Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 24 Oct 2023


No summary available.


Watch here: Plenary 

The House met at 14:00.

The House Chairperson Ms M G Boroto took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members order. Before we proceed with today’s business, I wish to announce that the vacancies which occurred in the National Assembly owing to the resignation of Mr P Madokwe and Mr T P Msane have been filled by the nomination of Mr V Gericke and Adv B J Mkhwebane, respectively, with effect from 17 October 2023. The members have subscribed to the oath and affirmation in the Speaker’s Office. I want to welcome the hon members. Oh, the usual thing is that may they be seen. You may stand and welcome. Thank you.

The first item okay, the first item on the Order Paper is the statement by the Minister in the Presidency for Electricity on the energy action plan activities and short to term medium- term interventions to limit the intensity and frequency of load shedding. May I now recognise the hon the Minister.



Hon House Chairperson, hon the Members of Parliament, MPs, members of the media, fellow South Africans thank you for this opportunity to address Parliament to appraise the House and by extension, the nation on the successes of the implementation of the Energy Action Plan and the associated short to medium- term interventions to limit the intensity and frequency of load shedding. The national energy crisis continues to be the single biggest existential challenges in postapartheid South Africa. We must continue to harness all efforts to arrest further haemorrhaging caused by load shedding to our economy and the degradation of the quality of lives of ordinary South Africans. In May 2023, I stood in this august House to deliver an executive statement outlining the transversal interventions we are making to reduce the intensity and frequency of load shedding and to articulate our plans in relation to the winter plan. Working with the dedicated staff at Eskom and industry experts, we have successfully navigated through the winter season and are beginning to turn the tide. Later in my address I will excavate the data on the significant improvements we have made on the generation side to demonstrate the magnitude of strides we are making thus far.

Hon House Chairperson, we gather today, just two days shy of the birthday of our stalwart, Oliver Reginald Tambo to punctuate where we are, I want to summon the words of our leader, O R Tambo delivered on the occasion of the funeral of Comrade Joe Gqabi, on 9 August 1981 when he said and I open quote:

The future is bright, the end is glorious it is peaceful, but the intervening period is dark, bitter and finds its glory in the act of struggle.

These words aptly describe the period we are emerging from a dark period, literally and figuratively. By any major, load shedding is an occurrence of significant consequence that South Africans He endured for some time. The President had introduced several bold initiatives to ensure the country can navigate its way out of this dark hole. These include setting up the National Energy Crisis Committee and establishing the Ministry I am honoured to lead, Ministry in the Presidency for Electricity as the focal co-ordinating point for the multidisciplinary and whole of society response to ending load shedding. We are restoring Eskom to higher levels of operational efficiency and looking into transmission financing options to expand and strengthen the grid to support South Africa’s new energy generation sources and guarantee energy security.

Our account here today will default to an evidence-based assessment of the objective situation we find out ourselves in today. For this reason, generation performance is assessed against the May baseline. Generation performance continues to improve from May 2023 days of 27 410 megawatts to 28 883 megawatts in October month to date.

Last week we saw Generation Bridge the psychological mark of 30 000 megawatts, largely buoyed by the return to service of Kusile Units three and one, over the past month. This improved generation and lower than projected demand has allowed for exceptional increases in planned outage or good maintenance.

The increased planned outage means that we are improving the overall performance capacity of the fleet, improving reliability and efficiency and steadily ensuring that we navigate to an equilibrium between demand and supply buffered by a healthy reserve margin.

The intensification of planned maintenance is expected to be sustained for the remainder of the summer months, with the objective of going into winter 2024, with a fleet in a much healthier and more reliable state, coupled with increases in new generation capacity aimed at putting the country on a path to sustained energy security.

The May baseline, saw planned maintenance deep around 2 500 megawatts as part of our winter plan. As we emerge from winter to 2023, maintenance has been ramped up to over 5 000 megawatts, since mid-August 2023. In addition to the positive trends in planned outages, outages slips have been reduced substantially. This means that increasingly units return to service as planned following an outage measured against the May 23 bail baseline of 3 478 megawatts. A phenomenal improvement has been recorded and speaks to improve efficiency of outage planning and management. For the past three weeks of October 2023 outage slips accounted for a mere 1 108

megawatts. As we headed out of winter 2023 season, evening peak demand began to show a downward trend. By the end of August 2023 evening peak demand tracked at about 30 633 megawatts. The current average month to date packs evening peak demand at 27 758 megawatts. The dip in demand is also attributed to the successful implementation of increased demand size interventions following the launch of the national Demand Side Management, DSM, Campaign in July 2023 and the phenomenal growth in rooftop solar and small scale embedded generation solutions. Rooftop solar capacity in South Africa has more than doubled since July of 2022 to over 4 500 megawatts. The Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor, UCLF, represents breakdown of units either where a full unit is taken out of service or partial load losses where a unit is not operating at its full design output. Benchmarked against the May 2023 figures UCLF negative growth is observed, which is a positive indicator, implying fewer unplanned outages are recorded. It is the functioning of the increased planned maintenance and improved reliability of units. Following a period of increased planned maintenance between mid-August, 2023 and mid-October 2023, UCLF has dropped to 13 527 megawatts from the May baseline of 17 369 megawatts. This represents an improvement in available capacity of 3 848 megawatts, amounting to over three stages of load shedding.

Units one and three of Kusile have been out of service since October 2022. In January 2023, a decision was made to proceed with the construction contracts constructing temporary stacks due to the anticipated a prolonged delay in remedial works on the permanent stacks. Initial planning anticipated the temporary stacks will be completed and allow for the return to service of the three Kusile units, from 28 November 2023 to 24 December 2023.

Following various engagements with station management and project teams to fast-track the return of service of Unit three Kusile units, we successfully retained unit three and one, earlier than planned. This early return of the two units is as a result of judicious and smart engineering. We anticipate unit two by the third week of November, to be returned to service. Additionally, Kusile Unit four taken out of service for planned maintenance on 29 August 2023, was returned to service on 17 September 2023, three days ahead of planned date. Kusile Unit five was originally planned for completion on 8 October 2023, but was rescheduled to later in order to prioritise the return of the three commercial Kusile units, Unit five is now scheduled to be synchronised to the grid by December of 2023.

Hon House Chairperson, we have always been firm that Kusile Power Station will anchor the drive for generation capacity to get ahead of the demand curve. The two units returned, have injected an additional 1 600 megawatts over the past month, whilst unit two and five will add another 1 600 megawatts.
This means that four Kusile units will provide a total of

3 200 megawatts of baseload by December 2023. The last remaining Kusile Unit six is planned to be synchronised by August of 2024.

Hon House Chairperson, I am happy to report that an interim solution has been found to expedite the return of Medupi Unit four, from August of 2024, to April of 2024. This will add another 800 megawatts of base load.

Hon members, in addition to the work to strengthen base load through the existing fleet, work continues to increase the national footprint of renewable energy. In this regard, one
1 338 megawatts is expected to connect to the grid in 2023 and

3 081 megawatts in 2024. Our project from the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers, RMIPP, is on track to reach legal closed by the end of October 2023 and to further projects by December 2023. These projects will contribute an additional
424 megawatts once completed. Three more projects from bid

window number five are on track to reach commercial closed by the end of November 2023 representing 300 megawatts.

Hon House Chairperson, through the social compact established between government, business and labour, we have activated the partnership with Energy Council and developed support programmes that include, amongst others, strengthening the open cycle gas turbine, diesel supply chain logistics planning and efficiency and optimizing load factors at peaking stations of Ankerlig and Gourikwa. Overseeing and supporting the Eskom team with the Kusile Dug Recovery and Power Station Support and the deployment of support teams to priority power stations, namely Matla, Kriel, Majuba, Kusile, Kendal and Tutuka.

Madam House Chair and hon members, whilst some have chosen to use the challenges we face to play petty politics, even to the extent of mounting a legal challenge to the establishment of the Ministry and yet others, making every effort to frustrate the work that we have been able to register at Kusile Power Station, we remain committed to sparing no effort to build an energy complex that is the backbone of our energy security and economic growth and development objectives. Whereas our immediate focus has been on short term to reduce the intensity

and regularity of load shedding, we have not been oblivious to the long-term policy directives and infrastructure investment funding decisions requires to grow and modernising our transmission infrastructure.

Madam House Chair, it is estimated that more than R390 billion will be required over the next decade to meet the demand for grid capacity, largely due to the increase in generating capacity through renewable energy projects following the various bid windows. To this extent, the Ministry of Electricity has hosted a transmission financing seminar, working together with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to ensure that we are able to accelerate the financing and the roll-out of a new transmission capacity to accommodate the new generation complex of the South African energy ecosystem.

Hon House Chair the recent crisis of a six weeks outage in Ditsobotla Local Municipality, is emblematic of the structural weaknesses in the electricity distribution industry.
Municipalities are owing Eskom over R64 billion and this is increasing year on, year-on-year to date about R4,7 billion.

We are working with various stakeholders, including SA Local Government Association, Salga, and Eskom to ensure that we

address the issues of illegal connections to ensure the issues of overload, address the issues of vandalism of distribution assets and ensure that we are able to restore the integrity of the grid going into the future. We are working on ensuring that we reform the distribution industry. In this regard we are making the following interventions to ensure that the future of municipal revenue in the context of revenue migration due to increase behind the meter small scale embedded generation projects uptake is receiving attention.

Address the funding and project management of investments required to strengthen and expand and modernise the distribution infrastructure to support growth and linked to this the future architecture of electricity distribution in the current constitutional directives and address the policy and regulatory certainty regarding the feeding tariffs and the wheeling agreements and to this end the Wheeling Agreements Framework is sitting with the National Energy Regulator of SA, Nersa.

Hon House Chairperson, I want to indicate that on the back of this crisis we want to industrialise. For every crisis there is an opportunity and we want to take the opportunity within the life of this crisis. We are going to industrialise on the

back of this crisis and ensure that we create the much needed jobs ensure that we increase the size of the National Revenue Fund ensure that we introduce new skills and ensure that there is technology transfer in order to ensure that the Just Energy Transition realise the characteristics of the South African definition of what constitutes a just energy crisis.

As I conclude, I must indicate that the recently released Census statistics indicate that access to electricity has increased significantly from 58,1% in 1996, to 94,7% in 2022. As we continue the work of ending load shedding, we must also focus on closing the gap for the remaining 6% for whom the load shedding stage has no meaning.

Again as I conclude, I wish to thank the critical mass of Eskom’s committed, competent and patriotic men and women who do all they can to restore the credibility and integrity of our utility. I would also like to thank the National Energy Crisis Committee, Necom, team, industry stakeholders, organised business and labour movement, all of whom have offered their constructive inputs and continue to play a part in ending load shedding and achieving South Africa’s energy security. Indeed, to restate the words of O R Tambo, “The

future is bright the end is glorious it is peaceful.” Thank you, Madam House Chairperson.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, Minister. Hon members, order. Hon members, I believe every party is represented in these comments that will be made after the statement. Can we allow that, the hon Graham.

Ms S J GRAHAM: House Chairperson, it is easy to see why Minister Ramokgopa has been nominated for a Feather Award as the Socialite of the Year. He is most certainly the most likeable Minister in Cabinet with his friendly demeanour and charming grin. And he must also be acknowledged for his ongoing briefings on the energy crisis as the head of National
Energy Crisis Committee, NECOM.

It has been a refreshing change to have a Minister who is willing to engage on a regular basis and provide feedback on a crisis that has had devastating effects on our country. That being said, however, affability and a winning smile is not going to resolve the energy crisis and despite Dr Ramokgopa immutable optimism, neither is this government if things do not take a radical turn.

The Energy Action Plan is over a year old. Minister Ramokgopa’ s appointment was made over 17 months ago and this year we have seven months ago I apologised. And this year we have experienced the worst period of load shedding in our country’s history, the panic thereto. The recent decrease in stages with several days of load shedding suspended has been gratefully received, especially by Protea and Springbok fans. But isn’t sad that as a nation we feel blessed that we all had the electricity so that we could collectively watch our national teams shooting the lights out?

But while we bask in the current load shedding holiday, we must not become complacent. Our energy crisis has not been solved, it has merely been temporarily staid and there is a huge amount of work that lies ahead to not only develop a stable, efficient, and cost-effective energy sector, but also to ensure that it complies with our climate change objectives to meet the just energy transition undertakings we have entered into and to which we are bound.

Kusile naturally has been both a major cause of the crisis over the last 12 months and has conversely been the reason for the alleviation of load shedding recently. The power station, having already cost us R250 billion to build, has been

bedevilled by corruption, design flaws and mismanagement and as we know, at one stage was not generating a single kilowatt. While units one and three have been brought back on-line after their spectacular failure last year. This has been a temporary repair, costing us R250 million. The repairs effected have bypassed the desulphurisation process in a bid to bring them on-line earlier, to address load shedding. And while the addition of 1600 megawatts to the grid is definitely worth celebrating, there is a dark side to the expediting of repairs.

The short-cuts taken to bring Kusile back on-line will see a massive increase in pollution and emissions, with the potential impact being around 680 deaths and 3000 asthma emergencies in surrounding communities. A catastrophically high price to pay for electricity.

It is clear that despite the Energy Action Plan having identified a number of key priorities for the short, medium and long-term, government has continued to suffer from myopia coupled with inertia. As Minister Ramokgopa sings in perfect harmony with Minister Gwede Mantashe from the gold coal industry song sheet. He attempts to drown out the noise from the renewable sector sadly, both he and Minister Mantashe in

their stubborn refusal to deviate from a coal-based energy system, are missing the enormous opportunities offered by a mixed energy solution, which incorporates the balance of renewable energy sources to supplement our existing energy supply, is also missing out on around $11 billion.

Introducing renewables to the energy mix does not mean that we shut down the coal sector, that we fire miners and pray for wind and sunny days. What it means is that we begin to address the picking issues we face by supplementing the existing power supply with renewables.

And as technology improves, stability increases and our energy system stabilises, we proceed with the just energy transition from dirty energy to clean power by following a rational, balanced approach that recognises our energy needs, our labour needs, and our financial constraints, we can return to having a world-class energy system.

If you think that is not possible, I can assure you that it is. You need only to look to the Western Cape to see what can be done when you have political will, consensus on outcomes and the plan with actionable targets and realistic timeframes.

While the national government, including Minister Ramokgopa, continues to speak about ideas, the Western Cape is implementing them. While the ANC provides endless constraints and barriers to addressing the energy crisis, the Western Cape are providing solutions. The ANC-led government continues to cite grid constraints as a barrier to entry for the many independent power producers who are ready to bring renewable energy on-line, particularly in the Western, Eastern, and Northern Capes.

The cost to increase the grid by the requisite 14000 kilometres is estimated now at R390 billion. On the other hand, the three Capes are the centre of renewable energy development, with the Northern Cape currently providing 60% of renewable energy in Southern Africa.

It is also important to highlight that, Eskom, has not brought a single kilowatt of renewable energy into the system this year, all 4700 megawatts of renewable energy have been brought on-line by rooftop solar installed by private individuals and businesses.

The DA-led Western Cape recognising that Eskom is unable to address the crisis, has developed an energy resilience

programme which is twofold; it firstly, addresses the impact of load shedding on businesses and citizens and then, secondly, looks to facilitate a lower level of reliance on Eskom. Part of this programme includes a new energy generation programme, as well as a network development programme, coupled with demand side management.

Premier Alan Winde and his team have taken the system that they were given and made it work. The government as a whole has adopted an approach that has seen schools, municipalities and provincial health invest in rooftop solar. Programmes have been designed around small-scale embedded generation feed-in tariffs and willing frameworks under the Green Economy Ecosystem Support Programme.

And not only is this paying dividends during load shedding, the City of Cape Town at least one stage lower than the rest of the country, it is also put in the Western Cape on a
long-term trajectory that will see it far ahead of the rest of South Africa in terms of energy stability and security, and yet the Minister has failed to meet with the Ad Hoc Committee on Energy in the Western Cape no less than three times.

Surely, this is a time when we should all be collaborating, Minister to solve the crisis that we face, unless that is not what the ANC wants to do. It is growing increasingly apparent, in fact, that the ANC-led government wants to patch and repair whatever they can in order to control load shedding until the election.

They have no real long-term strategy for the benefit of this country, instead they are following a short-term appeasement of their constituents. And nowhere is this more evident than in the fact that we still do not have an updated integrated resource plan. No plan, no accountability.

It is very clear, particularly in light of the Western Cape’s successes, that the only party with a plan to rescue South Africa from the energy crisis is the DA. Role on 2024. I thank you.

Adv B J MKHWEBANE: House Chairperson, commander-in-chief, CIC, Malema, Chief Whip of the EFF, Chairperson of the EFF, we take this opportunity to reiterate the condemnation of the genocidal violence that is being meted out by apartheid Israel over the people of Palestine.

The people of South Africa the continent, African continent to the world must know that the war mongering colonial settlers’ apartheid state that is waging the war in Palestine is not the biblical state of Israel, but a group of blood-thirsty racist and colonial invaders who are supported by the imperialist west, particularly the United State, US, the United Kingdom, UK, the Western Europe.

Now, coming back to the statement by the Minister of Electricity on how load shedding will be reduced. It is not the first time that the political leaders from the ruling party have made commitments about load shedding and there is still no believability and credibility in their statements, and it is not the first time in more than one... [Interjection.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Hon Mkhwebane, hon Mkhwebane please take your seat. Hon members, I indicated that this is a maiden speech and the gestures that you are showing there are not the gestures that we have in our Rules. We don't have such. Hon members, please, this House is too small for you to make such a noise. Proceed, hon Mkhwebane.

Adv B J MKHWEBANE: ... In more than one occasion over the last five years, the President of the ANC has assured the people of South Africa that load shedding will be things of the past and things just got worse. At the beginning of this year the secretary general of the ruling party said load shedding will end before December 2023 and there are no scientific and engineering demonstrations and evidence and signs that load shedding will end under this government.

Despite the many assurances given by this Minister who oddly does not have a dedicated committee to report here in Parliament, load shedding will remain and will get worse as long as the ANC is still in power.

The EFF’s roadmap to electricity dependability, articulated by the CIC Julius Malema and Deputy President Floyd Shivambu are the only solutions that will end load shedding in South Africa. And it’s illusionary for anyone to think and believe that you can end load shedding without securing base load electricity generation and supply, which in this instance is coal, nuclear, hydroelectricity and conversion of gas into electricity.

At the centre of South Africa’s electricity problems and crises are the independent power producers who are imposed in our country by the imperialist west and forced into Eskom, without any rational and sensible basis. We have to expose the hypocrisy of the west who instructs us to close down our coal power stations when millions of tons of coal are leaving South Africa every day to go to build and bolster western and eastern economic giants. Creating ghost towns perpetuating unemployment and poverty.

We accept that electricity generation must not destroy the environment, but we cannot close down electricity generation without viable and concepts proven sources of electricity.

Electricity that is harvested from the sun and wind is inherently and therefore not reliable. It can be used as off-grid solutions, not as a long-term electricity solution
for South Africa. That is why the proposal and submission of the EFF that the specialized conditional grant to assist municipalities off-grid solutions must be given due consideration.

The efforts of the EFF in Ekurhuleni in sourcing base load electricity on what calumniate into built operator transfer,

BOT, contracts, is the best model that must be replicated the whole of South Africa. Eskom must, as a matter of urgency, seek to extend Koeberg nuclear power licences for an additional 20 years and must consider a BOT model for additional nuclear energy, which remains the cheapest electricity in South Africa.

South Africa must accept that in the foreseeable future there is no electricity solution that can exclude coal as a source of energy. If anything, we should invest in coal clean technologies. We, as the EFF will, during the course of November 2023, finalise the action plan on what are we going to do when we take over government, from May 2024 onwards.

We are aware that as part of the ruling party’s election strategy for 2024, they will go around making empty promises and commitments on things they know they cannot deliver. The people of South Africa must know that it is not only the EFF working within the best interests of the country. We have black professionals in the energy sector who will end load shedding in South Africa.

The rest of the political parties are just talking and electioneering. People are suffering, people are losing work,

employment is high, businesses are destroyed because of this issue of electricity. Thank you, House Chairperson.

Mr X NQOLA: House Chair, you can reintroduce the speaker.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon ... thank you, we may proceed. Hon members on the virtual platform, I am making this request for you to visit your gadget wherever you are and switch it off, mute it, please, you are disturbing the proceedings in the House.

An HON MEMBER: Especially Hope, Hope!


Mr X NQOLA: After the reintroduction.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Nqola, please don’t do that you, repeat that you will be out of the platform.

Mr M HLENGWA: Minister, at the outset I think that whilst none of us doubt your bona fides and your commitment to the work at hand, and the responsibilities before you, you seem to have been given a poisoned chalice. For all intents and purposes, you are a Minister without a portfolio, department-less, entity-less, just a Minister in the Presidency. You cannot

reign over any of the policy matters to the extent to which it would be desirable for what you want to do.

Now that poses a problem, given the complexities around Eskom, not just to its own ability to generate electricity as it should, but we've got law enforcement challenges as well. If you look at what happens in coal trucking and the diesel space, the cabals that are involved are a problem. If you look at the consequence management challenges which prevail at Eskom, you've got no jurisdiction over that as well. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place, Minister Gordhan and Minister Mantashe. These problems, Minister, will really stall any of your endeavours. I am glad Minister Creecy is in the House today. We should meet to have conversations with her about flexibility in the environmental laws perspectives to ensure that we are able to arrive where we want to arrive.

So, Minister, the question then becomes what is it that is your function, other than the weekly press briefings which I suppose are important for the dissemination of information? Then of course, you visiting these power stations. I don't think any justice has been done to you in order for you to actually go the whole nine yards. That is the conversation we should be having because ordinarily, with the interventions of

the tax breaks that have been introduced, the more people get off-grid, the less demand there obviously is for Eskom and therefore load shedding is bound to reduce.

However, at the same time there is a heightened level of difficulty for businesses and households, particularly those that are poor. The previously disadvantaged of our communities find themselves having to bear the brutal brunt of the economic hardships that arise due to load shedding. That being said, it then means that the interventions of solar panels and tax breaks which are currently in place are for the rich. We continue to widen the inequality gap in a society that is already struggling. It therefore begs the question as to whether this is a sustainable intervention or are we going to end up seeing more of the same, having been down this road since 2008.

The facts speak for themselves. Eskom is in trouble. Eskom is operating on the basis of bailouts. There is policy uncertainty, leadership uncertainty and leadership interference going on at Eskom. The chief executive officer, CEO, left. The CEO vacancy has not been filled. The chairperson of the board has resigned. The operations of Eskom, amongst others are dependent on the functionality of

other state-owned entities, SOEs, such as Transnet. There are problems in that space as well.

So, Minister, as you present your plans, as noble as they are, and you seek to build up hope in South Africans, I would really implore you to implore the President, and maybe we can assist you here ... he needs to give you a better deal than just making you a public spokesperson who has no powers and functions to the extent to which is required with the predicament at hand. I thank you.

Mr W W WESSELS: House Chairperson, in Afrikaans we will call the Minister a beeldpoetser [image polisher] because that is what he is. He is trying to actually create something that isn't there and trying to mitigate the crisis that is out there. What is always astounding is how excited the ruling party gets about little progress or call it a success made in addressing a crisis created by them. You can't be excited about it. You created this crisis.

The Minister is correct. Eskom is in a dark, dark hole but who dug the hole? I will tell you why it is important to identify the origin of the problem. South Africans have suffered a cumulative 64 days of blackouts during 2023 up until now. Are

the strides made, which the Minister spoke about now, sustainable? The energy availability factor is still below 60%. So, the answer is no. If it was not for the much lower demand in electricity and the 1 100 megawatts procured by Eskom from the private sector, it would not have been a situation where we would have less load shedding. It is clear that the reduction in load shedding is only temporary. It is concerning because we saw this in 2008 as well when there was load shedding, and then just before the elections strides were made. All of a sudden there is enough electricity. Is there or are you just doing this for an election campaign and after the 2024 election we are going to suffer even more? You did this in 2008 as well. Addressing the electricity shortages should be a sustainable solution through deregulation and enabling a competitive market for generation and distribution.

The Minister is also correct when he refers to the contribution of failed municipalities to this crisis but what is the solution? We heard all the plans to address the outstanding debt many years ago. The previous Deputy President, now current President, announced plans in this House to reduce the outstanding debt. The opposite happened. Now we hear a lot of words. I don't know if the Minister himself understands what he said the plan is because I don't

think anybody does. None of those words are the actual solution to the problem.

What is going to happen with the outstanding debt to Eskom? The people out there are suffering. Go to the people of Ngwathe and tell them your plan, whilst they don't even have water because of load reduction; load reduction that is additional to the scheduled load shedding.

The root cause of the problems at Eskom was a lack of accountability and the corruption that was allowed. Policy decisions to sustainably end the electricity crisis are needed and those policy decisions should be made and based on the realities of our electricity shortage and not on political ideologies. We need accountability and consequences, and I think everybody would agree. That is why it is important to address and to admit to the origin of the problem because otherwise we cannot sustainably end the energy crisis, and then you have to admit that you were the cause of the problem. I thank you.

Mr S N SWART: House Chair, ongoing load shedding has had a devastating impact on households, livelihoods, businesses and the economy as a whole. Last week, the SA Revenue Service,

Sars, Commissioner, Mr Edward Kieswetter, said the energy crisis may have cost the country R150 billion and this will probably be more fully ventilated in next week's Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement.

Hon Minister, we as the ACDP participated in the Eskom parliamentary inquiry. So, we know the root cause and a lot of that was admitted in the Zondo Commission where the ANC took responsibility for a lot of that state capture and corruption. However, we appreciate your update. We appreciate the fact that you are confident that South Africa has turned the corner and that we are beginning to see sustained improved performance over an extended period of time. Yes, during this last while we have seen an improvement and we are grateful for that. This is good news. The challenge of course is how long can it last. There is a saying that ...

... benoude katte maak benoude spronge.



This means that when there is a crisis, one jumps around trying to resolve that crisis, with elections looming.
However, when you also look at the statement and at the

improved performance, one has to look at what Eskom's group executive for transmission, Mr Scheppers, has said, where he sketches the different scenarios of the 14 500 megawatts,
16 000 megawatts and 17 500 megawatts, and that's the three unplanned loss scenarios with the different load shedding that one would then apply at each of those scenarios. On the most optimistic scenario, that would be load shedding level 4 at the 14 500 megawatts scenario.

The problem with both Eskom and the Minister's positive scenario is that the unplanned losses, that is as the word suggests ... It's unplanned and unforeseeable, particularly as we've got the ageing and unpredictable fleet of power stations. However, when you look at the facts, Minister, yes this week the breakdowns were at 13 500 megawatts, which is promising because the best scenario was 14 500 and planned maintenance was at 4 700 megawatts of generation capacity, which means that maintenance is continuing.

So, as the ACDP, we welcome the fact of the additional units from Kusile and Medupi but we are mindful of the health issues as well. I think, Minister, we need to be very mindful of that as well. So from our perspective, we trust that you do succeed

and that we have lasting energy because that is for the common interest of all South Africans.

May we just conclude by saying that as the ACDP we continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem in the knowledge that the Lord who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps, and that is the modern state of Israel. I thank you.

Mr B N HERRON: Thank you, House Chair and thank you, Minister for the progress report which we appreciate, and we must acknowledge some of the progress that you have reported, but we must also do so in the context as we have just heard of a country that has lost, according to Sars Commissioner, the R150 billion to our economy. This is in a country, Minister where and on the continent with an abundant supply of renewable energy sources for solar wind, hydro and for us to be in this situation where we are failing to implement renewable energy at a pace that is consistent with how renewable energy has been introduced in other parts of the world as a fast solution for generation capacity is deeply concerning. We must also remember, Minister that there is apparently a planned or a potential breakdown of 13 500 megawatts of the energy production and then the planned maintenance of 4 700 megawatts. So, we have a grid that is

potentially 18 000 megawatts at risk, and of course, this will impact lives, livelihoods, education, health and safety and our already fragile economy.

At the end of the day, Minister we have two problems where both a capacity creation problem and a transmission capacity problem and what we needed to hear was what the short and medium-term solutions are to address both the capacity generation problem and the transmission capacity problem.
There was at one point a promise to acquire 1 000 megawatts of energy from Mozambique, which would be a fast solution and also a testament to African unity, but then the Mozambican government told the world that they were still waiting for plans from South Africa on how to implement this and we didn’t hear anything about whether the Mozambican deal is still on the cards and how that will alleviate our current capacity generation crisis.

We also have the Karpowership controversial projects hanging over our heads, and the Karpowership project is not only tainted with controversy around the nature of the deal, but also the environmental impact authorisations that have gone with it. And according to the Eskom Generation Capacity Assessment Report, the Karpowership projects are currently to

some extent, reserving 1220 megawatts of energy that caused us or caused the bid window 6 to be unable to release that capacity for wind generation. So, we do need a solution to what was presented as a short-term solution that ... and we simply don’t know when karpowership will come online if they ever will. Thank you.

Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you, House Chairperson, allow me to welcome the statement by the Minister and of course, let me also welcome and congratulate you on some progress which we could all actually see physically on the ground where we are beginning to, I think, enter a normal working environment. So, yes, indeed, I think some progress has been made. Allow me also to condemn with the contempt it deserves, the Zionist apartheid Israel’s action which resulted in over 5 000 people being killed, including over 64% of children, not forgetting the statement that has been made by many Jewish Israelis that they were killed not by Hamas, but killed by their own Israeli defence force who came there and attacked them while Hamas was treating them with kindness and taking care of them. So, we must condemn this with the contempt it deserves and pray to the Almighty God to bring peace and stability to Palestine, which has existed since over 1 000 of years, while Zionism only came into existence just over 100 years.

Now, Minister, I like some of the things that you have said. However, I was hoping that you were going to talk about the high levels of corruption, the subcontractors, the sabotage that takes place, not forgetting the evergreen contracts that are about 30 or somewhat years old at this point-in-time and how you are actually dealing with that. There has been some progress in that regard, but very limited in terms of that, not forgetting the diesel, of course as well. Now, Minister, I am not sure if you’re going to agree with what Minister Mantashe said and I am in agreement with that. We cannot take South Africa from one extreme, which is coal to renewable energy. We do not have the luxury of ample sunlight and wind, whether we are talking about solar or wind energy, we must have a mix of both. South Africa has, I am told, about 300 years of excess coal available which is being exported and a lot of profits coming in. Remember, the United States is talking about 2050 to get rid of coal completely. France has just re-commissioning. China is building one every week. I am not sure why we are so much in a hurry when we do not have an alternative. So, I was hoping there would be a mix of renewable energy and coal because we have an ample supply of coal that I think might be able to sort our problems out.

I remember the impact that this has had, Minister even on Sars, with the Minister making it very clear which you will hear next week, the declining revenue and what is the reason for this because businesses have shut down, businesses have cut down the working hours, which means revenue has come down.
... [Time expired.]


Mr S M JAFTA: We have been monitoring the work of the Minister of Health since the Energy Action Plan was proclaimed by the President a year ago. We have specifically paid attention to the following elementary aspects, the procurement of your professional capacity from Europe, Gas and ... [Inaudible.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Jafta, do you have your earphones on? If you can remove your earphones, you are not very audible, please, and then, you may proceed.

Mr S M JAFTA: Hon Chair, am I audible?




Mr S M JAFTA: We are travelling. We are in the Northern Cape. We must therefore record that the Energy Action Plan will not as a stand alone risk as Eskom there are structural policy and

financial concessions that are too important to ignore. Firstly, the Energy Action Plan must exist in a sound energy policy framework. We note in this regard that the decommissioning of former ... [Inaudible.] ... station one, decommissioning ... [Inaudible.] ... several renewable programmes, including projects to build 150 ... being part of a of solar power 70 megawatts of wind power and basic capacity of 150 megawatts. This is welcome. Secondly, the Energy Action Plan must be predicated on improving Eskom’s liquidity. This will help the utility company to service its debt and attract concessional loans from investors.

Lastly, there must be concerted efforts to open up the space for private investment in large scale electricity generation projects. Hon Chair, in relation to short-term, medium-term intervention, we wish to advise the Minister of Electricity to focus on working tirelessly to secure deals for additional megawatts of green energy, working with municipalities to settle unpaid bills of R157 billion owed to Eskom. Constantly engaging with the Accelerating Coal Transition Fund in order to secure additional concession funding and audit power station warehouse to quality assure as the risks assess the performance of this station. In closing, hon Chair, we wish

the Minister well and hope he will turn the tide at Eskom. I thank you, Chairperson.

Mr T LOATE: Hon Chair, thank you very much, first, I would like to welcome the report from the Minister as it shows some signs of good things to come if anything goes by the statement. But it is also important for us to mention that we all know where our crisis on AGM emanates. All South Africans know that somewhere some people have been responsible to put the country where it is today and it is a sad situation that no progress has been made as yet, to hold those responsible accountable. The Minister, has flagged some hope in the achievement on progress made, we hope that this progress is genuine and puts our country on a path to recovery.

The Minister, in the statement has mentioned a disturbing situation of municipalities that continue to default on their payments, but what is missing is that we don’t hear what steps are being taken because this has been a continuous utterance about municipalities that are not meeting their obligations.
We would urge the Minister to speak to his colleagues in the Cabinet that certain steps must be taken and drastic steps should be taken to make the municipalities to meet their obligations because we cannot expect that ordinary South

Africans should be bound to pay their municipal bills and yet, the very institutions themselves they fail to meet their obligations.

We welcome the Minister’s speech and so far, we wish that this is the right step that will take us somewhere so that there is hope and prosperity in our country. Thank you very much.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Is the PAC ...

Mr M NYONTSHO: The PAC is not speaking, hon Chair.


Mr K E MAGAXA: Hon Chairperson, even if the Minister was here to declare that there will be no loadshedding again, we will still have, but because people are just obsessed with opposition, opposition, that’s the role of the right wing in this House.

The frequency of loadshedding has engendered not only dissatisfaction but also a great discomfort in many. Even more disheartening is the fact that many of the dissatisfied citizens of our relatively new democracy have begun to view the bygone era of apartheid, colonialism, with nostalgia and

some support for its return, all thanks to the intensity of loadshedding.

If left unchecked, this dissatisfaction and discomfort will eventually create a spirit of revolt in this country. This diagnosis suggests that some drastic action is needed to halt loadshedding indefinitely.

To this end, the ANC-led government has implemented the Energy Action Plan, on the one hand, and appointed a Minister in the Presidency responsible for electricity, on the other hand, as an effective means to confront loadshedding head-on.

While opposition parties might quickly distort the action undertaken by the Minister of Electricity as total solutions or to end loadshedding as outlined in the Energy Action Plan, my intention in this debate is to present a fairly accurate version of the truth.

I must admit in advance that the version of the truth I will be sharing is more likely to be completely unfamiliar to most South Africans since it is often not described in any helpful way by the bias mass media they consume.

The intention of the bias mass media is simple, to convey the misconception that the ANC-led government has no answer to loadshedding, while our internal media spokesperson, the DA, continue doing that.

However, I will attempt to replace this misconception with fact-based information and describe the reality behind it. No one, not least opposition parties or the mass media, has ever applauded the success of the Minister of Electricity in improving the available generation capacity during the past six months.

Eskom’s available generation capacity has witnessed a magnitude of improvement from approximately 27 410mw in May 2023 to 30 189mw in September 2023, thereby effectively reducing loadshedding from stage 6 to stage 2.

To be sure, Kusile Unit 1 and 3 were brought back into the grid, adding much needed 1 600mw which improved the available generation capacity. It must be noted that Kusile Unit 3 was brought back earlier than planned, thereby implying that the Minister of Electricity, working together with Eskom, is on the right path to reduce and ultimately end loadshedding.

The tendency of opposition parties and their mass media to notice the bad more than the good about the ANC-led government has distracted us from the reality.

The current lack of knowledge about fundamental ... [Interjections.] [Inaudible.] ... Eskom’s available generation capacity is, therefore, the most concerning challenge of all.

Despite fundamental improvement in Eskom’s available generation capacity over the past six months, the country still witnessed higher stages of loadshedding in September 2023. No wonder South Africans were stressed and gloomy at this time as they thought loadshedding was getting worse than better.

However, [Interjections.] that’s not true you are talking nonsense.

However, the basic facts about the highest stages of loadshedding in September 2021 are so little known. The deeper cause of the higher stages of loadshedding in September 2023 was not a direct consequence of Eskom’s precarious financial situation which compelled the utility to refrain from using

diesel-dependent open-cycle gas turbines to offset the peak demands as opposition parties and the bias mass media, which are convinced that the ANC-led government cannot run a sound fiscal policy, would like us to believe.

The deeper cause of the higher stages of loadshedding in September 2023 was by and large triggered by Eskom’s ramped-up reliable maintenance. If this ramped up reliable maintenance higher stages of loadshedding were inevitable with an implicit assumption that once maintenance was achieved and the units were returned to the grid, loadshedding reduction will follow.

Put differently, the cost of ramped-up maintenance was higher stages of loadshedding in the short run. But the benefits outweighed the cost of medium to long-term. Just to illustrate Eskom’s unplanned capacity loss factor and megawatts at the grids, have declined in September relative to May 2023.

The key point is that loadshedding reduction is an automatic by-product of ramped-up reliability maintenance. That is the reason why the ramp-up maintenance in September 2023 resulted in Eskom’s improved generation fleet performance, an emergency reserve recovery which in turn reduced stages of loadshedding from 6 to 1 in October 2023.

I hope this picture is crystal clear. I also hope this picture is inspiring and comforting as it shows that the Minister of Electricity has become much more better at implementing the Energy Action Plan and getting Eskom help where it is needed.

Of course, opposition parties are more likely to call me an optimist because I can highlight enormous progress they know nothing about. Calling me an optimist makes me looks like naïve. I am not optimistic, but I am a possibilitist.

Let me highlight my favourite point here. Ramped-up reliability maintenance has enabled Eskom to rely less on diesel-dependent open-cycle gas turbines, which are costly to maintain much the peak demands. Eskom is saving lots of money because of this.

I can say this tremendous progress with confidence, even though stories about how Eskom is saving lots of money due to its less reliance on diesel-dependent open-cycle gas turbines, rarely makes the front page.

But Eskom is confronted with a challenge encountered in its endeavour to conduct ramped-up reliability maintenance ... [Interjections.] [Inaudible.] ... under-recovery of costs,

infrastructure vandalism, electricity theft and increasing municipal debts have serious implications for the financial position of Eskom.

Specifically, under-recovery of costs infrastructure vandalism, electricity theft and the increasing municipal debts result in a revenue shortfall which is rarely covered by the government transfer.

Consequently, ramped-up maintenance and investment activities are cut back to make ends meet, which starves Eskom of funds to expand the transmission network by 325%, which in turn not only cuts the quality of services to existing customers, but also makes it difficult to bring new generation capacity from renewable energy technologies onto the grid. Unless these issues are resolved urgently, ending loadshedding indefinitely will remain elusive.

To this end, there are multiple municipal debts’ interventions implemented by the ANC-led government. For instance, there are
28 payment arrangements in place, of which 11 were honoured, whilst seven were partially honoured as of May 2023.

In addition, there are municipal debt relief packages in place, of which five were approved by the National Treasury as of July 2023.

Going through, the ANC-led government is aware that cost reflective tariffs, which are the prerequisites for raising the capital necessary to meet the investment requirements are likely to increase poverty and inequality levels in South Africa. However, [Time expired.] ... [Inaudible.] basic electricity subsidies that must be targeted so that pro poor policies ... [Interjections.] [Inaudible.] Thank you, Chair.

House Chair, just to make the point ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Minister, please. Hon members, I always say this room is too small. I can’t hear what you’re saying there. I can hear clearly Mbuduma ...


... ukuthi uthini lapho.


... asseblief ...



... ningayenzi lento eniyenzayo.



Ragela phambili, baba.



House Chair, just to make the point that a number of reputable institutions including amongst other, StatsSA and the SA Reserve Bank, SARB, have done a robust modelling that tries to understand the implications of loadshedding on the South African economy and they have arrived at the conclusion that the about 1 600mw of unserviced energy can result into the economy contracting by about 5% and that costs the South African economy up to R1 billion day.

So, we do have a full appreciation of the amount of injury and harm that is inflicted by loadshedding on the South African economy. And the point I’m trying to make is that it is a height of folly to suggest that there’s a relationship between the speed at which we want to resolve loadshedding and the

electoral prospects. What we are trying to do is to protect the South African economy and we know that the manifestations of that is also on the fiscal head space. So, we are running out of fiscal runway and that’s why the Minister of Finance has to do some degree of reprioritisation to ensure that we remain within the fiscal envelope.

And then the second part is what the hon Mkhwebane has raised. He says my presentation is devoid of science. Perhaps you might have missed it and I give you the benefit of doubt. So, there is an irrefutable body of evidence that the established a degree of causality between the amount of emissions and also the occurrence of extreme weather conditions, what we call climate change; and we know that has got a devastating and disproportionate impact on the poor. We are seeing in the Western Cape, we are seeing it in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of the North West.

So, what is the point I’m making is that the need for us to decarbonise is about the preservation of our own interests and also posterity. And that’s why I agree with the hon Shaik when he makes a point. It’s not about the polarisation of the conversation, is not a binary choice, we must do both.

Just to hon Graham, there is no country in the world whose economy is solely powered by renewable energy sources. The renewable energy sources are predicated on the existence of a base load, which is coal, gas, nuclear and hydro; so, it thrives on the redundancy of base load.

Just to hon Hlengwa, my presence here is not ornamental. One of the major successes that we have registered was to make the point that the idea of decommissioning the coal-fired power stations at the rate the cadence that was suggested is essentially ill-informed. There’s a need for us to delay the decommissioning as we resolve the energy deficit and also ensure that we do some degree of modelling to determine what is the impact of that division. And that’s why we are able to provide a degree of relief that we are seeing currently in the performance of the grid.

Also just to say that we are taking a holistic approach. So, we are looking at the entire value chain of the energy ecosystem in the country. So, the focus is not only on the generation side, you know, there is a significant amount of reform where we have liberalised the generation side. There is an aggressive appetite demonstrated by private sector players

and an insatiable appetite as a pipeline of about 66gw of projects that are at various stages of the project life cycle.

We are also focusing on the transmission side and that’s why earlier on I said that we are looking at various options to see how best can we finance the expansion of the transmission because we will need upwards of R300 billion and that is going to enable us to accommodate new renewable generation capacity from renewable energy sources.

As part of the work that I am doing, there’s work stream number 6 of the National Energy Crisis Committee that is focused on addressing the issues of corruption, the issues of fraud and that’s why we have been able to register a significant amount of investigations, over a thousand investigations, over one hundred arrests and over 50 prosecutions that have been made in this regard.

I really want to conclude by saying that we have turned the corner but we are not necessarily out of the woods and that’s why I’m saying we need to accelerate our efforts working across government. We are working with the provincial government here in the Western Cape, Premier Linde together with other Premiers, because this is a whole of government

approach, a whole country approach and that’s why we are going to defeat loadshedding and I am confident about our ability to do resolve loadshedding and ensure energy security for South Africa. Thank you very much.


move that the report be adopted.


Question put.


There was no debate.


Motion agreed to (Economic Freedom Fighters dissenting). Report accordingly adopted.



(Second Reading Debate)


The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon House Chairperson, the Rail Safety Regulator has been in existence as a fully-fledged

independent institution since 2005 and in the process of implementing legislation, they faced challenges in performing certain functions which needed clarity in the principal Act.

The National Rail Safety Regulator Act was last amended in 2009 and since then there have been major developments in the country as such that massive rolling stock investment programmes and the introduction of the first standard gauge railway system in the country. All these developments were not anticipated during the amendment of the existing National Road Safety Act.

The department conducted a rail safety regulatory gap analysis study, which highlighted legislative gaps in the existing Act. The gap analysis studies’ main recommendations were that there is a need to review the existing Act in order to address some of the identified gaps, such as lack of proper clarity of the role of the various players within the rail safety environment, duplication of power of the chief executive officer, CEO and board, lack of independence between occurrence, investigations and safety inspections, absence of proper framework regulating safety, critical grades employees and lack of proper appeal mechanism process.

The National Development Plan, recognising specific strategic objectives which are related to public transport and are intended to improve the life of the general public. One of the key objectives of the National Development Plan is the establishment of an effective, safe, and affordable public transport by 2030.

The Bill therefore seeks to repeal the National Rail Safety Regulator Act of 2002, Act 16 of 2002. the National Rail Safety Regulator Act, established the railway safety regulator, which I will further call RSR to oversee and promote safe railway operations through appropriate support, monitoring and enforcement guided by an enabling regulatory framework.

The Railway Safety Bill complements the rail revitalisation as part of the implementation of the National Rail Policy. The Bill also seeks to improve the regulatory framework regulating railway safety in the Republic in order to improve the safety of passengers and freight. The Bill seeks to repeal the National Railway Safety Regulator Act of 2002 as I said earlier on.

The Bill does retain a couple of elements of the Act, endeavouring to provide greater clarity on several issues and introduces new concepts designed to enhance railway safety.
The Bill places emphasis on railway safety. And recognises operators’ role in managing the implementing safety measures with the RSR, promoting safety and ensuring compliance with such measures.

The Bill also provides guidance on the governance of the RSR, seeks to remove perceived conflicts of interest and to provide a flexible framework for managing railway safety. In addition, it proposes that the RSR must oversee a framework of safety critical grades.

House Chairperson, the Railway Safety Bill brings more clarity to the regulatory framework for railway safety in the Republic and is aligned to the White Paper on National Rail Policy approved by Cabinet in March 2022. the Railway Safety Bill if passed, will be instrumental in the implementation of the private sector participation in the rail sector.

The third-party access seekers will have to be provide with safety permits in order to operate in the rail network. House Chairperson and hon members, it is therefore critical that

this House considers and approves this Bill and support it to the National Council of Provinces. I thank you, House Chairperson.

Ms R M M LESOMA: Hon House Chair, fellow South Africans, hon members, Ministers, Deputy Ministers in the House and officials, the Railway Safety Bill is presented to the House for its second reading with the report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport tabled and approved by the committee for this House to consider and adopt. Classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism, JTM, as section 75 as the hon Deputy Minister has alluded to, reports the Bill with amendments termed as B-7(a) of 2021. It was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Transport on 19 March 2021. The ANC government’s policy is to ensure that there is restoration of rail infrastructure and modernisation of the rail to ensure an efficient commuter and freight rail service in the country.

Hon House Chair and fellow South Africans, we are indeed encouraged that the report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on Railway Safety Bill dated 19 September 2023, be supported, adopted and approved by the National Assembly to allow the hon President to assent. The Bill seeks to provide the following.

It provides for the regulation of the railways safety in the Republic, to provide the continued existence of the railway safety regulator, provide the body and governance structures of the railway safety regulations as well as for the rail safety permits and railway safety critical grades and safety management systems thereof. It also further provides for a national railway safety information and monitoring systems, it provides legal framework to enhance and ensure there is safety information and monitoring system which will be provided and provides a legal framework to enhance compliance with the Act and to deal with the railway occurrences. Further and not least, it provides for the appeal mechanism that will ensure that transitional arrangement of the Bill for the national rail safety regulator of 2002.

Hon House Chair, it is worth noting that the majority of the amendments that are incorporated in the Bill are directly informed by the stakeholder consultative public hearings and written and oral submissions thereof. That makes it very explicit in terms of the administrative, cosmetic and explanatory amendments that we have made in realigning of some of the clauses to ensure that definitions and governance structures and systems are clearer and explicit. The Republic has to maintain the best global practices in terms of the

safety and ensure its legislations keeps abreast with the international developments for the rail safety.

The aims and the objects of the Bill continue in that tradition of upholding the highest possible safety standards. It must keep abreast with the revitalisation and modernisation of the rail infrastructure and operations thereof even transformation of the human capital in terms of skills and capabilities. As the rail infrastructure recovers and operational tempo of the freight and commuter rail increases, rail safety abode a necessity and critical part of increased the rail operations. The operation efficiency of the rail in the country is dependent on the rail safety.

Hon House Chair, peace within the families of the world will not be possible until the Palestinians are free. We table the report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport and rail safety for the House’s consideration. I thank you.

Mnu T B MABHENA: Ngiyathokoza, Sihlalo.



The Railway and Safety Bill is an encouraging piece of legislation mainly because the opposition in the committee, especially the DA, has invested so much sweat equity in ensuring that the legislation produced by the committee, with our names attached to it, at least make sense, is coherent, futuristic and mostly has a positive impact on many stakeholders. The DA played a crucial role throughout the life cycle of this Bill. From its inception, it was the DA through Dr Chris Hunsinger who initiated the motion of desirability and was very instrumental particularly concerning the expansion of the railway network’s user base.

We have successfully broadened the scope not only in terms of users, but also in content. This achievement has laid a strong foundation effectively paving the way for prospective concession holders. Moreover, it has opened new possibilities for devolution of railway services to competent local authorities such as the Western Cape provincial government and the City of Cape Town Metro to name a few. This is indeed a significant progress that cannot be ignored. The foundation for future devolution of railway services is firmly laid.

This Bill as it stands encompasses all future stakeholders and participants in our railway infrastructure under one unified

regulation and regulator. By doing so we have established a comprehensive framework that ensures seamless collaboration and standardised practices within the industry. This significance step forward not only guarantees regulatory efficiency, but also fosters an environment conducive to sustainable growth and innovation benefiting both present and future players in the railway sector. This is the influence of the opposition on this Bill.

The Bill essentially introduces a new regulator and regulation of users of railway network. Contained in the Bill is also the emphasis and focus on railway safety and the recognition of the operators’ role in managing and implementing safety measures with the railway safety regulator promoting safety and ensuring compliance with such measures.

Hon Chairperson, other aspects that the Bill addresses is the provision of guidance of the governance of the railway safety regulator and an attempt to address concerns raised overtime by operators in respect of the system of railway safety in South Africa. There were also inherent risks which were identified in relation to governance and this Bill makes a spirited attempt in legislation to remove perceived conflicts of interests and to promote a flexible framework to manage

railway safety. However, the taste of the pudding is definitely in the eating because this ANC government has continuously failed at implementation. Even though the ANC has only seven months left in government we wouldn’t be surprised if you fumble this one as well.

This Bill also proposes that the railway safety regulator must oversee a framework of safety critical grades. We are of the view that this is very important to ensure seamless harmonisation within the sector and established standardised practices endorsed by the whole industry.

Hon Chairperson, in conclusion, the committee conducted public hearings in all nine provinces from 19 November 2022 to 23 April 20203, to gather the opinions of the communities on the Bill. These hearings were in my opinion the most chaotic in terms of parliamentary administration. Let me provide some context. For example, during one of the public hearings we attended in Boksburg in Gauteng, the parliamentary mobilisation team failed to properly inform and prepare the public. It appears an instruction was given to ward committees in that region to attend the meeting under falls pretences.
They were misled into believing that the discussion would involve their stipends, cell phone allowance and the

possibility of being employed by the City on a semiformal basis. In nearly all the public hearings attendants came expecting the committee to address issues related to the reinstatement of trains rather than discussing the Railway Safety Bill. This situation exemplifies incompetence, inaptitude and a complete lack of accountability. It is a chaotic situation resulting from a lack of decisive leadership.

Another notable instance of disorder occurred in Welkom, in the Free State. During the first leg of the public hearings on
17 March 2023, fewer than five people arrived in that public hearing. This was mainly due to the incompetence and laziness on the part of the parliamentary support staff who seem to have joined the event as if they were on a holiday trip and neglected their responsibilities. The meeting was a complete failure and had to be abandoned. As per the communication from the committee secretary, Ms Valerie Carelse, she puts the blame of this mess to the parliamentary public education unit or department for their failure to mobilise and workshop the relevant stakeholders and the public. Colleagues were unhappy and scheduled an impromptu meeting and penned this letter. They penned this letter to the House Chairperson Cedric Frolick. I want to read an excerpt from this letter.

As the portfolio committee at a meeting held on 17 March at 5:00 pm at the Southern Sun Hotel, in Bloemfontein, we took a decision to request a comprehensive report from the committee secretariate of what led to this failure on which we deem as an embarrassment to the integrity of the committee. The secretary will be given seven days to present this report to the committee with a meeting to be scheduled thereafter to receive a presentation on the scene.

The Portfolio Committee on Transport, but through the ANC style, was simply ignored and this letter has not been responded to even though we gave the secretary seven days to respond to this letter. To date, we have not received any feedback of our letter to the House Chairperson Cedrick Frolick and we have not received a comprehensive expenditure details from the secretary of the committee regarding this wasteful expenditure which runs into hundreds of thousands of rands. This expenditure includes the cost for hotel stays, transportation of Members of Parliament, transportation of stakeholders, flights, live broadcasting, translation services, catering and more. Yet this issue remains unresolved. Taxpayers’ money is going down the drain, there is

a complete lack of shame, nonaccountability and no consequence management.

This describes how the legislature under the Speaker uMama Nosiviwe Nqakula has deteriorated completely, and the oversight authority of Parliament has been undermined. Also, there is a new chairperson in the committee and these issues have not been addressed to date.

Hon House Chairperson, that describes the ANC government. Our hard work went into this Bill as such we are going to support it. Thank you.

Mrs L F TITO-DUBA: House Chairperson, South Africa’s railway system has completely collapsed under the ANC government.
Residents in Soweto, Thokoza, Langa, Guguletu, Umlazi and other townships, once enjoyed functional railway transport.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon members, please, order.

Ms L F TITO-DUBA: Today, those railway tracks lie dormant, overgrown with grass. It’s a sad reality that while some may believe that railway tracks will still exist, our citizens,

driven by hunger, have taken them to the scrap yards, beyond the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, PRASA, project, where we learnt that the trains were too long and didn’t fit. There are hardly any trains carrying passengers in South Africa as we speak today. The few trains that are operational, suffer from poor maintenance and suffer safety standards.

The only trains that run efficiently and safely with clean stations, are those that transport domestic workers into predominantly white suburbs like Cape Town, Stellenbosch and in Gqeberha. As the EFF, we actively participated in the formulation of this Bill in the committee and public hearings nationwide, where we heard the pleas of our people demanding the restoration of their railway. Due to the lack of reliable and affordable public transport, people are compelled to rely on taxis. Some of these taxis aren’t even roadworthy.

Wages that should go to feeding families are instead spent on transportation, and as petrol prices rise, so do taxi fares, further burdening our citizens. The EFF stands as the only organisation with a credible transport plan in South Africa, the one that integrates road, rail and air transport to benefit both our people and the economy. Many concerns that were raised during the public hearings were not addressed in

the Bill. We highlighted these oversights during committee meetings, and it became apparent that there is no genuine intention to address the issues our people are facing.

We are conscious that the push for public transport reforms, especially in railways, is driven by the National Treasury’s privatisation agenda. The National Treasury’s Vulindlela programme indeed champions the privatisation of railway services. This very agenda underscores the need for railway safety reforms and the establishment of a regulator. Network operators, after all, will oversee the operations, construction and maintenance of the railways. The privatisation efforts are already evident with the commercialisation of Transnet ports and the harbours.

It is imperative that we that we reconstruct a railway system that isn’t solely focused on transporting minerals from inland mines to harbours or faring workers from townships. We envision a regional and continental integrated transport system. We must move beyond the confines of a neocolonial railway system. We envision high-speed trains connecting Johannesburg to Beitbridge and beyond, from Johannesburg to the coast of KwaZulu-Natal and from Johannesburg to Cape Town via Bloemfontein and Kimberley.

Such a system could not only ensure safety, but it also position railway as the most efficient mode of transport for our people. We as the EFF we have abstained on the Bill in the committee. I thank you, House Chairperson.

Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon Chairperson, the persistent neglect of railway safety regulation is a clear indication of a more profound issues in our country, a lack of concern for the wellbeing of our citizens. Additionally, the absence of legislation for railway safety permits and the national railway safety information and monitoring system, underscore the government’s slight notion to address critical matters.

The IFP repeatedly addressed this House, highlighting the deteriorating state of our railway infrastructure, including daily bridge collapses that endanger the lives of our citizens. It is essential to recognise that the failure in various government departments is unconnected and exacerbate each other. For instance, the improved mission individually as done by the government, often end up leaving railway tracks, jeopardising their safety and dignity.

This grim reality underscores the dehumanisation impact of poverty. In addition, to addressing the underlying

socioeconomic issues that push people to such desperate situations, I propose the recruitment and training of security personnel stationed at various railways around the clock. This measures not only ensures the passenger safety, but also contribute to combating the pervasive criminal activities that the citizens endure.

Imposing stricter penalties for those who damage public infrastructure, will better further acts of vandalism and crime against public property. This proposed Bill aligned with our party long-standing concerns, if amended and fully implemented, it will greatly benefit South Africans by ensuring diverse board representation, including individuals from railway industry, organised labour and communities.

Critically, it is established that criminal railway safety grades and safety management systems can hold operators accountable for not reporting a railway accident, potentially leading to their conviction for any offence. Now, let’s incorporate an additional information about railway safety.
Railway infrastructure maintenance, regular maintenance and inspection of railway infrastructure, including bridges, trucks and signing systems are crucial for preventing accidents and ensuring passenger safety.

Safety education and public awareness campaigns and safety education programme should be implemented to inform the public about the danger of trespassing on railway tracks and the importance of following safety regulations. For security measures, enhanced security measures such as surveillance cameras can determine vandalism, trespassing and other criminal activities along railways. Collaboration with communities, engaging with local communities to address their concerns and involve them in railway safety initiatives can help to build the environment.

In conclusion, hon Chairperson, I express my doubts about the actual implementation of this Bill provision, as I believe that the government lacks the essential qualities of leadership, merit and selflessness required to see it through. Sadly, it appears that our appeals will continue to fall on deaf ears. The IFP supports the Bill.

Mr S N SWART: Hon House Chairperson, the amendments to the Railway Safety Bill aim to enhance the regulatory framework governing railway safety in South Africa. It repeals the National Railway Safety Regulator Act, 2002. The Railway Safety Regulator overseas railway safety, as the name

suggests; conducts order to inspections; and investigates accidents and incidents related to the railways.

The Annual State of Safety Report unveils a disconcerting reality: A huge amount, 97% of security-related incidents are due to theft and vandalism, painting a grim scenario of a situation, which appears to be spiralling out of control.

The recent taxi strikes in the Western Cape in early August highlighted the potential of trains as a viable alternative source of transport for commuters. However, myriad issues, such as malfunctioning, signalling equipment, compromised infrastructure security, and damaged telecommunication cables have crippled its effectiveness. Recognizing this, the Railway Safety Regulator is doing its very best to address these challenges, and this Bill will go a long way, in our view, to enhance the railway safety and to improve governance and other issues, as set out in the Bill.

The amendments must also, however, be seen against severe challenges faced by other users of our railways, such as Transnet. The ACDP is deeply concerned at the continuing deterioration of Transnet’s infrastructure and performance, which, as we know, threatens the entire economy.

Now, we have had a discussion about Eskom, but the challenge at Transnet may eclipse that of Eskom, given that the economy is heavily reliant on efficient logistics, as 68% of the country’s GDP comes from imports and exports. It is conservatively estimated that the country is losing a staggering R1 billion a day from Transnet’s collapse. Now, it’s interesting, the Minister of Electricity referred to
R1 billion day being lost through Eskom, but Transnet is almost at the same level, and this does not include lost potential investment from local and international companies.

International companies do not want to invest if they know there is a risk that will be unable to export their products or transport them to the end consumer. Transnet’s collapse also results in additional strain being placed on the country’s road infrastructure.

The ACDP fully supports the road to rail projects, but mining companies and fruit exporters are turning to trucking to transport their goods. It is critical then that the crisis at Transnet is solved without delay, as it presents a great challenge to the country’s economy. The ACDP will support this Bill, as it goes a long way to improve railway safety. I thank you.

Mr B N HERRON: House Chair, South Africa used to have what was regarded as the best railway system in Africa, but this transport sector is now a shell of its former self.
Corruption, mismanagement and an organised crime syndicate targeting copper and scrap metals or materials are the root causes of the railway deterioration and why, for the most areas in the country, rail travel has earned the stigma of an unsafe and unreliable transport solution.

Today’s safety is the forefront of our modern rail projects, such as Gautrain and the newer ... [Inaudible.] ... trains in the Western Cape Metrorail system and rail transport is making a massive comeback globally, as a mode of public transport, with many countries with more advanced economies attempting to shift back to rail after an overreliance on air transport.
While this is a great solution to cut greenhouse gas emissions, this has never been the case, for South Africa’s flights are not a realistic form of transportation for the vast majority of our people.

The role of this new law is not only to boost safety of rail, but also to ensure a new standard for rail throughout the country. In addition, the new safety laws boost accountability in the sector with a new reporting system for injuries,

collisions and other breakdowns in the rail system. The key part of this is its ability to hold contractors and subcontractors accountable. This is a step in the right direction towards a future where corruption and poor services are far easier to spot and subsequently, report.

Rail is the future of this country and it will be vital if we are to address or offer a solution to those citizens who are disadvantaged by their geolocation, and improve their access to reliable and affordable transport. Once this gap is reduced, the economic impact of a safe and reliable railway system will be felt throughout our country, like never before. We will support the Bill. Thank you.

Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chairperson, yes, indeed, the NFP notes the report tabled here and that the committee has deliberated, had public hearings and we are quite satisfied that due processes have been followed. The NFP will support this Bill. Now, yes, I must admit that I think some of my colleagues are absolutely correct when they talk about an efficient rail system that we once enjoyed in this country. If you couple that with the damage that has been done to the road infrastructure, in the absence of an efficient railway system,

it is costing the country not only a lot of money, but costing the country a lot of lives.

Now, another thing, I think, we need to look very seriously into is: Is there a deliberate attempt in the country by anyone to destroy our railway system? I think it is something that we are going to have to look into very seriously in the future, because the levels of theft and vandalism and the threat that it poses, I think, must be taken more seriously. I mean, we have been having a lot of arrests, but still no end to the crisis of the problems we face.

Communities have moved onto the railway tracks, which is making it very difficult to roll this out country-wide. However, indeed, as the NFP, we believe that, if we have had an efficient railway system in the country, and given the high cost of travel, particularly by flights, I think, to a very large extent, it would motivate people to want to use the services. And now bus transport companies are taking advantage of that.

I think it is something that we must support. It is very progressive by nature. There is no doubt about it. The NFP is quite satisfied, having considered all the different points in

the report, that indeed, we are in good hands and we are supporting this. Thank you very much.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (M L D Ntombela): Hon Wessels, what is your point of order?

Mr W W WESSELS: Chairperson, it is not a point of order. My apologies, the hon Mey has re-established connectivity. Would you be so kind to allow him the opportunity. Thank you very much.

Mr P MEY: Hon Chairperson, I have a problem, so I am not going to use my video.


Die Wetsontwerp is ’n groot verbetering op vorige wetgewing.


Railway safety is concerned with the protection of life and property through regulation, management and technology development of all forms of rail transportation.


Die doel van die Railway Safety Bill is in die verbetering van algemene veiligheid binne die spoorweg omgewing, en om te verseker dat spoorvervoer weer ’n aantreklike opsie is en kan bydra tot die ekonomiese ontwikkeling. Spoorvrag staar ’n krisis van operasionele doeltreffendheid in die gesig, wat negatiewe gevolge op ons ekonomie het.

Die vermindering van spoorkapasiteit het Suid-Afrika verhoed om voordeel uit die huidige prysstygings van ons kommoditeite in Suid-Afrika te trek. In die verlede was die spoorweg verantwoordelik vir landbou en nywerheidsontwikkeling. Ons sit vandag egter met ’n omgekeerde probleem. Die landboubedryf en nywerhede groei, maar sukkel met die vervoer van hul produkte na en van hawens, omrede ons spoorstelsel so versleg het.

Die Wetsontwerp lê ook baie klem op opleiding, wat baie belangrik is. Daar word vereis dat goed opgeleide persone kritieke take uit moet kan voer, soos om in beheer te wees van ’n lokomotief, die veilige beweging van treine, installering van onderdele en veiligheid van persone, wat op die spoorlyne werk.

Openbare verhoor is in al nege provinsies gehou en is goed bygewoon deur die publiek. Die insette het ’n groot rol

gespeel en bygedra tot sekere wysigings in die wetsontwerp. Van die belangrikste insette is dat: oorgange nie veilig is nie en onbewaak gelaat word; kinders maklike toegang tot spoorlyne het, omrede daar nie behoorlike omheinings is nie en dikwels is dit noodlottig; treine vir ure op afgeleë plekke staan, weens kabeldiefstal; en geen water of kos beskikbaar is nie; massas mense tegelyke tyd die trein bestyg en sodoende vind beserings plaas; die stasies onder water is en die ablusieblokke buite werking is; al nege provinsies spesifiek verwys het na die veiligheid op stasies en treine.

In baie gevalle word passasiers op perronne of treine beroof. Misdadigers kom in groepe na die stasies en beroof passasiers van hul eiendom. Die publiek het nie genoegsame vertroue in sekuriteitsbeamptes nie en wil die terugkeer van die Suid- Afrikanse Spoorwegpolisie op treine en stasies sien.

Die vervalle spoorwegstasies moet herbou of opgeknap word, om trots onder passasiers te kweek. In baie gevalle is die stasies total afgebreek. Die verval van die spoorwegstelsel het daartoe bygedra dat padvervoer die rol van die spoorweë oorgeneem het.

’n Gebrek aan finansiering sal verhoed dat die spoorweë ten volle ’n funksionele entiteit word. In Suid-Afrika benodig ons veilige, betroubare en skoon treine. Dit kan slegs gebeur, indien Prasa veiligheidsmaatreëls streng toepas.

Die feit dat Transnet van mening verander het, en nie meer die privaatsektor as vennoot wil hê nie, beteken dat ons ekonomie verder gaan versleg. Die staat, op sy eie, kan nie die vervoerstelsel finansier nie.

Die Wetsontwerp kan ’n groot rol in die verbetering van ons vervoerstelsel speel, maar dan moet daar by die Wetsontwerp gehou en dit moet streng toegepas word. Dankie.


Vho M M RAMADWA: Muhulisei Mulangadzulo, kha vha ntendele ndi lumelise dzi Minisi?a na Vhafarisa Minisi?a vhane vha vha hone, vhahulisei Mira?o ya Buthano ?a Lushaka, lushaka lwa Afurika Tshipembe ndi a ni resha, ndi mathabama.


The ANC respect multiparty democracy. We believe that when we are in a portfolio committee working together working with all political parties, we are a team.


A hu na ?ihoro na ?ithihi ?ine ?a nga amba u ri ndi ?one ?o itaho u ri Mulayotibe hoyu u ne ra vha khawo u vhe hone.
Mahoro haya musi a tshi ?alela kha TV a ya tshintsha a shanduka a si ambe zwone a tshi itela u ?o?a u vhonwa nga vhathu. Lushaka, vha khou ni fhura a si zwone zwe ra pfana zwone. Ro to u shuma ro?he nga tshifhinga tshithihi.

Mushimbidza Mulangadzulo, ?amusi ri kho u amba nga Mulayotibe wa Tsireledzo kha Vhuendi ha Zwidimela. Vhunzhi ha mashango a ?ifhasi a na mulayo wa tsireledzo kha vhuendi ha zwidimela u itela u ri vha?ameli vha vhe vho tsireledzeaho. Ri?e sa shango ?a Afurika Tshipembe a ro ngo fhambana na ma?we mashango.
Vhuendi ha tshidimela ndi ha ndeme vhukuma kha shango ?ashu na hone vhu ?o vha ha ndeme vhukuma nga u ri hu khou vusuludzwa na u khwinifhadziwa na u vhu vheya kha nyimelo ya tshizwino zwino.


House Chair, the country has a rail safety record second to none in the world which should make all South Africans proud. This is based on the best international standards. The Rail Safety Bill brought before the House for second reading has been carefully processed and approved by the Portfolio

Committee on Transport and seeks to deepen and entrench in legislation this rail safety record.

The ANC support the Rail Safety Bill, but in supporting the Bill, it is imperative that the people of our country understand the necessity for this legislation while the country has had the Rail Safety Regulator since 2002. This Bill ensured that the Rail Safety Regulator can better operate at this current conjecture in the country.

South Africa has an integrated rail network for the transport of people, goods, freight and service. This means that, it is utilised for both commuters and freight. Over the past two years since the COVID-19 pandemic rail transport has made a recovery in terms of infrastructure development and improvement of service and this will further be based on the optimisation of rail operations in the future.

The ANC government policy is to ensure that working class and poor communities have access to an efficient and cheap railway public transport system. But it must be system-based on the highest safety standards which the Rail Safety Bill provides for.

It is also ANC government policy that the movement of goods and freight from road to rail will ensure greater efficiency intra-transporting goods and freight to reach the coast from inland markets for consumption or export. This is slightly due to the extraordinary amount of heavy duty trucks on the road, which has resulted in many road fatalities.

The ANC is a caring government of the people and no caring government can stand by and what members of the community being victims of the road accident due to the volume of heavy duty trucks on the road. Rail is a safer and cheaper alternative to transport people and goods. It is therefore, critical that the country has a single legislative and regulatory framework for rail safety.

The implementation of the new rail policy which is based on the White Paper on Rail envisages the optimisation of the railway operations in the country. This will entail a more efficient commuter rail and freight service. It is more critical now with the recovery of rail infrastructure and rail service in terms of freight and commuter rail that the Rail Safety Bill is enacted and that the Rail Safety Regulator can commence with the implementation of the legislation and it’s enabled through the Bill to enforce rail safety. The Bill

therefore, strengthen the role of the Rail Safety Regulator and creates appeal mechanism, which didn’t previously exist.

More importantly, the Bill seeks to protect communities residing near rail crossing to ensure that safety is adhered to and that there are no fatalities at such level crossings. Many rail corridors have been recovered and restored and many more will be opened in this financial year.

Increased operational tempo of the rail system in the country means that, the Rail Safety Regulator has its work cut out of it. However, it is important that the central line in the Western Cape is completely operational and the restoration of the rail service can be completed. A solution must be found for housing of people who are residing within the rail servitude. This is a rail safety hazard and we expect the Rail Safety Regulator to join the initiative to ensure that a solution is found for housing for those people.

Critical with the process of Rail Safety Bill are the objectives of the Bill to which, the Chair, has spoken in introducing the legislation and the committee report to the House for the second reading of the Bill. However, it is equally important to focus on the public participation

processes and amendment to the Bill as this has particularly relevance to the Rail Safety Regulator, the operators of the rail and the community.


Hezwi zwi kho u to u khwa?hisedza u ri hoyu Mulayotibe wa Tsireledzo ya Vhuendi ha Zwidimelani u ne ?amusi ri?e sa dzangano ?a ANC ra kho u tikedza a si komiti fhedzi yo itaho u ri u vhe hone. Na vhupfiwa ho no bva kha vhadzulapo he ra vha naho kha mavundu o?he a ?ahe ho ambiwa nga haya mafhungo a hoyu Mulayotibe. Ndi ngazwo ?amusi ri tshi kho u tea u ri ri tikedze hoyu Mulayotibe nga u ri a si wa komiti fhedzi.


Unlike the apartheid era, legislation in the democratic South Africa is also influenced and informed by public participation. Public participation informed many of the amendment of the Bill, and therefore, the Bill has the imprints and contains the views from the public participation process.

Hon House Chair, through the public participation process the Rail Safety Bill had amendment to the definition. The amendment to the Bill also ensure that, the Board of the Rail

Safety Regulator can function even through the inaction of the board member to act in the capacity of the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson. The Bill through the amendment provides for transparency in the work of the Rail Safety Regulator by providing for publication of notices linked to the Act in the government gazette, newspapers and or regulator website. This will heighten public awareness of the issues which the Rail Safety Regulator is dealing with and when members of the public should be commenting to ensure that the Rail Safety Regulator is sensitive in the issue of community concerning rail safety.

The Rail Safety Regulator in terms of the Bill must access process application from training institution and this is an important source of skilling people to ensure that they are employable in the sector. Given the ANC government emphasis on education and skilling of people to empower people to enter different professions provision has also been made as part of the amendment for allowing for institution that is at the time of commencement of the Act to continue providing training in critical grades of rail safety while they have three months to register with the Rail Safety Regulator. The Bill was innovative in allowing for the regulator to determines the levels at which participation in the sector and ensures that

communities affected by rail crossing can consult the regulator on ensuring proper safety standards. It also allows for industry expect both local and international to input specialist knowledge into the Rail Safety Regulator so that technically informed decision can be made.

The Bill through amendment request all operators involved in a railway occurrence to each conduct separate investigations of these incidents and furnishing such reports to the regulator. This is not optional but compulsory as the Bill allows for operators which intentionally or negligently failed to report railway occurrences to possibility be found guilty of an offence. This gives the Rail Safety Regulator the ability to act when necessary to enforce rail safety. The amendment was geared towards improving the overall effectiveness of the Bill and ensure that the Rail Safety Regulator can efficiently function based on the legislation before Parliament.

More importantly, communities-based near railway lines and infrastructure need to ensure that, it informs the Railway Safety Regulator of its needs and concern to ensure that people are able to cross rail lines safely and that signalling and level crossing are functional. Member of the community will also be eligible to serve on the board of Rail Safety

Regulator. The people and communities are more empowered by the Bill.

The opposition in the form of the DA needs to become more mature and constructive as they were aware that this was a Rail Safety Bill which encompasses different aspects that didn’t have any substantive issues insisted that it should be Rail Safety and Security Bill. It should have been obvious to the DA that security is a component of rail safety not just in South Africa but globally. What this means is that, when all operators submit their operation plans to the Rail Safety Regulator, security of infrastructure, assets and people will form part of a plan for receiving a safety permit. This form a party which has the little economics substance to offer the country except to build on minority fears.

Increased rail operations and activity in commuter and freight rail is to re-ensure greater access to public transport for communities. Improved freight rail is geared towards inclusive economic growth and job creation. Therefore, improved rail activity must be accompanied by rail safety. We are following best international practice in terms of rail safety. The ANC support the Rail Safety Bill. Thank you.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon members, it is of critical importance that we hear and understand what a member on the podium is saying. We are aware that the interpreters were not functioning properly but they are being attended to. I had very serious problems myself because I tried to listened to what the hon member was saying. Somewhere she was talking about Shaka Zulu, but ... [Laughter] ... I could not understand what that has to do with the Railway Safety Bill. So, I am just trying to emphasise the importance of making sure that interpreters are working so that we are able to participate, all of us, in the debate. Thank you very much.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: House Chairperson, I take this opportunity to appreciate and thank all hon members for their contribution, for their inputs into this success passage of this Bill. It’s truly appreciated, and I think the comments made by a couple of members were a demonstration that this is indeed a just straight forward technical Bill, which seeks to improve the level of rail safety.

So, I am sure that the House Chairperson would have taken note of hon Mabhena’s issues raised and I hope that they will take them at the appropriate forums. However, in terms of the Bill

itself, it is an executive Bill. It was introduced by the executive and it cannot be close to the truth that it was an initiative of my colleagues, Dr, hon Hungsinger, who has a lot of positive contribution, we must say. But we appreciate all the inputs of the colleagues.

It’s also clear and noted the issues that members have raised about the return of rail, which there is a lot of improvement in terms of rail services that are coming back and the issue of cable theft that, hon Mey, talked about, level crossings, all those things as the department, we have noted. We are taking serious appreciation of the issues you are raising and they are being addressed. And surely at the portfolio committee level, we will be able to account to yourselves as public reps as to what we are doing to all the areas that you have raised. Hon member, House Chair, thank you very much.

Motion agreed to (Economic Freedom Fighters dissenting).


Report accordingly adopted.



(Second Reading debate)

Debate concluded.


Bill read a second time.



Chair, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, I move that the report be adopted. Thank you.

There was no debate.


Motion agreed to.


Report accordingly adopted.



(Second Reading debate)


Chairperson, hon members, this debate marks an important milestone in our common battle against climate change. Today,

this House will complete the first stage in ensuring our country has a legal instrument to build resilience to the impacts of climate change and reduce emissions in a way that is appropriate to our national circumstances and development pathway.

The Sixth Report on the International Panel on Climate Change shows us that the world is already dangerously close to an
average temperature increase of 1,5 degrees above pre- industrial times.

We must move with speed to reduce carbon emissions to limit

the severity of climate change impacts. Simultaneously, we have to build and adapt and create resilience to the impacts
that will occur, even in a 1,5-degree world.


As you are well aware, South Africa is a signatory to the

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement.

The Climate Change Bill will enable the orderly reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of sectoral emission targets to guide us on our journey to the mid-century net-zero commitment in our National Development

Plan. The Bill will also ensure we reach our country's Nationally Determined Contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by assigning individual enterprises carbon budgets and facilitating public disclosure of our progress.

The Bill provide impetus for mainstreaming our climate and

disaster response by placing a legal obligation on every organ of state to coordinate and harmonise policies, plans, and
programmes, to make sure climate change risks and associated vulnerabilities are acted upon by national, provincial and
local government.

Because sub national governments already face financial shortfalls, the Bill provides mechanisms for national
government to provide additional support. Already the

department has mobilised finances to assist municipalities to prepare climate response strategies.

We know climate change impacts will hit the most vulnerable

communities first, and will hit them the hardest. A key part of building climate resilience is to set up "early-warning" systems so that communities can prepare for disasters before they happen. According to the Global Commission on Adaptation,

knowing that a natural disaster will occur 24 hours in advance can reduce damage by 30%.

Our department and the SA Weather Service currently provide regular weather updates and we have technology that can give
South African communities advance warning of extreme weather

events. Our fundraising efforts aim to improve existing infrastructure and replace out-dated and dysfunctional


Responding to climate change is not the responsibility of government alone. Every aspect of society and the economy will
be impacted upon and consequently the government will formally establish the Presidential Climate Commission as a statutory
body to mobilise communities, organised labour, business and

civil society to represent a whole of society response to future challenges.

Hon members, last month African leaders adopted the Nairobi

Declaration on Climate Change and Call to Action, which recognises that decarbonising the global economy is an opportunity to contribute to shared prosperity on our continent.

In support of this vision, President Ramaphosa, at the United Nations Climate Summit, called on developed countries to meet the need for new, predictable public finance to support climate change adaptation and build resilience to loss and damage in developing countries so that no country has to
choose between development aspirations and climate change.


With abundant solar and wind resources, and significant

reserves of critical minerals, South Africa is positioning itself to be a leader in renewable energy, green hydrogen and
sustainable industrialisation.

The Just Transition Framework developed by the Presidential Climate Commission aims to ensure that climate actions adhere
to principles of procedural, restorative and distributive

justice. Consequently, as our country develops our vision of a Just Transition to a low carbon economy and climate resilient
society, we will ensure it is sustainable, inclusive, comprehensive and leaves no one behind. I thank you.

Mr P M P MODISE: House Chairperson, good afternoon. Minister, and Deputy Ministers, fellow South Africans, we gather here today to address a critical issue that stands at the intersection of environmental stewardship and effective

governance. The impact of climate change transcends the boundaries of our traditional sectoral governance approaches, and it necessitates a nationally driven, co-ordinated, and co- operative legal and administrative response. South Africa is no stranger to the profound impacts of climate change from prolonged drought affecting our agricultural productivity to extreme weather events affecting our communities.

Recognizing the need for a comprehensive Response to Climate Change Bill was introduced in Parliament in February 2022.
This Bill represents a significant step forward in shaping the legal framework to address climate change in our country.
Since its introduction to Parliament, this Bill has undergone an open, robust, and participatory process. The public hearings provided a platform for South Africans from all walks of life, from experts, civil society, businesses, and communities, to voice their concerns, share their experiences and contribute to the formation of a comprehensive response to climate change, and these insights are highly appreciated. It is within this context and against this backdrop of public hearings and extensive deliberations that we discuss the unique challenges and critical opportunities that climate change presents to our government systems.

As we move forward, we must appreciate the effective management of the inevitable impacts of climate change. Through the inputs of those who spoke in the public hearings, we have learnt about the pressing need to improve adaptive capacity. It is not enough to merely react to climate change. We must prepare and adapt to it proactively. In doing so, we must build resilience within our communities, within our systems and our economies. Our response strategy also encompasses strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change. South Africa’s diverse climate landscape and communities require targeted policies and actions to ensure that no one is left behind. To achieve this, we must bolster our infrastructure and invest in our people, ensuring that every South African can thrive in the face of climate change.

In the context of South Africa’s economic realities, we must also guarantee a fair transition towards a low carbon economy in society. It is a path that seeks to balance our economic growth and development in the imperative to reduce carbon emissions. During the public hearings we had diverse perspectives on how best to achieve this balance, recognizing that our regions, our sectors, and communities have varying needs and strength.

Let us also remember that South Africa carries international responsibilities and commitments on climate change. These obligations go hand in hand with our duty to our citizens as the steps we take to mitigate climate change also impacts on our international standing and relationships. Ensuring our compliance with these commitments is important, but it must be rooted in a nationally driven, co-ordinated, and co-operative approach.

We cannot ignore the ethical dimensions of our response. Our environmental stewardship extends beyond our borders and into the future. We are the custodians of this planet and entrusted with its care for current and future generations. Our actions today will resonate throughout the lives of our children, our grandchildren and beyond. Through Climate Change Bill we are working to fulfil this ethical obligation. As we navigate these challenges, it is important to acknowledge that addressing climate change comes with a cost. There are financial, social, and environmental costs. These are not insignificant, but they pale in comparison to the cost of inaction. The investment we make today, whether in terms of resources or effort, will safeguard our future economically, environmentally and in terms of the human wellbeing.

The journey to address climate change has been a participatory and an inclusive one, enriched by the voices of South Africans from all walks of life. The introduction of Climate Change Bill and the public hearings have marked significant steps forward in shaping a comprehensive response to climate change. But let us be reminded that the journey is far from over. The Bill still needs to proceed to the National Council of Provinces before it reaches the President’s desk. It is within this context that I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate the diligence and hard work of all members of the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and Environment.
For our committee, the path ahead involves continued work on service delivery and following up on the recommendations for Parliament. This includes improving parliamentary systems, enhancing public consultations, strengthening communications, initiating meaningful education and awareness programmes, and enforcing environmental legislation, amongst other priorities. With the same level of dedication and collaboration demonstrated thus far, we can overcome environmental challenges and realize our vision for a sustainable and resilient future. On behalf of the portfolio committee, we recommend that this House adopts the Climate Change Bill report of 2022. I thank you.

Ms A M M WEBER: House Chairperson, President Ramaphosa and his Cabinet started very bravely addressing climate change by approved climate actions, a Presidential Climate Commission, SA Low Emissions Development Strategy, a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, carbon tax and just transition.
This is only a tick-box exercise like everything else, it is talked about and put on paper, and then a big nothing, no execution, and no enforcement. Continuing to turn a blind eye to the atrocious lack of enforcement is unforgivable. No fines or jail sentences to Sasol and Eskom for not adhering to the minimum emissions and continuously put the health of their workers and others at risk due to the air pollution. The continuous extension granted to Sasol and Eskom to adhere to the minimum emissions is unacceptable. Obviously, the government is not taking air pollution seriously. No consequences to mines. There is still acid mine drainage into our waterways that literally destroy the biodiversity that is so needed to balance the greenhouse effect. No consequences to industries pouring their toxic waste into our water. Illegal cutting of trees has a serious impact on the balance of the greenhouse effect. Trees needed to be replaced.

Moving the responsibility of climate change to the local municipalities is a matter of great concern with the history

of the ANC and the mismanagement of local municipalities, which are mostly bankrupt or under administration, only one can wonder. There is no money in local municipalities for this new mandate being added to their responsibilities and the promise of raising money through donations is concerning, as we know that financial discipline is not a hallmark of local government. It does work in the Western Cape as the DA governs responsibly.

The solution to climate change is not just a Bill on paper, but the execution of your promises to renewable energy, better forestry management and sustainable agriculture, and adhering to the treaties that were signed, as well as ensuring enforcement. Climate change cannot be addressed on paper unless climate change becomes climate action. Thank you.

Mr N M PAULSEN: Thank you, Chairperson. Chairperson, those who are most vulnerable socio economically, bear the brunt of the impact of extreme weather patterns as witnessed in KwaZulu- Natal in 2022, and again more recently, buried in mudslides, drowning in floods. Yet, they are part of a continent that is home to 18% of the world population but contributes a mere 4% to the global emissions that leads to climate change.

The EFF agrees that South Africa needs to develop policies that will ensure that we respond effectively to mitigate climate change disasters in a manner that will lessen the impact on our citizens. But this government has failed to use the available mechanisms already in place. Given the inevitability of these climate induced disasters, we need to have effective adaptation measures to climate change. These include improving our capacity to foresee disasters and climate fluctuations and developing measures to adapt to these. The ANC can’t even keep the weather monitor functioning. We do not believe that this current ANC-led government possesses the wherewithal to respond adequately in the event of climate disasters to drive South Africa’s transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy that will enhance the country’s ability and capacity over time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and Environment was under pressure to finalise this Bill from a condensed public hearing scheduled to finalise the wording of the Bill. The incentive to finalise this Bill as fast as possible was the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan, where the funding commitment was increased from 8,5 billion US dollars to
11,8 billion dollars. The Just Energy Transition Investment

Plan gives effect to the Just Energy Transition Partnership signed at Cop26 in Glasgow, Scotland, two years ago.

Wealthy developed nations are pledging 11,8 billion dollars for South Africa to transition from coal-based energy generation to renewable energy. Wealthy nations have developed their economies using coal to the detriment of the environments. Developing nations now have to bear the brunt of that advancement and are told that they need to transition from carbon-based energy sources to renewable energy sources.

According to the Just Transition Framework released by the Presidential Climate Commission in June 2022, South Africa will reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by two 2050. We are concerned that the Climate Commission is centralising the Presidency from the process of appointment to the determination of functions, potentially giving the Presidential Climate Commission super ministerial powers to dictate to other Ministers. We need to ask why the developed world - which is largely responsible for the climate crisis we are facing - is so invested in dictating South Africa’s development choices. South Africa is part of a continent that merely contribute 4% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, and yet South Africa - with the rest of the continent - are

being corralled to pay the highest price for the west development choices over the past few centuries.

Fortunately, 2024 elections are around the corner, and we can assure South Africans that an EFF-led government will ensure that our wealth and natural resources is used in a climate friendly way to create jobs and livelihoods. The EFF-led government will officially adopt the civil society driven One Million Climate Jobs Initiative as a government programme.
Through this initiative, the EFF government will create

1 million jobs aimed at transitioning South Africa from coal- based energy sources to renewable energy. These 1 million jobs will have to meet certain criteria. Decent jobs that are safe economically development that is driven primarily by people and not profits. An EFF-led government will be actively involved in creating jobs that address climate change, employing and training new climate workers and retraining workers where necessary.

Workers must be given opportunities for retraining and re- employment in new climate friendly sectors. A just transition means prioritising the needs of working people in the social and economic disruptions that this transition will involve. An EFF government will ensure that development of these

industries do not become an excuse for lowering wages and social benefits and that these new jobs provide opportunities to redress gender imbalances in employment and in skills.

We urge all South Africans who have witnessed the failure of the ANC government in dealing with climate disasters when the poor and vulnerable are affected, to register to vote for the only party that represents the poor and the vulnerable. The EFF does not support this Bill. Thank you very much.

Mr N SINGH: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson. Hon Chairperson, in the interest of future generations, our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, it is incumbent upon all of us to support this move and support this Climate Change Bill as a stepping stone to ensure that we leave a universe for them when we depart from this earth.

Climate change and its impact is an issue of utmost importance. This topic has been at the forefront of our legislative agenda for the past 12 years, when a White Paper highlighted our climate change challenges and the responses thereto. Today, we deliberate on legislation that has emerged, as we’ve heard from the Chairperson, from a thorough and inclusive public consultation process. And I want to express

my sincere gratitude to the countless individuals and organisations who contributed to the development of this legislation after it was given to us by the Minister. Their dedication and expertise have shaped the Bill we have before us today and as a committee it is incumbent upon us to acknowledge their input.

While the core climate change issues remain unchanged, we have shifted towards implementing this legislation. To this end, we must ensure that all levels of government, mainly provincial and local, possess the necessary capacity to monitor and execute the interventions required to prevent possible future catastrophic events stemming from climate change. This remains a serious concern for us as the IFP as we move forward.
Another issue that I wish to raise is that funds must follow functions and government must provide this House with the necessary assurances that this will be the case. We must allocate appropriate resources, otherwise this legislation will be nothing more than empty words on glossy paper.

Another significant aspect of this legislation is the establishment of a Presidential Climate Commission. While the IFP initially had reservations about this provision, we have been assured by the Minister that there will be co-ordination

and co-operation between the department and the Presidential Commission. The commission will serve in an advisory capacity, ensuring that ultimate responsibility lies with the department. We support this approach and trust that it will lead to effective climate action, for we do not want a case of the tail wagging the dog.

In our pursuit to combat climate change, engaging and empowering our youth is critical. I am pleased to share that I visited - during the public hearings - and sought feedback from a group of young high school students, about 150 of them, at the Durban ... [Inaudible.] ... college, representing a number of schools in the area. Their input provided valuable insight into their concerns and aspirations regarding climate change. We must encourage more activism and involvement from our youth, for they are the future generations as framed in section 24 of the Constitution.

It is also essential to address the underlying issues of greed that often fuels environmental degradation. We witnessed a relentless desire to develop every piece of land and produce energy without considering the long-term consequences. This profit above all mindset, disregards the significant environmental impacts and is often overlooked by officials. It

is imperative that we put a stop to this destructive behaviour. We need robust legislation.

Hon Chairperson and Minister, I don’t think we need again to find that Kusile Power Station or any power station is allowed to exceed their emission standards because it impacts on communities in the area. We have to strike a balance between emissions and what is needed by the country. But in conclusion, let us end the greed and short-sightedness that have plagued us for too long, and I believe that together we can create a brighter and more sustainable future. Thank you. We will support this Bill. Thank you, Chair.

Ms T BREEDT: Thank you, House Chairperson. House Chairperson, this Bill can be looked at from both sides of the climate change debate. On the one hand, you might see it as an unnecessary burden on already challenging circumstances for businesses. And on the other, you can say that not enough is still being done to address the ever-increasing climate challenge countries are faced with. However, what all will most certainly agree on is that this Bill is quite underwhelming. A poor compromise, if you will.

Although the primary objectives of the Bill are to facilitate the creation of an effective response to climate change and a long-term equitable transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy and society in South Africa within the context of sustainable development, one must ask how achievable such objectives are. It is once again a piece of legislation that is reactive and almost tries to undo what has already been done, instead of also being proactive and taking steps to ensure that risks are decreased in future.

Questions that should also be asked, as with most other Bills, are questions around the implementation thereof and whether what is entailed in the Bill its strategies and plans are practically feasible. Financial viability is also a matter that needs to be addressed because, let’s face it, the fiscus has run out of money and has none to spare. The sad truth is that issues of the environment often pull the shortest straw where matters of finance and resources are concerned. Whether there will also be the necessary political will, remains to be seen.

This Bill has the potential to be just another Bill that was introduced to create the illusion that we as a country are taking action ...

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Breedt!


Ms T BREEDT: Yes, Chair.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Just a minute, sorry. Hon members, could you please reduce your noise levels? Thank you. You can continue, hon Breedt.

Ms T BREEDT: Thanks, Chair. This Bill has the potential to be just another Bill that was introduced to create the illusion that we are a country of action that is addressing greenhouse emissions and are trying to decrease our carbon footprint.
This worry is further highlighted by the formalising into law of the Presidential Climate Commission. The history of Presidential Commissions is dark. They all seem to fail dismally in their tasks and become a bottomless pit that create hope for a short while before they are ultimately doomed. We don’t need more empty promises.

Me T BREEDT: ‘n Realiteit in Suid-Afrika is dat ons ongekende klimaatsomstandighede ervaar wat onder meer buitengewone, meerjarige droogtes en meer gereelde, ekstreme vloede tot gevolg het. Die studies is duidelik dat hierdie veranderende

weerspatrone as gevolg van kweekhuisgasse is wat in die atmosfeer vasgevang word. Dit is duidelik dat daar verandering moet kom. Ek glo daar bestaan eerder verskillende menings oor hoe dit gedoen gaan word eerder as of dit gedoen behoort te word.

Suid-Afrikaners is nog altyd praktiese mense en soos hulle sê, ‘n boer maak ‘n plan. Sou ons dus nie eerder Suid-Afrikaners wil aanmoedig om buite die boks te dink en om ook oplossings te help bied vir die probleem eerder as om van die staat afhanklik vir oplossings te wees nie?

Wat in ag geneem moet word is dat wanneer aanmoedigings gemaak word die mens beter reageer as wanneer goed bloot net verbied word. Die vraag onstaan dus of dit nie ook in hierdie debat die geval sou gewees het nie. Moet daar nie eerder aanmoedigings in die wetsontwerp vervat word om besighede en persone aan te moedig om ‘n kleiner koolstofvoetspoor na te streef en te handhaaf nie?

Maar ek sluit af. Die wetsontwerp is ‘n halfgebakte poging van die regering om almal gelukkig te probeer hou en om die indruk te wek dat hy optree. Die vermindering van Suid-Afrika se koolstofvoetspoor gaan nie alleenlik deur die regering teweeg

gebring word nie, maar deur die kollektief van Suid-Afrika. Ek dank u.

Mr W M THRING: Hon House Chairperson, the ACDP notes that this Bill seeks to develop an effective climate change response and a long-term just transition to a low-carbon economy. The ACDP commits to reducing harmful toxins and gasses, to restoring our ecosystems, air and waterways that have been contaminated by pollutants. We commit to protecting our endangered wildlife, flora and fauna, because we understand that this is our inalienable mandate, as custodians of our planet.

What the ACDP will not commit to, is the hypocrisy that the ruling party seems blind to. Much of the pressure to develop legislation regarding greenhouse gas emissions, GHG emissions, comes from the developed world, who during their period of industrialisation paid scant regard to our environment and still continue to emit the lion’s share of pollutants. Now they seek to negate the industrialisation of developing nations by weaponising the climate through legislation.

The European Union, as an example, will introduce a carbon border adjustment mechanism, a carbon border tax on embedded greenhouse gas emissions of carbon-intensive products imported

into the EU. Simultaneously, they ask South Africa to shut down coal-powered electricity stations, while hypocritically importing coal from South Africa, at a rate of some 720% increase, recently. Eight and a half billion rand was pledged for the just energy transition in South Africa.

To please the musters that pull the finance strings, the ruling party has decommissioned the Komati Coal-fired Power Station - one of the most stable and efficient electricity power stations in South Africa! And that, during loadshedding! The USA has 220 coal-fired power stations. India has 285.
China has 3 092 coal-fired power plants and has built two coal-fired power stations per week, last year. South Africa has 14 coal-fired power stations, an energy crisis, high unemployment, poverty and inequality.

This Bill gives the Minister almost unfettered power to, among others, make regulations in relation to the management of climate change. We must never succumb to the pressure from the unelected global elites like the WEF, who threaten another lockdown, using climate change as a pretext. The ACDP calls on this House to place South Africans and our economy first. We must have a balanced energy mix, using our abundant coal and fossil fuels, for the benefit of the unemployed and indigent

among us, and do so responsibly, using clean coal technology. I thank you.

Mr B N HERRON: Thank you, House Chair. The climate change issue is a generational justice issue, and the Climate Change Bill is a commitment to the next generation of South Africans. The rapidly changing climate was once again revealed to us during the KwaZulu=Natal flooding last year, and most recently, on the African continent, we were rocked through the tragic loss of 2 900 Moroccan citizens due to catastrophic earthquakes.

These are not isolated incidents, but rather a small taste of the future once you factor in our country's challenges with rainfall, droughts, violent storms and rising heat. The seriousness of climate change cannot be underestimated or ignored, as science and research has already substantiated that the world cannot continue its current pace should we want human life and our environment to be sustainable.

The Climate Change Bill is a commitment to preventing a catastrophic future and ensuring that our country is not only able to protect human lives, but also that our government is

fulfilling its role in protecting state assets, the economy and the livelihoods from climate disasters.

We want to acknowledge the 5 600 people from all over the country who gave feedback and added their input into this Bill. This indicates that climate change is not a fringe issue, but will impact every single South African. The Bill places a heavy emphasis on transparency and clear communication between government and the public.

This is an important and welcomed aspect, as we have already seen in prior cases where environmental concerns have been hidden from the public. Through the establishment of the Just Energy Transition Partnership, it is clear that many in the world have their eyes on our nation and on our commitment to cutting carbon emissions. We must do everything that we can in order to meet our climate goals for 2030. We will support this Bill. Thank you.

Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you very much, Chairperson. The NFP notes the report and will support the Bill tabled here.
However, I want to talk about the irony of what we are discussing and debating today. We are talking about protection

of human life. We are raising concerns because of climate change and how it affects humanity and human beings.

But, let us look at the state of Palestine right now. After the barbaric Zionist Israel bombs Palestine, they blocked the entrances so that no food, no water, no electricity and nothing can be provided. How barbaric can that be? This is when we talk about humanity.

On the one hand, we are talking about protecting human life; whilst on the other hand, right in full view of us, there is the Zionist state of Israel in its unlawful occupation, committing atrocities to such an extent that it has catastrophic consequences for the lives of innocent people. The only mistake they make is they want their land back.

Let me come back now to the issue of this climate change. Many occasions, I have raised in this particular House, the plight of the people in Merewent, Austerville, Lamontville, Jacobs and those areas that were affected by climate change, particularly by the high levels of emissions.

I think I must agree with my colleague that spoke a short while ago. We seem to be paying a lot of attention to these

high levels of emission and carbon, raising concerns about our coal-fired power stations. Yet, nobody is talking about those countries that are putting pressure on us, like the United States, France, Germany, who are building more and more, commissioning more, and in no hurry whatsoever to deal with this.

Well, China is building coal-fired power stations every week, but nobody is raising concerns about that. So, is this what it is really about? Global warming? Is this what it is about? Is it protecting the lives of innocent people, or is this some selfish ideals of some countries somewhere in the world?

We cannot run away from the fact. Yes, climate change is having an effect. There is no doubt about more earthquakes. You can see what is happening on the coastlines all over - earthquakes! We have got so much that is going on, but I think we also need to look deeper into this and not fall into a trap, particularly with countries who have got a hidden agenda. I think already you see that there has to be a need for the better.

The NFP will however support any initiative that will protect lives. I hope we could be consistent with this. Let us also

protect the lives of our Palestinian brothers and sister. Let me thank the ANC-led government. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for the role that you are playing in protecting the lives of ordinary Palestinians. Thank you.

Ms H S WINKLER: House Chair, last year, in one of the worst floods of the century, a deluge was unleashed on KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. Four hundred and fifty-nine people died,
12 000 houses were destroyed and 40 000 people were forced from their homes. As southern Africa braces for possible 4? temperature increase, these catastrophes may become our reality.

Herein, lies the gravity of our national Climate Change Bill. This isn’t just another piece of legislation; this is a lifeline. There are, however, insidious unnatural forces at play, which stand to undermine our country’s climate change response. South Africa is the 14th largest emitter of carbon dioxide. This bleak reality is further marred by the revelations of mafia-like syndicates operating inside Eskom, allegedly involving top agency politicians willing to commit the gravest of crimes to sustain the coal industry and stifle our shift to renewable energy.

The Just Energy Transition Partnership, however, provides hope, not only availing a route to net-0 carbon emissions by 2050, but highlighting our immense potential in wind and solar energy. We face stark choices. We must either decarbonise or risk being ostracised from international trade and suffer imaginable job losses. What this is going to boil down to is financing, good governance and political will.

Minister Creecy, your greatest adversaries sit on your own ANC benches. Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, proudly and brazenly wears the badge of fossil fuel dinosaur, obstructing our path to green energy. The question remains: Will you find the courage to stand up to the forces within your own party, which seek not only to undermine the Climate Change Bill, but the people of South Africa? I thank you.

Ms S G N MBATHA: Hon Chair, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, Members of Parliament, fellow South Africans, I greet you all in the name of climate change. The South African Cabinet approved major environmental initiatives such as the establishment of the Presidential Climate Commission, South Africa’s Low Emission Development Strategy 2050, the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, a Carbon Tax Act and a Just Transition Framework.

The National Development Plan, NDP, is a long-term development strategy that aims to lead and outline all policy and planning in the country through 2030. Chapter 5 of the NDP aims to ensure that South Africa transitions to an environmentally sustainable climate resilient, low carbon economy and equitable society by 2030.

The Bill intends to integrate the work of all three spheres of government in responding to climate change. It gives local government a broader responsibility when it comes to planning for climate change and reacting to local concerns. This will enable the revolution of the legal framework, the rapid deployment of renewable energy solutions across the country and the growing importance of the national debate on the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan, creating an ideal opportunity for South Africa, to strengthen vertical and horizontal co-ordination and co-operation of unions and civil society for effective climate change response.

Currently, municipalities are not the most common beneficiaries of climate finance funds. However, the government is currently working on a national climate change finance strategy mandated by the Climate Change Response White Paper. The strategy focuses on attracting international

funding and investment and clearly outlines the allocation of resources to support climate change.

There are already some structures in place to facilitate access to climate change funds. The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, DFFE, established the National Green Fund, which is administered by the Development Bank of South Africa, DPSA. This is done to aid in the transition to a low-carbon resource-efficient and climate-resilient development path that provides high-impact economic, environmental and social benefits. The DPSA will be in a position to provide financial assistance through grants loans and equity partnership agreements for green cities, and towns. A low carbon economy, environmental and natural resource management and other related projects will be covered by the DPSA.

The Bill further seeks to strengthen the National Climate Change Information System, NCCIS, by encouraging local, provincial and national governments to use the NCCIS tool. Circulating climate information across government is critical in ensuring vertical integration of climate change.

The National Climate Finance Strategy should investigate measures to make climate finance more accessible to local governments and to strengthen their capacity to absorb funds once they are mobilised. The Bill further encourages the adoption of the guidelines for a Just Energy Transition. The National Planning Commission’s suggestions include a greater role for civil organisations in the governance of South Africa’s equity energy transition and investigate new roles for South African municipalities in the National Energy Transition Roadmap.

The energy environment is changing, and local governments are increasingly questioning the current approach. Alternative business models have emerged around the world that could help South Africa with its energy transition. The ANC supports this Bill. Thank you.

Mr D W BRYANT: Chairperson, as a developing country, climate change poses a significant threat to our stability and our prosperity. But so does the economic catastrophe that would result from an overzealous rush to shut down coal-fired power stations too soon. Seventy per cent of South Africa’s electricity currently comes from coal. We have entire towns built around the coal industry, but more than that, our energy

security is, whether we like it or not, still heavily dependent on coal. That is why it is so important that we set out clearly how we will transition in a way that is both urgent and sensible.

This is not merely a matter of acquiescing to international pressure. And while we support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, South Africans should not be lectured by other countries, many of which have failed to implement the goals that they have set for themselves. We are a sovereign country and as such, are empowered to chart our transition. And at the heart of this must be the diversification of our energy mix.

Solar energy, once pandered by sceptics for being too expensive, is now the cheapest form of energy available on the market. Forward-thinking governments such as the DA-led Western Cape have already begun taking ground-breaking steps to empower the private sector as well as regular homeowners to help roll out the most ambitious rooftop solar programme in the country.

This government must end its Marxist romance with the public ownership of industry and do all it can as quickly as possible

to cut red tape and open up more opportunities for the private sector to invest in and grow green projects and green jobs across the country.

In the midst of escalating global insecurity, it has never been more important to be able to generate green energy to protect us from the weaponization of resources as we have seen in the Russia-Ukraine war and the Middle East. As a country rich in natural and renewable resources, we need to get back on the path to energy independence. But we won’t achieve that if we do not open up as much space as possible for private investments.

So, what then should the role of government be? For a start setting out clear policy and legislation that helps guide the market and this Bill is a good start. The government should also be doing all it can to help build and support the new industries arising out of the transition towards green energy. We will also need to put urgent and demonstrable plans in place to avoid the tens of billions of rands of exports being jeopardised when the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism comes into play.

Whether this Bill succeeds in achieving what it sets out to do will rest heavily on two things which thus far have proven to be elusive for this government. Firstly, a coherent and consistent position on climate change and renewable energy. It doesn’t help to have one Minister spouting conspiracy theories about the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, being behind climate change, while others are attempting to show the rest of the world that we are serious about tackling the issue.
Secondly, as my colleagues mentioned, ensuring that our local and provincial governments are adequately capacitated to drive the climate change response will pose a huge challenge in many areas.

This Bill is certainly not perfect, but it is an important step towards addressing one of the most significant challenges facing the world today, and I would like to thank fellow members of the committee for their hard work on the Bill and the Minister for agreeing to some of the amendments that were made by the DA. The DA supports this Bill. Thank you.

Ms N GANTSHO: Hon Chair and hon members, greetings to Minister and Deputy Minister. Hon Chair, science has made great progress in understanding climate change and its causes. It is now contributing to a firm understanding of the current and

potential consequences that will affect humans today and in the future. This Bill supports and encourages measures that will greatly strengthen the body of reliable evidence based on numerous research outputs that climate is changing and that these changes are being caused in large part by human activities.

Hon Chair, as people become more aware that climate change is occurring and pose serious threats to human, social and environmental systems, there is a growing body of knowledge about technologies and policies that can be used to limit the magnitude of future climate change. A smaller but growing understanding of steps that can be taken to adapt to climate change and a growing recognition that climate change will need to be considered in actions and decisions across the wide range of sectors. The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, in partnership with the Department of Research and Innovation, is already addressing these issues of responding to climate changes and the need to reduce emissions.

The climate change related research and technology development investment should sustain and progress towards the rolling plan and should be closely monitored. According to reports

from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the effects of global warming will be felt extremely in Africa as we are we are feeling it now. These effects include strong storms along the coast and more frequent and intense fires and floods like those that we have experienced in many coastal areas. To foster resilience throughout society, the nation’s national adaptation strategy emphasizes the necessity of integrating climate adaptation measures into planning and budgetary processes.

Therefore, hon Chair the adoption of this Bill is important in responding ahead of the anticipated climate change, and it is not true that responding to a critical issue such as climate change with a legislative framework which does not overlap in any other legislative framework will risk the government’s ability to be able to effectively respond to natural disasters. In fact, it will compel the government to follow the legislative framework in addressing the climate change related issues.

This Bill hon members, is also raising awareness and hence comprehension of the consequences of climate change that will allow for behavioural change as well as social support for the activities required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It can

also help communities to adopt mitigation and adaptation measures that will lessen their vulnerability in climate change. The reaction to climate change presents a chance to examine how we may collaborate to more effectively and global threats of climate change. This Bill will further enhance measures to improve energy efficiency, low carbon and noncarbon technologies, carbon reduction technologies and carbon capture and storage technologies.

Technological innovation will be necessary but not sufficient. Therefore, managerial and institutional reforms are expected to be even more important in dealing with climate changes, multiple and unanticipated effects. In conclusion, hon Chairperson, the ANC seeks social reform in contemporary context to free our society from poverty and inequality for the benefit of the current and future generations by protecting and preserving the environment and its riches to continue sustaining generations to come.

Hon Chair, before I sit down, I just want to address my fellow members, colleagues, hon Weber, your plan works in the Western Cape because it only serves a minority whilst the majority of our people are suffering here in Western Cape, if I may say.
Hon Paulsen, no maan, this is not the time for cheap political

grandstanding. We are dealing with a very serious matter that is affecting our people in South Africa negatively and you are busy campaigning. This is not the time for campaigning.


Siya kudibana elonyulweni. Alikafiki ithuba lokuzilungiselela kwiphulo lolonyulo ngoku.

Thank you, Chair.



Chair, let me begin by thanking all the hon members who have participated in this debate today. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the 505 000 people and organizations who participated in the public hearings on this Bill and shaped the product that we will adopt this afternoon. Let me thank the portfolio committee for steering this process with so much dedication and professionalism. Science tells us that climate change is real and a threat to our collective future.
Developmental economics tells us that the climate transition will only succeed if we can address the triple conundrum of energy security, energy access and environmental sustainability.

This government’s commitment to fundamental socioeconomic transformation demands that the climate transition must be just. Just, for the global South in relation to the global north, just for future generations, just for those who are most vulnerable and living in poverty. It must create new local industries that offer new forms of ownership and prosperity, and, above all, it must create new jobs. I thank you.

Question put.

Agreed to.


Bill read a second time (EFF and ACDP dissenting).


Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and Environment on Climate Change Bill.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): The Bill will be sent to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

The House adjourned at: 17:16.