Hansard: Resumption of Debate on President's State Of The Nation Address
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 14 Feb 2012
No summary available.
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 22
WEDNESDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2012
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:03.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
START OF DAY
RESUMPTION OF DEBATE ON PRESIDENT'S STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Speaker, President, hon members, many of you will recall a very significant verse in Julius Caesar - the famous Shakespearean play - in which Brutus said:
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
The State of the Nation Address by the President clearly outlines a set of important projects and programmes that are designed to make a critical difference to our success rate in responding to job creation, skills development and poverty eradication.
The contributions to the debate yesterday, primarily from the ANC and some from the opposition, pointed to the complex sets of demands and mandate confronting government, this Parliament and the people of South Africa. The debate confirmed a truism stated more than once by the President in his speech: It is only through working together that we will achieve our ambitions. The problems of South Africa are not for this government alone, they require each one of us to share this resolve to do more and to do it better. They require ambition, commitment, rational thought and a full grasp of the nature of the tasks that confront us.
The challenges are as tough as those that the ANC faced under apartheid, but they are not as easy to respond to. We need a return to an intellectual tradition that has been part of the ANC for all the years of its existence. The ANC, as an organisation that has always been able to draw on the lessons of history and craft relevant and appropriate responses, an organisation that spoke with honesty of the tribulations of its people with clarity of vision and thought, an intimate and shared understanding of the plight of the marginalised and dispossessed masses, an organisation able to inspire millions, indefatigable in its ability to respond.
The ANC has a respected tradition of mature, rational thinking. This is why its early leaders believed appeal to fairness via petitioning was possible in its formative years. This is followed by recognition that active mass mobilisation had to be entrenched as part of popular political activism followed by national campaigns that gave rise to national instruments such as the African Claims document, and an inclusive national Freedom Charter. The crafting of the Strategy and Tactics document and its consistent renewal, the development of a newspaper by the first ANC President, a vocational school and educational establishments such as Ohlange, Lovedale and Healdtown Adams College all bear testimony to the importance the ANC has always given to intellectual thoughtfulness, planning and contextual innovation.
You could hear yesterday that many hon colleagues in the opposition had not been beneficiaries of this tradition. The hon McGluwa and others failed to read the synthesis of our policy instruments: the Freedom Charter into the Bill of Rights; the Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, into the New Growth Path, NGP; from Growth, Employment and Redistribution, Gear, and the Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap - all united, all unifying. The intractable problems and challenges of today require such innovation and thoughtfulness. We cannot rely on the old ways, we need to devise new responses; we need to think, to plan differently, to be rational rather than polemic, to be weary of slogans, undefined concepts and unsubstantiated vision statements. We need, hon Speaker and members, to use knowledge to advance our goals.
Today, all nations of the world are confronted by the question: How do we use the opportunities embedded in knowledge to develop a thriving knowledge economy that enhances our natural attributes and offers sustainable responses to our development challenges? The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, in its Reason Towards Green Growth Policies document, replied as follows:
While dealing with immediate problems such as high unemployment, inflationary pressures or fiscal deficits, we have to look to the future and devise new ways of ensuring that the growth and progress we have come to take for granted are assured in the years to come.
A return to business as usual would indeed be unwise and ultimately unsustainable. We have to find new ways of producing and consuming what we mean by progress and how we measure it. We have to make sure that we take our citizens with us on this journey, in particular, to prepare the people with the right skills to reap the employment benefits from structural change and not business as usual.
I believe that some hon members were so intent on seeking out inadequacy that they missed out on the new knowledge economy opportunities you tabled for South Africa. You reflected the ability to discern and grab opportunities signalled by Brutus in the section I quoted a few moments ago when he said, "we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures".
Mr President, in announcing South Africa's commitment to building a world-class astronomy infrastructure such as MeerKAT and the Square Kilometre Array, SKA, you indicated that the President, his government and the ANC are seizing the current. When your Cabinet agrees that South Africa can use its fluoro-chemical wealth to enter the field of manufacturing application programming interface, APIs, for a new pharmaceutical programme in South Africa, you grabbed the current. Our recent announcement that Cabinet has supported a R1,6 billion South Africa-Swiss venture to build a factory that will produce APIs here in South Africa and thus substantially reduce the costs of the Antiretroviral, ARVs, and ultimately Pulmonary tuberculosis, TB, and malaria medication, is a major step forward for innovation and science in our country. It will kick-start our quest to become one of the top emerging economies in the global pharmaceutical industry.
Speaker, President, these developments create the knowledge infrastructure and the research opportunities for our researchers, our cell biologists, our Masters' graduates and our Doctoral graduates, to generate responsive and innovative solutions to our development challenges and hence real work and sustainable growth for our growing number of knowledge workers. If we continue in this way, the ANC tradition of being ready for all eventualities, the emerging markets and Africa are the new frontiers for knowledge industries, we have, Mr President, to seize the moment.
Information and communications technology, ICT, offers immense development opportunities for our society. Quality educators could be available to all of our children at the touch of a switch. A full curriculum passage can go home with every learner, every day in the palm of their hand. Information and communications technology also offers enterprise opportunity for village-based solar powered internet cafés. We have these opportunities and millions could benefit if each of us took on these national obligations. Just as millions joined the call to defy, so today, they must join the call to build and develop.
When your Cabinet, Mr President, supports the development of titanium beneficiation and invest millions in creating plants to produce titanium powder using novel technologies, innovatively developed by South African scientists, you move South Africa from extraction and marginalisation to value addition, innovation and sustainable development. The massive infrastructure plans you referred to Mr President and our strategies for enhancing the quality of education and health, are a small part of a large set of endeavours you and your government are implementing.
It is only a person who is intent on dishonestly pretending that nothing is being done who will accuse you of merely planning with no action. Those who are honest know that change is happening everyday in a wide range of sectors in South Africa. Those who read, who research, who study context, as ANC cadres have always done, have access to all these initiatives. [Applause.] However, Mr President, as you know very well, there are none who are so blind than those who will not see. Mr President, you have called on all of us to do more for the success and growth of South Africa. All of us, not just the ANC.
Here are some facts which illustrate the importance of your appeal to us all. Because, Mr President, when you speak, you are just not speaking to the ANC, you are speaking to the nation in its entirety; you are speaking to the public sector; you are speaking to the private sector; you are even speaking to the opposition which will often not hear. Mr President, here are the facts which illustrate the challenges we are confronted with. I'm told that South African companies spend over R18 billion a year on overseas licence purchases, on overseas royalties and on using technologies that are imported for their business activities. We need to reduce this R18 billion import of our resources substantially by developing our own in-house technological capabilities; and several of the announcements you have made recently speak to this technological advance.
Your government has already acted in responding to this technological and innovation gap by creating the Technology Innovation Agency, TIA, the national intellectual property management office, Nipmo, and by developing exciting tax incentives for innovation support in industries.
The problem we have, Mr President, as South Africans is that we tend to fear our own products and our own abilities. We doubt ourselves. We need to stop being afraid of our potential for excellence if we are to really prosper as a country. [Applause.] We have a range of policies that will advance innovation and the development of a knowledge economy while also ensuring that we create an inclusive, labour-absorbing and efficient economy as elaborated in our various policy instruments which are all complementary strategies and not opposites.
There is no doubt that this government is taking up the opportunities presented by the full tide of the transition to a knowledge-based economy with a massive investment and commitment to infrastructure growth, economic diversification, skills development and dedicated attention to our socio-economic challenges. What we need from this House today is members who will join us in this exciting programme of development for the future of our country, because if they do not, they will forever regret the inability to respond to the demands of our time.
We also ask that the PAC joins us in being more modern and to participate in knowing more about our vibrant rural development programmes and land reform initiatives; in understanding what is being done to grow agricultural activities in South Africa; in understanding the new developments aquaculture, the new development with communities vibrantly exploring agricultural opportunity and growth opportunities in the agricultural commercial sector.
Work, dear colleague Mphahlele, with all South Africans, not some South Africans. So too should traditional leaders, as the hon Dr Buthelezi said, be honoured, respected and asked to join this enterprise of development and growth so that they wield their heritage to build strong active developing and democratic communities whose soul is indeed restored, as hon Dr Buthelezi often calls for and reminds us of.
Speaker, Mr President, a firm foundation, I believe, for action has been laid and is present in this room with us today; we should use this foundation to build a better South Africa. If we do not join in this enterprise, we will be committing the fundamental error of many in history who have attempted to say the victims of oppression are the cause of oppression. It can never be accepted that that is something we should hold on to in South Africa and the only way we can overcome the challenges that we are confronted with is through working together to build a better country.
The only way we can justify a young man who came to be called Bojang jo by his parent is by ensuring that we work together to build a better country. Bang Jo Sebitlo was so named by his mother after his father passed away, at the pain of losing their land during the land grabbing era of the 1900s in South Africa. His mother was then expecting a child, she lost her dear husband and when her son was born, she named him Bojang jo, reflecting the protest she had made along with her husband ...
... o ka se ntshutise mo Bojang jo jwa dikgomo tsa ga rre.
That is the history of where we come from, that is the history we want to address, the change of not having to name our children with reference to pain, is the change each one of us should welcome and work towards. Thank you.
Dr W G JAMES
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 23
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Dr W G JAMES: Mr Speaker, when President Zuma took office in 2009, he inherited a relatively small government debt, compared to the size of our economy. We had just emerged from a prolonged period of economic growth.
However, Mr Speaker, President Zuma faced a new challenge. The global economy headed into stormy waters with the collapse of the financial markets in the West. And we all agreed that government should take action to soften this blow. Since then, Mr Speaker, President Zuma has presided over the greatest expansion of government spending in our nation's history, and the result is that our debt is likely to reach levels close to those we had in the early 1990s.
The DA is of the view that the investment in infrastructure that the President proposes is a very good idea indeed. We welcome his invitation to involve the private sector and the substantial equity it commands. This will be a considerable stimulus to achieve the high growth we need to provide the revenues to repay the debt. However, Mr Speaker, this is not enough.
President Zuma also spoke at length about the success in improving education. Yet, as I speak now, many children sit without their workbooks. There are provinces without new textbooks because some did not bother to order them on time and the province of Limpopo did not order them at all.
There are thousands of children who went back to mud schools in the Eastern Cape despite the fact that Treasury has diligently and consistently provided enough money to replace them. Mr President, the initiative to replace mud schools did not come from your government. It did not come from the Eastern Cape Education Department. It came from the poor parents in deep rural Eastern Cape who took your government to court and won.
Speaker, the President referred to the improvement in the overall matric pass rate, but failed to point out that the pass rate for mathematics, science and some languages is a travesty. As a result, our universities failed to find enough students who can reach the high-end engineering and technical skills your investment in infrastructure development requires.
How is it, Mr President, that you never mentioned our universities? You never mentioned science-led innovation and the knowledge economy, even though your planned investments in broadband and cellular communication infrastructure required? Minister Pandor mentioned it today, and we thank her for that.
Speaker, I was shocked to hear President Zuma thanking all teachers' unions for their co-operation in improving the education of our children when we know full well how the power hungry SA Democratic Teachers' Union, SADTU, wilfully sacrifices schooling on the altar of material greed, despite their socialist rhetoric. In the Eastern Cape, where matric pass rates are the lowest, SADTU concluded a go-slow.
I was appalled at President Zuma's misrepresentation of the Grade 10 dropout rate and his gratuitous singling out of the best performing province, the Western Cape, based on a selective reading of the material, including the 2008 to 2010 General Household Survey, GHS.
So, tell us, Mr President, how will we achieve high economic growth without declaring education to be in crisis and ramping up our grossly underperforming school system? Tell us, Mr President, how we will achieve high growth without an emergency skills programme for the technical trades to provide the talented young people without whom your plan will fail. Tell us, Mr President, how we will achieve high growth without large-scale ideas-based innovation at universities, our science councils, and research and development in the private sector.
To quote a well-known Russian revolutionary, "What is to be done?" This is what needs to be done. We need to train more and better science and mathematics teachers. We need to pull talented retired science and mathematics teachers out of retirement. We should recruit mathematics and science teachers internationally and relax our immigration requirements accordingly.
We should rapidly rebuild our teacher training colleges. Education faculties, we know, have the least status at any university. Start the exercise in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape and build the two planned universities for those provinces on that basis.
Withdraw the misguided effort of the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, to take control of the further education and training colleges. His department lacks the capacity to look after these colleges.
Link every school into the national broadband backbone driven by President Zuma's investments in infrastructure. Minister Pandor referred to that, and I thank her for that too. Train all teachers in-service to use the most modern information and communication technology there is.
Oblige all trade unions and professional associations, by law, to spend at least half of the funds they receive from payroll deduction on teacher training, development and services. Mr Speaker, SADTU collects R120 million a year through payroll deduction, and this will be much better spent on teacher development, than on big cars, large offices, cadre deployment staff, generous travel allowances and large strike funds.
Devote a significant part of infrastructure spend to ensure that universities have state-of-the-art libraries, science laboratories, intellectual property rights and technology licensing offices, lecture halls and residences. Ensure that our best academics are incentivised to be on top of their game and the best postgraduate students supported so that they never have to worry about where their next meal comes from.
Celebrate free, independent inquiry and an analytically robust thinking. Make intellectual honesty a virtue. Eschew the politically correct nonsense that paralyses our nation's collective intellectual ability to find solutions to the problems we face, specifically poverty, unemployment and inequality. Mouthing slogans will not put bread into our peoples' mouths or create real jobs.
Speaker, why is it that other economies can grow at 6%, 7%, 8% or 9% and we can only stutter along at under 3%? The reasons are not mysterious. Read the National Development Plan. What this nation needs is a President with clarity of vision, steeliness of conviction and the courage to take tough decisions. Instead, we have Mr Nice Guy with a charming smile, the wrong man with a wrong job description for our times. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mrs M A A NJOBE
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 24
DR W G JAMES
Mrs M A A NJOBE: Speaker, hon President, Deputy President,...
The SPEAKER: Order, please! Take your seats, hon members.
Mrs M A A NJOBE: ... and hon members, the apartheid government compelled women in 1956 to take their protest action to the streets. They marched against passbooks and oppression. If this government does not address the triple challenge identified by the President in his state of the nation address namely unemployment, poverty and inequality by empowering women, they may again take to the streets and march to the Union Building. Watch out, Mr President.
Cope agrees with President Zuma that Africans, women and youth suffer the most. They are greatly affected by all the elements of this triple challenge. According to the institute of race relations 47,4% of Africans and 28,4% of coloured people were living in poverty in 2010. This means that this section of the population did not receive the R1 315 grant for essential food and nonfood items.
For rural women poverty goes far beyond income poverty. It means walking long distances daily to collect basic needs such as water and firewood. They must walk long distances to visit health facilities, sometimes suffering from diseases that should have been eradicated decades ago, as is the case in developed countries. Mr President, more wealth has to be created to roll back this form of poverty.
We as Cope welcome, with clenched fists and gritted teeth, the President's massive infrastructure development drive. However, we are concerned that this may not be achieved unless the performance of the public service is improved, the standard of service delivery is raised and corruption is reduced.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, your noise is drowning out the speaker. You might be surprised to know that most of us do want to listen to her. [Laughter.] Continue, hon member.
Mrs M A A NJOBE: Just on the eve of the state of nation address we read in the print media that the Expanded Public Works Programme is being run dry by corruption in the North West. Yet, this is a programme from which unemployed women and youth should benefit. It is common knowledge that corruption has become rampant in our country, both in the public and private sector. Therefore, we in Cope believe it is still a long way to writing South Africa's new story and for rural women the walk is even longer. Women in rural areas still lack skills; they lack access to arable land and tenure rights. Some have no access to clean water and sanitation.
In 2010, this government identified infrastructure development, tourism, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and the green economy as job drivers. The year 2011 was declared as the year of job creation and R10,4 billion was earmarked for public transport, roads and rail infrastructure. More than R80 billion was set to be invested in infrastructure development.
The question we ask is: What has happened since the 2011 state of nation address? Because our people, especially rural women, are yet to experience the benefits of the 2011 promises, but now we are talking about the 2012 promises.
Women in rural areas no longer need summits and conferences - talk, talk and talk all the time. For them to realise the benefits of infrastructure development, employment opportunities are needed. Added to the standing women's demands as articulated in the Women's Charter, they have clearly and loudly voiced their challenges in a summit held by the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities last year. The Women Charter is a document of this House. We adopted it.
Women in rural areas continue to face a multitude of challenges, both economic and social. Regarding unequal payment, women are still being paid less than men for equal work in some places of work. Women want their funding needs for their economic activities to be addressed urgently. They want to be successful entrepreneurs. It remains to be seen whether the massive investment under consideration will in fact reach rural women.
Women want access to land and farming facilities, including equipment and training in sustainable skills. Women farmers require tenure of land in order to ensure successful farming. Rural women require infrastructure right in the areas of their residence, namely transport, electricity, provision of sustainable water supply, sanitation facilities and accessible road networks. They don't want the sort of Bantustan-like development where good road services are only found near the home of a leader or politician, as we have seen in Ingquza with the home of former Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Should I add Nkandla, Mr President?
Women want safety and security against rapists and abusers. These are acts which perpetuate inequalities. They want safety and security for their young daughters against the so-called traditionalists who are perpetuating statutory rape through the practice of "Ukuthwala". Women want safety and security for their livestock and horticultural produce against thieves and bullies.
Programmes addressing social problems like alcohol and drug abuse must reach rural areas as well. They want consistent and efficient health care services to address HIV/Aids and other communicable diseases. Poor communication and language barriers sometimes make dissemination of information difficult. This must be addressed.
Women want the Department of Social Development to address the unintended consequences of abuse of social grants such as we see out there in rural areas. School girls in school uniform are lining up with older mothers during school hours at the banks to collect social grants for their babies. I must say this scene looks ugly.
To achieve full empowerment of women and youth, skills development and education, both formal and informal, is the only sustainable road out of unemployment, poverty and inequality. However, such education and skills development must be relevant to the economic and social needs of our country. So far, unfortunately, the current curriculum is failing us, it is failing our country. This has been repeated so many times in this House during this current state of the nation address. At the same time, the disruptive teacher unionism is not making the situation any better. Even as we speak, the Eastern Cape is not functioning educationally. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M A MNCWANGO
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 25
Mr M A A NJOBE
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Speaker, Mr President, with deft sleight of hand, you redirected our attention away from the profound problems of South Africa, ignoring all the mistakes of the past and baselessly claiming tomorrow will be better. We are not going to solve our problems with smoke and mirrors, nor by rewriting the past.
Ignoring the contribution of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the IFP in our country's liberation is pure hypocrisy. Facts are facts, Msholozi. You cannot change the fact that Buthelezi was Chief Minister of KwaZulu at the behest of Tambo and Luthuli, or the fact that he refused nominal independence which rendered apartheid's plan untenable.
Inkatha was home to the disenfranchised majority when the ANC was in exile. Inkatha erected Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme's tombstone in 1982. It was Buthelezi who delivered Luthuli's funeral oration at the request of the ANC and Luthuli's family.
It was Buthelezi who spoke on behalf of South Africa's oppressed when Mama Nokukhanye Luthuli asked him to accompany her to Maseru to receive her husband's posthumous award from the Organisation of African Unity, OAU.
Buthelezi travelled to Lusaka to thank President Kaunda for giving sanctuary to you, our exiles, and to Dar es Salaam to thank President Nyerere.
Inkatha refused to abandon the founding principles of the liberation movement when the ANC embraced violence and 20 000 black lives were lost in the ANC's people's war.
Buthelezi brought all of us to the negotiation table when he rejected bilateral negotiations. [Interjections.]
On 2 February 1990 President de Klerk announced that Buthelezi had convinced him to release Mandela. Mr Mandela thanked Inkatha in his first rally for working tirelessly for the unbanning of political parties and the release of political prisoners.
In the first decade of democracy Mr Buthelezi was Acting President 22 times. President Mbeki offered him the Deputy Presidency. Listen to what happened. [Interjections.] I am happy Minister Ndebele is here in front of me. Mr President, you torpedoed that in order to take the position yourself.
On 12 June 2008 President Mbeki said in Parliament and I quote:
I have made it a point to listen carefully to everything Buthelezi says.
This is Mbeki, not me.
Constantly I have marvelled at his wisdom and his deep concern to sustain a value system that is critical to the survival of our democracy. Shenge, manythanks for everything you have done for all of us.
In this same House President Motlanthe, who is here, called Buthelezi "an icon".
In 2002 Mandela admitted, and I quote:
We have used all ammunition to destroy him but we failed. He is still there. He is a formidable survivor. We cannot ignore him.
Yet you ignore him, Mr President, just as you did on 8 January in Mangaung where, in his presence, you lost the nerve to voice what was contained in the ANC's full statement.
Can you honestly say that you do not know that Buthelezi and Tambo worked together until 1979? Can you honestly stand up here and tell South Africa that you do not know that? In writing the ANC claims that Buthelezi failed to keep our people focused on the struggle for a united and nonracial South Africa. What nonsense!
Inkatha worked hand in hand with South Africans right here on this soil. We were at the coalface of the struggle, facing the beast of apartheid head-on. We fought for freedom on all fronts: freedom from dependency, freedom from hunger, ignorance and poverty. Inkatha kept the hope of liberation alive. [Interjections.]
You cannot change facts. You can try to obliterate the IFP from the record, but as Dr John Dube said, "Where there was once a pool, water will collect again." I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M H HOOSEN
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 25
Mr M A MNCWANGO
Mr M H HOOSEN: Mr Speaker, the President's announcements on the massive investment in infrastructure have been widely welcomed in all quarters, both locally and internationally. It gave rise to both hope and celebration for ordinary South Africans, as well as to tenderpreneurs who are celebrating the prospect of increased profits through corrupt deals. Like vultures, they will soon descend on the beneficiary provinces where development is being targeted.
Mr President, while your plans are paved with noble intentions, the very cadres the party deployed to implement those plans are not supporting your vision.
The National Development Plan identifies widespread corruption as one of the nine central challenges to growth and development. For this reason, we were particularly disappointed that in your 90-minute speech, you dedicated less than two minutes to anticorruption strategies.
A Transparency International Corruption report released in the last quarter of last year places South Africa in the 64th place, on par with Georgia. We have slipped back 32 places since 1998. We are clearly moving backwards in the fight against corruption. This is a war we simply cannot afford to lose.
Mr President, you promised in your first state of the nation address that you would pay particular attention to combating corruption and fraud in procurement and tender processes, but since then 83% of South Africans have come to believe that corruption is a way of life in South Africa.
Minister Patel said yesterday in this House that we have learnt the lessons from the past experiences of the World Cup and from the building of Medupi and Kusile power stations. What the Minister did not mention is that Medupi is being delayed and threatening our energy security because of problems with the boiler contract.
That contract is with Hitachi Power Africa, in which the ANC fundraising department, Chancellor House, has a 25% stake. Mr President, will you give this House the assurance that Chancellor House will no longer have any stake in any company benefitting from this infrastructure build programme?
Will you not accept, Mr President, that all your government's attempts to successfully implement redress and redistribution to the poor are being diluted by the very same cadres that the ANC deployed to government departments across the country?
Will you not accept, Mr President, that all the noble attempts to create jobs, increase infrastructure and investment and provide better service delivery, are being weakened by the high rate of corruption in our country?
There are countless examples of corruption in every ANC-run province and not a single day passes in our country where the media and the opposition do not expose corrupt activities of civil servants stealing from the poor.
Like a cancer, corruption is becoming an entrenched norm in our society. The belief that the purpose of holding government office is to dispense patronage or to enrich oneself has led to a culture of corruption.
The current system of procurement is far too secretive. Tenders are adjudicated in the dark behind closed doors. This is where the vultures wait to feed. Open up those doors, Mr President, and make the system more transparent in the same manner the City of Cape Town has done.
I want to challenge you, Mr President, to use your reply to issue a very stern warning to those vultures, irrespective of which Minister they may be friends with, that you will ensure that stern action is taken against them, and that such a warning will be followed up with real action.
Mr President, declare once and for all an end to your party's disastrous policy of cadre deployment, which gives a leg-up to the elite and steals from the poor. Take the nation and the world into your confidence and give them hope that you have the political will to end corruption in South Africa. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 26
Mr M H HOOSEN
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Mr Speaker, hon President, what do the people of South Africa need at present? They need hope for the future. On my desk I have a slogan that says:
The poorest of all persons is not the person without a cent, but the person without a dream.
Mnr die President en die sprekers in hierdie debat het elkeen oor sy of haar drome vir die toekoms gepraat.
Sir, do not make small plans, because they do not have the magic to stir people's blood. In the President's address there are big plans and big dreams for 2030. The FF Plus welcomes the infrastructure announcements. This is a sign of long-term planning and thus gives some hope for the future.
What is the most dangerous thing a government can do? It is to create expectations with citizens, which cannot be realised - a recipe for revolutions. Real leadership and statesmanship is that rare combination of the idealistic, on the one side with the severely practical on the other side.
Why did the world cup projects succeed? It was because there were deadlines; unnecessary red-tape was avoided; the best people for the projects were used; and black empowerment rules and labour rules were applied flexibly.
Is the government prepared to do the same? Or are we going to get stuck in the current climate of corruption, self-enrichment, inflexible labour laws, ineffectiveness and populist debates about nationalisation?
Let me mention two examples. Mining and agriculture have the potential to create thousands of employment opportunities. Why have these two specifically performed poorly recently? Is it per chance that the calls for nationalisation from amongst the ANC are directed at specifically mines and agricultural land? It is estimated that South Africa has mineral riches of $2,5 trillion. This is the mineral wealth of Australia and Russia combined. Yet South Africa's mining sector is in decline. South Africa's mining sector shrunk at a rate of 1% a year while mining sectors in other countries grew by 5% a year on average.
The past week's comments by the President against the nationalisation of mines brought more certainty. If the ANC's policy conference takes the correct decision in June, I predict good growth in the mining sector. But in the same week, the President repeated the statement that the willing-buyer, willing-seller option has not been the best way to address the land restitution question. In plain language, it means out that government believes in the nationalisation of agricultural land. Where there is now more certainty in the mining sector, there is less certainty in the agricultural sector.
Mnr die President, enigeen wat met die herverdeling van grond te doen het, kan vir u aantoon dat die probleem nie by die gewillige koper, gewillige verkoper-beginsel lê nie. Die probleem is die rampspoedige manier waarop grondhervorming toegepas word. Op my lessenaar is talle briewe van wit kommersiële boere wat hul grond aanbied aan die departement, maar geen reaksie ontvang nie. Daar is talle briewe van kommersiële boere wat koopkontrakte met die departement gesluit het en na drie jaar bankrot gespeel het, omdat die departement nie die geld uitbetaal het nie.
The President quoted in his address the Department of Rural Development's figures on land reform. According to figures, white people possessed 87% of the land and the government had reached only 8% of its 30% target. Sir, I seriously differ from these figures, as do I seriously differ with the statement that white people had stolen their land. I know the emotions around that.
Land is a very emotional issue, which has led to numerous wars. The President asked for a national dialogue about this issue. Such a discussion cannot be undertaken with propaganda facts, twisted history and emotional slogans.
Next week, this book, which I brought with, titled Disputed Land, will be released by Prof Louis Changuion. It deals with the land issue dating back from 1600 up to the present.
The ANC readily speaks of black people in general and Africans in particular. Sir, Africans in particular never in the past lived in the whole of South Africa. The Bantuspeaking people moved from the equator down while the white people moved from the Cape up to meet each other at the Kei River. There is sufficient proof that there were no Bantu-speaking people in the Western Cape and north-western Cape. These parts form 40% of South Africa's land surface.
There are also differences of opinion about the influence of the Difaqane on land ownership. Read the diaries of the Voortrekkers about what they found when they moved into the interior. These are the things that we must debate. How does the department calculate the 8%? There isn't a completed land audit against which we could correlate these facts.
What does the ANC mean by saying 30% of land is in the hands of black people? Does it include state and urban land? It is accepted that the state owns about 25% of the total land surface. State land surely is not white land; 25% land should then be added to the 8%.
What about the Ingonyama Trust land, of the Zulu king, of more than 2,8 million hectares? Where is this and all the other communal land added?
Mr Ramaphosa and Minister Tokyo Sexwale recently bought a number of farms from white farmers. My source in Vryburg informed me that a company of Minister Sexwale recently bought 30 farms in that area. This also surely has to be added to the 8%? In the Karoo and Kalahari, huge farms are available. Why does the department not buy some of that land to reach their 30% quicker? These semi-desert lands are however added to the 87% propaganda percentage on the white side.
The Development Bank calculated in 2001 that 44% of the land belongs to whites, 20% to blacks, 9% to brown people and 1% to Asians. The way in which the department had calculated the 30% and 8% figures, creates the impression that they are setting themselves up for failure.
I said land is an emotional issue, as you can hear, but there is goodwill out there from farmers to solve it. Propaganda figures will not bring us to answers. Realistic debates with real figures and history will help.
The size of arable land under production dropped by 30% from 1994 up to 2009. Failed land reform, where nine out of 10 farms are not successful, played a role in this. Farmers now have to produce more food on less land for South Africa's population of 50 million.
I agree with Mr Nkwinti when he said it does not help to merely chase after hectares. If the land does not produce food, we will have famine very shortly and then people will be running in the streets, as it happened recently in Mozambique.
In 2000, Zimbabwean farmers produced two million tons of maize. Last year, following land reforms, they produced only 900 000. In 2000 Zimbabwe had 250 000 tons of grain. Last year, they only had 10 000 tons. It was not as a result of drought. During the same time, Zambia grew to where it had started exporting maize.
I want to refer to a quote by Mondli Makhanya that he wrote in the Sunday Times, which I used in a debate in the Cabinet Lekgotla. He said:
We are wasting valuable time and energy trying to restore people to their peasant ways. Ordinary South Africans want to go to cities and work in the modern economy. Large-scale, highly mechanised commercial farming is now the way of the world. You cannot turn the clock back. That's the reality. Furthermore, the young people would, as has happened elsewhere, have simply upped and headed for the towns and cities. Yet we continue to nurse the notion that we can reverse the inevitable march to an urban future. The money and energy that is spent on getting peasants back into subsistence farming would be better used to create a strong class of black commercial farmers who actually do farm for commercial rather than sentimental reasons.
I dream of white and black commercial farmers who do not have to go to Africa for opportunities. The children who were born in 1994 are 18 years old this year and can vote. They only know an ANC government. There is no reason why such a child should not be able to buy a farm or obtain a bursary, just because he/she is white or black. Yet this is still happening.
Ek wil hier kennis gee dat die VF Plus 'n spesiale taaldebat gaan aanvra oor die permanente aanslag teen Afrikaans en die agteruitgang van al die inheemse tale in Afrika.
In politics one finds small people and great people. Small people are opportunistic and they talk and gossip about other people. Great people talk and dream about ideas and the future. In 2030 if we look back at this debate, we will be able to determine who was busy with opportunistic small politicking and who was busy with realistic future plans in the interest of all. These are the dreams that are important to all of us, and this is what the FF Plus will be busy with in the next term. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order: I need to be advised if it is parliamentary to allow a Member of Parliament to blatantly distort history as we sit here.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: As the PAC did yesterday?
The SPEAKER: Order, order, please! Place take you seat hon member, your time is long up. That was a point of information and not a point of order.
Mr A MLANGENI
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 27
Dr P W A MULDER
Mnr A MLANGENI: Ek gooi nie klippe nie.
Hon Speaker, President, Deputy President, fellow comrades ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, let us allow the speaker to be heard. Continue, Mr Mlangeni.
Mr A MLANGENI: I hope you will forgive my voice, which I have not been able to get right, because I think ...
... ek rook soos 'n vark. [Gelag.]
The Freedom Charter and all preceding documents of the progressive forces are underpinned by the recognition of the diverse nature of our society with all its cultures, customs, practices and beliefs treated equally and accorded the same status in our society, which further promotes peaceful coexistence. These principles informed the struggle for the liberation of humankind in South Africa and influenced our collective resolve to fundamentally transform our society.
The Preamble to our Constitution outlines the vision of a democratic state which should:
Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;
Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by the law;
Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and
Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.
Hence our Constitution represents the embodiment of the values which we, as the ANC and other progressive movements, fought hard to achieve over the past century and continue to guard jealously as the custodians of our democracy.
The vision of the Freedom Charter places a responsibility on the democratic state to build a nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous society, by locating at the centre of its programmes the values and principles of equality and respect for human rights. Thus over the years the democratic state has been focussed on undoing the past repressive and discriminatory rule and it replaces it with the ones embracing the principle of equality before the law both in principle and practice. This was a fundamental task requiring that all progressive forces be harnessed for the common good of society.
This struggle is continuing, as we observe on a daily basis, the resistance by some among us here, who are hell-bent on perpetuating the inequalities of the past. These are the people who challenge every initiative by the democratic state. They even mobilise resources to resort to the courts to frustrate every effort of transformation. [Applause.] They can only inspire us further to continue to pursue our transformation agenda.
We are sitting here today as leaders of political parties representing our people from diverse ethnic, political, social, cultural, religious and indeed economic backgrounds. This is the outcome of a huge compromise made by all of us. Today we addressed the legal exclusion and marginalisation of our people from participating in drafting the laws that govern them - exactly what the Freedom Charter had envisioned.
We should now collectively forge ahead with the same spirit we displayed when negotiating the transition to a new order. We should, however, not forget that we have not completely healed the wounds of the past human rights violations, a necessary ingredient to the building of a nation and creation of a caring society.
As a society we need to continue to engage in dialogue with the sole aim of attaining the common goal of human dignity. This is one of the tasks that still lie ahead. With this in mind, nation-building remains an ongoing goal, which should culminate in the attainment of the objectives outlined in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution.
Nation-building and the creation of a democratic society necessarily require a state to address the current challenges facing our communities. The democratic state needs to uplift our communities from ravaging poverty, extreme inequalities and unacceptably high levels of unemployment. These challenges continue to hinder progress of our democratic state to achieve the ideals of the Constitution, and indeed our resolve for nation-building and social cohesion.
These challenges further tend to perpetuate the exclusion and marginalisation of poor people from mainstream economic and social participation - the key ingredients of nation-building. Unless we address these challenges ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, just hold on - there is a point of order.
Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Sir, why do you allow such disrespect to the elderly? I am posing this question to the Speaker. Why sir, do you allow such disrespect to the elderly with all this noise when an elder is speaking in the House?
The SPEAKER: Thank you, elder Buthelezi. [Laughter.] I think that is a valid point. It is really a valid point; and we do want to hear the speaker. Those who are not interested in listening can go to the café outside, but we do want to listen to the speaker. You are protected, hon Mlangeni. Continue.
Mr A MLANGENI: Thank you, Comrade Speaker. These challenges tend to in turn perpetuate the exclusion and marginalisation of poor people from mainstream economic and social participation - the key ingredients of nation-building. Unless we address these challenges our people will never be free. They will continue to feel imprisoned and be reduced to live lives of impoverishment and suffering.
Our father of the nation, Nelson Mandela, previously captured what freedom means when he said:
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
He said this in 1998. He further advised that:
Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.
He also said, "while poverty persists, there is no true freedom".
Given this persisting poverty, unemployment and related social ills, we should be reminded about the relevance of the values that inspired us during the struggle for freedom. These social ills have mainly affected our poor communities in the form of crime, rape, the abuse of women, child abuse and others. And they have deep-rooted gender, race and class manifestations.
These social ills only assist to undermine the efforts of government in rooting out the legacy of colonial and apartheid rule. This is despite the fact that one of the achievements of the democratic government since 1994 has been an improvement in the living conditions of our people generally.
Some of these improvements are widely visible: the number of schools in previously disadvantaged communities have increased; more emphasis needs to be placed on former homelands to eradicate schooling that is taking place under trees in some areas; the road infrastructure network has received a major boost over the years, although the quality in some areas can still be improved; recreational facilities erected as part of the World Cup Legacy Project is proving to be helpful, particularly in the sporting fraternity.
A diagnostic report from the National Planning Commission, NPC, has highlighted worrying poverty and inequality trends that have afflicted not only our rural areas and female-headed households, but also marginalised residents who live on the outskirts of our cities. These are largely migrants, both South African and foreign nationals who are flocking to the cities in large numbers in search of a better life. These developments have placed a huge burden on the ability of the state and particularly cities to cater for the basic needs of these people.
This has also presented an opportunity for policy-makers to rethink some of the approaches in our policies. However, we must commend our government on appreciating the severity of the challenges by introducing a shift in our interventions, particularly a notable shift in placing an emphasis on enhancing the capabilities of the state and our people. The democratic government needs our support.
The ANC was mindful of these challenges when singling out education as one of the most important tools to address some of the challenges we are faced with today. Now, we need to focus on improving the quality of education, especially of African working class children. [Applause.]
The President made a clarion call to all in his state of the nation address when he appealed to us to join hands and work together. Indeed, through our joint efforts we can succeed. Therefore, the President's call must be supported. Let us put aside our differences for the greater good.
A caring society cannot be created without us renewing the moral fibre of our society. We need to reclaim the moral space and broaden its scope; for it is only through this that we can rid our society of corruption, greed and theft - including from the poor and vulnerable. We can still raise selfless children who have self-worth.
Let us support all anti-corruption efforts so that we can eliminate the scourge of corruption. This calls for all sectors of our society to play a part, from community-based groups to civil society organisations, churches and religious leaders as well as traditional leaders. In other words, the work of the Moral Regeneration Movement should be visible in communities.
We are making a clarion call to our young leaders across all the sectors of our society to be exemplary in their deeds and to be directly involved in the moral regeneration initiatives in our country. These young leaders must take the lead as they are our future leaders. Young leaders must be concerned about building this nation into one of the greatest on the continent and globally. Our struggle for freedom has been widely acknowledged and praised, and now is the time to take this country to greater heights. Our people's expectations are high and we have to meet that challenge.
We cannot meet these challenges by issuing threats to the President ... [Applause.] ... as hon Njobe of Cope has said, women will march to the Union Buildings. [Laughter.] Let us work together with the government and the President and we will be able to meet these challenges. I thank you. [Applause.]
Rev K R J MESHOE
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 28
Mr A MLANGENI
Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, hon President, hon Deputy President, hon members, the ACDP commends President Zuma on his state of the nation address with its focus on growing the economy, as well as the huge expenditure on a number of infrastructure projects, such as rail, road transport and ports. These ambitious plans undoubtedly bring hope to the nation faced with high levels of poverty and unemployment.
The challenge will be financing and implementing these huge projects. It is, therefore, crucial for government to create a sufficiently enabling environment for investors, entrepreneurs and manufacturers, rather than create an obstruction to doing business. Government will have to ensure that we have the necessary skills for these projects and that endemic state corruption and incompetence is also addressed.
Equally important, government will have to safeguard against tenderpreneurs from unlawfully exploiting the rich pickings that these massive infrastructure projects present. Being politically well-connected must not be allowed to replace honest, hard work, such as what we have seen in Limpopo.
We also welcome the undertaking to reduce the cost of doing business by addressing high port and electricity costs. The Reserve Bank Governor, Gill Marcus, has already expressed concern about the impact of administered prices, such as electricity tariffs, warning that above inflation electricity price increases should not be allowed to inhibit growth and investment. Addressing such costs will go some way in ensuring that South Africa becomes more competitive globally. However, increased productivity remains the key for increased competitiveness.
The ACDP welcomes Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu's confirmation at last week's Mining Indaba that nationalisation was not a viable option for the country. Regrettably, hon President, the debate on nationalisation and regulatory uncertainty has curbed investments in the mining sector in South Africa. South Africa has mineral wealth equal to that of Australia and Russia combined, yet the sector is declining mainly due to regulatory uncertainty, government incapacity, infrastructure constraints and a lack of suitably skilled personnel.
We need to ensure that other challenges facing the mining sector, such as increased costs and now alternative proposals, such as increased taxes, resources rent and more state intervention, do not further damage the mining sector, which is so crucial to growing the economy and creating jobs, not only for South Africa but also for the Southern African Development Community, SADC, region.
We regret that more was not said regarding the crucial role that small business has to play. This is the real place to grow the economy and create jobs. Hon President, more needs to be done to support small businesses; for example, by reducing regulatory bottlenecks and red tape to reduce the cost of doing business and to facilitate easier access to soft loans.
What was surprising from the President's speech though was to hear him praising teachers' unions, which he claimed heeded the call to teachers to be in school, in class, on time, teaching for at least seven hours a day. I believe that most parents and school children would dispute the President's claim.
If teachers were teaching at least seven hours a day, then South Africa would not regularly find itself at the bottom or near the bottom in international rankings for literacy, numeracy and science. If the President's claims were true, then Graeme Block, the so-called education expert at the Development Bank of Southern Africa, would not be saying that 80% of schools are dysfunctional and that half of all pupils drop out of school before taking their final matric exams. The SA Democratic Teachers' Union, SADTU, which usually calls for strike action during school hours must take some responsibility for the fact that only 15% of our students get grades good enough to qualify for university.
If the President is truly concerned about the education of our children, then he should challenge members of SADTU who have called for schools to be shutdown in support of Cosatu's protest against the e-toll system to stop their planned action to chalk down. The ACDP does not want our children to be prejudiced any longer because of striking teachers during school hours.
Despite evidence that corruption is increasing in South Africa, the President did not say much about government's plans to fight this scourge, save to welcome Cosatu's launch of Corruption Watch.
Yesterday, members of the Portfolio Committee on Police were stunned by what was revealed during a presentation made by top management, regarding leases by the SAPS. While it was made clear to us that the SAPS does not negotiate the leasing of any building, as the Department of Public Works does it on their behalf, we were, nevertheless, shocked by the top management's ignorance of the terms and conditions of the leases they are paying for.
By way of example, they could not explain why they were paying exorbitant rates for leasing space, such as paying R1 292 per square metre for space for a period of 99 years. This, we believe, is wasteful expenditure by the police and should be investigated. It was, therefore, not surprising to hear the Minister of Public Works saying that his department is in chaos and is dysfunctional with no hope of achieving a clean audit at the end this financial year.
We were informed that police officers who dealt with the Department of Public Works regarding the leases in question have since resigned or gone on early pension, and we cannot help but wonder why.
The ACDP believes that both the Department of Police and the Department of Public Works should be investigated. Those found guilty of corruption and benefiting illegally from state tenders should not only be punished and taught that crime does not pay, but they should also make restitution by paying back what they have stolen, with interest. If such drastic action is not taken, then I believe the cancer of corruption will never be eradicated in our country.
It is equally shocking that the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, has admitted, in response to the ACDP question during the parliamentary briefing last year, that the level of fraud and corruption in the state procurement process is between R25 and R30 billion per year.
Hon President, we must ensure that all crime fighting units, such as the SIU and the Hawks have sufficient capacity and funding to successfully investigate and prosecute incidents of corruption in the public sector and, where necessary, recover the stolen and misappropriated funds. It is imperative that the SIU's enabling legislation is amended to give it full legal standing to bring civil cases to recover stolen state funds.
The ACDP questions the President's argument for wanting to review the powers of the Constitutional Court after he said, "it is after experiencing that some of the decisions are not decisions that every other judge in the Constitutional Court agrees with." The President further asked, "How could you say that the judgment is absolutely correct when the judges themselves have different views about it?"
The ACDP questions the logic of a President who questions the logic of having split judgments. Does he expect judges to become rubber stamps of government's decisions, or to sit on the bench just to endorse rulings that they may not agree with?
I want to remind the President that decisions by the Constitutional Court need not be unanimous. A simple majority prevails if there is a legal quorum. In a split decision, the will of the majority of the judges is binding, and one member of the majority delivers the opinion of the court itself. One or more members of the minority can also write a dissent, which is a critical explanation of the minority's reasons for not joining the majority decision.
While the ACDP welcomes a healthy debate around the powers of state bodies and their effectiveness, we, nevertheless, reject what appears to be the President's encroaching and attempts to interfere in the work of the Constitutional Court. If he succeeds in reducing the powers of the Constitutional Court, he might begin targeting other courts, just as his comrade, President Robert Mugabe, has been doing for the number of years.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, the Constitution of this country allows a review of the Constitution. Is the speaker saying ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is that a point of order?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: No, I'm asking, and my question is, is the speaker saying that the right to review the Constitution, including the powers of the judges is out of order? Is he suggesting that? I am asking this because he is misleading the public and this House.
Mrs J D KILIAN: Hon Deputy Speaker, that is not a point of order and the Chief Whip of the ANC should study the Rules ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, it is not a point of order, but it is a question. Hon Meshoe, your time was up anyway, some time ago.
Mrs J D KILIAN: It should be explained to the hon Chief Whip that if he wants to ask a question to the member who is speaking, he should first ask for permission from the member before he poses the question or makes the comment. Thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Deputy Speaker, the member did not see that you allowed me to put the question, so she must withdraw ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am not going to take anybody on this topic anymore. Hon Chief Whip, you were asking what the member is saying. You were asking a question to the member who was speaking, so the first thing you should have done was to find out if he can take the question. That is what you did not do.
Hon members, hon Mfundisi is an old new member. It is his maiden speech today, but he knows the Rules of this Parliament. Welcome back hon Mfundisi.
Mr I S MFUNDISI
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 29
Mr K R J MESHOE
Mr I S MFUNDISI: Hon Deputy Speaker, President and hon members. We thank the President for a well-measured, profound address. One thing that will strain and polarise relations between South Africa and Botswana is not necessarily Julius Malema's utterances but the lack of potable water in Zeerust because the people out there are wont to demonstrate, vandalise roads and stone vehicles, most of which belong to Botswana citizens along the three roads that pass through the area. For this, Mr President, unlike the Ngobi issue, there is no need to investigate, as the hon Minister of Water Affairs left the matter while she was premier of the province. It would be very helpful if this water problem could be resolved to honour women who marched against carrying passes in 1957.
No one can dispute that the Grade 12 results are better than in past years. The issue around the matter is the quality of those results. We should desist from celebrating mediocrity and quantity. Our education system prides itself in churning out semiliterate and seminumerate products that can't make the grade at tertiary level. We have to question why some schools conduct classes from Monday to Saturday, yet do not produce good results. As far as co-operation with teacher unions is concerned, one may believe what the President has said but thousands of people would not.
There is a notoriously influential union, SADTU, which tends to be the tail that wags the dog. If they do not dispute appointments, they are either out at a meeting during school time or on a go-slow. That cannot be good for education, let alone that of black disadvantaged children. The vetting of supply-chain managers is long overdue. We have to rid ourselves of charlatans to ensure that state resources are cared for.
Most importantly, government must employ deserving people regardless of their political affiliation. They just have to be loyal to the government. Government should eliminate forms of abusive employment practices among their ranks. They should desist from advertising posts for conformity when they know who they want to employ, or when the post is already occupied.
The message on the improvement of infrastructure came like sweet music to those of us who come from the forsaken North West province. We shall watch this space with keen interest on the 10 priority roads as some of them ought to have been ready for use during the 2010 World Cup, but have yet to see the light of day.Care has to be exercised that the intended infrastructure projects do not benefit tenderpreneurs as opposed to the citizens. The government must come to a situation in which it governs, and in which the Department of Public Works does all the work that it is meant to do to get rid of the intermediary.
In his state of the nation address in 2009, the President promised to approach Telkom to consider reducing their charges. This has yet to happen as their charges rise almost daily, and most homesteads have resorted to the use of cellular phones. The President was audibly quiet on the heated topic of e-tolling some roads. The nation expects reassurances, as neither the former nor the current Minister of Transport is keen to speak on this matter. We can't agree more with the President on not keeping fit. This can also be passed on to government on the bloated executive, yet the country is suffering from diseases such as lack of service delivery. We need a lean, mean, sharp and task-oriented executive ...
... bangalokhu banda kodwa umsebenzi ube wona ungahambi.
We share the President's concern about the lackadaisical performance by Bafana Bafana. But, I have to advise and warn colleagues here that in 2008, when I raised this matter from this podium in this House, the now Minister of Police, then the Chief Whip, said I was unpatriotic. [Time Expired.] Therefore, because of his current portfolio, we have to be careful lest we be incarcerated. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms S P KOPANE
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 29
Mr I S MFUNDISI
Mof S P KOPANE: Motlatsi wa Sepikara ya kgabane, re lokela ho bua nnete le ho toba nnete mabapi le mathata a teng ka hara ditshebeletso tsa rona tsa bophelo bo botle. Ebang re ka etsa sena, re tla be re thusa setjhaba sa rona hore se phele ho latela maikemisetso a Molaotheo ka hara demokerasi. Ha re ka ba le nnete mme ra hlahloba se sa tsamaeng hantle ka tsa bophelo bo botle, re tla kgona ho tla ka tharollo, mme bohle ka hara Afrika Borwa re tla una molemo. Jwale he, ke tla qala ho talola nnete etswe Basotho ba re nnete e a baba.
Here is the hard truth according to the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Report on Reproductive Health Roadmap. The health status of South Africa has worsened considerably over the past 12 years. Numerous health indicators reveal that South Africa's health standards are falling in absolute and comparative terms. The latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report shows that we rank at nearly the bottom of the world in terms of public health. Out of 142 countries, we rank 141 for the incidence of TB, 139 for HIV/Aids prevalence, 130 for life expectancy and 111 for child mortality. You will all agree that this is unacceptable.
Here is another hard truth. We spend more money on public health care per person than countries like Malaysia, Thailand, China and our neighbour, Namibia, yet we still have far worse health outcomes. This shows that funding is not the primary obstacle to the problem of bettering health care quality. We need to make sure that we have the right people in the right positions, who are held accountable for their performance in the health care system. Unfortunately, right now, according to the Finance Technical Task Team's report to the Minister of health, "No part of the health system is held properly accountable for the poor health outcomes or poor service delivery".
Think about that: no one is held accountable for the serious problems in our country. For example, baby deaths in our maternity wards; the certification and hiring of conmen to practise as neurosurgeons in our operating theatres on a daily basis; the failure of provincial health departments to pay for their laboratory services, thus, forcing the laboratories to close down; the deployment of people to manage hospitals without proper qualifications, experience, knowledge and the will to succeed; and the failure of our higher education system to produce or to train enough doctors and nurses for our growing population.
If no one is held accountable for these serious problems, there are no incentives for those responsible people to improve our health care system. This is not just my personal judgment, but that of the National Development Plan report which highlights accountability as one of the key areas where improvement is needed to improve the health care system. We hope that the President takes heed of the reports of this wise counsel.
Here is the last hard truth: the low quality of public health care actually threatens the constitutional rights of our poor South African people, and makes it virtually impossible to achieve the developmental goals that we all desire today.
Mr Speaker, in our public hospitals and clinics, our people still stand in long queues to see doctors. They have to deal with disrespectful staff members, and they have to leave the clinics and hospitals without their medication because of the poor management of hospital supplies.
However, thankfully, we South Africans are not without talent, resources and the ability to improve the public health care centres so that everyone can enjoy their rights and be productive contributors to our society. That is why we are pleased today to welcome the establishment of the Office of Standards Compliance. We hope that it will provide the necessary oversight and incentives for better performance at our public health institutions. We welcome the commitment the Minister of Health showed today in the Portfolio Committee on Health to make this a reality. Minister Motsoaledi, I want to say to you: You have my full support.
We also welcome the Ke tla phela project, which will see our government partner with a Swiss company to build a R1,6 billion pharmaceutical factory that will help us to manufacture crucial
antiretroviral medication for our growing population. This is similar to the Cape Biotech Initiative which promotes a public-private partnership that creates jobs in the knowledge economy. They represent the kind of innovative thinking that will make us healthier both physically and financially. I hope Minister Pandor ...
... o tla fetola mehopolo ya hao mabapi le rona re le Mokgatlo wa DA. Re tshehetsa tse ntle tse etswang ke puso empa re ke ke ra thola ha ho e na le dintho tse mpe tse etsahalang.
Indeed, we hope that the President continues to learn from the lessons of our provincial administrations, such as the Western Cape where the DA governs. Ultimately, we all seek the same desire: a healthy, and a productive nation.
Motlatsi wa Sepikara ya kgabane, Mopresidente John Kennedy o kile a bua mantswe a latelang, ke a mo qotsa:
"Our problems are man-made; therefore they can be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."
Re le mokgatlo wa DA re dumela ka hohlehohle hore mathata a naha ya rona a itshetlehile maemong a rona mme ebile ho hlakile hore re na le matla re le baetapele kwano ho ka fetola maemo a batho ba rona ka hare ho naha ya rona. Ke qetella ka ntlha ena:
Mr President, we hope that you will have the courage to make the tough decisions necessary to improve the quality of health care that our people receive. We have to build South Africa into a better place for all of us, especially for future generations.
Re le mokgatlo wa DA re malala-a-laotswe ho ka ikakgela ka setotswana morerong ona oo re o tshwereng wa puso, empa potso ke hore na lona mokgatlo wa ANC jwaloka mokgatlo o busang, na le malala–a-laotswe na? Ke a leboha. [Mahofi.]
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 30
Mrs S P KOPANE
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: Deputy Speaker, hon President and Deputy President of South Africa, it has been widely said in this august House and elsewhere that the state of the nation address this year provided a clear focus on the task that lies ahead of us as we seek to build the developmental state to which the ANC-led government is so stoically committed.
Hon members, we are grateful to the President for having given us our marching orders to grapple with the question of how best to use our bountiful mineral resources to build a society that brings benefits to all its people. Times are most challenging. Recession is biting in different parts of the world and we are determined, in the face of these challenges, to rise to the occasion and to work hard within the parameters announced last week by the President.
We need to work together across different political parties to build a South Africa that truly belongs to all those who live in it and where there are no two South Africas. In this regard it is unfortunate that the Leader of the Opposition made a point about what she called an alternative vision for South Africa. We should not repeat the mistake of the past by striving for a partisan alternative vision for South Africa. Instead, we require a vision for a South Africa Incorporated founded on the urgent need to address the triple evils of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
We must create a South Africa for all the people that is not alternative but mainstream and essential. In this spirit I would like to outline some of the priorities that my department has set itself. I speak from the vantage of that most significant centre, mining and mineral resources, which has underpinned our economy for well over a century.
As the President reminded us in his state of the nation address, democratic South Africa inherited a problem of structural unemployment going back decades. The New Growth Path introduced in 2010 identified the mining value chain as one of the key drivers of jobs. The year 2010 also marked the first year since the recession started that the mining industry was able to pass the half-a-million mark in employment. Preliminary figures for 2010 indicate that the sector has continued growing its employment, with 15 000 net new jobs created between September 2010 and 2011.
South Africa is developing a rich history of social dialogue. It was part of this proud tradition that led to the establishment of the tripartite Mining Industry Growth Development and Employment Task Team, Migdett, which looked into the issues of arresting job losses and of the future growth and labour absorption of the sector. Working through this structure, we developed a growth and competitive strategy for the mining sector. In terms of this, the sector committed itself to job creation. Job creation figures released recently are encouraging and indicate that we are slowly but surely on course to meeting our goal.
The growth and development of the mining industry cannot be delinked from addressing historical inequalities and imbalances in our society, especially in the mining industry. We have come a long way on issues of transformation. This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the promulgation of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, MPRDA.
The MPRDA effectively vested the custodianship of South Africa's minerals in the state. The Mining Charter, on the other hand, introduced targets for transformation of the sector. Since the implementation of the Act and the Mining Charter progress made in deracialising the sector is noticeable, but we are mindful that this is not satisfactory. For instance, the issue of historically disadvantaged South Africans is still a matter when it comes to management and decision-making. The involvement of women, the issue of procurement and supply, and the low levels of human resources and skills development are still challenges. We acknowledge that we need to do more work in these particular areas.
In the state of the nation address the President announced the amendment of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act. My department stands ready to ensure that the Mining Charter and the industry at large remain responsive to such an amendment. My department will also be dealing in a decisive manner with the incidents of noncompliance with the Charter and the prevalent cases of fronting within the industry. Some of those issues are before our courts.
As a sector we are greatly encouraged by the plans on infrastructure development unveiled by the President in his state of the nation address. This intervention responds to one of the binding constraints to growth and development of the mining industry. As a department we remain committed to collaborating with other stakeholders in the intergovernmental structures, in order to ensure that the critical infrastructure blockages delaying investments in the mining sector are addressed. Many of these were highlighted in the President's speech and include investments in rail, road and bulk water infrastructure to unlock the mineral potential of the Waterberg and Steelpoort regions. Unlocking this potential will also be critical in addressing the longstanding infrastructure bottleneck of energy security.
As the soon-to-be-released Coal Resources and Reserves Study, led by the Council for Geosciences, reveals, these regions host a great share of South Africa's remaining coal endowment. This was a study done together with Eskom. The increased infrastructure will have the potential to increase our mineral export receipts and also serve the cause of local beneficiation.
The state of the nation address reminded us again of the importance of the beneficiation strategy, approved by government to address the important issue of adding value to South Africa's minerals. This is an obvious way of furthering the interest of our own economy, notwithstanding the views of sceptics.
There have been numerous studies of our mineral endowment, some of which I have shared with you in the past, and I am happy today to hear some members in this House also reflecting on the reserves that we have as a country. I must also indicate, hon Meshoe, that we have stated before that the issue of nationalisation is not a government policy. We are still staying that, but you continue going back to this particular issue. I don't know whether you are part of the prophets of doom or if you are part of those who want to see this sector succeeding. You go back all the time. You can only go back if you do not hope that this sector grows and is successful in creating jobs and a better South Africa.
Too much of this mineral wealth is still exported as raw ore, while we import manufactured products from those same export destinations. This is essentially an exportation of jobs and economic value. Our New Growth Path and the associated Industrial Policy Action Plan are, contrary to the views of some members of this House, a call for a paradigmatic shift in our mineral exploitation so as to maximise the long-term returns from our endowment.
As emphasised by the President, we need to increase the level of the beneficiation of strategic minerals in a way that will expand downstream opportunities and align those efforts with our industrial development imperatives. This means a value chain focus on enhancing the value of exports, stimulating investment in manufacturing and creating opportunities for sustainable employment creation.
The beneficiation strategy will also contribute to the development of another key job driver in the New Growth Path, namely the knowledge economy. My colleague, hon Pandor, spoke about this earlier on. This will be done through increased research and development, innovation, and the development of competitive advantages, as linked to our priority value chain. These are the priority value chains which we believe we will be able to present to the Cabinet in March this year: iron ore, energy commodities, autocatalytic converters, diesel particulates and titanium. We have completed implementation plans for the first two and will focus this year on the finalisation of the remaining three. We will implement them hand in hand with the relevant government departments and industry stakeholders.
As we reflect on the historic outcomes of 17th Conference of the Parties, Cop 17, held in December 2011 in South Africa, we look forward to the Rio+20 Summit to be held in Brazil later this year. Government will engage the mining industry to do more to support our commitment to sound environmental management and to explore programmes that will reduce the carbon footprint.
We will embark on a review of the Environmental Management Programmes of holders of old order mining rights to bring them in line with the MPRDA, as well as address inadequacies of financial provisions. This will ensure that we do not bequeath liabilities to the next generation, for it deserves nothing but the best.
We will work hard to ensure that the mining industry moves, beyond the words, as Ben Okri would say, for words sometimes mean absolutely nothing. We will ensure that we continue to apply without fear or favour, provisions of section 54, to ensure that we reduce the carnage in our mines. We will do so as we attend to legitimate cases of concerns that may arise in the application of the law. We will also work through Migdett, to deal with the concerns of the industry.
In this regard, I want to condemn in the strongest terms the violent assault and death of Ms Binky Moseane at the Khomanani mine in Rustenburg. She was robbed of her right to life in a senseless and brutal act. This incident is not only shocking but must not be allowed to take root in the mining industry.
Women have fought long and hard to earn their right to contribute meaningfully to this industry. I therefore wish to call on all businesses to take stringent measures to ensure that mines are made safe working places for women, where the principles of gender equality are wilfully implemented. [Applause.]
Women need to be protected and an enabling environment created for them to function without fear, harassment and discrimination. Management must take responsibility by putting systems in place to ensure that the incident that led to Ms Moseane's death is never repeated. It is our expectation that we will never have to witness such an incident ever again, as it does not have a place in this industry and in South Africa. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
BUSINESS SUSPENDED AT 15:53 AND RESUMED AT 16:09.
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 31
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Speaker, hon President, hon Deputy President, hon members and colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and compatriots, indeed we welcome the blow-by-blow account of progress made on the delivery of a better life for all, as presented by President Jacob Zuma in the 2012 state of the nation address. South Africa is on track to deliver on these key priorities we have singled out as part of our electoral mandate.
We mostly welcome the national focus on massive public infrastructure development. In this regard, quality education and skilling are of paramount importance. As we said in July 2011 when we launched the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac, Accord on Basic Education with organised labour, business and community representatives:
Performance in the schooling system is at the heart of building the skills base for economic growth and development and ensuring that the society is able to achieve our equality and developmental goals.
Despite challenges, there is progress in education. The system is more equitable and propoor than it was before 1994. We have built a relatively stable schooling system that has extended the right to basic education to over 12 million learners in more than 24 665 public schools. Our current achievements show exceptional delivery on section 29 of the Constitution and a progressive shift towards a social reality wherein everyone has a right to basic education.
We are three years ahead of the 2015 targets of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs. As the President has reported, indeed we have doubled Grade R enrolments from about 300 000 in 2003 to more than 705 000 in 2011. We also proudly report that more young South Africans are completing Grade 9. There is a growth from 80% in 2003 to 88% in 2010. As you know, more black South Africans are completing Grade 12 according to the 2010 Household Survey. The percentage of learners who qualified for Bachelor's Degree studies has increased to 24,3%, which places us on target for our 2014 commitment.
Free schooling and meals are central to our propoor policies to maximise access and roll out poverty. Over 8 million learners in over 80% of public schools benefit from the no-fee school policy. Over 90% of schools in Limpopo, Free State and the Eastern Cape are no-fee schools.
As the President has acknowledged, we have achieved a lot in our dialogue with teacher unions. So, I don't know what is the jumping around about this. Indeed, we have achieved a lot and I think it gives us a reason to appreciate and acknowledge that we are making progress in communicating with our teacher unions. [Applause.]
The triple T of teachers, textbooks and time in which means the President called for focus in 2011, will benefit from well-informed and well-prepared teachers. We are already, in partnership with our teacher unions, implementing the Integrated Strategic Planning Framework for teacher education development. It is the first time that our teacher unions are involved with us in teacher development. So, the monies I think the member raised an issue on, belongs to the SA Democratic Teachers Union, SADTU. I think it is unfair because it belongs to them. Indeed, they are working with us to implement this framework and it is the first time that we have been able to achieve that.
We are also using specialist teams comprising of our best teachers and educators from higher education institutions and NGOs to ensure quality teacher development.
We will turn the teacher laptop initiative into an effective tool for entrenching information and communications technology in teaching and learning in line with the White Paper on e-Education. There were indeed challenges in the initial roll-out which we are ironing out in consultation again with unions and Treasury. An announcement will be made soon and again we are working with them on this.
A process is under way at the Education Labour Relations Council, ELRC, where again we will sit with our teacher unions to simplify and streamline the Integrated Quality Management System, IQMS, because it is an important matter that needs to be resolved if we have to improve accountability. Therefore hon members would know that this is the system we currently use to evaluate educators' performance and which was agreed on at the ELRC in 2003. Once again, another instrument - the Teacher Performance Appraisal - will replace the existing IQMS.
Processes are being finalised to evaluate principals and deputy principals. Again, we are working with teacher unions on this one, not only SADTU, but all of them. This would inaugurate a new era of performance agreements, accountability, sound school management and the accruing benefits of quality teaching and proper use of time. Again, this is the first time that we are going to able to get this as a system. Once again, thanks to all our teacher unions for the good work in that area. [Applause.]
We have published for comment, the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit Bill and the closing date is 17 February 2012.
Hon members will recall that in 2011 the curriculum review process was completed. Again, on those review teams we not only had academics, but we also worked with all our teacher unions on the curriculum reviews. At the heart of this has been the need to promote and improve curriculum implementation and new learning outcomes.
This year, regarding the new Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, Caps, which is being introduced in Grades 1 to 3, we've trained teachers and developed learning groups support material for a successful roll-out. We will support and monitor its implementation. We want to report that in 2011 we provided a targeted intervention in all underperforming schools, with 4 612 schools visited by the end of the second quarter.
Again, as we promised, progress has been made on the provision of learning and teaching support materials. In 2011, we provided high quality workbooks to around 6 million learners. I am told that one of the DA members was saying that her dream is to produce these books. He or she dreamt about things which are already there. He or she doesn't need to dream about books when they are already there. [Applause.] We have the pleasure to announce that the National Workbook Programme has been extended from Grades 1 to 6 to Grades 7, 8 and 9. [Interjections.]
Mrs S V KALYAN: Speaker, on a point of order.
The SPEAKER: Hon Minister, there is a point of order. What is the point of order?
Mrs S V KALYAN: Speaker, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for the hon Minister to mislead this House? There are no books in Limpopo. [Laughter.]
The SPEAKER: That is not a point of order.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: There is a difference between a textbook and a workbook. [Interjections.]
The Speaker: Order, order, hon members!
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: I have visited schools in Limpopo and witnessed what I am saying. I don't know which Limpopo she is talking about. In the Limpopo that I visited, I witnessed workbooks in schools. So I am not sure what the member is talking about. Maybe she is talking about rumours. I am talking about facts that I have witnessed as a Minister. There are workbooks! [Applause.]
Mrs S V KALYAN: Speaker, will the Hon Minister take a question?
The SPEAKER: Hon Minister?
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: "Hhayi." No. This speech is long.
The SPEAKER: Continue, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: We have extended the workbooks programme, because of the savings that we made from the initial budget, to Grades 7, 8 and 9. By the end of February 2012, we would have distributed 54 million workbooks into the system. [Applause.]
The 2012 state of the nation address was spot-on on infrastructure. It is one of the most formidable constraints that is making it harder to deliver on the mandate of providing educational services to the nation's children in an environment that is conducive for learning. Unlike what hon member James said, that we are focusing on the infrastructure because of the case involving 10 schools and therefore allocated R8 billion to eradicate about R235 000, it can't be more of a distortion. I am not sure how the member came to that conclusion.
What led us to conclude that infrastructure is necessary are the facts that we have before us that we also derive from our work. Behind the compromise of the right of children to learn in a favourable atmosphere with adequate classrooms, libraries, laboratories, fencing, electricity, water and sanitation, lies the mammoth task of building the necessary infrastructure and resolving the backlog that we have inherited. Despite the fact that, from the year 2000 to date, we have built 1 206 new schools and provided 36 000 classrooms and provided water to more than 5 214 schools with the support and assistance from the Department of Energy. We have electrified 2 847 schools and have fenced 2 655 schools and provided sanitation to 10 000 schools. But the fact remains that the backlog is still unbearably high.
The availability of infrastructure and other physical resources thus limit access to knowledge, resources and learning. It was in addition to the need for new schools because we have expanded access to education, the very existing schools require infrastructure upgrading as well as constant maintenance. There are major shortfalls because even amongst the very high numbers that we say we have provided water to, there is still a shortfall in terms of water and sanitation and basic furniture like chairs, laboratories and libraries. So it is not a court case in the Transkei which tells us what we need to do, but the information before us.
The infrastructure from the National Infrastructure Maintenance Strategy, Nims, shows that there are key gabs in terms of the sufficient infrastructure of space backlogs. For instance, despite the fact that we have already built more than 1 200 schools in the past 10 years, we have almost 16 000 schools that don't have adequate administration blocks. We have more than 14 000 schools that don't have libraries, more than 18 000 that don't have laboratories, 13 000 that don't have computer centres and more than 4 000 schools that do not have sporting facilities. And I know that when we tell the opposition the facts, that we don't have classes, they come back and say you don't have classes. When we say we want to address infrastructure, they will come and say you must address infrastructure. These are the facts we are giving and we are not denying them. [Applause.] We say that we have to do it.
We have an estimated shortfall of 64 000 classrooms, so don't come back to me and remind me that we have a shortfall of 64 000 classrooms. I'm saying that we have a shortfall of 64 000 classrooms, which translates to more than 30 000 schools. Despite the fact that we still have a big number of schools built entirely out of mud, we have conducted - as I say it is not a court case - a study that has demonstrated the enormity of this challenge. However, at the current rate and method of provision, our target can only be achieved in 20 years. That is why we can't wait. I welcome the Presidents' intervention through the Presidential Infrastructure Programme and the inclusion of education as one of the key levers that will help us to address this. At the rate that we are going and budgets that we have, we will only be able to address this backlog - it does not matter how hard we work - in 20 years, and we can't wait. That is why we know that this programme is going to assist us.
Our aim, which stands to benefit from the country's focus infrastructure development, is to accelerate the delivery of school infrastructure and furniture, eliminate backlogs and bring all schools to basic functionality.
I can see that I am running out of time, Speaker. We can report on the progress that we have made in the delivery of the accelerated school infrastructure delivery. [Laughter.] Again, we have statistics and I can report on that, for I know that there is a big interest in terms of what we are doing in the Eastern Cape. We are saying the R8 billion for the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, Asidi, is from the national grant for infrastructure nationally. Though we will prioritise schools in the Eastern Cape, schools in other provinces are also meant to benefit. I have also listed a number of programmes that I think we want them to benefit from.
I really want to appeal to all members in this House, seeing that 2012 is the year for school governing body elections, and I want to take this opportunity to invite all members and our people to play an active role in making the process a success.
I want to quickly go into some distortions which are making the rounds, I think in this House and all over. As you know, we have maintained a consistent increase in the pass rate and I must underscore that the 70,2% is a true reflection of the performance of the class of 2011. It is an achievement we should all welcome and be proud of as a serious nation truly committed to skills development and economic growth.
Umalusi, which is the one who has authority, not anybody else, said that the 2011 results were fair, valid and credible. The Star newspaper itself said, through its experts, the papers were fair. So, as much as we are concerned with maths and science, we also want to say that we are making progress.
For the interest of hon members and the people I want to clarify the minimum requirement to obtaining a National Senior Certificate. There is a minimum, not mandatory, pass percentage for all learners to perform at a certain level. Sober comparison to most of the certificates, which I think we all have in this country as compared to the ones we are issuing now, the Senior Certificate and the National Senior Certificate, show that our standards have not dropped.
For the new certificate, seven subjects are required to pass, whereas in the past we required six subjects to pass. A candidate in the past could pass with a converted pass of 25%. I hear everybody is screaming about 30%. You will find that half of those who are screaming have 25% as part of their certificates. You used to pass with 25%, we are saying the minimum for pass to be admitted for a Bachelor's Degree, you need to pass in the new certificate a minimum of four subjects at 50%, two subjects at least at 30% and you must pass a home language at 30%. In the certificates which most of us and all the members were screaming about 30%, you needed only four subjects to pass to get a Bachelor's Degree at 40%. That is what we have changed. No, 30% is what we all hold for it was hiding under symbols and when people obtained an F symbol did not know that it was falling under the 30%. That F was 30% and half of the people who have certificates have that 30%.
The SPEAKER: Order, Order, hon members!
The MINISTER OF BAIC EDUCATION: Again, we would like to emphasise that we have made progress. In conclusion, I really want to request with all humility that members of the opposition should not make the Western Cape their private pet. We will not fear or be prejudiced against the Eastern Cape. We will congratulate them when they work well, but we will also point it out when there are problems. We won't be ashamed to say that in the Northern Cape we have a problem of foetal alcoholic syndrome. We are not picking up on them. But if we are saying in the Western Cape, because of the farm worker phenomena, there is a high level of children dropping out of school, let's not pick on the Western Cape. The Western Cape is part of this nation and we will talk about it as we talk about any other province. [Applause.] So, the Western Cape cannot be a pet. We can't be intimidated about raising issues regarding the Western Cape. So we are not picking on the Western Cape, indeed statistics say that there are problems in terms of dropping out, but there are also problems in other provinces in terms of other things. We would not be shy to say because of poverty of some areas of Limpopo and poor parental control we are experiencing difficulties in terms of discipline. So, we are not picking on the Western Cape, it is not anybody's pet, it is a part of this country. I thought I should remind you about that and we will talk without fear or prejudice about the Eastern Cape. [Applause.]
So, we will commit once more to the nation that the approach of business unusual will continue into 2012 and beyond in working together with our people we do promise that we will improve quality basic education. As I said, Mr President, we are working very hard and we are not sure why 75% will be impossible this year because we are putting all our energy into making sure that we move on an upward trend and backwards never. Thank you very much, Speaker. [Applause.]
Mr S MOKGALAPA
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 32
The MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION
Mr S MOKGALAPA: Hon Speaker, one in four South Africans can't find work. Over 2 million South Africans live in poverty. Half of them live in informal settlements. In his state of the nation address, the hon President mentioned the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. He acknowledged that the most vulnerable South Africans suffer most from this challenge. The DA agrees with you, sir.
The question is: What can we do to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens are given the opportunities they deserve to lift themselves out of poverty? That is the question we ask ourselves everyday, where ever we are in government or in the opposition. Part of the answer lies in the creation of sustainable human settlements. I say this because everybody needs a home; not just a house, but a home – a place to call their own, with electricity, running water and sanitation. A home is a place that a family can be proud of. A place where children can study in safety and comfort so that they can seize the opportunities their parents only dreamt about. Not just a house, but a home.
Mongwe le mongwe o tlhoka legae leo a ka ipelang ka lona.
We didn't hear much about housing in the President's address last week. The President did announce an important subsidy for people who are too poor to afford a house but earn too much to qualify for a state-subsidised house. We welcome this announcement. But, Speaker, it has to be said that this is not new money. It is the money that the provinces will have to find in their existing housing budgets. This means that money will be taken away from other housing projects to be reallocated for this purpose.
I know that there are no easy answers to the housing shortage and backlog. But, I also know that, with enough dedication and political will, it is possible to give far more people access to housing opportunities and basic services. I know this because that is what my party is doing where it governs.
Let me share with you the hard facts. In 2010 and 2011 the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements delivered 11 141 service sites. In the same year, the number of individual subsidies approved to beneficiaries in the R0 to R3 500 category was 752, far exceeding the department's target of 450, Minister Manuel. The Western Cape Department of Human Settlements has also developed a new project management system that will allow for greater transparency and efficiency in the delivery of houses. In the City of Cape Town, the provision of free services has been improved in all informal settlements on unencumbered land.
Again, in 2010 and 2011, the City of Cape Town provided 7 472 housing opportunities and launched two large, ready to use, integrated housing development projects at Pelican Park and Scottsdene. These projects consist of a total of 5 500 housing units.
Lastly, in 2010 and 2011, the City of Cape Town's excellent accreditation record from the national Department of Human Settlements meant that it has been accredited to plan, approve and implement human settlement projects. This is an important step towards the accelerated delivery of housing opportunities.
We have achieved this by getting the basics right. No government is perfect, but any government can make progress if it follows some simple rules. The first rule is to appoint the right people in the right places. We don't do cadre deployment. The second rule is to clean up government so that the people's money is used for the people, not to enrich the politically connected. The third rule is to give people power to help themselves. Let the people become agents of change, not passive dependents of the state.
Speaker, it is an unnecessary tragedy that 1,5 million state-subsidised houses have not been registered in the deeds registry. It means that people do not feel that they really own the homes they live in. It means that they cannot use their houses as security to obtain financing for entrepreneurial activity. The state of the nation address was an opportunity for the President to announce a drive to give people title deeds and a sense of ownership of their property so that it feels like more than just a house; so that it feels more like a home.
The speech was also an opportunity for the President to announce some truly innovative policies and alternative building technologies that could speed up the delivery of housing opportunities. He has to look no further than the work that we are doing just a few blocks from here in the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements.
Let me just share three of them with you: Firstly, we have prioritised the in situ upgrading of informal settlements so that more people can benefit from access to clean water, sanitation and electricity even if they don't have a state-subsidised house.
Secondly, we are increasing the delivery of high density housing to bring people closer to public transport and economic opportunities. We want to undo the legacy of apartheid urban planning that has divided our people.
Lastly, we are encouraging public and private partnerships in integrated housing projects so as to build social cohesion.
Tirisanommogo ya mmuso le setšhaba, mmogo le boradikgwebo e botlhokwa thata.
In conclusion, in an open opportunity society people are empowered to seize opportunities that a clean and efficient government offers them. That is the society we are working towards where we govern.
Re le mokgatlho wa DA, re rotloetsa batho go nna le boikarabelo le tsaya karolo mo go tsa kago ya matlo. Gape re rotloetsa mmuso go thusa segolobogolo ba ba dikobodikhutswane mme ra re mokodue go tsoswa o o itsosang. Mabogo dinku a thebana. Ke a leboga, Sebui.
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 33
Mr S MOKGALAPA
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon Speaker, Mr President, Mr Deputy President and hon members, just as we set ourselves to do big things in government there are those among us who will always refuse to accept that reality. They are always blinded by their own beliefs and they refuse to rise from their deep sleep of ignorance. Of course, it is by choice.
This state of affairs reminds us of the writings of William Eggers and John O'Leary in their book titled Getting Big Things Done in Government where they identify several traps that people have to overcome in order to realise that it is possible to do big things in government. One of the traps is that of creating walls between those who do good things and those who believe that nothing good can be done until it is done by them.
For us as the ANC we are proud of our track record of doing big things for the people of South Africa. We delivered freedom; we introduced democracy; we united and reconciled South Africa in terms of the truth and reconciliation project; and we created structures for a people's government.
The infrastructure development programme that punctuated the state of the nation address is yet another commitment by the ANC to continue to do big things for the people of South Africa. That should be enough for all leaders of substance to embrace such a practical programme of delivery.
Nkulukumba Presidente, u tiyisile loko u vula leswaku laha ka ANC ka tirhiwa. Hi famba hi tiforo ta dzundze ra tiko hi khomile mujeko wa ANC. Lavo pfumala mavondzo va ri karhi va ku: "Vaxumi." Hi nkarhi wolowo hina va ANC hi hlamula hi ku: "A hi va voni."
... due to our humble character of availing ourselves to the service of the nation without being hypocritical about it and always aiming to rise to the level of the challenges confronting our people.
Hon members, the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment that the President referred to in his address are always reflected at the local area. It is therefore at this level that we would hear loud voices shouting for help when the going is tough, and it will be these voices heard loud celebrating the good message in infrastructure development as announced by our President.
The local area is at the coalface of service delivery, hence, as the ANC-led government, we introduced a system of co-operative governance and built a three sphere governance mechanism that is distinct, interdependent and interrelated. We so guided these spheres to work together for the development of the local area. Promoting co-operative governance is in fact an act in promoting and implementing the Constitution. It is the dictate of the Constitution that these three spheres of government have to work together in a complementary manner and that they are discouraged from litigating against each other.
The infrastructure development programme is meant to succeed with the strengthening of intergovernmental relations and it is in this context that the programmes pronounced have to be included in the integrated development plans of municipalities although they are driven by sector departments either at national or provincial level. In doing so the beneficiary communities would be taken on board. This is an anchor for our democracy, which is public participation.
Mr Speaker, the Traditional Affairs Bill that the President referred to is meant to strengthen the role of our traditional institutions in developmental programmes. In terms of this Bill, four pieces of legislation are meant to be reviewed. Amongst other things is the repeal of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, the amendment of the National House of Traditional Leaders Act, the Municipal Structures Act as well as the Act governing the activities of the commission that deals with the remuneration of the traditional leaders.
It is our target that the Bill should reach this House by June this year. What is meant to be achieved in this Bill is the recognition and location of the Khoisan community and others as important pillars of organs of a peoples' government in a democracy; the establishment of local houses of traditional leaders; and an effective mechanism to provide space for traditional leaders to have their voices loudly heard in interacting with the commission responsible for the remuneration of traditional leaders.
Whilst at this point of the remuneration of traditional leaders, I want to state that we are trying our best to manage the situation. One of the serious challenges that we are managing is in the definition of the sphere, roles, jurisdiction, powers and tools of trade for the junior traditional leaders, otherwise called headmen and headwomen. The complex issue about that is the absence of generic rules governing their situations hence the numbers and criteria for appointment differ from one royalty to another. We know of the situation of headmen and headwomen in Limpopo as referred to by Mr Godi yesterday. We are meeting them soon to manage the situation and provide answers to the questions they raised.
We are prepared to engage on this matter with a view to create space for those leaders to be listened to. Of course, we know that one of the major developments in the transformation of traditional affairs is the conclusion of the process dealing with leadership claims at kingship and queenship levels although there are court challenges in some of these areas.
We are now dealing with claims of leadership at senior traditional level. I can assure hon members that although it is not easy to undo the wrongs of colonial and apartheid distortions of history in general and its impact on traditional institutions in particular, as the ANC we remain focused to restore the dignity of traditional institutions.
There is no doubt that our traditional communities stand to celebrate the infrastructure development programme announced by the President as that empowers the local spheres where the triple challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty is mostly felt. It is therefore, the responsibility of all leaders of note to reach out to these traditional communities to unpack the infrastructure delivery programme and what it means to the people.
Our traditional leaders have the responsibility as individuals and as members of houses of traditional leaders to take this message. Of course, I have no doubt that the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, Contralesa, will be there with the people as they always are. I call on all Members of Parliament who have constituency Offices in traditional communities to take this message to that level of the local community.
The President confirmed our position that, as the ANC, we do not claim easy victories and will tell no lies. He admitted that the willing-seller, willing-buyer policy is not succeeding according to our dreams and plans. Similarly, the ANC government admitted in 2009, after doing an assessment of the state of governance at the local sphere, that our local government profile called for serious intervention - hence the introduction of the local government turnaround strategy.
Pfhumba lera ku cinca maendlelo eka mafambiselo ya mifumo ya le makaya i rivoni leri langutaneke na ku voningela makorhokele ya vanhu leswaku ku tshemba ka vona ku nga tshuki ku huma eka mfumo na leswaku timasipala ti kota ku tirha hi ndlela leyi hlawulekeke.
Through the local government turnaround strategy we aimed to build confidence between the people and local government through strengthening the municipalities to be effective, efficient and developmental.
In terms of the turnaround strategy, an accelerated effort had to be exerted in terms of mobilising players to act in unique ways according to their strategic location in the context of co-operative governance such as the following: National government to be well organised in relation to the local government sphere. In this regard we resolved to ensure that all national departments partner with municipalities to assist them to address their challenges. The focus of this support should be based on the understanding that, whereas they plan at national level, departments should know that they deliver at local level and that at times municipalities get blamed for the failures of national departments.
Provincial governments should improve their support and oversight of the local sphere of government for the same reasons that were mentioned for national departments. Municipalities should draw a shortlist of their respective delivery projects and aim to achieve that within a given period of time and that was meant to be contained in their municipal turnaround strategies. All three spheres of government were to be mobilised to improve intergovernmental relations. Political parties should promote and enhance the institutional integrity of municipalities. The public should be encouraged to actively participate on matters of local government.
These were the questions all of us should ask ourselves for whatever time that we derive interests in the local government turnaround strategy. The question that we have to answer today is whether we have achieved that broad aim of the strategy and whether the strategy is still relevant to deal with challenges of local government.
Mr Speaker, in keeping with the exemplary leadership by the President of admitting where we believe there is room for improvement in our performance record, we should together say that there is still work to be done at the level of local government.
Whereas it is not all doom and gloom and that there are remarkable pockets of excellence in the functioning of our local government, the following issues have the potential for eroding confidence in our local government structures, namely financial management, governance, fighting corruption and service delivery. I call on all players to take positions in line with our respective roles to support the local sphere as it is everybody's business.
The record of financial management and municipalities poses a serious threat as can be seen in the recent Auditor-General's report and the report recently produced by the NCOP's Select Committee on Finances after their visits to one of our provinces. If things go at this rate we may see ourselves realising the clean audit target beyond the year 2014 and that's against our target.
We note on governance issues that there are quite a number of municipalities that were placed under section 139 and that they only got out of it on technicalities such as their terms coming to an end. We will soon present a report on our assessment in this regard as to whether there has been a turnaround after those interventions.
In this regard we note one example recently reported of the Sundays River Valley Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape which responded positively to the section 139 intervention and corrected all identified challenges. Our fight against corruption remains top in our agenda as we provide support to the municipalities and call on all players to co-ordinate our efforts in the spirit of co-operative governance.
We have taken a decision that, instead of keeping a stand-alone unit to fight corruption, our role should be to provide a co-ordination mechanism of all created instruments for fighting corruption in a co-ordinated manner. We should all avail ourselves to intensify our efforts to accelerate service delivery at the local level.
We said of ourselves that in committing to work hard in order to realise the objectives of the local government turnaround strategy, we resolved that we will assist municipalities to the point that we will all refer to our municipalities and say, "My municipality, my service". We are going to work closely with the SA Local Government Association, Salga, and provide support to it so that at the end of the day all of us will say, "My Salga, my collective voice".
In support of the institutions of traditional rule we committed and resolved to work very hard so that at the end of the day all of us, one by one will refer to it and say, "My traditional institution, my pride".
We are positioning co-operative governance in such a way that when it comes to intergovernmental relations all of us will proudly say, "My Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, my intergovernmental relations co-ordinator". Let us work together; Let's support each other. It is possible to do big things in government. Mr President, thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr R B BHOOLA
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 34
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
Mr R B BHOOLA: Mr Speaker, his Excellency the President of the Republic, by now it is a common fact that your good friend, the late honourable Mr Amichand Rajbansi, has passed on and I, on behalf of our newly appointed leader, Mrs Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi, would like to express sincere gratitude and appreciation to the state, his Excellency the President and the hon Premier of KwaZulu-Natal for affording the late honourable Amichand Rajbansi the highest dignity a citizen in South Africa can get, a state funeral as recognition for his contribution to the political landscape of this country. [Applause.]
Political commentators have expressed deep concern around some of the matters highlighted in the state of the nation address and certain aspects that the hon President remained silent on. The issue of poverty was not acutely addressed. This relates particularly to the structural unemployment of the youth. The current unemployment range between the ages of 15 and 34 is a clear indication that the policies and reforms can do more to address the plight of the youth. We have to seriously question what happens to the matriculants that pursue tertiary studies and the majority who don't. What happens to those who fail in school, those who pass and are unemployed, and those who study and remain unemployed?
In the state of the nation address of 2011, R9 billion was set aside for job creation. Of this, only a portion was spent, and the balance is something that we have been silent about. The longer the silence, the greater the rate at which poverty grows. We need a quick fix solution to these growing problems because these are our citizens.
The problem with our economy as it stands is that it is dominated by the overdependence on mineral exports and foreign exchange earnings. We are weak in the manufacturing and transport industries, in providing job opportunities and careers, as these are highly underdeveloped in South Africa. Another serious is concern is that the inequality gaps, the pay gaps, etc have increased in the past few years. Society is plagued by casualisation of the workforce, and the extent to which labour brokers feed into unemployment has to be regulated.
We are informed that the willing-buyer, willing-seller principle has not worked in South Africa. The MF strongly believes in the essence of land redistribution as one of the cornerstones of economic recovery. The question is how the state proceeds whilst respecting the constitutional provisions, and it is a matter that requires extensive deliberation and consultation. How we take the confidence of our people into this campaign is of paramount importance. What economic initiatives are proposed to ensure that legitimate and justifiable land expropriation processes result in the development of an agricultural economy that lends itself to manufacturing initiatives? What economic initiatives do we have for small emerging farmers? We must not underestimate the economic potential of this class of people in poverty alleviation.
No matter what, fraud and corruption is on the increase. Prosecution rates are slow, and it is apparent that the major contribution in corruption is in the Department of Human Settlements whilst our poor continue to live in shacks, waiting patiently for homes that they had been promised. The eThekwini Municipality is swimming in fraud, corruption and maladministration. Surely these officials are worse off than Julius Malema for bringing the political organisation into disrepute. Why do we keep them? Mr President, the MF calls for all disciplinary actions with respect to corruption by government officials, and actions against those in municipal offices must be fast-tracked with immediate effect.
We observe the complete marginalisation of minorities in the application of the affirmative action policies of government. They pay their taxes like all others. Why are they being excluded from being employed based on skills and qualifications? The MF wants to remind you, Mr President, that they also fall within the definition of black in the Constitution, and we plead with you not to exclude them. Mr President, we note the role that you played during the Convention for a Democratic South Africa, Codesa, negotiations, and so did the former leader of the MF, the honourable Amichand Rajbansi, who ensured the inclusion of a clause for the promotion, protection and preservation of all religious faith organisations. Mr President, the ethnic languages have come under tremendous pressure. We want you, Mr President, to intervene as this is actually being treated similarly to how the Indian languages were being sidelined during colonial rule.
We welcome the housing subsidy of R83 000; however, it does not in any way reflect the reality. The average cost of a house today is plus minus R400 000 and this demands a bond repayment of over R4 000 for somebody who earns R5 000 per month. There is very little to live on even when the subsidy is included. Furthermore, how will you address those who are blacklisted, who are citizens of this country and demand housing? Our responsibility to those without jobs must be that we continue to provide housing to them. It would be unfair not to, based on the fact that they are unemployed.
Another critical area that has been ignored is the area of sport, and the ability of our country to compete in all facets of sport. Mr President, the rate at which poverty is growing in our country far exceeds the rate at which reforms are been implemented. The cost of living has increased. The gap between the rich and poor has increased. The cost of electricity is high. Our policies and programmes are not addressing the issues of an ordinary man on the street but rather those politicians in key positions who control the economy and, undoubtedly, inequality has increased several fold.
In criticism to the state of the nation address, the MF has made proposals, and if it is implemented, Mr President, you will start to create hope and faith in the system. It is time to march forward all the way so there will practically be a better life for all. Mr President, poverty does not see race or face; it attacks almost anyone who comes in front of it. The MF strongly believes that good governance is not based on the promulgation of new pieces of legislation, but yes, undoubtedly by the evaluation of progress. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs L S CHIKUNGA
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 35
Mr R B BHOOLA
Mrs L S CHIKUNGA: Hon Speaker, hon the President of the Republic, hon the Deputy President of the Republic, Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen, fellow South Africans, on 6 April 1979, a heroic son of our people, a dedicated member of the ANC and a revolutionary of uMkhonto weSizwe, facing his murder and death at the hands of a racist regime, the apartheid government, said:
My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight.
As the ANC is celebrating 100 years, the blood of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu continues to nourish the tree that still bears the fruit of freedom. His life continues to inspire our forward momentum towards a truly emancipated society at peace with itself. Our commitment to the realisation of the ideals embodied in the Freedom Charter, of peace, security and comfort, enjoins us to become champions in the fight against crime in all its manifestations.
In dealing with the fight against crime, I will focus on three pillars which will seek to contextualise efforts by the ANC-led democratic government in the war against crime. The first pillar is the generators and the nature of crime. In its 49th national conference in December 1994, the ANC, the people's movement and an agent for change noted that, "The major cause of instability in the country remains inequity, poverty and deprivation."
The strategy and tactics of the ANC asserts that the war against crime cannot be separated from the war on want. It further underscores the social aberration that, in the main, crimes against the person, such as murder, assault and rape, etc are normally among acquaintances. Hence, it is suggested that the driving force in such circumstances is greed and the untenable socioeconomic circumstances that prevail in society, such as drugs and alcohol abuse.
The inferences that can be deduced from the current state of violent crime in South Africa, amongst others, are a manifestation and a legacy of the oppressive apartheid dispensation that we are emerging from. That society was characterised by violent and oppressive means of leadership stemming from colonisation, slavery and apartheid tendencies which the United Nations General Assembly had correctly characterised as a crime against humanity. The serial brutalisation of our people embedded itself in the collective national psyche and undermined our ubuntu, accounting for the characteristically violent nature of South African crime. Hon President, identifying unemployment, poverty and inequality as challenges that need our focussed solutions will also impact positively on crime reduction.
The second pillar is the comprehensive approach to crime. The hon Lindiwe Mazibuko, the leader of DA, last week issued out a media statement wherein she concluded by saying that the President's speech will do nothing to reassure South Africans that the government has a plan to keep them safe from criminals. [Interjections.] Hon Lindiwe, please listen to this. The recent National Victims of Crime Survey indicates that victims of crime are beginning to see some results in the fight against crime and the improvement in the treatment of victims. [Applause.] What is important about this survey is that approximately 30 000 people were surveyed in a biggest ever South African victim perception survey.
Honestly, we do understand that hon Lindiwe desperately wants to prove that she is performing better than her predecessor, hon Trollip, ... [Interjections.] ... hence a very confused and extremely bizarre reshuffle that angers and continues to frustrate many DA Members of Parliament. [Applause.] The deployment of hon Trollip to the portfolio committee that hon Lindiwe served in because hon Trollip had deployed her, the hon Lindiwe, to the portfolio committee is a tit for tat principle and a crystal clear sign of serious political immaturity. [Interjections.]
Regarding the media statement, my advice to the leader is that: Listening is a skill, reading is a wise act and knowledge is power. [Applause.] If the hon leader of DA had listened, she would have heard the President saying:
In 2009 we made a commitment to accelerate the fight against crime and corruption. We will, however, not become complacent. We are continuing to implement our programmes of making South Africans feel safe and to be safe.
The hon leader would have then obtained and read the 2009 state of the nation address which the President referred to, but she did not. [Laughter.] To remind members, the President had said that the most serious attention will be given to combating organised crime, as well as crimes against women and children. In this regard, significant progress has been made. For example, in 2010 the SAPS identified 50 of the top criminal suspects and 49 of those have been arrested. [Applause.]
Of particular note should be the work done in fighting drugs and proliferation thereof. A number of significant successes are being made by the SAPS members working with other international law enforcement, such as interception, busting of huge amounts of drugs and arresting members of international drug trafficking organisations.
To deal with crimes against women and children, the Minister of Police re-established family violence, child protection and sexual offences units. Furthermore, 900 victim support centres and 27 Thuthuzela centres have been established countrywide. However, the training of police, prosecutors and even magistrates on Domestic Violence Act, Child Justice Act, etc, is still necessary.
The President further said that we have to increase the number of prosecutors, Legal Aid Board personnel and police detectives. In response, the Department of Justice developed and introduced to Parliament a number of Bills, which you must be aware of, that seek to transform the judiciary and legal profession with the view of accessing justice. Yet, the challenges we still need to grapple with were captured well by the former President Mandela in 1994 when he stated that, "It is important that the legal system itself be made affordable, accessible and efficient." [Interjections.]
Somlomo, nangakithi kwaChikunga Elukwatini ngiwabonile amahhovisi eBhodi Yosizo Lwezomthetho. Kanti nalapha ngizalwa ngakhona koGcaba nakhona ngiwabonile, asekhona. Phela ngakithi koGcaba nangakithi kwaChikunga lapho ngendele khona amakhaya nje impela kodwa asekhona. [Uhleko.]
Regarding police detectives, the numbers have been increased. The detective training, which was a post-basic training during your time, is now part of the new two-year basic training curriculum for the SAPS. This means that, as we move forward, all the SAPS members, on completion of their basic training, shall have been introduced to detective courses. [Interjections.] However, we all agree that there is still a need to focus more on detective services, forensic services and crime intelligence.
Hon Davidson, you were made to speak on a subject you have no clue about. [Applause.] However, regarding rural safety, a Rural Safety Priority Committee, dealing with rural safety, is functioning at national level, and has representation from all role-players in the rural and farming community, including the SAPS, farmworkers unions, organised agriculture, including AgriSA and other government departments. This was discussed and agreed upon by all interested parties and stakeholders.
The President called on all of us to improve systems in our jails to reduce repeat offending. In this regard, a lot has been done to rehabilitate offenders, but overcrowding continues to undermine our efforts. The use of new electronic monitoring system will, hopefully, encourage the judiciary to make more frequent use of alternative sentencing options, wherein incarceration is there for serious crimes.
Government has also taken a strategic decision of building capacity of the South African National Defence Force by providing resources in order for it to play an even larger and leading role on the borders, in peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance in Africa and the world.
It is clear that a transformed Home Affairs makes a powerful contribution to the achievements made. In this regard, substantial service delivery improvements, amongst which are increased efficiency levels and the management of key processes, especially in the civic environment, including improved turnaround of identity documents and passports, is for all to see. [Interjections.]
President Zuma urged the nation to participate in the fight against crime because law enforcement agencies cannot do it alone. Our participation will ensure a social contract against crime. Lack of co-operation between communities and law enforcement agencies will defeat the objectives of partnership in the fight against crime.
Hon Speaker, hon Lindiwe Mazibuko, failed to appreciate the fact that crime statistics is revealing a steady decline, particularly for serious crimes, including business robbery, house robbery, car hijackings and even murder. [Interjections.] In fact, for the first time in our history in 2009-10 the murder figure fell below 17 000 from 26 877 in 1995-96 ... [Interjections.] ... because there was never any crime statistics kept before that. The government that was there was itself a crime. [Applause.] And in 2010-11 murder further decreased to 15 940.
So, yes, Mr President, we will not be complacent. These achievements and successes are no longer our potentials because our potential is that which we can do, but have not yet done. We will continue to implement our programmes with vigour. Crime is still a serious problem that affects all South Africans, hence it is one of the top five priorities for the ANC-led democratic government. Working together we will do more.
The third pillar is the impact of crime fighting. Without any doubt, it is a fact that if the criminal justice system functions optimally and society is effectively mobilised, then life for criminals would be made difficult to live within our midst. Our struggle has taught us that. It is true that we want to be safe and we want to feel safe. We believe that people who feel safe will be more productive.
We are spending a lot of money on fighting crime. We harbour no doubt that reduction of crime will allow us to channel more resources to our developmental agenda. Children who will grow up in an environment that has neither violence nor violent crime will most likely not commit crime or violent acts. Research has proved that. The ANC has indicated that it strives for a better life for all citizens where there is peace and friendship.
Hon members, as I conclude, our titanic struggle against the most vicious regime, the apartheid, taught us never to surrender even in the face of mammoth adversity. Through our own actions, we taught ourselves to act in unity to determine our own destiny. In honour of our heroes and heroines like Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, we will never stop believing and fighting for safe communities. We will remain unshaken in our commitments to call on all responsible citizens to become soldiers in the war against crime. Victory is certain. Amandla awethu! [Power is ours!] I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L S NGONYAMA
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 36
Mrs L S CHIKUNGA
Mr L S NGONYAMA: Hon Speaker, His Excellency the President, Deputy President and hon members, in his state of the nation address, the President said that we need to write a new story about South Africa. To succeed in this, the President will need to jettison much of what did not work or obstructed our growth. A new story will require extraordinary measures and a new vision so that it bears no resemblance to the old, except to the extent that what worked well is retained and interwoven into the new story.
An important chapter of the new, successful South African story should be about the creation of a national identity and common nationhood. As people who live in South Africa, we can no longer afford to look askance at one another because of the racial politics of the past. In paraphrasing a statement by Pixley ka Isaka Seme that encapsulates the concept of nationhood for indigenous South Africans at the time, the demon of racialism and ethnicity has to be buried and forgotten, as we are one people. As former president, His Excellency Nelson Mandela stated:
A common allegiance is what helps to define a nation; you either have divided loyalties on fundamental questions or an overwhelming sense of pride and belonging. A nation-state without this attribute exists only in name. It survives by coercion and subterfuge. It is a time bomb waiting to implode upon itself.
Achieving a common national identity is certainly not merely a peripheral issue. It is central to our very existence. It will commit our entrepreneurs, university graduates and others to stay here, invest here and build a future here. The uncertainty of a future here, for many people, is crippling our economy and impeding job growth. Half of the doctors trained in South Africa are working abroad.
Another important chapter of the new story should focus on the new economy that is for all. In the old story, a large segment of South Africans had disengaged itself to the point of being totally indifferent. Another large segment was coopted, and parasitically fed off the state, and a third, large segment manifested unabashed self-interest and greed. The new story must show an engaged citizenry of free-minded people working for their own good, as well as for the common good.
The very soul of our nation needs to be cleansed. We are warned in the Dinokeng Scenarios Project:
The seeds of our future already exist in our present, but our future is not preordained. We can nurture the "generative seeds" - our assets - and reap the rewards. Conversely, if we allow the "degenerative seeds" - our liabilities - to grow, they will destroy our future.
By "generative seeds", I mean that we need to use our human and physical assets in the most productive manner possible. Manufacturing is the Holy Grail in job creation. The new story should therefore profile manufacturing. The South African economy is too resource intensive at the moment and, as the National Planning Commission pointed out, this is a major problem which must be overcome.
South Africa in the new story must vigorously expand its production of tradable goods. In the new story, manufacturing enterprises employing fewer than 50 people should explode, creating millions of jobs for South Africans. The R10 billion set aside for job creation should stimulate the rise of new small enterprises as much as increasing the skills base of the work force and the unemployed.
On small business, the new story should introduce a new, flexible labour regime mutually beneficial to employer and employee without the present legal complexity. Small businesses which already create 60% of the country's gross domestic product, GDP, should be supported to double this quantum. This is the real engine of growth in the economy. The financing of small businesses has to be done in an integrated and co-ordinated manner. In this regard, the role of the provincial development agencies should be clarified so that there is no blurring of lines and functions.
The key issues that the new story must innovatively address are poverty, joblessness, inequality and lack of social cohesion. We agree with you on this. In this regard, sharp focus should be brought to bear on the employability of the four million people desperately but fruitlessly seeking employment. The issue of employability should be a significant theme in the new story.
The question as to who is speaking for the poor and the unemployed needs to be resoundingly answered. The Dinokeng Scenarios Project gives three possibilities: the jobless and the poor can walk behind and ask others to solve the severe problems they face; those within our society who are economically strong can choose to walk apart from them and ignore their plight as has been the case so far; or we can walk side by side with them and help reverse their situation.
In the last scenario, a mutuality prevails which will allow for individuals to better themselves, as they are being supported by fellow citizens and the government. Disengagement with the poor and the unemployed has to be remedied in the new story. Their voice has to be magnified so that they are clearly heard and their message is understood. This is a central platform for Cope.
The new story should reflect decisively on resolving deepseated tension arising from historic land seizures that has led to the exodus of skilled and seasoned agriculturalists to other parts of the world. This has contributed to food security challenges. The prevailing uncertainty must be cleared responsibly and urgently.
The imposition of the Land Act of 1913 and 1939, which dehumanised and left many people languishing in hunger, is a fact of life. Soaring food prices is a matter of great concern to us and must receive the immediate attention of the government in order to alleviate hunger and poverty.
In the new story, the relationship between government and the party has to be clearly demarcated. The blurring of lines has exacerbated corruption, compromised discipline and intensified inefficiencies. Professionalism has been sacrificed on the altar of party politics. This wrong culture has to be done away with, especially in provinces like KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, the Eastern Cape, the Free State and Mpumalanga. I commend the President for being forthright on stating which projects were in the pipeline so that the monitoring of the implementation can begin immediately.
In order for our economy to grow at above 8%, our country will need to invest R300 billion, or 10% of our GDP, in infrastructure this year. This pattern will have to be maintained for several years thereafter. Only then will a reversal of joblessness occur.
The thing that alarms us most is that over the last three years government borrowing has been increasing substantially. The national debt therefore stands at R1 trillion and the budget deficits regularly exceed 5%. Any deficit beyond 2,5% is exceeding the safety range. According to the SA Institute of Race Relations, the inward movement of foreign direct investment dropped from R45 billion in 2009 to Rll billion in 2010. Here is a problem of great magnitude that this government needs to fix.
The GDP is expected to grow at about 2,5% to 2,8% this year, shrinking tax revenue and mounting public debt. Could it be that South Africa is going to be plunged into a debt trap? The Municipal Finance Management Act, MFMA, and the Public Finance Management Act, PFMA, must be complied with, without any deviation from or relaxation of their requirements. At the same time, public pronouncements by the President regarding whatever review of the Constitutional Court and the judiciary are detrimental to the consolidation of our democracy, as these may be viewed as direct interference in how the judiciary should be run. This flies in the face of section 165(3) of our Constitution, which states that, "No person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the courts."
The new story should seek to nurture the generative seeds of economic growth, manufacturing, small business, human resource development, land, agriculture and food security, defence of the Constitution and the creation of nationhood or a common national identity. The new story should be an inclusive story owned by all South Africans.
Cope is committed to contributing to the new story. We genuinely believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, both black and white. That is why we will continue to raise these truths within the precincts of Parliament.
Masibambe isifungo, Mhlekazi, ukuze sibheke phambili. Enkosi. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Mr G R MORGAN
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Take: 37
Mr L S NGONYAMA
Mr G R MORGAN: Mr Speaker, I do not think anyone in this House can seriously quibble with the importance of the state delivering new infrastructure. It sounds impressive when the President lumps a whole bunch of infrastructure projects into one 75 minutes address. Minister Gigaba accuses the opposition of rehashing last year's speech, when truth be told, most of the projects announced by the President this year are rehashed projects that have been on the agenda for some time.
Nevertheless, credit must go to the government for moving the decision-making process along, better late than never, I guess. While building new infrastructure should be celebrated by all in the House, the question that I was left asking after the President's speech was: what about the existing infrastructure? It is convenient for the President to ignore existing infrastructure, everyone knows in politics you get points for building new things. There aren't too many points to be gained for maintaining old infrastructure. But, of course, when the old infrastructure fails, as it has in many parts of South Africa, that does become a problem. So, well done on the new infrastructure plans, Mr President, but on the big infrastructure balance sheet, you are still in the red.
Let's have a quick look at the SA Institution of Civil Engineering report card for 2011. A grade of D minus, with trajectory downwards, goes to the bulk infrastructure of the Department of Water - which is aging as a result of insufficient maintenance; an E for operation and maintenance of waste water treatment plants in rural areas; a D minus for paved provincial roads, a D for local electricity distribution due to aging or overloaded infrastructure.
The thing about infrastructure, new and old, is that one really needs it all to be functioning at the same time. This is not happening in South Africa, Mr President; failing infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, increases the costs of business and makes the lives of South Africans less safe. It is evident from the President's speech that state-owned enterprises are at the forefront of delivering new infrastructure. Transnet is Minister Gigaba's valentine, I trust the Minister paid for the flowers with his own money. [Interjections.]
Mr President, not mentioning the infrastructure that should be delivered and maintained by the three spheres of government does not make the problem go away. The state-owned enterprise-driven infrastructure is regionally specific. There are thus economic winners, both companies and workers in certain areas. What about the rest of South Africa? The rest of South Africa relies on government, whatever sphere, to provide the basic infrastructure and basic service delivery so that we can all go about our lives.
My colleague, the hon Steenhuisen, told this House yesterday about just how poorly managed government can be using Limpopo as an example. The Minister of Co-operative Governance suggests that there is a plan, but we have heard it all before, it is all platitudes. If you do not address cronyism and cadre deployment, you will not address the ails of local government. The greater irony is that the worker who gets a new job on a mine in the Waterberg, because that mine now has reliable rail route to the coast for export, drives home on a potholed road. She visits a local Limpopo clinic when she is sick, only to find it out of stock of medicine. Mr President, while I celebrate the new infrastructure push by state-owned enterprises, we need functionality across government.
The Minister of Science and Technology and stargazing says we need to stop being afraid of our potential for excellence. I agree. This is a country that tolerates far too much mediocrity. The Minister should start with promoting excellence in ANC-run municipalities. The ANC has a tradition of rational leaders, the Ministers cries – a bit defensive I think. But I would argue: where is this leadership in ANC-run municipalities? Where is the coherence in the Cabinet? The little spat between the Minister of Defence and the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr Mulder, shows that the Cabinet is about as united as an ANC branch in Limpopo. [Interjections.]
Another question that I was left pondering after the President's address was whether the push to mine had actually taken into account the ecological limits to growth. The Minister of Mineral Resources said nothing in her address that reassured me about this. The New Growth Path is an unrealistic plan when it comes to what is feasible. We are a nation of miners and, yes, we must pursue this among other economic pursuits. What about the water constraints and the carbon constraints?
The President and other speakers have made much of the need to fight corruption. Yesterday, the Minister of Justice said all the right things about the importance of the Constitution and a need for an independent judiciary. Are the Minister of Justice and the President singing off the same song sheet? This very week, coincidentally, the same week that the DA's case is being heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal regarding the NPA's decision not to prosecute the President; the President said that the powers of the Constitutional Court should be reviewed and, among other things, the executive is going to tell us which of the rulings of the court, in their opinion, are incorrect.
The President was quoted this week saying, "How can you say a judge is correct when judges have different views and a dissenting judgement is more logical?" But, Mr President, the Constitutional Court has a large bench so that it can reflect a variety of views. As my colleague the hon Smuts said this week:
A majority judgement gives us the wisdom of the majority of the judges and we are bound by it, however much all of us at times may prefer one or more of the minority judgements.
So, at the end of this debate, I am still not sure about you and Cabinet's commitment to the independence of the judiciary. In fact, I noticed you clapped in appreciation when the hon Mlangeni bemoaned the fact that opposition parties use the courts to rectify wrongs in your government. The Minister of Justice did nothing yesterday to dispel fears about Cabinet's decision to assess the impact of Constitutional Court rulings. What exactly do you plan to do with the results of this assessment, Mr President?
It must be said that the President and the Minister of Justice ignored the crisis in our justice system. We have an Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions because the President appointed someone who is for all intents and purposes has been found be the SCA not to be fit and proper. The Acting Director hardly inspires confidence; she was involved in engaging the political prosecution of Gerrie Nel, her immediate superior, in attempt to prevent the prosecution of Jackie Selebi.
Let me ask this to the hon Chikunga, who has so much to say about the DA: if government is so serious about tackling corruption, why emasculate the SIU, the most effective anticorruption agency this country has seen; when Willy Hofmeyr has just had his most successful year to date? To compound matters, a mess is made of replacing Hofmeyr. First if Heath, then it was Jiba, now Makwetla. Clearly the Department of Justice is in complete disarray.
Hon Chikunga, you tell us the fight against crime is going well, and you have a lot to say about crime statistics, but one in ten women reports a rape. The conviction rate by detectives is under 10% and whatever you might have to say about the murder rate coming down, it is still 16 000 murdered a year. Hon Chikunga, your focus on hon Mazibuko suggests you and the ANC are scared because in 2019 thereabouts, all of you will be a former shadow of yourself and we on this side will be the government. [Applause.]
The President would like us to believe that with promised new trains, roads and dams then he is a President firmly in control, the undercurrent of his address is that all is fine; everything is in hand. But the state of the nation speech was revealing, not because of what is said, but because of what it did not say. So thank you for the planes, trains and automobiles, Mr President, but what about the governance system in general? You have not reassured this House that you have that in hand. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Takes: 38 & 39
Mr G R MORGAN
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Speaker, Mr President, Mr Deputy President, colleagues and hon members, I didn't seen members looking as glum in previous state of the nation addresses as in this particular debate. [Laughter.]
Mr President, in your address to us on Thursday you gave our country a bold, detailed statement and a clear line of active march. You outlined some of the key features of a massive and integrated infrastructure build and maintenance programme that will help to catalyse a new, more shared, more job-creating growth path in our country, and indeed across our region.
It is a programme that has been developed and that will continue to be driven by the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, PICC, chaired by yourself with the Deputy President as the deputy convenor. The PICC involves Ministers, all nine premiers, metro mayors and the SA Local Government Association, Salga. It is not a new institution so much as a different way of doing things.
This is the developmental state at work in the midst of a mixed economy. Some of the programmes that you announced in the state of the nation address are not new. They have often lingered on in limbo. In many cases – the massive Waterberg development is an example – delays have been caused by private sector players that are not keen to be first movers. They have asked the legitimate question: If I invest in a mine will I have water, electricity and a rail line to get my commodity to the port?
The PICC's intervention provides certainty and co-ordination. Without a determined and strategic state, key resources will not be unlocked. The PICC draws its inspiration in part from what we learnt in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup. There was much scepticism, which still prevails in these quarters, about our ability as a country to be ready with transport, information and communication technology, and with sporting infrastructure. Indeed, without the leadership of the state, through the Local Organising Committee, deadlines would not have been met, and co-ordination between spheres of government, state-owned enterprises, SOEs and the private sector would not have happened.
The PICC is also about effective planning and phasing. In the build-up to the 2010 World Cup we saw a significant increase in construction jobs and construction sector activity. When the event was over, there was a slump in activity and, of course, a consequent loss of jobs. This time we need to ensure that we have a sustained and phased approach so that we have what we are calling an infrastructure pipeline with a continuous flow of projects. In this way, we can also ensure that we shepherd potentially scarce resources like steel, cement, bitumen and, critically and above all, our engineering and other related skills.
Mr President, this is a bold plan that you announced on Thursday and it threw the DA into complete disarray. The hon Mazibuko had already prepared her responses. "Not bold enough", she said. Her mentor, Premier Zille, begged to differ. In fact the hon Mazibuko was out of step with the whole of South Africa. [Laughter.] Business, the social movements and the labour sector all warmly welcomed this bold plan.
International comments from Bloomberg, the Financial Times and other quarters were also extremely favourable. An often cynical local media also overwhelmingly welcomed this announcement. "Zuma unveils a massive industrialisation plan", was the Friday morning headline of one newspaper. "Zuma's bold jobs plan. Big projects for provinces", was another headline.
So how did the Leader of the Opposition, the hon Mazibuko, initially respond? She said that the speech failed to give South Africa a bold plan. I am not sure if you know him, Mr President, but even the cynical William Saunderson Meyer, who proudly titles his weekly column Jaundiced Eye, felt that the hon Mazibuko was overdoing the jaundiced cynicism. [Laughter.] He wrote that, to commit R300 billion – and he was underestimating – to infrastructural spending – the equivalent of two and a half world cup events – is bold indeed.
Having snookered themselves in this way, the DA had to go back to the drawing board. They spent the whole weekend rewriting the carefully crafted speeches that they had prepared and which were now all dead in the water. [Laughter.] What we have had over these last two days of debate, Mr President, has been the DA, and also of course many of the other opposition parties, doing a very poorly camouflaged back flip, a very clumsy backward somersault.
Just about all of them began their speeches with varying degrees of honesty, conviction and reluctance. "We welcome your bold plan, Mr President", they said. Then, of course, there were the buts, and all of the buts amounted to saying, "but you didn't say enough about my pet project."
The hon James was a case in point. He said that this is the greatest expansion in government spending that we have seen. Actually it is amongst the greatest expenditures on infrastructure in the world. This is exactly what has enabled us to survive through a difficult global recession and which will help us to get out of the recession.
Then comes the hon James' but, "But, there's nothing about skills."
I don't know if it's a tin ear or ideological oogklappies [Blinkers.] that enables you to come to this conclusion. I don't know if you were listening to what was said. [Laughter.]
Transnet, for instance, has set aside R7,7 billion for artisanal training as part and parcel of this infrastructure plan. It is not just about infrastructure; it's about a totality of integrated approaches, including skills. R300 million has been set aside for the initial beginning of the universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga. Eskom and so on. We can quote many other figures.
Mr President, all of these buts reminded me of the training I received when I was in exile preparing to come back into the country to do underground work. My handler said to me, "Look, you are likely to get captured. It happens. You are going to be interrogated and tortured and it's very difficult to say nothing at all when you are being tortured. You are going to say things. But whatever you say, say nothing!" [Laughter.] That was the advice. [Laughter.]
That is exactly what has been happening. We have been hearing lots and lots of talk, but they have been saying nothing. [Applause.] [Laughter.]
"Empty tin drums", as the hon Minister Motshekga has said. We say that we have a shortage of so much, a backlog of so much, and they tell us we've got a shortage of so much and a backlog of so much. Like empty tin drums, they simply echo things that we have said. [Laughter.]
The hon Kilian rambled on pathetically, trying to suggest that the state of the nation address was really about the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung. Congratulations! I am really pleased that the hon Kilian knows when the ANC's national elective conference is happening. She even knows the venue of the annual elective conference of the ANC. The ANC's national elective conference will be in Mangaung in December 2012. I wonder if the hon Kilian has the foggiest idea when Cope's elective conference is going to happen! [Laughter.] [Applause.]
Mr President, in your state of the nation address you referred to three deep-seated structural challenges. These are the three interrelated, systemic crises that cut across our economy and our society. Firstly, you mentioned poverty. You didn't say it but let me say it as a white and, I hope also, as a red South African, that poverty is strongly racialised and is marked by gendered realities and geographical characteristics.
Secondly, you spoke of unemployment, which is not just cyclical unemployment fluctuating with growth cycles, but deep-rooted structural unemployment at crisis levels.
Thirdly, you mentioned inequality, which is related to the above and which continues to be marked by structural determinants, like where you are born, the colour of your skin and your gender. All of these realities create a very strong statistical probability of whether you will live in poverty, be employed or not, and therefore on what side of this huge inequality gap you will continue to live.
Interestingly, in her Sunday Times article this weekend, in response to your state of the nation address, the hon Mazibuko appeared momentarily to be agreeing with you, Mr President. She wrote, and I quote, "I agree with the President's diagnosis of South Africa's problems, that they are related to poverty, unemployment." And? There wasn't an "and"! She left out "inequality". Now, she will say that was an accident, but it's not accidental because the DA does not believe in a more equal society, but in an equal opportunity society. That is a very, very, very different thing indeed. If you don't believe me, have a look at the DA's official website. Click on the icon which says Our Policies, and then scroll down to the Open Society. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Order!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: This is how the opportunity society is described on the website:
In an open opportunity society your path in life is not determined by the circumstances of your birth, including your material ...
They don't like to use the word wealth or old money; they think that's a bit dirty –
... and demographic circumstances ...
They don't like to use the word race; it's a bit touchy-feely –
... but rather by your individual talents and your individual efforts. That is why, in an open opportunity society, a child born into poverty ...
Clearly, in their open opportunity society, children will still be born into grinding poverty –
... should nevertheless be able to become a brain surgeon, provided he ...
I assume they also mean "she", but they don't say it or maybe they don't mean it –
... has the talent and puts in the effort required to succeed.
There you have it, the open opportunity society. It's a kind of B grade version of Oprah Winfrey's world outlook: If you want it bad enough, you can get it. It's myopic, self-satisfied and ultimately a cruel, illusory opiate offered to the majority of South Africans. [Laughter.]
Now, nobody on this side of the House ... [Interjections.] ... You see, Mr President, it's the same party that treats the HIV testing campaign not as a campaign of personal responsibility and of collective solidarity, but as a marketplace lottery competition in which you too could become an individual winner. That is the whole outlook which informs this position.
Now, obviously, nobody on this side of the House is claiming that the circumstances of one's birth are absolutely determining. Individual effort is, of course, important. Differences in individual aptitude do exist. Certainly, nobody on this side of the House is arguing that those born into grinding poverty should fold their arms and feel sorry for themselves. All, or most of you, were born into grinding poverty and you didn't fold your arms and feel sorry for yourselves.
The DA - a party without a history, or rather a history that it doesn't want to own up to - is genetically unwilling to recognise the way in which a long history weighs down heavily upon us. It is a history that continues to structurally shape our present South African reality in a thousand ways.
They will tell us: "You have been in power for nearly 18 years. You can't go on blaming apartheid." Of course, we should not blame apartheid for our own shortcomings and mistakes. We accept that. But, it is not just a question of apartheid, and it is not absolutely a question of blaming. Apartheid formally existed for just some four decades – 40 years. But the history that continues to shape our society goes back three and a half centuries.
It is a history of genocidal attacks on the San and Khoi peoples. That is why the Deputy Minister Mulder has run away. I mean, it is outrageous. He makes a good point that we need to have a rational clear-headed discussion about land reform. But then he undermines his argument absolutely when he brings this horrible colonial myth that the land was empty when the white colonialists arrived. [Interjections.] He said that we must read the diaries of the voortrekkers. Well, I have read the diaries of the voortrekkers and I have also read the diaries of their predecessors, the Trek Boers. In those diaries, they boast of hunting parties that hunted down indigenous people as if they were just vermin. That is the truth and we cannot escape it. But the history is much more than this. The history of the slave system here in the Cape leaves continually a deep imprint on this part of the country. [Interjections.]
It is a history of ethnic cleansing over several decades on the so-called misnamed frontier. It is a history of migrant labour, concentration camp-style compounds, pass laws and racial taxes, put in place not by the apartheid regime, but by colonial governments at the insistence of big mining houses. It is a history of the 1909 Act of Union, of the 1913 Land Act; it is a history of the segregation years under the Smuts government, which laid the basis to our racialised urban spaces, in which the working class was confined to the periphery in dormitory townships. Then, of course, very late in the day came the four decades of apartheid.
To imagine that the structural impact of all of this can be undone in the space of a mere 18 years is infantile. But, if it is not a question of apartheid, it is also not primarily a question of blaming. The point is to try together to understand the deeply ingrained structural features of our society and economy that continue to reproduce racialised poverty, racialised inequality and racialised unemployment. [Applause.]
Mr President, let me give you one small example. It's a small example and it's not about race, particularly, or land; but it's a multibillion rand example of the manner in which our history has continued to shape the structural features of our economy. In your state of the nation address, Mr President, you announced that Transnet's National Port Authority, following the intervention of the national Ports Regulator; we will be rebating the port tariff charges on manufactured goods exported from South Africa to the tune of some R1 billion, this year.
Behind that announcement lies a revealing story. The national Ports Regulator, a relatively new entity, has uncovered a symptomatic reality which talks to this history. The port tariff charges on our bulk mineral exports, our coal and iron ore, are not above the international average. In fact, they are far below – considerably below the charges. [Interjections.] Yes, in Cape Town or in Saldanha, that is where the iron ore and coal go out. Those port charges are considerably below the international average. [Interjections.] That is why we regulate it.
But, the port tariffs on our manufactured goods that are exported out of the country are hugely above the international average. Now, what does that tell us? It tells us that over a century the structure of our economy, the deep structure, or the way in which our country and economy was linked into the global economy was, basically, as an exporter of unprocessed raw materials. So, everything has been shaped around the interest of the big mining houses and financial houses in our country that they pretend to speak for. [Interjections.]
So, water pricing, energy pricing, and ports pricing have all been skewed. This is something that we are now picking up and this is one example of the way in which - surely you will all agree that - we need to begin to transform the structure. It is not just about land or race but about deep structures in the economy.
By the way, talking about mining, hon Morgan, you correctly said that when we embark on unlocking, developing and getting investment on our mining we need to make sure that we are not undermining our natural resources, including our water resources and environment generally. You are absolutely right. But you are not arguing with us. You are arguing with neoliberals in your own party - the ones who are telling us that we have missed the mining boom, that our mining sector is over-regulated and that other counties are getting the investments. Why are other countries getting the investment? It is because there is no regulation or port regulation around environmental protection.
Let us, together ensure that we regulate effectively rather than complain about over-regulation. We must ensure that we have mining and have investment in mining, that we have predictable regulation and that it is also sustainable mining and sustainable activities in general.
In her speech yesterday – I am not picking on you, but you know you happen to be there, and I am being gentler than the hon Gigaba yesterday - the hon Mazibuko gave us a pipedream of a South Africa under the DA rule. "We will build infrastructures", she said. Okay, another echo, you know, we said we will so they say they will, okay good ... [Laughter.]
What she did not say is that, for instance, the City of Cape Town which is hugely resourced – it's a very well-resourced city and, fortunately, I'm a Capetonian and I'mproud to be a Capetonian - underspent on housing. It has one of the biggest housing backlogs in South Africa. It underspent by 29% and was reprimanded by the Auditor-General for this failure. [Interjections.] On road transport it underspent by 37%! [Interjections.] So, we are all challenged, including the City of Cape Town.
But, hon Mazibuko, you went on to say in your speech that you will build bridges. By that you did not mean actual bridges ... [Interjections.] ... but metaphoric bridges. You said we will build bridges between white and black, rich and poor, urban and rural; and again, as with the open society, the metaphor of bridges betrays the limitation of the whole DA agenda.
There have always been bridges between white and black, rich and poor, urban and rural. From the late 19th century through the years of internal colonialism and apartheid, the black majority in our country were excluded, yes. But it was never just a matter of exclusion; it was always an exclusion from citizenship, prime agricultural land, resourced suburbs, skills, business premises, in order to squeeze black people back into inferior inclusion, basically as cheap labour for the economy.
So, that was not just exclusion but exclusion and inferior inclusion. There were plenty of bridges to make sure that there was a continuous stream between rural areas and urban areas, the poor and the rich, black and white. There were recruitment agencies, pass law offices, and there were railway lines that were built. Just to make sure that those migrant labourers actually got onto the bridges, there was a host of coercive motivational factors: hut tax, head tax, and more land dispossession. Later, as urbanisation gathered pace, the same pattern of exclusion to distant dormitory townships and inferior inclusion happened.
Mr President, it is not a question of building bridges, it's about abolishing the distance – getting rid of it. That is not their agenda.[Applause.]
In your infrastructure plan that you announced from the Public Investment Corporation, that's what it is. It is not about building bridges, metaphoric bridges, and philanthropic bridges – it is about transforming South Africa, about transforming our space, our urban spaces, our rural spaces, and about massive transformation.
In advancing this line of march, Mr President, you have the support of the ANC. You have the support of an overwhelming number of South Africans, businesses, social movement, the unions, and not withstanding all the "ifs" and "buts"; I suspect you also have grudging support of the opposition parties. That, I suppose, is a good thing. We can do without them, but it helps that, as South Africans, we all pull together behind this united action to develop our country. Thank you. [Applause.]
The House adjourned at 17:52.
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