Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 10 Jun 2021
No summary available.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
THURSDAY, 10 JUNE 2021
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Watch video here: NCOP Plenary (Virtual)
Members of the council met at 14:00.
The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon delegates, before we proceed, I would like to remind you of the following: That the virtual sitting constitutes a sitting of the NCOP.
That the place of the sitting is deemed to be Cape Town, where the seat of the NCOP is.
That delegates in the virtual sitting enjoy the same powers and privileges that apply in the sitting of the NCOP.
That for the purpose of the quorum, all delegates in the virtual platform shall be considered present in the House.
That delegates must always switch on their videos.
That delegates should ensure that the microphones on their gadgets are muted and must always remain muted.
That the interpretation facility is active.
That any delegate who wishes to speak must use the ‘raise your hand’ function. And as we have always said, that by now members are familiar with the ‘raise your hand’ function.
Hon delegates, in accordance to Council Rule 247(1) there will be no Notices of Motion of Motions Without Notice.
Before we proceed to questions, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the President of the Republic of South Africa to the House. [Applause.] As well as premiers and delegates present.
Further, I would like to make the following remarks: the time for reply by the President to a question is five minutes. Only
four supplementary questions are allowed to a question. A member who has asked the question the initial question would be the first to be afforded to opportunity to ask a supplementary question. The time for asking supplementary question is two minutes. The time for reply to a supplementary question if four minutes. The supplementary question must emanate from the initial question.
I now call on the hon President to respond to Question 1, asked by the hon A J Nyambi and the response, as already been indicated, is five minutes.
QUESTIONS TO THE PRESIDENT
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, hon members, public infrastructure is vital to the lives as well as the livelihoods of South Africans and it is also vital to advancing the interests of our people. It also helps us to the achieve our developmental goals.
So, damage to public infrastructure, whether through vandalism or theft, amount to nothing less than acts of sabotage against the aspirations of all South Africans.
Unfortunately, there was a significant increase in such criminal acts during the lockdown period, predominantly in the areas of commuter rail and also in the basic education space.
The responsibility for public infrastructure development, for its maintenance and for its repair lies with various levels of government at national level, at provincial level and also at local government level.
As in the normal course of events, each of these is responsible for conducting an assessment of any damage that is done and taking steps to replace or restore infrastructure that is damaged. As in the normal course of events, these steps are important. It is, therefore, not possible to provide an overall estimate of the value of the damage caused over this period.
With respect to commuter rail, Metrorail experienced an alarming increase in cases of infrastructure theft and vandalism, ranging from overhead electrical lines, electrical
substations, train stations and depot substations. This vandalism took place in three of our provinces: Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. These acts have a huge impact on the mobility of commuters, who depend on the affordable Metrorail services to access economic opportunities in our major urban areas.
This includes projects to rehabilitate railway tracks, reinstate electricity infrastructure and a number of Metrorail corridors have now been prioritised in Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal and several mainline passenger services for the restorations have also been prioritised to return to service.
With respect to education, basic education reports that over
1 700 schools across the country were vandalised; KwaZulu- Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng were the worst affected provinces. Responsibility for the maintenance and repair of these schools is the responsibility of the Provincial Departments of Education.
Reports from the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure also indicate damage to public infrastructure in areas such as
Kimberley, Gqeberha and Hout Bay. And these include the theft of power lines and all related infrastructure installations.
We are working to intensify the efforts of law enforcement agencies, but also working alongside entities like Passenger Rail Agency of SA, PRASA, to uncover illicit cable syndicates and scrap metal dealers in possession of stolen material.
The success of these efforts depends on a partnership with communities as we all have a responsibility to safeguard and care for our infrastructure. And through these efforts we hope that we’ll be able to restore our infrastructure to a state of good health. Thank you.
Mr A J NYAMBI: Chairperson, the President will agree that different provinces and areas have been affected by these damages to public infrastructure in various ways; as you have alluded to that point.
My question is: Whether government has made any determination in terms of which areas are going to be prioritised?
Secondly, has any consideration been made, hon President, to secure additional funding from the National Treasury, given
the dire economic situation in our country and considering the fact that exorbitant resources will be needed to fix these damages in our beautiful provinces? Thank you, hon Chairperson. Thanks, President, for the detailed response.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chair, the many areas that have been damaged are areas of great priority. Commuter rail is a priority, schools are priority and indeed many, many areas where damage has taken place. So, they are all priority.
Of course, we are facing enormous challenges of a fiscal nature with regard to the availability of funding. That is why when people damage public infrastructure they must realise that in the end it is easy to damage, and to rebuild is much, much more expensive and in fact, impossibly expensive because right now we do not have all the resources to rebuild the infrastructure. What we do have to do is continue maintaining our public infrastructure, which has not been happening in a way that we would like to see.
But damaged infrastructure is really a crime against the people of our country because when people get angry, when people get frustrated, there’s just no reason why they should attack public infrastructure and prevent other people from
either getting a service from that public infrastructure or improving their lives.
From a fiscal point of view, it is forever becoming difficult and more difficult to fund the replacement of damaged infrastructure. But as government we have to do it; and at times it will take us a long time, it will take us a long time to replace that infrastructure that has been wilfully damaged. It takes a long time because it is much more expensive to rebuild infrastructure that is damaged, and with the shortage of funding it becomes much, much, much more of a difficult task. But it’s got to be done.
But we need to issue a warning to those who continue to damage infrastructure that the law enforcement agencies of our country will continue to take a very dim view against those who damage infrastructure because our country cannot afford to continue with this sabotage that takes place, not only against that infrastructure but against the people of South Africa.
Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Mr J JANKIELSOHN: Hon Chair, through you to the hon President. Mr President we welcome the fiscal assistance which you indicated will be allocated to deal with this issue.
But, Mr president, we’veve seen in many provinces and local governments how national government grants, especially conditional grants of this nature, are abused and often not used for the intended purposes. This is due to many factors and may include lack of human capacity, poor management, maladministration, and especially in the Free State, where I am sitting, a legacy of corruption left by your colleague although not necessarily your friend, the former Premier, Ace Magashule.
Mr President, my question is: In your opinion, do the provinces and local governments have the capacity to repair the damage caused by vandalism and theft?
And what will you do to ensure that the resources allocated are used for the intended purposes that you indicated?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chair, yes, indeed, as a government we have the responsibility to allocate resources to assist provinces, even local government, whenever infrastructure that serves the public is damaged.
Do they have the capacity to do so? We would like to believe that, yes, they should have the capacity. As we continue to
strengthen the capability of the state we want to create that capacity, in terms of human capital, in terms of the processes that need to be put in place, of either a technical nature or a procurement nature. We would like local government and indeed, provincial government to have that capacity because it is that level of government that needs to serve the people closest to where our people live.
Our process, now, is to professionalise public service, to increase the number of people who have knowhow, who are able to do the work and who will be technically proficient in being able to do their work.
Will the resources that we allocate be used for the purposes they are meant for? Working together with the Auditor-General, AG, working together with provincial governments and indeed, our local government we are going to make sure that monies that are allocated, either from a grant point of view or from any other funding process, are utilised for the purpose that they are used for.
We want to remove the temptation for corruption, we want to eliminate corruption completely and therefore, we want those levels of government to work transparently and to be
accountable; and if any fall foul of the rules that we have in place, they should be accountable.
So, as we strengthen the capacity of the state, that is precisely what we seek to focus on. And I am sure we will succeed, to have, yes, levels of government that are well run, well monitored and are able to execute their tasks. Thank you very much.
Mr S ZANDAMELA: President, during the lockdown last year almost 2 000 schools were vandalised across the country and in addition, over an extended period of time we had Metrorail infrastructure vandalised to such an extent that trains were no longer running anymore; depriving millions of people the cheaper means of public transport.
President, have you, in your initial assessment, found out that the destruction of public infrastructure was a calculated sabotage by those who benefitted from state tenders? If so, have you been able to identify those who are responsible and bring them to book? Thank you, Chair.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson, the answer to the first question is, no, we have not been able to verify
those who destroyed public infrastructure, those who benefited from tenders that were issued during the period of covid. So, I would not be able to answer that one because we have not yet verified.
Yes, we are conducting investigations through our various law enforcement agencies. And, yes, people who should be prosecuted have been identified and we’ve also had quite a lot of money returned to the state through those efforts we put in place.
So, I’m confident that they will end up having their days in court as well; as our law enforcement agencies are determined. The Special Investigative Unit, SIU, has been doing excellent work in this regard and the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, will be taking matters forward to make sure that this type of malfeasance does come to an end. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Mnu X NGWEZI: Ngiyathokoza kakhulu, Sihlalo Nyambose, ngibingelele kuMongameli wezwe uBaba u-Ramaphosa ...
While undertaking comprehensive audit of damage caused to public infrastructure during the lockdown period is important, there is significant infrastructure that has deteriorated with roads in municipalities such as Ugu, especially on Marine Drive, creating an extra service delivery burdens on the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government and in many areas like Nkandla, uMkhanyakude, uMhlabauyalingana and may areas, Mr President.
This disrepair condition of roads in Ugu and across the country negatively impact road safety and human lives.
What strategies have been adopted at the national level to address the decaying of public infrastructure, especially road networks?
And also if it is within your mercy to answer me. There are areas where also there’s no infrastructure at all, especially in rural areas; so, I would like to know the strategy at the national level to address the decaying infrastructure but also to address the issue of lack of infrastructure where it’s solely doesn’t exist, especially in rural areas. Thank you very much, Mr President.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson, yes, we are aware that the lack of maintenance has led to lots of our road infrastructure being damaged, creating really hazardous situations for our people in the form of potholes, degradation of the road network in the number of parts of our country, we keep hearing and seeing a lot of that degradation. It is something that concerns us, it really truly concerns us because we should not really be tolerating the situation like this.
Of course, roads are our responsibility at the number of levels of government: at the local level, provincial level and national level. At the national level SA National Roads Agency, SANRAL, is doing its best, not only to extend road networks, even leading to certain areas that can lead to the connection of our villages with big roads, but also in ensuring that the roads are maintained. So, we’ve got a national agency that focuses on that. But we also do need to ensure that provincial departments do take the issue of roads degradation quite seriously.
I’ve always been an advocate for the paving of our roads because it is cheaper, quicker and it is much more effective. I always refer to how the Romans, in their heydays, were able
to pave the roads and till today you’re able to see paved roads in that part of the world. They are durable, effective and they employ a lot people.
As we have to move ahead and create that road infrastructure, I’ve been urging my colleagues, local government level as well, that this is a mechanism that we should use because of its job creation possibilities and fairly well-priced processes that we can embark on.
In the end, yes, we’ve got to build roads in our rural areas, we’ve got to be wise to open our eyes to new technologies, new processes of creating well-surfaced road networks. So, this, I support immensely.
Of course, many of our local government do not have the financial resources, even the grants that they get from national government, quite often do not provide that support that they need to get. So, we need to be extending the road building processes through paved roads, there’s tarred roads and roads that are robust enough, has to be able to limit the continuous maintenance and creation of those road surfaces.
But we want to help as much as we can at national level.
The fiscal challenge that we face now is the major, major problem and we need to find ways of being able to address that. Thank you very much.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon members, tackling climate change is a national priority, and that is how I would like all of us as South Africans to approach the issue of the spectre of climate change. This requires, in the end, not only that we meet our international commitments because we are not an island but interconnected with other nations. We therefore have to act together in the international space to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also that we implement adaptation measures to protect individuals, communities and our economy from the effects of climate change.
If we do not act now, and if we do not act together as a global community, we will be increasingly vulnerable to adverse weather conditions as we see them occurring all the time. We will be subjected to water scarcity which should not even come as a surprise to us as South Africans because we are a water challenged country. We will also see the displacement of populations and biodiversity loss. At the same time, the country’s response to climate change needs to be well managed
to ensure that it does not negatively impact on the economy or exacerbate inequality, poverty and unemployment.
We must acknowledge that the transition to a low emissions economy and climate resilient society offers opportunities for new development, investment and job creation. It is therefore important that we understand both the opportunities and the risks associated with climate change. It is for this reason that we established a Presidential Climate Commission to identify a path towards low emissions economy and climate resilient society that is just, promotes inclusive development and job creation, and it should also be an approach that leaves no one behind.
The commission itself is constituted by members from various sectors of society, including business, civil society, labour, youth, research institutes and government. This signifies that we recognise the multidimensional nature of climate change and a just transition. This signifies that indeed we are serious about climate change in the way that we have conceptualised this structure. Cabinet members, particularly those from the economic cluster Ministries, actively participate in the commission’s work to ensure that there is political oversight over the work that we do.
As part of our response to climate change, public consultations have been underway on the draft updated Nationally Determined Contribution. This outlines the country’s targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Once finalised, the updated Nationally Determined Contribution will be submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, but this will happen ahead of the Climate Change Summit – known as COP 26 which will be held in Glasgow in November.
South Africa is currently the co-ordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government. This committee is a vital part of Africa’s ambitious co-ordinated response to climate change.
This weekend, I will be participating in deliberations on climate change at the G7 meeting in the United Kingdom, where I will be presenting the possibilities as well as the real positions of our country and the continent on this very important and critical issue. Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, thank you to the President for the comprehensive answer. In light of that, will you please explain whether Minister Mantashe’s powership deal which will
have devastating environmental effects not only on the marine environment where they will be docked but also to greenhouse gases, will, in principle, jeopardise our national determined contributions at the Sustainable Development Goals?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, the so called powership deal or process that has an impact on the environment still has to go through the environmental impact studies. That study is a rigorous process as we know because it involves scientific analysis, environmental issues, how the ecosystem that prevails at the moment in where they will be placed is actually constructed. So, in the end, the EIA is the one that is really going to determine what the path forward should be because it is an objective process and a process in which scientists and people who know all these environmental issues will be participating. I would like to give that process an opportunity to interrogate precisely the impact that a system like this will have. Thank you very much.
Kkz D G MAHLANGU: Sihlalo ngithokoza amalunga, isitjhaba sekhethu seSewula Afrika noMengameli. Ngokuhlonipha okukhulu nokuzithoba, angithokoze ...
... hon President for your very comprehensive response to the question posed to you.
Mengameli, ngiyazi bonyana uzakuvumelana nathi soke ...
... that climate change is a global challenge with devastating impact on developing economies.
Ngikuzwile Mengameli ukuthi ukhulumile bonyana sele ninobudlelwana nezemisebenzi namabubulo. Engikubawa kuwe Mengameli kukuthi ubudlelwana lobu eninabo, nakukghonakalako, usicacisele bonyana indima edlalwa mkhakha wangeqadi ingangani nokobana ibunjani ukuthi sibabantu beSewula Afrika sizwisise.
Lastly, hon President, I would also like to understand if government can fashion out a guide which explains the role that the general public ...
... njengesitjhaba seSewula Afrika ...
... should play in this regard.
Singabi babukeli kwaphela. Njengabantu beSewula Afrika kube nendima esiyidlalako. Ngiyathokoza, Mengameli.
UMONGAMELI WERIPHABHULIKI YASENINGIZIMU AFRIKA: Ngiyathokoza
nami mam’uMahlangu. Ngithokoza kakhulu ngalo mbuzo owubuzayo. Uma ngikuzwa kahle, le ndaba yokuguquka kwesimo sezulu uyizwisisa kahle futhi ufuna ukwazi ukuthi osomabhizinisi, nalaba abanye abangabasebenzi, nomphakathi bazokuba nayiphi indima ukuthi sisebenzisane kulolu daba lokuguquka kwesimo sezulu.
Clearly, in order for us to reduce our gas emissions we have to work together to reduce those emissions because it has already been proven that climate change is a major challenge to all nations around the world and we have to work together collectively.
In the end, it is the private sector working together with government to secure a better future for our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. We have to leave them a better world than what we found. In the end they are the owners of this world that we live in because they are the ones who are going to live in it or suffer in it if we do not look after it. It is therefore our responsibility and it is also within our powers that we should look after this world. It is a fragile world and it cannot be done by one entity alone — be it government, business or ordinary people.
So, it beholds on us to then work together. In our own country by having created the Presidential Commission on Climate Change we are hoping to mobilise our people through their various formations, non-governmental organisations, political formations, religious and a whole lot of other to address this issue of climate change. The private sector must play its role by investing in green economy, helping to give our country a just transition so that as we migrate from where we are now into a greener future there should be a just transition because people matter. The jobs that people are doing matter as well there should not be jobs bloodbath. If we have to move to new technologies, technologies must be able to secure a better life and future for our people. As we adopt to new
climate conditions and situations we must do so in a way that secures livelihoods.
This is a multidisciplinary process that we must get involved in and no one sector or entity can do it alone. We have to be working together to ensure that the future that we have as aspiration as even set out in the SDGs and Agenda 23 on our continent, is a future that we approach collectively, building consensus, collaborating, working together on an ongoing basis.
Kunjalo ke mama uMahlangu sifanele ukuthi sisebenze sonke ukwenza ukuthi labantwana bethu, nabazukulu nezizukulwane babe nekusasa elihle. Ngiyathokoza.
Mr S F DU TOIT: Hon Chair, to the hon President, in April this year and you confirmed it now that tackling climate change is a national priority and as South Africa we must do our part.
Hon President you just confirmed that we are a water challenged country and you said that people matter. Now, according to UNESCO there is a link between water quality and climate change. It does however seem like your Ministers are
not as serious about climate change and the combating of pollution as you are.
I am referring to Minister Lindiwe Sisulu that lashed out during a recent policy debate on Water and Sanitation and I am quoting her: “May you live with what you are living with until all of us have proper sanitation.” She was referring to sewerage running into white people’s houses and said that we must live with it. She further said that she is not apologetic about it.
Hon President, what measures have you taken to ensure that Cabinet is also on board to counter pollution and make the fight against climate change a priority? And how will Minister Sisulu’s corrosive statement be dealt with by you since they are not conducive to social cohesion and not supportive to the national approach towards climate change. Thank you, Chair.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson, the government that I lead is irrevocably committed to making sure that we address the challenges that mitigate against our people getting a better life. A better life means that the rights that our people have as encapsulated in our Constitution right to good living conditions in a form of housing, health and
water are secured. That for us is very important. We are focused and determined to make sure that that becomes a goal that is realised. We are also egged on by the SDGs, the global level, Agenda 26 and our own continent on various decisions that have been taken by our regional continental body which is SADC and us as the government are also egged on by our NDP. Now, looked at in that context we therefore are taking all measures on a continuous basis to address the needs of our people. We have done phenomenally well since 1994 to have water reticulated to whelm more than 80% of our people. But as I said the other day, we still have our work cut out for us and that means we have to take care of the interest of all our people irrespective of where they are in our country and where they live, irrespective of who they are from a gender and race perspective. We need and have to provide water and sanitation to our people.
As you correctly say we are a water challenged country and we therefore not only have to ensure that our people get water but also to save water and secure a good future for our people.
I was not there when Minister Sisulu articulated those views but a Minister serving in a Cabinet that I lead and also the
political party that I lead, she is irrevocably committed to serving the people of our country collectively and comprehensively and would not in any way, shape or form want to create a differentiation on the basis of race. She serves all our people equally. So, I would think that we should look at what the department is doing. It continues to serve all our people without making any distinction or choice. That commitment turns into programmes that the department is involved in. It turns into structures that the department leads and manages and it turns into outcomes that leads to our people getting water so that they can lead a better life.
Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Mr A ARLNOLDS: House chairperson, to the President, the Long- Term Adaptation Scenarios Flagship Research Programme foresees major changes for the water and agricultural sector if present emissions continue as they are or even increase. We have already seen the impact of extended droughts in the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape and these may become permanent making production of particular agricultural products impossible in some areas in the country. At the multinational level, what is South Africa doing to convince the world’s biggest polluters to cut down on their carbon emissions? And as you have said that we need to act immediately. What are you
doing in the immediate in terms of what you have said now? What is the immediate to save lives and livelihoods?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson, from our point of view as a country and as a nation there is a lot that we do. We have a Ministry that is just dedicated to addressing the issues of climate change. Minister Barbara Creecy and staff in the Ministry and in the department are clearly dedicated to ensuring that our management of environmental issues and leadership that we should provide is of a very high nature. In doing so we interact with a number of specialised nongovernmental organisations that work closely to develop clear positions of both a practical nature and an advocacy nature. I appointed the Presidential Commission which I lead as chair and which has Valli Moosa as deputy chair and that commission is at work as we sit here now developing clear positions on how we address this continuing challenge of climate change. So, what do we do? We develop our own positions which are very clear and we do so in collaboration with various structures and the commission helps us in that regard. Having done so we then interact at a regional level.
Our region is SADC has been subjected for many times and years to the adverse effects of climate change in a form of drought, adverse heat as well as the invasion of locusts and many
others which are a result of climate change and droughts that have devastated a number of our agricultural subsectors of the economy. We collaborate at that level. Beyond that at a continental level and develop clear positions of what we should be saying globally.
I am the co-ordinator on our continent for climate change matters and interact with various heads of state on our continent. We recently held a meeting where we were developing a clear position of how the continent can work together as we go to COP 26 in Glasgow. Beyond that we work with our private sector. We push private sector to limit emissions. At a global level we interact with various countries to limit their own emissions but also to support us. Our continent is the least responsible for the global emissions. We only do up to 2% and yet we feel the devastation. Therefore, we interact with them to get them to commit and fund us to go through the devastation that climate change is reeking on our countries and on our economies. In that way we also help to mobilise our people so that we are all climate change conscious so that we know as a people that climate change is a reality and we need to find ways of addressing it. Some of those things that we do both in practical terms and in advocacy terms and also in coming up with laws and regulations that are going to get the
polluters to reduce their pollution activities, including taxation to serve as a disincentive against those who pollute. Thank you, hon Chair.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson and hon members, the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is a necessary response to the severe economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The plan aims to ensure a swift and lasting economic recovery, with measures to limit the immediate impact of the pandemic on vulnerable workers and households and to revive economic growth in the short and medium term.
Significant progress has been made since the announcement of the plan less than eight months ago. The Infrastructure Fund has been established, and its investment committee has been constituted. A total of R18 billion has been allocated to the Infrastructure Fund over the next three years for blended finance arrangements that will leverage private sector funding.
To achieve greater energy security, a total of 1,200 MW of new generation capacity has now been connected to the grid from
projects approved through Bid Window 4 of the Renewable Energy IPP Programme. A request for proposals has been issued for 2,600MW of power from wind and solar photovoltaic, PV, solar projects through Bid Window 5. Eleven preferred bidders have been approved as part of the emergency power procurement programme, which will together deliver nearly 2,000MW of power to the grid over the next 18 months.
As I announced earlier this afternoon, Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act will soon be amended to increase the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1MW to 100MW.
The Presidential Employment Stimulus has supported close to 700 000 opportunities across a range of programmes through the creation of new work opportunities, the protection of existing jobs in vulnerable sectors and support for livelihoods. Four sector master plans are currently in implementation in the automotive, sugar, poultry, clothing, textiles, footwear and leather sectors. This approach, which relies on close collaboration with stakeholders to develop a tailored action plan for high growth sectors, is already demonstrating results.
According to data released by the SA Revenue Service, South Africa experienced a cumulative trade surplus of close to R150 billion for the first four months of this year. This reflects a massive increase in our exports to the rest of the world, driven largely by the unique strategic value of our mineral resources.
Funding for the measures contained in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan is included in the budgets of all national departments for their areas of responsibility, ensuring that the plan is mainstreamed in the work of government. Through the effective implementation of this plan as well as the structural reforms that form part of Operation Vulindlela, we are reviving our economy and placing South Africa on a new growth trajectory.
The success of the recovery plan is based on a strong partnership with business, labour and other social partners, as a whole-of-society effort to promote our economic recovery. I thank you.
Mr M I RAYI: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson and greetings to His Excellency, the President. Thank you very much, hon President, for the progress that we have achieved in
the past eight months on the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, ERRP. Currently, hon President, we are going through power supply challenges. To what extent are these challenges going to have on the priority areas the projects that you have articulated that are in the ERRP as well as the masterplans? Would there be a situation where these priority areas, projects and the masterplans have to be reviewed because of the power supply changes? Thank you very much, hon President and hon Chairperson.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Rayi, thank you for that question. Clearly, we are going through enormous challenges when it comes to energy in our country. A number of countries in the world have from time to time also gone through challenges in relation to their energy generation and reticulation. We have been going for such quite a while.
Today, I think, we made an announcement that can be seen as a game-changer where we have been able to open a great window of opportunity that will enables us to have more power generated as our Eskom recovers from the degradation that it’s been going through. Armed with both Eskom’s recovery as well as regeneration of power by a number of producers we will be able
to reach a level where we have sufficient energy to power our economy going forward.
Will our challenges have an impact on our priorities? The challenges will have an impact if we did not come up with a plan of how to address the power generation challenges. With the initiatives that we have announced today I believe that we should be able to forestall the negative impact that our energy challenges would have had if we had not taken the action. So if anything it will just be a very small blink because we expect that energy generation will improve as Eskom is improving itself. But it will also be balanced by more generation. Already we can see the impact of our renewable energy generation as it continues to quick in. we could have been in a much worse situation if we had not taken the initiatives that we are taking and we should be able to either on even or a lot better with the initiatives that we are taking. So, I don’t believe that are priority areas will be so negatively affected, if at all. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Man B T MATHEVULA: Ndza khensa, Mutshamaxitulu.
I am going to take that question on behalf of hon Apleni.
Murhangeri wa tiko ...
... do you foresee any role for state-owned companies in your so-called Economy Reconstruction and Restructuring Plan? If so, how do we expect state-owned enterprises, SOEs, to play such a role if you have allowed them to be systematically run down over the past few years? If you see SOEs as important, why have you not fired the underperforming and the outdated Minister of Public Enterprises who has overseen the destruction of SOEs? Thank you, Chair.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Chairperson. Do I foresee a role for state-owned enterprises in the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan? Anyone who has studied that plan carefully will see that the role of the state-owned enterprises is addressed in that plan. We foresee state-owned enterprises being revived, being rebuilt and being strengthened so that they can play a key role. We could never even if we wanted to wish our state-owned enterprises away. In fact, the new approach and trend in the world confirms the
role that state-owned enterprises should play in the economies of our countries because they play a critical role in the provision of services. They play a big role in ensuring that the state is able to give direction and to give meaning to economic development. As it is now we are a country that has a mixed economy trajectory so the role of the state-owned enterprises is confirmed. It is present and will not be diluted. All we have to do is to address the challenges that our state-owned enterprises are having.
As we are doing, we are restoring, doing everything we can to restore the standing, the functioning and the role of our state-owned enterprises in our economy.
Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is the Minister of Public Enterprises, continues day and night to do his work with a great deal of diligence and continues to show up our state- owned enterprises. And he is the engine of ensuring that we are able to, in the future, have a cohesive state-enterprise portfolio of companies that will serve the interests of South Africans. So that work continues and as you will hear in the coming days or so, you will hear the type of work that is being done to take our state-owned enterprises forward. Thank you very much, hon Chairperson.
Mr X NGWEZI: Thank you very much, Chairperson of the NCOP. Mr President, when you initially announced COVID-19 relief packages that included the temporary employer/employee relief scheme you vowed to South Africans that you will ensure that you will crack down on corruption and mismanagement of relief fund. Acknowledging again in July 2020 that, open quote:
There must be no scope for corruption more so than at any other time corruption puts lives at risk.
However, Minister Mkhize of Health is alleged to be involved in corruption of unethically awarding COVID-19-related contracts to his associates under your watch. Further, Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi recently inappropriated payments of funds from the temporary employer/employee relief scheme, Ters. Considering the above incidents government’s interventions continues to be plugged by corruption and in the process businesses are suffering and further incapacitated. I would like to know whether is your government, Mr President, going to suspend levies and fees payable by businesses to enable their economic recovery that is not dependent on corruption-infested government-led interventions? Thank you Mr President and Chairperson of the NCOP.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Chairperson. The answer to the question of whether we will suspend levies it’s a matter that has not been put before us for consideration. We did give relief also to companies right at the height of our initial lockdown. That period came and went, and right now there is no such thinking or plan. If there is, we will duly make an announcement and hon Ngwezi will be amongst the first to know. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Mr D R RYDER: Thank you very much, Mr Chairperson. Mr President, your commitment to the country during this state of the nation address and also during the address during the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan do not appear to have made it into the Appropriation Bill that is currently before this House. The proposals that you made have not been funded adequately as they were promised. This is especially evident in the infrastructure allocations across most of the relevant departments. So, the infrastructure funded you mentioned in your response seemed to be a repackaging of existing allocations and shifting some existing infrastructure appropriations into different projects. Mr Presidents, many people, myself included, are wondering what is derailing us.
We are wondering if is it the Treasury that is reluctant to give effect to your vision? We are wondering if is it your
Ministers or your departments that are trying to undermine you? We are even wondering the obvious fact that the SOEs are sucking every available cent from the community spent. Which one is it, Mr President? Or is it all of the above?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you. hon Chairperson. I should say that it seems like the hon member is reading scripts that are not in front of me. We did say that because of our fiscal challenges and the various constraints that we have, our Budget as to be so prioritised as to be able to find a way in which we can fund a number of projects on an ongoing basis to the extent that some have not been funded right now. We know that the Medium=Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS, statement will be able to close that loophole because projects as you know gets funding on an ongoing basis and is a matter of the timing of all those projects coming into fruition.
There is no question of the sabotaged, there is no question of the Treasury being reluctant and there is no question of departments not willing to execute the plans that we have in place. It is a question of dealing with the fiscal challenges that we have where we have to juggle quite a number of balls in the air and make do with the constraints resources that we have. That is what it is. So far the Treasury has done an excellent job much as there may be dissatisfaction in a number
of areas about the carts that have been put in place. They have been done so that we are able to meet other priorities.
Many of the areas that impact on our people’s lives are priorities – very important priorities that need to be properly addressed with the shortage of the resources we have. The Treasury has to do the balancing act and the departments have had to shift and move things around. But all the time keeping our eye on advancing the interests of the people of the country. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, on the 22nd of April, I announced that the 27th of October 2021 will be the date on which the local government elections would be held. The announcement does not constitute a proclamation as contemplated in the Local Government Municipal Electoral Act. The proclamation will be issued by the Minister of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta.
For the first time since its establishment, the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, is faced with a prospect of conducting elections in the midst of a global pandemic. They
have never had to conduct elections during a testing and challenging period like this.
Concerns have been expressed by some political parties represented on the Party Liaison Committee that the forthcoming elections may not be fair and free given the impact of COVID-19 and the measures that are taken to curb the continued spread of the pandemic. Cognisance of its obligations to ensure that the elections are free and fair elections, has commissioned Justice Dikgang Moseneke to lead the inquiry into ensuring free and fair local elections during COVID-19. The inquiry is expected to do three things. Firstly, inquire into the conditions for free and fair elections.
Secondly, come up with findings following the inquiry. Thirdly, issue a report in which recommendations are set out concerning the likelihood that the IEC would be able to ensure that the forthcoming government elections will be free and fair.
It has also been asked to indicate additional measures that the IEC may be required to implement in order to realise free and fair elections, within the context of COVID-19. Any possible postponement of elections is a matter on which the IEC will have to make a recommendation or a determination in
terms of the provisions of the Constitution and applicable legal prescripts.
The Moseneke Inquiry is about enquiring into and providing a report on the conditions for free and fair elections so as to enable the IEC to fully consider the matter. As there is no determination of a postponement at this stage, no other date has been considered as election date other than the 27th of October 2021. I thank you, hon Chairperson.
Man B T MATHEVULA: Ndza khensa, Mutshamaxitulu. Muchaviseki Presidente, mi byeriwile hi ku vuyelela leswaku ...
... holding the elections in a climate of fear and mortal danger to people, will not provide for a condition where those elections can be rendered free and fair. This has a material impact on political parties and on people themselves who are tired of the dysfunctionality of their municipalities. We are in the third wave of the pandemic now, which will likely last until August. In what way do you think the elections will be fair and not expose the ordinary South Africans to the risk of contracting the virus at the polls?
Ndza khensa ...
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson ...
... ndza khensa. Ndza khensa na le ka wena n’wana wa le kaya xivutiso lexi. Kahlekahle eka swilo leswi swa nhlawulo, hi vurile leswaku ku fanele ku va na vulavisisi bya Muavanyisi Moseneke. A ku vuli hina, ku vula va Khomixini ya swa Nhlawulo yo Tiyimela, leyi nga yona yi nga ta endla vulavisisi ku kuma loko swi ta koteka kumbe swi nga koteki ku va nhlawulo lowu wu humelela. Hikokwalaho ke, hi fanele hi yimela vona va heta ku langutisisa xiyimo lexi.
Laha ndzi nga tshama kona sweswi, a ndzi nga swikoti ku vula leswaku nhlawulo wu nga ya emahlweni kumbe wu nga yi emahlweni. Ndza tshemba leswaku komiti leyi rhangeriweke hi nkulukumba Muavanyisi Moseneke, va ta endla ntirho wa kahle swinene. Hi vona va nga ta hi byela hinkwerhu loko swi ta koteka ku yisa nhlawulo lowu emahlweni ...
... on a free and fair basis.
Kutani ke, makwerhu, a ndzi ta kombela leswaku swa nhlawulo hi swi tshikela yena nkulukumba loyi, Moseneke, hikuva u na vutivi byo enta etimhakeni ta nhlawulo. A nga sunguli namuntlha. U vile kona eka nhlawulo wa 1994, a ri karhi a tirha swona swa nhlawulo. U na vutivi hi mafambiselo ya nhlawulo. A hi n’wi pfumeleleni leswaku a ya emahlweni a tirha ntirho wa yena kahle.
Loko a hetile, u ta humesa xiviko lexi hinkwerhu hi nga ta kota ku xi vona. Loko xiviko xa nkulukumba Muavanyisi Moseneke xo huma xi vula leswaku nhlawulo wu nga yi emahlweni, va Khomixini ya swa Nhlawulo yo Tiyimela, IEC, va swi tiva leswaku ku fanele ku endleka yini. Vumbiwa bya hina byi vula kahle leswaku loko swi yime hi ndlela yo fana na leyi, ku fanele ku endliwa yini. Hikwalaho ke, mina ndzi ehleketa leswaku ...
... to pre-empt what Justice Moseneke will come up with will be a mistake. Let us allow the process that he has been given
to lead to take place. What in my view is most pleasing, is that with many of the things that we do we have got checks and balances, so that if we ever make a mistake on anything we are able to be checked so that we can create the balance. So, with this enquiry process it will be able to check whether the decision we took to hold the elections later this year is a correct one or not. They will approach their work most scientifically and work with the experts who will be able to give sound advice.
Kutani ke, a hi va pfumeleleni leswaku va endla ntirho wa vona. Ndza khensa.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Chairperson, Mr President there is no doubt that South is going through the .... [Inaudible.] of
infections but you will know that the infection rate is now nearing the second wave which had reached its highest of 33%. You also made reference to the 1994 elections, where there was a significant right wing threats to greater terrorist attacks on the election day. Certainly, a very, very unsafe environment. However, South Africa pushed forward and we got through those elections.
Mr President, I’m not sure if you are aware of the statistics, but on the latest statistics on the IEC website, for the four by-elections held between November and May of 2020 through to 2021, elections were held in 173 wards in 819 voting districts and involving more than 1,2 million voters. All of those by- elections were declared to be free and fair by the IEC and they were all declared to be covid compliant.
What is concerning us is that this panic environment that is being hyped up by the government is just an excuse to delay the elections. Another issue that you also referred to relates to the Justice Moseneke Inquiry and his panel, - and we have a great respect for the judge, but has he also considered the massive constitutional crisis looming if there was a determination to move the local government elections past the 90-days determined and prescribed by the Constitution? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon Brauteseth, I fail to understand the import of both the statement and question that he has posed. I’m taken aback to hear the hon member saying that the government is creating “a sense of panic.” I am not aware of government creating a sense of panic. As government, I made an
announcement that the elections should go ahead and even set a date in October, a date which will be duly proclaimed by the Minister of Cogta. I need to be told in what way we are therefore creating a panic.
If anything, we are dealing with the matter as carefully as we possibly can, because we continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and we continue to watch the incidents of infections. Where we get concerned about the rising infections, we inform the nation. In that regard, we have tended to be as transparent as we possibly can.
Hon Chairperson, again, we have an institution called the IEC, which said to us that we do need – in terms of the legal framework, in order to comply with our constitutional prescripts - to have to declare that the elections will go ahead. But out of a great caution, the IEC said, we would like to establish an inquiry which will be led by a highly reputable individual in the body politic of our country to determine whether the holding of elections can be considered to be free and fair, even in this conditions. I don’t know to what extent we or the IEC are creating a panic. The IEC has to be very cautious and careful as well because they manage the elections and arrange the elections independently.
As to the judge who the hon member says he respects highly, I don’t know how we would be able to bring the judge into this and even suggest that, - is the judge aware of the prescripts of our Constitution that he could be creating a constitutional crisis. I am not so sure where that comes from and where that belongs.
All I would want to say to the hon member is that let us trust the process, let us trust the prescripts of our Constitution and let also trust the IEC to be able to manage this process properly without any undue interference in what they have to do. Let us continue to have our trust in Justice Moseneke that as he has been able to do good for our country on a number of occasions handling various tricky issues that affect the people of our country, that he will continue to do so.
I think anything else could well amounts to our undue interference in the work that he has to do and the IEC has to do. Let us leave it to those institutions that have served us well in the past. Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Mr S F DU TOIT: Hon Chair, hon President the Constitution is not clear about the term, “free and fair elections.” What we know is that there are always many issues with elections. The
whole of South Africa could agree that the municipal elections couldn’t have come at a better time since we need urgent intervention in government structures and a new responsible and accountable council must be elected in all municipalities to prevent municipalities from regressing further.
Mr President, whether the elections are postponed or not what measures are in place to ensure that possible violent service delivery protest actions – that’s what they called nowadays - will not take place that might prevent elections from being free and fair? Thank you, Chair.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, I continue to have a great deal of confidence in the people of South Africa that when it comes to their inalienable right of voting for their representatives, they have always been responsible, they have always acted correctly, and they have always sought to defend, advance and protect their interests. And they always done so without any form of violence and without any form of disruption. They have always put their democratic right of being able to choose their representatives ahead of any other right that they may have to advance their own personal interests.
I have no doubt that our people will not seek to do anything to disrupt the execution or the implementation of this important right. Our people will always seek to act correctly when it comes to this issue.
Of course, because our people are affected by a whole number of issues including service delivery lapses, service delivery mishaps, they will always seek to express themselves in one shape or form. I am on record as saying that yes, our people must express themselves in whatever way they want but they do not have a right to embark on violence, they do not have a right to try and restrict the rights of other people and they do not have a right to damage wilfully the public property of the people of South Africa.
Within those constraints and boundaries, - and they don’t have a right to embark on illegal acts during any form of protests of demonstrating their displeasure in anything. Nobody has the right even a monopoly on acting in a way that restricts the rights of anyone else. Therefore, I will not expect them to act in a way, if they have to act on the issue of elections, in a way that will either lead to violence, to disruption and so forth.
South Africans inherently are peaceful people, and where they have expressed themselves in ways that could lead to undesirable acts like that, it’s either they had been expressing their deep unhappiness. But I will insist that they must not and should not exercise and demonstrate their protest in a violent manner. That should not be allowed. Thank you, hon Chair.
Nksz N NDONGENI: Enkosi Sihlalo weNdlu yeBhunga leSizwe lamaPhondo. Mongameli ohloniphekileyo, ndiyabulisa ngale mvakwemini. Mongameli, athini amalungiselelo nezincwangciso zeenkqubo eziqulunqiweyo ngurhulumente nakwesiphi na isigqibo esithathiweyo kulonyulo loomasipala, ukuqinisekisa ukuba iinkonzo ezikwizinga eliphezulu, nokutshintshwa kobomi babantu abangathathi-ntweni buyaqhubeka ukuze bangaphindi bazifumane bekule ngxaki bathe bazifumana bekuyo ngexsha ilizwe beligityungelwe yintsholongwane yeCOVID-19. Ndiyabulela Mongameli. Ndiyabulela Sihlalo weNdlu.
UMONGAMELI WERIPHABLIKI: Ndiyabulela mama. Xa sifika kunyulo sithi, masiqinisekise ukuba loo nkqubo yonyulo izakuqhutywa ngendlela efanelekileyo nendlela ekufaneleke ukuba sisebenze ngayo, sithobela imithetho esiyibekileyo yeCOVID-19.
Sibeke imithetho ethi, kwesi simo sikuso ngoku masiqinisekise ukuba siyayilandela yonke loo mithetho. Abantu ngawo onke amaxesha, mababenayo indlela yokuhlamba izandla zabo, bangasondeli kakhulu kufutshane kwabanye abantu, makubekho umgama okhoyo phakathi kwabo. Xa ukwindawo ethile qiniseka ukuba anikho baninzi kuloo ndawo nihlanganele kuyo.
Le nto siyenza kuba sisazi ukuba iCOVID-19 inwenwa kakhulu xa abantu bedibene bebaninzi. Kwakhona, iCOVID-19 iyosulela nje ngomlomo nangempumlo. Yiyo loo nto sisithi abantu mabahlale benxibe izifonyo zabo. Xa sisiya kunyulo, ...
... we need to observe the regulations so that we can hold the elections in a proper manner. I am convinced that, if we were to do that, we will be able to so.
IsiXhosa: Kwakhona, ...
... when it comes to ...
... ukukhethwa kwabantu ekumele ukuba bamele uluntu, masiqinisekise ukuba sizakukhetha abantu abazakuyazi into yokuba ...
... they should look after the interests of our people, advance their interests. Even if we are going to be entering into a period of campaigning for our elections, let’s identify the right people who will advance the collective interest of our people, where our people live so as to ensure that there is proper service. We need to hold the elections properly. We also need to identify the right people, so that we have the best outcomes that are going to advance the interests of our people. Thank you hon Chair.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson and hon
members, South Africa is working within the established systems and protocols of the Southern African Development
Community, SADC, to address the destabilisation of the Cabo Delgado Province and to establish political stability in Mozambique.
The SADC Double Troika Technical Assessment Mission, which had been deployed to the area in April 2021, proposed, amongst other things, the deployment of a SADC standby force in support of the Mozambique Armed Defence Forces to combat the threat of terrorism and acts of extreme violence.
An extraordinary SADC Organ Troika Summit which took place on
27 May 2021 in Maputo agreed to convene an Extraordinary SADC
Summit on 23 June to reach an agreement on the appropriate regional response in support of Mozambique. The summit noted
progress towards the establishment and operationalisation of the SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre, which
will enhance regional capabilities in risk and disaster management. The Republic of Mozambique has committed to host
The SADC Organ Troika, in keeping with its principle of
peaceful resolution, remains seized with finding a lasting solution to the conflict to ensure that Mozambique is stable,
peaceful and able to develop its economy. I thank you.
Ms S SHAIKH: Thank you very much hon Chairperson and ...
Mufumakadzi Vho M S SHAIKH: Ndi masiari, Vho Phuresidennde.
... and thank you for your comprehensive response. Hon President, we welcome the establishment of the SADC
Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre which Mozambique
has committed to host because there is no doubt that this violent conflict in Cabo Delgado has led to the loss of life
and livelihoods, and displaced many innocent civilians, adding to the already high levels of poverty, hunger and other
In this light hon President, is there any plan by the SADC and the AU, in partnership with the international community, for
sustained provision of humanitarian aid and integrated
socioeconomic reconstruction, and secondly, what are the plans for the intensification of the African agenda of silencing the
guns on the continent, more broadly?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson and hon Shaikh
MUPHURESIDENNDE WA AFURIKA TSHIPEMBE: Ndi masiari. Ndi a
livhuwa mbudziso heyi ye vha i vhudzisa. Ndi ngoho uri Mozambique yo tenda uri hu vhe na hezwi zwine ra zwi vhidza uri ‘Operational Centre’ hanengeyi Mozambique ine ya ?o rithusa ro?he kha muvhundu washu wa SA Developmemnt Community,
SADC, une wa angaredza mashaka manzhi hanefha na mivhundu
Ri?e ri Afurika Tshipembe na yone SADC na yone AU ro ?iimisela uri ri thuse vhathu vhangeyi Mozambique nga n?ila dzo?he nga
maan?esa kha zwezwi zwa ‘Humanitarian Distance’ uri thuso ya u
khwinisa matshilo a vhathu i vhe hone ri vha thuse nga n?ila
nnzhi dzine ra nga kona dzone ngauri hafhalani kha Cabo Dalgado haya maswina o ri a tshi dzhena, haya manavha, a
vhulaya vhathu vhanzhi nga maan?a a vala na dzin?ila zwa
fhedza zwo ita uri hu si tshavha na fhethu ha u dzula kha vhathu vhanzhi, vha balangana fhethu ho?he vha si tsha wana na
fhethu ha u dzula.
Tsha vhuvhili, zwiliwa zwa u la na zwone ri khou wana uri a zwi tsha wanala n?ala yo no dzhena ngauri haya manavha vha khou vala n?ila dzo?he dzine vhathu vha nga dzi shumisa uri vha kone u wana zwiliwa.
Vhutshilo ha vhathu vhanzhi hangei vhu khou kon?a tsho?he. Hezwi zwi ita uri ri?e ri SADC ri kone u thusa. Na ri?e ri Afurika Tshipembe ri ?o rumela thuso i no bva fhano u ita uri vhutshilo ha vhathu hangei kha Cabo Dalgado na kha mi?we mivhundu ine ya vha tsini na hanefhala i ?o?ou vha khwine
With regard to this agenda of silencing the guns, hon Chair and member, this is an important agenda for our continent and
we continue to work at achieving and attaining this agenda. It became an important agenda programme during our chairship of
the AU. We had hoped that by the end of last year we would’ve
silenced the guns but it did not happen, and indeed we are
finding that in a number of countries on our continent the
guns are just raging.
However, we remain committed to the hope of silencing the guns and we are working continuously to silence the guns with a
number of players on the continent. So that project is ongoing. We have stops and starts, and sometimes reversals but such is the nature of our work on our continent. We have to keep at it until we have achieved success. So we will continue to support the people of Mozambique in every way possible as
we also seek to silence the guns across our continent. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
Mnu X NGWEZI: Ngiyabonga kakhulu, Sihlalo Nyambose,
ngibingelele kuMongameli nabahlonishwa bonke abala kumhlangano
... Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado’s province is experiencing
challenges due to clashes between armed insurgent groups and security forces — a security challenge that has demanded both
regional and global attention. In May this year, the government strongly warned against the attacks, especially on
children, women and the elderly. During the escalating
violence between Israel and Palestine ... calling it unjust and shameful, yet a few miles away Islamist militants are
beheading children as young as 11-years of age in Cabo Delgado, while more than 2 600 people have died in the
conflict and 670 000 are reported to have fled their homes.
Mindful that instability in Mozambique is an external threat to our security against religious terrorist groups, what active measures have we taken as a country and as a regional
hegemony to protect ourselves and our SADC countries? Thank you, hon President.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Chairperson and hon member Ngwezi. In my initial reply to the question that
was raised by hon Shaikh, I did say that the SADC Double
Troika has met and made certain recommendations which are now going to be considered by the SADC Summit later this month. In
the intervening period, there are quite a number of other measures and steps that are being implemented to support our
neighbours in Mozambique, and when the summit will have taken place and the recommendations of the SADC Double Troika are
discussed, the way forward will be clearly plotted.
In the intervening period, all countries in the region and
indeed beyond, continue to interact and interface with Mozambique with a view of seeing how best Mozambique can be
supported. That is a process that continues and I am sure the hon member will understand and respect the positions that are
being taken on an ongoing basis. I thank you.
Nk S A LUTHULI: Ngiyabonga, ngibingelele, ukuqubuka nokuhlasela ngamaphekula esifundazweni sase-Cabo Delgado e-
Mozambique isimo esingapheli, siyakuqonda futhi ukuthi siyibuyaluyalu e-Democratic Republic of Congo. Amaqili ase- Mali nakwezinye izindawo eAfrika konke kunesici esisodwa esifanayo.
Futhi lokhu kuwukuxhashazwa kwezinsizasebenza eAfrika ngamazwe
asentshonalanga. Ngabe nawe unawo umbono wokuthi izingxabano ezihlomile kuleli lizwekazi futhi ikakhulukazi e-Mozambique
zixhaswe ngamazwe afana ne-France anenhloso eyodwa ekusetshenzisweni imithombo yethu yokwembiwa. Umuntu
uyakuqonda ukuthi zikhona izincomo ozenzile kepha sifuna ukwazi ukuthi esiphi isincomo esiqhamuke kuMongameli ukuthi
sibhekane nalezi zinkinga. Siyabonga.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Chairperson, hon member ...
... ngiyabonga ngalo mbuzo owubuzayo, yebo kuthi makubeningi esisebenza ngako kuzo zonke lezi zinkinga ezibhekene ne-
Mozambique. Ngalesi sikhathi ngivakashele e-Paris e-France ngiye ngakwazi ukuthi ngihlangane noMongameli wakhona ngale sakhuluma ngezinto ezenzeka la eAfrika ikakhulukazi la e- Mozambique. Sayixoxa leyo ndaba ngoba bona njenge-France banenkampani ebizwa i-Total eyenza imisebenzi ethize laphaya
e-Mozambique. Nabo lesi simo esilaphaya e-Cabo Delgado ngempela asibajabulisi nakancane. Okukhona ukuthi nathi sisonke ayisijabulisi lento eyenzeka laphaya e-Cabo Delgado.
So, clearly all of us are concerned about the situation in
Mozambique. We have also been affected more directly because as you well know, a South African passed away and other South
Africans that are also working in that area have either been displaced or affected, and some may even have been injured.
So, it is an incident ... or rather a situation that affects many of us ... all of us. So, we therefore need to work
together to see how best we can solve this problem, yes, in supporting Mozambique and ... making sure that we bring an end
to the noise of the guns and silence them altogether so that
we can live in peace and harmony as the people of Southern Africa, and indeed, Africa as a whole. I thank you.
Mr W A S AUCAMP: Thank you, hon Chairperson and thank you, hon
President for taking the question. Hon President, noting the depleted budget to the SA National Defence Force and the understaffing of the border monitoring programme of the Defence Force, as well as the fact that there are rumours of extremist groups already having cells in South Africa, what
steps have been taken to ensure that South Africa is protected from similar threats and attacks as those that took place in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique, especially noting the recent discoveries of gas resources near our coastline. Thank you, hon President.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Chairperson and hon Aucamp. The South African government, through its various
agencies and arms, continues to monitor the situation that is unfolding in Mozambique and continues to monitor the impact
that the flow over of that type of situation could have on South Africa. Our various agencies are monitoring the
situation with the sole aim of continuing to protect the people of South Africa. Thank you, hon Chairperson.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson and hon members, following the state of the nation address in June 2019, the Emergency Response Action Plan was implemented to further strengthen the fight against gender-based violence and femicide and provide justice for the victims and survivors. This was a short-term plan implemented over six months through partnerships between civil society networks, government, development partners and also academic institutions.
The National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, GBVF, was approved by Cabinet in March 2020. No, that plan builds onto the Emergency Response Action Plan, and focuses on improved accountability, responsiveness to the needs of survivors, addressing impunity and driving a comprehensive prevention agenda. We are beginning to see positive results through various joint interventions.
In February 2021, we launched the private sector Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Response Fund where an initial amount of R128 million was pledged. Legislative reform has been a critical component of the National Strategic Plan, NSP. Last week, the National Assembly passed three Bills, firstly, the Criminal Law Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Bill, secondly, Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, and thirdly, Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill. These three Bills are now on their way to your House, hon Chairperson - the NCOP.
I would encourage the NCOP to carefully consider these three important Bills with a sense of urgency, within the legislative mandate of the NCOP. We have introduced several innovative initiatives to facilitate access to support and justice. This includes an SMS notification system for
applications for domestic violence protection orders that was launched at all district courts in January 2021.
The Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, once passed, will make it possible for complainants to apply for protection orders online. Thirty-two regional courts are ready for designation as sexual offences courts. There are plans for the establishment of six additional Thuthuzela Care Centres. As at March 2021, all police stations had the necessary sexual assault DNA kits to assist victims and survivors.
The implementation of NSP on gender-based violence and femicide through the district development model which we launched is being embedded in provincial and local government structures. All provinces in our country are developing provincial plans. The process of localisation is further bolstered by the establishment of rapid response structures at district and local municipality levels across the country. As we move into the second year of the National Strategic Plan, we are focused on strengthening accountability at all levels of government and society.
We are developing a comprehensive national gender-based violence and femicide prevention strategy, including evidence-
based social and behaviour change programmes. If we are committed to working together as a country – as government, communities, civil society, organised labour, organised business, as well as academia, not leaving aside traditional leaders as well as faith leaders, we will succeed in ending violence against women in South Africa. Hon Chairperson, I thank you.
Mr M S MOLETSANE: Thank you, Chair ...
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chair?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, Labuschagne.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: May I rise on a point of order, please Chair. I think ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes. What is the point of order?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: The hon Christians has load shedding. Could you give me the permission to ask the question?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, please proceed.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Thank you, Chair. Mr President, sadly a woman is murdered every ...
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson. Hon Mr President, sadly a woman is murdered every ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We are right at the ...
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Chairperson, I am back.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We are right at the end of our
session. So, let’s exercise a bit of patience and allow ...
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Chairperson, I apologise. It was load shedding ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Load shedding, that is not a problem. Please proceed.
Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Thank you very much, Chairperson. I am grateful for this opportunity. Mr President, sadly a woman is murdered every three hours in this country. This is five times the global average. There is a huge imbalance in how your
government is dealing with the scourge. We are said to have the most regarded legislation and policies to address gender- based violence and yet we have DNA backlogs of a 173 000. A recent report also shows that most women have traumatic experiences across all stages of interactions with the justice system when reporting incidents of gender-based violence.
Additionally, the SA Police Service, the SAPS’s, recent bungling allowed a private supplier to turn off the systems that track evidence in criminal matters. Given this catastrophic consequences of failure on the prosecution of gender based violence cases, what action will you take against the Minister of Police as well as the national commissioner that presided over this dereliction of duty. More importantly, Mr President, will you give a commitment as well as a timeline to ensure that the DNA backlogs are processed speedily. Thank you very much Mr President and hon Chairperson.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you hon Chairperson and hon member, clearly, we continue to be concerned about the killing of the women of our country and the trauma that they go through at the hands of men. These are matters and challenges that we continue to deal with. You are correct in saying that we have passed a really good legislation and we
have come up with instruments that are really good to be able to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence.
Clearly, the real challenge is implementation of the decisions, the laws and the rules that we have passed. It is this that is going to act as a great impetus to be able to get the department that is led by Minister Cele and the department that is led by the commissioner to take steps on an ongoing basis to address these challenges. Yes, the mishap that has happened with the process of securing the DNA, is a serious matter that I will be getting a full and detail report on. O am also addressing the issue how best we can address the issue of the DNA challenges because it is not acceptable that we have had 173 000 backlog when there is technology and when there are processes that we can utilise to address this type of challenge. This to me is a huge problem which I am addressing. Thank you, hon Chairperson
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We will now proceed with the second supplementary question from the hon M S Moletsane. Hon Moletsane?
Mr M S MOLETSANE: Thank you, Chairperson. Mr President, the abuse of women and children has not stopped since you made
those promises. In actual fact, your Police Minister reported that between January and March this year, over 9 000 cases of rape were reported in South African police stations. What in your view needs to be done beyond the usual rhetoric from you to stop the abuse of women in this country? Are the police sufficiently equipped to investigate? Is the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, sufficiently equipped to prosecute these cases? Thank you, Chairperson.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Chairperson, and thank you hon Moletsane for those questions. Yes, it is a matter of deep concern that the killing and the rapes of women continue in the horrendous manner that they do. In the end we need a police force that is well trained, well prepared to deal with this horrific trauma that women of South Africa go through. We continue to pay attention to equipping our police so that they are able to deal with this challenge. Work is ongoing on a continuous basis. We continue to prepare them; we continue to train them and retrain them.
The NPA is focused on ensuring that those who perpetrate this acts against women are brought to book. Yes, the NPA has its own challenges of being short staffed but even the NPA has taken the trouble to train its members so that they when they
have to prosecute incidents of rape and murder of women, they are able to do so effectively and efficiently so that every case they handle leads to conviction. All of these is being addressed on an ongoing basis.
I am certain that we will see progress and a positive response as we move on. This matter of the killing of women and the raping of women and young girls is of great concern to all of us. I would like us to continue handling it jointly, finding solutions jointly, so that we bring GBVF to an end in our country. The women of our country are crying out. With the help of their government, but more importantly the help of society broadly to ensure that we remove the scourge of violence against women and children once and for all. Thank you very much.
Mr S F DU TOIT: Thank you, hon Chair. Hon president, Interpol has named South Africa the “rape capital of the world” with an average of 131 people being raped per day in South Africa and an average of 58 people being murdered per day in South Africa. With Minister Cele’s blatant disregard for the safety of South African citizens and since he is advocating for a gun free South Africa whilst being unable to win the fight against crime, murder, rape and gender-based violence, will you, Mr
President, strengthen the fight against gender-based violence and femicide by supporting the use and ownership of firearms for self-defence to empower vulnerable women amongst others? Thank you, Chair.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Chairperson and hon Du Toit. Yes, indeed it is a matter of great shame to us as South Africans to be regarded as the “rape capital of the world” and to be put at those negative terms at a global level. It is not a statistic or a positioning or a rating that pleases us at all. So, it is a matter of great concern. As regards the issue you raised, not every woman in our country who is subjected to this is a gun owner, so therefore to reduce the issue of self-defence to just owning a gun by women I think it’s a mistake.
We need to deal with the issue of gender-based violence and femicide as a national crisis. And as we deal with it, we need to find a whole lot of strategies and tactics in which all of society can participate in addressing the issue of gender- based violence. The issue of guns and so forth is a matter that should be debated and addressed in its own aim and right. But right now, I would hate that we politicise this issue. We need to deal with the issue of gender-based violence and make
sure that all our efforts where we are able to join together and work together to ensure that the women and young girls of our country are safe and are able to lead their own lives freely and they are able to walk down the streets of our country without fearing that anyone will attack them. It is a whole of society’s effort that we need to embark upon. And I believe that we are capable of doing it and we just need to have that resolve. Thank you very much.
Ms N E NKOSI: Thank you very much Chairperson, and greetings to the President. Hon President, led me start by commending the government under your leadership for initiating the process of tightening the current legislative framework on gender-based violence as announced by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Hon President, how does government intend to build on the decisive advances that government has made in terms of fighting gender-based violence and ensure that there is coherence across all spheres of government? I thank you, Chairperson.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you, hon Chairperson and hon member, I have often held the view, and I want to repeat here that the only way we can be successful in our efforts in fighting gender-based violence is to work together. We have
crafted a rather very good and powerful process of working together, which is the District Development Model. This model has been found to be most effective in a number of countries where not only government entities but all stakeholders are able to work together at the level where our people interface with everything that affects their lives, be it economic growth, be it addressing the challenges of schooling, be it health and infrastructure development, be it gender-based violence and femicide.
If we are able to organise ourselves as society, government working hand-in-hand with key role players like labour, religious leaders, traditional leaders, youth movements, women’s movements, business organisation. If we are able to work together to look at the districts where our people live, we should be able to address this and many other problems as regards to gender-based violence and femicide. Working together as key role-players would ensure that very little space and room is left to abuse us, to rape us, to kill us in our areas because they will find us tidily and neatly organised as a people where there is just no room for criminals, no room for rapists.
This is the way in which we would have greater effectiveness because a cohesive society – a society which binds itself together around a set of values and principles would have greater capability of being able to deal with social challenges, economic challenges and a whole range of others. I put a lot of confidence and faith in our ability to address our common problems and our society of we work together.
It is one of the better and the best ways if our policing forums work effectively and everyone joins in in a common purpose type of approach where everything that happens in our society, community is everyone’s concern and everyone’s responsibility. We also take account for each other where we look out for each other that in my view is the philosophy that the father of our nation, Nelson Mandela urged us to pursue – Ubuntu. It is through the Ubuntu Principle or philosophy that we are able to say, “My neighbour is my responsibility; my neighbour’s wellbeing is my responsibility” ...
...ngoba ngaleyo ndlela siyakwazi ukusho ukuthi umuntu, yebo, ngumuntu ngabanye abantu. Uma kunjalo siyakwazi ukuthi sibhekane, sisebenze kanye, senze yonke into ngendlela ezokwazi ukuthi isiqhubekele phambili njengomphakathi.
Ha re ka etsa jwalo, re tla fumana hore ka nnete ho tla ba le tswelopele e tla re isang pele hobane ka yona tsela eo, re tla be re bontsha hore re a hlokomelana mme re sebetsa mmoho dibakeng moo mo re dulang teng. Ho etsetsa eng? Ho etsetsa hore le bao ba ratang ho bolaya basadi, ba batlang ho beta basadi, ha ba na sebaka se ba ka tshabelang ho sona. Ba tla fumana hore re ntho e le ngwe, re kopane, re batho ba le bang hobane motho ke motho ka batho ba bang.
I thank you, hon Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, hon President.
Egameni le NCOP seniyongivumela ukuthi ngedlulise amazwi wokubonga kuMengameli ngokuthi asabele izwi lo Mkhandlu Wezifundazwe ukuzophendula imibuzo.
So, I am very grateful, hon President that you have availed yourself.
The Council adjourned at 16:28