Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised Hansard

House: National Council of Provinces

Date of Meeting: 16 May 2024


No summary available.



Watch video here: Plenary 

The Council met at 10:04.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The Chairperson announced that the hybrid sitting constituted a sitting of the National Council of Provinces
The CHAIPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon delegates, allow me to take this opportunity to proceed by reminding delegates of the Rules relating to all our virtual and hybrid meetings and sittings in particular subrules (21) (22) (23) of Rule 103 which provides as follows: That the hybrid sitting constitutes a sitting of the National Council of Provinces that delegates in the hybrid sitting enjoy the same powers and privileges that apply in a sitting of the National Council of Provinces. That for purposes of the forum all delegates who are locked into the virtual platform shall be considered present. That delegates must switch on their videos if they want to speak. That delegates who experience connectivity issues are encouraged to use a clear photograph for identification on the virtual platform. That delegates on the virtual platform are encouraged to lock on with one device only as logging on with two or more devices further lowers the bindery. That delegates should ensure that microphones on the electronic devices are muted and must always remain muted unless they are permitted to speak. That all delegates in the Chamber must insert their cards to register on the Chamber system. That delegates who are physical in the Chamber must use the floor microphones.
That all delegates participate in the discussion through the chat room.
In addition, I would like to remind delegates that the interpreting facility is active. permanent delegates and members of the executive, special delegates and Salga representatives on the virtual platform are requested to ensure that the interpretation facilities on the electronic devices are properly activated to facilitate access to the interpretation services. Permanent delegates, special delegates, Salga representatives and members of the executives in the Chamber should use the interpretation instruments on their desks to access interpretation facilities. Thank very much. We will now proceed to notices of motion. I now call on members who wishes to table notice of motion to indicate so that we can proceed accordingly.
Ms B M BARTLETT: Hon Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
Debates improving state and security measures to get to protect economic infrastructure, including stopping cable theft and a destruction of the country’s bio system.
Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Ms N NDONGENI: Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
Debates setting up implementation which is 7th Parliament. Setting up and implementing holistic measures to deal with concern of rising levels of violence and bullying in South African schools.
Ms N E NKOSI: Hon Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
Debates strengthening of interventions end in ensuring culprits of femicide, child abuse and rape are arrested, denied bail, and face the full mighty of the law.
Thank you.
(Draft Resolution)
Mr F J BADENHORST: Hon Chair, I move without notice:
That the Council-
(1) notes that the Western Cape provincial government delivered 2 317 new classrooms to learners in the Western Cape since 2019 in new primary schools and at existing schools that constructed early four more new classrooms to support Western Cape children in special needs; to continue investment in education infrastructures to further in the improve maths and language results in all classes in the Western Cape school’s phases in 2023;
(2) further notes that 193 Western Cape health facilities now have generators to continue essential services 24/7 during loadshedding which we all know is coming back next month; and that the Western Cape government has spent R89 million to protect water treatment facilities in municipalities across the province to ensure that critical water infrastructure is operational during loadshedding;
(3) recalls that almost 4 000 loadshedding relief packs has been distributed to vulnerable Western Cape residents at Social Development facilities that care
for people of disabilities senior citizens and shelters caring for gender-based violence victims;
(4) recognises that the Western Cape has the lowest unemployment rate in South Africa at 21,4%; and that the Western Cape created 64,9% all net jobs between 2019 ... [Interjections.] ... Growing jobs in the Western Cape by 240 000 in the past five years.
The truth must be hurting.
(5) acknowledges that the Western Cape government delivered about over 43 000 housing opportunities and have assisted over 21 000 Western Cape residents to become first time home owners;
(6) remembers that over 1 300 leap offices have been deployed with the assistance of the Western Cape government to keep communities safe resulting in more than 27 000 arrest and the confiscating of more than 554 illegal firearms;
(7) congratulates Premier Alan Winde and the DA-led provincial administration for their citizens centric approach to service delivery to all the residents of the Western Cape as confirmed by the best audit outcome in five years with a 100% of the department and receiving unqualified audit in 2022-23;
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Any objection to the motion? [Interjections.] The motion may not be preceded with and become a notice of a motion.
(Draft Resolution)
Ms A D MALEKA: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council-
(1) notes with sadness the passing of retired Constitutional Court Judge, Justice Yvonne Mokgoro on 9 May 2024, at the age of 73;
(2) also notes that Justice Mokgoro was a Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from its inception in 1994 until the end of her 15-year term in 2009;
(3) further notes that throughout her distinguished legal career, she taught many courses at a number of universities in South Africa and abroad;
(4) notes that in 2015 she was inducted as a member of the Order of the Baobab in Bronze for her excellent contribution in the field of law and administration of justice in a democratic South Africa;
(5) express our sincere condolences to the Mokgoro family, her friends and colleagues, both locally and internationally.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
(Draft Resolution)
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Chairperson, I see that there is a lot of humour in the House today, which is good for our last sitting. However, I came to the House today with a very serious matter. I move without notice:
That the Council-
(1) notes that on 6 December 2003, I stood before this very House and issued a Motion without notice relating to the brutal murder of the DA Chief Whip in the uMngeni Local Municipality, councillor Nhlalayenza Ndlovo;
(2) reminds this House that councillor Ndlovo was shot in front of his wife and young children;
(3) also notes that immediately following this act, the DA, at its on considerable expense launched a private forensic investigation into the matter;
(4) further notes that the DA offered assistance to the SAPS in their investigation, which included any
possible findings, leads and evidence generated in the DA’s forensic team;
(5) further reminds this House that the leader of the DA in KwaZulu-Natal, Francois Rodgers, MPL, has on numerous occasions called for a meeting with the provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, in order to share the information with the SAPS and also to get an update on the SAPS investigation;
(6) recognises that, despite these requests, it would now appear that the provincial Police Commissioner is deliberately avoiding contact with the DA;
(7) also recognises that this is inexplicable behaviour and it is particularly egregious, given KwaZulu-Natal’s long history of political violence, which includes the killing of councillors and other political stakeholders;
(8) calls again for the umpteenth time that Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube urgently convenes a round table discussion
with all KwaZulu-Natal political party leaders and the SAPS provincial leadership, in order to find solutions; and
(9) also calls on the premier and the commissioner to remove their heads from the sand and face head-on the ongoing and persistent crisis of political violence in the killing fields of KwaZulu-Natal, and for the last time in this Parliament, ...
... siyabangena!
The motion is not proceeded with and will become a notice of a motion.
(Draft Resolution)
Mr M DANGOR: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council-
(1) notes that, this Friday, 17 May 2024, marks a milestone in the elections’ timetable, which is the first day of voting in the 2024 National and Provincial Elections, as South African citizens living in other countries will cast the first ballots on 17 May 2024;
(2) also notes that nine countries will cast ballots on Friday, whilst the rest of the 102 will cast ballots on Saturday, 18 May 2024;
(3) further notes that South African citizens voting abroad in the 2024 National Elections can only vote on one day at their mission: missions with a work week from Saturday to Thursday vote on Friday, 17 May from 7am to 7pm; missions with a work week from Monday to Friday vote on Saturday, 18 May, 7am to 7pm; and
(4) calls on South Africans abroad to note the above- mentioned information and to come out and vote correctly.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
(Draft Resolution)
Mr I NTSUBE: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council-
(1) notes that the Springbok Women’s team beat Madagascar 46-17 at home in Antananarivo, during the weekend of 11 May 2024, to retain their African championship;
(2) also notes that the victory qualifies Africa’s top team for next year’s Rugby World Cup and the World 15 second-tier tournament, which South Africa will host in September 2024;
(3) further notes that in the World Rugby Tournament, South Africa will be competing against the national teams from Scotland, Italy, the United States of America, Japan and Samoa in the second tier of this three-tier international competition;
(4) recognises that the Springbok Women’s team is making South Africa proud and is a shining example of the strides the country has made in the development of the women of our nation during 30 years of freedom;
(5) congratulates the Springbok Women’s National Rugby Team on winning the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup and advancing to the 2025 Rugby World Cup in England; and
(6) calls upon all South Africans to support the Springbok Women’s team in their future endeavours.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
(Draft Resolution)
Ms S SHAIKH: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council-
(1) welcomes the arrest of a truck driver by the police, for transporting drugs worth R3,5 million on the N1 in Laingsburg in the Western Cape on Thursday, 9 May 2024;
(2) notes that members of the rural Flying Squad stationed in Laingsburg, in partnership with the Laingsburg SAPS, conducted high-density patrols on the N1 national route, pulled over a truck, searched it, and found 10 packets containing mandrax tablets concealed in a box and eight boxes containing compressed dagga;
(3) further notes that drugs are the cause of some of the most violent crimes that wreak havoc in South African communities;
(4) believes that working together will ensure a rapid downward trend in the overall levels of crime;
(5) commends the police for their dedication and diligence in arresting drug dealers and couriers and bringing them to justice; and
(6) calls upon all law-abiding citizens to continue to work with the police to ensure drug-free and safer communities.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
(Draft Resolution)
Mr M I RAYI: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council-
(1) applauds the Eastern Cape Provincial Government for initiating the use of the Livestock Identification and Traceability System as part of efforts to fight stock theft;
(2) notes that the Livestock Identification and Traceability System is a technology-based ear-tag
gadget that the government is delivering to 120 cattle farming enterprises across the province, as well as part of the efforts to strengthen biosecurity measures to improve the international trade of cattle;
(3) also notes that all ear-tagged animals and the identities of their owners will be registered onto a central database, where animal movement is recorded to make it easy to trace the animal back to the owner;
(4) understands that 30 000 cattle will be ear-tagged for identification and traceability, as part of the rollout in Tsolo;
(5) recalls that the rollout of the Livestock Identification and Traceability System is a follow-up on the commitment made by the provincial government during the 2024 state of the province address, and as part of implementing an agreement between the government and the red meat industry;
(6) believes that this system will improve the prosecution rate of people charged with livestock theft and
strengthen biosecurity measures in farms to improve international trade of cattle opportunities;
(7) welcomes the training and registering of more than 250 veterinarians, scientists, animal health technicians and extension advisors to lead the implementation of the system; and
(8) trusts that the system will go a long way in improving the recovery of stolen animals.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
(Draft Resolution)
Me S E LUCAS: Voorsitter, ek stel sonder kennisgewing voor:
Dat die Raad-
(1) kennis neem van die roubeklaag vir die heengaan van mnr Willem Damarah, ’n Namataal-fundi, die groot leeu van die Noorde, ’n seun van die Kalahari-duine, ’n vryheidsvegter in die voormalige Suidwes-Afrika, ’n nederige persoon, ’n kerkman, ’n pa, ’n broer, ’n storieverteller, ’n skrywer, ’n historikus, ’n kameraad en vriend;
(2) verder kennis neem dat dit ’n groot verlies is vir die gemeenskap van Riemvasmaak en die Garieparea, en die hele Noord-Kaap;
(3) ook kennis neem dat dit ’n groot verlies is vir die Khoi en San-gemeenskappe, omdat hy homself, by uistek, as ’n Namataalkundige in hierdie provinsie en in die hele land bevind het;
(4) erken dat hy ’n lid van die Pan-Suid-Afrikaanse Taalraad was, waar hy die Namataal en die Khoekoegowab bevorder het; en
(5) erkenning gee aan roubeklaag vir sy heengaan op die ouderdom van 59 jaar en 10 maande.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Moved that the Council resolves that Rule 218(1), which provides inter alia that the consideration of a Bill may not commence before at least three working days have lapsed since the committee’s report was tabled, be suspended for the purposes of con-sideration of the following Bills:
(a) Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill [B8D–2020] (National Assembly – section 76);
(b) Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Amendment Bill [B 5 – 2022] (National Assembly – section 76);
(c) General Intelligence Laws Amendment;
(d) Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill; and
(e) Plant Health (Phytosanitary) Bill [B14B–2021] (National Assembly – section 76).
Question put.
Motion is agreed to.
(Report of Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy)
Ms T C MODISE: Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, good morning, the Report of the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resource and Energy on the Rectification of Revised African Regional Co-Operation Revised African Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research Development and Training related to nuclear. Science and technology agreement, as well as the explanatory memorandum attached to there, 14 May 2024.
The Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy, having considered the request for approval by Parliament for the Ratification of the Revised African Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) Agreement as well as the Explanatory Memorandum attached thereto, referred to it on 17 August 2023, recommends that the Council, in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996, approves the said Agreement.
I thank you, hon Chair.
Debate concluded.
Question put: That the Report be adopted.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Northwest, Western Cape.
Report adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
(Consideration of Bill and report of Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure thereon)
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Chairperson, greetings to my colleagues and also to ...
... baagi ba Aforika Borwa ka kakaretso.
The Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure calls upon hon members to support and adopt the Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill.
This Bill seeks to deal with the appeals relating to applications for operating licenses under the National Land Transport Act, Act 5 of 2009.
These appeals are from acts, directions or decisions of the national Public Transport Regulator and the provincial regulatory entities and municipal regulatory entities.
In terms of process followed, the select committee was briefed by the department on 18 October 2023, and on 24 March 2024 we placed an advert in the media calling for written submissions on the Bill, with a deadline on 12 April 2024. No submissions were received in response to the call for the written submissions.
On 30 April 2024 the select committee considered and elaborated on the provincial negotiating mandates, and on
07 May the select committee continued with the deliberations of the negotiating mandate. And finally, resolving on the final mandate yesterday on 15 May 2024.
All the eight provinces were able to vote in support and gave us mandates to support this Bill, except one, which obviously was suspect influenced by the dynamics and context within which we are campaigning. As a result, thereof, of time pressure, but we understood because the province has been quite a good participant in all our processes.
Therefore, the committee, having considered the final mandate and also adopted the report unanimously in favour of the Bill,
tables this report before the House for adoption. Thank you, hon Chair.
Question put: That the Bill be agreed to.
Bill agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
(Consideration of Amendment Bill and Report of Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure thereon)
Rre K M MMOIEMANG: Motl Modulasetilo le maloko a a tlotlegang a Ntlo.
On behalf of the select committee, again, a glaring call to the members to vote and adopt the Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Amendment Bill.
Our country, South Africa, is party to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.
The Marine Pollution Act of 1973, as amended by the protocol of 1978, when the Act was adopted by the convention in 1973, there were five annexes, that were forming part of it.
In 1997 the convention, again, adopted a protocol. And through this protocol of 1997, the 1973 international convention was amended to include annexure 6 to the existing 5 annexes.
So, therefore, this Bill, Marine Pollution Amendment Bill, intends to incorporate the marine pollution annexure 4 and annexure 6.
Marine pollution annexure 4 regulates the activities for treatment and safe disposal of sewage from ships and the marine pollution annexure 6 is the main global instrument that addresses ship energy efficiency management and the emissions.
So, in terms of the process that was followed by the select committee the briefing was received on 18 October 2023, and on
4 February 2024 an advert was placed in the national media for
written submissions on the Bill, with the deadline on
24 February 2024.
Only one submission was received from the Worldwide Fund for Nature. And on 27 March 2024 the department gave us a response as the select committee in terms of the presentation that was made.
On 30 April the select committee met and agreed to reject the amendment proposed in the negotiating mandates.
In its deliberation, the select committee was informed by the fact that South Africa is a signatory to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and that the Bill intends to incorporate an annexes 4 and 6 of the convention into the domestic law; meaning that we’re domesticating it so that it becomes an integral part of our regime when it comes to mitigating the marine pollution.
Eight provinces submitted final mandates on the Bill, which was considered on 15 May 2024. And, again, the province whose vote was declared not to be relevant did not submit the final
mandate; meaning that, again, in this instance because of the congestion that was referred to.
But the select committee, having deliberated on a considered subject of the Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Amendment Bill, which is a section 76 tagging, refer to it and classified it as a section 76 Bill and therefore, as the select committee having unanimously agreed to adopt the report by all the members of the committee, tables this report for adoption before the House. Thank you, hon Chair.
Question put: That the Bill be agreed to.
Bill agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
(Consideration of Bill and Report thereon)
Ms T C MODISE: Chairperson, the Report of Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resource and Energy on Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill [B23B - 2023], National
Assembly, section 76 dated 24 May 2024. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy briefed the committee on 26 March 2024 on the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill [B23B - 2023]. The Bill was referred to the committee on 14 March 2024 as a section 76 Bill.
The committee called for written comments on the Bill from 18 March 2024 until 29 April 2024, while public hearings were held by provincial legislatures. At the end of the public engagement process of both the committee and provincial legislatures, the negotiating mandate meetings were held by the committee together with provincial legislatures on the 30 April 2024.
The Select Committee on Land Reform, Mineral Resources and Energy, received seven provincial final mandates from the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and Northern Cape supporting the Bill, with the Western Cape submitting a final mandate not supporting the Bill and the Free State did not submit their final mandate.
The Select Committee on Land Reform, Mineral Resources and Energy, having deliberated on and considered the subject of
the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill [B23B - 2023] National Assembly – sec 76, referred to it and classified by the JTM as a section 76 Bill, reports that it agrees to the Bill [B23B – 2023] without any amendments. Therefore, we request the House to support this Bill. Thank you.
Declaration(s) of Vote:
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chair, on 15 April 2024, the Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Opportunities in Tourism and the Standing Committee on Infrastructure, wrote to the NCOP Chairperson requesting an extension to process the Bill or to revive the Bill in the seventh Parliament. Despite numerous follow-up emails by the Western Cape office on this this request, the committee now sending further correspondence withdrawing its request from an extension and now reaffirming the request for the Bill to be revived in the seventh Parliament.
Given the technical nature of the Bill and the need for more meaningful public participation, especially with the rising concern of various stakeholders at local government on the added definition of distribution of power system, that means a network for the conveyance of electricity which operate at a
below or a nominal voltage of 132kv but above 11kv. This might reduce the constitutional powers of municipalities to 11kv or below which will have a far-reaching financial impact on the already challenged local government spheres.
A response from the NCOP was only received on the 3 May 2024, two weeks after the committee sent the original correspondence to the Chairperson of the NCOP. The lack of response and consideration given by the NCOP to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament had severely impacted on the committee’s ability to adequately process the Bill. Moreover, the timelines that were provided for the Bill in the select committee’s programme were objectively inadequate to facilitate adequate public participation given the technical nature of the Bill and the major economic importance. The Western Cape therefore cannot support this Bill as it does not comply with constitutional requirements for adequate public participation. I thank you.
Ms L C BEBEE: Chairperson, the ANC supports the amendment to the Electricity Regulation Bill because it exemplifies the ANC-led government’s 1998 White Paper on energy which proposed that the monopoly position of Eskom in the generation transmission and distribution segments of the market was
extraordinarily restricted to the desired results of energy security, on the one hand and ones responsible for upward biased electricity tariffs on the other hand. This explains why the ANC-led government has proposed a full-blown unbundling of Eskom to maximise economic efficiency in the electricity market.
The presumption is that the unbundling of Eskom would make the electricity market more responsive to unreliable supply of electricity and high electricity tariffs through competition across the generation, as well as distribution networks. In turn, competitions would deliver competitive electricity prices that are not only cost reflective, but also affordable. Thus, the proposal from the ANC-led government to amend this Bill and attempt to reconcile the proposed unbundling of Eskom with its stated objectives of private sector participation, transfer regulation and competition in the electricity market.
The amendment of this Bill boosts several important advantages. Amongst other things, the Bill empowers National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Nersa to set electricity tariffs and regulate electricity prices for regulated licences to avoid anti-competitive behaviour by IPPs, wherein they
would be incentivized to restrict output to create artificial shortages that boost their profits. As such, the empowerment of Nersa is aimed at ensuring that the abuse of market power barely trumps productive efficiency.
This transformation the competitive electricity market into a platform able to allocate electricity efficiency. An important advantage of this Bill is that it empowers Eskom and municipalities to compete aggressively with the IPPs in the generation and distribution networks, especially in the generation network where scales, economies and renewable energy technology are important.
Eskom and municipalities are likely to benefit making this Bill a profitable strategy. In turn, Eskom and municipalities will diversify their revenue streams so that they can become going concern capable of representing the interest of the state and competitive electricity market. The crucial advantage of this Bill is that it makes it feasible for municipalities to source electricity from any generator with lower generation cost. In turn, municipality also would set the electricity prices much lower, thereby improving access of electricity for poorer and lower income households. This
confirms that the poorer customers must pin their hopes for lower electricity prices on this Bill as it attempts to redistribute gains between them and generators in the competitive electricity market. I thank you, Chairperson.
Debate concluded.
Question put: That the Bill be agreed to.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West.
AGAINST: Western Cape.
Bill agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)
Ms T C MODISE: Hon Chairperson. The Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy on the Plant
Health Bill B14B-2021, (National Assembly - section 76), dated
14 May 2024, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development briefed the committee on 22 March 2024 on the Plant Health Bill B14B-2021 - section 76.
The Bill was referred to the committee on 20 February 2024, as a section 76 Bill. The committee called for written comments on the Bill from 18 March 2024 until 22 April 2022, while the public hearingS were held by the provincial legislatures. At the end of the public engagement process of both the committee and the provincial legislatures, ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please, proceed.
Ms T C MODISE: No, they're making noise, Chair. The negotiating mandate meetings were held by the committee, together with the provincial legislature on 7 May 2024. The Select Committee on Land Reform, Mineral Resources, and Energy, having received only five final mandates from Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and the North West province, who were supporting the Bill, and four provinces, namely Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape not submitting their final mandates.
The Select Committee on Land Reform, Mineral Resources and Energy, having deliberated on the consideration of the subject of the Plant Health Bill B14B-2021, (National Assembly - section 76), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism, JTM, as a section 76 Bill, therefore, reports that it agrees to the Bill B14B-2021, without any amendments.
The Select Committee on Land Reform, Mineral Resources and Energy, would like to thank the leadership of the National Council of Provinces, the committee members, and everybody, more especially the provinces, because they have played a major role in making sure that these Bills are considered. Therefore, the committee requests the House to support this Bill. We thank you very much, Chair.
Declaration(s) of Vote:
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chair, the Western Cape is deeply concerned by the fact that it was not able to fulfil its constitutional duty to facilitate and provide residents of the province their constitutional right to meaningful public participation due to inadequate timelines that fell short of
the NCOP’s eight-week cycle for dealing with section 76 legislation.
The Plant Health Bill carries significant implications and, therefore, requires thorough deliberation to reflect the diverse perspectives and interests of our communities. Due to time constraints, it was not possible for the Western Cape to provide adequate and reasonable notice to the populace of the province that this Bill is being dealt with to fully enable meaningful public participation and, therefore, violates section 118 of the Constitution.
Due to this unconstitutionality, the Western Cape recommends that this legislation heeds the Independent Municipal Demarcation Authority Bill and be deferred to the Seventh Parliament with a renewed commitment to ensuring sufficient time for meaningful public participation between the provinces and residents. I thank you.
Ms W NGWENYA: Chair, The Bill aligns its objectives with the ANC-led government in South Africa to be a global player in the trade of the plant, but which conforms to the internationally recognised and approved standards of which the
country is part. This Bill is critical to the development of the agriculture sector, but that development occurs within a globally competitive environment, which means our exports and imports are also influenced by the actions of others.
This led to our support of the Plant Health Bill, the national
... [Inaudible.] ...
Mr I NTSUBE: We are unable to hear, Chair!
Ms M O MOKAUSE: We can’t hear!
Mr I NTSUBE: Oh, we are able to hear now, Chair.
Ms W NGWENYA: ... approximately R61 million in crop production contribution to biosecurity, desertification, soil degrading and climate change. The government has engaged in a food security drive and targeted rural areas and townships through the provision of garden tools and water tanks to village and township farmers and households. The Bill ensures our commitment to strengthening biosecurity through the fencing of the infrastructure for livestock handling facilities in communal areas. The government need a proper ... [Inaudible.]
... with regarding of the ... [Inaudible.] ... to improve our position as a country in global competitiveness in trading plants, either through export or import of plants will undergo testing to ensure that it does not negatively affect our biodiversity, in as much our exports are also tested in other countries.
The objective is to reduce feasibility tariffs, and risk and comply with the prescribed important conditions of the target export type market. Also, we need to put under surveillance those plants that are in storage or transportation, particularly with the objective of reporting the adherence, our break and spread of ... [Inaudible.] ... and of controlling those ... [Inaudible.] This requires training and development skills in the field, and this has been done in the past through partnering with institutions of higher learning that have experience in plant health-related subjects. Thanks, Chair. [Time expired.]
Debate concluded.
Question put: That the Bill be agreed to
IN FAVOUR: Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West.
Bill agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Mr T S C DODOVU: Hon Chairperson of the House, hon Masondo, Deputy Ministers in the platform, members of the executive council, MECs, members of the provincial legislature, MPLs, and all other special delegates who are part of this meeting, hon Chair and members of the House, and today during the last sitting of the NCOP’s Sixth Parliament tabling the report of the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements regarding the South African water resource infrastructure, which has been classified as section 75 by our Parliamentary Joint Tagging Mechanism. The same report and the Bill itself were adopted by the National Assembly on the 26th
of March 2024. The Bill has subsequently referred to the NCOP for concurrence, and subsequently to the select committee for consideration and reporting.
Hon members, this Bill that we are today appealing to the NCOP for consideration and passing, seeks to address issues relating to water security as well as socioeconomic growth and development which are highly dependent on the development, operation and maintenance of national water resources infrastructure.
The objects of the Bill are to ensure a sustainable, equitable and reliable supply of water from the national water resources infrastructure to also meet our constitutional obligations, set out in section 10, 11, 24 and 27 of our Constitution, and to meet the national and the regional social and economic objectives of our national policy. It also seeks to utilise its asset-base and cash-flow to raise funds to develop infrastructure for social and economic development purposes.
However, the Bill also seeks to fund the cost of national water resources infrastructure development, its operations and maintenance, and to perform the treaty and nontreaty functions
currently being performed by the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority.
During our engagement with ourselves and senior officials of the Department of Water and Sanitation, we have made three observations: Firstly, we’ve noted and the welcomed the legislative provision that was encapsulated in Chapter 3 of the Bill, which is incomprehensive governance chapter that has been inducted in line with the King’s IV codes of governance. The Presidential Review Committee reporting recommendations and other prescripts like the Company Act and the Public Finance Management Act, PFMA.
Second P, we have noted that this chapter has been inducted so comprehensively to ensure that the agency itself will not be just another public entity with its own legal and identity but seeks to ensure that this agency will be a good corporate citizen integral to society with an effective and efficient board as its accounting authority. Stringent criteria have been set for ... [Inaudible.] ... nomination committee who will make recommendation on the board appointments as well as for prospective candidates who apply for appointments.
We have also noted that this governance chapter is compatible with, among others, the governance aspect of the Company Act. In that it holds boards members accountable in terms of their judiciary duties confirming that they will disclose financial and other competing interests and hold them to account. We have, therefore, as a committee, welcomed the legislative commitments that board members found guilty of ... [Inaudible.] ... improper benefits will be made to pay back the benefit ... [Inaudible.] ... and the necessary processes unfolding. Board members contravening the provisions of the Act will be found guilty as an offence and dealt with accordingly.
The Act allows for the state through the Minister of Water and Sanitation to investigate the affairs of the agency and to intervene where necessary to avoid the advent of negative or poor administration and mismanagement of the agency. We are of the collective view, therefore, that the governance chapter of this Bill has provided the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements with oversight tool to be used during the Seventh Parliament and administration to monitor how the Department of Water and Sanitation will account on matters
related to allegations of corruption, nonfinancial disclosure, contravention of provisions of the Bill itself, poor administration and management of the agency and the implementation of consequence management.
In conclusion, the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements having deliberated on and considered the subject of the South African National Water Resources Infrastructure, referred on 28 March 2024, and classified, as I said by the Joint Tagging Mechanism, JTM, as section 75(b) report that it has unanimously agreed to the Bill without amendments. Thank you very much, hon Chair.
Debate concluded.
Declarations of votes made on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, African National Congress, Economic Freedom Fighters and Inkatha Freedom Party.
Declarations of vote:
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon Chair, I’m on the line. Hon Chair, am I audible?
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon Chairperson, the DA does not support this ANC government’s attempt to create another looting trough state-owned enterprise, SOE, especially given the record of SOEs under the ANC’s control. The purpose of this National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency Bill is to capture all water resource assets as well as to create more opportunities for the connected elite cadres to eat even more. It provides for the comprehensive transfer of all assets, dams and canals, from the Department of Water and Sanitation to the new agency, including taking over control of the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority and all its assets.
All the board members, including the chairman and chief executive officer, CEO, of the entity will be appointed by the Minister, no doubt in accordance with the same reprehensible scenario the public has become accustomed to in relation to failed SOEs under ANC control. The department and the Minister had so far been unable to provide the country with a single credible argument as to why the creation of another SOE with massive resources at its disposal would not follow the same path of corruption, mismanagement and the waste of taxpayers’ money, which we have been witnessing for decades.
South Africans are all too aware that the ANC abuses every opportunity to loot, steal and abuse state resources for the benefit of a selected few cadres. At the end of the day the end users will pay more for water to fund these elite cadres’ salaries and luxury expenses. In the wake of the ANC’s refusal to stop cadre deployment, and in the absence of any convictions for massive corruption and theft of billions of rand under their watch, the DA hereby wishes to place on record our strongest disapproval of the National Water Regulator Infrastructure Authority Bill and therefore opposes this Bill. I thank you.
Ms B M BARTLETT: Hon Chairperson and hon members, the African National Congress fully supports the adoption of the report on the National Water Infrastructure Resource Agency Bill without amendments as tabled by the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements. The democratic government led by the African National Congress is committed to realisation of the constitutional right to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation for our people. We’re not only proclaiming that water is life and sanitation is dignity. The government is actually working to expand access to these important basic services for all South Africans. In fact, section 27(1)(b) of the Constitution advice for the right sufficient food and water and says that the democratic government should take all reasonable or practical measures to ensure the gradual realisation of this right.
This means that the ANC-led government has a responsibility to ensure that it brings safe water to all our people, irrespective of where they are in the country, whether in urban or rural areas. Hon members, the purpose of our election to this august House is to develop and pass legislation that executive has introduced, which we believe is crucial for a transformation of our society. The National Water Infrastructure Resource Agency Bill is one such important piece of legislation that will radically transform not only the water sector, but also the provision of quality clean drinking water to our communities, irrespective of gender, race, creed and ... [Inaudible.] ... location.
In this august House, we all agree that there is a dire and urgent need to fast-track the establishment of the National Water Infrastructure Resource Agency to address some of the water related challenges faced by our people. The water related challenges faced by our communities are water outages as a result of a lack of repairs, maintenance and refurbishment of the water infrastructure, and this is mostly due to a lack of the relevant technical skills and financial resources to undertake the necessary work.
Once established, the National Water Infrastructure Resource Agency will manage, maintain, and repair all water infrastructure, guaranteeing constant water supply to all our communities and leaving no one behind. The agency will be able to raise the financial resources necessary to the funds to the country’s water infrastructure projects. We want to reiterate that the African National Congress unreservedly supports the report of this Bill for the Bill’s adoption and for President Ramaphosa to sign it into law. I thank you, hon Chairperson.
Ms M DLAMINI: Chairperson, we are here to deliberate on a Bill that seeks to establish a state-owned enterprise, SOE, that will be responsible for water management in this country.
While we do not object the importance and the strategic role of a SOE, the problem we are facing as a country is a different problem. Our problem is not that we don’t have water in South Africa, our problem is that we do not have engineers in South Africa. Our problem is not that we cannot build water infrastructure in this country, the problem is that of the outgoing ANC government that has neglected the water infrastructure in the last 30 years.
They have neglected the water treatment plants. They have neglected the water network systems and they have allowed water leaks to become a permanent feature of the water system. And they have done this while they are giving the people of Hammanskraal water that is killing them.
The question is: What is to be done? Because water belongs to all of us as a national heritage and water is life. We need to ensure that all households have access to piped drinking water inside their houses.
We are raising all this because transparency and accountability when dealing with the National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency Bill was at times shambolic.
We appreciate that there is a need to improve management of our water resources and we know the ANC government has no political will and capacity.
When the EFF takes over power on 29 May we are going to prioritize water and make sure that our people have access to clean, drinkable and dependable water.
The EFF rejects this Bill.
Mr I NTSUBE: You’ve been saying that thing since 2014.
Mr N M HADEBE: Hon Chairperson, if we review the roles of all our country’s SOEs we would find that they all have one thing in common, that is to provide the people of South Africa with effective and efficient service delivery in various industries.
Sadly, in reality the inverse is unfortunately true. SOE’s have been failing dismally for years on and the people of South Africa have been left to suffer the consequences.
We have loadshedding due to Eskom’s failure, commuters struggling to get to their places of employment due to Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Prasa’s failure, South Africans losing their source of income due to SA Post Office’s failure.
The very entities tasked with supporting the country’s economic, socioeconomic growth, addressing economic injustice of the past and the current altering economy have unfortunately been consistently draining our economy. Yet, we want to establish another state-owned entity.
Water is a lifeline for all South Africans. Therefore, it is critical that it be managed effectively and efficiently, and the constitutional right to water is upheld.
The current condition of our country’s water infrastructure is concerning, to say the least.
The Bill provides for a single national government institution to manage our water infrastructure and resources. However, considering that corruption and mismanagement have run rampant in institutions run by the government, therefore, we have to air on the side of caution.
Why is the solution always a new agency and the state-run entity, when we already have institutions in place to ensure the effective management of our country’s water infrastructure?
The unnecessary duplication of mandates only provides government departments with effective scapegoats when they fail to deliver on their duties.
For this Bill to have any impact, the government needs to ensure that the management of this Bill of this new entity rests on the shoulders of individuals who are capable of doing their job and truly desire to serve the people of South Africa. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Question put: That the Bill be agreed to.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Chair, please note my objection. Mokause.
Mr S J MOHAI: You can’t raise your hand. You can’t just raise your hand now, Mme [Ms] Mokause ...
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Hey, shut up wena [you], incompetent Free State. Shut up ... [Interjections.] ... shut up.
Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.
Mr M I RAYI: Hon Chair, on a point of order. I’m rising in terms of the rules of the NCOP. On page 300, number 35, there are matters that are raised as unparliamentary ... [Interjections.] ...
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Rayi, your term is over man. What is this ... [Inaudible.] ...
Mr M I RAYI: ... one of those is to say to a member: shut up. That is on page 302 ...
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Shut up. Shut up too ...
Mr M I RAYI: ... so, Chair, I would like to rule hon Mokause out of order in terms of this rule. Thank you.
The CHAIPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes. I’m sure that the point that is being raised, I think, it’s very, very clear. The rules make no provision for that kind of language. And, therefore, the member is ruled out of order. Thank you very much.
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Chair, and again my due recognition to your esteemed self. The General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill was referred to the select committee and the Bill seeks to implement the recommendation of the High-Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency, thereby creating distinct domestic and foreign intelligence services and secondly, to clarify mandates and address some legal and procedural shortcomings that were identified. The intelligence services is quite important because it plays a critical role in guarding the national security and national interest. This is done through the gathering, analysis and dissemination of intelligence on domestic and foreign threats. The second point related to the Bill is its intention to amend the National Strategic Intelligence Act of 1994, the Intelligence Services Act of
2002 and the Intelligence Services Oversight Act of 1994 so as to amend and insert certain definitions and to established SA Intelligence Service, the SA Intelligence Agency, the National Communications Centre and the SA National Academy of Intelligence - but more than to ensure that there is clarity in relation to the functions of the intelligence service structures. The Bill was passed by the National Assembly, transmitted to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence and referred to the ad hoc committee on 26 March 2024. The Minister in the Presidency had an opportunity to brief the State Security Agency, had an opportunity to brief the committee on the background and the objects of the Bill.
In fulfilling the constitutional obligation to facilitate public participation, there are a number of Acts that we undertook amongst them there are those geared towards soliciting input from the provinces through the Office of the Speaker. Secondly, an advert was placed in the national media calling for written submissions on the Bill. Public hearings were also conducted in four provinces, that is, North West, Northern Cape, Free State and Eastern Cape between 13 and 28 April.
The oral submissions on the Bill was heard on 23 April 2024 from various organisations led by the Congress of SA Trade Union, Intel Watch, Freedom of Religion SA, Mr Padayachee from Stellenbosch University’s faculty and also Professor Jane Duncan from the University of Glasgow and Mr Khosi. In the early process the Bill underwent a number of scrutiny and as a result, substantive changes were made to the initial Bill as submitted to Parliament to address concerns raised. As a result of such improvements, in their submissions to the National Council of Province’s ad hoc committee, many of the stakeholders stated that the Bill before the committee represented a significant improvement.
On 13 May, the committee considered and adopted the public participation process report on the Bill and the overwhelming majority of inputs have been in support of the Bill and even stakeholders made recommendations for further improvements.
Such stakeholders did not reject the Bill. During the provincial public hearing, members of the public also expressed support for the Bill, stating that there was a need for co-ordinated efforts among intelligence services.
On 13 May, the Minister in the Presidency and the State Security Agency, SSA, responded to the written and oral submissions. On 14 May 2024, the committee continued with the deliberations on the Bill and adopted the committee report on the Bill. Having been advised on the process that would have to be followed to effect, the amendments on matters that would extend to the subject of the Bill, the committee reached consensus on referring the blue-listed matters on the Seventh Parliament for processing. The first one was amending the Secret Services Act 56 of 1978 to provide for the establishment of the evaluation committee within 12 months.
The second one was the appointment of the deputy chairperson or the cochair of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence. The third one was biannual meetings between the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and the President.
The fourth one was the alignment of Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence’s annual report with parliamentary reporting. The fifth one was the appointment of the Deputy Inspector- General of Intelligence and empowering the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence to designate the Inspector-General of Intelligence, IGI, to provide a specific oversight function.
Due to the dedication and commitment of the committee members, the committee unanimously agreed to support the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill. It is important to note that effective intelligence laws are fundamental to ensuring the proper functioning of intelligence services while upholding the rule of law and protecting civil liberties. On that note, I therefore put the report for adoption before the House.
Thank you, national Chair.
Debate concluded.
Question put: That the Bill be agreed to.
Declarations of vote:
Ms M DLAMINI: Chairperson, there are three key substantial amendments which the Bill processes, i.e, securing the autonomy of the Office of the Inspector-General Intelligence, thus strengthening oversight of intelligence services, the separation of the foreign domestic branch of the intelligence services and the legalisation of bulk intersection. The EFF is alive to the abuse that characterise our intelligence services in favour of fighting internal political factional battles within the ruling party, as well as against political opposition parties in civil society in general.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Dlamini, just a minute or just a second. Hon Labuschagne, on what point are you rising?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: I am rising on point of order. I just wonder because this member who is making the declaration wasn’t even part of the committee.
Ms M DLAMINI: I am making the declaration on behalf of the EFF. I am not certain why the DA enter into these politics.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, there is nothing that states that a member cannot make a statement if that member does not belong to a particular committee. So, I understand the issue that’s been raised ... [Interjections.]
... but Dlamini will have to proceed. Hon Dlamini, please proceed.
Ms M DLAMINI: Thank you, Chair. I’ll start from the beginning, Chairperson. There are three key substantial amendments which the Bill processes, i.e, securing the autonomy of the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence, thus strengthening oversight of intelligence services, separation of foreign domestic branch of the intelligence services and the legalisation of bulk interception. The EFF is alive to the abuse that characterise our intelligence services in favour of fighting internal political factional battles within the ruling party, as well as against political opposition parties in civil society in general.
However, at the centre of abuse over the years has been weak oversight capabilities of both the Inspector-General of Intelligence and the JCI of Parliament. We must therefore welcome new proposed laws regarding the appropriation budget of the Inspector-General of Intelligence not being subjected to the SSA. We must welcome the amendments that empower the Office of the IGI to determine the organogram responsible for appointment of personnel working in and no longer the Minister. What is missing, however, is the binding effect of the findings of the Inspector-General of Intelligence.
Ministers and heads of intelligence services are still not bound to comply with the findings of the Inspector-General of Intelligence. This means that the Inspector-General of Intelligence will continue to let the necessary teeth to bite. The Inspector-General of Intelligence is the key to health, growth and sustainability of our democracy and should be elevated to a Chapter 9 institution, and any democracy that
does not see the significance of intelligence is doomed to failure, infiltration and absolute dysfunctionality. The EFF welcomes the Bill.
Ms L C BEBEE: Chairperson, the security of our country will, among other things, depend on an effective and efficient intelligence services that has the capacity to forewarn the country of possible threats to its security and stability, and thus ensuring the safety of the citizens of the country and property. In its report to the President, the High-Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency made some interesting observations. The report stated: “We identified a doctrinal shift towards a narrow state security orientation in the intelligence community.” The report further stated: “We are concerned that the cumulative effect of the above, led to the deliberate repurposing of the SSA.”
In light of the observations made by the review panel, the report made recommendations that include the need for the architectural review of the State Security Agency in a way to separate the domestic branch and the foreign branch. For its part, the report of the expert panel into the July 2021 civil unrests made observations that include the failure to co-ordinate the response of the security cluster to the answers that led to loss of lives and damage to properties. The panel made the recommendations that the multiplicity of intelligence co-ordination structures must be rationalised.
The proposal made in the high-level review panel need to be evaluated against the experience of these riots. Given these critical observations and recommendations, the government led by the ANC saw it fit that there is a need to amend the Intelligence Act to make provisions for the establishment of the SA Intelligence Service, the SA National Intelligence Agency, the Centre of the SA National Academy of Intelligence, as well as to provide for the functions of the intelligence service structures, among other things.
We stand on behalf of the ANC, and we are of the firm belief that through the General Intelligence Amendment Bill, our intelligence community will be strengthened to better forewarn the country of any possible trend that may affect the security and stability of our country. We are encouraged that the Bill will to a great extent address some of the challenges identified in the panel report that we spoke of. We appreciate the work of the ad hoc committee and emphasise that the
committee adopted the Bill unanimously and that reflect our collective resolve to strengthen the intelligence communities. The ANC supports the Bill. I thank you.
The Council divided.
Question put.
Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon Amos Masondo, the Deputy Chairperson, hon Sylvia Lucas, the President of Salga, hon Bheki Stofile, the Chairperson of the Committee and Oversight, hon Jomo Nyambi, the Chairperson of the Member Support and International Relations Committee, hon Winnie Ngwenya, the
Chairpersons of the Select Committees, the Co-Chairpersons of the Joint Parliamentary Committees, the provincial Whips and the party Whips, the representatives of the political parties, permanent delegates, special delegates, representatives of the organised local governments, the South African Local Government Association, leaders and staff of Parliament, representatives of the media houses here today, ladies and gentlemen, today marks an important journey in our Sixth Parliament as we convene for the last sitting of this august House in this sixth term of our democracy.
History demands that we use this occasion to document our collective footprints and efforts to advance the interests of our provinces, united in our diversity, in pushing back the frontiers of poverty, unequal political and socioeconomic power relations of the apartheid colonial legacy. We are the only party with more than 100 years of tried and tested experience to lead with ideas on how to advance democratic renewal and consolidation.
Hon Chairperson, documenting our footprints should proceed from the people’s contract as articulated in the preamble of the Constitution, which proclaim among others, and I quote:
We, therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the republic, so as to heal divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;
Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.
Chairperson, I am sure hon members will agree that at the core of this fundamental constitutional injunction which constitutes people’s contract in the recognition of the multiple identities and competing interests defined by race, gender, class and deeply unequal geospatial concentration of economy in which these have been constructed over more than three centuries of colonialism and apartheid.
Chairperson, it is therefore only logical that the story of this House in the Sixth Democratic Parliament should start from the appreciation of its unique constitutional mandate and its place in the political and socio-economic transformation. Unlike the National Assembly, which represents the people to ensure government of the people by the people, the National Council of Provinces is the institutional mechanism that serves to integrate the system of provincial and local government into international policy making. The Constitution enjoins the NCOP to do this by mainly participating in the national legislative process and providing a national forum of public consideration of issues affecting provinces.
Critical in this role is the approval and monitoring of the national government intervention in the provincial administrations in terms of section 100 of the Constitution, the approval and monitoring of provincial intervention in local government administration in terms of 139 of the Constitution. This is a far more complicated role than that of conventional legislature. As former President Mbeki contends, and I quote:
The effective and structured interaction of the permanent delegates with their provinces and local government so as to understand the challenges faced by these spheres of government in the implementation of national policy is critical for the successful implementation of the core constitutional mandate of the NCOP.
Former President Mbeki further advises that, and I quote:
The NCOP cannot and should not operate like a conventional legislature in the execution of its oversight mandate but must be a working House that considers and process the reports from local and provincial government and table them before the executive for interventions.
In his last annual address to the NCOP, Deputy President Paul Mashatile made a passionate appeal to this august House that it should continue to strengthen its capacity to strengthen local government as the critical sphere of government that is located at the coalface of service delivery, development and transformation.
Chairperson, we need to appreciate that the NCOP function of strengthening the local government is nuanced and cannot be confined to Select Committee on Co-operative Governance alone. This means that the monitoring of the requisite support and capacity by national and provincial government to local government to drive local economic development. The building and maintenance of infrastructure, the provision of housing, electricity, water and sanitation in terms of section 154 of the Constitution.
In documenting our footprints in the Sixth Democratic Parliament, we must accordingly proceed from the appreciation of change in continuity in the evolution of the coming of age of this august House. This should appreciate that our term came at a time when identity of this august House was reaching its maturity and the consolidation of its organisational, institutional, and strategic architecture to claim its rightful place at the cutting edge of integrated co-operative governance. This means the appreciation of men and women who came before us and steered this august House in the turbulent storms of transformation since it was established in 1997.
We inherited from these men and women solid organisational and institutional identity that include the development of oversight model, the enactment of Mandating Procedure Act, the high-level strategic flagship programmes.
Chairperson, among these flagship programmes that seek to position the NCOP at the cutting edge of integrated co- operative governance are the NCOP’s Taking Parliament to the People programme, the Provincial Week and the NCOP Local Government Week. We are proud to report that in the Sixth Parliament we have never lowered the bar in pursuit of this strategic tasks during this term. This and other oversight interventions have raised the profile of this august House to the new heights.
Chairperson, as Amilcal Cabral teaches, and I quote:
Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories. Hide nothing from the masses of the people. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes and failures.
With this in mind, we must admit that there were serious setbacks and failures on our journey, some of which were self-
inflicted, while others were beyond our control. The subjective setbacks include two interrelated issues in particular. Firstly, the negative judgements of the Constitutional Court on the failure of Parliament to facilitate public participation. This issue needs to be emphasised for the further strategic reconciliation of Parliament in the Seventh Democratic Parliament. The damage to the NCOP’s image cannot be overstated.
Chair, the second critical issue relates to the continuing decline in the capacity of local government to fulfil its development responsibilities and the associated phenomenal increase in provincial government intervention in local governance administration. While the NCOP cannot be blamed for this, the question is whether it is able to oversee the support of the national and provincial governments to local governments in the overall context of its strategic mandate to deepen the integrated cooperative system of government. It is my humble submission that it was no coincidence that the resolutions of the 54th ANC National Conference called for the NCOP to critically review its role and reposition it at the forefront of intergovernmental relations. As we may recall, the South African Local Government Association has repeatedly
raised intellectual questions and concerns about the efficacy and effectiveness of provincial government interventions in local government.
Critical among their concerns is that these interventions do not assist in restoring the municipalities to good governance and financial state. As South African Local Government Association argues, most municipalities emerge from this intervention in worst state than they were before interventions. This is a critical question that requires serious consideration by the NCOP, and this should include a look into the reconfiguration of its relationship with the South African Local Government Association, in strengthening of local government.
Two key events with debilitating impact of the effective function of the NCOP and Parliament at large occurred during this term. The first being the outbreak of COVID-19 and the second was the burning of the Parliament building. We salute the innovative and speedy response of our management to minimise the impact of these events by among others, reallocation of office space to members whose offices were
burned down and migration towards virtual meetings to ensure business continuity of Parliament.
Five critical footprints in the ongoing organisational consolidation, positioning and repositioning of the NCOP in the Six Democratic Parliament are worth noting. First, how the House successfully reviewed rules in line with the changing internal and external organisational environment. Critical amongst amendments of the rules was clarification of roles of various office bearers and institutionalisation of virtual meetings.
Secondly, this House adopted a system of ministerial briefing sessions where Ministers briefed the whole House on cross cutting issues of service delivery and transformation. Among the benefits of these ministerial sessions are the empowerment of members about the executive intervention in addressing critical service delivery issues and also provide members with opportunity to inform and shape policy intervention by the executive.
Our records demonstrates that there are more special delegates who participate meaningfully and actively in the
administrative briefing process as compared to participation in plenaries. How the discussions are structured in the ministerial briefing process also encourages well thought out prepared inputs by special delegates.
The period under review has also seen significant increase in the delegation of key projects of institution to designated office bearers. Key among these was the Women’s Charter Review process that was championed by the Deputy Chairperson. I waited two minutes for the noise to subside and I didn’t interject. My time was chowed members outside here. The review has only expanded the outreach of programmes of the Sixth Parliament to the different communities across the length and breadth of our country but also deepened public awareness.
The Sixth Democratic Parliament saw heighted involvement of Parliament in the international arena augmenting the executive role of diplomacy and advocacy of South Africa’s international relation policy. It would not be an exaggeration to say that our Sixth Democratic Parliament rose to the occasion in engaging other Parliaments in a multilateral forum.
The period under review has also witnessed successful passing of transformative legislation amid some of the shortcomings that we must overcome. This marked the perfection and improvement of our process of facilitation of public involvement in the quality of legislation formation.
Chairperson, we must also note the improved efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation and co-ordination of the business of the House across different offices between the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, which has been smooth and seamless. We owe this to the leadership’s offices of the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the Council, active role of the provincial and party Whips and the discipline of our members.
As we may know that this sitting represents the coming of an end of our togetherness built on collegiality, friendship and mutual trust and respect. This indeed represents a moment of deep human emotions across party political lines, as we bid farewell to each other after an enduring five years of working relations. This is particularly so for many if not most of us are overwhelmed by irreversible sense of anxiety and fatigue occasioned by the unknown future hard work our bodies and
minds have endured. In this situation, we only find solace in the indelible mark we have made in serving our people with honour.
Chairperson, allow me on behalf of this House to pay homage to four of our members who passed on in the Sixth Parliament.
Firstly, I would like to pay homage to the memory of Martha Phindile Mmola who passed on in 2020. Hon Mmola was a permanent delegate from Mpumalanga. Prior to her tenure in the NCOP she served in the National Assembly. Once more we convey our heartfelt condolences to the hon Mmola family.
We also pay respect to Simo Ezra Mfayela who passed on the same year in 2020 after serving as a sole representative of the IFP representing the province of KwaZulu-Natal in the Council. We equally pay our respect to the memory of hon Thembinkosi, Apleni who passed on mid 2023 after serving as a permanent delegate from 1999, who also was a member of the EFF, representing the province of Eastern Cape.
Hon Chair, our Council tragically lost hon Maurencia Gillon, who died on early 2023 after serving as a member of the Western Cape provincial delegation representing the ANC. She
was also a chairperson of the Legislature Select Committee on Health and Social Services. We thank these members for their contribution in the Sixth Parliament.
Chairperson, allow me to thank my party, the African National Congress, for the honour bestowed upon us to serve in this House. It will indeed be an on omission my part for not extending special gratitude to the provincial Whips, party Whips, provincial liaison officers for their untiring efforts to make the work of this House successful. I can say with profound humility that Whips remain the beating heart of our Council. They play a significant role in the effective implementation of the mandate of the NCOP.
In conclusion, I would like to extend our collective deepest appreciation to the administration of the NCOP Advocate Phindela and the management team for their support. While we can also rightfully claim victories and successes as politicians in everything, truth be told that it is the management team that also plays behind the scenes. I am truly grateful for the tireless commitment and utmost professionalism dedication that was shown by the staff in the Office of the Chief Whip. I want to register my appreciation
to Mr Mvulane and the team and also the ANC team for supporting the members of their party.
Hon Chairperson, I would like to express my profound appreciation to your leadership in the last five years. It is not only in the position you held that many of us will always remember you. But for your unassuming personality, human kindness, listening attitude and intellectual and emotional maturity that defines your leadership. Thank you bra Ambi. You may not know how many hearts you have touched and transformed.
To our mother the Deputy Chair, yes, you belong to a particular class of leadership. To our mother, sister and leader, hon Lucas, your vibrancy, steadfastness of principle, sense of humour and motherly love will forever be missed by many. This goes to mama Ngwenya and hon Nyambi, our two-House Chairpersons. This being a balanced combination of intergenerational experience and thought leadership. They have been very consistent in participating and making necessary interventions.
Lastly, allow me to convey our deepest appreciation to the Seventh Speaker of the National Assembly who resigned mme
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula for her leadership in driving Parliament multinational agenda in the Sixth Parliament and also appreciate the role that was played by our Chairperson in that regard.
I would also like to pay tribute to the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. I also wish to express my deep appreciation to Chief Whip Majodina and the Deputy Chief Whip hon Dlakude for their resolute leadership of the ANC caucus in the Sixth National Assembly. Distinguished Chairpersons, we wish to express our deep appreciation for the indelible contribution of Alec Nchabeleng, a former Robin Islanders Ambassador to Dangor and a remarkable internationalist who has tirelessly championed the rights of the vulnerable wherever they are in the world.
And also, Yunis Carrim, a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party in the 30 years of our democracy. I mention these three members because I know that they have indicated that they may not come back but want to fight other battles on many other fronts in our society. I am sure that Parliament and the ANC will continue to benefit from your leadership. We truly appreciate your contributions. I
thank each and every one of you, ladies and gentlemen, in this House. You are truly an embodiment of optimism and hard work. I wish you all a successful election. And to those who are not returning I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours.
To the Secretary of Parliament earlier, George, we thank you for your leadership. And the entire parliamentary service for supporting our work. We hope that Parliament of the Republic of South Africa will change for the better after the unfortunate incident of its burning. Thank you. Amandla!
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chairperson, hon members, and fellow South Africans, as we come to the end of the Sixth Parliament, I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to all the personnel that supported us in fulfilling our tasks and responsibilities as public representatives; the committee section, the Chamber staff, the translators and interpreters, or Hansard people as we know them, the Office of the Chief Whip, the presiding officers, as well as all other supporting sections. Thank you all for your support and willingness to uphold the NCOP as an institution of Parliament. I would also like to convey our appreciation to the parliamentary
monitoring group for their dedication and contribution to Parliament. To the DA support staff, a special thanks for your dedication, compassion, and going the extra mile. To my dear colleagues, permanent members, as well as special delegates, it was an honour and a privilege to serve with you. A chapter of my life never to forget. To our families and loved ones, without your understanding, support, and sacrifices, we could not be. Thank you.
Hon Chair, looking back on the Sixth Parliament, we must acknowledge the influence of the COVID pandemic as the nation and the National Assembly’s fire on our functioning. We’ve adjusted with virtual ministerial briefings that served as an oversight mechanism and later plenaries and committee meetings. New NCOP Rules, as well as Joint Rules, have been adopted and the National Assembly is in the process of being rebuilt.
Furthermore, there were highlights such as the 18th amendment of the Constitution adopting sign language as the 12th official language of South Africa, as well as the passing of the first Climate Change Bill at the beginning of this year. There were several committee study tours, Taking Parliament to
the People, Provincial Weeks, and Local Government Weeks, business as usual.
However, Chair, the Sixth Parliament also received the Zondo Commission report and recommendations on state capture. I need to highlight the one crucial aspect mentioned in this report also reflecting on the NCOP, the failure of Parliament to discharge its constitutional responsibilities and obligations, specifically regarding oversight and accountability - the result of business as usual. The most important criterion to test the optimal functioning of the NCOP is the NCOP’s constitutional mandate. According to section 42(4), it is to represent the provinces to ensure the provincial interests that are considered in the national sphere of government, if it does, it is mainly by participating in the national and legislative process and by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues affecting the provinces.
To understand the first level of failure in section 42(4), we must look at the implementation of the mandating procedures of Provinces Act 52 of 2008 in the section 76 Bills. The negotiating phase requires provinces to submit the negotiating mandate to the permanent vote-carrying member in the select
committee based on public participation and deliberations of their standing committees. The current process followed in most select committees does not comply with the spirit of negotiating mandates, as the province does not receive the negotiating mandates of the other eight provinces before submission of their negotiating mandate, resulting in no amendments during the process as five provinces must agree for an amendment to carry even when the department and legal advisors agree that proposed amendments will be a positive change, a permanent delegate cannot vote on a clause if not provided for in the negotiating mandate.
The second level of failure has been demonstrated by the pressurized process with Bills like the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill, the Procurement Bill this morning, the Electricity Bill, and the Plant Bill where promises were in some instances denied extension of timelines to enable public consideration of issues, resulting in no mandate submitted to the NCOP.
The third level of failure has been demonstrated by Bills such as the National Health Insurance, Expropriation Bill, as well as the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill, where the input of
civil organizations and experts on the constitutional mustering of these Bills was ignored in the consideration of issues affecting the people to such an extent that the NCOP serves as a rubber stamp of the National Assembly, and the Constitutional Court will have to fulfill the role of the NCOP.
The 2nd criterion to test the function of the NCOP is the committee system, the energy room of Parliament, the lack of the select committee system to fulfill the oversight role to serve as a checks and balances in the process of policy decision development and legislation intertwined with political electioneering, where the executives are protected by their comrades, furthermore, contributed to the failure of our committee to uphold the NCOP’s constitutional mandate.
The responsibility of oversight on section 100 and 139 interventions rests with the NCOP. The status of South African municipalities according to the Auditor General’s report should demand the NCOP’s full attention, not only due to interventions but also our role in co-operative governance as mandated in Chapter 3 of the Constitution. The Sixth Parliament has also been characterized by the late introduction of Bills
and the impact thereof on section 76 Bills especially. If the NCOP functions optimally, it will be able to provide real legislative change that impacts service delivery positively.
There is still plenty of work to be done within the NCOP to achieve its full potential. The DA will keep on striving towards an NCOP that delivers on its mandate, therefore, we propose the following changes for the 7th NCOP: An urgent review of the process of negotiating mandates in committees; the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs should be a single cluster such as the current Finance and Appropriations, to focus on interventions and all the aspects of co-operative governance within the Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs mandate; a committee or joint committee should be responsible for oversight over The Presidency; members of the opposition should be appointed as chairs of some select committees to maximize checks and balances; focus monitoring on the implementation of legislation or post legislative scrutiny instead of committees being a blueprint of the portfolio committees; monitoring on the implementation of legislation should be the at the heart of oversight in the NCOP; and to minimize time constraints on section 76 Bills, implement
section 73(3) of the Constitution by introducing section 76 Bills in the NCOP.
Hon Chair, the DA has been proud to serve in the NCOP, working to advance the principles of freedom, justice, and equality.
We have engaged in rigorous debates, asked tough questions, and pushed for accountability. We have stood for the rights of all South Africans, regardless of race, gender, or creed. We strived to leave behind a legacy of integrity, hard work and a commitment to the democratic ideals that have made our country great.
In the Seventh Parliament, we will continue to champion the causes that matter the most, jobs, load shedding and water shedding, violent crimes, corruption, poverty, education, and quality health care, all that underpinned by economic growth. We will keep pushing for a government that truly serves the people, not just the privileged few. I thank you.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Hon House Chair, the Chairperson, the history books of the Sixth Parliament are engraved with the footprint of an organization that has planted the seeds of economic freedom in South Africa. The EFF has, in this Council, stood
firm as the lone voice for black people opposing corruption, maladministration and waging a struggle to hold Executive accountable. We have stood firm in the face of corruption and spoke out against a President who, in his spare time kidnaps people across borders, conceal a crime which occurred at his home and manipulating state resources to hide his criminal activity.
We have spoken up against the looting and privatization of state resources and highlighted the recurring failures of the current ANC-led government what an African child in sectors such as education, where the country remains one of the lowest performing education systems in the world. Chairperson, it is abundantly clear that the ANC has failed dismally since
1994, now 30 years into democracy to provide free quality education and decolonized education for a black child. They have failed dismally.
Not only it is under educating our children, but it is killing them in pit toilets which still exists in our schools across South Africa. We know this to be true as just three weeks ago, we experienced an unnecessary tragic loss when a three-year- old Unecebo Mboteni drowned into a pit toilet at his creche in
Mdantsane, East London, in the Eastern Cape province. Today, it claims to be taking good care of its citizens.
House Chairperson, this Council has failed to build an effective People’s Parliament which is responsible to the needs of our people. Under the watchful eye of this Parliament, Black people spent yet another term stuck in poverty, unemployment and high levels of crime with gender- based violence remaining a pervasive challenge as the rate at which women and children are being abused in this country violated and killed. This remains unacceptable and all this happens under the democratic dispensation of the ANC-led government.
Our people are landless and are excluded from participating in in the South African economy. They continue to live on the outskirts of towns suffering from lack of services and experience poverty as quality life is served only for white people. In provinces such as the Western Cape, some workers are underpaid and are paid with alcohol in some other parts of the Northern Cape province.
Our people are trapped in a vicious cycle of underdeveloped underperformance, and unappeasable future due to incompetent directionless and visionless government of the ANC. House Chairperson, the EFF has in this term of office, felt profoundly the pain of the entrenched inequalities which our people continue to face in terms of lack of access to free quality healthcare, free decolonized education, housing, unemployment and economic opportunities.
In the lower House, we tabled a Private Members’ Bill, the National Health Amendment Act Bill, that would see the opening of clinics in South Africa for 24 hours and seven days a week. However, this Bill was rejected by the very same ANC-led government and the DA combined who have no interest in ensuring that our people who are destitute and live in remote areas access healthcare services for 24 hours and seven days a week. A person does not only get sick five days a week and only during the day, it is something that actually happens throughout.
The EFF, in this Council, has demonstrated through various interventions that it is not only a political party that speaks for our people, but it is a movement that cares for
people in general. We have been devastated by the institutional racism that continues to limit our potential as the people of this country. However, we remain steadfast on our journey for economic emancipation of our people through land expropriation because we maintain that there is no dignity without the ownership and the means of production, and we shall deliver to the people of South Africa come 29 May 2024.
The issue of landlessness remains one of the most catastrophic failures of the current administration. The EFF has consistently maintained that it will, in this House, introduce legislation which will make the state the sole custodian of the land and we shall do so with our majority after 29 May 2024. As there is dignity in land ownership, there is economic emancipation through land ownership. When did the EFF returns in the Seventh Parliament, we will continue to give in-depth consideration of land redistribution.
Finally, as I conclude, I would like to take this opportunity and extend our appreciation to commissars, fighters of the EFF who hails from nine respective provinces of South Africa for being part of fight of the EFF. You have contributed to the
existence of the only home of the destitute masses of South Africa. Let our people vote on 29 May and vote in, the government of the EFF led by Commander-in-Chief and President Julius Sello Malema. The land shall be returned to its rightful owners. Thank you, Chair.
Nyambi): House Chairperson, Chairperson ntate Masondo, Deputy Chair mama Lucas, Chief Whip ntate Mohai, President of SA Local Government Association, SALGA, ntate Stoffel. Indeed, it’s a pleasure to be afforded an opportunity to deliver a farewell message. This is something which we do on behalf of other colleagues who unfortunately cannot have such an opportunity because of time.
Sometimes you get the temptation to clarify some of these issues because we create an impression that all is doom and gloom. To those that are still very negative and not honest and objective, I will send them the third-year review of South Africa’s democracy for the past 30 years. The historical milestone will indicate what we have achieved.
Some of us were from villages where we were born when there was no electricity and now there is electricity. And if you come here and present as if all it’s bad, you have to give credit where is due. And of course, there are some challenges, and you acknowledge them. So, facts will always be facts.
Hon House Chair, we’ve been together for five years as a family, which derives from different political parties. Well, our journeys have often been characterized by robust and passionate debates as we try to do even today. But we have never been confused about the mandate of the NCOP under the guidance of ntate Masondo.
I have heard the enviable task of maintaining order in the House as we are trying to do House Chair even today. I must say some days are better forgotten. What I do know though is that there has not been any malice on the part of every member of the Council. All of us, sort to have our voices heard as we represented the aspiration of the different communities and constituencies and our respective provinces that we represent in the NCOP.
There’s been some legendary jewels and contestation that characterize our engagements in some of our sittings. You could even think, colleagues have personal vendettas. However, it was always heartwarming to see members embracing each other every gruelling shut down.
House Chairperson, I’ve always cherished the opportunity to be part of the NCOP where everyone is familiar with each other.
The National Assembly, as we all know, is not so lucky in this regard. Their numbers are so huge, to a point where even towards the end of the term, some members still do not completely know each other. We know each other well. Not only do we know each other’s name, and sometimes middle names and pet names.
We have also come to appreciate our strength and weaknesses, as hon members of the NCOP. We know what each one of us can do or cannot do. We are close nit community, who only wish was the opportunity to represent our various provinces as we have always done. Today marks the last official sitting of the NCOP. And we look back on the route that we travel together for the past five years.
I dare say we’ve done very well as a House of Parliament. This was made possible by several variable factors and components. Firstly, let me take this opportunity to thank the leadership of the NCOP, the stewardship as correctly captured by ntate Mohai, of ntate Masondo. Without your resolute stands hon Masondo, the House could easily have degenerated into anarchy. You steer the ship as best as you can. And today we can look back and say that it has been a productive day in office ntate Masondo.
And let me also thank all the whips under the leadership of our Chief whip, ntate Mohai, who made sure that the Council was running a very orderly manner. Just like in our sittings, tempers also flared during whips meetings, but members were matured enough to ensure that the job gets done because of the leadership of ntate Mohai.
May I also thank my constituency in the form of all committee chairpersons who, all over the years did a sterling work.
Between them, they account for family, many of the Bills, even those that were passing today since they have been passed into law, they work tirelessly to ensure that our mandate of law making becomes a true reality.
All of this I need to hasten has been achieved under difficult circumstances and has since become a ... [Inaudible.] ... but indeed, the COVID-19 as correctly indicated by ntate Mohai. We are here today, and we can solemnly say...
We have lost friends, relatives, members of this House. This was a pandemic of destructive proposition never seen in our living history.
Our support staff was generally supported, and they continued delivering service like the one we had received before the pandemic. It is for that reason that I wish to thank all heads of different units in Parliament. I also thank Adv Phindela for having led the support staff in the manner he has done.
Similarly, I thank the table staff who were always on hand to offer procedural advice when this was needed. We have seen them today when the province has not given a mandate, they were one point to assist, as always been the case. The
Secretary of Parliament, Mr George, came in and stabilized an office that had previously been impersonated by several administrative problems. I thank you, sir, for having steadied the ship till this far.
Hon members allow me to quote Maya Angelo, civil rights activist:
I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
As I go towards concluding, allow me to do ... that these 30 years, the declaration of the year of 2024 as the Year of Unity in Action, has very historical significance similar to call made by the longest serving President of our glorious movement, O R Tambo in two successive years in 1982 and 1983, which call upon members of the ANC and leaders to march in unity for the consolidation of the national democratic revolution.
This time we are called upon to record a decisive victory of the ANC on the 29th of May elections, reinforcing the
assertion that winning elections indeed constitute a qualitative element in the achievement of the national democratic revolution, as it is the year of the elections.
Lastly, I wish to thank the staff in my office, it was not always easy, but we got the job done. Under the leadership of Ms Bandisiwe, Mr Mabaso, and Funiswa. I envy those who will come after me to work with you, as they will inherit a
well-oiled machine, capable of running an office of that magnitude. To the people at home ...
Sihlala sitsi tsine lesibuya emakhaya, titabe tiyahlola tinja uma tingakhonkhotsa igandaganda lemile, tikhonkhotsa lehambako.
Make sure that come 29th of May, the party that has made it possible for South Africa to be a better place today than it was some years back. Vote ANC. Thank you.
Mnr S F DU TOIT: Agb Voorsitter, ...
... We acknowledge and appreciate the support staff, Chamber personnel, parliamentary support services, the legal advisers, the researchers, and our party-political support staff.
Without you we couldn’t have done the work that we did.
This is the end of a term, but after 29 May, it will be a new dispensation, a new South Africa that will come into effect.
Ons moet besef wat ons elkeen se verantwoordelikheid is in hierdie tyd wat voorlê. Dit was vir my ’n voorreg om die afgelope vyf jaar aan robuuste debatte te kon deelneem. Dit was vir my ’n voorreg om in baie van die debatte een van die mees gehate mense te wees, maar mens kon staan vir dit wat reg en regverdig is. Ons kon rûe styfmaak, om die regte ding gedoen te kry, vir waardes en regverdigheid.
Dit was ’n voorreg om uitgejou te word vir die regte redes, sonder om skaam te wees, sonder om terug te staan, om te glo in dit waarin jy glo.
Ek wil graag my kollega, agb De Bruyn, bedank vir die ondersteuning, die rol wat hy gespeel het, ook vir die feit dat hy self die leisels gevat het, self deelgeneem het aan debatte, en self deelgeneem het, om ’n beter Suid-Afrika vir ons hier te stel. Dit was ’n voorreg om saam met jou in die voorste linie te kon veg.
I thank God for the opportunity that He gave me to have walked through these parliamentary doors five years back in 2019, knowing that I was granted an opportunity to do the work for His glory. I am human, I have a lot of failures but had an opportunity to fight the good fight, knowing that I am only a proverbial tool in the toolbox and to God be all the glory.
Verkiesingskoors in die lug. Politieke partye gaan op 29 Mei toets skryf en die kiesers gaan diegene wees wat die vraestel gaan merk. Ek is verjeug, ongeag wat die uitslag van die verkiesing gaan wees, dat Suid-Afrika se oë oopgegaan het.
Volksgenote, soveel van julle het besef dat daar nie ’n tweede kans gaan wees nie. As ons nie op 29 Mei deelneem an hierdie
verkiesing nie, sal ons nie weer n geleentheid kry om Suid- Afrika in ’n beter rigting en in die regte rigting in te kan stuur nie.
You won’t get another chance. 29 May is the last chance.
Ons het nie die voorreg om oor vyf jaar weer by ’n stembus te gaan staan en dan terug te kyk om te sê, miskien moes ek iets gedoen het nie. Dis nou ons plig. Die skrif is aan die muur: verkragtings, veragting, vernedering, verval. Dis nou die tyd om verskil teweeg te bring en dit stop te sit.
Dis nou ons geleentheid om finaal ons naam in die geskiedenisboek te skryf, om deel te neem aan hierdie verkiesing om self die verskil teweeg te bring. Dis nou jou kans om self die spreekwoordelike wapen op te neem en saam met my te gaan, om te gaan veg. Jy het die reg om hier te wees.
Ons het die reg om hier te wees. Ons het die reg om hier te leef, hier lief te hê, hier te floreer. Dit is ons Suid- Afrika, sonder askies, sonder skaamte. Dit is nou ons reg, ons voorreg, en ons verantwoordelikheid. Dankie.
Mr N M HADEBE: Hon House Chairperson, on behalf of the hon Velenkosini Hlabisa, the President of the IFP and the IFP leader in Parliament, I want to thank the hon Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, and all the presiding officers, as well as the admin team for their assistance that they have given to the IFP throughout the Sixth Parliament. As we concluded the Sixth Parliament, one cannot help but experience a mixture of disappointment and hopefulness. As we reflect on the past five years, we see the continuance of things that happened in the Fifth Parliament, with the current ruling party, the candidates, allegations of corruption and political abuse of government resources, all at the expense of the very people it was supposed to serve. However, we remain hopeful that our country is on the cusp of a new beginning, as
29 May 2024 will usher in the much-needed change in governance that South Africa so desperately needs.
In the course of the Sixth Parliament, we lost our IFP founder and President emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, to the cold hand of death. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
However, we persevered, as we never once wavered in our purpose to serve the people of South Africa in every possible capacity. We have boldly spoken the truth to those in power,
constantly advocating for them to uphold the values of our constitutional democracy. We will continue furthering the vision and values that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has instilled in our party.
The IFP has continued to remain the voice of reason in this Chamber. We have contributed wisdom to every debate, and we have done this for the sake of the country we love and the nation that mandated us to serve.
On behalf of the IFP, I want to wish you all well in the last few days leading up to the elections. The IFP calls upon all South Africans to partner with us in making this country work, to partner with us in rooting out corruption. We implore all South Africans to vote IFP. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, House Chairpersons Nyambi and Ngwenya, Chief Whip of the National Council of Provinces, the President of SA Local Government Association, Salga, members of the National Council of Provinces, permanent and special delegates. Karl Marx once said, and I quote:
“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.”
In March 2020, South Africa and the global community at large, grappled with one of the greatest threats to human life and the global economy. The novel coronavirus, if not effectively mitigated against or effectively managed, threatened to reverse the gains we had made, under South Africa’s constitutional democracy.
Therefore, in an effort to protect lives, the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Mr Cyryl Matamela Ramaphosa, declared a national state of disaster, as a response to this global health crisis, which posed a grave threat to the lives and the well-being of our people.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic found a vulnerable South African economy. In fact, at the time the pandemic reached our shores, the South African economy had experienced two consecutive quarters of recession. Consequently, the COVID-19 pandemic deepened the economic crisis.
Hon members, hon delegates, despite the far reaching social political and economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, Parliament was able to continue to perform its constitutional functions under severely challenging conditions, consistently striving forward to create transformative laws and hold the executive accountable, through innovative mechanisms and public platforms. Throughout these difficult times, we made consistent improvements, to build the appropriate institutional architecture and machinery required, so as to give better expression to the precepts of transformative constitutionalism.
During the Sixth Parliament, sector Parliaments served as a critical agenda setting mechanisms, bringing into sharp focus, key policy priorities for our nation, as informed by national, regional, and international development agendas. Despite the difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we stayed on course, as guided by the transformative priorities before us.
To this end, the sector Parliament programme has served as a development catalyst, enabling Parliament to continuously assess progress made towards implementing key priorities. We have convened many important agenda setting and report back sessions, which include the following:
The annual Women’s Parliament, which is convened as a national agenda setting forum and feedback mechanism across the three spheres of government. Through our collective efforts carried out through the sectoral programme, we completed a nation-wide 25-year review of the 1994 Women’s Charter for effective equality, which culminated into the newly adopted 2021 Women’s Charter for accelerated development, encompassing 15 strategic objectives and a set of broad priority actions. Some of the important legacy highlights of the Sixth Parliament, in respect to sector Parliaments, include the following:
Subsequently, the provincial Women’s Charter report back sessions were constituted, which now serve as provincial, metro and district level report back sessions, with targeted reports coming from both provincial and local government. It addressed issues of women including gender-based violence.
Everything was not doom and gloom and I don’t want people to think we will come here and accept that people will just highlight the bad part and not speak about the good that has been done.
We also convened the Children’s Parliament which is a platform to advance the child rights agenda and is convened in partnership with the Department of Social Development and other strategic partners.
The Men’s Parliament was also convened biennially and was convened in partnership with the SA National AIDS Council, SANAC men’s sector and various other strategic partners to address the scourge of gender-based violence, GBV. The Men’s Parliament has served as an important mechanism, to respond more effectively to the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide. This was a critical mechanism, bolstering existing interventions to address issues of GBV. The Seventh Parliament therefore has to continue to convene biennial Men’s Parliament as a strategic mechanism to address issues relating to gender- based violence and include men in the fight against gender- based violence.
The provincial Men’s Parliament is intended to create provincial platforms of engagement for men, the same with district and traditional Men’s Parliament.
We also had the Youth Parliaments with the focus on youth development given the scourge of youth unemployment and poverty in the country. We need to ensure that we convene these youth development sessions to speak about issues of young people’s development and bring more young people into the mainstream economy.
Hon Chairperson, we have also introduced the three sphere planning sessions in order to address three sphere planning disjunctures and coordination challenges across the three spheres to ensure better oversight outcomes. These sessions seek to sharpen the National Council of Province’s role in terms of three sphere planning, tracking, while evaluating the implementation of executive undertakings across three spheres of government.
We must therefore ensure that during the Seventh Parliament, this planning tool continues to be effectively used, for oversight agenda setting and to address planning disjunctures, coordination, and oversight for the effective implementation of key transformation priorities.
As much as we are improving in advancing the mandate of the National Council of Provinces, a lot still needs to be done. We would like to recommend to the Seventh Parliament to ensure that they address the uncertainty which is rife about the status of intergovernmental relations, decisions and recommendations, as well as who is responsible for follow-up of recommendations.
We also need to address the lack of horizontal integration between activities of various government departments.
I also wish to emphasize that the three sphere planning sessions have been convened in order to give expression to one of functions of the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, as duly reflected in the adopted Rules of the National Council of Provinces. This is to actualize the National Council of Provinces’ three sphere coordination role, as well as the processing of executive undertakings. We must ensure that this planning mechanism continues to be properly resourced, as an annual planning tool, which will also enable impact assessment, as we track the implementation of key priorities.
In order to deepen public discourse and to find solutions to very complex problems in South Africa, we have also convened various other important summits, which include the State Capability Conference, which were intended to oversight and improve the capacity of the state. We convened the state capacity sessions in order to give the National Council of Provinces a better understanding of prevailing state capacity weaknesses, particularly at provincial and local government, for the acceleration of policy implementation.
Additionally, we sought to release the developmental state concept from ideological loading, while developing practical mechanisms towards achieving the goals enshrined in the concept of a developmental state.
We have also convened the Inclusive Economic Growth Oversight Summits, the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan Oversight Summits. We also convened a legislative review and law reform summits focusing engaging various stakeholders on the amendment of key policies and legislation, to effectively advance South Africa’s transformation agenda.
We therefore ensure that we continue to schedule legislative review and laws reform summits in the Seventh Parliament, in order to periodically assess the efficacy of the laws we are passing. We also convened high-level commemorative day lectures and ministerial briefings.
Since the inception of the Sixth Parliament, we have convened over 90 sector Parliament sessions, which have enabled the National Council of Provinces to deepen its public discourse and public participation, while giving ordinary South Africans an opportunity to learn more about the work of the National Council of Provinces.
We have also entered into strategic social compacts strategic partners including the Finance and Fiscal Commission, the Chapter 9 institutions, the three spheres of government, civil society organisations, research bodies and institutes, institutions of higher learning, while strengthening engagement between the three arms of state.
In conclusion, I also want to speak about our Parliament to diplomacy on the multilateral platforms, specifically at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU. One of the issues we have actively championed on the IPU platform, is of course the people of Gaza, in Palestine. As the world goes through a difficult period of deepened international turbulence, where global peace is threatened by polarisation, it is upon us, as the custodians of democracy and peace, to ensure that we use every possible avenue available to us, to foster lasting peace and cohesion amongst all the nations of the world, through dialogue, consensus-building and negotiation.
The people of Palestine have endured a lack of peace and security for the past 76 years and this is a situation in dire need of redress. It is in this spirit that the South African government, as a state party to the Genocide Convention, has sought legal intervention to prevent further devastation in Gaza, an area still witnessing one of the deadliest conflicts of the 21st century.
These tragic circumstances compel us to continue to support all initiatives that can deliver enduring peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people. It is therefore imperative to seize this moment and unequivocally advocate for a two-state solution, a tangible step towards fostering long-lasting and enduring peace in the region.
I also wish to report to this august House, that 148th IPU assembly saw a radical shift towards unity amongst countries of the global South, including Africa, Asia and Islamic countries, who threw their weight behind South Africa’s emergency item on the situation in Gaza. The emergency item, which was sponsored by the South African delegation, sought to ensure adherence to the provisions of the International Court of Justice, ICJ provisions, to enable a ceasefire and to allow access to humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza.
Although the item did not reach the threshold in terms of the number of votes required, we missed the threshold by less than
12 votes. However, this is the biggest show of support and unity demonstrated to date the power of the global South, if strategically coordinated, hon Dangor. This is also a clear indication of the effective parliamentary diplomacy, which we hoped to build on for future successes at other international bodies as well as the IPU.
Hon members, it was and is indeed an honour for me to have served our constitutional democracy in my capacity as the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces. I
want to thank God almighty for giving me the courage and power to have been able to serve in that capacity.
Allow me to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon Amos Masondo for the sterling work he did over the past five years. Let me also express my gratitude to both House Chairpersons and the Chief Whip and all members of the National Council of Provinces for their excellent work in managing this institution with such devotion.
Collectively, we have managed to build the profile of the National Council of Provinces and collectively we have managed to hold the maxim that to grow and develop, we must maintain a balance between continuity and the necessity to change. Let me also express my appreciation to the two former Speakers that I have worked with, the hon Thandi Modise and the hon Mapisa- Nqakula for their leadership. Each of us represented his or her province with dignity, purpose, and honour. As delegates of this House, we made sure that our Parliament continues to be a living embodiment of nation-building.
Thank you to all the staff in my private office under the leadership of Dr Sebolelo Mvulane, for understanding my vision within the context my and for making a notable contribution.
To Adv Phindela and his team, for the sterling work done as administrative head of the National Council of Provinces. To our service officers, I want to express my gratitude. You have always been there even if it was just for glass of water.
I also wish to thank Mr Xaso, in his capacity as the Acting Deputy Secretary for core-business, for ensuring that the resources required for the sectoral Parliaments programme are available, for the sustained implementation of the programme.
Lastly, I want to thank the Parliament staff in totality led by the Secretary to Parliament Mr Xolile George.
I also wish to thank my party, the ANC, my political home. I have been afforded an opportunity to participate towards giving expressions to the glorious ideals of this great movement. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and will continue to strive forward to create a better life for all, following in the countless footsteps of those who came before
us. To my beloved family, I also want to express my appreciation. To all South Africans, I wish to say, come out in your numbers. Come and vote. Vote ANC. Thank you.
Cllr B STOFILE (Salga): Chairperson of the House; Chairperson of the NCOP; the former SA Local Government Association, Salga, president - the mayor that turned the City of Johannesburg to be a better city over the years of the period that he has been a mayor, ... [Inaudible.] ... the Deputy Chair and the former premier of the Northern Cape who happen to give interest of vibrating and working within the masses of communities in changing their lives, Madame Lucas; the House Chair, mama Ngwenya; the House Chair; hon Nyambi; the Chief Whip of the NCOP - the person who likes to go and get and see things happening coming from a dusty province of the Free State, it is indeed a distinct honour to contribute to this farewell sitting of the NCOP.
As we march towards the end of the Sixth Parliament, drawing valuable lessons from the previous term of office at the start of the term in 2019, the Salga National Executive Council, NEC, resolved to increase its visibility by designating 10 specific representatives to participate on a part-time basis
in the NCOP. Whilst it is very good to celebrate, we created a problem of these individuals to balance between their function in the municipal space and their contribution in the NCOP.
We believe that the current leadership is just like a plumber or a brick layer who puts the brick on top of each other with an intention to build a house. The house that you have been trying to build over a period of time it was a sound intergovernmental relations and co-operations between the three spheres of government. I must say, at least, the sixth administration have managed to put a brick to a level where we realise that the local government - as we claim over many years - that it is underfunded. The executive authority of the country, at least, accepted that the local government, indeed, it has been underfunded. Therefore, it needs to be engaged and try to relook on the funding model of local government.
Chairperson, the local government has undergone rapid transition and transformation. During the period under review, it had a profound impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans in expanding the provisions of services to our people. While it is true that several serious and complex challenges persist in local government, it should be
highlighted that under the oversight role of the NCOP during the Sixth Parliament, the Statistics SA confirms that local government has delivered quality services and a better life for the majority of our people.
It is common knowledge that the NCOP plays a unique role in the promotion of the principle of co-operative governance and the intergovernmental relations. Whilst the NCOP is required to ensure that the three spheres of government work together in performing their unique functions in terms of the Constitution and that they do not encroach in each other’s area of competency, it is disappointing that the Sixth Parliament has witnessed several instances where instead of supporting local government as it is constitutional required, local government is often threatened with interventions or threats to take over its responsibilities.
As we are about to usher the Seventh Parliament, it is our sincere hope that the legislative sector will be more concerned about national and provincial governments that are increasingly encroaching on the powers and functions of local government and encouraging working collaboratively within the spheres in the spirit of co-operative governance and providing the necessary ongoing support as identified in section 154 of the Constitution. Hon Chair, gathered here today are men and women whose actions during the Sixth Parliament touched the lives of all South Africans.
Through you, the NCOP has affected lives through the laws that you passed from time to time. We stand proud that your actions have changed things for the better. As detailed by previous speakers, we can and should all look back and count many successes during the Sixth Parliament. However, with the outcomes of many elections, we must be reminded that as elected political office bearers by the nature of our Constitution and the political organisations we serve, we are travellers.
We may be dispatched to a particular work area in a particular sphere of government, but none of that is permanent. Moreover, we have no right of entitlement to the positions we occupy. At any given time our political organisations may require at any time that our skills could be needed elsewhere. That time has now arrived as we March towards 29 May 2024 elections. As Salga, we therefore, wish to extend our sincere appreciation to you, first, the Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Masondo - one
of our own as local government for having successfully led the City of Johannesburg as I said earlier on.
Secondly, to the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Lucas. We thank you for the support to organise the local government.
Not only in your capacity as Deputy Chair, but more also in your previous life as the Premier of the Northern Cape. We have ever missed your vibration and support to us. Thirdly, the House Chairpersons, hon Nyambi and hon Ngwenya; the Chief Whip of the NCOP and lastly, to all hon members of this august House. It was indeed a pleasure serving with you.
As I conclude, the many of those before me said that we have accepted of our own free choice to serve our people through elected institutions of government. This task will always be difficult in a developing country such as ours and where the commitment of government to build a developmental state is as strong as ours. Moreover, our Constitution which recently reached 28 years since adoption by yourselves in this House and the broader Parliament, as strong and modern as it is allocated powers and functions. Without the necessary test of capacity we have taken this responsibility because we believe ourselves to be more than equal to the task.
I agree with many when they say that in the 30 years into the life of democracy, we should stop hiding behind the big shield of capacity constraints. Nevertheless, this does not mean that we have all the answers. Our learning must be as intense now as it was before the arrival of democracy and since then. As we conclude this Sixth Parliament, I remain confident that democracy will succeed.
We must dedicate to the continuous deepening of its equality and making sure that we render service to our communities. We must continue to build co-operative governance that is effective. The government act as a single unit in the best interest of our people. It is only this House that is capable to do that. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Greetings [Molweni]. Hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Sylvia Lucas, hon House Chairpersons, hon Chief Whip, S J Mohai, hon chairpersons of committees and whips, hon permanent and special delegates, the hon President and representatives of the SA Local Government Association, Councillor B Stofile, ladies and gentlemen, how I wish we had enough time for these farewell speeches and messages. We are reaching the end of the turner of the National Council of Provinces in the 6th Parliament. This coincides with the celebration of 30th of democracy. Indeed, a moment of reflection and recalibration.
The Constitution mandates the NCOP to represent the provinces to ensure that provincial interests are considered in the national sphere of government. The Council is also a forum for the representation of the different categories of municipalities in Parliament. It is thus well placed or oversee, co-operation among the different spheres of government.
The NCOP plays its role by amongst other things passing legislation, scrutinising executive action, and promoting public involvement. It also contributes to the securing of public trust by strengthening openness, transparency, and accountability. As many of the delegates who were sworn in as members of this House on 23 May 2019 would recall. I made a commitment that as this collective, we would serve all our people, that we would do so irrespective of class, colour, gender, religion, environmental or any other form of discrimination.
I said that we will seek first and foremost to serve and to do all we could to master and deepen the art of doing. We set out to do that by contributing to the crafting of the policy priorities of the 6th Parliament. At the core of this was strengthening oversight and accountability and doing so by amongst other things improving effectiveness of public involvement. Since then, we made every effort to contribute to progress and to restrengthening of our democracy. We did so by ensuring that the NCOP carried out its mandate as directed by the Constitution and by ensuring that where necessary innovative ways were employed to advance our mandate to improve the quality of life of all citizens.
We used several mechanisms which include plenaries to consider legislation and other matters including policy debates, reports of committees and notices of interventions, questions to the executive to enhance accountability and responsiveness, programmes to facilitate the involvement of the people and organising groups in the business of the NCOP and through international participation of parliamentary diplomats.
In respect of legislative work, the NCOP passed more than a hundred Bills. The Bills enables us to contribute to the betterment of society in many ways, including by providing for the annual division of revenue collected nationally amongst the three spheres of government and appropriations of money from the National Revenue Fund for requirements of the state, ensuring better protection for victims of domestic violence, assisting to improve the capacity of governance in municipalities, assisting to strengthen the fight against crime and seeking to ensure a stable inclusive and transformed financial sector, enabling Eskom to invest in transmission and distribution infrastructure and enhancing its fiscal sustainability to assist in meeting the country’s energy needs, contributing to the transformation for South Africa’s healthcare system to achieve universal coverage for health services through the National Health Insurance Bill, which was publicly signed into law by the President of the Republic yesterday as we all know and helping to introduce reforms of further interventions. There was great emphasis on progress reports to check on whether the intervention was yielding positive results.
In addition, when a province submits a notice for the termination of an intervention the Select Committee on Gogta also had an opportunity to visit the municipality to ensure that the termination was or is indeed warranted.
In respect of report and House resolutions, the NCOP considered more than 150 reports whose content range from oversight visits to matters emanating from legislation, regulations, international agreements, and appointments of candidates in terms of legislation. Resolution on these were communicated to the executive and were relevant to other organs of the state. As a consequence, more than 200 executives undertakings were recorded in the NCOP.
Regarding the sittings of the House, these were used to deal with the debates in general, reports, policy debates and Bills. Half of the sittings were hybrid and more than 50 were virtual. This is a stuck reminder that even in the phase of COVID-19 pandemic we managed to put in place the necessary information and communications technology infrastructure and adjusted the Rules to ensure that the work of the House continued unabated.
Our innovative spirit during the pandemic resulted in the introduction for the first time ever of the mechanism of Ministrerial Briefings. These provided the members of the executive across the spheres an opportunity to engage with the public representatives from the different spheres under one roof thus improving the capacity of co-operation and co- ordination. They contributed to the deepening of oversight and the enhancement of accountability.
While the COVID-19 pandemic affected their mobility, we found time to embark on Provincial Week and taking Parliament to the people and programmes as a means of promoting direct people involvement.
In the start of questions to the executive, the NCOP in the 6th Parliament broke a record in terms of the number of questions put to the executive. As of 10 May 2024, the total number of written and oral questions directed at members of the national executive was 4 880. This figure, hon members and delegates, is better understood when looked against the total number of questions asked by the members of the NCOP in the 5th Parliament, which was 2 946. Most of the questions focused on the National Development Plan thematic areas, which include quality healthcare, security and justice, quality of education and skills development, housing, water, electricity, and sanitation. These are the areas as we all know that always attract community protest and ... [Inaudible.] ... that activities.
Regarding international participation, despite the traveling restrictions owing to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, parliamentary diplomacy was not severely impacted upon.
Members of this House were able to participate visual or physically in the activities of the various multilateral bodies, which included the SADC Parliamentary Forum ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ... the Pan African Parliament, the Brics Parliamentary Forum, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. We also visited counterparts Houses in German and Namibia and hosted several delegations from several countries including South Sudan. I also wish to take this opportunity to salute all our managers and staff for the critical work to sustain the institution of Parliament.
It is my belief that your contribution to the work of the NCOP has sustained the hope of the nation. Irrespective of the social standing millions of South Africans from the provinces you represent were beneficiaries of overall starling work. It is heartening that despite extreme difficulties caused by many natural disasters, we have had to enjoy, including the COVID-19 pandemic. We have managed to carry out our constitutional duty to serve all the citizens. Just to mention as I was saying as I conclude, that one of the members, valuable members of this House is hon Ambassador Dangor, who continues to occupy a special place in all our hearts. I thank you and everybody who contributed to the fulfilment of the mandate of the NCOP during the term. So, I say farewell. Go out there and campaign. And to paraphrase Madiba, may the best party win. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon members, order! Thank you, hon Chair. Hon members and special delegates, before we adjourn the House, I wish to get an opportunity to address you. As this is our last plenary sitting of the term, it is important to allow the presiding officers to convey their remarks to the House as we bid farewell and approaching the end of the Sixth Parliament.
I am mindful that this is truly an emotional moment, at the same time this moment calls on us to end the term in the most dignified manner that can help us to leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.
As we prepare to leave an impactful legacy, I feel honoured to have been a member of this House that is continuing to shape the rich history of our country in representing provinces to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government.
Addressing the NCOP in 2007, former President of the Republic hon Thabo Mbeki said, and I quote: “Through its work, the NCOP has helped to ensure that our people are able to look to the future with confidence.” It is indeed true that our people have confidence in the NCOP because of the unique nature of its work and its composition to bring together the three spheres of government under one roof to address issues of national importance which affect our people.
During the performance of its constitutional duties, I was truly privileged to have worked with men and women of great honour of this House. Together we have achieved a lot. Let us build on our successes, let us maintain the unity that has seen us through many storms. It is only when we do this that we can approach the future with confidence.
Our collective efforts during our term in this House has been my greatest motivation. Through your support you made me a better member of this House and a better presiding officer.
Over and above, I wish to take this opportunity to thank the almighty God. By His grace I have served His people in the NCOP and in Parliament.
Hon members, through our collective efforts, as presiding officers, I believe that we have done well in upholding the decorum and the Rules of this House and especially in promoting a workable relationship amongst you all as delegates from provinces. While we agree to disagree, we have shown that it is possible for members to put aside their differences and work together for the betterment of the people of our country. Having worked together as public representatives in this House there is no doubt that we are leaving behind a rich legacy that will enrich the term of the incoming Seventh Parliament.
As I wrap up, I wish to thank the Secretary of Parliament, Mr Xolile George and the Secretary of the NCOP, Adv Eric Modibedi Phindela, his management team and officials for the sterling work they continue to do for members of this House. On the same note, I convey our appreciation to our support officials in political offices for providing us with a high-level support.
Hon members of the House, I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my fellow presiding officers, the Chief Whip hon Seiso Mohai, the provisional chief committee chairperson and each one of you, permanent and special delegates, for the support that you have given to me in this House. Your input, support and spirit of co-operation throughout the term has meant a lot to me. Last but not least, I wish to thank the leadership and the membership of the ANC and alliance for their support and political guidance. Ngiyabonga [Thank you.]
Before we adjourn, hon members, I have an announcement that lunch will be served in the dining hall after this sitting. Hon members, I wish to thank all MECs, permanent and special delegates and the South African Local Government Association,
Salga, representatives for availing themselves to this plenary. The House is adjourned.
The Council adjourned at 13:45