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12 April 2016 - NW346

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Maynier, Mr D to ask the President of the Republic

(1) Whether he decided to remove the former Minister of Finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene, from the finance portfolio on 9 December 2015; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, why was he removed; (2) whether he consulted any person (a) before the removal of Mr Nene and/or (b) after the removal of Mr Nene on 9 December 2015; if not, why not, in each case; if so, (i) what is the (aa) name and (bb) designation of each specified person consulted and (ii) why were the specified persons consulted; (3) whether the decision to remove Mr Nene had any implications for the state of the economy; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

Reply:

1. It is a matter of public record that Mr Nhlanhla Nene was relieved from his duties as a Minister of Finance on 9 December 2015. It is the prerogative of a sitting President to appoint and change members of his/her Cabinet as he deems necessary. It is the same prerogative enshrined in the Constitution that I exercised on 9 December 2015.

2. Decisions to make changes to the Cabinet are made with the best intentions and for the public interest, including the economy.

12 April 2016 - NW500

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Motau, Mr SC to ask the President of the Republic

What amount was spent in respect of each case on (a) appearance fees, (b) consulting fees and (c) any other related costs to procure the services of (i) certain legal representatives (names furnished) and (ii) any other legal (aa) representatives, (bb) advisors and (cc) consultants in the Economic Freedom Fighters v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others and Democratic Alliance v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others case, heard on 9 February 2016, in the Constitutional Court?

Reply:

The matter was recently finalized by the Constitutional Court. The process that is followed in government regarding the payment of legal fees is as follows: Counsel would submit their bills to the State Attorney. The State Attorney is required to verify the bills and effect payment. Thereafter the Bills are submitted to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The Department of Justice invoices the relevant Departments for a refund, in this case, the Presidency. The Presidency will only be able to ascertain the amount spent after the above process is concluded.

12 April 2016 - NW729

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Maynier, Mr D to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether any meeting took place where he (a) in line with his power to appoint Ministers and Deputy Ministers in accordance with section 91(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and/or (b) any (i) member, (ii) employee and/or (iii) close associate of the Gupta family allegedly offered the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Mcebisi H Jonas, (aa) the position of Minister of Finance and/or (bb) any financial inducements to accept the specified position offered; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, in each specified case, (aaa) what are the names of the persons whom the Deputy Minister met, (bbb) when and (ccc) where did each such meeting take place and (ddd) what are the relevant details of each specified meeting; (2) whether the Deputy Minister reported the (a) meeting(s) and/or (b) offer(s) of inducement; if so, in each specified case, (i) to whom and (ii) when was it reported;

Reply:

  1. I am unaware of such a meeting taking place except for the public statement that was recently made by the Deputy Minister of Finance.

12 April 2016 - NW725

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Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether he met or was planning to meet with representatives of the different race, language and cultural groups of our country within the next 90 days to address the rapidly deepening racial polarisation in South Africa in a collective and inclusive manner and, in preparation of such a meeting, share with them up-to-date and high-quality research to facilitate dialogues and to adopt measures that would expeditiously and thoroughly help (a) address racial tension, (b) accelerate race reconciliation and nation building, (c) promote the attainment of a common national identity and (d) allow the principle of Ubuntu to manifest everywhere in the South African society; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether he will make a statement on what the Government has been doing since 2009 to deal decisively with our country’s deteriorating race relations and the consequences thereof; if not, why not; if so, what are the details?

Reply:

1. I have not met with representatives of any specific race groups to discuss the resurgence of racism in our society. The matter has been discussed at various forums where I have met with various stakeholders, but I have not called a meeting of specific race groups to discuss the matter.

As you may be aware, I declared the Human Rights Month, March 2016, as the month to focus on fighting the scourge of racism. The campaigns and programmes that were undertaken during the month culminated in the Human Rights Day event at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, which had a strong focus on uniting society against racism.

2. Promoting national unity and social cohesion is a constitutional imperative. We have used every avenue to promote the unity of our people and to advance social cohesion. We have done this through the statements we have made during important National Days, and through implementing the government’s programme of transforming our country into a truly non-sexist and non-racial society.

We urge leaders of all sectors to play their part in building a non-racial society.

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.

12 April 2016 - NW626

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Gardee, Mr GA to ask the President of the Republic

Has the Minister of Finance made any recommendations of potential candidates for the position of Commissioner of the SA Revenue Service?

Reply:

DRAFT REPLY

There is a sitting Commissioner of SARS, so there is no need to look at potential candidates when there is no vacancy.

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 - NW439

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Malema, Mr J to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether he intends to redeploy the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to the Ministry of Economic Development; if not, (2) whether he has found that the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has the appropriate experience to deal with the crisis that exist in local government?

Reply:

  1. I appointed the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in terms of section 91(2) of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996.

12 April 2016 - NW449

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether, in view of the great necessity to have policy certainty in these dire economic times, he had canvassed various organisations (details furnished) to obtain their total and unreserved support for the (a) eight points he and the business leaders with whom he had been meeting in February 2016 had agreed to, (b) National Development Plan and (c) rapid elimination of convoluted bureaucracy impeding the functioning and expansion of small businesses; if not, why not; if so, what are the details of the agreements with each of the various organisations; (2) whether he will make a statement on his commitment to creating a business-friendly climate to prove that South Africa was indeed open for business?

Reply:

  1. The National Development Plan is supported by the vast majority of South Africans and many important stakeholders in our society. Government, working together with other societal sectors, is implementing the NDP through the Medium Term Strategic Framework. The meeting with the captains of industry in February 2016 reached a decision that the eight points you have alluded to in the question will be processed by a joint government-business task lead led by the Minister of Finance and the Chairperson of the board of Telkom, Mr Jabu Mabuza.
  2. I have said on many occasions that South Africa is open for business. This is the same message the South African delegation took to the World Economic Forum in Davos in January this year. Recently the Minister of Finance led a South African delegation of government, business and labour leaders on an international tour meeting with investors to communicate the message that South Africa is open for business and investment. I have also established an Inter- Ministerial Committee which I chair to look at ways in which investment can be attracted to our country and to remove obstacles to investments.

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 - NW347

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Maynier, Mr D to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether he has offered the former Minister of Finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene, another strategic position; if not, why not; if so, (a) when was the specified person offered the position and (b) what position was he offered; (2) whether he consulted the specified person about the specified strategic position prior to being removed from the finance portfolio; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether the specified person has accepted the specified strategic position; if not, why did he reject the specified strategic position; if so, when did he accept the specified strategic position?

Reply:

  1. I have publicly stated on several occasions that South Africa nominated Mr Nhlanhla Nene for the position of head of the African Regional Centre of the New Development Bank, also known as the BRICS Bank. Processes to make an appointment to that position are underway under the aegis of the New Development Bank in Shanghai, China.
  2. See the reply to question 1 above.
  3. See the reply to question 1 above.

18 December 2015 - NW4068

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Whether the promise he made in his reply on 20 February 2014 in the debate on the State of the Nation Address that after the elections the country will enter a new radical phase in which the Government shall implement socioeconomic transformation, policies and programmes that will meaningfully address poverty, unemployment and inequality, was being fulfilled; if not, why not; if so, (a) where and (b) to what extent has the Government implemented socioeconomic transformation policies and programmes that has meaningfully addressed poverty, unemployment and inequality?

Reply:

The country has entered a new radical phase to implement socioeconomic transformation. The National Development Plan (NDP) is South Africa’s plan to address poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The MTSF (Medium Term Strategic Framework) is government’s first five year implementation plan of the NDP, covering the financial years 2014/15 to 2018/2019. At the heart of the MTSF is the need for the radical transformation of our economy to ensure that it is more inclusive and its benefits are shared more widely. The MTSF sets out the priorities and actions that need to be undertaken. The MTSF is being implemented in line with already existing activities and programmes of different government departments and various other government agencies.

Faster economic growth is both a key objective of the NDP and a necessary condition to raise the resources needed to support social and economic transformation. As indicated in my State of Nation Addresses to overcome the difficulties we are currently experiencing, South Africa needs to reconstruct a social consensus behind a path of accelerated economic growth. This is the opportunity presented by the NDP.

Given current global and domestic economic conditions I further announced the Nine-Point Plan in my State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on 11 February 2015. The purpose is to ignite growth and create jobs. The nine point plan is about alleviating the most binding constraint to growth – inadequate electricity supply – and sets out a series of urgent economic reforms to build a more competitive economy. These include:

  • Continuing to invest in economic infrastructure, especially in the transport, logistics and energy sectors (over R800 billion will be invested by government in the current MTSF period)
  • Reforming the governance of state-owned entities, rationalising state holdings and encouraging private-sector participation.
  • Effecting labour-market reforms that can help avoid protracted strikes.
  • Expanding the independent power producer programme.
  • Encouraging affordable, reliable and accessible broadband access.
  • Promoting black ownership of productive industrial assets.
  • Finalising amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (2002), and continuing dialogue with the industry.
  • Reviewing business incentive programmes in all economic sectors to ensure that resources support labour-intensive, job-creating outcomes

Efforts to reduce the electricity constraint and improve labour relations are priorities in the short term. Alongside the structural reforms set out in the National Development Plan, this will lay the foundation for faster growth and economic transformation.

18 December 2015 - NW4161

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1)     Whether, in view of the fact that the national debt will have topped two trillion rand in early December and the debt service cost is currently at R125 billion, remaining the largest line item in the budget, the Government was taking proactive measures to downsize Government substantially and immediately, as Brazil had to do because of its financial woes, in order to put the brakes on consumption side expenditure and to prioritise funds for infrastructure development and service delivery without having to resort to hiking taxes to unbearable levels; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details of the envisaged downsizing and the resultant savings; (2) whether he will make a statement on the affordability and sustainability of the Government in all three spheres?

Reply:

 

  1. Government’s central fiscal objective over the medium term is to stabilise the growth of debt as a share of GDP. Continued revenue growth and strict adherence to the planned expenditure ceiling are projected to result in gross debt stabilising at 49.4 per cent of GDP in 2018/19. While the 2015 MTBPS fiscal framework does not assume further increases to taxes over what was announced at the time of the 2015 Budget, spending growth is expected to slow during 2016/17. From 2017/18, the fiscal framework allows for moderate real growth in spending aligned with the longer-term trend of economic growth. The sustainability of our spending path is further illustrated when looking at the split between current and capital expenditure. Between 2016/17 – 2018/19 the current balance (the gap between revenue and operational spending) gradually moves into surplus, while the deficit on capital payments and transfers declines by the outer year. Other measures to improve efficiency of spend and realise savings include: greater use of expenditure reviews, rationalisation of staff establishments, procurement reforms and the development of a capital budgeting framework.
  2. The national budget looks at consolidated spend – which includes national departments and provinces, as well as transfers to local government under the division of revenue. To improve how money is spent at each sphere, a number of reviews have started to take place. These include:  relooking at the division of revenue formula to ensure it takes spending pressures across provinces into account fairly, and changes to local government infrastructure grants which emanate from a review process that the National Treasury is leading in collaboration with the Department of Cooperative Governance, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, the South African Local Government Association, and the Financial and Fiscal Commission.

18 December 2015 - NW3968

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, since his undertaking in the Estimates of National Expenditure 2010, the Government took steps to put in place a national long-term strategic plan in order to rectify the failures that were identified (details furnished); if not, why not; if so, has the envisaged specified plan (a) been in place in (i) 2011, (ii) 2012, (iii) 2013, (iv) 2014 and (v) 2015, (b) led to a substantial rectification of the above five deficiencies and (c) enabled the Government’s monitoring and evaluation system to detect which departments were failing the specified plan?

Reply:

In the Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) publication of 2010 which is linked to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), one of the key objectives was “developing a long term national strategic plan and ensuring a common perspective on government’s policy agenda for the future, taking into account major long term and spatial trends and dynamics”. The ENE describes in detail the planned spending of all national government departments for a period of three years ahead.

(a) We have developed the National Development Plan-Vision 2030. Therefore, this objective was met. I established the National Planning Commission (NPC) to develop a long term vision and strategic plan for our country. The NPC’s mandate was given in the revised Green Paper which was released in February 2010.

After a concentrated period of consultation across the country, the NPC completed the Draft NDP which was handed to me on 11 November 2011. Following further consultations, the final version of the NDP was handed to me on 15 August 2012 at a special joint sitting of Parliament. Almost all political parties represented in Parliament articulated support for the NDP. Cabinet Lekgotla received the NDP on 6 September 2012 and acknowledged it as the strategic framework which would form the basis of future government planning.  

Government adopted the NDP as the cornerstone and blueprint for a future economic and socio-economic development strategy for the country.

Critical steps were undertaken in 2013 to facilitate implementation of the NDP.

  • First, we implemented programmes that did not require additional resources and long lead times
  • Secondly, we prepared the 2014-19 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) as the first five-year implementation plan of the NDP
  • Thirdly, we have identified areas where implementation of existing policies needs to improve by using methodologies such as Operation Phakisa which is a results-driven approach, involving setting clear plans and targets, on-going monitoring of progress and making these results public.

(b) The National Development Plan (NDP) offers a long-term vision and perspective for the country. It defines a desired destination and identifies the role that different sectors of society need to play in reaching that goal. The NDP aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. The Country can realise these goals by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society. Substantially, the NDP addresses short-termism in planning and enable prioritisation of resources over a long term to achieve government objectives of a better life for all South Africans.

(c) To monitor the implementation of the NDP, government through the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has established a monitoring and evaluation system. The MTSF which is the implementation plan for the NDP is regularly monitored and quarterly reports are generated and presented to Cabinet to track progress and address challenges where they occur. The MTSF contains 14 outcomes that Government seek to achieve, including identified priorities in the following areas: education, health, safety, economy, skills, infrastructure, rural development, human settlements, local government, environment, international relations, public service, social protection and nation building.

Each of the priority outcomes is coordinated by a Minister and implementation is overseen by Ministerial Implementation Forums comprising ministers who have a specific contribution to each of the identified MTSF indicators and targets. Cabinet receives quarterly reports from the Outcome Coordinating Ministers, engages with the content and provides feedback and direction to ensure implementation is ongoing and is continuously improved. Performance is then published on the Government Programme of Action website.

Through these reports, Cabinet is able to make evidence-based decisions and intervene were necessary.

08 December 2015 - NW3906

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President

(1)Whether he was regularly holding discussions with the Minister of Finance to ascertain whether the notice from National Treasury, dated 19 December 2013, which was signed by Schalk Human, Acting Accountant-General, prescribing cost containment measures and urging fully compliance with sections 38(1)(b), 38(1)(c)(iii) and 51(b)(iii) of the Public Finance Management Act of 1999 was being taken very seriously by all accounting officers across all government departments and also by all accounting authorities in public entities, if so, (a) which departments were complying 100% with the notice and which were not, and (b) what action has he or the Government in general taken against those departments and officials that were in contempt of the National Treasury prescription, if not, why not ?

Reply:

1. (a) There is evidence that National Treasury Instruction 01 of 2013/2014

related to the cost containment measures is being taken seriously by accounting officers of departments. When comparing actual expenditure of departments for the financial periods 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, it is clear that a saving of R5 billion, which represents a saving of 20% was realised. Savings in respect of constitutional institutions and public entities are not available since these institutions use financial systems that are different to that of departments and which the National Treasury does not have direct access to.

(b) Non-compliance with the Treasury Instruction on Cost Containment shall result in irregular expenditure. Section 38(1)(h)(iii) and section 51(1)(e)(iii) of the PFMA requires accounting officers of departments and constitutional institutions and accounting authorities of public entities to take effective and appropriate disciplinary steps against any official(s) in the service of the department, constitutional institution or public entity who makes or permits irregular expenditure. Transgressions of the Treasury Instruction shall only be known at institutional level and it is the responsibility of the respective accounting officer or accounting authority to take the necessary action for non-compliance with the Treasury Instruction.

08 December 2015 - NW3717

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Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, given (a) the reply of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation to question 3509 on 22 September 2015 and (b) his statements on 15 September 2015 during his foreign policy briefing confirming the invitation of a Sudanese delegation to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan has been (i) invited to and/or (ii) confirmed his attendance at the FOCC Summit to be held in Johannesburg in December 2015?

Reply:

The President of the Republic of Sudan did not attend the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation Summit, (FOCAC).

08 December 2015 - NW3775

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Whether he has been actively promoting the concept of the African Renaissance with a view to ensuring, as former president, Mr Thabo Mbeki, had observed, that the African upper echelons do not remain as a mere parasite on the rest of society, who continue to enjoy self-endowed mandates to define and use their political power in a manner that keeps Africa at the periphery of the world economy, poor, underdeveloped and incapable of development, if not. Why not; if so, how has he and the Government pushed forward the ideals of the African Renaissance and (b) what outcome has he and the Government achieved in relation thereto since 2009?

Reply:

The Honourable Member will be aware that African stability, development and prosperity have been the bedrock of the ANC-led government since the dawn of our democracy in 1994.

We continue this trajectory by committing to various AU programmes, with the following discernible examples:

  1. Peace, Security and Stability: On 08 November 2015, I presided over the closing ceremony of the Amani Africa Field Training Exercise held in Lohatla, Northern Cape, whose main objective was to test the ‘Rapid Deployment Capacity’ (RDC) of the African Standby Force. The success of this Exercise points to the Continent’s readiness to expeditiously provide solutions to some of our instability challenges.

What was most gratifying about Amani Africa was the fact that Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Standby Force, North Africa Regional Command, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Volunteering Nations of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC), all participated in this historic exercise. Amani Africa is a practical headway that has been made to ensure stability, which is indispensable to continental development. The Honorable Member will also recall the swiftness with which SADC addressed the recent challenges in Lesotho.

 

2. NEPAD: As the Honourable Member will know, NEPAD has been one of the corner stones of the African Renaissance. The initiative is anchored on our collective determination to extricate ourselves and the Continent from underdevelopment and exclusion in a globalising world. It is a call for a new relationship based on domestic, continental and global partnerships to address under-development, founded on the realisation of common interest, obligations, commitments, benefit and equality.

NEPAD has a number of key programmes, one of which is infrastructure development. The Continent continues to make progress in this regard through the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative (PICI) chaired by South Africa, and spearheaded by seven dedicated Heads of State and Government. PICI is part of PIDA, serving as an initiative to bring political leadership to bear, to fast-track the implementation of important projects from the PIDA Priority Action Plan by identifying and dealing with blockages, missing links and choke-points.

For example, under PICI, progress is being made in closing the missing link of the trans-Saharan highway project covering 4500 kilometres between Algeria and Nigeria and $40 million has been secured towards its continued construction. It is expected to be completed in 2016. The optic fibre component of the same project has seen substantial progress, with the completion of 60% of the project. The ICT Broadband Fibre Optic Network Linking Neighbouring States project, championed by Rwanda, has been completed. Egypt recently held the first Steering Committee meeting of the footprint states of the Navigational route between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean Sea. Construction on the Grand Inga project is due to begin soon. The Dakar Financing Summit in June 2014 prioritized 16 PIDA projects for exposure to private and institutional investors.

With an infrastructure deficit of about USD 92 billion per year, NEPAD is making every effort to highlight this very important challenge. In light of this, at its annual meeting in May 2014, the African Development Bank launched the Africa50 initiative in order to mobilise USD 100 billion for regional infrastructure projects, focusing on addressing the key part of the project cycle that is project preparation. There are several projects in this regard, so this is by no means an exhaustible list.

3. APRM:

The APRM derives from NEPAD and its aim is to foster and promote good political, economic, social and corporate governance in Africa by encouraging Member States to adopt international best practice, which should eventually translate into political stability, economic growth, sustainable development and sub-regional and continental economic integration. South Africa is committed to advancing, nationally and continentally, the objectives of the APRM.

South Africa acceded to the APRM in March 2003 and was reviewed in July 2005. This resulted in the release of the Country Review Reports in 2007 and its’ National Programme of Action .South Africa tabled its First Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action in January 2009. The second such Report was tabled in January 2011, with the Third Report being tabled in January 2014. South Africa will soon enter the second Peer Review phase.

Membership of the APRM has risen to 35 and 17 countries have been reviewed to date. This is an utterly unique system of self-assessment in the world in terms of its transparency and extent, and the underlying benefits cannot be overstated in terms of the shaping of national development discourse and providing models of best practice on key cross-cutting issues.

4. CAADP AND OTHER PROGRAMMES:

Another key priority for African development is agriculture, as reflected in the AU/NEPAD Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). CAADP is one of NEPAD’s most successful programmes and has been key to driving development on the Continent and responding to poverty, hunger and joblessness. CAADP ensures that the great commodity that we have, arable agricultural land, is used for the benefit of all Africans.

In this regard, 52 states have been engaged in CAADP related interventions, 40 have received direct support under CAADP, 40 have signed CAADP national compacts, 30 National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans have been developed and reviewed, at least 8 countries have met the 10% of budget target, and 4 RECs have developed their own regional compacts. Ten countries have registered more than 6% annual growth in agriculture.

5. PARTNERSHIPS:

The role of international partners is to help scale up and accelerate our own efforts. Therefore, South Africa continues to play a leading role in engaging Africa’s Strategic Multilateral Partnerships, such as FOCAC, TICAD, Africa-EU, Africa India, Africa-Korea, Africa-Arab, Africa-South America, NAASP, and Africa-Turkey going forward. One of the key NEPAD principles is “New partnerships within Africa and with the international community”. It is for this reason that all of the Partnerships have been constructed on the understanding that engagement with Africa is to be done within the framework of NEPAD, as the socio-economic development programme of the AU, with the aim of assisting in the achievement of AU/NEPAD objectives and programmes.

South Africa continues to play a key role in the review of all of Africa’s partnerships with the North and the South, being conducted by the AU PRC Sub-Committee on Multilateral Cooperation.

South Africa is Co-Chair with China of FOCAC until 2018 and we have hosted a very successful FOCAC Summit in Johannesburg on 4-5 December 2015.

President Xi Jinping of China announced a development partnership with Africa worth $60 billion, accompanied by a 10 point plan focusing on areas that are key priorities for development in the continent. We look forward to taking the win-win cooperation further as the African continent as it holds great promise for the renewal of the African continent economically. This occurred on the backdrop of a very successful India-Africa Summit.

08 December 2015 - NW3753

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Carter, Ms D to ask the President of the Republic

Whether the Government intends to encourage an independent mediation process in respect of disputes with other parties, opposition parties included, as first recourse in order to find amicable resolution so that matters of dispute do not have to be referred to Courts for adjudication; if not, why not; if so, what steps does the Government intend to take in this regard.

Reply:

The general principle is that all political and other disputes should be resolved through discussion, negotiation, mediation, and other forms of non-adversarial dispute resolution mechanisms. We should only resort to the courts when these channels have failed. Parties should refrain from using the courts to resolve political disputes. Parliament has various mechanisms in place to resolve disputes between parties in terms of its Rules, and all parties should make optimal use of those Rules to resolve disputes.

08 December 2015 - NW3790

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Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

In the light of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s finding on 8 October 2015, in the Hlaudi Motsoeneng case and the implications the specified court’s finding has for the powers of the Public Protector, what action is he going to take to comply with the remedial actions contained in the Public Protector’s report Secure in Comfort?

Reply:

The question concerns matters that are currently before the Constitutional Court in the case of the EFF v the Speaker of the National Assembly and Others.   I cannot respond at this stage in deference to the courts.

08 December 2015 - NW3853

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1)     Whether he intends to initiate a scientific investigation(s) to ascertain (a) why South Africans are prone to arson, vandalism and violence when they participate in protest action and (b) what the different spheres of Government need to do to alleviate the anger of the South African population and therefore curb the destruction related to protest actions; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) Whether he will make a statement on how the Government is planning to prevent and discourage protesters from routinely resorting to arson, vandalism and violence during a protest action?

Reply:

  1. The widespread incidents of violence and destruction of property during protests is a cause for major concern. I have spoken about this matter many times in public platforms. The violence in our society is inherited from the violence perpetrated during the apartheid system and the violence response it engendered.

There are studies that have been undertaken to understand factors that contribute to a culture of violence in our society. Some of the studies have been undertaken by organisations outside government. Others have been commissioned by government itself. For instance, a few years ago the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster contracted the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation to undertake research on the violent nature of crime in South Africa.

The critical step that we need to take is not so much to commission more studies because there is already some research that has been undertaken. What is important is taking steps to turn the tide against violent protests and the destruction of property.

2. There are various important initiatives government will implement to address the matter next year. These include educating society about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. This education campaign about rights and responsibilities of citizenship is important considering that next year (2016) will be the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the Republic by former President Nelson Mandela. It will also be the 40th anniversary of 16 June 1976 student uprisings.

Studies show that violence in our society affects mostly women and children. Government will use the year 2016, which is the 60th anniversary of the Women’s March to the Union Buildings to mobilise society against violence that is committed against women and children.

Other measures will be announced in due course.

08 December 2015 - NW3905

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, subsequent to his declaration of 2011 as the year of job creation followed by the announcement of several initiatives to boost job creation, including the setting up of a R9 billion jobs fund, the Government has achieved any significant milestones towards creating five million jobs by 2020 and bringing the unemployment rate down to 15% as it had set out to do; if not, why not; if so,(a) has half that target been reached in half the time that was allocated to achieve that goal and (b) have decent jobs indeed been created on an incremental basis annually?

Reply:

a) Yes, there has been progress in job creation in the South African economy, although the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high.

The most recent Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by Statistics SA puts total employment in September 2015 at 15 828 000. This is an increase of some 2 500 000 over the September 2011 QLFS estimate of 13 318 000 employed persons. It should be noted, however, that a new Master Sample based on the 2011 census data was introduced in 2015, and Statistics SA therefore cautions that year-on-year changes should be interpreted with care. Notwithstanding this caution, the data indicate that if the rate of increase in employment over the past years is continued over the period ahead, approximately 5 million jobs will be created by 2020.

It is also apparent from the QLFS data that the rate of increase in the labour force has exceeded the rate of job creation, and so the unemployment rate has remained broadly unchanged. In September 2011 the estimated rate of unemployment was 25.7 per cent, and in September 2015 it was 25.5 per cent.

b) With respect to the question whether decent jobs have been created on an incremental basis annually, Government is mindful that wages are low and employment opportunities are irregular in some parts of the economy. Between 2011 and 2015, formal non-agricultural employment increased by approximately 1.5 million. In the September 2015 QLFS, informal sector work accounts for 2.7 million jobs, agriculture employment is 900 000 and private households account for 1.28 million jobs. These are important and sizeable shares of the employment total, and working conditions are varied in these sectors.

Programmes and policy initiatives that are aimed at improving conditions amongst lower-income workers include sectoral wage determinations by the Minister of Labour, investment in training and skills development and small enterprise support programmes. Government’s main direct contribution to the expansion of job opportunities is through the Expanded Public Works Programme and the Community Work Programme, and the youth employment incentive has been introduced to encourage firms to create work opportunities for first-time young work seekers.

The objective of the Jobs Fund is to support innovative approaches to employment creation and work seeker support, thereby contributing to evidence and learning about effective employment initiatives and strategies. The Jobs Fund aims to create 150 000 sustainable jobs and will contribute to evidence-based policy making.

To date the Jobs Fund has issued 5 calls for proposals, and approved 108 project applications of which 85 are currently being implemented. R5.6 billion in grants has been committed to the 108 projects. These project partners have committed R7.9 billion in matched funding. To date R2.78 billion in grants have been disbursed to implementing projects and R4.2 billion in matched funding has already been leveraged from these partners. The 85 projects being currently implemented have to date created 60 675 new permanent jobs and an additional 30 358 persons have been placed in vacant positions on a permanent basis. 16 124 short term jobs have been created, 13 291 persons completed internships and 128 196 persons has received work readiness/technical training.

Most of the jobs created have been entry level jobs for which the salary ranges between the sectoral minimum wage and R3500. Most of those employed are youth in their first jobs. Jobs have also been created in the salary cohort of R3500- R8800 with a few jobs created at salary levels in excess of R8000 per month. Jobs are evidenced through the submission of contracts of employment and payroll amongst others.

08 December 2015 - NW3969

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1)     Whether his statement on 8 November 2015, that his political organisation comes first, represents his policy position as the President of the Republic of South Africa; if not, (2) whether he will unreservedly retract the specified statement and apologise to the nation for devaluing the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, which he is sworn to uphold through the specified statement; if not, why not; if so, (a) when and (b) how is he going to apologise; (3) Whether he will make a statement on the responsibility of the President of South Africa to place the interest of South Africa above every other endeavour; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

  1. I made the statement that the ANC comes first at an ANC Provincial Conference in my capacity as the President of the ANC. Since its founding in 1912 the ANC has been at the forefront of the struggles to defeat apartheid colonialism, and since its election into power in 1994, to liberate South Africans from the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Like many South Africans, I joined the ANC to contribute to the achievement of its historic mission of building a non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and democratic society. Given this important role that the ANC has played and still plays in leading this society towards the achievement of these goals, and considering that a large number of citizens have put their faith and hopes on the ANC to lead them to a better life for all, it is important that the work of building the ANC into a stronger organization that can continue to lead society is vigorously pursued.

There is therefore nothing wrong or untoward in saying the ANC comes first. It does not mean I love my country any less. It is in fact because of the love of my country and my commitment to its success that I believe that the ANC should be stronger so that it can lead us to a united and prosperous society.

2. The statement I made does not devalue the Constitution of the Republic in any way, nor does it contradict the Oath of Office which I took when I was sworn in as the President of the Republic of South Africa. There is therefore no reason to retract the statement I made.

09 November 2015 - NW2536

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Whether he had declared to the World Economic Forum on Thursday 4 June 2015 that (a) the country had such a strong anti-corruption culture that even the Head of State was thoroughly investigated nd (b) taxpayer’s money could not be taken by people in Government for their own use; if not, (i) what did he say in this respect and (ii) how did he substantiate that declaration; if so, on what evidence did he base such statements considering that many instances of corrupt practices are annually laid bare by the Auditor-General, Public Protector or investigative journalism and when investigations are instituted they are either (aa) thwarted when they come too close to political elites, (bb) seldom followed-up with prosecution and (cc) rendered futile as happened with the investigation and recommendations of the Public Protector in respect of the R246 million spent on security upgrade of his private residence at Nkandla; 2. Whether he will make a statement on whether he had requested the Hawks to investigate whether a certain person (name furnished) had received a bribe of R20 million or more from a certain company (name and details furnished) in order to show the nation and the world that he was very serious about fighting graft no matter who was involved ?

Reply:

Since the advent of our democracy, our country has placed the fight against corruption high on its agenda.

This has continued throughout the administrations including the current fifth administration.

The South African Anti-Corruption landscape was set by the drafting of the government’s anti-corruption framework in 2001. The country committed to align itself with international best practice, and established a sound anti-corruption and ethics framework, inclusive of strong policies and legislative measures.

In this regard a plethora of measures have since been adopted to eradicate corruption. We have however not become complacent and are further strengthening these measures in line with our commitments in the National Development Plan and the Medium Term Strategic Framework to ensure that we -

  • Have a resilient anti-corruption system, which includes the strengthening the multi-agency anti-corruption endeavours, strengthening the protection of whistle-blowers, ensuring greater central oversight over the awarding of large tenders or tenders of long duration as well as empowering the tender compliance monitoring office to investigate corruption and guaranteeing that there is the value for money regarding procured goods and services;
  • strengthen the accountability and responsibility of public servants;
  • create a transparent and responsive public service; and
  • strengthen judicial governance and the rule of law.

It is actually because government has dedicated a lot of effort to combating corruption, both in the public and the private sector, that corruption has occupied a priority space in public dialogue.

South Africa also has a well-developed legal framework for fighting corruption. The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act, 2004, is one of the most important pieces of legislation enacted by Parliament to fight corruption in the country.

The Anti-Corruption Task Team under the leadership of the Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee is playing a very important role in driving the government strategy to fight corruption.

A wide range of anti-corruption agencies are given powers in terms of the different legislation to fight corruption in the country. These agencies, amongst others, include, the Special Investigating Unit, the Auditor-General, the Public Protector , the Public Service Commission, the South African Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority.

Other measures strengthening the anti-corruption work of government include the following;

  • The Public Service Special Anti-Corruption Unit, which was established to enhance and consolidate the fight against corruption in the public service and the work done within the Department of Public Service and Administration, established to fast-track the processing of the disciplinary cases within the public service and to curb corruption.
  • The work done by the Directorate Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks).
  • The Special Investigation Unit (SIU), which was established by law as an independent statutory body that fights corruption through investigations and litigation, and which is currently processing several proclamations from the President directing it to probe maladministration and corruption within the public service.
  • The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), within the National Prosecuting Authority, which is tasked to seize assets of people involved in crime or corruption
  • The NPA’s Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit and the various SCC regional courts, which have been prioritising corruption cases, and
  • The Multi-Agency Working Group which was set up by the Minister of Finance to coordinate and investigate corruption related to supply chain management practices.

The fight against corruption is a continuous and dynamic process. As new manifestations of corruption are revealed, gaps in the existing approach, strategies, interventions and application of existing legislation and policies are identified for strengthening and review.

09 November 2015 - NW3756

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Whether, in view of his urgent and impassioned call to the workers of the country to tighten their belt and the repeated messages from the Minister of Finance for government at all levels to do the same, he has: (a) Requested Cabinet to ascertain to what extent there has been full compliance across government levels in respect of belt-tightening; (b) obtained information from Cabinet about persons who are flouting the call for belt-tightening; (c) urged disciplinary action to taken immediately against persons who are compromising the fragile position of the fiscus; (d) together with the Deputy President met with the Minister of Finance to ascertain from him the state of the fiscus and the viability of state spending; and (e) met with the Minister of Public Works to ascertain from him the exact extent to which spending on prestigious projects has been drastically curbed this year in line with the call belt-tightening; if not, why is he not practicing in government what he is preaching to the hard-pressed workers of the country; if so, what is his position with regard to each issue?

Reply:

The government is on record as having taken concrete steps to contain expenditure and ensure fiscal discipline.

In the 2014 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) Government lowered its expenditure ceiling by R25 billion, R10 billion in 2015/16 and R15 billion in 2016/17. These budget reductions focused on non-essential goods and services, funding for long outstanding vacancies and transfers to entities with cash reserves.

Government is stepping up cost-containment measures to ensure that spending plans deliver greater value for money. The Treasury Instruction on Cost Containment Measures is going to be revisited to adjust thresholds and to introduce additional measures to contain costs especially around the hosting and attendance at conferences. In addition, procurement reforms are being rolled out to improve efficiency, reduce red tape and stamp out corruption. These reforms are underpinned by specific Treasury Instructions that have been issued by the Minister of Finance. Compliance with such instructions will be monitored as part of the annual audit process. Where non-compliance is identified by the Auditor General, appropriate disciplinary procedures will be implemented.

09 November 2015 - NW3715

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Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

How many trip(s) has he taken to (i) Brazil, (ii) the Russian Federation, (iii) India and (iv) the People’s Republic of China since 1 April 2015, (b) on what date was each specified trip undertaken, (c) what was the purpose of each specified trip(s) and (d) which government (i) officials and/or (ii) presidential staff accompanied him on each specified trip(s)?

Reply:

Since 1 April 2015 I have undertaken one Working Visit to China from 2-4 September 2015, to attend the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese Peoples’ War of Resistance against the World Anti-Fascist War.

I was accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and the Deputy Minister of Energy.

The staff included senior managers as well as personal support staff such as researchers, protocol officers, media officers and security personnel.

09 November 2015 - NW2919

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Whether he intends to request Cabinet and selected South African economists to examine the crisis that is overwhelming the Government of Greece with a view to seek advice on what pro-active steps the South African Government should take without delay to prevent a similar kind of tragic fate from overtaking the citizens of the country as a result of any grave mistake and fiscal indiscipline that the Government might be making; if not, why; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The Cabinet and government in general pay close attention to developments in other parts of the world, including Greece, with a view of understanding their implications for our country. Our main focus is on taking steps that will grow the South African economy in order to create jobs and bring about inclusive growth and development leading to employment and improved quality of life.

We have steered the South African economy with diligence and care during the most trying global economic crisis that began in 2008. It is through the efforts of all South Africans, those who are in government and those outside of it, working together that has made it possible for our economy to weather the storm.

Government also remains focused on ensuring continued fiscal sustainability, which is extensively discussed in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement recently tabled in Parliament. 

We plan to continue implementing the National Development Plan, (NDP), and operational plans within the NDP such as the New Growth Path and Industrial Policy Action Plan in order to ensure that we meet our economic development targets.

20 October 2015 - NW3127

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Davis, Mr GR to ask the President of the Republic

With reference to his reply to question 2502 on 12 August 2015, regarding the governance of the SA Broadcasting Corporation, did applying his mind to all aspects deserving of consideration include the consideration of (a) the parliamentary legal opinion dated 24 March 2015 and (b) another legal opinion(s) that was or were different to the specified parliamentary legal opinion; if not, why not; if so, how did he decide which legal opinion to follow?

Reply:

As indicated in my reply to question 2502, the three former Non-Executive Directors of the SABC were removed by the Board of Directors of the SABC in terms of section 71 of the Companies Act 71 of 2008. In my reply, I also indicated that in making any appointment, I apply my mind to all aspects deserving consideration.

I would also like to bring to your attention that the issue of governance in the SABC is an issue which is now before the court in the following two applications: Ronny Lubisi vs SABC and others and S.O.S Support Public Broadcasting Coalition vs SABC and others.

I would therefore not like to comment further on a matter that is before a court of law.

12 October 2015 - NW3398

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Whether the Government and/or any government departments held secret talks with Russia or any other country or with any companies anywhere in the world regarding the development of nuclear power stations in South Africa and proceeded to take any decisions on the specified matter without a transparent public consultation process regarding affordability, desirability, viability and practicability; if not, 2. Whether any nuclear deal by the Government will be done with the express consent of the nation’s representatives in Parliament; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. No. It must be noted Government has interacted and signed Inter-Governmental Agreements (IGAs) with several nuclear vendor countries in preparation for procurement of Nuclear New Build Programme.   To date IGAs have been signed with China, Russia, South Korea, USA and France.  Negotiations are at advance stage with Canada and Japan also to conclude the IGAs. In addition the vendor parade workshops have been held with these vendor countries to demonstrate their technological capability. It should further be noted that the procurement process has not started. South Africa will follow an open, transparent, and cost competitive procurement process to select Strategic Partner or Partners in line with legislation. The rollout of Nuclear New Build Programme is guided by Government Nuclear Energy Policy of 2008 and Integrated Resource Plan 2010-2030. These government policies have undergone stakeholder consultations and stakeholder input taken into account process. In addition a Joint Technical Task Team has been established between Department of Energy and National Treasury to address the funding model for the Nuclear New Build Programme.

2. The Nuclear New Build Programme will be implemented in line with Government approve Nuclear Energy Policy and Integrated Resources Plan 2010-2030. It should also be noted that the Department of Energy report its performance in Parliament to the Portfolio Committee on Energy to provide oversight on the government programmes.

NW4057E

12 October 2015 - NW3310

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Mr MGP Lekota (Cope) to ask the President of the Republic 1. How many inter-ministerial teams has he appointed since he took office; 2. Whether any of the specified teams (a) concluded their task and were disbanded and (b) were still in existence; if not, why not, in each case; if so, (i) what was the purpose for establishing each team and (ii) to what extent did each team fulfill the objectives it was set up for; 3. Whether he will make a statement on the functioning and efficacy of inter-ministerial teams; particularly in relation to better governance? THE PRESIDENCY: REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA Private Bag X1000, Pretoria, 0001 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY Question No : 3310 Date Published: 28 August 2015 Mr MGP Lekota (Cope) to ask the President of the Republic How many inter-ministerial teams has he appointed since he took office; Whether any of the specified teams (a) concluded their task and were disbanded and (b) were still in existence; if not, why not, in each case; if so, (i) what was the purpose for establishing each team and (ii) to what extent did each team fulfill the objectives it was set up for; Whether he will make a statement on the functioning and efficacy of inter-ministerial teams; particularly in relation to better governance?                                                                                                                NW3923E DRAFT REPLY There are several Inter-Ministerial Committees (IMCs) that have been established since 2009. The purpose of the IMCs is to get a group of relevant Ministers to address a specific matter within a relatively short period of time. As a result most IMCs have a short life span. Some of the IMCs were established to achieve a short term goal include the following; IMC to oversee preparations for the 2014 inauguration IMC to oversee the 20 Year Review of Freedom and Democracy IMC to prepare for COP17 in Durban IMC to oversee South Africa’s bid for the Square Kilometre Array IMC on the impact of immigration regulations IMC on the New Growth Path IMC on Section 100 intervention in Limpopo IMC on Development Finance Institutions IMC on Ebola Preparedness and Response Other IMCs are appointed to address matters that are ongoing. These include the following: The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) IMC on Anti-Poverty and Short-term Job Creation IMC on the prevention and combating of corruption IMC on State Funerals IMC on the revitalisation of distressed mining communities Various IMCs on Operation Phakisa IMC on Natural Disasters and Flooding in South Africa IMC on Service Delivery IMC on Acid Mine Drainage IMC on BRICS IMC on the Bucket Eradication Programme IMC on Combating Alcohol and Substance Abuse The IMCs that were established to do short-term work have concluded their work and no longer active. For instance, the IMC that was established to oversee preparations for the inauguration did its work and no longer exists. Other IMCs still exist and are actively doing the work for which they were established. These include SANAC, the IMC on State Funerals. As stated in (a) above, the IMCs are a useful instrument to bring together relevant Ministers to achieve a specific goal that concerns all of them. They are a very effective tool of organisation the work of government and ensuring that government’s objectives are achieved.

Reply:

(a) There are several Inter-Ministerial Committees (IMCs) that have been established since 2009. The purpose of the IMCs is to get a group of relevant Ministers to address a specific matter within a relatively short period of time. As a result most IMCs have a short life span.

Some of the IMCs were established to achieve a short term goal include the following;

  • IMC to oversee preparations for the 2014 inauguration
  • IMC to oversee the 20 Year Review of Freedom and Democracy
  • IMC to prepare for COP17 in Durban
  • IMC to oversee South Africa’s bid for the Square Kilometre Array
  • IMC on the impact of immigration regulations
  • IMC on the New Growth Path
  • IMC on Section 100 intervention in Limpopo
  • IMC on Development Finance Institutions
  • IMC on Ebola Preparedness and Response

Other IMCs are appointed to address matters that are ongoing. These include the following:

  • The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC)
  • IMC on Anti-Poverty and Short-term Job Creation
  • IMC on the prevention and combating of corruption
  • IMC on State Funerals
  • IMC on the revitalisation of distressed mining communities
  • Various IMCs on Operation Phakisa
  • IMC on Natural Disasters and Flooding in South Africa
  • IMC on Service Delivery
  • IMC on Acid Mine Drainage
  • IMC on BRICS
  • IMC on the Bucket Eradication Programme
  • IMC on Combating Alcohol and Substance Abuse

(b) The IMCs that were established to do short-term work have concluded their work and no longer active. For instance, the IMC that was established to oversee preparations for the inauguration did its work and no longer exists. Other IMCs still exist and are actively doing the work for which they were established. These include SANAC, the IMC on State Funerals.

(c) As stated in (a) above, the IMCs are a useful instrument to bring together relevant Ministers to achieve a specific goal that concerns all of them. They are a very effective tool of organisation the work of government and ensuring that government’s objectives are achieved.

12 October 2015 - NW3121

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Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

With reference to his reply to question 2728 on 14 August 2015, how many government functions has he hosted at his private residence in Nkandla for (a) heads of state, (b) Cabinet Ministers, (c) Deputy Ministers, (d) traditional leaders, € Premiers, (f) Mayors, (g) religious leaders and (h) ordinary members of the public since 1 January 2014? THE PRESIDENCY: REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA Private Bag X1000, Pretoria, 0001 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY Question No : 3121 Date Published: 21 AUGUST 2015 The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the President of the Republic With reference to his reply to question 2728 on 14 August 2015, how many government functions has he hosted at his private residence in Nkandla for (a) heads of state, (b) Cabinet Ministers, (c) Deputy Ministers, (d) traditional leaders, € Premiers, (f) Mayors, (g) religious leaders and (h) ordinary members of the public since 1 January 2014? NW3662E DRAFT REPLY: The Presidency does not keep a record of the number of meetings and functions held at the private residence of the President.

Reply:

The Presidency does not keep a record of the number of meetings and functions held at the private residence of the President.

15 September 2015 - NW1788

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Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

What discussions were held between him and the President of the Russian Federation, Mr Vladimir Putin and/or any other Russian Federation government official during his visit to the specified country in May 2015?

Reply:

On 09 May 2015, I undertook a working visit to the Russian Federation at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to attend the 70th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 (WWII). The visit was guided by South Africa’s bilateral relations with the Russian Federation, which are informed by political, economic, social, defence and security cooperation and all the relevant legal instruments and mechanisms that affirm the strategic relationship between the two countries.

We held talks on the margins of the event which included an assessment of bilateral cooperation, the status and implementation of SA-Russia ITEC (Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation) Agreements and preparations for the 13th SA-Russia ITEC Session to be hosted by the Russian Federation during the latter part of 2015.

We also discussed preparations for the 7th BRICS Summit which was hosted by Russia from 08 to 09 July 2015. We agreed on the need to intensify cooperation in various areas of cooperation.

15 September 2015 - NW3144

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

Whether anyone from his office ever requested the Department of Public Works to provide a state house to Mr Mac Maharaj during his tenure as his spokesperson; if so, (a) who made the request, (b) when was the request made and (c) what was the basis for the request; 2. In terms of what (a) policy or (b) legislation was the request made; 3. Whether the allocation of the state house in the Bryntirion Estate in Pretoria formed part of his salary package; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, how was this benefit calculated; 4. Whether The Presidency arranged for him to pay rent while he occupied the state house; if not, why not; if so, what rental amount was (a) requested and (b) paid?

Reply:

  1. There is no record of any official having made the said request to the Department of Public Works.
  2. See 1 above
  3. No
  4. The Presidency does not allocate housing and therefore is not involved in rental arrangements..

15 September 2015 - NW3122

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Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

1. Is he aware of the report into the Madibeng Local Municipality water crisis that was put together by the Department of Water and Sanitation, which estimates that between 15 to 20 municipalities are faced with severe water shortages and collapsing water infrastructure; 2. What special projects is (a) he or (b) his Cabinet Ministers undertaking to mitigate the water crisis facing the (i) specified municipality and (ii) various municipalities faced with a water supply system collapse as identified by the Department of Water and Sanitation’s report; 3. Has he, in co-operation with the Department of Water and Sanitation, commissioned any academic studies into the economic impact of recent prolonged water shortages in urban municipal areas such as (a) Johannesburg, (b) Ekhuruleni, (c) Madibeng and others; if not, why not; if so, what are the findings of these studies?

Reply:

Departments prepare and commission many investigations in the course of executing their sector responsibilities and mandates and not all of these reports are brought to my attention. The Outcome of these reports and investigations is however used by Departments to develop specific intervention programmes where appropriate.

In the Case of Madibeng, this Municipality has been placed under Administration, with effect from 23 March 2015, by the Provincial Government in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa with regard to the Water and Sanitation Functions of the Municipality. The key reasons for placing the Municipality under administration with regard to these services is due to:

  • Poor water and sanitation services which often result in water supply disruptions and poor water quality;
  • Poor maintenance and operations of water and sanitation infrastructure;
  • Uneven provision of services to communities; and
  • Project delays due to prolonged processes and possible fraud and corruption.

The Department of Water and Sanitation is working with the Provincial Government of North West to implement a programmatic intervention which is addressing the reasons for the intervention.

The Departments of Water and Sanitation and Co-operative Governance have developed and are implementing support programmes and interventions as part of the Back to Basics programme for prioritized municipalities across the country facing water and sanitation shortages and infrastructure disruptions. These support programmes also take into account the outcomes from the Municipal Strategic Self-assessment System (MuSSA), the Blue and Green Drop Assessments as well as the diagnostic reports conducted by the Provinces.

Reporting on progress and monitoring of the interventions is done through the CoGTA MINMEC, the Implementation Forum for Outcome 9 and the InterMinisterial Committee on Basic Services.

2. SUCCESSES IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND INTERVENTIONS

The following progress has been made

  • Makana;
    • Water supply has been stabilized and Grahamstown is now receiving water on a continuous basis. There is currently no disruption to educational institutions. The success has been largely due to the deployment of Amatola Water and support from the Department of Water Affairs in the Province;
    • Key interventions have been made to restore the supply of electrical, which has enhanced the capacity of pump stations; the refurbishment of raw water rising main; the restoration of plant capacity; and reduction and control of water losses.
    • A five year “turnaround plan/road map” was finalized following the Water and Sanitation Summit held in March 2015;
  • Madibeng,
    • We have reinstated the water supply systems in Majakaneng which had not been working for eight years, through a very successful community based leak detection and repair programme under the management of Magalies Water;
    • The programme is now be rolled out to the broader Madibeng Municipality;
    • Twelve Water Forums have been established;
    • Good progress has been made to increase of the capacity and optimization of the Brits Water Treatment works;
    • A business plan has been finalized for the implementation of the five year “turnaround plan/road map”;
  • Ngaka Modiri Molema
    • Sedibeng Water has taken over the operations of the former Botshelo Water Board and will support the retail services in Mahikeng for the next five years;
  • We have seen the reduction of the water tanker services through the repair and reinstatement of infrastructure;
  • A business plan has been finalized for the implementation of the five year “turnaround plan/road map”;

In addition to these specific actions a Programme Management Office (PMO) has been established by the Department of Cooperative Governance, coordinated by the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency to specifically address the ongoing water and sanitation problems in the 27 identified Priority District Municipalities. A pipeline of projects is currently being compiled by the PMO for Amatola (EC) and Umzinyathi (KZN) District Municipalities. Bojanala and Sekhukhune District Municipalities will be addressed next.

3. The Department of Water and Sanitation is not specifically commissioning studies to determine the economic impact of prolonged water shortages) in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Madibeng. It is however closely monitoring the state of non-revenue water (and water losses) in these Water Services Authorities (WSAs), and the economic impact this has, and to see whether the WSAs are meeting their water conservation and demand management targets, which have set by the Department.

The Department also (annually) monitors the vulnerability of all WSA nationally through Municipal Strategic Self Assessments, and is currently developing Municipal Priority Actions with these WSAs, based on the outcomes of the assessments, which feed into the WSA Water Service Development Plans, Integrated Development Plans, and Service Delivery Business Improvement Plans, to ensure that the identified areas of extreme and high vulnerability are addressed.

The above findings are available on the Water Services Knowledge System which is accessible on the website of the Department of Water and Sanitation.

15 September 2015 - NW1787

Profile picture: Maimane, Mr MA

Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

(1)     On which exact dates did he visit the Russian Federation in May 2015? (2) (a) how many government officials accompanied him on the specified visit, (b) what are the names of all non-government employees and persons who accompanied him on the specified visit and (c) what was the total cost of (i) flights, (ii) accommodation, (iii) travel within the Russian Federation and/or (iv) entertainment of the entire delegation during the specified visit?

Reply:

The visit to the Russian Federation was on 08-09 May 2015. Seventy-nine (79) officials from the Presidency and other departments accompanied me. Air travel costs incurred by the Department of International Relations and cooperation and the Presidency amounted to R179 124.93, while the accommodation of the entire delegation costed R627 630.54. Ground transport costs were R149 893.67.

15 September 2015 - NW2777

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Mokgalapa, Mr S to ask the President of the Republic

Whether (a) he and (b) any officials in his Office travelled to China in the 2014-15 financial year; if so, what was the (i) purpose of each specified visit and (ii)(aa) total cost and (bb) breakdown of such costs of each specified visit?

Reply:

(a) Yes, I travelled to China during the 2014/15 financial year

(b) Yes, officials from my office travelled with me to China

(i) The purpose was to embark on a State Visit on 04 and 05 December 2014, where the following issues were deliberated upon:

  • to review the status of South Africa’s bilateral relations with China;
  • to adopt the Five-to-Ten Year Strategic Programme for Cooperation;
  • to commit China to South Africa’s industrialisation agenda development finance and request an increase in training slots;
  • Discussing the high level Forum on Africa and China meeting that will take place in South Africa in December 2015;
  • to encourage China to commit to assist in establishing the African Regional Centre on the New Development Bank; and

(ii) Conclude the 2014 year of South Africa in China.Total costs related to the logistics of the visit including accommodation and transport were R834, 868.64.

12 August 2015 - NW2502

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Davis, Mr GR to ask the President of the Republic

(1) Was he aware of (a) the removal of certain persons (names furnished) by the SA Broadcasting Corporation board and (b) the parliamentary legal opinion commissioned by the Portfolio Committee on Communications (details furnished)? 2. Did he consider the parliamentary legal opinion when appointing a certain person (name furnished); if not, why not; if so, why did he reject the findings of the parliamentary legal opinion? 3. Did he seek legal advice on the specified issue; if so, did the advice differ from that of the parliamentary legal opinion?

Reply:

The three former Non-Executive Directors of the SABC were removed by the Board of Directors of the SABC in terms of section 71 of the Companies Act 71 of 2008.

The Minister of Communications as the shareholder representative in respect of the SABC SOC Ltd had informed me to note the resolution of the SABC Board of Directors in respect of the removal of the said Non-Executive Directors.

In making any appointment, I apply my mind to all aspects deserving of consideration.

11 August 2015 - NW813

Profile picture: Lekota, Mr M

Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

(1) Whether he has given clear directions to the National Executive that the National Development Plan (NDP) was to be implemented in its entirety and that particular attention was to be given to correcting and remedying the weaknesses that were identified in the NDP as impacting negatively on growth and on job creation; if not, why not; if so, what are the (a) outcomes and (b) relevant details thereof; (2) Whether he was willing to charge the Deputy President, who played an integral role in the production of the NDP, to drive its implementation across all areas of the Government; if not, why not; if so, what are the (a) outcomes and (b) relevant details thereof?

Reply:

I have together with the Executive agreed about how the National Development Plan (NDP) will be implemented as a result Vision 2030 that has been translated into the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014-2019 as the first 5-year implementation plan. This has informed the development of 5-year Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans of all government departments, as well as the allocation of resources from the National Fiscus.

Government departments have produced quarterly progress on the implementation of the MTSF 2014-2019 for Q1, Q2 and Q3 of 2014/15, which have been tabled before and considered by the Executive. The Deputy President as part of the Executive is involved in the implementation and monitoring of the NDP Vision 2030 and the MTSF 2014-2019.

11 August 2015 - NW1246

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Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Is a digital representation of his signature used in circumstances where he is unable to personally sign official documents; (2) are any other government officials empowered to sign documents on his behalf; if so, what are the (a) names and (b) positions of the specified officials?

Reply:

I sign all official and executive documents personally.

11 August 2015 - NW2615

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Davis, Mr GR to ask the President of the Republic

Has he granted a certain person (name and details furnished) a presidential pardon in terms of section 84(2)(j) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996; if so, (a) on what date was the presidential pardon granted and (b) what facts were considered in arriving at the decision to pardon the specified person?

Reply:

No pardon has been granted to the individual in question.

05 August 2015 - NW236

Profile picture: Maimane, Mr MA

Maimane, Mr MA to ask the President of the Republic

With reference to the recommendation made by the Public Protector, in the report titled Secure in Comfort, that he repays a reasonable percentage of the costs of the measures involved in building his private Nkandla residence, (a) what progress has been made in the determination and calculation of said costs and (b) on what date will the repayment of the said costs be made?

Reply:

All reports, including my report to Parliament, are currently under consideration by the Adhoc Committee on the Police Minister’s Nkandla Report appointed by Parliament. Such committee is still seized with the matter and in the circumstances it would be improper and premature for me to comment.

NW110E

05 August 2015 - NW402

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Lekota, Mr M to ask the President of the Republic

Whether at any stage during the lengthy and substantial security upgrade at his residence in Nkandla, he had requested either the Minister of Police or the Minister of Public Works or any government official to (a) meet with him, (b) inform him, (c) consult with him or (d) furnish him with progress reports regarding (i) plans and drawings for the security upgrade, (ii) estimated costs of each aspect of the upgrades, (iii) name and details of architectural firms to undertake the drawings and supervise the construction, (iv) name and clearance details of the contractors to do the work and (v) the length of time required for the completion of the project; if not, why not; if so, (aa) what official information did he receive at all stages of the security upgrade project and (bb) how did he respond to the information provided to him 2) Whether at any stage he had raised any queries as to why non-security upgrades were being constructed or provided for at Nkandla; if not, why not?

Reply:

I set out in a detailed report to Parliament the facts and circumstances of which I had knowledge relating to the security enhancements at my Nkandla residence. The report is attached for ease of reference.

NW478E

10 July 2015 - NW806

Profile picture: Holomisa, Dr BH

Holomisa, Dr BH to ask the President of the Republic

(1)Whether, as the Commander-in-Chief of the defence force, and in respect of the role the Government plays in continental peace efforts, the security forces are in a state of readiness as a fully trained and equipped force to respond to unforeseen and unconventional attacks both from within and outside the Republic; (2) whether the Government has or intends to have bilateral agreements with other tried and tested countries on unconventional warfare in order to train our personnel?

Reply:

  1. Yes, all South African National Defence Force (SANDF) forces deployed internally and externally are mission ready in terms of both training and equipment.
  2. 2.Yes, the SANDF has Memoranda of Understanding (MOU’s) with other armed forces in the African continent and beyond in line with the policies of our government and our continental and international obligations. Military training opportunities are exchanged between these friendly forces on continuous basis.