Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard

House: National Council of Provinces

Date of Meeting: 06 Oct 2000


No summary available.










The Council met at 10:00.


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






(Draft Resolution)


Me C BOTHA: Voorsitter, ek stel sonder kennisgewing voor:


Dat die Raad -


(1)..... sy ernstige besorgdheid uitspreek oor die situasie in die Kroonstadse hof, waar -

(a)..... daar reeds langer as 'n jaar twee aanklaers te min is, hangende bedrogsake teen die vorige aanklaers;


(b)..... daar nie meer geld beskikbaar is vir die betaling van 'n aflosaanklaer se toelae nie;


(c)..... een hoofaanklaer 'n kursus van drie maande bywoon;


(d)..... die hoofaanklaer net administratiewe sake behartig;


(e)..... 'n leerlingaanklaer op Vrydag, 29 September 2000, met al die huidige sake belas is en talle sake teen vermeende misdadigers gevolglik teruggetrek moes word en hulle vrygelaat is;


(f)..... die streekhoof van die departement, mnr Thabang Makola, blykbaar eers hierdie week werklik van die situasie bewus geword het; en


(g)..... 'n nuwe hofgebou opgerig is wat voorsiening maak vir drie addisionele hofsale; en

(2)..... versoek dat daar onmiddellik opgetree word om hierdie situasie, wat vir die publiek, die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens en die werknemers van die Departement van Justisie onaanvaarbaar is, te beredder.

(Translation of Afrikaans draft resolution follows.)


[Ms C BOTHA: Chairperson, I move without notice:


That the Council -


(1)..... expresses its serious concern about the situation at the Kroonstad court where -


(a)..... for more than a year there has been a lack of two prosecutors pending fraud cases against the previous prosecutors;


(b)..... there is no money available to pay a relieving prosecutor's allowance;


(c)..... one court prosecutor is attending a three-month course;


(d)..... the chief prosecutor handles administrative matters only;


(e)..... a trainee prosecutor had to handle all the current cases on Friday, 29 September 2000, and that as a result many cases against suspected criminals had to be withdrawn and the persons released;


(f)..... the regional head of the department, Mr Thabang Makola, apparently only this week became aware of the situation; and


(g) a new court building has been constructed which makes provision for three additional courtrooms; and


(2)..... requests that immediate action be taken to remedy this situation, which is unacceptable to the public, the South African Police Service and the employees of the Department of Justice.]


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Is there any objection to the motion? There is an objection. The motion will therefore become notice of a motion.




(Draft Resolution)


Rev M CHABAKU: Chairperson, I move without notice:


That the Council -


(1)..... expresses its hurt and anger at what has again been shown by the television media, namely that another farmworker discovered that the graves of his late parents had been desecrated and levelled and the tombstones had been piled up somewhere else by the new farmowner with callous disregard for the people of God who spent their whole lives, for over five decades, working on that land on which they died and were buried;


(2)..... notes that -


(a)..... their offspring who are much older than 50 years themselves must now live with this ungodly action; and


(b)..... these actions are illegal and they are intentionally meted out in an outrageous disregard for the laws of the country by hateful, racist persons who often claim to be close to God and to be civilised; and


(3)..... urges the Government to exercise its powers and exert its influence so that swift action can be seen to be taken to restore respect for human rights and the laws of our beloved country.


Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Chairperson, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:


That paragraph (5) of the resolution adopted by the Council on 14 September 2000 whereby the Ad hoc Committee on General Intelligence Law Amendment Bill was established, be amended by extending the date by when the committee has to complete its task from 12 October 2000 to 7 November 2000.


Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




The CHIEF WHIP OF THE COUNCIL: Chairperson, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:


That paragraph (4) of the resolution adopted by the Council on 19 September 2000 whereby the Ad hoc Committee on Pan-African Parliament was established, be amended by extending the date by when the committee has to complete its task from 6 October 2000 to 7 November 2000.


Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)


Mr Z S KOLWENI: Madam Chair, hon Minister, hon members of this Council, the Adjustments Appropriation Bill before this Council allows the Minister of Finance, in view of changed circumstances, to authorise certain expenditure. These expenditures are now tabled for appropriation.


A total amount of R111 million is appropriated in terms of the Act before us. However, an amount of R50 million was allocated to the National Skills Fund, which is a column 2 item of the schedule to the Second Adjustments Appropriation Act of 1999.


This allocation is the result of resolutions taken by the Presidential Jobs Summit of October 1998. At the Jobs Summit it was agreed that a Social Plan Technical Support Facility would be established under the auspices of the Social Plan and Productivity Advisory Council of the National Productivity Institute.


The Social Plan Technical Support Facility is required to provide technical assistance to Future Forums established to promote ongoing discussions between worker representatives and employers about the future of their industrial sectors and enterprises. A Future Forum is a partnership between the workers, their representatives and management, and it is established to facilitate problems and challenges for potential solutions to the problems facing their environment. The Social Plan Technical Support Facility provides assistance and support. It further prevents job losses when employment declines. It is also expected to support Future Forums on a partially subsidised basis.


In addition, Cabinet approved that savings from the National Skills Fund could be made available for the Social Plan Technical Support Facility of the National Productivity Institute. However, in January 2000 the Tender Board approved that only the National Productivity Institute could render the service to the department. Once more it proves that our Government is on course, that it now responds to the social plan that was adopted by all social partners during the Jobs Summit as a programme of intervention.


Finally, the ANC supports the Bill before this Council. [Applause.]


Dr E A CONROY: Mevrou die Voorsitter, minister Manuel en lede, die redes vir hierdie wetsontwerp is suiwer tegnies van aard, en is daarop gerig om aangesuiwerde bedrae vir die behoeftes van die staat te bewillig ten opsigte van die boekjaar wat reeds op 31 Maart 2000 geëindig het.


Kragtens artikel 7(1) van die Skatkiswet, Wet 66 van 1975, word die Minister van Finansies gemagtig om in sekere omstandighede gelde in die Nasionale Inkomstefonds aan te wend. Artikel 7(2) van die Skatkiswet van 1975 bepaal dat stappe nie later nie as die daaropvolgende sitting van die Parlement gedoen moet word om dan enige bedrae wat kragtens artikel 7(1) aangewend is, te bewillig. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)


[Dr E A CONROY: Madam Chairperson, Minister Manuel and members, the reasons for this Bill are purely technical in nature and are aimed at voting adjusted amounts for the needs of the state with regard to the financial year which already ended on 31 March 2000.


In terms of section 7(1) of the Exchequer Act, Act 66 of 1975, the Minister of Finance is authorised to utilise money in the National Revenue Fund under certain conditions. Section 7(2) of the Exchequer Act of 1975 stipulates that steps must be taken not later than the following sitting of Parliament to vote any amounts utilised in terms of section 7(1).]


After tabling the adjustments estimates for 1999-2000 in October 1999 - in other words, exactly one year ago - circumstances now require the Minister of Finance to authorise certain spending which is now being tabled for appropriation. I will be referring to only one of these circumstances and that is the appropriation of adjusted amounts as far as the Department of Justice and, more specifically, the Legal Aid Board is concerned.


An amount of R107 million was included in the adjustments estimate in respect of the year 1999-2000 for the Legal Aid Board for the payment of arrear amounts owed to legal practitioners. The amount was, however, not shown in the adjustments estimate as a column 2 item, and the Minister of Finance authorised the augmentation of the column 2 item by shifting funds from column 1 of the Second Adjustments Appropriation Act of 1999 to column 2, in terms of section 7(1) of the Exchequer Act of 1975.


This Bill is therefore, as I have already mentioned, and as is clear from the facts before us, basically of a technical nature.


Volgens inligting wat van die Regshulpraad bekom is, is die R107 miljoen reeds in Desember 1999 deur hom aangewend om 'n deel van die opgehoopte agterstallige bedrae te vereffen wat aan regspraktisyns verskuldig was. Dit mag dan ook interessantheidshalwe aan die agbare Huis genoem word dat daar in die tydperk van 1 Januarie tot 30 September 2000 reeds bykans 133 800 betalings ter waarde van meer as R204 miljoen aan regspraktisyns gedoen is. Aangesien hierdie 'n tegniese regstelling is en dit nodig is dat die finansiële huishouding van die Departement van Justisie in orde kom, steun die Nuwe NP hierdie wetsontwerp. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)


[According to information received from the Legal Aid Board, the R107 million had already been utilised by it in December 1999 to pay a portion of the accumulated amounts in arrears owed to legal practitioners. It might also be mentioned for the interest of the honourable House that in the period from 1 January to 30 September 2000 approximately 133 800 payments totalling more than R204 million were made to legal practitioners. Due to the fact that this is a technical correction and it is necessary for the financial housekeeping of the Department of Justice to be in order, the New NP supports this Bill.]


Mr A MARAIS: Chairperson, hon Minister, colleagues, the Adjustments Appropriation Bill before this House is a technical financial Bill which allows the Minister of Finance, in view of changed circumstances, to authorise certain expenditures. These expenditures are now tabled for appropriation.


A total amount of R111 million is appropriated in terms of the Bill before us. However, an amount of R206 000 represents a transfer from column 1 to column 2 of the Schedule to the Second Adjustments Appropriation Act of 1999. This transfer occurred as a result of our co-operation with Germany in hosting regional conferences in preparation for the Urban 21 Conference. Although the City Council of Pretoria indicated that they would make a contribution, the Department of Housing undertook the responsibility of co-hosting the Urban 21 global conference.


Urban 21 is aimed at all experts who are involved in the development of towns and cities and who support the improvement of living and environmental conditions in urban areas. Urban 21 is dedicated to the problems which the growth of the cities generates in developing and industrialised countries. Excessive consumption of resources and social and cultural deprivation in cities represent global problems to which solutions have to be found.


Moreover, cities do not only fulfil the basic needs of their citizens, which are essential for their existence, but also reflect history and cultural traditions in their buildings, streets and squares. Since there is no single, monolithic solution to the problem of cities, our participation in this global conference on sustainable urban development is necessary.


The amount appropriated towards our participation is a transfer item from column 1 to column 2 and therefore does not affect our Budget deficit targets and macroeconomic guidelines. The ANC supports the Bill. [Applause.]


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! I see that Mr Marais has spoken twice in the House this morning, according to the screens. [Laughter.]


The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, hon members, because the Bill is technical and supported by all parties, I would like to express sincere appreciation for the support. In fact, it is just a technical matter that moves money between columns. It is, essentially, about ensuring that the accounting to Parliament is proper and that history will reflect how the money was spent. [Applause.]


Debate concluded.


Votes Nos 17, 20 and 21 agreed to.

Schedule agreed to.


Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.




(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)


Mr J L THERON: Chairperson, hon members, the Finance Bill's primary object is to give effect to certain resolutions adopted by the public accounts committee dealing with instances of unauthorised expenditure.


The Bill seeks to charge the National Revenue Fund with an unauthorised expenditure and other expenditure which the Standing Committee on Public Accounts resolutions deal with, and further seeks to regulate the closure of specific obsolete revenue accounts, particularly from the former TBVC states and self-governing territories.


The Standing Committee on Public Accounts recommended to Parliament that specified instances of unauthorised expenditure be authorised, amounts of approximately R133 million and R15 million, and that specific expenditure for the former TBVC states and self-governing territories, namely R4 139 million, be authorised.


While the Finance Bill seeks to authorise this expenditure, it does not do so in a blanket fashion, to the exclusion of efforts to recoup the spent moneys. Had the Bill merely sought to authorise unauthorised expenditure without any attempts to continue to pursue the funds and auditing trails, we would not have been in a position to support the Bill, given our stance on responsible public finance management.


However, clause 5 of the Bill makes specific provision for actions of recovery of the money to continue, and states clearly that the Finance Bill may not be construed as affecting any action to recover unauthorised expenditure. Thus the Bill makes express provision to ensure that any legal entitlement regarding the potential recovery of any losses to the state owing to the unauthorised expenditure in question must remain. As this residual right is expressly retained in clause 5, the Finance Bill should be favourably considered.


Die nuwe Wet op Openbare Finansiële Bestuur, Wet 1 van 1999, soos gewysig deur Wet 29 van 1999, is natuurlik ingestel om ook hierdie probleme wat die Finansiewet moet regstel, te ondervang. Die doel van die Wet op Openbare Finansiële Bestuur is juis daarop gemik om die doeltreffende bestuur van staatsgeld te bevorder en korrupsie met openbare geld te bestry en vas te vat.


Die Nasionale Tesourie het nou ook 'n uitvoerige toepassingsplan opgestel vir die geleidelike toepassing van die nuwe Wet op Openbare Finansiële Bestuur. Hierdie nuwe strategiese toepassingsplan sal meewerk om nie net korrupsie, bedrog en wanbestuur in die Staatsdiens aansienlik te verminder nie, maar sal ook help om die bestuur van openbare geld deursigtiger te maak.


Ons versoek die Minister en die direkteur-generaal om hierdie wetsontwerp so spoedig moontlik in werking te stel sodat ons die voordele daarvan vir almal in die land kan genereer.(Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)


[The new Public Finance Management Act, Act 1 of 1999, as amended by Act 29 of 1999, was, of course, also implemented to obviate these problems that the Finance Act must correct. The purpose of the Public Finance Management Act is precisely to promote the effective management of state funds and to combat and clamp down on corruption with regard to public funds.


The National Treasury has now also drawn up a detailed implementation plan for the gradual implementation of the new Public Finance Management Act. This new strategic implementation plan will not only contribute towards a significant reduction in corruption, fraud and maladministration in the Public Service, but will also help to make the management of public funds more transparent.


We request the Minister and the director-general to implement this Bill as speedily as possible so that we may generate the benefits of this for everyone in the country.]


Mr G A LUCAS: Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members of this House, clearly the objectives of the Finance Bill before the National Council of Provinces are as follows: to charge the National Revenue Fund with certain unauthorised expenditure, to authorise other expenditure and to regulate the closure of certain obsolete revenue accounts. Moreover, the essence of the Bill is to legally confirm the decisions that have been taken by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts so that expenditure that originally was unauthorised can now be properly accounted for.


The expenses outlined in this Bill occurred between 1991 and 1997, and are referred to in clauses 1 to 3 of the Bill. The total expenditure amounts to approximately R4,1 billion. The unauthorised expenditure listed in Schedule 1 of the Bill has to be paid over to the National Revenue Fund, which funds have to be refunded to the relevant departments as a direct charge against the National Revenue Fund. However, the bulk of the expenses listed in Schedule 3 of the Bill and which relates to the expenditure of the former TBVC states and self-governing territories, affects 96% of the R4,1 billion.


Although we have transcended the apartheid era, we are still victims of that dysfunctional ideology.


The TBVC states were a symbol of that wretched ideology. The Bill, in a sense, is the last nail in the coffin of the TBVC states. The new democratic order has taken the necessary steps to ensure that such unauthorised expenditure is not perpetuated into the future. The Public Finance Management Act, widely known as the PFMA, is designed to ensure that all national departments and provinces exercise reasonable care by implementing effective, efficient and transparent processes in financial and risk management in order to detect and prevent unauthorised, irregular and wasteful expenses.


The signing of the Public Finance Management Act into law bears testimony to the ANC-led Government's commitment to improving the management of the national financial resources. Plans to implement the PFMA by the National Treasury are already taking shape. Emphasis is put on training of staff, recruitment of key expertise and upgrading of technology. In this way, we can ensure effective financial management of revenue and expenditure and of assets and liabilities.


The reorganisation of the SA Revenue Service and the resultant efficient revenue collection have increased the amount of finance available for Government's use. Moreover, the recent reorganisation of the Department of Finance and State Expenditure into a single homogenous unit will ensure effective oversight in respect of departments. Simultaneously, the increased delegation of powers to departments will in turn ensure proper delivery and accountability to the national Treasury.


Given the huge political commitment displayed by the head of Government to the Public Finance Management Act, we could witness a more efficient management of our country's resources in the not too distant future.


All the members of the select committee and the parties they represent supported the Bill without any reservations, and the ANC also endorses the Bill as it stands. [Applause.]


The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, hon members, once again I express appreciation for the support. The Finance Bill, which is entirely technical, supports resolutions already taken by Scopa, the Select Committee on Public Accounts. But I would like to give this House the assurance that we will continue to try and recover what can be recovered, notwithstanding the passage of this Bill. [Applause.]


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Mrs Versveld, you look very pleased, and I am not sure why. [Laughter.]

Debate concluded.


Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! I think that member just felt that something had to be said. [Laughter.]




(Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)


The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson and hon members, this Bill seeks to amplify and improve certain provisions of the Banks Act, Act 94 of 1990, through the medium of amendments which, during the course of the administration of the principal Act by the Office for Banks, in consultation with foreign supervisory authorities and international standard-setting bodies, such as the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision, were found to be advisable.


The Bill improves the principal Act in order to make it accord more with international banking standards and best practices as set out in the Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision. These so-called Basle core principles are intended to serve as a basic reference for supervisory and other authorities in all countries and internationally. Accordingly, the amendments contained in the Bill are proposed in order to ensure that the South African legal framework, in terms of which banking institutions and banking groups are regulated and supervised, remains relevant and current, and in line with the latest national and international developments and standards.


After a lengthy process of consideration, the Standing Committee for the Revision of the Banks Act, appointed by the Minister of Finance, has approved the envisaged amendments described in the Bill. The committee consists, amongst others, of representatives of the banks, the Banking Council of SA, credit unions, stokvels and the Post Bank.


The proposed amendments may be summarised as follows: first, to insert in the principal Act certain new definitions and expressions, such as ``banking group branch'', ``branch of a bank'' and ``tertiary capital'', and to amend some of the existing definitions; second, to provide for the designation, by the Reserve Bank, of more than one Deputy Registrar of Banks, but not exceeding four, from amongst its officers; third, to provide for the confidential treatment of due diligence reports, drawn up in consequence of the conducting of the due diligence audit of the financial condition of a bank; fourth, to substitute a process of review for the existing process of appeal against decisions of the Registrar of Banks. Fifth, to empower the Registrar of Banks to authorise a banking institution to use or refer to it by a name other than the one under which it is registered; sixth, to further consolidate principles of good corporate governance with regard to the membership of the audit committee of the bank; seventh, to abolish judicial management of a bank that is in financial difficulties and, instead thereof, to render the process of curatorship of such a bank more comprehensive; eighth, to increase the minimum capital and unimpaired reserve funds required to be maintained by a bank from R50 million to R250 million, and to provide for additional capital and reserve funds to be maintained by banks in respect of their trading and financial instruments; ninth, to provide for the maintenance of an aggregate of minimum capital and reserve funds in respect of a banking group; tenth, to allow banks greater flexibility in the utilisation of their liquid assets; eleventh, to introduce further safeguards in respect of large exposures constituting credit risks to banking institutions; and, finally, to create and prescribe penalties for certain further offences.


The select committee passed the Bill as presented, save for one minor amendment in clause 4, which now provides that persons called as witnesses by the board of review considering a review of the decision of the Registrar of Banks are entitled to legal representation at their own expense.


The Ministry notes the concern of the select committee that the principal Act is gender biased in certain sections. A state law adviser in attendance advised that having a different gender description in part of the Act would cause uncertainty and inconsistency as to the meaning of such sections. It needs to be far more thoroughgoing across the whole of the principal Act. We therefore commit ourselves to correcting the gender issues in the next round of amendments in the principal Act. [Applause.]


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! I notice that we have some future bankers and economists in the public gallery. This is the Minister of Finance who has been speaking about new banking policy.


Ms Q D MAHLANGU: Chairperson, hon Minister of Finance and members of this House, I am not going to cover some of the issues because the Minister has covered those, but I am going to reflect on one aspect which the committee dwelt on a great deal.


Although the Select Committee on Finance has passed the Bill, it did so with stringent conditions and qualifications.


The Bill before us, as the Minister has said, is grossly gender insensitive. Almost every section of the Banks Amendment Bill makes reference to words such as ``chairman'', ``he'', ``him'' and ``himself''. It would appear superficially that only men or boys participate in the financial sector. Committee members across the political party spectrum of the Select Committee on Finance have shared their concerns on the breach of our Constitution. In my capacity as the chairperson, not as ``chairman'', of the Select Committee on Finance, I raised this concern with many persons, such as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank and the parliamentary law advisers, including the state law advisers.


The opinion provided by the parliamentary law advisers is that there is no reason why the Bill in question should not be amended at this stage to make it more gender sensitive. However, officials from the Reserve Bank argued that since the principal Act uses masculine terminology for certain nouns, relying on section 6 of the Interpretation Act of 1957 - which was long before I was born - the terminology is to be interpreted as including females. The amending Bill before this House cannot be changed in isolation from the principal Act. The Select Committee on Finance was informed that, from the drafting point of view, it was correct to adopt an approach in terms of which textual amendments should, for the sake of consistency, fit like a glove into the existing arrangements.


However, the committee members felt compromised and resolved to pass the Bill with the understanding that, within 12 months, the Ministry of Finance would make the Bill gender sensitive. I humbly request the women of our country, because I regard this as a serious indictment, to exercise their patience, tolerance and understanding one more time. The Select Committee on Finance is confronted with a legal impediment, but firmly resolves to carry out its mandate, and will report to this Chamber on the progress in this regard within the next 12 months. [Applause.]


Mr N M RAJU: Madam Chair, hon Minister Trevor Manuel, hon colleagues, I am a supporter of the adage, ``Words are like leaves. Where they most abound, very little fruit is found.'' I therefore wish to make a fruitful contribution to this debate by being very brief.


The Bill contains a number of technical amendments dealing with issues that relate to definitions of liquid assets, reserve funds, confidentiality of the diligence audits, curatorship, limiting large exposures, banks as parts of groups, etc. Clause 5, for instance, amends section 2 of the principal Act, Act No 94 of 1990, giving permission to a bank and banking institution to use or refer to itself by a name other than the name under which it is registered.


The Bill also increases the minimum amount required to start a bank from R50 million to R250 million. This increase was necessitated by, among other things, inflationary growth since 1994, when the relevant amount was increased from R10 million to R50 million by section 45 of the Banks Amendment Act, Act No 26 of 1994. I am looking for part of my speech. Sorry. [Laughter.] I have now got it. The expansion of banks' areas of activity, inter alia, increased trading and financial instruments with the resultant additional risks, also contributed to the need for this increase. A third factor necessitating the change was the fact of increased international competition, requiring increased capital provisioning to enable South African banks to remain competitive. [Interjections.]


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Mr Raju, would you take your seat for a moment, please? Mr Moosa, please go ahead.


Mr M V MOOSA: Madam Chair, will the hon member take a question?


Mr N M RAJU: Chairperson, no. I will do so when I have finished my speech. [Laughter.]


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please continue, Mr Raju.


Mr N M RAJU: Chairperson, another salient amendment is that of section 72(3) of the principal Act, proposed in clause 14 of the Bill, which will allow the banks the flexibility, subject to exemption by the registrar, to use their liquid assets for purposes of intraday accommodation at the Reserve Bank discount window. Such utilisation will be in harmony with the prevailing practice in the national payment system. The DP has no problem in supporting this Bill.


Before I sit, I would like to take this opportunity to implore the Minister to speedily address the gender issue, which has been found wanting in the framing of the principal Act. I am glad that the Minister has already alluded to this deficiency and promised to address it.


At the last meeting of the Select Committee on Finance, there was a protracted debate on why the gender issue had not been attended to in the three Bills we had debated. Despite defensive submissions by the law adviser, the chairperson Dorothy Mahlangu, whom members have just heard, remained unimpressed and took an understandably dim view of the delay in addressing this. I beseech Minister Manuel to take appropriate steps to repair the shortcoming, lest we incur the wrath of some 52% of our electorate, a scenario that would be too ghastly to contemplate. Thank you. [Applause.]


I will now take Mr Moosa's question. [Laughter.]


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Minister, I think your responsibility has now been somewhat taken by Mr Raju, who is prepared to answer a question. Yes, Mr Moosa?


Mr M V MOOSA: Chairperson, my question was somewhat philosophical. I wanted to know from the speaker what fruitfulness and the sale of fruit had to do with banking. [Laughter.]


Mr N M RAJU: Chairperson, I think that is something I would prefer to discuss in person with the person who asked the question. [Laughter.]


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: This sounds more interesting by the minute, but perhaps we should allow Minister Manuel to conclude the debate. [Laughter.]


The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, I note the strong statements made by the chair of the select committee on this matter. There have been discussions about it.


I just would like to explain that there are certain bits of legislation that are generated elsewhere. This one, like the Reserve Bank Amendment Act, is generated by the Reserve Bank. We are the responsible Ministry in this instance, but it is a bit difficult for me to accept responsibility. I can merely convey the earnestness and the deadlines, and ask that the Reserve Bank take those up. But I do not know whether I can be held responsible for the deadline. I will have to convey that to the Reserve Bank, and I would like this Chamber to be alive to that reality. [Applause.]


Debate concluded.


Bill agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.




Order disposed of without debate.

Report adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Before we proceed to voting on the adoption of the report, perhaps the Minister could tell us, in a few words, what ``double taxation'' means.


The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Thank you for the opportunity, Chairperson.


Where companies have invested in more than one country, we need to ensure that, in order to stimulate such investment, these companies are not taxed double, premised on the double taxation agreement. Especially with changes in taxation laws around the world, where one shifts from source to residence, in terms of the residents' tax proposals which I, in fact, am dealing with in Parliament at the moment, South African firms have become transnational.


Assuming that a South African firm invests in the People's Republic of China, it would be taxed on its income here and would not be taxed in China as well. The agreement would allow for certain tax credits to be structured so that one can, in fact, allow firms to globalise.


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, hon Minister. I think we often forget that the public has an interest in some of these questions. That was a very useful explanation.


Debate concluded.


Report adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


The Council adjourned at 10:44.







National Council of Provinces:

1....... The Chairperson:


Message from National Assembly to National Council of Provinces:


Bills passed by National Assembly on 6 October 2000 and transmitted for concurrence:


(1) Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure Bill [B 53B - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 75) - (Select Committee on Public Services - National Council of Provinces).


(2) African Renaissance and International Co-operation Fund Bill [B 65B - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 75) - (Select Committee on Economic Affairs - National Council of Provinces).




National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:




1....... The Speaker and the Chairperson:


(1) Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 1 - President for the period 1 April to 31 May 1999 [RP 110-2000].


(2) Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of the South African Wool Board for 1996-97 [RP 150-2000].


2....... The Minister for Public Enterprises:


Report and Financial Statements of Denel (Pty) Ltd for 1998-99.



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