House of Assembly: Vol112 - WEDNESDAY 1 FEBRUARY 1984


Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity of making a statement on this matter.

Following upon my expression of sympathy yesterday with the people of Northern Natal and kwaZulu because of the damage and loss of life that have been caused by torrential rains, I wish to announce that I appointed a Cabinet committee this morning to discuss the rendering of aid and relief measures.

The committee has since met and has decided to take the following steps:

  1. 1. Immediate emergency relief will be provided by the SA Defence Force and the SA Police and the operation will be co-ordinated by the Head of the Defence Force and the Commissioner of Police.
  2. 2. The Minister of Health and Welfare and the Minister of Environment Affairs and Fisheries will visit the area tomorrow.
  3. 3. A committee of the Cabinet will visit the area as soon as it becomes accessible, to have talks with leaders in order to acquaint themselves with the circumstances.
  4. 4. A working group of senior officials of all departments involved will meet as soon as possible to identify and co-ordinate all further relief operations. The working group will report to the Cabinet committee.
  5. 5. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has conveyed the sympathy of the South African government to the governments of Swaziland and Mozambique, which have also been very severely stricken by the cyclone.
  6. 6. At the request of the government of Swaziland the South African government has decided to provide emergency aid to Swaziland as well.

Mr Speaker, I do not think there is an hon member in this House with a sense of history who will not grasp the importance and the seriousness of this occasion. The fact is, as the hon the Leader of the Opposition has said, that this no-confidence debate is the last in terms of the current constitution, and when we convene again we shall be debating in a different atmosphere and under another system. Unlike the past, I think that gives us an opportunity to have the points of view that we adopt here relate to the past, but also to relate them to our future plans and our vision. I do not think there is anyone in the House who would deny that the question that was put on 2 November, and the electorate’s reply, was one of the most important constitutional events since 1910. Whether we agree about whether the constitutional proposals, about which we expressed our opinions, go far enough or not, does not detract from the importance of the events. Nor does it detract from the implications that it has for the country’s future constitutional development and our ability to have peaceful stability and development take place on the road ahead.

That is why I think it is important for us to look at what the result of those events really reflect and signify. I immediately concede that various people will have various conceptions of what that meaning may be, but I think that once we have analysed them all, there are certain irrefutable conclusions that we come to. The first is that the events attest to the fact that there has been support, across party lines and language boundaries, for the concept and necessity for constitutional adjustments in our country. Secondly, these events attest to the seriousness with which the White electorate thinks that room should be made for the politics of negotiation and that this should become a more important instrument than that of the politics of confrontation in this country if we want to find answers to the oppressive problems of the Republic. Thirdly, these events create a climate in which people are motivated to reconcile conflicting interests instead of bringing things to a head. Last but not least, I think, this attests to the goodwill of the majority of White voters towards other communities and has increased the acceptability level of communities for one another, but has also strengthened the faith in the future of our country and improved our hopes and expectations of peace.

The new constitution and the referendum, which was a positive endorsement of it, has created a determination amongst all right-minded South Africans, as I see things, to look with dedication and vision at solutions to our problems. We have so frequently told one another that one of the most important factors prohibiting or limiting progress in this specific context was the high degree of conflicting aspirations in this society. These events have kindled better attitudes in the hearts of people in the country and have brought into being new optimism about the fact that we can succeed if we want to. This optimism is discernible in the reaction of other groups and other leaders, but is also discernible in the reaction of other countries in the world at large. I am not thereby implying that there is overall approval for the steps taken or the content. What I am alleging, however, is that this new constitution will become a powerful catalyst in the process of peaceful change in the Republic of South Africa. In these circumstances it is disappointing, even tragic, that the official Opposition, in the person of its leader, reveals a total lack of appreciation for and sensitivity towards what has happened in Southern Africa. I think he is failing to make a constructive contribution to the debate, which could have been a significant debate because it affects his position and that of his party. As in the past—and this is a pity—they have again lapsed into repetition and platitudes which have lent to the debate a degree of sterility which is not worthy of the occasion.

In now referring to the CP—I just briefly want to do so—let me say that the level at which they participated in the debate, and the level at which they conducted the referendum struggle, is common knowledge. Just look at the quality of the contribution of the hon member for Lichtenburg. He said that the yes vote was responsible for the increase in interest rates. [Interjections.] Having said that, I have said enough about his contribution.

It is not with malice—but rather with sympathy—that I speak about the dilemma in which the hon the Leader of the Opposition finds himself. When all is said and done, he himself testified to the fact that a large portion of his own followers rejected his leadership. I want to put it to him that they have not merely done so on a temporary basis. They have rejected it on a permanent basis. In this connection I want to raise an important question. When a leader finds out, in such a catastrophic fashion, that his leadership is being rejected, serious questions arise about his position and that of his party. When a leader of any party so catastrophically miscalculates public opinion, the political climate and, in particular, the attitude of the electorate, he will comprehend that his political credibility has been damaged to such an extent that it would be very difficult for him to restore it. For that reason I should like to refer to certain standpoints the hon the Leader of the Opposition adopted. It is important. It is actually a priceless bit of gallows-humour that, in saying that it is easier to handle the consequences of failure than of victory, he should, with great satisfaction, have quoted Lord Nelson. I detect a touch of self-satisfaction on the part of the hon the Leader of the Opposition in finding himself in the easier position of a loser rather than that of a victor. For the sake of historic perspective, I want to point out that Nelson used these words after winning a great battle, and no victor begrudges the loser the success of his failure. The hon the Leader of the Opposition will concede that he and his party have had a great deal of experience in this connection. I then want to say, on behalf of the country, for the sake of the country, that I do not begrudge him his track record in this connection. At the same time the Government is aware of the responsibility that victory entails. In fact, we have accepted it for 35 years now.

A good example of the way in which the hon the leader has handled the Government’s victory and the official Opposition’s defeat, is very interestingly reflected in his concern and doubt about the future role of the Opposition in a new dispensation. This uncertainty was the theme of the hon the leader and his party in the debate on the constitution. It was also their theme in the referendum, in spite of—firstly—the assurance that all responsible Government leaders and Government speakers gave that the aim was not, and is not, to detract in any way from the role of an Opposition; secondly, in spite of the fact that, as the hon member for Mossel Bay indicated, the present constitution contains no provision on the role of Opposition parties and, in fact, that there are not many constitutions elsewhere in the world that do contain such provisions; and, thirdly, in spite of the fact that it was specifically to allay the fears and eliminate the misrepresentations of the hon the leader and his party that amendments were introduced at the recommendation of the Select Committee on the Constitution, amendments in which provision is made for the representation of Opposition parties in joint Standing Committees. For the first time provision is also specifically being made in the constitution for motions of no confidence and what the consequences of that may be. The hon the Leader of the Opposition, however, is still complaining about this. Let me quote the following words of his:

At present the constitution is very unspecific as to what the rights, privileges and functions of an Opposition will be.

Why does he feel threatened? In the new constitution there is more about the Opposition’s role than in the existing constitution. The hon the Leader, however, goes further and asks:

Will motions of no confidence be allowed? Will the Coloured House, for example, be able to move a motion of no confidence and, if so, a motion of no confidence in whom?

The hon the Leader opposed the constitution at the time of the referendum, and I would like to assume that he has read the constitution. I think that is a reasonable assumption. But then he is being wilful in the question he asks, or else, as the hon the Prime Minister said, he is looking for conversation.

All these facts are contained in section 39 of the new constitution, ie:

  1. (2) The State President—
    1. (b) shall so dissolve Parliament, unless he resigns from office, if each House, during one and the same ordinary session of Parliament—
      1. (i) passes a motion of no confidence in the Cabinet within any period of 14 days …

The hon the Leader nevertheless asks me whether motions of no confidence may be passed. What this implies is that as part of his campaign he was telling people that motions of no confidence could not be moved. Why, in this connection, does he do violence to the truth? It does, however, go further than that. In terms of section 39(3) of the new constitution the State President shall so dissolve any House or reconstitute the Ministers’ Council in question if such House—including the Coloured House—passes a motion of no confidence in the Ministers’ Council in question. Now the hon the Leader of the Opposition wants to know—that is what he asks me—in whom they may move a motion of no confidence and who may move such a motion. Does the hon the Leader of the Opposition then not understand this? Has he perhaps not read it, or is he merely trying to score subtle debating points, and that in a serious debate whose importance he himself pinpointed in his introductory remarks? I cannot imagine the hon the Leader of the Opposition having written these things himself. I cannot imagine that he did, because if that were true, I have always overestimated him.

I think it is very clear what has happened here, Mr Speaker. It is not so much a question of the hon the Leader of the Opposition’s concern for the role of the Opposition. It is, in point of fact, the hon the Leader of the Opposition’s concern for his party as opposition party. It is a matter of the future of the hon leader’s party, and evidence in support of this statement of mine I find in his own speech, in which he expressed himself as follows, and I quote (Hansard, 30 January 1984):

As for my party, I have made no bones about the fact that the result was a disappointment and that it heralded implications for the future role of Opposition and for my party, implications which we would have to look at very carefully.

This, then, brings me immediately to my next statement. The role of the opposition parties in the new constitutional dispensation is not being threatened. There is no doubt about that. I concede to the hon the Leader of the Opposition, however, that serious doubts exist about the role of his party, including his own leadership of that party. [Interjections.]

About the resounding victory the hon member for Yeoville scored at the PFP’s congress after the referendum—the post mortem congress—I can only say that I congratulate him.


It was not a post mortem, because the party is not dead. [Interjections.]


To all intents and purposes the party is dead; that was only an emergency operation. [Interjections.]


Yes, to all intents and purposes the party is dead. [Interjections.] Mr Speaker, for the hon member for Yeoville’s sake let me just indicate that what I actually mean is that the PFP is spiritually dead. I am therefore not talking of physical death. I nevertheless want to congratulate him on being the one who took the initiative of ensuring his party’s participation in the new dispensation. We know, do we not, that this was his standpoint even prior to the referendum. I do not think I would be doing the hon member a disservice if I said that I have an idea that he helped us obtain a majority vote. [Interjections.] His mere silence, Mr Speaker, is sufficient confirmation, as far as I am concerned, of the truth of what I am now saying.


Just you wait, I shall be speaking at a later stage.


Mr Speaker, I now want to put a question to the hon the Leader of the Opposition. During the referendum campaign he turned to the voters—I am not reproaching him now; I am merely stating facts—and asked them for a no-vote response. He also, however, focused his attention on certain bodies which did not take part in the referendum, and he did so with a view to influencing the result of the referendum. He himself subsequently, at his party’s congress, decided that he was going to participate in the new dispensation. My question to him is whether, in regard to the actions of the Coloureds and the Asians, he is going to advise them to participate in the new constitutional dispensation. In support of his advice, is he again going to bring in other leaders to exert their influence on those people? On this issue he owes us an answer.

I should very much like to discuss the other aspects mentioned by the hon the Leader of the Opposition. The hon leader blamed the Government for what he calls a confusion of instruments and means to achieve specific goals and the goals themselves, if I have understood him correctly. The whole theme of his argument rests, in fact, on this allegation. His overall speech—and I do not think I am doing him a disserve—reflects a misunderstanding, on his own part, of the goals and the policy strategies to achieve the relevant goals. It is a good thing for us to exchange ideas about that, because that misconception or confusion, if it exists, should be eradicated if we are to understand each other. The hon the Leader of the Opposition, however, must then not contribute towards creating confusion in this connection.

In his next statement he referred to apartheid as an object in itself. Let me state categorically today: Apartheid is not the ideology, it never was, nor is it today. [Interjections.] The hon the Leader said:

Everyone agrees now that apartheid is not only bad but also not possible, yet we spend millions and millions of rand persisting with policies and measures originally designed to achieve it.

He then asks for new objectives to be formulated in place of apartheid. The truth is still—and I am going to make concessions—that apartheid or separation, in the rigid sense of the word, never was a goal in itself, not on the part of this Government, nor its predecessors.


Has the hon the Minister never heard of Dr Verwoerd?


Yes, I have heard of Dr Verwoerd. He did more to free people than that hon member will ever achieve in his lifetime. [Interjections.] The Government has, for a long time now, accepted as a policy strategy that hurtful, humiliating measures aimed at separating people should be done away with, and many of them have been done away with. I want to concede that there were people who saw the concept of the separate development policy as favouring certain groups, and others who saw it in terms of the humiliation of certain groups. That does not, however, detract from its elevated objectives. If there were mistakes—and there were—we must eliminate those mistakes in the future. We must not, however, destroy the relevant concept. [Interjections.] Why does the non the Leader of the Opposition suppress this fact? He knows, after all, that it is true. I do not, in any way, want to do him an injustice, but I do want to say that he does so because it does not accord with the statement that he and his fellow party members want to disseminate abroad to the detriment of South Africa, ie that for this Government apartheid is an end in itself.

And in his insistence upon national objectives as such being spelled out, the hon the Leader of the Opposition—I say this with all due respect—is feigning ignorance. Has the hon the Leader of the Opposition not read the Twelve-point Plan? Does that not summarize the constitutional, the economic, the diplomatic and the military goals? On what basis can the hon member ask us to define and formulate new goals? Last but not least, why does he purposely avoid referring to the national goals in the preamble to the constitution? I am asking him—he has an opportunity to reply—with which of those national goals formulated in the preamble to the constitution is he prepared to identify himself, and which of them does he want to reject? He owes us a reply if he is concerned about goals and policy strategy. He does not do so, on the one hand, because in spite of the referendum result and in spite of the decision of his party’s congress, he is not yet prepared to function fully within the framework of the new constitution; or otherwise, probably because it does not fit in with the image he wants to project of a Government without a goal, and does not suit his party.

Let us take a very quick look at the general objectives the hon member wants us to spell out for him. The Government’s constitutional goal is to give each one individually, and in group context, the right to participate in the decision-making processes which affect his life and can meet his expectations, and to do so whilst preserving order, stability and security and promoting the prosperity of all the people of this country.

As a result of the inherent possibility—the hon member concedes as much—of group domination in our society, it must happen in such a way that the claim of each people and each group to self-determination in regard to its own way of life, its interests and the maintenance of its own standards and survival is guaranteed. The hon member knows after all, that in such a society is difficult. In fact, as a student of the subject the hon member knows that there is no example of success, in any case not on the basis of criteria which he and his party propagate.

It is unnecessary to explain to the hon the Leader of the Opposition the extent to which this goal accords with or deviates from what he himself has postulated. He can do that for himself.

The aim to which I have just referred was, in so many words, part of the State President’s address on Friday at the opening this session of Parliament.

The hon the Leader of the Opposition rightly indicated that the possibility of dominance of one group by another was the central problem in our kind of society. He will agree with this statement of mine, because it is the central problem owing to the group basis of society and owing to the inherent built-in conflict potential.


I agree.


About that we are in full agreement, but when we come to the policy instrument to facilitate this, we disagree with each other. We are poles apart. The Government is convinced—in this conviction it is supported by the experience of countries with similar problems and questions—that the answer must be found within the group and ethnic context; and not, through group definition and group identification, by humiliating and discriminating and thereby benefiting or prejudicing certain parties—if that is how it were to be done in practice, I would oppose it, as I have opposed it in the past. Of course there are historical inequalities of which I am aware. But, Sir, what I am saying is that if we had not travelled that road, the inequality of 30 years ago would have been greater and not less. Surely there is nothing wrong with being proud of one’s own heritage, whilst it is wrong to feel superior about everything that is different. If we make a mistake, we stand accused, and subsequently condemned. The acknowledgment of group rights is the only way in which we can avoid domination.

What is the hon the Leader of the Opposition’s instrument for achieving the same goal? The PFP’s instrument is universal franchise without any group identification, or as the hon member for Pinelands put it “a non-racial federation”. Exactly what that will solve, in terms of the elimination of domination, only that hon member and his party would know, because within the boundaries of each federal State there would still be a diversity of people living. Dividing an overall problem, applicable to the whole country, into a diversity of federal problems, is no solution. It will not, after all, obviate any of the fears of the hon the Leader of the Opposition or of the hon member for Pinelands, the fear of domination of one group by another. There is not a single reasonable person who does not accept that the implementation of the individualistic, typically Western view of subjects and citizens would, in a multi-ethnic situation such as ours, simply lead to the annihilation of the rights we want to recognize. In the very nature of things, a franchise is important to every individual, since it is, as far as that individual is concerned, an important way in which he can, directly and indirectly, satisfy his needs. The Government is striving to give everyone the franchise, but we have said repeatedly that this cannot be done in terms of the classical Western-European or North American model. If we were to do that, we would specifically be destroying the claims of individuals and the rights of groups to education, a dignified existence and the maintenance of their own identities. The question I want to put is this: Can the hon the Leader of the Opposition point out to me any country in Africa where his policy has been successful? [Interjections.] Nigeria was an example up to 14 days ago. Will the people, under their policy, be better or worse off than now? Is the only right that exists, the right to vote, and then only once? Does this also include the right to be fed, to be trained, to be clothed, to be housed and to work? Is that not part of the concept of people’s rights? Is that not the essence of such rights?

What are we doing when we debate these matters in the circumstances prevailing in this country? On 19 January of this year the hon the Leader of the Opposition delivered a paper before the Sociological Association of South Africa in Bloemfontein. His theme there was that as far as the Coloureds and the Indians are concerned we were now moving from “repressive domination” to “co-optive domination”. Those were the concepts he used. As he put it in Bloemfontein:

Gesien vanuit die hoek van dominasie is die nuwe grondwetlike bedeling ’n poging van ’n bedreigde minderheid om deur middel van ko-optasie die probleem van dominasie die hoof te bied; dit los niks op nie; dit verander slegs die styl en kwaliteit daarvan.

I did not say that it did not solve anything.


If I have quoted the hon the Leader of the Opposition incorrectly, I apologize. Yes, I see that what he said was “dit los dit nie op nie”. If there were time, we could have a nice debate about that. But he does not get off the hook that easily. He must adopt a standpoint about the implications of the referendum result and the fact that the Coloureds and the Asians want to participate in the new dispensation. What I am now asking him directly is whether Coloureds and Asians will be better off under the new constitution than under the old constitution. That is the test. The greatest significance of the constitution is not merely the formal acceptance of the constitution itself, but the fact that it represents unequivocal progress in the year-long search for greater intellectual and spiritual flexibility in group relations, or more succinctly greater understanding for one another and co-operation in seeking solutions to problems.

I want to ask the hon the Leader of the Opposition whether he is prepared to acknowledge two things. Firstly: Is he prepared to acknowledge that we have made progress along the road towards better ethnic and group relations? Secondly: Is he pre pared to acknowledge that in spite of all the problems that lie ahead, and in spite of the untold stumbling blocks, we now, more than ever before, have reason to believe that we can eventually succeed. His straightforward answer to this will be an indication of the sincerity with which he and his party want to participate in the new dispensation.

In his contribution the hon the Prime Minister referred to the great success achieved in the military and diplomatic spheres. We must understand that the achievements in those fields cannot be fragmented or isolated from the political actions within our borders. There are those who live in the euphoria that if we achieve military successes we can allow the internal political actions to stagnate. There are those who think that if we achieve success in the diplomatic field, we do not need to do anything in regard to our internal situation. The fact remains that in the final instance the success we achieve abroad and in every other sphere is dependent on our ability to regulate matters in South Africa itself. This is a task that lies ahead. It is confirmed by the fact that the achievement of our stability and development goals, and our position and ability to achieve success in the international sphere, depend on our ability to create internal order which is credible and which can meet the reasonable needs of people.


Mr Speaker, before replying to the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, permit me to say just a few words about the announcement yesterday by the hon the Prime Minister. I think I speak not only for my party but for South Africa as a whole when I say that we have reacted to that announcement with pleasure and that we welcome it. I believe that any steps which the hon the Prime Minister and his colleagues will take towards the achievement of peace on the Angolan/South West African/Namibian border will receive the blessing of South Africans as a whole. Whether these steps will succeed or not, I do not know. In fact, I do not think that the hon the Prime Minister and his colleagues know, but one hopes they will. However, the one thing that can be said and which I think needs to be said, is that at least one has tried and at least one can now look back and say that we tried to get peace and we tried to open the door to it. What I think is also important is that it should be known, and that it is understood, that we are not doing this from weakness; we are doing it from strength. Part of the philosophy of being strong is that you actually want peace and need strength in order to achieve peace. Therefore I want to join those who have welcomed that announcement and express the hope that it will meet with success.

If I may now turn to the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, let me say that I am a little disappointed with him this afternoon and I am not speaking disparagingly about his speech. I am disappointed in his speech for two particular reasons. Firstly, I thought he was going to make a speech about the constitutional development of South Africa and about the new era into which we are going. I thought he would give us some vision of what was going to happen under the new constitution. I regret that what I heard was more a petty party-political speech from a nationalist backbencher than from the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. I express my regret about that. There is a second thing about which I wish to express my regret. I thought the hon the Minister would stand up here and would express his appreciation for the attitude of agreeing to work constructively within the new constitution which has been announced by this party and which has been repeated by the leadership and by others. I would imagine that he would stand up and say that that is what he expects from an Opposition, that while the PFP opposed it initially it is now prepared to go into it and work constructively. I must say that I am gravely disappointed at that approach because I think what has happened is that you have had from the leader of a party which has campaigned against the constitution, an offer to work constructively, and I do not believe he should have rejected and should not have cast doubts on the bona fides of the party for wishing to do that. I am sorry that he acted as he did. I think he missed an opportunity, and I am sorry that it occurred.

The hon the Minister stressed, and so have other speakers before him, the significance of this event, of this session and all that surrounds it. But one of the things which has not been mentioned and which I think is fundamental to what is taking place here now, is that this is the last session of an exclusively White legislature in Africa—not only South Africa but in Africa. It may well be that it is the last time that an exclusively White Cabinet will function, not only in South Africa, but in Africa. To that extent, seen in an African context, it is a most significant occasion. It could be said that perhaps we could have started the new era better; perhaps we could have started it differently. No doubt we could have started it with the Blacks and with less potential for conflict. But the reality is that it has been started. This movement has started and the reality is that once it has started, you cannot stop it. It is actually the beginning of a movement, of a development which will take place. I can understand my colleagues who sit on the left here who oppose it, because they remember Dr Verwoerd saying that if you put one Maori in the New Zealand rugby team, you will have mixed sport, and it was correct. So, if you start with a mixed Cabinet with only Coloureds and Indians in the legislature, the road is clear and there is no way in which are going to be able to turn back from this road. That road has to be walked carefully and with a constructive approach. It is not going to be walked successfully in South Africa if it is going to be a road of conflict in so far as Whites themselves in South Africa are concerned. The tragedy is that there is going to be major conflict between White South Africans in regard to that very road that is to be followed. That conflict will be between the forces of reaction which our colleagues in the CP represent, the forces of progress which I think we represent and the forces of the National Party who are trying to balance somewhere in between those two forces. I do not begrudge the hon the Prime Minister and the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning their success in the referendum. They are entitled to come here and say that they have won. But it is also necessary that we look at some of the implications of that victory. The National Party has looked at the implications of it for the PFP. I do not intend running away from that. I do not think any of us can deny that people who were PFP supporters voted “yes” in the referendum. The extent of that can be debated, but as regards the PFP people who voted “yes”, I want to say that they voted “yes” because they wanted reform and thought that along that road there would be come degree of reform. Those are people who, I think, can be won back for PFP support, if they have ever been lost at all. That is what is fundamental to the PFP’s case.

Let us analyse the no vote. An analysis of the yes vote must in my opinion also be done. The first point to make is that four out of every ten Afrikaans-speaking people voted “no”. I do not like dividing people along lines of language, race, colour or anything else, but the reality is that four out of every ten Afrikaners voted “no”. [Interjections.] In other words, six out of every ten Afrikaners supported the Government by voting “yes” in the referendum.

If one analyses that, one sees that in reality the Government could not have obtained a majority yes vote in this referendum had it not been for English-speaking people in South Africa, English-speaking people who traditionally have not voted for the National Party. That is the reality of it. If one analyses that situation, the four out of ten who voted “no” did so because they want no change in South Africa but support apartheid. They do not want any form of reform. They are represented by the Conservative Party, the HNP and the AWB grouping in South Africa. Those people, having voted “no”, are not going to go back to the National Party, because they do not agree with the philosophy of the National Party.

Since the Government did not get a majority by way of the Afrikaner segment of the electorate, they are now dependent upon English-speaking people for a majority vote in South Africa.


That is a malicious speech which you are making.


No. The hon the Prime Minister must just listen very carefully. What has happened in South Africa—and it is not the first time that this has happened—is that, after an era of the so-called “Volksparty”, that party has now become a broader national party in the sense that one is going to need English and Afrikaans-speaking people in South Africa to work together. That is not an easy task. It is difficult to reconcile those elements as history has shown.

If the English-speaking vote is required, the reality is that there is a price to be paid for it. The English speakers who voted “yes” in the referendum expect something in return. Let me tell hon members what they expect in return. There are two fundamentals they expect in return. Firstly, the English-speaking people in South Africa fundamentally have a tradition which relates to civil liberties. The second point which arises is that the English-speaking people in South Africa are not in favour of apartheid, whether it is construed as the hon the Minister did a moment ago or in any other way. If in fact the National Party wants to keep the English-speaking support it obtained in the referendum, it is going to have to look at those two issues, because there is a price to be paid to retain the English-speaking vote, and that price relates to the removal of discrimination and it relates to civil liberties in South Africa. With great respect, the NP may praise itself for its victory in the referendum, but in an election it will find that its Afrikaner support has to some extent melted away to the right and that it has lost the support of the English-speaking people who supported it in the referendum. A self-analysis in respect of the referendum is far more important for the NP than for us because to the NP it is a question of whether one can actually maintain a majority amongst the White electorate of South Africa. When Afrikaners who were persuaded that change is what is necessary in South Africa realize that a party does not produce that change, they may well go to a political movement that gives them the change that they have been persuaded to believe in. The reality of the political situation is that the analysis of the “yes” vote in South Africa has very serious implications for the future of the NP and one has to look at the future of the NP. The NP has to examine whether in fact it can hold onto its support.

I had intended in the main to speak about the hon the Minister of Finance and I do not want to disappoint him in any way whatsoever because I want to deal with financial matters in two respects. Firstly, permit me to deal with the hon member for Lichtenburg. He made a statement which I find objectionable, and I want to deal with it right away. With reference to the hon the Minister of Finance he said—

Die Minister kruip op sy knieë om geld in die buiteland te verkry.

I want to say to the hon member that my experience is that the hon the Minister does not have to creep on his knee for money overseas. On the contrary, our creditworthiness is good and we can raise money overseas. When one compares the South African creditworthiness with people who want to reschedule debts, with people who cannot pay the interest never mind the capital, then to say that the hon the Minister has to creep around on his knees for money is not true. Any South African who wants to raise money for South Africa or institutions does not have to creep around on his knees. Perhaps the hon member should go and have a look to see how easy it is to raise money.

I now come to the next part. I was a little amazed to read—the hon the Minister must correct me if I am wrong—what the hon the Minister said in his address to the NP congress in September last year. He talked about general sales tax and is quoted in the newspapers as having said:

It looks set to stay at 6% for many years.

That is incorrect.


That is what the report says. The hon the Minister has not repudiated it. He has not denied having said that. Well, within no time at all we find the situation—not within years but within months—that general sales tax has to be increased. What one finds regrettable is that the hon the Minister does not come to the House first to explain the financial position before the money is voted. No, he does it just before Parliament meets, with possibility to debate it there and then. We have to wait until we get here now. I hope he will come into the debate and answer me.

The first answer he has to give us is whether an increase in taxation is in fact necessary. Is it so abundantly clear that as a result of over-expenditure by the Government he is short of money? Is it true that all that has happened in South Africa is such that we keep on blaming the drought, defence expenditure and the lack of progress in other economies for our troubles when these are all things which we knew when the budget was being presented? We knew them all. It is not only I who say that. Mr De Vries of the Bureau for Economic Research at the University of Stellenbosch, which perhaps has more credibility with the hon the Minister of Finance than I have, says the same thing. So, we knew these things at the time when the budget was being presented. Yet now suddenly we had an announcement outside Parliament of an increase of this tax.

The second point which arises is: If we had to increase tax, why general sales tax? Why taxation which hits the middle-class, the lower middle-class, the working people and the poor of South Africa hardest of all? Why do that? Why not look at the taxation position as a whole and distribute the burden fairly and equitably?

The last point is: Why do we continue with this imposition of general sales tax on the essentials of life, in particular foodstuff. We have demanded the removal of sales tax from the essentials of life from the moment it was introduced. Now we welcome the fact that other organizations have seen the light in this respect. Even Rapport says:

Ons wil ons vereenselwig met die breë negatiewe reaksie van die publiek oor die verhoging van verkoopbelasting.

And then it says, after explaining what is actually being done:

Daarom is daar heelwat simpatie met die pleidooi dat AVB op brood, melk, mieliemeel, meelblom en suiker afgeskaf moet word.

In other words, it is not only us who are worried about the people in South Africa who can least afford the increase in sales tax. People in other organizations are equally concerned about it.

Let us look at the situation in South Africa in regard to employment. If we look at employment, we find the unique position that even though the population is increasing and the number of people who are economically active is increasing, the number of people in actual employment has decreased. I will quote some simple figures. According to the official statistics in September 1981 there were 4 934 000 people of all races employed in South Africa. In the same month in 1983, it was only 4 855 000. There is an increase in population; there is a decrease in the number of jobs and there is an increase in the burden on the poor. That is something that I believe this Government must account for.

In these circumstances one asks with great respect the simple question whether the financial problem in South Africa is in fact due to all these extraneous circumstances, or is it due to a mismanagement of the economy and the inefficiency of the Government and to an incorrect set of priorities which have been set by this Government? I venture to suggest that these three things are some of the main problems that we face. We allocate millions of rand to ideological projects we can well do without. We have our priorities wrong as to what is necessary in South Africa in the first instance. We do not deal with the real problems of South Africa.

Let me deal with one inefficiency problem just as an example, and in this regard I want to talk to the hon the Minister of Industries, Commerce and Tourism. Look at the insider trading on the Stock Exchange. It is remarkable how the volume increases just before major announcements. Somebody is making money at somebody’s expense. We have legislation which provides for investigation in this regard, but I have never seen a prosecution. Remarkably enough, however, somebody is always making money and that somebody is making money at somebody else’s expense. What is the hon the Minister doing about insider trading in South Africa? Let him just give a little example of what he is doing in order to deal with it.

I can quote one example after the other of inefficiency in administration and government. I can give examples of a situation where we once had a Government which was called the “Government of the talents”, of all the talents. I can think back that far, and so can the hon the Prime Minister. But now, wherever we turn, there are the things that are wrong; things that are costing us money; things that in the end the taxpayer has to pay for. The reality is that inefficiency costs money; and it is money out of the taxpayer’s pocket, and that is what we indict the Government for today.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Yeoville really gave a disappointing performance here today. [Interjections.) I believe this arises from his over-sensitivity about politics because he did not participate in the referendum campaign, the most important event during the past few years. I believe that the hon member for Yeoville is trying to placate his leader somewhat because he did not actively participate in the referendum campaign. [Interjections.]

The hon member for Yeoville referred here to the radicals sitting on his left. Why did he not also refer to the radicals sitting on his right? What is he going to do about them? What is the hon member for Yeoville going to do about those people he already identified a long time ago? Surely they are just as big a problem as the other radicals he referred to.

I think the hon member for Yeoville has harmed relations between Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking South Africans here today. [Interjections.] He has harmed those relations today, and I take it amiss of him. He could have made this a memorable occasion if he is, indeed, the patriot he pretends to be. If that is so, he could have made this a memorable occasion today, and he could have gained a victory for South Africa. He did not do so, however. [Interjections.]

The hon member for Yeoville criticized the hon the Minister of Finance because a week or more before the beginning of the Parliamentary Session he once again increased GST. Surely the hon member is aware—or perhaps he is not—that an arrangement exists between the dealers and the Receiver of Revenue that things like this are done according to calendar months. Dealers must be given at least a week to adjust their machines. The following month they have at least two weeks to pay in the GST they have collected. Therefore, if we had increased GST on 1 March, we would, in fact, have received the first returns in the new financial year; whilst we really need the money for the present financial year. Surely the hon member for Yeoville knows that [Interjections.] Besides, there would be a further loss of R50 million, Mr Speaker, and Parliament granted the hon the Minister of Finance that power precisely with a view to preventing occurrences of this nature. After all, everyone knows that the hon the Minister of Finance has until now, always exercised that power of his with a great deal of circumspection.


Does the Government really need R50 million so urgently? Whence such urgency?


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Yeoville may as well sit and listen quietly for a change. Earlier he pretended to be acting as champion for the poor. In Randburg Mrs Swart said that she was going to leave the PFP because they are a rich man’s party. [Interjections.] Mr Speaker, in an earlier debate here in this House the hon member for Yeoville made a great fuss about the price of bread. However, he was unable to tell me what a loaf of brown bread costs in South Africa. Has he now managed to ascertain how much it costs? [Interjections.]

Mr Speaker, the hon the Leader of the Opposition—unfortunately he is not here at present—also referred in his speech to a report which appeared in the Sunday Times in which the following was said, inter alia

Tax-dodging by companies has cost the Treasury billions of rand.

The reporter then went on to mention an amount of R4 billion which the country was supposedly losing due to this tax-dodging—one could almost call it a kind of fraud, that companies are supposedly perpetrating. The report further refers to the investment allowance of 130%. [Interjections.] The hon member for Yeoville has already had a turn to speak. He may as well keep quiet for a while. He did not say anything in his speech in any case. [Interjections.]

That columnist also referred to the investment allowance which could then be used to avoid paying tax. He is making a basic error, however, since, in the first instance, he says that the investment can be written off against the tax of the company. That is in correct, of course.


Against income.


Against taxable income. At least the hon member for Yeoville knows better than the man who wrote that article, from which the hon member’s leader quoted. The columnist also neglected to mention in the article that it had already been announced in the last budget that the allowance would cease to exist from 30 June 1985. He does not mention where he got the figure of R4 000 million. How did he calculate that? Why does he not tell us? There is only one reason: He is unable to do so because it is nonsense.

I admit that tax payable by companies has decreased over the years. Why is that the case? The reason for the investment allowance is to promote greater productivity and to create more employment opportunities, as well as to create greater possibilities for export. The fact remains that this Parliament approved it. It was not approved by the Department or by the companies. It was this Parliament that approved it.

There is also the training allowance being dealt with by the Department of Manpower. This amounts to a double deduction of the costs connected with that training. Why is this the case? It is in order to train more skilled workers and to promote higher productivity, resulting in lower inflation. It also results in better competition in the skilled labour market. Once again it is this Parliament that instituted this, and we instituted it unanimously. [Interjections.] The hon member for Yeoville assisted in bringing this about.

I come to the decentralization benefits which, in a certain sense, really amount to a tax holiday, as determined by the Decentralization Board. Once again this is something that was instituted by the State. Parliament decided, on that and people who make use of this, cannot now be defamed as tax-dodgers, as was, in fact, done here.

*Maj R SIVE:

What about those who abuse it?


Mr Speaker, there are clever people who stretch these privileges too far and who try to avoid paying tax. We are aware of them, we are dealing with them and we shall continue to deal with them.

I also want to deal briefly with the question of GST, the payment of which is supposedly avoided. Wild allegations are being made in this regard. One person says that an amount of R100 million is being lost, and another says an amount of R1 000 million is being lost. Another person says that R700 million is being lost.


The Minister says 10%.


What would be a reasonable assumption on which to base an argument on this matter? I say it must be a reasonable assumption. Let us look at what we are budgeting for. For the past three years—1981, 1982 and 1983, we budgeted for an amount of R7 200 million in respect of GST. There were certain assumptions on which we based that budget. We collected an amount of R6 965 million. That is almost 97% of the amount for which we budgeted.


What you are saying is nonsense.


I should be pleased if the hon member would furnish proof as to why he says it is nonsense. He will be given an opportunity to do so there will still be many finance debates in this House. [Interjections.]

It is generally accepted fact—perhaps the hon member would concede that—that an 80% recovery of any tax is a good record. According to world standards 80% is a good record.


Are you saying that we are losing 20%? [Interjections.]


An increase in general sales tax to 7% is extremely reasonable and probably the lowest, or very close to the lowest rate, in the world. Everyone has to make a contribution to that tax, since the State spends millions, one could almost say billions of rand, on social aid.

Arguments in respect of differentiation are often raised, differentiation in the sense that some articles should be excluded or that a lower tax rate should be levied on them. Basic foodstuffs and other essential items are then mentioned. It is also said that luxury items should be more heavily taxed. Some of the problems in this regard are the following, inter alia: Firstly, as soon as one differentiates those tariffs, one has certain administrative problems. Secondly, one is creating additional loopholes for further avoidance. Thirdly—this is an important point—how does one distinguish what essential items are?

I want to refer to what Prof Brian Kantor of the University of Cape Town has to say in this regard. According to The Cape Times of 25 January this year he says:

But how would one decide what was a luxury item and what was not? Some people would consider bread a basic item, but what about special bread? The whole thing would result in an enormous political activity. It is a complex system and would take up a lot of energy and resources.

I say that this is the message, the opinion of a recognized authority.


If you recognize him as an authority, you should accept what he said about the mismanagement of the money supply.


The hon member also levelled criticism. In The Cape Times of 25 January this year he is reported as follows:

Mr Harry Schwarz, Opposition spokesman on finance, also accused the Government of bad budgeting and said “other sources of finance such as loans could have been used instead of next month’s tax increase”.

Did the hon member say that?


We need R50 million desperately before the end of the year.


I also wish to quote others. The Financial Mail of 27 January this year summed it up as follows: They say this increase “is the only realistic option.” Finance Week of 25 January this year says:

Any politician or businessman who expressed shock at the increase in GST from 6% to 7% effective from next week should not be in a position to express an opinion on economic matters. The only conceivable shock given the current state of the economy and its likely course over the next 12 months is that this week’s hike did not come earlier and did not involve a larger increase.

I am convinced that the hon member will by no means believe these two experts and I therefore want to quote what another expert had to say. This person said the following about the financial position in which this country finds itself:

The joker in the pack was the performance of the gold price. If there is no improvement, and particularly if it sags further, then there is little doubt that taxation will have to be raised.

Who said that? None other than the hon member for Yeoville. He said that on 31 October. Of course, the point here is that it was two days before the referendum. At that stage he found it necessary to placate his leader a little. If he says that he was not referring to sales tax, I should like to ask the hon member to tell us in future debates which taxes we should increase. Many debates are to follow during which we can speak to the hon member about this.

In conclusion I just want to tell the hon member for Yeoville that in the forthcoming debates we should very much like to hear which one of these two standpoints of his is the correct one.


Mr Speaker, the hon the Deputy Minister devoted his speech mainly to picking a bone with the hon member for Yeoville. I do not think it is necessary for me to pursue that, expect to express my appreciation for the fact that he said that steps would be taken against people who want to avoid paying tax. However, I want to focus attention on one aspect of sales tax which the Conservative Party objects to, viz the statement the hon the Minister of Finance made on television to justify the increase in general sales tax. Firstly, he said that when he made his Budget speech in March last year, he could not have foreseen that there would be such a terrible drought in South Africa, but at the time he said that, however, South Africa was in the midst of one of the worst droughts in history; a drought so bad that 22 days later in Bloemfontein the hon the Prime Minister announced drought relief programmes for farmers. It is therefore not true that he was unable to foresee what the extent of the drought would be. Secondly, the hon the Minister said that he could not have foreseen the escalation of expenditure in the military field. We find it totally unacceptable that as Minister of Finance he was unable to foresee this in the circumstances in which we are living in South Africa.

I now want to come back to the announcement the hon the Prime Minister made yesterday concerning the freezing of military activities in South West Africa. I think we can approach this aspect from a military, as well as a political angle. As far as the military aspect is concerned, the Conservative Party would like to pay tribute to the SA Defence Force for its brilliant action in the operational area, during Operation Askari as well. Furthermore, we congratulate Gen Viljoen, as well as every soldier in the South African Defence Force for buying precious time in which the politicians can once again try to find lasting solutions to the problems of this conflict-ridden area.

The Conservative Party also extends its deepest sympathy to the bereaved of those who paid the highest price for their father-land during Operation Askari, as well as to the loved ones of those who were wounded.

We are also satisfied that offensive operations of this nature must be dealt with confidentially and in secret.

The crucial question now is what the politicians are going to do with the precious time the South African Defence Force has bought. Firstly, it is necessary for the Government to spell out in very clear terms what its plan is with South West Africa. The Government has said “That the people of the territory should themselves decide on their constitutional dispensation.” However, we believe that there are a number of matters surrounding the South West African question that are unclear. We do not ask some of the more pressing questions in public. We regard our national security as too precious to do that. We are grateful that certain matters that were unclear have already been made clear to us confidentially, but certain questions remain vague and require further explanation. Firstly: What does the hon the Prime Minister mean by the words “I believe …”—I think those are the words of the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs; that is his style—…” that the leaders of South West Africa who came to see us are now under no illusion about my Government’s determination to resolve this matter one way or another and as soon as possible.” These words must have particular significance in the light of the statement by the hon the Prime Minister that South Africa’s must have priority over the interests of South West Africa. Does this mean a solution at all costs, in other words, that Swapo will eventually be able to fly its communist flag in Windhoek? How does the hon the Prime Minister separate the interests of South West Africa and South Africa? Over decades the interests of South Africa and South West Africa have been intimately interwoven. Walvis Bay is situated in South West Africa. South West Africa is the buffer between South Africa and the attacking enemy forces. There are tens of thousands of Whites in South West Africa who have family, friends and relatives in South Africa.

Firstly, we believe that every population group in South West Africa must be satisfied if we want to create a secure and satisfactory future for South Africa. Without order and stability in South West Africa there can be no lasting stability in South Africa. Secondly, we believe an effort must be made to stand by the assurances South African Governments have given South West Africa, that South Africa cannot afford to have the Russian flag flyging in Windhoek and to have enemy troops right on South Africa’s borders. Thirdly, we believe that not only a settlement, but a solution must be found, and all the peoples of South West Africa must find that solution satisfactory.

We are concerned about the role of Swapo and Sam Nujoma. Apparently they do not support the freezing of the offensive. We are also concerned about the position of Unita. The hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs himself said that there can only be a solution in that territory if Unita is also consulted on these matters. We are also concerned about assurances given in the past but that were not honoured, and we are concerned about South Africa’s standing, which was dealt a severe blow in the past.

To summarize this aspect, we ask the hon the Prime Minister to spell out in clear terms what his plans are with South West Africa. We request information, even if it is confidential, concerning the whole question surrounding South West Africa. We believe that Russia’s surrogates have been tamed by the SA Defence Force for the present, but that there is little hope of finding a lasting settlement with the communists by diplomatic means.

As far as Mozambique is concerned, we welcome the fact that negotiations with that country are in progress. However, our prerequisite for an agreement is the assurance that no terrorist bases will be permitted in Mozambique in the future. We want the further assurance that the Government of Mozambique genuinely intends to conclude lasting peaceful relations with South Africa. I should be pleased if the hon the Minister’s advisers would draw his attention to what the Guardian said about these matters in Mozambique, viz that at present they are starving and struggling and are coming to beg from South Africa, only to stab us in the back tomorrow or the next day once they have what they want. I hope the hon the Minister of foreign Affairs will bear that in mind.

I want to come back to another aspect of the speech of the hon the Prime Minister, and specifically to the guidelines he set out. He set out certain guidelines with which every right-thinking hon member would agree. He mentioned certain guidelines that are anchored in the programme of principles of the Conservative Party, for example, decentralization, regional development, striving for the right of self-determination, the preservation and maintenance of Christian values and civilized norms and the guidelines of freedom and security. Sir, our motto is “Freedom with justice”.

The hon the Prime Minister devoted half an hour of his speech to these matters, but what was striking about his speech, was firstly, what he kept silent about, and secondly, the methods he wants to use to attain those goals. Firstly—and this is very important—he remained silent on the most important cornerstone of this policy, a cornerstone in which we all believed at all times, viz separate development, separate freedoms. In fact, there were no objections from hon members of the Government Party when the hon the Leader of the Opposition described apartheid as evil and unworkable. There was no reaction whatsoever on the part of the Government Party. It seems to me that they do in fact, regard it as evil and unworkable. Look at the face the hon the Minister of Education and Training is making. [Interjections.] The reason is that they are no longer able to support that policy because they are now advocating political integration and the inclusiveness of nationhood among ethnic groups who differ more from one another than the Xhosas of Transkei and those of Ciskei, more than the South Sotho of Qwaqwa and the North Sotho of Lebowa. They are going to see to it that in the future confederal dispensation the Xhosas of Ciskei and Transkei and the Sothos of Qwaqwa and Lebowa all have their own representatives in the confederal conference, whilst the RSA is going to be represented by either a White, or a Coloured or an Indian. That is the most important omission. The National Party no longer believes in separate development.

Time does not allow me to refer to other omissions. I want to refer to the method of implementing some of the guidelines which the hon the Prime Minister spelt out, for example, self-determination. We have debated the question of self-determination over and over again, and I am not going to devote much more time to it. I just want to say that self-determination requires own territories. It requires the right to levy one’s own taxes. The totality of the economy is self-determination, and not one and a half pages in schedule I which is subject to a general law and money which is appropriated under such a general law. That is not self-determination. It makes a mockery of self-determination.

It is clear from the debate thus far that the Government party is revelling in the fact that it won the referendum. They derive great pleasure from this fact and use expressions like: "We are stunned by it”. The hon the Minister of Internal Affairs said that we should abide by the result and asked us to make a so-called constructive contribution. He said at Messina that we must now begin to play the ball, and not the man. Meanwhile, however, it is their own man who hopelessly and recklessly allowed the ball to slip through his fingers. The mine management at Messina asked the mineworkers to attend the hon the Minister’s meeting, since he was to make a very important announcement on the future of that mine. The hon the Minister promptly made an announcement. He hinted at a further loan of R3 million to the Messina mine. It is interesting that this is being done at this stage. To me it sounds almost like his predecessor. A year ago Mr S P Botha said that if Tom Langley won, the mine in Messina would close down. That is how the NP wants to play ball. [Interjections.]

I notice that the hon the Prime Minister has not seen fit to react to the request of the hon member for Lichtenburg that a select committee be appointed to investigate Mr S P Botha’s handling of his portfolios. I should like to believe that this was not done deliberately. After all, the hon the Prime Minister promised a clean administration. Serious allegations were made in the Press concerning diamond prospecting licences. I see that the Government Press is blazoning abroad the fact that we have supposedly capitulated on this matter. Perhaps it is desirable that the Government Whips inform their newspapers a little better concerning what happened in this regard.

As far as Mr S P Botha is concerned, we must ask the Government and the country what he cost the country in money, manpower and energy in 1983. This House was almost empty for two months while we on this side, as well as hon members opposite traversed the mountains of Waterberg and Soutpansberg and canvassed. [Interjections.] Consider what that former Minister cost the country. Never forget it. Consider how he came forward with the guillotine motion without consulting the Opposition Whips. We would be dissemblers and hypocrites if we were to glorify that man’s memory in this House. [Interjections.]

The Government won the referendum and the dog caught the motor car. Now we are waiting to see what the dog is going to do with the motor car. The menu has been approved and we are waiting to see what is going to be set before us. [Interjections.] We know how the referendum was won. We know how television was used and how Prof Strauss and Prof Van der Walt told half-truths on television and on radio programmes such as “Monitor”. [Interjections.] We are aware that almost the entire Press in South Africa asked people to vote yes. We know that even the ANC was called in, and that in conflict with the spirit of the Internal Security Act. During the campaign ANC statements were quoted in conflict with that act. [Interjections.] Is it therefore surprising that an influential radio personality said at one stage: “Give me television and I shall see to it that the NP remains in power for ever.”? [Interjections.] As far as this mandate is concerned, we want to know how the Government… [Interjections.]




Sir, I should be pleased if I could be given a little protection. [Interjections.]


Order! The hon member may proceed.


Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

We should like to know how it interprets this mandate. Is this new constitution going to be regarded as the end or the beginning of reform?


We shall tell you later.


That hon member does not know himself. Is the hon the Minister going to say like big brother Wimpie that all apartheid measures must be thrown overboard by way of further underhanded reform? Are we going to have city states for the urban Blacks and allow them to share in the future confederation in this way? Is this going to be reform of the Sunday Times, of the hon the Leader of the Opposition, of Sir de Villiers Graaff or of Mr Harry Oppenheimer?

The CP participated in the referendum in a democratic way and accepted the result. However, we represent a people that has never been satisfied with a temporary setback, in which everything the people love and have lived and strived for is at stake. Nor will we abide by this result. We shall continue the battle until the principles in which we all once believed together, triumph once again. This right of self-determination, which is of no consequence, will reach the broad masses once the truth penetrates the clouds and dust that television, radio and the newspapers have kicked up. Then the Government will be rejected, just as Gen Smuts was rejected in 1948.


Mr. Speaker, I listened attentively to the hon member for Brakpan. He put quite a number of questions to the hon the Prime Minister and to the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also raised important aspects in connection with territories in Africa, and I actually want to concentrate on those, because the remarks he made here about Mozambique, Angola and South West Africa have a bearing on what certain hon members of the Opposition have already said about these territories. The security situation in Southern Africa has been discussed, more specifically the security situation with regard to the Republic of South Africa and South West Africa. This is an extremely important area, for basically it affects us all.

During this discussion of the security situation, the hon member for Wynberg tried to cast suspicions on the South African Defence Force by making certain statements and asking certain questions. However, I shall not discuss these any further now; I shall come back to them later.

I come now to the hon the Leader of the official Opposition. He asked, among other things, what we—and by “we” he means, by implication, the S.A. Defence Force—were doing in South West Africa. In order to answer this question, one must first ascertain what the security situation in Southern Africa basically is, and I intend to discuss it briefly in general terms. It is very important, because it affects all South Africans when we talk about the security situation in Southern Africa. In analysing the security situation, we must also take into consideration the recent increase in the threat. In this regard I shall have to repeat some facts which I have already mentioned in this House, during 1981, 1982 and 1983. I want to focus attention on them once again, because these are realities which we must take cognisance of.

Referring to Southern Africa, I want to begin with some brief remarks about Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola and South West Africa, because I believe that this will provide the necessary background which will make it possible to answer the question asked by the hon the Leader of the Opposition, namely why the Defence Force is in South West Africa. It will also enable us to see what the situation is at the moment here in Southern Africa and how it has developed.

I begin, therefore, with events in Mozambique and Angola, and I am referring to the 1960s and the early 1970s. As hon members will recall, there were certain terrorist organizations which rebelled against the Portuguese regime with communist help and as a result of communist involvement. The outcome of that struggle is well known today. That revolutionary war was won by those terrorist organizations. Today they form the governments of those respective countries. I just want to point out that those terrorist organizations never won the battle in the military sphere. However, the Governments in those countries are being kept in power today with the help of the communist presence in those countries. I want to point out that those governments enjoy the support of, I believe, between 1% and 2% of the populations of those countries. So we are talking here of minority Governments.




Mr Speaker, if that hon member opposite would only realize that we are dealing with vital matters, he would not be so frivolous. [Interjections.]

However, I believe it is important that we take cognisance of the conditions prevailing in those countries. Upon closer examination we find poverty, starvation, economic collapse and civil war in those countries. The general conditions in those countries are chaotic, therefore. I actually want to put it as follows: When one loses a revolutionary war, the final result is chaos. I should say that the only factor in favour of those countries is the fact that they have been literally flooded with weapons; sophisticated weapons of Russian origin.

Let us examine briefly what has happened in Zimbabwe. I am talking about more or less the same period. We find that similar operations took place there. We find that there, too, there were terrorist organizations waging a war of revolution against the government of the day with the help of communist involvement. We find that that revolutionary war, too, was won by the revolutionaries, but not at the military level. The Rhodesians were never defeated. This we must say to their credit. Today, however, Zimbabwe is also on its way to becoming a one-party state. It is likely that the situation there has not gone as far as it has in Angola and Mozambique. The situation may not be quite as desperate, but it is steadily deteriorating, especially in the spheres of the economy and of security. That is very clear.

Let us now examine what the leaders in those territories are doing. In order to disguise their own powerlessness, they are flinging accusations about left, right and centre. I venture to predict that the Republic of South Africa will be accused of many things by Zimbabwe in future, just as Botswana was recently accused of certain things—apparently in connection with alleged action against Zimbabwe. That government is going even further and it intends to change its judicial system so that it will be possible for people who have already been acquitted by a court of law to be re-arrested and detained on the same charge. We are aware of the recent case of the Air Force officers in Zimbabwe. Prisoners awaiting trail are also being tortured in Zimbabwe. Many examples have been quoted to us in this connection, and there are many allegations of cases of this nature.

I submit, therefore, that it will be very easy in future to obtain evidence by means of coercion in order to prove any accusation which Zimbabwe might care to make. This is the way of revolutionary warfare; of a revolutionary war which has been lost. A country sacrifices its stability and its accepted order and norms are destroyed.

However, Zimbabwe is not the ultimate objective. The ultimate objective in this revolutionary struggle in Southern Africa is not Zimbabwe. The communists have a modus operandi which they call the salami technique. It means that every target country is absorbed separately until the ultimate objective has been achieved.

I am sorry that the hon member for Yeoville is not present at the moment. He knows that tactic very well. In fact, he refers to the domino tactic. It is exactly the same thing. We must look at the development in Southern Africa to see whether we cannot detect any similarity there. I am saying this because the next country or region is already under fire, and that is South West Africa, and I think we are all aware of this. There we have Swapo terrorists who are trying, with communist support and involvement, to win the revolutionary war in South West Africa in order to conquer that territory. It is happening there in precisely the same way it happened in Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

I want to state the position in this way: To counteract this intended take-over, to counteract the acts of terror, murder, violence and loss of human lives, to afford the inhabitants of South West Africa an opportunity to decide their own future, the SA Defence Force was deployed in South West Africa. I also want to add that these security forces to which I am referring have been deployed there for the past 18 years or more. From 1966, when the first acts of terror were committed there, the security forces have been deployed there. Now the hon the Leader of the Opposition wants to know why we are there. Does he want to tell me that for 18 years he did not know why the SA Defence Force was deployed in South West Africa? Is that why he is now putting that question to me? What is the difference?

Three years ago Operation Protea took place and that operation met with his approval. To tell the truth, the official Opposition gave it their full support. We now come to Operation Askari which had precisely the same objective, and which was also an outstanding success. Why are these questions being asked now? Why were these questions not asked previously? I would be very pleased to receive a reply to these questions.

I come now to the hon member for Wynberg. When the hon member discussed Operation Askari here, he created the impression that the Government had taken the wrong decision. That is the impression which he gave us in this House—that the Government had made a mistake in granting approval for Operation Askari. The hon member cast suspicion on the SA Defence Force. To tell the truth, he condemned the SA Defence Force. However, I shall return to this point later.

I want to repeat what a former Prime Minister said in this House and elsewhere, and also what the present hon Prime Minister said and what I, too, said. It is in connection with the reasons for the deployment of Security Forces in South West Africa. The hon the Prime Minister reaffirmed these reasons on Tuesday. The first was because the inhabitants of South West Africa asked us for the security forces to be present. The second reason was to ensure the safety and security of the inhabitants of South West Africa and to protect them from acts of terror, murder, violence and intimidation. In the third place we are there to carry out certain educational and training tasks. I want to give a very good example in this connection. When a UN delegation came to investigate how Resolution 435 could be applied there were certain representatives of African countries among them. When they came to 31 Battalion and saw what the SA Defence Force was doing there, they said that if Resolution 435 were to be applied the SA Defence Force would not be able to withdraw. They thought that our Defence Force was carrying out such an important task there that it should remain. The UN knows why we are there and they know what our task is. The hon Leader of the Opposition paid a visit to the operational area but he does not seem to have grasped what our task there is. He surprises me, to say the least of it.

This Government is trying to solve the problems of that territory, preferably without military conflict, but it will not hesitate to use military force if necessary. The Government realizes that the constitutional objectives are definitive and of key importance, and that other endeavours and other activities in other spheres, be they in the diplomatic or economic or military spheres, are supportive to the constitutional-political endeavours. Military action probably enjoys the lowest priority in the sequence of strategies used in these various spheres. I want to spell out loudly and clearly today that it is probably the last to receive consideration. However, the Government is not afraid to use military force. I want to point out that military action has contributed a great deal to the success which activities in other sphered have achieved. It also has the result that the Government is far more successful in this country. There are many countries that have been forced to the conference table as a result of military action. This will continue to happen in future as well.

People must not think that there is a lack of harmonious and healthy co-operation between all Government departments. I am a former departmental head and I can testify to the fact that there is the best co-operation ever. There is good co-operation in the various spheres. In the same way there is good co-operation between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the security forces. It must not be thought now, on the basis of this statement, that the one obsequiously follows the other; on the contrary, we differ, but we differ soundly in the interests of the Republic of South Africa.

I come now to the actions of the security forces in South West Africa. The successful operations of the Defence Force, like the recently completed Operation Askari, together with our diplomatic activities, made it possible for the hon the Prime Minister to convey a very positive message in this House yesterday about disengagement in Angola.

Today I pay tribute in this House to the security forces for the way in which peace and stability have constantly been maintained in South West Africa for two decades, and for the effective way in which the Defence Force counteracted Swapo terrorists by means of wellplanned actions in the operational area and in Southern Angola, of which Operation Askari was a striking example. [Interjections.] Defence Force actions in all their facets prevented large-scale infiltration from occurring in South West Africa. Because terrorism was to a large extent halted north of the South West African/Angolan border, Swapo’s logistic support was seriously disrupted. On behalf of the Government I pay tribute to the security forces and to those who with their lives made the highest sacrifice in order to combat the danger of Russian expansionism, a danger which threatens not only South West Africa, but the whole of Southern Africa as well. Through their actions they saved many lives and helped us to fulfill our obligations in regard to the safety of the people of South West Africa as well.

The positive message of the hon the Prime Minister must not create the impression among hon members now that we shall simply be able to scale down our force levels in the north of South West Africa. We shall have to remain in readiness in order to fulfil our obligations if action becomes necessary, for although we believe that the new steps and initiative are a prelude to peace, the road to peace can be a difficult and lengthy process.

South Africa’s decisions have been taken, as the hon member for Yeoville said, from a position of strength. Thanks to the referendum result and our solid military power base we were able to speak from this position of strength.

Hon members will agree with me that it would be foolish simply to scale down our defence capability and expenditure. A strong Defence Force is our greatest assurance of peace and stability. I should like to repeat that the Government tried to achieve security and stability from a position of strength.

I come now to the next aspect and that is security. I wish to make certain general observations on security. Espionage is one of the subdivisions of security but I shall abide by the Chair’s ruling in this connection.

In general I can state that spy incidents are harmful to any country, irrespective of the country in which they occur. Russian penetration occurs all the time on a worldwide basis. It is not only confined to South Africa, but can occur in any country. I can add, however, that it is far more successful in other countries than in South Africa. In other countries there is also a higher degree of penetration, and I should like to quote a few examples indicationg where this occurred in other countries. The Russians penetrated Nato in West Germany by means of Wennerström. He was a spy from 1948 until 1964, when he was caught. Then there was the Hamilton case in the USA. The Russians used him from 1950 until 1982 before he was caught after 32 years. In Britain Philby spied for the Russians from 1931 until 1962.

These few cases indicate to us that the great powers are also being penetrated and that this takes place over long periods. It also indicates to me that Russia tries to infiltrate its spies to the highest level. That is the target.

I want to warn South Africa that as Russia’s interest in our country increases, and that is going to happen, the intensity of spying activities in this country is going to be hightened. This will happen in spite of intensified security measures being applied. As a matter of fact, another member of the SA Defence Force has been apprehended as a result of the continuous tightening up of our security services and better liaison in the intelligence community. A member of the National Service Force has been arrested for alleged espionage. When the investigation has been completed and the matter has run its course, further particulars can be released.

I come now to the hon member of Wynberg. He tried to cast suspicion on the SA Defence Force with certain statements and questions which he asked on Monday. The hon member referred to Operation Askari and linked it to destabilization in Southern Africa. This is precisely the same propaganda which the enemies of South Africa are making against us. In other words, he was doing precisely what the enemies of South Africa are doing to try to bring us to our knees.

I could pardon the hon member if he had not been properly briefed. However, the Chief of the Defence Force and other officers briefed the hon member personally on this operation. It was made very clear to him that the MPLA had in various ways been warned in advance that they should keep out of the fight.

What the hon member is now asking, however, is that the SA Defence Force should sit back and do nothing. Does the hon member not realize that since Operation Askari there have already been 16 landmine incidents in which 12 members of the local population died and two members of the SA Defence Force made the supreme sacrifice?

Must we sit back and watch how people die? Must we sit back and watch while 1 400 well-trained terrorists make their way to the border of South West Africa, and do nothing about it? They are people who are coming to sow terror and destruction, to plant mines and to take human lives.

The hon member’s actions reflect a total change in the approach of the PFP to these matters. When the hon member for Yeoville was still the spokesman on defence matters, he always, when he spoke about a military operation, paid tribute to Defence Force members who had made the supreme sacrifice. The second thing which he always did, was to pay tribute to the security forces.

Operation Askari has been our greatest success so far. As a result of this operation the hon the Prime Minister was given an opportunity to make the diplomatic progress which he did in fact make.

The hon member for Wynberg maintained, however, that the Defence Force should be kept in check and should not carry out operations across the border. Terrorists must therefore be able to move freely in the area across the border. This is an entirely different approach to the earlier one on the part of the PFP. The hon member for Wynberg was never like this before. When he was still acting under the hon member for Yeoville he adopted certain standpoints. He always pleaded for a strong Defence Force, “a Defence Force which can hold its own”. He approved of and supported Operation Protea. Now that he is the chief spokesman he presents Operation Askari as being something rather feeble. Previously he had said in this House that we should clamp down on compulsory military service evaders. That is what he said. Is he now speaking the way he did yesterday because he is no longer acting under the hon member for Yeoville, or is he worried about the women of the Black Sash receiving too much publicity, while he receives none? Somewhere along the line he is making a mistake.

However, I am concerned about the PFP approach, because it is going to create a Lebanon syndrome in this country. I want to tell hon members what the Lebanon syndrome is. Lebanon may be compared with Switzerland. In the same way as Switzerland is the country of financial means in the world, so Lebanon is the country of financial wealth in the Middle East. Lebanon was the country that had the money, and a flourishing economy. But Lebanon never thought in terms of a Defence Force. It did not need one. After all, it had the money and could do what it wanted. Then a terrorist organization, the PLO, came along, however, and penetrated the country, and see what it looks like now! It is a broken country and has been destroyed. The lesson we should learn from this is that even if there are no visible dangers, a country needs a strong and well-motivated Defence Force, and let us always have a strong and well-motivated Defence Force in the Republic.

At this point I should like to repeat what the hon the Prime Minister has on occasion said here in this House and elsewhere. The policy of this Government is that people who plan and execute acts of terror against the people and infrastructure of South Africa will be tracked down and eliminated, wherever they are located, within or outside South Africa. That is why we undertake border operations and that is why Operation Askari took place.

I conclude by saying that we would prefer to resolve our differences in a peaceful way. That is the Government’s policy and that is what the Government wants to do, yet I can assure hon members that if the Government is forced to do so, military action will be used to assist activities in other spheres.


Mr Speaker, I would like to place on record the New Republic Party’s appreciation for the sacrifices which the men in the Defence Force make on behalf of our security. I would also like to congratulate them on Operation Askari. I believe they were highly successful in this and I believe they brought themselves an awful lot of credit.

I would also like to thank the hon the Minister for reminding us of the conditions of life in our neighbouring Black states. There is very little freedom for the individual in the countries to the north of us. There is a tremendous amount of poverty and there is very little hope for the ordinary person. There is not even freedom of the Press in many instances and many countries are being ruled by military dictatorships or are one-party states. Situations are so serious to the north of us that I do believe that we should heed the message which has come through loud and clear in this debate so far. That is that we as political leaders of South Africa should scrap the sterile politics of the past which have hindered consensus politics and progress here in South Africa. We still had a bit of it today, with the argument between the NP and the CP.

It reminds of the days when I first came to this House 10 years ago when we engaged in sterile politics with the NP and the old United Party talking past one another. The one did not hear what the other was saying. There is no way in which a country, nation or Parliament can achieve consensus on serious problems as long as sterile politics are resorted to. Fortunately, things have changed in recent years. I think one had evidence of this yesterday when the hon member for Innesdal made his speech. He came to this House at the same time as I did, in 1974. When he first came here, we looked upon him as rather “verkramp”, as a colleague of mine said. Possibly that was because he had been the personal secretary of one of the most “verkramp” Cabinet Ministers at that time, Minister M C Botha. That may or may not be the case.

However, after listening to him yesterday, I believe that that hon member has spent the last 10 years here trying to hear what people are saying. I would advise those hon members in the House who do not believe that change has taken place in South Africa to read that hon member’s speech, and when they read it, they must try to understand what he is saying, because I believe that his speech contains many seeds of consensus, in respect of which I believe I can agree with that hon member. If that is the way that hon member thinks, I am prepared to agree with him. After achieving that consensus, I know that we in these benches will be happy to walk hand in hand into the future for the sake of South Africa with any member who tries to resolve South Africa’s complex problems. I say this because, if we Whites cannot achieve consensus amongst ourselves in this House on matters of crucial concern to the country, how in heaven’s name will we ever be able to achieve consensus with the Black leaders of South Africa and the Coloureds and Indians whose political history and value systems are so different to our own?


It is impossible.


The hon member says it is impossible, but the reality of South Africa is that we have to live in peace with these people and that somehow we have to come to terms with one another. Reaching consensus does not, however, mean a slavish acceptance of one’s opposition’s policy.


Well, what is consensus?


My leader very clearly indicated in his speech the other day how we differ from the Government on the matter of the future of the Blacks in South Africa.


So you do not have consensus with them?


He made it very, very clear where we stand in that regard. However, I want to put it to the hon member for Rissik that the true problem-solving of thorny issues can only be achieved by those who are doing the negotiating adopting a positive attitude, one that demands that one should listen to reason and not one that believes in the so-called effective opposition we hear too much of from the Progressive Federal Party, which implies slamming and damning the National Party, or the New Republic Party, no matter what the merits of the case may be.

We seek consensus with all South Africa’s people, including the Blacks. Hon members must remember, first of all, that as far as we in the New Republic Party are concerned, we are pluralists. We believe in a division of power so that there is a large measure of self-determination for the various groups in South Africa and we believe in a sharing of power on matters of common concern. That is why we could not sign the Buthelezi Commission’s report. There was the political recommendation that political power should be transferred to the Black majority in Natal. That happens to be the Progressive Federal Party’s policy. We accept that there are differences in values between the Blacks of Natal, the Whites of Natal and the Indians of Natal. The PFP do not believe that there is a difference in the value systems of those people. If they recognize such a difference, they believe it is not important when it comes to making a constitution. We believe that mutual respect between Zulus, Whites and Indians in Natal will not be achieved by the Progressive Federal Party’s constitutional model.

They may ask why that is our attitude. We say we do not believe in it because we know from our experience in Natal since 1910 …


Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member a question?


No, I am not going to take a question from that hon member. We know from our experience that the Prog-type constitution will lead to Zulu domination and we know that the Zulus do have a different value system to our own.

If the hon members of the Progressive Federal Party are not aware of this, I would just like to read to them a letter which was addressed to The Daily News of 17 October, written by Chief Minister Gatsha Buthelezi.


In what year?


In 1983. It was headlined: “Buthelezi’s alternative: An open democratic society”. It was in reply to a letter written by a Mr Singh, an Indian. I quote from the letter:

Mr Singh asks: What do the Slabberts and the Buthelezis have as alternatives for us? My answer is that the alternative to apartheid is not more apartheid. It is not constitutionalized apartheid. It is an open democratic society. My alternative to the racial politics of fear is the democratic policies of hope. Mr Singh shows just how unqualified he is to form political judgments by asking why I accepted what he calls “the position of chief administrator of the kwaZulu Legislative Assembly.” Politically I owe nothing to the South African Government. My leadership is legitimized by history. I am a hereditary chief and I trace my descent to the founding fathers of the Zulu nation both through my mother and my father. Through my father I trace my descent through a long line of Prime Ministers to successive Zulu kings. My leadership is also legitimized by the mass support I have as president of Inkatha. With a card-carrying membership rising well above 750 000. My leadership is legitimized by the largest political force that has ever emerged in the history of this country.

I want to put it to the hon the Leader of the Opposition and to hon members of the PFP: Do they not hear what Chief Gatsha Buthelezi is saying? He is saying he is hereditary Prime Minister. He says he has the largest political force mobilized in the history of South Africa. [Interjections.] We understand the Zulus.

Let met go a bit further and read an editorial that appeared in the Natal Mercury of 25 November 1983. Under the heading “Inkatha’s Image” I quote one paragraph:

The organization’s conduct has also been in question over an incident in which Chief M Maphumulo, a kwaZulu MP opposed to Inkatha, was attacked by youths and knocked unconscious outside the Legislative Assembly. Chief Buthelezi’s reported comment was that it was a reasonable consequence of the victim’s behaviour.

This is the party that took the platform with the PFP during the referendum. The PFP wants a constitutional plan for Natal which will hand the government of Natal over to Inkatha. While we do not accept these things that Gatsha Buthelezi’s Inkatha movement is doing—in fact, we wish to protect our people from their excesses—we at the same time do not demand of the Zulus that they accept our value systems. We know them too well. Our fathers before us lived with them and we know them well. However, we grant them what we want for ourselves, and that is a large measure of self-determination which can only be obtained in a pluralistic constitution such as we propose. If the Zulus are able to see the merits of our case, if we can get back to the negotiating tables and the discussions we had before the PFP did such tremendous damage to Zulu and White relationships in Natal, and if we can reach consensus with them—and we believe they are reasonable people—then we in the NRP are only too pleased to walk hand in hand into the future with them for the sake of South Africa.

I now want to return to finance matters. My hon leader’s amendment censures the Government on a number of issues. The economic realities of the moment are such that every South African from the lowest paid worker right through to the Minister of Finance at this time of our history should be pulling in his or her belt and putting in a far greater effort to cut expenditure and costs and increase productivity. We have to do this if we are to survive economically and financially in the economic world of today. The whole world is experiencing a tremendous economic storm. For many in South Africa it is a matter of survival. I will go so far as to say that many are not going to survive financially over the next few months. The hon the Minister of Agriculture with the help of the hon the Minister of Finance has been doing sterling work in assisting farmers whose crops have been ravaged by the drought. I am positive he will agree with me—I do not see him here but maybe his deputy is here—that many farmers are not going to survive this coming year despite the drought assistance which the hon the Minister has been giving. Today bankruptcy is staring many farmers in the face while most are also burdened with huge debts which they will have to carry for many years to come. But it is not only the farmers who are suffering. Unemployment is increasing in South Africa. Large industrial firms are laying off employees by the hundreds as they battle the economic realities of the times. These are the results of a worldwide recession and increasingly keen competition from abroad, especially from the highly productive and efficient Far Eastern nations. The world economy is undergoing a major overhaul. The days of the free-spending, wheeler-dealer government are over. The basic economic fact that one cannot buy a higher standard of living, that it has to be earned, is now beginning to sink in, and those Western countries, our major trading partners, are wise enough to understand this. They have the courage to tell their people what is required in order successfully to make this adjustment, despite the fact that it means going through so much of what is called blood, sweat and tears. It has not been easy for those countries, but inflation has been brought down to 3,9% in the USA and 5% in Britain. An encouraging thing is that British voters returned Margaret Thatcher to power with the biggest majority since the last war.

However, I think it is worthwhile for South Africans to know what is happening in countries like the USA. In Time magazine of 19 December there was an article saying: “Labour gets a working over”. Talking about food and commercial workers, the article states that the average hourly wages of 110 000 workers have been cut from $10,69 or more to around $8. It goes further to say that some of these workers refused to accept the cuts. They were thrown out of work and non-union employees were re-employed, some earning as little as $5,50 an hour. The article goes on:

Responding to a threat by Chairman Frank Borman that Eastern Airlines face bankruptcy, three major unions agreed to accept wage cuts of up to 22% next year, and work rule changes worth $367 million.

This is happening in the steel and automobile industries and in many other industries in the USA. Workers are finding that in order to keep their jobs, in order to survive and meet the competition from the Far East, they have to pull in their belts and work harder. These are the facts and the conditions that our trading partners have met.

I want to say to the hon the Deputy Minister of Finance that nothing is going to be easy in South Africa in the next 12 months. We cannot buy or borrow our way of this dilemma; we have to work our way out of this recession, and he and his colleagues have a great deal to do. And this is where we criticize the Government. As far as the hon the Minister of Finance is concerned, a huge credibility gap has developed; it has arisen between what he says he is going to do and what in fact he does. If one studies his expenditure one finds that over the past four years the hon the Minister of Finance has persistently spent more money than he originally intended to spend, yet he comes here and tells us that he believes in financial discipline and fiscal and monetary restraint. However, the hon the Minister is not living up to his own words, and for this reason we censure him.

This over-expenditure on the part of the Government makes nonsense of the hon the Minister’s claim that he strives for what he calls sound budgeting and keeping a disciplined rein on Government expenditure. This has just not been true, and I think it is about time that he realized that people are beginning to see through him.

The hon the Minister will argue that drought and additional Defence expenditure forced him to increase the GST by 1%. But when discussing on television what extra moneys he required, he said that this was after all only an additional amount of 5% on the total budget. The point I want to make to the hon the Minister of Finance and his colleagues, is that if it is only 5% why do they not do what everybody else in South Africa is doing at the present time, everyone from the housewife to the farmer, the industrialist and the people in commerce, and that is to pull in their belts, cut their expenditure and be more efficient so that they do not have to put up taxes? Why cannot they do it? Why must the people of South Africa be expected to carry the load all the time?

I should like to hear from the hon members of the Cabinet exactly what savings the Government has made over the past years. It is not good saying that one cannot save. No budget yet has every been drawn up that cannot be cut in times of economic crisis. This is the challenge which faces South Africa today, and if the Government can see the realities of the situation, if they are prepared to discuss ways and means that are required for South Africa to curb expenditure in or der that we may beat inflation, I should like to assure them that we in the NRP—if we can find consensus on this matter—will walk hand in hand with them, taking our people in South Africa along with us … [Interjections.] Hon members of the PFP may laugh as much as they like, Mr Speaker. When it came to constitutional reform in South Africa they wanted people to vote no. Listening to their chief spokesman on finance this afternoon we heard him say that in order to save this country financially we should borrow more money. That is his solution to South Africa’s financial problems, Mr Speaker. In the NRP we face the realities of life in Africa. Whether it is on constitutional matters or whether it is on financial matters, we like to tell people the truth of the situation in which they find themselves. We mean what we say and we say what we mean. We are therefore not like the PFP, the party, that during the referendum campaign told the people a pack of lies in connection with what the new constitution really entails.


That is definitely not true! [Interjections.]


That is the truth, Mr Speaker. [Interjections.] That is indeed the truth. [Interjections.] Hon members of the PFP told the people that the new constitution would entrench apartheid. I should ask hon members of the CP whether that analysis of the new constitution is correct.


Of course not.


Of course, it is not correct. So, who is telling the truth? The PFP or the CP? [Interjections.]




Mr Speaker, I found the speech made by the hon member for Amanzimtoti rather astonishing. He started by saying that the most important thing in South Africa today was to find consensus, and then proceeded to attack a wide variety of people and organizations. On one matter I will find consensus with him this afternoon, however, and that is in relation to financial discipline and Government expenditure. I shall, however, come to that point later.

The hon member for Amanzimtoti spent a great deal of his time attacking Inkatha, the Zulu people and Chief Gatsha Buthelezi. He concluded, however, by saying he was prepared to walk hand in hand with them, presumably on a basis of local option. [Interjections.]

The hon the Minister of Defence, I believe, this afternoon made a completely uncalled for and unedifying attack on the hon member for Wynberg. He knows the attitudes of the hon member for Wynberg in respect of defence as expressed over a number of years, and this over-sensitivity to any questioning, possible criticism or probing is exactly what this country does not need. We have had here this afternoon an example of what many people in this country fear. That is a dangerous over-simplification of the problems we are facing in various areas.

The hon member for Wynberg, as I understood him, was saying that foreign policy and political considerations have to be taken into account, as well as military considerations, when military actions are contemplated.

I am pleased that there has been some debate here this afternoon on financial and economic matters because while constitutions and international relations are matters of great importance we should not forget the economic plight of the man in the street. The ordinary citizen of this country is today struggling to make ends meet. He is suffering as a result of gross mismanagement of the economy by this Government. I should like to list some of the problems of the man in the street today.

Home-ownership is a cornerstone of a stable society, but people are being priced out of the market, while others are even being priced right out of their homes. Interest rates on mortgage bonds have risen sharply. For example, people with bonds at the R40 000 to R60 000 level, which by standards of urban housing today are not particularly lavish, now have to find extra repayments of more than R1 000 per year—after tax. In less than a year home owners have been required to find more than R25 million extra per month to service their bonds. Home-ownership is being pushed beyond the reach of tens of thousands of people, and often only those with subsidized bonds can afford it. The distortion we are experiencing in our market is clear to see. Nearly two-thirds of bonds are given to people whose bonds are being subsidized.

Last week, Sir, Dr Jan Marais was quoted as saying: “Inflation is theft”. He is quite correct. The rand is now worth only 53 cents compared with what its value was just five years ago, when the present hon Prime Minister took office. People living on fixed incomes have had half their money stolen from them since 1978, and most of them are powerless to prevent its happening.

The consumer rand is now worth less than one-third of what it was 10 years ago. The impact of this upon thousands of retired people is devastating. Their self-sufficiency, their independence and their self-respect have been destroyed. Inflation hits the most economically defenseless people in our society hardest. The poor, the unemployed and the aged are prime victims of this theft.

Many pensioners are desperate. The cost of accommodation and food has rocketed in recent years and social pensions have just not kept pace. It is a sad reflection on our society that we can turn a blind eye to the suffering of these people. These are some specific examples, but let us look at the broader picture of the position in which the ordinary taxpayer finds himself today.

The standard of living of the average South African has not improved at all over the past five years.


By what criteria?


I shall tell the hon member now. In fact, he is worse off than he was 10 years ago. The growth in the real GDP has been slow but the growth per capita in real GDP has been non-existent. In 1974 it was R1 042—this is in real values, 1975 rands. In 1978 it had dropped to R1 014 and in 1983, on the estimate of the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch in terms of a decline in the GDP, it will once again be R1 014. Therefore, for five years the standard of living has not improved and is in fact lower than it was 10 years ago.

Secondly, personal savings are at a low ebb. In 1982, the most recent year for which figures are available, they were lower than in any year since 1976. This is at current prices and not at fixed prices.

Thirdly, consumer debt as measured by bank overdrafts and hire-purchase debts is estimated at present to amount to R14 billion. This amounts to a consumer debt of a staggering R500 for every man, woman and child in this country. This is an amount that is three to four times greater than it was five years ago. The picture is clear. People are struggling to make ends meet. The effects of a decade of low economic growth and high inflation are biting and biting hard, and the people suffering most are those least able to protect themselves.

Against this background, what is the Government doing? It has raised GST by a further 1% and so takes a further R50 million per month from hard-pressed consumers. The consumer is being forced to pay through the nose for Government inefficiency and mismanagement. Government expenditure is not being controlled properly. Two years ago a national newspaper warned about large amounts of GST that were not being paid and nothing was done at that time. There is an investigation at present and it is estimated—the amount varies between the hon the Minister of Finance, the hon the Deputy Minister of Finance and others—that an amount of hundreds of millions of rand is involved. If that money had been in the kitty there would have been no reason for an increase in GST.

The massive tax burden upon individuals has become intolerable. Since the 1978-79 tax year, that is five years ago, individual income tax and GST have increased from a total of R2,6 billion to R9,3 billion, an increase in taxation of 350% in just five years. In fact, it is 2,5 times higher than it was before the last election, less than three years ago. Individuals are being squeezed dry to pay for the ideological and economic mistakes of the Government. The blame for this sorry state of affairs lies squarely with the Government. Its mismanagement of the economy, inefficiency and ideological policies which are wasteful in terms of the utilization of human and financial resources are the prime causes of this malaise.

The Government always has excuses, often invalid ones, for short-term problems. Let us rather look at the longer term and the Government’s performance in certain key areas. Firstly there is the question of economic growth. Over the past five years growth in the real gross domestic product has averaged only about 2,3% per annum. We all know that 5% per annum is needed if we are to provide the new jobs that are required for work seekers of whom there are about 300 000 per annum. On average over the last five years we are not achieving half of what we need to achieve.

Secondly there is the problem of inflation. There have been very high average rates: More than 10% per annum for a whole decade now. Recently there has been an improvement and it dropped to 11% per annum, but that is still a disastrously high level. The vast majority of our major trading partners are running at levels less than half of that. The hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning has been quoted as saying in November:

It is and always will be the job of the Government to combat inflation.

Thirdly there is the problem of the money supply. The money supply has grown at an average of more than 20% per annum during the past five years. I wish to quote the hon the Minister of Finance from last year’s Budget Speech (Hansard, 1983, col 4195) where he talked about inflation:

… the present situation therefore calls for a fiscal-monetary policy “mix” which provides for continued restraint on government spending, a relatively small budget deficit before borrowing, and effective control over the money supply.

There is ample evidence that on all three of those things the Government has failed dismally.

In the fourth instance we can look at productivity. In his speech the hon the Prime Minister made reference to the importance of productivity. I think there is no doubt that South Africa’s record as far as improvements in this sphere are concerned is abysmal. There are numerous factors involved, but the Government has hindered productivity in many ways. Education and training has suffered from decades of neglect. Limiting labour mobility by things such as influx control has reduced productivity. The possibility of skills acquisition is reduced as there is an insistence on contract labour systems. For many years there has been job reservation. There is also the red tape with which employers have to deal as a result of the Physical Planning Act and other legislation. I should like to quote Dr Joop de Loor on this subject when he was reported as follows:

He hoped that as the constitutional evolution progressed limitations affecting productivity and the effective use of manpower would be eased or removed.

Not a moment too soon, I should like to say.

The fifth aspect that I should like to refer to is the distribution of the tax burden. The tax burden has shifted relentlessly on to the individual, who in many cases is least able to afford it. Company taxation as a percentage of profits has generally declined and in some cases dramatically; eg, between the 1977-78 and 1981-82 financial years, the taxes paid by commercial companies decreased from 39% to 30% of profits while profits as a percentage of shareholders’ funds increased from 23% to 32%. Recently—this has been referred to again today—a large company was reported to have paid only 1% tax on its profits.

GST is a broadly-based tax and it makes no sense to place further burdens upon the shoulders of those who are already impoverished or battling to survive economically. No taxation is popular, but taxes on profits at least tax people who have some money to pay. General sales tax on food results in some people going hungry because they do not have the money. GST was introduced in 1978 and it is interesting to read what the hon the Minister of Finance had to say about it then. I quote (Hansard, vol 73, col 3375):

The most important consideration for the establishment of the proposed broadly based final-point-of-sale general sales tax is to create a viable indirect tax which will, as consumption expenditures increase, maintain a natural growth in revenue without necessarily having to increase the rate of taxation.

That was when he was introducing a general sales tax of 4%. Furtheron in the same column he went on to say:

One of the main objectives is that the tax rate be as low as possible.

Not surprisingly he has not been able to resist the temptation and GST has been increasing at a rapid pace in recent years.

Finally, I want to turn to the question of Government over-expenditure. Every year the hon the Minister of Finance talks of financial discipline and the need for strict control over Government spending, yet we consistently find that the Government has overspent. In this regard I want to quote from the Sunday Times of 15 January, in which Volkskas is quoted as saying:

The outstanding feature of Government expenditure during the past few years has been the extent to which actual expenditure has exceeded budgeted targets. The objective of promoting financial discipline could not be fully realized.

Since his 1980 budget, Mr Horwood has been hopelessly wrong in his estimates for Government spending. In 1980-81 State expenditure rose by 18,4% against an estimated 14%; in 1981-82 by 20,3% against an estimated 16,8%; and in 1982-83 by 17,5% as against an estimated 11,5%. This year, however, takes the cake. Volkskas estimates that State expenditure for the year ending February will increase by 18% compared to the hon the Minister of Finance’s estimate of 10,3%. A capital market expert comments that these overruns on spending have made nonsense of the budget estimates, yet every year the Minister of Finance is praised for his bravery in keeping Government spending down.

These are all statistics, but the people of this country know that they are struggling economically. They do not need me or anyone else to tell them. We should concern ourselves with their problems and those of the economy as a whole. We need real economic growth to provide employment and rising standards of living. Again I would like to quote Dr De Loor where he says:

South Africa was not yet a developed economy and this gave it the potential to grow at a higher rate than other more mature economies.

To achieve this we must increase our skilled labour force, we must improve productivity, we must control inflation and we must utilize our human and financial resources optimally. Many of these are interrelated, but all are essential.

How are we to do this? We must upgrade basic education. We must capture the spirit of De Lange, not stifle it. We must spend more money per pupil, not less as we are doing this year compared with last year, in respect of Black education. We must use all our physical and human resources to the full.

We must remove artificial restraints. Make business areas non-racial and phase out influx control. This is often considered as being a PFP thing and that nobody else holds that view. However, people who have read about or have been to the anti-inflation conference will know that people such as Mr Frans Davin of Old Mutual has said that some aspects of influx control could be abolished. Mr Gavin Relly described the financial requirements of influx control and the homelands as two of the structural causes of inflation. The hon the Prime Minister was told that measures such as influx control created unnecessary hardship and could contribute to inflation. It is therefore not just a PFP hobby-horse. We should allow Blacks freehold property rights and we should let businesses locate where they will be most efficient.

Thirdly, we must reduce inflation and control Government spending and the money supply. The hon the Deputy Minister of Finance seems greatly impressed by the views of prof Kantor. On 26 January in The Argus, he wrote:

Monetary policy has again proved a great disappointment over the past year. Money supply has not proved to be under the necessary control.

Further on, he says, incidentally:

South Africans should not be satisfied with anything less than high growth and less inflation.

To reduce inflation, we must remove GST from foodstuffs. We must provide pensioners with inflation-proof investments so that at least they do not have to fear the consequences of inflation when they are not able to protect themselves.

Finally, we must stop wasteful expenditure, in respect of ideologically motivated projects such as forced removals, homeland consolidation and elements of the decentralization program. We must stop inefficient duplication and, worse, quadruplication. The costs of certain aspects of the new constitution are horrifying. The whole concept of Indian water affairs, Coloured water affairs, White water affairs and general water affairs makes the mind boggle.

We must also stop wasting time and money on hounding and jailing homeless people. We must stop raiding Sandy Bay while crime is going on unabated on the Cape Flats, and having constables spending hours and hours sitting in vans at Sunrise Beach to stop a few Coloured people either walking across it or going for a swim there. In this respect I would like to quote Dr Simon Brand who said that his group was concerned about the effect of expenditure for political purposes.

No country has limitless resources, but I have no doubt that there should be a place in the sun for everyone living in this country. Unfortunately, government political and economic policies have failed to achieve this. As we move towards a new constitutional era, I hope that the basic economic needs of our people will not be forgotten.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Cape Town Gardens referred mainly to financial matters. I do not think that anybody in the Government and certainly not the hon the Minister of Finance has disguised from the people of South Africa the fact of the difficult financial times through which we are going at the moment. The hon member will know that there has been, generally speaking, worldwide the worst form of recession since the depression in about 1932. The matters that he raised are more appropriate to the Budget debate and I have no doubt that they will be dealt with by the hon the Minister of Finance. I want to give him and other hon members the assurance that just as the hon the Minister of Finance has guided the financial ship of state of South Africa through difficult waters before, so he will do it again in the months and years that lie ahead.

The hon member referred critically to the speech made by the hon the Minister of Defence. I would suggest to that hon member that he should rather discuss Defence matters with the hon member for Yeoville than defend the hon member for Wynberg as his knowledge of defence matters is singularly limited. I understand, however, that on defence matters the hon member for Cape Town Gardens is a trifle sensitive. There are not many hon members in this House who are handicapped by having an MPC with the same views on defence as his member of the Provincial Council. I would like to ask the hon member when he ever repudiated the attitudes and the speeches made by his MPC on defence matters, more particularly the recent ones after her visit to the South African Forces on the border. He should be ashamed of himself and he should be ashamed of his MPC.


I am proud of my MPC. [Interjections.] She cares more about the people in South Africa than the whole lot of you put together.


Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings!

This last year has seen something great happen in the Republic. South Africans proved to themselves that they could forget petty differences and that they could stand together if they were required to do so and if they were properly motivated to do so. That is why Afrikaans-speaking people, English-speaking people, Jews, Greeks, Portuguese, Italians, all good and proud South Africans and all old and new South Africans, found common ground and common expression in a yes vote in the referendum. A new unity has been forged in the Republic under a broad form of South Africanism for which so many people have worked for many years in this country. It is said that the Progressive Federal Party lost literally every seat in the Peninsula in the referendum. Judging by the regional results, it would seem that they did singularly badly in all the urban regions in the Republic, including Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and East London in respect of which the PFP at present have representatives in Parliament and in the provincial councils. It seems, however, that they have diminishing support in those areas.

Even the previously monolithic English-language Press was divided. I want to congratulate the editors of those newspapers who saw their way clear to urging their readers to vote yes in the interests of the country on having had the courage to do so. [Interjections.] They put South Africa first for a change, and it is a welcome change.

It is said that Opposition supporters supported the Government. The PFP is said to have lost something between 25% and 30% of its supporters. This is not altogether correct. Only a small number of voters are actually supporters of the PFP. It is often forgotten, and I want to remind hon members, particularly some of my friends sitting over the way, how, when the old United Party broke up, many of that party’s supporters found themselves without a political home. They were anti-Government and therefore they were Opposition supporters, but few of them could easily transfer their political affections to a party like the PFP with its outlook and its policies, except of course those who have been half-Prog all their lives and who would never have been in the old United Party had it not been the only available political vehicle for their ambitions, beginning with the hon the member for Houghton in the 1950s. [Interjections.] These people, who were left politically homeless with the demise of the United Party, could not bring themselves to support the NP and the Government for historical reasons. That is why they voted for the PFP in many cases in the elections of 1981, but without either approving of the leadership or the policies of the PFP. They felt that they had no choice. In their view they had no choice. Sir, I ask you: What moderate South Africans could possibly support any party as anti-South African in so many of its stances, as anti-South African Defence Force, as anti-South African security forces, as the PFP? Therefore, these people were not voters for the PFP for very long.


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Is the hon the Deputy Minister entitled to impute disloyalty to this country by saying that we are anti a number of South African institutions … [Interjections.]


Order! Did the hon the Deputy Minister mean that hon members on the Opposition side are disloyal to South Africa, being anti-South African?


He condoned the Pretoria bomb.


Sir, I never mentioned disloyalty to South Africa. I said that the attitude of the PFP was very often anti-South African, anti-Defence Force, and anti-security forces.


The hon the Deputy Minister was referring to the party and not to members of the party?


That is quite right, Sir.


The hon the Deputy Minister may proceed.


But that hon member condoned the Pretoria bomb.


Those former United Party members who in 1981 voted for the PFP were also joined by former United Party members who voted for the HNP in the platteland areas, such was their dislike at the time of the NP.


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I believe that the hon the Minister of Community Development said “Who placed the Pretoria bomb?” when we were discussing the question of the PFP’s…


You should improve your Afrikaans. I said: “That fellow over there approved of the Pretoria bomb.” [Interjections.]


Order! The hon member may proceed with his point of order.


The hon the Minister now says that he said that we approved of the Pretoria bomb.


Order! Will the hon the Minister please repeat what he said?


I said that the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central had condoned in this House the placing of the bomb in Pretoria. [Interjections.]


I said no such thing.


Order! The hon the Deputy Minister may proceed.


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: The hon the Minister of Community Development has made an allegation in regard to something I am supposed to have said which, firstly, imputes disloyalty and, secondly, certainly was not said by me on any occasion in this House.


The hon member is not taking a point of order now. It is not a question of whether it was said or not.


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Sir, I ask you to rule that the remarks made by the hon the Minister of Community Development be withdrawn unconditionally.




Mr Speaker, may I address you on this issue?




The allegation is that the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central approved of an action on the part of terrorists in placing a bomb in Pretoria. That means he approves of a crime which is both murder and terrorism. That imputes dishonorable conduct. Therefore the hon the Minister must withdraw it.


Mr Speaker, with all due respect: That is what I infer from what the hon member has said. [Interjections.] If the hon member says that it is not correct and that he does not approve of it, I am glad to hear that.


I should be glad if the hon the Minister would withdraw the statement that the hon member was pleased at the fact that the bomb exploded.


I withdraw it.


The hon the Deputy Minister may proceed.


Mr Speaker, I was saying that in the referendum moderate South Africans voted yes although they were not traditionally supporters of the Government. In addition to the Prog-at-all-costs newspapers, Buthelezi and the ANC also made their contributions towards the huge yes vote that was achieved. We know that the hon the Leader of the Opposition liaised with Chief Buthelezi and used him for his own political purposes. That we know. The ANC also made an appeal to the voters of South Africa to vote no. I want to ask the hon the Leader of the Opposition whether there was the same liaison between him and the ANC as there was between him and Chief Buthelezi. That we do not know. [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: By posing the question as to whether there was liaison between the hon the Leader of the Opposition and the ANC the hon the Deputy Minister is implying…[Interjections.] If I asked whether the hon the Deputy Minister was a rogue or a thief that would nor be allowed by the Chair. Sir, in the same way you cannot allow a question as to whether there was liaison between the hon the Leader of the Opposition and the ANC. The ANC is an illegal organization. That implies contact between the hon the Leader of the Opposition and an illegal organization.


I think the hon member for Yeoville is correct.




Order! The hon member for East London North must withdraw that remark.


I withdraw it.


I should appreciate it if the hon the Deputy Minister would withdraw those words.


I withdraw. I would never refer to the hon member for Yeoville either as a rogue or a thief.


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I would be grateful if you would consider the tone and the provocative nature of the speech that is now being delivered. [Interjections.]


I have already asked the hon the Deputy Minister to withdraw the words, and he has done so.


I was referring to the referendum and attitudes at the time of the referendum. Some newspapers tried to force their readers to vote no to save the political leadership of the hon the Leader of the Opposition. They said that Dr Slabbert had placed his political reputation at stake. To paraphrase a famous saying, never before in the history of political conflict has so little been staked on so much.

Some people might also say that the referendum campaign introduced a new law—I refer to it as the Schwarz Law. The Schwarz Law is: The less one says the more one achieves. [Interjections.] The hon the Leader of the Opposition’s reputation was at stake and, in fact, the referendum was for him a personal disaster, but he is still with us. I suppose on the basis that cowboys do not cry, Progs do not resign. The problem with the hon the Leader of the Opposition is that he has no visible successor. The only one with the ambition to succeed him is, of course, the hon member for Yeoville who always wishes to succeed everyone. However, the hon member for Yeoville is unacceptable to the secret power group in the PFP, mainly because of his patriotism and because of his support for the security forces. Any hopes that he might have cherished of becoming leader of that party, I can assure him were dashed when he became an honorary colonel in the Air Force. That was utterly unacceptable to the power clique. In friendlier vein, I should like to congratulate him on the honour; I think it was well-deserved.

The power clique prefers the hon member for Wynberg to handle defence matters and his performance on Monday must have been a source of great pleasure to the power clique and fully justified their confidence in him.

I wish to say something about my friend, the hon member for Yeoville. Until fairly recently he was a man with an excellent memory, a man who never easily forgot, except when he wished to forget; a man who was very quick to take offence, someone with a chip on his shoulder the size of Table Mountain in many respects, and a man who bided his time—and I want to warn the hon the Leader of the Opposition, the hon member for Yeoville is a man who bides his time. But what has happened to him? What has happened to the hon member for Yeoville? The year before last he was removed from the chairmanship of the PFP’s central executive, or whatever that body is called. He rushed into Press to say that he had been removed by the machinations of a power clique in that party. Last year he was removed from the important position of spokesman for Defence. There was a paper-thin excuse given by the hon the Leader of the Opposition at the time, that there were not sufficient chairman posts in the PFP to go around and that was why no one could occupy more than one post. The hon member for Yeoville made no spirited protest about the insult of being removed from an important post in his party, and this year he does not even make himself available for membership of the executive of his party, and he gives as his reasons “political reasons”. But I want to say to the hon member for Yeoville that he is singularly coy in not providing us with those political reasons. What were those political reasons? The hon member for Yeoville is not known as a man without courage. Why then did he take this lying down? That same hon gentleman has been known in politics for many, many years as his “brother’s keeper.” Those of us who have equally long memories will remember how he stormed out of the caucus of the old United Party when his “brother,” Tricky Dick, was removed from that body for disloyalty to his leader and to his party, and he of course followed Tricky Dick.

Let us have a look at some of the other “brothers.”

The hon member for Bryanston is also not on the PFP executive, and today he has become the buffoon of Parliament. [Interjections.]


Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I do not mind the hon the Deputy Minister insulting me. However, he cannot insult hon colleagues of mine in this manner. I submit that the whole tone of his speech is quite unbecoming of this House.


Order! The hon the Deputy Minister must withdraw that remark.


Mr Speaker, I withdraw it. [Interjections.]




Mr Speaker, another hon member of that party to whom I should like to refer is the hon member for Sandton. He was last year voted out of the executive. Exactly like the hon member for Yeoville he rushed straight to the Press and complained that he had been removed from office. According to him it amounted to a vote of no confidence; a base ingratitude after all the brilliant work he had done for the PFP. [Interjections.] He immediately offered his resignation to the hon the Leader of the Opposition, who, of course, did not accept it. However, not a word from the “keeper” of that hon gentleman. What happened to the hon member for Yeoville’s “brother”? Why did he not look after him? Why did he not defend him? [Interjections.]

Mr Speaker, let us have a look at one or two of those other young Turkeys who are now in the PFP. [Interjections.] No post on the executive committee has been given to the hon member for Green Point. No position on the executive committee has been given to the hon member for Wynberg. Yet, not a word from their “Keeper.” [Interjections.] I should like to ask the hon member for Yeoville what he is biding his time for. Why does he hesitate? Why does he not defend his “brothers” when they are in difficulty? His “brothers” have been worked out of every single position of power in the PFP by the old Progressives and the new radical left wing of that party. What is he going to do about it?


Join the Nats. [Interjections.]


Sorry, it always takes two to tango. [Interjections] I should think it very unlikely for the Nats to tango with the hon member for Yeoville! [Interjections.]

Sir, why was there that great coming together during the referendum? I think it was because of a general realization amongst South Africans that in times of danger there must be unity. Unity has been achieved; an elusive thing for many, many years. However, it has been reached to a greater extent in the referendum than ever before in the history of this country. That is why I am confident that this country is going to go forward towards a great future and a great destiny that lies in store for it. We will be an example to the rest of the world of how different people, different groups, different nations and different communities, at different stages of development, can co-exist harmoniously in the interests of their Republic.


Mr Speaker, I think the hon the Deputy Minister of Environment Affairs and Fisheries made a remarkable speech here this afternoon. Actually, I think he is a clever man. If I had been the hon member for Simon’s Town, I would have made a similar speech. [Interjections]

Nevertheless, I do wish to congratulate the hon member for Yeoville. When, halfway through the referendum campaign, the Government offered to make him an honorary colonel, he declined the offer. I think it was an honourable thing to do, and for that reason I want it placed on record that I think he acted quite correctly. I therefore want to indicate that the hon member for Yeoville is not a person one can point a finger at. In no respect can one point a finger at him, and I want to congratulate him on that. [Interjections.]

Because we are now starting afresh embarking upon a new constitutional dispensation, I feel it is very important for us to realize that everything we say and do in this House, will after form part of the historical record one day. One day history will show that all of us participated in some or other way in the new constitution; helped to bring about its implementation or possibly even opposed it. We in this House are too emotional to judge for ourselves whether we are right or wrong. History will be able to tell us that and our descendants will be able to judge. At the moment we are going through very difficult economic times and it is extremely difficult for the ordinary man in the street to provide for his family. I personally will never be able to attack the hon the Minister of Finance regarding the methods he uses and the way in which he budgets. All I can tell him is that his Government and the people around him make it extremely difficult for the Minister of Finance to keep his head above water. It becomes extremely difficult if people go about making announcements, very frequently with very little knowledge of the subject on which they are making the announcement and of how much money will be required to implement those announcements.

The ordinary worker is not able to keep the daily price increases in check. It is impossible. Newspaper headlines prove that there are problems as far as the consumer is concerned. We read headlines such as: Tinned food prices up by 9%. Maize price up by 9%. We know what problems the farmers have and we are not complaining about this. However, shelf prices rise by 12%. This is the problem the worker is experiencing and he cannot do anything about it. [Interjections.] The hon member for Amanzimtoti said: Tighten your belt. Eventually one cannot tighten one’s belt any further. As a matter of fact, the consumer tightened his belt as much as he could last year already. It is not possible for him to tighten it any further. [Interjections.] I am dealing with these matters very carefully today because I do not want us to throw stones at one another in these extremely difficult economic times. However, I do want to make this appeal to the hon the Minister: Please do not justify price rises on television by saying that the rise in labour costs and in this, that or the other has led to the increase in prices. The hon the Deputy Minister of Environment Affairs and Fisheries himself said that the longer one keeps quiet the better one fares, and I agree with that. It is very important for a Minister never to condone an increase, not even when he is representing his own people. It is not necessary for him to condone it. If he thinks that it is justified he need only announce it. However, he should not bring rises in labour costs and other matters into the picture which then results in many of our business crickets continuing to chirp for months and years afterwards in order to push those prices higher and higher.

One of the sickening increases in this connection—if I may call it that—I blame on garage owners as regards the R5 levy they charge for the after-hours provision of petrol. It is a disgrace because they refuse to provide water or oil for the motor car or air for the tyres when one goes to them after hours. The toilets are also locked. [Interjections.] Yes, this is an important matter. It is an important service which should be provided for the public. They ignore the consumer, they ignore the man who assures them of their livelihood. Within an area of one square kilometre in my constituency there are about 17 garages. In my opinion it is quite wrong to allow a commodity which is in such short supply to be sold by so many people. This builds up a cost structure which is totally unnecessary.

An extremely serious article appeared in the Mediese Joernaal because the caption to that article read “Wanvoedingskrisis staar Suid-Afrika in die gesig”. I am hesitant to tell you what was said in that article. It said that children were dying of malnutrition in South Africa. In my own experience nowadays it is not only Blacks who are experiencing problems with malnutrition; children in Johannesburg are experiencing the same problems. In this connection one can make inquiries at schools and so on. Senior citizens in the urban areas of Johannesburg are also experiencing tremendous malnutrition problems and there is nothing they can do about it.


Yet we can export milk powder.


The hon member referred to the export of milk powder. I am well aware of the problems being experienced with regard to marketing, but if one wants to solve a child’s malnutrition problems, milk powder is very important. In spite of this we export milk powder at one-third of the domestic cost. We export it so that it can be fed to animals in Japan. These things bother me, and they have nothing to do with the hon the Minister of Finance, but all the other wider ramifications of this structure have become a problem for South Africa. Timeous action at all levels as regards the malnutrition situation and rising costs is essential.

We are experiencing problems in the field of housing. Today I want to talk to the hon the Minister of Community Development, but I do not want to quarrel with him. The fact of the matter is that he made a decision, and as a result some people want to skin him alive, but after all, it must have been a Cabinet decision. One does not send two Ministers when one of them has to make an announcement unless the Cabinet decided on the matter. I therefore do not want to hold it against the hon the Minister because he has done many good things in the field of housing.

There are other problems. People will say I have capitulated. No, I have not capitulated, but when one has been driven into a corner by a crowd of bullies and one has to protect one’s children, one lowers oneself. My people were treated shabbily in Mayfair. I am only asking for one thing: Please, give my people housing. There are families whose children need new school uniforms. I put it to you that according to Die Vaderland or anyone else’s figures, a family with five children has to find R1 000 to be able to buy new school uniforms for those children. That parent is now receiving a house in an area about 15 kilometres away. He has to transport his furniture there. Every day for the rest of his life he has to travel 15 kilometres to his place of work in Fordsburg or Mayfair and back. I do not want to make too much of a fuss about this, but I am speaking for the sake of my people’s children. I am asking the hon the Minister to give attention to this matter. He could have a survey undertaken among these people. He could also go to these people or send officials to them to reassure them by telling them that the Government will take care of them. Today I do not care if the Government gets 10 000 more votes in the Mayfair area, as long as the Government looks after these people.

It is very difficult in such a short speech to touch on all kinds of matters such as Government loans and other Government activities. I nevertheless want to point out to the hon the Minister of Finance that we are experiencing a tremendous problem with inflation. I do not think it is only the hon the Minister who is experiencing problems in this regard; throughout the country there is the problem that we are slowly but surely becoming impoverished. What I am saying here is not mere gossip-mongering, because if our country’s inflation rate is expressed in double figures whereas the inflation rates in the countries of our trading partners are expressed in single figures, sometimes as low as 4%, and that ratio applies for ten years, we simply have to become poorer. Between 1975 and 1980 inflation increased by 133% in our country. This is a tremendous increase. Our country’s trading partners benefit in all manner of ways when things like this happen to us. This is a problem, and now I want to discuss with the hon the Minister the tremendous loans we are raising. I realize that nothing else could be done, but I nevertheless regret this step. Let us consider last year’s budget. It made provision for expenditure of approximately R17 000 million.


It is now R21 000 million.


It is now R21 000 million, but our loans for last year totalled R29 billion. This is a shocking situation, but it is not the hon the Minister’s fault. Things have to be financed. It is the easiest thing in the world to tell the hon the Minister that State expenditure has to be brought under control.

Something which shocks me, is this phenomenon called the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

†The Development Bank for Southern Africa is an instrument about which people become lyrical in describing how wonderful it is. We are investing R1,5 billion in that bank which will earn no interest at all, while people in this country pay 17,5% interest on housing loans, exactly 26% on hire purchase interest and many other increases, for example the prime rate which is 18%. It is a shocking state of affairs when you see that your own people are gradually becoming poorer while this large amount of money which earns no interest is paid over to an institution which is not yet in operation. The world outside is always offering us political solutions, but these Americans and the people who want to change the country should rather put their money where their mouths are. Let them put up 75% of the financing costs of that bank. Then we can see where they will end up.

Mr Speaker, it is necessary that all of us in this country should have regard for the economic situation in South Africa. In respect of the proposed new constitution the Government achieved a wonderful majority in the referendum to go ahead with it.

*In the economic sphere, however, the new constitution cannot succeed. Yesterday the hon the Prime Minister could not tell us what the new tricameral system would cost South Africa. Why was he unable to do so? Did he not try to ascertain the financial implications of this beforehand? Does the hon the Prime Minister not know what the new dispensation is going to cost him? He knows exactly what a homeland cost. I want to ask him again to tell us what the costs are, because our figures may be wrong.


Mr Speaker, they say a sound thrashing does one a lot of good. I think that in the case of the hon member for Langlaagte the sound thrashing they got in the referendum did him a lot of good. During the session last year the hon member was a completely different person. He was puffed up and full of himself. He was virtually developing delusions of grandeur about the great victory they were going to achieve in the referendum. The thrashing they got reminds me of a large balloon which bursts at the prick of a tiny pin and collapses completely. There the hon member now sits tom to shreds and completely docile. The hon member spoke about stone-throwing. In the past he has had his hands full to overflowing with stones and with mud, but today he is as meek as a lamb. He said he did not want to talk politics, but rather about toilets.

On the day of the opening we were ashamed at the hon member for Kuruman coming here with hands all full of mud. However, someone told him he should stop behaving like that and now he is sitting there as meek as a lamb.

The hon member for Rissik is lying rather than sitting in his bench. He cannot sit up straight any longer, because he has been knocked flat. The hon member would seem to have received a hard knock.

We no longer recognize those hon members. I do not know whether their leader, the hon member for Waterberg, has given them a bit of a talking to, but we are not having fun with them this year. Coming back, they do not look like the same men any more. In the referendum the voters said yes to strong leadership. Gossip about how inefficient and incompetent and bad the hon the Prime Minister supposedly is, was freely spread abroad throughout the country. Do hon members know what happened after the voters had seen the hon the Prime Minister? I am speaking from my own experiences in Northern Natal. They said he is the man—they had a feeling about this—who would save South Africa.

The leader of the CP, the hon member for Waterberg, for whom I have great respect, also made an appearance there in Northern Natal. In spite of the fact that the hon member for Koedoespoort had been there for a week stirring things up, his visit was not a success. The hon member for Koedoespoort is welcome to visit my constituency on a regular basis. The voters said they heard he was a doctor, but they were not very impressed with him.

The voters saw leadership, and this is what they want, because we have problems and we need a man to lead us. The public said no in the referendum to this sanctimonious hypocrisy. Those hon members talk as if our people were sceptical or gullible and as if we had a few things to hide. But we are just ordinary people. As such we are sinners, we have our faults. I think there are a few members opposite who also have faults. People do not want a person to pretend he is better than other people. I think those hon members are just as fallible as we are.

In the referendum our people said “yes” to peaceful coexistence because they do not want the confrontation and war-mongering of the CP. The English-speaking people in Natal made it quite clear that approximately 73% of them are not in favour of the policy of the PFP. It is estimated that only 7% of the English-speaking people in Natal support the PFP. In spite of this they are making out that they enjoy great support among English-speaking people in Natal for the by-election in Pinetown. This is not true. How many representatives do they have in the Natal Provincial Council? They only have one, and he is so feeble that they did not want to have him stand as a candidate in Pinetown.

They now make out that it was a terrible sin for the hon members of the NRP to support us in the referendum. It is no sin and the NRP need not be ashamed of it. We are very grateful for their support and we have very great appreciation for those hon members. We need not feel ashamed of any of these people. Hon members know the quality of these people. They are patriots, people we can rely on. It is the English-speaking people in Natal whom we want on our side, on the side of South Africa.

For many years I served on the Natal provincial council with the NRP candidate in this by-election, Mr Frank Martin, and I want to tell hon members that I have great respect for him. This is a man one can really rely on, and I am proud to say that Frank Martin is a South African. If I were allowed to vote there, I would definitely vote for Frank Martin. I would definitely not vote for the PFP. I would appreciate it if PFP supporters also voted against their party in this by-election, because it is in the interests of South Africa for us to make a few things clear here.

Today the hon the Minister of Defence gave a very interesting report on the role of the Defence Force. We know what the attitude of the PFP towards the Defence Force is. It is important to us that there should be peace in Southern Africa. All our people want peace. We want peace and a climate must be created in which there can be negotiations for peace. One asks oneself what made these peace negotiations possible. I shall tell hon members what made them possible. The referendum made them possible, because the general public saw that there was unanimity among the Whites with regard to the goals which have to be pursued and that they were closing ranks behind one leader. The leader-in-chief of the NP will go down in history—in spite of the fact that he was besmirched—as the man who, five years after he came to power, placed us on the road to peace. The referendum attends to this.

A second aspect I want to refer to is Operation Askari in South West Africa. This also made it possible for us to negotiate for peace. The other matter I mentioned was strong leadership, a strong leader. The people have united behind one leader, and this makes it possible for us to talk now about the peace we want.

How are we going to succeed in our negotiations? I think the voters of South Africa must give their continued support to the hon the Prime Minister’s initiatives for achieving peace. How can the population of South Africa demonstrate and underline that continued support? In my humble opinion we must show the outside world and the country in the coming two by-elections, in spite of the difficult drought conditions, that we are standing by our leader and giving him the support he must have. Unfortunately we cannot support him in Pinetown, but I would say the people should rather support the allies of the National Party in the referendum, namely the NRP.

In conclusion I want to thank the Government and the Cabinet most sincerely for the decision they took this morning to give high-level consideration, no later than tomorrow, to the assistance which can be given to the people who have been hit by the flood disaster in Northern Natal and Zululand. We want to thank the Government for this, knowing full well that in any emergency in South Africa, as in the case of the drought and the flood disaster, the Government will assist the people concerned, in spite of difficult economic conditions. On behalf of the people of Natal I want to thank the hon the Leader of the NP in Natal, the hon the Minister of Finance and the Government most sincerely for this.


Mr Speaker, the hon member for Vryheid, who has just sat down, comes from an area that has patently been grievously damaged by the cyclone that recently hit our shores. I would like to extend, on behalf of this party, our sympathy to his constituents for any losses they may have sustained. I, too, am glad that the hon the Prime Minister has seen fit to see that they get relief as soon as possible.

I want to come immediately to the speech made by the hon the Deputy Minister, a speech which, frankly, I found quite extraordinary. Had the hon the Prime Minister been here when that hon member made his speech, I do not believe that the hon the Prime Minister could have been very proud of the contribution of one of his Deputy Ministers. It was a bit of a hit-and-run affair because the hon the Deputy Minister made his speech and disappeared. I asked through my Whip that he should be present … [Interjections.] I understand that he cannot be here.

He crowed over the referendum results. He is entitled to do that, but I want to tell him and the House that, while one can win a referendum, what changes Governments is winning elections. The PFP has grown in every successive election since 1970 and I can assure the House that it will continue to grow at the next election. [Interjections.]

I do not believe that the hon the Deputy Minister has done Parliament or debate in this House any good whatsoever. I do not believe his contribution furthered any cause in South Africa. He is a Deputy Minister who has important duties in this country. Yet he spent his important time in this no-confidence debate on petty politics. This is what is done by a man who speaks from the bench of a Deputy Minister. I believe that his position should be reconsidered by the hon the Prime Minister. [Interjections.] I believe that his great hatred has got the better of him at last.

I want to say that I support the motion of no confidence with the greatest conviction. When I consider the position of this my country after many years of National Party rule, I can do nothing else but support it with conviction. In 1948 this country was a respected and admired member of the world community. Today it is not possible to find a single country that supports this Government’s policy of apartheid. The hon member for Innesdal said we must do away with the word “apartheid”. Sir, you can take it away as much as you like but it still remains on the Statute Book of South Africa. Until such time as that discriminatory legislation goes that long will the word “apartheid” remain.

There are a number of reasons why one should have no confidence in the present Government. More money is being taken from South African taxpayers than ever before. The increase to 7% in GST this very day is I believe but a forerunner of things to come. I would guess that before this session is over we are likely to have another increase in GST. I believe the speed with which the last one was done—it was announced prior to the parliamentary session—is to clear the decks so that the hon the Minister of Finance can increase it yet again before this session is over. I believe by the end of next year we will find that GST is at least in double figures. This country is embarking on high costs in its new constitution with its new enormous Public Service. It is no good saying, as the hon the Prime Minister did, that this country’s expenditure on Parliament is lower than that of a number of other countries. The Public Service will have to be increased because of all the departments that are being created by the new constitution. That is going to be very expensive indeed. The fact that this tax is levied on basic foodstuffs I believe shows a callous disregard for the plight of the unenfranchised poor.

A second reason why we should have no confidence in this Government is that no fewer than two members of the Cabinet had to resign during the past recess under something of a cloud. This gives me no reason for confidence. If one of these resignations was as a result of actions taken in office—I understand it was—then I believe we should have an explanation and a statement from the Cabinet on precisely what the problem was.

Thirdly, there is the great milk disaster as a result of which the milk farmers of the country are apparently going to have to fork out some R28 million because of actions taken by a Government appointed body selling milk powder at a loss of R28 million.

Fourthly, I come to a matter on which I wish to elaborate somewhat. I refer to the veil of silence and secrecy that has and still is being drawn over the Salem affair as well as the secret report which has been submitted. Sir, you will recall that as a result of extreme gullibility South Africa purchased a shipment of stolen oil in January 1980. This cost the taxpayer in excess of R30 million. However, it was only 30 months later that a team was apparently appointed to investigate the matter and to try to recover lost money. We were told this on 9 March last year in this very House—Hansard, col 2600—by the then hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs. Incidentally, I want to congratulate the hon the Minister on his appointment as the new Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs. On 4 March 1983 I was told by the hon the Minister of Law and Order that there had been no police investigation into the Salem affair. I was told that the inquiry should be completed by the end of October 1983. This brings us up to date. Sir, subsequent to that inquiry we in South Africa have had no further information neither do we know of any money recovered or persons charged nor indeed of any police investigation. I understand from a report in the Sunday Express of 15 January this year that a report—perhaps we should call it the first report—has been completed. I want to ask the hon the Minister: Is that so? Has any report been completed by, I think, a Mr Swanepoel?




It has? Thank you. So a report has been completed.

I also understand from the same article that copies have been made available to foreign governments or bodies belonging to foreign governments, possibly Greece, Holland, and the USA. Is that true? The hon the Minister nods his head; it is true. Furthermore, I believe that copies have been or will be offered to the FBI of the USA who have been conducting an investigation and questioning witnesses here in South Africa. May I ask the hon the Minister whether that is so? Have copies been handed to the FBI? This time the hon the Minister merely smiles. I believe that some of the witnesses were Sasol officials. Despite this disclosure to foreigners of the contents of this report, the hon the Minister has apparently told the Press that he will not release the report in South Africa and, what is more, he stated that the Salem affair was a departmental matter. I find this astonishing. R30 million of the public’s money is involved but it is a departmental matter. Surely, it should not be brushed under some departmental carpet.

My information is that this report, compiled by Mr P Swanepoel, is an independent, dispassionate and factual report, and I have as a result several minor questions to put to the hon the Minister which perhaps he can answer without enlarging upon our source of oil. For instance, was the role played by Sasol or its officials covered in that report and was that role above criticism? Was there a possibility that the role of certain officials in Sasol could be criticized as a result of this report? No answer. I want to ask the hon the Minister whether further reports have been called for. Will there be a further report or more than one further report and, if so, by and to whom? I have heard rumors of a second and even of a third report.

I believe that there are three issues that require clarification. Firstly, there is the issue of public disclosure. At the outset the Government devoted its awesome powers to stifle reporting of an oil swindle that was reported and was common knowledge worldwide. Following public court cases in Great Britain, the censorship continued. Only three years after the event were some details finally released. This report, which is about four years late, has been completed and it is still a confidential document in South Africa, despite being handed to foreign governments and law enforcement bodies. I want, therefore, to call on the hon the Minister to table the report in this House and, if he considers that certain details could damage the State’s interest, then by all means delete them. The Select Committee on Public Accounts did just that during the Information affair. It was done by consultation between the hon member for Yeoville and the then hon member for Schweizer-Reneke. Certain portions were deleted to protect South Africa’s security interests. I believe the same thing could be done in terms of this report. I also believe there are many answers still owing.

The second major issue is that of police action. Salem was the biggest maritime swindle of all time. The police forces of the world have been active. Scotland Yard has issued warrants of arrest, the Dutch police have been active, and the FBI has been to South Africa, as I have already said. Yet, in this very country where the fraud was committed, in this very country which was the major loser, indeed, the only government that lost money, there was no police investigation up to 4 March 1983 and, probably, to this moment. Now I ask the hon the Minister, is there any police investigation at the moment?




No, there is not. This action leads one to think that the Government does not want the perpetrators of this fraud brought to book.

The third major issue is the failure to recover, or even to attempt to recover any money. Between 3 and 10 January 1980, SFF paid out more than R10 million in rand and more than R32 million in dollars for stolen oil. The money which was paid out overseas might be difficult to recover, but what about the R10 million paid to Mercabank to the account of J C J van Vuuren? This man of straw with a criminal record was surely acting as a front. Surely our investigation has discovered where the R10 million went from Mr Van Vuuren’s account. Why cannot we recover it?

I see that my time is running out and I want to close at this stage by saying that I believe that this whole horrible episode is a blot on the record book of this Government.

In accordance with Standing Order No 22, the House adjourned at 18h30.