Hansard: Minister's Oral Replies to Questions of Members of Parliament
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 27 Oct 2009
No summary available.
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 Take: 498
WEDNESDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2009
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15:03.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
START OF DAY
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Speaker, let me just correct the hon Davidson: The Presidency purchased the vehicle. It's not my personal vehicle. It's a vehicle I use for official purposes. I made the selection of colour from a range of options, and that is the vehicle that we are talking about; that is the vehicle that I responded to on a question a fortnight ago.
That the vehicle is expensive in the context of what I said earlier, I can see that it is an error of judgment. Now, let me look at this issue further. I have evaluated – but let me also remind this House of what the hon Deputy President said last week. He said, in response to a question by the hon the Leader of the Opposition:
These purchases were, in fact, planned and budgeted for. The purchases were not unethical in that they were not illegal or underhand. For these reasons, we do not intend to request the return of the vehicles. In any event, as the hon Leader of the Opposition is aware, a used car has far less resale value than a new car.
I have run the numbers, and the vehicle is now five months old. It has 6 700 kilometres on the clock. Vehicles depreciate very, very, very quickly and, in the current circumstance, probably would not find a buyer and so would be written down a lot more quickly. I have run the numbers and perhaps the hon George can assist – he's an actuary, I'm told – and you will see that continuing to argue that these vehicles be returned does actually not make economic sense. Here is a decision. It was taken within the rules. I am saying that in my case it wasn't entirely well-advised, but the decision was taken, and it is one of those decisions that you live with.
The hon Buthelezi last week was exceedingly helpful to all of us in this House, when he said the point had been made, and he appeals to other opposition parties not to continue milking the cow that will not yield a drop more. The udder is empty. [Applause.] So, I think it is fundamentally important in the instance of this institution that we deal with the matter like that.
Finally, I'd like to say to the hon Davidson that if he and his party work exceedingly hard, they will move from that side of the House to this side of the House, and he might actually become the inheritor of this car. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you very much to the hon Minister for his very candid response. I can assure you that we do appreciate it. Let me say that, in respect of the hon Minister, Prince Buthelezi, I know that we have milked this cow, and we milk this cow specifically to make the point that government has got to walk the talk.
We have, on a number of occasions, be it the President or be it the hon Minister of Finance yesterday, stressed how we have got to look after every single rand and every single cent because you have to make it stretch. When we have a scenario where, quite frankly, R43 million is spent just on cars, we are not walking the talk.
Now, I understand exactly the position that the Minister was put in, but you know, sir, the Premier of the Western Cape was put into a similar position. She could have gone out, and her Ministers could have gone out, according to the rules that pertain to it and bought luxury vehicles, but she laid down right at the outset exactly what had to be done, and they are all using pool cars, old cars, with high mileage. That is the example that we expect every single Minister in this House to follow. [Time expired.] [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Speaker, again I'd like to draw the attention of the hon Davidson to the point that was raised a fortnight ago in response to the hon Krumbock's question, and that is that I walked into a place where there wasn't an establishment.
You needed to buy a vehicle; within the rules, the vehicle was purchased, and I think that you will find that across the board the same trend obtained, save and except where there are individuals whose vehicles were way beyond the mileage set out in the rulebook. At that stage, if the kind of motor plan is gone, costs rise very, very quickly. Somebody has got to look at the economics of this as well.
So, we'd all like to be more Catholic than the Pope, and we commend the hon Zille on having attained that status, but let's be real about this issue as well. Thank you.
Mr S N SWART: Hon Minister, thank you for your frankness. Arising from your response, the new Minister of Finance stated that the ministerial handbook is to be reviewed as part of government's attempts to effect savings and, according to the preliminary report on this task team, the handbook was devised several years ago and certain aspects of it may no longer be suitable or relevant.
Are you, hon Minister, aware whether the review will be considering the issue of the cost of Ministers' motor vehicles, and would you support a review of that aspect; and, lastly, shouldn't Parliament be involved in the whole review process? Thank you very much, Minister.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: In respect of the last point raised by the hon Swart, when I looked at the report of the Moseneke Commission last year, the question of tools of trade of Members of Parliament was raised, and he said the tools of trade are best dealt with at the institution. I think that when we deal with the issues in the handbook, understand that in the main they are tools of trade.
If you revise the handbook, what you may well have is a situation that there are more people outside of the new rules that are set. I am saying forgive me father for I have sinned, whoever you may be, father. For now, I have sinned. I've made an error of judgment. Let's live with it.
You see, there is a whole number of issues in the background to this thing. When I first became a Minister, every time I needed to go somewhere, my protectors had to spend two days at the government garage, pleading for a car.
We would get what the drivers didn't want. We improved on the system, and then there was the 70% rule that seemed to provide for a BMW 5 Series that was adjusted when all of our salaries were adjusted last year by the Moseneke Commission, and this is an unintended consequence. It's important to understand that these issues have a background and a history, and I want to plead as the hon Buthelezi did last week. Thank you. [Time expired.]
Mr S G THOBEJANE: Speaker, I wanted to check with the Minister, as you are addressing the issue of economic challenges, are you also taking into consideration the protection and the safety of our Ministers? Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: The handbook makes provision for all of these things. There are some issues about which I think we can actually really, really plum the depths, and one of those is the kind of accommodation that we have, the kind where we sit on the bus when we travel between Johannesburg and Cape Town or Cape Town and Durban and the hotels we stay in. We can plum the depths of this thing. What we need, as parliamentarians, as colleagues, fundamentally is a rational approach. That's all I plead for, within the rules. Thank you.
Mr P D DEXTER: Speaker, I think that we should really say it. It is refreshing to have a Minister respond with such candour and to just be frank, and I commend the Minister for that.
It is unfortunate that he has been singled out, because we know that this is a sin that is committed by many, rather than an individual. I think what his candour demonstrates first of all, and I hope he would agree, is that it is time to relook the handbook and all the perks in government generally. It is not about his car; it's about a general issue, about an ethos and the symbolic nature of these kinds of things, because they do send messages to our constituencies.
Secondly, in times like these that we face, that symbolism has an added significance. Thirdly, I would like to say on a lighter note, and perhaps the Minister could advise me, is it true that because of this situation, the theme song of the ANC has been changed from Umshini Wami to Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz? [Laughter.] [Applause.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Am I allowed to sing the song, Speaker? You know, this is, of course, a matter that is considered all over the place. I see certain retired Archbishops who praise heads of state in one place, who travel with four large aeroplanes all over the world for being disciplined and so on, and then smack everybody else in South Africa.
So, we have double standards as far as this is concerned. I think what is important is that, at all times, we try and live within the rules. It obviously is better if somebody else tries to define the rules for us. We try and live within those rules, and we exercise judgment. That is ultimately what this is about. Executive responsibility is about the exercise of judgment, and that is what we need to be evaluated against. Thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of a delegation from Nigeria. These are members of the South Africa-Nigeria Bi-National Commission's joint parliamentary activities. They will be here for two days, meeting with members of the South African Parliament. Hon members, I welcome you to our Parliament. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Mr Speaker, on the issues of climate change and the looming water crisis that has been anticipated, the department is more supportive of the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs on this aspect.
Our task is to ensure that we support the department and it's the one that is leading on these issues and therefore, we are accepting that whatever they come up with through co-operative discussions will be taken up by ourselves. What we have done though, is to conduct a study around the water and sanitation backlogs in South Africa. We have the report in that respect that outlines what has to be done for us to be able to ensure that universal access is reached in South Africa.
The last point is on the issue of urbanisation. We have developed an Urban Development Framework, a framework that is aimed at looking at the migration of people. We found out that a lot of people are staying in squalor conditions in informal settlements because they are running away from the grinding poverty in rural areas. Others are being evicted from the farms, therefore they go to these urban areas and stay in these conditions.
Now we have a situation in South Africa where areas that are wealthy are living side by side with squalid conditions and poor areas. Thank you very much.
Mr S L TSENOLI: Speaker, Minister thank you for your response. There is no doubt that this is one area that requires collaboration and co-operation across the three spheres including the communities on the ground.
South Africa is a water-scarce country and the fact that we might be facing a water crisis suggests that as individuals, families, organisations and especially government, we need to take proactive steps to increase the intensity of this collaboration. However, its results also ought to be evident in the manner in which municipalities themselves, especially because they are on the frontline, provide guidance and assistance in water harvesting. This also applies to the kind of maintenance that is required for infrastructure that we provide, to make this service absolutely available now and in the future.
Concerning drought and similar disasters that affect our area of responsibility this collaboration needs to be intensified for purposes of sustainability which we are committed to. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Mr Speaker ...
Baba Somlomo, esifuna ukukusho nje nathi esivumelana naye uSihlalo, ubaba uTsenoli ukuthi udaba lokusebenzisana nokuthi sibenesixaxambiji uma senza umsebenzi kuyinto esemqoka kithi nesiyithandayo esihamba nayo futhi ngoba noMnyango wakhelwe lokho ukusebenzisana kwalezigaba lezi zikahulumeni. Ngaleyondlela leyo ...
... morena, re a thaba ge re ekwa taba ye. Re re re tla e lokiša. Re tla kgona go šomišana gore re kgone go tšwela pele ka go lokiša ditaba tše tša meetse ka ge re dumela gore meetse a bohlokwa setšhabeng sa Afrika-Borwa. Ke a leboga. [Magoswi.]
Mr W P DOMAN: Speaker, hon Minister it's a known fact that 98% of the surface water in South Africa has already been allocated and the climate change will mean that we would have less surface water in the future. So this is a very important aspect, given the fact that a lot of municipalities are very badly run and you know that the majority have been run by ANC.
I would just like to ask the Minister, will you agree that there is an urgent need to consider the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, MIG, funds and directing them towards fixing the ailing water infrastructure and also will you be able to strongly condemn and curb water theft in this country?
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Mr Speaker, I am requesting the hon members, on the side of the House to rise above petty party politics.
Issues of governance do not require the approach that hon Doman takes. He is a very sensible man. Today I am shocked to the marrow that he speaks like this. Maybe, he has been briefed by somebody to speak like this because he's always been rational in the way he approaches matters.
When you talk about the issues of municipalities that are badly run, municipalities are not different from the ones in the Western Cape. The ones in the Western Cape are the worst because people go to bed with different partners at different times, because of the coalition system that is prevailing in this area.
You find that leadership is being changed from time to time when people come in. Now I am saying let us not throw stones when we live in glass houses. I am requesting that we should focus on the issues at hand and engage with them. [Interjections.] I like it when the temperatures rise under these conditions. I enjoy it in fact, the issue that is important hon Doman; it's on the Municipal Infrastructure Grant. We do agree. We must be able to find creative measures and ways of ensuring service delivery. Thank you very much. [Time expired.]
Mr P F SMITH: Minister, we know that government has committed a huge amount to resources for solving this problem in the order of R50 or R60 billion and also that for the first time, there has been a lot of concentration and stress upon preventive maintenance.
However, the situation is that there is a very urgent time constraints to deal with this matter because there are very long lead times to resolve the water crisis in the longer term.
Secondly, there has been nearly enough reduction and consumption, and that's pretty huge pressure on some of the systems like the Vaal system in particular. Thirdly, we have enormous capacity constraints with the local level to deal with the problem. Now the Minster made the comment that yes, we have a report, let's identify the backlogs.
The question I would like to ask the Minister is not about whether he has a report but it is about whether he has a plan or whether the government has a plan with timelines, and specific targets to address the crisis because in fact it is a crisis? Fourthly, whether the government has a plan to deal with emergency interventions in respect of those places in the country where the poor water quality is a threat to the environment and to life? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Speaker, on the issues that have been raised around the backlogs, its more of what has been raised by hon Smith, on waste-water-treatment plants, where we are saying that the cost requires an amount of about R56 billion. When he talks about what is a plan, do we have a plan? I must tell you that this information was assembled and presented last week on 21 and 22 October in relation to the extent of the backlogs.
We are involved in the process of developing a turnaround strategy. If you ask me the same question in December, I will be able to give you an answer because we are developing a strategy that will be ready at that time.
On the issue of consumption being reduced, people who are mostly consuming the water are the farmers and the people at the mines and that is where the consumption of water is most prevalent. We are engaged on issues of ensuring that savings happen on those areas and also interventions on areas where there is emergency. That matter is taken up, hon Smith. Thank you very much.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Speaker, there are many concerned citizens who say that the challenges in our water sector are beginning to bear a resemblance to those that sounded the initial alarm bells of the current energy crisis.
Water availability and quality have been compromised. Water pollution and the poor management of water resource infrastructure have culminated in severe water shortages, in some places with measurable health impacts and environmental damages. What we want to know, hon Minister, is what specific actions are local governments in the Gauteng province doing in particular, to ensure that they do not experience water shortages in the year 2013, as has been predicted by many. Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Mr Speaker, on the issues of challenges there is no doubt that South Africa is a semi-arid country. Water is not available in abundance and compounded also on that issue, is the fact that we are loosing almost 40% of the water under ground that is not reaching the people and the municipalities because of leakages. Those are the areas that are applicable across the country in different municipalities.
Therefore, we are involved in measures of ensuring that: one, we save on the leaks so that the leakage is able to be stopped; and two, we are involved in campaigns of ensuring that we save the water because if we do not do so, as we get water from Lesotho, the agreements are going to kick in earlier than the year 2017 if we don't act on this.
Therefore as government we are involved in measures of ensuring that water is taken as a scarce resource and that it is managed as such. But we are requesting Members of Parliament to work with us in this campaign of conserving water. Thank you very much.
The SPEAKER: Question 202 has been asked by the hon D M Ramodibe to the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. Unfortunately, the Minister is not available. The question will stand over to the next question opportunity.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Hon Speaker, I am not quite sure of how to deal question because Rule 68(2) is the anticipation rule. The hon Leader of the Opposition is the member of the ad hoc committee dealing with the Green Paper. I would like to believe that the process being undertaken by that ad hoc committee has full veracity.
I don't think it is correct for a member of that committee to ask me to anticipate its outcomes. The committee now has full power. The Green Paper is a consultative document. The committee should feel free to get evidence from anybody. I have indicated to the committee on more than one occasion that I am available to do that. That may be a more appropriate forum. I am not trying to duck the question, but I am trying to find a way that recognises the process underway. I think that Rule 68(2) does provide us with a way of trying to deal with this matter. I thank you.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon Minister I accept that it might be pre-emptive to have asked what I have asked, but I could pose this question to you. Determining that the national vision is a long-term strategic plan, at least 15 years, at least two congresses of a governing party could take place within that time. If after a congress of a governing party that is leading the government at the time changes their strategic direction, how will that affect a long-term vision determined by the National Planning Commission?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: I think between such congresses there are also national elections. I think that we have always set score by the fact that our elections must be free and fair, allowing the electorate to articulate their view about the trend and direction of government. That serves as a check and balance in the system of democracy.
The approach that we eventually take to the Planning Commission is that we are mindful of all of these. What we don't want is a commission that finds itself impaled on a fundamental difference between itself and the executive because the Constitution vests executive authority with the President and the Cabinet. You cannot deal with the contradiction or have a lapdog commission. You can't have a commission that sets itself out as a place where bargaining takes place.
I am hoping that in exploring these kinds of issues and making recommendations, as I have already indicated to the ad hoc committee, that we would be persuaded by the issues that they raise in their report. We are undertaking to go back to them to indicate the issues that we will be taking forward, rising from the detailed work that they are doing.
We must find the kind of balance that would give the commission the necessary authority and implement over the issues that they raise. It is a difficult path. It may have been easier in 1994 to establish a National Planning Commission like this, but I think we have taken the decision that we want to have greater clarity and participation about the future. The perspective that we take should extend beyond the life period of an elected government. I think we must take account of these issues as we proceed. I thank you.
Mrs C DUDLEY: My apologies. It was for the question that is standing over. I thank you.
Mr D A KGANARE: Speaker, Minister, I think the challenge about national planning is that the manner in which the plan is adopted. You have to ensure that it becomes a country plan more than a party political plan. The problem with this particular plan and the discussion in general, is that an attempt is being projected that it is going to be only Cosatu and SACP plans. For it to have a 15-year programme, we have to ensure that we canvass the views of the people in general and that the plan must be embraced by the majority of South Africans so that it does not become a party political plan. Do you agree with me on that? [Interjections.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Speaker, I do agree with hon Kganare. It is not a party or a government plan, but it is a national plan. It involves all South Africans, regardless of political persuasion. It is about intermediating between the future and now. It is about reconstructing what we do. Therefore, the ideas must be widely canvassed. That is quite fundamental.
I want to use this opportunity to indicate that I don't frequently notice the party that the hon Kganare represents here in Parliament at that committee. I don't think that they go there at all, but I speak under correction. It would be good if that party didn't complain about issues, but excluded themselves, because I actually know the members who aught to be participants and alternate in that committee and they don't attend. I thank you. [Applause.] [Laughter.]
Mr N SINGH: Speaker, I accept what the Minister has said, vis-à-vis the rule of anticipation. However, the ad hoc committee has been engaged in the process of public hearings. What is refreshing is the kind of consensus that is emerging within the committee. [Interjections.]
Mr M GUNGUBELE: Hon Speaker, can I raise a point of order?
The SPEAKER: What is the point of order, hon member? Hon Singh, can you please take your sit?
Mr M GUNGUBELE: Speaker, I find it irregular or you will correct me, that the ad hoc committee is sitting and addressing this issue; and that this issue is being sneaked into this Parliament and being discussed at this stage, whilst the ad hoc committee is dealing with that. Can the hon Speaker give direction with regard to this?
The SPEAKER: Hon member, that is not a point of order. Continue hon Singh. [Interjections.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Speaker, I was going to say that the ad hoc committee has seized with a number of issues which I think will be identified in the report. The report was supposed to have been finalised today, but unfortunately, it didn't happen. I think in due course the report will be finalised and will deal with the details of what the Planning Commission should entail, the institutional arrangements, and so forth. That is exactly what I wanted to say. Hon Chairperson, I don't think I have gone into any details of what the ad hoc committee has said, but I just wanted to respond to the Minister that, yes, the rule of anticipation should apply in this regard. I thank you.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: The rule of anticipation, Rule 68(2) is the one drawn attention to. The hon Singh is perfectly correct about that. I do think that we should get back into the ad hoc committee and try and resolve these issues. If there are contradictions, we can try and intermediate those issues before we try and bring them back to the floor of the House for discussion and debate. I thank you.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I would like to recognise in the gallery, the former deputy chairperson of the NCOP, Mrs Peggy Hollander, who is sitting in the Speaker's Bay. We are extending a warm welcome to you. [Applause.]
Mr M E MBILI: Thank you, hon Speaker. Minister, for the purposes of those of us who were not part of the process, the simple question would be, when do you foresee its conclusion, since we are hearing the scepticism out there? If the process is not finalised promptly, it does send mixed messages, more especially when it comes to the investor community out there. We would appreciate it if you could just give the House a timeline as to when this process will be coming to fruition. I thank you.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chairperson, let me just start by saying that the way in which we undertake the issues around the Planning Commission should make a lot more sense to all of us as South Africans, ordinary people who feel differently about their future. That should be the benchmark and investors would be persuaded by what we do.
I want to have a rather different benchmark in dealing with this matter, going forward. In respect of completion, on the one hand, the matter is now in the hands of the ad hoc committee, which is chaired by the hon Mufamadi, who is doing this amongst a series of other tasks. One would hope that, before we rise in a few weeks, Parliament would have spoken about the issues. As the executive we can then take this matter and consider it.
I have said in public that I would like to see the establishment of the institution, sooner, rather than latter. The sooner we can have it, the better because part of what we in the executive have to learn, is a different way of approaching thess matters. The sooner the institutions are there, the better it would be for all of us. I don't want to preempt a process that I think is inclusive and very detailed. That is the process led by the ad hoc committee. I thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Thank you, Minister. Regarding the rule of anticipation, I think it is in order for the members to discuss the process around the ad hoc committee, as long as they do not get into the substance of the matters being discussed there. That will be covered when the committee reports to the House. In future members should stick to that.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, if government departments continue at the current pace, it is unlikely that we will reach the 2% employment equity target for people with disabilities in the public service as set out to be achieved by 31 March 2010. At the moment, and as of June, the actual average performance stands at 0,22%.
Regarding the part that refers to the performance by the Department of Public Service and Administration, at the moment, the performance is at 1,47%, which indicates that the department falls short of 0,53% to reach the set target of 2%. As I have indicated, if this continues as an average performance, we are unlikely to reach our target. Thank you very much.
Ms J M MALULEKE: Chairperson, thank you.
Ndza khensa Holobye eka vutihlamuleri bya n'wina.
Recently, the Portfolio Committee on Tourism went to the Ficksburg Border Post on oversight visit. The new building under construction at this border post looks like it will not be able to allow access for people with disabilities.
What strategies are in place to ensure that when new buildings are constructed, they will be able to cater for access to recruits with disabilities, as well as people with disabilities looking for services in these buildings?
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, it is government's position, as well as a policy position that when new buildings are constructed, departments should make sure that these buildings will be accessible to people with disabilities.
This also applies to old buildings. It is necessary to modernise our buildings to meet the required standards, so that a building, as a structure, should not in itself become a deterrent to people with disabilities.
I think the Ficksburg Boarder Post will have to respond accordingly to this issue. Thank you.
Ms H C VAN SCHALKWYK: Chairperson, hon Minister, government acted very strongly on affirmative action, especially as far as race is concerned, and, to a lesser extent, as far as gender is concerned. It seems, however, that government is only paying lip service to disabled people, or they do not have the political will to reach the target of 2% in the Public Service. It is important that government must talk to disabled people and not only about them.
My question is the following: Does the Department of Public Service and Administration communicate with organisations representing disabled people as part of a recruiting process? Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, government moved with speed in implementing policies across the board, whether it's a policy on affirmative action or on disability. What the department does – and we remind all departments, every year, through our engagement on improving conditions for policy implementation - is to make sure that when it comes to dealing with issues related to people with disabilities, we take the stakeholders that are dealing with that on board.
The association, Disabled People of South Africa, DPSA, has made itself available to say, "nothing about us without us". That is what we encourage departments to do. It may not be correct to say that the slow pace is actually because we pay a lip service to the issue. It is an issue wherein we acknowledge that there is room for improvement.
The Public Service Commission, PSC, recently studied what causes these kinds of delays. Nothing close to lack of commitment was found, but there certainly are issues that we will improve on. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairperson, thank you, hon Minister, what is it the department sees as obstacles to achieving the required targets, and what measures are being implemented this time to overcome them. Are these measures producing some results? Please give us some of those relevant details. Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, what we can say, like I referred to the study that the PSC has conducted, is that one of the reasons the PSC reported was that departments indicated that they are not getting sufficient applications. That is one of the reasons stated.
All we are saying, like when we engage with stakeholders every year we have a conference mainstreaming the issue of dealing with cases of people with disabilities, is that we may also have to make a call to the public representatives present here to encourage and support departments because departments themselves are saying that they are not getting sufficient applications to work with towards achieving the goal. Thank you very much.
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Chairperson, arising from the Minister's response and a concern that, at the pace at which they are travelling, they may not reach the target, I wanted to find out from the Minister if there is a departmental target that has been set for each department to meet in employment, because I believe it is not only the responsibility of one department, but a shared responsibility.
It sounds to me almost like a lack of will issue. It sounds strange that we would say that there are not enough applications. Is there no way that you could target or headhunt as part of the strategy to deal with that particular question? I wish the Minister could explain what other strategies are there to meet the target, other than to say the pace we are travelling at is very slow. Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, the 2% target, which is a national target, is a target for each department. It is very clear. That is why I said that when it comes to the Department of Public Service and Administration, we are working towards this 2% target, and we are now at 1,47%.
We are not saying that we are limited to what is being said. That is why I indicated that the PSC had to investigate because it is an issue of concern. As a nation, we wanted to know what was going on. You get different reasons. What we are saying is true. It is true that it is a shared responsibility.
What the Department of Public Service and Administration is doing is to make sure that, this being policy, we encourage and insist that there has to be compliance. That is why we are making a call to all government departments and stakeholders that have an interest in dealing with issues of people with disabilities to assist departments in making sure that we get responsive applications to enable us to reach the target. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION
(On behalf of the MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY): Chairperson, the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, was formed in June 2009. Four months is not a long time to establish the programmes, especially since the character of the two organisations that have been brought together to form the NYDA, namely Umsobomvu and the National Youth Commission, was vastly different. Their mandates were different. Umsobomvu was funded from the demutualisaton levy and the National Youth Commission was essentially a representative body without much programme support.
So, the initiation of the new programmes has been under some pressure. There is a career guidance programme called Start Here and there is an in-school entrepreneurship education programme and a graduate placement programme.
In respect of economic development, the NYDA has now taken over Umsobomvu's responsibilities. It provides micro and small business loans of up to R300 000. In addition, it has the Business Development Support Programme, using vouchers to facilitate nonfinancial advisory support to entrepreneurs. The NYDA also has a programme to support young entrepreneurs to obtain procurement opportunities from large enterprises.
There are, of course, budget constraints, as we heard yesterday. It is a difficult time to establish new institutions and many new programmes. However, there is a fair amount that is ongoing. The hon member should check the website www.nyda.gov.za. All of the issues are dealt with at some length there. Thank you.
Ms S P LEBENYA-NTANZI: Hon Chair, the Minister must be aware that the now defunct National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund failed miserably in their goals of creating jobs for young people and developing skills among young South Africans because the two organisations lacked the capacity to deliver on their mandates. Another problem that led to their demise was the fact that they were not accessible to young South Africans, especially young people in rural areas.
My question is: What is the Minister doing to ensure that the new National Youth Development Agency will deliver on its mandate and that the NYDA is accessible to all young people? Also, can the Minister give an undertaking that young people from nonpolitical organisations and those not aligned to the ruling party will also be able to benefit from the National Youth Development Agency?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chair, the first issue is a very serious judgment call, to suggest that they failed miserably. Of course, the National Youth Commission would have failed miserably at job creation because they had no programme money; it wasn't part of their remit.
In respect of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund, the record speaks for itself, but whatever resources we have in the state can never get out there to meet the demand. In fact, every bit of analysis on youth unemployment reflects that one of the major problems is that young people don't even know where to find the information to get assistance.
The information asymmetry is a first hurdle, and the second one is to get from where they are to where the help is. It arises in respect of information and in respect of employment, entrepreneurial support, etc, which is why a very high percentage of young African men and women have never had employment in their lives.
It is a fundamental problem, and I think that institutionally, if you ask bodies such as the National Youth Development Agency to have offices in every nook and cranny in the country, you are setting them up for failure. This is because the overhead costs then supersede what they can spend on programmes.
Rather, we have to work together to ensure that, through the Thusong centres, information and assistance are available so that there can be online advice from a Thusong centre to a centralised point, and we can try and deal with an issue in that way.
I think that, as Members of Parliament, we should understand what the limitations and constraints of these institutions are and set out to help them rather than throw stones at them. Youth unemployment is the biggest challenge; it's the longest shadow that history casts over democracy in this country. We must get our minds to this issue and try and do it together. Thank you very much.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Chairperson, notwithstanding what the Minister has just said, both the National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund were heavily criticised for underperforming, nondelivery and failing to live up to expectations, hence the formation of the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA.
While the ACDP accepts the fact that initiatives launched by the National Youth Development Agency may be minimal because of its infancy, we are nevertheless concerned that it may repeat the blunders of its predecessors if it is not monitored with diligence and there are no clearly defined expectations and outcomes.
As our young people have severely limited access to formal sector employment, too often compounded by lack of skills, how will the NYDA address lack of skills among youth? How will the Presidency ensure that this new formation does not have a top-heavy bureaucracy, where most of its funding is used and that the decisions they make are not just boardroom decisions, but decisions that are representative of the wishes and aspirations of the young people, who shall have been consulted? Thank you. [Time expired.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chair, I don't know whether it's absolutely correct for the hon Rev Meshoe to say "notwithstanding the facts". Perhaps the best means of accountability is for youth oversight.
Last Monday, the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, held a stakeholder forum that was very well-attended. The party that the hon Lebenya-Ntanzi represents actually didn't attend it. One of the things that were decided at that forum was that information centres become the most important issue.
If one looks at the statistics of young people in South Africa, one of the biggest problems is that, as we sit here now, there are 600 000 young people out there writing their matric and it's a very small percentage of them that will find employment next year. Accept that as a fact, and don't blame the National Youth Development Agency for it. Try and go back into the education system; look at all manner of issues that ought to prepare young people for absorption into life after school; ask why those things are not there and try and deal with that.
Understand that as an objective constraint in society. Understand that as the biggest challenge that we must all rise to, and don't throw stones at the NYDA. Help them through this because it is an unbelievably difficult and thankless task. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M JOHNSON: Chairperson, I thank the hon Minister for the profound answers to simple questions that have their own answers. One of the priorities that the ANC has had and continues to have is to develop rural areas.
The fundamental question for me is related to the fact that part of the road shows that have been held during the formation of the NYDA touched on this very issue of access, especially in the rural areas. Could the Minister outline to this august House what government has in mind in terms of ensuring access to services by the youth in rural areas, as well as its strategies in this regard? Thank you.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chairperson, I was half hoping that the hon Johnson would extend his explanation and basically say: Hon Minister, do you confirm what I'm saying? I would have said "yes", because he has been working in this area. In fact, he led the parliamentary process that gave rise to the NYDA.
The key issue is young people in rural areas and information. The second issue is young people in rural areas who need access to rural development issues so that we don't keep denuding rural areas of talent and of people who would rather come to starve in the cities. It is about getting those balances right and I think that that requires a series of nongovernmental forces at play to ensure that we strike the appropriate balances as we deal with these issues. This is fundamentally important.
I think that as a nation we actually pay too little attention to just how hard things are for young people who don't have connections and find themselves at wit's end and at the loose end. Thank you very much.
Ms A MDA: Chairperson, it's a well-known fact that one of the reasons the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission were ineffective in their efforts to plough back into the programmes for young people and to make sure that they developed young people, was the fact that their budgets were mostly used on indabas, workshops, izimbizo and many summits. However, they were ultimately unable to deliver.
What is it that the NYDA will do differently to make sure that deliverables are indeed attained by young people, more especially by the rural young people who have largely been unable to benefit from the National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chairperson, I almost said that the hon Mda did not benefit from those programmes.
You see, by law, the National Youth Commission was required to hold those indabas, do the listening and provide a listening pose for young people. That is what it set out to do and that is the remit it had. If you thought that that would create employment, you were creating expectations that could never be fulfilled.
I happened to be there at the establishment of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund. We secured money from the demutualisation levy and used that to finance it. Over the 10 years of its existence, it used that money very wisely because it always had to exercise a balance between the available resources and the demand for resources.
I really believe that the annual reports of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the commission should be held and we should look at these issues. You will find that the overts of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund were actually substantially smaller than its programme spending. It didn't spend on the highfalutin stuff that the hon Mda says it did.
I think it's very important that we set the record straight on these matters. The reasons for merging Umsobomvu and the National Youth Commission are now well established. We have a new agency. The only appeal I make is: Let's support it. Let's make it work. Let's take democracy into the lives of those young people who need it so that they can understand change in their own lives. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Questions 227 and 204 will stand over because the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities is not here.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chairperson, the discussions of the norms for monitoring and evaluation are indeed underway. As it happens, we were discussing these matters today in another room not far from here, but that is about national government. There is a different process in respect of municipalities. The first baseline of information is done in a process led by the hon Minister Shiceka and the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
We will wait for that report and some of these issues were discussed last week Tuesday, when the President met all of the mayors and all the municipal managers. Minister Shiceka and his department convened an indaba on local governments last week. There are a series of issues that are being worked through. Perhaps, the question on municipal government would be better answered by hon Minister Shiceka.
It is a large and complex issue. We need to get through a number of levels and understand all manner of issues about the competencies of municipalities, the issues that he was responding to earlier on - availability of clean water, competent sewerage treatment work in all municipalities, understanding why there are service delivery protests, getting through all of those things and also look at the competencies of managers.
As these things stand, we are actually also involved in the process of evaluating all of the management structures in all municipalities. I think that as the processes unfold we will keep Parliament informed, but it is too early in this entire and unbelievably complex process. Thank you.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Chairperson, I wish to understand whether the Minister is suggesting that the question should stand over or wether we should carry on with it.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chairperson, I have answered the question to the best of my ability. Anything else will be fiction. I am saying that this is a work in progress and if the question is asked three months, six months, nine months hence and all of us in government, my colleagues, the Minister responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as the Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs are held to account in this House ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Minister, I think you have clarified your point.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Well, obviously because of the violent protests that are taking place in the country we are all concerned about that. We have to ensure that the causes of these violent protests are being addressed satisfactorily, because what the international community sees does not give a clear or a good picture of what is happening in this country. Hence, we want to know what is being done to ensure that these violent protests come to an end.
There are also some statements that are made by some protesters that I would like the Minister to respond to. Some of these frustrated people, for example, there was a person in Mashishini Township, said that they believe that the only language that government understands is the language of toyi-toying. Because, if they don't protest violently then they will not get the attention they need. This might be an incorrect perception, but it has to be addressed.
That is why we cannot just wait for this report to come. In the meantime, when people are thinking like this, what is government going to do to change the thinking of such people? What is happening in our streets is unacceptable. [Time expired.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chairperson, this is a work in progress, I mean there are very few townships that have had service delivery protests that have not had visits by some government representatives.
Give Minister Shiceka two minutes and he will run through them very quickly, as the cut-off style - township by township. He will give you the names and the protest issues. It is not as though this is an alien thing. But there are all manner of reasons, sometimes there are very strong and genuine reasons and sometimes the reasons are not so strong.
We have to be able to work through this and ensure that the service delivery protests or whatever the natures of the protests are, don't happen in the future. Notwithstanding the disagreement between the hon Meshoe and myself, Chair, I will not protest violently against his questions. [Laughter.]
Mr W P DOMAN: Chairperson, to deliver good services we really need officials, Minister. It is my view that appointments must be made because too many positions are kept open in local government. And those appointments must be made more on merit so that we can get to what I want to ask the Minister, and my question is: In this evaluation that we can also measure productivity, will that be included in the measurement of local government?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chairperson, the evaluation is a very broad range. Amongst the issues that are being looked at is that we are not just trying to understand whether there are vacancies or not. Because, I could take my cousin or sister and make her a municipal manager, there is no vacancy, because there is somebody whose warm body is in that box in the organogram; but she may be totally incompetent to do the job. And so, you need a very thorough going area of work and it is just one of those things, Chair that you must allow this work to happen. I think, periodically Parliament needs to be told that the work is underway but you are not going to ripen this apple by squeezing it.
The work must continue and I think Parliament needs to know that the work is underway. Perhaps, Minister Shiceka would be able to come at a different time and talk about what the parameters of the evaluations are, because it is being done. But getting through this entire process is fundamentally important. Of course, there is a timeline and these things must be done well in time for the 2011 elections.
So, the clock is ticking against this process and I want to assure members that it pleases government no more than it pleases the opposition benches that these things are happening and that the first level services provided by local government are as infrequent and are of as poor quality as too many people experience in South Africa.
Mrs D F BOSHIGO: Chairperson, I thank the Minister for his response. How will the performance evaluation of the Minister be linked to the national local government turnaround strategy framework adopted at the national indaba last week? Would the Minister also agree that, although municipalities are mainly responsible for their failures, the national and the provincial departments also do not give the expected support to the local government?
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chairperson, in respect of the first question assimilating all of the recommendations of the indaba last week, it is clearly too early to be able to answer that with any candour.
However, the issues on the operations of local government, the kind of support system, the responsibilities and powers that they have, the split between categories A, B, and C, understanding all of these trends are covered by the evaluation. And I am sure that within the next six to eight months, Minister Shiceka would be able to put a set of recommendations about this before Parliament for its considerations.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, we have recently introduced a management system that will assist us to record and capture information related to the use of consultants in our state departments. At the moment there is no instrument that we can use to capture that information. We have identified a need to do so. This arrangement will assist us to know which departments are doing their business through the use of consultants and in which areas. This will avoid situations where departments use consultants for the work that they are able to achieve through the use of their own public servants. This is why we are doing that.
In some areas the use of consultants is unavoidable because of lack of skills that you may not command. In other areas you may do without them. This system is built into our integrity management system to make sure that we have that information to be able to act when the need arises. Thank you.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson, I am shocked by the answer of the hon Minister, because, for a period of about 15 years, government departments have been using consultants for millions of rand. I've asked the Minister how many departments are using consultants and how much is being spent on it, and he said, "I don't know. There is no system in place." Minister, I suggest that you get consultants to do that for you. [Laughter.]
I think that millions of rand are being wasted because Ministers who are appointed are supposed to have the skills and the capacity to do that work themselves. The moment they are appointed at higher positions with big cars and big salaries, the first thing they do is to get people to do work for them and pay them millions. [Interjections.]
Chairperson, I look forward to the day that hon Minister can ask an intelligent question. I want to summarise by saying ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Chauke is not the Minister. [Laughter.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Yes, and I don't think he will ever become a Minister, because he doesn't have the capacity. [Laughter.]
We need that information. The Minister must get it, because millions are being wasted. Yesterday, the Minister of Finance told us that we must start to curb spending. This is the place to start. Ministers have to do their work themselves and they shouldn't pay millions for other people to do their thinking and doing.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, it is unfair for hon Van Der Merwe to ignore deliberately that it is this government that has taken a step to manage this area of the use of consultants. The very handbook that the Minister of Finance tabled yesterday, as he was tabling the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, is a demonstration that we, as government, are determined to work on addressing these things.
I've indicated that we've built and introduced the system to deal with these issues so that we can capture information. It will be wrong to have a one-size-fits-all statement that says in all cases where consultants are used, it is not for genuine reasons. We have to indicate that we are doing all these things so that centrally we may be in a position to address that. It is fair for hon members to give credit where it is due.
We are dealing with these things. We are not saying that we will not give you the information that you need, but what we are saying is that at a time of raising a question like this, where we don't have a central management system, it may be very difficult to do that. When this system is introduced, at a press of the button, we will be able not only to provide answers, but also to manage and make sure that where a consultant is to be used, it would be for scarce skills that we don't command in our Public Service.
Ms H C VAN SCHALKWYK: Chairperson, hon Minister, I usually address you in English, but I want to ask you this question in Afrikaans.
Agb Minister, die DA voel baie sterk daaroor dat die situasie wat die regering geskep het, as gevolg van kaderontplooiing, die ekonomie lank reeds baie benadeel. Hoogs gekwalifiseerde mense is vervang met mense wat nie oor die nodige vaardighede beskik nie. Die gevolg is dat konsultante van buite hulle werk moet doen en natuurlik skep dit 'n dubbel staatsdiens met dubbel salarisse. Twee mense moet nou vergoed word vir een pos. My vraag aan u is die volgende: Sou u saamstem dat spesifieke opleidingsprogramme nou die hoogste prioriteit moet geniet, ten einde hierdie situasie te red? Baie dankie.
HOLOBYE WA NDZAWULO YA VUTIRHELA MFUMO NA VULAWURI: Mutshamaxitulu, hi kombisile kwala ndlwini leyi leswaku ku tirhiwa mintirho hi vanhu lavo huma ehandle, ku ta endliwa ntsena eka tindzhawu leti hi nga hava vatirhi lava kotaka ku tirha ntirho wa lowo. A hi nga ta swi tirhisa ntsena ntsena. Eka vuleteri, hi letela loko hi tiva leswaku hi lava mhaka yo karhi. Vanhu vo huma ehandle va tirhiseriwa xintirhwana xa nkarhinyana. U nge swi koti ku ya teka vuleteri hikwalaho ka xintirhwana xa nkarhinyana. Loko hi vulavula hi vutivi hi fanele hi tiva leswaku vutivi a hi vuli malembe yo tala u ri endzeni ka ntirho, kambe hi vula vuswikoti byo kota antswisa ku tirha ka mfumo. Inkomo.
Ms F C BIKANI: Chairperson, my question to the Minister is based on wanting to know if there is a model or a strategy to capacitate government departments to reduce the state's dependency on outside consultants and also in order to help rebuild our developmental state. Thank you
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Yes, it is there. Through the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy, Palama, we capacitate public servants and departments and we train departments to be able to rise to the level of the challenges that are there in as far as the skills we need to be able to pursue our developmental agenda. Yes, we do that.
Ms A MDA: Minister, it has been reported that most senior managers have neglected their duties and wrongfully appointed consultants. What steps is the department going to take to make sure that we don't continue having those public servants milking the national fiscus wrongly and making sure that if it is as a result of a shortage of skills, then we appoint the relevant people who will be able to deliver accordingly? Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, it is a call of professionalism that when you have to intervene and address issues in a particular situation, you don't generalise and base that on rumours. If the hon member could provide us with information in terms of the allegations she is raising, we would be in a position to deal with that. The system we are building will be able to assist us on our own initiatives to follow up on the use of consultants so that there is value for money.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, individual community development workers, CDWs, write reports on the work they do in communities for submission to their supervisors who, in conjunction with community development worker peer managers, consolidate all received reports into an integrated report. The consolidated report is shared and circulated to stakeholders including local government and other departments for the purpose of sharing information and to follow up on matters emerging from communities that require attention.
At provincial level, various forums such as the intergovernmental relations, IGR, stakeholder forums have been established and are utilised as a platform to share views on the needs relayed by communities to CDWs. These stakeholders' forums include provincial government departments. Thank you very much.
Mrs D F BOSHIGO: Chairperson, my question has been answered. Thank you.
Dr H C VAN SCHALKWYK: Minister, I am back to speaking English with you. [Laughter.]
Despite the fact that training is provided and CDWs undergo an induction process, it became crystal clear during a recent oversight visit to some centres that CDWs are confused and frustrated. They do not know where they fit into the service delivery chain. They do not know to whom they are accountable and lack necessary resources like computer equipment. They also experience that other departments do not recognise them as colleagues. My question, hon Minister, is: What is being done to educate communities and departments around the benefits or the necessity of CDWs so that they are not seen mainly as party political agents?
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, we and the Department of Public Service and Administration and the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs run road shows, make departments conscious, address ward councillors and ward committees and talk to departments to encourage them to work with CDWs. In fact, the issue we might have to indicate is that CDWs are not confused or anything like that. The issue that is there is for them to ask how they can deal with the question of co-ordinated services and how they can deal with a situation where they, as foot soldiers of services delivery, have to make an impact in areas where they go to. There are some challenges which we are actually managing. But these are not challenges that can make one say that CDWs have problems, are confused and so on. Thank you very much.
Mr P F SMITH: Chair, I think the Minister is in fact wrong. CDWs are confused. They do not know who they report to. The issue that is being raised is a valid one. I think it's time that in fact government applied its mind to the value of CDWs and to whom they should report.
The first question that was raised at the indaba last week and received loud applause from the floor - from local government practitioners and not from members here - is that they should be abolished. The second recommendation, as an alternative, was that they should report to ward committees and not to provinces. Does the Minister have a view on that?
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, CDWs are not politicians but are what we refer to as special cadres of public servants. They are there and know that they report to structures in the local government. There is no doubt about that. You might have listened to one input, but we have been to all provinces in the programme of strengthening the role of CDWs.
We need to understand that in an environment where there are CDWs working in an area where there are also ward committees, they compliment one another, clearly and perfectly so. We need to understand that in some instances it might well be that in your area, hon member, you might have a councillor who feels threatened or a CDW who does not feels welcome. But the average picture about the work of our CDWs is to provide mobile services to the people - door to door - which of course we are improving in terms of providing them with the necessary resources. That is what they are meant to do. There may be minor challenges. But like I have indicated, those are issues that we are addressing. In any situation where there is change, you are bound to go down and explain. That is exactly what we are doing to strengthen the programme of CDWs. Thank you very much.
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Minister, the question arising from your response is that it seems to me that what CDWs are saying on the ground and the information you are getting are two entirely different things. In a recent oversight visit, every CDW we spoke to, including their co-ordinators indicated the fact that they were not really recognised. One of them said that when they were employed they received one pencil and one writing pad and that was it.
I think there must be more co-ordination and more interaction between the department and local government in order to make sure that the reports they bring receive attention. They said that they were being discredited on the ground on the basis that they were not getting any feedback on what they have been taking to the Ministers or people up there. People said to us that there was no basis for us to be asking them questions because they have been telling us things and there has been no response. Is there a commitment, Minister, that there is going to be an institutional arrangement to be put in place in order to ensure that these matters that are being raised by CDWs receive the necessary attention at the level that government requires? What action will be taken?
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, there is always room for improvement on things that one does, even in areas where one is doing very well.
Let me state on record that CDWs will be able to assist residents. CDWs can intervene and take a person who applied for a child support grant and has not been getting any joy in terms of receiving the service on time to the service provider to solve the problem. We have many reports of success stories. I have been in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape personally. I am not sure which provinces we are talking about here. Maybe there are specific instances you are relating to.
We are going to have a national indaba on this issue of CDWs together with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. We would like to invite hon members who believe that CDWs are not recognised to come forward and raise these issues. Thank you very much.
Mr W P DOMAN: Chairperson, on a point of order: The hon member Boshigo did not ask a follow-up question. Isn't there an opportunity for a fourth one? You have only allowed three follow-up questions.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Order! I know. She did stand up to say that she was answered sufficiently. So this was counted.
Mr W P DOMAN: Was that counted?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Yes.
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: House Chairperson, we have established a team composed of the National Treasury, the Departments of Local Government in Provinces, ourselves which is lead by ourselves, wherein we are looking at the whole question of debt that is being owed to municipalities. In that we have employed a person who's dealing with that at the highest level in the department. The person responsible for this is developing a strategy that is looking at debt management and revenue enhancement.
We hope that by December the strategy will be in place and everything will be there. There are a lot of views that are there to say maybe we should be looking at a situation whereby the debt is sold to the private sector. Our view is that the debt must be taken by the national government so that we are able to ensure that we assist municipalities in dealing with it. We will be profiling the debt to know who owes municipalities in terms of government, in terms of the private sector and also the households. And once that has been done and looked at by Cabinet, we will be able to take that to you to ensure that we move forward.
I want to conclude by saying that we want to look at the issues of debt in two forms firstly, to curb the growth of debts; and secondly, to ensure that we are able to reduce it. In conclusion, we want to have a situation whereby we say the systems must be the same, they must talk to each other. We are saying one country, one President, and one system. Thank you.
Mr W P DOMAN: Chairperson, I really have appreciation for what the hon Minister and his department is doing in this regard and under his leadership, I am sure that there won't only be talk and that there will be a difference in the future so that we can get this R53 billion debt. Minister but now, in the Local Government Municipal Systems Act, section 96, it says that, municipalities must collect all money that is due. And the next one, section 97 says that, such a policy to collect the debt must provide or can provide for the termination of services or the restriction of the provision of services when payments are in arrears.
And I feel on this point to engage with you hon Minister this afternoon, that you, yourself must set an example in this regard and come out on the side of municipalities that are seriously collecting the debts. I think that we need discipline, I know you stand for discipline and that you should come out then and say that those municipalities that are applying the law, that are doing their duties, it's also in the performance contracts of the municipal managers and other people, and they collect the debt that you are on their side and not on the side of those people ... [Time expired.]
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, hon Doman, I'm on their side, however this is a curveball; they must act within the law and within the Constitution, so that the rule of law is promoted. We are looking at these matters of incentivising good practices at the municipal level. Not only at the level of collection, but also at the level of payments in wards, because we believe that government and governance must happen at a ward level, because it is the lowest area where the system of governance is.
Now in that respect, we are looking at a possibility of having a situation where, if wards are paying well, we are able to ensure that they are incentivised and they get the money back, so that they are able to be involved in development projects. That's how we are looking at managing these things. Let's manage them in 3 985 wards in South Africa where work has to happen, rather than looking at the way we have been looking at things. We want to do things differently in the way we conduct ourselves and we believe that, with your support, hon members, we will be able to concur and achieve what has to be achieved. Thank you.
Ms T B SUNDUZA: Chairperson, on a point of order: According to the Rules, cameras and cellphones are not allowed in Parliament. The members of the DA on the other side, hon Mazibuko and the gentleman in the yellow tie are taking photos with their cellphones. Thank you.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, the point of order is in order, please don't take photos or use cellphones in the Chamber. Thank you.
Mr P F SMITH: Chairperson, this issue of municipal debt has been a crisis for donkey's years. We are up to R50 billion now of which government owes R7 billion. So, I would suggest that we could start in government assisting municipalities whereby it pays its own bills.
I want to remind the Minister, I'm sure he knows, that last month there was a court case in Gauteng and the High Court ruled against the Gauteng MEC, who had to pay R107 million in outstanding rates to the metro. And the court heard that the province had failed to pay even though it had engaged in discussions with the debt credit section of the municipality. The judge said he would have no difficulty at all in having the MEC locked up for contempt of court if he didn't pay promptly.
Now, this is exactly the kind of problem we have. We have a debt collection crisis. Government doesn't pay its bills and MECs don't give a damn. We have to go to court to get the money out of government. What do you expect the ordinary citizen to do in this country? Why should people, ordinary people, pay their bills if government doesn't? So, the question I will put to the Minister is: When is government going to take a hard line on its own accounting officers, who are legally bound to pay the bills for which the departments owe money?
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, well it is quite interesting that you find that the ANC and the other side of the House are really ensuring that we narrow the gap in terms of seeing things. We are seeing things in a similar way, which I highly appreciate. It means people are actually beginning to learn the lesson of rising above petty party politics and are focusing on important issues. [Laughter.]
In that respect, we agree with hon Smith in saying that there is no need for people spending money to pay lawyers for them to be able to recoup what belongs to them, which is owed by the departments. Now, we are looking at the debt, we will know by December this year, who owes whom, in relation to government and municipalities.
On the basis of that, it is a clear case that when government owes, they must pay, there's no compromise on that, it has to be done, because if we have to support municipalities, the first thing that you do is you support them financially, particularly on what belongs to them. Therefore, in that regard, hon Smith, once information is available and processed by Cabinet, you will be informed. We will also forward it to Parliament. Thank you.
Ms M J SEGALE-DISWAI: Chairperson, I would like to know whether the Minister has already started talking to his colleagues in public works, to pay what is owed by government departments to municipalities, and to pay that on time and regularly, as the President alluded to recently. Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, well, on the issues of the Department of Public Works playing its rightful role in ensuring that responsibilities are being executed in the payment, we can't say with confidence and conviction that we'll be able to ask the department to do so, because we ourselves don't even understand the extent of the debt in relation to the departments that are owed to municipalities.
Once that has been done, we will be able to interact with all government departments affected not only at a national level, but also in provinces to ensure that, as part of section 154 of the Constitution that talks about supporting municipalities, what has been done in practice, has been done in word.
Therefore in that, hon member, we will be able to take up the issues. We will be able to ensure that all those responsible play their part, because we believe that the support to municipalities is something that has to be done and to be taken very seriously by all. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D A KGANARE: Chairperson, at this level of the highest level Minister ... [Laughter.] ... the issue of debt collection, it is all right to talk about debt collection, but if we have got municipalities who are underspending all the time if they have got to collect more, are we not going to just increase the level of underspending because they are unable to spend the money they have, even if they are not able to collect? I think the problem is not only collection of debts; it's the inability to manage funds by municipalities. Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, hon Kganare there are multifaceted reasons at times for municipalities not to be able to spend, of which amongst those is the availability of skills. People who must be able to do the job and do it properly and be able to plan and ensure that they execute what they have to execute.
Therefore, what we want to do, of course, in collaboration with National Treasury is to say that if municipalities don't spend, national government must go and assist; provinces must be able to go and assist in ensuring that the money is spent; and service delivery happens, because you find that more often than not these people who can't spent are in poor areas.
In municipalities that don't have the capacity to do the work, you can't punish the citizen, because of the fact that there is no capacity in municipalities. We must be able to assist in that respect. We are looking at different models of ensuring that the capacity in those smaller municipalities is there and is able to be taken up going forward.
On the issue of collection of the debt, what belongs to municipalities must be able to be paid to them. The ability to spend is not an issue irrespective of the side. The issue is that what belongs to municipalities must be able to be paid and that is what we are going to be doing, and that's what we are going to be following without fear, without favour and without prejudice. Thank you. [Appause.]
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: House Chairperson, first and foremost I must say that in South Africa we have 283 municipalities. Protests have happened in about 31 of them. Therefore, if you look at the scale of the issue, it is not as big as it has been created at times, and the impression that sometimes is being given.
Having said that, since January we have managed to be able to consolidate the information, to check what the causal factors for these protests are. We have managed, under the leadership of MECs, to visit each municipality in South Africa. Not only that, we have managed to gather information of which we can say with confidence that the information at our disposal is the best information obtained in South Africa to date. That information is the one thing that has enabled us to say this is the state of local government in South Africa.
Having done so, we then managed to ensure that we look at the causal factors, as I have said. One amongst those is an issue of social distance between government at the local level and the people, on the other hand are the issues that are the responsibility of national government in terms of housing, which comes out strongly in terms of the demands of the people on the ground and other issues that are not the responsibility of municipalities.
Also, they raised issues of service delivery. The issue of corruption has been raised very strongly, of nepotism, as well as mismanagement of finances. Having looked at all those, we had a national local government indaba that took place last week Wednesday and Thursday. Following that, we are now in the process of developing a turnaround strategy that will be ready by the end of the year.
I must say to the other side of the House that they have actually dismissed, almost removed, one of the finest administrators, Shanaaz Majiet. We have taken her to the department now. She is going to be playing a critical role in ensuring that South Africa is turned around in relation to what is happening. [Interjections.] What you have removed, we have taken. We are saying one man's poison is another man's meat. That is what we have done as government. Thank you very much.
Mrs M WENGER: Minister, it is 31 municipalities too many. We are delighted that finally the Minister has got around to visiting all the hot spots in our country. However, the issues need to be addressed. Will the Minister please inform this House, how and where the skills and the resources are going to come from to address the crisis in these municipalities? Furthermore, I would like to request the Minister that he actually familiarises himself with the issue of Majiet. Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Thank you very much, to the shadow Deputy Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Madam Wenger. The issue of skills is something that we are attending to. As we speak, we are conducting an audit as to check every individual employed in the municipality so that we are able to know which people have the skills, which people must be retrained, and those that cannot be retrained must give way to people who can be able to do the job.
Within that context, we have a framework of deploying people in areas where there is scarcity of skills so that we are able to move forward. We will be ensuring that we do that, and you must know that the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs is part of government. Government is going to take responsibility in ensuring that the scarce skills are being funded by government and people are there to be able to do the job. That is what we are doing.
We will be presenting the report, once it is ready, to Cabinet for it to take a decision. In conclusion, Chairperson, on the issue of Shanaaz Majiet, a lady who is disabled, who has been removed, not because of incompetence, but because she was not appointed by the DA. They have done a cadre deployment in her place. [Interjections.] What is worse is that they have employed man over woman. They have removed Africans and blacks and they put whites. [Interjections.]
We have now gone back to the old in terms of the system, whereby white males are in positions of authority in this province. From our point of view, we know what history is talking about and, therefore, nobody must question our integrity and knowledge. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Ms D G NHLENGETHWA: Minister, we understand that during this interactive process, the national and provincial departments managed to visit the 31 troubled municipalities across the country. In the spirit of ubuntu, letsema and rebuilding the nation, will it not be a good idea if the Minister and the department, through the continuous interaction with the residents discuss the issue of how they can contribute in either way for rebuilding of the damaged structures that were burnt down? An example would be the library that was burnt down in Sakhile Township in Mpumalanga. I thank you.
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, we must thank the hon member for raising issues that had been raised. Of course, what we are looking at is that the process of turning around local government cannot be a matter of an individual; it cannot be a matter of government alone. It is a societal matter.
Our slogan says local government is everybody's business and that is how we must be able to live up to that. There is no magic wand that you offer to the collective. Our responsibility is to co-ordinate ideas. Our responsibility is to ensure that ideas are implemented and we are able to move forward. In that context, the issue of involving people who destroyed the infrastructure of local government, who burnt properties in municipalities, whether they are going to be involved or not, is a matter that must be taken by the collective in terms of what has to be done.
From our side, we want to see good citizens, based on what we are developing, the governance values that we think we must be able to rally around as a country and all of us be able to use. In that respect, we hope that the matter will be taken up there and be discussed. We can't be, as we are here, saying that this is a route that must be taken but we want everyone to contribute in building these municipalities because they are very important in terms of service delivery. They are at the coalface of our people; they are the shock absorbers and shock through pass of our system of governance. Thank you very much, Chair.
Mr D A KGANARE: Mr Minister, the issue of these violent protests is well documented. In this House, you said that the people responsible are the third force and now the third force has been exposed to be the SACP. [Laughter.] So, it is well documented, if you read newspapers, but since the African National Congress is full of people who do not read, it becomes a problem. What I want to know, Minister, is whether you have engaged the third force, which is the SACP, so that they should stop these violent protests because they said they are the ones responsible? Secondly, to us the burning of government property or any property is a criminal action. Have you engaged your colleague, the Minister of Police, to ensure that the people who, in the City Press, have acknowledged to have led these protests are prosecuted? [Applause.]
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Well, I can see that hon Kganare has overthrown uBaba uBotha lapha as a spokesperson on local government. [Laughter.] The issue of the third force, hon Kganare, I can see that you read a lot of newspapers.
I have never ever said that protests are caused by the third force. I have been very clear that the issues are genuine. The journalist tried to ram that issue down my throat, and I refused to do that and to allow that system to be forced on me. I want to clarify this again; we believe that the issues of service delivery are genuine. Of course, there are individuals who are exploiting genuine issues of the people to take them up, which is part of the organising of individuals.
As to whether the SACP, ANC, DA or Cope is involved, I don't have information to that respect. I would ask anybody who has information to come forward and present that to me so that we are able to take it up. I have not then, hon Kganare, spoken to the SACP on the matter. I can tell you that the Deputy Minister in the department is a member of the politburo of the SACP. He is the senior member of the SACP. Therefore, I don't think he can sabotage his own department. It is not possible. That is why I say come and present evidence, if you have, hon Kganare. We will take it and look at it on merit. Thank you very much.
Mr W P DOMAN: Chairperson, I want to use Ms Majiet's case as an example to ask about the service delivery. In the Western Cape with about 15 000 to 20 000 officials, the DA only ask only three to leave. Ms Majiet was mentioned in Erasmus Commission on 40 accounts.
There was a disciplinary hearing coming. She was doing the dirty work of the hon Premier Rasool and, therefore, I am very glad that the ANC is taking responsibility for that official, because she was misused and she decided to terminate her contract, which was in any case being going to end at the end of November. [Interjections.] Now, my question about service delivery ...
Adv T M MASUTHA: Chairperson, on a point of order ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skhosana): Hon, let's here the point of order. You will complete your question after this.
Adv T M MASUTHA: Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for the hon Doman to accuse the relevant person of doing dirty work for Mr Rasool? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skhosana): We will come to that point before you end. Hon Doman, you may continue.
Mr W P DOMAN: Chairperson, I withdraw that. She did political dirty work of the hon Premier. [Applause.] Minister, my question is: Isn't it part of the problem of the service delivery problems ...
Adv T M MASUTHA: Chairperson, he hasn't really withdrawn comment. He has just repeated himself.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skhosana): As I have said, we will come back to it. Continue, hon Doman.
Mr W P DOMAN: Minister, isn't this part of the problem of these service delivery issues and the protests that the position between the officials and politicians has become blurred and a lot of them are misused by politicians and, therefore, we have this unrest because the people see that and they don't get services? [Applause.]
The MINISTER FOR CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: On the issue of Madam Majiet, I will be happy if hon Doman can present a report. The roles are reversed. The executive now request a report from the legislatures and, therefore, the conditions that have necessitated the DA to act in a manner it has acted. Up until we engage on those questions, this matter will remain on the table for a long time to come.
I think it is better that we engage on it, and I think we have a very good relationship. We can find each other. We will report to Parliament once we have done that, particularly the National Assembly. [Interjections.]
Having said that, the issues that you are raising of the blurred roles and responsibilities, not only that but you find that the intra and interparty conflict that, at times, tend to undermine the integrity and the standing of the institution of local government is a challenge. We are going to be engaging, once we finalise the turnaround strategy. We want to engage with parties to talk about the governance values, what are the dos and the don'ts in the way we run municipalities so that the wrong tendencies and the ways of doing things can be rejected in our system, not only by political parties but by South Africans as a whole. That is what we want to do. In that respect, we think that we are on the same page. We are singing from the same hymn book, in relation to these issues.
That is why I was saying earlier on that it is amazing that the gap between that other side of the House and this side has narrowed. We are speaking almost the same language, and I think we must continue. It means that you are good learners ... [Laughter.] [Interjections.] ... where you learn about the issues of rising above petty politics. Thank you very much, Chair. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skhosana): Order please, hon members. Let me just come to the point of order which was raised by hon Masutha in reference to the words "dirty work" used. To accuse a member of this House to be engaged in dirty work is unparliamentary. Therefore, hon Doman should withdraw the reference to hon Rasool's dirty work.
Mr W P DOMAN: Chairperson, I withdraw. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skhosana): Thank you very much, hon member. The time allocated for questions has expired; outstanding replies received will be printed in Hansard.
NOTICES OF MOTION
NOTICES OF MOTION
Ms B C BLAAI: Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:
That this House –
(1) notes that the ongoing service delivery crisis in the country continues to deepen unrelenting factionalism and division in the ruling party;
(2) Notes that the recalling of the mayors and councillors on account of disgruntled residences, vandalising property...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon member, that is no longer a motion, you are now engaging on the issues. I thought you were just indicating a topic.
Mr A M MPONTSHANE
Ms B C BLAAI
Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:
That the House –
(1) notes that the teaching of history has been a weighty subject of public debate since 1994. I, therefore, on behalf of the IFP, move that this House debates the teaching of our country's history and the selection of history materials in our schools.
Ms A MDA
Mr A M MPONTSHANE
Ms A MDA: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of Cope:
That the House debates the collapsing state of our abandoned schools; where teachers continue to drain government of salaries while no production is attained at the end of the day, with specific reference to Mpheko Senior Secondary School, in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, where this was revealed, through the SABC current affairs programme The Cutting Edge.
Mrs H LAMOELA
Ms A MDA
Mrs H LAMOELA: Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House –
(1) debates the negative effect that the low salaries and level of benefits social workers working for NGOs have on effective social development in South Africa; and
(2) comes up with possible solutions to increase their benefits to a level that will allow them to continue to deliver this very important service to our society. Thank you.
Mr S B FARROW
Mrs H LAMOELA
Mr S B FARROW: Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House debates the future role of the taxi industry as an integral part of the Bus Rapid Transport system currently being introduced in many of the large cities in South Africa. Thank you.
MOTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
NOTICES OF MOTION
CELEBRATION OF THE FORMER ANC PRESIDENT ORIGINALD OLIVER TAMBO'S BIRTHDAY
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (MAGWANISHE): I move without notice:
That the House –
(1) notes that Tuesday, 27 October, marked the day on which the former ANC President, Oliver Reginald Tambo, was born 92 years ago;
(2) further notes that O R, as he was affectionately known, was
among the founding members of the ANC Youth League, ANCYL, in 1944 and became its first National Secretary;
(3) recalls that in the ANCYL, Tambo teamed up with Walter
Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, Ashby Mda, Anton Lembede, Dr
William Nkomo, Dr C M Majombozi and others to bring a bold
new spirit of militancy into the ANC, which transformed it from an organisation that held public meetings and occasionally petitioned the government, to a campaigning movement that would draw large numbers of people through mass actions involving civil disobedience, strikes, boycotts and other forms of non-violent resistance;
(4) recognises that –
(a) among black South African leaders, Oliver Tambo was probably the most highly respected in the African Continent, in Europe and Asia;
(b) during his stewardship of the ANC he raised the ANC's
international prestige and status to that of an alternative to the Pretoria government; and
(c) he was received with the protocol reserved for Heads of
State in many parts of the world; and
(5) acknowledges the important contribution Oliver Tambo has
made in the growth and development of the ANC and its
policies, and that these policies, today, form the foundation upon which the democratic Constitution, government and legislature rest.
Mr S B FARROW
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
CARBON DISCLOSURE PROJECT
Mr S B FARROW: I move without notice on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Opposition:
That the House-
(1) notes that the 2009 Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP, was released last week;
(2) further notes that South Africa notched up the fifth best response rate this year, performing better than China, India and Australia, and that 87% of respondents, now, measure their carbon emissions, compared to 77% of last year;
(3) congratulates Nedbank that came out tops in the SA 2009 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index;
(4) acknowledges new entrants Sappi, Old Mutual, Sanlam, Santam, Anglo Platinum and Netcare; and
(5) calls on all departments and companies to make climate change a priority as a matter of urgency by giving preference to policies and programmes that encourage sustainable living, climate change action, and corporate responsibility.
Mrs H N MAKHUBA
Mr S B FARROW
STORM DISASTER IN WESTERN AND EASTERN CAPE
Ms H N MAKHUBA: I move without notice:
That the House-
(1) expresses regret and heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of those who perished in the dreadful storm that hit the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape since Monday, 26 October 2009; and
(2) applauds the emergency services and charitable organisations who responded swiftly, fearlessly and with professionalism in giving assistance when needed;
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
Ms H N MAKHUBA
WORLD DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION DAY
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: moved without notice:
That the House-
(1) notes that 24 October is observed worldwide as World
Development Information Day;
(2) further notes that World Development Information Day was first held on 24 October 1973 and that this day is dedicated to world public opinion on development problems and the necessity to strengthen international co-operation to solve them;
(3) recalls that on 17 May 1972 the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development proposed measures for the information
dissemination and the mobilisation of public opinion relative to trade and development problems and that this became known as Resolution 3038 which was passed by the UN General
Assembly on 19 December 1972;
(4) further recalls that Draft Resolution 3038 called for the
introduction of World Development Information Day to help in
drawing worldwide attention to development problems;
(5) believes that an informed society is a vital condition for the effective functioning of government and modern political and economic systems; and
(6) supports the World Development Information Day and commits
itself to disseminate information to the citizenry so that the citizenry can play a meaningful role in governance and development.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
EXTENSION OF DEADLINE FOR CONSIDERATION OF REPORT ON GREEN PAPER ON NATIONAL STRATEGIC PLANNING
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the majority party, I move the motion as it appears on the Order Paper as follows:
That the House, notwithstanding the resolution it adopted on the 20 October 2009, resolves to extend the deadline by which the Ad Hoc Committee, to consider and report on the Green Paper on National Strategic Planning – September 2009, has to report, to 10 November 2009.
The House adjourned at 17:14.
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