Hansard: JS (HYBRID): Resumption of debate on President’s State-of-the-nation Address
House: Joint (NA + NCOP)
Date of Meeting: 17 Feb 2021
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2021
PROCEEDINGS AT HYBRID JOINT SITTING
Watch video here: HYBRID JOINT SITTING
Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces assembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 14:01.
The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
RESUMPTION OF DEBATE ON THE PRESIDENT’S STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President, David Mabuza, hon Speaker ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is the Deputy today! [Laughter.]
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon Deputy
Speaker, the future of our country is directly linked to our actions and inactions against corruption. The world is littered all over with failed democracies which were once a beacon of hope for their nationals. But corruption trickled into those societies and they descended into the abyss.
It is out of these lessons that our Constitution was drafted.
Hon members, as a point of departure, I wish to thank hon Manamela for sweeping clean yesterday. [Interjections.] Thanks to his sterling work yesterday, I now speak on a clean floor. [Laughter.] Hon Manamela, you are indeed looking at the stars.
Our challenges are not insurmountable. The rule of law has always been the language of resistance of the ANC. As far back as 1923, Alfred Xuma, Pixley ka Seme and George Montsioa, the founders of the SA Native Congress, advocated for the ANC policy which demanded an unbiased judicial system, and equal application of the laws of the country without regard to race or creed.
In 1941, the now-referred-to ANC with the assistance of Prof Z K Matthews developed the African Bill of Rights in response to what was then called the African Claims documents. These very same notions developed further into the Freedom Charter and the Ready to Govern document of the ANC.
Therefore, it is no surprise that when the ANC set guidelines for what should find expression in our democraric Constitution, those guidelines were highly influenced by those documents.
This year marks a significant milestone for our constitutional democracy. In particular, 10 December 1996, when President Nelson Mandela signed the Constitution into law. This was 25 years ago.
On that occasion President Cyril Ramaphjosa said the following: “May this moment be remembered as a milestone of the struggle for a just and a free South Africa.”
Standing on the same podium, President Mandcela said —
As we close this chapter of exclusion and heroic struggle, we re-affirm our determination to build a society of which each of us can be proud South Africans, as Africans and as citizens of the world.
He continued to say —
This is our national soul, our compact with one another as citizens, underpinned by our highest aspirations and our deepest apprehensions.
That was President Mandela on the signing of the Constitution into law.
From that moment onwards, our country was set firmly on an irreversable path towards a society deeply rooted in a constitutional democracy in which the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The Constitution and the rule of law are sacrosanct components of our democracy. People in this country must respect these principles. To allow anything else would lead to anarchy and easily open the floodgates to a counter-revolution.
In the Constitution, we proclaim that all individuals, all organisations within South Africa, whether public or private, are bound by and are entitled to the benefits of the laws that are prospectively promulgated and publicly administered by our courts.
Crime and corruption have permeated every sphere of our society. Citizens are tired of having to pay tjotjo for government services like a driver’s licences, or to be put at the front of the queue.
We all want to walk freely in communities without any fear of falling victim to criminality.
On the other hand, stories of corporate South Africa scamming or enriching themselves off complicated schemes at the expense of the poor are becoming more prevalent. There is no doubt in our mind that confidence in the criminal justice system will be restored when corruption in the private sector is pursued with the same zeal as it is done in the public sector.
It is in this regard that we are empowering the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, the Hawks and all law enforcement
agencies to have the capacity to deal with the corruption and criminality in the private sector.
While we learn to co-exist and diminish the destructiveness of COVID-19, there is no question that we cannot co-exist with corruption in our communities and the state as a whole. Acts in the realm of bribery, embezzlement, nepotism and the abuse of public power for principally private material or political gain detract from the society we seek to construct.
The Zondo Commission shows us that a democracy is ultimately held together by citizens and civil servants alike who commit to the rule of law in their daily lives. There are those in our ranks who refuse to let anarchy and the flood-gates of counter-revolution prevail.
We applaud all South Africans who have thus far co-operated with the work of the commission. The commission is very important for our constitutional democracy. It will help us renew our nation, find our moral compass and build a society free of corruption.
Justice must prevail no matter who is involved. We are a democratic country and we will not compromise the gains we have made thus far.
The first black American President, Barack Obama, said that one of the challenges of a democratic government is making sure that even in the midst of emergencies and passions, the rule of law and the basic prescripts of justice and liberty prevail.
Hon members, one of the issues President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned in his state of the nation address is the need to build strong institutions that are able to withstand the difficulties of society. Such institutions will enable us to move forward and renew our society.
As such, a capable and ethical state is at the centre of improving human welfare and addressing social challenges.
It should therefore come as no surprise that an anti- corruption strategy is at the core of our developmental trajectory. Firstly, law enforcement agencies, including the National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks, are being
capacitated both financially and from a human resource perspective to enable them to do their work.
Secondly, the establishment of the Special Tribunal has enhanced the Special Investigating Unit, SIU’s ability to recoup funds embezzled from the state. We applaud the SIU for their biggest recovery to date — and amount of R1,5 billion — from ABB South Africa.
Thirdly, The Auditor-General’s reports have been given teeth. They are investigative in nature. We have given the Auditor- General mechanisms to refer their findings to law enforcement.
Fourthly, civil service reforms are under way. The Professionalisation of the Public Service Framework has been published for public comment. We hope that everyone will make their inputs to ensure that we have a framework that enables and entrenches a meritocratic civil service.
Fifthly, the implementation of our National Anti-corruption Strategy will bring together civil society, the private sector and government to monitor implementation. The National Advisory Council on Anti-corruption will be operational for
two years and will ensure that all the components of the multi-disciplinary agency are put together whilst reporting to Parliament on its progress.
To date, the Fusion Centre that has been brought together to co-ordinate issues that relate to COVID-19 maladministration or corruption has, since its inception, handled 231 cases or incidents related to COV1D-19. Thirty cases were closed after investigation and 31 accused persons are appearing in 14 criminal cases in courts across the country. The lies of those who say there are no arrests are exposed by these cases. Work is being done and corruption is being tackled head on.
An amount of R145,6 million in 72 bank accounts has been blocked by the Financial Intelligence Centre, FIC. An amount of R192 million has been preserved by the Asset Forfeiture Unit through the Prevention of Organisation Crime Act. The Special Investigative Unit has to date enrolled cases in the Special Tribunal to the value of R365 million and has to date saved R124 million involving supply chain irregularities. The SA Revenue Service recovered R165 million in taxes using the Revenue Service’s empowering legislation. More than 12
referrals were sent to various departments for disciplinary actions for employees involved in irregularities.
It is therefore a lie that no action that has been taken against those who were found to have committed irregularities during the COVID-19 disaster period. Government is tackling head-on whoever has been involved, whether it is an official in a department ... [Applause.] ... whether it is people in the private sector ... Whoever you are, you are being followed.
An independent judiciary is a cornerstone of our constitutional democracy. Attacks, allegations and conspiracies against the judiciary can erode the confidence of society in the judiciary if not followed up with facts and conclusive investigations. There must not be spurious allegations against the judiciary. There is nothing wrong with giving fair criticism against judgments and against decisions of the judiciary. But such criticisms must be informed by facts and not conspiracies.
The Democratic Alliance has no moral standing to speak about corruption. In Tshwane, the Public Protector found that people
with no required qualifications have been placed in positions of immense responsibility. In the City of Johannesburg, the DA will never recover from the chaos which was visited upon it by the DA-led administration under Herman Mashaba. In George, the former mayor faces corruption charges.
I have a long list. In the interest of time ... [Interjections.] It is a lot of them, hon Steenhuisen, who are at the level of your qualification who are appointed without the required qualifications, with nepotism, with all kinds of maladministration across the country. [Interjections.] [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Sorry, hon Minister. Hon members, please keep the noise levels at the lowest ... [Interjections.] No, no, no, ntate! I am trying to appeal to you to be quiet; you want to scream even more! Please lower your voice a little bit.
Go ahead, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: I
understand the temper of hon ... [Inaudible.]
An HON MEMBER: Can the Minister lower his ironies, please!
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: I
understand the temper of hon Steenhuisen. It hits home when we speak about people being appointed without qualifications. [Interjections.]
While it is tempting for the opposition to play to the gallery and opportunistically turn a blind eye...
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Point of order!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Minister, just hold on. Yes, hon Steenhuisen, on what point are you rising?
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Deputy Speaker, the hon member on the podium has just cast aspersion on my personal nature, and I would like to ask him what makes me unqualified to be sitting in this House in the position where I am today.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you are debating an issue.
That’s not a point of order.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Point of order, Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes?
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: The point of order is that he says that I am not qualified to be a Member of Parliament. [Interjections.] That is exactly what he said.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable ... [Interjections.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Maybe we should do an audit of all the ... [Inaudible.] ... on your benches!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, do not do what you are doing now! You are out of order! [Interjections.] No, no, no! You can’t act in the manner that you are doing now. If you are disgruntled, you know what you must do. You can’t just jump on the table and make the noise you are making. No, no, no! No, no, no! We will read the Hansard. [Interjections.] We will do it here.
Go ahead, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon Deputy
Speaker, I did not say what the hon Steenhuisen says I said.
While it is tempting for the opposition to play to the gallery and opportunistically turn a blind eye to the gains that this government has made, the reality is that, under President Ramaphosa, government continues to triumph over adversity. No more is impunity allowed to reign. [Time expired.] [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members of the DA, I plead with you. If you are unhappy with what the Minister has said, don’t you yourselves break the Rules. It is not proper what you are saying. [Interjections.]
No, look at what you are saying!
Jy sit woorde in my mond as ek praat.
Please be orderly. [Interjections.] Do you see what your problem is? You speak even as we are addressing you, in complete contempt of the Rules!
I think I have to deal with this issue that you are raising now, and you are absolutely despicable in your conduct. [Interjections.] This is despicable. Your conduct is out of order. [Interjections.] You can’t be talking even as I am talking, hon Steenhuisen!
Wat gaan aan met jou? [Tussenwerpsels.]
No, he ... [Interjections.]
Hon Mazzone, what point are you rising on?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy Speaker, I’m rising on a point of order. I would like to ask that the utterances made by Minister Manamela about the qualifications of Mr Steenhuisen are noted in the Hansard. It must then be brought to your office for you to read and then make a ruling.
In conjunction with that, Deputy Speaker, I would like to ask that a very clear document is drafted to be given to the ... [Inaudible.] ... that the Table staff also drafts a document that describes exactly what the qualifications are as required by the Constitution to be a Member of Parliament, and which is then read out by the Presiding Officer in the House. Thank you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, order! Allow me to rule on this matter. [Inaudible.] There is a problem here. There is an echo. The technology ... [Interjections.] [Inaudible.]
No, no, no! Don’t sabotage the process. I am also going to rule on both of you, hon Mazzone and hon Steenhuisen, and what you have said in the course of this discussion. I was hoping to warn you, but you chose to ignore what I was trying to help you with. You have now asked me to do something. I am going to do something about it, and I will come back to the House tomorrow. [Applause.]
Ms T A KHANYILE: Hon Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the official Opposition, hon John Steenhuisen, Mr President, today I stand in this august House representing South African
citizens from all corners of our country. Mr President, I listened to your speech last week and I wondered which country you were talking about. On 23 February 2020 you were in Standerton and you were seen by members of the community – this, following a number of motions that were brought to this House by the DA bringing to your government attention the horrible living conditions they are subjected to.
Our people, as you would refer to them, were very excited, some even posted pictures posing with you on their social media platforms, captioned the “New Dawn”. Do you know what brought that excitement? Because like many South Africans from east to west and north to south who are living under ANC-led municipalities, they thought their pleas have finally been heard - that just maybe, after seeing with your own eyes the horrible living conditions they are subjected to, you will finally take action against those responsible for their misery. Little did they know that you came all the way just to pose for pictures. You drove over the deep potholes in every street of Standerton and yet you posed for pictures. Gogo Motloung passed away in her house because of the rain. The ambulance couldn’t drive on the wet, slippery road in
Rooikoppen and paramedics refused to go into her house, yet you posed for pictures.
The farmers of Jonkersdam do not have access to a reliable electricity supply which places their lives at risk, and the municipality is refusing to give them permission to get electricity direct from Eskom, yet you chose to pose for pictures. Lekwa Municipality is amongst the top ten municipality culprits not paying Eskom debt and one of the top ten worst performing municipalities, and yet you chose to pose for pictures.
People of Umkhanyakude in KwaZulu-Natal ... [Interjections.]
... do not have access to water and your government wants to build smart cities. Is your government ...
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: bathe eminye yemisebenzi kamasipala.
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Sicela uthule, uvale umlomo wakho, ulalele lomuntu okhulumayo la ngaphakathi.
Please! Go ahead, hon member.
Ms T A KHANYILE: Thank you Deputy Speaker. People of Umkhanyakude in KwaZulu-Natal do not have access to water and your government wants to build smart cities. Is your government planning to move along with all these plans and leave everyone behind? In your speech you said and I quote, “Progress is being made on several major water infrastructure projects.” While you are preparing for your smart city, be reminded today that the people of Umkhanyakude are drinking water from the river with the animals, while they walk pass the Jozoni Dam every day. This is the government you are presiding over.
You have also mentioned that you have launched two major human settlement projects that will house 68 000 households, yet you said nothing about the embarassing tin shack costing government R2,4 million launched by Premier Stan Mathabatha in Limpopo - to date he remains a premier. When you took office, you told South Africans that you are bringing the “New Dawn”, unfortunately in this new dawn the sun does not rise but it stays in dawn.
Let me tell you about the DA difference. A DA-led government would form a Ministry and department of spatial planning and service delivery. This new Ministry and department would have a multifaceted mandate. It would firstly be tasked with providing a range of adequate housing opportunities to those who are unable to do so for themselves.
Secondly, it would be charged with reconceptualising the way our cities work using modern spatial design that promotes integration and inclusivity. This would also entail creating spaces within our cities, including public spaces, which deconstruct apartheid city planning. Finally, it will ensure improved service delivery, including access to and the quality of water and sanitation, which would be a central mandate of the Ministry.
Mr President, not so long ago you summoned us to a Joint Sitting and promised that R6 billion will be reprioritised for the emergency action plan against gender-based violence. You further announced to set up a Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Council. This was promised in 2019 and in 2020, those were empty promises. To date there is still no council currently in operation. Even though the Domestic Violence and
Sexual Offences Act is meant to impose strict bail conditions, a former ANC MEC was released on R20 000 bail on charges of allegedly raping his twin daughters. This is the kind of government you are presiding over. In September 2020, the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Command Centre alone recorded more than 120 000 victims in the first three weeks of lockdown, while your Minister of the SAPS was chasing alcohol and beachgoers.
Mr President, if you were serious about ending gender-based violence and femicide you would have announced that Gender- Based Violence and Femicide Council be set up immediately. Last year I stood here and told you that Amahle Thabethe from Springs has been missing since April 2019 and to this day she hasn’t been found. But what makes matters worst is that Makhosazane Sinqobile Ndhlovu from Sakhile, who is 22 years of age, went missing on 12 January 2021 and we later referred her case to the office of National Commissioner on 25 January for their intervention.
Mr Ramaphosa, when we follow up on the progress of the case, we are always told the SAPS has a new lead and have applied for another section 205 your government is stalling. At this
pace it will take us forever as a country to find our missing women. The longer Makhosazane remains missing, there are higher chances that we may not find her alive. This is the government you are presiding over. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Thatha Angel, thatha!
USEKELA SOMLOMO: Sello, sicela ungayenzi leyonto. Ungaphine uyenze lento oyenzayo.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION: Hon
Deputy Speaker, Mr President, the Deputy President and hon members of this House, I would like to address myself first and foremost to the hon Khanyile. I understand the problem that you have in the community of Umkhanyakude that you talked about. My question is: What did you do about it? Nothing. Well I can tell you that if you want to understand how people are suffering in this country, come to the Western Cape. Hon Khanyile, you can go and assist them.
Hon Deputy Speaker, can you protect me from this noise.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, hon members.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION:
Comrade Deputy Speaker, nothing has confirmed the centrality of water in our lives more than the COVID-19 scourge. The pandemic has highlighted the challenges of water and sanitaion in South Africa. And the stark devide between the rich represented somewhere and the poor represented by ourselves here.
The first thing that we were required to do was to wash our hands for 20 seconds regularly. In a country still trapped in huge unjust disparities this seemed an imposible task. We were driven to think beyond the normal and created a water distribution network that would allow all round the country to respond appropriately to the pandemic.
In partnership with the water boards and the municipalities, we embarked on a roll out of emergency water provision to the most disadvanted areas still trapped in poverty. We managed to get beyond our expectation and I am extremely proud of the team we established for this effort. We were able to affirm
the fact that water is a public good in the most practical way.
The challenges still facing the country however, is that providing sustainable water to everybody is something that we should all attend to. However, that was a temporary intervention that we were involved in. The huge disperaties still remains everyday. Our most responsibility is to ensure that this right reaches every citizen in our country.
On assumption of this responsibility, one the first things that we had to do was to conclude a very comprehensive water sanitation masterplan for the country which was launched on
19 November 2019. It has been on our website allowing all to read and understand. We urge all of you, please to read it and provide us with your comments.
We have since had very good inputs from various sectors including very successful decent meetings with representatives of various agricultural unions. To my amazement we all agree on the concept of and I qoute, “Water for all” Which will hencefourth be the title the clarion call of this masterplan. This is our attempt at redressing the disperaities of our
past, giving direction of where we are going and ensuring that the disadvantaged are given priority.
I am gratefull to all those who contributed to our masterplan in various meetings. It has been done in the shortest possible time and very conscious that large sections of of our people in the rural areas go without water for weeks. Further entrenching the devide between those who have and those who do not have and we could each continous.
We regard our masterplan as a transformation charter. As part of the masterplan, now called “Water for all,” that we have adopted a section of the National Development Plan which indicates the need of a creation of National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency has been put on the table. This is the agency that the President referred to in His state of the nation address last week. The primary objective of the agency is to sustain and improve the performance of all stractegically important water supplies systemes in the regions where water security is increasingly at risk.
The agency will be responsible for amongst other things the provision of water for all in the country in the most
equitable manner making sure that ordinary citezins have access to sufficient clean water. The economy should have sufficient water that it is functional and continues to expand and lastly further support the vision of universal degnified sanitation.
The primary responsibility of the agency is to ensure that quality water and sanitation is available to all South Africans and there is guarantee of water sustainability for the economy. In this regard the agancy will work with municipalities and water boards, financial institutions and the agricultural community and other sector institutions such as mining. This process will bring together some of the sectors strongest capabilities in a single government-owned entities.
The legislation to establish the National Water Resource Infrastrure Agency mentioned by the President. I am sure the President will be glad to hear this that the legislation around this has been completed and has been put to the House for tabling very soon. The agency witll strengthen the ability of the water sector to find and build, operate large water resource project on which South Africa depends for its water
security. This forms part of the President’s Infrastructure Investment pipeline worth R340 billion. It will function very much along the lines of the National Road Network Agency, SA National Road Agency Limited, Sanral. But of course without the boots that have cost so much hooha!
This is a much needed entity to ensure that our aiging infrastructure is properly maintained and that most farflang places of our country enjoy the benefits of clean water and that you and I enjoy on a daily basis.
After 26 years of democracy, it is comletely unacceptable to still have the class of race devide in access to water. Access to water is a basic right. Our people in farflang villages wait for the day when they can turn on the tap and receive clean water for drinking that we take for granted on an everyday basis.
The President has also indicated the government’s concern about the delaying issuing water licences. We have taken not and we have put a programme in place to improve our systems. While we might have taken three years to grant the President his water licence it now takes us 70 to 90 days to provide any
applicant who applies for this. Whether is the hon Holomisa or the hon Meshoe or the hon Naledi Pandor or even my uncle in the rural areas, they can put us to test and see if this is the case.
Eleven of the infrastructure projects already promulgated through the Government Gazzete are water projects ranging from new dams, to irrigation systems we have successfully turned around most of our water boards with the result that 80% of our boards that already being attended to have received unqualified audit outcomes. This is a welcome break that should receive public confidence in our water boards.
Our department is turning around slowly. We have now a fullyfledged desciplinary committee working hard on our problems especially on corruption. The committee is chaired by the former member of the executive encampassing esteamed legal minds including retired members of the judiciary which would focus on the investigations, maladministration, fraud and corruption, audit findings and any other misconduct related matters.
Outstanding investigations and disciplinary cases are also being investigated and we are attending to a backlog of cases that have been identified both by the , Auditor-General, AG, and the Public Service Commissioner.
We are winning our legal cases one at a time as a result our zero tolarance for corruption is becaming part of our culture and the Minister of Finance will no longer refer to us as a bankrapt department.
The COVID-19 pandemic helped us find innovative ways of distributing water to the most distressed areas and the project which is successfully ran from the Randwater will be now focussing on ensuring that the tanks that are being installed in the public places will now be taken to those areas that are most vulnerable to ensure that for the meantime they have water untill we can find the ways of getting allour systems in place and make sure that they have water at their taps.
In all we do we seek to ensure that we are going to put 30% and more of our women contractors because traditionally fetching water from the river has been a woman’s
responsibility. In fact if we could we would like to make 80% of those people who are working on water women. However we are still stuck on 30%. We have engaged with those who have in the past who have our infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal Amadelangokubona and we have some agreement with them they have stopped the mischieve and we understand their griviences and we hope they will nolonger continue to disrupt our work.
Chairperson, I frequently receive letters from desparate public members complaining of lack of water or sanitation services. I asked hon members here to take up the responsibilities as Members of Parliament to assist our people. These services are municipal responsibilities. Please help the municipalities in your constituencies so that our people receive these services. We from our part will ensure that municipalities have enough access to clean water.
Over and above that help our people understand that apart from the indegent, citezens are required to pay for their water usage to enable municipalities to settle their bills with the water baords. Each one of us belongs to a community including the hon Khanyile, serviced by a municipality and we need to teach our people to look after our infrastructure.
Vandalism is the major cause of disfanctionality of our water waste treatment plants. This must stop and hon members must ensure that this message is communicated to all our communities. We regularly finding sewage running down the street because someone has stolen a prescious element of our waste water treatment plants. Today despite heavy rains we are really greatful. Thank you very much. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Manana B MATHEVULA: Mutshamaxitulu, xosungula ndzi rhandza ku xeweta Maafrika-Dzonga hinkwawo etindhawini hinkwato to hambanahambana leti va hi yingiselaka va ri kona. Ndzi ri eka n’wina, xewani.
... and also extend my greetings to the president and commander in chief of the EFF, under whose brave leadership we are able to stand up and forcefully affirm the rights of the dejected, the marginalised, the exploited and the oppressed.
It is for these people that the EFF exists and it is for them that we speak, Mr President.
The state of the nation address that we are debating today is your fourth, sir, since you took over from Mr Zuma, promising the nation a new dawn, free of violence against women and children; a dawn filled with hope for the development and emancipation of the marginalised, in particular women.
However, it is under your leadership that we have observed the intensification of the oppression of women, violence perpetrated against children and the utter disdain for the rights of the elderly and the disabled.
It was your Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu, who ordered the police in Bellville, Cape Town, to disperse the elderly and the disabled with canon water as they were waiting to renew their grants at the office of the SA Social Security Agency.
It is your Minister of Public Service and Administration Senzo
Mchunu, who has been reported to have used his authority to seek sexual favours from a subordinate at the ANC’s headquarters. And, when this was ... [Inaudible.] ... he fired the woman whom he wanted sexual favours from.
It is your Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga, who recently told learners that educated men ... [Inaudible.] ... and therefore cannot rape, reducing the crime of rape ... [Inaudible.] ... propped up by patriarchy.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member? Hon Mathevula?
Ms B MATHEVULA: Yes Chair?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just wait a minute. There’s a point of
order in the House. Yes, what is that hon member?
Mr B A RADEBE: Thank you hon Deputy Speaker. I’m rising on two points of order. Firstly, the speaker on the virtual platform has referred to the Minister of Public Service on first name terms. Secondly, she has cast aspersions against a Minister without providing a substantive motion. Can you rule on that?
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Chairperson, on a point of order: Deputy Speaker, while I may not agree with the speaker on the platform on many things, what she specifically did was to mention that he was the Minister of Public Service and Administration, and she said, reportedly. Now, those are
allegations in the public domain, and she said reportedly. She did not say it as a matter of fact. Now, that is not a point of order and hon Radebe heard that as well.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, there is a contest between what was said. Allow us to look at Hansard and come back to rule on both issues.
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Deputy Speaker, but he cannot call a point of order ... [Inaudible.] ... a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no, it’s okay. I accept that, but you should also accept that I will deal with both of them. [Interjections.]
O a bona jwale Masego o batla re tantshe empa re le mosebetsing. [Ditsheho.]
Robert, please be orderly man. Just keep your music to yourself for today.
Tswela pele, Mme.
Manana B MATHEVULA: Ndza khensa Mutshamaxitulu.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Mathevula, please recognise the Rules of the House and the language as you proceed. I just want to emphasise that we must not make any missteps along the way, even as you proceed. Go ahead, ma’am.
Manana B MATHEVULA: Ndza khensa, Mutshamaxitulu. Swi twarile.
If toxic attitudes like this exist at the highest echelons of power in the government that you lead Mr Ramaphosa, then what hope is there for the many women, like the 27-year-old who was doused with petrol after being accused of witchcraft in Durban last November, or the 80-year-old woman who was killed and also accused of the same in Nkomazi in Mpumalanga in January. It is this kind of mentality that explains why today, almost a
year after the Commission for Gender Equality tabled a report on the forceful sterilisation of women, nothing has been done to make those responsible account for their crimes. This is the kind of administration that you are presiding over, Mr President; an administration that is by all intents and purposes, expressly antiwomen.
On New Year’s Eve this year, a 92-year-old woman was raped in a house in Kestell in the Free State. Since then, many women, young and old, have been raped and they suffer in silence because society has normalised the violation of women’s rights in this country. It is not uneducated or uncivilised men who perpetrate crimes, Minister Motshekga. It is men of all races and all classes. They do this because society gives men ... [Inaudible.] ... privileges, including the privilege to feel entitled to our vaginas. They are emboldened to do this bacause our criminal justice system is a joke; a very bad joke for many women in this country.
Year in and year out we shout the loudest here about the ill- readiness of many police stations to deal with gender-based violence-related complaints. We have long argued here that no woman who goes to a police station to report domestic violence
should be sent back home vulnerable, until the perpetrator has been arrested. We have argued that once a case of domestic violence has been opened, this case must not be withdrawn before it is heard in court. Each police station must have a sexual violence unit equipped with social workers amd well- trained investigators. We have argued that there needs to be better capacity within the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that cases of gender-based violence are successfully prosecuted ... [Inaudible.] ... judiciary; one that is ... in to the culture of women emancipation ... [Inaudible.] ... that is able to ... [Inaudible.] ... against women.
In your state of the nation address sir, you forgot that the biggest pandemic facing the majority of citizens of this country ... is women ... is the violence unleashed upon them by men.
May the women of this country never forgive you for your dereliction of duty in failing to lead them and to act decisively for their protection. “ Ndza khensa, Mutshamaxitulu” [Thank you, Chairperson].
THE MEC FOR HEALTH: LIMPOPO (Dok P C Ramathuba):
Mutshamaxitulu, xi nga va xi ri xihoxo loko hi nga sunguli hi ku khensa1 200 ya vatirhi...[Nkavanyeto.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, what are you rising on? Don’t rush to make rulings on my behalf. There is a request for sorting out interpreting, and it has been sorted out. I just wanted to say that to the members. Generally speaking, leave rulings to the Chair. You won’t make a mistake.
THE MEC FOR HEALTH: LIMPOPO (Dok P C Ramathuba):
Mutshamaxitulu, xi nga va xi ri xihoxo loko hi nga sunguli hi ku khensa 1 0200 ya vatirhi va swa rihanyu eka tiko ra hina ra Afrika-Dzonga. Hi vukorhokeri bya vona vatirhi lava va veka vutomi bya vona ekhombyeni siku rin’wana na rin’wana. Hi mpfhuka xa siku ra 05 Nyenyankulu n’wexemu vatirhi va swa rihanyu hi vona vasirheleri va xiviri va tiko eka nyimpi yo lwa na vuvabyi bya khorona.
Hi mpfhuka ntungu wu sungurile vatirhi lava a va wisi naswona
a va byi tivi vurhongo. Van’wana va vona vo tlula 40 000 va
tluleriwile hi vuvabyi bya khorona. Vo tala va ponile, kambe van’wana va 663 va lahlekeriwile hi vutomi bya vona. Onge mimoya ya vona yi nga etlela hi ku rhula! Hikwalaho, muchaviseki, hi khensa migingiriko ya n’wina ya ku sungula ku tlhavela vatirhi lava.
Mutshamaxitulu, ndzi pfumeleli ndzi hundzisa marito yo chavelela eka mindyangu leyi yi loveriweke hi varhandziwa va vona hikwalaho ka vuvabyi bya khorona. Kufika sweswi hi loveriwile hi kwalomu ka 40 000 wa vanhu. Ndzi rhandza ku hoyodzela Presidente wa hina, muchaviseki Tatan Cyril Ramaphosa – muposa misevhe - eka mbulavulo wa vona lowo xonga eka xiyimo xa tiko. Mbulavulo wa vona a wu ri lowo kongoma lowu hleriweke hi vukheta lebyikulu. Mbulavulo lowu a wu ri wa makombandlela. Na mina ndzi vula swona ndzi ri eka mitirho hinkwayo leyi hi nga langutana na yona tanihi vaakatiko, ku hava ntirho wu kulukumba wo tlula ntirho wa ku lwisana na xitsongwatsongwana xa khorona. Khorona yi xungeta rihanyu ra vaakatiko. Khorona yi kavanyeta mahanyelo na mitolovelo ya hina. Nakambe, khorona yi ninginisa ikhonomi ya tiko.
Hikwalaho, hi fanele hi khoma swi tiya tanihi vaakatiko hi pfunana ku lwa na ntungu lowu wa nsele wa khorona. Ntirho wa
ku lwa na khorona hi wona ntirho wa nkoka. I ntirho wa xihatla lowu faneleka ku endliwa namuntlha kambe ku nga ri mundzuku.
Hon President, your vision-laden state of the nation address on 11 February 2021, touched the hearts and minds of all and sundry. To borrow the words of William Shakespeare, I quote:
When sorrows come they do so not in spies but in battalions.
We all know the decimation inflicted upon our people by COVID-
19. Mr President, we have wept, we have mourned and we have buried and we are still doing. What’s now left is a lasting solution.
COVID-19 unlike, unlike any other pandemics that we have dealt with previously, is very brutal. It doesn’t care what position you hold within the society. It is not lenient to those whose size of pockets are reasonable. If there is one thing that it has taught us, is that as a nation we need to begin to do things differently and our approach towards the health system was changed.
Mr President, it is under your tutelage where we saw Cabinet approving for the first time the White Paper on the national health insurance, NHI. This is our own vehicle as a nation to achieve universal health care coverage. Hon Siboniseni Dlomo and his portfolio committee members had just, before we were attacked by this pandemic, already completed criss-crossing the country on a consultative process. They had just began considering submissions made by individuals and different stakeholders. The majority of our people were clear and South Africans were speaking in one voice that they said they want NHI. Unfortunately, COVID-19 hit us hard before achieving same
Hon Deputy Speaker, I’m quite sure those who were asking questions during this consultation period like why do you want to fix what is not broken and why tempering with private health care? They do have answers today. The coronavirus pandemic has once again reminded us as a nation of the urgency to build a public health system that is resilient and universally accessible. Our work in this regard must always be guided by an understanding that health is an essential public good and not an exclusive reserve for the rich.
COVID-19 has become the signal that we all awaiting and needed. Both sectors needs each other, and both sectors requires serious attention. In my province only 9% of the population can afford private health care while the rest of 91% is dependent on the public sector. But guess what! When we started to fight this pandemic we wrote a memorandum of understanding with the private sector so that in case our public sector because is underresourced and overburden and our beds become limited, we will transfer patients. But the opposite happened. The private sector failed to cope with the 9%. Many of our patients were referred to the public sector for beds. We can’t celebrate this. We are just confirming that we need to transform the entire health care system. COVID-19 is teling us that there is no good and there is no bad, but all of us are the same. We need that transformation. [Applause.]
COVID-19, unlike cholera, typhoid, TB, malaria and all other previous pandemics we dealt with previously, was focusing on us telling us that we need to speed up our health reform. It is through universal health care coverage that we will focus on principle of primary health care wherein preventative health care approach will be preferred compared to curative
health care. COVID-19 also demonstrated our weakness on this matter because to win the battle against COVID-19 we needed a lot of behavioral changes which is something that our people are not used to. The decisions you took as a result of you valuing lives of our people during all the stages of fighting the pandemic when we were dealing with all the levels of lockdown, were just some of the signs and symptoms that you are a caring Presidsent to the people of South Africa.
Mr President, today, you are taken to court day and night by some captains of industry because of greed. They are even threatening to withdraw their investments. But you did that because you were bold enough to prioritise South African lives compared to capital. You understand very well what it means for people to lose jobs, but you were saying we can still try to work hard towards recovering jobs lost, but the life lost can never be recovered. [Applause.]
Mr President, vaccination is another key way of achieving primary prevention. We want to correct the DA. Hon Gwarube, we should not continue, and we must stop misleading the nation. In the first place we must remind you that it is our own South African researchers who discovered the new variant,
the 501Y-V2. No one came from wherever or Europe to come and tell us that we have the new variant. The fact that it is called a South African variant does not mean that it is a real South African variant, but it means it was first discovered by South African scientists in South Africa. [Applause.]
Secondly, we want to remind you that the efficacy of the AstraZeneca is limited on this new variant. It is 22%. No one else came to come and tell us. We are the ones, our own scientists, who told the people of South Afroica that this vaccine has limitations in terms of that. You must stop misleading the nation. The expiring date is end of Apreil. And we are the one who told you that it is the end of April, and not anyone from anywhere. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Deputy Speaker, on a point of order. The expiry date is 13 April. Thank you.
THE MEC FOR HEALTH: LIMPOPO (Dok P C Ramathuba): Mr President, it is through the scientists that you, through our able and hard working Minister Khabzela Zweli Mkhize appointed them and you further gave them more space to perform their duties for the sake of the health of the nation. If it was about public
relation, PR, exercise as it was alleged yesterday, AstraZeneca would’ve find its space on the forearm of South Africans. But you kept true to your word that all protocols of safety and efficacy will be established first before any South African receive this vaccine. [Applause.] We are privileged to have the leadership that has positioned science in the forefront in this war. I want to say this without ambiguity that science will win this war for us. This is not time to be adventurous or take chances. This is time for evidence-based solutions, and nothing less
The DA further accused you of not giving a detailed vaccination plan of who will be vaccinated, when and where. Mr President, tell them you have us, the Thuma Mina brigades who will do that work. [Applause.] Your job is to tell South Africans that 67% of the nation will be vaccinated at the end of the day.
Again, the DA Chief Whip, hon Mazzone, because you don’t read and listen, you accuse the President of opening schools before any single teacher is vaccinated. This is a very dangerous statement. You are pitting workers against each other. Mr President, as evidence-based guided by the World Health
Organisation, WHO, and many other countries, you took a sober decision that we are going to start vaccinating health care workers. The reason being we have seen what this virus did in the second wave and we don’t want to repeat that during the third wave. If the third wave come and find our last line of defence, doctors nurses, who is there to defend you where all have failed. If doctors and the nurses are not vaccinated what will happen in the third wave? Mr President, you were very clear that Phase 2 willl look at essential workers starting with police, teachers, traffic cops and other frontliners and the first phase must deal with our health care workers so that should we get to the third wave our health care workers are not going to die. We have already lost 663 hesalth care workers. They are the ones who need to be protect first. Don’t pit workers against each other. Do you want to influence that teachers must stop going to school? You know your children go to private schools. Have those private schools been vaccinated? No! Private schools have not vaccinated their teachers too. We have agtreed as a nation and working with unions through the committee that is chaired by the Deputy President that all our frontliners will be vaccinated at Phase
2 and health care wotrkers will be vaccinated at Phase 1.
Hon, there is nothing that suggest that we are against the responsible use of African and traditional medicine. Of great concern we are worried about the abuse and the nonmeasured administration of those herbs. All of a suden everyone is qualified to...[Time expired.] [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! There will be order in the House, so that the hon Lekota can speak to us.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Mr President, members of the House. When the coronavirus pandemic exploded on our national scene, we were preoccupied with domestic issues, tensions and competitions amongst our parties and so on. Charges and counter charges of corruption and theft were plenty. Mr President, you then invited us as opposition parties to a consultation and to inform us that, a state of national disaster had come upon us and that, we needed to work together to defeat it.
As we are the patriotic nations the Second Worls War, we responded to the defence of the mother land. From Tuynhuys, we hastened to the Union Buildings to announce our resolve to stop drinking alcohol, to sanitise regularly and to reduce our
church services and other things to magnify the national effort. That was to be the end of our interaction.
With your National Coronavirus Command Council Commitee, from thereon you were to summon us to evening home fires to listen to stories, evening stories that you told us until we drowsed it away. The consultation to which we had been invited had ended.
The children have begun to come of age. They are drinking again and the elders, brothers and sisters are insisting on praying on Sundays. We have even heard you announce
MOTLATSI WA SEPIKARA: Ntate Lekota, nako ya hao e fedile.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Oh please man, it cannot be.
MOTLATSI WA SEPIKARA: E jwalo nako ena, e a kgukguna ntate.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Oh no that is all right. The rebellion
MOTLATSI WA SEPIKARA: Se ka tswela pele ntate. Se ka re ho lokile, o be o tswela pele. Ha o re ho lokile, o hle o tlohe moo, ho tle e mong.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Thank you Chair. I must just say that; the rebellion had begun.
Mr J J LONDT: Honourable President, Deputy Speaker and hon members, good afternoon. It is not often that we as politicians admit to fear or worry. There is this expectation that we should show strength and to lead the a way that inspires confidence and dare I say hope.
So hon President, coming from the Southern Cape, I will admit to you that I was a bit worried when you were announced as the Presidential candidate for the 2019 election. Not because of your track record you offered, or a record of firm and
decisive leadership, but something more powerful but also more dangerous, you offered people hope after years of mismanagement by your predecessor.
It didn’t matter that the Western Cape had a track record far better than any ANC government on any topic on almost any metric, you offered hope and that is dangerous. Since your election, we've heard countless promises and visions of hope from you, sweeping statements that tugs on the heartstrings, that allow us to daydream of a South Africa that can be. The risk in dealing with the currency of hope is that it is closely linked to credibility, a much more valuable commodity that takes years to earn and only moments to squander.
In your address almost a year ago regarding the then impending lockdown and plans on how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, you again tapped into your rhetoric of hope and a promise of swift, clear actions. South Africans came together. We bought into your promise that our health care services would be ready during the hard lockdown, that businesses would be supported, and individuals would have a safety net through additional support from government.
But, over the past year, your credibility has plummeted with every ridiculous lockdown regulation that got gazetted, with every business that closed the doors and with every single person that joined the lines of the unemployed. You and your party certainly have the Reverse Midas Touch. Your government has perfected the uncanny ability to make money disappear and get away with it.
When the DA points out these glarious obvious missteps, we get asked by the increasingly lazy commentariat what we would have done. The answer is quite simple, it is not what we would have done, it is what we have done. The example to follow is right here in the Western Cape, under the leadership of Alan Winde. There was the political will to follow honest, pragmatic and clear approach. Doing the basics well is not as easy as merely offering hopes and dreams. It takes months and years to build a solid reputation, but in the long run it is that reputation, and the political will and expertise, that carry you through.
Imagine if we had a national government that made decisions based on facts; decisions that benefitted the citizens and not the party elite. The Western Cape set the example in fighting not just a once in a lifetime pandemic, but also an
overzealous national government that do not care for their citizens.
How can you argue with the record where a province builds a state of the art hospital in six weeks? This extra 682 bed hospital with oxygen, gave Western Cape residents peace of mind when the numbers of infected rose. The examples of how Western Cape municipalities stepped up during the pandemic is commendable. When SA Social Security Agency, Sassa failed miserably in their mandate, DA councils like Swartland, Mosselbay, George and Saldanha Bay stepped in with feeding schemes and support packages, and together with private sector, fed hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable.
These municipalities showed they understand the burden of poverty many residents have to carry.
When children at the poorest schools were left without their only meal of the day, the ANC stepped away and the DA stepped up. Instead of supporting the DA Western Cape government, the ANC threatened with court action to try to stop us from looking after the most vulnerable.
There is a consequence of disciplined financial management build up over years; when the pinch hits, businesses close people lose their jobs or only get part of their salaries. Municipalities like Stellenbosch, Hessequa and Breede Valley to name a few, have the ability to relax their credit control for households and indigent households and support them during the crisis.
If ever we needed an example of how positive a more decentralized approach to government would be for South Africa, the Western Cape is the prime example. It delivered and it stepped up during the pandemic. It is time government moved away from managing everything centrally, because that approach has failed.
The chances that the ANC will take heed of the danger of dealing in hope and promises is basically nil, especially in a country like South Africa where the challenges we face can seem overwhelming at times. The hon MEC for Health in Limpopo is a clear example. I mean, you cannot even read the expiry date of a vaccine, I hope you read better when your milk expires. [Laughter]
Nonetheless, I want to thank you Mr President for you and your party’s continuous empty promises and pipe dreams that have lost their value. South Africans are starting to see the value of pragmatic, honest, hardworking governments. They are seeing the value of DA-led governments and I for one am looking forward to the next test of the electorate, where the DA record of actual delivery is measured up against the ANC record with its Reverse Midas Touch. I thank you. [Applause]
Mr S O R MAHUMAPELO: Hon Deputy Spesker, the collective presidium of the House, the collective of the NCOP, His Excellency the hon President of the Republic, and the collective of the Executive, fellow hon members of the first and the last line of defense on oversight, thinking masses of the Republic of South Africa and everybody else, good afternoon.
Motl Motlatsasebui, kgwedi e ne e le ya Moranang 1979 a tlhola malatsi a le marataro fa mmuso o o kokonang bathobantsho, mmuso wa dinwamadi, wag a motl Londt yo o fetsang go bua fano, ba ne ba tsaya kgoele ba kaletsa mosimane wa segatlhamelamasisi sa rona se se neng se lwanela setšhaba,
Kalushi Solomon Mahlangu, mme molaetsa wa gagwe o santse tshela le fa mmele wa gagwe ba o tseile, ke monopola ka sekgowa fa a ne a bua jaana ...
My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight.” I close quote. The essence of what Kalushi Solomon Mahlangu was saying is that, the protracted struggle of the people, has to culminate into a triumph of the people’s revolution. Among other things, the 1994 first democratic elections, represented a democratic breakthrough opportunity to advance towards the triumph of the people’s revolution.
Hon members, this means that, every state of the nation address, including the one we are debating today, every strategic priority, such as the four referred to by the President, takes us a step closer towards the realisation of the triumph of the people’s revolution. We must under no circumstances be under an illusion that the triumph of the people’s revolution, will happen like a bullet coming out of a gun.
It takes time and endless efforts because it is prosecuted under conditions of neither our choice nor liking, as the Corona virus has just taught us. The challenges we face, include economic decline, however, part of the solution is in Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, ERRP, giving practical impetus to the National Development Plan, NDP, which among other things, is aimed at building a firm foundation that will possibly take the economy back to the growth of around 5% which we experienced between 2004 and 2007.
Poverty, inequality and unemployment in the villages, the townships, the small dorpies and the informal settlements, continue to hover around 50% of our population, reflecting both the monumental impacts of neoapartheid colonialism and the concomitant concrete realities that the ANC government consistently tackles as part of deepening democracy. The solution in this regard, as President has emphasised, rests in the multipronged programs led by the government which can only succeed, if all as South Africans we work together in the spirit of saamwerk, saamtrek philosophy.
Hon Deputy Speaker, it is the wish of the political ideological pendulamists and the hypocrites, who are perpetual
beneficiaries of South Africa’s man-made skewed economic realities, that we must suffer from memory lapse syndrome, which will result is us forgetting ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, please switch off your mics, please. Hon Mpushe, switch off your mic, please. You’re not on the floor.
Mr S O R MAHUMAPELO: So, my seconds will come back, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: They were not taken in the first place. As soon as I started speaking, the watch stopped, and you didn’t notice it.
Mr S O R MAHUMAPELO: Okay.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please, Ntate.
Mr S O R MAHUMAPELO: ... that we must suffer from memory lapse syndrome, which will result into us forgetting the preamble of the South Africa’s Constitution, which says that we must deal with the injustices our past. This will never happen, because
future will judge us harshly. The reason why we have Broad- based Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE, embedded in our overall policy posture as the ANC, including in tourism, through mechanisms such as Tourism Equity Fund of R1,2 billion is because, South Africa’s racial realities, are sharply expressed through economic ownership, management and control of which, over 90% is in the hands of only about 10% of the population of South Africa, which happens to be white.
If we do not implement this policy, our principled task of creating a nonsexist South Africa, for which revolutionary frontline troopers such as Mme Sharlotte Maxeke were persecuted for, will be compromised and this will be tantamount to selling out. So, don’t confuse isolated misdemeanors in policy execution, with the essence of policy itself.
Batho ba ba tshwanang le motl Groenewalt le motl Londt, ke di ila kgaka dinwa moro. Ga ba rate ANC, mme fa go tsholwa, ke bone ba ntlha go ema mo moleng wa gore go tle go jewe. Ba tlwaetse fa rona batho ba ba ntsho re kopa mo go bona Ga re a tshwanela go ikemela ka borona. Fa melao ya gore ikonomi e
matlafatse batho ba bantsho e fetisiwa, le ya go tshwana le gore mafatshe a re boele jaaka batho ba ba ntsho, ba kokonelwa go ya go ile.
What one characterises as neoapartheid colonial greed, crime and corruption, is now embedded in our society. South Africans in general and our tourist visitors in particular, can see and appreciate the successes and all the inherent concomitant complexities which the ANC continues to confront in this regard. Massive infrastructure rollout pipeline of
R340 billion without which sectors such as tourism will find it difficult to survive, is reflected and very succinct in the state of the nation address.
Telecommunications infrastructure network, which includes digitisation as a key catalyst in economic development, is one of the key areas of the ANC government to create jobs, develop skills, and ease efforts commerce in general. Like red and white blood cells in our bodies, they are interrelated and in perpetual motion. Everything we do as a country, is interrelated because, no economy is constructed, grown and sustained through compartmentalisation.
By this hon President and hon members, we mean that, on a continuous basis, master the art of ensuring that there is interconnectedness, effectiveness and harmony across all the spheres of government. Hon Deputy Speaker, in the final analysis, what happened in 1994, is only the representation of necessary breakthrough towards the collective struggle to achieve the people’s triumph of the revolution and that shall one day assist us to achieve our long-term strategic goal of building a national, democratic society which Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu was brutally executed for by the apartheid regime.
Mr D W MACPHERSON: Mr President, in your campaign to lead the ANC in South Africa, you potrayed yourself as the successful businessman who would turnaround the sinking economy. Your business credentials were impressive. You’re incredibly rich, so, it seemed a believable story. However, in reality, every single metric from economic growth to unemployment, has worsened under your Presidency.
You can blame COVID-19 all you want, but we know the truth is that the pendemic only accelerated the decline that has started long before last year. The truth is that you are
failing, and appear to know not the first thing about running a company. It’s more expensive to do business in South Africa than ever before. We are less competitive on every measure, because of the relentless hold the state has on water, electricity, roads and railways.
The only answer is to open up competition in all of these areas, because the private sector can do it better, cheaper and create jobs. Master plans alone would not save manufacturing or industry for as long as they seek to protect primary indusrty players, like Arcelor Mittal, at the expense of hundreds of thousands of jobs in down stream sectoctrs. Why do you want to protect Johannesburg Stock Exchange, JSE, listed poultry producers who have posted multi-billion profits over hard working people who want to buy affordable chicken?
On investment, we are falling way behind our sub-Saharan competition who only saw 11% decline in foreign investment compared to our 46% decline last year. But what do you expect when you continue to push for investment killing policies like expropriation without compensation and prescribed assets? The last two lockdowns were used as blunt instruments to shut down
the economy because your health department failed to build extra hospital capacity.
Businesses across the country have collapsed because of this incompetence. And how did you approach their cries for help, Mr President? You simply ignored them. The CEO of Consol, Mike Arnold, said in the Business Day regarding the third alcohol ban on alcohol, and I quote: “What we’ve done consistently throughout this period is we’ve formally written to COGTA, the DTI and the President’s office. There has been no response”.
He went on to conclude that he doesn’t think anyone has an idea of what they are doing.
But the worst came from Fiona Brooke-Leggatt, who represents the Private Charter Passenger Association. Since May 2020, they have attempted to engage the Presidency, the Minister of Tourism, the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Trade and Industry, the Director-General of Transport and Director- General of Trade and Industry, but not one single person, including yourself, has bothered to respond to them.
Mr President, we now know that State Capture was enabled on two fronts, cadre deployment and BBBEE masquerading as broad-
based empowerment. In truth, and you would know first-hand, BEE has been used as an ANC front to reward and empower the politically connected, over and over again. More black South Africans are unemployed than ever before. Inequality for black South Africans is greater than it has ever been, not because BEE has not been “intensified” enough, its precisely because of BEE that they are locked out of opportunities which are solely reserved for the politically-connected elite.
That’s why it was frankly grotesque that you saw fit to see the rollout of vaccines as a business opportunity for BEE companies at an ANC business forum meeting. That you would see death and suffering as an avenue to make money for the politically connected, speaks exactly to what the ANC has become: a predatory syndicate that will exploit the poor and marginalised to deepen the pockets.
An assigning race as a proxy for disadvantage has not moved the needle on economic disadvantage one bit. Fellow South Africans, our economy does not have to be one of insiders and outsiders. Your government should listen to you when you write to them and they should always put your best interests first.
They should only ever draw up policies and laws that make it more competitive for your business to function, not less.
That is why the DA is committed to a program of reform. We will table Private Member’s Bill that will deal with the ease of doing business, that will cut red-tape and see meaningful empowerment based on economic need and not the proximity to politicians. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION:
Deputy Speaker, Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Mr President, hon Deputy President and hon members, I wish to begin by expressing our deepest condolences to all those who have lost family and loved ones in the crisis of COVID-19. I join the MEC for Health of Limpopo in her thanks to thousands of health care workers who have sacrificed like family and circumstance to protect our nation.
Mr President your address last Thursday was both candid and honest in its assessment of our current challenges and bold in its articulation of policy and goals geared to moving our country to a prosperous, just and democratic state.
We therefore welcome this forward-looking state of the nation address and will, as DIRCO, continue to work hard to ensure that we contribute to driving the South African agenda of building a more progressive, equitable global order based on respect for multilateralism and human solidarity.
We remain committed to a better South Africa, a better Africa and to the reform of global institutions of governance and global equity; the promotion of international human rights; upholding the principles of international law; supporting conflict resolution and reconciliation through dialogue; and focusing on transitional justice and the rights of victims.
This is why, Mr president, during your service as African Union chair, we devoted close attention to the cause of the people of Palestine and the struggle of the people of Saharawi. The return of the United States to the community of nations has pointed to the emerging signals of more positive attention to these struggles and we shall pay close attention. We hope you will be able to work with the new United States administration to ensure positive progress, including for us in Africa and particularly for the people of Libya.
Nothing has illustrated our commitment to Africa more than the positive role South Africa has played in supporting the continent in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As chair of the African Union, AU, you gave life to a most impactful co-ordinated African response to COVID-19 and I am not speaking of my imagination but of reality.
The pandemic struck Africa just as the global community was weakened by unilateralism, conservative nationalism and unwarranted attacks on Global United Nations Institutions. The reality that only a global response would work drove our AU responses led by the AU leadership and its chair, President Ramaphosa.
While creating the Africa COVID 19 Fund was critical and while support to African Centres for Disease Control, ACDC, was imperative, you are right Mr President that even now much more is needed.
The focus on innovation, research, vaccines development and a robust African innovation platform is a very important set of Pan-African advice for greater African economic freedom and health prosperity. The inclusion in the African Centres for
Disease Control, CDC, agenda of a focus on African indigenous remedies and treatments augurs well for the development of institutions and businesses in this increasingly important sector.
In response to your call, we are working hard to raise South Africa’s global visibility, promoting our strengths as the best place to be, to do business, to visit, to work, to study and to live. We do not look down on South Africa because there is a black government; we look up at it to do even better. [Applause.]
We are also responding to new opportunities and harnessing the collective capabilities of our resources both at home and abroad. The agenda we seek to support has been clearly outlined by you.
We will identify new opportunities and expand those that have benefit for South Africa. In pursuit of this we have created a significant footprint as South Africa in Asia which is the continent showing the most promise of a speedy return to pre- COVID-19 levels of economic growth.
Last year South Africa acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Co- operation to take up significant trade and development opportunities available in this region. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Minister, sorry. Hon Sibisi of the IFP, please switch off ... NFP, sorry. Please members, just watch your microphone and switch it off. We really do not want to hear private or personal conversations. Okay, Minister, please go ahead.
The MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION: We
will also benefit from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP, of these countries. This has created the world’s biggest trading bloc, estimated to account for about USD 26 trillion or 30% of global gross domestic product, GDP, and 28% of global trade.
The ASEAN countries have a total population of 650 million people and a combined GDP of $10 trillion. South Africa will leverage engagement with this region to enhance mutually beneficial trade, investment and tourism ties and to support other development goals for South Africa.
We have recently secured significant beef export opportunities to the Malaysian market as part of this work. Market access was also obtained for fruits to Thailand. Product protocols are being negotiated in the region and are at an advanced stage, these include table grapes to Vietnam and South Korea, avocadoes to India and Japan, and pears to China and India.
Total two-way trade with Asia and the Middle East, inclusive of Oceania, breached the important milestone of R1 trillion for the first time, in 2019 and is set to grow further. [Applause.]
Many companies from the Asian region have made significant investment pledges during your investment summits and exchanges at state visit level. Companies such as Toyota, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Motherson Sumi have expanded their investments in the country. China has pledged to invest
$14 billion, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
$10 billion each. All of these achievements, Mr President, during your tenure are ignored by the opposition and screaming for good reasons because they have to create and promote the false news that nothing is being done even when they know in their heart that there is progress, they have to mislead in order to try to win.
We aim to build on these successes ensuring growing global trade which is one of the best ways to fight poverty, inequality and unemployment in our country and our continent.
Deputy Speaker, our country and the continent had to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic within the context of seeking a better global health governance.
While commendable multilateral co-operation was witnessed during this terrible period, the pandemic also raises the question of how the world should be organised in its aftermath. Some negative trends already existed before the pandemic, such as racism, xenophobia, nationalism and some major geopolitical tensions.
We have called for a model of response that would allow the world to collaborate and deliver fair outcomes for all states following the pandemic. We believe that a robust socio- economic response is required with additional assistance to developing countries. In this regard, multilateral institutions and bilateral donors have provided assistance to our continent but much more is needed. African countries have called for a debt standstill as well as the issuance of
additional special drawing rights though the International Monetary Fund. Such measures would free additional resources for developing countries to respond to the pandemic.
Our confidence in the World Health Organisation, WHO, and its ability to promote universal health coverage is motivated by the benefits it has enjoyed with the outbreak of COVID-19 through support of the WHO. It supported all African governments with early detection support for the pandemic, the training of health workers and the enhancing of surveillance in communities as well as working with a network of experts to address the containment and prevention of the pandemic.
Under your leadership, President, the African Union established the COVID-19 Emergency Fund I have referred to and also ensured we boost the capacity of the Africa Centre for Disease Control. Your leadership was acknowledged by AU leaders through your appointment, two weekends ago, as AU COVID-19 Africa champion. [Applause.]
We believe it is of utmost importance for everyone, from governments, to international organisations to come together in solidarity and collaborate with one another to ensure that
all of us achieve together global peace, health and prosperity, and to ensure that no one is left behind.
Through exercising our progressive foreign policy, we believe that we can achieve these objectives. [Time expired.] I thank you, Deputy Speaker.
BUSINESS SUSPENDED AT 15:40
[JOINT SITTING RESUMED AT 15:55]
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL
AFFAIRS: Thank you, Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members, distinguished guests and compatriots; this year’s Sona occurs in the year that our glorious movement and nation celebrates an extra ordinary human being — Mama Maxeke. She defied all odds and shattered all glass ceilings.
The life of Mama Charlotte Maxeke confirms the resilient spirit of all South Africans, especially our health and frontline workers that you, Mr President, spoke of last
Thursday. Not only was she the first black South African woman to hold a BSc degree, also she went on to establish two education institutions and a church.
Mama Maxeke was the only woman at the time to participate in the Abathembu Royal Courts and the only woman in attendance when our glorious movement was founded. She was a servant of the people.
No doubt, millions have been inspired by Mama Maxeke, including Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who now occupies the prime seat at the helm of the World Trade Organisation, WTO.
We take this opportunity to congratulate her as the first African Director-General, DG, of the WTO, and wish her health, resilience and success in the position. She joins the DG of the WHO as yet another African at the helm of that global institution. Africa’s time is now.
Hon members, this year’s Sona also occurs in the most extraordinary of circumstances as we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. We extend our condolences to those who have lost loved ones to both the COVID-19 and gender-based violence and
femicide, GBVF, pandemics. These pandemics have placed in our face the stark realities which confront the vast majority of our citizens. These realities include hunger, poverty, unemployment, low income, inequality, sexism, unequal access to basic service and underdevelopment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened our already struggling economy and has added to unemployment, vulnerability and poverty. The pandemic also displayed the inequalities confronting us. Whilst the majority of our people are struggling to survive, a few are pouring millions in court cases to challenge our response to the pandemic. This pandemic has also taught us that our government can and has worked in a more co-ordinated and integrated way, thus showing that the three spheres are interdependent and interrelated and can be agile and responsive. It has also taught us that we need to ramp up government communications campaigns and ensure that every household has access to information and communications technology, ICT, especially those with school going children. It has also shown us that there is value in evidence-based decision-making and that this generally requires disaggregated and qualitative data. We also need to deepen our initiatives that are aimed at building resilience, cohesion and prosperity
in our communities so that they can survive future pandemics, disasters and calamities.
Lastly, the pandemic also confirms that we need the National Health Insurance, NHI, because when the hospitals beds were full, those on medical aid and those in the public health system were equally affected.
Hon members, in the past we have detailed to Parliament the challenges confronting our municipalities. These have included governance and political challenges, which have in some instances led to infighting and inappropriate interface between the political, administrative and private sector segments in our localities.
The municipalities have been confronted by high vacancy rates, inappropriate placements, and the lack of consequence management in them. All these have led to substandard service delivery, with limited impact.
COVID-19 has also reduced the amounts and potential revenue sources of the municipalities. This is partly due to increased unemployment and declining income levels at household level.
Mr President and hon members, the upcoming local government elections offer all political parties the opportunity to remedy this. Amongst other things, we must ensure that we all cease to interfere in the administration and supply chain processes. We must ensure that we send our most capable and capacitated to the local sphere, because it is the sphere closest to the people. The elections offer all of us the opportunity to renew the energies at the local level as we reconstruct the destroyed local economies. Only viable, capable and capacitated local governments can be at the forefront of such renewal and recovery.
Our national economic recovery, growth and development requires that district and local economic development be accelerated. The District Development Model, DDM, will, amongst other things, crowd in the requisite investment, as well as technical and strategic skills at the district space. The engineers, planners, economists, oceanographers, environmentalists and many other professionals which are a lifeline would be provided as a shared service in the district and shared by all the locals.
Through the One Plan and One Budget we will build productive industrial structures by considering the endowment and competitive advantage areas of each district space.
Our efforts are directed at ensuring that the national and provincial spheres spare no effort to support local government. To this end, we intend to review the organisational structures in local government. This will ensure that our administrations are fit for purpose. This will be complemented by our inputs to the National Skills Development Plan which will ensure that it becomes specifically responsive to the needs of the local spheres of government.
The District Development Model requires the participation and inputs of our communities, private sector and international partners. In this regard, we also want to recognise the work that is being done in Waterberg between the private sector and that district. This includes mentorships and uptakes for the emerging farmers including those in the South African Women in Farming.
The collaboration with public-private growth initiative, PPGI, has also established various steering communities to secure the participation of communities, particularly women and youth in key industries such as mining, game farming, ICT, hunting and tourism, in Waterberg. This model brings hope and we intend to replicate this throughout the country.
Indeed, the National Planning Commission, NPC, in reviewing the National Development Plan, NDP, notes that, I quote: “The NDP did not spell out an implementation plan with sufficient rigour and detail beyond the broad approach”. The DDM answers this challenge by developing detailed and localised plans but by also ensuring that both local and province as well as national level is co-ordinated and integrated. We have developed integrated plans.
There is also a dialectical relationship between local economic development and challenges of revenue collections and underfunded mandates. Therefore, in pursuing the DDM, we intend to simultaneously address these challenges whilst inculcating long-term and co-ordinated planning and implementation in all the spheres of governance, including our traditional leaders.
It is therefore also encouraging that through the Invest Rural Programme the National House of Traditional Leaders has availed about 1,5 million hectares of productive land towards the Radical Agrarian Reform Programme as well other community development initiatives.
Indeed, the co-operative governance and traditional affairs is at the forefront of promoting the co-operation to build resilient, sustainable, cohesive, climate smart and connected communities.
Hon members, we are also working together with Treasury to consider how we can revise the current funding model, which makes many of our municipalities unviable. I also want to just report on pilot projects of the DDM in OR Tambo, for instance, in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framewrok, MTEF, the municipal infrastructure grant, Mig, is going to be R2,9 billion. There will be water projects and sanitation projects that will benefit the communities. We are also looking at Bulk Water Treatment Works, Bio pipes and the ferrying of water closer to vulnerable communities.
In Waterberg, there has been an allocation of R968 million over the MTEF. The 12 water projects which will benefit about
80 000 people, roads projects to the value of R254 million, five community projects to the value of R64 million, and solid waste projects. Clearly, we are hard at work!
EThekwini is being turned into a liveable and smart port city. Amongst the actions we have undertaken with the city and province is the implementation of Operation Good Hope, which seeks to ensure the city is more responsive and professional. We are improving the efficiencies at the Durban Port and are addressing the service delivery challenges by upgrading services in informal settlements.
Our long-term view is that every space must become a comfortable, productive and safe space for women to live in, work and play. The Sona lays a practical foundation to marshal all of society towards that end. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr B B NODADA: Sekela Sihlalo we-NCOP, malungu abekekileyo, [Deputy Chair of the NCOP, hon members], fellow South Africans, molweni [greetings.]
Mr President, wherever you are, three years ago I listened to your first state of the nation address with hope. Like most young people, I was hungry for hope after the nine wasted Zuma years. However, three years later I sat as a young man and a member of this House, and the hope that your words once carried has morphed into despair and, for millions of young South Africans, have tragically become empty, ditched from reality. It should not have come as a shock that there was absolutely nothing said to address our failing education system which contributes heavily to poverty, youth unemployment and socioeconomic opportunities.
Mr President, growing up in rural Tsolo, I managed to acquire a better education and escape poverty only through the charity of scholarships, which allowed me to access one of the best educational institutes. I, however, remain an outlier of success to the many I completed Grade 1 with at ENXU Junior Secondary School, JSS, KuTsolo, eMahlubini.
The reality is that if you were to have the misfortune of being a poor child growing up in South Africa, you would most likely be one of the 50% of Grade 1 pupils who will never write a matric exam. Most certainly you would be one of the
80% of children who would receive an education that is amongst the very worst in the world; our education that consigns us to a lifetime of poverty and unemployment.
If, through sheer grit and determination, you manage to beat these odds of poor infrastructure, an unresponsive curriculum, poor quality teaching, if you survive crossing rivers and pit toilets like we saw in Limpopo this past Monday MEC, and pass a matric exam, chances are you will be part of the 75% of matrics without a bachelor’s pass, leaving slim chances for you to access an institution of higher learning. If through hard work, you manage to attain a diploma or degree, you might be part of the thousands of graduates that are sitting at home. When the ANC’s education system is done with you, you will be part of the over 10 million unemployed South Africans of which 60% are young people.
Mr President, we were lied to when you promised to eradicate unsafe and inappropriate sanitation facilities within three years. Today, over 3 700 schools have no access to water, Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. There are 4 000 schools still with pit toilets. No matter how you avoid addressing the issue, you cannot run away from the stench of unsafe toilets,
where the Grade R learners in Mmadikitsha Primary School in Limpopo are at risk of being another Michael Komape. Yet, you want to allocate a budget and cut away an infrastructure budget of one billion from education to save a failing entity like the SA Airways, SAA.
In KwaZulu-Natal, learners are forced to study without desks. Learners are literally left behind, with 120 000 of them eligible for scholar transport. The National Senior Certificate has become a joke. The curriculuim has become irrelevant as universities would rather rely on the national benchmark test than take those results which are no longer an indication of quality.
You lied, Mr President, when you said that no corruption in the personal protective equipment, PPE, processes will happen. However, can you explain the R431 million spent on deep cleaning in Gauteng when it could’ve built another school? The largest obstacle to redressing ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Hon member,
just hold for a point of order. You may sit, hon Nodada. Nodada, shlalo phantsi [sit down] please. Yes, hon Radebe?
Mr B A RADEBE: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. I’m rising on Joint Rule 4(p) — the use of offensive languahge in the House. The speaker has just said that the President lied. He said that the President lied and I think it’s unparliamentary. In the past it was ruled as unparliamentary.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): If you said that ...
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: On a point of order, Deputy Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Where is
that point of order? Where is the order?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: The member who has now called for a point of order did not say anything when the Minister of Justice kept on saying that what the opposition is saying are lies and what Members of Parliament said were lies. There must be some degree of consistency. We did not want to raise a point of order ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Hon member,
you had the opportunity to raise an order on his order.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: ... because we do not think that it must be forbidden ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Hon
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: ... to expose lies in Parliament. If people have lied they must always be told that they have lied so that there is clearer context with regard to what is happening. So, there must be consistency, even from the Whippery of the ANC. This thing of just calling opportunistic and frivolous points of order is problematic and must be ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Hon
Shivambu, you should also be in order if you call a point of order.
Hon Radebe, you may sit down. Let us deal with the issue. You have called an order, and on the point of order let us rule that if at all we can avoid using offensive language, let us avoid it. Hon Nodada, you are very young; let us lead you. You may continue.
Mr B B NODADA: When we speak in this House to decision-makers, we must always speak the truth as it is on the ground and not in some dreamland. [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): We are
saying, within the context of the Rules. Remember that. Whatever truth you speak, is within the context of the Rules.
Mr B B NODADA: I’m reading my speech, Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Continue,
but stop using offensive language.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, on a point of order. I must rise. Over here, Chairperson. It’s hon Mazzone. Chairperson, firstly, I mean, I had to listen to the hon Radebe. It was hard to hear him over his shirt but when I did hear him it was obviously a point of debate. Then Chairperson, you referred to my member and told him that he’s a young man. So, you’re going to let him get ... [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Is he old?
Is he old? It was not anything offensive. The problem is, he
is young; he’s not old.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Chairperson, what I’m trying to say is what you are saying is in the spirit of debate and my member must now be allowed to continue with his speech that he is reading in the spirit of debate ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): I said he
must continue, hon Mazzone.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: ... as he was going to do without continuously being offended by hon Radebe ... [Inaudible.] ... interruptions.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Even
yourself, hon Mazzone ... Even you are now keeping him from continuing with his debate. Hon Nodada, you may.
Mr B B NODADA: The DA believes that education is the foundation of opportunity. Hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, the DA believes that we can fix our education system. We can
do so by ensuring that our budgets are spent on updating and fixing dangerous infrastructure such as pit toilets, asbestos and mud schools, rather than spending them on deep cleaning; ensuring access to water as a basic human right in the first line of defence in our schools; fixing the curriculum to focus on specialisation schools and accelerating the process to ensure that they are relevant for industry, entrepreneurship, innovation and the South African job market. It should also include the introduction of a provincial education inspectorate at arm’s length from government to assess teaching and learning in the classroom to bridge the skills gap, and aggressively hunt Maths teachers.
No doubt, Mr President, your government, like the hon Minister of Justice here, will continue to blame its failures on colonialism and apartheid. Colonialism and apartheid placed South Africans in a state of economic disempowerment, but your government has kept us there and even worsened our chances at any form of economic prosperity.
I urge you, Mr President, stop talking about smart cities and dreams. Start with the basics so that the future of this country can have a tomorrow. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr B A RADEBE: Deputy Chairperson, I’m requesting that, in reference to what Mr Nodada said, you please go and look at the Hansard because he referred to the President as a person. The President is a member of the House. So, he cannot say that
... [Inaudible.] I request that you look at the Hansard. Thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): We will
deal with the issue. I am of the view, unless you want to call an order on the order that he has already called.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I am. Madam Chair, I would just like to confirm that the President is not a member of the House and Mr Radebe should check the Rules ... of the order.
Mr B A RADEBE: On another point of order: The President enjoys the privileges of this House and he is covered by the Rules.
So, as long as he is the President of the Republic he also enjoys the protection of the Rules of the House. Thank you Chair. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Hon
members, can we have order in the House? In the context of this debate, the President is part of the House. In the context of this debate, the President is part of the Hosue. [Interjections.] So, if he said he’s a member, I think it’s irrelevant. The issue is that for the course of this debate the President is part of the House because we are debating on an issue that he raised as someone who is part of the House. So, can we continue? Cllr Nkadimeng, can you continue?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: On a point of order, Chairperson.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF NCOP: Where is the order? [Interjections.] The one who is calling a point of order, why are you shouting? Let’s continue.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: I’m not the one who ... The point of order is the following. Can the Chief Whip of the Majority Party reign in this Radebe person who keeps on disrupting the sittings of the House? [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: You are out of order, Shivambu! [Interjections.]
Cllr T P NKADIMENG (Salga): Hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Ms Sylvia Lucas, His Excellency Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, our Deputy President, Mr David Mabuza, hon members and fellow South Africans, on 5 December 2020, as a country we celebrated
20 years of local government. The sphere of local government in its own right that is no longer a function and an administrative implementing arm of national and provincial government has undergone rapid transition and transformation.
Grade strides were made in moving away from a historical record of racially separated municipalities. In the 20 years of its history, 800 municipalities merged to form initially
297 and currently 257 municipalities which cover all the provinces in the country and focusses on local government development reaching out to the previously neglected areas, economic and growth provisional municipal services.
There can be no doubt that it has had a profound impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans in expanding the provisions of the services to our people. Doomsayers always negate and trivialise this fact even when it periodiaclly gets assessed and reported by Statistics SA. However, not everyone chooses to close their eyes to these realities.
In their masters research studies with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, under the title of, “Leadership Imperatives for Local Government Service Delivery.” just across the streets of this august House, Nosicelo Ngqwala affirms and I qoute:
Local government has made tremendous progress, commitment and contribution to transform its systems from apartheid inadequacies. It has created sound structures, alleviated past inequalities and illigitimate municipal institutions into a liberated and civilised institutions with a clear mandate of developing service delivery strategies that meets the needs of our communities especially the marginalised groups.
The problem is that history leaves no blank pages. It reminds all of us that even though what we want to forget. We all have participated in the struggle of the marginalisation of our people. The pertinent question is: On which side were you at? Were you with the marginalised or were you were with the against? Were you on the side of our heroes and sheroes; Charlotte Maxeke, Peter Mokaba, Beyers Naudi and many others
who fought tirelessly to achieve a dignified life of the marginalised people of our country.
Much as we have seen an increase in the access of this services, the challenges remain hon Deputy Chairperson. Local government has come under a grate scrutiny and perhaps correctly so and necessarilly so because we are a visible sphere of government that is closer to the people. Our wall- to-wall systems of our municipalities means that all developmental work happens within a municipal ward.
Over the past 20 years, though lacking behind, quite a number of conceptualisation of policies, legislative and regulatory framework has put a support programme to local municipalities. Where are we or where to from here is a fundamental question? How do we improve on what has been done? How do we bring about stability, increase capacity, institutional resiliance and promote good governance.
Charles Dickens as I qoute him will be of great significance in responding to this fundamental question. I qoute:
Now, what I want is facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts. Facts alone are what are wanted in life.
I may sound radical but forthright. But we must not miss the opportunity of changes as we had the hon Minister talking about the window of hope for 2021 and 2026 term of local government.
Political governance matters, Madam Deputy Chairperson. The appointment of properly qualified municipal officials was cited by the President to ensure effective management and provision of services. We wish to add that similar to this, we must place on a political arm of municipalitities. Despite the numerous interventions by SA Local Government Association, Salga, to increase the capacity of concillors in the first four years of this term of office, gaps are glaring. The recent development in COVID-19 does not helped the situation, but exposed more serious weaknesses on the cadreship that we have deployed.
As we gear towards this local government, can we prioritise the skills and knowlagable political candidates, instead of
trying to manage municipal weaknesses and disfunctionalities after deployment. A minimum criteria must also be set. This is a funnel hon Steenhuisen. What you put in is what comes out.
There is no two way about it.
Hon President, we stand firm behind you in reaffirming your position through working with the public and private sector partners and a range of support measures which needs to be directed towards the enhencement of and the development of local economic development units. Business and civil society turns not to be not interested in investments if they will not yield positive results. So, as Salga, we are calling and advocating for the introduction of local government service commissioners who will swift investigate and most the power of the code of conduct of councillors and let it not reside with council so that the player is not the referee at the same time. The same with the Public Service Commission which takes over the Public Service and Administration.
The lack of accountability in our municipqlities is linked direct to poor exercise of oversight and here we are proposing a solution and not just coming to complain.
Municipal accounts committees need to give teeth and we allow to investigate agencies, tabulate forensic reports and hold the executive leadership of municipalities accountable. This is grinding. It has atarted. As we sit today, 1 800 cases have been held and a sunction of dismisals across the country in municipalities has happened. So, we need to be able to strengthen what oversight can give to us.
On institutional matters, our constitutional architecture of governance system for municipal is fundamentally different from that of national. There is a fusion of the legislative and executive functions at the same council and this create big problems. Contrary to national and provicial government, in a municipality, both the legislature and the executive resides in one House. Municipal executives receive their authority from council by delegation meaning it is on an ad hoc basis.
Again we talk about a Systems Amendment Bill which is awaitaing concurence at the House of the NCOP where a new clause has been inserted to assist in dealing with the prohibition of staff members for holding political office.
This will go a long way in dealing with the blurred lines between political and administration functions.
Hon Deputy Chairperson, we have dealt with the issues of the reviewal of the country’s budget. Currently, 46% of the constitutional functions resides at local government, yet we only have 9,1% as a sphere from the national figures. So, the current local government equitable share formula is based on very unrealistic assumptions and must be reviewed. Let it not be that the pleas of the people of Senqu Local Municipalities situated in the deep rural settings of the Eastern Cape are unheard. This is a municipality that has received seven clean audits in a row yet they survive on a meager allocation of level three and they are unable to grow. [Applause.]
This will assist the financial health of our municipalities that is declining. We could write off the increasing debt which in section 71 reports of the National Treasury, deal with that 35% of them are unrealistically collactable and would put smart meters. We could ammend the Tax Administration Act to ensure that you do not receive your tax refund back without paying your municipal bill. We could amend section 2 of the 10 Municipal Systems Act, so that it would not only
hold councilors accountable for their municipal bill, but all political and public representatives including state-owned enterprises must pay and this must be inacted.
We could establish a district revenue collection agency which will achieve a better collection efficiencies on behalf of local municipalities. We could also amend our procurement regulations to make it compulsary for all our service providers, while looking for work and business in government to produce a compliant certificate for their rates and taxes.
Deputy Chairperson, we are excited that the policy direction in merging of what we finally see in municipalities to buy powerfull Independent Power Producers, IPPs, will reduce and ensure that there is cheaper purchase of bulk electricity prices. However, we cassion against the fact that currently the discussions that are happening while the constitutional executives authority for distribution lies with municipalities, organised municipal labour is not consulted.
The district development model will assist again in dealing with spatial development and transformation gap.
Our success lies in the introduction of a co-ordinated to a spatial legacy with an integrated across the planing frameworks. This could be supplemented by the effective use of the Salga spatial barometer. We live with such realities and differences even in towns that we claim are functioning better. For the City of Johannesburg plush surburbs, there is always a reminder of the faces of the poor and the people of Diepsloot. For the underdeveloped of Khayelitsha in the City of Cape Town for Khayamandi, at the doorstep of Stellenbosch. Mbombela as in what we call Nelspruit, economic benefits are a stucked contrast to all neighbouring towns and more examples in this country.
The hon Khanyile, you raised an issue of Lekwa Local Municipality. I am going to make as an example of a language which we all as public representatives needs to change when we talk about an institution of our own government. I was born and bread in Bethel. It is just a shy 70 kilometres from Standerton in Lekwa. It is an apartheid town which was established in 1876 by a commandant boer leader Stander hence the name Standerton. It did not allow black people for over
144 years to set their foot in town except when they were transported to the farms and to my town which was subsequently
built 21 years, after that to be farmers in the potato fields. Me and you my dear owe it to Gert Sibande and I gather the horse he was using must have died of travelling so many kilometres across the world. [Applause.]
Today, as I am talking, we have improved ... listen! Polokwane I am coming! Twenty seven to 37 megalitres are currently under construction. New extension eight in Standerton has 1 000 new low cost housing. Just like you, I am going there when I am finished with you. The highway in Secunda connecting Standerton, Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal is currently being renovated. [Applause.]
Municipality has built fleet on its own bought tankers which was the cause of violance in that township so that they distribute their own. Standerton mall and shopping complex in extention four have been approved by council. What type of language as public representatives do we talk is not building on our institutions but rather degrading? [Applause.]
There are challenges in municipalities. We own up to them. The challenges in Polokwane Sir, where I am the mayor, I own up to them and want collaboration mechanisms. Mme Khanyile, maybe
your grandfather did not tell you the kind of 144 history of where me and you come from. Hundred and fourty four years of never being able to have a house! Today, extension eight of Standerton has 1 000 houses in town. They have never set their foot before despensation. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M P GALO: Chair, Mr President, in your Joint Sitting addresses to the NA and the NCOP, since you became the President in 2018, you laid down the framework underpinning government priorities in the year under review. The entire speech was anchored in key developmental, high-impact growth initiatives, such as boosting the manufacturing sector in order to ignite growth through job creation and export revenue. Using comparative scholarship, we believe that the President must urgently proclaim a fully-fledged import substitution agency, to be housed within the Department of Trade and Competition. This Agency will implement an import substitution strategy, to focus on infantile industries, preferential procurement and targeted funding to textile, clothing, footwear and fiber industries.
The President underscored the importance of water in the value chain of economic activity. In accordance with this theme, you
expressed the need to establish a water resource agency to focus on water resource infrastructure. Mr President, we do not agree with that. Instead, we believe that capacitating the Water Research Commission and broadening its functions and jurisdiction to include water resource infrastructure will achieve the same goals that the water agency could achieve. We need to get our priorities right.
As leaders representing rural constituencies, we were disappointed that the President did not mention any significant headlines in relation to rural development. In this regard, we strongly urge the President to proclaim a special economic zone in the Alfred Nzo region, which must be part of the greater strategy to harness South Africa's growth prospects. In our planned meeting with the Presidency later this year, we will map out the details of this request.
Youth unemployment and unemployment in general is another scourge that needs a Joint Sitting of its own. We are therefore convinced that government must consider ... [Time expired.]
Ms T M JOEMAT-PETTTERSON: Hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon President, Deputy President, hon members of the House, ...
... ons is die kinders van die fynbos, wat van ver in die Oos Kaap strek, deur die Wes Kaap tot binne in Nieuwoudtville in die Noord Kaap. Ons is die Nama, die Komani San, die Khoisan, en die Korana, en ons is die afstammelinge van fynbos wat deel is van almal van ons. Ons is nie bruin mense nie, ons is nie kleurlinge nie; ons is swart. [Tussenwerpsels.]
Ons is die produk van ons voorvaders en voormoeders, wat die raamwerk vir die soort samelewing waarna ons smag gelê het, waar daar huise, veiligheid en sekuriteit vir almal is. Die strewe van die regering is nog altyd vooropgestel in hierdie ideaal van 1955 in Kliptown, van 'n volksgeïnspireerde gebeurtenis gedurende ’n tyd van onderdrukking, geïnspireed in hul pyn, hoopvol teen wanhoop. Dit is ’n keuse wat ons gemaak het, agb lede. Ons het self daardie keuse gemaak, in ons reis om Suid-Afrika te bevry van haar sleg verlede.
South Africa has been through an unprecedented crisis with the covid-19 pandemic. The safety of all our people and all our communities in all corners of our country has been compromised. The safety of our law enforcement officers, in particular, has been compromised.
Tydens hierdie pandemie het ons verwag dat hierdie dapper mans en vroue aan die voorfront, veiligheidsdienste aan al ons mense sou lewer. Ons het van hulle verwag om mense te handteer wat geweier het om die regulasies na te kom, ons het verwag dat hulle na hawelose mense sou omsien, ons het verwag dat nooddienste na motorongelukke gestuur sou word en dat die vroue wat die slagoffers van geslagsgeweld gehelp sou word.
We have seen that the covid-19 virus has infected over 27 706 police officers and 557 have tragically lost their lives. We salute you! We have a clear and present challenge. Our law enforcement officers are expected to be visible, preventive and reactive to all forms of crime, yet they are also affected by covid-19. Their usual protection, a bulletproof vest,
cannot save them from this invisible enemy. We salute these frontline officers and we thank them.
This our challenge and the hon President has laid out a plan for the SAPS to become much more visible in fighting crime and corruption in the country. This plan involves a much more co- ordinated effort on the part of all our law enforcement agencies.
We have taken our marching orders from our hon President. Police visibility has been enhanced through the launch of the Community Policing Strategy. The SAPS is developing intervention plans to address gender-based violence and femicide at identified hotspots. The intervention plan is aimed at improving services to victims, the handling of offenders and preventative partnerships with civil society.
The matter of rape kits at police stations is a priority. We urge each and every one, male and female, to visit your police stations and if there are no rape kits, please report it to your provincial commissioner.
The Family Violence, Child. Protection and Sexual Offences units, FCS units, have stepped up the fight against secondary
victimisation. We have charged and we have laid cases against policemen asking sexual favours in exchange for not detaining a person. We have apprehended teachers requesting sexual favours from students to give them higher grades. Rural police stations have started implementing the set criteria of the four pillars of the rural safety. Our partnership with rural and farming communities are growing stronger every day. The killings of farmers and farm workers must be stopped.
Hon steenhuisen and hon Londt, in 2013, Mr Cloete was allocated Bellevue farm in partnership with Mr Sibeko. Differences emerged between the two. The department took Mr Cloete through a lease agreement to a farm called Gelukwaarts. Again there was tension between him and his new partner. Mr Cloete felt that his life was in danger. To save his life, Mr Cloete was then send to Colenso farm for his own safety.
Again, Mr Cloete’s lease agreement was with Gelukwaarts and not with Colenso. Colenso was advertised. Mr Cloete also applied and he did not make the grade. [Interjections.] No. Land is being advertised for military veterans. Land will be given to uMkhonto we Sizwe, MK. If you are afraid of expropriation without compensation, do not mask it as corruption. Yes. Land will be given to MK. [Applause.] South
Africa must look after its military veterans. We are one of the few liberation movements who came into power and who did not take care of its military veterans.
The SAPS are working with all community police forums to re- emphasise a greater societal responsibility to fight crime. A multidisciplinary operational plan has been developed and implemented to address gang violence in Cape Town townships, particularly with regard to the growing practice of demanding protection fees from businesses and communities. The Minister of Police is leading the drive to strengthen community partnerships through the hosting of numerous engagements directly with communities. Tourist sites, which are crime hotspots have been identified, based on the number of incidents of reported crime and intelligence-based information.
Our government has directed, and this Parliament has supported the establishment of the Border Management Agency.
The responsibility to fight crime rests on all our shoulders, but the responsibility to fight organised crime, requires sharp instruments of law enforcement that can surgically and
professionally remove the threat of organised crime. It has become clear in recent years that organised crime has increased its scope and its tenacity to challenge our democratic state. If we do not move rapidly as a single state with single-mindedness, every sector of our society will be compromised.
We agree with hon President Ramaphosa that we need to urgently fight crimes like cable theft, railway infrastructure vandalism, land invasions, construction site disruptions and attacks on truck drivers, as they prevent our economy from growing and discourage investment.
Cybercrime increased with the expanding use of technology. We want to salute the hon Chief Whip for really preparing us for this virtual platform, to ensure that we remain accountable to our people and thank you for this. Community protests had to be combated within the framework of our human rights culture and prescripts. And, yes, we condemned the spraying innocent Sassa elderly people sitting in queues. We condemned the police for what they did. We condemn them and we will continue condemning violence and heavy-handedness by the police, because we believe in a human rights spirit and culture.
We commend our President and the ANC government for being highly responsive towards those with dissenting views on how government should run. Yes, you can have your dissenting views, but your voices have continued to strengthen us. Your noise has continued to make us a maturing democracy. It has allowed us to build an even stronger and wiser citizenry. We appreciate your opposition, but you must be a strong opposition to make government stronger. Right now, you are still a weak opposition. Can you be a strong opposition? [Interjections.]
Die stryd teen geweldsmisdaad bly ons prioriteit. Dit is ons prioriteit, want ons wil hê dat ons mense, al ons mense veilig moet wees. Ons wil hê dat al die DA-lede veilig moet wees. Ons wil hê dat ons moeders, ons vaders, broers en susters veilige gemeenskappe moet hê. [Applous.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I just want to request before we continue with the debate that all hon members know that we are allowed to heckle, but the level of noise in House is becoming unacceptable. Can we just give attention to that?
I don’t want to remind you every time about things tht you
know. It is not necessary.
Mr K J MILEHAM: Mr President, Chairperson, fellow South Africans, perhaps Minister Lamola should note that I am speaking straight after the former Minister of Energy, Joemat- Pettersson, who still hasn’t been held accountable for her despicable role in the illegal sale of South Africa’s strategic fuel reserves. You want to look for corruption, Minister? Look in the mirror.
The president said a fair bit about energy and electricity security in the state of the nation address, but we heard all those promises before. In fact, Mr President, if you are there, on 02 September 2015 you said, and I quote: “In another
18 months to two years, you will forget the challenges that we had with relation to power and energy and Eskom ever happened.” By that reckoning, we should have been free of the rolling blackouts by the end of 2017. Instead, we were subjected to state 6 loadshedding in December 2019 and stage 2 and 3 over the past few days.
In 2020 we had more loadshedding, despite a depressed economy because of the COVID pandemic, than any other year in history, and 2021 looks to be worse still.
According to ESKOM, they ran diesel peaking plants at a cost of R7 million per hour in order to keep the lights on while you were making your state of the nation address. So much for the “cheapest SONA ever” the presiding officers promised.
ESKOM also announced last week that over the past 10 years they have spent R47,4 billion on diesel to mitigate the effects of loadshedding. That’s R47 billion that could have been spent on upgrading our generation capacity or improving our healthcare or providing housing or even reducing ESKOM’s debt burden. But no — because of corruption, maladministration, a bloated state-owned entity and a reluctant, recalcitrant and frankly moribund government — the citizens and the economy of this country have to suffer.
So, Mr President, you will forgive me a healthy dose of scepticism when you say you will open Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme soon. You promised the exact same thing in last year’s state of the
nation address, and yet not a single megawatt of new generation has been procured in over five years.
This government’s dithering has resulted in job losses, ratings downgrades and business closures. One example is DCD Wind Towers in Port Elizabeth. They manufactured wind turbines, but thanks to the delays in signing power purchase agreements, and the policy uncertainty that persists to this day, they were forced to close their doors and lay off their staff, and they are not the only company in this predicament.
As the DA, we are not sitting around waiting for government to act; we are proactively seeking solutions to ensure the energy security of our country. Democratic Alliance municipalities like Stellenbosch are at the forefront of seeking independence from ESKOM’s monopoly by investigating own generation and the potential supply from independent power producers.
We put on the table a proposal for the creation of a truly independent system market operator — one in which ESKOM was not the dominant player with the power to call the shorts. But this was rejected without proper debate by the ANC colleagues in that committee. We have made proposals for a tax rebate to
incentivise small scale embedded generation like rooftop solar. We have urged you to significantly and urgently amend schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act. Our offer remains. We are ready and willing to work with you to secure South Africa’s electricity supply.
I personally wrote to Minister Mantashe at the start of lockdown offering my support and assistance in any way whatsoever. I did not receive a response — but I should be used to that. Instead, he continues to promote a nuclear new build as a potential solution to our electricity crisis. And Mr President, you have given this flight of fancy momentum by signing it into his performance agreement despite there being no provision for new nuclear generation in the Integrated Resource Plan.
There is no way South Africa can afford a nuclear build at this time nor is this something that will address the short and medium-term issues. So, let us ditch this vanity project right now before it gains any further traction and opens the door to yet more corruption.
Mr President, much of the critical reform needed to transform South Africa’s electricity sector can be rectified with the stroke of a pen. Unfortunately, that pen is held by Gwede Mantashe who appears to operate at glacial speed.
Last year you made many of the same promises that we heard on Thursday but the big question is: When? What are the hard deadlines for electricity reform?
So, Mr President, while we welcome the promises you made in your most recent state of the nation address speech, we are not holding our breath. It’s clear that your government is incapable of keeping the lights on. Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Madam
Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President David Mabuza and hon members, I would like at the outset to acknowledge and applaud the role our President has played in these extremely challenging times and complement his state of the nation address which highlighted the urgent need to defeat this coronavirus pandemic and build an economy for all sixty million South Africans.
Our Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan prioritises the need to overcome abiding constraints and provide sustainable solutions to intractable problems of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Central to the plan's objectives, in the words of our President is to forge a new economy in a new global reality. Climate change is one of those new global realities. The 2021 Global Risks Report published in January this year under the auspices of the World Economic Forum, identified infectious diseases, livelihood crises and extreme weather events as the risks most likely to become critical threats to the world in the coming two years.
Zurich Insurance Group chief risk officer, Peter Giger, quipped, “there is no vaccine against climate risks, so post pandemic recovery plans must focus on growth aligned sustainable agendas”.
Climate change poses both risks and opportunities to our society and economy. On the risk side extreme weather events including storms, droughts, and rising sea levels, are already part of our lived reality.
In the last week of January more than 20 people died in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and South Africa, as a result of the destruction caused by tropical cyclone Eloise. We are reminded once again how vulnerable the developing world is to extreme weather events.
Nevertheless, due to the advanced early warning systems of our SA Weather Service, and the impressive co-ordinated response by our Disaster Management capability, at national, provincial and local government level, we were able to take advance measures to manage some of the worst impacts of the storm on both people and infrastructure.
This process was assisted by the implementation at all levels of government of adaptation strategies arising from the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy that was approved by Cabinet last year.
What we now need is a better and more mainstreamed understanding of the climate transition risk our historical growth trajectory poses to the long-term sustainability of our economy and society.
Over the last year, in response to investor and societal pressure, nine of the world's twelve largest economies and many of our major trading partners have already made net zero carbon commitments. These countries include China, the EU bloc, Japan, and Korea. Similar pronouncements are expected from the Biden Administration now that it has announced it will re-join the Paris Agreement.
Because our energy and production processes are highly carbon intensive, our major trading partners who have made net zero commitments, are likely to prioritise trade with each other and this poses a risk of non-tariff trade barriers going forward. Already there is increasing pressure from financial institutions who refuse to fund the development of new carbon intensive assets.
In his address last week, President Ramaphosa, did not shy away from these challenges nor did he fail to indicate how he would address them. In noting that Eskom, our largest greenhouse gas emitter, has committed in principle to net zero carbon emission by 2050, the President stressed the importance of the work of the Presidential Climate Change Commission that will meet for the first time this month.
This Commission must develop a clear path to take us from an aspirational commitment to a low carbon, climate resilient economy and society to the reality of new technology, new investment and, above all, new jobs. The Commission will provide the much-needed institutional mechanism to bring together government, civil society, business and labour to advise on the just transition.
It will leverage partnerships and collaboration across all relevant sectors to implement programmes that encapsulate the just transition in a coherent and coordinated manner. In this regard, it is important to note, hon members, that yesterday Eskom announced it will shortly release a call for proposals to repower and repurpose Komati power station in Mpumalanga. Studies to facilitate similar initiatives are underway for Hendrina, Grootvlei and Camden.
Investment in the green economy and green technologies provides strategic advantages for our country; it opens access to new green financing opportunities; the possibility of significant proven job creation; and has the potential to localise production and services which will build small and
medium enterprises and, of course, it enhances our long term competitiveness while mitigating our transition risks.
The green industries component included in our own Reconstruction and Recovery Plan highlights the diversification of South Africa’s energy sources; retrofitting public and private buildings to improve energy and water efficiency; revitalisation of eco-tourism; research and development in the agricultural space of drought resistant crops; support for small farmers in the forestry space; and building the circular economy to enhance waste management.
Honourable members allow me to report to this House some of the significant achievements in the green economy. A 2018 research conducted by the SA Biodiversity Institute indicated that the biodiversity economy currently hosts over four hundred and eighteen thousand jobs across the tourism, wildlife, biotrade, bioprospecting, and the fisheries and forestry sectors.
To support rural communities adversely affected by the decline in tourism we have, through the support of the Presidential Employment Stimulus, created 50 000 work opportunities, almost
ten thousand of which are in our national parks and involve infrastructure repairs and upgrades so that facilities are in good shape when international tourism returns.
This year we will, through the Forestry Master Plan, begin to recapitalise our somewhat neglected state-owned forests, and we will partner with the private sector and communities to initiate Owner Growers and co-operatives — a major transformation initiative in the forestry sector.
We are currently finalising consultation around our section 18 Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes for the packaging, electronics and lighting. Once fully implemented these schemes will assist us to divert a hundred thousand tons of waste a year from landfills each year and provide secure employment to nearly 20 000.
Hon Mileham, the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement has, by the end of June 2020, delivered capacity to produce 4200 MW of power. This capacity has already offset
50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide — pity you don’t know about climate change — and saved us almost 60 million kilo- litres of water. It has created 52 000 jobs, attracted
R200 billion in investment, pumped R1,2 billion in socio- economic development initiatives to local communities and promoted 33% ownership by historically disadvantaged South Africans. Electricity prices have dropped significantly over the four bid windows and are now below one rand per kilowatt hour. I do welcome the President’s announcement that two further bid windows will be open later this year.
As emphasised by President Ramaphosa in his state of the nation address, South Africa remains committed to multilateralism and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.
To this end we will be undertaking a series of public consultations on revising our Nationally Determined Contribution to reducing green-house gas emissions before submitting the final document to the UNFCCC ahead of the conference of parties scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November this year
South Africa will continue to work with Africa and other partners to ensure that COP26 focuses on enhancing ambition on all three of the Paris Goals namely, mitigation, adaptation
and means and financing for implementation. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M NYHONTSO: Deputy Chairperson, there is a huge misalignment of form and content in the running of the Sixth Administration. Mr President, it is all squarely in your hands to resolve this and strike a balance.
Your smooth talk and dramatic postures to the nation every so often via what is now called family meetings on TV has become a boring performance that’s predictable, without offering a solution to the challenges facing the people of this country. The country is in trouble.
Your content is suspect. Every move you make is questioned whether you are not benefitting your friends. The confidence level in you is low, especially from the disadvantaged people.
We all know that you are walking on thin ice. The open conflict with your predecessor on the judiciary continues to be a topical issue, and yet your presidency behaves as if nothing is happening. We’ve said you should appoint a retired judge, like Justice ED Moseneke, to mediate the stalemate.
W E B Du Bois, the father of Pan Africanism, once put it that: “The colonised slaves developed a double consciousness, wanting to please the master and wanting to please the slave.”
You rose into the political arena side by side with Roelf Meyer. The partnership you had with him resulted in a trap of legitimation that has placed the landless African people in a permanent state of poverty, in the inability to access higher education for young people, and in the uneven health services for the rich and the poor. You cannot please the slave and the master at the same time, sir.
You have an opportunity to correct the misalignment but it seems like you are happy with the status quo.
The PAC says that you should be concerned with your own roots and your own people. You must not be under the shadow of someone else.
Your Sona continues to be a make-believe form of address, without content. It continues to fail the dispossessed, the most exploited, the dehumanised, and the African indigenous
majority. The Sona failed dismally to address the fundamental interests of the African majority.
Land remains an item of conflict in Azania and it must be repossessed and restored to its rightful owners. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Madam Speaker
of the National Assembly, Chairperson of the NCOP, His Excellency, Mr President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President David Mabuza and hon members, the role of our defence force in the pandemic as an enabler, protector and defender is enshrined in our constitutional mandate of defence to the country’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, as well as her peoples and the principles of international law regulating the use of force. It was therefore not surprising that the President and the Commander-in-Chief called upon us from the very beginning of the pandemic almost exactly a year ago.
This Defence Force that we have now established, is the postapartheid National Defence Force for the good. Its engagement with our people is not to harm or suppress them, but to ensure their safety and security. It is a Defence Force for good and a Defence Force in a democracy. Our Defence
Force’s engagement within the pandemic was integral to the
support of the people and in line with our mandate.
Accordingly, when we deployed, we took the task at hand to heart, hence our interaction with communities across the length and breadth of the country was welcome either as health providers supporting the national Department of Health, the rest of government and also for the enforcement of the regulations related to the national state of disaster.
Hon members, South Africans must remember that ours as the defence establishment started with the repatriation of our compatriots from Wuhan from the 10th to 13th March 2020, despite the immense risks the mission entailed. Men and women of the SANDF, mostly our health care professionals, constituted the team to undertake this mission and brought back our compatriots. This was 16 days before the national lockdown on the 26th March 2020.
When the Commander-in-Chief ordered us into action, we mobilized the largest deployment of the SA National Defence Force in its 26-year history. Operation Notlela, which is what we called it, was the biggest everreadiness exercise in
democratic South Africa’s memory with a mobilization of
The deployed strength of the SANDF comprised 8 119 personnel made up of members of the regular force, reserves and auxiliary services in support of other government departments to mitigate and combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was because the threat South Africa and the world faced was unlike anything in the living global memory, akin to the Spanish flu in 1918.
The types of capabilities deployed included the lockdown enforcement elements, health care practitioners, engineers, air defence and maritime capabilities. All these capabilities had multiple tasks of also assisting front line departments such as the SA Police Service, the Department of Health, DIRCO, Co-operative Governance, Public Works, Home Affairs, Education, Water and Sanitation, including provinces and districts throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Our defence force is indeed an enabler, protector and defender.
Hon Chairperson, I wish to give a glimpse of the facts and figures to provide an even clearer picture we are talking about. On our landward capabilities, we deployed across all nine provinces both regulars and reserves. On health support, we had scanning and screening teams consisting of 165 medical staff; primary health care teams comprising 36 doctors, 84 nurses and 65 auxiliary staff deployed. These teams have scanned 886 800 respectively. Over and above these, the SANDF deployed a medical task team to the Eastern Cape to assist overburdened hospitals, with a similar exercise undertaken in the Gauteng province, and an additional deployment of decontamination teams.
Our military engineers also deployed in all provinces in support of the Department of Water and Sanitation. In this regard, water purification support and distribution was effected, resulting in a total of 23 740 000 litres of water purified, of which 22 090 000 was distributed. In the same vein, 91 water tanks were distributed to schools in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal respectively. Our engineers also built bridges in impassable rural areas to ensure access to various services by communities.
Hon members, as we continue the fight against the pandemic, our focus must now include measures underway to acquire and provide the necessary vaccines as directed by the Interministerial Committee, IMC, on Vaccines led by the Deputy President. Today, we witnessed the President and the Minister of Health receiving their first doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
As the Defence establishment, we have committed to be involved in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines as per the IMC plan. In the same vein, throughout the period of the pandemic, we have made sure that our own forces are and remain protected and all measures will be taken up to ensure force protection.
Just a bit on the and skills development and training of our young people, the SANDF is an institution where skills development and training remain the keystone of the existence of the military establishment. In this regard, over the years the SANDF has provided training for young people through the military skills development system, MSDS, since 2000.
Recruitment will now henceforth have intakes on a two-year basis, which means our next intake will be in 2020 and 2024 respectively.
The SANDF has played a sterling role in the building of infrastructure in the rural areas, particular in relation to ensuring that communities are able to traverse impassable routes and rivers. In this regard, four teams of SANDF engineers have been deployed and carried out operations in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal to build bridges to assist the population access to health care, banks and other services.
These provide the communities easy access to the much needed essential services.
Madam Chairperson and hon members, during November 2020 the President and Patron-in-Chief of Military Veterans established a task team led by the Deputy President to engage with the community of military veterans. These engagements have resulted in the Deputy President meeting with all military veterans both from the former nonstatutory forces and statutory forces to alleviate their plight. They have involved a range of national departments as well as the premiers. The developments have led to the establishment of work streams to co-ordinate delivery of benefits to military veterans, especially the socio-economic benefits. In addition, measures are also underway to ensure the amendment of our legislative framework to enhance capacity. As a result of all of these
work, the report will be tabled to the Cabinet and also in Parliament.
Chairperson, we have been seized in engagements with our country’s state-owned industry. The Defence Acquisition Agency and the Armaments Corporation, Armscor, continues to engage with the rest of the defence industry, both in the state and private sector by way of establishing how best we can assist the defence industry to regain its former glory.
The Minister of Public Enterprises has amply addressed matters related to the role of state-owned enterprises, SOEs, in the defence industry and future plans thereto.
In conclusion, we need to emphasize that the defence establishment is committed to the empowerment of military veterans and the fulfilment of its mandate.
Chairperson, as I take my seat, one of the things I would like to emphasize is that whatever challenges we may have as military veterans ... I am saying this being a military veteran myself ... is that they should never find themselves in situations where they are used to soak counterrevolution
divisions in a country. Military veterans are an investment of any country. Military veterans should strive all the time to ensure that there is peace and stability in a country alongside members of the Defence Force. Military veterans should forever uphold the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chair, let me start off by saying that we would admit that there has been sucesses in the country, but equally, there have been failures. Now, if we come here, and forget about the sucesses and the failures, but grandstand and try to score points, it’s not going to take us anywhere. The fact of the matter is that, despite the sucesses, we still face the crises in South Africa today, let us be honest about that.
Let me start off on the issue of corruption, and let me tell you, Mr President, why you cannot deal with the issue of corruption in South Africa, corruption is deep rooted. You cannot say to a member of your party, do not steal for yourself, but yet, he can steal for his party. All political parties, wherever they govern, rely on these tenders and these procurement processes for survival. I can assure you, if you
close that gap in terms of procurement, all these political parties that depended on it will be liquidated in the first government.
Now, let’s talk about the Zondo Commission, unfortunately. The ANC has been in the forefront of the struggle for liberation in South Africa, and you are very fast beginning to destroy yourselves. I also want to disagree with the Acting Minister in the Presidency when she said that it is the ANC internal problem, it is not. What is happening in the ANC, has the potential to destroy this entire nation, and that is why my plea to the ANC is that, they should get their house in order.
They need to stop the infight because everytime you hear of the R1 billion you spent on the Zondo Commission, it has to do with corruption. When the ANC members are fighting each other, this is what is all about. Now, somebody spoke about education, hon Steenhuisen, and I think that was a wrong thing to say. Let me give you an example, you have taken a million of people’s lives and put them in the hands of a lawyer who knows nothing about healthcare in KwaZulu-Natal. Is that correct?
You have the people that have potential and capacity, but you did different. So, again, let us not attack people. You sent experts, the most educated people to go and receive the vaccines. They didn’t even look for an expiry date. I mean, let us be serious about these things, because these are some of the problems that we are experiencing. We talk about infrastructure development in South Africa, for years and years, but we are not implementing. We are underspending.
Most of the corruption activities and money that has been looted, has been looted out of infrastructure because we are losing about R300 billion in South Africa annually, because we don’t get value for money. We have highlited that, and from time to time we said that we need to close that gap in order for people that are doing businesses in the state will stop to do business because they can’t loot. That is basically what is happening.
Concerning crime, I want to invite the President to come and pay visit in Durban, he will be shocked to what I will show him concerning the crime that operates in the city like Durban. He will just have to pay one visit for two hours, and
he will be shocked. He will see what he has never seen in his entire life before.
X would also like to commend Minister Sisulu, particularly, on her stance on housing and human settlement, because as the NFP, we said repeatedly that the government should stop building the RDP houses, but people should be given service sites to build their own homes. They should be given a loan and be accountable for it. If they pay for it, they will put value for it. Now, you talk about land without compensation
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, your time has expired.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Oh, has it?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: There is so much to say, that is why we ask for more than three minutes, but thank you very much.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: There will be a slight change in the speaker’s list. We will now call the MEC of Health in Mpumalanga to continue with the deabate.
Ms S J MANZINI (Mpumalanga): Hon Deputy Chairperson, the President of the Republic of South Africa, hon Ramaphosa, the Deputy President, hon Mabuza, hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon members of the National Assembly, hon members of the NCOP, special delegates representing our provinces, local government and traditional leadership, on the 11 February 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa drew strength and courage from the words of decorated poet and revolutionary Maya Angelo, whom the President shouldn’t be afraid of quoting as suggested by Steenhuisen.
She is a revolutionary who is a symbol of resistance for all struggling women, who argued that she continues to rise despite the many hardships she has come across in the path of building a better world, to call on South Africans to rise and build a South Africa free of COVID-19, poverty, unemployment, inequality, sexism and all social ills. The call to all South Africans to rise reminded me of the famous words of Theodore Roosevelt who once said:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.
There is no better time for any leader in the world to call on all men and women in their motherlands to rise from the slumbers of unending criticism and against the chains of fear to commit mistakes, and to commit to be passionate doers who commit mistakes in the noble task of building a better world for fellow patriots. There is also no better for all patriots to respond to President Ramaphosa’s call of rising and supporting efforts of this man who deserves all the credit for striving valiantly to save lives while protecting livelihoods in the middle of this global crisis caused by COVID-19.
Hon Deputy Chairperson, I rise to make my humble contribution in today’s debate representing the doers from the province of the rising sun, Mpumalanga, inspired by Mama Charlotte Maxeke who would be turning 150 on 7 April 2021, had the gods of the universe respected our wishes of making such great human beings immortals. Mama Charlotte taught us to kill the spirit of self, and not live above our people. But live with them.
She taught us that we can rise, we should bring someone with us, and it is for that reason that today I rise on behalf and with the people of Mpumalanga, majority of whom have their faces marred by dust, sweat, blood and are striving valiantly to rebuild South Africa’s 5th largest regional economy, as directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his state of the nation address and Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, ERRP.
Mpumalanga like all similar economies is vulnerable to the sudden shocks in supply, demand and reduced economic activity caused by COVID-19 lockdown regulations, from the dust Bushbuckridge to Dipaliseng, and the negative impact of COVID-
19 is felt across the province from all the municipalities.
The COVID-19-induced lockdown had a huge impact on our economy
and our numbers tell us that the provincial economy recorded a negative growth rate of between minus 5% and minus 7% in 2020.
The province is currently hard at work to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and to ensure that, in the words of the President Ramaphosa, we overcome poverty, hunger, joblessness, and inequality. Hence the economic growth rate for the province is projected at 3% for this year. The men and women of Mpumalanga who are in the arena doing their best to rebuild the economy of the Province against the hostile public opinion of the critics who do not count are working around the clock to undermine the negative economic impact of COVID-19 on all the people of the Province, especially women and youth.
The truth of the matter is that COVID-19 found the economy of the country already in a crisis and further exposed fault lines of economic marginalisation of the majority, especially women and youth as properly captured by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guieterrez, at the first virtual Nelson Mandela lecture in 2020 when he said:
COVID-19 has been likened to an X-ray, revealing fractures in the fragile skeleton of all societies we
have built. It is exposing fallacies and falsehoods everywhere: The lie that free markets can deliver healthcare for all; the fiction that unpaid care work is not work; The delusion that we live in a post-racist world; The myth that we are all in the same boat,”as you are saying this side.
Hon Deputy Chairperson, President Ramaphosa correctly asserted that this crisis we find ourselves in today should never be permitted to go to waste and instead should be converted into an opportunity to build a different and better South Africa.
It is for this reason that the Mpumalanga provincial government has decided to deepen its intervention in the economy of the province by implementing and elevating programs which are deliberate and sustained in favour of promoting the economic fortunes of black people, the rural poor, women and youth who pay the highest price of economic marginalisation in our society.
The men and women of Mpumalanga in the country whose faces are marred by dust and sweat and are valiantly struggling to build a better society support the use of fiscal and monetary policy instruments to stimulate demand in the economy. We are working
hard to ensure that enterprises, especially youth and women owned enterprises, and workers in our province and in the country are supported to recover from the worst impacts of the pandemic and are well positioned to benefit from post COVID-19 opportunities in a more inclusive, and sustainable manner.
Hon Londt, let me give you the facts of what the ANC-led government is doing. In responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic and practicalising some of the noble plans you announced in your state of the nation, President Ramaphosa, the Mpumalanga provincial government has prioritised the following: A Provincial Relief Fund for small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, affected by Covid-19; Mpumalanga Youth Development Fund announced by the Premier; provincial tourism recovery plan, the Nkomazi Special Economic Zone, SEZ.
Also, the promotion of the establishment of the mining and metals industries; future production technologies to skill young people in the Fourth Indusrial Revolution, 4IR; cutting- edge technologies such as robotics; green economy initiatives to mitigate the negative impact of climate change; an on-going infrastructure build and maintenance programme across the province and various sectoral initiatives including emerging
and small farmer development programmes, tourism and other enterprise development efforts. These are not formed stories, it is what is happening.
Hon Deputy Chairperson, allow me to remind this august House that the Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, correctly argued that: “No political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people remain in poverty, without jobs, without land, without tangible prospects for a better life.” This is what is preoccupying the ANC-led government from our municipalities to our provinces. Less can be said from the municipalities to the provinces that are run from this side.
The argument the RDP made in 1994 remains as true and relevant today as it was then, and as a result our slow pace in resolving apartheid’s legacy of triple oppression of women, because of their race, class, and gender, undermine our efforts to create an established thriving democracy. We have again been warned by different sections of society that without interventions to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and youth, there is a risk that this would not just set back the cause of gender equality and
undermine mainstreamed youth development, but also hold back the global economy.
Hon Deputy Chairperson, it has become common cause that society cannot resolve the problems confronting it using the same consciousness and actions which created the problems and as a result, we the doers unlike the critics who do not count should start doing things differently and this heightened consciousness of doing things should starting implement progressive interventions like a gender responsive budget.
This is budgeting that aims at mainstreaming gender into public finance. The process of gender responsive budgeting eventually results in gender responsive budgets.
Gender responsive budgets are not separate budgets for women, but instead, general budgets that are planned, approved, executed, monitored and audited in a gender-sensitive way.
Scientific evidence in front of us suggest that even though gender-based violence cuts across all geographical locations and socio-economic statuses, poor women face a slightly higher risk to be abused as opposed to women in other social classes. The socioeconomic pressures of poor communities at times force those communities to resort to coping mechanisms which include
alcohol abuse and there is a positive relationship between excessive alcohol abuse and gender-based violence.
The urgent task of improving the economic conditions of women will also aide our fight against the second pandemic the country is facing, which is gender-based violence. This makes the development and implementation of gender sensitive policies an important task in the fight against gender-based violence. Women are equal to men and this should be translated in all aspects of our lives, including the workplace and participation in the economy. Even though our government has committed to making sure that women are preferred in government procurement, that we are doing this side, but in that side, there is a problem.
In our municipalities and legislatures one would find that there is no balance. It is only the ANC-led government that makes sure that there is gender equity. I am arguing that they should be good at saying that there must assist our government on the issues of gender balances. Hon Deputy Chairperson, let me conclude by encouraging the youth of South Africa to be passionate doers and not the critics who do not count by amongst other things making sure that they contribute
meaningfully in the current process of amending the National Youth Development Act which provides a very useful framework for youth development.
This process guarantees the youth of South Africa what they were promised by President Mandela when he launched the National Youth Commission, NYC, in 1996 and said that democratic government owes the youth of South Africa a clear youth policy and machinery to implement that youth policy.
Our youth must refuse to be like the Hon John Steenhuisen of the DA, Hon Malema of the EFF and Hon Labuschagne of the DA and be counted amongst those who do not count and deserve any credit as they offer no solutions to the myriad of problems our country is facing, but choose to be critics and only point out how strong men like President Cyril Ramaphosa are stumbling in fighting against an invisible enemy which threatens the existence of humanity, the COVID-19.
They addressed this House and created a false impression that the government is not responding accurately to the challenges brought by COVID-19, but we the doers are reporting to the people of South Africa that under the guidance of President
Ramaphosa, Minister Zweli Mkhize and the entire Cabinet in Mpumalanga, we have been able to keep our infection rate at its lowest. As I’m speaking now, our active cases are 1 536 and currently, there is 96% recovery rate.
The statement that Minister Mkhize doesn’t know what he is doing, is nothing but a figment in someone’s imagination and we encourage South Africans to ignore this hallucination and instead focus on getting ready to be vaccinated, as the vaccine is an important and effective weapon against COVID-19.
Urhulumende wesifunda seMpumalanga uzimisele ukuphumelelisa amahlelo akhe.
Bjalo ka mmušo wa selete se sa Mpumalanga, re tloga re ikemišeditše ka maatla go thekga le go šomišana le sona go phethagatša morero wa yona.
Vurhangeri bya Mpumalanga byi tiyimiserile ku n’wi seketela na
ku tirha na yena eka ku lwa na ku fikelela swiboho leswi.
As I conclude, there should be nothing to suggest that we are against the responsibility to use traditional medicines. Of great concern, is the abuse, recklessness and nonmeasured administration of these herbs. All of a sudden, everyone is qualified to can prescribe traditional medicine, which is an insult to the very same traditional medicine practitioners. I am quite sure, Mr President that, even hon Malema’s late grandmother, where she is, wouldn’t agree that each and every person would come out and say that they’ve got a solution for COVID-19.
Together with our traditional leaders that we are working with, we don’t make a mistakes. They are in different provinces, and as the Minister is working with them, they know where we are, and they know that our doors are opened for them to come and present anytime. Thank you very much, hon Deputy Chairperson.
Dr L A SCHREIDER: Hon Chairperson, every day the people of our country see the horror of ongoing state capture on full display in front of the Zondo Commission. Yet out of the haze of all this horror, we are also starting to see the outlines
of truth emerging. Two and a half years after the Zondo Commission began digging for truth, it has finally struck paydirt.
The commission is revealing that the ANC policy of cadre deployment is the bedrock of our misery. This system of job reservation sets aside powerful positions in the civil service, which are supposed to be staffed by skilled and nonpolitical professionals for ANC members who have proven themselves loyal to the party, rather than to the country. In return, these cadres are then expected to use the sham called broad economic empowerment, BEE, to funnel state tenders back into the pockets of the ANC.The consequences are on display every day in front of Judge Zondo. [Interjections.]
Mr President, I would like to say to you today ...
Mr H G APRIL: I am sorry Chairperson to interrupt. It is extremely cold in this House and I think we are going to start to get sick. Can you please just tell them to switch off this air conditioner.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Okay, we will tell the Table to assit in this regard. In the meantime, let’s proceed.
Dr L A SCHREIDER: It is fine, Chairperson, there’s more than enough hot air coming from this side of the House. [Interjections.] Chairperson, the consequences of cadre deployment are on display every day in front of the Zondo Commission every single day.[Interjections.] Mr President, wherever you are, and I hope you are not hiding from this debate, I would like to say to you that you can never claim you weren’t warned.
Two decades ago, the then DA leader Tony Leon warned that cadre deployment was a programme to destroy the proper distinction between party and state and that it would strike at the very heart of our democracy. The ANC ignored the warnings because it chose cadres over country, and now the worst has indeed come to pass.
The Zondo Commission might in fact better be called the “Commission of Inquiry into Cadre Deployment”. Judge Zondo has already speculated that cadre deployment may have provided fertile ground for state capture. The former ANC Minister
Barbara Hogan called cadre deployment an abuse of power. Then again, Mr President, you already knew all of this. Because, between 2013 and 2017, you were the chairman of the deployment committee that carried out what ANC member, Hogan, calls an abuse of power. Even as the country became engulfed in corruption while you chaired the deployment committee, you made it clear that you will not apologise or have any part in dismantling it. Since the President is in fact so proud of his role in cadre deployment, I’m sure that he will have no problem complying with the DA’s Promotion of Access to Information Act request to see all of the minutes and decisions taken by the ANC’s deployment committee since he became its chairman in 2013. [Interjections.]
A curious thing happened as the Zondo Commission began exposing the devastation caused by all the President’s cadres. Suddenly, President Ramaphosa started saying that he is committed to end the practice of poorly qualified individuals being parachuted into positions of authority through political patronage. That’s like the Cookie Monster saying he’s committed to ending the practice of Marie Biscuits disappearing from the cookie jar. Unfortunately, the people of South Africa can no longer afford to wait and see if the
Cookie Monster really has developed a sudden gluten allergy. The truth is that President Ramaphosa has had three years to reform the state. During that time, he has not done a single concrete thing to replace cadre deployment with professional appointment.
As outlined by the Leader of the Opposition yesterday, for the interest of the country, the DA will now do it for him. Today, we are introducing the first of dozens of Private Members’ Bills designed to replace the President’s empty rhetoric with concrete reforms. So I hold in my hand the “End Cadre Deployment Bill.” This Bill will make it illegal for anyone who holds political office to be appointed to the public service, and it directs the Public Service Commission to ensure that all appointments are based strictly on merit.
Anyone who contravenes the requirement for merit-based appointments will go to jail.
We can either have a capable state, or we can have cadre deployment, but we cannot have both. Instead of creating yet another anti-corruption talk shop, the thirty-three pages on this desk have the power to transform our corrupt state into a
capable state, and to eradicate state capture – wortel en al [unroot completely].
Mr President, the DA has not yet gazetted this Bill because we do not care in whose name it is published. All we care about is doing what is best for South Africa. So, since you are not in the House today, I’m going to send you a copy of this Bill. Please, delete my name from it, and have it submitted to Parliament so that the people in this House who are actually serious about reform can turn it into law.
This legislation right here is your chance to rectify the mistake your party made when it ignored our warnings about cadre deployment two decades ago. For all of our sakes, use the opportunity that we are handing to you on a silver platter here today to stop talking, and actually do something to reform our failing state. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms N G ADOONS: Chairperson, Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, the members in the House, the coronavirus pandemic has posed a danger to the development of our children and youth, as early childhood development centres and schools necessitated closure during the peaks of the pandemic. The
pandemic will result in a learning loss that will take some time to restore.
Interruptions to schooling of the current magnitude have a serious, and often lifelong effects on educational attainment and labour market outcomes. This is a challenge that the sixth administration has placed as a top priority to ensure that all our children read with meaning to improve their learning outcomes.
The pandemic has also shown the inequalities that exist in our schools with some of our schools lacking basic services such as water and sanitation. The pandemic has exposed our socioeconomic device with many learners from rural and poor backgrounds who do not have access to internet and digital devices to continue learning while those in urban areas, middle and upper classes have access to digital devices to support their learning.
Our matriculants finished the school year whilst other grades continued with their curriculum coverage. We applaud our learners, teachers, principals, school governing bodies, parents, unions and other sector stakeholders who demonstrated
their commitment to the education of our children. It is through investing in the education of our children that our nation will continue to rise to greater heights of development.
Despite the impact of the pandemic, the interventions by the Department of Basic Education through a risk-adjusted differentiated approach and working with other sister departments such as Water and Sanitation led a rapid intervention to ensure all our schools have access to water to ensure adherence to health and safety protocols.
As a caring government, the National School Nutrition Programme which covers over 10 million learners continued under the pandemic alleviating food hunger amongst the poor and vulnerable in our communities. The department has ensured curriculum coverage to regain lost ground and addressed inevitable learning losses by implementing a multicurriculum recovery plan and a revision of the 2020 annual teaching plans.
This responds to the context of each of our schools and through supplementary material, vacation classes, after-school
programmes, teacher content training, radio and TV programmes, volunteer teachers, as well as alternative ways of grouping and teaching learners our learners will regain lost ground. A lot of work has been done on the migration of early childhood development from Social Development to Basic Education. The pronouncement by the President is one of the key important and progressive move to ensure the cognitive development of our children which is based on a solid background to improve literacy and numeracy to enable improved learning outcomes of our education system.
Primary to our education should be to empower and develop learners to contribute to the vision of our nation as espoused in our Constitution. The Three Stream Model will offer learners the opportunity to follow an academic, technical or vocationally orientated learning pathway. Our schools as social institutions should continue to be supported to address the triple challenges poverty, unemployment and inequality.
We condemn the criminal networks which vandalised over
1 700 schools and groups which disrupt infrastructure developments delaying much needed basic services and social infrastructure which are meant to contribute to our society.
The schools belongs to the community and such assets should be protected by all of us.
In the beginning of Feb 2021, the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education led by the Chairperson, hon Mbinqo-Gigaba, took a decision to do oversight in more than three provinces that were highly affected by the pandemic which is Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.
With regard to oversight on the reopening of schools readiness, upon our visit we witnessed progress made on the replacement of pit latrines, new schools including special schools in all three provinces. It is important to highlight that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done as there are still infrastructure backlogs that must be addressed. One of the schools that needs urgent attention is the school in the Eastern Cape in the Joe Gqabi District by the name of ET Thabane that has more that 1 800 learners in attendance and more than 1 000 learners that benefit from scholar transport. The replacement school is under Asidi Programme with estimated cost of R247 million with all designs and plans in place and no funding is allocated in this financial year.
In addition to the backlog in the other parts of the country, communities were badly affected by the storms that destroyed their homes, roads, infrastructure and schools where in one area in Mpumalanga, 42 schools were destroyed and in North West in Taung about 20 schools were also damaged. These are amongst those that will need to be repaired or built.
President, in your 2020 state of the nation address, you spoke of the introduction of coding and robotics. The Draft Curriculum and Policy Statement has been submitted to Umalusi for quality assurance and teachers training will be underway. The preparations for our learners for the changing world is becoming a reality not just a dream. The Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme has also contributed to schooling with over 200 000 youth employed so far, protecting livelihoods and providing skills. We shun the DA which serves the rich and neglects our children as dropout rates are the highest in the Western Cape, leading the youth to alcohol and drug abuse.
We make a clarion call to all stakeholders in the education sector, and our communities to support our learners and ensure
that all learners return to school as one of the risks of school closure is a high learner dropout. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please proceed.
Ms N G ADOONS: We should protect our school infrastructure from vandalism and protect of schools as social institutions by building a nonsexist, nonracial, democratic and prosperous nation. We pay homage to families of teachers, principals, leaders and community members who have lost their loved once due to the pandemic. A special appreciation to the family of the late hon Nomvuzo Shabalala who was the member of the portfolio committee. May their souls rest in peace.
Hon Nodada, I hear that you said you have a attained your qualification without any government assistance of the ruling party, and I am very happy for you. But my challenge is that you are sitting on the wrong side. You should ask yourself, where Mmusi Maimane is. I thank you, Chair. [Interjections.]
Mr A B CLOETE: Thank you Chair, every year the Auditor General, AG’s, report of our municipalities, reads like A horror novel, yet five of sentences in the state of the nation
address speech of 18 pages - this is how much, this President spent on local government - five sentences. Mr President, there are more than 250 municipalities that need your attention, urgently, now, not on these smart cities. So, let me tell a tale of three cities, Mr President. The one city is Welkom, Matjhabeng- also known as the cadre deployment capital of the country.
Vrugtelose uitgawes van R818 miljoen in ’n jaar. Skuld aan Sedibeng Water beloop miljarde. Sedibeng is op sy beurt tegnies insolvent en bankrot. Intussen weet inwoners nie of hulle vandag water gaan hê nie, want Sedibeng kan nie chemikalieë koop nie.
Now, here the hon Minister, speaking about water and she actually said reason to that debt to water councils gives her sleepless nights, I wonder how those nightmares about Nala, Matjhabeng, Kopanong is going?
The other city is Bloemfontein – the City of Roses. Now Bloemfontein houses the Court of Appeal you know, but yet the
once beautiful City of Roses has simply lost its appeal, don’t ask me, ask Moodies. Mangaung is the Mecca of the metros. The first metro to be put under administration. Politically plundered, Mangaung is the battle ground for service delivery, where residents now fix roads themselves, now, this is in a metro. The former mayor was ousted after motion of no confidence. She is also implicated in the asbestos scandal. Mr President under her, residents of the Free State and the metro felt the full force of the black economic empowerment, BEE, and cadre deployment policies you boast about. This former mayor is still the Free State Chair of South African Local Government Association, SALGA.
Kom ek herhaal dit, sodat dit mooi kan in sink. Die voormalige burgemeester van die eerste metro wat onder administrasie geplaas is, is steeds die Voorsitter van Salga in die Vrystaat, die een organisasie wat munisipaliteite moet bystaan.
Mangaung owes Bloem water billions and as a result the whole city is frequently without water. I hope that Minister Sisulu is listening.
Again, Mr President the only losers here are the residents. Then, there’s [Inaudible.] River, where the court find that municipality was unable to deliver services and allowed residents to take control of certain services. Now, the President said on Thursday:
We are focusing on the appointment of properly qualified officials at the local levels.
Fokus die ANC genoeg? Waar wil jy ’n meer duideliker uitspraak hê as ’n hof wat sê ’n munisipale bestuurder doen nie sy werk nie? As die ANC regtig gefokus het, sou die munisipale bestuurder van Kgetleng saam met sy bestuurders onmiddellik verwyder word. Die munisipale bestuurder in Kgetleng is steeds in sy amp. Dieselfde munisipale bestuurder is deur die Noord- Wes regering gesekondeer. En ek hoop die volgende Premier van Noord-Wes luister mooi. Dan wonder mens hoe wyd die kaping van ons munisipaliteite strek. Dit is die realiteit van die ANC se
kaderontplooiing en, agb President, dit gebeur onder jou termyn.
So, speaking of smart cities, is not so smart I think Mr President, the silver thread in all these municipalities is the ANC and the policy BEE and cadre deployment, which is an equally infectious policy any state capture inquiry should also investigate. Our municipalities should be localizing services, giving communities more power over and have access to services, yet the ANC wants to centralized with the district development model which is just another term for centralizing cadre corruption. And so, money goes out but money does not come into municipalities. District development is nothing else in the ANC, admitting the failing local government and municipalities. Services will only be taken further and further away from communities.
Mr President is poetry good, but South Africans don’t a poem now and I wonder if you know it, stop centralizing services, stop the obsession with cadres and race, act against incompetence and leave services back to the people and the
communities and not your ANC politicians and cadres. Thank you very much.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you very hon Chairperson, your Excellency Mr President.
Godukani zizwe liphelil’ ityala;
Godukani, bantu, iphelil’ intw’ ebithethwa
Abakrokrayo bon’ abazange baphela, Abakhalazayo basazalwa nanamhl’ oku. Bathe nqo ngesisu, bathi ga ngomsimelelo. Abazenzisi, badaliwe kuloo nto;
Silungisa nje, phofu nabo bayanamanama.
The President’s speech was not insurrectionary phrase mongering. It was not claiming easy victories. It was about how to get out of the gutter. It was not about slogans and empty rhetoric. We have a responsibility to govern, while the opposition ...
... igcakamele ilanga.
They continue to play the man and not the ball.
Chithani nityiwe, nto zakuthi. Chithani loo manzi, kuba akukho nkukhu izakuxhelwa apha.
Mr President, the naysayers are quick to accuse government of being lacklustre in implementing critical interventions. Not only is such criticism misplaced, but it is opportunistic in downplaying the disruptive impact of the pandemic on our forward momentum. The Khawuleza ethos continues to underpin the service delivery programme of the Sixth Administration.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the urgency with which we must tackle these tasks, not only to give effect to the new economy, but to breathe life to the economic reconstruction and recovery. This is the foundation on which our interventions in the transport sector are grounded.
In giving traction to the road to rail shift, we are putting in place long-term interventions that will introduce rail- reform, thereby making rail more effective, efficient, and competitive both in respect of freight and passenger transport. This includes a rail policy and legislation which will support and facilitate investment in rail infrastructure, rail modernisation and technology, safety and economic regulation, and facilitate the participation of the private sector in rail.
In the short to medium term, we will review and extend the dangerous goods list that identifies goods that should not be on road, for safety reasons.
Similarly, high cubed heavy trucks will no longer get exemptions to be on the road, considering the impact and the damage they do to our roads. The challenges we have to overcome are vast, but not insurmountable. We have to make strides in increasing competitiveness and access to transport modal networks through effective regulation. We have conceptualised priorities that include re-imagining safety as an enabler of service delivery. Our re-imagined safety is
built on the foundation of a seamlessly integrated value chain.
We are equally enjoined to finalise the funding model and tariff structure on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project by the end of this financial year.
In the last year we hosted a successful National Taxi Lekgotla which emerged with ground-breaking resolutions that will undoubtedly place the taxi industry on a new trajectory in many respects. An integral part of these resolutions is the implementation of a re-imagined taxi recapitalisation programme, located within the broader ambit of an economic empowerment model, including increased local content of the vehicles in line with the South African automotive industry master plan which among other things seeks to increase local content to 60%.
It is through this re-imagined Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, TRP programme that we will deliver the targets of scrapping 63,000 taxis by 2024 and implement a new public transport funding model that includes the taxi industry from the next financial year.
The expansion of the integrated public transport networks in
10 cities will be expedited within the context of the revised technical norms and standards for the bus rapid transit (BRT) system. National Treasury and the Department of Transport, through the Cities Support Programme, is working closely with cities to improve implementation capacity.
The Gibela factory in Ekurhuleni is our commuter rail rolling stock manufacturing flagship, which gives practical expression to positioning South Africa as a rail manufacturing hub as part of the North-South corridor projects.
Linked to this is the work we must undertake to modernise the commuter rail system in the country. We have allocated billions towards the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, PRASA, Fleet Renewal Programme, being the anchor of the overall modernisation programme. Out of the intervention that is being laid at the Zondo Commission, is among others deal with the broken space of PRASA and at the same time to get to the bottom of the corruption that has actually happened in that public entity. Unlike many who are saying that Zondo Commission is like it fell from sky – it was conceptualised,
decided and implemented by the administration of President Ramaphosa and the ANC, nobody else.
No political party that pride itself, will actually fight things like corruption and will not make it a point that state capture as we are dealing with it, is fully investigated, irrespective of whoever – state capture, we must get to the bottom of that and obviously there will consequences with regard to it.
Over the last few years, the pace towards realising the modernisation programme has been painstakingly slow due to a number of challenges confronting PRASA. We expect to see the ramp up of production of the new trains, with a delivery schedule of 44 trains in 2021-22, 51 trains in 2022-23, and a maximum of 62 trains per annum, thereafter.
In the 2021-22 financial year, PRASA will be rolling out the new trains in KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng. In the last year we took an unprecedented step to shut down the Central Line in Cape Town and the Mabopane Line in Tshwane. We have started the programme now reopen those lines. This
deployment of the new trains will also include these new corridors.
The oceans economy represents tremendous opportunities for innovation, growth and skills development. Ours is to give momentum to this programme and realise the massive potential of our maritime sector.
The transformation of the maritime sector will be given impetus by the corporatisation of the Transnet National Ports Authority, enabling us to increase efficiency and competitiveness of our ports. The finalisation of this process will also give full effect to the provisions of the National Ports Act of 2005.
The 750 000 km of roads in South Africa are the key economic arteries of the country and responsible for 87 % of all goods moved in the country annually and 93% of all person trips. As such the maintenance of this national asset is of utmost importance to ensure its optimum performance and continued contribution to the economy.
The geographical distribution of the road network across all three spheres of government, along with the labour intensiveness of road maintenance enables it to generate much needed local job opportunities throughout South Africa.
In responding to the Presidential job stimulus and economic recovery initiative, The South African National Roads Agency Limited, SANRAL, is implementing additional 14 projects under the Strategic Integrated Projects. The competitiveness of our ports is determined, amongst others, by its connectivity in global shipping. Durban ranks among the top five African ports on the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, occupying the third position after Tanger Med in Morocco and Port Said in Egypt.
In line with the Ports Regulator’s tariff strategy, which allows for adjustments to be made without unduly shocking the system, marine services and dry bulk cargo dues are highly subsidised and will generally see upward adjustment. Thank you Chair.
Mr X NGWEZI: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Your Excellency the President of the Republic; Your Excellency the leader of the IFP here in Parliament ... [Ubuwelewele.]
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Ukhulume kahle. Ukhulume kahle.
Mr X NGWEZI: ... the hon iNkosi Buthelezi, the president of the IFP who is the provincial leader of the opposition in KwaZulu-Natal,
Ngikhuleke kwiSilo samaBandla uBhejane phuma esiqiwini kade bekuvalele, simfisele ukululama okusheshayo kulesi simo abhekene naso, namakhosi onke alelizwe ...
... ladies and gentlemen, as a nation we are fully aware of the impact and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only on the health of our people but also on the economy. It is only our strength as a nation, that we may proposer collectively among the harshest conditions and overcome the devastation of this global pandemic. However, to unlock the potential of South Africa a united effort and strong leadership is required, that firmly stands against corruption and maladministration even in the face of populist pressure.
Mr President, in your address you spoke of the four priority areas, as a party that cares for the people of our country the IFP is in agreement with the priorities. The real question is, are you and your government able to deliver on these promises? You took the time to highlight all the successes achieved, and the support given over the past months yet history has shown that you have made promises before unfortunately the promises you and your government have made you have not been able to keep.
In your 2018 Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan, you said you had, “prioritised the revitalisation of three regional and 26 township industrial parks”. According to Treasury, this project, launched in 2015, has not progressed much in the past five years either, with, “most parks being in Phase 1 or 2”, as at June 2020. The revitalisation process consists of five phases. Again, empty promises were made with no tangible results and no tangible rewards for the economy, or the people of South Africa.
And what of the promised township entrepreneurship fund? This too was announced in September 2018, but due to government dragging its feet, nothing has come of it. The Department of
Small Business Development announced in June last year that it would, “delay the implementation of the R800 million township entrepreneurship fund” due to COVID-19 budget reallocations.
The development of townships through programmes such as these will see it better prepared in the long term to deal with poverty, inequality, and unintended economic setbacks.
The lack of attention and success of these programmes perpetually leaves the poor, black Africans in cycles of poverty that the governing party uses as a tool for continual membership. Your call on government to work with the private sector to provide professional services such as water provision has merit. For example, in the Department of Water and Sanitation, planning seems to be a major challenge where they build bulk water infrastructure, and it does not line up with the unique challenges of particular areas, for instance
... endaweni yaseMkanyakude uMnyango Wezamanzi usuwaqeda ukukhanda isihlazimanzi lesi esikhulukazi edamini iJozini kodwa ngenxa yokuhlela ngokwahlukana noMkhandlu uMkhanyakude,
uMkhandlu uMkhanyakude awukakwazi ukusabalalisa amanzi kubantu bakithi.
And this has been happening for two years, and this thing must be addressed. However, this plan will not succeed if you do not address vandalism of water infrastructure in the areas of Ugu, Mhlathuze ...
... la khona kulinyazwa izingqalasizinda ukuze kuhlinzekwe abantu abathize ngamaloli namaloli athutha amanzi, so this thing must be addressed. Thank you very much, Chair.
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Siphelile isikhathi!
Mr M HLENGWA: Siqedwa yini? Bekunani uma kade eyiqedelile inkulumo?
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Mashimane!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE: Hon Chairperson, President, you highlighted the importance of investment as a precondition for inclusive economic growth. You did so because you understand that investment drives economic growth. Economic growth leads to employment and tax revenue to enable our government to finance the need of our people. Investment including industry to boost industrialisation is only possible if there is a reliable supply of electricity, telecommunications , water skills and transport logistics provided by the network industries.
To keep investments such as the R16 billion Ford Motor Company coming to South Africa, the network industries have to lower the cost of doing business and living in South Africa. The President indicated that Operation Vulindlela has prioritised urgent reforms in the network industries because these reforms have huge potential in accelerating inclusive growth. The shortage of electricity, the lack of competition in electricity generation, and the inability of government to fund investment in additional generation capacity have constrained our ability to grow the economy. In addressing this problem, our President has described achievements such as the issuing of the tender for emergency power and the
amendment of regulations to enable municipalities to procure power from independent power producers. This year our government will be announcing successful bids for 2000 megawatts of emergency power.
The President also said that the government will amend the electricity regulation act to increase the licensing threshold for embedded generation in order to increase the supply of electricity and reduce the risk of load shedding in the short to medium term. Increase private power generation in the system will also be beneficial to Eskom since Eskom will now burn less of the expensive diesel needed when old plants break and when there is a risk of load shedding.
In the digital communications sector, we are focusing on reforms aimed at addressing the problem of insufficient spectrum being available for network operators to provide high quality and competitive services. Again, the President announced specific milestones and timeframes for the transition from analogue to digital TV migration process, in order to free up spectrum in the context of the upcoming auction of additional spectrum by Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, Icasa, which should lower data
costs. Data prices must fall to enable South Africans to communicate with each other and increase investments by lowering costs of doing business in the country. The water sector reforms mentioned by the President are aimed at addressing three main issues, firstly, the inadequate regulation of bulk water prices, secondly, inadequate investment in bulk water infrastructure and lastly water and sanitation service standards. The regulation of water and sanitation service standards needs to be strengthened to address the deteriorating quality of water at the municipal level.
As an interim measure, the President announced that the Department of Water and Sanitation will revive the publication of the annual blue and green drop water quality assessments, while in the medium term the department works towards the establishment of an independent water economic regulator. The ability to attract investment also depends on the efficiency of our ports and rail network, as Minister has just outlined. The key structural reforms in the transport, logistics which include improving the efficiency and competitiveness of our ports; establishing a transport economic regulator and implementing a third-party access policy on freight rail lines
and concessioning rail branch lines where feasible. The Departments of Transport and Public Enterprises and Transnet are currently engaged in detailed work in all these areas.
Some of our critics have correctly outlined that many of these reforms are not new and that government has been slow to implement them. Yes, we are deliberately not developing new plans, but rather focusing on ensuring what has been decided already. [Applause.] That is precisely why the President and the Minister of Finance have put Operation Vulindlela in place. Our role as Operation Vulindlela is to assist the President to accelerate the implementation of these reforms.
The relevant Ministers, departments and entities remain responsible for implementing structural reforms in their functional areas.
By focusing on these reforms does not mean other reforms such as land reform and BEE, black economic empowerment, are not being implemented, they are, in fact, BEE is a crosscutting policy to deal with the legacy of structural racism. There is nothing inherently wrong with the BEE policy in itself. If you are committed to a non-racial, nonsexist, social justice and redress, then BEE like a knife in the hands of a thief can be used to do wrong things. The BEE policy is economically
defensible. Those who blame BEE for slow growth should be reminded that the exclusion of black people through political means and apartheid laws stunted South Africa’s economic growth. Black people were denied their potential to engage in businesses in order to grow the economy. Those who oppose BEE should be reminded that apartheid spatial planning forced workers to reside far away from their workplaces, forcing them to spend almost 40% of their income on transport. A reality we still live with today. Black people were denied education which in turn denied the South African economy potential skills and talent from black people.
It is the ANC that has set the conditions for unleashing of black human potential and talents in many respects. Those who oppose BEE must also be reminded that the economic growth in the early 2000s was not only driven by the commodities boom but by the purchasing power of the black middle class. Yes, the purchasing power was aided by credit and did not structurally transform the economy. It is for this reason that under your leadership, President; we are focusing on structural reforms; including industrialisation.
President, with this work that you are doing with your collective under your leadership, it is evident that we are not helpless but we are opening the way ...
Hi le ku pfuleni ka ndlela.
Ri khou vula n?ila.
IsiZulu: 18:24:42 Siyayivula indlela.
Ons is besig om die pad oop te maak.
Re bula tsela.
... through structural reforms to grow and transform our economy. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr I M SILEKU: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon President, hon members, fellow South Africans, Mr President, you used the Fynbos as a metaphor to describe the resilient and sturdy characteristics of this nation, which enabled our people to overcome critical challenges such as apartheid and currently, the covid-19 pandemic.
This nation can overcome the extreme heat and fires that the Fynbos endures to rejuvenate and grow afresh, but this nation was brought to its knees by the pandemic of bad governance, corruption and state capture, and this is where your metaphor becomes flawed. The intensity of bad governance and corruption had simply been raging for too long.
Mr President, you stated that we were victims of oppression, dispossession and injustice for three centuries. What you are not saying is that the three centuries became four under the ANC.
The fire of failed local governance and service delivery had been raging out of control for years now. Auditor-General reports and the findings of Ratings Afrika explain that district and local municipalities were destroyed by
corruption, cadre deployment and political incompetence. As a result, the majority of South Africans were and still are deprived of basic services.
Even the courts see this and are entrusting infrastructure maintenance directly to local communities, as they can deal with it better than their own municipalities.
We must fight corruption and strengthen the state as you have mentioned
... kodwa Mongameli, asikwazi ukuthumela isela ukuba liye kubamba elinye isela.
The public service is indeed at the coalface of government and the National School of Government is a good intention. Mr President, what this school cannot teach is integrity, honesty, and transparency.
Mr President, last Thursday evening, you addressed the country with what you believed to be a comprehensive update on the
state of our nation, but the next day, your party’s own MEC of Health in the Eastern Cape and NCOP Chairperson of the Select Committee appeared in court for fraud. I do not think Shakespeare could even imagine this.
The District Development Model is as much impractical as it is a bizarre admittance of the ANC that they failed with the third tier of governance.
Centralising governments is not the solution, as the drivers of this are the same incompetent people who cares more for what is in the till, than the needs of our people. The solution is to establish what went wrong in North West and Mangaung, hon Dodovu, and what went right in, amongst others, the Overberg District and Theewaterskloof Local Municipalities in the DA-led Western Cape.
I served in both these municipalities as a councillor and both were in tatters after the ANC was voted out. The Overberg District Municipality was resourceful with substantial reserves when the DA and ID/Good took over. At the end of the term, the municipality lost all its reserves and when the DA
started the next term, it had to approach the provincial government to give it money to pay salaries.
In a matter of two years, the DA turned this district municipality around financially and ensured that it was compliant with legal mandates.
Under ANC control, the Theewaterskloof Local Municipality almost received a disclaimer from the Auditor-General in the 2006-07 financial year, as assets and the liquidity position of the municipality oould not be determined. We did wonders again. Two years after the DA took over, this municipality received a clean audit and two years later, the first of an uninterrupted clean audit.
The difference between the municipalities of North West and Mangaung and those controlled by the DA is that the administrators and the politicians do not talk about integrity, ethics, and accountability; ...
... ons leef dit!
The DA do not deploy corrupt mayors and councillors to higher organs of state, as is the case with the ANC. The solution is to have a cup of tea with hon Steenhuisen, so that the next time you address the nation, you can share the names of people finally in jail. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Commander in Chief of the EFF, let us use this opportunity to be pragmatic and focus on only one issue that is contained in the cardinal pillars for economic freedom in our lifetime, which is industrial development to create millions of jobs.
We will later on deal with the career rates, mostly the ... [Inaudible.] … who came here with … [Inaudible.] One was even falsely saying that the Zondo Commission was conceptualised under the current administration, but a simple fact about economic and industrial development, which is a pragmatic focus today, is that you cannot achieve any form of economic development without radical and decisive pursuit of industrialisation.
One of the greatest thinkers in the world once said that industrialisation draws all, even the most barbarian nations, into civilisation. Justin in once said that accept for a few oil-exporting countries, no country has ever gotten rich without industrialisation first.
The Ethiopian economist once said in a recent observation on Africa Industrialisation Day that Africa needs to single- mindedly focus on industrialisation, as the hard truth is that there is no shortcuts in economic transformation.
In this current form and direction, South Africa’s industrial policy is misplaced out of context, unscientific, unhistorical and therefore, a dismal miscarry. Anyone who argues that such is contrary is a charlatan, a trickster or certainly, a useful instrument in the hands of neo-liberal and neo-colonial handlers.
We focus on industrialisation because industrialisation determines the country’s trade policies, its fiscal policies, it monetary policy. Industrialisation determines the country’s foreign policy and the long overdue need for continental integration.
Correct industrial policy will make us appreciate the need to establish a state bank, which the Minister Tito Mboweni and Deputy Minister Masondo are dismally failing to deliver.
Industrialisation will make us appreciate the need to propose and deal decisively with the repossession of land without compensation for agricultural and industrial purposes.
Industrialisation makes us appreciate the necessity of state- led and state-owned energy security that is underpinned by a base load of clean coal, whilst gradually and purposefully integrating other energy sources such as nuclear energy, renewable energy and liquefied natural gas.
We focus on industrialisation because global capitalism and its manifestation in South Africa is assuming a financial form and content, where speculative short-term investments carry more value than real investment in a productive economy.
Now let us repeat what we are saying here, which is evidence based that in its current form, South Africa’s industrial policy is not developmental, is not creating enough jobs and does not protect and promote locally made goods and products. It is a disgrace that we pride ourselves in assembling German cars. We pride ourselves in assembling Japanese cars and
American cars and Indian automobiles. The President of the Republic even also goes to those plants of assembling and portray them as if they are centres of industrialisation.
We are still a neo-colonial economy. That is why the Premier of the Eastern Cape in the debate here was celebrating the fact that South Africa is the second biggest exporter of citrus products.
Hi ntiyiso hina hi tlangela leswaku hi xavisela matiko
man’wana eEurop malamula...
... when we are not doing anything meaningful in terms of industrialisation. Today, the Minister of International Relations was celebrating that the Asian economies are going to allow South Africa to export avocados, table grapes, pears and meat. That is what our focus has been in terms of industrialisation.
Let us give a clearer context of what we mean by industrialisation. Industrialisation must produce goods and
product that are globally consumed. When industrialisation happened in America, the essence of their industrialisation was the Ford Motor company. When industrialisation happened in Germany, the core of that industrialisation was the production of automobiles, such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and many other useful industrial and manufacturing products.
The essence of industrialisation in Japan is the production of Toyota, of Honda, Nissan and many other industrial products in the productive economy. The essence of industrialisation in South Korea includes Samsung, LG electronics, which produced a lot of household and telecommunication electronics. The South Korean economy produces Hyundai, as one of the automobiles that is currently dominant in the world.
In the mid-1970s, South Korea’s economy was smaller than South Africa. It is currently the 10th biggest economy in the world when measured in nominal GDP terms. South Africa is ranked in the 40s.
The Chinese economy is anchored by massive industrialisation that is focusing on development and the production of goods there. And one of the most notable aspects about that is that more than 100 of the world’s biggest corporations, which are
now featured in the global 500 are Chinese companies and 94 of those are state-owned.
What is the contribution of South Africa to the industrial and manufacturing world? Nothing. That is why you have politicians of the ANC who come here to celebrate avocados and grapes as some of our major components and one of our major exports.
That is a problematic approach in terms of what happens.
Of course, you will try to justify the special economic zones that are in existence now. Let us tell you basic facts about that. Since the inceptions of these special economic zones, and even the industrial development zones, IDZs, that existed before that, the South African government has not injected more than R20 billion into the industrial development initiative and purpose. There has never been an creation of more than 20 000 jobs, while we have a crisis of unemployment of 10 million South Africans and who are employable and not getting jobs.
We want to make a solid intervention for maximal returns, for developmental purposes. And to create jobs, South Africa should spend a minimum of 10% of its budget on labour-
absorptive industrial expansion with export capacity. Whilst social grants are important, they have illustrated … We are spending almost R200 billion on social grants, but they are not dealing decisively with the poverty crisis that defines millions of South Africans.
Now, the Chief Whip of the NCOP who represents the ruling party, will not know that in the 1980s, as part of the influx control, the apartheid government introduced industrial zones through the Good Hope Plan and then there was the establishment of factory zones in areas such as Umtata, Dimbaza and all those areas. And all of … [Interjections.] … did not add any value because of … [Interjections.] We need to convert all of those into localised industrial zones that are going to benefit South Africa’s economy.
President, you must not be misled by the choir that says that
we will not remove ... [Interjections.] … We are going to ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Floyd, just a minute. Hon Floyd!
Mr H G APRIL: Chairperson, I want to know if hon Floyd will take a question.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Floyd, will you take a question?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: I don’t think we are in the same league, so I
will not entertain questions with juniors like that.
Mr H G APRIL: [Laughter.] Why did they not invite ...
An HON MEMBER: Why are you disturbing the Deputy President?
An HON MEMBER: Because he is a junior.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please, don’t speak before I say
you can speak. That leads to confusion.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: He is senior to you ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Let us leave this seniority for a minute and just get to ... [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: I was giving a context. Let us convert the white elephants that were created. Most politicians think we are products of the Bantu stan or so-called homeland administrations. Let us convert those into industrial zones for local beneficiation and local industrialisation that will empower our people. That is the only way we will build decisively to address poverty.
The choir that came here, mostly from the dysfunctional youth movement, the products of the youth movement, the members such as Manamela, Lamola, Mbalula came here to reassure the President that he must not be afraid that we will remove him when he neglects and moves away from the land question and continuously empower white people. He must know that that is exactly what they did when President Zuma was in office. We want to tell you, President, and you know very well our capacity, that if we decide that you must be removed from office, we can remove you from all positions of power that you occupy now. Because we are not going to retract from the land question.
At the center of a successful industrialisation programme is a proper land redistribution plan and proper state-owned
financial institution. [Interjections.] Don’t listen to those
who are singing ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, hon members. Let us allow hon Shivambu to conclude. [Interjections.] If you make a noise, it does not help the situation, because he loses his time and we will have to allow him to speak.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Our main submission is that South Africa must not continue to import unnecessary products and goods that can be locally beneficiated and produced. Let us focus on industrialisation because that is the only instrument that will bring about real economic development and defeat poverty, reduce inequalities and make sure that our people have sustainable jobs. At the center of that is the reunification of our people with the land because at the center of the land question is the real development, decolonial development of our people. Despite the interruptions, we have made our point. Thank you.
Mr C BRINK: The President was right about one thing; South Africans are resilient. We are a fynbos people, even if we have a khakibos government. However, our resilience shouldn’t
give the President comfort and he shouldn’t mistake our equanimity as a licence to continue plodding along. Resilient people don’t only overcome failure and setbacks; resilient people also have the ability to fight back against dysfunctional government.
Mr President, we find it difficult to talk about your smart city at Lanseria, the bullet train and so forth, not because we lack imagination, but because we know that Eskom and our electricity supply cannot sustain growth of higher than 2% per annum. And we know that at the current trajectory, if a smart city numbering 300 000 people is miraculously built at Lanseria in the foreseeable future, it will probably break the electricity grid and plunge the entire country into darkness.
So much for the despair, but what about the good news? That Mr President, was not even included in your speech or in the speeches of your Ministers here today. The good news is that there are parts of South Africa that aren’t failing; smart towns and cities that are actually working; smart communities that are bucking the national trend of decline. These communities aren’t perfect. They bear the marks of the divisions of the past. They lumber under a bad economy
predating COVID-19, but what makes these communities smart is their determination to overcome the past and to survive the failure of national government.
Who are these communities? They are black and they are white. Some were born in this country and others not, but they have shared values that transcend these differences. They work in our factories, they run our businesses, they grow our food.
Their labour and ingenuity power our economy and fund our basic services. They work, if they can work, if they can find work, and they save and they pay their taxes and they care.
But they refuse to go down with the ANC. They refuse to stand by as things fall apart and then call it inevitable.
One of these communities was not even mentioned in the President’s speech or much here today, and that is Stellenbosch, a world-class local authority. Stellenbosch is likely to become the first municipality in South Africa that becomes free of Eskom’s load shedding because their mayor and their team have invested in alternative sources of energy. If they succeed in this, it’s because years ago the people of Stellenbosch were smart enough to vote for an honest,
hardworking government; one that delivers results and not excuses.
Daar is nog so ’n slim gemeenskap wat onlangs die slag van Kgetlengrivier in die Noordwes gewen het. Anders as in Stellenbosch, moes die mense van Koster en Swartruggens die stryd vir beter dienste teen hul eie munisipaliteit aandurf.
Bewyse is voor die hof voorgelê dat die munisipale bestuur die waterwerke saboteer het sodat watertenke ten duurste aangekoop sou word. Die inwoners het met ’n hooggeregshof bevel beheer oorgevat en nou vir die eerste keer in jare het daardie gemeenskappe weer skoon water.
Now the Kgetlengrivier precedent is inspiring other communities, including Ugu, Msunduzi and Polokwane, please note madam mayor, the chairperson or president of the SA Local Government Association, Salga.
However, we have to ask, Mr President, how long will communities continue to pay corrupt and inefficient municipalities for services that aren’t delivered?
At the heart of the collapse of local government is a skills crisis. The pool of expertise available to municipalities should’ve gotten much, much bigger in the past 25 years, but the opposite has happened. The solution to this skills crisis is not to concentrate more power in the hands of national government as per the District Development Model. If government can’t even get the roll-out of the vaccine right, how will they improve basic services with the help of a fourth layer of centralised bureaucracy?
Instead, be bold and do away with the policies that prevent municipalities from procuring the skills that are needed.
Struggling municipalities need all of the engineers, planners and financial managers that they can get, regardless of politics and regardless of skin colour. So, abolish cadre deployment, but go further. Do away with race quotas. Do away with race-based preferential procurement and black economic empowerment, BEE.
Mr President, let your love of country in this time of crisis for once exceed your love of party. If you do so, as the Leader of the Opposition has said, you will have a helping hand on this side of the House.
However, Chairperson, someone who definitely needs a helping hand is the Minister of Justice. He complains that we are criticising him despite his wonderful record. Our question is, in terms of corruption, why is Bongani Bongo still there as chairperson of the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee? Minister Lamola, why is Arthur Fraser, in your department, still the national commissioner of prisons? Why is Geoff Makhubo your replacement for Mayor of Johannesburg? I’m not sure if the Minister of Justice is sleeping. Then we have the Minister of Defence who holds forth about COVID-19 but gives no account of the R35 million in Interferon, the so-called COVID medicine that was procured on her recommendation. Thank you, Chair.
An HON MEMBER: Broken record!
An HON MEMBER: The DA has reached ... sell-by date with ... [Inaudible.] ... Stellenbosch. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: Chairperson,
Mr President, fellow South Africans, I pay tribute to Member of Parliament and passionate advocate of economic transformation, Tozama Mantashe, who sadly passed away from COVID, yet another victim of this cruel pandemic.
You may not know Beverly Mhlabane, who lives in Benoni. She’s a poultry farmer, empowered by the Poultry Sector Master Plan. She has 6 500 hens for her eggs business, which is expanding now into chicken meat. Her story is one of the many human faces behind the facts and figures presented in the state of the nation address.
The state of the nation address was jam-packed with the details of implementation. Let me step back from the detail to
reflect on what it all means for the economic development strategy outlined by the President at the start of this
administration. Following the general election in 2019, President Ramaphosa took to this podium to lay out a plan for the South African economy. It was based on a hard and critical look at our progress since the start of the democratic era.
While we had created jobs, too few had been for young people entering the labour market. So youth unemployment had risen. While we had transformed parts of our economy, wealth remained concentrated in a few hands. And, while we had invested in infrastructure and brought services to many South Africans,
more hospitals, bridges, schools and electricity was needed
for our growing population.
So, the President set out a reimagined industrial strategy in 2019, which recognised the areas in which the South African
economy had lost pace, laying out the plan for achieving greater, greener and more inclusive growth, with more jobs.
Last year’s state of the nation address provided the detailed
commitments underpinning that vision – the what, where, how and when of that strategy. However, just a few weeks later,
the COVID virus reached our shores. The context changed dramatically.
First and foremost, it presented an enormous challenge to save lives. However, it also caused a sharp decline in consumer and business confidence across the world, disruptions in supply chains, which in turn compelled an urgent imperative to
protect livelihoods in the face of the deepest global downturn in more than 50 years.
This is the new context; a cruel and painful one for many citizens and businesses. And yet, in spite of these most
challenging of circumstances, the state of the nation address
demonstrated that we have continued to make progress. The opposition may be wilfully blind to this, but despite the
unprecedented headwinds, we have remained steadfast, devoted to the task at hand, frank about the challenges and ever more
committed to achieving our goals.
As a nation, we showed strength of character and our
resilience. We showed what is possible. For while the pandemic has caused great hardship, it has also brought out the best of
our industrial ingenuity and spirit, exactly as Shenge suggested yesterday. Industry ramped up the production of face
masks, expanded production of hand sanitiser for us and to supply the rest of Africa, and designed and manufactured
20 000 Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, Cpap, ventilator machines. A group of clinicians at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital said that many patients only
survived because they had these Cpap machines at their disposal. COVID changed something important.
The basic structure of the South African economy, like much of
the world’s, needs to be transformed from a 19th century
exploitative, low wage, high carbon, extractive economy to a
new economy that aligns local comparative strengths with the
need to build resilience. We can’t just hope to bounce back
from the pandemic to the old normal; a bygone era that some members of the opposition appear to yearn for.
Since COVID-19 has caused so much economic destruction, it
requires us to build back differently. As the Economic
Reconstruction and Recovery Plan put it, we are determined not merely to return our economy to where it was before the COVID
virus, but to forge a new economy in a new global reality.
We are expanding our factories to excel in advanced and flexible manufacturing; breaking with deindustrialisation pressures; and adding more locally manufactured products. That is why the detailed report back to the nation on the master plan progress in the auto and clothing sectors is so important; plans developed and implemented with the full
involvement of industrialists and workers. It develops South African capabilities and South African jobs, and is the platform to develop local suppliers. All of this strengthens resilience. Ukuqinisela. Veerkragtigheid. That is why hon Shivambu’s ... [Inaudible.]
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Point of order.
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: ... is so
wide of the mark. He simply does not know what he is talking
about. Progress is being made. Let me try to help them understand with another example. [Inaudible.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Minister, just a minute. Somebody is raising a point of order. Can we find out who it is?
Dr M Q NDLOZI: Yes, it’s me hon Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Where are you ...
Dr M Q NDLOZI: On the virtual platform.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ... and who are you? Okay, Ndlozi.
Dr M Q NDLOZI: I am asking if it is parliamentary for the Minister to read the same speech every year at the state of
the nation address.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, that’s not a point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, please proceed.
The MINISTER OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION: I would like
the wit to be lifted a little bit. Progress is being made. Let
me try to help colleagues understand with another example.
We are strengthening the socioeconomic impact of mining and beneficiating our minerals to take advantage of our natural wealth in a very different way; a truly strategic shift, breaking the patterns of the past; building new value chains from mines to market. That is why the Steel Master Plan approved last week by the industry that uses local iron ore;
the scrap metal price preference system and the export tax proposals; and the big increase in export last year of catalytic converters using South African platinum, is so important. Ukuqinisela!
That is why Hon Shivambu’s claims on industrialisation are so
misinformed and misleading. Let’s bake bread, not slogans. Hon
Shivambu quotes Justin Lin, a well-known Chinese economist. I
know Justin very well, and he and I coedited a book on African industrialisation, which sets out the preconditions to change
our trajectory. We are now implementing some of those insights; not theory but practice. We are growing our
agricultural lands and upskilling our people, so that as we
address land reform, our farmers are able to feed themselves, fellow South Africans and the world. That is why the progress
with the poultry and sugar master plans were highlighted in the state of the nation address and why the 20% rise in
agricultural exports last year, led by citrus sales, is so important. Veerkragtigheid!
We want to build a greener economy with new products and industries. That’s why the President’s reference to the South African built hybrid vehicle using green and diesel
technologies together to be launched by Toyota in October is so important; like the new solar fridge and freezer built in KwaZulu-Natal by Defy; like the opening of a new plant that beneficiates platinum and palladium to produce fuel cells in Dube TradePort; using green energy platforms to build more
component manufacturing plants. Resilience!
We are building a more integrated and connected Africa,
manufacturing on scale and creating jobs for young people.
That’s why the President’s reference to the Continental Free
Trade Area coming into effect this year is important. Africa imports R7 trillion of goods from elsewhere, bigger that the
entire South African economy; an opportunity for industry and
for new industrial entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses, like Thami Gxowa who exports cooler boxes to
Mozambique; Zanele Ntsibande selling hollow core internal doors to Botswana; Sibu Maphatiane who exports train brake
shoes to Zimbabwe; Doron Barnes who sells steel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ntsiki Biyela who sells wine to Ghana and the Montsi family that exports machine cutting tools to Mauritania. These are the new South African entrepreneurs. Lives improved; Futures secured; Wealth shared more widely as new opportunities are created. Not theory; not
slogans. This is the vision of the Freedom Charter and the overarching mandate of this government.
That is why the agreement with Coca Cola 10 days ago is
significant, as it sets aside 15% of the company’s shares for
the 8 000 workers, and the worker ownership arrangement in the
Simba Chips/Pioneer Foods merger, where in less than a year, more than 20 000 workers will now have a stake in their firms,
letting the people share in the country’s wealth. Ukuqinisela!
That is why hon Groenewald and Macpherson’s characterisation
that transformation is simply for the politically-connected is
so misguided. However, let’s also fight corruption vigorously
and firmly. To continue to make progress we will need more investment by the private and public sectors. It’s difficult.
It’s a difficult time, but as the President noted, Ford recently made its largest investment commitment in 97 years in
South Africa. It builds on a positive trend. Fifty other investors committed R108 billion in fresh investment in November last year.
It was quite a performance to see the DA and hon Hill-Lewis become sniffy, picky and misleading about what qualifies as
investment. The Anglo investment spend he referred to was used in converting a diamond mine from open cast to an underground mine, greening a platinum smelter and investing in chrome plants and life extension projects which include a new pit at Kumba’s iron ore mines. Pretty standard investment economics
We’ve made progress with the ecosystem to support small
businesses and youth, making it easier to register companies; bringing down the cost of data since April last year; ending
exclusive leases in shopping malls; and tackling abusive behaviour by monopolies and dominant firms which strangle
small businesses. Last Thursday, the President made a
necessary choice to focus on implementation. He did so because the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan was announced in
this Parliament just four months ago. That’s why the criticism
that there was no new economic plan is so misguided. We have a
plan. We are putting it into action. The state of the nation address was a report back to the nation. It’s about implementation that changes lives and transforms society; that builds resilience. Ukuqinisela! Veerkragtigheid!
Reflecting on the tone of the debate by the opposition, I am reminded of the remark by Madiba who said:
A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other
side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You
don’t have that idea when you are arrogant,
superficial, and uninformed.
Those were Madiba’s words. Had he been here, he would’ve found
echoes of that tone in the debate. I take comfort, Mr President, from your quote of Maya Angelou. You quoted an
inspiring poem and it offended Beatles fan, hon Steenhuisen,
perhaps dreaming of yet another song, Yesterday. However, let me end off with this quote, the bit that the President did not
have time to quote:
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise ...
You may shoot me with your words ...
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
In the midst of the pandemic, with much still to be done, but real progress being made, we can say as South Africa, we still rise. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Indeed, we rise. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Malibongwe! [Interjections.]
Joint Sitting adjourned at 19:03.