Hansard: Medium -Term Budget Policy Statement; Adjustments Appropriation Bill; Revenue Laws Amendment Bill;Government Employees Pension Fund(Condonation of Interrepted Service) Bill; Finance Bill; Eskom Subordinated Loan Special Approppriation; Competition Bill

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 21 Oct 2008


No summary available.







The House met at 14:03.

The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.



Start of Day












The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Madam Speaker, Deputy President - may I congratulate both you from the podium - Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Governor of the Reserve Bank, hon members, members of the diplomatic corps, friends who have taken the time to join us today, whether you are at home or at work, in tabling the Budget in February this year, I took a very strange initiative, and that was to do the first part of the Budget speech in a weather station to try and communicate the sense of big storms and climate change ahead. We came here and actually shared a weather report with members of this House, which indicated that there were storm clouds on the horizon.

Indeed, for several years in this House, we noted the growing imbalances between the major trading partners of the global economy. We spoke about the scale of the adjustments required and the risk to the international community of associated financial disruptions. These imbalances have accumulated over more than a decade and are embedded in the global trade patterns, inequalities between and within nations, imprudent lending to households and the intricate mechanisms through which credit risks have been packaged and resold. The dimensions of these flows are staggering. The United States consumes some US$700 billion more than it produces every year. Now, pause for a moment and consider that in rands. It is R7 trillion that they consume more than they produce. This is financed mainly through surpluses in Japan, China and the oil-producing states.

Banks have become increasingly inventive in channelling foreign savings to American consumers and firms. For example, the market for credit default swaps, through which bad debt has been passed on to pension funds and other investors, grew from US$100 billion in the year 2000 to US$64 trillion last year. This is just one of the inventive and, as it turns out, exceedingly destructive and toxic financial innovations of the last decade causing the implosion that the world now lives through.

Indeed, a structural correction was needed. But the ferocity of the financial crisis could not have been anticipated. Global stock exchanges have lost just over US$5 trillion in value over the past month. The oil price is down from its peak in May of US$145 a barrel to just US$70. I've made the point before, but it wasn't much more than 10 years ago that oil traded at just US$10 a barrel. Earlier this year, people were talking of a US$200 a barrel reality. Recently, it was at US$145 and now it is US$70 a barrel. So, South Africans will applaud this and say, well, the petrol price will come down. But we are also a producer of all manner of other commodities. The platinum price has fallen from a high of US$2 254 to US$903 an ounce. I think we have also seen the prices of coal, copper and steel falling sharply. Manganese and aluminium stockpiles are mounting in ports and warehouses and, all across the world, industrial order books are shrinking. Several major banks and financial institutions have collapsed or have required direct support from their governments. The scale of fiscal interventions under way is historically unprecedented. But it is nonetheless expected that factories will close in industrial economies, unemployment will indeed rise and food stamp queues will lengthen.

We do not yet know how the crisis will be concluded or what its impact will be on output and employment, trade relations or the world's financial system. What is clear is that the storm has arrived. This storm is fiercer than anyone could have imagined, and its course from here cannot be predicted with any certainty.

But, we saw the signs early, and we took appropriate action. We can say to our people, "Liduduma lidlule!" [This thunder will pass]. [Applause.] We can say to our people that our finances are in order, our banks are sound, our investment plans are in place, our course is firmly directed at our long-term growth and, of course, the development challenges. Whatever it takes, we will ride out this storm together on the strength of a vision and a plan of action that we can proudly share as South Africans.

We can say these things because this government, since 1994, took tough decisions early. Beginning with the balance articulated between meeting basic needs and promoting investment and growth in the Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, reprioritising spending and reducing the budget deficit in the 1990s – regardless of the nicknames that people give to this process – the adoption of an explicit target for inflation, our gradual approach to the relaxation of exchange controls, our strengthening of bank regulation and the steady accumulation of foreign reserves during the last five years, we kept our focus on the reforms required for long-term growth and development. We adopted a macroeconomic framework and a fiscal stance capable of withstanding tough times and protecting our economy and our people during times of global economic turbulence. Essentially, we started this process understanding that business cycles in the economy tend to create boom and bust. But this boom and bust creates enormous hardship in the lives of people. So, part of our responsibility in macroeconomic management must be to try and even this out so that we can minimise the impact thereof on the lives of people.

I am very aware that our policy decisions have sometimes been controversial. But if our economic policies were designed for their populist appeal, and if we tried to finance everything for everybody at once, then short-term gains would have quickly given way to long-term misery. Our policies are aimed, instead, at sustainable progress for workers in our factories and on our farms, support for families through steadily rising social services and income transfers, businesses that can invest in the confidence of a sound fiscal and financial environment and public services that will continue to serve our children and our children's children.

Yet, there is no avoiding the coming storm. Global economic growth will be slow for several years, export earnings will, of course, be negatively affected, and it will be more difficult to finance all of our investment needs. Economic growth in the seven richest countries – the so-called G7 - which count for roughly half of the world's economic output is forecast to be zero or negative next year. Growth in the global economy is forecast to fall from over 5% in 2007 to 3,9% this year and perhaps less than 3% next year. But to get to this 3%, if you've deducted the output from half of the world's output, then of course the growth has to be lifted by developing countries. Africa's growth is forecast to be 6% next year. But the key engines that drive the global economy now - China and India - will also see their growth slow down as exports to their trading partners decline.

Following four years of economic expansion of 5% a year, the revised GDP growth estimate for South Africa for this year, 2008, is 3,7% - somewhat below the forecast of 4% that we tabled in February. Next year, we expect to grow by 3%, accelerating moderately in 2010 and beyond as the global economy begins to recover. Continuing investment in infrastructure contributes to the momentum of growth in South Africa. This is also reflected in our ongoing current account deficit on the balance of payments. This means that we need to continue to attract financial inflows from the rest of the world while improving our domestic savings performance as well.

There is this big number that we are talking about. The deficit on our current account is expected to be something in the order of R165 billion this year. This means that each week, we must try and attract R3,5 billion to cover this shortfall between what we are investing and what we have as savings. Navigating our way in this changed economic environment will of course be tougher. But we will continue to expand and improve public services and invest in the infrastructure required for future growth.

There is an aspect of South Africa's interconnectedness with the global crisis that I need to emphasise. We will be negatively affected by the slowdown and the uncertainty ahead, but we have also benefited from the strong growth and high commodity prices of the recent past. Reflected in our favourable terms of trade in recent years and identified as a cyclical revenue component that should be saved and not spent – this was the debate at the time of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement last year – this gain accounts for the moderate budget surplus we were able to report last year. We recognised that the world has enjoyed a long period of unbalanced growth and that it could not persist indefinitely. That the imbalances lasted so long was made possible by excesses in the financial sector, bad loans dressed up as tradable securities, inadequate regulation and the presumption that bankers, because they earn such huge salaries and bonuses, must obviously understand what they are doing.

Such blind faith in unfettered markets is clearly misguided, and has got the world into the difficulties we now see.

Our approach has been different. We have recognised that there is creative strength in markets and they do assist in mobilising resources, encouraging innovation and creating jobs. But, markets left without adequate supervision or regulation, sometimes fails spectacularly.

The legal and regulatory framework within which markets operate is important, and governments have substantial responsibilities to intervene in support of economic and social stability, and also to ensure that the benefits of growth are both inclusive and broad-based.

This financial crisis invites all of us to revisit the critical questions of the relationship between market processes and their regulation, the balance between public service delivery and private sector development, and the appropriate arrangements for safeguarding the integrity of our financial institutions.

Countries that put the interests of their people first, above dogmas and ideologies, have been able to grow and prosper in the face of adversity over several decades. Macroeconomic policy is after all about ensuring that we sustain our growth rates as the international business cycle rises and falls by managing the cost of capital and how much we save and invest.

When we chose to budget for a surplus, it was not because of any particular ideological position. It was the right thing to do in the economic circumstances. And in time to come, and as the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement we announce today reflects, as we revert to a deficit along with several other countries in similar circumstances, it will not be because we have adopted a new economic creed but it will again be because it is the right thing for changed economic circumstances.

It is very important that we try and see this passionately. There are merely measures to cushion that rise and fall across the business cycle. Our fiscal stance is a considered one, putting the long-term interests of our people first, Batho Pele.

Our low level of debt, especially foreign debt, and our prudent approach to fiscal policy, provide us with the space to adjust our policies to cushion our economy against the worst effects of the global crisis.

Let me comment briefly, on the oversight of our financial institutions in the present circumstances, and the special role that trust and integrity play in securing effective credit markets and financial peace of mind.

The financial stability assessment was conducted by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank during April and May this year. And it concluded that the financial system in South Africa is fundamentally sound, and noted that our financial sector regulatory framework is sophisticated, modern and effective.

Every day, sometimes more than once a day, I receive a call from a gentleman, Mr Errol Kruger, who is the registrar of banks. He gives me an update on developments in our banking system. Mr Kruger, in turn, is in regular communication with the chief executives of all of our banks. A constant flow of data and consultations keeps both the regulators and risk management teams of our credit institutions informed and alive to market developments.

I am also in very regular contact, almost daily with the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Mr Tito Mboweni. I know he is in the audience somewhere. He is hiding. There must be photographers around here. Because I think we have to discuss developments in the international environment and the wider financial sector. It is nice to talk to the governor but I think it is also something that the Constitution requires of us. If we want to manage the macroeconomy, then it is required of us to talk about these issues very regularly.

Then there is the Financial Services Board which constantly has to review our insurance and pension fund industry, tracking the status of assets under management and reviewing fund governance, to ensure that the pension funds of workers are protected and prudently managed.

The task of the Financial Service Board is a bit more difficult because there are 14 000 registered pension funds in South Africa and they have to look after all of these funds. Banks are relatively easy. There are six large banks and some smaller banks but in the pension funds it requires a lot more oversight and supervision because it is a lot more difficult.

Now, these procedures and measures may seem technical and at times overly bureaucratic. But we proceed from the premise that this Parliament has entrusted us with responsibility for licensing and oversight of our financial institutions. Licenses to do business in the financial sector are granted on the understanding that the highest standards of financial responsibility and integrity will be maintained and must be maintained.

If people don't like the rules and the supervision, then they have to hand back their licenses. It is a very important principle because we have to serve between the depositors in these institutions and the shareholders and that licence we believe is a very important tool in this regard.

One of the present features of this crisis internationally is that banks have lost trust in each other, and so interbank lending has collapsed. Deterioration in public confidence has also resulted in runs on some banks. In countries such as Hungary and Iceland, high levels of reliance on foreign capital has left the domestic banking system unprotected from these confidence failures.

In contrast, Madam Speaker, here in South Africa the balance sheets of our banks remain sound. They rely on rand-based capital and South African deposits, and the local inter-bank market remains fully functional and competitively priced. The World Competitiveness Report ranked the soundness of South Africa's banks 15th in the world, above countries such as the United States and Switzerland. [Applause.]

Hon members, I give these assurances not to suggest that nothing can go wrong, nor indeed to pretend that our banking sector is somehow unconnected from international financial flows, but to indicate that your government is vigilant. And our vigilance rests on a clear appreciation of the trusteeship obligations of our financial institutions for the deposits of our citizens, the savings of our workers, the pensions of our senior citizens and the security of our children's future.

Allow me to add, Madam Speaker, that the strength of the capital structure of our financial sector is a necessary condition for its effective contribution to the broader social and developmental obligations recognised in our Financial Sector Charter. It is surely now clear that capital adequacy cannot be compromised in the interests of promoting unsound lending practices or for the pursuit of unrealistic equity participation in our banks.

Madam Speaker, since 2000 the measure of price trends that we have used for inflation targeting purposes has been the consumer price index minus mortgage costs, CPIX. The target excluded mortgage repayments from the inflation measure because of the direct impact of monetary policy on these household expenses.

However, interest on loans is not an adequate measure of the cost of housing, and so in line with international best practice, Statistics SA will shortly replace this component of the consumer price index with what is called "owners' equivalent rent", alongside with several other changes to the Consumer Price Index basket.

The inflation measure for policy purposes will therefore revert to the full Consumer Price Index for major urban areas. The target band for inflation remains 3% to 6% and we expect that CPI will fall into the target band in the third quarter of 2009.

During 2008, the world experienced an almost unprecedented increase in the prices of food and fuel. The world's poor bore the brunt of these price increases with many countries experiencing social strife as a result of higher food prices. Partly as a result of higher food and fuel prices, inflation in South Africa increased during 2008, reaching 13.6% in August.

Oil prices are now falling and food prices have moderated. Taking into account the slowdown in consumer spending and the clear resolve of the monetary authorities, we expect consumer price inflation to fall during the remaining months of 2008 into next year. The government has taken several steps to mitigate the impact of higher food prices, and income support for the poor remains one of the fastest growing categories of our public expenditure.

The circumstances behind rising prices over the past year were exceptional and largely external, and the Monetary Policy Committee has taken appropriate steps to ensure that inflation will subside over the period ahead. Moderation of inflation must remain a central policy objective, particularly as we seek to expand investment and job creation under conditions of heightened business uncertainty.


Since 1994, this government has affirmed that budgets are not about markets or bonds or statistics. Budgets are about people, their lives and their wellbeing. We have the tools and the resources to protect our economy and our people from the worst effects of this crisis. It is a testimony to the strength of our economy and our policies that we can take these measures.

Over the past six years, our economy has enjoyed rapid growth, rising employment, rising household incomes, a major expansion in public services and significant income and asset transfers to the poorest South Africans.

Achieving our objective of reducing poverty and inequality, broadening opportunities and building a prosperous country remains our guiding light. In the period of slower growth ahead, our efforts need to focus on building stronger institutions and improving the quality of our investment in social and economic infrastructure and public services.

Amongst the economic challenges ahead, we need to lift our rate of national savings, we need to construct a more export oriented economy and we need to create a more labour-intensive growth trajectory. We must ask ourselves repeatedly where will South Africa be when the storm has passed - as the Minister in the Presidency asked me the other day - where will South Africa be when the cycle turns? Will our economy be more diversified, more competitive and more inclusive? Without addressing these challenges, we are not likely to meet the legitimate expectations of our people for a better life for all.

While we have made progress in several areas of policy and service delivery over the past 14 years, there remain aspects of microeconomic policy where more clearly has to be done. These include trade and industrial policy, labour market policy, enhancing competition in our economy, improving our skills base and increasing the effectiveness of the state - areas where we have just not seen sufficient dynamism in the implementation of policy.

Stronger co-operation between government and the private sector and raising our level of investment in economic infrastructure are also imperative.

We live in a dynamic, rapidly changing world and the major changes that we are witnessing, the rise of India, China and Brazil as major industrial powers, are likely to be delayed only temporarily by the financial crisis; that these countries are increasing output and incomes rapidly in contributing to a more balanced world and to substantial reductions in global poverty.

Several countries in Africa are also now expanding strongly and creating greater opportunities for the citizens. And so our own social and economic development is not a project undertaken in isolation and on terms we can dictate for ourselves: We do not have the option of rolling down the shutters through high tariff barriers or adoption of the policy of detachment. Progress in accelerating trade and industrial reforms focused on productivity and competitiveness is therefore critical.

A recent report on the South African economy by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, points out that although an impressive improvement in growth and productivity has been achieved in South African recent years, many middle income countries are advancing rapidly and South Africa still trails behind the most dynamic emerging economies. The OECD report puts the focus firmly on creating employment as the key medium term priority. This is a challenge that needs intense scrutiny, perhaps under the auspices of Nedlac, so that we can give greater detail and substance to what a more labour intensive growth would mean in our circumstances.

Hon members, the Budget framework we table today, which draws on the work of the Ministers' Committee on the Budget, shows that we have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, to continue to forge ahead with our developmental mandate within a sustainable budget framework. Over the three year medium term expenditure period, and that's the period that we foresee to 31 March 2012, R171 billion is added to the spending plans tabled in February, taking total proposed spending including the social security fund over the next three years to R2,4 trillion. The Budget framework also draws on the extensive contributions of members of the Minister's Committee on the Budget.

The additional allocations include adjustments amounting to R59 billion over the next three years for higher salaries and other costs associated with the rise in inflation. Over R60 billion is allocated to new programmes or expanded spending on key priorities. As indicated in February, an amount of R10 billion this year and the further R50 billion over the period ahead will be provided to Eskom to support its capital spending programme.

As a consequence of strong economic growth in the recent past, our revenue performance has exceeded expectations, providing additional revenue for capital investment, spending on public services to provide tax relief and to reduce our debt. Changes that we made to our tax system including the introduction of capital gains tax, closing numerous loopholes, lowering tax rates and improving administration have provided us with a fairer, more equitable and buoyant tax system. In particular, the share of corporate tax has increase significantly, due both to these reforms and to stronger economic growth.

For the period ahead, as our economy slows, revenue growth is also anticipated to slow. In particular the share of corporate tax is increasing significantly, due both to these reforms and to stronger economic growth. For the period ahead, as our economic slows, revenue growth is also anticipated to slow. In particular, revenue from corporate taxes and value added tax is likely to come under pressure. This is a natural consequence of the business circle and our adoption of a cyclically adjusted Budget balance makes provision for such cyclical effects.

The net effect of higher spending and lower revenue growth is that the Budget balance, including the social security funds, shifts into a moderate deficit of 1,6% of GDP next year. It is the early decisions we took on fiscal management that allow us to adopt in the face of these more difficult circumstances to protect public spending, to support investments and to contribute towards higher growth in the future without eroding the sustainability of our Budget framework.

The central purpose of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement is to advise Parliament of the main spending priorities for the following year's Budget. The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework contributes to a better informed public debate on public service delivery and informs more detailed allocations to national and provincial departments and, municipal Budgets that will be tabled next year.

The Budget framework also draws an extensive contribution of members of main combat, as I said earlier. I want to highlight the most pressing priorities that Cabinet has approved for the period ahead: Firstly, is the improving of education and skills development to broaden opportunities for our people and to raise our level of productivity. Secondly, is the improving the provision of health care with particular emphasis on reducing infant, child and maternal mortality and broadening the prevention and treatment programmes tackling Tuberculosis, HIV and Aids. Thirdly, is the investing in the criminal justice sector to reduce levels of crime and to enhance citizens' safety. Key priorities here are to further expand the police's numbers and to invest in investigative capacity, forensic laboratories and enhance information technology network infrastructure. Fourthly, is the expanding investment in the built environment to improve public transport and meet universal access targets on some water, sanitation, electricity and housing. Fifthly, is the decreasing rural poverty by taking steps to raise rural incomes and improve livelihoods by extending access to land and support for emerging farmers.

In addition to these key priorities, the framework makes good on the pledge we made in February to increase spending on energy efficiency, reducing electricity demand, supporting renewable energy sources and providing complementary funding for coal generation projects. After taking into account the need for timely adjustment of municipal and other electricity tariffs, the levy on electricity generation from nonrenewable sources we announced in February will be deferred to next July, and we will broaden its base to include other large industrial sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

It is recognised that the electricity outages in South Africa that we experienced in the first quarter of this year signal capacity constraints in several areas of infrastructure, including roads, rail, ports and most importantly in skills. These capacity constraints have also slowed economic activity and will restrict growth in the near term. To break these constraints we must obviously invest more.

Financing this investment in the period ahead will be challenging. Government will support our state-owned enterprises through providing selective guarantees on their borrowing and through increases in the capacity of our development finance institutions to contribute to funding major infrastructure projects. At the same time, it essential to price utility services appropriately so that we can encourage more efficient use of this inputs and to generate the resources to fund greater expansion in capacity. We must also create more amenable environment for the private sector to invest in economic and social infrastructure.

In tabling the 2008 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, which I now want to do, Deputy President - you see I am doing this, I haven't forgotten to do it - I invite this House and all South Africans to engage vigorously with the policy priorities as government has set itself, with the respective roles of public and private sector in accelerating economic growth and employment creation and with the challenge of financing development in an uncertain and rapidly changing global environment.

As you would have had from the table, I also table five separate Bills for further consideration in this House today. The first is the Finance Bill that regularises expenditure previously deemed unauthorised. These authorisations are made on the basis of recommendations of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and approved by this House.

The second is the Bill that gives effect to resolution of this House in response to petition on special grounds, for a deviation from the normal rules of the Government Employees Pension Fund.

The third is the Eskom Loan Special Appropriation Bill which requests Parliament to approve a subordinated loan of R60 billion to Eskom.

The fourth and fifth are Revenue Laws Amendment Bill and the Revenue Laws Second Amendment Bill, which gives to effect to the revenue proposals announced in the Budget in February. I need to advise that it is not light reading.

And lastly, I have to table the Adjustments Appropriation Bill 2008-09. Let me just touch on this last mentioned Bill, the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, for a moment or two: As in the past, hon members, there are various categories of adjustments, including the R2,4 billion in unspent monies appropriated last year 2007-08 which have been approved for rollover to the current year, for a clearly identified purposes. I would like to draw attention of this House to several addition allocations included in the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, as provided for in section 30(2) of the Public Finance Management Act. These include - R2 billion to deal with a series of natural disasters and outbreaks of animal disease. They are floods, droughts, fires, classic swine fever and all of those kinds of things, R2 billion for that. A sum of R2,5 billion for the Road Accident Fund, R344 million for the School Nutrition Programme and R390 million additional for the National Student Financial Aids Scheme.

A sum of R1,4 billion to cover the cost overruns on 2010 Fifa World Cup stadium projects and R600 million for the last mile Internet connectivity between the stadiums and the national backbone network.

A sum of R107 million for the Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Programme, which has exceeded expectations in its first full year of operation. I count the 20% of members who are awake at this point, Madam Speaker.

A total of R5 billion for higher salaries, not for parliamentarians, due to high inflation, and R2,2 billion for other inflation-related adjustments to cover the high costs of fuel, textbooks, medicines, medical equipment and inflation-related adjustments to social grants.[Laughter.]

For the benefit of certain members R2,5 billion is recommended in the adjustment appropriation, as a once-off allocation for the political office-bearers' pension fund on the basis of the recommendations made by the Commission on the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers, chaired by the distinguished Judge Dikgang Moseneke. [Applause.]

Two and a half billion rand is recommended in the adjusted appropriation as a once-off allocation for the Political Office- Bearers' Pension Fund on the basis of recommendations made by the Commission on the Remuneration of Public Office-Bearers which is chaired by the distinguished, Judge Dikgang Moseneke. [Applause.]

The adjustments budget also makes provision for R300 million to assist in meeting Zimbabwe's short-term food requirements, subject to acceptance of an appropriate role for international food relief agencies by a recognised multi-party government.

Including spending on social security funds, total spending in

2008-09 of R650 billion is proposed; R19 billion higher than the budgeted amount. Taking into account a R1,2 billion upward adjustment to revenue this year, a small budget surplus of 0.1% if you include the social security funds is anticipated.

This year, government has taken several steps to mitigate the impact of higher food prices. Several of these programmes will continue over the medium term, and increased agricultural support should enhance our efforts to ensure food security for all.

Amongst the short-term interventions introduced, government is raising the value of the old age grant, the child support grant, disability grant and care dependency grant by R20 with effect from October [Applause.] That's a small applause than the pension's one, I observe... [Laughter.] So that grant beneficiaries don't have to wait until April to see the buying power of their grants protected.

Extra resources have also gone to the school feeding programmes and for agricultural starter packs. In total, adjustments to deal with the short and longer-term implications of higher food prices amount to R11 billion over the next three years.

Alongside the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, we table the Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure which provides a breakdown of all adjustments for each national department.

Returning to the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework for the next three years, provinces will receive an additional allocation of R51,3 billion. In addition to accommodating higher inflation, key provincial priorities supported include: Expanding the no-fee schools to cover 60% of learners; increasing the school nutrition programme from R1,9 billion in this year to R4,6 billion in three years' time; also to increase the number of teachers in poor schools for increased spending on school infrastructure, including the necessary infrastructure for an increased intake in Grade R; additional resources for the health sector provide for the introduction of three new child vaccines to reduce deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea; new proposed salary scales for doctors, dentists, pharmacists and related professionals; expanding TB track and trace teams and increased take-up of antiretroviral treatment programmes resources to expand investment in agriculture with a view to extending extension services and providing better supporting for small scale farmers and then increasing investment in housing, roads and other economic infrastructure. [Applause.]

Additional resources to the municipal sphere cover the higher costs of providing free basic services and over R4,3 billion more as a Municipal Infrastructure Grant to accelerate the provision of basic services.

Next year, government will roll out the second phase of the Expanded Public Works Programme. Drawing on the successes and lessons of this programme over the past five years, R4 billion is added to this programme to incentivise the creation of longer term, more stable employment in provinces, municipalities and nongovernmental organisations.[Applause.]

It is anticipated that this programme will be phased in to grow the number of full-time equivalent jobs from about 145 000 at present to over 300 000 a year.

In conclusion, this Budget framework gives effect to our commitment to put people first, to use the space that we have created to protect and expand those programmes that make a difference to the lives of the poorest in the short term, while also investing in the programmes that broaden opportunities and higher economic growth in the longer term.

Our country faces a difficult period ahead. There is no telling how deep the global financial crisis will be, nor how severe and enduring its impact will be on incomes and economic activity.

We are obliged to table fiscal plans and spending proposals in a context of considerable economic uncertainty. Our economic and budgetary framework constructed year by year since 1994, is built in solid policy foundations and provides fiscal space within which to respond to both global circumstances and domestic challenges.

Over the next three years, we will continue to step up investments in infrastructure that will drive long-term growth, and we will continue to expand and improve the quality of public services. And more importantly, we will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the poor and the most vulnerable.

We take these steps because we know that the storm will pass. Liduduma lidlule. [Things come and go.] We do this because we always put people first. [Applause.]

Permit me an opportunity to recognise the contributors to the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. Firstly, the colleagues who serve on the Ministers Committee on the Budget, there are a number of new members to this task. We've had to thrust this task onto them. They arrived in office on one day completely overwhelmed by the responsibilities of their own portfolio.

They were called into the Treasury the next day, had this responsibility thrust on them. I think that we must say a very big thank you. [Applause.] And assure them that the hard work still lies ahead because over the next few weeks once Parliament has approved this, we will now have to sit down, take this global amount and allocate it to departments, and then have to deal with the complaints and gripes of colleagues who always will say, we don't have enough.

But that's the task that the Minister's Committee on the Budget will undertake together over the next few weeks. It would be entirely remiss of me not to mention the former members of the Minister's Committee on the Budget, who were involved until a month ago. And I would like to single out too the former Deputy Minister, Jabu Moleketi.

Secondly, their Excellencies, President Motlanthe and Deputy President Mbete, who were also faced with this situation where they had this load dumped on them, met them, sat them down and just continued talking and hope that they were listening - and obviously they were.

It's also appropriate that I express my sincerest appreciation to former President, Mbeki, and former Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka, who supported us through the difficult period to evolve the budget process and bring it onto an even keel.

South Africa is privileged to have the quality of public servants we have. I want to single out those in the departments with whom I work most closely and those who are most closely involved in the process of compilation of the budget – the National Treasury, the South African Revenue Services and Statistics SA. But also as we reflected on today, those involved at the Reserve Bank, especially in the bank supervision department and at the Financial Services Board will allow us to sleep a bit more easily. Thanks for dedication, for leadership and for the quality of advice you offer.

I always tend to forget to mention the staff in the Ministry, a team of wonderfully supportive, chirpy, competent and may I say tolerant individuals. [Laughter.] And finally, to all of you both here and elsewhere for your patience in listening to me this afternoon. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement referred to the Joint Budget Committee and the Portfolio Committee on Finance for consideration in accordance with their respective mandates.

Bills referred to the Portfolio Committee on Finance for consideration and report. Mr B A D MARTINS



(Consideration of Bill as amended by NCOP)

Mr B A D MARTINS: Madam Speaker, hon members, the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry considered the Competition Amendment Bill, 2008, and the amendments proposed by the National Council of Provinces on 7 October 2008.

The amendments relate to, firstly, the complex monopoly provision. The Bill was amended to include the definition of conscious parallel conduct in order to provide certainty to business on its meaning. Secondly, it relates to the personal liability of directors and officers of firms. The Bill was amended to remove the subclause that seeks to hold directors and, or, officers of firms criminally liable for negligence, even though they may not have actual knowledge of their firms' involvement in cartel activities. This is intended to ensure fairness and avoid any potential constitutional challenges.

Another change in subsection (12)(5) of the Bill was the removal of the phrase which seeks to shift the burden of onus of proof from the state. Under number three, technical challenges, other changes are not substantive as they relate to numbering, proper reference, and replacement of certain words for consistency. I recommend the Bill to the House.

There was no debate.

The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move that the Bill, as amended, be passed.

The SPEAKER: The motion is that the Bill, as amended, be passed. Are there any objections?

Agreed to.

The SPEAKER: Hon members, there are just too many meetings in the House this afternoon. We should have asked the Minister of Finance to omit some paragraphs because, after touching on that, we also lost some order in the House.



The SPEAKER: Hon members, I wish to announce that the President has informed me that he has appointed the Deputy President, Ms B Mbete, as Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly in terms of section 91(4) of the Constitution with effect from 6 October 2008. [Applause.] Congratulations, Madam.






The SPEAKER: Is daar enige lid wat kennis wil gee van 'n voorstel? [Are there any member who wishes to give notice of a motion?]



Mr G R MORGAN: Madam Speaker, I hereby move on behalf of the Democratic Alliance that:

The House –

(1) notes that the securing of South Africa's energy security is vital for sustainable development and poverty alleviation;

(2) further notes that decarbonising the economy is an imperative if we are to mitigate climate change; and

(3) debates the possible makeup of South Africa's future energy supply, with particular reference to both renewable and nuclear energy and the associated costs and benefits.

Thank you.




The SPEAKER: Is daar enige voorstelle sonder kennisgewing? [Are there any motions without notice?]


(Draft Resolution)


The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House –

(1) notes that 17 October 2008 was International Day for the Eradication of Poverty;

(2) further notes that poverty affects millions of people in the world today, the majority of whom are women;

(3) recalls that one of the UN Development Goals states, among others, that poverty and hunger will remain wherever poor health and lack of education deprive people of productive employment;

(4) believes that the establishment of an open rules-based trading and financial system debt relief, as well as more aid to countries who are committed to eradicating poverty, could make a meaningful contribution to eradicating poverty in the developing world, in particular; and

(5) calls on world leaders to prioritise efforts aimed at the eradication of poverty.

Thank you.

Agreed to.








(Draft Resolution)

The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House –

(1) notes that Thursday, 16 October 2008, was World Food Day;

(2) further notes that this day is an occasion to highlight the plight of more than a billion undernourished people in the world, most of whom live in rural areas where their main source of incomes derives from the agricultural sector;

(3) recognises that the theme for this year is World Food Security: The Challenges of Climate Change and Bio-energy;

(4) recalls that global warming, the biofuel boom, and unemployment threaten to push numbers up of the hungry even higher in the decades to come; and

(5) urges all governments and the United Nations to intensify efforts aimed at helping the poor to engage in agricultural and other food production programmes.

Thank you.

Agreed to.









(Draft Resolution)

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House –

(1) notes that our South African team won 30 medals at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India;

(2) further notes that the South African team won seven gold, fourteen silver, and nine bronze medals and finished fourth on the overall medals table;

(3) recognises that this result demonstrates the large number of exciting young talents we have in the country, across a range of sports, who serve as an inspiration for all young athletes dreaming of a career in the international arena;

(4) acknowledges that these young people's talents need to nurtured and honed so that the next generation of South African sportsmen and women, who will be able to compete at the highest levels, is produced;

(5) congratulates the team on its outstanding performance; and

(6) wishes all South African sportsmen and women well in their future sports careers.

Thank you.

Agreed to.









(Draft Resolution)


That the House, notwithstanding the resolution adopted by the House on 23 September 2008 which, inter alia, the determined that the ad hoc committee on legislation on the National Youth Development Agency had to report by 20 October 2008, extends the deadline for reporting by the Committee to 20 November 2008.

Agreed to.







(Draft Resolution)


That Rule 253(1) which provides, inter alia, that the debate on the Second Reading of a Bill may not commence before at least three working days have elapsed since the committee's report was tabled, be suspended for the purposes of conducting the Second Reading on 22 October 2008 on the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill and the Judicial Matters Amendment Bill.

Agreed to.









(Draft Resolution)

Mrs S V KALYAN: Madam Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House –

(1) notes that Wednesday, 1 October 2008, was International Day for Older Persons;

(2) further notes that the theme for this year was the "Rights of Older Persons" which was chosen to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

(3) acknowledges that the recognition of the rights of older persons should not be confined to one day, but should be recognised every day so that the dignity of older persons is respected at all times;

(4) recognises that the rights of many older persons are marginalised and ignored on a daily basis in many countries, including ours, and that this violation includes incidences of neglect, abuse, and violence against older persons;

(5) further recognises that in South Africa, due to a number of socioeconomic factors, including HIV/Aids, many older persons have had to not only care for their children, but have also taken over the responsibility of caring for their orphaned grandchildren;

(6) further acknowledges and respects the authority, wisdom, and diverse skills older persons possess that can be utilised to benefit our society in many ways; and

(7) calls on all South Africans to recognise that older persons should enjoy a life of fulfilment, health and security; should not be socially, culturally, economically, or politically discriminated against in any aspects of their lives; and that all forms of neglect, abuse, and violence against older persons be eliminated.

Thank you.

Agreed to.










(Draft Resolution)

The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move the Motion as it appears on the Order Paper.


Agreed to.








(Draft resolution)

The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move the Motion as it stands on the Order Paper.


Agreed to.










(Member's Statement)


Ms T V TOBIAS (ANC): Madam Speaker, emboldened by activities of a few individuals who have come to see themselves as bigger than the organisation that made them, today most right-wing opposition parties in our country: Your DAs; UDMs and the conventions of this country's sore losers; young and old; those still struggling to see the light of day, appear to speak in one voice in their opposition to the ANC. [Interjections.]

The ANC is a movement with a rich political tradition and an unparalleled legacy. We have a vision, a plan and best policies to ensure the creation of a better life for all. Our commitment and adherence to goals of the Freedom Charter and the Constitution is unshakeable. Our democratic dispensation, among others, guarantees the right to freedom of speech and association.

The ANC respects the democratic right of individuals to express their views on any issue and, if they so desire, to form political parties to advance their goals. Throughout our history we have fought for these rights, and now that they are secured we shall defend them resolutely. The ANC will not be deterred for one moment from our strategic objective to fight poverty, create employment and improve access to quality education. [Time Expired.] [Applause.]








(Member's Statement)


Ms S Botha (DA): Voorsitter, op 2 November vind daar in Bloemfontein 'n nasionale konvensie plaas. Politieke gebeure op Bloemfontein het telkemale in die verlede hulle merk op die geskiedenis gemaak: Die stigting van die ANC, die stigting van die Nasionale Party en die stigting van die Progressiewe Party.

Die persone wat hierdie konvensie lei, was tot onlangs baie gesiene lede van die ANC en dit is duidelik dat hulle diep gekrenk is deur verwikkellinge in die regerende party; soveel so dat hulle bereid is om uit die knus kussings van die regering op te staan en in die koue daar buite 'n nuwe heenkome te gaan soek.

Dit kan 'n baie positiewe wending vir demokrasie wees, mits dit die belang van die bevolking in sy geheel nastreef en 'n oop, geleentheidsgedrewe gemeenskap vir almal tot gevolg het. Dit sal nie deug as dit slegs 'n alliansie van verontregtes is nie, soos dit die geval was met die herskikking van lojaliteite wat in die ANC plaasgevind het en dit nou moeilik maak om die regerende party met 'n morele visie te vereenselwig.

Die DA praat al lankal in hierdie Huis van die nodigheid vir so 'n politieke herskikking, maar dit moet plaasvind met 'n onbetwisbare verbintenis tot die Grondwet en sy individuele waarborge en 'n langtermynvisie vir sosiale kohesie en welvaart vir almal in die land, ongeag hulle politieke verbintenisse. Die DA sal hierdie nuwe verwikkelinge met belangstelling dophou. [Applous.]








(Member's Statement)


Mr E J LUCAS (IFP): Chairperson, the Mission of the Road Accident Fund, the RAF, states that the fund exists to administer the system of compensation, as defined in the RAF Act in a manner that is timeous, cost-effective and appropriately delivers on the mandate.

Sibisi Hhlatswayo was involved in a terrible accident in December, 1995, which resulted in his arm being amputated. He was only 11 years old at the time. More than 12 years after the unfortunate incident that forever changed his life, he is still waiting for compensation from the RAF, despite pursuing the matter with an attorney and submitting the required documents, including three medical reports to prove his condition.

The fact that the RAF has delayed in handling the case is unacceptable and that is certainly not in line with their mission and objectives. I am sure that this is not an isolated incident and that they have many other complaints against the RAF.

Instead of treating accident victims with respect and dignity, as stated in their core values, their actions of inefficiency in dealing with cases just adds to the misery of victims. The way in which the RAF operates and deals with cases must be reviewed. Accident victims are to be treated with respect and dignity and officials must be held accountable for their role in the delays. We cannot allow cases to drag on for years, with little or no progress being made, while the victims continue to suffer.













(Member's Statement)

Ms J L FUBBS (ANC): Chairperson, the ANC and its alliance partners recently held a two-day alliance economic summit to concretise and consolidate the economic policy perspectives. This ANC economic summit occurred during a time of global financial turbulence, and was underpinned by our commitment to halve the unemployment rate and to overcome poverty.

Many South Africans have a common vision to create a nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous country. At the centre of these developmental priorities is the creation of decent work for all and the re-emphasis on the industrial and trade policy that includes a shared economic accelerated growth and a radical transformation of the justice system to ensure that democracy remains vibrant. The ANC economic policy recognises that a continuing element of democratic transformation is the systematic program to overcome historical injustice. [Time expired.]









(Member's Statement)

Rev K R J MESHOE (ACDP): Chairperson, the ACDP is very concerned about the continuing inflammatory statements and insults that are directed at people who have a different opinion about politics and the future of this country. We must appeal to the majority party to instruct their members to refrain from using derogatory terms to insult those they dislike, for whatever reason. Calling people "donkeys" and "dogs" is totally unacceptable and it is not helpful in a country that is supposed to be a success story that proves that national reconciliation is possible, even in a country with a cruel and oppressive history such as ours.

The ACDP does not want to see a violent reaction resulting from the unabating attacks on the integrity and person of some members of the public, particularly those who are unhappy with what's happening in the ruling party. To sustain our young democracy, there need to be respect amongst leaders and followers even when they disagree and differ on issues.

The ACDP warns against stoking instability and violence which will come with a high price. If political violence does break out over the next few months, then the privilege of hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup will be lost, which would be a great loss not only for our country, but for the entire African continent. In spite of the many assurances that have been given by the president of Fifa, the Soccer World Cup will be hosted by a country that is seen to be peaceful and stable economically and politically.

The ACDP therefore calls on politicians to help promote healing, reconciliation, respect and tolerance and not war talk, insults and instability. If divorce has to take place within the ANC, let it be peaceful and not violent. [Time expired.]





(Member's Statement)


Mr P J GROENEWALD (FF PLUS): Geagte Voorsitter, die aanvaarding van die wysigingswetsontwerpe op die SA Polisiediens en die Nasionale Vervolgingsgesag deur die Portefeuljekomitees oor Justisie en Staatkundige Ontwikkeling, en oor Veiligheid en Sekuriteit gee beslag aan die politieke besluit van die ANC by Polokwane om die Skerpioene te ontbind.

Hierdie besluit is 'n miskenning van die kundigheid en suksesse van toegewyde ondersoekers en aanklaers in die stryd teen misdaad, en spesifiek in die stryd teen georganiseerde misdaad. Daar kon nie eens waarborge aan lede van die Skerpioene gegee word vir die voortsetting van hulle dienste by die te stigte direktoraat vir prioriteitsmisdaadondersoeke nie.

Hoogs gekwalifiseerde en kundige lede van die Skerpioene is nou onseker oor hulle toekoms. Lede kan kies of hulle lid wil word van die Polisie of enige ander staatsdepartement. Die gekoördineerde kollektiewe kundige optrede van die Skerpioene word hierdeur effektief vernietig.

Baie van hierdie lede is in aanvraag in die private sektor en sal nou verlore raak vir misdaadbekamping. Die uittog van kundiges gaan ook bestaande ondersoeke benadeel en selfs laat skipbreuk ly. Die Jackie Selebi-saak is 'n sprekende voorbeeld hiervan. Die aanvaarding van die wysigingswetsontwerpe is 'n oorwinning vir misdadigers. Die publiek van Suid-Afrika is die verloorders en die misdadigers is die wenners.










(Member's Statement)

Ms D M RAMODIBE (ANC): Chairperson, over the weekend the International Investment Council met at Mossel Bay. The meeting encouraged South Africans to communicate vigorously its economic achievements to the global investor community, especially its economic potential and attractiveness as an investment destination. The International Investment Council expressed its continued confidence in our country. It noted that South Africa's regulatory environment and policy choices have, to a large extent, shielded the economy from the turmoil that has swept across financial markets around the world.

Before 1994, economic growth had ground to a halt. Since then, our economy has grown on average by 2,8% per year. It has become more competitive with increasing volume, diversity and destinations of exports and it has created more and more jobs.

The ANC recognises that poverty is still a reality for millions as many do not have appropriate skills, while others cannot access credit to start or improve their small and medium sized businesses. The ANC remains committed to the eradication of poverty, economic development, comprehensive social security, land reform and improved household and community assets. Thank you. [Time expired.]









(Member's Statement)

Mr P H K DITSHETELO (UCDP): Chairperson, I think it is high time that we take stock of service delivery. For instance, parts of Lehurutshe have been without water for months.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Is your microphone not working?

Mr P H K DITSHETELO (UCDP): It is working.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Could you please raise your voice a bit?

Mr P H K DITSHETELO (UCDP): I think it is high time that we take stock of service delivery. For instance, parts of Lehurutshe have been without water for months. All relevant institutions have been approached for help and assistance, without success. This has led to utter frustration and impatience which resulted into upheavals such as roadblocks by burning tyres and damaging vehicles. Officials from concerned municipalities intervened to no avail, casting paralysis between officials and the community. This state of affairs is barbaric and cannot be tolerated in a democratic South Africa.

Still on the same subject, a stone throw away from Lehurutshe in Mafikeng, the capital of North West; the community is supplied with unhygienic stench and unpalatable dirty water, which cannot even be drunk by animals. To confirm this, a state of affairs and announcement is made through the local radio station to the effect that this water must not be used for consumption without boiling it first. What kind of service delivery is this?


Tlogelang go gora lefetlho. [Nako e fedile.]










(Member's Statement)

Mr S SIMMONS (NA): Chairperson, I wish to ask the hon Komphela and Frolick to count the number of nonwhite players on Saturday during the Currie Cup Final. All these players will not only play to win the Currie Cup, but also to become Springboks. The overwhelming number of players, if not all nonwhite rugby players, wants to become Springboks rendering the hon Komphela and Frolick's comments ill-founded. I have on a previous occasion asked these two hon members to resign. I call today again on the ANC to get these hon members to resign. Surely the ANC must have members who are interested in protecting and promoting solidarity among all communities. The hon Komphela and Frolick are countering this opportunity for unity among rugby communities. These two hon members are exactly what we don't need in our country.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, on a point of order: Mr Simmons persistently uses the term "nonwhite" in his statement. I think that we've outgrown that language as a nation. Could he please withdraw or reform it?

Mr S SIMMONS (NA): Chairperson that is the term that these hon two members normally use, white and nonwhite. These two hon members are exactly what we don't need in our country.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon member, because that was a point of order contesting that statement, I'm not saying it's unparliamentary, I'm simply saying that we will rule on it once we've dealt with this, but you can continue.

Mr S SIMMONS (NA): These two hon members are exactly what we don't need in our country for the sake of solidarity, reconciliation and nation-building. Thank you.




(Member's Statement)

Mr M WATERS (DA): Chairperson, yesterday, two Democratic Alliance activists, namely, Collen Mdhluli and Thokozani Nhleko were attacked by a gang of men known to be ANC members and supporters in the Mogobo informal settlement in Ekurhuleni. They were hurt with axes and hit with shovels outside Mdhluli's home. Their attackers burned the shack to the ground, leaving Mdhluli, his wife and children homeless.

This violent attack is a brutal reminder of the ruling party's intolerance of opposition and is one of the many acts of intimidation recently perpetrated against DA activists working in ANC strongholds around the country. These attacks indicate that the ANC feels threatened by the DA's growing presence in areas traditionally supportive of the ruling party.

As the ANC comes under increasingly electoral pressure, such violence intimidation - if left unchecked - will escalate. We need to take urgent steps now before next year's election when political competition will intensify.

The DA leader Helen Zille has, therefore, called the President in order to request an urgent meeting with him and the Minister of Safety and Security to discuss the recent increasing political violence and intimidation. The DA will also propose that the multi-party task team be established to make recommendations with inputs from the South African Police Services and the Independent Electoral Commission to prevent political violence and intimidation inside and outside of the election periods.

The DA will not stand by while our activists are threatened and attacked. If the government and the ANC believe in democracy and the principle of freedom of association, they won't either. It is time for the few voices of conscience that remain in the ANC to speak out against the culture of violence that, now, permeates the ruling party from top to bottom. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]




(Member's Statement)

Mr P J GERBER (ANC): Chairperson, the ANC has noted a plan by the Democratic Alliance to court the electorate of their votes by inviting people to submit applications in the false hope that they will become the party's public representatives after 2009 elections. The DA have place advertisements in various newspapers, in which, members of the public are invited to submit applications to become Members of Parliament or provincial legislatures.

This can exploit the country's unemployment situation. The advert is deceptive. Firstly, the chance that the so-called successful applicants who only becomes a party candidate a couple of months before the elections, can be referred for the position as a Member of Parliament ahead of a long-standing party memo is remote, if not nonexistent.

Secondly, given the party's representation in the national and provincial legislatures and its failure in success of elections to improve its representation; it is inconsiderable that successful applicants will even make it to the first draft of the party elections list. This is both an act of desperation and unethical conduct that the party could find within its present pool of membership best possible and dynamic public representatives who can at least read or write; is a serious indignant on its credibility. The ANC cautions people against this job adverts scam. I thank you.




(Member's Statement)

Mr H J BEKKER (IFP): Hon Chairperson, the IFP notes with great sadness the devastating effects as a result of the collapse of the Roodepoort office building under construction. We hereby express our condolences to the families of the three men who died, as well as for the speedily recovery of those who were left injured.

South African employees are not only obliged to guarantee the safety of working environments, but are expected to observe all workers' rights and freedoms entrenched in our Constitution. The Department of Labour must ensure that there is a speedy investigation so that the construction bosses are brought to book, if there is indeed a prima facie case of negligence.

We further believe that such negligence leading to the death and injury of innocent workers should serve as a wake-up call for many employers who take worker rights for granted. The scene of this horrendous accident is relatively close to my residence and I had an opportunity to notice the devastation. I also would like to thank the hon Minister Mdladlana for visiting the accident scene and personally expressing his condolences to the victims and deep concern about the sad and unnecessary occurrence. Thank you.










(Member's Statement)

Adv T M MASUTHA (ANC): Chairperson, on 6 October 2008, our country lost one of its servants for social justice, peace and democracy, Comrade Ester Bussel, with whom I happen to share a branch, which is the Wynberg branch, in the Northeast of Johannesburg.

Comrade Bussel was a stalwart of the ANC and SACP who was unwavering in her commitment and dedication to the struggle for a democratic and just South Africa. She was a member of the SACP since the 1940s and was a tireless political activist who remained engaged in struggle until the end of her life.

The ANC salutes Comrade Ester Bussel and will forever treasure the contributions she made in the struggle for liberation, the building and the deepening of our democracy. We extend our condolences to her family, friends, comrades and the SACP. I thank you. [Applause.]









(Member's Statement)

Ms A M DREYER (DA): Chairperson, the main aim of the Compensation Fund is to provide compensation to injured or disabled workers or to their dependants in the case of death. The fund has an annual income of R4 billion and has reserves of R18 billion in its bank account. It is indeed flushed with money.

However, the fund is not paying out approved claims. Doctors, chemists, physiotherapists and other medical service providers often wait for years to receive payments for their services, but worse, people have died because of complications arising out of delayed medical treatment. The reason for this shameful state of affairs is the administrative bungling, poor management, poor Information Technology systems and no political will.

Further, the fund does not comply with the Public Finance Management Act or the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act. Further misbehaviours include materially incorrect assessments, lack of appropriate record-keeping and filing systems. This has compelled the Auditor–General to give the fund once again a disclaimer of opinion.

In the past, when confronted with problems of the Compensation Fund, the Minister for Labour has asked for details of actual cases. I shall now, in the absence of the Minister of Labour, hand over to one of his colleagues in the Cabinet account details here to the value of R76 million. Some of them dating back to 1993 of 69 887 approved but unpaid claims. [Applause.]






(Member's Statement)

Mr B M SOLO (ANC): Chairperson, on 9 and 10 October 2008, stakeholders in sport gathered in Durban to review the progress made in transforming sport in the country since the unity process of the 1990s.[Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Hon member, what are you doing? [Laughter.] Hon member, seeing that the Minister to receive your documents is not here, try to do it outside the Chamber as the Minister is not here at the moment.

Ms S P RWEXANA: Chairperson, on a point of order, is it parliamentary for a member to sit on the seat chair of the Deputy President when she is absent? [Laughter.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Continue, hon member.

Mr B M SOLO (ANC): Thank you, Chairperson. The administrators from federations, politicians, sport activists, sport scientists and coaches deliberated for two days on matters affecting sport in our country. The gathering was significant in that it succeeded in bringing together stakeholders for the first time in 10 years, to map out a common vision and action plan for sport.

The indaba discussed a range of important matters and adopted key resolutions on the following issues: The reconstruction of the SA Sport Confederation Olympic Committee, SASCOC, with amendments to its constitution to make it more representative of the sports people in our country, a new approach to school sport where teachers become the key drivers of the programme, enforcement of the King Protea as the only emblem for national teams, endorsement of scientific approaches to prepare athletics for international participation including the Olympic games and promoting the participation of women in sport.

The ANC supports the resolution taken at the indaba as a big step forward towards nation-building, fostering social cohesion and the forging of a national identity built on the foundation of human dignity, equality and excellence. I thank you.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Before I go to Ministerial Responses that conclude Member's Statements, I need to rule that the description of a group of Springbok players by the hon Simmons as "nonwhite" is not unparliamentarily. Are there any Ministerial responses? [Applause.]





(Minister's Response)

The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, in a democratic South Africa with a responsive government and a clear policy of service delivery and redress, it is unfortunate to have people taking to the streets in demand of service delivery, indicating that they have exhausted all platforms when in actual fact they have not. It is also opportunistic for a public representative to believe that all avenues have been exhausted before he actually takes a step to meet one of the readily available Ministers.

On the issue reported about at Lehurutshe, I undertake, as I would have undertaken had the member approached our offices, to investigate that issue together with the Minister of Water Affairs. We will be able to engage with the member concerned about this issue. Thank you very much.









(Minister's Response)

The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: The relocation of the Directorate for Special Operations into the South African Police Service will strengthen our resolve to fight against the scourge of crime. A new unit will deal with priority crime in a fair, impartial and apolitical manner. The so‑called exodus of DSO personnel to the private sector is a scarecrow, hon member, which is just being used or perhaps the member knows what we do not know. But what we know is that as part our obligation which we'll have to meet in the Constitution of South Africa, this is one step towards the creation of a single police system in the country. I thank you, Chairperson.








(Minister's Response)

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The hon Waters has made allegations about certain ANC members that have committed violence against some of their members. If that is so, of course, we absolutely condemn from the ANC's side any such actions by an ANC member. However, we would also expect that, as a citizen of South Africa, if crimes are being committed you would go and report them immediately to the police. So we do hope that they have been reported. If they have been reported we would appreciate to see the case number. If they have not been reported then clearly this could be a publicity stunt. So please – you know, Ms Kohler-Barnard, you are only … you are only more foolish than your arrogance. You take stupidity to higher levels.

Now, Mr Waters, as I was saying, as far as the ANC is concerned, if there are ANC members that have committed crimes please give us the number and we will follow it up. We will make sure that the law takes its course. [Applause.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon Minister, with due respect, I should have recognised the Minister of Home Affairs earlier but I couldn't see her hand.





(Minister's Responses)

The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, if I am going to comment on two statements, are you going to give more time? How much time do you give me?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): So far, we have three responses from three Ministers. You are the fourth one. We still have two more left.

The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I think it is quite early to celebrate the demise of the ANC. I do want to say that the ANC would weather the storm. It would because it is the oldest liberation movement in the African continent. It has a wealth of experience and cadres who are capable of resolving their internal problems. It belongs to the people of South Africa, and I think it would be odd for the ANC, as it is undergoing transformation from a liberation movement to a political party, not to have the kind of challenges that is has. It has challenges now and I believe it is temporary inconvenience. It is the ANC of Dube, of Luthuli, of Tambo and of Mandela, and yes, it is challenges but this ANC would rise. It is early for you to celebrate. [Applause.]

The ANC would emerge victorious – it would emerge victorious. I also believe that, yes, you do see something being formed but you still don't know what it is.

My second comment is that in the name of Esther Bussel, a comrade who must be honoured; a white lady who stood for the truth in South Africa, long before it was fashionable to talk about the needs of the majority of the oppressed South Africans. Just hold on please because we are paying respect to a decent human being who talked about democracy before it was fashionable to do so; who spoke on behalf of the majority of oppressed South Africans when it was still dangerous and risky to do so; who spoke of behalf of the people on the ground before we could teach some of you what it meant to talk on behalf of people on the ground.

Right now, it is fashionable to do that, but we are talking here about a person who risked detention, death, losing her family, her children and her all on behalf of South African people, the majority who were disadvantaged, who are black people, and this is whom we are talking about. May her soul rest in peace! [Applause.] [Interjections.]

Mr M J ELLIS: On a point of order: Mr Chairman, I have nothing, just having a problem with the sentiments expressed by the hon Minister. What statement was she talking of? I don't understand what she was talking about. Why was she raising that under the reply to statements? In other words, which statement was she referring to?

The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Chairperson, there was a statement on the death of Esther Bussel and I am paying tribute on behalf of the government to Esther Bussel, the stalwart of the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party.

Mr T M MASUTHA: Chairperson, I made the statement!

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): The hon Minister was responding to the statement by hon Masutha.





(Minister's Response)

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, may I just comment on the statement made by the Leader of the DA, hon Botha. Generally, I have expected from the first time I entered here today that there would be such a statement, specifically from the DA. I think I was not surprised when she said so.

It is quite obvious that some of my former comrades who have decided to take the Mutambara option, have pleased hon Botha, and I think they should listen to that very carefully. They have that right to move and go wherever they want to go. The right to free association within our Constitution is entrenched and this issue basically is an issue that the ANC is looking into and I think the comrades should be allowed to move in whatever way that they want to without any hindrances. It is a pity that the Reverend is gone, just to tell him, there would be no hindrances - but we will talk to them. It is not something to be pleased about. Of course, the DA must be very pleased, but we are not. Thank you.

Business concluded.

The House adjourned at 15:43.


No related


No related documents