Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 26 Oct 2023


No summary available.




The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto) took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.



House Chairperson Ms M G Boroto announced that the vacancy which occurred in the National Assembly owing to the resignation of Mrs N I Tarabella-Marchesi had been filled by the nomination of Ms T Halse with effect from 23 October 2023. The member had made and subscribed the oath in the Speaker’s office.


There was no debate.

moved: That the Report be adopted.


Motion agreed to (Democratic Alliance dissenting).


Report accordingly adopted.



(Second Reading debate)

The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY: Hon House Chairperson, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr Luzipo, hon members of the House, the consideration of the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill for adoption by this august House marks a significant milestone in the performance of the Sixth Administration.

There is no doubt that the petroleum sector had been overshadowed by other sectors and mining in particular hence it was necessary to rethink the governance and regulation to ensure predictable and stable legislation and regulation. At the centre of this process was to separate the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act to allow each sector to have its legislation. We are convinced that the adoption of this Bill will take a step closer to ensuring policy and regulatory certainty in the upstream petroleum industry. With an estimated 27 billion barrels and a trillion cubic feet of prospective oil and gas resources on the South, West and East coasts, exploration and exploitation of these resources can boost South Africa's GDP by up to 8% from our estimation and help us eradicate poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The discovery of gas in the Free State, Mpumalanga and off the Southern coast, in addition to the discovery of oil in Namibia, are proving to be a game changer and give us hope that the people of South Africa and Africa at large will soon benefit from the endowment. Another important aspect of this Bill is the creation of a conducive environment for historically disadvantaged persons, Africans in particular and blacks in general, to meaningfully participate in the economy in line with the Constitution which commands us to redress the past imbalances and ensure that all South Africans share in the country's wealth.

A key intervention aimed at ensuring that the country benefits from the development of the petroleum sector is the provision for a ... [Inaudible.] ... 20% carried interest and a further 10% minimum black persons’ participation in the petroleum ... [Inaudible.] Notwithstanding a concern raised by some regarding the state custodianship of mineral resources, this provision is essential because it will allow the state to optimally manage the development of the petroleum resources sector for the benefit of the people of South Africa.

Section 24 of the Constitution enjoins us to secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources by promoting justifiable economic and social development. Therefore, any suggestion that the acceleration of the exploration of oil and gas is in contravention of the Constitution is baseless. Such a suggestion is in accord with the weaponisation of climate change against development, at the centre of which are foreign-funded nongovernmental organisations.

As members of this august House, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that these NGOs don't have unlimited funding to block development hence we advocate for the development and enhancement of the legislation to ensure that these NGOs get registered and be made to declare their sources of funding as it is done with political parties. The truth of the matter is that oil and gas exploitation has been at the
centre of the development of many economies across the world. South Africa equally deserves an equal opportunity to develop its economy on the strength of its natural resources, including the critical minerals which are deemed important for the Just Energy Transition, noting that 82% of energy sources in the world are from fossil fuels, which includes oil and gas and an accelerated development of upstream petroleum industry and exploitation of gas will be crucial on our part from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions as gas and nuclear have been ... [Inaudible.] ... of clean energy technologies.

In conclusion ... [Inaudible.] ... the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy for their sterling work in ensuring that we reach this stage today. I hope that the members of this august House will adopt this Bill to create policy and regulatory certainty and ensure that South Africa capitalises on its natural resources endowment for the benefit of the people of South Africa. Thank you very much, hon members. Thank you.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Before I call on the chairperson of the committee, hon Luzipo, let me welcome and acknowledge the presence in the gallery of the members of the Kenyan Parliament who are on a study visit tour to our
Parliament. They are led by Dr Mutunga. Thank you very much. You are welcome. Thank you.

Cindezela lapho. [Ubuwelewele.]


Mr S LUZIPO: The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy is tabling before this House the adoption of the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill. With 27 barrels of prospective petroleum resources estimated for South Africa, which is a scale far larger than that of Angola, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, our country is on the path of becoming a petroleum exporting nation.

To unlock this potential, further exploration and production of petroleum resources are required and in turn incentivising investment for exploration and production will require favourable legal, regulatory as well as institutional environment. The enactment of this Bill marks an official separation of the petroleum industry from the mining industry as encapsulated in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, which is the MPRDA of 2002.
This separation is groundbreaking primarily because the legal and regulatory provisions in the MPRDA are and were designed as universalised provisions that are applicable to both the petroleum and mining industries rather than designed in a manner that is specific to each industry, more importantly, as the upstream legislation deals with both offshore exploration as well as onshore for oil and gas, as is the case for onshore mining.

Such a blanket approach is costly for the country, but also for the petroleum industry specifically. It creates uncertainties for large scale investments and therefore it is important that we ensure that there is a separation between oil, gas and mining.

The introduction of this Bill will therefore provide a sound and robust legal and regulatory framework as an important element for guaranteeing investor certainty in the upstream petroleum industry. In turn, investment certainty will attract and promote large scale investment as well as address the issue of complex technology and skills transfer into the upstream petroleum industry, which are important for reducing South Africa’s heavy dependence on imported crude oil and refined petroleum products.
Such dependence on imported crude oil and refined petroleum product has had a large negative impact on South Africa’s balance of payment and poses greater risk to the country’s energy security and sovereignty as evidenced during the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The exploration and exploitation of South Africa’s prospective petroleum resources could thus aid the country’s stabilisation of the balance of payments, which enables minimum and real macroeconomic variables to be achieved such as stable prices of energy, food and sustainable economic growth and large- scale job creation. However, this Bill is not narrowly concerned with improving the business and investment climate in the upstream petroleum industry.

Focusing narrowly on guaranteeing investor certainty in the hope of promoting private capital inflows in the upstream petroleum industry gives rise to numerous political and economic processes that produce adverse effects on the economy. Just to illustrate, one of the greatest risk concerns investment and opportunities for petroleum companies to engage in rent seeking behaviour wherein petroleum companies appropriate petroleum revenues to line their pockets rather than using petroleum revenues for socially and economically
productive activities. In such cases, accumulation by dispossession becomes a common place whereby petroleum companies fail to ensure that citizens who live in petroleum resource producing communities benefit financially from the riches extracted from their lands and to compensate communities for the social, economic and environmental cost of exploration and production. Consequently, petroleum resources extraction exacerbates rather than eliminate local levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

To avoid rent seeking whilst on the other side we address the economic imbalances of the past remain one of the areas that this Bill seeks to address. Consider, for an example, clause
31 of this Bill provides for 10% interest participation by black persons in the petroleum rights on commercial terms. Since this will provide guidelines and commitments to exploration of petroleum resources in ways that promote structural transformation and social progress in South Africa, the definition of black persons, therefore, for purposes of the 10% participation has been clarified to mean companies or commercial entities that have 50% plus one owned by black people.
While this Bill aims to increase the benefits of petroleum resources to South African citizens in general, a black person’s participation through active participation in the upstream petroleum industry is capitally intensive.
Regrettably, the participation of black persons in this Bill provides for black persons to dilute no less than 5% of their 10%. However, it is proposed that the dilution must be between black persons so that structural transformation and participation of the black persons in the upstream petroleum industry is not undermined.

Similarly, clause 34 of this Bill provides for the state’s participation at 20% carried interest in all petroleum rise. This clause basically designates the South African National Petroleum Company as a state owned company and commercial agency of the petroleum company as prescribed by the ANC-led government in the upstream petroleum industry with the government’s right to maintain a 20% participating interest on the petroleum resources project.

More importantly, this clause refers to production sharing agreements as the preferred mechanism for establishing rights and obligations of the parties under which exploration and production will take place, thereby regulating the
relationship between the South African National Petroleum Company and the petroleum companies.

Under production sharing agreements, petroleum companies bear all the risk and cost on the promise of receiving a share of the production in the event of petroleum resources discoveries and such costs are irrecoverable rather than sunk whereas the government pays for its exploration and production costs out of its future share. As such, the cost incurred by petroleum companies are therefore recovered only when petroleum resources production commences.

Another key change introduced by this Bill includes the reconfiguration of the Petroleum Agency SA, PASA. This Bill bestows PASA with the power to, amongst other things, accept or reject petroleum rights and reconnaissance permit as well as review applications for environmental authorisation in terms of the National Environment Management Act and make recommendations to the Minister. In turn PASA will diversify its revenue stream through petroleum rights application fees and this will enable it, as a regulator, to discharge this function. Moreover, clause 21 of this Bill establishes the Petroleum Development and Environmental Committee to ensure accountability and transparency regarding the rejected
petroleum rights application under the advice of PASA. I therefore table this Bill for the adoption of the House. Thank you very much.

Mr J R B LORIMER: Hon House Chair, it has been said the ANC

never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. This Bill

presents another classic case where possible economic growth, money to the fiscus and jobs for our people are being
sacrificed on the altar of the ANC’s obsession with race, and for the ANC it has the added benefit that a few comrades will
be extremely rich.

Make no mistake, if we have the oil and gas endowment that we think we have, it has the potential to improve the economic
circumstances of every South African. Countries with large oil

and gas reserves, with credible legislation governing the exploitation of those reserves tend to be rich countries with
high standards of living, countries like Norway or the United Kingdom or the United States.

But there are other countries with huge petroleum endowments which are at the other end of the scale that end marked repressive failing kleptocratic state. Venezuela springs to mind. Bear in mind that Venezuela has the largest crude oil
reserves of any country, and yet 77% of its people live in extreme poverty. So, the presence of oil reserves is no guarantee that a country’s people will be rich. Given the ANC’s abysmal record of picking role models, we should be worried.

The crisp question of this debate is the following: To which end of the spectrum of oil producers will this bill before us
lead us to, Venezuela or Norway? All of this rests on the assumption of course that we have the oil and gas that initial
indications show that we have.

The brightest prospect seems to lie off South Africa’s west coast. Just north of the boundary of our territorial waters
with those or Namibia, the oil supermajors Total and Shell

have found large amounts of oil and gas. It is believed the field they have discovered contains some 5 billion barrels of
oil. That same geological feature that contains that oil extends into south African waters and right down our coastline
to Cape Town.


It is thus considered likely, although not certain, that South Africa may have reserves of another 5 billion barrels of oil. It’s also estimated that between us and Namibia, the west
coast may contain reserves of some 50 trillion cubic feet of gas. Remember that on reserves of 1 trillion cubic feet, the Mossgas project produced thousands of barrels of liquid fuel for more than 20 years.

Remember to that for every barrel of oil taken out of the

ground, the government will get more than half of the value through state ownership and taxes. If what we hope is there
materialises, it will supercharge state finances, and talking about companies lining their pockets, that’s undergraduate
Marxist structure, I think.

But these finds are complex, difficult and expensive to retrieve. The Petroleum Agency SA, PASA, says it takes
R800 million to drill just one of these offshore wells. The

only people with the expertise and the money to drill them are the major oil companies. So, what legislation will persuade
those oil companies to spend their money exploring for oil and gas in our territory?

Ten years ago the ANC tried to rewrite the rules governing oil and gas in an amendment of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, MPRDA. It proposed conditions that were unacceptable to investors. Even though that amendment was
scrapped, investors sat on their hands or left the country. We lost 10 years in which we could have had exploration and development. Incompetence cost us money and jobs.

There are provisions in this Bill that will put off investors.

The Bill demands 20% of every project going to the state oil

company, essentially Petro SA. It’s not an uncommon requirement. Norway has a state oil company but the United
Kingdom and United States do not. Our view is that it is not necessarily a bad idea, if the state oil company is well-run.
Is Petro SA well run? Not on current evidence.

On top of that 20% giveaway, this Bill demands another 10% be set aside for BEE companies. There’s a very loose provision
that gives the Minister the right to declare certain blocks,

blacks only blocks, setting up racial barriers for investment. These are bad ideas. BEE has been proven to deliver great
riches for very few, and by its existence chases away investment, resulting in fewer jobs and tax benefits for the


Bear in mind that to an investor, the 10% to BEE interests is the same, essentially as the allocation of 20% to the state. To them it means giving away 30% of the project. But the BEE
10% will not provide benefits to the people of South Africa, it will only provide benefits to those who own the BEE companies. Another way of describing this is crony enrichment. This is a clear case where the people get less, and the cadres get more.

The ANC continues to tell us that all black people will benefit because a few black people will be rich. BEE is like
the old joke that people used to tell about the ANC’s old friends in the Soviet Union. That joke says that the Soviet
Encyclopedia defines champagne as a delicious drink consumed by the people through their carefully selected

Consider this from the point of view of a prospective

investor. Do you go to Namibia where you know that oil and gas exists and where you have to give away 10% to state oil
company? Or do you put your money into South Africa where we have not yet found the oil and gas and where you have to give
away 30%. Which place would you choose to invest?


Section 32 allows the Minister to reserve a block or blocks for black people only. It does not limit how many blocks can be so reserved and provides no guide for under which
circumstances the Minister can decide to do this, other than in pursuance of black ownership. The Minister can wake up one morning and simply decree this.

The Bill also says any bidding company will have to set up a

joint corporate structure with Petro SA before bidding. They

will have to disclose all their proprietary information at that stage. So, what to stop the Minister from seeing a good
prospect and simply declaring that a block set aside for black participation only. Will investors trust this government not
to do that? Don’t hold your breath.

Apart from the racial set-asides, which are a failure in practice, and 30 years after democracy are a moral failure
too, there is another big problem and that is the extensive

discretionary powers granted to the Minister.


The Minister will decide when to open applications for blocks. That gives him huge power to advantage bidders who may be his
friends. This opens the door to corruption. This is the type of provision that is in the laws of the Venezuela end of the oil producer spectrum.
Also bad is section 107 which allows the Minister to decide local content plans and local recruitment and procurement. This “make it up as you go along” clause gives the Minister the ability to impose such regulations that have set back the growth of the mining industry, enriched a few comrades and if
repeated in the oil and gas industry could send any potential

investor running for the hills.


One of the schedules of this Bill deals with transitional arrangements, but it seems to us to be incomplete. There’s a
very credible view that there will need to be changes to the way The Income tax, the Royalty Act, the Customs and Excise
Act and the Exchange Control Act are structured. Nobody knows what those changes will look like. So, we are left with
uncertainty. Nobody will invest happily before there is

certainty. During processing the DA asked for a financial impact study, but that request was fobbed off. We just don’t
know the implications of these changes, neither do potential investors.

Namibia will be producing oil and gas in four years. Unless the oil companies take a very long view, this Bill could mean development of our resources could be set back for another ten
years. That means less investment, fewer jobs and no supercharge to the fiscus.

Passing this Bill will have consequences. Passing this Bill will have consequences. Passing this Bill will ensure the
ANC’s usual toxic combination of greed, ignorance and ideology

will continue to keep South Africans in poverty.


Mr K CEZA: House Chairperson, the EFF rejects the proposed Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill. We participated in all public hearings across the country, and it is clear that our people appreciate that petroleum like all mineral resources remain a common heritage for all and should be under the custodianship of the state on behalf of the people. Our people can see that there is a deliberate and relentless effort to reduce the role of the state to that of an administrator of the mining rights while the beneficiaries of colonialism and apartheid continue to benefit even in the post-apartheid South Africa. The ANC has collaborated with the establishment to give mining rights to companies including companies like Lonmin that collaborated with the ANC to kill the mine workers in Marikana when Mr Cyril Ramaphosa was the board chairperson for them to continue to enjoy the so-called common heritage alone.
The Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 transferred all minerals to the custodianship of the state on behalf of the South Africans. However, only less than seven or five million of the 62 million South Africans remain the only beneficiaries of our minerals. This is a continuation of apartheid economy. The ANC government refuses to beneficiate mineral resources to reindustrialise South Africans. The ANC government refuses to beneficiate platinum and gold, yet, North West, home to some of world’s largest platinum mines, but only 43,3% of households have access to piped water in their homes. This is the same province with the more than 37% of households who continue to use pit and bucket toilets, almost 30 years since political freedom. It is a political freedom of pit and bucket toilets for the people of the country, blessed with so much mineral resources.

The ANC government refuses to do anything to ensure that we all enjoy the so-called common heritage because their children and spouses are made shareholders in these mining companies.
The reality is that we do not need an additional legislation to separate the petroleum from the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act. If there is any legislation necessary, we should be passing a law to reposition Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa, PetroSA, a state-
owned petroleum company with a rich history of more than 50 years in the industry and give it a more strategic role instead of advancing the interest of Total like we are going to benefit our people. That is going to explore, to produce, trade, transport and sell petroleum products instead of issuing rights, I might say, to multinational organised criminal syndicates there.

It is a fact that multinational companies that will be given rights are not interested in the transformation of South African economy. It is a hallucination for anyone to think that the private sector can lead a genuine programme of beneficiation and localisation. The imperialists west, particularly the United States, Britain and the Western Europe are only interested in their neocolonial project to keep Africa and the rest of South Africa poor, and the Minister of Mineral Resources cannot deny this. The Bill is too vague in many areas. The Bill failed to put a threshold that 50% of all oil and natural gas must be produced and processed in South Africa to build industrialisation.

The committee failed to can get expert to present empirical evidence to show what has happened since the adoption of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act in 2002. Now,
we are continuing with the new legislation as if the industry is not facing a crisis. The EFF rejects the proposed Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill with the respect that it deserves.

Mr M HLENGWA: Hon House Chairperson, this Bill comes before us in a revised format, allaying many concerns that were raised in its initial 2019 format. The regulatory framework created under the new Bill is promising and brings an additional degree of regulatory and policy certainty which will hopefully translate into greater investor confidence in the South African oil and gas sector. We are pleased that the Bill before us follows a more systematic approach which makes it easier for the sector to navigate rather than the difficulty previously created in its format, the 2019 format, which placed several different processes in a single provision.

We acknowledge the importance of developing and utilising our country’s petroleum resources and we believe this Bill is a missed opportunity in some critical areas. The lack of adequate public and industry consultation around this Bill remains concerning as limited consultation could undermine the legitimacy of this Bill. This is a constitutional prerequisite and check and balance on any legislation. Environmental impact
is another area of concern. Sustainable development and the transition to a greener economy should emphasise more predominantly considering the environmental impacts of petroleum extraction and refinement on emissions, water pollution and biodiversity protection.

Whilst we understand that the economy must run, it should not do so. It should rather do so in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner, especially when it comes to the use of petroleum and other fossil fuels. Community rights and the awarding of licenses in a manner and process that is free, fair and beyond reproach must be the norm and not the exception as our petroleum resources are a national asset and not for the enrichment of the select few. Once empowered, always empowered must be its clarion call, and we must ensure that the nation’s mineral wealth provides direct benefits to our citizens and our country. Avenues for corruption in this Bill must be closed and loopholes must be tightened. The IFP will continue to call for comprehensive and all-inclusive legislation to ensure the responsible and sustainable development of our petroleum resources for the benefit of all South Africans now and in the future. I thank you, House Chair.
Dr W J BOSHOFF: Hon House Chair, I heard from a lawyer who was repeatedly consulted by families who learned that they might just be a rich mineral deposit on their land, especially when farming is marginal. It is very important to draft an agreement on how the future wealth might be managed before the reality sets in. Sudden wealth, apparently, does not bring out the best in people. That is, in national terms, what the upstream Petroleum Board is all about.

During the whole of the 20th century, South Africa had to concede that we are petroleum poor. We made the base of the small gas field of Mossel Bay and performed very well with our abundant coal. The import of crude oil and, increasingly also, the finished products like petrol, diesel, and aviation fuel, is a huge drain on the national balance of payments.

We are also very vulnerable to international instability. Sasol is the only one to smile when fuel prices rise as it sells its locally produced fuels at the same price than the imported ones. South Africa is a bit like that family, with possible wealth, not due to business acumen or good management, but due to a little bit of luck.
Just to be sure, we have had our luck with gold, platinum, gold, coal, iron, manganese, chrome, and a long list of minor body sources, but not yet with petroleum. This might just be changing. We might have reached crude oil reserves off the coast. We might also have a lot of shale gas to the southeast of Beaufort West, and it is a good idea to create the regulatory framework for its exploitation. If we don’t look well after it, we might end up like some families, poor again, as knowledge and employees we imported, and profits exported.

So, the idea of the Bill is a good one, even essential. Detail about the administration can always be argued about. However, that is not what we should debate. We should debate about the role of the state and the proudly South African policy of Black Economic Empowerment.

In any ordinary country, it stands to reason that the state should act as custodian of these national assets. Given the recent history, however, anyone would be forgiven for approaching state involvement, especially a state-owned company managing it, with some suspicion.

In a discussion on Black Economic Empowerment, it is always important to note that we don’t simply refer to the action of
empowering black people, but to a specific government policy with a negative track record. A premise of the policy is that there are historic imbalances which must be rectified. In arguing this, it is also important to know what happens to the wealth created in any era.

Firstly, some of the wealth is privatised to employees, owners of capital and entrepreneurs. Secondly, some of the wealth is nationalised in the form of taxes. Taxes are used to maintain public services, as well as the creation and maintenance of infrastructure, both of which is essential to keep the economy going and growing. That produces a stream of revenue for the state, directly related to the privatised part of the wealth created.

When a new government takes over, it takes over the infrastructure and the income stream. If it performs well, both keep on expanding, creating opportunities to empower everyone, especially those who have not accumulated wealth in previous generations.

Now, with South African BEE, something different happens which I can’t explain in 19 seconds. So, I would only say, the failed policy is part of the action plan for managing possible
South African petroleum wealth. While some well-connected individuals might become fabulously rich, the potential for economic growth and social upliftment will not be reached. The FF-Plus does not support the Bill.

Mr S N SWART: House Chair, the main objective of the Bill is to provide for the orderly development and exploitation of petroleum and petrochemical resources in the country. As petroleum remains one of the most important sources of energy for our struggling economy, it is critically important that petroleum products and by-products are produced abundantly and in the most cost-effective manner possible.

The ACDP believes the Bill fails in this respect, despite it being an improvement on earlier versions and, in particular, the 2019 version. It compels racial BEE considerations.

alongside a new ‘carried interest’ provision which, when combined, will add significant production costs. This will, in our view, limit and constrain production potential and lead to higher prices for petroleum products than could otherwise have been achieved for downstream businesses and customers.
The carried-interest provisions are nothing more than a form of additional taxation, entitling the state to a disproportionate 20% of benefits accruing from petroleum rights. This guarantees the state participation in successful oil and gas discoveries, whilst not setting out sufficient details in the Bill, as to how development and production costs can be recovered from the state.

A further concern relates to the impact that exploration rights will have on land, wildlife, and the environment. South Africa is losing its biodiversity at a rapid speed, with many indigenous species either threatened or facing extinction.
While it is unclear how this Bill will affect current legislation protecting biodiversity, such as the National Environmental Management Act, what is clear is that communities and the courts will be keeping a close watch on exploration rights.

An example, in this regard, is the Eastern Cape High Court ruling, which revoked Shell’s offshore exploration rights after the court found that they were granted illegally. The judge acknowledged the key role of the ocean in the livelihoods and cultural life of coastal communities. The ACDP believes that a delicate balance needs to be achieved in this
regard, given the huge potential of offshore wells which have been described as potential game-changers for the country’s economy.

While the Bill is thus an improvement on the 2019 version, the ACDP believes that it does not sufficiently provide the regulatory groundwork for a flourishing petroleum sector, but could, as we have so often seen in the past, ensnare this sector in a web of political patronage at the cost of growing the economy. The ACDP will not support this Bill. I thank you.

Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Chairperson, I have hope that the Minister is listening to this. This is a contradiction, Minister, to what you said in this House not long ago - and of course, the hon President - that the wealth of the country shall belong to the people in the country. So, as the NFP, we have a serious problem as far as the percentage that you are talking about in terms of the state, which means for ordinary South Africans.

I know some of my colleagues don’t like it, but the fact of the matter is this, that the wealth of this country should belong to this country. I would love to see at least a 50%, which is what you alluded to, Minister, a week ago, in the mining sector. So why should it not apply in this sector as
well? Clearly, I think it is something that we need to consider.

The other problem that I have is that, I thought as South Africans, as we call ourselves the rainbow nation, we are trying to move away from this race classification. Rather refer to them as disadvantaged communities, than on the issue of blackness and black that. Do you know that we created
17 500 black millionaires and multimillionaires? Did it benefit the majority of the blacks in this country? No, it did not!

Right now, as we speak, who owns all the mining rights in this country and the resources - minerals? Just a handful of people! It appears that we are moving in the same direction whilst we must welcome this initiative. Even as it is, I think it is a great piece of legislation, if we pass it. There is no doubt about it.

However, I think we also need to be honest to ourselves, that in a country like South Africa, after having been deprived for so many years, we still want to take the wealth of this country and give it to a few people to benefit from. That is
the provision we are not talking about! That is the problem that we seem to have.

We know the state of our so-called state-owned entities and the way they manage things. That is another major concern that we have. Now, if you look at the challenges and the concerns that communities, particularly where there is going to be exploration of gas and/or petroleum, we are not looking at that. Many of them have raised concerns ... [Inaudible.] ... and for that reason, even the court intervened.

Are we taking that into consideration, or is it all about profits? Rather than profits, also, at the same time, are we protecting the interest of the people who particularly live close to these communities? I think that is another thing that we need to actually look at.

The NFP will not have a problem with this. However, we want to plead that, in future, can we stay away from race classification? I see politicians using black, some using coloureds, some using this, some that. It is not taking South Africa anywhere. [Inaudible.] Thank you, Chairperson. We will support the Bill.
Mr S M JAFTA: Hon House Chair, as we toured the country to facilitate public participation in the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill, we had a resounding majority of the participants endorsing this particular Bill.

The Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill recognises the constitutional obligation that the use of natural resources must promote both sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

The Bill is a progressive piece of legislation and seeks to provide for orderly development of petroleum resources, including promoting equitable access to our nation’s petroleum resources. We welcome the decisive provisions dealing with black persons participation in the development of our nation’s petroleum resources.

We also recognise the obligations placed on a petroleum holder to sell a percentage of petroleum to the state for strategic stock requirements. We are also cognisant of environmental concerns that have been raised.

However, our view is that the Bill exists in a regulated environment where the exploration of petroleum resources is
subject to a rigorous environmental authorisation process and scoping requirements.

We recognise the role of PetroSA set out in the Bill and commends its renewed functions as a designated state-owned company responsible for managing the state’s strategic interests in petroleum rights.

Hon members, it is also pleasing that the principle of once empowered, always empowered does not feature in the Bill. We must not apologise for transforming both the mining and energy sectors.

As we met the people on the ground, we shed their frustration that local nongovernmental organizations, NGOs, are frustrating major development projects in their areas.

This approach is counter developmental and seeks to place more emphasis on the environment and less on socioeconomic development.

We support the Bill and commend the Chairperson of the committee for leading this process. I thank you, House Chairperson.
Mr T LOATE: House Chair, this Bill intends to take us where we shouldn’t be going. We should in fact be talking about the Expanded Production of Green Hydrogen Bill and its rapid development for our country.

Black persons participation should be in respect of what is coming rather than what will have to be abandoned, even as they get on board. What kind of hope are we giving for black persons?

To be invested in something that has a declining future and not in what clearly has the brightest future. For all South Africans regardless of race, the brightest future is in green hydrogen. For black persons, it is better to get on board than a bus that is rolling down the hill to crash down the cliffs.

People of our country need equitable access to technology, funds, and openings in new energy. That is what will be sustainable.

The Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH, BMW, iX5 uses hydrogen as fuel. Very interestingly, the BMW Group South Africa in participation with South African Synthetic Oil Limited, Sasol, to bring hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in South Africa.
A test a fleet of these BMW iX5 hydrogen cars are set to arrive on our shores in 2024, when Toyota soon launches its solid-state battery-operated cars that will be a total game changer. The people of our country should be investing forward, not backwards.

The World Economic Forum is suggesting that countries responsible for 99,7% of global carbon dioxide, CO2, emissions, should switch to at least 80% renewables by 2030.

The United Nations also suggests that at least $4 trillion a year needs to be invested in renewable energy until 2030, to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Elon Musk has stated that it will take 20 years at a rate of one hundred million electric vehicles, EVs, per year to replace the existing two billion vehicles currently on our roads.

Governments meanwhile are pushing for the integration of EVs to reduce CO2s emissions with targets of 50% EV sales by 2030.In the United States, US, and 100% 2035, in the European Union for passenger cars.
Is a lifespan of 10 years attractive for investing heavily in petroleum production? This is a question. COPE does not support this, Bill. By the time anything happens, [Interjection.] the world will have moved. Our future lies with hydrogen, solar energy, and the wind. Thank you, House Chair. [Time expired.]

Mr M G MAHLAULE: Chairperson, we note the concerns expressed by the opposition parties over this Bill. However, the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill went through extensive public hearings and comprehensive consultation process whereby different stakeholders especially the vulnerable people and communities revealed their widespread support for the implementation of this Bill. Therefore, any concerns whatsoever expressed by the opposition parties over this Bill must be treated as disconcerting and fable facts as all petroleum exporting countries extract economic value from these resources without exception. The ANC supports the adoption of this Bill because it is an important catalyst for industrial development and economic growth.

To develop the potential of this Bill to contribute to industrial development and economic growth a broader strategy for creating backward and forward linkages is crucial. This
Bill deliberately places greater emphasis on creating backward and forward linkages that give South Africa a competitive advantage using petroleum resource as a leverage. A huge potential exists for the upstream petroleum industry to supply affordable feed stock to the PetroSA gas to liquid refinery which in turn will bring the refinery to full production and profitability.

This Bill has a stronger focus on creating backward and forward linkages by facilitating the domestic processing of petroleum resources in the upstream petroleum industry to produce liquified petroleum gas and diesel to promote the development of a diversified resilient and appropriate energy mix in the country.

Natural gas, liquified gas and diesel are more likely to resolve South Africa’s energy problems and contribute to economic growth. Diesel is a prerequisite input for running Eskom’s open cycle gas turbine which have been used as a buffer against both peak demand and higher stages of load shedding whilst liquified petroleum gas reduce high electricity demand on the grid.
The exploration and production of petroleum resources do not automatically lead to refined petroleum product such as liquified petroleum gas and diesel rather they present an opportunity for the domestic processing and petroleum resources which may be achieved in full or in part or even not at all. For petroleum resources to reach their full potential adequate domestic refinery capacity is required. This is precisely the reason why this Bill is enacted to address the overlapping of and a lack of clarity in the legal and regulatory provisions applicable both to petroleum and mining industries in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002. It is through tis Bill which provides a sound and robust legal and regulatory framework for governing and regulating the upstream petroleum industry that large investments in plants, machines, refinery and storage infrastructure associated with petroleum resources exploration, drilling and transportation will be promoted.

Consequently, the causal relationship between exploration and production of petroleum resources and refined petroleum products such as liquified petroleum gas and diesel will be realised. However, for investment in infrastructure to be fit for purpose in enabling rather than hindering broad participation in the upstream petroleum industry in line with
the ANC-led government’s economic and social objectives, more active enforcement of infrastructure sharing, provisions and facilities leasing guidelines by the regulator must be implemented from a competition stand point.

Clause 31 of this Bill provides for 10% interest participation by black persons in petroleum rights on commercial terms. Of course, it should not be surprising that this clause is not appealing to the opposition parties like the DA. No citizen looking at the present-day South Africa will struggle to notice the enduring legacy of apartheid colonialism in every strategic sector of the South African economy including the petroleum industry. If ignorance could be rated on a scale of one to 10, then the intensity of ignorance from the DA would rank at 9,9.

While clause 31 is groundbreaking most black persons with entrepreneurial interest in the upstream petroleum industry face barriers to access capital to invest in large infrastructure such as petroleum pipeline and pipe petroleum resources to end-users. In this context, black persons without pipeline infrastructure must be allowed to access such infrastructure held by existing dominant petroleum companies at fair and competitive price to ensure that the meaningful
participation in the upstream petroleum industry of interest which have been historically disadvantaged in the country as this is the custom and practice all over the world in common infrastructure. In short, infrastructure sharing is an enabler of greater diversity of entrepreneurial activity and competition. Without it the participation of black people in the upstream petroleum industry will become just participation by name.

Participation in the upstream petroleum industry without sharing benefits means economic growth in South Africa will be as unjust as apartheid with its economic exclusions to black people. In other words, exploring and production of petroleum would not on their own produce more positive benefits than negative ones for South Africa. It follows that local content policies geared at increasing the level of participation of South Africa’s citizens, communities and black-owned small and medium enterprises must be put in place to maximise the full benefit for petroleum resource extraction. The ANC supports the inclusion of local content policies in this Bill. Local content policies, for example, can encourage local employment and the use of local goods and services in the entire upstream industry.
Of further relevance petroleum companies in the upstream petroleum industry must adjust their labour practices and procurement to deliver local policy targets.

In a bid to redress the challenge of skills from black people, clause 107 of this Bill empowers the Minister to make regulations regarding local content policies which must address skills development, prioritisation of recruitment and local persons and national participation through procurement of goods and services by black persons.

There are multiple avenues that petroleum companies, be it big or small, can do to ensure that South Africans are employed in the upstream petroleum industry and that black people’s small and medium enterprises become efficient suppliers of goods and services to the entire industry value chain.

The experiences in African countries including Angola and Nigeria indicate that petroleum companies have found clever ways and subtle ways to manoeuvre successfully around local content policies. Petroleum companies tend to have very strong bargaining positions which they use to capture a large fraction of petroleum resources market value without contributing anything towards local content policies.
The Bill empowers the Minister to reign in power and influence of petroleum companies so that they apply the legislation as well as regulations and stick to the rules of the game.
Intrusting the Minister with such powers is not an attempt to turn the hon Mantashe into what you call him a dinosaur that uses power recklessly to get what he wants, but rather reflects the demands for a stronger state to enforce legal and regulatory provisions in the upstream petroleum industry to achieve the National Development Goals of this country. Hon Mantashe is not like your JP Smith in the City of Cape Town who woke up one day thinking that he is an untouchable white supremacy and decided to use his unprecedented privilege as well as his conservative and unhelpful ideology to invoke apartheid colonialism by impounding minibuses of black people trying to make a living in a country of their birth to pursue total liberation from a large scale inequities traced to apartheid colonialism and economic exclusion. I could not help it but noticed that when the Whip said they do not support the Bill hon Lorimer was bit upset because he knows that this is a good Bill, and they support it. Thank you very much.


House Chairperson and hon members, can you hear me now?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): There is something which is appearing. We are waiting for you to speak.

trying to speak. Do you hear me now?


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): You can switch off your video.

An Hon MEMBER: He may close his video for the purpose of network, Chairperson.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Mantashe, just switch off your video.

you hear me now?


An Hon MEMBER: We can hear both parties.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): I hear you very well, hon Mantashe, please proceed.

House Chairperson, thanks very much for the debate. It is quite helpful in many respects. Because I have two minutes, I will speak about few issues. I get worried about the position taken by many beneficiaries of apartheid who ignore the trend related contradictions of colonialism of a special type, that is race, gender and class, that you can oppress people in terms of race, you can oppress them in terms of gender and you can oppress them in terms of class. That worries a hell out of me. Mr Lorimer call it obsession with race by the ANC. The reality of the matter is that blacks were deprived in this country. They were not regarded as citizens, they were not regarded as employees and they were not regarded as anything. They were tools of production. Now we say they must participate in the economy.

Will oil lead to wealth in the country? We are convinced that oil will actually contribute to a wealth creation in the country.

I am not going to get into PetroSA whether is it being well run or not, but I can only hint that for the first time in many years of the hard work it has posted a surplus which is more than a billion rand for the first time in many years.
Well run or not well run that is something else. We will talk about that when we bring another Bill.

The custodianship of the state for the EFF, custodianship is quite important, but it doesn’t mean monopoly of the state. It means that your tax, whoever operates, that is corporate tax, they also pay royalties to the owner, which is the state. That happens in mining, and we want this to happen here.

The question ... [Time expired.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): You only had two minutes.



... ayikapheli, ayikapheli imizuzu emibini.


USIHLALO WENDLU (Nks M G Boroto): Iphelile tata.



... ayiphelanga, kushiyeke nje imizuzwana engama-20.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you.




... Loate, usindile kuba usikhumbuza icawe xa usithi masiphakamisele amehlo ethu ezintabeni apho luya kuvela khona uncedo lwethu.

Goodbye. Thank you.

Debate concluded.


Bill read a second time (Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus, African Christian Democratic Party, Economic Freedom
Fighters and Congress of the People dissenting. Inkatha Freedom Party abstaining).


Chairperson, I move on behalf of hon Majodina that -

The Report be adopted.


Ms C V KING: Chairperson, can I also raise something? We have noted that this is not live streamed. It is important that the school governing bodies, SGBs, parents would like to know what is going on in the National Assembly. I would just like a response on the reasons for not having this on air.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Unfortunately, in this Parliament we have two Houses, maybe, they are streaming the National Council of Provinces, NCOP. It is possible. However, having said that, let me say that this issue of streaming came in today in programming and they are looking into it and the report will follow. This is because there has been complains, even the outside bodies were talking about streaming certain
portfolio committees. Nevertheless, let me just also say that we have two Houses and they might be streaming the NCOP for now. The report on the problem will be coming again to the programming committee.

Ms C V KING: If, Chairperson, with that being said ... [Interjections.] ...

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No, no. This is not a meeting, Mrs Spies. No, please. Let us talk outside of here, not now.

Ms C V KING: King, King. Chairperson, I am just saying to you that I am objecting to the Basic Education Laws Amendment, BELA, Bill being read now.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): The first time. Yes, you are ...

There was no debate.


Question put.
Motion agreed to (Democratic Alliance, African Christian Democratic Party and Freedom Front Plus dissenting).

Report accordingly adopted.



(Second Reading debate)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: House Chair, greetings to you. Greetings to the chairperson of the portfolio committee and all the members of the portfolio committee that sat and looked into this Bill and applied their minds and supported it. We would be surprised if maybe they can come here and say other stories. We have been together in this journey.

The Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill which was published for public comments under Government Notice number 1101 in Gazette number 41178 on 13 October 2017, proposed and amend the SA Schools Act and implement Educators Act so as to align them with the developments in the education landscape and to ensure that systems of learning and excellence in education are put in place in a manner which respects, protects,
promotes and fulfills the rights to Basic Education as enshrined in section 29(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

Another aim of the Bill is to bring about certain technical and substantive adjustment in the South African Schools Act and the Employment of Educators Act to clarify certain existing provisions and to insert certain provisions to cover matters which are not provided for in the existing legislation. One of the developments in the education landscape came about in 2009, when the then Department of Education was split into the two new departments that is; Higher Education and Basic Education which is now a new department. At its core, the Bill reflects South Africa’s aspiration for a more inclusive, equitable and efficient Basic Education system. It addresses key progresses of our education ecosystem.

While the BELA Bill has its critics, its objectives are clear and grounded in the best interest of our learners and educators. The strategic focus of the BELA Bill is to, make Grade R compulsory because as things stands, Grade R is not compulsory and is not funded for; serve to capture the essence of court judgement in order to ensure that it gives effect to
the Bill of Rights and, in particular, the right to procedural fair administrative action; provide for financial and public accountability frameworks for governing bodies and provincial departments; provide for system and administrative improvements in terms of admission policy in particular pertaining to undocumented learners and for technical and substantive adjustment, clarify certain existing provisions, insert provisions which are not provided for in existing legislation and strengthen enforcement mechanism for offences and penalties.

The BELA Bill seeks to amend certain sections of the SA Schools Act, 1986, to respond to administrative challenges facing our schools and to continue with the transformation agenda of the education system. It is not a wholesale Bill that covers all aspects of this sector, it focuses mainly on the administrative processes of the department and schools. It would, therefore, not include curriculum aspects. So, there would be no mention of subjects, it doesn’t include human resources, it does not include infrastructure, it does not include Inclusive Education and Schools for Learners with Special Needs which are covered in White Paper 6.
It is a Bill that responds to the current needs in terms of the changing demographics of our communities, findings by the courts and our own observation as we monitor schools. The Bill has 56 clauses ranging from the introduction of Grade R to learner attendance, code of conduct for learners, home schooling, rationalisation of schools, abolishment of corporal punishment and initiations, language policy, admission policy, criminalisation of disruption of schools. So, Chair, this is what the Bill is aiming at changing. We want to thank all members of the portfolio committee for participation. Thank you.

Ms B P MBINQO-GIGABA: Chair, Deputy Minister, the members of the portfolio committee and all members of the House, the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education in the Sixth Parliament prioritised the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill, as it is a transformation Bill to respond to and strengthen various aspects of the functioning of the basic education system. In various meetings with the department, the portfolio committee members deliberated on the Bill before it was tabled in Parliament.

A people’s Parliament requires that, in the lawmaking process of this Bill, we prioritise active engagement with the public
in a manner that is receptive and responsive to the needs of the people of South Africa. The right to participate in the lawmaking process is one of the founding values, set out in our Constitution. Our committee was reasonably fair. We were transparent and all of us were involved.

This Bill should be one of the key transformative Bills, which enhances the critical sector, which is an apex priority of the democratic government led by the ANC. Recognising that public participation is a constitutional imperative, in the processing of the Bela Bill, the committee conducted itself in an open manner and ensured that the public was afforded a reasonable opportunity and that citizens’ views were considered to a point where they could possibly influence the decisions that we have taken.

We undertook the pillars of an appropriate public participation process, to ensure that the public was informed about this Bill. There were adverts inviting the public to participate. They were circulated in the national newspapers, including the Braille format. Written submissions were received via emails and Google forms.
The large number of South Africans who don’t have access to electronic emails were afforded an opportunity to submit hand delivered submissions via courier. Oral submissions were conducted physically here in this Parliament from 8 to 22 November 2022.

The committee conducted public hearings in all nine provinces and a total of 11 264 citizens participated in this Bill. The committee came back to Parliament and we processed all submissions. Those who rejected the Bill raised concerns mainly about the admission policy, language policy, home education and selling of alcohol on school premises. And I am mentioning four out of 56 clauses.

We express our sincere appreciation for the public involvement process inputs that were made by the public. True to our constitutional democracy character, the people have been the centre of this legislative process.

Various inquiries were raised, firstly, on the constitutionality of some clauses in the Bill and the legality of the process undertaken by the portfolio committee. We must unequivocally state that the state law adviser and the parliamentary legal advisers have affirmed the
constitutionality of the Bill and the legality of the process that the portfolio committee has undertaken.

All submissions were taken into consideration and the portfolio committee, as a legislating competent structure, processed the submissions and resolved the clauses based on the objective factors and their intended impact on the education system.

The committee also amended some of the clauses in consideration of submissions and clauses on the regulation of alcohol on school premises. This was a response to inputs of the public and the portfolio committee raised its concerns with the department on the clause and we had taken the clause on alcohol out of this Bill.

There are various contentious clauses on which various sections of our society raised concerns. This includes provisions on home schooling, which ought to be regulated, as the department has a constitutional duty to ensure compulsory education to all children between the ages of 7 and 18. This is critical to protect children and their education.
Another contentious area is the role of heads of departments, which is what they were toyi-toying for, who have to approve various aspects related to the admission policy, which have been used as an exclusion mechanism in some areas of the country. And that is a fact.

Our condition implores all of us to heal past divisions and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. This requires the democratic government to protect the rights of all and not allow any abuse of power to infringe on human rights.

The Bill protects the role and powers of school governing bodies. Although there are misconceptions about clauses that relate to school governing bodies, there are no powers that are taken away from the school governing bodies in this Bill.

The Bill also has clauses that address matters that relate to the discipline of learners. Parents and guardians have an important role to play in ensuring children are in school, and the Bill strengthens the consequences for those who prohibit children from going to school and demonstrates the significance of compulsory schooling, which has expanded the
introduction of Grade R as a compulsory grade, to improve learner preparedness.

This Second Reading Debate on the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill is a significant milestone that we should advance for the finality of this process. Education is a public good, which requires a societal effort. We call on all our parents and guardians to be involved in the education of their children. This requires consistent participation in school governing body meetings, creating a conducive environment for learners in their homes, and where possible, guardians can provide extra lessons to support learners.

We wish our learners a successful examination period and through this Bela Bill, we are confident that we will have a better education system to free the potential of all children and that of the country. We are on the right track. We are doing the right thing here. We must never lose focus. I therefore table this Bill for consideration and adoption.
Thank you very much.



Me A M VAN ZYL: Agb Huisvoorsitter, ek is Afrikaans. Ek is trots Afrikaans. My 14-jarige seun is Afrikaans. Hy is baie
bevoorreg om in sy moedertaal onderrig te ontvang. Minister, hierdie Bela-wetsontwerp, wat julle onder die vaandel van transformasie deur die Parlement wil druk, gaan hom, en nog baie ander kinders, ongeag van hul huistaal – Afrikaans, Engels, Sepedi, Sesotho, Ndebele, Siswati, TshiTsonga, Setswana, Venda, isiXhosa, isiZulu en gebare taal, van die grondwetlike reg ontneem.

In 30 jaar het die ANC-regering nog amper niks vir moedertaalonderrig gedoen nie. Daar is bittermin pogings aangewend om elke taal tot op ’n vlak te ontwikkel, waar studiemateriaal beskikbaar is, sodat kinders in hul moedertaal skool kan gaan.

Klousule 5 het ’n agterdeur gekry wat sal verseker dat enkelmedium-skole, onder andere, Afrikaanse skole, geteiken kan word as deel van die sogenaamde transformasie-agenda. Dit loop hand-aan-hand met klousule 4. Hierdie is niks meer as ’n verkiesingsfoefie nie. Die ANC het uit idees gehardloop en is genoodsaak om, soos hulle sê, benoude spronge te maak.

Tuisonderrig is ’n keuse vir elke ouer. Gesinne lei soms groot finansiële skade wanneer een ouer verantwoordelik word vir hul kinders se onderwys, maar hulle doen dit om te verseker dat
hul kinders die beste onderrig moontlik ontvang. Dit bly hulle keuse.

Die DA glo dat hierdie families die departement net in kennis hoef stel van hul keuse om ’n grondwetlike reg uit te oefen. Die wetsontwerp sê egter dat hulle toestemming moet kry by die Departement van Basiese Onderwys om dit te kan doen.

Dit maak nie saak hoe mooi die departement hierdie prentjie probeer inkleur nie, sy eintlike doel met die Bela-wetsontwerp is om skole wat werk, te kniehalter.

Hierdie wetsontwerp gaan baie goed afdwing, maar doen niks om dinge reg te maak nie. Dit fokus glad nie op die uitdagings wat ons land se onderwysstelsel in die gesig staar nie. Hoe gaan dit verseker dat klaskamers nie oorvol is nie? Hoe gaan dit verseker dat material vir leerder- en onderwyserondersteuning betyds by skole kom? Hoe gaan dit verseker dat leerders veilig by skole is? Hoe gaan dit verseker dat leerders teen Graad 4 kan lees met begrip? Hoe gaan leerders in skole bly?

Hierdie ANC-regering is besig om ouers en gemeenskappe van seggenskap te ontneem, deur beheerliggame se besluite en
pligte weg te vat. ’n Goeie beheerliggaam is die hoeksteen van enige skool. Hulle dra die skool, leerders en hul gemeenskap se beste belange op die hart. Beheerliggame weet beter as ’n HOD in ’n provinsiale kantoor wat die beste taal- en toelatingsbeleid vir hul skool is. Die vraag dan: Hoekom wil die ANC-regering alle magte sentraliseer?

Die ANC in die komitee het publieke kommentaar van ouers en kinders, reg oor die land, wat hul ontevredenheid uitgespreek het en die Bela-wetsontwerp as ’n geheel verwerp het, ignoreer en hul meerderheid stem in die komitee misbruik, om die wetsontwerp deur te druk. Hulle gaan dit vandag weer doen.

Mr B S MADLINGOZI: Hon Chairperson, the EFF is in support of the amendment to the SA Schools Act which seeks to make education compulsory from Grade R to Grade 12 and the criminalisation of any one who blocks children from attending schools without the just course. Taking into consideration that schooling cannot be in a nappy changing environment. Who would want the age of entry into the school to be lowered to three years? This is particular important now that the necessary schools are being transitioned to a Department of Basic Education. We particularly support the supports the need for the department to intervene in ensuring that School
Governing Bodies, SGBs, do not discriminate learners when developing admission policies.

The EFF does not support the idea that the SGBs be given unlimited powers to determine discriminatory policies without checks and balances. It must be clear that we are not saying that SGBs must not be central to the management of schools because they remain the most form of participatory democracy and the way for parents to take ownership of education of their children. However, there are areas that require uniformity.

It was primarily for this reason that in our 2019 manifesto, we advocated that each school must have its own social worker to deal with problems such as these. And to understand social problems that led many learners dropping out of school. This provision is progressive in as far as making school attendance compulsory.

We also submit that the enforcement of this must not be the sole responsibility of principals and SGBs. The department must appoint qualified social workers to deal with issues like these in every school.
We are also in support of the powers to be given to the heads of department, HODs, to make final determinations of the language or policy to the schools. This function cannot be left to the SGBs as many in the previously white schools still use language to exclude many black children.

We further submit that the standardisation of languages should be centralised in the department and not different HODs from different provinces. The same logic must apply for code of conduct for all schools. This function must be centralise this department not SGBs. This in particular in the Western Cape where Afrikaans is used to exclude African learners.

We are completely in agreement with the total deletion of clause 8 which deals with the sale of alcohol in our schools.

With regard to the amendment of the Employment Educators Act: We are in full support of the amendment that prohibits educators from being in any business with the state. We also want to remove stringent legislative approach on school admission policy. The admission policy must be that of the department and that schools must be given as much power to teach learners on the basis of ... [Inaudible.] ... criteria such as where the learners come from.
With regard to disciplinary hearings: We submit that learners should be able to bring in parents as their representatives. There should be no case where a child is facing a disciplinary hearing without the presence of the guardian.

Making schooling compulsory for all school going children is a necessary intervention to ensure that no child is out of school. This however does not address a societal problems underlying the absence of some children from school.

This Bill makes no provision for these kinds of steps that may be taken in instances and where one child is forced by circumstances to take care of a sibling or a parent. There must be provisions for collaborative work with social development to ensure that social hindrances to school attendance are addressed, prioritising the interest of the child more than anything else. The same concern applied in the provision that makes it the responsibility of the principal to check up on children who are not attending school. This is not going to help with the high dropout rate in public schools if the focus is not on dealing with the social problems underlying these high dropout rates.
The provision relating to language are absolutely necessary as many public that were previously white only use language particularly Afrikaans to exclude black learners.

With all these concerns addressed Chairperson, the Eff is in support of this Bill. Thank you.

Mr M HLENGWA: Hon House Chairperson, it is going to be the hon Singh from the virtual platform.

Mr N SINGH: Hon House Chairperson is in disposed, but he has been very involved in the passage of this Bill thus far. I present his and the IFP’s views on this Bill.

It is no secret that the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill has become one of our country’s most contentious Bill. I believe the overarching reason for this we all want the very best for the children of our country.

Much like opinions regarding parenting styles and opinions regarding the schooling of one’s child are deeply personal. The IFP has enjoyed listening to the robust discussions South African have had regarding this Bill, as this indicates that
we hold the same passion for the educational and overall wellbeing of our children.

Hon House Chairperson, this passion can also be seen in the Bill’s call for the criminalisation of parents who do not ensure their children are in school. We strongly agree with this Bill that parents should take responsibility for the whereabouts of their children and that anyone who prevents or intentionally disturbs school activities is guilty of breaking the law.

Hon House Chairperson, it is in the same spirit that we also have to highlight our vehement disagreement with one of the provisions in this Bill.

As I have mentioned before the IFP takes issue with the Bill’s intent to remove the powers of the School Governing Body, SGB, and conferring these powers to the heads of department.

Hon House Chairperson, but I want to digress for a moment and say that I heard the chairperson of the committee saying that this is not going to be the case. I would like the hon Deputy Minister to clear this particular issue.
Hon House Chairperson, we all know that SGBs play a crucial role in the functioning of schools. The SGBs understand a particular context of a school much better than most government officials. They bring community and parent perspectives into decisions and often have to lead where provincial education departments are absent or lack capacity. There is a very big danger in the assumption that the state will always act with benevolent intent as governing officials might have their own ambitions and incentives which may not necessarily align with the best interests of learners.

Furthermore, one should always tread with caution when it comes to the concentration of powers in only one position in this case it is the head of department. Conferring powers to a single position needs to follow the appropriate vetting processes. We need to ensure that the principle of audi alterem paterm is applied at all times.

Taking away the powers of the SGB will lead to dysfunctionality of schools where parents feel as though they are not part of raising their children. The SGB as a bridge of communication linking the needs of children to the understanding of school teachers and principals.
In rural communities it is often through the participation of parents on SGBs that schools learn of the challenges children face in the community that are affecting their behaviour in school. However considering that the Department of Basic Education and the portfolio committee has worked on this Bill for several, we believe we simply cannot throw the baby away with a bath water. For we understand that this Bill goes beyond just dealing with the powers of SGBs.

Hon House Chairperson, however having said that while the IFP overall supports this Bill, we believe that this Bill should not undermine the important role of School Governing Bodies. Hon Deputy Minister, you have to ensure this House that there is no unfettered power to would be granted to officials when this Bill is passed. Thank you.


Dr W J BOSHOFF: Agb Voorsitter, as mens enigsins wonder hoe ’n mens oor hierdie Wetsontwerp moet dink, dan moet ’n mens net sien met watter oortuiging die EFF dit ondersteun. Dit behoort dan vir jou duidelik te wees. Die Bela Bill [wetsontwerp] is nie net ’n onderwyswet nie. Dit is ’n poging om die bedeling van 1994 te verbreek. Trouens, dit openbaar die gebreke van
daardie bedeling, wat maak dat die VF Plus dit strykdeur vir iets anders beywer het.

Maar kom ons gee erkenning. Minister Motshekga het sedert 2009 stabiliteit in onderwysbeleid gebring, waarsonder selfs die beste skole en onderwysers nie sukses kan behaal nie, maar daar is probleme.

Tans is die grootste probleem in ons onderwysstelsel die inmenging van vakbonde in personeelplasings en dwarsboming van dissiplinêre optrede. Relevansie van kurrikulum in die ekonomie en hoër onderwys en gebrekkige infrastruktuur is ernstig, maar dis nie waaroor die Wet gaan nie.

Bela fokus op skoolbeheerliggame. Daar waar die probleem nie lê nie. Hoekom? Die Minister se antwoord is dat hierdie strukture nodig was om ’n vreedsame oorgang te verseker, maar dat dit nou oorbodig is. Dis nou destyds, toe die ANC nie die oorlog kon wen nie, maar ’n goeie kans gestaan het met die vrede. Ons is dus terug by die skikking van 1994 en wat wie wou bereik.

Die ANC wou bereik wat vandag EFF-beleid is – ’n eenheidstaat met ’n owerheid wat die ekonomiese, sosiale en kulturele
werklikheid dikteer. Die NP wou ook ’n eenheidstaat hê, maar een waar die regering met wigte en teenwigte aan bande gelê word.

Die VF Plus se posisie was dat ’n eenheidstaat altyd deur een groep oorheers word. Minderheidsregering, as ’n vorm van tirannie, sou bloot deur ’n tirannie van die meerderheid vervang word. Die NP het gesê: ... [Onhoorbaar.]

Daarom beywer die VF Plus hom tóé en sedertdien vir selfbeskikking -outonome besluitneming vir kultuurgroepe en streke, selfs onafhanklike state as dit moet.

Die ANC was slim. Hulle het op die NP se voorwaardes geskik, want hulle het geweet, as jy die regering het, vat jy later die res, ongeag die naïewiteit van wigte en teenwigte.
Selfbeskikking aan die ander kant, skep regte, wat in die konstitusionele bedeling vervat is en nie bloot met wetgewing verwyder kan word nie.

Nou sit ons met ’n eenheidstaat, waar die een se belang altyd teenoor die ander s’n te staan kom - ’n bedeling van permanente konflik. In daardie stryd is Bela ’n
waarheidsoomblik. Gaan die wigte en teenwigte hou, of gaan hulle meegee?

Wat moet ons hê? Meer as net skoolbeheerliggame wat oor voertaal mag besluit. Ons kort ’n veelvoud van kulturele owerhede, waar skole self kan besluit onder watter een hulle wil staan.

Daardie owerhede moet ook die bevoegdheid hê oor inhoud, kurrikulum en eksaminering. Hulle moet selfs die bevoegdheid oor die bewaring van erfenis hê, sodat museums nie hoef af te brand, omdat hulle onder beheer staan van ’n plaaslike regering, wat nie ’n duit daarvoor omgee nie.

Dit is die kultuurgemeenskap wat geborgenheid teen ’n totalitêre staat gee, maar wat ook die versplintering van hiper-individualisme voorkom. Onderwys moet verander, maar nie soos Bela dit wil nie. Kom ons lui vandag die klok op die Bela Bill. Ek dank u.

Ms M E SUKERS: Hon Chairperson, the ANC is a dying party pushing a dead Bill. The ruling party will today vote to pass the Basic Education Laws Amendment, BELA, Bill. They will say as they have said, BELA Bill is going to transform education,
but the truth is, it is a Bill that is dead in the water. The BELA Bill died when the Department of Basic Education took 10 years to develop it. It died when the vast majority of South Africans making submissions, rejected your Bill and you didn’t tell us that.

This Bill died when you ignored public comment and failed to present the views of the public to the committee in a matrix or any comprehensive document, regardless of what our beautiful Chairperson have said here today. You will tell your supporters they will now get into any school they choose, and this will not happen. The BELA Bill will be struck down in the courts because you failed to follow the simplest procedures and to act transparently.

Your voters will discover too late that this is another broken promise, like the broken promises you made in 1994 and in 1999. This Bill died when you decided to make it an abortion Bill. The teachers’ unions will discover too late that you have made them nurses and their trust has been abused as you abused it in 2004 and 2009. This Bill will be the first step to nationalise our Early Childhood Development, ECD, sector.
It will open the door for money to be quickly sent to your friends.
This government will show billions to organised labour and the gogos [grandmas] will go out of jobs. The tenderpreneurs will build classrooms at schools you control and independent ECDs will fall into ruin. Your friends will get fat and the people will starve. You will steal the hope of the ECDs like you stole hope in 2014 and 2019. We say that you are a dying party pushing a dead Bill. I say, let the dead bury the dead.

For Christians, seven is a number of hope and renewal, the period of jubilee. We have had six Parliaments of broken promises, broken trust, and lost hope. As the ACDP, we proclaim a jubilee for education, and while you bury your dead, we will work with and work for the living. Thank you.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: You’re dead yourself.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order, hon members. Order, hon members.

Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: House Chairperson, the NFP while welcomes the Bill, at the same time, we are havening serious concerns one of them being the issue of sale of alcohol at school premises, despite us knowing and understanding very well that South Africa is reported to having the highest level of heavy
drinkers in the world. We know the impact that alcohol has in gender-based violence, accidents, on the murder rate that is taking place in the country and all those that are tavern related, despite these, we want to introduce the same of alcohol.

What is it that we are planning? What is it that we want to do? Do we want to create a country of alcoholics? Is that the route we want to take? Now, the second concern that we have is that, currently, Chairperson, let us not forget that 60% of the learners who start going to Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Tvet, colleges, do not pass, they drop out in the first year. At the same time, we welcome the fact you are making Grade R compulsory. Therefore, it is compulsory for learners to go to school from Grade R right up to Grade 12.

If you drive around the streets during the course of the day, you will find hundreds if not thousands of children on the streets that are not going to school. A particular area, if you talk about Mitchells Plain, there are children that are seven, eight, nine and 10-year-old that have never seen the inside of school. So, yes indeed, I think that we will welcome that part of it. Now, concerning the issue of the governing
bodies, I think that to some extent we expect too much from the governing bodies.

Over and above doing fund raising, many of them do not have a capacity, and yet they are expected to interview and employ educators, when they themselves do not have a necessary capacity to be able to do that. So, that is the other issue I think that we should look at very seriously. When we talk about the issue of the governing bodies, their influence together with the influence of union bodies lacks capacity on how they are influencing on deciding, who will actually become an educator, who will become the principal and who will become the deputy principal.

This is another matter that we need to look at very seriously when it is done. We need to look at the issue which is more important in improving the quality of education. We are dealing with everything else, but the quality of education and the quality of education at basic education is very low in South Africa compared to our counterparts, not only in the region of Arica but all over the world. So, whilst the NFP supports this Bill, but to some extent, we cannot, and again, we cannot - I want to repeat this - support some of the measures that are being put into this Bill.
They are going to give powers to the schools to be able to do as and when they feel like, and I really think that it’s a serious problem. Thank you very much.

Mr B S YABO: Hon House Chairperson, ...


... Setswana sere, lo ojwa lo sale metsi.


... ngeSintu sithi, umthi ugotywa uselula/bagotywa besebatsha...


 ... simply put, a person’s character is moulded while young. Education is the bedrock of the ANC has prioritized to empower all South Africans with the knowledge and skills to participate in the economy and sociopolitical life. Addressing the legacy of colonialism and apartheid requires an education system which is transformative in its curriculum and inclusive for all. Twenty-nine years in our democracy, addressing the vestiges of apartheid remains an imperative. Racism and discrimination were not triumphed over by the democratic
breakthrough, but the constitutional democratic order laid a foundation for the creation of a just and equitable society.

I still maintain that it will take more than 29 years to reverse the damage of over three centuries of colonial domination. Anyone who wants to argue differently should simply look at our country’s Gini coefficient. The gap between the rich and the poor remains stubbornly wide. While the ANC has been seized with the transformative agenda, a small sect of society has been fighting to maintain the status quo.

The fight against the passing of the Bela Bill is a classic example of such resistance as we see the defenders of white privilege picketing outside the walls of this Parliament today. The message they are sending is that Afrikaans and English are much more superior languages compared to indigenous languages. To further emphasise the point, it has taken approximately three administration terms almost 15 years to finally get where we are today.

We have been threatened with legal action at every turn by the DA and its Women’s League, the ACDP and its veterans league, and the FF Plus. It seems that we are finally breaking the proverbial back of the dragon by passing this critical piece
of legislation. It is not a conspiracy that we have SGBs who have sought to preserve certain schools as bastions of Afrikaner language and culture and have such schools not offer African languages. This seeks to continue the assimilation of blacks and Africans into Afrikaner culture, thereby preserving what Pierre Bodo conceptualised as cultural dominance. The cultural capital of the people of South Africa and its diversity are equal. The principle of nonracialism has always guided the ANC and the preservation of all cultures, including Afrikaners culture. What we should not allow in our beloved nation is the systematic exclusion of the majority or any South African based on language and culture.

Earlier on, at the start of the 2023 academic year, there was a furore at Danie Malan Primary School in Pretoria North. An area which has since become inhabited by many black Africans, sparked by the skewed admissions and language policies of the school. It became a media spectacle as parents demonstrated against the exclusion of their children from the school through prejudicial policies. The school defended their discriminatory policies using the current laws. We are here to right that wrong today. The recent court judgment from the Western Cape High Court on a challenge to nullify a name change of Hoer Skool DF Malan in Bellville was also not
accepted by the court. The proposed legislative requirement of admission policies being approved by the head of department is critical to safeguard all learners’ rights and ensure the education system is inclusive.

We disagree with the assertion that having the HOD play a role in critical decision-making processes is to centralise power. It is his or her function. I implore those who make this assertion to study the South African Schools Act, which references the role of the HOD more than one hundred times, with most instances empowering the HOD to approve, disprove or intervene on several matters. As an accounting officer, the HOD is accountable for governing and administrating the education system within their jurisdiction. School governing bodies will continue to develop and determine admission policies.

We welcome the transformative provisions of the Bill which increases compulsory education to include Grade R. This is a significant shift to enhance the learning outcomes of our education system. At the beginning of the Sixth Administration, the ANC called for the migration of Early Childhood Development, ECD from the Department of Social Development to Basic Education, which was implemented and
completed in 2022. This is a recognition that really, early learning is the most important phase of children’s cognitive development. The first five years of a child are fundamental and the impact the child’s learning potential and the rest of their lives.

We are confident that Grade R is the first step in taking incisive measures to strengthen our basic education system at the foundation level. Unfortunately, the DA and the ACDP do not look at this development positively to improve learning outcomes. In fact, they prefer to lie and lie over and over and over again to an unsuspecting populace of South Africa.
The ANC calls for continued dialogue by the public. We should not be beholden to positions which can only serve the interests of the minority but be beholden to the ... [Inaudible.] ... enshrined in our Constitution. The ANC supports the Bill. [Time expired.]

Mr T LOATE: House Chair, before us we have a 51 pages long Bill. This should be an indication of how rapid things are moving in basic education, and how quickly lawmaking must change to keep pace. This is the only beginning of change that education must undergo at the space. From day one, a child must have the best education possible, attendance of Grade R
has to be compulsory. Every day’s education matters, and therefore our society cannot bring interruptions, disruptions, or hindrance to school activities, neither should the language of instruction be a continuing hurdle. In many schools, an additional language of instruction must be catered for.

In respect of the curriculum, we should be extremely proactive. The Minister should not wait to appoint any advisers. She should look at what is happening in other countries, such as Finland, Japan, South Korea and Denmark. It is a great pity that this Bill has not made provision for hybrid schooling. Taking this matter one step further, we should be looking at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Unesco’s, report on developing a hybrid learning curriculum framework for schools to facilitate systemic and sustainable change.

South Africa is also uniquely placed to do more with our diverse cultural beliefs and religious observance at the school level, even as we strive to create a common national identity, we must aim to enrich our lives by embracing more than we were born with or grew up with. Multilingualism and multiculturalism are great attributes to have. A negative issue that has to be dealt with is that of drugs on school
premises or during school activities. Education must help children understand how drugs can devastate their lives. Children receive hardly any education on drugs, and that in itself is a big problem. A very interesting insertion into the law is that of designating a public school as a public school with a specialised focus on talent.

Finally, Cope is in full support for the reasonable use of the facilities of a school for education related activities without charging a fee or tariff. This should not be confined to school terms only. Facilities should be available all year round under arrangement. Cope is most unhappy about the closure of rural schools with 135 or fewer learners. Allowing the sale of alcohol on school premises after hours is a better idea. Finally, allowing teenagers to have an abortion without their parents’ consent is a disastrous provision in law. I thank you.

Mr B B NODADA: The ANC today has sold the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill as necessary educational reform. They said that everyone that opposes the Bill is against transformation. This is a lie. In fact, the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill will impose what many struggled so hard to overthrow a centralisation of power by the state and a Bantu education
style policy that imposes a language of instruction on schools. The DA completely rejects the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill in its current form.

While we support educational reform, we will not support a Bill that disempowers schools, parents and communities, and fails to address a single one of the systemic challenges that impedes quality education, like overcrowding, poor literacy and numeracy, dropouts, terrible school infrastructure, poor quality teaching and lack of resources. The ANC argues that the Bill is focused on administration. This flawed argument fails to address the legal lacuna of blended and online learning, despite the coronavirus disease, Covid-19, pandemic showing their importance, nor does it address the Bill’s failure to provide enough protection for victims of sexual assault that have to attend disciplinary hearings.

The Bill disempowers school governing bodies from determining admission and language policies. Though the ANC might deny it, schools with a single language of learning will be targeted, despite the fact that the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, Pirls, revealed that learners who completed the test in their mother tongue have better comprehension. 30 years under ANC government have seen very little development
of indigenous languages, despite the decent results of the department’s own IsiXhosa pilot for biology, maths and other subjects. It seems the ANC’s plan is to scapegoat the mere 5% of Afrikaans schools for the government’s failure to provide quality education in all schools regardless of a child’s geographical location, race, religion or language.

The DA believes that the appropriate mechanisms should be put in place for cases where a school might discriminate against learners. However, the head of the department, HOD, cannot be both player and referee as the appeals and implementing an authority.


Ngonyaka we-1976, abantu abaninzi, abantsundu bafa ngenxa yokulwela ukunyanzeliswa kokufundiswa ngolwimi abangalifuniyo ezikolweni. Loo nto yenza ukuba sikwazi ukufunda ngolwimi leenkobe mhla sakhululeka. Namhlanje, sizifumana sinqandana norhulumente omtsha wocalu-calulo. Lo, ngurhulumente unika abantwana beli lizwe imfundo engekhosemgangathweni.
Urhulumente we-ANC ufuna ukuthathela kuye amagunya amaBhunga oLawulo eziKolo, ewaxutha ebazalini. Lo rhulumente ufuna ukunyanzelisa imfundo eza kukhokelela kwindlala nentlupheko.
Kukho naba bacinga ukuba lo Mthetho uyancedisa kodwa uzama ukuquma lo rhulumente osilelayo kuba engazange axabise ukuphuhlisa kokufundiswa ngeelwimi zenkobe ezikolweni.


While other countries with quality education are decentralising decision-making, the ANC government wants to centralise power. The ANC ignored homeschooling concerns just like they ignored public submissions. Had it not been for the DA and other opposition parties, thousands of written submissions would remain unanalysed to this day, and we would not have known that, and I quote:

Most of the submissions were not in support of the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill.

Thousands of South Africans ignored because their concerns didn’t fit the ANC’s agenda. Let’s evaluate this agenda: Eight out of 10 Grade 4 and half of Grade 6 learners can’t read for meaning. Maths and science skills of Grade 4 and Grade 8 learners compare poorly to those of other developing countries.
Teachers have poor content knowledge and little performance accountability, failing to meet intentional and regional standards. 1 575 unqualified teachers were still teaching because they were protected by the SA Democratic Teachers, Union, Sadtu, who came to public hearings on a hymn sheet to capture and politicise schools instead of focusing on improving their own quality of teaching. Classrooms are overcrowded. There are still pit toilets in schools. Thousands of schools don’t have libraries or laboratories for learners to use. Does the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill improve any of this? Absolutely not. The DA therefore rejects the Bill.

The ANC must quit trying to manufacture social cohesion at the expense of quality education. Get your priorities straight.
Children want a prosperous future with jobs and not to be used as pawns in your peanut and raisins game that will leave them unemployed and poor. As the DA, we will take the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill on legal review over the four public participation process and invite all stakeholders to take it up to the Constitutional Court. As the DA, we will do everything in our power to ensure that children get quality education and not listen to this new form of oppression from the ANC. I thank you.

Mme N G ADOONS: Ka Setswana ba re, fa e šwa, e a ragaraga.


Hon Chairperson, we are gathered here, a day before the birth of our liberation father, the cofounder of the ANC Youth League and the longest-serving president of the ANC, utata Oliver Reginald Tambo, who could have turned 106 this year.
May your teachings continue to guide us in the work that we do for our people, and may your revolutionary and undying spirit continue to live in our hearts.

First and foremost, the ANC supports the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill. The Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill has been deferred since the fourth administration and this Bill seeks to amend certain sections of the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 that responds to administrative challenges facing our schools, and to continue with the transformation agenda of our education. [Interjections.]


Fa e šwa, e a ragaraga.

Hon members, the Bill is processed at a time when the country is polarised by various matters of social cohesion and the political climate of election contests further fuels the narratives and contradictions. This Bill has been misinterpreted in many areas and is based on questioning the department's capacity and capability to effectively implement some of the policy reforms.

This Bill responds to the current needs in terms of the changing demographics of our communities, findings by the courts and our own observations as we monitor schools across the provinces. The Bill contains clauses ranging from the introduction of Grade R to learner attendance, code of conduct for learners, home schooling, rationalisation of schools, abolishment of corporal punishment and initiation, language policy, admission policy and criminalisation of disruptions on schools, amongst others.

We debate the Second Reading of the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill after undertaking an extensive public involvement process. We went to all corners of the country and listened to the people, and the people have spoken. They support the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill. We received a significant number of concerns in relation to clause 37 of the
Bill, which focuses on home schooling. Our observation is that there is a misconception about the objectives of the clause in the Bill. The department and the portfolio committee have held numerous deliberations to address this discomfort. The imperative of the home-schooling clause is critical to enable the department to play its constitutional obligation to ensure that all learners of compulsory school-going age receive education. Therefore, registration is required. Persistent rejection of this clause does not negate the constitutional duty and obligation of the department. It is important for the Department of Basic Education to ensure that the child's best interest is upheld and that they receive education of a standard that is not lower than that offered in a public school. Home schooling should not be an ivory tower within our system. We call on all home-schooling associations and parents to continue having engagements with the department to ensure joint efforts to strengthen home schooling. This demonstrates that the process we undertook was with an open mind, noting that the Bill attracted a lot of disinformation and fake news. Despite this, we have a duty as Parliament to process issues objectively.

The recent census of the 2022 population count tells us a particular story. Firstly, our population has grown beyond
projections made by the National Development Plan, which projected 58,5 million citizens by 2030. However, the recent census has reported our population at 62 million. This accounts for what we have observed in terms of infrastructure gaps in the education system, as a moving target. We are confident that our government will make adequate plans to address the infrastructure gap to meet the demands of a growing population.

The financial implications of the Bill have been assessed and the department has demonstrated that ... already provides for Grade R in the majority of schools and plans to expand infrastructure for Grade R learners are well under way. The rejection of this clause by the DA and ACDP is as good as rejecting efforts to improve learning outcomes.

The other deliberate misinformation is on clause 41 of the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill that empowers the Minister to develop regulations which addresses circumstances of pregnancies. This clause has been welcomed by teachers across the nation as they are not trained to address issues of pregnancies. It is a responsible provision to enable the Minister to develop regulations to address these matters.
Disappointingly, the ACDP has also peddled disinformation by calling the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill an abortion Bill, which is a gross misinterpretation and misleading assertion. During the public hearings, members of the public reminded hon Sukers here that the ACDP does not represent all Christians. The majority supported the Bill and all the clauses, mentioning that they are also Christians.

It is unfortunate that our education system still has some elements of perpetuated discrimination due to language and admission policies. In the public hearings, citizens of South Africa raised a concern about school governing bodies which developed language and admission policies to preserve those schools as enclaves, exclusively to a minority, particularly former Model C schools, with Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

We must state in this House, hon Nodada and hon Sukers, as you are making a noise here in rejecting the Bill, you supported most of the clauses in that Bill. You had few conscientious clauses that you did not support but ... [Inaudible.] ... you supported. Chair, we support the Bill.

disappointed because I thought that during the apartheid system it was only the blacks that were given sawdust education. Now, I am just a bit disappointed that it looks as if all of us, even those that received so-called quality education then, have sawdust information in their heads. They don't have ears to listen. They don’t have eyes to see and some even lie in saying that the Act is an abortion Bill, misleading the country by saying that this is an abortion Bill. It's a lie, a lie, green pharisee lies! That's a lie.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Deputy Minister, there’s a point of order. Can you please take a seat? Hon Sukers?

Ms M E SUKERS: House Chair, I just want the Minister not to mislead the House. Her current policy ... [Inaudible.] ...

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Sukers?


An HON MEMBER: What's the point of order?
Ms M E SUKERS: ... policy ... [Inaudible.] ... for abortion. [Inaudible.] ... current policy. Don’t mislead the House and mislead South Africa. Don't mislead the House.

An HON MEMBER: Now, what is the point of order?


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Deputy Minister, can I attend to this? Hon Sukers, that was totally out of order. Interjections are allowed but they should not disturb the flow of the debate. What you have just done is to disturb the flow of the debate. It is totally unacceptable.
Please do not repeat that. Hon Deputy Minister, you can go ahead.


does not take away powers of the SGBs, including on language policy. That is why I said I am a bit disappointed that people do not have ears. They just have signs that look like ears.
The challenge is that when you go to court, the head of department, HOD, does not have a leg to stand on, on something that supports him or her on the intervention, because if there is nothing that supports the HOD, he or she interferes.
However, SGBs will continue to do their work.
Hon Shaik, no one spoke here about that Act or that clause of liquor because all the people that we consulted — because we consulted people — said, no, they don't want that and we adhered to that. It's no longer there. So, he must be comfortable with that. Thank you, Chair.

An HON MEMBER: Chairperson, note the objection of the DA and we call for a division.

Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, on a point of order. It’s Steve Swart here. It has been brought to my attention that the Chief Whip of the ANC spoke death over Ms Sukers when she was speaking. I would ask you to please look at the record and rule on that. It has only been brought to my attention now.
You will pick it up from the audio. If you would look at that and come back, I would really appreciate that. Thank you so much, Chairperson.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Swart, it will be looked at. We will come back to you about that. We will make a follow up on that.

Debate concluded.
Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.


Division demanded.

The House divided.


[Voting take in from minutes]


Question agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a second time.


Muf M M RAMADWA: Ndo livhuwa, Mulangadzulo wa Nndu ...



 ... the Portfolio Committee on Transport is submitting the Luxembourg Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Railway
Rolling Stock. Luxembourg Protocol was approved by Cabinet on

21 June 2023. The Luxembourg Protocol falls within the scope of section 231(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. It requires Parliament’s approval before it is ratified.

The Portfolio Committee on Transport received a briefing from the Department of Transport on 17 October 2023, and the committee considered Luxembourg Protocol as reflected in the portfolio committee report. The Luxembourg Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment was signed by South Africa in March 2022 and came into effect post the signing by the fourth country, Spain, on 20 January 2023.

In January 2015, the African Union adopted South Africa as the manufacturing hub for rolling stock in Africa. South Africa has traditionally maintained global standards for rail in every aspect of the value chain of that mode of transport, including safety, and is currently restoring, revitalizing, and modernizing its railway system. This protocol is critical for the development of rolling stock and even its export as the protocol secures private investment in the industry.
The Luxembourg Protocol provides a mechanism for recognizing and registering international security interest in railway rolling stock to facilitate cross border and domestic finances of such assets. The Luxembourg Protocol sets out common international legal rights for funders financing rolling stock. The security of private investment is maintained through a transparent and searchable international asset register. The Luxembourg Protocol benefits South Africa by improving the availability of capital and reducing the cost of private finance for rolling stock. It creates certainty and security of investment for local and foreign funders in rail infrastructure. The protocol encourages private sector participation through financing in the rail sector for acquiring rolling stock as well as the sale of locally manufactured rolling stock.

Moreover, it will facilitate private sector participation in the rail sector through the implementation of the new rail policy. It should be borne in mind that Transnet Freight Rail operates in the SADC region and rail rolling stock operates throughout the region and both its domestic and regional services require private sector investment.
The Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Prasa, is revitalizing and modernizing its service through the opening of the rail corridors and through introducing new locomotives and rolling stock. The protocol ensures that security interests in the international and domestic financing of the rolling stock are protected. This is critical as the protocol reduces the cost of capital and financing in the rail sector of South Africa. The signing and ratification of the protocols comes at a favorable and opportune time of the country as it is making progress in restoring all rail corridors and improving its rail services whilst modernizing its locomotives and rolling stock, as well as its signal systems. This protocol ... [Inaudible.] ... the availability of scarce capital resources for investment in the railway system. These protocols also benefit countries on the continent and the development of its rolling stock.

The Portfolio Committee on Transport submits ... [Time expired.] ... the Luxembourg Protocol and the committee report for consideration and approval by the House. Thank you.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Shaik, please take care of your gadget.
Declaration of votes:

Mr T B MABHENA: The state of both freight and passenger rail in Africa has been consistently declining due to the mismanagement and cadre deployment practices of this ANC government. Simultaneously, the South African economy has also been in decline and the government’s competing social spending priorities have been consistently increasing. Consequently, the ANC government took a conscious decision to disinvest in the rail sector and just stood by while our rail infrastructure was being stolen piece by piece every day.

The constrained fiscus, coupled with the declining economy and exacerbated by the complete incompetence, ineptitude, and corrupt nature of this ANC-led government, means that the government cannot consistently invest in rail capital projects, especially to fund rolling stock at the same rate as the rapidly increasing rail transportation needs in South Africa.

Therefore, the idea behind this convention is quite positive - an alternative funding model to alleviate pressure on the fiscus to fund rolling stock. This multilateral treaty serves as an international asset-based financing regime that hopefully will enable and reduce the cost of private financing
for rail rolling stock. During the presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Transport, the Department of Transport correctly noted that the current funding resources available to state-owned freight and passenger rail entities are inadequate and are impacting these state-owned enterprises’ ability to meet the demand and level of service required.

Furthermore, the department emphasized that Luxembourg Protocol enhances the private sector’s appetite for financing rolling stock and can play a vital role in the implementation of private sector’s participation as envisioned in the National Rail Policy of March 2022. However, as is often the case with the ANC government, there is always a monumental contradiction somewhere.

Hon Chairperson, allow me to provide some context. The Luxembourg Protocol’s primary objective is to assist the Passenger Rail Agency of SA in raising funds from international lending markets for crucial infrastructure projects. However, achieving success in international fundraising requires more than just the existing of such a convention. It demands good governance. For a state-owned entity like Prasa, good governance means having audited financial statements and presenting them before Parliament.
Audited financial statements establish a foundation of credibility and assurance, making a company more appealing and reliable to international investors. They not only streamline the funding processes, but also significantly contribute to the overall growth and stability of the business in the international arena; precisely what this convention aims to achieve. Yet, today, as we ratify this protocol, a concerning incident comes to light. On 27 September 2022, the Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, sent a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula stating, and I quote:

This letter serves as a notification that I will not be able to table Prasa’s 2022-23 annual report by 30 September 2020, as required by section 65(1)(a) of the Public Finance Management Act, PFMA.

To date, the Minister has still not tabled that annual report, a clear contradiction of what the department aims to achieve with this convention.

Hon Chairperson, in conclusion, the only reason we are supporting this convention is because the DA will be in government next year after the 2024 national and provincial
elections, and the DA government will use this convention to facilitate more affordable finance from the private sector to support new rolling stock procurement, as well as to finance existing fleets, leveraged and strengthened by a DA corruption-free government and that will be a champion of clean governance and a DA government that will not be beset and hamstrung by incompetent deployed cadres of this ANC government because a DA government will hire fit-for-purpose
civil servants that will that will help turn around the state.


Rre A H M PAPO: Wa lora! Wa lora!



We will use this convention to rescue our rail network infrastructure. As such, the DA supports this convention. I thank you.

Ms C N MKONTHO: Chairperson, the primary objective of the protocol is to offer enhancement and security of two international finance institutions and creditors, who lend monies to countries for the construction of railway and rolling stock. Essentially, these creditors have lobbied globally to ensure that, in the event a country defaults on
its loan, they have the right to repossess the infrastructure financed by the by these loans.

The challenge confronting South Africa is our lack in reorienting our transport and logistic infrastructure to achieve a regional and continental scope and progression. We ought to be to be cultivating a transport and logistics system that shifts the focus from merely transporting minerals from regions like Northern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga, the sea, towards promoting the beneficiation and industrialisation of both the region and the continent.

Our pressing issue is not merely the security of the creditors, it is the imperative of dismantled remnants of neocolonial transport infrastructure. It is essential that we consider the model such as build, operate and transfer to minimise of reliance of the loans for the construction and the strategic asset. By adopting such approach, we can safeguard sovereignty state and ensure that we are not left vulnerable to the creditors, who might in the future repossess the vital assets and holding our nation at ransom. We don’t support this.
Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon Chairperson, the Luxembourg Protocol is an important addition to the Convention on International Interest in Mobile Equipment. This protocol is specifically tailored to address matters concerning railway rolling stock. This primary objective is to establish a standard global framework for financing and regulating railway rolling stock.

The convention at its core offers a valuable structure of international trade and transportation. It promotes a consistent and standardised approach, which can lead to severe advantage, including enhanced efficiency and capability. This benefit can pave the way for adoption of modern and ecofriendly technology within the railway sector. We must acknowledge that building and maintaining railway structure is a costly endeavour. The more we can standardise the technology use in this sector, the more cost-effective it becomes. It is essential for us as a nation to explore economical alternative to road transportation.

In recent years we have observed an increasing alliance on our road network for transportation of goods and services.
Unfortunately, this over alliance is partly due to shortcomings of entities like the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa and Transnet, which have failed to reduce
the burden off our roads. Furthermore, the government has now effectively addressed the maintenance in expansion of our railway network.

In ... [Inaudible] ... a protocol like the Luxembourg Protocol can prevent the corruption ... [Inaudible] ... trade dealing between Prasa and ... [Inaudible] ..., a brand that South Africa is still grappling with. While we generally support this protocol especially given the lack of leadership, accountability and expertise in state-owned enterprises and the Department of Transport, we must exercise caution when it comes to certain aspects of this agreement.

The IFP has long advocated for a passenger and freight all rail network that is accessible to all citizens. Without this impoverishment, our purpose of becoming an exclusive service to middle and upper class, we need a model that ensures inclusiveness. Therefore, an agreement for standardisation should not impose exhibition compliance cost that burden the development of SA rail network. Our decision to sign such agreement must be based on value considering our limited financial resources.
Lastly, we must also consider the significant role in shaping the ... [Inaudible] ... of this ... [Inaudible.] The IFP does support the protocol.

Ms F E KHUMALO: Hon Chairperson, hon members ...


 ... sinomlando wokuthi ababehlala ngapha ngakwesami sokhohlo izinsizwa nezintombi ezazinamandla njengelungu elihloniphekile uMabhena zigcwele izinkalo, asizazi ukuthi ezinye zashonaphi ezazikhuluma kanje. Uyesekelile i-Protocol kodwa siyabazi ababenamandla njengaye asibazi ukuthi bashonaphi abanye ababesuka ngapha.


The ANC supports the approval of Luxembourg Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Railway Rolling Stock. It is important that South Africa maintains its high-level standards which are based on international standards for rail. This becomes important in the context where rail restoration has occurred, and it is occurring as well as the revitalisation and modernisation of the rail.
The protocol needs to be adopted in the context of the National Assembly, also approving the Rail Safety Bill. Moreover, the countries in the process of acquiring locomotives and rolling stock as well as ensuring the automation of the rail signalling system. All this required a huge investment to completely the realise its fruits of rail as an efficient mode of transport, and rail contributing to inclusive economic growth and job creation.

The signing of the protocol is investment burden on the country through encouraging private sector investment in rolling stock. House Chair, the protocol creates the security environment to foster and protect investment in rolling stock even in the context of domestic and cross border usage or sale of rolling. Through the creation of common asset register for signatories of the Luxembourg Protocol, an asset register is created, which reduces investor risk and thereby cheapens finance cost for the development of the rolling stock.

The protocol is important to create investment to set certainty and reduce risk through its application of International Law. This comes at an advantage to South Africa is it reduces finance charges and secures real assets even cross border rain. The protocol also encourages the domestic
manufacture of rolling stock. This will occur through the Luxembourg Protocol lowering the barriers to entry for the third-party operators, open up new rolling stock markets for manufacturing.

In 2015 the African Union adopted South Africa as the manufacturing hub for rolling stock in Africa. Since then, there has been the construction of a more R1 billion train manufacturing factory in Nigel in Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality employing about 1 500 people, 99 of whom are South African, 85% historically disadvantaged individuals and 25% were women. This facility is producing state of the art extra police mega.

Government is also spending some R51 billion on new rolling stock and R4 billion on hybrid locomotives in the next five- year period. Prasa and Transnet freight rail has been investing in rolling stock and locomotives. Therefore, as part of the restoration, revitalisation and modernisation of the railway system, the Luxembourg Protocol enhances this effort as it will finance local production of rolling stone, not only for South Africa, but in other African countries which are signatories to the protocol. This will positively contribute
to localisation and local manufacture in the rail sector with a positive effect on both direct and indirect job creation.

Moreover, the protocol supports the implementation of the new rail policy as this policy encourages private sector investment in the rail sector. This will reduce the pressure on state-owned enterprises, SOEs to raise funding for the investment in increasing operational efficiency of rail in the country.

As part of the revitalisation and modernisation of the rail infrastructure, the Luxembourg Protocol strengthens and enhances the economic programme of the ANC government by creating a certain investment climate for private sector investors. But more importantly, it does so through cheapening finance charges. This is the case given that the country is a signatory of the protocol, and it will be part of implementing International Law in relation to the financing of rolling stock and will be part of the asset register.

This mitigates the risk of financing, rolling rail stock and reduces the pressure on the country to raise funding for the revitalisation and modernisation of the rail system. It reduces debt liability and debt servicing costs for SOEs is in
the sector. In a capital scarce country, the Luxembourg Protocol is certainly a win-win situation for the country and therefore must be supported. The ANC supports approval of the Luxembourg Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Railway Stock. Seeks the consideration of the House for its approval. Thank you, Chairperson.

Question put.


Luxembourg Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Railway Rolling Stock approved.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Order! I request members to stand and wait for the Chair and the Mace to leave the Chamber.

Debate concluded.


The House adjourned at 16:56.