Hansard: NA: Unrevised Hansard

House: National Assembly

Date of Meeting: 11 Mar 2024


No summary available.


Watch video here: Plenary 


The House met at 14:00.


House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.


members, I hereby move that this report be adopted by the House. Thank you.

There was no debate.


Question Put.
Motion agreed to (Inkatha Freedom Party, Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus, African Christian Democratic Party and United Democratic Movement dissenting).

Report accordingly adopted.


Debate concluded.




(Second Reading Debate)


The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon House Chair, hon members, the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in 2020. The unconstitutionality was only in as far as it does not allow independent candidates to contest for national and provincial elections unless they are members of a political party.

The unconstitutionality was suspended for the 24 months to allow Parliament to correct the defect. Parliament did so and passed the Electoral Amendment Act of 2023, this amendment act was gazetted on the 17th of April 2023. The consequence of
passing such an act by Parliament allowing independent candidates to contest both national and provincial elections, was that five different acts of Parliament needed consequential amendments, since when they were passed, there were no independent candidates in Parliament or provincial legislatures.

The five acts cater only for political parties and the agreement between Home Affairs and the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs is that the consequential amendments of the five acts be done as an omnibus in one act rather than amending them one by one.

This Bill in front of you, in front of this House is titled Electoral Matters Amendment Bill, to amend all the five pieces of legislation I’ve mentioned. The Bill amends sections of the following acts, one the Electoral Act 73 of 1998, the very original act that regulated national and provincial elections in 1999, which is what the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional by not allowing independence.

Two, the Electoral Commission’s Act 1996, which is the founding act of the IEC, the Independent Electoral Commission,
three, the Electoral Communication Act 2005, which regulates communication of political parties with the public broadcaster, four, the Financial Management of Parliament, Provincial Legislature Act of 2009, and five, the Political Party Funding Act 6 of 2018.

Most of the amendments are technical in that the word independent candidate or independent representatives are inserted in the act alongside the words political party. However, when it comes to political party funding Act 6 of 2018, more needed to be done to accommodate independent so that they too can be funded for their political activities and for participating national and provincial elections.

The areas of political funding act which needed attention were the following, one, the formula for allocating funds, the original formula when the Political Party Funding Act was passed, was done at the time when there was no independents.
And so, it’s a formula that was done with only political parties in mind. Now that we have got independent, we fully believe the formula cannot be the same.
The second area is to have a relook at Scheduled 2 of the regulations of the Political Party Funding Act, which regulates the threshold at which donors have to be publicly declared, and also declares a maximum amount that a donor can donate to a particular party in any one year.

And the other issue I want to mention is to relook at the regulations that empowers the President acting on the resolution of the National Assembly, to do regulations. In doing this work, the Department of Home Affairs was guided by the Constitution. Section 236 of the Constitution reads as follows:

To enable multi-party democracy, national legislation must provide for funding of political parties, participating in national and provincial legislatures on an equitable and proportional basis.

To this end Parliament produced a formula whereby 90% of the funds will be allocated on a proportional basis and 10% unequitable. However, this formula was later changed to 2/3, 1/3.
In accommodating independence, a new formula was relooked at whereby you put money 0,25% of the total money on each seat, not on political parties, but whichever political party or independent win that seat will get the money put on that seat. Unfortunately ... [Interjection.] Thank you. [Time expired.]

Mr M S CHABANE: House Chairperson and hon members, the 2024 provincial and national elections signify the birth of a new era in our parliamentary democracy. While previously only political parties could contest for a seat in this August House, this new era involves opening that possibility to independent candidates. The realisation of this unprecedented era was dependent on this House putting in place legislative framework that ensures political parties and independent candidates participate fairly and equitably in the election process. Following the 11th of June 2020 Constitutional Court judgment that declared Electoral Act 73 of 1998, unconstitutional to the extent that it requires other citizen may not be elected to National Assembly and provincial legislature only through membership of political parties, considerable work was undertaken to respond effectively to this judgment. This includes, amongst others, the enactment of the electoral Law Amendment Act 2021, and Electoral Amendment
Act 2023. We can now safely attest that the two pieces of legislation and Electoral Amendment Bill are essential tools in achieving this dream of a new era in our body politics.

Hon members and House Chairperson, on 7 December 2023, Minister of Home Affairs introduced the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill and refer to the committee for consideration, it was tag as section 75 Bill. These include consequential amendment stated by passing the Electoral Amendment Act that made it possible for independent candidates to contest election of the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. The Bill has 46 clauses to be considered and the object of the Bill include the following: The Bill introduced, as the Minister has highlighted, Electoral Act 73 of 1998, Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996, Electronic Communications Act of 2005, Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act of 2009. The Bill further amend the Political Funding Act 6 of 2018, to provide for regulation of private and public funding for political parties and independent representatives; to amend the powers of the President to make regulations on certain matters, including respect of upper limits and disclosure limits of donations; to amend the schedule 2 in respect of formula for the allocation of money
in the funds of proportional and equitable basis in response to section 236 of the Constitution, precludes the Electoral Commission from accepting donation to the multiparty and independent democracy fund, which has reason to believe our proceeds of crime; and to empower the commission to invest money in the funds in any bank restart in terms of the Banks Act of 1990. The unprecedented nature of the Bill and the proximity to the end of the term of Sixth Parliament demanded that the committee adopts the practical process that made it possible to consider the Bill while following due process.

The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and Select Committee on Security and Justice agreed to joint briefing by the Minister of Home Affairs on the content of the Bill. The committee also jointly advertise for public comments which commenced on 14 of December 2023, on parliamentary website and social media. This was followed by the advertisement in the print media and radios from 11 January 2024, and the closing date was 26 January 2024. The committee received 13 written submissions from various stakeholders. On 6 February 2024, the joint committee conducted a visual public hearing that involved participation of individual and organisation that have submitted written submission.
As the Minister has highlighted, given the new regime on the participation of independence on the electoral space, the committee examined the current formula for allocation of funds, which only accommodated political parties. In this case, section 236 in the Constitution provides that to enhance multiparty democracy, national legislature must provide for funding of political parties participating in the national and provincial legislature on an equitable and proportional basis. On this score, stakeholders during the public hearing presented various formulas to joint committees for consideration and other proposed to maintain the current formula. After extensive deliberation of consideration, the committee concluded that clause 9 that deals with the party- political funding is consequential and the new formula is proposed in Electoral Matters Amendment Bill will achieve equitably and proportional allocation of resources for both political parties and independent representative, and it must be adopted.

House Chairperson and hon members, the Bill also built in check and balance that will ensure that when the President makes determination on annual upper limits of donation of political parties and independent candidates and the minimum
threshold amount for disclosure donation, he does so once the National Assembly has passed a resolution to that effect. This decision reaffirms the National Assembly’s oversight role and enhance our democracy. The Bill also protects the rights of independent candidates to receive broadcast opportunity for the purpose of elections. This is important to ensure a fair electoral process and will ensure that independent candidates are also able to canvass and share their message across the electorate. In the main the committee adopted A list and a B Bill which involve 46 clauses as I’ve highlighted earlier to be considered and adopted by this House.

In 2019, reports emerged that certain voters were able to vote more times than they were entitled to facilitated by section 24A process. Faced with that experience, Parliament amended section 24A in 2021. The amendment provides or provision removed section 24(a) application from the level of voting station. Section 24(a) is now only available by prenotification to the Chief Electoral Officer of the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC. In line with the IEC timetable, the notification to the IEC must be given by 17 May 2024 as being presented in the committee. A voter who does not
notify by 17 can only vote at the voting station at which they are registered.

The current Bill is only concerned with section 24(a) to the extent that it regulates the number of ballots that the voter who votes outside the province would receive. This is necessary and consequential to the introduction of the regional ballot. A voter who votes in a province in which they are registered will receive all three ballots. A voter who votes outside the province in which they are registered will only receive a national compensatory ballot and not a regional and a legislature ballot or provincial ballot.

As we present this report, the IEC remains one of the institutions presided over election process occasioned in the period of 30 years in our democracy and it has demonstrated good governance in managing corporate affairs and election outcome since its establishment. It will be for the first time the IEC facilitate elections that involve participation of independent candidates in provincial and national elections.
We remain confident notwithstanding challenges that the IEC is up to the task to deliver free and fair election in 2024. To this end, we welcome the swift decision of the IEC of
terminating an employee contract as a demonstration to protect the integrity of the institution. The Portfolio Committee of Home Affairs presents this report of Electoral Matters Amendment Bill for adoption. Thank you.

Mr A C ROOS: House Chair, it was John Steinbeck who said, and I quote:

Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power.

The Electoral Matters Amendment Bill is supposed to contain consequential amendments arising from the Electoral Amendment Act 1 of 2023, that makes provision for independent candidates to participate in national and provincial elections. However, the Bill before us today is a crude attempt at directing more public and donor funds into the coffers of the ANC to help them to try and cling on to power. The Bill in its current form will change how party funding is allocated and create the possibility of a period of time where there will be no upper limit on party donations nor threshold for when a party must disclose a donation. These clauses have nothing to do with the
inclusion of independent candidates. Section 236 of the Constitution provides that, and I quote:

National legislation must provide for the funding of political parties participating in national and provincial legislatures on an equitable and proportional basis.

Therefore, it is clear that this must be done to enhance multiparty democracy. Clause 29 of this Bill does exactly the opposite. It increases the proportionality of the party funding allocation from two-thirds to 90% and decreases the equitable allocation shared equally between all represented parties and independents from one-third to just 10%. This has the effect of an extra R50 million going to the ANC in the next year alone, while smaller parties’ income is drastically reduced as independent representatives are limited to one seat, their allocation is effectively halved.

Now, 2017 ANC submission on the political party funding at the Political Party Funding Act states, and I quote:

Funds should be divided between parties proportionally largely in line with current practice. However, additional
resources should be allocated to the smallest parties in order to support political diversity and prevent the system favouring incumbents.

Therefore, what has changed since the Political Party Funding Act, certainly a reduction in donations. An impact assessment of the Political Party Funding Act must be undertaken to advise substantive changes in a future Electoral Amendment Bill. Now, the DA has adapted with sound financial management, but the ANC approach can best be described by the tale of the fishermen and the fish by Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. The fisherman catches a golden fish who begs the man to let it go and grants him any wish in return. When he tells his wife about the golden fish, she tells her husband to go and ask the fish for a new trough as theirs is broken and the fish happily grants the small request, but the wife then goes and asks for more and more and more until the fish cursed her greed by putting everything back to the way it was before, including the broken trough. The unbridled greed of the ANC has led to increased poverty and inequality in South Africa for the benefit to the few connected cadres.
Therefore, after the 29th of May, the ANC will be left with the broken trough. The DA will lift millions of people out of poverty by directly addressing the key drivers of poverty and inequality incentivising organisations to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring that funding reaches those who truly need it and is not siphoned off by a small ruling elite. Parliamentary legal service has cautioned the committee that this is a substantive change to the Political Party Funding Act.

Now, should the change in formula result in unfairly discriminating independent representatives or smaller parties, this House must be mindful of the principles set out in Harksen versus Lane. Does the provision differentiate between people or categories of people, and if so, does the differentiation bear a rational collection to a legitimate government purpose? Now, the Minister was unable to explain the rationale behind the legitimate government purpose because there isn’t one.

Now, the DA once again highlights the procedural irregularity to not go out for further public participation on the substantive changes in this Bill. There are some things that
money cannot buy, like morals and integrity. Therefore, we need to rescue South Africa from this ANC government whose greed has driven poverty and inequality by voting for fairness and for an open opportunity society for all, not just a few connected cadres by voting for the DA. The DA rejects this Bill.

Ms N N CHIRWA: Chairperson, the EFF supports the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill as introduced in Parliament today. The amendments seek to align the Political Funding Act, the Electoral Commission Act, the Electoral Act and the Communications Act with the new reality of the existence of independent candidates. As the ANC near the slow, painful death and faces an absolute rejection on the 29 May 2024 elections by the people of South Africa, one of the consequences of the decline of the ANC is the emergence of numerous political parties and independent candidates.

We have noted the role of certain rich families in not just providing funding, but in the creation of new political parties in South Africa. The Oppenheimer family has been at the centre of the South African politics for centuries. They used their ill-gotten wealth harvested from the toil of black
men and black women under the belly of the earth, to ensure that no politician or political party will rise to threaten their economic stranglehold. They secure their economic interests by capturing politicians and political parties who don’t have any principles and who just love money. Their biggest achievement so far has been the total capture of Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC. [Interjections.]

Contrary to section 12(h) of the Political Party Funding Act,
... [Interjections.] ... we believe that all new political parties and independents must declare their funding, even before they are represented in Parliament and in the legislatures. [Interjections.] The Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, should be able to audit their books and if their funding does not come from illegitimate sources and criminal activities.

By only imposing the obligation to report their funding only when they are now represented in Parliament and legislatures, will be too late, in our view, because they would have utilised the money from criminal proceeds campaign ... [Interjections] ... and get seats in Parliament and the legislatures.
Mr B A RADEBE: Point of order.


The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, could you just take your seat, please. I’m informed that there is hand of the hon member up on the platform.

HON MEMBER: That’s not true, Chair. There is no hand there.


The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr C T Frolick): Table staff, who’s the member?

Mr B A RADEBE: Yes, Chairperson.


The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, hon Radebe.

HON MEMBER: There is no hand there.


The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr C T Frolick): No, hon member, I did not ask for your assistance. I get the assistance from here.

Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Chairperson, the member referred to the President by the first name terms, according to Rule 82, she cannot do that. Secondly, she said that the President has been
captured. If there’s such a thing, she should submit the substantive motion, Chair, according to Rule 85. Thank you.

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr C T Frolick): Hon member, hon Chirwa, I heard that remark. You must withdraw that remark, please.
Also, let’s refer to each other in respectful terms. [Interjections.] Hon members on the platform, you’re making it extremely difficult for us in the House to follow what is happening, because if you continuously interrupt... even hon Radebe that made the point of order I could not really hear exactly everything that was said. So, please do not disrupt proceedings from the platform. Hon member, you may continue.

Ms N N CHIRWA: Thank you so much. The IEC should be able to audit their books and check if their funding does not come from illegitimate sources and criminal activities. By only imposing the obligation to report their funding only when they are now in Parliament and legislatures, will be too late, in our view, because they would have utilised the money from criminal proceeds to campaign and get seats in Parliament and legislators. The sanctions for such should be automatic disqualification and loss of any assets and seats they would have acquired.
We urge the IEC to ensure that the people of South Africa are aware of the new changes which are going to affect them, like section 24(a) which calls for each voter to vote at the voting district where they are registered to vote, or to notify the IEC if they intend to vote outside their voting district. We firmly oppose this clause, as we believe that it is going to affect many of our people who are labour migrants, truck drivers, etcetera, who are going to be negatively affected because they cannot provide certainty of where they are going to be on the day of election.

Furthermore, we call on the IEC to ensure that all voting stations are accessible to all political parties. We have encountered instances where private property owners, particularly on farms, want to limit excess of certain political parties to their properties, and this should not be acceptable. Any person who offers their property to become a voting station must also provide access to all political parties into their properties.

In conclusion, we call on all the people of South Africa to turn out in their numbers on 29 May and remove the ANC from power. They must vote for the EFF, vote for our land and jobs,
now. Stop load shedding. Our land and jobs, now. Stop load shedding. Our land and jobs, now. Stop. load shedding. Thank you.

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon member. Order, hon members. Please save your energy for the campaign, it’s still going to be a long two months. I don’t want you to lose your voices in the process. The next speaker is hon Van Der Merwe.

Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon House Chairperson, ahead of us on the 29 May lies an election which for the very first time since the dawn of our democracy will include independent candidates standing for positions for the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. This will be the most crucial election since the dawn of our democracy, for our country stands on the brink of becoming a failed state. Therefore, this election will have far-reaching consequences affecting this generation and the next. Our task as a portfolio committee was simple, we only needed to effect consequential amendments to bring several laws in line with the Electoral Act of 2023, hence the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill before us.
However, in an act of political expediency, the Ruling Party took this opportunity to affect massive changes to our political system. Going into this election knowing that for the first time in 30 years, it is set to lose its grip on power, the Ruling Party straight far beyond the scope of what was necessary and expected of us during this process. The Bill now changes the funding formula of political parties. The current two thirds proportional and one third equitable funding model is being replaced by a 90% proportional and 10% equitable model. This takes us back to the funding formula that was in place before the introduction. Of the Political Party Funding Act.

The current funding formula, which will be repealed today if this Bill is passed, was the work of an ad hoc committee of Parliament. It was a negotiated settlement between all political parties. It was developed to provide a more even playing field in terms of public funding and to provide smaller or emerging parties with the biggest slice of the public funding pie. In what can only be described as an unconstitutional money grabbed by the Ruling Party, they are today nullifying the levelling of the playing fields.
It is clear that under the guise of independent candidates being elected, the Minister used this process to ensure that the broke Ruling Party is able to fill its party coffers ahead of the do or die 2024 elections. Of course, the Minister will deny this. The Minister will have us believing that the new funding model was necessary. This argument doesn’t hold water because we do not know at this stage how many independent candidates, if any, will join the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. The Minister’s next argument was that this new formula is the best funding formula. Of course, it’s the best formula to the ANC as it will only stand to benefit them.

House Chairperson, the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill before us is unconstitutional, and it’s a great threat to our democracy. If signed into law, this will have detrimental consequences. It grinds against the very spirit of our multi- party democracy, and it will hurt and undermine opposition parties. The IFP calls on members of the National Assembly to reject these amendments. If the ANC forces this Bill through Parliament today, many of us will be forced to defend our democracy in court. At this critical junction, where our collective future is at stake, the IFP on Sunday during our
manifesto launch at the full Moses Mabida Stadium, asked the South Africans to partner with us to secure the best possible future for our country.

You have a choice between an IFP you can trust, an IFP that stands ready to build our country, or a Ruling Party that is through this Bill, again reinforced the notion that there’s a governing party that is willing to forgo any principles and any values in pursuit of staying in power. As we move to 29 May 2024, we wish the IEC well, we wish our political opponents well. May the will of our people be ... [Interjections.] ... and may our beloved country rise from the decades of ANC mismanagement. We will not support this Bill. I thank you. [Time expired.]

Dr C P MULDER: Thank you, hon Chairperson, I would like to address the hon Minister. Hon Minister, did you really think you are going to get away with this? You and the ANC? Do you really think that this is going to succeed? With all due respect ...

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon Mulder.
Dr C P MULDER: Yes, Sir.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Please address the Chairperson of this session and not the Minister directly.

Dr C P MULDER: I am not personal; I am not personal. The ANC wants us to believe that they are doing the right thing. I am thinking about the previous Minister, Nathi Nhleko, who also took his instructions from the war room, he resigned from the ANC yesterday. Why, because he was found wanting. He was used to push a certain line on behalf of the ruling party, that a certain fire pool is a swimming pool. I predict the same is going to happen here.

Hon colleagues, the reality is, that both the Minister as well as the Chairperson refer us to the Constitution. That should be your text, not the instructions from the ANC war room.

What does the Constitution say? You show me where in this Constitution, section 236, refers to any independent candidate. You show me. It doesn’t exist. You show me in the judgement of the Constitutional Court, where they refer to any funding, with regards to independence. It doesn’t exist. But
you want this House to believe that this is what needs to be done.

Let’s look at section 236. The idea of section 236 is to enhance multiparty democracy. Multiparty democracy. That is what the Constitution says. This provisions of today, will diminish multiparty democracy in terms of your proposals because it will only enhance the position of one-party dominance.

Secondly, it says, that funding should be for who? Political parties, not independence - political parties. Which political parties? Participating in Legislatures, not participating in elections, participating in Legislatures. You should read the Constitution.

It means, you first need to get elected, then you are entitled to funding. Then, it goes on to say how - on an equitable and proportional basis. Now we had that fight in the past. And in the past, the ANC thought it was as good idea when you made a deal with the National Party after the Constitution in 1996 to come up with a formula of 10% equitable and 90% proportional. That served the ANC very well for many years. Luckily, common
sense prevails. So, in 2018 we brought a new Bill which brought a balanced approach which does enhance multiparty democracy when we went for a one-third equitable and a two- thirds proportional.

Now you are using the guise of independence to go back to the formula, that serves the ANC. The monies that have been determined by the adjustment budget, although are being kept back at the moment, because you first want to amend this Act.

Hon Minister, you are running a serious risk, you and the ANC. Do you think for one second, do you think for one second, that opposition parties defend a democracy, do you think for one second, that civil society, that civil society that are very much into the whole concept of transparency, are going to sit back, and allow you to do what you are doing? We are not going to allow that. We will challenge this in the courts and the responsible thing, you are putting the whole election in jeopardy because it is the same Bill.

Now, the Constitution says, equitable and proportional. It doesn’t say equitable and mainly proportional. It says equitable first and proportional. We reached a compromise in
the previous Bill on one-third, two-thirds. Remember what I am telling you today: You run the risk that the court may find, when we approach them, to come with a new formula, 50/50.
Fifty-fifty between equitable and proportional and you will be the ones that lose out. Remember you have been warned today.
Today, you can pass the Bill. We will see you in Court.


Mr S N SWART: House Chair, the ACDP commends Reverend Meshoe, its leadership, structures and members for a very successful manifesto launch this past Saturday at Ellis Park. We have heard the S O S from the people of South Africa. It is indeed time for Change. It is time for Service, for Order, for Safety. It is time to vote for the ACDP.

Chairperson, the ACDP opposes this Bill, the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill, being rushed through Parliament. While it is necessary to bring independent candidates under the statutory funding and disclosure requirements, we object in the strongest possible terms to the ANC changing the funding formula from 66% proportional and 33% equitable to a 90%-10% allocation.
This is a cynical and greedy move that is unnecessary and flies directly in the face of the previous Parliament and its ad hoc committee that spent many months holding public hearings and deliberating on this very issue and then unanimously deciding that the split should be 66% proportional and 33% equitable in order to promote multiparty democracy and assist smaller growing parties.

When it was debated in the House, ANC MP Vincent Smith said:


All the smaller political parties have raised their concern that the current fund distribution formula of 90% proportional and 10 % equitable does not conform to the said constitutional provision (ie section 236). This Bill goes a long way in addressing this matter (ie by changing the formula to 66%-33%) and should be welcomed by all.

It was passed unanimously. Why the sudden backtracking now? It is purely unbridled greed – an estimated R50 million extra to the ANC. This, the ACDP will never accept. It must be emphasised that the principle of proportionality is tempered with in section 236 by the requirements and then a court could decide. It should be 50%/50%. The allocation also enhances the
integrity of Parliament by reducing dependence on outside sources – which can lead to corruption and the manipulation of the political system by monied interests. It levelled the playing field. The proposed change to the formula in today’s Bill will result in some cases of parties receiving less than half their existing funds. The ACDP believes that this is in breach of section 236 as well as the test laid down in the Harksen v Lane judgment.

We also believe that the amendment to sections 7 and section 9 – will, without a resolution of Parliament and the present regulation - result in a serious vacuum – where there will be no upper limit or disclosure limit. For these reasons, ACDP will not support this, Bill. I thank you.

Mr N L S KWANKWA: Thank you so much, House Chair, the United Democratic Movement rejects this Bill, the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill with the contempt it deserves. As already indicated by my colleagues, the Bill was meant to facilitate the participation of independent candidates in national and provincial elections in a manner that general proportionality is retained and ensure that independent candidates are on the same footing as political parties. However, the ruling party
has placed itself in the centre by trying to manipulate this in order for it to do all smash and grab on the resources that are already in the majority of instances allocated to parties.

Firstly, changing the formula from two-third the proportional and one-third equitable to the 90-10 principle, will only benefit larger parties. The current funding was developed in order to provide a more even playing field, which ensured that smaller parties and other emerging parties were able to receive amounts that would enable them to discharge their constitutional mandate.

The other issue which we find to be extremely problematic is where we want the President to be a player and a referee at the same time. On the one hand, he is the player because he leads a political party. On the other hand, he must have the prerogative to determine crucial limits and thresholds related to party funding. We find this to be very opportunistic and it has far reaching consequences for laws that govern party funding in South Africa in general. If adopted, this amendment will leave to a more secrecy in political party funding and will only establish the parties that are supporting the Bill.
As we are all aware, that as all political parties, rather, an independent candidate needs to be properly resourced and equipped in order to carry out their constitutional mandate.
Therefore, having them deprived of resources will result in the facade of democracy, while allowing the largest parties to amass the resources of our country. We want to make it clear to you, colleagues, that this matter is going to go to court. We are going to challenge it and you run the risk of not being able to get any resources before elections or any funding for that matter, or that we go to elections with the current funding formula by challenging this matter in court. So, the UDM rejects this Electoral Matters Amendment Bill with the contempt it deserves, because it is not in line with section
236 of the Constitution which governs funding for political parties. Thank you so much.

Mr B N HERRON: House Chair, the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill is a thinly veiled response by the ruling party to the impact new parties are having on changing the shape of South African politics. Acting undercover of a Constitutional Court judgment, requiring amendments to enable independent candidates to stand in the elections, the sponsors of the Bill are taking the wholly unrelated and uncalled for opportunity
to throttle opposition parties by changing the way that the public political party funding is distributed.

If they get their way, they pocket 25% more than they presently receive. The formula by which public money is distributed to political parties to enable our multi-party democracy, was altered just three years ago. According to the ruling party’s own policy documents, it was altered with the express intention of supporting political diversity and preventing the system from being skewed in favour of incumbents. What is now being proposed seeks to achieve the exact opposite.

Three years ago, the Constitutional Court ordered that in so far as the Electoral Act makes it impossible for candidates to stand for political office without being members of political parties, it is unconstitutional. And that is the cover that brings us here today to give effect to the consequential changes required by the adoption of a new electoral system.

The 2024 elections will be contested by 115 political parties and 16 independents for the National Assembly. These are pretty significant indicators of the vibrancy, resilience and
credibility of our multi-party democracy. We know that the ability of political parties to organize, promote their views and participate in free and fair elections are sacrosanct because the Constitutional Court explicitly told us this in 2017. The court said laws which undermine multi-party democracy will be invalid.

This judgment in a matter brought by the UDM gave expression to the values of our democracy contained in section 1 of our Constitution, universal adult suffrage, national common voters roll, regular elections and a multi-party system of democratic government. There is nothing ambiguous about that. The Electoral Matters Amendment Bill, on the other hand, goes so far beyond the rational and reasonable requirements of amending legislation to facilitate independent candidates that it is impossible to tell if it’s chicken or beef.

The Bill has been hijacked to include unnecessary amendments to undermine multi-party democracy and violate the spirit and letter of the UDM judgement. Fiddling with the allocation of public funding to represented political parties and independents, violates the spirit of our Constitution, our values and judgments of the Constitutional Court. It is
intended to defund opposition parties and it must be resisted. We will not support it. Thank you.

Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Thank you very much, Chairperson.


The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members.


Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Chairperson, the NFP notes the report tabled here today in terms of the amendment to the Electoral Act. Now, we talk about multi-party democracy. Multi-party democracy means that every political party and or independent must be given an equal opportunity. Having said that, equal opportunity - not necessarily just on airtime which is in the media - but also very importantly, in terms of funding.

Now, there is two sides to this amendment. In fact, there’s a lot of good in this amendment. However, the issue of the funding is a matter for serious concerns, particularly the drop now which will go from one third to 10% for smaller parties and independents. However, there is also a positive side to this amendment. And what is those positive sides? To provide for the offence of making a donation to a political party, a member of a political party, an independent candidate
or representative, in the expectation that the party member candidate may receive something in return.

We all know what is happening currently. The influence from the outside world, particularly where they are dealing with regime change all over the world, the amount of funding that has been coming. So, there is a positive side also to this Bill. To a very large extent, you know we are putting in these legislations, great. But where is the compliance? Where are the consequences? Who goes and checks exactly how much a political party is spending in the campaign compared to what they actually declare? You’ll see these massive rallies that are taking place, and I heard somebody say 76 000 people flooded the stadium. But how much was actually declared in political party funding? Compare that and you’ll see, there’s a massive gap.

So, corruption - despite this legislation - is going to continue, if you look at the amount of money that’s flowing into the country. Particularly from outside sources and political parties with a hidden agenda that are benefiting from this thing. That is why I see nobody is venturing into that aspect of this thing. I think that we need to have a real
look, particularly on the allocation of those funding. Otherwise, smaller parties will remain suppressed. And in fact, it will end to their collapse.

The NFP raises these concerns as far as those things are concerned. But other measures that you’re putting in place must be welcomed to prevent any levels of corruption because the elections are won and lost through the availability of funds and resources. Thank you very much.

Ms M MODISE: House Chairperson, we are standing on behalf of the mighty ANC to support the report of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on the Electoral Amendment Bill.
This Bill in the main is necessitated by the amendment and the absent of the Electoral Amendment Bill, which is now an Act of Parliament.

The Electoral Act was amended to effect the Constitutional Court order to provide for the participation of the independent candidates in the provincial and national elections. It has nothing to do with electoral reforms or systems. It certainly has nothing to do with benefiting the
ANC. It amends several Acts as a consequence of the amendment of the Electoral Act.

It is important to take this opportunity and appreciate and thank South Africans from all walks of life as individuals and as organizations or institutions for having taken their time to make comments on the Bill following the advertisement of the Bill in various media platforms. We also like to thank and appreciate the participation of Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies, the Joint Standing Committee on Financial Management of Parliament, the Standing Committee on Finance, and the Select Committee on Finance that were invited to attend the public hearings, given that the Bill amends various acts that affect these committees.

The importance of this Bill, amongst other things, is that it provides for the regulations of the private and public funding of independent candidates and independent representatives and matters, incidental thereto. The regulation of the funding for political parties and independent candidates. It is important for ensuring the strengthening of our democracy, as well as making sure that there is transparency and accountability on
the funds received both by political parties and independent candidates.

Contrary to the views that suggests that the Bill was rushed, the fact is that time and space were created for anyone or institutions to submit their comments on the Bill, and that members of the portfolio committee had an opportunity to participate and make deliberations on the Bill. The program of processing this Bill was tabled and agreed to by the portfolio committee and that is what we followed as the committee.

Once again, we stand in support of the report of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on the Electoral Amendment Bill. We want to refute the notion that this Bill is aimed at assisting the ANC to win elections.


Amagwala ayatatazela manje.


They can smell the defeat. I want to put it to you right now, there are no Americans that are going to come and win you elections here. You want to cast doubt on the integrity of the
IEC. The people of South Africa are going to choose the people’s party, the mighty ANC. Victory is certain. Come 29 May, ...


... umbutho wabantu uza kuphumelela.



I thank you.


Mr M NYHONTSO: Hon Chair, the PAC rejects this Bill. I want to put it on record here that we will also challenge this Bill in court. Thank you.

Ms T A KHANYILE: House Chair, the consideration of Electoral Matters Amendment Bill by the Home Affairs portfolio committee was a rushed process with extremely tight deadlines. When the Bill was first introduced, it was riddled with clauses that were problematic. For example, the removal of Parliament’s oversight in electoral matters and the weakening of the prohibition of political party members receiving donations in their personal capacity.
In the portfolio, the DA ensured that these clauses were addressed. The DA’s effort saw the reintroduction of Parliament’s oversight and an absolute prohibition on political party members receiving donations on behalf of the party. The B-Bill reflects this effort. The DA remains concerned about the regulations which set upper limits on donations and lower limits on disclosure of donations.

Section 8(2) of the Political Party Funding Act states that a political party may not accept a donation from a person or entity in excess of the prescribed amount within a financial year. The regulations set the upper limit at 15 000 000.
Section 9(1)(a) of the Political Party Funding Act states that a political party must disclose to the commission all donations received above the prescribed threshold. The regulation set the prescribed threshold at 100 000. Clause 29(g)(h) of the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill now amends these two sections by removing the set amount. The clause reads that the President must make regulations on upper and lower limits acting on the resolution of Parliament.

We therefore have a situation where there will either be a delay in these clauses being brought into effect, or we will
see another rise parliamentary process for the resolution to be passed. We could even have a scenario where the Bill is passed in its entirety with no precautions taken, resulting in no limits on donations or requirements on disclosures.

When the DA raised this serious issue, the Home Affairs legal representative reported that they had engaged with parliamentary legal services on the matter and that the remedy could be when Electoral Matters Amendment Bill is passed, then Parliament needs to pass a resolution the next day to close this gap.

The DA’s proposal to simply add the existing thresholds to the new clauses was shot down by the ANC. There is no rational reason not to close this gap in the law, which could create a gap for the ANC to sneak in large unaccounted for donations on the eve of the elections. The DA rejects the Bill.

Mr K B PILLAY: Speaker, I quote Alu-Dinish Obiro, “Democracy is the garden where the seeds of liberty are sown by the hands of many.” Speaker, hon Minister, hon members, on 29 May this year, South Africa takes to the poll and for the first time since our democracy this election will see the inclusion of
independent candidates on the ballot and if elected a part of this House. After vigorous consultation, public participation and support of this very House, we were able to pass the Electoral Amendment Bill.

Once more, we are back before this House to debate the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill which focuses on the amendments of various Acts of Parliament as a consequence of the previous amendments. The maturing of our democratic system requires strong checks and balances among the three arms of the state. In this regard, the amendments we are dealing with are necessitated by the order of the Constitutional Court that ordered us as legislators to create provisions within our laws for the participation of independent candidates.

We join the chairperson of the portfolio committee in appreciating the important work undertaken by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and other committees in the processing of the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill. As a committee, we have followed all due processes of Parliament in the processing of this Bill including the invitation to members of the public, the participation of various stakeholders and the support of the legal services. These
amendments are in line with the provisions in the Constitution that every adult citizen has the right to stand for public office, and if elected, to hold office.

By passing these Bills, Parliament is ensuring the strengthening of our electoral system and thus deepening our democratic system. In addition, the Constitution also provides for the Political Party Funding Act which is intended to enhance multiparty democracy. This requires that the national legislation must provide for the funding of political parties participating in national and provision legislatures on an equitable and proportional basis. This is very important. The test of any form of political funding is about whether such funding is equitable and proportional. Our conviction is that the proposed formula in the amendments passes this test of being equitable and proportional. Please listen to that.

A strange occurrence happened over the past few weeks when a political party by the name of the DA wrote a letter to the Secretary of State of the United States, through the US ambassador to South Africa, to make some requests regarding the coming elections in May. We are saying this is strange because it is unprecedented in our electoral system where a
political party will bypass all protocols and invite an executive arm of another state to be an observer in our elections.

The letter of the DA opens with the following words, “The Democratic Alliance as an official opposition ...” underline opposition, “in the South African Parliament wishes to sharpen our appeal to the international community in helping to ensure the integrity of the upcoming elections.” We underline the words, ... “ensure the integrity of the upcoming elections.” The DA does not end there.

It continues further to request the government of the United States to, amongst other things, “provide any available resources that could be directed into an independent parallel vote tabulation process run by an independent organisation would be valuable.” The DA is calling for an independent parallel vote tabulation process run by an independent organisation.

It is important to indicate that what the DA calls the government of the United States to do in our upcoming elections is unconstitutional. Section 190 of the Constitution
of the Republic of South Africa on the electoral commission provides for the following:

The electoral commission must manage elections of national provincial and municipal legislative bodies in accordance with national legislation. Ensure that those elections are free and fair and declare the results of those elections within a period that must be prescribed by national legislation that is as short as reasonably possible.

The Constitution does not make any provision for any independent body to tabulate elections contrary to what the DA requested from the government of the United States. The question then arises why would the DA make such a request to the government of the United States? Again, does the DA undermine our electoral systems and processes?

The Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, has run elections in this country since 1994. At no point has anyone or any political party challenged the electoral processes and outcomes in this country since 1994. We have established systems and processes to be followed by any political party or anyone who has concerns regarding our electoral system, but
then why would the DA think in this strange way? Perhaps we should wonder whether the DA intends to reject the outcomes of the elections come 29 May. What else can we think of the DA to make a request of an independent parallel vote tabulation? But the DA was hit with a heavy blow as the USA expressed its confidence in South Africa's electoral system. Speaking to News 24, the spokesperson for the US embassy in Pretoria, David Feldmann, said this:

The US recognised South Africa's sovereignty. South Africa is a sovereign democracy that runs its electoral processes. The Independent Electoral Commission has a long-standing and excellent reputation for conducting free and fair elections.

So, you got your own blow. The DA should explain itself through our established processes on the meaning and intention of the letter to the US Secretary of State. Now let me address some of my hon members, hon Roos, why would you even want political party funding when your party is openly written to international worlds requesting funding? Is that not enough that you want to come take our funding? Over the years, the DA has always used Cape Town as its success story of governance. How is it that you don't talk about Cape Town anymore? How is
it that you don't speak to this very House about how Tshwane is being ripped apart and falling apart by your governance? Hon Roos, I'm disappointed that today you took to the podium and toed the party line while in the portfolio committee you supported the consequential amendments, in principle, in particular the Political Party Funding Act.

Now, hon Chirwa, I'm not sure which portfolio you belong to because I've never seen you in the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee, yet you come here and make all these claims without even understanding what is going on in that ... [Inaudible.]
... The ANC supports the Bill. [Time expired.]


The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Speaker, I don't know why the ANC is being accused of sneaking in money. We never applied for any money from America and the UK. We never did and let me make it very clear, we will never agree to be recolonised again. Never. That is not going to happen. You can forget.

Secondly, elections are about contesting for power and numbers. Why is it that what I'm hearing here to be a big party is now suddenly unconstitutional? Some parties have been here for 30 years. They remain with one or two members. The
EFF, of course, want to take us out of power but the truth is that they came lately, and they are a big party. Is that a sin? No, they are. You are. I know you, but you believe you'll take us out, but you won't.

Now, why is it a sin? Why is it a sin to have a party with many members, as you're saying? You can go and Google there or check your dictionary. The word proportional means corresponding in size or amount to something else. If the word proportional is a sin, it will not have been in the Constitution in section 236. That section talks about proportionality. Why is it suddenly a sin? Going to court.
We've never been scared to go to court in this country. It's in the Constitution. When we amended this Act in terms of the Constitutional Court instruction that we must accommodate independence, we were threatened with a court case, and it went to court, and we've been telling you we are doing that in line with the Constitution. You never believed. The judges told you that, yes, we said the Constitution in section 105(1)(d) and Section 46, it's about proportionality. This is also about proportionality. Go to court. We'll meet there.
The Constitution is written. It has never changed, and it's never a sin to be a big party. Thank you very much.

Mr N L S KWANKWA: Ingena phi ngoku le nto ithethwa nguMphathiswa?


Debate concluded.

Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.


Division demanded.

The House divided.


The Acting Speaker Mr C T Frolick announced that the Speaker had determined that, in accordance with the Rules, a manual voting procedure would be used and that the Whips would conduct a headcount of members in the chamber and on the virtual platform for the purposes of ascertaining quorum and voting. A quorum being present in terms of Rule 98(1), voting commenced.
AYES – 241: (ANC – 202; EFF – 38; NFP – 1).


NOES – 90: (DA – 62; IFP – 11; FF Plus – 9; ACDP – 3; UDM – 1;

Good – 2; Cope – 1; PAC – 1).


Question agreed to.


Bill accordingly read a second time.


(Subject for Discussion)

Ms T Z MAKATA: Hon House Chair, hon members of the House, from the inception of the United Nations, the promotion of women’s rights has been enshrined in its founding charter. Article 1 unequivocally underscores the commitment to fostering respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all individuals, irrespective of race, sex, language, or religion.
The commitment has further solidified with the inclusion of gender equality and international human rights law, through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The landmark document affirmed all individuals with inherent dignity and rights, regardless of gender or any other distinct factor.

Since then, the global economy has witnessed a burgeoning focus on women’s development issues, both on the global and regional levels. Inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals, particular Goal 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and to empower all women and girls, nations worldwide have intensified their efforts to address the multifaceted challenges that are faced by women.

Moreover, the African continent has demonstrated, in its unwavering commitment to gender equality through Agenda 2063, specifically in Aspiration 6, which alludes to Africa’s development that should be people driven. This resounding declaration underscores Africa’s determination to uplift and empower its women, recognising their indispensable role in driving sustainable development and prosperity.
The ANC’s Freedom Charter enshrines the fundamental principle of equal opportunities for women, affirming their right to participate in spheres of society in par with their male counterparts. This pivotal document acknowledges women’s inherent worth and capabilities, and advocates for their active involvement in the decision-making process, and also govern our nation.

In South Africa, the ANC’s Freedom Charter serves as a beacon of hope and progress, guiding our journey towards a more equitable and the just society. By championing women’s inclusion and participation, it paves the way for the realisation of our collective aspiration, and for a brighter and a more prosperous future for all.

Thus, as we commemorate International Women’s Day and reflect on our strides in advancing gender equality, let us throw aspirations and the principles espoused in the ANC’s Freedom Charter. Let us reaffirm our commitment to fostering a society where women are recognised and empowered to contribute meaningfully to the fabric of our nation. Together, let us continue to strive towards a future where the rights and
dignity of all individuals, regardless of gender, are upheld and protected.

Through the influence of the Freedom Charter and our Constitution, which prioritises creating equal opportunities for both women and men, recent census data has highlighted a remarkable trend in South Africa. It reveals that more women have attained higher education qualifications than men during this specified period of the census.

This achievement is very much notable, however, there is a pressing need to ensure that these educated women are sent to higher echelons and, also, are spread across various industries. Moreover, the scarcity of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, Stem fields, has exacerbated the gender digital divide. It has hindered the participation in digital technology development and decision- making processes.

To address this gap, a comprehensive approach is required. This entails enhancing digital infrastructure in underserved regions, to ensure equitable access to women and education initiatives. To promote digital literacy and empower women
with the necessary skills, further raising awareness and challenging societal norms as the is very much vital in encouraging women’s engagement with digital technologies.

Encouraging girls and women to pursue Stem education and careers can further contribute to bridging the gender gap in the technology. In terms of employment and discrepancies therein, the World Economic Forum Gender-Gap Index for 2020 reveals that, in South Africa, women hold 38% of senior level position with business organisations, encompassing managerial and also CEO roles. However, this representation of female CEOs among all enterprises that are listed in the JSE is only just a mere 3,31%.

The private sector adherence to the transformative laws, like Affirmative Action and the B-BBEE has been slow, despite the efforts that has been made. The government should prioritise enhancing enforceability, starting with companies doing businesses with the state. Broader regulatory measures are also necessary to ensure women’s inclusion in employment and upper echelons. Women’s aspect of B-BBEE should be recognised and supported, possibly through gender budgeting mechanisms.
The public service sector has made progress in increasing women’s representation in management to 43%, with efforts, of course, to push it beyond 50%. The Public Service Plan for Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Framework and the Public Service 8 Principles Plan Action for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality are being implemented to enhance strategies within the public sector to advance women’s participation.

The National Empowerment Fund administers the Women Empowerment Fund, which supports business owned by black women, with a funding that is ranging from R250 000 to R75 million. While some government departments have also
allocated resources for women’s empowerment initiatives, there is a call to expand efforts in this regard, across all government institutions and the private sector as well.

There is a pressing need for more private sector entities to support and invest in women, particularly those in rural areas, who often exhibit lower risk aversion. The Women Development Bank serves as a prime example of the impact, such as initiatives that it can have. Originating as a microfinance program in 1991, the Women Development Bank was established to
combat poverty and provide rural women with resources necessary for self-empowerment.

Over the years, the bank has played a transformative role in supporting co-operatives and women-led business ventures.
While financial resources are crucial, it is also very important to recognise that women, especially those women that are in rural areas, require a range of nonfinancial resources to thrive and also to succeed in the areas where they are.

The key to achieving more strides in women empowerment is to break down societal barriers and dismantle patriarchy, which requires a multifaceted approach. Education and awareness initiative, policy interventions, economic empowerment programs, community engagement efforts, support networks, mentorship programs and promoting diverse portrayals of women in the media, are all critical in promoting gender equality in both social and economic spheres.

Critical institutions are pivotal in safeguarding women’s rights, fostering empowerment and ensuring comprehensive representation. The SA Human Rights Commission plays a fundamental role in protecting the rights of all individuals,
while also evaluating and monitoring progress. Similarly, the Gender Equality Commission and the B-BBEE Commission oversee and monitor transformation and women’s inclusion in both the private and the public sector.

Moreover, the establishment of the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities underscores the overarching need for a holistic monitoring evaluation and the co-ordination of women-inclusive transformation programs. It is imperative for every South African sector of society to recognise that Affirmative Action is a constitutional imperative.

The ANC-led government recognises the importance of monitoring, of evaluating and co-ordinating efforts to ensure the realisation of the aspirations outlined in the Freedom Charter, Bill of Rights and our Constitutions, which advocate for equal opportunities for all.

Therefore, the ANC emphasises the need to deliberate and support of these institutions, both financially and through other means. As we embark on this crucial debate, let us reflect on all these milestones and recommit ourselves to advancing the cause of women empowerment, today and every day.
Today, let us strive for a world where equality is not just an inspiration, but it is a reality for all. Thank you very much.

Ms T BODLANI: House chairperson, as we commemorate International Women’s Day, the question before this House is how South Africa and the world can meaningfully invest in women to accelerate our progress. The reality is that women around the world are playing catch up, as we continue to be excluded from economic activities simply because we are women.

Sadly, practices of gender exclusion continue across all societies, and these must be condemned with the contempt they deserve. Failure to condemn this exclusion hinders the progress of women, and of society, in general as the playing field remains uneven.


Re ka bua ka matlafatso ya batho ba bomme jwang, re hloleha ho bua ka basadi ba diketekete ba mebala yohle, ba ileng ba kgwanta ba ya Union Buildings, ba pepile masea mekokotlong ya bona. Sena, e ne e le ho ema kgahlanong le melao ya kgatello e bitswang ...

... Pass Laws. Lest we forget that the women of 1956 gave the women of 2024 a voice. Indeed, we are women!

Observing the International Women’s Day in 2023, the United Nations presented the theme, “Digital Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”. This sought to highlight the need for inclusive and transformative technology, and digital education for women, in order to close the gap in the modern era. Perhaps, we ought to stop and take stock of our country’s performance under this theme, in order to explain how we can advance in 2024 and beyond.

Allow, Chairperson to do this through an analysis of the performance of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies in advancing the interests of women. House Chairperson, thriving economies of the world have one thing in common: They use information and digital technology as a springboard to accelerate the progress of women. However, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies is content with its minimal effort in bridging the digital divide, particularly amongst lower income and rural women, I
stand to concur with Melinda Gates, an ICT icon, who correctly states:

All women everywhere have the same hopes. We want to be self-sufficient to be able to create better lives for ourselves and our loved ones.

The biggest obstacle to the development of women in the digital sphere in South Africa is this government. Under the ANC-led government, the Auditor-General’s 2023 Report plagued irregular expenditure by various entities in the department, notably, with the following staggering amounts: State information Agency - R452 million; Post Bank - R165 million; and the SA Post office - R155 million.

House Chairperson, this is over R700 million in irregular expenditure in one year, while government departments, like Home Affairs, are forced to close early, while hundreds of people line up for services, only to be sent home because the state’s IT network is down.

The SA Post Office is unable to improve its systems, leaving rural women who have trusted the bank with their life savings
unable to access their funds as and when they desire, because the SA Post Bank has failed to put necessary infrastructure in place, to allow customers greater access as well as efficiency in accessing those social grants.

How did we get to this point - you asked. We are here, as the ANC cannot effectively run services like SA Post Office, which require profitable business models in order to be sustainable. Today, we see SA Post Office branch closures en masse because
- wait for it - they are not profitable. Through the SA Post Office branch closures, we have seen thousands of job losses, which include women.

This translates to rocks of households being unable to provide for their families. This is all because our government refuses to adopt reasonable business models that ensure that the SA Post Office thrives. The DA solution is simple: We will repurpose the SA Post Office for the digital age, by reconfiguring its business model to provide more services, both commercial and community services, as well as thoroughly established private-public partnerships. with companies that have expert knowledge of the ICT market.
The DA truly believes in the whole-of-society approach, as government does not always know best, as we have seen with the ANC-led government. The DA will rescue the South African ICT sector by strengthening institutions such as Sita, to enable more competitive markets. The DA cares!

We will rescue the ICT. Institutions, by providing strong political leadership, of course, ending cadre deployment and eliminating corruption to provide adequate capacity to these entities. The DA would regain lost ground and make proactive steps to achieve accelerated progress for women.

Through our manifesto pledge to create 2 million jobs, we will close the gender gap, as women in our country will be the largest beneficiaries of job creation. We will provide women with dignity by uplifting the vulnerable people out of poverty. This includes, addressing the injustices of our past, which saw badly affected women.

Further, as women play dual responsibilities in our society, we will ensure that women are key players in our economy in a meaningful way, instead of the current status quo, where the ANC-led government reduces women to aspire for crimes as
opposed to meaningful job opportunities which will give them dignity.

We are women! Let us be part of the change that we wish to see in South Africa. The DA is ready to invest in women. The DA is ready to accelerate the progress of women. I thank you, House Chairperson.

Mrs N R MASHABELA: House Chairperson, 1,5 billion people live on the African continent. Nearly 50% of Africa’s population is women. The reality is that our collective failure as the continent to rid ourselves of colonial and neocolonial bondage means that we are not capable of making any investment, let alone investment in women, to accelerate progress in the context of building a better Africa.

The reality is that the illiteracy level is high for women compared to men in Africa and the rest of the world. In sub- Saharan Africa, more than 39% of women from the age of 15 and above are illiterate. The reality is that women in Africa continue to suffer from unimaginable crimes. We have heard stories from some parts of this continent where violence
against women is viewed as the only way to solve family conflicts.

The reality is that, because women are responsible for ensuring that water is available in most homes, the lack of water infrastructure has become a burden for women. They are forced to share water with animals, carrying it for long distances. This and many other realities continue to prevent women from meaningful participation in the economy.

Women cross the Limpopo River, from Zimbabwe to Musina and nearby areas to seek health treatment when Zimbabwe has close to 40 different minerals that continue to leave the country without any benefit for the women in Zimbabwe.

The African continent continues to suffer from neocolonial oppression, without any development. Our minerals and wealth continue to enrich the West, while we continue to suffer from American-sponsored wars, high levels of youth unemployment and poverty. Our diamonds in Botswana continue to enrich De Beers, which is involved in aggressive tax avoidance and profit shifting.
It is the women in Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, and Ivory Coast who are farm workers. Yet, they cannot afford the finished products made from the fruits of their labour. This is the state of the African continent and the reality facing many women.

The reality is that we need a massive investment in the development of the African economy, but any investment in the African economy will need a united Africa. We need a united Africa with one currency, one Parliament and one army. We need a united Africa that has one plan for massive investment, including investment in women. We need a united Africa that has one plan for the benefit of our minerals and a clear commitment to transferring wealth to women and youth. We need a united Africa that has one high-speed train network plan that connects all African capitals.

We will only be able to successfully invest in women and accelerate progress in the context of building a better Africa, if we accelerate intra-African trade, which includes and prioritizes the legislated transfer of wealth to women. We will need African financial institutions that prioritize
allocating capital to women-owned businesses and initiatives, with the support of state offtake agreements.

Lastly, in the immediate, we must ensure that sanitary towels are available for all women on the African continent for free and all girl children are in the classrooms learning maths and science. Thank you very much.

Ms M D HLENGWA: House Chair and the House at large, once again, it was with a heaviness that the world reflected on International Women’s Day. A heaviness is brought by seeing women suffer under gender-based violence, seeing women crying while holding the lifeless bodies of their children in war- torn areas, and seeing women suffer under the circumstances of poverty. How does one celebrate when our sisters across the world are fighting to stay alive? What is there to celebrate?

Each year, we have an International Women’s Day topic related to the advancement of women. And while the IFP welcomes the progressive approach when it comes to challenges faced by women, we need to carefully think about whether we are really calling for the advancement of all women or whether our proposal or discussion only apply to a proportion of women.
During these debates, we often fail to think about the very basic necessities that women, especially those in rural areas, lack, as we only focus on the next big thing we can advocate for. I read an article written about the 2024 International Women’s Day, and the author stated: “If you teach a man to fish, he will eat for life. But teach a woman to fish and she will feed the whole village.” [Interjections.] When I hear the topic, Investing in Women, I think about providing assistance to women’s shelters, upskilling women entrepreneurship through capacitating community skills centers, providing special needs schools with the educators needed to best care for our children, and assisting women with getting access to land.

We must first focus on providing the immediate need of our women, as that is how we build a better South Africa, better Africa, a better world. Our investment in women should be aimed at accelerating the process that will ensure our women have what they need to take care of themselves and their families.

In South Africa, one of the biggest things a woman need is sufficient protection from gender-based violence, kidnapping and murder. Our government often say they care about the
safety of women, but not a lot has practically been done to protect us. Therefore, in conclusion, the IFP will continue to call for the protection of our women and children. I thank you.


Me T BREEDT: Agb Huisvoorsitter, vandag se debat handel oor Internasionale Vrouedag en die onderwerp is hoe om, vir spesifiek vroue, vooruitgang te bespoedig, om ’n beter kontinent en wêreld te bou. Ek is egter van mening dat hierdie ’n vrugtelose oefening is, as ons nie by die begin begin nie. En die begin is Suid-Afrika, ons land. En hier gaan dit nie baie goed nie.

Die ANC se onvermoë om die land suksesvol te regeer en bou het ’n direkte impak op vroue en hul vooruitgang in die samelewing. Die toetrede van vroue tot die ekonomie of eerder die tekort aan toetrede kan ook voor die ANC se deur gelê word. Die ANC bestuur hierdie land in die grond in. Ek maak nie hierdie stelling lukraak nie.

As daar oorkoepelend na Afrika gekyk word, is daar prysenswaardige vooruitgang wat gemaak word in terme van vroue
en hul plek in die werksmag. Afrika-lande soos Botswana, Uganda en Ghana word wêreldwyd as die lande met die meeste vroulike besigheideienaars gelys. Wat die groeikoers van vroulike entrepreneurs betref, is Nigerië, saam met Angola en Ghana nommer een in die wêreld. Nigerië het tweede in die wêreld rangeer vir die aantal vroue, wat as professionele en tegniese werkers gekwalifiseer. Angola is op sy beurt, ook tweede in die wêreld met die grootste indiensnemingspotensiaal. Botswana is verder onder die top 15 wêreld-ekonomieë in terme van die bevordering van die uitkomste vir vroue, met betrekking tot produktiwiteit per inkomste, hoër selfs as lande soos Kanada, die VSA, Nieu- Seeland, Switserland en Australië.

Daarenteen nou weer, lê Suid-Afrika, wanneer ons oor besighede praat, wat deur vrouens bestuur word, maar 45ste. As ’n voetnota: Hierdie ander Afrika-lande wat so hoog rangeer in terme van vroue bemagtiging het nie geslagskwota’s, soos die ANC in Suid-Afrika ingestel het nie. Hulle het op die taak van die dag gefokus, ware bemagtiging toegepas en pluk nou die vrugte.

South Africa is a country that is supposed to compete globally when taking our people and our resources into account, but due to a multitude of challenges, skewed policy positions, insufficient electricity supply, corruption, and the power- hungry ANC, we do not reach our full potential.

In an article by Betty Dube, Executive Head of marketing at MiWay, a number of challenges were identified. Quite obvious were: That the greatest of these challenges is a lack of access to finance and capital; that access to credit and business funding is often stymied by the fact that women are less likely to own property they can use as collateral when applying for loans, and then, very notably; in South Africa, excessive red tape and the complex legislation governing business operations are two of the most important setbacks that need to be tackled.

Another article highlights issues like rampant illiteracy, a devastating lack of resources, too many young South African women not completing their education, due to a lack of affordable sanitary care and of course the ever-worrisome gender-based violence.
These are all issues that can be addressed by better governance and prioritising focus areas that matter, like policing, education, and service delivery.


Ons kan sê wat ons wil, maar die bevindinge is duidelik. Die ANC stel nie daarin belang om die land te bou nie. Op 29 Mei het ons elkeen die verantwoordelikheid om te bewys dat ons die land weer wil bou. Ons kan die land en sy ekonomie en sy krag en sy slaggate en sy water en alles anderste wat verkeerd is, herstel. Stem vir ’n party wat doen. Stem vir ’n party met werkbare oplossings vir alle Suid-Afrikaners. Stem VF Plus.

Ms M E SUKERS: Thank you, hon Chairperson, we as women face particular oppression because we have the capacity to be mothers and to bear the next generation. It is neoliberal, godless, atheistic capitalism and a godless atheistic communism merely two sides of the same coin that reduce the mother to an economic unit of production and measures her worth only in strict economic terms and that reduces us from mother to worker. I warned those in this House that follow those ideologies that the hour is over. In Ireland last weekend, a measure backed by all the political elites to write
the special protection of family and mothers out of the Irish constitution was resoundingly defeated. Two of the clauses targeted were and I quote that:

In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved. The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.

These words are slightly old fashioned, but it sets out core values that are the basis of society and that healthy society. The removal of the mother from the young child is never good for the mother, the child or society. We must make a start somewhere to stop this, and modern technology allows work from home for the fortunate few.

I call on the House to start within our own parties and our Parliament to take steps to give an example that in the 7th Parliament can take measures to bring about a social change that will impact the lives of women and the children in the whole of South Africa, in order for us here in this House to
restore the family. It is hon members, for us to leave a legacy behind that will also not only empower women, but that we will assist, support the African family, the South African family, to be restored and for our societies to heal from the wounds that it suffered. I thank you.

Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Sorry Chairperson, thank you very much for that. I’m trying to multitask, but yes indeed, let me start off by talking about the role of women in society. I think it is only fair giving credit to women and the mothers of today and yesteryear. I want to make this comment. You can have everything in the world and no mother, you have nothing. You can have nothing in the world, and you have your mother, you have everything in the world. This is the power of woman.

House Chairperson, in terms of the latest statistics, 42% of all households in South Africa are headed by women. Women, very importantly, are the sole breadwinners in most of these homes. It is estimated that 99% of women who suffer gender- based violence equally suffer economic abuse by their country. Now let’s look at some of the statistics. Let’s look at the Western Cape, Chairperson. Women make up 51% of the population, but coloured women in the Western Cape make up
only 6%. A disgraceful 6% of top management positions in the Western Cape. Where is the equity we are talking about? It doesn’t exist. And I think, it is time that we need to reflect on our former leaders, the leaders of 1956, Lillian Ngoyi, Albertina Sisulu, my former leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Fatima Meer. Is it not time to reflect on their contribution and change the direction in which we are moving?

I’ll tell you one of the problems, Chairperson. African women in particular and Africans at large, are still suffering the effects of colonisation of the so-called white supremacy.
Despite our women making remarkable progress all over the world, holding senior positions. The stigma is still attached to our African women in the African continent. Is it not time for our women to rise and take their rightful place in society? I think it is time.

I want to say this again, Chairperson. It’s not going to come from the men and anybody else unless the women of this country and the African continent come together, protect each other.
Rise! You will not save the African continent from the abuse and the control and the power of the Western society and more
importantly Europe and the Zionist State of Israel. Thank you very much.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Before I call the next speaker, hon Khakhau the Rules of this House do not allow what you are doing. Check Rule 64(g) now. [Interjections.] Please, do.

Cha, angikhulumi nawe. Angikhulumi.


Man N K BILANKULU: Mutshamaxitulu, vachaviseki hinkwenu na Maafrika-Dzonga, ndza mi losa na ku mi nhlikanisa. Ndzi khensa Xikwembu ku va ndza ha hanya namuntlha naswona ndza ha ri Muafrika-Dzonga. Ndzi ri wansati a ndzi wansati ntsena, kambe ndzi ...


... a conqueror, a responsible, fearless, unique and a beacon of hope to our women.

A ndzi nga heti nkarhi hi ku hlamula leswi lava va mavandla yo kaneta a va swi vula hikuva a ndzi swi pimanisi na nchumu.
Kambe lexi ndzi lavaka ku xi boxa ndza ha yimile laha namuntlha hi leswaku ANC ra vuya. ANC ri ta a ku mi rhangeleni ehansi ka vurhangeri bya Puresidente Ramaphosa. Mi nga vulavula kumbe ku endla yini kumbe yini, kambe leswi n’wina mi tivaka swona hi leswaku muholo wa n’wina wu ta hi ku kaneta.
Hina ...


... we are not here to oppose, but we are here to service our communities and our people down there. Being a South African and a woman, and not just a woman, but a conqueror, a responsible, fearless, unique and a beacon of hope to our women and a member of the ANC under the leadership of President Ramaphosa, listen to this.

Empowering a woman you are unlocking the world’s potential. It is essential to have social development of families, communities and a country at large. That’s exactly what the ANC is doing right now. This debate comes at a critical time for us as we are left with few days to go for national and provincial elections to vote for the Seventh administration.
Women as majority citizens and majority voters in this country therefore we need to be careful of who we choose to govern. As women we must choose a government that not only promise to invest and prioritise our needs, but the one that has shown commitment and has history in empowering women. We need a government that will accelerate and the gains we have achieved and not to take us back. I am talking about the ANC. Women in this country have a history of uniting across racial and
party-political lines when it comes to fighting for women’s rights. The progress in terms of women empowerment that we have today was not given to us in a platter, but we stood up and we fought side by side with our male comrades when they become barriers of women’s empowerment. And we even stood up to influence the Constitution of the country to provide guarantees of women’s rights.

We have achieved a lot in terms of increasing women in leadership positions. We are currently having more than 45% of women representative in Parliament. This is not the ideal that we want as majority citizens in this country, but it is a great step in the right direction. The increase in number of women represented in leadership positions would not happen if the government of the governing party, the ANC, was not
responsive to the needs and rights of women in this country. We all know that as a country we do not have legislated quotas to compel political parties to have 50-50 representations in party lists. The current representation of women in Parliament is due to the mighty ANC adopting voluntarily gender quotas.
In the absence of the legislative quotas, we are the mighty multiparty women’s caucus and we urge all political partis to adopt voluntary quotas and have 50-50 representation in their party lists for the next coming election in the upcoming administration. We want to see more women coming from the opposition benches.

The ANC-led government has a history of investing in women through adopting various domestic legislations as well as member state of various regional, continental and international protocols aimed at ensuring that women have full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedom. The ANC-led government has indeed provided a fertile ground for women to thrive and effectively participate in leadership positions.

The very first Speaker of the first democratic Parliament was a woman, the late Frene Ginwala, and may her soul continue to rest in power as seasoned activist who advocated for both
human and women’s rights. Frene Ginwala paved a way for other women to be Speakers of Parliament. This include Mama Baleka Mbete, Mama Thandie Modise and our current Speaker Mama Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. We have women like Mama Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka who is our first woman to be the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa and later the Executive Director of UN Women.

Our South African women are not only taking leadership positions within the country, but are also known by breaking barriers in continental and intercontinental organisations. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the sitting chancellor of the University of Limpopo, became the first woman in Africa to chair the African Union Commission and this provided hope and mentorship to all women and girls in Africa as whole. Desiree Ellis a former player, coach and a founder member of Banyana Banyana and the second captain of the team, in April 2023, she was bestowed the national the Order of Ikhamanga by the South African government for her contribution to soccer. Ria Ledwaba, the founder of Ria Stars, the first female black vice president of the SA Football Association, CEO of Gree South Africa, and she is the only black woman importer of heating
ventilation and air conditioners in South Africa. These are the works of the ANC.

Tsakani Maluleke is a first woman to be appointed Auditor- General in South Africa. In judiciary, we have Judge Mandisa Maya who is the first woman president of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the first woman Deputy Chief Justice now nominated the Chief Justice by the President Ramaphosa. We have chancellors and vice chancellors of tertiary institutions. We have empowered women to occupy positions that were once male dominated such as military. Phetogo Molawa is a first black woman helicopter pilot in the SA Airforce.

In addition to various programmes meant to empower women this government has also adopted and set aside 40% of all government procurement in favour of women-owned businesses.

This came about through understanding that there are certain barriers that hinder women in business.

We must not forget that women occupying these positions are not exempted from their gendered roles of being mothers, wives, daughters, etc. These women still have a burden of
unpaid care work waiting for them at home when they knock off from work. We must also not forget that when we accelerate women’s leadership positions there are certain stigmas that they are labelled with. This include being accused of slipping their way to the top and bribing people for positions of just being affirmative action employees. The society tend to forget that affirmative action legislation is about levelling the play field for women in male dominated sectors or organisations for suitable qualified individuals to relevant positions. Being a caring and developmental government, its current administration understands the importance of establishing certain structures within government. These structures are aimed at supporting women enabling them to stay longer in leadership roles and that is one of the reasons we have a fully resources multiparty women caucus as a support structure for all women parliamentarians no matter political party affiliation. These machineries are aimed at ensuring gender sensitive and responsive workplaces by advocating family friendly facilities. The ANC-led government is indeed developmental and forward thinking.

In investing in women, we understand that women are not a homogeneous group. We have women who have disabilities, we
have women who fall under the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual, LGBQA+, community, we have educated women, we have women from rural areas, tec. We understand that we cannot have a blanket approach in investing in these women. To ensure inclusion and cater diversity, we have adopted a special legislation to cater for diverse needs. For example, we have adopted policies that cater for same sex marriages. We also have adopted legislation to cater for transpersons who would want to alter their sex status. We are amongst the few African countries which accept same sex relationships, and we have the current administration to thank that.

While we have a lot to celebrate as a country, we understand that there are part of the continental and global village and therefore we cannot forget the plight of women and children in conflict and war zones. During the time of war and conflicts women and children are always subjected to the most inhumane conditions, rape, sexual exploitation and prostitution and forced labour. These are some of the gruesome things women and children are subjected to. We support the African Union initiatives on silencing the guns and further commit to ensure safety and protection of women in this country.
We also understand that our homes have become war zones with gun wielding perpetrators that we share homes, beds and meals with. Silencing the guns in our own homes is ... [Time expired.] ... [Inaudible.] ... as intimate part of violence and as reported being high in South Africa.

Mr T LOATE: House Chair, it is at this time on the 8th of March that we celebrate International Women’s Day. In the times that we live today, women are doing more than what we always think. They are doing more than keeping house and raising families. We remember the Women’s March of 1956. It was on August the 9th, 1956, that 20 000 women of all races marched through the streets of Pretoria, protesting against apartheid.

Their powerful demonstration outside the Union Building shook the nation. Their iconic slogan was: You strike a woman; you strike a rock. That became a symbol of women’s resilience and activism against oppression.

We think of our own Thuli Madonsela who single handedly tackled corruption in our politics, the bane of our society. Women of our country have been instrumental in changing our
society for the better. In the early years of our democracy, powerful women legislatures ensured that we passed essential laws, including the choice on termination of Pregnancy Act in 1996. Legalizing abortion in the 1st 12 weeks of pregnancy, they helped pass the Domestic Violence Act in 1998 aimed at protecting women and holding abusers accountable.

On March the 8th, we celebrate the achievement of women and keep alive the need for advocating and practicing gender equality. This year, the campaign theme is: #Inspire inclusion. Emphasizing the need for inclusivity and change in society. The official United Nations theme for the International Women’s Day 2021 is: Invest in women’s accelerate progress.

According to the World Economic Forums, Global Gender Gap report of 2023, it will take another 131 years to achieve gender parity globally. Our country has an opportunity to lead the world, we need that. By empowering women, it will have far reaching effects, including boosting economies and contributing to peace process.
The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, is emphasizing the importance of women’s full participation and leadership across all sectors. International Women’s Day originated as National Women’s Day in the United States in the 1900s. It gained international recognition during the second International Conference of Waking Women in Copenhagen, Denmark, where women activists called for an International Day, to amplify their chance for equality right. Thank you, House Chair. [Time expired.]

Ms T A KHANYILE: House Chair, hon members on this international Women’s Day debate, I stand before you to talk about the need to invest in women, to accelerate progress in the context of building a better Africa and the world.
Investing in women is not just the moral imperative. It is also an economic one.

House Chair, International Women’s Day is a celebration of women’s achievements, a call to action for gender equality and the recognition of the progress made while acknowledging the work ahead. Women make up half of the world’s population and play a critical role in driving progress and development.
However, they continue to face significant bearers that limit their ability to participate fully in society. In Africa, women faced numerous challenges, such as limited access to education, healthcare, finance and technology. This inequality not only hinders their career growth but also affects their mental and physical wellbeing. It also exposes them to impoverished living conditions.

Addressing these challenges and investing in women’s empowerment should be a top priority for African nations and the world as a whole. Investing in women can accelerate ... [Inaudible.] ... in building a better world in several ways. For instance, when women are educated and employed, they can contribute to the economic growth and poverty reduction. When women have access to financial resources and land ownership, they can create new businesses and generate employment opportunities for others. Which in turn drives economic growth.

This is why the DA wants everyone who owns the land to have a title deed proving ownership. Moreover, investing in Women’s Health, safety and security can lead to better maternal and
child health outcomes, reducing mortality rate and improving overall health indicators.

One of the DA’s manifesto pillars is that the DA has a plan to enable people to rescue themselves from poverty and inequality. A DA government will strive for economic justice by implementing policies to lift six million people out of extreme poverty into dignity. Women are included in this plan.

A core proposal of the DA to uplift South Africans is to

replace the policy of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE, because it has only enriched tiny, connected elites.

To achieve better maternal child health outcomes, the DA plans to extend the child grant to cover pregnant mothers to child nutrition goals, women and their unborn children are at heightened vulnerability during pregnancy, effectively targeting vulnerable growth of protection during food price shocks.

House Chairperson, recent reports indicate that unemployment numbers for women remain higher than the national average.
With 35,7% of South African women in the labour force, currently without work and actively looking for work.

When the DA gets into government after the 29th of May 2024, we are going to create two million new jobs. We have a tangible plan and we have demonstrated this in the Western Cape. According to the data, employment across South Africa increased by a 169 000. Jobs were created between October and December 2022. Women are included in this figure. For the
DA-run Western Cape the increase was one 167 000 jobs, or about 98,8% of the national total.

House Chair, I want to reiterate that in the period mentioned above a total of 169 000 jobs were created nationally. This means all provinces governed by the ANC failed to create jobs and only contributed a mere 2000 job opportunities. The DA has the plan to safeguard the unemployment by converting social relief of distress, srd, grant into job seeking grant.

The DA will make it a priority to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by expanding the basket of essential food items exempt from value-added tax, VAT. The goal is to provide
relief to poor and low-income families by reducing the taxes they must pay on essential food items.

Promoting good guidance, growing up my mother used to have a small garden in our yard. She planted various vegetables, and this was a great benefit to us as we’re able to access nutritious meals at no cost. This initiative will empower communities to independently enhance food security well-being and sources of income.

It must also be recognized that much work remains to be done. To fully achieve gender equality and address the persistent challenges faced by women, which include the impacts of gender-based violence. The fight against the scourge of
gender-based violence will be a priority of the DA government. The DA will combat gbv by training staff of police stations for gbv specific services, so that victims receive justice while their dignity is maintained.

Ensuring that healthcare facilities and staff are equipped and trained to use necessary ... [Inaudible.] ... tools to identify gbv cases, report them to SA Police Service, SAPS and support victims. Ensuring that survivors of gbv can easily
access the help they need. These include the provision of healthcare, legal services, safe houses and dignity kits.

In conclusion, investing in women is a crucial component of building a better Africa and the world. It is essential to recognize the women’s empowerment is not just a moral goal, but also an economic one. If we provide equal opportunities to women and invest in their education, health and economic empowerment, we can accelerate progress and build a brighter, more prosperous and more equal future for all. I thank you.


PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: Hon House Chairperson, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Chief Whip of the Majority Party. I must confess that I am humbled to be part of this debate that is celebrating International Women’s Day during the month of March, which is Human Rights Month. This year marks 30 years of our democracy as a country. It is articulated by the democratic government that human rights are women’s rights, which is not the case for all women globally.

In countries that are ravaged by wars, women and children are the most affected. Not only with their health, but with their
lives as they are brutally raped, maimed and killed. In this case, we stand with women of Palestine. We join the world by saying, from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.

Hon House Chair, the right to have access to health care services, is a basic human right guaranteed by the Constitution. Section 27 of the Constitution provides that, everyone has the right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care services, and no one may be refused emergency medical treatment.

South Africa as a member of state to the Maputo Protocol, is also mandated to implement the provision of the Protocol on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge that, the current health care system was inherited from apartheid. We all know about the provision of inferior care for most of the population based on race, including millions of black women. During apartheid, black people were not able to access higher quality and subsidised private care and were limited to poor-quality public health care.

Namhlanje siva iintsomi besithi ...



... they are going to do this and that which they could not do over 300 years. Hon Chair, we should acknowledge that despite the inherited apartheid legacy, stunts have been made to improve the lives of women and girls since the dawn of democracy. We are not saying we are going to do it; we have done it. We are saying we are going to make sure that we accelerate the progress.

Some of the change achievements includes the provision of free medical care service to pregnant women and under six years old. Reduction of mother to child transmission of HIV/Aids, significant decrease in maternal mortality and morbidity.
Increase access to prenatal and postnatal care to pregnant women and new mothers. Increase in public health care facilities such as clinics and hospitals in areas where these were not provided prior to 1994.

Universal provision of antiretroviral treatment and the significant drop in deaths related to HIV and Aids. Provision of free sanitary products to indigent girls and women. Zero
vat-rating on sanitary products, water and sanitation hygiene programme instituted by the Department of Education. Provision of toilets, water and improved sanitation facilities and reducing pit toilets, so that girls can have privacy in accessing sanitation during their menstruation.

The South African law guarantees access to sexual and legal productive health services. The democratic government has since 1994 developed sexual and productive rights, legislative related legislation.


Silivile ilungu elihloniphekileyo apha ...


... articulating that. Those policies and strategic framework such as Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act 92 of 1996, the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998, the Sterilisation Amendment Act 3 of 2005, the Criminal Law and Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act of 2007, just to mention but a few. Those legislation policies and guidelines place proactive obligation on all government departments, private sector and civil
society organisations to increase respect for promotion and attainment of sexual and reproductive rights in the country.

Hon House Chair, in 2021, the National Department of Health has developed a maternal, perinatal and neonatal health policy which provides a broad framework for providing quality and comprehensive maternal, perinatal and neonatal services. This will inform the development and review of guidelines and standard operating procedures related to maternal, perinatal and neutral services in South Africa.

According to the World Health Organization, maternal health during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period are an important part of promoting the best possible outcome for women. Positive maternal experiences ensure that babies reach their full potential for health. South Africa has made noticeable reduction in the area of maternal and neonatal mortality. The evidence from the South African Demographic and Health Survey shows that there is progress with regard to the maternal mortality in facility ratio.

IsiXhosa: Asithethi ntsomi.

Nationally, the ratio decreased from 105,5 deaths per 100 000 lives in 2019 to 88% in 2020, indicating that South Africa is experiencing a decrease in maternal mortality in facility ratio.

Hon House Chair, the proportion of pregnancy rate of termination and other delivery related issues are important issues that government and other stakeholders need to focus on. These are important indicators in the measure of reproductive health status of women. Government provides contraceptives in different health facilities across the country, ranging from condoms, injectable pills and implants.

The results of the 2019 South African Demographic and Health Survey showed that, the majority of women in the age group of
20 to 39 years use any modern method of the contraceptive. It is an issue of concern that while government has made different contraceptive option available for women and girls, we still have our younger generation between 15 and 19 years old, constituting the highest proportion of those not currently using contraceptives, which is 75,1% followed by those in the age group between 45 and 49, which is 60,6%.

Azimnandanga ke ezo ndaba.


Access to contraceptive levels differ by level of education and geographic distribution. The use of many modern method of contraceptives in South Africa has risen in urban areas and continues to increase. The use of contraceptives among sexually active women is similar across all age groups, including adolescence women, except for women aged 45 and 49.

The use of contraceptive is also slightly higher amongst sexually active women in the lowest wealth quintiles compared to those in the highest wealth quintiles. The unmet need for contraception is the highest among the group of women with highest fertility rates, particular among adolescents and youth. Over the past 30 years, the country has made significant improvement in maternal and childcare health and reducing the HIV burden.

On maternal healthcare, data shows that there is a high level of access to care across the country, education levels and different poverty quintiles. South Africa has been very
successful in this regard. Listen very carefully, South Africa has been very successful in this regard. South Africa is led by one democratic government under the leadership of the ANC in case you forgot.

As you are going around the world to go and call all the terrorists and everything that you saw during apartheid to come, and once again savage us like you did before 1994. We are those women who sat in those prisons. It is us that were maimed, killed and raped by your brothers, who made sure and thought that we will never see the light of the day of 27 April 1994.

Hon members, through the Department of Basic Education, government has ensured that it proactively educates young people in public schools by introducing sexual and reproductive health rights lessons with the life orientation subject. This is a powerful tool to impact this awareness to both boys and girls, because such knowledge needs to transcend genders so that we have a better-informed society.

Hiding churches that are leading with malicious lies are telling people that this must not be discussed and must not be
known. The problem that we are experiencing at the present moment is that their children are made to sit at the back. They are not being shown because they are victims of what they are preaching, confirming or creating a perception that they are preaching the Gospel of God. That’s not the God that we know. It’s not correct, hon members.

Hon House Chair, our government has ensured that our people have access to health facilities close to where they live. It is important to indicate that the results of the 2022 General Household Survey revealed that in the majority of our people, 73% suggest that they would first go to the public clinics hospital on other public institutions for their health consultations. This is important because the type of healthcare facilities consulted by household members are influenced by factors such as household proximity to facilities, as well as personal preference based on factors such as affordability and perceived quality of services.

The majority of South Africans access health care through the public health care system and are satisfied with the service they receive, but barriers to access persist and are affected by both race and gender. Barriers in accessing services
include such services being too expensive or too far away, and many resort to self-medicating or considering the illness not severe enough to obtain such health. Many experience issues related to transport, so access to healthcare is affected.

The last South Africa Demographic Health Survey conducted in the country indicates that race, age, income and location differences are pronounced in explaining differentiations in access between women and men, both in access to service as well as the quality of delivery. The better quality of health care in the main is unaffordable to most black and African women and girls.

The World Bank Gender Assessment in South Africa in 2021 stated that, four in 10 black women reported at least one problem in accessing health care as compared to less than one in 10 white women. The medical coverage is also key to access to medical care. The finding from the 2022 General Household Survey showed that 15,8% of the population were covered by medical aid scheme. The finding shows that there is a huge disparity in terms of access to medical aid by race. The finding showed that 71,9% of white individuals were members of
a medical aid scheme compared to 48,7% of Indian/Asian individuals, 18,2% of coloureds and 9,7% of black Africans.

The finding also suggests that black women are more likely than white women to face barriers to accessing health care and women in nonurban areas, and those from poor households are more likely to experience challenges in accessing such. Women, especially the poor, elderly and those in rural areas face several challenges in accessing health care with the ability to pay, followed by access to transport appearing as the most common barriers.

Hon House Chairperson, we congratulate the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on passing the passing the National Health Insurance, NHI Bill which is now with the President to sign. This will remove more than 300-year-old barriers that women have been experiencing.

Hon House Chair, sanitary dignity and access to menstrual health is a challenge in the country with direct influence on girls’ education. To demonstrate government commitment in addressing menstrual health, in the 2023-24 financial year, it had allocated R235 516 million in equitable share to all nine
provinces to address period poverty. This programme is undertaken under the auspices of the Department of Women Youth and Persons with Disabilities in collaboration with provinces.

To further provide commitments to this resolve, in 2024-25, Treasury has allocated R240 million, an increase by
R10,498 million from the previous financial year.


Aniqhwabi, niyekele ntoni?


Hon Chair, I thank you for being part of this.


Asibalisi zintsomi, ...


... this we have done. All we are saying to our women, go and vote for a government that has started the good work so that we progress. Don’t vote for people who do not know what they are doing. I thank you Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order hon members. That concludes the debate on International Women’s Day. May I say, malibongwe. Thank you very much. As we proceed to the Fourth Order, the Secretary.


Mr G MAGWANISHE: House Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, the Chief whip of the Majority Party, hon members, the Minister provisional suspended Ms K Bodlani on 21 July 2020 on the grounds of misconduct on the outcomes of the investigation into her fitness to hold office. Parliament confirmed Ms Bodlani’s provincial suspension, the NCOP on 17 September 2020 and the National Assembly on 19 March 2021.

The Magistrate Commission has recommended that Ms Bodlani suspension be lifted to comply with the High Court Order subject to various conditions. In his letter dated 29 November
2023, the Minister advised that he support the commission’s recommendation.

The committee recommends that the House approves the request to lift Ms Bodlani’s provincial suspension subject to the following conditions: Ms Bodlani only deal with the reconstruction of a report of the Umlazi Regional Court case, in the state versus Clement Mbuso Ndlovu to comply with the court order. She be instructed to attend it as a matter of urgency. She must not conduct herself in a manner that compromises the integrity of the judiciary and being the admission of justice into disrepute. She is not assigned any other cases to deal with and the regional Court President of KwaZulu-Natal must provide regular report to the commission on whether Ms Bodlani is abiding by the conditions of the lifting of her provincial suspension. And he must also provide progress of the reconstruction of the court records as required by the High Court.

The committee included the condition that the upliftment be only for two weeks after the adoption of the report by both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. I so move.
Declarations of Vote:

Mr W HORN: House Chair, we rise to support the report and the recommendation, however, House Chair, it must be said that the Seventh Parliament and as much it said in the draft legacy report of this Portfolio Committee of Justice and Constitutional Development will have to keep a closer eye on ensuring that matters pertaining to the discipline of magistrate is dealt with in an urgent and prudent manner.

The reality is that this specific magistrate accused on this day on which we had to debate on International Women’s Day of being too lenient when it comes to those accused of sexual violence against specifically women has been suspended in July 2020 already and unacceptable that that disciplinary has not been concluded. In addition, it’s now nearly a year since the High Court Acting Regional Court President as a matter of fact wrote to the commission to request the assistance of Ms Bodlani in crafting that specific record in that one case or that case to proceed in the High Court. So, that is the dalay of one year in that specific matter and going forward we will as the Parliament have to ask the Magistrates Commission instances like that for a careful explanation for that type of
delay. That cannot be accepted going forward. Thank you, House Chair.

Adv B J MKHWEBANE: Hon Chairperson, the delay in finalising the matter of the Acting Regional Magistrate Ms Bodlani in Umlazi KwaZulu-Natal has resulted in serious maladministration within the Magistrates Commission and we might even say to the Portfolio Committee on Justice.

Ms Bodlani was provincially suspended on 21 July 2020 due to an investigation into her fitness to hold office. The suspension was confirmed by Parliament with the National Assembly and the NCOP acknowledging the provincial suspension. The provincial suspension was prompted by a quality assurance assessment of Ms Bodlani’s work, which uncovered serious irregularities and short comings. This included, inappropriate sentences imposed on accused persons convicted of sexual offences. Cases being send to special review and serious questions raised by reviewing judges about her suitability for a judicial office. The delayed finalisation of the matter led to a request from the Acting Regional Court President KwaZulu- Natal, 23 March 2023 to uplift Ms Bodlani’s provincial suspension for the reconstruction for a court record in a case
in which she presided. This request was made in request of this High Court judgement.

The conditions, therefore, were that in uplifting the suspension she must only attend to the matter with urgency, must not be assigned any other work. The prolonged suspension and delay in finalising the matter have led to an instance of maladministration as it has allowed issues surrounding Ms Bodlani’s fitness to hold office to remain unresolved. The impact of this delay affects the integrity and efficiency of the judicial system as well as the public confidence in the administration of justice.

It is important that within two weeks of the approval of the upliftment of suspension she concludes the construction record. The justice committee failures as well all these years to monitor the delays from the Magistrates Commission is unacceptable.

Ms Bodlani’s provincial suspension which is due to an investigation highlight the lack of oversight and accountability in the justice system. We need to make sure, or the Magistrates Commission need to make sure that they
finalise her misconduct proceedings by the end of June 2024. As the EFF government, we will make sure that that is happening. The EFF support the report. Thank you.

Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson, our courts and report officials, prosecutors, magistrates and judges must apply and enforce the rule of law without fear, favour or prejudice. Minister, Bodlani has at least eight cases that are being reported, has been, and I quote: Glaring Leere had overturned by judges of the High Court in Durban taken on review. In addition, these cases have deal with the crimes of rape and sexual offences against minors, which saw the convicted rapist walk free with suspended sentences.

Chairperson, if something beggars belief that sexual crime and violence against women and children in South Africa, which is on the rise and should find no place in our society is finding tolerance in our courts. These crimes should upon conviction be met with the harshest criminal sentences permitted in terms of current criminal law.

It has been proven time and again in several studies that sexual predators those who perpetrate the crimes of rape and
pet aphelia cannot be rehabilitated. Revivalism rapes are of the charge. Convicted sexual predators should, therefore, be removed from society permanently without the possibility of parole.

In effect, then magistrate Bodlani instead of protecting our society, all women and children has been state seen to hang down suspended sentences to convicted rapist and child sexual predators. This is unacceptable Ato the IFP.

So, gravely amnesty Bodlani judgement that on 29 March 2023, the Acting Regional Court President KwaZulu-Natal roped to the commission requesting that Ms Bodlani provincial suspension be lifted for her to participate in reconstruction of court record relating to a case over which she formerly presided.
Given that this is only a provincial upliftment of Ms Badlani’s on a suspension for a current court appeal matter, the IFP agrees to the report recommendations as contained in the report.

Finally, Chairperson, gender-based violence including rape, femicide and child sexual offences must find no safe heavens in South Africa. The harsher sentences must be handed down to
those convicted of such crimes. And we believe that such harrow crimes appearing away at a very fabric of the society. The IFP will support this report. Thank you, Chair.

Mr S N SWART: House Chair, the ACDP supports this report. It is very important to note what the Magistrate Commissioner’s Ethics Committee, MCEC has said:

Judges are the pillar of our entire justice system and of the rights and freedoms with that system is designed to promote and protect.

As a Canadian case stated:

The summary of standard of behaviour to be expected from a judge and the public demands virtually irreproachable conduct from anyone, anyone performing a judicial function. There must be and must give the appearance of being an example of impartiality independence and integrity. What is demanded of them is something far above what is demanded of their fellow citizens.
The ACDP agrees and believes that these principles apply with equal force to magistrates. Now, Bhodlani case involving an acting regional court magistrate, a very senior magistrate is under very unique circumstances. This specific magistrate was accused of being too lenient with sentences on rape, sexual offences, even against minors. This is shocking to the ACDP and it is despite Parliament passing minimum sentencing legislation to deal with these horrific offenses.

However, the ACDP appreciates that there is a need to construct a record of appeal and therefore we support the upliftment to allow for this to take place within the period provided. That will be two weeks. We also agree that this, like so many other processes, has taken far too long and that at the next Parliament will have to consider why these matters involving disciplinary action against magistrates take so long. The CDP supports the report. I thank you.

Mr T LOATE: We support the report.

Mr Q R DYANTYI: Hon House Chair...


Siza kuzeka emzekweni nathi.



On 05 April 2019, having received and considered number of complaints against Ms Bhodlani, the Magistrate Commissioner’s Ethics Committee, MCEC resolved to conduct a preliminary investigation in terms of regulation 26(1) of the regulations for judicial officers and at the lower courts, a quality assurance assessment of all the cases that Ms Bhodlani has finalised over the past year or so. The allegations of misconduct directed against Ms Bhodlani included: Sending email messages to a number of her peers which contained racial remarks. Allegations of racism and allegations of favouritism against acting regional court president of KwaZulu-Natal.
Making directory and insulting comments about a colleague at the Umlazi Court.

Ngumantyi ke lowo.



Despite the availability of readiness of the parties to a case, she postponed the case without justa causa...

... wavele wayimisa njee. Bonke abantu bakhona abeze etyaleni kodwa yena uyalimisa ityala.


People have spent money to come to court and she just postpones it.

Akanaxesha laloo nto uBhodlani.



Making derogatory sexist and gratuitous remarks and displaying predacious conduct towards the accused.

Ngelixesha wena uze kwinkundla yamatyala, uBhodlani uyakungcikiva.

Now indicating in writing on several occasions that she would not comply with an order duly given to her by her judicial head of office and the acting regional court president of
KwaZulu-Natal to furnish the letter with various case records and her reasons to be sent on a special review in terms of section 304(4) of the Criminal Procedure Act.


Uyabona ke xa kuthethwa nge...



... Special Review, there are two types of reviews. There is an automatic review which happens immediately if you are a magistrate that is less than seven years. You cannot make a judgement over certain years or five years, and so on. Then, in Special Review it is when in your judgement, there are granular irregularities that needs to be corrected.

Ngoko ke, apha sithetha nge...



... Special Review...



... kulo uMantyi onguBhodlani.

The judicial quality assessment of Bhodlani’s work revealed the following serious irregularities: Obvious shortcomings, including imposing incompetent sentences, disregarding the procedures prescribed by the sections of the Criminal Procedure Act. So,


... nanku umthetho apha kodwa uhamba ecaleni yena uBhodlani. Singeva xa ubungekho, ukhona umthetho.


Not following the provisions of the Child Protection Services, CPS as it relates to child witness. So, when you deal with child witness, there are things called preliminary investigation inquiries...

... akazenzi uBhodlani ezo zinto yena. Kaloku abantwana kufuneka bakhangelwe ukuba bakulungele kusini na ukuma kwiinkundla zamatyala. UBhodlani, yena akayenzi yonke loo nto leyo, wenza esecaleni. Kufuneka niyilandele kakuhle kwaye niyiqonde le nto, ingabingathi simdlela indlala uBhodlani.

When we debated on Ms Bhodlani’s provisional suspension, we indicated that her judgements on gender-based violence related matters, especially those involving children, were gravely concerning. We maintained that magistrate and judges play a crucial role in eradicating the schedule of gender-based violence in South Africa. In a country where gender-based violence and other related atrocities arrive, survivors should not feel that justice system has failed them. Decision by the courts should be rational and take into consideration the prevalence of gender-based violence and its effects on survivors. In the interest of justice, as the ANC we want to support this report but...


... andifuni kuphelela apho.

These are the things that we want to raise: As a committee when this matter came, we raised very serious issues under the leadership of the Chair, around issues of time. I am going to tabulate that. There is no sense of urgency in dealing with these matters. She was provisionally suspended on 21 July 2020
by the commission. On 17 of December in 2020, this NA approved that suspension. Now only in 2023, three years later...

... babuya besithi...


... uplift the suspension. You see, now three years has just gone by, and nothing has happened. Many of us here, we get affected by that and as a justice committee we are saying, it is just not on. Last Friday, our chairperson led us into a meeting with the Magistrate Commission to point out that as a justice committee we are not happy with this kind of a delay. You get that in many courts, and you think that is not the standard. These things must be fixed in dealing with them. So, we are supporting that for two weeks, it must be uplifted...

... ahambe uBhodlani aye kulungisa laa nto ukuze xa kuphela iiveki ezimbini kugqitywe ngaye yikomiti yezeluleko. Siza kuphinda sibuye apha siyi-ANC sizise iziphumo zaloo komiti. Enkosi.

Question put.


Agreed to.



Mr G MAGWANISHE: Ministers, Deputy Ministers and hon members, Mr A A K Singh is a senior magistrate at Pietermaritzburg.
Having received several complaints, the Magistrate Commission served Mr Singh with a charge sheet and notice of the recommendation for provisional suspension dated 27 September 2023. Mr Singh is charged with the following:

In July 2023, he signed an inappropriate concerning and threatening WhatsApp messages to journalists following the publication of an article. Under oath, he stated that he attended the meeting with members of the SA Police Service crime intelligence unit on 30 December 2016. In reality, he
did not attend that meeting. He had or has a close relationship with officials attached to crime intelligence and during 2016-17 he actively involved himself in investigations and undercover operations.

On 09 October 2023, Mr Singh forwarded his representations to the commission on why he should not be provisionally suspended. On 13 October 2023, having considered the seriousness of the allegations, the evidence at hand and Mr Singh’s representations, the commission recommended that he be provisionally suspended. On 18 December 2023, on the advice of the commission the Minister provisionally suspended Mr Singh from office with immediate effect pending the outcome of the misconduct hearing into his fitness to hold office. The Minister also Tabled his Report for consideration by Parliament.

The matter was referred to the committee on 01 February 2024. Having considered the Report of the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services dated 20 December 2023, Tabled in terms of section 13 subsection 3(b) of the Magistrate Court Act of 1993 on the provisional suspension from office on the grounds of misconduct of Mr A A K Singh, senior magistrate,
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, the committee recommends that the National Assembly confirm his provisional suspension from office pending the outcome of a misconduct hearing into his fitness to hold office. I thank you.

Declaration(s) of vote:

Mr W HORN: House Chair, the independence of the judiciary has
... [Inaudible.] ... constitutionally enshrined in South Africa with good reason. This principle is, of course, not primarily for the benefit of individual members of the judiciary but rather for the benefit of the public. Both the judiciary and those serving as judges, as well as the magistracy is also bound by a code of the conduct. In the case of magistrates, the code of conduct in very clear terms say that: A magistrate may not associate with anybody to the extent that might create a perception of bias on the part of that magistrate.

So, whilst of course, there is a lot to be said about the need for us as a country to have a functioning crime intelligence unit it must follow that for a magistrate who is supposed to serve in an independent and impartial manner and will invariably be confronted with the products of the activities
of the Crime Intelligence Unit to be involved in the recruitment of suspects appearing in the courtroom where he serves as informants and contacts is highly improper. We, therefore, support the Minister’s request to provisionally suspend Mr Singh from office pending the finalisation of his disciplinary hearing. Thank you.

Adv B J MKHWEBANE: Chairperson, it is deeply concerning that the commission took an undue amount of time to address the serious allegations against the senior magistrate Mr Singh. Despite receiving complaints about Mr Singh, the commission only acted after the publication of the article in July 2023. This delay raises questions about the commission’s responsiveness and commitment to addressing misconduct within the judicial system.

The charge sheet and notice of the recommendation for provisional suspension were dated 27 September 2023, indicating a significant gap between the receipt of the complaint and the initiation of disciplinary proceedings. This delay allowed Mr Singh to continue in his role despite the serious nature of the allegations against him. The allegations Mr Singh was facing including sending inappropriate and
threatening messages to journalists, providing false information under oath, and involving himself in the investigations and operations of SA Police Service and Crime Intelligence Unit, are extremely serious and warrant prompt and decisive action.

The commission’s tardiness in addressing these allegations reflects poorly on the integrity of the judicial system and undermines public confidence in the administration of justice. Mr Singh’s attempt to defend himself as evidenced by his representations to the commission did not sway their decision to recommend his provisional suspension. Given the serious allegations which he is facing and the evidence at hand, the commission’s recommendations for a provisional suspension was entirely warranted. It is evident that the Minister of Justice only provisionally suspended Mr Singh on 18 December 2023 in response to the commission's recommendation. This protected timeline for the receipt of the complaint to the provisional suspension raises problems about resolving such issues.

In conclusion, the undue delay in addressing the serious allegations against the senior magistrate A A K Singh is a blot on the integrity of the judicial system. The commission’s
sluggish response to the complaint and the subsequent recommendation for provisional suspension reflects as well poorly on the accountability mechanism within the judiciary. Swift and proactive measures must be taken to ensure that such delays do not occur in future and that allegations of misconduct are addressed promptly and decisively to uphold the public’s trust in the administration of justice. The EFF support the Report. Thank you.

Mr N SINGH: Hon Chairperson, it is unfortunate and worrying that we are having to deal with as many recalcitrant presiding officers as we are doing today and in future sittings. By the end of Thursday, I believe we would have dealt with six such matters. Chairperson, the role of a judge or magistrate is one of the most important in our society. As a senior magistrate Mr Singh should have been aware of the gravity of his position and the need for him to act with integrity, impartiality and without fear of favour.

His core responsibility was to interpret, apply and uphold the rule of law. Any perception of bias or corruption on the part of a judge or magistrate undermines public confidence in the legal system and erodes the rule of law. With charges of
falsification of information under oath, threatening messages to journalists and active involvement with members of the crime intelligence in identifying and recruiting suspects who would appear before him in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates Court, it is evident that Mr Singh has breached his oath of office. Such actions cannot be without serious consequences to him.

To maintain the integrity of the legal system the IFP supports the recommendation that Mr A A K Singh’s provisional suspension from the office of magistrate be confirmed pending the outcome of a misconduct hearing in his fitness to hold the office of magistrate. I thank you, hon Chairperson.

Mr S N SWART: House Chair, we are again dealing with a magistrate here. As other members have alluded to, it is concerning about the high number of magistrates who are supposed to be above reproach or supposed to be independent are alleged to have committed these offences. In this particular case of Mr Singh, it is particularly concerning that he involved himself with criminal crime intelligence and this does question his independence. The ACDP has taken note
of this Report. We support the Report of the Justice and Correctional Service’s Portfolio Committee. I thank you.

Mr T LOATE: We support the Report, Chair. Thank you.


Ms N H MASEKO-JELE: Hon Chairperson, members of the executive, members of this House and fellow South Africans, the ANC rises in support of the report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the provisional suspension from office of Mr A A K Singh. Hon Chairperson, strong perceptions of misconduct undermine the reputation of the magistrate.
Numerous pieces of law emphasises that judicial officers must always be above reproach.

The overall constitutional standards for the appointment of judicial officers are that they must be fit and proper. This is in addition to the requirement that they must be suitably qualified. A fit and proper judicial officer must embody judicial integrity. The standards of judicial integrity are articulated in the norms and standards for the performance of judicial functions.
The code of judicial conduct for magistrates in terms od section 16(1)(b) in terms of the Magistrates Act of 1993, the code of judicial conduct adopted in terms of section 12 of the Judicial Service Commission Act of 1994. There are numerous other standards at international levels such as the Bangalore principles.

Inter alia, these standards include that a judicial office must always and not only in the discharge of the official duties at honourably and in a manner befitting the judicial road. As the final arbiter in disputes, they must not only be independent, but also be seen to be independent.

The Magistrate Commission received several complaints against Mr A A K Singh, a senior magistrate at the Pietermaritzburg, a charge sheet and a notice of the recommendations for provisional suspension dated the 27 September 2023 was theft on Mr Singh. The charges concerned that in July 2023, it sends appropriate concerning and threatening WhatsApp messages to the journalists as was indicated earlier. Following a publication of the article which contained some serious allegations regarding Mr Singh’s conduct.
It was mentioned earlier that under oath he stated that he attended a meeting with the members of the South African Police Service, SAPS Crime Intelligence Unit on 30 December 2016 while he did not attend a meeting. He misrepresented himself. He had or has a close relationship as it was indicated earlier. He actively involved himself in the Crime Intelligence Unit investigations and undercover operations by identifying and recruiting suspects appearing in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate Court as informants of contacts assisted with arrangements for the Crime Intelligence Unit to covertly install the recording equipment at an office, he identified for recording purposes.

Assisted the Crime Intelligence Unit with an investigation of a project into Fees Must Fall incident and divulge information regarding the strength of a case against arrested persons to identified informants or contacts.

Hon Chairperson, Mr Singh forwarded representations on why the commission should not recommend to the Minister that he be provisionally suspended.
Having regard to the seriousness of the allegations against him the evidence and Mr Singh’s representations, the commission recommended that he be provisionally suspended.

Hon Chairperson, on advice of the commission on 18 December 2023 the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services provisionally suspended Mr Singh from office with immediate effect pending the outcome of the misconduct hearing into his fitness to hold office and tabled his report for consideration by Parliament in terms of section 13(3)(b) of the Magistrates Act of 1993.

It has been reported that the reasons for his provisional suspension pending the outcome of the misconduct hearing, far outweigh his submissions for remaining in office. The commission was of the view that the existing evidence against Mr Singh was of serious nature as to make it inappropriate for him to perform his judicial functions pending the conclusion of the misconduct enquiry against him.

Hon House Chairperson, indeed, the committee is supporting the report. I think it will be appropriate for Mr Singh maybe to
go and continue and be an investigator more than being a magistrate. I thank you.

Question put: That the Report of the committee be adopted, including the recommendation that the provisional suspension from office of Magistrate Mr A A K Singh be confirmed.

Question agreed to.

Report adopted and provisional suspension from office of Mr A A K Singh confirmed.


Mr G MAGWANISHE: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, having considered the matter, the committee reports as follows: Shortly after being appointed as an additional magistrate at Caledon in February in 2020, Mr Maharaj fell ill. As a result, he has been booked off sick
from 2 March 2020 to date. The matter was immediately reported to the commission which after considering the medical reports, ordered an investigation regarding the removal of Mr Maharaj from office on account of continued ill health.

Mr Maharaj was informed of the investigation and was asked to submit a medical report to the commission. He was also given an opportunity to comment on the matter and to state a case in response with specific reference to whether his illness is not so serious as to justify his removal from office or to suggest alternatives. Mr Maharaj complied with the request.

Based on the content of the medical report submitted to it, the commission formed an opinion that Mr Maharaj does not have the capacity to carry out his duties of office in an efficient manner due to his continued ill health. Mr Maharaj was provided with an opportunity to comment on the commission’s opinion. In response, he agreed with the commission’s view that his ill health precluded him from being able to carry out his duties of office.

At the meeting of 1 November 2023, the commission recommended that Mr Maharaj be removed from office due to continued ill
health. On 1 December 2023, the commission advised the Minister to suspend Mr Maharaj.

The committee having considered the Minister’s report, on the suspension from office of Mr K Maharaj due to his continued ill health, reports that it concurs with the suspension. It recommends that the National Assembly resolve not to restore Mr Maharaj from office. I thank you.


recognize political parties that wish to make declaration and the usual time applies. Hon Horn, I have not called any member for now. You must move from there, please. I am trying to speak. No, and thank you very much for that. I will now recognize political parties that wish to make declaration. The usual time for declaration and votes will apply. I now recognize the DA correctly.

Declarations of Vote:

Mr W HORN: House Chairperson, I consider myself chastised. House Chair, in the event that a magistrate suffers a serious setback in respect of his health, of course, the first thing that needs to be done is that we must express sympathy and
empathize with such a magistrate. In this sense, it is also slightly unfortunate that the Magistrates Act, No 90 of 1993 and the Magistrate’s Commission Act requires that a process similar to the removal of office for misconduct be followed.

Maybe that is something that we need into setting up a different regime and at least use different terminology. Having said that, in the circumstances it is quite clear that the commission and the Minister were under a legal obligation to determine whether the ill health of Mr Maharaj is of such a nature that he can no longer continue to hold the office.
After ascertaining that, that was as a matter of fact, the case was under an obligation to formalize this by recommending removal from office. So, therefore in the circumstances to bring this to conclusion, we support the report and the recommendations. Thank you.

Adv B J MKHWEBANE: Hon House Chair, the EFF supports the removal of Mr Maharaj. We pass our compassion to Mr Maharaj and family for such an unfortunate circumstance. Indeed, we need to look into the law relating to this kind of removal. Mr Maharaj was appointed as an aspirant magistrate on the 01 February 2018 and indeed, he was permanently appointed on 28
February in the Magistrate Court in Caledon, Western Cape. So, the commission informed Mr Maharaj of the intended investigation in writing on 24 November 2021. However, he refused to accept the notice, claiming an incorrect appointment date.

A revised letter was sent to Mr Maharaj on the 08 May 2023 and he was requested to submit a medical report, which he did. The report indicated that Mr Maharaj’s condition is of a permanent nature. So, again the Magistrate’s Commission’s inefficiency, an undue delay in serving the revised letter took them almost two years or one year, 18 months to do that. The delay is unacceptable and such negligence undermines the efficiency of the judicial system and hampers the administration of justice. It is, again, casting doubt on the commission’s credibility because they deal with a very critical part of the judiciary. So, when we visited the commission with the portfolio committee, we discovered that there is a lot of lack of systems which are not streamlined and how the allocation of the work is done. There was this ethics division, which was kind of a law unto itself, protecting their other colleagues and not dealing with the matters on time.
There is a challenge as well, that the commission had to relook into who is supposed to be the evidence leader. How do they investigate and how they expeditiously deal with this matter? So, I think the commission needs to relook with the Seventh Administration and how as the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services we should constantly follow up, make sure that we monitor and such delays do not occur.
Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr N SINGH: Hon Chair, it is important to recognize that while allowances can and should be made for the ill health of our magistrates and judges, we must also prioritize the efficient functioning of our courts. It is unfortunate that in the case of Mr Maharaj, the delay in resolving this situation has caused additional financial strain on our limited resources.
We must ensure that our judicial officials receive the support they need to perform their duties effectively. However, we also need to encourage cooperation with the various entities that are seized with the performance monitoring and investigations into issues such as ill health.

It is helping to know that Mr Maharaj has come to an agreement that he is unable to continue his functions as a judicial
officer due to his continued ill health. We trust that he is being provided with the necessary support and care during this difficult time. However, of serious concern, though, is the delay in bringing this matter before Parliament for consideration, and we must investigate and take corrective action to prevent similar delays in the future.

In conclusion, we must also recognise the importance of ensuring that the justice system is accessible and efficient for all citizens, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. We must continue to work towards a justice system that is fair, transparent and accountable.

Furthermore, we need to ensure that our judicial officials are adequately trained and equipped to handle the challenges of their roles. We must prioritize the provision of resources and support to help them perform their duties effectively. We wish Mr Maharaj well and trust that he is not completely lost to the legal fraternity. The IFP fully supports the committee’s recommendation on this matter. Thank you, Chair.

Mr S N SWART: Hon Chair, it is extremely sad when a magistrate in this case, Mr Maharaj is suspended from office due to his
continued ill health. However, it must be noted that he was booked off sick since 02 March 2020. That is four years, so for four years the magistracy has had to have relief magistrates at Caledon, whilst this matter has been finalized.

It is significant and we welcome the fact that Mr Maharaj agreed that he is unable to continue his functions as a judicial officer due to his ill health. We also welcome the fact that the committee has met with the Magistrate’s Commission to discuss these delays in finalizing these matters. We wish Mr Maharaj everything of the best. We are appreciative of the fact that the judicial system needs to continue and that an additional magistrate for Caledon will need to be appointed to resolve the issue of having relief magistrates been sitting there and in view of the shortage of magistrates across the country. The ACDP will support this report. I thank you.

The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon members, order. Hon Sonti, you cannot be screaming so loud like that. You cannot do that. Hon Hope, please do not entertain her.
Order, hon members.
Ms A RAMOLOBENG: House Chair, unfortunately, we are coming back. For them, it’s unfortunate, and fortunate for us. Chief Whip of the Majority Party, members of the House, and fellow South Africans, our democratic values demand that those who wield public power account for their conduct to those whose behalves they act.

The magistrate court has been described as lower courts, which deal with the less serious criminal and civil cases. This is especially considered true for civil magistrate court cases, which involve the day-to-day legal complaints of citizen from divorce and maintenance of spousal and child support to local property disputes. The magistrate courts deal with approximately 95% of cases that come into the court system.

Magistrates are also the first line of legal officers who engage with the most vulnerable members of the population, for example, maintenance claims usually involve single mothers or fathers and minor children advocating for enough money from their spouse or partner to survive on a day-to-day. Many of these maintenance claims are advocated by individuals without lawyers advising them on their claims. Magistrate courts are essential to the everyday functioning of the South African
legal system. A well-functioning court system is therefore critical.

House Chair, Mr Maharaj was appointed as an aspirant magistrate from 1st February 2018, and on the 24 February 2020, he was appointed as an additional magistrate in Caledon, as alluded by hon Mkhwenane. On 2nd March 2020, Mr Maharaj experienced ill health while presiding in court. This has resulted in him being booked off sick from 2nd March 2020 to date.

The acting chief magistrate, Wynberg, reported the matter to the Magistrates Commission at its meeting on 5th May 2021, the commission’s Ethics Committee considered a neuropsychological assessment report and ordered that an investigation in terms of Regulation 29(1) of the regulations for judicial officers in the lower courts, 1994, be held regarding the removal of Mr Maharaj from office on account of continued ill health. The commission informed Mr Maharaj of its intended investigation in terms of Regulation 29(2) of the regulations in writing on
24 November 2021. A revised letter dated 4th May 2023 was served to Mr Maharaj on 8th May 2023. He was once again notified of the commission’s order to investigate his removal
from office on account of continued ill health in terms of Regulation 29(3) of the regulations in compliance with the Regulation 29(3) of the Regulations Act. Mr Maharaj was requested to submit a medical report to the commission from a registered medical practitioner of his choice on or before 20th May 2023, that addresses the following aspects: Firstly, the nature and severity of his illness; secondly, whether the illness is temporary or permanent in nature; thirdly, the extent and seriousness of his illness; fourthly, the prognosis and prospect of recovery, and lastly, whether the illness will exceed the statutory entitled sick leave.

House Chair, he was afforded the opportunity to comment on the matter and to state the case in response with specific reference to whether his illness is not as serious as to justify his removal from office or to suggest any alternatives. Mr Maharaj complied with the request and submitted an updated report based on the contents of the medical reports submitted to the commission. The executive committee of the commission formed the opinion that Mr Maharaj cannot carry out his duties of office in an efficient manner due to his continued ill health. The commission furnished Mr Maharaj with a written explanation of its opinion that he
cannot carry out his duties of office in an efficient manner and in terms of the regulations.

Mr Maharaj forwarded the medical reports and other relevant documents, which may not have been in his possession at that particular time. Mr Maharaj was also allowed to submit to the chairperson of the commission his written comments regarding this opinion in his e-mail dated 20th September 2023. In response, Mr Maharaj agreed that he is unable to continue with functions as a judicial officer. The commission considered the medical reports together with Mr Maharaj’s comment, dated 20th September 2023, and held the view that Mr Maharaj should be removed from office due to continued ill health.

House Chair, the portfolio committee considered the Minister’s report on the suspension from office of Mr K Maharaj due to his continued ill health and concurs with the suspension, and recommends that the National Assembly resolve not to restore Mr K Maharaj to office. Therefore the ANC supports the committee report, and therefore, we are coming back after elections on the 29th, Amandla.

Question put: That the Report be agreed to.
Agreed to.



There was no debate.


The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms R M M Lesoma): Hon members, I wish to remind you that this matter was debated in a mini plenary sitting on Thursday, 7th March, but that the decision thereon can only be taken by a full plenary sitting. This is also the case for the other decisions of question this House will decide on when we consider the 8th to the 12th orders of this report. Are there any objections to the adoption of the report?

Question put: That the Report be adopted.


Report accordingly adopted.

There was no debate.


Question put: That the Report be adopted.


Report accordingly adopted.



There was no debate.


Question put. That the Report be adopted.


Report accordingly adopted.



There was no debate.


Question put. That the Report be adopted.


Report accordingly adopted (Democratic Alliance dissenting).


There was no debate.

Question put. That the Report be adopted.


Report accordingly adopted (Democratic Alliance dissenting).


There was no debate.


Question put. That the Report be adopted.


Report accordingly adopted (Democratic Alliance dissenting).


The House Adjourned at 17:30.