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28 March 2017 - NW198

Profile picture: Carter, Ms D

Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

(a) What has been the progress (details furnished) since he received the response on 28 November 2016 of the National Director of Public Prosecutions on his fitness to hold office and (b)(i) why and (ii) by whom is the matter being delayed?

Reply:

Having considered the submission received from the National Director of Public Prosecutions, I decided not to suspend the National Director (and his two colleagues) and also not to hold an inquiry into his fitness to hold office.

28 March 2017 - NW171

Profile picture: Lees, Mr RA

Lees, Mr RA to ask the President of the Republic

Whether he declared the fringe benefits accrued to him as a result of the State-funded upgrades to is Nkandla home to the SA Revenue Services; if not, why not, if so, what are the details of the declared benefits?

Reply:

The issue of tax is a confidential matter between the South African Revenue Services and the Tax payer.

28 March 2017 - NW252

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Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

(a) What further steps has he taken with regard to the commitments he made (details furnished) that (i) the Government had taken a conscious decision to clean up the Department of Public Works by eradicating and preventing irregular procurements, (ii) he had issued a proclamation authorising the Special Investigating Unit to investigate the irregularities in the procurement of goods and services with regard to Nkandla (details furnished) and (iii) criminal referrals had also been submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority and government departments, (b) what is the current status of each commitment and (c) what is causing the inordinate delays in finalising his actions with regard to the specified commitments?

Reply:

(a)(i) As part of the overall turnaround strategy of the Department of Public Works, the Department has concluded a detailed review of its business processes which resulted in extensive business process reengineering to vastly improve the Supply Chain Management (SCM), operations and procurement system. The revised SCM business process to put the Department’s SCM on a 7 year reform path began with a phase of correction of inefficiencies to stabilization (2014 – 2017) and ultimately to standardization, integration and optimization of the SCM business process (2017 – 2020). This will ensure that the Department’s SCM is fully compliant with the regulatory framework governing SCM and will also be able to meet its business requirements effectively and efficiently. The SCM reform initiatives are pursued in collaboration with National Treasury’s Chief Procurement Office. The Department was selected by the Minister of Finance as a pilot site for the implementation of general procurement reforms in the public sector.

The Department has reviewed and reissued its SCM Policy which promotes stricter governance and compliance. This policy now places the Department in good stead from a compliance perspective. The SCM policy is now reviewed annually. For every SCM activity that is performed, there is a mapped out process flow with activity checklists, templates and reports. Utilisation of the mentioned documentation now enhances compliance, thereby contributing to reducing irregular expenditure.

The organizational structure of SCM has also been reviewed and a new structure was developed to meet business requirements. The structure is geared to focus on the support of the various functional streams of the Department through the correct mix of skills sets and competencies. The new structure provides for adequate segregation of duties and thus conflicts of interest will be eliminated.

The Department’s Inspectorate and Compliance Unit is now a key role player in SCM processes prior to the award of every bid or quotation. This unit verifies that every SCM activity leading up to the recommendation of the bid has been complied with. Only upon receipt of the approved compliance checklist, will the bid be forwarded to the relevant committee for approval.

The Department has further developed a zero tolerance to deviations and issued a circular which enforces that any deviation is tabled with delegated authority and/or submitted to National Treasury.

The Department has also enforced consequence management against transgressors of SCM policies. Further, the Department has embarked on a process to restrict suppliers that have been found to have breached the SCM policy, committed fraud and/or colluded with staff or other suppliers.

The above initiatives have had a profound effect in curbing fraud and corruption, and which has reduced the element of irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

(a) (ii) Proclamation No. R. 59 of 2013 was issued by the President and published in the Gazette on 20 December 2013. The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) issued their Report on the investigation that they conducted in terms of the mentioned Proclamation on 20 August 2014. Emanating from their investigation, the SIU referred:

  • evidence that indicated that 12 officials of the Department might be guilty of misconduct to the Director-General of the Department and recommended disciplinary action against them;
  • Evidence that indicated possible criminal transgressions in respect of three former acting Directors-General to the relevant Prosecuting Authority and recommended that they be prosecuted. Evidence of an apparent false Tax Clearance Certificate submitted by one of the contactors, was also referred to the Prosecuting Authority;
  • Evidence that indicated that Tax Clearance Certificates in respect of 14 of the consultants and contractors were possibly fraudulent or invalid to the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

 

The SIU has instituted a civil claim against Minenhle Makhanya Architects CC for the damages or losses they have allegedly caused the Department to suffer.

(a)(iii) As indicated above, the SIU made criminal referrals to the relevant Prosecuting Authority.

(b) Regarding the commitments referred to in (a)(i), the status appears from the reply given above in (a)(i). Regarding the disciplinary referrals, one of the employees admitted guilt and was found guilty of misconduct, after plea bargaining. The sanction was two month’s suspension without pay and a final written warning. The disciplinary hearings of the other employees are scheduled to commence in mid-March 2017. One of the employees has since passed on. The Prosecuting Authority declined to prosecute in the matters referred to them. SARS is apparently still considering the matters referred to them.

(c) The commitment referred to in (a)(i) is work in progress. The SIU investigation has been completed. The criminal referrals have been finalised as the Prosecuting Authority declined to prosecute. The delay in finalizing the disciplinary matters was caused by several court processes whereby the media requested permission to be present at the departmental disciplinary hearings. Several appeals were lodged before the media was eventually granted permission to be present at the hearings. The implicated employees appealed that decision, but the court ruled against them at the end of 2016.

10 January 2017 - NW2635

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Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, with reference to his statement at the Royal Bafokeng regarding the responsibility to fight corruption (details furnished) and his recent statement in Pietermaritzburg that he knows the thieves who are stealing (details furnished), he has reported these corrupt transactions to the SA Police Service; if not, why not; if so, what are the details of the cases?

Reply:

We have instructed the Anti-Corruption Task Team to work tirelessly to root out corruption at all levels of the public services where it exists. A lot of good work has been done as reported recently by the Anti-Corruption Inter Ministerial Committee.

In some of the progress made, since April 2013 I have signed more than 27 proclamation orders which has resulted in the Special Investigating Unit recovering cash or assets to the value of R204 million and managed to have contracts to the value of R755 million cancelled. Over the past three years 32 people involved in corruption cases worth R3 billion have been convicted. 58 people involved in fraud to the value of close to R200 million were also convicted.

We are committed to do even more to defeat the scourge of corruption. We do not only talk about fighting corruption, but we are doing something about it. The few cases I have mentioned above attest to the progress we are making.

We will continue to speak out to discourage unethical behaviour and to discourage those who may be tempted. The statement was made in that spirit.

07 December 2016 - NW2588

Profile picture: Maynier, Mr D

Maynier, Mr D to ask the President of the Republic

(1)With reference to his replies to questions 2137 and 2138 on 11 November 2016, on which date did he reprimand the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr M J Zwane; (2) Whether the specified Minister received a letter of reprimand; if not, (a) why not and (b) what form did the reprimand take; if so, (i) when was the specified letter sent to the Minister and (ii) why was the letter not tabled in Parliament; (3) Whether he will table the letter in Parliament; if not, why not; if so, by which date? NW3001E

Reply:

The reprimand was in the form of a letter to the Minister of Mineral Resources dated 23 September 2016. The Minister apologised for his statement.

07 December 2016 - NW2634

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Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, with reference to reported allegations (details furnished), he is aware of any bribe money paid by the Russians in relation to the procurement of nuclear generating capacity for the Republic of South Africa?

Reply:

The Procurement of the Nuclear New Build Programme (NNBP) has not yet started and the Request for Proposals has yet not been issued. Various organs of state involved in the Programme are currently doing preparatory work related to the procurement process, including the development of a governance and management framework for the Programme with the different roles and responsibilities being articulated.

Government is not aware of any bribe and/or money that has been paid by any prospective bidder(s) for the Nuclear New Build Programme. Government is committed to a fair and transparent procurement process for the NNBP and will act against anyone who compromises the integrity of the process by acting unlawfully or improperly. The Nuclear New Build Programme is central to the country’s long term energy plans in order to reduce greenhouse emissions, ensure security of electricity, and contribute to economic development and job creation.

17 November 2016 - NW2270

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Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

In light of the Public Protector’s investigation into state capture, why did he not reply to the Public Protector’s question on the Deputy Minister, Mr Mcebisi Jonas, being offered a Cabinet position during a meeting with a certain family (name furnished) at their residence in October 2015 while he replied to the same question in the National Assembly on 17 March 2016?

Reply:

The question pertains to matters that are either before courts and/or are subject to other legal processes. I am therefore unable to answer the question until the said processes have been concluded.

17 November 2016 - NW2556

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Madisha, Mr WM to ask the President of the Republic

(1)     In light of the findings of the Public Protector in her report dated 21 April 2010 (details furnished) and in light of the fact that he is not required to make declarations of his assets in the Parliament Register, which is published on the parliamentary website, as other members of the executive is required to do, he has, since taking office in 2009, declared any gifts which include hospitality in access of R1500 to the Cabinet Secretary; if not, why not; if so, (a) what is the description of such gifts and (b) what were the source and value of the gifts; (2) whether he has declared any material advantage such as discounts and interest free loans that are not available to the general public to the Cabinet Secretary since 2009; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether he declared any land or property owned by him to the Cabinet Secretary since 2009; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details of the (a) property, (b) location and (c) extent; (4) whether he declared any trusts of which he is a beneficiary or a trustee to the Cabinet Secretary since 2009; if not, why not; if so, what is the (a) name of the trust and (b) details of the benefits derived?

Reply:

The question pertains to matters that are either before courts and/or are subject to other legal processes. I am therefore unable to answer the question until the said processes have been concluded.

17 November 2016 - NW2508

Profile picture: Madisha, Mr WM

Madisha, Mr WM to ask the President of the Republic

(1)      In light of the findings of the Public Protector in her report dated 21 April 2010 (details furnished) and in light of the fact that he is not required to make declarations of his assets in the Parliament Register, which is published on the parliamentary website, as other members of the executive is required to do, he has, since taking office in 2009, declared any shares in any company with the Cabinet Secretary; if not, why not; if so, (a) in which company(-ies), (b) what is the (i) number of shares he is holding, (ii) nature of the shares and the (iii) value of the shares; (2) whether he has declared any directorship or partnership in any corporate body to the Cabinet Secretary since 2009; if not, why not; if so, what are the details of the company and its business activity; (3) whether he declared any retainers received to the Cabinet Secretary since 2009; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details of the (a) organisations, (b) type of business and (c) value of any benefit derived; (4) whether he declared any sponsorships he received to the Cabinet Secretary since 2009; if not, why not; if so, (a) what was the source and (b) value of the sponsorships?

Reply:

The question pertains to matters that are either before courts and/or are subject to other legal processes. I am therefore unable to answer the question until the said processes have been concluded.

17 November 2016 - NW2173

Profile picture: Maimane, Mr MA

Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, in light of Minister Radebe’s recent briefing on Cabinet’s decision advising the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) against suspect legal interpretations, he has now met with the Minister of Communications, Ms A F Muthambi, to discuss the (a) redeployment of the former Chief Operations Officer of the SABC, Mr H Motsoeneng, to the position of Group Executive of Corporate Affairs and (b) current affairs of the SABC; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what was the (i) date and (ii) content of each such meeting?

Reply:

I regularly meet with Ministers to discuss maters pertinent to their portfolios. Cabinet, which I chair and lead, discussed the SABC matter and pronounced itself strongly on what needs to be done to bring the entity on the right path. The Minister is a member of cabinet and is aware of the discussions and is bound by them as well.

16 November 2016 - NW1484

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Waters, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1)     Whether he (a) enquired, (b) planned and/or (c) partook in any discussions regarding the alleged activities of security services regarding the (i) Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the establishment of the Workers’ Association Union and/or (ii) collection of evidence relating to the mandate of the Seriti Commission by the Special Operations Unit in Europe following the establishment of the specified commission (details furnished); if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (aa) in which way and (bb) to what extent was he involved in this regard; (2) Whether (a) he and/or (b) The Presidency received a report from the Special Operations Unit relating to evidence to be collected pertaining to the Seriti Commission; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The matters referred to in the question are subject of litigation before the courts of law. As such, I am not in a position at this stage to reply to the question.

16 November 2016 - NW2505

Profile picture: Carter, Ms D

Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

With reference to his reply to oral question 1 in the National Council of Provinces on 25 October 2016, and taking into consideration the transcripts of the question and answer session he held with the former Public Protector during her investigations in respect of the State of Capture report, (a) why did it take him seven months to respond to the questions posed by the former Public Protector and (b) why did he not answer the questions on the allegations levelled against him? (2) whether he reported the matter to the SA Police Service in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, Act 12 of 2004; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details in this regard?

Reply:

The question pertains to matters that are either before courts and/or are subject to other legal processes. I am therefore unable to answer the question until the said processes have been concluded.

16 November 2016 - NW2503

Profile picture: Lekota, Mr M

Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1)     Whether, in light of the powers vested in him by section 91 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, to appoint Ministers, he took any steps in respect of Ms Vytjie Mentor informing him that she was offered a Cabinet position of Minister of Public Enterprises by the Gupta brothers in return for dropping the SA Airways route to India upon her appointment as Minister; if not, why not; if so, (2) whether he reported the matter to the SA Police Service in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, Act 12 of 2004; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details in this regard?

Reply:

The question pertains to matters that are either before courts and/or are subject to other legal processes. I am therefore unable to answer the question until the said processes have been concluded.

16 November 2016 - NW2175

Profile picture: Gqada, Ms T

Gqada, Ms T to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether (a) he and/or (b) his legal team held any meetings with the (i) Board and/or (ii) Chief Executive Officer of the Ingonyama Trust since 27 June 2016; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what were the (aa) reasons for and (bb) content of each such meeting; (2) whether (a) he and/or (b) his legal team held any meetings with the (i) Board, (ii) Chief Executive Officer and/or (iii) Chief Operating Officer of the VBS Mutual Bank since 27 June 2016; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details of each such meeting held?

Reply:

I obtained a loan from VBS Mutual Bank and met the obligation of paying R7 814 1550.00 as ordered by the Constitutional Court of South Africa, in respect of the security upgrades at my private residence in Nkandla. The banker-client relationship is governed by the private law of contract. In this regard, we should all abide by the letter of the law and not interfere with this contractual relationship as enshrined in legislation passed by our parliament.

11 November 2016 - NW2268

Profile picture: Maimane, Mr MA

Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

(1)With reference to his reply to oral question 9 on 19 June 2013, what are the details of the nature of his relationship with a certain family (name furnished); (2) (a)(i) in which capacity and (ii) on what dates in 2015 did he visit the specified family at their residence and (b) what was the reason for each visit; (3) has any member of the family ever given (a) him and/or (b) any member of his family a gift, no matter how trivial; if so, in each case, what are the details of the gift?

Reply:

The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the Report into Allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of Ministers and Executives of State Owned Enterprises. It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the Report is inconclusive. After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge. I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.

11 November 2016 - NW2137

Profile picture: Maynier, Mr D

Maynier, Mr D to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, with reference to his reply to oral question 17 on 13 September 2016, he has engaged with the Minister of Mineral Resources on the controversy surrounding the statement issued by the Minister on 1 September 2016; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

I reprimanded the Minister of Mineral Resources for the statement.

11 November 2016 - NW2138

Profile picture: Maynier, Mr D

Maynier, Mr D to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether the statement issued by the Minister of Mineral Resources on 1 September 2016 was issued in the Minister’s personal capacity; if not, what are the relevant details; if so, why did the Minister state in a reply to written question 1892 on 22 September 2016 that he was not speaking in his personal capacity; (2) whether the specified statement reflects Cabinet’s position on the recommendations contained in the inter-ministerial committee’s report; if not, why not; if so, why did the Minister claim in a reply to written question 1892 on 22 September 2016 that four of the specified recommendations were approved by Cabinet; (3) whether any action has been taken against the specified minister for issuing the specified statement; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

I had indicated in my previous reply that the statement issued by the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr Mosebenzi Zwane on 1 September 2016, on the work of the task team established to consider the implications of the decisions of certain banks and audit firms to close down the accounts and withdraw audit services from the company named Oakbay Investments, was issued in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the task team or Cabinet. I am not in the position to answer why the Minister Zwane in his reply on 22 September 2016 said that he was not speaking in his personal capacity. The question in this regard must be directed to the Minister.

I reprimanded the Minister for the statement.

11 November 2016 - NW2174

Profile picture: Gqada, Ms T

Gqada, Ms T to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether, in pursuance of the Constitutional Court Ruling on Nkandla, he obtained a mortgage loan from the VBS Mutual Bank in order to settle the R7,8 million ordered by the court for non-security related upgrades at his private residence at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) on what date did he secure the specified loan from the specified bank, (b) what was the amount of the loan and (c) did he obtain the loan in his name; (2) whether he will furnish Ms T Gqada with a copy of the loan; if not, why not; if so, by what date?

Reply:

I raised the amount R7 814 155.00 through a home loan obtained from VBS Mutual Bank on its standard terms. VBS Mutual Bank is one of the few financial institutions which offer home loans in respect of land owned by traditional authorities.

After paying over the amount of R7 814 155 00 to the South African Reserve Bank, I as a matter of courtesy, advised the Constitutional Court that I have paid the amount as per the order of that court. I deem such notification sufficient and compliant with both the order of court and of my constitutional obligations.

11 November 2016 - NW2269

Profile picture: Maimane, Mr MA

Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

(1)With reference to section 91(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and in the light of the allegations by a certain person (name and details furnished) that private persons excercised these powers that were exclusively provided for him, what is his position regarding such allegations that the specified person was offered a cabinet position by a member of a certain family (name furnished) during meetings at their residence in October 2010 in return for the cancellation of an SA Airways route to India; (2) was he present at a certain residence (name furnished) when the offer was allegedly made to the person; (3) whether he held any meetings with the person between 1 October 2010 and 31 December 2010; if not, what is his position regarding claims to the contrary; if so, (a) how many meetings did the specified person request with him during the specified period, (b) how many requests resulted in a meeting being held and (c) what was the reason for each meeting not being held with the person as requested?

Reply:

The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the Report into Allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of Ministers and Executives of State Owned Enterprises. It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the Report is inconclusive. After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge. I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.

11 November 2016 - NW2271

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Steenhuisen, Mr JH to ask the President of the Republic

(1)What is the position with regard to allegations by a certain person (name and details furnished) that a certain person (name furnished) sought to influence the spending of the Government Communication and Information System in favour of The New Age newspaper during a meeting at their residence; (2) whether he called the specified person at any point in 2015 to assist certain brothers (names furnished); (3) whether he will make a statement regarding allegations that certain persons (details furnished) threatened the person’s job if the person did not accede to the family’s demands?

Reply:

The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the Report into Allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of Ministers and Executives of State Owned Enterprises. It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the Report is inconclusive. After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge. I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.

11 November 2016 - NW2272

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Steenhuisen, Mr JH to ask the President of the Republic

Whether he will make a statement with regard to the allegation that a certain person (name and details furnished) was informed by a certain family (name furnished) about the specified person’s imminent appointment to the Cabinet (details furnished) before it was announced by him; if so, what is his response?

Reply:

The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the Report into Allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of Ministers and Executives of State Owned Enterprises. It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the Report is inconclusive. After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge. I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.

11 November 2016 - NW2273

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Steenhuisen, Mr JH to ask the President of the Republic

Did he ever visit the estate of a certain family (name and details furnished) at the same time as certain other persons (names furnished) were present; if so, in each case, what was the reason for the visit?

Reply:

The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the Report into Allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of Ministers and Executives of State Owned Enterprises. It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the Report is inconclusive. After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge. I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.

11 November 2016 - NW2274

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Breytenbach, Adv G to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, with reference to his reply to question 109 on 20 September 2016, he ever visited a certain residence (details furnished) at the same time as certain persons (names furnished) visited there; if so, in each case, what was the reason for the visit?

Reply:

The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the Report into Allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of Ministers and Executives of State Owned Enterprises. It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the Report is inconclusive. After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge. I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.

11 November 2016 - NW2275

Profile picture: Breytenbach, Adv G

Breytenbach, Adv G to ask the President of the Republic

Whether he ever visited a certain residence (details furnished) at the same time as a certain person (name furnished) visited there; if so, what was the reason for the visit?

Reply:

The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the Report into Allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of Ministers and Executives of State Owned Enterprises. It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the Report is inconclusive. After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge. I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.

11 November 2016 - NW2276

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Breytenbach, Adv G to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, with reference to his previous declaration of the Waterkloof house as an asset, which is used by a certain person (name furnished), (a) a certain family (name furnished) and/or (b) a company linked to the family assisted the person (details furnished) in purchasing the house; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, why did the specified family assist the specified person?

Reply:

The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the Report into Allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of Ministers and Executives of State Owned Enterprises. It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the Report is inconclusive. After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge. I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.

11 November 2016 - NW2277

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Waters, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Has he ever considered withdrawing from a Cabinet meeting due to a conflict of interest; if so, (a) which meeting(s) did he consider withdrawing from and (b) for what reason specifically in each case; (2) has he ever declared the (a) personal and (b) professional relationships of a certain person (name furnished) with members of a certain family (name furnished) to the Cabinet in order to mitigate a potential conflict of interest; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the Report into Allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of Ministers and Executives of State Owned Enterprises. It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the Report is inconclusive. After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge. I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.

11 November 2016 - NW2278

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Horn, Mr W to ask the President of the Republic

(1)(a) Why did he not include any values in his declarations during the period 2009 to 2016, and (b) were (i) the specified declarations made to the Cabinet secretariat in each of the respective calendar years complete and (ii) there no other declarations elsewhere; (2) in light of the fact that he previously declared a certain house used by a certain person (name and details furnished) as an asset and indicated an amount of R18 000 per month as an instalment, (a) how does he reconcile the R18 000 instalment indicated in his disclosures for the specified house with the R79 715 instalment in the mortgage bond of a certain bank (name furnished), (b) why did a certain mining company (name furnished) provide security for the specified bond and (c) why was this declaration not made in recent years?

Reply:

The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the Report into Allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of Ministers and Executives of State Owned Enterprises. It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the Report is inconclusive. After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge. I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.

08 November 2016 - NW1977

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Maynier, Mr D to ask the President of the Republic

Whether he has received any petitions concerning the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill [B33B-2015] sent to him for assent; if so, for each specified petition so received, (a) who furnished him with the specified petition, (b) when was the specified petition furnished and (c) what was the purpose of the petition?

Reply:

The Presidency continues with the processing of the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) Bill which has been passed by Parliament and referred to me for assent and signing into law.

Yes, I have received formal objections to the signing of the Bill from the Progressive Professionals Forum and the Black Business Council. When I am petitioned not to sign a bill, I have an obligation to consider the merits of such objection focusing mainly on whether the interested parties raise valid constitutional issues.

I have also received formal correspondence in support of the Bill from Honourable Floyd Shivambu, Economic Freedom Fighters Deputy President and Chief Whip and Mr Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary of CASAC, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution.

 

20 September 2016 - NW1685

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Selfe, Mr J to ask the President of the Republic

Whether he requested any form of (a) legal advice and/or (b) advisory services from a certain firm of attorneys (name and details furnished) with regard to the Public Protector’s reports entitled (i) Secure in Comfort, report No 25 of 2013/14, (ii) Inappropriate Moves, report No 13 of 2013/14 and (iii) When Governance and Ethics Fail, report No 23 of 2013/14; if so, in each case, (aa) in which specific financial years were the services rendered and (bb) what was the cost of the services?

Reply:

The Presidency did not employ the services of Mchunu Attorneys to provide any form of legal advice and/or advisory services in respect of the mentioned Public Protector’s Reports. The briefing of any counsel or giving of instructions to any private attorneys to act on behalf of the President is done through the office of the state attorney.   

20 September 2016 - NW1736

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Mazzone, Ms NW to ask the President of the Republic

In light of the recent announcement that the Presidential State-Owned Enterprises Co-ordinating Council will be formed to oversee state-owned companies, (a) when will the specified committee begin with its work, (b) who will oversee strategy in the state-owned companies, (c) what powers will the committee have and (d) how will the work of the committee be co-ordinated with the work already being done by the Minister of Public Enterprises?

Reply:

The Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy President Ramaphosa remains responsible for overseeing the stabilisation and reform of state-owned entities. The IMC has proposed the establishment of a Presidential SOC Council. The proposal arises from the report of the Presidential SOE Review Council released in 2013, which called for the establishment of an SOE Council of Ministers.

The Council is aimed at ensuring improved oversight and coordination of state owned companies in the similar manner in which the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission coordinates infrastructure development across the three spheres of government or the IMC on Investment Promotion.

This IMC proposal is still to be discussed further in Cabinet. At this stage no finality has been reached and there are no terms of reference and no governance structure for the Council that has been finalised. Government welcomes any inputs from stakeholders on this important task of improving SOEs so that they assist in driving economic transformation and improve the lives of our people.

It should be noted that the work of coordinating structures is only to coordinate and supervise and ensure that all work together and not in isolation. It is not to directly run projects or takeover responsibilities of line function departments. The Department of Public Enterprises thus continues to perform its task as the shareholder to the state entities that report to it.

20 September 2016 - NW109

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Lorimer, Mr JR to ask the President of the Republic

(1)          Did he visit the Gupta family compound in Saxonwold in Johannesburg on Sunday, 20 September 2015; if so, (a) why did he make the visit and (b) what was the nature of the discussions during the specified visit; (2) did the discussion include the subsequent reshuffling that happened in the Ministry of Mineral Resources portfolio; if so, what was the nature of the discussions regarding the appointment of the new Minister of Mineral Resources; if not, (3) is he aware of any member of his cabinet visiting the Gupta family compound on 20 September 2015; if so, who made the visit?

Reply:

The Presidency was informed by the Public Protector that she has received complaints and requests that she should investigate this matter or related allegations.  The Public Protector’s investigation is still continuing.

20 September 2016 - NW1173

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Macpherson, Mr DW to ask the President of the Republic

Whether he intends to remove the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Rob Davis, from the portfolio of trade and industry in the next Cabinet reshuffle; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The appointment of members of the National Executive of Government is the prerogative of the President of the Republic. Ministers and Deputy Ministers are well aware of the fact that they serve at the pleasure of the sitting President of the Republic.

Having said that, I would caution against the spreading of rumours of this nature. The Department functions well and continues to meet its mandate under the leadership of Minister Davies.

20 September 2016 - NW1806

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Maynier, Mr D to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, in the light of his statement on 2 September 2016 distancing himself from the announcement of the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr Mosebenzi Zwane concerning the work of the task team established to consider the implications of the decision of certain banks and audit firms to close the accounts and withdraw audit services from Oakbay Investments (Pty) LTD, he will take action against the Minister; if not, why not; if so, (a) what action will he take and (b) when will such action be taken?

Reply:

The statement issued by the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr Mosebenzi Zwane on 1 September 2016, on the work of the task team established to consider the implications of the decisions of certain banks and audit firms to close down the accounts and withdraw audit services from the company named Oakbay Investments, was issued in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the task team or Cabinet.

I reassured the public, the banking sector as well as domestic and international investors of Government’s unwavering commitment to the letter and spirit of the country’s Constitution as well as in the sound fiscal and economic fundamentals that underpin our economy.

I also informed parliament on 13 September that I was engaging Minister Zwane regarding his statement.

20 September 2016 - NW1759

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Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Has he received representations from the Progressive Professionals Forum, in light of the fact that in May 2016 Parliament passed the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill, which is now awaiting his assent and which seeks to bring South Africa in line with the new Financial Action task Force, especially the need to enhance due diligence by banks and other financial institutions of politically exposed people when they transact through the banking system (details furnished); if so, (a) did he find substantive merit in these representations and (b) what steps will he take in this regard; (2) what is preventing him from assenting to the Bill given the rampant corruption and the international imperatives underpinning the Bill as preventative anti-laundering measures are a vital means of combatting corruption?

Reply:

I received an objection to the signing of the bill from the Progressive Professionals Forum. When I get petitioned not to sign a bill, I have to consider the merits of such objection focusing mainly on whether the interested parties raise valid constitutional issues.

It is not the first time that I have taken time to consider a bill for similar reasons. Currently, I have not signed the Expropriation Bill, the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill and the Protection of State Information Bill, because various parties petitioned me not to do so, citing concerns about their constitutionality. All these concerns are being looked into.

20 September 2016 - NW1749

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Alberts, Mr ADW to ask the President of the   Republic

(1)        (a) What are the legal grounds according to which the Presidential State Owned Entitities Co-ordinating Council (PSOECC) will be created under his jurisdiction, (b) what will be the jurisdiction of the PSOECC and (c) how this will be comprised; (2) whether the PSOECC wil take any steps to prevent corruption, fraud and other forms of maladministration of the operational management and acquisition processes regarding state owned entitites; if so, what are these steps?

Reply:

At this stage no finality has been reached and there are no terms of reference or any other governance structure for the Council that has been finalised.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy President Ramaphosa remains responsible for overseeing the stabilisation and reform of state-owned entities.

The proposal to establish the Presidential SOCs Coordinating Council is aimed at assisting to ensure improved oversight and coordination of state owned companies.

20 September 2016 - NW1758

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Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

In light of the fact that Cabinet has approved the appointment of a new South African Airways (SAA) Board of Directors with Ms Duduzile Myeni reappointed as the chairperson despite widespread objections (details furnished), did the list of candidates to be considered for appointment to the SAA Board of Directors that was submitted by the Minister of Finance to Cabinet include the name of Ms Duduzile Myeni; if not, what is the rationality behind the re-appointment of Ms Duduzile Myeni as the chairperson of the SAA Board of Directors; if so, (a) did he reject the specified list and (b) why?

Reply:

The new full-strength Board brings a wealth of skills and expertise, making them well positioned to oversee the turnaround of the airline. These skills include: finance, risk management, treasury management, investment management, project management, business strategy, marketing and business management, legal, banking, stakeholder management, communication and social development.

Ms Duduzile Myeni was appointed by Cabinet as Chairperson. The Minister of Finance has stated publicly that the appointment of Ms Myeni, for a period of only one year, is aimed at ensuring continuity at the SAA.

12 July 2016 - NW1076

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Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

(1) Whether the Government has begun to remove the red tape and ease regulations as requested by business leaders and in line with his promise to make South Africa a business-friendly destination for investors (details furnished); if not, why not; if so, what progress has the Government already made in attracting investors; (2) Whether he will make a statement on how the Government intends to ensure economic policy certainty underpinned by full adherence to the rule of law?

Reply:

Government is committed to promoting the ease of doing investments in the country through cutting red tape and ensuring that processes move quicker than what has become the normal. We are prioritising that process more this year.

We have held meetings with business with the common purpose of reigniting growth and also to promote the easing of red tape. Earlier this year, Working Groups were established between Government and Business to address these challenges and opportunities, under the leadership of the Minister of Finance Mr Pravin Gordhan and the President of Business Unity SA, Mr Jabu Mabuza. The group reported back as follows at the last session between government, business and labour;

The task team has focused on improving engagement and trust with economic stakeholders on key areas of interest to identify blockages to production and employment. It has looked at how to further improve the systems and capacity for assessing the impact on growth, investment and employment of proposed and existing regulations. Other matters include to reduce delays and unnecessary red tape around authorisations needed for investments and to work towards improving regulation and to reduce the burden of importing core and critical skills needed for the economy.

At an implementation level, the Department of Trade and Industry is tasked with the overall coordination on investment and has established a division, Investment South Africa as of 1 April 2016 to be the focal point for all investors. At present the red tape, unblocking and fast tracking are being facilitated and managed by Investment South Africa as a One Stop Shop. The National One Stop Shop will be launched in Quarter 3 of this financial year. The One Stop Shop will focus on permits, licensing and registrations across government.

We welcome the recent investments which have been announced in the country. These include the investment by Toyota for a new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner manufacturing plant in Prospecton, Durban. This was made possible through the support provided by the Department of Trade and Industry which has attracted investments of over R25 billion in the automotive industry in the past five years. This investment will support more than 4 000 jobs with total employment in the plant already exceeding 8 000 jobs.

Toyota injected of R6.1 billion investment into South Africa's manufacturing industry and the country's local vehicle production. BMW has also announced the construction of a R6 billion a new, state-of-the-art body shop. The expansion will enable BMW to produce and export the next generation of the BMW X3. This demonstrates that the Rosslyn Plant is highly competitive within the global BMW production network both in terms of cost of production and quality.

In another investment, the Minister of Trade and Industry recently launched a R100 million Dursots & All Joy Tomato Processing Plant in Modjadjiskloof near Tzaneen. Dursots has embraced supplier development as a mechanism to encourage 15 black emerging famers into the value chain.

To support the upgrade and expansion of the rail locomotive programme, Gibela Rail Transport consortium has commenced building a one billion rand factory at Dunnottar in, Ekurhuleni. The factory will be utilised to manufacture trains for PRASA.

Aberdare Cables launched its new production line in Pietermaritzburg. The production line will produce cables for PRASA and Transnet locomotive build programme. The Investments Inter-Ministerial Committee which is chaired by the President continues its work, supported by business, to remove obstacles to doing business in the country.

South Africa remains an attractive investment destination and Government is committed to improving our investment climate.

12 July 2016 - NW876

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Madisha, Mr WM to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether he was continuously ensuring that all Cabinet members and Deputy Ministers were complying fully with section 96(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996; if not, why not; if so, what steps has he taken to ensure that the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, was being fully complied with by every member of the Executive and every Deputy Minister; (2)Whether he will make a statement on the strict adherence to the Code of Ethics in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, Act 82 of 1998, in the Government that he leads and the extent to which this is being done by The Presidency?

Reply:

Constitutional democracy means supremacy of the rule of law as prescribed by the Constitution. The Constitution places certain responsibilities on the President and the Executive collectively. The steps required to be taken by the Executive are clearly spelt out in the Constitution and applicable legislation.

Members of the Executive do comply with their legal obligations as set out in the Constitution. They appear in Parliament to discharge their obligations as and when required, such as through attending parliamentary sittings, answering parliamentary questions, participate in debates, attending meetings of portfolio committees and various other activities.

12 July 2016 - NW1472

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Maynier, Mr D to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, in light of the fact that the Public Investment Corporation lost R99 billion within 48 hours, as a result of his decision to remove the former Minister of Finance, Mr Nhlanhla M Nene, from office on 9 December 2015, he has subsequently found that his statement that the markets overreacted and people exaggerated the impact of his decision was an accurate reflection of the situation (details furnished); if not, why not; if so

Reply:

The currencies of countries that have international trade linkages are contagiously linked to both domestic and global temporal events. This is called incidence of speculative attacks. South Africa is not an exception. The analysis of the currency performance shows that the global and domestic events and shocks in the months from November and December 2015 were increasingly having an impact on the ZAR. These shocks included oils prices, figures from China, US interest rates; while at home the sovereign downgrading of South Africa in December and the changing of the Minister of Finance. The latter incident caused a spike in the Rand and within three days, the rand recovered back to the pre-9 December 2015 levels.

The PIC temporarily lost R99billion and regained it in the course of currency stabilization as is normal occurrence in speculative global and domestic attacks.

With government’s commitment to grow the economy by implementing the NDP the SA economy and markets continue to show resilience. Our efforts of galvanizing government, business, and labour, to work together to implement the 9 point plan and implement critical reforms, is proving to be a solution in fast-tracking growth in the economy.

12 July 2016 - NW1450

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Breytenbach, Adv G to ask the President of the Republic

(1)     Whether The Presidency intends to appeal the judgment delivered by the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria in case 19577/2009 delivered on 29 April 2016; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether The Presidency will pay for the legal costs incurred in the specified appeal process; if not, (a) why not and (b) who will pay the specified costs; if so, on what legal provisions will The Presidency rely in this regard?

Reply:

(1)       As a third respondent in the matter between the Democratic Alliance and the Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, I  did  lodge an application for leave to   appeal  the  decision of the Gauteng High Court. As the honourable member might be aware, the Gauteng High Court dismissed  the application for leave to appeal.   I am still considering the court judgement and weighing my options.  

12 July 2016 - NW1258

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Marais, Mr EJ to ask the President of the Republic

Whether he was present for the unveiling of a new arms factory in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 27 March 2016; if so, (a) what was the itinerary for the visit to the specified complex, (b) which Cabinet members were present at the unveiling and (c) why in each case?

Reply:

During the State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we undertook a tour of the Military Industries Corporation facilities, operated by Rheinmetall Denel Munition, in which South Africa’s Denel holds a 49% stake, accompanied by the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who is also the Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia.

The visit sought to promote South Africa’s defence military industry and to strengthen areas of cooperation in the field of defence procurement partnership between South Africa and Saudi Arabia. Together with the Crown Prince, we symbolically unveiled a plaque of the military facility. We met with and took photographs with personnel and senior management of the Rheinmetall Denel Munition and the South African staff who are bringing expertise to the military factory. The visit was open to the media.

I was accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation;  Mr David Mahlobo, Minister of  State Security;  Dr Rob Davies, Minister of  Trade and Industry; Mr Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs and Mr Nkosinathi Nhleko, Minister of Police.

12 May 2016 - NW737

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Madisha, Mr WM to ask the President of the Republic

1. Whether the Government is implementing a policy across all spheres of government to actively and determinedly restrain the Government wage bill so that it does not (a) outpace inflation, (b) constrain the capital budget, (c) curtail service delivery (d) erode the contingency fund and (e) impact negatively on social spending on the poor; if not, why not; if so, what measure of success has the specified policy had in the period 1 January 2013 up until the latest specified period for which information is available; (2) Whether the Government is equally restraining government expenditure on the salaries of public representatives and office bearers in order to minimise the budget deficit; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. Government is committed to remaining within overall expenditure ceilings which were initially introduced in 2012. The main driver of growth in the past in the government wage bill has been the implementation of above inflation salary increases. However, careful reprioritisation of spending since 2012 has led to a reduction in the share of compensation of employees from 36.1 per cent in 2012/13 to a revised estimate of 34.5 per cent in 2015/16.

In the 2016 Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance announced measures to curtail growth in the wage bill, including reducing compensation budgets by R25 billion over the next three years. An additional R7.2 billion has been shifted out of compensation budgets over the medium term to other spending priorities. The National Treasury, the Department of Public Service and Administration, and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation are working on proposals to reform wage negotiation processes. Appointments to non-critical posts will be blocked on the payroll system. However, to protect service delivery, teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers and other critical posts will be excluded from this process. To further restrain growth in wage bill, the 2016 Appropriation Bill proposes earmarking compensation budgets. The success of these interventions will be assessed during the next three-year period.

The process of determining salaries of public representatives and office bearers is undertaken by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Office Bearers (“the Commission). The Commission is an independent statutory body mandated in terms of section 8 (4) and (5) of the Commission’s Act (Act No. 20 of 1998), to make annual recommendations relating to salaries, allowances, benefits and making submissions to the President for consideration. A number of factors are taken into consideration with the objective of restraining expenditure. Such factors include affordability, economic conditions, and inflation forecasts, amongst other. These factors are carefully considered by the President prior to taking a decision on the Commission’s recommendations. The process also involves consultation with various stakeholders including the Legislative Sector Forum (LSF) and the Minister of Finance. A case in point is the recently announced cost-of-living adjustments for public office bearers nationally and provincially. The Commission had recommended between 5% and 6% for main categories of public office bearers but the President, after due consideration, determined a below inflation increase, (i.e. Consumer Price Index minus 1% which translates to 4.4%) for the 2015/16 financial year.

12 May 2016 - NW742

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1)    Whether, in view of the dire economic situation that the country finds itself and the extreme difficulty millions of persons are experiencing in finding jobs at a time when the mining sector, manufacturing and agriculture are all declining, the Government has succeeded in (a) achieving policy coherence, alignment and co-ordination across government, (b) creating a vibrant partnership between the Government and the business sector as a whole and (c) eliminating regulatory obstacles impeding investment in South Africa; if not, why not in each case; if so, what has the Government succeeded in doing in the first quarter of this year that has removed investor frustration and bolstered business confidence; (2) whether he will indicate in which way South Africa has succeeded in becoming a capable state and being accepted as such?

Reply:

The National Development Plan (NDP) is a coherent policy framework that is used to achieve alignment and co-ordination across government.

A number of implementation strategies are in place. They include addressing the growth path challenges to the creation of more jobs, and implementing industrial and agriculture policies. Our Medium-term Strategic Framework puts timeframes to specific actions in these strategies.

In order to ensure that our planning and our policies do in fact achieve what we want them to, we have, amongst other initiatives, strengthened the role of Parliament in the budget through the Money Bills Amendment Act, and established a Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.

To improve the ease of doing business, we are now conducting socio-economic impact assessments on new legislation to enable the true costs and benefits to be known.

A large share of public sector spending, is aimed at establishing and maintaining conditions in which the private sector can invest. Public investment levels are robust and contributed to creation of jobs and opportunities for industrialisation.

As regards regulation, we have recently amended our visa regime to better balance the various policy objectives and to help the growth of tourism. Government departments are committed to helping municipalities cut red tape and provide a range of support measures for small businesses.

Many of our largest municipalities are participating in a programme intended to reduce red tape for business in areas such as getting construction permits, obtaining electricity connections and registering property.

To develop and strengthen a vibrant partnership with key economic stakeholders, we have engaged foreign and domestic investors, trade unions and community leaders. NEDLAC continues to remain an important body which facilitates consensus and cooperation between Government, Labour, Business and the Community in dealing with South Africa’s socio-economic challenges.

In the run up to this year’s State of the Nation, I met with business leaders to hear their concerns and exchange views on what each social partner can do to lift the rate of inclusive growth and job creation. We met again on the 9th of May and announced to the nation a package of interventions to unlock growth.

These measures that I have outlined are part of our efforts to build a capable, developmental state. While are stepping up efforts to improve the performance of the state, a number new investment commitments by the private sector, including foreign investors, point to examples of successful implementation of polices by the state. These include the automobile production sector as well as renewable energy plants.

12 May 2016 - NW63

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Atkinson, Mr P to ask the President of the Republic

(1)(a) How many persons in his delegation attended the 2016 World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland and (b) what are their (i) names and (ii) formal designations or positions in Government; (2) (a) how many of the persons in his delegation paid the full £29 000 conference fee and (b) what was the total cost of his delegation’s visit to the specified conference in terms of amounts paid for (i) conference fees, (ii) accommodation, (iii) subsistence and (iv) travel costs; (3) whether any rebates were negotiated for additional members; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) whether any family members of delegates travelled with them to Switzerland at the State’s expense; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) what are their names and (b) who did they accompany?

Reply:

The World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos is a premier global marketing opportunity, bringing together Heads of State and Government and global business executives and owners to discuss the state of the global economy.

WEF traditionally provides an excellent opportunity for South Africa to market itself as an investment destination. The January 2016 meeting was important, given the depressed global economic climate. We met global captains of commerce and industry to brief them on the various interventions that we have undertaken to reignite growth and create jobs, especially the Nine Point Plan that I introduced during the 2015 State of the Nation Address, within the framework of the National Development Plan. The engagements went well as Team South Africa, both government and business, was able to send out a common message that South Africa is open for business.

I was accompanied by my wife Ms Bongekile Zuma as well as the Ministers of Finance, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Energy, Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Health, Water and Sanitation. Officials from the Presidency included Ms Lakela Kaunda, the Chief Operations Officer; Mr Silas Zimu; the Special Advisor to the President; Dr Bongani Ngqulunga, Deputy Director-General in the Private Office of the President. In addition, the support staff responsible for research, protocol, communication and general included Ms Grace Mason, Mr Bongani Majola; Ms Milka Bosoga; Mr Pride De Lange; Mr T Sekano; Mr K Sebata; Ms T Khambane; Ms N Dlamini and Mr G Moloisi. Ministers were also accompanied by a limited number of support staff. The cost of travel, accommodation and transport is still awaited and will be available after final reconciliation.

I am not aware of any family member of a delegate being on the visit as well. Other than my wife, no other delegate from the Presidency travelled with a family member.

None of the government delegates were required to pay the amount mentioned. Accommodation for participants and support teams in Davos is arranged through a WEF-appointed travel agency in Davos. There are no individual country arrangements.

The visit to Davos contributed immensely to the drive by government to assure investors and to promote the country as an investment destination.

12 May 2016 - NW280

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether, in view of the rapidly diminishing fiscal space and poor state of the country’s economy, he has (a) ordered an analysis of the sustainability of having 37 Ministers, 34 Deputy Ministers and a government in each sphere and (b) requested Parliament to revisit section 46(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, with a view to reducing the cost of Parliament to the fiscus; if not, what is the position in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; (2) whether he will make a statement on the affordability of Government in all three spheres as constituted currently?

Reply:

1. During the State of the Nation Address I announced a far reaching programme that is aimed at reigniting our economy and creating jobs for our people. The programme I announced, details of which were further announced in more detail in the Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance, includes measures government is taking to reduce wastage of resources in the state. I believe that if this turnaround and fiscal consolidation strategy is fully implemented, we will successfully address the matters you raise in your question.

One of the main contributors to cost is keeping two capitals, one in Pretoria and the other in Cape Town. I made a call to Members of Parliament to look into this matter and ensure that it is addressed with the urgency it deserves.

The State of the Nation Address as well as the Budget Speech contain details of our government’s plan to address wastage in the state.

12 May 2016 - NW603

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, in view of the fact that he, the Minister of Finance and the Statistician-General for Statistics South Africa, Mr Pali Lehohla, amongst others, are all pinning their hopes on the National Development Plan (NDP) to generate the economic growth our country needs, he would (a) take immediate and decisive steps to issue an invitation to every political party and organised interest groups which publicly, unreservedly and fully support the NDP to gather at an economic CODESA to agree to steps that would see the plan being fully implemented and (b) ensure that the mooted economic CODESA will set up an NDP Support Group that will  closely and continuously monitor progress and issue reports for government to act on; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; 2) whether he has established whether every member of the national Executive was willing to subscribe fully and unreservedly to the NDP and speak in open support of it at all times; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. The National Development Plan (NDP) was formulated through a thorough consultative process. Various stakeholders and members of the public were consulted in several road shows and extensive public engagement programmes by the National Planning Commission. The Plan was adopted by Parliament in 2013 with the objective to accelerate economic growth, eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. The Plan is already being implemented. The 2013 Budget was the first to be tabled within the framework of the National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP remains the cornerstone of all our budget allocation decisions. The Plan has been translated into a five year Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF), which is government’s five year programme of action. In this way, it forms part of the strategic plan of every government department.

The key priority for South Africa at the moment is to remove all possible impediments to implementation. The government cluster system ensures that there is alignment, facilitation and monitoring of implementation of priority programmes which feed from the NDP. Parliament is also able to monitor the implementation through the normal parliamentary oversight processes.

We have also introduced innovative programmes such as the Operation Phakisa Big Fast Results methodology. The programme is being implemented in a few sectors such as the ocean economy, information and communication technologies in schools, health and mining. Operation Phakisa is proving to be an effective implementation mechanism. Other programmes such as the Industrial Policy Action are also aimed at implementing the NDP, in order to promote inclusive growth and create jobs.

Every member of the Executive subscribes to the NDP. All government programmes are informed by the NDP.

12 April 2016 - NW425

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Van Damme, Ms PT to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether The Presidency commissioned a background check on a certain person (name furnished), including whether the specified person has any previous criminal convictions; if so, (2) did it emerge that the specified person has a criminal record; if so, for which crimes had the specified person been convicted; (3) whether the specified person was sentenced to a prison term of one year or more without the option of a fine; if so, on what legal provision did The Presidency rely when it appointed the specified person to the Media Development and Diversity Agency Board?

Reply:

On 03 June 2015 the National Assembly recommended that I appoint Mr Ntenteni as a member of the MDDA board. Acting on the recommendation I the appointed Mr Ntenteni on 19 June 2015.

The security screening that we undertook later revealed that he was convicted of culpable homicide in 1998. Following the results of the security screening I requested the National Assembly on 07 December 2015 to initiate a process of checking if Mr Ntenteni is suitable to be a member of the board of the MDDA.

I will be guided be by the outcome of the parliamentary process in this matter.

12 April 2016 - NW608

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Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, in line with his undertaking during the State of the Nation Address on 11 February 2016 to create political and policy certainty, and in line with the statement by the Presidency on 29 February 2016, he will articulate his full and unstinted support for the Minister of Finance and the fiscal consolidation that the Minister is seeking to achieve; if not, why not in each case; if so, what unambiguous and full statement is he willing to make for investors, rating agencies and the business community?

Reply:

I appointed the Minister of Finance because I have confidence in his ability to execute his responsibilities. The fiscal consolidation programme he announced in the Budget Speech was developed collectively by the Cabinet and is fully supported by the Cabinet.

12 April 2016 - NW716

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether, with reference to his address at the opening of the House of Traditional Leaders on 3 March 2016 wherein he stated that the very law that we have today regarding land restitution is lopsided against black persons, he has instructed his Executive to act immediately to rectify the specified law, informed by a new policy, so that both black persons and current land owners who are not black know exactly (a) how the Government intends to resolve the matter of land claims once and forever and (b) in what period of time; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant (i) details and (ii) time frames; (2) whether he will make a full statement on how the Government will radically increase the pace and the extent of land reform so that the aspirations of black persons are met and restitution is completed

Reply:

1. What I said when I addressed the National House of Traditional Leaders is that a vast number of black people in South Africa had already been dispossessed of their land when the Natives Land Act was passed in 1913. I then asked a question whether in view of this fact it made sense to have 1913 as the starting date for land restitution.

By posing the question mentioned above I was not saying the existing policy on land restitution in no longer operational. Should there be a need for a change of policy in this area, proper procedures of policy development will be followed, which will include consulting important stakeholders in the sector.

2. The pace of land reform has been very slow. One of the major contributors has been the matter of property valuations, which resulted to some landowners pricing the land under consideration for land redistribution very high. It is for this reason that we submitted to Parliament the Property Valuation Bill, which Parliament subsequently passed into law. One of the provisions of the Property Valuation Act is the establishment of the Office of the Valuer-General, which is tasked with the responsibility of valuating property that has been identified for expropriation and land reform purposes.

It is our belief that the establishment of this office will assist in accelerating the pace of land reform.