Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 30 May 2023
No summary available.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
TUESDAY, 30 MAY 2023
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVIINCES
The Council met at 14:01.
The House Chairperson: Committees took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The House Chairperson: Committees announced that the hybrid sitting constituted a Sitting of the National Council of Provinces.
Vote No 28 – Police:
The MINISTER OF POLICE: ... [Recording stopped.] ... National Commissioner of Police, General Masemola, National Head of
the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, DPCI, Dr Adv Lt General Lebeya, Acting Secretariat of Police, Mr Takalani, executive director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid, the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, Psira, CEO and hon members that are here, policing budget of the Republic of South Africa ... [Recording stopped.] ... combating crime through decisive police action and robust community involvement. The full realisation of esteem will be achieved through ten policing commands.
First, increased crime prevention and combatting action plan. The SA Police Service, SAPS, has unleashed a nationwide identity disruptive arm intervention called Operation Shanela. This includes intelligence-led disruptive operatives, tracking and tracing of wanted suspects as well as removal of illegal firearms. A budget of R65 million is allocated to the provinces to address murder and other contact crimes in top 30 high crime stations. The KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces will receive the lion’s share of the additional funding with each province receiving R10 million each. The Northwest, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State and Northern Cape will each be allocated R4,5 million each. Capacitation and training of 1 000 ... [Inaudible.] ... to be deployed to police stations and districts. This is a calling. Wherever we go to engage with communities they ask and say, “aphi amaberet?” [where are the berets?]. Now we are responding to that call. We are training 1 000 of them at a go so that we can unleash them to those high density crime areas where we have to reduce crime.
Regarding the specialised tracking teams to track and apprehend wanted suspects, we are training special teams so that they can track wanted criminals especially those with warrant of arrests so that the detectives and the crime intelligence could give them until the next morning to be around and make sure they find them and bring them to the law.
An amount of R20 million has been allocated for firearm licensing and compliance. Over this current the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period the SAPS’s total expenditure is expected to increase at an average annual of 3,9%. This is from R102 billion in the 2022-23 financial year to R114,9 billion in 22025-26 financial year.
The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, Psira, has established a firearm enforcement unit responsible for investigating cases of noncompliance with the Psira Act and Firearm Control Act within the private security industry ... [Recording stopped.]
... vehicles, laptops, torches, reflective jackets and other tools of trade. It is the first time ever that the administration has ever budgeted for the community policing forums, CPFs. We are giving them R70 million to make sure that they become part of lessening crime. The allocation of the reservicing the CPF budget will see Gauteng province allocated R20 million of the budget which exactly will be
R2 031 million. KwaZulu-Natal will receive R13 million, the Western Cape will receive R12 million. These three provinces bear the heaviest crime burden as compared to the rest of the provinces. The Eastern Cape will receive R6 million and the rest will receive R4 million with the smallest going to the Northern Cape with R3 million.
Also, beyond that we have budgeted R5 million also provided for community interaction in terms of izimbimbizo. All studies say to us we are not going to fight crime if we do not mobilise communities. Whatever we do communities need to be mobilised. These are the izimbizo. We have started, especially here in the Western Cape. We have nine dialogues. We had two already where we called all men to tell us the story of why they are raping because women do not rape themselves. So, men must give us answers. In two weeks’time we will be having a second one in Gqeberha. It has been demanded by the clergy and the community organisations from Gqeberha, and we will be going there.
A total of 10 000 police trainees have been enlisted in the 2023-24 financial year. This is a second 10 000. Last year we graduated 10 000 and we have put another 10 000. As we speak they are in the college. Members of the portfolio committee visited them and find them hard at work. We will unleash them in December. So, in two years we have produced 20 000 new members of the SA Police Service. Next year, we will train another 10 000. We are trying to work on the figures that have been really dwindling all the time. A number of 2 808 of the 10 000 new police trainees are intended to capacitate detective services in SAPS. That is the weakest link of SAPS – detectives. Everybody knows. They talk about overload and all that. We are working on that. We are training them and improving their situations as detectives.
The reinstatement of the former experienced members of the SAPS to capacitate the detective services is ongoing. We are recruiting those members who left the organisation with honour to come back and help us with their experience so that we enhance the detective. They can investigate and find out all the criminals that are out there.
An additional 4 000 public order policing members have been trained and deployed to various provinces to address crowd management. This is on top of the 5 000 that exist. So, we have trained 4 000 more to make them 9 000. The Farlam Commission told us that we are supposed to have 12 000. We are still 3 000 away from the targeted figure, but we are moving towards that. We are going there.
Initiatives to address the deficiencies that were identified by the Financial Action Task Force, FATF, that are aimed at accelerating the implementation of FATF standards and methodologies within SAPS. This will help to reverse us from the grey listing. This is the work led by the DPCI and other agencies so that we are taken out of the grey listing. The FATF recommendations place emphasis on the attending of the money laundering and terrorist financing. The DPCI has 51 docket cases as it has made 26 arrests that is out of the state capture. From the July unrests, 65 accused are being considered for additional charges of terrorism. 65 of them are appearing and we want to add charges acts of terrorism of what happen in July 2021. We are serious. People think that we have forgotten about that. We are on track to make sure that we deal with that.
In the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, out of 149 cases, 81 inquests have been enrolled while 15 dockets have been sent to the National Prosecuting Authority for decision. Three criminal cases are in court and the rest have been finalised. We have been pretty slow on this, and we are trying to pick up the pace.
The establishment of the national clean audit task team to deal with fraud, corruption, money laundering, in the identified municipalities. The municipalities are giving us a lot of headaches. We want to make a lot of focus on them and the DPCI is heading that. The DPCI are the Hawks.
Twenty-seven drug laboratories were discovered and dismantled in 45 individuals were arrested. Most of these drugs are produced in the country now. They still come with big and lots of ships and all but what they do now is that they have established laboratories inside the country. Twenty-seven of these laboratories have been dismantled and we have arrested 45 people that are running them.
In illegal mining, the DPCI has arrested 339 suspects and secured 92 convictions. Eighty-seven of them were found guilty in killings and got eight years each about three weeks ago. We are working on the illegal mining.
The historic DNA backlog has decreased by 99,7% from 241 152 cases to 600 cases only. That’s how we have dealt with the DNA backlog thing. Regarding backlog, don’t talk about it, it is gone now and we are dealing with the new cases as we move forward which will really help to deal with the cases of rape faster and efficiently.
The SAPS is addressing delays in processing of the ballistics and chemistry samples. That is a problem that we are looking at – to deal with chemistry. We have been concentrating on biology which is DNA and now we need to give chemistry attention. Chemistry deals with drugs and ballistics deal with guns. Now we are upgrading our laboratories to be able to do that.
We will be opening the newly refurbished and expanded forensic science laboratory in Gqaberha in July 2023 and also revamping of the laboratory in KwaZulu-Natal province. We have built a state-of-the-art laboratory in Gqaberha. It has best equipments than any other that lives in South Africa], whether it is Cape Town or in Pretoria, the Gqaberha now leads especially in terms of the modern machinery. We are improving the working of the police.
An amount of R1,3 billion has been allocated for resources of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences, FCS, units. An additional R100 million is allocated to provinces for additional gender-based violence and femicide, GBVF, priorities. This is on top of the budget that they have. We have put in another R100 million. In the Western Cape we have put R15 million, Free State R8 million, KwaZulu-Natal R15 million, Mpumalanga R7 million, Northern Cape R6 million, Eastern Cape R13 million, Limpopo R7 million and Gauteng R17 million. This is to enhance the stations in those particular provinces, especially those stations that have high levels of rape and sexual offences.
The multi-year the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council, SSSBC, agreement signed with organised labour in 2018 on the promotion backlog of employees has resulted in 58 000 constable, sergeants and warrant officers being promoted. We have promoted almost 60 000 police backlog that were there. We have promoted them to the next level.
The SA Police Service’s service allowance has therefore increased from R400 per month to R700 per month. There has been this issue of danger allowance of the police that since the dawn of democracy it has been R400. We have increased it to R700 from this financial year going forward, backdated from April last year. We are working on the wellbeing and the wellness of the police so that when they do the good job, they get paid and that everybody give them incentives.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate continues to operate independently while ensuring that their approach in executing their mandate, is corrective and not punitive. The amendments of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act is to be concluded before the end of the Sixth administration. Consequence management is implemented divisively to police at the levels that fit the kind of job that the police are expected to do.
There will be a purchase of unmanned aerial vehicles, drones and body-worn cameras as well as shot spotters in high density crime areas. We are going big on technology. We are putting things that many people have been crying about. This year we have budgeted for those things. We have trained the people that will use them. We have trained the pilots that will be pushing our drones. We are dealing with the short spotters.
These are things that detect firearms, where it short in the shortest possible time it tells you where to find those people. We are going on technology.
We have also allocated R25 million to provinces to safeguard police stations. Police themselves get attacked and we are improving their safety by locating money that they put CCTVs
in the station, they put fencing and all that so that they are safe as they do their work.
An amount of R1,8 billion has been allocated for the procurement of vehicles to improve police visibility. We are buying cars, and we have put R1,8 billion to buy the cars.
Regarding the capacitation of frontline service operations at 10111 call centres, in that we are working with the Presidency for Vulindlela to help us to work and improve the situation.
An amount of R1 billion is allocated to build police stations and R30 million for conversion of trucks to mobile community service centres. Thirteen new police stations will be handed over to communities in the 2023-24. We have started last week, and we handed over the Gqeberha one, the Chatty Station. We will be handing over 12 more going forward. Those are the police stations that have been build. Beside building the new ones we will be handing these to the communities. This speaks to the whole of government to what we are doing and the society approach to crime and violence prevention in the country as approved by the cabinet.
The six pillar Integrated Violence and Crime
Prevention Strategy document seeks to deal with the drivers of crime and calls on national, provincial and local government to address the needs of the citizens of the country. This document has been approved by the Cabinet that crime is not the issue of the law enforcement only but is across the government. There are many departments that will have to help us fight crime. Things like human settlements. They need to build houses, they need to fix roads, they need to fix lights, they need to fix the vegetation around. Municipalities, make sure that everything is kept clean so that we are able to do our work. We are making that call of working together.
Chairperson, the SA Police Service Budget Vote 28 is R102,137 billion. The department of Civilian Secretariat is R150,5 million and the Independent Investigating Directorate is R357 million. There has been a call that we need to increase these two budgets because it looks like they are monitoring the giant budget with very short legs. Indeed, it is a call that they have made, and it is a call that we all support and it is a call we believe that everybody will support it. But we are really working hard to change the situation. We have unleashed the Operation Shanela that we
have formally launched. Every Monday - this is the third one - we meet as the national management and the Ministry and scan what we have done during the weekend. We have an operation of high density having moved from the Okae Molao of Gauteng. Now it is all provinces. It is no longer Gauteng only that does that. Everybody is out of the office from Thursday to Monday to make sure that we collect all outstanding criminals, all outstanding illegal firearms and make sure that we saturate the streets and we are able to respond, and we are part of the communities. We walk with the communities and we talk with the communities so that we see that crime situation is made better.
Chairperson, it is time for the people that I work with especially the Deputy Minister. We are working very well. I hear people complaining about the Deputy Ministers, DMs, and their Ministers. We don’t have that problem in the department and the National Commissioner the head of DPCI, the head of IPID, CEO of Psira, the Secretariat and all people we work with, especially a person that keeps me walking who without her I would not be here, that’s my wife Thembeka Ngcobo. Thank you.
Ms S SHAIKH: Hon House Chairperson, the Minister of Police, Gen Bheki Cele, the Deputy Minister, Cassel Mathale, members of the executive council, MECs and members of this august House, the National Development Plan, NDP, requires among others, that we build safer communities, promote accountability and fight corruption, and strengthen judicial governance and the rule of law, achieving a safe South Africa as envisioned in the NDP, free of fear and corruption, requires an integrated approach with the Criminal Justice System, CJS, local government, community participation, private sector and role players involved in economic and social development.
The NDP requires continued efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System, including the police, prosecutors, courts and correctional facilities, radically reduce levels of corruption and crime, particularly, trio and contact crimes, and promote community involvement.
The fight against crime cannot be separated from the need for social and economic transformation by tackling the three challenges of unemployment, poverty and the unequal distribution of the country’s wealth.
Each sector of society has to play its part in creating conditions where crime may no longer thrive. The key focus areas of the 2023 state of the nation address, Sona, with regard to the SA Police Service, SAPS, are: Additional personnel and funding to the SAPS, establishment of specialised policing units to address economic sabotage and related crimes, dedicated units to address specialised crimes such as kidnapping, introduction of evidence-based policing, the capacitation of 10111 call centres, and community- orientated policing.
Over the medium-term the SAPS priorities include the following: Improving community safety, combating gender?based violence and femicide, addressing serious and organised crimes, and preventing, combating and investigating money laundering and terror financing. Specifically, SAPS will ensure that, more police on the streets and setting up specialised teams that will focus on specific types of crime. More than 10 000 new recruits graduated from police academies and a further 10 000 will be recruited and trained this year.
To improve the accessibility and functioning of Sexual Offences Courts and expand the network of Thuthuzela Care
Centres. SAPS 10111 Helpline Reforms, the use of data driven methods in a more sophisticated way to identify and target crime hotspots. These departmental priorities are aligned with the broad strategic goals and priorities of government as stated in the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, 2019- 2024. Regarding the safety of our men and women in blue, the department indicated that it has allocated R25 million, which the Minister has alluded to.
Over the past 10 years, the overall fixed establishment of SAPS has been declining, importantly, the SAPS has developed and refined a model to calculate the human resource needs of each police station, taking into consideration the minimum number of police officers needed to render an effective police service, and the population density of the policing area of each police station. With regard to Infrastructure projects, the SAPS conducts annual accessibility assessments by conducting feasibility or work study investigations to respond to the growing policing demands.
The 2023-24 Annual Performance Plan, APP, lists 21 new police stations on which construction will be finalised between 2023 and 2025. Provision has been made for an additional 240 posts
for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, DPCI, commonly known as the Hawks in the 2023-24 Project 10 000 allocation. During 2023-24, the DPCI will prioritise the investigations and recommendations by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector, including organs of state, recommendations and findings of the Financial Action Task Force, FAFT, the looting of essential infrastructure and, the stealing of natural resources.
The DPCI is a crucial agency to address the grey listed status of South Africa, and to increase investigations and arrests related to money laundering and terror financing. Over the medium-term, the DPCI will aim to increase the number of requests to the Financial Intelligence Centre, FIC, on money laundering from 86 to 124, and on terror financing from 151 to
218. The DPCI does not work alone on state capture cases, but criminal investigations are assigned to the National Director
of Public Prosecutions, NDPP.
The Investigating Directorate, ID, has specifically been created to deal with these matters. The DPCI has provided 15 investigators to work with the ID to assist for a period of
three years which will end in August this year. The DPCI has decided to extend these contracts for a further three years which will end in 2025. Some matters are on the court roll, and some are pending decision. During the committee’s deliberations with the Department of Police, the following key recommendations were made by the committee:
The department should ensure that it prioritises addressing infrastructural challenges in respect of ensuring that police stations are fully functional. It should actively conduct research and look at mechanisms to implement digitisation of the certification of documents and affidavits, and further research the possibility of implementing the digitisation of case files in order to ensure that police are more focussed on crime prevention, ensure that it implements initiatives to urgently address gangsterism in the North West Province and in KwaZulu-Natal.
The department should prioritise the anti-gang units in these provinces specifically to ensure the safety of communities, ensure more community involvement in the fight against crime and focus on the training of the new recruits in order to increase capacity on the ground in crime prevention
initiatives. In this regard, ensure that all CPF structures are functional and operational in all provinces, ensure that police stations have close-circuit television, CCTV, cameras and that police officials are issued with bullet proof vests as well as improves the perception of police on the ground and that communities feel safe when reporting crimes at police stations.
Further, adequate training should be provided to police officials to ensure better communication to victims of crime. Noting the significant progress made, the Department should speed up its recovery plan to address the backlogs in DNA testing, particularly, as it relates to gender-based violence and femicide, GBVF, cases. The department should utilise retired police officials to ensure that there is a good basis for the transfer of important skills within the department, particularly, to strengthen the training of new recruits.
The DPCI should ensure that it focusses its capacity on investigations pertaining to state capture, corruption and anti-money laundering and provide the committee with updated reports on a quarterly basis of progress on these matters. The Civilian Secretariat for Police, CSPS, has a key role to
reduce violent crime through the promotion of a more active citizenry and the establishment of a new social compact.
According to the Secretariat, an integral part of the strategic focus for CSPS in 2023-24 will be on functionality assessments of both established Community Policing Forums, CPFs, and Community Safety Forums, CSFs, in order to ascertain effectiveness in terms of the implementation of policy in this regard, and to determine which of these structures need to be assisted and capacitated to function optimally. In 2023-24, the Secretariat will establish a central database to consolidate all its recommendations made to SAPS on various aspects for ease of monitoring and reporting, while SAPS will incorporate the implementation of CSPS recommendations into its reporting frameworks.
The Secretariat will conduct a Police Station Census Project for 2023-24, aimed at collecting comprehensive data at police stations across the country, in order to determine the levels of improvement thereof on critical areas affecting policing, in relation to the baseline information that was collected in the 2017-18 census. Following deliberations, the committee recommends that the department and CSPS should despite the
budget cuts, find innovative ways to fulfil its functions and mandate and work towards achieving the targets in its Annual Performance Plan, APP.
The CSPS, together with the SAPS, should ensure CPFs have all the necessary resources, including tools of trade, uniforms and stipends to assist in their fight against crime, continue to strengthen efforts to monitor the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act at police stations, particularly in rural police stations. Further, ensure that all police officials are treating victims of domestic violence with dignity and integrity, ensure that capacity is increased and improved within the legislative unit so that there are no further delays in the drafting of legislation and, continue to strengthen its efforts to monitor the implementation of the
Independent Police Investigative Directorate, IPID, recommendations.
According to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, it will continue to focus on improving the quality of all its Investigations on serious and priority crimes allegedly committed by members of the SA Police Service and the Municipal Police Services, MPS, as well as giving high
priority to those related to alleged gender-based violence and alleged violence against people from other vulnerable groups and increasing access to its services.
The committee made the following recommendations: The IPID should be an independent institution whose resources and capacity should be increased to ensure that they are able to effectively execute their mandate in all provinces, should make every effort to improve and increase its footprint in all provinces and regions to reach as many communities as possible. The IPID should prioritise the filling of vacancies of investigators across all provinces, so to increase the investigative capacity within the department. The department must engage National Treasury to increase their budget in order for it to employ sufficient investigators with the necessary skills to conduct proper investigations in all provinces.
To improve overall efficiency, the IPID should further ensure that proper systems are put in place to eradicate the case backlogs and to implement the necessary case management systems. The IPID should continue with regular provincial engagements with the SAPS, the CSP and the National
Prosecuting Authority, NPA, to ensure compliance with its recommendations and to find mechanisms to ensure that the majority of its cases are prosecuted, and disciplinary measures are being implemented.
The department should continue to work towards improving staff morale by understanding the needs and frustrations of its employees and find solutions to addressing these challenges to ensure that employees are able to effectively carry out their job responsibilities. In conclusion, Chairperson, having considered all three budget votes and in the spirit of creating a safer South Africa, The ANC supports the Budget Votes of Police, the CSPS and the IPID. I thank you.
Mr X E NQATHA (Eastern Cape): Greetings to you hon Minister, Deputy Minister, hon members, fellow MECs, the generals of the Police there. Good afternoon.
Hon House chairperson, I would like to express my deepest appreciation for taking part in the 2023-24 Budget Vote debate. As the Eastern Cape, we are extremely delighted to contribute on matters affecting the safety and security of our people. Hon members, in the next few days, the country will be
commemorating the 47th Anniversary of June 16 student uprisings. It is an open secret that the 1976 student uprisings shook the entire world an exposed the racist regime for what it was. Hence apartheid was declared internationally as a crime against humanity.
AS part of acknowledging the role of young people, we need to recruit young people to be at the forefront for our crime combating efforts in the country. We call upon our young people to collaborate with our law-enforcement agencies in fighting the ever escalating crime in the country. The Police alone, will never eradicate crime. Hence we are making a clarion call for the young people and other crime fighting structures to join our efforts in the promotion of crime prevention strategies.
As part of encouraging our people to become part of the crime fighting efforts, the Eastern Cape government took a decision to change the manes of the Department of Safety and Liaison to the Department of Community Safety through the Government Gazette No 44416 Volume 70. The change is in line with Chapter
12 of the National Development Plan which envisions a South Africa where people feel free and with no fear of crime.
Fundamentally, the name change, influences the way in which the department operates compatible with the additional mandate which strengthen and extends all expectations as entrenched in the Civilian Secretariat for Police Act.
Hon members, congruent with the name change, there is a desperate need for additional human resources to take on an execute the extended mandate of the department. The changes have compelled the department to revise the service delivery model and review the ... [Inaudible.] ... structure to operate optimally. The extended mandate informs the review of rearrange the postprovisioning in line with the new mandate.
The new organisational structure will require adequate budget and we have since approached the Provincial Treasury in the province for funding. We have also presented this to the provincial Cabinet for it to take a decision on the matter.
Hon House Chairperson, the total budget for the provincial department in the face of all these challenges stands at
R115 million for the 2023-24 fiscal year. Of which we received R8,2 million as an additional as an additional allocation specifically for community mobilisation against crime in hot
sports areas across the province which is quite clearly highlighted by the Minister in his debate. However, the
R8,2 million additional budget could not entirely be allocated for crime hot sports in the areas because the department does not have the budget for other operations.
Despite our interventions and strategies, the Eastern Cape is still confronted by a high murder crime rate, high levels of violent crimes and worrying levels of gender-based violence as well as a stubborn problem of livestock theft which continues to ... [Inaudible.] ... our province. Unfortunately these criminal offences elevate the Eastern Cape province to be among the top provinces in as far as violent crimes are concerned. Tireless efforts must be enhanced in eradicating crime in the following areas which we regard as hot sports.
They are O R Tambo District Municipality, Nelson Mandela and Buffalo City Metros.
Hon House Chairperson, despite the limited resources, we are forging ahead with our crime fighting efforts in the province. In November last year, the Department of Community Safety, launched the historic Provincial Safety Strategy in East London where we officially unveiled the Provincial Safety
Strategy. The strategy has been warmly welcomed by our stakeholders as it is premised on the will of the people. It is anchored on six key pillars which are active, public and community participation, and safety through environmental design, also effective and integrated service delivery, for safety, security and prevention of violence, also early intervention to prevent crime and violence and promote safety. The fifth pillar is the victim support and the last pillar is the effective criminal justice system.
Hon House Chairperson, we continue to encourage our community members to be actively involved in crime combating efforts. We are pleased to announce that 16 community forums have been made functional through the intervention of our department in the province. This intervention has also been made in the high profile cases for example the operations in Lusikisiki Flagstaff, Willowvale and Dikeni, formerly known as Alice.
Furthermore, the departmental safety month, was implemented in all the districts in the province. Through this interventions, the Nelson Mandela Metro Safer City Concept document was approved, also subsequently an integrated action plan was developed.
Our department also played a pivotal role in the following programmes that is victim support, school safety, antistock theft criminal justice, court watch relief, the road freight and logistics task team, anticrime Imbizos and our campaign clarion call saying “Musa ukuthula kusonakala.” Loosely translated, do not keep quiet when things are going wrong, as part of our mobilisation.
Hon members, our province continue to be confronted by the high levels of gender-based violence. Some of the cases were difficult to resolve within the short space of time. However, we are optimistic that the newly refurbished and expanded state-of-the-art DNA science laboratory in Gqeberha, will improve our ability to resolve many cases including Gender- based Violence and Femicide, GBVF.
Hon House Chairperson, also the Police Minister, the hon Bheki Cele, and the Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane and the hon members of the portfolio committee visited the laboratory as part of conducting oversight and local inspection. We welcome the commitment made by our Minister Cele to allocate an additional amount of R100 million to provinces for the prioritisation of the GBVF response and the strengthening of
Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units for 2023-24 Police budget.
Hon members, our province is faced with gross shortages of victim friendly rooms in our police stations. This matter is now being elevated to be priority area in the current financial year. However, our current budget is unable to address all the current backlogs in respect of infrastructure challenges especially in rural police stations.
With regard to SA Police Service oversight at the Independent Investigative Directorate, Ipid, hon members, compliance with the mandate of providing oversight to SAPS in the past three quarters of 2022-23 financial year, the department conducted
60 unannounced visits at various police stations across the province, 39 police accounting engagement programmes and with communities took place and the department monitored 161 service delivery complains of which 98 were finalised and 63 are still in progress.
Vigorous oversight to SAPS also includes the monitoring of Ipid recommendations against SAPS. A total of 95 recommendations were received from Ipid of which 31 were
negative 64 were positive recommendations. In terms of positive recommendations this refers to SAPS members that did not contravene the Criminal Procedure Act. The conviction rate for femicide is sitting at 96%.
In conclusion hon House Chairperson, I am indicating all these as one of the important roles that are done as we seek to play our oversight role. Our democratic state which has introduced Ipid for the purposes of dealing with rotten elements of the Police personnel has also succeeded in doing its role.
With regard to the Civilian Secretariat for the Police Service, we need to redouble our efforts in mobilising active citizenry. This is the cornerstone of committing our people to work hard in combating crime in our communities, as some of the crimes are not policeable.
Hon House Chairperson, lastly, having all of the above challenges faced by our department, we hope that this budget will go a long way in addressing all our challenges in the province. Hon House Chairperson and hon members, thank you very much.
Mr F J BADENHORST: Hon House Chairperson, hon members, hon Minister and fellow South Africans good day. The Mad Hatter is a character from Lewis Carroll’s famous novel "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland." He is a whimsical and eccentric character who plays host to the Mad Tea Party along with the March Hare and the Dormouse.
The Mad Hatter is known for his peculiar behaviour, including his obsession with tea, his constant switching of seats at the table, and his tendency to engage in nonsensical and
I have not had the opportunity to enquire whether the hon Minister of Police, enjoys a cup of tea or not, but judging by his non sensical and riddle like utterances in the House today and his penchant for switching alliances, within his own political party - the similarities become uncanny!
Unfortunately, safety and security in South Africa today has very little in common with any fairy tale. Based on statistical and published data, a recent ranking of the safest countries in the world in 2023 lists South Africa as one of the most dangerous, measured by a country’s murder statistics.
South Africa sits in 187th place out of 192 countries - making it the 5th most dangerous country in the world.
Every day in South Africa, 70 of our citizens are murdered,
146 women are sexually assaulted which equates to one person every 10 minutes. There is one contact crime committed every
50 seconds in this country. That is 15 contact crimes by the time I complete this speech and 78 sexual assaults. Think about that.
This country, South Africa ranks as being more dangerous than Iraq, Somalia, Russia, and Mexico, to name but a few, I didn’t say Lady R. What’s more concerning is that the number of murders showed a year-on-year increase of 13,6%, while attempted murder increased by 19,4%.
It is amidst these worrying statistics that we note that overall, in the budget of 2023-24, the Police have received a main appropriation of R102,4 billion, which is a nominal decrease of R417 million or 0,4% compared to the previous financial year. In real terms that’s when you take inflation into consideration, the department’s allocation decreased with R5,18 billion, or 5,06%.
Two thousand and twelve was quite an auspicious year in South Africa’s history, this was the year the ANC-led government adopted the National Development Plan, might I remind you, it states:
In 2030, people living in South Africa feel safe at home, at school and at work, and they enjoy a community life free of fear. Women walk freely in the streets and children play safely outside. The police service is well-resourced and professional, staffed by highly skilled officers who value their work, serve the community, safeguard lives and property without discrimination, protect the peaceful against violence, and respect the rights to equality and justice.
Eleven years down the line and just seven years away from 2030, I cannot but agree with my colleague in the National Assembly, the hon Andrew Whitfield, that South Africa’s safety and security environment has deteriorated dramatically since the NDP was adopted by government in 2012.
Two thousand and twelve was also coincidentally the year where our very own cat in the hat Minister got fired by President
Zuma as the National Police Commissioner, after having tried to play real estate broker with his buddy Roux Shabangu and the Department of Public Works for new police headquarters in Pretoria.
The botched R500 Million property deal has become just another example of ANC corruption and maybe this is the reason that the ANC-le government spends more than R3 Billion on very important person, VIP, protection for politicians!
In an answer to a written question posed by my colleague the hon Tim Brauteseth recently regarding the cost of deployment for the VIP Protection Unit, responsible for the static and in-transit protection of the President, Deputy President, former Presidents and Deputy Presidents, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Executive Council, MEC’s and foreign visiting dignitaries, National Police Commissioner Gen Masemola, thank you for being here General - yes, the same one without
security clearance, has admitted that the cost amounts to more than R1,85 billion for in-transit protection and more than R1,2 billion for static protection, respectively.
One of the main factors that influence resourcing allocations to provinces is the size of the population in a province.
Despite this, the provisional allocation to the Eastern Cape with a population of 6,7 million people is R894 628 million as opposed to the Western Cape with a population of 7,2 million only been allocated R807 415 million.
In the Western Cape, the police to person ratio is one officer to every 560 people! The national average is one to 369.
The DA-run government in the Western Cape will not allow corrupt police leadership and misuse of taxpayers’ money to expose our residents to more crime and violence than what is already endured under the ANC-government nationally.
You say Minister various departments need to work together. We all know talk is cheap, it will not happen with another plan. The DA-run Western Cape’s response to crime is primarily governed by the Western Cape Safety Plan, which was introduced by Premier Allan Winde in 2019.
The overarching goal of the document is to reduce violent crime in the Western Cape such that the murder rate is halved
by 2029. The Safety Plan takes a holistic approach to crime, with a focus on prevention as well as enforcement. As such, various provincial departments, including the Department of Health and Wellness, Department of Social Development, and Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport are mandated with carrying out a range of programmes which seek to reduce social ills and the causes of violence. We don’t say we need to do something Minister in the Western Cape, we get on and we do it.
This programme is certainly on track in the Western Cape as borne out in today’s statistics released for the last quarter. Let me just dwell on that for a second; the murder rate in South Arica has increased by 3,4% the murder rate in the Western Cape has decreased by 14,1%. Sexual offences in South Arica have decreased by 4,3% but in the Western Cape has decreased by 10,7%. Attempted murders in South Arica have increased by 8,3% in the Western Cape it has decreased by 7%. Assault with attempt to inflict grievous bodily harm has increase by ,2% nationally and in the Western Cape it has decreased by 1%.
However, the safety plan also puts a premium on an enhanced investigative and enforcement capacity. This is primarily the task of the Law Enforcement Advancement Project our LEAP, here in the Western Cape.
According to the most-recently released crime stats, the Western Cape’s murder to population ratio has decreased since the inception of the safety plan, with the Western Cape having gone from the first to the third most violent province in South Africa. However, it should be noted that violent crime still remains an issue in the Western Cape.
As a central initiative of the Safety Plan, the Western Cape currently maintains just over 1200 LEAP officers, who work closely with South African Police Service, SAPS, in order to enhance enforcement capacity. LEAP officers are deployed to hotspots of violent crime in the Western Cape. These deployments are constantly monitored and evaluated in order to ensure that resources are allocated as effectively as possible.
The LEAP is strategically deployed, and its operations are based on evidence and data. This approach is also used as part
of monitoring and evaluation to determine the effectiveness of LEAP and inform a cycle of continuous improvement. This includes our top 10 murder areas in the Western Cape, such as Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Philippi East, and Samora Machel.
Other high crime areas in which they are deployed are Atlantis, Bishop Lavis and Hanover Park, along with Lavender Hill, Steenberg and Grassy Park.
The stats released this morning has shown that the homicide. has decreased in Gugulethu by 5%, Khayelitsha 17%, Mfuleni 6%, Samora Machel 2%, Atlantis 23 and Bishop Lavis 10% to name but a few.
LEAP has had some important successes. Since the first officers were deployed in 2020 until April 2023, LEAP officers confiscated 360 illegal firearms, and has participated in
16 270 arrests. From the 2021-2022 financial year to the 2022-2023 financial year, murder rates in eight of the 13 police precincts equipped with LEAP officers have decreased.
More than R1 billion has already been invested in LEAP. For this current financial year, a further R350 million has been
allocated. In addition to this, R10 million has also been set aside for the establishment of LEAP stations.
A tangible metric of this success is the Mfuleni Police Station dropping down from first to the seventh rank in terms of number of reported murders with Nyanga dropping from the fifth most violent precinct by murder to the 22nd.
While perhaps not as high-profile as LEAP, the Department of Community Safety and Police Oversight also produces the annual Policing Needs and Priorities report, which identifies gaps in SAPS’s policing capability. This report is prepared by assessing the 151 police stations in the Western Cape in order to devise policy which might improve their capability.
In recent years, the PNP reports have shown that the Western Cape suffers from a chronic problem of SAPS under resourcing, in which there is a substantial deficit in the number of SAPS officers deployed to the Western Cape. It will be good to dwell on the fact that there’s also 105 functional community policing forum, CPF, is in the Western Cape. And our Western Cape government has budgeted R6,25 million in further professionalising our neighbourhood watchers.
The DA Western Cape government has proven once again that with political will to create a capable state, listen carefully, with respect for the rule of law and a culture of accountability to our electorate, the argument for the devolution of police functions to lower government levels are becoming more and more urgent - this is why the Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill has been tabled in the Western Cape Legislature last week.
This bill seeks to: Identify and remedy failures of the National Government; to promote the assertion of existing provincial powers; to actively seek the assignment or delegation of additional power; mandate the Western Cape Government to prepare reports and draft bills to fulfil those objects; and to create a mechanism for the Western Cape Parliament to introduce national legislation in the National Council of Provinces through its delegates here.
The DA remains committed to the devolution of national powers to capable provinces in order to bring quality service delivery and good governance to all communities. The voters are tired of the ANC Mad Hatter Tea Parties and the bevy of
corrupt and intellectually challenged characters around the table - come 2024 the DA will be the voters party of choice.
Mr House Chair, I have a few seconds, please allow me to dedicate my last few seconds to ask this House if they so wish to join me in the moment of silence to honour the brave men and women in blue, who have sacrificed their lives in the past year, in the line of duty. We send our condolences to their families, and we are grateful for their service [Moment of silence.] we thank them, and we thank their sacrifice. Thank you.
Ms A D MALEKA: Thank you, House Chairperson, hon Badenhorst, the DA has gone backwards it has lost 3 million votes in the Local Government 2021-23 Elections.
Ungenzi ngathi iWestern Cape yizwe. Ubona i-Western Cape ngathi yizwe, naba abantu bayahlupheka lapha eKhayelitsha kwenzeka zonke izinto ngenxa yokuthi nazi ukuthi yini eniphilayo eWestern Cape.
Hon Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Chief Whip, Minister, Deputy Minister, special and permanent delegates, the ANC supports the budget vote. I wish to begin with a quote our first democratically elected President, Tata Nelson Mandela who on the occasion of the launch of Crime Prevention Campaign said:
We are long past blaming all our difficulties on our past. But it is at our peril that we ignore the roots of South Africa’s high levels of crime in the apartheid era. It left us with a justice system pervaded with lawlessness and criminality. It corroded the moral fabric of our society.
It’s legacy of poverty will take years to eradicate. For all these reasons our fight against the unacceptable levels of crime must be a many-sided one and have the active participation of every sector of society.
Bowungekho wena awazi nokuthi intando yeningi yafika kanjani.
Chairperson, the National Development Plan requires, among others, that we build safer communities; promote
accountability and fight corruption; and strengthen judicial governance and the rule of law. The vision of the NDP Chapter
12 is to build safer communities so that people living in South Africa feel safe at home, at school and at work. South Africans should enjoy community life without fear, where women walk freely in the street and children play safely outside. Achieving the vision of a safe South Africa, free of fear and corruption, requires an integrated approach with the Criminal Justice system, local government, community participation, private sector and role-players involved in economic and social development.
The NDP requires continued efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of the CJS – including the police, prosecutors, courts and correctional facilities, radically reduce levels of corruption and crime, particularly car hijacking, robbery – residential and nonresidential and contact crimes and promote community involvement. The fight against crime cannot be separated from the need for social and economic transformation by tackling the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Each sector of society has to play its part.
Mr F J BADENHORST: Hon House Chairperson, is the member currently at the podium willing to take a question through you, House Chair?
Ms A D MALEKA: Unfortunately, I won’t.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Order, hon members! Order, hon members!
Uyafuna ukuthatha umbuzo.
Nk A D MALEKA: Cha, anginaso isikhathi sombuzo senza inkulumompikiswano lapha. Abantu balindile emakhaya ukuthi isabiwomali siza nani.
Mr F J BADENHORST: Thank you.
Nk A D MALEKA: Sikhona isikhathi semibuzo.
Each sector of society has to play its part in creating conditions where crime may no longer thrive. The ANC government is committed in the fight against fraud, corruption and maladministration.
Njengoba benza ingathi yibona abazibophezela kule nto, yibona abacula ngenkohlakalo namanje engathi bazolwa nayo.
In strengthening the fight against crime and corruption, the 2023 ANC Lekgotla noted progress in key areas in the security sector. These include the additional recruitment of police officers and the strengthening of key institutions such as the National Prosecutions Authority, NPA. Lekgotla called for an integrated programme which will ensure that South Africa is a crime free society by 2030. Key actions will include the following: Firstly, assessing and strengthening Community Policing Forums, increasing the ratio of personnel to citizens, addressing cyber security, strengthening the intelligence services, ending political assassinations, addressing stock theft, strengthening witness protection and improving the management of migration, especially as it
relates to Zama Zama’s. The Lekgotla also echoed the January 8 Statement in relation to the fight against Gender Based Violence and Femicide and called for consideration to be placed on having a specialised unit. As President Mandela alluded, fighting crime requires a collaborative, many-sided approach. Moreover, fighting crime and corruption requires a budget.
Chairperson, in his 2023 budget speech, the Minister of Finance indicated that government would be doing a number of things, including strengthening the capacity of the state to deliver quality public services, investing in infrastructure and fighting crime and corruption. The Minister also indicated the need to crack down on criminality in the construction sector and that extortion and intimidation of lawfully appointed contractors and the workers they employed would not be tolerated.
On illicit trade, the Minister indicated that over the past three years, the SA Revenue Services, the Sars, has taken several steps to enhance its effectiveness in combating illicit trade, particularly in tobacco. In February 2023, Sars had completed 2 316 seizures of cigarettes and tobacco
products to the value of R598,8 million. The Minister announced that R14 billion has been allocated over the medium- term to fight crime and corruption, with the SA Police Service being allocated R7,8 billion to appoint 5 000 police trainees per year.
One of the weak points which have been identified in the Criminal Justice system is a silo approach in the fight against fraud and corruption. Notwithstanding the existing challenges, we can appreciate the levels of collaboration and co-ordination between the Investigative Directorate, Asset Forfeiture Unit, the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit, Special Investigating Unit and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation. We encourage the different role-players in the justice value chain to continue working together in order to fight crime and make South Africa a safer place.
The third quarter crime figures show that, while there are increases in contact crimes such as murder, assault and robberies, there is improvement in crimes detected, as a result of police action. It has been reported that there are signs of improvements in crimes such as cash-in-transit heists and bank robberies which have reported decreases in the period
of reporting. These decreases are attributed to increased police visibility through patrols, stop and search operations, vehicle checkpoints and roadblocks.
The importance of visible policing cannot be emphasised enough. It has been reported that more patrol vans and high- powered vehicles have been ordered to supplement visible policing and specialised units such as highway patrols, flying squad, to respond effectively to crime. The new fleet of police vehicles will bring better police visibility and empower police to be more effective in fighting crime.
Chairperson, community police forums, CPFs, were foundational to South Africa’s transition to democracy. When first established, they provided a bridge between the police and communities in a context of deep mistrust and hostility towards the police. With the alarming levels of crime, it is important to reflect. The 2014 report of the Khayelitsha Commission shows that communities with the most crime may also have the least functional CPFs. Strengthening CPFs is critical in the fight against crime.
We welcome the work done by the DPCI in ensuring that those who kill police officers are brought to book. In the strongest possible terms, we condemn the killing of people, especially those entrusted with the duty to ensuring the safety of everyone. We will continue playing an oversight role over the department. We all want a safer South Africa. The ANC supports. Chairperson, I left my four minutes for the Minister for responding.
Ms F MAZIBUKO (Gauteng): Hon House Chair, let me acknowledge the presiding officer, the House Chairs. Let me also acknowledge hon Minister and hon Deputy Minister. Let me also acknowledge the Chief Whips of the House. And let me also acknowledge the members of the NCOP, MECs in attendance, the national Airspace Committee, Nascom, and other law enforcement agencies present today.
It is an honour for me to be part of this debate this afternoon. And as always, the Minister has actually indicated that Operation Okae Molayo would continue saturating all crimes spot in Gauteng and it will no longer be conducted only twice a week but every day is going to be Okae Molayo day. And I am definitely sure there won’t be any place to hide for all
the criminals. They would have to migrate to Kuvukiland because as provinces, we are now united and helping the Minister in ensuring ... [Interjections.].
AN HON MEMBER: You can start looking for criminals at Luthuli House.
Hhayi wena! NgesiZulu, Mama Sihlalo weNdlu, kuye kuthiwe ingane engakhali ifela embelekweni.
We have heard the cries of our communities who continue to live in fear and can’t even walk at night or during the day because their valuables are actually taken from them. That’s far the Gauteng provincial government led by hon Premier Lesufi is resolute in its consented effort to strengthen the fight against crime, corruption, vandalism and lawlessness.
And to this end, the department has aligned the elevated priorities as per the commitments made by premier during the state of the province address to growing Gauteng together GGT2030 programme of action and to the GGT five-year policy
plan that we have already focus on ensuring that we work accordingly.
We indeed, welcome the R20 million allocated to the Community Policing Forums, CPFs. And this will strengthen the community in blue, which is men and women who have been volunteers safeguarding our communities. And we wish to pay tribute to all of them and grateful that finally, the national government through the dedicated work that has been done by Minister and Deputy Minister, they finally saw light that they must also put in more resources in ensuring that CPFs are strengthen.
The department will continue to monitor the priority police stations here in Gauteng as we are using the Gauteng information of police performance systems which is shortly known as Performance Improvement Plan, PIP, Model as a yard speed to measure performance, and this oversight function continue in the priority stations as mandated by section 206(3) of the Constitution. In addition to providing oversight, the department will continue to support the implementation of crime fighting initiatives.
The department effective implementation of the interventions oversight approach during the 2022-23 financial year led to the procurement of 50 patrol vehicles and four additional mobile police stations for the SA Police Service to enhance visible policing and response in crime hotspots on highways and public spaces on a 24-hour basis.
Gone are the days when our communities will phone a police station asking for a van and they are told ...
... awekho amaveni.
With this intervention, we are sure that there won’t be any police station that will say it does not have a van. The Gauteng provincial performance approach with respect to the implementation of this oversight model will continue to reassure the law enforcement agencies leadership at different levels of command that we are together in dealing with the crime challenges in this province.
In the past three years, hon House Chair, we have managed to procure 100 high power BMWs, 12 mobile police stations, 50 patrol vehicles for the SA Police Service and 29 gender-based violence, GBV, cars that has already donated to the SAPS so that victims of abuse do not suffer secondary victimisation. This we do as the provincial government in a bid to ensure that police have the necessary resources, improve police visibility and ensure assess to police services.
The department will continue to observe the impact of these improvements in the 2023-24 financial year while focusing on improving policing in various direction locations within the province.
The Growing Gauteng Together, GGT, five-year policing plan and the integrated crime prevention and violent strategy, the expectation is that the leadership of this various law enforcement early exist led by SAPS should intensify efforts to achieve the deliverables set out in the plan. One of these key deliverables is the implement of community policing which is made possible by the immense community support that exist in the form of functional community policing forums and community patroller.
The concept of safer communities will be achieved through grater oversight of policing service delivery as carried out in the ... adherence police stations and the department will continue to intensify its oversight function over the metropolitan police department through the War Room Model. And our plan is to ensure that bylaw enforcement is intensified during this financial year in all the policing precincts.
As Gauteng, we have also started focussing on elevating and we have identified crime as an apex priority. And in this financial year, we will be taking bold steps towards implementing our crime fighting initiatives.
The provincial government has investigated strategies for stepping up the fight as priorities and with an emphasis on strengthening the fight against crime, corruption, vandalism and lawlessness.
These elevated priorities underpin by the Gauteng provincial government desire to improve the living conditions of the citizens and visitors in Gauteng with specific focus on township, informal settlements and hostels.
I wish to quote from our stalwart Mme Sharlotte Maxekee, who said: Deal With It!: You Cannot Conquer What You Will Not Attempt. Which is what has propelled us as the Gauteng provincial government to recruit 6 000 crime prevention wardens as part of strengthening our efforts in the fight against crime and improving visibility and effectiveness of law enforcement in our respective communities. These community crime prevention wardens will be deployed in the 361 peace wardens across the five corridors of our province.
The allocation of these wardens aims to ensure that each of this wardens are attached to teach areas have an average try to range wardens and their deployment will be extended even in areas identified as hotspots to augment the work of the law enforcement in Gauteng.
Through the addition of these crime prevention wardens, our law enforcement has received a significant infusion of energy and man power and they bring fresh perspective to the fight against crime irrespective of their involving nature of criminal activity by expanding the size of the force, we have already decreased our capacity. We have already drastically increased our capacity to patrol the streets and increased
visibility as a means of apprehending those who violate the law thus enforcing the rule of law and order in our province.
On e-policing, hon members and House Chair, in February as the Gauteng provincial government, we convened an e-policing dialogue with all law enforcement agencies and private security companies here in Gauteng to encourage meaningful partnerships and collaboration to make communities and public spaces safer and secure. This exercise has resulted in many companies making their resources available and committing to make sure that they will work together with law enforcement agencies and this partnership will go a long way in reducing criminal activities in the province and positioning Gauteng as a global competitive City region. As part of efforts to strengthen this fight against crime, the business against crime is also instrumental in ensuring that they mobilise all the resources and they are able to assist us.
And so far, we have seen the rollout of Closed-Circuit Television, CCTV, cameras which will be placed strategically in disadvantage communities in Gauteng. And the plan is to make sure that the provincial government through all its partners augment these efforts.
And the Gauteng provincial government will also rollout e- panic buttons and e-panic APPs to all our community members from hotspots areas as part of a quick respond. This will make sure that those who are vulnerable are able to get these services and the solution will offer an all demand emergency a respond for safety and security for Gauteng residents.
We will also be establishing our provincial command centre which we believe if all law enforcement agencies working together, you heard Minister also is procuring technology, it means through this provincial command centre all these technologies will be linked together and plus, we as Gauteng, we have procured two helicopters, 200 patrol vans. ...
As I conclude, Madam House Chair, 144 drowns and 351 full lived functional surveillance cameras will be deployed in all our hotspots areas. And I believe if we work together, we will make sure that our work is concerted and we fight crime. As I have indicated, Gauteng will no longer be the same and South Africa will no longer be the same if all of us are together in the fight against crime. Thank you very much, Madam House Chair.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon Chairperson, hon members, hon Minister and fellow South Africans, Ishmail Gama was killed whilst in police custody at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, in a holding cell in Lenasia, Gauteng. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid, with its scarce resources, did an investigation and recommended that steps be taken against eight officers. Months later, the SAPS still did not act on these recommendations.
Over the last 10 years, the SAPS in Gauteng Province have killed more than 900 people. Under this ANC government, that is solely responsible for the police function, more than 900 individuals have been killed by the police that the Minister leads in one province alone.
An HONOURABLE MEMBER: Will you take a question?
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon House Chair, if the member was able to formulate a question, I would have. I think he would benefit more from listening, than asking a question. So, I will not take one now. No government can claim to be civilized or democratic when its police service murders its citizens, and there is no accountability or consequences.
These are the actions we witnessed under the apartheid era militarization of the police service, something we thought came to an end with the dawn of democracy in 1994. We only need to think back to Marikana to see that this is not necessarily the case.
An amount of 900 lives were lost at the hands of the police. These are just the murders at the hands of the police in one of the nine provinces. And I haven’t even come to the cases of rape, where women are told by a whole Minister that they should count themselves lucky that they have been raped by only one man in this country. Maybe, the Minister needs to be reminded that he is ultimately responsible for keeping them safe.
By the way, the police’s weapon of choice against other victims on the same day Gama was killed, were pipes. They used pipes to beat individuals with, to enforce the law. Then, in August 2022, two police officers murdered a man in Fish Hoek who sought the police’s help when he reported his girlfriend missing. And early in May this year, in Durban, a 42-year-old police captain murdered a 33-year-old man who allegedly stole his laptop in Lingelitsha.
In another incident, that I saw on my phone, in Bloemfontein, was a video footage of a police officer who skipped a red light in a police van in Milner Road on his way to Bainsvlei Police Station. He drove at an unbelievable speed, with no emergency and drove over two innocent bystanders. So, I can go on and on with examples from around the country. It is not an isolated case.
All of these incidents occur because there is a segment in the police that is driven by egos. This segment thinks that a uniform makes you untouchable and that you are for some reason the class captains of society. They bully their colleagues within SAPS, and they bully the society that they are supposed to serve. They get this from the example they receive from the school principle, the mad hatter, the “blygemaakte generaal”.
It is the consequence of a patriarchy that is so deeply rooted, that we saw it on full display during lockdown, where keeping people off beaches were more important than fighting real crime. It’s the same kind of patriarchy and bullying that keeps gender-based violence in this country alive.
I do not for one minute argue that our police do not face extremely difficult circumstances in the field and I respect deeply the fact that often they put their lives at risk for us. But there is a difference between a policeman faced with imminent danger to his or her own life, and a policeman standing with a pipe over an unarmed individual, beating him to death. Rape is not a self-defence mechanism, not even for a policeman and there is no justification for such actions.
Throw in with this the immense stress that officers are facing because they are under resourced and it is easy to understand why even some of the good ones become trigger happy. They have very few vehicles that work, no lights when there is load shedding, and even lack basic things such as uniforms. The hardworking officer on the ground is often left to make things work out of their own pocket, whilst a band of generals, their purpose which puzzles many of us, literally eat up the budget after the bill for protecting ANC politicians has been paid.
We are in a crisis of police brutality in this country and it is undeniable.
Yet, Ipid, which has the mammoth task of ridding our police of the rapists, murderers and thugs in its ranks, does not have
the budget to do their job properly. The budget for Ipid’s core job – investigating police misconduct and crimes - will go up by between 0,24% and 4,43% this year. This, whilst inflation currently stands at 7%. Ipid therefore, in real terms, faces a severe budget decrease.
Every year, without exception, my more knowledgeable, amongst the ANC colleagues in this House join me in expressing their concern about this. Ipid already can’t meet its targets and its budget is being hollowed out year after year. Yet, when we have to vote on the budget, they support the decrease in real terms. Some will speak after me in this very debate, and defend the cut in the Ipid budget, because ANC loyalty weighs more than getting rid of rapists and murderers within the police. Like they turned a blind eye every year when we warned them against the state capture thugs, so they turn a blind eye to this as well. And they will have to live with their conscience and explain this to voters, when they go and ask for support for the ANC in 2024.
Ipid cannot reach its targets with this budget. Only 7% of investigations were prosecuted by the NPA. It had to decrease all its targets for investigations and it is still not
reaching 100% on almost all of them. And then, when a recommendation is finally sent to SAPS to effect, the police does nothing to act against their own - effectively rendering all Ipid’s efforts fruitless.
The investigators at Ipid do an important job, when they don’t receive bribes from Ponzi schemes. They do a good job and I respect them for their efforts. But there is a reason they are over worked and under resourced. If this ANC government was serious about cleaning up SAPS and having a professional police service that is a friend to the law-abiding citizens of this country, it would have prioritised this budget. It would have made sure that they have all the resources they need to do their investigations and they would act on these investigations decisively and quickly. None of this is happening.
The only conclusion one can make from this, is that Ipid is currently one of the biggest threats to a mafia within the police, and that it suits them to keep hollowing Ipid out. They do not worry about the lives of the innocent public. They worry about their perks and their pockets. And year after year, the ANC members in Parliament who you, the public, voted
for to protect you against this, shamefully and obediently put this mafia before you, the voting public.
’n Groot skande.
Yes, I honestly and sincerely do not care what the Minister’s reply to these comments will be at the end. The whole of South Africa has stopped taking him seriously years ago already and he is relevant only in his own mind. But my plea is with the ANC members on these benches. You know that this budget is bad for the public we were elected to serve.
Let’s stand together as a House in the interest, not of our political parties, but in the interest of the voting public we were elected to represent. Let’s reject this budget, and send them back to come up with something that respects the lives of our people. I thank you.
Ms M DLAMINI: Chairperson, firstly I would like to state that, even though I was born right the year before democracy, we are the generation that has inherited traumatised parents and live
in a postcolonial state, and so we are living the consequences of apartheid. Therefore, you cannot dismiss me because of my age to say that I cannot denounce a legacy that has traumatised a nation. Therefore, I greatly and deeply disagree with the quotes of Nelson Mandela because he absorbed the legacy of apartheid. It is with that, that our former oppressors use his name to dismiss us today.
Chairperson the gigantic EFF, a protest movement founded on the principles of anticapitalism, antisexism, anticorruption and antiracism, is celebrating its 10th year anniversary. This year, the EFF reaches a decade of advocating for the expropriation of land without compensation for equitable redistribution; the nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy; the building of state and government capacity; free decolonised and quality education, health care, houses, sanitation, massive protected industrial development to create sustainable jobs; open, massive investment in the development of the African economy, accountable and corrupt-free government.
This year we also celebrate 10 years of fighting against violent crimes and advocating for satellite police stations
that will open 24 hours, seven days a week, in every ward in the country where there is no police station. The EFF rejects the proposed budget for the Department of Police; Independent Police Investigative Directorate, IPID and Civilian Secretariat for Police. The EFF has on various platforms long noted that South Africa has become a haven for criminals to do as they please, with disturbingly high levels of gender-based violence, a murder rate which is spiralling out of control, and a rise of public assassinations across all spheres of society.
Every quarter, South African crime statistics released by the Minister of Police, reaffirm the alarming crime problems in this country. The levels of violent crime have increased drastically since Mr Ramaphosa became a President, with an increase in cash in transit heists, assaults, murder and sexual crimes. The SA Police Service, SAPS DNA Laboratory service has collapsed, leading to compromising thousands of cases of sexual crimes which cannot be provide without DNA evidence.
Alarmingly, mass shootings in places of public gatherings have increased, this all while Mr Ramaphosa has placed intelligence
in the office of the Presidency. SA Police Service, SAPS has not shown any convincing responses to the high levels of crime and they have failed to send a firm warning to all criminals in South Africa, that they have declared a war on crime. The SA Police Service faces challenges regarding safety and security even amongst their own ranks, as there have been a number of attacks on police and police stations, and these continue to rise.
In the face of high levels of murders and cases of rape, Mr Ramaphosa has kept Bheki Cele the hon Minister in the Police. This on its own reveals little regard for the wellbeing of the people of this nation, who have to bear the consequences of a lawlessness in society. The spiralling levels of crime in South Africa demand a firm and direct response. The gang wars in the Cape Flats in the Western Cape not the utopia that the propaganda DA is trying to feed down our throats, and the gangsterism in Helenvale in Gqeberha must be put to an end.
Innocent lives have to be protected from being recruited into gangsterism and drug abuse. This department is failing in both crime prevention and detection.
As the EFF, we reject the budget of departments where police performance and conduct has deteriorated over the past two and a half decades, with priorities remaining unchanged. This department is plagued by inefficiency and dysfunctional performance. The IPID has no teeth ever since the ruling party removed Robert McBride and has been captured by the police to protect their criminal ways. SA Police Service and the ruling party are taking minimal steps in the fight against corruption, for there exists a lack of will on the part of both the SAPS and government to counter corruption. Violent crimes and in particular murder, are getting worse as there has been a 62% increase in murders and 32% increase in armed robberies since 2012.
Mr Cele, all this is happening right under your nose and your inaction on cases such as these is a huge incitement on you and on the state. The alarming rate of crime in the country is a result of a lack of co-ordination in law enforcement agencies. There are no believable strategies in place to speak of, which focus on the phenomenon of femicide, rape, sexual harassment, misogyny, and patriarchy in general. Our criminal justice system stands as a gigantic nightmare, that adds to the limited access to justice for victims of gender-based
violence. Many reported cases of rape and other sexual crimes are not attended to by the police, and this accounts for many more others being reported.
The public trust in the SA Police Service has been dropping for some time, and this is largely due to the lack of performance from SAPS, coupled with high levels of police misconduct. People cannot trust a police service that keeps failing to keep them safe. Our police officers are simply not well-trained to do their jobs. Their training does not speak to the challenges which officers face on the ground. SA Police Service training needs to be reassessed and improved. As the EFF, we also believe that the crime rate will most efficiently be controlled by addressing issues such as unemployment and lack of income opportunities, which have the greatest impact on the choices available to the majority of the people.
A conversation that must be had, is how Mr Ramaphosa’s administration is failing to understand the direct link between poverty, inequality, and crime, including gender-based violence. Chairperson, we therefore reject the budget of an administration which has been largely reactive, rather than preventative in how they respond to crime, often responding
long after a crime has been committed. We reject the budget of a department which continues to fail women and children of South Africa, as they find no comfort and justice at our police stations, but are instead retraumatised, ridiculed and abused further.
This Minister has failed to fight and to combat criminal activities in South Africa, and our streets are places of crippling fear and injustice. The ruling party cannot be reformed, it must be destroyed, together with the agenda that they are representing. The only true recourse remaining at the hands of the population is through their vote. For it is only through the EFF where strategies for improving efficiency, accountability, communication and service delivery, can be about.
As we celebrate our 10th year anniversary, the EFF once again reiterates the call for the resignation of Mr Cyril Ramaphosa as the President of South Africa. We also call ... - Chairperson can I be protected. We also call – you can howl but you must resign. We also for the incompetent Minister of Police, Mr Cele to be fired. South Africans are tired of a Minister who thinks his job is to hold press conferences and
hog the limelight. The current Commissioner of SAPS must also be suspended for incompetence. Several generals involved in criminal networks and corruption; and many more others must also be fired as they are also simply do not qualify for their positions.
Chairperson, SAPS leadership has to be held ... - Chairperson, I am being howled at and you are not protecting me.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: On a point of order Chair.
Ms M DLAMINI: I am on the podium.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: On a point of order Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): What is the point of order hon member?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: House Chair, there is a member in the House who is using a cellphone to record the member of the same party in the debate. This is grossly undermining the Rules of this House. This is not an informal arrangement. It is not a meeting outside. This meeting is governed by the
Rules of the House. Please, I ask you to reprimand hon Luthuli for her conduct.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Thank you hon Chief Whip. Hon Luthuli. Luthuli! Hon Luthuli.
... nqandeka sisi ungabisayiphinda. Ungabisayenza ...
... please. I am sure ...
... ukhuzekile ke nawe.
Hon member, you can continue.
Ms M DLAMINI: But Chairperson, they can’t keep on howling while I am speaking and you don’t call order to them.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon member, when there is a point of order, I must ... [Interjections]...
... njengoko nihlala nisenza nani.
Ms M DLAMINI: No, you are being biased but I will continue you are wasting my time. Let me repeat for those who did not hear. [Interjections] The EFF calls for the immediate resignation of Cyril Ramaphosa. The EFF calls for Minister Bheki Cele to be fired. The EFF calls for the suspension of the national commissioner. The current SAPS Commissioner must be suspended. Chairperson, SAPS leadership has to be held accountable for their failures, for it is evident that in order to address the rising levels of crime in this country, we need to remove the ANC from power because it has failed to reduce crime. For there exists a strong link between the rising numbers of crime and the lack of police capacity across the country.
Finally, Chairperson, the EFF calls on all members of our society to join us as we celebrate our 10-year anniversary on
29 July at FNB stadium. We also ask all peace-loving members of the public and revolutionaries from all walks of the African Continent and diaspora, to make donations and contributions to the EFF. We call on supporters to donate livestock, t-shirts and buses for the anniversary to celebrate
the anniversary of this gigantic movement. Chairperson, we reject this Budget.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE (Mr C C Mathale): Thank you House Chairperson for the opportunity to join the debate, the Chairperson of the NCOP and the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, the chair of the selection committee, hon Shaikh Shahida, and your colleagues, the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, hon MECs present on virtual platform, members of the House, the National Commission of SA Police, General Masemola, the national head of the DPCI, Dr Advocate Lieutenant General Lebeya and police management present here, the executive director of IPID, Ms Ntlatseng and your team, the acting secretary of the civilian secretariat, Mr Ramaru, and your team, Mr Chauke, the CEO of PSIRA, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Hon Badenhorst stood here and spoke of nonsensical things that he alleges were said by those who spoke before him. Listening to what he has said, I think it will be correct to say the converse of that statement is correct, with regard to what he presented here, because its indeed nonsensical. In the Republic of South Africa, we have nine provinces and of these
provinces, the resources of the South. African ... [Inaudible.] [Interjections.] ... in general.
Mr J J LONDT: Deputy Chair! Although we are ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You called me, but you didn’t say why are you rising.
Mr J J LONDT: I do apologise. It’s good to have the Chair. I call on a point of order.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, you may continue.
Mr J J LONDT: Although debate is allowed, and different words are allowed to be used in the House. It has been ruled in this Chamber before that the word nonsense is not parliamentary.
Now, it is up for debate whether nonsensical falls under the same, and I would put it to you to please make a ruling on that, whether it’s now or at another time. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, can we allow the Deputy Minister to continue because you should have
started with Badenhorst. Can we allow the Deputy Minister to continue?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE (Mr C C Mathale): Thank you, chair. Like I said that we have deployed extra resources broadly from government here, which we have not done in any part of the country. And people choose not to acknowledge that. We acknowledge good, where good happens. Like we appreciate the contribution that the Western Cape has done in the fight against crime by coming with the law enforcement officers. We appreciate that. It’s a contribution like Gauteng has done with the wardens. We encourage all other provinces to make a contribution because the fight against crime is not a fight that the SA Police - on their own - will win. It needs all of us all. All three spheres government. We must join hands in this fight.
Well, I guess hon Michalakis realised that the things he is saying is not appropriate. That is why he made a call that he doesn’t care what we say after what he has said. I think we should leave it at that because ...
Mr M DANGOR: May I ask a question to the speaker?
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Dangor, sorry?
Mr M DANGOR: I want to ask a question to the speaker, if the speaker will agree to a question.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE (Mr C C Mathale): No, no, not now.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The time is not enough.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE (Mr C C Mathale): Thank you, Chair. I think the less said about that the better. I patiently waited to hear what is this that is supposed to be said about President Nelson Mandela. Hon Dlamini spoke and ended whatever she was saying without talking to anything that has to do with Nelson Mandela. I think we should continue to appreciate those who came before us and the contribution they have made. We should appreciate that.
Of course, we appreciate the fact that a party was formed, and this party will be turning 10 years today. We appreciate that. It’s an achievement. You know, achievements are not based on falsehood and the creation of things that don’t exist. For
example, to say that the DNA has collapsed, and therefore sexual offence cases can’t be heard. I think you live in a different world altogether.
The Minister presented the achievements that have been made in that regard. That yes, we had a backlog which was over 240 000 which we decisively dealt with as we speak. We are at 600. So, you can’t say there is no difference between 240 000 and 600. Unless your mathematics is upside down, then you will say that. I think those who are leading you should ask themselves why you are here because you are really not helpful to the cause that they are championing. Misrepresenting things is criminal. It’s very criminal.
We all know what is it that you need to do in order to become a President of a country or in order to become an organisation that governs a country. It’s very clear. You don’t wish, and suddenly your wishes become reality. It is not going to happen. We are going into elections next year. We have made it clear that we are going into elections. It’s not a secret, so that each and every political party in the Republic of South Africa - those that are registered and those that are not registered - prepare themselves for elections next year. They
are coming and is irreversible. That is the platform where you are going to contest to become the dominant party in the National Assembly, and therefore have the right to consult government. But before that happens, any other thing is wishful thinking.
Misrepresenting facts will not change the state of affairs. You can’t stand here and call for the resignation of a Head of State. You know what you need to do in order to become a Head of State. We are going into that correct terrain, and we are going to contest these elections. We want to warn you that we are going to win decisively, and we are going to come back.
You will meet us after 2024. We will be in charge, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Yes, there have been challenges, but these challenges we have responded to them in the Ministry led by Minister Bheki Cele. We know that there have been campaigns conducted in this country led by people in blue. Which was about the removal of General Bheki Cele. He is here. He is leading us. We are presenting this budget led by him. Which is a budget that is going to contribute in our fight against crime. It is this budget that we are presenting to you Chair, and to the people
of South Africa, which is going to make a contribution to the fight against crime, and we are already responding.
I am surprised why people would stand here and talk of crime statistics that are increasing. We just pronounced crime statistics this morning and the reality is that they are going downwards, not upwards, because of the work that we are doing. Definitely, there is progress. You wish they were going up, but they are not. They are not and they are continuing to go down because we have put plans in place. We have made a pronouncement here when the Minister was presenting the budget that clearly outlines what we are doing, and it has already made an impact. For the past three weeks, we have been on the ground, and we will continue to be on the ground until we defeat the time in the country because victory is certain. We support this budget. Chair, thank you very much.
Mr S HLOMUKA (KwaZulu-Natal): MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison): Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Greetings to you and all hon members, hon Minister of Police, Gen Cele, Deputy Minister, Mr Mat hale, and all hon members present in this august House. I also want to extend our greetings to the National Commissioner of the SA Police
Service, SAPS, Gen Masemola, and all senior management at ant SA Police Service.
Hon Chairperson, allow me to indicate that it is really an honour for me to engage in this august House, during this important debate, where we reflect on the budget policy speech presented by the Minister of Police, Minister Cele. It is important because it affords all of us an opportunity to engage on crime fighting strategies, identify areas of improvement and assist in augmenting the existing police plans.
As the province of KwaZulu-Natal, we welcome this Budget Vote of R102 billion, presented by the Minister, and the fact that leading crime provinces such as ours are going to be prioritised in this budget. We are also encouraged by the fact that there is going an on-going recruitment of 10 000 new police trainees which has been committed for the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF.
... kuyakhombisa, Mam’ uSihlalo, ukuthi uNgqongqoshe uyasebenza, uyaqhuba, uyabalwela abantu bakithi.
The additional police deployment will without doubt increase the capacity of the police, assist leading crime stations and increase police visibility in our province. It will also assist rural areas, Madam Chair, because we come from the rural areas, mostly which are struggling with attracting required skills and personnel.
Chairperson, the ANC-led government is clearly turning the tide in the fight against crime, as the Deputy Minister has indicated also. This is evident in the more than R1 billion announced by the Minister of Police, of building new police stations, upgrading the existing buildings and procurement of new vehicles. It shows that he Minster has an interest in fighting crime, but ensuring that there is infrastructure, so that as they recruit new police trainees or officers, they at least would have offices.
Akekho ongaboni, Mam’ uSihlalo ...
... that the Minister, the Deputy Minister and the department as a whole are working. It is reported that in KwaZulu-Natal, the Minister and his department, have upgraded police stations, such as oSuthu neibouring the King of KwaZulu-Natal
... lapho ahlala khona,
... Gamalakhe, Donnybrook, Melmoth and other towns across the province. It shows that the department is working and the Minister is working in ensuring that we create a conducive environment for the police officers who are working, because the department – the Minister – is upgrading police stations in KwaZulu-Natal.
Chairperson, I would be failing my responsibility if I don’t account on the killings under UMgungundlovu. This debate is taking place against the backdrop of many killings in the province. Murder continues to be one of the serious crimes we are battling with as the province. It is alarming that areas
such as iNanda, uMlazi, KwaMashu and other areas, continue to be amongst the top 30 national leading stations.
The uMgungundlovu district has been engulfed by heinous crimes, where these has been mass killings of ten people. In the first incident, where the Memela family and their relatives were attacked. We wish to commend the police, who within 24 hours managed to apprehend the suspects. As we speak, those who had offended are already arrested. Again, in the incident of 14 May 2023, ten people were killed in Tailor’s Halt, in UMgungundlovu, in some similar modus operandi. The police are also making progress in their investigation and we are giving them all kinds of support in ensuring that those who kill our people are arrested.
Chairperson, we want to commend the good work that the Minister, who personally has been in some of the crime scenes in the areas and has encouraged communities to work with the police, because we understand that government alone or police alone, cannot do everything.
That is why we have come to say let us work together with all stakeholders. Let us work together with the people of our
province, with the people of South Africa, because crime does not have colour. Crime does not know any political party. That is why the Minister is even preventing crime to the people that are insulting him every day. There is no Minister that is going to be fired by the president. There is no President that is going to resign.
Whoever wants the President to resign; and whoever wants the Minister to be fired, you must go and mobilise people to vote for them, so that they will decisions in ensuring who is going to be the Minister. We are happy with the work that the Minister is doing so far. That is why the Minister has mentioned in his budget that we need to invest more on resources, be it infrastructure or personnel resources. That is why we want to appreciate this budget and also support it, as presented by the Minister.
Madam Chair, let me give you a few successes that have been achieved by the police in our province. We must commend the good work done by the KwaZulu-Natal police under the command of Lt General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi. Progress is being made in number of cases. Last month alone, it is important to account that more than 8 000 suspects were arrested for various crime.
That shows that the police are working under the leadership of Minister Cele and the Deputy Minister.
These most wanted criminals and suspects wanted for murder cases are also arrested. It is important to indicate that there are a number of illegal firearms that were recovered during the operation that was done by the police in KwaZulu- Natal.
Progress is also being made in the fight against cross-border crime in our province. Since the deployment of a crack team by the National Commissioner General Masemola, guided by the Minister of Police, more than 55 suspects have been arrested. Some, who are believed to be part of the syndicate that is stealing vehicles had to be fetched in Mozambique and Swaziland.
It shows that there is a clear plan in fighting crime in our province. There is a clear plan to fight crime guided by the Minister of this country, Minister Cele. So, there is no one that is going to say the Minister is not doing anything! Yes, for sure, media people will always follow him because they know that he does have good work.
The Minister of Police and the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, working with the Premier, are going to open a police station as Manguzi. That police station is very strategic because it also deals with the fight against cross- border crimes. It is under uMkhanyakude.
We must indicate, Madam Chair, that working with the Minister of Police, the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure and the provincial Department of Transport have also been mandated by the provincial executive council, PEC, to resume the work to ensure the installing of the New Jersey Barriers to stop the illegal crossing of vehicles.
That means we must appreciate the work that the departments of government are doing together. That means the district model that was launched by the President of this country, President Ramaphosa, is taking place in our province. We are working together in ensuring that we fight crime.
We also want to welcome the commitment made by the Minister of Police, Gen Cele, who is budget committed in assisting with resources in our province. We will continue to work with them. We know that the new vehicles that have been bought recently
have been launched by the provincial commissioner. They are working.
We are working with various provinces; hence we did the benchmark at Gauteng Province. We also accept that we must learn from our sister provinces, guided by the national government.
As I conclude, we are working with various stakeholders in our province in fighting crime. We want to welcome this budget presented by the Minister and commend the Minister, the senior management and the Deputy Minister on the good work that they ae doing in fighting crime.
Siyabonga kakhula, Mam’ uSihlalo.
Mnr S F DU TOIT: Agb Voorsitter, Minister Cele is sedert Februarie 2018 die Minister van Polisie in Suid-Afrika maar sedertdien het daar nog geen noemenswaardige verskille teweeg gekom nie. Inteendeel, misdaad het net toegeneem.
It is no use chastising the Minister for the ever escalating crime rate in the country and the brutal murders that take place on a daily basis. Why one may ask? It is quite simple. To make a positive change, you need to have moral courage.
Dit is bloot net nie die moeite werd om dag na dag en jaar na jaar in iemand wat ’n teleurstelling is, teleurgesteld te wees nie. Dit is ’n mors van tyd.
Situational awareness and selective enforcement of the law has resulted in the lawless state the country finds itself in, where very few people have respect for law enforcers. Trust and respect are earned, Minister. It’s not enforced.
Wat is die realiteit wat die huidige Suid-Afrika vandag in die oë moet staar? Is dit wat soveel Suid-Afrikaners daagliks moet beleef? ‘n Koue skrik verlam jou bene as jy die onheilspellende stilte in murg en been moet voel en dan dit moet ontleed aangesien ’n gebreekte venster jou slaap
onderbreek het. Die honde was eergister vergiftig en ek het spore bo by die groot pad gesien. Is dit vanaand my beurt? Wil hulle vanaand my deel van die verkeerde kant van statistieke maak? Ek is dan onskuldig. Met moordlus en marteling gluur hulle geel oog na die huis.
Dit gaan nie oor honger nie. Dit gaan nie oor te min hê of verontreg wees nie. Dit gaan oor politieke ideologie. Dit gaan oor haat, wraak en magspel. Dit is wat ons mense daagliks in die gesig moet staar. Nog trane. Julle probeer ons breek.
Julle sal dit nie regkry nie.
In another instance, she missed the bus. She had to work the late shift since the price of a standard food basket has increased and little Alice needs new shoes.
It is loadshedding, and it feels as if the walls have eyes as she walks through the passage and rushes through the effluent to get to a so-called safe space to hitch a ride. Suddenly, a blow to the head and someone grabs her by the hair. She yells out, No! Please help! But to avail.
Die rou seer van selfverwyt, hartseer en vrees om klein Alice weer te sien word brutaal en gewetenloos met donderslae weer en weer en weer in haar gedagtes en haar vrese in forseer.
Dit is te laat. Sy kon hom nie keer nie. Dit was nie haar skuld nie. Sy moes laat werk. Sy moes huis toe gaan. Sy was nie veilig in haar eie buurt nie. Sy was nie beskerm nie.
So many people experience this on a daily basis – the fear and disappointment of farm murders, gender-based violence, GBV, and rape. How can the lack of political leadership being acceptable be allowed, since it influences others and contributes to the lawless state of the country?
Polisiebeamptes, gewone hartsmense wat soggens opstaan en kinders skool toe vat, om hul lewens op die spel te plaas om ons te beskerm — dit is hulle wat respek verdien.
We acknowledge the members that stay positive in spite of the fact that they need to go to dilapidated offices with insufficient equipment in an abrasive environment, where political influence supercedes the core mandate of being an officer of the law.
Dankie aan al die lede wat soms met gehawende staatsvoertuie moeite doen om betyds by ’n toneel aan te kom om gemeenskapslede by te staan. Dit is hierdie lede wat die saak dien. Dit is hierdie lede wat respek verdien. Hulle is dié wat in murg en been wetstoepassers is.
Die manne en vroue wat hierdie brutale tonele moet besoek en ondersoeke doen ten spyte daarvan dat hulle oorlaai met werk is; dit is hulle wat stukkende mense moet bystaan — verwarde, getraumatiseerde gesigte in die oë moet kyk sonder om self swak te wees en sonder om self wraak te neem, want die reg moet geskied.
Dit is hierdie beamptes wat vanaand self weer huis toe moet gaan om hul kinders te bad en in die bed te sit sonder om emosioneel afgestomp te raak. Die vraag is, kry hierdie
beamptes die nodige afwentelings ... en ondersteuning wat hulle nodig het?
Normal SA Police Service, SAPS, members were recently given a crash course in crowd control all over the country to assist the public order police, Pop, but they were not issued with sufficient and relevant tools of trade. Some of them were only given safety goggles ... to jump into a Corolla and to rush off to where violent protest action was taking place. How can it be expected of them? Daily load shedding results in communication challenges between citizens and the SAPS, and not all stations can be reached at all times. It’s the people that feel the brunt of this, not the high-ranking politicians.
At the end of 2022, the SAPS confirmed in this House that they would deploy a special task team to the Ditsobotla and J B Marks areas to attend to the critical infrastructure theft of Eskom lines that is taking place in those areas. We are still waiting. They haven’t arrived and cables are still being stolen.
Veediefstal neem toe op ’n daaglikse basis in die Noordwes en Vrystaat provinsies en dringende ingryping is hier nodig. Ons is bly en verheug oor gemeenskappe wat gehoor aan ons versoek om hulself binne die raamwerk van die wet te bemagtig en te beveilig, gegee het. Mans, vroue en kinders, dankie dat julle aan hierdie vele versoeke gehoor gegee het en by ’n plaaslike buurt en plaaswagte aangesluit het. Dankie dat julle deelneem. Dit is julle wat die eerste verdedigingslinie is. Dit is julle wat die oë en ore van die plaaslike en landelike inligtingstelsel vorm. Moet nie jul vermoë en impak onderskat nie. Julle maak ’n groot verskil. Hier lê baie uitdagings voor. Onthou julle, die gemeenskap, is ons behoud. Ons bepaal ons voortbestaan en nie die ANC nie. Dankie, Voorsitter.
Mr V R SHONGWE (Mpumalanga): Chairperson, let me greet all the presiding officers, including the Chief Whip of the Majority party, my colleagues, as well as other provincial cabinet members who are here including the members of the House, well, it is an opportunity that one is taking with both hands to partake in this particular debate.
Well, as Mpumalanga Province, we welcome the budget and the Minister's integrated approach to take on crime and corruption
through the use of 10 policing command strategies. The Budget Vote speech responds decisively to citizens’ ongoing concerns about crime and crime prevention in the country. High levels of crime pose a serious threat to our young democracy, and we must say that some of the parties, particularly the DA, were quoting the world’s crime statistics and comparing it to South Africa I listened to him attentively when he said we are number five in terms of crime around the world but immediately after that he contradicts himself, he is singling out Western Cape and talks about the programmes and activities that are were happening in Western Cape whereas when he was comparing the statistics he was talking about one united South Africa.
It is very much important that we are mindful of what we're saying, particularly on matters of dealing with crime. Crime results in the deprivation of the rights and dignity of our citizens and poses a threat to peaceful resolutions of differences and the rightful participation of all in the democratic processes. Crime cuts fear into the hearts of South Africans from all walks of life and prevents them from taking their rightful place in the development and growth of our beautiful country.
Mpumalanga is also prioritising the fight against crime. We have recently launched our provincial armed intervention which is called Operation Siyavutha which is an intelligence-led disruptive operation driven to combat the proliferation of crime, the tracking and tracing of wanted suspects, removal of illegal firearms, attending to money laundering, corruption and the financing of the acts of terror, including the cross- border financial crimes. These operations are aligned with the Minister's strategy called Operation Shanela and we want to say to the Minister and the entire Ministry that they must not be shaken by some of the critics in this space precisely because we are approaching the elections in 2024.
People will talk, not normally, and it's normal and we're quite aware of them. We want to say to our men and women in blue, who are continuing to lose their lives to criminals leaving behind a trail of broken hearts, broken homes and broken children, we perceive such acts as an attack on the state. Therefore, we call upon the Justice Department to be harsh on those perpetrators of crime by imposing lengthy jail terms. We want also to applaud our communities, particularly in Mpumalanga, where there were a lot of successes that were informed by information that we were getting from the
community either through the provincial commissioner or other station commanders and other security clusters.
We appreciate that because there's no crime that you can fight as the police or security cluster only. We must work with the community, and we want also to appreciate that, as Mpumalanga, we have benchmarked with Gauteng in terms of how to deal with the issue of stipends to the community policing forums and CPFs. Fortunately, the Tourism Safety Monitors, TSMs, are getting stipends, and as such, are contributing to making sure that we identify all the criminals who are terrorising our tourists in Mpumalanga. While the police are working hard to bring crime suspects to face the full arm of the law, we want to appeal to the judiciary to tighten bail conditions so that it does not become easier for dangerous suspects to be granted bail, and we also want to say to the Minister, as much as we support his budget and his plans and strategies, I think he will take note that if you talk of the Western Cape, who are always criticising him as well as KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and how they are getting a bigger chunk of money, we must say that one ... as maybe smaller provinces ... [ Inaudible.] ... working on might also be bigger in terms of sizes, so I will appeal that the Minister considers that we all get a fair
share ... you know, the same amount of topping-up because we're also provinces that need resources as much as we could
...[Inaudible.] ... entire Ministry and all members that economically, provinces are not the same. Some provinces that are boasting to have more resources to beef up their police or their security clusters because of the economic situation of their different provinces.
As a province, we have also mobilised enhanced community participation in crime prevention through the Public Participation Programme which we normally call izimbizo. During these izimbizo we develop an action plan in relation to the crime trends identified in various areas we have ... [Inaudible.] ... We have also implemented Overall Friday.
Programme in close collaboration with other members of the security cluster in fighting crime in our province. As a province, we support every programme that is geared towards fighting and eradicating gender-based violence and femicide. That's why we also welcome the fast-tracking of DNA results and we want to say we also appreciate the effort that the Minister is making in the entire Ministry by responding to the call of our communities in the provinces to bring back amaberete [the berets], the Tactical Response Team, TRT. Those
people have made a tremendous difference in our different provinces and I think that's the best solution, and it's not only the best solution, it's what is also going to give confidence to our people that the Ministry is serious about cleaning their streets and their homes in our different provinces. A thousand of them, Minister, I think they are just the tip of the iceberg ... I know that you have limited resources but you need also to revisit some of these members which you redeployed to other units in the different provinces around the country. We appreciate that and ...
... kufuneka ngishayelwe izandla ngoba ngihlale ngisho njalo uma ngizokuba nenkulumo-mpikiswano la indaba yama-berete.
As part of responding to crime, the Mpumalanga Province will hold a two-day Provincial Crime Prevention Summit on the 29 and 30 in the City of Mbombela and we want to send an invite to the Ministry and to other stakeholders to be part of such and join hands in making sure that we bring our different ideas together as to how we fight crime. The main goal of this summit is to make sure that we create a platform to deal with
all the ... [Inaudible.] ... in terms of crime. Once more, I want to thank you sincerely for the privilege you have accorded me to debate about this topic and to support the Ministry in full and say to Ministry not to be shaken by their critics. They are just politicking. This issue of safety and security cuts across all departments and is central to all departments. Without the stability in the country, nothing is going to happen. Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Mr M R BARA: House Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Yes, hon Bara.
Mr M R BARA: House Chairperson, I just want to raise a point that it would probably be important to look at how we appear before the House with regard to the dress code. [Interjections.] That’s something that’s worth looking at and address it so that people who address the House are dressed appropriately. That’s just the point I wanted to make, House Chairperson. Thank you so much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon Bara, we can’t even see you, but we heard you are talking about the dress code. We can’t even see how you are dressed. [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: On a point of order, House Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Hon Bhungane, you can proceed ... [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: On a point of order, House Chair.
Mr N M HADEBE: Hon House Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: There is no proceeding here. I am rising on a point of order ... [Interjections.]
Mr N M HADEBE: ... hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Order! [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: I am rising on a point of order, House Chair. What is your problem?
An HON MEMBER: Come to the House.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: You are forever not recognising me when I am on the virtual platform.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): I didn’t recognise you. [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: I am going to ask the DA to record you, once again ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): I never recognised you. [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: ... when you become a clown on that seat. I am rising on a point of order ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Proceed, hon Hadebe. [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: I am rising on a point of order. The point of order that hon Bara is raising is legitimate. [Interjections.]
Mr N M HADEBE: Hon House Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, and hon members, as a party we are deeply concerned about the state in which the finances of the Department of Police are in. We have a very strong reason to believe that the rest of South Africa ... [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Ma’am, on a point of order
Mr N M HADEBE: ... shares this sentiment as well. Ordinary citizens leave in fear every day as there is a rise in crime against persons such as assault, robbery, murder, and the heinous crime of rape. Between three months, that’s in April and June 2022, more than 9 516 rape cases were reported or opened with the SA Police Service. Every hon member sitting in this House knows that the situation on the ground is much worse than this.
Whilst the revised Medium-Term Strategic Framework has identified five fundamental goals for the years 2019-24, including that violent crimes will be halved, at this point it seems like a distant and unattainable dream. As it stands, there is a police officer to a population ratio of 1:430.
Whilst our hope may have been evoked when there was a promise
of thousands of new recruits, the 2021-22 annual reports of the SAPS read that: Of 12 000 entry level members, 10 000 will replace personnel loses, and 2 000 will result in increases to the establishment.
We are also concerned that only 1 158 police stations service more than 60 million people across the country, which means that there are remote villages with virtually no access to the services provided in police stations. How will our men and women in blue effectively perform their duties when resources are so thinly spread.
According to the same annual report mentioned above, fruitless, and wasteful expenditure amounting to more than R621 439,41 was confirmed whilst the Auditor-General admitted that in reality, the situation was much worse with more than R1,8 billion under assessment at the time of publication.
These figures alone are enough to prompt citizens to be alarmed. As a result of this, we urge the police service to take the necessary steps in preventing rampant irregular expenditure, supply accurate and complete financial records on time, and abide by and implement recommendations of the Auditor-General.
Most importantly, we employ the SAPS to effect consequence management against officials who permitted and participated in irregular expenditure in previous periods as we believe that this will deter those who may wish to partake in such counterproductive acts. Instead of squandering hundreds of millions in irregular and fruitless expenditure, we call upon government to rather invest in proper police resources such as vehicles. This lack cannot be accounted to a lack of money as almost R320 million was spent on contractors alone in 2021-22 financial year.
Whilst we do note the work done to reduce the DNA testing backlog, we also call upon the SAPS to maintain a high turnover rate and ensure that testing is done regularly so that the backlog stays as close to zero as possible.
Strides have been made in the transitioning of the firearm licensing application process from a tedious manual process to an online manual process. While this stands, the SAPS ought to work on improving the rate at which they process applications relating to firearms. This comes after almost 50 000 applications were not even attended to in the 2021-22 financial year, which often forces citizens to find themselves
in a position where they are walking around with illegal firearms, which is gravely concerning.
Whilst we do acknowledge that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, IPID, has ensured that adequate cases are investigated and subsequently finalised, we call upon them to maintain for a 100% resolution of cases so that no person is denied justice. This, we believe will restore public confidence in our police. House Chairperson, the IFP supports this Budget Vote. I thank you.
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon House Chair, hon members, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, and fellow South Africans. Firstly, you know it is quite nonsensical what I have seen today on this podium, where I saw a wolf in sheep clothes talking here. So, I just want to remind this House of an article on 23rd February 2012:
Critics and supporters alike of South Africa’s ruling ANC have denounced what they call a wholescale “looting” of public resources in Limpopo by a group of politicians led by Provincial Premier, Cassel Mathale and his friend and ally, outspoken ANC Youth League rebel Julius Malema.
Whoa, it seems that what is needed to become president, hon Mathale ... [Interjections]
Ms M DLAMINI: House Chairperson, on a point of order. Can we talk about current news and not old news, and not drag the president of the EFF in unnecessary politicking. That’s my point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): You can continue, hon member. That’s not a point of order.
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon House Chairperson, facts remain facts. So, hon Mathale, I am wondering if those shares that were locked up somewhere have been claimed already, but we will speak about that on another day. Then we don’t speak about the money that went up in flames in Limpopo just to destroy some evidence.
Hon Dangor, not even your own party will take your questions because they fear what will come out of your mouth. Hon Mazibuko, the Lesufi amateuring green parade’s attempt to compete with the Western Cape’s blue Law Enforcement Advancement Plan, LEAP, officers has become a joke of the year
on social media. Let us not reap out those pictures that will embarrass you like nobody. And I want to understand this panic button that everybody is going to get. If they press the panic button, who is going to arrive there? Hon Shongwe, your Fabiani uniform that has been sponsored ... I think it is quite inappropriate for the House, but let’s leave it there.
South Africans rely on these departments to ensure their safety and justice, instead they must see videos on social media of officers in uniform so intoxicated while driving that they cannot stand on their feet, driving over a biker and then protected by fellow officers instead of arresting him.
South Africans are expected to place their trust in officers that struggle to get over a basic obstacle and clearly will fall over their own tummies chasing behind criminals. Then we must hear of dangerous criminals escaping out of a maximum- security prison while no one took notice for months and when the cover up is exposed, everyone claims ignorance.
On 13 February 2023, a woman was brutally attacked by five men in Mahwelereng just before mid-night? She went to Mahwelereng police station where he was told to come back in the morning
as they are now closed, whereafter she was taken to Mokopane police station which referred her back to Mahwelereng again. That is taking women violence seriously. Really? Is this how little this ANC government think of this nation?
We will not stand for this uselessness as South Africans anymore. Your days are counted and running out with the speed of lightning. Next year, we will restore justice, security and confidence in a capable government in this country, like it or not.
I suggest you start building some more special criminal facilities so long for all those greedy, corrupt, and fraudulent ANC comrades who robbed South Africa to the bone because in 2024 a DA-led Moonshot Pact government will be elected. The time for justice has arrived. I thank you.
Mr T S C DODOVU: House Chairperson, hon Winnie Ngwenya, Minister of Police, Gen Bheki Cele, Deputy Minister of Police, hon Cassel Mathale, National Commissioner of Police, Gen Masemola, and all divisional commissioners in the SA Police Service, SAPS, heads of Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Head of the Civil Secretariat for Police,
permanent and special delegates, ladies and gentlemen, as I rise to this podium this afternoon, I want to displace the unfounded allegations, especially those made by the DA members and other political parties. I want to render these allegations incompetent because they are devoid from the truth and are coloured by perennial fallacies and distortions. I regard such remarks as childish platitudes. Their statements that the ANC and only the ANC is responsible for the increase in the number of criminal activities are petty, short-sighted and myopic to say the least. I consider such remarks meaningless and boring because they have been made many times before in similar situations, especially when we debate the Police Budget Vote.
The DA Members, especially, have pander into cheap political, populism and indulge in petty political game on crime, a matter so serious and pandemic in our country. Throughout the debate this afternoon, and even in all the debates before this one, we are told by members of the DA that the Western Cape, where they govern, especially in the City of Cape Town, they are a paragon of human perfection. They are the best in terms of good governance and service delivery and that they are the
models of government, our country, which everybody else must emulate and apply.
This afternoon I postulate that, contrary to this, the opposite is true. On the balance of evidence crime is a problem that is ravaging our country as a whole. All the people of our country, black and white, men and women, young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural, clever and stupid, we are all adversely affected by the unacceptable scourge of violence and crime in our land. It is therefore in disingenuous to stand in this platform and play to the public gallery, behaving as if some provinces like the Western Cape are not affected. In fact, the people of this province, and the City of Cape Town are subjected to the cruelty of criminals and are they daily experience raw incidents of crime. Women and children are the most affected victims of crime in this province, too, facing the most cruel criminals who have no mercy and love, who have lost their conscience in their hearts and who have no compassion and respect for the right of people to human dignity and life.
Just last week, it was extensively reported in the media that four people were killed in the leafy suburb of Constantia here
in Cape Town. They were found with gunshot wounds and one of the deceased is believed to be a Bulgarian organised crime underworld kingpin, who was wanted by International Criminal Police Organisation, Interpol, and was hiding here in Cape Town. Also, the genocide fugitive from Rwanda Ukiliho Fulgence, who was wanted for his alleged role in the killing of about 2000 people during the three-week long genocide in 1994, was arrested in Paarl, and appeared here in Cape Town Magistrate Court last week. In the top ten police stations we’ve contact crimes such as murder, attempted murder, assault with grievous bodily harm, common assault, rape, robbery, robbery aggravating and sexually assault in our country. Five of these are in Nyanga, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Philippi here in Cape Town.
In addition, hon Badenhorst must be reminded that six of the top police stations with the highest rate of murder in South Africa are found in Cape Town and they are in Nyanga, Philippi East, Delft, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein and Emfuleni. The 2022 police statistics have also revealed that among the nine provinces the drug use in South Africa was found to be the highest in the Western Cape province, especially in the City of Cape Town, and this include tik, cocaine, cannabis, heroin
and mandrax. These are just some of the examples to show that crime in South Africa cuts across the boundaries and the Western Cape is not isolated. It also shows that our failure as a country to reduce the levels of crime, especially contact crime cannot be attributable to a single political party or a single institution as some members would like us to believe.
Crime in our country is not an easy and simple as members in the opposition benches try to insinuate. These members must understand that in fighting crime in South Africa there is a need to understand its complexity, the interconnectedness of various role-players and criminal networks. It requires the undiminished vitality and commitment of the SA Police Service, as well as the full co-operation of the society as a whole, unlike what we heard this afternoon and what the DA and other political parties paddled, we need systems thinking to fight crime in our country. Systems thinking is vitally important in addressing the seemingly intractable levels of crime in our society. Systems thinking will help to examine the links and interactions between the perpetrators of crime. It will also help to analyse how various players work and how they collude and connive to commit crime, especially serious crimes.
Now, the question which I would like to pose this afternoon is as follows: When all these heinous crimes are perpetuated in the Western Cape, where is this so-called clean, incorrigible, and incorruptible government of the DA in this province? When these heinous crimes are happening, why can’t this so-called clean, competent and effective government of the DA stop them outrightly? What are its oversight players doing, including members of the provincial legislature and the municipality where they claim to proudly govern? And those are the questions. I want to say that this afternoon we are sold a dummy here. We are fed with lies by a party which is parading itself as an icon of good morality and judgment. This party, the DA, continues to cast aspersions, makes false claims and to present itself as wholly as clean, as smart even its members assuming the status of Deputy Jesus.
What is clear is that it wants to use the ANC as a scapegoat for its failures. The DA wants to make the ANC a dumping ground of its agony and frustrations. As the party is looking for votes like predators at the smell of blood, it desperately wants to emerge as a genuine representative of South Africans at the expense of the ANC, and therefore be elected into the echelons of power in 2024. We must ignore this unnecessary
noise and focus on the task at hand. One of these tasks is to deal with patriarchy in our society. Patriarchy is one of the root causes of gender-based violence and its nature it promotes male privilege. The starting point, therefore, is that we as men, we must not think we are above women, and that we have an uncontested authority over them. The truth is that gender-based violence has long plunged South Africa and it remains a persistent issue that has taken lives. It has haunted citizens and brought the entire country to a standstill on many occasions.
As such, we must agree with the President Ramaphosa who declared it as the second pandemic, and we must do that unflinchingly to achieve our own objectives. We must not be subordinate and treat women as inferior to men. The suffering of women, especially black women, with regard to triple oppression in terms of gender, race and class must be ended immediately. This attitude contributes to the reason why gender-based violence is perpetuated in our society by many people. There will never be a reason and any justification whatsoever for violence against women to continue perpetually. Based on the above, we must promote gender empowerment, which
is important for uprooting patriarchy and achieving gender equality in our society.
As the ANC, we are happy that the SAPS is prioritising this important area of work. The bottom line is we must be realistic when we are fighting crime in our country. To the opposition members, I say that you must contain your rage and lower your gaze when dealing with crime. With these unwarranted, vitriolic attacks against the ANC, the opposition members are themselves as nothing but desperate predators who will stoop to whatever level to have power from the ANC, no matter contemptuous and contemporary. Therefore, I propose that we must stop to envelope ourselves in the politics of hate but work together to fight crime in our country. The amount of hate that is being perpetuated, especially by members of the opposition against the ANC’s fighting is frightful. Your hatred of the ANC and not criminals who ravage our country, makes you gullible to all this sort of toxic bile we’ve have listened to this afternoon.
What freedom fighters fought for in this country was peace, progress, love, respect, justice, equality for the people and not the opposite. And therefore, the challenge is for all of
us to rise to the majestic heights of glory, to fight crime and not fight amongst ourselves. We must fight criminals and not fight amongst ourselves because they are the ones who are destroying our country. Therefore, in that sense, the ANC stands this afternoon to support this Budget Vote. Thank you very much, hon House Chair.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon House Chairperson, I listened very attentively to members that were making sense and I completely closed my ears to those who were nonsensical. Chairperson, the crux of the matter here is that dealing with the crime situation cannot and must never be part of politicking around it especially by people who come and claim easy victories here. Hon Brauteseth, I will give you a book by Amilcar Cabral to go and read it. Amilcar Cabral will tell you not to claim easy victories.
Western Cape has taken a bigger budget than any other province in the Republic of South Africa to fight crime and that is why you see changes. This is the only province where for 24 months we have added and deployed more extra members from different provinces. Two hundred of them with 48 extra cars taken from different provinces to be here under the command of Mashamba.
It is the only province – no, no, no, the problem is that you do not listen. That is why you are behaving like this. If you can just listen because we are giving you what is happening.
The Anti-Gang Unit’s biggest budget comes to this province than any other province in the Republic of South Africa. The last time, in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic we trained
5 000 people in the Republic of South Africa, 1 200 of them came to this province and rest shared the remainder. As we speak now, out of the 10 000 we are training now, 2 500 of them are coming to this province. Two weeks ago, I have given
521 new cars to this province. So, we have put a lot of extra resources and that is why hon Shongwe was complaining that we are only taking care three big provinces.
The problem we have got is that we do not have the people of Western Cape, the people of Gauteng, we have the people of the Republic of South Africa. That is how we look at things. I will invite you and show you the City of Cape Town, I can assure you that you do not know it better than me. I will take you to the places called Covid here, a place called Taiwan, where a woman was raped inside the church on Easter Monday because it was dark there. There are no houses and street
lights there and those things are not supposed to be done by the SA Police Service. They are supposed to be done by their own government here to give them proper houses and streets.
As it is raining now, go and visit those people in Taiwan there. Those people cannot sleep because their shacks are full of water. That is happening in Taiwan, but it never happened in Constantia and Bishops Court. It only happens in those places I mentioned earlier on. We have got two countries here. You have got Western Cape that is white and rich and Western Cape that is black and very poor. So, you fix that thing. And then, together, let us pick up all South Africans. Indeed, we will be better serviced rather than come here and talk about things that you, yourself, are supposed to be fixing.
By the way, somebody said that you should get ready for the
... [Inaudible.] 13:49 – 14:59 you should have instituted Nuremberg kind of trial here because some of the people that talk loud here committed crimes against humanity. It is only during your time of rule that this country committed crimes against humanity. You were there and part of that. Indeed, maybe we need to bring back those and try some of you because you are criminals. Thank you very much.
Vote No 2 – Parliament:
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: House Chairperson, Parliament has the responsibility to represent the interests of the people by among other things, passing legislation, scrutinising executive action, and facilitating public involvement.
Since 1994, the democratic Parliament has served as the beacon of hope and the lodestar for our people, and we expect it to do so for generations to come. It has played a leading role in the achievement of a united South Africa, largely free of racism, and of a society that is based on democratic values, social justice, and fundamental human rights.
However, as we prepare to celebrate 30 years of democracy in the year 2024, our efforts continue to be weighed down by the structural challenges of unemployment, poverty, and inequality.
As highlighted by the President of the Republic during the state of the nation address earlier this year, unemployment, poverty, and rising cost of living are some of the challenges that currently concern South Africans. Unfortunately, they are exacerbated by load shedding, crime, and corruption.
House Chairperson, law-making is one of the means through which we seek to ensure that the challenges facing our society are addressed. Key among the legislations we have passed as the National Council of Provinces during the period under review were the finance legislations aimed at appropriating finance to government departments and the allocation of revenues to the three spheres of government.
We welcome the Expropriation Bill which, among other things, seeks to provide for the expropriation of property for a public purpose or in the public interest and the other Bills which have since been transmitted to the National Council of Provinces from the National Assembly.
The National Council of Provinces also processed 45 reports of select committees. In the main, the reports dealt with recommendations to the executive on several issues which
include economic growth, expenditure and performance of national grants, and the approval of interventions in terms of section 139 of the Constitution as part of fostering co- operative government.
The 49 sittings of the House during this period included 19 debates. These included the consideration of the report on assessing state capacity to respond to the needs of communities, the socio-economic impact and threat of the production and trade in counterfeit products, the restoration and modernisation of our rail infrastructure, water infrastructure network for sustainable water supply to communities, and the debate on the killing of councillors which emanated from the 2022 Local Government Week.
We continued to conduct oversight over the executive through utilising the mechanisms of questions, ministerial briefings, following-up on executive undertakings and House resolutions. This was intended to assist us in achieving our goal of increasing government’s responsiveness and accountability as per the policy priorities for the 6th Parliament.
The end of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictive measures enabled us to increase our public participation engagements. The holding of the Taking Parliament to the People programme in KwaZulu-Natal’s Ugu District in November 2022 is a case in point. Before the end of this year, we expect to facilitate feedback sessions on the many issues that were raised by the people during that encounter.
House Chairperson, broadly, Parliament continued to adapt to the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the great loss of the National Assembly and adjacent building complexes to fire. It forged ahead and exercised its constitutional tasks with dedication and diligence, making use of physical and hybrid proceedings. Oversight visits, public hearings, committee meetings and certain ad hoc meetings of Parliament increased compared to the previous year.
In respect of law-making, Parliament’s constitutional mandate of law-making was successfully executed, resulting in the passing of 27 Bills during this period, including the Local Government Municipal Systems Amendment Bill, to further build the capacity of the state at local government level; the
Employment Equity Amendment Bill, to encourage fairness and equality in the workplace; the General Laws Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill and the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill, to strengthen the fight against corruption, fraud and terrorism; the Criminal Law Forensic Procedures Amendment Bill, to set up a comprehensive forensic DNA database to strengthen the fight against crime, among other things; and the Electoral Amendment Bill, to provide for independent candidates to contest election at a provincial and national level.
Parliament also passed the national budget for the applicable financial years Division of Revenue Bills, and Appropriation Bills. In conjunction with other legislation, the budget is the most powerful instrument by which government can implement its priorities and effect change to eliminate poverty, and to reduce unemployment and inequality.
In respect of oversight, Parliament continued to strengthen measures aimed at ensuring greater accountability by the executive. Parliamentary committees held 1 313 virtual
meetings, conducting budget reviews, and monitoring the implementation of legislation.
Parliamentary committees also embarked on 75 oversight visits and conducted 198 public hearings on Bills. As already in the case of the National Council of Provinces, both Houses held sittings that dealt with debates on issues of national importance, reports, policy, and Bills.
A total of 6 296 questions were put to the executive, that is 761 oral questions and 5 535 written questions. Led by the Speakers’ Forum, the legislative sector continued to work towards enhancing our collective mandate of oversight, by ensuring that oversight is not just about technical compliance but that it is focused on improving the quality of life of South Africans.
House Chairperson, several of South Africa’s challenges can only be addressed through improved international and regional co-operation. The World Economic Forum indicated, correctly so, that global risks such as infectious diseases, climate action failure, extreme weather patterns, biodiversity loss, geo-economic confrontation, debt crises, trade barriers, cyber
security failures, and natural resource crises will all require greater co-operation and collaboration.
During 2022, Parliament continued with its work on regional, continental, and international platforms. It further adopted the international agreements including the protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa.
Parliament continued to achieve a clean audit for the 8th consecutive year. Also, critical to note is that despite the declining fiscal allocations caused by deteriorating economic conditions, the control environment remained strong, as the audit committee, internal audit, and the risk management capacity progressively improved.
In order to prepare the institution for transition to the 7th Parliament, a review of the institutional strategy was conducted in November 2022 with the theme of:
“Improving the quality of governance and accountability through enhanced oversight.”
The session served as a platform to consider updates in the operating environment, assess the performance of the institution in executing strategy, and make recommendations with regards to the strategy and the budget of the institution.
The deliberations from the session culminated in a draft macro framework for the 7th Parliament, with the following strategic themes, ensuring a transformative Parliament to drive the attainment of national development outcomes; being a responsive Parliament that addresses the shortcomings and challenges of Parliament; collaborative engagement to form new partnerships in order to harness the strength of combined effort; engagement with stakeholders so as to meet expectations and needs of South Africans; and operational excellence to ensure a more effective and efficient institution.
House Chairperson, moving the institution into this new strategic direction will require significant transformation and change. Therefore, a transformative strategy will be required to drive the change necessary to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of the institution.
The transformational targets set for 2023/24 include, high- level change management plan to ensure transformation of the institution; implementation of the plan for the restoration of parliamentary buildings; professionalising the parliamentary service to ensure service excellence; developing and implementing a new broadcasting strategy for the 7th Parliament; implementation of the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, the matters from the commission which relate to Parliament’s oversight functions are currently receiving attention; data modelling and scenario tools to improve the quality of oversight; implementation of an impact assessment framework; development and implementation of an effective petitions framework; and, reviewing Parliament’s capability to implement its international priorities aligned to the national agenda.
The government has acknowledged that as the world emerges from a three-year long COVID-19 pandemic, several other risks to growth and development are taking centre stage, including the rise in inflation, energy volatility, debt levels, major natural disasters, and the rise of geo-political tensions.
Inadequate electricity supply, as hon members know, remains
the most immediate and significant constraint to production, investment, and employment.
The 2023/24 budget for Parliament Vote 2 is set against the backdrop of declining budgets in the state. The present downward trend is forecast to continue during the medium-term. Slower economic growth is now expected, putting more pressure on Parliament to manage its budget downwards. In recent years, Parliament implemented cost containment measures and efficiency initiatives, which have reduced operational costs.
Although there is currently a budget shortfall, the under- expenditure resulted in unspent funds to be used to address the shortfall for the 2023/24 budget. However, without taking steps to correct the allocation, or reducing expenditure, a significant budget shortfall could occur in years to come.
In addition to the reduced budget, the composition of Vote 2 carries structural challenges. Whereas the overall budget appears to be significant for 2023/24, the amount available for discretionary allocation is small. The accounting officer has limited control over certain allocations in the budget.
These include direct charge for members’ remuneration, salary
adjustments decided by the sector bargaining process, and facilities for members. This must be addressed.
House Chairperson, the total budget for Parliament amounts to R4,3 billion. The total allocation received from the National Treasury amounts to R3,8 billion. The shortfall of
R456 million will be funded by retained earnings, donor funding and revenue of Parliament. This shortfall is largely driven by the cost of employment.
The budget of Parliament has been allocated as follows, Programme 1, administration, R2,1 billion; Programme2, legislation and oversight, R894 million, Programme 3: associated services and transfer payments to political parties, R831 million.
The Parliamentary Budget Office, a separate entity in terms of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act receives a transfer payment under Programme 3 and will need more funding over time to function effectively as expected.
House Chairperson, the financial resources being availed to Parliament should help to improve the quality of governance
and accountability to contribute to addressing the structural challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality in society. This is important as the year 2024 will mark 30 years since the onset of the democratic order.
I would like to thank the Speaker of the National Assembly, the presiding officers of Parliament and provincial legislatures, for a great working relationship. In particular, I would like to thank the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon Lucas, the House Chairpersons hon Nyambi and hon Ngwenya, the Chief Whip of the NCOP, hon Mohai, for some sterling work.
I also take this opportunity to express appreciation to the Permanent and Special Delegates, and the representatives of SA Local Government Association, SALGA, for anchoring the work of this House and Parliament in general.
Lastly, I thank the Secretary to Parliament, Mr Xolile George, who has just joined us for a dose of inspiration to the administration; the Secretary to the NCOP, Adv. Modibedi Phindela and his team, and the entire parliamentary support structure, for always being at our beck and call. I thank you.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: House Chair, hon Chairperson Masondo – for the purpose of this debate, hon members – it is good to be back in the House, I wasn’t here last week and I would like to thank the hon Badenhorst for handling my speeches for me. Of course, I was in KwaZulu-Natal fighting a by-election. I was the campaign manager, and it was really nice to win in Chatsworth. Eighty-one point seven four zero ... [Inaudible.] Anyway, but more of that later, my time is expiring. [Interjections.] Hon members, it is ...
The House Chairperson (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, members. Order, members.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: I am not being ... [Inaudible.] ... laughed at. Anyway, it is common cause that the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa forms the basis of our democracy. It is also not only the cornerstone and foundation of our country, but also the roof under which we shelter and are protected. It is therefore a priceless asset that should be protected at all costs. Whilst many mechanisms have been created for this purpose, and I have argued for the umpteenth time, it is the Judiciary and Parliament that stand in frontline of that protective effort of our Constitution.
Parliament has as its vision to be an activist and responsive people’s Parliament, that improves the quality of life of South Africans and ensures enduring equality in our society. Its mission is to represent the people and to ensure the fulfilment of its constitutional functions of passing laws and overseeing executive action. To this end, the institution conducts its business in line with the following values: Openness, responsiveness, accountability, teamwork, professionalism and integrity.
Hon Masondo went to great lengths to point out what Parliament has achieved in the last year, but with due regard to that, we are congratulating a fish for swimming. Parliament did what it was supposed to do. We have however seen with this budget – and the hon Masondo agrees with me – is the steady erosion of the budget allocated to Parliament to the point where, for the second year running, the five programmes that used to drive budget expenditure in Parliament have been reduced to only three programmes. Hon Masondo put that point ... [Inaudible.]. This is what happens when you ask for R4,3 billion and Treasury only gives you only R3,8 billion. That is the reality. So, now we are now left with administration, legislation and oversight and associated services. The
programmes that have been removed for the second year are strategic leadership and governance and core business.
The Zondo Commission has criticised the strategic leadership and governance of Parliament and so it is conceivable that, under a cloud of embarrassment – I’m not sure why, but this government has decided to get rid of that particular function. Maybe until one day it discovers its moral compass. But what of the other orphan child that has been set aside is the core business programme. What is the core business of Parliament?
It is procedural and legal advice, analysis, information and research, language, content and secretarial legislative drafting services for meetings of the National Assembly, National Council of Provinces and their committees; public education, information and access to support public participation; analysis, advice, content, protocol and administrative support for parliamentary international engagements.
It can be argued that this programme is the most important, as it forms the intellectual backbone of Parliament. It is the foundation of knowledge that will help this house which should be primarily focused on reviewing, amending or creating
legislation and will find practical and effective purchase on the ground and amongst our people. Instead, the compensation of employees’ budget received from National Treasury is not sufficient to fund current staff complement and to fill vacancies.
This deficit possibly shines the light on the ... [Inaudible.]
... but the DA’s repeated calls to create a committee, either ad hoc or otherwise, to oversee the Presidency which we all agree is rapidly centralised power in the Union Buildings with the number of Ministers under the Presidency and the fact that there is no committee to oversee any of those Ministers - none of those Ministers in the Presidency nor the President’s Office committee. Maybe we simply don’t have the money to have the support staff or that security because Treasury is not giving it to us.
There has always been a variance on amounts received from National Treasury over the years and it has always been funded from retained earnings. But the problem is that this approach is unsustainable, and we are actually going to run out of money. If the management spends all the requested funds this year to execute the Parliament mandate as planned, Parliament
will not have sufficient money to pay the salaries of employees as there would be no retained earnings to fund the shortfall. That will happen in the coming year. This is illustrated by the provision of R100 million made for Parmed Medical Scheme, which is the m contributions of former Members of Parliament and provincial legislatures, that is being short funded by R34,6 million. Robust engagements with the Treasury are required, as the retained earnings is anticipated to deplete in the current year are previously saved. Parliament’s strategy is people driven and cuts to the compensation of employees compromises Parliament ability to deliver on its mandate.
These types of seemingly mundane issues feed into the critical deficiencies we are starting to see all over Parliament. It irks my heart that this House - this precinct, once a shining beacon of what all our government buildings could look like, we walk outside these very doors and to the right-hand side you’ll see a pile of rubbish and litter piled up. That is just not acceptable. Our parliamentary mechanisms, like petitions, have become dysfunctional. How else should one describe an urgent intervention tool that takes years to finalise?
Thankfully, along with my colleague - my chair, the hon Rayi –
he and I are coming up with plans to try and make this work. The point is that we are working The point is that solutions that I came up with did not come from Parliament but it came from two members. That’s the point - that’s the problem.
Parliament should have the intellectual backbone to provide the solution before we can even think of it. That’s the argument. And when people are focused on a minor matter, they miss big ones, like the recent announcement that the building of offices in the Plein Street building has been pushed back two weeks already, clearly because someone was not vetting contractors properly. Watch this space, my friends, for more frustration and disappointment for our colleagues with no offices. Already there is two-week delay.
And what of the rebuilding of the fire ravaged sections of our Parliament? First we were told, that was 18 months ago, that we shouldn’t go there because it’s a crime scene. Then we were told we can’t go there because it’s not unsafe. Now, 18 months later, we have ... [Inaudible.]. And I can tell you that yes, the place is a mess – some of you with us here know that the place is a mess. But other the Old Assembly Chamber itself, the National Assembly Chamber and that Old Assembly, the rest
can be restored, pretty quickly. We need a roof on top of the Old Assembly building and then we need to get the Old Assembly, take the carpets out, clean the place and reinstate and get the National Assembly running again. If any of you had your house burned down, 18 months ago, would you be happy if it’s still was not sorted out? Would your family be happy? I doubt it. Why on earth are we tolerating this as Members of Parliament. I want to re-emphasise this, colleagues, this is us. We are Parliament, the 454 people that come here – we are the Parliament. We should not be tolerating this is us - okay.
If we keep eroding our institutions, it will become a paper tiger, not worthy of any respect. Simply put, we need to shift priorities. We need to focus on the core business of Parliament. We need to hire eager and fiery young researchers determined to hold the executive accountable rather than third rate researchers who simply summarise documents and provide inane comments that members know anyway.
We need to use that research to change committee meetings from chummy engagements to tough inquisitorial hearings with structure and purpose where no quarter is offered or given. We need to shift funds to make Parliament even more accessible to
South Africans with an additional channel on the public broadcaster to screen our business to our people. All of the suggestions above of course rest on the presentations by the Secretary to Parliament. We, as I said earlier, are the constituent members of Parliament.
Our Secretary is sitting right over there and he’s asking for our help. He is saying he is R500 million short. Will we rush to his assistance and send National Treasury back to the drawing board to go and sort their stuff out or will we run over and think that we have just got to agree and pass it?
Will we stand up for our House? But unfortunately I think the comrades will vote in favour. They will cut their nose off to spite the face. The premise that the governing party actually want Parliament to work seems to be sadly mistaken. I challenge you to prove me wrong today.
It does appear that this ANC is quite content to let this fine institution slide down a slippery slope. I believe that it is time to protect the people of South Africa from this narcissistic organisation and restore the true, constitutional purpose of Parliament. Like the humiliation they received in Chatsworth last week – despite the President’s visit and
despite the vote buying via vouchers – the ANC will be punished at the ballot box in 2024.
Ilanga liyashona we-ANC. Siyabangena.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: Chairperson, today when you open this debate you are talking about recommendations of the State Capture Commission. What exactly has happened, Chairperson? Instead of looking at establishing ways to implement the recommendation, Parliament keeps dealing with the recommendation on an ad hoc basis. Chair, the EFF recommended that Parliament consider whether it would be desirable to establish a committee whose function would include the oversight of the functioning of the presidency that were not overseen by the existing parliamentary committees. Instead, Chairperson, what is Parliament doing? Parliament is now busy debating whether Parliament is obliged to implement this report or not.
Chairperson, the commission asked Parliament to review the oversight model and even implement an oversight unit that will play a key role in strengthening the oversight role of Parliament. Chair, what have you done about that? Nothing at
all. You cannot tell us that Parliament is implementing the recommendation of the state capture at this moment. We all know what has been happening in this regard. Chairperson, the EFF has been long enough in this Parliament, long enough to realise that this institution fails to fulfil its constitutional mandate of representing the interests of the people of South Africa, as well as all the South African nine provinces as represented in the National Council of provinces.
Section 55(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 stipulates clearly the role of Parliament to oversee the activities of government and any other organ of state as to realise a better quality of life for all the people of South Africa. However, this Parliament has been unable to fulfil this primary responsibility under your leadership of holding the executive accountable for the many challenges faced by South Africa. Chair, this House sits by and watch daily idly as the country continues on a downward spiral.
Chairperson, the EFF rejects the budget which has been unable for many years to fulfil its mandate for holding Mr Cyril Ramaphosa accountable for all the crimes he committed on his
Phala Phala Farm and for his abuse of all state agencies to serve his personal interests. Mr Ramaphosa has demonstrated incapacity and incompetence in resolving many of the crisis confronting South Africa and has been persistent in his attempts to avoid genuine accountability and transparency to the point of taking his own Parliament to court regarding his crimes of the Phala Phala Farm. Nevertheless, this Parliament chooses to protect him for the ongoing role which he continues to play in destroying South Africa.
Chair, Mr Ramaphosa has failed to lead South Africa in all aspects. We refuse to legitimise his regime of corruption, anticonstitutionalism and rolling electricity blackouts.
Parliament is completely failing to play its oversight role. The Members of Parliament believe that they are answerable to the ANC, their party, as they are in the majority and not to the South African electorate. There exists an absence of standards of accountability which is why Parliament is failing in its constitutional mandate to hold the executive accountable.
Chair, this Parliament holds no executive accountable. They use their majority to shut down the opposition in all
committees. Parliament can’t even deal with operational issues. As things stands, Parliament precinct remains untidy due to lack of cleaning staff. Parliament today lacks an interpretation service. We are forever been told that there is no staff to do interpretation services. Parliament outsources majority of its services and cannot even take staff and place them on a permanent basis. We are forever seeing contracts on the precinct. Chairperson, Parliament is from time to time on fire due to lack of maintenance of that infrastructure. We are sitting under an ailing infrastructure which was built by the apartheid government.
Chairperson, as you are seated in the very same National Council of Provinces, none of those senior officials of Parliament can tell you that indeed that House is safe for operations. You can burn now at any given time. It is clear indication that this institution lacks leadership and proper operational systems. Accountability as a basic relation between the state and its people has broken down in South Africa. Our spheres of South African society are in a state of degeneration under this leadership with the economy, public healthcare, public schooling system and railway network are all in the state of collapse under the ruling party.
Unemployment rate is at its highest in this country. The nation is in perpetual darkness because of a deliberate man- made rolling electricity blackout.
We reject this budget because the majority of the lawmakers seated there from the ANC benches, rejects all the positive proposals from the EFF benches and simply run this institution down. We reject this budget on the basis that Parliament continues to give credence and legitimacy to incompetence, failure and corruption. This constitutes the ultimate betrayal of our people. The current condition of South Africa is of a society where thousands of people face severe problems in accessing the most basic services such as healthcare, water, sanitation, electricity and refuse removal.
What the EFF will support in future, is appropriation of enough funds to local government because it is the only sphere which we believe deserves to be supported to be able to conduct basic services to our people. It is evident that where we are governing through the members to the mayoral committee, MMCs, in the Cities of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni. Refuse is removed on time. We continue to engage our people from time to time as to how we can better services in the cities where we
are governing. The EFF rejects this budget with the contempt it deserves. Thank you.
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Chairperson, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon Masondo, House Chairpersons, Ngwenya and Nyambi, the Chief Whip of the Council, members of the Council, special and permanent delegates, Secretary to Parliament, Secretary to the National Council of Provinces, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, fellow South Africans.
Chairperson, let me from the onset express my appreciation for the opportunity to be speaking at the occasion of the tabling of the budget of Parliament in this penultimate year of the Sixth Parliament.
Chair, sometimes you don’t want to respond to things that are being said on this platform, but I just want to say something. Sometimes it’s very funny how the peacetime revolutionaries pretend to be more revolutionary than those that sacrificed their lives for the liberation.
For instance, my hon colleague says we reject all the positive proposals, but everyone that was listening ... listen, there was no positive proposal, it was just criticism. You must be sometimes objective and you must also sometimes try to really bring positive proposals to the table. Don’t claim that you are positive if you are not ... [interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: I sat through committees, you don’t have ... [Inaudible.]
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ... it depends on those that are listening ... [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: ... you don’t even have a single committee ...
The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: ... to you.
The Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislature Act, Act 10 of 2009, requires the executive authority to oversee the preparation of Parliament’s annual performance plan and the budget.
The proposed expenditure set out in vote 2 will be able to support the execution of our strategy through the annual performance plan, APP, as tabled.
The APP specifies performance measures and indicators for assessing Parliament’s performance in achieving the objectives and outcome detailed in the strategic plan.
Maybe, also, for the benefit of the hon Brauteseth. He spoke about the issue of the oversight committee on the Presidency. I was engaging the speaker on this specific issue because it is coming up now and again. And I think by now ... I don’t know the members of the NCOP, but I think by now members should know that Parliament is currently busy with the benchmarking exercise on oversight committees over the Presidency. The Speaker, for instance, informed me that some of the members will be going to the United Kingdom, UK, and others I suspect they will be going to Ghana, I’m speaking under correction. But there is, at least, a move to look into that specific proposal that the ‘d’ claims.
As we are tabling the parliamentary budget, we are confronted with weak structural growth as well as the COVID-19 pandemic
have exacerbated our socioeconomic challenges. Our country has recovered its pre-pandemic Gross Domestic Product, GDP, but not its employment level.
At the end of 2022 there were still close to half a million fewer jobs than at the end of 2019, with women and youth persistently more impacted.
Inequality remains among the highest and poverty according to the World Bank is estimated at 63% in 2022, based on the upper-middle economic country poverty line.
What our current reality demand is a comprehensive social compact that would join all social partners in a common programme to rebuild South African economy and to enable a higher growth.
What we need is to work on a framework to enable joint action in key areas such as energy, transport and logistics, employment creation and skills development, investment and localisation, social protection, crime and corruption.
If I speak on the international balance of forces. In the intervening period the world has witnessed events which have altered global affairs drastically. A new complex environment of international relations has emerged. And the ebbs and flows in global dynamics should be managed rationally and maturely.
As Parliament, we reiterate our support for the principal position taken by our government of non-alignment. The principal position is keeping with the approach of members of the Non-Alignment Movement since its formation in 1961 when developing countries in Africa and Asia committed themselves to maintaining independent foreign policies and extending the hand of membership to all countries which reciprocated that friendship.
Our non-aligned position does not mean that we condone the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Our Speaker as a member of the task team has consistently asserted our position, there must be a cessation of hostilities, which would be the first step towards a comprehensive response to that crisis. We will continue to stress that dialogue, mediation and diplomacy is the only path to end the current conflict.
Along with adopting a common non-aligned approach to the global dynamics, South Africa and the rest of the African continent need to exercise maximum vigilance to prevent a situation in which the continent becomes a playground of imperial ambitions of global powers.
Without an effective restraining dynamic ...
...as jy verstaan wat ek bedoel.
Without an effective restraining dynamic of multipolarity and genuine multilateralism, Africa could once again find itself overtly and covertly subjected to the suffocating embrace of colonial and neo-colonial mechanisms.
My responsibility throughout this Sixth Parliament was mainly on the Sectoral Parliaments and I would love to give a breakdown of the Sectoral Parliament during this time and the work that we have been undertaking.
The Sectoral Parliament, according to the legacy report, was first launched in 2004 with the Women’s Parliament as its inaugural conference, which was shortly, thereafter, followed by the launch of the Youth Parliament. These activities later became annual events except in the year of elections, when the parliamentary programme made provision for the leadership transitions that would ensue after the elections.
The Women’s Parliament, Youth Parliament, Children’s Parliament, including the newly institutionalised Men’s Parliament, were all previously convened once a year as annual events, which often failed to engage the three spheres of government, particularly on matters relating to progress made in implementing adopted resolutions.
It is precisely why in this Parliament a radical shift was initiated to sustain sectoral oversight across the three spheres of government through sustained engagement with the three spheres of government and the communities we serve.
In an effort to strengthen our oversight outcomes and to ensure better responses in the planning, budgeting and implementation of sectoral recommendations, sectoral
provincial report back sessions have been convened in each province, bringing together provincial governments, local government, civil society as well as the communities we serve.
This has enabled us to ensure tangible responses from provincial and local government to address the developmental demands of the people we serve.
The provincial sessions are convened for purposes of sustaining a strategic link between national, provincial and local government, enabling all role players in the accountability ecosystem to effectively embody their mandate in response to the developmental demands of our people.
These sessions also seek to address three-sphere coordination, systemic and institutional weaknesses across the broader state machinery, particularly as they pertain to matters that relate to governance, planning and budgeting issues, including institutional arrangements and state capacity related matters for purposes of accelerating policy implementation.
Hon delegates, the sectoral programme in its current shape and format has evolved into a strategic conduit to influence
government’s implementation agenda, as guided by the developmental demands of our people.
Sector Parliaments hence serve as a strategic mechanism for Parliament to continuously assess progress made in implementing key development priorities as underpinned by the National Development Plan, NDP, which is South Africa’s overarching development policy construct.
At its core, the Sector Parliament’s programme seeks to contribute towards the advancement of South Africa’s transformation agenda by creating a platform for sustained and targeted oversight in order to create a more equal society.
The Sectoral Parliament’s programme has, therefore, during the sixth dispensation further inculcated a deeper value base for Parliament, thereby ensuring that the policy oversight thrust of the Sectoral Parliament programme becomes more pronounced.
This programme has recorded significant milestones since 2019 until now. Members may be reminded that we have completed nationwide 25-year review of the 1994 Women’s Charter for
Effective Equality by engaging all provinces, all metros and districts across South Africa.
This review process was underpinned by the following key pillars:
A gender analysis of local government focuses on the Integrated Development Plans, IDP, processes. This further included an analysis of gender responsive planning and budgeting at the local sphere as well as assessing the gendered provision of services at local government level.
This review process was undertaken over a 24-month period, which ultimately culminated in the adoption of the 2021 Women’s Charter for Accelerated Development. This Charter now encompasses 15 Strategic Objectives and a set of broad priority actions.
We have managed to establish strategic social compacts with provincial governments across all nine provinces, including local government in order to monitor on a quarterly basis the progress made in implementing the provisions of the Charter.
We also convened the Inclusive Economic Growth Oversight Summit in November of 2019.
We also convened a national Gender Machinery Summit which created a platform to assess the state of the National Gender Machinery and to develop a robust oversight action plan.
We have also successfully convened the Three-Sphere Planning Sessions, which are both sectoral in nature but equally focus on the coordination of government’s implementation processes.
In May 2022 we also convened a state capability conference under the theme: State Capability: Delineating Weaknesses, Devising Strategic Mechanisms to Accelerate Policy Implementation.
The current developmental landscape requires a Parliament that is acutely aware of the extent, dimensions and peculiarities relating to state capability across the broader state machinery.
Another critical objective of the session was to release the developmental state concept from ideological loading and to
seek to develop practical mechanisms towards achieving the goals enshrined in the concept of a developmental state with particular focus on the South African context.
With regard to the Men’s Parliament. In partnership with the South African National Aids Council and the Department of Social Development, we convened our annual Men’s Parliaments which are outcome-based.
The Men’s sector continues to engage men across provinces, districts and localities in order to inculcate a new culture among men to eradicate gender-based violence, GBV.
We will continue to embark on sustainable engagement with our communities as guided by a seamless oversight approach.
Through our sectoral work we have evolved from the annual standalone events and moved towards an impact-driven campaign approach which continues to keep communities informed of interventions in place to address issues raised.
We have also convened two Youth Parliaments since 2019, focusing on advancing youth participation in the mainstream economy.
Parliament has, therefore, emboldened its resolve and advanced to implement a Three-Sphere Sector Parliament Oversight schedule underpinned by quarterly engagements and feedback to communities to ensure three-sphere synergy and implementation around development plans as anchored in Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, NDP, Provincial Growth and Development Strategy, PGDS, and Integrated Development Plans, IDPs.
It is also imperative to indicate at this stage that we have convened over 90 sectoral sessions since 2019 to date, which have been supported by follow up and report back sessions to ensure that provincial and local government respond to issues raised at the annual sectoral events convened in parliament.
However, with the absence of the appropriate and strategic human resource support we have, to date, not been unable to establish a fully functional Oversight and Accountability Directorate.
Ideally, an Oversight and Accountability Directorate should house: a Sector Parliaments Unit; a Data Driven Oversight Mapping Unit to assist in shaping Parliament’s oversight
agenda; a tracking Unit to track the implementation of sectoral commitments, resolutions of the House including executive commitments emanating from Ministerial briefings and other flagship programmes as well as follow up on petitions; as well as a monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment unit.
In strengthening our oversight and follow up processes, it is critical that we establish the appropriate support mechanisms to ensure that we make sustained progress in implementing the country’s developmental agenda. We need advanced innovations and tailored oversight strategies which will embolden and reposition parliament as an effective people’s Parliament.
Given the reach and impact of the Sector Parliament’s programme and its strategic linkages to various institutional platforms and programmes, it is important that we should ensure that this programme is properly funded and effectively resourced. This will ensure that this programme continues to bring about the desired impact through the strategic engagement of the three spheres of government.
Hon Chairperson, the constituency office system serves as a direct link between elected officials and the public, and functions as a critical organ of an activist Parliament.
Constituency offices, therefore, have a critical important role to play, particularly in protecting the most vulnerable of our society.
We need to develop mechanisms to publicize the locations of every constituency office and make sure that people know who is serving those offices.
We also recommend that Parliament must on an annual basis, before the tabling of the state of the nation address, advertise constituency offices and make sure that we also need to assess where all the Parliamentary Democracy Offices are situated and do they still serve the purpose it was intended.
By Strengthening the role of the NCOP. The National Council of Provinces represents the provinces to ensure that provincial interests are considered in the national legislative process and by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues affecting provinces.
Through oversight, the National Council of Provinces brings provincial and local experiences of implementing policy to the centre. It thus ensures that the centre remains sensitive to the conditions and needs of everyone because of the special role the NCOP.
The NCOP must carry out its constitutional oversight mandate in a way that is distinct from all other legislative bodies. The oversight role of the NCOP mandated in the Constitution is broad and focused. Broad in that it covers the most areas of government activity, but focused on that it should always primarily be concerned with the relationship between the different spheres of government.
That is why we convened three-sphere planning sessions and we really were looking to make sure that the NCOP to performs its constitutional mandate properly, thereby serving as a three- sphere coordination and implementation construct through targeted and outcome-based oversight.
We have used the Provincial Week to cement our mandate. Previously, we used to focus on matters that both the province and municipal councils have authority to oversee. However, the
last Provincial Week was a high-impact oversight programme where each provincial delegation had to concentrate on matters that affect the province in the national sphere of government.
The NCOP in advancing and deepening its mandate, held Ministerial briefings which intended to provide the NCOP with the opportunity to receive information on the efforts by the three-spheres of government with respect to the progress made and measures taken to deal with challenges facing provinces.
As much as we are improving in advancing the mandate of the NCOP, a lot still needs to be done. We will need to address the uncertainty which is rife about the status of intergovernmental relations, decisions and recommendations, as well as who is responsible for follow up of recommendations.
We need to address the lack of horizontal integration between activities of various government departments.
In conclusion, hon delegates, our struggle is one in which there is a symbiotic relationship between the resolution of the antagonism thrown up by national oppression and the
fundamental problem of social justice, economic deprivation and patriarchy.
Our transition is one process characterized by different phases with different emphasis.
As we welcome Parliament’s budget we hope and believe it will assist us in addressing our national contradictions. We hope that our requests for administrative support will be attended to in order to leave a notable legacy on the work of the sixth dispensation.
Allow me, Chairperson, just to express my appreciation to the Chairperson and the Chief Whip’s Office as well as the House Chairpersons for their support in all our programmes. Also the members across parties for their support in our programmes and also the administration under the leadership of Adv Phindela as well as my office under the leadership of Dr Mvulane. And we also want to express our appreciation to the Secretary to Parliament. When we approached him for his ear and the fact that he is very keen that Sectoral Parliament should work for is as a Parliament of South Africa. Ke a leboga. I thank you. Baie dankie.
Mr S F DU TOIT: Hon Chair, the Sixth Parliament’s mandate is to play an effective role of oversight over the executive. We are here as representatives of our provinces. Members of Parliament, we represent our constituents. We are here to follow through a mandate of political parties. We have to do this within the prescripts of the law and the guidelines set out in Parliament.
However, what is really happening? The Sixth Parliament initially had two strategic priorities — to improve committee oversight through the budget cycle and also to improve the effectiveness of public participation. We can ask ourselves the question if that was effective. Is that what is currently happening and what has been the progress on that?
Speaking from my own experience, public participation is taking place but we are sitting in a situation where a lot of legislation is put on the table. We receive them on short notice from National Treasury. We’ve experienced hiccups with the processing of these Bills and legislation that are supposed to come through from provincial legislatures, just to be pressured by National Treasury and by time stamps to
process this on time. I believe that there is definitely room for improvement.
We must also see to it that the process of legislative and budgetary amendments happen in the correct manner. Provincial mandates are there, Bills go to the provinces, public participation takes place and we receive feedback in committees from the provinces. What then happens is that those mandates are put on the table. We as representatives read it out loud but in most instances it’s overruled. It seems as if there might still be an authoritarian approach. National Treasury has got a certain mandate that they need to follow through which they got from their political head. The SA Revenue Service, Sars, has got a mandate that they need to follow through. Obviously, the committee chairs also have a mandate that they need to follow through and, unfortunately, the majority of them are from the ANC ruling party. So, that’s a political mandate that’s being followed through on.
The Constitution is also being used as a guideline. Now, it’s said that South Africa has one of the best Constitutions in the world but the Constitution also has a transformative mandate that’s written in it. Koos Malan wrote a book, There
is No Supreme Constitution. What’s actually written black on white is not what is being done in practice. In most instances, it’s open for interpretation.
In a lot of instances, oversight visits are used as political rallies. We all go on the provincial weeks where we visit different areas. We identify problems, we address it and we engage with the relevant stakeholders. Then, when we come back to Parliament, as the hon Lucas correctly stated, who is following up? In most instances, when we as Members of Parliament follow up and try to get the relevant information, we get to a closed door. I’m referring to Groot Marico Waste Water Treatment Works, to name but one. So, that is definitely a matter of great concern. Then there are blurred lines.
Daar is nie duidelike onafhanklikheid tussen die wetgewende, die regsprekende en die uitvoerende gesag op hierdie stadium nie. Dit is iets wat definitief aandag verg.
I want to close by reminding all Members of Parliament in the House what our mandate and our responsibility actually is. Hon
member, as Members of Parliament we need to represent our constituents. We have the responsibility to act in their best interest. Yes, our political parties give us certain guidelines to act upon but we are supposed to be the moral compass of this government. We are supposed to follow through. We are always supposed to keep the best interest of the people who voted us into power at heart. Very few of us standing or sitting here are here because of ourselves. We’ve been granted an opportunity. It’s up to us to show the constituents if we are worth it. I urge you to please be the moral compass. If you are not, become the moral compass. Thank you, Chair.
Mr N M HADEBE: Hon Chairperson, Parliament as an institution is the backbone of any democracy. In South Africa, this institution is vital for promoting its vision of being an active, accountable, responsive and transparent vehicle of the people’s will. With such a heavy, yet important burden placed on Parliament’s shoulders to actively improve the quality of life of South Africans, we must look at ourselves critically and constructively.
The fulfilment of Parliament’s constitutional functions, like passing laws and overseeing executive action, ought to be done
in line with the values of openness, responsiveness, accountability, teamwork, professionalism and integrity.
For the Sixth Parliament, two strategic priorities have been identified — strengthening oversight and enhancing public involvement in Parliament’s activities. This paramount work is often hindered by limited budgets which are assigned to Parliament. For example, there have been budget reductions in the 2022-23 and 2023-24 financial years. In addressing these limitations and the consequences that arise thereof, we believe a number of changes need to be affected.
There is a call for greater oversight by Parliament. With committees needing a much bigger bite, it is crucial that this is done as Parliament stands as a true representative of the people. As the IFP, we call on Parliament to improve committee oversight work by allowing more time for oversight activities, encouraging joint oversight activities and to give committees enough time to execute their work.
The failure to submit and make available annual performance plans, APPs, by different departments and their entities stands in the way of effective accountability and
transparency. As an institution, we should adopt a zero- tolerance approach regarding the failure to submit APPs and budgets on time. We must uphold the integrity of our constitutional mandate, otherwise our people will start to lose faith in the hard-fought democracy our forefathers died so harshly for.
About 15 years ago, Parliament introduced legislation for the Minister of Finance to have amendments to budgets, and although it was Parliament’s initiative to do so, not much was done nor has there been enough time provided to look at budgets. Parliament as an institution ought to be more stringent in budget matters and also in holding the executive to account.
When members of this House point out that budgets are underfunded, as it is often done, Parliament has the authority to change said budgets but this is not usually a priority.
Apart from this, committees have from time to time pointed out the need to be allocated more budget, which would ensure the effective fulfilment of their respective duties. With the little muscle afforded to it, the budget committee routinely reports on how some of its questions are not answered nor
attended to, and has pointed out that this is something that is not attended to. The IFP supports this budget. I thank you.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chairperson; hon members; hon Mohai, our Chief Whip, after your long absence in the House; when I had to prepare for today, the opening lines of a well-known song came to me. I don’t have the talent to win the Idols, so I will not sing it; I will rather read it, and I quote:
Hello darkness my old friend I’ve come to talk to you again And in the naked light, I saw Ten thousand’s people, maybe more People talking without speaking People hearing without listening Fools, said I, you do not know Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you But my words, like silent raindrops fell And echoed in the wells of silence.
To summarize, the key message of The Sound of Silence is that we never have to stay quiet, especially when Parliament as the
institutional crown of our democracy is being perceived as the modern version of a circus or cheap entertainment!
An example thereof is a video trending of one of our House Chairs, who is still sitting in the Chair at the moment, who still, after four years, apparently does not know what a motion is, or how to say the different types of motions. A Minister, stating that another member has no soul, purely because ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Labuschagne, in terms of the Rules of the NCOP, it is out of order to cast aspersions at a presiding officer. I think that you know better than I do. Refrain from doing something that is casting aspersions at a presiding officer of the NCOP. That is my appeal to you.
Mr T J BRAUTESETH: Chairperson, it is not aspersions; we can show you the video.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): You are out of order.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: I hear what you are saying. I can also quote to you the right of freedom of speech. We have a Minister, stating that another member has no soul, purely because the Minister did not have the facts to account for. Now, I am asking: How can the public take us seriously, and above all, trust us to represent them, to do oversight over the executive as well as legislate to the benefit of all our people?
The Zondo Commission highlighted the failure of Parliament in its oversight function. ANC members seem to be afraid not to tow the party line, instead of fulfilling their oversight function over the executive. Therefore, there is no committee to oversee the Presidency or real effort to ensure that the recommendations of the Zondo Commission are being implemented without fear or favour. A year later and none of the key recommendations put forward in the final report have been executed.
The findings of the 2018 Public Affairs Research Institute or Pari, study found that the appropriate part of section 139 that should have been applied in the vast majority of interventions was section 139(5) and not section 139(1) in isolation.
Furthermore, the use of an administrator to take over all the executive functions of a municipality, while the council is still in office, is not a remedy included anywhere in section
139. This practice thus has no basis in law. Still, we have no legislation to serve as an overarching guideline for both Cogta and Treasury in the entire intervention framework.
With the majority party “hearing without listening” a Private Members’ Bill to solve this will most probably lapse and would not be an option to solve this situation. I tend to think this is now a form of malpractice knowingly utilized by the ANC to settle factional political scores in municipalities. The outcome is a growing number of failing municipalities with failings infrastructure, job losses and a lack of service delivery, is apparently the ANC’s idea of a parliament for the people.
A new practice since Covid-19, rammed through by the ANC majority, as part of the new NCOP Rules, is Ministerial briefings. With this practice, the ANC majority prevents any other party to have a say, in which Minister and/or what issues should be addressed by any Minister. Ministerial
briefings filled most opportunities for debates during the past two years.
Motions, the tool being utilised by parliaments across the world to initiate debates, is being done merely as a tick box exercise.
The outcome is that debates of public importance, such as the desperate economic situation, the ANC self-induced energy crisis, the influence of the ANC’s interpretation of neutrality towards Russia’s role in the Ukrainian war, resulting in economic hardships for South Africans, are not being debated.
The NCOP has a critical role to fulfil in legislating, especially focusing on representing the provinces. Legislation has to be meaningful, effective and constitutional compliant to improve people’s lives. The backlog of Bills, close to the end of each parliamentary term, and Bills being referred back to Parliament, as well as Bills being instructed by the Constitutional Court to be reviewed tell the story of effectiveness.
The number of section 76 Bills not being amended by the NCOP tells the story of public participation through public hearings. The time and money spent can just as well be seen for what it is - another tick box of fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
An average of 18 Bills were passed on a yearly basis over the period 2018 to 2022, while 47 Bills were considered in 2028-
19. That in itself gives you a picture. A possible solution would be for sec 76 Bills to be introduced in the NCOP first, and first get the input from the provinces, as provided for in the Constitution as well as our Rules. A review of the Mandating Procedures of Provinces would further ensure more effective and meaningful legislation.
The number of committee meetings, the actual engine room of Parliament, declined from 1 507 in 2018-19 to 1 217 in 2021-
22. A decline of 219 meetings of Parliament should be a great concern for all of us.
I do believe that most South Africans want to stop saying hello to darkness as a friend. They are tired of their words being echoed in the wells of silence. My solution is, and I
quote: “Hear the words that I might teach you.”. Come 2024, vote for action, not silence; vote the DA into governance. I thank you.
Mr M I RAYI: Thank you very much, hon House Chairperson. Greetings to you, the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Province, the Chief Whip of the Council, hon members, the Secretary to Parliament, and all officials of Parliament, good evening, when we contest the elections, we all want to be in majority. The majority rule is not a swear word. We are not contesting elections so that we have a “Moon-shot Pact”. We want to be in government. So this thing of a majority there... Or members of the ANC should not follow the party line, but when it comes to the other parties - they even expel their members - if they are not towing the party line. But there should be separate rules when it comes to the ANC.
There have been parties that have expelled members here. When we are in the committees and want to adopt reports, even if, the members of the opposition parties do not have a problem with the report, they abstain because they are waiting for
their caucus to give them the line. But there must be different rules when it comes to the ANC.
House Chair, the NCOP is constitutionally mandated to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. This is done through participation in the national legislative process and by providing a national ... [Inaudible.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): Hon Labuschagne, why are you rising?
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE, Chairperson, I rise on a point of order. The speaker at the podium is casting aspersions on the DA.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr. A J NYAMBI): I am happy, you know it well now. You may continue, hon Rayi.
Mr M I RAYI: She has taken my minutes, Chair. Please note that. Okay. The NCOP is constitutionally mandated to ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. This is done through participation in the national legislative process and by
providing a national forum for consideration of issues affecting provinces.
For provincial interest to be fully taken into account, our parliamentary support should have the capacity to galvanize the contributions of citizens in the different provinces and various provincial representatives. It is for this reason, the National Council of Provinces has two flagship programmes, which are the Taking Parliament to the People and the Local Government Focus Week. The NCOP has constitutional powers to intervene in local government challenges, such as section 100 as was the case with the Northwest province. Recognizing that many municipalities across the country face numerous challenges and this results in numerous provinces having service delivery challenges, the NCOP should have the requisite capacity to support intervention in provinces and to aid local government.
Various provinces have varying challenges and strengths, and as the National Council of Provinces, we have to get closer to the coalface challenges to shape and inform our interventions.
Our duty as public representatives is to ensure an activist Parliament that places the interest of the people at the centre. For this to be realized, all South Africans need to have the consciousness of appreciation that for our democracy to succeed, every South African has a responsibility to be involved in democratic processes. We need to strengthen civic education and public education on the parliamentary system to ensure that this Parliament becomes a true tribune of the people.
The mandate of the Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament is to maintain oversight of the financial management of Parliament by considering instructions issued by the executive authority and considering the annual report tabled and referred by the Speaker and the Chairperson to the committee.
The committee has considered the annual performance plan and the Budget Vote of Parliament. The budget allocated responds to urgent tasks of Parliament. The allocation supports the restoration process, which is critical in rebuilding the burnt buildings. This is critical for the optimal functioning of Parliament.
The Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament is also responsible for performing any other function specified in the Financial Management of Parliament Act 10 of 2009 and Provincial Legislatures Act 10 of 2009, or by the Rules of Parliament as part of strengthening, planning, reporting, and the focus of improving outcomes of Parliament.
As a committee, we have noted that Parliament does not yet have a guideline to inform the drafting of its plans.
Compliance with the Financial Management Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, FMPPLA, require the inclusion of objectives and outcomes for each programme. To have the desired impact, it is critical to identify outcomes to be pursued over the period of the strategic plan.
The committee recognizes that the institution has not yet addressed longstanding concerns in terms of measuring performance. We welcome the re-orientation towards the outcomes and impact, which will be factored in the strategic plan and annual planning of the Seventh Parliament. This is a critical milestone to advance by the committee, a matter we have raised as concerns are facilities for members, and
adequate support for residential and parliamentary facilities. Critical to ensuring members function without interruption.
Having a hybrid system with virtual platforms required that all members have sufficient connectivity support. We need to enhance our translation system and have a uniform approach in both Houses to increase the accessibility of the work of Parliament. Parliament has other critical bodies such as the Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy, Parliament, Budget Office, Treasury Advisory Office, and Legislative Sector Support, which report directly to the executive authority. It is a view of the committee that such offices should have clearly defined outcomes, which should be monitored by the Joint Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament. Recognizing the strategic role they play in the functions of Parliament.
In this regard, we have recommended that Parliament present a report from these offices to the committee for oversight and to make strategic inputs to enhance their functioning and impact. The committee recommended that Parliament develops performance indicators measuring the delivery of these services.
Hon members, for sustainability and accountability, senior management plays a critical role, and we welcome the appointment of the chief financial officer, CFO. The critical task of the CFO should be the prudent management of finances and developing proposals on the funding of Parliament to ensure the institution is adequately resourced to optimally execute its mandate.
The committee is pleased that the engagement between the National Treasury and the executive authority to address Parliament’s budget allocation has commenced and appears to be bearing fruit. The committee further recommended that the institution developed its budget process before the consideration of the 2024-25, draft annual performance plan and budget.
Increasing the budget allocation of Parliament is critical to respond to some of the recommendations from the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector, such as increasing the capacity of committee support, which is vital to enhance the functions of Members of Parliament. The budget process will assist as far as ensuring that Parliament can support and
argue for the granting of the institution’s funding request. The joint committee will receive an update on progress made in this regard, as well as efforts underway to resolve the Parmed Medical Aid Scheme liability.
We also welcome the efforts of resolving various matters related to the Parmed Medical Aid Scheme to ensure that members have affordable medical coverage that responds to their needs. Ongoing engagement in Parmed Medical Aid Scheme should be expedited to have a sustainably equitable intervention.
The joint committee remains concerned that Parliament, like national departments, apply to the National Treasury for a share of the national budget. Parliament is a separate arm of the state and cannot be expected to be subjected to the National Treasury for its budget allocation. This reliance has the potential to weaken Parliament’s ability to perform oversight of the executive.
The joint committee supports all efforts to increase public participation in Parliament’s activities, ensuring that more people have access to information about Parliament through
television, radio, and social media would contribute greatly to that goal. Digitization has created several opportunities, and these should leverage to take Parliament to the people and enable easy access to Parliament processes to optimize public participation. Central to the effectiveness of Parliament is the participation of the public and more. The public participation and the quality of outcomes of Parliament are enhanced, and the representatives of the will of the people.
Ours is a people-centred Parliament. To strengthen financial management, Parliament has various regulations to give effect to the Financial Management of Parliament Act, 2009, and Provincial Legislatures Act 10 of 2009. We have noted that the regulation referred to under Chapter 9 of the Financial Management of Parliament Act, 2009, and Provincial Legislatures Act 10 of 2009, has still not yet been developed. These regulations will go a long way towards standardizing amongst others the institutions planning and budget processes. Parliament needs to develop and finalize the regulation as a matter of agency before the end of the 2023-24 financial year. We have recommended that the joint committee should be provided with quarterly updates on progress made in this regard.
We must applaud and welcome the financial performance of Parliament, which has produced an unqualified audit opinion known as the clean audit, over the years. This assures the public and the joint committee that funds allocated to Vote 2 of Parliament are used prudently to advance the intended objectives. We are confident that the deliberation between Parliament and the National Treasury will yield a positive outcome. This will also enable Parliament to increase its support for political parties and for public participation, which are the bedrock of an activist Parliament.
The joint committee recommends that every avenue be pursued to ensure that the vast majority of citizens can access information about the parliamentary committees, meetings, and plenaries. Parliament meetings should not be aired on pay-to- view channels but should be broadcasted on the South African Broadcasting Corporation, SABC, free-to-air television channels, or on a special channel for which the institution is seeking licensing. We have recommended that the joint committee should receive quarterly progress reports on the intervention of the Parliamentary Communication Services. And it is working on it.
As we moved towards the end of the Sixth Parliament, an important task that needs to be finalized by the various portfolio committees ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J NYAMBI): Hon Lehihi, please, mic Please mute your mic!
Mr M I RAYI: ... As we move towards the end of the Sixth Parliament, an important task, which needs to be finalized by various portfolio committees and select committees is the legacy reports. Legacy Reports are critical institutional documents, which enable continuity in the work of Parliament. Without Legacy Reports, which are comprehensive key matters can fall within the cracks in the Seventh Parliament. This undermines continuity. We have to recognize that the work of select committees is not the work of a political party, but the work of Parliament in the execution of its mandate and advancement of the interest of the people.
Hon members, the effects of the work of the National Council of Provinces should be continuously assessed and recommendations made by various select committees and by the House should be strictly monitored for the intervention and
where limitation exists, the House should be appraised. The NCOP should have an effective system of monitoring a recommendation. Working together with the people and being the first line of advocacy for people will transform Parliament and its impact on society. With the power rested in Parliament, we need to use this national forum to advance the interest of the people. We should develop legislation that transforms the lives of the people. Thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Hon House Chairperson, hon Nyambi, hon Deputy Chairperson, Mme Sylvia, I must acknowledge the opening address to this debate by the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Ntate Masondo, our distinguished special delegates, South African Local Government Association, Salga, representatives, all hon members that are present here, the Secretary of Parliament and the senior management here. I just want to clarify a few things from the onset.
Hon Labuschagne, I know you are missing me, so here I am in the House. Hon Brauteseth’s understanding of the National Council of Provinces is incorrect. The NCOP is not a copycat of another Chamber of Parliament; it is the National Council
of Provinces, and its architecture is different. The way it is constituted and how its committees function is totally different from the National Assembly.
The NCOP has assigned all functions of various Ministers who are located in the Presidency to various committees. For instance, as Cabinet was reconstituted, there is now a new Minister of Electricity, and we accordingly responded that the Minister of Electricity should belong to the cluster of economy, for Women and Statistics SA, it is social services and for Planning and Monitoring we said Public Service. So, we are not sleeping on duty, we are very clear in discussions on restructuring to increase our oversight capacity. We are very clear on such discussions. State Security is under Standing Committee on Intelligence. So, there is no problem in the manner in which we are constituted.
The reason we have Ministerial briefing sessions is because the National Council of Provinces is a working House. We do not have space for those who want adversarial debates at times not serving their purpose. When we call the executive to appear here, we call the executive to account. Was it not important to call the Minister to come and explain COVID-19
interventions and the vaccine rollout? On something that was threatening the lives of the people. Many people died in South Africa because of COVID-19.
Calling Ministers here is not an act of charity, but to discuss issues of youth unemployment and poverty because Statistics SA reveals that majority of young people are unemployed in South Africa. So, we want Cabinet, first and foremost, to account here. Measures to mitigate against economic fiscal impact of July 2021 and violence and destruction that took place in KwaZulu-Natal.
It was our obligation to call a Minister to come and brief this House on the negative impact of load shedding, and we have never really shied away to call the Minister to come and speak on this. However, the problem with the DA is that they do not like Ministers to appear more frequently and to articulate challenges that are facing the people in our country. The DA gets more irritable because when we call Ministers and MECs, they all present just one province all the time. It’s obviously a boring story. You do not know what ... But it is important that we have to deliver on these issues.
I also want to clarify a few more things. First of all, let me say on behalf of this Council, we welcome the insourcing of Parliament cleaning services as permanent staff. That’s a brilliant move by the Secretary of Parliament. We also acknowledge the sterling work of the cleaning services of Parliament in keeping the precinct in a good condition. I wish hon Mokause was here, but I know that she is part-time in the National Council of Provinces. [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: I am listening to you. Don’t talk about me and think that I am not listening. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: It is important that we must understand that the recommendations that were made by the Zondo Commission are important, and Parliament is engaging with proposals that can be accepted or not accepted. Firstly, it is not a review of oversight model but the important issue is how Parliament plays more robust and efficient oversight role to ensure that the executive is held accountable to, among other things, Ministerial briefing sessions. Very important. The EFF speaker here, quite frankly, is misdirected and irrelevant by elevating this debate into an attack against the Presidency. That is the debate against the Presidency.
What do we mean when we talk about oversight of the President in the light of existing mechanisms? For instance, the President appears in this House and we present questions to the President and engage the President robustly. Then there is the state of the nation address and the annual address by the President in this House. Those are important mechanisms and ongoing discussions, for instance, to improve how we hold President ... [Interjections.]
Ms M O MOKAUSE: You are now irrelevant. You are irrelevant. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: As the hon members may be aware, tis budget policy debate is the last in a year that precedes two critical historic milestones in the evolution of our constitutional democracy. First, the seventh national and provincial elections in the next or within the coming months. Second, is the 30th anniversary of our constitutional democracy, on 27 April 1994. We remember where we come from. We will be celebrating that 30th anniversary. It is important because it marks the breakthrough of how South Africa was prior to 1994, and what South Africa is post 1994. It also ... [Interjections.] ... yes, you rejected 1994 in any way. You
are still there in that mode. You remain a reactionary today and you are a spokesperson of the reactionaries in that bench.
Too many of us, in this august House, the people of South Africa, the African people and the diaspora at large, and the broader international community acknowledges that this debate takes place within the month of Africa. This evokes the memories of centuries of colonial conquest and land dispossession of African people by the Europeans, which led to the late Dr WBE Du Bois to declare the colour line as the biggest problem of the 20th century. It evokes the memories of the narrative of Afro-pessimism that has permeated the discourse on the political governance and development in the post-colonial Africa in the 21st century.
This narrative has its political roots in the early European philosophical thought that was used to justify racism and slavery against the African people and the colonial conquest of Africa by Europeans and still continue to permeate a contemporary global development policy discourse, although with different nuances.
House chair, at the core of this narrative is the assertion that Africans are less human and incapable of governing themselves, and as a common cause, the post-colonial African states cannot last more than 20 or 30 years at the most, unless it is in the white hands.
In one of his celebrated philosophical treaties by the white supremacies, George Frederick Hecker, a renowned German philosopher of the 19th century, proclaims among others that, and I quote: “Africa is unhistorical, undeveloped spirit, still involved in conditions of mere nature, devoid of morality, religious and constitution. Hence it should be enslaved and colonised”.
In an attempt to legitimise this narrative and continue economic exploitation of African resources by the west, the World Bank commissioned a study on the future prospects and possibilities of Africa’s economic recovery, documented in a report titled “Can Africa claim the 21st Century as African century?”.
While there is no consensus on this critical question among the academics and development policy practitioners, there is
abiding consensus, including by some leading development policy experts of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, IMF, that at the core of Africa’s development deficits are historical legacies of slavery, colonialism, racism, and the persistent structural inequality between the rich countries in the north and the poor south in international finance trade and economy.
Racism continues to manifest its ugly head to date because of the framework ... [Inaudible.] ... It presents itself in sports in South Africa today as much as international sport in what happened to an African player in Italy recently. So, it is an issue that we have to deal with. It is not a joke, it’s not a play. We have to address that question without fail.
Hon House Chairperson, there is no other moment in history of world politics where the structural parties of unequal development were laid bare than during the recent global crisis of COVID-19 pandemic. It is on this basis that I humbly submit on behalf of the African National Congress, before this august House, that this will unavoidably make the 2024 national elections and the celebration of the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s freedom the supreme test of the fallacy, or
otherwise, of the Afro-pessimism national elections and the celebration thereon. For us in the African National Congress, nothing but only the truth and honesty with which we continue to admit our shortcomings and the political will and capacity to self-correct, will guarantee us to reclaim the democratic majority — come 2024 national elections.
We do so equally cognisant of the fundamental shifts in global political economy occasioned by existential threats to democracy and its institutions, especially Parliament. At the core of these existential threats, among others, is the persistence of global economic meltdown and failure of democratic institution to address deteriorating levels of poverty, unemployment and in equality.
As noted by some leading scholars in development policies, the persistence of these challenges has not only eroded the confidence of the people in democracy, but most critically, precipitated the global upsurge of populism, intense geopolitical rivalry and competition of scarce resources, and the international disintegration of new liberal consensus on the so-called new global order.
Fashion on the new liberal paradigm, as aptly articulated by Inter-Parliamentary Union in a report, and I have raised this in the House, I quote:
The paradox of our time is that we hailed the victory of democracy while lamenting the fact that in many countries parliament, the central institution of democracy, is facing a crisis of legitimacy. The executive branch dominates the agenda, international co-operation and globalisation have led to decision making that lack democratic control, people question whether the current political process are really able to produce parliaments that can represent their interest in all their diversity.
In the evolving South African context, this threat is manifested by persistence of voter apathy, political and civic disengagement by a majority of the people, a renewed upsurge of left wing and right wing populism, and the proliferation of violent grassroots protests as new alternative forms of political expression and mobilisation, occasioned by significant decline in capacity of democratic state, especially local government to deliver basic services and goods for our people.
House chair, this makes a compelling case for this budget policy debate on Parliament to make preliminary reflections on the assessment of the effectiveness of oversight role in the NCOP as a voice of provinces and local government in pushing back frontiers of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Lastly, the lesson we can draw from the last 30 years of our democracy in order to improve capacity of this august House.
In doing this, the ANC draws inspiration from revolutionary teachings of one of the revolutionary intellectual giants of the 20th century, the late Amika Cabral, who cautioned revolutionaries to avoid telling lies, exaggerating our victories and concealing our weaknesses to our people. Do you see how we self-correct? We are a democratic revolutionary movement, the ANC. We do talk about issues that face the people and we do take counsel from the people. We are not representing interests of big business by hook or crook in this House.
We take this podium today sincerely inspired by the footprints of strategic positioning and repositioning of this august House, the National Council of Provinces to equal the
strategic task of democratic consolidation in favour of the poor, the vulnerable and the working class.
As the architects of our Constitution overwhelmingly noted that the National Council of Provinces is not just a name change of the Senate, but a fundamental departure from the normal Senate and the construction of second chamber, you need to the historical, political, and developmental imperatives of South Africa. In their own words, they agreed that the Senate, as it was configured in terms of 1993 interim constitution, was not adequate to give voice of provinces and local government prominence in the national policy architect.
Critical among the milestones in the positioning and repositioning of the NCOP was the adoption of Taking Parliament to the People as a strategic programme of activist people’s Parliament that is responsive to the needs of the people for better quality of life for all.
Adoption of Provincial Week, NCOP Annual Local Government Focus Week, as my colleagues reflected, and recently adopted Ministerial briefings, which the DA do not like at all because
... [Inaudible.] ... for business.
Hon members, we will continue ... the National Council of Provinces has and continues, through our provinces, to make significant contribution to the quality of section 76 legislation. We really have to deal with these issues without fail.
Chairperson, allow me to express our profound appreciation to the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, to the Deputy Chairperson and to the House chairs. Everybody makes mistakes, but the most important thing is to self-correct of the mistakes that are made in this House. The ANC, within its ranks, constitute majority of people who never come as readymade, but because of daily struggles that they pursue, they represent not only the best ... that represent our society. House Chairperson, Thank you so much.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, hon Nyambi, when it’s late in the day and I’m sure we would like to save as much time as possible. So, I’ll make a few comments, lest I forget, let me start by thanking all of you, feel positive and generally constructive contribution to the debate. So, thank you for your critique and your comments. But I do want to say that we should at least know that the failure to put forward a
compelling argument, I’m sure Eunice will agree: a compelling argument ... good argument, ... does not add any value. So, at all times, I think we should try and avoid that. But also just to raise the general point that those who live in glass houses shouldn’t really be busy throwing stones and so on. It’s a very dangerous thing to do.
Our style, hon House Chairperson, is a very nuanced approach. We do not as our starting point, seek to be hostile to the Executive. That’s not our approach. Yes, we support the robust debate and robust engagement, but even as we do that, we want to ensure that we really come across at all times as rational people. That’s what we say is somewhat thought through, it may not be perfect, but there must be appreciating that we seek to be rational.
I want to agree with hon Tim Brauteseth, says that Parliament needs more budget. So, on the budget question, I’m sure all of us are agreed. We need a budget. Of course, we emphasize that there must be an effective use of resources. There must be an efficient use of the budget and related resources. There’s an issue that has been raised about the Office of Members of Parliament, Parliament of public representatives. Again, we
support this view. I think, we should all support this view. Indeed, the offices must be made available, and my understanding is that they’ve been regular reports that have been given in this regard. So, none of us can claim to be ignorant and not be aware that yes, it was burning down of Parliament, but reports have been given on a regular basis.
I agree with the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP and when she says that the question of oversight on the Presidency is a matter that has been discussed over some time now. She spoke about study visits and so on to compare what other countries are doing in this regard. Of course, we don’t .... When you go and do study visits, we don’t want to copy what other people do. That’s not the aim of a study visit. You go to Poland.
They tell you this. You come and implement it. You go to India, they tell you that, you come and try it. No, the, aim of the study visits is to go there identify best practice and then adapt it to your own specific condition. So that’s what we try to do at all the time. Now, Mokause, you never know here but you say lots of things.
Ms M O MOKAUSE: There are a lot of things done by yourselves.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: One of the things that she’s saying is that the President has failed. It’s a point of view. Maybe we should just leave it there. Then she says, you know, surprising, she says Parliament can burn anytime.
Now, hon ... [Inaudible] ... agree, I mean, it’s an extremely ridiculous point. I’m not a pessimist. I’m an optimist. Maybe as a general advice to those who think they are more revolutionary than others, that the principle, here, should always be, and many revolutionaries have spoken about this.
That as a revolutionary, you must be eternally optimistic. You can’t be there, the other way around and talk about the Parliament burning every 24 hours and so on. That kind of thing is not useful. Yes, we are committed to serving the people and will do so to the bitter end. We will always serve the people.
Hon Du Toit, says, of course, there’s room for improvement. I want to emphasise the point as I agree with you. There’s always room for improvement. But I want to raise this point about an alternative to Parliament. I’m concluding. An alternative to Parliament?
There are many examples of people abandoning Parliaments. But what needs to spell out very clearly is that. When you are abandoned Parliament. What you are left with this conflict in your hands. We’ve seen this in Sudan in Burkina Faso, in Mali, in Chad, in so many countries, in Africa. You know in Sudan for instance, let’s just give one example, over a million of people are displaced. Now these people are found in Egypt in Chad, Ethiopia and elsewhere and so.
KuHadebe ngoba nangu ukhona, sihlala sibulisana sonke. Sithi kuHadebe kukhona isisho sesiZulu esithi: Asibophatha esikubona ukuthi kubalulekile njengezikhali zamantungwa.
So, we have to really look after our freedom of democracy. We have to do our utmost to ensure that this Parliament serves the people and does what it is meant to do. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you, Chairperson of the NCOP. Hon delegates, that concludes the debate and the business of the day. I would like to thank the Chairperson,
Ntate Masondo, Deputy Chairperson, Mme Lucas, Chief Whip, Ntate Mohai, Secretary to Parliament, all parties present, permanent delegates, MEC’s, all special delegates and Salga representatives for availing themselves for the sitting.
The Council adjourned at 19:10.