House of Assembly: Vol112 - MONDAY 6 FEBRUARY 1984
The following Bills were read for the First Time:
Mr Speaker, I move:
Today I am in the particularly privileged position of moving this motion, particularly because it is such a particularly positive measure, aimed at the upliftment of a large portion of our Black population. It is not every day that it is allotted to a Minister to promote such a positive measure. What impresses one in this connection is that although the measure is such a bulky one, it contains nothing that is not constructive or development-orientated.
The measure is one of a legislative trilogy aimed at creating a new and better dispensation for the urban Black people, and in my own mind I am satisfied that with this measure we shall also succeed in achieving our objective. Merely allow a community to facilitate its own upliftment by providing it with the necessary aids with which to do so, creating the necessary climate and giving the community the necessary encouragement, and the community itself will do the rest. Its leaders will quickly come to the fore to utilize the institutions available to them.
This measure has already come a very long way and has been given thorough consideration by interested parties covering a wide spectrum, including the urban Black people primarily affected by it. They were repeatedly asked for their input and proposals, which they also copiously supplied. I should therefore like this Bill to be seen as a joint action on the part of all interested parties, and not only as the product of the Department of Co-operation and Development.
For many years now there has been a need to review, modernize and rationalize the Blacks (Urban Areas) Consolidation Act, 1945, but for understandable reasons there is an enormous task involved in something of this nature which a few corrections cannot do justice to. So although considerable amendments to that Act have sporadically been effected, there was a need for a more positive measure. It was, however, with the advent of the Riekert Commission which investigated “Legislation affecting the Utilization of Manpower (excluding the legislation administered by the Departments of Labour and Mines)” that this process was given greater momentum. This commission published a report which, amongst other things, recommended a rationalization of the functions of the Department of Co-operation and Development and of the Department of Manpower.
This led to the drawing up of a very bulky and comprehensive Bill which was published in three parts in the Gazette for general examination and comment. At the time these three components—as in the case of the trilogy of Bills now being introduced into this House—consisted of one aimed at an individual, autonomous system of local government for Blacks, a second aimed, in particular, at revising the Blacks (Urban Areas) Act and a third specifically to concentrate on influx control and settlement, also in the rural areas outside the national states.
The Government decided not to submit one single piece of legislation, as recommended by the Riekert Commission, but to come along with the Black Local Authorities Bill, which has already been passed, the Bill under discussion today and the Orderly Movement and Settlement of Black Persons Bill. During previous sessions all three were referred, for consideration, to the Select Committee on the Constitution, which in turn gathered evidence and asked for comments.
I want to express my sincere thanks to this committee for the great and responsible work it has already done, and will still be doing in the future, to promote the Bill. Various bodies have therefore come forward with very constructive and positive comments, evidence and proposals which were of great assistance to the Select Committee and the department, and I also want to thank them.
I really regard this Bill as a team effort in which only the best possible deal is being negotiated for those concerned, and I therefore believe that this House will also judge it in those terms and that it will be generally acceptable.
As far as the content of the Bill is concerned, I do not want to go into too much detail. The measure is not all that revolutionary, being aimed chiefly at the rounding off and rearrangement of existing measures with a view to enabling the relevant organizations to promote community development so that each community can work out its own welfare.
I would say that one of the most important changes lies in the fact that the whole of the Blacks (Urban Areas) Consolidation Act, 1945, is being repealed. A large number of its provisions are, however, being recast in an adapted mould. In the meantime, however, it is still necessary to retain the influx control provisions contained in that Act until a new influx control mechanism, as envisaged in the Orderly Movement and Settlement of Black Persons Bill, is on the Statute Book. The latter provisions of the existing Act will therefore not be repealed when the bill under consideration at present comes into effect, but only later, after the legislation to which I have referred has been passed.
In addition the Black Affairs Administration Act, 1971, is being repealed in its entirety, but as in the case of the Blacks (Urban Areas) Consolidation Act, 1945, the majority of the provisions are being recast into a suitable mould. I must, however, emphasize the most important facet, ie that as the Riekert Commission has recommended, the Administration Boards are being converted into development boards with standing committees. In those development boards I see tremendous possibilities, and I am optimistic about the fact that they will approach their task with the necessary sense of responsibility. The functions of a development board have been formulated in such a way that the emphasis is placed more on development than on administration: The development of the people, the community and the area, to the point where the community itself obtains its own control bodies. Where the administration functions are not carried out on an agency basis, they will unavoidably have to be carried out, for the sake of the good order in the community, until such time as the community itself can take over those functions. The development boards are therefore the most important promoters of community development. I trust that the chapter in which the agency functions are spelt out will put the development boards in the right light. I believe that the development and revolving fund that I am proposing in the Bill will assist in the promotion of the development of communities.
With this Bill an effort is also being made to eliminate any semblance of obscurity that could possibly exist in regard to the relationship between the envisaged development boards and Black local authorities. The Bill, if read in conjunction with the Black Local Authorities Act, 1982, makes it clear that development boards and Black local authorities function side by side and do not have competitive functions in regard to one and the same area. If a function is therefore transferred to a Black local authority, this is done to the exclusion of the development board which can no longer exercise that function in the Black local authority area of jurisdiction. I want to emphasize that this is the case in the new dispensation in regard to the development of Black communities.
You will also notice, Sir, that ample provision is being made for outsiders to be seconded to assist with specific development board projects, and I therefore also trust that the boards will be less formal and that they will make ample use of these facilities. My personal wish is that the Black communities will accept the development boards as their friends and, in that spirit, give their full co-operation.
Mr Speaker, I should also like to make a few remarks about the land tenure system, particularly because there was so much discussion about it during the deliberations of the select committee. The 99-year system is being retained, but the following important changes are being introduced: The groups of people to whom the right can be granted are being extended; in future the term of tenure will no longer be a diminishing period, since at each transfer there will automatically be a restoration of the 99-year term; those premises which have been identified in a specific manner, though not yet formally surveyed, can conditionally be allocated as leasehold premises; in future leasehold rights will be registered in a conventional deeds office; and it will also be possible to employ the system of leasehold rights to grant sectional leasehold rights.
During the Committee Stage I shall reply in more detail on any aspect which may still be unclear. I only trust that hon members will consider this measure in the spirit in which it has been submitted, ie one envisaging community development and the promotion of self-development.
I also wish all those who will be involved in this venture everything of the best, and I trust that this measure will be seen as one of the most important building blocks for the promotion of sound relationships between peoples in South Africa.
Mr Speaker, as the hon the Deputy Minister has indicated, this Bill is the result of a thorough and lengthy investigation undertaken by the select committee and other bodies. I want to say in advance that in the select committee there was a very great degree of unanimity with regard to most of the provisions in this Bill. There are a few reservations I have which I shall put forward at a later stage.
Looking at the report of the Select Committee on the Constitution in connection with this Bill, it will be noted that except in a few cases the amendments moved by Opposition representatives were adopted by the select committee. I think that the unanimity which prevailed with regard to most of the provisions in this Bill was attributable to the willingness and the desire of the select committee—and more specifically the representatives of the governing party—to give due attention to the representations of Opposition members and other bodies which appeared before the select committee. I therefore want to repeat that in that sense a good spirit prevailed in the select committee, resulting in the relatively large degree of unanimity which existed.
In this connection I feel that one should address a word of thanks to the chairman of the select committee, the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, as well as to the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development who assisted the select committee in a very positive way. I also want to convey our thanks and appreciation to the departmental and parliamentary officials who were very frequently given the task of processing, at a very rapid pace, material relating to select committee decisions. I think that in many respects they were sometimes faced with a really impossible task, but they acquitted themselves extremely well.
In this connection I also want to say that I think in all quarters very appreciative cognisance was taken of the excellent work done by the Urban Foundation and of the documents and particulars submitted to the select committee by the Urban Foundation.
Under these circumstances it will be realized that although we have certain objections, on the basis of the general tenor of the Bill, as set out here by the hon the Deputy Minister, we go along with the Bill, In general, we go along with the exposition of the hon the Deputy Minister and in principle support the legislation. At a later stage I shall indicate where we disagree, and in the Committee Stage we shall be moving certain amendments.
The hon the Deputy Minister mentioned some of the most important facets of the Bill, and if one looks at the facets he mentioned and their implications, it seems as if, in conjunction with the Black Local Authorities Act, and hopefully in conjunction with the Bill which is still to be introduced, namely the Orderly Movement and Settlement of Black Persons Bill, one could perhaps speak of a new approach with regard to our Black people in urban areas.
The conversion of Administration Boards into development boards is an important development. It would perhaps have been better if there had been a complete break between the existing Administration Boards and the development boards, just as there was a complete break in the other Bill between the old community councils or whatever and the new local authorities for Blacks, but there are certain practical problems which I can readily perceive.
On behalf of this side of the House I should just like to express the hope that, as the hon the Deputy Minister indicated, the aim of the Bill with regard to the development boards will actually be achieved. I need not tell the hon the Deputy Minister this, but I think he will agree with me that the existing Administration Boards have an image in certain circles which is not always what it should be. [Interjections.] I am not suggesting that this is necessarily the fault of the Administration Boards, but we would be making a mistake if we did not recognize and admit to ourselves that those Administration Boards do not always have the sort of image one initially expected of them when the 1971 Act was placed on the Statute Book. The extent to which this new approach will be acceptable to the Blacks will largely depend on the development boards. In my opinion the hon the Deputy Minister also indicated this clearly in his speech.
In that sense I hope that the hon the Minister will make use of his powers in terms of clause 3(3) to create development boards which will be real instruments of development for the Black communities in the urban areas.
The hon the Deputy Minister also pointed to the accessibility of the development boards to the news media and the public by way of meetings, and in this regard I also think there are considerable improvements on the present system.
The various committees of the boards, for which provision is made can also, on the basis of the delineation of their functions and duties, play an extremely important role in making the new system acceptable to the urban Blacks.
In this connection, as the hon the Deputy Minister has indicated, it is a positive development that as the boards are now to be constituted—this is obviously the intention of the Bill, and is also what I inferred from the speech of the hon the Deputy Minister—actual experts in the various fields, as set out in the Bill, are going to be appointed to them. In this connection a co-opting right is also being granted to the boards, and this means that the level of expertise of the boards can be further increased by means of such co-opting. I want to express the hope that the hon the Minister will use his influence to get the Administration Boards to make use of this co-opting right in order to appoint more experts to the committees of the boards, because it is going to be those functions of the board, for example functions in connection with local government housing, planning and development, which will determine how this Bill is going to work in practice.
There is very little I need say about the financing of the board, except that I have to point out that the extent of the funds available in the revolving fund is again going to determine to what extent it will be possible to implement this Bill constructively. In this regard I want to express the hope that the hon the Minister will succeed in convincing the hon the Minister of Finance to make large sums of money available for the functions of the board. Without this we shall be faced with meaningless provisions on the Statute Book.
I need not go into the agency functions, and the provisions concerning leasehold are very interesting and quite acceptable to us. Of course they do not go far enough, but I shall return to that at a later stage.
Looking at this Bill in conjunction with the Black Local Authorities Act, one sees that one’s positive acceptance of the measure we are now discussing will be determined by what comes to the fore in the third Bill, because that Bill—and the hon the Deputy Minister will grant me that—may to a large extent regate the objectives of this Bill and the Black Local Authorities Act, particularly if we continue with the old system of influx control, as applicable to date. In that sense we must all reserve our judgment until such time as we have clarity on the provisions of the third Bill. As the hon the Deputy Minister has indicated, that Bill will also be referred to the Select Committee on the Constitution, and I assume that that measure will be dealt with by the select committee with the same degree of frankness and with the same willingness to consider one another’s standpoints. But at the point we have now reached, this Bill and the Black Local Authorities Act attest, in particular, to two fundamental approaches. In the first place it is now clear, for the first time, that the permanent presence of Blacks in our White urban areas is being accepted and, in the second place, that those Blacks in our urban areas must be made as happy as possible. In other words, they must be subjected to as few irritations as possible if our aim is going to be to create a happy Black community. I do not want to fling reproaches at anyone, but I must say that these points of departure differ fundamentally from the fundamental principles of the old legislation applicable to the urban Blacks. As I have said, the permanence of our urban Black communities is now being accepted. Let us now contrast this with the provisions of the old Urban Areas Act of 1923, as amended. Hon members will remember that the 1923 legislation was to a large extent the result of the Stallard Committee’s recommendations in 1919. That Act proceeded from the standpoint that there need not be any permanent Blacks in our urban areas. As a matter of fact, the point of departure which applied for very many years, with regard to this legislation, was that only those Blacks who performed essential services for the Whites should be allowed into the urban areas and that no other Blacks should be allowed in. In other words, the settlement of families and service to their own communities were discouraged.
Are you still dealing with the Bill?
Yes. I am trying to explain why I welcome this Bill, because it attests to change.
That refusal to accept the urban Blacks continued until a few years ago. Hon members will remember that not so long ago a Minister of Plural Relations still referred in this House to Blacks as “temporary sojourners” who actually had no right in our urban areas. As far as previous legislation is concerned, the hon the Minister will remember that the then Prime Minister had adopted the standpoint that even if the number of Blacks in the urban areas were to increase, they would not be the same Blacks because they would be coming and going.
In view of this we are now dealing with an important and realistic acceptance, by that side of the House, of the fact that whether we want to or not, we have to accept that there is a permanent Black urban population. In this connection it is also very clear that all our prior estimates and the statistics we built up over the years, in terms of which it was predicted that at given moments there would be certain numbers of Blacks in our urban areas, did not work out in practice and that all those projections were hopelessly short of the mark. If, for example, one looks at the speech the then Minister of Native Affairs, Dr Verwoerd, made on the Tomlinson Report, one finds that he voiced his fear at the possibility that there might eventually be six million Blacks outside the homelands. We have long sense exceeded that number, and there is every indication that during the next few decades millions of Blacks will come to our urban areas. We have not yet accepted the full implications of this, and in this connection I shall be returning to the Bill in a moment. We do, in fact, accept the permanence of Blacks in our urban areas, but we have not yet accepted the full implications of that permanence. As far as political rights are concerned, we know the attitude which has prevailed thus far. We are looking forward with great interest to the work of the Cabinet Committee in this connection. Whether we like it or not, it is my opinion that if we accept that there are permanent Blacks in our urban areas, there is no way in which we can exclude those people from the political decision-making processes in our country.
The same applies land tenure. It is no use saying on the one hand that we accept the permanence of these people, while on the other hand placing all manner of restrictions on their right to own land. The same also applies to the sale of their labour. In spite of the changes which have taken place, we simply have to accept that if we accept their permanence, attention will also have to be given to the restrictions in regard to their right to sell their labour on the best market. Here I am also thinking of the policy in the past in connection with trade unions. Changes already seem to be taking place in that area.
The second way in which these Bills differ is in the positive approach with regard to Black community development in our urban areas. Hon members will remember that for many years the standpoint, as embodied in our legislation, was that we make the lives of our urban Blacks as unpleasant as possible, because in so doing we assumed that the influx to the urban areas could be restricted. In the past Blacks in urban areas were not allowed to exercise any business rights. Just think of the restrictions on home ownership and the thirty-year period that applied. There were also the restrictions on freedom of movement and freedom of residence. In this respect I also have in mind the Blacks (Prohibition of Interdicts) Act. I think the hon the Minister should give serious consideration to deleting that Act. It has served its purpose and the time has now come for us to get rid of it, particularly because it impinges on a fundamental rights of people. I therefore want to appeal to the hon the Minister, in the light of this trilogy of legislation, to consider repealing this Act.
There are also the aspects of job reservation and other matters which are still there and which I hope will also disappear in due course. In this connection the hon the Deputy Minister also referred to the Riekert Commission. As a matter of fact, there are recommendations incorporated in this Bill which stem from the Riekert Commission. There were also other commissions however, such as the Fagan and Grosskopf Commissions which deserve our appreciation in this connection.
It is quite clear—and it is in this sense that we welcome this Bill—that if we want to avoid conflict in South Africa, it is essential for the Black urban community to be kept as satisfied as possible, because their degree of satisfaction will determine to what extent they will be influenced by negative propaganda. Since we have now realised and accepted these facts, I hope that we shall go further and that with the implementation of this Bill and the Bills which are still to follow, there will be an attempt to eliminate all unnecessary forms of discrimination and differentiation, because there are still far too many restrictions.
I have indicated that we shall move a number of amendments at a later stage. At this stage there is still a degree of uncertainty in our own minds as to what exactly the relationship between these development boards and the Black local authorities will be. It would be as well to consider this matter in the Committee Stage.
I now want to mention a few other aspects with regard to which we shall be moving amendments. There is, for example, the discretionary power granted to the State President to do away with the leasehold provisions for certain areas. We feel that this is wrong, and we shall be moving the necessary amendments to this at a later stage.
Also as regards the question of the forced removal of Coloureds from Black areas, I want to tell the hon the Deputy Minister that this is one of the aspects in regard of which we submitted an amendment in the Select Committee, and which we shall elaborate on in the Committee Stage.
As far as leasehold is concerned, we shall indicate at a later stage that in clause 52—I think the hon the Minister will grant me this—certain things slipped in which should not have slipped in. We shall attempt to rectify this, and I have been in touch with the hon the Minister about this.
There are also a few other aspects we shall get to at a later stage, for example the status of Black women. I hope that the hon the Minister and the hon the Deputy Minister will display the same reasonable attitude, as was shown in the hon the Deputy Minister’s speech, in our efforts to co-operate in the search for those aspects which can create a satisfied and happy urban Black community.
We have to reach consensus.
Yes, and under these circumstances it is a pleasure for me to say that in principle this side of the House supports the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I wish to react briefly to three points in particular which the hon the member Prof Olivier touched upon. Firstly, I should like to thank the hon member for his support and his well-balanced elucidation of aspects when he was dealing with the Bill.
Secondly, the hon member said that sometimes the image of Administration Boards suffered under certain circumstances. It is a fact that one cannot satisfy everyone under the sun, but among responsible bodies and responsible people the image of the Administration Boards is very good, because these people realize what good work the Administration Boards have been doing over the years. I shall come back to this aspect later.
Thirdly, the hon member referred to certain rights of Black people in White areas. He digressed very widely and, with all due respect, was nowhere near the Bill. If the hon member were to look at the Schedule to the Bill, he would see that section 10 of Act 25 of 1945, the section which to a great extent controls influx, is not being repealed at all. The hon member made many assumptions and in reality based his speech on legislation which may still be introduced. In that respect I do not wish to react to him. I simply wish to state section 10 of the Blacks (Urban Areas) Consolidation Act remains unchanged in this Bill. If new legislation in this connection is put before us one day, we can debate the other aspects to which the hon member referred.
I should like to draw attention to the Preamble to this Bill in which the policy of the Government is very clearly set out. The Preamble reads, inter alia, as follows:
for this achievement of this positive, purposeful development. This legislation therefore makes it very clear that certain development must take place for the Black communities outside the national states. How it is to take place is specified here. Consequently it is also stated very clearly in clause 2 that the Bill is not applicable to the national states. That is why it was essential, as a first step, to enact the Black Local Authorities legislation. That Act is proving itself to be a starting point for development on which this Bill is going to rely.
That is why 29 of these local authorities have already been established, after the local authorities concerned had complied with very strict requirements. When we consider the requirements with which a Black local authority must comply before its existence as a Black local authority can be approved, we see that the requirements include aspects such as financial independence enabling it to be self-supporting, the physical infrastructure which can assure the people of a pleasant way of life, community facilities, an essential supply of housing, a large enough population, commercial and industrial facilities and sufficient personnel. All these aspects are taken into consideration and the fact of the matter is that the development of the Black communities is under way.
In this connection I should like to congratulate the hon the Deputy Minister of Co-operation, Dr Morrison, who is dealing with this Bill, and express appreciation for the exceptional work he has done in the establishment of these 29 local authorities. We say to him: “Thank you very much; it does not pass unnoticed.”
When one considers the Administration Boards in this country, one observes that they have up to now made a positive contribution to promote the development of Black communities. Once again it is stated very well in the Preamble to the Bill in which appreciation is expressed for what the Administration Boards have done. It is sometimes said that the image of the Administration Boards is unsatisfactory, but let us take a brief look at the history of Administration Boards.
Originally there were 22 Administration Boards. During 1979 this number was reduced to 14. Just think of the important role which they played. I want to mention four aspects in this connection. The first was the upgrading and electrification of Soweto, involving an amount of almost R400 million. This was a tremendously important facet. They also act as development agents for the South African Development Trust. They are also responsible for the introduction and promotion of self-help building schemes. Under these self-help building schemes Black people build their own houses at a minimal cost. Fourthly, Administration Boards grant development aid to Black Community Councils.
Administration Boards are now being reconstituted to a greater extent than in the past and are becoming more development-orientated. In this way these development boards will function as an additional aid to Black local authorities, where those authorities so desire. Nowhere will they overstep the mark, however, or interfere gratuitously in the sphere of Black local authorities. The hon the Deputy Minister made this very clear. With this development we wish to enhance the quality of life of Black people in Black communities, in the interests of all the inhabitants of South Africa.
That it is the Government’s firm intention to proceed along the course it has adopted with these three pieces of legislation is very clearly apparent from this particular Bill itself. In the Schedule we observe that 45 Acts are being affected. Nine Acts are being repealed in their entirety, and 36 Acts are being repealed to a considerable extent. This testifies to rationalization, to a realism which is now emerging in the developmental process. It confirms a spirit of confidence in the Black communities, confidence that they, too, will act in a responsible way. It also testifies to a certain spirit among Whites and other communities, ie that we agree on development. This approach makes us feel satisfied and more reassured that a bright future awaits all our people in South Africa.
It is true that the Department of Co-operation and Development is frequently the recipient of very unsavoury publicity. I want to point out, however, that the Select Committee had the full support and co-operation of the department. Thus unjustified criticism is refuted if one considers the conduct of the department before the Select Committee. There was a willingness to give effect on an executive level to the policies that were indicated to them. Personally, I want to congratulate the department on its standpoint and on what it has accomplished.
I should like to associate myself with the hon member Prof Olivier and refer to the Urban Foundation. These people have done really excellent work. We would be neglecting our duty if we did not give recognition in this House to their many excellent qualities.
As far as the Bill itself is concerned, it is divided into seven chapters. The substance of Chapter 2 is that certain development board areas are defined and that the board shall appoint certain committees from amongst its members. In terms of clause 8 the board appoints a local government committee, a housing and administration committee, a planning and development committee, as well as other committees. Their functioning is defined and set out very logically. We also see in this chapter that proper attention is being given to the rights and privileges of officials at present in the employ of Administration Boards with a view to the transitional stage before they enter the employ of development boards.
This is very important, because the expertise of these officials has been demonstrated over the years, and we are indeed sincerely grateful to the officials of the Administration Boards, because without them we would not have been able to make a success of this matter. We want to give them the assurance that this side of the House is ready to listen to any problems they may have and would like to give attention to them.
An important aspect is covered by clause 29(2), namely that in terms of the Bill the development boards shall not infringe on the sphere of Black local authorities. On the one hand this confirms the confidence we have that the Black local authorities will in fact be able to make the grade, and on the other hand it confirms the attitude of helpfulness on the part of the development boards.
As far as the housing function is concerned, it is important to note what will happen to State-owned land when it is situated within the administrative area of a Black local authority, and in this connection I am referring to clause 34(9). Another important aspect is that an opportunity is now being created for developers to develop towns on a private basis. The history of Administration Boards in respect of the establishment of towns is significant and excellent, and if we may compare it with the private sector, we can be justifiably proud of what has been accomplished. For example, in nearby Khayelitsha 5 000 plots, fully provided with services, will soon be ready. This was an enormous task. In the Transvaal we have Ekangala, where 500 houses were constructed within a short period of time. In my opinion the department deserves our praise and appreciation in this respect.
I do not want to elaborate on Chapter V, which deals with agency functions, because these were very clearly explained by the hon the Deputy Minister, and there are other speakers as well who are still going to refer to those functions.
Chapter VI deals with leasehold, and this is a very important aspect of the Bill. In 1967 the unregistered three-year leasing system was introduced. Development has taken place since then, and we now have an extended leasehold system. In clause 52(2) it is stated very clearly which people are able to acquire leasehold. An association or a person may for example be considered by the Minister to qualify for such leasehold. In this connection an opportunity is also being created for private enterprise to participate in the building of houses and the development of Black communities. Consequently we hope that the opportunities which are being created here will not be in vain and that private enterprise will make active use of them.
As regards the number of measured sites available for leasehold, 182 000 sites had already been measured by 31 March 1982, which was an enormous task. It is also clear that the leasehold system is steadily increasing in popularity, for while at the end of March 1982 there were only 1 831 registered leasehold deeds, the figure grew within a year, ie by February 1983, to 3 593—a twofold increase in the number of registered leasehold deeds in only a year. This is undoubted proof that we are on the right road, that the deficiencies have been identified, and that we have now adopted a course which better satisfies the aspirations of the Black people as well.
In the Black urban communities outside the national states we consequently have a 99-year leasehold system, and what is more, the national states will take cognizance of the popularity of the leasehold system among the Black people, and it is to be hoped that in their own states they will give their citizens if not full freehold, then at least the same leasehold facilities.
Here we have a system which has been worked out in detail; so completely that even sectional leasehold units are also being made available for the further development of our Black communities. Just as there is at present a White deeds office in which deeds are registered, the same deeds office is now being used for the registration of leasehold deeds, when the stands in question have finally been measured. We therefore note that the rights of Black people, which they will acquire in terms of the present legislation, are being systematically protected. Black people will therefore be able to participate in this matter to an ever-increasing extent. Moreover, building societies and other financial institutions will also be able to participate to a greater extent and with confidence in this system.
In general I consequently want to point out that the totality of the establishment of a legal milieu in which a Black man lives his own life in his own way, in which his own Black local authority can regulate his daily life for him is now being established in terms of this second of the trilogy of legislation. The third Bill is still coming, and at this juncture I do not wish to discuss that last Bill of the so-called trilogy. It is still too early for that. That final piece of legislation must still be discussed by the Select Committee concerned.
A realism in Black politics has taken root, and they, too, are now beginning to participate in this leasehold system, as well as in Black local authorities. Among the Whites, too, a realism has developed, as a result of which the Administration Boards are now being converted into development boards to help the Black local authorities when they are requested to do so. Owing to this new realism we now have an orderly development, which will ultimately lead to stability. Therefore, when we recognize the possibilities which are being created by this legislation we should like—and I do so gladly in my personal capacity as well—to support the Second Reading of this Bill.
Mr Speaker, as the hon member for Pretoria West put it, I too would now like to proceed to a rationalization of realism. There is a great deal that is positive in the legislation under discussion, and we gladly support what is positive.
We are in favour of the circumstances of life of the Black people outside the national and independent states—those who therefore find themselves in the Republic of South Africa—being advanced and improved, of better accommodation being created for them, as well as better education, a better standard of living and more pleasant working conditions. According to the available census figures there are at present approximately 10 million of the citizens of national and independent states present in the Republic of South Africa, ie outside those states. This is approximately 50% of the total Black population. We are also in favour, as is in fact being provided in this Bill, of services being rendered to these people on a regional basis because we are of the opinion that this could save costs and increase efficiency. Furthermore we are in favour of the final authority, control and responsibility as far as the provision of these services is concerned, being vested in the Government of the Republic of South Africa.
There is also a very important criterion and norm, however, which we lay down when we assess a Bill of this nature. This is something which has so far not been mentioned today. It is that to ensure the ultimate happiness, prosperity and peaceful coexistence of the respective population groups in South Africa, it is of the utmost importance that the maximum number of people of each population group should live and reside in their own particular states, being governed there by their own governments. For us this is the most important criterion which should be applied when assessing a Bill of this nature.
In clause 35 of the Bill under discussion provision is inter alia being made for the establishment and development of industrial areas, as well as for industrial development within the Black urban residential areas. In the Preamble to the Bill under discussion it is stated that this should take place “for the purposeful development of the communities”. I assume that this will also be for the sake of purposeful industrial development in these communities.
With this Bill the emphasis has now shifted. Whereas the emphasis was always placed on administration, it has now shifted to development, including industrial development. The industrial development of Black people in South Africa was purposefully embarked upon in 1959, and in the next two decades spectacular results were achieved in regard to the industrial development which was initiated within the national states. In those two decades the Black people within their own states increased far more rapidly than the Black people who found themselves outside their national states, ie here in the RSA. This happened to such an extent that in 1951 one-third of the total Black population, which was then only 9 million people, were living in their own states, while in 1980 half of the total Black population, which was then 20 million, was living in the national states. Consequently there was a tremendous increase of 3 million to 10 million as against approximately 6 million to 10 million in the White area. We on this side of the House are of the opinion that if this policy of the development of the national and independent states were to be purposefully continued and even accelerated, it is possible that we have already reached the stage at which the number of Black people outside the national states could be kept static, so that their numbers will not increase.
It is therefore important to know what the policy of the hon the Minister is if one wishes to determine the effect of the provisions of this legislation in practice. This Bill gives wide powers to the development boards, as well as to the hon the Minister. One Government may use him to achieve a certain objective and another Government may use him to achieve a different objective. One matter which is not clear, however, is what the policy of the hon the Minister is, how he is going to deal with this Bill and what his aims with this Bill are.
When we assess the policy of the hon the Minister there are a few things which have already occurred and which the hon the Minister has already accepted which give one a very clear indication of where he wants to go. The first of these is the acceptance of the permanence of the Black people in South Africa.
The hon member Prof Olivier argued quite logically—although he is in favour of this and we are not—that if one accepts the permanence of Black people in South Africa, outside the national states, the logical consequence of that must be land ownership must come, as well as ultimate full-fledged citizenship of White South Africa. It is inevitable. That is apparently why the hon member Prof Olivier interprets the provisions of clause 35 in a very favourable light. Our view of the matter, however, is that if the policy in respect of this clause is not very clearly laid down and if it is not indicated very purposefully in what direction one is moving here, it is possible that ethnic relations in South Africa could be completely disrupted.
In the second place the hon the Minister has already accepted the court verdict on the Rikhoto case, as a result of which a large number of additional people, together with their families, acquired permanent rights of abode in White South Africa. If I remember correctly, the hon the Minister’s own figure was 143 000.
Have you established what the latest position is?
I know the number is very large. It could be more. There are other people who think that it could be far greater.
Have you established how many have already applied?
Yes. I placed a question on the Question Paper to establish the position. The fact remains, however, that those people qualify and if they apply they have to be assisted, because they then come onto the waiting list. The housing shortage in the national states and the one in the White part of South Africa is more or less the same. Each one of these people who are taken away from the national states will, however, reduce the number there, because they are added here because they are placed on a waiting list. The waiting list is growing longer.
Secondly, the hon the Minister announced a tremendous urban development programme. During his term as Minister the number of Black people present in the Peninsula increased from 120 000 to 300 000. This is the largest increase anywhere in South Africa. This happened during his term of office.
Furthermore the hon the Minister announced a programme for the expansion of Soweto as far as its surface area and other things were concerned, and in effect it amounted to a doubling of the size of the present Soweto. He is also engaged in a similar programme on the East Rand and the Vaal Triangle. The hon the Minister is therefore, at this stage already, making provision for four additional Sowetos in the White area of South Africa for the 19 or 20 million people that have to become urbanized between now and the end of the century. This is of drastic importance, and for that reason we say that the ultimate criterion is whether the maximum number of members of each population group will be able to live in their own residential areas.
The important question which would arise if the hon the Minister were to proceed with purposeful industrial development in the existing cities, and also in those he is going to create, is what the effect of this will be in South Africa. The first obvious consequence is that the development of the national and independent states will of course be detrimentally affected, because there is no lack of potential in the independent and the national states as far as development factors are concerned. The potential is nowhere near being fully utilized; for the most part it is still unutilized. Potential land is available.
As far as labour is concerned, there is of course no problem there; the labour is available. There is a problem as far as capital is concerned, but for a good project, a good undertaking with good management, capital is always found and capital is always attainable.
The major hindrance as far as the development of the Black states is concerned, is management. If Black entrepreneurs are now to be allowed to establish industries here in the White area, then these are people who could have played a role in building up their fatherland, but who are not in their fatherland and who are being located here in White South Africa. What is more: We all know that one employment opportunity created in industry entails at least between twenty and thirty other employment opportunities. When we therefore come to consider what is to happen to those people who are allowed to settle here, we find that there will be employment opportunities here. They will then be able to come here legally. They will then be entitled to be here.
As a result of this clause the development pattern of South Africa could be thrown into reserve. In addition this clause is inconsistent with the policy of decentralization because one must ask oneself where this industrial development for which provision is being made is going to occur in practice. After all, it will not occur in areas such as Aliwal or Biesjesvlei where major development in the White sector is not taking place. No large-scale industrial development will take place there, for the same reasons that it is not taking place now.
In the second place it is highly unlikely that this industrial development will take place in the decentralized areas and the growth-points, because adjoining those areas are Black states. The Black Governments themselves will ensure that if development goes to those places, it will go to their states. Already there is a position which stipulates that Whites may not start such undertakings within a certain distance of the borders of the Black states. The Black states are therefore anxious to see development in such places taking place within their states, something which is quite correct and to which they are entitled.
Therefore only one place remain where this industrial development can take place, and that is in the metropolitan areas of South Africa.
The point here is that it is surely going to be completely at variance with the policy of decentralization, for in practice we find that while Whites are being encouraged to decentralize to the national states, Blacks are being encouraged to establish industries here in the White metropolitan areas. Surely this is a utterly illogical situation.[Interjections.]
I want to know what the policy of the Minister is. On the basis of what I have seen so far, I cannot come to any other conclusion.
We say that decentralization, apart from ethnic relations and race or ethnic considerations, is a healthy policy because the existing metropolitan area infrastructures are already overburdened. That is why it is a good thing to decentralize. I would say that it is in no way cheaper to develop in metropolitan areas where the infrastructures have already reached breaking point than in the decentralized areas.
Take for example the scheme that has been announced to convey water from the Southern Free State to the Witwatersrand. It is going to cost us more than a thousand million rands. Once we have spent that money, only one thing has happened, and that is that water has been diverted from the Southern Free State to the Witwatersrand. Not one additional house, not one additional school has been built and not one additional employment opportunity has been created. Nevertheless we have already spent more than a thousand million rands.
If that money could have been applied somewhere in the Southern Free State, where the people are—at Thaba Nchu and other places—and where a strong infrastructure already exists which is not being fully utilized—as in Bloemfontein and other places—we would be able to create far more development and employment opportunities with the same amount of money.
For us, therefore, the question which this provision which has been inserted here poses is in what direction South Africa is going to develop, and, Sir, that development is the foundation for the constitutional development in South Africa and ultimately, too, the foundation for the happy coexistence of the various peoples in South Africa. For that reason, Sir, we cannot support this Bill, even though it contains many positive things.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Lichtenburg objects to this Bill largely because it makes provision for processes in terms of which Black people will be able to establish industries within our metropolitan areas, thereby creating job opportunities for their own people. Let me put it to the hon member in the following terms: If in spite of the Government having done everything in its power to create opportunities for industrial development within the national states—and we are amazed at the progress that has already been made—because of world economic trends we nevertheless have a mass of Blacks who do not have jobs, must we simply tell them to go and waste away on the rubbish heap because there is nothing we can do for them? Surely that would be a foolish premise. There is something else I want to point out to the hon member. An important “philosopher” in the hon member’s party, Dr Connie Mulder, on occasion expressed the hope that Soweto should become the most beautiful city in South Africa. Was he wrong, then, when he expressed that sentiment? [Interjections.] The hon member is a farmer and I assume he has Black people in his employ. Is he simply going to sit back and tell them that as far as development is concerned they must simply perish in their misery? Surely the hon member would not be that foolish. We are actually dealing here with a Bill which forms part of a trilogy and which creates processes in respect of the greatest task this Government has undertaken in a very long time, and that is the development of our Black communities outside the national states. In speaking of the development of our Black communities, one certainly has to take a few basic things into consideration. The first fact is that throughout Europe, the Far East, America and Africa the urbanization process has had its negative effect. If anyone is naïve enough to think that these bitter fruits of the urbanization process will not be reaped in South Africa, he is making a mistake. Obviously the Government and the department have done everything in their power to mitigate the ill effects of this world trend in South Africa, but they could not secure South Africa completely against the ill effects of the world trend of urbanization and the concomitant unemployment and housing shortage. Of course we could not manage to do it.
A second basic fact we have to remember is that when we speak of the development of Black communities, we are obviously dealing with deep-rooted differences. These are deep-rooted differences emanating from our diversity of peoples. I am sure it is not necessary for me to indicate how strong these differences really are. One could perhaps just mention that we are dealing with a Xhosa people consisting of 4,2 million individuals, another part of the Xhosa population in the Ciskei consisting of 1 million individuals, with a Tswana people consisting of 2,3 million individuals, with a Venda people consisting of 500 000 individuals, with a South Ndebele people consisting of 300 000 individuals, with a Tsonga people consisting of 900 000 individuals, with a Swazi people of 600 000 individuals, with 5,4 million Zulus, with a North Sotho people of 2,4 million individuals, and with a South Sotho people of 1,8 million individuals. These peoples are represented by a total of 656 tribes. The Government realizes the diversity of our Black peoples, outside the national states as well. If we do not take this into consideration, we shall not be able to participate meaningfully in this discussion.
However, there is a third crucial fact we have to take into consideration in respect of the evaluation of the processes being created, and that is that although, in its preamble, this Bill mentions the development of our Black communities, in practice this means community development in the true sense of the word. These are therefore processes aimed at improving and maintaining the standards of living of all the communities.
The last crucial fact we have to take into consideration in this regard is the fact that we are actually dealing here with a trilogy of legislation, as has already been pointed out repeatedly this afternoon. On this occasion one would have liked to refer to all the processes which are so essential for effecting real community development within our different Black communities. From the nature of the case, however, this is not possible. So on this occasion I want to dwell briefly on one of the processes which, to my mind, is one of the most important, and that is the acquisition of registered leasehold rights by Blacks. In this regard I refer to Chapter VI, clauses 52-57, which deal with the question of leasehold.
Leasehold, of course, has a long history, and in paging back through our legal history one finds prior examples in Roman law, for example the emphyteusis and the superficies. When we go further back we find in Holland, hereditary tenure, quitrent and other types of freehold which do not necessarily have anything to do with dominium. In looking at Africa one comes across a very interesting case. We see that here we actually have to do with rights of use. These are rights which come very close to our leasehold system, the difference being that normally they could not be registered. Dominium or right of ownership was vested in the tribe or the chief and were rights which the pater familias, that is the head of the family, could exercise and on the analogy of that we created a modern leasehold system in Africa. This is probably one of the most beautiful, one of the greatest creations of our time in the practical legal field. Then we established the leasehold system by Act No 97 of 1978, followed by a period in which this important institution had to contend with its growing pains. No surveyed erven were available; no properly trained staff were readily available and, what is more, functional regulations had to be negotiated. Regulations in terms of which loans or bonds could be registered through the new system of registration had to be negotiated with moneylenders such as the building societies.
Looking further, one has to admit with a deep sense of gratitude that this leasehold system, which was indeed a new system of registration, is a modern system which furnishes one of the most important processes in the development of our Black people, viz the acquisition of registered title to land. This system held infinite possibilities for the Black man. In practise this meant that he could obtain title virtually free of charge. It also meant that he could obtain legal certainty in contrast to the rights of use which to this day traditionally obtain in Africa. What is also important, however, is that against this title he obtained, moneylenders, particularly building societies, being not only satisfied with it, were also prepared to advance money by way of a mortgage for building a home the site of which could be registered fully. Naturally, progress was slow in the initial stages, but today we can state here that this system has gained momentum during the last few months, to such an extent that it is being claimed that 480 000 erven have already been surveyed and are available and that more than 5 600 leaseholds have already been registered. So this system has started to gain momentum.
Now the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development, as well as the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, with the aid of their committees and of everybody who had a hand in this, come along with these important amendments and provisions in clause 6 in terms of which this system is being modernized. I think I can state here today, without fear of contradiction, that with our leasehold system we have now reached a milestone, because in future we shall be able to make use of our conventional registration facilities. It is extremely important that this transfer should take place in the near future, because I believe that the possession of a worthy title deed is really the alpha and the omega in the process of the provisions of housing, one of the most important processes of community development.
I think no one can deny that the State alone cannot provide all the Black people with housing, in the same way that it cannot provide all the Whites, Coloureds and Asians with housing. Because we have now created this registered title for the Black man, he can obtain his property on leasehold, register a bond against it and be in a position off his own bat, not only to obtain the land but also to build his own home with the assistance of a building society, his employer, industry or the private sector.
So this legislation now makes provision for our leasehold registration system to be transferred to our conventional deeds offices as we have come to know them over the years. I want to add right away that I do not believe that anyone can dispute my statement that the conventional deeds system in South Africa is not equaled anywhere in the world. For this reason it is so very important that our leasehold system has now gained momentum. It works. The Black people accept it. The moneylenders, too, accept it. The hon the Minister, the other hon the Minister concerned, the committees and everybody who has had a hand in this, are now adding the crowning touch to this beautiful, long historical course of this beautiful system by this proposal that the registration activities be transferred to our existing conventional deeds offices.
However, they go even further. I do not want to tire hon members with all the proposed adjustments and improvements to the leasehold system. I just want to refer to a few that could contribute greatly towards making this system the really idealistic system we consider it to be. Firstly, as I have said, we have reached a milestone with the transfer to our conventional registration offices. Secondly there is the essential broadening of the category of people who will now be able to obtain leasehold. Thirdly—and this is important—we find that the 99-year leasehold will be reinstated with each transfer from one leaseholder to the next. I think it is extremely important that this amendment has been effected. Of course, it is equally important for good order and for reasonably good surveys and adjustments to this system that it has been proposed that the survey legislation be changed. Then there is the fact that leasehold can now also be provided on the identifiable site, the site which is identifiable on the general town plan, subject to—and this is equally important—certain intrinsic guarantees by the State in respect of people or mortgagers who may suffer losses. A completely modernizing aspect of this system is also that on the analogy of our recognized sectional title units people will now be able to obtain sectional leasehold units which, in view of the modem institutions we have and our present-day circumstances, are also important for the housing of our Black people. A last essential change which has been effected is the broadening of the category of people who can permit the granting of leasehold. Previously it was only the Administration Boards, but now it will be the development boards, the local authorities and also—and this is important—the developers.
If one looks at clause 52 and the other clause which can be read in conjunction with it, viz clause 56, it appears by implication, and also directly, that the Black man who has actually, until now been able to receive leasehold title or leasehold deeds free of charge, or virtually free of charge, can continue to do so. I think this is extremely important because if we look at conventional transfer and deed tariffs we see—I humbly make this submission—that the ordinary Black man can simply not afford those conventional costs. So if we were to adopt that in full, it would mean putting a damper on the extensive activity that has already taken hold in connection with the acquisition of leasehold title. I humbly want to submit that if this were to become necessary in future, we should involve the law societies in the private sector in the legal and other preparatory work such as that of compiling deeds. The hon the Minister will try to come to a reasonable agreement with the law societies in order to obtain a special tariff so that the private sector, through the intercession of the law societies, can be involved in giving assistance should the work become too much for our officials and the department. If a reasonable tariff cannot be negotiated, what we will have to do is confine ourselves to the system which has applied until now since, by implication, it is our intention as legislators that it should continue in this way.
To conclude, here we have one of the finest creations in respect of those processes which are essential for community development in South Africa. I am glad that hon members have, to a large extent, indicated that consensus was reached in the Select Committee. I believe that in the years ahead this legislation on the development of our Black people will contribute towards bringing about order, peace and prosperity in the country.
Mr Speaker, I shall deal with the speech made by the hon member for Lichtenburg and with the attitude of the CP in the course of my speech.
To a large extent I find myself in agreement with the hon member for Newton Park concerning the background to the problem which he outlined.
†It was nice to listen to a convert. It always is nice to listen to someone who has been converted to a point of view that one has preached for many years. It was good to hear the hon member talk about the stability and effect of a Black man owning his own house. He talked about “die besit van sy huis” and “die bou van sy eie huis”. He is absolutely correct. We have been saying that as long as I can remember. Ultimately security in South Africa is dependent on a person having something which belongs to him, which is his own to defend and which he wants to protect against revolution, violence and any danger of destruction through anarchy. I must say that to listen to that hon member, who used to disagree with us, and to hear him using the same terminology, is really an encouragement. I hope perhaps he will agree with some of the other things which we preach and with which he does not yet agree in the months ahead. [Interjections.]
The Bill before us, the second of the trilogy, is like the first, the Black Local Authorities Act, a measure which went to select committee under tremendous criticism and with tremendous objections against it, but which emerged from the Select Committee in a form which achieved the support of all four parties of the House. This is why I am glad to see the hon member for Lichtenburg back in the House at the exact right moment. That party, which is now opposing this Bill, in the Select Committee voted for all but one of the clauses. It also voted for the schedule, the preamble and the title. It voted for every one of the 70 clauses except one clause which dealt with the right of Black local authorities to own property. They were represented when the voting took place and they recorded a vote on every clause on which there was a division. For instance, we find that on clause 34 the hon member for Brakpan moved an amendment to omit something; a vote took place and everybody present except the CP voted against it. It is therefore not as though that party did not know what was going on. Here there is another division where the hon member for Brakpan voted with the Government against the PFP and myself on an amendment.
Thus we have a Bill which started off as one of controversy, but in the Select Committee it was streamlined, improved and changed in such a way that, except for that one issue, namely the issue of ownership of land by Black local authorities, I took to be an agreed measure.
As other hon members have done, I too want to pay tribute to the Select Committee. It has been my privilege to serve on many select committees of this House, but this Select Committee is the best committee that I have ever served on, especially when it comes to the spirit in which it deliberates, its approach to the problems before it, the way in which it deals with measures, including this Bill and the Black Local Authorities Bill, the way in which it overcomes difficulties and reconciles differences. I, like the official Opposition, had difficulties with some of the provisions of this Bill, but we were either able to reach agreement or, where we could not reach agreement, we were able to reconcile those differences in the light of the overall benefit which we believed this Bill contained. In all the deliberations of the Select Committee there were six divisions, four on one clause and one each on two other clauses—only six divisions during the discussion of this Bill. I think that speaks volumes for the spirit in which this committee worked and for the way in which it was able to take a measure on which there were fundamental differences and mould it into a measure about which in the end there were so few differences. I can accept most of it because I believe that this Bill as it is now before us, reflects the accommodation of the reality of the plural nature of our society as far as it affects non-homeland Black people. It accommodates the reality and seeks to improve that reality.
Here I want to congratulate and pay a sincere tribute to the representatives of the PFP on the Select Committee because, unlike on other measures that this Select Committee had to deal with and others, I can say with complete sincerity that here they made a real effort to make a positive contribution to improve the measure, particularly the hon member for Sea Point and the hon member Prof Olivier. Hon members will see from the report of the Select Committee the positive amendments which the PFP proposed and which were accepted. Also in the informal discussions they tried to make a positive contribution, even though they did not accept the basis, namely principle of pluralism, which is incorporated in this Bill.
I believe this is a forerunner—the Select Committee and this Bill—of the new style politics towards which we are moving now—new style politics in which, instead of confrontation, one approaches matters in a spirit of accomplishing the best one can in the interests of South Africa. We have a perfect demonstration of the new and the old style now, this very moment, here in this House. We have the official Opposition co-operating in order to produce a better administration of Black affairs, separately and in their own townships. That is a recognition of the pluralism of the South African society. At the same time we still have the old style politics of the CP, heading for straight confrontation by rejecting the measure without taking into account the realities of South Africa in 1984. [Interjections.] As I have said to hon members of the CP in the past, I repeat that they are looking for the future in the past. They are searching for the future in the past. [Interjections.] I put it to hon members of the CP that they are searching for the future in the past. I say this in particular for the sake of the hon member for Lichtenburg, the parliamentary leader of that party, as it appears. He is the only one present here at times to speak for his party. [Interjections.] One does not, however, find solutions for the future in the past. One finds those solutions in the future. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, I am sorry that while I thought we were making progress with the official Opposition, while I thought we were moving into the new style politics of seeking consensus and of reconciling differences—as was properly demonstrated by hon members of the official Opposition in our deliberations in the select committee on this Bill—we now have to find another opposition party, the CP, approaching this legislation in a spirit of conflict, trying to revive past attitudes to Blacks outside the homelands.
The hon member for Newton Park gave figures in respect of the increased momentum of the process of urbanization. That urbanization process is a reality, and despite the about-face of the CP—comparing their attitude in the Select Committee with their attitude here in the House today; a total about-face—they too will have to recognize the reality of the process of urbanization and the need to plan for it, to cater for it and to meet the challenge.
I should like to point out immediately that the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development and the Government have to take the full blame for the situation which developed while they dilly-dallied over accepting the permanence of non-homeland Blacks in the White areas of South Africa. As a country we dilly-dallied over this. The Government dilly-dallied until the problem had become one of tremendous magnitude. The fact that this measure is welcomed does not detract from the responsibility and the blame which the Government has to bear for the fact that the situation has almost got out of hand, and that it is still going to be very difficult to handle in future. Nevertheless, I believe this Bill will make things easier to handle and will bring about a big improvement.
I have already made mention of differences we have had with the Government. I will not go into them in detail here. We can deal with them again during Committee Stage but I do want to place them on record. One of our major reservations is in respect of clause 2, which gives the Minister the right to exclude certain areas from the right to leasehold title. That is obviously aimed at the Western Cape. This stipulation is included in the Bill in order to enable the Minister to exclude the Western Cape from the right to leasehold title. We are totally opposed to that. As I have already indicated we will argue this matter in detail because we are going to have to accept, I believe, the permanence of Black people here in the Peninsula just as their presence is now accepted in Soweto. One cannot merely wave a wand and pretend that urban Blacks are not a permanent feature of life in the Peninsula. Trying to do that would be as impossible as trying to fly to the moon without a spacecraft.
The other basic difference is a smaller one but still an important one in principle. It is the right to remove Coloureds legally resident in a area if there is alternative accommodation for them. I accept the fact that there may be occasions on which this sort of thing will be in the interests of all. This was one issue in regard to which I voted for the amendment of the official Opposition although I accepted the clause as a whole. I did so because I would rather have the clause as a whole than nothing at all. However, we shall argue that there should be no removal of Coloureds legally entitled to be in a township unless they ask for it themselves or the Black authority which controls it asks for it to be done.
Apart from a few points such as those I have mentioned I want to say that there are a number of major and significant improvements in the philosophy of and approach to this whole matter, one of which has already been mentioned. I am referring here to the 99-year lease which automatically renews itself every time there is a transfer. This in fact means title in perpetuity. We in this party have always believed in freehold title and we also believe that it will yet come for the Blacks. However, I accept the fact that the leasehold system provides for the leasing of a property which has not been surveyed and undergone the other expensive processes which are necessary for freehold title, under leasehold title to a person in perpetuity. We in this party accept this as an interim measure, as a shortcut to freehold title which makes it easier for people to obtain the ownership about which the hon member for Newton Park waxed so lyrical—“die besit van jou eie huis”. This enables people to obtain ownership of their own homes in a simpler and cheaper way than is the case in regard to traditional freehold title.
There is also a major improvement in clause 52(2) in regard to the listing of the competent persons who are entitled to obtain freehold title. In this connection I particularly welcome the fact that the right of inheritance has been clearly established. The widow or partner in a customary union or the child of a person holding a leasehold title can inherit, and this can continue in the family in perpetuity even if they themselves are not qualified to live in that township. This must also obviously be a further step that will have to be taken in the future because if a man has a title to a house and he is able to obtain a job, he should be entitled to live in his own house in perpetuity. I believe that as the provisions of this legislation are applied this is something which must develop.
I also welcome the provisions on which the CP takes its stand. I am referring here to the transfer—I use the word specifically—of public land or land for purposes necessary for the administration of a township to a Black local authority. I accept the fact that the CP opposed this provision in the legislation dealing with local authorities. However, this is a significant philosophical step forward in that it accepts the fact that a Black local authority in administering a town can take transfer of land which it needs for public purposes and in order to administer that town. This too is something that we welcome.
Those I think are the major provisions, and I do not intend going through all the rest; the select committee did that and during the Committee State we shall go through them too.
I should like to refer at this stage to clause 16 which is, with the preamble, the heart of this measure. The preamble was quoted earlier, and clause 16 sets out the objectives of the boards created by this measure. It provides:
This is significant because it accepts the need to have viability, and here we have the revolving fund as something to help it. There is also the need of development rather than baasskap, administrative domination. Furthermore there is also the need of autonomy. If this Bill is administered in the spirit of the objectives set out in clause 16, then I believe it will fulfil what the select committee aimed at. A great deal, however, will depend on the spirit in which this measure is administered because the development boards will continue to have an administrative function until Black local authorities are established and can take over these functions.
I am not attacking the Administration Boards. I do not know why the hon member for Pretoria West and another hon member got so excited because the hon Prof Olivier said that some Administration Boards did not have an enviable public reputation in some circles. That is so because Administration Boards have to do the dirty work. This Bill does not touch that prickly pear; the thorniest problem of all is influx control, the one thing nobody wants to handle. The Police do not want to handle it, the Administration Boards do not want to handle it, the Black local authorities do not want to handle it and it looks like the poor hon the Minister will have to handle it in the end. As I have said, the problem is not dealt with here. In administering the present structure, the Administration Boards, however, have to administer that most unpopular aspect of the administration of Black people, and in the process they have inevitably got an image of dictators, some of their personnel have got an image of arrogance, of rudeness, of breaking into servants’ quarters in the middle of the night on raids etc. These things happen, and they leave an aftereffect.
I want to see the new development boards given every opportunity to leave behind everything of that image and to start with a clean sheet. Everything possible should be done to avoid the development boards having to carry out duties which create conflict between themselves and the Black population, but if the spirit is right in which they operate and in which they are backed by the department and we can get through this interim period to the separation of the role of development by the boards and control by Black local authorities, then I believe we are on the right road. One cannot have Utopia overnight; it is not realistic. One of the features of this is that the development boards will help to train people to run Black local authorities. Again the success will depend to some extent on their success in training the right people to take over.
The last point I want to refer to is the recognition of expertise, and I want to join in the tribute paid to the Urban Foundation for the evidence they gave before and the assistance they gave to the Select Committee. The recognition that there can be expertise outside the ranks of Members of Parliament and the Civil Service and the creation of committees with the right to co-opt up to three people from the private sector to deal with specific problems, is to my mind a major feature of this Bill. It will enable people who know the job and are involved in it in every sphere, for example housing development, the financial side and the building societies, to help to make this a success. I hope that the maximum use will be made of the committees and the co-option of specialists.
Finally, in saying that we support the Second Reading, we also welcome the consultation inherent in this Bill. Throughout this Bill provision is made for consultation with Black local authorities, White authorities, the Administrator and other bodies and this is another element which marks this Bill as a major step in the right direction. This party will support it at Second Reading and will differ in the Committee Stage on the points I have raised.
Mr Speaker, I should like to associate myself with what the hon member for Durban Point said and thank him for his party’s support for the Second Reading of the Bill. He made a constructive contribution and I in fact cannot add anything to the aspects which he raised. He pointed out that there were a few clauses about which the NRP felt strongly and which they would debate further in the Committee Stage. Other than that, however, the hon member made a constructive contribution on which the hon member for Helderkruin will comment later.
I want to concentrate on a few aspects of the Bill, but before I do that, I want to refer briefly to the Riekert Report. To the extent that this legislation is an instrument of reform, it must be seen in the context of the positive recommendations contained in the Riekert Report. The Riekert Report is an authoritative document which made a major contribution to the re-evaluation of the position of the urban Black man. The Riekert Commission showed amazing insight into and an understanding of the social position of the urban Black man. I want to give just one example at this. On page 6 of the Riekert Report the following appears:
This decision and other recommendations in the Riekert Report were accepted as authentic five years later in the Supreme Court by Mr Justice van Heerden in the now famous Komani and Rikhoto cases. Five years after the Riekert Commission had issued its findings on this matter, these findings were confirmed in the Supreme Court. That is why, after the Government had published a White Paper on this matter, Riekert showed amazing insight into the social position of the urban Black man, and I want to add that no-one can speak with authority about the position of the urban Black man if he has not read the Riekert Report.
The Bill before this House is an attempt at reform. Ten Acts in all are being repealed and 36 Acts relating to Black people are being substantially amended. I am now in a difficult position because speakers before me have analysed the Bill thoroughly, clause by clause, and I am now compelled to draw this House’s attention to the background factors in the light of which this Bill must be judged. There is no doubt that the political and social stabilizing of the Black man outside the national states is the greatest political challenge for the rest of the 20th century. It is also in the interests of the White man’s struggle for survival because if he works towards stabilizing the urban Black man and accommodating his political aspirations, he will be nipping the ideology of revolution in the bud.
The challenge facing the Government—what it is trying to achieve with this measure—is to demonstrate that it is possible for Whites and Blacks, outside the national and the independent states, to exist decently side by side in South Africa. This is the challenge facing this Government.
I now want to ask a basic question, one which has not yet been put and replied to in this debate, namely: Who is the urban Black man, this faceless entity who is so high on the political agenda of every political party? If one consults the population registration legislation one does not find a definition there. Nor will one find a definition of the term “urban Black man” in the dictionary. I was forced to adopt a unique method of arriving at the reality of the urban Black man. This was to determine who the urban Black man was to have been and who the urban Black man is today.
While you are about it, you should find out where he should have been.
I shall come to that, too. To find out who the urban Black man was to have been, one can only go back to the founder of the ideology of apartheid or separate development, Dr Verwoerd, and look at some of his statements. What did Dr Verwoerd say in connection with the urban Black man? In 1956, at the time of the Tomlinson Commission, Dr Verwoerd had the following to say:
Dr Verwoerd then went on to say:
He then went on to say:
Thus, according to the mentor, the founder, of the policy of separate development, as far as the urban Black man is concerned, by the year 2000 there will be six million Black people outside the national states of whom, as we learn later on in the speech, four million will be in the rural areas while 2,5 million will be concentrated in the metropolitan areas. This is what the position of the urban Black man was to have been. As a result of this policy the urban Black man was seen and defined as being semi-permanent. He was present in the White area only for his labour, which was of no importance because the influx was to have been reversed in 1978. If hon members disagree with my interpretation I want to point out that this is the actual position as defined by Dr Verwoerd.
What is the position today? According to the census—the hon member for Lichtenburg referred to this—today we have a Black population outside the homelands and the national and independent states of 10,1 million people, of whom 4,8 million are living in the rural areas and 5,2 million in the metropolitan areas. In addition these 10 million people who are living outside the homelands and the national states today, exceed the total number of Black people in the entire country in 1960. When one talks about the urban Black man today, these are facts one cannot get away from.
There is another point. If all the homelands were to decide to accept independence tomorrow, the position regarding the citizenship of Black South Africans could perhaps be resolved. No-one can argue about that. However, the factual position is that one would still have a 55% contingent of Black people in White South Africa; in other words, more than half of the people living in White South Africa. These are all realities of the urban Blacks. This is the problem this Government has to face.
The Black man outside the national states whom I have now tried to define, is not only physically present here, but is also economically integrated. More than 7 million Black people outside the national states were born here and have no links other than a cultural link, with their national homes. All these Black people outside the national states rely on the White area to fulfil all their functions.
There is another facet of the urban Black man which comes to the fore. It concerns the sneaks (“koekeloerders”) to whom I have already referred in the past. To the 5,2 million Black people in the White area one still has to add 1 million Black people who are present here illegally in terms of section 10. This is a facet of the urban Black man and it makes great demands on the Government of the day to stabilize this contingent of Black people outside the national states economically, politically and socially. Today the Government is engaged in considering the position of the urban Black and considered this a matter of high priority. In all modesty I wish to venture to outline a few guidelines in terms of which the social reconstruction of this Black contingent, the Blacks outside the national states, should take place.
In the first instance I want to make it clear that seen from an historical perspective the position of the urban Black man and the policy in connection with the urban Black man will have to be revised radically in strategic places. Measures will have to be introduced to improve the quality of life of Black people because the extent to which the quality of life of the Black people improves, will determine the extent to which radical political demands are scaled down. Blacks must have a meaningful say in the legislative processes that directly affect their lives. Discussions must be held with all Black leaders committed to peaceful change in urban areas. They must be afforded the opportunity to participate fully in the economic process. In the interest of South Africa, measures which cause friction in the infrastructure of human relations must be removed. I want to refer briefly to a few of these measures.
The hon member for Durban Point referred to clause 16. This clause spells out in no uncertain terms the objects of development boards, namely the social stabilizing of Black communities outside the national states. Clause 2 vests in the State President certain rights to make certain provisions applicable to certain areas only. I am prepared to stand up and be counted. For that reason I want to appeal to the hon the Minister not to use this provision in such a way as to make leasehold unobtainable in the Western Cape. If one wants to implement clause 16 and the Black communities are to be stabilized socially, this has to be done around the basic structure of housing. This is the embryo of social reconstruction. I can see no point in granting ownership rights in terms of the leasehold system to a Black local authority in the Western Cape. I can see no point in it. They could, it is true, own, say, an open area such as a park, but in terms of the 99-year leasehold system a man cannot own his house. I am asking, in all modesty, that measures such as this be reconsidered.
There are other measures affecting the social position of the urban Black, particularly the fact that influx control is linked to clause 10. As this legislation is carried out and the third piece of legislation is implemented, attention should be given to the extent to which influx control can be severed from clause 10. If one reviews the entire piece of legislation as it manifests itself at present after being discussed in the various committees, it is a positive instrument to give Black communities in metropolitan areas an opportunity to participate in the structures created to improve their living conditions.
This is a special day. For those persons who support the legislation.
Mr Speaker, it is a privilege for me to be able to speak after the hon member for Bellville has spoken. He is someone who undoubtedly knows what he is talking about and he has obviously thought very deeply about this matter. At this stage I shall not try to amplify or react to what he said because I should like to confine myself to the activities of the select committee which dealt with the Bill. As far as that is concerned, I want to associate myself with what the hon member for Durban Point said and charge the CP with not having lodged objections, during the discussions in the select committee, to the provisions they are objecting to today. The clause they are objecting to today, ie clause 30, was approved in the select committee without any objection from the CP. On the basis of something they supported at the time, they now come along and oppose the Bill in principle. In my opinion the system of select committees ought not to function in this manner.
What is the substance of the objection now being raised by the CP? The hon member for Lichtenburg says that the touchstone of the CP’s policy is that the maximum number of people should be accommodated in their homelands or their own areas and, he says, this Bill does not pass that test in the sense that it is now creating the possibility of industries in Black towns being established in White areas. This would result in a stream of Black people into those areas, and for that reason they cannot support the Bill. That is not, however, a correct argument. The hon member for Lichtenburg said, amongst other things, that the principle of the Bill was in conflict with that of decentralization. In clause 35 reference is made to industries, and now the hon member immediately envisages large-scale industries in the Black areas, for example in Soweto. The Bill is, however, being implemented on a nationwide basis; in other words, the accommodation of industries in Black areas will not necessarily relate to Soweto alone. In accordance with the decentralization policy, this can also take place in Black towns at decentralization points. Apart from the fact that the aspect to which the hon member for Lichtenburg referred is not covered to that extent by the Bill at all, one must nevertheless take the realities of the situation into account. We are trying to give the Black people an opportunity to facilitate their own upliftment. The hon member for Lichenburg says that if there is a deserving undertaking, the necessary money should be found to establish it in a decentralized area. That is not, however, how it works. There are small undertakings that begin as home industries. Thenceforth they grow and develop until eventually they are viable undertakings. Perhaps undertakings of this nature can be transferred to a border area or to the homelands.
If one were not to allow small industries of this nature—which at their inception can frequently not even be classified as industries—to come into their own, those people would never reach the stage of having anything which is worth while and with which they can facilitate their own upliftment. It is for that reason that I cannot understand how hon members of the CP can, on the one hand, say that they are in favour of the development of Black communities, whilst on the other hand opposing the principle of the legislation on these specific grounds.
If I may just refer again to the basic object of this legislation, I should like to focus attention on the fact that what we have here is, as we see, a question of Black development, the development of Black people at all levels. When the present legislation is read in conjunction with the Black Local Authorities Act, it becomes apparent that it is also a question of development in the political sphere in the sense that Black people are being given the opportunity to control and develop their own communities. We know, however, that in terms of the provisions of the Black Local Authorities Act one cannot establish Black local authorities everywhere at once, and that their establishment reflects a process that needs something—some or other body—to help it along. So when one reads this Bill in conjunction with the Black Local Authorities Act, it becomes apparent that one major objective of these development boards will be to establish Black local authorities where there are Black communities and to develop them until they can function as autonomous Black local authorities. In the meantime these development boards must, in those areas, perform the functions of local authorities. It is, however, a completely different approach to that in the case of the then Administration Boards, specifically in the sense that this idea of development was not as strong a component of the Administration Boards as is now the case. Not that I would want to detract in any way from the work the Administration Boards did. I should very much like to place on record that the Administration Boards did a tremendous job, also in developing Black communities to the point at which we are now in a position to establish Black local authorities.
Times have changed, however, and now the time has come to place the emphasis on the development rather than on the administration. Hence this legislation.
Another point I just briefly want to comment on is the composition of the development boards. We notice that these development boards are now considerably smaller, have a considerably smaller core than the Administration Boards have thus far had, but that provision is indeed being made for a committee system in and around the boards themselves, a committee system in which the boards can involve people with expertise, from any walk of life, depending on the specific problem they are faced with. This gives these boards a specific flexibility to tackle the specific problems of the day, equipped as they are with the best possible expertise. In a development situation in which the problems virtually change from day to day and from year to year, this built-in flexibility in the composition of the development boards and their committees is of very great importance, because as the problems change the composition of, and the emphasis in, the committees can also be changed. For that reason this legislation, seen as a whole, is part of an overall process of the development of Black people and Black communities, being aimed at giving Black people the opportunity to obtain a say in their own affairs, in accordance with the basic Government viewpoints embodied in its policy for many years now. I would therefore particularly like to welcome the present legislation.
Lastly I should just like to point out one further facet of this legislation, an aspect which has already, to a certain extent, been touched upon by the hon member for Pretoria West. I am referring to the fact that here there has also been a rationalization of legislation. When we came together here a week ago, we immediately had a number of Bills on the Order Paper. In reaction to that one of the newspapers published a cartoon of a room strewn with Acts, with a sausage machine churning out Acts, and the hon the Prime Minister standing there saying: “Switch it on.” This created the impression that a consequence of the activities of this House is to have the country buried under legislation. This conflicts with the declared policy of the Government to rationalize both the administration and the legislation. I think it is also particularly important to note that in the process of placing one piece of legislation on the Statute Book, nine other Acts are being removed from the Statute Book in their entirety, and that although this legislation consists of 70 clauses, over and above those nine Acts that are being repealed, there are also more than 200 sections in other Acts that are being deleted and being replaced by the 70 clauses in this Bill. I think that is a very substantial and significant rationalization in a sphere that is of particular importance.
Mr Speaker, I enjoyed listening to the hon member for Helderkruin. On a previous discussion when we discussed politics, it was on television and I think that we can expect to discuss politics a great deal more in the future.
It was strange and, to a certain extent, astonishing to see today how politics within the ranks of the NP has changed over the past 30 years. I think the hon member Prof Olivier and the hon member for Durban Point will agree with me that when, having listened to the governing party today, we recall the debates we conducted here in the ’fifties, the ’sixties and the ’seventies, we must conclude that the Government has undergone a most remarkable fundamental change.
Over the past year or two we have spoken a great deal about the so-called changes to the constitution in regard to the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians that have taken place since 1977. In addition, there has been intense debate over the past two years about how the CP departed from the principles of the old NP and how the present NP has courageously, determinedly and faithfully stood by the old established principles of the NP. [Interjections.] Any objective student of politics who listened here this afternoon to the statements of policy of the hon members for Bellville, Helderkruin, Pretoria West and Newton Park would agree with me that it would be outrageous, to say the least, to say that the NP still stands by the old principles. Each new day brings fresh proof that the NP has quite obviously accepted the principles of the old United Party, not only in respect of the Brown people and the Indians, but also in respect of the urban Blacks.
Partially, yes, but I think the hon member will agree with me that there are hon members on the other side of the House who learn slowly but who are engaged in gradually … [Interjections.] It is only the old group of conservatives who are still sitting there who object. I can understand the hon member for Ladybrand very well because he does not quite understand this matter. The hon member for Ladybrand does not even understand the party of which he is a member. The hon member for Ladybrand, together with many hon members, particularly those from the Free State, would do well to cast their minds back to where they stood before, and then compare that with where they stand today. [Interjections.] Let me state very categorically here today: After the acceptance of the principle of power-sharing with Brown and Indian, the governing party has now begun preparing the way for the acceptance of the Black people within the White territory in order to erect a platform from which to announce that the Black people must obtain political rights in the White territory together with the Whites, the Brown people and the Indians. It is that decor that the NP is now putting the final touches to for our benefit. The foundation is being laid by means of the so-called three Bills.
I can remember the ’fifties very well. At the time, journalists like Mr Dirk Richards, Schalk Pienaar and Willem van Heerden and various others gradually began to register protest within the NP against the direction in which the late Dr Verwoerd was taking the NP at the time. There is no doubt about the fact that those people did so, and therefore I can understand that “ouboet” Wimpie de Klerk can write what he is writing now and, supposedly, be repudiated by leaders of the NP without their showing any enthusiasm about doing so. They do it merely to keep the people of Soutpansberg quiet for a time, in that they can be told: Look, Wimpie de Klerk has been silenced. [Interjections.] The policy adopted nowadays by the political columnwriters and the political editors and the Liberal academics is one that the NP has been following for 10 years. [Interjections.] The hon members opposite can say what they like, but I say to them that all this legislation envisages is the involvement of the so-called urban Blacks, as the old United Party wished to do. In his day the hon member Prof Olivier, too, very clearly rebelled against the old NP.
Surely that is not true.
Now the hon member for Pretoria West says that that is not true, but we shall see how true it is in five years’ time. [Interjections.]
The hon the Prime Minister and many of the present leaders of the NP only needed the courage of Mr Japie Basson to break away from the NP at the end of the ’fifties, because today Mr Japie Basson, as a member of the President’s Council, is one of the people who is prescribing policy for the NP.
What we have in South Africa today under the NP is that they are preparing us for the so-called “melting-pot” idea of the USA. That is what we are being prepared for. The NP can oppose this statement as much as they like. I want to say to the hon the Leader of the Opposition that those things that he advocates in a much purer scientific form and much more clearly, are really the things that the NP is heading for. However, I want to add that by way of this kind of legislation we shall very quickly be on the road on which the NP will disintegrate. In the voices we heard from the NP today one heard an HNP note, an occasional CP note, an NRP note and a PFP note. I warn the hon member for Durban Point and his party that the left wing of the NP is to the left of the left wing of the PFP. [Interjections.] That is so, it is simply that they are not honest enough. The hon member for Yeoville is on his way to the NP. I just do not know what the hon member for Simon’s Town is going to do when they meet. I think the hon member for Simon’s Town is heading straight for the CP.
Do you want him?
Of course I would take old John. [Interjections.]
I want to come back to the hon member for Brakpan. In the Select Committee we served under circumstances that made matters very difficult for the CP; particularly since we had the election in the Bergs at the time. Occasionally it was somewhat difficult for us to keep abreast as we should in all respects. The hon members can derive a little satisfaction out of this if they wish, but I just want to say that at the time the hon member for Brakpan accepted many of the things in good faith and voted for them because at that stage one still believed that the NP still stood by the principles, as far as the Black people are concerned, for which we stood together when we were still members of that party. Subsequently, however, it became evident from the other legislation and the preparatory work done by the academics such as Dr Willem de Klerk that…
And the Rikhoto judgment.
Yes, and the Rikhoto judgment. It became quite clear from that that in this regard we differed in principle with the governing party.
I can still recall that the hon the Prime Minister and, in particular, members of the caucus of the party in the Peninsula, together with their congresses, dug in their heels and refused to allow a single right to be given to Black people south of a certain line in the Cape. I think that congress resolutions were adopted in this regard. Today, however, the hon member for Bellville asks that the rights that Black people acquire in other regions of White South Africa should also be given to Blacks in the Peninsula. The influx of the Nguni population group to the Cape Peninsula is therefore no longer to be checked, and a large city is to be built for them here. Their rights must be confirmed here as well.
That is rubbish. I did not say that.
The hon member for Bellville begins at one place and ends at another. The hon member should go and find out from the hon member for Innesdal what he regards as the difference between the right of ownership, leasehold, etc. There is no longer any point in playing with words.
Could the hon member for Rissik unambiguously inform this House whether leasehold rights are applicable to section 10(l)(a) and section 10(1)(b) cases in the Transvaal, yes or no?
The hon member must not come up with that kind of question now. All I want to tell him is that the NP is playing with words. This Bill is aimed at one thing only, and that is that Black people should be given the right of ownership in White territory. As far as the Whites are concerned, the NP is adopting the so-called frog policy. If one throws a frog into hot water, he jumps out, but if one throws him into cold water and gradually warms the water, the frog will not even realize that he is being done to a turn. By means of the frog policy the NP is cooking the people of South Africa and preparing them, not only for integration, but for the total capitulation of the White man. There is no doubt in my mind that this is so.
As far as the preamble to this Bill is concerned, there are a few matters mentioned here which one should not ask the Government to explain. The first is that one should not ask the Government where it is going with South Africa and all its different population groups. The second thing one should not ask it is to define the terminology it uses. I want to ask the hon the Deputy Minister to define the term “Black communities”. The Government wants to get away from the racial connotation; why, then, does it use one norm with regard to race classification and then, in this regard, come up with skin colour again? Cannot the Government, in the spirit of the hon member for Innesdal, get away from the racial connotation? After all, the term “Black” is a racial term, and it does not fit in with the principles that are at present subscribed to by the NP. How does the Government see that term “communities” and what is meant thereby? There is talk of the “multi-ethnic” situation in South Africa and “multi-nationalism”, and in the same breath the concept “communities” is used. I should like the hon the Minister to define these concepts for us. So often he uses the adjectives “positive” and “purposeful”. This kind of terminology is neither here nor there as far as the Black people and the Whites are concerned. I should very much like to know—the hon member for Bellville tried to do this—who the Government regards as the so-called “urban Blacks”. What does the hon the Deputy Minister mean when he says that? Who is the urbanized Black man? Does he agree with the liberal people in his ranks that there is a difference between the so-called urbanized Black man and the one living in the national states or homelands? He must inform us in that regard. I should also very much like to know what the hon the Deputy Minister means by “full autonomy” at the local government level. He must define those concepts more closely.
There is something else, too, that I should very much like to know from the hon the Deputy Minister. When reference is made in the legislation to “Administrator”, does that mean that the provincial councils will stay, or are they to be changed? Reference is also made here to “Minister”, and the Minister plays a very important role here. To tell the truth, the so-called local autonomy is subject to this specific Minister. After all, this legislation will now fall under general legislation with regard to general affairs. Surely it does not fall under own affairs. The hon the Deputy Minister must tell this House and the Black people at large that the president, who may also be a Brown man or an Indian, will quite probably appoint a Brown man or an Indian who will then have this control and these rights in respect of Black people. These are matters about which we should very much like to have further information from the hon the Deputy Minister.
The hon the Deputy Minister says that he sees the Black people in South Africa as an ethnic diversity of peoples. Why did the hon the Deputy Minister not give us an indication, in the preamble of the Bill, that the Government also wants to link the so-called Black communities with the various Black states? In the statement, which he puts forward as part of the policy, he does not tell us in what way he is going to do so. What will the link be between the so-called Black local authorities and their communities with national states?
It is very important that the hon the Deputy Minister should spell out to us how he sees the composition of these boards. According to the Bill these boards are non-racial. Quite probably they are noncultural as well.
In bringing these few matters to the attention of the hon the Deputy Minister, I want to say to him that the whole approach of the Conservative Party to South Africa as a whole, with its diversity of peoples, differs in principle from that of the Government and that for that reason—in spite of all the fine things that this Bill contains with regard to the development of the Black people who are in the White areas and who sell their labour here—we, too, when we come to power in South Africa … the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs laughs. I just want to say to him that one of the seats that is definitely going to fall is Delmas, and very soon, too. As far as the Conservative Party is concerned, I wish to state very clearly that we are not a party that, in the term used by many of the hon members here, begrudges other people, as individuals, within their family context or within their ethnic context, the kind of life in Southern Africa that we demand for ourselves. We shall tackle the population problems of South Africa in that spirit and with that attitude, but we refuse to acquiesce in legislation which, on the one hand, wants to develop so-called Black people, while the development of the White man is checked, to such an extent that there will no longer be a future for him in this country.
Mr Speaker, I shall leave it to the hon the Minister to reply to the questions that were put. However, I do wish to react to one statement made here by the hon member for Rissik, namely that the National Party was ostensibly changing to such a tremendous extent. I want to state unequivocally that if a governing party is not capable of adapting to changing circumstances in its country, it is really going to encounter problems in future. That is why it is necessary for the National Party to make adjustments so that we can all live together safely and happily here in future.
I should like to come back to a point that was raised by the hon member Prof Olivier, when he referred to the Administration Boards, and did so in what I thought was a slightly disparaging way. I want to say that if it had not been for the Administration Boards, the Bill which we are discussing here at present, could not have been before this House. I think it is time it was spelt out here in this House what the Administration Boards did to lead these Black people to where we are today.
It must be realized that when the Administration Boards were established in 1972 there was no infrastructure in the Black towns and that there were no funds at their disposal either. They had to find funds somewhere to be able to make a start with the work they had to do. The only ray of light was the skilled officials who were seconded to the Administration Boards. All I want to say today is that we can be grateful for what was accomplished by the Administration Boards in the very short space of 11 years. As I said, the Administration Boards took over the administration from the White local authorities in 1972. The staff of the Administration Boards were then seconded to them as well.
Shortly after their establishment the Administration Boards were already being criticized by the Opposition parties. I know that this had a great effect on them, that they felt very badly about this, but today I want to advance a few reasons to explain why the Administration Boards did not perhaps make such rapid progress and why their results were perhaps not as effective as one might have expected from them.
The Black towns of that time could not in truth be called towns. What were taken over were in effect squatter camps. The development in those towns had come to a complete standstill. Additional skilled staff had to be appointed by the Administration Boards to undertake township development. All these things cost large amounts of money.
The Administration Boards realized that housing was the main priority to which immediate attention would have to be given. However, there were no funds. These Administration Boards then had to try to obtain the funds to be able to commence this work. Then some of these Administration Boards established sorghum beer breweries, and I can state today that every cent of the profits made from these liquor sales were ploughed back into those Black residential areas. The Administration Boards were not able to increase the existing tariffs. The people were living in conditions under which it would have been truly unfair to consider even the smallest tariff increase. As has already been said, the profits from beer sales in the Black towns themselves were utilized. Fortunately, however, the wages of Black people improved considerably during that period. One outcome of that was these self-help building schemes, and Black people attempted to provide their own housing.
Another major problem then cropped up. When the people made application for plots, there were no plots available. When the Administration Boards wanted to make plots available, it was established that it would be a very long and expensive process for the Administration Boards to undertake township development. That is why there is still a great backlog in housing today. There will probably be a shortage of housing for a long time to come.
Since development boards are now going to be established in the place of Administration Boards, it is striking how urbanization is taking place among Blacks. I foresee that the development boards, too, will have to give immediate attention to making further plots available, and to the expansion of towns.
There is another matter I also wish to put to hon members of the official Opposition. When Administration Boards took over the houses did not even have water. In Black towns there was the occasional tap, and inhabitants had to carry water to their houses in containers. When a little money became available, Administration Boards put in water-pipes and today water is available in almost every house in Black residential areas. The same applies in respect of electricity. A previous hon speaker referred to the fact that Soweto was now being supplied with electricity. We know what enormous amounts were spent on that project. The Administration Boards in the smaller places did not sit back and do nothing either. High-mast street lighting was introduced. I can tell those hon members today that at that stage high mast street lighting meant more for Black people in the townships concerned than the lighting which is at present being installed in their houses.
Before 1972 sports facilities were in fact a luxury in Black residential areas. The Administration Boards had to lay out the grounds and provide sports fields. They did all these things with the limited funds at their disposal. Sewerage was also installed in Black townships. Hon members know what costs are involved here.
One of the most important things built up by the Administration Boards was sound White/Black relations in these towns. After Administration Boards had been functioning for a few years, Black leaders in the Black communities stated their problems to officials of Administration Boards with far greater confidence.
There is one more matter I want to point out. There were no recreational areas for Blacks. The Administration Boards established wonderful recreational areas at great expense. Since development boards are now going to take over this task, they ought to give immediate attention to these recreational areas. I foresee problems in future since the existing recreational areas are already overcrowded.
Administration Boards also acted as agents for Government departments. Here I have in mind the labour bureaus for example, and also police services, welfare and health services and even peri-urban boards services. The Administration Boards definitely do not have adequate funds to do that work. Besides, a great deal of that money had to come out of the pockets of the Administration Boards themselves.
The officials of the Administration Boards, in an indirect way, trained the Black people so well that the hon the Minister was recently able to establish autonomous Black local authorities. Had it not been for the training which the White officials gave these people, this could never have happened. We can be very grateful for the officials who are now being seconded to the Black local authorities. If they had not been there, I would have foreseen problems in those Black local authorities. The Whites are being seconded on a temporary basis, while the Black officials will be appointed on a permanent basis. I foresee, too, that the smaller Black local authorities will have to use the expertise of the White officials for a long time to come.
I come now to the issue raised by the hon member for Lichtenburg, namely that he foresees problems in respect of industrial development in the Black areas. The sources of revenue of a local authority are determined by what there is in its area. In the case of Black local authorities there are at present only residential dwellings and land on which rates can be imposed, and we know that we are not able to tax the Black people too heavily, that we cannot make the rates too high. In this sense Black local authorities differ drastically from the White local authorities. Industries and business undertakings have been established in the White local authorities, and to the White local authorities these are a major source of income. If activities of this nature are not allowed in Black local authorities I foresee that they will never become financially viable.
Since 1972 the development in the Black communities has progressed by leaps and bounds. Community Boards were established in 1977 as a first step to autonomous local government for the Blacks. If it had not been for the motivated and zealous way in which the officials of the Administration Boards tackled their task in 1972, and have continued to do so up to now, we would definitely not have been able to deal with this legislation here today, because this stage would most certainly not have been reached. That is why I wish to convey my thanks to the Administration Boards today, and to every official involved, for the wonderful foundations they have laid and on which it is in fact possible merely to continue to build these development boards.
I also want to thank the hon the Minister, the hon the Deputy Minister and the members of the council who were present in 1971, for having taken the wise decision to establish Administration Boards to help the Black people. I also wish the new development boards which will be established in due course everything of the best for the future. I believe that each one of us in this House will give our full support to those who are going to shoulder this difficult task and that we will never criticize them.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Carletonville devoted a major part of his speech to praising the officials of the Administration Boards. Of course I have no intention of disparaging either the officials or their work. However, the hon member for Carletonville must realize that the Bill under discussion deals with the abolition of those very Administration Boards as we knew them. We are now moving away from them. If we praise them by way of farewell, that is well and good. But the actual intention of the legislation in question is to move away from the old system of administration boards in favour of the introduction of new development boards. Many of the officials of the Administration Boards were dedicated people. They were enthusiastic and did very good work in many areas.
We also know, however, that the image of Administration Boards has been tarnished for a series of reasons. The Administration Boards had other obligations, too, which were not of a constructive nature, and which had an obstructive effect; tasks of a negative nature. It is precisely because of this negative image which gradually developed around the Administration Boards that we now want to get away from the name “Administration Boards” in favour of a new name. So, on the one hand, a great deal of good has been achieved, but on the other hand problems have also arisen with regard to the Administration Boards. I say this merely from a historical point of view, Mr Speaker.
†This Bill, as we all know, is one of what is known as a trilogy of measures, which was first announced by the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development in one of his customary enthusiastic moments—a Press conference combined with television coverage and all the rest of it, round about October 1980, when he announced this so-called new deal. It only required a professor Nic Olivier and others to analyse that Press conference in order to realize that while the intentions might be good the new deal could not materialize in terms of these three pieces of legislation. All credit to the hon the Minister, who came to realize that his enthusiasm for an objective had run way ahead of the realities of the legislation which he had before him. In those circumstances he followed the correct path and the correct process. So, for four years, or close on four years, commissions, committees, work groups and others, as well as a Select Committee of Parliament had been examining these Bills prior to reaching the point we have reached now, where we can introduce and where even we on this side of the House can support, the second of the three Bills.
We believe this was the correct process. If in retrospect there is one aspect which was regrettable about the process it was that, because of the delay in setting up new Black local authorities, there were no elected leaders of the Black communities with whom one could consult on these subsequent measures. There was very little in-depth consultation with elected leaders because there were very few elected leaders. All we can say to the hon the Minister is that now that he has his Black local authorities we hope that when it comes to the third of this trilogy of Bills, the one relating to the orderly movement and settlement of Black people, we are going to rely very heavily on the opinions which, I hope, will be expressed; the opinions sought of the elected Black leaders in the urban communities. We are now in a position to remedy a defect which could not be avoided in respect of consultation on this Bill.
The next aspect I should like to dwell on is the following. There is a measure of consensus. I note hon members on the right of the political spectrum cannot quite share in this. It is almost as though they want to agree with this measure but for some fundamental ideological reason they cannot do so. I can understand that. Probably for the very reason for which they cannot support this measure we find that in spite of some of its defects it is indeed a worthwhile measure, because it is moving in a certain direction. They object to the direction in which this measure is moving while we, although we think the Bill is inadequate, believe that by and large it moves in a certain direction.
On the question of the things with which we are not entirely happy I should merely like to point out that the hon the Minister and his colleague the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, I believe, both did a superb job in the select committee—the latter of course as chairman of the select committee—during the deliberations on these particular measures. I hope their good spirit and skill will be seen when we deal with the third of these Bills later. I also hope the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is going to be prepared to make as many compromises with the Opposition as he did in respect of the first two Bills. If he is prepared to carry this spirit of compromise right through, he will have a Bill that we will be able to support but which Black South Africans will be able to support as well.
One of the elements of the Bill with which we are not altogether happy is the fact that this legislation separates Blacks into two camps—those within the national states and those outside of the national states. This is regrettable. We think that a largely artificial division is being created especially as far as the administrative procedure is concerned. Secondly, when it comes to matters that are purely developmental—I just want to deal with this aspect of the Bill for a moment—and in so far as certain aspects of this Bill are purely developmental in relation to urban areas, we believe it would have been better to have one developmental agency for Blacks, Whites, Coloureds and Indians within those urban areas. When one starts developing townships on one or other side of the national road, when one starts developing townships, let us say integrated geographically in the Cape Peninsula, it is tremendously important that the developmental should be supervised by one agency or else that the various agencies should stand very close to one another. We hope that this will be the way in which these new development boards operate.
What is important is that this legislation has not linked the development of the urban areas to national states; in other words, it has not linked everything with a homeland concept. In this sense it is part of what one sees as an unfolding philosophy in which urban development is seen as that and not merely as an extension of the old Verwoerdian principle of everything being linked or the homelands and the position of Blacks in the urban areas being merely an extension of the homeland situation.
Having mentioned the matters which gave us cause for some concern in regard to our attitude in principle towards this Bill, I want to say that in terms of purely socio-economic measures we see a great deal that is positive in this Bill. It is clearly geared to try to improve the standard of living and the quality of life of Black people living in the urban areas of South Africa. This in itself is a positive approach and we wish these new development boards well in this respect.
In the second instance, this Bill clearly recognizes the permanence of Black urban communities. I hope that the permanence of Black urban individuals will be recognized in the following piece of legislation. However, this Bill clearly acknowledges the permanence of Black urban communities and, once one acknowledges that fact, one has to acknowledge the need for a whole new socioeconomic structure based on permanence, not on the concept of being temporary sojourners but being permanent members of an urban community. With this goes the infrastructure—the housing, the education and the community and employment facilities. The Bill recognizes that permanence and, to that extent, it means that the Government is to an increasing degree facing up to a fundamental reality in South Africa. Like it or not, Blacks are a growing and important part of the urban community of South Africa.
The third point that we find encouraging is that when we consider this legislation together with the legislation dealing with Black local authorities that was before us we find that there seems to be some room for evolutionary change away from what I want to call the Verwoerdian concept of the relationship between Blacks and Whites in the urban areas towards a more rational concept based on the realities of permanence and the need for intergroup co-operation.
Without criticizing any aspects of their work or their enthusiasm it is clear that there is no doubt that the administration boards have in many areas and in many instances acquired a negative image. This was not because of the work they were required to do in terms of the Act but very often because they were agents, for instance, of the Department of Co-operation and Development. At times they were also the agent of the Department of Manpower. They were required to be the policemen. They were required to administer the negative aspects of influx control. Therefore, in the eyes of the Blacks in the urban areas, while in certain instances they saw the administration boards as the developers of housing, in many other instances they saw the administration boards as the authorities that had to administer the harsh and callous pass laws. That is a pity that Administration Boards have that split personality and in many areas the negative side of that personality comes to the fore. What we find encouraging is that this Bill tries to strip the negative elements and the negative functions associated with the Administration Boards from the new development boards and to leave them with solely development functions.
If the hon the Deputy Minister and the hon the Minister want to see that this new image is kept clear and positive, then they should not, once the legislation has been enacted, saddle the new development boards with a whole lot of restrictive functions. They have a discretionary power to make these boards act as agents. We say, for Heaven’s sake do not give development boards agency functions which will once again give the new boards a negative image. Those agency functions should be given to somebody else. The hon the Minister’s own department can run them. Let the Department of Labour, let the Police, let the Department of Community Development run them, but for heaven’s sake do not saddle the new development boards with the same negative functions in respect of which the Administration Boards developed the image which was so unhappy and unacceptable. It depends on an attitude of mind, but the hon the Deputy Minister and the hon the Minister should not do it if they can possibly help it.
For that we have the best of intentions.
Good intentions, particularly from that hon Minister! Those good intentions and promises must be converted into positive deeds and positive action.
That is what we are trying to do.
I want to warn the hon the Minister …
We shall help you if need be, but it is not merely a question of wishful thinking; it is actually something practical which must be carried out in future. I hope we shall be given this assurance across the floor of the House that the new development boards will not have to play any negative role as agents of other departments. If the hon the Minister can give us that assurance unequivocally he will facilitate matters a great deal for us and for the new development boards.
†Of course, what is a problem is the fact that this Bill is still linked with the old urban areas legislation in spite of the fact that many aspects of it are being removed. The most important aspect which is “who is entitled to stay”, however, has not yet been dealt with. One is therefore creating a sensible development board structure without having cleared up the rest of the offensive part of the urban areas legislation. This I find a great pity. It is a pity that those aspects could not be dealt with simultaneously so that the new boards could start with a clean slate.
We await with great interest the report of the select committee which has to investigate the third of these Bills. We hope that that report will be handed in within the next couple of months. We hope that the report of the Cabinet Committee will also be submitted within the next couple of months. The Cabinet Committee is vitally involved in whether this is going to succeed or not, and we do not want to hear about it next year or at some other time. That Cabinet Committee must report before the Orderly Movement and Settlement of Black Persons Bill comes to this House because we cannot pass that Bill on a negative or restrictive basis and then hope that the Bill now under consideration is going to work satisfactorily.
We hope that the hon the Minister is going to look at the reports of the Commission on Township Establishment which also went into the whole question of township establishment and in particular the question of sectional title which is a thorny issue from a practical point of view. We shall be very interested to see the response from the leaders of Black communities themselves.
On balance we shall support the Bill as the hon member Prof Olivier has said. What is now really at issue is the attitude of the Government. We are creating new institutions and new machinery, but we are not doing anything other than that. It depends on how we are going to use the machinery and the institutions. It is an attitude of mind which will determine whether these particular boards are going to be successful.
Let me mention some of the problems inherent in some of the clauses of the Bill. Clause 19 deals with financing. It is fine to have a revolving fund, but it really depends on how much money is going to be put into that fund. What is going to be the basis of resources to see that those funds are adequate enough? These two gentlemen, the hon the Minister and his deputy, will have to fight and argue and do what they can to see that the money in the fund is increased, both by means of support from the central Government and by seeing to it that these boards when they operate become successful entrepreneurs and lock the private sector into their activities as well. One is not going to be able to do it just with Government money. One is only going to be able to do it if they can succeed in locking the private sector into their entrepreneurial activities.
Clause 51 provides that a board can have agency functions, but they are going to be destroyed if they are to be given the same negative agency functions which the administration boards were required to perform.
Clauses 4 and 8 make provision for both development boards and standing committees. These clauses contain no provision as to whether members should be Blacks, Whites or Coloureds. I believe that at a very early stage this Government must show its good faith towards the Blacks in the urban areas by seeing to it that Black people are appointed directly to both the development boards and the standing committees. This is going to be the litmus test. If the Government really thinks that it can take the advice of Blacks at local authority level but can then run a superstructure of development boards on which only Whites serve, it can say goodbye to any real status or real appreciation of the work of these boards. There is nothing in these two clauses to preclude Blacks from being appointed and we would like the hon the Minister and the hon the Deputy Minister during the course of this debate to make it clear, if it is the Government’s intention, that people are gong to be appointed on merit to these boards irrespective of their race, and that a special effort is going to be made to see to it that people who can really interpret the feelings of Blacks, something which is best done by Blacks themselves, are appointed wherever possible directly to the development boards and to the standing committees which will serve under them.
The fourth point is that everything possible has to be done to try to encourage the private sector. This Bill creates the machinery and allows township developers to acquire land under leasehold. It is one thing to give them that right but another to ask them to join in. We hope that the attitude of mind of these boards is going to be that the private sector has a vital role to play and that it has to be encouraged to participate in the whole question of Black development.
Finally, because we are dealing with the development of communities and because communities consist of individuals, we think that the machinery created under this legislation, properly handled and seen in an entrepreneurial Light, should be designed to move as many Black South African out of the category of being an employee into the category of being an entrepreneur. That is why we are pleased that this Bill does not only deal with housing, important though it is, but deals with development in its totality. It also deals with business areas and industrial areas. It is vitally important for the future of South Africa that as many Blacks be shifted as soon as possible from the category of an employee into the category of an entrepreneur, just as in the housing sphere it is important that they be shifted from the category of tenant into the category of property owner. We believe that these two factors are vital in order to maintain a proper balance within our mixed economy in South Africa.
The hon member Prof Olivier mentioned a few provisions in the Bill in regard to which we want to argue in the Committee Stage that amendments are appropriate. Let me mention just a few. Some of them will be found in the report of the Select Committee. In that Select Committee there were divisions on a few matters, and we were assured that certain other matters would be referred either to the Cabinet Committee or the Select Committee on Matrimonial Property Law.
Right at the outset I would like to ask the hon the Minister or his deputy to comment on a certain aspect. The Select Committee reported in its First Report that the question of freehold title for Blacks was raised during the deliberations, but that it was not pursued further because the matter was receiving the attention of the Cabinet Committee appointed to consider this question. We did not press for it at that stage because we were given the assurance that it was being considered. What we want to know before we vote on that particular clause, is what progress has been made by the Cabinet Committee considering freehold property rights for Blacks in urban areas. We were given the assurance that the matter was being considered and we now want to cash in on that assurance and know what has happened in the interim six or seven months.
On the question of sectional titles I want to say that I raised this matter as a member of the Commission on Township Establishment. The problem arises when one tries simply to relate the standard Sectional Titles Act which deals with freehold property to, and translate or convert all its provisions to make them applicable as far as leasehold property is concerned. We think, and our advisers in the property field tell us, that it is not so easy to transpose everything in the Sectional Titles Act for freehold property to make it operate on the basis of leasehold. We therefore believe that at the very least, there should be some provision in this Bill for the Minister, by regulation, to deal with any particular aspect which could arise should it not be possible to translate the two Acts. It is not that we favour regulations when it comes to property rights. We would hope that once a regulation is working it will be incorporated into the law so that people have property rights in law and not just by way of regulation.
I want to put an immediate problem to the hon the Minister. If one has a sectional title unit one needs a body corporate and trustees. This in itself is not an easy thing to administer. The Government or somebody else will need to establish a special agency to service bodies corporate. I do not think we will find the expertise overnight to handle bodies corporate and trustees.
In terms of clause 52(2) one has a situation where certain people can inherit property. Let us presume that I am the owner of a sectional title unit and I bequeath that to my son. When I die he takes it over. That is quite easy as the transfer is automatic. However, if that son is not a citizen of South Africa, clause 52 makes it impossible for his son to inherit. One will therefore have a situation where, somewhere down the line, one will have a sectional title unit as part of a body corporate and there will be no one to whom one can transfer it. That is a practical problem which arises out of marrying the existing Sectional Titles Act with this Bill as it is at the moment. We believe that that should be resolved.
The hon member Prof Olivier mentioned the whole question of descendants and who should have the right to inherit property. We believe this is inadequately dealt with in the provisions of the Bill and we will move certain amendments in this respect. It is quite wrong to have a situation that while people have a right to acquire freehold right by law, in respect of certain areas that right can be taken away and can only be given on the basis of a ministerial privilege. Property rights should not depend on the whim of a particular government. If it is correct that Blacks should have access to property rights via freehold, it should be the law, but there should be no exempted areas where this is done on the whim of an individual Minister.
The next point is only a minor one but we mention it in advance so that the hon the Minister can brood over it. There is no definition in this Bill of a township developer although there is reference in the Bill to a township developer and what he can do. There should at least be a formal definition of a township developer so that there can be no doubt that a township developer includes a housing developer. It might not necessarily only be the person who lays out the town; it could be somebody who takes over the property and then becomes a housing developer within an established township.
I think the hon the Minister is aware that there is an attempt in this Bill to ensure that there is, as far as possible, no overlapping between the functions which the new boards will inherit from the administration boards and the rights which the Black local authorities will have. We remain unhappy that somewhere in the wording of clause 29 there is an area of overlapping. Some attention should be given to this matter to see if we cannot “ontstrengel” it by way of an amendment and get rid of the interlacing of these two authorities so that it will be quite clear that in an urban area where there is a Black local authority, it is the authority and, in an urban area where there is no Black local authority, the development board is the authority. This should in no way detract from the board’s developmental powers which are provided for in a different clause in any case. We are now dealing with an authority which can be seen to be competing with a local authority. We want to ask the hon the Minister to examine, with us, clause 29 to see if it cannot be improved to prevent any overlapping of that authority. Then, as my hon colleague mentioned earlier on, the question of freehold rights has been omitted and we shall certainly move an amendment to include it.
We entered this debate in the same spirit in which we entered the Select Committee, that is to say, not entirely happy with the measure but having to work within the framework of what we could achieve given the ambit of the legislation that was put before us. We would hope that in the next two days, as we debate the clauses in the Committee Stage, we will get the same kind of response from the Government that, if there appears to be a good case for introducing an amendment, they will accept such an amendment. In this spirit we on this side of the House support the measure and will take an active and, I hope, constructive part in the latter stages of this Bill.
Mr Speaker, there is a saying that a fox is never caught twice in the same snare. The PFP has decided, after its dramatic reversal, to participate constructively in the new constitutional dispensation in South Africa and also to participate constructively in further constitutional development processes in South Africa, specifically in respect of Black people as well. This Bill is one of a trilogy of laws which deal very specifically with the constitutional development process.
We are grateful for this change in attitude on the part of the PFP, so that now they will not simply oppose everything blindly and destructively. Unfortunately there is a far right, radical party represented in this House that has not yet learnt that little lesson from nature. I must say that it was apparently a rather traumatic experience for the hon member for Sea Point to support this legislation this afternoon, for in the no-confidence debate last week his leader specifically said: The PFP acknowledges the existence of ethnicity in South Africa; the PFP acknowledges the problem which exists in South Africa that one group may not dominate another group; but the PFP does not recognize the statutory and administrative instruments to give recognition to the phenomenon of ethnicity in South Africa. Now I do not know whether he could have found it easy to support this legislation this afternoon, because the following is stated on the front page of the Bill “Black Communities Development Bill”, Black communities that have been identified by way of population classification legislation. Nevertheless we appreciate the support of his party.
I should like to express a few thoughts on the question of the agency function of the development boards dealt with by this Bill. To be able to understand it properly it is in my opinion essential that one should look at clause 16 of the Bill in which the objects of the development boards are spelled out. I quote:
We therefore see that for the most part there are two main objects, namely the promotion of a wide series of activities in the life of these communities, and that of preventing other activities which could have a detrimental effect on such communities.
In accordance with clause 51 the development board is only accorded an agency function over the whole wide sphere of the life of the community as it is stated here, an agency function in terms of which these development boards can act after an agreement has been entered into with a particular body, a particular department or a particular statutory institution, but primarily after an agreement has been entered into with Black local authorities. Under these circumstances the development boards will act on an agency basis to be able to discharge those functions. Certain specific functions will of course be allocated to them, as set out in clause 51, namely certain functions in respect of the Department of Manpower, certain functions concerning sorghum beer and other liquor and other administrative functions in such Black communities.
It is being provided that those community functions may be performed by the development boards until such time as the Black local authorities develop the necessary infrastructure to enable them ultimately to take over these functions. This is in line with the NP policy of effective administration. It prevents a vacuum arising in the administrative process while the Black local communities are acquiring their own infrastructure and expertise to be able to undertake these functions themselves. For these reasons I gladly support this Bill.
Mr Speaker, we have now reached the end of an interesting debate. In the first place, allow me the opportunity to express my gratitude to the various parties that supported the Bill. I also thank them for the positive contributions we have heard here this afternoon. The CP has decided not to support the legislation, but by this time we have become accustomed to that from them. I want to give this House the assurance that the Government will make every endeavour to implement this measure, even if we have to forego the co-operation of the CP. I think we shall succeed in doing so. [Interjections.]
I want to refer, however, to one discordant note we heard here this afternoon from the hon member for Rissik, who is not present at the moment. He tried to use this debate for making a trial run for a speech he is to deliver at Louis Trichardt. I take exception to his making indiscriminate statements and allegations and to his asking questions here knowing full well that he would not be present here when they were replied to and to his simply assuming that one has to reply to the questions. To me it was clear that he read nothing beyond the preamble to this Bill. I am sure that his knowledge of a Black community is so limited that if he were to pass one he would not recognize it as a Black community. However, I leave him at that.
I am very grateful for the positive contribution to this debate made by the hon member Prof Olivier.
†Before I deal with his speech I want to thank the hon member for Sea Point for his remarks about the hon the Minister when he referred to his intense involvement in this trilogy of Bills, one of which has already become law. The second is now in the process of being accepted while the third is now in the process of being dealt with by a select committee. I am pleased that recognition is given to the initiative the hon the Minister took in regard to the betterment of the living standards of the Black people in the Republic of South Africa. I think he deserves all the credit that we can bestow upon him for the sterling task that he has performed.
*The hon member Prof Olivier spoke of a new approach which was discernible in the NP in respect of the Black man. I think the hon member for Lichtenburg, too, referred to a volte face in our approach. It is true that we have a new approach. In 1948 we believed that in due course we would have regions in the country in which no Black people would be present. History has shown, however, that that was an assumption which was based on a false premise. We as the NP Government would have been failing badly in our duty if we were to have disregarded that realism in the design and the evolution of our policy.
The hon member asked whether we still believed in apartheid. We call it separate development, and we are succeeding in making it a reality despite the fact that that hon member still wishes to describe it as apartheid. He is aware of the connotation attached to the word “apartheid” abroad, and the object of his having used that term probably is to discredit us once again abroad. [Interjections.] The fact of the matter is that we have taken reality into consideration and have tried to keep up with the demands made on us by circumstances without forsaking our principles. [Interjections.]
The hon member Prof Olivier said that he regretted our having been unable to break away completely as far as community councils were concerned, as we did in the case of the Act dealing with Black local authorities. There is, of course, a very good reason for that. The fact of the matter is that the new development boards will have the administration of certain community councils as part of their duties. In other words, it is essential to have continuity. There is no Administration Board which, in terms of the Act of 1982, only has to administer Black local authorities. For this reason we could not merely terminate the functions of these people.
The hon member Prof Olivier is also in favour of our making abundant use of the powers given to the Minister in terms of clause 3(3). I think the hon member will agree with me that we have already proved, by introducing this Bill, that we give high priority to the development of Black communities and everything that involves. Consequently he may rest assured that we shall make use of those powers.
Both the hon member for Sea Point and the hon member Prof Olivier referred to the finances which were so essential for fulfilling the functions entrusted to the development boards. This afternoon I am not in a position to furnish any information in that regard, but I can tell hon members that at present there are very interesting proposals awaiting consideration and decision, proposals which will definitely meet this problem. The provision of money to White as well as Black local authorities is a problem which has been engaging the attention of the Government since the sixties. Hon members will probably remember the Borckenhagen, the Schumann and the Brown Commissions. At present we have the Croeser working group as well, and I can assure hon members that many interesting proposals have been made, but unfortunately I am not in a position to say more than this.
It is taken amiss of the NP that is accepts as a fait accompli the permanence of Blacks outside the national states. The hon member for Lichtenburg also referred to this and levelled this charge at us. However, if my memory serves me well, that hon member was Minister of Education and Training at one time, and responsible for seeing to the erection of schools outside the national states. I do not know whether he did so with the intention that those people would suddenly disappear at some stage, because if that is the basis on which he erected the schools, it is a very strange state of affairs. Consequently I have to accept that the hon member who levelled this charge at us also accepted the permanence of Black people in White South Africa, and is co-responsible for the permanence of the Black people in White South Africa. The members of the CP and of the PFP, as well as members of the HNP and the NP, are the people who among others, are responsible for that. The hon member for Lichtenburg will agree with me that he would prefer to have the tractor driver on his farm permanently in his employment rather than having to employ a new tractor driver each year. Does this not constitute permanence?
You do not know what you are talking about.
Well, Mr Speaker, that is the opinion of that hon member. He uses the weakest argument possible; one of which he is rather fond. Every time he is cornered, he promptly accuses his opponent of not knowing what he is talking about. [Interjections.] That argument is indeed a very weak one. I want to know from the hon member whether or not what I am saying is true. Would he prefer to have a new tractor driver every year or would he prefer to employ a tractor driver on a permanent basis?
When a tractor driver has been in my service for five years, surely that is not permanent. [Interjections.]
And if he is ten years in your service?
In that case he is not permanent either.
Oh, in that case he is still not permanent? [Interjections.] And if he has been in your service for 50 years?
In that case he is still not permanent.
Now I ask you! [Interjections.]
Every five years Ferdi fires them. [Interjections.]
Yes, and that is why they can never be permanent. [Interjections.] It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that the hon member for Lichtenburg is not prepared to argue this matter in a meaningful manner.
I do agree with the hon member in at least one respect. I agree with his statement that the stated policy of the Government is the maximal development of our national states. Surely this concept is not one which he discovered today. This idea of regional development, our entire regional development strategy and initiatives are based on this standpoint. We want to develop our national states, as well as areas surrounding our national states, in a way which will ensure for us the maximum power of attracting our people from our urban areas to those places. That is the basis for this entire initiative. The hon member for Lichtenburg tried to imply that this was something which he had suddenly discovered for us; something which we had to implement now. We are already doing so. To me the hon member was very vague in his utterances on the question of the development function of the development boards. One moment he was speaking of development which the Government allegedly wanted to initiate round Soweto. The next moment he was pleading for this development to take place rather at Bloemfontein, or even in the Southern Free State. So what kind of development was the hon member speaking about? This kind of development is already taking place. No-one intends initiating industrial development at Soweto, for the simple reason that no land is available there for such development either. The hon member knows, because he was a member of the Government at the time, that it was decided that the PWV area was overextended as far as industrial development was concerned. That was the rationale behind the establishment of the development axis between Rustenburg and Bronkhorstspruit. The hon member must get his facts straight.
Then there is something else that I take amiss of the hon member, Mr Speaker. The hon member referred here to the Rikhoto Case. He presented the worst aspects of it to this House without also referring to the fact that up to the present time, only 24 000 applications for residence in terms of the Rikhoto judgment had been approved. Of course, the hon member wanted to blaze abroad once more that story of 160 000. In any event, that is not what the Rikhoto judgment was about.
Mr Speaker, in point of fact these things have nothing to do with the present debate. I am referring to them, however, because it was very clear to me that hon members of the CP were making speeches here with the coming by-election in Soutpansberg in mind. Of course, they also had to try to steal a march on the HNP. The objections in principle which they raised here, were not raised by the hon member who sat on the Select Committee concerned. They were broached only afterwards. So what happened between the publication of the report of the Select Committee and today, is something only they will know. With only a few exceptions they supported this legislation at that time. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, I want to thank hon members in the Government benches most sincerely for the positive contribution made by them in this regard. The hon member for Pretoria West broke a lance for the Administration Boards. Now I do want to say a few words about the Administration Boards.
We are not attending the funeral of the Administration Boards now. However, it is true that the Administration Boards have performed a mammoth task in this country as far as the accommodation of Black people is concerned. In addition they have performed a mammoth task in connection with the training of Black people to cope with their own affairs in their own residential areas. As yet everything is not perfect, of course. An ideal solution has not been found to all problems, but foundations have at least been laid on which it will be possible to build in future, something which will be greatly to our benefit in this country thanks to the dedication and the energy with which these Administration Boards have done their work. It is very true that the Administration Boards were also entrusted with matters which were not so popular amongst the Blacks. In fact, they were entrusted with the matter of influx control, but in this regard, too, I want to say at once that to see influx control purely as a negative measure is to be totally mistaken. I say this because there is something positive, too, in this whole concept of influx control, as far as the Black people are concerned. Influx control provides built-in protection in respect of the Black people who have already obtained rights here and who have been living in this country for generations and who have to be protected against penetration from outside. Consequently it is not merely a negative measure. Unfortunately it has been seen as such, and we are grateful that the Administration Boards have been able to fulfil this part of their function too with so much success.
The hon member for Newton Park rightly remarked that the entire leasehold system was being modernized in this legislation. I listened very attentively to his plea that we negotiate with attorneys in due course with a view to entrusting to them part of the work attached to deeds—the transfer of properties, etc. We shall most definitely, if circumstances require, hold discussions with the law societies to ascertain whether we cannot negotiate a cheaper fee for the Black people when the work becomes too much for our officials.
I also appreciate the support of the hon member for Durban Point. To me, who did not serve on the select committee, it was interesting to learn from him that the select committee only divided six times. The hon member demonstrated very clearly that he understood the realities of South Africa. My only regret is that he is of the opinion that we have borrowed those realities from his party. [Interjections.] It is just the other way around.
As regards the question of the exclusion of the Western Cape from the 99-year leasehold system, the hon member must understand that up to this stage this has served as a measure to protect the Coloured population. The Western Cape is the traditional settlement area of the Coloureds, their traditional home, and it is the duty of the Government to protect them in this regard. In the light of other facts this entire aspect is still being investigated, but until such time as greater clarity is gained in this regard, we shall simply have to agree to disagree as far as the 99-year leasehold system is concerned.
In what way can this affect the Coloureds?
The hon member for Durban Point also asked what exactly we meant by the “autonomy of Black communities”. At the moment I do not want to conduct a debate on this matter, for the simple reason that the autonomy of Black local authorities has been established in the Black Local Authorities Act of 1982. Consequently I am of the opinion that this is not the occasion to argue this matter.
I listened very attentively, too, to the hon member for Bellville, who has demonstrated on a number of occasions that he has made an in-depth study of this entire matter of Blacks outside the national states and that he can speak authoritatively on this matter. On the basis of a quotation he gave what was to my way of thinking a very interesting opinion as to what Dr Verwoerd would have said in an attempt to define the Blacks living outside the national states, and one would wish to take another look at it and to study it. I think his reference to clause 10 was possibly somewhat premature at this stage—this is definitely not meant as criticism of his speech; he is perfectly entitled to exchange views on it—but I am unable to react to it now because it is a matter receiving the attention of a select committee considering the Orderly Movement and Settlement of Black Persons Bill.
But the hon member for Bellville pleaded for leasehold, as I did.
That may be, but at the moment I am not referring to leasehold in so far as it was referred to by the hon member for Bellville. The hon member for Durban Point should give me the opportunity to continue with my speech.
The hon member for Helderkruin also spoke in pursuance of the misgivings of the hon members for Lichtenburg concerning the establishment of industrial areas. Consequently I leave the matter at that.
One of the hon members wanted to draw the inference that the fact that reference is made in this legislation to the Administrator allegedly indicated that this was the first step in the direction of the inclusion of Black people in the new dispensation for Whites, Coloureds and Indians. However, the hon member does not even know that under present circumstances the Administrator has to be consulted when new Black townships are established. Therefore we cannot implement the legislation without the Administrator also being consulted in his particular capacity in the legislation.
The hon member for Carletonville gave a very fine account of, and paid very fine tribute to, the Administration Boards, for which I am grateful to him. I have already referred to them and I believe they are definitely worthy of tribute.
In general I just want to say that we are gratified at the degree of support enjoyed by the measure. Many matters were raised. The hon member for Sea Point asked several questions, as did the hon member Prof Olivier. I think it would be better for the questions to be dealt with in the Committee Stage.
Question agreed to (Conservative Party dissenting).
Bill read a Second Time.
Mr Speaker, I move:
The Bill which is before the House is intended to effect amendments to several statutory provisions relating to the SA Transport Services. The amendments have been explained in the explanatory memorandum which has been tabled and I shall confine myself to the more important aspects.
In terms of existing legislation, losses or debts can only be recovered from the pension benefits of Transport Services employees on specific conditions. For example, the pension benefits of a former member cannot be used to recover money made available to him in the form of a study bursary if he has failed to meet his bursary obligations. The purpose of the proposed amendment is to provide statutory authorization for any loss or debt to be recovered from a member’s pension benefits when such a member leaves the service or dies.
The proposed amendments to the Railways and Harbours Pension Act, 1971, and the Railways and Harbours Pensions for Non-White Act, 1974, in connection with the actuarial valuation of the respective pension funds, are being introduced in order to bring the situation into line with that of the Public Service Pension Fund.
Provision is also being made in the Bill for the introduction of a widows’ pension scheme for the Coloured and Indian workers of the Transport Services and for employees from the various Black population groups.
The South African Transport Services has a long record of successful sea rescue and salvage services extending over a period of many years, even before the advent of commercial salvage tugs. Although the SATS is not specifically authorized in terms of existing legislation to provide towage and salvage services on request outside its area of jurisdiction, it is under a moral obligation, just like any harbour authority, never to ignore a distress signal calling for help or assistance. Therefore it is essential that the deficiency in the existing legislation be rectified.
†Various property consultants and developers have recently displayed keen interest in establishing commercial activities at railway stations, either wholly or partly on land owned by the SATS. Such developments could mean considerable financial benefit for the SATS, and the Bill provides for the amendment of the South African Transport Services Act, 1981, so as to give effect to this objective.
The SATS is in terms of extant legislation not liable for loss of or damage to any goods in its custody at a harbour if the loss or damage is caused by an act of God or of hostile forces, the perils or accidents of the sea, fire, flood, tempest, civil commotion, riots or strikes. Acts of sabotage are, however, not included and in view of present-day circumstances it is necessary to make specific provision therefor.
The fact that the SATS is not liable for loss or damage caused by fire in a harbour, including a fire caused by a locomotive, seems unreasonable to the port user. It is therefore necessary to define the SATS liability in respect of fire more clearly.
Other amendments provide, inter alia, for the allocation of fines imposed by the SATS in terms of a road traffic ordinance, and the discretionary powers of the General Manager, whilst various amendments are of a consequential nature.
Mr Speaker, in the first place I would like to thank the hon the Minister and his department for having provided us with an explanatory memorandum dealing with the Bill before us.
This Bill is fairly obviously a Committee Stage Bill. It deals with a number of different Acts and amends a number of different Acts. It is a pot-pourri of a number of different principles which will become more clear as we progress with this legislation. I therefore do not believe that it is incumbent on us or on anyone else for that matter to oppose the Second Reading stage of this Bill. Therefore we will not do so, although there are some clauses on which we require greater clarification and against which we may even vote at the Committee Stage.
When we look at this Bill we see that the first clause deals with the recouping of money from the pensions of employees of the SATS. This is always a difficult subject and I actually do not believe that this amendment to the Railways and Harbours Pensions Act has been framed particularly well. I have problems with it and I will be seeking to amend it in committee. Perhaps the main problem I have with the wording of the clause is that it is not made clear that the debt must be to the SATS. In terms of this clause as I read it, it would appear that the SATS could deduct money from the pension contributions of a resigning employee in respect of debts which have been brought to its attention which are owed to other parties. This whole question of being able to recover moneys from employees’ pension fund contributions is a very tricky and difficult one. One has heard stories, and I am not prepared to vouch for the truth of those stories, of very large amounts of money being deducted from the pension fund contributions of employees of the SATS. You see, Sir, this clause is not precisely new. It is just an altered clause to make it more embracing. This particular type of action has been able to be taken by the SATS for some time.
The kind of thing that is of concern to me relates for instance to the ability of the SATS to fine an employee a sum of money for some misbehaviour. That can also be accompanied by the services of the employee being dispensed with. The situation then arises that the SATS can collect that fine by taking it out of the employee’s pension contributions. However, what is of more concern to me, is whether in the event of misconduct by an employee, the regulations prescribe that the SATS may then refuse to pay to that employee the interest on his pension contributions. Let us say that an employee has worked for the SATS for 30 years and that he in all that time paid his pension fund contributions. As one can imagine, the amount of interest which accumulated on those contributions could amount to a very large sum of money. One hears disturbing rumours that as much as R15 000 could be involved when interest on an employee’s pension fund account is withheld. Is this right? If for example an employee is found to be drunk while on duty, is it possible that the interest on his pension fund contributions can be withheld from him? Depending on the hon the Minister’s answers to these questions, we will decide whether we actually like this clause or whether we will vote against it.
The second clause of the Bill relates to the actuaries who value the fund every five years. The relevant provision reads, “if and when deemed necessary at the discretion of the Minister”. We should know more about this and what the Minister’s intention is. At the moment the actuaries have to do it every five years. Is it the hon the Minister’s intention to have the actuaries do it more frequently or does he want to extend the period of time?
If it is to be done more frequently, one should perhaps consider a further amendment to the clause by stating that the period should not be longer than five years. I think five years is the maximum period which should be allowed. Let us by all means give the hon the Minister the discretion …
I agree with you. I will alter it in the Committee Stage.
I thank the hon the Minister.
I think we would also like to hear more from the hon the Minister during the Committee Stage about the state of this fund. Are the liabilities of the fund, for instance, sufficiently funded at this date? Secondly, is it possible that the State might have to contribute towards this pension fund because of its liabilities? Does the hon the Minister expect that the State might have to contribute to this pension fund and if so, can he give us any idea of how much? If this is the case, I believe that the taxpapers of South Africa need to know.
Do you think I will get any money from Mr Horwood for this fund?
This hon Minister is so plausible and so persuasive that I am quite sure that he can get blood out of a stone if necessary.
In clause 3, according to the Explanatory Memorandum, section 17 is to be replaced by regulation. I should like the hon the Minister to put on record in the House that the rights of workers of the SATS will not in any way be diminished by the repeal of section 17 of the Railways and Harbours Pensions Act. That particular section states that the worker may buy in for service he gave when he was a temporary or a casual employee. It gives him the right to buy in that service and have it count towards his ultimate pension. Now that section is being repealed. The Explanatory Memorandum states that this is because it is going to be done by regulation instead, or words to that effect. I would like it placed on record in the House that the position of the SATS worker will not be made any worse vis-à-vis his final pension by the repeal of this section.
Clause 4 deals with bringing in the widow of a Black employee and we approve of this. We find it very good. Clause 5 again deals with the actuary and the five years and I assume that if the hon the Minister is prepared to amend the one clause, namely clause 2, he will be prepared to amend this clause as well. One of course has to wonder at this stage why it is necessary in South Africa in 1984 to have two separate Acts for employees of one organization, an Act to deal with the pensions of White and a separate Act, a separate fund and an entirely separate ball game to deal with the pensions of non-Whites. Bearing in mind the events of 1983, the referendum and the fact that we are to have Coloureds and Indians sitting in Parliament in terms of the new constitution, why is it necessary for us to have these two Acts? Perhaps the hon the Minister would like to comment on that and particularly on what the position of Coloureds and Indians is going to be in the light of the new constitution. Are they still going to be looked at by the SATS as a separate entity and will they still have to have their own pension fund and their own set of regulations for pensionable services.
There is another question I should like to ask the hon the Minister in regard to the non-White pension fund. I also hear reports that this fund allows non-Whites to purchase their total benefits in one lump sum. If this is correct, it might be to the advantage of the non-Whites so concerned, but it could be to the disadvantage of the State and I do not believe it should be allowed to happen. If in regulations the SATS allows their employees to take their total pension benefits in one lump sum, many possibilities arise. One is that they squander it and are left indigent. They then become dependent on the State and the State then has to pay out social pensions to these people. That would of course be one way of getting money out of the hon the Minister of Finance, but I do not think it is a way of which we should approve. Perhaps a third of the pension benefits could be commuted into cash and two thirds paid out to the employees as pensions, but never the whole amount. I certainly hope that the hon the Minister will tell us that this does not happen. Perhaps he can tell us that in the Committee Stage.
The other items in the Bill are interesting but not of particular note. Perhaps we will have speed traps in harbours now that road traffic ordinances are going to be applied on the property of SATS. The addition of sabotage is no problem and the better definition of “fire” and the liability of the SATS in the event of fire are great improvements.
We note clause 9 with interests. It allows the SATS to search vehicles without warrant. We note that this is as a result of an amendment of the Police Act last year, an amendment this party in fact voted against very strongly and also spoke against very strongly. However, in view of the fact that this particular clause deals with the search of vehicles only on SATS property or at airports, we believe it is reasonable and we will not oppose this clause.
There is division in your party.
There is no division in our party whatsoever. This is no problem at all.
There is one item about which I do want to say a little more and that is the clause relating to immovable property. The first half of clause 6, relating to towage and salvage services within and outside a harbour on request, is excellent. I must add to what the hon the Minister had said, namely that the SATS has provided sterling service in this regard over many years. Before we had these enormous tugs that are supplied by Safmarine, I believe today, SATS tugs did great work in rescue and salvage services. I think that should be acknowledged in this House. We approve of this amendment and we hope that it will not lead to any unnecessary competition with private enterprise. I assume this is only going to be done outside of harbours when the real need exists.
Subsection (b) of clause 6 deals with immovable property and gives the SATS the right “to let immovable property for the purpose of commercial development and exploitation thereof by private enterprise”. Obviously we approve of this. We think it is good. If the SATS can allow private enterprise onto its property to carry out certain commercial operations, then there is no problem. However, there are two things about which I believe we should be careful. I will put an amendment on the Order Paper which I intend moving at the Committee Stage. The one point about which we will have to be careful is physical planning ordinances of local authorities. We do not want, for instance, in a harbour area, shall we say, to have a 15 storey building erected when the municipality stipulates that in that area no building higher than five storeys may be built. This has happened before, although not in the case of the SATS. I believe the Police erected a barracks in some particular area which was double the height prescribed by a physical planning ordinance of the municipality. I believe before exploitation or development for commercial enterprise takes place there should be consultation between the SATS and the local authority concerned. In exploiting particular areas for commercial purposes the SATS should comply with local regulations. We will be seeking to amend the clause accordingly.
Hand in hand with that goes the situation as regards rates and taxes. I am aware that the SATS do, by a sort of grace and favour, pay certain rates to local authorities. However, if one now is going to have commercial exploitation and development I do not believe that those commercial organizations should be able to pay a lower rental because, in fact, the SATS is not paying adequate rates to local authorities for its particular premises. That would place the people trading on the property of the SATS in a better situation than their competitors who are not trading on the property of the SATS. We will therefore also be seeking to amend this clause so that the SATS will have to pay rates on those properties that are commercially developed at the normal rating assessment of the local authorities. We do not believe that this is an expense which the SATS should have to bear. It obviously has to be passed on to those commercial enterprises who are renting or developing the premises concerned.
For the rest I do not believe that we have any other problems. One further clause also interests me—where mention is made of R5 000 or more or R5 000 or less. It would appear that it was only the figure of R5 000 that became important in the amendment of this particular clause. But overall, as I have said, this is a Committee Stage Bill. We in the official Opposition will not be opposing the Bill at Second Reading.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central has today for the first time appeared as Opposition spokesman on Transport Affairs, and I should like to take this opportunity to congratulate him on being selected to perform this task. I sincerely hope that we will follow his predecessor’s example of always being very fair and reasonable in his arguments and in his submissions in regard to Transport Affairs in the House.
*I want to congratulate the hon member and to express the hope that he will make valuable contributions in this capacity.
I realize that the hon member is in the habit of questioning everything, and on this occasion, too, he immediately asked questions in connection with the provision contained in clause 1 in terms of which the Administration is able to recover debts in cases where a member of the new fund leaves the service or dies. If the hon member would consult the marginal note, the intention with this amendment would be very clear to him, ie:
This is money which is due to the Administration. The hon member tries to create the impression that private parties to whom the member of the new fund may owe money will now be able to approach the Administration to recover such money. In my opinion, this is not the intention of this legislation, because it is made clear in the clause that this only relates to money which is owing to the Administration. In fact, the hon the Minister made it very clear in his explanatory memorandum that bursary money for study purposes is not always properly covered, and that the purpose of the proposed amendment is to provide for any loss or debt to be recovered from a member’s pension benefits when he leaves the service or dies. I trust, therefore, now that the hon member has made his first speech on transport matters, that he is not going to raise all kinds of spectres in future in connection with every little piece of legislation and that he will not attempt to create the impression that the Administration really wishes to go much further than is necessary.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member whether he realizes that those notes in the margin and the explanatory memorandum do not, in fact, form part of the Act as it is being amended by this Bill?
That might be so, but the purpose of this clause is quite clear. So why should anyone then try to create the impression that the Administration is now going to act as agent for other institutions when it comes to debt collecting?
*The hon member really must not go too far in his assumptions as the spokesman of the official Opposition on Transport Services, for in doing so, he would be raising many questions in this House which we would have to debate, and on which we would waste a great deal of time.
In my opinion, this is not a controversial Bill at all. The amendments are obviously being proposed as a result of certain shortcomings and also to provide for new eventualities. The principal motivation for the proposed amendments is that if the SA Transport Services were to suffer any loss as a result of the death of a member of the new fund, or of his leaving the service, the Administration must have the right to recover the amount of that loss or debt from his pension benefits. My experience is, in fact, that when such debts have to be recovered, every Government department affords the official concerned an opportunity to pay back the debt in instalments if he cannot pay it back immediately in a lump sum.
And the fellow who has died? Does he pay from the grave?
No. His widow or other next-of-kin have to pay the debt.
Furthermore, the respective pension funds will henceforth be valued at the discretion of the Minister, instead of having to be valued every five years.
In accordance with Standing Order No 22, the House adjourned at