Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 18 May 2021
No summary available.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
TUESDAY, 18 MAY 2021
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Watch video here: PLENARY (VIRTUAL)
The Council met at 10:01.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The Chairperson announced that the virtual sitting constituted a Sitting of the National Council of Provinces.
NOTICES OF MOTION
Ms M N GILLION: Hon Chairperson, allow me to rise on behalf of the ANC that in the next sitting of this august House:
That the Council-
notes with concern and disappointment hypocrisy and double standards of the DA-led Western Cape Provincial Government regarding the public commitment to good
governance and the rule of law. According to the report of the Public Protector, it has been made public that the Western Cape MEC for Local Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning has indeed interfered with the appointment of key officials in the George Local Municipality. Report further make recommendations to the Premier of the Western Cape Alan Wende to take appropriate disciplinary action against the MEC Anton Bredell. Despite these findings and recommendations, the DA-led government has decided to ignore the findings and recommendations which according to the Constitution Court are binding on all organs of state. We therefore call for this House to impress upon the Western Cape Premier Alan Winde to walk the torque by taking appropriate disciplinary action against any MEC Bredell.
I so move, Chairperson.
Mr J J LONDT: Chair, on behalf of the DA, I hereby move:
That the Council debates the current situation around PetroSA, how we have arrived at this point with PetroSA as well as how its future looks at the impact on the
economy both the national and local sphere in the Western Cape.
I so move.
The CHAIRPERSON of the NCOP: Thank you, hon member. Just to say to all hon members that let’s pay attention and ensure that we do not use this space to make lengthy speeches. We intend generally to be fairly accommodative and to have everybody on board and so on. So, let us not repeat the same mistake regard notices of motion as motion without notice let’s try on that point. The notices of motion should be very brief. So, lets avoid making speeches. Hon Moemang?
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Point of order, Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Chair, if the first statement was a motion without notice, I would like to object please.
Ms M N GILLION: Chairperson, please it’s a notice of a motion
not without a notice. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please Moemang, let’s proceed.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Hon Gillion, we don’t ask you to debate. It
cannot be a notice of motion.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, members. Hon Moemang?
Mr M K MMOIEMANG: Hon Chair, allow me to move a notice of motion on behalf of the ANC in the next sitting:
That the Council-
notes with concern the persistent attack by some quotas of the media and the right-wing anti forum brigades against the Minister of Human Settlements Water and Sanitation. According to the media hon Chairperson, the AfriForum, the bastion of right-wing politics that seeks to preserve the white minority privilege and domination, peddled lies that the deployment of Cuban engineers in the Water and Infrastructure Revitalisation space discriminate against the qualified South Africans engineers. This is despite implemented empirical evidence that we have seen some element of hesitation on part of some engineers to work in the rural access due to
multiplicity of factors prominent amongst which is the lack of infrastructure like the first urban accommodation. Further learned the anti-Cuban of the AFriForum is nothing less than the negation of the historical human solidarity which is the Cuban at the SA that was forged in the blood and pursuit of liberation of the oppressed African majority of South Africa as displayed in the paddock aruba battles amongst others.
Therefore, cause on the Minister of Human Settlements Water and Sanitation to be reassured on the support of this House in her Indaba to enlist the general support of the Cubans in addressing the development challenges of our rural masses.
I so move, hon National Chair.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: I object the motion, Chair.
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: No, no.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, thank you very much, hon Mmoiemang. Is there any other notice of a motion?
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Chair, this is not a motion without notice.
This is a notice of a motion. This objection doesn’t stand.
Thank you, National Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No order, hon members. Let’s move on. Is there any other notice of a motion? None. Sorry, there is hon J J Londt.
Mr J J LONDT: Chairperson, on behalf of the DA, I hereby wish to move a motion without notice:
That the Council-
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, we are still on notices of motion.
THABA CHWEU DYSFUNCTIONAL WATERWASTE TREATMENT PLANT
Ms H S BOSHOFF: On behalf of the Democratic Alliance, I hereby move without notice:
That this Council –
(1) with concern the continuous complaints from residents within the Thaba Chweu Local Municipality regarding the dysfunctional wastewater treatment plant in Lydenburg;
(2) also that this plant has been non-operational for the past 4 to 5 years, resulting in the water reserves and the land being severely polluted, this is further compacted by the fact that both sewerage pumps in Graskop have been dysfunctional for the past two weeks;
(3) that the residents in Graskop were informed that they have to wait until next week to have the pump fixed, this in itself is abominable;
(4) further that all the flows are heavy and chemicals will not help the problem or rectify the damage done to the fresh water resources;
(5) also that according to the National Water Act, this is an offence but yet the pollution continues unabated on a daily basis;
(6) with concern that the municipality has been aware of these leaks since 2018 when the DA brought it to the attention of the MEC and the National Minister but yet it has reached this extent; and
(7) that we therefore call on the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, to consult with her counterpart in the province to see whether the province is able to assist this failing municipality to ensure that the residents are provided with a clean and healthy environment.
VRYBURG SECURITY RISKS
Ms C VISSER: On behalf of the Democratic Alliance, I hereby move without notice:
That this Council –
(1) notes the increased security risks for all citizens traveling on the N14 through Vryburg in the North West. These citizens are being attacked in their vehicles and robbed of whatever is visible or accessible. Botswana citizen from Maun, Mr Smith, was attacked on Sunday 16 May and stabbed in the arm and neck whilst travelling through Vryburg. Mr Smith succeeded in his escape from an attempt to hijack his vehicle;
(2) further notes that crime and criminal activities in Vryburg are beyond control and that the South African Police Services are under resourced and under staffed to curb thugs from attacking citizens of which some are seriously injured;
(3) notes with concern that attackers are now grabbing small children from vehicles stopping at traffic lights to obtain access to the vehicles;
(4) notes that the North West MEC of Safety and Security and the SA Police Service in the North West has received many complaints over the past 4 years about the safety and security of citizens in the streets of Vryburg. The situation has still deteriorated;
(5) notes with concern that tourist companies in South Africa and abroad now warn tourists of the criminality in Vryburg and request that tourists avoid traveling through Vryburg. This is negatively impacting the economy of this country town in terms of restaurants and accommodation facilities as well as the security of job creation and employment; and
(6) implores the Minister of Police to intervene in Vryburg urgently restoring the mandate of the SA Police Service to protect citizens and their properties. The attacks on innocent people in Vryburg and the inability of the SA Police Service to comply with their constitutional obligations deserves the Minister’s urgent attention.
VACCINATION ROLL-OUT CONCERNS
Mr J J LONDT: On behalf of the Democratic Alliance, I hereby move without notice:
That this Council –
Notes that -
(1) we congratulate governments across the African Continent who are working diligently and roll-out a proper vaccination program to ensure that their citizens are protected during this pandemic;
(2) that this House also expresses its deep concern with those governments who fail to take the wellbeing of their citizens seriously and put thousands of lives at risk by not being able to have a proper vaccination roll-out; and
(3) further that this House also thank organisations which continuously put pressure on the underperforming governments and motivate more people to do so until we have a thorough vaccination roll- out that will protect us all.
The CHIF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Chair, I just want to enquire if you allow me, please. Did the hon member say ... can I ask Chair, if you allow me? I don’t want to speak on a motion without clarity. Has the hon Londt said in his motion that this government doesn’t take its people seriously regarding the roll-out of the vaccine?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You can repeat that point, hon Londt.
Mr J J LONDT: Chairperson, I will read that again and I will read it slowly for you.
That this House also expresses its deep concern with those governments, who fail to take the wellbeing of their citizens seriously and put thousands of lives at risk by not being able to have a proper vaccination roll-out,
I can repeat a full one if you want or if that paragraph is enough then I am happy with that.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Why don’t you read the whole motion again ...
The CHIF WHIP OF THE NCOP: ... no, no, no ... [Inaudible.] ... not trust. He is bugling something, it is incorrect. I will object the motion.
Not agreed to.
RAPE TEACHER ARRESTED
Ms M L MAMAMAREGANE: On behalf of the ANC I hereby move without notice:
That the Council –
Notes that –
(1) the 50-year-old teacher from Mbilwi Secondary School in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, was in the doc for allegedly raping a 17-year-old pupil on multiple occasions;
(2) the man appeared in the Thohoyandou Magistrate Court on Monday on three counts of rape and the
case was postponed for next week Monday for him to get legal representation and to file a formal bail application;
(3) one of the incidence reportedly he offered to assist her with extra lessons but instead he took her to a lodge where he allegedly raped her; and
(4) we implore the police for arresting him and make sure that the perpetrator is found guilty and sentenced accordingly.
MANGAUNG SERVICE DELIVERY PROTEST
Mr S F DU TOIT: on behalf of the Freedom Front Plus, I hereby move:
That this Council -
(1) Notes that –
(a) there is a shut down in Mangaung, that has devastating effects on the economy;
(b) a lack of service delivery is being used as an excuse and reason for the protests;
(c) protest action must not prevent private business from doing business as usual, since businesses are already under tremendous pressure and unemployment is at an all-time high; and
(d) urgent intervention is needed and politicians must refrain from using the municipal arena as a battlefield for political infighting.
Not agreed to.
CHAPTER 9 INSTITUTION BUDGET CUT
Mr A ARNOLDS: On behalf of the EFF I move without notice:
That the Council –
(1) that as a Chapter 9 institution the Office of the Public Protector is one of the six independent state institutions set up by the country’s Constitution to support defend democracy;
(2) with concern that the current 28,7 budget cut of the Office of the Public Protector that will have a devastating impact on rooting out corruption;
(3) further that in the 2020-21 financial year,
R16,1 million was cut from the Office of the Public Protector;
(4) that the Office of the Public Protector will be rendered ineffective;
(5) that it will derail the task of fighting corruption which are threatening the resources of poor South Africans;
(6) further that we acknowledge that the budget cut will hamper the speed of investigations against corruption;
(7) that we therefore call for the government to protect the poor and the marginalised against corruption; and
(8) further that we call for the strengthening of the Office of the Public Protector.
POLICY DEBATE ON BUDGET VOTE NO 3: COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE POLICY DEBATE ON BUDGET VOTE NO 15: TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS,
The MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL
AFFAIRS: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Chairperson and members of the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, all hon members, Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Minister of Agriculture, Minister Thoko Didiza and her Deputies, delegates from the provinces, members
of the provincial executives, commissioners of the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, representatives of the Municipal Demarcation Board, the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, representatives of the South African Local Government Association, Salga, directors-general of the Department of
Co-operative Governance and Department of Traditional Affairs, chief executive officers, CEOs, and heads of institutions in our sector, ladies and gentlemen.
Hon members, vote 3 and 15 set aside R100,8 billion and budget
15 R173,3 million towards our objectives of addressing the issues of hunger, poverty, inequality and unemployment, and also creating and building resilient, safe, sustainable, prosperous, cohesive, connected and climate-smart communities.
We will continue to prioritize our actions in relation to the co-ordination of the national response to COVID-19. In this regard, whereas we have largely managed to flatten the curve through the implementation of our risk adjusted strategy, we have lost over 55 000 people.
The first and second waves, which we experienced in June/July and December/January, unfortunately claimed the lives of many
healthcare workers, frontline workers, the police, the securities, the frontline in the municipalities and many others; and of course, our condolences, again, go to their loved ones.
Judging from the trends of the first and second waves, the third wave is imminent. We must, therefore, vigilantly adhere to the protocols of masking, washing hands, sanitizing and maintaining a safe social distance.
Even though on Monday we begun the second phase of the mass vaccination programme, we must bear in mind that we are not
... [Inaudible.] ... until we are all safe.
In last year’s debate we said we had accelerated the profiling of districts; a greater focus on creating jobs whilst speeding cohesive, sustainable, vibrant and connected and climate-smart communities.
At the time we also spoke on the progress in the pilot sites of O R Tambo and Waterberg in eThekwini. A central subject of our performance agreement is the delivery of the District Development Model, DDM, in the pilots and 23 other districts in the financial year.
We are pleased to announce that we have completed the initial drafts of the one-plans for 28 of our districts and metros.
With all the districts in Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo and North West done, we anticipate that all will be completed by the end of the month and will enable us to conduct stakeholder and investor consultations.
With regard to the pilot sites, notable progress has been recorded. In eThekwini, for instance, has been characterised by crime and grime at the time of the launch. Through the multi sphere and intergovernmental operation good hope,
258 tons of solid waste were removed mainly in the inner city last month alone. This has been complemented by the work done by the city parks and maintenance divisions which includes grass cutting, tree felling, drain clearance, water pipes unblocking and repair of potholes. We have also spoken of the state of lawlessness in the city.
The integrated safer city programme steering committee, which includes all spheres, meets on a monthly basis. One of the constraints identified by business people was the congestion and crime at the Durban port. This has relegated the port from being the busiest port on the continent to the third busiest port.
We have constituted a multi stakeholder task team with Transnet, Durban Chamber of Business, private operators and the trucking association. The team meets monthly under the leadership of the mayor and the champions of ... and the Minister of Public Enterprises.
The team is registering progress, for instance, the average total turnaround time has been reduced to 151 hours, down from
343 hours in March last year. We are not yet there and are far from the 60-hour turnaround time target. We must, therefore, strive for consistency in our performance and the reduction of the staging time, which constitutes over 54% of the time.
We are also registering progress in the 19 catalytic projects which include the Durban film studio, which is valued at R500 million.
Through the R1,6 billion infrastructure investment in the city, 3 900 new jobs were created. The overall investment portfolio was raised from R2,3 billion in the last financial year to R3,5 billion.
Steady progress has also been recorded in O R Tambo and Waterberg. Last month we launched our partnership with the
United Nations in O R Tambo, which will render inclusive, just and sustainable economic growth whilst meeting our obligations of climate resistance, resilience and sustainable management of resources.
The planned business solution centres will also provide business development services for micro and small enterprise. Our people, particularly women and youth, will have a better chance to gather information as well as access to markets, skills, financial and capital.
O R Tambo forms an integral part of our plans to develop the Eastern Seaboard and Gqeberha to beyond St Lucia, to provide the necessary infrastructure for O R Tambo, part of the development. For now, we have set aside R2,9 billion in the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, MIG, over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period.
In Waterberg we intend establishing a global business service outlet, a Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Tvet, college there in partnership with the private sector, which includes the private/public growth initiative in harambe.
The lucrative sector currently employs more than 267 000 people servicing the domestic and international markets to total value of R16 billion. The nature of the work performed in the sector is such that it affords young people without any post schooling training to access entry level jobs, which they can perform on site and increasingly from home, if they have access to right technology and infrastructure.
The medium-term outlook is to add a further 430 additional jobs throughout the country by the end of 2030.
Over and above this, we will continue to prioritise the unlocking of the mining, tourism, game and agricultural sectors through one-plans and one budgets as facilitated for by the multi stakeholder district forum.
Although the forum has submitted the plan to the province worth R150 million for the establishment of 506 citruses, orchards and park house, which will provide 270 full-time jobs. This project constitutes one of the six catalyst projects in the district. The project also includes the Olifants River Water Resource Development which will bring portable water to the 15 872 households without water; the majority of whom are in the rural areas.
The unveiling of skills and infrastructure investments need to be complemented by the building of the asset base of the poor.
We are, therefore, encouraged by the Department of Land Affairs’ programme for the leasing of state land. The programme will avail over 69 000 hectares in 21 state-owned farms; thus enabling the black majority to participate in the agricultural sector whilst improving their income and access to land.
This state land lease programme will assist us to provide a more impactful agrarian evolution programme which we had set aside over R169 million over the past three years. These resources supported 33 projects which are located in traditional land.
Unfortunately, the funding has come to an end, and any further projects will be supported through the remodelling of the community works programme. The community works programme will use some of the current NBOs in the interim but the long term view is to cut out the middle person and directly support community based initiatives such as cooperatives and Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises, SMMEs.
In order to deliver on the promise of the DDM to enhance co-operative governance and integrated development, we must
have capable land capacity ... [Inaudible.] ... municipalities and provinces.
The challenges confronting our municipalities and provincial governments are well-documented and have led us to institute section 100 in the North West in April 2018.
During our last year’s adjustment budget, we briefed that at a local government level these have undermined service delivery and resulted in adverse findings by the Auditor-General, AG; which are well-known to all of us.
We are pleased to announce that through the efforts of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team and the administrators, the province is turning the corner.
Amongst other reports, the AG’s 2019-20 findings note “an encouraging trend”.
According to the AG’s report the province recorded an overall improvement in the number of departments receiving unqualified audits; ending a four-year period of decline prior to the
intervention. Eight department received unqualified audits; up from five in the previous year. Irregular expenditure incurred was reduced. Investigations into supply chain management were accelerated. That is not to say the province is now on a good footing; there are still challenges but there is progress.
The appointment of the director-general in the province as well as heads of departments for health, agriculture and social development will bring about some stability.
It is also our hope that we will fast-track the appointment and resumption of duties for the heads of department for the treasury, human settlements, public works and roads,
co-operative governance and traditional affairs, CoGTA, arts and culture, sports and recreation.
We’ve also had several disciplinary processes, as part of our consequence management, this has resulted in one dismissal in the Premier’s Office, eight in the Department of Health, nine in the Department of Public Works and Roads, four in the Department of Community Safety and Transport and five in the Department of Education.
The case against the head for public works and roads entered into the closing argument phase this past Monday and we are optimistic it will soon be concluded with appropriate sanctions.
The National Treasury and Special Investigative Unit, SIU, are also concluding further investigations. The National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, and Direct Priority Crimes Investigations are currently pursuing 51 cases. To complement this, Asset Forfeiture Unit is recovering stolen or misuse funds. In March this year the President signed the seventh proclamation relating to North west.
Much of the challenges confronting the province and others have to do with the local sphere. We’ve also seen how that has translated to infighting and underservicing of community.
Despite that underservicing, the municipalities in the North West only spent 61% of the R1,7 million MIG.
In this regard, the municipality of Kgetleng River, Tsoaing, Ditsobotla, Ramotshere Moilwa, Ratlou, Dr Ruth Segomotso Mompati, Matlosane and Madibeng require urgent and added attention.
Consequently, we will work with the National and Provincial Treasuries to consider steps we should take to ensure that the conditional grants are spent and utilized effectively. This may include utilizing section 21 of the Division of Revenue Act. This will enable us to employ implementing agents such as Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent, MISA, and Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA, to directly deliver the much- needed services.
We are also placing a tight eye or scrutiny on JB Marks and Mahikeng because of the infighting, political instability and alleged misappropriation of funds and the declining service delivery.
The Deputy Minister has convened an internal task team to provide forecast attention to these 10 municipalities. The team will also develop a sustainable exit strategy and requisite directives that will use these and other municipalities in the North West and the rest of the country to improve on performance.
The strategy should also turn the fortunes of the 23 other municipalities under administration, section 139. The strategy will also provide more sustainable approach to the court
directives presented by the recently concluded case of Clang River and Lekwa.
In these municipalities service delivery has almost collapsed. In Clang river this has resulted in civic organisation having to deliver services and in Lekwa the national government has had to intervene to improve services. It will also have to empower national and provincial actions and directives which in some instances have been not.
Interventions under section 100 and section 139 ought to be instituted in future as a very last resort. Instead, we must place great emphasis on section 154, a section that calls on the:
National government and provincial governments to support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs, to exercise their power and to perform their functions.
We must promote integration and the spirit of co-operative governance by working together as one in the three spheres.
I know sometimes when the provinces try to intervene through section 154 some of the municipalities fear that their powers are being taken, but that’s not the case.
This is also the spirit carried out in the Municipal Structures Amendment Bill, which has been finalized by Parliament and has been sent to the President for ascend. That spirit is also the carried out in the Municipal Systems Bill, which is out for public consultations.
These pieces of legislation will improve the local government architecture and will also enable us to tighten governance at the municipal level.
Another important piece of legislation is the Traditional and KhoiSan Leadership Act, which came into effect on the 1st of April. This will bring to full recognition institutions of traditional leadership in the KhoiSan communities.
We are currently finalizing the appointment of the related commission as per the legislation. Deputy Minister Bapela is currently leading a national outreach programme with MECs, houses of traditional leaders and the representatives of the KhoiSan communities to discuss the implementation of the Act.
Last year we also reported that we would host a summit to deal with the second pandemic of gender-based violence, and femicide, GBVF. Indeed, the summit was hosted in August and as part of the outcomes of the summit we will, this year, rollout training to women in the traditional leadership on GBVF, working closely with the commission on gender equality, Department of Women, Youth and People with Disabilities as well as other relevant stakeholders. The Deputy Minister will elaborate on these and other aspects of traditional affairs.
For some time now spoken about how we view the current funding model to somewhat be unjust. Our discussions with National Treasury are close to conclusion as we consider how we can revise the current funding model so that the more rural and poorer municipalities are not disadvantaged. We will also look at your support in concluding these discussions.
South Africa is also a disaster-verse country with extreme weather conditions which are a result of climate change action failures. As we speak, South Africa is simultaneously confronted by the negative effects of the heavy rains and droughts. Our disaster management architecture will require some strengthening. We will look to the NCOP to support the changes we will introduce in due course.
I would like to thank all the institutions we have worked with, the Deputy Minister, Salga, we also want to thank all the directors-general in all departments and chief executive officer, CEO, and all the officials who do the heavy lifting.
We also would like to call on your support in the passing of Budget Vote 3 and 15. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr T S C DODOVU: Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Masondo, hon Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and your Deputy, hon Obed
Bapela, Chief Whip of the NCOP, permanent and special delegate, representative of South African Local Government
Association, SALGA, ladies and gentlemen. The struggle against colonialism and apartheid, and the building of a nonracial
non-sexist democratic society has produced many outstanding
leaders. We also have men and women who in a variety of ways have made an important contribution in terms of our own
struggle. One of such leaders is Walter Sisulu, a doyen of our struggle, who was born on this day, 18 May, in 1912
...[Applause.] ... who has paid a deposit in our moral bank account, so that as we move forward to reconstruct and develop our country, we must emulate his virtues, and his exemplary leadership.
Hon Chairperson, as we debate Vote number three on Cooperative Governance, and Vote 15 on Traditional Affairs today. I rise to express our appreciation to baba Walter Sisulu, and accordingly wholly dedicate this speech to him, for the indelible contribution that he made in bringing about freedom
in our land. As we battle to fix local government to ensure
that it is indeed a sphere, that promotes accountable governance, a sphere that provides basic services to our
people, and a sphere that promotes participatory democracy. We must do so in full recognition that we owe a special debt of
gratitude to baba Sisulu, because of his immense and immeasurable contribution he made in struggle, but equally
because, he has enriched, our lives with the magic of his words, the equity of his insights, the magnitude of his
As the Select Committee on the Department of Cooperative
Governance and Traditional Affairs, CoGTA, Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation, we have noted with great concern the
appalling state of our municipalities, which need urgent intervention. At the heart of this undesirable situation there are political governance and leadership problems which are causing service delivery delays in most of our municipalities,
and they also cause instability, protest and collapse of many municipalities.
Hon Chairperson, these municipalities are vulnerable as a result of increasing unauthorised irregular fruitless and
wasteful expenditure. While some of them unable to collect
revenue, others continue to illegally adopt unfunded budgets with the expenditures exceed their incomes. The municipalities
in rural parts of our country are specifically cash strapped because of low tax base, and lately because of the COVID-19
pandemic. As such, they are unable to provide minimum basic services to the people and also they are unable to pay their
creditors, including Electricity Commission, Eskom and water board utilities, which they owe billions of rands.
To compound these problems, corruption and other acts of financial maleficence, generally collapse most of the
municipalities. And as such they are able to implement infrastructure projects leading to delays incomplete projects
and municipal infrastructure grant by versions. As a result of these communities experienced infrastructure neglect and rundown potholes, sewage spillages, as well as water and electricity losses.
Hon Chairperson, during our interaction with the department of CoGTA on its annual performance plan for 2021-2022 financial year. It identified the performance indicators and targets that is that it will seek to achieve. These include the following; in terms of programme one administration, the
output includes the approval of corporate service improvement
plan and the financial management improvement plan. Developing the internal audit plan, as well as reporting on investigated
matters of corruption. On programme two that deals with local government support and intervention. The outputs include the
following, ensuring the development of one plan of the district development model. In terms of institutional
development, which is programme three, the output includes the following; the municipal financial viability assessment, an
improvement tool, increasing efficiency, electricity’s
provision. Supporting the preparation for local government election, and also ensuring that the municipal public accounts
committee committees function optimally and therefore municipalities improve their audit outcomes.
On the national disaster management centre the output of the department includes supporting municipalities in priority disaster areas, and reporting on the functions of sector
departments, especially those that are implementing the disaster funding arrangements.
Lastly on the community works programme, the outputs include the enrolment and training of participants for the community
work programme, and the implementation of the new model of the
community works programme. In the light of these above, we think that these programmes need to be attended to, because
the select committee is making the following observations; that compensation of employees of the department of CoGTA
under the administration programme, has declined, that the department has included gender-based violence in the district
development plan, and this is welcomed by the committee, that there are problems with the ageing and maintenance of
infrastructure, and failure by some municipalities to use
their municipal infrastructure grant, that there are delays by the department in tabling of the monitoring and intervention
Bill, to give effect Section 100 and Section 139, of the Constitution, that there are poor or low accountability in
most municipalities leading to the deteriorating financial situation, but there is lack of consequence management that the lack of consequence management has also deteriorated the financial positions of many municipalities. And all of this need to be giving the necessary attention.
Based on the above observation, hon Chairperson, our select committee recommends the following measures, that the department of CoGTA should fast track the tabling of the monitoring and intervention Bill, so as to provide guidelines and norms on the invocation of Section 100 and Section 139
intervention, that the department should provide quarterly
progress reports on the implementation and achievement of annual targets as contained in the annual performance plan and
the budget of the department itself and, going forward, our select committee will align its quarterly programmes in line
with the annual targets of the department of CoGTA in order to ensure the monitoring of performance, ensuring executive
accountability, and exercising Parliamentary oversight on the implementation of the annual performance plan and the budget
of the department.
Hon Chairperson, as I pointed out from the beginning, today is
the birthday of Tata Walter Sisulu. He would have been 109 years old. The same as his beloved organisation, the ANC. If
ever, there was anyone who lead ... [Inaudible.] ... the liberation of his people. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, it was Walter Sisulu. He spent the better part of his adult life saving humanity and later in prison for more than
26 years. Walter Sisulu was a fiercely, committed activist, a
leader who loved his country and his people. He understood the demands of the revolution with unlimited clarity, and therefore understood what was expected of him. He never lost sight of his people, their needs their fears, their joys and their aspirations. That is what we need to do, as his fourth
years to transform the system of local government.
Hon Chairperson Baba Walter Sisulu’s passion for freedom and
justice, never at least his pathos for the people. That is why he was so loved and respected by his people and that is why he
will be forever honoured and remembered. And once more may God receive his soul in peace and joy.
In conclusion, hon Chairperson in honour of Baba Sisulu,
remember his birthday we ... [Interjection.] especially Member
of Parliament we must conduct oversight all organs of state under our jurisdiction, including those at provincial and
government level. As Members of Parliament, we must monitor and oversee the executive actions, focusing on the
implementations of laws, on spending their budget appropriately, on implementing their strategic plans and annual performance plans and on strict observance of the Law of Parliament and the Constitution. As well as the effective management of the government departments.
And, also important we must pass laws as this Parliament which should transform our country to a truly non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous just like what Walter Sisulu would have done.
On those particular words, I want to say, thank you very much, hon Chairperson, thanks.
Ms C VISSER: Hon Chairperson and hon Minister, and all protocol observed. Hon Minister, thank you for what you have added in your speech about the municipalities in the North West. I am glad that you took note of that. However, it is true that South African residing in ANC governed municipalities live in appalling slam like conditions created by the ANC.
The gradual decay of institutional values over the past 27 years has resulted in the exclusion of millions of people from accessing basic services such as water, sanitation, electricity and solid waste removal.
The annual Auditor’s general report bears witness to the regression of municipalities with increasingly, unspent and unfunded budgets, as well as unauthorised, irregular previously wasteful expenditure. This downward trajectory can only be attributed to the fraud and corruption that serves as
the controls that have been embedded into the core financial systems of ANC governed municipalities.
It is therefore clear that fraud and corruption has become the action plan of implementation in the governance of municipalities. Not only by councils, but also by administrators.
Now the Department of Corporative Governance and Traditional Affairs has a new plan on the table the Distract Development Model printed on the glossy paper and packaged as the plan that will resurrect municipalities through the building smart cities.
Minister, I foresee two problems with this plan. Over the years the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs demonstrated its incapacity to effectively address the dire financial straits that municipalities have collapsed in. The district municipalities have also been reduced to overstaffed and underqualified cadre deployment institutions.
For 27 years’ billions of rand were budgeted for, but yet the
ANC governed municipalities are none the better. The ongoing
gross maladministration of these funds guarantees the deprivation of services to communities. Not one Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs plan progressed from being tabled in councils to being implemented. If indeed these plans were actioned into implementation, communities today would not have experienced substandard living conditions that denies them of the constitutional right to a life of dignity. For 27 years’ billions of rand were wasted.
Checks and balances within the financial management of public funds in conjunction with consequence management and accountability measures should be reinstated and enforced with a requisite discipline by both the provincial and the national governments.
The disintegration of municipalities is the outcome of the dismally failed oversight and they should be held accountable for this. The indication of section 139, is another example of how public funds have been flashed down the drain. Thank you for the hon Dodovu for also recognising this. Politically connected administrators are appointed without determining institutional or statutory capacity of these municipalities must be improved. The end result structurally destroyed
municipalities with regressed audit outcomes and increased ANC political infighting. More needs to be done to identify and address the root courses of this collapse.
We can no longer expect that an election will magically assure in new councillors that will automatically honour the Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs mandate.
After 27 years the renewed ANC policy and Annual Performance Plans maintain the promise of service delivery. Developing local economies and creating permanent jobs, serving communities in line with the Batho Pele principles. But this however, proves to be a blatant lie. It never happens. Instead the ANC achieved failed policies, state capture, cadre deployment, inflated tenders, self-enrichment, natured systems of fraud and corruption in every administration and weakened systems of checks and balances.
However, all is not lost. Where the DA governs, they govern best. The Auditor-General will agree. The DA difference is evident in all DA governed municipalities and the Western Cape legislature. All South Africans visiting the Western Cape can attest to this.
The question is: What is the DA‘s secret? Implementation of legislation, financial discipline with checks and balances, accountability, consequence management, transparency and a clear vision of objectives to not only maintaining cities, towns, townships and villages but economically developing all areas of jurisdiction to create permanent jobs and improve the lives of all who live there.
No wonder the City of Cape Town has been named by the card payment provider Dojo as the third most ambitious city in the world. This honour was attributed to the innovative designers and artists that reside here. The low-costs involved in opening a new business and the annual competitions held in aid of new businesses. Cape Town out performed New York, Paris and Singapore cities. In terms of entrepreneurial potential and I am proud to say that to you today.
Due to the support given to Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises in the city, they are able to employ 70 to 80% of the working population. The staff contrast between the DA governed Western Cape and the ANC governed provinces clearly indicates that the ANC’s indifference towards the suffering of ordinary South Africans.
In conclusion, this budget like all the others before, is nothing other than an effective plan to use limited resources for selfish gain. The targets set in the Annual Performance Plan is seldom reached and this year will in all probability be held different. I thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, hon Visser. I will now hand over the presiding officer’s role to the hon Winnie Ngwenya. The hon Ngwenya.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you very much, Chairperson. The next speaker is the hon Bartlett.
Ms M BARTLETT: Good morning hon Chair, hon Minister, hon members, good morning to all. Chair on the section of unemployment and developmental local government, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a serious toll on not only the lives of our people but also the economy of South Africa. We are still reeling from the effects of the lockdown. Statistics SA announced that [Inaudible] that in the year 2020 [Inaudible.] contracted by 7% and in the second quarter about 2,2 million people had lost their jobs.
The ...[Inaudible.] ...strategy that has been implemented by government to fight against Covid-19 and curb the spread of the virus has not only sharpened the contradictions of poverty which continue to characterise the structure of the South African economy but is also [Inaudible.] them.
It is in this context Chair that the ANC government laid out and proposed for a nation and economic recovery and reconstruction plan. This plan has three phases, number one, to engage ... [Inaudible.] ... which includes a comprehensive
... [Inaudible.] ... to save lives.
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms Ngwenya): Hon member, can you stop a little bit. There’s someone disturbing. Dr D F Bese can you please mute yourself. You’re disturbing us. Okay Mam, you can continue.
Ms M BARTLETT: Thanks Chair. Secondly, the recovery and the reform which includes interventions to restore the economy while controlling the health risk and lastly, reconstruct and transform which entails building a sustainable, resilient and inclusive economy
The task of local government in the context of economic recovery and reconstruction is to unlock enablers that will allow of a developmental state and mandate with the local economy
The localities have to come up with economic development programmes which will be [Inaudible.] and driven by a social compact amongst the key local stakeholders such as small business, traditional leadership, youth and women groups and other interest groups with economic recovery and reconstruction.
Local government must create a conducive policy environment and mobilise resources to support economic development initiatives and also to ensure local beneficiation. By creating jobs local procurement, one of the identified in the recovery reconstruction plan is the area of infrastructure investment.
Local government has the responsibility to ensure that there’s aggressive infrastructure investment in the areas. This is already a priority being implemented by the Department of Cooperative Governance because infrastructure constitutes the
largest spending programme of the budget and economic function. This can act as a catalyst to economic growth.
In order to maximise the economic impact of infrastructure projects, it is important for the state to empower local industries. This can be done in empowering SMMEs, women in cooperative and suppliers.
As part of our oversight work, we must ensure that the infrastructure projects are driven to localisation. Using South African suppliers, materials and construction companies. Labour intensive methods must be used to ensure that projects employ more people.
In some ANC led municipalities, this is already the case. For example, in the ANC led coalition government in the City of Ekurhuleni, 30% is already set aside for local business in all infrastructure programmes. While this is being implemented, we must be vigilant against corruption, nepotism and bribes which are paid by rank seeking elements to repossess development so that it only benefits them.
The local sphere of government must create a conducive environment for development of small and medium sized
enterprises. Cooperatives and start-ups facilitate inclusive growth. A more competitive economy will enable higher growth and job creation while providing consumers with lower prices and more product choice.
Using the buying power of the state of a local level will stimulate demand, great value change and generate a local system of innovation in which they will be flow of technology and information between the local players and of external players. This leads to a sustainable development.
Chairperson, all these interventions will mean nothing if we fail on the core issues that must be addressed by the local sphere of government which is the provision of basic services to our people.
Municipalities are the most basic units of government and are tasked with delivering services. This is done through the minimization of resources towards the improvement of lives of our people. Basic services are the fundamental building blocks of improved quality of life and adequate supply of safe water, an adequate sanitation, necessities of life, wellbeing and human dignity.
The community survey of 2019 conducted by Statistics SA reveals that tremendous progress has been registered in the past two decades in the provision of basic services. Reports show that 81,9% of all households resided in formal dwellings. Although the percentage of households that have received government subsidies housing from 5% in 2002 to 14% in 2019.
Twelve of households still live in informal settlements. This is also made complicated by the migration of patens.
Households have access to improve source of water increased from 84% in 2002 to 88% in 2019. The increases were much notable in the Eastern Cape which increased by a plus 17 percentage points and KwaZulu-Natal 10%.
Despite this notable progress, access to water actually declined in five provinces between 2002 and 2019. The largest decline was observed in Mpumalanga with minus 5%, Limpopo minus 3%, and Free State minus 3%. Despite these declines, reality is that more households had access to piped water in 2019. Then 18 years earlier while the number of households that accessed water in the dwelling increased by 70%,
3,2 million households between 2002 and 2019 growing from
4,5 million to 7,7 million, the percentage of households that
had access to water in the dwelling only increased by 4,5% over the same period.
Through the provision and efforts of government support, agencies and existing stakeholders, percentage of households with access to improved sanitation improved by 20% between 2002 and 2019, growing from 61% to 82%. Most improvement was noted in the Eastern Cape where the percentage of households with access to improved sanitation increased by 54% to 87%, Limpopo whose access increased by 36% going to 63%.
Challenges which have been highlighted by the community survey about water shortages should be addressed through the infrastructure investment programme. This is why in order to fund new bulk water projects and maintain raw water infrastructure, spending on national water as resource management is expected to grow from R26,8 billion in 2020 to 2021, with R13 billion in 2022 to 2024. This should address the challenges in specific provinces which experience have declined in water sources.
Chair, this improvement in service delivery proves that we have laid a solid foundation with the developmental state working of all [Inaudible.] stakeholders can be able to effect
economic transformation and be able to create employment opportunities in the localities.
This is why it is important to have sustainable municipalities with sufficient revenue based that allows them affordable to persuade their developmental state and mandates.
How we pay for services infrastructure also affects the nature, the location and density of the development. Correct pricing will improve the efficiency with which resources are used to provide the services and [Inaudible.] the business wants.
Moreover, Chair, the cities are interested in pursuing compact development. They need to consider the impact of other financial such as property taxes and development charges on how cities grow and develop. I thank you Chair.
Mr T MATIWANE (EASTERN CAPE): Hon Chairperson, the Chairperson of the NCOP, the Deputy Chairperson, the Minister of Co- operative Governance, and all other Ministers present, the Deputy Ministers, hon members of the NCOP, good morning.
Sihlalo ohloniphekileyo, siliPhondo leMpuma Kapa siphakamela ukwamkela le Voti yoHlahlo lwabiwo-mali, ithe yadakancwa apha nguMphathiswa weSebe lezeNtsebenziswano kuLawulo neMicimbi yezeMveli. Sinengcinga yokuba, olu Hlahlo lwabiwo-mali, luzakudlala indima enkulu ekuphuculeni ubomi babantu kwiphondo lethu.
Hon Chairperson, in his address the Minister said that the budget is meant to contribute towards eradication of poverty, unemployment and inequality. These three challenges are most prevalent in our province. They are not merely statistics, but affect warm bodies - women, the elderly and the youth of our province. Though we would have preferred even more resources to be allocated to the department so that it can fulfil its obligation, we are mindful of the budget cuts that have affected the department, hence we encourage the Minister and his team to utilise the limited resources they have prudently to make a positive impact in the lives of our people. We want to applaud the role that have been played by this department in leading efforts to fight COVID-19 in our country, in particular with regards to implementation of the Disaster Management Act and the risk adjusted strategy.
We know that this has not been an easy task, but we have eased South Africans in adhering to regulations that are meant to save lives. Though we have lost more than 11 000 lives in our province, we will remain indebted in your ...
Ms B T MATHEVULA: Chairperson, may I rise on a point of order?
MODULASETULO WA NGWAKO (Moh W Ngwenya): Mathevula, o na le mona, monna!
Moh B T MATHEVULA: Aowa, ga ke na mona ...
I am raising a point of order.
MODULASETULO WA NGWAKO (Moh W Ngwenya): Aowa, “maB”.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): I thought as much. Hon member, can you please continue. [Interjections.]
Ms B T MATHEVULA: May I rise on a point of order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon member, can you please continue. [Interjections.]
Mr T MATIWANE (EASTERN CAPE): Thank you very much, hon House chair. We rely on your leadership, you fought again at this crucial stage of ... [Interjections.] ... to protect our people from this invisible deadly virus. [Interjections.] The constituency of traditional leadership and ...
Mr A A ARNOLDS: House Chairperson, can I raise a point of order?
Ms B T MATHEVULA: May I rise on a point of order, Chair.
Ms H S BOSHOFF: May I rise on a point of order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon members ... What is the point of order?
Mr A A ARNOLDS: No, you must state the point of order, Chairperson.
Ms B T MATHEVULA: You must allow me to state the point of order, Chair. I have raised the issue and you have not ruled on it. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): I am making a ruling that the member must continue ... [Interjections.]
Mr A A ARNOLDS: No, I am calling a point of order ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): ... that the member must continue with his speech. [Interjections.]
Mr B T MATHEVULA: You must recognise the point of order, Chair. [Interjections.] I have raised the issue ... [Interjections.]
AN HON MEMBER: He does not have the official background. What else do you need?
Mr B T MATHEVULA: The background is having ... [Interjections.] ... Chair. Can you please ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): I am making a ruling. Could you please the member must continue with his speech. [Interjections.]
Mr B T MATHEVULA: Which ruling, Chair. We have raised the point of order.
Ms H S BOSHOFF: Hon Chair? Hon Chair?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Yes.
Ms H S BOSHOFF: I rise on a point of order. This sitting is to be deemed the NCOP Council ... [Interjections.] ... the background must indicate the NCOP. And another thing when you enter the House, you are not allowed to have any political party regalia. So, we request that you to please ensure that this current speaker changes his background to the acceptable one.
MODULASETULO WA NGWAKO (Moh W Ngwenya): Ke be nka makala.
Mr A A ARNOLDS: Why are you taking the DA’s point of order but you don’t take the EFF’s point of order, Chairperson? [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: I am raising my hand but some unruly hon members ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): I can see your hand but some ... [Interjections.] ... just speak without raising your hand.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: I am deliberately raising my hand, but some unruly hon members speak in turns as they wish. So, this House is governed by ... [Interjections.] The point that is raised by the hon Mathevula is correct. The hon special delegate should check the background. But this is in the middle of a statement by the hon Matiwane.
Chair, I take it that you are going to make a ruling at the end of the presentation of the hon member so that we are consistent with what we expect. The background should depict the National Council of Provinces or a background that does not show any party regalia. So, I believe that you will guide
the hon members that are participating in the debate. Thank you, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you Chief Whip. I won’t repeat again what you have said. I hope the members have heard what you have said, Chief Whip. I’ll ask the hon member Matiwane to continue. Hon Matiwane?
Mr T MATIWANE (EASTERN CAPE): Thank you very much, hon Chair. Because if ... [Interjections.] ...
Mr T APLENI: Chairperson? Can I rise on a point of order, Chairperson? Chairperson?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon member?
[Interjections.] Can you raise your hand because I can’t see
Mr T APLENI: I raised my hand. My hand is up. You did not recognise me. Chairperson?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon Apple ... I can see you hand. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): The only hand that is up is the hon Apple
Mr T APLENI: Apleni!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Apleni. Yes!
Mr T APLENI: Yes, ma’am. Ma’am, the point of order that the hon Mathevula has raised is that the member ... all of us we were told that when we get into the sitting, it is deemed to be the NCOP background. I really do not understand why someone will deliberately use the logo of the organisation as a background and be allowed. If you say that this member must be allowed to finish his speech, what will happen tomorrow if I decide to get in there with the logo of my political organisation? Are you going to say that I should finish my speech and you will make the ruling later? What is the need of the Chairperson in that instance? [Interjections.] You need to make a ruling, Chairperson. If this member is breaking the Rules if the House, you have to tell him to remove the logo and put the NCOP’s there. Thank you very much.
MODULASETULO WA NGWAKO (Moh W Ngwenya): Apleni, o na le mafolofolo goba o thabile.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Hon House Chair Ngwenya? We just want to advice ... [Interjections.] We just wish to advice that the hon Matiwane should switch on his video, which I believe could solve the problem because that is the background when he is not on video. If he switches on the video I believe that no party regalia will show. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you very much Chief Whip. Hon Matiwane?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, if you see me in the video there is no party regalia. Can he continue, please. [Interjections.]
Ms H S BOSHOFF: ... [Inaudible.] ... other party their logo on what you would have done with us.
Mr T MATIWANE (EASTERN CAPE): The constituency ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon Matiwane? Hon Matiwane?
Ke kgopela o time hle ka gore ga ke sa kwe?i?a gore go diragalang mo. Tswalela selo seo sa gago.
Mr T MATIWANE (EASTERN CAPE): it is on hon Chair.
Ms H S BOSHOFF: Hon Chairperson, then you shouldn’t be the
Chair if you do not understand what is going on.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Hon House Chair, I suggest that you pass the hon Matiwane to another speaker. You can attend to it later, so that he is given a fair chance to participate in the debate in a manner that is consistent with the Rules.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you very much hon Chief Whip. I think we must do like that seeing that the hon Matiwane can correct himself. I will continue with our speaker’s list. I would like to call the hon M Nhanha. Hon Nhanha?
Mr S ZANDAMELA: Chair, earlier on I thought I’m number five on the list, but it’s fine House Chair. Now that we are approaching the elections, the EFF will pay attention to the ongoing deterioration at municipalities. The reality is that we do not have local government anymore. This sphere of government has completely collapsed. It was one sphere of government that was supposed to work because when our people talk about government and governance, they are talking about local government. When our people want water, sanitation, infrastructure, they want it from their municipalities as municipalities are at the coalface of service delivery.
The current design ... The Division of Revenue Act that is used to allocate money between spheres of government and between municipalities is based on these false assumptions. The reality is that more than 10 million are unemployed and the majority of those who are employed earn below a living wage. As a result, municipalities cannot raise their own revenue. That means that the equitable share conditional grant that municipalities receive through the Division of Revenue is the main source of economic activity in these municipalities. Hence, we see infighting amongst councillors and municipal officials over tenders and positions. This is how the ruling party has been able to maintain apartheid spatial planning
because even municipalities such as metros that are able to raise revenue, mostly prioritise affluent areas and white residents, while our people in informal settlements and townships continue to live in apartheid structured settlements.
With each year that passes, municipalities have descended deeper and deeper into a state of chaos, and if we do not change of Division of Revenue Bill, our municipalities will never be financially sound. Instead, we will continue to see hopeless ... [Inaudible.] ... and frustrations marked by service-delivery protests, violent crimes and corruption.
Instead of solving problems of poverty, eliminating inequality and reshaping our society, our municipalities do not have the capacity and everything is outsourced through tenders. The Auditor-General’s report suggests that 60% of revenue reflected in the books of municipalities will never be paid.
So, those monies will never be regained. Out of the
257 municipalities ... received clean audits. They are district municipalities. So, it’s 8%.
Irregular expenditure totals more than R30 billion and the ANC has failed to take a firm political decision to impose strict
financial controls, quality management and good governance. This year, the EFF will participate in the local government elections and usher in government that will benefit our people, especially the previously disadvantaged. The EFF will expose corruption and maladministration. It is only the EFF that has a believable and practical plan on jobs, land and capable municipalities. The EFF does not support this budget. Thank you, House Chair.
Mr M NHANHA: Hon members, the Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has a specific mandate, the clue to which is found in its name. So, let’s check how they are doing.
There are three tiers of government, as we all know them — national, provincial and local. The Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs is seen as a mechanism by which provincial and local government interact with the national sphere, whilst at the same time monitoring the two spheres on behalf of national government. So, let’s start by looking at the provinces.
Gauteng has a major dispute with national government over the unilateral implementation of e-tolls. The problem continues
and instead of stepping in to resolve the matter, the Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs appears to be a silent spectator in a match that they were supposed to be playing.
The KwaZulu-Natal government is said to be on a collision course with its national counterparts over the migration of Transnet’s offices from Durban to the Port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape.
The Eastern Cape is complaining about a lack of support for drought funding and the misuse of the judicial process for political gains.
The Western Cape has many disputes with national government, including the deployment of police, control over rail transport and many others.
The Northern Cape is at its wits’ end with the issues around illegal mining, the issuing of mining licences and environmental concerns, with national government only following a fragmented approach.
The Free State is suffering under what hon Mohai, the Chief Whip of the NCOP, correctly described as debilitating conflicts between spheres. Yet, Parliament’s response was to send a letter.
The list goes on, but never gets as bad as it does in the North West province, which has been under section
100 intervention since 2018, with limited progress and less direction. It drags on with extension after another extension. I am not denying the need for these extensions, but I’m just bemoaning the failure to achieve results timeously.
When one looks at the numerous municipalities under section
139 intervention and the lack of progress made, one only needs to read the reports of this House’s Provincial Week to see that the Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has failed and has failed dismally.
The problem has become so bad that even our very own Chairperson, hon Masondo, has woken up to it and decried the abuse of section 139 in his speech to the SA Local Government Association, Salga, national member’s assembly last week. This appears to have been an acknowledgement of the ludicrous treatment of the Tshwane Municipality by the ever adventurous
MEC Lebogang Maile and the simultaneous total denial of all failures in Emfuleni Municipality.
The underlying factor seems to be the absence of legislation called in section 100(3) and section 139(8). That is the legislation that would clarify why, when and how these interventions, hon Dodovu, should take place and what should be the outcomes.
However, colleagues, I am sure you will agree with me that it is unfair to try to paint all municipalities with the same brush because quite frankly, DA-governed municipalities are a model which their peers across the country should emulate as a blueprint of good governance and an epitome of a caring government. Let’s call it for what it is. Where the DA governs, we make the difference.
If for some odd reason you are in denial of this fact, do yourself a big favour and visit Nelson Mandela bay or Kouga Municipality. They are both here in the Eastern Cape. These municipalities both have similar stories of being on the brink of collapse when the party of good governance took over and through bold, clean and visionary leadership, they are now the role models I referred to earlier.
It is my greatest pleasure to once again give this Council a few snippets of the excellent work done by executive Mayors of Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay respectively.
In Kouga, owing to the entrenched system of good governance, prevalent since the DA took over in 2016, R40,5 million has been approved for the installation of services in Hankey’s 990 housing project. Over R28 million has been pumped into the resealing of roads for the past 12 months.
In Nelson Mandela Bay, as of 1 May 2021, 43 000 billing complaints have been resolved, much to the relief of anxious residents. A total of 2 607 sewerage complaints were attended to. With drought ravaging the region, Nelson Mandela Bay has upped its ante in the war against water leaks, as 5 526 water leaks were repaired.
The city of potholes in Makana has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from Nelson Mandela Bay because in Nelson Mandela Bay we have properly repaired 6 355 potholes.
In gang-dominated areas, the ShotSpotter has been restored and law and order is gradually returning to the city with roadblocks becoming a common sight in Nelson Mandela Bay.
For the upcoming Provincial Week, I will persuade the Eastern Cape delegates to visit Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay for us to see for ourselves. As Helen Suzman once said, “Go and see for yourself”. I have no doubt that we are a matured group able to rise above our narrow political interests and we will put the people before the colour of the T-shirt or the card we carry.
Hon Minister, on behalf of Kouga and Nelson Mandela Bay, I extend a warm invitation to you to go and see for yourself. Your hosts, executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks and Mayor Nqaba Bhanga are on stand-by to welcome you. Thank you very much, hon Ngwenya.
Mr D AMERICA (WESTERN CAPE): Good morning, House Chair, and thank you for the privilege to address the House. House Chair, in his 2021 state of the province address, the Premier of the Western Cape made a number of commitments in terms of the direct and indirect bearing on local government in the Western Cape.
The Premier called on the province to lead from the front in South Africa with new ideas, with better policies and with good, clean and accountable government, and to provide support to improve governance in municipalities and thirdly, to strengthen the forensic investigation capabilities of the department to investigate fraud and corruption in municipalities. Furthermore, he committed to co-ordinate implementation of the joint district and metro approach for better service delivery. And lastly, to strengthen citizens interface in partnership with municipalities.
House Chair, in terms of the citizens’ interface, the department local government has been playing a critical role in strengthening the effectiveness of ward committees through supporting establishments and providing various capacity building programmes to address developmental challenges in communities and to ensure that key role-players worked with a common goal. A major campaign across the length and breadth of the Western Cape is underway using a variety of different media as well as community voices to share accurate and factual information with the public on the vaccines being used.
We, in the Western Cape, are committed in developing a comprehensive response plan to ensure our preparedness for the anticipated third and a possible fourth wave. In support of this, the Western Cape will continue with the implementation of the tried and tested hotspot approach partnering with key stakeholders using our communication capacity and co- ordinating our responses through our joint operation centres.
House Chair, creating jobs is critical for our government. This year 17 700 funded job opportunities will be created through the community works programme. These community development workers will continue with critical stakeholders to implement and to support programmes aimed at raising awareness about COVID-19 in communities, and strengthening public participation in the vaccination programme.
A further R50 million through conditional transfers to local municipalities is made available this year to small micro enterprises in rural areas. Municipalities are required to co- ordinate and ensure implementation of targeted short-term public employment programmes for communities identified as being in distress.
House Chair, a capable state must mean that our government provides a conducive environment for investment and job creation. Even during the pressures of a pandemic and recession, last year the City of Cape Town was able to finalise a combined amount of R7,7 billion in investments from major global corporations such as Amazon, Google, Amdec, Capita and Teraco, which is a catalyst for major job generation. In addition, through the City of Cape Town strategic business partners, R8,8 billion was raised between April and September 2020. With reference to the business outsourcing sector, a total of 6 399 job opportunities were created between January and December 2020.
Chairperson, at the end of last year, the local government department launched its Municipal Energy Resilience Project which will assist municipalities in taking the necessary steps to generate, procure and sell their own power. As part of the first phase, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism in partnership with the department local government and provincial treasury have already undertaken an assessment process with all municipalities to determine their readiness and to select those that can be initial drivers for new energy opportunities.
House Chair, with the expected local government elections this year, there will be new councillors. It is important that councillors are exposed to ongoing training to ensure that they are able to discharge their responsibilities respectively. The current reality in local government is that there are a number of allegations relating to fraud, corruption and maladministration being reported. Moreover, there have been changes in political control in city municipalities brought by parties forging new coalitions. In the past year, the department conducted several assessments in relation to allegations of fraud, corruption and maladministration in municipalities, and during the upcoming financial year will continue to strengthen its capacity to conduct investigations in municipalities.
Often councillors and the public are frustrated with the length of time which these investigations take, and rightly so. To strengthen the capacity to investigate and expedite investigations into allegations of fraud and corruption, an additional R8,6 million over the medium-term is being budgeted. A clear indication of our zero tolerance approach towards corruption.
House Chairperson, despite our relentless efforts to root out corruption and maladministration, our tasks are often frustrated by municipalities not under control of the DA. A recent example, notwithstanding that the ANC-controlled Matzikama Municipality being invested by the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, for alleged PPE corruption, the municipality proceeded to appoint an acting municipal manager who has been released on bail in stand accused of fraud, corruption and money laundering in criminal proceeding to be heard in the ... [Inaudible.]. In addition, two other criminal cases against this official are before the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, for a decision.
Chairperson, 45% of the country’s clean audits are concentrated within the Western Cape. The Auditor-General explains that this success is owed to proper processes of checks and balances having being formalised in administrations and reinforced by the presence of decisive leadership and practices which prevent corruption.
This government ... [Inaudible.] ... hardships brought on by the pandemic on our people. This resulted in that municipalities face significant challenges in collecting rates from financially distressed rates payers. This further
resulted in a significant revenue loss for a number of municipalities which impacted negatively on their cash flows. The loss of jobs associated with the pandemic has also led to an increase in our indigent households which municipalities must subsidised. This is a threat to municipalities as their financial sustainability largely depend upon the ability of its residence to pay for the municipal services.
Whilst resources to strengthen service delivery continue to be negatively affected, the cities continue to demand higher quality of services. This manifests itself through illegal land invasions, staying in with migration of indigent households, protests and it often results in the infrastructure critical service delivery being vandalised and destroyed.
As we get closer to the municipal elections, this will only increase as opposition parties, political oppose opportunists and NPOs masquerading as service delivery protesters and as fund for certain parties attempt to destabilise the Western Cape to achieve political advantage in the election.
Many people have lost hope, and due to poverty, have been deprived of their dignity. To this end, the City of Cape Town
continues with the COVID-19 relief efforts to the communities. Over the past year, the City of Cape Town has allocated more R39 million to an emergency food relief programme going above and beyond their municipal mandate to assist those have fallen on hard times due to the global pandemic and national lockdown. Over 262 soup kitchens have benefitted from this programme in the metro, and more than 200 000 residences now receive a warm meal daily from these soup kitchens.
The Western Cape is committed to promote dignity amongst our people. We continue to provide a series of safety nets for those in need and making sure that their right to basic service delivery is checked. In the Western Cape it’s municipalities ... [Inaudible.] ... all consumer unit matrix relating to free basic water, electricity, sewerage and sanitation and solid waste management services. This not only proves that our governments are efficient to deliver on its promise but clearly shows our commitment to caring and to curb poor governance.
In contrast, we have seen how ANC-run municipalities in the Western Cape have continued to fall into disrepute, Beaufort West, Cederberg, Kannaland and Matzikama are all governed by the ANC collectively owe Eskom almost R90 million. A choice to
recover stronger and together, the Ratings Africa’s recent report shows that the City of Cape Town remains South Africans only metropolitan municipality to be in a financially stable and in good standing. Aside from Cape Town, national government needs to spend over R50 billion to cover the cash deficit that cost municipalities. Our governments outside of the Western Cape also saw successful results, for example, the Midvaal municipality in Gauteng received a rating of 70% and Tshwane since taking over from the ANC showed a 13% improvement in its consumer debt collection rate.
On the contrary, the consequences of the ANC leadership are increasingly failing our people, for example, Beaufort West is the worst performing administration in the province with the rating of just 18%. Residences will also remember that it is the very same municipality which finds itself R29,1 million in arrears with Eskom.
Heading to the polls later this year, residence have one of the most important decisions to make. If we are to properly recover from the pandemic and look towards a more hopeful future, this isn’t just about loyalty towards brand, it is equally not about continuing a tradition of being lured by unattainable promises. Rather, it is about making a mark that
serves to build a courageous legacy starting right at the grassroots of government. How each of one us vote this year contributes to our recovery across communities, neighbourhoods and all municipalities. We are at the coalface of service delivery. Chairperson, I thank you.
Mnr S F DU TOIT: Dankie agb Voorsitter. Minister, soos in die meeste gevalle waar fondse aan die regering toevertrou word, word daar oorspandeer aan salarisse. Die begroting van Tradisionele Sake laat toe dat 48,9% — dit is omtrent
R257,3 miljoen — van die departement se begroting vir die komende periode aan salarisse spandeer word.
According to the SA Local Government Association, Salga, municipalities are of the most transformed entities in South Africa. Municipalities are also the sphere of government where a blatant disregard for legislation is the norm and the way of life; the new normal, as some high-placed individuals call these disruptive and destructive situations. The question is the following. Who is to blame?
It is said that by not looking you will not see; by not asking you will not know; by not listening you will not hear; and by not acknowledging you will not act. The unfortunate truth is that the Minister and the executive do see the controversies but do not act to hold people accountable. The Minister and the executive do not ask why consequence management is not implemented. The Minister and the executive hear the opposition’s calls to caution but do not seem to listen to what we are saying.
According to realists, a true leader leads by example. A true leader determines the pace, the attitude and the culture of the arena in which he or she leads. Metaphorically speaking, a true leader is known by the fruits of his or her subjects.
Boasting of funds to be availed to create 250 000 temporary jobs through the Community Work Programme to the tune of about R4,1 billion in 2020-21 and R4,4 billion in 2023-24, where the focus is placed on labour-intensive labour practices instead of value for money ... Minister, instead of focusing on cutting grass, rather utilise these workers by focusing on infrastructure ... infrastructure maintenance programmes where potholes are filled and on infrastructure being repaired.
Spend the money and get a return on investment, and not only votes.
Minister, hoekom word mense aangestel, al dit net vir ’n drie maande kontrak is, om bloot oorpakke te kry, en in u toespraak te kan spog met 250 000 werksgeleenthede wat deur die regering geskep is? Dit is geskepte indiensneming, sonder noodwendige waarde vir geld.
Die VF Plus daag u Minister. Gebruik hierdie geleentheid om waarde toe te voeg tot alle munisipaliteite in Suid-Afrika. Wend hierdie werknemers aan om slaggatte in alle buurte te vul, vaardighede aan te leer en by te dra tot die ekonomie, eerder as om belasting geld te gebruik om duur stemme te koop.
Minister, Salga confirmed that the amalgamation of municipalities is frowned upon and there is proof of the failure of this amalgamation. Residents in amalgamated municipalities like JB Marks, Ditsobotla, Maquassi Hills, Kgetlengrivier and Matlosana in the North West province feel the brunt of the lack of service delivery and experience first-hand what the effects of cadre deployment are. The one plan District Development Model is not the answer. The Auditor-General confirmed that the lack of political will is one of the major reasons for the financial mismanagement in
municipalities. In other words, since the ANC is currently in control of most of these municipalities in South Africa, most of these municipalities are in great financial turmoil. It is clear that the ANC is to blame for the dire state of municipalities that they find themselves in and Minister Dlamini-Zuma is the leader of the pack.
The underspending of funds in legislatures like the North West has been taking place for years and this resulted in a lack of infrastructure maintenance — crumbling infrastructure that was supposed to have been maintained in underdeveloped neighbourhoods. When MECs were questioned about the underspending in departments in the North West legislature, an MEC alluded that underspending is better since corruption is less when less is spent. How absurd! No corruption is supposed to take place!
President Ramaphosa was in charge of cadre deployment. ANC mayors were elected to municipalities, ANC MECs and premiers were appointed in legislatures and the ANC Ministers took office. Now, ANC-appointed administrators are appointed to intervene in ANC-governed municipalities and ANC-led provinces, just to be replaced by, yes, you guess right, ANC- appointed administrators again. The circle of selective
governments, selective consequence management, selective persecution and selective service delivery is repeating itself. Minister Dlamini-Zuma is the leader of the pack.
Agb Voorsitter, dit is duidelik dat die regering baie betaal om goedkoop politiek te bedryf. Goedkoop politiek word bedryf met duur geld, geleende geld. Die Suid-Afrikaanse staatskas kan nie hierdie uitgawes bekostig nie. Suid-Afrika bevind haarself in ’n penarie. Meer geld is nodig om munisipaliteite se infrastruktuur instand te hou, te vervang en aan te vul, maar die huidige strukture van die regering is nie in staat om te verseker dat hierdie fondse werklik korrek en deurdag aangewend word nie. ’n ... [Onhoorbaar.] ... en beperkte, dog selektiewe, toekenning van tenders ...
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Point of order, Chair!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): There’s a point of order, hon member. Can we ... [Inaudible.] Okay, what is the point of order?
Mr K M MMOIEMANG: Is it parliamentary for an hon member to mislead the House by saying that the ANC appoints administrators? Thank you, hon Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you, hon member. I didn’t hear clearly what he said but I will check the Hansard. Can you continue, hon member?
Mnr S F DU TOIT: Die VF Plus dring aan op die afskaffing van rasgebaseerde toekennings van tenders. Laat toe dat kundigheid en ’n regverdige mededingings-proses die maatstaf wees.
Minister, section 139 interventions are not the answer for municipalities. Radical transformation resulted in a lack of skilled personnel. By refusing to look, you do not see what South Africans see. By not asking, you pretend ignorance. By not listening, you argue in ignorance, and by not acknowledging your part in the downfall of South Africa, you still have not acted. You stay the leader of the pack. You are to blame.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF COPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL
AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Chairperson, Minister for Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Minister Thoko Didiza, hon members of the NCOP, delegates from the provinces, Members of Provincial Executives, representatives of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders, representatives of the SA Local Government Association, Salga, senior officials of government led by Director Generals of Department of Co-operative Governance and Department of Traditional Affairs, heads of institutions in our sector, ladies and gentlemen, I take this opportunity to present to the NCOP: Vote 3: Cooperative Governance; and Vote 15 of Traditional Affairs.
This budget is a balance between the need for business continuity, the importance of funding capital within a constrained fiscal and budget environment and redirecting funds towards Covid-19. Our budget represents inevitable trade-offs, but our reaction has been swift.
The told and untold damage caused by Covid-19 has left scars in our pained society. Many have lost loved ones, income, jobs, livelihoods and businesses. However, because we are
resilient nation in possession of a fighting spirit we dare not lose hope. To recall the words by William Shakespeare, “To be; or not to be: That is the question.”
This calls for the current generation to survive this pandemic of COVID-19 as those generations who survived the Spanish Flu that lasted from 1918 to 1920. We need to work hard towards saving lives and saving livelihood. During these trying times we remain grateful to the brave and fearless frontline workers whom we express our deep gratitude for the important work they continue to undertake.
Hon members, we salute all local government essential service workers who remain steadfast at the front line of our fight against Covid-19. Thanks to the everyday efforts of these workers. We still continue to have lights, clean water, refuse is being collected, and most streets are clean, albeit with a number of challenges here and there.
In 2015 we committed to the finalisation of the of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, to give effect to an important milestone in the history of our democracy which the recognition and affirmation of Khoi-San leadership, structures and communities. The year 2021 is of particular importance for
traditional and especially the Khoi-San communities and their leaders.
The long awaited Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act, 2019 commenced on 01 April 2021. To fast-track government in the recognition of the Khoi-San communities and leaders, the Minister of Cogta, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is finalising the processes of appointing the commission on Khoi-San as required by the Act, and we expect the commission to formally start with its work in July 2021.
The recognition of the Khoi-San means they will have their identity similar to the other indigenous groups in South Africa. They will also promote and protect their own customs, traditions and cultures. They will establish their own communities and claim land that belong to them for such establishment.
As mentioned by the Minister of Cogta, we have started with the process of provincial roadshows as part of consultation on the new legislation. The aim of these engagement with the traditional and Khoi-San leaders is to clearly begin to look at the aspect of the provision of the law and the implementation of the law. We have visited Northern Cape. Next
week we are visiting Free State, and other provinces are on schedule. This will end by the end July 2021.
In March this year Cabinet affirmed the Resolution of the 2017 Traditional and Koi-San Leaders Indaba on Land Administration and Land Tenure Reform in Communal Areas, hoping the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, in her Budget Vote speech after this one, will be able to give more details. However, this is a fundamental issue, hence we finally responding to demand for land, on the question of the land that they had wanted to be transferred to communities under the custodian of traditional leaders.
Cabinet resolved on the process of consultations on the question of the communal land, which started in the National House of Traditional Leaders and will be going to all other provinces led by the Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development. These consultations will culminate in us convening the land indaba later this year.
Traditional leaders continue to play an active role in the implementation of the agrarian revolution programme in addressing food security and unemployment, thus improving livelihoods of our rural communities. This approach will be
beneficial since it requires an integral and collaborative approach which will find expression through the district development model and ensure alignment with the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan.
In February this year, the Minister of Cogta, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, together with other Ministers and Nkosi Mahlangu, chairperson of the National House of Traditional and Koi-San Leaders, launched what they called the Invest Rural Master Plan. We will then have to engage with traditional leaders on this effort and support this initiative to grow the rural economy for it to create jobs.
On cultural initiation season: We are approaching the winter season this year, pending the Covid-19 regulations, if they get relaxed, and if the third wave is not going to be as impactful, depending on the situation. Once that season is allowed, we will then have to be able to save and protect the lives of our young people with pride. Our object, as government, is ‘zero death’, as one death is one too many.
Once the Bill is signed into law – the Cultural Initiation Bill – it will be able to create and establish the national initiation oversight committee and provincial initiation co-
ordinating committees and their functions. The law will punish wrong doing, such as the illegal school, with a minimum and maximum sentences to be imposed on the perpetrators. We hope that this will clean up on all wrong doing.
On the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, CRL Rights Commission: We want to commend the work done by the CRL Rights Commission, which did the investigation on commercialisation of religion, whose report was submitted to the 5th Parliament and hope that the 6th Parliament will reintroduce the report and consider it. We hope that the recommendations will be submitted to Parliament to start a process to engage with religious leaders on healthy religious practices.
Lastly, we want to also encourage the process by CRL Rights Commission to continue investigating incidents that are undermining our cultures, such as the incident that happened at the Boulders Shopping Centre in Midrand, in Gauteng.
Local government is the heart of the lives of the people of South Africa. It is where we get the water we drink, the electricity we use, the roads we drive in, the parks that our
children’s use to play, and is about building healthy living
communities. We remain committed to this particular idea.
The Deputy Minister of Finance and myself have been visiting provinces on a roadshow, meeting with Premiers and Members of the Provincial Executive Councils. The aim is to engage with the provinces to bring about a better functionality of municipalities, to ensure that they perform and discharge their mandate of governing and delivering services. These engagements with executives are to ensure that national and provincial government give maximum support as stipulated in section 154 of the Constitution.
The aim is for an early intervention before the municipality is in crises when we intervene. We always us section 139. We need to avoid going there. Secondly, it was for us to introduce to provinces the Intergovernmental Monitoring, Support and Interventions Bill, which is still in the Cabinet process. Once completed, the Bill will be sent to Parliament for considerations within this financial year.
Hon members, the Minister of Cogta has also tasked me to lead a Service Delivery Enhancement Task Team, as she had already reported, and we will indeed be engaging on helping those
municipalities that are not spending on the Municipal Infrastructure Grant. We wish encourage members to support Budget Votes 3 and 15, to enhance the department in building resilient, safe, sustainable, prosperous, and growing communities.
As Steve Biko said, and I quote, “A people without a positive history is like a vehicle without an engine.” I thank you.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Hon House Chair, thank you for the opportunity. Hon Minister, this Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs ...
Mr T APLENI: We cannot hear you!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Brauteseth, I do not know whether we can table this speech because it is a difficult situation not unless there is any other person that can read the speech on your behalf. Otherwise the audio is terrible.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: I do apologise Chair it was not my intention ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Yes, I know. It is technology that is interfering with your audio.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Is it an issue of a Bluetooth connection to the speaker?
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: No Chair. It is a Wi-Fi connection.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Yes, try to connect and disconnect again. Come back after the hon Nkosi. Let us allow the hon Nkosi. Hon Nkosi.
Try to disconnect hon Brauteseth and reconnect and then once we are done with the hon Nkosi I will come back to you. Let us have the hon Nkosi.
Ms E NKOSI (MPUMALANGA): Thank you very much, House Chairperson. Greetings to the hon Ministers, the Deputy Minister, the Chief Whip, hon members, permanent delegates and special delegates. House Chairperson, building a capable state characterised by transparency, good governance and accountability at local government, the developmental seeks to effect economic transformation, reduce inequality, deracialise the economy ensure state participation in strategic sectors,
including partnership with the private sector, deepen affirmation action, advance the employment of blacks and in particular women. Furthermore, and ... [Inaudible.] ... required to provide incentives for private sector behaviour, including clamping down on anticompetitive behaviour, and the promotion of competitive markets to open up the economy for new players, strengthening the monitoring of labour protection, employment equality requirements and black economic empowerment, BEE, compliance, identifying and removing regulatory areas that impede private sector investment, and collaborating to ensure increased export of investment and export of manufacturing goods and services.
Local government plays a critical role in the developmental agenda that is imagined by the developmental state as spelt out in the National Development Plan, NDP. This is because it is in the coalface of service delivery, and is the first point of contact that people have with the government. Local government provides critical basic services such as water, sanitation, electrification, housing, recreational facilities, keeping communities clean and many other services to the people. The provision of these services is a critical public investment that also acts as catalyst for socioeconomic transformation as it also provides an incentive for private
sector and other transformation, as it also provides an incentive for private sector and other players in the localities to also invest. In other words, the provision of basic services is in itself an investment made by the state in leading the overall developmental agenda.
The ANC-led government has registered tremendous progress in the democratisation of South Africa and providing success to basic services delivery which improves the quality of life of our people. The community survey of 2019, points the reality that in the last few decades South Africa has increased access to basic services such as water, sanitation, electrification and all others. The success owes to the ANC’s various policy interventions over the years in the local government. This has laid a solid foundation for socioeconomic transformation.
However, as the ANC we are fully cognisant of the reality of the challenges which confront local government. The task of building a capable state has been the most daunting at the local sphere. These challenges which confront us as municipality include toxic relations between the administration and politicians, this ... [Inaudible.] ... service delivery, political infighting within some municipalities, crucial vacancies are not filled. Sometimes vacancies such as municipal manager or chief financial officer
are not filled for a long time of period. In some municipalities incompetent and underqualified people are hired because of nepotism.
Strengthening good governance and accountability in local governance. Hon members, politically and ethical leadership is vital to success in governance. The ANC fully understands that all political parties have responsibility to play an oversight role and promote transparency and accountability in local government. The political and administrative interface at a local government is necessary, and yet, complicated challenges of local government. It is necessary to define the parameters of political leadership such that it doesn’t interfere with the administration functions of local government and courses an abuse of funds, and exacerbate other challenges which have engulfed the local government, such as nepotism. Changes of councillors and the loss of valuable experience posts poses another significant challenge in exercising political oversight work. The exit of experienced councillors means that institutional capacity is eroded and we must start from scratch in building oversight capacity in this regard.
The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs should continue to support councillors, and should be
prepared to train and support councillors after the 2021 local government elections. The ANC believes in the principle of continuity and change, but has experienced alarm in areas where there is a much as 70% turnover of councillors eroding institutional memory. At the same time introducing young and energetic institution councillors with the requisite capacity and skills is very necessary.
Sound financial management and accountability in the state. Chairperson, the Auditor-General in the report titled not much to go around yet, not the right hands at the till, which looked at the state of financial management in local government highlighted some of the weaknesses of governance structures and systems on financial management. Arising out of the Auditor-General’s report are the following issues: Only 20 out of 257 municipalities achieved a clean audit, pointing to financial management such as wasteful expenditure, irregular expenditure and noncompliance with legislation, inviable municipality, no revenue collection and over reliance on the equitable share, lack of human resources, critical vacancies such as municipal managers and the chief financial officer, CFO, are not filled on time. The report of the Auditor-General also raised a major concern that some of the challenges in local government centre around human resources. The main cause
of wasteful expenditure is that municipality spend large sums of money on financial consultants and, yet, at the same time retaining a high salary bill.
The development and retention of well-capacitated human resource is critical in the quest to building a capable state, especially a development state that is interacting with market forces and seeks to champion the developmental agenda.
Government interventions such as section 139 of Municipal Finance Management Act, are one of the mechanisms of government to intervene in addressing financial challenges in local government. These interventions require continuous strengthening such that they don’t become ad hoc undefined, and in most circumstances these interventions take place when municipalities are already in a weak position. This results in intervention not making the desired outcomes and impact. The research by the Treasury and on section 139 interventions concurs with our observations. The main recommendations of this research paper titled “Mind the gap” is that what is required to tighten implementation of financial warning systems is one of the overarching legislation that can be owned by both Cogta and Treasury, and includes appropriate parts of existing legislation including the Municipal Finance
Management Act. That will guide the entire intervention framework.
This legislation needs to address the following key issues: It must ensure that section 139 is implemented as intended, keeping in mind both the spirit and letter of the law, this implies that section 139 is no longer seen as an intervention of last resort when a municipality has collapsed, but as a framework to prevent such collapse. Standardised and clean regulation of the entire section 139 framework, including the provision of clean definition and the development of detailed threshold levels across a range of indicators. Contradictory regulations such as certain paragraphs of Chapter 3 of the Municipal Finance Management Act must be revised so that there is one clear and unambiguous framework. Standardised and transparent administrative practices must be introduced against cross all types of interventions. Lastly, supporting institution must be strengthened, fighting corruption and restoring public confidence in the state.
Chairperson, at the centre of our challenges for our municipality is the scourge of corruption which has become endemic in our society. It is the responsibility of the developmental state to lead the fight against corruption by
purging itself of all elements which undermine development. The ANC has drawn a line in the sand on the endemic challenge of corruption and a culture of no consequence. Government structures and accountability in local government is central in addressing the challenge of corruption which steals from the poor and leads to the underdevelopment.
The national conference of the ANC in 2017, came out strongly against corruption and identified it as a strategic enemy to the creation of a nonracial, nonsexist and truly democratic society. We resolve that all leaders who are charged with corruption should step aside from their responsibilities pending finalisation of their cases. This resolution is being implemented as we are all aware that all public representatives at all levels who are charged with corruption and other serious crimes are being requested to step aside.
This demonstrates the seriousness with which the ANC takes corruption.
Lastly Chair, building a capable and competent human resource in local government. Hon Chairperson, the development and retention of a capable and competent human resource in local government is of grate important. Building human capital through investment in education or bursary schemes in the
medium to long term yields positive results in making the local government as a player in the developmental agenda. This will allow it to work towards the growth and sustainability of the local economy. We are striving towards a capable human resource in local government ... [Interventions.] ... to be innovative and resolve modern day challenges of the locality in the manner that saves time, energy and resources. This means that it can foster a culture of specialisation and focus
... Thank you, Chair. [Time expired.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): Hon Brauteseth, are you winning?
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Chair, I hope so, can you hear me?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): It is better, much better.
Mr T BRAUTESETH: Thank you very much for your kind indulgence. I will now go back to my speech.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): You will start from where you were commending the Minister.
Mr T BRAUTESETH: ... where I was commending the Minister? [Giggle.] Did you hear everything before that?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): You will start from that paragraph where you were commending the Minister.
Mr T BRAUTESETH: [Giggle.] ... ok Chair, let me get there. I will start of from here. After dwelling on the uGu District Municipality and ... [Inaudible.] ... farmer. Then we have the example of the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Municipality, a painful remark that a good name can be grounded into the dust. Let me be clear, hon Chairperson. Questionable covid regulations aside, I have great respect for the Minister. She has an amazing work ethic and has personally assisted me solve issues at all hours of the night and early morning.
However, her legacy is completely disrespected by the Municipal Manager at the Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Municipality, Mr Nkosiyezwe Vezi. He has created a wild west frontier type of town in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains. Water and electricity, disruptions are numerous, the time has become the scene of drunken antics including wild ‘s drag racing, public indecency and prostitution. Potholes looks like ... [Inaudible.] ... from a war zone. Waste dumps
piled high with hazardous materials brought in by eco criminals from Johannesburg.
Millions are spent on projects that are either left incomplete or contractors are removed for incompetence. There is no transparency whatsoever in municipal decisions and when residents including engineers, doctors, advocates and leading business people raise queries, they easily dismiss them colonial racist. When these professionals offer their assistance mahala [free of charge] they are ignored or told to keep their mouths shut.
The heart-breaking part of this tale is that when the Minister visited to honour the residents and stakeholders in the town recently, she had to admit that there was not much she could do about it. And so it is ... [Inaudible.] ... does not co- operate, does not govern and disrespects the name of the respective Minister because of the abuse of the system allows him to do so. The Department of Co-operative and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, is silent in all of this. Rather than altering the balance of power through legislation or simply moving against those bad actors they prefer to retain the support of these actors and their votes and encourage these local feudal loads to see themselves as royalty and so the system continue
to crumble. Until one day, the people will see that the emperor has no close and demand old testament style revenge and injustice.
Chair, it is customary and a sweep, that I refer focus on some of the comments made earlier. The Minister spoke about the glaring examples of eThekwini Municipality is doing well, she obviously does not know that at the moment they are 16 days available of cash, it was one-day available cash in February and there are R15 billion debt only R10 billion of which is collective will. My colleague Mlindi Nhanha listed a lot of fantastic examples where the DA governs well. And then our friends from the EFF who say that they have the only alternate plan – but I am sorry to my friends that alternate plan is simply fantasy because you have never governed anywhere and you do not know what you are talking about.
Chair, in many municipalities we are coming close to power, we are only 90% away. We are coming. The day is coming fast when the ANC weak whirl wind. Woza [come] 28 October woza [come] Siyabangena [We are coming for them]. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): Thank you hon Brauteseth for assisting us by sorting the network out. It’s
good to have your voice in order because we do not want any member to be deprived an opportunity to make their view in this very important debate. I would now invite the hon Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL
AFFAIRS: Hon Speaker, sorry Chairperson, am I audible?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, you are audible.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL
AFFAIRS: Thank you very much. Let me thank all the leaders who have participated in this debate from the political parties and the provincial representatives. I want to just agree with the Chairperson of the Select Committee has said about how we are going to work and how we are going to be monitored quarterly and everything that he had said. I also agree with the other ANC members and a representative from Mpumalanga also dealt with the corruption issues. So, I agree with them.
Let me come to the EFF’s hon Zandamela, I also agree with him when he says that we must change the Division of Revenue Act. Indeed, we have been at pains in discussing with Treasury on this matter because we do agree that the Municipal Revenue
Division Act should be changed so that the poorer and rural municipalities can have better access to resources. This will make them to be able to hire the necessary skills like engineers, planners and so on.
But I do not know where he gets the confidence that they are going to win the Local Government Elections because that have not been evident during these by-elections we have seen recently. Let me also thank the last speaker for acknowledging the work ethic but we will have to – I agree, there are challenges in the Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Local Municipality and I have worked with him sometime to try and resolve them.
Hon Du Toit indeed you are correct about the Community Works Programme, CWP, that we are not getting value for money and we have acknowledged that ourselves. It is for that reason that we have said we want to remodel the CWP. First of all, people in the CWP do not spend all their years there. They get trained, get the skills that they will need and get jobs. But also to use those skills to assist in developing communities. For instance, they could be building the roads in the community, fencing the fields and so on. So, in terms of the CWP, that is what our plans are.
Before I use a lot of time, let me talk to what hon Visser and hon Nhanha from the DA have said. I want to first say that the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality which is South African known for that. We are trying to address that which is a legacy that comes from far. But we also know that poverty declines with rising levels of education. Education is the fastest equaliser but let us see what the DA is doing in terms of education. Right now, the Western Cape Department of Education is taken to court for not placing thousands of kids in schools. That is criminal. How could you not be placing kids in schools? That shows that the DA does not care, if you cannot care for young kids and make sure that they have places in schools. You have not cared for these kids and that is why people are now resorting to the courts. You cannot be proud and tell us you are a well-run province when kids are not in schools. This is how you measure the government, whether it cares or not, by the way it treats its children. So, you should be hanging your head for that as the DA instead of telling us that you run your municipalities the best way.
Let me also ask the DA to tell us why, in the whole continent of Africa and in South Africa, Cape Town which they boast about as the best run, is number eight in the world in terms
of violent crimes like rape and murder? Why is it so? They must tell us. There is no other country in Africa, let alone South Africa that is in the top ten for these crimes.
Interestingly, hon Nhanha has been boasting about the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality that it is run by the DA and is one of the best run municipalities. Again, interestingly, Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality is the second city in the Africa and number 24 in Africa for these violent crimes. It follows Cape Town. The DA must tell us what has gone wrong with their best run municipalities. Why are they high in rape and murder? Of course, we know why but they must tell us.
Hon Chairperson, ...
Mr M NHANHA: We can tell you Minister. The reason is your legacy. It is ANC-led government that created it. We can tell you.
The MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL
AFFAIRS: ... our people have responded to the DA very well. I n the last by-elections the DA has lost wards to the ANC and has lost wards to other parties because people can see through the DA. I thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you, hon Minister, hon members, allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Deputy Minister hon Bapela and Special Delegates. We know that we have another important debate. We thank you Minister for availing yourself for this important budget vote in the NCOP.
The Council suspended at 12:47
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, thanks for respecting the time, I can see a lot of members are back as agreed. We now proceed to the Second Order: Policy debate on Budget Vote 29; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. Once again, let me take this opportunity to welcome our special delegates, the hon Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, hon Didiza, Deputy Minister Skwatsha. Without much ado, let me take this opportunity and invite the hon Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, hon Didiza.
Budget Vote 29 - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL
DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, hon House Chairperson, Hon members, thanks for respecting the time, I can see a lot of members are back as agreed. We now proceed to the Second Order: Policy debate on Budget Vote 29; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. Once again, let me take this opportunity to welcome our special delegates, the hon Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, hon Didiza, Deputy Minister Skwatsha. Without much ado, let me take this opportunity and invite the hon Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, hon Didiza.
just to correct that the one speaking as the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, there was a change in 2019. Thank you. Hon Ministers present on the platform, hon Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha and Sdumo Dlamini, chairperson and members of the Select Committee on Land and Minerals, MEC of Agriculture and Rural Development, hon delegates to the National Council of Provinces, leaders of organized agricultural formations and captains of industry, farmers, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen, I would like also to recognize our Chief Whip of the NCOP.
I want to start with a quote from two women labour tenants:
I left school after completing my standard 2 and all my life has been spent on a farm. I cannot build a formal house, even after negotiations have been concluded by government who will buy this land for us as labour tenants, because of the landowner who says not in his land.
This is the cry of Mama Nokuthula Mthethwa, a woman labour tenant I met yesterday in Paulpietersburg. Mama Ntombikayise Mthembu requested that government and the legislature review the extension of Security of Tenure Act in order to strengthen the rights of women. She claims that in terms of the extension of Security of Tenure Act, once the man who might have been the farm worker passes on, the woman is given only 12 months to ... [Inaudible.] ... These cries echo the voices of many like them who are scattered in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga in the main. When Ngcukaitobi reflects on our performance as a country on the land reform programme, in essence, he is highlighting the plight of Mama Nokuthula Mthethwa Ntombikayise.
The conversation with labour tenants reminded me of the struggles against forced removal. It reminded me of Mama Lydia Komape-Ngwenya, Mama Beauty Mkhize and Mama Sizani Ngubane of the Rural Women’s Movement, whose struggle for land was intertwined with the struggle for women’s emancipation. It is these women who reminded us of Mama Charlotte Maxeke, whose life and times we remember. As historians and farmers, Mme Maxeke, who came to be known as the Mother of Black Freedom in South Africa was an unconventional woman who contributed at a time when it was exceptionally hard for women to rise to the fore in liberation politics, yet she managed to break through these barriers and was known for her moral consistency, independence of judgment and the courage to express her views. She mobilized women through campaigns on issues that affected them, such as pass laws and the land question. The quest for gender equality and women’s emancipation form part of her struggles.
Zubeida Jaffer, in her book, Beauty of the Heart: The Life and Times of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, captures a quote attributed to Mama Maxeke at the second conference of the National Council of African Women in 1938, when she said, I quote:
This work is not for yourselves - kill that spirit of self, and do not live above your people but live with them. If you can rise, bring someone with you.
This level of selflessness calls for unity and sense of responsibility within a society. It is what we should espouse in our quest to build our country. These are the words that should reverberate as we reimagine this South Africa we want this is the clarion call that should draw us closer as we pursue the aspiration of the National Development Plan, NDP - an economic recovery plan, whose pillars are as follows: Massive rollout of infrastructure, massive increase in local production, employment stimulus to create jobs and livelihoods and rapid extension of generation capacity. These four intervention areas from the mold of our planning and reporting framework. To this effect, the following high level interventions and reports are applicable to this framework.
On massive rollout of infrastructure, the department in terms of rural infrastructure, will spend R84 million in irrigation projects expanding irrigation areas as directed by the National Development Plan. Together with the MEC of Agriculture in the Western Cape, we are working on the irrigation handover in Vredendal. Examples of irrigation
projects implemented in the past by this department as part of our infrastructure rollout, include the Disaneng in North West, Ons pak Onseepkans in Northern Cape, Nhlangu West Irrigation Scheme in Mpumalanga, Tshiombo Irrigation Scheme in Limpopo and Nkungumathe Irrigation Scheme in KwaZulu-Natal.
Through the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, CASP, we will continue working to address infrastructure challenges on farm infrastructure to support agriculture and agro-processing. On massive increase in local production, the current programme of government are aimed at increasing access to land, production, and productivity; and bringing back fallow land, especially in communal areas, into production, which we all need to support for food security entry.
In addition, the department will explore hindrances to production, such as access to finance. The launch of Agri-fund with Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, aims to address particularly this challenge of capital. Strengthening the Land Bank will again enable us to make sure that we strengthen the capacity to fund agriculture. I am currently waiting for finalization of discussions between our four banks as well as ourselves on blended finance. Regulatory services, especially sanitary and phytosanitary measures, which grease markets,
will also be improved to ensure sustained growth in production in the sector.
The department also stands ready to expand on partnerships, commercialized and grow black farmers and agro-processing in the space. My engagement with Tiger Brands, Wiphold, and many other partners have strengthened our resolve to explore these horizon, which will utilize aggregated expertise and resources to the benefit of the sector.
On employment stimulus to create jobs and livelihoods, we are implementing the Presidential Employment Stimulus initiative, Pesi, where we envisaged to support 70 000 subsistence farmers on operations less than the size of a soccer field to increase production. To date, 53 000 subsistence farmers have been approved. The department will employ about 10 000 extension officers as captured in the speech of the Minister of Finance. About 1 434 unemployed graduates and National Rural Youth Service Corps, NARYSEC, youth were enrolled to assist in the verification of applications for the Pesi. One thousand, two hundred and nine of these young people will be retained for the envisaged 2021-22 allocations in order to follow up and monitor on production by these subsistence farmers.
On rapid expansion of our generation capacity, agricultural land and rural development sectors have distinct role in expansion of South Africa’s generation capacity. Expansion of renewable energy in terms of wind, solar, and biogas energy will be prioritized. Approvals for restricted land use for renewable energy projects approved by the Department of Minerals and Energy will be prioritized for land with low agricultural potential. In line with the biofuel strategy, the sector will support and provide commodities to act as feedstock. Furthermore, the department will continue supporting the sugar master plan in exploration of increasing generation capacity using sugar as a feedstock.
Last year, the President announced the release of 700 000 hectares of land. Four hundred and thirty-six thousand hectares have been allocated. The provincial breakdown of these allocations are as follows: In the Eastern Cape, 15 595 hectares have been released, which comprises of 54 farms; in the Free State, 15 farms, which comes to 3 906 hectares; in Gauteng, two farms, which comes to 929; in KwaZulu-Natal, 18 farms, which comprises of 6 880 hectares; in Limpopo, it’s
65 764 hectares, which comprises 70 farms; in Mpumalanga, 61 farms; in Northern Cape, 51 farms; and in North West, 220. In terms of this aggregation, of these 436, 563 hectares were
allocated. The department has issued leases of 206 765 hectares. Of these 53 880 hectares, comprising of 78 farms, were allocated to 211 females, 14 251 hectares, comprising of
18 farms, were allocated to131 youth, and 842 hectares, comprising of one farm, was allocated to a person with disability.
House Chairperson, 116 farms, totaling 127 743 hectares are currently occupied by community. Given the nature of how this land has been utilized, we have not achieved the 50% allocation to women that we have set for ourselves. When it comes to labour tenants, the land claims court has appointed Prof Richard Levin as the Special Master for labour tenants in order to work with the department to expediently review the
9 033 labour tenants claim that are remaining out of the
20 000 that were lodged.
The land claims court has further approved the action plan to address the outstanding claims in the next five years. House Chairperson, I attended engagements with the Special Master in Paulpietersburg in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday on building a common purpose around labour tenants were deliberations, revolved on meeting people’s needs through participatory development and understanding and appreciating triangulation
research methods to produce evidence-based for labour tenants claim resolution. I must say I was heartened that labour tenants themselves were part of these engagements.
On agricultural leases, House Chairperson, we have been inundated with issues relating to land administration. These were raised in terms of a number of cases relating to maladministration and the concerns of business, and would-be- investors on the impact on investor confidence, and initiatives such as blended finance. The Land and Agrarian Reform Agency, as pronounced by the President in his state of the nation address, will be one of the intervention to ensure that we have a credible, effective and inefficient land administration system. Subsequent to concerns raised on land administration by Mpumalanga farmers through some of our MPs as well as in the media, I engage the affected farms in Gert Sibande on 10 April 2021, and committed that the department will engage the farmers with a view of resolving these issues by June 2021. I want to assure this House, the NCOP, that none of the farmers was actually evicted as it was reported.
House Chairperson, we have also noted that there may be land claims on some of the farms that were leased to some of the farmers. Examples are the Ricevente farms in Mpumalanga, where
we established that some of the land is under claim. Government will ensure that farmers with varied leases in this area will continue to farm and will be allocated alternative land. The deeds registry will also ensure that farm leases that are earmarked for farmers are registered in order to create certainty for financial institution and interested investors. Reflecting on the measures to crowd in private sector investment. The outlook of the agricultural sector is such that it is ripe for public-private partnership, despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19.
When one takes a look at the performance of the sector, in 2021, the outlook on agriculture is positive with exciting prospects for 2020-21 production season. The South African Crop Estimates Committee currently focused that maize might be about 16,1 million tons, which is up 5% on the year; the second harvest that we will be having on record high. Soya beans is estimated at 1,8 million tons. In 2021, the citrus industry is also expected to surpass all previous exports and it is in records with an estimation of about 158,7 million cartons, which will be exported in 2021.
Improving sector research and development, especially for public good in the Agricultural Research Council, we will
ensure the sustainable development of the sector. It is important that our agricultural sector is supported not only by strong policy measures or programmatic interventions, but it is also supported by legislative strength. We committed to process five legislation pieces to strengthen our regulatory framework. These include the Agricultural Standard Amendment Bill and the Phytosanitary Bill, which have already been approved by Cabinet on 12 May and they are ready for processing by Parliament. The other three bills, namely: Agricultural Products Agencies Amendment Bill, Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill, and the upgrade of the Land Tenure Rights are in the parliamentary process too. We have also been able to effect changes to the Plant Improvement Act, and Plant Breeders Rights Regulation in anticipation of the commercialization of Hemp Value Chain in our country.
In the policy space, in addition to the beneficiary selection and land allocation policy, these policies emanate from the presidential panels, recommendations on land and administration, which aims to bring fairness and effectiveness in land reform. Apart from dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, we are also experiencing an upsurge in terms of animal health and plant diseases. The outbreak of foot and
mouth disease in Limpopo; the highly pathogenic avian influenza on six commercial farms in Gauteng, North West and Western Cape; African swine fever in all provinces, except in KwaZulu-Natal; African horse sickness in the protection zone in Western Cape; and the Banana bunchy top virus in all districts in Ugu District, in KwaZulu-Natal. measures have been instituted to address this outbreak.
Additionally, the department is working to increase the capacity of animal and plant health at national level to support our regulatory environment. Due to the good rains in most parts of our country, we have also experienced an unprecedented outbreak of brown locust in the western part of the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Northern parts of the Western Cape. Our control measures working with the industry are currently working on the control measures in the affected areas. Where these locusts in residential areas as in Kimberley, the department will not implement chemical control as this is unsafe for residential areas. The department and the affected provinces are working on other control measures which are considered safe for residential zoning. The conceptual framework for the master plans have been concluded and the sector partners are to meet for consultation in June 2021.
The person I know that all of you may be waiting for in anticipation of what I am going to say about cannabis and hemp. I am excited about the developments in the cannabis master plan. Consultation with the sector stakeholders on the cannabis master plan has been going on very well. We will be presenting these to Nedlac before the end of May. However, I am pleased to announce that as of October 2021, the department will issue and monitor permits for the production of hemp in South Africa.
On market access, market access remains very topical for many producers. In my engagements with South African farmers on the smallholder empowerment programme, the issue of market access ranked among the top two issues that farmers would like government to address. Working with the Perishable Products Export Control Board, we will work towards ensuring compliance with the Good Agricultural Practices, GAP. The National Agricultural Marketing Council will conduct market analysis for the department and the Department of Trade and Industry and Competition, together with International Relations and Co- operation, to devise measures to take full advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, and other strategically identified opportunities such as in the Middle East.
With regard to access to government market, the department is working with the department of Defence and Correctional Services towards finalizing a memorandum of understanding for procurement of commodities, particularly from our smallholder farmers. Chairperson, the Council and Boards of Agricultural Research Council on the support of biological products, perishable products export, as well as the National Marketing Council, have been put in place. The strengthening of our government systems as well as our state-owned entities SOEs, is very important to ensure oversight as well as the management of the public resources.
The ... [Inaudible.] ... process within our department has also been concluded for senior management and processes to construct a fit-for-purpose structure for the departments are beginning in earnest. The department is addressing case management, where a number of legacy cases are being addressed to effect proper consequence management. As previously committed. We wish to assure members that we are acting and we will not hesitate to act so that public resources are accounted for and that the conduct of our officials are not questionable by our citizens. We need to revive the ethos of Batho Pele once more in order to build a capable administrative system that is responsive to people’s ...
[Inaudible.] ... per person. The department has alone has been allocated sixteen point R16,9 billion Budget for 2012-22 financial year.
The NCOP is fully cognisant that transfers constitute a lion’s share of our budget. In the 2021-22 financial year, the following allocations are applicable to the provincial departments: For the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, R1,157 176 billion has been allocated. This includes budget for infrastructure development, extension, recovery programme and allocation for colleges. The Ilima/Letsema grant has been allocated R597,126 million for the work that provinces have to do. The allocation for provinces are as follows: Eastern Cape, R74 million; Free State, R71 million; Gauteng, 36 million; KwaZulu-Natal,
R73 million; Limpopo, R73 million; Mpumalanga, R78 million; Northern Cape, R68 million; North West, R71 million; and Western Cape, R57 million.
Apart from these provincial allocations, the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights will receive a budget of
R3,3 billion for 2021-22, particularly to resolve the old order claim. The other transfers are to our agricultural entities ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): As you move towards conclusion.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL
DEVELOPMENT: Yes, sir. … such as the Agricultural Research Council, National Marketing Council, NMC, as well as Ingonyama Trust. This is the Budget for the department, House Chairperson, which I am tabling for your consideration. I thank you.
Ms T C MODISE: Hon House Chair, good afternoon Minister and colleagues. Hon Chairperson, the Budget Vote 29 for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, takes place during the COVID-19 global pandemic, and this virus has destroyed many businesses and rendered many people unemployed. The Budget Vote 29 takes place when the South African economy is struggling to grow and to create much needed job opportunities.
We are happy to note that despite the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the agricultural sector was able to perform satisfactorily and indeed, it is the only sector that contributed positively to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, last year. This, we must note, was as a
result of the progressive approach taken by the National Coronavirus Command Council not to shutdown agricultural operations during this period.
Since the enactment of the 1913 Native Land Act, colonial and apartheid state, created other draconic pieces of legislation that were meant to enhance the consolidated dispossession of the land from the black African majority and to further ensure that Africans could not use land as an economic asset or tool for wealth creation, in anyway whatsoever. Thus, land dispossession from the African people, denied them their true identity.
This part of history is always relevant as we seek to understand the context within which this transformative budget takes place, hon Chairperson. During the presentation of the department, it was the department and its entity presenting their Strategic Plan for 2021-24 ... [Interjections.] ...
Chairperson, there is someone who is disturbing me.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Continue Chair, you are protected.
Ms T C MODISE: The department including its entity made presentation on their Annual Performance Plan, APP, as well as Strategic Plan for 2021-24. We have taken note on how the department and its entities are responding to, among others, the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, the National Development Plan, NDP, and giving full expression to the third pillars of land reform programme being, land restitution, land redistribution and security of land tenure.
Hon House Chair, we are not naïve in thinking that the problems faced by our economy can be resolved exclusively by the success of our policy on the land reform. What we are stating in this House is that, our land reform policy has got a great ability to unlock the productive assets of our people. There are eight principles of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, and one of them is focused on the interventions to promote sectors of the economy which promotes industrialisation, meet the domestic demand and link the economy to the African and global value chains.
Also, to provide supplies to infrastructure projects and agriculture is critical in that regard, and the land for that matter. The transformation of apartheid skewed spatial development patterns need to be radically transformed in order
to realise the objectives of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan in post-COVID-19. Hon Chair, we take note and stress on the importance of local municipalities to be implemented and be compliant with the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act of 2013.
We will make it effective on our land reform policy, in that it creates an overarching framework for spatial planning, policy and land use management for the entire country, including the rural and informal settlements. We hope that all provinces, especially the Western Cape Province, where there have been some objections to Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act. Allocation for R206,210 million constituting the biggest second allocation after National Geomatics Management Services at R540, 890 million.
The 54th National Conference of the ANC resolved on the acceleration of rolling out of title deeds to black South African in order to guarantee their security of tenure and to provide them with instruments of financial collateral. Hon House Chair, the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Amendment Bill will assist in ensuring that the majority of black people who security of land tenure is insecure in the former black townships is upgraded and converted to ownership.
This is important as many black people in the townships do not have title deeds as the form of land ownership, but holds permissions to occupy certificates issued by local municipalities. Hon Chairperson, Chapter 6 of the National Development Plan suggests that, the improved land use in the former homelands could enhance the livelihoods for a significant number of people as well as contribute to further development in these areas. The NDP identified the land tenure system in communal areas as inadequate for the security of credit and investment.
This Budget Vote has allocated funds towards tenure reform and implementation, and this will help respond to the challenges as identified in the NDP. About R292, 392 million has been allocated for land tenure grants, and restitution has been allocated R2,849, 712 billion and the land redistribution grants total R20, 257 million. In conclusion, hon Chairperson, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, we are supporting this Budget Vote.
I have reflected on the land reform and highlighted the importance of Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, and helping deal with the bitter legacy of apartheid. I have done so in order to indicate that the ANC believes in proper
and orderly planning and it is through the execution of our policy plans that we are able to resolve the land question.
In my conclusion, hon Chair, let me leave with this statement, give a woman a seed, she will make sure that she multiplies it. That is what the Minister is doing. No matter what she gets, she makes sure that it covers all the provinces, and she makes sure that all the municipalities are covered. In my language I say ...
Mosadi mooka, o nyenya le mariga. Ke a leboga, Modulasetilo.
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon Chairperson of the portfolio committee, yes, it is very big figures you are talking about - it’s just a pity that we don’t have much to show for it. Hon Minister and hon Chair, rural safety remains one of the biggest hurdles
– not only for our farmers, but also South Africans staying in rural areas. More needs to be done from this department to provide support in this regard. This burden remains on the shoulders of our struggling farmers whose primary task should be to feed our nation. We should be proud supporters of our farmers as evident in other countries who have pride and
respect for their farmers because they know the stability and survival of the nation depends on them.
Unfortunately, I cannot see this evident in this budget nor do I see the upliftment of our rural communities through proper rural development initiatives. Instead, I see how millions were wasted on a pipedream called Agrifos and Agrihubs that announced turning around like white elephants all over this country.
The ANC-led government invested billions in land reform programmes which has no oversight on expenditure until the DA called for an audit. It has become evident that this was all wasteful expenditure with nothing to show for it while all these people are left in an even worse position than they were before. Thanks to corruption and maladministration.
Minister, your department has been in the public spotlight for all the wrong reasons within this last year. One of those cases was a scandal where farmers of colour were evicted from state-owned farms to make space for the political elect and well-connected comrades of the ANC. We are still awaiting your public apology to Mr Ivan Cloete, Mr John Mabasa and many others who have been thrown to the dogs by your department.
Thanks to the DA and my colleague Annette Steyn in the National Assembly who exposed this injustice you and your department quickly back paddled on this matter.
Due to the DA, Mr Rakgase today owns his farm and has papers to show for it after a long hard battle in the courts. The question remains Minister, will you and your ANC government stop treating people of colour as second grade citizens. Will you show them the necessary respect and dignity by allowing them to own their properties as individuals. It is insulting - to say the least - for the ANC government to insinuate that people of colour in South Africa cannot be trusted with the ownership of the land and therefore should be babysitted by a government who must hold the land on their behalf.
Can you just be honest and acknowledge that this ANC government has no intention to allow individuals to own their property, and that it is actually part of the preconceived plan of state capture that includes land capture. If you own all the land, you have everyone by their short hair and can exercise total control over the voter - which means looting can continue at full speed, uninterrupted and without any opposition.
That is also why you use the race card to drive the land capture agenda by referring to the percentages of land owned by private individuals that gives a skewed perception of land ownership, while you exclude state-owned land as well as communal land that is also held by government. You keep on expropriating land but never transferring it to the people of colour because it keeps the statistics skewed, your narrative well and alive and by extension, pushes your land capture agenda. In this way, more and more land is transferred to the state, and less land held by individuals – a very clever move, I must say. If only all the ANC members knew how to play chess like that.
Minister, in one of my questions to you, you said that South Africans that stay in communal owned land under the Communal Property Associations, CPAs, can apply for an individual title to their residential and business properties, although they will have to convince their CPAs to change the constitution to allow for that. That is some light at the end of that tunnel. Now the question remains, “Will you have the political will and intention to not only allow it but also to assist those who chose to do so?” That remains to be seen.
What I can tell Minister, is that the DA will keep on standing up and fighting for individual rights and ownership because we believe in real choice and real freedom, not this half-hearted lip service freedom that the ANC is presenting. They pretend as if they believe in freedom. It is the façade of freedom that allows them to retain power and have access to money, because greed is their second name.
Minister, the DA is calling on you and your department to ensure that South Africans staying on state-owned land under tribal authorities also have real freedom and choice of ownership. We are not satisfied with the proposed tenure security that translates in simple words, indicates occupational and land use rights without actually owning your property.
Our people, especially the poorest people, deserve better than that. They deserve to have the same rights and choices as we all have – that is democracy. That can only be attained by a title deed that no one can take away from them at a snap of the political finger. So, they can also exercise the choice to own residential and business properties as individuals so that they can also start trading in the assets that will open up a whole new world of opportunities for businesses and careers.
This is called real rural development. This is real freedom. This is real empowerment. This is real power out of poverty and into prosperity. This is the DA way, and this is the way of hope and a better life for all.
My fellow South Africans, it is time for real change now. Thank you.
Ms N PIETERS (Eastern Cape – MEC: Rural Development and Agrarian Reform): Good afternoon hon House Chair, the hon Chair of the NCOP, Ministers, the Deputy Ministers and hon members of the NCOP. Chair, on 25 and 26 June in Kliptown, the oppressed people of our country adopted the Freedom Charter. A blue print for a kind of South Africa in postapartheid South Africa would look like. For purposes of this session, I would like to remind us of what the Freedom Charter says in relation to land. The Freedom Charter said: “The land shall be shared among those who work it.” It explains that:
Restriction of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land redivided amongst those who work it, to banish famine and land hunger. The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers. People
shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour and farm prisons shall be abolished.
This is the context through which we view the budget which was tabled by the hon Minister Thoko Didiza as the ANC. It is a budget that continues to contribute towards the attainment of what the Freedom Charter espoused. At the heart of the budget, is the reversal of the legacy of apartheid and all its results and challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequalities. As we are all aware, unemployment and poverty is on the rise in our country and inequalities continues to deepen. These are compounded by the coronavirus pandemic which sent the economies of the world into a tailspin.
Hon Chair, for us in the Eastern Cape, agriculture is one sector that can stimulate and sustain the economic recovery and reconstruction of our country. Land reform and agricultural development therefore become essential. We welcome the progress the department is making on land reform particularly the announcement by the Minister that, 436 000 hectares of the 700 000 that were announced by the President have been allocated.
Siyancoma ke siliphondo Mphathiswa kwisantya sakho ukunye neqela olikhokeleyo. Anihambi nidlala nithunyiwe.
What excites us even more is the equitable allocation of land to affirm vulnerable groups in our society in particular women, youth and people with disabilities. As I indicated earlier hon Chair that the Freedom Charter said:
The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers.
We appreciate that the department led by Minister Didiza avails these resources when allocating land to our people, together with all the necessary training on new matters of farming. We also commend that the department reaches out to progressive white commercial farmers to support transfer of knowledge to emerging black farmers ... [Inaudible] ... sector that is inclusive. We are still calling upon more white farmers who are progressive to follow suit.
Hon Chair, it is common knowledge that the agricultural sector performed remarkably well in 2020 despite the pandemic. The
sector was resilient and led to growth in export of maize, nuts, deciduous fruit and sugar cane. As the Eastern Cape, we contributed significantly to this growth. Our concern though is that, the sector exports new raw products and loses on beneficiation. This is where we are losing many job creation opportunities. This requires the entirety of government and the private sector to build new factories to process our agricultural products here at home, particularly considering the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Singazihambisi zingasetyenzwanga, zibuye sele sizithenga ...
... we must process them here in our country. We must enhance partnership model involving communal land owners, government, the private sector and traditional leadership to grow agricultural production. Our focus on communal land should not only be on primary production but also on downstream agro processing opportunities. If we do that, our first point of departure should be on boldly affirming subsistent and emerging farmers in rural areas across the country and we would be aggressive in assisting them.
We appreciate the work of the department towards this direction. Secondly, we appreciate the move of creating local industries for agro processing to ensure beneficiation and massive job creation in our local communities. The Agri-Parks Programme should be hardened in rural districts and shorten supply chains in rural areas and attract crowding to agricultural aspects, infrastructure, production and processing.
Hon Chair, the implementation of the completed Agriculture and Agro-Processing Master Plan and finalisation of outstanding ones must be accelerated to yield new jobs and to advance new growth of the agricultural sector. The Poultry Master plan and the Sugar Master Plan are already adding new investments into our economy. The finalisation of the Agriculture and the Agro Processing Master Plan is critical if we are to really transform the sector and unlock its potential to grow the economy and create jobs for our people.
Sihlalo, ndakuba andithethanga nto ukuba andiphefumlanga ngeCannabis kuba siliphondo elithebileyo kwesi sityalo.
We wish to urge the department to be agile in opening the bottle necks around Cannabis. As a country, we must move away from this tendency of spending years and years processing Bills. It is an anti-thesis for development. Hon Chair, be that as it may, we appreciate the progress made by the national department in this regard. As the Eastern Cape, we support the adoption of the budget for the department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development for the 2021-22 financial year. Thank you hon Chair.
Ms W NGWENYA: Chairperson, ...
... ngithanda ukubingelela uSihlalo nawo wonke amalungu ePhalamende laseNingizimu Afrika. Sihlalo ohloniphekile, ukubaluleka kwezolimo ekwakheni amathuba emisebenzi, nokusiza ekukhuliseni umnotho wethu akunakucindezelwa kakhulu.
Ekwamukeleni umsebenzi okuhlaba umxhwele emkhathini wezolimo ngonyaka odlule ngowe-2020 phakathi kwesifo se-coronavirus.
Sithanda ukuphinda sigcizelele ukubaluleka odlalwa ngumkhakha wezolimo ukusiza ukubamba iqhaza kumnotho okubandakanya wonke umuntu. Enye yezindlela eguquka nentuthuko yomkhakha wezolimo okungayifinyelelwa ngayo njengoba kuthuthukiswa izimakhethe
ezikhona zezolimo nokusungulwa kwezemikhakha ezintsha kanye nokukhuthazwa isimilo sokuncintisana kulo mkhakha. Umongo walenkulumompikiswano isesekelo sayo yolesi iNational Manifesto ye-ANC yonyaka we-2019, ikhulume ngokwandisa komkhakha wolimo, ukuxhaswa kwezolimo, izimakethe sasekhaya, nezokuthelekisa, futhi ifake isandla ekwakheni amathuba emisebenzi. Ukuze kufezeke uguquko lo mkhakha wezolimo i-ANC izibophezele ukubhekana nokubusa kokufaka kwezolimo ngamabhizinisi amakhulu nokubusa okungabonwa, phecelezi monopoly. Ekusetshenzisweni kokulinywa nasekuthengisweni kokudla okuvimba indlala ukulima okuncane. Ukulima kwabadobele ukuziphilisa kungumgogodla womkhiqizo wezolimo futhi kungasiza kakhulu ekukhuleni komnotho wezolimo. Lapho kubhekana nenhlangano enkulu yezolimo Kanye nokucindezelwa kwezomnotho wezinga.
The use of labour-intensive approach to our agricultural farming can unlock the potential of the sector, while at the same time contributing towards ensuring food security. The development of small-scale farmers can lead to the employment of many people and help put many up protective hectares of land into productive use.
Malungu ahloniphekile, ingqalasizinda efanele futhi eyanele ibalulekile ekwadisweni komkhiqizo wezolimo. Kanti nevoti izosekela amaphrojekthi wengqalasizinda yezolimo njengengxenye yokuthuthuka yasemakhaya.
Chairperson, in terms of settlement support, one of the progressive programme of the department is the comprehensive agricultural support programme, CASP, and the aim is to provide postsettlement support to them, the targeted beneficiaries of land reform, and to other producers who have acquired land through private means. It is important to ensure its effective support to all our farmers and, most importantly, black emerging small-skills farmers. This vote will see the finalisation of the land beneficiary and sector selection policy over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.
This vote has allocated about R953,5 million. In this will contribute towards the recruitment of about 10 000 extension officers across the country.
Chairperson, on drought and disaster, drought, food and other nature disaster have a negative impact on the production of small-scale farmers. We take note that lack of grant
allocation under the CASP for disaster such as food, damaged infrastructure and for drought relief will put more strain, especially for small-scale farmers, who have no access to insurance and capital. The allocation of almost R1,2 billion for the CASP infrastructure enhances government drive towards infrastructure, lead development.
Chair, one of the entities of the department is on thereon
...[Inaudible.] ... biological product with a mandate to prevent and control animal diseases that affect food security, human health and livelihoods through the production of related vaccines. The completion of the foot and mouth vaccine production facility in the Gauteng province will help us to reduce our reliance of vaccine. Import is great towards playing a development and infrastructure roll, in that, it said, in the work of its CEO, to be more involved in alleviating poverty by supporting all farmers, including
The availability of vaccines to small scales and emerging black farmers will not only enhance the quality of their livestock products, but will always in the long run ensure the development and commercialisation of the small scales enterprise and access to export markets.
Chairperson, addressing the challenge of access to land or land hunger must be seen as an attempt to fight hunger and poverty. It is reported by the Globe food a secretary island that South Africa ranking dropping to 69 place out of 113 countries from 44 in 2019. This does not pay a global picture as South Africa has enough food suppliers. But food price herbs scale, robbed and making affordable too costly, giving that the agriculture economy is influenced by a number of other factors, such as the economies of scales, the promotion of community food, garden and urban farming, as well as household subsistence. Farming can help mitigate against the high rising cost of food and can further contribute to national food security and help reduce hunger.
In conclusion, Chair, I stand here on behalf of the ANC to support Budget Vote 29 for the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER: AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL
DEVELOPMENT (Mr M Skwatsha): Hon Chair, thank you very much as you take leave on your assignment, hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister Didiza, Deputy Minister, esteemed members of the NCOP, MEC from the Eastern Cape, everybody present here, I
greet you this afternoon, I am excited to be speaking here today on the month of May, a very illustrious month. I made this point sometime last week. May is an exciting month. I recall that the path to freedom was a very thorny painful one.
I have a vivid recollection of uMkhonto weSizwe striking a blow at the apartheid institution on the 9th of May 1983 at South African Air Force, SAAF, Headquarters in Pretoria, an operation led by commander Barney Molokoane. But who can also forget that day when former President Mbeki made us all proud and said “I am an African.” That is why I frown at people who call me a person of colour as hon Smith said. I do not know what a person of colour is.
When we discuss land reform or embark on activities that restore the rights to land to previously dispossessed people, we move from a point of departure which recognises that an injustice was committed, a mess was committed and I may say, the corruption and maladministration the hon Smith refers to, arrived in 1652, when some people’s forefathers arrived here. And that corruption and maladministration created by apartheid is a system that hon Didiza is busy cleaning up whilst she did not create that. We should therefore not allow anyone nor any
organisation to twist the truth by attempting to make us feel bad by demanding what rightfully belong to us.
You were in Covie giving out land to people, so it happened in Ebenezer. This weekend you will be in Limpopo and Tafelkop, you will also be giving out land to people there. Comments made by hon Smith and others reminds me of when the son of man arrived in Jerusalem and someone asked ...
... ziindawo zini na ezi nincokola ngazo?
... and people asked ...
... umhambi eJerusalem apha nguwe wedwa na, ukuba ungazazi nje izinto ezihle khona ngazo ezi mini?
... are you blind not to see what is unfolding in front of your own eyes in South Africa? I hope that the next budget vote that you will be tabling next year our august Parliament will have expropriated the land and passed that particular Bill.
What we are doing is that we are restoring the dignity of the majority of South Africans. It is only when such dignity is restored that we can be able to find peace. As former President Nelson Mandela reflected and I quote:
Returning land, which translates to wealth, back to the dispossessed majority, is an important task because it is one way of addressing the injustices of apartheid.
All communities whose rights to their land have been restored through the title deeds handover recently we say to them, walk proudly with your head high. You can now be a proud human being. You now enjoy what is called security of tenure and keep it that way for generations to come.
Cabinet in December 2020 approved the Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation Policy which is aimed at expediting the land allocation process which prioritizes women, youth, and
persons with disabilities. The participation and protection of these vulnerable groups across the value-chain of our economy is critical. This policy is already in the implementation phase within the various programmes of out department.
In the 2020-21 Financial Year, the department acquired 22 366 hectares of land for agricultural purposes. These included land for livestock, fruits, crops, forestry and game. This financial year, the budget for land acquisition is
R175, million and our plan is to acquired 33 720 hectares of land with this budget and through reprioritisation within the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy.
The allocation of hectares to be acquired per province is as follows: In the Northern Cape, 12 997, Western Cape 3 756,
Eastern Cape 3 620 hectares, KwaZulu-Natal, 3 517 hectares,
Limpopo 2 813 hectares, Mpumalanga 2 640 hectares, North West
233 hectares, Free state 1 704 hectares, Gauteng 640 hectares.
The Land Tenure reform programme is key in achieving the constitutional promise entrenched in section 25(6) of the Constitution of the Republic.
A person or community whose tenure to land is legally insecure as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to tenure which is legally secure or to comparable redress.
Farm workers, farm dwellers and labour tenants, the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act No. 3 of 1996 seeks to secure the tenure rights of labour tenants and former labour tenants, including by regulating their tenure and prohibiting illegal evictions. Wherever farm dwellers, farm workers, labour tenants and women have limited and vulnerable land rights, it is our responsibility as this department in conjunction with other departments to take steps to correct such instances.
Although the provisions of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act, ESTA, have been strengthened, we continue to receive reports of attempts to undermine this legislation. The need for land in these areas varies and includes land for residence, land for cultivation, rituals, burial, and grazing of livestock. When these rights are not protected it may give rise to conflicts. When these rights are not protected it may give rise to conflicts.
In giving effect to the provisions of the constitutional and the legislative mandate, the department has prioritised the settlement of outstanding labour tenant claims. The Land Claims Court has appointed the Special Master on Labour Tenants to work with the department on expediting the settlement of these labour tenants’ claims, and to present a report to the court on a quarterly basis.
The department received 20 325 applications in seven provinces with the majority of claims emanating from KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. To date, a total of 10 992 claims have been finalised, with 9 333 claims still outstanding. Working with the Office of the Special Master, a Labour Tenants Implementation Plan has been developed and approved by the Land Claims Court to address this injustice of the past.
During the past financial year, a total of 200 labour tenants’ applications were finalised and the department managed to acquire 7 128 hectares for labour tenants and farm dwellers to provide long term security of tenure to these groups of persons
For this financial year, the department has set aside a budget R244 million for the acquisition of land for labour tenants
and farm dwellers, as well as to honour cases settled through Court Orders. This budget will be used to acquire 6 150 hectares. The highest hectares will be acquired in KwaZulu- Natal which will be 1 800 followed by Mpumalanga with 1 100 hectares and the Western Cape where the lowest hectares will be acquired.
The department in conjunction with Office of the Special Master has targeted to finalise 1 500 labour tenants claims in current financial year. In recognising the multiplicity of challenges faced by farm workers, the department working with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and Legal Aid will continue to provide legal support and mediation services. Working together we will ensure that farm dwellers, farm workers and labour tenants enjoy the fruits of freedom like all other South Africans.
Deputy Chairperson, the expeditious transfer of 23 rural areas as administered by the Transformation of Certain Rural Areas Act 94 of 1998, TRANCRAA, is unfolding fast. These areas previously classified as coloured reserves are in four provinces in our country. I am concluding, Deputy Chair.
The process of transferring ... [Interjections.] ...
The DEPUTY MINISTER: AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL
DEVELOPMENT (Mr M Skwatsha): ... Are you stopping me, Deputy Chair?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): I am
definitely not the one that is interrupting you. You may conclude.
The DEPUTY MINISTER: AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL
DEVELOPMENT (Mr M Skwatsha): Thank you, Deputy Chair. On communal land tenure the Inter-Ministerial Committee, IMC, on Agriculture and Land Reform is guiding a processes in this most important and sensitive area. Our department, working with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development are running a provincial consultation process with all stakeholders, including traditional leadership organisations, land expects, civil society and communities, the consultations will culminate in a National Land Summit, to be convened in August this year.
The IMC on Agriculture and Land Reform lead by the Deputy President, has established a Task Team consisting of the Department of Agriculture, Land reform and Rural Development,
South African Police Service, SAPS, the Department of Human Settlement, the Department of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and South African Local Government Association, SALGA, to develop an integrated rapid response strategy. This plan with intervention measures has since been approved by the IMC. These interventions are also guiding in opening a dialogue amongst various role players and stakeholders, including farmers’ associations and farm dwellers to curb these conflicts, evictions, farm murders and bring peace and stability in these areas. [Time Expired.]
Mr A ARNOLDS: Hon Chairperson, the EFF rejects the
16,9 billion budget vote 29 of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development because of the following reasons. The ANC’s empty promise of 1994 to return 30% of land to black people by 1999, today, less than 10% of the land is in the hands of black people. The landless people of South Africa demands their land now.
The state under your government has dismally failed in their mandate to transform and better the lives of the majority of landless people in the country. After 27 years since the attainment of political freedom, the majority of black people are still landless.
Minister, your department is one the most incompetent departments that lacks the ability to resolve land claims lodged in 1998, with 9 033 claims still outstanding, with many land claimants died while waiting.
As the EFF we call on the immediate end on the eviction of black farmers from sate-owned land. The exploitation of farm workers by white farmers in the country and lack of protection of farmworkers will be one of your legacies that will be recorded in the history books of the country.
The DA government in the Western Cape is one of the worst governments when it comes to the farming community. They protect white privilege, white farmers who are exploiting, evicting and using farm workers as slaves. Many farm workers in the Western Cape who worked and help build up these farms are now destitute and without adequate houses and living in poor conditions.
Your budget allocation of R1 billion to subsistence farmers for job creation and livelihoods, as you are aware, will not do justice to the many challenges faced by black farmers.
Market access to small black farmers need more attention and demand urgent action. Small holder farmers struggle with the basic resources such as water and lack the fundamental agriculture infrastructure while white farmers still enjoy the benefits of apartheid.
Although we note the move by the Department of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation to issue water licence to small holder farmers, more assistance is needed. Minister, there is no consequence management in your department.
Minister, talk is cheap we want action.
Your R3,3 million allocation for the biosecurity lacks commitment to minimise the risks of disease outbreaks. This programme need be strengthened. The EFF is the only party that can resolve the land question through land expropriation without compensation for equal distribution and use.
We must reject any move from the ANC to obey their white masters to maintain the status quo. All land must be put under the custodianship of a capable state so that the majority of landless can equally enjoy the benefits from our country's resources. The poor and the landless will continue to suffer
under an ANC government due to corruption and looting of state resources. We therefore reject Budget Vote 29. Thank you.
Ms N A NDALANE (Limpopo – MEC: Agriculture and Rural Development): Hon Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Mme Thoko Didiza, hon Deputy Minister, Skwatsha, hon leaders of the opposition parties, hon members of the NCOP, a very good afternoon to you.
Our country, South Africa, like the rest of the world, suffered huge economic consequences as a result of the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our sector, agriculture, which is the lifeline of livelihood for all of us, has shown impressive resilience under the circumstances.
The impressive growth of 13% by the agricultural sector in the past year demonstrated, amongst others, the consistent demand of agriculture products as well as continuing production.
According to Statistics SA third quarter gross domestic product report released on 8 December 2020, the growth could be attributed to an increase in the production of field horticultural crops and animal products. These, therefore,
indicate that agriculture continue to play a significant role in the economic recovery following a huge decline imposed by COVID-19 restrictions.
Hon Chairperson, in Limpopo we have identified key projects whose aim is to revitalise agriculture production, and in some instance, to resuscitate agriculture projects as part of revitalisation of agriculture and agroprocessing action plan. We have allocated R5 million to Zebediela Citrus Estate in line with a comprehensive business plan which has been developed. The key scope of the development includes refurbishment of irrigation and electrical infrastructure, replanting of trees and re-establishment of the pack house.
This project was submitted for funding consideration under the Presidency Infrastructure Co-ordination programme. Engagements are in progress at a Communal Property Association level. Many of the members in this House may remember Makgoba Tea Estate. We are proud to announce that the development for Makgoba Tea Estate revitalisation has been finalised. The estate has been allocated R10 million meanwhile the development plan is being engaged with stakeholders and discussions are at an advanced stage.
The other flagship project is Hamolele potato batch project in the Blouberg Local Municipality. The project is funded to the tune of R5,5 million. The project’s scope includes the development of 10 hectares irrigation system for potato production.
Hon Chairperson, appropriate infrastructure is at the centre of small holder farmer development in this industry to increase volumes and quality of produce. We will continue to prioritise empowerment of small holder farmers particularly women, youth and people with disabilities. The women in our province have demonstrated that with appropriate support they are able to grow and sustain their production while creating much needed jobs for the masses of our people.
We welcome with great appreciation the pronouncement by our hon Minister regarding land reform. The hon Minister announced in her Budget Vote that 50% of land allocation will go to women, 40% to youth and 6% to people with disability. Land is a key resource for the eventual emancipation of our people, particularly women. We must trust that this process will result in many of our women engaging in agricultural production and become part of our country’s mass food production.
As I conclude, hon Chairperson, as government, our bias will continue to be on the previously disadvantaged. Our resolve to maintain food security remains top priority in this important agricultural sector. I thank you, hon Deputy Chair.
Mr W A S AUCAMP: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, members of this House, people of South Africa, without the farmers of South Africa, there will be no food on our tables, and without food on our tables, we as a nation will not be able to survive. It is therefore an undeniable fact that the farmers of South Africa, black and white, big and small, form an integral part in the survival of us as a nation. Yet, it seems hon Minister that your Ministry, as well as this government, and most certainly this budget does not realise that South Africans are dependent on our farmers, and for us to survive, our farmers must survive as well.
The covid-19 pandemic had a huge negative effect on our country’s economy, and sadly the farming community was not spared by the effects of this pandemic. This government’s inability to manage this pandemic properly contributed to put a further burden on our already over-burdened agricultural sector. Before the arrival of covid-19 on our shores, the farmers in various areas of our country had to deal with the
devastating effects of one of the most extreme droughts in living memory, and although the covid-19 pandemic is continuously declared as a disaster on a monthly basis by your counterpart, the Minister of Cogta, the disaster brought about by the most severe drought of our lifetime is not deemed as a disaster by this government anymore.
Gedurende Januarie laasjaar is die Noord-Kaap tot ‘n droogterampgebied verklaar, en gedurende Februarie is die res van die land ook as droogterampgebied verklaar. Hierdie rampstatus het egter gedurende Mei 2020 verval, en ondanks verskeie versoeke deur die DA dat sekere gedeeltes van die Noord-Kaap en die Oos-Kaap, asook verskeie ander areas in ons land weer as droogte rampgebiede verklaar moet word, het hierdie regering dit steeds nie gedoen nie. Ek het reeds bykans twee jaar gelede in hierdie selfde Huis van die Parlement, die benarde situasie waarin sekere van ons land se boere hulself bevind as gevolg van die droogte aan u meegedeel. Ek het ook aan u genoem dat die omvang van die droogte so erg is dat weiding in groot areas van ons land langdurige skade gely het, en dat dit jare sal neem voordat daardie weiding sal herstel.
Hon Minister, if you know our farmers, you would know that there is a saying that our farmers often use, and this saying is: “It does not rain grass”.
In Afrikaans gesê: “Dit reën nie gras nie”.
In other words, it does not mean that rain all of a sudden, rain ends a drought, especially not as severe a drought as this one. Even though certain areas of our country received good rainfall, and even though most of our dams are at acceptable levels, there are still large areas that are experiencing vegetation and grazing conditions far below the norm. This fact is documented by the Agricultural Research Council in their Vegetation Condition Index, VCI, for March this year.
Agb Minister, ek het gister ‘n brief, wat ek vir u sal aanstuur, ontvang van Mnr Gysbert “Burre” Burger van die organisasie, Droogtehulp. Hulle is een van verskeie organisasies wat poog om ons land se boere by te staan, om die
kruppelende gevolge van die droogte te hanteer. In sy brief sê Mnr Burger dat hy wonder of ons as parlementslede, elke keer wat ons ’n kraan oopdraai en daar water uitkom, of elke keer wat ons die gekletter van reën op ons dakke hoor, besef dat daar steeds ’n uitmergelende droogte is wat in groot gedeeltes van ons land heers.
Ek het persoonlik die pas afgelope week weer deur die Noord- Kaap gereis. Vanaf die Kalahari, deur die Karoo van Kenhard, Brandvlei en Calvinia. My hart het uitgegaan na die boere wat steeds daar probeer boer. Daar is gedeeltes waar daar absoluut geen weiding oor is nie. Daardie boere ontvang geen daadwerklike hulp van die regering af nie, en indien dit nie was vir verskeie droogtehulp organisasies, soos die van Mnr Burger, wat daardie boere bystaan in hul nood nie, sou daardie boere lankal reeds tou opgegooi het.
Hon Minister, these civilian organisations assist our farmers, black and white, by collecting money and food for them and their workers, and children, as well as distributing fodder to their livestock. I have been to some of these outreach projects initiated by these civilian organisations, and I would hereby like, hon Minister, to invite you to please
accompany me on one of them in the near future. I want you to do this, not only to witness with your own eyes how desperate the drought situation still is, but also for you to witness the absolute indiscriminately kindness and humanity shown by our people to our people in need.
It is not only our country’s food security that is threatened by this drought. This prolonging drought will also dry up the jobs and lively hoods of thousands of our people, and therefore put an even larger strain on our already failing economy.
It is an absolute shame that civilian organisations are standing basically alone in assisting our farmers in need. The DA therefore urges this government, in actual fact, we plead with this government, to start to properly play its part in assisting our farmers as well. The small amount of money that this government and certainly, this budget is giving towards our farmers is not nearly enough. It is time that this government by means of this budget, start to implement proper drought relief to our farmers as a matter of utmost urgency.
Agb Minister, die boere in die groogte-geteisterde bebiede van ons land het u nodig. Ons het u nodig om leiding te neem, sodat ons daardie boere en ook sodoende al die mense van ons land kan help. Kom ons staan sterk en kom ons staan saam met ons boere in nood. Kom ons wys vir hulle dat ons omgee. Ek dank u.
Mnr S F DU TOIT: Agb Voorsitter, die landbou sektor is die hoeksteen van die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie. Die landbougemeenskap het gedurende 2020 vir die soveelste keer aan die wêreld bewys dat geen uitdaging hul sal onder kry nie. Te midde van al die aanslae, te midde van al die teenstand, te midde van al die leuns, beur die landbou sektor voort om te voorsien in die behoefdes van alle Suid-Afrikaners, ongeag hul ras, taal of geloof. Sonder die regering se inmenging dra die landbou sektor dra by tot sosiale kohesie.
The R494 million was allocated over the medium term in an agriculture production by the Security and Natural Resources Management programme. This is to mitigate and prevent the outbreak of diseases, but it is too little.
The recent outbreak of African swine fever in the country is however a great concern. No financial assistance was given to farmers whose pigs needed to be put down. In some instances, a whole drift was cold. How can it be that disasters like these are not being provided for, Minister, either through the Disaster Fund or any other contingency plan?
Die droogtegeteisterde Noord-Kaap en ander dele van Suid- Afrika gaan steeds onder droogte gebuk en het ’n tekort aan weiding en broodnodige hulpbronne. Op antwoord van ’n amptelike, ’n skriftelike vraag van my aan u, Minister, in Februarie 2021, rakende droogtehulp, het u as volg geantwoord.
Eerstens, het u gesê dat u departement die reënval monitor en kwartaalliks vergader om dit te bespreek. Tweendens, het u gesê dat bevondsing beskikbaar gestel is om voer aan te plant en dit as ’n langtermynoplossing aan gaan wend. Derdens, het u gesê dat u aanbeveel het dat kuddegrotes aangepas moet word volgens weidings-drakrag.van die veld. Met respek Minister, as daar nie veld is om op te wei nie, verwag u dan dat die hele kudde tot niet gemaak moet word? Boere het alle maatreëls getref om te verseker dat die bietjie wat hulle tot hul beskikking het, optimaal aangewend word. Vierdens, het u
genoem dat prioritiet gegee moet word aan gebiede wat dele van die Noord-Kaap insluit, waar erger droogte ondervind word en dat die provinsies hulp moet verleen. Ons sien nie daardie hulp nie. hirdie hulp is nou meer as ooit nodig, Minister!
Gryp dringend, moet nie net monitor nie! Moet nie net praat nie! gaan self daarheen. Trap in die stof en kyk of daar iets is wat die diere kan eet.
Onderspandering van fondse wat aan provinsies toegeken word vir landbou en landbou ondersteun plaas groot druk op die sektor en beperk groei, werkskepping en vooruitgang.
The safety and wellbeing of the farming community as a whole is a great concern. Just last week, Minister Dlamini Zuma, during her Budget Vote speech, or must we rather say, the election rally campaign, picked the scabs off social divide by saying that the land was stolen. People usually revert to phrases like this in an attempt to beguile you from the truth. Lies like these have consequences, Minister, it incites hates and violence and you are the author. When politicians make reckless and populist statements like she did, it does not fill me with confidence.
Government is in denial. Expropriation without compensation will not just be accepted, Deputy Minister.
Die lanbou sektor is ’n voorbeeld vir Suid-Afrika! Dit is hier waar mense die term menswees uitleef. Dit is hier waar vreemdelinge wat ’n gemeeskaplike doel het, hande vat, plant, bou, vermeerder voed en beskerm. Dit is hier waar ons vorentoe kyk, letterlik met die hand op die ploeg, om by te dra om ’n beter Suid-Afrika te skep. Die regering beperk tans hierdie sektor, maar soos ’n saad wat ontkiem en deur die aardkors breek, so styg ons bo hierdie onderdrukking uit.
Ons hakke is stewig geplant. Neem kennis. Ons is gewortel in geloof. Ons oë is gevestig na bo en met doelgerigte deursettingsvermoë en kundigheid, staan ons nie terug vir enige aanslae nie. Die winde van verwarring en populistiese haat kan moontlik vanjaar in Suid-Afrika waai, maar ons mag nie toelaat dat dit ons onderkry nie.
We have moral courage. We have a moral compass and we will prevail. I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL
DEVELOPMENT (Mr S M Dlamini): Chairperson, Hon Minister Didiza, all Ministers, Deputy Ministers present particular my colleague hon Mcebisi Skwatsha, hon members of the Select Committee Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, hon members of the House, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, for the 2021-22 financial year we planned to undertake the following programmes. We plan to support 25 projects that would lead to functional farmer production support units through the farmer production support units, FPSUs. Rural household and villages in general will be able to obtain a wide variety of support to improve their productivity including mechanisation, things like tractors, implements, inputs, seeds and fertilizers, storage facilities, etc. The work will include the renovation of livestock, auction facilities like at Nkwanfen at Thembisile Hani Local Municipality at Nkangala, in Mpumalanga province.
In addition, we will implement another 50 infrastructure projects to support production and six socioeconomic infrastructure projects continuing from the Dipwat Primary School Development project implemented in the previous financial year. A total of 500 jobs are projected to be created in such rural development initiatives. This speaks to
our revised strategy of optimising intergovernmental resources. We will continue where we ended in the Mt Fletcher Spring Water Harvesting,Protection, Development,
and Reticulation project
In this financial year there will be an additional five innovative technology research projects which will be implemented. In the 2021-22 financial year, the National Rural Youth Service Corps will put greater emphasis on recruiting and skilling youth for workplace opportunities within and outside government. It will also focus on entrepreneurship, further education and skills opportunities as part of fair basket offered to the youth finishing the programme.
This will position the National Rural Youth Service Corps, Narysec, programme to better contribute towards the challenge of high youth unemployment. To this end, the programme has now committed to training 1 490 youth across all nine provinces and the budget of R62,4 million has been allocated in this financial year. This youth was recruit during the 2019-20 financial years. But due to the COVID-19 the training was delayed. In addition, the following initiatives are underway. A total of 188 Narysec youth will be trained as traffic officers in Mpumalanga and Free State respectively. The
intention is for the youth to be absorbed by the local municipalities and these municipalities have already signed commitment letters for employment for these youth upon the successful completion of the training.
Ninety-three Narysec youth from the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces are currently undergoing training with Clicks Pharmacy Group. This youth would have been absorbed and this represent a successful private-public-partnership initiative.
Ninety-eight, which is 73 in the Eastern Cape, 25 in KwaZulu- Natal, of the youth recruited as part of piloting the district development model, will be trained in environmental waste management qualification. The King Sabata
Dalindyebo Local Municipality has provided business opportunities for these of these youth and they will be absorbed into the waste management unit.
The KwaZulu–Natal youth will also provide similar service to the eThekwini Municipality. This means that 98 young people from the rural areas will have an opportunity to pursue their small entrepreneur enterprises leading to further socioeconomic spin-offs in contributing to the second phase of
the presidential stimulus initiatives stimulus initiative project. The department has extended the contract of 1 209 verifiers for another 12 months, which is 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 with a budget of more than R64 million which wil go towards paying stipends and allowances.
The department is also focussing on taking forward the process towards the finalisation of rural development strategy and the national spatial development framework. We invite all of you to take closer interest in strategic policies. We want to see and hear every villager, and every rural community, including everyone in Soith Africa talking about rural development. The real test of what we are saying here will be on what we do to transform rural economy and build sustainable rural communities.
I say this as I conclude the definition of what rural development is all about lies in this, and not what I heard from one of my colleagues saying what is rural development, and saying something totally opposite to what we want to do. I thank you for the opportunity and I respect my Minister, the Deputy Minister on the work what we are doing. You all give us a chance to deliver what we have promised here to do. Thank you very much.
Mr M NHANHA: Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, I like your hairstyle. You look “mooi” [beautiful]. My colleagues have spoken at length about issues bedevilling the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development at a national scale but allow me to zoom into the Eastern Cape.
In my province, money the country does not have is perpetually thrown in a dark bottomless pit called local economic development. Like all other state-owned enterprises, once profitable Magwa and Majola Tea Estates are now an albatross around the provincial government’s neck. Year in year out the taxpayers carry a burden of bailing out these state-owned enterprises, SOEs. The lesson to be learnt here is that government must exit business and let business people do what they do best. Colleagues, it does not matter how many ANC T- shirts or branches you have or how well connected are you within the governing party. The bottom line is farming is a calling, it’s not for all of us.
The EC government has neglected hard working farmers in Matatiele, only for the Premier to pitch up for a photo shoot session when the produce is ready for export.
Five years ago amid much funfare and high expectations two silos were built in Matatiele at the cost of R7,2 million, R4,2 million was spent on a state of the art fresh fruit and vegetables market. As expected both buildings are yet to open their doors for business. Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”, that’s the lesson to be learnt here.
The Eastern Cape is gripped in the jaws of a devastating drought, yet the premier did not see it fit to at least dedicate one sentence to such a catastrophe that is threatening food security in this province. Farmers are left to fend for themselves with no support from the provincial Department of Agriculture and extension officers in are nowhere to be seen.
Hon Skwatsha, you said corruptions arrived in South Africa in 1652, I can agree with you, but, be rest assured the guys in 1652 were not as advanced in corruption as the ANC government of today. You guys have mastered the art of corruption.
Secondly, hon Skwatsha, no one said [Inaudible.] but the point is that it really has to be done with the amendment of the Constitution, and the answer is no because you as government are sitting with pockets of land and you are doing nothing
about it. The distribution of land has been riddled by corruption by your own officials. Land was allocated to closely connected comrades within the [Inaudible.]
As I conclude, hon Arnold, South Africans will not always listen to your [Inaudible.] The Western Cape is one of the leading provinces in so far as land redistribution is concerned. The Western Cape is one of the provinces that are living [Inaudible.] on this mission. So the amount of lies that you continue saying in these platforms are not going to stick. We will meet you in [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
Mr T B MATIBE: Deputy Chair, the Chairperson of the NCOP, the Minister and Deputy Ministers, thank you very much, it was indeed interesting to listen to the debate but just as starters on the ANC policy on land, I think we should be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. The key policy perspectives in relation to the ANC started in the 1923 ANC Bill of Rights. The 1943 Africans’ claims, the 1955 Freedom Charter, the 1991 constitutional guidelines, the 1992 Ready to Govern ... [Interjections.]
AN HON MEMBER: Baxelele! [Tell them!]
Mr T B MATIBE: ... and then moving towards 27 April 1994. Some of them especially hon Smit, might not have gone through. We request him to go through some of those documents so that he can speak to the ANC policy without speaking about what is not true about the ANC colleagues.
AN HON MEMBER: Talk is cheap!
Mr T B MATIBE: The 1923 ANC Bill of Rights was, as indicated, one of the most revolutionary proclamations in which, as I quoted:
The Bantu inhabitants of the Union have, as human beings, the indisputable right to a place of abode in this land of their fathers (and mothers), and all Africans have, as sons (and daughters) of this soil, God-given unrestricted ownership of land in this, the land of their birth.
That is the perspective from which the ANC policy on land is based upon. We appreciate the hon Minister, the good work that you are doing in relation to the work in terms of land reform and distribution, the massive roll-out of infrastructure. We, as the ANC, are very happy with the work you are doing. We see it because, you know, Tshiombo is one of my constituencies and
work is being done in terms of irrigation in that area. We also really appreciate the rapid expansion of generation capacity, the release of hectares of land, as you put it in provincial breakdown and agricultural leases. That is the work that we think the Minister is doing very well, together with the department and the market access as one of the areas that we think should be pursued, as well as private sector investment. On the issue of us using the race card, I am sure we should put it again that the strategic objective of the ANC in terms of the national democratic revolution is to create a non-racial nonsexist and democratic South Africa. So because our strategic objectives – I have put them forward - I do not understand why we should reduce it to the race card, but we cannot sit and not transform the economy and want the status quo to remain.
We need to radically transform the economy so that the economies speak to the population dynamics and the level of poverty and inequality that was created by the apartheid and colonialism legacy, which we are trying to transform. Now, the issue of expropriation of land, and I am quite saddened by hon Smit, that he says he does not see that. We can send him to Psalm 35:16 which states, “they have eyes, but cannot see”.
Maybe if he goes there he might be able to see afterwards.
The issue of the pandemic and drought, I am sure hon Minister, you will be able to respond. But on the issue of expropriation without compensation, we are not going to be apologetic, because we are implementing the ANC resolution on land redistribution, which says that:
expropriation of land without compensation should be among the key mechanisms that are available for the government to affect the issue of land reform and redistribution.
And we are going to do that in line with the ANC resolution, which says that we do not have to undermine future investment in the economy, damage agricultural production and food security, and our approach to land issues as the ANC is based on three elements, which is increased security of tenure, land restitution and land redistribution. And from where we are sitting we are happy with the work that the department is doing. The issue of comprehensive agricultural support is one of the key elements and programme that we see the department is doing, and we are very happy that the Minister is implementing that. As well, and a rapid release of state land.
And in that regard we fully, as the ANC support Budget Vote 29 of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural
Development. Hon Minister, you will be able to respond to hon Nhanha. I am reserving my response to him because I am not sure whether, like Mmusi Maimane, he is an experiment of the DA, because the DA has got a tendency to make black people and experiment, and I also do not want, after this debate, they say he misrepresented his qualification. In that regard, Deputy Chair, we support Budget Vote 29. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL
DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, Deputy Chairperson, Deputy Ministers, hon members and all other honoured guests who are in the platform. I would like to thank the members for the interventions they have made, and assure them that we take the issues they have raised seriously.
The Chairperson raised with us the issue of spatial planning, particularly the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, SPLUMA. As Chairperson would appreciate that this is a matter that we must address as a country, our special development, so that it reflects our communities, and really deal with the apartheid special planning.
We also have to continue to engage with the traditional leaders who had raised some concern on the issue of SPLUMA. So
I want to assure you Chairperson, that yes, these are the matters we will address. Fortunately, around the issue of spatial development, it’s issues that in the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land and Agriculture, where also South African Local Government Association, Salga, is represented, it’s a matter we are seized with.
Hon Smit raised the matter of rural safety. I indicated to this House and I will do so once again, that we have developed
- working together with the Minister of Safety and Security and the department - to actually develop a rural safety strategy. These included working with the organised agriculture as well as with farmworkers and labour tenants.
I think it’s important that when we talk about rural safety in South Africa, we do not only talk about farms, but we actually talk about rural communities where farms are also a major constituency because, if we do so, we will find inclusive ways in which we can actually protect our communities. Rural safety is equally important, like urban centres, whose safety is also important.
I think the safety and security and our security cluster, have been doing what is necessary to ensure that perpetrators of
heinous crimes that happen in our rural spaces are brought to book. We hope that the justice system - in dealing with these matters - would also put some speed.
I think it’s important also in the way in which we ensure relationships between farm owners and farm workers, so that we avoid the tensions that are sometimes as a result of these relationships that go sour, either because of the evictions that happen or at times the interventions that limit the stocks of farm workers or labour tenants in the farms. It is in our interest to find a lasting solution to safety in our rural communities because of the impact that these has, particularly in the agricultural sector.
On the issue of Agri-parks and Agri-hubs, I would like to say that, yes, we have appreciated that this has been a very good conceptual framework. Maybe in its intervention, it has not been as best as we would have liked. I am happy that my Deputy Ministers, Sdumo Dlamini, has indicated what we will be doing in this current year. We have also engaged other partners in the private sector, as well as the African Development Bank, in assisting us to reshape and repackage the Agri-parks.
On issues that the hon Smit has raised, relating to what he called the people of colour, who I would want to say these are our communities, whether in the old reference they were called people of colour, but they are actually South Africans in their own right. There is never been a policy, both in government but also in the governing party, the ANC, which seeks to exclude any South Africans. It is for that reason that ANC subscribe to the Freedom Charter that was adopted in 1955. If I were to remind hon Smit, South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
The issue of Mr Cloete, Mr Zikala, and Mr Ragasi, are matters that we have addressed as a government that cares for the people and a government that listens, not only to its own members, but a government that listens to all South Africans.
So, whether hon Smit or whether hon Steyn or anybody else from the opposition raise matters of concern, we address those without looking at who has raised them, either in terms of race, gender or even political persuasion, because when we are a government, after our elections, we take oath and honour the Constitution of our country, and make sure that we serve everybody without any exclusion and will continue to stand by that.
When hon Smit talks about land capture, it is very unfortunate because if we talk about land capture in its essence in South Africa, we look back prior and after 1913. That’s where land capture happened; where there was no acquisition, where people were forcibly removed, where people were encamped on farms as labour tenants, where people were moved to the margins of our society. These are the wrongs that the ANC-led government is responding to and dealing with them. It might be taking us longer, but we will and will never change to that.
Hon Smit talk about expropriation. I am not sure which expropriation is talking about, and where is it happening? This state is acquiring land from willing sellers, and we transfer that land on a lease basis to the farmers who are requesting to be assisted with land from government.
The issue that is currently in the legislature, and I want to put it back to Smit is that, the engagement on expropriation without compensation and the amendment of section 25, is the debate that hon Smith and other members who have raised that matter, must engage with in the legislature. Don’t bring the matter into the executive as of now, because that’s the matter where hon members like yourselves, have to engage with other
hon members in this Parliament, particularly the NCOP and the National Assembly.
When hon Smit says their concern is to liberate people so that they can have individual rights- we agree - but individual rights cannot be the only option. There may be instances where people choose to have collective rights. So, real choice is about allowing people to choose and not about heading them towards our preferences. That is why hon Skwatsha, my Deputy Minister, when he was indicating what we are doing with regard to tenure security, we are engaging with rural communities and their traditional leaders in the former homelands, so that they can decide what form of tenure do they want that will be secured.
One of the legacies of apartheid that we are dealing with today is the allowing of a dualistic nature, not only in agriculture, but also in the general system of this country, where one tenure system was super imposed and the other tenure systems were ignored. It is a collective responsibility of hon Smit, members of the DA, EFF and everybody that is in Parliament that we must redress this apartheid system.
Issues of bio security, as indicated by Arnolds, Indeed I agree. We are not just talking cheap. We have intervened, but it is important for all of us to appreciate that in the first instance, the line of defence of bio security must be undertaken by farmers. But, as this government, we have never said if farmers are irresponsible or maybe for some reason not being irresponsible, they find themselves where diseases have been found on their farms, we have never stepped back as government, and say we are not going to do anything. We have intervened and assisted.
Sometimes when I listen to some members when they speak here about our farming community, it’s like they do not live in South Africa that I live in because I engaged with farmers. Sometimes we have difficult discussions, but collectively we appreciate that it will demand the farmers, the government, the farm workers, to be able to resolve the issues that face us in the farms, whether it’s bio security, whether its fights on the farms, because we want to ensure our household and national food security in this country. We want to ensure that agriculture can contribute to the development of our economy, as we have seen in the past year, where agriculture has performed very well year on year.
When people talk about government not supporting other farmers, it is unfortunate, Mr Aucamp, because even the way you are phrasing it - your government - our farmers, it is very much unfortunate because it may not be your party that has won the elections, but it is collectively our government. Even in the Western Cape, we do not say it is the DA government. We say it’s our government. It may be led by the DA, but we will demand that the government led by the DA, which is our government, must be able to render services to all without race, gender or creed dimensions. So when one talks about - our farmers - your government, I again say it is unfortunately.
I was one of the first people who went with the Deputy President to the Northern Cape to look at the situation there affecting farmers on the drought and we’ve assisted and we continue to be alive to the challenges that our farmers are facing. That is why we have been one of those in government to try to assist farmers with building that Orange River dam in terms of the wall so that when there are floods it does not have a negative impact. We are close to conclusion with that dam.
As you do know Mr Aucamp, the consequence of that wall will serve in the majority - our commercial farmers. I wouldn’t want to separate them in terms of race and gender. They are our farmers and we have done what is necessary to support them, and we will continue to do so without being apologetic.
As we sit here, our smallholder farmers are the ones that require collectively with our commercial farmers, to support and hand hold their hands in order for them to grow, because we can never continue to perpetuate this duality that is in the agricultural sector that we inherited from the past in South Africa. Growing together, building back better, is our responsibility as this legislature and the government.
I would like to say thank you very much to the Deputy Ministers, Skwatsha and Dlamini for the hard work that we have been doing, sharing the responsibility with myself, to make sure that we address the original sin of land dispossession in our country. Step by step we will make it. The road may be uphill, but I think we will be in the plateau as the years go by. The farmers of our country will make sure that we retain our food security, and we continue to perform very well in the agricultural sector.
I would like to say thank you to all of you, particularly our leaders of the agribusiness chamber, our leaders of the agricultural unions, you have actually been the partners with government to make sure that we navigate the challenges of Covid-19, and we ensure that our people do not go home without food.
It is our responsibility to make sure that this agricultural sector thrives and continues to bring in young people and women, so that they become part of this responsibility for food security and economy in our country. Thank you very much, Chairperson of our committee, together with your members. You have always kept us on the toes to make sure that, indeed, we do what is best with the resources that we have been given.
Somebody is inviting me on the chat group, and its hon Aucamp. Oh yes, I will, attend your outreach programmes. Tell me when I will be there with you, because you are a legislature of this country. You have a responsibility to the constituency, not only that have voted you, but where you are serving as a Member of Parliament. Thank you very much, hon Deputy Chair. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms S E Lucas): Thank you,
hon Minister. You saw that I allowed you to respond properly. Thank you very much continue with the good work that you are doing. As the NCOP, we will do our oversight rigorously, but we also need to acknowledge when someone is trying to make sure that they make a difference. To all members, thank you very much and then the meeting stands adjourned.
The Council adjourned at: 15:32