Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 13 Jun 2023
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 13 JUNE 2023
PROCEEDINGS OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:01.
The House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick took the Chair and requested members to observe moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
NEW APPOINTMENT AND NEW NOMINATION
The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Ms R M Lesoma):
On behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, moved:
That the House—
(1) Notes the resolution of the House on 3 December 2020 electing four members as trustees and four as
alternates to serve on the Political Office Bearers Pension Fund Board of Trustees;
(2) further notes that Mr I K Morolong, Member of Parliament, MP, was appointed Deputy Minister in The Presidency on 6 March 2023, leaving a vacancy of an alternate to be filled from the Majority Party; and
(3) nominate Ms A Ramolobeng, Member of Parliament, MP, to replace Mr I K Morolong, Member of Parliament, MP, as an alternate.
Motion agreed to.
DEBATE IN TERMS OF RULE 130 - FAILURE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO EXTRADITE PERSONS IMPLICATED IN CORRUPTION, AS DEMONSTRATED BY THE RECENT CASE IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, UAE, AND THE CONSEQUENCES THEREOF
Mr B N HERRON: Hon House Chairperson, Leonardo da Vinci famously said and I quote:
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.
Four days after we were told in April that South Africa’ application for the extradition for the United Arab Emirates, UAE, of the Gupta brothers had failed, I submitted a request to the Speaker in terms of Rule 130 for a debate on an urgent matter of public importance. Two months later, here we are finally to discuss that urgent matter. Why we waited, the subject was sliced, diced, chopped, analysed and span by just about everyone with opinion besides us. We who are elected to hold government to account had tweeted our thumbs long to give government time to ponder its losses and announce a new strategy.
Leonardo would have impressed with the urgency of the Speaker’s response to my request for this debate. However, what is the point in declaring an urgent matter without treating it as urgent. Urgency is about determination to get something done. It is about something requiring immediate attention, speedy action and acting with insistent necessity. Urgency is also about state of mind that enables us to identify our priorities and ensure that we address them
meticulously and effectively. I could not find a single word with the opposite meaning to urgency that the four would have suggested language, lazy, sluggish amongst other possibilities.
Lack of urgency arguably describes the state’s overall legal response to the entire Gupta brother saga.
On the UAE’s version of events, on the extradition application, lacked the determination to get something done. It lacked the meticulous attention to detail, than acting with insistent necessity demanded. It lacked an urgency. The application lacked the necessary urgency to succeed. Just as Parliament lacked the urgency to schedule this urgent debate urgently. Lack of urgency has regrettably become a defining characteristic of government. We know that extradition applications are fraught with difficulties. Applicant countries must often go to extraordinary lengths to convincing the holding country to extradite citizens or residents to face trial. It is a high stakes endeavour that demanded the very best from our prosecuting authority and members of the executive.
The Minister’s remark that the extradition was denied on a technicality seems to confirm the UAE’s version that South Africa did not meet the legal requirements of the extradition agreement between the two countries. We did not submit a life warrant of arrest in support of our application. The application was considered with a cancelled warrant of arrest and this is why the extradition application was apparently denied. A failure of meticulousness portraying a deeper lack of urgency. It could be regarded as a technicality, alternatively an unnecessary and carelessness error. The types of errors that should be inconceivable in such high stake cases.
Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed the last part of his State Capture Report to the President a year ago. The report unravelled a web of questionable companies and individuals in the state and outside, including members of the executive and a former State President who allegedly colluded in theft of billions of rand of taxpayers’ money. The Gupta brothers, rightly or wrongly, became the Posta boys of the alleged state capture, for South Africans to believe in their integrity of the billion rand investment in the Zondo Commission is inextricable linked to their prosecutions. So, there was a lot
riding on the matter. The billions of rand and the nation’s belief in self-esteem.
That is why we asked for this urgent debate on the matter of public importance. We have listened to thousands of words from the Minister and his department seeking to assure South Africa, that they did their best and seeking to diplomatically place the blame for the failure of the extradition and the application on the UAE.
Besides details of the state to state engagement or nonengagement behind the scenes we know very little. Given the failure in which South Africa was an applicant in the UAE court, we have questions about whether we consulted the right people in the UAE, with the necessary expertise and knowledge of the UAE system of justice.
If ours was a poorly technical mistake, surely this would have been picked up and addressed had we have been taking advise from people of high competence. Nor can we avoid questions relating to our own competence. For the past five years we have regularly assured that the criminal justice system especially the National Prosecuting Authority, was being
increasingly resourced so that it could prosecute those who have stolen from us.
The arrest of the Gupta brothers on the back of an Interpol red notice was very significant step to demonstrating this growth. It reflected a National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, that no longer follow the instructions of their political masters like sheep. However, looks can be deceptive. The failure to extradite the Guptas was a devastating blow to all patriotic and law-abiding South Africans. The fact that they slept through the NPA’s fingers ... [Inaudible.] ... to holidays in Switzerland and take up citizenship of Banavathu rub salt in the wound.
If this is the result of sloppy legal work, then heads should roll. We know that the Minister met his UAE counterparts last week and they established a joint task team which will commence next week on a fresh extradition process. Make no mistake that the Guptas will take the best legal advice and if the advice of the new agreement is threatening they will be already be taking steps to reduce their exposure in the UAE.
South Africa is battling under multiple disorders; from the rising costs of living, to poverty and food and security, and
from broken electricity supply, to failing passenger and freight rail transport. We need to hear from the Minister how those who created this undeserved suffering for their own personal greed, will be held accountable.
This debate was proposed on the back of the failed extradition application of the Gupta brothers that its national importance is much more than this particular extradition and prosecution. It is more about the correction and stabilisation of our country’s critical institution. About taking back our democratic and constitutional order from hijackers.
The response I would like to hear from the Minister goes beyond calm reassurances to about actual progress. It is bigger than the Guptas. We cannot foresee that they will ever face prosecution here, but there are many prosecutions we should see that do not require extradition and which will begin to satisfy our need to see some consequences for looting and derailment of our developmental state.
With respect to extraditions we know the status of the Guptas, and the curios matters of the Besters. However, there is another decision relating to the extradition of the corruption fugitive, Michael Lomez that could open a new can of worms.
Lomez is implicated in a R745 million fraud and corruption case at the heart of Kusile Power Station failures and the destruction of Eskom’s planned power supply. Will we get him extradited to come back and stand trial or will we be denied this because our prisons are regarded as too dangerous or unfit by the United Kingdom, UK, Home Secretary. Will that be our next technical set back? Thank you hon House Chairperson.
Ms A R RAMOLOBENG: Thank you, House Chair. Deputy President of the country, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, hon members, the traditional international law requirements of independent statehood are barely open to question. The entity involved must have territory, a population, and a stable and independent government to which most of the population is obedient.
A fourth requirement is sometimes postulated that the state must have the capacity to partake in international intercourse. A sovereign state implies that it has control over its territory. It also implies that states should not interfere with each other’s domestic affairs.
The international community derives substantial benefits from a borderless global world, but as a result, it also has to
deal with the negative impact of globalization on international crime. Internationally, the following crimes or conduct pose a particular challenge: Physical crimes committed across borders, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, environmental crime and terrorism.
Cybercrimes committed within one state by the effect of which is felt in the territory of another state or in multiple states, such as the release of malware and the flight of the person accused of a sentence for a physical or electronic crime from the state in which this took place to another state.
House Chair, in criminal matters involving persons or in two different states, the correct and acceptable procedure would be for a requesting state to apply to another state and the requested state for co-operation in the form of mutual legal assistance regarding gathering evidence or extradition of the perpetrator. Co-operation between states is governed by public international law between the requesting and requested states and the requested state’s domestic law.
Chair, it is generally accepted that once a crime has been committed, it should be investigated. The perpetrator should stand trial and, on conviction, be punished for his unlawful
conduct. The challenge that arises is how this could be ensured where the perpetrator is outside the borders of the state in which the crime was committed or where the effect of the crime was felt. The need for effective international and transnational criminal justice has to be balanced with respect for state sovereignty and territorial integrity. It must be noted that the law enforcement agencies of one state cannot just enter the territory of another state and capture the perpetrator, nor can they enter its territorial space and collect evidence of the crime as this would in itself be a violation of the international law. Such conduct will not only infringe on the sovereignty of a state but also violate the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of another state.
Chair, there is consensus in international law, that a state
... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order hon member. May I request the table staff or information and communication technologies, ICT, to switch off those microphones because they are not recognised? Let’s not allow it to interfere in the debate. Please continue, hon member.
Ms A R RAMOLOBENG: Thank you, House Chair. There is a consensus in international law that a state does not have an obligation to surrender an alleged criminal to a foreign state. Because one principle of sovereignty is that every state has legal authority over the people within its borders. The requested state may surrender the requested individual only after there has been compliance with an extradition agreement between the requesting and the requested state and the domestic laws of the requested state.
In President of the Republic of South Africa v Quaglian, the South African Constitutional Court pronounced on the nature of extradition, recognising that it involved more than international relations or reciprocity: It involves three elements and I quote:
Acts of sovereignty on the part of two States; a request by one State to another State for the delivery to it of an alleged criminal; and the delivery of the person requested for trial and sentencing in the territory of the requesting State. Extradition law thus straddles the divide between State sovereignty and comity between States and functions at the intersection of domestic law and international law.
It must be noted that extradition is not an easy process. It is a legal and technical one.
Concerning the Guptas, it must be noted that the government has not simply folded its arms. From February 2022, when Interpol confirmed that red notices had been issued for the Gupta fugitives March has taken place.
In June 2022, the United Arab Emirates, UAE, informed South Africa and Interpol that Atul and Rajesh Gupta have been arrested by the police in Dubai. In July 2022, South Africa delivered the formal extradition request to the authorities in the UAE.
Since September 2022, the department has consistently made communication with authorities of the UAE, and our embassies requesting regular updates on the matter. On the 6th of April 2023, the department was provided with a note verbally from UAE and learned therein that the extradition hearing had been concluded in Dubai Court on 13 February 2023, and our extradition request was unsuccessful.
House Chair, on the 5th of June 2023, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services met with his counterpart in the UAE
to enhance the partnership and in mutual legal assistance and extradition matters between the two countries for the mutual benefit of both nations, as well as the Gupta extradition processes. It has also been reported that a Technical Joint Task Team will meet to go through the extradition request and the additional mutual legal assistance that South Africa should provide.
We must appreciate that different states employ different legal systems. And that for successful extradition, there needs to be co-operation among states as it is not an easy process. A requesting state relies on the prosecuting authority of the requested state.
Chair, we hope that this case and the case of the Bushiris in Malawi will lead to positive results and justice will be served. I thank you.
Adv G BREYTENBACH: Thank you, hon House Chair. Hon members, we are here to debate the failed extradition of the Gupta brothers from the United Arab Emirates, UAE, to South Africa.
This case has captured the attention of the nation and has raised significant questions about international cooperation, the rule of law, and the fight against corruption.
First and foremost, we need to understand the context. The Gupta Brothers have been at the centre of corruption allegations and investigations in South Africa for several years, accused of exerting influence over key government decisions. The Gupta family’s alleged involvement in state capture has had severe repercussions on the country’s institutions economy and public trust.
Their extradition has been sought to hold them accountable for their alleged crimes and to restore faith in the rule of law. South African citizens expect them to be held accountable. And to return the vast sums of money stolen. One wonders why they were permitted to leave in the first place.
However, despite South Africa’s extradition request and the extensive evidence presented in the UAE’s decision not to expedite, the Gupta brothers have left many baffled and disappointed. This turn of events raises concerns about the effectiveness of international cooperation in combating transnational corruption and ensuring that justice is served.
One key issue that emerges from this case is the importance of a robust legal framework for extradition. Extradition, treaties and agreements play a crucial role in facilitating
the surrender of individuals accused of crimes across international borders. They establish the legal basis for extradition requests and outline the conditions under which extradition can be granted.
The failure to secure the extradition of the Gupta brothers highlights the need for stronger extradition mechanisms and closer cooperation between countries to prevent potential loopholes and ensure that justice is not compromised.
Moreover, the case underscores the significance of international political will and diplomatic efforts in extradition matters. Extradition processes can be complex, involving not only legal considerations but also political and diplomatic dimensions. It requires close co-operation and coordination between the requesting and requested countries.
The inability to secure the extradition of the Gupta Brothers raises questions about the effectiveness of diplomatic engagement and the extent to which political factors influence the outcome of the case.
Another critical aspect that emerges from this failed extradition is the need for international cooperation in combating corruption. Corruption is a global issue that
transcends national boundaries and it demands collective action to address it effectively. The Gupta case highlights the importance of collaboration between countries to track illicit financial flow, share intelligence, and ensure that those accused of corruption faced justice regardless of their geographic location.
The failure to expedite the Gupta brothers not only undermines South Africa’s efforts to combat corruption but also sends a discouraging, discouraging message to the international community regarding the fight against this pervasive problem. Furthermore, the failed extortion of the Gupta brother raises concerns about the integrity of global financial systems and the need for enhanced measures to prevent money laundering and illicit financial activities.
The Gupta family’s alleged involvement in corruption and state capture has been closely linked to illicit financial flows.
This case emphasizes the importance of strengthening international financial regulations, promoting transparency, and cooperating to combat money laundering and financial crimes. By doing so, we can prevent individuals from exploiting loopholes and invading justice by seeking refugees in other jurisdictions. This must start by finding out where
the Guptas are and it’s no good, Mr Minister gallivanting in Abu Dhabi unless we know that they’re there.
In conclusion, the failed extradition of the Gupta Brothers... [Interjections.] ... ah, semantics. The failed extradition of the Gupta brothers from the UAE has been a setback in the country’s fight against corruption and the pursuit of justice. It raises concerns about international cooperation, the robustness of legal frameworks, and the need for collective action in combating corruption.
As an aside Mr Minister, I asked four weeks ago for a copy of the extradition documents. I still have not received the courtesy of a reply. What seems to be the problem? Thank you.
Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: House Chairperson, the most dangerous criminals in the world today are those who are able to commit crimes in multiple jurisdictions. They are dangerous because they are able to move assets across countries, and they are able to escape from one jurisdiction to another. It was for this reason that International Co-operation in Criminal Matters Act and the Extradition Act were enacted in order to facilitate the prosecution of criminal offenders and enable their extradition from wherever they may be in the world.
However, as a lawyer himself, the Minister of Justice knows that the substantive elements of a crime are as important as the procedural requirements for prosecuting crimes. As we cannot simply extradite the person without following our due processes, other countries also have their own procedures before extraditing persons of interest to us.
What we know for a fact in as far as his request for the extradition of the Guptas to account for their crimes in South Africa is that the United Arab Emirates, UAE, refused our request because of the number of foolish administrative and legal mistakes from our side. This was a ruling made by a court in that country after finding that there were material defects with the papers submitted by South Africa in their request for the Gupta family members to be brought to this country to account for their clients.
Interestingly, the UAE made the decision in February this year and claimed that they had been communicating with their counterparts in this country at every possible step. It was shocking, therefore, that the Minister of Justice claimed ignorance and shock when South Africa finally communicated this in April.
This raises a number of questions. The first one is whether or not the extradition request was deliberately bungled by Mr Lamola and his department in order to shield the Guptas from ever accounting for their crimes. This is possible, the Gupta legacy benefited far more than the former President and those close to him. Past and President leaders of ANC simply found an easy scapegoat in former president Zuma. They themselves were used and are still used by bank business to hollow out the state in return for crumbs. They are all complicit in the commission of these crimes and will do all in their power to prevent those with international footprint from ever accounting for their crimes because if they do so, the leeches in the ruling party will also be exposed.
The second question relates to the competency of those who made the request for the extradition of the Guptas radical and the capacity of the National prosecuting Authority, NPA, under Batohi to procedure any of the so-called state capture crimes more generally. How is it possible for a country awash with a number of legally astute people to miss basic requirements needed to assure the UAE government that their concerns are taken care of? We know for a fact that we cannot extradite a person to a jurisdiction to which they face a death sentence, for example.
We would want to ensure that there are these guarantees before we extradite. So, why do we fail this basic test to satisfy the legal requirements of the UAE? It might be sheer incompetence, which works quite well for the corrupt leeches leading our government. The NPA itself is utterly incompetent and are led by a very incompetent person in the form of Shamila Batohi. They have not prosecuted the single person out of the so-called state capture circus run by Raymond Zondo.
They fail to prosecute our current President despite there being prima facie case of corruption relating to his Phala Phala money laundering scheme. They failed to prosecute Mr Godongwana where there was evidence that he sexually assaulted a female worker at a massage parlour.
There is no way that they would ever be able to lead a successful prosecution of the Gupta family. All this is deliberate. The capacity of the state is weakened so that those using the state for their personal bank continue doing so without even fearing the risk of arrest and successful prosecution. I thank you, House Chair.
Mr M HLENGWA: House Chairperson, technical mistakes in the bundling of this extradition are a clear indication that government is sleeping at the wheel and tripping from one
failure to another. The founding provisions of our country’s Constitution state that we have a multiparty system of democratic government to ensure accountability, responsiveness and openness. However, under the current government, the value of accountability has been reduced to a phrase only used when doing damage control.
For a brief moment, during the so-called “new dawn”, it seemed that South Africa was making progress towards tangible accountability through the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. However, the government’s failure to extradite the persons implicated in the Zondo Commission report has left us right back where we started before the commission. Rightly, this has been confirmed by the Transparency Internationals 2022 Corruption Perception Index as it indicated that South Africa is now ranked 72 out of 180 countries, which is a score of 43. The same as it was 11 years ago.
The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has costs South Africa almost R1 billion in the hopes of saving the country from more looting by corrupt government officials. However, this is merely a surface value figure. State capture in South Africa has left state owned entities, SOEs, such as Prasa, SAA
and Eskom accumulating a total R331 billion in bailouts since 2013-14, with Eskom accounting for 55%.
These entities have failed due to persistent looting that has been enabled by the government. Instead of bringing economic development, employment opportunities and contributing to South Africa’s gross domestic product, GDP, we are stuck with an inept department. This is the real cost of corruption. This is why we needed to extradite and bring the Guptas back to justice.
The work of the Zondo Commission is invaluable and important, and therefore the South African government needed to show a stand of ethical commitment to all its citizens and bringing those implicated in the state capture to justice. The denial of extradition is a travesty of justice, as this has essentially rendered the work of the Zondo Commission as nothing more than wasteful expenditure.
In the bilateral meeting between the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and the Ministry of Justice of the UAE, an agreement was seemingly reached to quickly address the issues by setting up a joint task team of prosecutors from both countries. It is believed that the establishment of this
task team will allow both countries to collaborate closely to ensure the fair administration of justice. However, one sincerely hopes that this is not just government’s kick for touch tactics as we have become accustomed to in the ongoing section 194 inquiry into the Public Protector.
The fact that government is only now starting this process and more probably this time we hope, is in itself unacceptable because it begs the question, why has it taken so long? This is not only an embarrassment to our country, but it is also dangerous as it indicates that we do not have the adequate procedures, knowledge, skills and expertise in place to deal with extradition matters.
Today we are discussing corruption, theft, fraud and looting, but what happens when tomorrow it is a murder? It goes back to the ineptitude we have seen. Why have we allowed those implicated in matters that affect our entire nation to escape and hide in another country? We believe that South Africa cannot afford any more time and money wasting into these matters. It is actions that speak louder than words, and the nonchalant approach to these convictions by the government has created the very real perception that South Africa itself is
not committed to eradicating corruption by others. I thank you.
Mr W W WESSELS: House Chairperson, on the 7 April 2023, many ANC members were very relieved at the outcome of the failed extradition of the Guptas because it’s not so much about the protection of the Guptas as it is about a lot of cadres that will be implicated in state capture when such court cases will take place in South Africa. It’s not necessarily incompetence, although we know that most departments and most government officials are incompetent under the ANC government, this is less about incompetence and more deliberate incompetence to protect cadres within the ANC.
We also have to remember that state capture and what was done in this so-called nine years, were not done by the former President Zuma alone. It was done under the watch of a Cabinet which a lot of members in this House were part of. The Deputy President at that stage is the current President of South Africa. So, it’s not nine lost years that this ANC caucus and this ANC Cabinet can just say they had nothing to do with.
They had everything to do with it because they allowed it, but they are still allowing it now because there is no consequences, and that is a golden fringe within all the
problems in South Africa. No consequence management from local level to provincial level to national level.
This caucus and members of this caucus of the ANC in each debate says that they are eradicating corruption. That it’s a new dawn. That they are doing everything in their power to bring about change and that there is no corruption anymore.
But then corruption takes place daily, and there is no consequence. This failed extradition of the Gupta brothers is once again a sign of the incompetence, but also the lack of consequences for those who transgress. The fact that we have commissions of inquiry and commissions of inquiry, but then nothing happens. That goes back since 1994 where that happened from the arms deal up until state capture. There is a tradition and a culture of no consequences.
Corruption is stealing away the potential of South Africa. People are suffering. People are hungry because of corruption, because there were roads that needs to be built to bring about economic growth, then the money to build that road is stolen by ANC cadres and nothing is done. There in a municipality like Kopanong in the Free State where there is no water currently, the Mayor can drive a R2 million vehicle and the ANC does nothing about that, but the people are suffering.
State capture is a symptom of this government that does not care about the people out there. You do not care about the livelihoods of South Africans. You actually only care about yourself, your own power, and you do not care to promote a new South Africa where there is no corruption and this Minister’s department is a sign thereof. I thank you. [Time expired.]
Mr W M THRING: House Chairperson, the ACDP asserts that the prospect of the Gupta brothers being extradited to South Africa from the UAE has a personal interest for most South Africans. The impact of state capture cannot be underestimated given the wide range of charges, including fraud, corruption, money laundering worth billions of rands involving alleged collusion from the highest office in the land, corrupting officials at every level. Clearly, we would not be in this situation of extradition at all had the Guptas not been protected, allowing them to leave the country despite compelling evidence against him. The failure of extradition of the Gupta brothers from the UAE sees many contradictions and raises more questions than answers.
The NPA said it was deeply concerned about the failure of the extradition as it had worked through their central authority and ticked all the boxes. However, Minister Lamola
contradicted this, saying the extradition failed on a technicality. What was it? Technicality of the cancelled arrest warrant. But the NPA indicated that all the boxes were ticked. One has to ask the question, is this incompetence or is it deliberate? The years of secrecy and hidden corrupt activity must be exposed.
According to the Zondo Commission, theft of more than R57 billion of public funds was involved by the alleged
architects of state capture, the Gupta family. Who personally raked in at least R15,5 billion. In the view of the ACDP, anything to do with these brothers deserves complete exposure. The ACDP welcomes the assurance given by Minister Lamola that the brothers continue to be safely incarcerated and trust that the Minister himself had visuals of them in jail. This after there were purported sightings of the Gupta brothers in Switzerland and reports of their having attained passports from the Vanuatu Islands in the middle of the pacific.
The ACDP calls on the Department of Justice and the joint task team to set up with the officials from the UAE to leave no stone unturned in ensuring the successful extradition of the Gupta brothers, and to use the lessons learned as best practise for other extradition cases. A failure to do so
Minister, is to rub salt in the economic wounds of many South Africans. I thank you.
Ms N H MASEKO-JELE: Hon Chairperson, members of the House, Deputy President and Minister of Justice, fellow South Africans. In a Supreme Court of Appeal, judgment involving a case of corruption, the court made the following remarks, I quote and close quote.
“The seriousness of offence of corruption cannot be overemphasized. It offends against the rule of law and the principles of good governance. Courts must send out an unequivocal message that corruption will not be tolerated, and that punishment will be appropriately severe.”
It is thus not an exaggeration to say that corruption of the kind in question is a way at the very fabric of our society and is the scourge of modern democracies.
Chairperson, South Africa is part of the global community and is a signatory to various international legal instruments. One such example is the United Nations Convention against Corruption, UNCAC. Some of the key features of the UNCAC are the requirements to take steps to prevent corruption,
criminalized corruption, cooperate with other countries in the fight against corruption and recovery of assets.
Amongst others, the UNCAC requires that state parties must promote active participation of individuals and groups, including civil society and community-based organizations, in the prevention and fight against corruption. Also, to consider incorporating into their domestic legal systems, appropriate measures to provide protection against unjustified treatment of persons who report corruption in good faith; to adopt measures to establish liability of the legal persons offenses in accordance with the convention; and to develop and implement anti-corruption policies that promote participation of society, reflect the principles of rule of law, proper management of public affairs and public property integrity, transparency and accountability.
Therefore, state parties are required to take necessary measures, including legislative measures, to ensure the implementation of the obligations under the UNCAC.
South Africa's obligations in terms of the convention
find expression in our domestic legislations amongst others, the prevention and combating of Corrupt Activities Act,
Prevention of Organized Crime Act, Protected Disclosures Act and Criminal Procedure Act.
In his maiden state of the nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated the need to strengthen state institutions. The President made the commitment that, that would be the year in which we will turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions.
In terms of section 84(1)(f) of the Constitution, the President called for the establishment of the Commissions of Inquiry to look into the Allegation into State Capture, Public Investment Corporation, National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, SA Revenue Services administration, and governance.
Keeping true to his promise, the State Capture Commission was established to investigate matters of public and national interests concerning allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud. The terms of reference were consent predominantly with the practice of executive, members of the state and the nature of their relationships with private individuals including the Guptas Enterprise.
The commission ultimately found that state capture took place on an extensive scale in South Africa. The commission recommended that some state-owned entities, SOEs, and National Prosecuting Authority Asset Forfeiture Unit takes steps to recover amounts paid to implicated parties as part of irregular and unlawful contracts. It is also recommended that those implicated be investigated and prosecuted.
The commission has been critical in ensuring that the extent and nature of state capture is established; that confidence in public institutions is restored and that those responsible for any wrongdoing should be identified. It must be noted that the ANC has given its full support to the Commission of Inquiry.
Some of the interventions by the ANC government include the signing of the extradition treaties, the treaties regarding request for mutual legal assistance with the United Arab Emirates, UAE, in 2018. Not notwithstanding the challenges, the NPA is continually being strengthened. The leadership crisis has since been stabilized.
In 2019, the vacancy rate among prosecutors was over 20%, and this is no longer the case. The aspirant prosecutor program was reignited. The program has been a successful story
providing an entry point and training opportunity for many law graduates. The Investigating Directorate, which the President established explicitly to investigate corruption related crimes has during 2023 final year enrolled 18 matters. totalling 34 matters since its inception, involving 203 accused individuals and 65 accused entities.
The Investigative Directorate also made significant progress in investigating and enrolling state capture matters, with 50% of the cases relating to state capture. The Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained recoveries which amount to R2,83 billion in corruption and related matters.
Chairperson, over the past five years, the NPA Asset for Forfeiture Unit has obtained 1 630 freezing orders valued at R12,4 billion. In the last financial year, the Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained freezing orders valued R570 million in corruption or related offenses. It is indeed a story to tell South Africans. Ongoing criminal investigations into complex corruption at Eskom are yielding results. The Investigative Directorate has finalized ... [Time expired.]
Letshoho la molao le le lelele. Molao ha o fele pelo.
Mr S M JAFTA: Hon Cahir, the regime governing extradition protocols is self-regulating, and countries have flexible extradition agreements with one another. On the diaspora SADC countries have an organizing protocol which governs extradition agreements. It came into existence in 2016.
The SADC protocol aims to rally SADC countries around the cooperative and collaborative extradition process in order to stem the tide against the escalation of crime at both national and transnational levels.
On the other hand, the UAE extradition agreement with South Africa came into effect on the of 1st April 2022. Despite the existence of these agreements, there is a gradual increase of procedural and administrative lapses that could cloud the enforcement of these treaties.
Hon Chair, we view this in a serious light. We must register our discomfort with both Malawi and the UAE. Both countries have been unhelpful in our quest to extradite members of the Gupta family and Prophet Bushiri who stand accused of serious criminal indiscretion.
The obligation placed on state actors to craft a framework of cooperation regarding the process of extradition has been dismissed in South Africa, Malawi and the UAE. Our worry is that poorly handled extradition cases may serve as a gateway for criminals wishing to evade the might of the law in South Africa.
The Department of Justice is also to blame. There are sufficient diplomatic channels in place to enforce existing agreements. As to why these treaties are not domesticated in the form of reviewable and monitored mutual agreement, escape us.
We don't understand why we don't have a designated permanent office in the office of the Minister of Justice dealing with mutual agreement on extradition. Unless we improve governance extradition processes, we run the risk of running a dismal extradition regime in the entire world. I thank you, hon Chair.
Mr X NQOLA: House Chair, we stand before you today to speak against the motion that has been put forward by the Good party, regarding the delays and challenges that the government
faces to extradite persons implicated in corruption and other crimes in our country.
The facts before us are simple because the government has not failed or given up on pursuing the legalities of other foreign sovereign states where the fugitives are. The assumption of failure is therefore premature and, as law-abiding citizens, we must allow our government to exhaust all available remedies and actions until all fugitives return to South Africa to face the full might of the law.
We extend our appreciation to the Department of Justice and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation on the sterling work that they have done and continue doing to ensure that they follow all the processes of co-operation in international law to ensure that the wanted persons are back in South Africa and that they have their day in our courts.
The motion before us is therefore opportunistic and at best very narrow. The United Arab Emirates, UAE, like any other sovereign state, has its own laws and processes that we must adhere to. Extradition requires a complex legal framework that takes into consideration the rights of the accused as well as the request made by the requesting state. International law
dictates that the sovereignty of the states must be respected. It is not the place of other countries to dictate the legal system of another state. South Africa is committed to upholding these principles and therefore cannot interfere with the legal processes of the UAE.
The failure to extradite persons implicated in corruption has nothing to do with the government’s negligence or lack of will but rather the intricacies of international law. The South African embassy in the UAE has been working with the local authorities to ensure that due process is followed and that the rule of law is upheld. The ANC believes in the rule of law and all individuals should be held accountable for their actions. It is unacceptable that individuals implicated in corruption are allowed to evade justice by fleeing to other countries.
The Department of International Relations and Co-operation has been playing a very important role in extradition matters in general and the Guptas in particular. The Department of International Relations and Co-operation should continue to optimally utilise all its resources to ensure that these individuals get their day in court.
We understand the significance of diplomatic relations between South Africa and the UAE. As such, these relations must assist us with the administration of justice, especially when it comes to crimes that have been committed in South Africa. The UAE is a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption and has pledged to co-operate in the fight against corruption. We will therefore continue to engage the UAE to honour this pledge and to co-operate in the extradition of persons implicated in corruption.
As the ANC, we are committed to tackling corruption and working tirelessly to ensure that those implicated are brought to justice, but that cannot be done at the expense of diplomatic relations and international law. We cannot allow corrupt individuals to escape justice, and we will do everything within our power to ensure that those implicated in corruption face the consequences of their actions.
We therefore call on all parties not to support this motion and to work towards the eradication of corruption in South Africa. Hon Herron, you don’t wake up, take a flight to another country, go there and say you are implicated, come let’s go to South Africa so that you answer. There is a particular due process that you must follow for you to be able
to successfully extradite a person implicated in crime. Yes, there are delays. We may have had some hiccups in the process of extraditing Mr Atul Gupta and Mr Rajesh Gupta, but we do commit to the people of South Africa that, without a doubt, all those who have fled the country ... in hiding from their own problems and legal problems in the country are going to be brought back to the country to face the might of the law.
Thank you very much, House Chair.
Mnr W HORN: Voorsitter, die reaksie wat ontlok is toe die nuus in Suid-Afrika op 7 April vanjaar gebreek het dat die ANC regering misluk het om ‘n hofbevel in die Verenigde Arabiese Emirate te bekom vir die uitlewering van die Gupta broers, was veelseggend.
Die Minister van Justisie het die weiering van die hofbevel aan die een kant amusant gevind maar het darem ook die woord ongeloof gebruik, en gewys dat President Cyril Ramaphosa nie ‘n monopolie daarop het om geskok te wees nie. Minister Lamola was ook geskok. Of hierdie reaksies eg was is ‘n ope vraag.
Hoekom sê ons so?
In die plaaslike media is oor die kwessie berig op grond van wat die Minister gesê het — dat hy seker was dat die aansoek in orde was, dat met aanklaers in die Emirate in die voorbereiding van die aansoek saamgewerk is en dat ander, klaarblyklik diplomatieke kanale, voortaan gebruik sou word om die kwessie uit te sorteer. Daar sou dalk ook selfs appél aangeteken word.
Dit wat ons oor die saga gehoor het was dit wat die Minister ons vertel het en die Minister het hard gewerk om die indruk te skep dat die Emirate wol oor sy o? probeer trek het.
Onthou, het hy ons heeltyd herinner, al wat ons weet is wat in ‘n kort diplomatieke nota vervat was. Ons wag nog vir die volle hofuitspraak.
Intussen het die internasionale media, en veral die media in Dubai, ‘n heel ander prentjie geskets. Hieruit blyk dit dat die finale bevel van weiering by die derde geleentheid gegee is, waartydens die owerhede in die Emirate die aansoek oorweeg het, boonop deur ’n hof met die status van ‘n appélhof, dat die Minister deurlopend van die prosesse en bevindings ingelig is en dat die bevinding gemaak is nadat hierdie Appélhof bevind het dat daar fatale tegniese gebreke in die aansoek was
— klaarblyklik ‘n versuim om ‘n geldige lasbrief vir die
inhegtenisneming van die Gupta broers by die aansoek aan te heg.
Gewone Suid-Afrikaners was natuurlik nie geskok of geamuseer deur die verwikkelinge nie. Die algemene reaksie was dat niemand verbaas was nie, want ons het mos almal gesien hoe hierdie regering sedert 2019 dramaties afgekoel het oor die stryd om die geld wat tydens die staatskapingsjare gesteel is terug te kry en om die boewe, wat ons land se beursie behandel het asof dit hul eie spaarbank of moet ek liewer sê hul eie rusbank was, aan die pen te laat ry.
Ons het mos ook gesien en gehoor hoe President Ramaphosa, wie nog in 2019, net na hy President geword het, vasbeslote was om korrupsie uit te roei, daarna voor die Zondo Kommissie sy bes gedoen het om die rol van die ANC in staatskorrupsie en staatskaping af te water en te ontken, soveel so dat die kommissie se verslag hom uiteindelik as vaag en stompsinnig beskryf het.
Gewone Suid-Afrikaners weet ook dat die manier hoe korrupsie deel van die standaardpraktyke van die ANC regering geword het, die ... [Onhoorbaar.] ... geskep het vir die manier hoe
die Guptas, volgens die Zondo Kommissie verslag, ten minste R15,9 miljard deur bedenklike tenders ontvang het.
So, wie kan gewone Suid-Afrikaners kwalik neem dat hulle die nuus dat die uitleweringsaansoek misluk het, as ‘n logiese gevolg van hoe die ... [Onhoorbaar.] ... President Ramaphosa elke dag meer en meer besef het en begin ... [Onhoorbaar.] ... asof hulle weet dat om erns te maak met staatskaping en korrupsie sal vereis dat die pilare van Luthuli-huis bo-op die ANC omgetrek moet word.
Vir diegene wat dalk nog sit en dink dalk was die weiering van die uitleweringsbevel iets wat hierdie regering regtig onverhoeds betrap het en dat dit dalk gebeur het omdat die Emirate ‘n veilige hawe vir internasionale boewe is, oordink die volgende. Sedert 2020, het die Emirate amper 900 mense uitgelewer, waarvan 43 van geldwassery en ander finansiële misdade in hul lande beskuldig was.
Ons liewe Minister Lamola het intussen, op sy tipiese baie praat min doen manier, beloof dat die Guptas uitgelewer sal word, al vat dit hoe lank. Die Emirate is selfs deur hom besoek. Maar wat nie gebeur het nie is dat aangekondig is dat Interpol se hulp ingeroep gaan word om seker te maak dat die
rooi kennisgewings wat teen die Guptas uitgereik is, nie stof op ‘n boekrak vergader nie.
Internasionale media het ook oor die kwessie berig dat die owerhede in Dubai vir Minister Lamola, reeds toe hy die eerste keer ingelig is dat die aansoek misluk het, geadviseer het dat ‘n nuwe aansoek waarby die regte ondersteunende dokumente aangeheg is, ingedien kan word. [Tyd verstreke.]
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: House
Chairperson, the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa and hon members, I begin by expressing my sincere gratitude to the hon Herron for bringing up today’s important discussion. I am happy that most hon members understand the nature and the complexity of extradition. Most hon members also stated that extradition relates to co-operation between the requesting state and the requested state. it can also be polycentric in nature and it straddles between law and politics.
Hon Ramolobeng has already stated that extradition necessitates a significant degree of co-operation between the requesting state and the foreign state. All these are issues that this House agree upon. Any other thing that the hon
members from the opposition have said is cheap political scoring because they understand the nature and the complexity of this things. They are just saying it because they want to blind South Africans not to see the reality of what the South African government has done in all its efforts with regard to complying with the Extradition Treaty Between South Africa And The United Arab Emirates. The legal systems of different countries vary, with some employing common law and others using civil laws systems. Countries with civil law systems are generally less likely to extradite their citizens.
Another thing is in relation to our work that we have done with the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates implement civil and sharia laws in their legal framework. The legal framework in the United Arab Emirates, UAE, is a unique amalgamation of Islamic sharia principles and civil laws from Egypt and France. Only family members can access the court systems in the UAE. It is daydreaming by the hon Horn that I was aware. No South African diplomat or anyone was aware of the court case when it set. Unlike our courts it is not an open court system. It happened and we were informed on the date that we informed South Africans. We wasted no time. We informed South Africans on real time when we received the note verbal on the Good Friday eve. That we were informed in three
months and when it happened it just political scoring. There is no foolish administrative or legal mistake from the South African government. We did not bungle this extradition request.
It is important that we note and expose what article 44 subsection 17 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption provides. It provides that before refusing extradition, the requested state party shall, where appropriate consult with the requested state party to provide it with ample opportunity to present its opinions and provide information relevant to its allegations. A request on extradition cannot be denied on the basis of any mere technicality.
This is not Lamola speaking, but the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption. The United Nations understands that countries try to hide behind technicalities to deny an extradition requests. Before we submitted an extradition request there was co-operations and engagements between the two central authorities including the prosecuting authorities of both countries. The UAE authorities confirmed and certified that the documents that we have submitted in the are in compliance with the extradition agreement. The agreement and
the processes and the document were therefore submitted by the prosecuting authority of the UAE in the courts of the UAE on behalf of the South African government. Where is the incompetency of the South African government?
When an extradition request is brought to South Africa as we do and help other countries, is it the prosecuting authority of South Africa that prosecutes and deal with the matter here in South Africa? If there is a paper or a document that is missing, as hon members are saying that there was a defective cancelled warrant of arrest, the prosecuting authority here in South Africa is duty bound to say to the requesting state that there is this document which is missing and we are unable to process your matter, please bring that document. This is in line with the convention. You don’t shock the requesting state with the outcomes of the court. We deal with extraditions and mutual legal assistance on a day-to-day basis. It’s our daily bread. This is the process we follow every day. Where papers are missing or where there is something that is not there, we request the requesting state in line with the convention and in line with the extradition agreement between the two countries. This is the process that the South African government has followed, and we will continue to follow in our engagements with the UAE to protect the integrity of the
bilateral agreement between the two countries - all the processes as I have said.
Also, there is an issue of the charge of money laundering that the hon members were speaking about. Article 5(a) of the Extradition Treaty provides that:
If the courts of the requested party have jurisdiction to prosecute the person for the offence for which extradition is requested, the requested party shall prosecute that offence.
The underlining and operative word is the word, shall. The note verbal we received from the UAE did not tell us what the UAE is going to do with the charge of money laundering despite the fact that the judgment in the UAE has said that they have competent jurisdiction. In line with this agreement, they are obliged to prosecute on a charge of money laundering. But they have been let loose and released without them being charged, and without respecting the contents of article 5 of the bilateral agreement. So where is the incompetency of the South African government?
We are the ones here, the current administration, that ensured that the bilateral agreement between the UAE and South Africa is entered into, is signed and is domesticated by this Parliament. It is you, the hon members of the current administration, that domesticated this bilateral treaty that we are debating now. So, how can you turn around and say we are not serious? If we are not serious, we would not have domesticated this bilateral treaty. We would not have ensured that this treaty is signed and we would not have followed through, there was no reason. We stand to benefit nothing. But the reality is that the rule of law must be respected by all and in sundry there must be accountability. Everyone who is accused must be held accountable in our courts. It is a duty that we the administration of justice are prepared to uphold.
What have we done with regard to the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, to help it focus? We are on course to rebuild the NPA to be fit for purpose - fight crime and corruption.
The National Prosecuting Authority has filled over 100 senior level vacancies and have also revised the Aspirant Prosecutor Programme. The NPA has achieved high finalisation and conviction rates in organised crime cases. We are 21% improvements in verdicts in the last financial year. An additional R4 billion in punitive reparation has been paid by
ABB with regard to Eskom – R4 billion is back and is in the fiscus. We are now going to use it to recapacitate our law enforcement agency.
This is work in progress. It is visible, you can touch it, and it is in the account. We are not giving any other flimsy theory, it’s real and you can touch it in our bank account.
This progress sends a clear message to those who have benefited from state capture that they cannot evade accountability. We will make sure that the rule of law is upheld in our country.
However, we acknowledge that more work still needs to be done to improve our system and to meet public expectations. The level of crime must be matched with the same level of sophistication by the state. It is against this background that the President has established the investigating directorate, ID, to deal with matters emanating from the state commission of inquiry. Fundamental reforms are necessary to achieve this, and we are committed to make necessary changes.
In the Sixth administration we have been deliberate about augmenting the capacity of the NPA by approving appointments in terms of section 38 of the National Prosecution Authority
Act. This followed a budget allocation of R5 billion over the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, period which is a significant resource to build the capacity of the NPA. This also includes the appointments in terms of section 38 of the National Prosecuting Authority Act, technical expertise to help with the extradition cases with regard to the Guptas and other international matters and prosecution in the local courts. This is the appointments of senior counels of various complexities and skills. That is a deliberate action by the South African government to assist the NPA to do their job without any fear, favour or prejudice. About 25 external counsels were sourced in this regard to assist in this process. This is a demonstration. We put our money where our mouth is as this current administration. This is a demonstration of commitment to fight against corruption and to ensure accountability.
Hon members, as I have said, extradition can become a protracted legal process. In our shores we had matters delayed years due to technical legal challenges. The first case we dealt with postdemocracy on extradition was a matter of Harksen v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others in 1994. Harksen took out various issues in relation to the Extradition Act of South Africa. This matter was in our legal
system for six years. It was only finalised in the Constitutional Court in 2000.
In recent times we have also dealt with the Kongheven case who was arrested in 2016 and only got officially appreoved for extradition in 2022. Even then the Constitutional Court had been called upon to adjudicate this case by way of an appeal. So, this shows that extraditions by their nature can be protracted but at the end of the day the rule of law prevailed and we ensure that when the court has decided we handed over the people but it was after some times. We are calling for calm. We are saying as the government of this country we will ensure that the Guptas come back to South Africa to account for their sins and for their c rime. There will be accountability. It may take time because of the protracted nature of extradition, but it is going to happen. They will one day face justice in the courts of our country.
Same with the Bushiri matter. The man and the gentleman called Chipiliro Gama. We have scored significant victory in the courts of Malawi where he is taking all manner of technical points, legally and otherwise. We have up to so far, we have gained an upper hand. We have won various court cases and decisions in Malawi on the Bushiri matter. And the matter has
now again taken another technical point. Working with the authorities in Malawi we are continuing to follow through the matter. We want to appreciate the prosecuting of Malawi. Every time when the matter is siting, for example, they tell us the matter of Bushiri is going to sit on this day and we inform the nation that on this date the court case is going to sit.
We are not shocked by a judgment in Malawi. Every time ... [Interjections.]
Mr M MANYI: On a point of order. The point of order is that the hon Minister is actually misleading the House by giving an impression that they would have been a valid warrant ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member, that’s not a pint of order, but that’s a point for debate. Please, continue, hon Minister.
An hon MEMBER: But the Minister is lying.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: No, I am
not surprised when the hon Manyi catch feelings when we debate about the Guptas. It is in the public knowledge. It is in the public knowledge so ... But there was indeed a valid warrant of arrest that was issued. Even the cancelled warrant was
submitted on the basis of the agreement between the two states. There was an agreement, there was clarity, and it was accepted that all papers were in order.
With regard to the matter of Chipiliro Gama, well-known as shepherded prophet Bushiri, we are also following it. We have scored significant victory. Sometimes suffering minor legal challenges, but even there, the rule of law will prevail. He will definitely come back to our country and justice will prevail. Thank you very much.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH ON NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE BILL
The ACTING CHIF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Mr B A Radebe):
House Chairperson, I move:
That the Report be adopted.
There was no debate.
Motion agreed to (Inkatha Freedom Party and Economic Freedom Fighters dissenting).
Report accordingly adopted.
NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: House Chairperson, let me greet my colleagues from the Cabinet and the Deputy Ministers and specifically my colleague, Deputy Minister Dhlomo, Deputy Minister of Health, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Dr Jacobs, and all other members of the committee and good afternoon to everyone, and good afternoon to all South Africans. Today is indeed a very historic day in this House for the people of South Africa, for our long walk for freedom and for the democracy we started building in 1994. The National Health Insurance policy whose Bill we are debating today has been in construction since the gazetting of the Green Paper just over 12 years ago. Therefore, it feels good today that we have reached this historic milestone. The aspiration to create an equitable and just health system has
been part and parcel of our struggle for freedom and democracy.
Our forebears who led the struggle for freedom in the 1940s and 1950s laid the path in declaring both in the African claims and in the Freedom Charter, that there can be no real freedom without access to good quality and equitable health services. It is perhaps appropriate that we are holding this debate just 12 days before the anniversary of the first day of the sitting of the Congress of the People and 13 days before the adoption of the Freedom Charter itself. The Freedom Charter declared in a very unambiguous terms that, I quote:
A preventative health scheme shall be run by the State. Free medical care and hospitalisation shall be provided for all, with special care for mothers and young children.
In pursuance of the goals set in the Freedom Charter when we adopted our Constitution in 1996 in this very House, we included in section 27 of the Bill of Rights a clause which directed, I quote:
Everyone has the right to have access to health services, including reproductive health care. The state must take
reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights. No one may be refused emergency medical treatment.
Hon members, the Bill we are called to pass today is meant to create the legal framework and foundation for the noble aims embodied in the Freedom Charter and our Constitution. This is one of the most revolutionary pieces of legislation presented to this House since the dawn of our democracy in 1994. A lot has been done and achieved by the democratic government since 1994. We inherited a fragmented race, determined health system out of which we had to build a national democratic and equitable access to health systems. A number of progressive policies have been passed, such as free health services for pregnant women and children under the age of six as early as 1995, by the founding father of our democracy, President Mandela. After that we proceeded to declare fee-free services at primary health care facilities and also access to reproductive health services, including the choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act.
What we have not been successful so far over this period is to avoid replacement of race-based differentiation of access and
quality by a class differentiation. As inequality has been growing in our country, even cutting across race access to quality health services has been a casualty with those who have private medical insurance consuming 51% of the national spending of the gross domestic product, GDP, on health, while constituting only 16% of the population. While 84% of the population depends on 49% of resource purely from the fiscus service by the public health system only. This has led to a situation where the public health system is under tremendous pressure, while the private health care is over-servicing its clients, leading to ever rising costs to the members of medical schemes while the investors are enjoying huge dividends including dividends from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
The reality, hon members, is that this situation is not sustainable. As the number of people in formal jobs is not rising in line with the investments in private health care and the cost of administering medical schemes, the cost of subscription to medical schemes is rising above inflation every year, while benefits are reducing and getting exhausted before the end of the calendar year. Another major injustice is that almost all health care professionals are trained at the expense of taxpayers, including ordinary people who spend
their money buying goods and paying value-added, VAT. However, once the medical professionals have qualified and become specialists, only those we can afford are able to access their services. Whereas also in the training all health professionals are trained also for clinical skills on ordinary South Africans in public health facilities, but once they are qualified, they are only accessible to those with money. The availability of top health professionals to only those with medical aids, but even migration to other countries is totally unjust. Members of medical schemes even in this very House, are under tremendous financial pressure and employers are also under pressure to increase their share of the contribution, which is also not sustainable.
Hon members, in simple terms what the National Health Insurance, NHI, seeks to do is to stop the two trains, that is the private health and the public health travelling on parallel tracks surely going to crash both of them. However, if they could work together and be pulled together and complement each other, we can get a better service. The NHI seeks to pull resources of those who can only contribute to the fiscus through contributions such as VAT and other collections and those of us who are able already making contributions to the fragmented 81 medical schemes who are
purchasing services on our behalf and as I’ve said already, this is not sustainable. In doing so, we can achieve access, equity and quality, but also drive down cost. I know that there are those of you in this House and outside who say that the NHI is unaffordable, but you’re basing this on highly inflated costs among some of the private providers who are under pressure to keep delivering super profits even higher than gold mines and platinum mines, even in major developed countries such as the United Kingdom, UK, where universal health coverage is applicable, it is the insurer who determines the price, not the provider of service. And that’s why they are able to sustain it.
The National Health Service, NHS, in the UK as an example which was established on 5 July 1948, just three years after the end of the Second World War. At that time, parts of the country were still in ruins. There was not much of the economy to speak of in terms of saying we can’t afford it now. Many of the doctors there actually opposed the NHS. And it’s not surprising, therefore, it’s not new in our country that we have some of the organisations or medical practitioners opposing. However, today it doesn’t matter which government is in power in the UK, whether it’s the Conservative Party or the
Labour Party, all of them understand one thing that the NHS is the jewel of the country and must be protected.
Therefore, we are saying, hon members, that we do understand some of the concerns about the poor management, but we want to say to you that even in the overburdened public service, there are lot of jewels, there are a lot of good performances across. You can look at and I can give examples of the Steve Biko in Tshwane, Charlotte Maxeke, Groote Schuur Hospital here, Mamelodi Regional Hospital which was very much down at some stage but within two years Mamelodi Regional Hospital is now one of the best district hospitals just in terms of turning around management. Therefore, I want to urge all of you, hon members, today, please be honourable in supporting this Bill, which will really make a historic change in the lives of ordinary South Africans. I thank you.
Dr K L JACOBS: House Chairperson, Deputy President, Minister of Health, Deputy Minister of Health, Members of Parliament, all South Africans, Martin Luther King once said, and I quote, “of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.” This is as much true as today as it was then. Therefore, today we are standing on the cusp of
history. South Africa is in the lead globally, in making an effort to address this in equality and injustice.
This is a time of major transition of the health care of South Africa to a more equitable state, where all the people can have a hope of a better future because they can have an expectation of attaining good quality healthcare, should they need it. Living is the essence of life, and having a healthy functional body that is capable of providing for oneself and one’s family, is at the centre of the ability to live life to the full, that’s me. You can quote me in the future.
It is therefore not a debatable matter and should never have been a debate at all, but a foregone conclusion that all people should have equal access to quality health care, and the National Health Insurance Bill seeks to achieve this, to eliminate the injustice in the health sector and to bring about transformation of the health sector. I stand here joyfully today, as I look back at the thousands of kilometres that we traversed across the country as the committee to solicit South Africans’ input on the Bill.
Accordingly, we made South Africans of different persuasion from the urban and peripheral areas of voice, agitation,
appreciation, concerns, and most importantly, their recommendations for the Bill to improve the health system of our country. In addition, the committee received input from, amongst others, the representatives of academia, business, social, civil society, organised labour, pharmaceutical companies and political parties. In all the public hearings that the committee heard, all speakers agreed that the status quo of our health sector is not what it ought to be.
Currently, South Africa is a dualistic old system, which is skewed and favours the rich. Both public and private health systems have strengths and serious deficiencies that that this Bill aims to rectify. To this end, the majority of speakers who presented to the committee consented on the importance of universal health coverage in the form of National Health Insurance, NHI, as a solution. Therefore, today in this august House, stands on this precipitous point of resetting this country’s health trajectory in line with the international community, such as the African Union, the European Union, the Interparliamentary Union, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, WHO, who have all sounded a call for the universal health coverage to ensure that no single person is left behind.
Positive and sustainable health outcomes are integral to any nation’s progress. This is recognised by the developed and developing countries alike. So, in this context, as a country. approximately 8,5% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, goes to health, of this, some 40% is spent in the public health sector and 51% in the private health sector according to the 2021-22 data. Despite South Africa spending more per person on healthcare than any other country on the continent, this is not reflected in our health outcomes.
The drive for NHI, therefore, is that the two-tiered health system is expensive, wasteful and above all, unsustainable and does not contribute adequately to the health outcomes. Of course, realising the vision of universal health coverage is dependent on a solid financing system or model. In the case of South Africa, this will take the form of a single National Health Insurance fund, that would pool funds to provide access to quality, affordable health services for all South Africans. A single fund will be able to achieve income across subsidisation between the rich and the poor, between the healthy and the sick and between the young and the old.
The government will be the buyer of health services on behalf of citizens, similar to what it did during COVID-19. The NHI
fund will be utilised to purchase goods and services from accredited contractors in both the public and private sectors. In line with international experience, purchasing of personal health services will be undertaken at the national level. The fund, as a strategic purchaser, will be distinctly separate from accredited public and private service providers. A public entity will be established to administer the fund, and it will be governed by a board appointed by the Minister of Health, with the concurrence of Cabinet.
The board will report to the Minister of Health and to Parliament, as it is required of all public entities in line with the prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act. It is also important to note in the short to medium-term roll-out and the implementation will be incremental and appreciative of the existing fiscal space. The estimated national health expenditure as per the National Treasury is R245,9 billion in 2023-2024, R257,9 billion in 2024-2025 and R269,4 billion in 2025-26. The functions baseline increases by a net amount of R35 billion, which is equivalent to 4,7% over the MTEF period from R738,2 billion Rand to R773,2 billion.
We must remember that the baseline budget for NHI will be sourced from the existing budget. An additional amount will
augment the current budget. The state also spends a significant number of resources as contributions to medical scheme premiums of employees. This is quite significant. These resources, when added to the current budget, will take us a long way to financing NHI. The fund will be capitalised in the main through general revenue allocations. However, given the substantial resources that will be required to prepare the health system for NHI, and that users will not be paying any fees, it is imperative that government explore various options for augmenting this allocation.
The National Health Insurance Bill envisages that potential sources which should be considered, include payroll taxes and a surcharge on personal income taxes. There is an understandable and justifiable anxiety on the part of a number of stakeholders and how the NHI fund will be insulated against mismanagement, poor governance controls and corruption. A risk management framework will be developed in this regard. Another concern is on the role of medical schemes under the NHI. The state will be the sole purchase of health services on behalf of users. Eligible users will not be able to opt out of the NHI or of paying the appropriate contributions.
This is the only way in which we can build a single unitary healthcare system. However, medical schemes will continue to exist under NHI, and eventually, need to adapt to the transformed landscape. In the long run, the medical schemes will offer only top-up health insurance for services not covered under NHI. This could include payment for medicines not covered by the NHI, for example, it will be the choice of the employer to continue subsidising additional employee health benefit, but only for statutory top-up cover. Hon members, t is in the interest of all the South Africans that NHI succeeds, that it is well resourced and capacitated, and that strong systems are put in place to prevent abuse and misappropriation of funds designated for the benefit of our citizens.
As I conclude, allow me to remind this august House of the objectives of the National Health Insurance Bill. It seeks to achieve universal access to quality health care services in the Republic in accordance with section 27 of the Constitution, establish a National Health Insurance fund and set out its powers, functions and governance structures.
Provide a framework for the strategic purchasing of health care services by the fund on behalf of users. Create mechanisms for the equitable, effective, and efficient
utilisation of the resources of the fund to meet the health needs of the population.
Also, preclude or limit undesirable, unethical, and unlawful practices in relation to the fund and its users. In the course of building a better South Africa, that leaves no one behind, I call in this House to adopt the National Health Insurance Bill without delay. I also want to thank a number of members today as the chairperson of the portfolio committee, the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, for introducing the Bill to Parliament.
Also, the Deputy Minister, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, was the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee and Health at the time that the Bill was introduced, hon Tshilidzi Munyai, was the previous Whip of the ANC’s study group, and the late members of the portfolio committee, hon members, Pumza Dyantyi and Mxolisi Sokatsha. A special thank you to all members of the portfolio committee, both past and present, and to all who had raised their opinions on the Bill to the committee and to all the South Africans who have been making this a topic of the past four years, I thank you.
Ms M O CLARKE: House Chairperson, the ANC keeps touting the National Health Insurance, NHI, as being in the best interest of South African citizens, that it is a Bill born out of care that will save the public health system.
Let us take an honest look at what the implementation of the NHI Bill will mean for the ordinary South African. Now that
9 million people have medical aids, once the NHI is implemented, the 9 million people who have to be accommodated on an already overburdened public health system instead of going to their already paid private doctors and hospitals, they will now be competing for treatment in the public health system with its severe staff and resource constraints.
The last indicators of the National Surgery backlog were more than 168 000 cases. The ANC might argue that through the NHI fund private health facilities will be servicing a larger portion of the public previously unable to access their services. However, this is based on the ludicrous assumption that these 9 million South Africans would continue to pay their medical aids when it will no longer benefit any of them.
Without private patient funding, private health facilities will be dependent on government funds, effectively making them
public health facilities without the benefit of the dedicated budget. As government has done no feasibility studies, we do not know how many facilities would survive government’s- imposed fee structures. These potential closures will further decimate the health sector.
In addition, talking of a decimated sector, staff shortages are a massive problem and have been for years, not only of public health personnel expected to work in horrendous and unsafe conditions and facilities where the provision of quality health care is nearly impossible. They are victimised when they speak out in an effort to address their concerns.
There will surely be a mass exodus of medical professionals if the NHI is enforced.
How has government addressed these shortages? Not by accrediting the private health sector to train their full capacity of nurses. Has government upgraded their health facilities and ensure that hospitals and clinics are safe, have working equipment, and have beds, medicine, and food? The DA and committee oversights, Auditor-General reports, patient feedbacks, or whistleblowers attests that many of the country’s hospital and clinic wards are in inhumane conditions.
To this day, we do not know which services the NHI will cover. Will the department pay for hip replacements, dental care, appendix removals, dialysis, chemotherapy, TB, and HIV treatment or mental health care? We do not know because you have refused to inform us possibly because you don’t know, but possibly, the biggest reason why the NHI will inevitably destroy all health care in South Africa.
The ANC cannot be trusted. Corruption has become more natural
... [Inaudible.] ... During a worldwide pandemic that saw more than 102 000 South Africans die and had millions confined to their houses in fear. The ANC government facilitated the looting of R2,1 billion that was meant to trat Coronavirus and intervene in a variety of ways. Not something a government that cares for the poor and the vulnerable would have done.
The DA has always believed in collaborating with the private sector for the whole of society approach in addressing the issues plaguing society instead of scapegoating them for governance failures. Despite the ANC’s best attempts to create the impression that the private health sector is to blame for the public sector’s deficiencies, it is government’s mismanagement, cadre deployment, and corruption that has caused and now immortalised the destruction.
The key is to ensure that patrons of the public and the private health sector both receive quality health care. After all, the expansion of the private health sector is the consequence of the failing public health sector, not the cause, as such conditions must be created that will encourage private investment in the public health sector.
Your determination to alienate or absorb the private health system will end in tears. Corruption must be rooted out and provinces need to have greater accountability where health comes out poor. Do not sell a dream to people when you misdiagnosed the problem. You will not find the correct cure. The cure is proper financial management and zero tolerance to corruption. However, that cannot be done until the former Health Minister is held accountable.
The NHI is not the miracle that the ANC purports it to be. It is smoke and mirrors meant to make voters believe that the grotesque looters standing in front of them ... [Time expired.] ... that once liberated a nation, they have not, and they never will. We will not support this Bill.
Ms N N CHIRWA: Greetings to the commander-in-chief of the EFF, Julius Sello Malema, the deputy president, Nyiko Shivambu, all
the officials, commissars, fighters, and ground forces of the only economic emancipation movement in South Africa.
Ten years of the existence of the EFF has seen the lives of many of our people being made better. Without the dependence of taxpayer’s money, thousands of young girls across the country have missed less days of school due to periods poverty because of the EFF’ sanitary towel programmes, such as Siyanqoba Day Care Centre for children with disabilities, Mogalakwena Hospice and Rehabilitation Centre, and Zanele Mtshali Disability Home as some of the facilities for vulnerable people that can attest to the care and the love of the EFF for the abandoned and neglected in our communities.
Donating R30 to the EFF by SMSing “EFF donation” to 42191 is truly a noble and charitable course. A happy and a revolutionary 10th birthday year to the mighty EFF.
The National Health Insurance would be counted as one of the biggest scams of the ANC of our time. The ANC, through a Bill Gates mandate given in 2009 agreed to manipulate our people and convince them that equal health care for all would suffice through the NHI. We reiterate long health ... [Inaudible.] ... The NHI contrary to popular belief, is far from what it is said to be. The NHI is not the eradication of a two-tier
system. No, the NHI is true evidence and the fact that the only way to eradicate the two-tier system is through nationalisation, not tenderising health care. The NHI is the outsourcing of health care to the private sector through the pooling of funds of the hardworking South Africans and state coffers to fund the insatiable appetite for profits of institutions like Netcare and Life.
Minister Joe Phaahla, to date, has failed to appraise Parliament of the true cost of the NHI. The Minister of Finance has also failed to present to Parliament precisely how it will be funded ...
An HON MEMBER: On a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, there is a point of order. What is your point of order, hon member?
An HON MEMBER: Is it parliamentary for an hon member to shout at us?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member, that’s not a point of order. Don’t rise on frivolous points of order. Please continue.
Ms N N CHIRWA: A street mate is a street mate. The NHI is not the easing to health care for the poor as there is an irrefutable system that is incapsulated in the NHI that states that we should all access health care at our nearest health facility. This means that those living in townships, rural areas, and informal settlements will still be subjected to the public health facilities. There is no die werkers eMsinga or eThokoza. In fact, public health care will be more debilitated as the money meant to better the infrastructure, increase the workforce, and professional quality of health care will end up in the hands of private sector, which will claim repeatedly from the state the same way they claim from medical aids and have their customers leave their premises in utter humiliation, taken to public hospitals because they no longer have money.
The NHI is a direct manifestation of what Ramaphosa Administration truly represents. The fully-fledged programme to privatise everything and leave the state useless. All socialists should, in fact, with ease reject the NHI. The ANC government has privatised dams, national parks, state-owned entities, SA Airways, and they sold the assets of Transnet,
... [Inaudible.] ... the privatisation of Eskom and is in a constant motion of stripping the state off power so that it is
unable to provide for the needs of our people. We are at the mercy of the private sector for all aspects of our lives. The goal is to ensure that nothing in the public sector works. The goal is to destabilise everything in the public sector and impower the private sector.
The state of our public schools, public policing and security, public institutions, and now public health care is evident over what the programme of the ANC is. When the EFF provides a solution of increasing access to quality health care for the most destitute through the Private Member’s Bill and the National Health Act Amendment Act that wants to see at least one health facility in every ward and all the clinics open 24/7 and seven days a week. The ANC and the DA alike rejected this noble Bill because the mandate is not universal health care, the mandate is to loot the state of its money and put it into the coffers of the private sector.
Prioritized primary health care prevention and education by employing all community health care workers permanently and bring health care into the houses of our people. Invest in stem cell therapy and numerous medical interventions. Built clinics in all wards in South Africa and have them open 24/7 and seven days a week. Absorb all nurses that are sitting at
home with qualifications. Insource all cleaners and security guards in all health care facilities. Build state capacity and stop depending on the private sector to solve your problems.
As a failing government, we reject this Bill as we will not be part of the collective that sees the daylight robbery of the state by ANC gorgons who owe their allegiance to fellows like Bill and Melinda Gates at the cost of our people’s lives. We reject the NHI. [Interjections.]
Ms M D HLENGWA: Hon Chairperson, the IFP remains in full support of universal access to health care service in South Africa for all people, in accordance with the right to health care as contained in section 27 of Constitution. We are of the considered opinion that the current form of the Bill before the House today is not achievable.
We state this for this follow reason – affordability. Although we recognise the fact that universal access to health care is a right, which is the progressively realisable by the state, we must also take note that the state has a duty not to act in a manner that negatively impacts the current provision of public health care services.
In our opinion, the Bill before us will do exactly that. We believe it will deny access to existing health care, rather than promoting the same, because of the enormous amount of funding it will require and because of the 9 million people currently on private medical aid, which the state will seek to cover now as a part of the NHI. This is not affordable and on its own, will cause the Bill to fail to be made a law.
Regarding Access to health care, the IFP remains extremely concerned about not only the current poor state of the access to medical health care service in rural areas.
... le koMahlabathini nje ...
... and communities, but the fact that the NHI could further limit us as to access health care service through its proposed implementation of the referral and accreditation network, which could exclude specific clinics.
With regard to the Ministerial overreach, the current form of the Bill provides the Minister of Health with power beyond the political office to which he has been appointed. This will
open the doorway to undue influence, cadre deployment and negatively impact oversight, and without casting any aspersion upon the Minister’s good name, quite possibly lead to fraud and corruption in due course.
Shortage of medical professional ...
... abekho nje odokotela sinesibhedlela thina kwaCeza esingenabo odokotela, sinoHIV, sinabantu besifo sofuba [TB.] asebavele bahlanganiswa ndawonye ngoba bekho odokotela nonesi.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, your time has expired.
Ms M D HLENGWA: The IFP cannot and do not support the current form NHI Bill. Thank you.
Mnr P A VAN STADEN: Agb Voorsitter, die Nasionale Gesondheidsversekering, NGV, is ’n stelsel wat nie in staat gaan wees om basiese gesondheidsorg aan Suid-Afrikaners te kan lewer nie. Dit is eerder ’n politieke foefie van die ANC, om
stemme te probeer verkry vir die 2024-verkiesing. Hierdie is niks anders as ’n ANC beleidstuk nie. Die skrywers en ontwerpers van hierdie wetgewing het nie in belang van die bevolking se gesondheid opgetree nie, maar eerder in die belang van ANC-ideologie.
Dit is telleurstellend dat die President van Suid-Afrika, die Minister en die ANC so vasberade is om die NGV op die wetboeke geplaas te kry, ten spyte van die harde werklikheid, dat openbare gesondheidsorg jare lank reeds in Suid-Afrika afgesterf het. Dit is jammer dat die President, die Minister en die ANC nie rede kan insien waarom hierdie stelsel reeds gedoem is nie. Dit is jammer dat die President van Suid- Afrika, die Minister en die ANC siende blind en horende doof is vir die gemors wat tans in ons openbare gesondheidsorg aan die gang is.
Ons bevolking betaal daagliks ’n enorme duur prys vir die gemors waarin die openbare gesondheidstelsel verkeer - ’n prys wat so hoog is, dat daar tans met ons mense se lewens hiervoor betaal word. Mnr die President, dit is tyd om op te staan en leierskap te toon deur hierdie stelsel in sy geheel te verwerp! Mnr die President, staan op en herroep die Nasionale Gesondheidsversekering!
Die NGV is nie die korrekte of regte metode om gesondheidsorg, van uitstaande gehalte aan ons Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking te lewer nie. ’n Plan vir ‘n gesondheidstelsel, wat beide die privaatsektor en die openbare sektor insluit, moet ontwerp word wat gaan verseker dat alle mediese beroepslui van regoor die land saamwerk om so ’n stelsel te steun en in werking te stel.
Die VF Plus waarsku vandag dat die NGV nie ’n grondwetlike toets gaan slaag nie. Die VF Plus gaan dus met geen ander keuse gelaat word, as om hierdie wetgewing met alles tot sy beskikking te beveg, indien hierdie Huis vandag sy goedkeuring vir hierdie wetgewing gee nie.
Ek doen vandag ’n beroep op lede van hierdie Huis om nie die NGV te steun nie, aangesien die regering nie oor die vermoë beskik om voldoende basiese gesondheidsorg aan alle Suid- Afrikaners te kan lewer nie. Ons openbare gesondheidsorg is ’n sprekende voorbeeld hiervan.
Hierdie regering gaan hom vasloop in die howe, indien hierdie wetgewing vandag aanvaar word. Verskeie rolspelers in die mediese bedryf het reeds aangekondig dat hul die NGV in die
howe gaan beveg en die VF Plus waarsku dat hierdie opkomende regsaksies, vorige regsaksies soos ’n vulletjie sal laat lyk.
Government must take serious note that thousands of medical professionals will leave South Africa, if the NHI is implemented and that will leave South-Africa in a serious crisis. Stop blaming apartheid for your own failures. Over the past 29 years, the ANC blames everything and everyone else for all its failures, accept to blame themselves. Start looking at your own failures!
I am warning the President and this government that the NHI will not be a magic wand that will get rid of the huge problems in the public sector.
Ms T V TOBIAS: Chairperson, on a point of order: There is interpretation, but due to the noise, the interpreter cannot even tell us what is going on.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, also the noise around you, hon member, and on that side. So, please, just quit down a bit, so that the hon member can listen to the interpretation.
Mr P A VAN STADEN: You are seriously under a false impression, if you think that it will. In fact, it will make matters worse!
The Freedom Front Plus will fight government on the NHI and we will seriously consider further actions, if the President decides to go ahead and signs this Bill, if it is successfully adopted by both houses of Parliament. This is not a threat but a serious promise. The Freedom Front Plus rejects the National Health Insurance Bill, in its entirety.
Hon Minister of Health, I think you must bring your medical aid card today, so that I can cut it up today. Thank you.
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon Chairperson, the ACDP rejects the NHI Bill in its current form. We are of the opinion that the architecture of change requires critical elements to be present. The question begs whether the lofty aims of universal health care for all can be achieved under this administration and whether the legislation before this House, when implemented, will move us closer to this aim.
It is our assessment that the biggest hurdle to transformation is incapacity and a serious leadership deficit over the last
decade that eroded trust in the government to deliver the most basic of services, never mind the total overall of the health sector.
The consequences of this proposed legislation will be far- reaching and very costly, with the inevitable consequence that we may face an exodus out of the country by medical corporations and human capital will follow.
The state, whose greatest failures are procurements and contract management, becomes the facilitator of services and the single point of administration for health services. It is the same state, under whose watch we procured Covid-19 vaccines that expired before use, who had a R7,4 billion loan for strategic vaccine procurement with no indication to Parliament on what this was based on. It is the same state, who squandered over R2 billion in corruption during Covid-19, the same state under whose watch only 55% of facilities has status as ideal clinics.
Transformation requires moral integrity to advance its agenda. This critical element is the most important, along with the capacity to deliver. Government has failed dismally to restore
trust, to prove that it can, in the slightest, champion transformation at any level.
The poison in the water is corruption at such a scale that it defies rationality and morality. During Covid-19, we had both the previous Minister and the DG of the Department of Health under suspension for alleged corruption to the value of over R80 million.
Corruption has become the invader species, which creates an environment that makes transformation as an agenda impossible under this administration. This government is a study in failure and dysfunctionality and that is not being unkind. It is a statement of fact.
This Bill ...
Ms T V TOBIAS: Chairperson, I am pleading with the hon member just to reduce her voice.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): No, that is not a point of order. Please, continue.
Ms M E SUKERS: We are not unkind; we are stating the facts. This Bill will collapse the health sector, because in its current form, it proposes change with the ... [Time expired.]
Mr B N HERRON: House Chair, since apartheid ended the state has introduced a raft of transformative legislation meant to address structural injustice, exclusion and inequality. And there’s no denying the millions of new homes that have been built, the new schools and clinics, the new electricity and water connections.
Equally undeniable is the fact that the structural ills of the past persist. Tremendous colour coded disparities and the quality of life and state services remain. Our efforts to transform the landscape have reaped thin rewards.
The National Health Insurance, NHI, Bill isn’t perfect, but the principle it represents is too important to be reduced to another battleground for anti-transformation zealots and Gucci revolutionaries to skew identity politics.
The DA and the FF-Plus want us to believe that South Africa can’t afford a National Health Insurance Scheme because of corruption, because of the devaluing ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Herron, our apologies.
There’s a member, hon Ramadwa, on the platform and you are interfering with the member who’s at the podium. Switch off the microphone of the member, please!
Mr B N HERRON: The DA and the FF-Plus want us to believe that South Africa can’t afford a National Health Insurance Scheme because of corruption, because of the devaluing of health insurance company shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, JSE, and because of the poor conditions in the public health facilities. The EFF on the other hand says the NHI preserves privilege and a two-tier system.
The one lot wants to scare privileged communities into believing that the NHI will deprive them of the right to high level medical care they presently enjoy and pay for. The other lot wants South Africa to believe that the NHI is not aggressive enough in redistributing resources from the privilege to the poor.
The parties agree that the NHI should be rejected based on totally opposing interpretations of the same Bill. Instead of
focusing constructively on tightening provisions on the Bill, is just another platform for their politics of fear, mistrust and loathing.
While they squabble on their identity sandwich, inequality and deprivation continues to reign.
The concerns over corruption, poor quality public health facilities and inadequate resources, both financial and human, are legitimate. But weaponizing the NHI debate in the run-up to the next election lacks legitimacy. And so does using state corruption and inefficiency as an excuse to oppose the country’s developmental agenda.
Many nations around the world are presently grappling with their obligation to meet the most basic human rights; the right to adequate medical services regardless of your ability to pay for it.
In Ghana, the first country in Africa to implement a national health scheme, the NHI has positively impacted on the country’s life expectancy and disease prevention and has improved financial access to healthcare.
South Africa’s NHI aim to address inequality and scarcity of healthcare resources and improve healthcare services for all. It seeks to eliminate price gauging in the private sector and improve access and quality of care for those who rely on the public sector.
The objectors of Good, potential barriers to the NHI success, including corruption, must be addressed.
We support the Bill because we believe in the principle of universal healthcare and we believe in South Africa’s future. Thank you, House Chair.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Chairperson, allow me to advice this House that the NFP will support the NHI Bill tabled here today.
Allow me at the same time to reiterate the point that we’ve made before that South Africa needs to move to a preventative healthcare system in order to save lives. Latest statistics are: people are dying at a very young age.
Very little or no budget is appropriated towards ensuring that we communicate to the masses on the ground on living healthier lives and prevent untimely deaths.
Having said that, a latest survey or report has found that five of out 696 health facilities had only passed the inspection; that is how poor the state of healthcare is on the ground. Primary healthcare has a lot of work to be ... that’s the first problem that we have.
The second problem we have is the limited budget that is made available to this particular department.
The other problem that we have, of course, and a very important problem, and that is the issue of the lack of availability of medical practitioners and nurses; not that they are not available but more importantly, because inadequate resources to accommodate them, giving rise to the fact that a large percentage remain unemployed.
I think my question to some of those that are opposing this: Do you know what it is to be 60 years old and standing in a queue waiting for medical facilities and you are told you are too old, that we cannot accommodate you, we will spend money on the younger? No, you don’t understand!
Do you understand what it is when you go to a hospital and they say: We do not have the necessary facilities available
right now, wait for six months or two years on the waiting list, and people die before that? No, you don’t understand that!
So, the NFP is of the view that together we should find solutions. Yes, indeed, there are lots and lots of challenges that we are going to face. However, the department needs to do a lot more to ensure they improve on the quality of the infrastructure, the availability of healthcare workers in order to be able to attract them, particularly to the rural areas; these are the communities that are most affected.
The other problem that we have is there is no coordination between the Department of Health and other relevant stakeholders.
As a result, we have high levels of alcohol abuse and drug substance abuse in this country, and that is giving rise ... even the younger generation today in South Africa ... you know
... the challenges that we face, particularly at the youth of today with alcohol and the impact that it is having in the healthcare, in the country, needs to be addressed. And more importantly, immigration, and the impact it’s having on our healthcare services.
Clearly, I think a lot of work needs to be done, hon Chairperson. However, it’s not something that we cannot address but we need to collectively [Time expired.] the NFP supports the ... thank you very much.
Mr S M DLAMINI: Chairperson, the Deputy President of the country, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, in particular my Minister, Phaahla, hon members, fellow South Africans, good afternoon.
Even the significant inequalities in healthcare access provision and standards of care, it almost seems redundant that a case needs to be made when the necessity of NHI is so crystal clear.
Section 27 of the Bill of Rights states: Everyone has the right to have access to healthcare services. It further states: The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights, namely, the socioeconomic rights, in general.
NHI is about the standardisation of care. It is about ensuring all providers of health services implement services that meet quality standards.
NHI is about capacity building and skills transfer at all levels across the health systems so that it is no longer the case that the private sector is seen as the option of choice for qualified and to-be-qualified healthcare professionals.
NHI is about reducing the huge disease burden by equipping the public sector, the main healthcare provider to the South African people, with the necessary resources to treat them effectively as well as the growing number of non-communicable diseases and chronic conditions.
NHI is about protecting individuals and households from financial hardships, from needing healthcare services, be they out of pocket payments and extra fees for member of medical aids or user fee in our public health facilities that the poorest of the poor cannot afford.
NHI will provide financial risk protection as it will be a prepayment base system. Individuals will not be required to pay at the point of use of the health service or system for
the healthcare services covered. This payment will be far lower than current medical aid contributions.
Moreover, people can move from one employer to another without fearing losing healthcare coverage like it is now.
It is about equity, social solidarity and building a caring, empathetic society.
Of course, society’s most vulnerable will be the primary beneficiaries of NHI.
Ultimately, we want to improve the general health status of the population and raise life expectancy. Better health outcomes impact children’s ability to learn. Better health outcomes increase one’s ability to work and contribute to the nation’s productivity.
NHI will benefit households including middles class households. Less will be spent on medical care. This, in turn will enable families to save and have more disposable income.
Employers will benefit from predictability in financing the nation’s healthcare system. An employer contribution for
medical scheme’s cover will be reduced by allocating funds for payroll tax towards NHI and not to medical schemes.
We can expand the financial envelope to provide healthcare to all South Africans. This includes the state itself as an employer. The public service, inclusive of all tiers of government and government entities, is the largest contributing employer towards medical schemes.
The private sector, including but not limited to the private healthcare sector, will benefit from the opportunities to contract with NHI to provide health services to the broader public instead of the small percentage of the population, which they currently they serve.
Health practitioners will benefit from improved referral systems. A bigger pool of empowered user’s reduced costs for goods required to provide services and predictable payment mechanisms.
Under NHI, teams will be reducing the huge workload facing healthcare practitioners in the public sector and enabling them to dedicate more time to serving patients.
NHI will utilise economies of scale to purchase goods and services. Mechanisms will be introduced to purchase goods and services based on pressing health needs. This will ultimately result in cost containment.
Lastly, the public healthcare sector, where most people rely, will be the biggest winner. There will be more resources for staffing, infrastructure acquisition, maintenance and upgrades, and access to equipment and supplies.
Under a new, reengineered system where human resources are being optimised, more jobs will be created. The management of health system will improve.
Hon members, healthcare will never be a normal market commodity, it is a public good and a society investment. As such, we must all vote in favour with our fits for the commencement of a new era where the fortunes of human beings and their lives are not subject to the roll of the dice, namely, social circumstances.
Let us do the right thing. Let us fulfil the aspirations of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Let us support this Bill and pass it into law without delay.
We owe it to our current and our future generations to build a South Africa where the right to access healthcare is not qualified is not a right based on how much or [Time expired.] we support this Bill. Thank you very much, Chair.
Mr M G E HENDRICKS: Hon Chair, I was an alternative member of the portfolio committee, and I would like to commend Dr Dhlomo for setting the lead and handing the baton over to a very capable Dr Jacobs. And Al Jama-ah would like to congratulate Dr Jacobs for taking the vision of President Mandela forward. President Mandela, after listening to the General Assembly, where South Africa promised it will have universal health care by 2030, President Mandela took the bull by the horns and he gave universal access to health care to children under six years old. So, all our hon members that are speaking against the National Health Insurance, NHI, they are insulting President Nelson Mandela and they must hang their heads in shame.
Hon Chair, it cannot be that Afrikaners must live and Zulus must die because they don't get along with this Constitution. You pay in the Constitution access to health care. That was the biggest mistake that the drafters did. It should have been the right to health care and we would have had universal
health care much earlier. So, I cannot understand how hon members of this House are not supporting this Bill.
It's a mission, a vision of President Mandela. The General Assembly of the United Nations has urged countries to have universal health care. And those who are opposing this Bill just want more people to die because they can't afford medical services.
So Al Jama-ah supports this Bill, we like to congratulate the portfolio committee, all the members for the efforts they put in, in spite of a dramatic push by the corporate world to sabotage the right to life. Those who oppose this Bill, they do not support the right to life, they want people to die.
It's 12 years now. If this NHI Bill was adopted earlier on, we wouldn't have had so many deaths during COVID.
And I shudder to think if people object to this Bill, how many more will die because we don't have a universal system in place. Al Jama-ah has supported companies like Net Clinic, who have already started to implement the NHI. They have four primary health care centres, two in Khayelitsha, one in the Strand and one in Mitchell Plain. And we urge the private
sector to visit the vision of President Mandela and to leave a legacy behind of universal health care.
Al-Jam-ah supports this Bill and we feel that those who do not do so are unpatriotic. Thank You very much, hon Chair.
Ms E R WILSON: There is a quote from Aldous Huxley that reads: “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
And the question is, have you told the truth about NHI?
I was on the public hearings, and without a doubt, those who
were bus in to support of the NHI were misguided and not told the entire truth.
There was without a doubt an assumption that once passed, the NHI would allow them to go to any hospital, including private hospitals and that the lousy clinics they have to attend currently would be improved straight away. They were not told about the referral system.
There was definitely an impression that abysmal services and crumbling infrastructure and doctor and nursing shortages would be fixed immediately.
There was an obvious belief that there would be ambulances for all and that emergency services would no longer be a problem.
They were convinced that medicine shortages would be a thing of the past and corrected very quickly.
So, when exactly will you tell them the truth? When will they be advised that in actual fact it will take years before they
will see the NHI rolled out and that they were misguided by those who arranged to bus them to the hearings?
When will they be advised that the monies that could be used
to improve health facilities will be used to establish a string of boards first, who must still discuss over a couple
of years exactly what NHI will supply and what not? Any health
problems and all health problems may not be covered.
When will they be advised that you actually have no idea what NHI will cost and in actual fact you have no money to do it?
When will they be told that the majority of public health facilities are not compliant, and compliance is going to take a long time, and that according to the NHI Bill, they cannot
form part of the NHI until such time that they meet requirements? Do you think this is how quick they can do that?
When will you advise them that private hospitals are a no go zone until they actually bought into NHI and will only offer
limited services on referral only?
When are you going to tell them that they are stuck with the
abysmal services and hospitals for a long time yet?
So, when all the President’s men go out and brag that the NHI was passed today, tell them it still has to go to the NCOP,
then it will take years to see the smallest of improvements and that sorry, you were misled.
Minister, two trains that meet in the middle are called a train smash. So, if you are going to try and get two parallel lines join is the smash that comes with it. And by the way, the NHI has in the UK collapsed completely which today is stating that 7,4 million backlogs of people in the UK are waiting health care, 7,4 million, it has collapsed. I wouldn’t go and study if I were you. You will be disappointed.
So, are you going to tell the truth before elections? I think not. You are going to us this as an ANC voting tool. But remember, the people will love you or they will hate you. And when they learned that they have been coned yet again, it’s going to bite you badly. Bring on 2024 in the mutual pact. And the DA universal health project will work and improve the health of all South Africans not the selected few that you are targeting. And I do find it so interesting that the hon Herron and the hon Hendricks did not attend one meeting, one hearing and have a lot to say about something they obviously know nothing about. Thank you.
Ms A GELA: House Chairperson, Deputy President, Mr Paul Mashatile, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, fellow South Africans, the ANC supports the adoption by this House of the National Health Insurance Bill, NHI Bill, without undue delays. We say this because the road towards National Health Insurance has been long. To be exact: It has been 14 years since the National Health Insurance Bill policy was first introduced, as the hon Minister of Health, Dr Phaahla has noted; and, it has been four years since the first interaction of the National Health Insurance Bill was introduced to this House.
As the Minister also noted, the case for universal health coverage in South Africa began at the dawn of our democracy, in 1994. This case has been given renewed a momentum, firstly, because we seek to meet the sustainable development goals, of which universal healthcare average form part, but secondly and most importantly, because we can no longer afford a situation where your chances of leading a quality healthy life are determined by your ability to pay.
As the ANC, we have consulted widely on the National Health Insurance Bill, amongst our members, supporters and various sectors. We found that there is overwhelming support for the National Health Insurance. The case for NHI is clear. In its presentation to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health, in February 2022, the ANC had said that the status quo of two health systems is unsustainable; it is no longer an option.
As our President, Comrade Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa has said, the ANC is committed to put in place a quality system for national health care that will expedite the implementation of the NHI through finalisation of enabling a legislation and putting in place NHI Fund. Once passed by this House, the NHI Act will transform a fractured, fragmented and inequitable health system into a unitary non-racial, accessible, efficient
equitable and good equality health system for all South Africans.
Under the under the National Health Insurance, all South Africans, all legal permanent residents, those designated as asylum seekers and refugees under our international laws, will have access to comprehensive personal health services benefits at accredited public and private health care facilities. All children will be covered. Like in other countries, tourists and international students must have a health insurance or pay for NHI-provided health care services. Those eligible for NHI must register for it and produce their SA ID document, passport or other document confirming their legal status in the country.
The NHI national database has already approximately 50 million South Africans registered. The state will procure goods and services that will include primary and secondary care, while tertiary and specialised care diseases prevention will also be included. What do we mean by comprehensive service under NHI?
It means all medical necessary health care, including primary health care, emergency, mental health, dental and eye care treatment, rehabilitation and hospital services.
Patients will have access to medicine and medical devices specified on the essential medicines, the essential equipment used and diagnostic process specified in treatment, guideline and protocols. The focus will be on improving quality standard of care and health.
Facilities that wish to contract with the NHI will have to meet astringent quality standard set by the Office of the Health Standard Compliance and be certified. To be accredited by the NHI Fund, health service provider or a health establishment must have and produce proof of registration by relevant Health Professions Council and a proof of certification as graded by the Office of the Health Standard Compliance.
Furthermore, the service provider or a health establishment must meet the needs of users and ensure service provider compliance with prescribed specific performance criteria. The standardisation of care under NHI will benefit patients mostly. The Office of the Health Standard Compliance is empowered to enforce compliance on facilities that fail to maintain the necessary standard hereby endangering the safety of patients and the staff.
Service will be provided free at the point of care to an eligible patients and there will be no co-payment or user fees at any NHI-accredited facilities. The primary health care will form the basics of NHI. Why is this a significant? Because, health promotion and disease prevention is that a bedrock of sustainable health system.
A strong referral system at the primary health care level, namely at clinics, will ultimately lessen the burden on hospitals. This, in turn, will reduce hospital waiting times overcrowding and declining quality of care because there need to be more health professionals to cater for these large numbers.
The vision is for primary health care services to be delivered through a district health system. The configuration engineering under NHI will include ward-based primary health care outreach teams, district clinical specialist, support teams and integrated school health services.
Hon members, the passage of NHI enable us to fulfil our obligation to the people of South Africa with respect to the right to access quality health care. NHI is about upholding the dignity of our people and redressing the shortcoming and
failures in our existing public health system that have a direct influence on dignity.
Shame on you, EFF, because you are not supporting the programme that will help the poor people; yet you wear clothes that represent domestic workers and gardeners! How can you reject the Bill that will help the poor people? The ANC is there for the people and will never abandon the people.
Opposition led by the DA are against the NHI because they protect the interest of few people with medical aid. As many parliamentarians, we should support the National Health Insurance Bill because ... [Interjections.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Please breathe, mama. Please breathe! Please breath!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Order!
Ms A GELA: As many parliamentarians, we should support the National Health Insurance Bill because it is paid by taxpayers. Yet, we won’t leave the taxpayers out. We never want to repeat tragedies that took place, where life of patients, especially vulnerable patients, were denied because
of resources constrained. Staffing levels, inadequate training, low standards of care meant ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members! Continue!
Ms A GELA: The ANC wishes to use this opportunity to salute the many dedicated hard-working men and women who serve our people daily in our hospitals and clinics nationwide. Many of the shortcomings that resulted in a tragedy were not for lack of dedication of professional staff but the resources constraint. We know you are all doing your best and working hard to serve your patients, often under extremely difficult circumstances.
The benefits of NHI are as much for our health professionals, for citizen and for patients. A better resourced, a better funded and sustainable health care system will enable you to focus on what your years training prepared you for, to serve your patients. The ANC fully supports the National Health Insurance Bill and call on this House to be on the right side of the history by passing the Bill. Only nine percent of black people have medical aid. The NHI will give cover to all South Africans. These expensive medical aids expire before the year ends, forcing medical patients ... [Time expired.]
Ms E N NTLANGWINI: Thank God! Otherwise we would have to give her CPR on the spot.
HON MEMBER: Long live, the NHI!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order hon members. Order! I now recognise the hon Minister of Health. Order, hon members. Order! Hon member from the EFF in front! Hon member, do you want to leave? So, behave yourself! Please continue, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson, and thanks to the hon members, especially those who supported this Bill, that it should be passed by this House. Hon Clarke, there is a lot which you said, which is definitely not true.
The fact that all the people who are currently on medical cover and who are having access to private services will all migrate into only the public service, is totally untrue.
We have said here that the pulling of funds, through the National Health Insurance, is to make sure that
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Minister, can you just hold? May I just ask the members over there: Hon Gela
take your seat and the Deputy Minister must take a seat as well. The hon Minister is responding to the debate. Hon Minister. [Interjections.]
HON MEMBER: If I am out of order, I must leave the house!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order! Continue hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Thanks Chair. I was just a clarifying, hon Clarke, that the purpose of this process is to make sure that we all contribute into one pool, under one fund, so that we can be able to access services, both in the facilities managed by public health service, but also those which are owned by private providers. However, what we have emphasised also is the fact that, in terms of the cost, the cost will be negotiated, because when you have a single purchaser, that single purchaser will have the volume to be able to negotiate better services at a better cost.
So, I think you must disabuse yourself from that. Also, in terms of saying that the ANC facilitated looting during Covid-
19 pandemic, that is absolutely wrong. You know yourselves that it is the very same ANC-led government which made sure
that there were systems put in place, the Fusion Centre and other interviews, including proclamations by the President to investigate and actually point out where wrongdoing was - of which action is being taken in that regard.
As for hon Chirwa, about Bill Gates: I think the person who instilled this in you must really just go - I don’t know where he must go to a sangoma or somewhere – to take this out because every debate you mention Bill Gates numerous times.
Can you please just focus on the issues?
Hon Sukers, indeed the NHI is saying it. The policy itself states very clear that primary health care will be the foundation of the National Health Insurance. [Time expired.] Thank you very much. I hope you all support the Bill. Thank you.
Question put: That the National Health Insurance Bill be agreed to.
[BELLS TO BE RUNG FOR FIVE MINUTES]
Manual Voting: [TAKE IN FROM MINUTES.]
The Bill is agreed to.
Bill read for the second time.
CONSIDERATION OF LAND COURT BILL AND OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ON AMENDMENTS PROPOSED BY NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Mr G MANGWANISHE: Thank you very much, House Chairperson, Deputy President, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, the Assembly passed the Land Court Bill B11B-2021 and send it to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence on 29 September 2022. On 23 may 2023, the Council passed the Bill subject to proposed amendments. The Bill returns to the National Assembly for consideration of the Council’s proposed amendments. Briefly, section 22 subsection 1 of the Restitution of the Land Rights Act, establishes a Land Claims
Court with exclusive jurisdiction in respect of the restitution of claims arising from the Act.
However, the Restitution Act never envisaged a permanent court with permanent judges, instead the Land Claims Court was established as a dedicated court with a limited lifespan to deal with claims for the restitution of land but the restitution process became protracted and is not complete. The Bill therefore proposes to establish a specialist land court to deal with all land related matters as regulated by legislation. This will facilitate the speed resolution of cases and contribute towards the development of appropriate jurisprudence in relation to land matters.
The proposed amendments were made in relation to the comments received from the public. Amongst others, the proposed amendments provide for persons to be appointed to the land court who had not been previously appointed to a bench in South Africa. Also, any person who was not a High Court judge at the time of being appointed to the land court does not automatically hold concurrent appointment to the court and the High Court, unless the Judicial Services Commission advices the President that the person must hold concurrent appointment. To address the issue of skills required to become
an assessor, it is proposed that the presiding judges appoint assessors. An assessor will have to be skilled with experience relevant to the work of the Land Claims Court.
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, having considered the Land Court Bill B11B-2021, section 75 Bill and proposed amendments of the National Council of Provinces reports that it agrees with a proposed amendment B11 of 2021. I thank you.
There was no debate.
Mr B A Radebe moved: That the Bill, as amended be passed.
Declarations of vote:
Adv G BREYTENBACH: Hon Chair, this Bill seeks to stablish a specialised land court that will replace the land claims court to enjoy the status of a High Court, having concurrent jurisdiction with Magistrates Court in respect to matters related to the land court and with which magistrates’ courts currently have jurisdiction.
The Bill was first introduced to determine the purpose and objects of the Bill has been to enhance and promote the ideal
of access to land on an equitable basis, to promote land reform as a means of reducing the results of past discrimination and to facilitate land justice. The land restitution and land reform remains an important issue in South Africa. Land ownership and specifically historical land ownership patterns are invariably used as a political tool in the run up to elections, while very little is done by the government between elections to expedite and finalise unresolved land claims or to implement effective land reform programmes.
A land court’s permanent and full time judges could in theory enable speedy resolution of disputes related to land and land usage, which is clearly that the passing of this Bill into law will be used by the ANC to try and convince people that structural issues were at the heart of ... [Inaudible.] ... at the court to play role in bringing the injustice. It is also envisaged that the passing of this Bill will be used in terms with the Expropriation Bill to argue that the ANC government will be well positioned past the 2024 elections to deal effectively with the land reform and even land expropriation without compensation.
It remains vitally important that all remaining land restitution claims be finalised as a matter of urgency, that land reform be supported through a programme of action that can raise private initiative private ownership partnerships and mentorship and a government programme that is properly funded as well as the upgrading of land tenure rights and specifically the enabling of land ownership in areas under traditional leadership. The Bill as amended by the National Council of Provinces and the improvements on the Bill, we are satisfied that none of the provisions in the Bill will enable or assist any attempts by either individuals or government to grab land.
The danger of the court acting as a political court rather than a court of law has been diminished significantly and the limitation of requirements reported to the court of law and equity to not only those outstanding land claims and by the Supreme Court of Appeal being maintained as the Court of Appeals in respective cases decided by the court. We are not necessarily supportive of the substantive provisions of all laws that will fall within the jurisdiction of the land court but this cannot inform our position on this Bill and we will support it. I thank you.
Ms Y N YAKO: Chairperson, the EFF concurs with the amendments made by the National Council of Provinces to the Land Court Bill. We would like to urge the President to sign this Bill without delay to resolve the leadership crisis faced by the land claims court at the moment. That court has an acting president who is on holiday half the time and has not had time to see to the administration of matters brought to that court. She has not kept any data relating to the work that the court does since its establishment and uses the excuse of the court is not a permanent court when asked to account.
When we debated this Bill here last year, we expressed our support because the contents of the Bill were lifted straight out of the resolutions of our second national people’s assembly in which we resolved that, there must be a permanent people’s land court with a national jurisdiction empowered to resolve all land disputes. This resolution was informed by our recognition of the structural and jurisprudential limitations of the Land Claims Court Bill established by the restitution of Land Rights Act in 1994. The first limitation is that the land claims court was never meant to be a permanent court and was established to deal with legal disputes emanating from the land claims process as well as disputes relating to the Labour Tenant Act.
The second limitation flows directly from the first in that because of the lack of permanency, the court has been unable to organically develop its own land jurisprudence in South Africa. The result is that you get conflicting judgments on matters whose facts are almost similar in that court particularly on the court definition of labour tenancy leading to suffering of many vulnerable people. More concerning is that the land claims court has been reduced into a court of evictions in which farm workers and farm dwellers have had their field sealed because there is no progressive interpretation of the law to protect the most vulnerable of our people.
So, I am happy that the National Council of Provinces, NCOP, made amendments that clarify the role of magistrates in relation to land matters, as well as affirming the socioeconomic mandate of courts. We are in support of this Bill. Thank you.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon Chair, the resolution of the land issue carries with it the promise of healing the wounds of the past. Our land has social, spiritual and economic value to our people as it has the potential to be the foundation of renewed economy that our country critically needs at this moment. As
the IFP we have always championed the allocation of all the unused land which is in the hands of the state to our most vulnerable people.
It is important that our people depending on agriculture to sustain themselves ... [Inaudible.] .... provided with specific support together with other developmental initiatives as these go a step further in redressing the imbalances of the past which remain a thorn in our society. Land serves as the backbone of our being as a people. Although we believe that the administration of communal lands should remain under the custodianship of traditional leadership, from time to time we have urged the government to create training infrastructure by encouraging agricultural activities and by reopening agricultural training colleges.
When the Land Court Bill was first introduced in 2021, there were genuine concerns about its needs, as the already established land claims court seems to be taken with carrying out a similar mandate. What this new land court seeks to do is fill in the gaps which have been left and widened by the land claims court. The IFP supports the report. Thank you.
Mr W W WESSELS: House Chair, the FF Plus is in support of the Bill and the amendments proposed by the NCOP. I thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Thank you, hon member. Hon members, order. Order, hon members. Let me remind you that I know all your names. I will call you three times, then you know what will happen. Thank you very much. I now recognise ACDP.
Mr W M THRING: House Chair, the ACDP has long moved for the establishment of a Land Court, and we appreciate the fact that it has now come to fruition. Hopefully, the backlogs that have been established over the years will be redressed. The ACDP stands in support of the establishment of the Land Court.
Mr V ZUNGULA: Chair, we are in support. Thank you, Chair.
Mr S M JAFTA: We do support, Chair.
Mr M NYHONTSO: House Chair, the PAC supports the Bill.
Ms W S NEWHOUDT-DRUCHEN: House Chairperson, hon members, Deputy President, it was Sol Plaatje who declared with the passage of the law, the Natives Land Act, that:
South Africa has by law ceased to be the home of any of her native children, whose skins are dyed with a pigment that does not conform with the regulation hue.
The consequences of the law as observed by Plaatje, would prevent black South Africans from investing their earnings in land where on they could end their days in peace. Like his observation highlights the intrinsic relationship between ownership of land, security of tenure and the pursuit of prosperity, all of which was outlawed for the black population in 1913 by the way of infamous Natives Land Act.
Another consequence of the Natives Land Act was a problem of internally displaced people whereby nearly 1 million newly designated squatters became homeless. This resulted in opportunities for white farmers to extort unreasonable demands on newly homeless blacks, such as offering exploitative wages in return for the right to stay on their farm. The displaced black people were forced to live in squalor and poverty or to seek employment on white farms in the mines and urban areas.
These consequences were aligned with the decade’s long priority of the South African state to provide cheap black labour for the benefit of the white population. The effect of this racially based segregation legislation was to force black people to be perpetual tenants with very limited rights.
Land disposition was an ugly hallmark of both colonialism and apartheid, and conversely, rallying point for the anti- apartheid movement. The issue of land has been present for more than three centuries. There is perhaps no other issue as closely intertwined with the history of the country than that of land. In the ready to govern policy documents, the ANC made an argument that our approach to land issues must be placed in the context of our overall developmental strategy, addressing problems of poverty, malnutrition, landlessness and unemployment. It further argued that our approach should ensure that the homeless and landless will have access to land, shelter and necessary services for family security.
The ANC argued for the prioritisation of the need to address demands and grievances concerning land restoration and land rights, including ownership by the creation of a Land Claims Court through which competing claims to land can be resolved. This Land Claims Court - it argued - would be affordable and
accessible, and that the state would provide necessary financial assistance for those with limited means.
The Land Court Bill was passed by the National Assembly in 2022 and referred to the NCOP for concurrence. The NCOP deliberated on the Bill and some amendments were made and same were considered by the Portfolio Committee of Justice and Correctional Services. The Bill seeks to establish specialist Land Court with its judgements, orders and decisions appealable to the full bench. It seeks to deal with all land related matters regulated by various Acts.
The establishment of this court will facilitate the expeditious disposal of cases and contribute towards the development of appropriate jurisprudence in relation to land matters. It is envisaged that the Bill will also address some of the challenges emanating from the Land Claims Court. Every judge on the Land Court will be permanent and will be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Services Commission. Judges must have experience or expertise in land rights matters, and the judges of the court must also be representative of the race and gender demographics of the country.
The Bill places emphasis on alternative dispute resolution provision in powers. The judge President to decide that a case should rather be resolved through mediation or arbitration and not in an open court. Judges will also be empowered to suspend the hearing at any time and refer a case to mediation or arbitration as they deem appropriate. This is supposed to provide cheaper and quicker alternative for cases to be decided outside of the usual court processes, which tends to be more costly and adversarial. Judges will also be empowered to refer cases to Legal Aid so that an unrepresented party can be provided with a lawyer. The Bill states that Legal Aid must provide a lawyer if substantial injustice would result otherwise. In keeping with land justice, the ANC support this Bill. I thank you, Chair.
Motion agreed to.
Bill, as amended, accordingly passed.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS AND PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON POLICE ON JOINT OVERSIGHT VISIT ON ILLEGAL MINING TO FIVE SOUTH AFRICAN PROVINCES
Mr S LUZIPO: Hon Chairperson, the Deputy President of the ANC and of the country, members of this House, I submit this report for this House to adopt. First I must explain that this is a report that reflects the work of three Portfolio Committees on Mineral Resources and Energy, Police and Home Affairs.
Whiles the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy is mandated to address illegal mining which hampers economic growth and investment in the mining industry, illegal mining requires a co-ordinated rather than a fragmented approach. In other words there are push and put factors that incentivise illegal mining that cut across sectors that focusses on different portfolios. Thus therefore, there is a need for harmonisation of the standards and approaches on oversight visit. For an example while South Africans perceive illegal mining as a lucrative venture to pass, the majority of illegal miners are undocumented foreign nationals from within the Southern African Development Community, SADC, region. Yet another example of illegal mining leads to secondary informal syndicate markets that supply commodities such as fire arms, liquor and prostitution just to name a few.
This highlighted factors, warranted a joint effort oversight of the three portfolio committees which visited five provinces of the nine that are Gauteng, Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga and the Free State. Of course, the co-ordinated approach to illegal mining assisted the participant portfolio committees to grapple with the causes and consequences of illegal mining from a joint oversight perspective.
Amongst other issues we observed, is the slow pace of the closure of rehabilitation of over 6 100 abandoned mines. The temporary closure of mines under care and maintenance, and the business recue which enables illegal mining. Just to illustrate, business rescue processes effectively allow mine owners to delay a decision on when to put the mine back to operation, liquidation or to be closed thereby incentivising illegal mining.
Also amongst the observation was that there is a challenge with regards that has been cited around the issue of our borders which also allows the entry of foreign nationals undocumented in the country.
Traditional authorities in other provinces specifically in the North West were also alleged to be granting letters to people
to conduct mining activities without permits or mining rights being issued.
Lastly, the existing legislation to combat illegal mining is fragmented. It lacks substantive measures to effectively deal with the activities. The ambit of illicit mining cuts across different legislation which are administered by different departments. In particular existing legislation that cut across include, but not limited the Hazardous Substance Act of 1973, the Prevention of Organised Crime Act of 1998, the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002.
Despite the contributing factors the following are some of the proposed interventions that has to be done: The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy must strengthen the capacity of the Council for Geoscience and Mintek so as to fast-trek the process of mine closure programmes as well as the public investment in mining.
The Police must adopt and implement their five pillar intervention plan in terms of legal mining.
The Department of Home Affairs must be supported on its Border Management Authority.
Just few issues very quickly Chairperson, some of the things that we learnt if people do not believe how deep corruption is in South Africa, was the fact that there were in some areas when you see an oxygen tank that is supposed to go underground, you may assume is an oxygen tank that is going underground, only to find that it has been opened and there is food that is distributed underground.
With all due respect BabuNdosi, in one area where we went we were told that hon Lamola, in Bloemfontein, when they came to take one man to appear in court, called David one eye, the correctional officers made a guard of honour for him to go and be taken to a police van to appear in court. There were two army officers from the SA National Defence Force that were also arrested because they were accompanying those kingpins that were delivering the illegal gold.
So, amongst other things is that the company that is a state- owned company Mintek given a responsibility to close those mines – we are sitting with 6 100, are only receiving
R140 million per anum to close those mines. That will take almost 16 years to close those mines. That is why we are saying there is a need to look at these things.
Hon Chairperson, lastly, because I felt when I was sitting there being haunted by an image of a mini-Verwoerd. I will now explain that I do not blame apartheid, but I hate it and I do not blame it. We are – the R140 million paid to Mintek, it is the tax of the South Africans that are victims of a system of apartheid that was declared as crime against humanity! For somebody to come and stand here today when we are sitting with dirilected ownerless mines that are as a result of irresponsible governance of the apartheid regime. You want us today to regret - I am not an apologist of apartheid. We are where we are today because of apartheid and dealing with this legacy including the issue of asbestos roofs that were only mined in order to be put on the roofs of our own people! Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Time expired.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Order hon members!
Declaration of Vote:
Mr J R B LORIMER: Madam Chairperson, one evening at the beginning of this month firing broke out at the zamic pillow informal mining camp next to Main Reef Road in River Valley in Johannesburg. There is often firing at the camp which is largely inhabited by illegal miners. This time it was particularly bad. A tire was hit on a taxi passing on Main
Reef Road. Shorts also hit the Horse Shoe Mosque. Other residents had their windows shattered.
In one video clip that is 30 seconds long, you can distinguish
34 different shorts. Residents believed two zamazamas were killed, but there is no confirmation. Police arrived more than an hour after the event. You can imagine the carousal effect of that on the physical security and viability of that community.
I tell you this to emphasize, how much violence from illegal mining is impacting on the lives of South Africans. This report was completed seven months ago. For seven months we have waited to get it before this House. What has happened in the meantime, not much? The illegal mining goes on and the damage goes on.
There have been various police operations conducted. Some very successfully, like in the Free State around Orkney. We were told about those when the committees went there. Since then, we have not heard about large numbers of kingpins being arrested elsewhere. It is unlikely that sporadic operations were permanently close down the large illegal syndicates. We heard how the illegal miners moved between the provinces when
it gets too hot for them in one place. If policing is going to succeed, it has to be systemic with joint actions by police in all provinces and by all departments concerned. It cannot be sporadic. So, far there are no signs that policing is systemic.
So, what happens when the police suspect illegal mining? Do they call the Department of Mineral Resources to find out who owns mineral rights or what licences have been issued? Is there a protocol where they can find out from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy who has the licences and for what particular area? I asked the Minister about protocols. He dismissible said, “He was not the SA Police Service, SAPS”. An answer which indicates he has not applied his mind in a similar slap-management which characterises which operations of his department. That is the large part of the problem.
People not taking the responsibility for fixing it. It is a real not my job civil service mentality. As long as that prevails, this problem will not be tackled effectively.
The idea of this joint report was not a bad one. It led to some important oversight visits and highlighted a large number of shortcomings in the three departments concerned. Business of this type always run the risk of only seeing things the
departments wants us to see and avoiding examples where the departments are clearly failing. That is particularly so when the rich officials advising of the visits how also the official most often accused of corruption.
We saw that when the committee visited Emalahleni in what should be a refreshingly unscripted surprise visit. Sadly, when the visits reveal some real surprises, the ANC members on the committee sees these as an excuse to not look at clear instances of corruption in the Department of Mineral Resources and the Police. That made it like they were covering up for corruption in the Mpumalanga Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. Corruption which has taken its rear head by any miner that has to deal with that office.
Nevertheless, this report has done an important work and as had find a number of legislative gaps. One of the most important is an admission that illegal mining is not criminalised which has often tied the hands of the police. Let that sink in. There is no crime called illegal mining.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon member, one minute can you just take your seat.
May I warn this House that you are not allowed to take pictures. You can hackle, but also do not drown the speaker. There are rules here. No, no, hon members! I was not opening nor calling for argument across the table and the House.
I just wanted to notify you that the does and the do nots.
You may continue, hon member.
Mr J R B LORIMER: Thank you Madam Chairperson. So, I have been talking about the lack of criminalisation of illegal mining on this committee since 2015. There has been a wide agreement within the various iterations within the committee that something needs to be done, but nothing ever happens.
In this report the SAPS legislation and the management division identifies the five changes that need to be made to
the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and the eight changes that need to be made to the Diamond Act and 14 that needs to the Precious Metals Act.
When Parliament passes this report as it no doubt it will, it will remove any excuse for delay. When the House sits again
the next term we need to see proposals for changes and a legislative pathway to get this done quickly.
Some of the observations and recommendations in this report are trivial and wrongheaded. Nevertheless the valuable and an important parts of this report are so valuable and important that we will support this report and urge as strongly as we can for action. Brake with the habits of departmental sloth and put this right. The residents of River Valley and thousands more people who are oppressed by the actions of illegal miners are depending on it. Thank you.
Ms P MADOKWE: Chairperson, in 2012, a mine collapsed in the Northern Cape resulting in the loss of lives of illegal mining and injuring several others. After the affected community had not received a satisfactory response a legal mining was spreading throughout the country.
The SA Human Rights Commission launched an investigation in 2013 and issued a report on illegal mining in 2014. Instead of interventions being undertaken then and its recommendations implemented then it would gather dust somewhere.
The horrifying rape at gun point of eight women and the robbery of the crew at a West Village Mine in Krugersdorp. Just a few days before Women’s Month, will take place roughly
10 years after the Komatsu mining tragedy. This horrible incident inspired yet another President Ramaphosa, PR, campaign by this government during which they appeared to be some concerns about illegal mining. For a brief period, all hands were on deck and every other day would receive an update on the number of illegal miners who have been apprehended. This is despite the fact that the SAPS has said for several years, including a report made to this very Parliament that the illegal miners are just small fish and to combat illegal mining there should be targeting the shacks dismantling international illegal mining syndicate specifically.
The EFF called out the government for missing the re- insignificance of the incident which was a sign that the South African government had unsurely failed its citizens in tackling crime and gender-based violence. There is a chose to use xenophobic tone and place the blame of the incident on illegal miners. They continued to give the impression that the EFF was protecting illegal immigrants despite the fact that our position has always been that all criminals regardless of nationality must be caught and punished. It is also wrong to
put the blame for criminal activities on none African South Africans.
However, development in the case showed that, once again, the state performing its duty, they went on a wild goose chase.
This came about after it was discovered that one of the master minds was a former SA Police Officer and that none of the illegal miners paraded as suspects could be linked to the crime.
Does this development indicate that illegal mining is not a problematic criminal activity in South Africa? Of course, not. Does the EFF support the adoption of this report? Of course, we do. And we show hope it will not gather dust like all other reports on the subject.
However, the blame game needs to stop. The Department of Mineral Resources together with the Department of Police, Correctional Service and Home Affairs should work on a joint venture and combat illegal mining once and for all. Illegal mining is a serious crime that has resulted in South Africans losing billions of rends annually, money that could be used for service delivery, also putting a security risk on our country. The none challenge response to it is a clear
indication however that some of the officials who should be addressing illegal mining are direct beneficiaries of this crime.
We would want to reiterate that at the centre of combating illegal mining is the correct profiling of the illegal mining syndicate urgently formalising artisanal mining and interdepartmental collaboration. This also means that we need to update our legislation to make sure that we are able to combat illegal mining.
Our people have been waiting for almost 30 years to participate in the mining industry and even the programme that we are told about right now that it is on board and on the pipeline, its potential beneficiaries cannot even afford to even go to the regional offices to support applications, let alone afford conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, processes. We need to be with our people. We need to support our people. Thank you very much.
Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon House Chair, crimes affect both industry and people and have long standing effects. Unfortunately, the mining industry is not exempt from this especially when it comes to illegal mining.
A report by the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade has pointed out there are between 8 000 and 30 000 people reported miners to work in South Africa. It has also indicated that illegal gold mining operations have become a major challenge to legitimate companies as 5% South Africa’s annual gold production is lost to illicit activities.
The oversight visit as per report has clearly indicated the issue of illegal mining has not been addressed if government departments are working in isolation. Undocumented foreign nationals’ workers as illegal miners are not only an indication of lacking border control but also once again shared lights on the state of chaos in the department of Home Affairs.
Last year, we had a front row seat to witness the devastating impact illegal mining has on communities when a group of young women were savagely attacked and raped by illegal miners in Krugersdorp. However, not a single paper traitor was brought to justice as the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, acquitted all fourteen suspected illegal miners on the basis of lack of sufficient evidence.
One cannot help but question, will the outcome would have been different had the SA Police Service detectives have the necessary knowledge and skills to investigate cases relating to illicit mining.
Furthermore, abandoned and rehabilitated mines continue to provide illegal miners with land to freely peruse and explore the ... [Inaudible.] ... Once again, the IFP re-emphasise the report recommendation that only ... [Inaudible.] ... disciplinary approach will solve our problems. The IFP supports the report.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Order, hon members. Now I recognise the FF Plus. While the FF Plus is walking to the podium, I request hon Majozi in future to also assist me because I understand Prof’s challenge. You may proceed, hon member.
Mr W W WESSELS: House Chair, in South Africa, mining is not merely an economic activity. It has a sad history of human rights violations because of war and of political turmoil. History is written with unscrupulous participants in the industry who care neither for the environment nor the people.
At the end of a life cycle of mines the same effects or rather lack thereof prevails.
The irresponsible coal mining near the Jackaroo Park residential area in Emalahleni and the prospecting in an area of small holdings in the Mogalakwena Municipality is worrisome. We should not repeat the same mistakes as the past, hon Chairperson. And that’s why we should take note of these activities and should actually voice against them.
This report sheds light on the harm and scrupulous operators inflicts on the country because of porous borders, inadequate and failed policing and insufficient regulation of old mines.
The report confirms the addit of politics as nature allows no vacuum. It describes the vacuum in governance and safety created by the ANC government and also who faults it. The EFF Plus supports the report.
Mr W M THRING: Hon House Chairperson, as we consider this report, the ACDP asserts that our nation cannot become allowed to be one of the illegalities. We have illegal electricity connections, illegal water connections, illegal drug and gun smuggling, and illegal mining on the rise. The joint oversight
report lays bare the gruesome graphic and at times grotesque nature of illegal mining in South Africa. Our gold, platinum, chrome coal, sand, and other precious minerals are mined illegally largely by foreign nationals, leaving our shores at great cost to the social fabric of our communities, our economy and our environment.
Many communities in the vicinity of illegal mining have to endure several criminal activities including mass shootings and killings, gang rapes, and tampering with infrastructure, including the theft of copper cables and illegal electricity connections.
Hon House Chairperson, the ACDP would like to remind this House of the immense economic hardship many of our law-abiding citizens have to face, particularly with rising inflation and the reserve banks’ blunt tool response of increasing interest rates. The mining sector with some 3 trillion dollars of untapped mining reserves if properly managed, can be used to greatly reduce unemployment, poverty, and inequality in South Africa. Two of the causative factors of illegal mining are that there are over 66 100 abandoned mines in South Africa.
And many others lying idle while under business rescue.
A third yet telling factor of the legislative gaps such as sections 34(1)(b) or (d) of the Immigration Act, which allows magistrates to release arrested illegal miners back into the communities. The allegation is that some of the magistrates are colluding with the syndicates or fear the syndicates and have hence tended to use this section to release the arrested foreign nationals. If this and other legislation are not properly amended, it will render the SA Police Service, SAPS, a five-pillar approach to mitigate the crisis of illegal mining, useless.
The ACDP in supporting this report calls for the speedy implementation of the recommendations failing in which the oversight visits of the relevant portfolio committees will amount to nothing other than more fruitless and wasteful expenditure and more suffering in the related communities. I thank you.
Mr V ZUNGULA: Thank you, Chairperson. We can’t surrender our country to illegal mining. Wrongdoing is wrongdoing regardless of who the culprit is for the crimes against innocent communities and citizens are too brutal for this House to ignore. The bottom line Chairperson is that illegal mining is
facilitated by politicians, mining companies, and government officials.
Until the government deals with these syndicates that facilitate illegal mining, illegal miners will always be there and innocent communities will be terrorized. The state must go after these syndicates that enable and drive illegal mining.
Ministers, politicians, and mining companies involved in illegal mining must be exposed and face the full might of the law. Council for Mineral Technology, Mintek, must be given an increased budget to close the mines.
The reality check is that the majority of illegal miners are not South Africans. The guns seized are not registered in South Africa, and the explosives used in illegal mining are smuggled from neighbouring countries. Therefore, illegal mining and other crimes are enabled by porous borders and poor management of immigration in South Africa. All criminals must be flushed out from our communities, and South Africa cannot be a preferred destination for criminals. We support the report. Thank you.
Mr S M JAFTA: Thank you, hon Chair. The multi-joint oversight visit between the Portfolio Committees of Home Affairs,
Mineral Resources, and Energy and Police, which took place in September 2022, is a model of clarity. These joint operations travesty long-standing problems of illegal mining and mining syndicates. We learned of how social dislocation in our communities is fermented through illegal guns, drug abuse and prostitution.
There was no question of the impacts of the relic mines in fuelling illegal mining. It is no surprise that in our recommendations to deal with the relic mines, we were clear that there is a need to be firmer on the use it or lose it principle as set out in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002, MPRDA. We also felt that there was a greater need to look at the budget model earmarked for miles closer programmes.
The role of the Department of Home Affairs in our operation proved successful. As we resolved, there was a commitment to boost the capacity of immigration services. The deployment of the 200 border guards was to be beefed up to improve capacity and efficiency, the lack of coherence in the different legislative regimes which spillages on the mining sector was sharply raised during our discussions.
In this regard, there was to be a great emphasis on streamlining the Hazardous Substances Act 15 of 1973 the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, the MPRDA and other relevant legislations, we emerge with a solid voice in a joint show of force to reach our country of illegal mining and its attendance spillages, such as social disorder and high levels of crime. We support the report as the AIC. Thank you, hon Chair.
Mr M G MAHLAULE: No, but I can’t have three minutes.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Okay. We will sort out the clock.
Mr M G MAHLAULE: Thank you very much, Chairperson. The ANC supports the adoption of this report ... [Interjections.] ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon member, our apologies, just give us a chance to set up the clock properly, please?
Mr M G MAHLAULE: Please do.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): It’s seven minutes. No, allow me to assist you.
The CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Thank you very much. You may proceed.
Mr M G MAHLAULE: The ANC supports the adoption of this report primarily because mining is an important industry in which industrial development and mineral beneficiation can be pursued in South Africa. South Africa has a comparative advantage and offers abundant opportunities in the group of precious metals and other mineral commodities that are considered critical to the transition to a green economy.
However, illegal mining remains a key challenge, which affects mining as a catalyst for industrial development and mineral beneficiation in the country. For example, the revenue loss due to illegal mining is estimated to be around R14 billion a year, making South Africa one of the biggest sources of illegal mining on the continent of Africa. This estimated loss of revenue is based on the revenue generated by illegal gold production alone, implying that illegal mining is conducted across various mineral deposits beyond gold, such as coal, platinum, iron or manganese, diamonds, and sand aggregate and results in additional foregone revenue for the government.
Chairperson, it is worth mentioning that illegal mining is influenced by both structural and policy factors. Structural factors include the rising levels of unemployment and porous borders, which act as a pool factor. That incentivizes people to engage in illegal mining. In particular, the Department of Home Affairs lamented that while limited administrative capacity at our borders, encourages the inflow of undocumented migrants that made illegal mining a lucrative business in the country. Corruption and maladministration in the Department of Home Affairs itself are also linked indirectly to illegal mining as it makes our borders vulnerable to undocumented migrants, especially from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and the Kingdom of Eswatini.
Despite these challenges, the Department of Home Affairs remains committed to remedying some of its weaknesses through innovative efforts such as the appointment of the Border Management Authority commissioners, and the border guards. By contrast, policy factors that incentivize illegal mining include placing mines under business rescue, as well as care and maintenance for a prolonged period of the mining legislation.
The shortcomings of the Companies Act 71 of 2008, regarding business rescue processes and the poor management of the mining rights issued by traditional leaders, fall under the remit of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. The issuing of mining rights by traditional leaders was a common practice in both Limpopo and the Northwest. And this strengthens the suggestion that traditional leaders confuse land ownership and mineral resources ownership, which are totally two different things. And this issue must be corrected by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, as well as the police.
While illegal mining affects the competitiveness of South Africa’s mining industry, it is not a trap from which South Africa has no escape to the hope. In other words, South Africa can break free from illegal mining, and that is precisely the reason why portfolio committees jointly embarked on a collaborative joint oversight visit to Limpopo, Free State and the Northwest, which are prone to illegal mining, in the hope of developing policy guidelines of how best to address the scourge of illegal mining in the country.
Chairperson, these five provinces, aside from Gauteng share two similar characteristics. They boast mineral endowments and
yet they remain largely undeveloped, and underdeveloped. If illegal mining was to be addressed with the urgency it deserves, a greater potential benefit for the provincial economies and residents can be achieved.
Illegal mining does not only impact negatively on prospects for industrialization and mineral beneficiation It also has a negative bearing on human development and well-being, particularly given that it is associated with kidnapping, human trafficking, and child labour. Forced labour, illegal firearms, rape, murder, intimidation, housebreakings, theft, assault, and corruption in nearby communities. And as a consequence, the Department of Police is mandated to respond to the social effects of illegal mining. Unfortunately, illegal mining is an unfamiliar terrain for the country’s law enforcement and security personnel in large part because of the complexities around its nature and participants that have sophisticated military training.
As you have heard everybody was agreeing to the report except one man who came here and say hon Mantashe is in denial in accepting that there is illegal mining in South Africa. He doesn’t. He is just refusing to define it differently because
it is a criminal activity and it remains a criminal activity, which needs to be addressed by the police enforcement.
The insatiable appetite of hon Lorimer to redefine this illegal mining led us to trouble in one of the provinces, where he wanted us to go to a legal mine, that he, himself, has declared illegal mining because one, he doesn’t like the owners, secondly, that they are black. So we can’t define the mining activities because of colour. We don’t subscribe to that. In that attempt to redefine the definition of illegal mining, we will reject it and say down with racism.
The ACTING CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Mr B A Radebe)
moved: That the Bill, as amended be passed.
Motion agreed to.
Bill, as amended, accordingly passed.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE ON AUDITOR- GENERAL ON DRAFT NOTICE DETERMINING THE REMUNERATION OF AUDITOR-GENERAL OF SOUTH AFRICA
There was no debate.
Report adopted and Draft Notice Determining the Remuneration of Auditor-General of South Africa accordingly approved.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES ON DRAFT NOTICE DETERMINING REMUNERATION OF COUNCILLORS OF INDEPENDENT COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY OF SOUTH AFRICA, ICASA
There was no debate.
Report adopted and Draft Notice Determining Remuneration of Councillors of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, ICASA, accordingly approved.
DEBATE ON YOUTH DAY: DECISIVE ACTION TO ACCELERATE SOCIOECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES TO TRANSFORM THE LIVES OF THE YOUTH
Ms D R DIREKO: House Chairperson, Deputy President of the country, hon Ministers, hon members and fellow South Africans.
This afternoon I stand before you in this important month in the history of our country. A month that reminds us of how capable young people are in terms of turning things around, especially when they work together as a collective like the youth of 1976 did.
So, I’m addressing you on a subject that is very close to my heart, which is advancing significant change in our understanding of the social, political, economic challenges that the youth of our country are facing today.
We always said that the future of our country is young people and I strongly believe that the future is now. Therefore, it is critical for any government to take care of its youth because it serves as an investment to the country’s future.
South African government also has a responsibility to ensure that it develops the young people of the country so that we can have a South Africa that is very successful because when the young people are successful we know that our country is going to successful because we’ll have people who’ll be proactive, who’ll be able to think beyond the box and be able to transform our country to a better country.
The ANC-led government has adopted a proactive approach to solving these challenges of unemployment and poverty in our youth. Democracy and youth development are key evidence of developing society that must inspire confidence in response to our societal crisis.
The birth of democracy in 1994 brought hope and recognised milestone for the previously disadvantaged majority. Amongst the progressive steps was the acceptance of the need for a proper plan for investment in the development of young people, which resulted in the formation of Youth Commission and Umsobomvu Youth Development. These organisations were ultimately merged to become the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA.
The ANC-led government was deliberate in setting up the Presidential year’s programme and the NYDA to provide products and services to respond to the challenges of young people, including lack of funding for education, lack of start-up capital and lack of mentorship, unemployment etc. We have, further, established the youth directorates and the youth offices in various levels of government.
We continue to initiate various youth development programmes and empowerment initiatives to support young people in various spheres of government.
In the ANC’s 2019 national elections manifesto, the ANC pledged to transform our economy in order to serve our people via the policies that will encourage developments, growth path to create more employment and jobs to our people.
As a result of that, the government is continuously making effort to ensure that young people get jobs. Currently we do have young people who are still working in different positions in government while other are working in the private sector and government still continues to support private sector in order to boost our economy and to create more jobs for our youth.
With the ANC being a governing party and managing democracy for all South Africans, we have seen a significant number of young people under the age of 35 sworn-in as Members of Parliament, MPs, including hon Vutha Ntsube, hon Naledi Chirwa, the DA Chief Whip, myself and others.
This could have not happened if it wasn’t for the ANC, which is an organization that recognises the capacity of young people to drive the country forward.
In all our provinces we have young people who have occupied strategic positions such as Mayors, Speakers, Whips of the Councils, and we also have young people as directors and heads of department, HODs, because we understand that we are living in a country that is very useful and it is important that we embrace the capacity of young people.
In terms of transformation in the mining sector, in the past few years we have seen young people entering into the field that was previously seen as a male dominated industry.
We have Ms Reabetswe Mabaso, at the age of 29, was appointed as a Geologist Manager for Anglo American SA coal. She’s one of the young people and young women who have joined a generation of women who are changing the face of the mining industry.
Ms Portia Malele has also been appointed as a Mine Manager for Drill and Blast Sishen mine at the age of 32.
This could have not happened if it wasn’t for the ANC-led government that has fought against inequality as well as age and gender discrimination.
Today’s youth are given an opportunity to shine without fear of patriarchal tradition or discrimination towards their age or their gender. However, despite the above mentioned challenges we do agree that we still have challenges that we need to deal with in addressing the issues of the people.
Also on the issue of economy, in the provinces of North West and Free State there has been some interactions between the municipalities and the mining companies, in terms of introducing the small-scale mining and also rehabilitation of the mining towns.
As a result of that, the municipalities and the mining sector are on the agreement that some of the mining ... [Inaudible.]
... that are not being used should be donated to community member who have knowledgeable skills on mining so that they can introduce small-scale mining which is going to assist in terms of job creation and skills development.
Different young people in rural and urban areas do not encounter the same challenges, however, government is trying to address the needs of all the youth irrespective of their backgrounds.
Today we are faced with new challenges compared to the one of 1976, however, government is trying by all means to ensure that all government departments are assisting young people into business and bursaries for those who want to go to school.
As the ANC we also pronounce ourselves as an organization that strives to provide a better life for all, which is something that is not achievable. However, it may take a bit longer because we are correcting the injustices of the past 100 years done to our people by the great-grandmothers and grandfathers of the likes of hon Wessels and hon Steenhuisen. Hence some of them, because they are beneficiaries of the apartheid regime, will not understand our struggle as young people.
Today some of us are subjected to black tax, not because our families or relatives were lazy, but because the old apartheid system that benefited some of you who are here has deprived them of an opportunity to do things for themselves. So, when
we start working today we have to go back and check our families because the system of apartheid, of DA, FF-Plus, has deprived our families of that opportunity.
The old spatial planning used under apartheid era continues to have a significant and widespread impact on South African working class, especially the youth because we are spending a lot of money moving from one place to another when we go to work, because of the spatial planning that put the black people away from where the main economic streams were in.
So, the DA, because it’s a hypocritical organization, will come here and blame everything on the ANC, forgetting that we are fixing their grandmothers’ mess, who have contributed to the current state that we find ourselves in. I thank you, Chairperson.
Ms N K SHARIF: Hon House Chairperson, young people in this country will have a choice to make. Do we continue to struggle under an uncaring government that is all talk and no action?
Or, do we vote in a government that takes young people seriously and has a track record of providing young people with opportunities to enter the job market and become economically active?
Almost a quarter of a million young people have lost their jobs in the first quarter of 2023, thanks to the ANC. If we want to talk about decisive action, to transform the lives of young people, then we need to talk about decisive governments that can action this. The ANC is by far the least qualified when it comes to deciding or actioning anything.
Through public- and private-sector initiatives, DA-run municipalities and in the Western Cape show a track record of job creation, skills development and creating economic opportunities. The Western Cape created 98% of net jobs in the fourth quarter of last year, while the ANC government is focused on nonsense like the racial quotas, which by the way, will not increase jobs, but rather divide an already divided country on racial lines. You may not like to hear it, but the DA has and will continue to prioritise young people with real opportunities.
In the City of Cape Town, R150 million has been allocated to sports and recreational facilities, because young people need to get off the streets and into spaces where they can hone their talent and be the best they can be.
The City of Cape Town has prioritised assistance with substance abuse through the City’s Matrix Substance Abuse Treatment Programme, which has seen 80% success rate, helping many young people to get their lives back on track, with over
8 200 patients screened since 2016. More action, less talk is the business of the DA.
In Mossel Bay, the DA has a dedicated budget to Systems Development Learnerships, because we are very aware that we must be able to keep up and compete with regional and global trends and ensure that our young people are equipped with skills to do this.
The DA, in uMngeni Local Municipality, under the leadership of our young mayor, Chris Pappas, in the last financial year, prioritised young people through programmes focused on assisting with tertiary funding, applications and work, as well as assistance to youth entrepreneurs, to assist them in growing their business and to equip young people with the skills and knowledge on what is available to improve their lives.
Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 and between 25 and
35 remain the most vulnerable in the labour market today, with
the unemployment rate at 62,1% and 40,7% respectively for this last quarter. These statistics are proof of the ANC’s uselessness. Young people, the choice is yours. We can remain stagnated under a failing ANC government or take a chance and vote for a government that will prioritise your needs. The proof is there.
We have the opportunity in 2024 to kick incompetence, corruption and absolute non-caring governments out and welcome competence, integrity, professional and caring governments through the moon-shot pact. Young people, our time is now. [Time expired.] Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): As I recognise the next speaker, I just want to indicate that this is a maiden speech. I there expect that the speaker be respected. I also expect that it will not be controversial. Hon Shikwambana, I did not call you yet. I still have to call you. I now call hon Shikwambana. I follow the Table staff.
Mr M SHIKWAMBANA: Hon House Chairperson, greetings to the president, the commander in chief of the 26 July movement, the only weapon in the hands of the marginalised and exploited young people; the officials; commissars and all ground forces
of the EFF. Special greetings to the young people of the Shikwambana Village in Tzaneen, who have lost hope; the unemployed youth of Seshego, Musina, and Thohoyan?ou in Limpopo, who have also lost hope; the unemployed young people of Umhlabuyalingana, Umlazi, Jozini in KwaZulu-Natal; the forgotten young people of Phuthaditshaba, Fateng-tse-Ntsho in the Free State, Dihlabeng; Reitz in the Nketoana, in the Free State; and all young people all over South Africa. We say to you that the EFF has never forgotten you.
As young people, we are tired of rhetoric, slogans and June 16 rallies. We want economic freedom now. We stand here firm, confident and clear to declare 2024 as our 1994.
This is why we call on all young people from the age of 16 years old in all schools, institutions of higher learning and also in the workplaces to register to vote. To register to vote, you can either visit the IEC website or download the APP, or simply dial *134*20024# to register to vote for he EFF.
For the first time since 1994, we have more than 50% of young people not in education, not in training, and also not in employment. This means that the majority of young people in
South Africa wake up every morning and do nothing for the rest of the year.
This crisis is a social crisis that threatens the stability of this country. This is a crisis that breeds criminality, alcohol and substance abuse. It is breeds many of the social ills that we are dealing with today, as a nation.
To be a young person is to be in a phase of transition. You transition from being dependent to being independent. You transition from being a member of the society to a productive member and to participate actively in the economy of this nation.
Failing to create jobs and economic opportunities means that we are failing to provide transition choices to millions of young people. We are condemning them to a permanent position of being in a childhood state.
More than 7 million people are unemployed today, 3,4 million have lost hope of finding employment and 13 million are not economically active. The majority of these people are young people, as we speak today.
This is what must happen. We must make education free, decolonise education, make it well-resourced and organised. We are encouraged by the undying spirit of many students in the institutions of Higher Learning, who are quick to join the EFF Students Command. We are continuing, and we are going to continue to fight for our young people.
We must create numerous jobs with incentives to special economic zones, build municipalities’ internal capacity and many other avenues that needs manual labour. Anyone who is willing to open a factory and employ people anywhere in South Africa, especially in the township, must be given some form of real and tangible incentive. Do those things, not these things of Ramaphosa that we are seeing today.
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Chair, on a point of order: I am rising on Rule 82 that we cannot call each other on first-name terms, even if you are making your maiden speech. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Shikwambana, take your seat. Hon Radebe, your point of order is upheld. Hon Shikwambane, I picked that up. You are not allowed to call people by their first names. Mr Ramaphosa or hon Ramaphosa is allowed. Please, go ahead.
Mr M SHIKWAMBANA: Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, if you want it to be. We must be a nation obsessed with jobs. Any conversation anywhere must start with: How many jobs have we created now, as we speak, and how many jobs are we willing to create for the young people of South Africa?
We must deal with nyaope and all illicit drugs on our streets. The fight against nyaope, tik and other illicit drugs on our streets is a fight that all of us must help to win. It is a fight that needs courageous and decisive leadership, not these things of Mr Ramaphosa.
Lastly, as we remember the youth of 1976, the youth who told their parents that enough is enough, we want to send a very strong warning to the governing party and leadership of the various spheres of government, young people are tired and on the verge of an unled revolution. There will be no winner and all of us are going to be losers.
As I am about to finish, let us go to Mpumalanga. There is a crisis in Mpumalanga. Young educators in Mpumalanga, posts are being sold there. Young people are not being employed there, these ... [Inaudible.] ... of the ANC and these unions of the educators there are busy selling positions. They are busy
selling posts for young people there. We want to make it categorically clear that we are in now and we are going to go to their doorsteps and make sure that young people in South Africa, in Mpumalanga, across the country get the jobs.
Minister Ronald Lamola knows, as he comes from Mpumalanga, ... [Interjections.]
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AND SANITATION (Ms J Tshabalala):
House Chair, it is unfortunate that you are pointing me after this speaker because I raised it during the debate. I think for future, it is quite important that we adhere to the Rules. On a maiden speech, you are not supposed to make political commentary, you are supposed to speak to the content, so that we can assist the speaker because he made a point of reference of debate, and it is quite important. I thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, hon Tshabalala, your point of order is not taken. Hon Mashego ... [Interjections.]
Mr E MTHETHWA: On a point of order, House Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Mashego, please rise.
An Hon MEMBER: Remove him from the House.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Mashego, I am addressing you. I don’t know what you are doing. I want you to listen to the presiding officer. You continue to make interruptions. You are not interjecting, which is allowed. You continue to make noise from there across the floor, and I want you to refrain from doing that. Thank you, please take your seat. I now recognise hon Zondo.
Mr E MTHETHWA: On a point of order, House Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Just take a seat, hon Zondo, there is a point of order.
Mr E MTHETHWA: I think it is also necessary to point out that the hon member ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): What’s the point of order, hon member?
Mr E MTHETHWA: He used a word to call our member “madluphuthu”. He must correct that. He must refrain from saying so. He must apologise, please.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, hon member, we will ... hon Mashego ... hon Ceza, you are not going to speak whilst the presiding officer is on the platform. Hon Mashego, did you utter those words?
Mr M R MASHEGO: I didn’t get that, House Chair?
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Madluphuthu. Hon Mashego, did you utter those words? Thank you, hon member, and hon Mashego, I have already addressed you. I am not going to repeat what I said. Thank you. Hon Zondo, please take the platform.
Ms N N CHIRWA: On a point of order, House Chairperson, Hon Mashego must withdraw. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Shikwambana ... [Interjections.]
Mr M SHIKWAMBANA: He must withdraw his words.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Shikwambana, please stand up? I am going to ask other members ... because I am not going to repeat what I am doing. Hon Shikwambana, if you are
still the new kid on the block, I am going to assist you. When you want attention from the presiding officer, you do not just get to the mic and speak. You ask for recognition. If it is a point of order, you do that. What you are doing is not allowed, just to address another member in the manner that you are doing. Hon Naledi.
Ms N N CHIRWA: House Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Naledi, I am not addressing you.
Ms N N CHIRWA: There is no children here.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Take a seat, hon Shikwambana. Thank you. I am not going to repeat, hon Naledi.
Ms N N CHIRWA: But you are also petty ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): I am not going to repeat ...
Ms N N CHIRWA: [Inaudible.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Switch off that mic. Hon Zondo, please go ahead.
Mr M MANYI: On a point of order, House Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Yes, what’s the point of order?
Mr M MANYI: House Chair, the point of order is on you. The reprimand you gave to the hon member before was not related to the issue that has been raised of him calling an hon member with all kinds of degrading names. So, we ask you to ask the other member. I still don’t know the names here. That member must withdraw that degrading reference that he has made. We insist, House Chair. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Please, take a seat. Hon Hadebe. [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: House Chairperson, there is only one presiding officer in the House. Once you have made a ruling, it cannot be challenged on the floor. They must just follow the due process in challenging whatever decision a presiding officer
has made. So, let us respect this whole nation we are facing now, where the House is being disrupted.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, hon Radebe. Hon Zondo, please take to the platform and address the House.
Ms M S KHAWULA: No, House Chair ...
Nk M S KHAWULA: Cha, Sihlalo ngokukhulu ukuhlonipha bengiphakamise isandla.
I had my hand raised up.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): I am not taking hands on this issue ... [Interjections.]
Ms M S KHAWULA: No, House Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): I am not doing that.
Ms M S KHAWULA: No, Chair. You must be fair.
An HON MEMBER: My hand is up.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): I hope it is a new point of order, hon Khawula.
An HON MEMBER: But why do you jump me?
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Take a seat, hon Zondo.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo angizukusebenzisa lento yeMithetho ngoba yiyona lena enirobha ngayo. Cha, Cha.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): You are on the platform, hon Khawula.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Ngiyabona kukhona into engalungile la. Umuntu nomuntu unesici sakhe esidalwe nguNkulunkulu wakhe. Awukwazi wena ukuzongibiza la ngesici somunye umuntu bese nizothi nisebenzisa iMithetho yokuvikelana. Uma la uzongibiza ngemicondo yami ...
You are totally wrong here in Parliament.
Uma ngabe sizokwenza ubulungiswa la ngicela ilungu elihloniphekile uMashego ahoxhise. Mina nginemicondo la. Ngekungitshele ukuthi uzongibiza ngemicondo yami -ukudelela lokho. Ngeke sikuvume ukudelelwa lapha. Sidaliwe ngendlela efanayo.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Please, drop those hands. There is a member on the platform.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Manje akasukume ahoxhise.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, hon Khawula. [Interjections.]
Nk M S KHAWULA: Angahlukumezi ilungu elihloniphekile ngoba lifika.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, hon Khawula, please take your seat. Please drop your hands. I will consider Hansard after having listened to hon Mashego and I will make the ruling before the end of the day. Thank you. Hon Zondo. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: It cannot be accepted that he called him “madluphuthu”. [Interjections.]
Mr B A RADEBE: On a point of order, House Chair.
Mr M MANYI: On a point of order, House Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Yes, thank you. Hon Manyi, please drop your hand. Hon Manyi, I am asking you to drop your hand. I am going to address the House. Please switch off the mic, hon Manyi. Thank you. Hon Shikwambana, you are not going to speak whilst the presiding officer is speaking. Hon Mashego, having agreed and admitted that you mentioned that name, I am going to ask you that you withdraw what you said.
Mr M R MASHEGO: I never said he is madluphuthu. I never said so. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Mashego, take a seat. Thank you, members. Please take a seat, hon Mashego, and switch off the mic. I have asked hon Mashego to withdraw. He has indicated that he did not say the degrading name. I am going to go back to my ruling that I will consider ... [Interjections.] ... I am on the floor. Don’t speak whilst the presiding officer is on the floor. Please switch off your mic. I am going to consult Hansard and make a ruling. That ruling will take into account whatever that hon Mashego has said in the House. Thank you very much.
Ms N R MASHABELA: House Chair, on a point of order. House Chair, Mr Mashego admitted that he said that word. No, he must withdraw.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): No, thank you, member. Please take a seat. I have heard you. [Interjections.] Please take a seat. I have heard you.
Ms N R MASHABELA: [Inaudible.] Let Mashego withdraw first.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Please take a seat.
Ms N R MASHABELA: Let Mashego withdraw first, then I will take my seat.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Are you refusing to take a seat?
Ms N R MASHABELA: I will take my seat after Mashego ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Are you refusing to take your seat?
Ms N R MASHABELA: I will take my seat, let Mashego withdraw first.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Switch off that mic.
Ms N R MASHABELA: Why?
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Please switch off that mic.
Ms N R MASHABELA: Why because I am raising a point of order here?
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): I am not going to repeat this.
Ms N R MASHABELA: It is a point of order.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): I am not going to repeat this. [Interjections] I asked you ... [Interjections.]
Ms N R MASHABELA: The point of order is that Mashego must withdraw.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, member. I have listened to your point of order. Please sit down.
Ms N R MASHABELA: I am sitting down.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Switch off your mic.
Ms N R MASHABELA: What?
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Switch off your mic. Thank you, I am going to repeat the ruling that I will consult Hansard on both the responses of hon Mashego and will make a
ruling based on that. We are now proceeding. Hon Zondo, please take to the podium.
Mr S S ZONDO: Hon Chairperson, with Youth Day on Friday,
16 June 2023, it is a reminder of where we come from and the role that young people played in building the new South Africa. In 1976, there was a struggle against the education system ... compromised ... future, and they couldn’t allow the status quo to continue.
Fast forward to today. The IFP notes with very serious concern
Ms M S KHAWULA: Sorry, Chair, point of order. Sorry to interrupt, hon ... Chair ...
... Ngokukhulu ukuhlonipha ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): What is the point of order, hon Khawula? What’s your point of order?
Nk M S KHAWULA... ngokukhulu ukuhlonipha ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): What’s your point of order?
... yile yokuthi kuwena, kufuneka uma sila usiphathe ngendlela efanayo. Uyayibona lento eyenziwe uMhlonishwa u- Mashego yinto esiyiyala ezikoleni nje njengoba ubuye ubone izingane zilwa.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, hon Khawula. I have ruled on that matter.
... uma kungumuntu we-ANC ungasho ukuthi akaphume.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, hon Khawula. I have ruled on that matter. Please don’t repeat that. Please sit down, hon Khawula. Please sit down. Hon Zondo, please continue. Hon Zondo, please continue.
Ms M S KHAWULA: [Inaudible.]
Ms N P SONTI: Chairperson, my hand is up.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): I’m not taking a point of order on this. There’s a speaker on the platform. I’ve made a ruling.
Ms N P SONTI: Please allow me to speak ... [Inaudible.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): I have made a ruling on this matter.
Ms N P SONTI: Please allow us.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): I’ve made a ruling on this matter.
Ms N P SONTI: You are very inconsistent. Please allow us.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Zondo, please continue.
Mr S S ZONDO: The IFP notes with very serious concern the skyrocketing youth unemployment figures released recently by
Statistics SA in their latest survey. Young people have been abandoned and they need to stand up. It is high time that the government acknowledges that youth unemployment in our country is a ticking time bomb that can explode at any time.
According to Statistics SA, almost five in every 10 young people in South Africa do not have a job. If we are serious about growing our economy, rolling out skilled development, improving our education system and ... [Inaudible.] ... access in the implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we must ensure that our youth find dignified employment. We can no longer afford more summits to diagnose the same issue year in and year out.
As the IFP, we have long advocated for a youth ministry that will focus primarily on issues affecting young people. The government applauds the quantity of people who have passed matric, while the issue should be the quality of education, which is poor. Action is required now. Action in times of crisis requires strong, bold leadership, which will see the rapid expansion of government programmes and interventions to curb rising youth unemployment.
By far, the real faces behind unemployment are young people
... are hard hit when it comes to addressing this unemployment issue. We need to address this scourge of unemployment faced by youth in rural communities, as well as the urban youth in the bigger cities of our country.
Siyihlazo Sihlalo isitokfela esibizwa nge-NYDA namanye ama- ejensi kaHulumeni asephenduke indlela yokuhlomulisa izingane kanye nezihlobo zabaholi beqembu elibusayo. Kuyathusa kakhulu uma uHulumeni noNgqongqoshe bezishaya izifuba ngenani lezinhlelo njenge-EPWP nezinye izinhlelo ezenziwa uHulumeni bekubiza ngamathuba omsebenzi. Kuyihlazo lokho kithi njengabantu abasha ukuthi kuyothiwa ngesikhathi sethu kuthiwa amathuba omsebenzi izinhlelo zezinyanga ezintathu ukuya kweziyisithupha noma unyaka owodwa kuthiwa iwona amathuba omsebenzi esiwatholayo lokho.
Lokhu kuwusithuka. Kufanele kuyekwe. Kwenziwe indlela entsha ezokwenza ukuthi abantu abasha bekwazi ukungena emisebenzini. Njenge-IFP ...
... we brought a Private Member’s Bill through hon Van der Merwe ...
... oletha izixazululo ngokuntuleka kwamathuba emisibenzi kubantu bakithi.
Colleagues, I’m lobbying you to support this Bill because it will help our people in this country to be at work. Young people, next year it is election. The 2024 election is our 1994. Let’s go out and change the status quo. As the chairperson of the IFP ... Brigade and a Member of Parliament, I hope this debate in this Assembly will allow for the collaboration of ideas on how to fast-track and create jobs in all sectors, to ensure that you save our economy and the lives of young people who are looking to this House to give them solutions.
Ngiyafisa ukuthi i-EFF ne-ANC beyilungise le nkinga yabo. Asizukumela njalo ukuthi uma sizokhuluma izindaba ezibucayi ezithinta abantu abasha kube nabantu abadala abazophazamisa
izinkulumo-mpikiswano zabantu abasha ekubeni bona vele bengesangeni kulezi zinkinga esibhekene nazo.
Abantu bakithi abasha abanezinkinga zokungabinawo amathuba emisebenzi, amathuba okuhamba baye ezikoleni beyofunda kodwa kunabantu abadala abamatasa besiphazamisa. Yiyekeni leyonto leyo. Ayisizi ngalutho. Sifuna izixazululo la ezizosiza ukuthi abantu bakithi bangene emisebenzini.
Ms T BREEDT: Hon Chair, the theme for this year’s Youth Day debate is 100% correct. We need decisive action to be taken to accelerate the socioeconomic opportunities of the youth.
Unfortunately, the trajectory that the ANC is sending this country on currently is not going to do that.
When we talk about socioeconomic opportunities, we tend to focus on youth post-schooling and into employment but we need to shift our focus. Uplifting the youth and improving the socioeconomic opportunities starts from early childhood. From early childhood to young adulthood, there are several key objectives that emerge when we talk about socioeconomic
mobility. These include access to early childhood education, secondary school funding and quality, and skills development and job matching into young adulthood.
In South Africa, only 72%, that is 1,6 million children under the age of six years are enrolled to attend early learning programmes. Concerningly, this figure was closer to 2 million before the COVID-19 pandemic. The ANC fails dismally when it comes to early childhood development, ECD. Only 40% of ECD ... are registered and 42% of programmes are not registered. Then, only 52% of ECD ... staff members are actually qualified to do the necessary work.
Another factor adding to this insecurity is the fact that ECD
... are once again shifted from the Department of Social Development back to Basic Education. If we do not start concerning ourselves with the youth from an early childhood point of view, we cannot hope for a better outcome in the teenage years.
Another instance where the ANC is failing our youth, and the effect is crippling due to socioeconomic advancement, is in schooling. Besides the fact that we have a net loss of schools under the ANC’s reign since 1994, we have seen fewer and fewer
schools teaching and speaking in mother tongue education. We have long seen that mother tongue education is what needs to happen with schooling and that would significantly improve the advances.
In 2015, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ranked the education systems of 76 schools ... in high school in how they fared in mathematics and science.
South Africa came 75th, that is second to last only after Ghana.
When it comes to literacy, the picture is as bleak. The latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study released in 2016, revealed that some 78% of South African Grade 4 pupils could not reach minimum reading benchmarks, compared to
The proportion of South African students that complete ... from Grade 1 to Grade 12 fluctuates between the 40% mark. With these horrific statistics, one wonders why the ANC continually focusses on tertiary education and not on primary and secondary education.
However, if we look at tertiary education, the ANC also fails dismally because we have a critical skills list and critical skills shortage and we do not focus on those. Oh no, we focus on getting the nice degrees that look nice on a wall but don’t actually solve the problems in South Africa.
What is also currently happening in South Africa is that the government is trying to legislate people into jobs. Let me be clear. We cannot legislate people into jobs. If this latest employment equity legislation is applied as is, the figures say that we will drop down in unemployment from 34% to 32%. A mere 2%. What are we going to tell the 32% that are still unemployed?
We can only lift the youth out of poverty by ensuring that they have jobs. We need to create an environment that is conducive to job creation but we not currently doing that. In conclusion, the only way we will do that is by ... [Inaudible.] [Time expired.]
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon Chairperson, among our greatest assets in this nation is not the minerals in our ground nor the wealth we hold in our vaults. It is the arrows in our quiver that we can shoot into the future. Our youth is the reflection of our
hope. In this regard, our continent Africa and our country South Africa are indeed rich in assets.
When we reflect on the struggle for our democracy, the role of the youth and the ability of leaders to inspire a generation are the key elements worth reflecting on. Many of us sitting in this House were inspired to achievement and to walk into purposeful determination to become somebody, to strive towards the dream of a better South Africa, like the leaders who came before us.
We should ask ourselves, are we doing the same? One of our Khoi and San leaders this past weekend evoked the memory of Ashley Kriel in his submission at the Basic Education Laws Amendment, Bela, Bill public hearings. Ashley Kriel is iconic in memory, but maybe the best hero to describe the potential that is latent in our communities.
Youth like Ashley Kriel live forever in our memories and in the history of our country they will remain forever young, forever the symbol of what the struggle for freedom hoped to achieve — a just society. However, we are failing miserably to create a just society for all and one of the things we do not address enough is how do we rehabilitate youth, and how to use
restorative justice to rehabilitate young offenders and offer them a way out of gangs. We have little to no interventions that target the young person who gets left behind, either through circumstance or poor decision-making.
Our biggest challenge in the communities that I come from, the communities of Bonteheuwel, Athlone, Kimberley, Eldorado Park, Eersterust and Hillbrow, is rising unemployment and crime.
Black and coloured youth are most at risk to become targets of crime or being drawn into crime that many ultimately rob them of their best years.
In South Africa today, we have over 4,9 million unemployed youth. It is a staggering figure. Unemployment robs our youth of their dignity and their agency. We said, an injury to one is an injury to all. This was the mantra we chanted in every protest and every march during the eighties. That generation is in this House today. They occupy the places of authority in society and they are building businesses. Our youth need us to revisit the place at a moral and emotional level, where we were once consumed by the cause for justice and a better South Africa. It is a place of true moral authority and servant leadership.
Lastly, the ACDP today wants to reiterate our call for the implementation of the National Senior Certificate for adults. We believe that this would provide the opportunity for youth between the ages of 21 to 35 to re-enter the system to further their studies and to become more ... [Inaudible.] [Time expired.
Mr B S YABO: House Chair thank you very much for the opportunity to speak on the real challenge that is facing our young people in this country. It is disheartening to hear people who are followed by a legacy of the oppression of the Africans, who are now under the thumb of drug abuse, substance abuse, live in gang ridden communities because of apartheid spatial planning.
The legacy of apartheid spatial planning remains etched in the Province of the Western Cape. You see it amplified in Cape Town. Communities are demarcated by racial pluses and connotations. Till this day, they speak of the 29 years that the ANC has been in charge. They forget that they have been in charge of this province since 2004, and apartheid spatial planning remains young people of colour, young people who are African are still under the oppression of poverty under their government. It is a chip on their shoulder to say that the ANC
has failed, where they have done even worse maintaining the legacy of apartheid in their own province, where they govern unassisted by anybody.
The youth of 1976 showed us what the harnessed power of young people can achieve when sufficiently agitated. Their bravery is celebrated ad infinitum. As a developmental state we are faced with a youth bulge and only two pathways stand in front of us, turn it into a demographic dividend of face a demographic bomb. However, the choice must be made collectively by government, business and all social actors who stand to benefit or reap ... [Inaudible] ... from this cohort. Business needs to partner with the ANC government as a matter of urgency to tackle youth unemployment and the high barriers of entry into the labour market.
We know the practices that private business carries on within those offices, where they use certain methods of employment to segregate those of colour from those who are previously advantaged. We know those practices. Business must come to the party if we are to resolve the problem of the youth bulge that is facing all of us. The ANC celebrates youth month with an understanding that the needs of the youth must be at the
centre of our programme for social economic transformation, for their benefit and that of our nation.
The truth is that South African youth constitute almost a third of our population above 17,8 million human beings. It is therefore important for us to fully recognise and equip with specific emphasis this important section of our society, the youth. Hon members, youth participation is not only a question of quantity, but also of quality and their actual influence where they are placed. When youth manage to get positions in decision-making bodies, the question is not only about what percentage they represent, but also what space and actual opportunity is given to them to have their suggestions, ideas and priorities considered. We therefore believe in working and shaping the qualitative interventions for young people to realise their own emancipation.
In Gauteng, listen very carefully, through the Presidential Youth Employment Stimulus Programme, the province has provided more than 100 000 youth with workplace experience. In the recent state of the province address, the premier made strong commitments that 152 000 young people would be employed by the provincial government. From that, 100 000 for the Expanded
Public Works Programme, EPWP. This assures us to see that work is being done.
It is great progress to see the strides that government of the ANC government has made in addressing the challenge of youth unemployment, with the Employment Tax Incentive getting expanded to encourage businesses to hire more young people in large numbers. We reiterate the call for the public and the private sector to remove the requirement for work experience for young people seeking entry level positions. Removing barriers to entry and linking training opportunities with entry level jobs will create ease of integration of the youth into workplaces. We need to see this in practical implementation.
Hon members, we need to work towards correcting and doing away with disparities, with timelines and targets set to addressing gender inequality in the market through policies, that will equip young women with skills to compete for jobs with men and to increase funding for women-owned entities. The need for a methodology that is standardised and simplified that will provide for the equipping of young women is of great import.
Young women have leveraged the digital economy, generating an
income through social media, either selling goods through E- commerce or advertising for various brands.
We should also support young artists in the creative sector. The likes of our comedian we love very much, Madl’uphuthu.
Digital transformation, information and communication technologies and the knowledge economy will remain key drivers of economic development, for the foreseeable future and contribute towards breaking gender barriers of entry to economic opportunities. Youth innovation should be supported in order to build and develop companies that respond to the future needs of our economy. New industries are developing out of innovation. We should position the youth on the cutting edge of the global innovation ecosystem.
In terms of closing the pay gap, dealing with sectors that were designed for young men to accommodate young women is critical. We need to increase the number of girls taking up science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and their absorption in various fields of science. Our country has wonderful opportunities in the space sciences. We manufacture satellites and hosts the Square Kilometre Array in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape.
We are glad that in Mpumalanga the premier has stated that 36 companies have been approved for funding with a total amount of R92 million. This is best thus far for young people. There are some 45 young females in that cohort of enterprises within sectors that are inclusive of mining, agriculture, manufacturing, transport and logistics that benefited from the funding in Mpumalanga. We require an economy which is inclusive and in which new businesses can emerge and flourish, where young women can advance at all levels and in all areas. of the economy.
Chair, young people bear the brunt of social problems. They are more likely to live in poverty and are more likely to be involved in crime, violence and substance abuse. As they transition to full adulthood, it becomes important to ensure that when they require financial assistance to further their studies, they are assisted. We have seen the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, Nsfas becoming a full grant that covers full educational related costs, full tuition fees, accommodation allowance, meals and travel for those that come from poor households. This has benefited many over the years and played a huge role in ensuring that past inequalities are addressed. We are able to even point others on my left, who are beneficiaries of Nsfas. Today they are able to speak with
an accent heh, heh, heh, heh ... [Inaudible] ... Nsfas. [Time expired]
Mr V ZUNGULA: Hon Chair, there is a growing level of descent from young people who feel dejected in their own country. This frustration is led by the exclusion from participating in the economy. As a young person I understand how blessed am I to be entrusted with the responsibility of presenting my peers. In many engagements with the young people, a number of following issues has always been ventilated. There is a lack of support of extramural activities in our schools and communities. There are more taverns and bars than libraries and skills development centres. Young people no longer have educational entertainment and are fully raised by the streets. The huge disconnect between private schools compared to our public schools is devastating.
Corruption is a killer of dreams and opportunities from National Student Financial Aid Scheme, Nsfas to the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA. Young people are killed on a daily basis and students are not receiving their allowances on time or at all while the funding cap is deliberately done to keep poor students out of the educational system. Young women are asked for sex in exchange for their businesses. Young
people in the small businesses are made to pay bribes for their invoices to be paid.
Young South Africans are tired of drug and human trafficking by unknown and untraceable people who are ravaging their communities. They complain that not a single industry or part of the economy is reserved for them whilst undocumented immigrants seemingly have more rights and opportunities than they do in their own country. Young teachers are tired of being street level officials and want to be involved in the decision-making too. Stop teaching young people an outdated curriculum and teaching methods in ill-equipped facilities.
Transform the education system so that it focuses on tradable skills that allow young people to penetrate all sectors of the society.
Our country is falling apart because the necessary skills have been rooted out of the education system. Our young people are trained to be job seekers instead of job creators. Young people want a revamped Tvet sector that is better aligned with the needs of the country. Germany, Japan and others have all focused on upskilling their young people and ensuring that they got tradable skills rather than stuffing everyone into the universities. We cannot be aspiring to be a manufacturing
hub without ensuring that our Tvet sectors are aligned with the needs of the economy. Sectors should be prevalent in our colleges and ensure that the vocational and technical skills that are taught are put into use. South Africa needs to do away with the age 35 years cap for jobs and internships.
Our country cannot afford an entire generation of disgruntled young people that are kept out of the work spaces and are depended on grants. Many families depend on these young people. Young people have got an opportunity to correct all of this by voting the ATM. Thank you.
Mr S M JAFTA: Hon Chair, as we mark this year’s youth day, more than 40% of the young people are not in active employment. Young people today bear the brunt of poverty, of exclusion and of economic inactivity. For those with university education, there is equally no glimmer of hope.
This is chiefly necessitated by the stiff job requirements and misaligned education system.
For those in active employment there is a recurring theme of income inequality. In our 2019 election manifesto, we dedicated a section on a feasible developmental plan to rescue our country from the clasps of high unemployment rate. These
included introducing a graduate programme for every company with the turnover of R30 million. Developing the model around enterprise developmental plan linked to enterprising young people emerging out of universities. We do not have such a similar model. Creating a then hub in Cape Town to merge the skills of experienced of debt survey professionals with those of enterprising young talent.
Establishing special economic and industrial zones to bolster our industrial capacity in demarcated areas such as processing, refinery, packaging, logistics and alcohol brewery. Introducing a preferential procurement regime for enterprises owned by women and enterprises owned by young people. But these solutions are not exhausted we believe a long way in eroding the crisis of unemployment of young people in our communities. We have solutions that require both servant and bold leadership to reinvent the wheel. I thank you.
Mr I S SEITLHOLO: Hon Chairperson, every year we gather in this House to discuss historical events that led to the liberation of our people and the democracy which we so enjoy. Every year we hear from those on my right our young people for the liberation and the subsequent democracy more specifically
the youth of 1976. How tragic that those on my right have done everything in their power to undermine and spit on the legacy of those who tragically died fighting for the democracy, which we so much enjoy today.
What a shame! A sorry excuse of government that continues to kill the dreams, hopes and aspirations of young people in this country through corruption that has contributed to one of the highest youth unemployment rate in the world. Hon Chairperson, corruption is a cancer that eats away at the heart of society. It undermines public trust in institutions, foster cynicism and apathy and most definitely robs the youth of opportunities.
The facts, as we know them today is that we have an ANC-led government that is more interested in lining up their pockets and serving communities. It is the youth who subsequently suffer. Promising jobs and contracts go to those with connections rather than those with talent and integrity. The poster boy of corruption and the killer of opportunities, one Edwin Sodi is a perfect example of just how this ANC-led government can never and will never have the interests of young people in this country. The ANC is incapable of
advancing the interest of young people because, to them, young people are an inconvenience.
The corruption that exists within the governing party has systematically led to a society that is unfair, unequal and where the rules are rigged against those without wealth and influence. Chairperson, South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and regardless of the hot air and rhetoric from all ANC speakers here today, it is the youth who are hit particularly hard.
Despite the depressing state of affairs created and enabled by this ANC-led government, I know for a fact that young people in this country are resilient. I know for a fact that young people are tired of hearing about the millions and billions sent back to National Treasury by ANC-run provinces and municipalities. I know for a fact that young people are tired of the hot air and rhetoric from by ANC speakers, year in year out. They are tired of hearing about the struggles of the youth of 1976 when this very government has manufactured and systematically created every struggle faced by a young person in this country. Young people are tired and whatever is said here on this podium by ANC speakers, they cannot relate to.
But that is the ANC for you. Forever living in the past and
talking about the past without any idea of how to build for the future. Young people are tired of the ANC.
Young people deserve a government that will tackle corruption head-on. They deserve a government that will demand that our public officials act with integrity and transparency, and that accountability be the order of the day. They deserve a government that will create jobs, particularly in those areas that have been hardest hit by the economic downturn.
Young people deserve a government that will provide training and education opportunities that prepares them with the skills they need to succeed in the job market. In 2024, young people deserve a DA-led national government, because whether those on my right like it or not, the Moonshot Pact is exactly what young people have been waiting for. In fact, young people are going to be active participants in removing this ANC-led government from power. I thank you.
Ms F A MASIKO: Honourable House Chairperson ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Just a pause, hon Masiko, I want them to fix your time.
Ms F A MASIKO: Thank you. Hon House Chairperson, hon members, young people in the length and breadth of the country who are following this debate via different platforms ...
... sithi kunina, nibezwe kodwa ningabalaleli. Yebo laba abangapha ... wona umsindo ukhona futhi mkhulu, kodwa abasho lutho. Ningalinge nje nibalalele.
Hon House Chairperson, it remains an honour and a privilege for me to participate in this Youth Day debate as just under three days we will mark 47 years since the Soweto student uprising that took place on 16 June 1976, a day that ushered a decisive turning point in the liberation struggle of South Africa.
As we commemorate this day, we applaud the University of KwaZulu-Natal, under this ANC-led government, in bestowing a profiting honour to the youth of South Africa by recently awarding the late Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Dr Bavelile Gloria Hlongwa, an honorary Doctor of Administration, posthumously. The great daughter of the soil, Comrade Bavelile, spearheaded the cause not only for women but
for youth, and left us a strong legacy to carry forward the struggle towards the realisation of a better living environment for the vulnerable groups and young people in particular.
Hon members, we shall forever be indebted to the youth of South Africa who sacrificed their lives for our own freedom. We celebrate the enormous contribution of the different generations of young people who played a role in the realisation of the freedom of South Africa we now enjoy. In commemorating their sacrifice, we acknowledge the critical role played by young black women of the 1976 generation in the fight against the white supremacist education system. We continue to remember the names and identities of these young women who rarely appear even when victims of the 16 June massacre evoked in public dialogues, intellectual discourse or media reports.
Our revolutionary fists shall always rise in honour of young women like Hermina Leroka, Antoinette Sithole, Sibongile Makhabela, whose names, like many other young women who died, remain unknown. We remain resolute that their fighting spirit remains alive. The question of the emancipation of the youth
must never cease as it is through their sacrifices that we, as young people, walk through these very corridors of power.
We learn from those that have worked before us that we have a duty to care for all, a duty to serve our country and the people with dedication, commitment, sacrifice, loyalty, respect, selflessness and patriotism, which is known not known on this side. We must, therefore, we must therefore uphold these values as we continue with the daily struggles towards fostering meaningful youth participation in the economy and revoking high barriers to entry and other constraints that drive inclusive structural transformation.
In keeping with the vision of the 1976 generation I can state without any fear of contradiction that as a country and a government we have registered significant progress in promoting meaningful youth participation in the economy and promoting youth empowerment. An area of measures introduced by this progressive government to promote youth empowerment have no doubt improved the position and conditions of youth in this country and its economy.
Various government-led initiatives have responded to the changing dynamics of our society, including responding to the
main challenges facing our youth, including working towards alleviating the burdens of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. To slyly and unequivocally denounce or reject these ...
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Masiko, just take a pause and take your seat. I see a hand. Hon Manyi, is that a point of order?
Mr M MANYI: House Chairperson, I was wondering if the member can take a question?
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Masiko, are you able to take a question?
Ms F A MASIKO: We agreed that we will not allow old people to disturb the debate. I will take your question after ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Okay. Thank you. Proceed.
Ms F A MASIKO: Hon House Chairperson, to slily or unequivocally denounce or reject these efforts and the development they seek to usher under this government is like
the emperor who paraded naked because he was ashamed to express what was. We can assure young people that their cries have not fallen on deaf ears. As the ANC, we recognise young people as future leaders of this country that will lead the future generations of tomorrow, just as the youth of yesterday.
In this current era, marked by remarkable connectivity, we find ourselves surrounded by a generation that holds immense potential and both unprecedented numbers with 1,8 billion individuals between the ages of 10 and 24. They represent the largest cohort of young people in history. What is more is that close to 90% of them reside in developing countries where they form a substantial portion of the population.
Economic participation, therefore, becomes crucial in leveraging the potential of South African youth population. By actively involving the youth in economic activities we contribute to creating opportunities for entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation. Their fresh perspectives and creativity can drive economic growth, foster technological advancement and fuel market expansion.
The ANC-led government must therefore use progressive interventions, such as the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, PPPFA, and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, BBBEE, to lower the barriers to entry for youth owned small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs. The youth elements in both the PPPFA and BBBEE must be realised with strong elements of deliberately involving youth within the opportunities available to them.
Hon members, we need to also expedite the implementation of the mining sector’s youth empowerment strategy and implementation plan and the youth in energy sector strategy and implementation plan. I have no doubt that everyone here agrees with me that although there are in roads in the mining sector regarding social labour plans and investment on social infrastructure, the enterprise development which is targeted at youth enterprises is urgently required.
In this revised strategy, the ANC-led government has heeded the call for youth involvement to be prioritised and deliberate efforts to be made to attract youth and be supported to play a role in sustainable agriculture and food security.
South Africa must recognise the opportunity presented by its youthful population and take action. By promoting youth inclusion and creating an enabling environment, the country can unlock the potential of its young people and achieve a prosperous future for all. The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan, counselled us that we should provide opportunities to young people if we are to propel our countries to greater heights. He said, and I quote:
Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies.
Asimanga. Siyaqhuba. Asinawo umona. Asinayo inzondo. Sidumisa u-ANC. Siyabonga.
Mr M G E HENDRICKS: Hon House Chair, Mxolisi Vuma is Al-Jama- ah’s candidate for Ward 7 by-election in Finetown and Ennerdale. A young person that is going to be liked as a ward councilor and will further stabilise the City of Johannesburg.
What I liked about him is that he said there is no Finetown and there is no Ennerdale there’s only Ward 7. We should not have an African area and a Coloured area but we should have one ward.
I was working on the ground with him last week and young people are excited that their young people will get an opportunity to get into government. Last night I inducted ... [Inaudible.] ... as the leader of Al-Jama-ah youth league.
This young leader is from the Tugela Ferry area at the Melange village. Last week he had 741 000 followers on the social media platform. So, there are young leaders that come forward and has the confidence of the youth to lead. Al-Jama-ah is in the forefront of giving young South Africans an opportunity to get into municipalities, into provinces and into the national government. Watch the space for 2024, hon House Chair.
We are very proud of ... [Inaudible.] ... that he will address Parliament when there is a youth parliament. You shouldn’t be listening to me or other hon members on Youth Day, hon House Chair, you should be listening to young people. We need to hear their voices. Al-Jama-ah is in the forefront of creating opportunities for young people to govern. South Africa needs young people to govern like Monana ... [Inaudible.] ...
741 000 followers and not only once but several times on social media platforms.
Hon House Chair, we salute the young people of 1976. I have captured all the photographs taken by Peter Magubane in a book. Hon House Chair and hon members must make an effort to look at those photos to see these struggles of the youth of 1976. We hardly come near the struggles and the sufferings that they went through. Thank you very much, hon House Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): [Laughter.] Thank you, hon Hendricks. I was wondering why in the morning you were wearing a T-shirt and now I know you are in the field for a by- election. Thank you.
Mr J N De VILLIERS: Chair, being an entrepreneur and starting your own business is the ability to empower yourself. It is the ability to break free from poverty and unemployment.
Starting your own business can not only put food on the table of your family but can also put food on the table of the people you employ and their families. The youth are often wonderful entrepreneurs because they are resourceful, innovative, hopeful and energetically work to make their ideas a reality. They often are the first to create new innovative
ways to access the market via unconventional routes such as TikTok and YouTube and market themselves as influences of modern products and services that there were often designed by other young entrepreneurs.
However, Chair, these inspirational young entrepreneurs, startup founders, Youtubers, Tiktokers and influencers all face a common South African threat, constant and nonstop load shedding. There is no bigger threat to any South African small business, startup or micro enterprise today than the lack of access to dependable electricity to run that business. This Youth Day, let it be clear a young entrepreneur has very little hope to start and establish a business when they cannot even access reliable electricity. So, the question is: What is the youth left to do? How can the youth take decisive action to turn the lights back on, start and run their businesses and so accelerate and embrace entrepreneurial opportunities to transform the lives of not only themselves but the people around them?
In the DA-run Western Cape, Premier Alan Winde, has started to facilitate development of independent electricity generation so that the province will no longer be dependent on the ANC- run Eskom. So too, as the DA-run municipalities like the City
of Cape Town and Stellenbosch who are steadily driving towards creating and sourcing new electricity to turn the lights back on. On the other hand, the ANC promises change but keeps us in the dark with literally no light in the Eskom tunnel.
Chair, if you are a young person in South Africa today, there is only one way to turn on the lights and give yourself and your business the chance to access reliable and stable electricity. That action is to register yourself to vote and to vote for a party that has a plan to turn the lights back on, a party with an evidence-backed track record of creating employment and delivering services and a party that not only has solutions but can get them done.
Chair, in 2024 the DA calls on the youth to take decisive action and vote. Vote for economic growth, vote for electricity and vote for the chance to run their own business because only the DA can turn the lights back on. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Thank you, hon member. I see the readiness to vote.
Mr X NQOLA: Hon Acting House Chair, I was tempted to move a motion that you must call Independent Electoral Commission,
IEC, here. It looks like people are already on the poles. We are here discussing serious issues confronting young people, but people are busy with the campaign trail that everything must stop because we want to be voted for. Therefore, the reason why they keep on losing, but they’re making noise and they are old for this. However, what makes them lose more is because they are campaigning at wrong places. You use a podium of Parliament where you are supposed to bring propositions on how we do attend and deal to issues facing young people.
However, you come here and campaign, and the votes are in the voting districts, VDs, they are not here in this podium.
That’s why they keep on losing elections.
South Africa is characterised by high levels of unemployment, economic exclusion and inequality. Within our fragmented and unequal society, youth experienced the highest levels of social dislocation and marginalisation. Young people, as a result, perceive the social economic system as unresponsive to their needs, identity and aspirations. In a very real sense, they are outsiders, not by choice, but by circumstance, in many instances undereducated, excluded from the economy ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Hon Nqola! Hon Nqola, please take your seat. We cannot hear the speaker on the podium, and the noise is so because I have observed that both aisles are busy talking once the speaker is on the platform. We want to hear the speaker on the platform and I’m going to ... hon Bafuze! Hon Bafuze, I’m addressing members. I’m addressing members and there’s a speaker on the platform that we want to hear. Hon Nqola, please take your podium.
Mr X NQOLA: Thank you very much, Acting House Chair. In a very real sense, there are outsiders not by choice, but by circumstance. In many instances, undereducated excluded from the economy and living on the outskirts of urban centres with few services and opportunities to change their lives. These objective factors drive high risk and antisocial behaviour such as substance abuse, crime and unsafe sex, which in neoclassical virtuous cycle, further reinforce and exacerbate vulnerability and dislocation. We need to urgently confront the challenge of breaking this virtuous cycle. The vulnerability of South Africa’s youth is nowhere more evident than in the labour market. South Africa has an extremely youthful population those under the age of 35 constitute almost 70% of the population. Having a youth population has a critical asset for unlocking growth and development potential.
There is strong international evidence to suggest the youth are the most innovative risk taking and entrepreneur and as new entrants in the economy, they are most likely to stimulate both productivity and demand. This energy must be guided in the right direction and correctly infused in the administration of government and in decision-making for developmental purposes. That’s why we brought to what we call 40% ... [Inaudible.] ... despite the commendable efforts by government and other strategic partners over the past 29 years the relative insufficiency interrogate young people and strategic partners in national development process remains a major concern. If we accept the participation in the very essence of development, then conscious efforts on the part of government constructively engage and mainstream young people must become a central plank of national development strategies. The growing structural unemployment experienced by the youth and the low group trapped can easily become a burden for our country instead of dividend. With youth employment reaching unprecedented levels, thereby making the youth vulnerable to alcohol, drugs and gang related activities, the interventions made by the ANC-led government in introducing with the social relief of distressed grant at the height of the coronavirus disease, Covid-19, pandemic was critically mitigating the negative effects of unemployment experienced by
the young. We strongly believe that this grant should be used as a springboard to advance a basic income grant to enable the youth transition employment and entrepreneurship.
In the state of the nation address President Ramaphosa emphasised that small, medium and micro enterprises and co- operatives represent the critical component that are integral to addressing the triple challenges of job creation, poverty and inequality in South Africa. These critical levers play a pivotal role in driving economic growth, employment, innovation and competitiveness. However, challenges such as red tape and access to finance remain an impediment for startups and the sustainability and survival of small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs. Interventions are in place to decisively deal with these impediments. We further need to guide the vast majority of our youth towards entrepreneurship
... [Inaudible.] ... to achieving this will be more inclusive innovation and technology transfer, special support for startups to use incubators, product development and market readiness support, and targeted financial support with customised instruments from development, finance institutions and private banks. This will, among other things, require the ring fencing of funding for enterprises particularly those owned by women, young black women.
African women in this country have suffered extensive oppression. Many continue to be vulnerable to abuse and violence. Some of these challenges are rooted in patriarchy, others in capitalist mode of production and others in biology. As a consequence, many impoverished women are unable to afford sanitary towels. There is therefore an urgent need to subsidise and improve the governance of sanitary towers. It is a basic human need for young women that must be met. The support required for young people and SMMEs must be infused in the priorities of all spheres of government and government departments. This, however, cannot be done by government alone. Once again, we call on the private sector to strengthen their practical contribution towards youth development by embarking on public-private partnerships wherever possible.
The opportunities which young people now have can only be sustained and extended if all sectors of society can join hands, support youth development.
The challenge we have as the youth of today is to emulate the revolutionary and exemplary role of the youth of 1976 and assume its rightful role in the development of our society. We must continue to organise and mobilise our youth to advance the struggle against poverty and unemployment. The youth ought to be at the vanguard of the popular movement towards our
programme of renewal and demonstrate their commitment in education and in health. In addressing unemployment and in skills development, education remains at the core of our efforts to build a generation of youth that will lead the country with diligence and take it to the new heights. We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power towards good ends. The young do not know enough to be prudent and therefore they attempt the impossible and achieve it generation after generation. It must never illude us that today’s youth represent tomorrow’s leaders and our failure to adequately prepare them for the responsibilities of tomorrow will only propel the country to a downward spiral and the bleak future. Let us all rise and be architecture of our own destinies.
A lot of speakers have come to the podium denouncing the programmes that the government is doing in uplifting the lives of young. However, what shocked us very much is that a beneficiary of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, that is now here moving to be capable to an education funded by an ANC-led government came here and said this government is doing nothing. Of course, the same speaker, Acting House Chair, says they hear from the left that young
people stood up and fought for freedom. Of course, that is the only site where they can hear that because that is the site that was at the forefront of fighting freedom. His masters on the other side were the actual perpetrators against those liberation movement activists. Therefore, he would not have heard it anywhere else except this side. Thank you very much, hon Acting House Chair. My time is over.
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr Q R Dyantyi): Order, members! Order! I request that members stand and allow the males to leave the Chamber. That concludes the debate and the business of the day, the House is adjourned.
The House adjourned at 19:26.