House of Assembly: Vol112 - FRIDAY 3 FEBRUARY 1984
announced that he had appointed the following members to constitute with him the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders: The Prime Minister, the Minister of Co-operation and Development, the Minister of Transport Affairs, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Government Whip, the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition, Mr C W Eglin, Mr J H Hoon, Mr B W B Page, Mr W V Raw and Dr the Hon A P Treurnicht.
Order! Before I call upon an hon member to speak I want to point out that in his speech yesterday, the hon member for Standerton said with reference to the hon member for Wynberg that he heard “the voice of Moscow” in the speech of the hon member for Wynberg. The hon member for Standerton had not yet explained what he meant by that when the hon Chief Whip of the official Opposition raised a point of order. At that stage I was not prepared to rule that the hon member for Standerton had accused the hon member for Wynberg of being a communist. In the meantime I have scrutinized the speech of the hon member for Standerton and found that in his speech, the hon member said the following with reference to the hon member for Wynberg (Hansard, 2 February):
I also found that later in his speech the hon member for Standerton said:
I am still of the opinion that the hon member for Standerton did not accuse the hon member for Wynberg of being a communist as such, but after taking everything into consideration I am of the opinion that the hon member for Standerton did accuse the hon member for Wynberg of possibly acting as the mouthpiece of communism. In view of this I ask the hon member for Standerton, for the sake of maintaining good order in this House and for the sake of maintaining sound relations among hon members, to withdraw his words.
Mr Speaker, I respect your ruling and withdraw the words.
Mr Speaker, for a number of reasons 1983 was a significant year. In the political and constitutional spheres, we think of the referendum and everything it meant to our country. In the agricultural sphere it was a year that will be remembered by many farmers. It is a year that will go down in the annals of agriculture as a black year, a disastrous year for many farmers. Thousands of head of cattle died because of the drought, whilst thousands upon thousands of hectares of farm-land and grazing were destroyed. Financial problems, and even ruin, was the fate of many farmers. No Government can be blamed for drought, but what a Government can be blamed for is the lack of a sound and well-thought-out, long-term agricultural policy, a policy into which can be incorporated mechanisms and methods whereby, when disastrous droughts occur in our country, as far as is humanly possible, the results of such droughts can be eased and combated with as little pain and financial consequences as possible.
Five years ago, when I was still a member of the NP, I issued a plea by way of a motion in the caucus of that party for a long-term agricultural policy which would make provision for greater security for the South African farmer and which would afford him better prospects. I am grateful to be able to say today that many members of the caucus supported me wholeheartedly that day. Today I find it even a greater pleasure to know that a number of those members who made ardent pleas in support of my motion are at present members of the highest hierarchy of the Government. Some of them are sitting in the Cabinet benches today, and I am grateful that they supported that motion at that time. I trust that they still have, and will continue to have, warm feelings towards the South African farmer. It is 1984, and I want to ask how the situation of the South African farmer in 1984 compares with that in 1979. I shall leave the answer open.
I want to quote what the president of the Transvaal Agricultural Union had to say at the recent congress of that union. It was reported as follows:
He went on to furnish certain figures. The carry-over production credit at co-operatives rose from R106 million in 1981 to R896 million in 1982. It therefore increased eight and a half times during a period of two years. New production credit at co-operatives rose from R659 million in 1981 to an estimated R1 565 million in 1983. This therefore represents an increase of 175% over a period of two years. Apart from that, the present high interest rate is causing the interest burden of agriculture to be the greatest single cost factor, and for the grain farmer it is even higher than fertilizer and fuel.
Today I want to appeal very urgently to the hon the Minister and the Government, for certain reasons, to ensure the preservation of the farmer in the rural areas. The first reason is that the farmer provides housing and labour for approximately one third of the Black labour force. Secondly, the farmer and workers of colour have always maintained sound and healthy relations among peoples, for both White and non-White, and for co-existence in South Africa. Thirdly, the farmer is essential to the preservation of infrastructure in the rural areas, particularly the preservation of our rural towns. Fourthly, and most important, if the evil day were to dawn when there is no longer any food in South Africa, people will ask where the South African farmer is. Then people will say that food is more powerful than the most powerful arms, for food means life.
This is how we feel about the South African farmer. However, an incident which I regard as particularly unfortunate occurred here yesterday. The hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs drew a comparison between the drought-stricken areas in the Northern Transvaal and funds that are being made available to South West Africa, and he said that if he had to use the funds of South West Africa in the interests of the farmers in the drought-stricken areas, he would rather do that. The hon member for Langlaagte then said by say of an interjection that R1 500 million is being made available, interest free, to the Development Bank for the Black states, meaning that both could be done. If it is done for that bank, why not assist our farmers, as well as South West Africa? That was his reproach and that is what he meant, and that is all.
The hon the Minister of Internal Affairs—it is a pity that he is not in the House at present. If he is interested he can read my speech in Hansard—appealed to us in this debate to co-operate as far as the new dispensation is concerned. This afternoon I want to take the first step in the direction of co-operation. I want to bring a matter to the attention of the hon the Minister and ask him to consider this once the new dispensation has come into operation so that he can rectify the imbalance which I am now going to tell hon members about. Under the new dispensation the representatives of the Cape Province—and now I am speaking about all the representatives; White, Brown and Indian—will number 119 in the new Parliament.
You must also consider what the position is as regards population. [Interjections.]
The representation of the province of Transvaal in the new tricameral Parliament, that is White, Coloured and Indian representatives, will be 94. Take note: Notwithstanding the fact that the Cape Province has 150 000 fewer voters, the Cape Province will have 25 more representatives in Parliament than the Transvaal. Where is the logic?
As far as the financial capacity of the provinces is concerned, I wish to state further that the revenue of the Provincial Council of the Cape, which is collected mainly from provincial taxes and other provincial revenue, amounted to R132 million in 1982. In contrast, the provincial revenue of the Transvaal was twice that amount, viz R273 million. The financial capacity of the province of Transvaal is therefore double that of the Cape Province. The population of the Transvaal exceeds that of the Cape Province by 150 000. Yet under the new dispensation the Cape Province has 25 more representatives than the province of Transvaal. [Interjections.] I want to tell the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs that I shall co-operate and I shall assist him in making a plea under the new dispensation to get this inequality rectified in the future. I am aware that the new constitution provides that these numbers can only be altered by a subsequent delimitation. Since the hon the Minister, the leader of the National Party in the Transvaal, allowed the Transvaal to be shortchanged to that extent last year, I ask that it will not be done again in the future. Unfortunately I was unable to ascertain what the Transvaal’s contribution is to the central Treasury, but I can say with a reasonable amount of certainty—if I am not on target, I am very close to it—that I think the Transvaal’s contribution to the central Treasury is half, or more than half, of the total contribution from all four the provinces.
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, Sir. Furthermore, I want to say that there is uncertainty about the continued existence of the provincial councils. Are the provincial councils going to continue to exist or not? If they continue to exist, I think it is only logical that the provincial councils will perhaps also have to function on the basis of the new Parliament in the future.
Whilst the Cape Province will have 60 Coloured MPs in Parliament, one finds that if the same formula is used for the provincial councils—if they were to continue to exist—there will be 60 Coloured MPCs, 56 White MPCs and 3 Indian MPCs in the Cape Province. That is the situation. In Natal one has the situation that the Indians will be in the majority in the provincial council if the provincial council continues to exist and is subject to the same changes as our parliamentary system.
I trust that the imbalance I pointed out, particularly in the representation of the Transvaal, will be rectified, and that we will be given a reply, for the sake of the provincial councils as well, as to what their prospects are for continued existence.
This debate is about a motion of no confidence in the Government, a motion to which my hon leader has moved an amendment. I support it wholeheartedly. I have no confidence in the Government. I shall tell hon member why I have no confidence in the Government. The Government continually creates the impression that it has become hesitant—I do not want to use that harsh word “scared”—to govern. Allow me to give reasons for my saying this.
What has become of the forceful Minister of Defence we once knew and who is now the Prime Minister? He acted with a firm hand when a false word was spoken. I want to quote what Rev Hendrickse had to say about the Government:
He went on to say:
I ask: Where is the man with the firm hand who did not tolerate that such things be said against the Government? I quote further:
I want to quote briefly what Mr David Curry said:
Mr Jac Rabie is quoted as follows:
That is nothing but blackmail. Where is the once forceful and powerful Government that did not tolerate such language and deeds?
There are only two political directions to follow in South Africa. One of the directions is the one recently described by the great mentor of the National Party, Dr Wimpie de Klerk. I turn to the hon member for Virginia. I want to know whether he agrees with the following words of Dr De Klerk:
He went on to say:
Do hon members opposite agree with that? This is what the great mentor of the NP has to say. Do hon members agree with that? [Interjections.]
A few days ago the hon member for Yeoville made a very interesting statement to the effect that 40% of all Afrikaners voted “no” in the recent referendum. If his figure is correct, I want to ask whether the Government realizes that since 1948 there has never been a 40% Afrikaner vote against the NP. May I be so bold as to say that the Afrikaner vote against them has never been more than 15% or 20%. However, now we have a vote of 40% against them. This is the beginning of the end for the Government. [Interjections.]
In conclusion I want to say that when the Nationalist Government falls—and that day is not far away, because I can see it cracking and trembling—it will fall with a resounding crash. After that resounding crash, it will simply lie there, motionless. To show my respect I shall go to where it is lying in its deep sleep of death. I shall pay my respects and take it a wreath. On that wreath I shall write: Rest in peace, brave heroes. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Meyerton raised quite a number of matters here this afternoon. At the end of his speech he spoke about the CP’s views on the new dispensation and on their views on the road ahead for the NP. I should not like to comment on that in view of the fact that we differ totally with the CP’s philosophy, policy and viewpoint. I do want to say, however, that the CP will not live to see the death of the NP.
The hon member raised two other very important matters on which I should like to comment. The first is the objectives, structure and planning of provincial councils in South Africa in terms of the new dispensation. Obviously we shall have to have consultation and negotiations on that matter in future. However, we are looking forward to a speedy resolution of the issue of the role, function and structure of provincial or regional governments in South Africa. As usual, of course, the NRP will be in the vanguard to make its contribution to the think-tank towards the resolution of this burning problem. Our record proves, of course, that the inputs made by the NRP usually and ultimately become the standard and the norm for reform in South Africa. I believe hon members in the official Opposition will agree with that.
We whole-heartedly support the pleas which the hon member for Meyerton made for aid and assistance to the farming community of South Africa. We all agree with that. I do not believe there is a single member in this House who would not agree with that. Obviously the question is: How can one be of help to these people? In the first instance there is of course short-term aid, for example, assistance when certain areas are drought-stricken or when a flood or some other disaster occurs. We agree with that. Later during the discussion of the motion of which the hon member gave notice, we can consider ways in which the farmers of South Africa can be assisted. We believe, of course, that this should be done within the context of the system of free enterprise and that it must have long-term value for South Africa and the farming community.
†Mr Speaker, the gravamen of my speech this afternoon will deal essentially with the consequences of the result of the referendum of 2 November last year! A number of party spokesmen have given their interpretations and their views about what the new constitution will and will not do in South Africa. If one listens to their speeches and reads their Hansard, as we in these benches do very carefully because we are dealing with very serious matters, one will find that in content there is a lot of provocative thinking. There is a lot to which one can apply one’s mind and which one can interpret to see how we are going to find solutions to our problems in South Africa. But perhaps more important than that is the spirit of reform and the underlying attitude of the different parties to reform in South Africa. By way of example I should like to refer to a speech made by the hon member for Innesdal, who is well known in the House and also amongst his colleagues as a man of reason, of compassion and of good intent. If he is a representative example of the governing party of this country, then let me repeat again that this party will be proud to walk hand in hand with those members of the National Party who have those sentiments. I want to know whether there is a member in the official Opposition’s ranks who disagrees with the sentiments and the spirit of reform expressed by the hon member for Innesdal.
That is not the policy of his party.
Does the hon member for Parktown disagree with him? What we are talking about here is ways and means of finding solutions to the problems; we are not only focusing our attention on the problems as such.
I listened very carefully to what the hon member for Sea Point and the hon member for Pinelands, as well as the hon the Leader of the Opposition had to say, and I believe that to some extent they recognize that the new constitution has both apparent and very obvious implications and also less apparent and less obvious implications. In the first instance I believe that we have reached the end of an era where conflict politics for the sake of conflict politics can be conducted in South Africa at the expense of parliamentary procedure and the taxpayer. The official Opposition for years has maintained its power base ably abetted by the racial Press in South Africa, purely for the sake of maintaining their power base, and they have not in any way contributed towards the resolution of the complex problems which face South Africa, especially in regard to constitutional reform.
It is conflict politics that you are talking about right now.
I would tell the hon member for Pinelands that there is conflict in our politics but the strategy employed by the PFP has been negative in terms of its contribution to the resolution of that problem. Let me demonstrate that. There is their boycott of the President’s Council. Now they have turned turtle and they are now going to operate within the new constitutional set-up. Presumably that includes representation which they may be entitled to in the President’s Council. The hon the Leader of the Opposition removed Mr Japie Basson from his party because he advocated that they should participate in the President’s Council. If Mr Basson should now apply for membership of that party, will he be taken back? I think that will demonstrate the essence of the statement made by the hon the Leader of the Opposition that they had decided to participate in the legal institutions of the new constitution. [Interjections.] I should like to know. Perhaps the hon member for Pinelands who is so vociferous can tell us whether he believes that Mr Basson should be taken back into their party.
Try to be a little more positive. [Interjections.]
I do not think we have to be reminded to be positive. I hope the hon the Leader of the Opposition will deal specifically with what he means with PFP participation in the new constitution. But one thing that is absolutely clear is that South Africa can no longer afford political parties who exploit differences, who exploit discontent purely for their own selfish interest and party political gain. Those days are gone, and the White voters of South Africa clearly spelt out on 2 November that they did not believe the propaganda of the PFP that the new constitution will lead to a dictatorship, that it will not entrench apartheid, and that it will not destroy the future of Blacks or members of any population group in South Africa. They were told clearly by the voters—as they will also be told by the voters of Pinetown on 15 February—that the average and the majority of White South Africans reject the stances and the policies of the PFP. [Interjections.] I hope that we can actually believe hon members of the PFP when they say that there is going to be a change in their strategy. Of course, one must remember that a leopard never changes its spots. Perhaps they are only going to change the camouflage on their backs but their strategy is going to be exactly the same. That is to railroad the constitutional reform in South Africa for their own ends. [Interjections.] They are capable of many things, Mr Speaker, including the abuse of institutions and of people in South Africa, for their own ends. They destroyed the relationship between the Whites of Natal and Chief Gatsha Buthelezi and the Zulus for their own ends. [Interjections.]
They recruited Chief Gatsha Buthelezi to help them in their referendum campaign last year in order to try to whip up feelings between Blacks and Whites; to intimidate the people, especially the elder people of Natal and South Africa, by getting Chief Gatsha Buthelezi to help them spread terror in the hearts and minds of those people. [Interjections.]
Then, Sir, what happened? After the referendum they dropped Chief Gatsha Buthelezi. They dropped him entirely, and they left him high and dry. We have never heard another word from the PFP about Chief Gatsha Buthelezi and his problems. [Interjections.] That is the kind of opportunistic people that we have in the PFP. [Interjections.] I listened with great interest to the hon the Leader of the Opposition when he said that the means and the ends in the governing party must have changed because of the referendum; that the goal and the methods are now irreconcilable. Let me say that the same applies in respect of the PFP, and that the question must be asked of the hon the Leader of the Opposition: What about his party and its means and its ends? Are they going to be here in the true spirit of re form and assist us now in the new constitution in an attempt to find solutions to problems instead of only exploiting the problems of South Africa’s complex society? We all know about the problems of the poverty, of the frustrations and of the socio-economic disparity in our plural society. However, we were not the architects of that society. We are merely the people who have been charged with the responsibility to ameliorate these problems and to try to find long-term solutions. It was very interesting to hear the hon the Leader of the Opposition ask the hon the Prime Minister to redefine the national goals. Where does the hon the Minister see South Africa go? That was the question he put to the hon the Prime Minister. That immediately told me that the hon the Leader of the Opposition and hon members of the PFP are not only ignorant but they also do not appreciate what the new constitution means. The whole process with which we have to contend in South Africa is one of finding solutions through consensus, and that means negotiation. We are not going to make the same mistakes the PFP have made. When they signed the report of the Buthelezi Commission they said it was a final blueprint and that they were going to transfer power from the White minority to a Black majority in Natal. A final blueprint! Unqualified transfer of power! There sits the hon member for Sea Point, who did it.
That is not true.
Of course it is true! [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, it is quite true indeed. [Interjections.]
I want to put it to the hon the Leader of the Opposition, however, that the national goals of South Africa will be determined by negotiation with other population groups in consultation with the members of this House. That is what it is all about. [Interjections.] It is about consensus and negotiation. I am surprised that the hon the Leader of the Opposition found it necessary to demand of the Government to spell out in advance what these future goals would be, while he and his party are supposed to be the protagonists and the champions of negotiation. [Interjections.]
Allow me to say, Mr Speaker, that the obvious changes to the constitution will mean that we are going to extend the political decision making process to other population groups. However, less significant perhaps, or even less apparent, will be the structural changes which will be inherent.
Would you like to become Commissioner-General of Qwaqwa? [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, that hon member is so far removed from the realities of this debate that he even asks the wrong questions. [Interjections.] I should like to point out that the new constitution will not only facilitate the operation, participation and opportunities for opposition parties but that it will be easier for opposition parties actually to contribute towards finding solutions. In the first instance—and I think hon members of the Government realize this—when we come to finding conflict resolution in Select Committee, the whole process of information dissemination is going to improve in this Parliament. In the Westminster system where the majority party dominates, it has almost exclusive control of the information system here in South Africa. The institutions of State often become blurred in definition and facility and become interpreted as institutions and facilities of the majority party. I want to tell hon members on the Government side that the new dispensation will mean that the majority party will no longer be able to dominate the institutions and system of Parliament in South Africa. The system will become predominant and all political parties will become subservient to that system. Unless there is equality of opportunity for the utilization of the institutions of government there cannot be equality in terms of the opportunity to contribute towards finding solutions. I believe that to be a very considerable improvement in relation to the present system.
The hon member for Johannesburg North says that it is gobbledygook. He is a member of a party that is constantly stating that there must be equality of opportunity and here, where we have the first opportunity for other people to have free and equal access to the information system, he says it is gobbledygook. What kind of people are we dealing with over there? I hope the voters in Pinetown know about the views of that hon member.
A further implication is going to be that we are going to have to review the method of financing elections in this country unless we are prepared to stand accused of the fact that other population groups, and particularly minority parties, due to a lack of funding and finance will not be able to participate fully in the political process in South Africa. I believe we shall also have to apply our minds to that very practical problem of how to finance political activities in South Africa. It is well known that today voluntary workers form the backbone of political activity outside this House. One has to live off contributions begged from businessmen. The little old ladies in our party—God bless them!—work their fingers to the bone baking cakes and doing needlework and standing on street-corners on Saturdays in order to gather in the shekels. That is the way we go on fighting for democracy. [Interjections.] Democracy has been riding on the backs of voluntary workers and if we want equality of opportunity in respect of participation by all population groups in this country we are going to have to review that system. Perhaps, as we are moving towards the system employed in the USA, it will become necessary for the State to allocate funds in order to enable the various parties to have their political say.
I also believe—and this is most important—that the new constitution will in fact give Opposition parties the opportunity in Select Committees to focus their attention on the resolution of problems. I hope that that message has sunk in with the official Opposition who to date have exploited differences merely for the sake of their own power base. That is going to be a very important change as well. I am referring to this specifically because of the question asked by the hon the Leader of the Opposition: What function will the official Opposition and other Opposition parties have under the new constitution? It will be a very important function but only for those parties that will operate in the true spirit of reform.
Tell us about your function.
Mr Speaker, I would be delighted to share my prejudices with that hon member but as his mental processes are a trifle slow I shall have to do so outside this House. I just do not have the time to explain our policy to that hon member. However, I thank him for the inquiry and I shall bear it in mind. [Interjections.]
I want to come back now to the hon the Leader of the Opposition because he is obviously going to deal with these matters. I want to ask him whether he would like to tell this House what he sees to be the national priorities of South Africa in the new constitution in terms of his perspective. How does he really see his party operating?
Do you mind if he ignores you?
Mr Speaker, I am afraid that may well happen because he does not know the answer to that question. For that reason he may well ignore it. I want to ask the hon the Leader of the Opposition what his attitude will be towards participation in the President’s Council. I should like him to tell us today whether he is in fact going to send members to the President’s Council. I want to ask the hon the Leader of the Opposition whether he is going to encourage the Coloured and the Indian communities to vote “yes” in their referendums, if they have such things, or whether he will encourage the candidates at a general election for the Coloureds to adopt a positive attitude towards the new constitution. The hon the Leader of the Opposition and his party cannot avoid answering that question because the next hurdle which we have to pass in this country, the next obstacle to real reform in this country is to be found in the answer which the Coloureds and the Indians will have to give us this year.
The official Opposition keeps coming with the old theme that only 30% of the population were consulted in the referendum. When they make that statement, they of course do not realize that the question was whether Whites agree to share power. How can one ask the Coloureds, the Indians and the Blacks when one wants consent from the White population to share power? [Interjections.] Now comes the opportunity to ask the Coloureds and the Indians whether they will participate. It is such an important question that I want to challenge the hon the Leader of the Opposition if he has any guts—it takes guts to say “yes” and to give answers—to get up in the House to clarify the position and the attitude of his party so that we can know what they will advise the Coloureds and Indians to do either in a referendum or in a general election and whether that will be positive encouragement for the new Constitution. They owe us that answer.
Regrettably my time is very, very limited and I still want to deal with one or two matters which the hon the Prime Minister raised.
*I should like to tell the hon the Minister and hon members on that side that we cannot find any fault with the contents of the amendment moved by the hon the Prime Minister. There is no hon member who would not agree with the contents of that amendment. It is the spirit in which the amendment was moved, too, which is important to us, because the spirit of the Government, the spirit of reform, is perhaps more important than the contents itself. We know that in the negotiating process—we have said this both within and outside this House—the content and the spirit are inseparable in a process of reform. If the spirit is right, the reform will work out.
†The spirit of negotiation in the process of negotiation is as important if not more important than the contents itself. I want to remind hon members what the hon the Prime Minister moved when he moved that amendment to the motion of the hon the Leader of the Opposition. The hon the Prime Minister moved that we should express our support for the implementation of the reform which was approved by the White voters of South Africa, that the Government should ensure stability and security for the Republic of South Africa, that the Government should promote balanced economic development and should strive for sound relations and peaceful co-existence in Southern Africa.
Do those hon members disagree with any of those sentiments? Of course, they do not. They agree with those sentiments fully. Those must become the broad national goals which the hon the Leader of the Opposition asked for. However, because of our concern for the spirit of reform, we shall not be able to support that amendment as it stands at the moment. Therefore, for the edification of all hon members, I should like to move as an amendment to the amendment of the hon the Prime Minister:
- (a) with the implementation thereof;
- (b) to ensure stability and security for the Republic of South Africa;
- (c) to promote balanced economic development; and
- (d) to strive for sound relations and peaceful co-existence in Southern Africa.”
and to substitute “with the implementation thereof and to take adequate and more effective steps—
- (a) to ensure stability and security for the Republic of South Africa;
- (b) to promote balanced economic development; and
- (c) to strive for sound relations and peaceful co-existence in Southern Africa.”.
I move this amendment because it portrays the spirit in which we wish to see reform take place. We want more effective and more adequate steps taken towards the achievement of these goals.
In conclusion let me say, Mr Speaker, that this party has recognized through all the years of its existence that what we have to do in South Africa if we want to have long and lasting peace and prosperity is to move away from the sterile type of politics which we have seen conducted by the official Opposition and by the CP where they have focused their attention entirely on the exploitation of differences. What we should do instead is to focus our attention now on the finding of solutions and we must encourage the other population groups to join hands with us to find long lasting solutions. The NRP will walk hand in hand with members of any party which has peace objectives as its credo. Once again we will then be found to be a party who is ready and willing to bring peace and prosperity to South Africa. The Government can rely on it that we will not let South Africa down.
Mr Speaker, since we are now approaching the end of this debate, I think it would be not inappropriate for me to cast a retrospective eye over the course of the debate.
In the week that preceded this parliamentary session many people asked different questions. In the first instance, everyone said—all the newspapers, for example, said it—that this would be an historic session. I should like to say a few words about that. Another question was what the Government was going to do about certain things, and the matters raised most often were the position of South West Africa, the state of our economy and what was to be done about the Black population outside the homelands. But in addition to these there was another great question—a cause for wonderment. How is the Opposition going to react? This was indeed something to wonder about, because after having endured such a severe beating one could not help wondering how the Opposition would react. I should like to take a look at this.
But before doing so, I want to say that as far as the CP is concerned, they did not say much that it is necessary for us to react to except that they fought the referendum over again. But on that point they were well and truly thrashed, although I suspect that they still do not understand that. However, I want to say to those hon members that they are not alone in telling everyone that they are winning. I have a lot of fellows at Valkenburg who also think they are winning. They are always writing to me to tell me that they are winning.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I should like to ask for your ruling concerning the remark of the hon the Minister in which he compared the members of the Opposition to inmates of Valkenburg.
Order! The hon the Minister did not say that the hon members were “like” certain people in Valkenburg. He said that he had people in Valkenburg, “too”, who said that.
Mr Speaker, your ruling confirms precisely what we told them during the referendum, which was that they and the ANC were on the same side of the fence. They speak the same language.
On a point of order. Mr Speaker: Is it permissible for the hon the Minister to say that we and the ANC are on the same side of the fence, implying thereby that we associate ourselves with the aims of the ANC?
Order! The hon the Minister must withdraw that remark.
Mr Speaker, I withdraw it unqualifiedly. However, let there be no doubt about the fact that those people urged the electorate of South Africa to vote “no”, while the ANC also voted “no”. Therefore irrespective of what I withdraw, the fact that both want to create chaos in South Africa is something they cannot conceal.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Is the hon the Minister entitled to refer to hon members in this House as “those people?”
Order! The hon the Minister must please refer to other hon members as “hon members”.
Mr Speaker, I am quite prepared to refer to them as “hon members”, but their supporters told the same story and therefore it is not merely a question of “hon members” here. However, I want to proceed and I hope that hon members will not take up any more of my time.
The hon member for Meyerton touched on a matter that has been raised repeatedly, viz what Mr Wimpie de Klerk was supposed to have said.
“Professor” then. I ask the hon member to give me a chance. He might hear certain things and then I shall be called to order again.
The editor of Rapport, Mr Wimpie de Klerk, wrote certain things in his newspaper that were quoted here by the hon member for Meyerton. I want to say bluntly, so that there can be no doubt about it: No newspaper editor is the mentor of the National Party. He does not speak on behalf of the National Party and he speaks his own language. To hold me or any other hon member on this side of the House responsible for what he writes is the greatest nonsense. Just as they do, I too could ask whether they have the right to classify me with him.
Do you agree with him?
No, I do not agree with him. I want to ask the hon member for Meyerton whether he will please tell this House how he counted votes in his constituency. It was a little unlawful. Willie my old friend, I can understand why you said that you would not stand again. By how many votes did the hon member lose his constituency? [Interjections.] Does the hon member say it is untrue? It was by more than 2 000, whether it is untrue or not.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: May I ask the hon the Minister by way of a point of order … [Interjections.]
Order! That is not a point of order. The hon the Minister may proceed.
It was an historic occasion, but not for one reason only. This is not the last time that Parliament has met on such an occasion. There were previous occasions, too, for example when South Africa moved from a monarchial form of government to a republican form of government. As the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs put it, it is an historic occasion because the political agenda was rewritten by the referendum and changed our ideas. In the second place, something has to happen now, due to compelling circumstances and the momentum that is building up. For that reason, too, it is an historic occasion. It is an historic occasion because this year the NP has been in power for 36 years, longer than the lifetimes of several hon members in this House. This National Party decided, from a position of strength, that it would not do to continue governing alone as it had done over the past 36 years, but that it would seek the assistance of others for the sake of the future of South Africa. It is also an historic occasion because it means the end of a phase, a phase which began with the final report of the Erika Theron Commission. We have eventually reached the point at which one of the most pressing problems in South African politics is to be resolved, with the support of the electorate. Various people and various parties put forward proposals on how to solve this problem. The PFP proposed a solution which was considerably more radical than that of the National Party. On the other hand, the Conservative Party, too, proposed a solution that was more radical than that of the National Party. It was necessary to choose among all these proposals.
The situation is—and this is important if we bear in mind the referendum that led to this historic session—that the National Party Government did not need to ask anyone to formulate and submit this new dispensation. There was no need for it to ask anyone. The National Party already had a mandate to continue with the new constitution. It received such a mandate in 1977 and again in 1981. In an election pamphlet dated 1977 Mr Vorster had the following to say about cooperation with Coloureds:
Therefore the issue is the future; the issue is South Africa, and for how long one will be safe in this country.
The hon members of the Conservative Party do not have a monopoly on the national anthem of the Republic of South Africa, as they arrogantly claim by saying in this House, as the hon the leader of the Conservative Party did yesterday, that the struggle will continue until we overcome or perish. They have no exclusive right to the title of Afrikaner. What makes the hon the leader of the Conservative Party and the hon member for Lichtenburg more decent and better Afrikaners than I am? The Van der Merwes are not all equally decent Afrikaners. What gives them the exclusive right to that title, and why do they act as if they have the exclusive right to it?
You are just as good as Piet de Wet.
Mr Speaker, I now appeal to you …
Order! Will the hon member for Rissik please explain what he meant by his remark?
Mr Speaker, we all know who Piet de Wet was.
In other words, a traitor? The hon member must withdraw that.
I withdraw it, Sir.
In the Free State there was one outstanding general.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: May the hon member for Brits tell the hon member for Rissik that he is a traitor?
Order! If the hon member said that, he must withdraw it.
Sir, I did say it and I withdraw it most unwillingly.
Order! The hon member must withdraw it unconditionally without introducing other ideas.
I withdraw it, Sir.
Order! The hon the Minister may proceed.
Was Piet de Wet an Afrikaner?
You see what these people do, Sir. Moreover the hon member for Rissik has walked past some of my colleagues in the passage, saying that he does not greet traitors. Now he comes here and accuses me of being a Piet de Wet, a person who was one of the most contemptible traitors in the history of the Free State. I have only contempt for that member and I am not prepared to withdraw that.
Order! The hon member for Rissik withdrew his words.
I repeat: That hon member and his colleagues have no exclusive right to the title of Afrikaner.
The hon the leader of the CP sees himself as a Dr Malan, a great man. But he must bear in mind that Dr Malan never dragged the Afrikaner’s church into the political arena, thereby creating division, as that hon member has done. That must lie very heavily on his conscience.
In other respects, too, this is an historic occasion. As I said, we had no reason to go to the voters again. The hon the Prime Minister spelt it out very clearly in the House of Assembly:
The PFP said that we were not in earnest about that.
There is a fourth reason why this is an historic session. The reason is that what was advanced in 1961 as one of the reasons for becoming a Republic—viz unity between Afrikaans and English-speaking people—has never before been manifested as strongly. It was manifested to the extent that it troubled the hon member for Yeoville so much that he began breaking it down again. Never before has there been such unanimity between English and Afrikaans-speaking people. We noted the degree to which the official Opposition has an aversion to this when the hon Chief Whip of the PFP said to the hon member for Durban North: “You are all right: The Nats will take you”. He said it as if that was the worst abuse that he could heap on his head. [Interjections.] I say that these steps have brought success, and there is profound gratitude for this. Moreover it will be taken further.
We now come to the debate itself. People have wondered what the PFP and the CP would do. Under the leadership of Harry Schwarz, the hon member for Yeoville, the PFP decided to participate in constructive co-operation. This was with an extremely transparent aim. Until that stage the PFP was known among all the newspapers as a boycott party. Indeed, the party appealed to people to join it in its boycott actions. The hon the Leader of the Opposition has now come here, just like a Blaar Coetzee, and said: “Very well, I endured a beating; I endured a severe beating, but now I am going to co-operate.” Now he thinks that everything is settled. Now he begins to ask questions.
I am grateful if the PFP wants to co-operate. However, I think that that party has a great deal to learn about the meaning of constructive co-operation. There is a great deal he will still have to learn. After all, during the referendum campaign the hon the Leader of the Opposition did not boycott the new dispensation alone. He asked other people to help him boycott. He got them to come and hold meetings together with him, knobkerrie and all. [Interjections.] I must say, the silliest thing I have ever seen is a party in the Western Province threaten people with a knobkerrie on the one hand and on the other, saying that it is going to sell people’s farms, and thinking that it can win their votes by doing so. That I still have to see. [Interjections.] I assume that he merely wanted to use it as propaganda. However, it was not only here that he did so. He also did so in Johannesburg. In the Johannesburg city council he made a speech in which, initially, he waxed highly emotional, but later on he did speak to the people soberly. There were several people with him on the platform who also spoke. With him on the platform were Mr John Mavusu, a member of the central council of the Inkatha movement. Also with him was Sheila Duncan, the leader-in-chief of the Black Sash. [Interjections.] Then there was an Afrikaans-speaking clergyman and another Afrikaner, Gerhard van Eeden of RAU’s Polstu.
I want to ask the hon the Leader of the Opposition a question. I appreciate his offer of constructive co-operation, but does it apply to him only? What about his friends? After all, the hon the Leader of the Opposition said that if the constitution were to be accepted, it would be a slap in the face for Gatsha Buthelezi and the Zulu people. I accept the word of the hon the Leader of the Opposition as regards his offer of constructive co-operation. I almost fell on my back when I heard the hon member for Houghton speaking in reply to the speech of the hon the Prime Minister. She cooed like a dove, as I have never heard her do over the past number of years. [Interjections.] Therefore I take it that it is possible, but what about the friends of the hon the Leader of the Opposition. He said that acceptance of the new constitutional dispensation would be a slap in the face for Gatsha Buthelezi and the Zulu people. Is he now joining us in administering the slap in the face, or has he dropped his friends? I am merely asking. What about the Black Sash? What about Inkatha? These are groups that held meetings with him during the referendum campaign. Do they work together? What about the UDF under the leadership of the Boraines and the Gumedis? I am merely asking. To me this is a serious question. I am not trying to make political capital out of it. I think it is very important for South Africa to know what the constructive co-operation of the PFP means. I should be obliged if the hon member for Yeoville would help, because after all, it is his decision. The hon member must not leave people in the lurch now. It is of the utmost importance that we should know what the hon the Leader of the Opposition said to these people, people who fought the battle with him. How are they going to react? Are they, too, co-operating now? Do they accept it too? Or have they left the party in the lurch? Unfortunately I am not getting any reply, but the hon the Leader of the Opposition is going to speak just after me and I hope that he will be able to give us an answer then.
At least that party made an effort to add its voice to the discussion of the possibility of opposition in the new dispensation. The hon the Leader of the Opposition did ask what the Government intended as far as the Opposition was concerned.
Mr Speaker, is the hon the Minister prepared to answer a question?
No, I do not have time now.
Yes you do have the time …
No, I do not, and in any event I do not feel like answering a question. At least that party made an effort to make a contribution, but what has the CP done? Only one of the hon members of the CP raised a relevant point, and that was the hon member for Langlaagte, when he discussed housing. I do not wish to suggest that I agreed with him entirely; I did agree with him in some respects, but the matter he raised was at least relevant. The other hon members of the party merely told us how they won. The hon the leader of the CP even worked out how many seats he would have had in a proportional Parliament. But his calculation was quite wrong because he would have had to have given some of his seats to the HNP. Leaving that aside, however, let me say to the party that they are going to be beaten again and that they will be beaten often. Hon members probably know the story of the fellow from Jeppe who was in the boxing ring. He was being hammered round after round—perhaps the people of Jeppe would have used some other word rather than “hammered”. He was being beaten to a pulp, but all his coach would do was to repeat: “Man, now you have him!” and by the seventh or the eighth round he was still saying to him: “Man, now you have him!” At that point, however, the poor fallow told his coach: “I cannot go on,” whereupon the coach again tried to encourage him, saying: “No, man, you have him now”. The boxer retorted: “Look, in that case you must watch the umpire, because someone is giving me a terrible beating!” The people do not understand this. Looking at the hon the leader of the CP, who is smiling in such a friendly way, I recall what Koos Potgieter, a former Chief Whip of the NP, once said after he had fixed a fellow with one eye: “You remind me of a fly sitting on a turning wheel who believes that it is he who is causing the wheel to turn.”
Unfortunately my time has almost expired. A great deal of time has been wasted along the way. There is a lot of serious work to be done. I, too, must speak to my own people. If there are any of them who thought that the Government was merely talking, and did not intend carrying on with this matter, then they are making a very big mistake. This is a serious matter, and I wish to state very clearly that this is not a magic formula. There have been other people in the past who have come up with magic formulas. They did not get anywhere with them. I believe that this constitutes sound planning of something that ultimately can only be achieved by hard work and due cooperation. A period of prosperity with cooperation and favourable attitudes cannot be achieved by people who do not, in their heart of hearts, desire it and work towards it. It cannot be achieved by people who do not believe in what they are doing. For that reason, I say, I have reservations about the PFP’s offer of constructive co-operation. It can only be achieved by people who know what they are doing. [Time expired.]
Mr Speaker, the hon the Minister of Health and Welfare put a number of questions which, to a large extent, were the same as those put by the hon member for Durban North. I intend coming back to those questions when I reply to the speech of the hon the Prime Minister.
†It is with reluctance, Mr Speaker, that I have to refer to the NRP in this debate. However, through the hon member for Durban North they have given notice of a further amendment to my motion of no confidence. I listened very carefully to him and he reminded me of what was once said in respect of a member of the British Parliament, namely that he was a self-made man and helplessly in love with his creator. [Interjections.] The hon member spent 20 minutes addressing the House, devoting 90% of his time to the official Opposition, and that while addressing himself to a motion supposed to be one of no confidence, or at least one of censure, in the Government. Whenever he directed himself against the Government—and that applies to other hon members of his party as well—the thrust of his attack sounded more or less as follows: “I want to warn this Government that if they do not look out we are going to support them even more than we are supporting them at the moment.” [Interjections.] That is what they have been doing throughout this whole week, Mr Speaker.
What can one say about the NRP? They obviously give credence to the saying that only the mediocre are always at their best. [Interjections.] When we think of the Pinetown by-election, what can we say about that? We are all politicians in this House. Even if we do not like one, at least all of us can recognize a good fight a mile off. Those of us who love to respond to a challenge, those of us who are prepared to work our fingers to the bone owing to the worthiness of our opponent, know that Pinetown is not a good fight. It is not a good fight neither because the NRP is a worthy opponent nor because they are simply no opponents. They remind me very much of those gangster movies made during the 1930s in the USA showing a small little man going to collect protection money in the company of two big hoods. He walks tall because they are carrying him by his elbows. The role of the NRP in South African politics has been reduced to one of being parliamentary eunuchs guarding the potential political harem of the NP in Natal. [Interjections.] Therefore I shall address myself to the real NP in my reply to this debate. [Interjections.]
*Mr Speaker, there is only one …
Answer our questions! [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, I said I would come back to the questions. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, there is really only one speech made in the no-confidence debate this week which I believe deserves serious attention, due to both its substance and the spirit in which it was made. That is the speech of the hon the Prime Minister. I hope to come back to it at the end of my speech and to devote more attention to it then.
Furthermore, there was the traditional attack on the PFP in the traditional hyperbolic style. On the one hand we were attacked as though we were the source of all evil and misfortune in South Africa, and on the other hand we were attacked because we are irrelevant. I cannot understand that something loaded with so much irrelevance can accomplish so much. However, this is the standard attack from hon members opposite and we are accustomed to it.
†However, Sir, this has been no ordinary motion of no-confidence. Apart from the fact that it will be the last of its kind in this House under the present system, it is the first one after the referendum. This was going to be the time when the country was going to be given some indication of what goods were going to be delivered. Could a more favourable time be imagined for a Government to be bold about reform? We heard about the way in which the Government interpreted its mandate, the impressive mandate that was given to it, the way in which the right wing was brought to it knees and the fact that PFP support, according to those on the other side, is now available to the Government. The international community too is more relaxed about the prospects for reform in this country. Can one conceive of a more favourable time for a government to come to Parliament and tell not only Parliament but the rest of South Africa as well: Now we are going to tell you what we are going to do? This was the opportunity for the Government to say: Now we are going to tell you what reform is all about. Do we want to hear the sound of reform? Let me ask one simple question of the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs. Does he not think the time has come to specify in very concrete terms the discriminatory measures that are going to be removed? Let me give one example because it is clear from the Statute Book that this particular law demonstrates racism. This fact has been conceded by the HSRC. I am referring to the Separate Amenities Act. Does that hon Minister not think the time has come to get rid of that Act? That is the sound of reform, Sir. That is the noise we have been wanting to hear. These are the concrete programmes.
You see, Sir, what we do not need any longer are declarations of faith. We accept the bona fides of those who make them. We do not need definitions of the problem and, in this respect, the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is a very effective definer. He defines the complexities and difficulties of our problem every time he gets to his feet, and I agree with his definition of the problem. I want to say to the hon the Minister that I accept that it is a difficult problem. What we need to know from the Government is concretely and specifically what they are going to do about it.
In this respect I should like to turn to a few of the speeches made by hon Ministers on the other side. I hope hon members will forgive me if I do not refer to all of the speeches but I want to assure them that I have tried to accommodate the questions and the issues they directed to the official Opposition so as to illustrate the problems that I experienced from the speeches of these hon Ministers.
The first of these was the speech of the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs. I must say that I looked forward to his contribution because I always do. He is known as a man who is sharp on his feet and what particularly excited me was that he was going to be the first speaker to follow me at the end of my speech. Therefore, I thought that for once we would not have the standard practice of an hon member—usually a frontbencher—getting up having already decided what he was going to say irrespective of the content of my speech and then dismiss it as the worst one ever and so forth and so forth. I thought that now we would have the real cut and thrust of debate because that is the way I have come to know that hon Minister. However, sir, I must say that his contribution was a disappointment. He gave credence to the old idea that in Parliamentary debate the only thing that is of importance is to distort the argument of your opponent. Let me give one simple example of this. I went to great lengths to try to make some constructive suggestions, whether he appreciated them or not, to the hon the Minister of Finance regarding removing the political shackles from our economy. In this regard I said:
Then I went on in the next sentence to say specifically:
I said it, but when the hon the Minister got to his feet, he said:
*I do not wish to comment further on the contribution of the hon the Minister, but I had hoped that the leader of the NP in the Transvaal, who occupies the important position he does, would give other hon members, who are so accustomed to conducting debates in the same way, better guidance.
I now want to come to the hon the Minister of Defence. If the hon member for Wynberg does not mind, I want to speak on his behalf as well when speaking about the hon the Minister. I must say the hon the Minister of Defence is extremely sensitive when it comes to Defence matters. He reminds me a little of the turkey-cocks who used to strut around among the hens when I was growing up on the farm. All it would do, if teased, would be to gobble. We enjoyed it so much that we would continue to tease it. Afterwards we would not need to say anything; the turkey-cock would simply gobble all the time. Similarly, it seems to me that as soon as any hon member of the PFP begins talking about the Defence Force, we hear this kind of turkey politics from the hon the Minister of Defence.
The hon the Minister of Defence does not tolerate any discussion of the Defence Force except on his own terms. This reminds me of a bully among my circle of friends when I was a boy. He invited us to his birthday party, and when we did not want to play the game he wanted to play, he lost his temper and said: If you carry on like this, I will spit on the cake and put my fingers in the cool-drink. [Interjections.] If one liked cake and one was thirsty, one had one of two choices: One had to play the game he wanted to play, or walk away. There is another way, however: It is better to be thirsty on one’s feet than to drink on one’s knees.
I want to illustrate how the hon the Minister misrepresented my contribution. In view of what dr Wimpie de Klerk had asked, I asked why we were in South West. The hon the Minister then said:
That is not what I said. When I used the word “we”, I very clearly meant in terms of South Africa, by virtue of the Government’s involvement in South West. The hon the Minister went further; he wanted to explain why, and he then said that from a Defence point of view the terrorists in Rhodesia were unsuccessful in the war. He went on to say:
What is the first point? One can win in the military sphere, but if one loses internally, the military struggle is of no use. The hon the Minister has said that repeatedly. He went on to explain why our Defence Force is in South West. He said:
What is the hon the Minister telling us? He is telling us that we are not going to win the battle in South West Africa in the military sphere. Furthermore, he is saying that the Defence Force is there to act as a shield behind which there is an opportunity to find a political solution. He also says that the Defence Force has been there for 18 years. I now ask: Why are we in South West Africa? I put that question before the hon the Prime Minister made his speech. The hon the Minister replied to that question after the hon the Prime Minister had made his speech. That is precisely where we misunderstood one another. During the Third Reading debate on the Appropriation Bill last year I referred to a document which came from the Department of Finance in South West Africa. The hon the Minister of Finance was aware of it and attested to the validity of that document. I said then that our Defence Force was deployed in South West Africa and that millions upon millions of rand was being spent and lives were being lost so that solutions could be found behind that shield. I read out the following quotations from that document (Hansard, col 10662):
That is in South West Africa:
I ask: Why are we in South West Africa? That is what I asked before the hon the Prime Minister made his speech. That is why we all took courage from what the hon the Prime Minister said. He rose and said that things could not continue in this vein. We cannot launch programmes in South Africa that are meant to assist in solving our internal problems, when those are the conditions in South West Africa. What kind of political, social and economic programmes are being launched that allow us to take courage that it is worth deploying the SA Defence Force? That was the question. Hon members can go and read my speech, since that is precisely the point I was making. In South West Africa—and hon members are aware of this—I have already seen people driving around in the sand with big black Mercedes Benz motor cars, whilst others are dying of hunger. Why? Because the system of government we have created there has become a bottomless pit in which people spend money whilst no form of discipline can be exercised. Is that what we are fighting for? Is that the reason for the shield? That is the point I was trying to make and I want to reiterate that I made that point before the hon the Prime Minister made his speech. I always ask this question when there has been loss of life in South West Africa. I want to tell the hon the Minister very clearly that after Operation Askari I am much more interested in the 21 corpses lying on the battle fields of Angola than I am in being shown a SAM missile. I am not saying that it is not important for it to be shown to me, but I am asking why those men had to die. It is not a military or a Defence question, but a political question. We as politicians in this Parliament must account for this. Are we doing enough to see that that problem is solved?
I am concerned about another aspect of the way the hon the Minister of Defence thinks, however. He is regarded in all quarters as the father of the idea of a total onslaught. I want to tell the hon the Minister genuinely and in a nice way that I am by no means impressed with attempts to present the idea of a total onslaught as a kind of neutral military ideology that has no political implications. It is the easiest thing in the world—I am not saying that this is necessarily the case—for the Defence Force to begin to interfere with political, social and economic matters by way of this ideology. I want to give the hon the Minister the assurance that if we have the slightest inkling that this is, in fact, happening, we as politicians have every right to question it. If I am expected to keep silent about aspects such as influx control, discrimination or malpractices in the name of the total onslaught, then I say, “To blazes with the total onslaught”. It has nothing to do with the total onslaught.
No-one said that.
I have taken note when I have been given explanations as to what “total onslaught” means. Establishments, institutions and practices are then identified, and Government policy is spelt out so that one gains the impression that if one questions the total onslaught, one is, in fact, questioning South Africa’s security, whilst in reality one is questioning the Government’s policy.
I now want to appeal to the hon the Minister not to be a soldier when he should be a politician when we are conducting a political debate in this House. The hon the Minister must not hide behind the Defence Force and use patriotic arguments or continually question our motives when we put these questions. It is better for us to have a decent political debate on these matters without our patriotism being called into question at all, since, in the final instance, it is not the hon the Minister’s Defence Force, but South Africa’s Defence Force.
But surely I said that.
Of course you did, and that is why we have every right to ask questions and conduct a debate on the issue.
†The second hon Minister I would like to come to and I am terribly sorry he is not here, is the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development. I am told that he might come a little later so I will leave that part of my speech until the hon the Minister arrives.
*I should now like to turn to the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. I want to say at the outset that I found his contribution stimulating. However, before I come to the substance of a few of the arguments the hon the Minister advanced, I want to appeal to him please to stop giving me sermons when he speaks to me. The hon the Minister must not try to give me lessons. This political paternalism makes no impression on me. The hon the Minister knows that I enjoy arguments and counter-arguments. I shall try to rectify my errors to the best of my ability, but the hon the Minister does not need to preach to me.
The most important point the hon the Minister made is summed up as follows in his contribution:
To me it is important that the hon the Minister and I agree that domination of one group by another is the central political problem. I readily concede that. I agree that we should argue with one another about the instruments that are being created to deal with this problem. The hon the Minister says that when we create such instruments, one of the central points of departure is the acceptance of the group basis in our society, and that is precisely where the two of us have problems. Why? Not because I disregard the group basis. We had this argument when we were discussing the constitutional dispensation. It concerns the way in which the Government compels groups to act as groups in this society. We say that there are groups who should associate freely so that we can measure the true extent of those groups in the political reality. Then we can begin to negotiate. The Government, however, says: No, before you do that, I shall use a law to tell you what group you belong to, whether you like it or not. That is where we disagree. With this the Government is creating artificial political identities. The Coloured is an artificial identity according to that definition. His ideas are divergent. The hon the Minister knows that that is one of the problems he has with those people in the process of negotiation. That is why I say that voluntary association should be the basis on which groups enter into negotiation with one another. We have already argued a great deal about this and I do not wish to dwell on it again for any length of time. All I want to say is that it is a fundamental difference. That does not mean that we do not agree that there are groups in South Africa.
I now come to the second point I wish to make. The new constitution is now being seen by the Government as the instrument on the basis of which it wants to see how it can solve this problem. I just want to make a few remarks in this regard. I said it was a form of co-optive domination. I want to say at the outset that co-optive domination is perhaps better and not as harsh as repressive domination. Whereas otherwise people are excluded totally, in this way they are being included and they are told: “You can come and co-operate, but on my terms.” Very well: Co-optive domination as an attempt to solve the problem of domination, does not, in fact, solve that problem. That is what I was trying to tell the hon the Minister. It could perhaps create new possibilities, however. That is why we are prepared to co-operate and to consider as creatively as possible what the possibilities are.
I want to point to three problems, however. The first problem is that a system of co-optive domination requires money, for if the people are being co-opted, one must be able to reward them.
Any system requires money.
Yes, but this system is going to require more money. [Interjections.] A start has already been made by duplicating institutions and, in some cases, by trebling them. It is therefore going to cost money. That is one of the problems. That is all the more reason why we must look to the economy. That is what I was trying to tell the hon the Minister of Finance. This new thing is going to cost us money. The hon the Prime Minister referred to this and said: “Yes, it is going to cost R11 million and that is a great deal of money, but it is not as much as in other countries.” The R11 million, or perhaps even more, must still be found. It is going to be traced back directly to the performance of our economy.
The second point I wish to make is that when people are co-opted, one broadens the responsibility for the administration of domination without losing control of it. That is the essence of the constitution. It broadens the responsibility. One includes others to assist in the administration, but one retains control, and that in itself creates problems, since it defines, as it were, the conflicting interests between those coming in and those who govern.
Thirdly, a co-optive strategy causes polarization between those who are in and those who are out.
Those are the three trends and problems I foresee. The battle for reform will have to be continued within the dynamics that are going to be unleashed by those three factors alone—there may also be others. In that battle, the official Opposition and any other Opposition parties will have to see what contribution they can make in settling conflict and what contribution they can make in the role of an Opposition.
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon the Leader of the Opposition?
I have very little time, but if there is still time, I shall come back to the hon the Minister at the end.
Those are the points I wanted to make. The hon the Prime Minister raised the question of the role of the Opposition and I should very much like to say more about that when I come to the speech of the hon the Prime Minister. However, I also wish to refer to the speech of the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development, who unfortunately is not here yet.
He is speaking on the telephone.
I am not questioning that. I had hoped that he would be back. Unfortunately I do not have time and I now want to deal with his contribution.
I shall tell him about it.
I think Hansard would do that, too, but thank you very much for the offer. [Interjections.]
†The contribution of the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development was one I really looked forward to. This was going to be the new-deal speech. One of the themes in the referendum, from both sides, was the exclusion of Blacks from the new constitution, and one of the come-backs from the Government side was: “Yes, unfortunately that is so, but let me assure you that we have not ignored that. It is very high on the agenda. In fact, it is on the front burner. The moment the referendum is over, that is the problem we are going to tackle.” That is why, with that kind of anticipation, I sat here and listened very carefully to the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development.
I do not want to talk behind his back, but I must say the following: He once again demonstrated his fantastic ability to talk without pause for half an hour and to go and sit down precisely at the moment when one thought he was going to say something. Just at that moment he sat down. Once again his enthusiasm outstripped his rhetoric and his rhetoric outstripped our common sense. We were bemused. I challenge any hon member here who did not have pre-knowledge of the hon the Minister’s speech or refer to it afterwards to tell me what he said. What did he say? When one thinks about it, there was a lot of handwaving and he cracked odd jokes, but when he sat down it was very difficult to find out what he actually said. So I felt I had to go and read his speech, because maybe I had missed something. It was the hon the Minister’s job to give us some idea of the constitutional developments possible for the Blacks. I went to look at his speech. What did he say?
He started off by saying that to allow participation in decision-making processes should not threaten safety and stability or the improvement of economic and social welfare. In other words, one can allow participation, but one must be careful not to cause instability. That is not new. We have heard that many times. He went on to say that better opportunities should be provided to preserve internal and external security and the improvement of the quality of life. Again, that is nothing new. We agree with that. Then he said differences in wealth and economic welfare between groups complicate matters. We accept that as well. The hon the Minister went on to say that that is why such strong emphasis is placed on economic development. He then referred to regional development strategies, community development strategies, population development strategies, the Small Business Development Corporation and the Development Bank. These are all things which we knew about before the referendum.
As the hon the Minister continued, my excitement mounted as to what the hon the Minister’s response was going to be the question of the constitutional position of the Blacks. Yes, we have to be mindful of their social and economic circumstances and their welfare—we all know that—but what is going to happen about their constitutional development? I went back to his speech and the key paragraph, in the inimitable style of the hon the Minister himself, reads as follows (Unrevised Hansard, 31 January):
That was the only paragraph that said anything about the constitutional development of the Blacks. Sir, do you know what he said in one sentence? We are going on with separate development. [Interjections.] That is all he said: He said we are going on with homeland independence and with separate development. Because he said that we are going on with separate development, the hon member for Houghton asked him: “What about the citizenship of Blacks?” The hon the Minister replied that he was very glad that she had asked that question and that he would come back to it. [Interjections.]
Did you not read on? I did come back to it.
Yes, he came back to it and said (Unrevised Hansard, 31 January):
Citizenship therefore means that one has to link the urban Blacks more with the homeland Blacks. That is citizenship.
That was a very important decision.
That is not a new decision. It is as old as the hills.
†In other words, all the Minister has done is simply to give us the old, old story. It is all there, but there is nothing new.
I believe the hon the Minister is incapable of giving a “yes” or “no” response to crucial questions in this country, not because he does not want to, but because his own political career has made him immune to the possibility. He has never been allowed to that with a clear conscience because he has always had to duck and weave. He is one of the best duckers and weavers in the business. [Interjections.]
Let me ask the hon the Minister a simple question. It is true that the Coloureds, Asians and Whites are going to enjoy a common citizenship. There may be problems about rights and privileges, but in terms of the new constitution they are going to have a common citizenship in South Africa. Can the hon the Minister tell me that it is the long-term-not short-term-goal of this Government that Blacks eventually will have exactly the same kind of citizenship as Coloureds, Asians and Whites?
But I told you what the Cabinet…
There we go! All I want is “no” or “yes”. The hon Minister cannot say it, and that is the dilemma of this Government.
Sir we can joke with one another in these circumstances, but serious things are going on in this country concerning the state of cooperation and development. I refer to a telegram that I received today which highlights exactly the problem that I have mentioned. This telegram refers to one of the problems I mentioned in my introductory speech—and I direct this to that hon Minister. This telegram comes from the SA Institute of Race Relations in East London. What do they say? They say that there are removals going on right now in Duncan Village, and those removals are taking place without there being any clarity as to alternative accommodation for those people. The hon the Minister himself said that this would never happen again. It is, however, happening now, and I want to appeal to that hon Minister to act in this matter as soon as possible and to stop that unnecessary hardship. In terms of this telegram we are told that there are 2 000 people wandering around there without any protection or shelter. This is no solution to the problem.
I now want to come back to the hon the Prime Minister. I have said that, when referring to his speech, I should like to talk a bit about the role of the Opposition. However, before returning to the substance of the hon the Prime Minister’s speech, I should like to make a point about the State Security Council. I think this issue deserves fuller debate, but I do not think this is the appropriate moment to enter upon it. It is possible that there can be misunderstandings, and I wish to give notice to the hon the Prime Minister that I accept his invitation, but that I also intend raising this matter under the Prime Minister’s Vote at the appropriate time.
I now wish to come back to the substance of the hon the Prime Minister’s speech. Hon members on my side have already expressed their support for the first part of his speech concerning the peace initiative, and are of course encouraged by it. I should like to reiterate their support and say that we as an official Opposition would not like to do anything that would in any way complicate this initiative, and that we hope that it will succeed.
The hon the Prime Minister then turned to domestic politics, and I want to say to him immediately that I was impressed by the dignified way in which he addressed the House on this occasion. He was conciliatory without being condescending. He was tough without being mean or petty, and I have appreciation for that. I asked the hon the Prime Minister to give us some guidelines: he responded and did so. He asked us to debate these guidelines and to assist South Africa to achieve them. The following are some of the guidelines that the hon the Prime Minister referred to: Free enterprise, the protection of minorities and self-determination for groups, the freedom of worship and religion, and freedom and security.
I have no difficulty in accepting these guidelines, but I am sure that, when the hon the Prime Minister invites us to support these guidelines and to help South Africa to achieve them, he will appreciate that, by accepting these goals, it does not mean that as Opposition we should remain quiet when they are contradicted in practice. If I understand the hon the Prime Minister correctly, he will also appreciate that when we promise to be constructive, that does not mean that we promise to be compliant. When the hon the Prime Minister asks us not to be negative, he surely does not expect us to stop being critical. Consensus is not the same as collusion. On the contrary, it is compromise for the sake of survival and for the sake of cooperation.
If I look at the possible future role of the Opposition in the new tricameral system, then I think that people will at the end of the day, when historians look at this period in our history, be grateful if it can be said that right to the end there was an Opposition—any Opposition—that kept on probing, that kept on criticizing, that kept on looking for alternatives. They will be grateful that there was an Opposition that would never let the Government sit back and rest on its laurels; that there was an Opposition that was willing to engage the Government in debate, in argument, in finding solutions to the incredibly difficult problems which our country faces. And, as I said in my introductory speech, they will be grateful that there was an Opposition that was prepared to search, together with opponents, for such solutions, because none of us have all the arguments and all the solutions. In the final analysis, they will be grateful that there was an Opposition in this country that never stopped irritating the Government out of its mind. That is what opposition is all about, and that is why it is a honour for me at the end of this last no-confidence debate under the old Westminster system to move a motion of no confidence in this Government.
Question put: That all the words after “That” stand part of the Question,
Upon which the House divided:
Ayes—21: Andrew, K M; Barnard, M S; Boraine, A L; Dalling, D J; Eglin, C W; Gastrow, P H P; Hulley, R R; Malcomess, D J N; McIntosh, G B D; Moorcroft, E K; Myburgh, P A; Olivier, N J J; Savage, A; Schwarz, H H; Sive, R; Slabbert, F v Z; Soal, P G; Swart, R A F; Van der Merwe, S S.
Tellers: B R Bamford and A B Widman.
Noes—121: Alant, T G; Aronson, T; Badenhorst, P J; Ballot, G C; Blanché, J P I; Botha, C J v R; Botha, P W; Botha, R F; Botma, M C; Breytenbach, W N; Clase, P J; Coetsee, H J; Coetzer, H S; Conradie, F D; Cunningham, J H; Cuyler, W J; De Jager, A M v A; De Klerk, F W; Delport, W H; De Pontes, P; De Villiers, D J; Du Plessis, B J; Du Plessis, G C; Durr, K D S; Du Toit, J P; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Fourie, A; Geldenhuys, A; Geldenhuys, B L; Golden, S G A; Grobler, J P; Hayward, S A S; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Heunis, J C; Heyns, J H; Horwood, O P F; Hugo, P B B; Jordaan, A L; Kleynhans, J W; Koornhof, P G J; Kotzé, G J; Kotzé, S F; Landman, W J; Le Grange, L; Lemmer, W A; Le Roux, D E T; Le Roux, Z P; Ligthelm, C J; Ligthelm, N W; Lloyd, J J; Louw, E v d M; Louw, M H; Malan, M A de M; Malan, W C; Malherbe, G J; Marais, G; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Maree, M D; Meiring, J W H; Mentz, J H W; Meyer, W D; Morrison, G de V; Munnik, L A P A; Nel, D J L; Nothnagel, A E; Odendaal, W A; Olivier, P J S; Pieterse, J E; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, N J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Rencken, C R E; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, W J; Schutte, D P A; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Streicher, D M; Swanepoel, K D; Tempel, H J; Terblanche, A J W P S; Terblanche, G P D; Ungerer, J H B; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Linde, G J; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, C V; Van der Merwe, G J; Van der Walt, A T; Van Eeden, D S; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Staden, J W; Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, A A; Vermeulen, J A J; Viljoen, G v N; Vilonel, J J; Vlok, A J; Volker, V A; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Wentzel, J J G; Wessels, L; Wiley, J W E; Wilkens, B H; Wright, A P.
Tellers: S J de Beer, W T Kritzinger, R P Meyer, J J Niemann, L van der Watt and H M J van Rensburg (Mossel Bay).
Question negatived and the words omitted.
Substitution of the words proposed by Mr W V Raw put,
Upon which the House divided:
As fewer than fifteen members (viz Messrs G S Bartlett, R W Hardingham, R B Miller, B W B Page, W V Raw and A G Thompson) appeared on one side,
Substitution of the words declared negatived.
Substitution of the words proposed by Dr A P Treurnicht put,
Upon which the House divided:
Ayes—17: Barnard, S P; Hartzenberg, F; Le Roux, F J; Schoeman, J C B; Scholtz, E M; Snyman, W J; Theunissen, L M; Treurnicht, A P; Uys, C; Van der Merwe, J H; Van der Merwe, W L; Van Heerden, R F; Van Staden, F A H; Van Zyl, J J B; Visagie, J H.
Tellers: J H Hoon and H D K van der Merwe.
Noes—122: Alant, T G; Aronson, T; Badenhorst, P J; Ballot, G C; Blanché, J P I; Botha, C J v R; Botha, P W; Botha, R F; Botma, M C; Breytenbach, W N; Clase, P J; Coetsee, H J; Coetzer, H S; Conradie, F D; Cronjé, P; Cunningham, J H; Cuyler, W J; De Jager, A M v A; De Klerk, F W; Delport, W H; De Pontes, P; De Villiers, D J; Du Plessis, B J; Du Plessis, G C; Durr, K D S; Du Toit, J P; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Fourie, A; Geldenhuys, A; Geldenhuys, B L; Golden, S G A; Grobler, J P; Hayward, S A S; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Heunis, J C; Heyns, J H; Horwood, O P F; Hugo, P B B; Jordaan, A L; Kleynhans, J W; Koornhof, P G J; Kotzé, G J; Kotzé, S F; Landman, W J; Le Grange, L; Lemmer, W A; Le Roux, D E T; Le Roux, Z P; Ligthelm, C J; Ligthelm, N W; Lloyd, J J; Louw, EvdM; Louw, M H; Malan, M A de M; Malan, W C; Malherbe, G J; Marais, G; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Maree, Meyer, W D; Morrison, G de V; Munnik, L A P A; Nel, D J L; Nothnagel, A E; Odendaal, W A; Olivier, P J S; Pieterse, J E; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, N J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Rencken, C R E; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, W J; Schutte, D P A; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Streicher, D M; Swanepoel, K D; Tempel, H J; Terblanche, A J W P S; Terblanche, G P D; Ungerer, J H B; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Linde, G J; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, C V; Van der Merwe, G J; Van der Walt, A T; Van Eeden, D S; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Staden, J W; Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, A A; Vermeulen, J A J; Viljoen, GvN; Vilonel, J J; Vlok, A J; Volker, V A; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Wentzel, J J G; Wessels, L; Wiley, J W E; Wilkens, B H; Wright, AP.
Tellers: S J de Beer, W T Kritzinger, R P Meyer, J J Niemann, L van der Watt and H M J van Rensburg (Mossel Bay).
Substitution of the words negatived.
On amendment moved by Mr R B Miller to amendment moved by the Prime Minister,
Question put: That the words stand part of the Question,
Upon which the House divided:
As fewer than fifteen members (viz Messrs G S Bartlett, R W Hardingham, R B Miller, B W B Page, W V Raw and A G Thompson) appeared on one side,
Question declared affirmed and amendment dropped.
Substitution of the words proposed by the Prime Minister put,
Upon which the House divided:
Ayes—122: Alant, T G; Aronson, T; Badenhorst, P J; Ballot G C; Blanché, J P I; Botha, C J v R; Botha, P W; Botha, R F; Botma, M C; Breytenbach, W N; Clase, P J; Coetsee, H J; Coetzer, H S; Conradie, F D; Cronjé, P; Cunningham, J H; Cuyler, W J; De Jager, A M v A; De Klerk, F W; Delport, W H; De Pontes, P; De Villiers, D J; Du Plessis, B J; Du Plessis, G C; Durr, K D S; Du Toit, J P; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Fourie, A; Geldenhuys, A; Geldenhuys, B L; Golden, S G A; Grobler, J P; Hayward, S A S; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Heunis, J C; Heyns, J H; Horwood, O P F; Hugo, P B B; Jordaan, A L; Kleynhans, J W; Koornhof, P G J; Kotzé, G J; Kotzé, S F; Landman, W J; Le Grange, L; Lemmer, W A; Le Roux, D E T; Le Roux, Z P; Ligthelm, C J; Ligthelm, N W; Lloyd, J J; Louw, E v d M; Louw, M H; Malan, M A de M; Malan, W C; Malherbe, G J; Marais, G; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Maree, M D; Meiring, J W H; Mentz, J H W; Meyer, W D; Morrison, G de V; Munnik, L A P A; Nel, D J L; Nothnagel, A E; Odendaal, W A; Olivier, P J S; Pieterse, J E; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, N J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Rencken, C R E; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, W J; Schutte, D P A; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Streicher, D M; Swanepoel, K D; Tempel, H J; Terblanche, A J W P S; Terblanche, G P D; Lingerer, J H B; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Linde, G J; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, C V; Van der Merwe, G J; Van der Walt, A T; Van Eeden, D S; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Staden, J W; Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, A A; Vermeulen, J A J; Viljoen, GvN; Vilonel, J J; Vlok, A J; Volker, V A; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Wentzel, J J G; Wessels, L; Wiley, J W E; Wilkens, B H; Wright, A P.
Tellers: S J de Beer, W T Kritzinger, R P Meyer, J J Niemann, L van der Watt and H M J van Rensburg (Mossel Bay).
Noes—44: Andrew, K M; Bamford, B R; Barnard, M S; Barnard, S P; Bartlett, G S; Boraine, A L; Dalling, D J; Eglin, C W; Gastrow, P H P; Hardingham, R W; Hartzenberg, F; Hoon, J H; Hulley, R R; Le Roux, F J; Malcomess, D J N; Miller, R B; Moorcroft, E K; Myburgh, P A; Olivier, N J J; Page BWB; Raw, W V; Savage, A; Schoeman, J C B; Scholtz, E M; Schwarz, H H; Sive, R; Slabbert, F v Z; Snyman, W J; Soal, P G; Swart, RAF; Theunissen, L M; Thompson, A G; Treurnicht, A P; Uys, C; Van der Merwe, H D K; Van der Merwe, J H; Van der Merwe, S S; Van der Merwe, W L; Van Heerden, R F; Van Staden, FAH; Van Zyl, J J B; Visagie, J H.
Tellers: G B D McIntosh and A B Widman.
Substitution of the words agreed to.
Question, as amended, accordingly agreed to, viz: That this House affirms the confidence expressed by the electorate of the republic of South Africa at the referendum in the constitutional initiatives and proposals of the Government, and further requests the Government to continue:
- (a) with the implementation thereof;
- (b) to ensure stability and security for the Republic of South Africa;
- (c) to promote balanced economic development; and
- (d) to strive for sound relations and peaceful co-existence in Southern Africa.
Mr Speaker, I move:
The House adjourned at