Hansard: NA: Mini-Plenary 2
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 15 Sep 2023
No summary available.
MINI PLENARY 2 - NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (VIRTUAL) FRIDAY, 15 SEPTEMBER 2023
PROCEEDINGS OF VIRTUAL MINI PLENARY SESSION
Watch video here: NA: Mini-Plenary 2
Members of the mini plenary session met on the virtual platform at 10:00.
The House Chairperson Mr M L D Ntombela took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon members, before we proceed, I would like to remind you that the virtual mini plenary is deemed to be in the precinct of Parliament and constitute a meeting of the National Assembly for debating purposes only. In addition to the Rules of virtual sittings, the Rules of the National Assembly including the Rules of the debate apply. The members enjoy the same powers and privileges that applies in the sitting of the National Assembly.
The members should equally note that, anything that is said in the virtual platform is deemed to have been said to the House and may be ruled upon. All the members who have logged in shall be considered to be present and are requested to mute their microphones, and only unmute when recognised to speak.
This is because the mics are very sensitive and will pick up noise which might disturb the attention of other members. When recognised to speak, please unmute your microphone, and where connectivity permits, connect your video.
The members may make use of the icons at the bar at the bottom of their screens, which has an option which allows a member to put up his or her hand to raise points of order. The secretariat will assist in alerting the Chairperson with members requesting to speak. When using the virtual system, members are urged to refrain or desist from making unnecessary points of order or interjections.
Lastly, I wish to remind you that we are meeting in the mini plenary session, and therefore, any decisions will be taken in the full plenary session of the Assembly. The first order of the day is, the Consideration of request for approval of treaty for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency,
AMA in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution of 1996. I now call hon Jacobs to make a presentation.
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL OF TREATY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AFRICAN MEDICINES AGENCY (AMA)
Dr K L JACOBS: Hon House Chairperson, the ratification for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency, AMA, treaty, was tabled in Parliament and referred to the committee on 29 September 2022. The Portfolio Committee on Health received inputs on the AMA Treaty from the Department of Health on 17 May 2023. The treaty for the establishment of the AMA or African Medicines Agency was adopted by the African Union Assembly at the 32nd Ordinary Session of 11 February 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Assembly called on member states to sign and ratify the treaty to enable the treaty to enter into force. The objectives of the AMA are to enhance the capacity of safe parties at regional economic communities, to regulate medical products in order to improve access to quality, safe and efficacious medical products on the continent. The AMA will promote the adoption and harmonisation of medical products frequently, regulatory policies and standards, as well as provide scientific guidelines and to co-ordinate the existing regulatory harmonisation efforts in the African Union.
It also recognises the regional economic communities and regional health organisations. In order to achieve its mandate, the AMA intends to work with technical partners such as the World Health Organisation, WHO, the European Medicines Agency, EMA, and the United States Holder Drug Administration for the alignment with normative standards, technical co- operation and capacity for building. The ANC supports the ratification of the treaty, as it aligns with the ANC’s broad objectives to improve health locally and in the continent.
The ANC recognises in the Sixth National Policy Conference report that, “advocates response to COVID-19, has shown the importance of co-operation, sharing of information, exchange of expertise and solidarity.” It is calling for South Africa to draw on our country’s experiences, Chair, of the African Union, particularly in co-ordinating the response to COVID-19 and in establishing the basis of a new health order in South Africa. The African Medicines Agency is such a health order.
Therefore, the ANC regards the treaty as a critical instrument and an extension of its policy objectives of enhancing health
care and building African unity, as echoed in its 2023 priority areas, which include action to build a better Africa and the world. As the ANC we want to see the realisation of an entity for African states to provide resources and knowledge centring the African continent as a credible force in the global health sphere. The Portfolio Committee on Health, therefore, requests Parliament to approve the treaty for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency. Thank you, House Chair.
Mrs M O CLARKE: HON Chairperson, the ratification of the Treaty for the Establishment of Africa Medicine Agency, AMA, is a very important treaty for Africa and its entirety. The treaty has the potential to transform health care across Africa, enhance access to safe and effective medicines, and significantly, improve the health and wellbeing of our people. The AMA envisioned under this treaty is monumental step towards achieving a healthier, more prosperous and self- reliant Africa.
It is designed to facilitate the regulation and harmonisation of pharmaceuticals across our country, thus, ensuring that all Africans have access to quality medicines that meet international standards, and in turn, will reduce the burden
of diseases, save lives and bolster our health care system. However, there is an undeniable challenge that we must confront head-on, the issue of funding. As it stands, there is no concrete funding model in place to support the implementation of this treaty, particularly from the perspective of South Africa. The all-important question is, how will South Africa at this stage afford the funding that is required?
Does each member state pay an equal amount? If not, how are the costs determined with this current economic crisis and the department’s inability to face the truth about financing the National Health Insurance, NHI? We need to know how, and the membership will impact the health entities and the long-term goals and budgets. During the discussion at the committee, the chair himself, asked these very same questions and gave the department an instruction to come back to the committee and give us a financial cost sting model.
While we recognise the noble objectives of AMA, we must also be realistic about the financial commitments it will entail. To overcome this challenge, it is imperative that we engage in open and constructive dialogue among African nations to establish to establish a sustainable funding mechanism. South
Africa should be committed to the health and wellbeing of its citizens across the African continent. They too should be willing to play a part in contributing to this noble cause.
However, it is essential that we work together to ensure that the burden of funding is equitably distributed among all participating nations.
The question still remains unanswered, and that is the following, are members states annual performance monitored and thus failure to reach targets impact membership in any way?
The AMA should comply like the UN does if it fails to meet its set targets. It must also be quantified that the real value South Africa will earn if ratifying this treaty. The AMA must have the ability to enforce punitive measures where necessary on sovereign jurisdiction. There must be a clause inserted that South Africa is able to opt out under certain conditions and to what extent sovereignty is honoured?
We need to explore various avenues for financing, such as contributions from members, states based in their economic capacity, partnerships with international organisations, private sector investments and innovative finance, mechanisms. The collaborative effort will not only ensure the financial viability of AMA, but also strengthen our collective
commitment to improving health care in Africa. In conclusion, the treaty, AMA, represents a significant stride towards healthier Africa. It has the potential to revolutionise health care on our continent, but it cannot succeed without adequate funding.
South Africa acknowledges the need for funding contribution to make this treaty a reality and is ready to engage in discussions to find a sustainable funding model that works for. Although we supported this treaty at the health committee, we did not get the information in terms of the funding model from the department as requested by the committee and the chairperson. I therefore recommend that the treaty be reverted back to the committee so that we are presented with the requested funding model.
As African nations, we must unite in our commitment to better health care and work tirelessly to ensure that AMA becomes a beacon of hope for all Africans, regardless of their economic status. Together we can build a healthier, more prosperous Africa for generations to come. I thank you, Chair.
Ms N N CHIRWA: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo.
Chairperson, the EFF supports the request for the approval of Treaty for the Establishment of the African Medicines Agency, AMA, so that prioritisation of investment for regulatory capacity development can actually take place, and to pursue the efforts towards convergence and harmonisation of medical products regulation at the level of regional economic communities.
The AMA aims to bridge the gap on ineffective regional collaboration amongst national regulatory bodies in the continent that has made preventable diseases thrive. However, opportunistic leaders in the continent who pledged loyalty and allegiance to the West, must know that this vehicle must not be used to drive their ambitions of selling the African continent to the highest bidder like we saw during the COVID-
The AMA also plans to be more visible by facilitating safe monitoring, market surveillance, market authorisation, oversight of clinical trials, co-ordination of quality control, laboratory services and the joint assessments and good manufacturing practise. Minister Joe Phaahla and other African Ministers in the Health department must be warned to
weigh the insistence to allow Western penetration in our medical sector without the adequate processes followed and not compromise our people like they did with Pfizer vaccines and other vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harmonization in the African continent is cost effective, such as speedy access to essential medicines and ensuring the efficient use of the resources through work sharing and allows opportunities to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic by allowing the free movement of pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment, PPE. The basic tenet of the economic benefits of a united African continent is precisely that, insufficient access to quality, safe, efficacious and affordable medical products, is largely attributed to weak or absent medicines regulatory systems.
Regional economic communities have different procedures and systems, and the EFF has maintained even domestically, the need for district based operational centres during the beginning or of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EFF supports the establishment of the African Medicine Agency. Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr P A VAN STADEN: Hon Chairperson, this treaty’s aim that is currently before us, is to ensure that all Africans have access to quality assured, safe and affordable medical products that meet internationally recognised standards for priority diseases or conditions. Out of a 55 African Union member countries, 30 countries that have ratified this treaty, as of March 2023. This treaty has not yet been signed by South Africa. The matter of concern is that it appears that the treaty will require an additional budgetary allocation from Parliament over and above a budget pilot to visit department in terms of an annual contribution that has to be made to the African Medicines Agency.
We can also take note with concern that South Africa will have no control over the amounts it will have to pay as it will be determined by the Conference of the Parties. The state law adviser advised on 20 November 2021 that it is essential that the Department of Health makes provision for a membership fee and consults National Treasury on any extra budgetary requirements.
Artikel 231 van die Grondwet is baie duidelik, dat enige internasionale verdrag of verdrae wat deur Suid-Afrika
onderteken word, eers bindend is na die goedkeuring daarvan deur die Nasionale Vergadering en die Nasionale Raad van Provinsies.
Die VF Plus is van mening dat Suid-Afrika nie tans oor die fondse of oor ’n gesonde ekonomie beskik om as lidland van die Afrika-Unie ’n onbekende bedrag aan die African Medicines Agency te betaal nie. Die Portefeuljekomitee oor Gesondheid verkeer tans in die donker oor die bedrag wat betaal moet word. Die VF Plus is van mening dat, alvorens enige verdrag met die Afrika-Unie oor hierdie aangeleentheid onderteken word, daar eers deur die Suid-Afrikaanse regering vasgestel moet word wat die presiese bedrag hiervoor gaan wees. Dan eers kan die portefeuljekomitee en Nasionale Tesourie bepaal of daar wel fondse is om aan die Afrika-Unie oor te betaal.
South Africa cannot enter into an agreement without the proper information regarding this matter. And the FF Plus point of view is that the South African government and the Minister of Health must first discuss this matter at the Conference of the States Parties of the African Medicines Agency and get clarity of a set amount. It will be highly irresponsible of government to make any agreement without proper information that can have
serious consequences, not only on our economy, but also on the already struggling Department of Health.
Net soos wat daar reeds ’n bedrag van R26 miljard in die bodemlose put van die Nasionale Gesondheidsversekering gestort is, wil hierdie regering en hierdie departement ’n verdrag onderteken waarvan ons nie eens seker is wat dit ons as lidland van die Afrika Unie gaan kos nie.
Hierdie verslag behoort eers weer voor die Portefeuljekomitee oor Gesondheid te dien, sodat daar vasgestel kan word waarvoor hierdie regering en hierdie departement hom presies gaan inlaat. Die VF Plus sal en kan nie op grond van onvoldoende inligting hierdie verdrag ondersteun nie. Die VF Plus kan nie ’n blanko tjek aan hierdie regering verskaf nie. Dankie.
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon Chairperson, it is important for us to note that we are less than eight months away from an election. This is not the time to sign binding agreements. There will be a new government in 2024, and this ANC government will be seated in the opposition benches next year, if the will of the people of the country translates into votes. In principle, we can all support the goals as stipulated in the Ama document of
improving access to quality, safe and effective medical products. Joint partnership, streamlining of systems and upscaling of efforts to improve excess are all instruments of improvement if all things remain equal as stipulated in the treaty. But we are in no position to ratify this treaty today.
This Parliament is being asked to ratify this treaty blindly when it comes to cost. We have learnt very expensive lessons under COVID-19 and one of the outstanding ones is that the principles of democracy can be ignored by confidentiality agreements. We live in a period where the public trust in governments around the world is at an all-time low because of that. As a responsible Parliament and responsible public representatives, we must request that cost implications and terms of reference are presented to the committee before we ratify this treaty. Practices of good governance and stewardship demands that we do. The ACDP does not support this ratification that will bind us to terms and costs that we have not fully calculated or considered. Thank you.
Mr N V XABA: Chair, we just want to clarify one thing that ANC is a sound and trusted government that is caring and it does its research and work very well. I just want to clarify that to the FF Plus. The other thing, hon Sukers - the dreamers,
those that are saying that the ANC will be in the opposition. continue to dream. The African Medicines Agency Treaty provides us with an opportunity to fast-track our access to highly quality medicines, strengthen medical research and improve our capacity to detect, prevent and respond to outbreaks. This will go a long way in improving the health outcomes of not only the country, but also the continent at large.
The treaty is also especially significant because the Africa Continental Free Trade Area will result in a boom in their streets and in the movement of goods and services. Thus, South Africa must play its role in strengthening cross-border market regulations against unregulated falsified medicine. A robust healthcare system which is eligible in responding to the needs of its people is the cornerstone for any nation sustained developed, it is only when our people are healthy that they are able to realise their full potential and be productive beings who can work and invest back in the country’s fiscus, which is essential for economic development.
As the ANC we realise and appreciate that we cannot build a united, nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous
country without improving the health and quality of care of our people. President Ramaphosa once said:
Through our actions, we are bringing our collective energies to bear to be of service of our people. We are working together towards the achievement of redress. We are working together for the public good, for social cohesion, for economic progress and Madiba said that for peace, we are working towards building the South Africa we want.
I thank you, Chairperson. The ANC supports this treaty. Thank you.
CONSIDERATION OF REQUEST FOR APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT OF AFRICAN CHARTER ON THE VALUES AND PRINCIPLES OF DECENTRALISATION, LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
Mr F D XASA: Hon members, the Speaker referred the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development to the Portfolio Committee for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs as per the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, ATC,
30 of 08 March 2023. Having met as the committee on 02 May 2023, to discuss the Charter’s contents, the committee
unanimously agreed on its importance and necessity, and thus, resolved to recommend to the National Assembly to adopt the agreement.
The committee premised its recommendations on the observation that Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development championed in the Charter are intrinsic to South African system of Co-operative Governance and Intergovernmental Relations. However, we were also cognisance of the reality that not all African Union members share these values and principles with some states heavily leaning towards outright centralisation of administration. On this basis the committee fully appreciates the rationale behind the charter’s development and the necessity for all African Union members to ratify it. This would go a long way towards deepening local democracy and improving local people’s livelihoods across the continent.
While member states agreed on 27 June 2014, several of them are yet to ratify it, including South Africa. The agreement is not binding until ratified. The committee, therefore, recommends to the National Assembly to pass resolution to approve the Charter in accordance with section 231, subsection
two, of the South African Constitution. Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms E R J SPIES: Hon Chairperson, allow me to express my concerns about the divergence in practice between the proposed system development model and the impending adoption of the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development. Let us get real. The District Development Model as proposed by the ANC seems like a noble idea on paper. It talks about improving service delivery and empowering communities. However, the devil is in the details. In practice we have seen a tendency towards centralisation where decisions are made far from communities they affect.
It is great to talk about co-ordination between government’s spheres but ... [Inaudible.] ... dismally to empower local authorities, not at all. Now, let us talk about the African Charter on Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Economic Development. It champions decentralisation and local governance emphasising community participation and economic empowerment, but how does this square with the District Development Model, DDM? It is like trying to mix oil and water.
The Charter talks about subsidiarity which means decisions should be made at the lowest level possible, contrast this with the DDM which often centralises decision-making. So, here is the crux of the matter, if the South African government wants to adhere to the charter it needs a reality check and stop its efforts to roll-out the DDM. Firstly, if we want to empower local authorities, stop paying lip service to local governments. Give them the real power and resources. They need to make decisions that can genuinely benefit their communities. Community engagement, saying you are involved in communities is one thing but actually doing it is another.
Let us make sure that citizens have a real say in their own development. When we talk economic empowerment, don’t just talk about it, act on it; support local businesses; create real jobs and foster entrepreneurship where it matters at the grassroots level; balance development; recognise that one size does not fit all every district has uniqueness, don’t steamroll local priorities in the name of national ones. The Western Cape government might have to take the national government to court over the devolution of powers to the province.
This is a clear contradiction with the charges Article 6, which deals with subsidiarity, the very principle that the Charter it surpasses. This is ironic, isn’t it? We are talking about decentralisation on the one hand but on the other we are seeing a central government unwilling to let go of its grip.
In conclusion, we need more than just words and grand ideals. We need actions that aligns with the principles we claim to uphold.
Let us not point to the trap of ... [Inaudible.] ... contradictory objectives. The District Development Model and the African Charter on Decentralised, Local Governance and Local Economic Development cannot effectively function together. The ANC government needs to check if the right hand knows what the left hand is doing because at the moment they appear dazed and confused. I thank, Chairperson. The DA supports the Report.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: We support the Charter on the Values and Principle of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development by the African Union, AU. As the EFF, Chair, we have advocated for the decentralisation of local governments since our arrival in Parliament. The local government is the frontline government and it must deliver services to the people without fail. Section 152 of the Constitution mandates the local sphere of government to amongst other responsibilities; provide democratic and accountable local government to communities and ensure that the services are provided to impoverished communities.
The department has a significant task to strengthen the capacity of dysfunctional municipalities so that they can manage their affairs effectively. Alternately, municipalities must deliver services to the people. This Charter should suggest methods to influence budget allocation by the national government and to curb corruption which contributes to the collapse of municipalities. This collapse is largely due to blunted corruption within the department where cadre deployment occupies alternative positions and ends up diverting funds intended to benefit the department.
The decentralisation not only empowers local communities but also facilitate quicker and more tailored responses to their unique needs and challenges. Increased accountability at the local level is crucial. When decision-making powers are decentralised, citizens have a more direct influence which can lead to more transparent and effective governance. Planning and capacity building are paramount. As we move toward
decentralisation, there should be an emphasis on equipping local government officials with the skills and knowledge needed to manage their responsibilities efficiently and ethically. We must stop the cadre deployment in order for the local government to be effective. Therefore, we support this Report, Chair. Thank you.
Mr I M GROENEWALD: Chair, the African Union adopted the African Charter on the Values and Principles of the Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development in 2014. It stated that it was inspired by the European Union, EU, vision of an integrated prosperous and peaceful Africa. There was seemingly consensus in the AU that the decentralisation or devolution of powers to the regional and local governments in the respective states was essential to promote amongst others; accountable and transparent public institutions and to secure the delivery of quality services to the citizens of South Africa.
An important principle in the Charter also that an obligation is placed on the signatories to empower local government to effectively and efficiently discharge the responsibilities to their communities. In further emphasis the adequate protection and sustainable use of natural resources at the local level,
the establishment of effective mechanisms to fight the bribery and corruption at local level to ensure accountable governance was also highlighted.
Signatory also undertook to place decentralisation and local development at the center of the governance and development policies. These principles and objectives contained in the Charter are all sound and commendable. The effective implementation of these principles in a country such as Rwanda has made a major contribution to the country’s continued economic growth at an average of ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon Groenewald.
Mr I M GROENEWALD: Sorry, Chair. The power just came on. Can you still hear me?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Go ahead, hon Groenewald. Hon Groenewald. Load shedding is not friendly with us. I will ... Can you hear me, hon members?
Ms M O CLARKE: Yes, we can hear you, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay. Hon Groenewald was left with about two minutes, I think. No-no, one minute not two. Okay, let us proceed. Hon Groenewald, if you are ready to complete your time you are left with a minute. So, hon Groenewald is gone.
Mr I M GROENEWALD: Chairperson, my apologies.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay, you still have a minute to go, hon Groenewald.
Mr I M GROENEWALD: Chairperson, let me try my best. I don’t know what happened ... [Inaudible.] ... Since the adoption of the Charter in 2014, South Africa experienced rapid deterioration in quality of service at municipal level, the capture of looting and state of municipal finance and the resources reached unprecedented heights. The destruction and pollution of our water resources natural environment continued unabatedly, especially ANC government in municipalities ... [Inaudible.] ... because of the factions and infighting to gain control of municipal resources. The maintenance and development of basic infrastructure become almost nonexistent and so much more. Government intervention proved ineffective
and based on just a continuation of corruption and mismanagement got worse.
Section 139 intervention regularly just created new channels of looting with factions that set players. The District Development Model has already proven to be just a new set of hollow promises to place up voters to run up elections 2024. Apart from the fact that culture of corruption entitlement, cadre deployment became so entrenched with the ANC at all levels of government. The fact also remains that the ANC seems blind to the fact that these outdated socialist policies and centralisation of power in the so-called redistribution of ... [Inaudible.] ... and wealth will only guarantee the destruction of South Africa. The FFPlus policy will ... [Inaudible.] ... decentralisation of powers to ensure effective delivery of services to communities, create a sustainable environment for economic growth and job creation. This is imperative. South Africa will not survive under a further ANC rule. So, we support the Report. Thank you, Chair.
Mr M G E HENDRICKS: Thank you, hon Chair. I thought you had forgotten about me. Hon House Chair, Al-Jama-ah supports the principle of decentralisation in the African Charter as a next step to bring about a united state of Africa. A united state
of Africa must have a root in every street, in every neighbourhood and in every village in all African countries. So, let us start in South Africa.
The African Union has agreed on the resolution to silence the guns in Africa. This resolution, for example, must filter down to all our streets. To enforce this agreement, the previous Speaker of this House who is now the Minister of Defence has called for a standby force which must include women to enforce the silencing of the guns. In many neighbourhoods in Africa, guns terrorise women and children. This also happens on the Cape Flats in Cape Town.
In spite of the best endeavours of the police, this month, not far from our airport, in a place called Delft, four young children are killed by bullets every day. They are killings by guns in every neighbourhood all over Africa. The standby force of Africa and the standby force of the region, South African force must be a continental police force to supplement the continental army making up standby forces.
If a culture developed to decentralize the resolution to silence the guns is successful in our streets and this focus on how to silence the guns between sanctions and silence the
guns between countries and regions, we will have a peaceful Africa. So, Al Jamah-ah supports the principle of decentralization, in whichever way it will contribute to the united state of Africa. Thank you very much.
Nk H O MKHALIPHI: Manje u-Ganzo ungenaphi la?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hold your horses hon member, please.
Mr B M HADEBE: Chair, please bear with me, I'm affected by load shedding. I was trying to locate a very peaceful but quiet place and I couldn't find it. Fellow South Africans, the African Union Member States unanimously adopted the African Charter on the Values and Principle of Decentralization, Local Development and Local Government on the 27th of June 2014.
This historic decision followed a resolution by the AU, African Union Executive Council on the 28th of June 2012, which received a full endorsement by the assembly of the heads of states and governance marking a significant milestone in the charter’s development.
This charter constitutes a field in a series of a similar arguments, including the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Public Service and Administration in 2011, the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance in 2007.
The African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the African Charter on Human and People's Rights in 1981, collectively, these charters form a foundation for Africa's commitment to upholding key principles values across various domains.
The primary objective of this charter is to promote and advocate for the values and principles for decentralization, local government and local development as an integral tool for enhancing the quality of life for all inhabitants of the African continent.
This commitment that resonates with the overarching goal of the African Union to foster sustainable development, inclusivity, and prosperity. As an African Union Member States, South Africa is obliged to rectify or accede to the African Charter on the Values and Principle of Decentralization, Local Development and Local Government as per section 231(2) of our Constitution. The formal approval of
the international agreement, requires a resolution by both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.
Following extensive consideration and deliberations on the African Chatter on the Values, Principles of Decentralization, Local Governments and Local Development, considering the procedures outlined in section 231 of the Constitution, the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs overwhelmingly recommended the charter's approval by the National Assembly.
As the ANC extends its unwavering support for this charter, we firmly believe that it aligns seamlessly with the core tenants of ANC values as articulated both in the Freedom Charter and in the ANC Ready to Govern document. The charter embodies principles of crucial to those foundational documents positioning the ANC as a champion of an inclusive, participatory, transparent and corrupt free government dedicated to improving the livelihood of our communities.
Local government plays a pivotal role as a critical facilitator of service delivery and local development initiative. To ensure effective and democratic function of those spheres of government, the charter emphasize these
principles and values as a fundamental to enhancing the well- being of our people.
This charter reaffirms the principle of empowered by the African Union Member States, which centres on deepening participatory democracy, empowering citizens and communities with promoting accountability and transparency in the public institution, safeguarding cultural diversity and advancing gender and transgender equity at the local level.
These principles are aligned with our collective aspiration to build a united non-racial non-sexist and democratic society aimed at uplifting lives of all Africans in line with the ANC vision.
In conclusion, Chair, African Charter on the Values, Principles of Decentralization, Local Governments and Local Development is a pivotal instrument for advancing Africa’s progress, fostering good governance, and enhancing the well- being of our people.
We call upon the National Assembly to recognize the importance of this charter and support its approval, ensuring that
becoming a cornerstone of our efforts to building a better future for all Africans. I thank you, Chair.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE ON A PETITION FROM ARTISTS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, CALLING ON THE ASSEMBLY TO INVESTIGATE THE COMMISSIONING BY THE DEPARTMENT OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE OF THE MZANSI NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA AT AN ESTIMATED COST OF R54 MILLION (SUBMITTED BY MR T W MHLONGO, MP)
Ms B N DLULANE: Hon Chairperson, I’m presenting this report which ... this report did come to the fully fledged committee. Today, we are presenting what we have discussed in that meeting which we were compelled to have that meeting by the Office of the Speaker in the petition by hon Mhlongo.
This petition brings into sharp focus the need for the critical introspection of the historical development of orchestras and the orchestral music sector in South Africa. It also provides the opportunity to reflect on the progress made by the current democratic dispensation to correct the past injustices in the arts, culture and heritage sector.
Furthermore, it is not a secret that before 1994 arts funding and with the funding for the orchestral sector, benefited a white minority. The orchestral sector was, until recently, one that was almost completely monopolised by the white communities and attendance as well as participation and employment was reserved for whites only.
This is demonstrated by the historical government’s funding patterns to ensure orchestras such as Transvaal Philharmonic, Monique Orchestra, the Cape Performing Arts Board Orchestra, KwaZulu-Natal’s the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, all established before 1994, remain active in historical urban colonialist centres for the enjoyment and development of a few.
Democracy in South Africa also brought with it need to transform all arts and culture organisations and systems to ensure that the sector as a whole contributes to nation building, job reaction, skills, education and more importantly, the upliftment and inclusion of previously marginalized members of the society.
The establishment of uMzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra, which is Mzansi [South African] non-profit organization, NPO,
is a manifestation of the ideals of a transformed, capable and professionalised sector for the benefit of all South Africans.
Born out of recommendations in the revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage, the Mzansi NPO launched in July 2022, is the current first national orchestra that works to be inclusive, transformative and act as a cultural ambassador to strengthening diplomacy through international and multinational engagements.
Chairperson, it should always be noted that prior to the tabling of this petition in Parliament in November 2022, the Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture did its due diligence and engaged the department on impetus and processes leading to the establishment of Mzansi NPO during this meeting.
Chairperson, in September 2022, the committee, which includes hon Mhlongo, was taken through the process of the appointment and aims of the board, the objectives of the orchestra and the initial funding of the orchestra transferred via the National Arts Council, NAC.
Now, the petition submitted by hon Mhlongo in November 2022 asked the National Assembly to investigate R54 million that was paid by the department to uMzansi.
The committee, after receiving inputs from hon Mhlongo, the department and Auditor-General, AG, of South Africa, noted this.
In March 2019 the former Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, E N Mthethwa, appointed a task team who were required to conduct out feasibility study based on research [Time expired.] Thank you.
On Sunday you must all support die bokkie, bokkie, bokkie.
Mr T W MHLONGO: Chairperson, I submitted the petition signed by more than 10 000 people, artists in the sector. The undersigned individuals were requested that 54 million vanity project must be stopped, call for investigation, stop the looting scheme. This is taxpayer’s money used for this orchestra.
The request to the committee was to investigate all individuals that are involved in this vanity project, amasela
[thieves.], requested the committee to call for inquiry to investigate, call for evidence, call for weaknesses, but the ANC government, which they are in majority in the committee, shut it down.
Accountability and transparency is the key for good governance, but the ANC government shut down the request of public participation of a petition.
Irrespective of the AG commented that there are possibilities of irregularities on this project. However, Chairperson, how can one man have several positions in the sector, running the projects, running the orchestra within the same entity?
Mr Tembe is the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Mzansi Orchestra. Mr Tembe is the Deputy Chairperson of the National Arts Council, the entity that distributes funding to the Mzansi National Orchestra. He is also the CEO of KwaZulu-Natal Orchestra.
This person has several positions. He’s the person that registered the national orchestra two months before they received funding from the National Arts Council.
How can one man have several positions? How can our funding be allocated within two months after registration of the NPO?
The DA believes that there is a conflict of interest and the allegations of corruption must be investigated. Amasela [Thieves].
Chairperson, the Minister Zizi Kodwa does not see any conflict of interest in Mr Tembe’s involvement in the abusing of power and on position.
Let us not forget that Minister Zizi Kodwa did not see any conflict when he received funding from the confidential business man and the former EOH boss. Now, it shows that the Minister is out of touch with reality.
Minister Zizi Kodwa ...
...awazi ukuthi kwenzakalani.
Minister, you must Google the word conflict of interest and you will understand that there’s a conflict in this issue.
Even today we are still waiting for the audited financial statements from the Mzansi Orchestra.
Sisamile nanamhlanje ...
... were not sure what is happening.
The petition was calling for stop and investigate, but the majority of the ANC did not feel that and they don’t consider public participation as an important issue in this.
I’ve opened a criminal case against this. The Hawks are investigating and the Public Protector is still pursuing the matter.
Effective public participation is so important and I believe South Africans are seeing to it that in 2024 the ANC government wants to loot, even today they are still looting and we call on the members of South Africa, citizens of South Africa to vote DA. Thank you, Chairperson. We don’t support the report in its present form.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): An hon member from the EFF!
Rre J B MAMABOLO: Ke wa Trompies oo. O kae ene?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Hon member, please mute your mic!
Hon member from the IFP!
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Hon Chair, let me check my member please. Sorry for the inconvenience.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay. But we’ll go ahead with the IFP if ... [Interjections.] [Inaudible.] ...
Rre J B MAMABOLO: Hao, Trompies ya diragatsa ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): ... if your member is ready, can come in!
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Alright. Thanks.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): IFP is not there. Okay, EFF are you ready?
Hon member from the FF-Plus, the hon Denner!
Ms H DENNER: Hon House Chair, as usual, nothing done or commissioned by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the National Arts Council, with the apparent aim of nation building, social cohesion and upliftment, is free of controversy.
It is that controversy, the very inability of these bodies to manage and distribute funds properly, that completely destroys these aims.
Not long ago, the NAC CEO and Chief Financial Officer, CFO, was suspended and charged for financial mismanagement over funding meant for artists and creatives during the COVID-19 pandemic to the tune of R300 million. After that there were calls for the National Arts Council to be placed under administration.
The Cultural and Creative This Industries Federation of SA even opened a criminal case against the National Arts Council. And here we are today debating a report on yet another action taken against the department and the NAC in the form of a petition against the commissioning of the uMzansi Philharmonic Orchestra for an amount of R54 million by artists and creatives in the industry.
Why is it that the very people who need and deserve protection and promotion from this department have to look to drastic measures such as criminal charges, petitions and sittings to be heard and listened to? Why do artists need protection from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the National Arts Council?
Die VF Plus neem kennis van die portefeuljekomitee se besluit om die oorweging van die petisie uit te stel tot na die afhandeling van die Ouditeur-Generaal en die Spesiale Ondersoekeenheid se ondersoeke, maar dit is kommerwekkend, soortgelyk aan die ANC se alewige taktiek, om vir die kantlyn te skop, en nie ooglopende ongerymdhede te ondersoek nie.
Natuurlik beskik die ANC oor ’n meerderheid in die komitee en
in die Nasionale Vergadering en sal hierdie taktiek, ten spyte van die meriete van die versoek voortgesit word.
Ironies genoeg is dit egter ook hierdie versuim om klagtes en ongerymdhede behoorlik te hanteer, wat die regerende party se doppie weldrae sal klink, en dan sal daar dalk uitkoms en ondersteuning vir praktisyns in die kunsbedryf wees.
Tot dan sal ons nie toelaat dat bedrog en korrupsie ooglopend voortgesit word nie. Kantlyn toe skop sal net vir so lank werk. Ek dank u.
Mr E MTHETHWA: I have just got in, are we on arts and culture?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Yes, sir! I will give you four minutes.
Mr E MTHETHWA: Chair and hon members, surely, the ANC has lost its moral and political pampers. There is nothing Mzansi about the Philharmonic Orchestra, but the ANC’s obsession with the former colonialist’s values and norms. Post-1994, we had high hopes and aspirations of mainstreaming of indigenous music generals such as the mbaqanga whilst the Black Moses of the Soul Brothers and Babsy Mlangeni of this country are still
alive. Umgaqiwe of the Mahotella Queens was still alive to transfer skills and mentor young talents.
The documentation of the kwaito and amapion that have gone global whilst its proponents are still alive to tell their history. The Zion music is still housed in former apartheid and dilapidated ... [Inaudible.] ... but only remembered during election times.
Nibagxothe maZCC kwiinkonzo zenu.
Not even the airwaves do we still hear such music, but condolences after condolences because it is only at deaths where they see value in honouring us with meaningless tears and the Shakespeare’s inspired eulogies.
Indeed, 1994 Africans really attained the political freedom to become voting cows. Thus, they remain systematically excluded from the economic participation. That is why as the EFF we are not singing the economic philharmonic orchestra in our lifetime, but economic freedom in our lifetime. Hoza 2024, our 1994.
The ANC’s shallow view of transformation is to replace one ... [Inaudible.] ... behind the violins of the western music horizons with black faces. And this is done against the much- desired skills transfer and training of young talent in indigenous music. The manufacturing of indigenous music instruments, promoting, commercialisation and protecting of indigenous music and instruments, umakheweyana, istorotoro, imbira, dipila, umsombosi.
No wonder the CEO of Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra comes from the Juilliard School that is based in New York. That is the better candidate that the many graduates from ... [Inaudible.] ... the University of Zululand amongst other universities in South Africa.
This is the same trend followed in selecting Greg Homann from Australia to be the artistic director at Market Theatre. For as long as anti-African national congress remains in government, all our dreams for a better life will remain a ... [Inaudible.]
What is the logic in granting single predominantly white institution R41,5 million whilst allocating R5 million for the Cultural and Creative Industries, CCIF, that has to deal with
the creative and cultural socioeconomic injustices of the past, R11 million for the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Sascoc, that is intrusted with enormous responsibility of governance and transformation of all sporting codes in South Africa, R350 000 for the argumentation of uniquely South African kwaito music history, R0 budget for promoting traditional music on SABC and radio stations?
What is worth of the ANC, the Department of Communication’s failure to resuscitate the struggling SABC by subsidising a dedicated TV channels for South African film and music, the Department of Home Affairs and the Treasury allowing for the importation of the USA and European artists to flood our shores every month without even work permits and tax deductions taking away exorbitant amounts whilst our own die poor and not allowed to enter foreign countries without work permits and tax free payments, the department of Labour’s dismal failure to define artist and actors as workers and the Department of Social Development’s failure to provide social benefits for the sector? [Time expired.] As the EFF we reject the report, and we cannot encourage the supporting of the philharmonic orchestra.
Ms V P MALOMANE: Chairperson, as the ANC one of the key strategic objectives is to ensure that we transform various music genres which the minority has dramatically dominated. Orchestra is one of the music genres in which the democratic government should invest resources to support orchestras in historically disadvantaged communities. Therefore, our commitment to transform the orchestra should be sustained despite the concern about the extent of the financial support.
Chairperson and hon members, as the committee when we received the request from the Office of the Speaker about to investigate the issue that Mr Mhlongo submitted, we noted the findings and investigation of the Auditor-General of South Africa during the financial year 2021-22 to the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra regarding the noncompliance.
Around the first instalment by the National Arts Council was the National Arts Council, NAC, with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture to revisit the transfer itself to establish whether there were any irregularities as the Auditor-General of South Africa, AGSA, felt it was not per prescribed legislative framework. The work of the Mzansi National Orchestra must continue. The department noted that AGSA had not raised any issues that related to noncompliance matters currently. The most important that the committee noted is that
for the past five financial years, including the audit of the last financial year no matter of noncompliance, had been raised.
The consideration of the report is very critical and as the ANC we support the report. As the department awaits further direction the petitioner has approached the Special Investigating Unit to investigate the alluded irregularities. The department was requested to supply documents and the National Arts Council has also stated that the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, has been in contact with the department. We are confident that the investigation being undertaken will shed light. But we should affirm the programme of the department in supporting the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra which has taken trajectory of transformation.
Chairperson, it is very critical that when members come to the podium to speak about issues of what we are speaking about, they do consider what is it that we are discussing. We are discussing on the investigation of the R54 million that the petitioner has requested us to investigate. But so far, I can see that the hon Denner from the FF Plus never attended the committee. That is why he is speaking something that is not in
the report. He is far away from the report. Even in the committee he has never come and contributed. I also just want to speak to the hon Mthethwa. What the ANC is doing is to support the issue of supporting the orchestra like anyone in South Africa. But I know and understand that you never said it in that report, you never had an input in that report. That is why you are not even speaking about the issue of the investigation or the outcome. We know and understand that ... [Time expired.] ... we support as we continue to sing Amabokoboko that they must win.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS ON OVERSIGHT VISIT TO NORTHERN CAPE AND NORTHWEST PROVINCES
Ms M R SEMENYA: Hon Chair and members, good morning, as members of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, we play an important role in ensuring the realisation of the mandate of the Department of Human Settlements, which is to create sustainable human settlements and improve the quality of households and life for all South Africans.
We are empowered by the Constitution to hold the executive and the department accountable for the work that they are doing by
scrutinising quarterly annual reports, annual performance and strategic plans of the department. We are empowered to conduct oversight visits on the projects that are implemented by the department across the various provinces, and we have done so in the two provinces, the Northern Cape and North West on 27,28,29 and 31 March respectively this year. This year the focus of the portfolio committee oversight visit was to assess the progress on the implementation of the national key priorities which are creating sustainable and integrated human settlements, the issuance of title deeds, the provision of housing to military veterans, the redevelopment of hostels into community residential units and the management of the housing beneficiary lists.
We have heard about the progress and the challenges faced by the provincial departments in the implementation of the various programmes and projects which include the poor performance by the government-appointed contractors, a lack of participation by the sector departments, in particular in the provision of social and economic amenities and the delays related to the approval of the township ... that affect not only the building of the Breaking New Ground, BNG, houses, but also the issuance of title deeds. As the portfolio committee, we have made recommendations on how to improve the
implementation of the programme and project, and in some cases, we have given clear timeframes for the completion of this project.
The portfolio committee was delighted to see that the province has prioritised the participation of women in the construction industry in the North West Province. Further, it should be noted that the province is exploring the use of alternative building materials that are climate change resilient. The committee further applauds the Northern Cape province for managing to upgrade at least 13 informal settlements into phases, meaning that basic services are provided in the informal settlement.
Having assessed the progress in implementing the programmes and projects of the department in the two provinces, the Northern Cape and North West, we hereby table this report in this august House for consideration and adoption. I thank you, Chair.
Dr N V KHUMALO: House Chair, may I request to keep my video off, I had load shedding from 10:00 until 12:00, so I don't want any disturbances.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D Ntombela): Okay, Hon member.
Dr N V KHUMALO: House Chairperson, this report is simply disheartening. The extent of the neglect of the most vulnerable in these provinces is simply sickening. The objective of the oversight was to be briefed on the progress of the implementation of the human settlements strategic plans, projects and programmes. In a nutshell, what is evident in these provinces is that there is simply no political will to serve citizens and to protect their rights to decent shelter.
This comes as no surprise of course. In the Northern Cape, it's safe to say that the Provincial Human Settlements Department operates on a skeleton staff as there are many vacancies there. They are further unable to carry out their mandate as a result of poor planning and a lack of urgency to serve. Their citation of limited hardware stores from which they can purchase building materials and poor-performing contractors as challenges is a myth, as these are simply excuses. All the above require good planning and good project management, which they lack.
With the 80 000 housing backlog, the province only managed to service 12 000 sites, deliver 1 432 BNG units and a mere 40 units for the Financed Link Individual Subsidy Programme, Flisp. There was no delivery on the rental housing units, with only 40 community residential units delivered. Worth noting is that the province delivered 786 pre-1994 title deeds and only
513 post-1994. I repeat, only 513 title deeds and not one single new title deed registered. This could well be a middle finger to the dignity of all affected, and as usual, what is given are plan, plans that have been communicated in this regard for many years yet the progress leaves nothing to admire.
The province was not shy to report the poor intergovernmental relations with the municipalities. The projects the committee visited in the provinces were a clear reflection of a non- caring government. The Lerato Park community residential units, for example, where residents are unhappy and were misled by the government that the units were for renting to buy, only to find upon occupancy that those units were only for renting. As a result, tenants are now not paying rent or are reversing their debit orders. On the other hand, in Roodepan, the rental stock is occupied by residents who simply can't afford to pay rent. The cherry on top is that the
province has no idea of the number of occupants, as there was never a beneficiary list developed, to talk about an effective government.
The North West Province is in no way any less scary. The province reported their failure to foster cohesion between the various departments involved in the integrated human settlement planning. Outcome 8 output and targets for 2022- 2023, there's not much more than below failure with only 139 out of 591 of the catalytic projects that we achieved against a target of 95 military veteran houses, zero achieved. Only five blocked projects out of 247, and this may I mention, is a ministerial priority with a target set for all blocked projects across the country to be unblocked within the next financial year. This is certainly a pie-in-the-sky case. The alternative building material technology in both provinces is stagnant, with the exception of the North West as they appointed and paid a service provider to use Alternative Building Technology, ABT, to complete the top structures of the houses, and guess what, zero units were delivered from that initiative. Everything in the North West is happening at a snail’s pace, and not much confidence that a rapid pace can ever be achieved.
Of all the projects visited, the contractors simply don't perform, and yet the province failed to present to us the consequences. What is clear is that the ministerial priorities have been given the boot in this province. There's no strategy to eradicate mud houses, no strategy to deal with land invasions, no strategy to manage the community residential units and no effective monitoring and evaluation strategies that work while many residents in these two provinces continue to suffer, reports and poor plans are the order of the day.
Citizens of these provinces, like many across the country, need to start exercising the power of their vote and give the ANC government the red card. What this report does tell us is that the Department of Human Settlements has no grip whatsoever. It simply can't be that the lives and interests of South Africans continue to rest in the passive hands of this government because there is a shot at a South African government that cares under the DA was a twenty, twenty, four water. thank you. Chairperson.
Woza 2024! Woza!
Thank you, Chairperson.
Ms M MAKESINI: House Chairperson, our site visits once more affirmed and vindicated the position of the EFF to build the state capacity and abolish tenders. As part of our oversight in the Northern Cape and the North West Province, the housing situation is in a dire state One of the most devastating findings was seeing how women contractors are not empowered as they should be in the centre of housing delivery, but their participation is limited and restricted.
The policy from the department seeks to enforce the allocation of 40% of the government’s procurement to be spent on women- owned businesses and implement the skills development programme for women and also to provide support for women they must start their businesses and obtain the necessary experience through an incubator and mentorship programme. This plan is ideal, but unfortunately, the current status quo of women contractors is used as scapegoats for projects that have already failed and are not expected to be finalised.
I expected them to finalise those projects that have been failed by their male counterparts. There needs to be an intentional attempt at the empowerment of women, not a
cosmetic attempt to appease the media and the compliance of the department. The unfinished 394 housing projects are still a major concern as the beneficiaries are still living in inhabitable conditions after 30 years of so-called democracy. It is important to understand that having housing is a democratic right and all citizens as enshrined in Chapter 2 of the South African Constitution. Having a house and a home gives one a sense of dignity and restores their humanity.
This is why it is extremely important to expropriate land without compensation because the basics of housing are land. The current rollovers of money are a clear sign of an incompetent administration that shows absolutely no interest in serving our people ... [Inaudible.] Both the North West and Northern Cape provincial departments have ... [Inaudible.] ... the poor administration and internal control system. There is no consequence management for this incompetence. The households that are complete are unoccupied with no clear plan of who must collect the rental, like the issue of Lerato Park Community Residential Units, CRU, in Kimberly. The CRUs in North West made recommendations to the department and the province that there must be consequence management and they must make sure heads are rolling, but to date, there is no consequence management that is happening in that province
regardless of the clear recommendations of the CRUs. We have noted that the occupants of CRUs have now started to be caught, in their rental because the government allowed them to enter without proper control arrangements. This cannot be a trend. It must be condemned.
The North West provincial department has no clear plan to service the site, regardless of receiving the grant from the national government. Every time the money has been taken back by the national department, which means they are not willing to service our people. Lastly, we also want to commend the Northern Cape for having a clear plan on the service side and also utilise the allocated grant that they are receiving from the national government. I thank you, Chairperson.
Mr C N MALEMATJA: Hon Chairperson, the ANC in this august House declares its full support for the report of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements on the Oversight to Northern Cape and North West Province as tabled by Hon Semenya. Our Constitution guarantees every South African citizen the right to access adequate housing, and the government should take reasonable steps to realise that right.
The Department of Human Settlements is implementing a number of programmes to realise the right to access adequate housing through the provision of BNG houses, the redevelopment of hostels into community residential units, the provision of serviced stands, the upgrading of informal settlements and the restoration of title deeds for pre- and post-1994 for houses.
Furthermore, the ANC-led government has prioritised the provision of housing to military veterans, the people who gave up their lives to fight for the liberation of our country against colonialism and apartheid. The Northern Cape province has managed to deliver more than 1 400 Breaking New Ground houses, while also providing 40 households with home loans through the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, Flisp. In addition, the province has also managed to provide service sites to households that will build their dream houses while redeveloping apartheid hostels into community residential units.
Furthermore, the province has upgraded at least 13 informal settlements in the history of the upgrading process, meaning that more people have access to adequate sanitation, safe clean drinking water and access to title deeds ensuring home
ownership. We applaud the province for restoring the people's dignity through the issuance of the title deeds.
Similarly, the North West province has been hard at work implementing the departmental programme. Thus far the department has managed to provide more than 7 000 serviced sites to households that have the financial capacity to build their own houses, while also building and handing over more than 3 200 BNG houses to indigent houses.
We have noticed that the province has been facing challenges in the provision of housing to military veterans due to the fact that the beneficiaries are scattered around the province. We commend the department for prioritising the participation of women in the construction of the houses.
The good work done by the two provincial departments in ensuring that we live up to the injunction of the Freedom Charter that there shall be houses, security and comfort is the basis of our support for the oversight report as presented here by the Hon Machwene Rosina Semenya. Thank you, Chairperson.
The mini plenary session rose at 11:23.