Hansard: NCOP: Plenary; Policy debate on Budget Vote 2: Parliament; Policy debate on Budget Vote 26: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Policy debate on Budget Vote 30: Environmental Affairs; Policy debate on Budget Vote 38,
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 11 Jun 2013
No summary available.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 1
TUESDAY, 11 JUNE 2013
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:02.
The Deputy Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 1
Start of Day
SUSPENSION OF NOTICES OF MOTIONS AND MOTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, I have been informed by the Whippery that there will be no notices of motion or motions without notice. Before we proceed, I would like to acknowledge all members who are seated in the gallery. Thank you for coming.
Mr M J R DE VILLIERS: Deputy Chairperson, for your information, before we start with the Order Paper, look at the Fifth Order, it is incorrect. Can we correct that before we start with the sitting, please? Number 31 should be 32.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It's accepted. Thank you very much.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 1
Vote No 2 – Parliament:
Mr M J MAHLANGU: Deputy Chairperson, hon members of the NCOP and guests of Parliament in the gallery, you are all welcome and we are happy that you are with us this afternoon. We appreciate the opportunity to present the budget of Parliament under this year's theme: Socioeconomic development through oversight and public participation. We do so a few days shy of June 19, a day that will mark the centenary of the passing of the Natives Land Act of 1913. This is about two weeks after we celebrated the golden jubilee of the Organization of African Unity which is now called the African Union, AU. The first verse of the AU anthem states, I quote:
Let us all unite and celebrate together
The victories won for our liberation
Let us dedicate ourselves to rise together
To defend our liberty and unity.
Given that we are nearing the end of the Fourth Parliament, I will look at what we set out to do at the beginning of the term; what we have actually done so far; the priorities of the current financial year and the future; and the challenges that we had.
What we set out to do in 2009: The key role of Parliament is to pass legislation, oversee government action, ensure public involvement and participate in international relations. In response to the work outlined for the mandate period of the Fourth Parliament, we developed the strategic plan with five strategic objectives. Under the umbrella of the people's Parliament, we subdivided these objectives into concrete and manageable outputs.
Strategic Objective 1: Strengthen the oversight function and establish a strong culture of overseeing executive action. Under this objective there are two projects which are: to develop oversight, monitoring and evaluation system; and to implement the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act.
The oversight monitoring and evaluation system is aimed at bringing information to members and committees and to enhance monitoring and tracking. The project has commenced with an assessment of information flows. To support the implementation of the Money Bills Act the Parliamentary Budget Office was launched in February this year and Prof Mohammed Jahed has, since 4 June, been appointed as the director of the office on a five-year performance-based renewable contract. The office will specialise in producing high quality research and analysis of fiscal policy and provide independent, objective and professional advice to Parliament on fiscal matters.
We continued to pay attention to the oversight and public participation mandates of Parliament. For example, the NCOP introduced the Oversight Week as a mechanism to follow up on matters emanating from the "Taking Parliament to the People" and the Provincial Week programmes.
With regard to questions to the executive, since 2010 there has been a decline in the number of unanswered questions. For the past financial year in the NCOP 843 questions were put to the executive. A total of 827 were responded to. We aim to achieve zero unanswered questions.
We have also seen an increase in the number of thematic debates. During the last financial year a total of 20 resolutions emanating from the recommendations captured in reports of select committees were adopted by the House and communicated to government departments. However, I must say that members have raised the need to improve monitoring of our resolutions.
Strategic Objective 2: Increase public involvement and participation, building a responsive people's Parliament. Five priority projects were designed to achieve this strategic objective and are all under way. These are, to develop a public participation model; to expand the reach of broadcasting through upgrading broadcast infrastructure in chambers and committee rooms; integrate and implement electronic publishing systems; develop the transcription system; and develop parliamentary constituency mechanisms and offices. The House chairpersons will deal with these projects in detail. To fulfill the constitutional injunction of facilitating public involvement in our processes, our people have participated in legislative process. Sectoral parliaments were also held.
However, some of the sectoral parliaments, particularly the Youth Parliament and People's Assembly, had some undesirable outcomes and were mired in avoidable controversy. We hope to learn from the reports and recommendations we requested in respect of these public involvement initiatives. These should be submitted soon.
Since the beginning of the Fourth Parliament, the "Taking Parliament to the People" programme has been remodeled to make it more effective. The improvements to the programme included intense preparatory work prior to the actual visit and dedicated follow-up. The new approach has been very successful leading to clear and measurable targets in the five provinces we visited. The last programme is scheduled for later this year and work will begin tomorrow.
As part of the 15th anniversary programme, we organised the following initiatives: A child rights seminar in 2012, and a public lecture on the role of Parliament in general and the NCOP in particular, hosted at the University of the Western Cape earlier this year. It is my view that we need to engage more with the civil society organisations because they are very important in doing the oversight visits and also empowering us in legislative processes that we deal with in Parliament.
Strategic Objective 3: Strengthening co-operative government. Since 2009 the NCOP has been involved in 32 interventions in terms of section 139, and two interventions in terms of section 100 of the Constitution. I am, however, concerned about the increasing number of section 139 interventions. My view is that we need to strengthen implementation of the provisions of section 154(1) of the Constitution, which demands of the national and provincial spheres of government to support and strengthen municipalities. The section 139 intervention, in my view, must be the last resort. But instead we run straight to interventions without even trying to assist the local government as the two highest spheres of government, the national and the provincial government. Actually, I think that we are not following the right procedures.
Since establishing the portfolio of Intergovernmental Relations and Co-operative Government in 2010 in the office of the Chairperson, we have sought to promote co-ordination, co-operative governance and to facilitate sound intergovernmental relation regimes within and across the three spheres of government and organs of state.
Last year we held the first Local Government Week focusing on matters affecting the local government sphere. The second Local Government Week will be in two months' time continuing our partnership with the SA Local Government Association. This year the focus should be on feedback and resolution of issues. On the other hand we continue to strengthen our relations with the provinces.
Strategic Objective 4: Improve and widen the role of Parliament in international co-operation and participation. Parliament has been actively involved in bilateral and multilateral relations activities since the beginning of the term. Key multilateral structures in which we participate include the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum, SADC-PF; Pan-African Parliament, PAP; Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU; Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, CPA; Assembly of Senates, Shooras and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World, Assecaa; African, Caribbean and Pacific European Union, AC-PEU; and the South African and European Parliament, SA-EU.
The hosting of the Globe Chapter in preparation for the Cop 17 Conference as well as the IPU-Cop 17 climate change meeting that Parliament successfully cohosted on the margins of the United Nations' Cop 17 Climate Change Conference in Durban, in December 2011, provided a platform for the voice of Parliament on matters pertaining to climate change.
Last year, our Parliament hosted the President of India in an attempt to encourage robust parliament-to-parliament relations in the spirit of the India Brazil South Africa, Ibsa, and Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, Brics, initiatives. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr Goodluck Jonathan, addressed the Joint Sitting of Parliament this year and highlighted the important role that our democracies need to play on the continent.
Early last year, a delegation of the Parliamentary Oversight Authority, led by the presiding officers, undertook a benchmarking visit to the European Parliament to exchange experiences in the field of parliamentary governance and institutional oversight. This also assisted in the elevation of relationships between the two parliaments. During the visit, the presiding officers had an occasion to meet the vice-president of the European Parliament. As members may recall, Parliament hosted the President of the European Parliament, Mr Martin Schulz, last month during the International Consultative Seminar in Cape Town as part of this relationship. Importantly, later this year, we will host the 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Strategic Objective 5: Build an effective and efficient institution. Eight projects were designed to achieve this strategic objective and these are: Review of organisational structure; organisational culture and change; NA Chamber upgrade; integrated planning, budgeting, performance and reporting; enhance library services; information technology, infrastructure upgrade; development of members' leave and attendance system; and establish the fifth democratic Parliament.
These projects are in progress. In respect of the organisational structure, we have attended to current challenges by filling a number of senior management positions that became vacant. This work is continuing. However, our overall aim is to develop a structure that is responsive to the needs of members.
We are improving accessibility of Parliament to the people. The new mobile version of our website, which takes advantage of the high number of South Africans who access the internet via their mobile phones, will make it easy for anyone, wherever they may be, to access parliamentary information easily. The integrated digital library management system will help capture, catalogue, store and circulate information through different delivery methods.
The challenges: During this term we have seen a high number of litigation cases involving Parliament since 1994. In total, we had 22 cases where we were cited and some of them are still ongoing. These varied from cases regarding labour-related issues to disputes concerning our Rules of procedure. To address matters relating to the quality of the legislation we pass, members would be pleased that steps have been taken to remedy this situation, including the establishment of the legislative drafting unit in the constitutional and legal services office. In respect of our home-grown legislation, we are in the process of amending the Financial Management of Parliament Act and the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act.
Another challenge is ensuring that our oversight, public participation and the laws we pass have the desired impact, hence our theme for this year. It is therefore important to conduct an empirical assessment of our business in these areas in the same manner we did with regard to the "Taking Parliament to the People" programme in the previous Parliament.
In the expenditure trends for the term, the focal point of our expenditure since the term began has been on improving oversight between the three spheres of government; increasing participation in international forums; increasing the level of services rendered to members; improving and upgrading the IT system; increasing activities aimed at improving public participation through the dissemination of educational information to increase public access to Parliament; and improving Parliament's oversight role by increasing the number of site visits undertaken by committees.
Parliament's overall spending increase between 2009-10 and 2012-13 was mainly due to the initiatives undertaken to improve public participation. These involved the dissemination of educational information to increase public access to Parliament as well as building its content development capacity.
Over the same period, the increase of 18,4% in the Legislation and Oversight programme and the 21% increase in the Public and International Participation were due to the upgrading of the information systems, the establishing of a parliamentary budget office, the development of a tracking system for improved oversight changes, and the improvement of conditions of service. The spending increase over the medium-term will be within the inflation rate with the bulk of the spending in the administration and legislation and oversight programmes.
Parliament makes transfer payments to political parties in terms of section 57(2)(c) of the Constitution to allow them to carry out their legislative mandate. The spending increases in the associated services programme between 2009-10 and 2012-13 and over the medium-term are mainly to provide for inflation related adjustments.
Regarding the spending for the current financial year - 2013-14 - Parliament has been allocated a total of R1 873,1 billion, which includes R453,7 million direct charge against the National Revenue Fund for members' remuneration. This does not include the retained funds amounting to R141 million that have been approved for funding of priority projects. The budget represents an increase of 8% for the Legislation and Oversight programme, and 6% for each of the following programmes, namely, administration, public and international participation, members' facilities and associated services.
This budget will be utilised to further implement the work of Parliament for the current financial year. These include, assessing the impact of legislation passed; developing a programme to deepen and entrench democracy, developing a mechanism to improve nation building and heritage; and enhancing service delivery. You will find some of the things in my speech on the website. I cannot read them all because of time constraints.
There is more detail to support this budget than time allows. But I have given a high level perspective to illustrate that we are indeed on course in capacitating Parliament in order to promote nation building and multiparty democracy.
Certainly, we have scored some victories amidst challenges. I thank the Members of Parliament for their hard work, the Secretary to Parliament and the entire administration for their support, particularly our secretary, Adv Phindela, and all the Table staff. We are confident that we will have a capable institution that carries its constitutional mandate effectively and efficiently as one of the arms of the state. Thanks to the staff in my office, Mr Makhasi and the rest.
I wish to conclude by citing another verse from the anthem of the AU:
Let us all unite and toil together
To give the best we have to Africa
The cradle of mankind and fount of culture
Our pride and hope at break of dawn.
Without doubt, our Parliament has a great contribution to make towards realising not only the dream of South Africans, but also that of Africa and its diverse people. Africa must rise and its entire people must prosper. I thank you, Deputy Chair. [Applause.]
Mr A LEES
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 2
Mr M J MAHLANGU
Mr A LEES: Chairperson, I'm pleased to be with you today. May I start by placing on record our appreciation for the way that the Chair of the NCOP deals with all political parties in the House in an impartial manner that is not partisan and does not denigrate the decorum of this House. The NCOP is no less a part of Parliament than is the National Assembly and we thank him for doing his part to ensure that the House is recognised as such.
But we have to ask ourselves whether or not we have really done enough to ensure that the NCOP plays its rightful role to ensure that the provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. The chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly said during the certification of our Constitution:
The purpose of the NCOP is to involve the provinces in the enactment of certain legislation and to provide a forum in which provincial interests can be advanced.
The NCOP, unlike the NA, does not enjoy any express oversight powers. It can be argued that the NCOP has implied oversight powers but these are limited as suggested by Prof Hugh Corder and others of the University of Cape Town, UCT, in the July 1999 report.
Parliament's budget for 2013-14 is R1,9 billion and yet there is no oversight done by the NCOP over its own executive. There is no formal mechanism for members of this House to submit questions and to get replies on the details of expenditure against the Parliament Vote.
This House routinely approves an arbitrary budget amount with no detail for "Taking Parliament to the People" and receives no report on the details of how this money was spent. "Taking Parliament to the People" is a hugely expensive project. Other than positive ANC exposure to voters, the exercise is geared as an oversight of service delivery, or the lack thereof.
Firstly, this is arguably not the mandate of the NCOP; and secondly, the nationwide collapse of service delivery is well known and documented and does not require the huge expenditure of the "Taking Parliament to the People" and its previsit junkets in order to be discovered.
The NCOP has spent many hours debating celebrations, commemorations, congratulations and ceremonies. But the issues that really matter to our people are rarely discussed at all. One only has to look at the farcical manner in which motions put to this House are dealt with to see this.
Other than the National Development Plan, NDP, now being blocked by Congress of SA Trade Unions, Cosatu, why have there not been debates on the real crisis issues of the day such as the collapse of education in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, state expenditure on President Zuma's palatial private residence in Nkandla, Guptagate and many others. Instead, members of this House are bored to death by the oft-repeated rhetoric and insults that seem to have become the norm.
During this year there were 65 NCOP written questions that were not answered, and that is in the calendar year, by the Ministers at all. And the answers that were received were, in many cases, a disgrace.
Since the inception of the NCOP it has been the convention, honoured by the majority of Cabinet Ministers that NCOP members are entitled to ask questions on matters that fall within the competency of provincial and local government and will receive written ministerial replies thereto. How then can the hon Chair of the NCOP support the position adopted by the Minister of Transport who has on two occasions refused to reply to a question on provincial roads?
Hon Chair of the NCOP, the DA Chief Whip has written to you for your assistance and your lack of support in this matter is disappointing to say the least. If all Ministers adopt the arrogant attitude displayed by Minister Martins, your failure to ensure that the convention is adhered to will have dire consequences for the members of this House for years to come.
In closing, until such time as Parliament's presiding officers and Secretary ... [Interjections.]
Mr B NESI: Chairperson, please, is the hon member ready to take a question? I want to ask a question. It is very short.
Mr A LEES: Madam Chair, is the member asking if I will take a question?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes.
Mr A LEES: I am happy to take a question once we have finished and we are outside over a cup of tea. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Continue.
Mr A LEES: Thank you, Madam Chair. In closing, until such time as Parliament's presiding officers and Secretary allow themselves to be held accountable for this budget by Members of Parliament, this institution will not operate to its full potential. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M G BOROTO
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 3
Mr A LEES
Ms M G BOROTO: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Deputy Chairperson, Chairperson of the session, hon House Chairpersons, provincial and party Whips, chairpersons of committees, hon members, special delegates, ladies and gentlemen, we convene today to consider the policy Budget Vote of Parliament a few days after our nation woke up to the sad news of the hospitalisation of former President, Nelson Rolinhlanhla Mandela, for a recurring lung infection. Allow me to convey our well wishes and prayers to this giant of our struggle for freedom, whose life remains the living monument of our fight for democracy.
The consideration of Parliament's Budget Vote today is made more significant because it is the last of its kind in the fourth term of our Parliament, as we start the ultimate process of preparing for our Fifth Parliament.
Allow me to convey the profound gratitude of the Chief Whip of the Council and the entire Whippery for working with such committed men and women of honour, whose loyalty to our people is immeasurable. You have all served our Council and our people with the utmost humility and commitment.
Before I cast my eyes back four years, allow me to pay homage to the late Theo Beyleveldt whose mortal remains were laid to rest in July 2011. We think of him. Allow me to also take this moment to convey our profound appreciation to former Programming Whip, Sam Mazosiwe, who left our Council early this year to pursue other interest and Mr Tlhalifi Mashamaite who left our Council last year to take up the mayoral position of the Mogalakwena Municipality in the Limpopo province.
In the beginning of the term, we committed the fourth term of our Parliament to moving with fierce urgency to continue in our national quest to build an activist Parliament. We said this because the Freedom Charter, which lays the formidable foundation for our democracy, committed us to ensuring that we put in place all the necessary measures to ensure that the people govern.
The Freedom Charter sketched out, in clear terms, the central objective of the national democratic struggle and the kind of South Africa we envisaged. Most importantly, the Freedom Charter contained the founding principles that served as the cornerstone of the Parliament we aspired to have, as we waged a concerted fight against minority rule and the repressive and discriminatory conditions we faced under apartheid.
As we were dissecting the characterisation of an activist Parliament, we said that it is a Parliament that intercedes and intervenes with the executive, organs of the state and business on behalf of our people. We also envisaged an activist Parliament as a Parliament which requires public representatives, including MPs, MPLs and councilors who constantly seek to improve their capacity to serve the people. Such public representatives should strive to be in touch with the people at all times, listen to their views and share their life experiences. Hence, hon Lees, we have taken Parliament to the people.
The third national Council of the ANC, which was held in Durban in 2010, stressed the need for an activist Parliament. It further characterised an activist Parliament as a legislature that must be felt by the people. Hence, we have all these sectoral parliaments. Hence, we have all these Provincial Weeks. It is not a waste of money, as alluded to. It must be visible through its representatives and have a meaningful impact on the lives of the people, so that they can practically feel and see the concept of "the people shall govern" which was spoken of in the Congress of the people, in 1955.
Indeed, as we rise to take this opportunity to reflect on the epoch of our Parliament since the beginning of this term, we can say with the utmost humility and a great sense of pride that our Council has fulfilled the task that we embarked on in 2009.
The work of our Council and its committees attests to the profound dedication, loyalty and commitment that all of you showed since the beginning of the term. As we conclude this term, we are proud to report that our Council convened 194 plenaries and 16 joint sittings in the last four and a half years. We witnessed the most robust engagements and debates that this Council has ever seen in all of these pleneries. We did this not because we hated each other, but because of the seriousness with which we take our work as the representatives of our various constituencies.
In the last four years the hon members of our Council asked a total of 2 522 questions to the executive, of which 2 090 were for written replies and 434 for oral replies. Hon Lees, through you Chairperson, only nine were withdrawn or removed. For the first time in the history of our Council we had the opportunity to ask questions to the President and I must say that we have agreed with the President that this is a practice which will remain a permanent feature of the oversight work of the Council.
Allow me to indicate that our Council passed more motions in this term than in any other term since this Council was established in 2002. Our hon members moved a total of 1 247 motions of which 619 were notices of motion and 628 were motions without notice. Regarding the complaint that we raise motions of celebration, we raise motions based on the people out there. We raise motion based on what we get from our constituencies, not motions to promote a particular area. Our Council moved more motions than ever before.
Our committees continued with their oversight work to ensure that our Council plays an important role in our national quest to build a better life for our people, and to ensure that we hear the voices of our people in the provinces. Our Council adopted a total of 77 committee reports with clear and decisive action for government departments and state entities.
Public participation is an embodiment of the kind of democracy we fought for. Hence, we cannot stop our programme of "Taking Parliament to the People" or the Provincial Weeks. Our programmes of "Taking Parliament to the People" and the Provincial Weeks have evolved to be amongst the best examples of participatory democracy. I think hon Mahlangu has spoken enough on that. I will not overemphasise it.
Last year a group of Africans experts, led by Dr Omano Edigheji, a political economist at the Centre for Policy Studies in the Human Science Research Council, wrote an impeccable assessment on the ANC government's attitude towards building a better South Africa.
In a publication that he published with a group of African scholars, titled Rethinking South Africa's Development Path: Reflections on the ANC's policy Conference Discussion, they wrote:
It is commendable that the ANC is taking the lead in trying to establish a basis on which to chart the future trajectory in which to meet the needs of a democratic South Africa. Equally commendable is that the party has taken it upon itself to evaluate itself on regular intervals. It needs to be said that this kind of self-introspection, which is rarely done by others, is unparalleled in most developing countries.
Your tireless efforts have created a formidable space for our people to raise their challenges and give true meaning to the concept of a people's Parliament. Our Council has been consistent in its messages to be the voice of our people. Indeed, through its work, the NCOP has helped to bring practical meaning to participatory democracy and the Council is representing issues that our people are confronted with daily.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my profound appreciation to the Chairperson of the Council for his unwavering support, decisive and visionary leadership to our Council that has not only entrenched this Council as one of the most important institutions of our democracy, but also an institution with a distinct mandate and character. Hon Mahlangu, you have truly shown the characteristics Nelson Mandela defined in his prolific book, Long Walk to Freedom, "A visionary leader who serves and leads with purpose and commitment."
I am eternally grateful to the Deputy Chairperson of the Council, hon Memela, the House Chairpersons, hon Tau and hon Magadla, chairpersons of committees and, indeed, the various Whips and party representatives. Your collective leadership has given true meaning to what Raymond Sutter once defined as a recipe for successful and effective leadership and to what the ANC, in 1997, regarded as a necessary feature of what everyone serving our people should possess.
Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, in his essay, Native Union, said:
Co-operation is the key and the watchword that opens the door, the everlasting door which leads into progress and all national success.
Allow me to convey my deepest appreciation to the various political party Whips and representatives for your unwavering support and tireless commitment, hon Bloem. You have displayed with profound distinction that the success of our democracy is based on the recognition that the exercise of a multiparty democracy entails the existence of different political parties which should be free to represent different political persuasions, to propagate varied ideological positions and pursue different economic programmes.
I would be unmerited if I leave this podium without expressing my profound appreciation to the diligent parliamentary officials who worked with the utmost dedication to support our work in the past four years. I would like to particularly thank the staff in the office of the Chief Whip for always rising to the call of national duty to serve all our hon members with profound humility and eagerness, and the official Table staff led by Adv Phidela that has been so co-operative at all times.
I must register the profound disappointment in the fact that we still have officials in the Chief Whip's office who, today, don't have the proper documentation for their conditions of employment. Chair, we believe that, through your intervention, that will be done. Despite all those challenges, they continue to work as if everything is still normal.
Once more, I would like to convey our gratitude to the Chairperson of the Council for this intervention and sincerely hope that this time around we will settle these matters.
Lastly, let us move with the times in terms of technology when it comes to the tools of trade. I think we need to be heard on this. We must move. We might be old but we must be renewed by the tools of trade. The ANC supports the Budget Vote of Parliament. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D V BLOEM
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 4
Ms M G BOROTO
Mr D V BLOEM: Good afternoon Chair and hon members, on behalf of Cope, let me wish our leader and father, uTata Mandela, good health and strength. We are praying that the healing hand of God touches him where he is in hospital. I want to quote what this great leader, Nelson Mandela said in a speech at the final sitting of the 1st democratically elected Parliament on 26 March 1999:
Because the people of South Africa finally chose a profoundly legal path to their revolution, those who frame and enact the Constitution and law are in the vanguard of the fight for change. It is in the legislatures that the instruments have been fashioned to create a better life for all. It is here that oversight of government has been exercised. It is here that our society in all its formations has had an opportunity to influence policy and its implementation.
In December 2006, the former Speaker of Parliament, hon Baleka Mbete and our own Chairperson of this House, hon M J Mahlangu, established an independent panel assessment for Parliament. I want to use this report to make us all aware that since this report was released we are still facing serious challenges. Let me quote the key findings of this report:
This report reveals that significant challenges remain for Parliament to realise its vision of becoming a People's Parliament. This relates specifically to the link between the electorate and Parliament.
Surveys show that there is generally a poor understanding among the public of parliamentary procedures and opportunities for participation in parliamentary processes.
While South Africa does not have a constituency-based electoral system, constituency offices have been established and periods allocated for Members of Parliament to conduct constituency work.
This report however reveals that there are notable challenges with this system. It has been argued that the perceived lack of accountability of Members of Parliament to the public, as well as the poor link between the public and Parliament in general, can be ascribed to South Africa's party-list electoral system.
The panel deliberated at length on the impact of the party-list electoral system on various aspects of Parliament's work.
It has noted that the party-list system tends to promote accountability of Members of Parliament to their political parties rather than to the electorate. [Interjections.] The power of political parties to remove their members from Parliament also tends to discourage the expression of individual viewpoints.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon member, please conclude your speech.
Mr D V BLOEM: Thank you. Please give me one second. [Laughter.] One of the problems that this House has is that Bills remain in the National Assembly for a very long time, and when it comes before the committees, pressure is put on this House to finalise these Bills, without doing justice to them. We must leave a legacy for those young people sitting up there, and not become rubberstamps of the National Assembly. We must do justice to each and every Bill that is before us.
Allow me to conclude by thanking the Chairperson, Utata Mahlangu, our own Mama who is seated in the Chair ... [Laughter.] ... the Table staff, uTata Adv Phindela, the service officers and all who are working very hard in this institution. I thank you, Mama. [Applause.]
... No, no, ask me a question! I'm ready. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon Bloem, your time has expired. [Interjections.]
Ms M W MAGADLA
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 5
Mr D V BLOEM
Ms N W MAGADLA: Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Minister, hon permanent and special delegates, distinguished guests in the gallery - we meet here today on the eve of our Youth Day celebrations, commemorating and recognising the courageous and selfless actions of the gallant youth that was brutally murdered on that fateful day in Soweto, on 16 June 1976.
In its strategic and tactics, the ANC declares that it seeks to build a democratic society. This democratic society requires a state that is able to use a variety of strategic capabilities to shape the development of the country.
However, building a state which can act in a truly developmental way which can play a leading and strategic role in shaping development is not an easy task. It requires hard work and ongoing assessment of the capabilities that we need and adjustments to the institutional arrangements. In other words, we cannot simply proclaim the stance of a developmental state. It must be painstakingly constructed. This debate takes place at the most critical era in our developmental agenda.
The National Development Plan, that seeks to address all the challenges of our country, has been launched and the figures of the Census 2011 have been released by Statistics SA. These developments demand critical scrutiny by the NCOP in each oversight activity as these would have large-scale policy and social implications for all spheres of government and organs of state.
This National Development Plan means that, as a country, it is the first time we have a vision about our future plans. It is for these reasons that we are gathered here today in order to give account of what Parliament has done and how it plans to discharge its resources to improve the lives of our people. This year's Budget Vote continues to reflect the spending plans of implementing an intensive campaign to meet the targets that we have set out for ourselves in terms of being an activist Parliament - a credible and reliable voice of our people.
As we continue to bid farewell to this term of Parliament through this last Parliament Budget Vote debate, I wish to acknowledge that this House has played a much greater service delivery and developmental role in this fourth term of Parliament. The involvement of other key stakeholders in processes of the NCOP is one area that is very crucial. All these stakeholders, including organised local government, through SA Local Government Association, Salga, should work harder together to ensure the delivery of coherent developmental services to the people.
The portfolio of co-operative government and intergovernmental relations, CGIR, which I am responsible for, also encompasses international and public participation activities. This portfolio came into effect on 4 June 2010, after this House approved the amendments to the NCOP Rules 14A and 14B as proposed by the NCOP Rules Committee. This portfolio is relatively new in the NCOP and is yet to develop to its full capacity. It is still in the process of firming up the role of the NCOP in facilitating co-operative government and intergovernmental relations.
I propose to give a few highlights on the Local Government Week as the chairperson said in his speech. As members know, the inaugural Local Government Week's programme ran from 31 July to 3 August 2012. All nine provinces, including Salga, participated in deliberations that put the spotlight on local government challenges.
Amongst the resolutions that were taken was that we need to zoom in on the proposal regarding a need to focus on Operation Clean Audit. Moreover, the issues of conducting follow-ups on the areas that fell within our ambit while engaging other partners is most critical.
I am happy to report that the participation of Salga is proceeding well in preparation for this. Councillors have been trained on a whole range of topical areas including NCOP procedures. The process now is at the stage where Salga must determine the permanent participants in the NCOP. We are awaiting a progress report in this regard.
Following the Auditor-General's workshop with the NCOP last year, a programme has been put in place to institutionalise the engagement with the Auditor-General on a quarterly basis, from last year until March this year. This is one of the most critical programmes that seek to turn the municipalities around into viable and effective developmental local government entities.
The last Presiding Officers' meeting has, in principle, adopted the formation of the co-operative government and intergovernmental relations, CGIR, committee which will support the NCOP by providing guidelines to monitor the principles of co-operative government and intergovernmental relations as enshrined in Chapter 3 of the Constitution of South Africa. This is done with a view to strengthen committees' relations and where necessary to explore interparliamentary relations, thus affirming that the NCOP plays its oversight role of monitoring the executive to adhere to the principles of co-operative government.
We participate in international relations through the Parliamentary Group on International Relations, PGIR, which is a parliamentary structure whose mandate is to provide strategic guidance for parliamentary engagements with each international affiliation. The PGIR held several meetings in 2012 with a view to deliberate on issues pertaining to international participation. The meetings were aimed at reflecting on issues of policy, bilateral and multilateral engagements.
It has been mutually agreed by members that the following issues be prioritised for the remainder of the Fourth Parliament: That the PGIR works and focuses on the finalisation of the transformation of international relations' section to a fully functional division which will be highly content-based. This will entail ensuring that all vacancies are filled and qualified candidates are employed to fill the posts.
We will ensure the finalisation of the establishment of friendship and strategic groups with various legislatures. We will ensure that all outstanding international reports are tabled in the various Houses after international engagements. The Chairperson of the NCOP has elaborated more on international relations issues.
As we proceed we'll need to pay far greater attention to the functionality and frequency of meetings of this structure giving more meaning to its operations. We are happy to report to the House that the first draft on the public participation framework has been finalised and was recently presented to the Speaker's Forum for consideration and input.
The input of the Speaker's Forum was that the work has not been concluded, especially in areas that need political consideration, such as the parliamentary constituency offices, PCOs, and the parliamentary democracy offices, PDOs.
The initiative of Parliament and legislatures to develop a public participation framework will ensure that public participation is not confined to providing the public only with avenues to express their views on specific issues. Our aim is to integrate public participation into all core functions of Parliament and the legislatures so that we become more responsive to the needs of the people.
The development of the public participation framework is planned to be adopted before the end of June 2013 by the Speakers' Forum. Thereafter, it will be presented to the presiding officers of Parliament and all the provincial legislatures for implementation and for customising the framework in order to develop a specific model.
With those words, the ANC supports the Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J J GUNDA
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 6
Ms N W MAGADLA
Mr J J GUNDA: Deputy Chairperson, hon Chairperson, hon Minister, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, the Estimates of National Expenditure describe the aim of the Parliament Budget Vote to do the following: Provide the support services required by Parliament to fulfill its constitutional functions; assist political parties represented in Parliament to secure administrative support and service constituents; and provide Members of Parliament with the necessary facilities.
It is for this reason that the Budget Vote of Parliament provides an important tool to measure the performance of Parliament. The persistent underspending by Parliament disguised as "surplus funds" clearly shows the dismal performance of the administration of Parliament and its inability to fulfill the mandate and intentions of providing adequate support services required by Members of Parliament to fulfill their constitutional functions.
From 2009 to this year, Parliament has not been able to spend over R318 million. That is the money that could have been used to ensure that Members of Parliament are provided with all the necessary support to undertake their constitutional duties.
The Five-Year Expenditure Review of National Departments, which was conducted by the Research Unit of Parliament shows that it incurred a total of R15,2 million in irregular expenditure, and another R15,5 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Parliament also incurred R23,2 million in unauthorised expenditure.
The question that one asks oneself is how can we as parliamentarians hold the executive accountable if we preside over such gross financial collapse. On a daily basis Members of Parliament complain about lack of appropriate tools for conducting their work.
Let me just end with this, Chairperson, as Whippery we have agreed that we need to establish a multiparty committee, which will be responsible for determining the interest of Members of Parliament. I sincerely hope that we will establish this committee before the end of this term.
Hon Chair, let me close by congratulating the staff who are effective in executing their duties on a daily basis. It is unacceptable for this House to have someone who is so effective working on a daily basis and yet not permanent, and that person is struggling to get a contract with Parliament, and bear the inconvenience that he and his family suffer.
Many of us who are sitting here don't even know about it and yet that staff member is still working every day as if he is permanently employed. This is the type of commitment and effectiveness that we need in Parliament, which leads us to congratulate people like that, who work on a daily basis and make it easier for members to do their work properly. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr R J TAU
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 7
Mr J J GUNDA
Mr R J TAU: Deputy Chair, Chairperson of the NCOP, the Acting Chief Whip of NCOP, and the Chief Whip in absentia, members of the House, let me take this opportunity to thank the House for giving me an opportunity to address it on this Budget Vote.
What then becomes also quite elating is the fact that it will give me an opportunity to reflect on the role played by NCOP committees in the past 42 months in which they have been seized with overseeing the executive action and providing a national forum for public consideration of issues affecting provinces.
Hon members, when we took office in 2009 we would remember the characterisation of this Parliament, which we adopted and said, "it is an activist Parliament". A Parliament that had to ensure that there is an active engagement with the people on the ground to overcome the legacies of apartheid and colonialism of a special type.
We said our Parliament was going to be bestowed by principles of reconciliation, social cohesion and nation-building, but it is also going to be seized with developmental issues. We advanced the call for a developmental state as we could remember at that point that the executive in characterising the state that it sought to build had said that it seeked to build a developmental state. Therefore, as an activist Parliament we then had to locate our role within the context of that developmental state. In saying that, to what extend are we also going to place our machinery to be able to serve the cause of social change?
We sought to ensure that every South African citizen, especially the poor, experienced an improved quality of life. We pursued to build a developmental state through an activist Parliament by history and socioeconomic dynamics of the South African society.
Hence we adopted the Oversight and Accountability Model of Parliament at the beginning of the term. This model was then incorporated into the legislative sector launched in March 2012, which is a guide for a legislative sector with regard to how we do our oversight work.
We would remember that President Jacob Zuma, in his inauguration in 2009 called for a moment of renewal, for an opportunity to rediscover that which binds us together as a nation. The call made by the President was but trussed by a dialectical materialism, which suggests - borrowing from words of a great philosopher, Frederick Engels, when he said, "Nothing is stable except instability, nothing is immovable except movement; and in fact, the only thing, which cannot alter in the universe, is change itself".
In shaping society affected by history and socioeconomic dynamics, the NCOP as a House have adopted 23 Bills. Amongst others adopted is the Credit Rating Services Bill; the Repeal of the Black Administration Act and Amendment of Certain Laws Amendment Bill; the National Health Amendment Bill; Further Education and Training Colleges Amendment Bill; Use of Official Language Bill and most recently the Co-Operatives Amendment Bill.
These Bills, if you look at them, they really aim to place the NCOP as this activist Parliament, because these are Bills that seek to advance and improve the lives of the African people in particular and blacks in general.
These are the Bills, if you look at them, if you look at the body of these Bills they seek to address the very same triple challenges that our society is faced with. These are Bills that, if you look at the body of them, seek to advance the cause of socioeconomic development of ordinary South Africans.
Therefore, hon members, through our committee of chairpersons, we were also able, for the first time in the history of this House - the NCOP – to have experienced to the establishment of a well-functioning and a well-oiled committee of chairpersons.
For the history of this term of office, we can proudly say that we do have machinery, a mechanism and an instrument to ensure that we improve and strengthen our work of oversight.
Hon members, allow me to take this opportunity to thank all select committees chairs who undertook oversight in all provinces, and in particular without necessarily elevating any above the others. We have observed the intervention by the Select Committee on Finance in Limpopo.
Through the work of our committees the NCOP ensured a culture of efficiency through that intervention. It has reflected that the work of our committees and the NCOP has ensured that a culture of efficiency, honesty and transparency is entrenched in Limpopo by effectively having intervened through section 100(1) (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, which placed five Limpopo provincial departments under national executive administration.
We are happy to report that on 12 June 2013, the Select Committee on Finance will table a report on the select committee assistance in Limpopo in bringing about stability and good governance in that province. That is the legacy of the NCOP. That is the effectiveness of committees of the NCOP. Therefore, it will be quite unfortunate to then sit back or stand back and say that the committees of the NCOP, in executing their responsibilities, are wasting money or they are wasting fiscus.
The "Taking Parliament to the People" programme is a very important and strategic programme, which builds and strengthens the very characterisation that we spoke about when we said we are going to be an activist Parliament - A Parliament that is going to be there with our people. A Parliament that is not going to sit there by the stand and watch how our people suffer, how our people go down, how our people get uneducated, how our people are unable to access basic services, how our people are unable to access public transport, how our people are unable to access public health facilities and then sit back as the NCOP; but we said we are going to be there with our people. We are going to listen to them. We are going to take their issues up. We are going to bring the executive. That's the national executive. That's the provincial executive, and of course, local government together under one roof engaging and interacting or engaging with our people and listening and responding to the issues that needs to be responded to as we speak at that particular point.
We have noticed quite positive strides in so far as the programme is concerned. And therefore, it will be quite unfortunate for us as a Council to then say, we have wasted money for having reached out to our people. It will be quite unfair. In actual fact that statement is indicative of an organisation that has got a policy that says, we must think for those who cannot think. We should not empower them in order for them to be able to think for themselves.
And that is the DA for it to stand in this podium and say that reaching out to our people, engaging with our people, taking them along, we are wasting taxpayers' money. Who is the taxpayer in any case? Why are we here as public representatives because our interest to be here is to serve the interest of the working class and the poor. And, where are the working class and the poor? They are there in the deep rural areas. They cannot afford a flight to come to Cape Town and engage with us.
They cannot afford to get on to a Roadlink bus to come to Parliament and petition. They do not have access to the Internet. They do not have access to cellphones or telephones in order to come and engage with us as Members of Parliament. And as a result we took a decision that we are going to reach out to them. Hence, if you look at the design of the programme itself, it is not a programme that goes to provinces and to urban areas, but we reach out to poorest of the poor in each and every province.
How dare then do we say it is a waste of money? [Applause.] I don't know. I stand to be convinced on that. Our committees through the "Taking Parliament to the People" previsits programme have ensured that, in each and every programme, we have an opportunity to interact directly with our people based on the sectoral issues that they are affected with. That is now to reach out to those who ordinarily also would not be able to reach out or to converge at a point of reporting where the House will be sitting.
Therefore, that previsit on its own by committees of the NCOP, not only does it allow or create an opportunity for members of the public or South African citizens to interact with Members of Parliament, it also allows Members of Parliament to go out there. Be in places where you would not be able to afford to sleep in a five star hotel. Be in those places where, in the most luxury guest house would be beds that every time you turn, will sing the best music for you throughout the night.
So, therefore these previsits also affords us an opportunity to go out there and experience what our people are experiencing in the areas where they live. Hon Chairperson, I think it will only be fair for me to reflect on few things under the conditions that we are faced with.
As a co-chairperson also of the Qualifications and Credit Framework, QCF, there are certain things that had also taken place that I wish to report on; one is that in the parliamentary village there is as we speak now a quite a progressive systems that have been put in place by the SA police in order to protect members.
There is a general call that we are making also to members of the NCOP or Parliament in general, in terms of using our library services. The library services are there and the electronics are there. All that is needed is for members to log in. And, unfortunately, if you look at the records of logging in, it is quite clear that members do not use the facility. Whether, hon acting Chief Whip it is a problem of sigugile [We are old] or I don't know. It might be an issue that we are afraid of interacting with technology.
The other thing that is quite important, which we are also not using effectively - of course, I am also a victim, as the shape can tell - is the wellness programme of Parliament. There is a clear wellness programme of Parliament that seeks to look at the health of Members of Parliament. We can only be effective, as Members of Parliament, if we are well, look well and feel well. But if we don't use the facility, for obvious reasons, we will not be effective and, of course, I and hon Maine will have to check ourselves, whether we are using the systems effectively.
Hon Chair, as I conclude, let me just take the opportunity to thank the Chairperson of the Council for his outstanding leadership of the Council, the Chief Whip of the Council in absentia, and of course, the Acting Chief Whip, the Chairperson of committees with whom we worked together so well throughout this term, and of course, the provincial whips and the whips of committees and the assistance that they have provided to committees. And I hope that with the last period or months that we will be left with, Deputy Chair, we will have more time as committees to rap up the oversight activities that we are faced with.
We will be giving more time to do oversight and ensure that as we close or come or to the end of this term, we will look back and pride ourselves as a generation that had left a legacy behind for all those who would come after us to celebrate with us. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Prince M M M ZULU
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 8
Mr R J TAU
UMntwana M M M ZULU: Phini likaSihlalo wale Ndlu, Sihlalo wale Ndlu, amalungu ahloniphekile, egameni le-IFP ngithi nami angihlanganyele nani kule ngxoxompikiswano ngeseke iVoti leSabelomali sePhalamende.
ISabelomali sePhalamende sibheka ukuthi iPhalamende lisebenza kanjani. Lesi Sabelomali akufanele sisetshenziswe umuntu othile ngokuthanda kwakhe. IPhalamende yikhaya labantu baseNingizimu Afrika abangakwazi ukuzikhulumela nokuzimela.
Kule mnyaka emine edlule, ngibone le Ndlu yenza umsebenzi obalulekile ngohlelo lokuHambisa iPhalamende eBantwini. Le Ndlu inike abantu baseNingizimu Afrika ithuba lokuthi bakwazi ukukhuluma ngqo nePhalamende, futhi bakwazi ukubeka imibono yabo ngokuvulelekile, ngokungachemile, nangayo yonke indlela abayithandayo, ngaphandle kokuthi kube khona umuntu obabophile ukuthi bakhulume.
Ngiyabonga, Bab' uMahlangu, ukuthi kunemithetho ephase kule Ndlu ebiphuma kule Ndlu engaphezulu kweyethu, okuthiwa uMkhandlu kaZwelonke. Isibonelo nje, lo mthetho okuthiwa i-State Information Bill le Ndlu yawusebenza ngendlela egculisayo futhi yawuchibiyela ngendlela ebabazekayo. Le Ndlu yatshengisa ngokusobala ukuthi ayimane nje iphasise imithetho esuka kuMkhandlu kaZwelonke, ingazange yona izicubungulele kahle.
Uma ngibheka uMthethosisekelo wezwe, ukhomba ukuthi lezi ziNdlu zinamalungelo afanayo okuphasisa imithetho. Laba bantu abalapha kule Ndlu ngiyabancoma ukuthi babamela kahle abantu baseNingizimu Afrika ngokukwazi ukuchibiyela lowaya mthetho owawukade uqhamuke kuleya Ndlu engaphezulu.
Ngaleyo ndlela, Phini likaSihlalo, uhlelo lokuHambisa iPhalamende eBantwini akulona uhlelo okufanele lubukwe njengohlelo lokumosa izimali, njengoba abanye bethu belubuka ngaleyo ndlela. Kepha, lolu hlelo kufanele lubukwe njengethuba lapho sikwazi ukuya ngqo kubantu ukuze sikwazi ukubhekisisa izinto, sihlole nokuthi iminyango yoNgqongqoshe isebenza ngokuthembeka yini.
Okunye, lolu hlelo lusebenze kahle kakhulu eMpumalanga, nakuba kunezinselele esizibonile, kepha lezi zinselele singakwazi ukuzigwema.
Ngibonga bonke abakhulume ngaphambi kwami. Ngibonga amakomiti onke – nakuba umuntu engakwazi ukwethamela yonke imihlangano yawo ngoba maningi kakhulu - asebenza ngokukhulu ukuzimisela futhi nangendlela encomekayo.
Ngiyabonga futhi ukuthi uMkhandlu kaZwelonke ziFundazwe ... [Ubuwelewele.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mnguni and Hon Van Lingen, can you please concentrate!
UMntwana M M M ZULU: Sengiphetha, njengoba uke wakhuluma ngesahluko se-139(b). Ngicela ukubhekisise ukuthi kukhona la oNgqongqoshe beziFundazwe beye bazithathela khona izinqumo ngokwabo. Bakwenza lokhu bese belindela ukuthi siphasise lokho okuyizimfuno zabo ngaphandle kokuphonsa inselele noma kokubeka imibono yethu. Baye baphinde bangasihloniphi noma sesithi siyabuza ukuthi bafinyelele kanjani kulezo zinqumo nokuthi babasize ngani ohulumeni basekhaya. Okokugcina, baze bangasihloniphi kwathina ngokuthi bangezi kule Ndlu ukuze bazosichazela ngezenzo zabo.
Ngiyabonga, Phini likaSihlalo, siyaliseka iVoti leSabelomali sePhalamende langonyaka wezi-2013-14.[Ihlombe.]
Mr C J DE BEER
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 9
Prince M M M ZULU
Mr C J DE BEER: Hon Chairperson presiding over the session and the leadership of the NCOP, we convey our gratitude for the leadership that you have shown in running this institution, and to give us guidance as Members of Parliament.
Hon Chairperson, referring to the inputs by hon Lees, hon Bloem and hon Gunda, I want to take these hon members back to 28 November 2012. An article written on page 8 of the Sunday Times read, "The National Council of Pointlessness", and the hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Mr Mahlangu, replied to it in an article entitled, "Actually, we do have a point ..." It is in the library. He said:
The NCOP should not be judged on what it is not. It is not an agency that constructs roads. It does not build clinics. It is there, as the Constitution states, to provide a national forum for public consideration of issues.
You should judge the NCOP on its role as a forum where people can make their voices heard. It is not a service provider.
So, it is there in black and white for you to peruse further, as stated by the leadership of this institution.
Hon Chairperson, Parliament is elected to represent the people to ensure government by the people, under the Constitution and to represent all provinces in the national sphere of government. The objective is good governance, sound financial management and effective and efficient service delivery. The total expenditure estimates for 2013-14 financial year for Parliament is R1,873 billion, increasing in 2015-16 to R2,097 billion.
It is important to address the critical role of Parliament in fiscal management and fiscal oversight. Parliamentary oversight in general refers to parliamentary supervision and monitoring of the executive and administration; to hold the government to account in respect of how taxpayers' money is used and what kind of impact it brings in the national economy; to ensure that policies announced by government and authorised by Parliament – that's us – are actually delivered, so, we must actually do oversight on ourselves as well; and to improve the transparency of government operations and enhance public trust in the government, which in itself is a condition of effective policy delivery.
Fiscal oversight is necessary for economic growth, development and fiscal sustainability. Parliament requires technical capacity to allow legislatures to exercise that oversight function. The Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act 9 of 2009 provides legal credence for fiscal oversight by Parliament.
Section 66(2) of the Constitution empowers the NCOP to request a national or provincial member of the executive to attend its sittings and committee meetings. There are several provisions that establish this oversight function like the intervention in a province under section 100, as we have it now in Limpopo and municipalities under section 139.
For the first time in the history of Parliament, there is intervention of this magnitude in one province affecting five provincial departments. There are some lessons to be learnt and that will be captured also in our report that is going to be tabled on the review of this intervention and recommendations to the executive.
Treasury decision has to stop the transfer of funds to a province under section 216 - we have the example of section 216(2) in Nala Municipality in the Free State - and the disputes concerning administrative capacity of provinces.
The primary piece of legislation providing for the financial accountability of the executive, national and provincial is the Public Finance Management Amendment Act, PFMA, and for the local government is the Municipal Finance Management Act, MFMA. The main objective of this legislation is to ensure transparency, accountability, good governance and sound management of revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities of public institutions.
It is our role in Parliament to engage on a quarterly basis with the quarterly reports of each department. If we do not do it, then we have a problem. We are now engaging on a quarterly basis with the provincial treasuries of each province, so that we do not end up with the situation that we had in Limpopo, in December 2011. At the end of the day, a question is asked: What did Parliament do? Didn't they see this thing coming?
Fiscal oversight demands the need for emphasising that the budget system is the most important component of public service delivery; the key instrument for translating government priorities and strategic plans into public goods and services. Fiscal oversight further necessitates that an understanding of budget systems is crucial, referring to maintaining fiscal discipline; ensuring allocative efficiency; and promoting delivery efficiency.
It is of critical importance that Members of Parliament, undergo a course to understand the budget process and budget analysis. Parliament reached a milestone in that it established a budget office with a director. Further appointments will be made. The Parliamentary Budget Office, PBO, will improve MPs' ability to interpret, review and make sound judgments related to the budget.
Stemming from the functions of the PBO, the fiscal oversight role of legislatures is enhanced referring to the following: Provide evidence-based budget analysis; provide economic forecasts that are independent from the executive; alternative medium-term fiscal projections; responsible alternative budget scenarios; and calculate the impact of alternative spending policies, new taxes and Bills on the budget.
The PBO, staffed and resourced adequately, will be able to strengthen Parliament's capacity to improve its oversight effectiveness and budget oversight abilities. When looking at ourselves and the structures in Parliament we serve in, there is a desperate need for co-ordination. It is evident from our experience in visiting provinces and municipalities that the NCOP needs to practically enhance its role in the area of co-operative government in provinces.
An evaluation and monitoring system should be developed to facilitate the monitoring and tracking of resolutions, in particular, and the NCOP's performance against the targets set out in the 2009 strategic framework plan. Some of the recommendations that we tabled are: Advanced courses for committee secretaries, researchers and content advisors be conducted, they must work towards professionalism; improve public education programmes by developing a module on Parliament learning institutions from Grade R to tertiary level.
There is a CD about Parliament, that is distributed by the Government Communication and Information System. Every library of a school in this country must have that CD. Not every school child is in a position to visit Parliament. That is a way to connect them. Another recommendation is to connect universities with Parliament to send their students in developmental studies, public administration and financial management to attend committee meetings as part of their curriculum.
We must ask ourselves a question: What did I do as an MP to make a positive difference in the lives of our people, especially the poor? The answer came from the hon Chairperson of the NCOP when he said that we must listen, think and act.
Chairperson, the ANC supports Budget Vote 2. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M J MAHLANGU
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 10
Mr C J DE BEER
Mr M J MAHLANGU: Deputy Chairperson, I only have five minutes. Unfortunately I cannot respond to all the questions, but let me thank you very much-all of you who have participated in the debate. There was a positive spirit.
Mr Tau, Mma Borotho, Charl de Beer and others have responded to Mr Lees' question on the "Taking Parliament to the People" event. The important thing about this project – maybe you have not realised – is to interact with the people who have elected us and assist them to get service delivery done on the ground. It is the beginning of it; we are a new democracy and it is a very important programme. It will continue, as far as we are concerned.
There is a very big minority who does not want this project to continue, but it will continue. That is all I can say on that one.
On the second point, you also talked about issues that you say we are not debating in here. If you go to the Hansard for the year 2012 mainly – I have got a copy of the Hansard right here – just to mention to you some of the issues that we have debated in this House: Working Together to Build Unity and Prosperity for All; Accelerating Service Delivery and Addressing Challenges Through an Effective Co-operative Government; Our Collective Duty to Care and Protect Older Persons in Our Society; Protecting and Nurturing Our Children to Realise Their Full Potential; Weighing a Concerted Fight Against Gender-Based Violence and Abuse; and Getting Together to Achieve Zero HIV/Aids Infections. These are some of the topics. Go back to your programme, you will find that.
The issue of oversight has been replied to by Mr Tau and the hon de Beer. I am not going back to that. We oversee the government in many actions: Your questions in the House; by going to the people; by your constituency offices; and by anything that you can ever think of. I think that we are up to standard. We are there, we are on course, we are on track. I have got no problem with the way the oversight is being conducted.
Actually, the whole continent and internationally, they are surprised as to how South Africa, being a new democracy, can do all these things when our government is only 20 years old. Some of them have been in government for 68 years. Yet, they still learn from us how to do these things. Everybody comes to the SA Parliament to learn these things.
On the issue about your question to the Minister of Transport, Mr Lees, these people who are sitting here in the gallery and those people who are watching us from home are surprised at what you are talking about. Mr Watson wrote a letter to me about his question to the Minister of Transport. I responded to him on 31 October 2012. He had written to me on 19 October 2012 and I responded to him on 31 October 2012. I advised him on what to do. The question that you are talking about did not relate to the national Minister. Instead, it related to the provincial competency. That is the question that you responded to and I did respond to Mr Watson giving my advice. It ended up there; I couldn't do anything above that. However, I suppose ... [Interjections.]
Mr R J TAU: Deputy Chair, through you, can it therefore mean that hon Lees misled this House and the nation?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon Mahlangu, can you continue?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Since the time is over, the last point I want to emphasise is the important fact that our Constitution speaks about participatory democracy, which Ms Boroto referred to, and that is very important. We are representatives in a democratic country. Therefore, if we are representatives in a democratic country, representing our people, it cannot be correct that we do not go to our people and talk to them. It cannot be correct that we do not give feedback to our people in order to revitalise and educate them.
How many people can come to Cape Town and listen to debates like this? The very people at the back of the beyond in Nquthu, where we come from; the very people at the back of the beyond in Sekhukhuneland, where we come from; the very people at the back of the beyond, people of De Aar, where we come from; and the very people at the back of the beyond in North West, where we come.
Therefore, the Constitution is quite correct to say Parliament can actually sit outside of its original seat in Cape Town and go out there. That just tells you how interested we are in the provinces and in representing the interest of the province. That is what the Constitution is saying. We should not be misdirected by other people who do not want to learn all the time that our work is there and we should go there to do our work. The Provincial Week is part of them. We will go back there and talk to our people. Thank you very much for supporting this Budget Vote. [Applause.]
SECOND, THIRD & FOURTH ORDERS
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 11
Mr M J MAHLANGU
Vote No 38 - Water Affairs;
Vote No 30 - Environmental Affairs; and
Vote No 26 - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Chair, hon Chairperson of the House, if he is still here, hon chair of the select committee, hon members, dear guests, ladies and gentlemen, I have the great pleasure of tabling our plan for the 2013-14 financial year to this august House. This plan is based on the mandate bestowed upon us as the two Departments of Water and Environmental Affairs. Let me begin by saluting the youth of our country during their special month, as well as the people of South Africa during Environment Month, which is June.
During the past two decades of our democratic and ANC-led government, we have managed to increase access to clean and safe drinking water from 59%, which was applicable in 1994, to a national average of 95,2%. Yet, as we have observed and as confirmed by Census 2011, between 9% and 10% of the existing infrastructure services are actually not functional, thus reducing our national access to 86%. Therefore, as we deal with the current backlog of 4,8%, we will also be addressing the issue of the dysfunctionality of some of our infrastructure.
Amid a myth that South Africa will run out of water in the near future, I want to assure you that we will not run out of water, not even in the next 100 years. We will ensure that, through our existing programmes, our planning and future water resource development initiatives, this does not happen.
We have to address issues of equity, the redistribution in water allocation and other apartheid legacy implications which remain a challenge in our society. The particular focus during this financial year is the fact that we have not adequately addressed equity and redistribution in terms of access to water, for both human and productive needs. This new paradigm must drive every policy, strategy, planning and implementation decision that we take within the water value chain.
In order to enhance our institutional efficiency and capacity in pursuit of improved water resource management, we have reduced our Catchment Management Agencies, CMA, as part of institutional realignment from 19 to nine. Water boards will also be reduced from 12 to nine, each one with a footprint in provinces.
Our skills enhancement programme is also contributing to strengthening our capacity. Our learning academy currently has 536 active bursary holders, of whom 418 have been absorbed into the department's training programme and 118 are enrolled at various universities. Importantly, 270 of them are in engineering, 241 in the sciences and 25 in surveying. Over time we have appointed 166 graduates in permanent and/or candidates' occupation specific dispensation, OSD, engineering and science posts in the department. More graduates from our learning academy will supplement the skills at municipal level. We also have 84 interns in various administrative posts and we have advertised for the acquisition of another 100 in human resources and finance to assist in reducing audit queries whilst training.
Our budget has increased significantly due to increased allocations for infrastructure, from approximately R10,2 billion in the year 2013-14, R12,4 billion for the year 2014-15 to R15,5 billion for the year 2015-16. This is a boost for our existing and future capital projects and I am sure that real impact will be felt at provincial level as we further implement other projects. As an example we took to the podium last year to speak about the De Hoop Dam which, as we speak is now at the final stage and water is already being stored there. The construction of the necessary infrastructure to distribute water to various areas in Sekhukhune, Capricorn and Waterberg has also begun. With regards to the Mokolo and Crocodile River pipeline, the project is also well on schedule. As we speak, the Komati Water Augmentation Programme is complete and up and running.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the Mooi-Mngeni Transfer Scheme is progressing very well with the first water storage in the Spring Grove Dam having commenced earlier this year, and construction for the raising of the Hazelmere Dam will commence in October. A number of other projects in the Maphumulo, Mahlambatshana and Richmond areas, costing up to R420 million which will benefit over 450 000 people, are being finalised. This means that additional people will be receiving water in South Africa.
In the Western Cape, plans for the raising of Clanwilliam Dam are at an advanced stage and the construction of the raising of the dam wall will start early next year, in line with our plans.
In the Eastern Cape, the finalisation of the planning of the Umzimvubu Dam project is under way and construction will commence early or mid-2014.
In the North West, we are implementing the first phase of the R1,2 billion Pilanesberg scheme in partnership with local mines. This will create over 6 000 direct and indirect jobs in that area.
In the Free State, R156 million has been set aside for new pipeline projects, for improving water supply to Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu in the Mangaung Metro.
Through our regional bulk infrastructure programme, which is very important, we are constructing projects worth R3,7 billion in all provinces for the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period. We can see the distribution thereof in our plans as circulated in the annual performance plan, APP.
With regard to the dam safety rehabilitation programme, we have invested approximately R1,7 billion in the rehabilitation of 35 dams through our dam safety rehabilitation programme, with five more being rehabilitated during this financial year. In line with this, let me also indicate that we are converting some of our single-purpose dams into multipurpose dams for utilisation by those communities who are living adjacent to dams but who could never use water from those dams.
More delivery of our precious resource has also been achieved through the efforts of water boards during 2011-12. The water boards generated R10,5 billion and invested R2,1 billion in infrastructure development, and a further R3,3 billion during their financial year, which ends in June this year. However, we are concerned that municipalities owe our water boards approximately R1,3 billion and we are currently working with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, to ensure that the money is retrieved.
In our quest to strengthen and support local government, we have initiatives that have been initiated between ourselves and Cogta. Those are along the lines of activities such as: the deployment of Rapid Response Units; and also the new Municipal Water Infrastructure Grant, Mwig, programme which is the new infrastructure grant for water, in particular to fix nonfunctional infrastructure and provide water where people never had access to water. This new grant will help a great deal in catching up with the backlogs where people never had water, but also in fixing those areas where infrastructure is nonfunctional.
I have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with an Implementation Protocol with the Premier of Mpumalanga to speed up service delivery in the province and to deal with backlogs by the end of 2014. I also intend to sign similar agreements with premiers from other provinces.
We have also finalised the Implementation Protocol with the relevant partners for the Sedibeng Regional Sewer Networks, for those who come from Gauteng, and waste water works at an estimated cost of R2,42 billion. This will help in the construction of houses in that area that have been waiting for such a long time for sewer networks.
We have supported 56 Water Services Authorities that did not comply with the Blue and Green Drop Certification programmes, and have trained over 2 000 process controllers. Next month I will release the outcomes of the 2013 Green Drop assessments.
To deal with acid mine drainage in the Witwatersrand area, we have completed the immediate solution in the Western Basin and stopped the uncontrolled decant in the same Western Basin. We are now in our second phase of upgrading the Rand Uranium plant and we have started with the construction of a pump station and new water treatment plant in that basin. This will ensure that the environmental critical level, ECL, is not breached but also ensure that we respond to the challenge in that area.
With regard to environmental affairs, we want our rich environmental and natural resource endowment not only to benefit us today but also our children and grandchildren into the future.
In support of the National Development Plan, we are working through the SA National Biodiversity Institute to spearhead an innovative programme of work on ecological infrastructure analysis and costing of our natural capital. This body of knowledge will empower us to make informed development-related decisions.
We have also embarked on an in-depth, amended and further review of our various pieces of legislation, to incorporate various aspects to tighten issues of control and co-ordination, as well as to enhance enforcement efforts. These efforts should be able to yield appropriate results in the near future.
At the 16th Conference of Parties, CoP16, of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species, Cites, held in Thailand in March this year, we successfully offered to host the 17th Cites, and work in this regard is in place to prepare for that conference.
In the same vein we are intensifying our collaborative action in law enforcement to combat the increasing scourge of rhino poaching, as well as international co-operation with recipient and transit countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and China. We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with these countries and we will sign similar agreements with Mozambique and other Asian countries. We are meeting with Mozambique this coming Friday. This will allow us to collaborate on, amongst others, joint policing security measures, strengthening of laws, joint technology innovations and so forth.
We have elevated the rhino-poaching challenge to the National Joints Security Committee, where a National Joints Operational Instruction Strategy has been forwarded to all security structures for immediate implementation. Furthermore, R75 million has been allocated to the SA National Parks, Sanparks, for the purpose of combating this scourge.
With regards to climate change, as we all know last year the conference was held in Dakar, and we were there to secure the Durban deal and the legacy that was concluded there with regards to ensuring that the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, including legal and operational ambition and environmental integrity considerations, are attained.
The policy implementation actions are currently under control and we are formulating what we call the Desired Emission Reduction Outcomes, Deros, and defining the optimal mix of measures for achieving those Deros with greatest benefits at the least cost to our economy.
We must acknowledge that good work has been done with regards to the issue of processing applications for renewable energy. Up to 25 000 MegaWatts of wind and solar projects were authorised, as opposed to 3 750 MegaWatts that was suggested and targeted.
We have begun to introduce the Green Economy with the utilisation of the Green Funds, and our implementing agency the Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA, has done a lot.
As you know, we have launched the green zero emission pure electric Green Cars and the pilot programme is here in South Africa. We are very proud of that, and we think and hope that everybody will follow that programme.
We have also been able to develop a programme within the context of Green Building our own buildings of green standards and six stars have already been awarded. The bioprospecting and hunting industry will also remain integral to our contribution to sustainable development.
With regards to the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, we have been able to create 65 494 job opportunities yielding 34 019 full-time jobs. We have also targeted and allocated an amount of R2,39 billion from the EPWP to our environmental programmes, which will boost job creation opportunities in our country. Jobs created will be coupled with skills development wherein 184 263 accredited training person days will be achieved.
During this financial year we will spend R1,13 billion on working for water and working on fire programmes. The largest budget will be allocated to the Eastern Cape and Sanparks projects which are also related to Eco-Furniture Factories. I am sure the Deputy Minister will speak to that.
Some 2 700 young people will benefit from the Youth Environmental Services, YES, programme which we have commenced this year, as well as the Youth Jobs in Waste Programme which we will launch next week in the Free State. A total of 330 job opportunities will be created for the Free State and 326 job opportunities will be created for the North West, but in total this programme will create 3 577 job opportunities.
We will also have a programme to employ 1 000 young people to strengthen the fight against rhino poaching, in addition to other programmes.
With regards to compliance, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with provincial governments, and most provinces have made progress in signing these protocols with relevant local authorities. We have designated 48 environmental management inspectors, and currently we are left with the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape where we need to tighten up on this. We are also in the process of developing a comprehensive compliance and enforcement programme, and the National Waste Management Strategy also continues to contribute to the creation of varied jobs in other provinces as well. As part of our efforts to drive recycling, a total number of 15 buy back centres will be established during this financial year. The successful integration of the Water Use and Waste Licences for waste disposal facilities is an example of these kinds of successes. We will continue with the project of reducing a number of unlicensed waste disposal sites during this financial year and the department will finalise this programme.
I would like to thank this august House and hon members, as well as all of you ladies and gentlemen, for working with us and continuing to do so as we look forward to ensuring that, as we develop and work together, we do indeed make progress. We have seen, in this august House, a lot of work that has been done by you in relation to monitoring and oversight. We do appreciate that.
However, I want to share one last project with you. Within this recycling project, there is a programme of ensuring that we select waste streams, particularly in our country, so that we are able to manage waste in our country but at the same time create jobs. For now we have embarked on waste stream and waste hire recycling. As you know, we have completely dealt with plastics, but all these are intended to create jobs in the future.
In conclusion, I want to take this opportunity to thank our Deputy Minister and our two directors-generals who are here, one of whom is an acting director-general and all members of the boards, staff, public entities under the two departments and in particular their teams, for the hard work that they are doing. As the Department of Water, we want to assure you that we are looking at this year being the year of transformation and attaining the goal of ensuring that all our people get an equitable allocation of water, as they deserve to have it. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 12
THE MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, chairperson and members of the select committee, Minister Molewa, hon Deputy Ministers, members of the NCOP, MECs, distinguished guests, senior officials, ladies and gentlemen, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the promulgation of one of those heinous pieces of legislation which the apartheid government used to strip our people of their dignity, namely the Natives Land Act of 1913. The triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality that we constantly strive to overcome today, as well as in the past, are a direct consequence of the implementation of that legislation, amongst many of similar intent. I urge hon members to keep this background in mind as we debate this year's Budget Vote.
Mindful of the long-term impact of the Natives Land Act and complementary oppressive legislation which bolstered apartheid, the ANC dedicated this year to Unity in Action towards Socioeconomic Freedom. This is also the theme for this 2013-14 Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Budget Vote.
Food and nutritional security remain our main priority. Food security is a basic human right and a constitutional mandate. The Bill of Rights states that every citizen has the right to access to sufficient food and water and that the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the realisation of this right. I am pleased to report that the department has developed a Food Security and Nutrition Policy, which is currently in the Cabinet process.
The main objective of this policy is to ensure that there is food security and good nutrition at all levels and segments of our society and at household level. Although South Africa has national food security through its own production and trade, at household level, food security is threatened by globalisation, international trade regimes, poor storage, postharvest processes and distribution of food.
High food prices pose a serious threat to food security, at both household and country level. Lower-income South Africans are the biggest victims of upward trends in food prices and most of South Africa's poorest people spend about 60% of their income just on food. Price hikes for cereals and other staples can force the poor to cut back on the quantity and quality of their meals. This may result in increased food insecurity and malnutrition, with tragic implications in the short and long term, particularly for children, the aged and other vulnerable members of society. Price hikes also limit the ability of poor households to meet other important nonfood expenses, such as education and health care.
A state of food security can be considered as achieved when all people have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. Regrettably, despite the significant decline in the numbers of households vulnerable to hunger in South Africa over the past decade, according to Statistics SA, 12 million, or 22,7% of South Africans have insufficient access to food.
The aim of the Food Security and Nutrition Policy will be to reduce the incidence of acute and chronic hunger to zero by 2030, and thereby contribute towards poverty eradication, increased human dignity and improved quality of life for all citizens. Thus, the approval of the Food Security and Nutrition Policy is one of our priorities for the current financial year.
One of the interventions initiated by the department to combat high food prices and household food insecurity is the Integrated Food Security Production Intervention. This initiative seeks to afford smallholder farmers, communities and households the ability to increase the production of basic food, and therefore increase access and availability of such to attain basic food security at household and local levels. Furthermore, the intervention is directed by the full participation of communities, as guided by section 27 of the Bill of Rights.
The Integrated Food Security Production Intervention advances the vision and recommendations of the National Development Plan. Though commercialisation will be included in this programme incrementally, the first four years will focus on the stabilisation of production and productivity of maize and beans. This will be attained through the provision of mechanisation, the provision of production inputs and advisory services.
In this financial year, the department, together with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, will implement an accelerated, integrated agricultural production programme in seven provinces, namely, the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West, as part of our Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Initiative. The initiative is aimed at supplementing the services rendered by provinces as a direct response to higher levels of household food insecurity.
Through this initiative, 40 000 hectares of underutilised agricultural land was put under production during the previous production season. While the results of this initiative will be evident in the forthcoming harvest season, it has already had a positive impact on job creation.
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey conducted by Statistics SA states very clearly that the Eastern Cape created 45 000 permanent jobs, an increase of 95,7% for the first term of this year – only from January to March. Limpopo created 26 000 jobs, a 29,5% increase, and the Free State, 17 000 jobs. The provinces where we did not intervene with this food security strategy lost jobs. In total, we created 54 000 permanent jobs in the first quarter of this year alone. Last year, our job growth in agriculture was 7,5%. The Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, Casp, was implemented in these provinces.
The Strategic Integrated Project, Sip 11, is one of the 18 flagship infrastructure projects overseen by the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission. Our department anticipates developing policies in a number of important areas, including Sip 11, to improve investment in infrastructure. This will be done through agricultural production and employment, small-scale farming and rural development, together with the Department of Rural Development. We want to thank our colleague, Minister Molewa, for the assistance she has been giving us with the irrigation schemes and the revitalisation of irrigation schemes.
The bulk of our money, R1,6 billion – and we do not remember this – lies with Casp. A total of R905 million will go just for infrastructure and production; R339 million for extension recovery; R55 million for agricultural colleges, with a further, additional R40 million for agricultural colleges; R298 million for flood damaged infrastructure. Additional to their budget, the Agricultural Research Council, ARC, will get R140 million, approximately; and the Ilima/Letsema programme has received a total allocation of R438 million to fight poverty.
Regarding the provinces, where you come from – and that is where you have to be, controlling and monitoring resources as well as implementation – the allocations are: the Eastern Cape, R262 million; the Free State, R198 million; Gauteng, R73 million – these are huge sums of money – KwaZulu-Natal, R268 million; Limpopo, R249 million; Mpumalanga, R174 million; North West, R213 million; the Northern Cape, R178 million; and the Western Cape, a total budget of R156 million. Seventy per cent of all these budgets will focus on food production initiatives with a strong focus on addressing urban poverty, as well as urban hunger.
An amount of R263 million allocated for disaster repair to North West, and R63 million to the Langkloof, where it is most urgently needed. Currently, R400 million is with the Northern Cape government for flood damage repair in the Orange River basin. Unfortunately, they have not been able to spend this money. [Interjections.]
It is not sufficient to provide prospective farmers with land and capital alone. They must get skills, so Casp addresses targeted farmer training and capacity-building, on-and-off farm infrastructure support, and market and business development. The National Agricultural Marketing Council will assist the Northern Cape province with R40 million and 110 hectares of raisins in Eksteenskuil, Upington and Riemvasmaak.
The smallholder irrigation schemes have the potential to have a significant impact on socioeconomic development and to advance improved food security.
Our LandCare Programme is communitybased and government-driven, but is also aimed at the sustainable management and use of natural resources.
To date, work undertaken on the Vaalharts-Taung irrigation scheme has improved irrigation. The three Ministers will be paying Vaalharts and Taung a visit and, likewise, all other irrigation schemes. If your irrigation scheme has not been mentioned, it is because of time. A total of 137 projects will be implemented in nine provinces, where 6 113 jobs will be created just on irrigation schemes.
In order to complement LandCare, a conditional grant, the National Fencing Scheme was introduced to promote the production and protection of sensitive areas. This scheme will further accelerate economic growth and will transform the economy by creating sustainable work opportunities, as well as livelihoods, but most importantly it will result in effective and sustainable resources.
This year will also see the allocation of long-term fishing rights, and the Working for Fisheries programme will create 1 343 jobs. It is a highly contested area. As members make their inputs, I will reply during the closing.
As for forestry, we will host the World Forestry Day - this is the 15th international global forestry conference in 2015. I would like to add that in the past financial year, the department created 1 700 jobs through the refurbishment of Category B and C plantations. Temporarily unplanted areas will be reduced by reforesting 1 680 hectares at a cost of R10,9 million. This, Minister Molewa, we seek to do in conjunction with your department so as not to compromise water supply and water security.
Our country cannot afford to waste water. The department aims to spend R2,5 million on greening projects throughout the country. As part of the department's food security interventions, we are saying, One Family, One Food Garden. Rather spend your money and your water planting food than on planting lawn. You cannot eat lawn.
The department's food security interventions within the forestry sector have planted 14 177 fruit trees in conjunction with the Department of Water Affairs. We will plant a further 13 500 trees at a cost of close to R1 million.
I table this budget with an appeal for Unity in Action towards Socioeconomic Freedom. When we reallocate those fishing quotas to small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, of course there will be contestation and a battle for resources. For four-and-a-half years we have been fighting this battle. Now it is time for us to understand that SMMEs and communities have a right to sustainable livelihoods, and those fishing communities must have access to quotas.
I would like to thank Members of Parliament, the select committee, the Deputy Minister, the hon Pieter Mulder, executive councils, MECs, the acting director-general and senior management, my family and my special guests – those little youngsters who were here earlier, my sons. Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs A N D QIKANI
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 13
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES (Ms T M Joemat-Pettersson )
Ms A N D QIKANI: Hon Deputy Chair, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members of this distinguished House and officials from various departments, late last year the country had to deal with the uprising at one of the most vulnerable and marginalised sectors in our society, the farm workers. Central in the grievances of these workers was the meager wage that they earn and the difficult working conditions that have rendered them to modern slavery.
The unrest together with the rising food prices is the crux of the problem facing the agricultural sector today. The huge task of tackling food security and poverty within this sector is a collaborative process and other social partners need to assist in overcoming the scourge. It is within this context that the budget allocation for programmes two and three, agricultural production; health and food safety; food security and agrarian reforms which form the majority of the allocation, are fully supported as these are the priorities of the ANC-led government.
One of the main spending focus areas of Programme 2, is Ilima/Letsema subprogramme which received R1,4 billion over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, for poverty alleviation, food security and job creation which focuses on smallholder and subsistence farmers' development and support. This grant, together with Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, Casp, and the Agricultural Disaster Fund are transferred to provinces to implement at regional level.
Minister, I would like to reiterate that it is a shame if grants allocated to provinces are sent back unspent while our rural farmers are not provided with these grants to assist them to become food secure. In the Daily Dispatch of 24 May 2013, it was reported that the Casp grant of R22,7 million, Agricultural Disaster Fund of R1,6 million and Ilima/Letsema campaign Fund of R5 million were unspent in the Eastern Cape province.
We humbly admit that this is a huge challenge and the department should do more to strengthen its monitoring mechanism, particularly in the light of the acknowledgement by the Minister in her Budget Vote speech that these allocations to provinces and entities account for 59,2% of the department's budget.
If the state of affairs reflected above is correct, we then need some level of assurance that the budget allocations that are being presented today will reach the marginalised and vulnerable within the agricultural sector to ensure food production and security. Programme three, food security and agrarian reform, houses a number of critical departmental programmes namely, the Casp; the sector capacity development subprogramme responsible for training colleges; and the national extension support services subprogramme, responsible for extension support and training to farmers. Also nested within Programme 3 is the food security programme of the department.
The programme is designed to provide comprehensive support for the 117 000 subsistence farmers through extensive services and infrastructure support. Sector capacity development will take place through training and provincial and rural agricultural colleges. The overarching goal of supporting subsistence, smallholder and commercial production to achieve food security and improve livestock through the enhancement mechanisms including logistical handling and distribution of food produce within the programme, is a key priority.
As the ANC, we support the Food Security and Nutrition Policy that the department has unveiled and the progress will be tracked. Food security and affordability are key issues for almost a quarter of South Africa's population and since the right to food is enshrined in our Constitution, we have a responsibility to fulfil this.
The implementation of the small-scale fisheries policy and the national aqua-culture strategy and action plan and the contribution made to job creation and sustainable food security committees will be monitored by the committee this year. The strategic priorities for the fisheries branch need to be carefully investigated and the budget that is allocated will be monitored.
The road ahead is difficult, but by working together we can achieve more and attain the goals we have set in the agricultural sector. Hon Minister Molewa, I would like to start by saying that your department has the difficult task of ensuring that all South Africans have access to a safe and healthy environment whilst ensuring that our economic and social needs are met. It is as a result of this huge task that I found your department in audit, constantly coming up with novel and exciting ways to get people involved and becoming excited about conserving their environment.
The recent launch of the R300 million "Groen Sebenza" project funded by the Development Bank of South Africa, DBSA, specifically targeting young professionals, is an example of how your department can do more by being an active participant in the biodiversity sector. Our committee wishes you well in this endeavour.
Getting back to the vital work of your department and the budget that you have been allocated to deliver your mandate, the biodiversity report of 22 May 2013 on the state of South Africa's biodiversity, provides some alarming facts and figures regarding the loss of the rich biological heritage of our country. Some of the warning signs from the report indicate that some parts of the country have lost much more natural habitat than others and the report further avers that, "if Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the North West provinces keep losing natural landscape at the current rate, for example to cultivation, mining and urban expansion, these provinces will have almost no natural habitats left outside protected areas by 2050".
These important landscapes are important for providing an ecosystem service and maintaining the ecological infrastructure to sustain our communities. This is a very worrying scenario of threats together with the impact of climate change. They paint a sombre picture of our developmental state.
The R75 million allocated to the fight against rhino poaching is what the fiscus can provide, but experts report that in order to fight rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park alone will require R400 million. As South Africans, we need to stand up against poaching of all our species to support the illegal trade in our precious biodiversity.
This is a mammoth task, but we will support the strategic interventions that we will have to come up with. We also note and welcome the high tech innovation from the private sector which will assist in fighting this battle together. This is a battle that we must win for future generations.
Aligned with the sustainable development and balancing the social and economic needs of the state, I would like to raise a concern regarding the streamlining of environmental approvals for key infrastructure projects. The department is in a vulnerable position in this regard. On the one hand, we need to conserve the environment to ensure resilience against extreme climate events and ensure ecosystem services to clean water and flood contamination while also ensuring that development is sustainable.
We register a concern regarding fast-tracking environment authorisation, but we are confident that you will use the suite of environmental management tools at your disposal to make well-informed decisions on behalf of future generations to meet the current needs of the citizens of South Africa.
According to the state of biodiversity report, nearly one fifth of our coastline has some form of a development within a hundred metres of shoreline which means that nature's buffers against storm surges and rising seas may have been stripped away and paved over in parts. This puts people and property at risk in the face of climate change. Our coastal and inshore ecosystems are more threatened than offshore marine ecosystems. Offshore ecosystems are the most poorly protected of all of our ecosystems, yet these are the lifeblood for healthy and productive fisheries.
Marine protected areas are key to keeping both the ecosystem and the fisheries safe. Therefore Minister the R344 million budget allocated to oceans and coasts for research and conservation and management of research vessels is fully supported. The research that is required for total allowable catches of the main fisheries in South Africa is required so that illegal and overharvesting can be curbed.
Minister, I would like to congratulate you and your department on being the first to receive a six-star rating from the Green Building Council for the new premises. According to the chief executive officer, Brian Wilkinson, of the Green Building Council:
The Department of Environmental Affairs has taken the lead and is demonstrating commitment to market transformation in the built environment in South Africa. This is an exceptional illustration of the public and the private sector working together to deliver an outstanding example of green building.
As a member of the Select Committee for the Department of Water, we fully support the important work being done by this department under the capable stalwardship of Edna Molewa. We also acknowledge the progress made in the regulation and provision of water-related services, as noted in the Minister's budget speech on 21 May 2013, when she said:
It is important to note the remarkable achievement of this department from 1994. Only 59% of South Africans had access to clean and safe drinking water. Nineteen years later, this department has progressed to a national average of 95,2%.
As South Africans we are proud of this achievement. Fortunately the Minister has already recognised that our people in rural provinces such as Mpumalanga and the North West are still facing challenges of access to water. The Minister was personally present at the recent "Taking Parliament to the People" gathering in Mpumalanga and had first-hand information about the programmes relevant to the lack of access to water and most of these were answered by the Minister.
Most of these challenges have to do with provision of infrastructure by municipalities and provinces. However, we wish to raise a general concern that we also picked up in other areas. There is a phenomenon that persists still, almost 20 years into our democracy, where poor communities who reside next to dams would not have access to water whilst this very precious resource is pumped to service white farms a few kilometers away from them. We think that this situation is an accident waiting to happen. This requires an urgent intervention.
I, therefore, welcome the announcement by the Minister on 21 May that the interim water supply programme would commence in July this year to address these backlogs in the rural areas through immediate intervention in the 23 district municipalities. I also welcome the successful dialogue hosted by the Strategic Water Partners Network, South Africa during the World Economic Forum on Africa last month and the network's commitment to undertake developing a tool to support municipalities to take on the challenge to reduce water leakages in their systems.
It is encouraging to note that after all the negative publicity that South Africa is running out of water and that various municipalities have been without water, thanks to the Water Research Commission and the confidence shown by the department through its planning future, programmes in water management and the development and management of infrastructure that is geared towards sustainable and a secure future in terms of security and supply to ensure that we do not run out of water in the next 100 years.
Chair, I note the significant increase of the budget of the Department of Water due to increase allocation for infrastructure development. The ANC supports this appropriate allocation. The ANC supports Budget Votes No 26, 30 and 38, thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D A WORTH
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 14
Mrs A N D QIKANI
Mr D A WORTH: Hon Deputy Chair, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members, members of the SA Local Government Association, Salga, visitors, I would like to thank the various departments for their presentations to our committee. The budget for the 2012-13 financial year for the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, Budget Vote 38, amounts to some R10,187 billion for the 2012-13 financial year, a nominal increase of 13,27% or, in real terms, an increase of 7,27%. Most of this department's budget is spent under Programme 3, which is water infrastructure management, up to 28%, and Programme 4, regional implementation and support which is 59% of the entire departmental budget.
Over the medium term, spending is projected to increase due to allocations of R150 million in the 2013-14 financial year for addressing acid mine water drainage and R4,3 billion over the medium term for the Municipal Water Infrastructure Grant, as the Minister alluded to, which is a new grant to address the backlog in respect of access to water by rural households, the construction of new bulk infrastructure and the upgrading and refurbishment of existing water structures.
Funding has also been earmarked for critical projects, including the construction of the De Hoop Dam's regional bulk distribution and the O R Tambo District Municipality's regional bulk water and waste water infrastructure. Recently, phase two of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project was approved, and South Africa will bear the full cost of the project, which is up from R9 billion to R12 billion. The additional water will be used for two major developments planned for Lephalale near Vryburg and strategic infrastructure projects planned for Steelpoort. This project will also generate 1 000 Megawatts of electricity for Lesotho.
Gauteng municipalities collectively lost 480 980 000 kilolitres of water in the 2011-12 financial year, due to ageing infrastructure, which amounted to a staggering R7,84 billion in financial losses. According to a report by the Water Research Commission, on average, municipalities lose a third of the water through leaks or nonpayment. Acid mine drainage is a major problem in the Witwatersrand and Mpumalanga areas, in particular, and much more money will have to be budgeted to ensure that water resources are protected.
The Minister stated that the water sector is facing a problem of underinvestment. While the department had estimated that it needed R573 billion to fix the water backlog, new calculations have raised this figure to R670 billion to fund the water sector over the next 10 years. Concern has been raised also about the water losses in agriculture, with farmers using approximately 60% of the country's water. The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs has paid out some R11 million in the past four years on suspended or severance pay for much needed experienced officials, who are desperately wanted for the service delivery.
The vision of the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs is that of a prosperous and equitable society living in harmony with its resources. The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs has seven programmes to achieve its strategic policy priorities. The budget for the 2013-14 financial year amounts to R5,341 billion. The subprogrammes that saw declines include the biodiversity planning and management, protected areas systems management and the SA National Parks, Sanparks, that currently faces severe threats of rhino poaching from organised crime syndicates.
It is to be welcomed that the department wishes to re-erect the fence along the eastern border of the Kruger National Park with Mozambique. More than 360 rhinos had been killed by poachers in South Africa alone this year. Between 2007 and February last year, 1 460 rhinos were lost to poachers. South Africa is home to 83% of Africa's rhino population. We also welcome, as the Minister alluded to, the memorandum of understanding with Vietnam with regard to the illegal trade in rhino horn and look forward to further agreements, particularly with Mozambique, Thailand and China. Unfortunately, it could be that elephants are the next species to be targeted on a large scale.
South Africa's Green Climate Fund is a mechanism that supports the country to direct finance towards climate change projects and programmes. The initial R800 million allocated to the Green Climate Fund will be topped up with an additional R300 million over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period. The Green Climate Fund aims to provide catalytic finance to support initiatives that will facilitate poverty reduction and job creation.
It was also proposed that a carbon tax will be implemented in the 2013-14 financial year, which will be phased in. However, it would appear that the implementation of the carbon tax will only be effected from 1 January 2015. The Minister of Finance stated that support mechanisms for biofuel production and upgrading of oil refineries would be introduced to ensure that fuel production is also more environmentally friendly.
The department's Budget Vote 36 for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is complex, containing six programmes, numerous subprogrammes and another six entities with separate allocations. The total budget for this department amounts to some R6,177 billion. Every country in the world has a fundamental responsibility to ensure adequate nutrition for all its citizens and food security.
According to recent statistics published by the SA Institute of Race Relations, there are only 22 400 commercial farming units, which have a more than R300 000 turnover per year. This in effect means that only 6% of farmers in South Africa produce 95% of the food for 53 million people. The contribution of agriculture to the gross domestic product, GDP, has decreased from 9,1% in 1965 to less than 2% in 2012. The number of commercial farmers has declined from over 100 000 to 36 000 in 15 years.
South Africa, according to figures supplied by the department, became a net importer of agricultural products in 2012. Imports amounted to R53,7 billion against exports of R52,5 billion. South Africa has become a large importer of chicken or poultry and half of all bread consumed consists of wheat imported from, mainly, Russia. Other imported items consist of cooking oil and soya cattle feed. South Africa has already imported bananas from Mozambique and even white maize, believe it or not, from Zambia.
In addition, global warming, leading to extreme climate conditions and water scarcity, is a serious threat. Farmers also have to contend with higher input costs due to the increases in the price of fuel, fertilizer, labour and machinery. Only 34 866 square kilometers of South Africa's total land surface is high quality agricultural land of which 12 300 kilometers are under irrigation. Irrigating 1% of the 3% high quality agricultural land already consumes 63% of available surface water.
The agricultural departments in the various provinces and local areas lack capacity, expertise and experience. In my province, the Free State, 24 New Massey Ferguson 290 tractors have been found together with over 100 farming implements worth millions of taxpayers' money, hidden away at the disused Vrede showgrounds. These urgently needed tractors and implements, which were supplied under the so-called operation mechanisation for use by emerging farmers in land restitution projects, have been rusting in the open for a year and many of the tractor batteries have been stolen.
In addition, brand new 16 Nissan Hardbody bakkies have been discovered parked at the Glen Agricultural College near Bloemfontein, because the department cannot afford the fuel and licensing costs. Meanwhile, agricultural officials and extension officers complain they have no transport.
An urgent investigation is required into this debacle. Minister, the NCOP committee has visited many agricultural projects in other provinces, which are all either not functioning or on the verge of collapse. I wish to quote from recent research:
Correctly approached, agriculture could have a significant role to play in addressing poverty, inequity and unemployment – a key goal of the National Development Plan. With approximately 40% of the population classified as living in poverty and 43% vulnerable to food insecurity, the country simply cannot afford to remain prolific at drafting policies and plans, but utterly ineffective as implementers. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 15
Mr D A WORTH
Die ADJUNKMINISTER VAN LANDBOU, BOSBOU EN VISSERYE: Agb Voorsitter, agb Ministers en agb lede, dit is 'n fout om die belangrikheid van die landbousektor vir die gesondheid van die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie maklik af te maak. Die landbousektor het juis die potensiaal om nog meer werksgeleenthede te kan skep, om plattelandse ontwikkeling te kan bevorder en om so uiteindelik mense se lewensgehalte te verbeter. Dit is wel 'n sektor wat tans blootgestel is aan 'n wye reeks risiko's en veral uitdagings.
The increase in the minimum farm workers' wage and the increase in input costs such as fuel and electricity, pose huge threats to the sustainability of this sector. To thus protect farmers, farm workers and farms, and ultimately food security, critical interventions by government are needed.
Furthermore, the diverse South African sector, more than ever
requires a committed partnership between the private sector on the one hand and all the public sector organs on the other.
The support of state-owned entities, SOEs, in this sector is such a partnership that has evolved over decades.
In this financial year, the SOEs budget allocation is as follows: the Agricultural Research Council, ARC, gets R950 million; Onderstepoort Biological Projects, OBP, gets R96 million; the Perishable Products Export Control Board, PPECB, gets R632 000; the National Agricultural Marketing Council gets R33 million; the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of SA gets R33 million; and the Marine Living Resources Fund has been allocated R257 million.
Agricultural Research Council investments have greatly contributed to economic growth, agricultural development and poverty alleviation in developing regions over the past five decades.
Daarom mag die rol van die Landbou Navorsingsraad, LNR, nooit onderskat word nie. Die kernmandaat van die LNR is om landbou se bydrae tot beter lewenskwaliteit te bevorder en om effektiewe natuurlike hulpbronbestuur te verseker.
To date, for example, the ARC has successfully implemented the Animal Improvement Scheme that is aimed at improving the performance and competitiveness of smallholder farmers through the application of scientific approaches to the management of livestock. Through this scheme we have seen an increase in the number of smallholder farmers participating, from a mere 920 a year ago to 4 075 by the end of March 2013. During the 2013-14 financial year next year, the ARC will increase the number of farmers participating in this scheme by an additional 2 000. The ARC renders innovative and smart solutions which help farmers eliminate pests and eradicate diseases such as foot and mouth disease and rabies.
This financial year also marks the beginning of a new era for OBP. The much needed capital injection of R492 million over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period from the National Treasury will be utilised to refurbish the aging plant, purchasing of new equipment and building a Good Manufacturing Practice, GMP, facility which will place OBP on a new trajectory. The quality of OBP vaccines is a critical issue. The quality control system has been accredited and this must ensure that no substandard batch of vaccines leaves the plant. Onderstepoort Biological Projects has also received research funding of R39 million from the Technology Innovation Agency.
South Africa is currently a net exporter of agriculture, and we will have to debate that argument. This sector's exports contribute R61 billion to the gross domestic product, GDP, with a R6,5 billion in positive trade balance.
However, what is correct is that South Africa's agricultural exports decreased by 5% between 2011 and 2012. We need to acquire a positive investment climate and a high level of business confidence in order to enhance our competitiveness. Political stability and sound decision-making is key with regards to the attribution of a positive climate.
The goal of creating a million jobs by 2030, according to the National Development Plan, is only possible through export growth. Our department has been successful in establishing good trade relations with new markets and will continue with this initiative during the next financial year.
The department and the PPECB are working closely to assist South Africans to export their products successfully in a highly competitive global arena. As a result of some sacrifices and creative thinking, the PPECB has gone from a R16 million loss to a financial break-even situation in one year. The PPECB has revised the 1983 Act. This was an intensive exercise that involved consultations with many people. It is hoped that, once the new Act is promulgated, it will enable the PPECB to modernise its business offerings to the public.
In South Africa, we cannot have farmers who are left in the emerging phases. These farmers should be enabled to develop successfully into commercial producers. However, it is important that there will, at such a stage, still be a commercial sector subsisting for these farmers to join.
In my beperkte tyd, wil ek graag die Minister, alle lede van die georganiseerde landbou en alle rolspelers bedank vir hul volgehoue bereidwilligheid om saam te werk in belang van landbou, want alleen gaan een sektor nie hierdie probleme kan oplos nie. Ek dank u. [Applous.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 15
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
THE DEPUTY MINSITER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon chairperson of the select committee, hon members of the select committee and distinguished guests, allow me to take you on a journey of how we as the sector leaders of water and environment are geared to bring forth a better life for all, even beyond the second decade of democracy.
Through one of our programmes, the War on Leaks project, we educated water users about the importance of water conservation, by doing door-to-door campaigns, and practically fixing taps and toilets in the Northern Cape and the West Rand. We also created job opportunities for our youth and equipped them with skills that can be used in the job market. These young people are called Water Conservation Warriors. This year, we will implement this project in nine municipalities within the 24 priority district municipalities prioritised by Cabinet.
During the national Water Week 2013, we handed over the R18 million Mukula Bulk Water Supply project to the late chief Takalani and the Mukula community. This project supplies clean drinking water to 17 villages and created 45 job opportunities for local people.
Through partnerships with the Department of Science and Technology and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, we provided water to six villages at Amathole and OR Tambo district municipalities in the Eastern Cape. Phase two is currently being undertaken in 11 sites across the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces which will reach approximately 25 000 people. The exciting part is that phase two will also tackle the operations and maintenance of infrastructure which is a national problem.
The school-based environmental education programme, implemented in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, continues. In partnership with the MTN Foundation, we handed over 1 200 computers with Internet connection to 60 schools. A total of 89 bursaries have been awarded to learners who participated in the 20-20 Vision Programme to study water-related careers.
The African Youth developed a draft African Youth Water Strategy during the 2012 Youth Water Summit held in South Africa. The strategy has since been approved by the African Ministers' Council on Water, Amcow. The Kids and Parks programme enabled 4 159 learners and 168 educators to access the national parks. We are targeting 5 000 learners for this financial year. We handed over the R28,5 million Environmental Science Education Centre to the University of Limpopo – Turfloop, which created 17 jobs to locals.
We brought rural women on board to prove that natural resources can be managed using indigenous knowledge. It is not only for engineers and scientists. Through the Adopt a River project, 24 rivers were cleaned that created 1 148 job opportunities for women.
Last year I announced that we would put some of these women in our skills development programme. I am proud to report that 44 women will be awarded bursaries during this financial year to study at universities and further education and training, FET, colleges. I also need to express my appreciation of the partnership and support from the Birchwood Hotel that adopted the Modderfontein River in Ekurhuleni.
A total of 181 women from various municipalities of the Western Cape were trained in plumbing, while 214 women from the nine provinces have been trained as process controllers.
Last year we hosted the Women in Environment conference. In this current financial year we will develop the sector gender framework and programme of action. During Women's Month we will host a Women Mayor's dialogue to encourage them to prioritise and champion water conservation, the environment, women and youth projects in their respective municipalities.
Invasive alien species are a threat to our ecosystems, however, we reuse them as raw materials to manufacture ecofurniture like ecocoffins, school desks, gardens and all that. To date we have three ecofactories which created a total of 493 jobs, of which 52% are women and 37% youth. A total of 250 desks were handed over to Boitumelo School which is in Ficksburg, and another 250 to Maatla School, which is in Hoedspruit in Limpopo. We will establish 18 ecofactories within three years which will create 160 jobs per factory.
A total of 372 councillors from the nine provinces have been trained in environmental management and waste management planning. As a signatory to the Nagoya Protocol on Access Benefit Sharing, we have awarded 10 bioprospecting licences to communities. They are benefiting through the creation of community-based enterprises and the awarding of bursaries to young people to further their education in the biodiversity conservation field. Through this programme we facilitated comanagement agreements with the Nwanedi land claimants in Limpopo and the Songimvelo community in Mpumalanga. They developed 241 Small Medium and Micro Enterprises, SMMEs, and created 5 852 job opportunities. During this financial year, we will capacitate 400 beneficiaries on the use of natural resources, particularly the youth, women and people with disabilities.
Through our greening and open spaces management programme we handed over Ecoparks in Mdantsane and Duncan villages, to the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality. A total of 186 job opportunities were created during the implementation of this programme.
We are making remarkable progress in the protection of the country's wetlands, of which 48% are critically endangered. A total of R540 million has been invested in the rehabilitation of wetlands, providing 12 908 job opportunities.
In order to protect our vulnerable coastline, last year we developed the Ocean Management Strategy, which will be implemented from this year. South Africa declared the Prince Edward Island as the first South African Marine Protected Area.
Together with the South African Weather Service, we embarked on severe weather awareness road shows in Limpopo and the Northern Cape, educating the affected communities about weather issues. We will continue doing that.
In rural areas we provided support to 1 559 resource poor farmers. We also have a partnership with the Daily Sun, where we launched the five million water saving tips, which is being done in the form of a competition. I am sure you have seen it. The winners will be sent for raining at FET colleges. Thank you.
CLLR C NEETLING
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 16
Mrs R T MABUDAFHASI
Mr C NEETHLING: Hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed an opportune moment to celebrate almost two decades since the advent of democracy. In this 20 years of democracy, the three spheres of government have increasingly committed to sustainable livelihoods and the wellbeing of not only the people of today, but for the generations to come, by securing an environment that is clean, healthy and supplemented by the provision of clean drinking water and dignified sanitation services.
Hon Minister, your affirmation that access to water supply and sanitation services has significantly increased since the advent of democracy, should be recognised. These achievements are worth celebrating and the three spheres of government should be applauded for a job well done.
As far as water services are concerned, infrastructure investment in the water sector remains one of the catalytic cornerstones in unlocking growth and development in the current and future socioeconomic trajectory of the our beloved country.
However, there is a potential threat towards meeting this socioeconomic trajectory, which is a lack of adequate investment and levels of debt owed in the sector to municipalities, water boards and the department. This could stifle the upscaling of water infrastructure development. We must guard against this challenge as it has implications in meeting our national developmental imperatives, particularly the roll-out of Strategic Infrastructure Projects, SIPs, 3, 4, 6 and 18.
Equity and redistribution remain important topics that we must address. Let me remind the House of some of the objects of our National Water Act. It requires us to ensure that the nation's water resources are protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in ways which take into account, amongst others, the following factors: firstly, meeting the basic human needs of present and future generations; secondly, promoting equitable access to water; thirdly, redressing the results of past racial and gender discrimination; and fourthly, facilitating social and economic growth.
These objects may not be realised, particularly if the equity and redress imperatives are not addressed urgently. We have observed that in some municipalities, raw bulk water availability stifles growth and development. This is because water is fully allocated and therefore cannot be made available to unlock local economic development. In this regard, we wish to call upon the Minister to relook the water allocation process, particularly for municipal economic development.
The finalisation and approval of the National Water Resources Strategy, coupled with the policy and legislative review will be important processes to take note of. The South African Local Government Association, Salga, has made extensive comments on the National Resources Strategy 2 and it is hoped that our comments would find expression in the final strategy to be gazetted in June. Hon Minister, we look forward to the revised strategy.
The introduction of the Municipal Water Infrastructure Grant, targeted at the 23 districts for roll-out, is welcomed. Hon Minister, you will be pleased to hear that we are working closely with the department towards the roll out of the grant. We also welcome the announcement by the Minister that the planning of the Umzimvubu Dam is being fast-tracked, including the construction of the bulk line at De Hoop Dam. We are assured that these mega bulk water projects will benefit municipalities.
Nonrevenue water at a municipal level has reached unacceptable levels. The current 36% nonrevenue water, which equates to R7,2 billion per annum, cannot be left unattended. Salga has discussed this matter at the leadership of local government, our national conference, and the leadership has challenged us to put mechanisms in place to resolve the matter.
In this regard, we are currently exploring the establishment of a municipal-driven revolving fund, including exploring the establishment of a refurbishment and replacement fund. Through these initiatives we hope that nonrevenue water will be reduced significantly by the end of the current council terms, which is 2016.
On climate change and environment, sustainability is central to the success of a developmental state such as ours. The South African Local Government Association is heartened by the strategic thrusts of the environmental portfolio and the concerted effort to contextualise these within the vision and ambits of the National Development Plan. The South African Local Government Association acknowledges the efforts of the department and its partners in protecting the natural environment, promoting its sustainable use and positioning it as a contributor to development.
Since the successful hosting of Conference of Parties, Cop, 17 in South Africa in 2011, local government has rallied together under the banner of the Local Government Climate Change Champions Committee to chart a course for systemic and tangible municipal inputs to the objectives of the National Climate Change Response Policy. Everyday, more and more municipalities engage in studies to define their climate risks and vulnerabilities and to devise appropriate measures to address and mitigate those.
Increasingly, municipalities are integrating climate change response measures into their integrated development plans, IDPs, and continue to seek means and associations for financing those measures in a sustainable and result-based manner.
The considerations of our climate future, based on the work of the department on mitigation potentials and adaptation scenarios will not go unnoticed. In this regard, Salga and its partners have taken measures to direct municipalities to fund and support sources such as the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund, amongst others.
The hon Minister's budget speech has placed emphasis on investing in ecological infrastructure as a key input to sustainable development. The South African Local Government Association and the municipalities echo this sentiment. However, the local government sector continues to call for greater and more co-ordinated support to municipalities, to realise the imperative of investing in ecological infrastructure.
This call is driven particularly by the need for a more concise definition of the role, functions and duties of municipalities in areas such as biodiversity, conservation and protection, integrated coastal management and climate change. Even more pressing is the need for commensurate financial and human capacity and technical expertise to be channelled to local government.
It is our firm position that local government requires that functions assigned to it be accompanied by the means and resources to perform those functions. Attention also needs to be placed on enhancing the role of local government in compliance monitoring and enforcement; disaster risk reduction and management; solid waste management; as well as to strengthening climate change adaptation responses in municipalities.
On solid waste, Salga welcomes the department's support to the district municipalities in the Northern Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga with regard to the development of integrated waste management plans and regulation of illegal waste disposal sites. This support will inevitably enhance the municipalities' competent authority in managing solid waste.
Furthermore, Salga appreciates the implementation of the Youth Jobs in Waste programme which will be initiated in the Free State and North West provinces. In this regard, we wish to recommend to the department that this initiative be replicated in other provinces.
Notwithstanding the above, we wish to highlight a major challenge that warrants to be addressed. We have observed that there is generally a lack of awareness with regard to keeping public spaces clean. Some work has happened but requires to be scaled up. It is therefore recommended that the department as the lead agent on environmental issues, with the assistance of Salga and other relevant role-players, take a lead at a national level with regard to the awareness of waste management.
In conclusion, we look forward to be of value in the delivery of water services, management of solid waste and sustainable development of a cleaner environment and a prosperous South Africa. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr G G MOKGORO
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 17
Cllr C NEETHLING – SA LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
Mr G G MOKGORO: Hon Chair, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, let me begin by joining millions of our people here in the country and across the globe in wishing our international icon and former President of the people's movement, the ANC, Isithwalandwe Comrade Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a speedy recovery.
In this debate I will try to cover three Budget Votes and also take stock of how far we have been able to manage the challenges of redressing the past imbalances within agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and environmental and water affairs.
As we approach the end of the second decade of our freedom, the ANC-led government has made substantial progress in redressing the imbalances of the past and in restoring the dignity of millions of our people. In the two decades our government has laid a solid foundation to enable us to confront the three main challenges, which are poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Indeed, agriculture has been the major source of employment for unskilled people, especially for our rural poor, as they always depend on it for a living. As government this is one area that we needed, and still need to focus more on. In doing so, the department has been able to refocus our policies in redesigning our programmes so that they address the challenges they have come across in the past few years. The department has been able to come up with the following: Firstly, agriculture, education and training must be prioritised from primary school level to tertiary level. College and university education must be able to address the needs and challenges of the country, which include the relevance and competitiveness of the sector and the challenges of developing farmers who constitute the majority of farmers in the country.
Secondly, bold pro-poor policies that seek to address inequalities in land ownership and access, including youth and gender bias, as well as agriculture-based rural development.
Thirdly, promotion of the agrarian economy; land access; tenure security and support for small-scale farmers; effective financing programmes; and targeted investment in capacity building and off-farm infrastructure, for example a focus on village-level infrastructure instead of individual household farms including roads, rail, water, energy supplies, market value added, etc.
Finally, investment in a human capital skilled workforce, not just in terms of numbers and paper qualifications, but in-service training to ensure relevant skills acquisition and capacity-building for both departmental personnel, extension officers, researchers and farmers.
We commend the department for giving land to small-scale farmers who must be motivated to prove to themselves that they too can become productive farmers. In doing so they must be discouraged from leasing their land to big commercial farmers.
One other area that the department and the country has been grappling with is how to protect our environment and preserve water. The continuous degrading of the environment impacts largely on the meaningful use of the land in both rural and urban areas.
The scarcity of water concerns all of us, both rich and poor, hence the department's slogan, Water is Life: Respect it, Conserve it, Enjoy it. Indeed, over the past decades the availability of water has been falling very low due to its use and the population increase. Soon as a country we may also face serious water shortages, whilst on the other hand the costs of water infrastructure are rising dramatically.
Our recent Taking Parliament to the People programme has exposed and taught us about the lack of access to clean and safe drinking water for the majority of our people. As a department, the lessons that we have leant during the Taking Parliament to the People programme should serve as a continuous reminder that we still have a long way to go in trying to redress the imbalances of the past.
Our country is one of a few in the world that enshrines the basic right to sufficient water in its Constitution, stating that, "Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water." Soon we have to fulfill this right because our people, our communities, especially our rural communities, must not continue struggling to access this basic right. Our people must stop accessing water from rivers that are kilometers away, and must stop sharing water with animals because there is no running water for them.
In the Northern Cape, especially the western part, is a water scarce area. The Orange and the Vaal rivers run through our province. Our biggest dams in the Orange River are the Gariep and Vanderkloof dams. The last dam in the Orange River is at Boegoeberg near Groblershoop, which is 600 km from Alexander Bay. For 600 km the river water flows without being captured again and flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The building of a dam in the lower part of the Orange River near Vioolsdrift is crucial to address the water challenges in the Namakwa area.
I am happy with the progress made so far by the Minister and the department, through all the projects that they have implemented and those that are still in the pipeline which seek to fulfill this basic right of our people. I am also encouraged to have seen the extension of the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme, in the Taung area, to the neighboring communities of the Northern Cape. The ANC supports this Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]
Prince M M M ZULU
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 18
Mr G G MOKGORO
UMntwana M M M ZULU: Phini likaSihlalo, abahlonishwa oNgqongqoshe abakhona phakathi kwethu, izinhloko zeminyango, dadewethu uMnyango wezaManzi umnyango obaluleke kakhulu nosezinhliziyweni zabantu bonke baseNingizimu Afrika ngokwakhela kwabo. NjengeQembu leNkatha siyibonile imizamo yakho oyenzile futhi iyancomeka imizamo oyenzile emnyangweni wakho.
Noma kunjalo, kunezingqinamba ezikhona, ikakhulukazi kula mandla noma kulabo masipala owabanikeza amalayisensi okwakufanele ukuthi mhlawumbe kube nohlelo lokuthi kwenganyelwe ukuthi imisebenzi yabo bayiqhuba kanjani. Phela ngeke konke kwabheka wena kodwa kuyofanele ukuthi ube nethimba eliqinile njengoba izwe lakithi lilikhulu kangaka futhi linomasipala abaningi kangaka. Kufanele kubhekisiswe ukuthi ezindaeeni zasemakhaya amanzi ayaya yini kubantu.
Uma ngingabheka nje lapho umuntu edabuka khona, laphaya enyakatho nesiFundazwe saKwaZulu-Natali, kule ndawo okuthiwa kuseZululand, uye ubone ukuthi la manzi kukhona la egujwa khona, amapayipi asanda kufakwa, kodwa anokuqhuma. Ngakho-ke kumele kubhekwe iqophelo lokwenziwa komsebenzi kubonakale ukuthi lo msebenzi wenziwa ngendlela eyiyo yini neyemukelekile kubantu. Ngaleyo ndlela-ke lo wumsebenzi osemahlombe akho, okumele uwubheke ukuthi izinto zihamba kahle yini emnyangweni wakho emva kokuthi sewabile izimali.
Ngiphinda futhi ngibheka ngasohlangothini lwezemvelo, kuyafuneka sibheke ukuthi lezi zilwane ezikhona ezingamagugu kithi zivikeleka kanjani. Kuyafuneka ukuthi umnyango wakho uqalise ube nohlelo lapho oyokwazi khona ukuthi izilwane ezibalulekile eziqiwini zethu azibulawa yizigebengu, ube nemithetho enzulu neqinile ube nobudlelwane futhi noMnyango wezamaPhoyisa ukubhekisisa ukuthi obhejane nezinye izilwane ezibalulekile azibulawa yini yizigilamkhuba ezizama ukuzuza imali.
Womabili amaVoti eZabiwomali akho, iqembu leNkatha liyaweseka ngoba abalulekile ezweni lakithi.
Ngize eMnyangweni wezoLimo, mhlonishwa Ngqongqoshe ukhulumile ngokuthi umnyango wakho wabelwe kanjani izimali kulo nyaka. Uma ngibuka lo mnyango ubaluleke kakhulu. Kubalulekile ukuthi ukwazi ukondla abantu bakithi abangathathi ntweni, ukwazi futhi nokuba ubafundise ukulima ngoba ukulinywa kweklabishi akufani nokutshalwa kommbila; ukulinywa kweklabishi kunohlelo oluthile olusetshenziswayo. Uhlelo lokondla abantu abangathathi ntweni kufanele lwenabele kuzo zonke izindawo zezwe lakithi ukuze bonke abantu bakwazi ukulima. Ngiyabakhalela labo-ke abahlala koMashu nakoMlazi ngoba ngeke babe nazo lezi zingadi zokuziphilisa.
Ngiyafisa futhi ukuthi uMnyango wakho wezoLimo, dadewethu, lapho ubheka ukusebenzela izindawo zasemakhaya, ube nokusebenzisana okuqinile nohlaka lohulumeni basekhaya ukuze bonke abantu bakwazi ukuzithuthukisa. Ngiyafisa futhi ukuthi umnyango wakho ube nezinhlelo ezicace bha ezibhekelele ukuthi intsha yakithi ifundiswa kanjani ukuba ikwazi ukuzimela, phela uma singeke safundisa intsha yakithi ukuthi kuyalinywa ukuze kutholakale ukudla, ngeke size siye ndawo. Umnyango wakho yiwo okufanele ubheke ukuthi ulwisana kanjani nendlala ezweni. Ngaleyo ndlela sithi njengeqembu leNkatha siyakweseka ukuthi umnyango wakho uthole lesi sabelo kulo nyaka wezi-2013-14 ukuze ukwazi ubhekane nezidingo zabantu bakithi.
Sengihlala phansi, kuyo yonke le minyango yahulumeni esesiwaphothulile amaVoti eZabiwomali zawo, siyafisa ukuthi abantu bakithi kube yibo abayikhala eliphambili. Siyazi ukuthi nikuvuma ukuthi kunezinselele lapha nalaphaya. Siyafisa ukuthi lezo zinselele nizame phela ukuzinciphisa zingabi ziningi kakhulu ukuze abantu bakithi bazuze enkululekweni yabo abayithola eminyakeni engamashumi amabili edlule. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.]
Mr Z MLENZANA
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 18
Prince M M M ZULU
Mr Z MLENZANA: Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members, ladies and gentlemen ...
... sanibonani. Sekela Sihlalo, uzongivumela-ke ngoba ngizothi ukufaka irosikama kancane.
I will tell you why at the end. Outcome 7 to ensure vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities and food security for all is one of the key outcomes for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
In his 2010 state of the nation address, President Jacob Zuma said the government is ensuring that food security "will be measured by the increase in the number of small-scale farmers that become economically viable." Agriculture sector is hampered by high food prices amongst other factors, which impacts negatively on the rural economy and farming industry.
Now, the question to the Minister is: Does the Minister care? Has she ever briefed the Cabinet on assessments her department has made? I said ...
... ngizothi ukufaka irosikama kancane.
She is not a team player and does not walk the talk. Now, I have this question to ask: Has the Minister ever met with the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform to discuss matters relating to food insecurity and vulnerability, which millions of people are faced with?
President Zuma pledged government support for the rehabilitation of a number of irrigation schemes, which have the potential to create jobs and alleviate poverty in 2012. This pledge came shortly after his state of the nation address on 9 February 2012. When he was launching the Masibambane programme in the Eastern Cape, he made an announcement that the presidential infrastructure co-ordinating committee will be extending the infrastructure expansion programme under the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. This department also has a programme which is called Strategic Intergraded Project, SIP 11. One would like to know: Do we have plans to this end to rehabilitate and develop irrigation schemes?
With regard to environmental affairs, Cope is very concerned about the killing of elephants and rhinos in South Africa. On Sunday, the number of rhinos killed has risen to 394. Rhinos in the Kruger National Park are the most vulnerable where 257 rhinos were killed this year. South African farmers are behind illegal lion bone training and rhino poaching. It is loosing billions and something needs to be done to end this illegal trade of rhinos.
We should reinforce security in our national parks. Six hundred and eighty eight of the rhinos were poached at the Kruger National Park last year. If poaching continues at this current rate, the rhino population at Kruger National Park will start to decline from 2016.
Cope proposes that government should seriously look at the way National Key Points are defined. Cope would like to propose a situation where the National Key Points have a security rating and parameter boundary, of which a designated security risk no go area is effectively policed.
Helicopters are flying casually without any security checks above our national parks. We are asking or calling for a debate around this matter so that it be discussed and looked into so that South Africans can begin to understand and show a sense of patriotism.
Lastly, in terms of water affairs, access to water is a basic human right as defined in the Constitution and Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP. The majority of poor South Africans are used to being without water – I can mention many areas. According to the 2011 General Household Survey, 74,8% of households in the Eastern Cape have access to piped water compared to 75,1% in 2009. Now, you will see that there is a decline in this statistics.
Another development as far as the water quality is concerned - no, let me go to my conclusion. Let me conclude, Deputy Chairperson ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Conclude, because your time is over.
Mr Z MLENZANA: ... by saying, as I grew up as a young boxer, I learnt that throwing hard punches - hon Ministers, the two of you - to your sparing partner, prepares and shapes your partner for the future. It is not that you are killing him or her. I thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, hon member, your time is over.
Mr Z MLENZANA: Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Mr M P SIBANDE
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 19
Mr Z MLENZANA
Mr M P SIBANDE: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, our guests in the gallery, ...
... Sihlalo, ukubaluleka kwamanzi kunomlando omkhulu kanti kuhlanganisa namasiko nezinkambo, kanjalo nezenkolo ezwenikazi lase-Afrika. Emlandweni wakule ngabadi yakithi iNingizimu Afrika, kwawona amaqadasi uqobo afika lapha ngomzila wamanzi; ngisho ulwandle phela.
Kithina-ke sizwe esimpisholo, emandulo kanye nanamuhla amabhungu uma iso liwele umfula ugcwele lakhangwa yintombi noma indoni yamanzi, insizwa leyo ibe seyenza isu lokuyoyilinda intombi leyo emlanjeni lapho iyokukha khona amanzi bese iyiqomisa-ke leyo ntombi; Kwazise ngesintu intombi iyashelwa bese iyaqoma kuze kufike isikhathi sokugana. Ngalokho-ke enhlanganweni yaKhongolose, inhlangano iqala ngokushela amalungu amasha noma ukunxenxa bese umuntu eyayijoyina, kungafani-ke nakozakwethu abafana no-DA abajwayele ama-vat 'n sit, ukukipita, namalungu ayo atholakala ngendlela ezingalungile. [Uhleko.]
THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSOM OF THE NCOP: Hon member, can you stick to the topic?
Mr M P SIBANDE: Yes, I am on my topic, madam. [Laughter.] That is why I was referring to culture. That is part of our culture.
Ngokwendabuko, emandulo izigodi zezizwe ezakhelene imingcele yazo zaziyazi ngemifula nangezintaba.
Mr D V BLOEM: On a point of order: Chairperson, is vat 'n sit part of this debate? [Laughter.]
THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSOM OF THE NCOP: With all due respect, hon Bloem, take your seat. Continue.
Mnu M P SIBANDE: Kusenokwenzeka ukuthi uMnumzane akanasiko yingakho enenkinga uma ngikhuluma ngamasiko. Ngokwejwayelekile, emandulo izigodi zezizwe ezakhelene imingcele beziyazi ngemifula nangezintaba. Bese kuthi entwasahlobo, ngezimvula zokuqala, kuyo yonke imiphakathi eyakhelene neminye imifula efana noThukela kanye noMkhomazi, isizwe sizobona ngomfula usugola izintethe, ngokuba lo mfulakazi udume ngokuthi ugcwala ngomoya.
Malungu esiShayamthetho uKhongolose kuphela onakekela abantu futhi abafundise ukuthi akufanelanga balinge noma balokothe bakhe izindlu zabo osebeni lomfula, emaxhaphozini, maduze neziziba kanye nasezindaweni ezibisha udaka ukuze kugwenywe izingozi ezingadalwa yimifula engenisayo kanye nokunye.
Ngqongqoshe kunezinsizwa engifuna ukuzibonga ngegalelo lazo. Ngisho izinsizwa zoTalagu; uTshata noNgizwe. Ngolunye usuku ngilalele umsakazo Ukhozi ngazizwa ziphonsa inselele kumphakathi wonke ikakhulukazi kumalungu esiShayamthetho. Bacela ukuthi kufanele kube nomkhankaso ozobizwa nge-operation mayiphume, okuyisabiwomali sokuqanjwa kabusha kwamagama ezindawo ezithile. Nami-ke ngiyazeseka izinsizwa zoTalagu, ukuze izizukulwane zethu zikwazi ukufunda ngomlando oyiwo ngamanye amagama esakhula esetshenziswa ayethiwe wokhokho bethu. Thina sakhula sazi ukuthi i-Vaal Dam iGwa; umfula i-Olifants wawaziwa ngokuthi umfula iBhalule. Miningi kakhulu le mifula kanye namadamu anikezwe amagama esinganawo umlando wawo. Ngqongqoshe, uKhongolose ucela ukuthi uMnyango wakho kufanele ulubukeze lolu daba lokwethiwa kabusha kwemifula kanye namadamu.
Singajabula futhi uma umnyango wakho ungakhulumisana neminye iMinyango efana nowezeMidlalo nokuNgcebeleka ezifundazweni kanye noMnyango wezobuCiko namaSiko kuzwelonke mayelana nalesi siphakamiso
Chairperson, with environment, we are still waging a struggle for a sustainable and healthy environment. The societies that we build and which in turn shape us into humans with their cultures, ideas technologies and modes of production have a material, which is to say a biophysical, foundation. If the relationship between humans and their environment, between a society and its biophysical foundations is severely disrupted or rendered unsustainable, then human civilisation itself will perish.
Apart from climate change, there is also species extinction, disruption of the nitrogen phosphorous cycle, ocean acidification, ozone depletion, fresh water usage and land cover change. These are all irreversible changes to the planet on which human civilisation has been built, taking us into a dangerous and largely uncharted new reality. Apartheid colonial past, and its continuing systematic trajectory from an ecologically sustainable perspective, the historical predominance of mining in a relatively dry hinterland, has set up numerous challenges.
In Mpumalanga Province I can attest to the damage caused by asbestos mining to the land and to human beings and also the damage which was done by the granite mining. Recent, we have noticed the increase of water contamination caused by the spilling of acid water from the surrounding coal mines into our rivers. Early this year we saw the community of Carolina in Selobela and Caropark protesting for water. The metals seeped into the dam comprising the water quality with acid mine drainage. The Carolina water treatment plant was unable to effectively treat the poor quality of the water, making it difficult to provide water to the residence of Selobela and Caropark for the period of six months. The pollution is thought to emanate from leachate from active and disused coal mines that have accumulated in the marshes upstream of the Boesmanspruit Dam.
Minister, the acid mine drainage is not dangerous to human beings only, but it also has a negative impact on the vegetation and fish, etc. We would like to bring to your attention another common denominator of contamination of water which is caused by leaking of sewer pipes, which are spilling into the rivers and it is also reported that big companies are not complying as it was anticipated with the rule of law by allowing the spilling of chemicals into rivers. Communities are also contributing negatively by illegal dumping into rivers.
Some of the common environmental challenges are: Waste management landfill sites which are alleged to be unlicensed; waste water treatment plans, which are also not licensed; and illegal sand mining and aggregate mining for road construction activities.
In order to keep our dams and rivers clean, we are recommending that the communities must be encouraged to adopt a river or a dam. It is also a fact that the problem of acid mine drainage needs to be addressed by the government and the Department of Water Affairs.
The challenge faced by towns in our Mpumalanga Province and most of the built-up areas and villages is the invasion by one of the most invasive animals, by the name of the Indian Myna. According to our observations, this invasive bird is going to cause the greatest disaster ever experienced in our country. We have observed that in most of the built-up areas and in our towns and villages some local bird species are no longer visible and thus we are likely to have an imbalanced ecosystem in the near future.
We would appreciate it if the department could clarify this situation and also to indicate whether they are aware and what is the country's position on this matter. From where we stand, the invasion, unless controlled earlier, will be worse than the invasion by the rats in Cape Town and Alexandra.
Mpumalanga is known for its pristine environment, while government has policies and legal frameworks to ensure sustainable environment. I do not know the extent to which all of us know which plants and trees we are not supposed to have in our yards and farms.
Hon members, it is a fact that ANC-led government is working very hard to improve the agricultural sector in our communities, but there is still a room for improvement. There is still a lack of support mechanisation or working implements. Minister, it is no use to our communities if we provide the tractors without any fuel and licenses, etc.
Ngqongqoshe ngizobe ngenza iphutha uma ngingalungisi lokhu okulandelayo. Ilungu elihloniphekile, liye laphakamisa udaba olumayelana nokutholakala kombila e-Zambia.
There are a few facts. Minister, we need to make sure that there is a campaign somewhere. Most of the farmers are converting their farms into game farms. Farms that should produce food are being converted to biotech products. That is why we are experiencing these problems. The issue of rhino poaching is addressed to Mr Mlenzane and Mr Worth. In Mpumalanga and Limpopo the previous government gave the guards the sling and knobkerrie to monitor the rhino poachers. How can you monitor the rhino poachers who are carrying a gun, whilst you are carrying a knobkerrie? [Laughter.] This government is the one that made sure that there are helicopters to monitor the rhino poachers. This is the only government that had an audit of how many rhinos were killed. The previous government did not do that. [Time expired.] The ANC supports this budget. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 20
Mr M P SIBANDE
THE MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Deputy Chair, I would like to start by acknowledging all inputs made by hon members in this august House. We have heard very constructive contributions which we will take into cognisance. Certainly we will not be able to touch on everything today. There are questions that have been asked, I have heard. We will continue to deal with those as we interact in this House, if need be, we will also give written reports.
First of all I would like to express my appreciation for the input by the hon chairperson of the select committee. I was saying as she was passing by that she is really doing research. Well done, we really appreciate your input, Madam. The issues about biodiversity losses as you have raised, them are really a worry for us and we are attending to those things.
Streamlining of authorisations is a concern. Minister Shabangu, who is here with us, will probably also speak about those. We are now at the stage where we are streamlining these authorisations also in the piece of legislation. The law amendments that we are doing together will also reach this august House so that we can be able to shorten the processes. To ensure that we keep all our marine biodiversity in order, we are attending to those issues. However, we are also happy that you acknowledge the progress made.
Let me also just indicate, whilst I am standing at this podium, that we were together in Mpumalanga attending to those challenges. Let me announce that on 15 June, which is this coming Saturday, we will be commissioning the water pipeline we spoke about for the Ermelo area. It has been completed and you may want to become part of the celebrations of that project. [Applause.] At the same time, we will also be commissioning the Bushbuck Ridge water pipeline, which has been built from the iNyaka Dam.
On the same day we will be meeting with the Mozambicans to deal with the issue of a Memorandum of Understanding on rhino poaching. It is a problem, we have heard you, and we are really doing our level best. The fence issue will be part of our discussions in the evening of 14 June, this coming Friday.
On the nonrevenue water, we are working very hard with the municipalities to ensure that this water is actually brought back into the system. The M-week has been announced which you have also acknowledged in this august House for purposes of exactly stopping those leakages as well as ensuring that we stop dealing with the nonrevenue water.
Regarding the issue of equity and distribution, as a matter of fact, I have just come out of the management meeting. We are going back to work to finalise the policy as well as the amendments on the legislation which will enable us to actually redistribute water in a formal manner as allowed by the legislation. We are saying it is high time that it is done in a formal manner based on legislation and no longer based on our wishes. This redress issue is now being finalised. We are putting the discussion of that amendment of the law and implementation in the public arena in about two to three weeks from now.
With regard to the SA Local Government Association, Salga, we appreciate the issues they have raised and working very hard with local government to ensure that all the issues they are working on on embodying and mainstreaming climate change responses in their processes are adhered to. The issue of human resource development, as you have raised, will be attended to as well as ensuring that the green spaces and greening the spaces and waste management issues are attended to.
You have raised a very important matter about funds following functions. It is a matter that I think the whole government needs to attend to. It is still a bit of a challenge currently because in some instances there are no specific finances that have actually been targeted for this particular function, especially right at the beginning when we began the process of having the three spheres of government.
Vioolsdrift Dam is under consideration; it will really be constructed in no time. It is with our planning unit in the department and we have noticed that there is a need for a downstream in those areas.
I don't know which issues to attend to. I think hon Sibande has dealt with most of the issues. Acid mine drainage, AMD, in Carolina is no longer quite a serious matter, just like it is no longer a very serious challenge. The water is not decanting any longer. In Gauteng as well as in Carolina; it is kept normal and we now have a stable situation in which we are able to think and work very hard towards planning for the future as we are looking at our lon, you may not have been aware of it, and we are attending to that area as well.
In conclusion, I don't know what to say to the boxer. [Laughter.] I think we need to exercise our minds and look at the research work that has been done, because I just find the facts a little bit economical with the truth, especially the previous issues about water deterioration statistics. I think we need to do some work with you, but yes, indeed, we are progressing very well in terms of statistics. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 21
THE MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Hon Chairperson, Deputy Chair, esteemed members of the House, I am pleased to have listened to the members. I must confess that, here and there, it was very difficult to listen.
The National Fencing Scheme will accelerate economic growth, transform our economy and create sustainable work opportunities as well as livelihoods. These schemes that we developed will have teething problems. We recognise that there are problems that we have to address. However, these problems are not insurmountable. One can overcome the problems of a tractor not having diesel. However, if the only point one can make is that the tractor does not have diesel, then really it is very limiting, whereas the opportunities we have now in agriculture are much larger and broader than we sometimes believe.
South Africa is a net exporter of primary agricultural goods or unprocessed goods. The trade balance is that South Africa is a net exporter of goods. So, please do not mislead this esteemed House. We are a net importer of processed goods or agroprocessed goods, hence our emphasis now on entire value chain development and making agroprocessing an opportunity for black economic empowerment but also for job creation.
Where did the 7% growth come from last year? It came from a surplus of maize, which commercial farmers had and exported out of the country. We created those export markets for them to China, the Middle East, the Far East, Central America, and the South America. They export the surplus because we no longer have control measures to keep maize or any other commodity in the country.
When they exported their surplus, they got very good money in dollars and we, as a country now, ended up importing maize at a very high price. When this industry complains – just like the poultry industry - you must listen to two sides of the story. The one sector will want to export or grow for export and the other sector is making the money through imports, and they expect you to please both.
Now, these are commercial famers who make a lot of money. However, they will never say, "Thank you, ANC-led government, for opening doors for us and for giving us access to markets". Instead, we've made them very rich, by access to markets. Yes, there is room for improvement and that is why we are importing maize from Zambia. What is happening now is that speculators are buying up maize. They know that there is a shortage of maize on this continent.
These very same speculators are going to release that maize into the market when the prize of maize is very high. So, with regard to food prices, we anticipate a third food price hike towards the end of the year.
Hon member, Mlenzana, I don't not recall ever meeting you or even having a word with you. So, if I have missed it, what you have said must have been so insignificant that I don't remember what you have ever said. I understand how you have suddenly become an expert on my personality. However, I could take you for coffee or for tea. You will then get the opportunity to get to know me. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
The continued marginalisation of rural communities is evident in the maintenance of ...
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order!
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES:
... inappropriate animal breeds and the actions of sustainable good quality feed supply. The Agricultural Research Council, ARC, is developing a drought-resistant maize seed, which will help us.
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon Minister. Mr Bloem, are you standing on a point of order?
Mr D V BLOEM. Yes, hon Chairperson.
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: What is your point of order?
Mr D V BLOEM: Can't the Minister take me, rather, for coffee? Thank you. [Laughter.]
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Minister, just continue. That is not a point of order. [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: I don't have a microphone.
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Microphone, please.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Do I have a microphone?
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, you've got it.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: I will certainly take you for dinner and everything that goes with it. [Laughter.] Except anything which is illegal.
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Order, continue hon member.
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: The ARC, focusing on genetic diversity and population structure of the Zulu sheep and Afrikaner cattle is going to assist us to reintroduce indigenous cattle into our breed. That is why the ARC will receive an additional R128 million for the equipment and facilities for farmer support and vaccine production. This must help us with smallholder farmers to improve their livestock and to improve their quality of breed.
Hon Chairperson, my time is up. However, I would want to say that, together with this esteemed House, we need to monitor provinces better. The Department of Agriculture only has 1% of the budget to spend. More than 50% of the budget goes directly to provinces. We are just an automatic teller machine, ATM, for provinces. If we do not monitor those provinces correctly, they will continue underspending and they will continue leaving tractors with no diesel. I thank you. [Applause.]
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thanks to both the Ministers who have just presented their Budget Votes. We appreciate that. [Applause.]
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 22
SECOND, THIRD AND FOURTH ORDERS
Vote No 32 - Mineral Resources
THE MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon chairperson of the portfolio committee, Mr Adams, hon members of the NCOP, may I take this opportunity to wish our icon, uTata uMandela, a speedy recovery.
As we stand here today, the month of June marks a number of significant events in the history and the evolution of the struggle of the oppressed people of South Africa against racism and apartheid tyranny and for national and social emancipation. Firstly, June 16 lifted the revolutionary struggle in the racist South Africa to new and higher levels.
Secondly, on June 26, our people, in spite of the reign of terror of the racist regime, found ways and means of paying homage to the fallen heroes and those languishing in Vorster's dungeons as they reaffirmed their unyielding commitment to pursue the struggle relentlessly until final victory was won in 1994.
It is indeed a privilege to share this Budget Vote during the historic month of June and pay tribute to struggle heroes and heroines who selflessly secured the freedom that all South Africans are enjoying today. I accordingly dedicate this Budget Vote to mineworkers who passed on in the previous months and equally convey our heartfelt condolences to their respective families. May their souls rest in peace.
Our budget allocation for the 2013-2014 financial year is R1, 394 billion, representing an increase of R218,316 million during the most trying times in the postapartheid history of the mining industry. Notwithstanding the current cyclical downturn and labour relations challenges, let me reassure this House of our confidence in the unyielding fundamentals of the industry and that the medium to long-term outlook for the South African mining industry remains extremely attractive, despite the current challenges.
We are currently heeding a call by our President, Hon Jacob Zuma, to work with leaders in the industry to accelerate the work towards restoration of calm, confidence and safety of workers, communities and mining operations. We drew inspiration from our long-standing and well-entrenched culture and partnership with the mining industry, which has consistently served us well during difficult times. Currently, the Deputy President of the country, Hon Kgalema Motlanthe, has been assigned the task of convening all affected ministries, including mineral resources, finance and labour, as well as organised labour and business to find enduring solutions to the current challenges.
Whilst we respect workers' inalienable right to strike and the right to the freedom of association as enshrined in the Bill of Rights contained in the supreme law, the Constitution, we will not tolerate anarchy, violence, intimidation and illegal strikes, which threaten, not just our democratic freedoms but also the sustainable growth and employment in a sector with so much to offer not only in terms of retaining employment but also in creating new jobs on a larger scale than ordinarily would be the case.
As you know, the cycle of wage negotiations in the mining sector, which has been an integral component of negotiations for decades, has begun in earnest. This year should be no different. However, there has never been a more opportune time to call on the mining leaders, business and labour alike, to be more responsible in these negotiations and take decisions that will retain jobs, bring about stability of this sector and ultimately help our economy as it emerges from the ravages of the recent economic downturn.
The centre of gravity for the global mining industry has shifted tremendously in the recent past years, compounded by the persistent depressed market conditions in traditional mineral consuming economies. This requires the agility of leaders in the industry to remain ahead of the changes, in order to ensure that the South African mining industry continues to grow and optimise the developmental impact in line with the National Development Plan's, NDP, objectives.
We believe that the mining and related policies that were introduced by the democratic government have created a conducive and predictable regulatory framework which has revitalised the mining industry of the country and contributed positively to the socioeconomic development of the people of this country. This is confirmed by the significant levels of growth in investment, employment and gross sales experienced during the postregulatory reform tenure. Accordingly, the number of mines has increased from 993 in 2004 to 1 673 in 2012. This is over and above the fact that during the 2012-13 financial year, an additional 56 mining rights were granted with the potential to create further 11,000 decent and sustainable jobs and attract capital investment of about R7,3 billion.
On the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, let me share our progress that the 2013 amendments have now been submitted to the National Assembly for further processing. The amendments are part of our drive to strengthen and improve our regulatory environment to provide the necessary stability, especially during these difficult times.
The Bill seeks to, inter alia, enhance provisions relating to the regulation and implementation of Social and Labour Plans, SLPs, and also includes the integration of SLPs into the integrated plans of district municipalities in order to streamline and optimise the development impact of the mining contribution.
The current processes for licensing mining related rights are fragmented and have been identified as one of the binding constraints to growth and competitiveness of the South African mining sector. It is against this background that government has taken a decision to address these matters accordingly in order to streamline all the relevant administrative processes.
Accordingly, concrete steps have been taken to ensure that the respective Acts administered by the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs are amended to provide for the Industry to be regulated by a single environmental legislation, which will result in the Minister of Mineral Resources being the competent authority for the implementation of the National Environmental Management Act, Nema, on mining and prospective sites, and that the Minister of Water Affairs will be the appeal authority.
I wish to emphasise that, contrary to misleading media reports of last week, as the Minister of Water and Environment Affairs, hon Molewa and I have collegially been working together and understand our complimentary mandates. We have worked together exceptionally well on issues of mining and environment. We have agreed on the modalities of integrating the timeframes and processes of environmental authorisation and water use licensing for prospecting and mining operations. This will bring about a significant improvement in service delivery and regulatory environment. The industry needs to appreciate the work and progress in this regard.
In response to socioeconomic challenges facing the affected mining communities, the department will continue to ensure that Social and Labour Plans contribute effectively to the upliftment of the affected communities - this is in respect of both local communities and labour sending towns. The department is also involved in one of the presidential package processes that are aimed at addressing housing and living conditions of mineworkers. Key to these interventions, are partnerships aimed at marshalling collective resources to respond to challenges facing our country.
Community development is an integral part of mining development. In this regard, we have imbued the notion of social license to operate as a requirement for licensing. In our last budgets we have indicated the following examples of the SLP projects which have been completed: In the North West Province in Sunrise View there has been a launch of an R80 million primary school project which was funded by Impala on 17 January 2013 and a project of 2000 houses; in KwaZulu-Natal we launched the refurbishment of a local rural school in Utrecht which cost about R7,5 million; in the Northern Cape currently we are talking about water infrastructure development of R72 million by various mining companies within the Joe Morolong Municipality; in the Free State, the construction of a community centre at Zamdela at a cost of R35 million; in Mpumalanga a launch of an academy for mathematics skills and science hub. It is not possible to provide a full account of all projects being implemented across the country. This demonstrates the impact of mining on changing the lives of our people.
We also held a Mining Lekgotla in Mpumalanga, which focused on strengthening partnerships in implementing and addressing key bottlenecks to socioeconomic development in mining towns. These initiatives have yielded results around balancing agriculture, mining and environmental considerations. A clear implementation plan is in place and it is comforting to hear that mining companies are fully committed to the integration.
It is encouraging to report that we are starting to see meaningful progress in the realisation of the vision of this partnership, which is growing in leaps and bounds. This partnership will be rolled out to other provinces in due course.
Recruitment practices of mining companies that entrenched migrant labour system contribute to some of the socioeconomic challenges that are facing mining towns. Linked to this, there has been a failure to invest heavily in skills development by mining companies. Skills revolution is required to leap frog and safeguard the employability of mineworkers during downscaling. I would like to urge mining companies to embrace modern recruitment practices.
I have also directed my department to embark on a process of reviewing and refining the Mine Health and Safety Act to ensure that we employ the best regulatory practice relating to the impacts that mining activities have on the mine health and safety of mineworkers and affected communities.
In this regard, the review of the Mine Health and Safety Act seeks to, amongst others, strengthen enforcement provisions, streamline the administrative processes, reinforce offences and penalties, remove ambiguities in certain definitions and expressions and harmonise the Act with other laws, in particular the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act. Nevertheless, we must all recognise some improvements regarding health and safety. There has been a 9% improvement in the number of fatalities.
Although we have made modest strides on safety, it is unacceptable that the mining industry is still reporting significantly high numbers of occupational diseases, despite advances in technologies, available leading practices and an immense research that has been done. Hence, the department will continue to collaborate with our social partners, through the Mine Health and Safety in the implementation of the 2011 Mine Health and Safety Tripartite Leadership Summit commitment which include the eradication of silicosis, noise-induced hearing loss as well as the reduction and prevention of HIV/Aids and TB.
The department has also been experiencing a significant challenge regarding the attraction and retention of mining inspectors. In this regard the department in collaboration with the Mining Qualification Authority, MQA, embarked on a learner inspector programme where approximately 50 graduates will be placed at different mines to undergo experiential training which will result in fully qualified inspectors.
Although remarkable improvements have been achieved, illegal mining continues to be a source of great concern to the department. In various provinces there is a seriously disturbing trend regarding the development of informal illegal mining. Illicit activities have recently been reported in Gauteng, especially at the Ekurhuleni and Roodepoort areas. They are also easily exploited by organised crime syndicates, and we need a holistic approach in finding an everlasting solution.
The department will continue collaborating with the relevant law enforcement agencies and social partners to ensure that there is a national co-ordination in combating illegal mining. We have also established a task team, made up of relevant stakeholders in Gauteng to determine and implement effective measures for preventing the illegal mining activities. Our implementation of the rehabilitation of derelict and ownerless mines continues unabated, culminating in the closure of 13 mine sites in this financial year.
We have received an additional allocation for this year for the rehabilitation of derelict and ownerless mines which will assist to expedite the implementation of the rehabilitation program. We have accordingly prioritised high risk rehabilitation sites which include the Osizweni site in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government. Mintek is leading the rehabilitation of the site and has already started with a scoping exercise for the project.
Historical coal mining, mainly in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal has left challenges such as land subsidence, spontaneous combustion of underground coal seams and waste dumps on the surface and acid mine drainage. Investigations are under way to identify, pilot test and implement effective measures to address these legacies, eventually restoring land to a condition where it can benefit local communities.
We remain committed to the beneficiation of South Africa's mineral resources. Our programmes for this financial year will intensify our efforts towards promoting mineral beneficiation. In this regard, we have started developing and implementing the beneficiation strategy plan as a framework which outlines modalities for the implementation of this game changing value proposition for South Africa. We have also partnered with the provincial government of Gauteng to jointly develop amongst others the jewelry hub in the City of Johannesburg as well as collaborate in the resuscitations of steel industries.
Furthermore, we are finalising arrangements for the Jewelry Summit to be held in August 2013. One of the critical components of the Summit relates to the programme of creating appropriate skills and entrepreneurs in the jewelry manufacturing sector that will enable South Africa to become a global jewelry hub.
I am confident that this Budget Vote is a compelling proposition to further advance the mining industry and indeed contribute towards optimising socioeconomic development impact through a key sector of our economy. I thank you, hon Chair. [Applause.]
Mr F ADAMS
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 23
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES
Mr F ADAMS: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister Shabangu, hon members, distinguished guests, the director-general and the staff of the Department of Mineral Resources, South Africa's mining industry has been and remains central to the South African economy and the country's socioeconomic development.
The ANC policy document, Ready to Govern, states that policies will be developed to integrate the mining industry with other sectors of the economy, by encouraging mineral beneficiation and the creation of a world-class mining and mineral processing capital goods industry.
Through the Minerals and Petroleum Resource Development Act, MPRDA, all privately-owned mineral resources were transferred to the state. However, a maximised developmental impact through a mining right in the MPRDA needs to be urgently addressed. It is being addressed in the amendments to the MPRDA.
The 52nd ANC National Conference in 2007 resolved that, "the developmental state shall maintain its strategic role in shaping the economy, including the mineral and energy complex and the national transport and logistic systems". The hon Gunda wants to see and I wonder what there is to see from the ID. They are dead. So, please hon Gunda, don't look. I am talking through you, Chairperson. They have got nothing to see.
We must ensure that our national resource endowments, including land, water, minerals and marine resources are exploited to effectively maximise the growth, development and employment potential embedded in such national assets, and not purely for profit maximisation.
Transformation of and in mining should be based on altering the status quo that is currently based on extractive mining and cheap labour. In addition, it is environmentally degrading. The end result should be a mining industry that is environmentally sensitive, creates decent jobs, develops competitiveness and contributes to the overall industrialisation of the country.
Our mineral resources policy framework must always seek to develop, and it is seeking to develop, a balance between robust economic growth and a sustainable environment. This implies that enforcing mine rehabilitation challenges us to ensure that all South Africans enjoy the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing.
The transformation of the mining sector must be cognisant of all sectors of society, specifically labour, business and the communities that surround the mines. Sensitivity is required in industrial relation practices. Recruitment practices lie at the core of conflict and instability in communities.
Our role is to give oversight support to the transformation of the mining industry in South Africa and to process legislation aimed at achieving transformation.
The Mining Charter, a broad-based socioeconomic charter based on the MPRDA, is a framework that facilitates the inclusion of historically disadvantaged South Africans, HDSAs, into the mining industry. We want to thank and give credit to the Minister for driving that process so that our HDSAs can also be part of the sector.
The stated goal of the Mining Charter is to create an industry that will proudly reflect the promise of a nonracial South Africa. I think hon Gunda must talk to his leaders, Helen Zille and Patricia De Lille, to inform them that it's not happening. With them it's not happening.
Before the MPRDA was promulgated, mineral rights were in private hands, which experienced a decade-long practice of extraction.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members! Hon Faber, are you standing on a point of order?
Mr W FABER: Hon Chair, I would just like to know if the member will take a question.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Will you take a question, hon Adams?
Mr F ADAMS: No, Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: He will not take a question.
Mr F ADAMS: The implementation of the Mining Charter means that there is promotion of meaningful, sustainable equity participation by black people in general, and women specifically, in existing and new mining operations, underpinned by broad-based socioeconomic empowerment.
Strengthening the implementation of the MPRDA, which, amongst other things, seeks to use the natural resources in a way that promotes the sustainability and development of local communities whilst realising the socioeconomic needs of our people, is a priority. Through the beneficiation of these natural resources and developing supplier and service industries around the mineral sector, our programme must deepen the connection of the mineral sector with the national economy. Once again, the Minister and the department are doing excellent work in that regard. State intervention with a focus on industrialisation is taking place and we welcome this intervention.
Central to this industrialisation must be beneficiation. The introduction of the Mining Charter is aimed at transforming the mining industry to redress historical imbalances engendered by apartheid, so that the industry is consistent with the changes in South Africa's overall transformation of our social, political and economic landscape.
To address this, the Mining Charter adopts a proactive strategy of change to foster and encourage broad-based black economic empowerment, BBBEE, and transformation at the tiers of ownership, management, skills development, employment equity, procurement and rural development.
Central to this is the transformation of employment patterns and recruitment processes in ways that benefit mineworkers and their families in South and Southern Africa. The Mining Charter and its associated scorecard were developed to be drivers of the transformation of the mining industry, intended to make it more representative of the demographics of South Africa and to ensure a new era of socially responsible mining operations.
The Mining Charter is the essence of transformation in the mining sector. It specifies nine areas in which companies must be in compliance, in order to meet BEE targets to attain conversion to new order rights, in compliance with the MPRDA.
These nine areas comprise of human resources development, employment equity, migrant labour, mine community and rural development, housing and living conditions, procurement, ownership and joint ventures, beneficiation and reporting.
Eight years after signing, South African mines have shown a disturbingly low level of workforce transformation. Shortfalls can specifically be found in the representation of black women management. This is in stark contrast with the significant overrepresentation of white women in management in the mining sector.
The Mining Charter of 2002 had set a 40% target for HDSA. The high numbers of white women in the mining sector distort the true picture of the sector. This means that the Mining Charter has had little effect on the pace of transformation in the workforce. The Charter must introduce bold interventions to speed the alarmingly low representation of black women in the mining sector. Transformation is one side of the mining equation, the other is growth.
There is an urgent need to conduct a comprehensive review of whether or not mining companies are meeting their commitments, specifically when it comes to their social and labour plans, especially those stipulated in the Mining Charter and in the MPRDA. These plans must be integrated with community and municipal developmental programmes. In order to ensure that there is effective transformation in the mining sector, the MPRDA requires the submission of the Social Labour Plans as a prerequisite for granting mining and production rights.
The Social and Labour Plans require applicants for mining and production rights to develop and implement comprehensive human resources development programmes, including employ equity plans, local economic development programmes and processes to save jobs and manage downscaling and/or closure.
The above-mentioned programmes are intended to promote employment and advancement of the social and economic welfare of all South Africans, whilst ensuring economic growth and socioeconomic development.
The building of a transformed mineral sector that meets and uplifts the standards of living for the masses of our people is an urgent priority for all those in the mining sector. We want to thank the Minister and her department for showing bold leadership and turning this sector around for the benefit of the HDSAs, those who did not have and those who will never ever have. Through the intervention and the control of ANC-led government they will have at some stage.
We want to thank the committee and, especially the Minister and her department. The ANC supports this Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs E C VAN LINGEN
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 24
Mr F ADAMS
Mev E C VAN LINGEN: Voorsitter, agb Minister, en agb lede, gewoonlik as die ANC iets wil sê, sê hulle dit in moedertaal sodat ons nie almal so lekker kan verstaan nie. Ek wil vir jou net in Afrikaans sê: In die koerant staan dis nag vir die mynbedryf. Ons moet realisties wees. [Chairperson, hon Minister, and hon members, usually when the ANC wants to say something that not everyone will understand properly, it is done in the speaker's mother tongue. I just want to tell you in Afrikaans: The paper states that it dark days for the mining industry. We have to be realistic.]
The mining industry is the industry that should be the job-creation driver ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon Van Lingen! Mr Tau, are you rising on a point of order?
Mr R J TAU: Chair, I take serious offense that if I have to speak my mother tongue that it would be referred to as a language that others would not understand and deliberately so. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Mrs Van Lingen, did you say that?
Mrs E C VAN LINGEN: I cannot recall, Sir.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Alright, I will check the Hansard on that. I will rule on that.
Mrs E C VAN LINGEN: The mining industry should be the industry that is the job-creation driver in South Africa for the next few years. To be able to do this, we need a redirection of course, with Marikana fresh in our minds and again threatening on the horizon, unrest between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Amcu, and the National Union of Mineworkers, NUM, the Platinum Index at a seven-year low and the mining input down 12,7% last year. The South African growth for the first quarter is now down to 0,9%. What is this department doing to change the course of direction for economic growth, foreign direct investment, and job creation in South Africa?
What do we have in our favour? South Africa has more mineral wealth than most other countries in the world. At this stage, South Africa has the largest economy in Africa and the greatest potential to enhance it. South Africa is bound to have oil reserves off the coast, and we know that we have gas reserves at Mossgas and Ankerlig, with more to be expected.
What is adversely influencing economic growth in this regard? The department, we must say, cannot operate in a silo to grow the mining industry. The latest legislation being tabled in Parliament gives us the opportunity to either turn the South African economy around or sink it into a negative growth pattern. It is necessary to scrutinise at least three major pieces of legislation that can influence growth and create jobs in South Africa. That is the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill.
The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill is not investment friendly. In the past, there were 26 instances where the Minister or the officials had discretion, and now there are 34. This is not logical, and it is not investor friendly. In the past, exploration companies off our coastline had to hand over 9% of operations to black economic empowerment partners under the Petroleum and Liquid Fuels Industry Charter, but now, under the Mining Charter, the black economic empowerment requirement is at 26%. The state potentially has a free carried interest of unknown percentage in any gas or oil operation. A further share is to be acquired through an organ of state which is, at this stage, an unknown entity. The Minister may at any stage just regulate which products may be sold, at which prices, and where.
We also need to look at the Labour Relations Amendment Bill. I know that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe intervened in the platinum belt to settle the labour unrest and to retain jobs, but can Parliament actually stand up to Cosatu? Is this not the most important issue – to act in the best interest of stability in the mining sector and job creation ahead of the internal tripartite alliance politics? [Interjections.] Against the backdrop of another very critical situation developing at Lonmin, sober consideration must be given to aspects of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill. Parliament cannot allow horse trading on the Amendment Bill for ANC support by Cosatu in the 2014 election at the cost of the rights of employees.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon member. Hon Nesi?
Mr B NESI: Chairperson, I know the member is my friend. I wanted to note ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Is it a point of order?
Mr B NESI: I wanted to ask, Sir, whether she is willing to take a very short question.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Would you take a question, Mrs Van Lingen?
Mrs E C VAN LINGEN: No, Chairperson, not now.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: She will not take a question.
Mrs E C VAN LINGEN: It must open up the labour market to create jobs, recognise the unions for their strength in membership and not allow union funds to pay for affiliation to political parties. Those funds should promote and protect socioeconomic welfare of employees and not benefit some political parties.
When we look at the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill, it is clear to us that communities in and around the mines believe that they are the natural beneficiaries of beneficiation, which is an indication that the terminology is not clearly understood. People want to be part of the value-added process. When one considers the Ledig community at Rustenburg, it is a typical example of the poor little rich community. The Bakubung platinum mine, which should produce income within five years' time, is on the land of the Bakubung ba Ratheo people. However, WeSizwe Platinum Ltd is the operator, and the 33% community share has been sold for over R500 million. The Bakubung royal family has spent R12,7 million since 2009 to trace the people's lost riches. To date, nothing has come to fruition.
The DA supports Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment, providing it is genuinely broad based and productive. It is necessary to repeat that it is genuinely broad based and productive. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr D D GAMEDE
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 25
Mrs E C VAN LINGEN
Mr D D GAMEDE: Chairperson, to the Minister firstly, as the ANC we support the budget and, as usual, with a big smile. Even though we would have loved to have some more money, we believe that with this money we will be able to do the programmes that we are tasked to do.
This debate comes at one of the most important periods in the history of our democracy, a time when we observe the centenary of the Natives Land Act of 1913. Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, the first secretary general of the ANC, was a teacher, court interpreter, linguist, journalist and author. He famously observed in his book Native Life in South Africa, and I quote:
Awaking on Friday morning June 20 1913, the South African native found himself, not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth.
He was referring to the promulgation of, on the previous day, the Natives Land Act of 1913. It was also midwinter at that time. Plaatje set off first by train and later by bicycle in the bitterly cold first week of July to observe the impact of the Act.
Days before the signing of the Act, Lord Gladstone and some white farm owners had already begun to enforce the grim choice posed by the Act on African tenants renting land from them. You either forego your cattle - which was in most cases the lifetime's savings of our grandparents - and your crop farming and work for me as a labourer, or you leave.
It is this legacy that turned profitable African land owners and farmers into migrant labourers for the mines that we have to deal with today. All the consequences over the decades compounded themselves and it required the ANC government to break this legacy. It has tried through such transformatory legislation - the one that has just been quoted, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act - only in 2002.
The ANC's 2012 policy research entitled "State intervention in the minerals sector" concludes that the argument that our rich and diverse mineral resources endowment could underpin growth, development and job creation, but this will not happen through market forces alone. We need to begin to apply our concept of a democratic developmental state to the governance of our mineral assets to ensure that the development of all the mineral linkage sectors is maximised to stimulate industrialisation and job creation to capture an equitable share of our resource targets.
Although the mining industry's contribution to the national economy has declined over the past two decades, it is still the largest industry sector in South Africa. However, as with other mining countries on the continent, much of the mineral wealth is exported as raw materials entailing little added value. This is an issue that needs to be attended to.
The department should strengthen its work towards transforming the structures of ownership, acting against monopolisation of the sector and promotion of co-operatives. By its nature the mining industry requires big capital investments, and is thus not conducive for the participation of other big numbers of small entrepreneurs.
It is common cause that our labour market does not produce enough skills required by the mining industry and therefore we need to rally all stakeholders behind what the Mining Charter provides for. The charter provides and indicates that the skills deficit has to be addressed, inter alia, by interfacing with educational authorities and providing scholarships to promote mining-related educational advancement, especially in the fields of mathematics and science at school level and ensuring that provision of scholarships and others in the number of registered learnerships in the mining industry are attained. The case in point on this issue would be what you know, Minister: the student Molatelo of Limpopo.
The department needs to make sure that as per their commitment South African subsidies of multinational companies and South African companies where possible focus their overseas placement and training programmes on historically disadvantaged South Africans, that a talent pool identified and fast-tracked and that higher levels of inclusiveness and advancement of women are ensured.
In 1941 the wage rate for African miners as an example was R70 per year while the white worker - they were not called miners - got R848 per year. After the mine strike in 1946, black miners earned R87 per year and white workers earned R1 106 per year. In both cases it would be noticed that the wage gap was 12:1. Where are we today? When we see such things, hon Minister, through you, Chair, how can we forget the painful past that we come from? These are the realities that some people would not want us to talk about.
Some time ago we were called natives, and we were also called Bantus until the ANC restored our dignity. You must remember that when apartheid was introduced it was not an imbizo or a picnic, but a gathering to introduce and enforce a brutal system; a system which results we still see and feel today. Even Verwoerd said this on education, and I quote:
Let us create a system of education that will make a Bantu more inferior than he is today, for we only need him for his labour, more especially in our mines and in our farms.
Now, the brave miners of 1946 were the forerunners of the freedom of the strikers even on 1 May 1950. Today, other opportunistic parties will go around dancing and then claim that they were part of the struggle against apartheid. Even in some of the progressive movements black people were not allowed to be members.
Singing an uMkhonto weSizwe, Mk, or ANC song, or dancing in an ANC dance does not make you a fighter against apartheid. Actually, it makes you a desperate opportunist. We would urge other to people not take our history. Don't make a mockery of our struggle, we suffered and we have scars. We lost our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and relatives. One day, if possible, we will ask each and every member of these parties to stand up and say, "I fought against apartheid". Most of them would stammer and they won't mention those words. I thank you, Sir. [Applause.]
Prince M M M ZULU
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 26
Mr D D GAMEDE
UMntwana M M M ZULU: Sihlalo, mhlonishwa Ngqongqoshe namalungu ahloniphekile, ngemuva kokuthi ngifunde kabanzi umbiko wokusebenza koMnyango wezokuMbiwa Phansi kanye nombiko wekomiti lePhamalamende, Inkatha yeNkululeko iyaleseka iVoti leSabelomali salo mnyango.
Nanoma leli Voti leSabelomali lifika ngesikhathi lapho izwe lakithi lizikhotha amanxeba mayelana nesehlakalo esenzeka kubavukuzi beshaywa ngamaphoyisa ethu eMarikana. Lezo yizinto esingeke sikwazi ukuzikhohlwa kakula. Kudingeka ukuthi ngengoNgqongqoshe walo mnyango kanye nabanye ozakwenu abathintekayo nikwazi ukuzibhekisisa lezi zinto ukuze ngelinye ilanga zigwemeke zingaphinde zenzeke, njengoba ifu elimnyama lakhungatha izwe lakithi.
Ngiyazi ukuthi lezi zinto zenza ukuthi umnotho wezwe wehle kakhulu. Abatshalizimali baba manqikanqika ukuthi bazotshala izimali ezweni lakithi. Lezo yizinto esingeke sibambelele kuzo. Njengeqembu leNkatha siyavuma ukuthi izimayini ziyizikhondlakhondla kwezokwembiwa phansi. Kufuneka ukuthi uNgqongqoshe kanye nabanye oNgqongqoshe kufuneka ukuthi babhekisise ukuthi kukhona abantu bakithi abalamba kakhulu kodwa zikhona izimayini ezakhile zihlezi zicosha imali.
Ngiyazi ukuthi kulukhuni ngoba abanye bozakwethu banamasheya kulezo zimayini. Iningi labantu bakithi alikwazi ukucosha okuya ethunjini, bayizinkedama nezimpabanga benziwa yithi uqobo. Noma yalwelwa inkululeko, phela akekho ongayilwelanga inkululeko, umkhulu wami, iNkosi uCetshwayo, wenza okubonakalayo ezweni lakithi. UDinizulu qobo lwakhe, ukhokho wami, wenza okubonakalayo kuleli zwe lakithi elwa nabacindezeli ababecindezela abantu bakithi.
Lezo akuzona izinto esingabuyela emuva sizibhekisise, kodwa kufuneka ukuthi sibheke ukuthi siqhubeka kanjani ukuya phambili ekugwemeni izinto ezingaba yisehlakalo sokubuyisela izwe lakithi emuva. Ngiyabonga.
The IFP supports the Budget Vote No 32.
Mr K A SINCLAIR
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 26
Prince M M M ZULU
Mr K A SINCLAIR: Hon Chairperson, Prof Philip Frankel, a mining consultant and the author of Between the Rainbows and the Rain: Marikana, Mining, Migration and the Crisis of Modern South Africa, indicated that:
Marikana ... draws attention to the factors that now, then and increasingly this year and onwards, will continue to drive miners to the surface to protest and engage in violence against the mines, the authorities and also amongst each other.
Marikana and the events that lead to the tragedy on 16 August 2012 will have a fundamental impact on the future of South Africa.
Because of our past, mining and the mineral wealth of South Africa always had a significant bearing on the economy and developmental patterns. Since a boy named Erasmus Jacobs first discovered the Eureka Diamond in 1867 near Hopetown on the Orange River mining shaped the economy of this country and the expectations of South Africans. It will continue to do so, given the enormous mineral wealth that, according to the pronouncements by the hon Minister, is worth almost R30 trillion. Mining, according to the Chamber of Mines: creates one million jobs; accounts for about 18% of the gross domestic product, GDP, albeit 8,6% direct; is a critical earner of foreign exchange at more than 50%; accounts for 20% of investments; attracts significant foreign savings, which amounts to R1,9 trillion or 43% of the value of Johannesburg Stock Exchange, JSE; accounts for 13,2% of corporate tax receipts and R6 billion in royalties; accounts for R441 billion in expenditures of which R407 billion is spent locally; accounts for R78 billion spent in wages; accounts for almost 50% of the volume of Transnet's rail and ports.
If these statistics are put into perspective, it begs to argue that any responsible government will have a sound, approach to an industry that will continuously impact on the general wellbeing of the citizens of this country. The critical question today that needs answering, is how responsible is the ANC government with our assets and mineral wealth? More importantly, [Interjections] – Chairperson it seems as if the hon member wants to ask me a question –
House Chairperson: Continue, Mr Sinclair.
Mr K A SINCLAIR: ... how serious is government on the so-called soft issue - that is the human factor? An industry in turmoil and uncertainty is screaming for guidance, direction and, above all, clarity.
The reality, however, is that a guise of uncertainty scares potential investors away. A minister who sides with a certain union faction, police brutality and political gerrymandering with the allocation of mining licences are bedevilling an industry that on a daily basis is stumbling from one crisis to the other.
The Minister has come a long way with this portfolio. The ANC government must create certainty, stability and give clarity in terms of policy positions. Wake-up, ANC, and wake-up, government: if you continue on this road, the human factor will reject you, profits will not matter and the majority of the people will take charge of their own future. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J J GUNDA
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 26
Mr K A SINCLAIR
Mr J J GUNDA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and all protocol observed, indeed this department is crucial to economic development and economic empowerment to the poor. Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, said:
It is time to do something urgently in the mining industry to prevent job losses and to lure investors. The department should include in its plans and policies an integrated income generating community of mineworker families.
The only way to address the inequality and the economic empowerment of the poor is by making the people who own this land shareholders where there are mining activities. Let me take North West province as an example, the select committee of petitions went to North West. The crucial issue there is that the very owners of the land in North West, Bujanala District, do not own any minerals.
However, people from outside and other people inside are controlling and the very own people of that district are suffering. We can't work like that. That is why I am saying that the department must change its policy and see to it that the very poor people of this country who have suffered, hon Gamede just said now that the people are suffering, those people must benefit. This department plays a crucial role by training them, developing them and assisting them to get there. There is no other way. We must stop this thing of coming with policies and there is no action. There must be actions that follow the policies.
The social and labour plans of mining houses need to adhere to the people of that area, where there is mining taking place. It is time that this department must have more action by empowering the poor people.
Let me close with this, there is a mine 220 km from me, Khumba Iron Ore. All the contractors in that mine are previously advantaged, not a single disadvantaged person has a contract in Khumba Iron Ore. My son workings in that mine. They are just workers. [Laughter.] They are not shareholders. [Interjections.]
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Order, order!
Mr J J GUNDA: It is time that we really see to it that the policies we have in this country benefit the poor. I thank you.
Mr B A MNGUNI
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 27
Mr J J GUNDA
Mr B A MNGUNI: Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, I think from the start you should know that mining started booming years ago, but since 1886 mining started declining in terms of producing and employing people. Although we say that mining is the driver of the economy, I agree that it contributes over 8% of the gross domestic product, GDP, but we must remember that minerals do not grow or emerge again. We do not plough minerals; they do not grow in order for us to reap them again. If you take out the minerals, then they are gone for good. Now, the ore reserves, meaning, all those rocks or places that have minerals, where they have been mined, we cannot go back to mine them again unless something remains there and we have the technology to mine it again.
In that sense, the jobs in the mines have been declining since the 1960s. The reason is that in the early 1880s, in 1886, in Barberton and in areas like Munsieville, you'd find that you would just dig by shovel and find gold. As time went by, all those minerals that could be easily found on the surface, could only be found by digging deeper. In the Witwatersrand Basin, where most of the gold is, today you can go two or three kilometers before you can get gold, whereas previously, in areas like Barberton and Munsieville, you would get gold almost on the surface. Those issues have got cost implications. Today you've got to dig or spend billions of rand in order to access the ore reserves, whereas previously you would spend probably R100 to get to the ore and quality ore at that.
Now, somebody came here to ask: What is the department doing in order to attract investment or to make sure that there is investor confidence in our mines? The department has a mineral policy and promotion programme. Key to that programme is to make sure that there is an attraction of investment in the country. How does the department do that? There is Mineral and Metallurgical Technology, Mintek, and the council for Geoscience.
The Council for Geoscience, a state agency, has a duty to make sure that we know where all the minerals of the country are located. The council should map, delineate and roughly calculate them so that investors can judge from a distance and invest because they know where specific minerals are to be found. That is the work of the Council for Geoscience.
We know that the land or South Africa was mapped in the 18th century and Dr Mello is one of the known geologists who mapped the country. Instruments used to map the area in those days were very crude; they were not sophisticated compared to today's equipment.
We have now to remap the South African surface in order to make sure that we know where the minerals are. In that way the investors will not have to spend their own money trying to look for minerals. They would know exactly where minerals are and how much they are going to spend. In that way, it will be an uptake. South Africa will attract more investors than when they did not know where to dig or drill for minerals.
Hon Sinclair said the industry is waiting for direction and clarity. I think we made the point clear in our national conference, in Mangaung, that the state will intervene in the mining sector, in order to make sure that the people benefit, in order to ensure that development takes place on South Africa's terms.
You can go to any country; investors that go to dig or mine there, do so on the terms of that country. There is a Natural Resource Charter that is known worldwide. All countries with mineral resources have their own terms. If investors want to invest in those countries, they should abide by those terms. People who go to Australia know that they will pay high taxes. In Zimbabwe, there is naturalisation; 51% belongs to the people of Zimbabwe, and yet people still invest there. In South Africa, only 26% of the mining gains belong to South African people. Those are our terms. We are saying that the community on that land must benefit. That is why we have got the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act which we put in place in 2002.
The problem is that those communities that are actually getting these royalties, most of them - I have just called the court today at about 12:00, and hon Tau is aware of this. In Bokoni, Limpopo, just east of Lebowakgomo, there is a mine called the Bokoni Platinum Mine. I know one member of this mine's management. She has just called to inform us that they are in a meeting with three chiefs and the community trust board which looks after the interests of the community. Each chief is demanding R1 million for his house.
There is only R12 million in the kitty. Already R1 million has been spent to upgrade the communities and for the other issues in the community. The problem lies with all the community members who are greedy because they take from the community instead of ploughing back into the community as a whole.
You might find that they are facing the same situation in Bakubung, as the hon Van Lingen has just mentioned. The problem is that we cannot legislate, not even piecemeal. The legislation or the law is there stating that royalties are to be paid to the communities. It is therefore up to the mines and communities to make sure that those royalties go where they should be. We therefore cannot legislate as to how the royalties should be used. That would actually be micromanagement, so to speak, or telling communities what to do with their share.
One or two issues about the department – I know Zimbabwe is being cascaded left and right. If you want to buy mineral rights or mine there, they give you your mineral rights, mining license and water rights. Everything is given to you as a package, from the get-go, one time. Those are issues that we should look into so that if investors come to South Africa, they do not go from one department to the other. There should be some sort of a one-stop shop where they get all the necessary things in one place. That would actually encourage them to come to into our country.
Regarding the SA Mineral Resources Administration, Samrad, I think there are still teething problems. We would like to see that system working properly so that people, even if they are as far as New York, would be able to access information to who has mineral rights in South Africa and where they can invest. Basically, that is what Samrad is all about.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You still have 10 seconds.
Mr B A MNGUNI: Thank you, Chairperson. In closing ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, Mr Mnguni. Hon Sinclair, on what point are you rising?
Mr K A SINCLAIR: Chair, I just want to find out if ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, no. On what are you rising? Is it a point of order?
Mr K A SINCLAIR: It's a question, Sir, just to find out ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Then ask me whether the member is prepared to take a question. [Laughter.]
Mr K A SINCLAIR: May I ask the hon member a question, Chair?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Mnguni, are you prepared to take a question?
Mr B A MNGUNI: Yes I am, Chair.
Mr K A SINCLAIR: Chairperson, I just want to know whether, given that the hon member has almost all the answers in mining, he knows what Malema is going to do now that he cannot plant cabbages anymore? [Laughter.]
THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, that is not a relevant question. Just make your closing remarks, Mr Mnguni; your time is up.
Mr B A MNGUNI: In closing, I joined the mining industry on 1 May 1984. I know what it's like to sleep in that cement bunker with 16 people. Those are the conditions that the mining people need to look into. Those are the conditions that are fermenting issues like Marikana. We therefore appeal to the mining houses to look after their labourers properly in order to improve their living conditions. Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 Take: 28
Mr B A MNGUNI
THE MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: Chairperson, may I take this opportunity to thank the chairperson and the members of the select committee for their continuous support in the Mineral Resources portfolio.
May I also say that the issues and questions raised by the members, especially the issues of transformation, are not an event; they are a process. Therefore they are not easy; they are complex and challenging. It is also a reflection of where our country comes from where diverse people are coming together and trying to find common ground. Also, some trying to find a comfort zone and refusing to move forward. That is the biggest challenge we are facing when it comes to transformation. But as the government of the ANC we will be seized with that process in making sure that our people and those who were excluded in the past are able to benefit in the current space, especially in the mining industry, and also making sure that they are included in the economy of our country.
To respond to the point raised by the hon van Lingen, I need to bring to her attention that the Bakubung issue is a problem that has been there for a very long time. Why is it suddenly raised on the eve of the elections? One cannot come in now and raise such an issue; it's been there already and we are dealing with it. Unfortunately, as hon Mnguni indicated, some of these crooks are all over and ordinary communities are cheated on a regular basis. That is the situation. So, I think you need to understand that.
Regarding the point you raised about beneficiation, we have a responsibility as public representatives to educate and bring awareness. If we find a community that does not understand what beneficiation means, let's play our role; educate them instead of looking at them and seeing an opportunity to criticize because the whole issue of beneficiation is new to our people. The word is new to our people. But if we can explain what it means they will understand that when you dig gold, you must add value. So we need to simplify this and make sure that we educate our people instead of seeing that as an opportunity to point out confusion. There is no confusion. If you go to the Zulu nation, they know that when you dig iron, iron used to make spears. And not only spears; they know that it is used to make jewellery. That is beneficiation, they understand that well. So we have a role to play as public representatives. We must teach our people. Therefore we have the responsibility of explaining beneficiation. It is not even that they do not understand the concept; it is the terminology that is new, the language itself. The terminology is key because we have the word in isiZulu but in English it is something else. Therefore it is the diverse cultures and languages.
On the issue of black economic empowerment, BEE, indeed it is meant to empower communities. We are dealing with that, but as we know, we are dealing with people who are stuck in the past. Some continue to coin the same policies and processes, undermining or even short-circuiting them. That is the reality. I believe that all of us here need to ensure that our policies benefit our people. There will always be people who want to find shortcuts and short-circuit our communities. It is all about broad-based and inclusivity and ensuring that communities are able to benefit from the mining sector.
The hon member also referred to the issue of the Minister having the powers. Imagine if we had a country where we do not find voluntarism being at the order of the day and Ministers who are unable to implement the law. Do you think we would be where we are today as a country? We do not have people coming forward and volunteering to implement the policies of government and also committing to transformation and change. We will never find them. Hence the law must be there to force them and make sure that they bring change because people are stuck in the past. That is the reality. Various aspects in South Africa still reflect people who are stuck in the past and refusing change. The law will help us in making sure that we can change that. Beneficiation will indeed ensure of this.
The issue of value addition, when we want to industrialise this country, must happen. Part of section 26 deals with that aspect. We cannot talk about industrialisation to people who continue to be stuck in the past. For them it is all about profiting, they do not care about what happens at the source. We can see the legacy of mining in South Africa. We cannot allow that to continue; future generations will judge us. We cannot afford to let that happen in our country.
Angibonge umhlonishwa uMntwana uZulu ngokuthi aseseke.
The IFP has continually supported us, not only in this House, we have worked together and we accept that during our last budget this year moving towards 2014. We really appreciate ...
... ukwesekwa yiNkatha. Asikaze nje sixabane nabo yize noma baye benze sengathi kukhona abangakuqondiyo. Bayayazi nje imigomo ye-ANC; njalo sijwayele ukuhambisana nabo.
To the Hon Sinclair, the issue of reading books, everybody today has become an expert about the mining industry, but no one wants to take responsibility. It is only the ANC government, as we are stuck with the challenges in the mining industry. With the policies we have, we will continue to bring change. We will not quote books from people who are all of a sudden book writers and experts, in a distorted way, and who do not understand South Africa. The mining industry has a context. This is a reflection of where we come from. What we saw in Marikana is the reality of a migrant labour system; we are stuck with things such as cheap labour, unskilled workers and poor housing and poor working conditions. That is a reality to us, so we can't write books about that. What are we doing? It is not about the Department of Mineral Resources; it's about how we are all contributing instead of being cheerleaders, standing on the sidelines. We have to make sure that we participate. Therefore I am not going to quote any books. We have put the laws in place, they are not very easy, but the intention is to ensure that the lives of ordinary people change.
It also talks to the hon Gunta. You know Gunta, you have a child who works at Kumba ... [Interjections.] What is it?
An HON MEMBER: It's Gunda. [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: What? Gunta? [Laughter.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Order!
Ngithi uGunta mina. [Uhleko.]
Gunda, about your son works at Kumba Iron Ore, we must be careful, we are one country. We are not a federal country. It can't be about those who work or stay around Kumba or any other mine. It is about all of us as South Africa. Opportunities must be created for all of us. People have rights. That is why we do not want a migrant labour system in the mining industry. It is wrong and it paints a distorted picture. Also, it can't be about your son alone; he can't be the only one benefitting. The hon Mnguni indicated that mineral wealth is not grown; it is not renewable, it is a once-off. That is why the state becomes the custodian on behalf of all South Africans, and this includes you and whoever who in Johannesburg and other parts of the country, where there are no mineral resources. They must also benefit. Our mineral resources must improve the quality of everyone's life in South Africa, not selected parts of it.
What is interesting to me is that you showed very little understanding of this topic. I do not think you have bothered to understand policies of this government when it comes to mining. That is what I picked up from what you were saying. I would suggest that if you are coming back next year, as hon "Gunta" ... [Interjections.] [Laughter.] ... you must acquaint yourself with what Parliament does. One of your responsibilities is to understand the laws in order to be an effective public representative, because you were really weak when you were debating your views.
I must also say that, as we stand today, we are committed to the Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act, as the hon Mnguni said. Its intention is to transform the economy, especially the South African mining sector, to benefit everybody and not just a select few. This includes procurements. We have regulated and legislated, it is now up to us to implement these processes. They are important for our country in order to change our economy. If we say incidents like the Marikana massacre must never occur again, skills must become critical in the mining industry. Neighbouring communities must benefit, those young people living around mines must be able to see the fruits of the mining industry. The whole issue of the mining companies, including our own previously disadvantaged people, there must be space for them to participate. It can't be business as usual when the old system is still maintained and a monopoly still exists.
I would like to say to the Hon Sinclair, there is nothing like a Minister who is biased to a particular union. You must be careful; if you read books, listen to the media and then reach a conclusion based on their assumptions, that is very dangerous. Go to my speech, read that and understand what is said. Do not just sit at home, watch TV and listen to the media picking out one sentence without going to my detailed speech and reaching sound conclusions. Be careful, you can be misled.
I believe my responsibility is to tell everyone in this sector to respect the law. We are a democratic country; we have rules to be followed. That's what needs to happen. I am not biased to any union. I am biased and I object to anarchy, violence and killing. I will always condemn that and I am doing it even right now. It is not about supporting one aspect. I am saying normality needs to come back. That is what we are doing. The President called for that. The Deputy President is leading that process. We need stability like yesterday. So contribute to that stability instead of saying there is bias.I come from a background where I was oppressed, where I was trade unionist and I understand what it feels like to be oppressed as a trade unionist. I may be biased in that sense. What I cannot endorse is bias which endorses anarchy and violence. I will always remain a trade unionist, biased towards improving quality of life for workers in this country. Thank you. [Applause.]
The Council adjourned at 19:10.
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