves, their children and the elders in their households. If the government was serious about women empowerment and advancing the rights of women in South Africa, then it would immediately drop fuel levies and
increase the zero-rated food basket. This will provide great relief to thousands and thousands of South African women, who are struggling to put food on the table.
Now is the time for the government to start taking the empowerment of women seriously. Now is the time for this government to ensure that the rights of women in our country are protected and advanced. Now is the time for this government, especially the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities to start looking into the plight of women with disabilities in our country. Thank you, House Chairperson.
Moh C M PHIRI: Mohl Modulasetulo, ke tamiia Maloko a Palamente
– maloko a Ntlo yeo e hlomphegago, ke boe gape ke tamiie le badudi ba Afrika-Borwa ka kakaretio. Ga go le thuie selo le le maloko a mekgatlo ya kganetio go tla mo go tlo belaela goba go tlo bolela ka pefelo. Ba palelwa ke go re botia gore ba ka thuia bjang ka gobane ka mo gare ga Ntlo ye, re le maloko ao a hlomphegago, re tlile mo go eta pele setihaba. Tieo ba di bolelago, go nna ke ditiiebadimo ka gobane rena bjalo ka mokgatlo wa badimo le batho, re tseba go eta pele setihaba
gabotse. Ebile setihaba sa rena se kgona go bona le go kweiiia gore re leka ka ditsela tiohle gore re tle re kgone go ba thuia. Letiatii la lehono ke Letiatii la Basadi la Boditihabatihaba - letiatii leo rena re sa le tieelego fase.
Bjalo ka mokgatlo wa badimo le batho re re ...
... Mudzulatshidulo wa Nn?u, nndwa ya mbofholowo ya vhafumakadzi a si nndwa ya lushaka fhedzi, ndi nndwa ya dzitshakha. Vhafumakadzi ?ifhasini ?o?he vha ?angana na milayo ya khethululo, mikhwa na n?owelo nga n?ila dzo fhambanaho. U sika tshitshavha tshi e?anaho zwi a kon?a nga maan?a zwi ?o?a tshanduko ya polotiki ine ya vhea vhathu vha tshinnani fhethu ha n?ha u fhira ha vhafumakadzi. U sa e?ana ha mbeu ?ifhasini zwi kha ?i kon?a nga maan?a. Ri tendelana na vhe vha zwi amba kale. Kha muvhigo wa zwino wa shango ?o?he, “Kha mashango a 86, vhafumakadzi vha kha ?i ?angana na nyiledzo ya mishumo, ngeno mashangoni a 95 hu sa fulufhedziswi miholo i e?anaho ya mishumo i e?anaho.”
Izwi zwi e?ana na 2,4 bi?ioni wa vhafumakadzi vha sa khou ?ewaho zwikhala kana mishumo i e?anaho na ya vhanna.
In our continent Africa, women continue to be marginalized due to the patriarchal nature of our society, like elsewhere worldwide. Women bear the brunt of unpaid labour in their households and are deprived of the right to own land in many countries, particularly in rural areas. Unemployment affects women more, and in South Africa, women have the most extended unemployment period. Forty-two percent of children lived only with their mothers while a much smaller 4,0% lived only with their fathers. This is an indication that as part of advancing the human rights of women, fathers have a role to play to ensure that all women enjoy their freedom by taking equal responsibility in raising their children.
Hezwi, zwi sumbedza uri na ri?e vha ?ihoro ?ivhusi ri a ?ivha nahone ri khou ita zwi?we nga hazwo.
Working environments, in many regards, are not designed to meet the needs of women, and we must continue to advocate for working conditions that consider women’ social
responsibilities. We need to have laws which recognize the various social obligations of women and their wellbeing.
Vhafumakadzi vhanzhi na mi?a musalauno vha ?itika nga vhulimi, ngeno vhafumakadzi vhanzhi vha tshi khethuluwa vha si na pfanelo dzo teaho na u kona u swikelela ndangulo ya mavu zwitshavhani zwinzhi. Tshaeho ya thikhedzo yo teaho ya vhafumakadzi ya vhuan?ani na mveledziso ya vhulimisi zwi fhura shango kha nyaluwo kha sekithara ya vhulimi, ine ya vha ya ndeme kha u shela mulenzhe kha u sika mishumo.
Mudzulatshidulo wa Nn?u ...
The ANC has placed women’s empowerment as a critical aspect of social transformation. Our strategic objective of creating a nonsexist South Africa is premised on creating an equal gender society through developing policies and laws that promote women’s empowerment in the economy as owners of businesses and as preferred workers. This has transformed South Africa such that it has become a norm in many of our communities that women own assets and can survive independently. Today, women
are doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors, scientists, pilots and various professions that continue to be dominated by men. Women today constitute the highest percentage of students and higher education graduates. This is a democratic gain of the ANC policies which have opened the doors of learning – I believe you are listening attentively, the DA.
Closing the asset and income gender inequality gap will contribute to addressing various forms of oppression that women face due to dependency on men. Breaking this cycle of oppression is critical for women’s freedom and human rights. This is not an accident of history but democratic gains which are a product of the intentional policies of the ANC.
Despite the progress, women remain underprivileged and marginalized in various sectors of the economy and critical strategic leadership responsibilities. We are here as women parliamentarians. We welcome the pronouncement by the President that 40% of government procurement expenditure should be spent on women-owned enterprises. This will go a long way in promoting and empowering women-owned enterprises.
The private sector is vital in advancing women’s economic empowerment and closing gender income inequality. Private sector players need to start reporting on their women empowerment efforts to ensure all companies have a strategy to promote and empower women’s ownership, management and control in the economy.
We call upon the government to take decisive steps to address the problem of unequal pay between men and women. The equal work for equal pay principle addresses the gender pay gap. We equally welcome the strides of our government in promoting the provision of social housing for women, which is critical for their protection against gender-based violence and femicide which is prevalent amongst partners through harassment and other forms. As a society, we need to recognize that addressing the gender-based violence and femicide pandemic requires the entirety of humanity. It requires us to raise the boy child differently so they appreciate women as their equals. It requires us to assess some of our cultural and religious practices that can oppress women.
We need to continue to pass legislation that obliges the state and other social institutions to engender women’s empowerment.
Government supports many civil society organizations and nonprofit organizations, NPOs, nongovernmental organizations, NGOs, which have a significant role in pushing back the rise of gender-based violence and femicide in our society through awareness and support for victims. Therefore, we call upon these organizations to be accountable to the people and ensure they are consistent and committed to fighting this pandemic. I thank you, hon House Chair.
Mr S M JAFTA: Thank you hon Chair. In celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day, we wish to take a detour and look at Rwanda’s state and what leaf we can take from the country’s progressive women empowerment culture.
Rwanda has taken leaf from Article 11 of the Convention of the Elimination of all forms of Discriminations Against Women. The article provides that state parties shall take all appropriate measure to eliminate discrimination against women in the employment field in order to ensure on the basis of equality of men and women for the same rights in particular.
The right to the same employment opportunities including application of the same criteria of selection in matters of
employment. The right to free choice of profession and employment, the right to promotion job security and all benefits and conditions of service and the right to receive vocational training and retraining including apprenticeship, advanced vocational training and recurrent training.
The Global Competitive Report of 2017/18 ranked Rwanda second in the world on female participation in the workforce. South Africa on the other hand ranked 72 on the same score.
Countries such as Canada, South Africa and the United States of America have been referred to as the beacon of constitutional and human rights law.
Yet the United States of America, Canada and South Africa all lagged behind Rwanda on female participation. For a country that was once robbed by tribalism and acts of terror against its women, Rwanda become the lobster of our creative spirit.
We also know that a new Constitution passed in 2003 in Rwanda degrade 30% of parliamentary seats be reserved for women. The government also pledges that girls’ education would be encouraged and women be given leadership roles in the community and in key institutions.
The story of Rwanda is the one that inspires confidence and one needs to look at the makeup and ratio of the Rwandan Parliament to make sense of all this. I thank you.
Mr M G E HENDRICKS: Thank you very much hon House Chair. Hon Chair, on the eve of International Women’s Day, Al Jama-ah would like compliment the ANC Women’s League for advancing women’s rights. When women are harmed, the first people on the scene will be members of the ANC Women’s League.
I think it is time that women unite and the that ANC Women’s League invite women formations from other political parties because there are women in other political parties who would make very good Cabinet Ministers. Maybe then, some women of other political parties would have been accommodated in the recent reshuffle.
Hon House Chair, the first leader of Parliament was a woman and she advocated for equal pay for equal work of equal value. So now we have a new leader of Parliament but it is a man and we hope that he will follow her example. We also hope that the new Minister of Sports will not do the Safa blunder by underpay women who play excellent soccer at world tournaments
and have not won any. We know that in 2027 there will be a women’s soccer tournament and the Minister will set the ground work so that there is equal pay for equal women in sport.
Hon House Chair, we would like to precede the ANC Women’s League to speed up in one way or another the amendments of the Maintenance Act. It cannot be that men get money to go to maintenance courts to defend themselves. It is time that women also get money for transport to go to maintenance courts.
Also, it cannot be that some women are denied access to the divorce court because they are in a religious marriage or Muslim marriage. It cannot be that women do not marriage certificate and then when husbands die they face all kinds of problems.
In many rural communities, women continue to bear the brunt of water collection and provision. Al Jama-ah works in 15 villages so we know what we are talking about. They spend many hours a day collecting water for the family and are often exposed to dangers such as sexual violence and health risks.
We appeal to the Minister of Water and Sanitation to lessen women’s load; they cannot spend the whole day carrying water river for the men to take a bath. Thank you very much hon House Chair.
Mof T BODLANI: Ke a leboha Modulasetulo. Mosotho wa kgale o kile a re “Mosadi o tshwara thipa ka bohaleng”, thipa ena e se e re seha.
South African women are bleeding from holding the knife by its sharp end. We have held on for so long hoping for better days. Election after election we are sold dreams that our votes will translate into our development and realization of women’s rights. We are not yet Uhuru.
The National Development Plan, NDP, released in 2011 is gathering dust. The NDP was positioned as blue print for tracking South Africa’s challenges. This long term vision and plan for the country aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030.
The NDP envisioned that by 2030, people living in South Africa should have no fear of crime. Women, children and vulnerable groups should feel protected. We are far from this realization.
Basadi le bana ba ya kgakgathwa ka hare ho naha bosiu le motshehare.
Policy papers mean nothing if they bring no change. The United Nations, UN, report on gender equity in 2030, the Agenda for Sustainable Development knows that on reducing inequality, single mother households are especially at risk of living below 50% of the national income.
In South Africa, 43% of single mother households fall within this 50% mark. The same report records that 43% of females are food insecure in South Africa. A stuck 17,7% against Zimbabwe. Now take a minute to digest that.
The DA’s economic justice policy which is based on sustainable development goals model warns that the breakdown in the family
structure places the sharing of child care responsibilities as critical to the professional and economic prospects of women.
Females continue to be at risk of poverty and experiencing inequality of opportunities due to the persistent differential employment earnings potentials which in turn are due to the fact that women continue to disproportionately shoulder child care responsibility in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela warned that for every woman and girl child violently attacked will reduce our humanity. Indeed, this humanity is reduced when lawmakers, people who have sworn to uphold the Constitution and themselves stand accused as perpetrators in the scourge of ravaging of society.
Leloko le hlomphehileng la Palamente ena le qoswa ka ho bolaya molekane wa lona. Re hopola Jennifer Kula, le basadi mmoho bana bohle ba bolailweng ke sehloho naheng ena ya bo rona.
To the women who wake up at dawn to stand at the street corners hoping for day’s work as domestic workers, we see you.
To the girl child who fights to get an education but faces challenges of not having sanitary towels, we see you. To the gogo who has been waiting since 1994 to receive a Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, house, gogo, we also see you. We are sorry. We are very sorry that this government is failing you. We are very sorry that this government is failing to give women jobs, houses and their dignity in the way that it should be.
Decisive action means nothing to the people of South Africa until it reaches them. Chairperson, taking no responsibility for their part in the failures, the ANC speaker after speaker came and blamed everything on everybody else but themselves 29 years since being in power.
So this afternoon let me take a minute and say to the ANC, I challenge you. I challenge you to take responsibility for what South Africa could have achieved if this government was deliberate about the emancipation of women, serious about protecting women from being violated emotionally, economically and sexually. I dare you. Thank you Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon members, new from the box, we declare this one a maiden speech.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY (Ms P S Kekana): Thank
you, hon House Chair, hon Speaker, our Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party and all hon members who are here. House Chair, I’m aware of what you have just said, but there is a call also I want to make to all of us in this House to join hands and speak in one voice in respect of gender-based violence and femicide without political point-scoring. We are not going anywhere if we do that especially because this is an emotional issue, and until you are directly affected either in person or somebody close to you, you will refrain from grandstanding. It is very dangerous to do that ... [Interjections.] ... when you are a woman, hon Opperman.
However, just a quick one to hon Denner, I happen to do state of the nation awareness in ... [Inaudible.] ... Waterkloof, seven dorpies, one of them is Grabouw around this area of the Western Cape – Grabouw, Elgin, Villiersdorp, Bot Rivier, Caledon, Middleton and Tesselaarsdal. The heart of producing apples in South Africa, and those apples is farm workers who are working there. Their pride is very appalling.
Seven dorpies, one school for black children primary and one school for black children, high school. Can we still do the same thing and start to say that this school is for blacks and this school is for whites? No, medium of instruction so inclusivity and how black people are treated, especially in the farming areas. It’s something that we must look at.
Therefore, please as we deal with some of these things, the gogo that you are talking about, hon Bodlani, walking in that sewage in Khayelitsha see her as well. Thank you very much.
Hon House Chair, the International Women’s Day organisations website home page challenges us, and I quote:
To imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse equitable and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality, celebrating women’s achievement, raise awareness about discrimination, and take action to drive gender parity.
On this International Women’s Day which is coming tomorrow 2023, under this year’s theme of #EmbraceEquity. I challenge
us to imagine a gender equal South Africa. A South Africa free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A South Africa that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. A South Africa where difference and diversity is valued and celebrated. A country where together we can forge women’s equality. We can truly celebrate and reward women’s achievement. We can openly raise awareness about discrimination without fear, take action to drive gender parity in accordance with our Constitution.
This year’s theme of #EmbraceEquity calls upon us to compare equality with equity, and despite its similarities they are inherently different concepts the International Women’s Day, IWD, 2023 campaign theme seeks to help to forge worldwide conversations about this important issue and its impact.
Therefore, in short, gender equality is simply focus on providing all with the same equal opportunities like making it legal for women to own land or even attend school because in some parts of Africa in the world this is still not normalised, legal or even acceptable. Gender equity though works to correct the historical wrongs that have left women behind such as societal restrictions on employment or cultural norms about women, which playout in the home, in the workplace, in communities and society at large.
There is no better case study or example in the world more than our very own equity action plan as South Africa in correcting the ills of apartheid which included, amongst others, the greatest Constitution in the world, the black economic empowerment, BEE, scheme, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition corporate targets as a few example to illustrate this point. Our National Development Plan 2030, is not an equality action plan. Remember the difference between equity and equality for good reasons. Neither in our continents blueprint Agenda 2063, and itself sustainability to
... [Inaudible.] ... or the decade of African women’s economic and financial inclusion 2020 to 2030 declared by our very own President Cyril Ramaphosa when South Africa took over Chairship of the African Union in February 2020.
The aim of the IWD 2023, campaign theme is to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places and women most likely start from right at the bottom or from the back, so decisive action needs to be about measurable inclusion. This requires equitable action to start out with because equitable action will give rise to equality not the other way round. Therefore, now that I have given you the full view of what needs to be achieved
holistically, my role today is to put into perspective what needs to be done in our decisive action to advance women’s rights in South Africa, Africa and the world, and how everything we have done up until now has to be evolved because it has become no longer enough no matter how good our intentions are.
House Chair, I would like to present to this House with a few examples. Government had delivered an inclusive labour law, frameworks and policies on gender equality and women representation in the work place. We have good intentions to create an enabling environment to close the gender gap in South Africa and Africa, but it is no longer enough. Decisive action has to be taken to truly dismantle and reconstruct policies, policy framework regulation and historical injustice of the remuneration and reward system and the core of South Africa’s economic structures. Government delivered on creating policies for the girl child to be prioritised in education and economic inclusion through the launch of the 2017 keeping girls in school’s programme by the Department of Basic Education. It is also this administration that proudly delivered on zero-rating value-added tax, VAT, on sanitary pads in 2018.
It is with good intention that we create, endorse and partner on programmes that support distribution of pads, menstrual cups and tampons, etcetera. However, this sadly, is also no longer enough. Decisive action has to be taken for menstruation to be treated as a budgeting line-item as a cost to government through National Treasury given the same distribution access and availability rights that are given to condoms. Government delivered on a National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. Just over a year ago, on
28 January 2022, it was this administration’s President Ramaphosa who signed into law legislations aimed at strengthening efforts and end gender-based violence with a victim centred focus by this administration on combating this dehumanising pandemic. We know those three laws who are law- makers. This was more than just good intention. This was action yet, 10 months later in October the South African Crime Statistics, Stats, were released and it reported that in three months between April and June last year, 855 women and 243 children were murdered.
In a full year, from February 2022 to January 2023, 1 842 women and 391 children were killed. Somewhere else in the world on a three-month comparison to South Africa, it would be
460 women and 98 children which is about half of South Africa stats. It is a very disturbing statistics. There would not be a person in this House that would disagree with me when I say that according to this stats we are living in a warzone, because our numbers of only the murder category on gender- based violence are almost double that of an actual warzone. Whether you take Ukraine as an example or what is happening in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, and elsewhere, something has to change. Therefore, it is with the best intention that we support gender-based violence and femicide programmes, initiatives and campaigns. We actively set up task forces committees and commissions and even dedicate funding to it, and these are honourable actions. However, they have unfortunately also become not enough.
Gender-based violence and femicide, GBVF, is costing South Africa’s economy about R40 billion in context that is just less than half of what load shedding cost us last year.
Therefore, we should at least be half as outraged and action- oriented as we are about load shedding. Decisive action will need to be taken to not just declare GBVF a pandemic, but for it to receive the treatment and status of a pandemic in all government departments, in our society and everywhere else,
and the church. It should be all of us who come together and join hands. Therefore, as the person with delegated responsibility for this administration, planning, monitoring and evaluation, what does decisive action look like for us as government, and how do we use all that we have done as the building blocks to eradicate this pandemic? Our Constitution has given a platform to civil society in our country to be strong and bold on matters of action campaign and we are proud of this enabling environment that government has created.
However, it is time for us to evolve this enablement into embracing active citizenry towards an equitable action plan.
Therefore, I think the DA and women next to me who are making noise should also be part of these things. To give an example, I have long been a vocal advocate on the war on gender-based violence, mostly due to my own personal experience in involving my own advocacy to take in decisive action because I’m a victim as well. I’m heeding President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call and I want all of us to join towards ending what His Excellency called a war being waged against the women and children of our country, by working with the private sector to not just endorse, but actually lead an active citizenry drive to eradicate this pandemic in the same way we eradicated
coronavirus disease 2019, Covid-19. If we join hands we can go further.
It is no longer enough to just deliver on policy and regulations. We have to lead from the front in those things which are destabilising our country, preventing our foreign direct investment into our country, and those who are ruining the good name of South Africa in the world. Now it is time for us to act and act decisively. I thank you, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Thank you, hon Deputy Minister. That, hon members, concludes the debate. Order! I request members to stand and wait for the males to leave the Chamber. That concludes the business for the day and the House is adjourned.
The House adjourned at 16:45.